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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  April 12, 2012 1:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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compensation that should be placed and structured in place to allow the student athletes to stay in school for a period of time, maybe it can be worked out with the nba in some form, where the rookie pay is escalated or slotted differently if they stay in school. >> rick fox, thanks for calling in. next time you swing by atlanta, you should swing by. >> will do, brooke. now to wolf blitzer. "the situation room" starts now. >> brooke thanks very much. happening now, a fury as the political storm fuels up after a democratic strategist says that the mother of five ann romney, quote, never worked a day in her life. hilary rosen is here live this hour to explain what she meant about women, about work and about wealth. my interview with her coming up shortly. george zimmerman was out of sight for more than six weeks and now they'll finally see him in front of the judge. you will see the video as he faces a murder charge in the
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trayvon martin shooting. we'll learn what lies ahead. >> and north coia says its rocket is now ready to go. that launch could come literally any minute now. with neighboring countries on alert, we're monooring the launchpad in real time. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com out of nowhere, seemingly, a huge political controversy erupts over women, work and wealth. it began with the democratic activist's sarcastic comment here on cnn about mitt romney's wife and republicans now vote it will help romney cut into barack obama's big lead among female voters. democratic strategist and cnn contributor hilary rosen is here to explain her comment and she's standing by live.
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let's get background from our senior correspondent joe johns. joe, tell us how this political storm erupted. >> well, wolf, it is certainly a great debate overworking moms versus stay-at-home moms. no matter what side you come down on, the speed with which this controversy took on a life of its own with all of the players weighing in on social media says a lot about how this can be a campaign like none other. 8:43 p.m. eastern time cnn contributor, hilary rosen, a prominent democratic strategist on "anderson cooper 360" goes after mitt romney's wife. >> what you have is mitt romney running around the country saying my wife tells me that my wife tells me that women care about economic issues. guess what? his wife has never worked a day in her life. she's never dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids?
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how do we send them to school and how we worry about their future. yes, it's about these positions and, yes, i think there will be a war of words about the positions. >> reporter: twitter lights up almost immediately and at 10:07 the rm me campaign springs into action. incorrectly labeling rosen an adviser a new kill ann strategy and in the process insulting working moms. now like it or not, rosen is a campaign issue. tweets are flying about the 35 times she visited the white house. the firm she worked with that's linked to other prominent democrats. >> my point is that he, romney, should stop saying she is his guide to women's economic problems. at 10:18, ann romney herself weighs in. her twitter account was set up some time ago according to the campaign, but this was her first
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tweet directed at hilary rosen's comments. i made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. believe me, it was hard work. the manager of the obama re-election team tweets, distancing himself and his organization from rosen. i could not disagree with hilary rosen any more strongly. her comments were strong and family should be off limits. she should apologize. at 10:58, aplease, i admire you but your husband shouldn't say you are his expert on women and the economy. josh romney, one of their five sons cuts in the act tweeting his mom is one of the smaefrt, hard-working women i know, and could have done anything with her life and chose to raise me. thursday morning hilary rosen under fire was back on cnn still not backing down from her original point. >> this isn't about ann romney or i or other women of some means can afford to make a
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choice to stay home and raise kids. most women in america, let's face it, don't have that choice. they have to be working moms and home moms and that's the piece that i am not hearing from the romney camp. instead everybody is attacking me. that's fine. attack me, but it does not erase his woefull record on this issue. >> reporter: at 10:42 in the morning ann romney went on fox news and in just 12 hours the controversy had gone full circle from cable news to social media and re-emerged on tv with new power. >> my career choice was to be a morgue, and i think all of us need to know that we need to respect choices that women make. other women make other choices to have a career and raise family which i think hilary rosen has actually done herself. i respect that. that's wonderful, but, you know, there are other people that have a choice. we have to respect women and all of the choizes that they make. >> reporter: at 12:00 michelle
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obama says every woman works hard and every woman should be respected. the on-camera white house briefing kicks off with a comment from the press secretary. >> we can all agree, democrats and republicans, that raising children is an extremely difficult job. >> reporter: of course, hilary rosen did apologize and you'll have more on that in a minute, wolf, but checking with twitter, this controversy appears to have gotten up to 250 tweets a minute at its peak when you consider that ann romney wasn't even active on twitter until last night. she also got thousands of followers very quickly. it's pretty remarkable. >> it's an amazing story when you think about how it unfolded. thanks very much and hilary rosen is here in the situation room right now. thanks for coming in. i see you smiling a little bit, but i don't know why you're smiling. >> i'm smiling at how crazy this all is because, first of all, i have been a stay-at-home mom. this is not a debate about stay-at-home moms versus working moms. i said it this afternoon and i said it actually last night that
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what i meant was had nothing to do on an attack on stay-at-home moms. what i meant was that mitt romney is using his wife as an economic surrogate. he himself said it, and i just thought that that was off base. he needed more, and i think that we are all sort of falling victim to this amazing crashing political machine in this campaign to move away from the real issues which as i see it and saw it last night and still see it, does mitt romney really understand the struggles of women economically who are supporting their families, who are struggling in their jobs, who don't have a job, who have been thrown off unemployment insurance. whose kids' day care funding has been threatened to cut off if the romney-ryan budget passes. those are the issues we should be talking about. >> but you said, hilary, that ann romney, quote, never worked a day in her life. >> yes. i'm a mother, right? anybody who knows me knows that
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that's not what i meant, and i preface the comment by an economic comment. i respect women and moms all of the time. i've fought my whole life for women, to make choices, to have the choices that ann romney talked about. i'm impressed that she defends them nicely. i like that her kids are out there. that's not what this is about. this is not a debate between working moms and stay-at-home moms. >> how should you have phrased what you wanted to say because this was an awful way of saying it because she's not only a hard-working woman, you know, raising five boys is not easy especially someone who has m.s., has breast cancer. this is a wonderful woman and so how should you, if you could do a do over. >> if i had a do over what i would be saying is that mitt romney should not be on the campaign trail saying to women my wife tells me how it is for women out there because people of wealth sometimes take for
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granted some of the nice tees that they have in life and the romneys are people of wealth. >> so look into the camera. if ann romney is watching you right now, talk to her. >> well, i said a few things this afternoon, but i'll say it again. mrs. romney, i applaud your decision to stay home and raise what are obviously five wonderful boys. this is not about stay-at-home moms versus working moms. i think your husband needs to stand up for women's economic struggles and so far we have not seen how he's going to do that on the campaign trail. it hasn't come out of his mouth and maybe it will at some point, but this is a distraction that his campaign is forcing on the american people to avoid his record on the issues. >> i didn't hear an apology. >> oh, i sent out an apology this afternoon. >> well, i assume that mrs. romney saw my apology this afternoon, but if not, i apologize. working moms, stay-at-home moms,
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they're both extremely hard jobs. i know, i've shared them both, and i'm sorry if that orc feffe you. >> we heard a little bit of what you said on fox earlier. and i'll play this little clip right now. >> if i get a chance i want to tell you what women are telling me and hilary needs to know this because i've been on the campaign trail for one year, and guess what women are talking about, and i don't care if they're stay-at-home moms or they're working mothers or they're grandmothers, guess what they're all talking about? they're talking about jobs, and they're talking about the legacy of debt that we're leaving our children. that's what i'm hearing. that's what we're talking about here. >> she makes a fair point. >> she does make a fair point. i do think that's what women care about and when mitt romney was governor of massachusetts. let's go back further. when he ran bane capital his record of hiring women was terrible. fewer than 10% of the senior executives were women.
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and he actually went on the record and said i just couldn't find qualified women to serve in these positions. no woman alive believes that. >> here's what i don't understand. you're an excellent and very astute political strategist. all of those points you're making are fine, but why bring ann romney into this conversation? why did you have to -- you hated it when conservatives right-wingers used to go after michelle obama or wife of any of the democratic candidates. why bring her into the conversation. >> wolf, you know, i should not have chosen words that seemed to attack ann romney's choice in life, and i apologize for that, but ann romney and mitt romney brought themselves into this conversation. when he goes on the campaign trail and says she is his economic surrogate, when she goes throughout and makes these points i'm not bringing them into this. come on, that's a little too much. we know that they have brought themselves into this. >> when michelle obama and speaks on behalf of her husband, should conservative go after.
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>> you don't think that the republicans will hold michelle obama for every single thing that comes out of her mouth? >> is that appropriate? >> when it ins to the family? no, but when it comes to defending your husband's record and when it comes to what you do in your life, those are things that end up happening and that's the political world. she will pay the price and to believe that the republicans lay off of her, they're naive. >> the democrats are quickly throwing you under the bus, hilary. the first lady of the united states, me michelle obama says y woman works hard and every woman deserves to be respected. >> there's no doubt that raising children is work. and vice president joe biden just gave an interview to msnbc in which he said and they've been tweeting it. my response to that is that's an outrageous assertion. and you saw what david axelrod and jim mess ina from the
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campaign, the obama campaign. >> that's okay. >> how do you feel that the fellow democrats are going after you like that. >> i felt with what the first lady said about women, what she said is fine. what the rest of them said is politics. the republicans slammed and came at this pretty quickly. people who know me, know that i didn't intend that and my words were not very good. if they want to play politics with it, that's fine. it doesn't change the issues and it doesn't change the fact that i still believe barack obama has the best record to run on that supports women. >> have any of these people or others in the white house or the dnc or the obama campaign contacted you and spoken to you about any of this today? >> i've had several supportive calls. >> supportive. what are they saying? >> well, people know me. they know that i wouldn't attack a stay-at-home mom and that's not what i think this debate is about. so i'm comfortable with that,
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and people who know me i think are comfortable with it, too. >> you heard in joe johns' report that jay carney, the white house press secretary right out of the box he's asked about you and your comments and apparently your name hilary rosen's name comes up 35 times in this obama white house. listen to what carney says. >> first of all, i haven't seen the records. i don't know hilary rosen, i know three personally, women named hilary rosen and i'm not sure that those represent the person we're talking about necessarily, so i really can't comment on a number of those and i'm not sure that's accurate. >> it sounded a little insulting, don't you think? >> i don't know any other hilary rosens, but jay must. so -- you know, it's politics. it is what it is. >> it's politics one thing for the republicans to be slamming you. obviously that's politics, but for all these democrats that you worked so closely with them over the years to quickly --
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>> you know, i think that the modern-day campaign and the swiftness of the charges and the countercharges and the intensity of it is enormously frightening for a campaign professionals and for consultants and candidates alike. you know, everybody's words are parsed so carefully, and you know, i've clearly been on the other side where i've jumped on people's misstatements. so i'm not claiming victim here. so i -- when people go for the corner and their respective corners, i understand it. it's not personal. i hope mrs. romney knows that i didn't mean it personally. i was trying to talk about the economic issues, but you know, this is going to be an ugly campaign season and if this ends up being a start to it, so be it, but actually i don't think it is. >> you'll probably be happy about this, if they could organize face-to-face time between you and ann romney to talk about this in person, that would be helpful.
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>> we don't have a beer summit. she doesn't have to answer to me. her husband is the one running for president and he's got to make his case to american women that he's got a vision for them and that he understands us and whether we want to be stay-at-home moms and whether we are struggling with two jobs to feed our families while he wants to give his rich friends a tax cut. >> hilary rosen, thanks very much for coming in. >> okay, wolf. >> good luck. >> thanks. we'll have more on this political storm coming up in our strategy session. maria cardona and bayh buchanon are standing by. a controversy for a government agency accused of wasting taxpayer money. now expect more than $300,000 to relocate one employee. and mccarthyism on capitol hill. a republican lawmaker accusing dozens of his democratic cleggs in the house of representatives of being communists. what is congressman alan west talking about? stand by.
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>> jack cafferty is here with "the cafferty file." in case you weren't worried about your retirement, it's getting more and more expensive to get old. people are living three years longer on average than expected and that's increasing the costs of aging by 50%. governments and pension funds
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aren't red for it. reuters reports the 'em study shows the longevity is a bigger risk than previously thought. researchers say if everybody in 2050 lived two years longer than expected, society would need extra resources that equaled 1% to 2% of global gdp per year. in the u.s. alone the extra three years of life would add 9% to private pension plan liabilities and that's assuming there are any private pension plans left by 2050. life expectancy in the u.s. is approximately 78.5 years right now. according to the fact book the united states ranks 50th worldwide. top of the list, monaco where people live an average of 09 years followed by macao, japan and singapore. as medicine improves and standards of living go up in some of the developed countries, people simply continue to live longer. the question is can they afford
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it? government options are fairly limit individual this. they can raise the retirement age, raise taxes to fund public pension plans and lower benefits. a lot of countries were already considering all of these things just attack on existing, crippling national debts. governments can educate people how to better prepare for retirement like save a little more money. here's the question. can you afford to get old? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile and post a comment on my blog or go to my post on "the situation room's" facebook page. >> first, there were images of government employees living up in las vegas. the taxpayer expense now. look at this. more information is coming out about activities on gs-8, the general sers administration workers. our senior congressional correspondent dana bash has been investigating the story for us. what else are you learning? it's republicans on capitol hill and the house committees that are looking into this.
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they have been digging through reams and reams of documents, combing through them and preparing for next week's hearings. the gsa is an agency that's supposed to make the government more efficient and save taxpayer dollars, but we obtained a document that showed the agency spent an eye-popping amount on just conferences. we've seen the videos mocking wasted abuse. ♪ ♪ >> reporter: weave seen evidence of the lavish 2010 gsa convention in las vegas costing taxpayers more than $800,000. >> i am wearing all armani. >> reporter: now new information exposing what appears to be excess spending beyond all that. what one gsa official calls millions of taxpayer dollars spent in a two-year period to relocate gsa employees. in one move alone relocating an employee from denver to hawaii it looks like the gsa spent
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$330,000. that comes from a transcript of an interview conducted by a gsa inspector general investigator with an unnamed gsa event planner charged with relocating employees. the transcript was provided to cnn by republicans on the house oversight committee. in it, the planner said it, quote, blew me away how much it costs to relocate somebody. it's crazy and astronomical. hundreds of thousands of dollars, going on to say, quote, i mean, it's outrageous. among the relocation costs generally picked up by the gsa, a house hunting trip, temporary quarters for up to 90 days, one vehicle shipped groceries and laundry. beyond that, the event planner said the government would pay closing costs on a home purchase if the person relocating can't sell their house, we have a guarantee that we'll buy it, then sell it off. as to how much the gsa has spent in two years, oh, millions
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replied the gsa event planner. how many employees are we talking about the investigator later asked. i'd say right now, probably 15 files on my desk said the gsa event planner. the investigator simply replied, that's amazing. we should note it's unclear from the transcript whether the government was reimbursed for any of that $330,000 relocation to thhawaii. it also sets the parameters for relocation costs for a government wide which is another reason why this is so stunning, and i talked to a gsa official who didn't have a direct response to this report or this transcript, but did kind of indicate that they understand the problems because they've set up pilot programs around the government to bring down costs for relocating government workers. >> they'll have to do something quickly. this is a disaster for the gsa. >> yes.
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u.s. law makers, get this, accused of being members of the communist party by a fellow lawmaker. details in an explosive mccarthylike uproar on capitol hill right now. what's going on? stand by. a major new development in the trayvon martin death as the shooter, george zimmerman, makes his first appearance in court. all eyes on north korea and the defiant rocket launch. the window has passed leaving high tension in the region and beyond. ♪ [ male announcer ] we believe small things can make a big difference. like how a little oil from here can be such a big thing in an old friend's life. purina one discovered that by blending enhanced botanical oils into our food, we can help brighten an old dog's mind so he's up to his old tricks. with this kind of thinking going into our food, imagine all the goodness that can come out of it. just one way we're making the world a better place... one pet at a time.
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so, where to next? you know what's exciting, graduation. when i look up into my student's faces, i see pride. you know, i have done something worthwhile. when i earned my doctorate through university of phoenix, that pride, that was on my face. i am jocelyn taylor, i am committed to making a difference in peoples lives and i am a phoenix. arraignment is now scheduled for may 29th for george zimmerman in the shooting death of the florida teenager trayvon martin. zimmerman made his first court appearance today. criminal defense attorney and cnn legal contributor mark nejame is in orlando. he's watching it all for us.
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mark, why didn't george zimmerman ask for bail? >> well, i think that was a decision that mark o'mara appropriately made. please remember, and for those who don't know, i simply got a phone call yesterday morning from george zimmerman's close family friends to handle the case with this conflict of interest and personal family reasons i simply passed and gave five names and mark o'mara was one of them and mark doesn't get on this case until late yesterday afternoon and that's woefully inadequate to prepare a bond hearing that would be as complex as this. he wants to go in there and do the job right rather than going there and forcing it through. >> nor, can he still get bail at some point down the road? is that what i'm hearing you say? >> absolutely. all today was was a first appearance, but since charges have already been filed that eliminates that there's been a determination of probable cause. today we had a county court judge. it needs to go to a circuit court or felony judge.
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all mark will be doing is file a motion to set a reasonable bond and looking for some time on the court's docket, schedule it for a hearing and have a full-pledged bond hearing. he'll be looking for the quickest possible time that still allows him time to prepare his case. it can be before or after the arraignment. the arraignment will have nothing to do with this. >> and i want to make sure everyone knows you are now a cnn legal analyst, and i want to welcome you to cnn. >> thank you. >> explain what you think. you have a ton of experience in florida criminal law. why this second-degree murder charge may be appropriate and may not be appropriate, is it too harsh? what do you think? >> well, i think the prosecution has surely thought that out. we know miss corey's reputation is that of a strong advocate for the state, but we also know that she has a policy of charging the highest possible case that she thinks that she might in good faith be able to prove. a lot of of prosecutors charge
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as high as they can and either want to get that charge or looking for a lesser included offense. if you lowered the ceiling to a manslaughter that's the maximum you could get. if you bring it up to second-degree murder then you can go below that and still get a conviction that might satisfy everybody. so apparently her philosophy is to charge the highest. she runs the true risk of being perceived as overcharging this case. she will now have a burden of proving a depraved mind. there are a lot of issues and a lot of elements that go into that. so we'll have to see how the evidence unfolds and how the discovery comes out during the course of of time. >> what do you know about this judge who is now presiding? >> the judge today or the one that's been assigned? >> the judge that's been assigned. well, that's judge recksiedler and it will be an interesting issue. it will come out and might as well. it turns out she happens to be the wife of one of my law partners. so we're going to have to see
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how that plays itself out. she is a very knowledgeable and skilled, she was recently elected to the bench. she's known as being tough, but very hard worker and we'll see how that plays itself out. one of my law partners, the partner who handles the personal injury, that's recksiedler and we'll see how that goes. >> we'll see if that's a problem or not. thanks for upon hadding helping us. i know you will help us for the duration. >> thank you. we'll have mark o'mara join us live in our next hour. we'll ask him some of the questions that are relevant today as well. first, a mysterious oil sheen shows up off the louisiana coast covering ten square miles. what the u.s. coast guard is saying and what's going on. hilary rosen backing off her slam against ann romney and the political storm continues and we'll discuss that and more in our strategy session. all right, let's decide what to
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>> a shooting incident in the u.s. coast guard station. barbara starr, the pentagon correspondent, is working the details. what are you learning, barbara? ? this is in kodiak, lack alaska, long way away from many of our viewers, and it is unfolding at this hour. the coast guard has had a shooting. two coast guard members are dead and the base, we are now told by the u.s. coast guard, is in lockdown as well as some surrounding schools. they say this is precautionary because they don't know exactly what has happened and how these two members of the u.s. coast guard came to be shot dead. they are looking for a possible perpetrator, perhaps, a possible gunman and they say as a precaution this u.s. coast guard base on kodiak island in alaska, the surrounding schools and the
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community, they're asking everyone to remain very vigilant and look for any suspicious activity until they can get this situation resolved, wolf. >> all right, barbara. thanks very much. when you get more information, let us know. an eerie calm descends on syria after months of deadly violence. lisa sylvester and monitoring that and the other top stories in "the situation room." what's going on, lisa? >> it's being described as a fragile and tentative truce with syria, apparently bowing to international pressure to stop its bloody crackdown, but the u.s. ambassador to the united nations says syria's forces remain in population centers and the country is not in full compliance with the u.n. peace plan. an estimated 9,000 to 11,000 people have died since it began 13 months ago. the oil sheen covers ten square miles and located 56 miles off the louisiana coast. royal dutch/shell first discovered it yesterday between two of its drilling platforms, but the company says there are no signs of leaks from its
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equipment. the sheen is the equivalent of about six barrels of oil. the coast guard is now monitoring the sheen and trying to figure out its source. >> the man dubbed the underwear bomber has been moved to one of the country's highest security prisons. the so-called super max in florence, colorado. mutallab is accused of trying to down a plane in 2009 with explosives hidden in his underwear. super max also houses ted kaczynski, and eric rudolph and the so-called shoebomber richard reid. >> and the second straight day of gains on wall street. the dow, nasdaq and the s&p all closed up more than 1 1/3% with the dow gaining more than 172 points. so a good day on wall street, wolf. >> good news for the investors out there. thank you, lisa. communists in congress. the republican congressman from
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florida, allen west says dozens of his democratic colleagues, yes, dozens are not just socialist they're members of the communist party and some key republicans out there have said in recent days that allen west would make a good vice presidential running mate for mitt romney. we'll discuss what's going on in our strategy session. and many americans have had their cell phones stolen, but a new effort is now under way to make that a useless move for would-be thieves. change engineering in dubai, aluminum production in south africa, and the aerospace industry in the u.s.? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex, global economy. it's just one reason over 75% of our mutual funds beat their 10-year lipper average. t. rowe price. invest with confidence. request a prospectus or summary prospectus with investment information, risks, fees and expenses to read and consider carefully before investing.
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let's get to our strategy session right now. joining us our cnn political contributor and democratic strategist maria cardona along with democratic strategist bayh buchanon. we'll talk about hilary rosen in a moment, but let's talk about allen west right now, a prominent conservative and tea party favorite, congressman from south florida and he was meeting with some of his constituents and he had this exchange. i'm going to play it for our viewers and then we'll discuss. [ inaudible ]
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>> if you couldn't read it, i believe there are 78 to 81 members of the democrat party that are members of the communist party. i don't know what he's talking about, but bay, help me explain what's going on. >> i suspect he's just -- it's an analogy. he has not chosen the best of words. this is a man who is clearly a great american hero, a war hero, but this is a statement i couldn't agree with. >> it sounds like mccarthy. >> i don't know if there there is a card-carrying member of the communist party? >> a communist in russia. but what he's referring to are
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the progressive caucus which is both liberal members of the house of representatives and they're not necessarily communists, and certainly not members of a communist party. >> of course, not and that's completely over the top, but you know what? unfortunately or fortunately for the tea party members and for the people that he is serving up this red meat for, that is typical allen west and he was a lightning rod during the campaign and he will be a lightning rod if he is a prominent member of this campaign, and with statements like that and as a democrat i say bring it on. >> it's not just -- we know he's a favorite of the tea party and a lot of folks -- and they upset the election in 2010. sarah palin, the vice presidential nominee of the republican party with john mccain four years ago. she was on fox and listen to what she said about allen west. >> i love that he has that military experience. he is a public servant and willing to serve for the right
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reasons. >> this is a while back on april 3rd when she was asked who would you like to pick as a vice presidential running mate, top of my list is allen west. nikki haley was asked a similar question. you have heard governor palin talk about west and he's good. he's not just some crack pot out there and he's someone they take very seriously, allen west and he's got a constituency out there, and this kind of stuff makes him look ridiculous. >> wolf, i'm sure you must be somewhat familiar. he has an amazing story, what he did over there in the war and how he took care of his troops. >> on the military front, i totally agree, but when you start talking about communists. >> i agree. i think as you pointed out, he's using the term communist to mean progressives and very left wing and in some people's eyes closing in on the communist. >> but you agree, when he says
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members of the communist party, members of the -- he should apologize. he should take it back. we checked in with his office to see if he's revising changing, issuing some sort of clarification and so far -- >> i would like to see what he said following that and did he explain it? >> talk about the progressives and he explained a little more and so it was a terminology to tell his people there. this is how left they are, and if that's what he's saying, fair enough. he's into that and he's into being very dynamic. >> he seemed pretty sure of himself in that quote and that sound bite. it was almost as if he had seen the cards, wolf, of the card-carrying members of the communists. >> hilary rosen, the democratic strategist who is a cnn contributor like you are, maria. she was here. i don't know if you saw the interview. >> i did. >> democrats are throwing her under the bus big time right now. michelle obama tweeting and debbie wasserman schultz, and
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david axelrod and jim mess inneh are trying to run away from her as quickly as they possibly can. what do you think the fallout from this is going to be? >> well, look, i think this is clearly two things going on. it's politics and it's politics in a new era, and what the obama campaign did they did because it is politics, and i think at the end of the day and i'm not going to put words in hilary's mouth and she was very articulate in her apology and what she meant when she talked to you about it, but i think the underlying message here is something that mitt romney still needs to answer to is, look, and we were talking about this in the green room. he can't continue to say when he gets a question about women's issues he can't continue to say oh, i wish ann romney is here because she's so much better at answering these questions. i wish ann was here because this is a question she could better answer. no, willard, this is a question for you. >> you're a supporter of mitt romney, and you did hear hilary
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apologize. >> i did. >> to ann romney, and case closed now? >> i'm a supporter of ann's as well. she's a terrific gal, and i'm not going to question the sincerity of hilary. i do believe she was sincere. i think there's no question she's out there only because of the pressure that's put on her in the last 24 hours. they thought she had to in order to still work in the democratic party, but the outrage from her response -- for her comments, wolf, was completely legitimate. there is elitism among some of those leaders. you heard it when george bush ran and they went after laura on the same point, and this isn't a throwaway line. there is a sense that you stay at home and you lose your value. sure, you should be respected, but your opinion, your voice doesn't have the same weight as someone who had workplace experience. that is wrong. there's no more real experience than raising children, getting up at 2:00 in the morning with a sick child. you learn a whole lot there. >> i don't think that's true of
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the democratic party as a whole and it's certainly not true of hilary. she's a mother herself, again, poorly chosen words. >> awfully chosen words and she's arc apologized for them. let's see what happens now, but she's a very good mother, and i want to point that out. she knows how difficult it is raising kids. >> don't we all. >> and we do, as well. >> it's hard work. a new satellite image of the site where north korea is poised to make a rocket launch. we'll explain what the picture reveals. how does it work? you just have to eat it as part of your heart healthy diet. step 1. eat the soup. all those veggies and beans, that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. but proven technologies allow natural gas producers to supply affordable, cleaner energy, while protecting our environment. across america, these technologies protect air - by monitoring air quality and reducing emissions... ...protect water - through conservation and self-contained recycling systems...
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>> jack's back with "the cafferty file." >> the question this hour, wolf, can you afford to get old? they've done studies and the cost of this additional longevity is going through the roof. i can barely afford to be young. my wife and i have been mared in february and have to watch our penes. i've accepted the fact that i'll have to work most of my life een if i have to live a modest lifestyle. the advice i got was live modestly, stay away from death, pay cash. pete in florida writes as more and more of the country's wealth is transferred to the upper 5%, most of the rest of us will never be able to afford to retire or get health care or live comfortable lives or get old. the 21st version of the company store until you die until the wage slaves revolt and take back by force what the rich and
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powerful have stolen from us all. william in minnesota says no, but then i refuse to grow up or get old. if i do some day, i'm 55 now, i plan to live with my kids like they did for the first 25 years of their lives. i get to return the favor. amelia writes, sure you can if you have good health insurance and a 75 income. projections out to 2050 may be amusing, but they're essentially useless. the may an calendar is right, we've only got eight months to left. most people will never see 2050 and few under 40 have given it much thought. i suggest you focus the questions on the here and now and leave the abstract stuff to the philosophy majors. as long as my wife stays healthy and works i'll be okay. just don't tell her i said that. if you want to read more about this, go to the blog,
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cnn.com/cafferty file or through our post on the situation room's facebook page. >> until they kick me out, as long as i -- you know -- >> i know you do. >> i look forward to going to work. as long as i feel like that i'll keep on it. >> it shows. you do a wonderful job. >> i appreciate it. commercial airline flights are being diverted as north korea prepares for a controversial rocket launch and we're looking at possible paths and what can go wrong. stand by. new information coming up.
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stolen cell phones make up 30% to 40% of all robberies in the united states and now there's a new effort under way to keep thieves from using them. cnn's lisa sylvester has details. >> what you're looking at is hot property, cell phones stolen and ending up on the black market, confiscated by d.c. police during a raid last month. >> now today iphones and smartphones are catnip for criminals. they're valuable, they're exposed. they're easy to steal. >> reporter: much the say way prized jordan shoes were a hot commodity being stole own the street, now smartphones at $500 a pop are being targeted, often
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violently. >> in the middle of the day walking down the street with a baby stroller, she was punched in the face, her jaw was broken and they took her phone. just her phone. i can give a hundred examples like that. >> reporter: last year 700,000 cell phones were reported stolen. what's striking is the trend. in new york city ten years ago stolen mobile phones were 8% of all robberies. today, they're over 40% according to the new york city police department, but now the major wireless companies, the federal communications commission and law enforcement are teaming up to make it easier to deactivate stolen smartphones. >> now carriers with the push of a button will be able to take highly prized, stolen instruments and turn them into worthless pieces of plastic. >> reporter: the plan includes a new database of stolen phones. when someone reports their phone stolen it will be flagged and blocked from being reused again.
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future smartphones will have automatic prompts to remain users to lock their phones with passwords and a public education campaign to encourage customers to use widely available apps to either lock, locate or wipe the data from their smartphones remotely. one such app is called find iphone. say your phone is stolen and then you can go online, for example, in my case this is a map of washington, d.c. and i can track the guy who has my stolen cell phone who has my cell phone and he's here on h street and contract the authorities. >> it will cover 90% of u.s. cell phone subscribers. the database will be up and running in six months. >> we're sending a message to consumers. we've got your back, and a message to criminals that we're cracking down on the phone and tablet resale market, making smartphone a crime that doesn't pay. don't waste your time. >> reporter: each phone has a unique number much like a car
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has a vehicle identification number or vin, and senator chuck schumer has introduced legislation that would make it illegal to tamper with the phone to circumvent the database and this is an effort to stay one step ahead of the criminals, wolf. >> lisa, thank you. >> and you're in "the situation room", happening now, new information just coming into the situation room in the case of against george zimmerman. we just learned moments ago why prosecutors charged him the way they did. i'll ask his new criminal defense attorney about the defense strategy that's unfolding and whether he has some help from the dead teen's mother. also north korea may be close to launching a rocket and possibly triggering a rather dangerous international crisis. cnn's inside north korea and we have a new satellite image of the launch site. and the romney camp sends a message, don't mess with ann. ann romney this hour, the republican presidential
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candidate's wife fighting back against the democratic strategist's claim that she never worked a day in her life. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." >> first, breaking news in the case of george zimmerman accused now of second-degree murder. what zimmerman may have said on the day of trayvon martin's death. i'll talk with zimmerman's new lawyer and for now david mattingly joins us from sanford, florida. tell us about the new information. >> reporter: wolf, taking a look at the court documents that prosecutors filed telling the judge why they believe that george zimmerman should be charged with second-degree murder, was there one very telling paragraph and here we'll show it to you right now. it has to do with that 911 call and what was heard from george zimmerman as he was talking to the 911 operator.
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they talk about how zimmerman made reference to the people in the neighborhood that he felt had committed crimes and gotten away, referring to them as, quoting him saying these blanks, they always get away and then also said these blanking punks. that's significant because they're saying zimmerman used the word punks and did not utter a racial epithet as so many people thought he did during that 911 call. so that in itself is significant, but we're also looking at today at the question about whether george zimmerman is remaining behind bars about why bond was not set in this case so far. his attorney coming out saying that they're going to wait for an appropriate time in order for the publicity to calm down a little bit and then there will be a bond hearing to determine if george zimmerman will be a free man. other than that, there is an arraignment set for the end of may in this case, and as this
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was going on, after both sides came out and speaking to the cameras and both sides falling on a very common theme here, standing up for the justice system, because as you know, the justice process in this case has been almost under attack almost as much as george zimmerman himself. listen. >> he's glad the process is in place. he really does hope as the prosecutor said that would give him the opportunity by the media, by the community to handle this case the way it's supposed to be handled and the full discovery, conversations, negotiations and trial if need be and let the system work. it really, truly works and now that we have focus on it, it's going to work even better. >> reporter: letting this system work, we just had the very first step with george zimmerman going for his initial appearance today. he uttered four words the entire time. the process today took less than three minutes for it all to transpire.
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again, this is just the beginning of what promises to be a very long, legal process for george zimmerman before he gets to a jury, before he even gets to a trial there's going to be a hearing possibly to invoke the stand your ground law here in florida. so a lot of huge hurdles have to be cleared before the prosecution can actually get george zimmerman in front of a jury. also the question about who will be paying for george zimmerman's defense. his attorney today saying that george zimmerman is indigent. we know that he's set up a website where he was soliciting funds from the public to help pay for his living expenses while he was in hiding and also for his legal expenses so we knew he didn't have money to pay for an attorney and now his attorney saying that he is indigent which looks like it's opening the door for the state of florida to be paying for his defense, wolf? >> and i've been reading this affidavit of probable cause and second-degree murder that the prosecutor just released and i
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know you read it as well. state of florida versus george zimmerman. you point out that the prosecutors in this case are very specific on those words that zimmerman uttered in that 911 call. let me read that paragraph. during the recorded call, zimmerman made reference to people he felt had committed and gotten away with break-s in in the neighborhood and later, he said these -- and i won't use that word, a bad word, always get away. these, bad word, punks. the word was punks that he used, not a derogatory word against african-americans. i guess, david, and maybe the lawyers will be able to explain this, this removes presumably the opportunity for the u.s. justice department to file some sort of civil rights case against george zimmerman if he used punks as opposed to a derogatory word about african-americans. >> reporter: that would appear to be the case. what the justice department is doing is completely separate
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from this, but what it does tell us is getting at the state of mind of george zimmerman as the prosecution sees it. that's what's the bases of the second-degree murder prosecution here is what was on his mind? what was his intent as he killed that young man that night? so what this paragraph is doing is getting at george zimmerman's state of mind, perhaps laying the groundwork for some sort of malicious frame of mind that he had toward trayvon martin that night. >> you know, it's interesting. i'll read another line or two from this affidavit because it's interesting. when the police dispatcher on this 911 call said -- realized that zimmerman was pursuing trayvon martin, he instructed zimmerman not to do that and that the responding officer would meet him. don't follow him, an officer was coming and just stand by. zimmerman, according to this affidavit disregarded the police dispatcher and continued to
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follow martin who was trying to return to his home. that would probably be the most damning comments in this affidavit. >> reporter: and remember, this is the prosecution's first step forward in telling the court why george zimmerman should be defending himself against these charges. we haven't heard in any official form what kind of defense is going to be mounted on his behalf. we've known from previous attorneys that he's going to argue that he did not start that confrontation, but for the purposes of this document it's the prosecution who is having the first words. >> david mattingly on the scene for us, thank you. trayvon's mother is pulling back from a stunning remark she made earlier today that the killing of her son was, quote, an accident. listen to this. >> i believe it was an accident. i believe that it just got out of control, and he couldn't turn the clock back. >> sybrina fulton, the mother
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issued a statement saying she didn't mean to suggest that the shooting was an accident and she wrote and i'll frommed to you, we believe that george zimmerman stalked my son and murdered him in cold blood. the accident i was referring to was the fact that george zimmerman and my son ever crossed paths. let's bring in george zimmerman's new attorney mark o'mara. he's joining us on the phone from orlando, florida. first of all, what do you make of the mother backing away from her earlier comment. >> you know, i only saw the initial comment once and i just read what you said she said. i don't want to comment on her position. we'll just have to deal with it as i see more about it. i have not seen the first page of evidence yet. >> have you spoken at length with your new client yet? >> certainly, yes. >> how is he doing? what's he saying? what's the bottom line as far as his mental state because his former attorneys were suggesting he's in major depression. >> well, i think he's tired.
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i think he's stressed, and i think he's frightened. you know, if you think of what he has been going through for the past number of weeks and at least the isolation caused by the publicity in this case, no matter what he was involved in a set of circumstances in which a person lost his life, trayvon martin, so the stress level certainly that that carries with it. he's facing second-degree murder charges, but i will tell you in my conversations with him, i was able to interact with him. i think that at least now there's a process in place that he knows what the next few steps will be and there's a certain certainty in that. >> you didn't seek his ability to get bail, and get out of jail today, but i assume you'll do that at some point, is that right? >> that's correct. we have a bond motion filed. >> when is that? >> i believe it will be set at the end of next week. we're confirming that time with the judge as we speak. >> and are you realistically
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hopeful that the judge will let him leave on bail? >> yes, i believe he should be out on bail. there is a schedule in florida, a bond schedule that suggests no bond initially on a second degree murder charge, but the judge has the right to review all of the facts and as what we call the author of proceeding in what they believe to be the evidence in their case and i get to contest it to a certain extent, and mr. zimmerman's prior record or lack thereof and the stability in the community are elements that want to be considered. i just want him to help me, in a selfish way. i want him to be available to me so we're together in preparing his defense and i don't think he needs to be incarcerated while we're doing that. >> in prin rigson, is he isolat from other prisoners? >> he's in protective custody sos ys he's isolated from other prisoners. >> have you had a chance to read this affidavit of probable cause
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that the prosecutor, angela corey has just released in florida versus george zimmerman. very briefly. we were interacting with the judge. >> the police dispatcher informed zimmerman that an officer was on the way and to wait for the officer. the bottom line question is why did he disrespect that request from the 911 police dispatcher and continue following trayvon martin. >> i have no idea of the timeline. i don't have the evidence, and it was always the discovery, so it wouldn't be proper for me to comment on what i don't know yet. >> and this other line, many you don't want to comment on this one either, but i'll read it anyhow. when the police dispatcher realized he was pursuing martin he instructioned zimmerman not to do that. zimmerman disregarded the police dispatcher and continued to follow martin who was trying to return to his home. that would seem to be very damning evidence against your client that he was -- that he
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was willfully going after this 17-year-old boy. >> well, i'm not sure who signed the affidavit and what information they looked toot come to that conclusion, but what i would like to do is get to that evidence in sum, and not just a summary of it, but all of the evidence and timeline it and see. i know that there were other sort of misinterpretations of the evidence along the way, and i'd rather wait until we have it before adding to the misinterpretations. >> the two that sthiend of a av are t.c.olstein and both inve investigators and those that are on the scene. >> i don't know if on the scene or reviewing it. investigators may have been the ones reviewing that information. i truly don't know. >> mark o'mara, we'll stay in close touch with you. thanks very much for joining us. >> sure thing. take care. we have other breaking news we're following this hour including a revealing new satellite image that we're
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getting from north korea where a rocket could soon launch in defiance of u.s. warnings and threats and ann romney as the footer for her husband's campaign and hilary rosen is exposing her tough side and see what happens when some charming ladies take their first voyage into cyberspace. >> you can twitter to a whole bunch of people and a whole bunch of people can twitter to you. >> no that's -- that's -- that's -- >> google. >> exing. texting. nother one. get a $100 rebate, plus the low price tire guarantee during the big tire event. look at that. it's happening right there every five seconds. your not going to run out are you?
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and save an average of $600. there's a lot a home improvement centers out there. but does paying more for less mower really improve anything? at's why sears brought the latest craftsman line here. to put our money where our mouth is. welcome to the turf war. compare any craftsman tractor, mower, or trimmer to any other brand, and we guarantee sears has the lowest price. you won't find a better deal there, or there. and if you do, we'll match it. and give you up to a hundred dollars to spend on anything at sears. it's a turf war. because your lawn in worth fighting for. want proof? see our prices and theirs at sears.com/compare. jack cafferty is here with "the cafferty file" it took 18 hours for hilary rosen to apologize for her elle ill-conceived comment that ann romney never worked a day in her life. the apology is a daylight and a
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dollar short. the damage has been done and they a lot of it. ann romney who raised five children as well as dealing with cancer and multiple sclerosis and that's work, too, miss rosen, was classy in her response to this. she said, quote, she made a choice to stay home and raise five boy, believe me, it was hard work, unquote. i think that's probably a true statement. democrats ran from rosen like she was on fire. david axelrod called the comments inappropriate and offensive. another true statement. top obama officials said they couldn't disagree more with rosen that families ought to be off limit sdmas stay-at-home moms work harder than most of us do, unquote. before she decided to apologize, hilary rosen has arc apologized for bringing his wife into this debate. mrs. romney isn't an expert on women and the economy. why not? first rule of holes is when you're in one, stop digging.
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mercifully, after 18 hours, hilary rosen finally put down the shovel. for the moment, president obama enjoys an almost 20-point lead among women, an incident like this might make women give mitt romney a second look. here's the question. how much damage did obama supporter hilary rosen do when she said ann romney never worked a day in her life? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile and post a comment on my blog or to the situation room's facebook page. >> causing a lot of heartburn for democrats and even vice president joe biden was asked about it on msnbc and listen to this. let's get that sound bite of the vice president joe biden reacting to the hillary rosen uproar, and what she said about ann romney. >> pardon me? >> did hilary rosen go too far
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last night? >> absolutely. absolutely. great to see you guys. >> later, he spoke out earlier in an interview with -- and the hilary rosen issue and he said i don't have a lot of patience for commentary about the spouses of political candidates. just how critical is ann romney to the romney campaign? just now is our national political correspondent jim acosta. tell us a little bit more about ann romney. don't mess with --
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democratic strategist unleashed what widely considered the romney campaign's best asset and for months mrs. romney told cnn's piers morgan she's had a job. >> it's my job and a great job with making sure people see the other side of mitt. >> even then you knew these moments would be fleeing. >> with raising five boys it's
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tough billing on the campaign's website. >> i miss having all of them under my roof. >> and she's a natural on interviews responding to rosen on fox news. >> look, i know what it's like to struggle. namely her health struggles as her husband has detailed time and again. >> she was diagnosed with multiple skreres onnis and most recently with breast cancer. yes, she now lives a life of privilege. >> ann drives a couple of cadill cadillacs. >> and she reminds where her family comes from program. >> it was demonstrate individual of the tweets in her defense. the president's top strategist david axelrod to democratic party chair to debbie wasserman schultz to meshel obama. it wasn't long after the first lady's tweet that rosen was offering an apology to mrs. romney. the backlash took her by surprise. >> a pound of terrorist fist
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jab? >> mrs. obama took her share of hits in 2008. romney's press secretary andrea saul says there should be imwellities when it comes to a candidate's spouse. >>. >> of course, they're, you know, of course mrs. romney is a surrogate for the governor. she's out campaigning for him. of course people are going to look at what she says and examine that, but as far as taking a cheap shot at her to make some sort of political, you know, points on the board, i just don't understand, you know, what the point of that is. >> reporter: mrs. romney came across to supporters and they suggested mitt romney should pick ann romney as his running mate in the presidential race. that is not the role the romney campaign envisions and it sounds like a traditional first lady role. ann does not make policy, but
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she does provide advice and counsel to her husband, but she does so in private. sounds a lot like the first lady the country has now. >> thank you, jim acosta. hilary rosen has formally arc apologized here in "the situation room," apologized to ann romney profusely for saying what she said, and the way she said it. we'll have a clip of what hilary rosen specifically said. that's coming up later this hour here in "the situation room." meanwhile, the world is watching north korea as it prepares to defy the west and launch a long-range rocket. cnn's inside the secretive country. >> find out who is in the most exclusive club in the world. [ rosa ] i'm rosa and i quit smoking with chantix.
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or creates another laptop bag or hires another employee, it's not just good for business, it's good for the entire community. at bank of america, we know the impact that local businesses have on communities. that's why we extended $6.4 billion in new credit to small businesses across the country last year. because the more we help them, the more we help make opportunity possible. north korea may be just minutes away from provoking a dangerous confrontation with the united states and other nations. a controversial long-range
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rocket is being fueled. weather conditions appear to be right for it to launch. speculation by any side could be staft rouse. we have new satellite image from the laurin site. let's go to pentagon correspondent barbara starr. they're watching this closely at the pentagon and other agencies around washington and indeed around the world. what does this new satellite image show? >> let's put it up and show it to our viewers right off, wolf. this is a commercial satellite company obtained by our producer adam levin. inside that circle, there are about 11 vehicles now on the launchpad. by all accounts none of them are fuel trucks essentially, so no fueling going on anymore. it may be fueled up now and ready to go. that means the pre-launch activities are done. it could be anywhere from now to maybe in the next couple of days. here's why the north koreans
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have to get moving on this. once they have fueled up the missile, the rocket, pardon me, once they have fueled the rocket, the fuel is corrosive and it will eat away at the seals and other essential parts of the rocket and it may begin to boil off so they don't want to have to take all of the fuel out and start all over again. they need a clear weather window and they need to get this thing moving if they really intend to launch it, wolf. >> our weather experts are telling us the weather seems to be perfect right now potentially for a launch. it's getting close to friday morning over there in north korea. so it could happen, there's a window starting fairly soon, right some. >> there is a window and let's not make any -- let's not overlook the fact that the world's media is there as well including cnn's own stan grant. the north koreans have some confidence that they are going to be able to make this work. nobody thinks they would have invited in a world press corps to watch if they thought it was
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going to fail, and if they wouldn't be able to launch it and if it wouldn't get off the launchpad. the question is why is north korea so confident it will work? who has been helping them? why do they feel they can do this in front of the world's eyes? >> good point. thank you. as the liftoff is apparently getting closer and closer, the united states and its allies still are on north korea's claim that the rocket is being used for peaceful purposes to launch a weather satellite. stan grant is inside north korea and waiting for the rocket to launch and the global tensions are intense. >> the countdown is looming and the pressure is building. a barrage of the world's media descending on north korea and one critical question, missile or satellite? >> reporter: after all of the denials that this is not a missile test, why does the united states not believe it?
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>> translator: i think in my personal opinion the united states people are very confused. >> reporter: pyongyang has gambled up to journalists and has sparked even greater scrutiny. they're saying you're lying, why should they trust you? >> translator: this is why we invited you here. they, pointing at the space analysts from the united states, he's with american tv network. >> they're putting you on the spot. do you believe them? >> i am going to be reporting for nbc news and we'll leave it there. i believe -- i believe that this is not a military shot. the conditions, we cannot predict. this is the nerve center from the time that they'll be able to track the progress of the satellite and it is not an
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option. this is not about science. this is to create by the dear leader himself. >> translator: so our great leader kim jong-il led us through the development of our space technology step by step and he spent lifelong efforts in development of our science. here, too, there are reminders that the whole operation is in praise of their leaders. this control room is on the outskirts of the capital pyongyang escorted here by government, we see a bare bones facility. one observer says it appears to do the job, but the question remains, what will it be tracking? >> it is possible to use this launch vehicle to carry a nuclear warhead. however, i am sure that this particular launch vehicle will
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be useful to launch a satellite. >> reporter: a korea specialist from the american university. he's been invited as a guest of pyongyang. he says it is all about trust. he trusts them, but -- >> is it a satellite or is it a missile and that question is not really ultimately a question of science because it's the same science and technology. it comes down to the motives on the part of north koreans. >> reporter: and what north korea's am bigs don't just end here, they say that this technology is going to be used in the future and they are planning even further launches and bigger launches. wolf? >> stan grant on the scene for us in north korea. japan, not that far away this morning. it will shoot down the north korean rocket if it enters its airspace and the country's missel and the defense systems are scanning the skies right now.
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let's go to. >> japan. cnn's kyung lah is standing by there. >> reporter: the government has rolled out two missile batteries and what you're seeing over my left shoulder here. those are the missile batteries and these are in effect land to air missiles that will intercept any part of the north korean rocket that threatens to land on japan. there are three of them here in the tokyo region. there are four of them in the southern part of japan, the okinawan island asks there are also three war ships with inch sentor missiles. so where all of this is, wolf, it's japan saying that if its citizens are threatened it will, in fact, shoot down this rocket. wolf? >> because they're concerned that this rocket could go off target or whatever and land -- crash land some place in japan. that's why those patriot air defense missiles are ready to go, the ones we see right behind you. >> reporter: you're absolutely right about that, and what they're most concerned are not
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just these grounds, government grounds, but right behind those patriot missiles are apartment buildings. this is a highly populated area. the chance that it will hit the tokyo region is very unlikely if you look at the trajectory of the north korean rocket. the government, doing a bit of political show here, but saying it will defend its people. >> i know they've practiced with the patriot air defense missiles and we'll see if they are needed in this current crisis right now. kyung lah on the scene. we'll stay in close touch with you. meanwhile, president obama's weighing in on the biggest political story of the day. i hit my head in this office standing up underneath the cabinet. got a concussion. it had been about a month and i was still having all of the symptoms and the dizziness, the nausea and the vertigo and it was honestly the hardest time in
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my life. >> i was just ready to give up all hope. i thought, wait a minute, if all of that research is true and you really believe in it you should be able to make this into a game. so that's what i did. i turned my concussion into a game. look, every day we're using more and more energy. the world needs more energy. where's it going to come from? ♪ that's why right here, in australia, chevron is building one of the biggest natural gas projects in the world. enough power for a city the size of singapore for 50 years. what's it going to do to the planet? natural gas is the cleanest conventional fuel there is. we've got to be smart about this. it's a smart way to go. ♪
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>> all right. this just coming into "the situation room." new evidence the obama camp wants to distance itself from
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democratic strategist hilary rosen even after she formally and publicly apologized for saying mitt romney's wife never worked a day in her life. let's go to white house correspondent dan lothian. the president of the united states now weighing in on this. >> reporter: that's right. just rewind a little bit wolf, to last week, remember the president was speaking to the women's conference at the white house talking about the role that strong women had played in his own life from his mother to his grandmother and so now some of those same themes we heard from the president that he weighed in on this controversy for the first time in an interview with cnn affiliate casey armingy. >> here's what i know that there's no tougher job than being a mom, and you know, when i think about what michelle's had to do, when i think about my own mom, a single mother raising me and my sister, that's work. so anybody who would argue otherwise, i think, probably
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needs to re-think their statement. more broadly, i don't have a lot of patience for commentary about the spouses of political candidates. my general view is those of us who are in the public life, we're fair game. our families are civilians. you know, i haven't met miss romney, but she seems like a nice woman who is supportive of her family and supportive of her husband and i don't know that she necessarily volunteered for this job, so we don't need to be directing comments at them. i think me and governor romney will have more than enough to talk about during the course of this campaign. >> reporter: vice president biden earlier today weighed in on this controversy when a cnn producer caught up with him asking him if the comments went too far and the vice president said, quote, absolutely.
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wolf? >> stand by for a second, dan, because the last hour i spoke with our cnn contributor, the democratic strategist hilary rosen who is at the center of this uproar right now. i asked her to look into the camera and speak directly to ann romney. >> i apologize. working moms, stay-at-home moms, they're both extremely hard jobs. i know, i've shared them both, and i'm sorry if that offended you. >> so the white house, dan, is still pretty upset at hilary rosen for this issue coming up right now, i take it. >> that's right, wolf. we can give a little bit of context to this. we've been talking for several weeks about the role of women not only in the president's life and also in this campaign and what it means to the president's re-election hopes. the president in polls showing far out leading mitt romney among women and women, obviously, are more engaged in the political process than men
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according to the polls. so they realize that the women, the female vote is important, and so something like this could certainly set the president's message back, and i think that's why you saw the president come out and trying to clean this up today, wolf. >> everything else on the democratic side as well. the vice president, the campaign, the chair of the dnc and a whole lot of others. thanks very much for that, dan lothian at the white house. we'll take you inside a secret society that's called the world's most exclusive club. specialists, lots of doctors, lots of advice... and my hands were full. i couldn't sort through it all. with unitedhealthcare, it's different. we have access to great specialists, and our pediatrician gets all the information. everyone works as a team. and i only need to talk to one person about her care. we're more than 78,000 people looking out for 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare.
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i worked at the colorado springs mail processing plant for 22 years. we processed on a given day about a million pieces of mail. checks, newspapers, bills. a lot of people get their medications only through the mail. small businesses depend on this processing plant. they want to shut down 3000 post offices, cut 100,000 jobs. they're gonna be putting people out of work everywhere. the american people depend on the postal service.
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there's a super-exclusive club with only five members in the entire world. "time" magazine is taking you inside, and the powerful group known as presidents or former presidents of the united states of america. joining us is the managing editor of "time" magazine, rick stangel. you have an excerpt in a book coming out in the next few days, michael duffy, the washington bureau chief. give us a nugget about this unique relationship between two of those presidents. the current president and bill
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clinton. >> it's interesting because they were rivals, of course, during their campaign, wolf, but now they realize there's much more that unites them rather than separates them and in fact, as you saw, when the president launched his first campaign video, a 17-minute video, bill clinton is in it throughout, basically endorsing barack obama's policies. so they have a detant between each other and they realize how useful they could be to each other. >> how important is bill clinton -- forget about hillary clinton, bill clinton to the re-election of president obama? >> i think he is important, wolf. he helps with the democratic base. he helps with demographic groups that obama doesn't do well, for example, white males, working-class females. he's an idol, an icon of the democratic party. you know, people want to see his shoulder next to barack obama's shoulder. >> talk a little bit about this
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from the ea fraternity of these presidents. >> it's a wonderful book by nancy and michael. they realize this long history of how presidents have this exclusive and elite club where they realize, you know what? only someone who has sat in that chair understands what it's like for someone else to do that and they actually need to help each other and it's beyond party, it's beyond partisanship and obama has called on jimmy carter, on bill clinton, on bush 41 and bush 43. there's a lovely anecdote about bush 41 being invited to the white house and making president obama laugh. >> nancy gibbs and michael duffy have done a fabulous, fabulous job. i haven't read it yet, but i've heard a lot about it. i'm anxious to read it. thanks for giving us a preview in this issue of "time" magazine, rick. thanks very much. >> thank you, wolf. >> so what happens when you put two 80-year-olds in charge of a major company's twitter account?
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>> you have to let them know that we got their message. >> right. >> and we're trying our darnedest to figure out how to work this tweet machine. so who ordered the cereal that can help lower cholesterol and who ordered the yummy cereal? yummy. [ woman ] lower cholesterol.
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[ man 2 ] yummy. i got that wrong didn't i? [ male announcer ] want great taste and whole grain oats that can help lower cholesterol? honey nut cheerios.
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let's get back to jack. the. >> the question is, ann romney did not have to work but the majority of middle class women. she hasn't a include about the economy as it relates to working mothers. both the romneys have been part of the 1%. hillary rosen was right on target. lillian writes from colorado as a disabled mother of three with a husband in his second year of being unemployed, i don't have two cents to offer in this discussion and i don't expect any politician's wife to noaa real american women are going through or have to put up with during these unsettling times diane writes, i bet mrs. romney had mads, nannies and other paid help. raising children is a big job. i raised four. it is much, much easier when you have the money to hire help and have the choice whether to work outside the home or not.
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mrs. romney had this option. many women have no choice but to do both, raise their kids and work outside the home. sfet lana in california, she is half right which passes to are truth in high-steak politics. working as a mother and raising kids is a task not to be discounted. although hillary rose's doesn't rise to the shame on you. it is dishonorable mention. god knows how many staff that mrs. romney knows what the average woman goes through on a daily basis. wake up america. gordon writes, hillary rosen should not apologize for stating the obvious. ann romney seems like a charming woman but if she ever had to work for a paycheck, she is by definition out of touch with all but a handful of americans. she can never understand the life of a the supermarket cashier that has to juggle family and work. the wives of nascar team owners is a relatively small voting
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bloc. go to the blog if you want to read more. >> jack, thank you. it is never too late to learn. that's the mentality of two 80-year-old women taking their first stabs at social media. >> dottie, you know what she said back to me? >> what? >> she said, don't worry, we will get you a wheelchair. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] not everything powerful has to guzzle fuel. the 2012 e-class bluetec from mercedes-benz. ♪ sadly, no. oh. but i did pick up your dry cleaning and had your shoes shined.
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well, i made you a reservation at the sushi place around the corner. well, in that case, i better get back to these invoices... which i'll do right after making your favorite pancakes. you know what? i'm going to tidy up your side of the office. i can't hear you because i'm also making you a smoothie. [ male announcer ] marriott hotels & resorts knows it's better for xerox to automate their global invoice process so they can focus on serving their customers. with xerox, you're ready for real business. so they can focus on serving their customers. there's a lot a home improvement centers out there. but does paying more for less mower really improve anything? at's why sears brought the latest craftsman line here. to put our money where our mouth is. welcome to the turf war. compare any craftsman tractor, mower, or trimmer to any other brand, and we guarantee sears has the lowest price. you won't find a better deal there, or there. and if you do, we'll match it. and give you up to a hundred dollars to spend on anything at sears. it's a turf war. because your lawn in worth fighting for. want proof? see our prices and theirs at sears.com/compare.
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you can google all things cyberspace. unlike most of us, they are almost 90 years old here is cnn's jeanne moos. >> they are charming the pants off the internet by being clueness about it. >> exinning, texting.
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you need a wi-fi, a wee phi, one of those pad things. >> reporter: they might not know an ipad from a brillo pad but frank and dottie took over kraft mac and cheese for three days. monopolizing facebook, terrorizing twitter. it was a stunt designed to promote the edible icon's 75th anniversary. twitter wasn't. >> this tweak machine. >> reporter: old birds did manage new tweets. dottie tweeting she always used butter to make mac and cheese. it was good. they posted photos on facebook of themselves at 16. both are in their mid-80s now. fans didn't get gooey over the mac and cheese, they got gooey over frankie and dot it.
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ie. >> he just whips out his little palm thing and gives me the answer. it is called google. >> reporter: this is how frankie feels about facebook. >> get a life, tmi. >> reporter: she described it as heart-warming and she loved having all the nice ad agency people hanging around her california home. oldsters in cyberspace are practically a trend. betty white took up twitter and remember the couple in oregon that went rival after accidentally recording them on their new laptop. >> how pretty your hair is. drop your dress a little bit to see your boobs. >> stop it. >> reporter: critics say what is cheesy is making these two oxygen nair rans seem