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THE SITUATION ROOM
Can Christie Lead GOP Back To White House?; What Is Syria's Al- Assad Really Asking For?; Shaking Up New York City; Locker Room Culture under Fire; Veterans Day Every Day; Toronto Mayor Cracks up Comedians
Aired November 6, 2013 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Jake, thanks very much. Happening now, after a landslide victory, Chris Christie sounds like he's already running for the White House. But the Tea Party favorite Marco Rubio tells us don't jump to conclusions about who can save the Republican Party.
New York has a new mayor, a new first family unlike the one that the city has known before, but what awaits the New Yorkers after the smackdown.
Plus stunning new video of bad behavior from a Miami Dolphins player and stunning new allegations about bullying. Were the coaches calling more than the plays on the field?
I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in "THE SITUATION ROOM."
A stunning victory in one state a painful defeat in other, that sums things up for a bitterly divided GOP. Republicans are already second- guessing the results of an off-year election that may have a huge impact on the next race for the White House.
New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, is often criticized by conservatives, but after his landslide re-election, is he the one to lead Republicans back to the Promised Land? He sounds today like he's up for the challenge. In fact, he sounds like he's campaigning already.
Our chief Congressional correspondent, Dana Bash, is standing by, but let's begin first with CNNs Erin McPike. She's got the latest on this day after the election.
ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, we know Chris Christie is not shy and it seems that he's raveling in this speculation, but a press conference today, he said I think every day that you do a job like this one makes you a better executive. He also said, you would think that would make me better prepared to be president.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) NEW JERSEY: I'm not here to put on a show, I'm here to win.
MCPIKE (voice-over): After stomping his opponent and sailing to re- election, everyone was asking, will he run in 2016?
CHRISTIE: Oh, please, it's such a burdened for you to be speculating me to be the leader of the free world. Stop. I'm so burdened. I mean, you know, that's a pretty huge ego to be complaining about that. It's complimentary. It's flattering and I have no problem with it. But, I'm going to be really clear about this. I have a job to do.
MCPIKE: He insists he's committed to finishing the job in New Jersey, but he's already laying down some markers in preparation for the rousing fight to come.
CHRISTIE: No one is ever left behind on the battlefield. And on the battlefield that Sandy turned this state into, New Jerseyans will never leave any New Jerseyan behind.
MCPIKE: Still, exit polls show that Christie trails in a presidential matchup against Hillary Clinton in 2016. What's more, rhe results of Christie's election don't make the path the path forward any clearer for the GOP.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know this has been a hard-fought race.
MCPIKE: In Virginia, Terry McAuliffe won a closer than expected race against Tea Party-backed Ken Cuccinelli who had been all but written (ph) off by the GOP establishment, leaving Republicans second-guessing their strategy.
LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR, UNIV. OF VIRGINIA CENTER FOR POLITICS: Had the Tea Party house caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives not shut down the government for 17 days, there would have been an additional several weeks' worth of focus on Obamacare. And look, it is not impossible that Cuccinelli could have won with a longer focus on this unpopular rollout.
MCPIKE: And McAuliffe acknowledged that a highly partisan election left voters divided.
TERRY MCAULIFFE, (D) VIRGINIA GOVERNOR-ELECT: The main message that came out of last night is they want folks working together in a bipartisan, mainstream pragmatic way.
MCPIKE (on-camera): And back to Christie, it looks like he's already planting a flag in New Hampshire with an announcement today that one of his political staffers is joining that state's Republican Party team. Wolf, it just keeps starting earlier and earlier every presidential election.
BLITZER: Well, if you like politics as we do, that's what we sort of look forward to. Thanks very much, Erin McPike.
So, Chris Christie criticized by some fellow Republicans as too moderate. He wins at a landslide, but a Tea Party favorite loses the governor's race in Virginia. So, here's the question, should conservative Republicans be worried? Dana Bash is here. She spoke with one of those major conservative Republicans. What did you see and what did you hear?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Marco Rubio, as you saw there, I talked to him outside the Supreme Court because he attended today's hearing about a case on religious freedom and legislators, one that he led senators in (INAUDIBLE). The classic conservative issue, tailor-made for someone like Rubio, a conservative thinking about running for president in 2016, trying to fickle to the GOP base that he's fighting for their causes.
Now, as for last night's election results, a big win for Chris Christie, a loss in Virginia. Rubio's take was don't read too much into it, any of it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ken Cuccinelli.
BASH (voice-over): Tea Party favorite, Marco Rubio, campaigned for like-minded Virginia gubernatorial candidate. Ken Cuccinelli, who lost.
(on-camera) Do you think that the results show that his brand of republican politics, your brand of Tea Party-backed Republican politics is now in trouble in big swing states like Virginia.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO, (R) FLORIDA: I think people trying to ascribe all kinds of conclusion in these races. I think it's one of the things that happened on these races. He was severely outspent.
BASH: Did the establishment let him down by not coming in?
RUBIO: Well, look, again, people make decisions about what races they want to be a part of or not. I certainly think that a lot of people now need to look back at that race and wonder would we not have won had he had a just few more resources.
BASH: New Jersey governor, Chris Christie's big win is getting him major 2016 buzz. But Rubio, a potential presidential competitor, told us, not so fast.
RUBIO: Well, it's important to remember every race is particular to the state that it's running. So, there are factors in New Jersey that I think are individual to that race, and clearly, he was able to speak to that and to the hopes and aspirations of people within New Jersey. And that's good. That's important. We want to win everywhere we can.
And Governor Christie is certainly showing a way of winning in New Jersey and states like New Jersey because of the work he's done there as governor as well. So, I congratulate him on that.
BASH: So, you're saying that his win in a blue state like New Jersey wouldn't translate to a more red state or even more of a swing state?
RUBIO: Well, every -- look, every election is different.
BASH: The Republican Party has taken some hits with the shutdown and other things and sort of the movement from which you came has also taken some hits. How do you square that? Do you think that maybe you all have made a couple of mistakes, tactically, strategically that has hurt the Republican --
RUBIO: Well, I think everyone has taken a big hit. I mean, ObamaCare is the biggest that anyone's taken around this town and that's a rolling series of heats that unfortunately it's not just going to hit the Democratic Party --
BASH: Let's just focus on the Republicans.
RUBIO: Well, I mean, the bottom line is that everyone around here is paying political price because people are grossed out by Washington.
BASH: If everybody is gross out by Washington, how can a senator run for president?
RUBIO: Well, I don't know of any senators who are running for president.
BASH: You don't?
RUBIO: I don't. I mean, those are decisions people make later. But I think, you can work in Washington without being a Washington. Luckily, I think I haven't been here long enough to believe that what goes on around here is normal.
BASH: But the Cuban-American senator dove into a polarizing Washington issue immigration reform. Earlier this year, he co- authored a bill that passed the Senate and he did it to try to appeal to Latino voters that the GOP lost big time in 2012, but polls show it really hurt Rubio with the Republican base.
And now, Wolf, Rubio says he's willing to give up the most controversial part of that bill, a path to citizenship, illegal immigrants, he said it's because we want to get a result. At the end of the day, making progress is what matters most.
BLITZER: Still a big issue obviously for him, but there are nuances here that are significant and could be life or death for this bill.
BASH: Absolutely. And right now it's on life support. In fact, he used the word stuck with regard to where it is in the House. And that's why he insists that he wants to be pragmatic in getting it done, but it's also -- I mean, let's be honest. He knows how much it hurt him politically with the Republican base, so he's also being pragmatic that way.
BLITZER: I'm glad you caught up with him today. Dana, thanks, very, very much.
Up next, a smack down at the polls and on stage. We're giving you a close look at New York City's new first family elect.
And one of the world's biggest pop stars maybe closer to rocketing into space and sending a song back to planet Earth.
BLITZER: Coming up, a plan to blast a pop superstar into outer space to perform. You're going to find out who and how. Stand by. We'll be right back.
BLITZER: Check out this amazing picture from here in Washington, D.C. It's sun setting over the nation's capital. Pretty amazing picture right there.
So, was the United States too quick to give Syria's regime a pat on the back for getting rid of its chemical arsenal? There are now new concerns Syria is playing a shell game with some of those weapons. And now also, amid a brutal civil war, the regime is actually asking the United Nations for armored vehicles. Our Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr, has been digging into the story for us. What are you learning, Barbara?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, this is going to surprise a lot of people. You know, the big question is how to get the chemical weapons out of Syria? Plan has always been put them on trucks, drive them to a port, sail them away. But now, Assad wants outside help with that, and he's got a shopping list. I want you to have a look at this. It's really quite something.
First, he says he wants heavy armored vehicles that can go on the road and carry these chemical weapons out of there. He also wants secure communications gear and agreement basically to use hundreds of his own troops to secure the roads and move all of this stuff. But look, Wolf, here's the real bottom line. U.S. officials are very concerned about this.
They tell us, look at that shopping list, all of that could be readily converted for use by his own regime forces against his people in the civil war. So, this is a big concern. What we've been talking about also, the intelligence that he is hiding away some of his chemical stockpile. What officials are telling us they didn't -- if they could get 85 percent of it out of there, that might be the best they can do.
But is that good enough? If he hides this away, is he going to use it again against his own people? Is he going to save it as a hedge for use against Israel? These are the major concerns now that the U.S. intelligence community is looking at. And what we have learned tonight, the British, the French, and the Israelis also looking at the same classified intelligence also very concerned now about what Assad may really be up to -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Barbara Staff on top of the story, thank you.
Here's a look at some of the other stories we're monitoring right now in the SITUATION ROOM. A huge day on Wall Street. The Dow rising to an all-time high as investors focus mostly on solid corporate earnings. The Dow gained 128 points to surpass its record high from last week. The S&P 500 ended just below its record high, but the NASDAQ dipped.
An American convicted and jailed in Cuba for the 1984 hijacking of a U.S. commercial plane is back in the United States today and in custody. CNN was on the flight from Cuba with the former Black Panther, William Potts, and captured this exclusive video just before he turned himself in. No word that a sentence he may face here would be reduced by time served in Cuba.
Pope Francis is making more waves in the Catholic Church, this time, asking bishops around the world to conduct the survey on issues facing modern families including same-sex marriage, birth control, and divorce. According to Catholic News Service, the survey is designed to help solicit information about pastoral practices and public attitudes.
Call it the end of an era. Movie rental giant, Blockbuster, announcing plans today to close all of its 300 remaining U.S. based retail stores and distribution centers by the beginning of next year. The parent company, Dish, says the move reflects the shift in consumer demand toward digital distribution. Blockbuster my mail which competes with Netflix will also end. The streaming service Blockbuster on demand remains intact.
And check this out, Lady Gaga may soon be performing from space. According to new report, magazine (ph) re-tweeted by Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic, the megastar is set to become the first artist to blast off in the company's ship and sing from outer space. The dramtic event is reportedly scheduled for 2015 months after the first commercial flight is expected to launch. Lady Gaga in space.
When we come back, they're New York City's new first family. They're not afraid to dance to the tune of their own. That's just ahead.
Plus, an American city voting to legalize marijuana. Is it only a matter of time before the rest of the country does the same thing. Jeffrey Toobin standing by. Stay with us. You're in the SITUATION ROOM.
BLITZER: Major change coming in New York City in the form of a brand new mayor and a first family unlike any of the city has seen before. The liberal Democrat, Bill de blasio, he won in a major landslide yesterday. Get this, he took 73 percent of the vote. CNN's Don Lemon is in New York. He's got more on the man, the family. They are really exciting, this city. What are folks saying in New York now?
DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, they love them. Listen, the family is a character. They're a group of characters. You've seen the show I'm sure, "Modern Family" with the family's made of a whole host of characters of unusual people. Not they're unusual, but there's a lot of diversity going on here. And, if family mattered in any event, any political campaign, any contest, it certainly mattered to Bill de Blasio.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: From our family to your family, I give you the next mayor of New York City!
LEMON (voice-over): Meet New York's next first family. An urban quartet from liberal Brooklyn who cracked 20 years of Republican rule with their modern family appeal.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And once again, the smack down.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
LEMON: He is Bill de Blasio, a 52-year-old former college activist and open supporter of Nicaraguan rebels and liberation theology.
BILL DE BLASIO, (D) NEW YORK MAYOR-ELECT: That inequality and that feeling of a few doing very well while so many slip further behind, that is the defining challenge of our times.
LEMON: He promised voters he'd combat income inequality and plan to raise taxes on the wealthy to fund public pre-K.
(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
LEMON: She is Chirlane McCray, another progresista. New York's next first lady declared she was a lesbian in this 1979 "Essense" article. She talked about her attraction to de Blasio on "Huffington Post" live.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn't really date very many men. No
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you tell him that when you started dating?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I did.
LEMON: Little she is daughter Kiara (ph) with her signature ring of hair flowers.
DE BLASIO: They are very stylish.
LEMON: Then there's Dante, the son who's outside Afro became a campaign --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he's the only one will end a stop and frisk era that unfairly targets people of color.
LEE MIRINGOFF, MARIST POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR: On the issue basis, it did things in terms of the demography of the city. It did things in terms of his family values. I mean, the ad touched so many themes at one time, though, is not much left any of the other counties could do at that point.
LEMON: It was enough to convince New Yorkers to replace a single wealthy 5'7" billionaire businessman with the 6'5" patriarch of a biracial where even a picture hugging his season on the front page of the "New York Times" shows that family matters.
LEMON (on-camera): Yes. It certainly does matter. And his wife is going to have a big part in this administration whether it's behind the scenes or in front of the scenes. Today, de Blasio talking about his wife. And he said, the most important voice in my life is my Chirlane McCray. The people who are standing here are standing here because she and I made that decision together and will continue that practice. And he did that while announcing his transition team. So, his wife, front and center.
BLITZER: Don, tell us a little bit about the smack down dance.
LEMON: Well, you saw the dance there and they did it last night after he won. They came out and his daughter came to the microphone said "and one more time" and then they said "hit it" and they do this whole dance where they put their hands up to their heads and then around and then over their face and then down to the floor where they're smacking everybody down.
And Wolf, he did smack everyone done. I mean, he -- what 64 percent. He had a 40 percentage point lead in the race that never went away to the very end. And like you, that family knows how to dance. I know you know how to do the Dougie. You did it you know -- a couple of years ago.
BLITZER: I got a lot of publicity for doing the Dougie as you well know. We're getting ready for the next B.E.T. Awards. The soul train (ph) -- are you going there this year, Don?
LEMON: I will try. Usually, I'm working on weekend evenings. But, you know, I need an invitation from someone like you, Wolf, because you're very high profile.
BLITZER: Maybe I can get you in this year. We'll talk.
LEMON: Work on that for me, Mr. Blitzer.
BLITZER: All right. Thanks. Don Lemon in New York.
Up next, his blunt tough talk helped get him re-elected as New Jersey governor, but how will it play on the national stage if Chris Christie runs for president?
And was his alleged bullying of a teammate ordered by Miami Dolphins coaches? We have new details about the suspended guard, Richie Incognito, and this profanity laced tie raid all caught on camera.
BLITZER: We have new video of an alleged NFL bullying episode flipping out and cursing up a storm inside a bar. We take a closer look at the suspended Miami Dolphins offensive lineman, Richie Incognito, in a locker room culture some say is now out of control. More news right after this. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BLITZER: They may not have cleaned up all the confetti yet from the re-election landslide, but Chris Christie sounds like he's already planning for 2016. Let's discuss what's going on. Joining us, our chief political analyst, Gloria Borger, along with our CNN political commentators, Kevin Madden and Ryan Lizza. Ryan Lizza from "The New Yorker" magazine, a Washington correspondent for "The New Yorker" magazine.
Let me play a clip from Chris Christie's speech, his acceptance speech last night that sort of was provocative to me and some others. It jumped out. I'll play the clip, and then we'll discuss.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: For those veterans out there tonight, you know, you know how sacred a mission is. Sacredness of the mission of a soldier is that no one ever is left behind. No one is ever left behind on the battlefield. And on the battlefield that Sandy turned this state into, New Jerseyans will never leave any New Jerseyan behind.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Kevin, you're the Republican. Was he eluding to Hillary Clinton, potential challenger for the presidency in 2016 because of Benghazi and Republican allegations that she left soldiers behind on the battlefield?
KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, look, he's only a couple of minutes into his re-election speech there, and we're already putting him on the couch and trying to find little dog whistles that are a part of his speech that are related to 2016. I really don't think that's the case.
I think he was talking about Sandy and he was talking about some of the leadership of some of first responders and how they helped the people of New Jersey. I know we're talking about '16, but it's probably a little too early to talk about in terms of trying to find all these little battles that he's going to start waging with Hillary Clinton right away.
BLITZER: Do you have any doubt that he's seriously thinking of running for the Republican presidential nomination?
RYAN LIZZA, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, "THE NEW YORKER": Yes, no doubt. He should be. You know how I interpreted that? Not to disagree with you, Wolf, but I thought he was talking about the Republicans in Congress who didn't vote for Sandy aid. I thought he was saying, hey, one of my big accomplishments was getting that aid to New Jersey. And hey, you House Republicans who are taking the party in the wrong direction, you guys didn't vote for that.
So, it just goes to show you he probably wasn't talking about either thing because --
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Wolf.
MADDEN: A little bit too much into it.
BORGER: Wolf - ok, Wolf, do I get to weigh in here? I actually think he was talking about himself for a change, which is I am not anybody who would abandon any constituent, anybody who was hurt in a hurricane, anybody who needs health care, anybody -- you know, the list goes on and on. And I think this is Chris Christie talking about what he can do for you and talking about his style of leadership, which I presume we're going to hear an awful lot more about.
BLITZER: If he was to run, Gloria, for the Republican nomination, does he have to really significantly change his temperament, his personality, if you will? Or is what he brought to the table good enough for a run for the White House?
BORGER: You know what? First of all, I think his personality is part of his appeal. He keeps saying I am what I am. And today he said, look, I know how to adjust. So, maybe he'll make some adjustments. He is a brash, blunt person.
But you know, very often when you vote for a president or you look for a president, you react to the one you had before. And Obama is no drama, kind of cool, intellectual. And I think Chris Christie is like I'm one of you, I'm not an elite, I'm not a phony. I will tell you the truth. Even if you don't like it, you will never have to guess what I think.
So, will he maybe have to tone it down sometimes? Sure. We're see how well he wears. But it is, as he's fond of saying, it is who he is. And it's part of his appeal.
BLITZER: It certainly is. And they like it in New Jersey. He had a crushing landslide.
LIZZA: Yes, I don't think -- the last thing he should do is have some kind of personality transplant. People like the guy. He probably doesn't have to snap at journalists when they ask tough questions, as he sometimes --
MADDEN: Some voters like that too, right?
LIZZA: Exactly. Beating up on us. But no, last thing in the world he should be doing is changing who he is. The question is, will that play in Peoria, as they say? That's the question, but he shouldn't change it.
BLITZER: But everybody thinks he's very authentic. He's the real guy.
MADDEN: And he's relatable. I mean, the reason he won in New Jersey was because he had -- was able to answer in the affirmative the question which many presidential campaigns come down to, which is does this person understand the problems of people like me and does he care? And that was something that was missing during the 2012 campaign.
I think it's also missing right now from Washington, which is trust and accountability. And if there is a 2016 campaign in the making for Chris Christie, that's where he will be able to draw his sharpest contrast with the last eight years of Obama. And I think that's going to be particularly something that's going to mobilize Republicans, base Republicans. But it's also going to mobilize that big middle electorate, which is key if you're going to win national elections.
BLITZER: Hold on a second. Go ahead, Gloria.
BORGER: The other curious and appealing thing about Chris Christie, that I think as a politician, he kind of lifts the veil on himself. And he says, look, you know, I had trouble losing weight. I'm a guy who was too big, my family thought I was going to die, I had the lap band surgery. And as he told Jake Tapper yesterday, I'm halfway to my goal. You know, OK --
MADDEN: Gloria, you guys in the media are good at lifting the veil too, though. That's something I think he's much more readily aware of nowadays.
BLITZER: So, he won in a crushing landslide in New Jersey. Ken Cuccinelli loses, closer than a lot of people thought but still loses to Terry McAuliffe in Virginia. Was it the Tea Party label that really hurt Cuccinelli?
LIZZA: The way I look at these two races, Terry McAuliffe won in Virginia despite being Terry McAuliffe. Chris Christie won in New Jersey because he's Chris Christie. In other words, Virginia's changing. The northern part of Virginia demographically is changing. It's much more Democratic. That's at the root of why McAuliffe was able to win. Cuccinelli, you know, he -- he was obviously too far to the right for the electorate. They had a chance to nominate a moderate, and for internal -
BLITZER: If there were a moderate Republican, not a Tea Party favorite, would a moderate Republican in Virginia -- if he would have run or she would have won against Terry McAuliffe, would there be a Republican about to be sworn in as the next governor?
MADDEN: You know, Wolf, I don't think it's about ideology. I don't think -- if a Republican ran very focused on the big issues, growing the economy, didn't care of the transportation problems, school, education -- if they ran on those issues that matter when people are choosing a chief executive, then they would have won. I think this essentially was a very unique contest. Ryan's right. It was very different from New Jersey. Essentially what you had is two candidates that were in a contest to see which one hit the bottom last.
BORGER: And can I just say that what you needed from Cuccinelli was a campaign. Candidates need campaigns to win. And I didn't see much of a campaign, much of a fighting back against the sort of social issue attack, the war on women attack. I didn't see an overarching strategy on the question of, okay, immigration, huge influx of Hispanic population in the state of Virginia; he was anti-immigration reform.
You know, at the end, he made up a deficit because of the problems with Obamacare. The shutdown hurt him. So I didn't see him fighting back in any way, shape, or form. And by the way, he was outspent 10 to 1 on television.
MADDEN: Yes, that outspending, that $15 million more. But you're right, Cuccinelli got beat in the race to define himself by Terry McAuliffe. And I think it's crucial that you have candidates that are going to win, they have to be able to define with voters exactly what they're for versus just what they're against.
BLITZER: Money talks in politics, as we all know. Guys, thanks very much. Gloria, Ryan and Kevin.
Just ahead, a ballot box trend raises the possibility of smoking marijuana legally and nationwide.
Plus, a tirade caught on camera. This video raising new questions about the suspended NFL player and the accused bully Richie Incognito.
BLITZER: Big-city mayor admits to smoking crack cocaine while he was drunk, and comedians can't get enough of that. CNN's Jeanne Moos is coming up.
BLITZER: Residents of Portland, Maine have now voted overwhelmingly to legalize recreational marijuana use, joining Washington State and Colorado where any adult can smoke pot legally. Let's get some analysis from our senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin. He's joining us today from Detroit.
Jeff, the federal government still considers marijuana use a crime, a federal crime, but effectively shuts its eyes to the states, those communities where it's legal. How unusual is that?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: This is a very unusual situation. But Wolf, you know on a day, at a time when we're always talking about government dysfunction, this is actually the government working way it's supposed to. Here we have two big states, important states, Colorado and Washington, functioning as laboratories. A lot of people in this country, now 60 percent according to some polls, think marijuana should be legal.
Well, these two states are going to see how it works. And a lot of people are going to be watching. And the federal government has basically said, look, as long as kids don't get involved, as long as organized crime doesn't get involved, we're going to let you do it and we'll see how it impose.
BLITZER: But in other states, 48 other states, the rest the country, for all practical purposes, that's a federal crime if you smoke pot.
TOOBIN: It is. But in practical sense, the federal government doesn't prosecute use of marijuana anywhere. It only prosecutes a sort of large-scale trafficking. And in these two states, Attorney General Holder has basically said we're going to let you do your experiment.
But there are a lot of unanswered questions about how this is actually going to work. One thing we learned yesterday is Colorado voters overwhelmingly approved a big tax on marijuana, which will allow the state to make some money off of this. But who will sell it? Where they will sell it? Where it will be produced? How it will be produced? All of those questions are still up in the air, and those states are trying to figure it out. And we're all going to watch to see how they're going to do.
BLITZER: And we have seen the public opinion attitudes shift dramatically in recent years, very quickly, in favor of legalizing marijuana. So, here's the question: is it, in your opinion, only a matter of time before pot use is legal nationwide?
TOOBIN: No, I don't think that's a foregone conclusion at all. The Congress of the United States is very reluctant to legalize drugs. That's not a politically popular position. Even today, even with the polls being the way they are. I think people are going to watch and see what happens in Washington and in Colorado.
And if the -- if these experiments prove to be a success, then you'll see action in Congress. But this is by no means inevitable, it's not going to be fast and I don't think the result is one we can know at this point.
BLITZER: Jeffrey Toobin, with his legal analysis. Thanks, Jeffrey, very much.
TOOBIN: You're welcome.
BLITZER: New information about the alleged bullying of Miami Dolphins rookie Jonathan Martin led by a teammate, Richie Incognito. ESPN now reporting that Martin briefly checked himself into a Florida hospital for treatment for emotional distress after he abruptly left the team last week.
Brian Todd is here in the SITUATION ROOM. He's got more on this story that's really rocking NFL football right now. Folks are interested in what's going on. And there's constantly updates and new information.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. We have another one right now, Wolf. The NFL has just announced that Ted Wells, one of the top trial attorneys in America, is going to head up an independent investigation into the conduct of Richie Incognito and any other member of the Dolphins who might have been involved in this. Dolphins coach Joe Philbin just said he can't comment on any of this until that probe is finished.
Meanwhile, we are getting images every day, more of them, showing what you could at least consider brash behavior on the part of Richie Incognito.
TODD (voice-over): Richie Incognito, unplugged. This TMZ video shows the Dolphins guard jumping around shirtless in a bar, dropping F bombs liberally. No comment from Incognito or the Dolphins on the video.
Incognito was more measured when approached by CNN affiliate WSVN about allegations that he bullied teammate Jonathan Martin.
RICHIE INCOGNITO, MIAMI DOLPHINS GUARD: No, no comment right now. We're just going to kind of weather the storm and that's it.
TODD: He may not weather the storm. Team sources told the "Miami Herald" the Dolphins will release Incognito and there may be other casualties. The "Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel" reports Dolphins' coaches asked Incognito to toughen up Martin after Martin missed a voluntary workout last year.
Dolphins coach Joe Philbin wouldn't comment on that saying only that he'll fix any problems uncovered in an NFL investigation.
JOE PHILBIN, MIAMI DOLPHINS HEAD COACH: The type of culture that I've championed since the day that I walked through these doors has been one of honesty, respect and accountability to one another.
TODD: Incognito has seemingly been involved in hazing rookies as shown in this clip from the HBO program "Hard Knocks."
INCOGNITO: Hey, have you checked your Facebook lately? Maybe you shouldn't use (EXPLETIVE DELETED) number for your iPad password, buds. 84-84? I was going to put something up there rude. But then I saw the picture of your girlfriend, I felt bad.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's my fiance.
INCOGNITO: Fiance, yes.
TODD: Players are now revealing more about NFL locker room culture. New York Giants safety Antrel Rolle spoke to WFAM Radio.
I think the other guys are just more to blame as Richie because he's allowed it to happen. And, you know, at this -- at this level, you're a man. You know, you're not a little boy.
TODD: Former Redskins running back Brian Mitchell says the Incognito case is extreme. (On camera): Is that part of the NFL locker room culture? Got to stand up for yourself?
BRIAN MITCHELL, FORMER REDSKINS RUNNING BACK: It is that part of culture. But not everybody is that way. You know, there are people that are that type of person. I'm that type of person. But you don't knock a guy who does it.
TODD: Mitchell said he doesn't believe what happened to Martin is widespread in the NFL. He says on most teams players and coaches would actually protect a player like Jonathan Martin, Wolf. That clearly didn't happen in Miami.
BLITZER: But it's clear that NFL locker room culture, at least in Miami.
BLITZER: Is way different than some normal workplace.
TODD: It really is. Former Dolphin linebacker Channing Crowder, he told Piers Morgan last night that in the locker room players often try to establish a pecking order. These guys are trying to, you know, put themselves in a certain place on the totem pole. Crowder said when Richie Incognito joined the Dolphins, he would be testing people to see where he stood with them, it's like this kind of odd dance that they do in the locker room. And it's much different from the normal workplace.
BLITZER: Much different.
All right, Brian. Thanks very much. This story, I suspect, is not going away anytime soon.
Just ahead, at the top of the hour, serious new concerns about a "60 Minutes" report on Benghazi. Now being called into question. We're going to have the details for you on that.
Also the Toronto mayor's stunning admission to using crack cocaine. When we come back, Jeanne Moos, she'll have her take on that.
BLITZER: Monday is Veterans Day, a day to recognize the men and the women who served our armed forces. Emmy Award-winning actor Gary Sinise is trying to honor veterans every day. Here's how he and his iconic character Lieutenant Dan are impacting our world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARY SINISE, ACTOR, "FORREST GUMP": I thought I would try out my sea legs.
TOM HANKS, ACTOR, "FORREST GUMP": But you ain't got no legs, Lieutenant Dan.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Long before Gary Sinise played Vietnam veteran Lieutenant Dan in "Forrest Gump" he was a passionate supporter of the military.
SINISE: I have a long history of working with veterans, starting with the relationships that I have in my own personal family. My dad served in the Navy. My two uncles were in World War II. My grandfather served in World War I.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: With the success of "Forrest Gump" wounded veterans began to identify with Sinise.
SINISE: How many veterans we got here today?
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: He formed the Lieutenant Dan Band, and has entertained troops around the world with the USO. The actor says his call to action became very clear after 9/11.
SINISE: When our men and women started deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan, they started getting hurt and killed, I mean, having Vietnam veterans in my family, I was very troubling to think that our men and women would be coming home to a nation that didn't appreciate them.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: So he started his own charity dedicated to veterans. The Gary Sinise Foundation helps build customized homes for the severely wounded and helps vets find civilian careers.
SINISE: I have met hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of wounded veterans who continue to not let their circumstance get them down. Countless Lieutenant Dans out there that inspire me every day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Here's a look at this hour's "Hot Shots." In England thousands celebrate bonfire night by parading through the streets. In New York a film set transforms the Lower East Side into a bygone era. And in Spain the royal changing of the guard.
"Hot Shots," pictures coming in from around the world.
Comedians are cracking lots of jokes about the mayor of Toronto in his stunning admission to having smoked crack cocaine.
Here is CNN's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When the mayor of a major city rampages around his yard.
MAYOR ROB FORD, TORONTO: Get off my property, please. Get off my property.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm leaving. MOOS: And confesses to this.
FORD: Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine.
MOOS: Well, that mayor's story is as addictive as crack to comedians who are themselves lighting up.
STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, "THE COLBERT REPORT": Have I ever smoked crack? Yes, but that was in the past.
MOOS: And dressing up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of driveway, partner.
MOOS: At his apologetic press conference, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford got only one laugh at the very end.
FORD: God bless the people of Toronto.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God bless you, too.
MOOS: But comedians don't even need to make an actual joke.
DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, "THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": The mayor of Toronto.
MOOS (on camera): We are hearing things you'd never expect to come out of the mouth of a mayor.
FORD: I shouldn't have gotten hammered. Have I tried it? Probably in one of my drunken stupors.
JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE": His excuse for smoking crack is he was drunk.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How to tell if your mayor is smoking crack. Blurred vision. Loss of balance. Denies smoking crack.
FORD: I did not use crack cocaine.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Admits to smoking crack.
FORD: Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine.
MOOS (voice-over): Even a dead comedian is getting into the act, as folks wonder what semi-lookalike Chris Farley would have done with Rob Ford.
WILLIE GEIST, CO-HOST, MSNBC'S "MORNING JOE": Can you imagine the SNL sketch?
MOOS (on camera): Mayor Ford is clearly addicted to repetitive word use.
FORD: I sincerely, sincerely, sincerely apologize. Never, ever, ever --
MOOS (voice-over): Mayor Ford is being afforded no mercy, his fall from grace punctuated with falls.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: He slipped off the scales.
MOOS: But not quite falling down drunk.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're a big guy, man.
CONAN O'BRIEN, HOST, "CONAN": The mayor was charged with being way too exciting for Canada.
MOOS: People are making fun of the vintage NFL logo tie he wore on the worst day of his career. The tie now has its own Twitter account where it says it's stretched pretty thin.
FORD: What don't you understand? Get off my property, partner.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Move it, partner.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mayor Ford, you're smoking crack right now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where are you getting this?
MOOS: Comedians are getting a contact high imitating life.
FORD: I said I can --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you on crack right?
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.