Maya Angelou: 'Blood Running in Streets' if No Mandela Hails 'gentle giant' as tributes continue for Madiba By Polly Davis Doig, Newser Staff Posted Dec 8, 2013 1:11 PM CST 17 comments Comments Poet Maya Angelou gives the keynote address at the Children's Defense Fund national conference, Wednesday, July 25, 2012, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman) (Newser) – Maya Angelou led the latest round of tributes to Nelson Mandela today, telling CBS that "had there been no Mandela, we would see the blood running in the streets" after apartheid fell. The author and poet met the iconic anti-apartheid icon in the 1960s through her former husband, a political rival of Mandela's, and she was bowled over by Mandela's kindness. "Because apartheid was so brutal, and the black people were so angry, and the white people felt so guilty (that) until Nelson Mandela, released from prison, came out smiling and holding white babies and saying 'This is a time for friendship. This is about South Africa.'" Mandela, she said, "showed us how liberating it is to forgive." Elsewhere on the Sunday talk show dial: Former secretary of State James Baker on Ronald Reagan's veto of sanctions on apartheid-era South Africa: "I'm sure he did regret it, in fact, I'm certain that he did. It was after all, I think, the only time a veto of his had been overridden in two terms. And so, certainly, he regretted it." Baker praised the "soft-spokeness of this man, the conviction of this man." Newt Gingrich on backlash over his praise of Mandela: He's "very surprised" and thinks that his critics "bought a rationale that defined everybody who was in any way in rebellion against the established system in the third world as anti-American." Rand Paul on running for president: The thought [of running for president] has crossed my mind. I am seriously thinking about it. But I'm also very serious about the family considerations. You know, just look at what happens daily to any politician in America. You talk about how uncivil things are. They do take a toll on family." Paul on Amazon's planned drones: "I'm not against technology. I'm not one of these people who says 'Oh, unmanned airplanes is really a bad thing.' There will be air traffic controllers. My problem is more with the surveillance for privacy reasons, not with the delivering of packages. I'm worried about the government looking in our backyards and I'm worried about private companies looking and counting and peeping in our windows."