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tv   Starting Point  CNN  August 23, 2012 7:00am-9:00am EDT

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it is a rorshach test of advice. >> listen to this. >> if they show you who they are, believe them. >> oh, my goodness. >> that is "early start." i am john burman. >> i am brooke baldwin. "starting point" with soledad o'brien starts now. good morning. welcome, everybody. our starting point this morning, serious threat, tropical storm isaac is barrelling toward florida. tampa's mayor says he is prepared to order an evacuation during the republican national convention if needed. >> and on the offensive, the former penn state president graham spanier is denying a coverup ever took place. he talks to jeff toobin. a packed show ahead. fema administrator craig fugate will be our guest, communications director of the rnc, sean spicer and campaign
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committee chair steve israel will be our guest and football legend and nascar owner joe gibbs will talk to us and bridgette menburg. "starting point" begins right now. good morning. welcome, everybody. our starting point, that would be tropical storm isaac, on track to strike florida. hurricane warnings are now in effect for haiti. the storm already soaking san juan, puerto rico. isaac could become a category 1 hurricane by tomorrow. let's get right to rob marciano in the cnn hurricane headquarters. good morning, rob. >> good morning, soledad. this thing still has 40 miles per hour winds, pretty weak but a large storm with circulation and room to breathe and waters in the caribbean are toasty for strengthening. westerly movement of 1 miles an hour. that slowed down. rain bans getting into puerto rico. will miss puerto rico for the most part. tropical storm warnings posted
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for conditions we expect over the next 24 hours and stretch back. this thing is forecasted to track right over that, not likely almost as a hurricane but the rainfall will be the big deal. every one of these lines are computer models. they got a little more clustered the past 12 hours and that means higher confidence as we get towards the later part of the forecast period, and some of these going way to the right and now kind of converging at least on the western part of florida and not necessarily good news for the rnc. forecast track, bring it to hurricane status here in the next day and a half and over haiti. port awe prince, hundreds of thousands without shelter there and heavy rains, 10 to 15 inches expected and getting into the florida straits, the eastern gulf of mexico, potentially as a hurricane still here and then the cone of uncertainty brings anywhere across the peninsula potentially even towards new orleans or the northern panhandle. watch this carefully. if it takes this track and doesn't make direct landfall it
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will be stormy across tampa and has been stormy the past several days and they have had a hard time setting up already. >> lots of worries about that. rob, continue to watch it. they continue to watch it. thank you very much. appreciate that. what happens if isaac hits during the gop convention? in just a few minutes we'll talk to sean spicer, director for the republican national convention. he is already in tampa. >> good morning, soledad. hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. federal law enforcement already on high alert for potential threats at the upcoming political convention sites. intelligence bulletin obtained by cnn warns of violence by anarchist extremist groups and possibly using improvised explosive devices. officials cite concerns about bridges and infrastructure in tampa and charlotte where the democrats will be holding their convention and also noting the anarchists have a history of trying to disrupt the major events. the dark knight master suspect
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james holmes due in court this afternoon, hearing arguments about whether the suspect's university records can be turned over to prosecutors. prosecutors are seeking copies of about 100 pages of these education records. holmes is accused of killing 12 people and wounding 58 others in the aurora shootings. 28 why would plorl corken is pacing 55 years in prison if convicted in the family research council shooting. they say he opened fire in the dc headquarters last week. the building manager was shot in the arm and still managed to wrestle the suspect so the ground. according to the criminal complaint he targeted the frc because he didn't like positions regarding the gay community. this is controversial. an ex navy seal catching the pentagon by surprise. a man that claims he was a member of u.s. navy seal team 6 is coming out with a book about the raid that killed osama bin laden. the title, no easy day, the release day september 11, 2012. the publisher says it is written under a pen name.
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the military says no one vetted this, and the author is no longer on active duty. this is how she rolls, the nasa rover curiosity making its first test drive on mars. look at the tracks to prove it. nasa's lead driver says the trip lasted roughly 16 minutes. curiosity rolled about 15 feet forward, made a 120 degree turn and backed up eight feet and took more really cool pictures along the way. >> i love that. i love following it. thanks. appreciate it. back to starting point this morning which is tropical storm isaac looming on the horizon. today one city and political party keeping a close eye on that track with the republican national convention set to start in tampa on monday. florida is still in the track, and with president obama leading by three points in the most recent poll, the convention will be a critical location for republicans to try to turn that trend around. all of that brings us to sean spicer, the communications director of the republican
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national committee who joins us this morning. nice to see you. thanks for being with us. my understanding is that the convention center is in evacuation zone a which means that if this thing does become a category 1 hurricane, you would be de facto evacuated. what are the plans around that? >> well, all i am going to get into is say that we do have contingency plans to deal with weather related and other circumstances that may occur to ensure that, a, the business can go on at the rnc and mitt romney and paul ryan will become our nominees, and that the safety of the folks here attending it and in the tampa day community are taken care of. we're hoping for the best. we have the plans in place should anything occur, and that's how we're going forward. we're going to keep looking forward to having a great convention. the tampa day community here has done an unbelievable job welcoming us and becoming a
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great host for this convention and we want to make sure this goes fantastic. >> is cancelling on the list of options if it gets bad? >> no. there is no such thing as cancelling. as i said, we have contingency plans. our first priorities is always going to be the safety of the people that are here in tampa bay, both the visitors and the residents, the people that have volunteered to help make this a great event and in terms of the business of the rnc, which the number one thing is obviously nominating, officially nominating mitt romney as our presidential candidate and paul ryan as our vice presidential candidate. there are contingency plans in place and rules of the rnc in place that ensure that will always be able to occur. >> okay. great. let's move on. i want to play for you a new ad. it is from the democratic national committee, and it is called the romney-ryan akin platform for women. listen. >> i am talking pro-life record. i stand by my pro-life record in congress. it is something i am proud of. >> delegates in florida voting
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today to include strong antiabortion language in the party platform to be presented in tampa next week. there are no exceptions included for rape or incest. >> would you have supported the constitutional amendment that would have established the definition of life at conception. >> absolutely. >> so clearly this is what has been done is what we were talking about at the beginning of the week. we expected would happen, democrats were going to try to take the congressman akin mess and connect it to mitt romney and paul ryan. they have done that in that ad. what is the convention strategy that turns that around? is there one? >> well, it happened well before the convention. i think congressman ryan, governor romney, and everyone in the republican party leader from our nominee to senator mcconnell, senator cornyn, the head of the senatorial campaign committee has come out in strong opposition to the comments that
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congressman akin made, has called them indefensible, wrong, just not -- don't make sense. from every level we have denounced these comments. i think any attempt to try to tie them is ridiculous on its face. second of all, with respect to the ad, the republican party is a proud pro-life party. we have been that way for decades, and if that's something they think is news, i am a little bit shocked. more importantly, i think again what this ad does is attempt to distract from issues that the people throughout the country are focused on and what governor romney and paul ryan are focused which is first and foremost the economy and jobs. >> no one is really talking about the economy and jobs right now. let me ask you a question. you said this is a pro-life party, everybody knows that and if it is coming as a surprise to people, that would surprise you. let me play a little bit of what paul ryan said when he was asked a question on the airplane yesterday. >> i am proud of my record. mitt romney is going to be the president. the president sets policy. his policy has exceptions for
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rape, incest, life of the mother. i am comfortable with it. it is a good step in the right direction. >> what does that mean exactly, his policy is exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother. i am comfortable with it because it is a good step in the right direction. so, then, if it is not the completely right thing but it is the right direction, what would not thing that he would be comfortable with? >> well, let's strrt at the top. the republican party is a pro-life party. our platform is just a simple set of principles which say that the problem with the ad that you played is the democrats are trying to take a simple set of principles which is the republican party's pro-life. there is no additional language, so to talk about exceptions or whatever is not found in the platform. we also have a principle that says we are for a balanced budget amendment. we don't get into details about whether we support cuts here or there. >> that platform is more specific than you're making it sound. i will read it to you. >> no, it is not. >> it is, though, really. here is what says, the second
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part says we support a human life amendment to the constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the 14th amendment's protections apply to unborn children. that is far more specific. there is no exceptions written there, but clearly if you look at what has been proposed, i think it is hr-212 proposed on january 7th of 2011, it is very specific, the bill to provide that human life shall be deemed to begin with fertilization. that's specific, isn't it? >> right. first it says what you just read to me says that we are pro-life party. it is the same language we have had in there since 1984, no difference, so somehow it is news to anyone is amazing. it states a general principle that we believe in the concept of life. then within that there are different people within our party that say, okay, i support that but i believe there should be an exception for this or that. what mitt romney believes is that there should be an exception for rape, incest, and the life of the mother. paul ryan has said that he
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believes slightly that he is more or does not necessarily believe in all of those exceptions, but as the number two he is signing onto the number one ticket. within the party, even within that platform that adopted that there was a wide variety of whether or not what sort of that principle meant in terms of the exception. we're not -- it further goes on in the platform to talk about the fact each state shall adopt that leave those policies up to the states to adopt because again we are a state's right party. to try to read into it and say this means this and as you just did attach a specific piece of legislation, it is not with the platform says. >> okay. i will agree to disagree on that part, sean spicer. nice to talk to you as always. thanks for being with us. >> it is going to be great down here. >> fingers crossed. still ahead on starting point, a message for congressman akin who suggested that victims of rape can suddenly somehow biologically shut off the
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ability to conceive. we'll speak to a woman who was raped, became pregnant, and ended up keeping her baby and became a voice for other victims. the former president of penn state university is talking about the jerry sandusky sex case and claiming he had nothing to do with the coverup. students dressing as gang members or pregnant woman during a school sponsored event and the long overdue backlash that followed. that's get real this morning. capella university understands rough economic times
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the former president of penn state is speaking out today addressing accusations that he concealed allegations against convicted child sex predator jerry sandusky. graham spanier is not charged with a crime. he is cited in the report, that damning report by louis freeh who said that spanier empowered sandusky to attract victims to campus, ultimately failed to protect children for more than a
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decade. jeff toobin sat down with spanier for an extensive interview and you can read it at the new >> he is contradictly. let's talk about the contradictions in what he says. he talks about joe paterno as being an important figure at the school and in the community and that clearly he was in charge, it was not joe paterno. he writes i always consulted with him because he had opinions and sometimes he would persuade me and sometimes i would persuade them. anything you heard about how joe was the boss of the university, not so. contradictory. >> is it? i am not sure it is a total contradiction. football coaches are powerful everywhere in college sports, but what spanier was saying is he was powerful but i had the last word, i was the president, he was just a football coach. >> i guess where i find it contradictory, he goes i didn't know all the information, a lot of things happening around me, no one came with the details, i
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was left in the dark about a lot of things. i am in charge but i am not in charge. >> he says i was in charge but i was not informed of everything. that's the heart of the accusation in the freeh report against spanier, that he knew or should have known that jerry sandusky was abusing children and he didn't do anything about it. that's the heart. that's why he is fired. that is why he is a disgraced figure today and the interview with me was an attempt to say, no, i did not know and i should not have known. >> i was surprised at his tone when he was talking about being called before the grand jury. it is almost like, you know, it actually sounded to me as if they were called before the grand jury all the time. well, i was called before and would give them information and they didn't really want to talk to me. grand jury appearances are -- >> it is a big deal. >> huge deal. >> it is a huge deal. in the context of an investigation for jerry sandusky
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doing something with children, i mean, again, he says it was unclear to him precisely what at that point. he says that when the grand jury raised the question of sodomy to him, he was thunder struck. he thought, wow, i had no idea this was going on. why do you think grand juries sit? they don't sit to discuss horseplay. they sit to discuss crimes. that was surprising to me that there was a certain naivety. >> here is what he said in recording about the freeh report. >> the freeh report is wrong. it's unfair. it's deeply flawed. it is as many errors and omissions. i know they had a lot of very good people on that teamworking on this. they interviewed, they say, over 430 people, many of those folks have spoken to me about their interviews. many of them describe those interviews to me as a witch
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hunt. >> he has a point in the fact that some of the biggest players were never interviewed and their comments never made it into the freeh report. >> mike mcqueary for one, the person who is really the key figure in all of this because there are two incidents that spanier is alleged to have known about, 1998 where he received some e-mails and that was the incident that was investigated by the police and they decided not to prosecute. 2001 was the mcqueary incident i think many people are familiar with, that's where mcqueary said he walked into the showers in the football offices and saw sandusky slapping, a clearly sexual situation with a young boy. what spanier said to me is he only knew, was told, this was something about horseplay. he was never told about sexual contact. >> horseplay in the shower. >> he didn't say in the shower. >> later in the interview he talks about --
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>> the shower is 98. what he said, the shower, i knew there was some incident in the shower in '98. you may ask as i did why didn't you connect the dots? >> he said high school-age he thought maybe. horseplay he didn't pursue. >> he says he didn't pursue it and he pointed out that in 2001 sandusky no longer worked for penn state, so they didn't have the same leverage they did before. it is a troubling story. >> fascinating. >> you can read the whole thing at >> appreciate it. good work. i liked it. still ahead on "starting point," what do you do when an event meant to celebrate latinos instead demeans them. our "starting point" team is heading in to talk about that and much more. will cain joins us. you're watching "starting point." back in a moment.
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our team this morning, errol louis is back, ny 1 news and hank sheinkopf and will cain. john berman sticks around with us. this is so disheartening. a high school in anaheim, california, hosts something called senior eat a, students coming dressed as gang members, one as a pregnant woman pushing a baby stroller and others as border control. it is on the cover of the l.a times if we can show it. the high school taking a lot of heat for allowing demeaning -- can we drop the banner there so
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you can see it, senior week was supposed to be a celebration for the seniors, and it happened for the last three years at the school. >> that's it, three years. >> the racial breakdown of the school, 55% of the students are white, about 16% latino, according to the l.a times database of california schools, so after three years and after lots of complaints, the officials have reacted and say the event will be replaced with an international week. administrators will undergo diversity and sensitivity training. talk about closing the barn door after the horse has run out. the school is going to offer a class in ethnic studies. >> those two numbers are what's hard to reconcile. this has been going on for three years and 16% of the student body is latino and 8% of the faculty is latino. how did this go three years without complaint? >> apparently there was a student, a 19-year-old jared garcia kessler graduated last year, complained to a teacher he thought it was a disrespectful event, and the photos of the event would make their way into
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the year book and it was all considered to be very fun, and then finally i guess this third year he complained outside of the school. >> right. >> it all brought it to a head. >> you have to figure between 80 and 95 of all teenagerare into vulgarity and bad taste and shocking adults. >> you think after year one that would be like, okay, let's not do that again. >> that's the adults saying this is okay which makes it worse. >> now they're saying it is not. everybody, let's go to diversity training they're saying now. >> a little late. >> still ahead on "starting point," the west nile virus on track for the worst year ever. who is at risk, where it is worse, we'll tell you next. also, the incredibly personal story of a woman who says she was raped and then became pregnant with her rapist's child and decided to keep the baby. her ordeal did not end there. we'll tell you what happened. you're watching "starting point." back in a moment. to one's military oath. d the same set of values that drive our nation's military
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to help minimize blood sugar spikes. [ male announcer ] glucerna hunger smart. a smart way to help manage hunger and diabetes. welcome back to "starting point." in just a few minutes we'll speak to a woman who is sharing her very personal story. she was raped. she became pregnant. she decided to keep her baby. this morning she has a message for congressman akin and we'll talk to her live. first, john berman has a look at the today's stories. >> word of what is being called a major kill in afghanistan. the coalition says a senior taliban leader was among dozens of militants killed in a nato air strike earlier this week.
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according to testimony from a gitmo detainee, a man with the same name was instrumental of helping osama bin laden escape back in 2001. governor jerry brown declaring a state of emergency in three northern california counties because of stubborn wildfires. thousands of acres burned and 50 buildings destroyed. this clears the way for the use of more state resources to help battle the fires. we may be in the middle of the worst ever outbreak of the west nile virus. the cdc saying it is seeing the highest number of cases ever reported in the u.s. and this by the third week of august. the cases, they're trending upward. senior medical correspondent elizabeth cohen is following the developments closely. we hear worst ever. it sounds very bad here. how bad and where is it headed? >> worst ever this time of year, third week of august, never seen this number of cases. take a look at the jump that occurred just in this one week.
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last week the cdc telling us 26 deaths, that number jumped to 41, just in one week. the number of cases last week was 693. that jumped to 1,118 in the past week. now, most states have some west nile activity, but five states really are the hot spots, and that is south dakota, oklahoma, mississippi, louisiana, and texas has the most cases of all. john. >> this is important, elizabeth. what can we do to prevent getting west nile. >> the first thing, we shouldn't freak out. there really are things you can do, especially important to do these if you live in one of those hot spots. use a repellent that has deet. look in the ingredients. dress in long sleeves and long pants, especially when mosquitos are really out in full force. that would be at dusk and dawn. really be careful at those two times, and drain standing water, kiddy pools, bird fountains, where mosquitos love to breed.
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if you go to you can see more information about protecting yourself and your family. >> thanks. these are important tips. soledad. thank you. we have been hearing lots about congressman todd akin's controversial comments. wung thing we haven't heard much is from the victims. according to the american college of obstetrics and gienology, 5% of women become pregnant after raped. one woman has come forward. she wrote a powerful letter and part says this, representative todd akin's recent comments about legitimate april rarely results in pregnancy not only flouts science. >> she was 21 when she was raped and became pregnant and her daughter is now seven years old. she is in chicago this morning where she joins us from. shauna, thanks for talking with us. we certainly appreciate it. your letter is remarkable and i would encourage everyone who hasn't read it to go online and find it and take a look at it. your story is heartbreaking. tell many he what happened, you're a college student, 21
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years old. what happened? >> right. i was raped, faced absolutely what was the worst experience of my life, found out about a month after that rape that i was pregnant from the rape. as i described in my letter i was feeling a lot of conflicting emotions, shock, scared, but i was also having this very strange emotion where i was feeling some kind of kin ship or bond towards this life growing inside of me. then i correspondingly felt shame for feeling that. it was just a lot of conflicting emotions. i ultimately made the decision to have my daughter and i thought that once i made that decision that was kind of the end of the story for me. >> in a lot of ways it was the beginning of the story. >> and that life would go forward. >> it really was the start of your story. i think you become a face of what people did not expect, number one, you kept the baby, and i think that would surprise people and you talk about that kin ship. the next thing was that i think was a surprise was that your
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rapist would try to get custody of the child. i think that's shocking frankly. >> that's right. he filed for sole custody of her. i am very lucky that his parental rights were terminated so he is no longer or was never a part of our lives. i fight today in my advocacy work for the past two years focused on helping other women who haven't been so lucky or aren't so lucky. >> you write there are 31 states, you say it would not be long before i would learn firsthand in the vast majority of states 31, men who father through rape are able to assert the same custody and visitation rights to their children that other fathers enjoy. i think that's stunning for a lot of people. why do those laws exist? why is it not so clear cut if you're a rapist, one would say, i think practically speaking termination of parental rights would seem obvious. >> yeah, and that was the
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question that i had that when i wrote a paper in 2010 for the george town law journal. it is the exact question i wanted to answer, why are the laws not more prevalent. the conclusion i came to through my paper was this notion that words have power, and that the way in which we speak about the raped woman, the way in which we speak about women who become pregnant through rape, i think has made us suspicious of anyone like me or the 30% of other women who each year choose to keep and raise the children that and he they are suspicious of them because they behave in a way our dialog suggests they shouldn't. i think we're hesitant to pass the laws because we don't think that women like me exist. >> you mean acting in a way, meaning you decide to keep the child. i want to bring in will cain for a minute. part of the words that i thought shauna was going to talk about is really forcible rape which has become an issue in the
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legislation certainly and clearly an issue behind the 31 states, right? it is that nuance between if you will people who believe there are certain types of rape and that is what connects the legislation. >> shauna's story is certainly remarkable and amazing. when we read it all of us go how is this possible? as you said, soledad, how is it possible the rapists retain parent at rights. is that strikes against common sense. as i go into it deep and i would love shauna's perspective on this, but this guides us back into the debate over forcible versus statutory rape. laws are blunt force instruments. you can quickly envision a scenario where a 19-year-old and 16-year-old have consensual sex and say the mother wants to give the child up for adoption. does the father have any parental rights, hey, i would like to have that child? >> shauna, this is something that's obviously an issue for you in your advocacy. is this the kind of thing you're coming up against, that complicated conversation about where some rights end and where some rights begin when what
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seems on its face so obvious, a rapist should not have access to the child born of rape to me at least. >> right. the basis of our constitution is the constitution affords people a constitutional right to parent their children. now, the courts can interfere with that right where the legislator within their state has given them the authority to do so. in a lot of these states there is authority to do so in cases of abuse of the child, neglect of the child, maybe abandonment of the child, and we don't have this specific rape conception notion, and so without that kind of legislative authority i think the courts are finding themselves in this difficult position of saying, you know, i want to act, but i don't really feel that i have the authority or the power to act. >> obviously a very complicated piece. your story is amazing. people can find it was originally posted on xo we reposted it on the opinion section of for anybody who would like to read it. i appreciate your time this
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morning. >> i appreciate it. thank you. >> still ahead this morning the mind of mitt, the author of a new time magazine story will join us live to talk about mitt romney's leadership style in business. you're watching "starting point." back in a moment. i am often asked if i was granted a wish from a magic fairy would i wish my biological legs back. i always say absolutely not. my bionic limbs are part of my creation, and have become part of my identity. what is really fun is they're upgradeable. so every few months i get a hardware and software upgrade and as my biological body ages, my artificial limbs get better and better. so it is interesting that i am kind of getting better and better, at least that part of my body anyway. [ male announcer ] it's a golden opportunity...
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governor romney, paul ryan, trying to keep the controversial comments of congressman todd akin from throwing them off their message. mitt romney today is expected to unveil a comprehensive energy plan with a focus on fossil fuels and paul ryan sticking to the game plan as well and talking up mitt romney's experience at bain capital. listen. >> his entire career in business is a perfect example of someone with the skill and experience who created tens of thousands of
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jobs, who started small businesses, turned around failing businesses, created really successful businesses, sports authority, bright horizons, staples. you know what? when people reach success in our society, that's a good thing. that's not something we're to resent. >> time magazine takes a look at some of those statements and also at mitt romney's time at bain, barton gelman wrote the cover story, the editor of the magazine. nice to have you with us. the point i thing congressman ryan was making and you examine in your article as well is really does business experience translate into government experience and what was the strategy that you saw in mitt romney's business experience? so tell me a little about that. what does the business record show you? >> the interesting thing is that mitt romney never talks about how exactly his business experience translates into letting him fix the economy.
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what i wanted to understand is how he thinks about the world, how he focuses, how he works, and it turns out a big part of it if you want to make a lot of money is to select out from this large world of the business world a tiny fraction of things that you think you have a big advantage on. he is very risk averse, so he wants to find the deal where all the forces are aligned in his favor, and he is exceptionally good at that. he is able to filter out everything else. that's one thing that is sort of a luxury he will not have in the white house. >> i was going to say being able to -- you write a lot about the analytical process. you can go through and really crunch the numbers and see where you feel comfortable with the risk. that seems like 180 degrees from what actual governing could be like. >> if you're the president, the problems that come to your desk are nothing but the tough ones, the ones have wr the advisers disagree, the evidence is ambiguous or poor and you have
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only the least worst choices to choose from. those are the deals that mitt romney tried very hard and very successfully to keep away from in his years making money. >> seems to me that what we're pointing out here is essentially the concept of competitive advantage. mitt romney was very good at finding competitive advantage, and finding the appropriate risks to take in private enterprise, but i don't think that just his business experience is the suggestion that gives him the ability to lead in the white house. wouldn't it also be having been active in the private sector and i also understand the role government should play in the private sector? >> that's a big part of the argument. there are plenty of transferable skills. you cannot have been successful at what he did without being a good judge of people, without understanding how to motivate people, without having strong negotiating skills, the strong analytic skills as well you want to see in a president. what he did, though, that distinguishes him and that he talks about even now including recent ily in a magazine interview is that he loved the
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process of delving deep into the analysis. he loved the numbers. he loved examining the evidence. as president you have to. >> my question was how do we close the loop when it comes to jobs? that's what everybody is concerned about. they throw out the name staples and sports authority and we know the brands but i have been wondering for a year-and-a-half where is the foreman from sports authority who will stand in front of a camera and say this guy got me my job and kept my job. why doesn't the campaign come up with those people? does mitt romney think of those people as the folks he helped along the way? >> he certainly does think that, and his campaign claims quite a bit of credit for building jobs at staples, for example. >> they're always abstract numbers. i am looking for a face. >> they are abstract numbers, and and bain capital's role at staples was certainly positive. it was not that the driving role. i found a video that on the eve
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of the opening of the first staples mitt romney is talking in the back room crew and kind of admitting that he was about last to the table, that staples came to him and asked for money, tom stenberg did, and he did his usual thing. he delved into the numbers. he delved deeper than anybody else did. he actually sent people around with adding machines back in those days door-to-door to find out what businesses were really spending on office supplies. >> and last to the table because he was doing such great research to figure out if it was a good deal or not a good deal as opposed to following that. >> by the time he got there, tom stenberg already had 20 or 30 offers he said. stenberg wanted him on his board because of romney's business sense. >> that's why he ended up getting the deal, the cover story on time is the mind of mitt. thanks for coming in and talking to us. a short break. still ahead, disney star teams up with target to help school kids in need. we'll chat with bridget mend
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go long. as teddy duncan in disney's "good luck charlie," bridget mendler is trying to prepare her younger sister, charlie, for what she has to look forward to when she grows up. here is a look. >> hey, charlie. exciting times. tomorrow you turn 3 ucla am yay! if that wasn't exciting enough, one week ago the new baby was due. let's see how that baby is doing now. >> i want you out! >> duncan kid number five is late. >> and duncan kid number two is getting on my nerves. >> the show is so cute. in real life, bridget is just as committed to helping the younger generation. she is working with target on their back-to-school program. and in her free time, she is heading off to college, going to usc fulltime.
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bridget is joining us now. good morning. how are you going to do that? how are you possibly going to do full-time college? the show has been renewed for another season. explain. how is that going to work? >> it's a lot. >> yeah. >> it is a lot. i did online high school for a while. and still worked on the show. and that was a bit of a challenge. but i'll tell you, i'm not going to do fulltime college. i'm going to do some classes just to get it going. i think it's an important thing to pursue just at my own pace. >> education i know is really important to you. you've talked about your mom, who as you say was a full-time mom, a full-time student, and a full-time worker. which the math kind of adds up a little bit. and i know your connection to target, which has spent a lot of money and time in education and literally helping schools. what are you kdoing on that front? >> have i been so excited to be working with target. they approached me this summer, and since then we've been going to schools around the country and giving out grants and they
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have really been committed to not only giving grants to schools but to involving people through facebook to vote for their own schools. and i am proud to announce that we have already reached 2.5 million dollars in donations through facebook. so those kids did a great job online. and that portion of the campaign is done with actually. and target is going to continue to support schools through their billion dollars for education until 2015. and we're continuing to give out the grants. i'm actually going to a school today. so i'm very excited. >> and excited for them because they are going to get some serious cash. you also in your other free time have an album that you're working on. it seems like every disney actor, has an album, an actor, has a movie maybe. is it acting that you love? music? what's your thing? >> i have to say that disney is great with providing opportunities for kids who have dreams.
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and any of those entertainment fields. and for me also they have helped me to give back to causes that i really would like to work with. and music is something that i have always been passionate about. and i'm so thrilled to finally be able to share that music with people. and hopefully they respond to it well. and i'm so proud to be among the other disney artists who have created music. and i must say we all kind of have our own way of doing what we do. but we have fun. >> that's great. bridget mendler, nice to see you. thank you for talking with us this morning. my daughters were so excited. they love you, and the show is hilarious for adults too. it's very funny. thank you for being with us. >> thank you. still ahead, isaac turning closer to the state of florida. we're expecting to hear from florida's governor, rick scott. he's supposed to have a briefing live any minute now on how they preparing especially with the rnc in tampa. and steve israel will have the latest on vice president joe biden's big plans for tampa.
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i'm not sure they think he is a threat at all. >> hurricane joe. >> hurricane joe is coming in. they don't think he's a threat if you listen to reince priebus. and it's not the mother's age but how old the father is that could increase the risk of schizophrenia and more. you're watching "starting point." we're back in a moment.
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our "starting point" this morning, a very serious threat. tropical storm isaac is barrelling towards florida. tampa's mayor says he is prepared to order an evacuation if he has to during the rnc. plus, fear of violence. warnings going out this morning that anarchist groups could attack at both upcoming political conventions. we'll talk about that. and tell-all book. a u.s. commando involved in the raid that killed osama bin laden has written an inside account of the still classified mission. we will be talking to fema administrator craig fugate. also steve israel. senator kay bailey hutchison will join us. and football legend and nascar owner joe gibbs is our guest. it's thursday, august 23. "starting point" begins right now. welcome, welcome, welcome to our team. errol lewis is joining us.
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he covers politics and anchor of new york 1 news. will cain is a columnist for the conservative john berman is brings us the news this morning. and our "starting point" today is all about isaac. it is on track to strike florida. hurricane warnings in effect now for haiti. the storm already soaking san juan, puerto rico. let's get to rob for an update of what's happening there. >> good morning. the 8:00 a.m. advisory for the national hurricane center holding the strength of this at 40 miles an hour. there's a noaa aircraft in there right now reporting back. but it's in the open waters now south of puerto rico, south of san juan specifically by about 225 miles an hour, heading to the west at 13. it should strengthen. it has warm water to deal with, just a bit of dry air. there's the radar, san juan, puerto rico, getting the heavier bands as they rotate in. but the direct hit will not
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affect san juan or the islands. tropical storm warnings for the northern caribbean islands. and hurricane warnings issued for his ppaniola, including hai. the winds have converged a about the overnight, so our confidence has built up a little bit as far as the track of this thing. less likely to go east towards the carolinas at this point. a little bit more likely to go west into the gulf of mexico. we stopped the map here. tomorrow afternoon, it gets into port-au-prince, haiti, as potentially a category 1 storm. we're talking about thousands of people still without shelter. and 10 to 15 inches of rainfall on top of that wind. not a good situation. we fast forward to sunday night and monday morning. stop the map at the florida keys potentially, category 1 storm at this point. and notice that the entour peninsula of florida is in the cone of uncertainty as is the gulf of mexico. and we can't rule out new orleans, biloxi, pensacola.
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those areas still in play as well. but the track has not changed much. tampa very close to the forecast area at this point. >> so for tampa, the republican national convention is a big problem there. but when you talk about haiti, of course, lots of people, thousands of people, tens of thousands of people, still in tents. what are they going to do? a category 1 hurricane headed right for haiti. and new orleans approaching the seventh anniversary of katrina. that's got to be very emotionals well. we'll be talking to fema administrator craig fugate in a moment. but first to john with the day's top stories. federal law enforcement on alert for potential violence at the upcoming republican and democratic conventions. an intelligence bulletin issued by the fbi and homeland security warns of anarchist groups possibly using improvised explosive devices. officials have concerns about bridges and infrastructure as potential targets in both tampa and charlotte. former penn state president graham spanier is speaking out for the first time on the jerry
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sandusky child sex abuse case. the report that accused him of helping cover it up and his own past as a child abuse victim. he told abc news when sandusky acted suspiciously with a boy in the team showers in 2001, spanier says he was only made aware that sandusky had engaged in what he called horse play. >> didn't you have a moral obligation to find out who that child was and find out what happened? >> i didn't conjure up anything more than what i would have thought of as simple horse play, so, no, i didn't think of anything more than that. >> spanier's attorney blasted the freeh report, calling the university funded review, quote, a flat out distortion of facts infused with bias and innuendo. it accused spanier of being complice in the alleged cover-up of the child sexual abuse scandal. a member of the u.s. navy s.e.a.l. team that killed osama bin laden has written a first-hand account of the operation. in this new book, it's triggering new worries about the release of classify the
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intelligence. the title, "no easy day." its release date, september 11, 2012. the publisher says it's written under a pen name. the military says no one vetted the book, and the author they say is no longer on active duty. a new study getting a lot of attention today. it says older dads hand down more altered dna to their kids leaving their kids more at risk for disease including schizophrenia and autism. the report found that each added year of age resulted in two extra new mutations. i think the study will raise a lot of questions. >> fascinating because people are trying to figure out those large numbers when it comes to autism. are there just better ways of figuring out who is autistic or has that been a change? and how does that correlate to women giving birth when they are older, all of that. >> older men have more prevalence for mutations passed on. but while that has bad short-term implications, evolutionariwise, it's positive.
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mutations will push us forward. kind of interesting. >> unless you're living with the mutations. >> long-term. big picture. evolution. let's talk politics. political junkies watching tropical storm isaac as close as anybody. president obama is leading by three points in cnn's brand-new poll of polls. so republicans certainly will be looking for a convention bounce and hoping that the convention isn't overtaken by the storm. congressman steve israel is a democrat, and he is from new york. the chairman of the democratic congressional campaign committee as well. nice to see you. thanks for talking with us. you have -- >> great to be with you. >> you have tampa as it looks as we just heard from rob marciano as sort of the focal point potentially for this thing that looks like it's going to turn into a hurricane. we have been joking a little bit hurricane joe, also potentially in tampa. why would joe biden be in tampa? >> well, joe biden is a relentless fighter for the
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middle class. he is somebody who has travelled into middle class communities throughout this country. and asserting the stark contrast between the president and a democratic congress that will fight for the middle class on medicare, and a republican congress that has relentlessly tried to hurt the middle class and seniors on medicare. with a paul ryan budget that would end the medicare benefit in order to protect millionaires, and that would raise taxes on the middle class while cutting taxes for those millionaires. that's a contrast that we want to talk about at every opportunity. >> so the answer is you're sending him to -- he's going to tampa so that he can be on camera at the same time the republican convention is on tv, essentially, is the answer to that question. >> well, the answer is to talk about those contrasts, sure. >> rience priebus says number one, it doesn't really matter. he thinks that his appearance or presence in tampa won't matter. and he also said this. that the nice thing about going
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first, because the rnc is a week before the dnc, is whatever they're going to do to us we can do 10 times over to them. them would you be, in this case. you never know where we are going to be. i'm a big believer in if they punch us, we will put on the brass knuckles and punch back. rience priebus has been a guest a bunch of times. he is the chairman of the national republican committee. what's your response to that? >> my response is he's going to need more than brass knuckles in order to defend the indefensible. he is going to need more to explain to people why they have embraced at their convention a ryan budget that ends the medicare benefit for seniors in order to fund bigger tax cuts for millionaires. it's going to take a heck of a lot more than brass knuckles to defend that. and why they are about to push this economy off a cliff -- it was reported yesterday they may send us back into a recession by not passing a budget that extends tax cuts for millionaires because they want to hold the middle class hostage
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to get those tax cuts for millionaires. >> the congressional office budget report does not say exactly what you just said. they did say that the fiscal cliff is looming, and people would say there is plenty of blame to go around. republicans are pointing their fingers at the president for that. democrats are pointing their fingers very squarely at the house. and republicans for that. you know, how is it -- isn't the answer that actually everyone is to blame on this? everybody voted for that. a large number, right? >> no, no, soledad, no. with all the respect in the world, on three separate occasions, we offered a compromise to the republicans that john boehner, the republican speaker of the house, agreed to. it was big. it was bold. it was balanced. it reduced debt. it cut spending. but it also said that if you're a millionaire, you're going to a little bit more in order to protect medicare and in order to protect the middle class. on each occasion, john boehner went back to his tea party caucus and his tea party caucus rejected compromise. we are ready, willing, and able to go back to that compromise.
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we need a republican party that is willing to compromise with us. >> but the president signed off on the deal. i'm not mistaken about that. >> this hurricane that is bearing down on tampa -- hold on. >> will cain, am i wrong about this? didn't the president sign off on this deal? there are many fingers on this problem is how i read it. >> leading up to the fiscal cliff? >> yes. >> no, you're not wrong about that. >> ok. so when he says that it is a one-sided problem, it seems to me that we certainly have republican finger prints all over it in the sequestration issue but the democrats as well. and the democratic strategist is nodding his head yes. >> let joe biden to the state and blame the republicans for the problem is a good political move. and the congressman is sticking to the message. stick to class warfare, get the middle class angry at ryan and move forward. will it work? it might work. >> but i like steve so much. he comes on the show and he and
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i have a back and forth. but saying things like the ryan budget wants to end the medicare for seniors. it isn't true. it doesn't touch anyone over the age of 55. if you want to talk about the long-term implications of it are, but to say it ends it for seniors it just not true. >> well, it ends it as it is for seniors in the year 2023. >> but you understand the statement that it ends it for seniors is designed to affect people voting today at the age of 65. in truth, who it's talking about is me. >> unless people have no brains to look forward into the future. you're saying forget about the next couple of years and plan ahead. >> you act like you don't understand the political implications. >> which is why everybody is trying to grab this football, right? if you can get your hands on the football that is medicare and get the medicare messaging and scare people to a large degree. but both have a toe in truth and a toe outside of truth. congressman, a final question. what is going to happen with this fiscal cliff? you know, we talk about the cbo report. it's dire.
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it's one of the scariest things that you can read. you look at the numbers that they are throwing out there. we are in huge, huge trouble re. what is the resolution which is not point fingers at the other guy? give me a real resolution. >> sometimes when you have somebody who is holding somebody hostage, you don't blame the hostage. you point the finger at the hostage taker. with all the respect in the world, here is the resolution. this doesn't have to happen. on three occasions we said, let's cut spending by trillions of dollars. let's get some revenues. not from the middle class, but let's balance the budget by going back to the clinton tax rates on the rich, which produce 23 million jobs and the most prosperous middle class in recent history. that's the formula that worked. it's the formula that house democrats want to embrace. it's the formula that john boehner agreed to. and it's the formula that the extreme tea party congress rejected.
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they are willing to end the medicare benefit, to end the guaranteed medicare benefit, turn it into a voucher, and at the same time -- >> in 2023. right? let's put that in. >> they are wrong in 2023, and they are wrong now. they are wrong in 2023, soledad, and they are wrong now. >> steve israel joining us this morning. he is the chairman of the democratic congressional campaign committee. thank you for talking with us. we always appreciate it. we have to take a break. still ahead, the republican response from senator kay bailey hutchison straight ahead. on alert for tropical storm isaac. the storm is expected to slam into florida. it could be a big problem for the republican national convention. we'll listen to governor rick scott, who will be updating everybody about the situation there. of course he is the governor of florida. and craig fugate will join us. he is the administrator of fema. he'll be telling us the plans
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there. look at this cute kid. 5-year-old, adorable, in trouble because of the dress code. oklahoma principal says it is a matter of safety that he does not wear that t-shirt. i think it's the university of michigan. >> it is. >> well, he shouldn't have worn it and we'll tell you why. you're watching "starting point." back in a moment. why not try c? with over 25 delicious flavors for a fraction of the cost of the coffee house. add your flavor, with coffee-mate, from nestle. wanted to provide better employee benefits while balancing the company's bottom line, their very first word was... [ to the tune of "lullaby and good night" ] ♪ af-lac ♪ aflac [ male announcer ] find out more at... [ duck ] aflac! [ male announcer ] [ yawning sound ]
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obviously, we are hoping isaac doesn't hit florida. >> governor scott updating us on tropical storm isaac. >> concerned about the potential impact anywhere, not just tampa. while the nation is focused on tampa and the republican national convention, my job is to ensure we are prepared for an emergency in every community in florida. it is still too early to predict why isaac could make landfall. it could strike almost anywhere in florida or in some of our neighboring states. now put aside the rnc convention for a moment. florida has a lot of experience dealing with hurricanes.
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we're going to be prepared for isaac in the event it does impact our state, in the event it does become a hurricane. florida's emergency response officials protect 19 million residents who live and work here, and as you know, we have 87 million tourists that come visit here. so we'll have on any given day hundreds of thousands of visitors to our state's beaches, theme parks, and other attractions. preparation is key to success. that includes emergency preparations by state and local officials, and individuals and families have to be prepared. every family has to have a plan. they need to be vigilant. they need to heed emergency warnings and instructions. every family should be prepared to sustain themselves for up to 72 hours. for more information on that, you can go to now, isaac is a unique storm in this regard. it has the potential to threaten a major convention, designated a
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special national security event. that's why i have convened local, state, federal, and convention officials for a twice daily briefing. the goal is to make sure everyone has the best information available. a complete picture of the situation. everything needed to make a good decision. these officials have been working together to plan the convention for the past 18 months. the possibility for a hurricane has been part of that planning process. all that's required for those plans to be activated is there to be a hurricane, and hopefully that will not happen. isaac continues to have the potential to track toward the florida keys. southwest florida, tampa, and the florida panhandle. this morning i issued two directives to brian coop, the state emergency operations director. first, to activate -- >> you're looking at governor rick scott of florida advising folks on what to do as they look at some of these weather maps that show that what is now a tropical storm is very likely going to turn into a hurricane
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as it heads towards haiti and the island of hispaniola, and could potentially slam into tampa, florida, as a category 1 hurricane. and the key to that right there is that the convention center, which is where the republican national convention will be held, is in an area that if indeed a category i hurricane does hit tampa they would have to be evacuated. let's get right to the fema administrator. craig fugate is joining us. he ran florida's decision of emergency management. nice to talk to you, sir. we just heard from the government there that a lot of these conversations had been going on and planning that potentially would include well, what happens if a hurricane hits, have been going on. the only part -- the only thing that's required, the governor said, for activation is that in fact a hurricane hits. give me a little bit about these briefings that the governor talked about. he said local, federal, state officials now meeting twice a day in briefings. >> well, actually, the state used their statewide hurricane exercise earlier this year to actually exercise what would happen if a hurricane threatened
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the rnc. again, we're in support of secret service of the state on this. so it's pretty much, you know, we're prepared. we know what the plans are. we have our staff in place. we'll see what isaac brings. but i think the governor's point is really key. people focus on tampa. if you remember hurricane charlie, everybody focused on tampa. hurricane charlie hit punta gorda, port charlotte. it does not hit tampa. so right now our concern first up will be the florida keys. and people need to be ready, as the governor said, have a plan and be ready to act if the hurricane or the storm threatens them. >> one of the reasons everybody is focused on tampa, it's a unique situation because you have a major convention, which involves, you know, deemed a special national security event as well, all at the same time. something like 55,000 people are supposed to come in. i think for people who don't know how you deal with a hurricane, who are not familiar with that, what do you tell them? what's the advice? >> well, again, i think this is one area where florida is
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actually ahead of the country because they deal with so much tourism during hurricane season. but this is something that they do, it's part of the plans with the hotels and the convention centers. to make sure they have information. and they give the people the information. knowing that that they may not be familiar with hurricanes or know the plan. so this is built-in. you look at the tourist designated areas in florida. this is part of everybody's plan, how do you make sure that tourist populations get the information they need to be safe when the storm threatens. >> well, certainly it was a problem when hurricane katrina, where the tourists often felt like they were the last people to understand what was happening except for get out of the hotel, and you sort of have nowhere to go. what do you think is the likelihood and maybe it's too early to say with the maps the way they are, but what do you think is the likelihood that the convention is going to have to be moved or have to be cancelled? >> it's -- you know, people are spending a lot of time talking about that. i wish they would be talking about making sure that the people in the keys are getting ready and people in southwest florida are getting ready. and as pointed out this may be get into the gulf and be a threat more for the gulf coast.
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everybody wants to focus one point. if you have a plan, have your supplies, you know what to do, monitor the storm, act if the threat requires action. but otherwise, monitor the storm and make sure you're ready. >> thank you. we're talking about it because of course it's a big deal for the republican national convention. but as you point out, folks in the keys need to be very well aware as well. people in the gulf coast who watch this stuff all the time, same thick. and in south florida. craig fugate joining us. the fema administrator. still ahead on "starting point," the west nile virus spikes. now on track for its worst year ever. that's straight ahead. ♪ ♪ every mom needs a little helper.
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tough call this morning. dress code violation. cooper barton. let's show his picture. kind of your average 5-year-old. cheers for the university of michigan wolverines evidently and showed his pride with this t-shirt at school. at cooper's school, you can only wear college apparel if it's a team from oklahoma. the school district says they adopted the policy because they were trying to cut down on gang violence. listen. >> he told me they had made him turn it inside out because it said michigan. he was a little embarrassed. >> well, apparently, the gang violence, you know, was a problem in the school district. >> all the way at the game-winner level? >> well, well -- >> hence our tough call because there was a rule, right, that said you're only allowed to wear certain kinds of clothes because what they didn't want to have is these competing school things that were used as -- what's the right word, for people who are -- coding really for gang fights, right?
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so now maybe no one -- little cooper to me doesn't look like he's in the gang thing. and i think his parents are obviously stunned by it. but isn't some of this -- there is a policy, and at the end of the day this is where policy hits reality. >> and you find out the policy is absurd. >> is it absurd in the big picture? is it absurd policy to make sure that older students are not, you know -- >> you're exempting this scenario, the kindergartner. you're saying at the high school level. is it reasonable for oklahoma to say, you can only wear oklahoma based schools attire? no. >> oklahoma schools are rivals too. couldn't it be oklahoma versus oklahoma state versus tulsa? >> apparently the coding of the gangs was coming from the schools outside of oklahoma. that was the issue. so there was a rule, and then a 5-year-old broke it. >> and those terrible kindergartners are out there running wild. >> kindergartners can be very tough. i have many of them. >> making people crazy. >> all right. still ahead this morning, who's hiring?
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we're awaiting the new jobless numbers. and we'll bring them to you as soon as we get them. texas republican senator kay bailey hutchison will be our guest. >> she a's a long horn. >> yeah, she is. >> she better not wear the sweatshirt, though, when she goes to kindergarten. [ male announcer ] did you know all those screens that keep you connected are sucking moisture from your eyes, causing irritation and dryness? [ thud ] really? [ male announcer ] revive your eyes with visine®. ahh. [ male announcer ] only visine® has hydroblend, a unique blend of 3 moisturizers that soothe, restore and protect eyes for up to 10 hours of comfort.
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breaking news to get to this morning. looking at live pictures from maricopa county, arizona. massive flooding there. that's a van stuck in some deep water. there's a state of emergency that's been declared there.
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three arizona counties actually are under flash flood warnings, including maricopa county, about 35 miles south of phoenix. obviously we are watching what's happening as heavy rains have left the residents there in quite a bit of a mess. other stories making news, john berman has that for us. >> this just in. we are still waiting on the unemployment numbers filing for the first time. we'll get those to you as soon as we have them. governor jerry brown declares a state of emergency in california. wildfires have destroyed 25,000 acres. the emergency declarations in northern california may clear the way for the use of more state resources to help battle the fires. this is concerning a lot of people here. we may be in the middle of the worst ever u.s. outbreak of west nile virus. the cdc says it is seeing the highest number of cases ever reported by the third week of august. and the cases are trending upward right now. 38 states have reported cases so far. and the most people infected in
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these states, texas, mississippi, louisiana, south dakota, and oklahoma. soledad? we are going to be talking about representative todd akin, who will not be attending the republican national convention in tampa next week, though the missouri senate candidate says he is going to stay in his race, at least for now. listen. >> the party voters took a look at our hearts, understood who we were, had a chance to meet us in many, many different ways and made a decision. and it makes me uncomfortable to think that the party bosses are going to dictate who runs as opposed to election process. >> the convention is set to kick off in just four days. republican leaders are doing all they can to distance themselves from akin and the outrage over his comments on rape. including governor romney, who will attempt to change the subject with a speech on energy policy a little bit later today. analysts say that romney can leave the controversy behind if he can make a big splash at the
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convention, ramping up the pressure for the presumptive nominee. joining us from dallas, texas, this morning is republican senator kay bailey hutchison. nice to see you. thank you for being with us. i want to start with west nile virus, because john was just updating us on what's happening there in texas. clearly the epicenter. are you getting a sense that it's under control? or how are you feel being that? >> well, they have started doing aerial spraying. that was a tough decision for the officials. but they decided that 18 deaths in this area, 218 cases, it was just too much. and they decided to do it. and therefore, i think we are beginning to get it under control. but it has been a nightmare really, soledad. >> yeah. following that story, it has been incredible. let me ask you about the storm as well, isaac, which is a tropical storm but looks like it's going to become a hurricane, category 1 at least. how worried are you about that considering you're heading down to tampa for that? >> well, right.
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i think the governor speaking earlier on your show said that they are doing everything they can. they are experienced in this, as we certainly are in texas as well. in handling issues like hurricanes. but of course i know a lot of people are going to be wary. a lot of times, soledad, these hurricanes dissipate, they go in a different direction. so people shouldn't panic right now. people should just keep their plans and what happens will be certainly -- there will be plenty of time to prepare and evacuate if necessary. but the chances of that are really very slim. and i don't think people should panic. >> they definitely veer. we know that. and everybody is watching it, so that's i guess good news at this point. let me ask you about congressman akin. you were among the first to call for him to step down. as you know, he has said no thank you. here is what mark mcken an who was on our show yesterday wrote.
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thank you, todd akin, just as republicans were opening their show and hoping to widen the tent, you have managed to attract attention to yourself and your caveman views. hear that sound, gop? that's women running for the exits, and the big tent collapsing. do you worry that the big tent is in fact collapsing around you? >> well, i think women are smart enough, soledad, to know that one person who is really out of the mainstream in my personal opinion doesn't represent the party. the party is a party that has welcomed women. we have addressed women's issues. and i don't think women are going to think that this person who clearly had an outrageous interview is the party. and i think a lot of women in the party are concerned about -- well, a lot of women in america are concerned about the economy. and this campaign should be about president obama's record.
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and it's just a diversion to have this come up, especially right before our convention. there's no doubt about that. >> sort of timing, though, i think was problematic when the draft of the gop platform was released right at the same time practically. and i'll read that, the platform, on abortion to you. it says the faithful to the self evident truths enshrined in the declaration of independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. we support a human life amendment to the constitution and endorse legislation to make sure that the 14th amendment protections apply to unborn children. is this really just kind of laying out the conflict that is within the gop, that you have -- that is costing potential votes, i guess i'd say, that you have people, you know, that delineation between right to life, you know, we've heard obviously clearly right to life
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party, but people who have either support exceptions or support alternate views that want to be under that big tent that mark was referring to. >> well, i think, soledad, that it's clear that the republican party is a pro-life party. and we do value life. and we do believe that the unborn have a right to life. but i also think that there are many people in the republican party as in america who think that there should be exceptions for the life of the mother. she is a person too. and we must remember there are two lives here. and we also certainly reach out to rape victims. there are just a lot of decisions that need to be made on a personal basis. but i don't think that anything that was said in the platform is against the focus on protecting life whenever possible. and i think most people agree with that. >> kay bailey hutchison joining
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us this morning. nice to see you. thank you for talking with us. we always appreciate your time, senator. >> thank you, soledad. still ahead this morning on "starting point," he says he was there when osama bin laden was killed. a former navy s.e.a.l. writing a tell-all book about that raid that is still classified. and washington was totally surprised, we hear, by that news. a report from the pentagon is up next. you're watching "starting point." phoenix, that pride, that was on my face. i am jocelyn taylor. i'm committed to making a difference in people's lives, and i am a phoenix. visit to find the program that's right for you. enroll now.
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any way you book, including our new app. you'll never roam alone. it's the first account of the raid that killed osama bin laden from someone who was actually there. a man claims he was a member of the u.s. navy s.e.a.l. team 6 coming out with a book about some of the most thrilling 38 minutes in modern military history. and just like the raid, no one saw it coming, its release date is on september 11 of 2012, coming up. barbara starr live at the pentagon with this. barbara, one, a big shocker at the pentagon that in fact this book is coming from a navy s.e.a.l. or a former navy s.e.a.l. is being released. first of all, what's the fallout from that? >> reporter: well, look, you know, let's look at the book cover right off the top. the title of this book is going to be "no easy day." that actually is kind of pretty much the attitude around the pentagon. nothing seems to be easy these days here for the military.
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they did not know this book was coming, we are told. they just heard about it a couple of days ago. so why? because the author did not put it through for security review. normally, even if you are out, even if you're retired, these kinds of books should be submitted traditionally for a review for classified material, inadvertently being in a manuscript. >> do they know who the author is? i know he is using a pen name. >> his pen name is mark owen. but he says he is the team leader of one of the team leaders that night. there were only so many team leaders so they have a good idea who it is. he is working with another writer who is very respected by the u.s. military. so by all accounts this is the real deal, first-hand account how it was on the ground. >> there's been much going back and forth about the leaks and the revealing of things that should not have been revealed. this is the first time somebody on the ground -- this is not a
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leak. it's just a tell. what does that do to that debate? >> what about all of the tell-alls? you've got movies. you have the new osama bin laden movie by kathryn bigga low that the government gave a little bit of help. you've been covering it. this committee of former military people out there that is criticizing the administration for talking. and now of course you have a navy s.e.a.l. talking about all of this. what is this doing? well, you know, admiral william mccraven, the top up guy in special operations, is very concerned about this, we've been told. he thinks that people need to rachet back. he wants america to understand what they do for a living, what kind of roles they perform, but there's a lot of concern in the community. you have a lot of guys out there still out on the line, still working very much covertly, not for very much money, and they are not cashing in. they are still out there doing it. their families are sending them off on deployment after deployment.
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the question is, is all of this cashing in going to start affecting morale? >> big question there. barbara starr for us at the pentagon this morning. thank you. appreciate it. >> sure. still ahead on "starting point," he is the legendary coach of the washington redskins. now he is a nascar championship team owner. still ahead, joe gibbs will sit down with us. you're watching "starting point." we're back in a moment. with over 25 delicious flavors for a fraction of the cost of the coffee house. add your flavor, with coffee-mate, from nestle.
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welcome back. i'm christine romans. just in to "starting point," 372,000 unemployment claims were filed this week, higher than economists expected according to the labor department. the congressional budget offices the so-called fiscal cliff of huge spending cuts and huge tax increases next year would drive the country into a
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recession. that means lost jobs, closed businesses, and dramatic cuts to the military and programs like preschool and food aid for the elderly. the cbo now predicts the economy would contract half of 1% next year, and the jobless rate, and this is the new part of the forecast, the jobless rate would reach 9% by the end of the year if congress doesn't fix it. middle class families are poorer and have lower incomes than 10 years ago. this is according to a huge report from the pew research center. this is the first time this has happened since world war ii. middle class net worth is down over the past decade, dropping 28% to $93,000. middle class income is down as well, dropping about $3,500 to more than $69,000. and 85% of people say it's more difficult now to maintain their lifestyle compared with 10 years ago. >> so that $69,000 is a family? >> a family of three, that's right. a bright spot for you, though, in the housing market today. the new housing data out from zilo says 30.9% of homeowners
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are underwater. that's down. fewer people underwater on their loan. the report also says nearly half of all borrowers under the age of 40 are underwater. so younger borrows are much more likely to be underwater because they bought during that time of the big bubble. >> and don't have the financial resources behind them to get out of that. >> absolutely. well, nascar fans are gearing up for the next big race. the irwin tools night race is set for saturday night at bristol motors speedway in tennessee. just three races left for drivers to qualify for this year's sprins cup championship. fans will be keeping an eye on driver kyle busch. he is a member of the joe gibbs racing team. it's owned by nfl hall of fame coach robert gibbs. thank you for talking with us. your team has won three nascar championships since you founded it back in 1992. you know, i think it's kind of unusual to be successful in sort
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of one sporting event, and then switch to a completely different and some might argue completely unrelated sport, and be successful wildly in that as well. why do you think it's worked for you? >> soledad, thank you for having me on. to be quite truthful, my secret is just this. surround yourself with good people. pick the right people. in football, if i picked the right football players, they made me look good. and it's the same thing over here in racing. so i've loved both sports. i'm here. i'm excited being at bristol here. m&ms is trying to make race day more fun. we're going to pick four people that get to sit in these lounge seats. it's going to be awesome. i'm excited about being here this morning. >> coach, john berman here. we were talking on the set about the difference between nascar and football. and will cain and i were trying to decide, what's harder to deal with? are football players harder to deal with an race car drivers? or are race car drivers worse? >> who's tougher, tony stewart
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or charles mann and dexter manly? >> that's a great question. >> you picked that? that's as to-up. it's a toss-up. here's what i have learned. i have learned that one thing that never changes is our character. this character of people. and, you know, when you deal with football players or you deal with race car drivers, it winds up being complicated. some guys wear their emotions their sleeve and will get you in trouble at different times. but i have found that it's exactly the same. anybody's good in football would be good in racing. anybody good in racing would be good in football really. >> i don't know that warren sapp who we that on yesterday would fit in one of those little cars. >> doesn't seem likely. >> that might be a problem. that might be a problem. >> let me ask you a question. a little bit about football. how closely are you still involved? have you now moved on to nascar, and this is your passion, and you spend every waking moment focused on your drivers and being successful there?
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or are you still sort of in both worlds? >> yeah. i have to tell you, if you're involved in nascar as an owner, i got both my boys, jd and coy, are in racing with us. we have a motor cross team. we are a full-time, nonstop, trying to keep our race team and everything pointed in the right direction. we're in a battle. we're coming down here with three races left trying to get in the playoffs, with kyle busch and joey logano trying to win a race. it's fun for me. it's exciting. but i'm kind of consumed with nascar. this is where i spend my time. >> it's really the ultimate reinvention, isn't it? reinventing careers. i mean, that's excellent. what are the similarities for you? >> i tell people, you wouldn't believe it, i was worried to death about coming to nascar. something i had no experience in. and when i came over here, people would walk up to me and they would say, you're not going to believe it. and i would say, yes, i can.
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i have already gone through that in football. and it winds up being exactly the same. >> that is so funny. >> somebody stole our coffee one morning when i was at nascar. and in football, i used to sleep at the office. i went in one morning, and they were looking around, and somebody stole the coffee. [ laughter ] >> so you mean literally -- >> we thought -- we found one of the players that made $600,000 a year walking out the door with the coffee the next week. [ laughter ] >> so literally exactly the same? >> fast forward to racing. i'm in a race here about two years ago. one morning i went in. i don't sleep at the office. i'm looking for the coffee, and the secretary walks around the coffee and she goes, you're not going to believe it. and i said, yes, i will, somebody stole the coffee. so it's exactly the same. everything is the same in both sports. >> literally the same. good luck, joe gibbs. we look forward to hearing some good news from you about your
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races and your drivers. he is a national championship team owner and a former nfl football coach joining us this morning. other news, flooding rescues in maricopa county, arizona. this is now a rescue operation underway. we have seen that water rise a little bit. obviously, they are having some serious problems with the heavy rains. maricopa is roughly 35 miles south of phoenix. we'll bring that story to you when we come back after this break. e chopportunity an to affect what happens in a major city. if you want to make a difference, you have to have the right education. university of phoenix opened the door. my name is james craig, i am committed to making a difference, and i am a phoenix. visit to find the program that's right for you. enroll now.
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