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Interview With Richard Clarke; Politics of Hate

Aired October 23, 2008 - 15:00   ET


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Coming at you now, Richard Clark, the man who warned al Qaeda would attack, but was ignored. He joins me to talk about al Qaeda being encouraged to hit us before the election.

Courtroom justice directed at a man who killed his own wife and children with a hammer.

A rare glimpse from inside Sarah Palin's motorcade.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMAKE: His company allegedly signed upeople up, reregistered them unbeknownst to them.

SANCHEZ: Was this man trying to switch people's party affiliation from Democrat to Republican? A YPM (ph) fraud investigatino. You asked, we got it.

I am talking to you while you talk to me on Twitter, Facebook and more. Your newscast, begins now.


SANCHEZ: And hello again, everybody. I'm Rick Sanchez.

I was the first to tell you yesterday and break down for you how a Web site that is very credible that has run bin Laden tapes in the past is actually encouraging al Qaeda to attack the United States again before the election.

With that news in the backdrop, let me now tell you about this. One of the most respected law enforcement officials in the United States, the police chief of Los Angeles, is now uttering a very similar warning.

Listen to the chief, Chief William Bratton's words. Here they are? I'm going to read them to you, "Bin Laden probably realizes it could become markedly more difficult to paint the United States as the great Satan with a new president who is admired internationally."

I wonder who he is talking about.

"The remaining days before the elections should be seen as a time of high threat and state and local police should be on high alert."

Let's turn things over to Mike Brooks. You hear that, what do you think? MIKE BROOKS, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: Absolutely. I think the main key word right now is vigilance. And I think Bill Bratton is right on target. You have got Los Angeles, a major city, New York City. Whenever you go up there to New York right now, Rick, they have always been on orange, if you will, since 9/11.


BROOKS: And most cities are not. But you see the emergency services, yes, the different teams moving around the city on a regular basis just in case they have to have a mobilization.

SANCHEZ: If it comes, people out there would like from a guy like you to know, in what form would that attack come?


BROOKS: Well, you know, you don't know.

Right now, we have over 100 joint terrorism task forces here in the United States that are -- that are on top of any kind of threats, any kind of intelligence that comes in. They run the leads down. Sometimes, we never even hear about them.

SANCHEZ: But there is a difference between an organization and a lone wolf.

BROOKS: Right, there is.

And let me just talk about al Qaeda. It's not Osama bin Laden. If you cut the head off of bin Laden, and kill him -- it is a mind- set. But what law enforcement worries about here in the United States, mostly, are people as I call them -- and you said lone wolves. These are people who are disenfranchised with the government, have their own agenda, are sitting at home, taking all this in about the election and they decide, I'm going to do something about it.

You look at lone wolves, Timothy McVeigh, he and Nichols, his partners, they were basically lone wolves. And that is what concerns law enforcement the most, the people that fly under the radar.

SANCHEZ: Well, let's talk about law enforcement, because I am about have as a guest Richard Clarke on in just a moment.

BROOKS: Right.

SANCHEZ: I just finished reading his book. And he says, we have spent so much in Afghanistan and Iraq that if we had used at least a portion of that money here in the United States, we would have a better, determined defense system to try and stop something like that.

Is our system, in the United States, the New York Police Department that you mentioned, the Los Angeles Police Department.

BROOKS: The D.C. Police Department, absolutely.

SANCHEZ: The D.C., Miami, are they prepared? Can they handle something like this?

BROOKS: I think they're prepared. I think they are a hell of a lot better prepared than they were when 9/11 came along.

You have more joint terrorism task forces, which takes local, state, and federal law enforcement and puts them all together to focus on their particular area when it comes to dealing with terrorism, antiterrorism and counterterrorism.

Before, you had some of these departments. Oklahoma City, would they ever think that they would have a terrorist attack?

SANCHEZ: Timothy McVeigh was a lone wolf.

BROOKS: Absolutely. Absolutely.

SANCHEZ: Eric Rudolph was a lone wolf.

BROOKS: Eric Rudolph here during the Olympics.


BROOKS: These are the lone wolves that fly under the radar.

Yes, here in the Olympics in 1996, they were ready for any kind of attack, SWAT teams, FBI. They were ready. But it was Timothy McVeigh by himself with a backpack that put it over right across the street here, and a bomb went off.

SANCHEZ: And that's what makes it so difficult to stop.

But, when we look at al Qaeda -- and I think this is what a lot of folks at home are wondering about. And I kind of try and speak through their voice on something like this. People think that al Qaeda is an organization that can call shots all over the world. Can they?


BROOKS: They can. There are some people who say, when they put out some of these videos, there are key words. They kind of try to break it down, and that is what the intelligence experts tried to do. Do they call the shots? Some people say yes. I don't know if they can or not. I think that Mr. Clarke will able to talk to that...


SANCHEZ: I'm going to bring him in. Hold on. I'm going to bring him in.

Richard Clarke, are you there?


SANCHEZ: I am doing well, sir. It's great to have you on the show.

And we were just having this conversation. I was just reading your book. Actually, I have got it on tape and I go jogging with it. And that part where you said that the United States had not had enough money or failed from a bureaucratic standpoint to actually pick up a system that would protect us more here at home, could you amplify that thought for us?

CLARKE: Well, right after 9/11, we sat down and listed once again the major vulnerabilities in the United States.

And they're things like subway systems. Terrorists have attacked the subways in London, Moscow, Paris, Tokyo, Mumbai, Madrid. We have not had a major terrorist attack in the United States on the subway system yet, but they are an obvious target.

Subway systems today are about as vulnerable as they were on 9/11. We haven't done very much to improve their security. There's a list of about 15 or 20 areas like that, chemical plants, refineries, ports where we know there were vulnerabilities and we really have not fixed them.

The Homeland Security Department has begun to do things in some of these areas, but it has really not brought anything to closure, with the exception, major exception, of the good job the TSA has done on passenger screening.

SANCHEZ: Interestingly enough, Mike Brooks is just writing on a piece of paper over here, and I am looking over my shoulder. Shopping centers?

BROOKS: With the holidays coming up, Rick -- and I think Richard will agree with me -- with the holidays coming up, you are looking at vulnerabilities. You're looking at shopping centers, which is one of the most highly populated centers during a holiday season, and you look at it as a vulnerability for either a terrorist -- explosion -- guns and explosives, the main tools of terrorism, or chemical/biological...


SANCHEZ: And protected oftentimes -- I hate to use this term, because it might get me in trouble, but it is a term that is thrown out there -- by rent-a-cops.


SANCHEZ: Richard, are we wrong?

CLARKE: No, I think you are not wrong, but the fundamental issue is not throwing up guards up everywhere.


CLARKE: The fundamental issue is getting inside the terrorist organizations, because by the time that they are pulling up to the shopping mall, it is too late.

You want to penetrate the organizations. And, so far, FBI has penetrated a lot of the organizations that turned out really not to be terrorist organizations, like the group in Miami, the group in Lodi, the group in Lackawanna. These were wannabes. They were not serious terrorist organizations.

And that leaves us with two options. Either the FBI can't find the real ones or there are not real ones in the United States. And that latter case may be true, because after all the team that came in to do 9/11 was brought in from outside.

So, one major question, are there teams in the United States, are there teams that have been brought in recently? At the moment, as far as I can tell, the FBI and other intelligence agencies don't have any credible information that would lead them to believe that an attack might take place.

Why are we asking this, though? Because, in 2004, bin Laden did try to influence the U.S. election. Whether or not he succeeded, who knows. But he issued a videotape on Halloween, a few days before the election, that implied that he supported Senator Kerry. He knew that if he seemed to be supporting Senator Kerry, that would help President Bush. And it did.

So, we know he likes to try to influence elections. We could look forward perhaps to another videotape like that or an attack. Now, an attack is a heck of a lot harder for them to stage than the easy job of putting out a videotape.

SANCHEZ: That's interesting that you would say that. Let's close on that.

You have one thing you wanted to say before we went to break. I saw you over there and you were kind of -- well, will leave it and we will pick it up...


SANCHEZ: All right.

BROOKS: We're good.

SANCHEZ: And here's the point. And this is what we're going to be picking up in just a moment with Richard Clarke.

"If al Qaeda carries out a big operation against American interests" -- what I am reading you now is the quote from the Web site -- it goes on to say, "this act will be in support of McCain."

There is more to that. We will be right back. We will throw it at Richard Clarke. We will get his reaction, something all Americans should be thinking about these days.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) SANCHEZ: We are joined by Richard Clarke, a former terrorism czar. He has written several books, "Your Government Failed" you among them.

We are also joined by Mike Brooks, our own security analyst here. And Kelli Arena is joining us as well. She is our correspondent at Justice.

Kelli, let's start this with you real quick. I understand that there has been some investigation or some discussion of what is going on in Justice, certainly after hearing this comment from the L.A. police chief, Bratton.

How would they respond to this, or what are you hearing?

KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, I will tell you, Rick, I have been talking to federal law enforcement officials around the country for several days now, and here is what they are telling me.

Number one, at several field offices, FBI field offices around the country, agents are out there basically scrubbing sources. They are going out and reconnecting, making sure that they are up on any intelligence, any information that is out there on the streets about something that could be up.

They are checking in with people who own places like chemical suppliers and such to make sure that everybody is aware of trip wires that are in existence, to say, well, if there is a certain amount of chemical bought or, you know, to let us know. We need to know if there is anything suspicious going on.

So, that is already going on around the country, but I think it is very important to repeat something that Richard said earlier , which is that every single official I have spoken to has said that there has not been any credible or actionable intelligence that has come in suggesting that al Qaeda is planning any sort of an attack.

As a matter of fact, Rick, most of the people that I spoke to have said that they are more concerned that 50 percent of this country is going to be pissed off either way come Election Day, OK, because it is a tight race as it is. And even though we are seeing some poll numbers, basically, you are looking at 50 percent of the nation that is not going to get the guy they want in the White House.


ARENA: And they're worried about the level of anger, the level of frustration that exists in this country that may prompt someone who usually would not act out to act out.

And that gets back to the conversation you were having earlier with Mike Brooks about a lone wolf.

SANCHEZ: Yes. ARENA: So, just to give you a read on what, you know, those federal law enforcement guys have been telling me, you know, that is it.

SANCHEZ: It is interesting. It is almost the damage we can do to ourselves is greater than the damage that can be done to us.

Richard Clarke, let me throw to you now this comment from this organization. It is a Web site that is credible only in name, because they have run some of the tapes from Osama bin Laden in the past. And this is what they say. I think we can put it up on screen, by the way.

"This act will be in support of McCain, because it will push the Americans deliberately to vote for McCain, so that he takes revenge for them against al Qaeda. Al Qaeda then will succeed in exhausting America until its last year in it."

What are they saying and why the reference to McCain? Your take, sir?

CLARKE: Well, Rick, I think, at the highest level, we ought to say that, as Americans, we don't give a damn who bin Laden wants or al Qaeda wants. We're going to make our own decision who we are going to vote for independent of them.

Now, analytically, if you ask me, who might they benefit from, they are clearly not going to benefit if Obama gets elected. If Barack Obama gets elected, we have already seen his popularity around the world. He is going to get a honeymoon period, and America is going to go from having very low levels of support in many countries around the world to having a lot of popularity if Barack Obama is elected.

And then he will have to deliver. But he will have a honeymoon period. And that's not something that bin Laden wants to see or al Qaeda wants to see.

But, fundamentally, Rick, we should not get caught up in this to the extent that any of us decide that we're going to change our vote because of what the damn terrorists think. We have to decide who is the best president for us, who can deal with a whole range of problems best for us.

And if something does happen, God forbid, in the next few days, if it is an attempt by bin Laden and al Qaeda to influence us, we should tell them to go to hell.

SANCHEZ: You warned the Bush administration about al Qaeda, and your warnings were ignored.

It seemed that you were probably as competent a government official when it came to counterintelligence on the subject of terrorism as anyone. So, I asked viewers today what question they would ask you. And the most prominent question out there, the one that was asked by most people, is this one. Let's go ahead and go to the Twitter board. The question to Richard Clarke, "Would he be willing to serve in the next administration?"

Don't mean to put you on the spot here, sir, but would you?

CLARKE: I am supporting Senator Obama. I think he would be the best president from a national security perspective.

I have had the opportunity to brief him many times, and I am very impressed by his understanding and knowledge of these issues and the people he has surrounded himself with. I am sure he will appoint a very good crew of people.

The Republican Party has kind of run through its people. I am not sure it has a good crew to bring in right now. I have served 30 years in the federal government. And for whatever sin I committed that caused me to do 30 years of hard labor, I think that is probably enough.


SANCHEZ: Richard Clarke, our guest, our thanks to you for taking the time to talk to us. And good luck with your newest book.

CLARKE: Thank you, Rick.

SANCHEZ: Appreciate it.

Mike Brooks, the issue of shopping centers is one that you and I have talked about. And I think we're going to be doing more stories on this, obviously, as we get nearer. Why do you believe that that is a particular vulnerability at this time?

BROOKS: Well, if you look -- listen, let's take the Mall of America in Minnesota.




BROOKS: ... Minnesota. You have got an amusement park. You have got kids. You have got retailers.

And you bring all these people together, it is a perfect, a beautiful target. But I can tell you, I did some work with the International Council of Shopping Centers and the George Washington Homeland Security Policy Institute. Most of the security guards around the country have been given a course on chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, chemical awareness and recognizing terrorist psychology that kind of thing. So, they are better prepared today than they were 9/11.

SANCHEZ: Kelli Arena mentioned something just a little while ago that we're going to be picking up on in just a little bit. And what she says is that folks in Washington are as worried about the harm that we can do to ourselves.

Why is there so much apparent hate in the United States right now over this election and what will it lead to? We are going to be joined by an expert on this in just a little bit. He is a social psychologist that deals with political psychology, what it is doing to us and more.

Stay with us. We will be right back.


SANCHEZ: And we welcome you back.

I want you to take a good look at this tape. Go ahead and put that up. This is a tape that shows a man, a man who has now been -- OK. Different video.

This is a story of a guy who is in court when, all of the sudden, he sees somebody else who he decides that he's going to go after. Why? Because that man had used a hammer to kill both his wife and his two small children.

That story and a whole lot more. Stay with us. We will be right back.


SANCHEZ: And we are right now receiving a ton of responses from you regarding the discussion we just had with Richard Clarke moments ago. We are going to be sharing some of those, so stay with us.

We want to pick up on another subject now that Kelli Arena had brought up just moments ago. Look at this. This is North Carolina. It's a protest in front of a polling place. We first to bring you this video just a couple of days ago. And it shows just how heated this election is and the passions that it is bringing out in so many people.

Joining us now is Dr. Erik Fisher. He is a psychologist, which, interestingly enough, allows you to work on the psychology of politics.

Why are people behaving in this particular manner in this particular election at this particular time?

ERIK FISHER, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, I think, Rick, there's a lot of fear that is going on in our culture in terms of, we live in a culture that is more control-oriented or hierarchically-oriented.

And what that means is that people are looking for power and wanting to grasp on to power. So, if you have the power, you want to keep it and if you want the power, you want to have it.

SANCHEZ: Who are you talking about? Who is afraid to lose the power in this case?

FISHER: Well, I think at this time, the Republicans that have been in power for a long time, they are looking at the -- the power is shifting and things are changing back, so when they see that there is a candidate here that is potentially going to take their position of power and running the way the United States is run governmentally, that's a threat.


SANCHEZ: But wait a minute. That happens all the time. There's always elections. And we always have situations. What makes this particular election different than elections past?

FISHER: Well, there's obviously an added component of race that is involved here. And Obama being an African-American and having these ties that people are trying to make to his Muslim ties and things like that in an environment of terrorism that it is based on this Muslim religion...

SANCHEZ: You know what this reminds me of? This feeling that we're seeing all over the country -- and I think most viewers -- most folks who are sending us tweets would agree -- it is almost akin to what we experienced in this country during the O.J. Simpson trial.

FISHER: It is an idea of picking sides.

People will pick sides and we have to hold on to our sides, because in the culture that -- again, in hierarchical culture, I talk about four dichotomies, good and bad, right and wrong, strong and weak, and win and lose.

We all want to look as good and strong and right as possible, so that we can win. So, the people that we attach our beliefs to and our attitudes and our hearts to, we have to see them as good and strong and right.

SANCHEZ: That's interesting. So, we're -- we internalize the politics of the moment.


SANCHEZ: Here is one that came in just a while ago.

He says: "All I hear" -- and this is on the Twitter board, guys. Sorry about that, Johnny B. Goode. I should have told you that.

"All I hear about this election is race and hate. I thought we were better than that. Maybe this is not the land of opportunity."

We get so many tweets and so many e-mails and so many comments on Facebook and MySpace all day long from people who sounds like they are just amazed that they're seeing these images that we are showing them on TV. Is everybody a good guy? Who are all the people who are not acting so nice then? FISHER: Right. Well, people justify their behaviors. We don't want to see ourselves as bad or wrong. And when we look at emotions, we have to look at, how does our culture look at those emotions?

When people fight a war, the issue of war is that, if I am the strongest, then I win. And, if I win, then I get to define what is good and what is right. A political contest is...

SANCHEZ: It's kind of like a war.

FISHER: It is. And we're trying to define what is good and what is bad.

SANCHEZ: Are we going to be OK when this is done? You usually, historically, do you go through periods like as a nation, and then you come out of it and everything gets back to normal?

FISHER: It is. This is kind of normal. It's just people keep their beliefs often to themselves.


SANCHEZ: Because some people are saying this is leading to something bigger that what we're even seeing now, that they're worried that there is going to be a real antithesis in this country.

FISHER: Change, change is often is a good thing. It's how we move through that change and how we adapt to that change.

SANCHEZ: But sometimes it hurts.

FISHER: It often hurts. It often hurts.

SANCHEZ: Good stuff, Doctor. Interesting perspective on this. We appreciate you being with us.


SANCHEZ: The view from Sarah Palin's motorcade, take a look at this. It is amazing, but that is actually what you are seeing when suddenly these protesters take to the road.

We will have that for you, and then -- back to me, Roger -- we're going to talk about YPM. Why? Because so many of you have asked us to check in the YPM scandal. This is 50,000 people that were signed up by a gentleman who is now under arrest.

His story, all those stories when we come back. Stay with us. I'm Rick Sanchez.


SANCHEZ: Boy, we have been getting so many responses to all the stories that we are doing today. There is a lot of you out there I think watching this newscast. Johnny B. Goode, let's go to the Twitter board. Let's go through some of these, if we possibly can, before we move on to anything else. Let's go to the first one.

This comes from Lee. He says: "As a layman, I think that this entire campaign process was too long. People are tired of it and have become irritable."

That is a heck of a point that he makes, isn't it?

All right, let's go the next one now, if we can. And this one says: "Well, except O.J. Simpson is a low-life murderer."

Interesting perspective on that, that man's opinion, being critical of the comment that I had made. We thank you for that.

LVR says: "This stopped being the land of opportunity when our president said that the Constitution is just a piece of paper. Bravo, Bush."

And, finally, "We were almost," Freaky Fran says -- Freaky Fran -- "We were almost over our hatred toward each other and then along came the hatred toward the Muslims."

Four different perspectives from four different points of view that we share with you as we have this newscast coming in from Twitter.

I understand that we have got a couple more that we're going to share with you that have been coming in on MySpace and Facebook. In fact, there is a bevy of them. But we have chosen a couple that we're going to be sharing with you in just a minute. Just hold on, Johnny.

Meanwhile, let's go over to this story. Talk about people getting mad at each other. This is a scene in a courtroom. Let me set it up for you before -- well, let's go ahead to run it, then.

Let me tell you what happened now on the back end. That man who is being taken away right there is a relative of the woman who was killed by the man that he just attacked. Did you follow that? There is a man in court.

In fact, we're going to show this to you again. There is a man in court. There he is right there. He comes to court. He has been prosecuted already for killing his wife and two little children, who were only 2 years old, his own twins, killed them with a hammer.

So, a relative comes to court and decides that he's going to go after him. Let's see it again. It happened just yesterday in Atlanta. Mike Brooks joining us once again.

You know, you look at this. I guess I am not supposed to say this, but I'm going to say it anyway. I can't blame him.

BROOKS: You know, Rick, after hearing about this, it was -- he used the claw part of the hammer to kill his wife, the two little children and...

SANCHEZ: And they were twins.

BROOKS: And they were twins. And one child was laying on the back, face up, eyes still open when there were found by -- it's just an unbelievable -- this is a death penalty case.


BROOKS: And did you see the look in his eyes?

When they that showed up close last night on the local news, I'm looking and I'm going you look -- look at that fire in that man's eyes.

SANCHEZ: How could you not have fire?

BROOKS: Oh, absolutely.

SANCHEZ: I mean, you know, I mean I'm sorry. If someone (INAUDIBLE) one of my children, you know, there but by the grace of God go I.

BROOKS: I know. I know.

SANCHEZ: But, seriously...

BROOKS: There should have been better security.

SANCHEZ: We're normal people and we have these reactions.

BROOKS: Right. Right.

SANCHEZ: But now looking at it as professionals...


SANCHEZ: ...when in courtrooms, should -- because we see a lot of these -- should we start looking at ways where we could somehow segregate the defendant from the public?

I mean he -- it looks -- he's walking right in.

BROOKS: Right.

SANCHEZ: The people in the family are two feet away. Didn't they expect this was going to happen?

BROOKS: Well, this was -- this was an unusual case. This was a death penalty case. So what I'm seeing, I think the sheriff's office should have additional deputies in that courtroom just to prevent something like this, because it was -- the judge was talking when all of this happened about that it was almost into the death penalty phase...

SANCHEZ: Right. BROOKS: ...and sentencing phase. So they should have had some additional deputies as a buffer between the people in the crowd and...


BROOKS: ...and the, you know, the defendant. They should have had that.

SANCHEZ: Should have, would have, could have.

BROOKS: And after that, they brought some additional people in.

SANCHEZ: I want to show you another one. Last week, we showed a report of some protesters who tried to stop the motorcade of Sarah Palin. We showed you the outer view. Now we've got a view from the actual motorcade itself. Here it is.

All right, I'm going to take you through it. There's the motorcade. It's coming up on the protesters. Now watch that cop on the left. Throws his motorcycle to the ground and starts pushing them across, until he finally wrestles them to the ground. My question to you, Mike Brooks...


SANCHEZ: ...are there different rules when you're guarding a motorcade? Because he -- I mean he's obviously -- he knows what his mission is. He's going to get these people out of the way.

BROOKS: Absolutely.

SANCHEZ: Why is he so -- why is he so brusque about it?

BROOKS: Because that motorcade does not want to stop, period. With that principle in there, you have the vice presidential candidate, who is under the protection of the United States Secret Service. The Secret Service never wants to stop her motorcade in the middle of a road for any kind of protest. I can tell you, because...

SANCHEZ: So that guy on the motorcycle has been briefed by Secret Service? That's why he's on that detail?

BROOKS: He has been briefed. That motorcade is not going to stop. They will not -- they don't want to stop that motorcade. Plus, Rick, you never know -- these protesters, one of them having an incendiary device, a Molotov cocktail...


BROOKS: ...or even a bomb. You know, they're there to protect that principal at all costs. You know, I've got to say, sometimes I've seen protesters become hood ornaments, if you will, during incidents like this.

SANCHEZ: Really?

BROOKS: But...

SANCHEZ: They tell them to keep driving?

BROOKS: This officer -- well, you know, you try to go through -- you don't want to hurt -- you want to make sure no one gets hurt, but you want to make sure that that principal is protected, also, whether it be the president, the vice president, you know, whether it be Obama, Palin, McCain...


BROOKS: ...Biden, you want to make sure that motorcade doesn't stop. And they've been briefed by the Secret Service. The Secret Service does an excellent good job and they've got a really tough job during this campaign.

SANCHEZ: That makes us understand that a little bit better.

I'm glad we have you. Thanks you so much, Mike Brooks, for that.

BROOKS: Thank you, Rick.

SANCHEZ: By the way, we've been talking so much about John McCain and Barack Obama and how tight the race is. But what about all the other races that are going on in this country? What about the Senate races that could be changed dramatically? We've got ads that we're going to be showing you from a couple of those to show you just how heated those have become, as well.

Stay with us. We'll be right back.


SANCHEZ: Welcome back. Some people are saying that there are Obama coattails that are stretching around different parts of the country, including some of the Senatorial and Congressional races taking place, maybe the one in Minnesota between Coleman and Franken.

This, Evan Tracey, as you join us now to talk about this, our campaign media analyst, is an ad put out by Norm Coleman.

Let's take a listen.

Watch it and then we'll get your reaction on the back side.


EVAN TRACEY, CAMPAIGN MEDIA ANALYSIS GROUP: They say negative ads work. Maybe they do, but I've taken mine off the air. People are scared -- jobs, homes, savings all at risk. But we can get through this with hope instead of anger, working together instead of tearing each other apart. That's how we changed St. Paul, rebuilt the bridge, kept the Ford plant open. And we can do it again.

I'm Norm Coleman. I can't control every ad out there, but I'm proud to approve this one. (END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: One thing that just, you know, strikes out at me, and that's the fact that I'm from Minnesota. That is nowhere near a Minnesota accent.

What's your take on it?

TRACEY: Well, you know, Rick, there's -- in addition to the presidential race, there's a lot of fascinating races around the country. And this one in Minnesota is no exception.

You know, Senator Coleman is really sort of going out on a limb here by kind of drawing down his own fire at Al Franken and really trying to go all positive. It will be interesting to see if this tactic works.

SANCHEZ: Let's talk about Al Franken. As a matter of fact, he's got his own ad that we're going to look at right now. Here it is.


AL FRANKEN (D), MINNESOTA SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: It's such a tough time. People's life savings are literally slipping away. We have got to change the disastrous policies of the Bush administration. I don't have all the answers, but here's where we start. Let's stop the billions of dollars in giveaways to big oil and drug companies, bring real oversight to Wall Street, work to make college affordable and fix the economy to help the middle class.

I'm Al Franken. I approve this message because it's time to get to work.


SANCHEZ: Minnesotans are very genuine. They're not a B.S. (ph) crowd. It seems like these guys are trying to reach that -- that part of Minnesotans, isn't it?

TRACEY: Yes, it is. And, you know, Al Franken is really trying to sit down and look as if he can do the job. I think he's really trying hard here to separate himself from the "Saturday Night Live" character that we became so familiar with. And, you know, he spent about $6 million in this race on campaign ads. So, again, we'll see how effective these are on election day.

SANCHEZ: Yes, it's surprising, but that's a tight race.

Let's go to Elizabeth Dole now. And it appears now that she's being challenged -- or at least pushed a little bit, as well.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why is Elizabeth Dole ranked 93rd in effectiveness? She voted for millions in pork, including Alaska's "Bridge To Nowhere." But for North Carolina, she voted with George Bush 92 percent against raising the minimum wage time after time, against helping families struggling to keep their homes, for the largest cut ever in student loans.

Elizabeth Dole fighting for -- Alaska?

Definitely out of touch with North Carolina.


TRACEY: Well, that's one of the ads from the Senate committee down there. And besides from the two candidates, you've got 10 different groups running ads in this race. So it's really become a target race this fall.

You know, these ads -- I mean, look, this echoes what's in the presidential race. And as we all know, North Carolina is a battleground state. So the voters are hearing a lot about the "Bridge To Nowhere" this year, whether it's the presidential race or their Senate race.

SANCHEZ: All right. This is Elizabeth Dole's ad, perhaps responding to the attack on her.

Here it is.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On the most pressing issue of our time, Kay Hagan repeatedly dodged taking a position on the financial bailout package. Kay Hagan, when asked how much she'll raise taxes...

KAY HAGAN (D), NC: Can I get back to you on it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Drilling for more American oil?

HAGAN: I'm going to weed up on the material.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What else is Hagan hiding?

HAGAN: When I get up there, I will let you know. I will let you know.


SANCHEZ: Here's a surprise -- an attack is followed by another attack.

TRACEY: Yes. This has become one of the hottest races in the country. I'm not sure any of the punditry had North Carolina on their radar screen a year ago, but it's really coming down to the wire. And, again, in this ad, you're seeing the themes echoed that you're seeing in the presidential race -- you know, taxes and inexperience.

It sounds familiar, doesn't it, Rick?

SANCHEZ: All right. Let me ask you a question. Since Obama seems to have so much money, according to all the reports, is he going to be sharing the wealth with some of the folks in some of these races -- Senatorial races or Congressional races?

TRACEY: To this point, we haven't not seen it. But, look, Democrats are raising a ton of money. There's a ton of this 527 and interest group money flowing into these competitive House and Senate races right now. So they may have all they need. But I think certainly Obama probably has more than he needs right now with two weeks to go. So it's something to watch.

SANCHEZ: And then there's money coming from nowhere, like pennies from heaven, like the opponent for Bachman in Minnesota is getting all of a sudden.

Thanks so much, Evan Tracey.

You're good.

We'll have further conversations about many other candidates, as we share some of the best ads in the country.

TRACEY: Thanks, Rick.

SANCHEZ: Thanks for being with us.


SANCHEZ: So many of your comments are being -- are coming in to us as we speak, literally. Interesting stuff. On all of the topics that we have been covering today.

One of the topics that we're going to be covering when we come back, is YPM (ph). Have you heard about it?

This is about fraud -- voter registration fraud. It's being not only investigated, but there's already been one major arrest.

Why are we doing YPM? Why? Because you asked us to.

We'll be right back.


SANCHEZ: Welcome back. I'm Rick Sanchez here in the World Headquarters of CNN.

Young Ashley has something she wants you to know. She is watching our newscast -- there she is, in fact. And she says: "I am so sorry to see how shallow Americans really are. All of these internal issues just reflect how disastrous people can be. So very far from the perspectives our founding fathers left us."

Interesting perspective. Also: "I'm surprised that courtroom scenes like this don't happen more often. Honestly, I can't say I wouldn't do the same thing."

Yes, we were kind of agreeing when we looked at that video.

And then Blue Eyes is sending us this. This is what Blue Eyes has to say as she's watching us today: "This is how I would describe the situation in America. It's like an old grass field that hasn't had rain in a really long time and it's blazing hot outside. Right now, there's no fire, but all it takes is one spark and the whole field will go up in smoke."

Interesting thought.

Let's talk now about YPM, as promised. This is a fraud investigation that has already taking down at least one. His name is Mark Jacoby. He is being charged with several counts. We'll tell you about his situation in this report by our own Ted Rowlands.


TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Twenty-five-year- old Mark Jacoby was arrested for allegedly lying about his own home address on two voter registration forms in order to do business in California. The charges against Jacoby are serious, but have nothing to do with the outcome of an election. Yet, after his arrest, California's secretary of state was talking tough.


DEBRA BOWEN, CALIFORNIA SECRETARY OF STATE: And this is serious. It is a felony to register falsely.

ROWLANDS: Jacoby runs a company which finds people at places like grocery stores to sign petitions or register to vote. According to the California Republican Party, Jacoby's company registered about 50,000 people for them this year and was paid between $7 and $12 per person. Authorities say some of those people have complained that they were lied to, told they were signing petitions supporting tough laws against child molesters, not signing up to become a Republican.

Jacoby hasn't been charged with wrongdoing related to those complaints.

JANE ROBISON, LOS ANGELES COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE: That investigation is ongoing by our office into allegations that his company allegedly signed people up and re-registered them unbeknownst to them.

ROWLANDS: But the California Republican Party is crying foul. They accuse the secretary of state using this case to make headlines to deflect recent ACORN criticism against Democrats.

The secretary of state denies that allegation. Some experts say both parties are blowing cases of voter registration fraud out of proportion.

RICHARD HASEN, LOYOLA LAW SCHOOL: People should stop with the hyperbole that, you know, we're going to have a stolen election and that fraud is rampant and that the fabric of the democracy is threatened. None of that is true. But nobody should worry about the integrity of our electoral process.

ROWLANDS (on camera): Jacoby is out on $6,000 bail. His attorney says he has done absolutely nothing wrong.

Ted Rowlands, CNN, Los Angeles.


SANCHEZ: When we come back, we're going to be telling you about The Fix. And in this case, it involves Buckley on "The Daily Show" -- and this after he said some nice things about Barack Obama and was fired from his job for doing so. Why? He's a conservative. More than that, actually.

Also, we will have the very latest on what's going on in the world of Espanol. In fact, let's do that right now.

Glenda Umana is good enough to join us to kind of figure it out for us, because we've been looking, Glenda, at so many different polls that show who's voting for Barack Obama, who's voting for John McCain, based on where you live. How about Hispanics? Is there a breakdown on which Hispanics are voting which way and where?

GLENDA UMANA, CNN EN ESPANOL: Not really. For example, in Florida, that this week started the early voting, before, you know, Cuban was the majority there. But not anymore. Now, it's interesting, Rick, Gallup has done an interesting study of Latino support of each of the two candidates by religion and church attendance. According to this poll, Rick, Catholic Hispanics are more supportive of Obama than other Christians. But in the general population, Hispanics who are most religious, who attend church services more often, are more supportive of John McCain. So it's interesting.

SANCHEZ: It kind of mimics the same as in the regular American community.

UMANA: Exactly.

SANCHEZ: It's the same thing that you get, really.

UMANA: Exactly.

SANCHEZ: Thanks so much.

Glenda Umana. Unplaced (ph), mucho gracias.

UMANA: Chiao.

SANCHEZ: Nos vemos manana. All right, when we come back, The Fix. Stay with us. We'll bring it to you. Oh, and the Dow. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: William Buckley started the "National Review." He was an institution there as a conservative.

So why would they fire William Buckley's son, Christopher Buckley, from there. Why? Because he said some pleasantries about Barack Obama.

That is part of "The Fix." So is Obama on "Ellen." Here it is.


CHRISTOPHER BUCKLEY, AUTHOR, "SUPREME COURTSHIP": I said I am -- the only reason my political views would be of interest to anyone is because of my last name, which I inherited. But -- and I'm doing this in the daily beast rather than in my column at "National Review" precisely because I don't think this would be the view "National Review."

So I mounted what I thought was an argument for Barack Obama and all hell broke loose. And I was getting e-mails -- "N.R." was getting e-mails saying as long as you are associated in any way with "National Review" or if you are even taking out the garbage at "National Review," I will not give another penny to "National Review".

So I sent an e-mail to Rich Lowry, a very fine guy, the editor. And I said, look, if it would make your life simpler for me to offer my resignation from back page column, this is a sincere offer.


BUCKLEY: Be careful to whom you offer your resignation.




ELLEN DEGENERES, HOST "ELLEN": Hello. I am looking for Barack Obama. This is Ellen DeGeneres calling.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, this is Barack, Ellen. What are you calling for?

DEGENERES: No, it's not Barack, is it?

OBAMA: It really is. Turn around.


OBAMA: Take a look. On the screen. On the screen.

DEGENERES: Yes, it is.


DEGENERES: Michelle was on the show and she was talking some smack about your moves.


DEGENERES: You have 20 seconds...

OBAMA: I noticed that.

DEGENERES: Yes. You have 20 seconds to respond to this clip.


DEGENERES: All right.

OBAMA: I don't think...


OBAMA: Now, all right, let me tell you that Michelle may be a better dancer than me, but I'm convinced I'm a better dancer than John McCain.



SANCHEZ: By the way, in deference to Mr. Buckley, we had him on just a little while ago and we were showing him there in "The Fix." He did, I guess, officially resign -- or he was asked to resign or however you want to phrase it.

By the way, look at this comment that came in just moments ago. Carman Denise Ruiz from New York -- New York, New York -- says to us: "Man, I loved your last segment dedicated to the Hispanic community. Me encanta." Translation -- I love it.

Thank you. We'll keep talking to all communities.

By the way, when we come back, talk about an interesting community -- an exchange between Greenspan and Kucinich -- kind of a conflicted exchange. You'll see it right here. It happened today.


SANCHEZ: And we welcome you back. I'm Rick Sanchez.

Boy, a lot of comments that are coming in from you guys.

As a matter of fact, let's go to the Twitter board, if we can.

Wolf Blitzer is standing by and I know he's going to be enjoying something like this. Here's an idea, Wolf. I don't know if you're hearing this, but why can't there be a campaign referee -- a body that would blow the whistle on hostile or inflammatory events -- you know, a truth in politics kind of thing?

That's an interesting thought. I don't know if we've ever toyed with something like that. I guess the people -- or we the media are supposed to be like that, huh -- Wolf.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: It's supposed to be our job, I think. That's what we're trying to do.


BLITZER: And I think we're doing a pretty good job at it. We've got a good truth squad. I know you've been doing a good job. All of us are trying to do the best we can.

But it's a good point that that person makes.

Coming up at the top of the hour, we're spending a lot of time on this election. Only 12 days and counting, and the CNN poll of polls showing an 8 point lead for Barack Obama.

John McCain now using some very strong language to try to distance himself further from President Bush. Will it work? Can he make up the difference?

And Barack Obama himself using tough new language against his opponent, as he gets ready to leave the trail for a family emergency.

Will his time away impact the campaign?

And Alan Greenspan -- I know, Rick, you're going to have more on this coming up. He now says even he doesn't understand how the financial meltdown happened.

All that, Rick, and a lot more, coming up at the top of the hour.

SANCHEZ: You know, we're not going to be able to show much of that Alan Greenspan testimony, because a lot of it was really very, very economic in nature. It was very difficult to follow at times. But there was one particular exchange with, of all people, Dennis Kucinich of Ohio.

This is kind of conflictive, where they kind of go at each other.

Johnny B. Good, you put this together. Let's see this.


REP. DENNIS KUCINICH (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The epicenter of the financial crisis, as we understand, is the securitization of home mortgages. In your testimony, you blame securitizers, banks, credit rating agencies.

But what about your role as head of the Fed?

Under your term as head of the Fed, public and private debt exploded from $10.5 trillion to $43 trillion dollars. And, yet, you, Mr. Greenspan, promoted adjustable rate mortgages that fueled the subprime market.

ALAN GREENSPAN, FORMER FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN: I was reporting on a Federal Reserve staff study, which is stating the obvious, that if you're going to be somebody who can only live in a home for two years before you move elsewhere, you may -- you should look at the adjustable rate mortgage issue.

The problem...

KUCINICH: Here's your words, Mr. Greenspan. You -- you know, on one hand...

GREENSPAN: Yes, but I...

KUCINICH:'re saying that there was no connection.


KUCINICH: Now, on the other hand, you're saying you'd reproduce -- you would pre-reproduce that speech word for word today.

You know, when did you know there was a housing bubble and when did you tell the public about it?

GREENSPAN: All right, let me just go back...

KUCINICH: Could you answer the question?

GREENSPAN: The housing bubble became clear to me sometime in early 2006, in retrospect. I did not forecast a significant decline because we had never had a significant decline in prices. And it's only as the process began to emerge that it became clear that we were about to have what essentially was a global decline in home prices.


SANCHEZ: 2006. 2006, interestingly enough.

A couple of comments that we're getting now. I want to share those with you, if we can. Let's go to -- go the bottom one over here.

Roger Duncan on Facebook -- thanks, Michael -- says: "I love Barack, but the man can't dance. Michelle killed it." Interesting.

Carrie Lee is a woman who can dance. And she's standing by on Wall Street with a bunch of guys who can't. So let's...

CARRIE LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, the guys are cheering, at least, Rick, because look at the markets. The Industrials up almost 200 points with just a few seconds to go before the bell. It was a volatile day, but, hey, we're giving back two days of losses -- reversing that.

Rick -- back to you.

SANCHEZ: All right. We're on the up instead of the down, as we've been the last couple of weeks.

Wolf Blitzer is standing by now with THE SITUATION ROOM -- Wolf, take it away.

BLITZER: Thanks very much, Rick.