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STATE OF THE UNION WITH CANDY CROWLEY
Latest In Hannah Anderson Case; What's A Republican To Do?; No Date Night In Moscow; The Season Of Baseball's Discontent; Interview With Rep. James Clyburn; Interview with Reince Priebus; Conversation About Baseball with Ernie Banks, Ken Burns
Aired August 11, 2013 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN HOST: She is alive and apparently physically unharmed, Hannah Anderson, the San Diego 16-year-old, the object of a week-long frantic multistate search has been found. The man suspected of kidnapping her and killing her mother and brother has been shot dead in Idaho. We will have the latest.
CROWLEY (voice-over): Also today, hardball on the field and in the East Room, the Republican tight spot, cornered by constituents at town hall meetings.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In five sentences or less can we depend upon you to vote against any budget bill that includes funding for the implementation of ObamaCare?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please do.
CROWLEY (voice-over): Pressed by the president at his bully pulpit.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The idea that you would shut down the government unless you prevent 30 million people from getting health care is a bad idea.
CROWLEY (voice-over): Prelude to September's divide. Fund the health care bill they loathe or shut down the government? What's a Republican to do? Our Sunday exclusive with RNC chairman Reince Priebus.
OBAMA: Given the scale of this program I understand the concerns of those who would worry that it could be subject to abuse.
CROWLEY (voice-over): Can the president satisfy critics of a spy program gathering data on every phone call in America?
We'll ask one of those critics, a member of the Democratic leadership, South Carolina's James Clyburn.
OBAMA: It is probably appropriate for us to take a pause, reassess where it is that Russia's going, what our core interests are.
CROWLEY (voice-over): No date night in Moscow. Our political panel weighs in on this hot summer's cold shoulder.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's a disappointment to a lot of people, a lot of fans.
CROWLEY (voice-over): Batter up, players out, the season of baseball's discontent. Joining us, the legendary Mr. Cub, Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, and Emmy award-winning filmmaker, Ken Burns.
I'm Candy Crowley and this is STATE OF THE UNION.
CROWLEY: First and especially for those of you just waking up out West, we're going live to Idaho for new information about the dramatic rescue of a teenage girl after a week-long kidnapping ordeal and a manhunt.
Sixteen-year-old Hannah Anderson is safe. She spent the night in a hospital and appears to have no significant physical injuries.
James DiMaggio, the man suspected of kidnapping her as well as killing her mother and brother, is now dead. We know he was shot by an FBI tactical agent, but plenty of questions remain to be answered.
We want to go to CNN's Miguel Marquez in Cascade, Idaho.
Miguel, first tell us what you know about the couple of hours that led up to this unbelievable finish.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, unbelievable is right. We know that law enforcement had the bead on them from the (inaudible) of an airplane and watched them for some time as helicopter agents and helicopters moved in.
At two hours away, they landed way out so that Mr. DiMaggio wouldn't be the wiser, hiked in 2-2.5 hours up to the camp, surrounded it, waited until Hannah and Mr. DiMaggio had separated. And then they confronted DiMaggio and then, for whatever reason, dispatched him, Candy.
CROWLEY: And Hannah Anderson, her condition or what you know about it, is she well enough to be leaving the hospital soon?
MARQUEZ: Every indication we have is that physically she is fine. But the trauma of the last week is probably going to be with her for the rest of her life, certainly. We know that she is in Boise or in the Boise area and we expect that she will be going back home very soon.
We know her father is coming up here. We expect that to happen today. But he will probably be in the hands and the care and -- she will be in the hands and the care of the government for a while before they let them go and release them back to the public, Candy.
CROWLEY: Which may mean that they don't actually go back to the San Diego County area right now.
Do you know anything about where they go next?
MARQUEZ: Well, the really sad part about this is that she has two funerals to go to, the funeral of her mother and of her brother. Those will be -- I know the family is planning those out. Those will be in the days ahead, probably in Santee, California.
The grandparents were talking about a public funeral. That may change now that she is out. I know they wanted to wait until she was back in order to hold those funerals. So we're probably talking days ahead. She will have to deal with that. The story is ending for us, but it is just beginning for her, Candy.
CROWLEY: Right. And I mean a great -- sort of a great end for her father, obviously, and for her, but they still have loved ones to bury. So there is a real tragic story still but, nonetheless, an ending that a lot of people didn't think they would see. She is alive and well.
Thanks so much, Miguel.
This ordeal began on August 3rd, the day Hannah Anderson vanished after cheer leading practice in San Diego County. The next day the bodies of her mother and brother were discovered in the burned-out ruins of DiMaggio's home.
Authorities issued a multi-state Amber Alert. The first definite break in the case came Thursday. A horseback rider reported coming across a man and a teenaged girl Wednesday in the wilderness near Cascade, Idaho.
By Friday federal, state and local searchers were pouring into the area. It ended yesterday afternoon.
We're joined by the Ada County Sheriff's Office of Public Information. This is Officer Andrea Dearden (ph).
Thanks so much, Officer, for joining us.
What can you tell us now about the condition of Andrea (sic) and the next steps?
ANDREA DEARDEN, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER, ADA COUNTY SHERIFF: Hannah's condition, as Miguel told you, she is doing well physically. And we are looking at some reports she has victim specialists with her, victim services specialists with the FBI, they are with her. They have been with her nonstop.
She is our first priority, to make sure that she gets all of the care that she needs now, today and, of course, in the days, weeks and months ahead because she is our top priority. And we're very happy that she's safe. CROWLEY: Absolutely, as are we all.
How far were these two into the wilderness?
Is this a place that people sometimes go to, never go to?
Give us a sense of this kind of back country.
DEARDEN: It is exactly that, it is back country, it is wilderness area, set aside. It is protected to allow for that recreation in there. And so, yes, many people visit this area for that very reason, for hiking, back country camping, rafting.
They had camped in or hiked in about 6 to 8 back country miles into the wilderness area from the last point, from the point that their vehicle was found.
And so this is very rugged terrain. Not uncommon to find campers there; however, certainly it was odd to officers the way the camp was set up and where it was. Based on what that horseback rider had told us on Wednesday after seeing that Amber Alert, we had every reason to believe that that was who we were looking for and that Hannah was there on the ground.
CROWLEY: And what were the planes -- we're told that the planes were kind of watching them.
How -- were they circling? How high up -- what was it that they saw?
DEARDEN: They were able to just see from the air and see the people there, two people that appeared to match the description of DiMaggio and Hannah.
And so we had some challenges in this search, because of smoke from nearby fires that did make the visibility a challenge. And so officers had to move very quickly, but also they had to work very intelligently as they tried to fly at an elevation where they could still see the camp, but also not solo as to tip DiMaggio off to their presence there.
CROWLEY: Exactly. At least a happy ending in a really horrific story. Andrea Dearden, thank you so much for joining us with your perspective on things.
We will get next to in just a minute the story about DiMaggio's apparently close relationship with Hannah Anderson's family.
CROWLEY: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION with a special welcome to our viewers in the West. We're talking about the end of the week-long hunt for kidnapped teenager Hannah Anderson. She was found and rescued yesterday in the Idaho wilderness. An FBI agent shot and killed the alleged kidnapper, James DiMaggio. I'm joined by security specialist Chris Voss; he is a former FBI international kidnapping negotiator. And with us on the phone is CNN law enforcement analyst and former FBI assistant director, Tom Fuentes.
Tom, let me start with you.
Looking at the totality of what we are told happened, does anything stick out to you about this rescue and then the death of the kidnapper?
TOM FUENTES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think given all the circumstances, as bad as this is and has been for her and her family, it sure could have still ended worse. She could have it is appeared and not been ever found or in his clutches for months or years. So I think the fact that at least she's been rescued, that that's very, very good news.
And let me ask you, Chris, I think it did surprise a lot of us -- I don't know if the news business turns you cynical, I'm sure the business you all were in, happy endings, at least a partially happy ending in this case, are very rare.
What makes it -- is it what they always talk about, the relationship with the kidnapper?
CHRIS VOSS, SECURITY EXPERT: That had a lot to do with it, why he grabbed her in the first place. He clearly, in his own distorted way, prized her very highly, prized the relationship and was willing to go to whatever lengths he could to protect this warped and twisted relationship that he had with her.
And fortunately, that's what saved her, and he left enough of a trail that phenomenal cooperation among law enforcement brought all the elements together and we had this outcome.
CROWLEY: The family was close with this man. Certainly the father has said I didn't -- this is so out of the blue to me. And by the way, it was out of the blue to a lot of other people who knew the suspect.
Are there tell tale signs or can people just flip like that?
VOSS: Well, people like this are very good at endearing themselves to others. This -- whatever sort of psychopathic distortion that he had, he developed an ability to be very endearing, to be very nonthreatening, to develop a relationship so that everybody trusted him. He capitalized on it, exploited their trust and then he used it for deadly consequences, obviously.
CROWLEY: Tom, we know sort of very little about what went on in DiMaggio's mind, but is there such a thing as a common profile for kidnappers, especially those who may or may not have -- the father didn't seem to know it was there. But some people suggested, at any rate, that he may have had an attachment, an emotional attachment to this young woman. And obviously nobody in her family thought that was so.
So is there some kind of profile of somebody like this?
FUENTES: I don't know if it's a very common profile, but I think Chris is absolutely right that the fact is that he treasured her in his own mind, that she was so important to him, which is the reason why he took her and killed the rest of her family probably, and the reason why she's still alive.
So it's an unfortunate dichotomy that he apparently, in his mind, loved her and at the same time that helped keep her alive.
CROWLEY: Absolutely, yes.
So where now does this investigation go? Because if you're watching this as a news story, you're thinking kidnapper dead; the kidnappee is alive and reunited with her father; they have horrible days ahead burying their loved ones, but it seems over. But it's not.
VOSS: Well, it's not, and there's also law enforcement has really taken great strides in the last few years in terms of supporting victims and witnesses of these crimes after the crime has been committed. So law enforcement's job just doesn't end with the investigation of the crime.
There's a lot of resources that are going to be brought to bear to help try to bring this young lady and her family back to a normal life, because the entire family has been traumatized. And they're going to have to deal with post-traumatic stress. And law enforcement, all elements of law enforcement, are very good at supporting them and helping them get through this time.
CROWLEY: Right. I think that's probably a part of law enforcement we don't always think about.
FUENTES: That's a very involved program, Candy, the victim witness assistance program. It's administered through the FBI and they will provide counseling and all the other services necessary to the girl, her father and others that may have been traumatized by this.
CROWLEY: Is there a need on the part of investigators, be they the state or FBI -- and obviously the FBI is the lead on this -- is there a need to talk to her about what went on, in terms of what did he say, did you go here, what happened here?
What questions do they have for her, if any?
FUENTES: Well, I think they will be very cautious and gentle in that process of trying to find out what occurred during the time of their captivity, did someone else help him, did he act completely alone as far as she's aware. And I think it's going to be important to talk to her, but at this point, they're not going to add to her trauma any more than would normally be necessary in an investigation.
CROWLEY: Yes. Sounds like that can wait. Hey, Tom Fuentes, thank you very much.
Chris Voss, thanks for being with us.
VOSS: Been my pleasure. Thank you.
FUENTES: You're welcome.
CROWLEY: When we return, the president says he'll make the country's national surveillance program more transparent. We'll talk to a skeptic. Democratic Congressman Jim Clyburn is next.
CROWLEY: Back now to politics, and who better than our four CNN commentators, Republican strategist Kevin Madden, Democratic and CNN "CROSSFIRE" host Stephanie Cutter, radio talk show host Ben Ferguson and columnist Errol Lewis.
So rarely do we get a chance to have some happy news but I want to now bring you back to last Friday where the president had a news conference; he sought to ease Americans' doubts about the massive NSA surveillance program and outlined the series of reforms.
They include working with Congress to reform the way telephone data is collected, restructuring the secret court that approves the gathering of intelligence, declassification of some NSA activities and outside experts to review computer spy technology.
I want to welcome someone else from afar to join our roundtable. It's Congressman James Clyburn, the assistant Democratic leader in the House. Last month he joined forces with conservative Republicans in a failed effort to defund the surveillance program.
Congressman, first of all, thank you so much for being there. I wanted to ask you, first of all, if what the president said in any way made you feel easier or more comfortable about this program, in particular the phone data that is collected on every American?
REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D), ASSISTANT HOUSE LEADER: Well, first of all, thank you so much for having me, Candy.
Yes, but I felt that way before. As you know, the president spoke out on this issue long before Snowden, and I was very comfortable with the president's position on this.
It's just that every now and then you cast a vote in order to let your constituents know in order for your colleagues to know exactly how you feel about a situation and sometimes let the White House know that this is something that we cannot allow you to have just a blank check on. CROWLEY: So as far as you are concerned, can the president satisfy your concern and the concerns of your constituents in any other way, other than kind of reducing the scope of that phone data collecting program?
CLYBURN: Oh, yes, he can. Transparency is always very, very important. I think most American people want to be safe and secure in their homes and when they are carrying out their day-to-day activities, and so we want the president to do what is necessary to keep us safe.
He's got a tremendous record in that regard and I'm very proud of that record, but all things don't start and stop at the president's desk.
As you go down the line, as you know, we have a process in place that, for some reason, allow an Ed Snowden to exist and to get information. You want to be very, very careful in not just what the president's doing, but what all of the hired hands may be doing when they're carrying out their duties and responsibilities.
CLYBURN: And also to find out whether or not these are the right people to have in these positions.
So the president can do a lot of things to make sure that these contractors, for instance, are going through a process that would allow us to know what kind of people they're hiring and to weed out these bad actors, because that's what happened in this particular case.
CROWLEY: Let me bring in our panel now because the question now exists, the president says, well, we need more transparency about these programs and we need a little more oversight, maybe put in an advocate for civil rights into a process that can argue in front of the surveillance courts.
So, in some ways, has he made Edward Snowden more a whistle-blower than the traitor that we were told he was when this happened.
BEN FERGUSON, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: No, he has, and that's the biggest issue I have with the president this morning is he defended this program and went to bat for it, not very long ago on multiple occasions. Snowden comes out, Snowden gets now exactly what he wanted, which was to be a whistleblower, not be a traitor, even though he's in Russia right now and the issues he has --
CROWLEY: There still are charges against him.
FERGUSON: Well, there's charges but he's now being looked at as more of a whistle-blower. And I think the president, if he believes in the program, he should have not had Snowden have this much influence on the White House and public opinion.
If the president believes in the program, which I believe he did or still does, then he should have walked out and explained it to the American people and said this is what you need to know. I still think this is a good program. I don't think Snowden should have this much influence. And yet Snowden is the one doing it.
CROWLEY: Stephanie, there is also this conundrum, when they came out and they said Edward Snowden has endangered lives, he's endangered our sources. He's done all sorts of bad things, and then the president comes out and says we need to be more transparent.
So I'm caught between those two.
STEPHANIE CUTTER, CNN HOST: Right. Well, there's a big difference, Candy between dumping a bunch of security information out there on the Internet and working with Congress to make sure that everybody has the information they need to sign off on these things.
There's a big difference. And I think what the president said in his press conference was that he does believe in this program because it is protecting American lives. But we have to find a balance and that's exactly the same argument he made when he was a senator.
CROWLEY: About this program?
CROWLEY: Let me get you in here.
ERROL LOUIS, JOURNALIST: He's going to be stepping back, you know. I mean, that's clearly what he signaled in the press conference. He's becoming --
CROWLEY: Here, you guys fix this.
LOUIS: He's a constitutional scholar. He's comfortable that he's got the right balance between the secret court and the secret advocates who argue before the secret court with materials that none of us will ever see.
And he's saying, well, maybe we'll put somebody else in the room. And I'm already happy with this, but obviously some of you people in the public aren't. So let me throw you a crumb and see if that will work.
Now from what we just heard from Congressman Clyburn, that's not really going to succeed and I suspect we're going to see step after step after step until he gets in to some real balance which is going to be far beyond anything the White House wants.
CUTTER: Well, I think also the more than Congress -- there are plenty of people in Congress that have full information on this program and they said that and they've signed off on it, but I think as more and more are brought into some of the details here, they're going to understand that there's a tradeoff between transparency --
(CROSSTALK) CROWLEY: (Inaudible) did, in fact, allude to that, saying the American people want to be safe. It seems to me that the minute you bring up safety and terrorism, especially after the week we've had with all of these embassies closed, that there's really no way that any of these programs are going to substantially be changed because they're too far reaching.
KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think, look, that's one of the reasons. That's one of the interesting things about this issue is that there hasn't been this reflexive partisanship up on Capitol Hill, that the opposition or the support for it doesn't fall along the very traditional partisan lines that most issues actually -- that occurs with most issues in Washington, D.C.
And I think that the public is by and large supportive of these programs. So I think the president has to do two things. He has to actually genuinely work with Congress on this instead of just providing the rhetoric, and then I think he has to continue to make sustained arguments in support of the program. The big problem is -- and this goes to Ben's point, is that the only person -- the person who's doing the most talking about this program up until this point was Edward Snowden. And that's a problem.
Thank you to the panel and to Congressman Clyburn.
When we return, some Republicans are between a rock and a hard place with their constituents this summer break. We'll talk about that with Republican Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.
CROWLEY: Joining me is Reince Priebus. He is chairman of the Republican National Committee. I believe you're in Wisconsin this morning, so, thanks for getting up a bit early to talk to us, Reince. I'm assuming that you've heard a little bit of the conversation that preceded you while we got your satellite working.
So, talk to me about the influence you think the continuation and the implementation of Obamacare is going have on the 2014 elections. I don't know if you heard Congressman Clyburn say you're darn right Democrats are going to campaign on it because folks like it.
PRIEBUS: Well, I mean, I think it's pretty clear that when you have over 30 Democrats voting against the president on funding Obamacare that the real division in any party is on the Democratic side of the aisle, yet, you know, the news media wants to talk about, you know, The republicans debating a tactic as opposed to the fact that you've got the most vulnerable -- or, excuse me, the most vulnerable Democrats that are running for Senate and the House that are saying, hey, listen, we want to wipe our hands clean of this Obamacare bill that's a total train wreck and that's their words, not ours, although we would join in on that chorus, so I think it's pretty clear. PRIEBUS: I think it's the tactic that the president is using in delaying the employer's side is all part about -- all about getting some Democrats reelected in 2014 and it's -- I think it's very obvious that it isn't a law that people like. I'm in Racine, Wisconsin, and I live in Kenosha, Wisconsin, these are mostly middle-class families that see Obamacare as something that's very bad for their families and their futures.
CROWLEY: On the other hand, you do have the things that Congressman Clyburn talked about that Republicans say they are for which is no lifetime limits on health care, payback from insurance companies, keeping your adult children on your health care until they're 26 and no such thing as pre-existing conditions. If the Republicans position themselves as some senators have and certainly some congressmen have, that no matter what Obamacare has to be defunded, that is not implemented, does that not put you all in a place where you have to argue why are you against these good things because you saw the president and that's exactly what he'll do?
PRIEBUS: Right but Candy, you're picking out three things out of a bill that lists, you know, 5,000. I mean the fact is --
CROWLEY: They're kind of the most important things to a lot of people, you know.
PRIEBUS: No, they're not. But, you know, the Republicans had -- the Republicans had many of those provisions in their bill. I mean, when we ran in November we were talking about pre-existing conditions, kids that were 26 on their parents' plans. I mean this isn't like some Democratic exclusive or something. I mean the fact is what people don't want are government panels deciding whether something is medically necessary. They don't want a government panel deciding that their doctor instead of getting deciding, you know, a quarter for every dollar or service they're going to say, well now you're going to get a nickel. Well the guess what I'm not taking that patience (ph).
People know what Obamacare is. I mean it's European, socialist style- type health care and people don't want it. I mean the real story here is that the Democrats in the Senate and the House, the ones that are vulnerable and want to be reelected have turned their back on the president. That's the story not the tactics on the Republican side of the aisle. People don't want this. If this was such a great idea then all of these senators that were vulnerable in 2014 would have voted for it and they didn't. And so that should tell you everything you want to know. You know the cynical part of me says, keep it in place so that we can run even more on Obamacare in 2014. CROWLEY: Nonetheless, there are divides in the Democratic Party, you're right. There are divides in the Republican Party, as my father used to say, that's why God made horse races. So nothing wrong with that, but you are hearing some folks in the Republican Party saying I am not going to -- I would rather shut the government down than to continue to fund Obamacare. Politically speaking, how would the government shutdown play in 2014 for Republicans on the ballot?
PRIEBUS: I think all Republicans are unified on one thing and that is defunding, delaying, getting rid of, eliminating Obamacare. So we have total unanimity on that issue and the question is what are the tactics? And you know, even if you take the position of a Ted Cruz or Mike Lee, basically what they're saying is we actually are funding 100 percent of the government except for that small percentage of nondiscretionary -- excuse me, discretionary funding the Obamacare. So Mr. President, if you want to shut the government down because you don't - you want to continue to fund this monstrosity that you've already admit is half broken, then go ahead. I mean the fact that it's on the Republican Party I just think is spin from the Democratic Party that you ought not be adopting. I don't know why you're adopting that spin.
CROWLEY: Because there had been plenty of congressmen, Republicans and senators -- Republicans saying this will ruin the Republican Party if we are seeing this, forcing a shutdown of the government. I mean it hasn't really worked for you for Republicans in the past. So it isn't just Democrats daring Republicans to do it. It's other Republicans saying no, you guys, we always lose when we do this.
PRIEBUS: Well, I mean, it's not like it happens every year. I mean the fact of the matter is I think that the budgetary effects back in the mid-'90s were actually ultimately very positive for the Republicans. Look I am not advocating for one tactic or the other, but what I am advocating for is to set the record straight that the Republican Party is that party that is totally unified in defunding and delaying and getting rid of Obamacare. It's the Democrats that are fighting each other over the overall picture of whether or not we ought to keep Obamacare in place. The president himself has told the American people that Obamacare right now is half broken. So how do you take taxpayer money and then fund something that the president has admitted is half broken. Is that reasonable? We think it's not.
CROWLEY: Yes, I think that they would --as you know, they're describing that as a technical glitch. You're right. I mean this is about the messaging sort of going forward. I need to quickly turn you to the subject that has occupied so much of your week whether you intended to or not which is your feeling that if NBC runs a miniseries, a fictional, based on fact about Hillary Clinton or if CNN which has commissioned an outside documentary on Hillary Clinton runs that, that they will not be eligible for any debates that you all are going to sponsor. "The New York Times" is reporting that the NBC Clinton series might likely be produced by "FOX Television Studios," that's sort of a sister company to "FOX News." So if we follow your logic, do you think that there then is a connection to "FOX News" and would they be subject to the same kind of scrutiny? PRIEBUS: Well first of all, I mean, our party has to quit availing itself to bias moderators and companies that put on television, you know, in this particular case documentaries and miniseries about a particular candidate that we all know is gearing up to run for president and that's Hillary Clinton and so the big question for me, Candy, is number one, which company is putting it on the air. Who is doing the work? I'm not interested if they're using the same caterer or whether they drink diet Coke and I'm not boycotting Diane Lane.
PRIEBUS: I am going boycott the company that puts the -- I am going to boycott the company that puts the miniseries and the documentaries on the air for the American people to view. I'm not interested in whether they use the same sound studio or whether they use the same set. I don't know the truth of anything you're talking about, but I do know what's very clear is that the company that puts these things on the air to promote Hillary Clinton, including CNN, is the company that is not going to be involved in our debates. Period. Very simple.
CROWLEY: So the people that write and produce and put together the shows are not -
PRIEBUS: I'm not going to boycott Diane Lane. Listen, I'm not going boycott Diane Lane. It's not her fault she decided to take a script. I'm not going boycott the food trucks that service all of the same -
CROWLEY: The people producing - I don't want to put you...
CROWLEY: ... because I think it sounds like no is the answer.
PRIEBUS: Candy, some researcher -- some researcher at CNN or "NBC" worked for a few days to find some little connection somewhere down the road to -- to bring something into this debate. I think it's totally ridiculous and stupid. The fact is what channel am I going to tune in to, to see the documentary and the miniseries that is all about promoting Hillary Clinton and at this point it sounds like it's going to be CNN and NBC and the fact is that they're not going to be involved in our debates. Period.
CROWLEY: OK. Let's have lunch we'll talk. But in the meantime, thank you so much for joining us continue on from the beautiful state of Wisconsin. We will talk to you later.
PRIEBUS: Thank you.
CROWLEY: When we return, the trouble with baseball. Hall of famer Ernie Banks and award-winning filmmaker, Ken Burns, join us next.
CROWLEY: Joining me now hall of fame first baseman and short stop, Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks, making me the envy of my children by the way today. And on the phone, another great Emmy award winning film maker Ken Burns, whose nine part series "Baseball" tells the story of America's pastime. Gentlemen, I can't thank you enough for explaining this to me. What I can't figure out given the events of this week with the suspension of players for using performance-enhancing drugs. As we know, Alex Rodriguez is fighting his suspension, which is a good deal longer than the others.
CROWLEY: Is baseball sincere, Mr. Banks, about cleaning itself up or could they just not ignore this story that was being pursued by Florida newspapers?
BANKS: Well, they're very serious about this, according to Bud Selig, the commissioner, and the owners. They're really, really serious about this. They want to straighten the game up and make it the game it was many, many, many years ago.
CROWLEY: Ken, is that possible? I mean nobody is -- that doesn't play baseball has studied it quite as much as you have. I want to read you something that John Kass wrote in the "Chicago Tribune." He wrote recently A-Rod didn't kill baseball and turn it into a cousin of professional wrestling all by himself. He's had help over time, over years and years when baseball got sick and turned to drugs. Baseball knew it and baseball let it happen because the lords of baseball wanted to sell tickets. Do you agree with that?
BURNS: Not entirely. I think that's the Cassandra view. There was a time in the late '90s and maybe very early oughts (ph) when people were turning a blind eye, wink wink, to some of this stuff, but I believe Major League Baseball woke up. I think Bud has handled this exactly right. He didn't go too far. My heart tells me in the best interests of baseball to get rid of A-Rod altogether, but he understood that that would disrupt the partnership that has taken place over the last decade between the players and the owners that has been interested in settling this and cleaning up this game. Remember, it's not the trouble with baseball, this is still the third worst scandal in baseball. The second is the betting scandal. That never -- that's not happening anymore because the players make too much money. The first was the exclusion of African-Americans and the presence of Ernie Banks tells you that was also taken care of with the advent of Jackie Robinson.
So let's go back to now the most pressing thing. This is the good news is that they have rounded up some of the best players in the game and levied extraordinary fines and suspensions and the players are going along with this because they understand it's in the best interests of the game to have it cleaned up. Our big worry must be just that those chemists that know how to mask these chemicals and get them out of the body and are always one step ahead of the testers, but for the last decade, I can assure you that major league baseball, which was once the worst of the professional supports in policing its own drug policy is now the very, very best and I think MLB and Bud Selig as commissioner have handled it just right.
CROWLEY: This must have pained you.
BANKS: Yes, it has.
CROWLEY: Watching this unfold. But really it's been unfolding since '91 when the first bans were put in effect in the early '90s. Do you believe that the players now view this differently? It seemed during Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire chase of the home run record, everybody -- it was open talk that they were all on performance- enhancing drugs. That must have hurt you.
BANKS: It really did. It really hurt me. And these kids today, Candy, I'm like a father to them. I knew Alex Rodriguez many years ago when he first came here. He broke my record for home runs in Texas.
CROWLEY: Do you think that's fair? If he was using performance- enhancing drugs? Is it fair that he broke your record? Was that a fair fight?
BANKS: Well, my thing is we don't know. I don't know about the testing and all that. You know, he was accused of it, but I don't know what he was tested and proven that he was on anything. But I like him. He's like a son to me. Most all of these kids, I really, really liked him, enjoyed them. I know about their families, I know about their children.
CROWLEY: I want to ask you about the statistics. Ken, I'm going to ask you the same question after I get Mr. Banks to talk about it. Raymond Daniel Burke wrote in the "Baltimore Sun" today talking about the statistics over time your records versus those of Alex Rodriguez being an example. And he said statistical comparison serves as a generational bond, and the integrity of those statistics is the adhesive that gives meaning to the experiences shared across time that are the game's narratives. Is an asterisk by the name of a record breaker who has used performance-enhancing drugs enough? Because that wasn't an even competition across the decades, was it?
BANKS: No, it was not. But, you know, it's just that. They want to put an asterisk on Barry Bonds and Hank Aaron and all of that. But I don't know. I don't know how they could deal with that. But me personally, these kids, they play baseball, they love the game, they play hard. They want to play a long time.
CROWLEY: They cheated.
BANKS: Well, that's the word is that they cheated, but, you know, I haven't seen anything. I talked to Barry Bonds when he was going for the record. I've been to see him. Talked to him, visited with him, went to San Francisco. I've just been with him a lot. And I think a lot of him.
CROWLEY: Hard for you to believe?
BANKS: Yes, it is.
CROWLEY: Yes. Ken, last word to you. BURNS: Well, this is the central question. You know, this is the only game in which statistics really, truly matter, you know. Only the football nerds can tell you how many yards passing Tom Brady has. But we all know, the whole culture knows that the central landmark of those. But if you go back to 1919, it says that the Cincinnati Red Stockings won the World Series. There was no asterisk. We know from the Black Sox scandal that the Chicago White Sox, now called the Black Sox, threw that game to gamblers.
What the statistics tell you is that they're not the whole story. We have to tell stories about those statistics. And that's the joy of this game as well, and so we still have to sit our grandchildren on our knees and talk to that steroid era and the PED era and other things. But the good news out of all this, and I don't mean to sound so Pollyannaish, the good news is that despite the fact that it must be difficult for Ernie to watch a home run record fall when he knows that something fishy is going on, basically balls went out of the park a little bit more frequently in that case, but the great records, you know, the 56 consecutive games, the hitting .406 by Ted Williams in '41 and Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak also in '41, pitchers winning 25 or 30, 35 games, all of which could have been possible, didn't. So a .300 hitter means the same thing to my four daughters as it does to me, as it did to my great great grandfather who fought in the Civil War.
CROWLEY: That's that generational thing we were talking about.
BURNS: It's still there.
CROWLEY: Thank you so much Ken Burns, Ernie Banks, thank you.
BANKS: Thank you.
CROWLEY: You can go to our website at cnn.com/sotu for more with Ernie Banks, including how many baseballs he thinks he signed, and the award he'll be getting from President Obama. We'll be right back.
CROWLEY: Thanks for watching State of the Union. I'm Candy Crowley in Washington. Head to cnn.com/sotu for analysis and extras. If you missed any part of today's show, you can buy it on iTunes. Be sure to stay with CNN throughout the day for updates on the rescue of California teenager Hannah Anderson. "Fareed Zakaria: GPS" starts right now.