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THE SITUATION ROOM
Personal Side of Paul Ryan; Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. Diagnosed With Bipolar Depression; Romney versus Ryan on the Issues; Energy on the Campaign Trail
Aired August 14, 2012 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now: Paul Ryan's brother and friends talk about the personal side of the vice presidential candidate.
Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. diagnosed with bipolar depression. Dr. Sanjay Gupta explain what it means.
And a camera that knows your face and tracks your shopping habits, is it a deal or a danger?
I am Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Up first this hour: Republicans are accusing Vice President Joe Biden and the Obama campaign of reaching a new low. Today, Biden told voters in Virginia that Mitt Romney's vision of Wall Street reform would put Americans back in chains.
Listen to how he said it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Look at what they value and look at their budget and what they're proposing. Romney wants to let the -- he said in the first 100 days he's going to let the big banks once again write their own rules, unchain Wall Street. Going to put you all back in chains.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Some critics say Biden's remark about chains was a racially charged reference to slavery in front of an audience that included many African-Americans.
Let's bring in our chief national correspondent, John King. He's in Iowa right now, where the president is on an important campaign swing.
What's the latest out there, John?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, publicly, Obama aides are defending the vice president. Privately, they're not so happy. And the Romney campaign as you noted they say this is an outrage. Governor Romney's campaign issuing a statement, they called it a new low. They said the vice president was out of bounds, that this is racially tinged, and they say it has no place in the campaign. They demanded, the Romney campaign did, a public statement from the president about whether he agrees, disagrees, avows or disavows the vice president's comments today.
Publicly, you had Jen Psaki on in the last hour of THE SITUATION ROOM, Obama spokespeople say it was fine. The president understands these remarks, the president stands by the remarks. They say in the past the Republicans have used terms like unshackling Wall Street.
Privately, I just had an e-mail exchange with a senior Obama campaign adviser that said this is not helpful. The president is here in Iowa today and he wants to talk about energy and he wants to talk about farm programs. He wants stay on message because he is trying to win this and other key battleground states.
They believe the vice president has knocked them off track at least on this day, this day, Wolf, as the president continues a three- day bus tour in what this year unlike four years ago is battleground Iowa.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We go through probably about 3,000 an hour.
KING (voice-over): Choices, choices, choices. The Iowa State Fair is a test of diet discipline and all in the spirit of farm state fun proof this time around Iowa is a competitive presidential battleground.
President Obama stopped by the fair during his three-day Iowa swing. The Romney campaign chose it for Paul Ryan's solo debut. It is a very different feel from four years ago, when the president won Iowa by 10 points.
GOV. TERRY BRANSTAD (R), IOWA: We have a real battle going on here for the heart and soul of the people of this state.
KING: Republican Governor Terry Branstad says the GOP base is fired up, and he predicts the president will lose a good chunk of his 2008 Iowa coalition.
BRANSTAD: Obama has a tremendous following here four years ago, but people feel betrayed. They feel like he ran as somebody who was going to bring people together and he was going to reach across the aisle, and he hasn't done that.
KING: Four years ago, Democrats had a significant voter registration advantage. But now Republicans have erased that edge. Visit an Obama campaign office like this one in Davenport, and you see the competition up close.
KING: Have you been outhustled here? DAVID AXELROD, SENIOR OBAMA CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST: I think we still have an organizational edge in the state and we have done a good job of registering new voters. I think we're building that back up. But I don't think we're going to be outhustled on Election Day. And I don't think we're going to be outhustled in the next 85 days.
NARRATOR: Mitt Romney's middle-class tax increase, he pays less, you pay more.
KING: The TV ad war is bruising, $6 million in just the past month. The Obama campaign outspent the Romney campaign almost 2-1 in that period. But add in party and super PAC spending and the pro- Romney forces had the edge.
NARRATOR: Forty-one straight months of unemployment over 8 percent, almost four million fewer jobs than President Obama predicted.
KING: Iowa is a great test of the Ryan factor. The president's team says his policy views will trump his Midwest roots.
AXELROD: He may hail from Wisconsin, but he is very much a product of right-wing Washington think tanks and that vision is not a good vision for this country.
KING: But Governor Branstad says Ryan helps with critical Catholic voters and is in tune with Iowans' biggest worry.
BRANSTAD: The number one concern here is the budget deficit.
KING: A million people attend the fair, so both campaigns are working hard, signing up new voters, new volunteers, and leaving the fun to others.
KING: Wolf, another point from Governor Branstad. He says one reason he thinks Governor Romney will win Iowa this year, he says Republicans are competitive in every congressional district across the state. Democrats though already saying maybe that's the case today. They plan on making Medicare and Paul Ryan, Governor Romney's running mate, an issue in the congressional campaigns as well.
But four years ago at this fair, there was no question who was going to win Iowa. It is a big question this year.
BLITZER: Because turnout was enormous every place the president showed up in Iowa and indeed elsewhere around the country. I suspect he is not seeing those kinds of huge crowds this time around.
KING: He is actually having pretty good turnout here in Iowa, the president. It doesn't match up to 2008 when history was being made. Remember he started his campaign here. This was the first place he beat Senator Clinton back in the caucuses and the primaries in 2008. It is a very different feel. He is an incumbent. The key test is independents. You have parity now, Republican and Democratic registration. A third of Iowans though are not affiliated with either party. So it's a tough battle here. And what is so interesting, both campaigns have a lot of people on the ground, both campaigns spending a lot of money on television.
And, Wolf, it is just amazing. You come here, you get on the treadmill for a little while, you watch the local news, you cannot escape it. The ad war is, boom, bruising.
BLITZER: Good for the Iowa economy, to be sure.
Thanks very much for that, John King reporting for us.
Now fresh scrutiny of Mitt Romney's new running mate to help Americans get a better handle on Paul Ryan. We're talking to people that have known him most or all of his life. In Ryan's hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin, family members and friends are opening up about the vice presidential candidate.
CNN's Ted Rowlands is there. And he's joining us now.
Ted, you had a chance to speak to Paul Ryan's brother. How did that go?
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I'll tell you what, Wolf. Family and friends of Paul Ryan are absolutely thrilled for his opportunity.
Some say they're absolutely surprised by it. Others say not so much.
ROWLANDS (voice-over): Tobin Ryan says it is hard to believe that his little brother whom he shared a bedroom with could be the next vice president of the United States.
TOBIN RYAN, BROTHER OF PAUL RYAN: We're still coming off of a cloud. And we learned about the acceptance Friday night, like most everybody did.
ROWLANDS: It really hit home, Tobin says, at Sunday's rally in Wisconsin, when Paul, his wife, Janna, and his mother teared up with emotion.
T. RYAN: To see Paul and Janna and the tears on their face, it really dawned on us that we're at a special moment in time.
ROWLANDS: At 42, Paul Ryan is the youngest of four children. His father, Paul Sr., an attorney, died of a heart attack when Paul was 16.
TOM THORPE, FAMILY FRIEND: He's the one that found his father, and he was home alone at that time. I think he grew up a lot of faster than he otherwise would have. ROWLANDS: Tony Huml runs an online television company in Janesville, Wisconsin. He has known Paul Ryan since elementary school. He says his friend who often comes across as Mr. Serious has a great sense of humor.
TONY HUML, FRIEND: He has a witty side of him that not a lot of people get to see.
ROWLANDS: Some of that comes across in this interview Huml did two weeks ago with Ryan for a local comedy program.
HUML: You have a beautiful family, Janna, kids.
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I do. You do, too, Tony Huml.
HUML: Thank you. Which one's your favorite?
P. RYAN: Oh, that's pretty good.
HUML: One of my most vivid memories, we're 27 years old. We sit down. He goes, I'm thinking of running for Congress. And we both just laughed. I mean, are you kidding me, what?
ROWLANDS: Ryan's run for Congress didn't surprise his high school government affairs teacher.
SAM LOIZZO, TEACHER: He was one of those kids that you could pretty much predict that he would go places.
ROWLANDS: Sam Loizzo says he's kept in close contact with Ryan. Every year before retiring, he took his class to Washington to visit Ryan and was Ryan's guest for the 2001 George W. Bush inaugural. Even though they're such good friends, Loizzo says Ryan knows he will never get the vote of his former teacher.
LOIZZO: There's no doubt about it that he is a great guy, great family guy, cares a lot about the community, but we just don't see eye to eye on politics.
ROWLANDS: And, well, Sam Loizzo says he is not voting for Romney/Ryan, but he along with most people here in Janesville, Wisconsin, say they're absolutely proud that he is a vice presidential candidate -- Wolf.
BLITZER: I am sure he is the pride of Janesville, Wisconsin. We will see if he can help Romney carry Wisconsin on November 6. Ted, thanks very, very much.
BLITZER: There's a new spotlight on bipolar disorder, now that we know that Jesse Jackson Jr. is suffering from it, and has been for some time. Our own Dr. Sanjay Gupta, he is standing by live to explain what Congressman Jackson is dealing with right now and in the future.
And President Obama goes after Mitt Romney on energy, even drags his opponent's dog into the debate.
BLITZER: We now know that Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.'s mood disorder is actually what's called bipolar depression.
The Mayo Clinic revealed his diagnosis yesterday, saying Congressman Jackson is responding well to treatment. The Illinois Democrat hasn't been on Capitol Hill since May.
Let's bring in our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Sanjay, we have heard it called bipolar two disorder, bipolar depression. What exactly are these conditions and are they different from regular bipolar disorder?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they are. I think terms do matter here to some extent.
The way people typically categorize, they call it bipolar one, bipolar two, and then bipolar depression is a bit more of a colloquial term. But bipolar one refers to the people who have these swings between mania and depression. Some people become manic and they also have depression. But in bipolar one, it is those manic episodes that are particularly concerning, and they can be very, very debilitating, outrageous behavior..
Bipolar two can sort of be the same thing, but the mania is not typically as bad. The depression, though, can be worse. And with bipolar depression overall, Wolf, again, that just often refers to the time when someone is depressed as part of this disease.
Again they toggle back and forth often between mania and depression. Bipolar depression is just that specific time when they're feeling depressed.
BLITZER: Congressman Jackson as you know he has been in treatment at Mayo Clinic since July 25, although his office said in early June he was receiving medical care as well. What is the treatment for this disorder and is there a typical recovery period?
GUPTA: You know, that's an interesting question, Wolf, and I looked into this a little bit.
If you look throughout time, there are times when patients would be hospitalized sometimes for months at a time with significant bipolar disease. Nowadays, the typical sort of hospitalization is more in the terms of weeks or even just a week. So when you start talking about a month or even two months that the congressman has been undergoing treatment, there's obviously more concern there and the doctors are trying to administer treatment now in the hospital.
The type of treatment is very important here, Wolf, because you think of depression and people think antidepressants. But when you have this going back and forth between mania and depression, what's typically needed is more of a mood stabilizing drug.
So you want to stabilize the mood, as opposed to just treating the depression. Sometimes,just treating the depression can in fact make the mania worse. So lithium, for example, is a mood stabilizing drug, and it's a drug you may have heard of, and it's often used for this condition.
BLITZER: The congressman had gastric bypass surgery back in 2004. A lot of people are asking, is there any chance that that procedure could have triggered his bipolar disorder?
GUPTA: Well, when people are sick, when they undergo operations, there is some evidence that that can trigger someone who already has underlying bipolar disease. It can trigger an attack or an event.
But, also, there's something known as the gut-brain connection, Wolf. It's not a well-known thing, but the intestines, the gut is one of the other few places in the body that has serotonin receptors. We think of serotonin receptors in the brain, if you can actually flood those receptors, you can help treat someone's depression.
Well, those receptors also exist in the gut. So there is a -- there could be a relationship here between intestinal surgery, as well as this depression. Also, Wolf, looking at these images right here, there is an experimental treatment, I just did a story on this, where they're actually stimulating the brain, they're doing deep brain stimulation, what you're seeing right there, to try and treat depression that simply is otherwise untreatable, people who just get no response from medications or counseling or anything else.
This is a part of what the future might look like.
BLITZER: Are there any medical concerns about him eventually returning to work on Capitol Hill?
GUPTA: You know, with bipolar two, which is what we have heard from the hospital that he has, they typically don't have the dangerous manic episodes.
That seems to be the most concerning part of this disease. But the flip side of this -- and you know this better than anything, Wolf, stress can be a trigger, a significant trigger. It's not just a vague thing, but it can be a significant trigger for this disease.
And obviously working on Capitol Hill, working in this capacity as a congressman can be a stressful thing. I think the doctors are probably going to balance it. I don't know if they would call it as much a danger as a likelihood that it could exacerbate or worsen his condition.
BLITZER: Yes, Sanjay Gupta, excellent analysis. Sanjay is a neurosurgeon as well.
GUPTA: Thank you, Wolf.
BLITZER: Kate, and you know. You have covered Congressman Jackson up on Capitol Hill. In recent years, he has been under enormous stress.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Enormous amount of stress, controversy in his background dealing with back in his district.
But when all is said and done, of course, you never wish that someone falls ill like this. But his family has said they do expect or at least hope that he will be getting back to Capitol Hill. But they have not said exactly when, of course. It all depends on his treatment. We wish him well, of course.
Let's take a look now of what's trending right now here in THE SITUATION ROOM on CNN.com.
Number four on our trending list, a change coming to America's most popular daytime game show, "The Price Is Right." For the first time, the show is searching for male models in an online contest. The lucky winner will spend one week modeling on the show. Very, very interesting. Good luck to everyone that is taking part.
Number three on our list, they're expensive and apparently not so safe. New crash test results give some Mercedes, Lexus and Audi models the worst poor rating, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. I will have the top two trending items coming up next.
BOLDUAN: We're running down the most popular stories trending right now on CNN.com.
To recap, number four is "The Price Is Right" looking now for male models. And number three in our trending list, luxury vehicles not doing so well in crash tests.
And number two on our trending list, actor Ron Palillo, who played class clown Arnold Horshack on the 1970s television comedy "Welcome Back, Kotter," he has died of a heart attack. He was 63 years old.
And the top trending item on CNN.com right now, police made an arrest in the burglary in the late Apple founder Steve Jobs' home in Palo Alto, California. More than $60,000 worth of computers and personal items were stolen last month. Now a 35-year-old man is behind bars. We're just now learning of the details.
What's interesting, Wolf, the prosecutor says this guy, they don't think he knew what home he was burglarizing. It was a random thing.
BLITZER: It was just a nice house.
BLITZER: Thanks very much.
A political headline just into THE SITUATION ROOM: The Romney campaign says it raised $7,400,000 in the three days since Mitt Romney announced that Paul Ryan would be his running. It is impressive, but it's less than the $10 million John McCain's campaign took in during the same three-day period after he picked Sarah Palin in 2008.
Coming up in the half-hour, our political panel takes a closer look at where there are big differences between Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, including how much you should pay in taxes.
Later: how cameras and computers now let stores identify you and come up with deals to tempt you.
BLITZER: Happening now: Mitt Romney mines for votes. Are the presidential candidates wasting energy by talking about energy?
Facebook may be able to recognize you and track you with the blink of a camera's eye.
And the online race to find shirtless pictures like this of vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan.
I am Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
If you think there our major differences between President Obama on Mitt Romney on taxes -- and there are -- just wait to learn more about what Paul Ryan has proposed. He goes further than Romney in cutting taxes, though Romney's positions will certainly prevail.
Let's take a closer look at where these three men stand when it comes to taxes. The highest income tax rate for the wealthiest Americans right now is 35 percent. President Obama wants to increase that to 39.6 percent. Romney wants it reduced to 28 percent. Ryan goes further proposing 25 percent top rate.
Now let's take a closer look at taxes on investment earnings for capital gains. The current rate is 15 percent. President Obama wants to increase it to 20 percent. Romney wants to eliminate the capital gains tax for those earning less than $200,000 a year, while keeping the 15 percent rate for everyone else. Ryan simply wants to eliminate all capital gains taxes for everyone. Period.
There is one tax where Romney and Ryan agree, the estate tax. They want to eliminate it for everyone. President Obama has a very different vision. He wants to increase the estate tax rate to 45 percent from the current 35 percent.
Bottom line. There clearly are major differences on taxes in this campaign.
Let's talk about the differences, the similarities between Romney and Ryan and some of the other hot issues in this presidential race. We are joined now by our correspondents covering the Romney and Obama campaigns. Our national political correspondent Jim Acosta, he's joining joins us from Zanesville, Ohio, and our White House correspondent Brianna Keilar is here in Washington. She's in THE SITUATION ROOM with us.
Guys, thanks very much to both of you. Jim, let me start with you. How much of a problem is this? How much of a problem if it really is for the Romney campaign that there are differences between Romney and Ryan, let's say, on taxes?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think taxes is one issue, Wolf. There's also the issue of Medicare and quite frankly the Romney campaign has had trouble talking about some of these differences as you saw yesterday Mitt Romney having that news veil down in Miami. He was asked several times by reporters what are some of the differences between your plan and the Ryan plan when it comes to Medicare, he couldn't name any.
But, Wolf, keep in mind, what the Romney campaign is trying to do on this, they're trying to get on offense, they're trying to do anything but be on defense when it comes to this issue. The Romney campaign put out a TV ad today, a new TV ad, accusing President Obama of taking money out of Medicare to pay for Obamacare as they call it. And Mitt Romney is going to be giving some remarks in southern Ohio in just about an hour from now. We're getting those remarks, and he is going to say in these remarks later on this evening, Wolf, if the president is reelected, he will succeed in raiding $716 billion from Medicare.
You know, Wolf, when we were down in Florida, the harshest headlines for the Paul Ryan pick were down in Florida and they were primarily because of this Medicare issue. I talked to a well-placed Republican source who said behind the scenes a lot of Republicans are fretting over this pick. They think it might be a risky one -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Yes. I was intrigued by Mark McKinnon, and he was a top political strategist for President George W. Bush, including in his re-election in 2004. He said this, and I'll put it up on the screen. He said, "I think it's a very bold choice and an exciting and interesting pick. It's going to elevate the campaign into a debate over big ideas. It means Romney/Ryan can run on principles and provide some real direction and vision for the Republican Party, and probably lose, maybe big."
Wow, that's pretty strong words.
ACOSTA: Those are strong words, but you know, what the Romney campaign, I think, is going to try to do, Wolf, is not play defense on this Medicare issue. Down in Florida there were some comparisons being made to the 1994 gubernatorial race when Lawton Chiles beat Jeb Bush down there because of Social Security.
Jeb Bush's running mate at that time was against Social Security and it helped Lawton Chiles win an election down there. And so I think the Romney campaign is aware of all of this.
I had a chance to talk to a Romney adviser, and they are planning to just keep on this Medicare attack as long as they can, because the point they're trying to make, Wolf, is that -- is that President Obama is doing something to the Medicare program right now. He is taking money they say out of the Medicare program right now so he can do Obamacare in their words.
And what they're saying is that what we're trying to do on the Romney side is just reform Medicare for future seniors, for future generations. They're not touching seniors now. That's the message they're trying to hammer home.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Well, let's bring in Brianna into this. I mean, Brianna, Democrats after Ryan announcement, some of them were positively gleeful about it. But when you really kind of get behind it, how worried is the Obama campaign and really the White House with the Romney-Ryan ticket. Because one thing has definitely happened, it shifted the conversation away from the constant hammering away on releasing tax returns and on Romney's time at Bain.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: But they will keep hitting him on Bain and tax returns. And talking about Medicare is something that Democrats in the Obama campaign, they're very comfortable in this area because they feel like they're seen very much as normally the protectors of Medicare and Social Security. So the way they see it, they will just pin Romney and Ryan into this box of dismantling Medicare, effectively scaring seniors, even though the Ryan plan is something that would affect, really, younger people, not older people, and they feel like that is a big win for them.
BOLDUAN: We both cover Congress, and one thing we also know for certain is Congress is the least liked entity in town, I think. A new Gallup poll had them at an all-time disapproval rating, tying the worst of 10 percent approval rating. Does the Obama camp see an opening there since Romney picked Congressman Paul Ryan to be his partner? Do they see an opening that they wouldn't have had before or otherwise?
KEILAR: You know, I think that might be a bonus, but I think that the Medicare thing is what they are completely salivating over. And this ad that you heard Jim talking about today which accuses, and you know, we covered health care reform, which accuses President Obama of basically raiding guaranteed Medicare benefits.
It's not actually true because the cuts or the savings, however you put it from Medicare that helps pay for Obamacare, is actually on the provider side. Payments that will be made to hospitals or to insurance companies. The thing that I think is you see the Romney campaign very much on the offensive there, but you're hearing that, and that is something that can be refuted. You're hearing talk about, well, it's Romney at the top of the ticket, it's not Ryan at the top of the ticket and where there are the differences.
And you're hearing also a little of the it's Romney and Ryan, and they're kind of the grownups in the room, trying to preserve Medicare for future generations. But I sort of think that if you don't hear a whole lot of that last point, the Democrats may be able to continue to salivate over the -- this Medicare argument.
BLITZER: Let me play a couple of clips and I want to go back to Jim from the campaign trail today because they were talking about energy. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Governor Romney said let's end the tax credits for wind energy production. Let's get rid of them. He said that new sources of energy like wind are imaginary.
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The president says he is for all of the above. And I wondered what he meant because I see how he's been waging war on coal.
REP. PAUL RYAN (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have our own oil and gas. We have nuclear. We have all of the above, wind, solar, coal. Let's use it. Let's make our energy independence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: You know I specifically notice that the staging of Romney with all those coal workers behind him, what was going on there? What was their thinking, Jim?
ACOSTA: Wolf, I heard from a few of the co-workers there on site there that Mitt Romney had been there earlier in the campaign, during the primaries, and so I think this is a backdrop that the Romney campaign likes to come back to.
And it's very interesting to watch, Wolf, because this is one of the wealthiest candidates ever to run for the presidency, and almost all of his events that we covered these days, Wolf, are either at factories or small businesses, or today was a coalmine. You know, he's been trying to go to a lot of small businesses these days. We're standing outside of an ice cream shop in Zanesville, Ohio, right now.
And every day he uses that as a backdrop to go after President Obama for those comments "you didn't build that." And I think as long as they can keep that going and feel like they're gaining traction, and by the way, he got huge boos from the audience, favorable views to Mitt Romney, not so favorable boost for the president when he talked about energy today. He gets boos when he talks about "you didn't build that," favorable towards Mitt Romney, not favorable towards the president. And they feel like as long as those lines are working, they're going to keep coming to those backdrops.
BLITZER: They're only getting started right now. Jim Acosta out of the campaign trail for us. Brianna Keilar, she's covering the president here in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Guys, thanks very much.
In less than 20 minutes, a political term that's now officially part of the English language.
Plus President Obama opens up his own wallet, and spends some of his own cash during a campaign stop.
Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
BOLDUAN: Here's a quick check on some of the stories making news inside the beltway today.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta spoke to reporters about what he calls the dangerous and disturbing string of attacks on U.S. and NATO forces by Afghan troops. He's urging everyone to keep things in perspective.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEON PANETTA, DEFENSE SECRETARY: I think the reality is the Taliban has not been able to regain any territory lost. And so they're resorting to these kinds of attacks to create havoc, and there's no question it's of concern. It's dangerous. And we've got to do everything we can do to try to prevent it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Panetta says only 31 Afghans have been involved in the attacks and it doesn't reflect the pride and dedication of the 350,000 members of Afghanistan's police and national security forces.
Also over at the Treasury Department, officials announced today they're lifting sanctions imposed on the Syria's former prime minister because he defected. His assets will be unfrozen. A Treasury Department press release says it's not too late for other Syrian officials to abandon the regime and do the same the thing.
And from the campaign trail, President Obama bought a round of beers for some folks at the Iowa State Fair Monday evening. He walked up to Mike's Tavern Beer Tent, and instead of making a speech, he bought 10 beers for the people who happened to be standing around. They responded by chanting what? Not four more years, four more beers. BLITZER: Four more beers. Four more beers.
BOLDUAN: You have beer summit. Four more beers. There's a (INAUDIBLE), I guess.
BLITZER: Relate (ph)?
BOLDUAN: You want four more beers?
BLITZER: Why not?
BOLDUAN: OK. Well, after the show.
BLITZER: Let's check in with John Avlon to see what's "OUTFRONT" in the next hour. He's filling in for Erin Burnett.
What's coming up, John?
JOHN AVLON, "OUTFRONT": Well, Wolf, we've got Paul Ryan in Las Vegas at a private fundraiser with Sheldon Adelson. Now Sheldon Adelson has been famous for bank rolling super PACs. Amazingly over 10 percent of the -- total money raised by super PACs this cycle comes from this one man. So we're going to be looking at the super PAC economy and the money and mayhem that gets created in our elections.
BLITZER: We'll see you then. We'll see you right at the top of the hour. John, thanks very, very much.
Up next, look at this, a camera that knows your face and tracks your shopping habits on Facebook. Is it a deal, is it a danger? We investigate.
And Jeanne Moos searches for a side of Paul Ryan no one seemingly can find.
BLITZER: Another new kind of computer technology is raising questions about privacy. It's a camera that recognizes your face and then can track your shopping habits through Facebook.
Our own Brian Todd has been taking a closer look into what's going on.
What are you finding out, Brian?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, the technology here is impressive. But privacy advocates are issuing strong warnings. This has chilling similarities to scenes from a 10-year-old movie that many thought was farfetched at the time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: John Anderson. You could use a Guinness right about now.
TODD (voice-over): And you thought ads directly targeting you were pure fantasy. Well, shoppers, meet "Minority Report."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Welcome back to the GAP.
TODD: A new service called Facedeals uses cameras set up in stores, restaurants, bars. Facial recognition matches up your image with your profile and pictures on Facebook. Then it can send you a customized offer from that store but only if you give permission beforehand.
Facedeal uses Facebook's open platform but is not otherwise connected to Facebook. The service was developed by the marketing firm Redpepper which uses this promotional video to take you through it. Log into Facebook, grant Facedeals permission to image you, verify your likeness.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When a face is confidently recognized, the deal is set into action.
TODD (on camera): The deal is then, as the company says, dynamically optimized. That means your face is read, it's matched up with your Facebook like history. The Facedeal system then delivers your coupon, your customized discount right to your mobile device. It's Wizbang has laser like efficiency and concerns the heck out of privacy advocates.
(Voice-over): Mark Rotenberg is with the Electronic Privacy Information Center.
(On camera): There's a surveillance camera in this store. We're always being filmed. What's wrong with using a camera to do a little marketing?
MARK ROTENBERG, ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION CENTER: Well, I think the problem, Brian, is that people who find that their personal information will become quickly available to the stores that they're visiting.
TODD: What's wrong with it if they sign up for it?
ROTENBERG: Well, people would need to know how much of their personal information is actually being made available. It's not simply their identity. On Facebook, for example, it would be their network of friends. It would be their likes and interests. A lot of that information would become available and I don't think people would agree to that.
TODD (voice-over): I ran that by Redpepper's CEO.
TIM MCMULLEN, CEO, REDPEPPER AGENCY: We're not actually going to be pulling all of the data. Not to mention applications that we do for retail -- retails companies around the country and all that kind of stuff. People allow apps, applications all the time. It's like allow this app. And that is essentially saying that we can have access to your network.
And I think that's sort of a line and a comfort line that people are moving towards as long as the information is not misused.
TODD: What does Facebook think of all this? Facebook is a big part of this process, and as you saw, that Facedeals' logo looks an awful lot like Facebook's. A Facebook spokesman told us the company is not commenting on Facedeals. It just wants to make sure people make informed decisions about the apps they use. The Redpepper's CEO says his agency has been in contact with Facebook and when this camera is actually set up in stores, that name and logo is going to be different -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Amazing story, Brian. There is a real concern here, though, that no matter how secure the system is, outsiders potentially could get access to it. Isn't that right?
TODD: That's right. That privacy expert Mark Rotenberg says it's not going to be all that difficult for strangers to hack into the technology and get information about where people shop or eat or do other things. That's what scares people.
BLITZER: Yes. That's amazing technology.
Brian Todd, thanks very much.
You know, I'm told also the technology, Kate, they have my picture and I shaved off my beard.
BLITZER: They would still know it would be me.
BOLDUAN: I don't think anyone --
BLITZER: Even without the beard.
BOLDUAN: -- on the face of -- on the face of this planet would know you without your beard.
BLITZER: No, no, no.
BOLDUAN: You cannot shave your beard.
BLITZER: These computers would know because they would be able to look at my eyes and look at the distance between my nose and my eyes, my eyebrows or whatever. They would know it's me.
BOLDUAN: It's fascinating, but it definitely gives me those -- the privacy concerns. But I think it's a comfort line with that one gentleman talked about.
BLITZER: Who knew in 10 years ago?
BOLDUAN: Ten years ago. Who knew?
BOLDUAN: All right. Well, it's coming our way, I guess.
So coming up, everyone is learning a lot about Paul Ryan's life this week especially, but one thing still remains a mystery. You won't find it anywhere on the Internet. Jeanne Moos explains. Coming up next.
BOLDUAN: So go ahead and grab your energy drink. Do you have your energy drink?
BLITZER: I don't have one.
BOLDUAN: OK. We're about to knock an item off of your bucket list. The new phrases making it into the dictionary.
BLITZER: I'm still thinking about four more beers. Four more beers.
BOLDUAN: So here's a mash-up of new additions to the Merriam- Webster dictionary, including the word mash-up. Also on the list, aha moment, bucket list, man cave, energy drink, sexting, F-bomb if you can believe it, and a popular phrase in this election year, and last election year, game changer.
The folks at Merriam-Webster say the new words provide a revealing reflection of American culture. If you don't know what some of those words mean, well, soon you'll be able to look them up.
If that's a reflection of American culture, I -- feel bad for American culture.
BLITZER: I actually know what all those words mean.
BOLDUAN: Because you're up -- you're hip on the pop culture.
BLITZER: I'm so cool. Obviously.
BLITZER: So as Mitt Romney's running mate Paul Ryan certainly hits the campaign trail people are getting to know his political positions. But on the Internet there's an interest in something completely different.
Our Jeanne Moos explains.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JEANNE MOOS, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We don't have to look hard to find an Olympic swimmer soaking in a tub in a Speedo to sell Louis Vuitton designer bags or to find Tim Tebow wearing only the skin-tight bottom half of his uniform in September's "GQ," but when it comes to VP hottie Paul Ryan, he's hiding a six- pack.
A lot of people are looking for it, search "Paul Ryan shirtless" on Google. At one point it was the second most popular terms folks were searching under his name, though it since dropped to fourth.
JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE": This is why I love America. A man is nominated to potentially lead our country, one of our first thoughts is, I wonder what his nipples look like.
MOOS (on camera): Yes, yes, of course we should be concentrating on weightier matters.
(Voice-over): But everybody has heard by now that Congressman Ryan is a devoted follower of an exercise program that sounds like a secret weapon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Order P90X now. The sooner you go extreme, the sooner you'll look extraordinary.
MOOS: But it's hard to tell how extraordinary Paul Ryan looks in that bulky jacket. On "Politico" --
RYAN: I keep my body fat between 6 and 8 percent.
MOOS: But your chance of seeing that lack of body fat is about zero percent. This sleeveless photo of Ryan with his exercise guru is about as shirtless as he gets. Even though TMZ built its photo gallery as "absclusive." All it was was photos of Ryan fully dressed.
(On camera): One Web site didn't just scour the Internet. It begged readers for help finding shirtless photos.
(Voice-over): "Better yet, if you have your own, send those in." So far, nada. Better not to end up like former Congressman Anthony Weiner, having your chest analyzed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it's a shaved chest.
MOOS: Or even banished by Barbara Walters.
BARBARA WALTERS, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": Take that off, please. I don't want to keep seeing it.
MOOS: Forget Vladimir Putin or Senator Scott Brown, Paul Ryan is the pin-up no one can pin down. So some are resorting to fake Facebook pages and photo-shopped images, but in reality, instead of shirtless, it's all shirts.
STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, "THE COLBERT REPORT": Wearing plaid shirts together, wearing white shirts, wearing blue shirts, and here they are wearing Lycra.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's everybody looking at?
MOOS: These days the last thing you want is a chest so overexposed it's recognizable even without your head.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Wiener-gate man.
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BOLDUAN: That was a lot of shirtless.
BLITZER: At one point. Especially if he becomes vice president. He'll go on vacation to Hawaii or some place.
BOLDUAN: And there'll be that long telephoto lens.
BLITZER: Somebody will get that shot and it will be a good shot.
BOLDUAN: I'm sure. I have no need to see the --
BLITZER: I think what -- what he's done this P90X exercise thing.
BOLDUAN: Yes. Yes.
BLITZER: I'm sure that's off the charts right now.
BOLDUAN: I'm sure that's getting some great advertisement with him being vice presidential candidate.
BOLDUAN: Our entire floor crew, for everyone's knowledge, they said they're going to get into it.
BLITZER: I'm going to try it.
BOLDUAN: I can't wait to see it.
BLITZER: And women, women can do it, too.
BLITZER: You'll try it, too.
BOLDUAN: Well --
BLITZER: P90X. We're doing it.
BOLDUAN: That's going too far.
BLITZER: That's it for us. Thanks very much for watching. Follow us on Twitter. I'm @WolfBlitzer. Kate is @Katebolduan. Thanks. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.