Return to Transcripts main page

Campbell Brown

President Obama Pushes Health Care Plan; Michael Vick Returns to NFL

Aired August 14, 2009 - 20:00   ET



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

President Obama pushes his health care plan in Montana, but is everybody buying what the president is selling?

RANDY RATHIE, QUESTIONED PRESIDENT OBAMA AT MONTANA TOWN HALL MEETING: We keep getting the bull. That's all we get is bull. You can't tell us how you're going to pay for this.

ROBERTS: Plus, Michael Vick returns to the NFL after nearly two years in prison for dogfighting.

MICHAEL VICK, NFL PLAYER: I was wrong for what I did. After everything that happened at that point in time in my life was wrong. To this day, I can't understand why I was involved in such pointless activity.

ROBERTS: But not everyone is welcoming him with open arms.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm just a little upset with it, because I'm such an animal lover.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Crazy signing. I don't know what they are going to do with the public relations part of it.

ROBERTS: Has Vick paid enough of a price for his crime?

And the stories you may have missed this week, Chuck Grassley's blast at the president and the town halls that didn't turn into shout- fests.

Plus, what happens when three rock gods get together on the same stage? Warning: It might get loud.


ANNOUNCER: This is your only source for news. CNN prime time begins now.

In for Campbell Brown, John Roberts.

ROBERTS: And hi, everybody. Campbell Brown is off tonight. Those are our big questions. But we start as always with the "Mash-Up," our look at the stories making an impact right now and the moments that you might have missed. We're watching it all, so you don't have to.

The media bracing for a battle in big sky country, but President Obama fielded mostly softballs at his Montana town hall meeting, none of those fearsome protests that we have seen erupting across the country, the toughest question from this guy, an NRA member named Randy. Check it out.


RATHIE: Max Baucus, our senator, has been locked up in a dark room there for months now, trying to come up with some money to pay for these programs.


RATHIE: And we keep getting the bull. That's all we get is bull. You can't tell us how you're going to pay for this. You're saving here. You're saving over there. You're going to take a little money here. You're going to take a little money there. But you have no money. The only way you're going to get that money is to raise our taxes.

You said you wouldn't.


ROBERTS: And with that, Randy's 15 minutes of fame started ticking down.


RATHIE: Well, I drove several hundred miles. I slept on a sidewalk to get in line. I was number 215 in line.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After the town hall, Rathie, a McCain voter, said he wasn't convinced that the president could fulfill his promise.

RATHIE: I want him and Max Baucus and those people to say, here's where the money is. And I'm afraid where it's coming from is out of us taxpayers' pockets again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, why wasn't there more anger in here? For one thing, after accusing Republicans of orchestrating their protests, Democrats did some orchestrating of their own, getting in line early in large numbers and snatching up most of the tickets.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: But nobody -- nobody questioned you in advance or asked you what your question was going to be? Was there any screening, in other words?

RATHIE: Absolutely not.

I -- I would be very upset if somebody tried.


ROBERTS: For the record, the president's answer to Randy's question, he won't raise taxes on the middle class. The big question, will the president's health care plan fly in red-state Montana? We will ask true blue Governor Democrat Brian Schweitzer. He joins in just a few minutes.

In Philadelphia today, kickoff for the Michael Vick comeback tour. Fresh out of prison on dogfighting charges, the football star now reports to the Philadelphia Eagles, signing a two-year deal potentially worth $6 million, more than enough incentive to stay on message.


VICK: I knew it was wrong and I felt it was wrong. And I was wrong for what I did. At that point in time in my life was wrong, and it was unnecessary. And it was totally unnecessary and uncalled for.

I'm glad that I got the opportunity at a second chance. Everybody deserves a second chance. But you only get one shot at a second chance.

If I can, you know, help more animals that I hurt, then I'm contributing. If I can help more than I hurt, then I'm contributing. Try to do more good than bad.


ROBERTS: Eagles owner Jeff Lurie, a self-described extreme animal lover, says he is convinced that Vick has changed his ways. But has he really? Vick's agent joins us a little later on tonight.

In Taiwan this evening, a desperate fight for survival, thousands of people displaced by the most serious flooding in 50 years. Look at some of these pictures, just incredible. The cause? A massive typhoon swamping dozens of villages. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Survivors and rescue workers are facing some very treacherous conditions. John Vause has been to the middle of it all.

JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There is still devastation everywhere you go, houses covered in mud, roads which remain impassable, rivers overflowing, filled to their banks.

We made it to where there was a bridge, but the typhoon had washed that bridge out. And so the emergency crews there had set up a harness with ropes and pulleys and about 300 residents of the village were coming out, and the rescue crews were going in the other way.

It's a 200-foot -- I reckon about a 200-foot drop straight down onto jagged rocks. And as you go across that valley with that river below, there is a sign up that says SOS, 32 people died here. So, there is a reminder that there has been so much death and destruction here.


ROBERTS: More than 15,000 villagers, though, have been rescued.

Three milestones to mark this Friday evening, each summoning iconic images of the 1960s. First, a final goodbye to a sister of President John F. Kennedy.


DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A funeral today for Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the founder of the Special Olympics, who died Tuesday at the age of 88.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Family and friends, including Vice President Joe Biden, Oprah Winfrey and Stevie Wonder, packed the church.

ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS: Noticeably missing today, Eunice's brother, Senator Ted Kennedy. He is nearby at the family compound, battling brain cancer.

LEMON: Her daughter, Maria Shriver, and her husband, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, helped carry the casket into the church.

And Maria Shriver delivered a eulogy that included a poem.

MARIA SHRIVER, FIRST LADY OF CALIFORNIA: Thank you, mummy, for giving me the breath of life. Thank you for giving me a push over and over again.


ROBERTS: Eunice Kennedy Shriver laid to rest this afternoon on Cape Cod.

Milestone number two tonight, release and maybe redemption for a child of the '60s who came to represent the fall of the flower children.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lynnette "Squeaky" Fromme, the Charles Manson follower who tried to assassinate President Gerald Ford, was released today from a federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas. Fromme pointed a .45-caliber handgun at President Ford as he shook hands in a crowd during a 1975 visit to California.

CHARLES GIBSON, ABC NEWS: The follower of Charles Manson served more than 30 years for drawing a pistol on President Ford. Fromme, now 60 years old, was released from a Texas prison, evading waiting photographers. KATIE COURIC, HOST, "CBS EVENING NEWS": Today, she was released on parole. Manson is still serving his life term for the 1969 slaughter of actress Sharon Tate and eight others.


ROBERTS: "Squeaky" Fromme free tonight after more than 30 years behind bars.

The Manson murders for many one of the darkest moments of the 1960s, but just one week later, an extraordinary happening that came to define a generation, the setting, Max Yasgur's farm in Upstate New York 40 years ago tomorrow.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Propelled by a wave of new films and music compilations marking its anniversary, Woodstock, its memory and its marketing, is alive and echoing through the generations born since.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It revived your faith in human beings. It made you feel like you could trust your buddy, even though they were telling you, you couldn't.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: While Bobbi and Nick stood and listened to the music, they become unexpected icons themselves. It happened when a photographer named Burk Uzzle snapped their photograph which became the cover of the Woodstock soundtrack.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You always become nostalgic. You always -- when you look back and you're reflecting on your youth, you always become nostalgic.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have been together 40 years, 40 years. That's a long time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The farm in Upstate New York would provide their great escape.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No one, including the promoters, anybody going to it, anybody performing at it had any idea that that weekend was going to be as big as it was.


ROBERTS: Just three days of peace, love, and music.

And that brings us to our "Punchline" tonight, courtesy of Jimmy Fallon, clearly looking forward to Dick Cheney's tell-all book.


JIMMY FALLON, HOST, "LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON": Cheney said that George Bush stop taking his advice during the second term of their administration. In Bush's defense, I think it's pretty natural to lose trust in a guy who shoots his friends in the face., (LAUGHTER)

FALLON: Cheney, he also explained that the statute of limitations has expired on remaining silent about the Bush administration. Meanwhile, Bush said, I love the statue of limitations. Beautiful lady. Is the torch open?



ROBERTS: Jimmy Fallon, everybody. And that's the "Mash-Up."

Well, some people in Philadelphia like their football team just fine without Michael Vick. Can he ever win them over?

And, later, a guitar god shares his secrets.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is what I'm actually playing. That's it. The rest is the foot pedal, the effects, the whole thing.



ROBERTS: Michael Vick spent nearly two years behind bars in a federal prison after pleading guilty to charges of running a dogfighting ring. But that alone wasn't enough to get him back in the NFL. He never would have gotten a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles if he hadn't been willing to deliver a very public mea culpa. So, today he did just that. Listen.


VICK: I have done some terrible things, made a horrible mistake. And now I want to be part of the solution and not the problem. I'm making conscious efforts in the community to work with the Humane Society and hopefully I can do that locally.

But our country is a country of second chances, and, you know, I paid my debt to society. I spent two years in prison, away from my fiancee, away from my mom, my dad -- my mom, my family, away from my two kids. And that that was a humbling experience.

I know everybody is thinking, why Philadelphia? They have a great team and place, and I just want to be part of that great tradition and give this team every opportunity to win a Super Bowl.


ROBERTS: Joining me now by telephone is Michael Vick's agent, Joel Segal. We're also going to talk to journalist and sports analyst Stephen A. Smith and Les Bowen, sports writer for "The Philadelphia Daily News," in just a moment. Joel, let's start with you.

Did Michael have a choice of teams? It's reported that some other clubs were interested in him. I'm wondering who else was interested and how did he end up with the Eagles?

JOEL SEGAL, AGENT FOR MICHAEL VICK: Yes, I was speaking to a host of clubs. As the days went on after Mike's reinstatement, teams got more excited about having him there.

And bottom line for Mike was, the Eagles have an unbelievable infrastructure. They have great management. Donovan McNabb, importantly, has been really supportive. Mike is under no pressure to play, so he's ready to go.

ROBERTS: Who were some of the other clubs that were thinking about maybe bringing him on?

SEGAL: I am not going to discuss them specifically, because it doesn't do anything but bring chaos for them right now, but Mike is happy to be an Eagle and he's excited.

ROBERTS: And how much of a factor was Donovan McNabb in Michael Vick coming to the Eagles?

SEGAL: I think it's a huge factor. I think that Donovan's graciousness, his support of Mike, him actually telling the Eagles we should get Vick, that's huge when have you a Pro Bowl quarterback, a guy you can learn from, pulling for you.

ROBERTS: All right. So, you have got a Pro Bowl quarterback. And he's going to be in a backup position. He's not a backup. He's a starter. Is he going to be comfortable, Joel, as a backup?

SEGAL: Yes. You know, as Mike said tonight, there's no way he can go out tomorrow, first day of practice in two years and be the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles or any other club. So, the beauty of this situation is, he won't do that, he doesn't want to do that today. And he's ready to learn.

ROBERTS: I imagine, though, at some point, he's going to want to do it.

SEGAL: No doubt. Mike eventually wants to be a starting quarterback, just not yet.

ROBERTS: All right. And would it be with the Eagles?

SEGAL: One day at a time.

All right. Eagles' owner Jeff Lurie said that Vick -- if Vick is not proactive in his anti-dogfighting efforts, he won't be on the team, won't remain in the team. Is there an arrangement in place, we're talking about an actual plan, for his community service work?

SEGAL: Oh, absolutely, John. And that plan has already started. We have been and Mike has been very proactive. There is a strong relationship with Wayne Pacelle, the president of the Humane Society. Mike's has already done discussions and lectures in Atlanta, in Chicago, for the Humane Society.

And Mike's goal right now is to become more of a solution and a help than a problem and do as much as he can to help stop dogfighting in America.

ROBERTS: Joel Segal, Michael Vick's agent, good to talk to you tonight. Thanks for taking the time.

Let's bring in Stephen Smith and Les Bowen.

Steve, you watched the press conference today. What were your thoughts about the return of Michael Vick to NFL football?

STEPHEN A. SMITH, SPORT ANALYST: Well, predictable in the sense that he came across as very contrite and very sincere and apologetic for his actions. He did pay his debt to society and I'm extremely happy to see him back in the NFL.

Any time you spend 18 months in Leavenworth, that's a stiff, stiff penalty. I'm sure that a lot of people in Philadelphia don't feel it was enough. But I certainly believe it is. And I'm glad that he's allowed the opportunity to be back in the NFL.

ROBERTS: Les Bowen, I have been monitoring an Internet poll that has been up on your Web site all day. And fans seem pretty much evenly split over Mike's return to football, particularly there in Philadelphia. But there were some protesters out there. What's your sense of where the town is with this?

LES BOWEN, "THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS": Well, I think it was quite a surprise, John, to everyone.

The Eagles had not even been on the radar of Vick's reinstatement options. I think that's one factor. Another factor is that, you know, the Eagles have an established quarterback in Donovan McNabb, and while that makes the situation attractive to Michael, as Joel Segal said, it kind of -- fans don't see that the Eagles are going to get anything wonderful out of this, that it's going to make a huge difference in the fortunes of their team.

However, if Michael is reinstated and scores a couple touchdowns, I think the next poll we do will be quite different from 50/50.



ROBERTS: It all somehow hinges around performance, doesn't it?

Stephen, a lot of fans Philadelphia Eagle fans that I have talked to wonder what does this mean for Donovan McNabb? There's only three years difference between the two of them. It's not like they are bringing on a draft pick that they can build the future of the team around in five to 10 years.

Here's a guy who may be breathing down Donovan McNabb's neck. Will the two of them have a good relationship? You heard from Joel Segal just a moment ago he wants to get back in the game. But he eventually he does want to be a starter.


SMITH: Well, first of all, they already have a good relationship, number one.

Number two, give Donovan McNabb a lot of credit for being the man that he is.


SMITH: Not too many starting quarterbacks in the game would lobby a team as Donovan McNabb eloquently put it to bring Michael Vick on board to be a backup. So, that says a lot about the man that Donovan McNabb is.

But, at the same time, you also have to understand that the city has a love and hate -- not love and hate, but they're up and down when it comes to Donovan McNabb. When he's going well, they love him. When he's not going so well, they are calling for Kevin Kolb to replace him, for crying out loud. This is a man that was benched last year in favor of a backup that nobody knew anything about or what he could do on the football field.

So, now that Michael Vick is his backup, you best believe that the minute Donovan McNabb struggles, those same people that were saying get Vick out of town, why do you have him to begin with, are the same people that's going to say could you please put him in the game? That's Philadelphia.

ROBERTS: And, Les, let's finish it off with you here.

Andy Reid, the coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, no stranger to problems. His sons have had some run-ins with the law and drugs. Do you think that that play at all, in addition to Donovan McNabb, played at all in the decision for the Eagles to bring Michael Vick on, or do you think this was just all about football?

BOWEN: Oh, it absolutely had an effect. I think Andy spoke at length about that last night. The Eagles has a preseason game against the Patriots, the preseason opener, and Andy brought that subject up after the game, which is very unusual for him. It's been a few years now since his sons ran into their difficulties with drugs and being arrested.

And it's not a subject he willingly addresses very often with the media. But he brought it up and talked about second chances and redemption. And clearly we learned today that he was the person who initiated all of this with the Eagles.

ROBERTS: Right. BOWEN: I don't think -- I said a little while ago nobody in Philadelphia was really thinking about this with Michael Vick. I don't think anybody in the Eagles organization was thinking about it until Andy brought it up last week. And I think that context really has a lot to do with why he had this idea.

ROBERTS: Right. Well, certainly a brand new story for the Eagles and one we will keep following all season long.

Les Bowen, Stephen Smith, good to talk to you tonight. Thanks for being with us.

California's taking action in the face of a brand-new wildfire threat tonight.

Plus, a guy with a gun threatens a helpless store clerk. Bad move. You will see why.



ROBERTS: The takeaway from President Obama's health care town hall today, an entirely civil meeting. But that doesn't mean that everybody took it easy on the president. In just a minute, we will tell you who got him to say this.


OBAMA: I can't cover another 46 million people for free. You're right. I can't do that. And we're going to have to find money from somewhere.



ROBERTS: President Obama took his health care fight to the most conservative part of Montana this afternoon. During his second town hall of the week, he took aim at the way insurance companies do business.


OBAMA: We are held hostage at any given moment by health insurance companies that deny coverage or drop coverage or charge fees that people can't afford at a time when they desperately need care.

It's wrong. It's bankrupting families. It's bankrupting business. And we are going to fix it when we pass health insurance reform this year. We are going to fix it.


(END VIDEO CLIP) ROBERTS: During this make or break month, the president also found welcome support for Montana's governor, Brian Schweitzer, who hasn't always agree with the president's ideas of how to fix health care.

I spoke with the governor a short time ago.


ROBERTS: What are you hearing from folks about what will be a massive expansion of government in their lives, to the tune of about $1 trillion over 10 years?

GOV. BRIAN SCHWEITZER (D), MONTANA: Well, I got to tell you, if you run the numbers, you will find that in the United States, we pay about twice as much for our health care as all the other industrialized countries, and about 17 percent of our people don't have health insurance.

Well, if we could cut back those costs by even 20 percent, we easily have enough money to cover the rest of the folks. So, there's not a huge expansion of dollars. These are dollars that are just shifting, so that we can make sure that we can cover all of America and it actually wouldn't cost us any more money if we get some cost containment.

We have got to quit paying more than everybody else. We are looking like fools.

ROBERTS: We hear politicians say that. We hear the president say that. We have heard that from over Capitol Hill all through all the districts, and still people aren't convinced. Let's listen to one fellow who stood up and asked the president a question at his town hall there today.


RATHIE: Max Baucus, our senator, has been locked up in a dark room there for months now, trying to come up with some money to pay for these programs.

OBAMA: Right.

RATHIE: And we keep getting the bull. That's all we get is bull. You can't tell us how you're going to pay for this. You're saving here. You're saving over there. You're going to take a little money here. You're going to take a little money there. But you have no money. The only way you're going to get that money is to raise our taxes.

You said you wouldn't.


ROBERTS: So you heard it there, Governor. They are hearing what you're saying, but they don't buy it. They don't believe it. They think you're going to raise taxes.

SCHWEITZER: People are always concerned about change. They are not sure exactly how it's going to affect them or their family.

But I can tell you this. Virtually everybody in Montana knows that we pay too much for health care, that it's increasing in costs too fast, and we have got to make some changes. Some of those changes are that we have got to use evidence-based medicine. That's pretty straightforward.

Don't spend money on a procedure that's not going to improve the outcome.

ROBERTS: Are you worried that you and your fellow governors are going to get stuck with at least part of the tab here?

SCHWEITZER: Well, that's not the proposal that we have heard. We have heard that we would like you, the states, to continue to deliver the Medicaid system.

They would like to go to 133 percent of federal poverty. That means, in Montana, we would add about 80,000 people to our Medicaid program. But they have also said we will provide the money that goes with the program. So, if they're providing the money, we want to be partners.

BROWN: All right. Well, let's just look -- on that same point, let's listen to one of the answers that the president gave today talking about Medicaid.


OBAMA: We might see some expansion of Medicaid, in fact, under the reforms that have been proposed in some of the legislation.


ROBERTS: So, you -- you have said, Governor, that Medicaid is a broken system. And -- and, yet, here is the president talking about expanding it. What did you think of what he said there?

SCHWEITZER: Well, the -- the concern that we have had with Medicaid is, it was a system that was designed initially to take care of the last and the least.

And, so, now they are looking at expanding Medicaid as opposed to Medicare as the delivery vehicle. I'm OK with it as long as we've got the resources to pay for it.

ROBERTS: But didn't you say -- didn't you say -- didn't you say it's a broken system, though, governor?

SCHWEITZER: It is a broken system because what they've done is they continue to expand Medicaid without cost containment. In a state like Montana, we do have cost containment. Some other states are just competing with one another to see how many federal dollars they could get into their state and they would increase the compensation rate to their health care providers.

In Montana, we negotiate for those services. We make sure that we're not paying for procedures that are not going to help the outcome. So if you look to a state like Montana, we've made Medicaid work. Some states, well, I guess they've been spending a little bit too much money and then you can't just spend more money to get a better outcome.

ROBERTS: When you take a look at the bills that are making their way through Congress right now, on a national level, do you believe there is enough in there to bring the cost of health care delivery down?

SCHWEITZER: I can't tell you. I know that there's at least five versions and I've been involved in lawmaking here in Montana, and if you're going to ask me which horse is going to win the race when they've only gone around one time and it's two times around before we pick the winner, well, I'm not going to bet anymore money.

So let Congress go to work on thing. Let some cooler minds get involved in this. I know that these summer meetings, people are getting some good ideas back home. Get back in September. Put together a health care program that's uniquely American so that Americans can have access to an affordable health care system.

ROBERTS: In terms of cost care containment, do you think that the government is going to have to turn to rationing? That is a big concern of many people who are skeptical of these plans?

SCHWEITZER: Oh, that's a buzzword. Insurance companies ration you right now. And anybody who has a private insurance company that doesn't think that they're rationed, they haven't paid attention to it.

ROBERTS: Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana, it's always a pleasure to talk to you. Thanks so much for stopping by.

SCHWEITZER: See you again.

ROBERTS: CNN is committed to bringing you the facts on health care reform. Tomorrow, Ali Velshi hosts "Town Hall Raw," live coverage of health care town halls starting at 2:00 p.m. Eastern. And find the facts on our Web site,

Tonight, the important Hillary Clinton story that you didn't see in the news this week. Plus, U.S. troops fighting the Taliban just days ahead of a crucial moment for Afghanistan.


ROBERTS: New video tonight from southern Afghanistan. American forces locked in a battle to secure a key town ahead of next week's elections. The former Taliban stronghold is located in the heart of a major opium-producing region.

I spoke with President Obama's point man for Afghanistan who will be there for the vote, former U.N. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke.


ROBERTS: Mr. Ambassador, the reason in your interview when asked to describe success in Afghanistan, you said we'll know it when we see it. The famous line from Justice Potter back in 1964 regarding obscenity. But the war is almost eight years old now, and I'm wondering if you could be more specific about how you would define success. And do you think saying we'll know it when we see it is a satisfactory answer to the American people?

RICHARD HOLBROOKE, SPECIAL REP. TO AFGHANISTAN & PAKISTAN: Well, John, that wasn't my full answer. But the fact that it's been quoted several times in the last 24 hours, I only said it yesterday, reinforces a lesson that everybody in Washington should learn. Don't do irony in the city. I was very clear on what I meant. There is a very advanced set of benchmarks being developed as President Obama stated in his March 27th speech.

This project is being run by the director of National Intelligence, Admiral Dennis Blair. We were actually at the White House earlier today discussing this issue. They are being vetted with Congress in full consultation. They'll be made public as soon as we finish the process which is nearing its conclusion, and we will start measuring ourselves against the benchmarks which are very detailed.

And, you know, I think what I meant by my failed attempt at irony was that in the larger context of my answer was that people -- people can tell when things are going well or not. But we are measuring ourselves against very specific criteria.

ROBERTS: So just so that people have an understanding of where this is all going, how do you measure success in Afghanistan?

HOLBROOKE: You measure success in Afghanistan by strengthening the Afghan government, by restoring its once-vibrant agricultural export markets, by strengthening the police and the army, and by winning over the confidence of the people. Each one of these can be measured.

ROBERTS: General Stanley McChrystal, who you know is the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, warned recently that U.S. casualties will remain high for months to come because the Taliban is resurgent in some areas. Last month was the deadliest month for U.S. forces since 2001. Just 41 percent of Americans now approve of the war in Afghanistan. Mr. Ambassador, how patient should the American people be?

HOLBROOKE: The American people understand clearly that we're in Afghanistan because of 9/11. That our national security and, indeed, our homeland, were directly threatened by the men of 9/11, the people who killed Benazir Bhutto and launched Mumbai attacks and threatened the world. And that Afghanistan and the Al Qaeda are further directly linked. President Obama and the rest of us have explained that repeatedly. In this regard, John, I want to draw your viewers' attention to the remarkably important events of the last week in western Pakistan -- the apparent death of Baitullah Mehsud, one of the top three or four people in the world plotting terrorism and probably directly involved in Benazir Bhutto's assassination. This is really good news. But the most important event going on right now is the elections. And these are remarkable things and we're -- and we're very interested in how they're proceeding.

ROBERTS: I'm just wondering how much of a problem would a contested election be? If one of the candidates doesn't get 50 percent which leads to a runoff, or the election is contested and we see, you know, opinions rising on both sides, how much of a problem could that be for a country that is in the fragile state that Afghanistan is?

HOLBROOKE: I'm not going to predict what's going to happen and I'm not going to give you scenarios of what we do under certain contingencies or otherwise. But I want to stress that this is extraordinary. A contested election, the first in Afghanistan's long history in war-time conditions, but they're running it themselves and they -- there are all sorts of outcomes here.

I'm sure it isn't going to be easy and I'm sure that some of the losers will claim that there were irregularities. That happens in American elections, and we're so proud of our -- but if you know, if you go to Afghanistan and you've reported this on CNN. If you go to Afghanistan, what you see is western style democracy in action in traditional garb. And the Afghans have a real affinity for this kind of Democratic give and take.

ROBERTS: Ambassador Holbrooke, it's good to talk to you. Thanks so much for taking the time tonight. Appreciate it.

HOLBROOKE: John, my pleasure.


ROBERTS: Of this weekend, why the events in Afghanistan and Gaza impact all of us. Watch Christiane Amanpour reports "Generation Islam." It's on Saturday and Sunday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

Tonight, you're going to meet the filmmaker who brought three of rock and roll's guitar greats together, each from a different time in music history.


ROBERTS: It's only coincidence, but the timing certainly seems fitting. Tonight, just one day after the world lost electric guitar pioneer Les Paul, a unique new rockumentary opens in theaters. It's called "It Might Get Loud," and it brings together three generations of music legends in celebration of the electric guitar.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I drive everyone crazy trying to get the sounds that I can hear in my head that's coming out of speakers.

It's my voice. That is my voice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're doing this to have a chat, but it just so happens that the instruments are there as well. So, who knows?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I plan to trick both of these guys into teaching me all their tricks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's going to be very interesting.


ROBERTS: All right. I'm already excited. The man who made it happen is Academy award-winning producer/director Davis Guggenheim. Campbell Brown sat down with Guggenheim to talk about the movie and the music.


CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: And so first of all, why these three? Why did you want to bring these three guys together?

DAVIS GUGGENHEIM, DIRECTOR, "IT MIGHT GET LOUD": We just thought it would be so cool to bring three guitarists from three different generations. A kid from Detroit, a kid from London, a kid from Dublin, who became rock guys and put them on a sound stage for two days and see what they'd play, what music they will play and what would they come with.

BROWN: So, where they in to it. And when you first approach them, did you have to convince any of them to do it?


BROWN: Really?

GUGGENHEIM: Jimmy Paige has never done a movie like this before. He's never done an interview.

BROWN: I was reading, he describes himself as kind of a hermit.

GUGGENHEIM: He's a private guy. He's -- for 40 years, he's been a mystery. If you're, you know, a Led Zeppelin fan, you know, there's nothing. And so to get him to come to L.A. and sit for two days was just unbelievable.

BROWN: So what did you tell him? How did you convince him?

GUGGENHEIM: I just said there's a different kind of documentary. You know, it wasn't about car wrecks, drug overdoses and ex- girlfriends. It was about the music. Wouldn't it be cool to play your music for people? And when we got them on the sound stage, it was a little tense for a little bit.

BROWN: Really? GUGGENHEIM: And then out of nowhere, he picks up his Les Paul and plays "Whole Lot of Love." And you see it in the movie and Edge from U2 and Jack White are just like -- can't believe it.

BROWN: OK. Hold that thought.


BROWN: Because I've got a little clip of that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have this record of a guitar and a lot of sustain on it. And I got him to come down and have them listen to it. I said, can you get that?

They went away and came back with this phenomenal thing. A distortion pedal which overloads the signal, overdrive (ph) the sound and make it sound pretty rude.


BROWN: What do you think?

GUGGENHEIM: I've, you know, worked with Al Gore, worked with Barack Obama.

BROWN: Right.

GUGGENHEIM: I worked with --

BROWN: And we should tell people who don't know, you directed "An Inconvenient Truth."

GUGGENHEIM: I did. And I was so much more nervous around these guys because when they pick up a guitar and play, and those speakers are blasting rock and roll, you just melt. Like -- like the Edge melts. And in that moment, it was a throw-down. Like Jimmy Paige is like this is my stuff, OK. And so Edge had to get up and play U2. And then Jack --

BROWN: So what was the interaction like? Were they competitive? Were they sort of in awe of one another in different ways? Or --

GUGGENHEIM: There was a little bit of coming together. They're from different generations, and every generation comes up, you know, trying to destroy the generation before it, you know.

BROWN: Right.

GUGGENHEIM: U2 was a direct, you know, rebellion against bands like Led Zeppelin and Jack White. So, they're I guess -- but then when they started playing music, it just became this love fest. And when we finished shooting the last two days, they didn't want to leave. BROWN: They are not only different generations, but they come from different backgrounds and sort of have different influences in their lives.


BROWN: But is there some commonality, something that makes these guys extraordinary guitarists?

GUGGENHEIM: Well, there's a lot of those guitarists, and they're, you know, virtuosos.

BROWN: Right.

GUGGENHEIM: But these guys are songwriters and so the movie builds to is how these guys write songs. So you're with you Edge in a studio in Dublin alone where Bono and him and Larry and Adam write their songs. He's showing us how he writes a song. And then it's out now and the new album is called "Get on Your Boots." And he's there in the early, early musings so they're all trying to figure out music. And to me, that's a mystery.

BROWN: So is it -- do you think, I mean, having watched the three of them so closely, is it just like a God-given talent? Something they're born with?

GUGGENHEIM: Well, I used to think that these guys are rock gods and they're sprinkled with some magic rock God dust.

BROWN: Dust.

GUGGENHEIM: But when you meet them, you realize like Jimmy was just a kid in London in the '50s.

BROWN: Right.

GUGGENHEIM: And Jack was the kid in Detroit. He was an upholsterer, like upholstering couches. And what you find is that they needed to say something. Like as artists, they needed to find a voice. And like U2 in Dublin, they just said we do not like the music we are hearing and we are going to become U2 and they write these amazing songs. But when they come together, you realize there's something -- like there's a thread between them. Like every generation passes the thread to somebody else.

BROWN: As we said earlier, you directed "An Inconvenient Truth." You worked with Al Gore on that project -- global warming. How do you go from sort of global warming to rock and roll? I mean, you were dying to do a rock and roll documentary or what?

GUGGENHEIN: Well, there are no glaciers melting in this one.


GUGGENHEIM: There's no like CO2 rising. But there is the challenge of telling the personal story of people we think we know. You think we know these rock stars. And that was true with Al Gore, is like we thought we knew who he was. And I love telling stories about people, I'm sure like you do, you know, and really revealing what's in their hearts. And that's the challenge of a good documentary, when you get someone -- like Jimmy Paige takes us to his home and plays his favorite albums for us. And suddenly he's listening to his favorite album that he learned as a kid and he's playing air guitar. And, you're like, this is a moment that only a documentary can have.

BROWN: We have seen this visit -- this concept visited a number of times.


BROWN: But what were you going at...


BROWN: ... going for?

GUGGENHEIM: See, a lot of rock and roll documentaries are about car wrecks and drug overdoses and ex-girlfriends.

BROWN: Right.

GUGGENHEIM: And they, you know, they all lead to this one moment and then you hear the -- you know, and then music was never the same again. And you're like, this isn't telling me anything and I want to know how these guys wrote their songs, you know. I want to know where does "Sunday, Bloody Sunday" come from.

And you see Edge taking out the early tapes. He's in his closet and he pulls out these tapes and he's playing them. And this is before Bono had put the words in. And he hasn't heard them in 30 years and he's listening. He goes, "Oh, that's how we wrote that song."

So if you're interested in music and how it's written or just in how anyone finds a creative path...

BROWN: Right.

GUGGENHEIM: ... that's this movie is.

BROWN: And it is called, "It Might Get Loud."

GUGGENHEIM: "It Might Get Loud." And it gets a little loud. If you go to the theaters, you might want to...

BROWN: Be ready.

GUGGENHEIM: Be ready, because it rocks out. Yes. (END VIDEOTAPE) ROBERTS: Going to the theater tonight, as a matter of fact to see that. Davis Guggenheim with Campbell Brown. Well, you may think that you've heard all the news this week about Hillary Clinton. The health care debate and, yes, those famous town hall meetings, but there are the stories behind the stories and the ones that you missed until now. Coming up.


ROBERTS: We, in the news business, like to joke about how slow the news cycle can get in these dog days of summer. Well, not this week with plenty of good stories and a few gems that you might have missed.

Joining me now from Chicago, CNN political analyst Roland Martin and with me here in New York, "Huffington Post" columnist Keli Goff, and Steve Kornacki, columnist for "The New York Observer."

All right. So, Keli, start us off here. What did we miss?

KELI GOFF, COLUMNIST, "THE HUFFINGTON POST": Well, I thought one of the biggest news story everyone seem to miss is not the fact that Hillary Clinton told everyone she's secretary of state not her husband, but the fact that she had the right to get upset about someone asking her to answer a question about her husband. I thought the thing was blatantly sexist and one of the few people who did not believe that she was facing sexism during the presidential election. She's facing it now. No one is writing or talking about it.

ROBERTS: Even though it was an error in translation?

GOFF: Well, that's still to be determined. I mean, they were republished last night in "The New York Times" that perhaps it wasn't a translating glitch. But I think the bigger issue is that the story the media was covering was no the right one, that she was upset. She should have been upset. If I asked you what your significant other thought about something while we're sitting here, wouldn't you get a little upset? I'm just asking.


ROBERTS: I would probably bring them in to talk about it themselves. Roland what was your story that we missed this week?

MARTIN: Well, I think calm town hall meetings where people actually asked questions and actually got answers. I mean, we were so focused on all the drama and, frankly, the loonies out there that we really didn't pay enough attention to frankly the people who were simply wanting to get some great answers because they were concerned. Look, it's very easy for us to cover the drama but sometimes maybe we ought to cover the other side of the story, which are there are calm people.

ROBERTS: And, Steve, what did we miss this week?

STEVE KORNACKI, COLUMNIST, NEW YORK OBSERVER: Well, I think we all saw the town hall meeting where Chuck Grassley came out and basically said, hey, have you a right to be afraid of these death panels, he said a day or two ago. But I think the significance of that is the role that he sort of assumed and that the White House has let him assume. The key Democrats and the Senate have let him assume in all these health care negotiations.

He's part of the finance committee, the "gang of six." Then the White House is basically sending a lot of signals especially this week that the gang of six compromise is what they're looking for. You know, the White House and Democrats have 60 votes in the Senate. They have a big majority in the House. In theory, they can do this without Republican support. The White House has been holding out to get a guy like Grassley. And this is what they're dealing with. It's been obviously all along.

ROBERTS: And now Grassley this week says, well, maybe he won't be able to stick it out through the negotiations.

KORNACKI: Maybe it would have been better to sticking with just Democrats, you know.

ROBERTS: Keli, what was the best story of the week?

GOFF: I think the best story is bittersweet, but it's the return of Captain Michael Scott Speicher to his homeland.


GOFF: And I think any time a veteran comes home, it's a good thing. It's unfortunate under these circumstances, but I'm so glad that his family and our country, frankly, finally have closure on the story after so many years.

ROBERTS: Yes. You could imagine that long, almost 20 years not knowing. Just the knowing would be certainly a relief.

Roland, what was your favorite story of the week?

MARTIN: Again, seeing these people absolutely lose their minds at these town hall meetings. It was just so interesting because if you want to see how these PR campaigns and how all of this emotion and drama all come together, the partisan folks as well, when you look at the people who are yelling and screaming but also this disinformation that we're seeing, I mean, it is clear that we have people who don't have the full grasp about all of the facts.

And so, obviously from a news standpoint, I mean that was the best seeing all of that. But, frankly, I would hope that next week we might see some common sense and really some people take an easy end, doing some (INAUDIBLE) breathing when it comes to some of this drama.

ROBERTS: But then, Roland, it wouldn't be the best story of the week.

MARTIN: Actually -- again, though, if we focus on the real issue of 47.5 million people who don't have health insurance --

ROBERTS: It could be the best. Steve, what was your best story of the week?

KORNACKI: Well, I'm going to go with Michael Vick.

ROBERTS: I just love Roland. The underreported (ph) one was the calmness, but the best story was the ranker.

MARTIN: It's drama.

KORNACKI: You want to talk about ranker, I would get Michael Vick coming back to the NFL. Now, I'm sort of agnostic on the question of should he get a second chance. Well, I'll leave that to other people.

MARTIN: He should, he should.

KORNACKI: If he's going to get a second chance, I think it's pretty interesting that it's going to be in Philadelphia. If you get all the possible NFL cities that this could happen, maybe Jacksonville, maybe Charlotte, you know, way out of Philadelphia. This is where they booed Santa Claus.


KORNACKI: This is where they had to set up a makeshift jail because the fans were so rowdy they needed to bring them in on game day in the stadium. So there's a new character introduced to this whole Michael Vick drama right now and it's the Philadelphia sports fan. So very interesting character and watching that chemistry is going to be fun.

MARTIN: Hey, Philly fans only want to win. They don't care about anything else.

ROBERTS: That's true and as we were saying earlier, should Donovan McNabb not have a great season. We'll see what happens then.

Thanks to all for being with us. Really appreciate it.

That's it for us. Thanks for watching tonight. I'll see you next week, 6:00 a.m. Eastern on Monday morning on CNN's "AMERICAN MORNING."

"LARRY KING LIVE" starts in just a minute.