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CIA Director General David Petraeus Submitted Resignation to President Barack Obama; President Obama Honors Veterans in Arlington Cemetery;

Aired November 11, 2012 - 22:00   ET



DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: The general and the other woman and the other, other woman. Could the investigation in to the now disgraced CIA director uncover more than one extramarital affair?

And although he stepped down, why general Petraeus could be the only person to vindicate or incriminate the White House over the consulate attack in Benghazi.

And plus, the grand old party in need of a makeover.

You said that you not only had that problem, but you have --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An angry white man problem.

LEMON: Republican leaders now admitting that the GOP needs some new faces or face extinction.

And coast the coast, tribute s to men and women who fight for our freedom. Tonight, we honor America's veterans.


LEMON: Hello, everyone. I'm Don Lemon and we will go into more detail on all of those stories, but first we want to get you caught up on all of the headlines.

In parades all across America, people came out today to thank our military heroes. Parade-goers in New York, also aided victims of super storm Sandy collecting winter coats for those hit hardest by the storm.

And at Arlington National Cemetery, President Obama laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns and then met with families who lost loved ones in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Lawmakers have some pointed questions about the FBI's investigation into General David Petraeus' extramarital affair. They want to know why they weren't told, and they want to know if national security was breached.

New York Congressman Peter King talked to CNN's Candy Crowley today.


REP. PETER KING, (R) NEW YORK: It seems that this has been going on for several months and yet, now appears that the FBI did not realize until Election Day that general Petraeus was involved. It just doesn't add up.


LEMON: Petraeus resigned from the post as CIA director Friday and admitted he had an affair. Sources then said the affair was with his biographer Paula Broadwell. Much more on the Petraeus investigation in just a few moments here on CNN.

A bipartisan plan for immigration reform appears to be in the works. Democratic senator Charles Schumer and Republican senator Lindsey Graham say their plan includes a tough love path to citizenship. Graham and Schumer teamed up on immigration back in 2010, and that plan went nowhere. Republicans may have fresh motivation after election losses last week.

A death toll from super storm Sandy has climbed to 113 with two more deaths reported in New York. Two weeks after the storm crashed through the northeast, residents in New York and New Jersey are still clearing debris from their homes and battling the cold. Commuting cold could get a little easier for New Jersey residents on Monday. Path rail system in to Manhattan will resumed 5:00 a.m.

Syria's divergent rebel groups are now formally united after pressure from the U.S. and Arab nations. Opposition leaders met in Qatar and agreed to call their new group the international coalition forces of the Syrian revolution. It considered a vital step into rebels pushed to oust the president Bashar Al-Assad. Syria's president says his government is fighting terrorists bent on destabilizing Syria.

Israel fired warning shots into neighboring Syria today effectively telling Syria, keep that civil war inside of your own country. An Israeli military spokesman says a mortar shell from Syria hit an Israeli military post today. Unite Nations secretary general says he is deeply concerned by the potential for escalation.

Israel also says it is ready to ramp up its reaction to recent rocket attacks from Gaza. This is video of rockets launched in Gaza. Israeli's military says dozens of rockets struck Israel injuring force civilians. Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that they are on the verge of escalating its military response.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (trough translator): I would like to add that the Israeli defense force is acting and will act firmly against the terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip. They are taking strong blows from the idea and the world needs to understand that Israel will not sit with the arms crossed when faced with attempts to hurt us.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: Netanyahu blames Hamas for the rocket attacks.

Scores of people in Indianapolis still cannot go home tonight after a massive explosion late yesterday tore through a neighborhood killing two people and injuring several others. The blast and the fire sparked destroyed or severely damaged at least 30 homes. The damage costs are estimated at $3.6 million and about 200 people were evacuated. Local and federal authorities are still investigating what caused that explosion.

Have you been missing those hockey brawls with the NHL season on hold? No worries, there is Nascar. Always Nascar. After being clipped by Clint Boyer today in phoenix, Jeff Gordon waited for the revenge. Look at that, Gordon took out Boyer's number 15 car that started this entire team -- well, to go in after Gordon. But Gordon's crew was able to come to his defense in time, and the brawl was on. Incredible video there. they are slowing down so you could take a look at it. Apparently this feud started earlier in the season, and if today is any indication, it is only going to escalate.

As we heard in New York, New Work week in Washington, a new twists and turns in the resignation of the CIA director David Petraeus. Top members of Congress spoke out on the Sunday shows unhappy that they were among the last to know about the FBI investigation that brought to life the former general's relationship with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. We have also learned that House majority leader Eric Cantor did know about the affair. His spokesman says Cantor got the information from a whistle-blower.

Our Athena Jones has more now.


ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As more facts emerge about the circumstances that caused CIA director David Petraeus his job, so do the questions.

REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: I have questions about the whole matter.

JONES: Like who knew what, when, about the FBI's investigation into a complaint that his biographer Paula Broadwell, sent harassing e-mails to woman close to Petraeus.

According to a U.S. official, it was that call that revealed an affair between Broadwell and Petraeus.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper learned of the investigation in a phone call from the FBI on election night. Clapper told the White House on Wednesday, according to a senior U.S. Intelligence official. But it's unclear when the FBI probe began.

KING: The FBI director has the obligation to tell the president or the National Security Council at the earliest stage. So, it seems that this was going on for several months and yet now it appears that they are saying that the FBI didn't realize it until Election Day that Genera Petraeus was involved. It just doesn't add up.

JONES: Among other question, why weren't key lawmakers told sooner. The House and Senate intelligence committee won't inform until Friday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Are you going to investigate why the FBI didn't notify you before?

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN, (D) CALIFORNIA: Yes, absolutely. I mean, this is something they could have an effect on national security. I think we should have been told.

JONES: Not everyone on the hill was totally in the dark. House majority leader Eric Cantor said an FBI employee told him about Petraeus' affair and a possible security breach in October after the investigation began. A U.S. official says the general's communications were never compromised and he was never the target of the investigation.

Another issue, Petraeus stepped down days before he was supposed to testify before a Senate committee about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya. Acting CIA director Michael Morell will testify instead. But some Republicans are not pleased.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: At the end of the say, the one thing that has to happen in my view is we have got to get to the bottom of Benghazi. I don't see how in the world you can find out what happened in Benghazi before, during, and after the attack if general Petraeus doesn't testify.

JONES: CNN has not been able to reach Broadwell for comment.


LEMON: Athena Jones reporting there.

Author William Doyle has interviewed David Petraeus. He talked to it - with him about his story career and so his work habits up close as he research the book about the war in Iraq. Earlier I asked Doyle, what it was like to interview Petraeus.


WILLIAM DOYLE, AUTHOR: I wrote a book about him and interviewed him -- a book about Iraq and interviewed him in 2010 and when I asked him for an interview, I got an e-mail response from him directly like that.

I got other e-mails from him subsequent to that, subsequent to our interview, where he was enthusiastic and supportive and cheering me on for getting good reviews, and it was like I had a mentor. You know, he is very effective personally. But then when I start reading about the fact that he may have been obsessively e-mailing his mistress and so forth, he struck me as a man who may have had a digital addiction or a digital, almost like a digital mania, which all of us can maybe relate to these days, because he's a guy who was constantly e-mailing, texting and perhaps he was Googling himself too much and should have had a real life. And you know, he lived in a bubble where he was lionized by the military and by the press, and that turns out to have been of course very unhealthy.


That was Author William Doyle who interviewed David Petraeus for his book "A Soldier's Dream".

President Obama won re-election with just 39 percent of the overall white votes. So, what it does mean to candidate's banking on math vote to win elections? That is next.

That's next.


LEMON: Conversation I look forward to and I'm sure you do, too, every Sunday, because it always gets real, all right? One side is still celebrating, the other side still second-guessing. So, let's talk politics and look ahead to what Tuesday's election means with CNN contributors, Will Cain and L.Z. Granderson. Earlier, I called you Will - I said Will Granderson to Fred, and I don't know what I have been thinking, you guys, because you morphed into one person.

Will is also a contributor the L.Z. is a senior writer for ESPN.

OK. Let's look at some numbers here, all right, be serious for a moment. President Barack Obama got more than 90 percent of the black, more than 70 percent of both the Asian and the Latino vote, 55 percent of women. And he also got a much smaller 39 percent of the overall white vote.

So, let's talk about the future here. Will Cain, if Democrats can win the house with less than 40 percent of the white vote, is a GOP going to have to change the message and become more diverse?

WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you said change its message. It is definitely going to have to be more diverse. There is going to need the change its message. Well, that depends, are you asking if you ask me to change your ideology which the answer to that is no. They have to change the way they communicate the ideology and the answer is clearly yes.

You know, it is interesting, Don, before this election a lot of conservatives were saying that Mitt Romney was actually going to win in a landslide, right? You heard that. And they got it incredibly wrong? How did they get it incredibly wrong, because the numbers a moment ago assume that the 2008 numbers, and by the way, and was a rational assumption were a historical aberration, right? That Barack Obama's first election was infused with such enthusiasm. There was no way that is matched in 2012. Well, it was. So, what do you do? How do you change? I don't know the answer to that. I think (INAUDIBLE) and let L.Z. get in. You have to admit this one thing.

LEMON: Yes, stop filibustering. CAIN: Barack Obama is a phenomenal politician. He is a phenomenal candidate. He is a guy people want to believe in. So, I don't know the days after a butt-whooping are a best time to really have a self- evaluation moment. Let some rationality set in.

LEMON: Well, OK. All right. Go ahead, L.Z.

L.Z. GRANDERSON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you know, I think that Will talked about what needs to happen. They need to go back to take a look at about how to get more diverse. But it is important to remember that diversity is not an external thing. You know, we are so still used to checking things like black people, we got Latinos, we got women. It is really about diversity of thought. That is where Will and I separate a little bit here. I think they do need to change the message. It needs a big change the message, because it is not about how someone look, it is about how they think, and how they think is the reason why people did not run to Romney and people went to President Obama.

Yes, he is a phenomenal politician. Yes, he is a great orator, but more importantly, he was a pretty good president, his first term especially considering what he had to deal with. And Republicans keep getting away from that particular fact, that yes, he is black, and yes, a great speaker, but, oh, by the way, he actually did some things that a lot of people support and agree with, and that is about the diversity of thought and not just about how you look.

CAIN: Now, I am telling you that my side needs to do better of explaining how my message helps everyone, but the other side needs to be honest not to pander and create false wars as well.


GRANDERSON: It was not a false war, but I believe that Democrats have a huge race problem just as the Republicans do. You cannot continue to hemorrhage the white vote and think that you will get the White House. The Democrats have to find out how to get their message across saying we want diversity, but diversity also includes heterosexual white males. We are not excluding you in the umbrella of diversity, we want to include you. Right now the Democrats are having a tough time getting that message across.

LEMON: A veteran, he is a former machine gunner in Iraq who came home and struggled to make some sense of his life until he found solace in opera. That story is next.


LEMON: Marine sergeant Christian Ellis was a machine gunner in Iraq but after returning home, he joined the millions of Americans struggling to piece their lives back together in the shadows of post- traumatic stress disorder. And for Ellis, this therapy came in the form of opera.

Photo journalist Gabe Ramirez explains.


SERGEANT CHRISTIAN ELLIS, (RET.) U.S. MARINE CORPS: I identified so much as being a combat marine that I didn't believe that anything outside would matter, but then people started to notice other talents of mine.

I met Charlie Enberg (ph). He issued me a challenge. I want you to create a story that can be possibly turned into a musical. I had this idea when the story being this opera "Fallujah." All aspects of this opera come from experiences of my own life.

I joined the marine corps because I was one of the young men who didn't have any goals in life. And so I thought that I'd be this kick ass guy with all of the cool machine guns on both hands, and at that time what I perceived to be war was what I took off of the movies. That is before I got into the combat zone, but when we got there, that is when everything changed. 2004, we were deployed to Fallujah.

I mean, I remember what we went through was quite significant. It was intense. You know, things got heavy. I mean, we prayed to make it out. The pain has been so intense. The guilt has been so extraordinary. It's been u rough. You know, I have dealt with suicide many times.

It is going to be in your face not realizing what war is like, and this is what veterans go through and experience on a day-to-day basis. So this whole process from the beginning has helped me accept and calm a lot of the turmoil in my head.

Coming home is not easy at all. Coming home for any combat veteran is probably the most difficult thing they will ever have to do. I still struggle, struggle hard, but the best part is that I do see that light.


LEMON: Piece of Hollywood history just sold at auction and the price tag, wow! Next.


LEMON: Now to the big stories in the week ahead, President Obama checks on storm relief efforts in the northeast. GOP governors meet in Las Vegas and two key economic figures will be release and how will wall street react?

Plus, talking bond, James Bond on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Let's begin with the president's plans for the week.



In the coming week, President Obama will honor America's veterans at the re-playing ceremony at Arlington cemetery. Midweek, he will hold the first news conference since the re-election. IT will be in the east room of the White House.

He will visit the New York area to tour the recovery efforts from super storm Sandy. And on Friday, to end the week, he will meet right here at the White House with leaders from both the house and the Senate, both Democrats and Republicans, to begin negotiations over the fiscal cliff.

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: I'm Paul Steinhauser at the CNN political desk.

Wednesday and Thursday, GOP governors meet in Las Vegas for the Republican Governor's association annual get together. Among those attending are possible contenders for the next Republican presidential nomination.

And next weekend, senator Marco Rubio who may also have designs on the White House headlines a GOP event in Iowa.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Poppy Harlow. Wall Street will have all eyes on Congress this week as lawmakers return from recess. The big issue, the fiscal cliff. Will Congress act or won't it? That is what Wall Street wants to know.

Also coming up major some earnings r reports. We will hear from dell, target and home depot and two key economic reports coming out. We will get a look at October retail sales as well as some key inflation readings. That is all ahead and we will keep you posted on CNN money.

A.J. HAMMER, HLN HOST, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT": I'm SHOWBIZ TONIGHT's A.J. Hammer. Here is what we are watching this week. The conflicts and couture are back. Yes, it is a new season of "the real housewives of Beverly Hills." And we are also getting insider secrets from Brandy Glanville about the new season. Plus, we have the height, now it is finally time for Bond, James Bond. We will find out if "Skyfall" soars into history as the greatest James Bond movie ever.


LEMON: Well, it is one of the most memorable moments in film history.


LEMON: And now Dorothy's iconic blue gingham dress has a new home. Someone paid $480,000 for the dress at auction this weekend. The costume was one of several pieces of Hollywood history up for sale from Julian's auction house in Beverly Hills, California. Items from Marilyn Monroe, Steve McQueen and Julie Andrews also stole.

A new lawmakers are worried that insurance companies might play fast and loose with chaos to victims of super storm Sandy. That is next.


LEMON: Half past the hour, we will look at the headlines now. Citizens across the nation paused today to pay tribute to our military heroes at Arlington national cemetery. The president laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknown. He told those gathered that the administration would not let up in its effort to make sure veterans get the health care they need when they need it.

Why weren't we told? And how do we know there weren't security breaches? That is what some high-level lawmakers are asking the FBI as more facts come in with the David Petraeus resignation. New York congressman Peter King talked with CNN's Candy Crowley.


KING: It seems that this has been going on for several months and yet now it appears that the FBI didn't realize until Election Day that general Petraeus was involved. It just doesn't add up.


LEMON: Petraeus resigned as the post of CIA director, Friday and admitted he had an affair. Sources then said, the affair was with his biographer Paula Broadwell.

Two new reported deaths have raised the death toll from Sandy to at least 113. Power has been restored in most of New York and New Jersey, but full-blown protests have erupted on Long Island with hundreds of angry residents picketing the utility provider. More on the power outages in just a moment here on CNN.

A bipartisan plan for immigration reform appears to be in the work. Democratic senator Charles Schumer and Republican senator Lindsey Graham says their plan includes a tough-love act immigration. Graham and Schumer teamed up on immigration back in 2010, but that plan went nowhere, but Republicans may have fresh motivation after election losses last week.

Scores of Indianapolis residents still can't go home tonight. A massive explosion late yesterday toward to a neighborhood killing two people and injuring seven others. The blast and the fire sparked, destroyed or severely damages at least 30 homes and damage is estimated at $3.6 million. About 200 people were evacuated, local and the federal authorities are still investigating what caused the explosion.

In North Dakota, there is no question about it, winter has arrived. Parts of Bismarck got ten inches of snow this weekend and other corners of the state got as much as a foot and a half. No more snow is expected this week, but the temperatures are not expected to rise above freezing until Friday.

OK. Ever been to a Nascar race and a hockey style fight broke out? It happened today in Phoenix.


LEMON: Take a look at this. There's Jeff Gordon who got revenge after being clipped by Clint Bowyer or Boyer. Gordon took out Boyer's number 15 car and then the entire team went after Gordon, and you see it right there. But Gordon's crew was able to come to the defense in time, and the brawl was on. Apparently, this feud started earlier in the season. And today is any indication, it is going to be a long season that is not over yet.

All right, let's talk about the e-mail investigation that sparked the surprised resignation of CIA director David Petraeus.

As we have been reported, a U.S. official tells CNN that Petraeus' extramarital affair cane to light because of the FBI. Because they looked into a complaint that his biographer, Paula Broadwell, was sending harassing e-mails to another woman who was close to Petraeus.

Tom Fuentes is the FBI assistant director and is also a CNN contributor,. Earlier I asked him about the FBI investigating those CIA e-mails.


THOMAS FUENTES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, that is the concern when it starts, but when you look into that in CIA or the FBI headquarters or any of the Intel agencies, often, you have dual computer systems so that you can receive outside e-mails, because somebody may send a complaint over the public internet service providers and then of course, you have the classified e-mail systems internally and they are completely separate. But the fact that someone is receiving a threat at that level, they have to investigate and look at the nature of the threat, and look at the person making the threats, and start subpoenaing that person's records to see if they are threat eng other officials or if there is more to the story, and who they are connected with. During that subsequent part of the investigation, that is where they determine the connection between the other woman and general Petraeus.


LEMON: New York senator Chuck Schumer is warning the insurance companies don't force the hurricane deductibles on homeowners suffering in the aftermath of super storm Sandy. Regular deductibles require property owners to pay a set dollars amount. During hurricane, residents pat a percentage of the property value which and that could mean $15,000 or more for residents. The national weather service say says that Sandy did not meet the technical criteria to be a hurricane when it met landfall. Schumer warn insurance companies suggests challenging this determinations.

Tens of thousands of people and the storm has passed, still had no electricity, forced to put on layers of clothes to battle the cold. But some residents are celebrating the first day with power back on.

CNN's national correspondent Susan Candiotti in the Rockaways neighborhood of Queens with the latest. Susan?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Don, tonight in those high-rise apartment buildings behind me that house 600 families is a disabled mother of two. She has been unable to leave her apartment for the last two weeks. We went in to take a look around, and saw deplorable conditions. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CANDIOTTI: Out in broad daylight it's easy to see, but look how dark it's going to get when we walk inside the building. Bryant Pearson is in charge of the tenant association. He's going to give us a tour.

Bryant, let's take a look. Let's see.

By contrast, you can see it is bright sunshine outside and I just -- don't know how you can see anything in here, Bryant.


CANDIOTTI: Holy cow! I'm holding on to the back of your jacket because I can't see a thing.

PEARSON: The steps right here.


PEARSON: This is how people get up and down the staircase.

CANDIOTTI: Hold on. I cannot see. OK. Got it. Yes.

PEARSON: This is how we have to live here. We've been living like this since the storm hit.

CANDIOTTI: Hey Bryant, is this the 7th floor now?

PEARSON: Yes, this is the seventh floor.

CANDIOTTI: Has there been any looting here, any stealing?

PEARSON: A little bit. Watch that there.


PEARSON: That's feces.

CANDIOTTI: Oh. That is right there?

PEARSON: Yes, right here. That's feces.

CANDIOTTI: Be careful where you walk.

PEARSON: When the National Guard came, they put tags on the door stating that they came by to check.

CANDIOTTI: And that was on November 10th?



PEARSON: Bryant.

CANDIOTTI: What's her name?

PEARSON: Ivy. Ivy, is it all right if they come interview you?

CANDIOTTI: Ivy. Hi, I'm with CNN. Susan Candiotti.

Now, we are on Ivy Curton's apartment. And Ivy, you have two young daughters over here.


CANDIOTTI: You guys are ages -- how old are you?




CANDIOTTI: 10 years old. Now, it's a little bit warm in here and here is why. Ivy at least has natural gas working so the stove is working. So, she's got a pot of water on here giving off steam to at least warm up the room. A lot of places don't even have this much.

Ivy, when was the last time you were able to leave the building?

CURTON: About two weeks ago.

CANDIOTTI: Right before the storm?

CURTON: Right before the storm.

CANDIOTTI: And the reason you couldn't get out, they turned off the electricity, but why can't you get out? You're sitting in a Walker?

CURTON: Yes. I can't get out because I can't go downstairs and seven flights.

CANDIOTTI: You're suffering the aftermath of a stroke?

CURTON: Right.

CANDIOTTI: What's it like at night?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Night's scary. Then I have to go empty the garbage. My little sister, my baby sister, she has to hold the flashlight and it's scary at sometimes like I hear noises. Well, it's not like real noises. It's like the wind like the ghosts and sometimes and even though I'm then, but I sometimes get scared.

CANDIOTTI: Ivy, what do you think about this?

CURTON: I think it's terrible. They should be prepared for this. LIPA should be prepared, you know, for stuff like this, when storm hit. (INAUDIBLE). They should be prepared.

CANDIOTTI: How are you able to take care of your two girls? CURTON: Well, my oldest daughter, she's helpful. When it's time to go outside, like when the food comes around, she goes down. But it's kind of scary for me to send her down, too, because the staircases are dark.


CANDIOTTI: Imagine what it is like for that mother, Ivy Curton, she to rely on her daughter to send her into those dark stairwells in order to keep in touch with the outside world? But, she did get some hope today, the National Guard came by and delivered MREs and a pallet of water, and they promise that they will be back - Don.

LEMON: Susan, thank you.

After Mitt Romney's loss this past week, many in the GOP are re- evaluating long held campaign strategies and some say it is time to chuck them. I chatted with two Republicans, and they have ideas next.


LEMON: Gun violence is a very real threat to many inner city kids and to some in Philadelphia, they are facing the threat head-on.

Sarah Hoye has more in this week's "black in America."


SCOTT CHARLES, EDUCATOR: Welcome. I work with gunshot patients. How many of you know someone who has been shot?

SARAH HOYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Philadelphia educator, Scott Charles, is on the mission to save lives. Charles and Amy Goldberg, chief trauma surgeon at Temple University hospital co- founded a cradle to create program to help produce gun violence in the city of brotherly love.

CHARLES: What we are going to do today is kind a take you behind a scenes, pull back the curtain and let you see what we do.

HOYE: The cradle to grave program brings local high school students inside Temple's trauma center to re-live the vital 15mins of life of a teen killed by gun violence.

CHARLES: That young boy stood over Lamont and fired ten more shots into him.

DOCTOR AMY GOLDBERG TRAUMA SURGEON: You know, gun violence can kill. I think it is really our responsibility to prevent these kids from coming in.

HOYE: Among America's largest cities Philadelphia's homicide rate is the worst with African-Americans making up 85 percent of the victims.

CHARLES: You know, the statistics suggest that as a young black man you have a greater chance of being shot and killed in Philadelphia than if you were a soldier serving in the conflicts of Afghanistan and Iraq. That is absurd to me.

HOYE: Since 2006, more than 7,000 students have come through the cradle to grave program.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like I don't want that to happen to me. I want to be able to live and be something that my mom wanted me to be.

GOLDBERG: We want the really teach them the preciousness of life, and that in an instant your life can be changed forever.

HOYE: Change they want for the better.

Sarah Hoye, CNN, Philadelphia.


LEMON: Who is black in America? Is being black determined by the color of your skin in by your family, by what society says or something else? Our Soledad O'Brien will examine provocative questions about skin color and race in our new documentary "who is black in America?" that premiers Sunday December 9th only her on CNN.

Mitt Romney's loss the election, but he may have made history. His lost could go down as the last presidential campaign to bank on the white vote for a win. I spoke about this issue moving forward Al Cardenas and Patrick Millsaps. Al is the president of the American Conservative Union and Patrick is Republican strategist and former Newt Gingrich's campaign chief of staff. I asked Patrick what he thought the GOP needed to do better to be a better contender in 2016?


PATRICK MILLSAPS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think at first, we have an outreach problem. We are banking on vote that is we don't necessarily put in the bank and we are counting the votes that clearly aren't necessarily being there and we have to work on that.

LEMON: Al, you know, I wouldn't be going out on a limb here to say that the GOP has a minority problem. I've heard lots of people say that. Does your party have a future in national elections if it can attract more non-white voters?

AL CARDENAS, CHAIRMAN, AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE UNION: Well, if it can't, it's not just political malpractice. It will be political suicide. We just need to do a better job. As I tell my friends in both the Senate right and the conservative movement, we don't need to change our values. We believe those are winning values. But we need to make a long-term commitment and a real commitment to minority communities.

We can't lose the Hispanic vote four to one. We can't lose the Asian vote four to one. We can't lose the black vote nine to one. You start out with a premise that requires a 60 percent-plus vote of white America. That's just not going to happen as it declines in population. These are winnable votes. But we just need to pursue them. And frankly, I've been there. I've been chairman of the party in Florida when we used to get 60 percent of the vote from Hispanics and a larger percentage from African-Americans. But you have to have a game plan. You have to have the dedication and resources. And the commitment to show up, show respect and be there at all times. I think it can be done. But frankly we need to change the scope of our energies and the scope of our commitment.

MILLSAPS: See. This is not an attempt by the Republicans to do something and failed. This is the lack of the attempt of the Republicans to do anything at all. The first state race I ever worked on was the United States Senate in 1996. And I asked very naively, why don't we go to black churches? Well, they will never vote for us. Why don't we retreat to students and young people? Those people never vote. Well, here we are in 2012, that's a completely different story. And we need to make the attempt.

LEMON: Yes. But, I heard Al said President Obama won because he promised free things. I don't want to misquote you there. But, I'm not sure if that's -- promised free things. When I hear people saying that people voted for President Obama because they wanted things, why else do you vote for a candidate if you don't want something from that candidate?

MILLSAPS: Let me tell you something. Obama won this election. Let me back up and calm down. Obama won this election because he has learned how to do micro-politicking.

LEMON: Right.

MILLSAPS: Republican just stock on that pro-politicking. We keep spending hundreds of millions of dollars on TV when most people are getting their news from twitter and this other stuff. We are not running a modern campaign.

LEMON: You're absolutely right. From being on the ground - Hang on, Al. You can respond, but I just want to say this before you responds.

I think what you say is right on because being on the ground, the Obama -- everyone underestimated the Obama ground campaign. The Romney people were calling people, automatic phone calls, pick up and say, hey, we need you to support our candidate. The Obama people had offices in these communities for years and they were going out -- I see you haven't voted yet. If you go and vote, we will take your name up or we'll find a way for you to get to the polls to go vote. They were talking about GO TV and volunteers -- I'm like, what are they talking about? And then it finally came to light, they're actually getting people to the poll and reaching people personally. Al?

CARDENAS: Right. Let me say this. President Obama received 12 million less vote this is year than he did in 2008. Mitt Romney got almost three million votes less than John McCain did. This election, you could come up with a lot of arguments as to why Mitt Romney didn't win. I thought he left it all in the playing field. I thought he did as well as he could, given the circumstances. But the truth of the matter is, we couldn't come up with enough votes to win.

LEMON: Patrick, it is not just about the candidate or putting a candidate that has a, you know, Hispanic last name or the minority on the ticket. You said that you not only had that problem, but you have --

MILLSAPS: An angry white man problem.

LEMON: Angry white man problem.

MILLSAPS: I don't want to discredit Marco Rubio for just saying that he is and up and comer, because he is Hispanic, and he is up and comer to look into the camera and express a conservative viewpoint without saying anger or without sounding angry and quite frankly, without saying the word rape. I mean, he connects with people. And so, the fact that he is a Cuban America American is a plus, but it is not the primary reason that he is a up and coming.

LEMON: What do you mean by an angry white man problem?

MILLSAPS: We have -- the GOP has the problem of -- we get candidates in line and we'll put them up and say, oh, it's his turn now. And these tend to be, at this point, older white guys. And quite frankly, we need to be looking at the broad spectrum of candidates.


LEMON: We talked about how difficult it is for many returns vets to find work. Well, this past week, there are several got pretty good gigs in congress. That is next.


ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Big changes because of this past week's election. Voters ushered in the legalization of recreational marijuana to people of Colorado and Washington state. But the federal government still views weed as illegal. So those states will still need to navigate federal laws before the citizens can legally buy and sell it.

The troubled U.S. postal service is expecting a boom this holiday season and expects to handle 365 million packages this year, a 20 percent jump from 2011. That is even more business than FedEx and U.P.S. combined. The busiest say will be December 17th when customers scramble to get packages in the mail for on-time Christmas delivery.

Walmart is trying to edge out the competition for black Friday. They are opening up at 8:00 p.m. on thanksgiving, two hours earlier than last year. Sears and Kmart are opening thanksgiving.

That is this week's "getting down to business," Alison Kosik, CNN, New York.


LEMON: Well, 2016 is on the minds of some politicians, and several veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan are celebrating their 2012 victory, in fact, a historical election for them.

Our Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr has more on the veterans ready to take their seat in congress.


BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Republican Tom Cotton, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan was one of the big winners Tuesday. Seizing the fourth congressional district seat in Arkansas.

REPRESENTATIVE-ELECT TOM COTTON (R), ARKANSAS: Although, I don't know what Committee I will be assigned to ultimately, I certainly want to play a central role in helping to guide America's foreign policy in the next Congress.

STARR: Cotton, a law school graduate was in infantry officer with the 101st airborne division. Nine veterans from these wars have won congressional seats, seven Republicans and two Democrats.

SETH LYNN, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: This is definitely a historical election for the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. There will be more Iraq and Afghanistan veterans in the next Congress, twice as many in the next Congress as there are currently.

STARR: Seth Lynn has a program training veterans running for elected office. He says that Iraq and Afghanistan veterans may finally have found their political voice.

LYNN: And I think that a lot of people have come home really established themselves in their communities, become leaders, you know, in business, in public service, within their communities and have now been having a lot more success running for office.

STARR: Despite the influx of 9/11 era members into Congress, the overall number of veterans is declining. Both the house and the Senate will have fewer veterans this year than last.

Democrat Tammy Duckworth lost both of her legs in Iraq and she has just won a seat in Congress. She believes that the downturn is a moment in history.

REPRESENTATIVE-ELECT TAMMY DUCKWORTH (D), ILLINOIS: The giants, the lions of the world war II generation step away, and the Korean war generation steps away, and when the last of the Vietnam vets, as they begin to retire, now you go to the all volunteer force, and there are just fewer of us in general.

STARR: Duckworth says she has spent a lifetime in service, and she believes that service is what has helped her and other veterans win their races for elected office.

Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.


LEMON: Thank you, Barbara.

Next, the words of the president and the sights and sounds from this veterans day.


LEMON: President Barack Obama laid a wreath today at the tomb of unknowns at Arlington Cemetery just before his speech honoring veterans of every generation.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today, our proud nation expresses our gratitude, and we do so mindful that no ceremony, no parade, no hug, no handshake is enough to truly on for the that service.

For that, we must do more. For that we must commit this day and everyday to serving you as well as you have served us.

In this country, we take care of our own especially our veterans who have served us so bravely and sacrificed so selflessly in our name. And you carry on knowing that our best days always lie ahead.

On this day, we thank all of our veterans from all of our wars, not just for the service to the country, but for reminding us why America is and always will be the greatest nation on earth.


LEMON: I'm Don Lemon. Good night.