tv The Situation Room CNN August 16, 2012 4:00pm-7:00pm EDT
so, anyway, i'll tweet this link out because i want it all to be stuck in your minds as well as we all need to be space geeks everywhere. chad myers, thank for having fun with me at the end of the show. that's it for me. i'm brooke baldwin. let's go to joe johns sitting in for wolf blitzer today. "the situation room" begins now. thanks, brooke. happening now, breaking news. we're about to release our very latest polling from wisconsin. will paul ryan make his home state another battleground? our john king reveals the numbers in just a minute. also, new evidence of a political motive in the shooting at the headquarters of a prominent group of social conservatives right here in washington, d.c. and the devastating drought is shrinking the mighty mississippi river. now people who live along it face a new problem with their drinking water. i'm joe johns in for wolf blitzer today. you're in "the situation room."
paul ryan's home state of wisconsin is suddenly up for grabs in the presidential election. it went for barack obama in 2008 and has been leaning his way again this year. but our brand new polling shows a dramatic change may, may be underway. let's go to cnn chief national correspondent john king. john, what do you have? >> joe, democrats have been saying they're happy they don't see any evidence of a huge national bounce when it comes to paul ryan. you're noticing we're making a change today because paul ryan is helping in his home state. here's the map we had when we woke up this morning. president obama leaning stronger 247 votes, governor romney 206. dark leaning obama -- dark blue, solid obama, light blue leaning
obama. we're switching wisconsin to a toss-up state. let's show why. we have a brand new poll out tonight that shows this. shows a tighter horse race. now, the president is still ahead 49% to 45%, but we see some evidence, joe, in these closer numbers of a ryan bounce. maybe a little bounce, but some bounce. anecdotally i was in wisconsin and even the obama campaign concedes this pick, the ryan pick, will make a difference in this state that hasn't voted republican for president since back in the 1980s. what do the people of wisconsin think of these politicians? as you see here, congressman ryan actually has a higher favorable rating than his boss, the number one on the republican ticket. the president still has a strong favorability rating which is why democrats think we may call it a toss-up now. they're still reasonably confident about it. look here. how was this pick? 31% say it was an excellent choice. 23% say good. 21% only fair. and 20% poor. remember the recall of the governor -- the attempt to recall the governor, it's been a
polarized political state. so even the home state candidate has some negative detractors out there. is he qualified to serve as president? 56% of the people in his home state say yes. shift the poll aside and back to the electoral map, a more competitive battlefield at the moment for governor romney, wisconsin now a toss-up state. and if you notice, ohio, wisconsin, iowa, it tells you that this election could be decided in ryan's home territory, joe, the midwest. >> so, john, if romney can actually turn wisconsin red, which as you note hasn't voted republican since 1984 for president, how does that affect the race to electoral votes. >> let's show how much this would help the romney campaign. if this were to go red, in the short-term it gives governor romney closer. if wisconsin is voting republican, it's a reasonably safe bet that ohio, a state more republican in terms of dna than wisconsin then you would have to assume governor romney was getting ohio as well. i'm going to leave iowa for now. the romney campaign would be
more confident. it's critical we need to say this romney needs to win in florida. it's almost impossible to come up with a scenario for romney to get to 270 without florida. look what that does, he would be at 263, only seven electoral votes of winning. he could get those in a number of ways. virginia would put him over the top. a combination of new hampshire and iowa would put him over the top. so if the goal here for romney is to stretch the map. the map at the moment favors the president. putting wisconsin in play and go back to having a toss-up state, it gives him more options and also forces the president to spend time, money, precious resources in wisconsin that he might rather say spend in florida. >> starting to get a whole lot of fun right now. thanks so much for that john king. be back with you soon. a quick reminder, you can check out all the important electoral college vote totals any time and try out your own combinations by changing states' colors just like john did. go to cnn.com/raceto270.
at the white house today lots of people were wondering what president obama told vice president joe biden at their private lunch. over the remark that mitt romney's economic policies would put people back in chains, biden stays on the ticket. here's cnn white house correspondent dan lothian. dan. >> reporter: well, joe, you know it's not breaking news that vice president biden is gaffe-prone. this is something that he often will joke about. but this one is getting a lot of heat. not only from republicans but also democrats. even as the white house continues to defend him. vice president joe biden tried to clean up his chain remarks. >> i think i said instead of unshackled, unchained -- >> reporter: but that was hardly enough to stem the flood of harsh criticism. >> this guy just isn't bright. he's never been bright. he isn't bright. and people think, well, he just talks a little too much. actually, he's just not very smart. >> reporter: gop vice presidential hopeful paul ryan along with mitt romney had been the target of mr. biden's
original remarks for their plans to reform wall street. said this kind of rhetoric was a sign of desperate campaign. >> they have a terrible record. so they're going to sink this campaign to the low levels to try and distract people and osteopathic the emotions of fear. >> reporter: now the national tea party is fund raising off the vice president's "ugly words." in this e-mail they ask supporters to defend representative paul ryan, to fight back, to donate. less than 24 hours after the president stood by his vice president in interviews with "entertainment tonight" and "people" magazine, he was still working to defend mr. biden. >> you know he was talking if you look at what he said about wall street reform. the vice president was talking about a policy issue. this is a, as i said before, a nonissue. the vice president was talking about wall street reform. >> reporter: but that wasn't the only problem this week.
while campaigning in virginia, the vice president got his states mixed up. >> with you, we can win north carolina. >> reporter: then his centuries. >> where is it written we cannot lead the world in the 20th century in making automobiles? >> reporter: former alaska governor sarah palin and senator john mccain piled on saying the president should bump mr. biden from the ticket. >> he would be wise to do that, but it's not going to happen, obviously for a whole variety of reasons. >> reporter: carney was ready for that one. >> the one place i would not go for advice on vice presidential running mates is senator mccain. >> reporter: one campaign aide told me that they are surprised by how much attention this is getting. they don't believe that it has been a distraction from the president's message, specifically yesterday on his last day of that bus tour in iowa when the president went after the gop opponents on their views on medicare. joe. >> so, dan, do you think those questions settled for the election? or do you expect it to come back
again? >> reporter: jay carney says it's settled for now, right? he says, yes, he remains on the ticket. that has been settled. but the president did have that lunch with him today. unclear whether or not this came up during their lunch meeting. i should point out that that's nothing unusual, the vice president and the president do sit down for lunch once a week. if in fact the president is in town. and so we shouldn't read too much into that lunch meeting today at least according to the white house. >> dan lothian at the white house. thanks so much for that, dan. >> reporter: okay. a new group of veterans including former navy seals accuses president obama of taking too much credit for the killing of osama bin laden. the group says it's nonpartisan. but a cnn investigation finds it has close links to the republican party. let's bring in cnn's brian todd. this sort of has shades of 2004 and john kerry. >> and the swift boat campaign. we have discovered links this group has to the gop. links that the group has not freely acknowledged. its new web video just rakes the
president for his campaign references to the bin laden raid. in a campaign ad, bill clinton praises president obama's courage for ordering the navy seals to launch against osama bin laden. >> suppose they'd been captured or killed, the downside would have been horrible for him. >> reporter: on the campaign trail, the president emphasizes it himself. >> i promise to go after al qaeda and go after bin laden and we did it. >> reporter: now there's a counterattack. >> mr. president, you did not kill osama bin laden. america did. the work that the american military has done, killed osama bin laden. you did not. >> reporter: that's former navy seal ben smith in a new video slamming president obama. the 22-minute film titled dishonorable disclosures features former seals, special forces members, intelligence office officers securing the president for taking credit for the raid.
obama campaign pushes back saying credited seals for the cooperation. the obama also points to this interview wolf blitzer did recently with the commander of the raid, admiral william mcraven. >> at the end of the day make no mistake about it, it was the president of the united states that shouldered the burden, that made the hard decisions. >> reporter: i pressed ben smith on that. does the president get no credit here? >> he gets the credit for having osama bin laden killed under his watch. if he gave the order, wonderful. but taking all the credit with the i, i, i, me, i, i about it and using us as a political ad is wrong. >> reporter: the film also blasts the obama administration for allowing classified information on the raid and other security operations to become public. >> we had tactics, techniques and procedures that were compromised. we even knew the name of the dog that was on the operation. >> reporter: the obama team denies taking part in any leaks and says the republicans are
resorting to swift boat tactics. a reference to the blistering 2004 attacks on john kerry's vietnam war record. >> john kerry cannot be trusted. >> reporter: this new film made by a group operational security. a spokeswoman for the group says it's completely nonpartisan, but cnn found many links between the group and the gop. the president of opsec scott taylor appears in the video once ran for congress as a republican. a spokesman has done similar work for the bush administration and republicans in congress. ben smith, that former seal, told me he's an independent voter but says on his facebook page that says he was once a spokeman for the tea party. and they list headquarters as being in this building in a certain suite. also in that suite are two republican strategy groups and no other groups. we were not allowed to film inside. but we were told by someone in the suite that opsec doesn't have more than a desk there and no one was there to talk to us.
a spokeswoman told us where they're located has nothing to do with the message they want to get out. could that message hurt president obama like swift boat damaged john kerry? >> it could hurt obama politically in the sense that it's a very competitive election. it's going to come down to 20,000 or 25,000 votes in a handful of states. we don't know now what's going to move those voters. but national security's a very sensitive issue for many people. >> reporter: and opsec is now one of three groups of former special operation members coming out with campaigns against the president against the security leaks. neither the pentagon nor the cia would comment on the latest video or confirm the military experience of those in the film, joe. >> million dollar question, do we know where the money from this group is coming from? or is it hidden like so many other examples? >> the answer would be the latter. it's not clear. the group set itself up as a specific kind of nonprofit under the tax code where it does not have to reveal its donors. it can keep its donors a secret. the group told us it has about
$1 million at its disposal and going to run ads in swing states in the coming weeks. we'll see how many resources he has. >> thanks so much for that, brian todd. despite all the complaints about this year's political attack ads, u.s. presidential campaigns have a long history of going negative. our john berman says it's been much worse. and a shooting at a prominently social conservative headquarters was politically motivated and the head of the family research council is pointing his finger. >> he was given a license to shoot an unarmed man by organizations like the southern poverty law center. attention. so we invented a warning you can feel. introducing the all-new cadillac xts. available with a patented safety alert seat. when there's danger you might not see, you're warned by a pulse in the seat. it's technology you won't find in a mercedes e-class.
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regulating wall street would "put y'all back in chains." not good. even though the white house is standing by biden, a lot of people think those comments were unacceptable. republican senator former presidential candidate john mccain told the f word network "it might be wise for mr. obama to swap out biden for secretary of state hillary clinton." well, today the white house says it's not going to happen. and they added, and i love this, that the one place they would never go for advice on vice presidential running mates is to senator mccain. president obama told "people" magazine that biden's an outstanding vice president. people get obsessed with how something was phrased even if that's not what was meant. doug wilder thinks clinton would be a better choice. wilder actually called for a switch to hillary back in 2010 and said if the president had replaced biden on the ticket several months ago, he'd have a bigger lead over mitt romney now. as for hillary clinton, she's made it quite clear many times she's not interested.
but then again, we've learned never to count a clinton out, right? legal experts tell the weekly standard that it's still possible for president obama to switch his running mate, the democrats have more than 20 days until september 6th when they formally nominate their presidential ticket. so here's the question, should president obama consider replacing joe biden on the ticket? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile and post a comment on my blog. or go to our post on the "the situation room" facebook page. you know, joe, the comments to that audience in virginia aside and you could argue whether they were appropriate or not, joe biden is liked by a lot of people because he comes across as a kind of straight shooter and a real guy. and they don't have any of those in washington, d.c. >> that's for sure. and he always did also even when he was on capitol hill as a senator people thought he was very genuine. it's interesting. >> yeah. the real deal. >> you bet. all right. thanks, jack. we'll be back at you. >> all right, partner. federal prosecutors say the shooting at washington head quart ergs of the family
research council was politically motivated. this afternoon tony perkins, who heads the socially conservative organization angerly blamed a group that tracks extremists and labeled the family research council a hate group because of its opposition to gay rights, he says. >> floyd corkins was responsible for firing the shot yesterday that wounded one of our colleagues and our friend, leo johnson. but he was given a license to shoot an unarmed man by organizations like the southern poverty law center that have been reckless in labeling organizations hate groups because they disagree with them on public policy. and i believe the southern poverty law center should be held accountable for their reckless use of terminology that is leading to the intimidation and what the fbi here has categorized as an act of domestic terrorism. >> cnn's sandra endo is keeping
track of the new developments. sandra, what do you have? >> reporter: well, joe, according to fbi officials they have not yet determined that this is a fact of domestic terrorism. but you heard from tony perkins there angerly pointing the finger at what he calls reckless terminology taking issue with the fact that the frc is being labeled a hate group by the southern poverty law center. they were put on that list in 2010. and now this is just another factor surrounding the motivations behind this shooting as the investigation continues. you could still see the blood splatter inside the building's lobby thursday morning. >> my instincts just sort of took over and i just reacted. i wasn't afraid or anything. i just reacted. once i saw the weapon, my natural reaction is to attack. >> reporter: family resource council's building operations manager, leo johnson, describes
what happened right before being shot in the arm. johnson says floyd lee corkins entered the building saying he was there to interview for an internship then opened fire. >> it was after, after i had him apprehended he said it wasn't about me. it was about the organization. >> reporter: the 28-year-old suspect was in court this afternoon charged with a federal firearms violation and assault with intent to kill. the criminal complaint filed thursday says the suspect's parents described their son as having "strong opinions with respect to those he believes do not treat homosexuals in a fair manner" and also 16 chick-fil-a sandwiches and extra ammo in his backpack. chick-fil-a has sparked debate over its staunch public stance against same sex marriage, a view frc shares. authorities have not contacted them about the shooting. the head of frc says. >> we are thankful that
yesterday's incident did not turn out to be any worse than it did. we are grateful for leo johnson who acted heroically. but i also want to say that i'm proud to lead a team of individuals who cross through these doors each and every day to stand for faith, family and freedom. >> reporter: corkins, seen here being led away from the shooting scene wednesday, has a masters degree from george mason university and was a volunteer at the dc center for the lgbt community. the center's executive director denounced the violent act as have both presidential candidates who were notified about the shooting on the campaign trail. now, this afternoon a judge ordered a mental evaluation for the suspect who appeared in court with a red swollen eye. and he is being held in custody until his preliminary hearing next friday. joe. >> and, sandra, i do hear cnn has reached out to the southern poverty law center to get some
reaction to the comments by tony perkins, but we haven't heard back from them yet? >> reporter: that's correct. hopefully we will be hearing from them soon especially after tony perkins' comments this afternoon pointing fingers about being placed on this hate group list. >> all right. thanks so much for that, sandra endo reporting in washington, d.c. it's one of the largest power ball jackpots in history. and we have a winner. check your tickets. one sold at this gas station is about to make someone very rich. and later, drought takes its toll on the mississippi river. now louisiana's drinking water's taking a hit. chad myers will tell us why. ♪ (train horn) vo: wherever our trains go, the economy comes to life. norfolk southern.
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winner. kate bolduan is monitoring that and some of the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. kate, what do you have? >> it sounded so good, we have a lottery winner, kate bolduan. no, that's not actually true. if you live in michigan, check your pockets. a winner has yet to come forward to collect the country's third largest power ball jackpot in history. a single winning ticket sold outside of flint. it's worth $337 million with a cash option payout of $241 million. that sounds nice. the winning numbers, if i need to remind you, 6, 27, 46, 51 and 56. the power ball was 21. other news we're watching, the fbi says a russian passenger jet going from new york to moscow was diverted to iceland after a bomb threat. flight 103 left jfk airport around 9:30 last night. officials say the threat was called in about 20 minutes later warning that five suitcases containing explosives were onboard. the plane landed at an airport in iceland.
all 253 people on board were thankfully evacuated safely. and surprise, elation and celebration in mexico city after 75 years, the u.s. national soccer team has finally logged a victory south of the border. a late goal yesterday in mexico city capped the unexpected american win over the olympic champion mexico team. it was only the ninth loss for mexico in 121 games at their stadium. i thought that was a pretty impressive stat, joe. >> that's for sure. i mean, that's a pretty incredible game for the united states to pull that off. >> i know. sounds like a lot of fun. too bad we could not be there in person. >> i know. maybe next year. >> yeah. >> all right. still to come in "the situation room," the republicans' number two guy, paul ryan, in ohio poking fun at his democratic rival, vice president joe biden. that's in our 6:00 hour. and later this hour another deadly day in syria. now the conflict is spilling over into a neighboring country, our arwa damon will have that.
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plan presents no change. the plan stays the same. no adjustments. no changes. no savings. the president's plan cuts medicare. excuse me. well, let's see, there we go. by $716 billion cut. >> joining me for today's strategy session are cnn political contributor james carville and ana navarro. james, romney seems to be making his plan look pretty simple here. what's your take? >> well, i think he's in conflict with his vice presidential candidate who proposed $700 some billion. and the cuts actually through savings that was sort of laid out as to how they would achieve these things. why would the american taxpayer want to pay more than the actual
cost? and why would a medicare beneficiary want the government to pay more than the actual cost of the procedure to test that they get? it makes total sense. if mitt romney wants to have a debate about medicare, i think the democrats would be open to that, quite frankly. >> so, ana, what do you think governor romney is getting by taking out the board and the markers here? what's the point? >> i think he's taking a page out of james' playbook. keep it simple. you know, i think he's trying to make it very simple. i think he's trying -- for a little bit there i thought he was ross perot. i think what he's trying to bring home is the point that, look, this is very simple and basically two choices and two stark choices. one is, barack obama who is the one who's cut $716 billion from medicare. he doesn't want to make changes to the current system. but it's a system that's going to be bankrupt by 2024, which is a very scary proposition for people my age, my generation and
below. and mitt romney's offering a responsible conversation on how to tackle this fiscal issue, how to bring it into solvency. and he's saying we are not going to affect at all anybody over 55. but those under 55, we're going -- >> james, go ahead and jump in there. >> first of all, we're saying it's going to go broke, but obama's wrong to save money in it. i'm totally -- there's something sort of wrong with that. it doesn't make any sense. if we get savings in there, shouldn't with save the money? >> all right, guys. let's get to taxes real quick because that's another one of the headlines out of the day. mitt romney talked at least about his taxes. let's listen. >> i did go back and look at my taxes. and over the past ten years i never paid less than 13%. i think the most recent year is 13.6%.
something like that. i've paid taxes every single year. harry reid's charge is totally false. >> now, this has been an ongoing discussion. the obama campaign fired back with a statement, they said given mitt romney's secrecy about his returns coupled with the revelations in just the one return we've seen to date and the inconsistencies between this one return and other financial disclosures, he's forfeited the right to have us take him at his word. ana, the question is for you, if mitt romney's going to come out and go this far, why not just release the taxes and be done with it? >> i think a lot of it right now is because he has said he won't. and he's not going to buckle under pressure at this point. i have said, joe, that i am in favor of him releasing more taxes just because i don't want to continue talking about this. i don't want to continue beating this dead dog. and it is, you know, a distraction. i would much rather be talking about medicare. be talking about the important
issues. i don't think we're going to see anything more in the second tax he's going to release at some point than we've already seen. he's very wealthy. he's very charitable. and he's very aggressive in using every legal means to pay as little taxes as possible but within the legal means. i think that makes him perfectly qualified to be president. >> i think mitt romney's wife also said they're not going to release anymore taxes too today. james, before we go -- >> let me tell you, when ann romney talks, mitt listens. >> before we go, james, i do have to ask you about one of the questions of the day. that is about joe biden. >> right. >> do you think there's any reason for this administration to cut him loose and bring in hillary clinton? >> i can't imagine why. i think vice president biden is a very sort of popular guy. he and secretary of state clinton are very close friends that work together closely. no, i think it would look ridiculo ridiculous. i think he's doing a great job. i can't imagine that anybody would entertain the thought. >> joe. >> yes, ana.
>> joe, in order to do that you would have to put joe biden in chains. >> one other question though, james. what advice would you give the administration to sort of deal with the question of the vice president's gaffes? >> you know, if you look at the vice president, ask yourself, what does he have a history of making flub metaphors or flub racial statements? i would say flub metaphors. interesting thing about joe biden, he was invited by storm thermo thermon's family. sometimes he has annin eloquent way of putting things. that's probably going to happen again to tell you the truth. i wouldn't be too troubled by it. >> james carville, ana navarro, thank you so much. good talking to you guys. the 2012 presidential race is full of attack ads, but president campaigns have been going negative for longer than you probably think. our john berman has proof coming
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you know, we hear plenty of complaints about negative attacks in presidential campaigns, but this is really nothing new. and what we're seeing is actually pretty mild. cnn's early start co-anchor, john berman, has dug up some of the ghosts of the campaign past. >> it is that time in the campaign where we hear each other charging running with the lowest campaign media. and you hear the media asking the question, is this the most negative campaign ever? so we thought we would provide the answer to that question. the answer is really, no.
mitt romney, the ad implies he was more or less responsible for a woman dying. >> she passed away in 22 days. >> reporter: a stretch to say the least. barack obama, the ad says he wants to end welfare reform. >> you wouldn't have to work. >> reporter: not really true either. no, mitt romney and barack obama do not agree on a lot. but they do agree this campaign has become positively negative. >> there's so much negative and so so much cynicism. >> what's difference this year is that the president is taking things to a new low. >> reporter: different? different than say mitt romney's campaigns against rick perry, rick santorum and newt gingrich? >> are you calling mitt romney a liar? >> yes. >> reporter: or for that matter barack obama's campaign against hillary clinton. >> shame on you, barack obama. >> reporter: if history has taught us anything, it's that every campaign in history seems like the most negative in
history. >> 2010 likely to have the most negative campaign ads ever. >> the most negative campaign in memory. >> the most negative campaign any of us can remember. >> reporter: yes, negative campaigns existed even before super pacs. lyndon johnson implied barry goldwater would start a nuclear war. grover cleveland, accused of having a child out of wedlock. mama, where's my pa? andrew jackson accused of killing a man and having a wife who was a bigamist. john quincy adams, it was said he procured prostitutes for the russian czar. thomas jefferson, his election would result in murder, robbery, rain, adultery and incest. so until we get charges of robbery, nuclear war starting or prostitute procuring, maybe this will have to wait. >> the president is taking things to a new low. >> reporter: they might be mean, cruel and cynical, but negative
campaigns are not lights on history. they are our history. you know, if there is one thing that's different this year, it may not be that the negative campaigning is actually starting earlier. it's that the complaining about negative campaigning seems to be starting much earlier, joe. >> that's absolutely right. and if there wasn't negative campaigning this time of year, what would we be doing? covering the issues maybe, huh? >> gives us something to talk about. >> you got that. all of you early risers catch john berman and zoraida sambolin. ed syrian problem is spreading. where it's spilling over just ahead. also, a hearing today for james holmes, the man accused in the movie theater massacre in colorado. our ted rowlands is there and will join us in the 6:00 hour eastern time.
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jack joins us again with the cafferty file. jack. >> joe, the question this hour, should president obama consider replacing joe biden on the ticket? they have about 20 days to do that should they decide to. mark in michigan writes, you know what you're getting with biden, a short, unimpeded path from brain to mouth. i just wish obama's spinners would just once acknowledge that someone in the administration screwed up. people make mistakes. and people respect people who own up to it. susan in california, no, biden's an asset to the team. kind of like you and me, jack. we're not getting older, we're just getting funnier. i don't know what that means, susan. florida writes it's not biden that ought to be replaced, it's obama. biden's always been a decent guy
who reached across the aisle to get things done. obama dragged him down to the chicago-style gutter politics. and i really don't think joe likes it so well. mark writes, yes, with hillary clinton. no need to explain why. jeff says, no, biden is the kind of person you want as vice president. tough and a straight shooter. kind of like chris christie would have been if mitt romney had figured out what he needed. bee writes i like biden as a person and biden really has had no role in running the country the last four years. so that has to be good. but if i'm honest, biden being next in line to be president in an emergency does make me a little nervous. and ivan writes from ohio, jack, you and i both know this is all hogwash. i like joe biden. he speaks the middle class language and says it like he sees it. if you want to read more about this, go to the blog cnn.com/caffertyfile or the post on "the situation room" facebook page. >> whoever the vice president
is, he always takes a lot of. [ gunfire ] -- guf. >> history indicates nobody ever votes for vice president. the media does this stuff anyway. it's an exercise we have to go through. it's like the swallows going back to capastrano. >> thanks for that, jack. the united nations giving up on observer mission in syria. it expires over the weekend and will not, not be extended. the mission was to make sure all sides kept the peace. but syrian opposition groups report 200 new deaths just today. the violence in syria also is spilling over into lebanon. cnn's arwa damon is in beirut. >> reporter: syria's civil war is seeping into its tiny and vulnerable neighbor. on wednesday angry young shias blocked the road with burning tires after the head of a prominent shia clan was abducted in syria.
the free syrian army posted this video who they allege is a member of powerful militia, hezbollah, which supports the regime. hezbollah denies he's one of theirs. and the family also denies any association. but the kidnapping resulted in swift retaliation. this family has an armed section that kidnaps syrians and lebanese territories, claims one of the clan members. two of the kidnapped syrians appeared in the video in front of a banner that reads "the family association." the clan says they have taken hostage more than 20 syrians affiliated with the rebels as well as a turkish businessman. and more will follow until he's released. hasan's brother vows there will be more surprises suggesting the clan will not only target members of the syrian rebels operating out of lebanon, but others as well. tensions were already high over
the kidnapping of 11 lebanese shias by syrian rebels. the lebanese government seems powerless to intervene except to call for calm. the posture of government forces at the airport perhaps reflecting the government's paralysis. held captive by dynamics it can't control. the lebanese are fed up, disgusted and disillusioned. and at the same time terrified that sectarian strife will break out once again. the wounds and the memories of lebanon's own civil war are still fresh. and the syrian conflict is not likely to spare the neighbor in its shadow. arwa damon, cnn, beirut. >> the devastating drought is shrinking the mighty mississippi river. now, people who live along it face a new problem, their drinking water. that's coming up next. and in our next hour, anger mounts over arizona's new battle with washington over immigration. some call governor jan brewer's defiance an attack on children and the young. you're in "the situation room." .
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powered by intel core processors. in he presented himself asdent obamasomething different. i had hoped that the new president would bring new jobs. not major layoffs, not people going through major foreclosures on their homes. he did get his healthcare through, but at what cost? he said he was going to cut the deficit in his first term. i've seen zero interest in reducing spending. he inherited a bad situation, but he made it worse. i think he's a great person. i don't feel he is the right leader for our country, though. i still believe in hope and change, i just don't think obama's the way to go for that. the president has not earned re -election, in 2012, in my book. i've seen his now definition of hope and change. it's not the hope and change i want, and it's not the hope and change i thought i was going to get. i don't feel that i helped my grandchildren by voting for president obama and i regret that. americans for prosperity is responsible for the content of this advertising. [ "the odd couple" theme playing ]
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i tell mike what i can spend. i do my best to make that work. we're driving safely. and sue saved money on brakes. now that's personal pricing. the extreme drought that's blamed for decimating crops across the u.s. is also blamed for driving the mississippi way down. that in turn is causing salt water to mix with the rivers and louisiana's drinking water. meteorologist chad myers joins me now from cnn weather center in atlanta. what's going on here, chad? how can salt water get into the drinking water? >> well, it's because the gulf of mexico is actually running underneath the river under the back way. it's coming up the wrong way up the mississippi river. i'll tell you about that in a second. there's the ohio river. here's the missouri. there's the mississippi. all of those big rivers, all
very dry this year because literally there's no water, there's no rain, there's nothing there. so your answer to your question, the mississippi river has actually been flowing the wrong way underground. salt water is very heavy. that's why you float better in the ocean. so down below the fresh water that is the river that you can see, there's a layer of salt water running the wrong way up through 90 miles up the river almost to new orleans but not quite. so what the army corps of engineers is going to do, their going to put a bump, a dirt berm, under the water. not all the way to the top because they have to get boats over the top, but they're going to put a dirt berm there to stop the water from going up the river. they're going to take the river -- now, understand the river is going this way. this would be new orleans. and here would be the gulf of mexico. and the salt water is coming along the bottom below almost like two layers. like oil -- when you get a bottle of italian dressing, you get the oil on top and vinegar on bottom. here's the vinegar.
it's the salt water going the wrong way. here's the oil. it's the water. there's just not enough of the water to push the salt water back. and that salt water is now getting into the intake of the water system. so it's sucking in salt walter. so there's a little bit of salt in the drinking water. they're going to fix that by taking barges full of real flesh water and taking it down to the parish, but the big fix is this berm so the salt water can't go up the river. >> you're going to take barges down to replace the water that's missing? >> yep. barges full of water -- fresh water, down into plaquemines parish. you can buy a bottle of water, but that can get pricey. >> that sounds like a lot of water, right? >> it really is. millions and millions of gallon will have to be moved until this berm is finished. it just sounds like they're going to put a bunch of dirt underneath the river shouldn't take too long. it could take six weeks to build
this. the salt water will be going the wrong way for another few weeks until they get this built. >> chad myers, thanks so much for that reporting. >> you're welcome. you're in "the situation room." happening now, much of the western u.s. engulfed in flames leaving some victims with nothing. just ahead, one woman's heartbreaking loss which she says feels like her life has come to an end. plus, mitt romney revives the ongoing debate over his taxes revealing new information about just how much he says he paid. the obama campaign's response, prove it. and, it's the headline that went viral after a deadly accident. my sister paid progressive insurance to defend her killer in court. welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. wolf blitzer's off today. i'm joe johns. and you're in "the situation room."
first, to the raging wildfires devastating huge portions of the western united states right now. at least 70 large fires are burning across 13 states. some in blistering hot weather conditions. and the national weather service is warning conditions could become explosive in the days ahead. cnn's dan simon is in washington state with a gut-wrenching story of loss which for this victim goes way beyond just her home. dan. >> reporter: fire here east of seattle authorities say that it was a manmade fire, that it came from a bridge construction project. right now it's all under investigation. for now the focus is entirely on the victims like the woman we spoke with earlier today. >> it's just worse than i could possibly imagine.
>> reporter: elaine lived by herself on her 14 acres of property in ellensburg, washington. a retired care giver to the elderly and foster children, she had a small farm to help pay the bills. along with losing her home, she also lost most of her animals. dozens of pigs and dogs. their burned carcass could be seen everywhere. >> reporter: what's the hardest thing about coming back? >> the animals. i mean, the home, you know that's gone. and i can get another home. but they had to have suffered. >> reporter: some of the pigs survived. elaine's family is trying to take care of them. as well as combing through the rubble to see what can be found. >> what i feel like saying is the end of my life. i mean, i'm alive, but that's what it feels like. >> reporter: the fire about 90 miles east of seattle has so far destroyed at least 60 homes and forced hundreds to evacuate. authorities say dry terrain and wind quickly caused the fire to
spread. ed and his wife barely escaped. he described the intense heat as he was fleeing. his home didn't make it. >> it burns fast. it burns hot. and when the flames fan it like that, there's -- it was 15, 20 feet high. looked like a tidal wave coming. >> they said, i'm sorry, ma'am, but you can't stay. >> reporter: so you weren't able to gather up anything? >> no. nothing. just the clothes on my back. absolutely nothing. >> reporter: many victims like elaine say they had virtually no warning. she came back from an afternoon shopping trip on monday when authorities refused to let her go inside. >> didn't have nothing to start a home. just absolutely nothing now. >> reporter: no insurance or anything like that? >> no. no. >> reporter: well, we are at a middle school which has been turned into a command center. you can see all this stuff behind me. all this stuff has been donated by volunteers. and we should tell you about the
resources out there those on the fire fighting line. despite all the fires that we're seeing on the west coast, they do have a large number of firefighters battling this blaze. 900 folks on the scene and a lot of aircraft trying to put out that fire, joe. >> dan simon on the ground there for us in washington. the governor has already declared states of emergency in two washington counties and hundreds of firefighters are battling the state's tailor bridge fire. that blaze has already scorched more than 22,000 acres and destroyed at least 60 homes. authorities have evacuated 900 people. and as of earlier today the fire was only 25% contained. no injuries are reported. so that's the good thing. joining us now to talk a little bit more about this particular fire and the efforts that they've been taking to try to get it under control is the incident commander, rex reed. thanks so much for joining us.
can you give us any updates especially on whether this thing is expected to spread or how long it's going to take it to really get under control? >> well, we're currently at 25% containment. you heard earlier 900 folks suppressing this fire on the ground. we have substantial aviation assets. we are the priority fire here in the northwest between washington and oregon. we're making good progress today. our northern flank in the northwest corner in the area around 970 is our biggest concern today. we have lots of resources working that very cautiously optimistic we'll be successful in there establishing our perimeter lines. we are actually on the very eastern end of the fire, have done well. and have reduced some of the evacuation levels in their effective noon today. on our south flank we are doing the same. we've actually allowed some folks back into areas that were previously evacuated. >> those pictures are really incredible and certainly
disturbing. and one of the things you pick up from looking at them is that the wind seems to be blowing ferociously. can you give us some idea of how much of a factor the wind is? >> reporter: it was a huge factor in the snoqualmie it created a perfect storm as the fire started. we had reports of rates of spread that covered 14 miles in two to three hours. >> do you have an estimate of how many homes have been lost? and how many more do you think you have to save before the crisis is over? >> well, a lot of homes were saved. but for everyone saved there was probably one lost. some heroic fire suppression efforts which started early monday afternoon and has continued onto right now. folks come together in this
community. rural fire protection district, state, federal agencies really worked together to work their best. first get people out from in front of the fire and also to establish containment as quickly as possible. right now our assessment is about 60 homes confirmed lost. we anticipate that number to increase. but so far today we believe we have not had any additional structural loss today. >> talk for a minute about the emotional toll. we just saw dan simon's piece. this must be just a tremendously emotional moment for the community. >> yeah. it's a huge community. i actually work in this part of washington state. these are my friends and neighbors. it's emotional for all of us. it's just a tragedy. but one thing about this group of folks is they come in to support and help folks. so as we transition from suppression to recovery, everybody will be right there to help people along through that. >> any idea on the number of people who've been evacuated so
far? >> we are in the neighborhood of just under 500 folks evacuating. and again today effective noon today we're starting to let some folks get back into their homes and also assess some of the homes that have been lost. >> rex reed, the incident commander there. our hopes and prayers are with you. >> thank you. turning to the battle for the white house now and what appears to have turned into a day of distractions. mitt romney now reviving the debate about his taxes and revealing new information about just how much he says he paid. the white house response, prove it. let's bring in cnn national political correspondent jim acosta with details. a lot to talk about here. >> that's right, joe. in the days distractions were of the candidates' own making just as the romney campaign had vice president joe biden on the ropes, the gop challenger left himself vulnerable to a few new counterpunches. this was supposed to be a down day for mitt romney to raise some money and do some local tv
interviews. and then the gop contender went and made some news. >> the fascination with taxes i paid i find to be very small minded compared to the broad issues that we face. >> reporter: he revealed for the first time his effective tax rate. it was a response to senate majority leader harry reid who claimed without presenting any evidence that romney had paid nothing in taxes for ten years. >> but i did go back and look at my taxes. and over the past ten years i never paid less than 13%. i think the most recent year is 13.6% or something like that. so i've paid taxes every single year. harry reid's charge is totally fal false. >> reporter: word romney paid more the middle class was too much to miss for the obama campaign which forced to release more than two years of tax returns, something he says he won't do. since there's substantial reason to doubt his claims, an obama spokesperson said we have a simple message for him, prove it. >> it is great to be here in
north canton, or as joe biden might say, it's great to be here in nevada. >> reporter: the distraction came just as republicans were getting mileage out of vice president joe biden's gaffe-filled speech to a largely african-american crowd on tuesday. >> they're going to put y'all back in chains. >> reporter: and chinning up speculation the president might find a new running mate in hillary clinton. >> i think he might be wise to do that. but it's not going to happen obviously for a whole variety of reasons including the fact i'm not sure if i were hillary clinton i'd want to be on that team. >> reporter: the white house accused republicans of looking for a distraction. >> i have great admiration for and respect for and a long relationship with senator john mccain. but one place i would not go for advice on vice presidential running mates is senator mccain. >> reporter: also frustrated that his own message wasn't breaking through all of the campaign noise, romney whipped out a white board to show why he
feels his medicare plan is better than the president's. >> which of these two do you think is better? going bankrupt or being solvent? obviously being solvent. >> soon after romney wrapped up his second news conference of this week, republicans were calling attention to the fact that president obama has not held one of his own in nearly two months. the obama campaign responded the president is taking questions from reporters across a number of platforms including "entertainment tonight," joe. >> so saw the low tech audio-visual aid today. >> that's right. >> but he hasn't pulled out a powerpoint so far. >> that's right. they've been called the powerpoint ticket. today was definitely low tech. he brought out the whiteboard. something we haven't seen him do on the campaign trail and something his aides want him to do to get more hanz on in terms of explaining things to the voters out there. joe, i have to tell you, it was striking to watch that news conference because they had gone into this wanting to talk about medicare. that's why he had the whiteboard. and at the very end he's asked about the taxes end up driving
the day's news. >> hijacked the message there. >> it definitely did. >> thanks so much, jim acosta. a bold swipe at president obama's biggest immigration policy change since taking office. just ahead, what arizona's governor is now planning for some undocumented immigrants in her state. plus, politics is going wireless. new information on how the presidential campaigns are using technology to reach voters. and, police aren't talking after they gunned down striking workers while cameras were rolling. you'll see the shocking video coming up. ♪ ♪ ♪ every mom needs a little helper. that's why i got a subaru. announcer: love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru.
that occurred there at the offices of the family research council. here's the statement, perkins' accusation is outrageous. the splc has listed the frc as a hate group since 2010 because it's knowingly spread false and denigrating propaganda about lgbt people. the frc and allies are saying in fact offering legitimate and fact-based criticism in a democratic society is tant amount to suggesting the objects of criticism should be the targets of criminal violence. there you have a back and forth between the two groups that are very well-known in washington, d.c. jack cafferty's here with the cafferty file. jack. >> there you go. more politics. president obama's got some serious issues when it comes to the economy. and it could translate to some serious issues come election day. a new gallup poll shows americans continue to give the president failing grades on the economy, on jobs and on the deficit. the president gets high marks for his handling of terrorism,
58%. and fair marks on education, 49%. foreign affairs, 48%. but that's pretty much where the good news ends for him. on immigration mr. obama gets just a 38% approval rating and it's all downhill from there. his worst marks come on creating jobs, 37%. the economy, 36%. the federal budget deficit, 30%. it's not hard to see why a lot of americans feel this way with unemployment above 8% for 42 consecutive months now. and annual deficits topping $1 trillion. the poll also shows the president's ratings on the economy are much worse than those of prior two-term presidents. president obama's 36% approval on the economy compares to 46% for george w. bush, 54% for bill clinton and 50% for ronald reagan. the bottom line here is millions of americans continue to suffer under a weak economy. and if they don't get the idea
that president obama is improving their economic lives, it could be a tough sell for him come november 6th. here's the question, should failing grades on the deficit, jobs and the economy cost president obama a second term? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile, post a comment on my blog. or go to our post on the "the situation room" facebook page. was it james carville told president clinton, it's the economy, stupid. >> yeah. that's a very famous one there. we heard it so many times over the years. thanks for that, jack. >> sure. it's presidential politics gone wireless. "time" has a whole issue devoted to the topics ten ways your phone changing the world. joining us to talk about it "time" managing editor rick stengel. rick, one thing i found interesting in this wireless issue is the article about how elections are affected by mobile technology. how are the campaigns affecting
the election using mobile technology, particularly wireless? >> well, joe, as you know internship o neil said what doing allowing with social media is allowing to become hyper. the obama campaign has an app that allows you to know whether people on your block are democrats or republicans. in that story in this wireless issue he talks about how a republican organization called cross roads generation was able to target young people at a concert to send them a text message saying that obama has failed. so it's really taking this to a new level of isolating politics in a way that really has never been done before. >> that's fascinating. was that an outside group? or was it actually a campaign that sent that message? >> no. that's one of the outside groups. it's affiliated with carl roves
cross roads. >> so a lot of groups are involved. do we necessarily know who's doing all this stuff? >> yes. i mean, you know that prove nauns of where you get a text message from. and one difference between what's going on until the obama/romney fight is that the obama campaign has centralized a very, very sophisticated use of mobile technology to target voters. i mean, they have an app you can download. on the republican side most of the sophisticated stuff is being used by group super pacs, by supporting groups that are working with the romney campaign rather than the romney campaign itself. >> you have to wonder so many people have mobile devices, do you think there's a point where we reach saturation where it just becomes a nuisance? >> we did this great worldwide poll in this issue with qualcomm about mobile technology around the world. and people for the most part are incredibly attached to their mobile devices. 84% of people around the world
say that they couldn't live a day without their mobile devices. and i'm an optimist about the benefit of them and the future of them. and i think the benefits certainly outweigh the costs, but there are costs. >> that's for sure. and that cost of being in touch all the time is pretty remarkable. thanks so much for that, rick. good seeing you. >> great to see you, joe. a shooting stuns a small louisiana town. losing one deputy would be tough to take for a small sheriff's department. two is an overwhelming tragedy. and u.s. forces suffer another huge loss in afghanistan. what's less clear is how a helicopter crashed while on patrol. you're in "the situation room." my name is jake. i play the ukulele. yeah. i've had moments where, you
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kate bolduan is monitoring some of the other top stories in "the situation room" right now including a series of linked shootings in louisiana. kate, what do you have? >> hey there, joe. five people are in police custody after the shootings in laplace. deputies who went to find the suspect were then ambushed by someone with an assault rifle. two sheriff's deputies are dead and two more are in the hospitals. the deputies killed have been identified as brandon nielsen and jeremy triche. louisiana state police have taken over that investigation. also seven american service members are among the 11 victims of a helicopter crash in southern afghanistan. the black hawk chopper was on patrol in kand har province when it went down. officials say the cause of the crash is under investigation. they're looking into the
possibility that the helicopter was shot down or suffered mechanical failure. and raising a child can be painful when it comes to your wallet. parents you probably already know this without me telling you. a new report suggests center-based child care like day care costs more than rent in almost half of all states, add in a second child and it costs more in every state. the child care aware of america program studied the problem or the issue, we don't call it a problem, the research also showed that in 35 states the cost of center-based care for infant is higher than in-state tuition and fees for one year at a public college. and gone but far from forgotten. elvis presley fans are marking the king's death 35 years ago today. he died at the age of 42. thousands are expected to visit memphis, tennessee, home of presley's graceland mansion, to celebrate his life. his daughter, lisa marie and ex-wife, pris sill la will host a concert tonight. that should be a good show to
mark his life. >> sure. i would like to be there. >> but you're working. >> thanks, kate. arizona is at the very front of the fight against illegal immigration. but did the governor go too far with her latest order targeting undocumented immigrants? and imagine your own insurance company helping to defend a driver responsible for your death? a family says that's what happened when progressive tried to avoid paying a claim. ♪ [ acoustic guitar: upbeat ]
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turning to arizona now. a bold swipe at president obama's biggest immigration policy change since taking office. republican governor jan brewer now directing the state to deny benefits to any undocumented immigrant applying for deportation relief under president obama's new executive order. supporters of immigration are blasting the move as a direct attack on children and young immigrants. cnn's miguel marquez is in los angeles with the latest. miguel. >> reporter: joe, here in los angeles everything is normal here at the busiest immigration rights center in the state. they did about 700 applications, processed 700 people today. they're just about done today. by the same abomount yesterday. but one state over in arizona it's a much different story.
today, a defiant march to the office of arizona governor jan brewer. immigrants now eligible for legal status here boldly went to the governor's front door demanding answers. >> i understand what you're saying and i will certainly pass along the information provided to the governor. she's unavailable right now. >> reporter: they did get an impromptu audience with a member of brewer's staff who did his best to explain the governor's position. >> the governor, again, has taken an oath to uphold those laws. that's what she's done with the executive order to clarify that remains the law. >> reporter: this man 23 brought here from mexico when he was 1-year-old was one of those demanding answers. >> to say our work permit that our public benefits and that our driver's licenses will be denied is an attack on our community. >> reporter: he graduated from arizona state university with a degree in meteorology and wants to work for the national weather service says he loves this country, has worked hard and deserves fair treatment. >> i'm american. i've been in this country since i was -- since i was like a year
old. i grew up with the ideals, the education system. i know what is required of me to succeed. >> reporter: when governor brewer issued the order, immediate anger. he says brewer's decision in the end may have nothing whatsoever. >> what she said has no effect on the process. i encourage everybody who believes they qualify to get moving and get the applications in. >> reporter: today the lines in phoenix and across the country were as long as ever. immigrants brought here as kids who consider themselves americans and want that recognized by law. now, the people gathered here today, they get that there's a lot of politics surrounding what they are doing in signing up for this process here. but they believe that another round of immigration talks will come. and they hope it will lead to something more permanent to this
two-year program they have now. they believe and hope for now that they have won this round, joe. >> miguel marquez there in los angeles. thanks for that. we're going to dig a little deeper now. joining us to talk more about the legal implications of governor jan brewer's order is cnn senior legal analyst, jeffrey toobin, just finished "the oath, the obama white house versus the supreme court" which is coming out next month. jeff, good to see you again. i guess we should start with the basics here among other things denying state driver's licenses and public benefits. obviously a lot of our viewers are going to be asking, can the state of arizona actually do that? >> you know, joe, i wish i could give you a categorical answer. but as the supreme court illustrated, just earlier this year this is a very fraught and complicated subject. you recall they struck down three of the four provisions of the famous bill 1080. and they split over -- different justices saw it different ways. i suspect you'd have different
judges seeing this differently. just put this in a little perspective. what president obama did was he said for this group of young people who had been brought to this country illegally when they were children and had good records ever since, they got deferred action. they can stay in the country. what governor brewer said is, well, maybe the president can say they can stay in the country, but we're not going to give them any benefits. we're not going to give them driver's licenses, we're not going to give them in-state tuition. and it's not clear to me, and i don't think it's clear under the law whether she has the right to do that. and that's what the controversy's about. >> well, generally speaking though, who gets the final say? the federal government or the state? >> well, usually it's the federal government when it comes to immigration matters. but of course there's a but. and the but is if something relates to purely state-related matters, not really immigration-related, then the state has the power. driver's license, you could say
that's a state function. you could also say the federal government has the right to say, look, if someone's legally in the country, they have the right to enjoy the benefits of being in the country legally. if someone has a green card, they can get a driver's license. if someone has a green card, they can get in-state tuition. just to illustrate some of the chaos around this, one of the local colleges in arizona when the president's order came out said, well, you're eligible for in-state tuition. the next day they said, well, maybe not. so they don't know what the rules are. this is going to wind up in court. i think that's the one thing that's for sure. >> the other thing too is i expect we're going to hear talk about unfunded mandates, the federal government for example ordering states to do things but not paying for it. but at the end of the day, is this more of a legal issue or political issue? >> it's funny. usually, joe, when you ask me that question my answer is
almost always it's a political question because that's where most issues are resolved. but here i think it's somewhat different. because here the question is really very simple. does governor brewer have the right to deny various state benefits, driver's licenses and the like? that's a question that is going wind up in court. and sooner rather than later. so i think in this case it really is a legal question. i just don't know how that legal question's going to be resolved. >> if you had to take a bet, what would you say? >> well, i think what the supreme court told us is it's going to be on a case-by-case basis. so i think driver's licenses, in-state tuition, treatment in hospitals, all those things might be decided differently. it's not going to be a categorical decision. i am going to stick with my i don't know answer about how it's going to be resolved because i just don't know. >> great. all right. thanks so much for that, jeff toobin. also good to see you. >> you too. a fight for higher pay turns
deadly. up next, we're live with a look at what caused police to open fire on a group of protesters. and accused aurora, colorado, shooter, he's back in court. lots of people wondering what does he look like now? we'll answer that question in our next hour. [ male announcerr favorite foods fight you, fight back fast with tums smoothies. so fast and smooth, you'll forget you had heartburn. ♪ tum tum tum tum tums [ male announcer ] tums smoothies.
a clash between striking miners and police in south africa turned into a blood bath today. police opened fire on the miners killing several. for some south africans, images like these are reminiscent of the grim era of apartheid. some of these are graphic and disturbing. we're live from johannsburg with the latest. >> reporter: joe, what makes
this even more disturbing is that the graphic pictures of striking mine workers being shot at by riot police aired on national television here in south africa just a few hours ago. so let me warn you and viewers of what you're about to see is horrific, but it's the only way really to illustrate how violent things became here today. [ gunfire ] >> errol, give us the background on how we got here including the hacking death of two individuals. i understand from your colleague who was on the ground there was at least one report that police thought they had been fired upon, but no police officers were shot. anything on that? >> reporter: yeah, well, basically there's been tension at this mine northwest of
johannsburg for a week. they were striking because they want higher wages. they make $500 a month and they want to triple that to $1,500 a month. the platinum mine says they can't increase wages because their cost of operating this business has increased. meanwhile the price of platinum this year has decreased. so there's been quite a bit of a stalemate. meanwhile two of the major unions that represent these mine workers are also having what's described here as a bit of a turf war. that's the background. earlier this week though negotiations were ongoing while the mine workers were just sitting on a major hillside near the mine negotiating for higher wages. and there was an incident because the police aren't confirming a lot of this information we can just go by what's in reports and what's being said by witnesses, but the witnesses are saying that today and earlier this week the mine workers were armed with knives and blunt objects.
some saying they had weapons for flash point. as you mentioned earlier this week two police officers were hacked to death. that may lead us to believe that the police officers are feeling much more anxious today. they called today d-day. the day that workers would have to disarm and disperse away from this mine. and the violence happened towards the end of today. tomorrow we're expecting maybe the police to have a press conference and confirm the number of deaths, to confirm details surrounding how the incident unfolded. because even with all these deaths, it's still unresolved this wage-raising issue. the mine itself needs to get back into operation. they've been closed now for six days. their share prices also dropping. so it's a very serious situation that we're watching closely. and as of this hour there's not very many answers but very many questions. >> so since the shooting as far as we know the police have not broken their silence and have said very little if anything?
>> reporter: no. in fact our affiliate, e television, which shot the footage you're seeing and reuters footage as well available, they were pushed back away from the area because police cordoned off as a crime scene. now we have one of our correspondents heading to the location to get as close as possible. it's very difficult to get close. and police are staying very tight-lipped. challenging getting answers at this point. it's also worth noting that south africa president has been out of the country this week. next door in zimbabwe helping with its political crisis. we're not sure when he will return. but the expectation is friday morning south africa time, we're about six hours ahead of you on the east coast, the police will issue a statement and try and answer some of the questions that we have about how this labor dispute became so violent. >> thank you for that errol barnett reporting from
johannsburg. a group slamming obama for -- what a cnn investigation is now revealing about them. are you okay, babe? i'm fine. ♪ ♪ ♪ with a subaru you can always find a way. announcer: love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. in he presented himself asdent obamasomething different. i had hoped that the new president would bring new jobs.
not major layoffs, not people going through major foreclosures on their homes. he did get his healthcare through, but at what cost? he said he was going to cut the deficit in his first term. i've seen zero interest in reducing spending. he inherited a bad situation, but he made it worse. i think he's a great person. i don't feel he is the right leader for our country, though. i still believe in hope and change, i just don't think obama's the way to go for that. the president has not earned re -election, in 2012, in my book. i've seen his now definition of hope and change. it's not the hope and change i want, and it's not the hope and change i thought i was going to get. i don't feel that i helped my grandchildren by voting for president obama and i regret that. americans for prosperity is responsible for the content of this advertising.
cafferty file. >> joe, the question is should failing grades on the deficit jobs on the economy cost president obama a second term. gallup is out with a brand new poll, he gets low marks in all three categories. dale writes obama was a community organizer, has no common sense about the economy and is completely disconnected from the real world. yes, he needs to go chlts dee in pennsylvania, people need to wake up to the fact that the situation we're in will not be
fixed overnight. the economy is doing better than it was four years ago. our society expects everything to be resolved immediately and that's unrealistic. i would rather see it take time. eric writes i think most put the majority of the blame on congress. gary in arizona. yes, jack, the deficit, jobs and economy are in terrible shape and frankly getting worse. this administration talks a good game, but didn't produce results. a mountain of debt shall millions unemployed and genuinely weak economy add up to unhappy voters. rick in texas. obama didn't create the failing economy, he inherited it from the republicans with two wars. when dealt a bad hand you can fold or bluff. so far all obama has done is bluff. unfortunately the economy called
his bluff. do you gamble on the republicans again or continue on the same failing course. eric writes are you kidding, of course they should. being a nice guy is not reasonable criteria for re-election. to read more, go to the blog, cnn.com/caffertyfile. always a pleasure, joe johns, working this lemonade stand with you. >> absolutely. good to see you again, jack. i have to check the blog. that's some interesting stuff. a poll with people writing what they think. >> it is good. got a lot of mail to do, it is good stuff. >> you bet. it is the headline that went viral after a deadly accident. my sister paid progressive insurance to defend her killer in court. we'll tell you why the insurance company fought against her grief stricken family. and joe biden made his share of gaffes. paul ryan is poking fun at him.
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insurance companies are supposed to help us in times of need, not fight us over every nickel and dime. that's what's happened to one family after they lost a loved one in a tragic car accident as alina cho explains, online outrage over the case began with a stunning headline. >> reporter: it is the headline that went viral. my sister paid progressive insurance to defend her killer in court. >> my tumbler is not an especially large soap box. i was speaking out of obligation to my sister and parents. >> reporter: he posted that blog monday, but that story begins
june of 2010 when his sister katie was killed in a car crash in baltimore, maryland. the suv that hit her had run a red light. the 24-year-old was killed instantly. >> the day she died she had just run a ten mile road race. >> reporter: her brother says katie had a $100,000 insurance policy with progressive. the family says the policy stated progressive would make up the difference if she was killed by an underinsured driver like the one that hit her, so the fisher family was paid $25,000, and thought progressive would pay the rest, 75,000. they were wrong. >> progressive took the position my sister was at fault in the accident that killed her, which under maryland law would free them of the obligation to pay. >> reporter: out of honor and because katie fisher had student loans still to be paid, the family decided to go after the money. but in maryland, it is against the law to sue an insurance
company that refuses payment. so the family had to sue the man that killed katie, establish negligence, and then armed with that decision force progressive to pay. but in court -- >> progressive, my sister's insurer, sat across the room. their lawyer argued for the defendant in the case, argued that he was not negligent in my sister's death. >> reporter: so outraged he wrote on his blog, if you are insured by progressive and owe you money, they will defend your killer in court to not pay you your policy, and when the chips are down, your money will have bought you nothing but a kick in the face. after a whirlwind of criticism on facebook and twitter, progressive responded with the same tweet over and over, saying in part we properly handled the claim within our contractual obligations, and that in the eyes of some made matters worse. >> when you respond to a very
emotional issue using a mechanical technology like twitter, it doesn't work. it's very difficult to tweet compassion. >> reporter: the tweet has since been taken down and progressive released a statement saying they did not serve as the attorney for the defendant in the case. he was defended by his insurance company, nationwide. there was a question as to who was at fault, and a jury decided in the fisher family's favor just last week. we respect the verdict and now can continue to work with the fisher family to reach a resolution. but matt fisher says his family has not yet seen a check. >> reporter: what's your message to progressive if they're watching? >> when there's an adjustor or someone who sits in a room and says this policy will have to pay x amount, should we pay or should we drag this out, add this to the calculus.
>> reporter: alina cho, cnn, new york. >> and we have an update on this story, one that reinforces the power of social media. progressive says it settled with the fisher family this morning. the company says, quote, this was a tragic accident and our sympathies go out to the fisher family. happening now. cnn investigates a new video attack on the president by former navy s.e.a.l.s and reveals a republican connection. and asylum for the future of wikileaks, warns his embassy hide out may be assaulted. and a lesson in mud slinging for the 2012 candidates from the founding fathers. wolf blitzer is off. i am kate bolduan with joe johns. you're in "the situation room."
the former special forces officers behind a powerful new anti-obama video claim they're focused on national security, not politics, joe. >> but cnn is poking holes in that claim. >> it is my civic duty to tell the president to stop leaking information to the enemy. >> this web video has been likened to the 2004 swift boat ad campaign, questioning john kerry's vietnam war record. >> and like the swift boaters, we find they have ties. brian todd is investigating. he joins us live. what have you found out? >> reporter: just discovered links the group has to the gop, they have not freely acknowledged him. it rakes him for the bin laden
raid. in a campaign ad, bill clinton praises obama's kwurj for ordering the s.e.a.l.s to launch against osama bin laden. >> suppose they had been captured or killed. down side would have been horrible for him. >> reporter: on the campaign trail, the president emphasizes it himself. >> i promise to go after al qaeda and bin laden and we did it. >> reporter: now there's a counter attack. >> mr. president, you did not kill osama bin laden, america did. the work that the american military has done killed osama bin laden, you did not. >> that's former navy s.e.a.l. ben smith slamming president obama. the 22 minute film titled dishonorable disclosures features former s.e.a.l.s, intelligence officers, securing the president for taking credit for the bin laden raid. obama campaign pushes back saying the president repeatedly credited s.e.a.l.s for the operation. the obama team points to this
interview recently with the commander of the raid, admiral william mccraven. >> make no mistake, the president that made the hard decisions. >> reporter: i pressed ben smith on that. >> does the president get no credit here? >> he gets the credit for having osama bin laden killed under his watch. if he gave the order, wonderful. but taking all the credit with the i, i, i, me about it, using us as a political ad is wrong. >> reporter: the film blasts the obama administration for allowing classified information on the raid and other security operations to become public. >> we had techniques and procedures that were compromised, even knew the name of the dog on the operation. >> reporter: the obama team denies taking part in any leaks and says the republicans are resorting to swift boat tactics, a reference to the blistering
2004 attacks on john kerry's vietnam war record. >> john kerry cannot be trusted. >> reporter: the new film was made by opsec for operational security. a spokeswoman for the group says it is nonpartisan. but cnn found many links between the group and the gop. the president of opsec, a former navy s.e.a.l. named scott taylor once ran for congress as a republican. a spokesman for the group has done similar work for the bush administration and republicans in congress. ben smith, that former s.e.a.l., told me he is an independent vot voter. says on facebook he was once a spokesman for the tea party. and the opsec headquarters are in this building in a suite. we were not allowed to film inside, we are told by someone in the suite they don't have much more than a desk there, and no one was there to talk to us. they said where they are located has nothing to do with the
message they want to get out. could that message hurt president obama like swift boat damaged john kerry? >> it could hurt obama, it is a competitive election. will come down to ,000 votes. national security is a sensitive issue for many people. >> reporter: opsec is one of three groups of former special forces operations members coming out with campaigns against the president over the security leaks. neither the pentagon nor the cia would comment on the latest video, nor would they confirm military experience of those in the film. kate? >> big question as always when you get the tough attacks, brian, where do they get their funding. have you found out where they're getting the money for the group and for the video that they're putting out? >> reporter: that's not clear right now. the group is set up as a specific nonprofit and tax code allowing it to keep donor identities a secret. they say they have about a million dollars at their
disposal, plan to run ads in swing states in the coming weeks. >> we will be watching for. brian todd, great work. kate, we're getting new evidence that paul ryan's addition to the republican presidential ticket is starting to make a difference. cnn considers ryan's home state of wisconsin a tossup. our chief national correspondent john king is here to talk about that more. john, what's the news? >> let's show you the impact. we are moving wisconsin to a tossup. let's do it live. wisconsin, it is now light blue, leaning blue. if you see a state light blue, it is leaning the president's way, if dark blue, solid democrat. same with red. solid mitt romney, leading romney. you have more battle, 237 solid leaning obama, 206 for mitt romney. you see more midwest tossups. why are we moving it? the new poll one of the reasons.
want to make it clear. look at the new poll numbers. the president is leading in wisconsin, but very narrow, within the margin of error. that leads to a statistic cal dead heat in wisconsin. from the poll numbers and reporting, i was in the state a couple days this week, ryan is having a factor. here is one of the reasons. the president has good favorability. they're confident he will carry in the end. paul ryan has a higher favorability than his boss, mitt romney. moving to tossup status. the poll one of the reasons. talk to obama campaign, republican activists, they say their numbers are tightening. without a doubt, democrats think they'll win it in the end, but ryan is maybe a point or more impact. they, too, consider wisconsin a tossup battleground. >> let's talk about how this will effect the race in the electoral college. >> switch and come back to the
map. here is how we have it. the key question, it is a tossup. if governor romney can hold these midwest states, it is important, critical, almost impossible to win without ohio. if he could take wisconsin, look what that does to the map. those two states give parity with the president. florida, near impossible to get romney to the presidency without florida. but that was just three states. if he can pick up florida, ohio, wisconsin, then governor romney gets within seven votes. you have all of the other states, some very tough for the president. it is critical. not only are florida and ohio critical. if romney can expand the map and ryan could help not only in wisconsin but other midwestern state of iowa, even michigan as well, the democrats dispute it, but something to watch. governor romney decided in the pick of paul ryan to make a big fight in the midwest. >> john king, thanks so much. we will be watching that as the days and weeks go by. two men that know the
importance of each state all too well join us in a few minutes. former candidates bill richardson and jon huntsman live at the bottom of the hour. >> that will be interesting. can't wait for that conversation. another thing we are watching, accused gunman in the colorado movie theater massacre was back in court today. we haven't seen a lot of james holmes since the july 20th shooting that left 12 dead, 50 injured. ted rowlands was at the hearing and joins me live. hi, ted. how did james holmes seem compared to the now infamous video of his first court appearance? >> reporter: he appeared very similar in terms of physical appearance. still has the orange hair, very long, unruly, curly. it wasn't combed by any stretch of the imagination. and he has grown out his facial hair in sort of a bizarre fashion. has large mutton chops and a
mustache, seems to be shaving just the chin. did he understand what was going on? that first court appearance and video, looks like he doesn't understand what's going on. today he looked like he did potentially understand. you just never know what's going on inside a guy's head. he was focused on different things. at one point looking at the judge, looking at the lights in the courtroom at another point. there was one point in the hearing, very short, more of a scheduling thing, at one point they were talking about the victims in the case, and if he was going to have a reaction, it would have been then. they're figuring out how they can get $4 million that's been raised to the victims, but he didn't flinch at all. didn't seem to register at all. it was sort of the same version we saw in the first court appearance. >> and ted, give us a quick rundown of what happened in court and when also you think we may find out whether holmes is facing the death penalty or if he will be pleading potentially
insanity? >> reporter: those are the big questions, will the state pursue the death penalty. they're going to talk to the victims. they have a 60 day clock this hasn't started to make that decision. that starts when he enters a plea. we don't expect that until after the preliminary hearing that likely won't happen until end of the year. they have time to talk to the victims, decide whether to pursue death penalty. we expect in the next month or two we are going to hear the first rumblings from the defense whether they will plead insanity, go that route. today's hearing was a scheduling hearing. there was a representative from university of colorado that delivered some records to the court, but mainly it was a scheduling hearing. he will be back in court next week. >> ted rowlands in colorado, tracking it all. thanks so much, ted. three minutes from now, an international standoff and spectacle in london after wikileaks founder julian assange is given asylum.
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and fugitive julian assange can't escape his embassy hideout in london, hours after ecuador granted him asylum. >> he is fighting extradition to sweden where he faces questioning on sex crime charges. today, this international standoff is turning into even more of a spectacle. cnn's atika shubert is in london with more. >> reporter: this is the incredible scene outside the emwas door embassy where this standoff is taking place. you have media and protesters on one side of the street, police on the other side, and all of this happening in one of london's fanciest neighborhoods behind the harrod's department store. as for the man himself, julian assange, he remains inside the
ecuador embassy where he has been hold up the last two months. ecuador has granted julian assange asylum. but if he steps outside that door there, british authorities said they can and will arrest him an extra diet him to sweden for questioning. shortly after the decision by ecuador, julian assange read this statement in the embassy. said quote, i am grateful to ecuadorian people, the president and his government. it was not my home country or australia that stood up to protect me from persecution but a courageous, independent latin american nation. it is a political victory of sorts for assange and his supporters. a mixed group out today. angry ecuadorians say the country is bullied by britain. the protesters wearing the masks made popular by the movie v for vendetta, all of them voicing support for julian assange.
listen to what some of them said earlier. >> not popping the champagne yet. it is still early. we can't start celebrating because it is not over. i would like for julian assange to be able to come out here, get in a car, get in a plane, fly into the sunset. to me, he represents david standing up to goliath. >> we have to support julian, support the freedom of expression for everybody. >> reporter: assange supporters say they'll stay outside the embassy keeping vigil to ensure british police do not go in to arrest julian assange in that embassy. is it likely the police will go storming in? legal experts tell us probably not, even though britain has a legal basis to strip the diplomatic status of the embassy. that's a process that would take months of legal wrangling, would be repeatedly contested by not just ecuador but other countries
as well. more likely more diplomacy, more negotiations, who knows how long that will go on. the only thing that changed today is that julian assange now has permission to stay indefinitely in that ecuadorian embassy, he just can't step out. atika shubert, outside the embassy in ecuador. >> it is fascinating, he could be staying in the embassy for weeks, months, years. >> it is amazing, a perfect mess. it appears the circus atmosphere outside that building will follow him wherever it goes. >> it was a circus to begin with. everything surrounded julian assange, this snafu with wikileaks. it is amazing. we will be tracking that. let's check what's trending on cnn.com. number four on the trending list. two louisiana sheriff's deputies killed, two others hurt in a series of apparently linked shootings, according to police that say one of the incidents
involved an ambush. five people are now in custody. third on the trending list tonight, actress mayim bialik known for her role as tv's "blossom" is in good spirits after her car collided with another in the heart of hollywood. a nasty crash. top two trending items up after the break. , babe? i'm fine. ♪ ♪ ♪ with a subaru you can always find a way. announcer: love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. we believe small things can make a big difference.e, like how a little oil from here can be such a big thing in an old friend's life. we discovered
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"blossom" and "big bang theory" is in pain but will keep her fingers that was in question after a wreck on hollywood boulevard. number two on the list, despite the talk, wolf blitzer didn't win the power ball lottery drawing. whoever did bought that ticket in michigan. before taxes worth $337 million. number one trending, facebook stock hits another all time low. this was the first day company insiders were allowed to sell their shares. stock closed at $19.87 a share. it has been one nightmare after another since they have gone public. >> unbelievable. absolutely. half past the hour, controversial move by the arizona governor directly defying president obama's immigration policy. two former governors that know that issue all too well join us next. and the priceless reaction to a rope line kiss from the president.
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in "the situation room." another immigration fight is playing out in arizona now. >> absolutely. it pits republican governor jan brewer against the obama administration. thousands of young illegal immigrants in the nation started to apply to stay in the country under the president's new policy to stop deporting them or deferring deportation. governor brewer signed an executive order to deny benefits to immigrants in her state that qualify for the program. >> they're here illegally and unlawfully in the state of arizona and it has already been determined that you're not allowed to have a driver's license if you're here illegally, but they will not be entitled to a driver's license, nor will they be entitled to public benefits. >> this battle is certainly expected to wind up in court. >> absolutely. let's talk about this and more with guests this evening, former new mexico governor bill
richardson, former utah governor jon huntsman. a lot to get to. first, governor huntsman, talking about the issue of immigration back in the headlines today. you did support the dream act during your campaign when you were on the trail. if you were still utah governor, would you follow in the steps of governor brewer? she says that this move, illegal immigrants would be getting benefits, it would be a drain on state budgets. >> well, we have to face reality in this country. we have to face the facts, and the facts are we're not going to put 12 million people on a bus headed south. we also have to face the facts that we don't have an immigration problem any more because nobody is coming over the border because our economy is fundamentally broken. we also have to face the fact that the illegal immigration problem has bled over to the legal immigration problem, and we're very disadvantaged as a
nation going forward in terms of attracting human capital. let's face it in the next 25 to 50 years in this nation, we're going to have to rely on human capital. that's bringing brain power into this country. assimilating people from all corners of the world as we have done from the very beginning, made us better, sharper, more competitive, and created jobs. i have to say that -- >> go ahead. i was going to ask do you think the governor is wrong? >> well, i think that we're talking about politics and not about solutions right now. we've got to figure out what we're going to do about this, opposed to finger pointing and playing the blame game, and resorting to politics. let's talk about expanding h 1 b visa program, doubling and tripling where it is today. talk about giving green cards, a pathway to citizenship for foreign students in our best universities, who we want to keep in this country. let's talk about having some of our embassies abroad identify the best and brightest that want
to come to this country, add something that would make us all better, create jobs, make us more competitive going forward. there are solutions out there, but i am afraid both sides are falling back on politics, perhaps not too surprisingly this time of year. >> bill richardson, you dealt with this situation firsthand when governor of new mexico. what do you think. did jan brewer make the right decision? >> no, she made a terrible decision. i'm flabbergasted as a former governor that a governor is taking such action and contravention of a presidential executive order, almost in contravention of the supreme court decision. this move by her is wrong, it's divisive, political, most likely illegal. it is going to make it impossible to implement the law. and what you have is one governor making federal policy in her own state. so i'm not just unhappy, i am
disillusioned. and i agree, by the way, i have enormous respect for governor huntsman, hope it doesn't hurt him politically, but what this action does is makes the issue more political. it hinders potential for comprehensive immigration reform if states start taking steps like this. again, i agree that we need a comprehensive policy, we need a legalization program. we need to enhance border security. i agree with the h-1 visa initiative of governor huntsman. but what governor brewer has done is just very, very debilitating and negative. >> i am going to turn the corner on you. you're former ambassador to the u.n. another big headline today is the u.n. ending its observer mission in syria. what do you think of that. right choice, wrong choice? >> i am disappointed. we expected this.
obviously the united nations and kofi annan plan sponsored by the u.n. has not worked because president assad keeps killing his own people, keeps massacring civilians. i think what's needed again is very strong sanctions. i'm pleased the obama administration is pursuing assistance to the rebels, communication, nonlethal assistance. i think eventually we're going to have to help with some collaboration with some of the other countries in the region for some kind of lethal assistance, but what's happening with assad is he's losing support, he's getting a lot of defections, and hopefully the problem will take care of itself, but i am disappointed that the u.n. mission, kofi annan is an excellent diplomat, mediator, nobel prize winner, couldn't put it together because mainly russia and china and the assad regime weren't willing to bring some kind of negotiation
to the table. >> now let's talk a little presidential politics. governor huntsman, congressman paul ryan, he kind of stepped into foreign policy a bit today for the first time since announced vp. listen to part of his remarks. >> they manipulate their currency. president obama promised he would stop these practices. said he would go to the mat with china. instead, they're treating him like a doormat. we're not going to let that happen. mitt romney and i are going to crackdown on china cheating and make sure trade works for americans. >> you served under president obama as the ambassador to china. what do you make of congressman ryan's remarks saying china is treating the president like a doormat. what's your take? >> well, let me just say that i was on this program about six months ago, and i think i responded to exactly the same sound bite, which is to say we're in a period of political sound bites, and as my friend bill richardson for whom i have
great respect, knows as well as anybody, what will be important for the american people is to somehow make sense out of what will be the most important, the most complicated and challenging relationship of the 21st century, that's the u.s./china relationship. of course it is fraught with challenge. we all know that. but it is also fraught with potential opportunities. we have never exported more than today, never had more investment opportunities. never had more in terms of student to student interaction, which is good longer term in terms of better understanding each other. so for all of the nonsensical discussion we have about he said she said stuff in politics, what we need desperately right now is a full blown comprehensive conversation about what we are prepared to do as a country and what these political tickets are prepared to do in a few short months to deal longer term with the economics, security, and
cultural aspects of the u.s./china relationship. it will be the most important foreign policy on the horizon. we need a discussion how to deal with the reality of it. >> stand by, gentlemen. let's continue after the break. we will talk about that. more to discuss, including joe biden's chains gaffe. is he too much of a liability for the president? >> couple of nobel laurie ats up here. by the way, i am not kidding. ♪ [ male announcer ] its lightweight construction makes it nimble... ♪ its road gripping performance makes it a cadillac. introducing the all-new cadillac xts. available with advanced haldex all-wheel drive. [ engine revving ] it's bringing the future forward.
it's bringing the future in he presented himself asdent obamasomething different. i had hoped that the new president would bring new jobs. not major layoffs, not people going through major foreclosures on their homes. he did get his healthcare through, but at what cost? he said he was going to cut the deficit in his first term. i've seen zero interest in reducing spending. he inherited a bad situation, but he made it worse. i think he's a great person. i don't feel he is the right leader for our country, though. i still believe in hope and change, i just don't think obama's the way to go for that. the president has not earned re -election, in 2012, in my book. i've seen his now definition of hope and change. it's not the hope and change i want, and it's not the hope and change i thought i was going to get. i don't feel that i helped my grandchildren by voting for president obama and i regret that. americans for prosperity is responsible for the content of this advertising. one is for a clean, wedomestic energy future
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got an earful about his remark that mitt romney's wall street policies would put americans back in chains. but two prominent republicans say the president could solve biden's foot in mouth problem by replacing him with hillary clinton. let's bring back our guests to talk about the biden gaffe. >> former governors and former presidential candidates, democrat bill richardson, republican, jon huntsman. thank you both for being with us. governor richardson, you ran for president in 2008. you know barack obama and joe biden very well. what's your assessment of the latest gaffe of joe biden as vice president. the question is really today, is he helping or hurting a re-election for president obama. a senior adviser to the obama campaign told john king in iowa that that gaffe didn't help. >> well, look, vice president biden is an asset to the ticket. he has been an outstanding vice president. 35 years of foreign policy
experience he brought from the senate. he's been key in a lot of domestic issues with the congress, again in afghanistan and iraq. look, he was talking about wall street reform. he was talking about consumer protection. he was talking about the obama administration having a viable policy that deals with some of the excesses of wall street. that's what we should be covering. look, i can point to another gaffe on the republican side about the president being unamerican. so it is a sound bite, i agree with jon huntsman. can't have governing by sound bite for presidential election every day in a new cycle a new sound bite. i think joe biden is an asset to the ticket, he's going to demonstrate that in the debates. his foreign policy experience, i didn't get anything on the china issue, but this ticket of paul
ryan and mitt romney has the least foreign policy experience of many tickets on both sides for many years. so again i think vice president biden because of his foreign policy experience and his connection with average voters in pennsylvania, with workers, middle class, is a huge asset to the ticket. >> so has anybody asked you frankly do you think biden ought to be replaced? >> no. and that's not going to happen. he's an asset. he is somebody that brings votes to the ticket in pennsylvania and the midwest. no. he has been a very good vice president and he showed that in the last election. he brought votes to the ticket. no. i think it's a one day story and we should move on. >> governor huntsman, want to bring you into this conversation as well. you talk about needing to get away from sound bites and look at the big issues. look at the presidential
campaign so far, they talk about taking on the big issues, going above the fray, but they have been personal attack after personal attack after personal attack. what do you make of the latest gaffe and what it says about the election so far? >> i think we have become too much of a gaffe centric political culture. we're looking for the mistakes, looking for the gaffe. the vice president's gaffe i thought was horrible, egregious, but let's move on. go to twitter, find out what people have to say there. i have to say i believe the media shares some responsibility for helping elucidate and bring forward ideas that i know people are talking about. if we used as much time talking about china, syria, competitiveness, education, and all that needs to be done to get us back on our feet in terms of job creation as we do gaffes, our dialogue would be enhanced enormously, and i have to say the media shares some responsibility for that and politicians of course share some
responsibility because you've got the rise of the professional consulting class that basically drives a lot of the sound bites, and that's very unfortunate. we've never had a time like this in recent history where the issues have been so very, very important to our survival. we have a fiscal deficit that we have got to address and a trust deficit. i am sitting here with bill richardson. when we were governors together, we were able to get republicans and democrats alike around issues like immigration, around energy, around economic development in ways where we differed, of course, but we actually put the interests of our citizens in the regions of the country we represented first and foremost. that wasn't so many years ago. i hope we can get back to that kind of conversation and back to doing what's right for people. >> governor huntsman, you worked under the obama administration but wachz mitt romney closely. if you look at it 30,000 feet,
what's the biggest mistake mitt romney has made so far? >> i don't typically like to define things in terms of mistakes, but i would say -- >> if he had a do over. if he had a do over, what would that do over be? >> let's say consistency around two or three critically important things. we need consistency on tax reform, regulatory reform, how are we going to get back jobs. back to a comment from bill richardson about the ticket devoid of foreign policy content. that might be true. i also have to say the most important thing we could be doing to enhance our national security standing abroad is to get our house in order here, and that's to shore up our economic fundamentals, enhance competitiveness, create jobs. that will produce more in the way of leverage abroad that today we just don't have. and i think governor romney is positioned to do that.
he's got to show the consistency on the economic message. i think the inclusion of paul ryan is terrific. he is about the best talent that exists in the republican party, an i'm proud to see him take this kind of high profile role. i would love to see them both stand tall on issues of medicare reform. i know there's been a little bit of light maybe between them, but let's face it, it is unsustainable in the current interation. to throw out some themes, maybe numbers will be different, but themes help to resolve it longer term would be a good thing. >> jon huntsman, bill richardson, good to see you both. >> thank you. all this talk about negative campaigning, turns out it is a big part of u.s. history. a look back you don't want to miss next. and the rope line kiss that's the video of the day. ♪ lord, you got no reason ♪ you got no right ♪ ♪ i find myself at the wrong place ♪
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we've already seen a good deal of mudslinging in the presidential race in the last few days, but before you draw any conclusions about how bad it's getting, you should hear what cnn's john berman has to say. >> joe, it is that time of year, when the candidates like to claim that the other has gone to new depths, new lows in negative campaigning. the mediaic lo ilikes to ask th question, is this the most ever? the answer's really no. mitt romney. the ad implies he was more or less responsible for a woman dying. >> and she passed away in 22 days. >> reporter: a stretch to say the least. barack obama. the ad says he wants to end welfare reform. >> you wouldn't have to work --
>> reporter: not really true either. no, mitt romney and barack obama do not agree on a lot, but they do agree this campaign has become positively negative. >> there's so much negativity and so much cynicism. >> what's different this year is the president is taking things to a new low. >> reporter: different? different than, say, mitt romney's campaigns against rick perry, rick santorum and newt gingrich? >> are you calling mitt romney a liar? >> yes. >> reporter: or, for that matter, barack obama's campaign against hillary clinton. >> shame on you, barack obama. >> reporter: if history has taught us anything, it's that every campaign in history seems like the most negative in history. >> 2010 likely to have the most negative campaign ads ever. >> the most negative campaign in memory. >> the most negative campaign any of us can remember. >> reporter: negative campaigns existed even before super pacs. lyndon johnson implied barry
goldwater would start a nuclear war. grover cleveland accused of having a child out of wedlock. andrew jackson accused of killing a man and having a wife who was a bigamist. john quincy adams, it was said he procured prostitutes for the russian czar. thomas jefferson, john adam supporters once said his election would result in murder, rain, rape, adultery and insist. so, till we get charges of nuclear war starting or prostitute procuring, maybe this will have to wait. >> the president is taking things to a new low. >> reporter: they might be mean, cruel and cynical, but negative campaigns are not blights on history. they are our history. if there is one thing that seems different this year, it's not that the negative campaigning has started earlier, it's the complaining about negative campaigning has started earlier.
>> quick programming note, you can also watch john every weekday morning from 5:00 to 7:00 a.m., only on cnn. up next, the late chef julia child like you've never heard her before. jeanne moos coming up. introducing share everything, only from verizon. a shareable pool of data to power up to 10 different devices. add multiple smartphones to your plan, so everyone in your family can enjoy unlimited talk and text. the first plan of its kind. share everything. get your student a samsung galaxy nexus for $99.99. and sounds vying for your attention. so we invented a warning you can feel. introducing the all-new cadillac xts. available with a patented safety alert seat. when there's danger you might not see,
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at our biggest sale of the year, every bed is on sale. queen mattresses now start at just $599. and save an incredible 40% on our silver limited edition bed. only at one place: one of our 400 sleep number stores. our video of the day comes from a cnn i-reporter who happened to be in the crowd who went to see the president in iowa and ended up getting kissed. >> she got a kiss too and he said, you have lipstick -- right -- >> what did he say? >> he said -- he kissed her and she gave him a kiss and she has
lipstick on and he said, oh, is there lipstick on my cheek? michelle will be jealous. she's just -- just so happy. >> she's absolutely excited. it happened wednesday in dubuque. >> how exciting. >> she was so excited. >> boy, i've never been that excited about getting kissed. i don't think so. >> you never had the chance to kiss a president. >> yeah, that's -- >> shocker. >> i think i won't. >> it's fine, it's fine. >> you got it. the late julia child would have turned 100 this week so in her hundred, lots of people are cooking up tributes. sorry. here's jeanne moos. >> reporter: eight years after her death, julia child is back and she sounds hungry it. ♪ bring on the roasted potatoes ♪ ♪ bring on the >> reporter: the woman whose "new york times" obit called her the french chef for a jell-o nation has been auto tuned for a youtube nation. ♪ ready to roll
>> reporter: pbs commissioned this producer to auto tune the icon to celebrate what would have been her 100th birthday. >> actually have her sing, use the magic of auto tune to bring her to life in song. ♪ you need some fat in your diet or your body can't process your vitamins ♪ >> reporter: julia child didn't mince words, she minced ingredients. if you searched on google, maybe you stumbled on the google doodle cooked up in her honor. not everybody gets portrayed by meryl streep and dan akroyd on "snl." nothing finger-licking good about his chicken. the real julia may have liked things rare but not that bloody. she used a blow torch to melt cheese over a beef tar tar burger for david letterman.
>> have you ever cooked something that turned out awful? what do you do then? >> i give it to my husband. >> reporter: no wonder he died first. julia's auto tuned resurrection -- ♪ cook and cook and keep on cooking ♪ >> reporter: is the latest installment of bps icons remixed. icons like mr. rogers. fond memories evoked by new technology. certain lines are favorites. ♪ bring on the roasted potatoes ♪ >> reporter: the video even makes some people cry. it's not because julia's chopping onions. one commentator wrote, every time she mentioned the smell of something cooking reminding her of home -- >> ♪ i like the smells of cooking ♪ ♪ makes me feel at home >> reporter: i tear up a little. aww, hell, i cried full out my first listen. the one who once said how can a nation be called great if its bread tastes like kleenex h