tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN April 12, 2012 4:00am-5:00am EDT
we begin with breaking news out of florida. state prosecutor angela corey's decision today to file second degree murder charges in the killing of trayvon martin. this is the new mug shot taken a few hours ago at the seminole county jail. he arrived there at 8:00 local time. cameras only catching a brief look at him as he was taken from a black suv into the complex. now, the end of -- it's the end of a chain of events that began this afternoon when prosecutor corey stepped up to the mike. >> today, we filed an information charging george zimmerman with murder in the second degree. a capias has been issued for his arrest. with the filing of that information and the issuance of the capias he will have a right to appear in front of the magistrate in seminole county within 24 hours of his arrest and thus formal prosecution will begin. >> ms. corey would not talk about the details new or already known that led her to bring the charges. she said the decision was made
last week, it was not driven she says by the national outcry. trayvon martin's killing has touched off. >> let me emphasize we do not prosecute by public pressure or by petition. we prosecute based on the facts of any given case as well as the laws of the state of florida. >> well, the first few words out of angela corey's mouth were the names of trayvon martin's parents. they watched the news from washington and spoke briefly tonight. >> first of all, i want to say thank god. >> amen. [ applause ] >> we simply wanted an arrest. we wanted nothing more, nothing less. we just wanted an arrest and we got it. and i say thank you. thank you, lord. thank you, jesus. >> we have a long way to go. and we have faith. the first time we marched, i looked to the sky and i just told myself when i walk, i will walk by faith.
and we will continue to. we will continue to walk by faith. we will continue to hold hands on this journey, white, black, hispanic, latino. we will continue to walk. we will march and march and march until the right thing is done. >> well, reaction as well from the naacp. a statement from ben jealous reading in part, quote, 45 days after trayvon martin's life came to a violent end, the wheels of justice have finally begun to turn. just before 8:00 eastern time tonight, george zimmerman's new attorney, mark o'mara spoke to reporters. >> we now have a process in place. it's a good process. the best in the world and it works pretty well. we have to let it work. we have to understand and have faith in the justice system. nobody after all wanted trayvon martin to be prejudged as he was walking down that street. i ask not to prejudge george zimmerman and please do not prejudge the criminal justice system. it's going to work. we just need to let it work.
>> mr. o'mara said he hopes that george zimmerman will be allowed out on bond before his trial. a hearing for that scheduled tomorrow. when asked what if any guidance he gave when he spoke, he said, stay calm. listen to my advice. i want to start with our newest legal analyst, mark nejame. who was first to speak with mark o'marra late this afternoon. tonight, though he's not saying too much. what do you know about the surrender of george zimmerman and where he may be tonight? >> i have been talking to mr. o'mara throughout the day. it was arranged ahead of time. like ms. corey had basically intimated that they were in constant contact with mr. zimmerman and they knew where he was. when it was imminent that charges would be brought, apparently his surrender was already -- the wheels had already started. mr. o'mara ended up communicating with mr. zimmerman. knowing that mr. zimmerman would
be in the custody of the fdle and a very civilized, peaceful arrest occurred and now he's in fact going to be transported to sanford. excuse me, where he'll appear for a first appearance apparently tomorrow morning. >> so there was the toughest charge that the state attorney could file without a grand jury. were you surprised by it? >> i think that's a stretch, but, we don't know. we don't have all the information. we hear that from a lot of people. we don't know exactly what ms. corey has. i think most legal analysts and i would agree, if there are charges and deemed appropriate, manslaughter seemed more likely. i'm not sure it makes a tremendous difference. a lot of people miss the fact that florida has a 1020 life law. basically when in fact a firearm is used and there's a serious injury or death, then life can happen, not necessarily just on second degree murder. but you've heard a lot of people who practice in duval county indicate it's typical for this
prosecutor to hit you with the highest charges and then you see where it goes from there. so the answer would be no. but it was manslaughter would have made seemingly more sense in light of what's come out publicly. >> what kind of lawyer is mark o'mara? >> he's an excellent lawyer. he's one of the best in central florida. i've worked different cases with him. i have actually been against him. we have worked commentary with each other. he knows the press. he knows the law. he's one -- i think he's the only lawyer in the state of florida who actually has board certified in criminal as well as in domestic. very smart. as you saw today, very measured. i think both sides have very good, competent counsel. i think they'll work to keep the lid on this. and allow it to do as they say play out through the courts. mark knows how to handle the media but he's also not a media hog. he'll say and do what's appropriate on behalf of his client. very ethical man. very smart lawyer. >> mark nejame, appreciate it. let's bring in mark geragos, author and former los angeles deputy district attorney, marcia clark.
herself no stranger to high profile cases. her newest book "guilt by degrees" comes out next week. and jeffrey toobin and sunny hostin. second degree murder, were you surprised by this? what does it actually mean? what does second degree murder mean? >> it means the possibility of a life sentence and it -- it's probably a greater sentence than a manslaughter, as mark was saying. it's not dramatically different, but this is the single most severe crime he could have been charged with under these circumstances. so she threw the book at him. >> second degree murder, how is that different than first degree murder? >> first degree is premeditated murder. but second degree, the prosecution has to show a depraved mind. i've got to tell you, i think knowing what we know, what's in the public domain, that's a difficult charge to prove. so i suspect, anderson, that there is some evidence that we just don't know about. because no prosecutor in the high profile case wants to walk into court and not be able to prove each and every charge. each and every count, rather,
beyond a reasonable doubt. you don't want to lose so publicly. so i suspect that we're going to hear a lot more about what happened on february 26. she's got to have more. >> mark geragos, what do you make of second degree murder? >> well, you know, i always wondered during the conrad murray prosecution why the d.a. here in l.a. didn't charge second degree murder because it has such a heavy sentence and when you're facing that, a lot of times you can get somebody to plead to a lesser charge of manslaughter. and if you drop the use, which is the use of the firearm which carries potentially the same kinds of life penalties, a lot of times you may not need to go to trial. it makes more sense to me that they would charge him with a second degree murder and then they let the chips fall where they might. >> marcia, as a former prosecutor, how hard is it to prove second degree murder? >> in my opinion, not as hard as people have been making it sound.
the standard of depraved mind is very similar to what we have in california called conscious disregard, which means that you're acting in a manner in which you know that your actions are likely to cause serious bodily injury or death. when you have a gun and you shoot it at someone and depending on what the forensics show, if it's a point blank shot to the chest i think you may easily prove conscious disregard or depraved mind. don't forget there are the allegations of racial slurs that have been shown in some of the 911 tapes. the possibility that there's also a racial component to his attitude towards trayvon martin will help to prove that as well. so i'm not sure that even with what we know so far it's so out of line. i have to tell you, anderson, i did expect that there would be a second degree filing and i thought that was an entirely justifiable filing at this point. even if they had -- i don't know that first degree would have been justifiable. i think that's much tougher. that one is hard to show under these circumstances. second-degree feels about right to me. >> mark, do you think he'll get out on bond?
>> i think he might get a bond. i don't think that that's out of the realm of possibility. and i tend to agree with marcia. i mean, in some ways, sometimes when you look at the jury instructions, i think the jury instruction for second degree is easier for the prosecutor in a lot of cases than it is for the lesser manslaughter. so who knows what's go -- how it's going to fall out. you have to wait and see what the discovery is. i think it's possible that somebody grants him bail tomorrow. >> jeff, do you agree? >> the question is can he afford bail? >> i think mark raised something that's worth keeping in mind at this moment. don't discount the possibility of a plea bargain in this case. the fact -- many of the facts are not in dispute here. we all know that george zimmerman killed trayvon martin. i mean, that is not in dispute. so the only issue will be intent type issues. and here you have someone with no criminal -- no criminal record, no history of being in prison. someone who does not want a trial. another important fact about the
case, it will be televised. this is florida, florida has a sunshine law. >> you say he doesn't have a criminal record. he did have that run-in police and it was -- he didn't actually spend time, it was deferred -- >> it was expunged. deferred prosecution. >> what is it called where you go to -- >> diversion. >> diversion, that's right. but that's not the kind of thing that could be admitted in court. but what -- this is a guy who will be terrified of getting a life sentence, who does not want to sit through a trial. who will really -- may try to limit his exposure. so i think -- >> but that's assuming that the prosecution, jeff, would offer a plea. >> that's correct. and prosecutors like the sure thing of pleas here. >> and you're looking at a prosecutor who is known for being tough on crime and is known as having an extreme prosecutorial bent. in her press conference, she was talking about praying with trayvon martin's family and in light of the high profile nature, i'm going to disagree with you, jeffrey toobin.
i don't think we'll see a plea here. >> were you surprised to hear the prosecutor using that kind of language? she used the term justice when referring to trayvon martin. she talked about praying with the family. were you surprised by that? >> no, not really. this has been a case that engendered so much hard feelings, so much heat, so much emotion that i think it was necessary for her to come out with an understanding and compassion for the family. the family has suffered terribly. whatever people may say, wherever people may go, with the racial implications, the law, et cetera, at the end of the day, a young man -- and i think of him as -- i understand people referring to him as their son. i have sons that age. and so you have to have compassion and understanding for the fact, the family lost their child. and i think that she is appealing -- she's understanding that. she's embracing that fact, that emotioning acore which is true in every case. prosecutors have to understand and should show that they understand there's an emotional cord to it. that said, i have to agree with sunny. i don't see a plea bargain in the future here at all.
it takes two sides to make a plea bargain. i don't see the prosecutor going for anything less than a jury trial and a conviction for second degree murder. if the jury decides it wants to go for manslaughter so be it. out of her hands. she proves the case as best she can and we'll see what the jury says. but i don't think there's going to be anything less than that here. >> you know, marcia, there still is one other hurdle for the prosecution here which is under that florida law there's a component of immunity and there is an argument and i'm sure his lawyer is going to make it, that at some point at a prae trial hearing, if there is a factual determination or probable cause proceeding of some kind that they will ask the judge to say the use of the force was -- put him smack dab in the middle of this law and he was immuned. so i'm not so sure whether by plea bargain or by judicial fiat this is going to trial. >> we have to take a quick break. everyone stick around. a lot more to talk about.
we'll take you through the night trayvon martin was killed, moment by moment. looking at everything that might have gone into angela corey's decision. and we'll talk with george zimmerman's friend, frank taaffe. and an attorney for the martin family. i'll be tweeting on this tonight. ♪ ♪ i can go anywhere today ♪ la la la la la la la [ male announcer ] dow solutions help millions of people by helping to make gluten free bread that doesn't taste gluten free. together, the elements of science and the human element can solve anything. solutionism. the new optimism. on december 21st polar shifts will reverse the earth's gravitational pull and hurtle us all into space. which would render retirement planning unnecessary. but say the sun rises on december 22nd, and you still need to retire. td ameritrade's investment consultants
dream in the kill -- dream in the killing of trayvon martin. the special prosecutor said none of the drama went into her decision, but she did not elaborate on any of the facts in her possession that we might not yet have. new facts, new evidence. so for now, here are the facts as we know them, minute by minute the night that trayvon martin was killed. >> sanford police department. >> we have had some break-ins and there's a real suspicious guy. >> 7:09 on sunday, february 26. the first sign of trouble. a 911 call from george zimmerman. >> this guy looks like he's up to no good or he's on drugs or something. it's raining and he's just walking around looking about. >> the dispatcher tells zimmerman they'll send officers to the scene and they tell him to stand down. >> are you following him? >> yeah. >> okay. we don't need you to do that. >> okay. >> meanwhile, 17-year-old trayvon martin has just come from a convenience store and is carrying an iced tea and a pack of skittles. it's approximately 7:12 p.m. he's on the phone with his girlfriend dee dee when he sees zimmerman approaching him.
>> well, he was walking fast when he said this man was behind him again. he come and said this dude is going to do something to him. and then trayvon said this man was still behind him. and then i come and say, run. >> 7:13 p.m., zimmerman ends his call with 911. three minutes later at 7:16 neighbors hear a gunshot. >> so you think he's yelling help? >> yes. >> all right. what is -- >> there's gunshots. >> you just heard gunshots? >> 7:17 p.m., sanford police arrive on scene. responding to zimmerman's initial report of a suspicious person. police officer timothy smith as he arrives is informed by dispatcher that a gunshot is heard in the neighborhood. police officers find trayvon martin laying face down. george zimmerman is nearby and tells police he shot trayvon martin. he's handcuffed and police confiscate his weapon.
according to police reports, zimmerman is bleeding from his nose and back of the head and his back was wet and covered in grass. soon, sanford fire rescue arrives on the scene in an attempt to resuscitate trayvon martin. at 7:30 p.m., 13 minutes after police arrive, trayvon martin is pronounced dead at the scene. zimmerman is given first aid by the paramedics on scene. an officer states he did not question zimmerman about the incident. zimmerman is overheard saying i yelled for someone to help me, but nobody would help me. 7:52, george zimmerman is seen here arriving at the sanford police station. still in handcuffs. he is about to be questioned by police. from the time the first 911 call until this moment about 43 minutes have elapsed. 43 minutes which left a young man dead. 43 minutes of more questions than answers. 45 days later george zimmerman will be spending his first night in jail. back is our panel, mark geragos,
jeffrey toobin, marcia cross, sunny hostin. you point out there's a lot we do not know. specifically about what happened after george zimmerman left that vehicle. just watching the time line though, do you think angela corey has new information based on her investigation? >> i do. she must have evidence of what happened during those minutes after he gets off the phone with his girlfriend. and when the gunshots are fired. this is a housing development. people may have seen things. there may be security cameras. we don't know. >> mark, we have a digital dashboard question from facebook. tammy asks if you're the defense attorney, would you encourage mr. zimmerman to take the stand? >> oh, there's no way to answer that question. in fact, most trials i don't even -- i don't even make that decision until the prosecution has rested. it's something you go in, it's the toughest decision you make as a defense lawyer and you generally regret it the minute you do it. if you put the client on, and it's just no way to answer it at this point. but i will kind of -- i'll be the echo chamber here. i agree that there's got to be
more evidence than what we know publicly. >> but our forensic evidence alone, because we know nothing about that. >> how far away the gun was. another point about stand your ground, if he wants to use that law, he's got to say that he feared, that he was in fear. that's going to be pretty hard to do without his testimony. >> i agree. >> if this case goes to trial -- >> unless they put in his statement. >> yes, that's not much. >> unless they put in his statement. >> sure, you can do that, but to persuade a jury, the guy claiming i was in fear for my life is pretty -- you know, is the most effective evidence you probably have. >> well, if you take a step back -- >> and the defense can't do it. the defense can't put in the statement from -- only the prosecution can admit it. i don't see the prosecution doing it. i don't see the prosecutor putting that on. i see the prosecute irhoor hold
that statement back, making him take the stand. you think he'll put him on? >> i think the prosecution will put the statement on. i think part of what's driving this. if you believe the reports the homicide detective on the scene did not believe the statement. they may put up that statement and then start punching holes into it to show kind of force him into taking the stand if you will. >> the other thing i think we need to point out is with stand your ground, they get to bring that up pretrial. they get to have a stand your ground hearing and so we may very well hear zimmerman's point of view, we may very well see him on the witness stand before trial. and that would be televised. >> mark, in terms of what's happening now between zimmerman and his attorney, what are those discussions? what is the contact like? >> this is one of the most traumatizing experiences that a client will go through, is that first night, that trepidation going into jail for the first time, facing these kinds of charges.
and you just basically -- you usually give the talk to them. look, this is -- it's going to be a roller coaster ride. you'll have a wave of emotion, you have to buckle down. keep your head on. screwed on straight. and wait and let us do what we do. >> so mark, in terms of what happens to him now, what does he go through? >> if they have not booked him already where they arrested him, they'll take him upstairs. they will strip him, they will book him, photograph him, print him. they'll ask him routine questions about medical history. and any kind of illnesses that he may have. then they will do some kind of segregation generally in cases like this from the general population. probably will be put in a cell by himself as i would guess to make sure no harm comes to him. >> but jeff, the trial itself will be -- cameras will be in the courtroom? >> florida is the most expansive state in terms of allowing cameras into any kind of legal or any kind of government proceeding.
casey anthony trial which i'm sure many people remember was of course televised. when i covered bush v. gore and all the recounts in 2000, all those proceedings were open. it's unusual and both marcia and mark know that from trying these cases on tv that sometimes has an impact. >> we have to leave it there. mark geragos, marcia clark, jeffrey toobin, sunny hostin, thank you. with george zimmerman arriving at the seminole county jail, we're hearing from a friend who's stood by him. you'll hear from him, next.
now, when angela corey had announced that zimmerman had been charged with second degree murder, we saw how trayvon martin's parents reacted. it was the news they were hoping to hear. obviously it's not the news that george zimmerman's parents wanted to hear. they haven't spoken public tonight but a friend, a neighbor of george zimmerman, frank taafee is speaking out. frank, what's your reaction to george zimmerman being charged? >> anderson, i was stunned, but i wasn't shaken. i had prepared myself. and when i talked to george on monday, i assured him that no matter what the outcome was, that, you know, i was there for him from the beginning, now and that we'll walk through this together. >> it doesn't shake your belief that he did the right thing? >> not at all. he did the right thing. i still stand by the fact that it's a self-defense claim.
i'll take that all the way to the courtroom steps. when we're leaving the courtroom and he's pronounced innocent. >> what is it that makes you so sure? >> based on the police narrative, the on the scene police officer, i read the police report over and over again. and when i talked to george on monday, i asked him about that night. and he couldn't go into specifics. so what i did was i read from the narrative the lines which included where the officer on the scene, not the extra narratives from the other officers, but the officer on the scene, officer smith, from his narrative that when he observed george, it was from -- he was within close contact with george. this is where he observed, you know, the grass on the pants, on the back of the jacket, the bruising on the back of his head
and also that his nose had been punched and it was bloody. this is what the narrative was. when i asked him if i can go and, you know, restate that, he said stay with that. that's good. >> you had been -- >> also he -- excuse me, he also said that he was -- he shared with the officer that he was the one that was screaming for help. >> george zimmerman told you that it was he screaming for help? >> well, in the narrative. >> in the narrative to the police officer? >> he said go with that, that's exactly correct. >> you say you spoke to george zimmerman monday. how did he sound to you? as you know yesterday the people who were his attorneys came forward and thought he was maybe suffering from ptsd, they were concerned about his mental state. joe oliver, a friend of his, also has said that he's concerned he's suffering from ptsd. how did he seem to you? >> anderson, he sounded very lucid. he was clear and concise in the delivery of the talking points that he wanted me to share with the media and the public. >> do you know the new attorney?
>> yes, mark o'mara. >> do you have an opinion about him? >> he's a preeminent lawyer in the central florida area and has an impeccable record. i just want to share that our team on this side, anderson, this is going to be -- you know, this is a new game, okay. they teed it up, they kicked the ball to us. okay. we took the ball and with mark as our quarterback on this team, on our team, we're going to take that ball and we're going to find the end zone of innocence. >> you believe in the end he will be exonerated? >> yes. >> frank, appreciate it. thank you. >> you're welcome. >> frank taaffe, a friend of george zimmerman. joining us is darrell parks, one of the attorneys for trayvon martin's family. mr. parks, thanks for being with us. we saw trayvon martin's parents at the news conference tonight. how are they holding up? >> anderson, today has been a tough day but i can tell you i was in the room with them when the special prosecutor called them just moments before she took the stage to make her announcement and they were overtaken by the news. it was humbling.
it was finally that day that trayvon's death was not just thrown away. it was a day that what he suffered that night on the ground at the twin lakes retreat is finally -- just was coming and not just some charade. i just listened to mr. taaffe's statement about a game. trayvon's life is so important. maybe they didn't see his life as important and that was the problem from the beginning. the problem with the sanford police department and the problem with mr. zimmerman. >> this charge, second-degree murder, is this the charge you, his legal team, had hoped for? i know there was some concern about a lesser charge. there was concern about this being sent to a grand jury. is this what you had hoped for? >> well, there was possible three charges. this charge came in the middle of all of those charges. and we are very encouraged by the charge, so we're very happy with the job that miss corey and her team have done. obviously we have seen them working very diligently on the
situation as they have talked to witnesses throughout the state. and as they continue to gather information and evidence in this case. so we're very encouraged by what she's done and the charges she has filed today. >> where do trayvon martin's parents go from here? obviously the legal process will take quite a long time. do you have any idea how they -- who do they do tomorrow, the next day, weeks and months from now? >> well, i think this case has awakened america's conscience. and so they have a lot of communicating to do with america and they'll do so tomorrow. there will be -- they're obviously in d.c. today on the northern end of the country so they're doing some of that work. but they will continue to make sure that there are no more other trayvons out there. there are many people suffering injustice in america. they have taken on that battle and are very encouraged to make sure that no other family has to suffer and go through. you saw today how strong sybrina
and tracy were on that stage. and, you know, that's who they are. and so they'll continue that battle for the other people out there who might face this same type of situation trayvon faced. >> do you have any sense how long this may take to get to trial? >> it depends on many things. you've seen where an extensive motion practice can happen, like the casey anthony trial. so in this case we can already forecast there are going to be many pretrial motions based on many of the other what we can call circumstantial legal issues that are out there. so it could be a while. depending on scheduling, depending on lawyers' schedules. there are many other factors that go into it. >> daryl parks, i appreciate it. thank you. a lot happening in the last 24 hours. there's a preview of what the next seven months might look like on the campaign trail. mitt romney accusing president obama of waging a war on women. he's citing dramatic numbers. but is he playing fast and loose with the facts? we're keeping them honest, next.
keeping them honest in the presidential race. the war over who, if anybody, is waging a war on women is heating up with mitt romney doubling down on a number that has many people scratching their heads. here's what romney said today in delaware. >> the real war on women is being waged by the president's failed economic policies. now, the president says, oh, i didn't cause this recession. that's true. he just made it worse. and made it last longer. and because it lasted longer, more and more women lost jobs, such that in his three and a half years, 92.3% of the people who have lost jobs have been
women. his failures have hurt women. >> romney's strategy is clear. for months the obama campaign has been accusing republicans of waging war on women and now romney is trying to turn the tables. her's why he's worried. a new abc news/"washington post" poll shows president obama with a 19-point lead among women voters, 57% versus 38%. cnn's polling shows a similar gap. for more than 24 hours now in press releases and conference calls, the romney campaign has been repeating that same striking statistic, 92.3% of people who have lost jobs under president obama are women. now, it sounds alarming. technically it's true, but it's also misleading. here's why. to get the 92.3% figure, the romney campaign compares net job losses for women and men between january 2009 and march 2012. their math includes hundreds of thousands of jobs lost in the three weeks before president obama took office. since january 2009 was the biggest month of job losses in the recession, including those
three weeks, tilts the picture. here's another piece of context. overall men lost more jobs in the recession than women did, but most of their losses came before mr. obama took office and those losses are not figuring into the romney camp's calculations. so when the economy started growing, men began recovering their jobs faster than women. economists say both patterns are typical in recessions. joining me now is cnn contributor paul begala, hilary rosen and eric erickson. so, paul, the president's campaign manager is sending a message calling mitt romney the most anti-woman candidate in a generation. he's so anti-women he spent a whole day focused on them. is that really going to sway any votes? >> i think they need to take it to issues and i think they can make the case. the governor -- governor romney has said that he wants to, his quote, get rid of planned parenthood. later he said i just mean the funding. well, you get rid of the funding, you get rid of a lot of planned parenthood clinics. he wants to abolish what's
called title 10, birth control that the federal government pays for for underprivileged women. it saves lives. it saves money. it was created by george h.w. bush, when he was a congressman, signed into law by richard nixon. it used to be a republican deal. that's a very extreme position. i don't know if a major political candidate, certainly not a nominee or a likely one, in 40 years who has ever called for doing away with all of the government support for birth control for women. so, yes, i think that is something he can defend anyway. >> eric, the romney campaign is trying to use the obama language against them. they're accusing the president of waging an economic war on women, but simply trying to combat a democratic attack line with a factoid, is that the best way to go about it? >> well, i think they're going to have to push this. i mean as you said, it is true that since barack obama became president more women have lost their jobs. unfortunately for the romney campaign it also happens to be true of every recession so they have to work around that. at the same time, this whole war on women rhetoric to me, it seems that it's going to play itself out. it's not having a dramatic impact in the polling. i think mitt romney's impact on
the polling with women has a lot to do with other things. the negativity with the republican race. his seeming aloofness. inability to connect. in fact, in the gallup poll last week 80% of women in swing states have no idea what his positions are on these issues so it's hard to say that is the impact. i think the problem is with metronomic precision, both candidates running for president now like to switch their positions so there's a lot of distrust to both of them. >> to the romney camp's point, they're focusing on the economy and that's what women say they care about in poll after poll. whether it's a typical pattern or not, women are seeing jobs come back much more slowly than men are. is there anything really wrong then with reaching out to women on an issue that they care about, on the economy? >> well, first, can we just get rid of this word war on women. the obama campaign does not use it. president obama does not use it. this is something that the republicans are accusing people of using but they're actually the one spreading it. with respect to economic issues, i think actually that mitt romney is right, that ultimately women care more about the economic well-being of their
families and the like. but there's -- but he doesn't connect on that issue either. what you have is mitt romney running around the country saying, well, you know, my wife tells me that what women really care about are economic issues. and when i listen to my wife, that's what i'm hearing. guess what, his wife has actually never worked a day in her life. she's never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school and how do we -- why do we worry about their future. so i think it's -- yes, it's about these positions and, yes, i think there will be a war of words about the positions, but there's something much more fundamental about mitt romney. he seems so old-fashioned when it comes to women. and i think that comes across. and i think that that's going to hurt him over the long term. he just doesn't really see us as equal. >> eric, i want you to be able to respond to that. >> well, i'm still hung up on
the democrats haven't been using the war on women because i've been playing clips of debbie wasserman schultz and nancy pelosi saying that. >> no, no, no. >> i think it's a democratic talking point. >> it's not. >> i think the democrats have used it. i think their political mouth pieces from msnbc and elsewhere have used it. it's clear that's what the democrats want to talk about, this war on women. i do think mitt romney will have problems relating to women. he will have problems relating to men, but those problems will be about him being able to relate to people in general. frankly, if the economy goes down, i don't think it's going to matter. more and more we're seeing small businesses say they don't even want to hire headed into next year and that's going to be a problem not for mitt romney but for barack obama. >> paul, i want to give you the final thought. how big -- i mean, do you think -- do you believe that president obama appeals to women more than mitt romney does? >> yeah, i think -- speaking as
a guy, i think that the three most powerful words any politician can say to anybody but especially a man talking to women is i get it. like that's what bill clinton said to a woman in richmond, virginia, during a presidential debate in 1992 when he asked bush about the national debt. he said, i get it. mitt just doesn't get it and i think the president does. i think an issue that will come is romney's record as a businessman. he says that he was a turn-around artist. when he was at bain capital, fewer than 10% of his vice presidents were women. he had an abysmal record of hiring and promoting women. he ran an all boys club at his business when he had the power to lift women up and give them economic opportunity and that's going to hurt him a lot in this election. >> i've got to leave it there, paul, eric, hillary, thank you. the syrian government says it's going to meet a u.n.-backed deadline to stop all military action tomorrow. activists say at least 98 people were killed in new violence today. details ahead. [ male announcer ] break the grip of back or arthritis pain
with odor free aspercreme. powerful medicine relieves pain fast, with no odor. so all you notice is relief. aspercreme. isha sesay with a business bulletin. the syrian government has said it will honor a cease-fire beginning tomorrow morning but its guns still roar ed today wih security forces shelling homs. opposition leaders said at least 98 people were killed across the country today. an 8.6 magnitude earthquake hit off the coast of the indonesian island of sumatra today. a tsunami watch was issued for the indian ocean but later cancelled. there are no reports of death and the quake hit far enough offshore that officials don't expect much damage. an incredible story from argentina. a woman who gave birth to a premature baby girl who was
pronounced dead went to see her in the morgue and the baby was alive. doctors say they can't explain it. the baby is in intensive care and all the nurses and doctors and morgue workers have been suspended during an investigation. 360 follow, charles manson was denied parole again today in california. the man behind the murders of actress sharon tate and six others in 1969 is now 77 years old. his next parole hearing is in 15 years, which means it's likely manson will die in prison. and reebok has agreed to stop making tim tebow jets merchandise. nike had filed suit against the company for selling unauthorized tebow products. anderson? coming up, dyngus day part two. the pussy willow smackdown. i'll explain in "the ridiculist."
time now for "the ridiculist." tonight i've got to do it, i'm adding myself again for losing it on air, again, on last night's ridiculist. on last night's ridiculist we added anyone who missed out on dyngus day, a little known holiday. sounds like a lot of fun. for the record i didn't put the holiday itself on the ridiculist, it was anyone who missed out on the holiday. for the record. now, i started giggling about halfway through last night's ridiculist. take a look. >> the quirky little rituals include boys sprinkling girls that they fancy with water, and the girls striking back with a tap from a pussy willow branch.
i've just got to let it out. just got to let it out. >> all right. now, if you noticed in the midst of the giggle fit i said something like this is so stupid, so stupid. i think i said it twice. now some people, especially folks in the buffalo area, seemed to think i was calling dyngus day itself stupid. i absolutely was not. i was saying that my giggle fit was so stupid and it was. i also said it was torture at one point. i wasn't calling dyngus day torture. i said it was stupid because it's stupid that a grown man giggles like a 13-year-old girl meeting justin bieber for the first time. i think it's stupid that i cannot stop giggling once i start and i think it's stupid that this is not the first time i have had an immature giggle fit. take a look. >> depardieu -- i know you've got it. all right, sorry.
[ laughter ] >> in buffalo, new york, the dyngus day capital of the world, today there was a demonstration called. they held a pussy willow pride rally. if you notice, there's a sign there that reads "cooper is a pooper." a saying, which by the way, i found funny in third grade and still find funny to this day. cooper, pooper. what makes me sad is i hope those people at that demonstration today know that i was not calling dyngus day stupid. there are tons of little known cultural and religious celebrations in this country and i enjoy them. i think it's cool that we have them. i think it's part of what makes this country so great. because i was legitimately sad that i upset people in buffalo and elsewhere, i invited the co-founder of buffalo's dyngus day celebration onto the program. i spoke with him just before air time.
>> thank you very much for being on with me. i just want to explain and make sure you understand that when i said it's so stupid, i was giggling and i was talking about myself giggling yet again, because this has been an ongoing problem where i have broken out into ridiculous, childish giggles over, you know, words that i should not be giggling over. and so that's what i meant when i said this is so stupid. i was not calling dyngus day stupid and clearly a lot of people in buffalo and elsewhere believe that i was. so i wanted to apologize to them and try to explain that was my intent. >> well, i guess it could be worse. i guess instead of breaking out in giggles, you could break out in hives, so i'm glad for that. second of all, although you have upset many, many people here in western new york and throughout the land, we accept your apology, mr. cooper, graciously we do. you know, we understand that
dyngus day and the rituals and the little quirky things that are associated with it are ridiculous. we don't make any bones about that. we are very, very aware that chasing someone around with a pussy willow branch is not a normal thing to do, that it is kind of silly, and squirting each other with water is just as silly. but it's much more than that. it's an ancient ritual that buffalonians have adopted as their own. >> it looks like a lot of fun. part of the thing that makes america great is all the different groups in the united states and all the different places people come from and the traditions they bring with them and the celebrations they have. we should be celebrating all the different groups cultural celebrations because i do think what makes the united states fun. >> as a gesture to prove that we are genuine in your acceptance of your apology, i personally would like to invite you on
behalf of the entire city of buffalo to come to our festivities next year and you will be the very first ever pussy willow prince. we will crown you as the pussy willow prince -- >> are you trying to make me giggle again? i would love to be the pussy willow prince. i don't think i've ever said that before. but i would love that. i don't want to promise because with my new schedule, things change. but as the date approaches, let's talk this time next year and i will make every effort to come siene celebrate dyngus day. that would be great. >> thank you, andeon. thanks for the opportunity to promote this throughout the land. thank you. >> so i hope everyone knows i was calling myself and my stupid laugh stupid, not dyngus day. if i did really offend you, i am sorry. i said it last night, i'll say it again to the good citizens of buffalo and everywhere, happy belated dyngus day. that's it for us. thanks for watching. "early start" begins right now.