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Virginia Tech Shooting; DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz Interview; Mitt Romney Targets Newt Gingrich; Perry Ad Reality Check; Uproar over "Morning After Pill" Decision; Obama Fires Back At Critics; Virginia Tech Lockdown Lifted; Markets Sharply Down On Eurozone Worries

Aired December 8, 2011 - 16:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now: echoes of a school massacre.

Virginia Tech University goes on lockdown after a shooting that leaves two people dead, including a police officer. We will have the latest.

Also, Mitt Romney going negative on Newt Gingrich, highlighting his one marriage to Gingrich's three.

Plus, my interview with Donald Trump. He's always outspoken about President Obama, the GOP candidates, his controversial debate, and his own possible presidential ambitions. He still has some.

I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Let's get the breaking news right now, a chilling sense of deja vu. Reports of shots fired, a campus lockdown at Virginia Tech University earlier this afternoon. It instantly brings back to mind the 2007 rampage by a student that left 33 people dead.

Today's incident is shooting during a traffic stop by campus police. Two people are dead.

CNN's Brian Todd is monitoring all the developments for us.

Brian, what is the very latest?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, as far as we know, a manhunt is still under way. Officials say one of the people killed was a Virginia Tech police officer making a routine traffic stop in the parking lot of the sports complex.

The second body has not been identified. They say the suspected shooter fled on foot and a search is under way, the campus on lockdown. Here is what one eyewitness told local station WDBJ.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I was coming out of the gym and I was just walking to the sidewalk to go home to my dorm. And I saw the police car sitting there, the unmarked one, because -- and I thought he was responding to a call here, because I heard a bunch of sirens coming from the distance. And then -- so I kept walking towards his car thinking like I will get around it before the rest of the police get here, and then the police pulled up. And they opened his car door, and when they opened it, he just fell out towards the ground. And then they immediately started reviving him.

And then two cops took off with some sort of automatic weapons, I guess -- they were really big -- and started running the opposite direction after the gunman. And then -- and then I have been standing since then. I guess the officer didn't make it, because they just covered him with a sheet.


TODD: Now, a post on the Virginia Tech Twitter feed said this afternoon that the suspect is described as a white male wearing gray sweat pants, a gray hat with a neon green brim, a maroon hoodie and a backpack.

A spokesman for the school said offers are searching all buildings and all public areas outdoors and indoors. Officials have told anyone on campus to secure themselves and shelter in place and have no one should enter the campus.

The university knocked down what it called unfounded reports of additional gunshots reported heard since the original shooting, saying there are no new substantiated reports of suspicious or criminal activity. Final exams scheduled for tomorrow have been postponed -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Good idea, that. All right, Brian, we will stay in touch with you.

I know there's going to be a news conference from authorities later this hour. We will check in and see what the very latest is. Brian Todd with that.

Other news we're following, including major political news. The rivalry between the front-runners, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, getting rather personal with a new Romney ad hitting at what could be a vulnerability for Gingrich with social conservatives, his three marriages.

CNN's Jim Acosta is joining us. He's got details.

All right, so what is the latest? What's happening between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, Mitt Romney is fading in the polls and does not have time for a campaign reboot between now and Iowa. That leaves just one option, an-old fashioned mud fight with his new rival, Newt Gingrich.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have been married to the same woman for 25 -- excuse me -- I will get in trouble -- for 42 years.


ACOSTA: Call it operation get Newt, a Romney offensive that started with this ad running in Iowa this week that sends a not-so-subtle message to voters. Romney is a family man. Guess who isn't?

Nearly all of Washington saw it as a shot across the bow at Newt Gingrich, who's now on his third marriage with his wife, Callista, a former congressional staffer he was having his affair with back in the '90s.

Team Romney says, no way.

ANDREA SAUL, MITT ROMNEY SPOKESWOMAN: Pundits are going to say what they will. I will tell you, this ad is about Mitt Romney, about his values and what's important to him and what he would take to the White House, which is a commitment to his family, a commitment to his faith, and a commitment to this country.

NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: All I will tell you is, I'm going to stay positive.

ACOSTA: No problem, says team Gingrich.

QUESTION: Do you think, is it a veiled attempt to...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Only a cynical reporter would ask a question like that.

QUESTION: The Romney camp is denying that it's an attack on...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As they should be, because it doesn't appear to be one.

ACOSTA: Still, the ad's timing is curious.

ROMNEY: My 42-year marriage to my wife, Ann.

ACOSTA: Debuting the same day Romney touted his marriage at a forum in Washington and just hours before Romney supporter Chris Christie praised the former Massachusetts governor's heart in Iowa.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: He loves his wife. He loves his children, and he has absolutely no hesitation in showing that affection openly.

ACOSTA: And one day before a conference call with reporters held by former U.S. Senator and Romney surrogate Jim Talent, who attacked Gingrich's character.

JIM TALENT (R), FORMER U.S. SENATOR: He's not a reliable and trusted conservative leader.

ACOSTA: Gingrich is now a threat to Romney's main strength of electability. The latest Quinnipiac poll finds, while Romney edges the president in the battleground states of real and Ohio, Gingrich can nearly claim the same thing.

Sterling marriages aren't always the best indicators of presidential success. Regarded by historians as an accomplished president, Ronald Reagan was divorced. Nixon, ranked near the bottom by historians, wasn't. Gingrich told Wolf Blitzer his personal life is in a different place now.

GINGRICH: I have a very strong marriage to Callista, as you know. I'm very close to my two daughters. Callista and I have two wonderful grandchildren in Maggie and Robert, who are my debate coaches.


ACOSTA: The Romney family values offensive continues tomorrow. The former governor's wife -- or -- pardon me -- that's right -- the governor's current wife, I should say, will be on the campaign trail in Iowa where she will attend what's being dubbed a women for Mitt event -- Wolf.

BLITZER: His only wife, we should point out. That would be Mitt Romney's only wife for 42 years. Is that right?

ACOSTA: That is absolutely right, Wolf.

BLITZER: Thanks very much, Jim Acosta, for that.

While Gingrich is surging in the polls, his support among former colleagues on Capitol Hill only lukewarm. In my interview with him yesterday, you saw here in THE SITUATION ROOM the former House speaker acknowledged that some lawmakers weren't always comfortable with his style.


GINGRICH: I wasn't there in a collegial job. I was there as the leader, and my job was to drive through change on a scale that Washington wasn't comfortable with.

And, you know, if you are a genuine outsider forcing change, you're going to leave some bruised feelings.


BLITZER: CNN congressional correspondent Kate Bolduan is joining us now with more.

Kate, what are congressional Republicans, especially those who worked with Gingrich as speaker, saying about the potential Republican nominee?

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, I will tell you, many Republicans up here seem pretty hesitant to weigh in on Newt Gingrich, but we did find some, especially some who have served with Newt Gingrich, who say he has some pretty serious baggage to overcome.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BOLDUAN (voice-over): Even with Newt Gingrich's recent surge in the polls, most Republicans on Capitol Hill have shied away from publicly endorsing the man who once ran the place.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: I have had a standing rule not to comment on the Republican campaign for president.

BOLDUAN (on camera): Do you think Newt's time as speaker of the House, is it helpful or hurtful to his candidacy?

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Listen, Newt's been a longtime friend, but I have spent a lot of time this year avoiding getting involved in picking winners and losers in a presidential contest.

BOLDUAN (voice-over): Privately, however, Republicans are more candid, with some telling CNN they have serious concerns over Gingrich's discipline, calling him unfocused and erratic. Other describe his chaotic tenure as House speaker as a potential liability in a presidential race.

Congressman Peter King, who served with Gingrich, was one of the few who would speak on campaign.

REP. PETER KING (R-NY), HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Four years were like a roller coaster. And this wasn't because of outside crises. That's always going to happen. These were self-inflicted wounds.

BOLDUAN: Gingrich helped engineer the Republican takeover of the House in the mid-'90s. As speaker, he helped balance the budget and usher in welfare reform.

GINGRICH: Today, we're not just offering promises.

BOLDUAN: But he was also caught up in a number of controversies. His clashes with President Obama over spending led to two government shutdowns and after leaving the fight to impeach President Clinton, Gingrich later revealed he was having an affair with his now third wife.

Gingrich was also the first speaker reprimanded for ethics violations. He eventually stepped down from his post when Republicans lost seats in the '98 election.

KING: Within two-and-a-half years, his own people were trying to overthrow him in a coup and within four years was removed as speaker. So that just says everything about him, because it was just constant, constant turmoil.

BOLDUAN: But Gingrich's supporters defend his style and sometimes brash personality, and say he's the type of charismatic leader the Republican Party needs to take back the White House.

REP. JACK KINGSTON (R), GEORGIA: Who's the quarterback who can really get the job done? And maybe it's not perfect. Maybe not everything's executed the way that you want it done on paper, but at the end of the game, your team is winning or you get something accomplished. And Newt has that ability.


BOLDUAN: Now, Gingrich's supporters up here, they really downplay the lack of support among congressional Republicans, suggesting that it may actually end up helping Gingrich in the end in an election where no one wants to be viewed as the Washington insider.

BLITZER: Good point, Kate. Thanks very much. Good report.

He's inserted himself into the presidential campaign in an unprecedented way and he says he still -- he still may eventually decide to run for president.

In the next hour, Donald Trump joins us right here in THE SITUATION ROOM. He talks bluntly about the current candidates, President Obama, the controversial debate that Donald Trump will be moderating and a whole lot more -- in our next hour, my interview with Donald Trump here in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Gays in the military, school prayer -- Rick Perry touches on all of that and more in a new ad taking some broad swipes at President Obama. We will have a reality check.

And did politics trump science in a controversial decision on the so- called morning after pill?

And military secrets possibly in the hands of a sworn U.S. enemy. Iran shows video of what it claims is a downed American drone.


BLITZER: Religion is at the heart of a new campaign ad by Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry. It's aimed at evangelical Christians, especially in Iowa, and takes some broad swipes at President Obama, but are all of them fair?

CNN's Joe Johns is joining us with a reality check.

Joe, tell our viewers about this latest Rick Perry ad.

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, it looks like a lot of people don't like Rick Perry's new ad, but it's targeted at a very specific audience that just might like it. You can even go as far to say that, in the last month before the Iowa caucuses, Perry is making a very direct pitch at Republican evangelical voters.


JOHNS (voice-over): Rick Perry's ad is running on TV in Iowa, but it also posted on YouTube Tuesday and quickly went viral -- almost 750,000 views by Thursday afternoon.

GOV. RICK PERRY (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm a Christian.

JOHNS: It throws issues near and dear to social conservatives and evangelicals straight at the viewer all at once and blames President Obama and liberals for everything.

PERRY: But you don't need to be in the pew every Sunday to know that there's something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military, but our kids can't openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.

As president, I'll end Obama's war on religion and I'll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage. Faith made America strong. It can make her strong again.

JOHNS: Whoever posted the ad allowed viewers to vote on it by pressing the like or dislike button. By Thursday afternoon, exponentially more thumbs down. Over 205,000 dislikes, just over 4,300 likes.

Whatever the true public reaction, Perry said the ad was really about things the commercial made no explicit mention of whatsoever -- when Wolf Blitzer asked him about it in this interview.

PERRY: When you talk to the bishops of the Catholic Church, there is clearly an agenda by this administration to go after those Catholic charities that are offering health care, doing work for trafficking of individuals. The administration is clearly sending messages to people of faith and organizations of faith that we're not going to support you with federal dollars.

JOHNS: But anti-religion? It's confusing to some because the president clearly participants in Christian customs, like celebrating Christmas, for example.


JOHNS: Via Skype, we asked Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention and he echoed some of the points the Perry campaign made in a press release about the ad.

RICHARD LAND, THE ETHICS & RELIGIOUS LIBERTY COMMISSION: But I think that what he's doing is he's -- I mean, if I were writing that script, I wouldn't have written that. But I think what he's doing in a short time period ad is he's pushing buttons. Evangelicals are very upset about the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." They're very upset about the Obama administration's refusal to defend the Defense of Marriage Act.

JOHNS: And, by the way, Perry's ad is very much playing to his strength. A Pew poll released last month showed strong support for Perry among white evangelicals. He's hoping it will make a difference in Iowa or South Carolina.

PERRY: You know, the evangelical Christians are waiting to, you know, find that individual that they're really comfortable with, that they think can win, that has their values. And I think, you know, I fit their mold quite well.


JOHNS: We reached out to the Obama campaign for comment. They did not get back to us. It's not surprising, though, given their response to recent attack ad by Romney created a much bigger story than the Obama folks probably wanted, Wolf.

BLITZER: You're absolutely right on that. Thanks very much, Joe, for that.

The politics of abortion rearing its head in a controversial decision by the Food and Drug Administration about who should have access to the so-called "morning after pill".

Our White House correspondent Brianna Keilar has some details about what's going on.

Brianna, give us the background, what this decision is all about.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, this is about the drug Plan B. It's called the morning after pill. You've probably heard it referred to that. It's sort of like a heavy dose of the birth control pill, but it can be taken days after intercourse rather than before to prevent a pregnancy. And there are some critics who say that it's a form of abortion.

Because of that, had the FDA allowed greater access to this drug, it might have left President Obama open to some criticism from Republican opponents.

Now, President Obama called this decision a common sense one, but privately, there are some in his own administration who are upset, saying that politics trumps science.


KEILAR (voice-over): The FDA says Plan B, the so-called "morning after pill," is safe and effective for women of all ages. But in a rare move, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius overruled the agency, scrapping its plan to make plan B available over the counter without age restrictions.

President Obama said he was not involved in the decision, but endorsed it.

OBAMA: The reason Kathleen made this decision was that she could not be confident that a 10-year-old or 11-year-old going to a drugstore should be able, alongside bubble gum or batteries, be able to buy a medication that potentially if not used properly, could end up having an adverse effect. And I think most parents would probably feel the same way.

KEILAR: Sebelius' decision means current on Plan B stand. Women 17 and older can purchase the pill over the counter. Those 16 and younger need a prescription.

The right is applauding the call. The left says it's pure politics -- a move that allows President Obama to avoid criticism from Republicans in what's already shaping up to be a bruising re-election battle.

SUSAN WOOD, FORMER FDA OFFICIAL: It is surely not a scientific decision.

KEILAR: One of the critics is Susan Wood, who resigned from her FDA post in 2005 because of restrictions on Plan B supported by the bush administration.

WOOD: The secretary's rationale is one very similar to the one used in the previous administration to block Plan B going over the counter. It is not supported by data.

The reality is, is that this is a very, very safe product. It needs to be taken right away to be effective. And to help young teens or older women, there needs to be no barriers to access to this very safe product.


KEILAR: Now, the FDA decision that was overruled by HHS could have put the "morning after pill" in the aisles of the drugstore, sort of the way that aspirin is. Now, with the age restriction, it means it stays behind the counter, so that a woman of any age would have to find a pharmacy that's open and have a pharmacist physically hand it over. And that's why some critics say you have people who are supposed to have ready access to this drug and they don't, Wolf.

BLITZER: All right. Brianna, thanks very much -- Brianna Keilar, our White House correspondent.

Will the assassination of Osama bin Laden provide President Obama with ammunition to use against his political opponents?


OBAMA: Ask Osama bin Laden and the 22 out of 30 top al Qaeda leaders who have been taken out the field whether I engage in appeasement.


BLITZER: Just ahead, the president backs up his tough talk with results on the battlefield. Will his best offense be a strong offense in the next election?

Lots of news happening today right here in THE SITUATION ROOM.


BLITZER: The latest on the Penn State University child sex abuse scandal.

Lisa Sylvester is monitoring that and some of the other top stories in THE SITUATION ROOM right now.

What's going on, Lisa?


Well, Jerry Sandusky is out of jail again. The former Penn State assistant football coach paid a $250,000 bail. Sandusky was arrested Wednesday on new child sex charges involving two more alleged victims. He's under house arrest and has to wear electronic monitoring device.

Sandusky says he is innocent. And his wife, Dottie Sandusky, has released a statement. In it, she asked people to, quote, "please be reasonable and open-minded while both sides of this case are hurt. And Jerry has had the opportunity to prove his innocence," unquote.

And the rate of traffic deaths are at an all time low in 2010. The Department of Transportation reports fewer than 33,000 people died on the roadways last year. This despite the fact that Americans actually drove more than the year before. Experts say the decline in traffic deaths is due to safer cars, along with programs to change driver behavior.

And a major league contract for the best player in baseball. The Los Angeles Angel are reportedly paying $254 million for a 10-year contract with Albert Pujols. Pujols has spent his entire 11-year career with the St. Louis Cardinals. He's led them to two World Series titles, and a Pujols is a three-time MVP winner and has hit 445 home runs -- a big, big payday for him. Wolf.

BLITZER: Huge, but he's great. What can you say?

Thanks, Lisa.

Mitt Romney and his campaign, so far, they've largely laid off the other Republican presidential contenders. That was before Newt Gingrich put a scare into his campaign. Now, the claws are beginning slowly but surely, to come out. We'll have details.

And President Obama has faced a flood of insults from Republican presidential candidates, but one accusation set him off and led him to fight back.


BLITZER: I'm Wolf Blitzer.

Here are some of the stories we're working on for our next hour:

Donald Trump has never been afraid to speak his mind. My conversation with the provocative tycoon. That's coming up at the top of the next hour.

Also, an embarrassing admission from Jon Corzine, the former senator, the former governor. He makes a less than pleasant return to Capitol Hill. We'll have details.

And Hollywood loves revenge fantasies. Now, the movie studios are starring in their own drama, taking on pirates on the web. Stand by.



BLITZER: But first, let's get to our "Strategy Session." Joining us now the Democratic strategist and CNN political contributor, Maria Cardona and the Republican strategist and CNN contributor, Alex Castellanos. Guys, thanks very much for coming in.

Maria, let me start with you. All of a sudden, Mitt Romney and his campaign, they're beginning, beginning a little bit, to get tough with Newt Gingrich's poll numbers are skyrocketing right now. Is it about time? Too early? Too late? What do you think?

MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: It might be a little bit too late, Wolf, but as we know in politics, a day is a lifetime, so anything can happen.

But I have to tell you the Romney campaign reminds me of those mirrors that you have on the side of your car that say objects appear closer than they are. I feel like Romney's campaign should have a mirror that said candidates way behind you are really way ahead of you.

So he was clearly caught flatfooted. His whole campaign was. This was not something that they had built into their strategy and they need to do something about it and they need do it now.

The problem is they are going to have to go negative and have to go negative hard and guess what? It's the holidays. People don't like that kind of sentiment around the holidays. They want to feel warm and fuzzy.

Mitt Romney wants to win. I don't think he can go warm and fuzzy on Newt Gingrich.

BLITZER: It's as if, Alex, that they weren't paying attention to Newt Gingrich and all of a sudden, look at how great he's doing.

ALEX CASTELLANOS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I don't think a lot of Republicans thought that you know, the Newt Gingrich resurrection was something that was in the future, but he's back and he's back with a vengeance.

He's got a, you know, surveys say he's got a 70 percent favorable rating in Iowa and Maria's right, the clock's ticking. If Newt Gingrich can get through the next couple of weeks in Iowa, then Christmas kind of freezes the race.

Newt can win Iowa, roll into New Hampshire with a lot of momentum and if he comes close to Mitt Romney in New Hampshire, then boom. He spring boards into South Carolina where he's very strong. He's ahead in Florida now. Romney was always counting on a long race. Mitt Romney's team was never counting on a quick knockout, but they may not even get a long race if Gingrich doesn't really blow himself up or if these negatives don't work against him.

BLITZER: Maria, the president of the United States was in the briefing room today. He didn't just make a statement. He also took some questions from reporters including some political questions. Listen to this exchange.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Republican candidates have taken aim at your approach to foreign policy, particularly the Middle East and Israel and accused you of appeasement. I want to get your reaction to that.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Ask Osama Bin Laden and the 22 out of 30 top al-Qaeda leaders who have been taken off the field whether I engage in appeasement or whoever's left out there. Ask them about that.


BLITZER: He's been reluctant to really engage the Republican criticism from the Republican presidential candidates. Finally, he's beginning to do so. Is it on this particular front, Maria, about time?

CARDONA: I think so, Wolf, and I think a lot of his supporters think it's about time so good for him for doing that. Because one thing you've got to say about these presidential candidates, they have absolutely nothing to say that can come close to what this president has accomplished on foreign policy.

Especially in the areas of terrorism and I think every single American will agree with that so good for him for doing that. I don't think there's anywhere that the Republicans can go on this issue with terrorism. They have zero. I think it's time if for this president to put that on the table.

BLITZER: You might be surprised. Not every single American applauds all he's done in fighting terrorism. The next hour, you'll hear my interview with Donald Trump on this specific issue. I want you to listen to that.

But what do you think, Alex? Is it about time the president starts responding to his Republican challengers?

CASTELLANOS: Well, you know, I think he's been campaigning non-stop now for the past six months, but the problem here, Wolf, is that Israel is near the precipice and more danger than ever.

Pakistan is brisling with nuclear weapons and we're losing our influence. Iran is developing the bomb and the president's answer is to hitch up his pants, spit in the spitoon, and saying I'm a tough guy. I took out Osama Bin Laden. It's not a serious way to deal with foreign policy. CARDONA: When it comes to terrorism, it's what he's done and that's his track record.

CASTELLANOS: Important policy, it happens to be about more than terrorism. It's about not losing Israel as our only democracy in that part of the world. It's about not losing our influence in Pakistan. It's about not letting a madman in Iran get a nuclear weapon and the president on all three of those has done a very poor job.

CARDONA: It's about keeping America safe and he's done a great job of doing that.

BLITZER: Maria and Alex, guys, we'll continue this conversation. Thank you. As I mentioned, Donald Trump is a sharp critic of the president's foreign policy. You're going to find out the question that set off this exchange in our interview.


DONALD TRUMP, REAL ESTATE MOGUL: Is he stupid? Let me ask you, is Obama stupid? Why would he never do that?


BLITZER: Stay with us. Lots more news coming up right here in THE SITUATION ROOM.


BLITZER: Donald Trump certainly has been stepping up his criticism of President Obama as the race for the White House heats up. But he's especially harsh when it comes to how the president handled the revolution in Libya. Listen to this change I had with him.


TRUMP: Now, if six months ago when these people who had lost because Gadhafi believe it or not, was a lot stronger than people thought. They had lost. It was over. Had Obama said we're going to help you. We want 50 percent of your oil. They would have said absolutely, 100 percent. Why wouldn't he do it? You said he would never do it.

BLITZER: No, if --

TRUMP: Is Obama stupid? Why would he never do that?

BLITZER: Because it goes against international law.

TRUMP: First of all, there is no country because you're talking about these people does a revolution. Why wouldn't Obama say we want 50 percent of your oil and we will help you?

BLITZER: Do you think Obama would ever do that?

TRUMP: Well, why wouldn't he do that? Do you think he's stupid, Wolf? BLITZER: No, he's a very intelligent guy. He comes from a different background than you do. You're a business guy.


BLITZER: The full interview is coming up at the top of the hour. But let's get some reaction to what we just heard from Donald Trump from Congressman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat of Florida. She's also the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.

He basically thinks the president of the United States in handling Libya and beyond that, not just Libya, but Iraq and Afghanistan and China, that the president, his top aides are stupid. That the U.S. is getting sucker punched by all of these guys.

REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D-FL), CHAIR, DNC: Well, I think you really have to consider the source, Wolf. I'm not sure that there's anyone in America that would label Donald Trump as a foreign policy expert.

And if you measure President Obama's remarkable record in foreign policy and his accomplishments making sure that we have more al Qaeda operatives killed in the last three years than in all of the time since 2001 combined.

Making sure that as the Arab spring passed, you know, has gone through the Middle East, that we are vigilant in ensuring that the democracies that they're fighting for are not going to be harmful to Israel and that we make sure that we protect Israel's interest there.

President Obama has had significant foreign policy success, bringing our troops home from the war in Iraq by the end of this year. So you know, I'm not sure that anyone puts much stock into Donald Trump's foreign policy opinions.

BLITZER: Well, what about almost all of the Republican candidates with the exception of Ron Paul? They appeared yesterday before the Republican Jewish Coalition and they made the case basically one after the other, that this president has thrown Israel under the bus in various ways. You're a strong supporter of Israel. What do you say to these Republican candidates?

SCHULTZ: I am a strong supporter of Israel. I'm proud to bring my love of Israel to work with me every day. I'm the first Jewish woman to represent Florida in Congress.

You know, unfortunately, for the Republicans, there isn't a single domestic policy issue that Republicans are right on when it comes to the Jewish community. So they have no other choice, but to lie about the president's record on Israel, distort it.

President Obama has the strongest record standing by Israel and making sure that the alliance remains strong between the United States and Israel of any president. I mean, $205 million for the iron dome missile defense system, which has already protected Israel from rocket attacks from Hezbollah coming up from the south. Making sure that we have more than $3 billion in foreign aid provided to Israel, helping to rescue the six Israelis that were trapped in the Israeli embassy in Egypt and then late at night, getting a call from Prime Minister Netanyahu asking for his help when the prime minister knew it was only President Obama who could call the Egyptian leadership and help get them out.

He did and Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Israeli leadership was very thankful and appreciative. Standing in front of the entire world at the United Nations, throwing the gauntlet down and insisting that the only path to peace wasn't through the Palestinian state, but through direct bilateral negotiations and on and on.

It's sad and awful that the Republican Jewish Coalition, which is really on organization that puts the love of its party ahead of Israel, would sponsor a forum that allows Republican candidates for president to lie and distort this president's stellar record on Israel.

BLITZER: Well, I want to move on to some other political question, but quickly, give me an example of where they lie.

SCHULT: Well, I mean, to suggest, first of all, they're speaking, they speak in generalities. To say that President Obama has thrown Israel under the bus, I mean, I stood next to Danny Ayalon in South Florida who is the deputy foreign minister in Israel where he said to the press that was assembled in front of us that Israel has no greater friend than Barack Obama.

I mean, the Israeli leadership disagrees with the Republican candidates for president and if you look at President Obama's record, he has strongly and unequivocally stood by Israel. Stated that they are our strongest ally and friend and has done so in word and deed.

Unlike the Republicans like Mitt Romney, who still has not divested his family foundations investments from companies that do business with Iran. So President Obama talks the talk and walks the walk. Republicans like Romney talk the talk, but don't match their actions with that talk.

BLITZER: Congresswoman, speaking of Mitt Romney, you're the leader of the Democratic Party. You're the chair. You've had ads. You're going after Mitt Romney really aggressively in recent weeks, indeed months, but Newt Gingrich, not so much. Why is that?

SCHULTZ: Well, Mitt Romney is one of the leading candidates for president on the Republican side. He spent his entire campaign attacking President Obama's record and I think it's really important that voters know that Mitt Romney has no conviction, no commitment to hold firm on any position.

Really no basic principles that he's willing to stick to and when you have someone flip-flop as much as he has with the political wins and who wants to be president of the United States, the American people know that he is not someone they could count on when push comes to shove. BLITZER: All right, let me give you a chance to speak about Newt Gingrich a little bit. I'm going to play a clip from my interview with the former House speaker yesterday. Listen to this.


NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm perfectly happy for the Obama people to decide they want to beat up on Romney. That's fine with me. When we get to the general election if I'm the nominee, after the president has those three-hour debates, we'll see how they feel about it.


BLITZER: All right, go ahead. Tell us how you feel about the former speaker.

SCHULTZ: Well, you know, Newt Gingrich is cut from the same cloth as the rest of the Republican field. He really has been the champion of gridlock. He was the godfather of gridlock.

Someone, when he was the speaker of the House of Representatives made sure that polarization was the name of the game here in the capitol. I don't think that's something the voters are going to want more of the same of.

BLITZER: Let me just point out, because I covered that, the Clinton administration all eight years including when he was the speaker. They worked together on several important issues and balancing the budget on welfare reform. It wasn't necessarily gridlocked in those years that Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich worked together.

SCHULTZ: I don't know. I mean, the government shutdown.

BLITZER: There was a government shutdown, but after that, there was a lot of cooperation between the two.

SCHULTZ: But Newt Gingrich was happy to shut the government down because he was insulted because of which end of Air Force One he was asked to leave. Look, I -- really don't see much difference between any of the Republican candidates for president.

They all have embraced the Tea Party. They all have embraced extremism and none of them support making sure that we can extend the payroll tax cut for middle class and working families, that we can create jobs and get this economy turned around.

What they want is they care about one job. They care about Barack Obama's job. And Democrats under President Obama's leadership has been fighting for American jobs and we've been making progress, 21 straight months of private sector job growth.

Almost three million jobs created and it is time to make sure that we bring Democrats and Republicans together to work on those efforts. The Republican candidates for president should be leading the way instead of leading the charge to win the White House back, which is their only interest.

BLITZER: When can we expect, we're out of time, quickly, the first DNC ad attacking Gingrich?

SCHULTZ: You know, Newt Gingrich is someone who's running for president, but we don't share our discussions about the ads that we're going to release. So if it's necessary, if he's the nominee, there will be plenty of opportunity to compare his record to President Obama's.

BLITZER: Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, thanks very much for coming in.

SCHULTZ: Thank you.

BLITZER: Debbie Wasserman Schultz is the chair of the DNC. She is the congresswoman of Florida.

China has worked to develop stealth fighters just like the Pentagon's and that push could get a boost courtesy of Beijing's Iranian friends. That's coming up.

And Donald Trump doesn't like to bite his tongue, but the outspoken business man's latest comments still might surprise you. Standby.


BLITZER: Iran is backing up its claim that it captured a U.S. stealth drone. State television today showed pictures of the aircraft. If this is a U.S. drone, its next destination potentially could be China.

Our Pentagon correspondent, Chris Lawrence has this report.


CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An Iranian general says they captured an American stealth drone. For the first time, put it out on state TV for all to see. The Pentagon is vague on Iran's claims.

GEORGE LITTLE, DEPUTY ASSISTANT DEFENSE SECRETARY: We haven't recovered the drone that we believe is missing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When U.S. technology falls into the wrong hands, it's always a concern.

LAWRENCE: But a U.S. official now says there is no reason to think the drone is a fake. U.S. officials tell CNN the drone's guidance system failed and operators lost control of it last week.

BILL SWEETMAN, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, DEFENSE TECHNOLOGY: There's a whole lot of detail, which when you look at it closely, says yes, this is a real aircraft.

LAWRENCE: Aviation expert, Bill Sweetman says the drone likely came down in a flat spin in what he calls a falling leaf decent. SWEETMAN: So, it would hit the ground, not a lot of vertical acceleration, maybe just some rotation. So, you know, you'd see in that case, fairly limited damage.

LAWRENCE: Earlier this week, a U.S. official told CNN the drone was part of a CIA mission, but he said it was strictly to look for insurgent on the Afghanistan side of the border.

And there was no spying on Iran, but several sources point out that the RQ-170 is a stealth drone designed to operate in areas like Iran with air defenses that could identify and shoot down commonly used drones like a reaper or predator.

They say it's hard to believe the drone was strictly operating over Afghanistan.

SWEETMAN: There would be really no reason to. Why would you? We control the air space there.

COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RETIRED): So, it could have been used in Iran. Could have been deliberately used in Iran and it's very likely that it was a reconnaissance flat form of choice to do precisely that.


LAWRENCE: We have since spoken with several sources who are pushing back on the validity of Iran's claim. One military official who now says, you know, we just don't know what is it is in that video, if it is the true drone that went missing.

An aviation official who goes even further calling it nothing more than a parade float, he says that's why we didn't see crash scene video.

That it took Iran about a week to put this together and he says these are not designed to fall from such a high altitude. They are not built to withstand that sort of crash. There's no way that it could have been that intact -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Interesting stuff. All right, thanks very much, Chris Lawrence.

A check of the day's top stories coming up next. We have an update on the breaking news out of Virginia Tech University, a shooting on the campus. New information just coming in.

At the top of the hour, a wild card in the race for the White House. Debate moderator would be king maker still possible candidate, my interview with Donald Trump. That's coming up.


BLITZER: There's new information coming in on the deadly day at Virginia Tech University. Lisa Sylvester is monitoring that and some of the other top stories in THE SITUATION ROOM right now. What's the latest, Lisa? LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, the lockdown is now being lifted at Virginia Tech. The school says a weapon was found at the location of the body of a second person killed on campus and we have some sound that is just coming in from a police official that we can play for you now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No additional victims or shooting reports have been given to the police department. So, we feel confident that the situation is under control at this time.

SYLVESTER: That male individual was found in a parking lot, a posting on the school's Web site says there is no longer an active threat and that students and staff can go back to their normal activities.

The violence started when a Virginia Tech police officer was shot and killed at a routine traffic stop earlier today. Several law enforcement agencies including the FBI responded. Back in 2007, 33 people were killed when a Virginia Tech student went on a shooting rampage.

In other news, in Pakistan, militants destroyed at least 22 oil tankers carrying fuel for NATO troops in Afghanistan. Police say seven militants on motorcycles were armed with rocket propelled grenades and automatic weapons.

They all escaped. The tankers had been part since last month when Pakistan shut down NATO supply routes. That followed the air strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

And stocks finished the day down sharply amidst concerns about Europe's debt crisis. The Dow dropped almost 200 points and both the S&P and NASDAQ dropped 2 percent.

The European Central Bank is refusing to commit to bailouts to troubled European countries and experts say tomorrow could be one of the most important days in the global markets -- Wolf.

BLITZER: We'll be all over the story together with you, Lisa. Thanks very much.