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THE SITUATION ROOM

Ex-Cop Declares War On Police; CIA Nominee Faces Scrutiny Over Drones; Another Big Storm Expected to Hit Northeast Friday; Murder Suspect's Deadly Arsenal; Videotape Captured Tense Moment on Bus; GOP Super PAC Attacks Ashley Judd; Risking Arrest, Risking His Life; Being Fat and Healthy?

Aired February 7, 2013 - 17:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: And you're in the SITUATION ROOM. Happening now, a massive manhunt for a former police officer, now an accused killer.

Chilling details of what happened as a young boy was snatched from a school bus, this one, sending off a hostage crisis.

And hundreds of flights canceled. New york City under a blizzard warning as the Northeast braces for a powerful, dangerous storm.

We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in the SITUATION ROOM.

We begin with a massive, dangerous storm threatening the northeastern part of the United States. As I said, New York is under a blizzard warning. So far, airlines have already canceled, get this, more than 1,500 flights. Amtrak cutting service as well. Our severe weather expert, our meteorologist, Chad Myers, is tracking the storm for us. Chad, first of all, what's the latest forecast?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Forecast still, two computer models that we use the most still don't agree and I'll tell you why and I'll show you what they both say and you can kind of make your own decision. I'll tell you which one I believe. Here's the storm that we're worried about. It's the cold air that's going to come into New York City.

Here's the rain that's coming in right now across parts of Georgia. Those two storms are going to try to combine. Remember the time that something combined, we called it superstorm Sandy? This is actually going to have hurricane-force winds with it as it comes through our area and into the northeast for the rest of this weekend.

Winds are going to be 70 miles per hour as these two storms come together and it called a coastal bomb, a big low pressure off the East Coast making blizzard conditions from Boston to Maine all the way back now, blizzard warnings, even into New York City. New York City proper, all of the boroughs for New York City and even the counties out in Long Island, included all of Connecticut, Rhode Island, eastern Massachusetts including the cape and also Boston.

A storm surge with a coastal low. Last time we talked about storm surge, Sandy. It's going to be five feet this time, not the 12 to 14 feet we saw with Sandy. But we're going to have big waves as well. Waves could be five feet on top of that surge. So, the computers are still not agreeing that these two things are going to come together like a perfect -- I don't know -- kind of a receiver and a football player and quarterback getting together on a long bomb pass.

Seventeen inches on this model for Boston, only 5 1/2 or almost 6 for New York City on this model, but the one that we're really worried about, and it's often more important, the more accurate model here, is this. Twenty-three inches for New York City, 38 for Boston. So, you kind of have to use some judgment here.

Are we really going to get 38? No, probably not. So, maybe 15 to 30 for Boston, but I'll tell you what, if you get 8, 16, 20 inches of snow with winds going 60 miles per hour in New York City, that city is going to be stranded for some time, Wolf.

BLITZER: It certainly will be. It will be pretty chaotic. Just give us a little perspective, Chad. I grew up in Buffalo, New York. You lived in Western New York for part of your career as well. A lot of us remember that blizzard in Buffalo in the 1970s. There was a huge blizzard in Boston in the 1970s. Give us some contrast, some perspective, how would this one likely compare to those?

MYERS: The one in 1978, Boston has 27.1, the one in 2003, Boston had 27.6, and the computer model on this one is now almost 40. So, that would be worse than that. And just getting that snow out of the city streets will be tremendous. I mean, you may not ever see 30 inches of snow anywhere, but there may be 12-foot drifts that you have to try to get through just to get out of your house.

My biggest concern, Wolf, is that we get snow like this, even if it's 20 inches, but people are on the highway too late. You don't get off the roads by noon tomorrow. There's a wreck in front of you. You have to stop and you have to sit and wait for that to clear. Three hours later, there's eight inches of snow all around your car and you're not moving. All of a sudden, there are thousands of cars stuck on the highways and the National Guard has to come out and get you.

Well, if they can't get to everybody, you're stuck in your car without heat, without a lot of energy, without food for 24 or 48 hours. The wind is going to blow 60 or 70 miles per hour. People are in danger if you just don't stay home. Don't go to school. This is the area -- the Boston mayor said, we are not opening schools tomorrow.

I want all of you out of our streets by noon, and he was serious. I watched his press conference at 12:30. He was concerned that people are really going to put themselves in danger if they didn't take the precautions necessary for a storm of this magnitude.

BLITZER: And very quickly, power outages. How worried should the folks be about that?

MYERS: Oh, yes, at least 100,000 people without power here. Snow forecast totals here, New York City, 20 inches, and the winds here across parts of Boston all the way up into New Hampshire, if you're going to be blowing winds at 75 miles per hour and you already have snow on the trees, there could easily be a million people without power and those people -- those power line companies, here are the wind gusts.

Those power line companies can't get back up in their buckets, can't get in their trucks until the winds come down below 25. Providence, your wind by tomorrow night is going to be 64 miles per hour and some spots here around Boston during that, couple of spots there. Seventy- mile-per-hour wind gust expected with this storm.

BLITZER: Chad, we'll stay in close, close contact with you. Good advice to our viewers as well. To get the latest storm tracking or send us your weather related iReports, be sure to click on to CNN.com/Weather.

Other news, including some developing news out of California. He's a former officer who's declared war on the police. He's accused of already having killed three people, and right now, he's the subject of a massive manhunt in Southern California. Christopher Jordan Dorner is wanted for the slaying of two people over the weekend, one the daughter of a former Los Angeles police officer.

He's also accused of ambushing two police officers in Riverside, California, overnight, one of whom died.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHIEF CHARLIE BECK, LOS ANGELES POLICE: Of course, he knows what he's doing. We trained him. He was also a member of the armed forces. It is extremely worrisome and scary, especially to the police officers involved. You know, the Riverside officers were cowardly ambushed.

They had no opportunity to fight back. No pre-warning. You know, imagine, imagine going about your workday having to worry about that threat.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: CNN's Brooke Baldwin has more now on Dorner and what police say is a trail of murder.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 2008, Christopher Jordan Dorner, just three years on the job as a Los Angeles cop, is fired. He allegedly made false statements about a training officer. Dorner leaves the force bitter. In a lengthy letter apparently written by Dorner and provided to CNN today by an LAPD source, he allegedly threatened to use his navy training to harm police officers involved in his case and the families.

Quoting here, "I will bring unconventional and asymmetrical warfare to those in LAPD uniform whether on or off duty." Now, to Sunday night, an Irvine couple is shot to death in the parking deck of their upscale apartment complex. The victims here, Monica Quan (ph) and her fiancee. Quan's father, Randy, was a retired LAPD cop who worked with Dorner.

Wednesday night, police name Christopher Jordan Dorner, the chief suspect in the Sunday night murders. Police warn the public he is armed and dangerous. Dorner is a navy reservist who is known to be a skilled marksman. Thursday, around 1:30 in the morning pacific time, Dorner is spotted in Corona.

Dorner gets out of his truck and starts firing. One officer was grazed, the other not hurt. Dorner flees. Then, a short time later, another shooting involving cops. This time, in Riverside, where police say two officers on routine patrol are shot after being ambushed at an intersection. One officer is dead, another critically wounded. Authorities are linking both Thursday shootings to Dorner.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: Brooke Baldwin reporting for us. Let's get the latest now on the manhunt. CNNs Paul Vercammen is in Riverside, California. Paul, what are you seeing, what are you hearing there?

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, first, here in Riverside, behind me, you can see they still have sealed off many of the streets where the officer was killed and the officer was wounded. We now understand this investigation is shifting to Big Bear, California.

That's because a car resembling -- excuse me -- a truck resembling that of the suspect's vehicle was found burned out in the Big Bear area and a source close to the investigation has told me they are now looking over and trying to positively match that truck be to Dorner, the shooting suspect. And another clue about big bear, there's a school district up there, Bear Valley.

It says that it closed the school today as a precaution because of, quote, "an investigation in that area." Big Bear is about an hour and ten minutes and 70 miles from Riverside. We can tell you, Wolf, that we saw a number of squad cars come tearing out of here earlier in the day, and they were headed in a way that would allow them to jump on the freeway and go to Big Bear. So, that's the latest right now here in Riverside -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right. We're going to check back with you, Paul Vercammen in Riverside for us. We're going to Los Angeles as well. Much more on the manhunt coming up here in the SITUATION ROOM, including an up close look at the weapons that the former Los Angeles police officer is accused of using and the others he might have.

Also, this --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pakistan, Somalia and who else? Who else? Where else?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please remove -- (END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Protest bring a confirmation hearing up on Capitol Hill to a halt, but they didn't stop the grilling of President Obama's pick to lead the CIA.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right. I'm going to ask -- we're going to halt the hearing. I'm going to ask that the room be cleared and that the code pink associates not be permitted to come back in. Done this five times now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Protesters disrupting the confirmation for the CIA director, John Brennan. Some waving signs accusing Brennan of war crimes because of use of drones for targeted killings. After the room was cleared, the hearing proceeding continued. Brennan faced some tough questions about those drones.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN BRENNAN, CIA DIRECTOR NOMINEE: I think there is a misimpression on the part of some American people who believe that we take strikes to punish terrorists for past transgressions. Nothing could be further from the truth. We only take such actions as a last resort to save lives when there's no other alternative to taking an action that's going to mitigate that threat.

So, we need to make sure that there is an understanding and the people that were understanding up here today, I think they really have a misunderstanding of what we do as a government and the care that we take and the agony that we go through to make sure that we do not have any collateral injuries or deaths.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Let's dig a little bit deeper with our chief political analyst, Gloria Borger. Gloria, how hard was Brennan pushed when it came to the sensitive subject of drones and these targeted killings?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN Chief Political Analyst: It was front and center, Wolf, and he was pushed very hard on it. First of all, the chairman of the committee, Dianne Feinstein came right out and said she's proposing for legislation that would create a court that would oversee these drone strikes. So, that's number one.

Number two, Senator Ron Wyden, another Democrat of Oregon, said look, every American and this quote, "has the right to know when the government believes it has the right to kill them." So, what he is pushing for is more disclosure. As you know, the administration has made available documents written by their justice department lawyers about the drone strikes to the senators. Wyden complained that he didn't see enough of those documents there, that they want to see more. So, what we got out of this hearing was essentially the president's own party telling the incoming CIA director, you need to partner with Congress and let us know what you are doing because if you have nothing to hide about the justification for these drone strikes, then don't hide it.

BLITZER: It's a big deal.

BORGER: It is. Very big deal.

BLITZER: Chuck Hagel, another nominee, this time, to become the next defense secretary. Twenty-four hours ago, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said they're not going to vote on his confirmation today as earlier planned. He spoke to CNN Carl Levin, the chairman, and said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CARL LEVIN, (D) MICHIGAN: We cannot vote because there's dissatisfaction on the part of the people because that could be endless. We're going to schedule a vote as soon as we're ready to have a vote. I think this confirmation looks very much on track to me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: So, what are the Republicans who oppose Chuck Hagel who himself is a Republican, what are they trying to achieve?

BORGER: Here's what's interesting. We have these two confirmations going on. Brennan you saw today defending the administration's policy on drone strikes, for example. Like you see with Chuck Hagel is now a situation where Chuck Hagel has to defend himself. It's not the administration, because he has become the target here.

What Republicans are trying to do and they've asked for more information, financial information regarding corporations or entities that Hagel has been affiliated with and whether they have any foreign investment, they're asking for this more paperwork and what they're trying to do is build momentum against him.

And you just heard the chairman say, you know what, we're going to put up with this for a little bit but not forever because they believe they're fishing and they believe that they can get Hagel confirmed.

BLITZER: They think they'll get him confirmed in the end but even some administration officials are grumbling that he didn't necessarily help himself in those areas.

BORGER: I've never seen anything like it, Wolf. They are grumbling out loud about it. They believe he didn't prepare well enough. You know, he's met with 75 senators, but even all of those meetings were not enough to counter his bad performance before the committee. And so, he created these problems for himself. In the end, though, no Democrats are wavering. They think they've got 55 solid votes for him, and they think a filibuster would be completely unsuccessful.

BLITZER: Gloria, thanks very much.

BORGER: Uh-huh.

BLITZER: Meanwhile, there are shocking new details emerging right now about what happened on that school bus just minutes before a five- year-old boy was taken hostage. That's next. Stay with us. You're in the SITUATION ROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: A man nabbed in a failed plot to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank of New York pleading guilty to attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. Lisa Sylvester is monitoring that and some of the other top stories in the SITUATION ROOM right now. Lisa, what's going on?

LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, the 21-year-old Bangladeshi man also expressed remorse. Instead, he no longer supports violent jihad. He was arrested in an October undercover sting operation just as he prepared to detonate what he thought was a 1,000 pound bomb in front of the building. He's now facing a possible maximum life sentence and up to $250,000 in fine.

And first lady, Michelle Obama will attend the Saturday funeral service for a 15-year-old girl gunned down last week in Chicago. The honor student had just been here in Washington performing in festivities surrounding President Obama's inauguration. Police tell CNN affiliate she had no gang affiliation and was likely not the intended target.

In other news, Iran claims it has decoded and released footage from a U.S. drone that down in December of 2011. The black and white aerial footage was aired by Iranian news agencies and posted to YouTube. CNN cannot independently verify the authenticity of this video. At the time of the incident, U.S. officials acknowledge the drone was missing and President Obama asked Iran to return it.

And it is off to the racetrack, or at least, the ice (INAUDIBLE). The ice racing between stock cars of all shapes and sizes is a winter tradition in, where else, Minnesota. Drivers use studded front tires and added weight in the back of their car for better traction. Roll bars are also installed in those cars to keep most accidents from being nothing more than the spin out.

It is amazing. It's hard to believe that is on ice and they're going that fast on ice, but you can see a few of them get sidelined.

BLITZER: I just hope they're safe out there.

SYLVESTER I know. I just can't think -- and I look at that and say, on ice, really? But it's Minnesota, so I'm assuming all is well and all is safe, Wolf. BLITZER: And sure will be. Thank you.

We're following that manhunt in South California right now. The search for a former police officer who's declared war on police that is suspected in three killings.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Let's get back to one of our top stories. In Southern California right now, a manhunt is under way for a fired Los Angeles policeman suspected in a series of attacks that have already left three people dead and two wounded. It all started on Sunday. Police say Christopher Jordan Dorner shot and killed two people in Irvine.

Then, last night, Dorner allegedly tried and failed to steal a boat in San Diego. At 1:25 a.m. this morning, California time, he got into a shootout with police in Chino but got away. Short time later, Dorner surfaced in Riverside. Police say he ambushed two police officers, killing one, seriously wounding the other. Dorner is still at large. A huge manhunt underway right now.

To learn more on the weapons involve, let's bring in our crime and justice correspondent, Joe Johns. Joe, there's some pretty sophisticated weapons. What do we know?

JOE JOHNS, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: For sure, Wolf, but from a law enforcement standpoint, it's not just the fact that the suspect in the Southern California shootings is trained in law enforcement or that he was also in the military, though, both of these elements do play a part.

What's also scary is the firepower he claims to have at his disposal. In his manifesto, Christopher Dorner said to news organizations, he says he has a Barrett 50-caliber rifle. So, take a look at it. It's probably something like this. It's a larger rifle that has a bigger kick. Some say it's a sniper rifle and it can put around on a target from a mile away. Those rounds are huge.

Just to give you a sense of how big the rounds are, let's take a look right now if I can move this down. Here you go. Just an idea, comparing it to some of the rounds from resolvers, for example, a 357 magnum or a 45 long Colt, it's a pretty big round. And now, let's take a look at how it compares to a $5 bill. So, that gives you at least some sense about what we're talking about here. It's well known that 50 calibers are good anti-vehicle guns because you can shoot straight through a vehicle's engine block.

In fact, LAPD pointed out at one of these news conferences that one of the encounters this morning, Dorner allegedly disabled a vehicle at the scene, which would make sense if this was the type of rifle that was used in the shooting. Former ATF official, Mike Bouchard, told us just how much damage this weapon could do.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can disable cars, if a S.W.A.T. team was coming with heavy armament. There's a good possibility that it could penetrate that. It will penetrate ballistic vest, ballistic shields, any of those kinds of things.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNS: It turns out Barretts and, particularly, the 50 caliber also in the middle of the national gun debate. The state of California banned 50 caliber rifles and got an angry response from the owner of the Barrett firearm manufacturing company which stop selling Barrett firearms in California over the issue.

So, the upshot here is that Barrett 50 caliber rifles are illegal in the state of California, apparently, not even the police can have them, but Dorner claims he might even have more than one.

The other weapon mentioned in the manifesto is this thing. It's a little scary, too. The SA-7 MANPAD, a Russian-made shoulder mounted, surface-to-air missile launcher. It is illegal in the United States. In fact, the State Department says on its Web site, anyone with knowledge of an illicit MANPAD should immediately contact the FBI.

So some pretty scary weapons there, quite frankly, if that's what he says he has, Wolf. All we know he says in his manifesto that he has these.

BLITZER: Yes, very scary. And there are already people dead out there.

Joe, thanks very much for that report. We'll certainly stay on top of the story here in THE SITUATION ROOM. Coming up on our next hour during our 6:00 p.m. Eastern hour, we're going to talk about all of this with Charles Moose. He who was the police chief of Montgomery County, Maryland, during the serial killings linked to that so-called D.C. sniper. Much more on the story coming up.

Other news we're following including some shocking new details emerging right now in the wake of that Alabama hostage standoff. We're now learning exactly what happened on the school bus in the frantic moments before the 5-year-old Ethan was grabbed and his bus driver was killed trying to protect him and the other children.

CNN's Martin Savidge is joining us now with more object on the latest.

So what are you learning, Martin?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, to everybody down here, Charles Poland Jr. is considered to be an absolute hero. That's the man who was behind the wheel of the bus on that terrible day. Many see him as the only thing that stood between Jimmy Lee Dykes, the man with the gun, and 22 children that were on board that bus.

That's what all the witnesses say. We actually have found another witness that bears that out. The camera on board the bus.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have bus the driver shot, a child is being held hostage in a bunker at this time.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Until now, many people had assumed the deadly showdown between Jimmy Lee Dykes and bus driver Charles Poland Jr. happened in seconds. But sources close to the investigation tell CNN the drama escalated over 4 1/2 minutes.

(On camera): Authorities know exactly what happened because of something that's common on most modern school buses these days. A camera mounted right up here that rolled on it all, capturing it on videotape.

(Voice-over): According to those who have been briefed on the video and witness statements, Dykes boarded the bus armed with a gun and handed a note to Poland demanding to take several children. Five- year-old Ethan is is in the front seat because Poland liked to keep watch over the special needs child.

Poland refuses, telling Dykes he's responsible for these kids. As he does, he stands and steps into the aisle, placing himself directly between an armed Dykes and his young passengers. Dykes is heard telling Poland, "I'm going to kill you if you get in the way." Poland doesn't relent, buying precious time.

As the standoff continues, older students at the back of the bus open the emergency exit. Something they knew to do because twice a year they are required to practice emergency evacuation drills. Children began jumping out the back, running away down the road.

Again, Dykes reportedly tells Poland, "I'm going to shoot you." A clearly frightened but steadfast Poland refuses to back down. As more kids continue to flee. Then Dykes fires four times, killing Poland, he grabs 5-year-old Ethan and leaves.

Poland, like all Alabama school bus drivers, was required to take special training and regular refresher courses on intruder emergencies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From the information that I've received, he did use that training to save those children.

JUDGE WILLIAM MATTHEWS, MIDLAND CITY MUNICIPAL COURT, ALABAMA: He was protecting the lives of the 21 children. He helped escape.

SAVIDGE: Local municipal judge, William Matthews, was so moved by Poland's actions, he sat down Monday night and wrote an emotional letter to the president, asking Poland be given the Medal of Freedom.

MATTHEWS: I know you get a lot of letters from ordinary citizens during your day-to-day job of being a president. I would hope you would take this in part, thanking you -- thanking you in advance for your prompt attention to this matter. (INAUDIBLE). It's tough.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SAVIDGE: You know, Wolf, this story has touched a lot of emotions down here, including that of federal agents and the special agent in charged of the FBI down here. He said in a statement, quote, "We came in as uninvited guests and the entire community has welcomed us like neighbors who have known each other for a long time. We will never be able to thank them enough."

Again, that coming from the head of the FBI down here that came to free the child -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Martin Savidge on the scene for us doing some excellent reporting as he always does. We appreciate it very much.

And this note to our viewers. Tonight 9:00 p.m. Eastern our Piers Morgan will talk about what the family of Ethan is likely going through in the aftermath of the standoff. His guest, the mother of Jaycee Dugard who was missing for 18 years. That's only here on CNN.

Karl Rove versus Ashley Judd. A look at the attack ad against the star potential, potential Democratic Senate candidate.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: She's not even officially a candidate yet but Ashley Judd is getting a taste of what she could face if, if she decides to run for the United States Senate.

CNN national political correspondent Jim Acosta is working the story for us.

All right. So, Jim, what's going on with Ashley Judd?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's what the makers of this ad say they're doing. They're giving Ashley Judd a taste of what's to come. It's been a roughly three months since Election Day and already there's an attack ad out for the next cycle targeting -- targeting actress Ashley Judd who may be auditioning for a high-profile Senate seat in Kentucky next year.

Grab your popcorn. This race could be a real cliffhanger.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ACOSTA (voice-over): For Hollywood actress and Democratic activist, Ashley Judd, it could be a sneak preview of coming attractions.

ASHLEY JUDD, ACTRESS: He is now able to flower more as the president I knew he could be.

ACOSTA: This week, she's the unwitting star in a new GOP super PAC attack ad that's aimed at weakening a potential "Judd for Senate" campaign next year in her childhood home state of Kentucky. The spot not only mocks Judd's support for President Obama it also pokes fun at her new found love for Tennessee.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone who will never forget where she came from.

JUDD: And it just clicked. Tennessee is home. And it just clicked.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kentucky --

JUDD: Is home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JONATHAN COLLEGIO, AMERICAN CROSSROADS: This is just a fun way to kind of get under her skin a little bit and kind of show her what a campaign would really be like if she makes this decision.

ACOSTA: The ad, from the Karl Rove-led group American Crossroads was quickly seen as Republicans' riding to the rescue of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell who has already launched his 2014 re-election campaign.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), MINORITY LEADER: The reason you're here today is because they want to take me out.

ACOSTA: After once saying he wanted to make Barack Obama a one-term president, McConnell told a crowd in Kentucky Democrats are coming after him. But with a movie star, he wouldn't comment.

MCCONNELL: I'm not going to start handicapping who might be an opponent. I have no idea. What I do think is the national Democratic Party is going to make sure I have one.

JUDD: Good morning, Ohio.

ACOSTA: Judd could be a serious contender. She's made a name for herself in Democratic circles and spoke at the party's convention last year.

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: There's definitely a rich history of actors making a move to politics. Ronald Reagan went from Hollywood to the White House. Arnold Schwarzenegger, from Hollywood, two terms as California governor. Al Franken, "Saturday Night Live" to the U.S. Senate.

ACOSTA: But Judd is only one of a number of new targets for Rove who's formed a group that will actually take on GOP candidates who are deemed too conservative to win statewide races, thinks such losing candidates as Christine O'Donnell and Todd Akin. Conservative Iowa Congressman Steve King who's considering his own Senate bid, sent out a fundraising e-mail saying, "Rove is launching attacks against at me."

COLLEGIO: The idea is that if we have a shot to win a seat, we don't want a candidate like Christine O'Donnell or Todd Akin to destroy that effort.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ACOSTA: Now Rove's group says it's too early to weight in on the race in Iowa. As for Kentucky, a spokesperson for Judd said in a statement that the actress thanks McConnell and Rove for all of the attention but that the Senate is one project she has not green-lighted just yet.

BLITZER: We'll see if she does. That ad is a pretty lively clever little ad.

ACOSTA: It will add a lot of drama, I think, to that race.

BLITZER: It certainly will. Jim Acosta, thanks very much.

The former Pakistani president, General Pervez Musharraf, he sits down with me just weeks before returning home where he's now a very, very wanted man.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: An update now on that L.A. manhunt suspect. One of our top stories here in THE SITUATION ROOM. In addition to posting his manifesto online, the suspect, Christopher Dorner, also reached out directly to CNN, mailing a parcel to "AC 360" anchor Anderson's -- Anderson Cooper's office over at CNN in New York.

The package arrived on the 1st of February and was opened by Cooper's assistant. Inside the package, a hand-labeled DVD accompanied by a yellow Post-it note reading in part, and I'm quoting, "I never lied." Apparently, apparently in reference to his 2008 dismissal from the LAPD.

Also in the package, a coin wrapped in duct tape, the tape bearing the handwritten inscription, "Thanks but no thanks, Will Bratton," as well as the letters IMOA which may be a commonly Internet abbreviation for "Imagine a More Open America."

As for the coin, it's a souvenir medallion from the former LAPD chief William Bratton. One of the type -- a type often handed out as keepsakes by the police chief. This one, though, was shot through with bullet holes, three bullet holes to the center, and another shot nicked off the top. The editorial staff of "AC 360" and CNN management were aware of the package today. And upon learning of its existence, alerted Mr. Bratton and law enforcement. We're going to have much more on this story coming up here in THE SITUATION ROOM in our next hour.

Other news, when I recently sat down with the former Pakistani president, General Pervez Musharraf here in Washington, I had a real feeling of dread. The conversation was eerily similar to one I have had with the former Pakistani president, Benazir Bhutto, five years ago shortly before she was assassinated.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER (voice-over): The former Pakistani president, once a close ally of the United States, now is a wanted man in his homeland. But he tells me he's ready to risk imprisonment and even his life to return to the country he fled nearly four years ago.

(On camera): Are you going back to Pakistan?

PERVEZ MUSHARRAF, FORMER PAKISTANI PRESIDENT: I am. I went.

BLITZER: Why?

MUSHARRAF: Because I think Pakistan needs me. Because I think one can contribute towards -- I can contribute towards stabilizing the problems in Pakistan.

BLITZER (voice-over): Musharraf became president in June 2001 just before 9/11. He allied himself with President George W. Bush in the war against terror. But the support of the U.S. couldn't protect him from growing opposition at home. He resigned in 2008, facing the threat of impeachment. He refused to answer charges leveled against him and fled to London.

(On camera): There's a warrant out for your arrest if you come back to Pakistan.

MUSHARRAF: The arrest warrant is not because I have been found guilty of anything. The arrest warrant is because I haven't appeared in court. I didn't go because I know that there was judicial -- there could have been judicial activity there -- activism and polarization of cases against me and then there was a threat, also.

Now that I've seen what is happening in Pakistan, I believe I have to take the risk to go back and in that I have to fight the cases in the courts.

BLITZER (voice-over): There were all sorts of charges pending against the nearly 70-year-old Musharraf, including illegally detaining judges and even their families. The crackdown led to huge protest by lawyers who clashed with police. It was the first organized resistance against emergency rule imposed by Musharraf before he fell from power.

(On camera): In my opinion, as someone who has studied Pakistan, has been to Pakistan, the case scenario, if you go back, you'll be arrested. The worst case scenario is that threat will materialize and someone will kill you.

How worried are you about that?

MUSHARRAF: Well, both -- you are correct on both counts. But if I get arrested, that doesn't mean that I'll be remaining in jail for the rest of my life. Because there are cases against me are all trumped up and politicized cases. In legal terms, they have no feet to stand by so therefore I am going to fight them in the courts and I'm reasonably sure that we'll win the cases because there are no cases actually against me.

BLITZER: Do you want to go to jail in Pakistan? Is that -- is it worth it to go back, to go -- to wind up and spend at least a few years in a prison?

MUSHARRAF: I don't think -- I don't think that will happen. I would -- I don't think so.

BLITZER: But the other option is even worse. They will kill you. Someone will kill you in Pakistan. And you must be scared to go back. You haven't been back in there in, what, three or four years?

MUSHARRAF: Again, we are taking a doomsday scenario. We are taking the worst. I don't think this worst will happen. Now as far as somebody trying to kill me, yes, indeed, I have to take security measures, which I will. And although I can say that there isn't 100 percent guarantee of security, but we'll try to maximum security I'll take and I hope that such an extreme outcome will not take place.

BLITZER (voice-over): I reminded Musharraf that I had an eerily similar conversation with former Prime Minister Benazir Bhuto in 2007 in Washington before she returned to Pakistan after nine years in self-imposed exile. She was assassinated, just like her father before her. She told me she knew her life was on the line.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Your family has a history, unfortunately a tragic history, of assassination.

BENAZIR BHUTTO, FORMER PAKISTANI PRIME MINISTER: I know the past has been tragic, but I'm an optimist by nature. I put my faith in the people of Pakistan. I put my faith in God. I feel that what I am doing is for a good cause, for a right cause to save Pakistan from extremists and militants, and to build regional security. I know the dangers are there, but I'm prepared to take those risks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Before Bhutto left the United States, she forwarded a letter to me and asked that I keep it confidential.

(On camera): She said, don't report this, unless something happens to me. And the day she was assassinated, I went on CNN and I read the note that she left behind. I'm going to read it to you right now.

"Nothing will -- God willing -- happen. Just wanted you to know if it does, in addition to the names in my letter to Musharraf of October 16th, I would hold Musharraf responsible. I have been made to feel insecure by his minions. And there is no way what is happening in terms of stopping me from taking private cars or using tinted windows or giving jammers or police mobiles to cover all sides could happen without it."

You're familiar with that note that she left behind, blaming you, in effect, for her assassination. And I'd like you to respond to that. Because you're about to do what she did.

MUSHARRAF: Well, yes. But I'm not going to blame anyone. I think this is very unfair to blame the president of a country who provide security for her, but however I know that total security was provided to her.

BLITZER: So you feel confident that you gave her the security she needed?

MUSHARRAF: Yes. BLITZER: And you were the president?

MUSHARRAF: Yes.

BLITZER: And as she said you could have ordered more security. And you're saying that's not possible?

MUSHARRAF: Again, no, obviously, I wasn't -- I wasn't as sort of a president who was without any influence and without any word, like some presidents in the past. I had my standing, obviously.

BLITZER: Of course.

MUSHARRAF: But officially, legally, constitutionally, the president has no authority running the government. It's the prime minister who runs the government with his ministers and the interior minister.

BLITZER: What guarantee do you have you will have adequate security, from the government of Pakistan if you go back to run for election?

MUSHARRAF: They are supposed to provide a certain blue book that they call, and where these things are laid down. They have to provide security to an ex-president or ex-prime minister. But, of course, as I said, the quality of their security may be wanting. One doesn't expect top rate security as in developed countries.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: General Musharraf says he will fly back to Pakistan in March.

So can you be overweight and healthy? That's the battle right now between the New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and a former White House physician. It's a story that's starting right here in THE SITUATION ROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Day three of an escalating public battle between the Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and a former White House doctor, triggered by a CNN report we first brought you right here in THE SITUATION ROOM. The big question, can you be fat and healthy?

Here's CNN's senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It all started when New Jersey Governor Chris Christie made light of his much talked about weight problem.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, "LATE SHOW WITH DAVE LETTERMAN": I've made jokes about you, not just one or two, not just ongoing, here and there, intermittent, but -- (LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COHEN: But in a widely publicized CNN interview, a former White House doctor says she's worried Christie could die in office.

DR. CONNIE MARIANO, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PHYSICIAN: I worry that he may have a heart attack, he may have a stroke. It's almost like a time bomb waiting to happen, unless he addresses those issues.

COHEN: But Christie fired back, calling her a hack. He said he's healthy, despite his weight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: My cholesterol is normal, believe it or not.

LETTERMAN: That's pretty good.

CHRISTIE: Yes.

LETTERMAN: And what about your blood sugar?

(LAUGHTER)

CHRISTIE: Blood sugar, also normal.

LETTERMAN: Also normal.

CHRISTIE: Yes.

LETTERMAN: So you --

CHRISTIE: I'm like, basically, the healthiest fat guy you've ever seen in your life.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COHEN (on camera): So who's right? Can you be obese and healthy? Well, doctors tell CNN that even if your blood sugar and cholesterol and other numbers are normal, being that overweight, in and of itself, is bad for you.

(Voice-over): Even if your arteries aren't clogged, being obese can enlarge your heart, which can lead to heart failure. And all that weight can put a strain on your kidneys, cause gallbladder and pancreas problems, and sleep apnea which can also hurt your heart.

One respected study found that being morbidly obese cuts eight to 10 years off your life. That's comparable to the effects of smoking. Even Christie realizes being heavy isn't good for you. CHRISTIE: So far, up to 50 years old, I've been remarkably healthy. And, you know, my doctor continues to warn me that my luck is going to run out relatively soon. So believe me, it's something I'm very conscious of.

COHEN: If Christie wants to be president and wants to lose weight before he gets to the White House, doctors tell CNN, he could do it. They say the diet plan might likely include drugs, liquid diets, or bariatric surgery, and just like the road to the White House, it wouldn't be easy.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COHEN: I mentioned a study that said that being morbidly obese takes eight to 10 years off your life. Well, the average life expectancy for a man in this country is about 76. So statistically speaking, Governor Christie is so young that he would -- again, statistically speaking, survive a term in office and even two terms in office -- Wolf?

BLITZER: Elizabeth Cohen, thanks very, very much.