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THE SITUATION ROOM
CNN Contributor and Democratic Strategist James Carville Advises President to Fire Staff Members; John Boehner Announces Jobs Plan; Interview with Republican Presidential Candidate Jon Huntsman; Controversial Views in Agent Training Materials
Aired September 15, 2011 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, HOST: Brooke, thanks very much.
Happening now, it's time for the Obama White House to panic. That's what CNN contributor and Democratic strategist James Carville says. Stand by for his dire warning for his party and advice how the president can turn things around.
Also, my in depth interviews with two of the Republicans who want the president's job. I'll speak live with both Mitt Romney and John huntsman. We'll talk about the economy. National security, their takes on the red-hot rhetoric of the Republican front-runner Rick Perry.
And new concerns that the FBI is teaching agents that even so- called "mainstream Muslims," their words, are terrorist sympathizers. We are investigating the bureau's training materials that may be making tensions with the Muslim community much worse.
I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
It's one thing for Republicans to say President Obama's re- election campaign is in big trouble. It's another thing when a diehard Democratic insider like James Carville says it. He has three words of advice today for the Obama White House to try to salvage the party's chances of victory in 2012. Those words, "Fire, Indict, and Fight."
James Carville is joining us now.
James, you created quite a stir in this article you've written for CNN.com. Let me read a couple of lines and then we'll discuss. Among other things you say, "What should the White House do now? One word came to mind -- panic."
And then you went on to say "This is what I would say to President Barack Obama -- the time has come to demand a plan of action that requires a complete change from the direction you are headed."
All right, what are you talking about?
JAMES CARVILLE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, simply this. We lost two elections Tuesday night. We lost 65 elections in November. The economy is sliding not sideways. If anything it's sliding back. Macroeconomics advisers say there is a one in third chance we are going into another recession.
You look how crazy the opposition party is, cheering death and everything else, and you have to say, hey, we've got to change direction here. We've got to do something different. This is not working, not politically, not economically, not anything. So bring in a new team and indicate to people you get it, they understand you were dealt a very tough hand, but you keep playing the same hand over and over again. It's not working.
BLITZER: You have two specific recommendations in your CNN.com article -- fire somebody and indict people. Let's talk about both. What do you mean fire somebody? Who should be fired?
CARVILLE: When we lost all the seats in 1994, a lot of us got fired. I didn't have a consulting contract with the DNC. People, he made changes. That's what happens. That's what President Reagan did in 1980. He fired John sears and other people in his campaign. Talk about Lincoln. How many generals did Lincoln fire? Even Rumsfeld lost his job. The Republicans fired Newt Gingrich.
When things are not going well, I'm sorry, but the coach, the manager, we are both sports fans, you've got to do something to try to change direction here. It just looks like the same people doing the same thing over and over again. And it's not working. And what I said on CNN has been repeated to me by Democrats all over the place. I feel guilty of plagiarism. But you talk to so many people who say the same thing. So some extent these are my feelings, but they are feeling that many, many people, and many people who like this president and want him to succeed feel.
BLITZER: He is not going to fire himself or the vice president. So who does he fire? He's got a new chief of staff. Rahm Emanuel is gone. Who does he fire?
CARVILLE: He's got political advisors, economic advisers, cabinet members. I'm not privy on the inside to know but some people have got to go. It may be they've got to go unjustly or maybe they are doing the best they can under the circumstances, that doesn't matter. You've got to give people a signal out there that something's not working and you're trying something else.
You're right, the president can't fire himself. He's not going to fire the vice president. But he's got to signal to people, I know what we are doing here is causing a lot of hardship. We keep losing elections and having the same people.
BLITZER: You want to name names?
CARVILLE: I don't want to name names for the simple reason is I'm not on the inside. I'm not privy to what's going on or who is giving what advice. Something is not going right.
BLITZER: What about Timothy Geithner, treasury secretary? He's been there from day one. CARVILLE: Certainly, you can't fire the Fed chairman, but maybe there is a deputy secretary. I have no idea. That is not what I'm trying to say. I'm not trying to get into details. Bill Daley is a very good friend of mine, very nice guy. Somebody, somewhere -- no, more than somebody. I talked about the battle of Stalingrad. I'm certainly not advocating this, but the Russian colonel in the 64th division just started shooting every tenth person. That is an extreme example.
BLITZER: With the exception Timothy Geithner on the economic team, he has had a significant turnover over the past two-and-a-half years.
CARVILLE: People have left. I think the indication was that the policies would stay the same. Turnover is one thing. I think he's got to stand up and say -- it's not just economic teams. It's other people, too. You have to show that you are displeased with the direction that things are going in. For whatever reason, the way do you that is you fire people. Then everybody kind gets the message.
BLITZER: What about indicting people? What do you mean by that he should start indicting people?
CARVILLE: We had the greatest -- we had a period of -- we are in a recession and now the experts are saying as a result of the overleverage, speculative, irresponsible nature of the American finance and housing industry, and we are going to have no job growth for six years. Somebody did something wrong here. I mean, this is not that hard to figure out. We have, I don't think we've been near aggressive enough.
People around the country, they know Barack Obama didn't cause this. They are not blaming him for this. They know who caused this and they know what caused it.
BLITZER: But if you're going to indict someone, they've got to be doing something that's allegedly criminal, not just stupid.
CARVILLE: You know what, I'm not United States government. I'm not the attorney general. I'm not the United States attorney. I don't have the power to subpoena people. I don't have 100 wizard lawyers working with me. I'm not the Securities and Exchange Commission.
But go watch Charles Ferguson's movie "Inside Job." you're going to tell me somebody came in and wrecked an entire economy and no one is going to be held responsible for this? I don't buy that neither does anybody else. How would James Carville deal with it? We have people in place that are able to investigate this and pursue these kinds of things. We haven't been very aggressive about this whole thing. People understand. Look at the havoc that has been wreaked in this country by this kind of massive irresponsibility. It's just unbelievable.
BLITZER: James Carville speaking his mind as he always does, but this time more forcefully than usual. James, thanks very much. CARVILLE: You bet.
BLITZER: Another strong shot of criticism aimed at the president today, this time from a more predictable source. We are talking about the House Speaker John Boehner. He gave an economic speech here in Washington and drew a new line in the sand when it comes to tax hikes. Let's bring in our congressional correspondent Kate Bolduan. Kate?
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Wolf. Well, coming one week to the day after President Obama laid out his jobs plan, House Speaker John Boehner called the president's proposals a poor substitute. And then for the first time he told the super- committee what it should and should not take on.
BOLDUAN: In his most detailed remarks yet, House Speaker John Boehner spelled out his prescription for the so-called super- committee, tax reform.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), HOUSE SPEAKER: The committee can develop principles for broad-based tax reform that will lower rates for individuals and corporations while closing deductions, credits, and special carve-outs in our tax code.
BOLDUAN: Boehner also called on the 12-member committee to tackle entitlement reform, laying the ground work for possible areas of compromise. But just as quickly as he's done before, Boehner ruled out any tax increases.
BOEHNER: Tax increases, I think, are off the table. I don't think they are a viable option. It's a very simple equation -- tax increases destroy jobs. And the joint committee is a jobs committee.
BOLDUAN: A starting position that could prove challenging. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said as much shortly before Boehner took to the podium.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: I don't think we should any of us go in there with any lines in the sand about taxes or entitlements. I think our only sacred cow has to be the creation of jobs for the American people and the creation of jobs now.
BOEHNER: And with a target finding $1.5 trillion in deficit savings by Thanksgiving to avoid across the board cuts, one Democratic of the super-committee member warns everything, including revenue, must be in the mix.
BOLDUAN (on camera): Is it possible to hit the mark you all need to hit by taking tax increases off the table from the beginning?
REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D), MARYLAND: Look, there is no doubt that the only way to get an overall solution to this problem is to take a balanced approach. Every bipartisan group that's gotten together has taken a balanced approach where they say in order to reduce the deficit over a period of time, you've got to do a certain amount by cutting and you also have to look at the revenue side.
BOLDUAN: Now, in Boehner's response to the president, while not offering a wide-ranging jobs plan of his own, he does set the stage and possibly the terms of debate for the ongoing battle between Democrats, the White House, and Republicans for reducing the country's debt and creating jobs going forward.
BLITZER: It's going to be a fascinating few weeks and months. You'll be covering it for us, Kate. Thanks very much.
A rogue trader cost a banking giant billions. So how did it happen? Stand by for that. And also stand by for my live interviews with Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman. They're both here in THE SITUATION ROOM. We'll pick up with some of the heated topics we explored during Monday's CNN debate.
BLITZER: Jack Cafferty is here. He has "The Cafferty File" -- Jack.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Here is what the president needs, another fire threatening to burn out of control. The Democrat's loss in New York's special Congressional election this week could signal serious trouble for President Obama and the Jewish vote in 2012. Congressional district number nine made up of parts of Brooklyn and Queens is probably the most Jewish district in the country, or certainly one of them. And many think if the Democrats lost there then President Obama could be in trouble in key states like Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. And you cannot win the White House without those states.
The problem is a lot of American Jews feel neglected by this president and think he's been too tough on Israel. In the New York race former mayor Ed Koch, quintessential New Yorker, Jewish Democrat, endorsed the Republican. Koch cited Israel as the main reason why. He says he likes this president, helped get him elected, but, quote, "Obama threw Israel under the bus."
And it's not just Obama's policy toward Israel either. A recent poll shows other issues that trouble many voters, things like the economy, Social Security, Medicare, are more important than Israel among Jewish voters. Republicans smell blood in the water and they are likely to make this a wedge issue in the campaign next year.
Back in 1980, Jimmy Carter was the last democratic candidate to not get an overwhelming majority of the Jewish vote. All Mr. Obama needs is another comparison to Jimmy Carter. President Obama's approval rating currently is about 60 percent among Jews nationally. In 2008, exit polls show nearly 80 percent of Jews voted for him. This makes Jews just another group to start deserting the president. He's lost support among other key voting blocks, as well -- blacks, women and independents.
So here's the question: How can President Obama save the Jewish vote?
Go to CNN.com/CaffertyFile, post comment on my blog, or go to our post on THE SITUATION ROOM Facebook page -- Wolf.
BLITZER: I'm anxious to read what our viewers think, Jack. Thanks very much.
A new CNN-ORC International poll is revealing that the GOP is split right down the middle when it come to the blossoming Tea Party movement. According to the survey, 49 percent of those who lean Republican either support the movement or are active members, 51 percent feel indifferent or oppose it all together. The poll also shows that demographically, Tea Party Republicans are more likely to be male, older, and college educated than their non-Tea Party counterparts. I write about this on my blog today, CNN.com/SituationRoom.
The Swiss banking giant UBS suffering what could be an unprecedented multibillion dollar loss at the hands of a rogue trader. We'll tell what you happened.
Plus, two people are dead, several others injured in a raging cruise ship fire. Details are coming up.
BLITZER: We are getting news of another strike of what U.S. officials are calling a series of major blows against Al Qaeda. Lisa Sylvester is monitoring that and some of the other top stories in THE SITUATION ROOM right now.
What's the latest? LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, there, Wolf.
U.S. officials are reporting Al Qaeda's chief of operations in Pakistan has been killed in the northwest tribal region. He's said to have helped coordinate anti-American plots in the region and worked closely with Pakistani operatives to carry out attacks. He may have been a possible successor to Al Qaeda's in command who was killed last month.
Firefighters and other crews are struggling to stabilize a Norwegian cruise ship after a fire in the engine room killed two crew members. The fire is under control, but the ship is said to be taking on water. Two other members were seriously burned. All 207 passengers have been evacuated. The ship was operating on a popular route along Norway's coast.
Despite a judge's order telling striking teachers to return to work in Tacoma, Washington, many teachers there are returning to the picket line instead. The school district canceled classes when many teachers failed to show up this morning. The judge says the strike must end because it's harming students. An attorney for the union says missed class time can be made up later.
And a man is in police custody after the UBS reported he cost the company, get this, an estimated $2 billion with unauthorized trades. That would be the third largest rogue trading loss in banking history. Experts say the bank is big enough to take the hit, but UBS shares closed down around 10 percent in U.S. trading. And $2 billion -- that's quite a sum of money.
BLITZER: It's not just millions, it's billions. All right, thanks very much for that.
Republican Jon Huntsman says his opponent said scary things during our CNN Tea Party presidential debate Monday. I'll ask if he is willing to take sides in one of the most heated face-offs between Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann. Jon Huntsman is standing by live. We'll go to him next.
And critics fear the FBI training of counterterrorism agents may be increasing the terror threat. What's going on? We're taking a closer look into the bureau's stunning portrayal of mainstream Muslims.
BLITZER: I'm Wolf Blitzer. Here are some of the stories we are working on for our next hour.
He's battling to reclaim the top spot in the Republican race for the White House. Stand by for my live in depth interview with the former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. That's coming up in the next hour.
A marine with a prize medal of honor ahead, disturbing fallout from the deadly fire fight that earned him the decoration.
And a technology giant with ties to the White House with controversy over a service that could interfere with essential GPS services around the country.
You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
BLITZER: Right now, Republican John Huntsman is in New Hampshire, a state that's certainly critical to his presidential campaign strategy. The former U.S. Ambassador to China, the former Utah governor has his work cut out for him trying to make inroads with voters before the first in the nation primary five months from now. The former ambassador is joining us now live from Manchester.
Governor, thanks very much for coming in.
FORMER AMBASSADOR TO CHINA JON HUNTSMAN JR. (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Greetings, Wolf. Delighted to be with you from New Hampshire.
BLITZER: Good. Let's talk about Social Security first.
If you were president, how would you make sure that our children and grandchildren would continue to get Social Security? HUNTSMAN: Well, I'd begin with a conversation like I had with a large group of seniors today in Exeter, and that is not to scare them with language that tends to turn off voters, but rather put forward ideas like the idea that we can look at the underlying assumptions for inflation and peg it more for the Consumer Price Index, like the idea that we can take Social Security now that we are living three decades longer than somebody born in 1900 and maybe take it out to the 85th percentile of the average length of life.
And third, Wolf, I got to tell you, Wolf, there are a whole lot of people in this country beyond a certain income category who probably don't need Social Security, and they would be the first ones to stand up and probably applaud if a politician was courageous enough to say, let's get -- let's get the numbers right, let's maybe draw a line in the sand where people don't need it, they can afford to do otherwise, and let's begin fixing the numbers to secure it for future generations.
BLITZER: All right --
HUNTSMAN: The fixes are there, we just don't have the political leadership to move us forward.
BLITZER: Well, those are courageous positions you're taking cause on the cost of living, for example, in effect that means less money for retirees, right?
HUNTSMAN: That's correct. I get --
BLITZER: On the issue of means testing, people pay into Social Security all their lives. If you earn a certain income, you wouldn't necessarily get Social Security. Where would that cut-off point be?
HUNTSMAN: Well, we'd have to work out those details, but let me just say, I would be willing to have that conversation with the American people.
You can find the cut-off and it would be in the spirit, Wolf, of shared sacrifice. Everyone has to recognize that given entitlements, where they are today, given the fact that this economy is sucking wind and we've hit the wall, we have no choice.
People have to stand up and they have to hear the president say that it's going to require a little bit of shared sacrifice. We haven't started that conversation, but I believe part of it will be exactly what I outlined in broad strokes here.
BLITZER: So from 65 to 67, what age do you think would be a good age, not necessarily for the current retirees, but for 10 years down the road? Seventy? Is that what you want to raise the age to?
HUNTSMAN: Well, let's just say that we are living long were each passing year and the benefits of science and health, all a very good thing. Let's just face it to the 85 percent percentile of the average length of life and use that as kind of a moving scale. I think that would be a good place to start this conversation. BLITZER: Let's talk about another sensitive issue that came up during the debate we all had Monday night in Tampa, the HPV vaccine, the vaccine that in Texas the governor, by executive order, Rick Perry, mandated that 11 and 12-year-old girls get this vaccine, it's a sexually -- to deal with sexually transmitted disease that could lead to cervical cancer. Michele Bachmann, as you well know, is very critical of him on this.
Who is right, Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann?
HUNTSMAN: Well, let me just say, whoever comes down against mandates, I think, is on the side of where the American public are. Parents and guardians can make choices. Mandates do not have a role predominantly in these kinds of issues, whether it's health care reform or whether it's what we are discussing here.
I think American people -- the American people are very skeptical of mandates in society. They want freedom. They want the freedom -- they want the freedom to choose these things.
And I think Rick came out courageously and basically said that he had erred and basically had took back that earlier decision he made.
BLITZER: He said he erred in the sense that he did it by executive order, he should have gone to the legislator. He went one step further yesterday and he said this, he said, "We should have had an opt-in instead of an opt-out."
Are you -- are you with him on the opt-in as opposed to the opt- out? In other words, you would get that vaccine if parents want the little girl to get the vaccine, but you wouldn't get it if the parents don't want you to get it?
HUNTSMAN: I think the parents ultimately ought to drive that decision. I think that opt-in is probably right.
But I think the broader issue, Wolf, is we've got to take our dialogue beyond simply the day-to-day drama and into the bigger issues we face -- our place in the world, our role in Afghanistan and Iraq, what we are going to do structurally to get this economy back on track. These are the big issues of the day, and I believe the American people are crying out for a real dialogue and a discussion around them.
BLITZER: I want to get to those issues in a moment, but one final question on this.
Michele Bachmann, one of your rivals, she says she spoke to someone, a woman who told her that her daughter became mentally retarded after getting that HPV vaccine. A lot of scientists, almost everyone saying that was totally irresponsible, no evidence for that.
What do you make of that?
HUNTSMAN: Well, if you're going to say something, just check your sources, get your information right. If you're going to run for president of the United States, people are pretty much going to want to rely on your facts, they are going to rely on what you're presenting, and you darn well better make sure it's consistent with reality.
BLITZER: Is she qualified to be president of the United States?
HUNTSMAN: Well, I think she meets the constitutional requirements, of course.
BLITZER: The Constitution is one thing, but in terms of her experience, her expertise, her knowledge, is she ready to become commander in chief?
HUNTSMAN: Well, I would never go beyond what the Constitution requires. Leave that up to the people to decide. They've -- they always typically make the best choices.
BLITZER: All right, another sensitive issue, immigration. Twelve million illegal immigrants or so here in the United States.
In Texas, Governor Perry did support in-state tuition for children of illegal immigrants going to state universities. Are you with him on that?
HUNTSMAN: I am with Rick on that. I supported the same kind of legislation in our state of Utah. I don't want to punish young kids for the sins of their parents. In many senses, young kids were dragged across a border with no say over their destiny.
And I'm not prepared, Wolf, to have a two-tiered bifurcated society. I want to make sure first and foremost we fix the system whereby we are able to grant citizenship. That is broken, and it's has been broken for years. I mean, when I ran an embassy in southeast Asia 20 years ago, on average, it was a year to a year and half to get citizenship. Today it's 12, if you're lucky.
So we have a broken system. The reality of 12 million people living in the shadows, we cannot create a bifurcated society, particularly among the young kids. If they earn their way into a local university, I would -- I was willing to say, let's give them the opportunity to succeed.
BLITZER: Assuming the border is secure, what would you do for the 12 million illegal immigrants who are in the United States right now as far as a pathway towards citizenship is concerned?
HUNTSMAN: Well, I would deal with it humanely and I would deal with it pragmatically. You can't round people up, you can't wish them away, but I think you can wish away those who are the violent criminals, those who are the drug dealers. I think you can wish them away.
The others we need to somehow bring out of the shadows and we have to establish some sort of systemic approach with back taxes, English as our primary language, whatever fee or penalty or fine has to be paid, and we have to begin to make this system work because it is broken and it has resulted in a lot of very passionate conversations in our country dividing people and dividing families at a time where we just need solutions.
We need a Department of Homeland Security that can fix the system. And beyond that, we need to remember that immigration and legal immigration has always served this nation extremely well. We are going to need to rely on that again in the future. The infusion of brain power, infusion of capital, the infusion of energy that we are able to assimilate and have from the very beginning is one of our nation's greatest attributes.
BLITZER: I want to pinpoint your position on Afghanistan. It's costing the U.S. taxpayers about $2 billion a week to maintain 100,000 troops in Afghanistan, try to develop and secure that country and it's going to go on for a while.
If you were president, what would you do specifically? I know you want to withdraw all those -- a lot of those forces, but how quickly would you do it?
HUNTSMAN: As quickly as you could do it in a safe -- in a safe and systemic fashion, realizing full well that we still have a job to do there, Wolf. And that is collecting intelligence, that is a special forces need on the ground to take after the terrorists as we see our very brave folks do on a daily basis, and some element that would be left behind to train the Afghan military. That's not 100,000, that's well south of there.
We've got to bring the rest of them home. We've got to realize that this is an asymmetric threat. This isn't a nation-building exercise. Our nation needs to be built, we need to rebuild our core in this nation or we are of no value to the rest of the world.
So I say, let's focus first and foremost on the real threat, it's one of an asymmetric nature that requires intelligence and special forces responses. And beyond that, let's begin to review our real national security needs internationally and building around that.
And I believe our real national security needs will be, first and foremost, international economic policy, free trade agreements that will play right back to creating jobs here at home. And second, counterterrorism, where our relationship with, for example, Israel and India, I think, will be extremely important going forward.
BLITZER: So just to be precise, you think those 100,000 troops, if you were president today you could get them out six months, a year? What are you talking about?
HUNTSMAN: Well, as soon as we could do it safely, and as soon as we could do it in a way that would be consistent with the best advice I could get from the generals on the ground, realizing full well that many would be of differing opinions, and realizing full well that as president, you're also the commander in chief. You can't always defer to them for all the decisions. You have to make some of them at the end of the day. But I know the American people, I believe, increasingly feel passionately about this. For 10 years, we have given our all in Afghanistan. And a lot of families have given the ultimate sacrifice, and it's to them that we offer a salute and a heart-felt sense of gratitude. But the time has come after 10 years, Wolf, to restructure our presence in Afghanistan and make sure we are prepared for the future and not the past.
BLITZER: One final question, Governor, before I let you go.
Look at the polls. Our most recent CNN/ORC poll came out before the most recent debate, it had you almost at the bottom down there with Michele Bachmann at 4 percent, Huntsman 2 percent, Santorum 2 percent.
Why aren't you resonating with Republican voters nationwide right now?
HUNTSMAN: Well, I believe we will resonate with all voters, many independent, a whole lot Republican, some the old Reagan Democrats. We are just beginning the process of introducing ourself to the American people. And I know it's slow and arduous, we've been at this a couple of months.
When they hear what we have to talk about, they think about it and they say, that is a common sense conversation that this candidate is willing to have with the American people. I think he would serve us well. And above all, he wants to bring this country together, because what people feel pains the most, I do believe, is the fact we are divided in an unprecedented fashion and there is no need for that. We are Americans and Americans don't do well divided, it's an unnatural place for us to be.
And I'm going to continue to take these messages out to people in New Hampshire. That's where this begins. And from what than can tell, anecdotal evidence on the street, Wolf, and where we go to meet, it's I catching on.
BLITZER: Governor Huntsman, good luck.
HUNTSMAN: Thank you, Wolf. I appreciate it.
BLITZER: Thank you, Governor Huntsman, former governor of Utah, the former U.S. ambassador to China.
And stand by for my interview with another Republican contender, Mitt Romney. I'll ask him live in the next hour. I'll ask him about Rick Perry's political problems and his own political problems. We have viewer questions formed as well that were posted on Facebook. Stand by.
An advocate for the Muslim community is warning FBI training materials are promoting "bigotry of the worst sort." We are investigating.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BLITZER: New criticism that the FBI is playing into Al-Qaeda's hands. At issue training materials for counterterrorism agents that portray mainstream Muslims as anything but mainstream. Brian Todd is investigating this for us.
What are you finding out, Brian?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, some serious brush back from the American Muslim community to this. The FBI says this was a one-time training session conducted several months ago that it doesn't reflect the views of the bureau. But this presentation depicting mainstream Muslims as prone to violence was written by an FBI analyst and the implications are troublesome to Muslim leaders.
TODD (voice-over): In the often-tense relationship between the Muslim community and the U.S. and law enforcement, another potential problem, fallout over an FBI training presentation which claimed that mainstream Muslims sympathize with militants.
Wired magazine says it obtained slide presentations from FBI whistle-blowers, slides that were shown at the bureau's training facility in Quantico, Virginia. In the series of slides entitled strategic themes and drivers in Islamic law, it says the prophet Mohammed ordered the assassinations and execution of his critics. That Islam's world view is that there can be no peace between Islam and others until dar al Islam conquers and assimilates its adversaries. And it characterize as Mohammed as a cult leader for a small inner circle.
James Zogby of the air of Arab American Institute calls the cult reference horrific. Says Mohammed didn't order his opponents to be killed. I read him another passage.
Then he says the strategic themes animating these Islamic values are not fringe, they are Mainstream. What do you make of that?
JAMES ZOGBY, ARAB AMERICAN INSTITUTE: Again, I say this is the propaganda of the Islamaphobes. This is what they have been preaching. This is way they have been stopped the building of mosques. They want to paint an entire community, entire faith community as extremists and radical and violent and prone to violence. It's bigotry of the worst sort.
TODD: Contacted by CNN, the FBI wouldn't comment on that and would not allow us to speak to the analyst who wrote that presentation. An FBI spokesman acknowledged that that training session took place, but he says that was six months ago, one time only. That it was quickly discontinued. That policy changes are under way and that instructor no longer provides training for the FBI.
But the instructor is still an FBI analyst. Since September 11th, the FBI often invited Muslim leaders to talk with agents.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: True or false, all Arabs or Muslims and all Muslims are Arab.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: False.
TODD: I asked former FBI Assistant Director Tom Fuentes if the counter-terror agent he's dwelt with would believe any points in that presentation.
TOM FUENTES, FMR. ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, FBI: No, they don't believe it. And they furthermore believe strenuously in a strong outreach program.
TODD: Fuentes says the publicizing of this training segment could play into Al-Qaeda's hands for propaganda. Says they could diminish the FBI's ability to get the American-Muslim community to help in the investigation which is very crucial. But he says, hopefully the fact that the FBI acted so quickly to terminate that program may give the bureau some more credibility with Muslim leaders, Wolf.
BLITZER: Has that FBI analyst been disciplined at all? What have you learned?
TODD: We specifically asked the FBI spokesman, has he or will he be disciplined? He says they don't comment on personnel matters. We know that he is still an FBI analyst. He is still working at the bureau.
BLITZER: But that whole program is done with?
TODD: Six months ago, one time they pulled it.
TODD: Alright, thanks very much.
More potential trouble in the Middle East for president Obama ahead. Details on a possible showdown that's looming next week at the United Nations.
Plus, the state department issues an urgent warning to all American citizens who are in Syria right now amidst this escalating brutality that warning, get out! Get out now! As quickly as you can. We will have the latest.
BLITZER: Let's get right to our strategy session. Joining us, our CNN political contributor, the democratic strategist Donna Brazil also, joining us CNN.com contributor, the former Bush speech writer, David Frum, the editor of Frumforum.com. Guys, thanks very much.
Did you read James Carville? We spoke to him earlier this hour. Did you hear what he had to say to the White House? Panic! Start firing people. Start indicting people. Do something. DONNA BRAZILE, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: He's fired up. You know the saints play the bears this weekend and he's probably having an extra dose of Tabasco. But look, James is absolutely right. We should fire the Republicans but in action -
BLITZER: He didn't say fire Republicans. He said fire Democrats who work for the president.
BRAZILE: I'm adding to what he said. I understand how strongly he feels about this. But I think Democrats are fired up and ready to go. They want to fire the Republicans for not helping the president passing this jobs bill. They want to indict those who would rather sit back and watch the country continue to have this dismal employment rate. And so I think James is absolutely right. We've got to fire up the base. We got to get ready to fight the Republicans. And we've got to stand by the president with this jobs plan.
BLITZER: It's not just James Carville, but Bill Burton, who is the former White House deputy press secretary in the Obama administration, fellow Buffalonian by the way. He said this, I'll read it. I will put it up in the screen.
"Democrats should be very nervous. They need to put on war paint and get ready for what is going to be a difficult battle. Unless activists really engage and recognize the stakes of this fight, it's going to be impossible for the president to win."
DAVID FRUM, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Look, I respect James Carville, he's run a national campaign and I certainly haven't, and Democratic White House isn't going to take advice from me.
That said, that's seems -- his advice this week, not very good --
BLITZER: James Carville's advice?
FRUM: James Carville's advice.
BLITZER: You mean to panic?
FRUM: Well, that's never good.
Second, look, I don't want to break it to people working the White House, but you're not that important to the -- or the re- election of the president. Firing them is sort of a waste of time.
The thing that this president needs to if he wants to get re- elected is, one, produce signs of positive recovery, and at this late date that means monetary action from the authorities of the Federal Reserve. If he can inspire that, that's the most important thing he can do.
As to picking fights with business, I think that's not going to make a lot of sense for him because what he needs now to do, I'm sorry to say, is to go out and raise a big boatload of money from business to wage negative advertising against the Republicans. He's going to -- his main hope is, if he doesn't get recovery, to wage a very ugly campaign of personal attack and that's expensive.
BLITZER: Cause James says, don't only panic, but then start firing people, but then he goes one step further and he says, indict people, meaning in the big business community, that he blames for this economic morass, this disaster, this economic situation in the United States.
You know, as you know, fairly or unfairly, the president's already accused by some on Wall Street as being anti-business to begin with. You think James is right when he says, go indict some of those people who he blames for creating this mess?
BRAZILE: There's a lot of people out there who would like to see some folks on Wall Street serve time for the mess that they created.
But on other hand the president's trying to get the United States Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO, he's trying to bring people together so that we can find the jobs, get the public sector, the private sector to work together to create jobs for the American people. That's what matters right now.
FRUM: Yes. I would like to see a little bit more of a robust attitude toward the legal system and the executive branch. You just don't indict people in order to accelerate the re-election of the president. That's a pretty powerful tool.
The president's fate is really already set. It is a product of economic decisions he made in 2009 and 2010. If he loses, people will say the reason he lost is not because he didn't take James Carville's advice, it was because in the spring of 2010 when it became apparent that his stimulus wasn't working the way he promised it would. He really did very little for seven or eight months until the end of 2010. That was the moment at which he got into real enduring trouble.
BRAZILE: Well, it depends on who you listen. If you listen to Republicans, you would believe everything is all gloomy. But if you look at what the CBO and others have said, especially those on Wall Street, the stimulus did help to stop the economic crisis and to create or save over 2 million jobs.
FRUM: You don't have to listen to anybody, you can look it up. The recovery stalled in the spring of 2010, probably because that's when the Federal Reserve dialed back its monetary stimulus until the end of 2010. And the president, at that point, he didn't do anything, because to do something he'd have to admit the old plan wasn't sufficiently working -- I'm not saying it did nothing, it didn't do enough -- and that would have meant admitting error in order to do something new, and he wasn't ready to do it because he wanted to go in November 2010 and say it worked and it didn't work.
BLITZER: Very quickly David, because I know you've been watching this. There is going to be a vote in the United Nations General Assembly that's coming up that would declare a Palestinian state.
What should the president of the United States do when it comes to that resolution? FRUM: That starts a war process. That is the first step toward further deligitimation (sic) of Israel. Not only should the president veto it, but he should make clear to every country in the U.N. that requires American help, receives American assistance, including the Palestinian Authority, this is going to be very expensive to you in every way the United States can make it expensive.
BLITZER: A direct warning like that, is that a good idea?
BRAZILE: He should veto it. He should, in the General Assembly, he should stand with Israel and he should encourage the Palestinians and Israelis to sit side by side, across from each other.
Secretary Clinton has dispatched David Hale and Dennis Ross to the region. I was in the region this summer, Wolf, I can tell you, and I have sat down with the prime minister on many occasions.
BLITZER: Prime minister of Israel?
BRAZILE: That's right. He's ready to negotiate with the Palestinians. It's time to negotiate. We don't need any more gimmicks.
BLITZER: Guys, we'll see what happens. I'll be reporting next week from New York all week, guys. Thanks very much.
We are looking into a new technology that might disrupt GPS systems that many Americans and the U.S. military sorely depend on. Did the White House push to get a green light for it because a big Democratic contributor was involved? Stand by. New information coming into THE SITUATION ROOM right now.
And a high honor for a U.S. Marine, but the firefight that made him a hero revealed serious failures within the U.S. military.
BLITZER: Jack's back with "The Cafferty File" -- Jack.
CAFFERTY: The question this hour is how can President Obama save the Jewish vote? That surprising victory by a Republican in a congressional seat out in Brooklyn here in the New York area that's been Democratic since 1923 got their attention at the White House.
Dee in Texas writes, "In my opinion Jewish people want Israel to be able to bully the other Middle Eastern countries and expect the U.S. to back them the entire time. I think President Obama's calling them out on this behavior and now the Jewish people are upset. Therefore I don't think that President Obama can save the Jewish vote."
Richard writes from Pennsylvania, "Jack, why are you only mentioning one specific group that's lost faith in Obama? Many of us Italians think he's dropped the ball once too often and doesn't deserve a second time." Mike in Sacramento, "I don't know that he needs to really. Israel isn't a part of the U.S. other than strategic. With the Arab Spring and growing support for a Palestinian state, Israel could become a more of a problem than a help. The GOP might be just a bit too conservative for the Jews anyway, especially when you throw in the evangelical element into the mix."
Dee writes, "Probably nothing short of building a house on the West Bank. Where's the "united" gone in the United States? To many factions pushing agendas in this country. Apparently we can no longer please some of the people some of the time."
Scott in Oakland, California, "Send more money to Israel from Social Security and Medicare accounts and continue to veto Palestinians' bid for independence in the United Nations."
Joe on Facebook writes, "Create jobs, reduce the national debt, deficit and reform entitlements. Those are thing his needs to do save the American vote. And if he doesn't save the American, it's really not going to matter what happens with the Jewish vote."
David in Nashville, Tennessee, "If he starts wearing a black wide-brimmed had hat or yarmulke, I'm out of here."
If you want to read more on this, go to my blog, CNN.com/caffertyfile, or through our post on THE SITUATION ROOM'S Facebook page -- Wolf.
BLITZER: You know, he's going to be in New York, the president, next week for the United Nations General Assembly together with a lot of other world leaders, Jack. I'm anchoring from New York as well.
Any words of advice for those of us coming?
CAFFERTY: Yes, just try to, you know, not jam up my traffic on my route home to New Jersey, will you?
BLITZER: Well, you know what? You're going to be with a lot of traffic jams in Manhattan whenever the president and other world leaders are there. We'll do the best we can.
CAFFERTY: We'll look forward to seeing you.
BLITZER: Thanks, Jack. See you in a few minutes.