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THE SITUATION ROOM
More Overseas Gaffes for Romney Campaign?; Interview With Rick Santorum; Campaigning With Ferrell And Galifianakis; 14 Dead In New Ebola Outbreak; Defense Secretary Panetta Meets Egypt's New President; Spoiler Alert: Olympics Results
Aired July 31, 2012 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOE JOHNS, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now: one last stop, one last gaffe. Mitt Romney's overseas trip has the Obama campaign snickering, but what about the voters?
Also, Rick Santorum slowed Mitt Romney's march to the nomination. How far will he go to help him win the White House?
And politics for laugh. Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis are with us like to talk about their new movie, "The Campaign."
Wolf Blitzer is off. I'm Joe Johns. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Right now, Mitt Romney's on his way home from an overseas trip his campaign is calling a great success, even though it generated embarrassing headlines at every stop.
The latest came today in Poland, when one of Romney's top aides cursed at reporters who were asking questions. One of them was our Jim Acosta, who joins us from Warsaw.
Jim, what happened today? The Romney team sounds upbeat despite all that's been going on.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Joe, a senior Romney adviser told reporters here in Warsaw that mistakes do happen out on the campaign trail.
But when asked what mistakes were made on this overseas trip, that adviser couldn't name any. Instead, the campaign says the world got to hear from a candidate who they say speaks from the heart.
ACOSTA (voice-over): It's the image Mitt Romney has wanted voters to see for the last week, the GOP contender walking tall on the world stage, here visiting Poland's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and later praising the former Soviet Bloc country for escaping the Iron Curtain.
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I and my fellow Americans are inspired by the path of freedom tread by the people of Poland.
ACOSTA: But on every leg of his trip, he and his campaign faced one controversy after another, from Romney's comments questioning London's readiness to host the Olympics to his remarks at a fund-raiser in Israel hinting that cultural differences might explain Palestinian poverty.
QUESTION: Governor Romney, do you feel that your gaffes have overshadowed your foreign trip?
ACOSTA: So it's no surprise while standing on a public plaza near the Tomb of the Unknown, reporters tried to ask Romney about some of the perceived gaffes on his trip. The candidate ignored the questions. His press aide, Rick Gorka, did not.
RICK GORKA, ROMNEY AIDE: Show some respect, Jim.
QUESTION: We haven't had another chance to ask him questions.
GORKA: (EXPLETIVE DELETED) This is a holy site for the Polish people. Show some respect.
ACOSTA: After Romney's speech in Poland, senior campaign adviser Stuart Stevens was asked if anything had gone wrong with the trip.
(on camera): Could this trip have gone more smoothly, do you think, just in general?
STUART STEVENS, ROMNEY CAMPAIGN SENIOR ADVISER: I think it was a great success. The idea is that can people get a good sense of who he is? Can people listen and see that this is a person speaking from the heart about Israel, about Poland? And he is.
ACOSTA: During a weeklong trip to three countries, Romney took only three questions from his traveling press corps. The GOP contender did a series of sit-down interviews, including ones with CNN's Wolf Blitzer and Piers Morgan.
Still, the Obama campaign slammed Romney as not ready for prime time, while the trip got a more sympathetic response from the White House.
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: These are high-stakes enterprises, that pulling them off is a lot harder than it looks, that they can be very tense, especially if they're not going well.
ACOSTA: Signaling that it's turning the page, the Romney campaign unveiled a new smartphone app that will be used to announce the vice presidential pick in the coming weeks and a new ad on the economy.
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I know what it's like to hire people and to wonder whether you're going to be able to make ends meet down the road.
ACOSTA: Romney never openly criticized the president during this overseas trip, but all of that will change later this week when Romney heads to the battleground state of Colorado, Joe.
JOHNS: Jim, I think the question at this stage is whether we have seen an apology from the aide who had that sort of misuse of words there, if you will.
ACOSTA: Joe, there was no official apology from the campaign, but that aide, Rick Gorka, did call a couple of reporters, he did apologize over the phone, and the apology was accepted. Joe, we are big boys and girls out here. We can take it.
JOHNS: That's absolutely correct.
Jim Acosta, stay right there, will you?
I want to bring in CNN senior congressional correspondent Dana Bash, who has covered the Romney campaign, and also CNN political analyst Gloria Borger.
And, Dana, this is obviously about access. And over the years, we all know there are issues, and it all depends on which candidate is talking to the media. Have you seen big changes in access to these candidates over the years?
DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Definitely seen gradual changes, as I'm sure you have.
Look, I have had to use my former cheerleading voice many times to get a question to presidents and to candidates for president. But I have had to do that more and more, as has Jim over the years, because, look, I mean it's just the world that we live in from their perspective that with Twitter, that with the Internet, with everything going viral immediately, it's hard for them to say anything without altering the message that they're trying to get out that day.
Having said that, it is frustrating having been a reporter on several presidential campaigns. You're there, you're going on the bus, you're going off the bus, you're sitting through every speech. And you want to have access to the candidate to be able to ask them questions. And especially at the end of a trip like this, where you're really going full-bore and you don't have a chance to ask really anything, that's what happens when you really try to ask.
And you have to be careful of your surroundings, but you have got to do your job.
JOHNS: Gloria, and I have to ask you, in the big picture, how important is this really? Do you think Romney has lost the narrative?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think he's steered himself a little bit off-script more than his campaign would have wanted.
But then to carry the metaphor a little bit, you have to sort of ask yourself, who's actually watching the play? Are the independent voters right now focused on Mitt Romney's foreign trip and the gaffes he made? Probably not.
Independent voters are not going to vote on the commander in chief question, as much as President Obama might like that. They're going to vote on the economy. So Romney did get some good pictures, even though he got some bad press with the Palestinians and the Brits.
He did get a nice warm reception from Netanyahu and Lech Walesa. I would also have to ask, did he make more gaffes over there than he has made over here?
BORGER: The answer I think I think is probably no.
JOHNS: Right. He's had some challenges from time to time. We all know that.
Jim, there's a new Mitt Romney ad out. What does it mean coming at this time where we are in the campaign?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: My own experience was, I got the chance to start my own business. I know what it's like to hire people and to wonder whether you're going to be able to make ends meet down the road.
Freedom and free enterprise are what create jobs, not government.
From those experiences, I went off to have the chance of running the Olympics in Salt Lake City in 2002. I came in and found that we had not only a scandal to deal with, but also a financial crisis to deal with. By the time the Games were over, we had about $100 million that we put into an endowment there for the future Olympic sport.
ROMNEY: The real experience was, in Massachusetts, I found a budget that was badly out of balance. We cut our spending. Our legislature was 85 percent Democrats. And every one of the four years I was governor, we balanced the budget.
I want to use those experiences to help Americans have a better future. We believe in our future. We believe in ourselves. We believe the greatest days of America are ahead.
NARRATOR: Believe in the America you built. Believe we can build it again.
ROMNEY: I'm Mitt Romney and I approve this message.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: Jim Acosta, looks a lot like morning in America to me.
ACOSTA: It does.
And the conversation earlier made me remember Ronald Reagan and the way he used to pretend he couldn't hear Sam Donaldson's questions, but just to show you the contrast with how candidates can handle these sorts of things out on the campaign trail. But to your point about that ad, this overseas trip is going to be long forgotten perhaps as soon as next week. This campaign is going to be about the economy. The Romney campaign knows that. The Obama campaign knows that. It's no surprise that the very first ad that goes out on the air as Romney comes back to the States is about the economy, Joe.
BASH: About the economy, Joe, but also a pivot in terms of how he's dealing with his own experience.
His experience, the Obama campaign has been able to in some ways successfully turn into a negative. He's trying to turn it back into a positive, saying, look, I did all these things and this is why you should elect me.
BORGER: And also taking a knock at President Obama by saying the America you built because...
BASH: Subtle, but it's there.
BORGER: A little bit subtle, but talked about his business experience, didn't mention Bain Capital by name, but did talk about business.
JOHNS: Right. Dana, there's some other news obviously on Capitol Hill that is certainly important to the country as we move through the November elections. Talk about that, will you?
BASH: Yes, exactly.
We're all talking about what's important and not important when it comes to the elections. And what is important to Congress, Democrats and Republicans, is not having the fear and the threat of a government shutdown.
So there was a deal today among Democrats and Republicans to say that they're going to have a stopgap measure for six months. So that means that they're not going to have to worry about what really is a political jump ball whether or not the government shuts down. They're just going to kick that can down the road.
You covered Congress for a long time. This is not the first time it has happened. It is their job to fund a government. They didn't exactly do all their work, but they're making sure that the government doesn't shut down.
BORGER: And kicking the can. That's also their job these days.
JOHNS: Yes. It absolutely is. Thanks so much, Dana Bash, Gloria Borger and, in Warsaw, Jim Acosta, thanks for your reporting there.
JOHNS: Mitt Romney's top opponent in the primary, former Senator Rick Santorum, hasn't been invited to speak at the Republican Convention. I will ask him about that coming up next. And the stars of the new movie "The Campaign" are in THE SITUATION ROOM. Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, we will get their take on the movie's co-star, Wolf Blitzer? It's in the teleprompter, folks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE CAMPAIGN")
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Early rumors have billionaire industrialists the Motch brothers financing a PAC supporting Huggins. And with a thin majority in the House, this race could be hugely important.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: During the Republican primaries, Rick Santorum emerged as Mitt Romney's most tenacious and most effective conservative rival. Even though he's not considered likely to be Romney's running mate, he's keeping a close eye on the campaign's developments, including the former governor's just-completed overseas trip.
JOHNS: Joining me now is former Senator Rick Santorum.
Thanks for coming in. It's good to see you again.
RICK SANTORUM (R), FORMER U.S. SENATOR: Well, thank you, Joe. It's -- I have a very fond memory of you in the campaign, because the day we found out the CNN poll was coming out, you were in Muscatine, Iowa, with me.
JOHNS: Right there. Absolutely. I remember it well.
SANTORUM: And I remember that very, very well. So you're sort of...
JOHNS: Right in your memory.
SANTORUM: Right in my memory bank on that day.
JOHNS: All right.
SANTORUM: OK. You got it.
JOHNS: So, on Monday, Mitt Romney compared the per capita GDPs of Israel and the Palestinian-controlled areas. He suggested -- you have heard it -- Israel's culture explains its economic development.
What do you make of that comment?
SANTORUM: Well, I would just say that, you know, the facts are the facts.
The facts is that the Israelis have a dynamic marketplace. They have put together -- just like we did in this country, based upon our values, based upon our culture, we put together laws that allow for freedom, that allow for people to be able to reap the fruits of their labor, for equality, and people would be able to go out and prosper.
And as a result of those values, they're reflected in the laws and they create opportunities as a result. And I think the Israelis have copied and -- not copied, but used the example of the United States as a basis for their country. And I think what you have seen in the Palestinian Authority is not that. You see a society that is based on a very different set of values and structures and is not as successful. I think that's the point he was trying to make.
JOHNS: You agree with his comment? As you know, some of the Palestinians have been using strong language, some have gone as far as calling that comment racist.
SANTORUM: Again, look at -- the laws of the country are a reflection of the values of the people. And if you look at the Israeli economy, it is a free and open economy. It is one that allows for entrepreneurship. It's a very encouraging economy for growth. And I don't think -- and they have solid education system, again, reflected in their laws, their culture of the importance of education and the equality, very important, equality of all, and the opportunity of equality of all is very, very important in that culture and leads to success as it has here in America.
JOHNS: For the record it's important to say that Mitt Romney has said he was not criticizing Palestinian culture.
But overall in the totality of it, do you think this trip was a success? He's had what have been described as some gaffes.
SANTORUM: You know, what I find is, is that when conservatives and Republicans make a misstep, they're blown out of proportions, when the other side does, they're ignored. And so, I think if you look at the symbolism that was behind the Romney effort, the symbolism in Poland, here is a country that's been abandon, this is a country that is pro-American, is pro-free market, is pro the things we stand for in this country, as any country in the world, and this president has systemically turned his back on them.
If you look at Israel, again -- culture, economy, national security all in line with the United States. This administration has turned its back on them.
Great Britain, same thing -- sending back the bust, again, distancing ourselves from our oldest ally in the last hundred years and best ally in the last hundred years.
And I think it's juxtaposition of three different types of countries.
JOHNS: But was it a success? Do you think it was a success for Mitt Romney? SANTORUM: I think the long-term take from this is one that we can go out and make the differentiation between, what a world under Mitt Romney and a Republican administration would be versus the tattered relationships that we have with some of our best and longest and strongest allies.
JOHNS: Do you think he needs to release his tax returns like you used to? I know back in January, on the Laura Ingraham show, you did say you thought he needed to release his tax returns.
SANTORUM: He did release his tax returns. He released the one year.
JOHNS: But just one year.
SANTORUM: And I release -- well, I think probably his one-year tax return is bigger than my 10 years.
JOHNS: But do you think there are some years he didn't pay taxes at all?
SANTORUM: Oh, I don't know. I think to me it's a distraction. Governor Romney can make that case from the standpoint of the politics of it. I'm not going to weigh-in on that.
I think if you look at the pressure that Governor Romney is getting on his tax returns and you look at the lack of pressure President Obama's had on a whole series of things personal to him that he's still refused to include his transcripts and a whole list of other things, it's again a double standard. And I think if President Obama wants to set record for transparency, he should be a lot more transparent as a result.
JOHNS: You have not been mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate for Mitt Romney. Why do you think you haven't been vetted?
SANTORUM: Oh, I think I've probably been pretty well vetted.
JOHNS: You think you have? Officially or unofficially?
SANTORUM: I think they know more -- I think they know more about me than just anybody. And, you know, look, when you're in the ring and you're slugging away, they know everything about us. And, you know, we have a pretty good idea of what they're about too. So, I don't think that's part of it.
Look, Governor Romney has a right to pick who he feels comfortable with, someone he has confidence in, someone he has a good, strong relationship with and that he can build upon. That's a personal decision. And I trust Governor Romney will make a very good one.
JOHNS: What is your relationship with him now? And do you think you ought to get a speaking role at the RNC convention? SANTORUM: You know, we've been in communication with the Romney campaign. They have been nothing but receptive in things we've asked what we can do and things they've asked us to do. I have no doubt that we'll have some role at the convention.
And as you know they haven't announced any speakers other than Chris Christie as the keynote. I have every expectation that we'll have some role to play and I'll do my best to be helpful in the cause.
JOHNS: So you do expect to speak at the convention?
SANTORUM: I will have some role to play at the convention. It's up to Governor Romney to make the determinations to what's best. I think we can -- we can communicate a message that will hopefully bring folks along to support Governor Romney and hopefully with a lot of enthusiasm.
JOHNS: Thanks so much for that. Former Senator Rick Santorum, really good to see you.
SANTORUM: My pleasure, Joe. Good to be here.
JOHNS: It's the talk of the Olympics. Viewers frustrated they have to wait to see the big events.
Not anymore. We have the most up-to-date results way before you see it on TV tonight.
And a beer-related delay to a boyfriend's dream wedding proposal.
JOHNS: A massive power outage crippling India for a second day in a row. Mary Snow is monitoring that and other stories in THE SITUATION ROOM right now.
Mary, what's the latest?
MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Joe.
Well, power is slowly being restored after today's outage that affected more than half a billion people. It's even bigger than yesterday. And both left the capital of New Delhi in the dark. It brought at least 300 trains to a stop and trapped more than 100 coal miners on the group. In our next hour, we'll have a full breakdown on how this can happen.
Here in the U.S., George Zimmerman's wife pleaded not guilty to charges of perjury. Prosecutors say she lied about how much money the couple had at a hearing to decide how much her husband's bond would be. Shellie Zimmerman told the court they didn't have money to pay for his defense. But prosecutors say the couple had $135,000 in different accounts. And check this out. A proposal at a baseball game is that your girlfriend doesn't see the message. That happened to Greg. You see him?
Erica left her seat in the middle of that message in the fifth inning. She went to go get drinks. At least she brought two back. Look at Greg's face.
The Cubs helped distract him for a little while, scoring nine runs from the bottom of the inning. That was enough to keep her by Greg's side. He opted to make the proposal in person. She didn't miss the message this time.
Happy ending. Gets the girl in the end.
JOHNS: Oh, that's awesome. Thanks so much for that, Mary.
All right. CNN is getting rare access in Syria. Coming up in our next hour, Ivan Watson takes us inside a makeshift rebel prison.
But first, the stars of the new movie "The Campaign" are here. I'm talking with Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, next.
WILL FERRELL & ZACH GALIFIANAKIS: You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
JOHNS: I think that was pretty good, right? Yes.
With less than 100 days until the election, we already know that campaigning can get ugly and a little out of hand. That gives plenty of material or maybe competition to "The Campaign", a new movie starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis. Our own Wolf Blitzer has a role in the film, and a taste of what you can expect. Check it out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOLF BLITZER, HOST, CNN'S "THE SITUATION ROOM": The news coming out of the 14th district congressional race in North Carolina. Now get this, Cam Brady, four-time congressman, punched a baby.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: They're not going to show you the punch. Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis are here in THE SITUATION ROOM with us. Thanks you guys for showing up here in D.C.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks for having us.
JOHNS: You did good on the teleprompter there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is the situation coming by? Is it showing up?
JOHNS: I don't know. THE SITUATION ROOM is whatever you make of it I guess. So the movie, I guess the first thing we want to talk about is what Wolf talked about, which was the punch of the baby. I saw the movie and it was a pretty good punch. You threw it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. I threw it.
JOHNS: And, Will, as I understand it, it was maybe your nephew? I'm sorry -- Will and Zach, Zach, was it your nephew?
ZACH GALIFIANAKIS, ACTOR: I may have said that in an interview, but it was probably a lie. I'm not related to that child.
WILL FERRELL, ACTOR: It was a highly trained stunt baby.
JOHNS: Did the baby cry?
FERRELL: The baby was so tough. No, didn't even shed a tear. In fact, laughed in my face.
FERRELL: And I believe it's first words were, is that all you got?
JOHNS: Tough baby.
FERRELL: Tough baby.
JOHNS: So how did Wolf do in the movie? You guys are big Hollywood stars. Review him.
FERRELL: I think he did fantastic. First of all, Zach loves anyone with a beard.
GALIFIANAKIS: Yes. Wolf and I bonded over the beard stuff.
GALIFIANAKIS: He's not a just for men guy. That's one of his trade secrets.
JOHNS: All right, so you guys could have made any kind of a movie together.
JOHNS: At any time and you chose politics.
JOHNS: Why politics?
FERRELL: We had sat down and we're fans of each other -- at least I'm a fan of Zach's. Zach has never told me if he thinks I'm funny or not.
JOHNS: Do you think he's funny?
GALIFIANAKIS: Sometimes it's good.
FERRELL: That's pretty positive. So, no, we initially wanted to do this movie about these two characters in the south. And that kind of segued into a movie about politics.
JOHNS: And you're from the south. You're from North Carolina.
GALIFIANAKIS: That's correct.
JOHNS: And you sort of threw some of your personal experience in this. As I understand you had an uncle who actually was in Congress and even ran for the Senate.
GALIFIANAKIS: My uncle, Nick, Nick Galifianakis.
JOHNS: There he is.
GALIFIANAKIS: My goodness, there he is. I should have probably clear that had with him. He had two campaign buttons because the last name wouldn't fit on one. So he split the name.
JOHNS: We have a sound bite from him actually talking about campaigning.
JOHNS: Can we listen?
JOHNS: We do. We've gone into your history.
GALIFIANAKIS: Don't do this.
JOHNS: This is your life.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICK GALIFIANAKIS, FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN: I was getting up at 4:30 and 5:00 and going to factories and trying to meet people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: So there you go.
GALIFIANAKIS: Well, that's very sweet.
JOHNS: Interesting though in watching this movie, I thought I saw, you know, shades of people like John Edwards, the former governor of Texas, a variety of different -- maybe even George W. Bush? You've imitated him.
FERRELL: I've patterned my character after a combination of Geraldine Ferraro, Madeline Albright and John Sununu. JOHNS: Why those three?
FERRELL: I just like saying the word Sununu.
JOHNS: Yes, it's hard to say. I have to ask you before we go on. The gloves are a really nice touch. These are driving gloves?
FERRELL: They're for texting.
JOHNS: I never saw those online before.
FERRELL: Yes. These are Ferrari driving gloves.
GALIFIANAKIS: Can I just admit something that I've been standing on a book this whole time called "All the President's Children."
FERRELL: Hope the good people of Ferrari send me a car to match the gloves I have.
JOHNS: Yes. They're very nice actually. So trash talk. This is one of the things that comes all the way through politics and we cover it here.
JOHNS: We cover it here in "THE SITUATION ROOM" all the time. We have a little clip from the movie of your two characters right before debate encaging in some trash talk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You take a bath in a toilet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALIFIANAKIS: That was a quick one. I think I had to go to the bathroom.
JOHNS: If I remember correctly some of the language was --
FERRELL: Cam's trash talking is very sophisticated.
JOHNS: His is. There are some actually pretty racy scenes in this, but it really has quite a message, doesn't it?
JOHNS: It's about campaign finance reform.
JOHNS: There seem to be a little bit of takeouts on the Coke brothers, the conservative brother who is have done so much funding of politics. Talk to us a little bit about the message.
FERRELL: I mean, first and foremost it's just a very funny movie. But at the same time we're -- we didn't really want to take sides either left or right.
But the one issue that we feel is pretty nonpartisan is just the massive amounts of money that are flowing into politics right now and kind of pointing that out in a way that's also humorous.
JOHNS: And the challenge of this movie I think is taking a very serious subject and turning it funny. I'm no movie reviewer, but it seems like you've done a pretty good job of that.
GALIFIANAKIS: Well, it's tough to do a comedy if you're being preachy. We just wanted to do some jokes, but as Will said -- it's will, right?
JOHNS: Wilt with a T. That's another movie.
GALIFIANAKIS: We kind of want today highlight the money being spent for all this stuff. It's kind of ridiculous.
JOHNS: So you're doing something of a little tour here in Washington, D.C.
JOHNS: In advance of this movie coming out. I know so many people in our business have been fascinated by you and your role as a television anchor.
FERRELL: Sure, yes.
JOHNS: Is that the kind of thing that you think has sort of informed this movie as well? The public presentation, if you will. Have you taken a little bit of that character and put it in this film?
FERRELL: You know, my character is actually the incumbent. And he's a very much professional politician. So I think we're just, we're kind of so inundated with seeing these types of guys everywhere that it's not easy -- it's not hard at all to kind of study all the sound bites and everything and create a character.
JOHNS: Yes. And I know the interesting thing as we talked a little bit about the baby at the start, we actually saw the baby character appear in another movie that you were in, which was the Las Vegas movie "The Hangover," how does this theme reappear?
GALIFIANAKIS: I won't do a movie unless it has a little baby in it.
FERRELL: That's in his contract.
JOHNS: And the animals, you also punch a dog.
FERRELL: Yes. Poor cam Brady actually ends up punching the dog from "The Artist." It's a series of misfortunes that leads to his downfall.
JOHNS: And someone gets shot seems like a play on Dick Cheney and the accidental shooting there. GALIFIANAKIS: Yes. There was a lot to draw from in real life.
JOHNS: Would you ever like to actually go into politics, either of you?
GALIFIANAKIS: I've always wanted to be comptroller of something.
JOHNS: Why comptroller?
GALIFIANAKIS: I don't know what it is. I'm a comptrol freak. It has to do with money, I think.
FERRELL: In doing this movie we have a newfound respect for candidates in terms of how much work it is and going into whether you're going to the diner to eat a hot dog and meet people to, you know, speaking at a rally or doing eight or ten things in one day. It's pretty crazy.
FERRELL: Whether you're going to a fortune country and talking about how bad their Olympics are, things like that. It's a lot of work.
JOHNS: All right. Well, we've been hoping to get your reaction from your characters on some of the current events. We want to play you what Romney traveling press secretary said today in Poland to the press, Governor Romney. You may have already heard this one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Governor Romney, do you feel that your gaffes have overshadowed your foreign trip?
RICK GORAK, ROMNEY'S TRAVELING PRESS SECRETARY: This is a Holy site for the Polish people. Show some respect.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALIFIANAKIS: I haven't seen that.
JOHNS: Sort of right out of your movie.
FERRELL: My gosh, pretty much.
JOHNS: What's your reaction?
GALIFIANAKIS: He's upset at somebody yelling a question? Is that what he was upset?
JOHNS: Yes. Well, what would your characters' reaction be to that?
GALIFIANAKIS: I would just probably say don't use that kind of language.
FERRELL: Cam would probably say, I use that language at least five times a day and sometimes you lose your temper. And it's OK to curse. JOHNS: Thank you so much. It's really great meeting you guys.
GALIFIANAKIS: Thanks for having us.
JOHNS: We've seen the movie and the best of luck in all your travels.
FERRELL: Can we take this home with us?
JOHNS: Well, I don't want to give it to you because Wolf Blitzer might need it when he gets back.
FERRELL: All right. We'll find another keepsake. The situation table, yes.
You've seen what the intense drought is doing to crops across the U.S., but the nation's nuclear power plants need water too. And they're running into trouble.
And the deadly Ebola virus is spreading in one African nation. Could it reach the U.S.? Our Dr. Sanjay Gupta is on the case next.
JOHNS: At least 14 people are dead in the latest outbreak of the Ebola virus for which there's no vaccine and no effective treatment. It's happening in Uganda where the country's president is telling people to be cautious and even avoid shaking hands with one another.
Our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, is at the CNN Center in Atlanta -- Sanjay.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what little people do know of this. I know it's typically a very deadly virus. Morality rates with this virus can be as high as 90 percent.
So obviously it gets a lot of people's attention. It's been around or identified since 1976, Joe, what we know now as you said 14 people infected, 36 people have died.
So mortality rate a little less than 50 percent, but they're obviously trying to contain this as best they can, trying to isolate people so they don't continue to spread it.
As you mentioned, there's no absolute treatment or vaccine. So isolation is the biggest key here. That's what they're doing at hospitals in this particular area of Uganda.
Joe, it typically starts as a flu-like thing. You feel sick. People get joint pain often as well. But the thing that's swishing as Ebola is it's known as a hemorrhagic fever, which means that people may start to develop spontaneous bleeding. That can be quite deadly, Joe.
JOHNS: And very, very scary for people where there's an outbreak. Sanjay, how does someone protect themselves from getting Ebola? GUPTA: Well, you know, contrary to popular belief, a lot of people believe Ebola is spread through the air. It's not. It's spread through contact with bodily fluids.
So for example, someone that has Ebola, if -- let's say you have a lot of bush meat hunters, I've traveled to this exact area where they're talking about and been in the jungles with a gentleman trying to figure this out.
You find people exposed to the virus, they may have the pathogen on their hands, they may touch somebody else and it can spread that way through bodily fluids sort of exchanging, saliva, mucus.
So, you know, the best advice is obviously washing your hands. If someone is sick they need to be isolated. What happens also in this world is people bury their dead, family members do that.
So if someone's died of Ebola, family members who are actually trying to bury that person can subsequently contract the virus. So it's tough to talk about, Joe, but it's some of the ways it gets transmitted.
JOHNS: And the other thing, obviously, people who watch this program would want to know, is there any risk of Ebola reaching major cities or spreading to other parts of the globe say on a plane or what have you?
GUPTA: I think there's very little chance of that. There are a couple of reasons why. One is, you know, if you look throughout history, Ebola does tend to be pretty contained. It might spread a bit more within a region, but not the way you're describing it.
Also, Joe, again, this is sort of a tough way to think of things, but these patients either die or they're very, very sick for a long time. So the idea of them getting on a plane and traveling is less likely.
You hear about that happening much more with other viruses that make people sick, but they may still travel around and spread it, Ebola that typically doesn't happen, but that doesn't prevent the efforts to try and isolate and try and contain.
We know of those of 14 people who have died, nine were in the same household. The other ones were either health care members treating that household or family members of those health care workers.
I tell you all that, Joe, because you can get in your mind's eye how these virus hunters approach something like this and try and contain it. There's a logical sequence here.
JOHNS: So we've got 14 fatalities, is that the number that you've got? And do you have any idea how far -- how many more people could actually die? GUPTA: Well, you know, 14 is the number that we're hearing. We're getting numbers updated as quickly as possible. We're hearing 36 people have been infected. So that's what they are sort of looking at now.
What would be of most concern is right now these people are all from a similar sort of area. If you suddenly started to see sporadic cases in other areas, other provinces or other parts of the country, then you'd start to worry that something had happened that you just described.
That people have traveled with it and see clusters of outbreaks in other places. That doesn't appear to have happened as of yet -- Joe.
JOHNS: Dr. Sanjay Gupta in Atlanta, thanks so much for that reporting.
GUPTA: You got it. Thanks, Joe.
JOHNS: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta sits down with Egypt's president. After their first meeting he says, the new leader is, quote, "his own man," but is he committed to democracy?
JOHNS: What's being seen as payback to hardliners who supported, Egypt's new president is freeing a group of Islamist militants jailed by former Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak.
But the Egyptian leader also is offering a conciliatory hand to the U.S. He welcomed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta today.
CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr is in Cairo.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: This is Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's first meeting with the new Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. Getting the welcoming handshake with Morsi is in fact one of the Pentagon's key objectives here.
Panetta has wanted to meet him face-to-face and get a sense of where the new Egyptian leader is headed. But Panetta is also telling Egypt's military leaders that the transition to full democracy must be completed.
LEON PANETTA, DEFENSE SECRETARY: I was convinced that President Morsi is his own man and that he is the president of all the Egyptian people.
And that he is truly committed to implementing democratic reforms here in Egypt. And it's my view based on what I have seen and the discussions I've had that President Morsi and marshal have a very good relationship and working together toward the same ends. STARR: Morsi's selection of a full cabinet is the next step. The U.S. is watching closely to see what kind of economic advisors the Egyptian president picks. They believe that will be key.
Interestingly enough, one of the issues not so much on the table here is additional U.S. arms sales to Egypt. U.S. officials tell us that's not really a top issue in this set of meetings because they know more arms sales are coming.
But they want to get the issue of transition to democracy sorted out once and for all. Barbara Starr, CNN, Cairo.
JOHNS: Secretary Panetta is also visiting Israel and Jordan during this trip. Just days ago, they were fighting for the Syrian government, but now they're behind bars held by the rebels. We'll go inside their prison.
And want to find out how today's Olympic events turned out? We'll have the most up-to-date results way before you see them on TV tonight.
JOHNS: It's almost 10:00 at night in London where Olympic action is still underway. But spoiler alert, we have results coming in from today's competitions.
Our Tom Foreman has been keeping an eye on the action. Tom, how did the USA do today?
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It did fine, Joe. But I want to say to you again, this is a spoiler alert. If you don't want to know who won, look away, turn your sound down for about three minutes you'll be covered, but it's going to happen now.
Don't be mad at us if you keep the TV on. Fix it if you want to. Look at what was happening over there if we move forward into this game. You can see -- I'm going to give you the first two minutes of it.
Here goes a timer and we're off and running. Let's take a look at the competition out there. In the skeet shooting competition, this one matters, this guy right here. Vincent Hancock, 23 years old from Georgia, U.S. Army staff sergeant and he took the gold, second time. He did it in Beijing as well.
Along with Kimberly Rhode who won for the women. That's a sweep for the U.S. when it comes to the notion of getting the gold in skeet shooting, which is a good thing to do. Hold on, I'm having trouble with the Olympic team here. That's a good thing to do. You know they have a huge problem with wild skeets over there in Britain. So that's good to have them around.
The women's Olympic team, this is a big, big, big deal. Tremendous showing on the balance beam and on the vault and some of the things they had to do there. The women's Olympic team, nobody really knew for sure if they could pull it off, but I'm telling you, you can see it right there with Jordyn Weiber wearing the gold medal showing as she rides in the car.
Huge win for them. That's a huge deal for them. Thirty seconds left. Michael Phelps. You can't say he's not doing well because he's a great Olympian. But he tied the all-time record for medals in the 200 butterfly, but only with the silver.
He didn't get the gold he wanted. He got out of touched in just the last moment. That's the kind of day it's been for the Olympic team. And the time is up after 2 minutes of telling you what went on today -- Joe.
JOHNS: All right, Tom, what's the medal count right now?
FOREMAN: The medal count right now. Let me bring it up. We are now tied with China for overall medals. They've got a little edge here in terms of gold medals right now. So we'll have to watch that very closely.
And everybody else, Japan, France, South Korea, they're behind us by a pretty good margin. A big duel going on here as I think we all expected. We'll have to see how it plays out over the next few days. Keep you up to date on all this because it's very exciting. I don't know how much you're watching, but I'm watching a lot.
JOHNS: I'm definitely watching. Thanks so much for that.
FOREMAN: You might hear in my office there yelling every now and then.
JOHNS: All over the country. Thanks so much, Tom Foreman in the newsroom.