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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  September 18, 2012 4:00pm-7:00pm EDT

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will not be back. and parents will not be happy. >> okay. ted rowlands for us in chicago. we'll be watching as that develops over the course of the next hour. ted rowlands, thank you very much. and thank you, as always, for wahing. i'm brooke baldwin here in atlanta at the cnn world headquarters. let's go to washington where we have joe johns sitting in for wolf blitzer on this tuesday. joe johns, to you. happening now, more secretly recorded video surfaces of mitt romney talking candidly with donors. find out what's in the latest release. romney's complaint that 47% of americans support the president because they're dependent on government already has his campaign in 100% damage control mode. also, an important new poll shows president obama pulling ahead in yet another important swing state. wolf blitzer's off today. i'm joe johns in a very rainy washington, d.c. you're in "the situation room."
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we begin with the fallout over mitt romney's complaint that 47% of americans will vote for the president no matter what he says. those 47% are "dependent on government, believe they are victims" and in romney's words "my job is not to worry about those people." the remarks are from a nearly hour long of a secretly recorded video of a romney fundraiser last may. the video obtained by the left leaning magazine mother jones that posted the entire interview. let's bring in chief political analyst gloria borger. fascinating story. so much has happened over the last 24 hours. you had quite an article online
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today. and i just want to read part of that. romney has a businessman's approach to politics which means he sizes up an audience and figures out what he needs to cut the deal and he does it and expects it to work. >> he's a businessman and he wanted them to write checks. what do you do when you ask people to write check sns you tell them what you think they want to hear. >> what's wrong with that? >> well, when you're running for president, first of all there are different kinds of politicia politicians. some people come to politics because they have a strong belief system. others come to politics because they think it's the time in their lives they ought to be doing that. and i think for mitt romney whose father was a politician always told him succeed in business first and then do politics. romney's approach is, okay, i know how to fix things. but i have to get there. what do i need to do to get there?
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well, in the primaries be more conservative perhaps. when he was governor of massachusetts, be more moderate. and in the end that leaves people feeling, you know what, we don't know what he really stands for or who he really is. the question they had at the outset they still have in the home stretch. >> cnn national correspondent john king here now. this 47% romney talks about on this tape we've heard so many times here today on cnn and other networks, is he right if he's talking just about the 47% of core supporters for president obama? >> i think he's actually talking about i believe very strongly based on some reporting and research that there's two sets of numbers he's talking about. he says 47% twice and then talks about 48% and 49%. when he says 47%, i'm convinced he's talking about the president's base support. they gave me several months ago said i could use in my research. latinos, african-american, other nonwhite voters and college
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uneducated women. despite this anemic economy, the president's coalition has stayed pretty common. his own pollsters say almost no matter what. that's where that comes from. 48% and 49% i assume people who don't pay taxes. >> let's run that video tape so we can talk about it a little more. >> there are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what, all right. there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government very much who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they're entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. that that's an entitlement. and the government should give it to them and they will vote for this president no matter what. >> there's also this issue of victimization and entitlements that gets mishmashed. >> and dependency. it's the notion that senior citizens who get their social
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security, veterans who get their veterans benefits. people by the way who pay payroll taxes may not pay more than that or who get benefits because they have children. it seems that he was sort of writing off half of the electorate as dependent. and that's the real question i have about what he was saying. >> you can't make a sweeping generalization like this without stepping into the quick sand. because if you listen to what he says, he's essentially saying all of the president's voters, all of them don't pay income taxes. all of them are dependent on government. you can't win 95% of the african-american vote, 66% of the latino vote, 52% of college educated white women, the other nonwhite voters. you can't win those votes and say none of those people pay taxes, all of those people are victims, all those people are feint on the government, it's a sweeping general sags. do some conservatives want a debate about government benef s benefits? does the country need a debate about government benefits at this time?
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sure. but when you cast these sweeping generalizations -- >> that's why he says the tax messages would not hurt. why would a lower tax message resonate. >> the tax question is an issue too. i hope to ask some conservatives today. here you have a republican candidate telling people that there is a certain number of people that don't pay taxes when republicans sort of aspire to lower taxes generally. so you kind of wonder exactly whether that really appeals to conservatives as well. >> right. it gives the democrats an opening to say a man who shelters his income in the cayman islands, i've heard that more than once today, how can he talk about tax rates. what gives him the moral authority to do that. >> go ahead. >> more broadly the timing. timing is everything in politics. the democrats had a good convention. governor romney had some missteps last week. look at a new virginia poll today, six-point race there. the debates will matter.
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with 49 days out, joe, you don't have a day to waste. every time governor romney's explaining himself especially something he said back in may -- >> here's the problem. it reinforces the obama narrative about mitt romney, which is that he's rich and he's out of touch with the middle class. and he doesn't care about people like you. when he says things like this to a big fundraiser, right. >> he will argue it's inelegant. and he's going to have to explain what he means by that. but to gloria's point it takes the obama narrative a step forward. this is what the democrats will do, they have said he doesn't care about you, here they're going to say he's disdainful of you. >> we have to go. one other question for you, in an age of twitter, facebook, bloggers, does a candidate really have an expectation of privacy privacy that this kind of thing that gets out -- >> ask barack obama.
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any politician today who thinks they're at an off the record event is not paying attention. >> remember george allen, was that the 2006 in the virginia senate race? >> gloria borger, john king, always good to have you guys on a story like this. now we have the full video of what romney said, we're going to let you hear the question as well as the unedited answer and then get reaction from romney campaign senior advisor bay buchanan. ♪ [ female announcer ] pop in a whole new kind of clean. with tide pods. just one removes more stains than the 6 next leading pacs combined pop in. stand out. and sounds vying for your attention. so we invented a warning you can feel. introducing the all-new cadillac xts. available with a patented safety alert seat. when there's danger you might not see,
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see life in the best light. [music] transitions® lenses automatically filter just the right amount of light. so you see everything the way it's meant to be seen. experience life well lit, ask for transitions adaptive lenses. seven weeks before voters decide on their next president a secretly recorded video of mitt romney threatens to undermine his campaign's message. joining us now romney senior advisor bay buchanan, thanks so much for coming in. >> you're certainly welcome, joe. >> so you've seen this. you've talked about it all day long today. >> sure. >> one of the things frankly
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that struck me right out of the bat is the discussion of taxes. because it's such an issue that effects republicans and conservatives. with mitt romney suggesting for example that there are a large number of people who don't pay taxes. >> uh-huh. >> is that something that's supportable especially when you consider the bush tax cuts are the kind of thing conservatives are fighting dearly to preserve? >> joe, your entire premise is inaccurate. we're not running from what the governor said. he has not backtracked the least. what he's doing is making a political analysis to some of the people who are supporting him. it happens all the time. get into a closed room and high donors want to say how are you going to win this? so he's talking strategy. something i've advised many a candidate not to do, but they like to do it. that's what he was doing. as for the taxes, they made it very, very clear. listen, barack obama has about 47%, that's his hard core
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supporters. going to be tough for us to take some even off the top. so we're going to focus on the 7%, 8%, 10% out there we think we have a real good chance of reaching. and then he talks about why those people are so focused to support barack obama at this time and how there's an enormous dependency on government. and the more dependent on government you are the less likely you're going to like a message of his. >> 47% are victims? >> first of all, there are so many 47%s in this statement. it's too bad that cnn doesn't run more of it rather than these snip-its because then you get a clear idea. first of all, he talked about the busch. >> going to. >> -- that's 47%. also a number that came out of a study, 47% who do not pay income tax. he was talking a little about that as well. i think there's been some confusion. as for victims, these people are victims to obama policies, the
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economic policies through no fault of their own. many of them dumped in poverty and on food stamps to pay for their families. this isn't something they've wanted, they've worked hard and found jobs no longer there. surely they're victims. that's what he's talking about. unfortunately they're now dependent for one substance or another on government. this is a great debate and we welcome it. >> one of the things we would like to do is show you a little of the q & a after last night after this blew up on the news. he came out and talked a bit and sort of doubled down on what he was heard saying on the tape. let's listen. >> all right. >> it's a message which i'm going to carry and continue to carry, which is look the president's approach is attractive to people who are not paying taxes because frankly my discussion about lowering taxes isn't as attractive to them. and therefore i'm not likely to draw them into my campaign as effectively as those who are in the middle. >> so, again, the question whether he made a mistake here, a mistake about strategy talking behind closed doors or not.
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>> no. that's not a mistake. what he just said there is, again, you've got to know if you take a look at what mitt romney's said throughout his campaign, all he was saying is repeating that. maybe not as articulately as he wanted. but he's repeating it. if there are people out there who aren't paying income, income, that's 47% of americans, one of my big policies is to cut 20% off the top of income tax, why who you would that appeal to them? if i were talking about spending, people relying on government are not going to be responsive. that's a part of the voting segment i'm not going to get. i'm focusing my attention somewhere else. he's making a very sound political analysis. and he's not wrong. and there's no reason for us to back away. and there is great reason for us to engage in this debate because this is the foundation of his campaign. >> certainly watching the internet we know there are a lot of conservatives that have supported him. there are many powerful and well-known conservatives that have not. bill crystal liken to obama's
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comments in 2008 calling them stupid and arrogant. another conservative "new york times" columnist david brooks wrote romney's comment is a country club fantasy, what a self-satisfied millionaire says to each other. isn't this sort of the kind of thing that makes romney look just like democrats have said, an out of touch millionaire? >> just like barack obama says things maybe not as articulate as he would like. >> less damaging? because it buys into the narrative? >> how many times has james carville said obama's campaign is a disaster. you always have somebody out there who is the monday night quarterback saying they could have done better if they did this or that. we can't worry about that. i do know one thing. we had a great convention. and that convention reflected the remarks that the governor was saying of how to reach out to people how to build a consensus to put him over the top in november.
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and that's exactly what we're doing. and we're going to run a strong campaign. and we are not going to continue to divide this country like barack obama -- >> do these comments appeal to people in the middle? >> you know, this is what -- if you look at what he said and not snip-its and how they're being interpreted, indeed they do. what they say is, listen, barack obama has divided america in the haves and have notes. he's proud talking about more and more millions of people being on food stamps. that's his legacy. food stamps debt and embassies under siege. we are about giving people a ladder to climb out of so they can be self-reliant, a path towards self-reliance. that's what mitt romney's whole campaign is about is building that middle class making it stable and sound and helping that poor move up into it again. >> when you talk about divisions, this is a situation where mitt romney himself is dividing the country, is he not? >> but see that's what you constantly want to say he's talking about the nation in general. he was talking about a campaign.
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and in a campaign what you do, joe, you know as well as anybody -- >> so says things differently to the people who are giving him money as opposed to the people he's talking to publicly? >> he's saying if these people in the room had read the national press for the last several months, they would have seen that what's the national press saying? barack obama has 47%, pretty solid, a lot of people are ones who find themselves very dependent or somewhat dependent on government. that's his base of his vote. that's all he's saying is exactly what's being said by the press. and what he is saying and he's just sharing that information. there's nothing devicive when you're talking campaign. how do i win the election? let's go for that 7% to 10% -- many of whom voted for barack obama, and let's see how we can appeal to them, reach them and bring them aboard our campaign. i say his message is right to the people out there who have suffered under barack obama because he gives them a real chance to turn their lives around. >> some important numbers today coming out, polling in the state of virginia shows obama with a
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52% to 44% lead on mitt romney in the battleground state of virginia. what do you make of that? >> well, virginia's going to be tough. joe, this is another thing. i've seen and read these poll numbers are so outrageous. i don't know which ones to believe. i saw last friday or saturday we had 1% in virginia. now, how do we lose all that points in a few days? and i see we're up a point in florida today. you have to look at the polls. they're looking at what happened back in 2008 and how many democrats came out and voted. that's the basis of what they're doing. so they're overpolling democrats, overwhelmingly. these polls are just part and parcel of the campaign for barack obama to help him stay in this game as long as possible. i think millions of americans -- >> did you say the polls are part and parcel? >> when you deliberately overpoll democrats so that you sway those numbers so that you skew them, i mean, there's a cnn poll last week we won in the poll the independents by 14%.
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and we won republicans by 98%. and somehow the cnn poll had us losing by six. you and i both know if we win 14% of independents we're going to have a mighty good day. so what is that about? it's a deliberate attempt to make it look like barack obama is strong helping his fund raising ability -- >> that's a strong statement. deliberate attempt. >> i standby it. you go look at those polls. how is it poll after poll overpolls 10% to 15% by the democrats? that is not a legitimate poll in 2012. i call on every pollster to look at what they're doing in those polls. it's not the kind of fair message going out to the american people. >> all right. bay buchanan, thanks so much for that. good seeing you as always. >> good to see you, joe. >> i have to ask you more about those polls coming down the pike. >> be glad to talk to you about that rotten cnn poll last week any time. >> no comment. here we go. now that we have that full video of what romney said, we're going to let you hear the question as well as his extended answer. that's coming up next.
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since there's just a ton of noise about the mitt romney videos released by mother jones magazine, we thought you might appreciate a chance to listen to what romney said unfiltered and with no commentary now that mother jones has posted the full video for the first time we're hearing the question that prompted romney's response providing some better context
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for you. here's the question with an extended section of the answer. >> for the past three years, all everybody's been told is, don't worry, we'll take care of you. how are you going to do it two months before the elections to convince everybody you got to take care of yourself. >> there are 47% of the people who will vote for the president who no matter what all right, there are 47% who believe that they're entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it -- that it's an entitlement and they will vote for this president no matter what. the president starts out with 48%, 49% -- he starts out with a huge number because these people pay no income tax. 47% of americans pay no income tax. so our message of low taxes doesn't connect. he'll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. that's what they sell every four
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years. and so my job is not to worry about those people. he'll be out there i have to convince 5% to 10% in the center that are independents that are thoughtful that look at going one way or the other dependent upon in some cases emotion wlrks they like the gu or not. >> after that video was posted, romney who was in california at the time took the unusual step of calling in reporters for an impromptu news conference. this is what he said shortly after 10:00 eastern time. >> i believe the point i made is the president starts out with a large number of voters, 47%, 48%, 49%, something like that. these are people who are in his camp. and they'll vote for him almost no matter what. and i also have a large number of people who will also vote for me no matter what, at least i hope so. and the campaign effort is to focus on the people in the middle. the people i will try and draw
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into my campaign are largely people who voted for barack obama last time around but who i want to have as part of my campaign to become successful. so it's a question and answer as recall about the process of the campaign and how i'm going to get the 51% or 5 2% i need. i point out it's by focusing on those folks neither in his camp nor in my camp. >> if you're not stepping away from anything you said in this video, you're not backing away from anything, are you aware you offended this 47% who you mentioned? >> well, it's not elegantly stated, let me put it that way. i'm speaking off the cuff in response to a question. i'm sure i could state it more clearly in a more effective way than i did in a setting like that. so i'm sure i'll point that out as time goes on. but we don't even have the question given the snip-it there nor the full response. and i hope the person who has the video would put out the full material. but it's a message which i'm
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going to carry and continue to carry, which is look the president's approach is attra attractive to people who are not paying taxes because frankly my discussion about lowering taxes isn't that attractive to them therefore i'm not likely to draw them into my campaign as effectively as those who are in the middle. >> now, mitt romney just spoke out forcefully on the controversial video. we'll hear what he's saying now on the other side of the break. in the big apple. b becoming a fulltime indoor cat wasn't easy for atti. but he had purina cat chow indoor. he absolutely loved it. and i knew he was getting everything he needed to stay healthy indoors. and after a couple of weeks, i knew we were finally home! [ female announcer ] purina cat chow indoor. and for a delicious way to help maintain a healthy weight, try new purina cat chow healthy weight.
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and for a delicious way to help maintain a healthy weight, president obama: i'm barack obamthis anncr: he keeps saying it... mitt romney: this president cannot tell us that you're... better off today than when he took office. anncr: well... here's where we were in 2008... tv anncr: the worst financial collapse... since the great depression... tv anncr: american workers were laid off in numbers not seen... in over three decades. anncr: and here's where we are today... thirty months of private sector job growth. creating 4.6 million new jobs. we're not there yet. but the real question is: whose plan is better for you? the president's plan asks millionaires... to pay a little more... to help invest in a strong middle class. clean energy. and cut the deficit. mitt romney's plan? a new 250,000 dollar tax break for... multi-millionaires. roll back regulations on the banks that cratered the economy. and raise taxes on the middle class. president clinton: they want to go back to the same old... policies that got us in trouble in the first place.
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mitt romney is still not apologizing or backing down from his new complaint that 47% people will vote for president obama no matter what and that they're dependent on government. here's how he explained it just now on an interview on the fox news channel. >> i recognize that those people who are not paying income tax are going to say, gosh, this provision that mitt keeps talking about lowering income taxes, that's not going to be real attractive to them. and those dependent upon government and those that think government's job is to redistribute, i'm not going to get them. i know there's a divide in the country about that view. i know some believe that government should take from some to give to the others. i think the president makes it clear in the tape that was released today that that's what he believes. i think that's an entirely foreign concept. i believe america was built on the principle of government caring for those in need but getting out of the way and
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allowing free people to pursue their dreams, free people pursuing free enterprises is the only way we'll create a strong and growing middle class and the only way we'll help people out of poverty. >> so is not backing down the best damage control? joining me now for today's strategy session democratic strategy hilary rosen and mary matalin, both cnn contributor contributor contributors. i want to start with you, mary, with this tape a little more from the fundraiser just released yesterday mitt romney talking about hispanic voters. >> we are having a much harder time with the hispanic vote. and if the hispanic voting block becomes as committed to the democrats as the african-american voting block has in the past, well, we are in trouble as a party and i think as a nation. >> so we've heard a lot of that. and as you listen to him talking to the people at that fundraiser, the question has
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always been, what are republicans and mitt romney specifically doing about it? >> well, what they're trying to do should he get elected and i believe he will, is grow the economy. create jobs. the government doesn't have money. when the government redistributes money from the producers and gives it to whatever programs, at best it's inefficient. let's take education. the state gets back, taxpayers get back 17 cents on the dollar. and this is the observation the philosophy imputed to his philosophy which is it's corrupt. what is it producing? it's destabilized families. it's created more poverty. it's not as -- flatlined our education. you said in your thing, is this damage control? i don't think it was damaging. i think it's great. many of us have been waiting for mitt romney to say this clearly and loudly and he has been
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saying eloquently in his speeches. it's great to have this debate. that's what this campaign was always going to be about. do you want a big centralized do your life for you make your decisions or do you want decentralized people helping people, the government helping people in need or in need of temporary assistance or unable to help themselves. that's what this campaign is about. and we cannot sustain the former model, the redistributionist model that has took the country and the economy where it is today. >> i want to pick up on that with hilary rosen. when you look at this, there's a lot of research that says 47% of voters are going to vote for president obama almost no matter what. in other words suggests it's a true statement by mitt romney. where is it not true? >> yeah, i don't think the issue is whether those people are going to vote for president obama. i think the issue is how he characterized the 47%. and let's just pause for a moment to say that when he in
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his interview today he didn't even kind of acknowledge the feelings that people have about being characterized as kind of being government moochers. we're talking about military families. we're talking about senior citizens. we're talking about small business owners. a whole series of people in that 47% who pay other kinds of taxes. not just income tax. and i think that mitt romney's problem is is that this is just enormously devisive that the keynote of his convention speech was we're going to bring people together after the election is over. i think all he did was drive a deep, deep wedge in the electorate. and i think it's extremely disheartening. and as commentators said all day today, really shows a sense of ignorance about the country. he divides the country into rich and poor.
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now, he completely ignores the entire middle class of this country which have a very different experience. and his policies show that. >> mary matalin, i got to get you in there. a lot of conservatives and some i've read say this is actually perhaps a plus for mitt romney because it's sort of galvanizing conservative support. do you think it really happens that way? >> it galvanizes american support. americans are smart enough to distinguish between vets or people who have served their country, who deserve their veterans benefits or people have paid into medical and social security their whole life and now because of these horrible policys that have doubled down by obama aren't going to get medica medicare. that's a different one. the corrupt one are all the poverty programs that have gone up for 50 years and have destabilized, destroyed families, reduced their educational achievement, there's a difference.
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>> you're talking about the 1960s. >> hilary, there are makers and takers. there are producers and parasites. and people -- americans can distinguish between those who have produced and paid through no fault of their own cannot get a job or underemployed. that's what the campaign is about. >> it is a fact of the matter that a huge portion of the 47% of americans that mitt romney attacked through this diatribe and mary just doubled down on again and so did bay buchanan earlier, pay taxes. they just don't pay income taxes because of the kind of income they have. it's not that they're on the government dole. it's that they're hard working people who take similar tax deductio deductions. and frankly, for mitt romney to be attacking people on taxes when he doesn't even show us his own tax returns is just -- as my people would say, the height of -- it's beyond belief we would be in this argument over taxes for the poor and middle class. let's talk about the tax
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fairness that, you know, a significant number of people are not paying, the same number because they're too rich and have too many deductions. >> i'm going to ask you both, romney suggested last night that he might in future days sort of massage this language that we heard on this video last night. but it seems clear that he can't apologize. donald trump has said as much. there's no room to apologize. no room to go back on this. do you agree with that, mary matalin? >> why should he apologize, joe? this is -- i'm going to say this again. we are in an unsustainable budget situation where most americans understand while they have been cutting back, the government's been spending more. when you say to an average american what's the best thing that government can do? they say cutting spending. some of these programs are necessary. i will say again, hilary's distorting what i said. i make a distinction as does reen between resipt yents of those taxes people paid, you
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don't listen to his speeches. if he backs -- i hope he doesn't just double down, quadruples down to the tenth power exponentially makes this case loudly and clearly because it's the essence of the american dream. progressive measures success of their program by how much money they spend on conservative measure how many people get out of poverty. we want to lift people out of poverty, pursue their dreams and live off the god given talents they've been given. not some government decision like what they're going to support and what they're not because it's corrupt and immoral. >> i think what we're hearing is what we've heard from mitt romney is that he's sort of trying to wave this kind of welfare queen boogyman to the american people. that does not exist anymore. those programs are not the same as they used to be in the '60s and ' 70s. we've had multiple reforms over the years. here's i think the real challenge for mitt romney, which is as bill crystal laid it out today, to stop sort of attacking people and talking about the
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past and talking about what he would do differently, that's something he hasn't done. that's something president obama has done and turned this election into a real choice of direction going forward. i think mitt romney has to put these conversations in the context of real people. that's just something we haven't heard. and we don't hear it when he tries to explain himself. >> hilary rosen, mary matalin -- >> joe, to that point, you put it in context. this is not his campaign speech. he was answering his question. you put the context. he's not dividing anybody. he's making the bigger debate. thank you for letting me make that point, hilary. >> thanks so much, i got to say, no matter what side you're on, it certainly has ignited a great debate in this country. thanks so much to you both. >> okay. clint eastwood's talking about the chair again. you'll hear whether he thinks it was a mistake or whether he'd do it again.
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kate bolduan is monitoring some of the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. kate. >> hey there, joe. hello, everyone. myanmar opposition leader and former prisoner leader su kyii in the u.s. saying people need to consolidate democracy on
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their own. she spent 15 years under house arrest for her pro-democracy work before being freed and elected to parliament back in april. also, the first eight months of this year are the hottest on record. you probably already knew that without me telling you. the national climactic data center says temperatures in the continental u.s. averaged four degrees above normal, the most since recordkeeping began in 1895. but that's not so on the west coast frchlt san diego to seattle temperatures were slightly cooler than average. and clint eastwood, now best known for his work at the republican convention. just kidding. clint eastwood said republicans were taking their chances when they asked him to speak at the convention in tampa. the actor had many people scratching their heads as he faced an empty chair and carried on an imaginary conversation with president obama. here's what he told the tv show "extra." >> people loved it or hated it and that's fine. that's what it's supposed to be. that's a reaction. i was just having fun.
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figure -- somebody's dumb enough to ask me to go to a political convention and say something, they're going to have to take what they get. >> take that. and when asked if he would do it all over again, eastwood said probably. as opposed to a politician and the damage that can be caused when a politician botches a speech, i don't think this speech is going to hurt clint eastwood's career. >> that's for sure. wouldn't it be funny if that's what he's remembered for after all he's done? >> i sure hope not. >> the candor is refreshing. >> very refreshing. take what you can get. >> amazing. dumb enough to ask me. who's asking him? >> i think he's being a little clint eastwoody. >> thanks, kate. >> sure. what had a pilot threatening to order everyone off his plane?
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a twist in the violence gripping the afghan capital. for the first time a suicide bombing by a woman. cnn's ana coren has details. >> reporter: another deadly day with a suicide bomber. this attack was in direct response to the anti-islam film causing so much anger across the muslim world. on a busy highway close to kabul airport is the twisted metal and debris of vehicles that an hour before had been filled with passengers. their bodies lie in the dirt. the latest victims in this
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bloody war. the explosion was huge and very dangerous as he was walking to school. police believe a minibus carrying eight south africans and one kerger, working along with their afghan driver was rammed with a car packed with 300 kilograms of explosives. the driver of that car, a 22-year-old woman making her the first female suicide bomber in kabul. a car exploded near the minibus carrying foreign passengers from the airport to their residence says the kabul chief of police. all those inside the minibus were killed. two other afghans also died in the blast that flung the engine block of the car more than 100 meters down the road. eleven people were also injured. the blast shattered windows of a nearby wedding hall and ripped apart the gas station close to
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where the bomb was detonated a. motorcycle lay on its side with the rider's shoe still underneath it. this is supposed to be inside the ring of steel. there are security checkpoints located around kabul to prevent these kinds of attacks from happening inside the capital. serious questions are being raised as to how suicide bombers are getting into the city. the radical islamist group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack saying it was in retaliation to the anti-islamic film that's caused much anger across the muslim world. on monday violent protests broke out in kabul as police clashed with 300 afghans trying to make their way to the u.s. embassy. fifteen police officers were injured, two police trucks were set on fire. the founder believed to be based in pakistan or in the border region was a senior member fighting the soviets during the 1980s. after the soviets withdrawal, he
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was appointed as the country's prime minister for a short time. the group's political wing was recently involved in peace talks with the afghan government because they were considered more moderate than the taliban. but after this attack on western and afghan civilians, there's more uncertainty over the future of those talks and this country. and that level of uncertainty increased today with u.s. and nato forces suspending some joint operations with afghan stro troops. this partnership is obviously the cornerstone of the mission to transfer power, but it's hoped these measures will reduce the number of insider attacks that have already claimed the lives of 51 coalition soldiers. joe. >> a plane under attack and a pilot on the verge of drastic action. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ there's another way to help erase litter box odor.
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a jet's pilot just seconds from ordering his plane evacuated at jfk. cnn's sandra endo has the story. sandra. >> joe, when you listen to the cockpit voice recordings, you can tell the pilot didn't like being left in the dark for about half an hour as to why his plane was being directed to wait as emergency personnel started surrounding his plane. confusion and frustration moments after two passenger jets landed at jfk airport. >> we're surrounded by emergency vehicles. there's a reason for this. somebody's got to give us the reason or we're going to evacuate the aircraft. you got 60 seconds. >> reporter: pilots demanding answers from the control tower after an american airlines anfin air flight ordered to taxi to a remote area of the airport for
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inspection. >> i need information pronto. >> reporter: transportation security administration officials say an anonymous caller said there was a security threat on board these two jets coming into new york. >> a pilot came on and told us he had no information but he says we're being held for possible phone-in threat. >> reporter: when situations like this happen, flight safety experts say ultimately the pilot can decide when to evacuate a plane but relies on information from the ground. what's the protocol of communication when there could be a possible threat? >> protocol is to keep the lines of communication open. exchange information back and forth as to what the situation is on the airplane and what the situation is from the tower in terms of what information they can pass along to me when i'm sitting in my airplane. >> reporter: but sometimes the information flow may not be as fast as some pilots would like. >> the tower is actually acting
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as a go-between from the authorities which in this particular case could have been someone from the tsa, it could have been someone from the new york port authority. somewhere they were getting information even the faa. and they were just becoming the vehicle of moving that information from one place to another. >> reporter: the faa would not elaborate on security procedures or communications. and officials would not further characterize the threats. but in the end after a 90-minute check of the planes, authorities said the threat turned out to be a hoax. >> everyone kept calm and it was good. >> now, authorities routinely do security checks on planes when there's a possible threat. but here the issue was perhaps more about the communication between the pilot and controllers on the ground, joe. >> sandra endo, thanks for that report. you're in "the situation room." happening now, the final moments of ambassador chris stevens.
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we'll hear from the doctor who treated him. and a witness shows video he recorded of the attack on the u.s. consulate in libya. mitt romney unplugged, the entire secret recording is out. and behind those politically damaging moments a link to a former president's family. and first there were speed cameras then red light cameras, now stop sign cameras. wait until you see this. welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. wolf blitzer's off today. i'm joe johns. you're in "the situation room." a week after the bloody attack on the u.s. consulate in libya, the white house is facing a growing backlash. should there have been more security given possible threats tied to the 9/11 anniversary? and was the attack which killed
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the ambassador and three other americans premeditated or a spontaneous eruption of rage over an anti-muslim film? our white house correspondent dan lothian is standing by. but first to libya where we have stunning new video and witness accounts of the attack and the last moments of ambassador chris stevens. cnn senior international correspondent arwa damon is in benghazi. >> reporter: this is the first thing fahud says he saw and filmed at the consulate compound. the cafeteria building up in flames. it was shortly before midnight september 11th. the smoke so thick the compound's main house is barely visible. and then this. after breaking through window men shout they found a body. suddenly one of them cries out, he's alive, he's alive. the crowd cheers.
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god is great. rushing for a car, they realize it's a foreigner. i was filming the video and i thought it was an american, fahed recalls, but i thought it was a driver or security guy. i never thought it was the ambassador. it's clear from the rest of the video that the man they pulled out was ambassador christopher stevens. fahed says he was alive but barely. he had a pulse and his eyes were moving, fahed says. his mouth was black from all the smoke. ten minutes later rushed through the benghazi streets in a civilian's car, the ambassador arrived at the hospital. but it was too late. this doctor tells us he got a code blue call. patient arrested. needs resuscitation.
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he too did not realize it was stevens. the body was covered in soot, he says. i began resuscitation, but after 45 minutes the patient gave no signs of life. the libyan government has vowed to bring those who attacked the consulate to justice. but nearly a week later there are still contradictory accounts of what happened. the head of libya's national congress says it was a pre-planned attack, that the government has arrested dozens of people among them members or simple thi sympathizers. others say the 50 were merely brought in for questioning and there is no evidence of an existing plot. what is undisputed is that over the past three months attacks against western interests in benghazi have increased as have the power of extremist groups.
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something military officials say they warned the americans about. this young man says he arrived at the compound just as the fire fight began to subside. he says he didn't see any foreigners, just libyans. members of known extremist militias, bearded carrying russian-made automatic machine guns, rocket propelled grenades and lighter weapons. he was detained by the attackers and says he heard them talking about the assault. celebrating their success. and he says before he was released they also talked about an attack on another location that night. a safehouse where the american staff took shelter. perhaps we'll never know exactly what happened that night, but it's a far cry from the dreams of so many libyans when they rose up last year. >> that's arwa damon in benghazi. the obama administration keeps saying it took necessary
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security steps before the 9/11 anniversary. let's turn to cnn white house correspondent dan lothian. dan, did they drop the ball? >> you know, joe, that's the question being asked of the white house. and what's driving these questions is a statement that was put out by the white house on september 10th on the eve of the eleventh anniversary. it was a readout of a meeting that the president held with senior advisors to talk about what kind of security measures had been taken. the statement pointed out that john brennan, the president's homeland security advisor, had for the past month been holding various meetings to talk about security measures. and then the statement pointed out that during the briefing "the president and the principals discussed specific measures we are taking in the homeland to prevent 9/11 related attacks as well as the steps taken to protect u.s. persons in facilities abroad as well as force protection." according to the statement the president wanted to make sure that all steps were being taken to protect americans not only
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here in the homeland but also abroad. which brings us back to that question whether or not someone dropped the ball. here's how white house spokesman jay carney dealt with that question today. >> there were numerous steps taken as there have been every year on the anniversary of 9/11 and as there have been at different times on the calendar when it is judged by the experts that taking additional security steps is the right thing to do. as for specific measures taken at specific facilities, diplomatic facilities, i would refer you to the state department. >> separate from the fbi investigation you mentioned a few moments ago, is there any sort of inquiry going on here at the white house among the president's national security team to get to the bottom of, you told the american people on september 10th we've taken steps to protect americans here at homeland and abroad, obviously with four americans tragically being killed, the steps were not good enough. is there an inquiry going on
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here to figure out what went wrong? >> you're conveniently -- motivation behind them will be decided by that investigation. >> what carney did do there is sidestep the specific question whether or not there was some kind of inquiry into someone potentially dropping the ball here. instead he talked broadly about the overall investigation into the violence there in libya, joe. >> dan, stay with us. i want to bring in arwa damon in benghazi. she's on the phone. and cnn foreign affairs reporter elise labott at the state department. arwa, first to you. you've been talking to libyan officials. what's the latest on what you're hearing about whether this attack was pre-planned or not? >> reporter: well, we're actually hearing different accounts as to whether or not that may be the fact. the country's head of the general national congress, effectively the nation's
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president saying that he does believe this is a pre-planned attack or rather was a pre-planned attack carried out by extremist groups possibly affiliated with or sympathetic to al qaeda. other government officials say as of now they have no indication whatsoever that this was a pre-planned attack. numerous eyewitnesses have been telling us that while the attack was taking place -- extremist militias that does in fact operate in this area with a fair degree of impunity, something that's incredibly troubling not just to libyan government but clearly now to international governments as well. and the libyan population really wanting to see their government bringing these militias under control. but one must remember that this is a government that in and of itself admits it does not have the capability to take on these armed groups. >> really a mixed message there, arwa. thanks. over to you, elise labott. you have visited more than a hundred embassies in consulates
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in your time covering the state department. how should this have worked? how should security have worked in benghazi if it was working correctly? >> well, john, in an ideal world what you have outside the embassy or consulate walls is some kind of outside perimeter where there's a local guard force. in this case the assailants, the militants, were able to overrun what was a small libyan contingent of local security contractors, libyan security contractors. but inside there's usually a heavily armed u.s. presence and also from the local government. and we understand from officials i've been talking to today that there was a pretty robust or significant number of libyan armed security officials by the government and also a significant number of u.s. armed shooters. now, also there were at annex there was also you are the security personnel that rushed over to the scene. but, john, this consulate in benghazi had about two officials
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detailed to it at the same time. they thought this security presence was reasonable for the amount of security personnel, for the amount of diplomats they had on the ground at the time with extra security contingent for chris stevens. they say basically this assault was completely unexpected and in these types of chaos it clearly wasn't enough. >> so they thought it was okay. dan, why is the white house having such a difficult time sort of matching up the accounts with the libyan government on what happened in benghazi? >> well, i think the short answer is that an investigation they say is still underway. and they're not backing away from the initial information that this violence was sparked by the film. but they say that assessment is based on information that they have currently received pointing out that this investigation is ongoing and white house spokesman jay carney saying he didn't want to prejudge anything here. so leaving the door open just a
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bit that other things really could have been at work here. there could have been pre-planned attack. but pointing out that there is an investigation underway and he was not ruling anything out, joe. >> all right then. dan lothian, elise labott and arwa damon over in benghazi, thanks all of you for that reporting. the other big story we're watching, secretly recorded tapes just released of mitt romney unplugged. up next, how the video is tied to a former president's family. [ male announcer ] citi turns 200 this year.
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andafter you jumpedidea buship in bangkok,n. i thought i'd lost you. surfing is my life now. but who's going to .... tell the world that priceline has even faster, easier ways to save you money. . . on hotels, flights & cars? you still have it. i'll always have it. so this is it? we'll see where the waves take me. sayonara, brah! the entire mitt romney secret video is out now adding to his image as an out of touch rich guy, some people say. the political shock waves are still spreading from romney's comments that almost half of americans don't pay income tax, that they're more or less on the dole and it's not his job to worry about them. incredibly, relative of a former president had a big role in making sure that romney's private remarks became very,
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very public. our bryan todd has been looking into this. what have you found out, brian? >> it turns out former grandson of jimmy carter was responsible for getting this out. his friend didn't make the videotape. that was done four months ago in a moment mitt romney likely wishes he had back. it starts with a videotape of mitt romney speaking last may at a fundraiser attended by wealthy donors inside a private home in florida. he's asked how he's going to convince voters that they need to take care of themselves instead of relying on the government. unguarded, romney tells the group nearly half the electorate will vote for president obama no matter what. >> 47% who are with him, who dependent upon government very much, who believe they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they're entitled to health care, to food, to housing -- >> reporter: the video showing romney seemingly callous and out of touch has blown up after being posted online monday by
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mother jones, a liberal magazine. romney quickly called a news conference defending the message saying the election is a choice between big government and personal responsibility. he also said this. >> it's not eloquently stated. let me put it that way. i'm speaking off the cuff in response to a question and i'm sure i could state it more clearly in a more effective way. >> reporter: but how did a videotape made four months ago become so damaging to romney's campaign now? parts of the video were posted in drips and drabs at first mainly as blurry video and audio files on youtube. in mid-august the mother jones reporter was put in touch with the source, the person he says videotaped romney and posted it online. he won't reveal who that source is. last week corn was able to verify that the videotape was legitima legitimate. then he posted it this week on mother jones. this account was given to us by david corn himself who couldn't speak on camera because he's a
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contributor to another network. the middleman, james carter iv, grandson of former president jimmy carter. corn says carter had done research for him in the past. on his twitter account kaf eter himself as opposition researcher, political junkie, currently looking for work. >> he has his own agenda trying to damage the romney campaign. without james carter iv, this wouldn't have happened. >> reporter: the person who videotaped romney told him they weren't affiliated with any campaign. didn't go in with the intent to infiltrate the romney camp. the sunlight foundation says has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to candidates from both major parties. >> he's private equity. a company called sun capital. i think they manage about $8 billion worth of investments. so he comes as the same industry. actually that's how he got into private equity from meeting mitt romney. >> we've called and e-mailed mark repeatedly to ask who the
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person was who videotaped romney at his home to ask who else was there. his representative would only issue a statement acknowledging he hosted a fundraiser for a friend in may. we've also tried repeatedly to get the romney campaign to tell us who they think videotaped him that night. we've gotten no response to that either, joe. >> so theoretically there's at least a potential violation of criminal law here, right? >> there could be. florida state officials tell us that state is a two-party consent state. the person doing the videotaping, the person being videotaped. they both have to agree to it. it appears right now that romney was taped without his knowledge. the camera looks like it's placed behind some glassware. david corn assumes romney didn't know he was being taped at the time. we've got nothing from either the romney campaign nor that fundraiser on whether they plan to pursue charges against this person. >> interesting story. thanks so much for that, brian. >> thanks. mitt romney is taking heat from all sides. but really isn't backing away from his remarks. the political damage could be
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considerable. joining me right now is cnn contribut contribut contributor ryan lizza, you're in chicago meeting with president obama's re-election team. what's the mood over there? >> you know, i was there today doing interviews for another story for "the new yorker" and i happened to be here when this bomb went off. you know, a couple things. one point, i was there kind of waiting around for an interview to start sitting over in the part of the campaign where the rapid response guys hang out. these are the guys that bombard you and me with e-mails all day long about what they'd like to call our attention to in politics. and you look at this bank of tv screens across from them where they're monitoring the news and literally every news network they had on or three out of the four at least -- the fourth had a soap opera on, but three of the four had this story on it. frankly, not a lot for those guys to do. this is such a major story that everyone's covering that it's one of those rules in politics
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where you just kind of stay out of the way because there's not a whole lot that the obama campaign needs to do to fan those flames. a senior advisor to obama when i asked them this afternoon, you know, they said look i don't think that a single vote is necessarily going to change because of this audiotape, but romney's going to lose another week where he's already had a rough patch since the conventions and the obama campaign has ticked ahead just a little bit in the polls. it's another week that he can't afford to lose. also argue that they spent the whole summer with this barrage of advertising painting mitt romney as, you know, frankly, in their language an out of touch rich guy. and this video would seem to confirm that stereotype. they're obviously not shedding any tears over it right now.
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>> so i have to tell you though, talking to some conservatives and reading some things online, there is a segment of the conservative population, the chattering class if you will, who say this will actually help mitt romney with the base. what's the thinking over there? >> well, whenever your guy is getting attacked, under siege, it aults u always rallies the base. mitt romney's in a lot of trouble and i think the instinct is to come to base. the serious policy issue here of the number of american who is don't pay federal income taxes is a major issue on the right, a major issue for conservatives. i've also heard from conservatives and read some conservative columns since this blew up saying romney made the worst possible sort of argument about what the problem is with a high percentage of taxpayers not
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paying federal income tax. he laid out this argument about them being dependent and them all being obama voters when a lot of conservatives, intellectuals and policy wonks say that wouldn't be their first talking point on this issue. they would argue that every american has to have skin in the game when it comes to federal income taxes. and as that percentage ticks higher, it makes it more difficult for their policy agenda to be supported. so i think there's two minds. one is a lot of conservatives saying there he goes again thrks is our guy, the republican nominee, but he doesn't quite understand conservatism. he try today make this argument and he messed it up. but that's sort of mediated with the rally around your guy effect. look, the insider sort of smart guy consensus in this campaign right now is that this thing is slipping away from mitt romney. and so i think there's a little bit of panic on the right. >> well, we'll see.
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and i know we have talked to some conservativetivs who say there's a lot of time, it's not election day yet. thanks for that, ryan lizza. and we'll check back with you. who's actually in the 47%? turns out it's a lot of romney supporters. back to the magic wall to break that number down. and olympic superstar shawn white arrested. what the so-called flying tomato is accused of doing next. -law your chicken noodle soup but she loved it so much... i told her it was homemade. everyone tells a little white lie now and then. but now she wants my recipe [ clears his throat ] [ softly ] she's right behind me isn't she? [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
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132 inmates escape a prison on the u.s./mexico border. kate bolduan is monitoring that. what do you have? >> this is a wild story. mexican authorities have
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detained a prison director and two other officials. the state attorney general says the inmates escaped one by one using a seven-foot tunnel then cut through a chain link fence and fled. a $16,000 reward is being offered for information leading to their capture. that is a whole lot of people. oil prices are feeling the blow a day after a sharp sudden plunge that left traders scrambling and economists baffled. crude closed down $1.33 to $95.29 a barrel. analyst haves come up with a variety of explanations for what might have caused the drop including a drop in stock prices and speculation about reserves. olympic snowboarding medalist shaun white not having a good day. he's now apologizing after police say he pulled a fire alarm and tried to take off in a cab and kicked a hotel employee. his red hair earned him the
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nickname the flying tomato ruiz released on his on recognizance. new faces coming to "the voice" this spring. usher and shakira will replace christina aguilera and cee lo green. both said they needed more time to focus on their day jobs. they're expected to return to the show after a hiatus. the other two coaches, blake shelton and adam levine will remain. are you a fan of "the voice?" >> i am, actually. how on earth is usher and shakira going to have time to do the show? >> it's clearly a demanding schedule. >> it's got to be. >> so i don't see this as an excuse for aguilera and cee lo. >> i know. full plate. we know about that. >> yeah. thanks. after a string of deadly attacks, we're digging into a new surprising policy change by
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we've all seen speed cameras and red light cameras, but now stop sign cameras? we'll show you right here in "the situation room." the only time i've ever had a break is when i was on maternity leave. i have retired from doing this one thing that i loved. now, i'm going to be able to have the time to explore something different. it's like another chapter.
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a suicide attack killed 12 people today near kabul's airport. eight of the dead were south
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africans working for an air charter firm. an insurgent group says the bomber was a young woman. the attack is part of a fresh wave of violence in afghanistan which is leading to a drastic change for the u.s.-led military coalition. cnn pentagon correspondent barbara starr has the details. barbara. >> joe, you remember that 33,000 man surge extra u.s. troops in afghanistan? by the end of this month they will all be home. but right now that may be the only good news in this conflict. a suicide bombing in kabul. violent protests break out in reaction to a film mocking the prophet muhammad. and more insider attacks. coalition forces including americans killed by afghan forces. to deal with it all, a stunning turnaround in u.s. military policy. nato and afghan forces will stop what were routine frontline combat operations where they team up in the field.
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general john allen, the top u.s. and nato commander made the decision after saying this less than a month ago. >> at this particular moment i don't believe that we need to contemplate reducing our contact with the afghans. >> reporter: but now with tensions high, a coalition military official tells cnn that nato will lower its profile. we think it's smarter to withdraw from certain operations, he says. it means about 100,000 frontline forces, mainly americans, will not go on combat missions with afghan units unless they get specific permission. it breaks a vital link, says steven bittle, who has advised the pentagon. >> we have decided apparently that very close shoulder-to-shoulder action is too dangerous because afghans
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are shooting us when we do that. >> reporter: on monday defense secretary leon panetta insisted insider attacks in his words are the last gasp of the taliban. the u.s. ambassador disagrees. >> i'll believe it's the last gas when i have my boot on the last throat of one of them. >> reporter: killed by afghans in uniform or pretending to be afghan troops so far this year, nearly twice what it was all of last year. now panetta as secretary of defense may be at odds with the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff general martin dempsey who says these insider attacks now threaten basically the entire ward. dempsey says in his words, you can't whitewash it. something has to change. joe. >> barbara starr at the pentagon. thanks for that, barbara. the war in afghanistan is one area where president obama and mitt romney find some room for agreement. cnn pentagon correspondent chris
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lawrence goes in depth for us. >> reporter: 70,000 american troops are still fighting in afghanistan. but will election day affect them one way or the other? we see two candidates moving closer and closer to the point where there's not much space between them. >> our goals should be to complete a successful transition to afghan security forces by the end of 2014. >> next year afghans will take the lead for their own security. in 2014 the transition will be complete. >> reporter: there were real differences at the beginning of governor romney's campaign last summer when he seemed to criticize president obama's decision to send 30,000 more troops to afghanistan. >> it's time for us to bring our troops home as soon as we possibly can. i also think we've learned that our troops shouldn't go off and try to fight a war of independence for another nation. >> reporter: but the governor's
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position evolved. by november he opposed any plan to bring most of the troops home before 2014. >> i stand with the commanders in this regard and have no information that suggests pulling our troops out faster would do anything but put at great peril the extraordinary sacrifice that's been made. this is not time for america to cut and run. >> reporter: whomever sits in the oval office will decide how the u.s. hands over to the afghans. that's where we see it biggest difference. >> we're pursuing a negotiated peace. my administration has been in direct discussions with the taliban. >> reporter: while president obama makes a distinction between taliban and al qaeda, governor romney says he won't haggle with a group that's killed american troops. >> we don't negotiate with terrorists. i will not negotiate with the taliban. that's something the afghans will pursue in the future.
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>> reporter: president obama announced an end date years in advanced. governor romney opposed publicizing that date. the president ended the surge this month during the fighting season. the governor would have kept additional troops there through december. analysts say neither man has spent much time talking about the war. but merck jacobson says that's partly because the big strategic issues like the surge and handover have been pretty much decided. >> what we're looking at now is execution of this strategy. and that doesn't require the same sort of political capital and time from washington, d.c. that was required two years ago. >> reporter: the two men don't exactly agree on how the fighting affects the nation's finances. >> because after two wars that have cost us thousands of lives and over a trillion dollars, it's time to do some nation building right here at home. >> of course the return of our troops cannot and must not be used as an excuse to hollow out
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our military through devastating defense budget cuts. >> reporter: so the biggest difference on afghanistan may be how to spend the money when the war's over. chris lawrence, cnn, washington. all this week cnn is going in depth on key foreign policy issues. next week we're tackling social issues. up next, who is actually in the 47% reference by mitt romney? we'll show you. s you a 50% annu. and everyone likes 50% more [ russian accent ] rubles. eh, eheh, eh, eh. [ brooklyn accent ] 50% more simoleons. [ western accent ] 50% more sawbucks. ♪ [ maine accent ] 50% more clams. it's a lobster, either way. [ male announcer ] the capital one cash rewards card. with a 50% annual cash bonus, it's the card for people who like more cash. [ italian accent ] 50% more dough! what's in your wallet? [ italian accent ] 50% more dough! president obama: i'm barack obamthis
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anncr: he keeps saying it... mitt romney: this president cannot tell us that you're... better off today than when he took office. anncr: well... here's where we were in 2008... tv anncr: the worst financial collapse... since the great depression... tv anncr: american workers were laid off in numbers not seen... in over three decades. anncr: and here's where we are today... thirty months of private sector job growth. creating 4.6 million new jobs. we're not there yet. but the real question is: whose plan is better for you? the president's plan asks millionaires... to pay a little more... to help invest in a strong middle class. clean energy. and cut the deficit. mitt romney's plan? a new 250,000 dollar tax break for... multi-millionaires. roll back regulations on the banks that cratered the economy. and raise taxes on the middle class. president clinton: they want to go back to the same old... policies that got us in trouble in the first place. president obama: we're not going back, we are moving forward. anncr: forward.
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a lot of political buzz today about the number 47% after that bruising videotape surfaced from a mitt romney fundraiser.
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>> there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government very much, who believe that they are victims who believe the government has a responsibility to take care of them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing -- >> cnn's tom foreman is breaking down just who's in that so-called 47%. you're over at the magic wall, tom. so tell me, break it down. >> well, joe, this really is this phrase that has just ignited everything. there are 47% who are with him who are dependent on government who believe that they are victims who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them who believe they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing. first of all, are 47% with president obama? yes, the polls say that is very likely. and mitt romney was correct in his extended comments to say 47% of americans don't pay income tax. so in some way, some way dependent on government. for some of them that's just
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because they don't make enough money to pay income tax. rather it's because they get enough tax credits to offset their liability. now, it's worth noting of all these people who pay no income tax still have to pay payroll tax. you know, those deductions that on our paycheck, most of them, 61% pay payroll tax, most pay property tax and other taxes. in addition, people of plenty different varieties get some variety of benefits from the government. look at the percentages of people in this country who receive medicaid, social security, food stamps, housing assistance. it's a tremendous number of people. look at this 49% here receive benefits from one or more programs. however, in suggesting that 47% of the people who support president obama and the 47% who rely on the government in some fashion are the same people, that's where mitt romney gets into a little bit of trouble. for example, if you had a retiree living on social
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security, undeny bli depending on the government statistically much more likely to be republican same with a middle-aged man who has been laid off and counting on unemployment checks temporarily to support his family. both might be troubled if they feel thrown in az part of this victim class that mr. romney is talking about. still, one last point here, joe, even when you consider that this is the real problem, that you're comparing this 47% to this 47% and in fact there may be a lot of republicans over here, even if you do all of that, there's one last thing that while democrats may crow about this and say mr. romney has insulted a whole bunch of people and made them angry, this is one last thing i think you have to look at in this. look at this recent survey by gallup. this found 54% of people even right now still think that the government is doing too much for people. and those folks may be more inclined to buy into mr. romney's comments than most democrats are. they may in fact say, yeah, when he's talking about victims, he's
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not talking about us even if we're getting benefits. the question on how he decides to spin that, that's going to be the measure of it i think, joe. >> everybody thinks that 47% doesn't apply to them. thanks so much for that, tom foreman. a different target in the middle east unrest. protesters have been going after embassies. now some people are angry atd youtube. there's a health company that can help you stay that way. what's healthier than that?
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new backlash from youtube for allowing some countries for viewing that anti-muslim film. let's bring in silicon valley correspondent, dan simon, with details.
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>> reporter: hi, joe. youtube, of course, has policies on what can go on the site. obviously, you can't have nudity, you can't have graphic violence, and you can't have hate speech. they went and look at this trailer, the "innocence of muslims" trailer and they determined it can stay on the site, but they blocked it in egypt and libya, and that has at least one free speech group crying foul. violence and death spurred in part by an anti-islam video. youtube says the film trailer, "innocence of muslims," doesn't violate its policies. yet it decided to block the video in both libya and egypt. but free speech lawyers like eva gavelrain say that's not the right course. >> responsibility of the violence falls entirely on the perpetrators of the violence. and by making this a discussion about censorship, you are really taking the blame away from the people who are really responsible. and i feel that that is really misguided and dangerous. >> reporter: yalperrin is with
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the san francisco-based nonprofit that imas to defend digital rights around the world. she says once google, the parent company of youtube, starts censoring content, they start going down a slippery slope. they're accusing google of turning its back on policies that promote freedom of expression. >> for many years, if you were a youtube user and you wanted to upload a video, you understand that as long as it was not a violation of the terms of service and not a violation of the law, that it would stay up. >> reporter: in a statement, youtube says, we work hard to create a community everyone can enjoy, and which also enables people to express different opinions. this can be a challenge, because what's okay in one country can be offensive elsewhere. this video, which is widely available on the web, is clearly within our guidelines, and so will stay on youtube. however, we've restricted access to it in countries where it is illegal, such as india and indonesia, as well as in libya and egypt, given the very
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sensitive situations in these two countries. ambassador chris stevens, who was killed at the consulate in benghazi, libya, was a graduate in san francisco. a second-year lawsuit says that youtube made the appropriate call given all that's happened. >> they don't have the responsibility in foreign countries to do things that are bad risks for their business or adverse to americans there. i think it's deciding what's in the best interests of americans in libya and the middle east, and i think they don't really have an interest in keeping this video up for any significant purpose. >> below each video, you'll find a flag button. >> reporter: under google procedures, youtube a users can flag objectionable content. google staff then looks at the video and decides whether it needs company guidelines. so youtube trying to walk a fine line here. obviously, they had to make a judgment call. joe, the unknown answer is
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whether or not you could have more inflammatory videos pop up on the site, which could then spur violence in other parts of the world. joe? >> dan simon in sausalito, thanks for that. a warning for drivers. watch out the next time you see a stop sign, because someone may be watching what you do. it's 32 minutes to go time, and the candidate's speech is in pieces all over the district. the writer's desktop and the coordinator's phone are working on a joke with local color. the secure cloud just received a revised intro from the strategist's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... working together has never worked so well.
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drivers here in washington, beware. cameras are watching you on the road and it's not just speeding you should be careful about, but stopping as well. cnn's sandra endo joins us now with the details. sandra? >> joe, it's another way drivers could be caught on camera. in d.c., it's already one of the most congested towns in the country and now drivers may have
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some more aggravation when they get behind the wheel. in washington, d.c., obey the four simple letters, s-t-o-p, or pay the price. >> give us a break! the stop sign cameras are out of the question. give us a break. >> i don't think they should put it on the stop signs now. i think that's a little too much. >> reporter: the nation's capital is following the lead of california, where photo-enforced stop signs have been raking in the dough. >> i just got a ticket in the mail, with a picture of my vehicle and my license plate. i just think they're a revenue for california. >> reporter: these cameras placed in the santa monica hills were put in 2007. offenders fined 100 bucks brought in $2 million last year. >> if it's something that's not posted and people aren't aware of it and they don't announce it and it's just kind of put there and you don't know it's there,
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that's kind of misleading. >> reporter: but drivers are warned. washington, d.c., is gearing up to install 16 stop sign cameras by the end of the year, mostly at intersections near schools. run through one of these, and it will cost you $50 in the district. last year's d.c. red light and speed limit cameras raked in $55 million. city officials say it's not about the revenue, it's about safety. >> the police department's only goal is to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities. >> reporter: in order to avoid a penalty, under the law the car has to come to a full and complete stop before the crosswalk in order to count as a legal stop. at this intersection near an elementary school, cnn saw a number of drivers rolling through stop signs, prompting one motorist to welcome the cameras. >> people go through stop signs like they don't exist, so i think it's a good idea. >> d.c. officials say they're really going after drivers who speed up into an intersection, which will trigger the cameras
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in the first place. and before these cameras are installed, they'll give residents a 30-day warning period to make sure they know the cameras are there. joe? >> sandra endo, thanks nar. . happening now, the romney campaign in full damage control mode. how badly will the secret tape hurt him? the obama campaign seizes the moment. and who are the 47% romney calls victims in that leaked tape? we're digging deeper. wolf blitzer's off today, i'm joe johns along with kate balduan. you're in "the situation room." >> the 99% of the national dialogue. now mitt romney has added a new number to the national dialogue, 47%. >> but unlike the populist protest movement, romney's figure is creating a huge backlash. his campaign is scrambling to defend his assessment of obama
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supporters as dependent victims with an entitlement mind-set. cnn national political correspondent jim acosta is traveling with the republican presidential nominee and has the latest. jim? >> reporter: mitt romney is sweating this news cycle. he's not showing is it. he was smiling on his campaign plane today, looking relaxed with his staff. romney is doing of all things, a couple of fund-raisers today. the same sort of setting where he fired off those controversial remarks that ended up being caught on tape. for mitt romney, it's pressure cooker time. the hidden camera footage recorded at a fund-raiser at this florida home of a wealthy financier last may has the romney campaign back in a familiar position, on defense. >> these are people who pay no income tax. 47% of americans pay no income tax. >> reporter: romney is offering no apologies for his comments in the video that dismissed president obama's supporters as unreachable, because, he claims, they're hooked on federal assistance. >> there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that
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they are victims. >> reporter: "mother jones" magazi magazine, which obtained the footage, has released an extended version of this video, revealing romney's candid view on losing the hispanic vote. >> we are having a much harder time with hispanic voters. and if the hispanic voting bloc becomes as committed to the democrats as the african-american voting bloc has in the past, well, we're in trouble as a party, and i think as a nation. >> reporter: asked about his 47% comments at a hastily arranged late-night news conference, romney would only concede he used a poor choice of words. >> it's not elegantly stated, let me say it that way. i'm speaking off the cuff in response to a question. and i'm sure i could state it more clearly and in a more effective way than i did in seating like that. so i'm sure i'll point that out as time goes on. >> reporter: but he stood by his analysis of the race. >> i recognize that among those that pay no tax, approximately 47% of americans, i'm not likely to be highly successful with a
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message of lowering taxes. >> reporter: the secret recording has divided republicans, with some pointing out there are also many gop voters who also receive government benefits, while paying no income taxes. on one side, david brooks and "the new york times" complained, romney is running a depressing i inept presidential campaign. on the other, conservative blogger erick erickson tweeted, he wished romney would talk more about this issue on the trail. at a fund-raiser open to camera for the first time, romney decided to seize on that item in the drudge report, talking about the president in 1998 talking about redistribution. >> i actually believe in redistribution. >> we all believe that when people are in distress and they need help, we give them temporary help and pull them back up, but we don't believe in redistribution. >> reporter: one of romney's top aidses, kevin madden said the candidate is determined to fight on. >> do you think this will blow every? >> sometimes i think that's up to you guys. >> reporter: romney's people remain confident despite this
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controversy they're still looking at a close election come november. >> and late today, romney once again stood by his remarks, despite the uproar. listen to what he told neil cavuto on fox news just this afternoon. >> well, we were, of course, talking about a campaign, and how he's going to get close to half the vote, i'm going to get half the vote, approximately. i want to get 50.1% or more. and frankly, we have two very different views about america. the president's view is one of a larger government. there's a tape that just came out today, where the president saying, he likes redistribution. i disagree. i think a society based upon a government-centered nation, where government plays a larger and larger role, redistributes money. that's the wrong course for america. that will not build a strong america or help people out of poverty. i believe the right course for america is one where government steps in to help those that are in need, we're a compassionate people, but then we let people build their own lives, create
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enterprises, we believe in free people and free enterprise, not redistribution. >> let's get more on all of this with our panel, cnn chief national correspondent, john king. cnn chief political analyst, gloria borger, and cnn senior political analyst, david gergen. lots to dissect here. but john, first to you. we've now heard that governor romney is not backing down. you heard what he said on fox news. he said it was not elegant. he also said that he was offering some political analysis. what's your take on the impact of these remarks. >> and there was also this shocking coincidence, that just on a day when governor romney's on the defensive about a tape, somebody drops a tape that may -- >> some operation research of president obama. that's what he's talking about the redistribution comments. >> whichever conservative had that tape, whether it's a romney campaign or a friend of the romney campaign, they wished they were going to hold that a little bit longer, but decided they needed it today. he didn't exactly repeat himself on neil cavuto. if you look at what he said at the fund-raiser, do republicans want a debate about government assistance? government dependency?
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especially at a time of deficit spending? of course they do. would it be a good idea for the country to have a healthy debate about all these? great. but what he said in that speech was is that all of them don't pay taxes, all of them are victims, all of them want free health care and all of them think their entitled to free housing. he pretty much smeared everyone. but when you get into these sweeping generalizations, if you look at governor romney's church history and charitable history, you would think he doesn't think about the guy who said that about people who feel entitled to government, but he said it. >> gloria, these comments certainly appeal to people on the right, but the question really at this point is whether appealing to the right, you end up sort of burning some voters in the middle. >> right, and it doesn't appeal to everyone on the right, because it was so inartfully stated. and i think that's a real problem for him. so, you know, will it help part of his base? yeah, sure. absolutely.
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but the point is, is it going to hurt -- could it hurt with senior citizens? because of course this is something the obama campaign is not going to stop mentioning. could it hurt with veterans? could it hurt with people who actually just pay payroll taxes, for example? sure. and it also reinforces the anti-romney narrative that he is out of touch, that he doesn't understand the problems of ordinary americans. and that's not what the romney campaign wants to do right now. >> well, david, i want to bring you into this conversation as well. the bottom line is, the big question is, was this a fatal mistake? of course, none of us will know until maybe november, but what's your take on it? how does this stack up to other campaign stories? a lot of people are talking about the president obama's comments back in 2008, citing, you know, clinging ing ting tos and religion comments. what's your take? >> well, it's not just this comment. it's a pattern. it's a series over time. and i think historically, this goes too far. but the one candidate who i
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think took himself out of contention with comments was barry goldwater back in 1964. i mean, they seem so extreme. i don't think that romney's statements are as extreme, but i think they bring up an old argument that scotties retin, jamese s res restin used to mak. it's someone they could see in that office and feel comfortable with. i think this pattern of statements is increasingly placing him, mitt romney, outside that circle, for a growing number of americans. >> gloria, you made a very good point in your online column today, talking about the fact that mitt romney's a businessman. that's where he plays a crowd like this. that's a double-edged sword, though, isn't it? >> right. his approach to politics, just observing him and reporting about him this year, his approach to politics is that of a businessman. what do i need to do to cut the deal? what do i need to do to get these people to vote for me?
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to get the job done, so i can get the job and finally do what i want to do, which is fixing things. >> but he's saying different things to different people, right? >> right. he's saying different things to different people, has done so over his career, and the difference in running a presidential campaign, and john, you can speak to this, is that when you run for president, you have to be something more than a mr. fix-it businessman. people have to trust you. they have to believe in what you're telling them. >> does this put that trust into question? >> well, it places, will he say one thing at a fund-raiser and a different thing somewhere else? and that doesn't add to the question of, who do you trust or what's his credibility on anything? >> stand by one second, because no surprise, the obama campaign is jumping all over this and did so very quickly. they responded to the uproar with the tweet, put it this way, "stand with the candidate who is fighting for all americans," a little swipe right there, not too oblique. and the white house spokesman, jay carney, he added this. listen here. >> in setting aside, you know, what governor romney thinks, i
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can tell you the president certainly doesn't think that men and women on social security are irresponsible or victims. that students aren't responsibles responsible or victims. >> and the campaign quickly put together a video showing people reacting to romney's remarks. >> i actually felt sick to my stomach. >> i don't like it. >> that isn't somebody who i'm thinking, oh, i want him as my president. >> so, david gergen, if you could, just sort of put this in context for us, will you? you've been adviser to a number of presidents, and you've already sort of answered the question, whether this is a fatal mistake, but how does this stack up to some of the past campaign stories as we've gotten those comparisons with president
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obama, then senator obama, talking about people clinging to their guns and religion in 2008. >> well, i think it goes to the point gloria was making, and that is, it's not that he was necessarily trying to please this audience, but it was in a closed fund-raiser, people often say things that reveal how they really feel. they feel in a more intimate setting welcome they can say what's really on their minds, as opposed to what they say in public. and the disconnect between what he's saying in public and what he's saying in private, just like with barack obama, is very unsettling to voters. i must tell you, i think this is one of those episodes that really could hurt down-ticket for republicans. already in massachusetts, for example, you know, elizabeth warren jumped all over this. you know, he's calling half the country deadbeats, half the people in massachusetts deadbeats. reeling to get away from it. there are going to be a lot of campaigns in which people who are trying to take the senate for republicans could well suffer over this. look, i don't think it's over in that formal sense, but the
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pattern that we've seen now, the last few weeks, the defensiveness, not being able to get on top of the story, the disarray of this campaign, all of that spells serious trouble for this candidacy. does open the possibility of president obama could not only win this, could win it a lot bigger than anybody ever managed. >> elizabeth warren who had been in a dead heat with scott brown in three consecutive polls has now pulled out. in michigan, debbie stabenow has pulled out a little bit in her senate race there. democrats think the climate with governor romney's help has worked to their advantage. excuse me. so what do republicans say? there's seven weeks left, that's a lot of time, but republicans also say this, the first week of october is critical in this election now. the first debate, and then on that friday, the next unemployment report. >> and gloria, is there any concern that the white house -- you see how quickly they reacted and how fast they're pushing forward with what governor romney said. is there any concern that they could push too far and kind of go over the cliff.
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that they go from being like the opposition to not looking presidential? >> well, i think the white house is laying back and saying, okay, well, this is not, you know, president obama represents all of the people, but they don't really -- you know, they don't really have to do anything more than they're doing. they can let republicans debate this. they can put out their little video. they wanted in the conversation -- >> and let the press do it. >> right, david. and while vice president biden said, i'll let the comments stand for themselves. >> when vice president biden doesn't talk, okay? >> when you see that video, african-americans and women, his base. >> and it also raises questions, talking about this being off-the-cuff remarks, well he's got, romney does, a debate coming up, where he'll have to be off the cuff with a crowd of people. >> and he will. and this will -- and this will make that debate this much more stressful for mitt romney because so much is on the line right now, because he has not performed well as a candidate over the last couple of weeks. >> is there anyone left in
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america who cans you can go into a room and give a speech that's not being recorded in some way? >> exactly. >> exactly. well, i just think, to go back to the debate point, he's given president obama so much ammunition, so many things he can needle him, so many different points he can bring up echoing what he said. that makes the debate environment much tougher for him. >> thanks so much. great, dwloerya and john king and david gergen, good to talk to you. so who are the 47% at the core of mitt romney's latest remarks? we're crunching the numbers in the latest campaign controversy. [ male announcer ] citi turns 200 this year. so why exactly should that be of any interest to you? well, in that time there've been some good days. and some difficult ones. but, through it all, we've persevered,
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there's breaking news now in chicago, where public schoolteachers are just voted on whether to accept a new contract and in their strike, cnn's ted rowlands has the results. ted? >> reporter: well, joe, the strike is over. the 800 delegates that voted
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here today, just a few minutes ago, voted overwhelmingly to end this strike, so students who have been out for seven days now in the city of chicago will be back in school, starting tomorrow morning. the strike in chicago is over. >> under threat, by the way, by possibility of people going to court and forcing them back in. do you think that was a factor? >> reporter: well, it was definitely on the table. chicago mayor rahm emanuel asked the court for a special injunction. there was a hearing set for 10:30 tomorrow morning. if this group of teachers would have voted to continue the strike, then it could have been in a judge's hand. there was a possibility that they could have been ordered back to work without the contract in hand, that may have played into this. we don't know. but what we do know, talking to a couple of teachers coming out here, that it was an overwhelmingly positive vote. they did a voice vote, and there was no need to follow up on that, because it was so overwhelming, teachers wanted to go back to work. and more importantly, they were
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happy with the contract laid out by the school district here in chicago. >> and ted, i know, obviously, a lot of interest of what's in the contract and what change that could get teachers to sign on. but i think for parents especially, the most important thing, are kids going back to school starting tomorrow? >> reporter: absolutely, yes. and that was -- everybody in chicago has been sort of waiting patiently for this vote, knowing it was coming today. the meeting started a few hours ago. parents have been put on notice, if they vote yes to end the strike, school starts tomorrow. that is the case, tomorrow morning, all schools that have been on strike will be back in session and students will be back in the morning. so great news for parents. >> great news for parents. probably debatable if the kids are just as happy. >> probably not. >> probably not. >> this has probably wreaked havoc on babysitters and that kind of thing. what do you do about your kids if they're supposed to be in school? >> ted rowlands, thanks so much. we'll be getting more details
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from you throughout the evening. thank you. also, the grandson of a former president is tied to the leak that has the romney campaign reeling. anderson cooper will be joining us with the details of the carter connection coming up. [ male announcer ] whether it's kevin's smartphone...
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figures come and go in the race for the white house, but mitt romney has put the 47% front and center today. >> but there is something to his
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disparaging characterization of obama voters. cnn's tom foreman is checking the facts for us. tom, what are you finding? >> well, you know, it's not just this number. it is a word. this one huge explosive word out there, just incendiary. "victims." victims, and who gets burned by the explosion of this will be determined by how much the democrats can shake up the blast. who is mitt romney calling victims? who is he saying sees him or herself as a victim in all of this? in the broad sense, it appears that he's talking about all these people over here, the 47% or so of american who is don't pay income tax. who in some coases or in some ways are depending on the government for part of their living here. these people maybe don't make enough money to pay for income tax or maybe have enough tax credits to offset their liability. most of them, hover, over 60%, are paying other taxes. and that's important to note in this. most of them pay payroll taxes of some sort.
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maybe some pay property taxes or maybe they pay sales taxes. a lot of different taxes out there that are being paid beyond income tax. all these people who receive benefits from the government are also being talked about by romney in all of this. this notion that there are people out there who are benefiting from the government, gathering around it. look at this. 49% of the people in this country receive benefits from one or more programs in the country. medicaid, 26%. social security, 16.2%. food stamps, 15%, almost 16%, and more. so there are these changes going on up there. this is a lot of people. where mr. romney gets into trouble, however, is with this word "victim," and suggesting that the 47% of voter who is get some kind of assistance are necessarily the same 47% as he expects to vote for his opponent, barack obama. and that somehow they're all part and parcel of a group that wants government coddling, because they are economic victims. the problem here is that there are many people out there who are republicans, who are perhaps
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depending on social security and retirement, or perhaps someone who's unemployed for a brief period of time, who needs some unemployment checks to support his family in the meantime. many of these people might evacuate republican, might be inklii inclined to vote republican, so the challenge for mitt romney and everybody else comes back to that word "victim." he's going to have to convince people out there that he's not talking about them if they're inclined to vote for him, but he is talking about the other people whom they may not support if he can't pull that off, i'm telling you, gang, he could wind up a victim of his own words. >> yeah. well, the challenge really, of course, is to do that when you're in an atmosphere where your opponents are ripping you to shreds on the issue. >> the problem is, anybody who's a true, blue republican who follows his line in all this, they have no problem with this, because they're going to say, yeah, we think there are people out there who are depending too much on the government, who see themselves as victims. they buy into it. but he's already got those
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voters. the challenge here is what happens to the middle voters. do they buy more of that argument that their enemy is other americans who are depending too much on the government or do they feel too much like he's saying, maybe you're like them, and they don't feel believed and they don't feel trusted. they don't feel that this is somebody who associated well with them. >> tom foreman, thanks so much. >> tom, thanks. president barack obama makes his first public statement about the secret romney tapes. you'll hear that, coming up next. [ male announcer ] imagine facing the day
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those leaked recordings of mitt romney calling obama supporters dependent victims of an entitlement government are pitting republican against republican, it seems. >> while many are distancing themselves from their presidential nominee, others are standing firmly with him. let's talk about it with cnn contributor, erick erickson, editor and chief of eric, president obama did an interview with david letterman. i want you to listen to his reaction to governor romney's comments. >> i don't know what he was referring to, but i can tell you this. when i won in 2008, 47% of the american people voted for john mccain. they didn't vote for me. and what i said on election night was, even though you didn't vote for me, i hear your voices and i'm going to work as hard as i can to be your
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president. and one of the things i've learned at president is you represent the entire country. and when i meet republicans, as i'm traveling around the country, they are hard-working, family people, who care deeply about this country, and my expectation is that if you want to be president, you've got to work for everybody. not just for some. >> so i think the implication here, if i get it right, is that romney is alienating republican voters. do you think that's so? >> no, i don't think so. look, i get there's some angst in washington today from conservatives, and i'm not exactly someone the romney camp adores, but i actually don't think this remark is as bad as a lot of people are saying. and i would disagree with tom foreman's analysis, somewhat, for this reason. when the poll has been asking americans about this for while,
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basically, is the government spending too much on people not paying enough into the government. and 60% of americans this past summer said yes. that's gone down to 55% now. where i would disagree with tom, i do think this could potentially be bad for romney if he doesn't handle it well, but it's not romney who has to go out and try to make these people think that he's not making them victims. it's the obama campaign that's going to have to convince these people that they're victims mitt romney's talking about. because the people outer there who may be in that 47% who don't pay income taxes, they don't view themselves as that. they view themselves as successful. and when you drill down into cnn's polling or fox's polling or rasmussen's polling, a lot of the independent voters in that bracket have consistently, by double digits, been with mitt romney, and i don't think a statement like this shakes them up. a lot of them, whether they're in class or not, they don't view themselves as being there and agree with what romney said. >> these are also some pretty predominant voices that are not
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happy with what mitt romney said. and it's not just democrats, really, attacking him. just take a look at some of these conservative writers. bill kristol, "the weekly standard." he said, romney's comments like those of obama four years ago are stupid and arrogant. david brooks, of "the new york times." he says, he's running a depressingly inept presidential campaign. and matt welch, it judges u.s. residents not as humans but as productive or unproductive units. you don't think any of them have a point here? >> it's such an odd position for me to be defending mitt romney -- >> it sure is. >> i'm very confused here. but, you know, they have a right to say what they say, but i disagree with them. and i think beltway conservatives and heartland conservatives speak in different language these days. and i think beltway conservatives, in particular, are the ones romney's been listening to a while or those guys and he's upset they're not listening to him. the guys outside of washington, who are closer to the river valleys, where i think a lot of people are looking at mitt romney saying, wow, he actually
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is a conservative. here's he's saying what a lot of dinner table conversations are in that country. >> do you think the romney campaign, from your view, more botched the kind of response they had in that hastily planned press conference, or where's the problem here? because if he were to describe things as you would, you might not be talking about this so much today. >> well, i'm trying to figure out where the problem is. i think this is so overplayed, by a lot of people today, and completely detached from how this video came about, which i think is the larger question. was i think romney's going to have to double down and own these remarks now. this was him off the cuff. he said he probably should have phrased it better. i agree with him. but if you're going to say it off the cuff, you need to say it on the campaign trail. romney has had a very muddled message for the last six months. he had an opportunity in the summer to close the deal. his speech at the rnc didn't do it. now he has a chance to close the deal if he packages this the right way. a lot of people don't think he can do it. we'll see.
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>> how can you package this the right way when you use the word "victims" and describing, apparently, millions of americans. >> oh, see, i think that's the point. look, there are a lot of people who aren't going to vote for mitt romney regardless. and there are, as barack obama said, about 47% will vote for him and 47% will vote for romney, that was the problem with romney's misstep, is he was talking about a poll number and then pivoted into the income tax issue. and it sounded like he was conflating the two and his press conference was suggesting he didn't really mean to, was just inartful. but these people who he's saying v victims, a lot of people will hear romney and won't think they're thinking about them, they'll think about the people who they also think are the problem. >> but the income problem is a problem too. it sounded like he was talking about them too. >> well, yeah, maybe so. but, you know, this was an off the cuff remark at a closed-door meeting that was surreptitiously recorded. i don't think this is going to
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be the thing that sinks romney's campaign. we've got a month and a half and he's only just starting to spend this money. frankly, i think one of the issue that the media is ignoring or not paying attention to, he raised $2.5 million from that meeting and he's got a month and a half to spend that money and he's only starting to spend it. i just -- with libya everything else, the media likes to fixate on what they call gaffes, which is saying something in the media which everyone else disagrees with. but he's got a month and a half to focus on advertising campaigns and focus on what he actually meant. >> there are a lot of hands that have yet to be played. we have the debates to come up. we have all that money to be spent. >> and erick makes a -- you make absolutely one fabulous point, which is the money game here. i mean, the money in this election is a huge, huge story. >> you're right. there's a lot of stuff to be done here. thanks so much for that, erick erickson, >> thank you. a grandson of former president jimmy carter is now tied to the leaks that have mitt romney on the defensive.
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james carter iv talked to anderson cooper and anderson standing by and joins us live, next. full tank brain freeze cake donettes rolling hot dogs bag of ice anti-freeze wash and dry diesel self-serve fix a flat jumper cables 5% cashback signup for 5% cashback at gas stations through september. it pays to discover. and need to get my car fixed? progressive makes it easy, because we give you choices. you can pick where to get your car fixed, we can cut you a check, or, at our service center, we take care of everything for you. [ relaxing music playing ] [ chuckles ] -whew, so many choices. -take your time. -the service center. -okay. giving you choices -- now, that's progressive. call or click today. one is for a clean, wedomestic energy future that puts us in control. our abundant natural gas is already saving us money, producing cleaner electricity, putting us to work here in erica
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bringing you up to speed on some of the other top stories we are watching today, including nato troops in afghanistan, have been ordered to halt some joint operations with afghan security forces, following a string of deadly attacks, carried out by those in afghan uniforms, as well as fallout from that controversial film mocking the muslim faith. the white house says the move will not affect the broader strategy of handing it over. egyptian authorities have announced a charges in the wake of that insulting anti-muslim film we've talked so much about.
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several coptic christians living in the u.s., the alleged filmmaker, as well as a florida pastor, terry jones, are among those being named. jones was allegedly contacted by the filmmaker to help promote the film. they're being accused of insulting islam, spreading false information, and harming national unity. and the french magazine that published topless photos of prince williams's wife, katherine, have been fined the equivalent of $2,600. not a big fine. a french judge also ordered "closer," the magazine, the name of the magazine, not to republish the photos or put them online and to hand over the originals within 24 hours. the royals, who are on tour in the south pacific, say they welcome the decision, to say the least. >> absolutely. a secret recording of mitt romney making disparaging remarks about obama supporters behind closed doors, and now we're learning more about how it was leaked. it turns out a man with a very famous name played a key role. cnn's anderson cooper talked
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with him. james carter iv, the son of former president jimmy carter. anderson, what'd he tell you. >> he's the grandson of former president jimmy carter, we should point out. it was really interesting. he says, basically, he's an opposition researcher, he's a democrat, he admits he's a partisan democrat. he wants to see president barack obama re-elected. he says he's not being paid by anybody currently. he's actually looking for a job and is hoping all the attention on this may actually get him a job. but he basically says he was lacking at youtube, like he does every day, searching under mitt romney's name, searching under various different search engines, and months ago came across a small clip that the person who took this video had actually posted on youtube. it was a clip concerning a factory in china that an affiliate may have invested in. he then started to tweet out that link to the youtube video. the person who posted the youtube video, according to james carter, started following him on his twitter, and then he began making direct contact with this person. he says he's never met the person who took this video.
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he did indicate the person is a man, but he didn't want to say anything more about the motivations of the person who took the video or how they got to be in that room of donors of mitt romney months ago, in order to take the video. i also asked him whether he was a personal element to his desire to see this video get out there, given all the negative rhetoric that the romney campaign has been directing toward his grandfather, jimmy carter. here's what he said. your grandfather is former president jimmy carter. is part of your motivation personal, angered over how the romney campaign has characterized your grandfather as president? >> no, that wasn't part of my motivation -- i was actually doing this before they started, before they started, along that line of attack. but i do have to say that that definitely increases the satisfaction that i've gained
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from this story, being as big as it's turned out to be. >> how so? >> well, a lot of my twitter followers have been saying that this is, it's poetic justice, that a carter was the one that had helped to get out this video that's given the romney campaign so much trouble. and i agree with that. >> he says he didn't tell his grandfather in advance about the video, but once the story broke, he sent it to his grandfather, as he does to all his relatives, with all the work he does, and his grandfather e-mailed him back, basically saying, great job. back to you. >> one of the big questions is the legal ramifications of this video getting out and how it was recorded and how it was released. did you get anything on that? >> you know, he doesn't really -- i mean, he does not know -- he's never met this person. so he basically was kind of the middle man. he basically then passed it on
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to an editor over at mother jones, who he had worked with previously. so he didn't even actually see the full video until it was released publicly, he says. he had just seen that initial clip, in his -- he's never even talked on the phone, he says, to the person who took the video. >> pretty amazing. and amazing how social media has just changed the political landscape. anderson cooper, thank you so much. more on that interview and much more coming up on "a.c. 360" tonight. we will be sure to watch, for sure. also coming up, a plane under threat and a pilot demanding answers. listen. >> i'm the captain of this airliner. and i need information pronto. >> we have details of the drastic action the pilot thereunder to take, coming up. ms 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 a beloved san diego bakery expand, what's important to communities across the country
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a man who knows a thing or two about politicians and secret recordings just happens to be on "erin burnett outfront" tonight. erin, tell us more. >> we're going to be joined by bob woodward, a man who's covered all the presidential elections and all the intrigue that goes with it since nixon. or rejuvenates it. an interesting poll out late today saying that the president's rating on foreign policy among independents actually has plunged since the attacks on script and libya. and mitt romney, who was widely criticized for his criticism of the president, right now on the poll of polls nationally is back to a one-point spread with the president, one point behind. is he done or to rise? and new threats from al qaeda tonight, where al qaeda has said there should be attacks on ambassadors across the middle
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east. we'll get to the bottom of that and why al qaeda far from being on the run seems to be rising. back to you. >> a lot to digest. erin burnett, sound like a great show. thank you. we're now learning the pilot of an american airlines jet was just seconds from ordering his plane evacuated at new york's kennedy airport during what turned out to be a fake threat. cnn's sandra endo is here with details of some tense exchanges between the cockpit and control tower center. what happened? >> joe, really dramatic stuff here. when you look to the cockpit voice recordings, you can tell the pilot didn't like being left in the dark as to why his plane was being directed to wait as emergency personnel started surrounding his plane. confusion and frustration, moments after two passenger jets landed at jfk airport. >> we're surrounded by emergency vehicles. there's a reason for this. somebody has got to give us the reason or we're going to evacuate the aircraft. you've got 60 seconds.
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>> reporter: for about ten tense minutes, pilots demanded answers from the control tower after an american airlines and a fin air flight were ordered to taxi to a remote area of the airport for inspection. transportation security administration officials say an anonymous caller said there was a security threat on board these two jets coming into new york. >> the pilot came on, and told us, you know, we've got no information but we're being held for a possible phone-in threat. >> reporter: when situations like this happen, flight safety experts say ultimately the pilot can decide when to evacuate a plane. but relies on information from the ground. what's the protocol of communication between the control tower and a pilot on board a plane in that situation where there could be a possible threat? >> well, the protocol is that you want to keep the lines of communication open. you want to be talking openly to them, exchanging information back and forth as to what the situation is on the airplane, and what the situation is from
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the tower in terms of what information they can pass along to me, when i'm sitting in my airplane. >> reporter: but sometimes the information flow may not be as fast as some pilots would like. >> the tower is actually acting as a go-between from the authorities, which in this particular case could have been someone from the tsa, it could have been someone from the new york port authority. somewhere, they were getting information, even the faa, and they were just becoming the vehicle of moving that information from one place to another. >> reporter: the faa would not elaborate on security procedures or communications. and officials would not further characterize the threats. but in the end, after a 90-minute check of the planes, authorities said the threat turned out to be a hoax. >> everyone kept calm and it was good. >> reporter: now, authorities routinely do security checks of planes when there is a possible threat but here the issue is perhaps about the communication between the pilot and controllers on the ground. >> lack of communication is the
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thing. and in a tense situation like that, you have to make a split-second decision, sort of happens with us in this business, too. >> no, never. >> but not to that degree. >> not with so many lives at stake. exactly. sandra, thank you so many. the pakistani protester dies after inhailing smoke from a burning american flag. what is going on with that? jeanne moos has it next. you could also cut corners by making it without 100% real cheddar cheese. but wouldn't be stouffer's mac & cheese. just one of over 70 satisfying recipes for one from stouffer's. starts with ground beef, unions, and peppers baked in a ketchup glaze with savory gravy and mashed russet potatoes. what makes stouffer's meatloaf best of all? that moment you enjoy it at home. stouffer's. let's fix dinner. and the candidate's speech is in pieces all over the district. the writer's desktop and the coordinator's phone are working on a joke with local color.
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try the #1 gastroenterologist recommended probiotic. align. align naturally helps maintain digestive balance. ♪ ooh, baby, can i do for you today? ♪ try align today. killer fumes from burning american flag. jeanne moos casts a skeptical eye on a viral story. [ chanting ] >> reporter: it sounded as if someone was just blowing smoke. anti-american protests in pakistan over the weekend
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sparked a story that stunned even the fox and friends co hosts in the momentary silence. >> call me callous, but a pakistani burned our flag and inhaled the humans from our flag and died. >> really? >> i'm just saying -- you get what's coming to you. >> reporter: or as the "new york post" put t old glory strikes back, an apparent case of red, white and blue revenge. on right-leading websites, comments range from hawaii to boo-hoo to no virgins for you. one blog called it the feel-good story of the day. the word that kept coming up was karma. one poster just transkribed the lyrics to lenin's instant karma ♪ it's gonna get you >> reporter: but something kept knocking us on the head. wait a minute. this can't be true. you can't die from inhaling the smoke of an american flag
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burning outdoors. every story on the subject led back to just two lines in pakistan's "express tribune," one of the participants of the rally, abdulaishmael passed away. witnesses said he complained of feeling unwell from the smoke of u.s. flags burnt at the rally. but when we got hold of the head of mayo hospital, dr. pervase told us he was at the hospital that day, and as far as he knows -- >> no such incident took place on sunday. >> reporter: we couldn't find any officials who had heard of anyone dying from inhaling burning flag smoke, not the city rescue services. maybe someone with a medical condition did pass away after attending the protest, but you can't pin it on the stars and stripes, unless you want to be asked -- what are you smokin'? >> are you sure? >> yes. >> i'm scared to ask where you read that.