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THE SITUATION ROOM
President Obama Courts Women Voters; Interview with Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, When Gender Politics Gets Personal; A Wake Up Call for Democrats; Gender Gap, What Gender Gap?; Bush Gives Rare Washington Speech; Facebook Co-Founder Defriends U.S.
Aired May 15, 2012 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I like hanging out with women. What can I tell you?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: President Obama steps up his courting of female voters, but Democrats get a wakeup call. A brand-new poll shows Mitt Romney may be leading among women.
Also, that's not the only category where President Obama may be trailing. Is it time for Democrats to panic? I will ask the Democratic Party boss, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. She is standing by live.
And a Facebook co-founder unfriends the United States of America -- how giving up his U.S. citizenship could save him hundreds of millions in taxes when the company goes public.
I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Democrats have been betting on a big gender gap to give President Obama an edge in the November election. They have accused Republicans of a war on women. And President Obama has been going all out to court female voters, but suddenly a new poll suggests that it's Mitt Romney who may now have an edge among women.
Let's go straight to our White House correspondent, Brianna Keilar.
Brianna, should the president be worried that he's potentially losing his critically important edge with women?
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, it may be too soon to tell. These poll numbers may not tell the entire story.
But if we take a look at this poll by CBS News/"New York Times," it does show Governor Romney up by 2 percentage points over President Obama when it comes to women. Now, that's within the four-point margin of error, so it shows a neck-and-neck race.
But one reason to kind of look at this very carefully is because other polls, albeit less recent polls, show the president with a major advantage over Governor Romney. And, for instance, if you look at our latest poll, the CNN/ORC poll that was done in mid-April, it shows President Obama with a 16 percent advantage.
Now, the Obama campaign, Wolf, is really pushing back on the methodology of this poll. And it's sort of standard of course if you don't like a poll to push back on it, but there may be something to the complaint here and this is why. For this latest poll -- it was done in mid-May -- it actually -- they called back people that they had polled in April.
So they had a sample in April and they reused it in May. But they didn't get all of those people. So it was even smaller and the bottom line is that may not be really representative of the nation as a whole. So we are really going to have to wait and see other polls and see what they say before we can really make more of a conclusion about maybe which direction, if any, women are going.
BLITZER: Yes, because in April when "The New York Times" asked that same question -- "The New York Times" and CBS -- the president had an advantage; 49 percent of the women in April in that same "New York Times"/CBS poll said they supported President Obama, 43 percent Mitt Romney.
But now that has shifted, 44 percent, as you point out, for Barack Obama, 46 percent for Mitt Romney. So there's clearly been a shift in that "New York Times" poll, but the methodology is something that leaves some expert pollsters in doubt maybe on the reliability of this new poll.
BLITZER: We will see some new polls coming out in the next few days, whether there's a trend here or whether this may simply be a mistake on the part of "The New York Times" and CBS.
So tell us what the president of the United States is now doing to reenergize that female base out there, because without it he is going to be a one-term president.
KEILAR: That's right. He's really counting on this, Wolf.
And you can tell just by his schedule recently. Yesterday, he was at Barnard College, prestigious women's school in New York City, delivering commencement address, urging women there to fight for a seat at the head of the table.
And right after that, he went straight over to "The View" to talk with the all-female team of hosts there about things you don't normally hear him talk about, for instance, how to raise daughters in the Internet age.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE VIEW") ELISABETH HASSELBECK, CO-HOST: What sort of rules do you and the first lady to protect them and guide them?
OBAMA: Well, first of all, Malia didn't get a phone until last year.
OBAMA: So Sasha still doesn't have a phone.
JOY BEHAR, CO-HOST: How old is Malia?
OBAMA: Malia is 13. She'll be 14 in July.
OBAMA: They don't have a Facebook page. You know, part of that, obviously, is for security for us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Now, Wolf, he also talked about things like Title IX and its effect on women's athletics and how in his view it's given women more confidence in other areas of their life.
He's courting the women's vote big-time.
BLITZER: Yes, he needs that female vote big time, as you point out, Brianna. Thank you.
Mitt Romney was battered by fellow Republicans during the primary campaign, but he's clearly bounced back. And while he's been hammered by Democrats, those blows have at least so far bounced off.
Our national political correspondent, Jim Acosta, is taking a closer look into this part of the story.
So far, he's holding pretty strong out there, Jim.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf. Polls show Mitt Romney is hanging tough with President Obama. And the reason is simple, the economy.
The Romney campaign knows this. And as millions of daytime talk show viewers witnessed earlier today, so does the president.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Mitt Romney is sticking to what appears to be working with voters, his message on the nation's fiscal health.
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This debt is America's nightmare mortgage. This is not just bad economics. It is morally wrong and we must stop it.
(APPLAUSE) ACOSTA: These days, there isn't much that's sticking to Romney.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With Romney and Bain Capital, the objective was to make money.
ACOSTA: After weeks of attacks like this pro-Obama super PAC ad on Romney's time at Bain Capital to questions about whether he would have taken out Osama bin Laden to stories about his high school pranks, polls show the GOP contender is still neck-and-neck with the president.
The latest "USA Today"/Gallup poll show voters have as favorable a view of Romney as they have of President Obama. And the same poll finds Americans believe the economy would be better under Romney.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When the economy went bad, a month after my divorce, I lost my job, I lost my house.
ACOSTA: That explains why this Romney campaign Web video hand- picks a few unemployed workers in the battleground state of Iowa to take a subtle dig at the president.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They everyone believed, everyone had hope. They all thought, man, this guy is going to get something done.
OBAMA: When your name is Barack Obama, it's always tight.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Barack Hussein Obama.
OBAMA: Barack Hussein Obama.
ACOSTA: Appearing on the daytime talk show "The View," the president agreed the economy will determine the election. Still, despite being in office for more than three years Mr. Obama declined to grade himself on his handling of the economy.
HASSELBECK: So how do you grade yourself, honestly, in terms of how you've done in terms of economics...
OBAMA: You know, the -- I won't give us a letter grade. I think it's still incomplete.
ACOSTA: The Romney campaign said the president moving backwards, pointing out Mr. Obama once gave himself a B-plus for his job performance.
ROMNEY: These have been years of disappointment and of decline. And soon we can put all that behind us. We can prosper again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): I love people. I love lakes. ACOSTA: And Romney is even getting help with those sometimes awkward campaign comments about his love of lakes and cars. The irreverent rap group the Gregory Brothers have turned those moments into a musical mash-up.
ROMNEY: My sons are (INAUDIBLE) of my jokes. I live for laughter, Three Stooges, Laurel and Hardy.
ACOSTA: I don't know if you noticed there, Wolf, but that was from an interview that you did with the Romneys aboard their campaign bus back in Iowa.
Meanwhile, Democrats counter Romney's plans are a throwback to the presidency of George W. Bush, who told a reporter earlier today here in Washington, I'm for Mitt Romney.
In a statement from the Romney campaign, a spokeswoman said, "We welcome the president's support as we welcomed his father's."
Just wanted to point out, Wolf, you were in there in that video as well.
BLITZER: Yes. Well, they edited me out of there. They put someone else in that bus.
But what took President Bush so long to finally endorse, come on board the Romney campaign?
ACOSTA: He didn't stick around for any follow-up questions. And that is a big question that is out there. Not only why did it take President Bush, George W. Bush, so long to give this endorsement, but why did it take the Romney campaign so long to get this out there?
Obviously, this is a different situation when compared to perhaps getting the endorsement of Jeb Bush or George H.W. Bush. A lot of Americans out there still blame President George W. Bush for the problems that are out there with the economy right now.
So perhaps this sort of lukewarm endorsement and reception of that endorsement, you know, that may speak volumes in terms of just how popular George W. Bush still is in this country, Wolf.
BLITZER: Yes, I think you're absolutely right, Jim. Thanks very much.
Let's dig a little bit deeper right now with our chief political analyst, Gloria Borger.
Gloria, how much of a window does the Obama campaign and their supporters have to try to discredit Romney and his Bain Capital business experience?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: They do have a small window now. This is a point in a campaign -- primaries are over for the Republicans -- and you try and define your opponent. And I think the White House takes a look at the polling and they say, what's the one area in which Mitt Romney does better than Barack Obama?
And that's the area and best able to handle the economy. They also clearly look at the polls, which say that only a third of the American public thinks that they're better off today than they were four years ago.
So if you're in the Obama campaign, you're saying, what do we have to do? We have to credit Mitt Romney's ability to manage the economy and tell the American people, you know what? Given the job he did at Bain Capital, he doesn't have the right stuff to be president because he doesn't care about people like you.
That's exactly what they're doing right now.
BLITZER: But there's a risk in this Obama strategy.
BORGER: Sure, there is, because fairness is a theme that resonates with the American people.
What does not resonate with the American people is class warfare, particularly independent voters. They think it's fine to want to aspire to be rich or to be rich yourself. And take a look at this.
Gallup did an Obama job approval question, but they filtered out what they call pure independent voters. And the president's job approval among those pure independent voters is only 33 percent. So the Obama campaign knows those are the people they have to try and win back. And that's probably one of the reasons, Wolf, that when they're not talking about the economy, they're talking about portraying Mitt Romney as an extremist on social issues, because they think that would resonate with those independent voters that they're not doing as well as they'd like to be doing.
BLITZER: How much does the personal factor, though, count?
BORGER: I think the personal factor matters lot. Voting for president is a very, very personal vote. This is the person who will send your children to war, for example.
And so when you look at the overall favorability gap between President Obama and Mitt Romney, Mitt Romney is closing that now because the primaries are over. But take a look at some of our polling on personal characteristics comparing the president to Romney.
More in touch with women, the president 57 -- 55 percent to Romney 27 percent. More in touch with the middle class, again, you see such a wide margin. And one more thing, Wolf. Stands up for what he believes in, very important in a leader, the president again 50 percent to Romney's 29 percent.
Those are the areas that Mitt Romney, Republican presidential candidate, really needs to work on if he's going to connect with the American people.
BLITZER: Yes. He's got almost six months to do it. We will see if he does.
BORGER: He does. He's got a -- he's got a lot of time.
BLITZER: Gloria, thanks very much.
By the way, check out my blog. I write about President Obama, Mitt Romney, and Bain Capital, CNN.com/situationroom.
A powerful counterpoint to Democratic charges of a Republican war on women.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My husband had a penchant for drinking, and when he drank, he turned very mean, very violent.
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BLITZER: Now she's a Republican congresswoman and a key player in the battle over renewing the Violence Against Women Act. We will update you on what's going on.
Also, we will get the Democrats' argument from the party chair. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, she's here live. We will talk about that and what critics call her role as President Obama's attack dog.
And a Facebook co-founder and soon-to-be-billionaire de-friends the United States of America. He gives up his U.S. citizenship. Was it simply to save millions of dollars in taxes?
BLITZER: Get right to Jack Cafferty for the "The Cafferty File" -- Jack.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Wolf, Mitt Romney is hoping that Jimmy Carter can help him win the White House. The likely Republican nominee has been comparing President Barack Obama to the former Democratic president while on the campaign trail. For example, when Romney was asked if he would have approved the bin Laden raid, he answered, quote, "Even Jimmy Carter would have given that order," unquote.
And when talking about the economy, Romney described the Obama White House as the most anti-small business administration probably since Carter.
For many, the name Carter evokes an incompetent, liberal commander-in-chief at a time of recession, inflation, unemployment, high taxes, high gas prices and more government, the sort of overall national malaise.
And as "Politico" points out, by framing yourself as Carter's enemy, you can make yourself out to be Ronald Reagan, which is a brilliant strategy if it works. Michael Baron suggests in a column in Real Clear Politics that the 2012 election could mirror what happened in 1980 in the race between Carter and Ronald Reagan. There was a late break away from the incumbent that year, Jimmy Carter actually was leading for most of the race. His job rating was kept higher by his attempts to free the Iran hostages, even though voters were unhappy with the economy and other issues.
But during a debate just a few days before the election, Reagan famously asked, are you better off than you were four years ago? Suddenly the polls took a 10-point shift in Reagan's favor, and he went on to win in a landslide. Baron suggests despite economic concerns and opposition to Mr. Obama's apologies, voters might be keeping his ratings artificially high for fear of rejecting the nation's first black president. They might change their support to Romney at the last minute.
Here's the question: is former President Carter an effective weapon in Mitt Romney's campaign against President Obama?
Go to CNN.com/CaffertyFile, post a comment on my blog, or go to our post on THE SITUATION ROOM's Facebook page -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Good question and I think we're going to be hearing a lot more about Jimmy Carter from Mitt Romney in the next several months. Good stuff, Jack. Thank you.
A law protecting battered women has been on the books for two decades and it's always had wide bipartisan support. But now, there is a political fight under way here in Washington over renewing the Violence Against Women Act.
The Democratic-led Senate has approved and expanded version, the Republican-led House has other ideas and it's getting very, very personal and nasty.
Let's go live to our congressional correspondent Kate Bolduan. She's got the story for us.
Kate, tell our viewers what's going on.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, it's getting nasty because we are in an election year, and this at least in part has to do with a larger ongoing battle trying to win over, trying to win over the female vote. This time around, though, Republicans have a new messenger to help in that fight.
BOLDUAN (voice-over): It's one of the Democrats' harshest election year attack lines.
REP. JERRY NADLER (D), NEW YORK: House Republicans will continue their war on women.
REP. MAXINE WATERS (D), CALIFORNIA: There is a war on women and this is a great indication of it.
REP. JOHN CONYERS (D), MICHIGAN: This attack on women will be noted across the United States of America.
BOLDUAN: But that message aimed at winning over female voters could get tougher to sell.
Enter Florida freshman Republican Sandy Adams.
REP. SANDY ADAMS (R), FLORIDA: I'm pretty certain I'm not at war with myself.
BOLDUAN: Adams usually keeps a relatively low profile.
ADAMS: I had one home and it's in Florida.
BOLDUAN: But she's stepping into the spotlight as the GOP face of the latest congressional battle over protecting victims of domestic violence.
(on camera): Why is it more than politics, more than policy, why it's personal for you?
ADAMS: At an early age, I quite high school. At 17, I joined the Air Force, married by 18. During the marriage, I had a little girl and I realized really soon that my husband had a penchant for drinking and when he drank, he turned very mean and very violent.
So, we set out on our own, just her and I, without a high school diploma, no job, just our clothes. And we went out and I worked hard and we made it.
BOLDUAN (voice-over): That personal story could help Republicans push their version of the Violence Against Women Act and deflect Democratic criticism they don't care about women.
Adam is the lead sponsor of the bill. The 18-year-old law has been renewed twice before with little controversy, but not so this time around.
Senate Democrats have their own version which extends coverage to more illegal immigrants and specifies the law include gay and lesbian victims. Republicans say that's unnecessary, the law covers all victims.
(on camera): Is this a war on women?
BOLDUAN: And, Congresswoman, why are Democrats calling this a war on women then?
ADAMS: Politics. I guess it makes for good talking points, but it's not accurate. We are here trying to reauthorize a bill that would help all victims of domestic violence, and especially women.
BOLDUAN (voice-over): And while she condemns politics playing a role in the stand off, being at the center of it certainly doesn't hurt someone like Adams, who is facing some tough politics herself, up against a much higher profile fellow Republican in a fight for reelection.
ADAMS: I've said all along, I want to reauthorize it. I do not want to politicize it. The victims deserve better than that, Americans deserve better than that.
BOLDUAN: Now, senior House Republican aides are confident that the House Republican version will pass when it comes to the House floor which that will help tomorrow. After that, the House and Senate will need to hash out the differences between the two versions and, look, Wolf, both sides agree on the end goal here, for renewing this law. But in an election year, the big question is just how long will they drag out this fight?
BLITZER: What did the Democrats, Kate, say in the Republican argument that the existing law, the existing language already protects those women, the illegal immigrants also lesbian, for example? Why do they need additional language? What's the Democrats' argument?
BOLDUAN: Broadly speaking, Wolf, Democrats say that the law currently as it existed allows for some ambiguity on the local level, that in order to specify that everyone be covered, all victims be covered under this law, they want to specifically name gay victims, lesbian victims and transgender victims make sure that specified into the law so there isn't any ambiguity when you get down to the local law enforcement level of implementing this law, in terms of, that also includes when you're talking about Native Americans.
In terms of the issue of illegal immigrants, Democrats in the Senate, they believe that there needs to be more protections for illegal immigrants who are victims of domestic violence and they're trying to expand that portion of the law, Wolf.
BLITZER: The debate will continue, I guess, in confidence between the House and the Senate. Thanks very much, Kate, for that.
A controversial execution with ties to Iran's even more controversial nuclear program. What's going on?
And we'll also talk about new polling that could spell some serious trouble for Democrats. I'll ask the Democratic Party chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, if she's afraid President Obama could lose in November.
BLITZER: Iran executes a man convicted of killing a top nuclear scientist.
Lisa Sylvester is monitoring that and some of the other top stories in THE SITUATION ROOM right now.
What do you have, Lisa?
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Wolf. Well, Iranian state television is reporting that Majid Jamali Fashi has been hanged. He was convicted of killing a professor and a nuclear scientist in January 2010, one of several deadly attacks targeting Iranian nuclear experts. Iran alleges Israel is behind them and says Fashi was paid $120,000 by the Israeli spy agency. Israel won't comment.
American servicemen and women, along with their families are getting a free pass to America's national parks. The White House announced a new program today in advanced of Armed Forces Day this Saturday. The passes which normally cost $80 will cover admission to some 2,000 locations, including national parks, monuments, forests and other federally mandated sites.
And on Wall Street, the three major indexes ended the day at a three-month low, with investors spoof by Greek debt and uncertain European finances. The Dow lost more than 60 points -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Lisa, thank you.
A new poll shows Mitt Romney even leading President Obama. I'll ask Democratic National Committee chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, if it's time for the Democrats to panic, as James Carville suggests.
She became the face of his troubled family. Now, Cate Edwards faces another major test, taking the stand in the trial of her father, the one-time White House hopeful, John Edwards.
BLITZER: With polls suggesting that Mitt Romney is even with or even leading President Obama, is it time for the Democrats to panic?
Let's discuss that with Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida. She is the chair of the Democratic National Committee.
James Carville, a man you know, the man I know, our CNN contributor. He wrote this blog last week saying, I'll put it up on the screen. WTFU, translated, wake the you know what up, there is an earthquake. What are you smoking? What are you drinking?
What are you snorting or just what in the hell are you thinking? Earlier he said, it's time to panic because so many Democratic leadership in the party and the campaign seem to be complacent that the president has a lot before being re-elected. He says you have to fight.
REPRESENTATIVE DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIRWOMAN: Well, I guess, it's my job to peel folks like James Carville off the ceiling because it's certainly not time to panic.
I haven't noticed complacency at all. I mean, in the last year, I've traveled to 33 states and almost 100 cities, Wolf and people our very focused.
Our supporters understand what's at stake here. They know the dramatic contrast in the two directions that we could go. They understand that this will be a close election and they are fired up and ready to go. And we've got a tremendous amount of activity through our neighborhood --
BLITZER: You are not just resting assuming it's a done deal.
SCHULTZ: Kicking back and relaxing, I can assure you.
BLITZER: All right, because this "New York Times"/CBS poll today shows, what, 32 percent, a third of the country thinks the economy is good right now and 67 percent, two-thirds think the economy is bad. You agree the economy is issue number one.
SCHULTZ: Absolutely. We need to continue President Obama's laser focus on creating jobs, getting the economy turned around. Remember that he's brought us from really the worst economic crisis that we've had since the great depression in most of our lifetimes.
And now three and a half years later, we've created more than 4.2 million jobs. We got 26 straight months of private sector job growth and we need to keep our eyes on the prize and focused on fighting for the middle class and working families and giving everyone know opportunity to be successful.
When Mitt Romney and his cronies and the Republicans Party and the extremists and the Tea Party are fighting for people who are already doing quite well and trying to make sure they can do even better. That's the choice.
BLITZER: As the Republicans keep saying that the president's campaign, the Democrats, the DNC, the organization you hold, you keep trying to change the subject away from the economy to other issues.
BLITZER: Same-sex marriage, for example.
BLITZER: Or if it's a Bane Capital, Mitt Romney's capital at Bane Capital and anything, but talking about the economy, which they say is the president's weak spot.
SCHULTZ: You see, what I've noticed is that the Republicans are really good at projections, which means that anything that actually applies to them they try to put on their opponents.
It's the Republicans that are focused on everything, but creating jobs and working with this president and compromising so we can reduce the deficit because they focused on social issues. They're had an obsession with culture.
BLITZER: During the Republican primary, but what about now? SCHULTZ: Just over the last few months.
BLITZER: He doesn't want to focus that. He wants to focus the economy. Romney, I think that's a fair assessment. He doesn't want to focus on social issues, which the other Republican candidates like Rick Santorum and those guys.
SCHULTZ: Mitt Romney and the people around him have focused on making sure that the top of their agenda is defunding Planned Parenthood. The top of their agenda -- I mean, you just look at the Republicans when they took over the majority in the Congress.
Their number one bill, HR-1 was the repeal of the affordable care act. HR-3 was a bill that would have defunded Planned Parenthood and ended funding for birth control and family planning. HR-3 also would have made sure that we change how we define --
BLITZER: The Republicans in Congress, does not necessarily Mitt Romney.
SCHULTZ: Mitt Romney certainly has not distanced himself from the Republican leadership and the Congress. He's fully embraced the Romney-Ryan budget, which would end Medicare as we know it. He's completely twisted and intertwined with the extremists in the Tea Party.
BLITZER: As far as you're concerned, you want this race to be focused on jobs and the economy.
SCHULTZ: It has been President Obama's focus since day one and that's why we are moving in the right direction. It's also why that poll showed that most Americans believed that a year from now they themselves would be better off economically and that the economy will continue to improve.
BLITZER: You know, that's very disturbing to me.
SCHULTZ: They're optimistic.
BLITZER: You're a congresswoman. You're running for re-election in your district. I know there are a bunch of Republicans vying.
SCHULTZ: Yes, a couple.
BLITZER: I don't know if you noticed this one individual who's now put up a web site and he's got a picture of you with a dog collar on it. There is it right there. It's a really degrading picture and stop Barack Obama's biggest attack dog is the headline. Do you know this individual Ozzy Defario whatever his name is?
SCHULTZ: I don't know him, no.
BLITZER: Is he a serious Republican challenger potentially to you?
SCHULTZ: I'm focused on representing my constituents and making sure they understand I've been fighting for them and working hard to make sure that we can continue to get this economy turned around.
That they have a seven-way Republican primary and I think that web site itself demonstrates what kind of person he is and it speaks for itself.
BLITZER: Coming on the heels of Alan West's ugly comments about you, you remember those a few months ago.
SCHULTZ: Sticks and bones can break my bones and names can never hurt me. I'm just going to keep focused on my job and work hard and be the grassroots door to door, neighbor to neighbor legislator I've been for 20 years.
BLITZER: Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chair of the DNC. Thanks for coming in. The economy, economy, economy. Jobs, jobs, jobs.
Another potentially ominous time for Democrats, a new poll shows that Mitt Romney is actually leading with women voters. We'll talk about that and more in our "Strategy Session." Stand by for that.
And a rare political alignment, three presidents of the United States here in Washington, D.C. at the same time. We're going to show you what's going on.
BLITZER: Let's get right to our "Strategy Session." Joining us now the Democratic strategist, the former White House deputy communications director, Jennifer Psaki along with Republican strategist, Bay Buchanan. Guys, thanks very much for coming in.
I'm sure both of you have studied in depth that latest "New York Times"/CBS poll that came out and I was stunned, I'm sure a lot of people, the gender gap that we thought President Obama had achieved winning a lot more women voters than Mitt Romney.
In April, the "New York Times" poll had 49 percent of the women with Barack Obama, 43 percent with Mitt Romney, but now 44 percent for Obama and 46 percent for Romney. Jen, what happened in the past month according to this "New York Times" poll?
JENNIFER PSAKI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Well, Wolf, we can talk about the poll without talking about the methodology with the poll. There are some serious issued with it.
They over sampled Republican women, they re-polled many of the people they had polled in the past, but you know, the most important issue is women will be working on the policies and the issues of the candidates and what they represent and who they're fighting. And we're really comfortable with where President Obama is on those issues.
BLIZTER: The "New York Times" does acknowledge, they change their methodology. Our pollster here at CNN did point out to me that he has a problem with going back and re-questioning people they questioned a month ago, some you can find, some you can't find and that seems to show a distortion.
BAY BUCHANAN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Also, they polled 6 percent more Democrats than they did Republicans so I'm sure there was some attempt there to even up the score for the president and they failed to do that.
But the key here, Wolf, is what's happened in the last month and the first thing is women do not like contentious environments. And we would just in a primary that was very ugly at different times and so I think that suppressed our natural female vote for Mitt Romney.
That stops had been good month he's had and what's happened to the president. We had Democrats assaulting Ann Romney and working women. We had the manufacture of this war on women and overlooking the real issue and that is his own record and what it's done to women. And that is what we've focused on and I think women see right through it.
BLIZTER: Mitt Romney keep saying 90 percent of the jobs lost since President Obama took office have been women.
PSAKI: Well, I am so glad you brought that up, Wolf, because the reality, the facts are that more men have lost jobs since the beginning of the recession than women.
BLIZTER: During the Bush administration.
PSAKI: And manufacturing and construction. Women lost jobs later because they were working in fields like education and health care. The president has actually fought for keeping jobs in those areas and Republicans have fought against funding for things like teacher jobs.
BLIZTER: Bay, I think you'll agree and you'll remember the dark days of September, October, November 2008 when it looked like the whole economy was about to go over the cliff. The country is a lot better shape than it was then, you'll agree with that.
BUCHANAN: No question. In the economics, you always know that there's always reversal and you have bad times and good times, bad times and good times. Unfortunately, this recovery is extraordinarily weak. It's been sputtering along.
And as for the facts, it is -- women account for 99 percent of the jobs lost. Right now, it looks like it's closer to 99 as new numbers have come in.
But whatever, they count for the overwhelming majority and women in the workplace are down to 20 years ago. They've put us back 20 years and the key is what you're hearing now is teenage politics.
It was the Bush people that did this. It's the Republican Congress, and the pollsters who did this. You know, that undermines the idea that you are truly a leader. You take responsibility for what happens on your watch. And this man, more Americans have lost jobs. PSAKI: I have to say though that more economists than I have fingers have debunked the 92 percent number. We know there are issues with that number.
Voters will go out there and look at what's at stake. I think women want to have a serious conversation about the issues and when you have a candidate like Mitt Romney who wants to cut programs like head start and cut health care funding and those are real issues and the stakes are serious.
BLIZTER: A lot of local communities have had to cut school teachers and social workers and most of those jobs, those are women who are losing their jobs because of local and state funding cutbacks.
BUCHANAN: And the thing here is that there's a sense that we are treating women -- the Democrats are treating women as if they are not that bright because they will be fooled by all these and the key issues are jobs, the economy and reckless spending of this administration.
But guess what? The polls show that women are in the same boat as men and they're worried about this economy. And that's what they're going to vote on and that's why Obama --
PSAKI: And on the contrast, Mitt Romney's campaign says he's surrounding by a few women and that means that he understands what women are fighting for and women need and that's absolutely incorrect.
BUCHANAN: No, women need jobs for themselves and for their children.
PSAKI: I agree. There's have been 1.6 million jobs that president put in place.
BLIZTER: I'm anxious to see another poll coming out in the next few days to see the "New York Times"/CBS poll is a mistake or if there's something going on that we need to watch closely. Guys, thanks very much for coming in.
We're going to hear from two former presidents of the United States, George W. Bush who makes a rare return to Washington and Bill Clinton who offers a dim view of the current political mood.
A Facebook cofounder unfriends the United States of America. Of giving up his citizenship could save him millions of dollars. He already has billions.
BLIZTER: Ex-presidents speaking out in Washington, D.C. Lisa Sylvester is monitoring that and some of the other top stories in THE SITUATION ROOM. Lisa, what's going on?
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Wolf. Well, former President George W. Bush made a rare appearance here in Washington and an even rare public speech. He talked about the Arab spring and the spread of democracy at an event for his presidential center held just a block away from his former home, the White House.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: America does not get to choose if a freedom revolution should begin or end in the Middle East or elsewhere. It only gets to choose what side it is on.
But America's message should ring clear and strong. We stand for freedom and for the institutions and habits that make freedom work for everyone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SYLVESTER: And not quite as rare, former President Bill Clinton assesses the political landscape. He talked about the primary defeat of veteran Republican Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana who lost to Tea Party backed State Treasurer Richard Murdoch. Murdoch is turning his back on compromise saying one side has to win and that doesn't sit well with Mr. Clinton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: The gentleman who just defeated Senator Lugar said something that I found disturbing although I kind of like him personally. He's a very appealing sort of person, but he said I am totally against any compromise, the views are reconcilable.
We just have to keep fighting if somebody wins at all. If that was the view, there never would have been a constitution and bill of rights, the federal government would not have assumed the debts of the colony from the revolutionary war.
And nothing else would have happened, but as soon as this election is over I think the incentives will be for both parties to make more compromising than they have in the past.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SYLVESTER: And I suspect as we get closer to the election, Wolf, we'll see more of these former presidents giving speeches like that, Wolf.
BLIZTER: I'm sure we'll see more of President Clinton. Not so sure we'll see a whole lot more of President Bush, but we'll see. That's what makes politics so much fun to cover. Thank you.
Let's go to Jack. He has "The Cafferty File" -- Jack.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Compromise, what a concept. The question this hour, is former President Carter an effective weapon in Mitt Romney's campaign against President Obama?
Mike Rice in Minnesota, "No, history does not literally repeat itself. I have no doubt that Romney still thinks disco is groovy. This is not 1980 and he certainly not Ronald Reagan. Reagan had ideas. Romney has none. He is not interested in a new morning in America. He's interested in a new career goal for Mitt."
Joe in New York writes, "If Romney wants to bring up Carter then I don't want to hear him complain about Obama bringing up George W. Bush."
Bill in New Mexico, "I've always said Obama reminded me of Carter. I voted for Carter when Carter first ran for office, same hesitation and same ineffectiveness that I saw in Carter I see in Obama. And I voted for Reagan when Reagan ran against Carter. I'll vote for Romney."
Ron writes, "Maybe, but I think about this, Jimmy Carter left office 31 years ago. No person 35 years of age or younger is going to remember the Carter malaise. Meaning all these young folks who voted for Obama in 2008 have no idea who Carter was. I think they might have read a history book."
Randall writes, "For the silent majority in this nation, yes." Shirley in Ontario, "No, iit's difficult to get around Carter's Nobel Peace Prize. Do you think Romney could aspire to that height?"
And Gary in California, "Comparing Carter to Obama is almost as much of a stretch as comparing Romney to Reagan. Good luck with that one."
If you would like to read more about this, find it on my blog, cnn.com/cafferty file or through our post on THE SITUATION ROOM's Facebook page -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, Jack, thank you.
A secret nuclear program revealed. We're not talking about Iran. We're talking about Kodak. Why the company had its own reactor and uranium.
Plus we'll meet the Facebook co-founder who gave up his United States citizenship. Was it simply to save millions in taxes?
BLIZTER: He was poised to become one of America's newest billionaires, but this Facebook co-founder is no longer an American. Were taxes the reason he gave up his U.S. citizenship?
CNN's Mary Snow is joining us once again. Mary, what are you finding out about this story?
MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, we're talking about 30-year-old Brazilian born Eduardo Severyn who lives in Singapore. Now he cut ties with Uncle Sam months ago that's according to a spokesman who says taxes weren't behind his decision, but tax lawyers aren't as convinced.
SNOW (voice-over): Had he not renounced his U.S. citizenship before Facebook's IPO, you might not be hearing much about Eduardo Severyn. For some, his role as one of Facebook's cofounders only came to light in the movie "The Social Network."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eduardo Severyn, co-founder and CFO.
SNOW: After Harvard, Severyn's role in Facebook spattered. He eventually sued for a stake in the company. David Kirkpatrick, author of "The Facebook Effect" estimates Severyn owns about 4 percent, which he says could be worth, get this $4 billion.
DAVID KIRKPATRICK, AUTHOR, "THE FACEBOOK EFFECT": The book the movie was based on was called the accidental billionaire. There was only one accidental billionaire and that's Eduardo Severyn.
SNOW: With as much as $4 billion at stake, it's safe to say Severyn could potentially save hundreds of millions in U.S. taxes, but a spokesman for Severyn says his expatriation happened months ago and is no way tied to the IPO.
The Brazilian born Severyn became a U.S. citizen in 1998. His spokesman said he moved to Singapore three years ago adding Eduardo's decision was not about taxes.
He still has very strong ties to Brazil and is extremely passionate about not only his homeland, but also the U.S. Eduardo found it more practical to become a resident of Singapore since he plans to live there for an indefinite period of time.
But Professor Michael Graetz at Columbia Law School is skeptical taxes didn't play a role in Severyn's decision.
MICHAEL GRAETZ, COLUMBIA LAW SCHOOL: Citizenship him really did mean that he would be subject to taxes on his worldwide income no matter where he lived. And it's very hard to believe that taxes did not enter into his calculation at all given the timing of this.
SNOW: Severyn is not alone. Nearly 1,800 people gave up their U.S. citizenship last year. That's nearly eight times the number in 2008. One expert says it's tied to stricter enforcement by the IRS in recent years.
GRAETZ: There are a lot of people who have a connection to the U.S., but have kept their U.S. citizenship which is free, but once it becomes costly they're prepared to shed it.
SNOW: In giving up U.S. citizenship, if you do renounce your citizenship you are faced with an exit tax -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Interesting stuff. Mary, thank you.