This is a rush transcript of "Special Report With Brit Hume" from May 4, 2007.
JIM ANGLE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Next on "Special Report," Senator Hillary Clinton reverses a longstanding refusal to set a date certain and embraces a plan to pull all troops out of Iraq by October. Her Democratic rivals sneer at the shift.
The Reagan Library hosts the first debate for Republican presidential candidates. Who moved up and who moved down?
Americans have a meeting, sort of, with Iranian officials, while their foreign minister is offended by a dress. We'll explain.
One of the French presidential candidates predicts riots if her opponent wins.
And a student newspaper creates a controversy that looks to some like an exercise in political correctness. All that right here, right now.
Welcome to Washington. I'm Jim Angle, in for Brit Hume.
Democratic presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton has been attacked for standing by her 2002 vote to authorize the use of force in Iraq. Now she wants to revoke that authorization, which is a reversal of a longstanding position against a date certain for the withdrawal of troops. It may have pleased some critics, but generated a whole new round from her rivals.
Congressional correspondent Major Garrett reports.
MAJOR GARRETT, FOX NEWS CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton's call to cancel legal authority for the Iraq war today drew instant fire from two Democratic rivals.
John Edwards, currently running third to Clinton, branded Clinton's gambit "meaningless." "We don't need any more nonbinding resolutions or big statements," Edwards said in a statement. "The only way for Congress to end the war is to cut off the money for it, and they should concentrate on doing just that. Anything else is just noise."
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, who in February called for de-
authorizing the war, said Clinton had simply followed his lead. And Richardson aides savaged Clinton for seeking to rescind legal authority to fight in Iraq while, at the same time, endorsing a U.S. military presence there to fight terrorists and stabilize the Iraqi government.
STEVE MURPHY, RICHARDSON MEDIA CONSULTANT: How do you de-authorize the war and still leave 70,000 troops in Iraq, as Hillary Clinton has proposed? Bill Richardson doesn't understand how that's possible.
GARRETT: Clinton aides say the senator has never endorsed a residual force of 70,000. When asked yesterday if de-authorizing the war means removing all U.S. troops by October of this year, Clinton said, quote, "Yes, he" — meaning President Bush — "would have no authorization to continue this war."
But today, Clinton aides told FOX the senator supports keeping a, quote, "very limited number," unquote, of U.S. troops in Iraq.
Congress faces an uphill battle to de-authorize the war. One, depending on the form it took, the president would either veto or fight in court.
DANA PERINO, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think that there's going to be many attempts to try to put a surrender date on the calendar. The president is not going to accept one.
GARRETT: Clinton leads among Democrats in national polls and most early primary and caucus states, but she has been dogged by her refusal to repudiate her unequivocal support for authorizing the Iraq war.
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), NEW YORK: Any vote that might lead to war should be hard, but I cast it with conviction.
GARRETT: Clinton's move means she has now embraced a troop withdrawal timeline of October 11th, the five-year anniversary of the original congressional war authorization.
CLINTON: It is time to sunset the authorization for the war in Iraq.
GARRETT: This amounts to a significant reversal. Clinton has repeatedly rejected troop withdrawal timetables. This January, she said, "I think the timetable still remains problematic." In June of last year, she said, "Nor do I believe it is a solution or a strategy to set a date certain for withdrawal." And in December of 2005, she said, "I reject a rigid timetable."
With this history, rival campaigns say they smell a flip-flop.
MURPHY: She needs to address the question of whether she still favors leaving troops in Iraq or not. That certainly would be a complete switch in her position.
GARRETT: Another of Clinton's presidential rivals, Delaware Democrat Joe Biden, late this afternoon also chided Clinton, saying that he was the first Democrat back in January to call for de-authorizing the war and posted a video on YouTube to drive home that point.
Of course, for experts in presidential election history, it's nothing but exquisite irony for Biden to complain about someone else taking his ideas, because, way back in 1988, that's what sank his presidential campaign — Jim?
ANGLE: Major, thank you.
Republican presidential contenders were touting their own performances today in last night's first Republican debate of the 2008 campaign. The event at the Ronald Reagan library in California gave voters a sample of the front-runner's stump speeches and an introduction to some lesser-known candidates.
Chief political correspondent Carl Cameron reports from Los Angeles.
CARL CAMERON, FOX NEWS CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One day after the first of countless presidential debates and forums, Republican presidential front-runner Rudy Giuliani surfaced on the Cedar Rapids first in the nation Iowa caucus campaign trail trying to keep the buzz going.
RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: We're in the middle of this campaign already, and I need your support.
CAMERON: At the Reagan library, with Mrs. Reagan on hand, the GOP White House repeatedly invoked the Gipper; the current president, not so much. They mostly avoided mistakes and stuck to their image and talking points.
McCain cast himself as the most robust candidate and experienced on security. Giuliani struck a confident, but more moderate tone, emphasizing his 9/11 leadership as New York's former mayor, while Mitt Romney tried to come across as an outsider and the most polished.
As front-runner, Giuliani was sure to be grilled. On abortion, he's the only pro-choice candidate in an officially pro-life party, but asked if he would like Roe v. Wade overturned, he did the one thing that makes both sides suspicious and frustrated, by appearing to want it both ways.
GIULIANI: It would be OK.
MATTHEWS: OK to repeal?
GIULIANI: It would be OK to repeal. It would be OK, also, if a strict constructionist judge viewed it as precedent. And I think a judge has to make that...
MATTHEWS: Would it be OK if they didn't repeal it?
GIULIANI: I think the court has to make that decision.
CAMERON: For Mitt Romney, the debate was a chance to raise his profile against the better-known candidates. He gave a smooth performance, almost slick, said some detractors, dealing deftly with most issues. He insisted that, since he has no issue with being a Mormon, voters shouldn't either.
MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS: We have a celebration of church and state. It's served us well in this country. This is a nation, after all, that wants a leader that's a person of faith, but we don't choose our leader based on which church they go to.
CAMERON: And then there was McCain, a repeat candidate battling in second. To some, he occasionally came off overly aggressive, but no one complained about the target of his temper: Usama bin Laden.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: We will do whatever is necessary. We will track him down. We will capture aim, we will bring him to justice, and I'll follow him to the gates of Hell.
CAMERON: McCain's critics say, at times, he seemed almost angry, just a bit too hot, while Romney's detractors suggested that he was so smooth it was almost like he was a bit too cool.
As for Giuliani, a pro-choice Republican is never going to be just right in a pro-life Republican Party. Yet, he is nonetheless still the front-runner in a field of candidates that still could be short two potential candidates, Fred Thompson and Newt Gingrich still deciding whether or not they're going to get in the race — Jim?
ANGLE: Carl, thanks very much.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has cut short his trip to Mexico to deal with the investigation into police conduct during the May Day immigration rallies. Video footage showed officers firing rubber bullets and wielding batons at the crowd, after some people threw objects at police and refused to disperse.
Villaraigosa is expected to have more to say about the incident upon his return later today, and the FBI has announced it will begin an inquiry into whether the police conduct violated the protesters' civil rights.
Chief Justice John Roberts says the caseload of the Supreme Court is declining, and he thinks he knows why. Roberts said in a speech to the Alaska Bar Association that the reasons center around three things: the lack of what he called any major congressional legislation in the last couple of decades; the ability of circuit courts to find legal decisions online, instead of asking the Supreme Court for guidance; and the tendency of lower courts to interpret statutes more uniformly, so the Supreme Court doesn't need to intervene.
The lawyer for Don Imus says CBS Radio and MSNBC had the power to edit the comments that got him fired from his talk show. Attorney Martin Garbus says the fact that they chose not to use their delay capability means the company knew the language Imus used about the Rutgers women's basketball team complied with his contract. That agreement has a clause acknowledging Imus' services are unique, irreverent and controversial. Imus is expected to sue for the remainder of his five-year, $40 million contract with CBS. The network says it will contest the claim.
Later on "Special Report," Nicholas Sarkozy takes a commanding lead heading into Sunday's French presidential election, while his opponent says a Sarkozy victory would cause riots.
But first, we'll tell you about what happened when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Iran's foreign minister were supposed to sit across from each other at the dinner table.
ANGLE: This week's conference on the future of Iraq was aimed at getting countries that rarely see eye to eye to agree on a shared vision in the region. And it was notable for a pair of odd moments involving diplomats from the U.S. and Iran.
Correspondent James Rosen is traveling with Secretary of State Rice and reports from Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
JAMES ROSEN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Secretary of State Rice wrapped up three days of nonstop conference meetings on Iraq by urging world leaders to make good on their promises this week to help stabilize the fledging, war-torn democracy at the heart of the Middle East.
CONDOLEEZZA RICE, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: It gave us a chance, all of us, including the Iranians, and the United States, and, for that matter, the Syrians — we've not been in the same room together — it gave us an opportunity to commit to doing something about the problems that Iraq faces in becoming more stable.
ROSEN: Chief among Iraq's problems, Rice made clear, is the steady stream of weapons, explosives and suicide bombers across Iraq's borders and into Baghdad. For this, Washington has primarily blamed Syria, with whose foreign minister Rice met on Thursday afternoon for the first time ever, and Iran, whose foreign minister, rather than sit across from Rice at a large dinner Thursday night, fled, claiming to have been offended by the sultry red dress worn by a performing violinist.
On Friday, however, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, did speak with Iran's deputy foreign minister for a few minutes on the sidelines of a larger gathering. Crocker told reporters he used the brief, unplanned encounter to reinforce Rice's message and ended it with a simple, "I hope you have a nice day."
RICE: Our officials did as they did in Baghdad, have an opportunity to exchange views about the substance of this meeting, which is how to help Iraq be more secure, and the responsibilities of neighbors and those who are active in Iraq to help the Iraqis secure themselves.
ROSEN: Iraq's foreign minister said his country has an interest in reducing tensions between the U.S. and Syria and Iran and welcome the assistance of his fellow Muslims to put an end to the sectarian violence that pits Sunni versus Shiite.
HOSHYAR ZEBARI, IRAQI FOREIGN MINISTER: The very presence here under the current circumstances is an indication that this conference is very important, that it will mark a turning point.
ROSEN (on screen): The Iraqi foreign minister described this slight thawing in U.S.-Iranian relations as a process that needs more work, but he also said the fact that the meeting happened at all is a positive sign that the two countries can overcome their, quote, "suspicions and mistrust."
In Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, James Rosen, FOX News.
ANGLE: U.S. forces have arrested 16 suspected militants from a Shiite cell that is believed to be smuggling in armor-piercing weapons from Iran. The explosively formed penetrators, as they're called, are responsible for an increasing number of American and Iraqi deaths. The military says some of the captures militants also saw terrorist training and were linked to kidnappings. And it announced that Iranian-made rockets and mortars have been found in several weapons caches discovered over the last few months south of Baghdad.
The 10th Mountain Division is beginning to show some real progress in clearing the area south of Baghdad of Al Qaeda operatives. The division's secret? It moves in and stays, with soldiers living on small outposts among the locals.
FOX correspondent Courtney Kealy is with the 10th Mountain to explain how this tactic works.
COURTNEY KEALY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The 10th Mountain's big footprints are on the ground, fighting Al Qaeda's strongholds south of Baghdad with a traditional counterinsurgency campaign. Inherently dangerous, this method demands aggressive, bold moves, and incurs more casualties than daily patrols, but it could be the key to establishing security here.
Although they're mirroring the U.S. Army's new Baghdad plan, officers of the 10th Mountain's 2nd Brigade, on the ground for nine months, say they've started delivering results. They conduct operations with the Iraqi commander her, Ibrahim Mansour (ph). He helped direct troops, sweeping bomb-ridden, rural farmland. Once they establish a foothold, they move in, and set up a patrol base for both Iraqis and Americans to live and work from.
The key to the success: They're taking territory from Al Qaeda operatives. This was an insurgent safe house, where the local leader, an emir of Al Qaeda, used to live with his family. Now, it's the battle position for Bravo Company.
Here's their makeshift Internet cafe. And right against this wall was where Al Qaeda used to film their execution videos. With images too gruesome and disturbing to show here, they made a video declaring themselves responsible for the torture and mutilation of two U.S. soldiers from the 101st Airborne who patrolled this area last June.
U.S. officers and Colonel Amman (ph) must constantly reassure the local population. These men travel to forward-operating base Yusufiya to air their grievances.
Major Rob Griggs says he spends hours, when not on patrol, meeting with locals.
MAJOR ROBERT GRIGGS, OPERATIONS OFC 4-31 INFANTRY: So it's just that process of just showing, "Listen, I'm a neighbor, and I'm not here in transit. I'm really here just here to live amongst you. And if I turn this house over, it's going to be to the Iraqis and not to the insurgents."
KEALY: Captain Chris Vitale says it's been a lot quieter with the locals appearing more receptive since Bravo Company arrived. Living on the patrol bases away from the larger bases could be risky, but Captain Vitale thinks it's the only way to fight insurgents.
CAPT. CHRIS VITALE, BRAVO CO. 4-31 INFANTRY COMMANDER: It's a gritty reality. The soldiers know what it means to be a soldier, and they understand, you know, what some consequences of war can be.
KEALY: Nine months into this campaign, the local insurgency, far from tame, still remains a threat. But by nearly all accounts, at least Al Qaeda operatives have lost their grip on this area.
In the Yusufiya region south of Baghdad, Courtney Kealy, FOX News.
ANGLE: Next on "Special Report," Queen Elizabeth tours the first English settlement in the new world. We'll tell you about the queen's day on her way to the Kentucky Derby.
And later on, the latest installment in our "American Heroes" series. Tonight, heroic efforts of a U.S. soldier in Iraq, who sprang into action when his Humvee was attacked. We'll be right back.
ANGLE: Queen Elizabeth visited a remnant of her country's past today, Jamestown, where the English first settled permanently in the new world 400 years ago. In the half century since her last visit to Jamestown, archaeologists have made a new discovery, which the queen was able to see for herself after a warm welcome from the vice president.
FOX correspondent Molly Henneberg is in Jamestown with the latest on the royal visit.
MOLLY HENNEBERG, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Fifty years and nine presidential administrations later, Queen Elizabeth II returned to Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the new world. Vice President Dick Cheney welcomed her to the town named for her ancestor, James I.
RICHARD CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Here at this first settlement, named in honor of the English king, we're joined today by the sovereign who now occupies that throne. She and Prince Phillip are held in the highest regard throughout this nation, and their visit today only affirms the ties of trust and warm friendship between our two countries.
HENNEBERG: In 1957, the queen toured Jamestown for the 350th anniversary of its founding and her first trip to America as queen. Now she's back for the 400th anniversary, and this time she saw something new that's very old.
Since her last visit, archaeologists have found what they believe to be the remnants of the first Jamestown fort, built in 1607. Previously, it was thought that the fort washed into the James River, but apparently it survived, buried underground for hundreds of years.
Today, led by noted Jamestown archaeologist William Kelso, the queen saw the ongoing dig at the site, various artifacts that have been unearthed, and one of the original wells. At a luncheon later outside of the Old Governor's Palace in Williamsburg, the queen described this trip back in time.
QUEEN ELIZABETH II, ENGLAND: I, like so many others, could not be but moved by the poignancy of walking around the archeological site where the original fort once stood and of imagining something of the experience of those early settlers when they first made landfall on the James River.
HENNEBERG: Inside the reconstructed palace, which originally was home to the first two governors of Virginia, Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson, the 81-year-old queen met guests and listened to music from colonial days. And before she left this part of America, she reflected on the impact of the Jamestown settlement 400 years later.
QUEEN ELIZABETH II: The Jamestown landing is not just a historical fact, but a symbol, a symbol of the convergence of civilizations, of the spread of the rule of law, of the growth of representative democracy, and also the symbol of friendship, the deep and enduring friendship between the United States and the United Kingdom.
HENNEBERG: Next stop, Kentucky. The queen has arrived there. She's a lifelong horse enthusiast and avid horseracing fan, so she's going to attend the Kentucky Derby this weekend. Jim, it makes me wonder what kind of hat she's going to wear to that, huh?
ANGLE: We've already seen two good ones. We'll wait for the third. Thanks, Molly.
French voters go to the polls Sunday to elect a new president. After Wednesday's debate, conservative Nicolas Sarkozy appears to have solidified his lead over Socialist Segolene Royal, who has stepped up her attacks on Sarkozy in an effort to save her campaign. Correspondent Greg Palkot reports.
GREG PALKOT, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You're looking at the next president of France, unless there's an upset. Center-right presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy is now favored by as many as 9 percentage points to beat Socialist candidate Segolene Royal in Sunday's run-off election.
Sarkozy is widely thought to have gotten a bounce from Wednesday night's televised debate, in which opponent Royal unveiled a new, aggressive style.
(on screen): France's Hillary Clinton, Socialist presidential candidate Segolene Royal, giving it her best shot at her last big campaign rally before Sunday elections. She's trailing in the polls to Nicolas Sarkozy, but don't tell that to the crowds here.
(voice-over): With everything, according to Royal, still in play, she's keeping up that combative approach, trying the anti-American sentiment in France, reminding people of France's pro-American stance, claiming he is imitating George Bush as a compassionate conservative, ready to slash human services once elected, and referring to comments made by tough-talking Sarkozy during urban disturbances here in 2005. Royal asserts, if her opponent is elected, there will be more riots.
I believe that the choice of Nicolas Sarkozy, she told a radio interviewer, is a dangerous choice. French authorities do tell FOX News they expect a flare-up of trouble if Sarkozy wins, but they also say her words could be (INAUDIBLE) Sarkozy dismissed Royal's comments. She's down in the polls, he said, and he is staying on message.
"I won't say I'm going to win or lose," Sarkozy said. "I'm just going to remain focused and wait for the French people's choice."
Analysts today said Sarkozy is holding onto voters on the right and making gains in the center, while Royal could be left largely with the left. With a clear choice, it's an electorate engaged.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's brilliant. He is very sincere, and he gets a new program for France.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Royal is nice, because many like her, young people and younger and old people.
PALKOT: Still, remember the French political paradox: Voters here often don't do what the pollsters say they're going to do.
In Paris, Greg Palkot, FOX News.
ANGLE: Back here at home, the U.S. unemployment rate rose to 4.5 percent in April as payrolls grew by just 88,000 jobs. That's the smallest number added since November of 2004. Wages are also growing more slowly. Average hourly earnings went up .2 percent last month, to $17.25.
Slower growth could ease the Federal Reserve's fear about inflation. The fed is expected to leave its key interest rate at 5.25 percent when it meets next Wednesday.
We'll take a break to give our sponsors some time and check headlines. When we come back, just how much money does Congress go through in an hour? And some New Jersey state troopers are fed up and ready to get even with you, next from "The Grapevine."
Some conservative students at Tufts University say they were just making a joke to make a point. But their satire has been called harassment creating a difficult controversy. Correspondent Molly Line has the story of a parody that misfired.
MOLLY LINE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Weeks after Don Imus ignited a firestorm of racial controversy, Tufts University in Massachusetts finds itself trying to answer the question when does free speech become hate speech? Tufts prides itself on, "an open campus committed to the free exchange of ideas."
In December, The Primary Source, a conservative voice at the school, a parody Christmas carol backing Affirmative Action. It was titled "O Come all ye Black Folk."
DOUGLAS KINGMAN, THE PRIMARY SOURCE: Hate speech requires intent, fundamentally, and we made our intentions very clear.
LINE: The Primary Source called the piece satire and said they thought readers would see it that way. David Denis, an African-American senior at Tufts argued that the mock Christmas carol was harassing, writing: "Clearly the carol falls into this category by intimidating African-Americans at Tufts by inferring they are unintelligent and inferior."
Just last week, this mock ad hit the pages, a parody of Muslim awareness week. Once again, not everyone got the joke. Offended students, including the Muslim Student Association, filed complaints. The Primary Source landed before a panel of students and faculty with the power to sanction, perhaps even shut down the publication.
KINSMAN: I hope that the freedom of speech will prevail at Tufts University and that Tufts will understand the importance of this important political dialogue in these troubling times.
LINE (on camera): In an editorial, recently published here on campus, the university president, Lawrence Bacow, said he finds it troubling that a discreet minority was singled out for ridicule. But when it comes to censure, he disagreed, saying the first amendment protects freedom of speech, even offensive speech.
(voice-over): The controversy leaves Tufts in a difficult position.
PROF TOBE BERKOVITZ, BOSTON UNIVERSITY: For Tufts which has its mission and it's philosophy, it's very important because it's going to tell you something about the university. Are we going to put free speech first or are we going to put a good environment, what we consider to be a good environment, for our students first?
LINE: At a university that tells students they should cherish the opportunity to learn in a place where controversial expression is embraced, it will be interesting to see how the panel rules.
In Medford, Massachusetts, Molly Line, FOX NEWS.
ANGLE: When his Humvee came under fire — came under attack in Iraq, Tommy Rieman took desperate measures to protect his unit's gunner, the person who could inflict the most damage on the enemy, then badly wounded, he went on to help repel another attack. Correspondent Trace Gallagher reports in our ongoing series "American Heroes."
TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Eight months after the fall of Baghdad, the hunt for Saddam Hussein and his henchmen was serious and deadly business. December 3, 2003, Tommy Rieman of Independence, Kentucky was a 22-year-old sergeant in the 51st Infantry Long Range Surveillance Company. That night Rieman helped lead an eight-man team to spy on a meeting of Saddam loyalists near Abu Ghraib Prison. The team never got there. Their three Humvee convoy encountered a sophisticated ambush from the side of the road.
SGT TOMMY RIEMAN, 51ST INFANTRY: The initial blast, I just remember it being so loud and so overwhelming and bone jarring.
GALLAGHER: The air was filled with shrapnel and bullets as you can see in these photofoes of Rieman's Humvee.
RIEMAN: We were hit with three RPGs and three IEDs all simultaneously in a hail of small arm gunfire.
GALLAGHER: Rieman realized that the 50 caliber gun on top of his Humvee was the only weapon available that could stop the attackers. He had to protect the gunner at all costs, so he maneuvered in the Humvee and draped himself over his gunner's leg.
RIEMAN: I used my body as a shield to protect my gunner.
GALLAGHER: He began returning fire and saved his gunner's life by taking bullets with his own body in a battle that lasted less than a minute. By the end of it, Rieman and two others were left bleeding badly.
(on camera): So now, where did you get hit?
RIEMAN: I got shot in the arm, right here in the chest, the rib area, and then I took multiple shrapnel wounds to my calves, back of the legs, a couple pieces up here on my side and a little small piece to the ear.
GALLAGHER: Were you mobile still?
RIEMAN: Oh absolutely. At first I had no idea I was hit, to be honest with you.
GALLAGHER: Yeah, it seems like it's going to be hard for people to believe that you're shot twice and you've more than a dozen shrapnel wounds and you don't really know?
RIEMAN: Your adrenaline's just pumping and you're training kicks in and you're not worried at you at the time you're worried about the other seven guys that are fighting with you.
GALLAGHER (voice-over): He wouldn't even let his men patch him up. The team sped away, but Rieman's heroic ordeal was far from over. As the troops stopped to assess the damage, they were ambushed again, this time by another group of terrorists hidden in a grove of palm trees across the road.
RIEMAN: And at that point, I said: All right, that's it.
GALLAGHER: Rieman had had enough. He walked right toward the terrorists, firing a grenade launcher until they were silenced.
RIEMAN: I just stepped out there, I didn't care about anything, I just wanted to get rid of those guys.
GALLAGHER: No one knows exactly how many terrorists were killed that night, but all the Rieman's men got home.
For his extraordinary bravery, Sergeant Tommy Rieman was awarded the Silver Star, the Army's third highest medal for valor and there was more.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Tommy Rieman was a teenager pumping gas in Independence, Kentucky when he enlisted in the United States Army.
GALLAGHER: President Bush spoke of Rieman's courage on the battlefield in his State of the Union in January 2007.
BUSH: He has earned the respect and the gratitude of our entire country.
GALLAGHER (voice-over): But when you actually become part of the speech, then what do you think?
RIEMAN: Tommy Rieman was pumping gas in Independence, Kentucky. You hear that and it just like, I don't know, sends chills down your back and holy cow, it's the president, he's talking about me, this is cool! But you also felt honored, too.
GALLAGHER (voice-over): And that's why Sergeant Tommy Rieman is an American hero.
ANGLE: Next on SPECIAL REPORT, the FOX all-stars weigh in on Senator Hillary Clinton's latest position on Iraq, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The American people have called for change, the facts on the ground demand change, the Congress has passed legislation to require change. It's time to sunset the authorization for the war in Iraq.
Nor do I think it is smart strategy to set a date certain. I do not agree that that is in the best interests of our troops or our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANGLE: OK, have you see Senator Clinton's position yesterday, now and her position over the last few years when she was against any sort of date certain.
Let's have some analytical observations on what appears to be a major sift, from Fred Barnes, executive editor of the Weekly Standard; Mort Kondracke, executive editor of Roll Call; and syndicated columnist, Charles Krauthammer — FOX NEWS contributors, all.
Now Charles, Senator Clinton has taken an enormous amount of abuse from the anti-war left for not being willing to, one, apologize for her original vote on Iraq, but also because she would not agree to set a date certain to withdraw the troops from Iraq. She now seems to be saying, she is willing to set a date certain and, though her staff quibbled with it a bit, even told us yesterday, that that would mean all troops would have to be out in October.
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: This appears to be a finesse on the issue of the apology. She's not going to issue an apology. It'll look weak, it'll look like she's regretting what she had done. She maintains it was the right thing to do at the time. So here she trumps the issue and says I'm not going to apologize, I'm going to undo it by unauthorizing the war.
Now, if she's serious, it means that the war ends on October 11, all troops are out, which is absurd and impossible. It means that if the president has another troop remaining in Iraq, he has an impeachable offense. But it's really not a serious activity. Remember, when the first President Bush, the one — the sainted — the one who was restrained, didn't go into Iraq, the realist and all this. Everybody loves him now, especially Democrats.
When he was going to go to war in the Gulf, he said that he did not need authorization and even if the House and the Senate rejected the vote to authorization the use of force, he would have gone in anyway.
So, you've got presidents who reject the authority of this, there's no way that this president is going to honor an undoing of this, which is essentially undoing a declaration of war, never happened in American history, it's not going to happen.
ANGLE: Now Mort, one of the odd things here is that her aides told us, today, and told other reports yesterday, oh no, no, no — after she said that would mean all troops out — said, oh, no, no, no, no, actually we'd be leaving behind some troops to fight the terrorists and to protect the Kurds and to do other missions. I'm a little confused. Do you have a clear sense of what her position actually is now?
MORT KONDRACKE, ROLL CALL: Of course. And Charles is exactly right. Look, I mean, the question is does she mean it or doesn't she mean it? Either way, it's dishonorable what she's doing. If she doesn't mean it, then she's trying to fool all these lefties who are — who might be satisfied with the idea of abandoning the war in October and getting out and all that kind of stuff, even knowing that it's not going to pass. If she is serious, then it's doubly dishonorable and it's a violation of everything that she has said, which makes a lot of sense, that namely that we need to keep troops behind, that we have long standing national interests there, that she doesn't want al Qaeda to take over the Sunni areas.
You know, this whole activity on the part of the Democrats reminds me of nothing so much as the 1980s when the candidates for president were all fumbling all over themselves to get to the nuclear freeze issue. In those days the Soviets, you know, would have frozen a Soviet superiority in place in Europe. Now, the difference is, is that the freeze was proved unpopular and unworkable at the time during the Reagan administration, in this case these people are playing with playing with an unpopular war and they're probably politically...
ANGLE: So Fred, Senator Clinton wants to express her displeasure, she wants to try to do something, why not this?
FRED BARNES, WEEKLY STANDARD: Well, why not this? I think she's safe in that she it's not going to happen and she can be for it. But just stop and ask yourself, if she were not running for president, if she were not being pushed hard from the left to apologize for her vote in favor of the war in 2002, if Barack Obama were not breathing down her neck as a charger who is either close behind her or who is actually even with her, would she have done this? Of course she wouldn't have done it. But she really is safe in proposing it because it's not going to be passed. I think Republicans, on something like this could get enough votes to filibuster it successfully in the Senate, so it isn't going to happen. So she's safe. She can be for it and not worry about it happening.
ANGLE: All right, next on SPECIAL REPORT, FOX all-stars take a look at who gained and who lost in last night's Republican presidential debate, next.
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MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I said I'd protect the law as it was, which is effectively a pro-choice position. About two years ago when we were studying cloning in our state I said, look, we have gone too far. It's brave new world mentality that Roe v. Wade has given us and I change my mind.
RUDY GIULIANI (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It would be OK to repeal. It would be OK also if a strict constructionist judge viewed as precedent and I think a judge has to make that...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would it be OK if they didn't repeal it?
GIULIANI: I think the court has to make that decision and then the country can deal with it. We're federalist system of government and states can make their own decisions.
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ANGEL: OK, we're back with the panel. There's some samples from the Republican debate last night. Now, the odd thing here is Rudy Giuliani is sort of the odd man out on some social issues, certainly on abortion. Had to know he was going to be asked about this, it was going to come up. And as far as I can tell he had one foot squarely planted in both camps.
KRAUTHAMMER: Look, I don't want to be an apologist here, but he was trying to be concise and that's why it came out really badly. The keywords here are "strict constructionist judge." If you ask do you have a litmus test on judges and abortion he will say no. I do want a strict constructionist and I would assume that they would probably overturn Roe. However, you could be an honorable strict constructionist and I could see John Roberts, perhaps, as an example of that, who would say well, the precedent here is so old and so heavy and I'll stick with it even though it's bad ruling. That's his position on this, a complicated one. He tried to do it in eight seconds and he blew it.
ANGLE: That's on fo the problems he has...
KONDRACKE: That's not what I think. Look, I think this guy when he was in New York — it's just like Romney. Romney was in Massachusetts, he was pro-choice. He goes into a national campaign, he's pro-life. It's happened before. George HW Bush famously made that leap. And Giuliani has not gone the same way that Romney has. Instead he's got a wiffle-waffle position. He wants to be anti-abortion, he wants you to know that he hates abortion, on the other hand, he is going to leave it up to the woman's choice. And judges in between and states in between and stuff like that. So, it's tough for a guy like him.
BARNES: His answer ways, it's OK if Roe v. Wade's overturned, it's OK if it's not. You know, I mean, he doesn't care about Roe v. Wade and it's an important decision. Charles, I don't think it's at all complicated, his position. But he at least ought to be able to state it coherently now.
KRAUTHAMMER: Well, I just did.
BARNES: He seems to flip-flop.
KONDRACKE: You did better than he did. He seems to flip-flop between being for taxpayer paid abortions and then against them. Now he's for the Hyde amendment.
ANGLE: So at the next debate, Charles, you're going to be next to Ron Paul.
KRAUTHAMMER: I'm going to be standing behind Giuliani telling him how to save live (ph).
BARNES: One thing that has interesting that happened there, didn't have anything to do with abortion and that was Iraq, where we now have nine out of the 10 back the Bush's position on Iraq. You know, have all but four of the roughly 250 members of Congress, Republicans, who are backing the president. It is really pretty amazing now that the presidential party has joined the Congressional party in backing Republicans and backing the president on it.
ANGLE: You know, it was interesting, they were all agree on what to do — well except for Ron Paul — what to do from here on out. Though there was plenty of criticism including Huckabee who said that the president talked too much to people in suits and silk ties and not enough people who had blood and mud on their boots, and suggested he had not listened to the military.
KRAUTHAMMER: General Abizaid, who was in charge, had blood and mud, and he was for the light footprint. He was the one for not a lot of troops. He speaks Arabic, he knows this area, he is not a fool, he doesn't have a silk tie and he made that judgment. The president relied on it, it was not the right one, but it was not out of lack of interest or curiosity or expertise.
KONDRACKE: Well, I don't — they are backing Bush, because Bush plainly has shifted positions and now they're shifting positions with him and they're still behind him. And most of the Republican Party is there still backing.
BARNES: It is a change of strategy.
KONDRACKE: That's big. Changing strategies...
BARNES: Of course it's big. And you're in favor of it.
KONDRACKE: I am.
BARNES: It's not — I mean, when you change a position, you're like Hillary.
ANGLE: And McCain said we have a new strategy and it can succeed.
All right, sometimes you see the most unusual entertainment at the White House. Wait until you see what happened today.
ANGLE: Finally tonight, President Bush celebrated Cinco de Maya a day early this year. In the Rose Garden, this afternoon, he hosted Los Hermanos Maro Arriago a Mexican Mariachi Band with them was a delightful young performer.
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ANGLE: How cute is that? That's it for SPECIAL REPORT, but stay tune for more news — fair and balanced, as always.
Watch "Special Report With Brit Hume" weeknights at 6 p.m. EST.
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