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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  May 13, 2011 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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♪ and they called it puppy love ♪ ♪ oh, i'm very embrarsed >> that's donnie and marie osmond. here's joun keen in for anderson cooper. >> late word from pakistan that they're taking more imbarrage at the killing of bin laden than the fact that they were harboring him and protecting him. pakistani officials calling for a reassessment of ties with america. other late breaking developments tonight, as well. but first, keeping them honest, this reminder. this is where osama bin laden lived, in comfort for years. not in a cave. not in the mountains. not in the tribal areas. in the pakistani equivalent of a military community.
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a network looking out for him. something pakistan's interior minister recently flat out denied. >> in your investigation, have you found any evidence that bin laden had a support network here in pakistan? >> there is no such thing at all. even not an iota of doubt. >> you are categorically denying he had a support network here? >> no support network. >> yet there's growing evidence that leads some experts to believe that isn't so. evidence that bin laden lived as if he felt safe and protected in that compound. >> i've committed to fight against terrorism. >> pakistan carries a huge burden confronting al qaeda and taliban together, but we are up to the challenge. >> let me assure you, if any
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evidence points to any individual or group in my part of the country, i shall take the strictest action in light of the evidence, and in front of the world. >> that last line referring to the mass killings in mumbai, plotted and executed by terrorists in pakistan. a year later, the same man acknowledged that the plans were partly planned in pakistan. a tape made just days before bin laden's death, supporting the uprisings in egypt and tunisia. new details about what else was found inside the pakistani compound. get this, pornography and lots of it. and for the first time, president george bush speaking out about bill's killing. and in pakistan, the taliban claiming responsibility for suicide bombers spilling the
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blood of 250 people, murdering at least 80 cadets. a lot of ground to cover. reza sayah is in islamabad. peter bergen and fran townsend. reza, i want to start with you. quite telling, this resolution condemns the united states, says the united states had no business conducting this raid. says nothing about pakistan's failures. where do you expect this to head in terms of relations between the country, is this just political pushback or a serious breach? >> reporter: yeah, i think this is nothing more than pakistani politicians giving themselves an opportunity to get behind the microphone and again talk tough against the u.s. it really shows that despite the crisis this government is facing, it doesn't want to plan
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on changing its approach when it comes to its partnership with washington. it's the same old finger pointing and the accusations. it's domestic damage control. this is a government that's obviously been embarrassed by this episode. it wants to push back and create the impression that it's taken a tough stance against the country that violated its sovereignty. obviously, the obama administration didn't want this. they want to see a government that acknowledges it has a problem. it wants to go in a new direction and a new policy when it comes to the fight against extremism. when you look at this resolution and it's pointed rhetoric targeting the u.s., it shows you that they're not planning on changing things. there's no indication, john, that this relationship is going to fall apart. these two countries know they need one another, so the most likely scenario is islamabad and washington are going to plod along despite this troubled partnership. >> fran, you went through this
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with the bush administration. president bush thought this was a trusted partner, but there were times of friction. there's a danger in these situations. sometimes the leaders and politicians are speaking, but there is a danger that the rhetoric gets so ratcheted up that you reach a point of no return? >> absolutely, john. one of the most concerning points in the resolution is it condemns the drone attacks that the united states has been conducting in the tribal areas. obviously this goes back to the time of the bush administration and there were often times where there would be pushback from the pakistani government but you worked through it. but it never became a public sort of dispute. now with this resolution out of the parliament, it puts particular pressure on the government of pakistan to actually insist that the drone attacks stop and the resolution threatens to take action if they don't. that's a real problem for the united states and for the obama administration in terms of its counterterrorism attacks. we know that those drone attacks have considered this week. so for pakistan to call for a
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unilateral stopping of them puts pressure back on the united states. >> peter, we've spent more than a week worrying would there be a retaliatory strike against the united states. what is your sense, at this time of friction that pakistan gets hit first is interesting, with you what do you make of this going forward? >> pakistan has had just i mean, dozens and dozens and dozens of terrorist attacks carried out by the pakistani taliban. the pakistani taliban has operated with an increasing al qaeda like, sending suicide bombers. so the fact that they want to protest osama bin laden's death is not surprising. they have the capacity to mount this attack pretty much anywhere in pakistan at this point.
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they've killed hundreds of pakistanis, soldiers, maybe thousands to this point. so not really that surprising, john. >> you say not surprising. is it your sense that this is a singular one-time message or there will be many of these? >> reporter: i think there will be quite a lot of these. there will always be some excuse. in is just the excuse -- in the past, it's been the pakistani government is too closely allied to the united states, this kind of thing. but these kinds of attacks in the name of osama bin laden, which may have been in the pipeline for some period of time, are likely something we're going to see in pakistan and other places. but in pakistan, these groups are virulent. the pakistani taliban has killed so many pakistani civilians. reza is right, anti-american sentiment in pakistan is very,
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very virulent, but at the end of the day, there seems to be a certain head in the sand quality to all of this. when you've got the pakistani taliban inflicting this damage on pakistan domestically. >> fran, a dynamic as this plays out, last night on this program, you broke news that the u.s. was allowed access to three of bin laden's wives who are in pakistani custody. what more do we know about that tonight? >> john, when we talk about access, this was really very constrained. so you have the americans in there with the pakistani intelligence and the three women all together. the women were very hostile, they can't want to answer questions from the americans, so it was not a very productive session. that's not unusual the first time through. but there's now the negotiation between the pakistanis and the americans, direct between the senior levels of each service about whether or not they can change those, can they separate
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the women, can the americans have unilateral access without pakistani intelligence. the problem, that would be good for the u.s. the problem in pakistan is, this absolutely incites the radicals. the notion of these bin laden wives being -- given access unilaterally to the american service really goes against the grain and really will incite more sort of accusations by extremists in pakistan against pakistani officials. >> reza, at a time when there's been so much focus on what value intelligence might come from the bin laden wives, you'll get what i might call an irony, this disclosure from our sources that among the materials seized in the compound was a great deal of pornography. osama bin laden cast himself as a religious warrior, a pious muslim. said the problem with the west and the united states is that it was godless and immoral. how will that play out in pakistan and with those who support bin laden? >> reporter: you know what, john?
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my guess is, pakistani comedians, some of them are going to take it and run with it, just like jay leno and david letterman will. beyond that, i think lit be widely dismissed. remember, a lot of people still hear don't believe bin laden is dead. those who do believe he's dead don't believe that he died in this u.s. raid. they think he died a long time ago. so i think they're going to be skeptical about this story, as well. but for obvious reasons, it's going to be in the newspapers tomorrow morning. remember, there was other men in there, as well. bin laden had his son, a 22-year-old, and there's been plenty of sons who kept stashes of pornography behind their father's back, john. >> peter, you described bin laden as a family man. what was your take on this porn story? >> reporter: i think with everything we know about bin laden, i think that this porn stash was -- i doubt it was for his personal consumption. this was a guy who barely
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watched television because he thinks that any kind of images, let alone pornographic images, are against islam. so this doesn't fit what we know about him. on the other hand, you know, law enforcement officials say that is fairly common to find stashes of pornography amongst the effects of jihadist terrorists. as reza says, there are other men in the compound. bear in mind, there were -- linking it directly to bin laden i think the case is not proven. of course, this is somewhat embarrassing for al qaeda central to have this as a fact that is out there. >> fran, does it matter at all? >> well, look, i do think it's consistent, when we did raids against al qaeda or taliban
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targets in afghanistan, it was not unusual to find pornography. let's remember, 9/11 hijackers here in the u.s. were documented to have been going to strip clubs before, and all these people who claim to be these ultrareligious types, and i think it exposes the fraud. you know, both reza and peter are quite right. we're not sure who in the compound, but this is part of bin laden's entourage, and the notion that these people who claim sort of the religious right, i think it goes to the hypocrisy of it. >> thanks for being with us. let us know what you think at home on facebook or twitter. we'll be tweeting tonight. up next, how the former president george bush got the answer to his call for osama bin laden, dead or alive. and his closest ally, tony claire sits down with anderson. >> what bin laden's death does, if you kill large numbers of people by terrorism, that will catch up with you in the end. >> later, moammar gadhafi is taunting the world.
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but from where? a late update from tripoli. first, let's check in with isha sesay. isha? >> john, we'll have the latest on rising waters as flooding rolls down the mississippi river. this is vicks burpg. they're sand bagging down river. and we'll tell you about the major precautions they're taking in new orleans when "360" continues. [ male announcer ] in 2011, at&t is at work, building up our wireless network all across america. we're adding new cell sites... increasing network capacity, and investing billions of dollars to improve your wireless network experience. from a single phone call to the most advanced data download, we're covering more people in more places than ever before in an effort to give you the best network possible. at&t. rethink possible. [ slap! slap! slap! slap! slap! ] [ male announcer ] your favorite foods fighting you? fight back fast with tums. calcium rich tums goes to work in seconds.
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book early and save up to 20%. a reminder, we're fellowing breaking news. new strains between the united states and pakistan. pakistani lawmakers voting to reassess ties with washington. back home, former president bush stoke out for the first time in public about the raid and how he learned of it. he told a las vegas hedge fund conference -- >> his one-time close ally tony blair is also speaking about, not just about the raid, but what comes next. britain's former prime minister spoke with anderson earlier this week. >> were you surprised where osama bin laden was ultimately found? >> yes, but then in the sense
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nothing about this situation surprises you very much. but yes, of course. >> do you believe it's possible that pakistan, someone in pakistan, someone in the military and isi did not know? >> it's possible. you know, look, one thing that's important to realize about pakistan is that there are obviously very different currents going on within their society and institutions. but we should never forget 30,000 pakistanis have lost their lives in acts of terrorism, including 5,000 members of their security services. so i don't know, and nobody does. >> condoleezza rice referred to them during her time when she was in the white house as a full partner in the war on terror. you had praised president musharraf, as well. do you believe pakistan is still a full partner? >> i believe the people i was dealing with. the issue in pakistan is the same issue that you get everywhere, frankly.
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which is this battle between reforming modern open minded people versus the conservative, the very religious elements, who have sympathy with the ideology and the narrative of people like bin laden. so you've got this clash the whole time. sometimes when people say to me, well, what does pakistan think, or what does pakistani society believe? i say to them, you can't answer that question in the sense that one view of pakistani society is prevalent. that's true, by the way, all over the middle east and the wider issue to do, which is partly to do with politics and partly to do with the influence of islam on politics in society. >> is afghanistan still, you me, the front line in the war on terror? or has it shifted to pakistan,
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has it shifted to yes, ma'amen? >> i think all of this. again, sometimes people say what should we worry about most, would it be afghanistan, would it be iraq, would it be pakistan, would it be yemen, would it be somalia? the answer to that question is, all of those, i'm afraid. for me, this is one struggle. it's got many different aspects to it. one is the security aspect. the other is the ideology that people like bin laden represent, because my fear is that the narrative has a far broader support than those engaged in extremism would suggest. in other words, the numbers who want to kill any number of innocent people are a relatively small number. those that buy into this narrative that the west is on presidenting islam goes much deeper. >> robert gates said bin laden's death could be a game changer in afghanistan. britain has fought very hard in
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afghanistan alongside the u.s. do you think it's a game changer? >> i think it could be, yes. but i still think there's a huge wider issue to do with this ideology. what bin laden's death does is it shows first of all, if you go and deliberately target and kill large numbers of innocent people by terrorism, that will catch up with you in the end. i think it's also been important, there's an assertion of american -- power is not the right way to put it, but an assertion of american determination. i think that is an important message. the reason i spend most of my time in the middle east, that counts and it's important for america to always remember that. >> there is this reputation that america doesn't have lasting power, that we pull out. >> it's important from that point of view. but i think, you know, this is a larger topic. we've just got to be very clear about this. this is at least a regional, if
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not a global idealogical struggle taking place. and that is taking place within islam, with implications far beyond this. >> if al qaeda, though, is not -- it remains to be seen whether al qaeda central as opposed to al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, if it is weakened significantly to the point they can't do operations, does that make the war in afghanistan, does that mean that troops could be pulled out? if president obama has said the goal in afghanistan, the focus is al qaeda, it's not necessarily nation building, although that right now is the strategy. >> i think it allows us to evolve policy, certainly. if it so happens that the removal of bin laden then diminishes the capacity of al qaeda to cause chaos and instability. because their basic strategy is very, very simple.
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they know that the majority of the people left to themselves would want a democratic government that's effective and noncorrupt. what they hope by terrorism is to create such chaos and instability that the institutions of such a functioning democracy can't take root and can't grow. if that is diminished, that ability to cause thatky yos is diminishes, yes. >> would it be acceptable to pull out with a war still going on with the taliban. >> i have taken the view all the way through that our withdrawal of forces is about the job being done. >> tony blair talking with anderson on wednesday. just ahead, nato launches more air strikes against libya. but the real question, where is moammar gadhafi? could he have been injured when his compound was bombed yesterday? and there are indications his supporters are getting nervous. the latest. as the surging mississippi heads towards baton rouge and new orleans, a huge decision that may spare those cities but
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it's early saturday morning in libya. explosions we are heard in tripoli during the night as jets roared overhead. libyan state tv blamed those an what they call the crusader forces. but there's a bigger question don't, where is moammar gadhafi? gadhafi said he's in a place
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where nato air strikes cannot get him and that gadhafi is in tripoli in what he called good health and high spirits. but after nato air strikes hit gadhafi's compound yesterday, italy's foreign minister raised the question that he's been wounded and may have left the capital. late today a gadhafi aide called that nothing but false rumors. john burns, the italian foreign minister suggests that gadhafi has been wounded. so he's alive, we have to assume, but what do we know about his overall health and whereabouts? >> well, the mystery has deepened, because why only audio, why no video? very strange. is he in tripoli, is he out of tripoli? can he in any wise run this government and its resistance to the rebellion if he can't even
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appear live on television? >> and the regime took reporters out on the trip, all of these trips are carefully choreographed. they're trying to make the point that civilians are being endangered. but your shorting shows something different, doesn't it? >> when they took us yesterday to look at the damage, they claim that the victims were civilians, that the bombs were errent, one had fallen just beside a children's play ground. but you didn't have to be an expert to see that the target was really a subterranean complex that underlies pretty much the entire leadership compound, bunkers, passageways. whether the tunnel was injured in the attacks or not, again, i'm afraid a matter of speculation. >> we also have significant developments in misurata where
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the rebels claim now to have the airport, a civil defense base there, what is the significance of that? >> well, i tell you, three times in the last 24 hours, the chief government spokesman has denied that they've taken the airport, the rebels have taken the airport. and they denied that the government has lost control of the city, even claiming they have the harbor. this we know not to be true. the fact he denied it rather implies that the loss of the airport, the western advance of the rebels, is seriously troubling to the people here in tripoli and so it should be. >> in a situation like this where you're in tripoli, you have these government minders, and you have no choice if you want to go out to attorney areas they're a nuisance in many ways, they can get in the way of reporting. but at the same time, they're valuable sources, because their mood, their spirits tend to reflect the mood of their bosses. what is your sense, are your minders, are they a bit nervous?
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>> there are. i have to be careful here, because these people are at frisk personal risk. but there are amongst these people, people who are from high levels of this government. one or two people who have spoken privately to us in recent days about, you know, how threatening would that be, they would destroy us all, they would go after everybody that they deemed to be pro gadhafi. it would be a jihad, there would be blood in the streets. this is a rather shift in mood. the gadhafi government can read a map. they can see that these advances are threatening. so i think that there is beginning to be the sense among some people here that this could be learn. >> john, many thanks. >> a pleasure. a deadly and violent day in
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syria. protesters clashed with state security forces who fired tear gas. details coming up. but first, we're following other stories. isha sesay has a "360" bull tinl. john, a move to protect baton rouge and new orleans from flooding. the army corps of engineers has been given authority to open the spillway in louisiana in the next 24 hours. it's expected to lower the mississippi river by two feet as it crests near the city. but all that water will flood low lying areas. later on "360," anderson talks to hank williams jr. about the benefit concert given by down tray music stars this week to aid victims of the storms, tornadoes and flooding that devastated parts of the midwest and south. a magnitude 6 earthquake struck costa rica today and the trembling of the earth was
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caught by surveillance cameras. it was 20 miles northwest of the capital san jose. so far there are no reports of injuries or damage. police in bangkok seized a handful of images. two panthers, a black bear, two leopards and the suspect is charged with smuggling endangered animals. turned 50 years today. it long ago became -- i don't know how this videotape wound up in our control room. we mean the other "situation room." >> brian williams of nbc was preparing for this photo of president obama, maybe the most iconic picture in its five decades of operation. brian williams apologized to
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wolf blitzer for the supposed error. but it appears the whole thing was an inside joke. wolf told us that brian is an old friend. they covered the clinton white house together and he did it on purpose. wolf thanked brian williams for plugging his situation room. >> i was at the white house with wolf and brian in those days, and brian is a very funny guy and they're good friends and wolf is not at all upset. do you think? >> i don't think he is. but i'm sure brian is saying, send me a check. >> the brian needs another job, he's a very funny man. he could do standup. we'll see you in a bit. coming up, the former house speaker newt gingrich already sounds like candidate gingrich. but the question is, given his private life, two divorces, infidelity, will voters forgive and forget? and later, a well known actor to replace charlie sheen on "two
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"raw politics" tonight. congressman ron paul announced he's seeking the republican presidential nomination. mike huckabee will announce tomorrow whether he intends to run. meanwhile, two days after newt gingrich announced his candidacy, he says the theme of his campaign will be that the right policies lead to the right future. he told an audience in
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washington today, this will be the most positive and fun campaign of his life. he gave another speech this evening in macon, georgia. >> the challenges we face are so large, it requires leadership of an unusual kind. i don't believe that any one person in the oval office can make a decisive difference. i believe there are 300 million americans who have to be recruited, educated, convinced, led to work together so that all of us putting our shoulder to the wheel can make a decisive difference. >> one big early question, are people ready to put him in the oval office despite his past. there are person ool issues that may be hard for some to set aside. joe johns reports >> reporter: his private life has been messy, on his third marriage, he got married to his first wife in 1962. she was his former high school
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teacher. he proposed to a second wife while she was still married to jackie. according to an interview marianne gave. and 18 years later, gingrich has admitted publicly that he was involved in a relationship with the woman who would become his current wife. he admits the affair was even going on right around the time he, as speaker of the house, was helping impeach then president bill clinton for hiing about cheating on his wife with monica lewinsky. >> the most systematic, deliberate obstruction of justice coverup, an effort to avoid the truth we have ever seen in american history. >> reporter: now the former speaker wants clinton's old job and gingrich is seemingly an open book. he's confessed his cheating, endured a series of interviews about his private life, and
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spent long hours talking to conservatives, especially in places like iowa, about how and why he's a different man. he's talked about it on the christian broadcasting network. >> there's no question that at times in my life, partially driven by how passionately i felt about this country, that i worked far too hard and the things happened in my life that were not appropriate. >> reporter: he never explained how passion led to infe dealt but says his remorse is real. >> i was compelled to seek god's forgiveness, not god's understanding but god's forgiveness. >> reporter: and he does love to talk about how great this third marriage is with his current wife, calista, who he's been married to for about a decade. he even became a catholic for her. but conservatives like richard land of the south baptist convention say the skeletons in his closet have not been cleared out. >> there is a wall of opposition among evangelical women.
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a large percentage of the men are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and say, okay, he's changed. we believe in forgiveness and redemption. and the women's side, we may forgive him, but we don't trust him. >> reporter: rich gayland says the big challenge would come in a place like social. one of the very first primary states where committed evangelicals and other social conservatives have seen plenty of scandal and don't like it a bit. >> if he wins or loses an important state like say south carolina, by a very little bit, then i think you can say, well, if it hadn't been for that, he would have won. >> reporter: he says gingrich needs to give a big speech early on to put the issue to rest. >> he's got to imagine that the person he's talking to is an evangelical woman sitting across from him, and he's going to have to convince her that he's truly sorry. >> reporter: tough crowd, tough
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hill to climb for a former speaker of the house with a messy record and marriage. joe johns, cnn, washington. >> joining me in washington, democratic strategist maria kor dona and in atlanta, eric ericsson. eric, the conservative base is your business. how big an issue is this? you start in iowa, then new hampshire, then south carolina. by then we have a sense of who's serious or not. iowa, south carolina, huge conservative states. is this a problem? >> i think it is a problem. when i got back from my honeymoon, my wife threw my autographed book of newt gingrich out and said it was her or the book. she sas bitter memories toward him and is typical of a lot of women in the south. but he also has a different angle, as well. he converted from being a southern baptist to a catholic. when you go to iowa or to south carolina or to georgia and the
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other southern states, converting from an evangelical southern baptist to catholicism also strikes people as odd. >> good call there throwing the book out. i applaud you for that one. when you look at this, and be as fair as you can here, newt gingrich is the boogeyman to a lot of democrats. he was sparring with bill clinton for so often. but when you look at newt gingrich, do you think it's the personal stuff that will be the big issue or is it simply when you're talking about a primary that he's last generation, not next generation? >> john, i think it's both. and you're right, you know, as a democrat, and as somebody who has seen him try to put forth what i believe and many americans believe are misguided policies in the '90s, i think that that is enough to keep him from being president. but overall, i think it is going to be the personal stuff in
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conjunction with how he carries himself. you know, the bible says a humble man is pentant before god. when you look at gingrich, humble is the last thing you think of. so it's going to be very difficult for him to convince voters and to eric's point, those evangelical voters are going to be critical. they might have been able to forgive maybe one affair, and a second marriage, but this is going to be hard to swallow. >> you can, as richard just said, give a big speech, hope that helps, or go about it small groups at a time and try to lobby key pastors and social conservative activists and build your base up. what would you advise newt gingrich to do? >> he's going to have to do both actually. how he deals with his first marriage is tricky. there are mixed stories as to what happened there. did he leave his first wife during her fight with breast cancer or not? it's a question a lot of people
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-- he's going to have to deal with that question, because that's probably the seediest part. so maria's part, she mentioned 1990s. when i talk to conservatives around the country, they don't remember the marital issues. they remember the photo of newt gingrich, him storming down the back steps of air force one and being upset about it. there are a lot of conservatives who put aside the marital issues and remember him as a speaker and they remember it was the conservatives who wanted him gone in 1998. he's going to have to deal with these issues and how people perceive happened and not what necessarily actually happened. >> mike huckabee in most polls of republican voters is at the top, either leading or in a tie. and yet all indications are mike huckabee, the former governor of arkansas, will not run again as he did in 2008. if you were advising mike huckabee, giving what many people perceive as weakness in the republican field, would you tell him hey, mike, get in?
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>> i think that would, john. especially in a field that we have seen thus far thats a announced. one of the things that is really missing from the gop hopefuls right now is likability. and that is something that definitely newt gingrich lacks by a lot. and frankly, mike huckabee, you know, from what i've seen, and i've met him several times, he does have a likability there, and can make a personal connection. again, i do not agree on anything from a policy standpoint. but he does have likability. he does have credibility among his own base. i think that i would advise him to really take a look at this. this could be the chance for him. >> and yet all indications are that it's a no, right? >> i'm hearing that. he could surprise everybody tomorrow. i've had several friends who say they think he'll do it. but i think he won't. he has a likability issue that the others don't.
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people really like him. he speaks in a way the others don't and i think if he got in, he could raise everyone else to their a game. the down side is in 2008, he largely got a pass on his record as governor of arkansas, because everyone was caught off guard. he will have to answer a lot of questions he didn't have to answer in 2008. this year we're going to see herman cane became the mike huckabee of 2012. >> next time we talk we'll know whether or not mike huckabee is in or out. still ahead, anderson's interview with the country superstar hank williams jr. hear what he's doing to help the victims of the record flood and how you can be part of it. also ahead, charlie sheen's advice for the actor replacing him on "two and a half men." [ woman speaking chinese ] thank you. do you have an english menu? no english. [ speaking chinese ] [ gasps, speaks chinese ]
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a lot more happening tonight. isha is back with a "360" bulletin. >> john, four people were killed in clashes between protesters and security forces across syria today. that's according to a human rights advocate who says three of the victims were shot to death. president obama's middle east envoy is resigning. george mitchell has been trying to keep arab-israeli peace talks on track for more than two years. and ashton kucher the is joining the cast of "two and a half men" but he's warning he can't replace charlie sheen. as you might expect, sheen has his own thoughts on the move and released a statement saying --
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>> do you know why anderson is off tonight? he's moping he didn't get the job. he wanted that job really badly. >> yeah. i'm just going to leave that one right there, john. that's a hand grenade. >> anderson is out there winning somewhere. >> winning. >> he's winning. this week, country music superstars gathered in nashville for a concert to raise money for people affected by the storms, flooding and tornadoes in the south. this sunday, our sister network hln will air music rebuilds, co-hoemsed by robin mead. hank williams jr. spoke with anderson about what the concert means to him.
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>> you've got a big connection to alabama. i know you go there a lot. you've visited since the tornadoes hit. what did you see? >> what i saw was actually unbelievable, anderson. they told me when you get here, you're going to wonder how thousands weren't killed. whel, they were right. it's mind boggling the devastation. 5,600 homes, so that's probably 24,000 displaced people. and just think of a clear cut in a forest out west, a total clear cut, except this is a human clear cut of nothing left. i've never seen anything like it. it will really make you hug your kids. it really had apimpact on me. we were run out of our home in northwest tennessee. we had some small tornadoes and flooding, no power.
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when i saw the death toll start rolling in, it took me two days, i said i've got to do something. >> for a lot of people, they pay attention when the storm is hit or in the immediate aftermath. but weeks and months later for the folks who are there, it's like the storm winds are still blowing. they're still dealing with the aftermath every single day. >> believe me, in 2021, tuscaloosa will not be back to its previous state. it's devastation on the grandest scale. the biggest disaster in the history of the state of alabama. people in the business, in the weather channel, with fema, it's much worse than katrina, anderson. there's still 30 people unaccounted for. 330 deaths across the entire south.
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what a killer. and i was so glad to try to think of some way to raise some significant money. instead of just doing a benefit, $250,000 would maybe last a day just for the basics there that these people need. >> how is the money going to be distributed, do you know where it's going to go? >> it's earmarked, the main part for alabama because they took the worst blow, believe me. you know, i lived in coleman for a while. i visited four cities on tuesday. most of it will be there, it will also be in georgia. there's some towns in georgia that were completely obliterated, they're gone. and that's how it will be distributed. and it's the red cross. >> it is one of the remarkable things after something like this, and we saw it in nashville after the flooding last year. >> yeah, and you were the only one here. >> i didn't do enough, that's for sure. but i was privileged to be there.
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but people banding together in just a way -- there's nothing quite like that, that we've seen what we saw in nashville and what we're seeing now in alabama, even now with these floods down in memphis and floods heading through mississippi, down to louisiana. you know, it really does bring people together. i applaud what you're doing. >> it does. we don't have to look overseas or south of our boarders to help with the things that's happened in the last two weeks, we can help right here at home. and boy, we need it. >> i appreciate what you're doing and thank you for talking with us today. >> thank you. >> much more ahead at the top of the hour, starting with breaking news. pakistani lawmakers condemning the u.s. raid on bin laden but not the fact that he lived in pakistan for years. [ male announcer ] in 2011, at&t is at work, building up our wireless network all across america. we're adding new cell sites... increasing network capacity, and investing billions of dollars
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