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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  August 31, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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♪ remember dick nixon >> nixon's slogan throughout the 1960s was "nixon's the one." it was a slogan and then it also became a song. so the democrats would like to tease him at times. so in rallies, republican rallies, the democrats dressed up a series of maybe 20, 30 nuns looking pregnant and they each carried a sign saying "nixon's the one." the idea of nixon impregnating nuns is so hysterical you can't not be mad at it. it was something about the dirty tricks they played in the old days that weren't as mean spirited. i mean, that's so absurd that you have to laugh. you can't be mad at it. ♪ nixon's the one >> music has changed over the years. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. "outfront" next, a million cars spent on every job. ben bernacki says he created. does it add up?
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plus, an exclusive sneak preview about a cnn documentary about the president and new details about his personal life. an update on an "outfront" investigation into federal employees who got paid to work from home but get to travel across the country on taxpayer dimes. tonight, an answer. let's go "outfront." good evening, everyone, i'm erin burnett. "outfront" tonight, $1 million per job. that's what america's top money man says we've spent on stimulus from the fed alone. and he says that is money well spent and he may spend more. today ben bernanke was in jacksonville, wyoming. a bucolic location for a big speech. he defended his actions to help the u.s. economy. the fed chairman appointed by george w. bush, embraced by
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president obama, criticized by some influential people, including mitt romney, has a little bit of an image problem now. as president romney for example ben bernanke would lose his job. >> my view has been i would want to select someone who was a new member -- excuse me, a new person to that chairman's position, someone who shared my economic views. >> romney's running mate, budget hawk paul ryan, is not a fan either because ryan chided the chairman during a hill hearing earlier this year. >> a lot of us believe the federal reserve was too loose for too long in the 2003 to 2005 period and that's what in part led to the asset bubble and the malinvestment that occurred. i know you don't agree with that. because you don't agree with that, our fear is you're just going to repeat these same mistakes again but by orders of magnitude we don't even comprehend now. >> paul ryan is right about one thing. what the fed has done over the past few years has never happened before in history.
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the question is, will ryan and romney's words backfire? after all, ben bernanke could be the kingmaker or breaker. the man who controls who wins in november. picking on him and saying you're going to fire him could drive him to, well, announce another round of fed spending. and that announcement just on its own could send stocks higher. and as jim bionko of bionko research has noted, that is trush crucial. he notes president obama's numbers rise and fall in tune with the stock market. so a rise in stocks could mean everything to the president. but as to whether more money from the fed will work, the record so far is dicey. that's why today in that huge speech in jackson hole, wyoming, ben bernanke made 43 references, 43, to other experts to bolster his view. that his easy money for america is working. pimco executive vp tony cresinsi tells "outfront" that is double the references he has made in
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his lifetime. this is a guy who is a brainy professor. he likes to reference academic things. why is he so offensive? why does mitt romney for example think ben is dead wrong? here's the facts. in total, the two rounds of what is referred to as quantitative easing, ben bernanke's fed has injected $2.3 trillion into our economy. that's $2.3 trillion that did not exist before the fed created them. bernanke today said something pretty incredible. he was trying to prove why that $2.3 trillion has worked. he said this is why, it has created 2 million private sector jobs. those jobs created as a direct result of his easy money. well, that's pretty interesting. because that's an interesting link between jobs and how much he spent. because that is not a cheap cost per job. in fact, it is more than a cool million dollars per job. $1.2 million to be exact. so let's just repeat that because it did take a second to digest it. it's $1.2 million per job.
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for those who are keeping track, we are not counting the president's extra $2 trillion or so dollars in stimulus in that money. just the fed's money. history, though, may prove ben bernanke is completely right. as i said, this has never been done before. as he said today, taxpayers may make money on his policy. the big question now is with unemployment still stuck above 8%, should bernanke go for it again? make $2.3 trillion, $2.8 trillion, $2.7 trillion? so far as we've reported on "outfront" each round of easy money, quantitative easing, has had less of an effect than the one before. the goal is to lower interest rates and spark lending. interest rates only went down in a meaningful way after the first round. we'll go by the u.s. 30-year fixed mortgage. that's a good benchmark. it fell from over 6% to just over 5%. round two in june of last year. the 30-year mortgage rate during that round actually went up.
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the truth is these rates are low no matter how you look at them. low rates in and of themselves have not met more lending in america or an economic recovery. stephen moore join us from "the wall street journal" and laura tyson, member of president obama's council of jobs imperative. i'm really glad to have both of you here. you have very divergent points of view. stephen moore, let me start with you, because you were probably thrilled when bernanke said 2 million jobs and you could divide the $2.3 trillion and get $1.2 million per job. that's a pretty high number. >> yeah, sure is. i was hardly thrilled by it. if we're going to put another let's say 1 million people to work, we're going to have to print $1 trillion more. i'm not sure that's such a good bargain. i'm not so sure. i'm not as rosy as you are about his performance, bernanke and the fed's performance, over the last three or four years. it is true, they printed several trillion dollars. we've had a couple million jobs
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created. it's also true, erin, with this record amount of money creation and low interest rates we've had the lousiest job creation in any post world war ii recession since the great depression. so where is the evidence that this works? one last point if i may. >> yep. >> you asked the question, is this going to bail out barack obama, is the push for kqe3 goig to help obama get re-elected? i doubt it. doesn't matter what the fed does at this point in my opinion. because it usually takes 3 to 6 to 9 months for those dollars now to really percolate through the economy. >> laura, what's your point of view? will history prove that ben bernanke is right? that this is something that saved and helped the u.s. economy or not? >> i think history will prove him right. i think that it's very, very -- i want to do three "verys" misleading to talk about spending money. it is correct to say the fed has been involved in a balance sheet
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transaction. it has been buying assets. it is holding those assets on its books. it believes, and i think there is evidence to support this view, that those assets will make money for the taxpayers. so to compare this to government spending is just misleading. number one. number two, i think it's really misleading to suggest in any way that bernanke and the fed would be influenced by the election in terms of what they would do. this is an evidenced-driven group. that's why they cited the 43 studies. unlike, unlike, if you listen to the speeches of the candidates in the convention this past week, there was no evidence. there were just assertions and there were asterisks. so the fed is following a set of evidence. the fed will make a decision on what to do based on the state of the economy. they have said that on and on and on for the past several years. they look at the um employment
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rate, they look at the inflation rate. the employment rate suggests and the inflation rate that there is a reason to do more qe now and they said fairly soon. >> i want to follow up on something. we talk about the fed not being political. i think everybody gives bernanke credit for not being political. really, we're all aware the man has been registered as a republican. let me ask you this because chuck schumer, democrat, obviously, put out a statement about ben bernanke today, about those remarks. and he said, it's clear bernanke as he looks at the economic indicators believes it's time to prime the pump, ie, go out with more money. he should not let any political backlash deter him. laura, isn't that political pressure? >> don't agree with senator schumer's statement either. i think that one of the most important features of the u.s. economic system is the independence of the fed. the fed with leadership now that looks at the economic evidence and makes very reasonable decisions. i do not think politicians
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should be commenting on the fed. >> you know, laura, i agree with that. >> particularly in a political season. >> i agree with your point. i wasn't trying to make the point the fed is being political. what i was trying to say is i think it's probably too late no matter what the fed does to influence what's going to happen with the economy before the election. my major point, though, and maybe this is where laura and i disagree, i just don't think creating economic growth and creating jobs is as easy as just printing money. if it were, we'd be out of this mess. i just don't see any evidence that it has worked very well. >> all right, i'm only going to hit pause there because i know laura disagrees with the definition printing money but we will have both of you back. thanks to both. have a great long weekend zbloob "outfront," after a week of attacks from the republicans, how should president obama fight back? the mayor of los angeles and chair of the democratic national convention antonio individual a rosa is "outfront" next. plus, money raised for
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victims of the colorado theater shooting. why haven't they received any of the money? and how a tell-all book about the raid that killed osama bin laden could send a navy s.e.a.l. to jail. yes. i didn't realize i'd be talking to an actual person. you don't need to press "0," i'm here. reach a person, not a prompt whenever you call chase sapphire. there's natural gas under my town. it's a game changer. ♪ it means cleaner, cheaper american-made energy. but we've got to be careful how we get it. design the wells to be safe. thousands of jobs. use the most advanced technology to protect our water. billions in the economy. at chevron, if we can't do it right, we won't do it at all. we've got to think long term. we've got to think long term. ♪
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our second story "outfront," fighting back. in just four days, the president will get his turn to make his case against the attacks like these. >> the president hasn't disappointed you because he wanted to. the president has disappointed america because he hasn't led america in the right direction. >> these past four years, we have suffered no shortage of words in the white house. what is missing is leadership in the white house! >> you listened to the last guy running for president. help laid out what he would do. he was unable to do it. >> fighting words. so what does the president need to do at his convention? "outfront" tonight, the mayor of los angeles, national co-chair for the obama campaign and chairman for the democratic national convention. the man in pole position for all the key issues next week. mayor, great to see you. those were a few of the samples of what we've heard over the
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past few days out of tampa. mitt romney and paul ryan attacking the president's leadership on many fronts. should the president respond in kind? >> absolutely not. he's going to be presidential. he's going to tell the truth. something novel at the republican convention. you saw soaring rhetoric. there were a lot great speeches. but there wasn't a lot of meat to either what governor romney had to say or really what most of the speaker, had to say. so i think the president is going to focus on his plan. a $4 trillion plan to cut spending, to reduce the deficit. a plan to keep medicare strong. a plan that will make sure that we don't extend the bush tax cuts on the super wealthy so we can maintain the quality of life and not raise taxes on the middle class. a plan that will invest in education and infrastructure. a plan that will move america forward. you know, if you listen, if you
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read the platform of the republican party, you would think they're trying to repeal the 20th century. they're taking us back. with those platforms. but interestingly enough, their speeches didn't speak to the platform. they spoke to soaring rhetoric. and i think we're going to put a lot more beef in our speeches. >> well, obviously, the candidate and the republican party's in an awkward position in that he doesn't agree with some of his party platform, which is a separate conversation. let me ask you this, because you talk about the president's plan. there's also this reality, right, four years in a row of trillion dollar deficits. gas prices up 9% in the month of august, unemployment still above 8%. it's been a bad four years for a lot of people. how does the president get through that and say, i'm going to do something different now? >> well, let me tell you, according to -- first of all, we've created more jobs -- there have been 29 straight months of a growing economy. we created more jobs in the last
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year than bush did in the eight before that. according to moody's annally e theic s, if they keep moving forward, they can create another 12 million jobs. there's no question that we've got to do so in a way that's balanced. we've got to protect the middle class. we've got to make investments that will pay dividends down the line. that's different from what mr. romney would do. would extend the deficit for 29 years. so the budget hawks who talk about reducing the deficit would actually extend it. their plan would undermine medicare. their plan would put $5 trillion of taxes -- cut $5 trillion in taxes and raise taxes on the middle class. that's very different from what democrats and president obama wants to do. >> this is going to be an interesting war of ideas. i am excited to see you in
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charlotte, six look forwar, loo seeing you in person. >> i look forward to seeing you too. still ahead, $5 million raised for the survivors and families of people killed in that horrible shooting in the colorado movie theater. so why has none of that money been handed out? "outfront" investigates. and disastrous flooding in the wake of isaac. ed for their every financial need. and then, in one blinding blink of an eye, their tree had given its last. but with their raymond james financial advisor, they had prepared for even the unthinkable. and they danced. see what a raymond james advisor can do for you.
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our third story "outfront," accused colorado shooter james holmes is back in solitary confinement tonight. today, a psychiatrist testified she contacted campus police after their last meeting, june 11. that was six weeks before the massacre that killed 12 and wounded 58. survivors and families of victims are asking questions about $5 million that have been raised in donations for them. they say they haven't seen much of the money. they're demanding answers. our kyung lah investigates. >> reporter: with every step, josh nolan feels shooting pain where a bullet ripped through his calf and broke his arm. this was nolan, a 31-year-old navy veteran, a day after the shooting. >> i'm still alive. >> reporter: a month later, he's now swimming in bills.
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he's on short-term disability. only getting half of his paycheck. struggling to support his two children. even though donors across the country gave $5 million to a victim's fund. nolan and 70 other survivors and family members have only received $5,000 each. >> it's like being teased with a bunch of money. like, here's $5 million but you can't touch it till i say so. >> reporter: so where is the rest of the $4.6 million? sitting in a fund. >> this isn't rocket science, what i do. >> reporter: fineburg knows that all too well. because he's been the administrator for high-profile victims fund. 9/11, the bp oil spill and virginia tech. he was able to distribute millions in just 45 days. >> here are the rules. he is eligible. here's how much money you get. the check's in the mail. >> reporter: the nonprofits in aurora have set up a complex
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system. this is the community first foundation. they're holding the funds. >> so it's not as simple as writing the check? >> to whom and for what purpose. i think that's the part we want to be smart about. >> reporter: she says the nonprofits immediately hit hurdles. a gag order on law enforcement that made it difficult to verify all the victim's names. now they're trying to form a community input group and then the governor's office got involved. and then another layer of nonprofits. this is the colorado organization for victim assistance. they actually give the money to the victims after community first foundation releases the funds. but cova wouldn't talk to us, citing that gag order, but they did say this. >> 100% of the donations that are coming to cova are going to the victims. >> reporter: the frustration from the families is there shouldn't be all of these middle men involved, all of these nonprofits. that it should be money from the donor directly to the victims. >> get the compensation
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delivered to the victims. and their families as soon as possible. delay is the enemy of these programs. >> reporter: this $5 million fund what would you like to tell the administrators of the fund? >> get off your butt and get the funds to the people who need it. >> reporter: till that happen, nolan will continue to limp along, basically on his own. kyung lah, cnn, aurora, colorado. >> the governor of colorado held a meeting today with victims families and the nonprofits, pledging to help them. now, no money was actually issued issue ed but the nonprofit said they will speed up the process. next, an update on an "outfront" investigation. the federal government paying employees to work from home. on top of spending taxpayer money to have them travel across the country. it's a question we have been asking for months. tonight, an answer. and the pentagon threatening to go after a navy s.e.a.l. who
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we start the second half of our show with stories we care about, where we focus on our reporting from the front lines. and we begin tonight with isaac.
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some residents across the gulf coast are cleaning up from the hurricane. others are still being asked to evacuate. authorities say four deaths have been reported and utility companies tell us tonight that more than 600,000 people in arkansas, alabama, louisiana and mississippi are without power tonight. meanwhile, republican presidential nominee mitt romney toured damage and met with first responders in new orleans today and the white house announced president obama will travel to louisiana to meet with officials monday. a federal judge has halted a new law that restricted early voting in ohio. ohio's new law had cut off early voting for most people three days before the election. this was a procedure the obama campaign has been fighting saying it would primarily affect minority and low-income voters who will vote much closer to the election in their view. the judge agreed, granting an injunction, saying the public interest deserve eis served by early voting to all voters.
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the governor of ohio says he disdi will file on tuesday. it's an important gauge of what people are going to spend and it hit an early high. we spoke to an economist who said the improving job market will help but the longer term is still -- could be pretty grim. there's uncertainty in the political world and of course the problems in europe. facebook shares today hit a new all-time low in trading. many brokerages came out and cut their price targets from where they think the stock could actually trade and it closed at $18. that is 52% lower than where it ipo'd. analysts say the upcoming lockup expirations -- basically what that means is insiders and big investors who were in at the beginning, they're going to be alo allowed to sell. when they're allowed to sell, they think the stock will go down even further. it has been 393 days since the u.s. lost its top credit
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rating. fed chairman bernanke's remarks did give a lift to the stock market today. all three major indices ended the day higher. the dow gained 90 points. an update on an investigation we first brought you last week. how the federal government's general services administration is spending your tax dollars on its employees who work from home full time. now, a lot of companies do this. they say it saves commute time, office space and hassle. maybe people aren't as productive, maybe they are. some of these government workers, actually quite a few of them, don't even live in the city or state where the office is located. the costs are adding up. here's an example of one gsa virtual employee we told you about last week. >> reporter: we'll call him mr. x because he hasn't personally done anything wrong. in kansas city, when the gsa was looking for a new business development specialist, mr. x,
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in hawaii, emerged as the perfect candidate. for $86,000 a year, he was on the federal payroll, living and working not even at the gsa's office right in downtown honolulu but from his home as a virtual employee of the kansas city office. >> now, mr. x has had to make 13 trips since he was hired which has cost taxpayers nearly $33,000. just in travel. now, remember, this is the agency whose mission is to monitor how much other government agencies are spending. it was created in the spirit of helping provide a transparent government for the american people. drew griffin from our special investigations unit has been trying to find out for months how much all this extra travel is costing. it's his voice you heard there. his report on mr. x. you have gotten delay after delay after delay, drew, from the gsa. but tonight some answers? >> reporter: yes, some answers. actually we got them earlier this week, erin, while you and the rest of america were
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focusing on the republican national convention, that's when the gsa finally gave us a breakdown of all this. gave us the actual figures. of how many people are virtual employees. 379 of them work for the gsa. all over the country. only one in hawaii. over the last four years, these work erbs have racked up $7.7 million in travel costs. that guy in hawaii is the only one that caught our attention but there are, now, even worse examples of excess spending, erin, for these programs. more than $140,000 in travel costs over four years by a gsa employee based in miami whose office is in washington. another one costing taxpayers $64,000 over two years lives in the state of washington, travels back and forth to his office in washington, d.c. this is the kind of waste the gsa's new acting administrator says he's going to end, vowed to
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end it. >> interesting, drew. as you point out, you've been asking for this information for a very long time and it companies out in the middle of the republican convention. maybe they thought you wouldn't notice it but they were wrong. a follow up for you. as you pointed out last week, mr. x, the person who lives in hawaii who supposedly was the perfect candidate for the person in kansas city, think you said -- the gsa said look, he was the only guy who could do this job. a lot of people say, really, there's only one person who could do that job? and you've got to pay for them to travel? >> that was the nibbinitial argument. that's just in about a year, erin. we're told he's no longer traveling. let me tell you about another guy and you make your own judgment. he worked for the gsa based out of the washington, d.c. office but actually lives in leewood, kansas. for a while, he was the project manager assigned to oversea the renovation of the thurgood
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marshall courthouse in new york. he made 58 trips from leewood, kansas, to new york city. it cost us $99,000 in travel costs. that project was criticized for $75 million in cost overruns. now, i'm going to tell you, he no longer works for the gsa. i've got to ask the question of gsa, they couldn't find a potential candidate in new york city? i mean, the talent pool is so weak in new york city you had to go to leewood, kansas? >> to a guy who had the courthouse overrun by $75 million? i mean, that's -- well, that's sometimes the numbers and the words speak for themselves. one other thing, though, is a lot of people -- there was a lot of response to your report last week, about mr. x. we heard from some viewers who said, what's the big deal, don't you have to travel as part of business? these people were a little bit more understanding. >> yeah. we can only report that whatever excessive travel that was so
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needed, the gsa has now stopped. the virtual program has ended its excess travel. the acting administrator telling us lots the kind of travel we've done in the past like the ones we brought to their attention, the guy in hawaii, no longer acceptable. again, you have to make your own judgment call. were these people really needing to travel? we're also told the virtual workers themselves, they're going to be reviewed case by case to see if it really makes sense to have people in miami working in d.c. or a kansas city-based employee living in hawaii. >> i think we're all very grateful to drew griffin for being the one to go out and expose this and get them to make some changes. thanks so much, drew. >> thanks. now to the controversy surrounding the release of a new book by a former navy s.e.a.l. he was the second man in during the raid to take down osama bin laden. it's called "no easy day." a firsthand account of the mission to kill bin laden
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written by mark owen. that's a pseudonym. his real name is matt bessonett. he faces charges for failing to have the book reviewed by government. according to the department of defense, the former navy s.e.a.l. has a continuing obligation to never divulge classified information. this is a national security attorney who has hired many cases like this one. he is "outfront" tonight. let's just start off with he signed these agreements that he can't ever divulge classified information. now the pentagon is saying, look, we're considering legal action against this man. what could they charge him with? >> they have a few things they could charge him with. one, seek a civil suit against him for breach of contract. essentially he failed to submit the book for prepublication. that would subject him to civil penalties like seizure of his
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royalties or his advance. if it is determined he disclosed classified information, he could be subjected to criminal penalties and a sentence in jail. >> so he could actually have to serve jail time? >> yes. >> any sense from precedent if it were to get to that how long? >> well, there's never been a prior case where an individual who wrote a book was sentenced to jail. there have been leaked prosecutions of course. the case isn't over yet. because it's not just going to be the book that's about to be published on tuesday. but if this s.e.a.l. goes on television as he is with "60 minutes" but any other interview after, if he repets the classified information, each successive time will subject him potentially to increased criminal penalties. years in jail each time. >> that's very interesting. i want everyone to understand, on amazon, it is already the number one best seller in the united states. this is a topic a lot people are very curious about.
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so what extra pressure does that put on the u.s. government, mark? >> well, tremendous. now, if anyone remembers back to the pentagon papers case 40 years ago and the thought of could the government stop publication of the book? the legal standard is just too high. the fact is is the book's been out. and obviously media has copies of it. so it would be too difficult to put the genie back in the bottle. the publisher has ratcheted this up. not only increased the print run but expedited the publication date from the 11th to the 4th. so practically speaking there's not even any time for the government to do anything. >> some people might say this is disgusting. you come back, all these other guys are on your team and they don't do this and you want to get rich and you go and put a pseudonym and write the book. other people say no, what's wrong with what he did, after all, the president gave details of what happened in the raid. it's his version where they said bin laden was reaching for a gun and that's why they shot him.
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the s.e.a.l. actually refutes that and said they didn't know if he was armed or not it the president said that so maybe the pentagon doesn't have a case against this guy. >> there's actually nothing wrong with this navy s.e.a.l. writing a book. the fact is, though he didn't submit it for prepublication review and give the government the opportunity to determine if this classified information in it. he has a first amendment right to write, to write unclassified information. but not classified. and we're going to find out soon enough whether or not there's classified information in the book. and if there is that may subject him, as i said, to criminal penalties. and i think that the u.s. government is even contemplating possibly going after the publisher itself for facilitating the disclosure of national defense or classified information or soliciting the transfer of classified information which will be a strong chilling message to everyone in the media including cnn not to disclose classified information. >> it certainly would. of course the publisher on this case for those who are curious
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is penguin. thanks very much, mark, appreciate your time. >> thank you. so what is president obama like behind the scenes? we'll hear from the person who is always by the president's side. i'm so glad you called. thank you. we're not in london, are we? no. why? apparently my debit card is. what? i know.
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our fifth story "outfront." even after four years in the public eye, president obama is still sometime s dogged by charges he's sometimes too aloof. chief white house correspondent jessica yellin asked the president about those labels. in an exclusive interview for a new cnn documentary. >> sometimes michelle and i not doing the circuit and going out to dinners with folks is perceived as us being cool. it actually has more to do with us being parents. when we're in town here in washington, in the evenings, 6:30, we want to be at the dinner table with our kids and i want to be helping with their homework. i think that's sometimes interpreted as me not wanting to be out there slapping backs and wheeling and dealing. it really has more to do with just the stage we are in in our lives. >> if you're re-elected, your girls will be older. they'll probably have their own
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weekend plans. >> it's already starting to happen. yeah. >> do you think you might do more outreach, what you call back slapping, with members of congress? >> my hope is that getting past this election, people will have an opportunity to maybe step back and say, you know what, the differences that divide us aren't as important as the common bonds we have as americans. and some of that i'm sure will require additional effort on my part. hopefully we'll see more effort on the other side as well. >> now, jessica, it's interesting, he talks a lot about being a dad. you had a chance to see the personal side of barack obama. what was your takeaway? >> i think that he believes that the reason he's not doing more outreach is because he wants to do more family time with his kids. and one of his closest aides, erin, told me he wants to be the kind of father he did not have.
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and that's very important to him. i believe that. but, you know, at the same time obviously it's become something of a challenge in washington. because during a very partisan time he does not have those kind of very close relationships with members of congress. so it definitely has not helped. let's put it that way. >> you can talk about the personal side and his daughters. but there's another personal side to him as evidenced by a man i guess who's always by his side, reggie love. let's take a look at that exchange. >> reggie knows the president as a strong midrange shooter. >> he'll take his midrange jumper and will attack the basket and knock down open shots when he's got them. >> the kind of guy you want on your side. love has been on the president's team since the campaign days. what's he like when he's just hanging out? >> he's just a guy, you know. he likes the bulls. he likes the bears. like most guys i know, which i
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think can sometimes be hard for some people because they're taken aback by it. like, oh, wait, he's just like me but he's the president. >> as his personal assistant, love has seen the president as few others have. >> he's very much a person who enjoys the simple things in life. you know, enjoys watching a good game. enjoys a good cocktail. he's competitive about everything he does. if it's bowling or pool or shuffle board. there isn't anything i think he'd be okay losing at. >> you can see so much more of jessica -- your documentary. it's just amazing. amazing access to the president. through the people who knew him best. personal confidents, closest advisers of the president himself. monday night, 8:00 eastern and pacific on cnn. all right, now let's check in with anderson cooper with a look at what's coming up on "a.c. 3 0."
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>> we're leading off tonight with a look at areas hardest hit by hurricane isaac. new orleans, for instance, many areas are still flooded. mississippi also feeling the effect of days of drenching rains. the breaking news, officials tell cnn preparations are ongoing to make a cut in a dam that could fail threatening homes downstream. john zarrella's there. he has the latest. also the moment from the final night of the republican national convention that's got everyone talking, talking of course about clint eastwood, his empty chair moment, his performance i guess you might call it, a speech, his imaginary conversation with president obama. i'll speak with michael barbaro who wrote the story for "the new york times" and chief political analyst gloria borger about what the romney campaign is saying. did they vet this, did they know what eastwood was going to do? advance? a stunning assertion from a catholic priest. he said in a lot sex abuse cases
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it was the teenage victim who was, in fact, the seducer. he's blaming the victims, the children, for being see dude e . he appeared to express sympathy for jerry sandusky. all right, see you in just a few minutes. next, railing, literally, against politicings in america. get two times the points on travel, with chase sapphire preferred.
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road trip. in the 19th century, the railroad was the most efficient way to travel across the country. so it's no surprise that many presidential candidates including lincoln, roosevelt and truman used them to campaign. one man hopes that this political tradition continues. he's john paul degorgia, an "outfront" strike member. he has purchased one of the most well-known private trains in american history. a roosevelt campaign train. using it to spread his own political message. and taking the train to both republican and democratic conventions. he invited us to join him on board at the amtrak station in tampa. this isn't made to look like an old train. >> no, this is an old train. yeah, this train is 1927. you're sitting in a room right now where the famous senator from the great state of
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louisiana, huey long, spent many an hour, many a meal. roosevelt campaigned off the back of this train in the early part of the 1900s. there were 10,000 private train cars. everyone that ran for the office did it off the back of a train. this was the cnn of the day. where you talk off the back of the train. grassroots. people could feel and see the politician eye to eye. >> you refurbished it. >> i took the whole thing apart. make sure the train runs off biodiesel. refurbished everything. and put what you would call state of the art electronic, behind the walls you can't see. >> you're here in tampa. will be in charlotte too. >> correct. >> you're bringing this train because of the symbolism. >> it is symbolism here. we go to each convention to give our speech out there. to let people know, hey, we love you out there, for one, but let's get back to what is america all about. america works. america is real. >> well, of course, the whistle stop tour isn't the only thing
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in danger of disappearing in american political life. john paul told me how he wants to use the train to keep bipartisanship in government. you're here at the republican convention but let me just ask you, are you a republican? >> i'm not a republican. >> democrat? >> i'm not a democrat. >> what are you? >> i'm an independent, straight in the middle. i've donated to candidates that i thought would be good that are republican and democrats alike. >> let's talk about ted cruz. >> sure. >> this is a guy who the country's now watching. tea party. he's going to be -- he's at the convention. he's a guy who -- he's polarizing to a lot of people, all right, because he's a tea party guy it he's been on your train. >> oh, yes. >> and you like him. >> i like him a lot. >> what do you like about him? >> one, when he ran for his position, he was running for senator of the state of texas, the republican seat. >> right. >> he ran by going from town to town to town. he told people, i'm going to really do this. i said, ted, i'm trying to get
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both candidate, s to do this. write their campaign promises down. and put, if we don't do this our first year or get it started the first year, impeach me. he said, j.p., i would do that in two seconds. that's what i'm telling people. i'm the real thing. he says, j.p., i'll write it for you. i'll write out all the promises. if i don't do this my first year, impeach me. i don't deserve to be your senator. sign my name. or at least get it started the first year. >> he's the first guy -- >> he's the first guy. >> what you're saying sounds great. let's just say he said, i'm going to reduce the federal debt. or grover norquist, i'm not going to allow any tax increases at all. instead of being able to compromise, compromise become, impossible. >> right. >> so how do you make these promises something that makes the country move forward? >> very simple. go in front the american people. say, this is my promise. here's what i'm trying to do. here's what i may have to do to
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compromise. here's why i have to do it politically to keep my campaign promise. >> there's a debt clock here at the republican national convention. i know you'll be here on the floor looking at the clock. they've got two of them. >> i saw it last night when i was there. >> is that the biggest issue we face? >> i think there's more issues than just debt. debt definitely is an issue. you can't keep on having debt. you ruin your economy for everybody. that's just one of the issue. i think even a bigger issue is america let's come together and work with one another. some people are creating jobs. how are they doing it? and it's not just throwing money out there. to let people survive. >> so have you decided who you're going to vote for? >> i'd rather not talk about who i'm going to vote for now. i will decide before the time comes. right now, i'm just giving america a chance to be heard. and at the same time they hear what i'm about to say too. and what i want -- what i want to say about accountability. it's a two-way street. >> and an


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