Skip to main content

tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  May 4, 2012 1:00pm-3:00pm PDT

1:00 pm
deserve to get paid for our work. a lot of people don't realize that many top designers don't actually pay models any money for their work. there are a lot of issue that is go beyond the body image stuff. i think "vogue" is really making a good start. >> sara ziff, thank you for helping to paint a picture of what can be a vicious cycle. >> thank you. that will do it for me. much more straight ahead. let's go to "the situation room" and wolf blitzer. fred, thanks very much. happening now, a disappointing new jobs report, throwing fuel on the political fire, heating up between president obama and mitt romney. we'll also go live to guantanamo bay in cuba where the self-proclaimed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks is only hours away from an arraignment. and a rare conversation with allen gross. he called me from the cuban
1:01 pm
prison where he's been held since 2009. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." not only the null better one issue for most americans, but also the issue that will win the white house in november. the latest jobs report is not nearly what the obama administration was hoping for. it's given the republicans fresh ammunition. we're covering all the angles, beginning with our white house correspondent dan lothian. what's the reaction over there to the latest jobs numbers? >> reporter: well, aides and the president himself point out when you compare the situation did now to the depth of the recession, progress is being made, but they also note the obvious that there's still a lot of people out of work, still a
1:02 pm
lot of work to be done. on that point, republicans agree with the president, but they believe it's time for someone else to try to fix the problem. in a good news/bad news scenario, president obama offered americans the good news first. >> our economy created 130,000 private sector jobs in april, and the unemployment rate ticked down again. >> down to 8.1%, but the reality, 115,000 jobs created april, far below expectations, and the smallest increase in six months. all of this is a weak recovery post-recession recovery. you want to see more jobs growth than this. there have been dips, spikes and flat lines as the president has struggled to turn the economy around. it's a fundamental component of the reelection strategy, but disappointing numbers feed the republican argument that's correct mr. obama's policies are failing. >> this is a sad time in america, when people who want
1:03 pm
work can't find jobs u house speaker john boehner was quick to accuse the president with distracting people. a much different argument from the president's top economic adviser, alan kruger, who called the latest report that the economy is continuing to heal. that's backed up by the unemployment rate in these ballots ground states, including ohio and virginia, where the president will be campaigning this weekend, all lower since he took office. but a mixed picture since unemployment has ticked up if these swing states. republicans sense an opportunity. >> america needs a turnaround artist right now. >> reporter: he urged young people at a suburban virginia high school to put pressure on lawmakers who stand in the way. >> there's too much at stake for us not to all be rowing in the same direction. >> reporter: as this campaign really heats up for the president this weekend, he does
1:04 pm
face a big challenge. that is, since world war ii, no president other than ronald reagan has been able to win a reelection with unemployment above 6%, so the president is turning to young people, who were critical in his campaign in 2008, speaking to students about keeping thor interest rates on federal loans low so that they can have some of the burden removed off their backs when they finally enter the workforce. wolf? >> dan lothian, thank you, as disappointing as the latest numbers are, the real unemployment situation may be worse. tomorrow foreman is taking us inside all of these numbers. tom, there's more than meets theite. >> it's interesting to see people speaking to young people. maybe they've had already 25% unemployment rate for young people in this country. let's look at the big difference. the white house would like you to look at this, 8.1%, down
1:05 pm
0.1%. that doesn't keep up with how many people are entering the job market, so when you're creating that many jobs, you're losing ground. so if that's true, how can this be going down? the reason has to do with the monthly survey that the federal government does. they call about 60,000 families, talk to the people, and establish who is employed, who is unemployed, mean they would like a job, and they're looking for a job action and who is out of workforce. the problem right now is that this group down here is growing. we talked about more than the 100,000 jobs created in this last survey. more than 300,000 people dropped out, said they're no longer looking. maybe they went back to school, it doesn't matter. they're out of the workplace. the result of that is really this whopping figure over here, 63% of americans over 16, so
1:06 pm
people who would likely be in the workforce, 63% are in the labor force. that is the lowest percentage of people in this country since 1981. no matter how you spin that, a crushing, crushing number for anybody who's in office. then you have this other factor which people keep talking about. a job is a job. i think we'll hear more about that, even as this goes on. the simple truth is when the government does that survey to determine who is in what sort of job, one of the things they're doing is saying simply are you employed? if you lost a job where you made $120,000 a week running some sort of company and you get a job, where you made $30,000 a year, that's still counted as a job. so the bottom line is this is probably what we have to look at. the 12.5 million people unemployed in this country. if you look at that number and say does that number substantially come down, that's the real key to whether or not our employment situation is
1:07 pm
getting better, probably more so than the percentages at this point. >> you may a good point. a lot of people do have jobs, but underemployed, they don't have the jobs they necessarily used to have or would like to have or qualified for having, but it's a job that puts food on the table and pays the bill. let's dig deeper with ali velshi, here to give you further context. ali, 150,000 jobs in april, certainly didn't meeting expectations, but it's not all bad news for the president. >> no, look this is one of those tough ones. usually it falls squarely into the category of the president or his op position about what they can do about it. this one is tough. everything that dan said is correct. the republicans have a good argument that this isn't enough. for a lot of those number that tom just gave you, that's an argument they're uses again president obama. he like to say don't hold me
1:08 pm
respond. 4.6 million jobs have been lost in america. 572,000 remain for president obama to deal with. you divide that up between now and october, because it would be the october jobs report, president obama needs to see 95,000 jobs created per month. that is something most economists say is easily achievable. one of the lobs that republicans threw at him is that more jobs were lost under your presidency that's gained. that is one of the criticism he will probably be likely to fight back. notwithstanding all the rest of it, what tom said, there are people unemployed, still not feeling good. in some parts of the country, as dan shalled you, it's still not feeling like a recovery. on that one point, president obama continues to be able to fight back again the republicans. >> ali, do you see anything out there on the horizon that would
1:09 pm
make you they won'tsh 95,000 jobs a month from now until november? >> there are two things. the one, which is not likely, but we'll be watching the elections in france and greece carefully, is if things go worse in europe than right now. if europe has hit bottom, we should be okay. the big thing that could happen is iran. iran will spike the price of oil, and that will send us back into a recession, but today oil dropped by more than $4, so the world is not betting on that either, wolf. >> ali, thanks very much. investors didn't like the jobs report. it helped push down all three major indices on wall street. the diaw was down more than 168 points, the nasdaq almost 68. the s&p lost 22 points, posting the worst week of the year. we're going live to guantanamo bay, where accused 9/11 plotters are abouting to arraigned. plus a call from a cuban prison, my exclusive conversation with the american
1:10 pm
alan gross, he used his one phone call a week to call me to talk about his case. you'll hear the conversation. that's later here in "the situation room." ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] everyone likes a bit of order in their life. virtual wallet helps you get it. keep track of spending, move money with a slide, and use the calendar. all to see your money how you want. ♪ how you want. homicide of young people in america has an impact on all of us. how can we save these young people's lives? as a police chief, i have an opportunity to affect what happens in a major city. if you want to make a difference,
1:11 pm
you have to have the right education. university of phoenix opened the door. my name is james craig, i am committed to making a difference, and i am a phoenix. visit phoenix.edu to find the program that's right for you. enroll now. i'm michael bazinet, president of creative digital imaging of bangor, maine. we have customers all over the united states. we rely on the postal service for everything that we do. the eastern maine processing facility is vital to our operation and our success. if we lose this processing facility we could lose clientele because of increased mailing times. we would have to consider layoffs as a result of that. closure of this plant will affect all of us. ♪ closure of this plant will affect all of us. if you made a list of countries from around the world... ...with the best math scores. ...the united states would be on that list. in 25th place.
1:12 pm
let's raise academic standards across the nation. let's get back to the head of the class. let's solve this. ♪ ♪ wow... ♪ [ female announcer ] sometimes, all you need is the smooth, creamy taste of werther's original caramel to remind you that you're someone very special. ♪ werther's original caramels.
1:13 pm
how quickly things change. mitt romney had an hour and a half one on one meeting with rick san storm. aides say santorum was pleased with the meeting, but isn't formally endorsing his one-time rival, at least not yet. let's discuss it with gloria borger. what's going on? why can't santorum -- we know in the end he'll endorse him. what is this dance about? >> i give him some credit, because he's not pretending they're bffs. they're never going to be good friends. he won 11 states. it was a very hotly contested
1:14 pm
fight. he's very conservative. he's still worked about mitt romney on that front. he wanted some assurances from him that rockne will continue to talk about the issues that are important to the cultural conservatives, and to get an assurance from mitt romney that his's never, ever again going to before a health care mandate. that's very important to rick santor santorum. i think they have some things to iron out. i was talking to his campaign, i said, is this about getting romney to help you raise money to get down your debt or getting a speaking position at the convention? and they say, no, no, no. of course not, because they say santorum just wants some assurance on the issues, and eventually he will come out. >> here assist what write in user column, an excellent column i must say. >> thank you. >> after this combative primary season, watching mitt romney
1:15 pm
struggle with ways to endorse than one-time nemesis is painful. it's like they're trying to find ways to snuggle with darth vader. at the very least, the contortions are a tad awkward and unseemly. in the real world, as opposed to the political world, the result is completely unbelievable. it's also a perfect example of why voters don't trust politicia politicians. >> it is. >> strong words. >> that's why i'm giving santorum some credit here. he didn't turn on the dime. i mean, you had michele bachmann, who by the way, pulled out of the race in jan wear, waited until yesterday to endorse mitt romney, about you she told abc news that there's no way mitt romney can beat barack obama. and now is endorsing the man she thought was going to lose. and we have the case of newt gingrich. take a listen to something he said january and what he said yesterday. >> i don't know of any american president with a swiss bank account.
1:16 pm
i would be glad to have you explain that. i'm asked times is mitt romney conservative enough. my answer is simple -- compared to barack obama? you know, this is not a choice between mitt romney and ronald reagan. this is a choice between mitt romney and the most radical leftist president in american history. >> so it was tortured, i thought, but it was a way of saying, look, i'm not saying i really love mitt romney. what i am saying is we need to beat the president of the united states, who is worse than we could ever imagine mitt romney being, so to me it was a bit tortured, but to most people, you know, who don't cover politics day in and day out it's a big sort of never mind. >> politicians do it all the time. >> they do. this time around john mccain
1:17 pm
endorsed mitt romney. last time he beat mitt romney in the primaries. they do it all the time. we have a word for that. it's called politics. not the way most of us live our lives. >> our viewers should read your column if they want more. >> thank you. finally the mastermind is going on trial. finally live to guantanamo bay in cuba with the details. and osama bin laden's driver is interrogated. we're going to show you the videotape. it's revealing. just been released by the pentagon. ♪ ( whirring and crackling sounds )
1:18 pm
man: assembly lines that fix themselves. the most innovative companies are doing things they never could before, by building on the cisco intelligent network. with less chronic osteoarthritis pain. imagine living your life with less chronic low back pain. imagine you, with less pain. cymbalta can help. cymbalta is fda-approved to manage chronic musculoskeletal pain. one non-narcotic pill a day, every day, can help reduce this pain. tell your doctor right away if your mood worsens, you have unusual changes in mood or behavior or thoughts of suicide. antidepressants can increase these in children, teens, and young adults. cymbalta is not approved for children under 18. people taking maois or thioridazine or with uncontrolled glaucoma should not take cymbalta. taking it with nsaid pain relievers, aspirin, or blood thinners may increase bleeding risk. severe liver problems, some fatal, were reported. signs include abdominal pain
1:19 pm
and yellowing skin or eyes. tell your doctor about all your medicines, including those for migraine and while on cymbalta, call right away if you have high fever, confusion and stiff muscles or serious allergic skin reactions like blisters, peeling rash, hives, or mouth sores to address possible life-threatening conditions. talk about your alcohol use, liver disease and before you reduce or stop cymbalta. dizziness or fainting may occur upon standing. ask your doctor about cymbalta. imagine you with less pain. cymbalta can help. go to cymbalta.com to learn about a free trial offer. introducing gold choice. the freedom you can only get from hertz to keep the car you reserved or simply choose another. and it's free. ya know, for whoever you are that day. it's just another way you'll be traveling at the speed of hertz.
1:20 pm
1:21 pm
it's a day that's been years in the making, spanning two presidential administrations, a u.s. supreme court case and congressional uproar, but tomorrow the case against khalid sheikh mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the terror attacks begins in earnest with arraignment. chris lawrence is already on the scene, joining us live with a preview. tell our viewers what we can expect. >> reporter: well, wolf, that is the key -- what will khalid sheikh mohammed say? what will he look like? remember, it's been years now since anyone in the public has laze eyes on this man. that's why many of the, and no
1:22 pm
one knows what he is going to say. -- with the first appearance. i think you have to tune in and find out what's going to happen. former judge advocate don guter felt the pentagon shake. one of the his staffers was on the plane that hit the building, but he opposed -- >> this is a risky way to take care of these trials. >> reporter: in 2008 khalid sheikh mohammed pled guilty to murder and said i'm looking to be a martyr, but that military commission got canceled. >> the original set of rules and laws set down under the bush administration for the trial by military commissions were
1:23 pm
basically struck down by the supreme court. so they had to start over, and basically put together a new framework. >> reporter: in 2009, attorney general eric holder announced he was moving ksm to new york to be tried in federal court. >> those allegedly responsible for the attacks of september 11th will finally face justice. >> reporter: the back lash, public and political, was fierce. >> it's an unnecessary risk to the city of new york. >> reporter: holder reversed his decision. >> that's definitely a political question, definitely a question for whichever administration has gitmo on their plate. >> chris lawrence on the sea for us at guantanamo bay. we'll get back with him. we're also getting a look at controversial videos of terror suspect interrogations. brian todd is working this part of the story.
1:24 pm
>> these tapes are very releague on the dynamic between detainees and their interrogators. they got a thorough security review by the pentagon before being released. on the most notable tape we don't see waterboarding, but the atmosphere is tense for everyone in the room. he's sat down in a dingy cell with a hood on. it's revealing the face of saleem ham da. this video just released by the pentagon, it was played in open court, part of the military commission's process for prominent detainees. in this interrogation believed to have been done in afghanistan in 2002, hamdan is grilled about missiles and other weapons found in his car.
1:25 pm
>> reporter: he was eventually convicted of providing material support to al qaeda, cleared of more serious charges of conspiring with al qaeda. he served more than five years at guantanamo, but has since been released, now believed to be back in his home in yemen. he's appealing his conviction in u.s. civilian court. we spoke with an attorney whose organization helped detainees challenge their detention. >> this largest question of whether we ought to be interrogating without lawyers present, you know, this tape focuses the public i think on that question. >> reporter: among other videotapes released. grainy images from afghanistan, al qaeda's main training camp in 2000. there's no audio, but you see osama bin laden addressing his fellow jihadists. in this saling recognize, that's mohammed atta, the lead hijacker
1:26 pm
on september 11th, sporting a beard. he's believed to be giving his last will and testament. the other man also believed to be a 9/11 hijacker. on the hamdan interrogation tame, some gamesmanship, the detainee turns the table on his interrogator. >> reporter: the interrogator never answers that question. the translation was provided by the department of defense, wolf. some very interesting back and forth. >> with hamdan's appeal, what is the main league issue? >> whether the charge he was convicted of, material support of terrorism, whether that's actually a war crime or not. hamdan's lawyers say it's not a war crime under international law, so it can't be charged in this military system commission, so they're going back and forth.
1:27 pm
this is being argued in the u.s. civilian court. i think it's the first time a u.s. has ever been done. it's different than the military tribunal. >> that's right. let's dig deeper. right now joining us fran townsend, a former homeland security adviser to president george w. bush, also a member of both of homeland security and the cia external advisory boards. you know, i spoke with jose rodriguez earlier in the week, fran, in charge of clandestine operations, some of those enhanced interrogation techniques, as they were called. is it my sense. he says there are far fewer interrogations nowadays than there used to be. nowadays they send drones out and kill these guys, as oppose to trying to interrogate them. >> we should be very clear the most effective technique is to go out and capture them and
1:28 pm
debrief them, so they can tell you potential plots, they can tell you other actors. that's the preference. even john brennan acknowledged that. john brennan's response to jose's statement was if we could capture them and interrogate them, we would. we use the drones when that's not a viable option. >> the trial of khalid sheikh mohammed, which is about to begin tomorrow at guantanamo bay, should there be any serious concern of blowback, if you will, from the terrorists out there, as they watch all of this unfold? and chris lawrence, our man, is on the scene for us. we'll obviously like other news organization have extensive coverage of this trial. >> you know, wolf, i don't think so. look, there are those who will be in afghanistan and the taliban, people who will be watching for things they can use to either recruit or fund raise or inspire troops, but the fact is from our enemy's perspective, it's years ago, and it's not
1:29 pm
really relevant to today's fight. he really is a relic of the past, as was bin laden, but he's not the same sort of inspirational figure in al qaeda that bin laden was. i think you will see them try to use things that come out at the military commission for their own purposes, for their own propaganda. >> you think khalid sheikh mohammed will actually take the stand? >> that's interesting. it's been a particular concern at the point where attorney general holder suggested he would try him in federal court. that would have been an absolute circus, because he was entitled to do that. he may still try to do that and have his moment, where he can espouse unrestrained his ideology, his sort of hatefulness. i don't think he really fears the system or what it can do, so i think we all to expect he very well might. >> i think the only question i
1:30 pm
have really is he's going to be convicted, but will he be sensed to execution or life in prison without parole? what's your guess? >> you know, wolf, look, the down side to him being executed is he will get what he says he wants. that is he will be made a martyr. that said, i must tell you on balance, given hi responsibility for the deaths of nearly 3,000 americans, it's certainly warranted in this case. i don't think it should be a shock to anyone if that's what he gets, if he winds up being executed. i'm not so worried in his case. when it was the -- we've had other trials where they were not executed. that was probably warranted then, the east african embassy bombings, for example, but khalid sheikh mohammed is such a class apart and responsible for the blood on his hands of so many americans, i don't think anybody would argue if convicted, it's certainly warranted in this case.
1:31 pm
>> fran townsend, thank you very much. britain is taking every possibly precaution before the olympics. fighter jets and missiles are being deployed. the royal navy has sent the largest warship to the capital. sending a number of helicopters and our senior correspondent dan river. >> reporter: this is "hms ocean" sailing right up the river thames into the heart of london, will become the focus of the massive security operations for the olympic games involving 13,500 military personnel. on board are the lynx helicopters. they will be used to patrol the river, and if necessary, snipers on board will take out any threatening boats on the river. these green helicopters over here belong to the army. they are tasked with patrolling a huge no-fly zone that will
1:32 pm
enencircle the stadium. rear admiral in quarter told me why it's so important to have such a massive warship in the center of london. >> if we do detect a suspicious vessel, then the helicopters alongside police boats and some of our own boats will close on that investments, and we'll go through a range of measures to try to ascertain what it's up to action and then if necessary, to try and stop it. >> reporter: part of this undoubtedly a show of strength by the british government. secretary of state philip hammond insist they have every eventuality covered. >> we have a robust security plan in all three domains -- on the land, in the river where we are providing supporting assets. and an in the air defense plan, which is an extension of our usual 24/7 air defense arrangements, but stepped up with additional assets for the olympics.
1:33 pm
>> reporter: this is the first time that "hms ocean" the biggest ship in the royal navy fleet has ever come up the thames. it's been quite an operation to get her navigated safely through at the barrier, through the millennium dome, and finally into greenwich, where she will remain throughout the olympics with her 400 personnel aboard. dan rivers, cnn, on "hms ocean" in london. he's allowed only one phone call a week. just a few hours, an american imprisoned in cuba used it to call my. my exclusive conversation with alan gross is coming up later. plus a bizarre case of alleged obstruction of justice. video evidence and a hanggliding death swallowed by the suspect. if there was a pill
1:34 pm
to help protect your eye health as you age... would you take it? well, there is. [ male announcer ] it's called ocuvite. a vitamin totally dedicated to your eyes, from the eye-care experts at bausch + lomb. as you age, eyes can lose vital nutrients. ocuvite helps replenish key eye nutrients. [ male announcer ] ocuvite has a unique formula not found in your multivitamin to help protect your eye health. now, that's a pill worth taking. [ male announcer ] ocuvite. help protect your eye health.
1:35 pm
at liberty mutual, we know how much you count on your car, and how much the people in your life count on you.
1:36 pm
that's why we offer accident forgiveness, where your price won't increase due to your first accident. we also offer a hassle-free lifetime repair guarantee, where the repairs made on your car are guaranteed for life, or they're on us. these are just two of the valuable features you can expect from liberty mutual. plus, when you insure both your home and car with us, it could save you time and money. at liberty mutual, we help you move on with your life, so get the insurance responsible drivers like you deserve. call us at... or visit your local liberty mutual office, where an agent can help you find the policy that's right for you. liberty mutual insurance, responsibility -- what's your policy? mare,no is -- including
1:37 pm
fierce clashes once again in egypt. mary, what's going on? >> wolf, one person is debt, almost 300 people wounded during violent protests against egypt's military government. you can see security forces beating people in this video. thousandings demanded the resignation of the interim government, which they say is delays the transition to civilian rule. heavy flooding is causing problems for commuter in flint, michigan, especially for this truck driver, who had to stand on top of his truck to stay dry. he said he was driving done a highway when it suddenly turned into a lake. a hing glider pilot is accused of swallows evidence after a woman plunged hundreds of feet to her death. investigators are trying to figure out why she felt and accused the instructor of eating the memory card.
1:38 pm
x-rays confirm the card is in his body, but don't know if it's still usable. he's been charged with obstructing justice. >> wow. let's look at this hour's hot shots. knew zealand protests the sale of public assets. a child points at the preserved remains of a baby mammoth in sri lanka. a student rides her back down the road. in moscow, a sculptor walks by his work, a model made out of the sand. hot shots, pictures coming in from around the world. so how good or how bad are the new jobs numbers? president obama will tell you one thing, mitt romney will say something else. we're trying to cut through the spin on this key election-year issue. to make the case to women, the obama campaign lays out an entire wolf's life on the website. why a leading doesn't want his
1:39 pm
daughter to grow up, quote, like julia. ♪ 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. ♪
1:40 pm
woman: what do you mean, homeowners insurance doesn't cover floods? [ heart rate increases ] man: a few inches of water caused all this? [ heart rate increases ] woman #2: but i don't even live near the water. what you don't know about flood insurance may shock you -- including the fact that a preferred risk policy starts as low as $129 a year. for an agent, call the number that appears on your screen.
1:41 pm
some news. a new jobs number mean the economy is actually improving, or is it such a small increase that it's actually a bad sign? the answer, of course, depends
1:42 pm
on who you ask, especially during this, an election year. here's cnn's jim acosta. >> reporter: wolf, the romney campaign sees this new jobs report as a gift, just one day before the president kicks off his reelection campaign, but mr. obama is already campaigning, knowing full well the jobs market isn't heating up. but the issue of jobs is. there they were, president obama and mitt romney at nearly the same time, two separate events, two different takes on the new unemployment numbers. >> our economy created 130,000 private sector jobs in april, and the unemployment rate ticked down again. >> reporter: but the president acknowledged the obvious. the new rate 8 p 1% is not good enough. >> which means we have to do move. >> people across the country are having hard times, wondering why it is. >> reporter: romney was arguing the job less rate should be much lower. >> anything over 4% is not cause
1:43 pm
for celebration. >> reporter: but the rate harsh been be low 4% since september of 2000. romney appeared to be setting a new political benchmark, after spending much of his campaign blasting the president's stimulus plan for failing to keep the unemploy rate -- >> three years ago, a newly ease electriced president obama told america if congress approve his plan, he would hold unemployment below 8%. it hasn't been below 8% since. >> announcer: until president obama is america moving forward or backward? >> reporter: still, republicans smell blood, seizing on the sluggish recovery in web videos. >> announcer: quarter of -- >> reporter: and mocking a new obama campaign web tool called julia, that allows visitor to click through the stages of a imaginary woman's life, showing how government programs from headstart to the new health care law are there to help.
1:44 pm
conservatives see julia as the poster child for government dependencies. ari fleischer said it appears that julia has given um looking for work. jim messina said i feel great about our web tool and love the republican freakout. >> the president is talking to students -- >> reporter: operatives with spinning outside the president's event where bob mcdonald could end up on the gop ticket. >> they care about jobs in the economy. >> reporter: as he points out, the jobs picture is getting better. >> virginia is growing strong again. so our future. >> reporter: romney and the president are in battleground states mode months ahead of schedule. wolf? >> all right.
1:45 pm
jim, thank you. jim acosta reporting. let's dig deeper. right now joining us the democratic strat jill hillary rho sen. rosen. now it's 8.1%. that looks like it's moving in the right direction. >> well, it does look like it's moving in the right direction. there are two problems with it moving down. the biggest problem is that a population the size of audible koish, new mexico has dropped out of the size of the workforce. that's why it went down. we're talking 522,000 people are now gone from the work force, which an accelerated trend. there are less people in the workforce than when ronald reagan became president, which is troubling. the other big problem is this dollar bill, for the people still in the workforce, you can buy less than you could three years ago. that's a real problem for barack
1:46 pm
obama. no president has been reelected when the purchases power of the america worker has gone down. >> you're saying because of inflailing, the value has gone down, but inflation has been relative modest. >> it's not just inflation -- that's the problem. the cost of milk has gone up, the cost of gas, basic staples, gas has gone up. that's transcended into plastics, so americans' pay is not keeping up with inflation right now. >> let me let hillary respond. the basic point he's making is the unemployment number has about 350,000 people simply dropped out of the work force. go ahead, hillary. >> well,actually, there have been private sector jobs created. we heard president obama say that in the earlier piece. you know, we had 26 straight months of job creation, but it is not enough. thenteresting thing i thought was the earlier report from ali velshi, where he said that
1:47 pm
actually president obama has just about now succeeded in restoring all of the jobs that we the year before he became president. you know, thas not an easy thing to do. i do think that people understand how hard that is. here's what's troubling me, though, in addition to the slowing economy. what really trouble mess is the disparity now between kind of the haves and have-nots. the stock market is now at an all-time high. ceo pay is at an all-time high, so really we have the wealthiest people holding on to their money, not investing in making this economy grow, and those are actually the people that the rpgs are trying to give additional tax cuts too, to, additional incentives. that's not the priority we should be focusing on. what we need to focus on are the middle class and working poor struggling to find jobs. that takes investment. >> i don't really understand,
1:48 pm
erik, hillary makes a fair point, the dow jones industrial averages were below around -- now they're over 13,000, so a lot of investors who have stocks, whether in their portfolios or 401(k)s, retirement plans, they have made money if they invested in stocks, but it's not trickling down in creating the huge number of jobs that need to be created. >> you're right. one of the problems is that a lot of the money that's out there, to some degree, is tied up in stocks. they don't want to get the money out. they don't want to reinvest. there's still uncertainty out there. what will the president do when he wants to raise taxes on people. there are people right now who make a lot of money, have a lot of debts, and they don't know the situation. there are people in the middle class, who would like to invest to get ahead. wolf, frankly there's a larger problem that neither party seems to want to address.
1:49 pm
that is we haven't had net new jobs in this country since 1998. neither democrats or republicans have been able to figure out how to create new jobs. as long as the president doesn't want to tackle real tax reform and the republicans don't seem to want to tackle real tax reform, we won't be able to transition the government. we have an early 1900s tax system set up. >> it's a crazy system, i think everybody graze on that, but so far no one has had the guts to come up and deal with it. >> i think president obama just two months ago put a tax reform proposal on the table. i think he invited republicans to come and sit down and negotiate a package that's about tax fairness, not just about tax cuts for the wealthy, but also about tax fairness for the middle class, and for the working poor, and what we have seen is, instead of trying to work together, what we've seen is kind of the republican is, no, let's get rid of the tax
1:50 pm
credits for the working poor. let's get rid of things like college loans and interest rates that help folks. >> nobody wants to do that. >> that is part of the problem we've had, erick, people are cutting the budget instead of thinking how to invest in people. >> part of the problem is saying we're going to cut college loans when those aren't proposals on the table. >> actually that's not true. >> you have debbie wasserman schultz saying paul ryan wants to shove grandma off the shift -- >> eliminating the tax credit is actually in the ryan proposal and in the romney tax plan. i think what we need to do is a point that eric made, and once you do, the budget comes together. president obama has focused on let's invest in education,
1:51 pm
energy, invest in infrastructure. that would get the economy moving, but congress has not held its own on that. >> very quickly, erick. >> maybe government should just stop investing and let the private sector do it. that's one reason why you don't see the private sector investing. every time they do, the president says he wants to be the arbiter of what's fair or not. i don't want barack obama to be the arbiter of fairness. i fully disagree with what he believes is fair and unfair. >> we're not seeing an explosion of government. part of the job loss problem we have is that government jobs have been reduced in the last two years. >> and government spending keeps going up. >> that's not true. >> guys, we'll continue this debate down the road, no doubt. thanks for coming in. coming up a rare and exclusive conversation i had with an american citizen who's being head in a cuban prison. alan gross used his one call a week to phone me, to talk about his controversial kales.
1:52 pm
stand by. a woman at the center of that secret service prostitution scandal is now speaking out. her shocking allegations about the agents from the united states eek skret service that she met in colombia. o
1:53 pm
1:54 pm
1:55 pm
mary snow is monitoring other top stories, include yahoo!'s ceo under fire for apparently lying about his degree. >> scott thompson has repeatedly said he holds a degree in both accounting and computer science, but his alma mater confirms he never got the computer science degree. a shareholder firm that wants more control of yahoo! is raising the issue. it's calling for four new yahoo! board members. yahoo! calls it, a quote, inadvertent hour. you have about one hour left to hold a chip ship. it's a ship built in 1983 that the navy no longer uses.
1:56 pm
the top bid is around $140,000. if you buy it, don't expect to take it out for a spin. the navy is dismantling it first and sets key parts. it's the inspiration for a james bond film "tomorrow never dies." around 11:30 saturday night you, can see a so-called super moon, very large and bright, about 16% brighter. it will appear bigger, because it would be closer to earth than at any time all year. by close, we still mean about 221,000 miles away. pretty cool. be sure to look out for it. >> 11:30 p.m. eastern. thanks, mary. he's serving a 15-year sentence at a cuban prison. alan gross talks to me about his controversial case, coming up. plus details of the death of the beesie boyce' cofounder.
1:57 pm
1:58 pm
home protector plus, from liberty mutual insurance, where the costs to both repair your home and replace your possessions are covered. and we don't just cut a check for the depreciated value -- we can actually replace your stuff with an exact or near match. plus, if your home is unfit to live in after an incident, we pay for you to stay somewhere else while it's being repaired. home protector plus, from liberty mutual insurance. because you never know what lies around the corner. to get a free quote, call... visit a local office, or go to libertymutual.com today. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy?
1:59 pm
so i brought it to mike at meineke. we gave her car a free road handling check. i like free. free is good. my money. my choice. my meineke. sad news, especially for fans of hip-hop. mca has died from cancer at the age of 47. he was one of the three members of the pioneering group beastie
2:00 pm
boys. here he is rapping. ♪ rock the hip-hop ♪ just last month the grammy-winning group was inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame. known for his signature rasky voice, he announced hi cancer back in 2010 -- >> i called my doctor, about two weeks ago, he sent me to a specialist, and they did tests. i actually have a form of cancer in the gland that's over here. >> he also directed several music videos and active in the tibetan independence movement, starting a nonprompt organization. he will definitely be missed.
2:01 pm
and you're in "the situation room." she met some men in a bar. she says she didn't know at the time they were members of the united states secret service. the scandal that followed has shaken the agency that protects the president of the united states. now that colombian prostitute tells all. an american who's been wasting away in a cuban prison for more than two years calls me directly from behind bars. my exclusive conversation with alan gross. that's coming up. the unemployment rate dips a bit here in the united states, but the latest jobs numbers remain weak. we're going to show you why every job added or loss could be crucial in the november elect. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
2:02 pm
but first, stunning revelations about the u.s. secret service sex scandal. the colombia proust ties at the center of it is speaking out. she said it all started with secret service agents, quote, buying alcohol like it was water, and dancing on the bar. here's drew griffin of cnn's special investigations unit. >> reporter: wolf, danielle suarez recalled the night very casually to an audience in bogota, talked about how she and her girl friends were basically out on the town that night, met these secret service agents very casually in a bar. in fact she says one of her friends was attracted to one of these agents. danielle suarez insists she had no idea these men that night we are, quote/unquote obama's agents. >> translator: neither my friends or i, we didn't know
2:03 pm
they were agents, you know, obama's agents for, you know -- and then we left. we went to this place to buy condoms, and then went to the hotel. >> translator: who went? >> translator: well, my friend -- she's not really a friend. she's an acquaintance. the agent who was with me and the other one, the four of us. and then my friend went with him, because she liked him. >> translator: no, i don't understand. >> because she liked him. it wasn't the same thing i was doing. >> reporter: suarez now admits what she was doing was making money. she said she and the agent was paired up with had a deal. she would get an $800 gift from him if she went to ha hotel room. she won't say what happened in that hotel other than she spent five hours in the hotel room of the hotel caribe until the next morning when this took place. >> translator: i told him to wake up and give me my gift, and
2:04 pm
he says, no. just go [ bleep ] i'm not going to pay you. and then he -- he just put out -- 50,000 pesos for the taxi, and i was like -- i was in shock in that moment when he just said that. >> 50,000 pesos is about $30. she says she was angry and spent the next three hours trying to get payment for her services. that's when she recruited colombian police to help her. those police, she says, were able to get together $250 from other secret service agents on that floor, then she went home. she had no idea until the next day that she is were secret service agents. he says, wolf, if she had known they were u.s. secret service agents at the time, she would have never told the colombian police. wolf?
2:05 pm
>> drew griffin, thank you. peter king, by the way has mostly praised the secret service's handling of this scandal, but he's asked them why they have beenenible to find the woman we heard from, when the news media apparently didn't have much trouble finding her. now of the case of an american literally wasting away in a cuban prison since 1999. cuba assist tied its futures to five of the agencies xwrchbed here. he phoned me from coupa, but first, how he ended up behind cuban bars. >> alan gross has been living a nightmare. working for a u.s. government funded d. gross's family says -- -- to the internet.
2:06 pm
the cuban government thought otherwise. and with being a threat to the security and independence of the state. last year, after he spent months and monies behind bars, a cuban court finally convicted him, sentencing him to 15 years. >> translator: i respect the sovereignty of cuba. i have learned from my parents and through experience that respect is something that one must have in order to receive. >> that is gross's wife. reading a statement delivered to a havana court after his trial. she spoke to cnn's jill dougherty last fall shortly after a could been court turned down gross's last appeal. >> one of my greatest fears is i will get a call, sail alan had a heart attack or something happened to him. i don't know if i'll ever see him again. i don't know if he'll set foot on u.s. soil.
2:07 pm
>> several world leaders have tried to make it happen. former president jimmy carter. er u.s. ambassador governor bill richardson. even pope benedict, calling on the government to release gross. but he remains in custody, and his family says the 63-year-old's health is getting worse. >> how concerned are you about his health? >> very. very concerned. he's so frail. now he's lost over 100 pouchbd . pounds. when i saw him, i could see his bones sticking out. >> tell us how you're feeling? >> a lot lighter than a couple years ago. i've lost about 100 pounds i exercise as much as i can. my hip is starting to give me a bit of a problem, but otherwise i'm not really in bad shape.
2:08 pm
>> what did you weigh when you were taken prisoner in cuba, how much do you weigh now? >> i weighed in at 254. this morning i weighed in at 158. i gained a few pounds, because i received a package from home. >> walk us through a typical day in a cuban jail. >> i'm in a secured hospital building that usually holds three people to a room. we're not allowed to see any other people, except the cell mates. there are bars, of course. at this juncture, i get to go outside every day while there's night. that's been a recent development. i didn't really see any nig sunlight. we're allowed to use a spoon with which to eat our food. the food unusually wasn't very
2:09 pm
good, which is probably why i started losing weight rapidly at first. the food -- there wasn't much variety or quantity, mostly carbohydrates. vemplgually after the conviction and after the supreme court held the conviction, things improved as far as my physical conversation were concerned. >> it's encouraging to me, alan, but i'm wondering what you think, they're even allowings to that that sounds pretty encouraging, certainly a step in the right direction? >> there have been policy develops, i was told i had call
2:10 pm
anyone you said once a week. that's a more recent development. the fact that they allowed this call to continue i think is a very positive sign. >> are you in a hospital because you're ill or for security reasons? i want i think mainly for a security situation. >> i know when they transfer me to the large jail facility for a meeting with the u.s. consulate, you go, in a caravan of four vehicles with about 15 guys. they make a big show out of transfer. they have they guys with flak vests and hell mitts and automatic weapons. a lot of it is a show, and i'm not sure who the show is for. certainly not for me.
2:11 pm
>> if you can speak directly to the top lead ner coupa, what would you say? >> i would say to raul castro that i think he's trying to do some very courageous things. he himself has been before the national assembly, but he said the major problem is low product activity, and that cannot be blamed on the united states. i think it took a lot of courage to say that. >> any prospects, any headway that you can see at all about getting you released? >> none. i have a 90-year-old mother who has inoperable lung cancer. she not getting any younger or healthier. my lawyer and i have written on more than one occasion to the government of cuba, requesting permission for me to visit her and return to cuba. you know, you can quote me on
2:12 pm
that. i'm saying i would return to cuba if they let my visit my mother before she dies. we've gotten no response. my mother is not allowed to travel. she's medically ordered not to travel. the government of cuba knows this. >> anything you said to say to your family right now? >> well, i speak to my family every week. i try to give them encouragement. they try to give me encouragement. what i want to say to you is i have absolutely nothing against the people of cuba. the people have been wonderful. i would do anything in my power to help the people of cuba, but i don't have any power right now. perhaps if i was miraculously released i could work in the united states on trying to improve the business scenario
2:13 pm
here, but i have nothing against the people of cuba. i'm not a big fan of the government right now. >> i can tell. >> i feel like i'm a hostage, and they -- you know -- just one quick thing. the president of the dominican republic told me two years ago, when he visited, he said alan, i hope realize this is not about you. at that time i could understand that, but right now it is about me, and it's about my family and it's about my mother, and i'm hating this very person, and for the cuban government not to show the respect to respond officially to a letter that was submitted by my lawyer, who works for the same firm that represented elian gonzalez, i think is shameful. shameful. >> when you went to cuba, alan,
2:14 pm
did you know that this was a risky business? >> absolutely not. you know, this just -- you know, this is a place that tries to attract tourists. my understanding was that if there was any problem with the things that i was bringing here, which by the way, anyone can buy in any best buy or radio shack or amazon.com. that if there was any problem at the airport, i would leave the equipment at the airport and take it back with me when i left. >> that was 2 1/2 years ago. >> i've never been in trouble anywhere in the world. i've worked all over the world. i can't remember the last time i got a speeding ticket. for this to happen to me at this age is incredible, just incredible. >> how old are you, alan? >> i was 63 on may 2nd. >> happy birthday belatedly. >> thank you. thank you.
2:15 pm
i recommend exercise, especially pull-ups. they're very good exercise. >> at least you've got a little humor, despite everything you've gone through. stay in touch, and good luck. we'll see what happens. >> thank you so much. >> bye-bye. >> bye-bye. we're going to post the full interview. i had a long, long conversation with alan gross. you'll be able to listen to it, watch it online on our website, cnn.com/situationroom. we'll post it very, very soon. jobs and politics, so what's the latest unemployment numbers? what do they mean for president obama's chance foss reelection? plus the blind chinese activist at the center of a firestorm might be headed to new york. we're going to tell you what's going on. monkeys, leopard and a bear back home in ohio. the latest on those exotic animals freed. with prostate cancer...
2:16 pm
i needed a coach. our doctor was great, but with so many tough decisions i felt lost. unitedhealthcare offered us a specially trained rn who helped us weigh and understand all our options. for me cancer was as scary as a fastball is to some of these kids. but my coach had hit that pitch before. turning data into useful answers. we're 78,000 people looking out for 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare. in that time there've been some good days. and some difficult ones. but, through it all, we've persevered, supporting some of the biggest ideas in modern history. so why should our anniversary matter to you? because for 200 years, we've been helping ideas move from ambition to achievement. and the next great idea could be yours. ♪
2:17 pm
arrival. with hertz gold plus rewards, you skip the counters, the lines, and the paperwork. zap. it's our fastest and easiest way to get you into your car. it's just another way you'll be traveling at the speed of hertz. ♪ ♪ one, two, three, four ♪ you say ♪ flip it over and replay ♪ we'll make everything okay ♪ walk together the right way ♪ do, do, do, do [ female announcer ] the sun powers life.
2:18 pm
♪ and now it powers our latest innovation. ♪ introducing the world's only solar-powered home energy system, which can cut your heating and cooling bills in half. call now to get up to 1,375 dollars in rebates. or zero percent financing for 18 months on select lennox home comfort systems. offer ends june 15th. plus download our free lennox mobile app with an energy-savings calculator to show how much you'll save with a lennox system. if your current system is 10 years or older, start planning now and take advantage of special financing. so call now to get up to 1,375 dollars in rebates. or zero percent financing for 18 months on select lennox home comfort systems. offer ends june 15th. and download our lennox mobile app -- free. lennox. innovation never felt so good.
2:19 pm
last month, but that may be due to more workers leaving the labor force. the latest numbers don't offer much to cheer about. the presumptive republican nominee, mitt romney, was quick to call the report terrible and disappointing. here's the president's take. >> if we're going to recover all the jobs that were lost dural the recession, and if we're going to build a secure economy that strengthens the middle class, we'll have to do more. >> issue number wound for american voters, every job gained or lost will be critical in november. christine romans shows us why. >> wolf, since president obama stepped into the white house in january 2009, 6 of 15 swing states have seen their unemployment rates drop.
2:20 pm
they are the states highlighted in yellow here, mostly in the midwest, i iowa, indiana, ohio, michigan, virginia. new hampshire has basically seen no change. the last gop president to win michigan was the elder bush as you know in 1998. the economy is improving, but it's still pretty weak. the unemployment rate has dropped significantly. 8.5% from 11.3%, but it is still higher than the national average. let's talk about ohio. in the past 11 elections, buckeye voters correctly picked the jobs market. the unemployment rate dropping beloy the national average to 7.5%. i want to look at the states that we have outlined here in orange. these are swing states, where the jobless rate has gone up since president obama became president. 109 delegates at stake in just these orange states. the western states have had it the worst, the unemployment rate, 12% right now in nevada.
2:21 pm
in missouri, a state that's often a proxy for the nation in elections, a huge spike in unemployment, jumping more than two percentage points, but still under the national average. with 29 delegates, florida is another key state. 9% unemployment. that will be a hard sell for democrats. we're going to keep taking a closer look at these numbers on my show "your bottom line" this weekend, and a live edition of ali velshi's show "your money" on sunday. president obama's pulling out all the stops to keep that state in his column. he'll campaign in ohio tomorrow. our chief white house correspond jessica yellin is already on the scene for us, joining us from columbus with more. set the scene for us. >> hi s. wolf, in 2008 president obama won this state by four points, but the latest polling shows a statistical dead heat
2:22 pm
with mitt romney actually running ahead when it comes to the economy. both sides expect that whoever wins this state, it will be by a razor's edge, so mitt romney will be back here next week, but the president is making a big statement tomorrow. on the campus of ohio state university, pockets of enthusiasm for the president's first official campaign rally. >> are you excited? but the excitement of 2008 is missing. so the campaign is pouring resources into ohio to keep it competitive. the state director has been here since 2009. his message to voters -- the president's auto bailout boosted the local economy. >> one out of every eight jobs in ohio is related to the auto industry. >> the obama campaign has 18 field offices. romney opens his first next week. democrats say they'll try to use that local presence to win over undecided voters. >> it's not a 30-second ad or
2:23 pm
direct mail piece. it's voter to voter contact between a screen door. that kind of validation by the volunteer from that neighborhood gives us a huge advantage. >> reporter: then social media 2012, a step up from the last campaign. ashleigh bryant, a cincinnati native, is the state's digital media director. >> we're showing the president doing the which is fantastic. >> she runs an ohio-based campaign blog, ipad app and twitter accounting. >> anything we do, we're usually covering all of our platforms, posting it on the blog, on the website, fli krckr. and there will be a photo booth on site. >> we're actually going to be showing the photos on the big screen. >> a jumbo tron?
2:24 pm
>> exactly. >> reporter: sounds modern and new, but is it enough? >> voters across ohio know the 2008 campaign has turned into the 2012 change of hype and blame. >> reporter: at this phone bank, the president has loyal supporters. >> alabama can end the war in iraq, and he'll have a successful presidency. >> political observers say the contest will be a dogfight. >> any lack of enthusiasm for obama will be matched equally by a lack of enthusiasm for romney. i just don't see a lot of energy, period, in ohio. >> reporter: so, wolf, why would the president be coming to columbus as opposed to any other part of the state in political observers describe this as the swing region in the swing state, so it will be getting a lot of attention. from here, the president will be going to richmond, virginia, to another university for his second rally of the day tomorrow, wolf. >> technically the obama campaign, jessica, saying tomorrow's event where you are
2:25 pm
in ohio, that sort of kicks off officially the start of the campaign for the president? is that what they're saling? >> reporter: that's right. they're calling it his first official campaign rally, the launch of his political part of the campaign. we'll be covering it all day tomorrow from here and from virginia, wolf. >> we'll be watching you and the president, jessica. thanks very much. tough talk from the top. the defense secretary of the united states makes a personal appeal to american troops to clean up their act. a controversy brewing in one key senate race. why democrats are worrying a bit about their candidate's heritage claim. stay with us. you're in "the situation room." [ rosa ] i'm rosa and i quit smoking with chantix.
2:26 pm
when the doctor told me that i could smoke for the first week... i'm like...yeah, ok... little did i know that one week later i wasn't smoking. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix is proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke. some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these stop taking chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of depression or other mental health problems, which could get worse while taking chantix. don't take chantix if you've had a serious allergic or skin reaction to it. if you develop these stop taking chantix and see your doctor right away
2:27 pm
as some can be life-threatening. if you have a history of heart or blood vessel problems, tell your doctor if you have new or worse symptoms. get medical help right away if you have symptoms of a heart attack. use caution when driving or operating machinery. common side effects include nausea, trouble sleeping and unusual dreams. it helps to have people around you... they say, you're much bigger than this. and you are. [ male announcer ] ask your doctor if chantix is right for you.
2:28 pm
2:29 pm
the u.s. job numbs, and a recoveries that seems to be losing some steam. president obama says the economy has come a long way, but concedes there's still a long way to go. his presumptive opponent in november taking a much tougher view. less's discuss with what's good going on with stephanie carl. thanks very much for coming in. >> thanks for having me. >> here's -- a lot of people were disappointed, but here's how romney responded earlier today. listen to this. >> should be same numbers in the 500,000 jobs created per month. this is way, way off from what should happen in a normal recovery. the reason you're seeing the unemployment rate go down is because you have more people dropping out of the workforce than you have getting jobs. it's a terrible and very disappointing report this
2:30 pm
morning. >> all right. how's your campaign reacting? he says it's terrible and very disappointing. >> well, let me make a couple points, wolf. first, you know, the job numbers that came out today show steady progress of rebuilding this economy after the worst recession of our lifetime, but it's not enough. we have to be sure we're doing everything we can to grow that economy, which means that republicans in congress will eventually have to work with us to get that done. the second point is we appreciate the economic advice from mitt romney, but i don't think we're going to follow it for a variety of reasons. first, his statement on 500,000 jobs a month shows a real misunderstanding of the economy. only five times over the last 50 years did we create 500,000 jobs in a month. one of the them was barack obama. the others, bill clinton, ronald reagan, and two months during the carter administration. so, you know, obviously mitt
2:31 pm
romney doesn't have a good understanding of our economic history in this country. the second point that i would make is that mitt romney doesn't have any experience in creating jobs. we know that. we know that in massachusetts. he plummeted from 36th to 47th in the nation in job growth. massachusetts was fourth from the bottom in new jobs created. we know at bain capital, he admitted himself his position there wasn't about job creation. it was about wealth creation. so we appreciate the advice, but i think we are on a path of steady growth. we're going to continue to move forward, do everything we can to continue unleashing growth. >> what's a good number if it's not 500,000? that would be terrific, obviously. what's something that your campaign, the obama white house thinks would be realistic, a good number over these next six months from now and the election in november? >> you know, wolf, i'm not going to predict how many jobs we're going to create each month between now and the election.
2:32 pm
that would be foolish of me to do. and i'm also not an economist. but we are going to keep doing what we're doing. the president will keep his foot on the pedal to ensure we are continuing to move this country forward. there are a number of things we could be do right now because of the intransigence we haven't been able to get done. for instance, the president has a comprehensive infrastructure proposal, which would put all of those construction workers who lost their jobs in the housing bust back to work, but congress refuses to move on t we have a proposal to give small businesses a tax cut if they hire new people or increase wages. congress refuse toss move on it. we need willing partners to continue injecting growth into our country, creating jobs and ensuring we're doing all we can. >> for some reason i suspect there's not going to be a lot of
2:33 pm
bipartisan cooperation between now and november, given what's going on in washington, but that's something we can discuss on another occasion. stephanie cutter, thanks for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. >> on monday we'll speak with a senior fivl from the romney campaign as well. mitt romney's family is growing. romney's son tag just tweeted, happy to announce birth of twin boys, david mitt and william ryder. a big thanks to our surrogate, life is a miracle, and this touching photos. the twins are tag and wife jen's fifth and sixth children, and the 17th and 18th grandchildren of mitt and ann. congratulations to them and the entire romney family. their release set off a scare. why some exotic animals are back home. plus michael jackson and pepsi together again? how the late king of pop and the pop makers are teaming up.
2:34 pm
recently, students from 31 countries took part in a science test. the top academic performers surprised some people. so did the country that came in 17th place. let's raise the bar and elevate our academic standards. let's do what's best for our students-by investing in our teachers. let's solve this. actually it can. neutrogena® ultra sheer provides unbeatable uva uvb protection and while other sunscreens can feel greasy ultra sheer® is clean and dry. it's the best for your skin. ultra sheer®. neutrogena®.
2:35 pm
2:36 pm
2:37 pm
new york city building collapses. mary snow is monitoring that, and some other top stories. mary, what do you have? >> wolf, officials are responding to this building collapse in harlem. there are no reports of injuries, and no known cause yet. the brown does that stone building was under construction at the time. exotic animals -- the woman's husband freed 50 animals from the farm before killing himself. the -- a tightening of environmental rules for what's known as fracking. the at mrgs wants oil and gas companies to disclose what chemicals they use in won on federal hands.
2:38 pm
it lets oil and gas flow more easily, but environmentalists are concerned. pepsi and michael jackson are back together again. the company is honoring the 25th anniversary of the "bad" album. it plan toss produce 1 billion special-edition cans printed with jackson's silhouette. it will also include new mixes of his music and contexts. wolf? >> i remember that album. remember the whole experience. thanks very much. an invitation to the big apple for the blind chinese activist at the center of a diplomatic firestorm. straight ahead we go live to beijing. plus a darling among democrats. will elizabeth warren's claim of native-american roots hurt her senate run. [ male announcer ] fighting pepperoni heartburn and pepperoni breath?
2:39 pm
fight both fast with new tums freshers! concentrated relief that goes to work in seconds and freshens breath. new tums freshers. ♪ tum...tum...tum...tum... tums! ♪ [ male announcer ] fast relief, fresh breath, all in a pocket sized pack.
2:40 pm
is engineered for comfort. like parts that create your perfect temperature and humidity or the parts that purify the air.
2:41 pm
together these parts can cut your heating and cooling bills in half. which is quite comforting. and here's the best part... call now to get up to 1,375 dollars in rebates. or zero percent financing for 18 months on select lennox home comfort systems. offer ends june 15th. plus download our free lennox mobile app with an energy-savings calculator to show how much you'll save with a lennox system. if your current system is 10 years or older, start planning now. and take advantage of special financing. so call now to get up to 1,375 dollars in rebates. or zero percent financing for 18 months on select lennox home comfort systems. offer ends june 15th. and download our lennox mobil app -- free. ♪ lennox. innovation never felt so good. possible breakthrough for
2:42 pm
the blind chinese activist. nyu university officers guangcheng a -- stan grand has details from beijing. >> reporter: chen guangcheng's future is looking a little less uncertainly. from the secretary of state, signs that better days may be ahead. >> congress has been made to help him have the future that he wants. >> reporter: these are secretary clinton's first comments regarding chen. it's far from the face-to-face meeting that the blind activist has asked for, but clinton says the united states is supporting him. >> all of the efforts have been guided by his choices and our values. >> reporter: now he remains in a beijing hospital. german u.s.s and pro-cheng
2:43 pm
supporters have been physically dragged away. china is still playing tough, it demand an apology for the u.s. for harbors chen in the embassy. the u.s. should reflect on its policies and behavior, and prevent thinks types of situations, so that it doesn't impact our relationship, this spokesman says. but the door is opening absolutely. china says that chen can apply for a passport and visa to study in the united states. the u.s. is saying it would give that application a priority. >> reporter: chen's fate has been at the center of a diplomat ecfirestorm. since he fled house arrest more than a week ago. he left the embassy believing he would be safe. now he says he and his family are no longer secure. he made the extraordinary step of calling into a u.s. congressional hearing on thursday to plead his case. what worries me is my family, he
2:44 pm
said. i cannot get in touch with my family members. they've installed seven surveillance cameras in my house and guards in my place. they are building an electric fence around my house. they even scoffed, let's see what this blind guy can do to us. chen is now a symbol of the struggle for human rights it's about the human rights and aspirations of more than a billion people, and billions more around the world. >> reporter: diplomacy that continues to be sorely tested over the case of a blind man who's stared down the world's two greatest powers. now, of course, the potential for a successful outcome here is not obscuring the problems in the process, that the united
2:45 pm
states had in their protection a man that china considers an enemy of the state and yet handed him back to the chinese where he's now in fear for his life. as for china's side, despite all of the progress and developments, the human rights record is such that chen guangcheng no longer feels safe here. wolf? >> how much of this is getting through to the people in china? i know they've been censors a lot of the reports. what can you tell you about that, stan? >> reporter: it's a great question. you know, at the early stages, there was a blanket ban on coverage. there was nothing being reported in the local media. i think you're aware as well that a lot of our reporting have been blocked. we sent more reporting into state media in the past 24 hours. this is part of the spin, as this starts to reach some sort of conclusion, and the preparation for chen traveling to the united states. china wants to spin this that there are bad guys here. the bad guys are united states,
2:46 pm
and chen guangcheng. >> we'll stay in close touch with you. thank you. enough is enough. the defense second tear leon panetta with a stern warning for the troops about bad behavior. s 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... ... and protect land - by reducing our footprint and respecting wildlife. america's natural gas... domestic, abundant, clean energy to power our lives... that's smarter power today.
2:47 pm
and now it powers our latest innovation in more efficient cooling and heating. introducing the world's only solar-powered home energy system, which can cut your heating and cooling bills in half. call now to get up to 1,375 dollars in rebates. or zero percent financing for 18 months. plus download our free lennox mobile app with an energy-savings calculator to show how much you'll save... with lennox. innovation never felt so good.
2:48 pm
2:49 pm
a heritage controversy igniting an already heated senate race. elizabeth warren said she claimed native-american roots to meet others like her. others say she did it to try to advance her career as a harvard law professor. mary snow has more. what's going on here, mary? >> this story about her listing herself as a native-american first broke last week. the scott brown campaign immediately pounced calling it a hypothetical critical sham. elizabeth warren is considered a darnell among democrats challenging governor scott brown. in the last week, though, she's found herself on the defensive, faced with questions about why she identified herself as native-american while teaching at harvard law school. those questions -- listed herself as a minority in law
2:50 pm
school directories in the '80s and '90s. >> i am very proud of my heritage. i am very proud of the stories that my grandparents told me, that my grandparents told my parents and my parents told my brothers and me. being native-american is being part of who our family is. >> reporter: new england's historic gene logical society says an . . the media has been asking a lot of questions. i have been following it just like you have. if there are questions, she should answer them. >> harvard's newspaper, the crimson quotes administrators in 1996 and '98, talking about warren's native american
2:51 pm
heritage as a touted staff. the university says harvard recruited her and that her background wasn't even known until after she was hired. warren, a former economic adviser to president obama, fought back against any question regarding her qualifications to teach at harvard. >> the only one as i understand it who is raising in he question about whether or not i was qualified for my job is scott brown. >> reporter: warren's minority status says david gergen is not a big deal. what's surprising is this story didn't go away after one day. >> frankly, it was her campaign inexperience showed. she had been faltering. she has been faltering. i think they are going to find their voice and footing. i imagine this is going to pass. it has raised all sorts of trembles in the democratic party. we had such a winner on our hands. is she really up to this. >> wolf, as you know, both democrats and republicans have a
2:52 pm
lot at state with the massachusetts seat. democrats are hoping to regain the seat they lost after ted kennedy passed away and scott brown scored his upset victory in a special election. wolf? after a series of nasty scandals involving u.s. troops, especially in afghanistan, the entire u.s. military has received a warning against bad behavior. barbara starr has the details. >> reporter: after a series of high-profile incidents of troops misbehaving, defense secretary, leon panetta, went to ft. benning, georgia, to say, enough is enough. >> a few, who lack judgment, lack professionalism, lack leadership, can hurt all of us. >> reporter: in afghanistan alone, one scandal after another. in january, videos of marines urinating on dead inis your jentsz. in february, marine snipers posting with a flag with ss
2:53 pm
initials. the nazi overtone sparked an investigation. then, riots broke out after u.s. troops inadvertently broke c karans. the speech was broadcast to the entire u.s. military. warning, bad behavior can lead to instant international headlines. >> those headlines can impact the mission. we are engaged in. it can ut p your fellow service members at risk. it can hurt morale. it can damage our standing in the world. >> unfortunately, we are dealing in a situation where the image is everything. it is not all the good that we have done, which has been considerable in a lot of these places. but it also boils down to the fact that there are so many things that are perceived because of one bad image. >> the investigation of a dozen service members in potential misconduct involving alcohol and
2:54 pm
prostitutes during president obama's trip to columbia brought the issue an even higher profile. >> we are embarrassed by what occurred in columbia. >> remember, zero tolerance, zero. >> they have warned troops for years about excessive drinking and soliciting prostitutes. >> patronizing prostitutes can lead to dishonorable discharge. >> reporter: the strongest words game from general james amos who told his commanders recent incidents have brought discredit on the marine corps. he called for an end to undisciplined and embarrassing conduct. >> the chief of staff of the army has also weighed in saying this has to end. the marine corps, pardon me, the navy, has fired 47 commanders in the last 2 1/2 years for failure to meet standards but, wolf, we must say one more time, the majority of the troops, of
2:55 pm
course, serve very honorably. >> almost all of them, an overwhelming majority, thanks very much, barbara, to are that. >> an extraordinary pair of dogs proved that love really is blind. jeanne moos has the story. ]h(éq#
2:56 pm
four walls and a roof is a structure. what's inside is a home. home protector plus, from liberty mutual insurance, where the costs to both repair your house and replace what's inside are covered. and we don't just cut a check for the depreciated value -- we can actually replace your stuff with an exact or near match. and with the liberty mutual home gallery app,
2:57 pm
you can use a mobile device to easily catalog your belongings in advance, so you're always well prepared. home protector plus, from liberty mutual insurance, so your life can settle right back into place. to get a free quote, call... visit a local office, or go to libertymutual.com today. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy?
2:58 pm
seeing eye to eye. how a blind dog is helping a guide dog see. a special pair of pooches. >> reporter: he is a 2-year-old golden retriever. one thing he can't retrieve is his sight. this is more or less what he as seen since birth. now, tanner, the blind dog has a guide dog. meet blair, a 1-year-old female. not only is tanner blind, he has epileptic seizures that cause him to lose control of his bodily functions. after his adopted owner died, his seizures got worse. a retriever rescue group brought him here to the woodland animal hospital. >> it was more than one time i have recommended putting tanner to sleep. >> so the situation looked black, so did the solution. >> just your everyday street
2:59 pm
dog. >> blair was a stray brought in with a gunshot wound to the leg, a nervous wreck until she and tanner bonded in the play yard. take it from a singer whose eyesight matches tanners. ♪ ♪ knowing you can always count on me ♪ >> the two of them together, a remarkable sinner jess stick effect. >> reporter: the sight of a sighted dog helping a blind one reminded us of a deaf dog in a hearing one. >> this is the dog watching him over there. >> bufffy fetched benson by grabbing his collar in her teeth. >> good girl, bufffy. blair refers to use the leash. >> she is a service dog for another dog. >> reporter: does she realize he is blind? >> i don't think there is a doubt. >> reporter: one thing for sure. their up for adoption is a two-fer. offers are poring