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Al Qaeda's Message to Barack Obama; 8-Year-Old Confesses to Murder?

Aired November 19, 2008 - 15:00   ET


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Coming at you...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think I shot my dad, because -- because he was suffering, I think.

SANCHEZ: Painful to watch, an 8-year-old's interrogation. Did police go too far?

Barack Obama is a -- quote -- "house Negro" who has betrayed Allah. Those are the words of al Qaeda.

And these are the words of a Kansas minister who joins us live to defend them.

The Indian Navy fires on a pirate ship.

And did big auto really fly their CEOs to Washington on multimillion-dollar jets to ask for a $25 billion loan from us?

What are you saying about this?

It is lunchtime in Sacramento, 2:00 p.m. in Nashville. On the air and on the net, your national conversation begins right now.


SANCHEZ: And hello again, everybody. I'm Rick Sanchez here in the world headquarters of CNN.

Janet Henderson is one of our loyal viewers. And she is mad. She just sent this tweet moments ago on

"What is this I hear? All three executives flew in yesterday on private planes at a cost of $20,000 each? This is totally bogus."

Janet Henderson is not the only person that is upset about that. Yes, we are going to be dedicating a good portion of our newscast about -- on talking about that particular subject once again.

But, first, we want to start with this, because this is something that is going on in this country that a lot of people are also shaking their heads about.

Think about an 8-year-old boy. Think about your 8-year-old son or daughter or someone's 8-year-old son or daughter that you know or think of what you were like when you were 8 years old, and now consider that there is an 8-year-old in Arizona who is facing now two counts of premeditated murder, according to police, and he was interrogated by police.

It is amazing to watch this. And then we will ask the tough questions, like, should he be interrogated at all?

First, let's watch this report together by CNN's Anderson Cooper.


COOPER (voice-over): The murder suspect sinks is in a sofa chair, his voice is low and he speaks softly. He's only 8 years old.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's real important you tell us what happened.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know if the gun went off by accident.

COOPER: Police interviewed the boy alone with no lawyer or family member present a day after Arizona authorities claim he shot and killed his own father and another man who'd rented a room in their home.

Initially and repeatedly the third grader told the two female officers questioning him that he found their bodies after coming home from school.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You walked around and then what did you do?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I started walking around the street to my house and I saw the door open and I saw right there. And I ran and I said dad, dad, and then I ran upstairs and then I saw him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You saw him? And then what?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was blood all over his face.

COOPER: But an hour later, a second tape shows the detectives pressed the boy again and again to tell the truth, saying we think you're not being honest and claiming they knew that he did it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What happened to your dad?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Come on, tell us the truth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not -- I'm not lying.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How about if we have someone who told us you might have shot him.

COOPER: Then, finally, the boy changes his story.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How many times do you think you fired the gun?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You think twice. Do you think it could have been more than twice?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought it was twice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You shot your dad twice?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And how many times did that gun shoot?


COOPER: Why would he do it? The boy said he did it because his father and the other man were suffering, although he never says how.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think I shot my dad because he was suffering, I think. He was suffering. I might have shot him because I didn't want him to suffer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't blame you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then I went and then I went outside and saw, but at first and I saw and then I think the gun went off at that time, because he was shaking and I think that time, it went off. Then I went upstairs, and I saw my dad. I think I shot him because he was suffering.

COOPER: The suspect is being charged as a juvenile and held at a jail for minors. He's not entered a plea. Under a gag order, few details have come out but police say they have probable cause to justify the murder charges and have cast doubt on reports the father may have abused his son.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the way that we talk to people and we make a promise to each other that we're only going to tell the truth. OK?


COOPER: The boy's lawyer say it is interrogation was improper because the eight-year-old was never told his rights and a family member or legal representative was not with him during the questioning.

"They became very accusing early on in the interview. Two officers with guns at their side, it's very scary for anybody, for sure, an eight-year-old kid."

So why was the video released? The prosecutor said the judge modified a gag order allowing the release a public record. The prosecutor would not explain why a controversial confession in an ongoing juvenile investigation is made public. So was the confession coerced? Was it appropriate for police to be talking to the boy like that? Should an eight-year-old boy stand trial for murder?

Anderson Cooper, CNN.


SANCHEZ: We are not exactly sure what it is about, but we are being told that there is going to be a hearing on this case coming up within the next hour or hour-and-a-half or so. Obviously, we're going to be following that for you.

Meanwhile, a lot of you who have been watching this have plenty to say about it, and you are not happy or satisfied with what you have seen. In fact, let's take that now, if we can.

Let's start over here on MySpace -- Facebook. Pardon me.

Paul Taylor is on. He says: "This interrogation should be considered illegal. There is a reason why we call them kids. An 8- year-old is a kid. The interrogators stopped only after they got the story they wanted."

And now let's go over here, Robert, if we could. Flip you camera around. There is thecardsharp. And he's saying: "It is ridiculous. Anyone can trip up an 8-year-old. He may have done it, but how could you question him with no one present?"

And therein lies the rub. Let's go now to Jami Floyd. She hosts "In Session Now" on truTV.

Jamie, no parent, no lawyer, no adult, wasn't read his rights, child has not yet pled. What are we to make of this?

JAMI FLOYD, "IN SESSION" ANCHOR: No admissibility in court, that is what we make of it.

It is absolutely a violation of the child's constitutional rights. It would be a violation of an adult's constitutional rights to fail to Mirandize, to question without an attorney present. But the law is even clearer that when you're talking about a minor, it is a constitutional outrage to question that child without a parent present or an attorney present. Any law enforcement officer knows that. And in any state, an 8-year-old is certainly a child.

SANCHEZ: Well, as you might imagine, we have contacted the police chief in this particular department, and they are saying that they are not going to have any comment now, because obviously it is an active case.

But what is interesting about this as well is you begin to wonder, as you look at this, I mean, should an 8-year-old be interrogated, period?

FLOYD: Well, not certainly without proper representation. Ideally, Rick, you would have a parent, you would have a lawyer, and you would have an expert in child psychology or psychiatry present to help avoid suggestibility, to help avoid misleading the child, to help avoid exactly what happened in this interview.

Certainly, a videotape being made is also an additional protection and there is a push across the country to do that in all such interrogations. Look, sometimes questions have to be asked of children and sometimes children do horrible things. But now, Rick, I'm afraid we may never know. This case has been corrupted from jump, as the kids say, by law enforcement, of all people.


SANCHEZ: Well, what do you make of the fact that he said, "My dad was suffering"?


SANCHEZ: We're trying to figure out some motives here. And so far there don't appear to be any, except for speculation.

FLOYD: Here's what I make of that. I make of it that the kid may in fact be innocent. The kid may indeed have been telling the truth initially. He came upon his father already injured.

And when you manipulate a child's thoughts over time, you deprive him of access to a lawyer or a parent, children are particularly susceptible to the suggestions made by law enforcement -- 25 percent, Rick, of people who have been exonerated by DNA confessed to something they had not done.

SANCHEZ: And they were not 8 years old, which is interesting.


FLOYD: And when they are children, the studies have shown across the board they are even more likely to do so.

SANCHEZ: Yes. Well, in fact, one of my staff member was saying earlier, Chris Hall (ph), he says, you know, I could probably convince my son to say just about anything.

And I think most adults who have children would probably agree with that.

Jami Floyd, thanks so much for being with us.

FLOYD: My pleasure.

SANCHEZ: We appreciate it.

SANCHEZ: All right.

Obama a "house Negro." "House Negro," think of that word. Think of why it is used and think of why al Qaeda is saying that. We will tell you what else al Qaeda is saying when we come back and go through it with you with a CIA man who is now one of the best-read authors as well.

Stay with us. I will be right back.


SANCHEZ: We call this your national conversation every day here at CNN at 3:00, and, boy, you are involved and you are conversing.

As a matter of fact, let me show you some of the things that are being said about the topics that we are talking about right now.

Let's go to Josh Buckner. he is watching us. And he just watched this report that we did. "Totally unprofessional and amateur police work. The boy is already experiencing something traumatic, now made much worse."

And then there's another comment that was coming into us moments ago. This is about the CEO story that we have not even delved into it yet, and already people are egging us to do so.

"It is crazy," says S.D. in California. "Why are those CEOs asking for $25 billion bailout and then going to D.C. flying with multibillion private jets?"

Well, it's interesting. They are not multibillion-dollar private jets, but they are worth up to $30 million, by the way.

We will be getting into that, but, right now, the idea that we should know what our enemies are thinking and saying about that. There is a man who fought most of his life trying to get Washington to understand that principle that we needed to understand this organization called al Qaeda that at the time nobody in the United States even knew anything about.

And, finally, they didn't pay enough attention to it. He has written books about it. He has been with the CIA and now he's also working with "TIME" magazine. His latest book is called "The Devil We Know." It is Bob Baer. And he is joining us now to take us what Zawahri is saying about our future president of the United States.

Mr. Baer, thanks so much for being with us, sir.


SANCHEZ: All right.

Let's start with this graphic and I read it and let the viewers -- let's put it up top: "If Bush has achieved anything, it is his transfers of America's disaster and predicament to his successor."

Think about what he is saying there. It almost sounds like he is taking credit for defeating Bush and almost like saying that Obama owes him one, doesn't he?

BAER: It does.

We have inherited a mess in Iraq. It is a total mess. And, fortunately, we are getting out now. And I think one of the messages from al Qaeda is, they are worried. In three years, we're going to be out of Iraq. His whole message, bin Laden's message, has been undercut by this departure.

SANCHEZ: Let's talk about this one now, because this one hits right at home. And this is interesting, because he is really going after Barack Obama on one of his policies regarding Afghanistan.

Let's put this second one up and get Mr. Baer's take, if we can.

"You have reached a position of president and a heavy legacy of failure and crimes awaits you, a failure in Iraq to which you have admitted and a failure in Afghanistan to which the commanders of your army have admitted. You have announced how you're going to pull your troops out of Iraq and send them to Afghanistan. If you still want to be stubborn about America's failure in Afghanistan, then remember the fate of Bush and Pervez Musharraf and the fate of the Soviets and the British before them."

I mean, he is just flat-out saying, Bob, you better not consider this idea of yours of going into Afghanistan full-blown.

BAER: Well, I think they are worried.

I mean, al Qaeda has not had a major attack in years. They are worried about the Taliban cutting a separate deal with the United States, which would include al Qaeda being thrown out of Afghanistan. I think these guys are on the rope. I really do.

And I think the fact that Zawahri has been reduced to racial epithets is enormous.


BAER: He said (SPEAKING ARABIC) which, in Arabic, is just a horrible insult, and when you consider that many, many Muslims are black all through Africa, and so this guy is -- it's a bizarre message.

SANCHEZ: Yes. It is interesting, because, in fact, here, let me read you this one, because it cuts to what you were just mentioning there moments ago.

Let's put the third one up. He is going after -- I mean, he's going after Barack Obama.

"You represent the direct opposite of honorable black Americans. Malcolm X prided himself on his paternity with the Muslims, and he condemned the crimes of the crusader. That is why it was not strange that he was killed, while you have climbed the rungs of the presidency of the most violent crusade ever against the Muslims. And in you and in Colin Powell and Rice," referring to Condoleezza, "and your likes, the words of Malcolm X concerning house Negroes are confirmed." He is calling him a house Negro. It really does almost sound like he is threatened by Barack Obama, does it not?

BAER: Well, I think that he feels the tide has turned, that this war on terrorism is going to be the end of them. I think this was an insecure man speaking on this tape. He is a racist. And he doesn't want to be reminded that these people have killed more Muslims than they have their -- Islam's enemies.

SANCHEZ: But there is a part of the message that we probably -- we can't just turn our backs to this and say, oh, these guys are all a bunch of loons, like this part right here. And I want to get your take on this.

Let's put this last one up.

"My final message is to the American people," he writes. "You incurred defeat and losses from the foolish actions of Bush and his gang, and at the same time Osama bin Laden sent you a message to withdraw from the lands of the Muslims and refrain from stealing their treasures" -- oil -- "and interfering in their affairs. So, choose for yourself whatever you like and bear the consequences of your choice."

As I read this, Bob, I'm just thinking to myself, it might be a good reason for us to listen to that and become, if we can, less dependent on oil, because there is a part of what he is saying that is right. We have become very dependent on our reach into these countries, and I wish we didn't have to depend on them.

BAER: Oh, yes, he is absolutely right.

We can't fix the problems in Iraq. We can't fix the problems in Afghanistan. And we do have to get out of the Middle East. Look at this Saudi tanker that was hijacked off the coast of Somalia. That is how vulnerable we are to foreign oil.

And this whole idea that we're going to spread democracy to the Middle East is finished and dead. We have got to move on from that. We need an exit strategy.

SANCHEZ: It is interesting, yes. What was that, Wolfowitz's philosophy, that by going into Iraq, we would democratize the entire region. That worked well.

BAER: A fantasy.

SANCHEZ: Bob Baer, thanks so much. You know as much as anybody on this, and that is why we love to have you on this topic.

By the way, Mr. Baer mentioned moments ago that we were going to be looking -- about this story that is going on off of the coast of Somalia. Well, it turns out today there is an update on this story regarding the pirates. Finally, somebody has fired back at these pirates. We're going to tell you who it is.

Stay with us. That is coming up.


SANCHEZ: I am sensing that those of you out there who watch our show and are part of our social network are really teed off about two stories, the CEOs arriving in Washington in their private jets. You are angry about that one.

And you are not happy at all about the way the police officers interrogated this 8-year-old boy, like Mind Equity over here. Look what he is saying about that.

He says: "Fire the cops that did the interrogation." It's our Twitter board, guys. "Fire the cops that did the investigation. This child is 8. He has no idea what he did," according to one of our viewers.

All right. A lot of blogs, as you might imagine, about us, too, every day, especially our segment this week on that church marquee, the one in Kansas. Yes, that one right there. And, by the way, that is not the only one. We found another one similar to this one in South Carolina, "Obama Osama." Hmm, sounds like one and the same, right?

And the other one saying that Barack Obama is a Muslim. So, it is interesting as we went through these, the reaction was very heated on the blogs.

The blog, for example, whose motto is news and commentary without the muzzle. "Are right-wing churches," they write, "willing to lie to achieve their goals? You betcha." That is their opinion.

And then there is They say "The church sign in Kansas is a sign that America's educational system is" deficient," except they didn't use the word deficient. They used a word that I would have been uncomfortable using on television.

Pastor Mark Holick, though, from Spirit One Christian Center in Wichita is going to join me in just a little bit to defend his message. This is coming up in just a couple of minutes. And we thank him for being gracious enough to come here, present his point of view, and take the heat from you.

We will be right back with that.


SANCHEZ: We continue to get comments on the interrogation of that 8-year-old.

This one came in just a little while ago, as a matter of fact. It is on MySpace. "In questioning that 8-year-old, you would think," says Finny (ph), "that the law enforcement would have done this -- had this down to a science by now. Come on. And to even have it on tape," he asks. I want to tell you now about that situation developed yesterday off the coast of Somalia. This is the piracy story that so many people have been intrigued by.

Well, there has been a development in that story. No, the tanker has not been returned yet. Don't know if there are negotiations ongoing for a ransom to be given in exchange for the ship and the hostages. We expect there might, given the history of this story.

But the new information is that now there seems to have been some kind of skirmish between members of the Indian navy and one of their battleships and one of these pirate ships or skiffs or mother ship, as well. The story obviously is tough to figure out. The Indian navy says they were fired upon first and then returned fire.

We understand that the pirate ship was not sank, but, nonetheless, there was the skirmish and it may be a sign of new type of developments in that story, that there may be more aggression, as members of the Somalian government in transition were asking for yesterday, as we reported. We are going to be all over that.

But the big story that has got so many people upset in this country is the fact that many of those CEOs who reported yesterday to Washington to ask our lawmakers to have our money in terms of a $25 billion bridge loan showed up on private jets. That's the situation as we know it right now.

We have been following this story. And as Americans learn of the story, here on CNN, and on the Internet, and on the blogs, it is making them less likely to want to agree to that $25 billion bridge loan, as a matter of fact.

I got a couple of tapes I want to take you through. Let me first introduce our guest. He is Douglas Baird. He is a -- he is a expert as a matter of fact on the law when it comes to bankruptcy and a situation like this one that is developing now.

Mr. Baird, hold on.

I want folks at home to what this. This is Congressman Gary Ackerman of New York. He in fact addresses this. Apparently, he read the same story about these private jets. And he throws it right at their face, these fat cats from these big three auto companies. Here it is.


REP. GARY ACKERMAN (D), NEW YORK: There's a delicious irony in seeing private luxury jets flying in to Washington, D.C. and people coming off of them with tin cups in their hands saying that they're going to be trimming down and streamlining their businesses. It's almost like seeing a guy show up at the soup kitchen in high hat and tuxedo.

It kind of makes you a little bit suspicious as to whether or not, as Mr. Mulally said, we've seen the future. And it causes, at least, some of us to think have we seen the future.

I mean, there's a message there. I mean, couldn't you all have downgraded to first class or jet-pooled or something to get here?


SANCHEZ: Boy, I will tell you, he has got a hell of a good point, doesn't he, Mr. Baird, professor Baird?


SANCHEZ: What is that?

BAIRD: I think they are tone-deaf.

SANCHEZ: Tone-deaf?

BAIRD: Yes. This is not something you do in this kind of a situation.

But what I worry about is that we look at this story and lose sight of the basic problem, because, remember, lots and lots of jobs are at stake and we really want the right thing to happen to the American automotive industry, and I think there is a real tough choice to be made here.

SANCHEZ: And the tough choice is help them out or let them go bankrupt?


Well, I think, before you make that, in order to make that choice, you have to ask, look, are these guys basically on track? Have they made the hard decisions? They have negotiated their union deal. They say they have got new cars coming.

And so the question you want to ask is, yes, have they hit a rough a patch, but they're basically on track, or do you look at them and say, no, these are not the right guys and fundamental changes need to be made?

And that is the choice.

SANCHEZ: That is interesting.

Watch this exchange now. This is with Congressman Kanjorski of Pennsylvania and Rick Wagoner, the CEO of GM. Take a listen.


REP. PAUL E. KANJORSKI (D), PENNSYLVANIA: I'm asking you about General Motors and I'm asking you how much money you need today to keep you viable and alive, so we could structure a reasonable loan contract by March 30. RICK WAGONER, CHAIRMAN & CEO, GENERAL MOTORS: We have -- we have talked about an allocation of the $25 billion that would be approximately based on our U.S. market share, which suggests -- relative U.S. market share -- which suggests a total availability against that facility to GM of $10 billion to $12 billion.

KANJORSKI: Maybe I am dense or something, Mr. Wagoner. I don't quite understand what the hell you just told me.

Can't you just tell me in absolute terms how much money do you need to survive, General Motors, from today until March 30?

WAGONER: I -- Congressman, it's going to depend on what happens with suppliers and markets.

KANJORSKI: I understand that. Give me your worst-case scenario.

WAGONER: In the worst-case scenario, the amount of money would be significant.


SANCHEZ: I heard you say the other day on NPR that these guys just have not been good stewards of their companies. Is that an example of it?

KANJORSKI: Well, they have made a lot of mistakes over the last couple of decades.

And that is something you are supposed to know. If you run a small business, you're supposed to know, how much money do you need? How much money do you have to have in the bank to pay your suppliers? Again, their loan covenants and things like that have terms like this. That's a question he really should have been able to answer.

SANCHEZ: Hey, let me ask you another question. Is it possible that secretly -- you know, you don't want to measure a man's motives unless you know what they are. But -- well, let me ask you the question this way, then. That way I'm not doing that -- or I'm not accused of doing that in all the blogs tomorrow.

Is it possible that a bankruptcy would be good for these guys?

BAIRD: Bankruptcy is going to lead to a close inspection of the kind of job these guys are doing. And, you know, I don't want to prejudge things. Remember, one of the guys was just hired. He came from Boeing. He's an outsider. He may have a really good perspective.

SANCHEZ: But if they do that, if they go into bankruptcy -- and I'm down to about 10 seconds -- wouldn't they be getting rid of many of their debts like the deal with the health care benefits etc. etc.?

BAIRD: Everything would be on the table. They'd take a close look at everyone, including the managers. I mean that's the whole point of bankruptcy -- you look at everything from the ground up.

SANCHEZ: So maybe they wouldn't want something like that to happen.

All right. Professor Baird, you're good.

Thank you, sir...

BAIRD: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: ...for being with us once again.

We appreciate it.

The minister's sign that has riled up our audience. So we asked him to come here and answer some of your questions about this sign: "America, we have a Muslim president. It's a sin against the Lord."

And he is gracious enough to accept our invitation -- a noble act, indeed and we thank him for it. He joins us next.


SANCHEZ: And we thank you for coming back.

I'm Rick Sanchez here in the World Headquarters of CNN -- this interactive national conversation that we have with you every day.

There's a comment that's coming in now from MySpace. In fact, it's interesting, somebody is doing their homework. That's the beauty of having people that are watching you who are at their computers or their laptops.: "I just checked," says Joan, " And I could get a flight to Washington tomorrow for $500. What's the justification for $20,000?"

A heck of a good question -- one that many Americans are asking themselves, probably even some members of the UAW, who would like to see this thing go through.

We are joined now by pastor Mark Holick. Mark Holick is the pastor who had put up a sign in front of his business -- a sign that's been very much criticized by many of our viewers. There it is. It says, "America, we have a Muslim president. This is sin against the Lord."

So much to take into as we read this. But the first thing we want to do is we want to welcome Pastor Holick to our show.

Thank you, Pastor, for being with us, sir.


SANCHEZ: You know, you've had a lot of people criticizing on you. And I guess the first thing they'd want to know is why are you saying that Barack Obama is a Muslim if he has repeatedly said that he's not a Muslim?

HOLICK: Well, let me start out by saying that as a Christian pastor, I believe that God's word states "blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord." And that America became the most blessed nation on earth not because we're any smarter than any of the other peoples of the Earth, but because of the Lord and his laws.

SANCHEZ: Well, but you know -- well, let's get to that, because I think that intimating the question that so many people have about separation of church and state.

But before we get to that, let me read to you what Barack Obama says, you know, himself.

Let's put that up, if we can. He says: "I am a Christian, so I have a deep faith. I'm rooted in the Christian tradition. I believe that there are many paths to the same place. And that is a belief that there is a higher power -- a belief that we are connected as a people."

So he's saying he's a Christian, but it sounds like he's saying that he admits that there may be many paths to the same place.

That's his word.

Why not take him at his word?

HOLICK: Well, his very words that you just read to me is not a Christian belief. As a Christian, we do not believe there are many paths to the same place. In fact (INAUDIBLE)...

SANCHEZ: Well, as a matter of fact...

HOLICK: Hold on. Hold on.

SANCHEZ: Well...

HOLICK: Hold on.

SANCHEZ: OK. OK. I'm sorry.

HOLICK: In John, Chapter 14, Verse 6, Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life and no man comes to the father but by me."

SANCHEZ: OK. Let me quote somebody who I think knows a little bit about theology himself -- Pope John Paul II: "It will be in the sincere practice of what is good in their own religious traditions and by following the dictates of their own conscience that the members of other religions respond positively to God's invitation and receive salvation in Jesus Christ, even while they do not recognize him or acknowledge him as their savior."

That's John Paul II.

HOLICK: Well, my goal is to tell people about the truth of -- what I believe the truth of the bible states. And that Acts 4:12, Jesus said, "There is no other name under heaven and Earth by which man may be saved except the name of Jesus."

SANCHEZ: But other pastors and other reverends and other theological experts disagree with you. I mean, Pope John Paul II is the leader of the Catholic Church.

You want another one?

Here's Billy Graham. Billy Graham -- one of the most respected reverends and theologians in this country -- says, and I quote: "I used to believe that pagans in far off countries were lost, were going to hell. I no longer believe that. I believe that there are other ways of recognizing the existence of God."

That's Billy Graham. Is Billy Graham wrong?

HOLICK: I cannot speak to Billy Graham or the pope or anyone else. I simply quoted you two references from God's word that states very clearly that there is only one path to heaven.

SANCHEZ: Let's talk, then, about your first point. You made a point about the fact that this is part of why we are the most blessed or cherished nation on Earth. But we're also a nation whose forefathers were wise enough to make sure that we separated how we prayed with how we governed. It's that old adage we've always heard, separation of church and state.

Do you not believe in that?

HOLICK: No. And our founding fathers didn't believe in that, either.

Number one, separation of church and state is not found anywhere in the Constitution at all.

SANCHEZ: Well, but Thomas Jefferson had as much to do with that Constitution as anybody, sir. Both he and James Madison did.

Here's Thomas Jefferson: "I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act the whole American people, which declare that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state."

That's Thomas Jefferson saying that.

HOLICK: Well, what you're quoting is not the Constitution. You're quoting a letter. And the wall of separation was one way that the state would not interfere with the church. But certainly the church had every right and even a duty to its elected officials.

SANCHEZ: But I'm quoting the man who wrote the Constitution in that letter.

I mean, wouldn't you think that he would be a -- in fact, here's a -- here's James Madison, probably the guy who wrote it himself. They say that actually Jefferson was the mind behind it, but Madison actually sat it down -- sat down and wrote it.

Madison says: "Strongly guarded, as is the separation between religion and government in the Constitution of the United States." He goes on the say, in another reference: "Religion and government will both exist in greater purity the less -- the less that they are mixed together."

These are people who disagree with you and they wrote the document that you're referring to.

HOLICK: Well, our very -- the very basics of our government are formed on the principles of God's word. For example, we have three branches of government -- not two, not four. We have three. That is based on Isaiah Chapter 3, Verse 22: "God is our judge, God is our law giver, God is our King."

So in order to separate ourselves from the bible in our government, we would have to change the very structure of our government.

SANCHEZ: Are you going to take the sign down or reconsider any of the things that you've said, given the reaction that you've gotten from people all over the country?

HOLICK: Well, while I personally believe that the evidence is substantial, I would agree that it is not definitive.

And if I had to do it over again, I would word it differently.

SANCHEZ: Thank you, sir.

We appreciate your being kind enough to join us. And I know taking the heat, to a certain respect. But you put the sign up. A lot of people have been reacting to it all over the country. And, once again, you've been very gracious to come on and talk to us. I appreciate it.

HOLICK: Thank you, sir.

SANCHEZ: I appreciate that, also.

You know that guy who's on the TV commercials you've seen -- you know the commercial where one guy is a Mac and the other guy is a PC?

The one who's kind of dumb and lazy, him, he's on "The Daily Show" all the time, his name is Hodgman? Well, guess what?

He's going to be joining us in a little bit. Oh, my God. I hope he didn't hear that. Well, maybe he did. He probably is doing that for a reason. He's a funny guy. He's got a new book out. And we can't wait to talk to him.

We'll be right back.


SANCHEZ: We welcome you back.

Obviously, a lot of comments are coming in on the interview that we just did and we're going to share some of those with you.

Hold on, Robert. We'll get to them in just a little bit.

Something else to take notice of first. I want you to look at this video, all right. It seems almost sad. Look at this. This is the president of the United States walking out on stage to take a picture with world leaders invited to the G20 summit over the weekend. Look at him. And he seems like the most unpopular kid in high school that nobody liked -- you know, the one with the cooties?

Everybody's shaking hands but he walks in and nobody's shaking his hand and he's not shaking anybody's hand.

This is different, though, because look -- I'd like you to watch this again. Watch. Everybody is shaking hands. He's not shaking hands. Remember just six years ago, he was "the bully who everyone seemed to like" -- or did they just pretend to like him?

By the way, just to be clear, bully is not my word. It's one of the words most used to describe the Bush administration's foreign and economic policies around the world.

To check, I Googled Bush and bully together.

Are you ready? Two million five hundred thousand hits. This may be a case of what goes around comes around. But maybe not. Still, you know what, he's the president. And as I watch this video with you guys, I can't help but almost feel sorry for him.

What do you think?

John Hodgman is right here next to me. You've seen him on "The Daily Show" and he's also the guy on that commercial -- you know, the PC and the other one -- the Mac?


SANCHEZ: You're the PC?

HODGMAN: Yes, I am the PC.

SANCHEZ: We're talking to next.

Stay with us.

HODGMAN: And I'm the PC.


SANCHEZ: Welcome back.

We've got some information that we need to share with you right again. We're going to do John Hodgman and we're going to in just a little bit.

But we have just learned moments ago that the race in Alaska has been decided.

Is this confirmed, guys, before I go through with this?

It is.

CNN now confirms that Mark Begich, the former mayor of Anchorage, Alaska has defeated Ted Stevens. I believe Ted Stevens, seen here as we've got these pictures coming in now, has, in fact, conceded. He has made the appropriate phone call.

And I'm even being told by my staff -- correct me if I'm wrong -- that we have Mayor Begich, soon to be Senator Begich, on the phone.

Is that right?

All right. Mark Begich, are you there?

MARK BEGICH (D), SENATOR-ELECT: Yes, I am. How are you doing?

SANCHEZ: Well, give us your reaction, sir, to the news. We know this thing -- originally, you were getting trounced. Then it got really close and now it's gone the other way and you're going to win.

BEGICH: Absolutely. We feel very positive. Last night, when the final numbers came in, over 3,700 votes in the positive showed that -- and that really came from all across the state. It really showed that we ran a great grassroots campaign and it paid off at the end in the sense of the voters came out. So we feel very good. And, yes, we feel the race was a fantastic race for the last six months.

SANCHEZ: Congratulations. But, you know, there's another side of this that I just have to ask you.

How do you almost lose to a guy who is a convicted felon and an obviously corrupt politician?

BEGICH: Well, I think the issue here in Alaska -- he served for 40 years. Usually his races, he wins with 75 to 80 percent. I think a lot of Alaskans have a lot of memory about what he has done and what service he has done for the state. And I think that a lot of them were holding onto that.

But the reality was Alaska was shifting. It was clear when I started my campaign that people felt Washington, D.C. was totally out of touch with Alaskan families. And we captured that.

And, you know, I've been in close races, under any circumstance. But I think people were making a big shift. You know, many people didn't believe what they had heard in regards to his corruption.

But at the end of the day, more than 55 percent of the voters -- the voters said it's time to move on. And that's what we saw.

SANCHEZ: Mark Begich -- congratulations, sir. And we thank you for taking the time to talk to us. We wish you well.

BEGICH: Thank you very much. You have a great day.

SANCHEZ: Mark Begich, the soon to be senator of the state of Alaska.

There's another political story that we're following up on. It's just now crossing the wires. We're going to be sharing it with you. As CNN confirms it, we're going to be using Mark -- John Hodgman in just a little bit, to take us through that, as well.

Stay with us. We'll be right back.


SANCHEZ: We welcome you back. I'm Rick Sanchez.

Look who's dropped by. John Hodgman is here from "The Daily Show" -- one of the funniest people you'll ever see. And he's going to go through some of this information that I have to share with you now.

First of all, we've just received information that it's been called -- the State of Missouri has been called for John McCain. This thing's been going back and forth and back and forth. But according to the Associated Press, John McCain has won the State of Missouri.

There you go, John Hodgman. What do you think?

HODGMAN: I don't -- I don't believe it. You know my motto, show me.


HODGMAN: Let me see. Oh, look at that. This is true. Well, this changes everything.

SANCHEZ: Yes, it certainly does, doesn't it?

HODGMAN: I can feel the momentum changing at this point.


Sarah Palin is weighing in on this. We're now getting this piece of information. She's sending her congratulations to Begich, the gentleman we interviewed just moments ago who's going to be the new senator.

HODGMAN: Senator-elect.

SANCHEZ: The former mayor of Alaska, by the way.

Palin says: "I extend my congratulations to Mark Begich and his family. This is a new era for Alaska and I look forward to working with Mark on the many issues that are important to our state. I'm confident," she goes on to say, Mr. Hodgman, "that he will add a compelling new voice to the U.S. Senate."

And you make what of that? HODGMAN: Well, I guess she wants to be in the news some more. You know, curiously enough, she just sent me a letter of congratulations for appearing on your show.

SANCHEZ: Is that right?




HODGMAN: You need to read that a little later on.

SANCHEZ: I will, as soon as we -- Michael, would you work on that for me, please?


SANCHEZ: When you get that...


HODGMAN: It's more or less the same, just replace Begich with Hodgman.

SANCHEZ: Did you see George Bush in that picture that we had a little while ago at the G20?

HODGMAN: I don't know what you're talking about. I didn't see George Bush at all.

SANCHEZ: Well, he's walking into this group and there's all these world leaders and nobody is shaking his hand. And is that shake...


SANCHEZ: And maybe we're making too much of that.

HODGMAN: I was looking at that tape and I didn't see George Bush there.

Are you sure?

You may be the last person who's able to see him.

SANCHEZ: It was you or another guy from (INAUDIBLE)...

HODGMAN: I think he's become invisible.


HODGMAN: And you're the last person in America who can see him.

SANCHEZ: Invisible. Maybe that's the problem. HODGMAN: I think that's the problem. They just didn't know he was there.

SANCHEZ: Do you feel bad for the...

HODGMAN: He's like a phantom.

SANCHEZ: Do you feel bad for the guy?

HODGMAN: I think he seems like he's quite relieved.

SANCHEZ: Look at this.

HODGMAN: Still, I don't -- I see a bunch of guys in suits. No George Bush. There's a big space there. I don't know, it's a -- maybe in time. Maybe in time he'll fade from your view, too.

SANCHEZ: What do you make of these guys who took the 25 -- who want $25 billion and flew in on planes...


SANCHEZ: ...their own private jets?

HODGMAN: That offends you?

SANCHEZ: It does a lot of people.


SANCHEZ: You Twitter.


SANCHEZ: You Twitter.

HODGMAN: I was just down at and I took my private jet here.

SANCHEZ: Did you really?

HODGMAN: Oh, it's very comfortable. It's kind of good for me.

SANCHEZ: It's a lot easier for...

HODGMAN: I have to think about my comfort, my rest. These are -- see, these are chief executive officers. They can't be taking...

SANCHEZ: We've got to...

HODGMAN: plane.

SANCHEZ: We've got make you a regular. Here's the book. It's called "More Information Than You Require."

HODGMAN: Yes. SANCHEZ: My 15-year-old son was on the couch reading this yesterday and he was laughing so out loud that his mother had to yell at him because of you.

HODGMAN: I'm sorry to add to your domestic strife.

SANCHEZ: There you go. Once again, John Hodgman, thanks so much.

Wolf Blitzer is standing by now to bring us up to date on what's going on in "THE SITUATION ROOM".

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks very much, Rick.

Bill Clinton -- he's back on the campaign trail today. Within the next hour or so, he's expected to show up where are you, in Georgia, to help with a crucial Senate race there. You're going to see it live. That's coming up here in "THE SITUATION ROOM".

Also, Hillary Clinton -- she's taking steps to help the vetting process. But "The New York Times" says maybe she's not so sure she wants to be secretary of State. We have the latest information for you.

And al Qaeda's number two man with a rather insulting message for Barack Obama.

And is he really trying to make sure his own people don't become too enamored with the president-elect?

All that, Rick, and a lot more coming up right here in "THE SITUATION ROOM".

SANCHEZ: All right.

John Hodgman says hi. He says he's a big fan of yours, Wolf.

BLITZER: Vice versa.

SANCHEZ: All right. There you go.

We're coming right back with The Fix and other sundries. Stay with us.


SANCHEZ: And we welcome you back.

We're trying to bring you up to date on some of things that are going on, including the things that sometimes we don't get a chance to show you or see, but we do have people who record it so we show you The Fix.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, no. Hello, John.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tonight, we bring you our new late developments as they happen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) thousands of gallons of oil.

CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN: When the presidential candidates try to talk about any other issue, they are bombarded with questions about our economy and ending our dependence on (INAUDIBLE)...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh. I think we've lost him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, no. No. No, please, before you kill me, John King, I just have a couple of questions.

Do you control the military?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: John, that's ridiculous. The magic wall is very powerful, but it's to analyze elections. It's a wonderful piece of technology. That's all it is. You're making this very nefarious. We view this as a great information tool.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm really -- I'm really sorry to have wasted your time.

KING: You're not wasting my time.


Thank you. Thank you, John.

KING: Take care.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I knew it. No. No. Damn you King! No.

Don't touch me.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't you make me go!


It's good to be king.



WHOOPI GOLDBERG, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW: Is considering starting a name and shame program that will publicly identify men who go to prostitutes.

JOY BEHAR, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": Oh. Well, there goes Eliot Spitzer's vacation.


BEHAR: But do you think that could work here?

SHERRI SHEPHERD, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": They said in -- over in London, it's going to be 80,000 prostitutes that are out of business.

Do you think we should help bail them out?



SANCHEZ: Hey, you work with some crazy people over there.

HODGMAN: John Oliver.


HODGMAN: You know, he's from England.

SANCHEZ: Is that what it does?

HODGMAN: Isn't that wacky?

SANCHEZ: Oh, boy.

Here's a...

HODGMAN: That's why he talks funny.

SANCHEZ: Here's what's not wacky.




Below 8000. And we're about to hear the final bell and it's not good news for America once again.

Susan is standing by.

Boy, you're always the bearer of bad news, you know that?

SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Unfortunately, that is the case. And that's why we're seeing a ferocious sell-off today, Rick.


SANCHEZ: It keeps getting worse. Our thanks to all of you. Our thanks to John Hodgman for being with us. A great new book.

Wolf Blitzer is standing by right now to bring you up to date on "THE SITUATION ROOM".

BLITZER: Thanks very much, Rick.