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Supreme Court Delivers Stunning Campaign Finance Decision; More Aid Reaches Haiti
Aired January 21, 2010 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: And to our viewers, you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Happening now: more aid reaching survivors of Haiti's earthquake, and, in a crucial development, it is starting to come in by sea. There is still a desperate struggle for food and water. We have exclusive images from Haitian-Americans who went home to document the misery. Stand by.
Most of us can only imagine the terrifying moments when the earthquake struck, but we will show you the videos of the disaster as it happened.
And a stunning U.S. Supreme Court ruling giving corporations and unions and other special interest groups more power to spend freely on political campaigns. Republican Senator John McCain has been a leading advocate of campaign finance reform. He is here in THE SITUATION ROOM. I will get his reaction this hour.
I'm Wolf Blitzer. We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. You are in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Aid is reaching Haiti's devastated capital. U.S. troops and U.N. peacekeepers are helping to keep order, but look at this. More than a week after the catastrophic earthquake, desperation still reigns in Port-au-Prince. You can see looters, some armed with machetes, climbing into buildings and making off with merchandise.
In some cases, local police are simply standing by, saying they are more interested in trying to save the shops that remain undamaged. As hopes fade, the search for survivors continues.
CNN's Jonathan Mann spent much of this day on the scene of a rescue effort. Jonathan is joining us now with more.
John, what happened?
JONATHAN MANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, usually, we like to bring you stories with happy endings. This story had a happy beginning. There was an Internet that was circulating around the world. I got it through someone, an Internet message e-mail that said Martin Pierre (ph), a young woman, was inside the ruin of the Caribbean University and still alive pleading for help nine days after the earthquake that devastated Haiti. We rushed there. When we got to the scene, we found a rescue crew from Puerto Rico that had also been alerted to the same message. There was a rescue crew from Costa Rica. They were joined by crews from South Florida, from Fairfax County, Virginia, from Canada, from the Netherlands.
Initial searches of the building with dogs turned up two positive signals that someone was still alive. They tapped in the building. They got tapping in response. And the search picked up steam, more crews coming in, cement being moved. Hours went by. They dug into the mound of rubble. And, yet, when they did closer to I guess it was 3:00 or 4:00, another search using the dogs and specialized audio equipment, the dogs no longer found any sign of life. They did find dead bodies, but no sign of life.
And the audio equipment found no response whatsoever. It looked like there was someone alive in the building at 9:00 a.m. this morning, Wolf, but, if that was the case, there was probably no one left alive by 4:00 p.m.
The rescue crews worked hard. They were tired. They were dispirited, but they had no time to waste. There is too much need in this country, so they went off to other sites, leaving the Caribbean University and the fate of Martin Pierre (ph) something of a very sad mystery -- Wolf.
BLITZER: As far as you know, John, was there any -- any survivor who emerged from the rubble today?
MANN: I don't know. I mean, things here are as organized as they can be, but the rescue crew that I was closest to, the crew from Puerto Rico, they didn't know how many people were in the building. There may have been hundreds, when you remember that it was a school. They didn't know if any other crews had been in the building in the nine days before.
There were so many unanswered questions. They were essentially starting from scratch on day nine, with every indication that they would succeed. Four different kinds of signals, from the Internet, from two sets of dogs, from tapping they heard themselves, four positive indications, and, ultimately, no result.
BLITZER: Heartbreaking. All right, Jon -- Jonathan Mann is on the scene.
Aid is finally coming in to Port-au-Prince by sea. Relief supplies are being unloaded at a reopened pier in Haiti's badly damaged port. The containers are being trucked into the capital on a repaired gravel road, but many residents who have lost simply everything are looking to the sea as their way out.
CNN's Ivan Watson has this extraordinary story.
IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Chaotic crowds in the port of Port-Au-Prince. Thousands of Haiti's new hordes of homeless have been gathering here within sight of American ships anchored far offshore. Nearly all of these people have seen their houses destroyed some lost loved ones. They have been sleeping for days on this filthy quake damaged port, waiting for ships to take them out of the city.
This is where we meet Annet Clament (ph) and her daughter, Anaika.
WATSON (on camera): And they spent several days sleeping out here. They say they moved up to this hill after this morning's aftershocks because it was so terrifying. And they are sitting here, waiting, desperate for a ship to take them to another part of Haiti.
WATSON: And she says she doesn't know how many days they are going to stay here.
WATSON (voice-over): When a resting blue ferry finally does pull into sight, families jump on wooden row boats. An armada of dangerously dinghies sets out for the ferry, launching a chaotic scramble aboard the ship. Parents passing babies up a floating assembly line. The Haitian government gave away fuel to provide free transport to the port of Jeremie, but officials left out one crucial detail?
WATSON (on camera): Has anybody offered you any help of crowd control of these thousands of desperate people?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, no crowd control whatsoever. We are trying ourselves to do crowd control, which is impossible.
WATSON (voice-over): The ferry is licensed to carry 600 passengers but, on board, there must be thousands. With few life boats, this could be another disaster waiting to happen but it's here that we spot a familiar face.
(on camera): A nice little surprise here. We came across little Anaika and her mother, who made it on board.
WATSON (voice-over): Against all odds, they got on board and planned to travel to an aunt's house in a safer part of the country. Amid this anarchy, a moment of joy and relief. A little girl and her mother are about to escape their shattered city.
Ivan Watson, CNN, in the harbor of Port-au-Prince.
BLITZER: So, here is a question. Should U.S. authorities be concerned about a potential mass exodus from Haiti?
Let's discuss that with our national security contributor Fran Townsend. She was a homeland security adviser to President Bush.
A lot of us remember Haitian migrants, as they were chemical, getting on boats, rafts trying to make their way to Florida, the Coast Guard intercepting them, sending them to Guantanamo Bay. Is this a real issue right now?
FRANCES FRAGOS TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: Wolf, the best way to prevent a mass migration is by the aid effort. People will flee if they believe that they can't get their basic needs covered like food and shelter.
I had the opportunity to talk to Mr. Shah, the director of USAID, today and he made the point they have gone from 38 distribution centers for food, for example, three days ago to 300. And that is actually a very important statistic, Wolf, because it means people not just in Port-au-Prince, or at one place in the island, but around the island, they are beginning to see these distribution centers.
It also reduces the likelihood of a riot. Riots, a lack of food, a lack of security, those are the things that are likely to trigger a mass migration. And so the best way to ensure the prevention of that is to get this aid flowing, but there are lots of -- there are really challenges here.
BLITZER: One of these biggest challenges is disease right now, all those corpses lying around, dirty water. People could, tragically, get very, very sick and die, not from the earthquake, but from the subsequent disease that is developing.
TOWNSEND: That is exactly right, Wolf. And Mr. Shah and I talked about that, that medical help will be a long-term problem and a long-term challenge for the administration, as well as for the Haitians themselves.
And so they are trying to pace themselves, get immediate medical attention in term, get the kind of triage, get those who are there resupplied, and then keep additional new fresh medical assistance coming in and disburse it.
You have the challenges of roads being out, transportation being poor. Let's remember this was a country that had those challenges long before the earthquake, and the earthquake has only magnified it.
BLITZER: Well, they have got a lot of work to do. And he is committed for the long term, I assume.
TOWNSEND: He absolutely is. He made the point, when you look at security, there are 9,000 security force personnel there -- 7,000 are U.N. peacekeepers -- 2,000 are police.
And I reminded him that during Katrina the police are affected. They have seen that in Haiti. They say police are now coming back. And U.S. troops will be there to back them up.
BLITZER: Fran, thanks very much. Appreciate it.
We are going to continue our coverage of what is happening in Haiti. also other news, but, on Haiti, there's some dramatic video coming in.
And Lisa Sylvester is working on putting some of that together for you. I think you're going to want to see it. That's coming up.
BLITZER: Jack Cafferty is joining us with "The Cafferty File" right now -- Jack.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Not exactly breaking news, but independent voters, Wolf, are the main reason the Democrats lost Ted Kennedy's long-held Senate seat in Massachusetts a couple of days ago.
A survey conducted by one GOP pollster found Republican Scott Brown won 64 percent of independents, compared to 34 percent for the Democrat, Martha Coakley. One short year ago, it was these same independents who overwhelmingly backed Barack Obama and launched him into the presidency.
But with the Democrats now in control of Congress and the White House for the last year, independents are sick and tired of feeling ignored by their so-called representatives. Hey, aren't we all?
These critical independent voters are mostly white, middle-class, middle-aged suburbanites, and they're sick of high unemployment, bank and auto bailouts, government spending, taxes, and a long list of other stuff.
So what we're seeing in places like Massachusetts, and also in those governor's races in both New Jersey and Virginia, is swing voters who are swinging the other way.
It's sort of like watching large groups of people rushing from one side of the Titanic over to the other railing. It causes the ship to lurch alternately from port to starboard, left to right. We just went through this a year ago when they all ran away from the Republicans and to the Democrats.
The fact is, neither option is any good. Both parties stink. Our government is broken and no longer serves the needs of the people. Time for real change.
So, here's the question: What will it take to get a viable third party going in this country?
Go to CNN.com/caffertyfile. You can post a comment on my blog.
Talked about this forever, but I have this feeling that something serious on this subject may be getting closer and closer.
BLITZER: All right, Jack, thank you.
Few of us will ever experience an earthquake like the one that devastated Haiti, but videotape of the disaster as it happened gives an idea, a little bit of an idea of how terrifying it was.
CNN has obtained some exclusive new video of the earthquake shot by an amateur from a balcony in the hills above Port-au-Prince. Take a look at this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am serious shaking, man. My house is like -- I thought was my house was going to fall. Here is another one. It is shaking again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Haitian-Americans are especially compelled to try to help with the disaster. For two men, that meant documenting the horror unfolding in their homeland.
Let's go back to Lisa Sylvester. She is taking a closer look at this story for us.
And some dramatic video we are getting as a result, Lisa.
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Wolf, a group of Haitian-Americans from Maryland, they traveled to Haiti this past week. What they wanted to do was to document how people in their home country are surviving.
Riddler Dorcely, he is the president of a grassroots group called Human United for Action. And Joseph Moise is an independent video producer. And they are -- both of them are native Creole speakers. And they gave this firsthand account of what the Haitians really need. And we have their exclusive story to share with you.
SYLVESTER (voice-over): A 1-year-old baby has nothing but a bottle of spoiled milk.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): What have you eaten since this morning?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Nothing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): You haven't had nothing?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): What have you done for this little girl?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Well, we used to feed her, but now that everything is destroyed, there is no money. Everything is destroyed.
SYLVESTER: At this tent city for this family, only bread boiled in water.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): This food, who it is for? Is it for the whole family? UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Yes, it is for the whole family, because we have no other means.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I would like for them to send food for us. We haven't eaten since this morning, if they could send something for us to eat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any little girl, I mean, 6 years old, which is my daughter's age, telling us that she has not ate for one day, and she doesn't know what she is going to be eating for the rest of the day, that puts tears in my eye.
SYLVESTER: This U.S. Navy chopper brings food and water. But watch what happens
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The old ladies, the young kids, they are not going to be fighting. They stay there. They are inside of the tent. The food does not make it to them. And then the men that do get the food, they do black market with it. They try to sell it.
SYLVESTER: Desperate, some, including kids, dig through the dump for food, the stench of death all around.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, tell the people to send me some good water. The water we are drinking smell like dead people, you know?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are worse to come if those people are not being fed.
SYLVESTER: Now, we asked them, you know, what was the hardest image for them while they were there. And they both said it was the hungry children, the baby with the spoiled milk, the little girl without any food.
And Riddler Dorcely, that young girl that you saw in the pink shirt, he gave that young girl a $20, but he also said the reality is there are no official markets open, so even having cash may not be enough. And there are these black markets.
But when you buy water, one of the concerns is that the water that they are selling may not even be purified, that they might be drinking the good water and then refilling it with bad water and turning around and selling it. And so it is a major concern. And their whole purpose is they want to get the message out that people need food and water, and it's been slow in coming.
BLITZER: There are these little pills that cost pennies for water purification. If they could just distribute some of that and get to some water, lives could be saved, especially these little kids. It is so heartbreaking, Lisa, when you see it and you hear it.
SYLVESTER: Yes, that young child, that 1-year-old drinking spoiled milk -- and, in fact, it was her -- that child's mother died in the earthquake, and it was her aunt who was looking after her.
And the aunt said, look, this is all we have. I have nothing else to give her. And it is that stuff that is really, really just so heartbreaking, Wolf.
BLITZER: Yes, what a terrible, horrible story. People are dying on this day. We're going to continue our coverage. Lisa, thank you very much.
We are also watching other important news, including a landmark United States Supreme Court decision on campaign finance reform. John McCain , one of the authors of that legislation, he is here in THE SITUATION ROOM to discuss that and more.
We will be right back.
BLITZER: John McCain, he is here in THE SITUATION ROOM. We have a lot to discuss. These are very, very tumultuous times, not only in the aftermath of a election of a Republican senator from Massachusetts, but also as a result of what the U.S. Supreme Court did today.
Stay with us. We will be right back.
BLITZER: To our viewers, you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Happening now: chance encounters making the difference between life and death in Haiti. We are taking you live through the disaster zone for the latest. Stand by.
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin over at the White House today comparing the Haiti quake to Hurricane Katrina -- why he says the U.S. still is unprepared for disaster.
And President Obama calling for a major crackdown on big banks, Wall Street now reacting.
I'm Wolf Blitzer. You are in THE SITUATION ROOM.
The U.S. Supreme Court today overhauled government limits on campaign spending, allowing big business, unions, nonprofits to spend much more freely on federal elections. It was a 5-4 decision that could have an immediate impact on this year's congressional campaigns and beyond.
Let's bring in our senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, who is an authority on the Supreme Court.
Jeff, what does this mean in practical terms? JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, this is an earthquake, Wolf, in terms of how campaigns are financed and conducted.
Very simply, this means that corporations and unions and any nonprofit organizations can spend as much money as they want, independent of campaigns, to elect or defeat the candidates of their choice. That means Exxon, General Electric, Time Warner, our parent company, can go buy time, run commercials, try to defeat the candidates they don't like or elect the ones that they don't (sic). It is a change, a dramatic change in the law. And it could have a big impact right away.
BLITZER: It was a 5-4 decision, the liberals saying you can have these restrictions, the conservatives saying no, because free speech is at risk. The swing justice, Justice Kennedy, he went with the conservatives. And, as a result, all these McCain-Feingold laws, most of them, at least, are out the window.
TOOBIN: Well, what has really become apparent here is that the current conservative majority in the Supreme Court really has a great deal of skepticism, hostility for the whole idea that you can regulate campaigns.
One thing that was left hanging out there in this decision, it was not addressed, was, can corporations contribute directly to political campaigns? It has been illegal since 1907, but, if you follow the reasoning of today's decision, it certainly seems like the conservatives, who are in charge of the court right now, are moving in the direction of allowing campaign contributions by companies to candidates.
BLITZER: We heard the president and others today saying they hope Congress will take some action to reverse this decision. Can they? How much leeway is there?
TOOBIN: It does not seem to me like there is a lot of room for Congress to regulate here, because what the court is saying is the regulations that they had in McCain-Feingold are too intrusive.
What you might get is certain labeling. Everybody is familiar with political commercials that say, you know, I'm John McCain and I authorize this message. You may have a requirement for the CEO of the company to say, I'm so and so and I approve this message.
But in terms of stopping those ads, it's very hard for me to imagine how that could happen.
BLITZER: If anyone ever had any doubt how significant the United States Supreme Court is, let that doubt go away on this day.
BLITZER: Thank you, Jeffrey -- Jeffrey Toobin, our senior legal analyst.
TOOBIN: OK, Wolf.
BLITZER: President Obama says the Supreme Court ruling gives a green light to a new stampede of special interest money. That's a direct quote.
Others say the court is putting a spotlight on money that is being spent anyway. It's an issue that cuts across party lines.
Republican Senator John McCain co-sponsored legislation to clean up campaign financing.
Listen to this from back in 2002.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM MARCH 20, 2002)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: And with the stroke of the president's pen, we will eliminate hundreds of millions of dollars of unregulated soft money that has caused Americans to question the integrity of their elected representatives. Maybe it will even encourage more Americans to seek public office, not for the privileges bestowed on election winners, but for the honor of serving a great nation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Senator McCain is joining us now from Capitol Hill.
Senator, what's your reaction to this decision by the Supreme Court?
MCCAIN: Well, I was obviously disappointed. The -- and it is very complex, 116-page decision and we haven't gotten through all of it. And it leaves a lot of questions unanswered, including some that Jeffrey Toobin just raised. And, by the way, I would point out that this is -- will allow for unlimited contributions from unions, as well as corporations.
So there -- it does maintain some of the provisions that we had. It does reverse laws not just BCRA, but back to 1907.
And so there will have to be adjustments made. And I think one conclusion you could draw is that you'll see a lot more money in political campaigns in an unrestricted fashion.
BLITZER: And is that...
MCCAIN: And Americans will...
BLITZER: ...is that...
MCCAIN: ...judge whether that's good or bad.
BLITZER: And what do you think, good or bad?
MCCAIN: Oh, I don't think it's -- it's good. I think that there should have been, obviously, I thought there should have been reasonable limits. And I hope that at least there will be more disclosure called for here. And so it's going to be a very interesting part of American politics.
BLITZER: You worked with the Republicans and Democrats, Russ Feingold, in particular, to get this to become the law of the land. You succeeded.
Listen to John Boehner, the Republican leader in the House, reacting to the Supreme Court decision.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), MINORITY LEADER: When you look at our campaign finance system and what happened under McCain-Feingold, we pushed hundreds of millions of dollars out of the light and into the dark. That money was still being spent, it's just that nobody could see where it was coming from.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Does he have a point?
MCCAIN: I don't -- I don't think so. I think that there was a good deal of disclosure. There's always things that happen and money will find its way into political campaigns.
But Congressman Boehner, I say with respect, opposed the legislation to start with.
The reason why we had such support for that legislation is because of the corruption it was very obvious that the system had bred. And their -- and I'm afraid that that may again appear in American political campaigns. It's always there, but I'm afraid it may get larger.
BLITZER: Is there anything Congress can do about this?
MCCAIN: I don't -- at the first look, I don't think so. We'll have a look at it and maybe we'll have to see how this new set of rules, which is basically what the Supreme Court has decided upon, and see how it works in American political campaigns.
BLITZER: So it's going to -- and you're up for reelection this year. I guess some big corporations, labor unions, other special interests, they can come in and either support your reelection or they can oppose it. There's going to be a lot of uncertainty now, given that -- the rules of the game changing as dramatically as they did today.
MCCAIN: I guess I'd like to see Jeffrey Immelt, the CEO of -- of General Electric, say I'm Jeffrey Immelt and I port this -- you know, support this message and -- or union leader, Mr. Stern, say, I'm Mr. Stern, head of the Service Employees Union, and I support this message. It will very interesting to see how that works out.
BLITZER: Any regrets about voting to confirm some of those Supreme Court justices who -- who decided today against McCain- Feingold?
MCCAIN: Oh, no. I -- I judge people on their overall record and their overall qualifications. I think that's -- you should never judge someone on a specific issue. It's on their general adherence to the Constitution of the United States.
BLITZER: Good point.
All right, Senator, I'm going to have you hold on for a moment.
BLITZER: I want to take a quick break.
We have a lot to discuss. There's been a political bombshell as a result of that election -- the special election in Massachusetts. We want to talk about that and more.
Senator McCain is staying here in THE SITUATION ROOM.
We'll continue the interview, right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM JANUARY 20, 2010)
MCCAIN: We've got to stop this process. We've got to stop this unsavory sausage making, Chicago-style that's been going on. And we have to sit down in open and honest negotiations with the American people and fix the health care problem, which we can do together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Senator McCain yesterday on the Senate floor.
He's joining us now here in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Senator, you're very passionate about this.
Do you believe the Democrats' vision of health care reform, for all practical purposes right now, is dead?
MCCAIN: I don't know, because I don't know what's going on in -- in -- again, behind closed doors here in the Capitol and in the White House. So I don't know. But I know how the American people have spoken, not just in Massachusetts by electing Scott Brown, but across this country and in my home state of Arizona.
They don't like the product and they don't like the process. They don't like another $2.5 trillion debt on the American people and they don't like this back room dealing where -- which rewards senators at the expense of other American citizens in a way that is the worst I've ever observed.
BLITZER: Because of the special gifts, if you will, for certain states... MCCAIN: (INAUDIBLE).
BLITZER: ...as a result of the vote?
MCCAIN: Oh, it's terrible. The Louisiana Purchase, the Corn Husker Kickback, the Florida Flimflam -- all of these special deals that were cut in order to get votes. It's unsavory and it's wrong. And the Democrats started out by excluding us from any meaningful negotiations and they ended up in a situation where they were doing special favors for votes, which the American people soundly reject, which, after the president had promised transparency.
BLITZER: I'm familiar with the Louisiana deal and the Nebraska deal.
What's the Florida flimflam?
MCCAIN: Well, there are several hundred thousand Florida enrollees in -- in certain parts of Florida -- that are in the Medicare Advantage program. Senator Nelson of Florida put in a provision that basically exempted them from any reductions, which is about a $4 billion deal.
Medicare Advantage is very popular all over America, including my state.
BLITZER: So this is the -- the legislation, as it now stands, would only be for the benefit of people in Florida, is that what you're saying?
MCCAIN: That -- that -- that particular sweetheart provision, yes.
BLITZER: Is there an opportunity now, if the president -- and he sort of signaled this -- this week, after the election in Massachusetts, that he's ready to scale back his -- his vision, at least for now, and become a little bit more practical.
Do you see the possibility of working with President Obama and the Democrats and coming up with health care reform that all of you can agree on, something, let's say, more modest?
MCCAIN: Only if we went back from the beginning. This -- this legislation, as it's crafted, cannot get the support of Republicans. We'd have to go back to the beginning and start at square one and include things like medical malpractice reform, going across state lines to get the health insurance policy of your choice -- many fundamental, common sense provisions which would reduce the cost of health care.
BLITZER: Yesterday was the first anniversary of his being president of the United States. Today is the first day after that one year anniversary.
What has impressed you most about President Obama and what has impressed you least? MCCAIN: Well, he remains an articulate, persuasive leader. He is well respected around the world and in many parts of the world. And he works very, very hard at his job. I least respect the fact that there has been a total absence of bipartisanship, which he promised the American people. There has been no change in Washington.
And, of course, because we haven't worked together, we still have the terrible unemployment situation in America, the job losses that continue and the 10 percent unemployment, which is really, really causing people to hurt all across this country.
BLITZER: He says he tried to reach out to the Republicans, but effectively they said no.
You -- you just blame him for that lack of bipartisan cooperation?
MCCAIN: There has been no instance that anyone can -- can cite where we sat down across the table, the way that I have sat across the table from Democrats for the last 20 some years, where we said, OK, let's work this out together. There's never been that.
MCCAIN: What they have done is they proposed legislation and then tried to pick off one or two Republicans.
BLITZER: Because he says on the issue of the -- the banks, for example, the economic recovery, the TARP money, he went to the Republicans, he urged them for some cooperation, but even on the eve -- before that meeting, John Boehner, the Republican leader in the House, had issued a press release saying he was opposed. And -- and so he said they went in with a mind set that he obviously was not happy about.
MCCAIN: Well, again, if he had, along with the Democratic leadership, sat down with Republicans and the Republican leadership across the table and said, OK, what do we need to do together, I think he might have gotten a more positive response. The legislation -- whether it be the stimulus package or whether it be the Omnibus Spending Bill with 9,000 earmarks in it or this latest health care have been dictates from the majority on the percep -- on the belief that they had 60 votes and really didn't need us. I hope that that will change.
BLITZER: Has he ever called you over the past year and said, John, let's talk, let's work this out?
BLITZER: Not once?
BLITZER: All right. A quick question on gay marriage, because your wife, Cindy, has now come out with a -- with a photograph saying she supports gay marriage. Your daughter has long supported gay marriage.
You -- you don't support gay marriage.
How is this working out in terms of your family life?
MCCAIN: I have long opposed gay marriage. I believe that the sanctity of marriage is between one man and one woman. And I supported Proposition 8 in California. I am privileged to have independent -- independent, spirited members of my family. It makes for a very interesting conversation around the dinner table. I respect their views, but I disagree with them.
BLITZER: Senator McCain, thanks very much for joining us.
MCCAIN: Thank you, Wolf.
BLITZER: Appreciate it.
Senator John McCain from Arizona.
We'll continue our coverage of what's happening in Haiti -- lots happening right now. We're going back to Port-au-Prince after this.
BLITZER: Former Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards, is now admitting he is the father of his former mistress' baby, something he had previously denied.
Let's go to CNN's Mary Snow.
She's working the story for us -- Mary, why is Senator Edwards now admitting this?
MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, this admission is coming as Andrew Young, a former aide to John Edwards, is about to release his tell-all book. Young had initially taken the fall for Edwards, saying he was the father of the baby.
But a long time friend and political adviser now acting as a spokesman for Edwards' denies the timing of Edwards' statement is tied to this book. He cited other reasons, including finalizing a child support agreement for his daughter, Quinn, who's now almost two years old.
In the August -- in August, that is, of 2008, Edwards admitted to having an affair with Rielle Hunter. But in an interview with ABC at that time, he ruled out the possibility that he was the father of Hunter's child.
Now, Mark Halperin, author of "Game Change," says unlike other politicians who've lied and recovered, this case is different.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK HALPERIN, COAUTHOR, "GAME CHANGE": Going on and doing an interview with "Nightline," ostensibly to come clean. But, Iraq, lying about a range of topics and endangering the Democratic Party by almost being the Democratic nominee, potentially, and then fighting to become Barack Obama's running mate, attorney general, to speak at Democratic Convention. I'm hard-pressed to imagine anyone in the Democratic Party ever again giving John Edwards money, volunteering for him or fighting to help him get elected to office after what he's done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SNOW: Now, as for Edwards, he has been keeping a low profile. He did, however, show up today. In Haiti. He didn't talk about the paternity issue, but he did tell CBS News he was there to help.
Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY CBSNEWS.COM)
JOHN EDWARDS (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And there are a group of us who are here, 25 to 30. We've got supplies, medicine and we brought doctors with us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SNOW: Now, Elizabeth Edwards told "The Charlotte Observer" her husband has been doing work outside the country, where his errors in judgment don't have any bearing on work -- Wolf.
BLITZER: There's an investigation underway at the same time.
What's the status of that investigation?
SNOW: Yes, that is still ongoing. And a spokesman says lawyers didn't think it was a good idea for Edwards to be talking publicly right now. But a grand jury is investigating whether there was any wrongdoing in connection to campaign laws in an effort to hide the affair with Hunter Rielle. Hunter Rielle had worked as a videographer for Edwards' campaign back in 2006 and Edwards' political action committee had paid her company about $100,000 for her work.
BLITZER: All right, Mary.
Thanks very much.
Mary Snow on that story for us.
We'll take a quick break. When we come back, we'll go back to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. There are dramatic developments happening on this day.
Anderson Cooper is standing by.
BLITZER: Let's go right to Jack Cafferty.
He's got The Cafferty File and we're going to check in with him right now -- Jack.
CAFFERTY: The question this hour is what will it take to get a viable third party going in this country?
Warren in Ohio says: "Whatever prospects there once existed for a viable third party in America died today -- killed by the demonic ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court to treat campaign money as speech and thereby guaranteed that all remaining elections degenerate into auctions. American democracy, rest in peace. Thanks for the memories."
John writes: "In light of today's Supreme Court decision, it will be easier, I would think. Now what's needed is a handful of good, moderate, charismatic folks willing to run and push for financial support. However, I do believe the third party has to be largely in the middle. Hard left or hard right a waste of time. I want to see deficit hawks, national defense hawks, social moderates."
Norman says: "It will take dedication and organization via movement such as the Tea Party Convention in Nashville next month; most of all, the funding that will be necessary to obtain ballot access in all 50 states."
Pat writes: "The only answer is public financing of federal elections with qualifications regarding who gets financed. Until real people have a chance at federal office without raising oodles of money, we'll basically remain a two party system."
G. in Washington, says: "We had one in Ross Perot, who has the charisma and the cash to fund such a campaign. The problem is he ran at the wrong time. What we need now is another deep-pocketed, charismatic, pragmatic, pro-American, true Independent. Those who currently proclaim to be Independents are just disaffected members of the fringe right or left."
J.M. writes: "The two parties we currently have to choose from will never let this happen. Both sides have been completely corrupted by power, seem to be willing to do anything to hold onto it. We have lost our way."
And John says: "It will take a miracle."
If you want to read more on this -- we got a lot of mail on this -- go to my blog at CNN.com/caffertyfile -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, Jack. Will do.
We'll take a quick break and continue our coverage of what's going on in Haiti and elsewhere.
Stay with us.
BLITZER: Now to a good story coming out of Haiti. On Saturday, we introduced you to Paul and Marisa Brinks. It was the first time since the earthquake they were able to see and talk to the two children they'd been trying to adopt from Haiti, Samra and Manuel.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARISA BRINKS: It's amazing.
PAUL BRINKS: We're -- we're just so relieved to see they're doing all right. Oh, it is so good. It's so good to see them.
M. BRINKS: We just want to send our hugs.
P. BRINKS: Yes. Hugs and kisses, guys.
BLITZER: Have -- have you met them before?
P. BRINKS: We were able to meet Manuel a couple times, two -- or a year-and-a-half ago in October. And then I was able to meet with him again in -- in June of this year. So, yes, there's definitely a bond there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: But there were lots of questions about whether the adoption could go forward with so much of the paperwork lost in the rubble. We've now learned that the adoption has been cleared and Paul and Marisa will be reunited with Samra and Manuel later tonight in Miami.
The State Department says so far, 146 children from Haiti have come to the United States and dozens more are scheduled to leave. UNICEF says there were 380,000 -- 380,000 orphans in Haiti before last Tuesday. Relief organizations are still registering the children orphaned by the earthquake.
After more than a week of wrenching images from Haiti, this one lifted spirits around the world.
CNN's Jeanne Moos takes a Moost Unusual look.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: (voice-over): We usually go for laughs. But with this story, we'll settle for a smile. What a smile.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY ITN)
JOE DOWNEY, NEW YORK TASK FORCE ONE: And we were amazed. I mean we -- we, literally, afterward, just kind of almost sat there like -- like did that just happen?
We -- we had to go back and look at the back of our cameras to check.
MOOS: A seven-year-old kid named Kiki dug out alive and well after being buried for seven-and-a-half days. The crew from NBC shot video of the rescue.
MOOS: When they finally reached the boy, he was scared and wouldn't come out, until rescuers brought a relative, in the yellow tank top, to coach him.
MOOS: His pants may be lost, but he was found.
MCDERMOTT: It was like a rabbit out of the hat. He popped out, arms went straight up in the air and he just turned and smiled.
MOOS: A tattooed freelance photographer from New York City named Matthew McDermott captured the image while shooting for the humanitarian group, AmeriCares.
(on camera): Do you think -- I mean this is kind of crass, but do you think of things like Pulitzer Prize-winning when you take a photo like that?
MCDERMOTT: No. No. Not at all. That would be a little arrogant. You know, we don't sit around patting ourselves on the back. Around every corner, there's a photograph here that needs to be taken.
MOOS: The rescuers were from units based in New York City and Virginia.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you feeling right now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unbelievable. I just want to hug my compadre, Sario Gomez (ph). This is an unbelievable feeling.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).
MOOS: They also rescued Kiki's older sister. The image McDermott shot will likely be used by AmeriCares to inspire donations.
(on camera): From photos of an earthquake to photos from another earth shaking event, previously McDermott's most famous photos were from 9/11.
(voice-over): After shooting so much death in Haiti...
(on camera): Was that the biggest smile you ever saw on the littlest kid?
MCDERMOTT: It was amazing.
MCDERMOTT: I'm sorry. My lungs are a little messed up. I mean nine days of breathing death and dust.
MOOS (voice-over): Which makes this a breath of fresh air.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
BLITZER: A beautiful picture, very beautiful. Here's not such a beautiful picture -- another video showing the 7.0 earthquake that moment it struck, shot by a missionary who was playing with children at an orphanage outside Port-au-Prince when the quake struck. We're glad to report that none of these kids was hurt.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY WCPQ)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on, go! Now, guys, go, go, go! Go!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Thank God that none of those kids was hurt. What a horrifying moment.
Happening now, food, water and supplies likely getting to desperate Haitians a little bit more quickly right now. The damaged main pier in Port-au-Prince now repaired, along with a damaged road. We have the latest information.
Agony and desperate pleas for help -- those four universities students and two professors remain missing in Haiti.