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THE SITUATION ROOM
Bill Clinton Going Rogue?; Romney's Record as Governor; Interview with Tim Pawlenty; Who Will Be Romney's Running Mate?; What Wisconsin Means for November; $40 Million For Botched Facebook IPO; Best Day of the Year for Dow, S&P 500; Drug Smuggling Raid on Puerto Rico Airport; Sci-Fi Legend Ray Bradbury Dead At 91
Aired June 6, 2012 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now: Is Bill Clinton going rogue? He's the most powerful campaign surrogate for President Obama. But the former president keeps straying from the party line. So, how is the Obama campaign handling all of this? Stand by.
They say Mitt Romney ran his state like a business. Is that a good thing? We're talking to lawmakers who worked with Romney when he was the governor of Massachusetts.
And how Pakistan's fight to end a crippling disease is being hurt by the U.S. raid on Osama bin Laden's compound. What's going on?
I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
As they should be, Republicans are ecstatic right now over their victory in Wisconsin, where Republican Governor Scott Walker impressively survived a recall vote. Democrats are on the defensive. President Obama is taking heat for not even taking a campaign trip to Wisconsin to try to help his fellow Democrats.
But what does all of this mean for November?
Let's go live to CNN's Dana Bash. She's in Milwaukee right now. She's working on the fallout.
And, Dana, there's a lot of fallout.
DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There sure is.
And the Democratic chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, told our Candy Crowley 10 days that the recall here in Wisconsin would be a -- quote -- "dry run" for Democrats in November. If that's the case, the president is in trouble here in Wisconsin and his reelection prospects could be in jeopardy.
Lucky for the president, though, Wolf, the results here are far from clear-cut when it comes to the presidential race.
BASH (voice-over): The energy in Scott Walker's victory hall was palpable.
GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: And continue to be the 45th governor of the great state of Wisconsin.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
BASH: Republican officials hope to harness this passion for the presidential election.
REINCE PRIEBUS, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: This messaging is the same as November. Should we limit the government spending to what we can afford, yes or no? That's what Scott Walker did. And he led on that issue. That's the same thing Barack Obama is going to have to answer to in November.
BASH: Wisconsin has not voted Republican in a presidential race since Ronald Reagan nearly three decades ago, but thanks to the recall, GOP officials built an infrastructure in Wisconsin earlier and bigger than ever before; 25 offices like this are now open, with four million Republican voters identified.
BRIAN SCHIMMING, WISCONSIN REPUBLICAN PARTY VICE CHAIRMAN: Typically, we would not get up and running in terms of opening offices across the state until into March or April. All of these offices have been open since November and December, so we have got kind of a five- or six-month jump over what we would ordinarily have.
BASH: Still, organization and fervor are very different things, and right now Mitt Romney is not even close to stirring the passion Walker has.
Take a look at this. The GOP governor won by 53 percent, but the same exit polls show Wisconsin voters favor President Obama over Mitt Romney big time by seven points. Why the contradiction?
At Katie's Diner, we found some answers.
JEANNE MCCABE, INDEPENDENT VOTER: Wisconsin has a lot of independent voters.
BASH (on camera): And you're one of them?
MCCABE: Yes. Yes.
BASH (voice-over): So-called ticket splitters everywhere.
GEORGE COOK, INDEPENDENT VOTER: I voted for Barrett.
BASH (on camera): And who do you plan to vote for in November for president?
COOK: I plan on voting for Romney. We're a purple state. I'm an independent voter.
BASH (voice-over): Still, the Obama campaign was hoping Wisconsin would stay safely blue, spend time and resources elsewhere. The losing Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor here admitted that won't happen now.
MAHLON MITCHELL (D), WISCONSIN LIEUTENANT GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: I'm not going downplay now that we lost. It did have some national ramifications, but it just shows that we have got to fight that much harder. There's no doubt this had national ramifications, but it shows that we have got a fight ahead of us. We have got an uphill battle.
BASH: Now, the president's campaign manager had already moved the state of Wisconsin to tossup, meaning that this is a state where they're already planning to compete. Given the election results in the recall last night, that is going to be a no-brainer, that they're going to compete here, but it's especially true, Wolf, because of course the RNC chairman, Reince Priebus, he is from Wisconsin.
He was a state chair here. For him, it is personal and he is going to have a big say in where the resources for the Republican Party goes for November.
BLITZER: Yes, seven-point lead at last at this point, five months away from the election, for President Obama not necessarily all that impressive, because a lot can change obviously in the last few months.
BLITZER: The big winners in Wisconsin I think are going to be the TV stations out there, because both of these campaigns are going to start advertising locally. Before this, I was not so sure, but now I suspect there's going to be some ad buys in Wisconsin.
BASH: And they're already quite rich, given the amount of money spent here during the recall, Wolf.
BLITZER: They got used to it. They are going to have five more months of this, presumably, as well.
Thanks, Dana. Thanks very much.
Let's a little bit dig deeper right now with our chief political analyst, Gloria Borger.
Gloria, what are the lessons that you think there are there for the Democrats, for the president's reelection campaign based on what happened in Wisconsin?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think one of the main messages may be that the president and the Democrats could have some troubles with blue-collar voters, particularly in states like Wisconsin or a state like Ohio.
You would think that blue-collar voters would be the natural constituency for the Democratic Party, but that clearly wasn't the case in Wisconsin last night. Now, if you look at the exit polling that we saw last night, there was some good news for the president here. When we asked the question, who would improve the economy, the president had 43 percent, Romney 38 percent, but you see neither, 19 percent.
Those are probably the independent voters that are not quite decided about who they're going to vote for that Dana was talking to in her piece. I think there's a lot of room for growth for Mitt Romney among those voters. But also there's -- Barack Obama and his organization has to get in there and shore up his support with those blue-collar voters.
One way to do it, Wolf, might be to actually say this is my plan for my second term and how I'm going to save the economy in my second term. That might appeal to independent voters, many of whom already like him. They just want to hear some more details from him.
BLITZER: One thing he's going to have to do is show up and visit Wisconsin.
BORGER: More than a tweet?
BLITZER: I'm anxious to see when he makes his trip there, as opposed to just one little 140-character tweet.
BLITZER: What about the lessons for Romney right now coming out of Wisconsin?
BORGER: I think the one lesson is that that small government message that we first heard from the Tea Party in the 2010 elections has an awful lot of juice left in it. This wasn't just sort of an anti-labor, anti-union message.
It was also a message that people in government have it better than people who are not in government. And I think that is a rallying cry that Mitt Romney ought to continue to talk about when he talks about smaller government, less spending, and portrays Barack Obama as a bib-spending Democrat. That will help him.
BLITZER: What about the message for other governors who are trying right now to cut spending?
BORGER: Well, there's a window of opportunity right now, I would say. Do it now.
I was talking to a couple of Republican strategists today who say there are about a dozen states in which this could possibly have a real effect. Governor Paul LePage in the state of Maine has pushed right-to-work legislation. That could have some success now.
John Kasich, we know, got overturned in Ohio when he tried to do it, but maybe that's because he put police and firemen on the docket. Maybe he would take them off and maybe there would be a movement there.
In Michigan, Tea Party Republicans are already pushing for right- to-work legislation. This could reignite them after what happened in Wisconsin last night. So expect Republican-controlled state legislatures to start moving the way Walker did, because they have got to cut their budgets.
BORGER: They're looking for money and they don't want to raise taxes.
BLITZER: Gloria, thanks very much.
Mitt Romney's record as the governor of Massachusetts has been a target for the Obama campaign. But what was his term really like?
We have sent our national political correspondent, Jim Acosta, to talk to some folks who actually worked with then Governor Romney.
Jim is with us now from Boston.
He is remembered, certainly, as someone who ran a state like he would run a business. What are you finding out there, Jim?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, Mitt Romney has held out his business experience as a corporate executive to say he can create jobs and get the economy moving. But here in Massachusetts, state lawmakers that we talked to say Romney's CEO style sometimes worked for him and sometimes worked against him.
ACOSTA (voice-over): It's one of Mitt Romney's favorite selling points, that as governor of Massachusetts, he worked with a mostly Democratic legislature to tackle his state's problems.
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It did not take a rocket scientist to figure out if I was going do anything as governor, I had to have a working relationship with the Democrats.
ACOSTA: But inside the Massachusetts Statehouse, down the hallway from where Romney's portrait now hangs in the governor's office, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle don't see it quite that way.
ROB HEDLUND (R), MASSACHUSETTS STATE SENATOR: He was all business. It was all about policy.
ACOSTA: Rob Hedlund, the number two Republican in the state Senate, says Romney was more of a CEO governor who brought a more corporate culture with him. Romney carried out his agenda, such as cutting program and raising fees to balance the budget using a staff filled with outsiders from the business world.
HEDLUND: Some Democrats up here begrudgingly, maybe not publicly on camera, but privately, will admit that. He had a lot of great, talented people around him that he surrounded himself with who got the job done.
ACOSTA (on camera): Legislators in Massachusetts agree Mitt Romney made plenty of changes around the statehouse, but not all of them were in the law. Take the elevators.
FRANK SMIZIK (D), MASSACHUSETTS STATE REPRESENTATIVE: He took over the elevator for the west wing of the building because he kept it only for his staff and him.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm positive it was always this...
ACOSTA (on camera): This was the elevator?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because it's the closest to his office.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Democratic lawmakers are still miffed to this day that Romney blocked off one statehouse elevator specifically for his office, something that hadn't been done before.
ELLEN STORY (D), MASSACHUSETTS STATE REPRESENTATIVE: When Romney came in, he treated government like the only thing he knew, which was big business. And he was the CEO of a big business.
JOHN SCIBAK (D), MASSACHUSETTS STATE REPRESENTATIVE: Many people said don't -- good riddance, don't let the door hit you on the way out.
ACOSTA (on camera): That's what they said around here?
MICHAEL WIDMER, MASSACHUSETTS TAXPAYERS FOUNDATION: But governors aren't CEOs. They just aren't.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Mike Widmer with the nonpartisan Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation says Romney did set aside that CEO style to pass health care reform, a law so important to his legacy, it's visible in his state portrait. But Widmer says other efforts like job creation sputtered.
WIDMER: Health care, on that, I would give him an A. The economy and as job creator and that entire effort, C-minus.
ACOSTA: On the statehouse steps, Romney's successor, Democrat Deval Patrick, noted he has his own approach.
(on camera): And he reopened up the elevator and took down the velvet ropes. Is that...
GOV. DEVAL PATRICK (D), MASSACHUSETTS: I'm a governor of, for and with the people. So we have a very different style in that respect.
(END VIDEOTAPE) ACOSTA: Now, the Romney campaign says security concerns after 9/11 were also part of the reason for giving the former governor his own elevator when he was in the statehouse.
But as for some of those hard feelings among state Democrats here in Boston, Wolf, the Romney campaign chalks up a lot of that to election time loyalties to the president -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Are there, Jim, any serious Democrats in Massachusetts who at least have good things to say publicly about Governor Romney and his term as governor of Massachusetts?
ACOSTA: There are.
Actually, I just got off the phone with one of them, a chairman of one committee in the statehouse, Jim Vallee, who says he had a fine working relationship with Mitt Romney, that he did try to make some gestures toward him to get legislation passed when they were both in the statehouse together.
But, Wolf, I have to tell you this was sort of a scientific experiment that we embarked on when we went up to the statehouse here in Boston. We did not announce our arrival. We did not call lawmakers ahead of time to say, here, we want to talk about Mitt Romney.
We had Democratic lawmakers coming to us, Wolf, and mainly complaining about that elevator, but also to talk about Mitt Romney's time in the statehouse. It just goes to show you how supercharged this political environment right now -- if there is a reporter in the room, Democrats want to come to you and talk to you about Mitt Romney -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Yes, well, five months to go, as we say.
Thanks very much, Jim Acosta, reporting from Boston.
He's one of the biggest guns in President Obama's reelection arsenal, but now Bill Clinton is raising some eyebrows once again with surprising remarks. Is the former president going rogue?
And we will talk about the presidential campaign with a former Republican presidential candidate, former Governor and potential, potential Romney running mate. Tim Pawlenty is standing by live right here in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Plus, apparent fallout from the hunt for Osama bin Laden, why it may be resulting in more cases of polio.
BLITZER: Jack Cafferty is here with "The Cafferty File" -- Jack.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Wolf, as the race for the White House heats up, the candidates are hoping against hopes that star power can help them raise big bucks and boost voter enthusiasm. But Republicans are slamming President Obama must like they did in 2008 over his hobnobbing with Hollywood celebrities. Mr. Obama held New York fund-raiser this week with a theme, Barack on Broadway, messed up traffic, big time, too.
The star-studded event helped the president raise millions for his re-election coffers. On the way to New York, the president took rock star Jon Bon Jovi for a ride on Air Force One. The president is due back in New York next week for another fundraiser, at the home of actress Sarah Jessica Parker. This follows a much-publicized dinner at the Los Angeles home of George Clooney, where the Obama campaign raked in $15 million over dinner. The recent campaign ad featured "Vogue" editor Anna Wintour, folks like Ricky Martin, Barbara Streisand, Spike Lee have all appeared at events for President Obama.
The GOP, of course, whines about all this at length, saying it just proves the president is out of touch with many Americans. In any case, the Obama campaign hopes they can use celebrities to target key voting blocs, women, gays, Hispanics. The president isn't alone here. Although Mitt Romney doesn't have the same following among celebrities, he has been hanging out in his campaign events with folks like Donald Trump, Kid Rock, Jon Voight and Ted Nugent. No doubt about it the president has better celebrities.
But the point is, how much do Americans suffering under a shaky economy and high unemployment care about what celebrities have to say about politics? I know I don't.
Here's the question: do politicians who hang out with celebrities help or hurt themselves?
Go to CNN.com/CaffertyFile, post a comment on my blog or go to our post on THE SITUATION ROOM's Facebook page -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Good question, Jack, as usual. Thanks very much.
And speaking about celebrities, how about the former president of the United States, Bill Clinton? Is he going rogue? Certainly, a powerful campaign surrogate for President Obama, but he strayed from the party line when it comes to talking about tax cuts -- at least that seems to be the case.
Let's bring in our chief White House correspondent Jessica Yellin.
Jessica, what's going on here?
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, today, one top Democrat told me that President Clinton nearly said what everyone's thinking and it doesn't help President Obama.
YELLIN (voice-over): Former President Bill Clinton throwing a wrench into the usually controlled Obama message machine. Topic? Extending the Bush tax cuts which are set to expire at the end of the year.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I don't have a problem extending all of it now including the current spending levels. What I think we need to do is to find some way to avoid the fiscal cliff, to avoid doing anything that would contract the economy now, and then deal with what's necessary in the long-term reduction plan as soon as they can, which presumably will be after the election.
YELLIN: Republicans were quick to pounce on the apparent break with President Obama's position, which is no extension of tax cuts for people making more than $200,000 a year or couples making more than $250,000 a year.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We don't need to provide additional tax cuts for folks who are doing really, really, well.
YELLIN: After a few really, really awkward hours, a spokesman for the president clarified his remarks saying former president Clinton "does not believe the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans should be extended again. In the interview he simply said that he doubted that a long-term agreement on spending cuts and revenues would be reached until after the election."
There was silence from the White House until a day later, when the press secretary insisted, quote, "There is no daylight between President Clinton and President Obama when it comes to the need it to extend tax cuts for middle class Americans and do not extend tax cuts for those making over $250,000."
In the same CNBC interview, former President Clinton also said --
CLINTON: There's a recession.
YELLIN: That's at odds with President Obama's insistence that the U.S. is in a recovery. The Clinton clarification suggests he misspoke because in the same interview, he also said the U.S. economy is expanding.
CLINTON: What I think they should do is to find a way to keep the expansion going.
YELLIN: Was all this accidental?
SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R), UTAH: Now channeling Gilda Radner -- and presumably following a dressing down by President Obama's campaign team -- President Clinton tell us, never mind. But President Clinton knew what he was saying.
YELLIN: So, was there a dressing down? No, but President Obama's staff did speak with President Clinton's staff and I am told by top Democrats: the Obama folks right now are growing tired of cleaning up after surrogates. For campaign that really does like message discipline, and is already managing bad jobs numbers, tackling the fight over the Bush tax cuts is not what they want to be doing right now, Wolf.
BLITZER: Especially right now, certainly not what they wanted. Thanks very much, Jessica, for that report.
And don't miss my one-on-one interview with the former President Bill Clinton. That's tomorrow, right here in THE SITUATION ROOM. Make sure, you can still send you your suggested questions on Twitter at WolfBlitzerCNN, or go to our SITUATION ROOM Facebook page. I'll be in Chicago with the Clinton Global Initiative, anchoring our coverage from there tomorrow.
More politics ahead: the former Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty, he's here in THE SITUATION ROOM right now. You're seeing him. He's being vetted, I think -- I think he's being vetted as a possible Romney running mate. I'll ask him if that's true. Can he deliver his home state of Minnesota for the GOP whether or not he's on the ticket?
We're going to talk about that and a whole lot more. Stand by.
BLITZER: I have my own personal short list of potential Romney running mates. And over the next few weeks, I'm going to invite some of them into THE SITUATION ROOM.
Today, our guest is Tim Pawlenty. He's a former two-term governor of Minnesota 2008. He was narrowly edged out by Sarah Palin for the number two on the Republican ticket. For a while last year, Pawlenty was, himself, a Republican presidential candidate. Now, he's a national co-chairman of the Romney campaign and certainly seen, at least by me, as a strong possibility for the V.P. slot.
And Governor Pawlenty is here in THE SITUATION ROOM. Thanks very much for coming in.
TIM PAWLENTY (R), FORMER MINNESOTA GOVERNOR: Good to be with you on THE SITUATION ROOM, Wolf.
BLITZER: We're going to talk about politics and you potentially on the ticket in a few moments. Let's go through some national security issues right now. First of all, David Sanger of "The New York Times" has a new book. He was here in THE SITUATION ROOM yesterday.
He's -- all of this business about the president being very tough, killing terrorists, going after Iran, for example, and its nuclear program with cyber warfare. Will President Romney, in your opinion, continue that tough strategy?
PAWLENTY: Well, and then some, Wolf. If you look at what Mitt Romney has said about President Obama's presiding over our national security and defense posture, obviously his drone strikes and killing Osama bin Laden are positives. But they don't go far enough.
You've got a president who's presiding over the potential of trillion dollars --
BLITZER: What else would Romney do that Obama's not doing?
PAWLENTY: Well, first of all, maintain and increase the defense spending in this country. First of all, make sure our Navy is growing and not shrinking. When you have the previous president ask the Czech Republic in Poland to stick their next way out in line and host missile defense and radar installation systems, you don't come in and pull the rug out underneath them after they've already committed to do it. And by the way, we need those defense systems.
Don't negotiate a treat with Russia that takes away or at least puts in dispute our ability to have robust missile defense system, which we obviously need, and make sure we don't have sequestration and gut our American military. Those are just some of the things that this president is doing.
By the way, don't stick your thumb in the eye of Israel, one of our great allies in the world, one of our best allies in the region. And the list goes on and on.
BLITZER: But as far as the covert war that the president has authorized personally and has now been pretty well documented in all these books that are coming out and newspaper articles, a Romney presidency would have no problem continuing those kinds of operations.
PAWLENTY: Romney would be tougher on those measures and more, like I mentioned. And by the way, one thing that's happened in the last 24 and 48 hours is increasing concerns and allegations that the White House or people connected to the White House are intentionally leaking this kind of information to show the president's tough, perhaps for political game.
They're allegations at this point, but if any of that is true, Wolf, it is a very charge and a very serious circumstance.
BLITZER: A bipartisan concern. We're going to have Senator Dianne Feinstein, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. She's here in the next hour. We're going to talk specifically about that concern.
Let's talk about taxes and the domestic economic policy right now. I remember vividly, you were at that debate. You raised your hand when the moderator asked if you would -- all of the Republican presidential candidates -- would support $10 in spending cuts -- spending cuts -- and only one dollar in potential tax increases, and you said no. Jon Huntsman said since then it was a mistake. You would accept $10 in federal spending cuts for $1 of increased taxes on rich people?
PAWLENTY: I would stand by that position for this reason. If you're asking are the revenues coming into the government growing fast enough? Absolutely.
And by the way, when people call for tax increases, you have to ask to do what? To accomplish what end? To accomplish what goal and most of the answer is so we can keep things the way they are.
The way things are, are unsustainable, Wolf. The answer isn't bring in more revenue so we can keep current --
BLITZER: So you wouldn't -- you still think that was a good idea?
PAWLENTY: I think we have to draw a line in the sand. This government is spending wildly, excessively under this president --
BLITZER: It looks like you're not ready to compromise at all. You were in a governor in a state that's largely Democratic and you had a compromise with Democrats in order to do the people's business.
PAWLENTY: What I did was this, Wolf. We had a state for 40 years and had 21 percent increase in government spending for 40 years every two years. I brought that down under 2 percent per year during my time as governor. The lowest rate of increase in spending --
BLITZER: You did compromise.
PAWLENTY: I'm not proud of that, but I'm telling you, there are some points in time when you saw in Wisconsin, where you need strong leaders with strong principles who are willing to draw a line in the sand --
BLITZER: But compromise is not a dirty word as far as you're concerned.
PAWLENTY: No, it's not. But you got to have it consistent with what needs to be done with right priorities and right principles and raising taxes so we can sustain the current broken system is not the way to go.
BLITZER: Do you want to be vice president of the United States?
PAWLENTY: I've told many people who've asked that question this. I think I can help Governor Romney best in other ways. I'm trying to do that currently as a volunteer and spokesperson on his behalf. I've had the chance to be in public service. I enjoy it.
But obviously anybody if they were asked to do that would be honored to be asked, but I think I can help him best in other ways. I've asked people to think about other candidates and it will be a great list.
BLITZER: Have they already asked you to present your income tax returns? Are they vetting you already?
PAWLENTY: As you mentioned in the early segment, I'm the national co- chair or one of them of Mitt Romney's campaign for president. We have a policy not to talk about whether it involves me or anyone else, the process surrounding the VP selection process.
BLITZER: Because I've heard you're on the short list.
PAWLENTY: You're hardly ever right, Wolf. BLITZER: So am I wrong?
PAWLENTY: We don't talk about the process in terms of who's involved, the timing and the circumstances. Whether it's me or anyone else --
BLITZER: Are you a national co-chair or the national co-chair?
PAWLENTY: I'm a national co-chair.
BLITZER: So are you involved in the process of helping him decide who might be a good running mate?
PAWLENTY: My role with the campaign has been to help in terms of presenting his positions publicly in shows and speeches and some policy development. I haven't been involved in the VP process and procedures surrounding that as an insider.
BLITZER: Because you were close in four years and you were first runner-up to Sarah Palin as you well remember.
PAWLENTY: You were asking about Marco Rubio or Chris Christie or Rob Portman or any other great people who'll be considered. My answer would be the same.
We just don't talk about the procedures, time and process around the VP and as to me personally, I think I can help best in other ways, but obviously anybody if asked would be honored.
BLITZER: It would be a totally honor and something I assume you're ready to do, if you were asked.
PAWLENTY: I'm not getting to that point, Wolf. I'm just saying I think I can help best in other ways.
BLITZER: Governor, good luck. Thanks very much for coming in.
PAWLENTY: Thanks for having me.
BLITZER: Did President Obama make a big mistake by not showing up in Wisconsin during the recall battle? We're taking a closer look at the possible fallout in November that's coming up in our "Strategy Session."
How Pakistan's fight to end a crippling disease is actually being hurt by the U.S. raid on the Bin Laden compound? What happened, we'll explain.
BLITZER: Let's get right to our "Strategy Session." Joining us is our CNN contributor, the Democratic Strategist Maria Cardona along with Republican strategist, former Santorum spokeswoman, Alice Stewart.
Our friend and colleague Paul Begala was on CNN last night and was asked whether or not the president should have gone to Wisconsin to help his fellow Democrats and to help his union organizers and listen to Paul Begala.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL BEGALA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: He owed it to Tom Barrett. Barrett was the mayor of Milwaukee. He came out in the primaries and endorsed then Senator Obama against then Senator Clinton. He also owes it to himself and to everybody else he will have to deal with.
This was a mistake. I have to say. The president should have been out there. I don't think it would have made the difference. Let me be clear about that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: This was a mistake. A lot of people think it was a mistake because these are folks, especially the union, the organized union leaders who helped bring him to the White House and then he sort of abandoned them. He sent out a tweet.
MARIA CARDONA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Right, but I do agree with Paul in his second point whether that would have made the difference.
BLITZER: He should have done it. It was the right thing to do.
CARDONA: If he would have come, could it have actually helped the fact that Scott Walker was out racing and outspending Barrett by more than 10 to 1? Would it have helped the fact that it was a bruising primary for the Democrats that really I think it helped to show what happened last night?
I don't think so. Did he owe it to them? Probably, but then if he had gone and he would have lost, today your question to me would have been was it a mistake that President Obama went.
ALICE STEWART, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: The tweet is not the next best thing to being there as the old it goes. Would it have made a difference? I don't think so because the turnout that we had was so overwhelming.
The problem the president is going to have is when he goes back in the next 21 weeks to get help from union leaders and Democrats in Wisconsin. They're going to have a hard time.
BLITZER: Romney, you know, was a no show in Wisconsin too. Why didn't he show up?
STEWART: Right at this point it was a situation that was involving Wisconsin in the overwhelming support for what Governor Walker did. The union had a problem with it. He campaigned on promises to reform government. He campaigned on promises to reduce spending and he succeeded. And those promises worked, much to the dismay of the unions.
BLITZER: Maria, everyone agrees no Wisconsin after what happened yesterday is in play in November. CARDONA: I think there's no question about that, Wolf, but I think that we should look at the exit polls. President Obama is still in the lead, but absolutely, are Democrats going have to work much harder that he stays in the lead and that he wins in Wisconsin?
Yes. Do Republicans now believe that they are energized and mobilized? Yes. But I actually think that last night is also going to help to mobilize Democrats especially --
BLITZER: I don't think those exit polls, by the way, accurate. It shows a much closer race.
CARDONA: I think that Democrats will be absolutely be mobilized because the labor union was -- I did want to point in when Scott Walker spoke last night, he actually conceded the way he went forward with his reforms was a mistake. And he basically said had he brought people to the table and he might not have gone through the recall.
STEWART: First, it's very important to note, very important to note that a GOP candidate had not won in Wisconsin in nearly 30 years since 1984 and there is a huge Democratic base in Wisconsin. And while this has certainly brought -- galvanized the Democrats, it's certainly galvanized Republicans.
And an important note what Governor Walker said was the only thing he would have done differently is explain what he was going to do a little bit more and it wouldn't have been quite the outright.
He had over $3 billion deficit. He now has a $154 million surplus. He has dropped the unemployment rate down to 6.8 percent and what he's done with collective bargaining and given people a choice on whether or not they want to be part of a union.
Half of the people opted not to join the union and he saved the state a tremendous amount of money. His promises that he made in campaigning worked.
BLITZER: He also in the speech last night, his victory speech, he went out of his way to say you know what happened over the past 18 months? It's over and now let's all sit down and work together and do what's best for Wisconsin.
CARDONA: What she said is what he should have done from the very beginning. So let's hope everybody looks at it and goes forward.
BLITZER: All right, guys, thanks very much.
A spike in a crippling disease in Pakistan happening right now. Apparently it's time for the U.S. mission to kill Bin Laden. We're going to have details of the surprising connection. This is a story you will see only here on CNN.
BLITZER: We're learning about someone who intended a surprising fallout from the U.S.-led search for Osama Bin Laden who was killed by Navy SEALs more than a year ago.
It appears the mission maybe leading to an increase in polio cases in Pakistan. CNN's Reza Sayah is there to explain -- Reza.
REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, Washington obviously seize the operation to find Osama Bin Laden as a huge success, but health officials here in Pakistan and aid groups in the U.S. say the operation harmed a critical campaign to save thousands of children from a crippling disease.
REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is 17- month-old Ikra. She'll probably never be able to walk on her own. She'll probably spend the right of her life paralyzed, a victim of polio.
When the other kids play, she cries because she wants to play with them, but she can't even move, Ikra's mother says.
(on camera): And here's what makes this tragedy worse. Doctors say she could have lived a normal healthy life if someone would have given her a polio vaccine that cost less than $1 soon after she was born.
(voice-over): One of the worst black marks on Pakistan is that it's still one of three countries that is yet to eradicate polio, a virus that attacks the nerves and leaves you paralyze. The other two countries are Afghanistan and Nigeria.
Last year, the U.N. reported 198 polio cases in Pakistan, 30 percent of the world's cases were here. This week, aid groups and local health officials making another push to reduce the numbers, going door to door, offering free vaccines.
In recent years, they made progress, they say vaccinating millions. But then came the raid on the Bin Laden compound and reports that a Pakistani doctor was part of a CIA hatched fake vaccination campaign.
The plan was to get into Bin Laden's compound, make sure he was there. The scheme didn't work. The doctor went to jail accused of spying for the U.S. The media, chasing after any story linked to Osama Bin Laden reported on the doctor's alleged links with the CIA.
(on camera): But here's what didn't make many headlines. Health officials here say all those Bin Laden reports hurt the polio campaign. Many Pakistanis here deeply conservative, already suspicious of strangers come into their homes. Now thought the vaccination campaign was part of some sort of foreign spy plot.
(voice-over): This father of two said he rejected free polio drops for his children. The U.S. pays for these campaigns to destroy Muslims and make them slaves, he told us.
Health officials here say thousands of Pakistani families have yet to vaccinate their children without good reason. But with help of local religious leaders and aggressive awareness campaigns, they're making progress.
They say, convincing more families the free vaccine can save them a lifetime of hardship and pain. Children like Ikra and her family endure every day. We're trying our best, her mother says. We've left her in God's hands. Reza Sayah, CNN, Norshera, Pakistan.
SAYAH: About 200 aid groups in the U.S. were concerned about this vaccination plot allegedly orchestrated by the CIA that they wrote General David Petraeus, the head of the CIA to complain that Washington's position remains the same saying the operation was worth it because in the end they got Osama Bin Laden -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Reza Sayah, thanks very much for that report.
Did someone hack into Mitt Romney's private e-mail account? The Secret Service is now scrambling to find out. We'll have the details.
BLITZER: The Nasdaq says it would pay four trading firms $40 million for losses they suffered from trading riches during Facebook's initial public offering. The firms say their losses were closer to $100 million.
CNN's Erin Burnett is going out front on the story. Erin is joining us now. Erin, how did this become such a mess?
ERIN BURNETT, HOST, CNN'S "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT": Well, you know, this is something that's interesting. The CEO of the Nasdaq, Robert Greifeld knew the morning how bad things would be. He would have stopped the IPO and not have it gone forward.
So there has been a lot of mea culpa action coming out of the Nasdaq. Wolf, just to give you some perspective, when you look at the size of the Facebook IPO, $16 billion was the actual dollar value of the shares that they put out in the market.
That's four times greater than the next biggest IPO that the Nasdaq has ever had to handle. So it was unprecedented territory for them. The bottom line is they weren't ready electronically so they've admitted that. Now the question is who's going to hold the bag?
And obviously as you said, there are four firms. It could be $100 million they say that they have lost some sources close to those firms are telling me now it could be as high as $120 million.
The Nasdaq is only offering 40. Now it is unclear whether they'll be able to work that out and whether they'll agree, but there is a little bit of what we call a moral hazard in this, Wolf.
Nasdaq made some mistakes and they need to be liable for those mistakes. Some of the firms may have also made mistakes. So if they end up paying the full amount to the firms that lost money, it could set a precedent that may not be a great one for the market.
Where the exchanges will just, you make a bad trade. They'll go ahead and make it good. So this isn't quite as simple as it may seem to some watching, but there is no doubt the Nasdaq made a big mistake on the Nasdaq IPO, but that is one of many mistakes on the Facebook IPO. But I think it's safe to say, Wolf, we all know that was one of many mistakes with the Facebook IPO.
BLITZER: It's a story that we'll continue to cover. I know you're going to be covering it at 7:00 p.m. Eastern as well. Erin, thank you.
BURNETT: Good to see you, Wolf.
BLITZER: Thank you. Jack is back with "The Cafferty File" -- Jack?
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Indeed the question this hour, do politicians who hang out with celebrities help or hurt themselves?
Tom in Texas, "That depends. You mentioned George Clooney is with the president. Clooney has been to Darfur many. He doesn't do it for publicity. I've seen him interviewed about the issues there and not the 5-minute interview from someone who spent more time fixing their hair. But if they start hanging out with the Kardashians or any of the people from the "Real Housewives" then they should have Sarah Palin read to them."
I don't know what that means. I just thought it was funny. George in Pennsylvania, "I think they hurt themselves. The prestige of the office of the president of the United States involves being above the level of other people. Hanging out with celebrities comes off as an attempt to share their popularity by sharing some of that prestige."
Barbara in North Carolina writes, "It doesn't hurt and it doesn't help. Shoot the God of the Republican Party was a class B actor. Besides, they all do it. Some of them just sneak around while others are open about it."
Bob in Ohio writes, "The politicians can help themselves by hanging out with only a select few of celebrities. Here's a short list, Bullwinkle, Yosemite Sam, Daffy Duck and Tweety Bird."
Josh in New Orleans writes, "Obama hanging out with celebrities is no difference than Romney hanging out with CEOs and billionaires. If there was campaign finance reform both of them would be hanging out with the voters instead."
And Larry writes from Texas, "If Donald Trump is the best that Romney can do, then how can we expect him to lead us to better things?"
If you want to read more on this, got some funny e-mail, go to the blog cnn.com/caffertyfile or through our post on THE SITUATION ROOM's Facebook page -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Jack, thank you.
Bipartisan outrage in Congress right now over classified information leaks. Is the White House responsible? Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, she is angry.
She's standing by live and we'll talk to her in the next hour. Also, after a strike, a popular social networking site stealing millions of user passwords.
BLITZER: A banner day on Wall Street. Lisa Sylvester is monitoring that and some of the other top stories in THE SITUATION ROOM right now. What's going on, Lisa?
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Wolf. Everyone loves good news. The Dow and the S&P posted their biggest gains of the year today with investors encouraged by hints of more stimulus in the U.S. and the eurozone.
All three major indexes gained more than 2 percent. The Dow is up 287 points, putting it back in positive territory for the year and the S&P rose 30 points. The Nasdaq added 67 points.
A drug smuggling ring allegedly operating out of Puerto Rico's main airport. Two hundred federal agents and Puerto Rican police raided the San Juan facility today.
Federal indictments accused 45 people of helping to funnel tons of cocaine through the facility and on to flights bound for the U.S. mainland. Some American Airlines employees are among those accused.
Business social networking site LinkedIn is confirming reports that hackers have stolen as many as 6.5 million user passwords. They are posted in an online forum popular with Russian hackers.
The company won't give details about how the passwords were stolen or the extent of the damage, but says it's continuing to investigate the matter.
And science fiction writer, Ray Bradbury has died after a lengthy illness. His almost 50 books included the iconic "Fahrenheit 451" and the "Martian Chronicles." He also wrote some 600 short stories, which included predictions of everything from ATMs to live television car chases. He once said of his success, "I started writing every day and never stopped. Ray Bradbury was 91. Wolf.
BLITZER: Thanks very much, Lisa.