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Wisconsin Votes in Recall Election; Clinton Targets Romney; Buckle Up and Hold on Tight; Senate GOP Block Paycheck Fairness Act; Disney Bans Junk Food Ads for Kids; Fatally Injured Driver Saves Passengers; Crucial Recall Vote In Wisconsin; Queen: Jubilee "Has Touched Me Deeply"; Forget Everything You Know About Salt; Al Qaeda's Number Two Leader Killed in Drone Strike

Aired June 5, 2012 - 16:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now: Wisconsin voters deciding whether to recall a controversial Republican governor. The bitter fight, with its huge amounts of outside money, may have huge implications for the presidential election.

After raising eyebrows by praising Mitt Romney's business record, Bill Clinton changing course, saying a Romney presidency would be calamitous -- his word -- calamitous for the country, indeed for the world.

And capping a stunning celebration of 60 years on the throne, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II offers a heartfelt message.

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

Wisconsin residents are voting right now on an extraordinary move to recall the Republican Governor Scott Walker and replace him with a Democrat, Tom Barrett. This election may be a sneak preview of the November presidential election. The effort to get rid of Walker was sparked by his move to try to get rid of collective bargaining rights for public employees.

The state is split down the middle, the nasty battle pitting organized labor against the Tea Party movement and it has drawn vast amounts of outside money.

CNN's Dana Bash reports.


DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At a labor headquarters in Madison, a frenzied final push to get out the vote, checking and re-checking lists, last-minute phone calls, the climax of a lengthy union effort to recall Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker.

KRISTEN CROWELL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WE ARE WISCONSIN: For us, this is all about mobilizing our people, our base and connecting with the voters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I hope you will join me in supporting Governor Walker.

BASH: It's a similar scene in a Walker war room. GOP officials here claim to have made four million calls. All this comes at an unprecedented price tag, upwards of $63 million raised so far.

MIKE MCCABE, WISCONSIN DEMOCRACY CAMPAIGN: When we come up with a final tally for this race, it is going to be somewhere in the $75 million to $80 million range.

BASH: That shatters Wisconsin's record, $37 million just set in 2010, when Walker was first elected.

This is so out of proportion for a state the size of Wisconsin.

BASH: What's also out of proportion, Walker has raised 7.5 times that of his challenger. Tom Barrett pulled in $4 million, Walker $30.5 million.

A quirk in Wisconsin law let Walker raise unlimited funds since he's targeted with a recall, and a lot of rich Republicans, seeing this as a preview of the presidential race, wrote walker huge checks, like Texan Bob Perry, who gave half a million dollars. He bankrolled the infamous 2004 swift boat attacks against John Kerry; 70 percent of Walker's donations last month came from outside Wisconsin, contributions large and small from all over the country.

Phil Prange raised money for Republicans for 26 years.

PHIL PRANGE, WISCONSIN REPUBLICAN FUND-RAISER: People are wildly excited on both sides. The intensity has gotten so high that people who have never considered giving, they're just throwing themselves into the race.

BASH: What's the reason? This may have been spurred by Walker all but doing away with collective bargaining rights last year, but Wisconsin quickly morphed into an early national 2012 testing ground for GOP small-government Tea Party principles vs. Democrats who say cuts go too deep.

Outside groups supporting both candidates flooded Wisconsin with $25 million, most of that from the Democratic side, especially unions, which gave at least $8 million, a who's-who of Washington interest groups from Planned Parenthood to the NRA. The Republican Governors Association got $1 million from GOP high roller David Koch.

All this money poured into a polarizing Wisconsin, where show few are undecided, so both sides focused more resources than ever to get out the vote.

GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: I think turnout is key. If we get people, not only Republicans and conservatives, but I think independents.

TOM BARRETT (D), WISCONSIN GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: The lines are very, very long. We think it's a very encouraging sign.


BASH: And, Wolf, just before coming on with you, I spoke with a state official and officials in both parties here. Everybody is reporting very, very high turnout across the state.

Of course, both sides, Republican and Democrat, hope that that bodes well for them. In one place, I have heard anecdotally that there is a half-an-hour wait at a polling place just in the middle of the afternoon.

I have to tell this story because I think it really speaks to what's going on in this state, the level of activity. There is a cab company called Union Taxi, nonetheless, in very liberal Madison and they are offering free taxi rides to anybody who wants to go to the polls to vote.

BLITZER: Expecting 2.5 million people to vote in Wisconsin.

So, what does that mean if there's really, really high voter turnout, as there was in 2008, when the president carried Wisconsin by a huge margin? Is that good news for the Democrats or good news for the Republicans? We have a clue?

BASH: I was just talking to a top state Republican official about that very question, Wolf, and he said that if there is turnout that high, again close to three million, like there was in 2008, then that is good for the Democrats and bad for the Republicans, they think.

But a lot of it depends on where the turnout is high and is not high. For example, I'm here in Waukesha. You see behind me this is Scott Walker's home turf. They're hoping that turnout is very high here. Democrats hope that it is the same in Dade County, which is where Madison is, and in northern Milwaukee, which is where the Democratic candidate is from.

So, it really depends on where. But, overall, if turnout is very, very high, Republicans say that that -- admit that that is good for the Democrats.

BLITZER: Yes. Tom Barrett is the mayor of Milwaukee.

The polls will close 9:00 p.m. Eastern, 8:00 p.m. Central. I will be co-anchoring with Piers Morgan at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. And we will see if we can make a projection once all of the polls in Wisconsin close. Dana, thanks very much.

It is not easy to get rid of a U.S. governor. There have been many attempts at recalls over the years. In California, every governor since 1968 has been targeted, but only Gray Davis, he is the only California governor ousted. That was back in 2003.

In fact, terror American history, only one other state governor was recalled by voters. That was way back in 1921, when North Dakota kicked out Lynn Frazier. The former President Bill Clinton raised some eyebrows recently when he told CNN that Mitt Romney had a -- quote -- "sterling" business record, but he changed his tune last night during a series of Democratic fund-raisers in New York. The former president praised President Obama and then said he thought the alternative would be, and I'm quoting him now, "calamitous for our country and the world."

President Clinton went all out for President Obama last night. Listen to these excerpts.


BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I care about the long-term debt of the country a lot. Remember me? I'm the only guy that gave you four surplus budgets out of the eight I sent.


CLINTON: So, I hope what I say to you will have some weight, because I want you to say it to everybody you see between now and November.

I don't think it's important to reelect the president. I think it is essential to reelect the president if we want this country to have the kind of future that our children and grandchildren deserve. And here's why.


CLINTON: When I left office, we returned to the trickle-down policies, big tax cuts, mostly for people in my income group. I love saying this, because I never had money until I got out of the White House.


CLINTON: Maybe that's why I don't mind paying those taxes. Since I never had it before, I don't know what it was like.

Listen, this is a big clear election. Also, for me, it's important to say, in my opinion, he's done an amazing job making our country more secure, more safe, more peaceful, and building a world with more partners and fewer adversaries.

And that is very, very important.


CLINTON: So -- and he's had to get all this done while people as recently as last week were still saying he wasn't born in America.

He's had to get all this done with a House of Representatives that had one of the Tea Party members claim that 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Caucus were members of the communist party, and neither the presidential nominee, nor any of the leaders rebuked him for saying that. This is not the 1950s. At least Joe McCarthy could skate on the fact that there was one or two living communists walking around.


CLINTON: Nobody has seen a communist in over a decade.



CLINTON: No criticism is too vicious and too fact-free.

You have to take the facts out there. Take the facts on the economy, the facts on health care, the facts on energy, the facts on education. And the fact is we have got an economic policy that has a real chance to bring America back. Why do you think long-term interest rates -- remember, the Republicans said, oh, that Obama, he is such a big spender, we are going to have a weak dollar and interest rates are going to go through the roof?

You know what the 10-year Treasury note interest rate was today? One quarter of 1 percent. We ought to all go buy one. They're giving away the money.

Now, you're laughing, but why are they doing that? Because people believe America has a solid economic strategy for the long run. And who would have ever thought that the Republicans would embrace the austerity and jobless policies of what they used to derisively called old Europe?

I never thought I would live to breathe and see, here they are saying let's do the Eurozone's economic policy. They got 11 percent unemployment. We can get up there if we work at it.


CLINTON: We're laughing, folks. This is serious.

Too much of politics is fact-free. Just think about the world you want your children and your grandchildren to live in. Think about what the 21st century can be. Remember, there's nothing wrong with America that can't be fixed and our inherent advantages, including our diversity, our relative youth, the strength of our system, are there.

But you have got to have the right captain of the ship, and I am depending on you to take care of future generations by making sure that that captain is President Barack Obama.



BLITZER: All right, so, there he is, the former president of the United States introducing the current president of the United States.

Jessica Yellin, our chief White House correspondent, is joining us.

It's obviously the tone very different than what he said on "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT" last week, when he suggested that Mitt Romney's business record at Bain Capital was -- quote -- "sterling." Last night, he said specifically, if Romney were elected, it would be "calamitous for our country and the world." He said their economics are wrongheaded, referring to the Republicans, and their policies, their politics are work.

How much tension did his remark last week cause behind the scenes where you are, Jessica?

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, I have talked to a number of aides.

And I'll tell you, it did not cause Cory Booker-level indigestion. That's because President Obama, his aides, they acknowledge that Governor Romney has the qualifications to be president and that includes his business record. What they dispute is that his business record proves that he can create jobs.

So, in this case, the friction and the frustration was not so much with President Clinton's remarks, although perhaps they would have preferred he chose his words a little bit more carefully. It was more with the media for spinning up his remarks and trying to equate them with what Cory Booker had said. They felt that Cory Booker's remarks and the president's were very different -- Wolf.

BLITZER: We also heard the former president last night -- you heard it -- ridicule the so-called birther movement. We have been hearing somewhat, a lot about that lately, especially about Donald Trump.

Here's a situation where the former president can say things that the president supposedly can't say. Is that right?

YELLIN: Absolutely. He can mock the president's critics. He can essentially call them loons, which is what you heard him do there, because he's out of office. He pays no price with it. He doesn't have to work with anyone in Congress now in that same way.

And he also did something that was quite new in his new comments when he said that Governor Romney -- and he tied them to the Republicans in Congress -- are embracing the policies of old Europe. He's turning the Republicans' argument on his head. The Republicans have argued that the president embraces policies that mirror European socialism. And now he's playing some verbal jujitsu, saying, no, they're the ones who are embracing European policies.

So, he gets away with a lot, Wolf.

BLITZER: Yes. And he went against Representative Allen West of Florida, the Republican Tea Party favorite, who had said flatly there were 78 to 81 communists in the Democratic Caucus in the House of Representatives.


BLITZER: You heard what Bill Clinton had to say about that.


BLITZER: He specifically blasted Romney and other Republican leaders for refusing to blast Allen West for those comments.

All right, Jessica, thanks very much. Bill Clinton obviously still has what it takes in terms of that political rhetoric.

And, by the way, don't forget my one-on-one interview with former President Clinton. That will take place Thursday right here in THE SITUATION ROOM. And make sure, by the way, you can send me some suggested questions on Twitter @WolfBlitzerCNN, or to our SITUATION ROOM Facebook page.

The White House is calling it another serious blow to al Qaeda -- the terror network's number two leader killed in a U.S. drone strike authorized by President Obama. We're going to get inside secrets about the program, the president's role. "The New York Times"' David Sanger, he has an excellent new book out on the subject. He's standing by to join us live.

And four days of royal celebrations -- now Queen Elizabeth II herself is speaking out about her diamond jubilee with a rare message.

And this --

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm John Zarrella in Gainesville, Florida. I've got the rain suit on, I've got the safety harness and when we come back, I'm going to show you live the power of hurricane-force winds.


BLITZER: Jack Cafferty is here with "The Cafferty File" -- Jack.

Wolf, it's a little discouraging. Almost 60 percent of Americans are worried about their kids being able to achieve the American Dream.

A new "USA Today" Gallup poll showing nearly six in 10 Americans dissatisfied for the opportunity for the next satisfaction to live better than their parents did. It's a sad commentary on the state of this count rye. Parents have always dreamed for a brighter future for their children than the one they had -- perhaps not anymore.

The reality is, many of us wind up working longer and retiring later than anticipated. The CEO of international insurance giant AIG told "Bloomberg News" the retirement age could reach 80 in light of Europe's ongoing debt crisis. As we live longer, raising the retirement age is one way to make pensions and health care more affordable.

As Europe sinks deeper into financial crisis under the weight of massive government debt, a piece in "The Daily Beast" describes young European adults as the screwed generation. In countries like Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy, the baby boomers have held on to the good jobs and benefits and left little opportunity for their children.

This is stunning -- in Spain and Greece, nearly half of adults under the age of 25 do not work. Half. There's an increasing sense of hopelessness as young Europeans simply give up on the idea of raising a family.

And the United States could be next. Young Americans are crushed with college debt when they graduate and even with degree in hand, a lot of them can't find a job. Consider this -- a majority of unemployed Americans older than 25 went to college.

Here's the question: what does it mean when six in 10 people worry about their children achieving the American dream?

Go to, post a comment on my blog or go to our post on THE SITUATION ROOM's Facebook page -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Jack, thank you. Good question.

Meanwhile, buckle up and hold on tight and get ready to be blasted with hurricane-force winds. That's what some volunteers are going through as part of an experiment to help people understand just how powerful and dangerous these storms can be. Let's go live to CNN's John Zarrella. He's joining us from Gainesville, Florida.

All right. John, I know you've got an exciting report for us.

ZARRELLA: You know, Wolf, how many times have you and I over the years say, oh, I've been through the wind and rain. It's not that bad. I know what this is like.

Well, here at the University of Florida, they've set up this wind machine and you can se it here and what they are trying to do with this wind machine is research in order to dispel what they call some wrong perceptions about of just how strong storms are.


ZARRELLA: And he water's getting higher.

(voice-over): There I am in North Carolina battling the wind and water last year, during hurricane Irene.

(on camera): The wind and the rain.

(voice-over): Looks pretty bad, doesn't it? The problem is sometimes the perceptions of the storm's strength are different from reality and that could lead to injuries and death.

LESLIE CHAPMAN-HENDERSON, FLASH: What we're actually doing here is we're creating constructive unease, and that unease is the thing that's going to propel people to do something differently.

ZARRELLA: The University of Florida and the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes have teamed up to try to understand how people perceive wind, rain and water.

(on camera): Are you ready?


ZARRELLA: You're sure?


ZARRELLA: You don't want to call this off?


ZARRELLA: All right. It's your funeral.

(voice-over): Standing on wooden platform, university student volunteers are strapped into harnesses on top of the platform and then the giant turbines are turned on and they're blasted with six different wind speeds up to 100 miles per hour. Sometimes they're hit with wind? Water. The participants hand signal their guesstimates to the researcher.

CORINNE NOVELL, UNIVERSITY STUDENT VOLUNTEER: I think the highest I estimated was like 85 miles per hour.

ZARRELLA (on camera): You know how fast that really was?

NOVELL: How fast is it?



ZARRELLA (voice-over): Researchers finding most people are pretty accurate at the lower wind speeds. But like Corinne, most overestimate the higher speeds.

PROF. GREG WEBSTER, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA: So, simply, it's part of the matter of humans just not really having experience in these types of winds.

ZARRELLA: Researchers say what's clear so far is people with prior tropical storm or hurricane experience are better estimators of wind speed. The problem is most people have never been through one.


ZARRELLA: All right. So now, you know what I'm going do, and I've got Forrest Masters (ph) here with me. He's the creator of this wind machine, Wolf. He's going to turn it on in just a second.

I don't know how fast he's going to crank it up to, right?


ZARRELLA: All right. You're going to take the microphone and Wolf and I will guess afterwards how fast we think it was.




ZARRELLA: Wow! I don't know, my IFB is still working, Wolf? Can you hear me OK?

BLITZER: I hear you fine. You look great over there. How fast do you think you were going?

ZARRELLA: Well, I've got a feeling that was about -- my lips feel like it was 100 getting hit with that water. What do you think, Wolf? Probably 100 miles an hour.

BLITZER: I'm guessing it was a lot less. I've seen you in action with Anderson Cooper, real hurricane. We're in the hurricane season right now. I'm guessing it was maybe 50 or 60.

ZARRELLA: Wolf says it's a lot less about 50 or 60, I said it was 100 which would mean category 2, roughly. Forrest, what was it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All of the years of chasing storms, you're actually right on the number. It was 100 miles an hour.


ZARRELLA: A hundred miles an hour, Wolf. There -- it's easier when you're feeling it, Wolf. If you would have been standing next to me, you would have said 100.

BLITZER: What did it feel like, John? Tell our viewers what it felt like when the wind and water was blowing in your face.

ZARRELLA: You can't hear anything. All you hear is the loud roar of just that wind blasting you in your face. The wind, we always talk about how it feels like sand hitting your face. That's exactly what it felt like.

And again, what we just experienced was the category 2 hurricane. You know, on the scale of one to five, that's a fairly moderate storm. But still, if you had been in that hurricane, you would have been in the right place at the wrong time, right, Forrest?


ZARRELLA: So, it -- that was pretty dramatic. No question.

BLITZER: It was very dramatic. That was only what, 10, or 15 or 20 seconds. You can imagine if you were stuck in there for minutes and minutes and minutes. That is clearly a life-threatening situation unless you really know what you're doing.

And I just want to remind -- hurricane season is formally under way, right? June 1st?

ZARRELLA: Yes, June 1st, it started. For six months, hopefully, we will continue to dodge bullets as we have for the most part in the last few years. That would be nice.

BLITZER: Yes, that would be great.

All right. Thanks very much. Even a category 1 or category 2 is really, really powerful -- 100 miles an hour.

John Zarrella, in Gainesville.

The first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, is praising Disney for an unprecedented surprise move. We have details of what the company is doing with its children's channels.

And a highway horror story. What happened to the driver and the passengers on this bus?


BLITZER: A showdown over pay equity. Lisa Sylvester is monitoring that and also some of the other top stories in THE SITUATION ROOM right now. What's going on, Lisa?

LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Wolf. Well, the Paycheck Fairness Act failed in critical procedural vote in the Senate a short time ago with Republicans blocking it as expected.

The bill was designed to help prevent pay discrimination against women. President Obama said it would give them more tools to claim equal pay for equal work. Opponents argue the measure would pose unprecedented government control over how employees are paid.

First lady Michelle Obama is praising Disney for a bold advertising move. The company says it's going to stop taking ads for junk food on its channels for children.

Disney says it wants to promote healthier eating and it will search nutritional guidelines. Mrs. Obama who has been leading a fight against childhood obesity calls Disney's move a game changer.

And in China, the driver of this bus was being called a hero. He was fatally injured when he was struck by a piece of flying sheet metal that crashed through the windshield.

But before he died, he managed to safely pull over, possibly saving the lives of the 24 people onboard. Thousands of people turned up for the driver's funeral today and the government honored him with a posthumous award.

And it made its name in coffee, but now Starbucks is going to be expanding to bread. The Seattle base company says its buying the San Francisco-based Bay Bread along with its brand -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Good for them. All right, thanks very much. So is the vice president's wife already pushing a presidential run? What Jill Biden maybe saying about 2016. Stand by.

As the U.S. confirms that it's killed al Qaeda's number two leader. I'll speak with the author of a brand new book about President Obama's secret wars.


BLITZER: Let's get right to our "Strategy Session." Joining us our CNN contributor, the Democratic strategist, Donna Brazile along with Republican strategist, the former Santorum spokeswoman, Alice Stewart. Ladies, thanks very much for coming in.

Wisconsin, Wisconsin, Wisconsin, bigger recall election today. The reports we're getting in from the field look like it will be pretty close and significant voter turnout, as you heard Dana Bash say.

But the president of the United States didn't go there. He sent out a tweet earlier today. It's Election Day in Wisconsin tomorrow and I'm standing by Tom Barrett. He'd make an outstanding governor signed B.O., Barack Obama.

What was he thinking? Why didn't he want to go out there and help his fellow Democrat?

DONNA BRAZILE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: You know, no one is talking about Mitt Romney and his traveling. This is not a national election in Wisconsin. This is a state-wide election.

This is an election about the people of Wisconsin, about the governor that came in with agenda that hurt public employees, teachers and firefighters.

So this is about main street and Wisconsin and that's why President Obama decided like most other politicians that this is about going on in Wisconsin. His name was on the ballot. Mitt Romney's name was on the ballot.

BLITZER: But he could have helped the labor unions there, the public employees, wouldn't have been worth? He was in neighboring Minnesota. He was in neighboring Illinois. He could have made a quick stop and done some work there.

BRAZILE: I don't believe President Obama would have been a secret weapon.

BLITZER: He's popular among the Democrats. He could have energized that base.

BRAZILE: Of course, he's popular. You know, the Republicans want to make this a national election in Wisconsin. They want to bring in President Obama so they can talk about President Obama and the unions and all of that.

This is about Scott Walker and what he did to the voters there and the fact that they have lost jobs. That he targeted public employees in the state of Wisconsin. That's what the fight is about today.

ALICE STEWART, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: There's also a question whether or not the president would have actually helped. This started out as a fight over collective bargaining. And Governor Walker's reforms of government unions have been successful. They worked. Now we have school districts and we have governments negotiating your own contracts and they seemed to be working.

BLITZER: So if Walker wins and he's not recalled, do you think that has ramifications for November in Wisconsin?

STEWART: No, this is a state-wide election. If anything, the ramifications nationwide will be to get out the vote effort. We'd have people from across the nation mobilizing in Wisconsin to help get out the vote, making phone calls, knocking on doors.

And that would be a good test for turning out the vote. But this is a state-wide election. It's a referendum of the unions coming in.

They are upset that Governor Walker came in and busted up these government unions that are no longer necessary. At one time, certainly unions had a play some a role. They are not anymore especially government unions.

BLITZER: You don't believe in any unions in the private sector at all, is that what you're saying?

STEWART: We're talking about the reforms that Governor Walker has made. He's saved $1 billion in allowing these institutions to be able to negotiate their own contracts, and they've been successful. That's why the dialogue has now shifted. In the last debate, we weren't talking about collective bargaining unions.

BRAZILE: This recall campaign never would have happened if Scott Walker not looked at the budget and basically implemented a balanced approach. We all understand that we have to curtail the deficit.

But there's no reason why working families, middle class Americans whether they belonged to unions or not should take a brunt of all of these cuts and a brunt of all the public ire when we in fact we all have to put some skin in the game.

BLITZER: I was intrigued by some comments, switching gears, by what Jill Biden said earlier today on television looking ahead to 2016 and her husband. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Joe would make a great president, I always felt. Last time when he ran I supported him. I wanted us out of Iraq, and I thought Joe would do that, but Barack did it so everything worked out.


BLITZER: Is that a hint? He hasn't ruled out necessarily 2016, the vice president.

BRAZILE: I haven't talked to vice president in the last couple of weeks. Let me just tell you this. His number one objective right now is working to help keep this country safe and secure along with president Obama and helping to re-elect President Obama. After that we'll talk about running in 2016 much, much later.

STEWART: He's out there being the attacked dog. He is the distraction in this campaign. He's doing what he can. The campaign on hope and change in '08 and now they're hoping to change the subject.

So they get Biden out there to talk about gay marriage and other issue when they don't want to talk about the fact that the president has his policies have failed to make things better for this country and failed to create jobs as he promised.

So Biden is out there to distract from the real issues that people are concerned with, which is jobs and the economy, and people understand that they trust -- that Mitt Romney is the one that's going to be able to create jobs.

BRAZILE: Alice, with all due respect to you, the Republicans are upset that we can't get the economy moving fast enough to clean up the mess that you all started.

STEWART: You can't keep blaming it on the predecessor. We've had three years and the president has to turn things around and it's a one-year proposition.

BLITZER: But there is no doubt that if you compare what's happening right now the economy where it existed at the end of 2008. It's a lot better now than it was then. The country was on the verge of a depression at that point.

BRAZILE: The Republicans get upset --

STEWART: And don't tell it to the 23 million Americans who are out of work.

BRAZILE: And don't tell it to the millions of Americans who know they're going back to the previous policy put us back in that ditch.

BLITZER: All right, we're going to continue this debate.

The world has watched four-day celebration. Now Queen Elizabeth herself is speaking out about her Diamond Jubilee. We're going live to London. We have details of the dramatic finale. That's coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BLITZER: A celebration 60 years in the making has wrapped up in London where the queen's Diamond Jubilee was capped off with a thanksgiving service, a carriage procession and a balcony, a wave as well as a flyover. Elizabeth II spoke out about the events of the last four days in a rare broadcast message.


QUEEN ELIZABETH II, UNITED KINGDOM: It just touched me deeply to see so many thousands of families, neighbors and friends celebrating together in such a happy atmosphere. I hope memories of all this year's happy events will brighten our lives for many years to come. I will continue to treasure and draw inspiration from the country's kindnesses shown to me throughout this country and throughout the commonwealth. Thank you all.


BLITZER: Impressive. Our royal correspondent Max Foster is joining us now from London. She's amazing, 86 years old. Quick question before we talk about this final day. Her husband, Prince Philip, in the hospital still with a bladder infection, what do wean about that?

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, he's still there and his youngest son, Prince Edward did visit him today. Prince Edward's wife Sophie said that he was in good spirits actually and was getting better and watched all of these events unfold on TV from his hospital bed. So that's the only update we've had so far and he's still there and he's under observation.

BLITZER: He's about to become 91 years old. We wish him only a speedy recovery. All right, so how did this final day of the jubilee go?

FOSTER: Well, it started off because of Prince Philip's illness we saw the queen arrive at St. Paul's Cathedral, a big grand affair. It's a thanksgiving for her in her diamond jubilee year with lots of dignitaries there, but his presence was very much missed.

He's always with the queen and she came down the aisle and sat down with Prince Charles in the end and she is the head of the Church of England. She's an extremely religious figure and many people looked at her as a religious figure.

So that was a solemn moment, and that was followed up later on by a carriage procession, which is a much more jolly affair. A real reminder, Wolf, of last year's royal wedding, but this was Kate and William were in the carriage behind.

This was all about the queen and the crowds were very much there for the queen so a big, big ground affair and very positive crowds.

BLITZER: Max, thanks very much. A lovely day. Next hour, we're going to have highlights of all of the events over the past four days. Stand by for that. We've been taught to limit our intake of sodium, but now --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our obsession with salt is misguided. It's the wrong suspect.


BLITZER: Are scientists and doctors actually changing their mind about salt? We're about to take a closer look. Mary Snow will investigate.

And the U.S. kills al Qaeda's number two leader. We're going to hear from the author of a new book about the president's secret wars around the world.


BLITZER: Jack's back with "The Cafferty File" -- Jack.

CAFFERTY: Wolf, the question this hour is what does it mean when 6 in 10 Americans worry about their kids being able to achieve the American dream?

Willy in Las Vegas writes, "It means something better change fast or you're looking at the 21st Century American version of the French Revolution complete with a guillotine on Wall Street and another one on K Street."

Mark in Oklahoma writes, "When it comes to the do-nothing congress and our social agenda peddling president, there is great cause to worry about the future for our children. What really gets me is why are all of the adults in the room like us standing around talking about this and yet we're not doing anything about it."

Rob in North Carolina writes, "The most important part of any endeavour is hope despite what the government does or in our case does not do. The belief that things will get better for ourselves and our children has always been the strength of the country. When we start to lose hope that when the country is really in trouble."

Nick in California writes, "If the American dream means you get everything handed to you then we are fooling ourselves. If we believe that our success is depending on someone else's failure then we have every right to be worried. You have to earn the American dream every single day."

Gary in California writes, "It means 60 percent of the population realizes how tough a spot we're in. Our kids will pay for our mistakes and we ought to be ashamed because we still haven't started fixing the problems that they stand to inherit."

Jimmy in North Carolina writes this, "Things have become so confused lately, that I've forgotten what the American dream supposed to be. I used to think it was a car, a house in the suburb and the hamburger cookouts on Saturday night. But the house and the car are both underwater now relative to their worst. The hamburgers we're told aren't really good for you."

If you want to read about this, go to the blog on file or through our post on THE SITUATION ROOM's Facebook page -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Jack, thank you.

An American drone takes out a top al Qaeda leader putting the terror group effectively out of business. Some analysts suggesting that is now the case.

We're going to learn some secrets about the Obama administration's fight against terror. David Sanger of "The New York Times" has written a brand new book. He's standing by to join us live.

And the controversy over salt, is it really as bad as we've been told all of these years?


BLITZER: When it comes to healthy eating, salt is high in many people's list to avoid, but some researchers are challenging everything we know about salt or about what we think we know about salt and they're making huge waves in the scientific world.

CNN's Mary Snow is working the story for us. Mary, an opinion piece that ran in "The New York Times" on Sunday sparking lots of commotion out there. Tell us about it.

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, lot of discussion about this, Wolf. There are very strong opinions about it with differing views. This latest discussion is prompted by a science journalist who acknowledges he's in the minority. But he believes there is an unhealthy obsession with salt.


SNOW (voice-over): For health officials, salt is seen as a public enemy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Many Americans don't know that unseen salt drives up their blood pressure.

SNOW: But is salt as dangerous as we think? One science journalist makes bold claims in a "New York Times" opinion piece questioning the truth behind what we've been told about salt.

GARY TAUBES, AUTHOR, "WHY WE GET FAT": Our obsession with salt is misguided. It's the wrong suspect. The crime is hypertension, heart disease, strokes, and premature deaths. Our salt consumption is not the issue.

SNOW: Gary Taubes is not a scientist, but a writer who does independent research challenging nutritional science. He is the author of "Why We Get Fat." But his questions aren't the first to blur the picture on salt. Questions were raised as recently as 2011. The "Journal of the American Medical Association" published a study done in Belgium finding the opposite of what doctors have been telling us for decades.

That low salt intake can actually increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Doctors from the CBC to Harvard dismissed the research as flawed. But Taubes says studies like that shouldn't be ignored.

(on camera): Did we misjudge salt?


SNOW (voice-over): Dr. Darwin Labarthe is a former director of the Center for Disease Control's division for heart disease and stroke prevention. He says he doesn't believe contradictory research is ignored.

DR. DARWIN LABARTHE, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY: They simply are a minor part of a vast body of evidence from studies all over the world that establish the very close link between the amount of intake of sodium that we take in every day and our levels of blood pressure consequently the risk of strokes and heart attacks, dementia and other cardiovascular complications.

SNOW: The CDC recommends that adults should consume no more than 2300 milligrams of sodium per day, about a teaspoon. That recommended number is smaller, 1500 milligrams per day for people 51 or older, African-Americans or those with existing health issues.

Some question whether those guidelines should be so broad. One preventative cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic says individuals have varying sensitivity levels to sodium. He believes the true role of salt and its health impact is incomplete.

DR. RANDAL THOMAS, MAYO CLINIC: I think we do know with fairly good certainty is that the extremes of salt intake, very low intake and very high intake may be harmful for the general population.


SNOW: Major health groups like the American Heart Association say they see salt as the enemy and in the battle against high blood pressure avoiding it, they say, is your primary weapon -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Mary Snow, thanks very, very much.