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THE SITUATION ROOM
CIA Director Resigns; President Obama's Economic Agenda; "Open to Compromise, New Ideas"; Navy SEALs Reprimanded Over Video Game; Obama's Rare Display of Emotion
Aired November 9, 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, breaking news: The CIA director, David Petraeus, resigns after admitting he had an extramarital affair.
Also, the president waves his pen and tells Congress he's ready to sign a bill extending tax cuts for the middle class, but not for the wealthy.
Plus, remarkable video of a very rare moment. President Obama gets emotional to the point of wiping away tears.
We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
There is important breaking news this hour, the shocking resignation of the CIA director, General David Petraeus. He's stepping down because of an extramarital affair.
Here's part of the message the general sent to CIA employees this afternoon. And I will read it to our views in the United States and around the world: "After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. This afternoon, the president graciously accepted my resignation."
Let's get right to our CNN intelligence correspondent, Suzanne Kelly.
Pretty shocking information from all we know. What else are you learning?
SUZANNE KELLY, CNN INTELLIGENCE CORRESPONDENT: Right, Wolf.
Well, I don't think I can emphasize what a bombshell this was yesterday. In the letter that you quoted from that was sent to the employees of the CIA, this was really the first they were hearing and any of the rest of us were hearing about what's obviously been going on for a while.
And, of course, while we can't ask General Petraeus right now what's going on in his mind, there are a few more nuggets in that letter that you just quoted from that he sent out to the work force today. He quoted Teddy Roosevelt when he said one of life's greatest gifts is the opportunity to work hard at work worth doing. These are Petraeus' own words. He said: "I will always treasure my opportunity to have done that and I will always regret the circumstances that brought that work with you to an end."
So as you reported, Wolf, and as we now know, he's stepping down as director. He's held this job for just a little over just a year now, head of the CIA, because of an extramarital affair.
BLITZER: Who about the acting director? Who is that going to be?
KELLY: Well, the president has come out and already said it's be acting deputy -- or acting director who has been the former deputy director Mike Morell. Mike Morell is a career intelligence professional. He's been at the CIA for years, his entire career.
He has helped see through the transition of several different directors of the CIA over the years, some five different directors in eight years. If there's anything consistent here, it's been Morell's leadership at different ranks within the leadership of the CIA, different levels.
He's had the top job now for a while, though. And if there's any sort of sign that things at the CIA is going to be business as usual after they get over the shock of all of this, I think you're going to see that leadership come through from Mike Morell.
BLITZER: Potentially, if he becomes the acting director, he certainly could become the full-time director if the president wants him to be the full-time director.
Other names though already circulating though, aren't they?
KELLY: They are. And obviously it's speculation and something this early nobody knows for sure.
But you know, John Brennan is somebody who was considered for this by the president from the very beginning. However, there were concerns over whether or not because of his sort of hard line on intelligence issues in the past that he would be able to pass congressional confirmation for this job, which is something you need to do. You don't need to do that however in the job that he holds now in advising the president on counterterrorism issues.
It's a possibility the president would try to push that through again. Jane Harman is another name we have heard. She is now, of course, head of the Wilson Center. She's been very close to the intelligence community for a number of years. She's also very passionate about what they do over there. And she hasn't tried very hard to hide that passion over the years. So she's another name we're hearing.
But, of course, as the days go on and people sort of come back from the reeling shock of this announcement today, I think that will flesh out a little bit better.
BLITZER: Jane Harman was a member of the House Intelligence Committee for a long time, a longtime member of the House of Representatives before leaving to become the head of the Woodrow Wilson Center For Scholars here in Washington.
Suzanne Kelly, thanks very much.
Just a little while ago, the White House released this written statement from President Obama. Let me read from part of it.
"By any measure, through his lifetime of service David Petraeus has made our country safer and stronger. Today, I accepted his resignation as director of the Central Intelligence Agency. I am completely confident that the CIA will continue to thrive and carry out its essential mission."
As we noted, the president named the CIA's deputy director, Michael Morell, as the agency's acting director.
Let's talk a little bit more about what's going on, the breaking news.
Our chief White House correspondent, Jessica Yellin, is standing by. Our Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr is standing by. And our chief political analyst, Gloria Borger, is standing by.
Gloria, let me start with you.
You just spoke with some people up on the Hill. What are they saying?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. I just spoke with Dianne Feinstein, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. She calls this a tragic story for a human being.
She says people may start saying he's a scapegoat for Benghazi and the controversy in Benghazi. She says that is absolutely false. She said, I know what the personal story is here. It is not a cover story.
What she did say to me, Wolf, is that she didn't understand why the immediate departure. You know, there are congressional hearings that are coming up next week. Mr. Morell will be testifying on behalf of the Central Intelligence Agency. She says there are going to be at least three hearings and they will continue to ask who did what when and what was missing.
But she said this is a deeply personal story for him. He made an egregious personal mistake. And at this point she has not given any thought to who she believes should replace him because she herself just learned about this at about the same time we did, maybe a little bit before I would venture.
BLITZER: Jessica, how did the president find out about this?
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Wolf.
Well, the president met with General Petraeus yesterday and was told not only that he wanted to resign, but also the circumstances surrounding the request for the resignation. And then I'm told that the president accepted the resignation today by phone. So obviously he gave it one day and overnight before formally accepting that resignation, a blow no doubt to the administration. No matter what the dynamics between the CIA and the White House or the larger politics right now, you don't want to start into a second term with this kind of a blow, and also General Petraeus, a general that the United States of America has enormous respect for, Wolf.
BLITZER: Let me go to Barbara Starr over at the Pentagon.
Barbara, you obviously know General Petraeus, you have spoken to him on many occasions, you have interviewed him, you know his wife, Holly. I assume like all of us you were totally shocked.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Totally shocked, Wolf.
I have seen in private circumstances away from the television cameras David and Holly Petraeus in enormously respectful situations, real genuine husband and wife relationships. I can tell you that Holly Petraeus had become a bit of a powerhouse in her own right here in Washington, developing a real expertise over the years in consumer finance protection for military families, something she knows a lot about, something she worked both in and out of the federal government on.
And let's face it, this is a woman who was a military wife for 37 years, raised a family, saw her husband leave for a good chunk of time in recent years. Their own son served in Southern Afghanistan in some of the roughest neighborhoods of the war. Holly Petraeus knows what military wives and military families go through during these separations.
This is something she has seen over the years. Very difficult situation, really hard to explain. He was always the four-star general even while he was CIA director, perhaps as so many four-star generals in the past became a bit isolated, a bit too much surrounded by close confidants, maybe didn't see the big picture or didn't see the stress he might have been under perhaps.
Gloria, you know, a lot of folks are immediately talking about the timing of this resignation.
BLITZER: Coming just a few days after the president was reelected. Coming just on the eve of major hearings involving the Benghazi...
BLITZER: ... the failed operation over there. What are you hearing?
BORGER: That's the one question Senator Feinstein had. She says I don't really understand the timing of this. She pointed out, yes, their hearings are coming up next week. She does -- there are questions about that. What she did say is kind of interesting to me about General Petraeus is that she said he actually loved the job. She said he had a big design for the job and that he had just returned from a five-day trip to the Middle East. And she also had a point -- and I think she's seen a lot of this over the course of her long career -- which is she said the transition to civilian life is very hard when you're a general whose got medals from your shoulder down to your belt.
And he was in a different environment at the CIA, constantly being questioned, things being thrown at him. When you're a general, not so much. So she thinks there may have been a real adjustment for him. And I asked her whether she thought the White House would be sorry to see him go, given the fact as Jessica pointed out there has been friction between the general and the White House. She said they should be sorry.
Jessica, it's so tragic when you think about General Petraeus had a sterling reputation out there for what he did during his service in Iraq and then later in Afghanistan, a Ph.D. from Princeton University, a tradition of a scholar and general, probably the last person you would have thought something like this could happen.
Are they giving any additional information? Was this information about this extramarital affair about to be released by some news organization or some tabloid? Is that why perhaps he did this now?
YELLIN: I haven't heard anything additional about it, Wolf.
It's sort of the style of the administration to be discreet when it comes to these kinds of personal issues. I wouldn't expect anything of that nature to come from this building, no matter what may have gone on. They would at all times sort of respect his privacy, allow any of that sort of information to come from him if he chooses to speak publicly about it.
I know that out of this building, they had respect -- have respect for his work. And even at the tensest times during the Libya, Benghazi story as that was unfolding always have said that they believe once the investigation is done the facts will bear out what the story they were saying publicly was all along.
So I do not think that they are at any point going to -- in D.C. parlance, going to throw him under the bus, so to speak, and they certainly wouldn't out him on any personal matters, Wolf.
BLITZER: Graduate of West Point and also a Ph.D. from Princeton University, General Petraeus, retired U.S. Army General Petraeus, no longer the CIA director leaving under these circumstances.
We're going to have much more on what's going on, including more details, the personal character of General Petraeus from the man who literally wrote the book on General Petraeus and other generals. Stand by for that. And the president and the House speaker, they stake out their opening positions in a very high-stakes effort to prevent painful spending cuts and tax increases.
Lots of news happening today right here in THE SITUATION ROOM.
BLITZER: David Petraeus served obviously both Republican and Democratic presidents. His shocking resignation today as the CIA director and admission of extramarital affair are the last things anyone here in Washington would have expected.
Let's talk a little bit more about what's going on with Tom Ricks. He's the senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and the author of the brand new book, an excellent book, entitled "The Generals."
Great work, Tom. Thanks very much. How shocked were you by this?
THOMAS RICKS, CENTER FOR A NEW AMERICAN SECURITY: Honestly, I'm not that shocked. You put an officer out there on repeated tours in Iraq and Afghanistan -- he's done like four or five years out there. He's a human being. If he doesn't slip, I'd be surprised.
I think what we have today is shocking proof that General David Petraeus is a human being.
BLITZER: And he made a huge mistake. Is it a mistake big enough for him to decide he's going to resign as a result of this extramarital affair?
RICKS: I'm told that President Obama told him that he didn't need to, that they had a long conversation about it. And Obama said, you know, I understand that you're troubled by this and so on, but I'm not sure you need to go.
And Petraeus' attitude I think is -- no, it's a matter of honor. I did something deeply dishonorable and now I must balance it by doing an honorable thing.
The only thing about Petraeus and Obama -- I know Petraeus much better than I know Obama -- they strike me as very similar men. They're both intellectual, a little bit more remote than other people in their chosen professions. I always thought they kind of had irreconcilable similarities. But I think they've gotten over their friction and actually I think have come to a position of trust over the last year especially as Obama really came to understand that Petraeus was not interested in running for president.
BLITZER: I don't think it was interested in running for president. But other people speculated he might be.
Do you believe he felt -- the timing of this, my suspicion from the beginning was this information one way or another was about to come out and he decided he would do the right thing, he would release it instead of letting someone else whether from a news organization or anybody else release this information that would be so embarrassing to him?
RICKS: I think you're on the right track. Now, I'm getting into speculation here. But there's a trial going on right now down at Fort Bragg of an Army brigadier general, Jeffry Sinclair. There have been rumors for weeks that Sinclair was saying, "If I'm going down," and he's facing charges of sodomy, extramarital affair, other violations with the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the rumors were in the Army that Sinclair said, "If I'm going down, I'm taking other people with me."
He's going down this week. He's on trial this week. He may end up doing time.
And so, I've got to wonder whether there's a connection between the Fort Bragg trial and the timing of General Petraeus' resignation.
BLITZER: Do you think it has anything at all to do with Benghazi? Because that was immediately CIA obviously was involved in what was turned out to be a disaster in Benghazi. There are hearings scheduled next week. He was supposed to testify before Senator Dianne Feinstein, Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, and the immediate speculation was -- well, maybe he's going to resign in advance of that.
RICKS: I wouldn't be surprised if he agreed to still testify and say, sure, I'll come up and explain where I was at.
I think -- something about Washington now that when we hear somebody resign because of an extramarital affair, people immediately suspect it's a cover story for something else. I think what you see here is what you get -- a man who had felt he had done the wrong thing and must suffer the consequences.
BLITZER: Take us inside that military mindset. Like you, I'm a former Pentagon correspondent. I know, especially, West Point grads, they have this tradition of doing the right thing -- honor, if you will. And if you screw up, you got to do -- as you point out, do the honorable thing and try to fix it.
RICKS: And Petraeus really does pride himself on being a leader. I think what he wants in life is to be a great captain. I think he'd still love to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs. I don't know if that's possible now given this.
Don't forget, not only is Petraeus a career military person, his wife is a career military wife. They met at West Point when her father was superintendent of West Point. So she is the daughter of a general, married to a general, steeped in the same culture, the same traditions.
My heart actually goes out to both of them today.
BLITZER: Yes, such a sad, sad story. Now, in the intelligence community, which is obviously very different than the military, they tell all these intelligence officers, CIA officers, clandestine operatives, be very careful of what they used to call hunting traps, getting involved in an extramarital affair because you don't know if that woman or maybe that man could be an agent of a hostile foreign power. And they always warn these men and women -- be very, very careful.
I assume when he got caught if, in fact, he had gotten caught in this extramarital affair, if somebody more junior in the CIA would have been caught, they would have been forced out as well.
RICKS: I don't think so. My guess is at the CIA, if you haven't had an affair, you're not considered a player. I think actually what happened here is something out of Petraeus' past that he didn't expect to come back and bite him did because somebody who knew him from the military was looking for a little vengeance.
BLITZER: So that's the sad story that's unfolding. What do you think -- he's going to come back out of all of this? Will he just retire, fade away? Or do you think there's a future for him some place?
RICKS: I don't think David Petraeus is ever going to fade away. But I think he would really like to do is to be president of Princeton University. And interestingly, the job is coming open.
BLITZER: He's a graduate of Princeton University, got a Ph.D. from Princeton, you know, and also a graduate of West Point.
Tom Ricks, thanks very much for coming in. Excellent new book, "The Generals," recommended highly to our viewers out there in the United States and around the world. Thank you.
RICKS: Thanks very much.
BLITZER: The country is racing towards a potential financial crisis right now. Can President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner find common ground to stop and onslaught of spending cuts and tax hikes?
Stay with us.
BLITZER: More coming up on the breaking news we're following. General Petraeus resigning from the CIA because of an extramarital affair. Much more coming up as well on the stakes involving the so- called fiscal cliff. Lots of news happening today here in THE SITUATION ROOM.
But other news we're following, including people in the Northeast, they may finally be getting a break from the bad weather and long gas lines.
Lisa Sylvester's monitoring that and some other top stories in THE SITUATION ROOM right now.
What's going on, Lisa?
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Wolf.
Well, just two days after a snowstorm tore through the Northeast, New York and New Jersey are seeing temperatures rise into the 50s. But that may be little relief for thousands of people who are still without power after the nor'easter and superstorm Sandy.
Gas rationing is now in effect in parts of New York and New Jersey to reduce long lines. Gas stations are remaining open longer and drivers can only buy gas on alternate days.
Thousands of terrified Syrian civilians are fleeing into Turkey as fighting rages near the border between both countries. The violence has Turkey's military on high alert. Syrian rebels are claiming victory against Syria's military at a keyboard border town. And opposition spokesman says rebel fighters have seized Syrian government buildings and captured control of a border crossing into Turkey.
Chrysler is recalling nearly one million of its Jeep SUVs in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and other countries. It wants to fix a faulty control part that could cause air bags to inflate while the vehicles are in motion. The recall affects Jeep Grand Cherokees for the model years 2002 through 2004, and Liberty SUVs for the model years 2002 and 2003.
Of course other big news you're following as well, Wolf.
BLITZER: Huge news. All right. Thanks very much, Lisa.
Drawing the line -- the president and the House speaker, they stake out their positions on slashing the deficit.
Stay with us.
BLITZER: The brand new effort to head off crushing tax increases and spending cuts and finally do something about the country's out of control deficit getting underway in earnest today. The stakes clearly are enormous.
And today, both the House speaker, John Boehner, and the president publicly signaled they're willing to compromise. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to be clear: I'm not wedded to every detail of my plan. I'm open to compromise. I'm open to new ideas. I'm committed to solving our fiscal challenges.
But I refuse to accept any approach that isn't balanced. I am not going to ask students and seniors and middle class families to pay down the entire deficit while people like me over $250,000 aren't asked to pay a dime more in taxes.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), HOUSE SPEAKER: Well, clearly the deficit is a drag on our economy and we can't continue to spend money that we don't have. I don't want to box myself in. I don't want to box anybody else in. I think it's important for us to come to an agreement with the president. This is his opportunity to lead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Every word from the speaker, every word from the president being analyzed for hidden meanings. Here's a quick snapshot.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: What he is not willing to negotiate on is raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans and that is where the battle lines will be drawn.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president's language is important. His words, I'm not wedded to every detail. I'm open to compromise. Open to new ideas. But we are not going to do something that doesn't deal with the tax cuts.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the tone of this is pretty good especially from the speaker this morning when he said, you know, I'm not going to box myself in. And I don't want to box the president in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Let's get straight to our own Kate Bolduan. She's here with an excellent, excellent panel -- Kate.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Excellent, excellent. I like the double excellent panel of our unsolicited advice today.
So we're talking more about the fiscal cliff, financial crisis, fiscal hill, whatever you want to call it today. You now have President Obama coming out, John Boehner coming out, both talking compromise, conciliatory, congenial.
But I guess the first question is, do these public statements even though we know they happen, do they help, Ana, or do they hurt when you're really trying to strike a deal?
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you know, we really heard very good positive words come out of both their mouths. Now only in Washington can you have a situation where both parties are saying compromise, deal, open and it turn into nothing.
But, you know, it certainly is much more hopeful than if they were having a public cat fight right now. It seems to me there's a public courting going on. There's a lot of smoking of peace pipes.
There are a lot of olive branches being extended. Let's see what that turns into. The devil's in the details. But so far I'd say that it's more hopeful than pessimistic.
BOLDUAN: And the devil is always in the details. The main sticking point -- I mean, I was dealing with this a year and a half ago, we all were in the debt ceiling fight.
The main sticking point though, Donna, is still taxes. If the sticking point is still taxes, raise them, don't raise them. We can talk about it if we're talking rates or just tax bills in general, are we any -- has anything changed or are we in the same place we were a year and a half ago?
DONNA BRAZILE, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Another election, so another few days of drama. This is drama ala Hollywood at the Potomac. What happened today is the president set the parameters.
I'm open to a deal. I have a grand bargain. I put all my eggs on the table. Now come. Come to the table with some of your jelly beans or whatever you want to call it.
ROSS DOUTHAT, COLUMNIST, "NEW YORK TIMES": I'm picturing this table. It's kind of an amazing image.
BRAZILE: It's an Easter meal here. So the president understands -- I think he has the upper hand because most of these tax cuts are set to expire at the end of the year.
BRAZILE: And because of that I think the Republicans must understand that the president's not willing to come to the table with an empty basket. He's saying I'm ready to do my part. It's time for you to come to the table in a balanced approach.
NAVARRO: And I think something has changed. You know, the election frees President Obama from having to please his base. A lot of that liberal progressive base is saying let's go off that cliff. When I think they should go hang gliding and get the bravado out of their system because most the rest of us would like to see a solution and an agreement.
So I think President Obama after this election is free from having to please that very liberal area of his base. And on the other hand, the Republican defeat I think givers John Boehner an excuse, justification, an explanation and reason to come to the table and compromise.
BRAZILE: Bringing the Republicans who have been over the cliff, down in the hill, soaking in the water, bring them back up to reality.
DOUTHAT: Interesting with the eggs and jelly beans, right?
NAVARRO: Fortunately, Donna is not going to be in the negotiating table.
BOLDUAN: Congressman and Ross, want to jump in on this. There's a real political question here. A lot of how things work in Washington is who has the upper hand? Who has the leverage?
President Obama says that the election shows that a majority of Americans agree with his approach to deficit reduction. So does that mean he can get away with it's my way or the highway here?
DOUTHAT: Donna's right that he has a different kind of leverage than he had before the election because he's been re-elected. He's president for the next four years. And if you just do nothing, then I mean you go over the cliff as everyone says.
But more importantly from a Republican perspective, taxes go up on everybody, the rich, the middle class, working class and so on. So he clearly has more leverage. I think the big question in figuring out a compromise is Republicans above all don't want to raise tax rates.
They tend to be more open to raising revenue through reforms to the tax code. And there's a kind of ironic possibility here where the idea that Mitt Romney floated during the campaign of setting a limit on how many deductions people can claim, right?
You can only deduct up to $15,000 a year or something. That's a reform that would effectively raise taxes on the rich because the rich are more likely to claim deductions past that point without raising rates. So in a weird way you can imagine Barack Obama and John Boehner sitting down --
BOLDUAN: Embracing the Mitt Romney approach.
NAVARRO: Do you think that could pass the pledge litmus test?
DOUTHAT: I think that the question -- so Grover Norquist, right, who I think is going to be a guest shortly on CNN -- I mean, people can ask him, but the pledge is you can't raise tax rates basically.
But because the tax rates are scheduled to expire no matter what, so if you do nothing, it's a massive tax increase. You can imagine Republicans saying, look, we forestalled this massive tax increase so we haven't broken our pledge.
TOM PERRIELLO, FORMER VIRGINIA CONGRESSMAN: At least two big pieces that we're talking about here that make me a little bit more pessimistic than most people despite the very nice tone that's come up. One is what we've talked about, which is the issue of --
BRAZILE: So you won't be so pessimistic --
PERRIELLO: Of $1 revenue from those at the higher end. And you can talk about rates or deductions, but there's a revenue question. The second where I feel like the two parties are actually going in different directions is whether we want a grand bargain or not.
And the president clearly wants a big deal. He wants a big deficit reduction deal. He's talked about $4 trillion. He's wanted that for a while. It's a legacy issue and he thinks the right thing to do for the economy.
Where Boehner is saying let's deal with this in 2013. He's actually trying to get this off the lame duck altogether, which is the way to ensure there's not a big deal. So in addition to the question about whether we are going to see a balance of revenues and spending cuts is whether we're going to get a big deficit deal which the president clearly wants and thinks is important.
What you're hearing from Boehner and McConnell I think right now in Washington speak is we don't want a deal and we don't want to go off the cliff and the only thing left is to punt. And I think that's a dangerous place as well.
Because this is the issue one of the few times Congress might be forced to actually do its job and get a budget passed for the American people. So when this question comes up about the bigger issue are we going to get a deal or not, what I'm hearing from Boehner is no and from the president yes. And that's a pretty big chasm.
DOUTHAT: But the president's leverage doesn't go away if you punt for six months. I mean, it's not clear to me -- I agree with you that's one way to read the Boehner/McConnell position.
PERRIELLO: You do the blue ribbon panel, try to make it binding, you try to have the super committee --
BRAZILE: Need to know because after all at the end of January most Americans will like to start filing for their refunds. That's why we have to do something.
And the other thing we failed to mention over and over about these so- called Bush tax cuts is that they have helped increase the deficit over the last 10 years. We simply cannot afford to continue to have the rates that we have now.
I think the president needs to go in there -- he has a strong hand. He got that hand from the voters and the Republicans need to come to the table willing to compromise.
NAVARRO: Six more months of uncertainty not in this fragile --
PERRIELLO: We need a deal now, a deal now.
DOUTHAT: I can wait six months.
BOLDUAN: OK, everybody hold on one second. Up next, our unsolicited advice panel will offer their unsolicited advice to some poor, poor unsuspecting targets.
BOLDUAN: We're back to offer our final bits of unsolicited advice for the week. And I will start with Donna.
BRAZILE: Well, my advice is to lawmakers regardless of partisanship. The notion of seeing voters in line two, three, four hours, in Florida I saw a woman today she was in line for five hours to cast her ballot.
That is immoral, that's wrong, it's shameful. Let people vote. We have four years to clean up the election process. Let people vote and for all you Americans who stayed in line, thank you.
BOLDUAN: It is pretty amazing. This is your state.
NAVARRO: And I can tell you I have had conversations with the governor, with the mayor of Miami-Dade, with the incoming speaker of the Florida legislature, I think they are all very aware of the problems.
Look, I don't think it was an attempt at voter suppression, but I think it looked and smelled like voter suppression. And in politics perception is reality. I think it was bureaucratic ineptitude.
BRAZILE: Look at the precincts. Majority of precincts the wait was three, four, five hours. Non-majority precincts it was 15, 20 minutes.
NAVARRO: Remember that in Miami-Dade minority precincts could very well be super Cuban, super --
PERRIELLO: This is one of the reasons it has to get solved. It's actually started to affect everybody. While I believe it was targeted towards minority communities and unpartisan terms and young people, the effect now is everybody. And people look at this and say why in 2012 do we still have to vote on one day in one particular way when people are working two jobs --
BOLDUAN: Technology so advanced how is it possible this is actually happening. Go ahead, Ross, your unsolicited advice.
DOUTHAT: Well, I mean, after something as serious as that, mine's a little lighter. It's for political junkies, you know, the viewers who made CNN the most-watched network on election night.
BOLDUAN: We thank you all.
DOUTHAT: Clicking on real clear politics, hitting refresh on my colleague's blog at the times. This weekend we have Veterans Day coming up, it's the end of the campaign season, you can take a break.
I know the fiscal cliff is looming, I know David Petraeus had an extramarital affair, there's plenty of stuff to follow. You can relax, unwind, you can talk to your wife and kids. You know, life can go on, but keep your television tuned to CNN.
BOLDUAN: Thank you. Had to make sure we said that.
DOUTHAT: Call the military families and thank them. Take some time.
BOLDUAN: Ana, what do you have?
NAVARRO: Well, talking about David Petraeus. My advice is to the folks who are in public service. Look, you can't continue suffering from Potomac fever. If you're going to be in public service, if you're going to be in a job where you have Secret Service the entire time, in a job where you have access to national security information, folks, zip it. Keep the gun in the holster. We cannot continue having these scandals.
BOLDUAN: I have a feeling that the congressman does not want to follow-up on that.
NAVARRO: Keep the candy in the wrapper.
BOLDUAN: OK, your analogies can stop. Go ahead, Congressman.
DOUTHAT: Get back to the issue --
NAVARRO: Not a single comment from the men around this table.
BOLDUAN: Or from me. I would like to move on as well, Congressman.
PERRIELLO: I think the fiscal cliff conversation is incredibly important to the American people. And I think the president would be well-served to take this conversation outside the beltway to the American people.
I think people will rise to the occasion of looking at the facts. This affects every tax rate, it affects spending across the board. It affects our deficit for a long period to come. I think the American people are much more reasonable than Congress is.
And that the quality of the deal in the conversation will be better if we're engaging main streets and not just Wall Street and K Street here in Washington to get a better deal. It's an important moment. Yes, people could take --
DOUTHAT: Take my advice they won't be paying any attention.
PERRIELLO: Take the weekend off and then come back and get serious about this. It is a very important national conversation. For those who did vote, for those who did go and organize, don't think Election Day ends that. This conversation continues into this lame duck session, very important national debate. I hope the president helps take it out there.
BOLDUAN: I promise you we will be covering it to the bitter end if we must. Wolf, a pretty mixed bag of unsolicited advice today.
BLITZER: As usual.
BOLDUAN: As usual.
BLITZER: Thank you. Thank you very, very much.
Members of an elite Navy SEAL team are now in serious hot water with the United States military over a video game and it could mean the end of their careers.
BLITZER: Seven U.S. Navy SEALs are now facing reprimands for allegedly revealing classified information to the makers of a video game. Let's bring in Brian Todd. He's been working the story for us. Brian, what do you know?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, the Navy is sending very strong signals right now that it's just about had it with this kind of thing.
An avalanche of publicity in the recent months for the Navy SEALS, a group that's supposed to be one of the most secretive units in the military.
A group of SEALs consulted for only about two days on the making of this video game, but it was short work that cost them their careers.
TODD (voice-over): You're in their eyes as they sprint through dangerous terrain, dodge explosions, gun down their enemies. The new video game "Medal Of Honor War Fighter" from Electronic Arts brags that it gives you experience of fighting with SEAL Team Six.
It's given seven real members of that team the experience of losing half their pay for two months and likely their careers. At least one of those SEALs was on the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden last year.
A Navy official says the seven all active duty have been reprimanded for giving up classified information to the makers of the game when they worked as paid consultants.
(on camera): What do you think they gave up?
JOHN MCGUIRE, FORMER NAVY SEAL: Well, you know, I wasn't part of the game -- making the game, but I heard they might have showed their equipment that they've used. For some people that might not seem like a big deal, but you put a little piece information here together with information there and you can get information to put people in harm's way.
TODD (voice-over): John McGuire is a former Navy SEAL who served 10 years. He says one big problem with what these SEALs did was that it was not authorized by their commanders. But the problems go beyond that.
(on camera): This episode adds more controversy over SEALs capitalizing on their reputation. John McGuire's got an outdoor fitness business based on his experience. He had to clear the name 14 years ago with the Navy.
There was a recent movie, "Act Of Valor," featuring real active duty Navy SEALs, that was cleared by the Pentagon. But there was also a book written by a former SEAL who was on the Bin Laden raid, the Pentagon complained about that for revealing secret information.
(voice-over): Plus, two controversial movies this fall detailing the covert Bin Laden raid. When news of those movies came out, one former SEAL said it was already too much publicity. HARRY HUMPHRIES, FORMER NAVY SEAL: It's gotten out of hand. There's entirely too much being discussed about a community that lives on the fact that it's a group of folks that thrive on a concept called silent pride.
TODD: The SEALs lives are secret. Their identities classified. Still, one former SEAL disputes the notion that the video game gave much away. He says raids of militants' compounds have not suggested they use video games for intel.
CHRIS HEBEN, FORMER NAVY SEAL: We found a lot of porn, no video games. So this is not going to be used as a tool to aid al Qaeda and the Taliban in their terrorist agendas.
TODD: But the Pentagon is apparently determined to send a message to all the SEALs. These seven were disciplined in front of most of the members of their team. Four others transferred to another unit and are still under investigation -- Wolf.
BLITZER: And what do I hear there's another movie, yet another movie about to be made or in the process of being made about Navy SEALs?
TODD: Just as all this blows up, yes, they're going to be dramatized in an upcoming film about the rescue of the captain of the Marist Alabama. You remember that containership the captain was kidnapped off the coast of Somalia in 2009.
So there's a movie out about that. The fact of the matter is, Wolf, the public loves these movies. They can't get enough of these stories. It's going to be a struggle in coming years between national security and the public's veracious appetite.
BLITZER: People want to know.
TODD: They do.
BLITZER: Thanks very much, Brian for that. Ahead, a side of the president that we hardly ever get to see. The president sheds tears in front of his campaign staff.
BLITZER: Here's a look at this hour's "Hot Shots." In Poland, U.S. airmen mark the opening of America's first permanent military mission in Poland.
In Bulgaria, orthodox believers light candles to pay respect to the late patriarch of Bulgaria's Orthodox Church. In Germany, Santa and his helpers answer letters from children in the Santa Claus post office.
In India, check it out, maple trees change colors as autumn comes to an end. "Hot Shots," pictures coming in from around the world. President Obama normally is very cool, relatively private. He's not prone to big displays of public emotion. All of which makes this coming video you're about to see so rare. It was taken Wednesday, the day after his re-election, when the president stopped by his Chicago campaign headquarters.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: I come here and I look at all of you what comes to mind is it's not that you guys actually remind me of myself. It's the fact that you are so much better than I was in so many ways. You're smarter, and you're better organized.
And you're more effective. And so I'm absolutely confident that all of you are going to do just amazing things in your lives. And what Bobby Kennedy calls the ripples of hope that come out when you throw a stone in the lake, that's going to be you.
I'm just looking around the room and I'm thinking where will you guys end up? In what states, capacities, private sector, not for profit, somebody who decides to go into public service, you're just going to do great things.
And that's why even before last night's results I felt that the work that I had done in running for office had come full circle because what you guys have done means that the work that I'm doing is important.
I'm really proud of that. I'm really proud of all of you. What you guys -- what you guys accomplished will go on in history and people will read about it and they'll marvel about it.
But the most important thing you need to know is that your journey's just beginning. You're just starting and whatever good we do over the next four years, will hail in comparison to what you guys end up accomplishing for years and years to come.
BLITZER: That was video released by the Obama campaign.