tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN September 12, 2011 2:00pm-4:00pm PDT
president kennedy that she and her children wanted to stay in washington to die with him if they today because they would rather do that than live without him. this is all supposed to be released tomorrow. >> what do we know about this book that these recordings are released with? >> well we know this is the result of several interviews done by arthur schlessinger, who was actually an aid to president ken by. and this information being released, also the tapes, after the family said it was okay. it is all supposed to come out tomorrow. and i'm sure there are a lot of other tidbits in there, that people who have followed camelot, and remain interested in, will be very interested in looking at. >> absolutely. joe johns, thank you very much. the political pop for this monday. that's if for me, i'm brooke baldwin in atlanta. now to wolf blitzer in "the
situation room" starts right now. >> thanks, very much happening right now. the gop battle for the white house. eating up here in tampa, florida. just three hours away from hearing eight presidential candidates go ahead it head. they will join me on cnn's first ever tea party republican presidential debate. can the texas governor rick perry maintain his growing lead in the polls despite a highly controversial stance on social security? or will mitt romney come from behind and once again, seize the top spot? is it too late for michele bachmann? standing by with complete coverage and analysis. meanwhile, in washington, president obama scrambling to defeat them all and save the ailing economy before time runs out. but there are new signs in congress his blueprint for recovery could be dead on arrival. i'm wolf blitzer in tampa, here in "the situation room."
we're just three hours away from what's going to be a critical potentially make or break moment for some of the republican can dates hoping to be the next president of the united states. meanwhile, the current president, president barack obama, is going everything he can to keep that from happening. and it is all riding on issue number one, jobs. and the economy. >> on thursday, i told congress that i'll be sending them a bill called the american jobs act. well, here it is. this is -- [ applause ] this is a bill that will put people back to work all across the country. this is the bill that will help our economy in a moment of national crisis. this is a bill that is based on ideas from both democrats and republicans.
and this is the bill that congress needs to pass. no games, no politics, no delays. i'm sending this bill to congress today. and they ought to pass it immediately. >> all right, let's bring in our white house correspondent, brianna keeler. brianna, you have a copy of the bill which has now been delivered to the house floor. give us the headlines, what's in it? >> reporter: wolf, the headline is how the president proposes to pay for his jobs plan and the answer it that is tax increases. the bulk of paying for the $450 billion plan would come from limiting itemized deductions that wealthier americans take. we are talking about individuals who make $200,000 or more, or families that make $250,000 or more. there are also tax increases that you would see effecting hedge fund managers, oil and gas companies, as well as corporate jet owners. that may sound familiar to you
because the white house proposed that during the debt ceiling battle. as you will recall it is a nonstarter with republicans and also wolf, the big thing here, the itemized deductions, limiting that, that has gotten resistance from moderate democrats here recently in congress but the white house is arguing that things are different now. times of tough. and choices need to be made wolf. >> the president says he's going to go to quote, every corner of the country, bee anbrianna, to push this legislation. but what we are hearing so far is he is pressing key battle ground states, states he needs if he is going to be re-elected. >> reporter: that's right, wolf. if you look at his schedule, ways in richmond, virginia where he spoke friday. he spokes today in the rose garden. today he will be in ohio. then on wednesday, he will be in north carolina. all important swing states that he won in 2008, and of course is counting on in 2012.
so today, during the briefing, white house secretary jay carney was pressed on 24 about how this wasn't just sort of campaigning. and here is what can't karnty said. >> you're absolutely right. it is a campaign. the president is campaigning. for growth and jobs. he is out there -- he is out there campaigning for growth and jobs. campaigning to have the american jobs act passed. >> so a little laughter there, wolf, you can see. but carney was asked, will he be going to nonswing states and carney said yes, he will. . of course at this point, it is still to be determined on the president's schedule. as he pushes this bill, wolf, that even democratic sources i talked to in congress admit they don't think will pass. >> we will see what happens. all right, brianna, thanks very much. i'm sure we will show up in noncontroversial states, let's say, new york, california.
but a lot of times when he does that, it is designed in part at least to do political fund-raising at the same time. a lot of money in those states. meanwhile, the president's plan isn't yet getting a warm welcome. the house majority leader, eric cantor, is expressing that certain items in the bill like tax breaks, and any new federal spending call it it, quote be unskepable for the american people. john boehner is calling the white house's propose yl to pay for the jobs plan, the bill now i should say, boehner is calling it unacceptable. meanwhile, here in tampa, united republican front against president obama. but there is now a dramatic shift in who is and is not shaping up to be the candidate to beat the president of the united states. look at these latest cnn orc poll numbers. back in july, michele bachmann was considered the shining star
in the race. she, at that point, was getting support behind mitt romney and rick perry. he wasn't technically in the race at that time. but now look at this. a few weeks later, her support plummeted to just 4% while perry has surged to the front of the pack with 30% support. our brian todd is standing by. he's got more on this part of the story. brian, what else are you learning? >> reporter: wolf, michele bachmann has it perform nice in tonight's debate. she has to come out aggressively with mitt romney. she has a lot to make up after a disastrous month. >> iowa, you've done it iowa, thank you. >> what a difference a m makes. in mid august, michele bachmann's energizing win in the ames straw poll created real buzz making her a top republican presidential contender. but rick perry jumped into the race the same day. >> it is time to get america working again.
>> and for bachmann, it has been a steady decline since that. perry and bachmann are trailing caine, newt gingrich and slin, sarah palin who is not even in the race. a far field of right candidates led by perry absorbed bachmann's base. >> conservative populous, evangelicals, tea partiers. but rick perry has something important that michele bachmann doesn't. when you look at the president. executive experience. he has been able to come in and suck up all her oxygen. her campaign, in some degree, is in disarray. >> ed rollins stepped aside for an advisory role. politico covered michele bachmann in iowa and new hampshire. >> what happened in her campaign that you know of that led to this demise. >> i think have you seen over time that michele bachmann, as a member of congress, as some not who has gone through staff at a
pretty rapid rate. on one hand it isn't that surprising to see michele bachmann changing out the faces from time to time. >> her campaign spokeswoman says when treats everyone with the utmost respect and courtesy and says there are no personality clashes. but bachmann, successful in an early debate, may have lost mojo. reporters point out she looks restrained in the last debate letting perry and romney go at it. >> at the same time she struggled to get attention on her own. >> john, john? >> just one minute. i would like to go to governor huntsman if i could. >> the fact is, bachmann wasn't called on until about 20 minutes into that debate and her aides say, you can't answer questions that you're not asked. how can she turn it all around? it may depend on the first both vote that really matters. . >> she has to stay strong in iowa, the base of her support. social conservatives in iowa. she has it really double down there. it'll be interesting to see if
she tries to punch back at perry to regain credibility. >> bachmann's campaign spokeswoman tells us they are confident moving forward. they have a long-term strategy in place and they are putting together a strong ground game in iowa. but while bachmann may take on perry, don't expect her to attack them full bore. her spokesman says it is not in her nature to go out and take people out at the knees. wolf some. >> what are you hearing about letter chances, even if sarah palin, were to get into this race? >> analysts say that will hurt bachmann even more if that happens. like rick perry, sarah palin has overlapping constituencies with michele bachmann. all appeal to far right conservatives. palin who chip away at perry votes but would probably hurt bachmann even more. >> brian todd, good analysis, so this s this going to be rick perry's night here in tampa? our chief political analyst
gloria borger is joining us. what do you expect candidates to, say on social security, which has emerged at such an issue. >> they will hammer away at rick perry. he called social secure ate ponzi scheme in the last debate. mitt romney has been losing altitude in the polls. here in florida, he has been circulating these flyers, wolf, which talk about rick perry. it sounds like they would be distribute bade democrat. rick perry, reckless and wrong on seshl sew curity. rick perry, how can we trust anyone who wants it kill social security? this is coming from mitt romney. i spoke with someone from the rick perry campaign who says, bring it on. we want an opportunity to explain what we want to do with social security. he wrote a piece in usa today. and under it he said, i'm quoting, for younger workers we must consider reforms to make social security financially
viable. so not killing it, but saving it and reform tobacco. it is a little bit of a nuance change and can you, believe me, that no matter what you ask, they will attack him on it. >> i think more than a nuance change what he wrote in usa today and and what he wrote in his book on social security. but as far as perry is concerned, in the new poll, there are numbers in a potential match-up with the president that might be very encouraging. >> it is. the question we asked was this, wolf, just your best guess. regardless of who you support and that's important, which republican candidate do you think is most likely to win the republican nomination for president? perry, 41. romney 28. there are the also-rans. then it takes away the inevitability of the argument or those that surrounded hillary clinton not too long ago and also the eelect built argument.
this says that people may be settling on a candidate and they want someone that can wring bring it to barack obama. somebody that can fight. somebody that will stand up for what he believes np if way, when you talk about the social security arguments, in rick perry, what they are seeing is somebody who will not back down. and whether or not they agree with imwho disagree with him, republican primary voters like that in a candidate. >> i assume that perry team believes that mitt romney is their major challenges right now. based on the polls. >> it's funny. when you talk to them they're like, oh, mitt romney, sure. they believe right thousand their major challenger is rick perry. right now he's got to introduce himself to the american people. romney is romney. people know what he is. he's been around. he ran for president once in 2008. so they are saying, you know what, right now these debates like the one tonight, it is up to us to look the at american people and tell them what we are about.
we will fend off the charges from the rest but this is our introduction to the american public. >> we will see how feisty they want to get tonight. the eight candidates. >> we'll see. >> a little bit more than two two and half hours from the debate. here in tampa at florida state fairgrounds. 8 p.m. eastern, it all starts. i'll be moderating. please be sure to tune in. don't forget @cnn. tim pawlenty is endorsing. my interview with the former minnesota governor coming up. plus, as the president's jobs bill reaches capitol hill. they announce a slashing of
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all right. we are getting ready for the major republican presidential debate. the cnn tea party debate. you are looking at live pictures from inside. i'll be moderating the debate, you see in 2 hours to and 42 minutes. it will all begin. meanwhile, jack cafferty is here. lots of excitement in tampa where the eight republican presidential candidates, one of whom will be the republican nominee. one of them might be the next president of the united states. you never know. >> one of whom could ultimately
wined up as number two on a ticket with whoever the number one lines up being. a lot on the line from michele bachmann tonight after winning the iowa straw poll. she kind of dropped out of sight. we will talk about that in the next hour. rick perry, appointed front-runner at least at this hour would have us believe he is a country boy at heart. he can relate to the ordinary american. nah. there's another side to the texas governor. politico reports that for years, perry who makes $150,000 a year as governor, enjoyed additional lavish perks and travel mostly funded by wealthy supporters. imagine that. texas supporters paid for the governor and his family to travel around the world. sometimes on private jets. paid for them to stay at luxury hotels, resorts, vacation in colorado ski towns and attend tons of sporting events and concerts. rick perry is also accepted a wide range of very expensive gifts including 22 pairs of
cowboy boots. some costing $500 a pair. somebody else pays hi cable tv bill. taxpayers pay his rent, $8,500 a month for perry's 4600 square foot mansion in austin. the governor and his family have been living in the five bedroom seven bath mansion since 2 hou 7 while the governor's mansion undergoes repair. four years? what sort of repairs are those, you imagine? all copacetic in the lone star state which has some of the loosest ethics and campaign rules in the country. nonetheless, it is tough to imagine supporters aren't buying influence when they lavish those perks on the governor. of course they are. some appoint commissions, million dollar state grants to businesses they are involved in. perries camp insistses it is on the up and up. saying he fully discloses all financials in his statement. but that don't make a cricket.
does his lavish lifestyle mostly paid for by taxpayers and wealthy friends and donors match his awe shucks country boy image? post a comment on my blog on to to the situation's room's facebook page. he has a pet pretty good act going there, wolf. >> you're dwog get a lot of comments, jack. get ready for this and for the debate at 8 p.m. tonight. jack cafferty will be back, with your e-mail shortly. meanwhile, bank of america says it'll eliminate 30,000 jobs over the next few years. the cuts are part after plan to save the bank $5 billion. as companies trim their head count, competition in the job mark set getting even tougher. that can be especially challenging for older unemployed workers. cnn's athena jones explains. >> wait, wait, wait. >> rainy morning, moving truck and two friends. joy hairman never imagine it would come to this.
>> this is the worst. we are home free after this one gets in the truck. >> packing up her maryland home to start a new job in philadelphia. >> i never thought in a million years i would be unemployed. because i have a lot of skill for my job and i thought i would be employed until i retired. >> 61-year-old herman used to work in commercial reals estate but was let go in november. >> my company because of the economy they weren't able do that. >> she struggled for months to find another position to pay her enough to keep her townhouse. she began casting her net wider and wider until she landed a job a two-hour train ride way. >> she was out of work for ten months but many have been unemployed longer. >> according to the trust, some 30% of the nation's unemployed were jobless for a year or more. that's 4.5 million people. >> these are rates not seen since the end of world war ii.
>> while the job less rate for those 55 and older is lower than the national average a at 6.6%, older workers are likely to replane unemployed for longer than their younger counter parts. >> as matter of fact, 40% of those workers who are 55 and older who be unemployed, have been unemployed for a year or longer. >> the longer people stay out of the work force the harder it is for them to get back in. and many older workers may confront concerns their salary requirements are higher or they don't have an up-to-date skill set. >> i this that i is something for older workers to keep in mind when they go into the work force but don't use that as a way to be defensive. and or stop you from looking. >> herriman is one of the lucky ones. now she is hoping to make enough to hold on to to her townhome, rent in philadelphia and save for retirement. >> i never anticipated at the end of my career, i would be work working in a new city. >> a big announcement from tim
pawlenty. former republican presidential candidate says he will endorse mitt romney for president. but would the former presidential candidate consider being romney's running mate? i'll ask him coming up. a special election in new york state could spell trouble for the president in 2012. we will tell you how after the break. stay with us. you're in the situation room. [ male announcer ] each of these photos was taken by someone on the first morning of their retirement. it's the first of more than 6,000 sunrises the average retiree will see. ♪ as we're living longer than ever before, prudential's challenge is to help everyone have the retirement income they'll need to enjoy every one of their days. ♪ prudential. bring your challenges.
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from the cnn tea party or republican presidential debate. the first ever cnn tea party presidential debate. i will be moderating here in tampa florida. stakes couldn't be higher for the two top contenders in the race, at least according to the polls. texas governor rick perry and former massachusetts governor mitt romney. each of whom landed critical endorsements today. perry, from the louisiana republican governor bobby jend el and romney from once fierce rival. >> joining us here in tampa, former governor of minnesota, tim pawlenty, governor thanks very much for coming in. >> glad to be with you. are you nervous tonight? you're the moderator. >> i'm not nervous. >> i want to endorse mitt romney. now on to is you pour his campaign. >> you have to move on and maybe you will be vice president one of these days but we will talk
about that later. i was surprised when i heard you were formally endorsing mitt romney for president because you and mitt romney add little thing going on over there. obamacare, if you remember. now all of a sudden you are supporting him. >> what happened is this. when i look at this field of candidates, most of whom i know, i like, they are my friends, i respect them. but i know this, the next president of the united states has to lead at a historic level on the jobs and economy and mitt romney's experience in growing jobs, getting the economy moving again is unmatched this this field. same convinced he is the right person to lead this country out of its jobs and economic dull drums. >> when you were raining you campaigned about his healthcare plan in massachusetts, branding in ba spk care as you remember. what happened? you forgave him about that? >> well, what happen said this, mitt has said to me and to the nation, look, he tried some things at the state level that thought were right for massachusetts. but he is absolutely committed to repealing obamacare.
he said one of the first things he will do as president is to issue an executive order waving obamacare for the states, opt out of it if they care to, so i'm convinced and he indicated he will repeal obama care and that's good enough for me. >> but he stands by the mandates in massachusetts. he stands by what he did that there. is that okay for you? >> he points out important things. there are no cuts in medicare. he didn't raise taxes like barack obama did. and some other differences as well. but the important thing is, he and i agree that it is a mistake to bring that nationally and he is committed to repealing it. >> why is he bet are than governor rick perry? >> i think one of the differentiating strengths of governor romney is this. he has a deep and unquestioned and nation-leading experience in private sector job growth starting businesses, growing businesses, running businesses and of course providing jobs is the key to the quality of life for fellow americans. he just is unmatched in that
category. >> you saw the new poll on the cnn roc poll, which candidate has the best chance of beating obama? which is what you want, obviously. perry, 42%. romney, 26%. that's a pretty big split. >> these polls are snap shots at one moment in time. i believe as this campaign unfold is that mitt romney is the most knowledgeable, capable and electable candidate under this race. i don't have any doubt about that role of and i think you will see the change in the coming months? >> what's the worst part about rick perry? >> i don't know that there is a worst part. >> social security? >> governor romney, governor perry have different views. romney has the better view with which is let's fix it, reform it, put it on a better path. >> perry calls it a ponzi scheme. you think that will basically hurt him in the general election or republican contest? >> what i will say is romney has the better idea, which is let's
fix it, get it back on stable and solid footing. but this idea of calling it a failure is not the wise path. >> what about you? when i immediately heard you were endorsing mitt romney i said maybe tim pawlenty wants to be his running mate if he gets the republican nomination. are you interested in that? >> no wib i've been down, as you may remember, this vice president road with john mccain. it is not even something i will consider. i'm supporting mitt romney because i believe he will be the best president? if he came to you, if he was president, and he said we need you on the ticket and this country needs you, it is hard to say no. >> as good of an interviewer you are, i'm not going open that door. i'm not interested in that and that is not even something i will consider. let's set that aside. iep i'm working for governor m romney because i think he is the best candidate for president. >> you do have another fellow
minnesotan running for the republican nomination right now, michele bachmann. you didn't like her? >> it is not that i don't like her pb i know her and respect her. when you look at the skills needed to lead this country towards more job growth more economic opportunity wh ch ch we desperately need and you look at the skills in the private sector and the next president, mitt romney uniquely stands above this field in those measures. >> when you say you will work for him, you will campaign actively. >> i will. i will be co-chair of his campaign and as active as possible. and i'm proud to support him. i'm sure i will be doing some campaigning for him but i have other things in life to do too. >> thanks for coming in. >> thanks for having me. good luck to you tonight. >> thank you. by the way, bobby jend el, louisiana governor who enforced rick perry today will be a guest on john cane. comes up at 7 p.m. eastern for the north american viewers. the white house is defending
its decision to beef up security over the 9/11 weekend. you will find out why officials say those precautions, and there were enormous precautions, were warranted. what's going on? and a massive traffic backup expected to slow down tens of thousands of commuters for months. we are going to tell you where it is. that and more coming up in "the situation room." a privilege for the ultra-wealthy. it's a necessity. i find investments with e-trade's top 5 lists. quickly. easily. i use pre-defined screeners and insightful trading ideas to dig deeper. work smarter. not harder. i depend on myself the one person i do trust to take charge of my financial future. [ bell dinging ] i've got to tell susie ! the vending machine on elm is almost empty. i'm on it, boss. new pony ? sorry ! we are open for business.
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deadly pipeline explosion. what's going on? >> reporter: yeah, wolf, this is a sad story. 75 people, many of them children, are dead. the toll could raed reach a hundred in nairobi. the explosion may have been caused by someone siphoning fuel. deadly accidents are common in the slum where many building shanties are right on top of the pipeline. the white house says the extra safety precautions for the tenth anniversary of 9/11 were absolutely warranted. jay carney says the specific the specific terror throat on new york city was just that. and said it couldn't be chalked up to quote, useless chatter. >> obviously, we're relieved that the anniversary of 9/11, ten-year anniversary, went off without an incident. because we knew, based on information gathered in osama bin laden's compound that al qaeda remains very interested in
that specific date and in specific dates in general. but we don't suddenly stop our vigilance the day after. the vigilance continues. on that issue in particular, the work continues. >> the u.n.'s high commissioner for human rights says 2600 people have died in syria sin the beginning of political protests in march. meanwhile a new report says syrian president could be ready to hold apartmentry parliamentary elections by the end of the year. tens of thousands of drivers who commute between indiana and kentucky, officials suddenly closed i 64 bridge friday after inspectors found cracks in the steel support beams. the bridge remains closed. estate leaders say the fix will likely take months. and an great commute for the folks there, wolf. >> they got to fix that, those breaks are not necessarily good if the cars are going over. you don't want a disaster.
they have to be prudent to be sure. lisa, thank you. a field of eight republican presidential candidates. what do they need to do tonight to stand out in the crowd? we will talk about it in our strategy session. stand by for that. plus, you may remember this controversial picture of the former democratic congressman, anthony weiner. we will tell you how it is now affecting the 2012 presidential race. stay with us. you're in "the situation room." [ oswald ] there's a lot of discussion going on about the development of natural gas, whether it can be done safely and responsibly. at exxonmobil we know the answer is yes. when we design any well,
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let's talk about the republican presidential debate tonight here in tampa. and our strategy session, joining us our two cnn contributors, james carville, and the republican strategist, alex is here with me in tampa. james, fwirs to you. is there any one thing you are going to be looking for in tonight's debate? >> look, honestly, they are really looking at mitt romney and rick perry. to be fair, every candidate out there is working hard and everything else but this is where the focus of the debate is going to be. i think we want to see how to solve the social security thing. you know, we are going to see how romney handles his 59-point
economic plan. does perry go hard right, try to soften. does romney go against that. i they he is an electable candidate as romney's questions. this will be a good night, a big night. >> it certainly will be. alex, is there anything special you will be looking at? >> oh, i think so, you know. rick perry has had a good initial outing. and i think one thing we've learn bed rick perry over the years is he is very consistent. we have seen who he is. we will see more of that tonight. if you say hello to him sometimes, he will attack you. he is a pretty rough political player, so i think he we will see rick perry as that same strong centered conservative guy. but everybody else is going to try to bite at his heels tonight. this is a catch rick perry night. right now, these cnn numbers, which i think are really important numbers, are saying it is not a two-man race that rick perry is pulling way from the field. we will see how that evolves over the month. once he is in the spotlight but
right now rick perry is the man it catch. >> you know this well, james, these are national numbers for republicans. >> right. >> not iowa, not new hampshire and not south carolina. not florida. national numbers. if you believe the national numbers, alex, you remember rudy giuliani would have been president of the united states. hillary clinton would have been president of the united states. james, good ahead. >> there is something to this. our numbers show us as do the other good polls that are out there. and you know, he got in and went right into the league. and is staying there. and a lot of the, you know, people on cable television are editorial writers, thought that rm knee had such a good first but they aren't the ones that nominate the republicans. the republicans do. and it is pretty -- perry's numbers can't be just discounted. i mean, they don't mean everything but they mean something. >> what is mitt romney, james, need to do tonight in. >> you know, i actually think
the more i think about it, i think perry got the best of the social security debate because it looks like romney is defending government. i think more important than perry, moderating his position on social security, i think if romney, i say rick brought up an important thing and spoke out on this. i don't think we should, blah, blah, blah, blah. but i think if he goes too hard on the side of pro social security side, that tells conservatives set kind of pro government guy. romney's whole message is, i'm the electable guy. perry is i'll make you feel good in november. these polling numbers is -- i wouldn't be surprised if romney won, but they mean something and if i'm romney, i'm worried about them. >> what does romfully need to do tonight? >> he needs to drop the electability argument because when the other guy is doing better than obama, electability won't work.
>> what should he do? >> he will have plenty of other people biting at perry's heels. they won't attack from the left like james astutely pointed out, they will be from the right. bachmann, caine, santorum. it is wack a mole perry tonight. they will take him on immigration. attack him on the mandate imposed on 12-year-old girles with the hpv anti-cancer vaccine. that is perry compared to romney. you will see perry tougher. the candidates tend to get small. they tend to pick at each other on issues and forget they are running for president of the united states. it is a big job. they have to convince it audience tonight in it room but also across america that they can be as big as franklin roosevelting with kennedy, reagan. that they can lead there country to a better place because right now, that is america's biggest fear. we're a country in decline.
>> james, quickly, because we have discussed this over the last several weeks. sarah palin is not on the debate. not running, at least not now, but her shadow still hangs over to a certain degree. is it too late for all practical purposes, tore her, even with a hundred percent name recognition, for her to jump into this contest? >> no, it's not too late. i actually suspect she will. she is not going to run the campaign where she gives an interview with cnn and wolf blitzer and puts out a schedule. she will do things the sarah palin way, which is a way that none of us are familiar with. but i suspect that she is going to get in there. so i think that these candidates are getting a lot of attention and they got something to say and i think she wants to get in the middle of this little scuffle here. i really do. >> if she does, james, she will make mitt romney a very happy guy. she split that conservative vote with perry, be a big obstacle for him. i doubt she runs. think i sarah palin believes it is important to beat barack obama and i don't believe she
thinks she can do it. >> we will see if she does or doesn't. guys, thank very much. jack cafferty is standing by with your e-mail populater, president obama sends his jobs plan to congress. they are reviewing it right now. and will republicans reject his call to pass the measure right away? we're going to go live to congress. stand by, lots of news happening on this important day. nothing helped me beat arthritis pain.
a little more than two hours away from the tea party presidential debate. i'll be monitoring that in two hours and eight minutes. jack? >> is palin going to get into this thing, do you think? >> i think you've heard james carville. who knows? >> it will make for an interesting show if she does. the question has to do with rick perry who probably hopes she
doesn't get in. he has a very lavish lifestyle in texas. paid for mostly by taxpayers and wealthy donors. does that match his down-home, aw-shucks country boy image? he writes, just another ego at work. where's harry truman when you really need him? maybe ecome back as ron paul. james rice from texas city, texas. a lot of mail from texas. as someone who has followed pistol packing perry throughout his career, i can tell that you this buffoon is a card carrying full blown fraud. he actually makes "w" look good. remember, the governor of texas has much less power and authority than most governors. originally i was from california i ventture iq of texas slightly above a carrot. and another fake cowboy from texas. just what the country needs.
michael in virginia writes, die hard perry supporter like rich people and his funders, like politician who's stay bought. this won't hurt him at all. indeed, new stories like this will be evidence of persecution by the main stream media. so they might in fact work in his favor. jamie writes, ask people from his home town in texas. they pretty much think that he is a fraud. even his former boy scout leader said he would not vote for the guy. greg in arkansas writes, the perception is that rick perry is a southern gentleman, sipping iced tea on the front porch. in reality there's a lot of suffering going to behind the barn. voters need to beware. look deep at this man and his record. the front porch just ain't big enough for everyone. billy in texas writes, texas would elect a prairie dog if you hung a republican label around its neck. it is much more than being poor cowboy. can't hardly argue with that. if you want to read more, to go
my blog. or on the facebook page. it will get more fun as the days go by, i think, wolf. >> i think you're right. thank you. meanwhile, another major blow to the economy. just as president obama's plan arrives on capitol hill, the bank of america planning to slash tens of thousands of jobs. and they're not alone. plus, that special congressional election in new york state that could spell potentially some real trouble for president obama and democrats. ♪
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i tell you what i can spend. i do my best to make it work. i'm back on the road safely. and i saved you money on brakes. that's personal pricing. for the first time in almost a century, the new york congressional seat that was occupied by democratic congressman anthony weiner could go to a republican. that could be a bad sign for his re-election efforts and the democrats in general. let's go to new york. mary snow is watching this race. democrats are clearly nervous. it wasn't expected this race would be so tight. >> i hope that he gets elected. >> reporter: congressional
candidate bob turner campaigning in what he call enemy territory with fellow republican rudolph giuliani. former congressman anthony weiner won seven time before june. the democrat is hoping to replace him and was leading the polls. but the research poll now has him six points behind his challenger. he says the race is not a referendum on president obama's policies but says this. >> do you think it has anything to do with the high unemployment rate? >> definitely has to do with the high unemployment rate. it has to do with what happened in washington. the grid lock. >> he blames the frustration on the tea party movement and paints his republican challenger as part of the problem. turner insists the race is not about him. >> it is about the obama administration primarily. it got bigger than that.
although overall issue is the jobs and the economy. this is sfwurng some kind of a referendum. >> reporter: and he has made israel an issue. he has criticized him, an orthodox jew, for not being critical enough of proebl's support for a future palestinian state based on borders that existed before 1967 middle east war. and the republican candidate won the endorsement of the former mayor ed koch. when asked about the race, the wise spokesman had this to say. >> i will point you to a statement that the prime minister of israel made the other day. about the historic level of assistance and cooperation. and friendship that president obama has shown israel. >> reporter: but the pollster says israel isn't the overwhelming theme. >> even among jewish vote here's make but that a third of the electorate of likely voters in the ninth congressional district
tomorrow, only 16% of jewish voters said the candidate's position on israel was an important issue. >> reporter: these special elections usually have low turnout. democrats could have the advantage here since they have a stronger get out the vote operation. they're depending on union support. wolf? >> all right, mary. we'll way. together with you tomorrow. thank you. and you're in the situation room. happening now. two major new endorsements only hours ahead of tonight's cnn tea party republican presidential debate here in tampa, florida. details of who is backing whom. plus, what's at stake for the candidates? democrats will also be watching tonight's debate very closely. congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz, the democratic chair woman will join us this hour with her take on the gop contest and a lot more. plus, the looming battle over president obama's jobs plan. are republicans willing to
compromise? what impact will massive new job cuts have? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. breaking news, political headlines and jeanne moos all straight ahead. i'm wolf blitzer and you're in "the situation room." >> we want to welcome our viewers around the world to this special edition of "the situation room." we're live in tampa, florida. in just under two hours, i'll be moderating the cnn tea party republican presidential debate. we'll be covering all the issues important to voters, including one that especially resonates here in florida with its large and very influential senior population. we're talking about social security. a subject of controversy, especially after some controversial remarks by the republican front runner. the texas governor, rick perry. cnn's jim acosta is watching all this unfold. social security. it will be a key issue tonight. it is a key issue in florida
specifically. >> that's right. the social security administration says, wolf, that the program is solvent for 25 years. this issue more than any other will have the republicans wrestling each other tonight. >> reporter: if rick perry have their way in the tea party debarkt he will be saddled with the issue that was once call the third rail in politics. social security. >> a ponzi scheme to tell our kids that are 25 or 30 years old today, you pay into a program that will be there. >> the governor says, look, states ought to be able to opt out of social security. our nominee has to be someone who isn't committed to abolishing social security. >> reporter: romney was referring to perry's book in which he argue, social security should have been set up to allow worker to make their choice about whether to participate. as we know from experience, individuals would have done better on their own. the problem for romney, he has his own book in which he compares the program to a criminal operation, saying, the
american people have been effectively defrauded out of their social security. >> using language like that scares voters. >> reporter: john huntsman wants a showdown at the debate. >> will you go into this debate and challenge the governor and say, wait a minute. you're calling for a dramatically different kind of social security program. >> we will challenge the governor. we will challenge governor romney who basically called social security a fraud. so here you've got the two front-runners. basically using planning i don't think settles well with a lot of american. >> reporter: it is a touchy subject for michele bachmann. >> a tremendous fraud. no company could get away with this. they would be thrown in jail. >> now they're coming to florida. where million of seniors rely on social security and medicare to survive. >> reporter: florida democrats have put out their own web video labeling perry and romney a gamble for the huge bloc of voting seniors. the former candidate says it is a risky bet.
>> when you have to launch out and get to those general election voters, i'm not sure how it will play out. >> reporter: in this neighborhood, older republican neighbors aren't feeling any social insecurity. >> i think he said it the wrong way. you know, he said they're not putting enough money. taking more out. that's what he was insinuating which is probably right. >> this morning, rick perry took out an op ed in usa today softening his rhetoric on social security but it may not be that big of a dale to older voters. the latest poll finds that 46% of republican voters, 65 years and older, backed perry. it is one of his best demographics. >> very interesting. stand by. john king is here, it airs right after the situation room. john, you moderated the last cnn debate in june. back in new hampshire. what specifically do these candidates need to do tonight to differentiate themselves from each other? >> a fascinating thing.
you mentioned the june debate. she went way up tt polls. she's lost everything she gained in the polls and is back down in single digits. she kneads to prove she belongs still in the first tier to be a first tier candidate. the entrance of perry has hurt her dramatically. we saw last week, perry, romney. it won't be the only flash point. governor romney in south carolina raised the issue of a controversial decision. governor perry made to force teenage girl to get a vac. cervical cancer. he called it a mandate. it. word will come up a lot. look for romney to be more aggressive against governor perry. forget the name for a minute. this is a tea party sponsored debate tonight. the tea party is the new force in the republican coalition. the party is known as an establishment party. governor romney thought he would be the establishment candidate. there is a bit of a new grassroots tea party struggle, tug-of-war with the establishment over who will win. the heart and soul. which brand of candidate will
lead the party against president obama? >> you spent a lot of time looking at governor perry. and his style. his background. how forceful does he need to be tonight now that he is the leader? the leader of this? >> the question going into the last debate last week in california was, can rick perry debate? and i think he answer that had question. yes. the question tonight for rick perry, can he take punch? because what we learned from john huntsman today and listening to mitt romney earlier today, talking about rick perry, they're going to be going after him tonight. he is the front runner at this point. the question for rick perry at this point is, can he survive an all out attack on him from all of these different candidates? >> at least until now, romney romney is tied to the above the fray, if you will. a sort of presidential. he can't afford that anymore. >> he cannot. this race in the view of many republican strategists, this race is gelling earlier than normal. when i asked michele bachmann about this, you'll laugh, she
brought up two name. both of them came in late. they were well ahead of the pack and disappeared. that was her way of saying in her view, rick perry may be a flash in the pan. he has money. he had a has a national organization. i think we can say it is only september. but head baghdad is a phase where iowa, new hampshire are not that far away. especially if you're not perry and you're not romney and you want to keep raising money, keep signing up the activists left on the sidelines. that number is dwindling. you need to prove. if you look at the latest poll. governor perry on top, why? not just because conservatives think he shares their values. they think he is the best candidate to beat president obama. if he can keep proving that he is fighty in the debates. as he strong debater. it will be torbointeresting to . republican voters, wess primary is about ideology. in the end, we will see some detours. they're so hungry and we believe that they're vulnerable. they want a winner.
they're thinking can that guy or that woman go up against president obama one year from now? >> if you're some of the other candidates. not only michele bachmann but rick san tomorrow or jon huntsman or ron paul, you have to do something to division yourself. that clock is ticking. >> some of these candidates of the money to keep going. hundredman can tap into his personal family's fortune. the latest poll finds he is at 2%. i think the most stunning develop many, and that poll that came out today is michele bachmann. she won the iowa straw poll a month ago. she is at 4% in this latest poll. how did that happen? a lot of people say she's been too stand-offish. she's been in her bus more than out with the peel. does she change anything? sty stylistically. does sthoef break out of this debate and raise her voice and get into this discussion or is it basically over? it is probably way too early to say that about michele bachmann but certainly she has to be
feeling the pressure with those kinds of numbers. >> you'll be-stick around. you're getting ready for the top of the hour. i'm getting ready for the debate. there is another news we're watching including president obama' $447 billion jobs bill. there's little doubt the obama administration will have to battle for it with house republicans but it is still not clear where exactly the battle lines will be. our congressional correspondent kate baldwin is joining us from capitol hill with the latest. where is the bill now? and what is going on? >> there were a lot of question that over the last couple days. the bill is hear on capitol hill. republicans continue to say they're ready and willing to work together to cooperate to get something done quickly. i'll tell you, there are signs of trouble ahead. >> reporter: president obama insisted congress get to work right away on his jobs bill. flanked by the construction
workers, teachers and veterans he promises it will help. >> let's pass this bill and put them in the classroom where they belong. >> let's pass this bill and put the men and women who served this nation back to work. >> reporter: republicans continue to strike a very different tone from the debt ceiling battle. now emphasizing they're ready to work together. house speaker sgrainer in a statement monday saying, it is my hope that we will be able to work together to put in place the best ideas of both parties. and help put americans back to work. with rank and file members falling closely in step. >> looking to washington, d.c. to say, look, we want to you act like grown adults and work together and realize the right and the left are not going to get everything they want. but we have to compromise and get something done for the country. >> reporter: area of possible agreement, test for small business. three pending trade deals. republicans are starting to make clear they're only willing to go so far. eric cantor has all but ruled
out the president's request for more federal spending on projects like renovating school and road construction. telling reporters, anything that is akin to the stimulus bill, it, is not going to be acceptable to the american people. he goes on to say the fact is, we don't have the money and we've got to prioritize, and right now it is about getting people back to work. >> we're not just willing to wave a right flag and say whatever you want for the sake of bipartisanship. at the end of the day, we have to go home and explain to our constitue constituent, this is good policy. >> reporter: and what may be even big aer problem is how the president wants to pay for this plan. the white house is looking for the nearly $450 billion plan to be paid for in large part through tax increases. and it is probably no surprise how republicans are reacting to that. all right quickly against it for many people. the republicans saying this effectively is a tax increase on the very people that they are looking and need to actually
create jobs in the end. wolf? >> up on the hill for us. going to be a busy time for you. thank you. while the president is struggling to grow jobs, one major u.s. employer announces a massive new cut. and bank of america isn't the only one shedding job. also, pressure on michele bachmann. plus the head of the democratic national commit year, congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz. every time a local business opens its doors or creates another laptop bag or hires another employee, it's not just good for business --
it's good for the entire community. at bank of america, we know the impact that local businesses have on communities, so we're helping them with advice from local business experts and extending $18 billion in credit last year. that's how we're helping set opportunity in motion. host: could switching to geico reon car insurance? or more host: do people use smartphones to do dumb things? man 1: send, that is the weekend. app grapgic: yeah dawg! man 2: allow me to crack...the bubbly! man 1: don't mind if i doozy. man 3: is a gentleman with a brostache invited over to this party? man 1: only if he's ready to rock! ♪ sfx: guitar and trumpet jam vo: geico. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance.
i think we just got some pictures coming in. there's michele bachmann. she is arriving right now at this republican presidential debate. the cnn tea party debate. michele bachmann has just arrived here. we're about ann 1:43 away from the start of the debate. herman cain arrived as well. another republican presidential candidate. they're all showing up a little earlier. they want to get fwam with the podium, the stage. everything else. get some make-up. there it is inside. i'll be moderating this debate. it is coming up in a little while. you will see it live on cnn. eight republican candidates. they all want to be the next president of the united states. we'll question them on what's going on. jack cafferty in the meantime is waiting for that with all of us. he is joining us live with the cafferty file. >> they want to get their make yum done, their hair fixed. they have to be pretty. at 8:00 when the nation is noong to look at them. of all the republican candidates
since the tea party debate, the so-called tea party queen michele bachmann probably has the most at stake. it wasn't long ago that bachmann was a gop favorite. she started raising republican eyebrows after that strong debate performance last summer. and then a victory in the iowa straw poll a few weeks bag. but all that was before rick perry got in the game. since perry, another favorite tea party has grabbed the spotlight. the question in a lot of people's minds is michele who? a lot of people thought michele bachmann was too restrained during last week's debate which was mostly between perry and mitt romney. partially because of the people moderating the thing. and she has not been able to capitalize on winning the straw poll. she gets a merely 4%. way behind rick perry who gets 30% but also behind others who poll in double digits.
people like romney, ron paul and sarah palin who is not even a candidate. yet. so look for tonight to be a do or die moment for the minnesota congresswoman. either she finds her foogt again is the campaign picks up some speed outer could all be over before it gets started. my guess is one very interested viewer of tonight might be sarah palin. if bachmann doesn't do well, well, who knows? here's the question. how can michele bachmann reestablish herself as a serious contender for the nomination? to go cnn.com/caffertyfile. post a comment on my blog. or go to the facebook page. interesting how fast she faded after she won the iowa straw poll. >> yep. we'll see what she does tonight. she will have to come out tonight. i think she will have to be a lot more aggressive than she was in some of those earlier debates. we'll see what her strategy is. thank you. even as president obama's jobs bill was delivered to congress today, we learned about massive
new job cuts. in fact, in recent weeks, some high profile u.s. company have announced they'll be shedding thousands. even tens of thousands of jobs. cnn's lisa sylvester is bork part of the story. what's going on here? >> hi there. there are a number of companies out there that are sitting on a lot of cash. but they're uncertain about the direction of the economy. so they're not hiring. and in fact, some are going the opposite direction. streamlightning operations. letting go of worker and that is the case with bank of america. bank of america announced it is cleaning house, slashing 30,000 positions to save $5 billion. the company says a majority of the job cuts will come from attrition and eliminating vacant positions. bank of america is not the only one cutting its head count. cisco announced last morning it is cutting 6,500 jobs. goldman sachs reducing its force by 1,000. gannett announced 700 layoffs
and lockheed martin is offering 6,500 employees a volunteer buyout. >> there is real concern that this economy just does not have enough oomf from the private sector, in terms of business spending from consumer who are not confident in spending, to keep thing rolling. >> reporter: not good news for the white house that is struggling to bring down unemployment. that appears stuck above 9%. interest renewed fears the united states may be heading into a second recession. the problem is many of the thing traditionally done to kick start the economy have already been done. we had a $790 billion stimulus program. the federal reserve has spent $2 trillion buying bonds to 34 cost of borrowing. we had a pay roll tax cut. the federal reserve has also kept interest rates near record lows, near 0%. we saw the extension of the bush tax cuts and even programs like cash for clunkers to help the auto industry. when it is all said and done, this is where we are.
august 2011. zero jobs created. >> the president doesn't have any arrows left in his quiver. he has tried everything. nothing has worked. and i think both the american public and certainly the republicans in congress figure, we've seen that before. been there, done that. we're not going to try that again. >> rothenberg says when it come to the economy, voters look to the guy at the top. president obama. american are feeling like we are already in a recession, according to a recent cnn/orc poll. that's a strong message, that they have to find a way to turn economy around if they want a second term. the reality is that we are already in an election season, as you all know and they are running out of time. wolf? >> all right. lisa, thanks very much. by the way, john maunts, the former utah governor, one of the candidates, is arriving right now here in tampa for this cnn
tea party republican presidential debate. i think we have some video of him arriving. we don't have video but he has just arrived. the other candidates are arriving. some of them already are here. we're what? about a little more than an hour and a half away from the start of this republican debate. i'll be moderating it here. you'll see it on cnn. meanwhile, are republican leaders really sincere when they say they will consider the president's jobs plan? i'll put that question to the chair woman of the democratic national committee. congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz. she is standing by live to join me right near tampa. we're a little more than an hour and a half. cnn will have its first ever tea party presidential debate. and who does debbie wasserman schultz will come out ahead in the debate? [ artis brown ] america is facing some tough challenges right now. two of the most important are energy security and economic growth. north america actually has
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we're here in tampa. ron paul, the republican presidential candidate, the congressman from texas, has just arrived for this republican presidential debate that cnn is co-sponsoring. the tea party express. one of eight republicans on the stage when i moderate this debate about an hour and a half from now. these candidates will have jobs as a key issue on their minds. the candidates no doubt will be asked to address how they will create jobs if elected president. congress certainly beginning to at least consider president obama's new jobs proposal. he submitted the legislation
formally to congress today. house republican leader eric cantor says the gop will oppose the requests for new federal spending for infrastructure projects. let's talk a little bit about the battle upcoming. congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz is joining us, also the chair of the democratic national committee. a lot of republicans here. you're a democrat. we'll talk politics in a moment. do you think the republican leadership in the house, eric cantor, john boehner, they're serious when they say they're willing to compromise and work with the president on this jobs bill? they hate some of it but they're willing to accept some parts? >> i'm concerned that they're only willing to take up and consider the parts that are part of their record of supporting, allowing the fox to guard the hen house. focusing only on deregulation of business and not making sure that we can balance the investment as well as the tax breaks, like the pay roll tax. so i would like to take them at
their word. >> from the white house perspective, it is not a take it or lift. $447 billion package. they're willing to negotiate, to co compromise. >> from day one president obama has been willing to negotiate. we haven't had willing partners on the other side. i'm certainly hopeful the republican leadership is willing to negotiate. so far they seem to only indicate that they'll take up whatever it is they support. >> you shouldn't be overly surprised. they never want to increase tax. the president's principal is based in part at least on increasing tax on wealthier americans. >> you're right. the republicans continue to refuse to ask for anything from the wealthest and most fortunate americans, to pay their fair share. they continue to pilot pain of the back of these can least afford it. even though overwhelming of american people want there to be revenue and want there to be a balance between spending cuts and revenue. >> we don't have to debate the whole issue of taxes and wealth
and all of that. the wealthest americans, they pay the most in tax. already 50% of americans don't even pay any federal income tax. >> that's actually not true. >> 50%? >> we're, in term of the wealthest americans, we're at the lowest tax rate since the 1950s. >> they pay a huge chunk of the federal income tax. the top 2% or 3% pay whatever that number is. >> but they're still at the lowest tax rates since the 1950s. and there have been significant tax breaks. let's talk about this new york article that came out over the weekend. democrats now openly getting concerned that president obama's re-election prospects and what that could mean for the party. you're the chair of the party. i'll read a line or two. elected officials and party leaders at all level say their worries have intensified as the economy has displayed new sign of weakness. they say the likelihood of a highly competitive 2012 ray is
increasing as the republicans field, once dismissed by many democrats as too unexperienced and conservative to pose a serious threat has started narrowing to two leading candidates. mitt romney and rick perry who have executive experience and messages built around job creation. do you agree "the new york times" analysis that there is increasing alarm among leading democrats that the president is in trouble. >> if the race is narrowing, mitt romney and rick per quli support end, in florida they'll be getting some significant push back and won't elected by our electorate. when it come to a lack of enthusiasm. we just got done with the fall meeting of the dnc. we had more than 400 party means were on thatly enthusiastically embracing president obama's candacy.
firp fired up and ready to go. >> if unemployment is still at 9% in november of 2012, how much trouble will the president be in? >> there is a dramatic contrast the voters will have to choose from. the direction of president obama had a taken us, which has begun to turn the economy around, and the extreme right wing tilt that any of the republicans would take us, they would end medicare as we know it, social security. they would only helping help the wealthest americans. that's a dramatic contrast. >> to be fair, they say they want to reform social security and save social security. >> by privatizing it and allowing people continue to investigate it in the stock market. where would we have been if that was allowed over the last few years? the american people have wholesaled rejected that. we've seen that movie. that's not the direction americans want to go. >> take a look at this live picture from capitol hill. a bunch of your colleagues. they're there now. they're singing god bless
america to remember 9/11. let's listen in. unfortunately, we don't have any audio. the house and the senate have gotten together. we remember that ten years ago. a siphon solidarity. we don't often see it in this highly charged political environment in washington. that siphon solidarity. but it is a nice gesture on this day after the tenth anniversary of 9/11. these democrats and republicans and independents work together to help the american people? >> i'm certainly hopeful. i hope that our colleagues on the other side of the aisle are propelled by this moment of unity and reach across the aisle to continue to pick up the pace of the recovery. to come together. which is what americans want us to do. the polarization has to end. vice president, as president obama said last week.
>> the election is tomorrow. it's been almost a century the democrats have controlled that seat in brook lynne. how confident are you? >> we have a really aggressive operation. we'll turn the vote out and we'll see what happens. special elections are always tricky. it depends on who shows up to vote. we're, we think we've got a really good effective operation and we'll see. >> we'll see tomorrow. debbie wasserman schultz. you've got a lot going on. a furnace explodes at a french nuclear site. we'll tell you if officials are worried about a radiation leak. plus, republican presidential candidate rick perry is talking about social security. this time he's not name calling. he has some new rhetoric. and remember, happy feet? that lost penguin that turned up on a beach thousands of mile from home? scientists tracking his whereabouts have some sad news.
we're hear what's going on after the break. also, there's rick santorum. he's arriving for the tea party debate. the republican candidates, almost all of them, getting ready to begin. a little less than an hour and a half from now. i'll be moderating that debate. h for comi. oh, thank you smuch. i love the vermeer collection. vermr? dutch painter? only painted, like, paintings? at an oddname. you' g like five of them your hallway.
we're learning new detail about the massive security effort that was tied to yesterday's anniversary. 9/11 attack. the fbi interviewed more than 300 people as it chased down leads on possible terror threats. but the source says all of those people were cleared. there is no evidence al qaeda operatives entered the united states to attempt an attack. we're staying on top of this story for you. meanwhile, lisa sylvester is monitoring some of the other top stories in the situation roop.
french officials are trying to calm folks down after a radioactive oven exploded today. what happened? >> yeah. that is right. one person is dead and four others injured at the nuclear site in southern france. the energy company edf is adamant that no radiation leaked, and that the furnace was used to melt low level radioactive waste. france relies on nuclear power for about 80% of its electricity. a military spokesman says all 77 nato troops wound in the saturday's attack on a coalition base are americans, and none of the injuries is life threatening. at least two afghan civilians were killed. the top coalition commander in afghanistan says the attack is an example of what the taliban can't do. general john allen says insurgents have been isolated and are forced to go for this kind of high profile attack. could glowing green cats eventually shed light on the
aids virus of humans? scientists at the mayo clinic created genetically modified kittens by inserting a gene into a domestic cat's eggs. the technology will help them study and possibly develop new treatments for feline virus. and sponge bob square pants may prevent preschoolers from soaking up important information. a new study showed the fast paced nickelodeon cartoon made it harder for 4-year-olds to pay attention and think compared to those who watch a slower pace cartoon. skeptics say it only looked at 60 kids over the course of nine minutes. a lot of parents will be talking about that one, wolf. >> they certainly will, lisa, thank you. rick perry softening his tone on social security. you're going to hear what the republican presidential front-runner now says about the program. stay with us. you're in the situation room. um. thank you.
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there's rick perry. he is just arriving. the governor of texas. he will be participating in the debate. one of eight candidates. there's the arrival, some video, live video coming in right now. dana bash is joining us right now. there are pictures of him arriving. this is a critically important night for the texas governor. the front-runner right now. he has a lot to prove as well, doesn't he? >> absolutely. he has to really bring his "a" game tonight. he has to be more aggressive. he has to be better with his defensive answers. he is good on offense but his answer, for instance,ed on gardisil in texas, he had a bad answer. if he wants to reach out, he has to get a little better on that answer and draw a big enough contrast between his perry care and romney care. >> you're a founder of the tea party movement in st. louis where you live. a radio show know, you're a cnn
contributor. talk about the tea party and rick perry. is there a gut instinct in favor of him or not so much? >> from what i hear, i hear from a lot of them. >> you're a lot closer. >> from what i hear, i don't think anyone is sold just yet on rick perry. granted, there are people in the movement. like ron paul, there are people that like perry, bachmann. >> you don't need a lot of tea party support for mitt romney. >> you pretty much don't hear any support for mitt romney. >> why is that? what did he do? the health care, the mandates in massachusetts in. >> not just that. when mitt romney was governor of massachusetts, he increased, our president likes to talk about investments when he speaks of tax. mitt romney talks about fees. >> this is a live picture of romney romney arriving. you see he is here. and i think that's tim pawlenty. the former governor of minnesota who endorsed him. bobby jindal endorsed rick
perry. a lot of endorsements. go ahead. you were making a point about mitt romney has a problem with the tea party. >> when he was governor, he increased spending. he increased taxes or fees. then the romney care. any business that had 11 or more employees, if they didn't go with the mandate. they had to pay a 300 or more fine. that's not good for business. so i don't know how he can reconcile his platform of geeg for business and then what did he in massachusetts. it just doesn't jive. i'm all for repentance. people realizing their errors. at the same time, he needs to do a better job of explaining that. that's why there is this disconnect. >> did you hear james carville earlier here in the situation room? he thinks sarah palin still might decide to run for the republican presidential nomination. you're plugged in. what do you think? >> anything is possible. i hear from various sources that, oh, she's totally getting in. no, she's not getting in at all. i think it remains to be seen
shexd she would have an announcement by the end of september so we have a little ways to go and i guess we'll see then. >> thanks very much for coming. you'll be here watching this with all of us. we'll continue this conversation. if you have ground turkey in your refrigerator, there is a recall you need to know about. we have details just coming in. stand by. and scientists tracking a lost penguin' swim back to antarctica. they have reason to be concerned. that's coming up.
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night gingrich has now arrived in tampa for the tea party republican presidential debate. it begins just a little over an hour from now. the candidates, you've been seeing them arriving. i'm getting ready. i'll be moderating that debate tonight. you will see it 8:00 p.m. easte a little more than one hour from now. there's newt gingrich and his wife, calista. lisa sylvester is monitoring some of the other stories in "the situation room" right now. lisa, another recall that could
give a major meat processor some major troubles. what's going on? >> a lot of folks interested in this, wolf. another recall of ground turkey at the same plant, and again because of salmonella. cargill voluntarily recalling 185,000 pounds of meat after 36 million pounds were flagged last month. the company says, so far, no one has become sick from the meat. scientists say there's less ice covering the north pole than they've seen in nearly 40 years of observation. researchers attribute the arctic's historically low level to man-made global warming. in 2009, scientists began to suggest that in the warmer months, the arctic will be mostly ice-free in ten years, and in 20, the ice would be gone. and there are a lot of sad faces over the well-being of the penguin happy feet. scientists fear the bird's satellite transmitter has either come off or perhaps something much worse has happened. they haven't received a signal since friday. happy feet washed up on a new
zealand beach earlier this year, but was with released after he had two months of r&r at a local zoo. a lot of folks are very worried that happy feet might have met a predator of some sort, but we are certainly hoping for the best for happy feet. a lot of people have been tracking this on the internet, wolf, and everyone wants happy feet to be out there and well. >> good luck to happy feet. we hope only for the best. lisa, thanks very much. let's get right back to jack. he's got the cafferty file. jack? >> certainly, i second that emotion. the question, how can michele bachmann reestablish herself as a serious contender at tonight's debate? don writes, "it would help if she took off the fake smile, stopped the rhetoric and answered questions honestly. when she doesn't have an answer or a plan, she avoids the question with her obama is a one term president hollering." frances writes, "she can't. perry as out-tea partied her. it's hard to do, but he did."
larry says, "it's too late. unless mitt romney becomes the poster child for obama care and there are no other in challengeser. one and done, you slip, you fall, you can't get up. see ya, michele." kim on facebook writes, "she's done. republicans are now infatuated with pretty ricky." dave in arizona says, "she can't because she never was. you can't run around making ignorant, moronic statements and expect people to take you seriously." ken in atlantic city, new jersey, "she can't reestablish herself. the media have already decided to call her a psycho or put her in a side show. she's a federal tax lawyer, a businesswoman, and a congresswoman, but that doesn't seem to be good enough." richard in washington state writes, "michele bachmann, like sarah palin, at best can only succeed as a vice presidential running ma running mate in a beauty contest where substance has no real importance." and ann in south carolina says,
"why do we want michele bachmann to be a serious contender?" if you want to read more on this, go to my blog, cnn.com/caffertyfile or through our post on "the situation room's" facebook page. i'll be watching tonight, wolf, hold nitheir feet to the fire. >> i'll try my best, jack. biden speaks exclusively with our own john king. that's coming up at the top of the hour. plus, coming up next right here in "the situation room," cnn's jeanne moos, she tells us about an angry long shoreman who didn't hold back when he saw a tv crew he didn't like. >> hey! hey! get your [ bleep ] camera out of here! that's none of your [ bleep ]! i. ♪ [ female announcer ] we're throwing away misperceptions about natural gas vehicles. more of the vehicles that fuel our lives
that's none of your [ bleep ]ing business! unless you want trespassing, get the [ bleep ] out of here, now. >> reporter: if he swears like a longshoreman, that's because he is one. he belongs to a longshoreman union local in washington state. >> that's none of your [ bleep ]ing business, you [ bleep ]! unless you want trespassing, get out of here. >> reporter: he threatened the camera. >> unless you want your camera broke, you [ bleep ]. >> reporter: he threatened the glasses. >> you dumb [ bleep ], don't [ bleep ] threaten me, you son of a [ bleep ]. >> i didn't say a word. >> get the [ bleep ] out of this parking lot right now. >> reporter: he may seem touchy, but the union is in the middle of a fight with management. it involves jobs at the egt grain terminal. the other day, 500,000 protesters cut brake lines to boxcars and dumped grain. they the union says what it
calls a scab worker drove into union pickets blocking the terminal entrance. >> [ bleep ]! >> hey! [ bleep ] you! >> reporter: so tensions are high. the perfect height more dropping f-bombs. >> don't [ bleep ] with me, partner. >> you're not on the pr staff, are you? >> you don't [ bleep ] worry about who i'm with. >> reporter: later, someone who actually is on the union's pr staff told cnn the longshoreman lost his cool when he saw media shooting on private property. "he felt his union and american jobs are under attack and he lost his temper." i'll [ bleep ]ing coldcock him in a heartbeat. get out of here, now! >> reporter: hey, this guy makes even serena williams look like a zen master. after a run-in with the chair umpire at the u.s. open -- >> you're totally out of control. you're a hater. and you're just unattractive inside. >> reporter: serena was fined 2,000 bucks for verbal abuse. but there's no fine for verbally abusing the media. >> can