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State of the Union

Interview with John Hickenlooper; Interview with John McCain; Interview with Tim Kaine, George Allen

Aired July 22, 2012 - 09:00   ET


CANDY CROWLEY, HOST: A movie theater massacre silences the campaign trail.

Today, the search for reason inside the irrational.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If there is anything to take away from the tragedy, it is a reminder that life is very fragile.

MITT ROMNEY, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Our hearts break with the sadness of this unspeakable tragedy.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CROWLEY: A conversation with Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Reports of shooting at Century Theater.


CROWLEY: Then, the gun debate in the U.S. and the crisis in Syria with Senator John McCain.

Also, the diseased mind with threat assessment expert Barry Spodak.



ALLEN: You still stand by your support of this failed deal.

KAINE: You ratcheted it up federal spending, you increased the debt ceiling.


CROWLEY: Highlights from the Virginia senate debate. And a conversation with the candidates: Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican George Allen. I'm Candy Crowley, and this is State of the Union. Joining me is Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. Governor, thank you so much for being here. Catch me up now on the state of the investigation.

GOV. JOHN HICKENLOOPER, COLORADO: Well, the investigation continues now that we have had access to the apartment of the suspect. They've got a lot more new information, they are going continue to put together the case.

CROWLEY: And what have they found in the apartment that might be useful? Are they learning anything more about this suspect?

HICKENLOOPER; You know what they have asked for me is to not talk about this. I think they are learning more, you know, moment by moment. But like in any investigation like this, they are trying to make sure they are getting all of the information first before they release it publicly.

CROWLEY: Sure. Is there anything that you can tell me about that goes to motive? I think that when you are not right there and in it, and trying to help people as they move through this horrific crisis, when you are standing outside of it, you think, why would someone do this? Does anything go to motive that you can share with us?

HICKENLOOPER: You know, I am speechless, because I have been asked this, and obviously, a deeply troubled, twisted, delusional person. I can't for the life of me, I don't -- you know, I can't conceive of a motive.

CROWLEY: We might have to leave that to the psychiatrists.

Has there been any, and can you tell me if the parents have talked to the parents of the suspect?

HICKENLOOPER: Again, I don't know that. So -- I know that they have done hundreds of interviews, so they are certainly leaving no stone unturned.

CROWLEY: And let's talk about those who are remaining injured. I know that several are still in critical condition. What do we know about the status of those that were injured?

HICKENLOOPER: Well, the, you know, I spent yesterday, most of yesterday going from hospital to hospital and talking to the families, in some cases talking to the wounded. It was amazing how buoyant the spirits were in many of these rooms, even with people who had suffered grievous wounds. I mean, there is a resiliency. I don't believe it is just Colorado. I mean, the west is always known for that kind of strength of character and the comeback and rebound, but it is something that I felt was an American quality.

At one point I talked in one hospital people from three different countries that were refugees, and one was from Tunisia, one from Jordan, one from Asia all had been wounded, all came to this country escaping violence, and to a person they said, we love America. We still love America. We are so glad we are here. It was very touching.

CROWLEY: I know that you have been on the phone with the president. The president is coming to visit you today. What can you share with me about his reaction and what will transpire today when he gets there?

HICKENLOOPER: Well, he called me, you know, very early on Friday morning. He, obviously, wants to do what he could to help. He, again, said, if I'm a distraction or problem in any way, I don't, and you know, I shouldn't come. And as we talked to individuals in the hospital, we talked to the Mayor Hogan from the Aurora office, who has done an incredible job, and pretty much I think it was unanimous that the president could come, it would be a very, very positive thing for this community, for especially the families of the victims.

CROWLEY: And what will he be doing there? Will he meet with those people in the hospital? It there service he will attend?

HICKENLOOPER: I believe he is going to meet with a group of the families and the victims who have come there. I think he is still planning to try and to the hospital. They haven't finalized his itinerary. He's not going to stay -- we have a large public community vigil in Aurora at 6:30 tonight. And he felt that was too destructive. And it would have been, he would have -- everyone would have had to come two hours early. It would have overpowered it. And I think it was very sensitive he recognized he's going to do what he can to help these families, but not disrupt anymore than what is absolutely necessary.

CROWLEY: You said something on Friday that caught my attention talking about the safety, relative safety of the country and the state and the cities. And you said, we need to recognize that we can't allow people that are aberrations of nature to take away the joys and the freedoms that we enjoy. I know you know that the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and along with Mayor Bloomberg in particular of New York, some on Capitol Hill, and former Governor Rendell have all said, folks, we need to get serious about gun control.

I wonder in the statement that you made, were you speaking in particular of the second amendment or what were you talking about there?

HICKENLOOPER: No. I was talking -- I mean, I think that the political will come, but at this point, you know, in a funny way, this guy is a terrorist, right. He wasn't a terrorist in the sense of politics, but for whatever twisted reasons that we can barely even imagine, he wanted to create terror all right. He wanted to put fear in people's lives.

And for so many of us, movies are one of the places that we find solace and get away from the life. And it is hot in the summer and the movie theater is cool, and when it is freezing in the winter, the movie theater is warm. You get to get outside of your daily life. We can't let him take that away from us, right. My chief of staff, her daughter organized 20 kids last night all in the early 20s to go see "Batman" just to make -- to drive a stake in the ground to say, listen we are not going to be terrorized, right, we're not going to accept that. We are -- we're not going let that happen.

CROWLEY: When you look at what transpired here, a man apparently with no criminal background, not even any contact with police, speeding ticket I think was the only thing found there, when you look and if you are not familiar with the interior west or the Midwest or, you know, obviously lots of rural places here on the east coast and don't totally understand a gun culture, when you look at what this young man was able to the acquire over three or four months with an assault weapon, a shotgun, a 9 millimeter Glock, another 9 millimeter, all of these tear gas things, and 6,000 rounds of ammo from the internet, think people stand back and look at that and say, shouldn't some bell have gone off somewhere. And you're looking and saying, whoa, somebody is collecting an arsenal. And yet there was no way to connect all those things. Should there be?

HICKENLOOPER: Well, I mean I'm not sure there is any way in a free society to be able to do that kind of -- he was buying things in different places. Certainly, we can try and I'm sure we will try to create some checks and balances on these things, but this is a act of evil. It is somebody who is -- who was an aberration of nature. And, you know, if it wasn't one weapon, it would have been another. I mean, he was diabolical. If you look at what he had in his apartment and what his intentions were, I mean even now it makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

He was -- and it is just terrifying the thought that he could spend so much time planning such evil.

CROWLEY: And do you see any law anywhere that could stop a man with no record in a society that protects the second amendment that might have prevented this?

HICKENLOOPER: You know, we are certainly looking at that and trying to say, you know, how do you prevent this, and you know the Virginia Tech shootings, I look at we have been looking at the shootings all across the country, and you know, and try I say, how do we preserve our freedoms, right, and all of those things that define this country and yet try to prevent something like this happening.

Let me tell you that there's no easy answer. There isn't.

CROWLEY: What I hear from you is that you would be open to people who want to suggest a gun law or something that might prevent this sort of thing, but at the moment, you can't imagine what that would be.

HICKENLOOPER: Yeah. I mean, I'm happy to look at anything. But, it's -- again, this person if we had, if there were no assault weapons available, and no this or no that, this guy is going to find something, right. He's going to know how to create a bomb. He's going to -- I mean, who knows where his mind would have gone clearly very intelligent individual, however twisted.

You know, I don't know -- that is the problem, and this is really, this is a human issue, in some profound way that this level of disturbed individual that we can't recognize it, that the people around him obviously had no idea that this was something that he was capable of.

CROWLEY: Right, right. Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado, a rough, rough several days for you and so many people in Colorado, certainly, we are thinking about you out here on the East Coast. Thank you.

HICKENLOOPER: Thank you, and trust me, we will rise above this. I guarantee it.


CROWLEY: I am joined by Arizona Republican Senator John McCain.

Senator, I want to talk to you in depth at the end of this about guns and the role of guns in society. But I know because of the Tucson shooting and Gabby Giffords that this is something you want to first get off of your chest.

MCCAIN: Well, just briefly, it's a terrible tragedy and that bears repeating. But I hope also that the folks in Colorado could look at what we did in Tucson. It was great healing. The president of the United States came and gave a great speech. It was really -- our community and our state united.

And I hope that the people of Aurora, and the state of Colorado, will also begin on that. It is tough, but I think that we have emerged in Arizona where there has been significant improvement. And so I hope that everybody knows how tough it is as well.

CROWLEY: I think Governor Hickenlooper sort of was headed in that direction, talking about the community coming together.

Let me move you first overseas and talk to you about Syria, this has obviously been a subject you have been heavily involved in, pushing for more U.S. action, more U.S. leadership, not boots on the ground, but getting some help to these rebels.

I want to play something that Leon Panetta said this week for you.


LEON PANETTA, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: The violence there has only gotten worse and the loss of lives has only increased, which tells us that this is a situation that is rapidly spinning out of control.


MCCAIN: Really? Is that it? I hate to be sarcastic, but because of our failure to assist, because of our failure to lead other willing nations in the region, like Turkey and Saudi Arabia and Qatar and others, the situation has now deteriorated to a situation which is really, really very dangerous.

We now have...

CROWLEY: It is irretrievable?

MCCAIN: Well, I think it is retrievable, but I think it is far, far more complicated and difficult than if we had weighed in a long time ago. More al Qaeda fighters, media reports that chemical weapons are being moved around, Israel being very concerned about some of those chemical weapons reaching Hezbollah, the -- not to mention the massacre of 17,000, 18,000 people, while this administration has relied on the goodwill of Russia -- and the United Nations Security Council, relied on Russia for a long period of time that they would take Bashar al-Assad to Russia.

It has been shameful. It is shameful. And we need to -- and now the latest reports are that they are going to help, but they are not going to provide weapons. They want other countries to do that.

These are helicopter gunships, tanks, artillery that are slaughtering people, and now there is a risk, and I'm not saying it is going to happen, a risk that in his desperation, Bashar al-Assad might use those chemical weapons, and -- but clearly the Israelis see this as a serious threat, because the situation has gone on and on and on. More extremists have come into the fight, the more difficulty there will be after this is over.

CROWLEY: But, you know, we kind of are where we are where we are. So like as of right now, we are still sort of working through the U.N. or trying to work through the U.N., and you laugh, I mean, is...

MCCAIN: How many times...

CROWLEY: Do you just consider...

MCCAIN: How many times do we have to try that? Kofi Annan's plan has been an abject failure, we keep supporting that. We keep hoping -- pushing this reset button with Russia that somehow they and China will -- we are now bound by the decisions of the U.N. Security Council which are dictated by Russia and China.

What do we need to do? We need to get arms and equipment to them. We need to establish a buffer zone and...


CROWLEY: U.S. arms, you want to get U.S. arms to them. You don't...

MCCAIN: Sure, why not? Why not? Russian arms are coming in. Iranians are on the ground. Meanwhile, the Iranians are helping Bashar al-Assad and they are committing acts of -- they are committing terrorist acts around the world -- they are planning on terrorist acts. The talks with Iran on their nuclear development have broken down and where is the United States of America?

The president has not yet in my memory in recent times spoken up for the people who are being slaughtered in the streets of Aleppo, Homs, Damascus, and others today. CROWLEY: Let me ask you quickly about another area of the world, and that is Israel. I want to play you something that President Obama was down in West Palm Beach, something that he said recently.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want everybody here to know under my administration we haven't just preserved the unbreakable bond with Israel, we have strengthened it. We have stood by Israel's side in the face of criticism. Our military and intelligence cooperation has never been closer.


CROWLEY: Do you think that is true?

MCCAIN: Everybody knows that relations with Israel have never been worse, beginning with the demands for a freeze settlement back at the beginning of the Obama administration. The president sends his national security adviser and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Israel to tell them not to attack Iran, thereby weakening Israel.

The relations have never been worse. And, again, it is a lack of trust on the part of the Israelis about what the United States of America will or will not do.

CROWLEY: Let me turn you back now to the situation in Colorado, and remind our viewers of what has happened. This is dating back to 1999, Littleton, Colorado, otherwise known as Columbine, 13 killed in a mass shooting.

2007, Virginia Tech, 32 killed.

CROWLEY: 2009, Fort Hood, Texas, 13 killed; 2012, Aurora, Colorado, 12 killed. Different circumstances, different people, but people look at this and say, can't we do anything to stop this?

MCCAIN: I don't know to tell you the truth what we can do. And this immediately leads to the issue of gun control.

The killer in Norway was in a country that had very strict gun control laws and yet he was still able to acquire the necessary means to initiate and carry out a mass slaughter. I think that we need to look at everything, if everything should be looked at, but to think that somehow gun control is -- or increased gun control is the answer, in my view, that has to be proved.

CROWLEY: But you would be open to the discussion. And I think part of what people are looking at are these magazines and these automatic weapons where you can shoot down 100 people. As I understand it, this suspect's gun jammed and he had to go to ones that didn't fire so rapidly, but he was able to buy and had on him a 100- round cartridge.

He was able to buy over three months four weapons, 6,000 ammo cartridges over the Internet. If we had put that all together, someone would have said, oh, we need to go check on Apartment 3B or whatever it was, because this guy is gathering up an arsenal, which also includes tear gas.

So then you get to this point where you don't want the government spying on what people are buying. On the other hand, what is the price? The price is all of these things that we have just read off?

MCCAIN: Well, first of all, let's remember it is a constitutional right. Second of all, I think that if so -- if you could prove the case that that indeed that has a positive effect -- we had a ban on assault weapons that expired some years ago. It didn't change the situation at all, in my view.

So, look, I think that the strongest 2nd Amendment rights people would be glad to have a conversation, but to somehow leap to the conclusion that this was somehow caused by the fact that we don't have more gun control legislation, I don't think, has been proved.

CROWLEY: Senator John McCain, it's good to have you.

MCCAIN: Thank you for having me on.

CROWLEY: Still no answer to the motive behind the Colorado shootings. Inside from a threat assessment next.


CROWLEY: Joining me is Barry Spodak, he is a threat assessment expert who has worked with a number of federal and local law enforcement agencies. And we want to mention that we learned of your expertise through your daughter, who is a member of our staff and a valued one at that.

Let me start with something Governor Hickenlooper said at the top of the show. "I don't understand," he said, "what would cause someone to do this. We don't want to excuse, but I think it would help us if we tried to understand what this was about."

BARRY SPODAK, THREAT ASSESSMENT EXPERT: Well, in terms of motivation, Candy, what we know about what pushes people to do acts like this really comes from the work of Dr. Robert Fein and Brian Vossekuil, who were really the pioneers in behavioral threat assessment, that looks at what motivates people to become assassins or commit mass killings.

And although impossible to really discern what the specific situation was in this case at this time, we do know that the most common motivations for people who carry out acts like this is, one, to draw attention to themselves, gain notoriety or fame; in some cases to perceive what they see to be an injustice, you know, to avenge something that was done to them; to bring attention to an injustice that they see going on somewhere in the world; you know, or in some cases to create a permanent connection between them and a person, an event or a place.

CROWLEY: John Hinckley comes to mind. SPODAK: Certainly.

CROWLEY: That kind of thing.

Let me ask you, as far as we know, this young man had no record. We listen to the adults describe him in his -- where he grew up and they all seem to be saying, well, he was nice and he was polite, a little quiet, but he was a nice young man.

And then you talk to some of those who knew him and they say, he was a loner, he was a little different. But lots of people are loners and a little different and they don't go shoot up movie theaters. How do you know the difference?

SPODAK: Well, again, the studies that have been conducted by Dr. Fein and Brian Vossekuil indicated that there is no profile of people who commit these kinds of things --

CROWLEY: You can't tell.

SPODAK: -- so you can't tell through characteristics. But what we have learned through the behavioral threat assessment -- and this is a methodology that has been used for well over a decade now by the Secret Service, by the U.S. Marshal Service, by the Capitol police, is that there are certain behaviors that we see marking a path towards violence.

And so, if we can discern that there is a particular set of behaviors that we have seen time and time again in past situations like this, we can sometimes intervene and divert that person from the path to violence.

CROWLEY: But there seemed -- as far as we know with this case, and you haven't, you know, obviously have not been in touch with the suspect or any of that, I think that what the people are ready to accept, that there are just random things that you cannot see. And that we're sort of left to the winds, that there is no way to profile this young man.

Do you think that someone around him might have thought he seems troubled? Or can you just out of the blue switch from a quiet, nice person?

SPODAK: One of the behavioral characteristics that we saw in most of the cases that we looked at, it's exactly what you said, the people who were close to the individual in their life were worried about them, were worried about the trajectory of their behavior.

CROWLEY: He doesn't seem to have any friends, that kind of thing.

SPODAK: Well, and some -- you know, that again goes to the characteristics rather than behavior. You know, some of the people who carry out these acts, you know, are indeed loners, but some of them have a lot of friends. Sometimes in some cases, we have seen in school shootings, they have talked to friends. They've engaged other people in their thoughts.

So there is no one pattern in terms of traits. But in terms of behaviors we want to be able to look at these behaviors, and this is how these federal law enforcement agencies work cases on this.

If it comes to their attention, they start looking for this pattern of behavior and then intervene and make sure that this person does not carry out what their intentions are.

CROWLEY: Barry Spodak, thanks for your expertise this morning.

SPODAK: Thanks.

CROWLEY: When we come back, a race that could tip the balance of power in the Senate.


CROWLEY: Obama versus Romney is the main event, but down the ballot this year is a high stakes battle for control of the U.S. Senate. Majority status gives the party in power the ability to set the agenda on the Senate floor and in committee. Of the 33 Senate contests this year, only a handful, maybe five, are really in play, could go either way.

One of those races is in Virginia, pitting two of the state's heavyweights against each other, two former governors, Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican George Allen. Allen has also been a senator before and was considered a rising star in the Republican Party, presidential material, even.

But running for re-election to the Senate in 2006, Allen made a comment many believed to be racist, it cost him the election. He is running for his old seat again, because the Democrat who beat him is retiring.

Kaine was one of the first governors to endorse Barack Obama for president. His name was chatted up a lot in the vice presidential stakes in 2008. Instead, the president named him the chairman of the Democratic National Committee. A new Quinnipiac University poll shows the race a virtual tie with Allen at 46 percent, Kaine at 44.

I moderated a debate between the two candidates this weekend, highlights next.


CROWLEY: Virginia Senate candidates Tim Kaine and George Allen faced off yesterday in a debate sponsored by the Virginia Bar Association. Topics ranged from health care law to bipartisanship, but with the Colorado shootings on everyone's mind and Virginia having experienced its own tragedy at Virginia Tech, we began with guns.


ALLEN: When I was a member of the General Assembly, at Mr. Jefferson's seat, and it was my amendment that said that when anybody is buying a firearm that there will be -- regardless of the firearm that there will be an instant criminal records check. And I do believe think those criminal records checks, including mental disorders or drug abuse are indicated in any firearm purchases.

But I think we need to wait to get all of the facts and then make decisions as to what can be done when such an aberrant act occurs.

CROWLEY: Governor Kaine, you have a minute to respond to that. But let me see if I can get you directly to the question, knowing what we know now, are there enough gun laws we could impose that would stop someone from doing this if they have a clean record?

KAINE: Well, it would be complete hubris to say we can put a policy in place that will keep bad things from happening. Bad things are going to happen, we can't stop them. But what we should try to do is learn and fix them and then minimize the chances of these things happening.


CROWLEY: The hour-plus debate touched on other subjects important to this election cycle, the economy, military spending, and, of course, infused through it all, politics.


CROWLEY: I have noticed, Governor Allen, as I'm sure everybody has, that you have run some ads about how Governor Kaine will be President Obama's senator and not Virginia's senator.

And I wonder, it got me thinking about your relationship with Governor Romney. What major policy differences do you anticipate that you'd be willing to break with Governor Romney?

ALLEN: Well, first, let me answer the other aspects of it. Yes, we are in two different parties, two different philosophies. We, I think, Republicans, generally speaking, trust free people and free enterprise. I don't like limits or restrictions on people unless they are harming someone else. And I like the decisions being made closest to the people if possible.

Now on Mitt Romney, there will be times where I don't agree with my fellow Republicans. I didn't agree with them when they had the "bridge to nowhere." I was one of the 15 who voted against that.

My first priority is not going to be agreements or disagreements with anyone. My first priority is going to be the hard-working taxpayers of Virginia.

CROWLEY: Governor Allen, the question -- I'm sorry, Governor Kaine, the question was about bipartisanship...

KAINE: Too many governors up here.

CROWLEY: Two governors, I thought it would be easier if I called you both governor...


CROWLEY: ... but it doesn't turn out that way. Bipartisanship and breaking with the party line.

KAINE: Sure, sure. I think many in the room who have been in Virginia politics for a while remember his famous quote when he was governor, my job is to knock Democrats' soft teeth down their whining throats.

George, as a governor, called General Assembly members "dinosaurs, monarchical elitists," frequently name-called John Kerry and Hillary Clinton, when he served with them in the Senate. During this campaign he continues it.

KAINE: He calls federal employees sanctimonious social engineers and he has got a billboard up that says Tim Kaine, Obama's senator, not Virginia's, as if somehow I am not a real Virginian, because I support the President of the United States.

That is yesterday's politics. We're not going to solve our problems if we continue down the path of smash mouth, consider the other side rather than the opponent. We got to compete against the world to win.

CROWLEY: We should say, Governor Allen, that your smashing teeth remark, you did say, was not literal, but go ahead and --


ALLEN: Thank you. It is an example of where sports analogies are not appropriate, and that was a mistake on my part for it. The -- working with the other party, Tim, you were able to bring Republicans and Democrats together as governor, each and every one of them, even the one who sponsored your tax increase voted against it. It was, I think, a 97-0 vote.

In the U.S. Senate, you mentioned Hillary, Senator Clinton at the time, now secretary of state. We actually went together on what is called the Shine Act. And this is screening for infants to make sure that we are screening for maladies or diseases so there is better treatment.

John Kerry and I really don't agree on many issues, but we did agree on wi-fi. There are other senators who we rarely agree, but we worked together to keep taxes off Internet access on the national nanotechnology initiative, of which I was a leader, as well as cyber- security.

The reality is, is what campaigns are about, I think, are not running down the others, there's contrasts. There's -- and that is what we have in competitive representative democracy, contrasting or competing ideas.

KAINE: George, you may say that campaigns are not about running other people down, but that is just always what you do and you continue to do it to the day. You talked --


KAINE: You talked about working with Hillary Clinton. Here is what you said about Hillary Clinton when you were a colleague of hers, "She is so contrary to all of our values, our principles and our ideals."

You said repeatedly, "I'd rather be with George Bush drinking beer than nibbling cheese and wine with Hillary Clinton at her mansion."

You called George -- John Kerry "an elite Massachusetts liberal who does not embrace the values we hold dear in Virginia."

I mean, and these are just senators you served with. Wow, I would hate to hear what you said about you weren't serving with.

And you are the one with the billboards up in Virginia, Tim Kaine, Obama's senator, not Virginia's. I just say this, I'll make this pledge to all of you, I am going to be a partner with whoever is the President of the United States.

CROWLEY: Governor Allen, let me turn you to health care. You've said frequently on the campaign trail that you want to be that last vote --

ALLEN: The deciding vote.


ALLEN: If you're going to have my quote, get it right.


CROWLEY: -- to undo ObamaCare in any case. And replace it with what? Is there anything in ObamaCare that you think ought to, the day it comes undone, be put back in place?

ALLEN: Yes. Tim has been -- was the hand-picked chairman of the Democratic National Committee by President Obama, and he's, in effect, the hand-picked senator and recruited to run for the Senate.

KAINE: That -- I am highly offended at that.

ALLEN: Well --

KAINE: I am campaigning --

ALLEN: Well, we don't have time, you can rebut --

KAINE: -- full-time --

ALLEN: I didn't interrupt you.

KAINE: -- 19 months on my own with the support of my family. For you to say that I am hand picked by somebody else rather than doing it myself is completely out of line and it proves the point that I just made.

He cannot help himself. He cannot help himself. CROWLEY: Watch it, you guys.

ALLEN: -- reclaiming my time with it.

Tim, you spent the whole quarter, last quarter of your term, last term as governor, rather than giving your full attention to the responsibilities, you were giving political speeches all over the country. You were raising tons of money for the Democratic National Committee. This is the most partisan job in the country.


CROWLEY: A follow-up conversation with both candidates next.


CROWLEY: After yesterday's debate I had the chance to sit down with both candidates at the Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Virginia. First my conversation with George Allen: I began by asking him how he pushes back against the imagery that Kaine is trying to project on him.


ALLEN: Tim is one, though -- he's the one who has taken the most partisan job in America while he was governor as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, raising money for them, speaking all over the country while trying to raise taxes on Virginians. And so your bottom line comparison is whose ideas work best.

While I was governor, over 300,000 net new jobs were created. While Tim Kaine was trying to raise taxes as governor, over 100,000 jobs were lost in Virginia.

CROWLEY: Let me ask you about the split ticket idea here, that Governor Kaine can somehow get people determined to vote for Romney and pull them away from you, but that the idea that someone determined to vote for President Obama would vote for you, the reverse does not work.

Can he siphon off some of the Romney voters?

ALLEN: I don't think so. The Romney voters, Republican voters, what we've found so far in all the polls -- you can look at them yourself -- is our neck -- our campaign, Tim Kaine's versus George Allen, has been neck in neck throughout.

Romney's right now generally running behind, but I think he's going to catch up in Virginia because he was tied up in a primary fight and President Obama's been running ads for, gosh, at least six months here in Virginia. So I think it's going to be pretty close because what people care about are jobs and the economy. CROWLEY: As a final question I want to ask you --

ALLEN: And I do run into folks who are probably going to vote for President Obama and they like President Obama for whatever reasons they like President Obama. They also like my ideas. And it ends up being not so much a political or issue-based approach as, well, I like you; I like what you've done and so forth. And so you know, you'll probably get some of that. But for the most part --

CROWLEY: From people who like you and will vote for you regardless of the fact that you and the president --


CROWLEY: -- nothing much in common?

ALLEN: Well, we agree that 26-year-olds ought to stay on their family policies --

CROWLEY: Let me --

ALLEN: -- because they can't find jobs with this economy.

CROWLEY: Right. Let me ask you, as you know, Governor Romney has taken quite a hit, first over Bain Capital, but also over his refusal to release anything other than one year of tax releases, and we're going to expect this year's when they get done, he says.

Do you think that this has become such a distraction to him he ought to just do it so you can move on?

ALLEN: I'm not going to run Mitt Romney's campaign. It's all I can do to run our own campaign.

CROWLEY: But you can see how it's a distraction. I mean...

ALLEN: Well, I think it's a distraction from what most people care about. What are you going to do in the future? What are you going to do to get this economy turned around?

CROWLEY: So just yes or no, purely as a political analyst, if you were Mitt Romney, would you release the tax releases -- tax returns?

ALLEN: Candy, you're not going to get me into being a campaign manager for anybody else other...

CROWLEY: Come on.

ALLEN: ... than myself.

CROWLEY: All right, all right. Governor Allen, thank you so much for being here. Thanks for doing the debate. It was really good to see you.

(END VIDEOTAPE) CROWLEY: Next up, Governor Kaine. I began by asking him about Allen's charge that Kaine was handpicked by President Obama to run the Democratic National Committee and now has been handpicked by the president to run for the Senate.


KAINE: I have had a career of serving people. I was a missionary in Honduras. I was a civil rights lawyer for 17 years. I was a city councilman, mayor, lieutenant governor, governor.

His suggestion that I'm running for office just because somebody else asked me to, I've not lived my life that way. I live my entire life to serve other people. And so his notion, oh, you're just handpicked to run the Senate race, come on. I had to give up a job and a salary and health care benefits to run for the U.S. Senate.

And I'm doing it because the nation needs people who know how to find common ground moving forward. I know the experience now of going out and buying health care on the open market, you know, with no employer covering me, which a lot of Americans have to go through.

And so the notion that I'm just doing this because somebody encouraged me to, I -- that one stunned me. And I did get a little bit mad.

CROWLEY: Seems to me you worked pretty hard to define Governor Allen as a mean-spirited guy. What difference does that make? I hate to tell you, but as you know, there are a lot of mean-spirited people up on Capitol Hill. Big deal, if he has got ideas and he is willing to work, why does it matter to a voter what his personality is, as you suggest?

KAINE: Because what Virginians tell me, Candy, is, again and again, before they even talk about issues, we've got to have people who can work together. We can have the best ideas. And I think we've got really good ideas about how to get the economy going.

But if the two camps just get in their corners and they won't work together, that's why we're having such significant problems. The whole inability to reach any deal on our fiscal responsibility going forward is not because of an absence of ideas, it's because people won't work together.

And so when my opponent says I'm going to knock Democrats' soft teeth down their whiny throats, when he name-calls federal employees who live in Virginia, by the hundreds of thousands, when he suggests that, you know, I'm anti-Virginian because I happen to support the president, these are the kind of things that happen in politics that pull people apart and tear people down.

We've got to have folks in politics who build folks up and pull us together.

CROWLEY: This is a dead-even race for the presidency and for this particular Senate seat. Pretty much people have made up their minds -- you know, the faithful...

KAINE: Small, small numbers of undecideds, yes.

CROWLEY: You're talking to this amount of people. What is the game-changer in this race?

KAINE: I think that the undecided voters are largely independents. They are largely people who don't want to put a letter after their name. And what do they look for in a candidate? They look for a candidate who -- they don't care about the letter, they look for a candidate who can produce results.

And being able to work together is going to lead to more results than, you know, casually knocking around the other side.

CROWLEY: Governor Kaine, happy trails.

KAINE: Yes, Candy, and thanks for doing this today.

CROWLEY: Oh, absolutely. It was fun. It was fun.

KAINE: Great.


CROWLEY: Our special thanks to the Virginia Bar Association for including us in their debate.

When we come back, remembering the victims of the movie theater massacre.


CROWLEY: A check of the top stories. This just in to us. The NCAA is holding a press conference tomorrow about Penn State University. Meanwhile, the statue of the late Penn State coach, Joe Paterno, is being removed from outside the school's football stadium. In a written statement, University President Rodney Erickson said "Paterno's statue has become a source of division and will be moved to a secure location."

Authorities investigating the disappearance of two young girls in Iowa say there's reason to believe they're still alive. An FBI spokeswoman isn't saying what evidence investigators have to make them think the girls are still alive. She is urging anyone with information to step forward.

President Obama will visit Aurora, Colorado, later today. He'll meet with victims of the movie theater shooting and their families as well as local officials.

Thank you for watching STATE OF THE UNION, I'm Candy Crowley in Washington. Head to for analysis and extras.

"FAREED ZAKARIA: GPS" is next for our viewers here in the United States. But before we leave, Jordan Ghawi lost his sister in the Colorado theater massacre. Hearing the news, he reached out to the world via Twitter with a request we think answers the question often asked when someone else is hurting so much, what can I do?

"Remember the names of the victims," Jordan wrote, "and not the coward who committed this act."