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Egypt Reeling Amid Deadly Violence; Interview with John McCain; Christie To GOP: Stop Navel Gazing; Interview With Ron Paul; Car Bomb Shatters Beirut Neighborhood; MLK's Famous Speech 50 Years Later

Aired August 15, 2013 - 17:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, HOST: Happening now, Americans warned to leave Egypt. The deadly violence spiraling out of control prompting President Obama to speak out. We'll get reaction from Senator John McCain. He's just back from Egypt.

Also, former Congressman Ron Paul, he's here to talk about ObamaCare, a possible government shut down, his son's presidential possibilities and his own brand new Web TV channel.

Plus, the moment half a century ago when Martin Luther King, Jr.. went off script and made history.

I'm Wolf Blitzer.


It's certainly one of America's most important allies in the Middle East. Right now, though, Egypt is unraveling as the world watches.

The United Nations Security Council will hold an urgent meeting this hour in New York.

The United States is telling Americans to get out of Egypt. The State Department says if you're in Egypt, leave.

If you need help, ask. And if you're planning to go to Egypt, don't do it.

More than 500 people were killed in clashes yesterday; thousands were injured, leaving the country reeling.

CNN's Frederik Pleitgen is joining us now live from Cairo -- Fred, what did you see today on the streets of the Egyptian capital?


Yes, the emotions here still absolutely charged in Cairo. What happened today is I went to a mosque that's in Cairo. What was in the mosque is a lot of the people who were killed in that crackdown that happened yesterday.

There were supporters of Mohamed Morsy who told us that as many as 500 bodies were inside that mosque. We didn't get a chance to count them, because there were people coming in, trying to take the bodies of their relatives out for burial.

But, of course, these people were grieving and they were very angry. What the Muslim Brotherhood is saying is that when that crackdown happened on Wednesday, they were caught off guard. They were in some disarray. And they still are somewhat in disarray.

But they say they are going to be back.

And we saw some of that today around Cairo. There was an administrative building that was attacked by pro-Morsy supporters that had to be evacuated. It was also set on fire. And tomorrow, the Muslim Brotherhood is calling for demonstrations -- large demonstrations here in Cairo.

And, Wolf, the authorities here have already said that if buildings -- if the authorities are attacked, they will counter that with live fire.

So it looks as though it has all the ingredients, if you will, for this to spiral further out of control and to get worse before it gets any better -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Because there have been attacks on government buildings. There have been attacks on police. And so, what, the military is now saying, the security forces, if you're -- if you violate the curfew and there's martial law, there's a state of emergency underway right now, or if you do any of those things, you're not going to be resisted with water cannons or tear gas, they're going to shoot and kill you.

Is that right?

PLEITGEN: That's absolutely what they're saying. They are saying they're going to play hard ball. Certainly it is something where they have shown that this is something that they're willing to do. The whole crackdown that we saw on Wednesday was then giving a very clear statement to the Muslim Brotherhood that they're not going to take any more of the demonstrations of the sit-ins. They called that a jeopardy to the state of Egypt. And they say that's why the crackdown was so harsh.

And there's absolutely no doubt in anyone's mind that if tomorrow, there are larger gatherings, in front of, for instance, military installations, police installations, that the authorities will, most probably, return live fire, as they have done in the past couple of days.

So a very, very, very emotionally charged situation. I can tell you, one little a anecdote from today, when we were at that mosque where the bodies were being brought out, there was some -- a military vehicle there, for whatever reason, might have strayed into that area. It was immediately pelted with rocks and bottles. And it also responded by the soldiers shooting in the direction of the people who were pelting it with rocks.

So right now, both sides very much at odds. And I can tell you, this country is absolutely polarized -- Wolf.

BLITZER: A terribly dangerous situation unfolding right now.

Fred Pleitgen, stand by.

President Obama is canceling scheduled joint exercises between the U.S. and Egyptian militaries and he says his team is also weighing what he calls further steps.

Our White House correspondent, Dan Lothian, is with the president.

He's vacationing on Martha's Vineyard -- Dan, what else did the president have to say about Egypt?

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, the president said that the cycle of violence in Egypt needs to stop. He condemned the actions of the military government and security forces and then, of course, made the announcement that the U.S. was pulling out of those joint exercises, a move that a senior administration official says had been discussed as early as June, but that the president made up his mind just last night.


LOTHIAN (voice-over): After a telephone briefing with his national security team on the escalating violence in Egypt, President Obama emerged from vacation mode in an effort to jolt that country's interim military government off what he called a dangerous path.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Egyptian people deserve better.

LOTHIAN: Canceling Bright Star, a long time, biannual joint military exercise with the Egyptians, set for next month.

OBAMA: While we want to sustain our relationship with Egypt, our traditional cooperation cannot continue as usual when civilians are being killed in the streets and rights are being rolled back.

LOTHIAN: This stepped up pressure comes amid calls to suspend the $1.3 billion in annual U.S. military aid to Egypt, something that would be virtually automatic if the White House would call the military ouster of former President Morsy "a coup."

But the Obama administration has dug in its heels, insisting it would not be in the best interests of the US.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does anyone in this building feel that, perhaps it was a mistake not to call what happened in Egypt a coup?

JEN PSAKI, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN: We don't feel that -- no, I'm not doing a retrospective and our position is the same.

LOTHIAN: High level talks, a delayed shipment of F-16s and blunt criticism of the refusal to call the take over a coup during the recent White House-endorsed visit to Egypt by two top Republican senators...

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck.

LOTHIAN: -- have failed to make any meaningful change. And some suggest it's unreasonable to think canceling military exercises now will have the desired effect.

JON ALTERMAN, DIRECTOR, MIDDLE EAST PROGRAM OF CSIS: The task is going to be to find ways to diminish our relationship with Egypt, to make it more narrows, because we are finding that Egypt is not the kind of country with which we can have the kind of intimate relationship we've had for more than three decades.

LOTHIAN: The president, who headed to the golf course after his brief statement on Egypt, left the door open to tougher action.

OBAMA: I've asked my national security team to assess the implications of the actions taken by the interim government and further steps that we may take as necessary with respect to the U.S.- Egyptian relationship.


LOTHIAN: White House officials say that that $1.3 billion in aid to Egypt is still under review.

As for the impact of canceling the military exercises, even the State Department seems to acknowledge that there are some limitations. The spokeswoman over there, Jen Psaki, saying that despite these changes, it won't make any difference on the ground -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, Dan, thanks very much.

Dan Lothian, on Martha's Vineyard, where the president is vacationing.

Let's get some reaction right now to the president's remarks on Egypt.

Joining us, the Republican senator, John McCain, a member of the Armed Services Committee.

He's joining us from Phoenix.

He was just in Cairo last week, together with Senator Lindsey Graham, at the request of President Obama.

Senator, thanks very much for joining us.

Did the president go far enough on Egypt?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: No, of course not, Wolf. A long time ago, we should have complied with our law, which we were asking the Egyptians to comply with the rule of law. We violated our own rule of law by not calling it for what it is, because our law clearly states that if it's a military coup, then aid is cut off.

So, initially, we undercut our own values and then we are told that, in media reports, that the administration called in the Egyptians -- said -- prior to the coup, and said if you have a coup, then we will be required by law to cut off that aid.

They had the coup and then, of course, we didn't do that. That's a blow to credibility.

And then, on the first of August, the secretary of State, John Kerry, said that the, uh, that the military -- that the generals were, quote, "restoring democracy." That was about the time that Senator Graham and I got over there.

So our message was, release these people from jails, have a constitutional change, set up a national dialogue and move forward with elections.

Obviously, that wasn't as impactful as it might have been, given the statements and actions by the White House and the secretary of State.

So we predicted, unfortunately, that there would be blood in the streets and it's a terrible tragedy.

BLITZER: So what you're saying -- suggesting, Senator -- and you'll correct me if I'm wrong -- that that statement from Senator Kerry that he made in Pakistan -- and I'm going to play it for our viewers right now...


BLITZER: -- that undermined the mission that the president himself had given you in going to Cairo.

Here's what the Secretary said.


JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: The military was asked to intervene by millions and millions of people. And the military did not take over, to the best of our judgment, so far -- so far -- to run the country. There's a civilian government.

In effect, they were restoring democracy.


BLITZER: I take it that's the statement that irritated you, is that right?

MCCAIN: Well, I just think that it -- it gave a degree of legitimacy to a non-elected government that was appointed by the generals. We know who's calling the shots. And it gave them a certain legitimacy, which then, in their view, I think may have interpreted as a green light to take whatever action necessary to put down any opposition.

And, Wolf, you and I remember -- and I hope many of our viewers do -- in the 1990s, there was an uprising in Algeria. And they put them down brutally at a cost of about 200,000 lives.

And I'm -- I'm afraid we may be seeing that Algeria scenario again.

There's no doubt that they can kill enough people, they can probably bring at least some order, but to think that they're going to eliminate the Muslim Brotherhood is -- flies in the face of -- of the history of the Muslim Brotherhood, who have managed to survive under Mubarak and will be able to survive, perhaps, underground, despite the efforts of the generals to eliminate them.

BLITZER: Are you suggesting, Senator, we may be on the eve of a full-scale civil war in Egypt, perhaps along the lines of what's been unfolding the past couple of years in Syria?

MCCAIN: I think it's more along the Algerian model. I think that this government probably has enough military capability, a lot of it our equipment, that they can probably quell disturbances. But I'm -- I don't think that they can put it down. I think there will be acts of terror. I think that there will be tremendous unrest.

And, you know, Wolf, our interests are our values and our values are our interests. And it is both our values that are being violated here, but, also our interests of a stable Egypt, which we know is the heart and soul of the Arab world.

And to repress in this way, with this kind of slaughter, is something that makes it incredibly more difficult to get what is absolutely necessary, and that's a national dialogue and reconciliation. And that is going to be much more difficult now.

BLITZER: You heard the president announce today he was canceling Bright Star, the joint U.S.-Egyptian military exercises that takes place in Sinai every two years. Thousands of troops from both countries and European troops normally would participate.

But that's gone. I assume you support that decision.

But what worries me, Senator -- and I don't know if it concerns you as much, the 700 American soldiers who right now are in Sinai at a time of a growing al Qaeda presence in Sinai, part of that multinational peacekeeping force in Sinai that's been in place quietly all of these years, since the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty was signed in 1979.

How concerned are you about those American troops who are lightly armed in Sinai?

MCCAIN: I am concerned about that. I am concerned about the safety of American citizens. Under Mubarak, as you know, there was a tremendous amount of anti-Americanism and anti-Israel, which was fostered by the Mubarak government. This government is fostering that to an incredible degree. Pictures of President Obama in the street and our fine ambassador there, Anne Patterson. They accused me -- the leading newspaper in Cairo said that John McCain had hired Muslim Brotherhood on his staff. The intensity of the anti-Americanism, which is being stoked by the military junta, makes a lot of our American citizens unsafe.

And so what does that do to Egypt?

One, it dries up tourism. It harms any business interests they might be able to have. And, of course, the image of Egypt throughout the world is badly damaged.

So they are really on a very, very bad path here. And in this day and age of instant social networking and communication, I'm not -- I would have grave doubt -- I would have serious doubts as to whether they're going to keep everything -- be able to keep everything under control through brutality.

BLITZER: Would you pull out those 700 American soldiers from Sinai?

MCCAIN: Oh, I certainly -- well, first of all, I'd consult with our military people and ask about their security and their safety. I'd have to make that assessment with the facts.

But there's no doubt that as a result of all this, the Sinai is erupting -- is much less -- much more dangerous in the last few months than it's been in many, many years.

And these side effects of these things, you know, the Morsy supporters are now support -- are attacking Christian churches. I mean the implications and ripple effect of this kind of thing going on is far-reaching and terrible and tragic.

BLITZER: Senator McCain, thanks very much for joining us.

We're glad you and Senator Lindsey Graham are back safe and sound from Egypt, as well.

Appreciate it.

MCCAIN: Thank you.

BLITZER: Coming up, a huge car bomb explosion, raging fires, more than a dozen people killed. Now one group no one apparently has ever heard of says it's behind this deadly attack that occurred today.

Also, the New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, has some advice for Republicans as they brainstorm about their party's future.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: You either sidle up next to them and whisper sweet nothings in their ear, you know, and try to hope they just don't punch hope. A second alternative is you punch them first. You punch them first.



BLITZER: Also, the New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, has some advice for Republicans as they brainstorm about their party's future.


VOICE OF GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) NEW JERSEY: You either sidle up next to them and whisper sweet nothings in their ear or try to hope they just don't punch you. Or the second alternative is, you punch them first. Punch them first.



BLITZER: Republican leaders are huddling again, trying to plot a way back to The White House, but for first the first time, they're getting advice from one of their party's brightest stars known for his tough and straight talk. We're talking about the New Jersey governor, Chris Christie.

CNN national political correspondent, Jim Acosta, is in Boston at the Republican National Committee summer meetings that are unfolding right now. What's the latest there, Jim?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, you'll recall earlier this year from Republican presidential candidate, Bob Dole, said the GOP should be closed for repairs. Well, this is where they're trying to make some of those repairs at this RNC meeting that's happening right now here in Boston. And they brought in a certain governor from New Jersey, Chris Christie, as you just mentioned there, Wolf, who has some ideas on how to fix it.


ACOSTA (voice-over): Inside the hotel right next to the Boston Convention Center --

MITT ROMNEY, (R) FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have just called President Obama to congratulate him on his victory.

ACOSTA: Where Mitt Romney gave his concession speech last November, top Republican Party leaders are meeting in search of ways to break their losing streak. So, they huddled behind closed door to hear how New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, takes care of business back in his state. Christie talked tough about his dealings with the New Jersey teachers union.

CHRISTIE: You either sidle up next to them and whisper sweet nothings in their ear or try to hope they just don't punch you. Or the second alternative is, you punch them first. Punch them first.


ACOSTA: Christie also delivered what some in the room considered a veiled jab in his recent war of words with Kentucky Republican senator, Rand Paul.

CHRISTIE: I think we have some folks who believe that our job is to be college professors.

ACOSTA: The governor argued the GOP's job should be to win.

For our ideas to matter, we have to win. Because if we don't win, we don't govern. And if we don't govern, all we do is shut into the wind. And so, i Am going to do anything I need to do to win.

ACOSTA: Christie's comments were obtained by CNN and "Time" magazine as the speech was closed to the press.

Who made the request for this to be closed, the governor or the RNC?

SEAN SPICER, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE SPOKESMAN: There's no request. It was a closed press event. We put the scheduled out saying it was closed. A lot of what happens here is closed because it's a business meeting of the party.

ACOSTA: Other events were open to the media like this panel discussion featuring women and minority Republicans who said the party is becoming more inclusive.

T.W. SHANNON, (R) OKLAHOMA STATE HOUSE SPEAKER: The liberal media would have you believe that there's nobody that looks like the people on the stage that have an "R" behind our name and that's just not the case.

NEWT GINGRICH, (R) FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: To govern, people have to decide that they want your ideas.

ACOSTA: Another top speaker at the RNC meeting, former House speaker and co-host of CNN's "Crossfire," Newt Gingrich, said a positive GOP agenda could even beat Hillary Clinton if she runs in 2016.

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the House of delegates.

ACOSTA: She announced earlier this week she'll be delivering an upcoming series of speeches on the top issues of the day. Gingrich called that a mistake.

Can anybody out there beat Hillary Clinton right now?

GINGRICH: Sure. Hillary Clinton may beat Hillary Clinton. I mean, she runs around the country and adapts a series of left-wing ideas in order to preempt the primaries. She may isolate herself so much from the average American that she defeats herself.


ACOSTA (on-camera): As for Christie, the New Jersey governor also told the crowd here that the party needed to get away from what he called navel gazing. That sounded like a jab to Louisiana governor, Bobby Jindal to a lot of the people in this room, Wolf. But Christie went on to say that there really isn't anything wrong with the Republican Party's principles.

He said it's the strategy, it's their approach to winning, something he says that he's got going in New Jersey right now -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Is Bobby Jindal, the Louisiana governor, is he at these meetings as well?

ACOSTA He is not here and neither is Rand Paul. So, Christie was able to work on those jabs. No responses yet from the senator or the governor, Wolf.

BLITZER: All right. Jim Acosta in Boston at the RNC meetings, thank you.

When we come back, the former Republican congressman, the former Republican presidential candidate, Ron Paul, he's standing by to respond to Governor Chris Christie. I'll also ask him whether his son, Rand Paul, has what it takes to win the GOP nomination in 2016. There you see him. He's got a new TV channel as well. We'll discuss when we come back.


BLITZER: Happening now --


BLITZER (voice-over): The former congressman, the former Republican presidential candidate, Ron Paul, sits down with me. What he says about Obamacare, a potential government shutdown, whether his son's potential plans for 2016 are unfolding, all that and more coming up.

At least 14 people dead, hundreds injured after a car bomb rocks Lebanon's capital of Beirut. We're now learning about who's to blame and the intended target.

And 50 years later, the dramatic moment in Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous "I have a dream" speech that may have changed history.

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


BLITZER (on-camera): The stage is clearly now set for a new battle over Obamacare and a possible -- possible government shutdown before the end of September. Some republicans say they're willing to go that far in an attempt to defund what's called the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare. Let's talk about that and much more with the former republican congressman, Ron Paul. He's retired from Congress, but he's still very busy. We've got some new information, congressman, about your new chapter. But let's talk a little bit about Obamacare and Republicans, because Newt Gingrich, the former House Speaker, now the co-host of the new CNN "Crossfire," he said this yesterday.

He said "I will bet you for most of you, you go home in the next two weeks when your members of Congress are home and you look them in the eye and you say what is your positive replacement for Obamacare, they will have zero answer."

He said -- you know, it's one thing to just complain about Obamacare, but you need an alternative and the Republicans don't have one now. What say you?

RON PAUL, (R) FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: Well, I think there is an alternative and I actually practice medicine under that alternative before Medicare and Medicaid and it wasn't all that bad. People weren't suffering. There was nobody out in the street without medical care. So, I think the market offers an alternative.

But, the Republicans have never had a good alternative. They generally just say, well, a little less Obamacare-type, you know, medicine would be adequate. But the only thing that they have offered I think would be important to allow people to have some choice is to have the medical savings account, let people opt out.

This pressure and mandate that you have to be in it, that's un- American. Why can't people take care of themselves if they want to and are capable of doing it? But you know, they worried about the close down of the government. And, I worry about that too. But I worry about it in a little different manner, because I opposed all of the expansion of government in all the programs because I thought we were en route to a very serious economic disaster.

But the closing down that I worry about is the closing down of this country with something similar to what's happened in Detroit. So, just the fact that you're for Obamacare and for the government taking care of us from cradle to grave, it doesn't mean anything if you can't pay for it. We're running out of steam right now and running out of ability to pay for all this government.

BLITZER: But if there were no Affordable Care Act, what, 30 million or maybe more Americans would still have no health insurance. There's something -- you got to do something about that, right?

PAUL: Well, yes, it's a complicated problem because of how it was messed up. I was raised in a family of five in a depression of World War II. They never had insurance. Nobody went without insurance. But it's the system that has been created by government intervention that makes people do this.

The whole idea of how you get a tax deduction, you know, the fact that big corporations can get a tax deduction, they can give medical care to the people, but if you are independent or a small business owner, you are excluded. So, you want to get rid of the hindrances and just not dwell on what are the complications when you get rid of all the bad things the government has been doing for a long time.

People have lost confidence. They've lost the understanding. They never want to apply market forces to medical care, and yet, they've been applied many, many times. It's the fact that the government has been so involved that the cost is so high. This is the real problems. The cost of medicine is way too high because right now we have corporate medicine and under this administration as well. The drug companies, insurance companies, organized (INAUDIBLE), they're the ones who write these laws. It's corporations that are making out on this deal.

BLITZER: All right, Congressman, I got a few quick political questions. Give me some quick answers then we're going to move on to you and what you're up to right now.

The New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, he spoke at the RNC. Is he someone you could vote for?

PAUL: No. I couldn't vote for him because I don't think he agrees with probably anything I say.

BLITZER: So if he were the Republican -- if he were the Republican nominee in 2016, you wouldn't vote for him?

PAUL: No, no, I wouldn't, I wouldn't do it because he offers nothing. No change, just the status quo. It's more big government and that's not what I've been about. But he talks about, well, you have to, you know, bend your rules and compromise in order to get elected so you can run the government and govern.

Well, there's more to it than that, more to it than just power, and to say and do anything you want just to be in government. You have to believe in something and understand economics or you just keep doing the same thing and deficits keep running up. That's why nothing changes whether you have a Republican or a Democrat because basically it's one party and that's where the frustration comes from. And now they're arguing over power alone and not issues.

BLITZER: Does your son, Senator Rand Paul, have what it takes to do what you couldn't do, namely, win the Republican presidential nomination in 2016?

PAUL: I would think so, certainly. I think it's a little early to be talking about this. You know, some of my supporters are still wanting to count the votes from last year. So I think it's a little bit early to start talking about 2016. But no, he's certainly capable. Compared to the rest, yes, he certainly is capable.

BLITZER: Who would you prefer the next Fed chair, Larry Summers or Janet Yellen?

PAUL: I don't have either one because they're identical, because they both believe in the Federal Reserve, they believe in central economic planning through the regulation of interest rates and monetary expansion. So my choice has been NOTA, none of the above, because the two that you talk about, they believe that you should, you know, come to the rescue of all corporations at all banks, be the lender of last resort, and bail everybody out. And monetizing debt.

You can never change the course of what is happening to this country, which is a downhill course economically, by endorsing this principle that's a hundred years old and it's destroyed 98 percent of the value of our dollars since we started the Federal Reserve in 1913.

It's a bad policy and to say, well, there's a big difference between Yellen and Summers, there just really isn't. They believe that central economic planning is something wonderful and they're smart enough to know what the interest rate ought to be and what the money supply ought to be. No one person is capable of doing that. That can only be established by the marketplace.

BLITZER: All right. I see a sign behind you. It says "The Ron Paul Channel." All right, so what's up with that? You want to compete with us? What are you planning on doing, Congressman?

PAUL: Yes, well, we -- yes, we are -- we are competing with everybody in the sense of getting the news out. But this is an Internet channel, it gives me an opportunity to keep doing what I've been doing for 35 years, talking about the issues, and CNN and FOX, nobody offered me a job on regular TV so I thought I'd go with the competition, which allows me a lot of flexibility.

And one advantage I have with an Internet channel is I don't have to worry about advertisers, I don't have to worry about time circumstances, you know. I can go about my own speed. So there's a lot of advantages to this. But the most important thing is I see this as an opportunity for me to continue to do what I have considered important ever since 1974, the first time I ever ran for office, and that is talking about what I think is important and it really is the cause of liberty.

I think that is so important, whether civil liberties, a sensible foreign policy or economic liberty. And there's a large number of people coming together on this, certainly on the college campuses where I go frequently and the reception is good because most of the young people realize that we are in serious trouble and we cannot continue with the status quo. So I'm very happy that I have this opportunity to continue to talk about the issues.

BLITZER: Yes. I see you're still as feisty as ever. One quick question. It's not cheap creating this new Internet channel, the Ron Paul Channel. Who's coming up with the cash to pay for it?

PAUL: Well, the people who want to look at it will have to because I don't have the advertisers to do that. So people who sign up will pay a fee for this. But, you know, somebody -- and I've had criticism even from some of my friends. They say oh, you know, almost 10 bucks a month? And that's pretty expensive. But guess what? That's the price of two Sunday "New York Times" newspapers, and you know what newspapers are doing these days. So they have $10 they want to spend on two Sunday editions of the "New York Times" or come and hear some information and interviews that I have to offer on the channel. I happen to think it's a pretty good deal for the subscribers.

BLITZER: Now what's Ashton Kutcher's role in all of this? Because there are reports he was among those who are financing it.

PAUL: Who was it?

BLITZER: Ashton Kutcher? The actor?

PAUL: Well, I've been hearing that but it doesn't sound right to me.

BLITZER: All right.

PAUL: I don't have any one person financing it.

BLITZER: Not one person, but he's among those who have been supporting you. But you're not familiar with him. He plays -- he's an actor. He plays Steve Jobs in the new film about Steve Jobs.

PAUL: No. No, if he's a supporter of mine, I'm just sorry and I apologize to him for not recognizing him.

BLITZER: You have a lot of --


BLITZER: You have a lot of supporters, Congressman. Over the years we've gotten to know you quite well and we always appreciate your joining us here in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Good luck with the Ron Paul Channel on the Internet. Appreciate it.

PAUL: Thank you, Wolf.

BLITZER: Up next, the neighborhood shattered by a massive car bomb that killed more than a dozen people. We're live in Beirut.

Also, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. up close like we've never seen him before. But first, "THE NEXT LIST."


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: This week we talk to two remarkable innovators. Bjarke Ingels is a Danish architect who's bringing his unique design to the skyline of Manhattan.

BJARKE INGELS, DANISH ARCHITECT: This is the West 57th Street project. It's tilt from being horizontal to being almost vertical, opening up the entire corridor for the sun and the bottom, like the southwest corner is 42 inches. So it's really the height of a handrail. And here you're up at like 430 feet. So you have this sort of -- incredible from the human scale to the city scale in one single building.

ROBERT A.M. STERN, DEAN, YALE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE: It's the kind of idea that when you see it you say, how come nobody has thought of it before?

GUPTA: And nobody thought a 19-year-old could come up with an anti-terror device or new technology to fight cancer. That is until Taylor Wilson came along.

TAYLOR WILSON, 19-YEAR-OLD INVENTOR: I've always been really passionate about solving problems and changing the human condition. You know, I want to change lives and I want to save lives. And I think my technologies can do that.

GUPTA: Join us this Saturday, 2:30, "THE NEXT LIST."



BLITZER: Take a look at this chilling scene. At least 14 people dead, more than 200 injured by a car bomb that ripped through a neighborhood in the Lebanese capital of Beirut. Now a previously unknown group is claiming responsibility, saying the target was the Iranian-backed Shiite militant group Hezbollah.

CNN's Mohammed Jamjoom is in Beirut. He's joining us live.

What's the latest there? It's a pretty deadly scene, Mohammed.

MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Wolf, it's a very worrying development in a city that is already tense. This happened around 6:20 p.m. local time this evening. A huge car bomb rocked the southern suburb of Beirut. This is known as a Hezbollah stronghold, one where there has been heightened security.

This is the second such car bomb in two months, really going to show that there is more spillover from the Syrian civil war. I say that because what's happening here is many people are convinced that Hezbollah is being targeted because they are participating in Syria's civil war, because they have sent fighters in to support the Syrian military in their fight against the rebels.

Now we saw very dramatic pictures, a very chaotic scene on Lebanese television stations earlier tonight, thick, black plumes of smoke, many cars set ablaze, we got very disturbing reports from people on the ground there that there were people stuck inside burning buildings.

One resident I spoke with said he's very concerned that this is going to will continue to happen because he believes Hezbollah is being targeted from Sunni Muslim extremist groups and to that end there has been a claim of responsibility from a little known Sunni militant Islamic group saying that they will continue to target Hezbollah because they are participating in the Syrian civil war -- Wolf. BLITZER: Clearly a spillover from Syria, now into Lebanon. We'll stay in close touch with Mohammed Jamjoom.

Thanks very much, Mohammed, for that report. Be careful in Beirut.

When we come back, Christian churches caught in the bloodshed as Egypt reels from violence, deadly violence. We're going to there at the top of the hour. Arwa Damon is standing by live.

Fifty years later, the moment from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech that may have changed history and the future of the civil rights movement.


BLITZER: Some other news we're following. The second hostage taken in that tense standoff at a Louisiana bank this week has died. Authorities say the gunman shot both victims just before a SWAT team entered the building and killed him. A third hostage was freed just before the shooting began.

Scientists at the Smithsonian here in Washington are announcing the rare discovery of a new mammal species. The olinguito, which the Smithsonian describes as appearing as a cross between a housecat and a teddy bear, is a member of the raccoon family. Only weighs a couple of pounds. A researcher says the mammal has been spotted by humans before but up until -- up until now was mistaken for its sister species.

The Seattle Police Department plans to educate crowds at this weekend's annual pro-marijuana event, Hemp Fest as it's called, with a unique tool, Doritos. Dubbed Operation Orange Fingers, police will seize on possible cases of the munchies, handing out thousands of Doritos bags with information attached about the department's legal marijuana guide. Recreational pot uses legal in both Washington state and Colorado.

This programming note, tune in tomorrow night for Dr. Sanjay Gupta's special "WEED," 10:00 p.m. only here on CNN.

Coming up, honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s historic march on Washington 50 years later. Just ahead the story you might not have heard about before about a moment that may have set the civil rights movement on a whole new path.


BLITZER: Just over a little week from now, this country will begin commemorating the 50th anniversary of one of the most defining moments in the civil rights movement, that historic march on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

Our sister publication "TIME" magazine is paying tribute to Dr. King in its new issue revealing some potentially never-before-heard stories.

Brian Todd has details.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Many of them were so young that summer. Martin Luther King, Jr. himself, only 34. But they led hundreds of thousands on a march to the nation's capitol that would pivot the country toward irreversible change.

"TIME" magazine captures that moment in a tribute to King, centered around the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington later this month. "TIME" editor Radhika Jones says the youth of the key players then was a crucial component in publishing this tribute now.

RADHIKA JONES, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, TIME MAGAZINE: They're still with us. They can tell their own stories and it was so important to us to talk to them directly and hear their memories of that day.

TODD: The memories come from people like Clarence Jones, King's speechwriter. In a testimonial on "TIME's" Web site, he describes the moment King grabs his audience.

CLARENCE JONES, MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.'S SPEECHWRITER: I'm listening to the speech, and as I'm listening, I see that he is reading. Mahalia Jackson interrupted him. While he's speaking. Tell them about the dream, Martin. Tell them about the dream. His whole body language changed and he changed to what I call the Baptist preacher stance.

And I say to the person standing next to me, whoever that was, I said, these people don't know it but they are about ready to go to church.

TODD: When King's body language changed, so did the speech and with it a movement.

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER: I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.

TODD: "TIME's" tribute called "One Dream" is a multi-platform production with rarely seen photos, archive video and testimonials on a micro-Web site, plus the hardcover edition. It illustrates how the march on Washington attracted major celebrities, like Charleston Heston, Paul Newman, and singer Lena Horne.

Civil rights historian Howard Dodson says that came from King's private collaboration with singer Harry Belafonte.

PROF. HOWARD DODSON, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: Harry asked him, quite frankly, you know, what can I do to help? And King's response was that he needed to bring the presence of Hollywood people and others of high visibility into some relationship with the movement in order to continue to elevate the status and statue of the movement. (END VIDEOTAPE)

TODD: That calculation worked, as did another one. Clarence Jones says when they were planning the order of speeches, Martin Luther King was originally scheduled to be in the middle of several speakers. Jones suggested putting King at the end because he said it'd be tough for anyone to follow.

His advice was taken, Wolf, and it was historic.

BLITZER: Yes. As you point out, folks were saying that until that pivotal moment, the "I Have a Dream" moment, he wasn't exactly exciting a lot of people in that -- in that huge crowd.

TODD: That's right. Radhika Jones of "TIME" magazine says that in the first part it was kind of a policy speech and there was a sense that he was actually the audience, but then the Gospel singer, Mahalia Jackson, interrupted him, and said, Martin, tell them about a dream and she and others had heard a version of that speech in an earlier speech, at an earlier rally, and she knew about it. And she interrupted him and say, hey, tell them about this. And then everything changed.

BLITZER: And the rest is history, as we say.

TODD: Right.

BLITZER: All right. Brian, thanks very much.

You can see much more of "TIME" magazine's tribute to the march on Washington in the new special issue. There's also an online interactive site, plenty of iconic photos, see it all at

Just at the top of the hour, Christian churches now part of the bloodshed as Egypt reels from unimaginable violence. We are going there live for the latest.