tv The Situation Room CNN August 24, 2012 4:00pm-7:00pm EDT
charities. how could it affect livestrong? >> we talk about marketability in terms of endorsements. here there's a whole other angle in terms of fund-raising. i think also there will be backlash where people say i support lance. i'm not so sewer this is going to injure live strong as much as others think. >> thank you, jon. that's it for me. have a great friday. here's wolf blitzer in "the situation room." >> happening now. >> no one has ever asked to see my birth certificate. they know this is the place that we were born and raised. >> a stunning campaign turn for mitt romney, reigniting the birther controversy with an apparent joke only days before taking the national stage in tampa. the obama campaign is not laughing. plus tropical storm isaac is barrelling straight for haiti. only hours from now hundreds of thousands of people still living in tent cities could get a
lashing they haven't seen since that devastating earthquake nearly three years ago. we'll have the very latest forecast. that's coming up. we're also live from tampa where republicans are closely monitoring this storm. and our brand new cnn polls kicking off convention season with a surprising new look at the state of the presidential race. we're breaking down all the numbers for you. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." but first, the surprising moment for mitt romney out there on the campaign trail. the republican presidential candidate who is only days away from taking the national stage in tampa made an unscripted apparent joke about his birth certificate and in a matter of seconds reignited the heated
political controversy over where president obama was a born. cnn's national political correspondent jim acosta has the very latest. >> reporter: just as mitt romney was about to reintroduce himself to voters, he made a birth certificate joke and the obama campaign is not laughing. mitt romney was on a roll, riding into michigan on his campaign bus with his wife and running mate at his side. but moments later the gop contender took what appeared to be a sharp turn into birtherism, cracking what sounded like a joke at the president's expense. >> now, i love being home in this place where ann and i were raised, where both of us were born. ann was born at henry ford hospital, i was born at harper hospital. no one's ever asked to see my birth certificate. they know that this is the place that we were born and raised. >> reporter: the comment drew an instant rebuke from the obama campaign. "governor romney's decision to directly enlist himself in the
birther movement should give pause to any rational voter across america." >> thank you, thank you. >> reporter: the romney campaign told cnn the candidate wasn't using prepared remarks and it was just a reference to the candidate's michigan roots saying "the government has always said and has repeatedly said he believes the president was born here in the united states." but the line was a hit with some in the audience who say they still have doubts about the president. >> i personally loved the joke. i am one of those people so i really believe that holding out on giving that birth certificate out publicly was the wrong thing to do. >> reporter: president obama has joked about the subject himself and his campaign has made light of the conspiracy theories by putting mr. obama's birth certificates on mugs. >> mitt and i grew up here, we fell in love here. >> reporter: but the comment quickly overshadowed his attempt
to reintroduce him to voters. ann romney choked up as she talked about the candidate. >> reporter: romney saying "i'm an emotional person. there's an, i don't know, societal norm that if you're running for office, you can't be personal and perhaps i bow to that too much." ann romney is slated as the featured speaker on the opening night. convention. tuesday brings a tribute to ron paul. then on thursday the convention will dive deep into romney's leadership in the mormon church, a reversal for a campaign that has largely avoided talk about the candidate's faith. romney and ryan will have one more joint appearance in ohio before the gop convention and then ryan will get a sendoff in his hometown of janesville, ohio on monday. >> i tweeted earlier that this
sounded like an unforced error on the part of mitt romney. you knew it was going to revive all the birther stuff out there. >> we have brand new poll numbers out thad that are encouraging for governor romney. every moment is precious. he's going into the ramp up of his convention, he needs to come across as softer, more personable. i reached out to an aide and the aide responded back "i'm too busy bailing out water." it's foolish, it's a ridiculous conversation. >> any day they're not talking about the economy, it's a wasted day. >> this is first time we used likely voters. there's the race for president. president obama at 49, governor romney at 47%. that is a dead heat.
going into the convention season you have a dead heat in the national horse race election. we talked about governor rom niche's image. what do people think of the candidates? 52% favorable for the president, 47 unfavorable. he's above water. and look at for romney, the like live voters sampled tends to be a bit more republican, 50% approval rating there. then we want to look at what do independents think? we know democrats are republicans are pretty loyal. look at this, how close this is. 48% of those who describe themselves as independents say they plan to vote for the romney/ryan ticket. 45% say they'll vote for obama/biden. close elections like this tend to be decided in the suburbs. what do they think? 48% obama/biden, 47% romney/ryan. going into the dramatic back-to-back conventions, a dead
heat in this race. you talk to anybody in the campaigns, they say both candidates have to be as good as can be during conventions. the debates i think will settle the race. >> we also have more numbers on abortion rights in the aftermath of the comments of todd akin. share with our viewers what we're learning in terms of shifts on abortion. >> it's fascinating. you have akin and the rape controversy, the abortion controversy and you have the republican platform which says it calls for outlawing all abortions, even in the cases of rape, incest and life of the mother. even a lot of republicans don't go that far. if you look at the poll numbers, 35% of our likely voters say it should be legal in all circumstances, 9% say most circumstances, 37% say a few circumstances. only 15% say no circumstances. the republican platform is out of touch, out of step with the american people. but look at this, do people think governor romney is going to come to washington and be a culture warrior, an
anti-abortion president? they do. 66% say he would be a republican when it comes to the economy, 60% would be an orthodox republican when it comes to health care, look how the numbers drops when it comes to abortion. >> the republican platform may not have spelled out any exception for abortion but romney at least recently has said he believes there should be exception for rape, incest and certainly the life of the mother. >> he's hardly the first candidate in either party to have some distinctions with key items in the platform. >> john king, thank you very much. >> in a matter of hours, tropical storm isaac could have a devastating effect on haiti. thousands living in tent cities could be slammed by flooding and landslides. then there's the state of florida where thousands of people are beginning to gather for the republican national convention in tampa. let's go straight to our meteorologist and severe weather expert chad meyers at the cnn
weather center with the latest forecast. what's going on, chad? >> let's start with haiti and the dominican republic and work our way to florida. here's the d.r. and haiti. i'm going to zoom this in. it's a 60 mile-an-hour storm here. we did get a little stronger from 40 to 45 and now at 60. here is port-au-prince right there. it's going to be a brutal night for people living inside, outside, whatever, in haiti. 400,000 people living in tents. marty savage is right there. he's going to get a very large band of weather here in the next hour or so. and those winds will at least be 60 to 70 miles per hour there. put it into motion so can you see it. that was a nice still picture. when you get it into motion, you can begin to see the rotation. the eye, or the center, is right there. it's not very organized again today. lost a little bit of convection but it's getting there, starting to get significantly better as
we work our way into the later half of the forecast. it's going to go over a lot of land. it's going to go over cuba and back into the gulf of mexico and stronger again. here's the dominican republic. there's the line between haiti and the d.r. everywhere that's white, wolf, is 10 inches of rain or more. everywhere that's red, 6 inches of rain. all of a sudden now we have 60 mile-per-hour winds and 6 inches of rain in tent cities in port-au-prince. the next stop is cuba, guantanamo bay on the bottom and on up the spine of cuba. as this storm is along the spine of cuba, it's going to be on land most of the time. it's going to get torn up and it's going to look terrible when it gets into the florida keys or in the florida straits but it's going to get a lot stronger. as soon as you get into the straits and into the gulf of mexico, all of a sudden now you get very warm water and will have no sheer. it's going to be bad for
port-au-prince. for now until midnight tonight. it gets better, touches cuba around 10:00 tomorrow, runs over cuba for almost 24 hours, putting a lot of rain down and a lot of flooding for cuba. and then into the keys, maybe key west. i'm not ruling out, because this storm is going to wobble, it's going to sit there and get jumbled up by cuba, that this this evening couldn't come out here in south florida. it still could. south florida, do not let your guard down. i know key west, that's where the center of the cone is but there's more to this storm. if it wobbles too much over cuba. then over to the gulf of mexico getting significantly stronger, a category 1, making landfall somewhere along the gulf coast. i saw many instances today when the hurricane center said this could be a significantly bigger storm than a 1 because there's so much warm water right here in the gulf of mexico. so obviously up here, northern part of the gulf coast, that's a
big threat. now i'm going to show you something here that is part of the computer models that we use all the time and, wolf, what i'm concerned about here is all these lines -- they all try to think what the atmosphere is going to do, what this hurricane is going to do, some think better than others. but most of them are somewhere in here off the coast because right there is tampa. what do you see here, a couple of hours, maybe a day later that this storm is going to do? every single model turns this way. my concern for tampa is this, if this storm takes longer to go over cuba and this turns sooner, it could take it to the west coast of florida. tampa, you are still in the cone. wolf. >> be nervous, be ready. we're standing by at the top of the hour for a new forecast from the national hurricane center. the director of the national
hurricane center will join us live with the information. hopefully you'll be able to join us as well. i want to get the latest information out there for all of our viewers to appreciate. chad, thanks very, very much. >> you're welcome. >> some 50,000 people are heading to the republican convention in tampa, including me. so how do they get out if isaac hits? officials are working on potential evacuation plans. also mitt romney tries to play up his years at bain capital in a brand new op-ed article. can he turn around what some consider to be a negative story line? >> and a gunman opens fire in front of the empire state building. >> all of a sudden there's just cops running down and people are taping off scenes. it was like a scene out of "csi" honestly but it was real. it wasn't that long ago that 9/11 happened. i was just like is this really happening? shipping's complicated.
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thousands of people are already converging on tampa with the republicans presidential convention set to get under way on monday. tropical storm isaac isn't far from anyone's mind. right now our own brian todd is in tampa. official there is, brian, are working on contingency plans when and if the storm were to hit. what's the latest? >> reporter: they're working on those 24/7, wolf. the models that us just talked to chad about say this could track to the west. but officials here know this could also turn suddenly to the east and hit this area. they also know any residual effects from this storm could make things very dicey for the people here about to converge. rush hour buildup on i-275 outside tampa, plenty of volume. and this is a normal day. this city is about to take on 50,000 more people downtown, delegates to the republican
national convention and others. if isaac comes near tampa, officials face a logistical migraine. how are you going to get the 50,000 out of towners out of here or to safety? >> obviously the buses would be available to move folks. the key is to get folks from the low lying areas to higher ground where it's safe. part of that will depend on the track of the storm, which will dictate how bridges are used and people are moved out to the middle of the state. >> reporter: the mayor says sheltering in place could be an option but it depends where people are when the storm hits. neither the mayor nor other local officials would give specifics of evacuation plans. one official said that's due to security concerns but they said they've gamed it all out inside two command centers to, which we got access to. >> it helps keep track of where the system started and where it's move ing. >> reporter: it could cause big problems in the convention zone. this is bay shore boulevard. just a few weeks ago parts of
this road were underwater, flooded by tropical storm debby. tampa bay comes up as a funnel, ends in this corner right here. can you see how close all of it is to the tampa convention center and the forum where the convention is going to be held. officials are worried that not only will they have a headache of trying to evacuate tens of thousands of people from this area during a storm, but that out of towners may venture down here during the storm out of curiosity, not knowing the risks. another major concern, a possible shortage of police. many law enforcement officers slated to patrol at the convention are coming from our counties. if they get hit by the storm, they have thousands of national guardsmen ready to make up the shortfall. >> i would expect their law enforcement personnel would stay. >> reporter: he's talking about police in other jurisdictions who may come from other jurisdictions to help out.
they're slated to do that but may the be able to do that, may have to help out in their jurisdictions. he has national guardsmen slated to help to make up for that potential shortfall. >> what are officials doing to warn out of towners, delegates, journalists, others about the risk of this possible storm? >> reporter: well, they're doing things like putting up pamphlets and brochures in their owe teho rooms, pamphlets that talk about rip sides and storm surge, what to expect when you're walking along an area like. but they're also telling them about evacuation routes, telling them far and wide this is where you go if you have to evacuate, if you're downtown, this is what you should do. they're trying to get the word out to as many delegates as possible because they're going to be staying from areas here and farther out.
>> here's a question. who is the republican who would be president? strategists say he began laying groundwork long ago. >> you want to run for president of the united states and he understood that within the republican nominating process, somebody who was pro-choice or pro gay rights or anything toward a progressive stance would lose. >> still to come, mitt romney's days as governor of massachusetts. gloria borger's new documentary gives us an intimate look at romney's path to power. wow... [ female announcer ] sometimes, all you need is the smooth, creamy taste of werther's original caramel to remind you that you're someone very special. ♪ now discover new caramel apple filled werther's original.
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lisa sylvester is monitoring that right now. what's going on, lisa? >> reporter: across syria fighting is fierce, many are dead and the living are fleeing by the thousands. opposition activist says almost 150 people have been killed in violence just today. cnn is unable to independently confirm the information but heavy fighting was reported in and around damascus, as well as other cities and towns. the united nations say the number of syrian refugees has now risen to more than 200,000. turkey says 3,500 refugees flooded over the border in just one day. and freelance journalist austin tyce has gone missing. and eastman kodak wants to get out of the film business. the iconic but bankrupt company announced yesterday its unit which sells traditional and photographic paper is itself up
to sale. it's been overtaken by digital photography over recent years. the ceo says sale of the division would be a major step towards reorganization. >> and this next surveillance video is likely to make you cringe. tack a look here. a distracted mom carrying her 4-year-old son at a boston subway station yesterday, see there she walked right off of the platform. she fell face down, perilously close to the high voltage rail. fortunately, though, the next train had not arrived and a man and a woman helped them back on the platform. these two people helped out but then vanished without identifying themselves and mother and child were not seriously injured. just unbelievable pictures when you take a look at that and so fortunate that that did not turn out to be a true disaster, wolf. >> thank god for that and thank god for those people who were willing to jump in there and save that mother. appreciate it very much. what a story. >> here's a question.
do you want to know what it's really like to experience the republican national convention from the inside? this tuesday you can join the cnn election roundtable with me and cnn's political team. submit your questions and get answers in realtime in this live virtual chat. don't miss the cnn election roundtable tuesday noon eastern by logging in to cnn.com/roundtable. post why ayour questions and we talk live tuesday. >> it's been a thorn in president obama's side since he came to office and now his opponent putting his own spin on what's going on. listen to this. >> no one's ever asked to see my birth certificate. they know this is the place that we were born and raised. >> what was he thinking? mitt romney we're talking about. our strategy session is coming up next. [ male announcer ] citi turns 200 this year.
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a seemingly off-the-cuff remark today from the republican presidential candidate mitt romney raising a thorny issue that simply won't go away for president obama. >> now, i love being home in this place where ann and i were raised, where both of us were born. ann was born at henry ford hospital, i was born at harper hospital. nobody's ever asked to see my birth certificate. they know that this is the place that we were born and raised. >> big round of applause for that line. let's talk about what's going on
in our strategy session with two cnn political contributor, paul and david. why is he talking about birth certificates knowing how sensitive this whole subject is out there? >> i think the obama campaign has a staff meeting every morning where they say how do we get the republicans in the media to talk about something other than jobs and gas prices? and can we get them to buy at the apple? and it seems like every day they do. jobs, gas prices. gas prices, jobs. dare to be boring. stick to those two things, that's where you live and romney will be president. >> why does he do this? it wasn't in his prepared state, his prepared script or anything like that. maybe he thought he was just being funny. i'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt. >> he ought to listen to david fromme. we're safe from his actually
hearing david's strategy but i think the most likely thing is it was a gaffe. there is, however, a strategic benefit. yes, it distracts from the economy but it also distracts from todd akin, that has dominated with the talk about rape or forceable rape. >> it's off the subject of abortion and on to the subject of birthers? >> i think it was more likely that it was a gaffe but you can't deny that it served tactical purposes today to get us off this horrible, ridiculous rape language his running mate has been using in legislation. >> nothing like a gaffe to distract from another gaffe. these guys are on stage for hours and hours and hours. and the smarter they are and romney is one of the smartest men to run for president, the harder it is to say the same
thing over and over again. it gets boring. one of the challenges of campaigning is the willingness to be boring, to say the same thing all over and over again. it's new to each audience, communication is slow. mitt romney doesn't need to go negative on obama. the bureau of statistics does that everybody month. >> but he hasn't apologized. why not say it was a goof, it was a gaffe, sorry, mr. president, move on. i advise t-- >> here's the tweet the twitter handle put out today. let's put it up on the screen. "song of the day "born in the usa" is mitt romney falling into the campaign strategy to tie him
closer to donald trump," who obviously has supported the birther claims. donald trump is going to be at the convention. we don't know what he's going to be doing. but joe a ppaya will be at the convention as well. >> you send out the cowboys and you round up the stray cows and bring them home and there you put a big barrel over them and keep them invisible from the cameras and there's this contest between the media trying to find the whackiest members at the convention and those trying to put them on a booze cruise and send out out in the middle of the water. it happens at the democratic national convention also because they have their wing nuts. they know this, they're skilled professionals. but this election will be decided by economically anxious middle-aged women. those are the people the campaign needs to talk to every single day.
>> but he needs to shut down this dog whistle -- >> he has always said he believes that the president of the united states was in fact born in the united states. he has always been consistent on that. he doesn't deviate from what line. >> yet, he subset the table of mr. trump and the other dog whistle kooks who are sending out really dishonest, i know, and pretty disgraceful messaging about our president. can you fight about economic issues, fight about foreign policy issues, but the notion of his very legitimacy being undermined by romney's allies and today i think accidentally by mr. romney, it does not help mitt romney at all. >> i think you'll agree on that part. >> it's not helpful. talk about jobs and gas pricepr. >> i thought the article in the wall street journal defending his years at bain capital, he said "i know what it takes to turn around difficult situations, and i will put that experience to work to get our economy back on track, create
jobs, strengthen the middle class and lay the groundwork for america's increased competitiveness in the world. that was a pretty strong article. >> and convincing. there is a lot of artificiality in the obama administration's critique. the obama administration has no problem with private equity, has no problem taking money from private equity, doesn't want to change the rules governing how private equity does business. it just thinks this one particular private equity guy should be made as exorible as possible to keep him away from the job the president has now got. if the obama campaign wants to argue there should be restrictions of buying and selling of companies and of layoffs, that would be an interesting debate. >> there have been a lot of successes at bain capital, if you list the companies, sports authority and others that have done really, really well. >> for him to write an op-ed titled "what i learned at bain
capital," it would be like prince harry say what i wore as las vegas. we know. he learned how to lay people off, cancel their health benefits, lower them up with debt so they can't compete anymore. >> what about people working hard at sports authorities and others who have jobs? >> he rigged the game. if the company made money, they did well. he should pay his fair share of taxes. he made himself millions carrying the health benefits of people. >> are you running the controversial ad which seems to suggest he was responsible for the death of that -- >> it does not say that at all. >> are you running the ad? >> right now it's not on the air but if people will give us more
money, prioritiesaction.org -- >> why aren't you running the ad? >> because you guys have done our job for us. we've got a million hits on youtube for free. >> you're here to -- >> i'm not going to discuss our purchasing strategy. i will thank mr. romney for highlighting our ad. it's a very effective ad and i'm proud of that ad. >> was there one substantive policy change that any major democrat is advocating that would any any way prevent mitt romney from doing all of those things again if he returns to the private sector? >> i would restrict or outlaw debt financed payments. he loaded the company up with debt, used that to pay himself millions and then the company went under. >> you're suggesting annd to the tax deductibility of -- >> no, dividends ought to be paid out of profit -- but that's me as a policy wonk, which i'm not. >> interest payments are tax deductible.
>> i don't want to rewrite the tax code now. >> that's just to kick at somebody. >> mr. romney's record -- his sole calling card for the presidency is i did a great job at bain capital. he caused an enormous amount of pain to people and he got rich off of that. it's his record as government. this is not personal, this is business. >> on that note, we'll leave it there but to be continued down the road. thanks very much. so what about romney's years as a massachusetts governor? what do they reveal about him? >> i think the politics of it have been so complicated that it's ironic that the biggest thing he achieved as governor is something that he almost never talks about. >> gloria borger is here with a peek at her powerful new documentary "romney revealed: family, faith and the road to power." that's coming up.
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days before mitt romney reintroduces himself to america as the republican presidential nominee, we're learning more about the years leading up to this very dramatic moment. our chief political analyst gloria borger has a special documentary on mitt romney. >> reporter: two years into romney's term as governor of massachusetts he sets his sights on something bigger, something that would mean a legacy -- health care.
>> he had not had a major achievement that he could point to as some big political success in a future campaign. he needed something to say i had done this and it was a big deal. >> reporter: romney decided to push for health care to cover everyone in the state, but that meant mandating most residents to buy health insurance. >> the governor felt that it would be wrong for the economy and wrong for our business sector to impose a mandate on employers, to require them to provide insurance to their employees, but he felt it very important that people take responsibility for their own health care. >> reporter: it was romney's big moment, but now a liability. republicans bitterly oppose any kind of mandate. >> think the politics of it have been so complicated that it's ironic that the biggest thing he achieved as governor is something he almost never talks about. >> reporter: no less complicated, the politics of
abortion. while romney was personally opposed to abortion, he ran for governor supporting abortion rights. but once in office and presented with stem cell legislation that would, in romney's view, have the potential of destroying embryos, he changed his mind. >> and i realized that what sounded good in a campaign, when i actually became the governor and was going to be the person who would sign a piece of legislation which could take human life, i simply couldn't do that. >> reporter: democrats say it was about ambition. >> he wanted to run for president of the united states and he understood that within the republican nominating process, someone who was pro-choice or pro gay rights or a progressive stance would lose. >> i didn't see it as a flip flop. i think you saw the tensions between personal beliefs and a
public persona. >> gloria, how much of this has haunted mitt romney in this presidential campaign? >> i think it's haunted him quite a deal and from both sides. not only on the left but also on the right. that's what haunted him during the primaries, that conservatives are very skeptical about him on the issue of abortion, on health care reform. these are two things that have stayed with him, and that's why he's had such a problem rallying his conservative base. maybe paul ryan can help him with that. >> we'll have another sneak peek of gloria's excellent new documentary in our next hour. this important programming note for all of our viewers, can you see gloria's special this soon night, 8:00 p.m. eastern, "romney revealed: family, faith and the road to power." it followed at 9:30 p.m. eastern with a special republican national convention preview. monday night our lead our live coverage of the convention starting at 7:00 p.m. eastern.
>> meanwhile, a deadly shooting in front of the empire state building. just ahead, new information about the gunman and the target. s with just a few ingredients you have an easy dinner... pillsbury crescent dogs... school night ideas made easy. pillsbury crescent dogs... ♪ (train horn) vo: wherever our trains go, the economy comes to life. norfolk southern. one line, infinite possibilities.
we're getting new information that's just coming into the situation room on that shooting outside the empire state building in new york earlier this morning. a gunman and his intended victim are dead. eight more people wounded. what are you learning? >> reporter: what we can tell you, wolf, is this happened during rush hour at one of the busiest intersections in you'll of new york city, shock, terror frankly among all the people trying to go to work here and what we can tell you about, the gun that was used in had
shooting, a .45 caliber pistol. we now know it was purchased in 1991 in florida but the suspected gunman, jeffrey johnson, did not have a permit to carry it. take a look. >> all of a sudden there's cops running down and people are taping off scenes. it was like a scene out of "csi" honestly but it was real. and it wasn't that long ago that 9/11 happened so i was just kind of like is this really happening? >> reporter: shaken and terrified as she was heading to work, 27-year-old rebecca fox watched a deadly shooting unfold in front of the empire state building. >> when i walked across the street, i saw a woman had been shot in the foot and she was just in shock sitting there. and i looked down and saw another man had been laying on the ground and he wasn't moving. >> reporter: cnn has obtained amateur video from the scene. anika watched the scene from a city bus as she was on her way to work. >> i heard the gunshot and
looked toward the left and saw three or four people fall. like i said, the whole entire crosswalk emptied and people were running and we didn't realize that people -- if it was an actual gunshot or what. >> reporter: witnesses say they saw blood on the sidewalk, coffee cups strewn about and people running frantically. police describe the suspected shooter, jeffrey johnson of manhattan, as a disgruntled employee laid off from the garment district about a year ago. they say the man he shot and killed was a former co-worker, who he was feuding with over alleged workplace harassment. >> in a dispute with a former worker, he produced the pistol and fired at close range, striking his 41-year-old victim in the head. >> a nearby construction worker
notified two nearby on-duty police officers who fired 14 rounds, killing the shooter in the process. >> the perpetrator is dead. >> reporter: new york mayor michael bloomberg said some of the wounded may have been inadvertently shot by police. police say the suspected shooter was wearing a suit and tie. at 9:00 a.m. rush hour, he would have blended in with a lot of folks going to work here. but in one hand he had a .45 caliber pistol. in the other, a bag with an additional magazine in it. johnson's superintendent says he lived alone on the second floor of this building. he saw him leave just after 8:00 a.m. wearing the same suit he usually did. his neighbor, stunned. >> i'm in shock. i can't believe it. he was the nicest guy. i think he snapped or something. i don't know. >> reporter: law enforcement tells cnn there is no indication of any terrorism connection. mayor bloomberg, though, has long called to stricter gun
legislation. >> we are not immune to the national problem of gun violence. >> some days i walk to work and that could have been me easily. >> reporter: i can tell you, wolf, we know at this hour that all of the eight other shooting victims have been treated or are being treated at area hospitals. they are all expected to make a full recovery. police commissioner ray kelly told us that they were able to see the whole shooting play out from video taken from surveillance cameras at the empire state building. i asked the commissioner if that video will be released. he said we don't know, possibly after the investigation. no connection in this shooting at this point, though, at all to the empire state building. it just happened in front of the iconic building. wolf? >> thanks very much. at the top of of the hour, we're getting a new forecast from the national hurricane center. the director will join us with
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lisa sylvester is monitoring other top stories in "the situation room." what's going on? >> lance armstrong is facing the loss of seven tour de france titles. the anti-doping agency slapped a lifetime ban on armstrong and stripped of his win since 1988. but their authority to strip his titles is in question. >> and sad news today for "sesame street" lovers, jerry nelson who for decades gave
voice to the long-time character the count has died. here's a clip. >> can you take me up to the seventh floor? >> at least, sixth floor, seventh floor, eighth floor -- >> wait a minute, i wanted to get off on the seventh floor! >> a lot of children learned to count along with the count. jerry nelson was 78 years old. >> good man indeed. sorry to hear that. >> and here in the situation room happening now, the new forecast happening for tropical storm isaac, about to strike haiti where almost half a million people are exposed of the elements, many simply unaware of the danger. meanwhile in tampa, officials are aware of isaac's threat to the convention but now they may have nor threanother threat on hands as well. and president obama will try to steal the spotlight with a
campaign swing while sending joe biden practically to the convention doorstep. anything wrong with that? >> and new signs that underground labs are turning out materials suitable for a bomb. will israel wait to find out? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." >> just in, the latest forecast for tropical storm isaac now bearing down on haiti. cuba is likely next and then it's open water and an open question as to the kind of risk the storm will pose to florida and to tampa, host of the republican convention. let's go straight to our meteorologist, severe weather expert chad meyers at the cnn weather center. you just got the latest
forecast, chad. what does it show us? >> bumped up the wind speed to 65 miles per hour now, and that's a sustained wind. there's probably gusts higher than that. that's the center right there of isaac, and we're seeing these outer bands come on shore for the dominican republic and also haiti. get rid of this. i'm going to throw it down, make it a lot closer. i'll show you where our reporters are. we have one reporter in port-au-prince, gary tuckman and marty savage is right here along the south coast of haiti. we're going to get very large wind and waves here across parts of the dominican republic here in the next few hours with this band as it works its way in. that wind and rain will get into haiti, port-au-prince at least at 60 miles per hour in these outer bands and even closer to the center will be marty savage. he may feel conditions worse than that. getting further out, the rainfall potential is tremendous. mountainous countries could cause quite a bit of flooding
there. and the new track, the 5:00 track, making landfall at 2:00 on tuesday in the north gulf coast. but have i to advise everybody here that we still only look at the cone and south florida, miami dade, you are still in that cone. there are many computer models that do something like this, coming out of cuba, over south florida, back into the gulf of mexico and back in around like that. that's one potential. another potential is coming over cuba and turning here to the right. in that right turn is a little bit too early, we're still talking about the left coast there of florida being in the cone as well. focus on the cone still, still days away, maybe a day or two before you have to really start prepping but you have to start thinking about it now. >> you've been pointing out that this is now a tropical storm but it likely to be a category 1 hurricane as it gets through the warm waters of the gulf after it leaves cuba, if will you. but you've also suggested, and i just want to be precise on, this
chad, that it could be bigger than category 1. how would that play out? >> a couple different scenarioses. this could still go left or r e right. if it gets into the florida straits south of the bahamas here, this is very warm water. if it stays off the coast of cuba a little bit longer, then into the gulf of mexico and making a longer trip to let's say the left side of the cone, that's a long trip. that longer trip would allow it to be in water for a longer time. therefore, it could get stronger. the hurricane center has been talking about this for days. i know we're saying cat 1, 85, but you might have to prepare for certainly bigger than that. if it actually goes south of cuba and stays out of the land mass and gets back into the water this way, only making a short trip over cuba, then it doesn't get torn up very very much and probably remains a category 1 because it doesn't get torn up at all here.
i hate to be vague but you still have to be vague three days out. you have to let people know, south florida and miami dade, you're still in it. >> and we're joined from miami on the phone right now, let me ask you about the possibility, is it likely, possible, this could be bigger than a category 1? >> it is certainly possible, wolf, it could be either stronger or weaker than what we are currently forecast. and it all has to do with how much time it spends over the land masses of first haiti and then especially cuba. on the right side of our cone right now where some of the models have shifted at least for now, it would have a shorter trip toward southern florida and could end up being a little stronger than we're forecasting. if it spend as little more time over cuba, goes a little farther left than we're forecasting, it could be weaker than we're forecasting. as chad mentioned, if it's way
to the left of our current track, it could spend time over water south of cuba. so the land interaction the next two days is going to be critical to determining how strong of a system gets near or over florida and ultimately into the eastern gulf of mexico. >> mr. knabb, chad meyers has a question for you. >> we talked about how this storm had many circulation centers. can you explain how the inner vo vortices stopped it from being one strong. >> it had a lot of spins going on around a mean center. today it has consolidated into one well defined circulation. so it is more -- it's better organized than it was yesterday but it still doesn't have the
core that a high-end tropical storm right near the threshold hurricane or hurricane itself would have. it isn't quite there yet and it going to run out of time this evening before it interacts with haiti. that's why we're not explicitly forecasting a hurricane, though a watch is still up for haiti. and then the stay over cuba would disrupt whatever core it's trying to develop until it gets somewhere north of cuba and then has the opportunity over warm waters to try to resuscitate itself in terms of its inner corp. a few years ago ernesto had trouble ever getting back once it got out of cuba. we'll have to see what comes out of cuba over the weekend. >> like 50,000 other folks i'm heading towards tampa tomorrow for the republican national convention. how worried should we be? >> well, tampa is just one of the many places that has the
potential to receive tropical storm force winds, heavy winds and potential for some storm surge at and near the coast. the risk of strong winds and other hazards due to the water are very similar all the wave up the west coast of the florida peninsula and along the florida panhandle. so it's not like we can pick out tampa as having a greater risk or lesser risk than anybody else on the west coast of florida. but it's something to watch out for or be prepared for if we have to issue tropical storm warnings for that area. it's possible a tropical storm watch will go up for the west coast of florida during the weekend here. whether or not we get a direct hit in tampa is too early to tell. it could go farther offshore. >> chad, go ahead. >> people always wonder how come this is such an inexact science and it truly is. i try to tell people we don't have instruments everywhere like
weather balloons like we have over land to give us an idea what the atmosphere is truly like. you have the g-4 high altitude hurricane hunt are out there today and we're getting a better feel for the atmosphere. tell us thousand works. >> that noaa flies into the into the hurricane through the eye but it circumnavigates, flies around in the environment and drops these parachute-born incidents and those data go into the computer forecast model to mainly improve the track forecast. the first mission of that jet was yesterday evening. another one is flying now and we'll fly another one in the morning. we fly this specifically for hurricanes to improve the track forecast when we're in that watch warning time frame.
we're throwing every aircraft reform we have at this from noah and the air force. you mentioned why is this such an exact science. not enough data to represent everything going on in the atmosphe atmosphere. this is a particularly difficult situation, it depends how much time it spends over water. >> richard knabb, director of the national hurricane center, we'll stay in close touch with you. obviously a huge, huge story. chad, i appreciate everything you're doing as well. don't go too far away. >> meanwhile in haiti hundreds of thousands of people have been living in tents since the island was hit by a devastating earthquake about two and a half years ago. they're completely at the mercy of the storm. gary tuckman is joining us from the capital of port-au-prince.
gary, tell us what's going on right now. i assume that folks are bracing for the worst. >> reporter: well, the winds are starting to pick up, wolf, the rain is starting to come down but we are in one of the largest tent camps that was set up after the earthquake of 2010. there's no special preparations taking place here whatever. one of the big concerns here, can you see the shacks on the hilltop. there's a lot of mudslides here in haiti. there's concern those could collapse and we don't know what's going to happen when tropical storm isaac comes through haiti. there are still 400,000 people still living in tents since the earthquake. we talked with the president of haiti and they acknowledged they're doing their best to get people out of camps and into the shelters but they know they can't get everyone out. we talked to them about what
they're doing with the people who are going to stay in the camps. listen. >> the ones we are taking out of the camps, it's mainly young men and people who are tough who are remaining behind and we're telling them if there's an emergency to go on the high grounds, to have their stuff maybe packed up and their important papers and also to be ready to move to the shelters because the shelters cannot shelter like thousands of people. but in case of emergency, they can -- we will have to put more people in these little room under this solid roof. so the real answer to your question is those who are very vulnerable, they are moved out of these camps. and the ones who are remaining
behind are those who are stronger to fight the situation. >> reporter: so the president and his prime minister say they are going camp to camp and there are lots of camps here in port-au-prince trying to get as many people as they can out. they're fully acknowledging they're not going to get everyone out and they're quite worried, as are we. usually people who don't evacuate just aren't listening to the people who tell you to evacuate but for these people, they don't have a place to go. people here are very hungry. they're very nice people and they're going to be here tonight when this tropical storm comes through. wolf? >> our heart goes out to all those folks in haiti. be careful. let's hope it's not as bad as it could be. appreciate it very much. meanwhile, clashes and chaos. security is stepped up in tampa
amid intelligence that extremists may be planning violence. that's coming up next. an american diplomatic vehicle comes under fire in mexico. we're learning surprising new details at who pulled the trigger. and ann romney talks about the moment she received a medical diagnosis that changed the lives of her family. ♪ ♪ ♪ with a subaru you can always find a way. announcer: love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. so, what's the problem? these are hot. we're shipping 'em everywhere. but we can't predict our shipping costs. dallas. detroit. different rates. well with us, it's the same flat rate. same flat rate. boston. boise? same flat rate. alabama. alaska? with priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service.
of werther's original caramel to remind you that you're someone very special. ♪ now discover new caramel apple filled werther's original. want to update our viewers on a shooting incident in mexico today. it seems a lot of confusion as to what happened. update us on what we know. >> okay, wolf. this happened at 8:00 this morning and apparently there was a u.s. embassy vehicles that had two officials from the embassy -- >> in mexico city? >> someplace not too far away, that's a little unclear. they are driving down the road, two embassy officials and one mexican marine. as they're driving down, they
apparently come under fire from the mexico federal police. we are told there was an operation that the police were carrying out. this car they see going down the road, they show their weapons, they begin to follow it. the embassy vehicle not realizing what is going on begins to flee. so the other car, which is the police, begin to fire at them. luckily at the end of it nobody is seriously injured. we understand that there were no life threatening injuries. the mexican marine did have a minor concussion and they are now talking to the mexican federal police officers to ask them what precisely happened and they might be prosecuted. but the mexican government is cooperating, they're in communication with their counterparts and they are now supporting the personnel, as they need to. >> you can see gunshot wounds in that vehicle. three people were wounded as gunman shot near mexico city, two americans, one mexican, is that right?
>> wounded or injured. one appears to have had a concussion. he might have been jostled. unclear at this point. >> mexican federal police shot at this u.s. diplomatic vehicle? >> yes. they were carrying out an operation? >> the mexican police? >> correct. >> they didn't understand it was a diplomatic vehicle? >> unclear they had diplomatic license plates. that is still unclear. woman, you and i have both been to embassies around the world. it's not a marked vehicle. a lot of times it's simply like a white van and we are not at this point sure precisely what the license plates are. >> we have a close-up pictures of the license plate in the back where we saw the bullets in the rear window. let's see if we can make out if that's a diplomatic -- maybe we can zoom in, see in that's a diplomatic license plate. michelle, is that a diplomatic license plate based on what you see? no, you can't tell. she can't tell. thank you.
>> thanks, wolf. >> we'll stay on top of the story, right? >> absolutely. >> security is tightened at key points in tampa as authorities prepare for an assault by anarchists. they've been warned that anti-government extremists may try to get close to area bridges and sit off devices. brian todd is in tampa. they have a potential hurricane they're worried about, they're worried about anarchists. brian, what are you learning? >> could be the convergence of a couple storms down here, wolf. they are worried about the anarchist threats here. uf mentioned the specific things they're concerned about, we'll get to those in a second. there is precedent for this. anarchists and other protesters caused trouble in 2008 outside the republican national convention, they battled with police on the streets. it was a big mess then. according to an fbi and homeland
security bulletin that cnn obtained, officials are concerned anarchists may travel to tampa and try to shut down traffic on the bridges. there are 15 bridges that go in and out of tampa. they may used improvised explosive devices. officials are quick to tell us they don't have any specific threat but i did speak to the mayor and he gave me an indication of what the police and authorities are doing to monitor these anarchist groups. >> we've seen indications that they are here. we know their patterns are to send out advance teams and scout out the locations. you know, we are observing that, we're morning terrinitoring tha. we're asking our citizens if they see suspicious activity to call us. that's what happened last week when we found an anarchist related stash of bricks and
rocks. so we're on top of it. >> there have been video on youtube affiliated with the hacker group anonymous. there are videos calling on their followers to converge on tampa, to cause problems. that is another kind of factor that's playing into this whole intelligence buildup for these groups possibly converging on tampa. >> thanks, very much. we'll stay on top of this story, too. potential violence, anarchists may be emerging. >> new details about the suspected gunman in those colorado theater shootings. court documents say there were warnings of james holmes' deadly plans. >> and a sightseeing drive takes a dramatic turn. we're going to tell you what happened after a giant boulder crashed through the windshield. it took a mighty machine, and plain old ingenuity
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there are new worries coming into the situation room that the accused gunman in those colorado theater shootings had made previous threats. lisa sylvester is monitoring that. what are we learning? >> we are taking a look at new court documents that reveal james holmes had conversations with a classmate back in march about wanting to kill people. the documents show holmes failed his graduate school oral boards and was denied access to the university of colorado after making threats to a professor. the documents say holmes then launched his plan to amass the arsenal that was used in the theater attack. he's accuse of killing 12 people and injuring 58 others. >> the man who admitted killing 77 people in a bomb attack and shooting rampage in norway last
year has been sentenced to at least 21 years in prison. a norwegian court ruled he was sane at the time of the attacks. he said he acted out of necessity to prevent the is s m islamization of his country. >> the court today ruled that requirements push the bounds of the first amendment protecting free speech and are therefore unconstitutional. the court's vote was divided 2-1. >> and amazinamazingly the peop riding in this car weren't badly hurt. two massachusetts men were sightseeing in oak creek, california were sightseeing when a bowled are crashed through their windshield. the 150 pound boulder rolled in between them and landed into the passenger's lap. both men just suffered minor
cuts. you would not want to be driving along and suddenly that lands in your lap literally. >> no. they're like to be okay. >> very lucky. you figure it fell between them. if it had gone either way, they could have died. >> good news for them. >> mitt romney surviving the birther controversy. his comment sparking an angry reaction from the obama campaign and democrats. james carville and anna navarro are standing by. >> and full speed ahead for iran's nuclear program. there are indications that underground labs are turng out material suitable for a bomb. here's the question -- will israel wait to find out? i've got a lot of paperwork, and time is everything here. that's why i upgraded to the new sprint direct connect. [ chirp ] and the fastest push-to-talk nationwide. [ male announcer ] upgrade to the new "done." [ chirp ] with access to the fastest push to talk, three times the coverage, and android productivity apps.
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ann was born at henry ford hospital, i was born at harper hospital. nobody's ever asked to see my birth certificate. they know this is the place i was born and raised. >> we're joined by james carville and anna navarro. he just gave a statement. he said, no, no, not a swipe. i've said throughout the campaign and before there's no question about where he was born. he was born in the united states. this was fun about us and coming home. and humor, you know. we've got to have a little humor in a campaign. you like humor all the time. that was okay? just have a little humor about birth certificates? what do you think, james? >> it made rush limbaugh and donald trump awfully happy. there are seven birthers speaking at the republican convention. but he's not very good at humor. so we know that. i'm willing to chalk it up as just another flop joke on mitt
romney's part but people will read into it whatever they want. here's the man that always says we need to talk about the real issues in the campaign so i guess he can talk about that as wells as he can talk about anything else. >> anna, the obama campaign put out a statement saying "throughout this campaign governor romney has embraced the most strident voices in his party instead of standing up to them. it's one thing to give the stage in tampa to donald trump, arpaya but to directly enlist himself in the birther movement should give pause to any rational voter across america. that's a pretty tough statement there. >> if there's something that we've mastered in this political race is feining outrage. we've seen jokes about ann romney's dancing horse that she
uses for ms therapy, we've seen obama make jokes about mitt romney and his dog. so we've seen some jokes, some come off better, some come off worse. i agree with james. i don't think mitt romney is that funny. i think he's a lot better when he's serious. i would say, mitt, don't give up your day job, don't go looking for a job at the improv, stick to your day job. >> president obama 49%, romney 47%, that's certainly within the 3.5% sampling area. this is a fiercely tight contest, isn't it? >> yeah, it is. but if you look at the registered number, compare them to the last time as we pointed out in the press release, there's been mno movement here. we've moved up 2 among registered. it is a tight contest. 2 points seems like within the kind of range that it is.
we'll see how the conventions move this but i think we are in for a tight election, there's no doubt about that and i think the poll reflects that. >> in your opinion, what's more accurate, likely voters or registered voters in these national polls? james? >> obviously the likely voters are what you're going to poll at the end, the theory being that more people come closer. but we poll likely voters, we don't poll registered. but the only thing i have to compare to the cnn poll is the previous poll, which shows about the same, a slight improvement of 2 points on president obama's part. i think not much is changing in this election. i think that's what's really at work here is there's been very, very little change in the numbers across the board. >> very, very close race by all accounts.
anna, you've heard these roomum they may move mrs. romney's speech, maybe because of this tropical storm isaac. it could come at marco rubio's expense a little bit. what are you hearing? >> florida is florida right now. the cuban american stations are buzzing with this rumor that there is a possibility that marco rubio will get bumped from the thursday night speech where he was to introduce mitt romney, who accommodate mrs. romney, who would then are moved to thursday. i understand that rubio would possibly be moved to tuesday night. i think it's a mistake. the cuban american community and other hispanics see marco as a home guy, our political star. it's a mistake to bump the one hispanic on primetime, it's a
mistake to bump the governor of florida with one of the best oratories if not the best. i would tell you in politics today, figure out a way where marco rubio gets to keep his slot. we've seen the hispanic numbers and it's going to be a very big disappointment for the hispanic community and cuban americans. they had great expectations for him on the vp thing. that didn't happen. we said this is a great consolation prize, he's going to get a great spot at the convention. the one thing that mitt romney cannot afford to do in florida is antagonize the cuban americans. if he doesn't win them big, he loses florida. >> guys, thanks so much. we'll see you obviously in tampa. meanwhile, defiant in the face
of international pressure, diplomacy reportedly failing once again, coupled with new word on iran's nuclear progress. >> and a turning point for romney's family. a pivotal moment that brought ann romney to tears. (train horn) vo: wherever our trains go, the economy comes to life. norfolk southern. one line, infinite possibilities. ♪ wow... [ female announcer ] sometimes, all you need is the smooth, creamy taste of werther's original caramel to remind you that you're someone very special.
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the latest diplomatic effort to resolve the standoff with iran on its nuclear program has failed. reuters reporting talks between the international atomic energy agency and iran ended today. our foreign affairs correspondent jill doherty is following all of these late-breaking developments. it looks at least on the surface based on reports we're getting that iran is stepping up its
activity? >> yes. it's bad news at a very bad time, wolf. in july iran's president ahmadinejad boasted his country had 11,000 centrifuges to enrich nuclear fuel, about a thousand more than it reportedly had just two months before. now the international atomic energy agency's new report to be released next week is expected to confirm that iran is accelerate being its nuclear program, installing hundreds of new centrifuges that would enable iran to increase production of 20% enriched uranium, putting it closer to the next level, what's needed for a nuclear bomb. what's more, the enrichment is happening deep underground at the enrichment facility. >> they were to have a crash program where they used both enrichment facilities that we know of, the timeline decreases about two month, enough fuel for
one nuclear weapon. >> the west has imposed tough sanctions. there also have been cyber attacks on iran and several nuclear scientists have been killed in mysterious circumstances. but negotiations are at a standstill. >> at the moment we have no plans. >> reporter: the report is likely to be a red flag to israel, which argues time is running out fast to launch a military strike to stop iran's nuclear program. an administration official that we spoke with said that they are concerned by iran's ongoing nuclear activities, but the white house, wolf, we talked to them and they said there still is time, they believe, for a diplomacy to end pressure in order to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon and they add the developments at the fordo facility don't change that assessment. the u.s. timeline is a little
more liberal than the israeli timeline. >> it's a desperate struggle to survive in a war zone. syrian doctors are risking their lfs to treat wounded civilians. we'll have an exclusive look at what they're facing. >> and a tragic car crash solidifies mitt romney's faith. that's coming up at our 6:00 p.m. eastern hour. but you see, with the help of her raymond james financial advisor, she had planned for every eventuality. ...which meant she continued to have the means to live on... ...even at the ripe old age of 187. life well planned. see what a raymond james advisor can do for you.
syria and thousands more have been displaced internally. in this exclusive cnn report, jim clancy reports those who stay are at serious risk of getting caught in the violence. we must warn our viewers that firsthand scenes from this war are very disturbing. >> reporter: screams of pain, pleas for help and prayers inundate an emergency room in aleppo, syria. a bomb exploded as these civilians waited in line to buy bread. now sprawled on the floor, they wait for someone to treat their wounds, to save their lives. >> there are many wounded people. >> reporter: in the heart of this chaos, the doctors and staff are beacons, take note of that as you watch these images.
because if any of them are arrested, they know they will be executed almost immediately by the regime. it's going to be another record day for the hospital. men, women and children of every age suffering from every kind of round imaginable come here for help. >> 150. >> reporter: they are keeping score here. each patient treated is another small victory in a war where innocent civilians are the targets. some will be quickly patched up and sent home. others will undergo major surgery that will mean the difference between life and death. spanish journalist ricardo garcia spent 20 days documenting the real-life drama as a medical staff fights to keep this hospital open. people are depending on them. >> translator: why all this? what's with this bad president? aren't we his people? >> reporter: on the littered streets, shattered homes,
syrians denounce the president. >> translator: where does he think he's bombing, israel? >> reporter: residents sleep in shelters, wait for the next bombing, in this, their living nightmare. others stand and fight, but there are times when even the hospital cannot save them. near the hospital entrance, free syrian army fighters bid farewell to a comrade in arms. he's gone to paradise, the fighter shouts. he's gone to paradise. there's nothing here. these doctors and their assistants face risks every bit as dangerous as fighting on the front lines. if captured, execution. and they know well the regime is out to get them. doctors recount how military intelligence agents came to the hospital to kill them. the free syrian army thwarted that assassination, but nothing stops falling bombs, a near miss
with a 500-pounder shattered the windows. jets later scored multiple rocket hits on the third and fourth floors. >> i'm afraid -- you don't would see me here. >> reporter: but they are all here at work at the hospital and grimly preparing to treat the next victims of syria's bloody civil war. jim clancy, cnn. >> the story gets worse and worse and worse. also, other news we're following. it was an event that changed the lives of mitt romney's entire family. we're going to preview a portion of our in-depth profile. romney revealed with a close look at ann romney's medical diagnosis.
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sunday night cnn will air a major profile of the presidential candidate mitt romney. in romney revealed, gloria borger explores how faith and family have shaped romney's life and political career. here's a preview of our in-depth conversation, gloria's in-depth conversation with mitt romney, his wife and son about the medical diagnosis that changed their lives. >> reporter: it was just before thanksgiving, 1998. >> she began to see some numbness on her right side. it began spreading larger and larger. she was having more difficulty getting upstairs. we went to a neurologist. >> reporter: romney's life was about to take an unexpected and unhappy turn. >> we went into his office and he performed an examination and it was very clear that she was flunking the examination. she couldn't stand on her right
foot without falling over and so forth. and he stepped out. and she began to cry and i welled up tears as well and we hugged each other. and she said something is terribly wrong. >> reporter: at age 49, ann romney was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. an incurable disease that can shut down the central nervous system. >> you don't know how much is it going to chew me up and spit me out and when is it going to spit me out. how sick am i going to get? is this going to be progressive? am i going to be in a wheelchair? and it's a very, very frightening place to be. >> and i know ann was really distraught and distressed with the diagnosis, particularly as time went on, because she was really ill for quite a while. >> i really just was having a very, very hard time and was very depressed. and had kind of given up a little bit. >> it was a tough moment for both of them. it was interesting to see the
way he treated her as they went through that, very caring, very loving. very frustrating for him not to be able to step in and fix it. but it was -- you know, they drew even closer. >> even when i was as sick as that, he would curl up in the bed with me. >> take a minute. >> so, you just knew that that's where he was. it was like he was going to do anything he could to just say i'm here, you're okay, just stay right there and we'll be okay. >> reporter: as the romneys were struggling to get ann's ms under control, they were about to be faced with a challenge of an entirely different sort. >> and deplogloria is joining m. gloria, for the campaign she is certainly a major, major key to bringing out a different side, shall we say, of mitt romney.
>> reporter: well, what i discovered in talking to ann romney at great length is that she's probably mitt romney's best character witness. and that's why they want her to be seen by millions of americans and that's why they're talking about maybe changing the night that she speaks, because they understand that what she does is show another side of mitt romney. they understand that his likability ratings are not anywhere near where they would want them to be. and you just saw that clip from mitt romney talking about her husband and how he treated her with her ms and i think that's the kind of thing that they want americans to see as they try to humanize mitt romney, if you will, and also they want women to see that, because the key to this election, wolf, is going to be suburban women. and they understand that mitt romney -- that ann romney is their secret weapon when it comes to speaking to those voters. >> i spent time with her and her husband. she is an amazing woman indeed.
>> she is. >> her story is very, very inspiring. gloria, thanks so much. to our viewers, you can see gloria's special sunday night, 8:00 p.m. eastern. romney revealed, family, faith and the road to power. afterward we'll have a special convention preview. starting monday night, by the way, i'll lead our coverage of the convention. all that begins 7:00 p.m. eastern. happening now, haiti, cuba and the united states in the path of the storm as isaac turns closer. also a campaign joke or an unforced error? the uproar over mitt romney's birth certificate comment. plus, a navy s.e.a.l.'s controversial book and the strict warning from the head of u.s. special operations. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in in the the situation room.
it was one of the most contentious issues of the presidential campaign and now it's roaring back to life. mitt romney telling a crowd in his home state of michigan, and i'm quoting now, no one has ever asked to see my birth certificate, an apparent reference to the controversy over where president obama was born, an issue settled months ago when the white house released the president's birth certificate. cnn's national political correspondent, jim acosta, is out on the cam trail with the very latest. >> reporter: wolf, just as mitt romney was about to reintroduce himself to voters, he made a birth certificate joke, and the obama campaign is not laughing. mitt romney was on a roll, riding into michigan on his campaign bus with his wife and running mate at his side. but moments later, the gop contender took what appeared to be a sharp turn into birtherism, cracking what sounded like a
joke at the president's expense. >> now, i love being home in this place where ann and i were raised, where both of us were born. ann was born at henry ford hospital, i was born at harper hospital. no one has ever asked to see my birth certificate, they know that this is the place that we were born and raised. >> reporter: the comment drew an instant rebuke from the obama campaign. governor romney's decision to directly enlist himself in the birther movement should give pause to any rational voter across america. >> thank you. thank you. >> reporter: the romney campaign told cnn the candidate wasn't using prepared remarks and that it was just a reference to the candidate's michigan roots, saying in a statement the governor has always said and has repeatedly said he believes the president was born here in the united states. but the line was a hit with some in the audience who say they still have doubts about the president. >> i personally loved the joke. i am one of those people, so i really believe that holding out
on giving that birth certificate out publicly was the wrong thing to do. >> reporter: president obama has joked about the subject himself and his campaign has made light of the conspiracy theories by putting mr. obama's birth certificate on mugs. >> mitt and i grew up here, we fell in love here. >> reporter: but the comment quickly overshadowed the attempt to reintroduce romney to voters just days before the convention. ann romney choked up as she talked about the couple's early days. >> it's amazing. >> reporter: and in a media blitz they are getting personal. romney said i'm an emotional person. there is a, i don't know, societal norm that if you're running for office you can't be emotional and perhaps i bow to that too much. polls show romney still trails the president on likability but leads on the economy. to work on romney's personal appeal, ann romney is the featured speaker on the opening night of the convention. tuesday brings a tribute to ron
paul and then it will dive into romney's leadership and the mormon church. a reversal for a campaign that has avoided talk about the candidate's faith. they will have one more appearance in ohio before the gop convention and romney will get a send-off in his hometown of janesville, wisconsin, on monday. wolf. >> thanks very much. and tonight mitt romney is trying to play down the birth certificate remark as simply as joke. listen to what he told cbs news. >> it was great to be home, to be in a place where ann and i had grown up and the crowd loved it and got a good laugh. >> but this was a swipe at the president and i wonder why you took it. >> oh, no, not a swipe. i said throughout the campaign and before there's no question about where he was born. >> the obama campaign is trying to cash in on the controversy. the campaign website calling it, quote, a new low for romney and includes an appeal for donations. the latest on tropical storm isaac closing in on haiti right
now, threatening potentially deadly flooding, mudslides, and millions of americans are also in the storm's predicted path as well. tropical storm watches are now posted in florida. our meteorologist and severe weather expert chad myers is tracking isaac for us in the cnn hurricane headquarters. chad, what's the very latest? >> still 65 miles per hour. hurricane hunter aircraft flying through it now. let me tell you the u.s. government is spending a lot of money on this hurricane. we have had planes in this thing, hurricane hunters, the high planes, they really -- the u.s. really trying to do it right because they know the potential that this storm has. right now the dominican republic seeing an awfully lot of rain, port-au-prince as well. i believe maybe 40, 50-mile-per-hour winds for haiti. the bigger threat will be the flooding. it will be the flooding because we have so much moisture wrapping around the center, which is right there. i can actually find the center for a change. and more moisture. our marty savage is right there and we'll have a live shot from
him later in the show if we can get it because he's getting some brutal weather right now. here's your tropical storm watch for south florida and for the florida keys. a watch means it could happen within 48 hours. conditions could be favorable there. obviously they are. the track does take it over cuba and into the gulf of mexico. miami, you are not out of the cone. tampa, you are obviously still in the cone but the cone goes all the way to new orleans, louisiana. still days away. there's only one thing, wolf, i can guarantee, that that track will probably change in three days before it finally gets close enough for us to tell really where it's going. >> chad, thanks very, very much. let's get the latest from tampa right now where it's not just isaac threatening the republican convention, but anarchists as well. our own brian todd is on the ground for us in tampa. brian, what's the latest on that front? >> reporter: a couple of different storms, including isaac, could be converging on this place, wolf. we'll deal with the storm first. as you just heard chad talk about the models going all over the place, officials here know
very well that this storm even if it tracks west could take a sudden turn toward this city. they also know any residual effects of this storm could make things dicey for the thousands of visitors about to converge on this town. rush hour buildup on i-275 outside tampa. plenty of volume, and this is a normal day. this city is about to take on 50,000 more people downtown. delegates to the republican national convention and others. if isaac comes near tampa as a hurricane, tropical storm or residual band, officials face a logistical migraine. >> how are you going to get the 50,000 out of towners out of here or to safety? >> obviously the buses would be available to move folks. the key is to get folks from the low-lying areas into the higher ground where it's safe. part of that depends on the track of the storm which will dictate which bridges are used, how people are moved out to the middle of the state. >> reporter: mayor bob buckhorn said sheltering in place could
be an option but it depends where people are when the storm hits. neither the mayor nor other local officials would give specifics of evacuation plans. one official said that's due to security concerns. but they say they have gameday it all out. inside two communication centers which we got access to. >> it helps keep track of where the system started, how it is moving. >> reporter: even remnants of this storm could cause big problems in the convention zone. this is bayshore boulevard, a main drag here in tampa. just a few weeks ago parts of this road were under water, flooded by tropical storm debbie. tampa bay comes up as a funnel, ends in this corner right here. you can see how close awful it is to the tampa convention center and the forum where the convention will be held. a storm can cause one kind of chaos, anarchists can trigger another. extremists posted this video on youtube threatening to shut down the rnc. they did it at the republican convention in 2008. according to an fbi and homeland security intelligence bulletin, law enforcement officials are
concerned that anarchists could try to use improvised explosive devices in tampa, could try to close area bridges. there's no specific threat, but -- >> we've seen indications that they are here. we know that their patterns are to send out advance teams and to sort of scout out the locations. you know, we are observing that. we are monitoring it. >> reporter: another major concern, a possible shortage of police. many law enforcement officers slated to patrol at the convention are coming from other florida counties. if their jurisdictions get hit by the storm -- >> i would expect that their law enforcement personnel would stay as opposed to coming here to help out. >> reporter: mayor buckhorn says if that happens, they have got more than 1,000 national guardsmen ready to deploy to hopefully make up that shortfall in police and hopefully that will be enough if that happens, wolf. >> brian todd watching all of this unfold, thanks very, very much. kate bolduan is here as well. i'm worried about both, potential hurricane, violence, heading off to tampa tomorrow.
>> absolutely. that's one thing we are definitely watching for and keeping an eye on. some other news we want to get you caught up on. some of this video may be difficult to watch. this is amateur video capturing the horror of the scene. police say a designer who lost his job last year shot and killed a former co-worker in new york today and then engaged in a gun battle with police in which he was shot and killed. eight people were wounded. some may have been shot by police. we are told it happened just as tourists were lining up at the empire state building. >> all of a sudden there's just cops running down and people are taping off scenes. it was just a scene out of "csi" honestly, but it was real. and it wasn't that long ago that 9/11 happened so i was just kind of like is this really happening. >> police say the shooter was 58-year-old jeffrey johnson. his victim, 41-year-old steven
urkelino. mexican and american officials are trying to figure out why mexican federal police fired on a u.s. embassy vehicle on a highway south of mexico city today. two americans and one mexican marine accompanying them were hurt. the injuries are not life-threatening. officials say the incident started when police flashed their weapons and the driver of the embassy car tried to evade them. syrian opposition groups are reporting at least 180 people killed today in fighting, including more than two dozen children. the impact of the civil war crisis is spreading throughout the region. the united nations says more than 200,000 refugees have now fled syria pouring into turkey, jordan, iraq and lebanon. and we are just now hearing that a verdict has been reached in the closely watched and high-stakes legal battle between apple and samsung. we don't know yet what the verdict is. we are waiting and watching for that. the two companies are suing each other for patent infringement in a california court with apple seeking $2.5 billion and samsung about half a billion dollars.
dan simon is in the courtroom. as soon as the verdict is announced, we will bring that to you. this is a lawsuit, a legal battle going on for more than a year and closely, closely watched. obviously a lot of money at stake. >> thank you. just ahead, our brand new cnn poll kicking off the convention season with a surprising new look at the state of the presidential race. we're breaking down all the numbers for you. and a pivotal event that changed mitt romney's life and helped form his fate. it happened while he was serving as a missionary. he talks about it with cnn's gloria borger. and cyclist lance armstrong is giving up his fight against doping charges. what that decision may cost him. at bank of america, we're continuing to lend and invest in communities across the country. whether it's supporting a delaware nonprofit that's providing training and employment opportunities, investing in the revitalization of a neighborhood in the bronx, or providing the financing to help
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obama is their choice. 47% say mitt romney. but with a 3.5 point sampling error that's a statistical tie. let's talk about this with ron bronstein. you wrote a fascinating piece about the individuals, both of these presidential candidates are searching for. >> your poll really captures where we are. we talked about a very close race with a slight advantage for barack obama. the new math for barack obama, he won 80% of minority voters in 2008. they are about a quarter of the electorate. if he holds that percentage, he can win with 40% of whites. your poll shows him exactly at 40% among whites. really close to the bare minimum he can attract in order to win. once again, a big difference between those college educated white collar white women who are socially liberal and the rest of the white electorate. kitty holland ran the numbers for us today. 53% of college white women supporting obama.
39% or below among college white men and noncollege white men and women, so this one group of white women plus minorities are just enough to hold him ahead but with really no margin for error. >> i'll put the numbers on the screen and show them to our viewers. likely voters choice for president among whites. obama 40%, romney 56%. that's a big 16-point gap. look at this choice for president among likely voters who attended college. obama a nice 52% to romney's 45%. and look at this, likely voters choice for president among women, just women, 54% obama, 42% romney. that's a 12-point spread. does he need more than that among women? >> i think, look, this is probably about -- this is kind of reality for the president. and the reality is, is the gender gap is much more a function of kind of upper middle class than working class america. i mean if you look at your poll, obama is running almost exactly
the same among white men without a education and waitress moms, white women without a education. the gender gap, democrats have won them in four of the past five elections. obama was at 52 in '08 and he's holding there. that creates enormous mathematical pressure on romney. if obama holds his '08 percentages, romney has to win almost two-thirds of everybody else. that is not impossible but it is a steep hill. >> and, ron, we want to get your thoughts real quick. there's been really fiery, almost a firestorm of reaction, especially on social media today, over mitt romney's remarks that he made at a stop in michigan. he says it was a joke, it was not a swipe at the president and kind of hinting towards nodding towards the birther controversy that has really been put to rest, but what was your reaction when you heard this brought up and you heard that remark? >> taking him at his word that it's a joke. it's still an odd joke. if you look at your poll, there is enormous enthusiasm on
republicans. you have this very big gap between registered voters, where obama is ahead by nine. the republican base is energized. what romney really needs to do is move some more of these swing voters, particularly these upscale women who have been part of this democratic coalition. and that is just not the tone. his potential advantage is running as a less partisan, less ideological problem solver. that is his road into those suburban counties that have moved democratic since the '90s and helped democrats flip states like michigan and pennsylvania. this is kind of the wrong tone, the wrong road to be going down. i'm guessing we don't see any more jokes from him along those lines. >> even with humor you need to be careful. >> very careful all the time. i called it an unforced error when i was tweeting. i take him at his word, it was a joke, but it wasn't very funny. here's a note for all of our viewers, you can experience what it's like to be at the republican national convention. on tuesday i'll host the roundtable along with our cnn
political team. submit your questions and get answers in realtime. join our live virtual chat tuesday, noon eastern. log on to cnn.com/roundtable to find out what's going on and we'll do it. >> of course we bill. also coming up, politician do so a lot of talking and seem to have a language all their own. just ahead, our john pberman wih his always unique take and unique translation. plus the horrifying video of a woman and her child falling onto train tracks. find out what happened coming up next. you see us, at the start of the day. on the company phone list that's a few names longer. you see us bank on busier highways. on once empty fields. everyday you see all the ways all of us at us bank are helping grow our economy. lending more so companies and communities can expand, grow stronger and get back to work. everyday you see all of us serving you,
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here's a quick look at some of the stories that are trending right now on cnn.com. dramatic surveillance video of a woman and her child falling onto the tracks at a train station near boston. a man then jumped into the pit to grab them, handing the child up to passengers on the platform. our affiliate whgh reports the woman was rushing to catch an incoming train. both are recovering at home. scary, scary moments. and this is a horrific story to tell you about. a 19-year-old missing woman has been found after reportedly managing to escape a st. louis home where he was held captive for several years. police raided the home of the man who is allegedly responsible. the suspect is also believed to have fathered a child with this woman. and the man who admitted killing 77 people in a bomb attack and shooting rampage in norway last year has been sentenced to at least 21 years in prison.
a court ruled he was sane at the time of the attacks. he said he will not appeal. he says he acted out of the necessity to prevent the, quote unquote, islamization of his country. finally trending tonight, cyclist lance armstrong is giving up his fight against doping charges and it may cost him his seven tour de france titles. the u.s. antidoping agency immediately issued a lifetime ban on armstrong and stripped him of his wins since 1998. but the agency's authority to strip him of those titles is in question at the moment. international agencies will review the decision. the editor in chief of bicycle reacted. >> i think he's picking the least worst of his options. i think he can claim the moral high ground and correctly portray this as a witch hunt. it definitely appears to me like it was an unfair process that came after him and at the same time i think it's an acknowledgement on his part, not spoken, that he's cornered, that
the charges are largely accurate and he's guilty of a lot of these doping allegations. >> armstrong has consistently said that he has done nothing wrong and said, as he said, it has been a witch hunt against him but nike, his sponsors, nike, anheuser-busch, they're sticking with him. >> we'll continue to watch this story as well. thanks, kate. in just a few minutes, the many facets of mitt romney. perhaps the deepest was carved many decades ago. in a compelling documentary, our own gloria borger uncovers the terrible event that solidified mitt romney's faith. at 41 past the hour, tropical storm isaac bearing down on haiti right now, where hundreds of thousands of people still live in tents. we're going there live. stay with us, with you're "the situation room." one a day men's 50+ is a complete multi-vitamin designed for men's health concerns as we age.
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next week he'll officially become the republican presidential nominee, but there's still much about mitt romney that so many people don't know, including one pivotal event that changed his life and helped form his faith. it happened while he was serving as a missionary in france. he talked about it candidly with our chief political analyst, gloria borger. >> reporter: by the time the 1968 french riots ended, mitt romney had been promoted to be the assistant to the mormon mission president anderson.
they had an urgent assignment. >> they had got word that there was some little dispute in the southern city in this mormon congregation so they decided to drive down to try to resolve it in person and mitt was driving. >> reporter: it was a warm summer day in june when they began a six-hour drive between paris and the south of france. romney was driving anderson and his wife, leola. >> they, i believe, were in the town of beaulac. and as they come north, they come near the top of a hill. at the top of the hill in their way is a mercedes. they had no time to react. it was -- the car was on the wrong side of the road. >> reporter: and the mercedes driver, apparently drunk, slams into them at full speed. both cars crushed and mangled. mitt romney and leola anderson, unconscious. >> george called me on the phone and said we have some bad news about mitt but he didn't tell me
what. he came and picked me up and took me to his home. i had word that he was killed. >> the policeman on the scene apparently thought i was in worse condition than i was and wrote in french "he is dead" on my passport. we waited for hours and hours, most of the night to get word from france that he was actually alive. >> i was knocked unconscious and only recall waking up for a brief moment in the ambulance going to the hospital. >> reporter: it turns out romney had a severe concussion and broken bones. but leola, the mom away from home to 200 young missionaries, was dead. >> this was a huge deal. i mean this rocked the mormon community, not just in france but all over the world and in salt lake city. >> it was a great time of challenge and soul searching for all of us. >> reporter: and by the end of his mission, romney had cemented his faith. >> these things drew me closer to the eternal and convinced me that in fact there is a god, that jesus christ is the son of
god and my savior. and these are features that continue to be important in my life. >> that is so, so compelling. gloria is joining us right now, gloria, how surprised were you that mitt romney really, really opened up so dramatically to you about all of this? >> reporter: well, what was really interesting to me, wolf, these interviews were a long time in the making and at first i think the campaign was really reluctant to have romney talk about his faith, to have the candidate talk about these times in his life when he served as a mormon missionary in france and the car accident that you just saw. but i think over time, and i think you'll see this at the convention coming up next week, they decided if you look at the candidate's likability numbers, that they needed to let people in because running for president is a very personal vote. and people aren't going to vote for you unless they have a sense
of you, feel they know you and feel that they trust you. and i think that inside the campaign, a decision was made to allow romney to do just that and to answer these kinds of questions. and you see that both in ann and in mitt romney himself. >> and you also really delve into his life as a church leader at some critical points in his life. he opened up to you about that as well, didn't he? >> reporter: he did. and what's interesting about the mormon church is that there's no paid clergy. so members of the congregation are asked to in effect serve as voluntary pastors. and at the age of 34, romney was asked to serve as the pastor of his church in bellmont, massachusetts, and he did what pastors do, which is he ministered. so if there was a sick kid or if somebody's roof needed repair or somebody in the parish needed help or was going through a divorce, they would go to mitt romney and he talked to us about that. wolf, that's not the way you
really think of mitt romney. there were some women in the congregation, this is a time when femnism was gaining ground. they'll say he didn't listen to our complaints and you'll hear from people in his church with whom he was quite close. >> gloria, it's so interesting, just this morning a romney campaign adviser on a conference call of reporters mentioned that members of romney's local church who had worked with him will play a role in the convention. so how important do you think it is that romney do more of what he did with you in the documentary, talk more about his faith? >> reporter: well, i think that's what you're going to see at the convention. but, you know, it's got some risks, because evangelicals, lots of them, believe that mormonism is a cult. that's why romney was very reluctant to talk about it and that's why in the 2007 campaign he had to give a speech on his
faith and then decided after that, well, maybe i don't need to talk about that anymore. so there are lots of people who are curious about mormonism and i think this is something in the end that is so central to who mitt romney is. when you ask the question what's at his core, i think one of the things you'd have to say is that it's his faith and the people of his congregation describe him as devout. and very involved. you know, i think when you weigh that on balance, the campaign is saying, you know what, this is who he is. and we need to open that window to the voters. >> gloria worked really, really hard on this documentary. >> thank you. >> i know you traveled to france to gather information, you were all over the country. this is must-see tv sunday night, gloria. we are really proud of what you accomplished. thanks so much for doing it. our viewers will be gradeful for you to doing it. you can see gloria's special
this sunday night, 8:00 p.m. eastern, entitled "romney revealed, family, faith and the road to power." afterward we'll have a special convention preview. starting monday night, i'll be leading our live coverage of the convention. that starts monday night, 7:00 p.m. eastern. it's going to be great. >> it will be great. wolf will not be sleeping for the next two weeks. >> no, we'll all be on television a lot. other news we're following right now, including hundreds of thousands of people living in tent cities and tropical storm isaac is coming. when we come back, we're going to haiti. we'll go there live. our correspondents are on the ground. and later, the pentagon is in an uproar over a soon-to-be released, unauthorized book about the raid at the compound that took down osama bin laden. stay with us, you're in "the situation room." you can feel. introducing the all-new cadillac xts. available with a patented safety alert seat.
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in just a matter of hours, tropical storm isaac could have a devastating impact on haiti. hundreds of thousands of people in tent cities could be slammed by flash floods and landslides, not to mention the risk of disease that comes with it. cnn's martin savidge is one of the most impoverished areas. martin, how are residents there prepari preparing? >> reporter: right now isaac is preparing a cat and mouse game. there have been bands of rain coming in but the wind is pretty much calm right now and there is no rain falling but that is expected to change in the coming hours. as far as how are people preparing here? they haven't been doing much for a couple of reasons. number one, they have been through this drill before and storms have never materialized so they're jaded about all the warnings they have been getting from the government.
on top of that the reality is many don't have money to buy the things you might use to prepare and they certainly don't have other places to go than where they're already living and that's the problem. many of them are living in very difficult and very flimsy conditions. port-au-prince, hundreds of thousands of people living in tent cities. it's been that way ever since the earthquake of 2010. even in this area which was also devastated by the earthquake, there are severe concerns about flooding. that's the problem with this particular storm. it's not the winds of this tropical storm, it is the water. it's expected that you could have anywhere from 14 inches plus that would fall. haty has a very steep mountain terrain here. as a result, the water would come flooding down those mountain sides and roaring into the towns. landslides could be a very real possibility. that's what the mayor fears. i spoke to him and he says residents are being prepared to evacuate, but so far nobody has moved. wolf. >> you know, our colleague and friend gary tuckman is in port-au-prince, haiti and spoke
with the haitian president about efforts to evacuate people in the capital city, especially those in tents. any sign of any similar event, any such evacuation, where you are in a much -- even poorer area? >> reporter: no, none whatsoever, wolf. the mayor says that they have prepared certain areas to move people if necessary, but he says it's a waste of time to try to get people to move before the rain starts falling or the wind starts moving in, because they say people just don't pay attention. so they have to wait until the very last minute. that's so counter to the way in the united states, where they give days of warning and ask people to move at least a day in advance. here they don't expect people to start moving until the weather closes in. of course that's the worst time of all to leave shelter. >> be careful over there, martin. we wish only the best for all the folks in haiti. it's going to be an awful situation, i fear. thank you very much. while tropical storm isaac is setting its sights on tampa, so are we are. tom foreman is sitting in for erin burnett on cnn's "erin
burnett outfront" that starts at the top of the hour. the republican convention will be mitt romney's true coming-out party. what's on the horizon, tom? >> well, i tell you what's on the horizon, wolf. let the hurricane go by. there's going to be a storm of money coming out of the republican side of this race. now, what impact that's going to have, that's going to be the big question. we're going to talk about that a little bit. plus the big terrible shooting today over at the empire state building. we'll have the police commissioner of new york with us to talk all about that, wolf. it's coming up outfront. >> tom foreman, thanks very much. we'll see you right at the top of the hour. meanwhile, ominous fallout from an exnavy s.e.a.l.'s new book about the raid that killed bin laden. and politicians seem to have their own language. cnn's john berman is here to translate all of this for the rest of us. stay with us, you're in "the situation room." irp ] with android apps, you get better quality control. so our test flights are less stressful. i've got a lot of paperwork, and time is everything here.
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a controversial new book by a navy s.e.a.l. who took part in the mission to kill osama bin laden is causing an uproar over at the pentagon and raising serious concerns about the safety of special forces. cnn's pentagon correspondent, barbara starr, is joining us with more on what's going on. barbara, the top commander now weighing in directly. what's the latest? >> reporter: absolutely, wolf. you know admiral william mccraven, you've got to him, you know he doesn't pull his punches. well, now he has fired off a three-page message to the troops that he has written personally, furious, reminding them of several things. first of all, reminding them, as if they had to be reminded, they have signed classification agreements.
they can't disclose classified information. reminding them if they do want to write a book, they have to submit it for security review to make sure there is nothing classified in it. the pentagon says this author, the former s.e.a.l., did not do that, that he had to. we talked to an expert lawyer about this matter about what this former s.e.a.l. could now be facing. >> the failure to submit it for such review is a violation per se of the agreement, flat-out violation, and subjects that individual to potential civil penalties. royalties being seized, any type of advance being seized. >> reporter: admiral mccraven even threatening to go as far as criminal prosecution if the troops violate their security agreements. that may be very tough to do, but that's what he's putting on the line. and now, wolf, as you say, there is a militant website, at least one of them, posting a picture of this navy s.e.a.l., calling
if not a death threat for his life to be over, this is the very thing that the military worries about, that jihadists are going to find out who america's special forces are. now it looks like they have found out the identity of at least one of them. >> scary one of them. >> scary stuff. give me an example or two of the kind of classified information that worried the u.s. military brass, that might have been released. >> yeah, good point, wolf. on this raid, a couple of things concern them, in particular. there was this secret stealth helicopter that crashed into one of the compound walls. by all accounts, the author was on that helicopter and he writes about the contract and getting out of the helicopter. if he disclosed information about how that technology worked, if he disclosed information about s.e.a.l. tactics and procedures, if he disclosed information, maybe something didn't work right, maybe besides the helicopter crash of course maybe some piece of technology did not work
appropriately. all of these things are classified. you're not allowed to just suddenly decide to disclose them yourself when you're in the u.s. military, it could pose a real problem, wolf. >> it certainly could. barbara, thanks very much. kate, i've spent some time with the head of u.s. special operation, not that long ago. i can only imagine how upset he must be. >> we'll have to wait and see how this back and forth continues. very interesting, nonetheless. also, a historic discovery in a tennessee attic. an audio recording of a long-lost interview with martin luther king jr. it's giving absolutely new insight into his hopes for the civil right movement. cnn's lisa sylvester has details. >> reporter: dr. martin luther king jr.'s words have been inscribed, quoted, passed on to generations and have touched tens of millions of people. now, 44 years after his death,
words from dr. king that have never been heard before. >> if one is truly nonviolent, that person has a loving spirit. >> reporter: those words come from an audio recording reportedly found in an attack in chattanooga, tennessee, hidden till now. the date, december 21st, 1960. dr. king being interviewed on topics ranging from nonviolence and the impact of the sit-ins. >> when the history books are written be in future years, hiss store yians will have to record this movement as one of the greatest epics of our heritage. i think the movement represents struggle on the highest level of dignity and discipline. no one of good will can disagree with the ends of the sit-in moveme movements. the end to break down all barriers between people on the basis of race or color.
>> reporter: the recorded interview was supposed to be used for a book on racial tensions but the author never finished the project. his son found the tapes rummaging through old boxes. he declined an interview. but a broker who was handling the sale of the original reel to reel spoke to cnn. he is a collector of rare artifacts. >> i authenticated the reel. it is a 1960 reel to reel. we played this for john lewis who is a civil rights legend, and he said this tape is so significant and important, he said, i want all of congress and the president and everyone to hear dr. king's message about nonviolence over and over. >> reporter: harry johnson is president and ceo of the washington, d.c. martin luther king jr. national memorial project foundation. he believes there are more hidden recordings out there. >> you're going to see more and more people saying, hey, i found this in my dad's attic, somewhere in the basement, some rare finding of of what dr. king said or did in 1960, '61, '62,
'63. >> reporter: johnson says the words of dr. king are as relevant today as they were 50 years ago. lisa sylvester, cnn, washington. >> lisa, great report, thank you so much. still coming up, politicians do quite a lot of talking and they seem to have a language all their own. up next, our john berman with a unique political glossary. ♪ wow... [ female announcer ] sometimes, all you need is the smooth, creamy taste of werther's original caramel to remind you that you're someone very special. ♪ now discover new caramel apple filled werther's original. in communities across the country. whether it's supporting a delaware nonprofit that's providing training and employment opportunities,
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we thought it would be useful to provide a kind of political glossary. according to apple, the magic of the i-phone is -- >> if you want to check snow conditions on the mountain -- >> reporter: the magic of being a politician, no matter what you say or what you do, there's a word for that. >> if it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. >> reporter: a word for a comment that sets off a major controversy and political firestorm? misspoke. >> i misspoke one word. >> reporter: what's the word for what you do after a political acquaintance mystiques? distance. >> ryan and romney want to distance themselves from akin's comments. >> governor romney and other republicans to distance themselves -- >> reporter: how about a word for that specialm misspeaking that seems to cause repeated embarrassment? >> they'll put ya'll back in chains. >> reporter: that's called a distraction. >> his phrasing is a
distraction. >> reporter: notice the attempt to distance himself from the distraction of the misspeaking. then, other political words. a wife is never a spouse but a secret weapon. a friend colleague or co-worker who goes on tv to talk about you, a surrogate. >> president obama, through health care reform, strengthened medicare. >> reporter: and what comes out of their mouths, talking points. >> they're in a dialogue with the people about jobs and the economy -- >> reporter: of course if a surrogate goes off their talking points and misspeaks, it can be a distraction and then distance is in order. if that doesn't work, you don't just ask said person to quit. you ask them to -- >> spend more time with my family -- >> reporter: family. it provides few distractions. now, if that's not enough, we understand that vice president biden will be in tampa during the republican convention. he won't just be visiting, he will be bracketing the republican convention. the republicans tell us they will do the same thing in charlotte but they'll i