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THE SITUATION ROOM

Reading Miranda Rights to the Corpse; More Time to Hold Afghan Suspects; Is Mexico Safe for Americans?; Largest Art Heist in History; Republican Scott Brown and Progressive Michael Moore Critique The Health Reform Bill

Aired March 20, 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: A rising Republican star and the drive against health care reform. Scott Brown of Massachusetts arrives here in Washington as the House nears historic votes, how far is he willing to go to stop the Democrats?

Also, the filmmaker Michael Moore tells me the health care reform bill is horrible and a joke, but he hopes it passes anyway. Are liberals helping the president's cause or hurting it?

And American students on spring break in Mexico at a time when drug I violence is exploding. I'll ask the Mexican ambassador if a young tourists are safe in his country.

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

If you had to name one Republican who makes Democrats downright nervous right now, it just might be Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts. He single handedly deprived the president's party of its filibuster proof 60-seat majority in the Senate. What is he doing for an encore? He drove his pickup truck to our studios here in Washington, from Capitol hill, so he could join us in THE SITUATION ROOM.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: Let's talk about health care right now a priority number one. What's wrong with giving 30 million plus more Americans access to health insurance?

SEN. SCOTT BROWN, (R) MASSACHUSETTS: Well, part of the problem is after a year of doing this, it's still raises tax, it cuts Medicare a half a trillion dollars, cuts tri-care for military people. It's going to cost $1 trillion plus, and while it's certainly important to provide care for those people, I believe individual states could do it better. And that we can do it better because of the carve outs and all the special interest issues that we were talking about, that we all shook our heads about, a lot of those are still in that bill.

BLITZER: I guess I should rephrase the question. What's wrong if spending money, the costs of it, if it winds up costing money, if it winds up raising taxes on multi-million, or millionaires, or people, even earning more than $250,000 a year, if it's going to give access to 30 million Americans so they don't have to worry about getting sick, what's wrong with that?

BROWN: There's nothing wrong with that but more importantly it does raise taxes and it does raise taxes for people who are earning less. It's going to affect businesses. As I said before, I have felt as we did in Massachusetts, we provide almost 98 percent of our people with insurance. And individual states would like to have that right to do the same thing and ask the federal government how can you help us do that? Can you incentivize us to do it better?

Maybe they'll do it better than Massachusetts and get costs under control. But this one size fits all plan, really, hurting businesses and hurting individual citizens right now, with the all the carve outs, is not appropriate.

BLITZER: Because you do have nearly universal health insurance, in Massachusetts, for everyone. Did you have to raise taxes?

BROWN: No, we didn't race taxes, we didn't cut services.

BLITZER: How did you do it?

BROWN: We provided a competitive plan with the so-called Cadillac plans all the way down to Commonwealth Care, which is a fully subsidized plan. We are having trouble right now with costs, because we involved mandates and a whole host of other things that we can do better.

BLITZER: Will you have to raise taxes to pay for it?

BROWN: No, I believe we can actually do some internal reforms.

BLITZER: You like what has happened in Massachusetts.

BROWN: Well, I voted for it.

BLITZER: You don't want to change it.

BROWN: Listen, it's completely different than what they are trying to here. People say, oh, you voted for Romney care, how about Obama care? Two different things, our plan didn't raise taxes. The plan that is being pushed right now, the biggest thing the people have a problem with is the back room deals, the lack of transparency, and the fact that they're using political chicanery, and parliamentary maneuvers to ram this bill through, when the people don't want it.

BLITZER: If they get rid of some of those backroom deals in the side car, as it is called, the separate reconciliation bill, still not good enough for you?

BROWN: It's not good enough for a lot of people, and not just me. And to put it all on me, I think, is inappropriate. This bill is really resonating throughout the country. Stevie Lynch, from my state, said he is voting no. I certainly commend him for that, because that bill hurts our state. And quite frankly they way they have done it, they can do better, they should do better.

BLITZER: How far are you willing to go-and when I say, you I mean the Republicans, in the Senate, to try to block it.

BROWN: I don't speak for all the Republicans. I speak for Scott Brown. I'm a Scott Brown Republican, as we've talked about before. I'm going to look at each and every bill and be an independent voter. And the way that they-I think the House or maybe some members in the House think it is going to come over and through this magical form of reconciliation it's going to be fixed. It's not going to be fixed. They're going to go line by line, and you're going to get a health care bill that is going to be challenged, potentially, by the attorneys general in the state on its constitutionality.

BLITZER: Do you think that's a good idea?

BROWN: I don't have an opinion on that, I'll leave that to the legal people. But I do feel that we can do better. And we should allow the states to participate more instead of this one-size fits all approach. That is not good for my state, and potentially not good for the rest of the country.

BLITZER: Because I've been told by some of your colleagues, Republicans, that if the House passes it, including the separate reconciliation part, making the fixes, the changes, whatever you want to call it, they're going to introduce amendment after amendment, after amendment, in the Senate, to try to delay it for as long as possible to change it as much as possible.

BROWN: You know, once again, after I said in the beginning, it's been a year, we should be talking about jobs right now. And we're not talking about jobs. We're doing this. And we may be doing illegal immigration. We may be doing financial reform.

But people in Massachusetts, when we have unemployment almost at 10 percent and unemployment is rising, or at least stable or rising in the country, we need to talk about jobs and we haven't done that now. So I'm not interested in the political maneuvering and parliamentary maneuvering right now. I'm interested in getting people back to work and this bill hurts Massachusetts jobs dramatically.

BLITZER: What has surprised you the most since you've come here to Washington?

BROWN: Actually being here with you.

BLITZER: Why does that surprise you so much?

(LAUGHTER)

BROWN: When I'm home, I've been at home forever watching THE SITUATION ROOM. I always wanted to see how big it was and certainly participate in the process and it's been a lot of fun. I guess I'm surprised at the way people have so receptive and respectful. That means a lot to me and my family.

BLITZER: I know you've met with the Vice President and Jill Biden. He swore you in as a United States senator.

BROWN: He almost scored (ph) at me last night.

BLITZER: Ah, he just told a few jokes at your expense. But have you had a chance to meet with the president, yet, and first lady?

BROWN: No, not yet. I certainly look forward to it.

BLITZER: But on some of these issue, you're what they call a moderate Republican from Massachusetts. You're willing to work with them on some of these issues.

BROWN: I've already shown that. I'm a fiscal conservative, but for example, in the first jobs bill, I worked across party line to get that passed. The president signed it today, and for Massachusetts-and for the rest of the country that creates jobs. I spoke to Chambers of Commerce today, and a lot of businesses from New England. And they were very, very thankful for those opportunities for those small tax breaks that will help stimulate their businesses and hopefully stimulate the economy. So yes, I look at each and every bill in an independent manner and will continue to do so.

BLITZER: Where else do you think, looking ahead on a positive side, where do you want to cooperate with the White House?

BROWN: I've already worked with --

BLITZER: On jobs, you want to cooperate. Where else?

BROWN: Well, jobs is the most important thing. Chuck Schumer and I have an amendment on the FAA bill. We are working on that now. I think it's a good bill. Unless something strange happens, I'll be supporting that in a bi-partisan manner.

I think terrorism and taxes, our deficit, are really the three most important issues, behind jobs. So I'm looking forward to just solving problems because right now, Wolf, as you know, you've reported it many times, the system is broken. People are angry. They want better. They want to us do better. I feel my being here helps that as evidenced by my first vote. It's evidenced by the fact that I'm willing to work and listen, and be respectful in doing so, and I'm trying to get the process moving. People are hurting, they want jobs, they need jobs and they deserve and want better from us.

BLITZER: The vice president gave you a shout out last night at the Radio TV Correspondents Association dinner here in Washington. Let me play that clip, that little joke.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know, I do have to defend our administration a little bit here, especially the Recovery Act, which I've been put in charge of. Republicans keep saying it hasn't created a single job. Well, tell that to Senator Scott Brown.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: He got a nice laugh out of that. You were sitting at my table with your wife, Gail. You were laughing.

BROWN: Of course, listen, the vice president I saw him for breakfast, I was at his mansion.

BLITZER: The vice presidential residence.

BROWN: He told me. He said, I'm going to take a few cracks at you. I hope that's OK. I said just remember, what goes around comes around. I have a sense of humor, I know he does. I have enjoyed meeting him and I look forward to spending more time with him.

BLITZER: What about this talk that Scott Brown has higher political ambitions?

BROWN: Wolf, I just got my business cards last week. We just had our offices painted. I am up to my eyeballs to doing the people's business. I'm going let the political pundits have fun and do that. But right now, I'm going to focus on doing my job.

BLITZER: That is the correct answer.

BROWN: Is the right-it's how I feel.

BLITZER: We hope you'll be driving your pickup truck here to THE SITUATION ROOM on a frequent basis. Good luck to you.

BROWN: Glad to be here, thank you.

Scott Brown, the newest member of the United States Senate, Republican of Massachusetts. Hard to believe, Republican of Massachusetts.

BROWN: In the people's seat, not the Ted Kennedy seat, the people's seat.

BLITZER: Thanks for coming in.

BROWN: Thank you, Wolf.

BLITZER: Just ahead, Michael Moore back here in THE SITUATION ROOM telling the president and the Democrats that it's the time to get tough.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER, ACTIVIST: They should have came in there, just like the Republicans do when they're in power, they want to get something done, they come in with guns blazing, and they get it done. And our side, we break out the six-string guitar and start singing Kumbaya. I'm sick of it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: President Obama is getting squeezed from the right, and from the left, on health care reform. One very outspoken progressive voice, you know him very well, has some tough words for liberal lawmakers and for Democrats, in general, about getting things done here in Washington.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

And joining us now here in THE SITUATION ROOM, the filmmaker, Michael Moore.

Michael, good to see you in person.

MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER: Good to see you in person.

BLITZER: We've always done this remote via satellite but you're actually in THE SITUATION ROOM .

MOORE: It's so wrong for you and I to be so remote.

BLITZER: We're happy you're here.

MOORE: Much better to do it this way.

BLITZER: Let's talk about health care.

MOORE: OK.

BLITZER: Issue number one, you're in Washington right now, as much as you don't like this Senate bill, which is going to be tweaked a little bit with these amendments, you want everyone to vote for it. Why?

MOORE: Well, yeah. Yeah. Could I give you a more reluctant yes than that one?

BLITZER: Give me your enthusiastic whatever you want?

MOORE: I can't give you any enthusiasm about this. This is not health care reform. The bill is a joke. But at this point, it's really just turned into this game between the Republicans trying to do everything they can to stop President Obama from doing some good for this country. And, frankly, if this goes down, I don't know how the president will recover from that and I don't know what else we're going to be able to get through.

BLITZER: When you say it's a joke; 31 million Americans are going to get insurance as a result of this.

MOORE: But 12 million to 15 million won't be covered.

BLITZER: But isn't that a step at least in the right direction?

MOORE: But that's like saying, geez, Mike, we're going to let 70 percent of the kids in the school district go to school. I'm sorry about the other 30 percent. I mean that's not who we are as Americans. We say it's for everybody.

BLITZER: What happened? Why didn't the president get a much more robust universal health care bill? MOORE: Because he entered this whole process in a spirit of compromise, holding his hand out. And the other side didn't want any hand being held out toward them, they wanted to slap that hand away. He should have come in just like the Republicans do. When they're in power, they want to get something done, they come in with guns blazing and they get it done.

Our side, we break out the six-string guitar and start singing Kumbaya. I'm sick of it and American people are sick of it, too. For us to end up with hopefully a bill that will be passed that has some good things in it, you'll be able to keep your kids on your health policy until they're 26. It will cover the 30 million.

BLITZER: If you have a pre-existing condition, you'll still be able to get insurance?

MOORE: Not until 2014 if you're an adult.

BLITZER: But eventually you will.

MOORE: Eventually, how about right now? That means-you know how many people die each year because they don't have health insurance. The numbers are right there. Tens of thousands of people will be dead because we're going to put off this pre-existing condition for four more years. Kids, children, that's six months after the bill passes.

BLITZER: But you're basically telling progressives, and your friends up on the Hill, like Dennis Kucinich, for example, you know what, it's not perfect but you got to vote for it.

MOORE: It's not even not perfect, it's horrible.

BLITZER: It's horrible?

MOORE: It's absolutely horrible that these people were sent to Congress do a job, which is to have universal health care. That's what the majority of Americans said they wanted, all the polls showed that during the election. The people wanted universal health care and the fact that we're going to end up with a little piece of this and a little piece of that, and 12 million to 15 million still not covered, and this pre-existing condition thing you mentioned.

You know what the fine is if the insurance company decides to deny you your pre-existing condition, $100 a day. A 100-one hundred dollars. OK, so they're going, gee, Wolf Blitzer needs an operation, that's going to cost us $100,000. Let's take the $100 a day fine, he'll be dead in three months. That's exactly what's going to happen. Wait till you -- by leaving the private profit making insurance companies --

BLITZER: But they say this bill is horrible. They want people to oppose it.

MOORE: You know why they don't like it because it's only 90 percent of the pie. They want 100 percent. That's how greedy they are. This bill is so good for them. First of it mandates that all of us buy a policy from them if our bosses don't give us a health policy. So it's like guaranteed. Guaranteed-imagine this, what if there was a law passed that required everybody to watch CNN? Who wouldn't here like that law passed? They get a law passed that requires everyone to buy a product from them. It's going to -- fill their coffers.

BLITZER: So you're in Washington, as much as you dislike this legislation, this bill.

MOORE: Did I make that clear?

BLITZER: You made it very clear.

MOORE: OK, good.

BLITZER: You still want people to vote for it?

MOORE: Yes.

BLITZER: To hold their nose and vote for it.

MOORE: Yeah.

BLITZER: Are you actually going out and encouraging members to do so, progressives? Are you making phone calls?

MOORE: No.

BLITZER: Are you lobbying, talking to anyone?

MOORE: No, I'm what you call the depressed vote. You know that term, right? I'm one of those people that will show up to vote this November. And yeah, I'll vote for the Democrats, but it won't be with the enthusiasm in '08. I'm telling you, millions of people are going to be like that. Some will vote, but a lot aren't going to vote. And the Democrats are going to get an ass whipping in November.

BLITZER: It sounds like the way you describe it, like the midterm elections, it's going it be a slaughter.

MOORE: I believe it will be if the Democrats don't change the way they're doing things. If the Democrats believe by moving to the center, by being more like Republicans they're going to save their seats in November. People aren't stupid. If the voters have a choice between, you know, a real Republican and somebody pretending to be a Republican, they're going to vote for the real Republican.

So you might as well stake out your territory over here. Do the job you were sent to do. The American people sent you to Congress, in overwhelming numbers, do this job. Universal health care, regulate the banks on Wall Street, get people back to work. That's what they were sent to do. And yes, some of you are going to lose your jobs because you're going to stand up for a principle, for something that's important. But it's just, I'm-you know-for President Obama to lose at this point will have consequences that go far beyond.

BLITZER: What do you think those consequences will be? MOORE: He won't be able to get anything through because the other side will be emboldened and empowered. The minority, the people that the American don't want in charge are going to call the shot shots for this country?

BLITZER: How do you explain the public opinion polls, now, that show more Americans don't like this bill, than like this bill?

MOORE: But if they called me, I would be one of those people that say I don't like this bill.

BLITZER: But they don't like it, not for the reasons you don't like it.

MOORE: You don't know that. I think people are answering the pollsters for various reasons they don't like it.

BLITZER: So you think a big chunk of them-

MOORE: I think a big chunk of them are people are like me.

BLITZER: Because they don't have the robust option.

MOORE: Absolutely. The American people wanted this option. And now- I mean, Representative Grayson has a bill, I hope he introduces it immediately after this is passed.

BLITZER: From Florida?

MOORE: Right. It's a buy-in to Medicare. In other words, anybody, anybody can buy into Medicare. You don't have to buy into the private profit-making insurance company, you can buy Medicare. And that way it doesn't cost anything-it doesn't hurt the deficit, or whatever, because whatever the cost is you're going to pay it, but it's less than what you're paying.

BLITZER: What are the chances of that being enacted into law, given the current environment?

MOORE: Who cares, what are the chances of ending slavery? What are the chances of giving women the right to vote? I know I've got a bill, let's give 70 percent of the women the right to vote, and leave 30 percent out. There is a great idea. Because we've got to do in increments, Wolf.

BLITZER: Step by step.

MOORE: We can't let all the women vote, at once. We can't free all the slaves, let's keep 30 percent of them enslaved. That's how this town is run though, isn't it? Compromise to the lowest possible denominator.

BLITZER: When he came into office, this president, I know you like President Obama.

MOORE: Yes, I do. BLITZER: Very much.

MOORE: Yes.

BLITZER: He had 257 Democrats in the House of Representatives at that time, the majority is 218; 60, 58 plus two Democrats, in the Senate, and now he's struggling. And as we speak right now, it's still touch and go. We don't know if it's going to pass or fail.

MOORE: Yeah.

BLITZER: What happened?

MOORE: What happened is-I'll tell you what happened. The liberals, the people on our side of the fence, we never were very good at math in school. We were always good like in English and Social Studies. We didn't figure out until way too late 51 is have a majority of 100. Not 60.

BLITZER: But in the Senate to get anything important passed, you need 60.

MOORE: No, you need 51.

BLITZER: Well, when I was a White House correspondent in '93, '94 covering the Clinton administration, I remember very vividly when Hillary's health care plan went down. Several senior White House officials said to me at that time, they said, you know what we learned from this, Wolf? And I said, what did you learn? That in order to get anything passed, you need 60, in the Senate, given the filibuster.

MOORE: Again, proof again the Democrats are bad at math. And you know about the rules and about the filibuster and new way they filibuster, make the Republicans do that. Make the Republicans shut down the United States Senate for a week, two weeks, a month. See what the American people, how they respond to the Republicans then. When they're standing in the way of not just health care reform, but banking and Wall Street regulations, all the things that they have put road blocks up to. I don't think the American people would put up with them shutting down Congress.

The Democrats should stand up and have the guts to say this is what it is. We're in charge. The people sent us here. If you don't like it throw us out in November. In the meantime, we'll have universal health care for our fellow Americans. We're going to put the handcuffs back on these banks and Wall Street so they can't have another collapse in this country. We're going to create jobs in this country. We're going do the things we were sent here to do. What part of this overwhelming victory in November of '08 did the Democrats not understand, when they showed up here a year ago?

BLITZER: Well, one thing that the president did is he delegated the health care bill to the Nancy Pelosis and the Harry Reids, and he said you guys write this bill, and he sort of stepped back. Was that a blunder?

MOORE: Yes. What did he think was going to happen?

BLITZER: He was afraid because of what happened to the Clintons.

MOORE: We don't want that to happen again. Man, that was like 16 years ago, 16 years ago.

BLITZER: They were still living that lesson.

MOORE: Speaking of living, a lot of people who were opposed at that time are no longer with us. You know what's happened in those 16 years, a generation of young people have become adults. And they're the force that got Obama elected. It was the young people out there pounding on those doors.

BLITZER: You're saying they're going to sit on their hands this time?

MOORE: I'm afraid a lot of young people have seen what's-they've seen and they've become cynical already. And they're not going to vote.

BLITZER: Could you see a day, though, if the Republicans do really well, in these elections and 2010, 2012, where the Democrats will be in the minority and they'll try to use some of these filibuster tactics to prevent the Republicans from getting what they want, too?

MOORE: I would rather not even wait to get there. Why don't we just stand up and do something right now. Why don't we just stand up and say we're in charge, this is the way it is. You over there, you want to try and shut down the Senate, go ahead. Give it your best shot because the American people don't want that to happen.

The Republicans when they took power in '94 in Congress. They came in and decided to shut down the federal government. Do you remember that?

BLITZER: I covered the White House at that time.

MOORE: What happened? Backfired, didn't it?

BLITZER: Right.

MOORE: And that was the turn around for Clinton.

BLITZER: President Clinton got re-elected.

MOORE: He got re-elected because they shut it down. Let them shut it down again. Go ahead and try it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: Just ahead, more of Myer interview with Michael Moore. We'll be talking about war, politics and losing 60 pounds.

And will Osama bin Laden ever appear in a U.S. courtroom? Will he ever be taken alive? I'll speak about that and more with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: From politics to war to losing weight, let's get back to my THE SITUATION ROOM interview with the filmmaker Michael Moore.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: If you take a look right now, would you agree that the Republicans are doing a better job getting their message out than the Democrats are doing?

MOORE: I think the Republicans are -- well first of all, they're doing a -- I think the media is doing a better job of covering the Republicans really well, and getting their message out for them.

BLITZER: What does that mean?

MOORE: It means, let's take the Tea Party thing just as a side example. This is a movement that starts in August of last year and immediately has massive attention paid to it. I know movements that have started, on the liberal and left end of things, that have been going for 20 years in terms of what to do about our environment, groups that are trying to stop these two wars. How much attention do they get on CNN and MSNBC and -- well, you know. I mean, it's the fact that you guys, not you personally, don't take this personally.

BLITZER: I'm not taking anything personally. We've had our moment a few years ago.

MOORE: And we made up privately.

But the mainstream media just loves to get give that kind of attention to the other side. Maybe it's because they're so good at fighting back. And that makes for good TV, whereas the Democrats, again, you know, you guys don't like to cover a lot of the Kumbaya stuff.

BLITZER: Is there an enthusiasm gap right now?

MOORE: Amongst?

BLITZER: The conservatives and the Republicans much more enthusiastic than the liberals and the Democrats?

MOORE: Oh, absolutely. I mean, well, look at me.

BLITZER: You're a lonely voice to a certain degree.

MOORE: Well, I don't think so.

BLITZER: You and Dennis Kucinich and a few others.

MOORE: And millions who believe in the same things we believe in. We are the to guys that get, I guess, have a few moments here, to give voice to all the people that can't say this. But trust me, Wolf, millions of people are very upset at how the Democrats have handled this, and they are really ticked off at the Republicans for being obstructionists. So if the Democrats would just stand up and do the job they were sent there to do, that's the best way they have a chance of getting re-elected in November.

BLITZER: Let's cover a few other issues before I let you go. The war in Iraq: Take a look at the "Newsweek" cover from a couple of weeks ago. There it is: "Victory At Last: The Emergence of a Democratic Iraq". A lot of us remember "Fahrenheit 9/11", your movie. When you see "Newsweek" magazine, which is a liberal kind of publication, they have a headline that, what do you think?

MOORE: I think they're lucky to get on CNN, with free coverage, and an ad. I guess if you write something crazy like that.

BLITZER: It makes it sound like their surge worked and the democratic process has worked, the emergence of a democratic Iraq. Are you ready to say you were wrong and war was right?

(LAUGHTER)

BLITZER: I suspect the answer is no.

MOORE: All I do is watch CNN, and I think you told me on the Election Day last week in Iraq that there were over 50 bombings just in Baghdad alone.

BLITZER: (INAUDIBLE).

MOORE: Yes. Please, anybody, if you have a - a soldier or anybody over there -

BLITZER: You don't think - you don't think mission accomplished?

MOORE: Oh, no. Far from - first of all, we - there's atonement that has to happen here. We invaded a - a sovereign nation that whether we liked the leader of that country or not, we'd no business invading another country. It's not the business of the United States to do that.

That was wrong. It was immoral. What we're doing in Afghanistan is wrong and it's immoral. President Obama needs to not make that his war and bring those troops home.

BLITZER: So you didn't like the fact that he nearly doubled the size of the U.S. Military -

MOORE: No, I -

BLITZER: -- presence in Afghanistan?

MOORE: No. No. I'm sorry that he decided to own Bush's war.

BLITZER: It's his war now?

MOORE: That's his - it's exactly right. That's exactly right.

BLITZER: So you're disappoint in that?

MOORE: Well, what are we fighting against? I mean, as you've reported, there's hardly anybody - any al Qaeda in Afghanistan anymore. So - and there's nobody there who committed the crime of 9/11.

The idea of going after the criminals who -

BLITZER: That assumption is bin Laden is probably in Pakistan some place, along the borders of -

MOORE: And that would be why we're in Afghanistan, or do I have my stands wrong?

BLITZER: Well, you know, we're just - we're just assessing what's going on.

MOORE: Yes.

BLITZER: But you are disappointed in - in this president's strategy?

MOORE: That's correct. Yes. Yes.

BLITZER: What about some of the other initiatives? The First Lady, Michelle Obama, her major initiative on childhood obesity.

MOORE: Yes. Yes.

BLITZER: I know this is an issue that you've been talking about because it really disproportionately affects low income families -

MOORE: That's right.

BLITZER: -- more than middle class or wealthy families.

MOORE: That's right. That's correct. I think it's great what she's doing, and I applaud her for it. I - I'm - I've been active in my own - I live in Michigan, so, you know, we're one of the most obese states. I'm one of the primary offenders of that, having grown up, you know, in the working class or whatever.

It's a difficult thing to break. But, you know, in the last year or so, I've - I've turned to those the socialists (ph), fruits and vegetables. And -

BLITZER: You've been losing some weight and exercising?

MOORE: Yes, yes. No -

BLITZER: Tell me about your diet.

MOORE: I just - it's not really a diet. I just - I read this book called "Pritikin -" something and -

BLITZER: The Pritikin Diet?

MOORE: Yes. It was - it was, like - like, 30, 40 years ago, I guess it was written. And it - it just - all it said was what grandma said, eat your fruits and vegetables and go for a walk. BLITZER: Right.

MOORE: So that's what I'm doing.

BLITZER: So you're walking every day?

MOORE: Yes. Oh - yes, or I get on a machine or something. Yes. I put - I move around for 40 to 60 minutes every day. I try to eat whole grains and fruits and vegetables and, you know, it's a - it's a long road, and I'm doing it slowly and I've lost, like I said, 60 pounds. I do all -

BLITZER: Sixty pounds is good.

MOORE: Yes, well, it took - it took a year, and I'll -

BLITZER: You want to lose another 60.

MOORE: I'll do another 60 this year, and if you'll join me - how much you got to lose?

BLITZER: I got - I got at least 10 or 15. I can -

MOORE: Ten or 15?

BLITZER: I could lose quickly.

MOORE: I'll race you then, OK? All right? You only got to do 10, all right?

BLITZER: I'd - I'd love to lose 10, 15, if I - but I exercise every morning, too.

MOORE: Yes, but Michelle Obama's approach on this is right.

BLITZER: Yes.

MOORE: And, I'm telling you, it's a form of child abuse when allow our schools, when we feed them this kind of crap, when we allow those soda machines in the schools and the snack - all that stuff, it's -

BLITZER: Have you ever met the president or the First Lady?

MOORE: No, I've never them.

BLITZER: You'd like them, for sure.

MOORE: Have you?

BLITZER: Yes.

MOORE: Have you?

BLITZER: Yes.

MOORE: And how are they? BLITZER: Lovely.

MOORE: Oh, good. Yes, I'd like to meet them. If you could set it up. Oh, yes.

BLITZER: I'm sure he'd like to meet you. I'm sure he's seen your films.

MOORE: Yes, well - I do - yes, I do - well, my - my agent, you know, my Hollywood - is a guy named Ari Emanuel, and his brother, I think, has a night job at the White House.

BLITZER: Yes, he's got a little job over there.

MOORE: Yes. Yes, so I - I think he might have seen my film.

BLITZER: I'm sure they have.

Michael Moore, thanks for coming into THE SITUATION ROOM. I hope you'll be a frequent visitor.

MOORE: Oh, thank you very much for having me. It's great to be in D.C. here on this important day. Thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: What's the plan if and when Osama bin Laden is finally found?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: The reality is that we will be reading Miranda Rights to the corpse of Osama bin Laden. He will never appear in an American courtroom.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Surprising language from the Attorney General of the United States, and the - and the uproar over how to handle terror suspects.

We'll talk about that and more with senator Lindsey Graham.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Will U.S. authorities ever have to decide whether to read Osama bin Laden his rights? Some startling comments about that this week.

Listen to this exchange between the Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder, and Republican Congressman John Culberson.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN CULBERSON (R), TEXAS: Granting Osama bin Laden the right to appear in a U.S. courtroom, you are clothing Osama bin Laden with the protections of the U.S. Constitution. That's unavoidable and something that you skipped right past -

HOLDER: Let's deal with reality -

CULBERSON: -- and giving constitutional rights to enemy soldiers, that is the profound problem, sir.

HOLDER: Let me - you're talking about a hypothetical that will never occur. The reality is that we will be reading Miranda Rights to the corpse of Osama bin Laden. He will never appear in an American courtroom.

CULBERSON: But it is -

HOLDER: That's the reality. That's a reality.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: I spoke about that with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: Strong words from Eric Holder.

Were you surprised, Senator Graham, to hear those?

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Well, not really. He's probably right. You know, I never thought we would catch Saddam Hussein, but we did.

What I'm trying to do is create a system that deals with the hard cases, and the idea of reading an enemy combatant their Miranda warnings, the Christmas Day Bomber proved to us that's not the best way to go. Collect and gather intelligence, then worry about prosecution, treat the captured prisoners and enemy prisoner, not a common criminal, and the - the point about bin Laden just highlights the dilemma.

I think most Americans would object if he were read his rights, and Eric Holder is probably right. We'll never capture him alive.

But are going to capture other people and I want a system that makes sense, that lives within our values but understands they're not common criminals.

BLITZER: General David Petraeus today testified before your committee in the Senate and he said that so-called 96 Hour Rule has now all of sudden become 14 days.

GRAHAM: Yes.

BLITZER: It's gone from 4 days to 14 days, maybe even longer.

GRAHAM: Right.

BLITZER: That's how long U.S. Military personnel can detain suspected insurgents or terrorists without letting them go.

I know you worked hard to get that change and you were pleased.

GRAHAM: Oh, man, and let me tell you, I don't want to, you know, violate etiquette here and give you a compliment, but CNN reporting on the 96 Hour Rule was the best in the business. And this is a good day for service members and their families and the Afghan people.

The 96 Hour Rule was a disaster. It became a catch and release program. It wasn't enough time to gather evidence and determine if the insurgent was truly dangerous.

This two-week period is a lot better for the troops on the ground. It protects the Afghan people better, and it can be longer, if necessary. So this is welcome change, and CNN's reporting I think did a really good job exposing how bad the 96 Hour Rule was.

BLITZER: Yes. Abbie Boudreau did an outstanding job -

GRAHAM: She surely did.

BLITZER: -- with that CNN investigation.

That one soldier, though, that she highlighted who got a general discharge because he - he only had four days, 96 hours, and he got to take some decisive action to try to protect his troops.

GRAHAM: Yes.

BLITZER: What should happen? Should they reopen that case?

GRAHAM: I - I hope so, but the rules are the rules. You may not like them, but in the military you have to follow them. But I'd like to look at that case anew and - and see if - we may want to take a second look at that.

Here's the good news. Because of what was said and reported about the 96 Hour Rule, it has been changed, and I want to congratulate General Petraeus of getting a caveat so our American forces don't live under this rule, but, you know, that would be a good case to look into, and I will suggest we do that.

BLITZER: Briefly, Senator, what - what do you make of this latest tension or crisis, even, between the Obama administration and the Israeli government of Prime Minister Netanyahu?

GRAHAM: It plays into the hands of those who don't want peace. It empowers those not to come to the table. It gives a reason not to come to the table, the people who are really on the - on the fence, and those who want to destroy the peace process, it gives them a talking point they didn't have.

I think, overall, it's been a mistake.

BLITZER: So what - what should - what should the president do? GRAHAM: Make sure that we understand it's more than the settlements that have to be resolved and put pressure on the Palestinians and other parties to - to be more responsive and not just pick on Israel and the settlements. It's a much bigger problem than that. And reset the debate.

BLITZER: Senator Graham, thanks for coming in.

GRAHAM: Thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: Surging and deadly drug violence in Mexico as thousands of American students head there for spring break. Mexico's ambassador to the United States is here in THE SITUATION ROOM to discuss that and more.

Plus, the largest art heist in history, still unsolved after two decades. Could DNA solve the mystery?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: The violence raging in Northern Mexico hit closer to home when a pregnant U.S. consulate worker and her husband were shot dead in Juarez just across the border from el Paso. There were more than 2,600 killings in Juarez alone last year.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: And joining us now, the Mexican ambassador to the United States, Arturo Sarukhan. Mr. Ambasador, welcome back to THE SITUATION ROOM.

ARTURO SARUKHAN, MEXICAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES: Thank you, Wolf.

BLITZER: As you know, a lot of Americans are nervous right now about letting their kids, their college students, go to Mexico, Cancun or other places on spring break given the violence that's going on. How worried should they be?

SARUKHAN: Well, I think that whenever people travel abroad, you have to exercise caution. Precaution is necessary. But what's going on in Mexico and being concerned about the violence in Ciudad Juarez and sending your kids to Cancun is saying that you're concerned because there was a hijack or mugging in New Orleans and you're going on holidays to New York City.

There are pockets of violence in - in certain parts of Mexico, but those patterns are not replicated in places line Cancun or the Riviera Maya.

BLITZER: But there are areas of Cancun, maybe not necessarily where the young Americans stay, but not that far away where there could be some trouble. SARUKHAN: We have not seen any incidents of drug related violence in places like Cancun or Cabo San Lucas, which are obviously two of the hottest destinations in Mexico.

BLITZER: What happened in Juarez? You're talking about Juarez. Some American diplomats, were they targeted because they were Americans, shot down and killed?

SARUKHAN: We are still in the middle of investigation. The initial findings seem to suggest that these three individuals that were associated with the consulate in Ciudad Juarez were not necessarily targeted because they were working for the consulate.

Now, what is behind the murder of these individuals is still unclear, but I hope in the next 24, 48 hours we'll have more information on that.

BLITZER: And it - it seems like the drug cartel in Mexico is taking all sorts of drastic action right now, with the kidnappings, the murders, the violence. It seems to be getting worse on a daily basis.

SARUKHAN: I know that it sounds counterintuitive, and it will sound counterintuitive to your viewers, but there is a direct correlation between increased violence and the fact that these groups are feeling squeezed and cornered.

They're lashing out because they're losing. They're lashing out because they're trying to control the last remaining routes of drugs into the U.S., and we've seen a bit of that taking place over the past three years.

BLITZER: We - we've also seen the president of Mexico, President Calderon. He's taking steps, using the military, Mexican marines and others, to go into some of these communities and basically take charge of local police responsibilities because the police are corrupt.

SARUKHAN: We - we've had, obviously, a very important challenge in Mexico, which is the corruption - corruption festered for so many years that only the armed forces could be used to stopgap measure by the president to initially take them on and push them back, and that's what the president has done, to create those breathing spaces where they - then you can move in and rebuild communities and ensure that the rule of law is prevalent.

BLITZER: How prevalent is this corruption among local law enforcement in Mexico?

SARUKHAN: I don't want to quantify, but it's a big challenge.

BLITZER: A huge challenge.

SARUKHAN: I think it's a very big challenge.

BLITZER: And President Calderon and his government, are they on top of it? SARUKHAN: I think - I think that you - what you're seeing in Mexico is for the first time a Mexican president committed to taking it back - to taking - taking it on and pushing it back.

BLITZER: What, if anything, can the United States do to help in a situation like this?

SARUKHAN: Well, I think - I think that this administration and the previous administration have been committed to finding new ways to cooperate with Mexico. The key challenge for us right now, Wolf, is to ensure that guns and money, bulk cash which feed into the drug syndicates don't cross from the U.S. into Mexico.

BLITZER: Is it still crossing in?

SARUKHAN: It is. It is.

BLITZER: Is that the biggest problem right now, the demand here for drugs, the demand for, if you will, the revenue from the - from the guns?

SARUKHAN: Well, there's always - there's always a connection between a consumer nation like the United States living next to a country that has become the platform for a significant amount of drugs coming to - into the United States, in the same way that the availability of guns or of laundering operations inside the border are seeping into the drug operations in Mexico.

You need two to tango. You need two to win. And, at the end of the day, we will succeed or we will fail together.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: A 20-year-old art heist is still shrouded in mystery, and investigators hope modern forensic techniques will finally give them the break they need.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: They are among the world's most treasured pieces of art and for two decades they've been missing. But what if - what if DNA can finally solve one of the most notorious crimes of the last century?

CNN's Alina Cho is looking into it - Alina.

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Wolf.

This may have happened in a tiny museum in Boston, but in dollar terms, we're talking about the largest art heist in history. For two decades now investigators have been chasing down hundreds of leads, they've interviewed countless witnesses, and they've traveled the world looking for answers.

Still the central questions remain, where is the art and who did it?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) GEOFFREY KELLY, SPECIAL AGENT, FBI, BOSTON DIVISION: These are the hottest stolen paintings in the world.

STEPHEN KURKJIAN, BOSTON GLOBE CORRESPONDENT: Because there's so many known parts of it, except the black hole - where did they go?

CHO (voice-over): A mystery, what happened on March 18, 1990 at Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum? Twenty years later, a new portrait is emerging about the famous heist, with some tantalizing details.

CHO (on camera): Investigators say at precisely 1:24 A.M., two men disguised as policemen knocked on this side door, saying they were called to look into a disturbance. The night watchman let them in.

Once inside, the two thieves handcuffed both of the guards on duty, duct taped them, and then, with free reign of the museum, they went to work.

CHO (voice-over): What the pair took, didn't take and how they did it is as baffling to investigators as the crime itself.

KELLY: Certainly, they don't know a lot about art.

CHO: Among the 13 works stolen -- three Rembrandts, including the "Storm on the Sea of Galilee," his only known seascape; five drawings by Degas; and "The Concert" by Vermeer, one of only 36 known Vermeers in the world.

But the thieves left hanging Titian's "Europa", the museum's most valuable piece, estimated worth $400 million.

Then, there's the method they used, cutting some of the paintings out of their frames, which can damage them. Today, museum goers see empty frames as a haunting reminder.

KURKJIAN: And that's the fear, is that they rolled up two of the Rembrandts, and that is a big fear because that is - that paint will crackle.

CHO: Stephen Kurkjian has been following the Gardner heist for "The Boston Globe".

KURKJIAN: They missed a Michelangelo and they took something two steps away that had nowhere near the value.

CHO (on camera): But the question remains, who was behind the biggest art heist in history?

Over the past 20 years, there have been wild theories. Was it a fugitive mob boss? An eccentric art collector? Or was it just the work of local criminals?

KELLY: There's so many good suspects. I mean, it's like an Agatha Christie novel where everybody's sitting around, you know, in the living room and everyone has a particular motive as to why they committed the crime, and that's really -

CHO (voice-over): FBI Special Agent Geoffrey Kelly, on the case for eight years, says DNA testing is now in play but wouldn't reveal details.

"The Boston Globe" reports investigators may be analyzing the duct tape used to silence the guards. If there's sweat on the tape, there's a possibility of a DNA match, and the break investigators have been hoping for for 20 years.

CHO (on camera): Why do you think people are so fascinated by this case?

KELLY: This case has everything. I mean, it has everything that would make the greatest crime novel ever, except it's missing that last chapter.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHO: Remember, there were two crimes involved. First, the actual theft and the statute of limitations on that ran out back in 1995. That means even if the two thieves are caught, they wouldn't be prosecuted.

Then there's the second crime, possession of stolen art. There is no statute of limitations on that, so the U.S. Attorney's Office is now offering immunity. Prosecutors say if you come forward with the art work, all will be forgiven, and that's because it's possible, Wolf, that the art work has changed hands over the years and that the people now in possession of it had nothing to do with the original crime - Wolf.

BLITZER: Alina Cho. A fascinating "What if...". A "What if..." episode. Thanks very much.

A frozen lake becomes a runway. That and more show stopping pictures just ahead in our "Hot Shots".

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Here's a look at this week's "Hot Shots". In Estonia, a Polish cargo plane made an emergency landing on a frozen lake.

In Kazakhstan, a U.S. astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut sit outside their capsule after returning from six months on board the International Space Station.

In New Delhi, the Dalai Lama looked at a book called "Tibet: Fifty Years After".

And in a farm in Northern Germany, check it out, curious ostriches peered into the camera.

"Hot Shots", pictures worth a thousand words.

I'm Wolf Blitzer. Join us weekdays in THE SITUATION ROOM from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M. Eastern and every Saturday at 6:00 P.M. Eastern on CNN, and at this time every weekend on CNN International.

The news continues next on CNN.