"Face the Nation" transcripts, July 22, 2012: Aurora mayor and police chief, mayor Bloomberg, PM Netanyahu
(CBS News) Below is a rush transcript of "Face the Nation" on July 22, 2012, hosted by CBS News Bob Schieffer. Guests include: Aurora Police Chief Daniel Oates, Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan, Colorado Rep. Ed Perlmutter and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also joined the program. A roundtable discussing the latest on the Colorado shooting includes CBS News correspondents John Miller, Bob Orr, Norah O'Donnell and John Dickerson.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Today on FACE THE NATION, we'll talk to Aurora police chief, Daniel Oates, in his first interview since the killings in Colorado and the discovery of the suspect's booby-trapped apartment.
DANIEL OATES (Aurora Police Chief): Make no mistake, okay, this apartment was designed and to kill whoever entered it. Who was most likely to enter that location after he planned and executed this horrific crime? It was going to be a police officer, and if you think we are angry, we sure as hell are angry.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Chief Oates will be with us this morning as we continue to report on the largest mass shooting in U.S. history, a crime that has so far left twelve dead and seventy wounded. Even after the arrest of James Holmes, questions remain--how and for what reason could all this have happened?
We'll also talk to Aurora Congressman, Ed Perlmutter; Aurora mayor, Steve Hogan; and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg who says the presidential candidates must stop avoiding the subject of guns.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: Where are they now and why don't they stand up and if they want our votes, they better?
BOB SCHIEFFER: We'll also bring in the CBS team covering this story, correspondents Barry Petersen, John Miller, and Bob Orr.
In London reports this morning that Israeli security forces are searching for an Iranian terror squad planning an attack on Israeli Olympic athletes. We'll get the latest on that from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Plus, analysis on all of the above from our own Norah O'Donnell and John Dickerson because this is FACE THE NATION.
ANNOUNCER: And now from CBS News in Washington, FACE THE NATION with Bob Schieffer.
BOB SCHIEFFER: And good morning, again, on a sad morning and welcome to our broadcast. Here's the latest from Aurora, Colorado.
This morning of the seventy people who were shot, twenty-six are still hospitalized, eleven of whom are still in critical condition. James Holmes is in solitary confinement, will be arraigned tomorrow. President Obama goes to Colorado later today. The lead investigator Aurora Police Chief Daniel Oates is joining us this morning for his first interview since all of this happened.
Chief, thank you very much for taking the time to be with us. Can you first clear up this story that originated overnight that investigators were looking for some so-called person of interest. What was that all about?
DANIEL OATES: Sure. I'm not quite sure what the term person of interest means. We're interested in anyone who knew or had contact with the suspect, and this was a person who had contact with the suspect, a casual acquaintance. We found him yesterday. We interviewed him. The relationship was really inconsequential. And we're happy that we spoke to him but that's all that was. And as a responsible part of this investigation, we would be doing that with any of his acquaintances. So it's really an inconsequential matter.
BOB SCHIEFFER: As far as you know at this time, this involves only one person?
DANIEL OATES: All the evidence we have, every single indicator is that this was-- this is all Mister Holmes's activity and that he wasn't particularly aided by anyone else.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Bring us up to date on the very latest in this investigation.
DANIEL OATES: Well, you know there is so much-- it is so complex. We're-- we're focusing on how he got the materials that he got that were used in this shooting, that were used in the-- in the apartment. We're focusing on anyone who knew him and statements he may have made. We're building a case to show that this was a deliberative process by a very intelligent man who-- who wanted to do this. So it will take-- it will take quite a bit of time. I-- there are so many loose ends and we've been so busy dealing with the families and the aftermath of this and the apartment, and the dangers of the apartment, that I haven't even been briefed by my investigators on probably ninety percent of what they know. That kind of work will take place in the next couple of days. I'll be more up to speed but we're doing everything good.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Oh, go ahead. But I just wanted to say, can you tell us-- we have a report-- CBS News has learned that you may have recovered a Batman poster or something to that effect in his effects. Is that true?
DANIEL OATES: I don't know anything about that. I have not been briefed on what's inside the apartment. The-- the major concern in the apartment was-- was the weaponry or the explosives and all that material. That was all taken by the FBI yesterday and they're going to do all the forensics on that. And I have not yet been briefed on-- on what else we took out of the apartment. And-- and we wouldn't share that with the media at this time, anyway, whatever we took out of there.
BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. I want to bring-- Chief, I want to bring into this now our senior correspondent John Miller in New York. John.
JOHN MILLER (CBS News Senior Correspondent): Thanks. Chief, one of the things we've been looking at is that apartment yesterday. That was an extraordinarily unusual crime scene with extraordinary hazards. Talking to the technical people yesterday, they said this was a very complex chemical reaction device where a trip wire would be set off by opening the door, one chemical would pour into another, they would react and cause this conflagration. What does that tell you about the level of sophistication of this suspect and his intent?
DANIEL OATES: I think it's a-- I thinks it speaks volumes about his-- his-- his intelligence and his deliberation, and his cold-bloodedness. I-- I could not believe the pictures I saw from the robot about-- about the way this thing was designed. And there was a second triggering mechanism, too. So, if-- if somehow that was defeated, there was another electronic mechanism of some sort that also would have set the whole thing off.
JOHN MILLER: So, one critical question--
DANIEL OATES: I had never seen-- I had never seen anything like it.
JOHN MILLER: One critical question there, Chief, we are told he advised police, if you go to the apartment you are going to find explosives. Did he tell you and your officers that it was a trap or was it something you were meant to walk into after talking to him?
DANIEL OATES: Well, I'm not going to discuss his admissions, but I will tell you that we were aware of the possibility when we arrived. I--I-- I'm simply not in a place to say in any form what he told us.
JOHN MILLER: Now you haven't had time to be briefed on a lot of detail aspects of the investigations but you did have a chance to talk to the officer who actually arrested him. I imagine that officer in confronting him seeing a guy in heavy body armor with a ballistic helmet and an AR-15, probably first assumed he was a S.W.A.T. officer. How did that arrest go down? What did he say?
DANIEL OATES: Without going into too many details it was one aspect of what he was wearing that did not fit what a S.W.A.T. officer might be wearing. There was one particular piece of equipment that he had on him that was out of place. And I am so proud of my officers that they spotted that right away and challenged him. I can't tell you. In that chaos, it is quite reasonable that an officer might have confused him for another-- for a S.W.A.T. officer, a heavily armed officer who was responding to the scene.
So kudos to my two cops who grabbed this guy and that they-- and that sharp observation that they made immediately that led them to suspect him as being the suspect.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Chief, it's Bob Schieffer again. You don't-- can you tell us what that piece of the equipment was or would you--
DANIEL OATES: No, I prefer to-- I'd rather not. I prefer to leave that for the evidence at trial.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Let me ask you this: you say you can't really talk in detail about what was in the-- in the apartment. But did you run across anything in there--notebooks, computer, things of that nature that would give us some insight into the working of the mind of this person?
DANIEL OATES: I'm told there was a computer inside the apartment and with the assistance of the FBI, that computer will be completely analyzed. That may take some time. So we're hopeful that that will yield some information.
BOB SCHIEFFER: John?
JOHN MILLER: Chief, if I can ask that question a different way. What we see is a lot of activity and may going into June. He drops out of a PhD program. He starts ordering massive amounts of weapons, tactical gear, ammunition. Other things are changing, he's planning. Has there been any sign of what was occurring in his life at that time that seemed to be the stressor that pushed him toward this plot?
DANIEL OATES: I've heard one morsel of information about a relationship that may or may not be true. And-- and that's why we have the-- all our investigators working on this. That's why we brought in the FBI behavioral analysts. They're going to figure all that stuff out, and there will be no easy or quick answers. And maybe there will never be any answers. This-- this requires a lot of work and we're just not in a position to give any indications of that now. And, again, whatever we do develop, the proper place to make sure we get proper justice for the victims is to reveal that stuff in the course of the criminal prosecution.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Chief--
JOHN MILLER (overlapping): Chief, the President is coming later today. He's going to meet with you. He's going to meet with the victims. Of course, it's also a political season. Do you feel there is a utility to that, and do you think it's going to help?
DANIEL OATES: I can't tell you how important this visit is. I spent ninety minutes with the families on Friday afternoon, and this was during the period where the ten deceased-- the bodies were still in the theater and they were so desperate for confirmation, and I couldn't give it to them. And they were hurting so much. And we were so pleased to be able to tell them through our victim advocates contacting the families yesterday, that the President was coming here, and they-- these families need that kind of contact by our elected leader, and it will be very powerful, and it will help them. As-- as awful as what they've been through and what they are going through has been, having the President here is very, very powerful. It means a great deal to them and I think all of Aurora.
JOHN MILLER: Dan, let me for a moment drop the veneer of objectivity. We're friends. I've known you a long time. Your daughter went to the Batman premiere that night. Thank God at another theater. But you've got a family to support during a crisis in your town. You've got police officers who have seen things that most people don't see unless they are in Iraq and Afghanistan and will need to recover from that while they are working and you have a community that looks to you for protection and to tell them everything is going to be all right and where this goes next. I have to ask, how are you doing?
DANIEL OATES: I'm doing fine. I can't tell you how proud I am of everybody in this department and what they've done. And this touches all of us. I-- I know any number of friends whose children were at a Batman premiere that night. Young kids were very excited to see the movie. And I mentioned that my daughter was at one of the other theaters in Aurora and there is probably about five-- five friends of mine had the same reaction, the same experience. And it could have happened to any of us. And-- and, unfortunately, the way America is today, could have happened to any parent anywhere in the country. And that's-- that's the perverse thing about this and-- and something we as a nation have to deal with.
JOHN MILLER: Chief Daniel Oates, thank you for joining us this morning. Bob.
BOB SCHIEFFER: And thank you, John.
John will be back later in the broadcast to talk some more about this. Chief Oates, may I also take this opportunity to say thank you and to congratulate you on the very professional way that your department is handling this situation that nobody wants to be confronted with. We-- we all appreciate it and we thank you.
DANIEL OATES: Thank you.
BOB SCHIEFFER: I want to turn now to Bob Orr, our Justice Department correspondent. Bob, you just heard the Chief. You've been checking with federal sources. What do you have to add?
BOB ORR (CBS News Justice Correspondent): Bob, first of all, the Chief was modest. I don't think he really gave us all the details of what the great work that's been done on the ground has produced. The police there along with the federal partners have amassed a substantial case of evidence already. That this was a premeditated act of murder and the planning goes back about four months. They've recovered things like shipping labels from a dumpster in front of Holmes's apartment. They've got credit card records. They know he shopped at internet sites like BulkAmmo.com, TacticalGear.com. They have a surveillance tape of Holmes allegedly picking up a hundred and sixty pounds of ammunition at a FedEx counter in Colorado. And they also have talked to a UPS driver that says, "Oh, I remember this guy. He had ninety packages delivered to him in his work address."
So all of this evidence and the fact that they found him with four guns, they know where the guns came from-- they have built a substantial criminal case, and whether he cooperates or not is immaterial. They have got this thing nailed cold. They're still trying to find motive. That's the big thing.
BOB SCHIEFFER: And, Bob, we'll be back later as well as we continue on this. Bob Orr, thank you very much.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is at CBS News headquarters in New York. Mister Mayor, thank you. Both the President and Governor Romney have expressed sympathy to the people in Colorado this morning. What else would you like to hear from them?
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (New York City Mayor): Well, expressing sympathy is-- is nice and it's a horrible tragedy and I know everybody in this country, everybody around the world, their hearts and prayers go out to the families, but somebody's got to do something about this and this requires--and particularly in a presidential year--the candidates for President of the United States to stand up and once and for all say, yes, they feel terrible. Yes, it's a tragedy. Yes, we have great sympathy for the families but it's time for this country to do something. And that's the job of the President of the United States. And I don't know what they're going to do. But I think it's incumbent on them to tell us specifically, not just in broad terms.
You know, Governor Romney, when he was governor of Massachusetts, actually passed a ban on assault weapons. And President Obama, when he came into office in 2008, said he would reinstitute the ban, the federal ban on assault weapons, and the governor has, apparently, changed his views, and the President has spent the last three years trying to avoid the issue or if he's facing it. I don't know anybody that's seen him face it. And it's time for both of them to be called-- held accountable. You know we spend all our time talking about tax returns and gaffes and things like that. This is one of those issues, along with a handful of others that really matter to the American public. It matters to the future of our country. It matters to you and me and to our children and grandchildren. And it's time, I think, that we hold them accountable, and say, "Okay, you want our votes, what are you going to do?"
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, why do you think they have not said anything? Is this because of the power of the National Rifle Association and its lobby? Is-- is that why we're not hearing from them in your view?
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: Well, you know, they have to explain themselves as to why, and I shouldn't be putting words in their mouths. I don't know what their motives are. The NRA is an organization that is adamant about no controls on weapons in spite of the fact that we have federal laws that say you cannot sell guns to minors, to people with psychiatric problems, or drug problems or convicted felons. And yet they pressure Congress and the White House--and they've been doing it for decades--to not fund enforcement of those laws.
We don't need more laws. We need a couple of fixes. There's a loophole where you can sell guns without a background check at a gun show, forty percent of guns are sold that way, same thing on the internet. We need to fix the fact that states are supposed to send records into the central database of who has psychiatric problems and who is convicted because when somebody sells a gun, they've got to check the database, and if there's no data in it, it wouldn't do any good. The NRA has opposed anything. And if you do a survey it's interesting eighty percent of the NRA members say, for example, that the federal laws on guns should be enforced and that we should stop all this closing our eyes and-- and letting people go and buy guns, you know, there are-- there are guns that are advertised on the internet--.50-caliber rifle, and it says, "able to bring down a commercial jetliner at a mile and a half" or "armor-piercing bullets." Last time I saw a deer wearing a bulletproof vest was a long time ago.
And the bottom line is, weapons that are sold, advertised as high-capacity and very powerful aren't weapons that are to be used in hunting and they certainly aren't weapons to be used to defend yourself. You know, the Supreme Court said, excuse me, that, yes, we have the Second Amendment, you have a right to bear guns. But reasonable restrictions are constitutional. And I think the Congress passed reasonable restrictions. But to not enforce them is just ridiculous and you've got to ask the candidates why they are unwilling to do so. Leadership is-- is leading from the front, not doing a survey, finding out what the people want and then doing it. What do they stand for and why aren't they standing up?
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, let me just point out as surveys go, clearly, the public mood on this has changed. In 1990 polls suggested that eight people in ten wanted stricter gun laws. But a majority wanted now, in 2010, a majority favored no change in the law or-- or laws that were less strict. And it's still today, even after the Gabby Giffords' shooting, the country seems pretty much now just evenly split about whether there's a connection to stricter gun laws and-- and-- but, clearly, people seem to have changed their mind. They don't seem to see the connection now.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: Well, number one, I think it's our job, me as a mayor, you as one of the great presenters in this country of the news, to explain to people the connection between gun laws and the safety of themselves and their children and the safety of the police officers around this country who put themselves, their lives on the line for us. But I think, also, a little bit of this is how you phrase the question. The bottom line is most people do understand, and when we-- the polls that my organization has done, we have an organization of over seven hundred mayors, Republicans and Democrats and independents; rural areas, urban areas; north, south, east, west; and they understand the reason mayors are in this organization is we're the ones that get the call in the middle of the night that a police officer has been shot. We're the ones that have to go to the hospital. I can tell you, I've been in office now ten and a half years, and the only thing that I do that is really, really tough is to look somebody in the eye, a mother, a father, a sister, a brother, a husband, a wife, and, say, or a child, and say, "Your loved one's not coming home. I'm sorry".
BOB SCHIEFFER: You know--
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: And I think if people had to do that, if-- if-- if the Congress had to do that rather than just look at the numbers and pander to the television, they might view this a little bit differently.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Mister Mayor, it's always a pleasure to talk to you. Thank you so much.
MICHAEL BLOOMBER: Bob, thank you. This really is an enormous problem for the country; and it's up to these two presidential candidates. They want to lead this country and they've said things before that they are in favor of banning things like assault weapons. Where are they now and why don't they stand up and if they want our votes, they better.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Thank you, Sir.
We'll be back in one minute with Ed Perl-- Perlmutter, the Congressman who represents Aurora, Colorado.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Congressman Ed Perlmutter represents Colorado's seventh district which includes Aurora. He is there this morning. Congressman, thank you for joining us.
You've been talking to your constituents almost nonstop since this happened. What do they want you to do? What do they think ought to be done now?
REPRESENTATIVE ED PERLMUTTER (D-Colorado): Well, I'll tell you a story of a young lady in pizza restaurant, in the mall right behind us, and I said, "If I had to share something on TV tomorrow, what would it be?" And she said to tell people to think about the folks who have been hurt in all of this and our community that's been hurt in all of this, and to get their sympathy and their prayers and thoughts because this is a great community. I'm not kidding about that. It hurts now. And young lady there knew two people who were shot in this thing. So it touches all of us.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, I hope you will pass--
REPRESENTATIVE ED PERLMUTTER: So that's what she wanted to say.
BOB SCHIEFFER: I hope you will pass on that-- they-- you certainly have the sympathy of all of us here and I think it's fair to say people across the country. What about the gun laws? Are people out there saying--
REPRESENTATIVE ED PERLMUTTER: Okay.
BOB SCHIEFFER: --it's time to tighten them up now or leave them like they are? What-- what's the sense now?
REPRESENTATIVE ED PERLMUTTER: Well, that conversation really isn't taking place, although I can tell you I pulled out of my driveway yesterday and a lady was walking her dog, and she said, "This has gone too far. We have got to do something." And so, you know, the mayor is saying this is all on the President's back or the presidential Candidates' back, Romney and President Obama. I think this is really a Congressional issue that has to be dealt with. You know, should we reinstate the assault weapons ban? I think we should; and I think that's where it starts. We ought to be taking a look at how this guy was able to accumulate so much ammunition. He had enough ammunition for, like, a small army. I mean, this is-- there's something wrong about that. So to that point, the-- the mayor is correct. But I think he's putting his finger on the wrong spot. This is a congressional issue.
BOB SCHIEFFER: And can we expect that you'll be talking about this a lot in the coming congressional session when Congress comes back?
REPRESENTATIVE ED PERLMUTTER: I don't think you-- we can avoid it. Carolyn McCarthy from New York, you know, has been a big ad-- big advocate--
BOB SCHIEFFER: All right.
REPRESENTATIVE ED PERLMUTTER: --in this arena and I'm going to be with her.
BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. Congressman, thank you so much. We're out of time. I appreciate you being with us. Back in a second.
REPRESENTATIVE ED PERLMUTTER: Thank you.
BOB SCHIEFFER: When Thomas Paine wrote the essay, Common Sense, it rallied the American colonists to take on the greatest power in the world and what resulted was the United States of America. Maybe what we need these days in an-- is an essay called, Lack of Common Sense. How else can we account for the current state of affairs? Of course, there are legitimate reasons for people to own guns for both sport and protection. But doesn't common sense tell us we must keep guns away from people like the Colorado shooter? Don't we all agree on that? Finding a solution to fix that won't be easy, but if that is our goal, shouldn't that be where we start the discussion? Where's the common sense in not starting there? This is not about ideology. It is about the safety of innocent people and going to the movies without fear of being killed. It's like so many issues these days. The one thing gone missing from the argument is common sense. Why? Because we've allowed the lobbyists and the partisans and the ideologues--and, yes, the people who make money out of politics--to take control of the argument and shift it from common sense to endless, hair-splitting, meaningless rhetoric and ideological talking points designed to avoid blame and fatten campaign war chests. Common sense doesn't really fit when the goal is not what's good for us but what's good for my side. We remember Thomas Paine saying in another essay, "These are the times that try men's souls." But maybe we've forgotten what it took for the courageous people of his time to do what they did. Here's a clue--it wasn't a fear of getting beat in the next election.
Back in a minute.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Some of our stations are leaving us now. For most of you, we will back with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
BOB SCHIEFFER: And we're back now on FACE THE NATION with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Prime minister, thank you for joining us. As Americans have been shocked by this tragedy in Colorado, Israel has been burying the dead from the attack last week on innocent Israeli tourists in Bulgaria. It goes without saying, of course, that our sympathy goes out to you and the people of Israel.
But before I get to that, let me ask you about a report in London newspapers this morning that as we near the fortieth anniversary of the attack on Israeli athletes in Munich, that Israeli agents have launched a massive search after reports that an Iranian terror squad is now plotting to kill Israeli athletes at the London Olympics. What can you tell us about that, Sir?
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU (Israeli Prime Minister): Well, first, I can say that we sympathize--that's not even the word--we deeply empathize with the American people over this tragic massacre in Colorado. You know, you're right, we experience these blood-lettings of innocents periodically, and we know that each time the American people stand with us, so we stand with you. And we-- we-- we say that with great profundity. We feel that grief that sweeps across the American people.
You asked about the London Olympics. Look, we've been witnessing over the last two years, an Iranian-sponsored global campaign, along with its sidekick, Hezbollah, to launch terror attacks against Israelis, and coincidently not only Israelis, they tried to murder the Saudi ambassador in Washington and they were willing to take several senators with him. That was a real possibility. So they've covered about twenty-four countries in five continents, including the attacks in Bulgaria and attack in Cyprus a few days before. They are-- we are vigilant about the possibility that they would attack elsewhere but I can't give specific detail.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, let me then--
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: And we do give specific details to whoever-- to whoever we need to do and responsible governments and agencies.
BOB SCHIEFFER: So you are-- your other-- other agencies as well as the Israelis are looking for these people and-- and investigating this plot, the one--
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: No, I'm not-- I'm not confirming any information that we have.
BOB SCHIEFFER: All right.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: On the Olympics we know that Iran and Hezbollah have been carrying out attacks. Most of them failed because of intelligence successes that we and some other services have had. Some of them, unfortunately, succeeded, as the tragedy in-- in Bulgaria shows. But we-- we are always vigilant. I can't give you any substantiation--
BOB SCHIEFFER: All right.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: --or any attack on the Olympics.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well let-- let's talk about this attack in Bulgaria last week. How sure are you that Iran is behind this?
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: Well, Iran and Hezbollah have been carrying out these attacks in just all these countries, in Kenya, in Cyprus before that, in Thailand, in India, many, many countries in many-- many continents. Now, a week before everybody can see what I'm just about to say because this is public. A week before in Cyprus, a Hezbollah operative that was captured, he was arrested and he admitted that his task was to get at Israeli passengers, prepare the attack of Israeli passengers that get off a plane and then they would be targeted with a terrorist attack, exact same pattern. So you'd think, I mean you'd surmise intelligently, that if Hezbollah backed by Iran did this in Cyprus a week earlier, that the same modus operandi repeats itself in Bulgaria. That would be an intelligence surmised for those who see only that. But the prime minister of Israel sees more than that. And I give you a clear statement. We have unquestionable, fully substantiated intelligence that this was done by Hezbollah backed by Iran.
BOB SCHIEFFER: You have said that you will act against Iranian terror with great force. Exactly what do you mean, Sir?
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: What I mean by that is that we will do whatever is necessary to protect, to defend the lives of innocent Israelis, and we'll take those measures as necessary. The reason regimes and organizations use terror tactics is to avoid the consequences and the first act in fighting terrorism is to name and shame the terrorist nations and the terrorist organizations.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well--
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: That's what I'm doing now in your program. It's--
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well--
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: --Iran with Hezbollah. And the second thing is to exact a price because the only way you stop terror after you've exposed it is to make sure that terror doesn't pay.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Would you go so far as to actually attack Iran?
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: Well, I-- I'm not going to get into the specifics of what we will do and not do but I think the most important first step is to expose Iran's culpability. And I think this is not nearly an Israeli issue. Yes, they've targeted Israelis, although they targeted and killed, actually, nationals of other countries. Hezbollah and Iran together have claimed the lives of others as well. And the attack, the systematic attack in dozens of countries, in five continents is allowing terror to sweep over the-- the globe. And, you know, if you don't stop it, it gets worse and worse and worse. And I think it's important for the entire international community to stop this wave of terror, but also to consider what would be the consequences of these people who murder diplomats, who roll over embassies, who send terrorist suicide bombers into buses. Just imagine what the consequence would be if these people and if this regime got a hold of nuclear weapons. I think the most important message that I could give is stop-- expose the terrorists, stop the terrorists, and make sure that the world's most dangerous regime doesn't get the world's most dangerous weapons.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Let me shift to-- to something else. The Republican candidate for President, Mitt Romney is going to be visiting you this week during his trip to Israel. What do you-- what will you be saying to him?
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: Oh, pretty much the same things I've said to the presumptive Democratic candidate, Senator Barack Obama, when I greeted him four years ago--roughly the same time--in the campaign. I'll tell him about Israel's desire for peace and also about Israel's concern with the-- the arming of Iran with nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, it's still with us four years later. And, also, the-- the threat to peace and the threat to-- to Israel and to others by the growing arsenal of the terrorists with the Iranian backers.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Would you be as comfortable with Mitt Romney as President of the United States as you are with Barack Obama?
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: Oh, God, I'm-- I'm just not going to go that way, Bob.
BOB SCHIEFFER: All right.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: You're far too experienced a reporter to try to think that I am less of experience-- experienced public figure, and we're both experienced and we're not going to go that way.
BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. Well Mister Prime Minister--
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: I have enough politics here.
BOB SCHIEFFER: You know-- you know that you have to ask these questions. And you've been around long enough to know that. Thank you very much for joining us this morning.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: You can try it's--
BOB SCHIEFFER: All right.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: Thank you, Bob.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Thank you, Sir.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: Good to be with you.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Thank you.
We'll be back in a minute.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Back now with more from our CBS News team covering the story out in Aurora. Our lead correspondent on this story, Barry Petersen; plus, our Justice Department correspondent, Bob Orr; and our own Norah O'Donnell and John Dickerson.
But, let's start back in New York with CBS senior correspondent John Miller. And I want to start with you, John, because before we get to Aurora, I know you had been doing some work on these Iranian terror squads that we heard Prime Minister Netanyahu talk about. Bring us up to speed on what that's all about.
JOHN MILLER: You know, this week we were looking at those attacks. We examined the July seventh arrest of the Hezbollah operator in Cyprus as the prime minister was talking about. We looked at the July third case in Kenya where they were targeting an Israeli-owned and occupied hotel in the resort area of Mombasa. And what we're seeing is in the intelligence community, our sources are telling us a fanning out across the globe, targeting areas where Israeli tourists are after a series of failed attacks against Israeli officials. So, it seems they are turning to the softer targets but the-- the suggestion by this latest information that there might be an attack on the Olympics using a combination of Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces or Hezbollah operators is certainly something to be concerned about.
BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. We'll be back to you in just a sec, John.
I want to go back to Aurora now, Barry Petersen, just kind of bring us up to speed on-- on what happens next. I know the President gets there this afternoon. Just kind of run through that for us.
BARRY PETERSEN (CBS News Correspondent): Well, there are a couple of things going on, Bob. As you mentioned, President Obama is going to come here. He's going to meet with government officials. More importantly, he's going to meet with families of the victims, and I think talk with them, express his concern.
Later this evening, on an equally personal note, the city of Aurora is having a huge vigil. And they want to make it clear that anybody can come to this. They want the police to come, any family members, friends, ordinary people. I think this is a chance for people to express what they've been doing since this tragedy began, which is to somehow in some way get a part of this and get through it in their own way. And then tomorrow morning, we have the first court appearance of the suspect. We don't know how-- what he's going to say, if anything. We're not quite sure how that's going to unfold. But I want to mention in that light, if I can just look ahead a little bit past the court appearance, Colorado is a death penalty state. So, it's entirely possible that if this plays out, if this man is convicted, he could die by lethal injection.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, we-- Norah O'Donnell, I thought it was interesting when we talked to Chief Oates out there. He said he thought it was extremely important for the President to come out there. But, I guess what I want to ask both of you as after hearing this kind of Michael Bloomberg sort of laying down the law here. He said, look, both these people running for President need to tell us where they stand on-- on gun laws and just the whole subject of guns. Where does-- What does the President-- can we expect to hear something from him on that?
NORAH O'DONNELL (CBS News Chief White House Correspondent): Well, I think you'll see the President with some of these victims' families today. Although that will largely probably be private meetings, as a consoler in chief, something that the President does, provides that kind of leadership at a time like this but there will be no change in policy. And we heard that from the President's spokesman. In fact, there are many gun control advocates who are upset with President Obama because he has not pushed for renewal of the assault weapons ban. He signed bills that allow guns into national parks and on Amtrak trains. So gun control advocates have been unhappy with President Obama for not being more active and the politics are quite simple. The NRA is the most powerful lobby in Washington. There are more than four million registered Americans as part of the NRA, and many of them are in swing states like Ohio and Florida.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Many people forget that Governor Romney, when he was governor of Massachusetts, did actually sign a ban on assault weapons as governor. Does he still talk about that, John?
JOHN DICKERSON (CBS News Political Director): Not at all. In fact, he's come to a new position on assault weapons, says he doesn't you want to re-up the ban. As Norah said, there's a real risk for the President after the shooting in Arizona of Congresswoman Giffords, he didn't mention gun control in his speech or later in the State of the Union. He's staying away from it. Mitt Romney really going to stay away from it, too. His problem is with his own voters. I was in Durbin, West Virginia, about as not-President Obama territory as you can be, pro-Romney voters. At the-- at the city fair that day what was the raffle--a .22 rifle. A conversation about something else got into gun control very quickly. The relationship between gun control--gun rights, as they see it there--and freedom is direct. If Mitt Romney looks like he's going to be touching on any of those essential freedoms as these voters see it. Then, he's just like President Obama. This is a real danger for him, and, as Norah said, West Virginia is-- is Romney country to be sure. But in Ohio, in Pennsylvania, in Virginia, there are voters there that Mitt Romney wants. They're part of his coalition. He's not going to do anything to-- to freak them out.
NORAH O'DONNELL: But the irony is is that Mitt Romney was more active on gun control than President Obama when he was a Massachusetts politician. As you pointed out, Bob, signing into law an assaults weapon ban after the Congress allowed the other one to expire.
BOB SCHIEFFER: But you all are both telling me don't expect anything to change here. Here's-- now-- now the Colorado Congressman said he's going to try to lead an effort to get that assault ban-- a ban on assault weapons put back into law. But--
NORAH O'DONNELL (overlapping): But he probably hasn't spoken with the Democratic leadership yet.
JOHN DICKERSON: Well, here's what could change the dynamic, two important pieces. One, we don't have all the evidence in. If it turns out that there was some crazy loophole here--who in the world should be ordering, you know, this much ammunition by just the hundreds of pounds. There-- there might be some piece of evidence that shocks common sense, as you pointed out, in which it changes the political dynamic that it become-- becomes hard for anybody who is a supporter of gun rights to say I can defend this and-- and still be considered to have common sense. There's also a mental health piece to this. You could see somebody arguing that this is about crazy people and we have got to find a way to have a system that-- that makes it easier to treat people like this.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, I mean, the fact is, he bought all this stuff, legally, and, boy, did he buy a lode. I mean you could fill up a dump truck with what he bought.
BOB ORR: He-- he bought a ton of stuff but he did it-- he could have bought it anywhere, Bob. This was a so-called clean skin. The man had no record at all. I mean zero on the record. Over a period of six weeks, he went into three different gun shops, legally purchased some high-powered weapons, the Smith & Wesson version of an AR-15, semiautomatic assault rifle. A two .40-caliber Glock pistols, semiautomatics, and then a 12-gauge shotgun for good measure and then over the internet bought six thousand rounds--six thousand rounds of ammunition and we think from a company called BulkAmmo.com. This was apparently delivered to a FedEx outlet there in Colorado. This was all very, very easy. And, apparently, Mister Holmes stayed within the law and it was easy for him to do.
BOB SCHIEFFER: I thought one interesting thing that came to light overnight, John Miller, and also Barry, apparently, that assault weapon that-- that he was firing jammed at one point, and he had to go to a smaller weapon with less firepower. Had-- had it not jammed, he might have killed even more people, John.
JOHN MILLER: So what you're looking at there is you are looking at a drum magazine. That-- you know, that weapon is designed for a straight up-and-down thirty-round magazine, what people commonly refer to as a clip. This drum magazine is like something you would see for a Gatling gun, and it is designed for that weapon. I think the lucky thing here is that weapon was not designed for that magazine, is not made by the manufacturer, so it is-- it was probably prone to that kind of jam and that probably did slow him down to take that off, discard it, and reload.
But at some point, as he wandered out of the theater and almost waited for police who, as we learned, almost mistook him for a S.W.A.T. member, except for the fact, you know, I'll say this according to the sources because I learned it a different way, he was wearing the wrong kind of gas mask but he seemed to stop on his own. He certainly had ammo and weapons left.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Barry Petersen, we have heard very little. We know that he-- he offered no resistance when the officers arrested him. What do you know about-- about the arrest? How did it take place? How did they spot him? What happened?
BARRY PETERSEN: Well, let me-- let me jump into that previous debate just for a second, Bob. I want to bring a little Western perspective to this issue of gun control. People here think that this is different from those of East Coast cities and things like that. In the West, you need guns to literally protect yourself sometimes against wild animals. The amount of ammunition that he bought, six thousand rounds, somebody said, is really not that unusual. If you are an avid target shooter, you would buy that much in a month, you'd go through it.
As for the arrest, he was literally no resistance. It's one of the significant things about what he did. He left the theater, goes to his car, sits there, the police approach him, no effort to fight against them. He basically gave himself up.
So I don't know the mentality of this. I don't know if this was part of his plan. But he certainly did not want to do one of those death by cop things, where he ended up getting shot by the police. He wanted to do his deed and he wanted to live to talk about it.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Bob Orr, there was one report that he told police, "I am the Joker," and that he was-- he had either dyed his hair red or was wearing a red wig. Have you been able to nail that down?
BOB ORR: Yeah, sources say that's true that apparently some time ago he had dyed his hair with some kind of bright fiery orange color or red and apparently said near the time of his arrest, either as he was leaving the theater or as he was waiting for the police, "I am the Joker." Now some people have speculated that that speaks to possible motive. Maybe he was acting out some kind of diabolical fantasy and maybe--
BOB SCHIEFFER: So maybe I can clarify that.
BOB ORR: --he viewed himself as an arch evil enemy of Batman. John has a-- a thought on this, too. But I don't think we know yet whether that means anything.
BOB SCHIEFFER: John.
JOHN MILLER: So-- so he definitely did dye his hair bright red, like the character, the Joker. And police did have an early report that he said, "I am the Joker," but ,as they run that backwards, that report has turned out not to be true. So, yes, on the hair, no, on the utterance. And, you know, there's also a conflict there which is every single witness that they've spoken to and that we've spoken to has said he did not say a word, he just opened fire. And in fact, he was wearing a gas mask with a movie going on in the background. So had he actually elected to say anything, nobody would have heard him anyway.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Norah and John, so we have a brief kind of interval here in the campaign, but does this affect the campaign in any way? What happens next?
NORAH O'DONNELL: Well, they-- both sides out of respect for the families and their victims took down some of their--what they call comparative ads what we know as negative ads--airing in Colorado. But the President is going out to Aurora today to meet with-- with the families, but then he is going to the West Coast anyway for what is a series of campaign events for three days. So the campaigning will continue next week, and, of course, John can tell you, too, Mitt Romney is going ahead on his overseas trip and--
JOHN DICKERSON: Yes, Governor Romney has a plan here. He's got his-- his overseas trip, which is coming up. He's also going to announce his vice president. They-- they've got things to do that are not in the attack category but that will move the-- the campaign along. And as we discussed before, neither has a real interest to (INDISTINCT) any of this.
NORAH O'DONNELL: Yeah.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Any-- any-- any estimate on when he's going to announce the veep.
JOHN DICKERSON: The veep, it used to be in the old days you did it right before the convention. That was because you wanted to get the-- the news cycle on your side. You also-- there was a monetary reason to do it. For candidates who were taking matching federal funds, it was expensive to get a vice president. So you wanted to do it as close to that time when you got the matching-- mederal fun-- federal funds. That's not a-- at play here because Governor Romney is not going to take those funds. So he can take a vice president earlier, maybe when he gets back from the Olympics, use the vice president to raise money and to take on the President.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Has he told you who it's going to be?
JOHN DICKERSON: No, not yet. But I expect to call later today.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Listen, thank you all.
A tough story to be working on but you all have done a splendid job, all of you. We'll be back with the mayor of Aurora. So stay with us.
BOB SCHIEFFER: And we're back now. We're going to back out to Aurora where the mayor of Aurora, Steve Hogan, joins us now. Well, Mister Mayor, fair to say, you've had one of the toughest jobs of all since all of this happened because you've made it your business to go around and visit with the wounded, to try to offer whatever--
STEVE HOGAN (Aurora Mayor): Yeah.
BOB SCHIEFFER: --consolation and so forth you can to the families. How are the people doing?
STEVE HOGAN: People are doing well. They-- they appreciate the visit, but, certainly, we still have, at last-- my last notification, nine people in critical condition. Those who are out of the hospital already, you know, we're following up with them. Those who are still in the hospital, the families are happy to know that somebody cares. I mean, inherently they know that, but-- but to see someone makes a difference. I want to thank Governor Hickenlooper for-- for getting out and-- and-- and accompanying me at times. And sometimes just going on his own. He's been a wonderful support.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Governor, these people who are critical, how bad are they?
STEVE HOGAN: They're-- they're in bad shape. There are-- there are people who have had already numerous surgeries, numerous brain surgeries. There are some folks that are in-- in bad shape.
BOB SCHIEFFER: What-- what are the families, what are the people talking to you about right now?
STEVE HOGAN: Well, you know, first, as I said, they're thankful to know that someone cares. Secondly, the great care that they're receiving at the various hospitals, and then, lastly, you know, just a sense of-- of shock and frustration. But no one-- no one is-- no one's bitterly angry, at least not yet. I think, you know, we're starting-- we're starting now to go through that grieving process and I think some of that will come out, but not yet.
BOB SCHIEFFER: These things, you don't get over them right away. What-- what can the rest of the nation do to help you, Mayor?
STEVE HOGAN: Well-- well, certainly, emails, texts, we're setting up a-- a donation fund. Some of these families don't have insurance. They are going to be some of these victims who are going to be paralyzed for life. So any financial support would be greatly appreciated. And-- and just remembering. I mean I'm very thankful. We've heard from literally the world, and I'm thankful for that and we'll get back to everybody and say thank you.
BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. Well, Mister Mayor, our sympathy to you. Thank you so much for taking time to join us. We'll be back.
BOB SCHIEFFER: And we leave you now with a remembrance of those who were lost in this awful episode.
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