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Campbell Brown

Homegrown Terrorism?; Authorities Search Home of Jackson Doctor; Is Obesity Straining America's Budget?; Colin Powell Weighs in On Gates Arrest; President Obama in the Eyes of a Presidential Historian

Aired July 28, 2009 - 20:00   ET



CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Tonight, here are the questions we want answered.

Is the biggest terrorist threat now in our own backyard? Americans busted in North Carolina planning attacks. Hear why some experts are sounding the alarm and say what we don't know can hurt us.

Plus, tonight's newsmaker, Colin Powell -- what he says about the Harvard professor arrested in his own home.

COLIN POWELL, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I'm saying that Skip perhaps, in this instance, might have waited a while, come outside, talked to the officer, and that might have been the end of it. I think he should have reflected on whether or not this was the time to make that big a deal.

BROWN: More from this exclusive interview.

Also, will there be an arrest in the death of Michael Jackson? Cops and DEA agents surround the Las Vegas office of Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray. Helicopters hover overhead. What were they looking for? And where is Dr. Murray now?

And legalizing marijuana. California will let the voters decide. Will the Golden State go green?


ANNOUNCER: This is your only source for news. CNN prime time begins now. Here's Campbell Brown.

BROWN: Hi, everybody.

Those are the big questions tonight. But we're going to start, as we always do, with the "Mash-Up," our look at all of the stories making an impact right now, the moments you may have missed today. We're watching it all so you don't have to.

And we begin with new developments in the Jackson investigation. It was all happening in Las Vegas today. Investigators swooped down on the home and office of Michael Jackson's personal doctor, Conrad Murray. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KATIE COURIC, HOST, "CBS EVENING NEWS": Los Angeles police and federal drug agents made a house call today on a doctor, Michael Jackson's personal physician.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For six hours police and Drug Enforcement agents searched the home and office of Michael Jackson's doctor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're executing a search warrant here at the doctor's office and at his home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dr. Murray had been living with Jackson being paid $150,000 per month. He reportedly gave the singer propofol through an I.V. and would allegedly shut it off at a time that Jackson wanted to wake up.

JIM MORET, CHIEF CORRESPONDENT, "INSIDE EDITION": We know from other doctors that you cannot give propofol outside a hospital setting. Clearly, based upon the search warrant, they're looking for evidence of manslaughter.


BROWN: Now, police were still searching Dr. Conrad's office late this afternoon. We're going to have a whole lot more on this coming up.

President Obama talked health care today with thousands of members of the AARP. His favorite tool to explain his plan, the analogy. Try this one.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you got your car fixed at a mechanic and, three weeks later, you had to go back and you had to pay again to get your car fixed all over again, you'd be pretty mad, wouldn't you?


BROWN: That, of course, why hospitals need to get it right the first time. Here's another one.


OBAMA: When you go into a bank, you've got an ATM. If you use your credit card, they'll find you real quick and the billing is real easy, right?


BROWN: The analogy for why digitizing records is so important. And, of course, this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) OBAMA: If you could figure out a way to reduce your heating bill by insulating your windows, then that money that you saved -- you're still warm inside. You're just as comfortable as you were.

It's just you're not wasting all that energy and sending it in the form of higher bills to the electric company.


BROWN: Huh? We had a little trouble figuring that one out, but that's how we will reduce costs without sacrificing care, of course.

Now the president's schedule is locked in for Thursday at 6:00 p., that meeting with Harvard Professor Henry Gates and Cambridge Police Sergeant James Crowley. Has any backyard beer ever gotten so much attention?


NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS: This will be the table where we're told they will share some beers. It's right next to the swing set. I would even make like a drinking contest.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does anyone else think this is a little odd?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bizarre. They're going to have this beer fest.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't believe how many newspaper articles were debating what kind of beer they should have. The story goes on and on.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's goofy, because they should have had vodka, but whatever.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you imagine if he would've said Corona? Oh, he's outsourcing his beer drinking. You couldn't say Stella Artois. You have to say Bud.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, if beer is diplomacy, I think we can start it. We're not allowed to open it on television, but we want to be part of the party.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They worked it out at the picnic table, and then maybe they can figure out health care after this whole thing gets resolved.



BROWN: White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said it will be -- quote -- "a poignant moment," one we will certainly see all over the news.

Another step forward for Judge Sonia Sotomayor. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved her nomination today, no surprise there. A bit of surprise in this, though, a bit of candid bipartisan point of view here over the issue of the process, that the process stinks. Take a look.


SEN. TOM COBURN (R), OKLAHOMA: We need to change the rules for the hearings. We need to let judges really know, let us know what they think.

SEN. CHARLES GRASSLEY (R), IOWA: If a nominee were to be rejected for not answering questions, it might set a stand, a tone, but that's not going to happen.

SEN. HERBERT KOHL (D), WISCONSIN: For many years, we have seen a familiar pattern from nominees, Democrat and Republican alike, who have learned that the path of least resistance is to limit their responses and cautiously cloak them in generalities.

SEN. RUSS FEINGOLD (D), WISCONSIN: These hearings have become little more than theater, where senators try to ask clever questions and nominees try to come up with clever ways to respond.


BROWN: More chances for theater when the full Senate debates the nomination and then votes next week.

Sarah Palin's farewell speech left many questions, like, what's next for her and what was she talking about?

William Shatner took the speech and added a beat on "The Tonight Show." It is the punchline.


WILLIAM SHATNER, ACTOR: Soaring through nature's finest snow. Denali, the great one, soaring under the midnight sun.

The cold though, doesn't it split the Cheechakos from the Sourdoughs?

And then in the summertime such extreme, summertime, about 150 degrees hotter than just some months ago, than just some months from now. And it is, as throughout all Alaska, that big wild good life teeming along the road that is north to the future.





BROWN: And that is brilliant. But real Shatner fans know he has done this before. William Shatner circa 1978. Check it out.


SHATNER: Zero hour, 9:00 a.m., and I'm going to be high as a kite by then. I'm not the man they think I am. No, no, no, I'm a rocket man.


BROWN: William Shatner, the rocket man. And that is the "Mash-Up."

The big question tonight -- we're going to get a little more serious here -- how big is the terrorist threat here at home? A group of men busted in North Carolina, and six of them were Americans. Find out why some experts are sounding the alarms tonight.

Also, did Michael Jackson's doctor cause his death? There was a raid at his house today. We're going to take you there for some answers.

And tonight's newsmaker, Colin Powell, an exclusive interview.


BROWN: A frightening terror plot is being uncovered. And what may be most disturbing is that all of the suspects arrested so far, anyway, live right here in the U.S. Authorities say these are among the eight people who plotted -- quote -- "violent jihad" overseas.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The FBI says it's broken up a violent ring of homegrown terrorists, arresting seven men from North Carolina. Alleged ringleader Daniel Patrick Boyd and all but one of the other suspects are American citizens.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They never came close to carrying out any kind of an attack, but seven North Carolina men are in custody today, after the FBI busted their dreams to commit jihad overseas.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They include this man, Daniel Boyd, and his two sons. The investigators say Boyd attended terrorist training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan and recruited the others to train with him in North Carolina. There were no known targets in the U.S.

BRAD GARRETT, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: It's a huge problem in the United States, the recruitment both into radical jihadist movements as well as homegrown terrorists who want to attack us here in the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BROWN: Now, tonight, the search continues for the eighth suspect, whose name is being withheld. So, the big question tonight, how big is the threat from homegrown terrorists?

And we got terrorism expert Steve Emerson, the executive director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism, joining us tonight from Washington. Here in New York with me, R.P. Eddie. He was director of global issues for the White House National Security Council under Bill Clinton.

Welcome to both of you guys.

Steve, let me start with you on this. And just talk specifically a little bit about this group. What do we know about them? How much danger do you really think they really did pose?

STEVE EMERSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, THE INVESTIGATIVE PROJECT ON TERRORISM: Well, the group was instigated by Daniel Patrick Boyd, who had fought himself in the Afghan jihad against the Soviets in the late '80s, early '90s. That's where he got his training.

He became a Muslim, converted. The pictures that are now being seen are really reflective of his high school graduation pictures. He actually has a long beard, became very orthodox in the fundamentalist way, and began teaching his children, as well as friends, that jihad was a necessary way of conducting behavior overseas.

Now, he plotted together with seven other people ways to carry out suicide bombings in Israel, as well as attacks in Jordan, Pakistan, Kosovo, and elsewhere. He also raised money to teach youngsters as well as other would-be recruits how to carry out jihad in the United States. That is he trained them in the U.S. to carry out jihad outside the U.S. and that's the danger here.

And I think the reason why they wrapped up the case at this point was that they were thwarted in carrying out jihad overseas and with the arsenal that they had collected, a massive arsenal, they believed the U.S. was an infidel country that could be targeted. They all swore allegiance to martyrdom, Campbell, and that meant that they were prepared to die in the course of carrying out suicide bombings.

Therefore, the possibility existed that they would train their ire on the United States and carry out attacks here.

BROWN: All right, let me just add an allegedly there, Steve. They have only been arrested at this stage. But we will see where this takes us.

And let me just -- R.P., we have seen these Islamic radicals arrested across the country from New York to Miami to Portland, Oregon, now. How severe do you think the problem is? And are we -- to me, we in the media are often very dismissive of this, and then think, these are just a bunch of whack jobs, and we're not paying a whole lot of attention to it. Are we making a huge mistake?

R.P. EDDY, TERRORISM EXPERT: Right. Yes. So, there's two big issues you raise. The first is, what kind of threat are we really seeing from inside our own country? And the answer is that it's real. It's been around since before 9/11. It's different than the type of threat that actually hit us on 9/11, which was an external coming inside, but there are threats inside of this country.

And you mentioned a number of cases. There are many others, as we both know. Then you get to the issue of, are these guys just jokers? Is the threat real? Need we be concerned. The answer there is, I think we do, and I think a lot of criticism that these cases aren't real and should be ignored or not taken that seriously is entirely wrong, because it's much easier to commit a terrorist attack than most people believe.

And many of these plots or many of these groups are much more advanced than we tend to give them credit for. So, these are very real threats.

The last point I would make is we have also seen homegrown threats, of course, across Europe, across Asia. And those attacks have been successful. Why would we think that wouldn't happen here?

BROWN: Do you agree with that, Steve? Are we ignoring these guys and these incidents at our own peril?

EMERSON: I think we are very dismissive. I think, first of all, this story itself didn't get as much play because it didn't happen in New York or Washington.

Number two, the plots were designed to be carried out outside the U.S. But these were determined, convinced, and very, very violent jihadists, allegedly, according to the indictment. We will hear more at the sentencing on Thursday.

But certainly if you look at Lodi, California, you look at Fort Dix, New Jersey, you look at Upstate New York just a couple of weeks ago, where several -- four Muslims plotted to blow up two synagogues and shoot down a National Guard plane, we see homegrown terrorists now who are Muslims who converted to Islam either in prison or in the community or are indigenously Muslim who believe that jihad is OK to carry out, either here in the U.S. or more likely outside the U.S.

But they use the U.S. as a base. And it's illegal to do that, and it shouldn't be allowed, because ultimately if you're prepared to carry out a suicide bombing in let's say Israel, you're a stone's throw away from carrying out one in the United States.

BROWN: Right.

R.P., I read the authorities were tracking this group for three years. Are we giving them the tools they need, FBI, law enforcement? Are we devoting enough resources to this given that as you said we're not really paying that much attention? Is our government is paying attention on -- for us? EDDY: I think absolutely we are not giving it enough resources. So, we think about the resources we put into the war on terror, an immense amount of blood and treasure is going overseas to Afghanistan, Iraq, and with the CIA around the world and other issues.

Internally, the only organization that's really capable of working on this in the United States is the FBI.

BROWN: Right.

EDDY: And the numbers get down to maybe there's 2,000, 5,000, 6,000, 7,000 FBI agents working on this in the U.S. and that's not enough.

Now, what we do have in this country of course are a million police officers, all of whom who have local intelligence. They know their neighborhoods. They know what's out of place. They're not being asked and they're not being or equipped or trained or -- really equipped or trained to deal with this threat. And that's something that needs to be worked on and it's a great resource available to us.

And the stories go on and on. Some of the cases that we were mentioning earlier actually were thwarted by police working with the FBI.

BROWN: Right.

EDDY: But the police need to be a big solution here and they need to being more seriously that...

BROWN: It's pretty terrifying stuff. All right, Steve Emerson joining us from Washington, again, R.P. Eddy here with me here in New York, thanks, guys. Appreciate it.

EDDY: Thanks.

BROWN: California taking the first step towards legalizing marijuana. And Michael Phelps, a swimsuit controversy to tell you about. That's all coming up in tonight's "Download."

Plus, are overweight people in this country blowing up health care bills? Or are they being scapegoated for the nation's health care crisis? We're going to hear two very different points of view on this very shortly. Stay with us.


BROWN: A look now at some of the other must-see stories of the day. Erica Hill joining us with tonight's "Download" -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Campbell, more U.S. troops could soon be heading into Afghanistan.

The top U.S. commander there, General Stanley McChrystal, expected to ask for even more boots on the ground. That's according to a senior U.S. military official. Now, those troops would likely be used for conducting intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, as well as dealing with roadside bombs and other explosives. The request could come in the next few weeks.

A September trial has been ordered for the man charged with gunning down a doctor who performed late-term abortions. At today's preliminary hearing, anti-abortionist activist Scott Roeder pleaded not guilty to killing Dr. George Tiller. Tiller was of course shot at his church in May. Roeder faces charges of first-degree murder and aggravated assault.

Just a week after voters in Oakland, California, approved a tax on medical marijuana, a ballot measure was filed today that would legalize pot statewide. It is the second such initiative in recent weeks. This one would allow all adults to possess up to an ounce and to grow pot for personal use in small gardens.

Now, if they do find enough signatures here, the measure could go to the voters next year. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has said the idea does deserve serious consideration.

And did Michael Phelps actually lose a swimming championship because of what his rival wore? Phelps' coach is furious after a German managed to beat the Olympic phenom, something, well, no one has done in four years. That other swimmer wore a high-tech swim suit made out of 100 percent polyurethane. And now Phelps' coach is threatening to keep that German out of future competition if the governing body doesn't move to quickly ban the high-tech swimwear.

There's a new Taser on the market. It is reportedly like no stun gun to come before. The newest model can actually zap three people at one time. Until now, Tasers had to be reloaded after firing just one. There you go, three in one.

BROWN: OK. I would hate to see that showdown.

Erica Hill.

HILL: I don't want to find out, yes.

BROWN: Yes, let's not. We will see you a little bit later, Erica. Thanks.

The big question tonight, will the doctor who gave Michael Jackson his final drug dose be charged? His home raided today by the DEA. We are separating fact from rumor for you.

Also, tonight's newsmaker, Colin Powell, his advice for the Harvard professor arrested at home.


POWELL: There is no African-American in this country who has not been exposed to this kind of situation. Do you get angry? Yes. Do you manifest that anger? You protest. You try to get things fixed.

But it's kind of a better course of action to take it easy, and don't let your anger make the current situation worse.



BROWN: Now to the very latest in the Michael Jackson case. Are we on the verge of an arrest? Check it out. This was the scene in Las Vegas today, police cars surrounding the home and office of Dr. Conrad Murray, Jackson's personal physician while news helicopters hovered overhead.

The searches came less than 24 hours after a source with knowledge of the investigation confirmed to CNN that Dr. Murray had administered a powerful drug that authorities do believe killed Michael Jackson.

So, is this a break in the case that we're talking about here?

Joining me now, CNN's Ted Rowlands, and Jim Moret also with us, chief correspondent for "Inside Edition," also a former CNN anchor.

Ted, let me start with you.

Helicopters flying above the house as we said out in Vegas. Give us the very latest. What's going on?

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, right now, they are just finishing up what turned out to be an eight-hour day at Conrad Murray's clinic. You see the last police officer here. They just announced about an half-an-hour ago that they finished their work here and that they will not be back tomorrow. Presumably, they're done.

The other search warrant that was served was at Murray's house. That answered one question that people have had for a long time. Where is Murray? Well, he was in the house, and he came out and greeted investigators and brought them in.

And according to Ed Chernoff, he actually helped them with their search. We do know, through Ed Chernoff, Murray's lawyer, what they took. And that is simply a computer hard drive and some cell phones. That search warrant only one took three hours. This one took eight hours.

BROWN: So, Jim, again, second time his property has been searched in a week. How serious was this today?

MORET: Well, I think it's very serious. The DEA agent made it very clear this was a search warrant, not an arrest warrant. So, you don't want to draw too much from it.

However, what you can glean from this is they need more information, specifically documents. What are they looking for? They were looking for, perhaps, any correspondence between Michael Jackson and the doctor, any prescription he may have made either to Michael Jackson or under aliases.

And specifically as to the propofol, did this doctor purchase it? And you would look for receipts, for records, for lot numbers, anything that would tie this doctor to the medication that actually killed Michael Jackson. It does intensify the investigation with respect to this doctor, but they are looking at other doctors as well.

BROWN: And, Ted, the key in large part to this moving forward, also, seems to be the toxicology report. What are you hearing in terms of when we may actually see those?

ROWLANDS: Well, originally we were told that we should expect them as early as the end of this week.

However, the coroner's office is now telling us it will not happen this week. There will not be a public release of this report. It may be done, but they're not going to release their findings this week at all. They say at the earliest now it'll be some time next week at the earliest, so pushing it back, and that may have, may have something to do with the other investigation that's going on.

BROWN: Let me go to Jim on this.

There's a statement that Chernoff, who is the attorney for Dr. Murray, released late last night. And I just want to read a snippet of it.

It says: "Everyone needs to take a breath and wait for these long- delayed toxicology results. Things tend to shake out when all the facts are made known. I'm sure this will happen here as well."

I mean, just kind of big-picture this for us. Is all of this speculatory I guess at this stage until we really learn what the cause of death is, or as much as we can about the cause of death?

MORET: Well, there is speculation with respect to the cause of death. But if it's true that this doctor admitted to police that he administered Diprivan, which you know you can't get with a prescription and is never used outside of a hospital setting, you could have criminal charges relating to that alone.

The toxicology report is critical, because it will give us a cause of death. And you don't want to jump to conclusions, saying this doctor killed Michael Jackson, when we don't even know what killed him.

BROWN: All right, Jim Moret, for us, as well as Ted Rowlands, guys, thanks very much. Appreciate it.

MORET: Sure.

BROWN: The government saying tonight obesity is costing this country $147 billion a year. But are plus-sized Americans really straining the health care system, or are they being scapegoated here? We're going to talk to a model and a mom on opposite sides of the issue when we come back.


CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: So a new study that was just put out by the CDC finds that nearly 10 percent of what the country spends on health care is attributable to obesity. $147 billion a year, double what it was a decade ago. In grief and in dollars, that is a heck of a tab. Still, there are those who say we may be scapegoating overweight people for the nation's health care crisis. And joining us right now to talk about this, MeMe Roth of the National Action Against Obesity, and actress Mia Amber Davis who is creative editor-at-large for "Plus Model" magazine.

Welcome to both of you. Good to have you here.



BROWN: So, MeMe, let me start with you on this first. And just what do you make of the numbers? $147 billion is a lot of dough.

ROTH: Yes, you know, look, if you wanted to make a nation fat, we have set our culture up to do exactly that. It's like we're living in a brothel and no one's allowed to have sex. Everywhere you go there's one temptation after another. I'm surprised there's anyone left in this country who isn't overweight.

BROWN: So get to the heart of the problem in terms of what you think we ought to do.

ROTH: Well, we need to make good food, real food produce available, cheap, accessible to everyone. We're not doing that. We need to have recreation places that are safe and easy to access for everyone. We're not doing that.

We've got junk food in the school. We've got marketing junk food to children. We're not doing what it takes to correct the problem.

But the economy, the economics of it are shifting. Big pharma has made a bundle on obesity. The weight loss industry has made a bundle. Beverage and food have made a bundle. Now we're seeing it. We're picking up the tab and we're pushing back.

BROWN: So, Mia, is there to you a sense of blame the victim, of scapegoating people who are overweight and when you see a study like this?

DAVIS: Definitely, 100 percent. It's that sizism is the last acceptable prejudice. If you see someone who's overweight, automatically they're the reason for America's problems in the health care industry? That's absolutely not true. And there are plenty of people who are normal size, who are straight sizes as opposed to plus size who have health issues. I don't know anyone in my circle of friends, in my family, in the millions of women that I reached out to being a plus-sized advocate that has health issues related to being overweight.

ROTH: Well, the truth is if you're obese, you are unhealthy. You're awash in extra estrogen. People don't realize this, if you're man, woman, or child, you have extra estrogen coursing through your body because of the obesity. You have orthopedic problems. BROWN: But MeMe --

ROTH: You're inflamed.

BROWN: I know a lot of skinny people who are really unhealthy too.

ROTH: That's true. But you know what? But I think tonight we're talking about obesity. But you're absolutely right. Starvation or improper eating is a problem on either side.

BROWN: But, I mean the point you're making is that obesity is a large part of the problem --

ROTH: Absolutely. Here's what the numbers are.

We only have -- Reuters recently reported that only eight percent of us don't smoke, drink moderately, eat the fruits and vegetables we're supposed to eat and exercise regularly. So really fat or thin only eight percent of us are even trying in this country, but we're eating ourselves into obesity, which means we're eating ourselves into diabetes, dementia, heart disease, cancer. Did you know that a third of all cancer is obesity-related?

DAVIS: But overweight does not mean unhealthy. I've been off the chart since I was 12 years old and I'm perfectly healthy.

ROTH: There's a higher incidence of infertility, pregnancy complications, low sperm count.

DAVIS: I have none of those issues. None.

ROTH: And there's even a higher incidence of birth defects when it comes to obesity, so don't argue with me. Argue with Darwin.

BROWN: But, again, go ahead. Mia, make your point.

DAVID: I'm not arguing with you, I'm just saying that we are the last acceptable prejudice. If you are -- if you have --

ROTH: Normally with smoking, it's a choice.

DAVIS: It's not a choice to be overweight. I think that that's insulting, actually.

ROTH: Well, it's what the numbers show -- nine times of ten --

DAVIS: Well, no one asked me. There was no poll. I never participated in any poll. I've never had a health issue, so I'm not included in that study, as far as anyone that I know.


ROTH: Well, I come from a long line of obesity, and I know how hard it is to stay at a healthy weight. It really takes a lot of discipline. It takes a lot of motivation. It's not easy.

DAVIS: OK, I work out four times a week.

ROTH: Which you're supposed to be working out every day.

DAVIS: I work out four times a week with a trainer. That is my workout. That does not even include what I do the rest of those three days of the week.


BROWN: Let her finish.

DAVIS: Right. I'm not here to argue with you. I'm here to say that stop blaming overweight people or obese people for America's problems. It's not our fault.

BROWN: But, MeMe, let me follow up on the point Mia is making because, I mean, look, there's -- you're a very thin woman, but there are a lot of people who genetically have a much harder time losing weight.

ROTH: And I'm in that category. It's actually I've always had to watch my weight. I'm very mindful of what I eat. I run at least four miles every single day.

It is a hard choice if your genetics aren't helping you out. But the truth is genetics does not explain the tripling of obesity in the last three decades. We cannot become obese in the absence of food. It's not a genetic situation.

BROWN: So where do you draw the line? Are you suggesting that if you are -- you know, if you don't hit a certain weight, if you're overweight that you should be paying higher health insurance premiums? Or what do you --

ROTH: No, no. I'm a big fan of changing the culture to make it easier for all of us to be healthy. And I'm a big fan of the sweet and soft drink tax. I think we tax things that are ubiquitous and nonessential like that. We can earmark that money for prevention and easy access and cheaper produce. We need to make those kinds of changes.

DAVIS: I'm so tired of people charging people because they're overweight. I mean because that's a fact --

ROTH: No, no, no. Anyone who drinks --

DAVIS: And if people are just talking about you're overweight, you should pay more and it's your fault. Stop blaming us. It's not about accessibility, it's about the blame. It's like we're a target but yet we're invisible everywhere else.

Mainstream media doesn't showcase overweight people. Overweight women are not seen in Hollywood. It's like why are we being targets but yet we're invisible everywhere else?

It's hard to find clothing. It's hard to find adequate seating arrangements. It's hard to find so many things because of we're a nation of size and we're not being catered to. So don't turn around now and blame us for it.

ROTH: Well, you're the overwhelming majority now.

BROWN: Hold on, Mia. I want to ask Mia this too. Because you mentioned this and the head of the CDC, although it's not the administration's policy, they have raised this. This idea of taxing soda, you know. What do you think? I mean, does that sound crazy to you?

DAVIS: It sounds crazy to me because it's soda. I don't drink soda personally. So it's like you're saying that if I drink soda I will become fat.

ROTH: I'm not talking about who is fat or not.

DAVIS: That is ridiculous for me.

ROTH: We're talking about anyone who drinks these sweetened drinks, and we know that the single greatest source of our calories in the American diet is sweetened drinks. So again, it's ubiquitous, it's nonessential. It's a great place for us to raise $100 billion or possibly $200 billion in the next decade.

And, again, you're talking about a one cent tax per ounce. So it's a great place to get some money to help maybe subsidize fresh produce, not corn, but maybe some broccoli or avocados.

And also, I'm a big fan of Harkin's (ph) plan to make sure that we have calories posted on all menu boards across the country, not just in -- we want to inform consumers.

BROWN: All right. We're almost out of time. I just want to give Mia the last word on this.

DAVIS: Stop blaming overweight people for America's problems. If you are gay, you can play straight. If you are a certain religion, you can play another religion. You can't hide the fact that you're overweight and nor do we want to.

I'm proud of the way I look. I'm proud of my body. I'm proud of all my friends and the hard work that we do to maintain our curves. So stop blaming us for America's health care issues because I am not a part of that plan.

ROTH: The studies don't back you up. And nine times out of ten, obesity is a result of lifestyle choices.

DAVIS: I'm not included in those studies.

BROWN: All right, guys. I wish we could go on. I mean, I think the difference is over whether or not you can be overweight and be healthy.

DAVIS: Yes, and I'm a healthy woman. BROWN: And clearly, Mia believes you can be.

ROTH: The physicians won't back you up on that.

DAVIS: My physicians will back me up.

BROWN: OK, ladies. We've got to end it there. But many thanks for coming on.

ROTH: Thanks, Campbell. Thanks, Mia.

DAVIS: Thank you.

BROWN: Both Mia and MeMe, thank you very much, guys.

DAVIS: Thank you.

BROWN: Tonight's newsmaker Colin Powell. Hear his surprising advice for the Harvard professor arrested in his own home. That's when we come back.


BROWN: Welcome back, everybody. Now time for tonight's newsmaker.

Colin Powell, the former Secretary of State weighed in today on the controversy over the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates. And if you think Powell sided with his long time friend, Gates, you may be surprised by what he told Larry King. Listen.


LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": You think Gates was wrong?

COLIN POWELL, FMR. SECRETARY OF STATE: I'm saying that Skip, perhaps in this instance, might have waited a while, come outside, talked to the officer, and that might have been the end of it. I think he should have reflected on whether or not this was the time to make that big a deal. But he's just home from China, just home from New York. All he wanted to do is get to bed. His door was jammed and so he was in a mood where he said something.

KING: What about those who say he brings the whole history into the body of a black movement?

POWELL: That may well be -- that may well be the case. But I still think that it might well have been resolved in a different manner if we didn't have this verbal altercation between the two of them.

KING: Were you ever racially profiled?

POWELL: Yes, many times.

KING: And did you ever bring anger to it?

POWELL: Of course. But, you know, anger is best controlled. And sure I got mad. I got mad when, as a national security adviser to the president of the United States, I went down to meet somebody at Reagan National Airport, and nobody recognized -- nobody thought I could possibly be the national security adviser to the president. I was just a black guy at Reagan National Airport. And it was only when I went up to the counter and said is my guest here who's waiting for me did somebody say oh, you're General Powell. It was inconceivable to him that a black guy could be the national security adviser.

KING: How do you deal with things like that?

POWELL: You just suck it. What are you going to do? It was a teaching point for him. Yes, I'm the national security adviser, I'm black, and watch I can do the job.

So you have this kind of -- there is no African-American in this country who is not been exposed to this kind of situation. Do you get angry? Yes. Do you manifest that anger? You protest. You try to get things fixed. But it's kind of a better course of action to take it easy and don't let your anger make the current situation worse.


BROWN: So Colin Powell there, but no surprise here, I guess. Bill Maher taking a very different point of view. He told Wolf Blitzer that he thinks the police acted stupidly, but it may not be a question of race. Take a look.


BILL MAHER, HBO'S "REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER": I think they did. You know, I'm not even sure if this is really a racial situation. Because, you know, I don't know if this cop is racist, but I have to say, you know, it seems to me more like a police situation. I mean, I think Henry Louis Gates was arrested for the crime of not kissing the behind of the police officer. And I think that's too often the problem we have in this country with the police.


BROWN: So who's really at fault here? Can a beer at the White House solve this problem?

Joining me now Dylan Glenn, former special assistant to President George W. Bush. Jeff Toobin, CNN senior legal analyst with me as well. Susan Molinari, former congresswoman from New York, and Willie Brown, who's the former mayor of San Francisco, joining us also.

Mayor Brown, let me start with you. What did you think of Secretary Powell's comment? Should Professor Gates have handled the situation differently as the secretary was suggesting there?

WILLIE BROWN, FORMER SAN FRANCISCO MAYOR: I think if you ask Skip Gates he would tell you today he should have handled it differently. After all, whenever a policeman confronts you on the street, you better know that that policeman is the judge, the jury, and the executor. And with your superior knowledge, you probably shouldn't annoy him too much. You ought to be very careful.

You don't have to be unusually submissive, but you certainly can't humiliate him verbally or otherwise. I think Skip Gates would prefer, frankly, to reflect upon himself in that way. He's probably more critical of himself than Powell is critical of him.

BROWN: You know, Dylan, we also heard Powell talk about being a target himself of racial profiling and the reality is African-American men still have to deal with this every day of their lives in some form or fashion. Do you think that this, you know, incident is going to help improve that in some way?

DYLAN GLENN, FORMER G.W. BUSH SPECIAL ASSISTANT: I think if there is a positive, I guess, it sort of raises awareness about the real issue of racial profiling. I'm not sure that this was an example of that. However, the fact that we're talking about, the fact that Secretary Powell talked about it, I guess that's a nice side benefit to this unfortunate incident.

But, you know, the fact of the matter is that this was a call into the police about a potential break-in in a neighborhood and then we now find out ex-post facto that race really wasn't a part of that call even though initially it was reported that way.

BROWN: Right.

GLENN: So, you know, perhaps at the end of the day the side benefit that all of this much ado about nothing, if you ask me, is that we do have a real conversation perhaps about a real issue that does exist in America.

BROWN: Well, this has been hashed out from every angle over the last week or so. But let me move it forward a little bit, Susan here, and look beyond this debate and talk about this beer summit between Obama, Crowley, and Gates at the White House on Thursday. Is this the solution here? A good idea in your view?

SUSAN MOLINARI (R), FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: Well, look, I think, you know, this was a teaching moment. I think perhaps for the president too who realized that he can't react as Barack Obama anymore, he has to react to all these situations as president of the United States, leader of the free world. And I mean, I think hopefully he learned the lesson that he needs to calibrate a little bit more upon which those issues he speaks out particularly when he and we don't have all the facts.

Nonetheless, I think, you know, if two -- if you can have a situation where, you know, from a political standpoint it prolongs the debate. So let me just say this, probably not a good thing for him when you're going into zero out trying to accomplish health care. But, you know, if you're sitting here in Washington, D.C. and you hear that, you know, people have called each other names, impugned (ph) motives but yet can get together and have a beer, that's probably a teachable moment for all of us in Washington, D.C.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Susan used to be a member of Congress and I love the idea that there are congressmen and men and women out there who might vote for or against health care because of the Skip Gates controversy. That just seems so surreal to me but Washington being Washington it might actually be true.

MOLINARI: It is. It might actually be true.

Well, and I think the point is that we're spending more time talking about this issue in the media at a moment like this on taking up the president's time and his energy as opposed to him being a vocal advocate for the health care bill that he says he needs to pass in about, you know, two days.

TOOBIN: I don't think --

W. BROWN: I don't think we have -- I don't think --

TOOBIN: I don't think one has to do with the other. But anyway, I'm sorry to interrupt.

BROWN: Go ahead. Mayor Brown, go ahead.

W. BROWN: I don't think we should ignore too much what Bill Maher said. He is correct. The police departments, when I served as mayor, we often had the issues of what happens with the policemen on the streets, whether or not it's training that's been sufficient, to require him to elevate himself above and beyond the things that ordinarily annoy people.

But he's empowered, he's got a weapon. He has all of the authority on his side when he's confronting a citizen in the streets. It takes a considerable amount of restraint not to exercise that power. We need to talk about that, as well as the question of whether or not Skip Gates conducted himself appropriately.

TOOBIN: That's a very important point. Because I think Colin Powell was very eloquent in saying, look, Skip Gates probably should have taken a deep breath and said, you know, let's -- and not had a confrontation. But so might Sergeant Crowley have taken a deep breath and said, you know, I just, you know, hassled this guy. He's in his own home. He's angry, he's tired. Maybe I shouldn't arrest him. So both sides, I think, needed to take a deep breath here not just Gates.


MOLINARI: And, Campbell, I think it also needs to be said that, you know, police officers also have a job that none of us have, which is when they leave their home at the beginning of the day by virtue of the job that they do, they're not sure that they're coming back. So I think sometimes we've got to give them a little latitude too because thank goodness they want to do that job.

BROWN: And we got to end it there. But many thanks to Jeff, Susan, Dylan, and Mayor Willie Brown joining us from San Francisco, as well. Thanks, guys.

MOLINARI: Thank you. BROWN: For obvious reasons, Barack Obama already assured a place in history. So what is the presidential historian think when he sits down for a private meeting with the man? Stay tuned. We're going to have Douglas Brinkley when we come back.


BROWN: Every American president makes history, Barack Obama more than most. In just a little while ago, I talked to presidential historian Douglas Brinkley who says mothers all over the world are telling their kids some day you can grow up and be like Barack Obama. Douglas Brinkley's latest book is called "The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America."


BROWN: Before we get to the book, let me ask you about a recent dinner you had with the Obamas. They invited you and a number of historians to come and sit down and break bread. What was it like? I know it was a private dinner, but give us whatever sense you can of what it was like.

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: We had a nice dinner. It was off the record. I can't say too much, but I will tell you for a historian to get to walk around the White House is an amazing thrill. And I was impressed at just how book knowledgeable and history knowledgeable President Obama is.

I was reflecting when I left the White House about other presidents and, you know, I think you really have to go back to Theodore Roosevelt to have a president that was so engaged with the written word. T.R. made his career writing books about the war of 1812 and about the Dakota territories, we forget that Barack Obama really came to our attention as an author.

BROWN: You know, obviously what people will write as historians later, the first black president. At what point do you get beyond that? Because you have a rare ability to think about this and I think a bigger picture way than most of us. Where do you get beyond that and his agenda comes into play?

BRINKLEY: He's already beyond it because he's not merely a president. I mean, the global aspect of Barack Obama's intents all over the world and so-called developing countries in particular, mothers are saying some day you can grow up and be like Barack Obama. Some people call that a global president or celebrity president, doesn't affect his poll ratings here at home. But this is somebody who's not going to be forgotten. He's already by being elected with his name and his biography and his -- the kind of principles.

You know, I think what we've not talked about enough in the news media about Barack Obama is his family values. That's where it's been bandied around since I've been a child. Who has family values?

I mean, the values of Barack and Michelle for all of us in the way they're raising their children, the way that their mother-in-law has even brought into the White House, it's his strength. His personal biography is going to be his strength. So, however, he's one of those -- he's a president of personality in a lot of ways and it's yet to be seen how we feel about the policies.

BROWN: Let's talk about Roosevelt and specifically the book. And you focus on one sort of narrow part of his life, but a very important, incredibly important part of his life and his legacy.

The book is called "The Wilderness Warrior" and it tells a story of how he set aside 230 million acres of open land in this country. I mean, 100 years later now, we're obviously still feeling the impact of that today. Talk a little about how huge it was.

BRINKLEY: He really helped create his legacy as creating this incredible wild America epos (ph). He had climbed the Matterhorn in Switzerland and saw no wildlife. And he was determined that our rockies and our cascades and our sierras were filled with wildlife. So as president of the United States, as a founder of the Bronx Zoo, he bred buffalo here in New York to be shipped to Oklahoma to repopulate the rich and tall mountains of Oklahoma.

It's our first national game reserve. And he did things for seals and manatee and on and on, the whole list. He was really the father of the wildlife protection movement.

Now, here at CNN, you guys talk about "Planet in Peril."

BROWN: Right.

BRINKLEY: T.R. was trying to hold Kyoto-like (ph) global summits 100 years ago to have all the world work together on natural resource development. Now we see Obama trying to get China to, you know, work on their pollution standards. That's the sort of thing Roosevelt was doing 100 years ago.


BROWN: When we come back, Colin Powell the exclusive interview with Larry King. That's just minutes away. We'll be right back after this break.


BROWN: An exclusive interview with Colin Powell. That is just seconds away. And then join us tomorrow again. We're going to be talking about two big newsmakers tomorrow.

Musician (ph) is going to tell us about his work with Michael Jackson on the very last album before his death. We're also going to talk politics with former New York City mayor and Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani.

Be sure to join us. All that coming up tomorrow night.

Have a good one, everybody. We'll see you back here, then.

"LARRY KING LIVE" starting right now.


LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE" (voice-over): Tonight, Colin Powell exclusive. He voted for Barack Obama. How does he think the president's doing six months into the job?

COLIN POWELL, FMR. SECRETARY OF STATE: People are starting to get a little uneasy at the number of federal initiatives and the amount of money.

KING: His first public comments on the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates.

POWELL: When you're being asked something by a police officer, being detained by a police officer, cooperate.

KING: His take on the future of the GOP and Sarah Palin.

POWELL: I don't think she was ready to be president of the United States last fall.

KING: Reaction to Rush Limbaugh.

POWELL: You can't tell me that I can't be in the party. I decide what party I'm going to be in.

KING: Plus, his thoughts on Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea.

POWELL: They're not fazed. They are some of the best toughest negotiators I have ever dealt with.

KING: Colin Powell in his own words next on LARRY KING LIVE.