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THE SITUATION ROOM
Fears Sex Scandal Could Hurt Pres. Security; India: Long Range Missile Test A Success; Interview with Hillary Clinton and Leon Panetta; Young Mother Murdered; Big-Time Crime in a Small Town; Fixing the Economy
Aired April 19, 2012 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: And you're in the SITUATION ROOM. Happening now, concerns about presidential security as the U.S. secret service reels from a prostitution scandal. This hour, members of Congress are venting their fears and their anger, and they're demanding answers.
Plus, I ask secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, about her political future. Got a surprising reaction, not just from her, but from the defense secretary, Leon Panetta, as well. Stand by for more of my exclusive joint interview with both of them.
And a stunning crime in the small town where Ronald Reagan grew up. An official in city hall is accused of stealing, get this, $30 million. $30 million, and no one seemed to notice until now.
I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in the SITUATION ROOM.
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BLITZER: Top lawmakers are expecting more resignations from the secret service as the fallout grows from a prostitution scandal. Eleven secret service members are accused of bringing prostitutes back to their hotel in Colombia just before last week's visit by President Obama. Three of them are leaving the agency.
This scandal is raising a lot of questions about the secret service and the future of presidential security. Let's bring in our senior congressional correspondent, Dana Bash. She's on Capitol Hill -- Dana.
DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, I talked to a couple of lawmakers who spoke to the secret service director and say that he told them to expect that other secret service members who were involved in this scandal could be gone as soon as this week.
But I'm also told by sources that that might take longer than you think because the director is getting pushed back by some of those involved saying that they may not have -- they don't believe, at least, that they broke the rules or laws that allow them to actually go or be fired. But nevertheless, top lawmakers here say that they are comfortable at this point letting the secret service do its own investigation. They still want answers.
BASH (voice-over): What do Congressional leaders think about allegations that members of the secret service brought prostitutes their Colombian hotel? You don't have to read between the lines.
REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D) MINORITY LEADER: It's a stunning thing. It's actually disgusting. Those people who are responsible have brought disgrace, and it's disgusting.
SEN. HARRY REID, (D) MAJORITY LEADER: People that are here to protect the president, they go to Colombia and have a fight with a prostitute over how much she should be paid. That's either very stupider or total lack of common sense.
BASH: Beyond the outrage, there's concern the scandal could jeopardize the president's security in the future.
REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS, (D) OVERSIGHT & GOVERNMENT REFORM COMMITTEE: The secret service is an organization which I put on the level of the navy SEALs, the elite, the very, very best in the world, and I don't want anyone to think that they can pierce the armor of the secret service. I don't want even want them to think it.
BASH: Democrat, Elijah Cummings, didn't say he heard (ph) of new threats to President Obama, but told CNN there was already special concern for the president's safety, which he hears often from constituents.
CUMMINGS: People said to me, look, Cummings, if they would try to kill Reagan, I know they'll try to do some harm to this president. I hear that all the time.
BASH: So, just to be blunt, you get asked that because he's African-American, he's going to --
CUMMINGS: I'm just telling you. That's what they asked me.
BASH: Cummings is the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee. He sent a bipartisan letter with the GOP chairman to the secret service director, demanding information on everything from the Colombia prostitution incident to the agency culture that may have allowed it. Homeland security chairman, Peter King, overseas the secret service. He's doing his own investigating.
REP. PETER KING, (R) HOMELAND SECURITY CHAIRMAN: I have four investigators working on it, talking to not just the secret service but other sources we have in law enforcement. We're talking to as many people as we can. If I have to, I will send staff investigators down to Colombia.
BASH: Like many other lawmakers, King says he still has confidence in secret service director, Mark Sullivan, not this Republican congressman.
REP. RANDY FORBES, (R) VIRGINIA: I think it's time that we have a change at the top and make sure we're showing, not just to the people of the United States, but the people across the world, we're serious about defending and protecting the leadership of this country.
BASH (on-camera): Now, we will have a hearing next week in the Senate Judiciary Committee where the homeland security secretary will testify. We're told that the whole secret service scandal will be a major focus there, but Wolf, other than that, key chairmen in both parties, in both sides of the capitol, they're saying that they're going to wait until the secret service does its own investigating.
That is quite different from many times you see a scandal around Washington. Generally, these lawmakers jump on it, and they call for public hearings right away. Not in this case.
BLITZER: Yes. All right. I'm sure the scandal is only just beginning. Thanks very much for that. Dana Bash, up on Capitol Hill.
Let's dig a little bit deeper right now in the culture of the secret service and whether it may have contributed to the scandal. Brian Todd is taking a closer look into this part of the story -- Brian.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, there's growing concern among law enforcement, experts, and members of Congress about that very aspect of this, and it stems from the fact that 11 members of the secret service were allegedly involved, not just one or two.
TODD (voice-over): It's the sheer number of secret service personnel involved in the alleged incident with prostitutes that's raising serious questions in Washington.
SEN. SUSAN COLLINS, (R) HOMELAND SEC & GOVT AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: It's hard for me to believe that was the first and only time. There were just too many people involved.
TODD: In fact, 11 total. Sources say two supervisors among them, leaving law enforcement experts to be concerned about potentially a larger problem within the secret service, a comfort level with this kind of conduct. Is this incident part of a pattern in that agency? We spoke off camera with several former secret service agents and supervisors who say it's not, that they've never witnessed or heard of anything like this.
They did tell us of so-called wheels up parties when secret service officers, White House staffers, members of the media get together after the president has left a city and have drinks at a bar or a hotel room. They say those get together are comparatively tame. Jeffrey Robinson who wrote a book on the secret service with the former top agent said this about those parties. JEFFREY ROBINSON, AUTHOR, "STANDING NEXT TO HISTORY": Do married guys take off their rings at these parties? They often say wills up rings off. OK, that's a problem for these married guys and their families. Do people get drunk? Gee, there's a news story.
TODD: Robinson says those are isolated incidents, not part of a broader culture at the secret service. There was an incident in 2006 when a secret service agent was tasered, charged with public intoxication after an altercation at a bar in Waco, Texas.
In 2002, "U.S. News and World Report" published an investigative piece detailing incidents of agents having raucous parties, barroom brawls and sex with underage girls. Some of that information came from disgruntled former agents who had grievances with the agency.
(on-camera) There is a real concern that this is a cultural problem within the agency, is it?
BARBARA RIGGS, FORMER SECRET SERVICE DEPUTY DIRECTOR: No, it is not. I mean, I can tell you unequivocally it is not, and I have lived it for 31 years.
TODD (voice-over): Serving under six presidents, Barbara Riggs, was the first woman to become a supervisor in the presidential protective division, the first woman to become deputy secret service director. She also supervised advanced teams.
RIGGS: Yes, we have had people who have been acting in appropriately (ph). I mean, after duty, can you go out and have a beer? Absolutely. Can sometimes there be an incident? Yes, there has been, but is it systemic? No.
TODD (on-camera): A current secret service official mirrored that telling us, in an agency of 7,000 people, yes, there've been incidents of misconduct and even criminal behavior. This official would not respond to the concerns about a broader, cultural problem at the secret service, but did say with regard to this incident and others, they have responded decisively and appropriately -- Wolf.
BLITZER: I know you've spoken to several secret service agents over the past few days. How are they reacting emotionally to this incident?
TODD: They're just plain ticked off. A lot of them say they're -- you hear the words embarrassed and ashamed from a lot of them. I've spoken to a lot of them. They get very emotional about this. They're really angry that these few people would have put a mark on the entire agency. You hear the words ticked off and embarrassed a lot from them these days.
BLITZER: Yes. I would just -- spent the last couple of days in Brussels at NATO headquarters, and the secretary of state, the secretary of defense, and the security officers there, and they're ticked off, as well, because the impression that the only thing they're doing is partying with, you know, hookers and stuff.
TODD: They get emotional about it. Right.
BLITZER: They're very upset. All right. Thanks very much, Brian.
Our national security contributor, Fran Townsend, got an up-close look at the secret service in action during her days in the Bush administration. Fran serves on the Homeland Security Department's external advisory board right now, former homeland security adviser to President Bush.
Fran, is there a cultural problem here? In other words, is this a bigger problem, or based on your experience and what you know, an isolated incident?
FRANCES TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: You know Wolf, everything I saw -- when I traveled overseas, I would have a protective detail, and they were incredibly professional. The door was left open. I was never in the room alone with an agent. They worked very hard to make sure that there were women on my protective detail.
So, I never saw any evidence of this. I will tell you, though, I think because of, as Brian mentioned, the numbers, the fact that there are two supervisors allegedly involved and the fact that they were only on the ground a short period of time before this incident happened, I think this is the very reason that secret service director, Mark Sullivan, has decided to look at and pointed (ph) an external panel.
People to look at this once they get the facts sorted out to ensure the fact that this is not a cultural problem. They take it very seriously.
And I can tell you, having spoken to Mark Sullivan, he's outraged by this conduct, and I think that's why you've seen the response on Capitol Hill to give him the opportunity to conduct this thorough investigation and to make recommendations about what really happened here and how do you make sure that this problem doesn't come up again.
BLITZER: Because GS-14s, you know what that means, a lot of our viewers don't understand, but if you're a GS-14 supervisor, you're not just a low-level clerk or something. That's a pretty high level.
TOWNSEND: That's right. Although, within the secret service, that's your first level of supervisor. Now, let's be clear, I'm not making any excuses for the supervisors. One guy was there more than 20 years, the other more than 25. And so, these were very experienced agents.
Although, I will tell you, as I spoke to someone who had worked with at least one of those supervisors, he said, the guy didn't have a whole lot of good judgment. And so, I wasn't terribly surprised when I heard that he had been involved in this. He sort of had bad judgment earlier in his career. Those are the sorts of things, Wolf. I think that Mark Sullivan is trying to get to the bottom of so he can understand, how do you identify people who have judgment issues, who shouldn't be a part of this elite service.
BLITZER: Is he thinking about resigning? In other words, saying, you know what, I'm in charge. It's my responsibility. It happened on my watch, and I'm stepping down.
TOWNSEND: You know, in fact, Mark -- I don't think Mark is nor do I think he should, frankly, at this point. You know, Wolf, we've seen all these sort of scandals. Think of the scandals in DOD with inappropriate conducts and photographs, most recently the ones with body parts and military service members. We don't suspect that Leon Panetta ought to be asked to resign over that.
What you want is a director who shows decisive leadership. And I think Mark Sullivan has done that. He's determined to get to the bottom of it, not just with this internal investigation, but also by having external folks come in and look at it. And so, I think what you want is a decisive, strong leader who's going to lead this agency through the crisis, and that's what he's doing.
BLITZER: Fran Townsend, thanks very much for that.
New clues in a 33-year-old mystery. Police renewing a search for the first missing child to be placed on a milk carton. They didn't have to go all that far.
Plus, Hillary Clinton seeing dancing and drinking. I'll ask her about it in the last part of my exclusive interview with her and the secretary of defense. That's coming up this hour.
And we'll explain why a woman climbed a car to get close to Iran's president.
BLITZER: Let's get right back to Jack for the "Cafferty File" -- Jack.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Congress won't do anything to fix our economy. That is the disturbing conclusion of the CNNMoney survey of economists. Despite the big issues on the horizon, $15 trillion debt, trillion dollar annual deficits, jobs, taxes, we can, once again, expect our Congress to do nothing.
Although, the economists polled in this survey have lots of ideas about how to jump-start the U.S. economy. They don't expect Congress to act on any of them in the near future. One economist put it this way, Congress will act, quote, "two weeks after a sudden freeze in hell," unquote. These experts are most worried about a weakening and economic readings, especially job growth.
So, what would help? They'd like Congress to pass comprehensive tax reform which would likely lower tax rates for corporations and individuals while eliminating a lot of deductions and loopholes. Most of these economists also support some extension of the Bush tax cuts and an extension of the partial payroll tax holiday.
The survey also found 40 percent of them want Congress to repeal Obamacare and about a fourth of them support the repeal of the Dodd Frank financial services reform legislation. Some of them believe the economy will be best off if Congress does as little as possible, and it looks like those folks will probably get their wish.
With lawmakers in re-election mode now, we can't expect much action on the economy or anything else for that matter. It's pathetic. As if to prove the point, just this week, Senate Democrats canceled votes on next year's budget. This will be the third year in a row that Congress has failed to produce a budget. That's their job. Like I said, they're pathetic.
Here's the question. If Congress won't fix the economy, what will it take? Go to CNN.com/CaffertyFile and post a comment on my blog or go to our post on the SITUATION ROOM's facebook page -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Jack, thank you.
Potential breakthrough in the notorious 33-year-old cold case of the first missing child featured on the side of a milk carton. The FBI has just started searching a building in the ritzy Soho neighborhood of New York City in hopes of finding remains of a six- year-old boy who disappeared way back in 1979.
Let's bring in our national correspondent, Susan Candiotti. She's on the scene for us. Susan, you're getting some brand new information. A lot of us have followed this story over these three decades. What are you learning?
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. That little boy that they're looking for, his remains, Ethan Pates (ph) is his name. Here is what I have learned from law enforcement sources about what led them to start this investigation or restart it. As they get ready to use their jack hammers now, here's what we've come up with.
While they were going over old leads in the case, re-examining them, they found something. They're not revealing exactly what that led them to bring a cadaver dog into the basement of this building, the red brick building that you see over my shoulder here, and that led them to say let's bring in jack hammers. Let's come in full force and look to see what we can find.
And so, that's what they've been doing, mapping out the concrete basement in this building, and I'll tell you why this location is significant. About half a block up this way is where that little boy and his parents used to live. About half a block in the other direction is the bus stop where that little boy was walking when he disappeared.
He was going to the bus stop by himself to go to school that day. So, that's why police are concentrating on this block as they have in the past, but something new came up. So, all afternoon, they've been digging up dirt, taking away shelving and drywalls, and finally, tomorrow, they think they're going to take jack hammers to the small basement area described as very dark and leads to a hallway where there used to be an art studio.
Here's what police said they're looking for.
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PAUL BROWNE, NYPD SPOKESMAN: We're looking for human remains, clothing or other personal effects of Ethan Pates (ph) in trying to find out where he disappeared, why he disappeared, and where.
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CANDIOTTI: Wolf, this search is going to be going on for five days. Any evidence collected will be going to the FBI's lab in Quantico, Virginia. They're going to knock off tonight, resume work in the morning. They have a lot of work ahead of them. We reached out to the parents of that little boy.
They still live right down the street. They were told about the search in advance, and an author who has spoken with them, we were unable to contact them, said that they've been through these ups and downs before. They learned how to deal with it. Of course, everyone is hoping for the best so that they can get some closure -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Hoping for the best, indeed. All right. We'll stay on top of the story together with you, Susan. Thanks very much, and our deepest, deepest best wishes to this family for 33 years. God can only imagine what they've been going through.
A nurse accused of the unthinkable, killing a mother then stealing her little baby. Now, new details emerging about the nurse's background. New information coming in.
Plus, a new missile launch, but this one is not outraging the White House. You're going to find out why.
BLITZER: The Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's, car surrounded by a rowdy crowd. Mary Snow has the dramatic YouTube video and some of the other top stories in the SITUATION ROOM right now -- Mary.
MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, at one point, you can see a woman climbing on to the car to speak to the Iranian president. It happened during his visit to one of the country's southern provinces. Some in the crowd seemed to be Ahmadinejad supporters.
Another man was yelling that he was hungry. Ahmadinejad finally speak with the woman, but did not speak with the man complaining of hunger.
India says it has successfully carried out a test of its longest rage nuclear capable missile which, apparently, can travel about 3,100 miles. It was fired from the country's eastern coast putting it within striking distance of nuclear armed, China. India, which also borders nuclear armed Pakistan, claims its missiles are purely for deterrence.
Despite low home prices and record low interest rates, the housing market is still struggling. A new industry report shows existing home sales fell 2.6 percent compared with a month earlier. A number of analysts consider disappointing, but they say conditions are in place for a turnaround as soon as confidence kicks in among buyers.
And reality TV star, Kim Kardashian, wants to one day become Mayor Kim Kardashian. The Hollywood socialite and entrepreneur revealed in a clip for her sister's reality show that she wants to run for mayor of Glendale, California, somewhere down the road. Officially though, she'd have to first be elected to the city council, and it could be the topic of a whole new reality show -- Wolf.
BLITZER: The mayor, is that what we have to call her? The mayor?
SNOW: I think we have a long time for that.
BLITZER: I don't think that's happening any time soon. All right. Thanks very much.
All right. Here's a question, will Hillary Clinton, the current secretary of state, run for president of the United States in 2016? Her answer. And the defense secretary, Leon Panetta's, rather candid reaction. More of my exclusive interview with both of them. Stand by for this.
And $30 million stolen from a small town. Wait until you see where it allegedly went.
BLITZER: The secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, seems to be enjoying her job as America's top diplomat, but could another political campaign be in her future? I asked her about that, also, asked her about some of those photos in Colombia drinking some beer as well.
Here now, more of my exclusive joint interview with Secretary Clinton and defense secretary, Leon Panetta.
BLITZER: When we were in Cairo a year ago, I asked you few political questions. We're in a political season as you well know --
HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: Are we?
BLITZER: -- in United States. CLINTON: Is that right?
BLITZER: I don't know if you've heard about it.
CLINTON: I don't know about these things anymore.
BLITZER: Let's go through the questions that I'm sure you've been asked, but I'm going to ask them again. If the president of the United States says, Madam Secretary, I need you on the ticket this year in order to beat Romney. Are you ready to run as his vice presidential running mate?
CLINTON: That is not going to happen. That's like saying, if the Olympic committee called you up and said, are you ready to run the marathon? Would you accept? Well, it's not going to happen.
BLITZER: I disagree.
CLINTON: Oh, well.
BLITZER: I think it's -- it's unlikely. I will say that.
CLINTON: It's more than unlikely.
BLITZER: If he sees in July that he's going down, he doesn't want to be a one-term president --
CLINTON: But -- you know Leon and I are in this awkward position because we've both been in politics and now we're into jobs that are out of politics for all the right reasons, so I don't comment on politics anymore, but I'm very confident about the outcome of this election, and as I've said many times I think you know Joe Biden who is a dear friend of ours has served our country and served the president very well. So I'm out of politics, but I am very supportive of the team that we have in the White House going forward.
BLITZER: But you would do whatever it takes to help the president get reelected. You don't want to see him be a one-term president and you certainly don't want to see Romney name one or two Supreme Court justices --
CLINTON: Wolf, I can just imagine --
LEON PANETTA, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: I think you're pushing it --
CLINTON: -- your poor mother -- you know why? Why, mother? Why, mother? Why, mother? No, honestly it is not going happen, so I'm not going to speculate on something that I know is not going to be happening.
BLITZER: Let's try this one. I asked my Twitter followers for a question for the secretary of state. Shelly tweeted this. "Has Hillary seen the movie "The Iron Lady" about Margaret Thatcher, and is it time for a female president of the United States of America." And then she writes "My answer is yes." Is it time for a female, like you, for example, in 2016 to run for president of the United States? CLINTON: Well, let me depersonalize it, take it away from me. Of course, I believe it's time for a woman to be president. I was just in Brazil with extraordinary Demi Rouself (ph), the president of Brazil. At the summit of The Americas we had you know three presidents, two prime ministers of countries in our hemisphere. We just saw a woman succeed to the presidency of Malawi. It's happening in the world and --
BLITZER: Except in the United States.
CLINTON: Well it will. I just hope I'm still around when it does --
BLITZER: Well --
CLINTON: I want to you know mark my ballot --
BLITZER: Let me ask the secretary of defense, if she runs in 2016 will you --
BLITZER: You'll be out of politics. Will you support her in 2016 if she runs?
BLITZER: That's an easy question.
PANETTA: Are you kidding me?
BLITZER: Of course you will, right?
PANETTA: Of course.
BLITZER: You want her to run in 2016.
PANETTA: She's a great leader and she's been a great leader and she will be a great leader in the future.
BLITZER: You know they really want you, a lot of Democrats and others they would like you to run in 2016. I just see you smiling --
CLINTON: Look, I'm flattered --
CLINTON: I am honored. That is not in the future for me, but obviously, I'm hoping that I'll get to cast my vote for a woman running for president of our country.
BLITZER: Did you see those pictures of her with -- drinking a little beer? Did you see those, Mr. Secretary?
CLINTON: Well --
BLITZER: Those are great pictures.
CLINTON: Well, you know we were having a good time celebrating the birthday of one of my colleagues, and you know I sometimes forget that everybody is now a potential reporter or photographer.
BLITZER: That's true. That's true.
CLINTON: But it was a lot of fun. We had a very good time just enjoying beautiful Cartagena (ph).
BLITZER: And I love that picture of you texting in the sunglasses.
BLITZER: You've seen that one, too, right?
CLINTON: Yes, I have seen that, too. Yes, indeed. That actually was very funny and a lot of the, you know the back and forth of the kinds of invented dialogue was very funny. I got a lot of comments about that.
BLITZER: Of course you have. Well thank you so much to both of you for joining us on behalf of all of our viewers in the United States and around the world, good luck to you whatever you decide to do down the road. Mr. Secretary, you've got a lot on your agenda, both of you have a lot of on your agenda. We're all counting on you to get the job done.
CLINTON: Thank you.
CLINTON: Thank you, Wolf.
BLITZER: Appreciate it.
CLINTON: It's great to talk to you.
BLITZER: Thank you very much.
CLINTON: Appreciate it.
BLITZER: All right let's discuss what we just heard with our chief political correspondent Candy Crowley. She's the anchor of CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION". I don't think it's likely that she'll be the vice presidential running mate this year. But I wouldn't necessarily rule it out. He doesn't want to be a Jimmy Carter one- term Democratic president.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: He does not. I don't think come July or August that's going to be obvious. I think for him to switch VPs in the middle of it would hurt him more than it would help him and I think we might need to get you an intervention here on this. I think she -- this is a woman who has said to all those around her as far as I know, those that I know, that has said I want to get into private life. You know she wants to have a life. Now I think she will go on. I thought it was interesting how when Panetta said she will be a great leader you know in the future. I thought that was a really interesting moment --
BLITZER: -- you think she's thinking about 2016?
CROWLEY: You know she'll be 69 years old. That would put her up there with Ronald Reagan --
BLITZER: If she's elected, yes --
CROWLEY: -- if she -- well if she ran. He ran when he was 69 years old and I just don't think she's got the fire anymore. I think her fire is elsewhere. I think it's with -- I think it's global. I think she has so loved this job as secretary of state, and I think you know she may go and start a foundation of her own a la her husband, maybe do something with women. She was very into micro-loans (ph) when she was first lady and the kind of things that you know giving women micro-loans (ph) in third world countries and helping their lives. So I think she just -- the fire is gone because she's seen something else and something else she wants to do with her life.
BLITZER: This is where I disagree with you. I think that fire is still there. She's tired. She's worked hard. I've seen her work hard. She's traveling all over the world, but the notion of being the first woman president of the United States after she worked so hard four years ago to try to achieve that. She came close. She didn't get close enough. I don't think it's gone yet in her and I wouldn't necessarily rule it out by any means.
I think there will be an enormous amount of pressure on her to do it no matter if President Obama is re-elected or not because that would be a moment in American history for a woman to step forward, and I also believe that if this president says to her this year, I need you. We're going down. You can help me in Florida, in Ohio, in Pennsylvania, in Michigan, Wisconsin, she would not say no to the president of the United States. That's -- she doesn't want it and they love Joe Biden, and it would only happen under enormously painful, difficult circumstances if David Plouffe (ph) and David Axelrod say to the president it's over, Mr. President, it's over for you.
CROWLEY: We'll see.
CROWLEY: I'll see you here in what four years from now --
CROWLEY: -- and we'll see what she's doing or maybe come July. We'll talk about it and see where he is.
BLITZER: All right. Tell us what's happening on Sunday -- CROWLEY: I can ask David Axelrod whether --
BLITZER: Is he going to be --
CROWLEY: He's going to be --
CROWLEY: -- with us as well as Marco Rubio. We will talk to him about --
BLITZER: Potential vice presidential running mate as well.
CROWLEY: Now he always say no, but --
BLITZER: They always say no.
BLITZER: Do you know anyone who has ever told the president, you know what, the president says I want you to be my running mate and somebody said no?
CROWLEY: There have been people.
BLITZER: Not many -- not many.
CROWLEY: There have been people --
CROWLEY: But it's all in how you say no in public.
BLITZER: She's a patriot, Hillary Clinton and she --
CROWLEY: Yes, she absolutely is --
BLITZER: I don't think she wants to see Romney the next president of the United States, but we'll see.
CROWLEY: OK --
CROWLEY: It's a great interview.
BLITZER: Thank you.
Political pundits say he's on the short list. Ohio Senator Rob Portman (ph) speaking to our own John King in the next hour to talk about potentially becoming the Republican vice presidential nominee. He's from Ohio. That's a key battleground state, but first new details on the nurse accused of killing a young mother and then stealing her little baby.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BLITZER: A new mother is dead after desperately trying to safe her 3-day-old kidnapped baby. Now authorities think they know the motive behind this vicious, unimaginable attack. Here's CNN's Ed Lavandera.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Kayla Golden (ph) was doing what mothers do, caring for her newborn baby. Taking her 3- day-old son Keegan to a doctor's check-up. That's when police say she was confronted by another woman, a stranger. Witnesses say an argument erupted and then horrifying sounds.
TIA COLLINS, EYEWITNESS: They were struggling, and I didn't know what was going on, but after I heard the -- after the fourth gunshot then I knew something was going on.
LAVANDERA: The attacker shot Kayla Golden (ph) several times in the chest and then snatched the baby. Witnesses say Golden (ph), even after she was shot could be heard screaming "my baby".
LT. DAN NORRIS, MONTGOMERY COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: The mother of the 3-day-old child has been shot and she tried to get the child from the vehicle and she was dragged to the ground as the car took off.
LAVANDERA: An Amber Alert is issued and just a few hours later detectives searching for a description of the suspect's getaway car find it near an apartment complex in Montgomery County, Texas near Houston. A SWAT team descends on the apartment and arrest 30-year-old Verna Dee Ann McClain (ph). A short time later they find baby Keegan alive and unharmed with McClain's sister in a neighboring county and that's when investigators say they begin to unravel McClain's shocking motivation.
CAPT. BRUCE ZENOR, MONTGOMERY COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: Initially the information is that she did have a miscarriage. She needed to justify having a child to her soon-to-be fiance. They were going to get married in May and she had led him to believe that she was pregnant and had a child, so she needed a child. She needed to produce a child.
LAVANDERA: Oddly investigators say McClain had told her fiance she had given birth to a child; both McClain and her fiance are black. Three-day-old Keegan is white. It is not clear how long McClain planned this attack.
ZENOR: The investigation so far would indicate that this was a random choice on her part. I think she knew the patterns at the pediatric center where she was at because she had taken her children there in the past, but there was nothing to indicate that this was anything beyond planning further than that.
LAVANDERA: Investigators are still trying to make sense of this motive. McClain is a registered nurse who was already the mother of three children herself. Kayla Golden's (ph) husband Keith is left to raise their three children and to wonder why a random tragedy would strike his family this way.
KEITH SCHUCHARDT, VICTIM'S HUSBAND: It's going to be tough. She was nice, sweet, lovable. I loved her. She loved me.
LAVANDERA: And a little baby has been robbed of his mother's love.
Ed Lavandera, CNN, Dallas.
BLITZER: McClain, by the way, is now charged with capital murder. What a heartbreaking story. Jack is asking this question. If Congress won't fix the economy, what will it take? Your answers coming up. Plus a spectacular rip-off. Guess what -- $30 million stolen from a small town, well wait until you see how investigators say the money was used.
BLITZER: Small town America isn't immune from big-time crime. Just ask the angry residents of Dixon, Illinois where officials say a whopping $30 million was stolen from the city and no one seemed to notice for years and years. CNN's Ted Rowlands is joining us from Dixon right now. What's going on here, Ted?
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, people here are upset, obviously, but they're also shocked that the person that has been controlling the money here in the city could get away with this for so long.
ROWLANDS, (voice-over): This is 58-year-old Rita Krundwell (ph), the controller of Dixon, Illinois, leaving a federal courthouse after her arrest. This is Krundwell's (ph) lavish horse farm, one of two she owns along with this house, all kept afloat according to the federal government with money she stole on the job working for the city. The government alleges that Krundwell (ph), a nationally known horse breeder stole more than $30 million since 2006 including 3.2 million since last August. She allegedly used the stolen money to not only support her horse operations, but also bought several cars according to the government, trailers and a $2.1 million motor-home. Dixon is a city of about 15,000 people two hours west of Chicago. It's the childhood home of Ronald Reagan and the current home of a lot of angry people.
BOB GIBLER, DIXON, ILLINOIS RESIDENT: If it had been 100,000 or a couple hundred thousand dollars you know people would probably not be as angry as they are, but 30 million that's astronomical and for no oversight. You know somebody has got to be held responsible, not just her.
ROWLANDS: The mayor of Dixon says annual city and state audits never turned up any cause for concern.
MAYOR JAMES BURKE, DIXON, ILLINOIS: The audit review showed no adverse findings or red flags about the city of Dixon.
ROWLANDS: There was activity at the Krundwell's (ph) Dixon horse ranch Thursday. The property entrances are gated. We tried using the intercom, but nobody would answer. Krundwell (ph) has been charged with one count of wire fraud which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
ROWLANDS: People here, Wolf, say they that knew that Krundwell (ph) had money, but they just assumed that she made all of her money from the horse breeding business. She has not entered a plea. She made her first court appearance yesterday. She's due back in court first week in May. We did talk to her attorney this afternoon. He had no comment.
BLITZER: How did they finally catch her? What happened here?
ROWLANDS: Well last fall, she went on an extended vacation and the person that was temporarily taking over for her job noticed some inaccuracies. It raised some red flags. They called the federal government and that's when the investigation started and they made the arrest this week.
BLITZER: So they just assumed that this is a woman who had money. She made money elsewhere and all the lavish life-style and all the big stuff that she was buying just came with the territory? Nobody was suspicious of her?
ROWLANDS: Well, no, because she had this horse breeding business and she's nationally recognized as a very successful horse breeder, so people in town thought well boy business is really good. They had no idea that she was funding it with their money, allegedly.
BLITZER: Allegedly indeed. All right Ted thanks very, very much. Let's go to Jack right now. He's got "The Cafferty File" -- Jack.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: The question this hour is if Congress won't fix our economy, what's it going to take? Renee writes from coincidentally Illinois, "The solution as always is in our own hands. Stop listening to bipartisan rhetoric and vote them all out. If we show Congress once and for all not doing their jobs means they lose their jobs just like the real world the rest of us have to live in, then maybe we'll get some action. Of course it will never happen. The politicians know this. Why do you think they continue to so heavily work on dividing the electorate?"
Lou writes "Do you think Congress can just pass a bill to make the debt disappear? They can't pass a bill to make economies overseas more stable, which would keep our markets from freaking out. They can't pass a bill to eliminate the glut of baby boomers who are eating up the lion share of Social Security and Medicare. About all they can do is tinker with the tax code and eliminate programs, neither of which will fix our economy." Mike in Maryland gets it. "Cut government spending by 40 percent. Revise programs, then cut taxes. In order to help the economy, the weight of the federal government must be reduced."
Tom in Atlanta, "I believe the private sector will fix itself because that's who we are. Now the rate at which we fix ourselves is definitely affected by the government and its policies. I don't believe many in government really understand business."
Simon in Florida writes "You're assuming the government can fix the economy. What they need to do is cut the out-of-control spending, get out of the way of the private sector and let the economy fix itself."
And Jack in Pennsylvania writes "Sadly it is going to take a revolution or the complete collapse of the dollar which will lead to that revolution. At presence, the fox is watching the hen house. Even the most ethical is corrupted once they arrive." If you'd like to read more on this go to the blog, CNN.com/CaffertyFile or through our post on THE SITUATION ROOM's Facebook page.
BLITZER: You're not holding your breath, Jack, this year, election year in the United States, all of a sudden there's going to be some dramatic progress, bipartisan cooperation to try to improve the economy. You're not holding your breath for that, are you?
CAFFERTY: The Senate backed away from voting on a budget two days ago for the third time in, what, three years now since the federal government has had a budget. No, they're not going to do anything. They never do anything except cash our checks and run up the debt.
BLITZER: Jack Cafferty, I'll see you tomorrow.
CAFFERTY: All right.
BLITZER: Thanks very, very much.
Some are calling it the world's worst song. Two teenage girls are behind it. Jeanne Moos is talking to them. That's coming up next.
BLITZER: Here is a look at this hour's "Hotshots". In London, the Italian synchronized swimming team participates in an event to qualify for the Olympics. In India, residents of a rural village gather firewood. In Afghanistan, a man rides his bike through the rain on his way home from work. And in Michigan, President Obama sits in the famed Rosa Parks bus at the Henry Ford Museum -- "Hotshots" pictures coming in from around the world.
There's a new song that's going viral, but not necessarily in a very good way. CNN's Jeanne Moos caught up with two teenage girls who turned their hot problems into what many consider a not so catchy tune. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It has got a lot to live up to.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look at me and tell me the truth --
MOOS: Does it deserve the title "Worst Song Ever"?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What the hell did I just watch?
MOOS: You just watched "Hot Problems", about how hard it is to be hot.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I got the look, I got the butt, but those things don't make me a --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These two tone deaf (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Suddenly decide to open their mouths and produce this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hot girls, we have problems too. We're just like you, except we're hot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't even know why it exists.
MOOS: So that everyone on the Web can talk about it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE)
MOOS: Meet the high school seniors with the hot problems.
(on camera): You do consider yourself hot girls or you don't?
LAUREN, DOUBLE TAKE: I wouldn't say we're that hot girl, but you know it is fun to sing about it.
MOOS (voice-over): Lauren and Drew (ph) are California girls who wrote the lyrics in two hours and recorded the song at a friend's studio just for fun, they say.
(on camera): Did you guys ever mean to be singers?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, not at all.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We really didn't consider ourselves musically talented.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
MOOS (voice-over): Neither does most of the Internet. One critic posted "bleeding ears with three words make it stop".
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They see my blonde hair, blue eyes and class, but they don't know I have a really big heart.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Their voice like they're not even singing. It is so stupid.
MOOS (on camera): Can't anyone say anything nice?
(voice-over): Yes. We found someone who asks "Is it bad I found this hilarious." "Me thinks this is a joke".
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I guess you can say it is a joke.
MOOS: They didn't seem sure.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE)
MOOS: People are comparing it to Rebecca Black's (ph) much ridiculed hit.
MOOS: It may not be flattery, but others are imitating "Hot Problems".
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're just like you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That we're hot, hot, hot --
MOOS (on camera): How do you feel about seeing some of the reviews that said things like this is the death of music?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All the negative criticism that we're getting, we're just really kind of brushing it off our shoulders.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd rather go to a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) barbershop and let Stevie Wonder give me a free haircut before listening to that (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) problems too.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're just like you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Except that we're hot -- hot -- hot --
MOOS (voice-over): Now he is hot. Jeanne Moos --
(on camera): I can't get it out of my head!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hot girls we have problems, too --
MOOS: -- CNN --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Except we're hot --
MOOS: -- New York. (END VIDEOTAPE)
BLITZER: Got to give those girls credit. They got something out there. Thanks very much for joining us. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. "JOHN KING, USA" starts right now.