tv The Situation Room CNN August 2, 2012 1:00pm-4:00pm PDT
bridge. with that, i have to turn things over to washington. i'm brooke baldwin, thank you so much for being with me here on this thursday. now to candy crowley in for wolf. "the situation room" begins right now. happening now, officials scramble to explain why three commuter airliners, one coming in, two taking off, got way too close for comfort. u.s. ranchers devastated by the drought have a new problem, gridlock in washington. plus, a political animal. find out how ann romney's horse did at the olympics today. wolf blitzer is off today. i'm candy crowley. and you're in "the situation room." we start with a scary communication breakdown that put
a commuter airliner and two other planes dangerously close to one another. it happened at washington's reagan national airport. and in an extraordinary move, the faa administrator and the transportation secretary came out today to talk about what happened. our brian todd is at the airport. brian. >> reporter: yeah, candy. extraordinary because for the first time we're getting the hard information from america's two top transportation officials that this was really too close a call. they came out in a hastily called news conference to say, yes, it was too close a call. another part of that news conference they really want to brush back on initial media reports saying that these planes were on a collision course. they're saying they would not have collided. that would not have happened. essentially the way they lay it out is this. it all played out pretty much over where i'm standing here tuesday afternoon. there was a whole line of planes coming in from that direction toward me to land at that tarmac right there. at some point a regional control center miles away from here made
the call to switch directions because the weather at that time was doing kind of what it's doing now, it was changing and the wind was shifting. they said everybody switch directions. everybody's now going to land this way from north to south. and they're going to all take off this way from north to south. well, that order somehow got lost in the communication. and while an incoming plane was traveling this way to land at that tarmac north to south, two planes over here were cleared to takeoff from south that way this way. translation, they were heading right for each other. two planes, one after the other taking off heading toward an incoming plane. now, at that moment very sortly after that mistake had happened the controller in this tower behind me at reagan national caught it and ordered the incoming plane to turn in that direction to his right. and it avoided a possible collision. but here's what the pilot said to the controller in the moments right after that. >> 180, we were cleared back
there. what happened. >> 3329 standby, we're trying to figure out that too. stand by. >> reporter: and so at that point a possible collision was avoided. again, top transportation officials saying even if the controller had not made that call, these three planes would not have hit each other. this is the faa administrator earlier today. >> it is important the planes were on different headings and at different altitudes, so they would not have collided. >> reporter: slight correction. that's the faa administrator saying these two planes would not have collided. mainly he says because the plane taking off was at a higher altitude, 800 feet above the
incoming plane, and they would not have collided. they're still saying this was a close call. there was a miscommunication here, candy. they are investigating. >> so are -- is there any preliminary guesses -- was it communicated and not heard? or was the weather change not communicated in the first place? >> that is really at the crux of the matter. i pressed the two top transportation officials. was it a miscommunication from the regional center to this control tower? or this control tower here not communicated properly to the planes in question? they said they don't know yet. they are looking into that. clearly there was a breakdown in communication somewhere along the line. but they are quick to praise the controller in this tower who caught the error and diverted that incoming plane. >> i imagine they will find out. they may not have been on a collision course, but it was certainly too close to anybody on the plane i'm sure. thanks so much, brian todd. appreciate it. now to politics. president obama's in another
must-win state right now. this time he's hoping to convince florida voters to igre the unemployment numbers due out tomorrow and focus instead on mitt romney's tax plans. cnn white house correspondent dan lothian is traveling with the president. dan. >> reporter: well, you know the president is really fighting hard to win the battleground state of florida. today he was trying to draw that contrast between his policies and the policies of mitt romney specifically when it comes to tax policies. he also talked about what he's doing to help the middle class. now, the president is up by six points here in the sunshine state. but there's still 95 days and nine hours until election day. president obama is trying to convince florida voters that even with a high unemployment rate in the sunshine state of 8.6%, his economic policies are working and that he deserves four more years. >> we've been able to see 4.5 million jobs created. that's why we've been able to
see the housing market just barely slowly start to tick back up. that's the reason that we've seen the auto industry come all the way back. >> reporter: the message team obama wants voters to get is this, mitt romney's tax policies will hurt, not help, the middle class. >> the top one-tenth of 1% would get a tax cut under mr. romney's plan of almost a quarter of a million dollars, $250,000 would go to folks making $3 million a year or more. >> now he has a plan that would give millionaires another tax break. >> reporter: it's a message playing over and over in a new campaign ad that airs in florida and seven other battleground states. >> raises taxes on middle class families by up to $2,000 a year. >> reporter: but in this battle for florida, there's always a counterpunch. as mitt romney campaigned in
colorado, his top surrogate in florida and potential running mate, senator marco rubio, was at an event not far from the president's rally. he accused the president of making a bad economy worse and mr. obama might raise taxes to historic levels. then he delivered a compliment and jab in the same breath. >> his presidency's been a historic disaster. >> reporter: and the romney campaign continues to use the president's own words from a speech in virginia last month to highlight what they say makes him unfit to fix the economy. >> if you got a business, you didn't build that. somebody else made that happen. >> reporter: even though the obama re-election campaign says those words are being taken out of context, 13 video billboards are up in the orlando area drawing attention to what he said. and offering rebuttals from voters. now, a senior obama campaign official told me that they believe that this issue of the
focus on taxes is resonating with voters so expect that the president to hit that in the coming days. on a lighter note, candy, just before the president began his formal remarks here today, the crowd started singing happy birthday to him. his birthday is this coming saturday. the president thanked them and said winning florida would not be a bad birthday present. >> well, we'll see. a long time between now and november. but he's right. it would be a great birthday present for him anyway. thanks so much, dan lothian. mitt romney is in another swing state, colorado. he isn't about to let anyone forget about jobs and unemployment. >> this is important. getting america working, this isn't a statistic we're talking about. 23 million americans out of work or underemployed, 23 million. it's a tragedy. it's a moral failing for a country as successful and wealthy as ours to have had policies that kept people from
going to work. >> cnn chief political analyst, gloria borger, is here. gloria, the president hitting mitt romney both on his tax plan and on his wealth. you know, a lot of democrats have been kind of worried at least about the wealth part. it says to me that he believes this kind of attack is working. >> yeah. i do think they believe they're attack is working. what they're trying to do is essentially disqualify mitt romney over the summer. and what they're saying is not only is he wealthy, because that in and of itself is certainly not a disqualifier, but that he's completely out of touch. that he pays a 14% tax rate. and guess what? you don't get to pay a 14% tax rate. so this is the way they say to the american people he's different, that there are two sets of rules. one set of rules for you and me. and another set of rules for mitt romney. and they believe as dan was saying that that has a lot of resonance with the voters. for example, the polls show that the voters want to repeal the tax cuts for the wealthy.
so the president's on terra firm when it comes to that issue. >> mitt romney back on the campaign trail today also talking about -- anything new? >> there's nothing really new. it's all about the economy. as the president was in the important swing state of florida, mitt romney released a campaign ad in that state. let's take a look at a little of it. >> four years ago barack obama was concerned about florida's economy. >> when wages are flat, prices are rising, more and more americans are mired in debt, our economy as a whole suffers. >> but under president obama 8.6% unemployment, record foreclosures -- >> so there are lots of people who believe that in a state like florida that mitt romney ought to be doing better because the economy is not doing well there. but we just had a battleground state that came out this week which showed that mitt romney is six points behind the president in florida. and the campaign -- the romney
campaign believes florida is really a must-win for them. that's not really great news. >> yeah. but speaking of maybe not great news, we're expecting some unemployment jobless figures for the month of july tomorrow. >> right. >> we often talk about how the economy under george h.w. bush was getting better. >> that's right. >> when he lost his re-election, but folks didn't feel it. they already made up their minds about the economy. are we at that state in this race yet? >> well, it depends who you talk to. democratic pollsters will say, no, no, people haven't quite gelled yet and republicans will say, yes, they have. people understand things are getting worse and the polls bear that out. a majority of americans believe things are getting worse. if there's not good economic news on friday, i think you'd have to say that public opinion would be jelling against the president. so that's not good news for him. but here's what the campaign looks at. let's take a look at this. at the unemployment rates in the
key battleground states. and you see there that in four of the seven battleground states, the unemployment rate is actually lower in florida and nevada. those are places where it's higher than the national average. that's another reason people are saying, why isn't mitt romney doing better in the state of florida if the unemployment rate is higher than the national average? so this right now -- this, you know, snapshot, works to the president's advantage to a degree because in some of these battleground states they're not feeling it as badly as they are in the rest of the country. >> such a small margin of people who haven't made up their minds yet these numbers may in fact -- >> one out of ten maybe. >> gloria borger, thanks very much. >> sure. here's a look at some of the other political headlines making news on the cnn political ticker. more uncertainty for california democratic congresswoman waters. the house ethic's committee is extending the contract of special council billy martin.
he's investigating waters' alleged reference of a bailout of a bank in which her husband had a financial interest. with the contract extension, the waters investigation could cost taxpayers $1.3 million. and by voice vote today the house of representatives reprimanded california democratic congressman laura richardson. an ethics committee investigation found she misused her congressional staff by making them do campaign work. richardson apologized just before the vote but also took issue with some of the allegations. the reprimand carries a $10,000 fine. former california governor arnold schwarzenegger is getting his own think tank. the l.a. times reports he's funding the usc schwarzenegger institute for state and global policy. it will bring together experts to think up bipartisan solutions to environmental problems, economic policy, political reform and other public policy issues. for complete political coverage, be sure to read the ticker on
cnnpolitics.com. you're looking right now we hope at some dramatic images out of litchfield, illinois, where a megabus has crashed on highway 55. we are monitoring this and we'll bring you the latest details. and still ahead, more than half the counties in the u.s. are disaster zones because of the drought. but coming up why congress probably won't lift a finger to help all the ranchers and livestock producers who are hurting. also, kofi annan gives up syria and takes a few parting shots of his own. for you new city dwellers, a new report might change your mind about renting. this is new york state. we built the first railway, the first trade route to the west, the greatest empires. then, some said, we lost our edge. well today, there's a new new york state. one that's working to attract businesses and create jobs.
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megabus accident of some sort. we're told about 20 ambulances on the scene in litchfield, illinois, which is just north of st. louis. it's on i-55. we're told the interstate is now closed to traffic. you can see those pictures there. i want to bring in trooper doug frances of the illinois state police. trooper frances, give us what you know right now. >> okay. the bus hit the bridge abutment at 1:22 is when we received the call. we are told it blew a tire. the bus did not roll over. it stayed upright. and at this time 30 ambulances were dispatched to the scene. ten medical helicopters and seven fire departments were dispatched to the scene. at this time i don't have the number of injuries or the number of people on board. i do not have their destination. >> okay. let me just back up a little bit. so it hit this bridge abutment, but i'm assuming we're seeing on
the pictures which you may not be able to see. so it was on the road, blew a tire and then swerved off the road and hit the abutment? is that what happened? >> that would be correct. >> so with the 30 ambulances, is that standard amount? or must somebody have had some idea of injuries there? >> usually they send ambulances until they tell them to stop sending ambulances. >> okay. and we are seeing helicopters. are those life flight helicopters in there? do you have any reports on the kinds of injuries we're looking at? >> no. i do not have the reports on the types of injuries at this time. >> okay. that's trooper doug francis with the illinois state police helping us get some information on a bus crash in litchfield, illinois. right now as you can see an unfolding situation. certainly cnn will continue to uncover it. thank you so much, trooper francis, for being with us. now, take a look at the latest drought report mapping out today. nearly half of the continental u.s. is orange or red. and that represents severe
drought or worse. that's not just farmland in trouble. livestock producers are suffering. and they're not going to get any help from congress. our senior congressional correspondent, dana bash, is live on capitol hill. dana, we know congress is headed out of town without a -- to a specific part of the population hurt by this drought. >> reporter: that's right. first, i want you to look at this, candy, from all your years covering congress this is a familiar scene to you as i know. all of the cars waiting for members to come out to take them to the airport and take them out of town for summer recess. as you mentioned, before they do that they're going to have what we understand a nail-biter of a vote to give just a small portion of those hit hard some quick relief. but according to the people in the senate they're not going to pass it. a hard-hit hog farm in iowa. livestock producers are devastated by drought, but they're not getting the federal aid most farmers are.
livestock is not covered by key government programs. why? because of an accounting trick to save money in the farm bill four years ago. congress eliminated federal aid for livestock in 2012, this year. and, oops, it turned out to be the biggest drought in half a century. >> it expired because they were playing a gimmick to keep the costs of the last farm bill down. so it turned around and bit them in the behind. >> reporter: in a mad dash to act before leaving for summer break, the house took up a $383 million bill to restore four expired programs, for livestock, certain trees, honey bees and farm-raised fish. >> we can't gamble with people's lives and businesses here. >> reporter: freshman republican a rancher and farmer herself argues the aid now is crucial. >> our livestock guys take just as much risk as any other farmer or rancher out there. and they need to have some kind of protection in situations like these. >> reporter: but in the senate, democrats refuse to pass drought relief before leaving town. why? bare knuckle negotiating.
democrats like agriculture chairwoman worry a short-term fix will undermine their long-term five-year farm bill which includes disaster relief and reforms scores of farm programs. in the optics of congress leaving town with the worst drought in half a century and not doing something, not so good? >> the optics are in this building. if we get out in the real world, that's not what we're hearing from farmers and ranchers. farmers and ranchers want us to get the job done. they want a five-year farm bill. they want disaster assistance. i intend to do both. >> reporter: why not pass that five-year farm bill? a candid house speaker admitted he doesn't have the votes. >> the house is pretty well divided. frankly i haven't seen 218 votes in the middle to pass a farm bill. >> reporter: still, republicans came to power promising reform. not fast fixes like this drought bill. democrats had a field day. >> i want to hand it out to whoever comes to town and begs for it, go right ahead.
i have some rooftop terrace owners in my district. give some while you're at it. that's not a solution. >> reporter: despite noem's blee plea for help. >> there's no -- >> reporter: congressional inaction during their month-long recess won't make a difference. >> at this point 30 days only makes a difference for those who are trying to play politics. >> reporter: and one reason she feels comfortable saying that is because she's got the cattle ranchers association and others behind her in her decision not to go ahead and pass this. now, speaking of politics, candy, she's up for re-election in just three months. she is the chairwoman of the agriculture committee. safe to say that if she thought this was politically bad for her, she would be passing this quickly before leaving town. >> i would think so. it's not going to do much to help congress' overall approval rating i don't think. thanks, dana. i appreciate it. syrian rebels are fighting government forces with tanks as th regime attacks its most populated city from the streets
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heavy shelling and violent clashes rage across syria as the rebel movement grows stronger. mary snow is monitoring that and some of the other top stories in "the situation room." mary, what's the latest? >> well, candy, rebels are battling for control of a military airport near syria's most populated city. today regime war planes shelled the western and northern parts of aleppo which is also the country's commercial capital.
rebels fighting back with heavy weaponry including tanks. thousands have fled their homes in recent days. opposition forces say at least 100 people were killed across the country today. and as the fighting continues in syria, there's been another setback in diplomacy. today kofi annan joint special envoy to syria announced he's resigning and championed a six-point peace plan earlier this year but it's gone nowhere. he slammed the international community's to get power awa from bashar al assad. reminder to put on sunscreen. scientists have discovered skin cancer in wild fish in australia's great barrier reef. and they say uv radiation is the likely cause. about 15% of coral trout in two locations had cancerous lesions on their scales. and you can see them on these fish. they're the darker grey spots. you need a reminder, there it is. >> wow. that's kind of sad, actually.
i guess people know the barrier reef is pretty far off the coast. but it's obviously very shallow. so those fish are up near where they get the sunshine. amazing. thanks so much, mary. appreciate it. >> sure. a spanish official calls it "one of the biggest organizations against al qaeda in spain." details ahead on the arrests of suspected terrorists officials say were ready to act. and it's competition day for ann romney's horse. but the mare is taking center stage in the race to the white house as well. is it a smart move for democrats? for your attention. so we invented a warning you can feel. introducing the all-new cadillac xts. available with a patented safety alert seat. when there's danger you might not see, you're warned by a pulse in the seat. it's technology you won't find in a mercedes e-class. the all-new cadillac xts has arrived, and it's bringing the future forward.
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i'm candy crowley. here are some stories we're working on. ann romney says her horse's performance at the olympics today "thrilled me to death," but was it good enough for a medal? an exclusive report from the epicenter from the latest outbreak of the ebola virus. and in our new hour at 6:00 eastern, what a foiled terror plot tells us about al qaeda's strength. stand by, you're in "the situation room." today was the first day of olympic competition for ann romney's horse. while you may not have seen it in action in the arena, you might soon be seeing a lot more of this horse on your television thanks to some liberal groups and their political ad teams. our tom foreman has been following all the olympic action and keeping an eye on politics.
tom, you're ambidextrous. >> i do what i can, candy. it's a spoiler alert because i'm going to tell you what ann romney's horse, rafalca, did. this might be a warning to democrats who see a political opportunity in this horse. but you know, they might be wrong. take a look. one of the oldest sports in modern olympics going back a century with origins in the training of military horses. it's considered one of the most technically demanding equestrian sports, horse and rider must perform a series of complicated, precise maneuvers which much like gymnastics are rated by judges. >> pretty good therapy. >> reporter: ann romney's involvement began when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 14 years ago. she turned to riding as therapy to build muscle and fight the disease. >> the thought of getting on a horse was so exciting to me that i would force myself to get out of bed. and i could come out here and
trot maybe once around the arena and then i would be finished and exhausted, but i would feel great. >> reporter: she's also good at it repeatedly winning high honors in competitions. her candidate husband acknowledged her deep commitment to this sport on nbc's "today" show. >> my sons gave me a box and said if you wear this, mom will pay more attention to you. i opened it, it was a rubber horse mask. >> reporter: still, a great horse easily costs six figures. the money, obscure nature of the support and the tire have made mitt romney's attraction to it a natural for comedy. >> no surprise the liberal critics call daughter and son saj e littest because the uniform makes you look like mary suitor. >> and that has played perfectly into democratic attacks on romney as a rich elitist out of touch with normal americans. >> romney spent $77,000 a year on my upkeep. and after mitt romney repeals health care and ships your job
overseas, i dare say your life not nearly as pampered as mine. after all, you're not one of his horses. >> so that's part of the political war going on out there, candy. look at the results in our spoiler alert. this is what we know about today's round of competition. ann romney's rafalca competed and wound up 13th. brits took the competitions. a lot of european competition. this is very tough. this is just today, there's more tomorrow to see which ones go on to the grand prix later on. a good showing for u.s. horses. a tough, tough event to do well in. the real question though, candy, is how will the points stack up in this presidential race at home? are the democrats overplaying their hand by criticizing a horse that really seems to have been essential to this woman's therapy in getting over an illness, or is this fair game? it fits sort of the story of a rich guy out of touch with everyone else. candy. >> well, we will ask that very question to our next couple of guests, tom. thank you. joining me for today's strategy session are two cnn contributors
democratic strategy hill rir rosen and mary, moveon.org is out with an ad making fun of this very expensive horse. you heard ann romney in previous interviews describing how this helped with her therapy. is this, a,tive yalizing politics or, b, going too far? what do you think of the ad? >> i think they were just trying to make a substantiative point in a comedic way. whether it works or not, i can't really say. i do know that yesterday a nonpartisan tax policy center said that mitt romney's policies, which is after all the person we're trying to evaluate for president, would raise taxes on the middle class and would essentially -- >> so why not do an ad about that though? >> well, there are plenty -- skbl why not do an ad about that. >> the president's done ads and he's the one we're holding accountable here and i think that's appropriate. i don't think the president's
accountable for external groups' ads. i think that the focus ought to be on mitt romney and how he's going to raise taxes on the middle class and how he doesn't have a jobs plan that economists believe in. that ought to be the focus. >> just to follow-up, if you don't think the president is responsible for the outside group ads, that also means mitt romney isn't responsible for his outside group ads? for future reference. i'm just asking. >> well, i think that's right. >> okay. >> when you look at the content in the ads, the outside group ads against mitt romney have been asking him to release his tax returns, have been asking about his record at bain. the content is stuff that are legitimate questions. and when the content is legitima legitimate, the ad should be taken seriously. >> mary, is it pretty much anything is fair game? are you offended by the horse ad? do you find it amusing? give me your reaction to it. >> it's clever, but it's irrelevant. it's completely irrelevant. it might be counterproductive for democrats. as tom suggested, you can't talk
about that horse without talking about ann romney's determination and her grit to deal with her ms, with her affliction. she's an amazing and inspiring woman. and i think -- i felt a burst of pride and pay treattism to see the united states in the olympics. i don't know how productive it is. but hilary of course is right that neither campaign legally can collude on these ads. they just can't. that's true. they could speak out against them if they wanted. but also this week to dovetail with what hilary said, another study that wasn't done by -- and previously worked for obama said his plan would cost 700,000 jobs, his tax increases cost 700,000 jobs. he's going to tax small business out of business. that's what this election is
going to be about. not ann romney's therapy for her ms. >> i don't think it's specifically about this horse. but you know that the democrats -- and this includes the obama re-election campaign, are trying to paint mitt romney as an elitist and here's ab elitist sport that they are tying to him. they're trying to make him look as wealthy and out of touch. and in so far as it helps democrats -- >> i think anybody who does not like success, does not appreciate that romney is truly an american success story is not going to be for romney. they're going to be for obama. it's class warfare. it's demagogue ri. they've used it before. it hasn't worked. if that's the evident of how effective it's going to be the in the past if they want to waste their money on this class warfare, keep it up. >> i'm sure you've heard the
chick-fil-a controversy going on. we had some big city mayors weighing in recently from boston and chicago. i want to play you some of what they said. >> a company that speaks out against gay rights in our country today has the opportunity to operate in the city of boston. >> chick-fil-a's values are not chicago's values. they're not respectful of our residents, our neighbors and our family members. >> and then let me read you what chicago's arch bishop had to say after rahm emanuel talked about chicago values "recent comments by those who administer our city seem to assume that the city government can decide for everyone what are the values that must be held by citizens of chicago. i was born and raised here. and my understanding of being a chicagoan never included submitting my value system to the government for approval." that's from the arch bishop of chicago. hilary, just to reset for our viewers if they don't know, the
head of chick-fil-a has said that he's against same sex marriage. this doesn't have to do so far as we know with any kind of discrimination in the hiring or serving of chick-fil-a. it's burst on to the scene. but now we have two city officials coming in saying they're not really welcome to open up a franchise here. is that a wise thing for them to do? >> you know, i don't tend to favor using government to sensor speech. but i do think that it's important that people realize that this is just sort of not a debate between businesses and politicians about whether you're for or against same sex marriage. the chick-fil-a folks and others, when you oppose same sex marriage, what you are doing is you're not protecting your own values. your imposing your values on someone else. you're denying tax paying citizens the right -- the same rights and benefits to all of
the activities that american citizens enjoy, that married citizens enjoy. this is not an equal issue one or the other. there's actually one side is depriving the other side of rights. and the other side is just trying to simply have an equality -- >> mary, let me bring mary in here. i've got 15 seconds. i'm sorry. i want to get your quick question. >> it is breathtaking. democrats are so looney left. whatever the democrats say the constitution is that the government can assault your religious and economic liberty for an opinion is worse than henry viii. >> thank you both so much. not long ago house speaker john boehner raised some eyebrows when he said there's a one in three chance republicans would lose the house in the fall. how is he feeling now?
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officials suspect the men were plotting to attack a joint u.s. naval base. authorities believe the men are tie today a pakistani terror group and at least one was trained in afghanistan or pakistan. in april house speaker john boehner said there's a 33% chance republicans would lose control of the chamber in this year's election. now he's feeling better about his party's chances. >> our team's in pretty good shape. our members have worked hard. frankly, our candidates and challengers out there, a lot of them have been through tough primaries. and i feel good about where we are as a team. >> now, the speaker says republicans can't sit back and relax. there's still a lot of work to do between now and november. if you live in a major u.s. city and you rent, chances are you're better off buying a place instead. a survey by the real estate website zillow finds owners
reached a break even point in three years or less. the survey takes into account the cost of owning a home like down payments and upkeep and record low mortgage rates. candy. >> mary snow, thank you. just ahead, a motorcycle that you drive like a car. it might change the way all of us get around. o do. you do what you do... because it matters. at hp we don't just believe in the power of technology. we believe in the power of people when technology works for you. to dream. to create. to work. if you're going to do something. make it matter. there it is ! there it is ! where ? where ? it's getting away ! where is it ? it's gone. we'll find it.
mitt romney's on the campaign trail in colorado. and cnn political reporter peter hamby is there as well. peter, aspen seems to be the center of the universe. and i am told that with the governor is the woman who is in charge of his search for veep. that has to have you all speculating at this point. >> absolutely, candy. aspen is the republican
governor's association meeting is many top governors from the republican party and donors including carl rove. you're right, beth miers, long-time romney advisor is heading the vp search and holding that tight to her chest. came here with romney, which is raising eyebrows. no one knows why she's here specifically. but, candy, it's a reminder that this vp pick could come any day now. and a lot of republicans you talk to out here think probably if not this week then next week it will definitely happen. romney himself is actually meeting -- sitting down with several governors in a few minutes just behind me in basaltd including bobby jindal thought to be on the short list of four or five republicans who could be romney's running mate. we're going to be watchi that here in just a few minutes, candy. >> peter hamby, i'm going to take a guess and say it won't be while the olympics are going. it's getting close. thanks so much, peter hamby. appreciate it. fasten your seat belt. we're about to take you on a
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with odor free aspercreme. powerful medicine relieves pain fast, with no odor. so all you notice is relief. aspercreme. if you'd like to get around on something small and fuel efficient but don't want a motorcycle, cnn's dan simon may have found just what you're looking for. >> okay, here we go. >> reporter: i've been given the chance to test drive a new kind of vehicle. revolutionary in fact. feels basically like a normal car. except technically it's a motorcycle. it's got just two wheels. this prototype is the brain child of danny kim. a car o fish na to and
industrial design -- >> it will change how we look at transportation, how we commute, and what's a personal vehicle. >> reporter: we first met kim last year shortly after he launched his san francisco start-up called lit motors. back then they had just this model and a small scooter demonstrating the technology could work. since then kim and his nine employees have been practically working around the clock. and only recently took their creation for a spin. >> kind of like what the wright brothers felt like with that first airplane. >> we were just yelling and hooting and hollering. it was great. we had a lot of fun. >> reporter: the vehicle is fully electric and enclosed. its top speed will be 120 miles an hour. but what makes it truly unique is its ability to balance on two inline wheels even when stopped. something once considered unachievable. another breakthrough when it comes to safety. the company says it will even stay up right in the event of a
collision. this right here is a gyroscope. this is the key to making the vehicle work. it allows it to be stabilized and balanced and go forward on two wheels. the c-1 as they've called it has two gyroscopes that spin up to 12,000 times per minute. the faster they go the more force they put on the vehicle to keep it upright. >> that's what emits all the torque that defies gravity. that's what you're basically banking your life on. >> reporter: kim hopes to get the c-1 in production in two years with a starting price of $24,000. expensive. but his aim is to slash that significantly over time. >> a feeling of actually seeing this vehicle built from the ground up, we designed everything ground up, all in-house, it's overwhelming. it's overwhelming. >> reporter: like many tech entrepreneurs, kim had dreams of bringing a product to the masses. but he's already succeeded in
taking a farfetched idea and proving it can be done. dan simon, cnn, san francisco. you're in "the situation room." happening now, a possible al qaeda plot to attack an american base in spain busted wide open. also, a disturbing outbreak of a killer virus. we go to the epicenter of a spreading ebola outbreak. it's a cnn exclusive. and mitt romney rolls out his plan to help america's middle class, but is anyone listening? we'll talk about that and more with a top campaign advisor. welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. wolf blitzer is off today. i'm candy crowley. and you're in "the situation room." it's being called one of the
biggest operations against al qaeda in spain. officials in that country have arrested three suspected terrorists armed with explosives who may have been plotting an attack on a u.s. naval base. our cnn senior international correspondent nic robertson is following the story from london. what are you picking up? >> we're hearing two of these men al qaeda operatives had training in pakistani and al qaeda training camps. one believed chechen and the other to be turkish. when they raided this turkish man's flat, they found some explosives, but the canines they took in with them discovered a tiny hidden compartment, hidden room, and the dogs apparently went quite crazy in there indicating there had been a lot of explosives there but they had been moved out.
we understand two of the men, two with al qaeda training, one was an expert in chemical and in making bombs, they both have bomb making capabilities, but they've both been training as well using motorized paragliding attack. >> nic, i'm trying to understand. they think the explosives are missing because the dogs picked up a different scent in another room? how do we know they didn't just move the explosives within that apartment? >> you know, that's possible. and the police obviously are not going to rule that out. but one of the things here in this case the police have told us is that they've been tracking these guys for about a month. two of them have crossed from france into spain. the spanish saying they've had help from outside intelligence agencies. they've been monitoring them for a month now. and it appears to have been an eavesdropping device in this apartment. the turkish man who lived in the
apartment is supposed to have or believed to have told his mo rocco wife to clean the apartment which kbif gives the police the belief she hadn't cleaned for dust. and the dogs went particularly crazy in this room with this. the real indication is the dogs figured out there was a lot more in this room and the police are worried about it, candy. >> still missing. thanks, nic robertson, out of london tonight. now to syria where at least 100 people were killed today in civil war fighting according to opposition groups. and in a surprise move, the diplomat who's worked for months to stem the bloodshed has resigned. joining me now our ivan watson made his wait out of syria into turkey. the biggest development today, ivan, is kofi annan, special
envoy for the u.n. and arab league has quit his job trying to find some sort of diplomatic solution to what's going on in syria. i know you spent a lot of time with the rebels in recent days. just from your perspective on the ground, did you ever hear any kind of indication from rebels that a diplomatic solution was indeed possible? >> reporter: i do not think so. i think that the position of the armed opposition is that there is no negotiating with the assad regime. they've seen too many of their brothers, cousins, their relatives and friends and neighbors killed over the course of the past 17 months. and think they cannot trust this regime. and there is no other option but for bashar al assad to go. and of course kofi annan sent a completely different message in an op-ed piece he wrote in the "financial times," he did say there was no credibility left for the assad regime.
he also said the opposition had to come to some kind of compromise that military force alone was unlikely to bring down the syrian government. >> let me ask you about the nature of the opposition simply because we're also learning that the u.s. is in fact helping to provide some sort of covert aid, not weaponry, but that it's also "vetting rebel groups" to see who should be getting aid from saudi arabia. is this some sort of cohesive group? is there some way to vet these rebels? i'm just interested in how one would decide who should get weaponry. >> reporter: there does seem to be some kind of a system for rationing out the ammunition and the weapons. i've met -- i could call him a quarter master i guess, who receives weapons from across the border from turkey. and he complained that he was constantly under pressure from the scores of different rebel groups all coming to him asking for more guns and more
ammunition. and he said that he had to answer to a higher military council that he said was based in turkey. that they were saying which rebel group got which weapons. and he had to follow their lead. we know that these weapons are coming from turkey. and syria and saudi arabia and qatar have been named as two of the sponsors, basically, whether it's through money or weaponry for this aid that's coming to the rebels. so there seems to be some system to try to control the flow of weapons and who it goes to. and it clearly irritates some of these fighters that they're not getting as much as they think they need to get. >> and just lastly on the idea of u.s. covert aid, again, we have no reason to believe we're talking about weapons from the u.s. perhaps humanitarian aid, other things. do you see any signs on the ground of any kind of u.s. input or influence in syria within the
rebel confines? >> reporter: i know there have been contacts. and i think there have been promises of assistance. and perhaps some, i don't know, communications devices have come through. but i have not seen any concrete things that i can point to to say that the u.s. is helping the opposition inside syria. and that's generated a great deal of ill-will. it doesn't take long for anybody who supports the opposition in syria to denounce bashar al ass assad. they do that with pretty much every breath. but there's also an incredible amount of anger at the u.s. for talking and saying that the assad regime should come down but not offering any help whatsoever. to the point that some syrians have developed an entire conspiracy theory. they think the u.s. actually secretly wants to keep assad in power and that it's putting a country like russia in a position to basically hide
behind -- and the u.n. security council, as a way to keep bashar al assad in power. that says something about the psychology of these people after 17 months of killing after seeing, i don't know, more than 17,000 people killed and untold hundreds of thousands if not millions of people displaced. >> ivan watson for us tonight safely in turkey. thanks, ivan. >> reporter: thanks, candy. let's dig deeper with an drew tabler, a senior fellow at the washington institute and author of "in the lion's den," let me pick up on that first -- last point that ivan made, which is this anger that the rebels have at the u.s. for not doing more. we have sent apparently some humanitarian aid. it's not enough. how does this bode for future relations should the rebels take charge? >> it's going to be absolutely a disaster. the opposition has been calling for assistance from the united
states and sometimes not even lethal assistance, just more nonlethal assistance. it hasn't been arriving. when it does finally arrive it's far too little too late. it's a problem because if our goal is for assad to step aside, in the end the entity that will come about or entities will be hostile to u.s. interests. >> is it farfetched to believe that the u.s. secretly wants assad to stay in power? it just seems impossible from this vantage point. >> i don't think they want assad to stay in power. but i think they want to do as little as possible like a lot of states. they understand it's an organic movement inside syria. the fact of the matter is this is a grinder conflict that's going to go on for a long time. it's a mass slaughter. and the obama administration will have to make a decision, something to end it or help end it or not. >> another thing ivan said was that the rebels say no way there's a diplomatic end to this. they are done with diplomacy. with kofi annan gone, maybe they'll put someone in his place. they're talking about it.
do you think diplomacy is just dead at this point? >> it's not that it's dead. i think it comes at the end game. and the end game here is you have on the one side a regime that can't reform and ruled for 40 years in a tyrannical fashion over a population that's just incredibly young. these two things can't mix. you can't cut the baby in half on this one. that's what kofi annan tried to do and that's where he screwed up. that's the reason why he's resigning. we'll have to see who else comes in and what happens. does the russian position change now that they can see that the fighting's intensifying against the assad regime? >> that's basically what annan complained about was that there's no commonality in the u.s. security council because of russia and china. >> but this is a nonsensical position. the reason this is going on isn't because the united states and russia don't agree. it's because of the way the assad regime rules over the syrian people. that's the genesis of the problem. and then you deal with the symptoms of it. to blame it on russia and the united states is just not accurate. >> let me ask you about the larger implications of if we have a civil war that goes on
and looks as though it will for many, many months to come, in the region and for the u.s., what are the larger implications of that? >> the problem is when you have a minority regime dominated by ayla wyatts, this conflict eats down into the sectarian nature of syrian society. that's much like lebanon. the lebanon war went on for 15 years. that can set off this change of reaction because these intersect all over the middle east. what starts in syria can spread to lebanon and iraq and elsewhere. not necessarily like wildfire, but slowly over time as no one wants to intervene and do anything to end this conflict. >> let me ask you one last question. this red line which is the idea that perhaps bashar al assad will in fact use the chemical weapons we know he has. do you believe the u.s. has somehow conveyed to him privately, publicly, go across this line, use these chemicals and we're in there? >> i was in a hearing yesterday
with john kerry in the senate and he said that something like that had been communicated. and it's something of course all of us have been calling for. again, the question is why not just call -- say it publicly. if you say it over this line we're going to end you. for some reason there's a real red sense to do that. >> looks like maybe they don't actually mean it. >> exactly. that's the problem. in the syrian conflict, we're out of wiggle room now. that's the problem. if we don't deal with this now, it's going to morph into a bigger conflict and affect our interests including those into the general election. >> thank you so much for your expertise this evening. appreciate it. before we go to break we want to show you some pictures out of capitol hill. this may look like an ordinary day, but it's not. it's the beginning of the august recess for both the house and senate. i believe this is the house side you are looking at. so they are off on vacation. most of them particularly on the
house side they are off to go and campaign. now, they are spending hundreds of millions of dollars trying to influence your vote. what do americans really know about the so-called super pacs? they're a mystery to many. plus, the candidates' secret weapons, possibly the worst-kept secrets of the presidential campaign. [ dr. rahmany ] you se, even after a dental cleaning... plaque quickly starts to grow back. but new crest pro-health clinical plaque control toothpaste can help. it not only reduces plaque... it's also clinically proven... to help keep plaque from coming back. plus, it works in these other areas dentists check most. ♪ new crest pro-health clinical plaque control toothpaste. life opens up when you do. for extra plaque protection try new crest pro-health clinical rinse. high up in the atlas mountains of morocco. have you seen this road we're going down? ♪ there is no relief for the brakes. we'll put them to the test today. all right, let's move out! [ ross ] we're pushing the ats brakes to the limit.
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they have changed the face of the presidential race as we know it. fueling the campaigns with unprecedented amounts of cash. yet according to a new "the washington post" puh research center survey, nearly four in ten americans say they've never heard anything at all about so-called super pac spending. that's compared with 36% who say they've only heard a little. joining us now, time deputy washington bureau chief michael crowley. no relationship, how to buy the white house. "time" a sister publication of
cnn. we talk super pacs every day. god help us. we know it's super sized money. but is there super sized power? >> i think there is a lot of power. obviously there's so much money in this campaign that even a super pac that has hundreds of millions of dollars is only a small part of a presidential election that could cost $2.5 billion. it's pretty amazing. and the big money will come from the candidates, the obama and romney campaign. so they are still the biggest players here. but, candy, the super pacs can make a difference on the margins. and that can be pretty significant, particularly what everyone knows is going to be a very close race. so it's possible that without the super pac machine that carl rove and some other republican party elders who i wrote about in this week's issue, it's possible that without their efforts and all the money they are raising, mitt romney would be outspent by the obama campaign. and democrats would have a funding edge. what rove and these guys have done is really it's the calvary riding to romney's rescue. at the end of the day when this election comes, you may have
more republican spending than democratic spending. again, in an election where the fundamentals are pretty close, it's going to be a close election, i think really the final answer to your question, the influence can be pretty outsized because that small margin of money could tilt the balance. >> so it was the lesson of the mccain campaign. he was so outspent by president obama who didn't use pac money but was outside the system while mccain's stayed within the federal system on election spending. so they used that lesson to kind of propel themselves into these huge groups that spend all of this money. and i think you're right that over the summer certainly you could make a case they have saved mitt romney, who's out of money. >> i'm glad you mentioned that. mitt romney right now, he has a fair amount of money. when you look at just the number in his bank account, it's quite large. but what a lot of people may not understand is he can't spend a lot of that money until he is after officially the republican party nominee. we think of the primaries as being over, but in legal terms not until the convention in
tampa at the end of this month does he officially become the nominee. that allows him to start spending a lot of money given to him under the rules as general election money. but his primary money he is mostly spent. so actually he's kind of cash poor right now. some republicans in reporting my story i learned they called us the interrag -- he's spent on his primary dollars. the super pacs can step in and do that for him. this is their moment of greatest influence, arguably, where they are defending romney from an obama campaign onslaught because romney has money he can't spend for several more weeks. >> we have no idea what would have happened had they not been up on the air for romney at this point. right now we know he's pretty much even. explain to folks as you do in this magazine i think if you want to understand it, you ought to get "time" i would say that even if you weren't a sister network. >> thank you. i appreciate that. >> the fact is explain to folks what the danger is here. why is everyone sending up --
not everyone, mostly democrats at this point sending up the red alert. >> that's right. but i think in large part because the problem that democrats and watchdog groups are identifying and complaining about is large amounts of money from individual donors that is not very transparent. in many cases doesn't have to be disclosed at all. now, you might have some people say this is not that bad. and money should come into the system. and it's not nefarious. but the danger people would argue is that you're going to have very wealthy americans who have a disproportionate influence on the way this campaign runs, number one. so the billionaires who are giving donations of $5 million or $10 million or more, sheldon adelson, for instance, they can help fund these enormous advertising campaigns.
they aren't well tracked. but the other problem people would argue, candy, is some of that money doesn't have to be disclosed. there are different rules for different groups. there's not time to break it down. you can read my story or go online, but some donors would be given tens of millions as long as it's not reported and used in certain ways and used in certain rules. mitt romney may not know that that person gave all that money to some group because there's no coordination. but you better believe a lot of other important people in the republican party will know that. and the question is, will that donor get any favorable treatment down the road? by the way, wealthy people are giving to democratic groups, also, but not nearly as much. it's more relevant on the republican side. >> probably that will even up i would guess in the next election. >> based on the outcome of this one, we'll see what happens. but the side that loses is going to ramp it up for sure. >> absolutely. michael crowley, "time" magazine, thank you. >> thank you, candy.
more than 80 million facebook users may not be real. i suspected that. just ahead, details on the social media giant's startling new revelation. plus, unbelievable video of a car smashing through a convenience store. we'll tell you how it happened here in "the situation room." it's human nature to invent. it's human nature to try and make your life better. it's human nature to try to make the world around you a better place. and is to do that and execute on those ideas. it's really hard. good ideas shouldn't find their ways onto shelves because they're the ideas of people with the right luck or circumstance. they should find their ways onto shelves because they're just great ideas. that's it. plain and simple.
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a violent typhoon that killed 23 people in the philippines is battering china. mary snow is monitoring that and other top stories in "the situation room." mary, what do you have? >> candy, the storm packing winds of nearly 100 miles per hour killed five people in taiwan triggering landslides and heavy flooding before making its way to china. the military helped more than 1,000 people flee the area. meteorologists are also watching another typhoon forecast to hit about 150 miles north of shanghai. facebook is revealing more than 8% of its 955 million users, about 83 million people, may not be real. according to company filings, some accounts have either been dubbed duplicates, misclassified or undesirable, meaning they don't meet facebook's terms of service. now, the report comes just as the social media giant's stock hit an all-time low on wall street today. take a look at this. unbelievable video of a car
plowing through a convenience store knocking the clerk more than 15 feet back. this happened in texas. the driver of the car reportedly mistook the gas pedal for the brake and was arrested for intoxication assault. the clerk was treated anand naidoo at an area hospital and said to already be back to work. and fans of "the who" are finally getting the chance to see the concert they missed 33 years ago. according to cnn affiliate wpri, the mayor of providence, rhode island, canceled the 1979 concert because of safety concerns. the band is now honoring those original tickets which sold for $14 each. the new concert date is set for february of 2013. you know, candy, ten ticketholders still had those tickets from 33 years ago. >> we were talking about, somebody said that's just amazing they still have them. i said, no, it's amazing they can find them.
>> exactly. >> thanks very much, mary snow. appreciate it. >> sure. good jobs, better pay, mitt romney is courting the middle class. we'll talk about that and the controversy over his tax returns and more with his senior advisor, eric fehrnstrom. and the not so secret weapons campaigns are unrolling. who knew the candidates had wives? ♪ [ male announcer ] its lightweight construction makes it nimble... ♪ its road gripping performance makes it a cadillac. introducing the all-new cadillac xts. available with advanced haldex all-wheel drive. [ engine revving ] it's bringing the future forward.
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they're the voters he needs to win in november. and today mitt romney made a new overture to america's middle class listing policies he says will make life bert for them. >> -- they need a president that's going to go to work to help the american people have good jobs and better take-home pay. and i will. and we're going to get it done. >> let's talk about that and more with eric fehrnstrom, senior advisor to the romney campaign. i know you're all out there pushing this middle class tax plan. you've heard the president say, listen, the tax plan's going to hit the middle class, not help them. i want to get beyond dueling studies. i know you don't believe in that study. i want to ask you about some poll numbers here. this is an nbc "the wall street journal" poll, who would be better at looking out for the middle class? barack obama 49%, mitt romney 33%. what is it that is new that you are pushing today and going forward that you think is going to attract folks to believe that
you actually are for the middle class? >> sure. first, candy, you've seen all the economic reporting lately. monthly job losses are weakening. gdp is shrinking. retail sales are weaker than expected. >> right. >> and just yesterday we learned that manufacturing has declined for the second month in a row. this economy is not just down shifting, we are moving into reverse. >> but what is your big plan for the middle class? >> well, mitt romney laid it out in detail today. there are five areas where he has specific proposals around strengthening trade, around reforming education, around increasing energy production, cutting the deficit, and of course encouraging small businesses. and i think the question that you should be asking is not where is mitt romney's plan? because he laid it out in detail today. where's the president's plan? i think it's shameful we have a sitting president, candy, who doesn't have a policy agenda for
his second term. all he has is a short list of rehashed proposals that have already been tried and failed. >> i will certainly ask the president when he comes on. but right now that i have you, let me talk about mitt romney's plan. when you say you've laid out specifics, there are still lots of holes here that might be important to voters when they go into that booth. if you're going to reform the tax code, what sort of things -- what sort of tax loopholes would mitt romney get rid of? that's not spelled out. you say you're going to cut nonsecurity discretionary spending by 5%. what exactly? so there's these big holes. don't you think that some of those ought to be filled in for voters? >> well, i think there's one feature of governor romney's plan that the middle class will find very attractive. and that's his proposal to eliminate taxes on investment income for those making less than $200,000 a year. so if you're middle class, this will encourage you to save.
you won't have to pay taxes on your dividends, your capital gains or your interest income. look, the middle class has been that group of americans that has been most deeply affected by is bad obama economy. and governor romney has specific proposals aimed at strengthening the middle class and creating jobs for them and for all americans. >> you know, governor romney is selling his business credentials that you all have outlined in lots of ads and on this stump, the president is more vulnerable on the economy than any president in modern history. and yet you tend to be trailing him in most of these polls. something that has not caught on, eric. what is it going to take from you all to rev this up for mitt romney? >> well, i don't know what polls you're referring to. the polls i've seen show an extremely tight race. and by the way, it's tight despite the fact that this president has outspent mitt romney three-to-one. and the ads that the obama
campaign are running are overwhelmingly negative. but it hasn't done the trick. they haven't been able to separate from mitt romney. and i think the reason is because they recognize in mitt romney the right person with the capacity to lead on jobs and the economy. and by the way, a person who has a plan. the president doesn't have a plan. and i think that should be of great concern to all americans. >> senate majority leader harry reid as you know has been out talking a lot about governor romney's taxes. he would like to have him release more than the two -- the one he already has and the other he says will be coming. here's what senator reid said on the senate floor this morning. take a listen. >> the word's out he hasn't paid any taxes for ten years. let him prove he has paid taxes. because he hasn't. >> so senator reid says that mitt romney hasn't paid taxes. have you talked to your candidate? did he pay taxes in all the previous years? 10, 15, 20 years out?
>> su. first let me address the majority leader's comments. i think they're shameful. i think they're pathetic, baseless and untrue. i don't think it's any coincidence that on the day that mitt romney is talking in detail about his plans to revive this economy the obama campaign sends out the majority leader to engage in mccarthy-like accusations about mitt romney. you know, four years ago barack obama said he was going to come to washington and change the politics of that city. instead the obama campaign has turned into a bottomless pit. everyday they seem to reach a new low. we've already stated for the record that mitt romney has never zeroed out his tax liability. he has always paid 100% of what was owed. he's put out hundreds of pages of tax return information. he's put out the complete 2010 return. he's putting out the 2011 return once it's complete and filed. that's two years worth of tax years information he's not
required to produce by law and yet he's doing it. it's consistent with the last republican nominee has put out. the governor has provided plenty of disclosure. i do think it's shameful for the majority leader of the senate to engage in these types of accusations. >> you know, you could get him to stop. i've heard the mccarthy reference a couple of times. and i understand where you all are coming from and why you say that. but the difference here is that you could actually prove him wrong with the tax releases. you want to be out here talking about his plans for the middle class. and we did do that. but also need to be asking these sorts of questions. you could stop these questions by releasing the tax forms. >> well, i hope you're not conceding to the despicable tactics that the majority leader is engaging in. >> no. i'm asking if you could stop them it seems to me pretty easily. >> i will say this, is that mitt romney has been in the public eye for many years. he has provided financial
disclosure going back to 2002 when he was a candidate for governor of the commonwealth of massachusetts. we have posted all the disclosures from his governorship years as well as the disclosures he's filed as a federal candidate. all of which are required by law. but then he's gone above and beyond what is required by law and put out hundreds of pages of tax return information. >> okay. >> those too have been published on the web. and they're available for anybody to go see including harry reid. >> okay. one-word answer here. we going to get the vp selection this week? >> well, i'll tell you, you'll get it before the convention. >> gee, thanks a lot. >> i don't come to you with any news or information about vp. >> thanks so much, eric fehrnstrom, senior romney advisor, i really appreciate your time this afternoon. >> thank you, candy. a cnn exclusive inside the hospital at the epicenter of a new ebola virus outbreak. we get an up close look at the extraordinary precautions. and everyone knows the candidates are married, so why
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they may be the best thing the presidential candidates have going for them with the battle for the white house getting so ugly. cnn's john berman has a close look at a not so secret weapon, the wives. >> candy, we're getting into crunch time with these elections which means the candidates are rolling out all of their big guns, the conventions, vp announcements, bus tours. but unless you look really closely, you'll miss the secret battle going on with secret methods. so secret the candidates are married to them. michelle obama, front and center
at the olympic games. ann romney, shining on her husband's world tour. photo-ops, interviews, a special week for special spouses. but whatever you do, don't tell anyone because no one is supposed to know they exist. it's a secret. headline, michelle obama is revealed as barack obama's secret weapon. headline, ann romney, why mitt romney's wife is his secret weapon. >> president obama's secret weapon is michelle. >> yeah. >> mitt romney's secret weapon is ann. >> they've already unveiled their secret weapon. >> not just weapons but secret weapons. >> women are talking about jobs. >> apparently the world didn't know these candidates were married. or for that matter, any candidate ever. headline, hines kerry seen as secret weapon. headline, wife is dole's secret weapon. >> the republicans are
increasingly rolling out their secret weapon, popular first lady, laura bush. >> do you look at yourself as a secret weapon in this campaign? >> no. >> at least she knew she was married. the only president never to marry, james buchanan. guess he didn't have any secrets. they're all married. let's just say the secret is out. but just because it's not so secret, it doesn't mean it's not so effective. political spouses in general have very high net favorability ratings. michelle obama, plus 40. laura bush, plus 57, elizabeth dole, plus 23. they often outpace their mates. they often add key insight on important subjects. the women's vote could be key in this election. team obama is attacking mitt romney on so-called women's issues. >> we believe in america. >> mrs. romney provides some defense. she also helps soften up the rigid image of her husband. remember this radio interview?
>> you have to fight back some criticism like my husband isn't stiff, okay? >> well, you know, i guess we better unzip him and let the real mitt romney out because he is not. >> so, yes, they might be good on the trail, but, no, they are not secret. and one more thing, they're not on the ballot. yeah. it's a shame the world never heard of such secret figures as jackie kennedy and nancy reagan. it should be said michelle obama is campaigning for her husband today in north carolina. so i guess the secret is finally out. candy. >> that it is, our john berman, thank you. spreading outbreak of a killer virus. we go to the hospital at the center of it all. it's a cnn exclusive. and coming up in our new 6:00 p.m. eastern hour, just how strong is al qaeda right now? we'll ask our own panel of experts. big plans. so when i found out medicare doesn't pay all my medical expenses, i looked at my options. then i got a medicare supplement insurance plan.
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it is one of the world's most lethal, frightening viru s viruses, marked by bleeding from places including the eyes. growing fear the ebola outbreak is spreading with 30 suspected cases record. we have a report from the epicenter where health workers are taking extraordinary precautions. >> ministry of health come into the hospital. they brought three men, two were wearing gloves, sitting up, the other was prone, on a bed, obviously in great distress. what they do, they take them into this hospital like this. then they have to spray him all over his face, i can see through the fence, even the mattress,
anything in the location where they fnd this suspected case has to be disinfected. then they move to where the health workers are in full protective gear. they have to register the patient, take him to a general ward, send a blood test. there they can get a sense whether the person has ebola or not. you can see the level of protection people need to deal with these cases. that's why this outbreak is crucial to stamp out in the next few days. health officials say the ebola cases could increase. it takes brave health workers to bring patients in, try to stabilize the patients. david mckenzie, cnn, uganda. >> wow. in london, one olympic visitor drew some of the attention off the games, russian president vladimir putin. cnn's senior international correspondent matthew chance is there. >> reporter: this is the first visit to britain by vladimir
putin for five years. this time it was arranged at the last minute after it emerged to downing street officials that he would attend the olympic judo finals, he is a big judo fan. clearly the two leaders have a great deal to discuss officially. talks focused on trade, indeed what they discussed in that half hour or so meeting inside. but the conflict in syria was high on the agenda. this is an area where britain and russia are at odds, britain with other western powers is pushing for resolutions of the united nations security council to impress the regime of bashar al-assad. russia has been essentially blocking those measures, frustrating for british officials. today they said there were areas they could potentially cooperate. >> we spoke a lot about syria,
we make notice of the fact there are some things that we see eye to eye identically. [ speaking foreign language ] >> and we agree to continue working to find a viable solution on that matter and we agreed to entrust our foreign affairs ministries to go on with that, search for a viable solution. >> reporter: as well as syria, there's the issue of human rights. there's concern russia may be quickening a slide to authoritarianism. three members of a russian female punk band pussy riot are critical of vladimir putin, facing a prison sentence. that didn't make the final
statement. the olympics did, with vladimir putin congratulating britain on what it called the wonderful and unforgettable spectacle of the opening ceremony. both went onto the judo finals, and despite issues between them, british prime minister joked they would be spectators, not participants. matthew chance, cnn, london. an alarming close call for three planes that got dangerously close to each other at washington's reagan national airport. we go there live in our brand new 6:00 p.m. hour. r world chale with the cadillac ats. this is actually starting to feel real now. [ ross ] this is the perfect place to test the ats's advanced aerodynamics. [ derek ] we've got crosswinds, tailwinds, headwinds. aerodynamics is all about keeping the car planted on the road. you are going to get hit by stuff, so don't freak out. [ screaming with excitement ] and move out now. ♪ [ male announcer ] the all-new cadillac ats. ♪
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mary? >> it happened in islamist controlled northern part of mali where members of the group say the man and woman were forced into two holes and repeatedly pelted with rocks. they believe in sha rea law which condemns relationships out of marriage. earnings at general motors have fallen sharply due to the european debt crisis, though they still managed to top forecasts. the auto giant reports profits down 41% from a year ago to $1.5 billion. chrysler is the only one of the major u.s. automakers that hasn't been effected by european economic woes. a state of emergency was lifted in upstate new york after a major fire broke out at a recycling plant containing hazardous materials. according to ynn in albany, they told everyone within 15 miles to stay indoors while air quality in the area was tested. no fatalities or injuries were
reported. and sadly, a hip oh, the world's oldest in captivity has died. wfie reports that donna that came to an indiana zoo in 1956 was euthanized due to failing health. the 62-year-old was the mother of eight children, and managed to outlive all of them. candy? >> mary snow, thank you so much. thank you for watching us. the "the situation room" continues with kate bolduan. new information about a scary close call involving three planes over one airport. a major arrest of suspected terrorists, al qaeda may be developing a new method of attack. ann romney's horse debuts at the olympics and her husband gets judged. wolf blitzer is off. i'm kate bolduan, you're in "the situation room."
we start with a major operation against al qaeda in europe. three suspected terrorists have been arrested in southern spain. spanish officials say the men were, quote, ready to act, and they may have been plotting to attack u.s. or british targets, using remote controlled planes or par agliders. nic robertson is following this story from london. nick, you have been doing amazing reporting on this. what more are we learning about this threat? >> reporter: we know the police seized a computer that they're scanning to find out if there's more information to give them leads to other people they may want to arrest. they also believe a large quantity of explosives is missing, although they captured some explosives. they say two of the men that were arrested, believed to be chechen origin, had al qaeda
training in afghanistan and pakistan. one was a senior al qaeda figure, also had a lot of chemicals experience, believe he was a master bomb maker type that they have experience in making car bombs and shooting, a lot of al qaeda techniques. what worries spanish officials is that these two men were on the road when arrested, taken off a bus, put up a fierce fight before they were arrested. police believe they were planning to attack a base about 60 miles from where the explosives were found and that they were going to use a motorized paraglider to deliver the massive explosive into a joint u.s. and spanish naval base. >> some of the details are amazing. it sounds like the investigation into the threat is just beginning. i heard you earlier say they've been tracking these guys for awhile. >> reporter: they have. and that's fascinating here. i guess we're learning more over the years how intelligence
services work. they don't just when they find somebody on their radar, don't just rush in and nab them. what they did with these guys, two of these al qaeda trained guys came from france into spain, were tracked for a month and their interactions with a third guy, believed to be turkish had a small apartment not far from gibraltar where the explosives were retrieved from. they even bugged that apartment. when this turkish guy called his wife to clean out the apartment, that's when the police realized they were getting rid of some of the explosives, they went in with sniff dogs to get the explosives. >> nick, keep up the good work. thank you so much. talk to you a little later. just into cnn, congress is acting to close a loophole discovered by one of cnn's own. it is a loophole in a law designed to prevent lawmakers from profiting from insider trading. we talked about this a lot. let's bring in our senior
congressional correspondent dana bash who exposed this loophole in an exclusive report. dana, what do you have now? >> reporter: this is something that deirdre walsh, the producer that we know and admire, she uncovered this, we reported it. what the it is, the insider trading bill that was touted by democrats and republicans, the bill was that they made sure there was really no way legally that any member of congress could use the information that they had and that they get privately and use it for personal financial gain. we found a loophole and they closed it today because of our reporting. let's give you a little background on what we're talking about first. the key to making sure lawmakers don't profit on secret information they learn on the job is based on a new rule. financial transactions over $1,000 must be reported within 45 days. >> so that the public could have more real time understanding of
what their members and what senior staff and other high government officials were doing with their finances, what kinds of trades were they making. >> reporter: on the senate side of the capitol, the senate said the rule must apply to lawmakers and spouses and children. on the house side, the ethics committee told its members something different. spouses and children don't have to report stock trades in a timely way. >> i am obviously deeply concerned about that. >> reporter: all of this was news to the senators who sponsored that legislation. needless to say, when we brought it to their attention, they were not happy. >> say i find out information, i tell my wife, she goes and trades on it, what's the difference. bottom line, we're supposed to have that level of transparency, and have us be treated like every other member of the united states. >> reporter: it specifically says that members of congress do not have to have their spouse or children file. >> i think it is wrong and i think it is unfortunate because the reality is that the whole point of this legislation is
that we should play by the exact same rules as every other american citizen, and when all of america looks at washington, you know it is broken. >> reporter: this led us to eric cantor who was in charge of and wrote this bill before it passed, that was the bill that ultimately became law. when we brought this to their attention, they looked into it, took about a day to do so, and came back to us and said you know what, you're right. this was wrong, it is a loophole that we intend to close. and what happened today, right before congress left town, the house and senate passed a fix, closing that loophole, making clear spouses and children also have to file regularly, every 45 days on major financial transactions to make sure they, too, are not benefitting from information that their spouses get because of their position of power in congress. >> all done just in time to get out of town, as we say. smell jet fumes. dana bash, great work on this as
always. there's a lot of work to be done once they return in september. talk to you soon. in presidential politics, mitt romney is back on the campaign trail after his overseas trip. right now this hour he is appearing with republican governors meeting in colorado. several possible vice presidential picks are there, including bobby jindal, the louisiana governor. the head of the vp search is also along this trip at a campaign stop in colorado earlier, romney tried to show voters he is energized about fixing the economy. listen to this. >> this is important. getting america working, this isn't a statistic we're talking about. 23 million americans out of work or underemployed. 23 million. it is a tragedy. it's a moral failing for a country as successful and wealthy as ours to have policies that kept people from going to
work. >> president obama is also talking about the economy today in another swing state, florida. he accused republicans of trying to sell the american people on a new version of trickle down economics. listen here to the president. >> we know better. they have tried to sell us this trickle down tax cut fairy dust before. and guess what. it didn't work then. it will not work now. it's not a plan to create jobs, it is not a plan to reduce the deficit, it is not a plan to build our middle class. it is not a plan to move our economy forward. it takes us back to a place we don't need to be. >> the president joked before the florida voters he would like their electoral votes as a birthday present. saturday he is 51 years old.
three planes come dangerously, dangerously close. just how did it happen? we have new information from federal investigators. and facebook reveals millions of users aren't who they appear to be. [ feedback ] attention, well, everyone. you can now try snapshot from progressive free for 30 days. just plug this into your car, and your good driving can save you up to 30%. you could even try it without switching your insurance. why not give it a shot? carry on. now you can test-drive snapshot before you switch. visit progressive.com today. this is new york state. we built the first railway, the first trade route to the west, the greatest empires. then, some said, we lost our edge. well today, there's a new new york state. one that's working to attract businesses and create jobs. a place where innovation meets determination...
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it's the at&t network -- securing a world of new opportunities. ♪ looks like there are more problems for facebook. the price of its stock sent it to a record low for a third straight day and the social media site reveals its global growth isn't what it seems, may not be what it seems with millions of duplicate, questionable, fake accounts. alison kosik is at the stock exchange with more. allison, start with the stock price. what's behind the big drop? >> reporter: investors have been dumping the stock since facebook reported earnings as a publicly traded company. shares lost close to half the value since they went public in may. part of the reason, institutional investors are running from it. 20 fund managers sold 2 million
of public shares in facebook back in june. this is significant because fidelity was an early investors. it is a problem of fundamentals. investors are selling because facebook has yet to show a solid plan for mobile advertising and failed to relieve investor worries how facebook will grow. it is sort of suffering from slowing sales growth at this point. >> it has been surprising. they had a string of bad news coming their way. now questions about how many users facebook has. what do you know about that? >> reporter: facebook realizes it is a problem, there are facebook accounts that are duplicates. 4.8% of the over 950 million user accounts are duplicates. that's not allowed under the facebook terms of service, but it can be difficult to detect. 2.4% of the accounts are what they call user misclassified. say a small business owner uses a personal account instead of an official page to promote the
business. others are accounts for pets or nonhuman entities. and finally, 1.5%, or 14 million users are called undesirable accounts and these are spammers. they dilute the value of legitimate users, and can face do you know how advertisers use it, which is crucial for revenue. it comes at a time when advertisers are leery about return on investment with facebook, so it doesn't help to hear that many of the clicks on the ads come from fake users, especially because the more they click, it drives up ad prices, scares companies from advertising on facebook. >> the advertising angle is an excellent point, allison. alison kosik at the new york stock exchange. someone is having fun behind you. >> they are. >> you're working, they're having fun. it is fine. allison, talk to you soon. a bus accident shuts down a major interstate highway in the
midwest. cnn's mary snow is keeping track of that and other stories coming into "the situation room." >> we received word one person is dead after a mega bus blew a tire, hit an overpass on interstate 55 near litchfield, illinois. illinois state police tell cnn 25 people were rushed to area hospitals. the spokeswoman at one hospital says injuries range from minor to great. in a statement, they say the mega bus was part of the chicago to kansas city route, booked to have 81 passengers aboard. people at chick-fil-a say the restaurant chain set a sales record wednesday. they aren't making the numbers public, but we saw plenty of lines as people heeded conservative calls to eat there to support the company president's stand against same sex marriage. the media frenzy is not over. friday gay rights activists plan to have a national same sex kiss day at chick-fil-a. you heard of dodging a bullet. a brooklyn driver dodged a
sinkhole because she had to walk her dog. the driver tells cnn affiliate wpix everything was fine when she parked in front of her home. five minutes later, the ground opened up, and her car was teetering on the edge. and finally, a gentle reminder, never argue with the umpire. watch and listen to the tune on the organ. the umpire at the minor league daytona cubs game tossed out the stadium dj, can't hear it. he was playing three blind mice. he ordered that sound system shut off the rest of the game. >> wow. that was pretty harsh. didn't know you could get tossed as a dj. maybe he learned his lesson, maybe not. thanks, talk to you later. new information about a
pretty scary close call involving three planes. the latest from the airport where it happened up next. ♪ [music plays] ♪ [music plays] ♪ [music plays] metamucil uses super hardworking psyllium fiber, which gels to remove unsexy waste and reduce cholesterol. taking psyllium fiber won't make you a model,
the man assigned to try to bring peace to a war ravaged syria is giving up. cove ian and announce he is resigning as the joint special envoy, a reflection of growing bloodshed and rising frustration at the united nations. let's bring in richard roth for more. richard, what does this resignation mean for u.n. peace efforts in syria quite simply? >> they didn't seem to be going anywhere with kofi annan, the
peace prize winner. the french ambassador and annan reminded people that there was a striking youthlessness of the security council and added more criticism at the geneva press conference. >> at a time when we need, when the syrian people desperately need action, there continues to be finger pointing and name calling in the security council. >> annan said he expected more from putin and obama from moscow to washington. the white house saying russia and china are at fault. those two countries vetoed resolutions at the security council, would have put more pressure on president assad.
sadness at the security council? not so. they're looking for someone to take his place, the u.n. seemed to be sidelined more on the syria crisis. >> that begs the question with annan out and everyone said if he couldn't do it, tough to know who could because people think so highly of him. is someone going to replace him? is there a short list of who possibly will replace him? >> the secretary general ban ki-moon says is looking for a successor. it seems like annan said himself, a mission impossible. he said maybe there are crazy people like himself that are willing to follow in his footsteps. assad didn't listen to him. despite words of encouragement, people of washington, france and elsewhere hung him out to dry through different ways. annan saw the writing on the wall, he was getting ripped, his image getting tarnished, he called it quits.
he'll stay on until august 31st. >> six point peace plan didn't go anywhere. mission impossible, sure hope not, though. richard roth in new york, thanks so much. the u.s. sending millions in additional aid to syria. we'll talk about that and about the arrest of people in spain. what they're hearing about al qaeda's new plots. and bracing for automatic cuts that could trigger a new recession. our abundant natural gas is already saving us money, producing cleaner electricity, putting us to work here in america and supporting wind and solar. though all energy development comes with some risk, we're committed to safely and responsibly producing natural gas. it's not a dream. america's natural gas... putting us in control of our energy future, now. it's something you're born with.
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help the syrians because of the rapidly deteriorating situation in the country. this comes a day after we learned that president obama signed a directive authorizing secret, nonlethal support for the syrian rebels. we are joined by fran townsend, former homeland security advise or in the bush administration. serves on the cia and ex-personal advisory boards, a longer tight he will than i do. also joining us , paul . thank you for coming on . fr fran, want to first ask you to dig into this issue with seer i can't as we are learning mo more. source s tell us the president signed this drek tive, aloy ing covert support for the rebound el else. not geet get ing de tail tail what that means.
>> it authorizes the intelligence community to collect critical intelligence and u.s. foreign policy, but more directly, kate, allows them to do things like provide advise and assistance, work with allies through the region. allows us, what's being reported now, this is a nonlethal finding. they're allowed to provide support like communications and financial aid, like the $12 million in humanitarian aid the president announced today, but not provide arms and lethal, anything that could involve lethal support to the rebels. frankly, it is fascinating because when you look at this, this is the sort of activity we expect the intelligence community to be engaged in in furtherance of u.s. policy, but that alone won't be enough. you need things like the sanctions the administration imposed, like humanitarian aid. you have to work with allies in foreign intelligence services around the world.
it also involves what we really need is public support for the rebels. >> and that begs my next question. i want to read you something a u.s. official told reporters about when asked why are we not taking the next step of increasing involvement with the opposition. this u.s. official said the following. quote. we are going to get there. we want to get there in a way that's a softer landing. we don't want the institutions to just melt away. what do you read from that? what's the next step realistically in your mind? >> what that sounds like they're saying, they agree actually privately that the rebels need lethal support. they just are afraid if they provide that now that there isn't a sufficient infrastructure inside syria for the day after, what they call the day after scenario, when assad falls, what will be created, what will rise in the wake of that, they're afraid to provide lethal support, although acknowledging privately it is necessary because there isn't a
day after plan and there isn't a plan they're comfortable with, and what they fear most is if there's a vacuum, extremists like al qaeda will come in behind and try to fill that vacuum and create something worse. >> still, so many people are dying every day as we continue this conversation. i want to turn to talk about the other lead story this hour. the arrest of three suspected terrorist in spain, billed as a major operation against al qaeda and europe. the investigation in the early stages, they admit. spanish officials say the men were quote, unquote ready to act and may have been plotting to attack a u.s. naval base or u.s. base in spain. they had information about remote controlled airplanes which i found fascinating, and they were mastering the art of flying motorized paragliders. paul, this begs a question to you, spanish interior minister called it one of the biggest operations against al qaeda in
spain. you've done some great reporting on this. why are these arrests so significant in your view? >> well, that's right, kate. this is a very significant plot, the spanish are telling us, a plat that may be linked to al qaeda or a pakistani militant group lash carral tieb a. very significant arrests today and in the last 48 hours in this plot. it seems their target may have been a u.s. naval basin southern spain. three men involved in the plot, some are believed to have received training in afghanistan or pakistan. this is not some sort of home grown plot, but sort of an old fashioned al qaeda style of plot where operatives are actually dispatched to the west to launch strikes. the spanish are serious in this case. >> think of it from the larger view. you talked about the group. what does this tell you about the strength of al qaeda
affiliates. there's a lot of talk about that. >> it shows that perhaps al qaeda itself despite the drone strikes in pakistan is somewhat resilient organization. it shows affiliates of al qaeda may have some sort of link the spanish saying in this plot. also are a threat to the west. this particular groupal tieb a hasn't carried through with a plot against the west. this may be the first example of this. if it is linked to them, it is concerning to counter terrorism officials. it is one of the strongest groups, reached across pakistan and they're a dangerous entity. >> and the fact they're using remote control, trained in using remote control planes, mastering the art of flying motorized paragliders. have you seen anything like this before? >> we heard concern from
homeland security and other federal agencies that we would see use by our enemies of drone like capabilities. the other thing we should mention, kate, remember in the past year, at least two public advisories, warning americans about plots in europe by al qaeda and their affiliates, targeting americans and american interests. the other al qaeda affiliate the viewers are familiar with. al qaeda in the arabian peninsula and in yemen, also very accurate. right now, the greatest threat to the u.s. and others around the world are these affiliates that are active. >> want to get back to you about the state department released a report a couple days ago on terrorism. one of the key lines getting news, it said the following. said the loss of bin laden and other key operatives puts the network on a path of decline that will be difficult to reverse. do you think this changes
anything, fran? >> look, i think that's an aspirational statement. we'll see what paul things. i think these affiliates, if you talk to john brennan, the white house homeland security and counter terrorism adviser and head of the national counter terrorism center, all of them reiterate and underscore the threat of the affiliates. i don't think they think those are at all under the climate. >> and there are concerns about the reach of al qaeda into syria. fran was talking about the problem when there's a vacuum in a country that is in civil war. how big a concern is al qaeda in syria, do you think? >> it is a very opaque situation in syria. no doubt al qaeda has a growing presence over there, some operatives have come from al qaeda and iraq, some from lebanon, also some syrians recruited and al qaeda has been
responsible for a number of suicide bombings over there. the leader of al qaeda sees syria as a big opportunity for the terrorist groups. only the biggest opportunity since the arab spring, perhaps since the iraq war in 2003, because al qaeda in syria can cast itself as the protechors of sunnis against this regime, that gives it a chance to get pop u loss standing. >> interesting and troubling. we have to leave it there. thank you so much. great to see you as always. thank you both very much. we have new information about a scary close call involving three planes. the latest from the airport where it happened coming right up. for your attention. so we invented a warning you can feel. introducing the all-new cadillac xts. available with a patented safety alert seat. when there's danger you might not see, you're warned by a pulse in the seat.
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and businesses lead the world. the new new york works for business. find out how it can work for yours at thenewny.com. federal authorities say a full investigation is under way into a dangerous mistake over reagan national airport in the washington area. a plane coming in for landing got alarmingly close to two other jets taking off.
brian todd is at reagan national. brian, explain exactly what happened here. >> reporter: kate, this drama played out in the air space above us at reagan international airport. miscommunication between two air traffic control centers led to a close call involving three passenger aircraft. a typically busy summer afternoon at reagan national airport. several inbound planes lined up to land, south to north over the potomac river. a regional air traffic control center makes the call to switch directions, route planes to take off north to south, this way, at this end, opposite end of the same runway. but there's a miscommunication. reagan control tower clears two planes for takeoff in the wrong direction, towards the incoming jet. the outbound planes taking off one after the other are both off the ground, heading towards the approaching plane when the controller realizes the mistake.
>> 29, 3329, turn south heading 180. >> reporter: the controller orders the incoming plane to veer right. the pilot does it but confused. >> we were cleared of the river, what happened? >> stand by, we are trying to figure this out. >> reporter: the three planes, all us airways regional flights avoid each other and land safely. that close call this past tuesday over the nation's capitol has america's top transportation officials on the defensive, calling a rare news conference to address just one incident. crushing back on one media report that called it a near collision between three planes. >> the planes were on different headings and at different ialit tuds and wouldn't have collided. >> reporter: none of the cockpit alarms that warn of collision went off. but said this. >> there was loss of separation. >> reporter: that means all three were too close, below standards of safety for altitude and distance. we pressed officials, what
happened between the regional control center and the reagan national control tower? >> was it the error of tray con in the order to reagan international. >> we're going to find that out. >> or was it combination of both? >> there was a miscommunication. we've admit that. >> reporter: the transportation secretary promises a thorough investigation, with interviews of everyone involved. one of those people, the controller at reagan, is for the moment drawing praise for her response during difficult maneuvers. >> i have to tell you, this is one of the toughest things you can do as an air traffic controller or as a manager is try to negotiate one of these changes during these busy arrival times. >> reporter: another issue here, transportation secretary ray lahood said officials learned about this incident from a reporter, not from air traffic controllers. he says that's a problem and they're investigating. kate? >> brian todd, great report.
talk to you soon. thank you so much. so it is official. lawmakers are on vacation, and they left some pretty big business behind at the office. coming up next, how companies are bracing for impact if there's no deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. and the video is going viral. do you know the real story behind it? you will if you stick around. >> listen to that bell. take a look at that! oh, my god! woo! listen to that horn! oh, my god!
business undone. that includes making a deal to avoid the impending so-called fiscal cliff. mary snow is joining me now. mary, it is a long list. they have some businesses pretty worried? >> they are, kate. and getting antsy. >> fears are clouded because they may hit a fiscal cliff. it could trigger tax increases and spending cuts unless congress acts. it is five months away, but companies are bracing. for a small business that counts the defense department as one of its main customers, just the possibility of the country falling off the fiscal cliff is making an impact. >> we're all feeling as if we're working down, heading down the runway here and running out of cement in order to see whether or not this aircraft of change is getting off the ground here. >> he is the cheap operating officer at the company that develops technology solutions. he says his company is hitting
the pause button on projects. that's when automatic spending cuts trigger if congress doesn't act. next year, cuts would amount to $110 billion, with half coming from the defense sector. major military suppliers have been sounding the alarm. >> the impact on our industry would be devastating. >> how devastating, hard to say. to the county, the congressional budget office projects if the stalemate isn't averted, growth could fall to .5% in 2013 and that could mean recession. it would be a dramatic drop from this year's projected growth of 2%. that's with the economy facing strong head winds. political fights is one this professor says is taking a toll no >> if you're a business person, one of the things you don't like is uncertainty. if you think there's a pretty
good chance even if we don't go off the cliff january 1st, but big changes in spending or tax patterns, you may want to hold off until you see what they are until you decide how to place investments. >> it could mean a pull back on hiring or worse. >> our country is facing a cliff. and we just, we're all concerned and we do not want to fall off the edge here. >> as the policies stand now, $7 trillion would be taken from the u.s. economy over the next decade. kate? >> that's a very serious issue, mary. i know i'm talking about it a lot when i am on capitol hill, but they're not doing a lot of work on it quite yet. the pressure is on. mary snow, thanks very much. it is competition day for ann romney's horse, but the mayor is taking center stage in the race to the white house as well. is it smart politics? phone evil prince bollywood 3d
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mitt romney's campaign promises 12 million new jobs in a first term. do the numbers add up? cnn's erin burnett goes outfront at the top of the hour. what all are you looking at? >> kate, we're going to see whether it adds up. how many jobs mitt romney would have to add each month, the numbers are stunning. plus, is there any historical precedent for this sort of accomplishment. it is a pretty interesting, damning deconstruct. we're going to get to the bottom of whether that is possible and under what circumstances. plus we talk about the colorado shooter. turned out his psychiatrist said she thought he was capable of doing something violent, perhaps killing people. but that warning went nowhere. we looked into it. how often do people make those
sorts of threats, other people are aware, warn people, and nothing happens. try to understand whether there was a huge opportunity missed to save so many lives. that coming up top of the hour. back to you. >> lots to talk about there. erin burnett >> we will have a spoiler alert. first of all, think how the politics may play around this event. dress aj is one of the oldest sports in modern olympics, going back a century, with origins in the training of military horses.
>> ann romney's involvement with dressage began when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 14 years ago. she turned to riding as therapy to work on muscle and fight the disease. >> the thought was so exciting, i forced myself out of bed, could trot once around the arena, then i would be finished, exhausted, but feel great. >> she's good at it. winning high honors in competitions. her candidate husband acknowledged deep commitment to the support on nbc's "today" show. >> my sons gave you a box. said if you wear this, mom will pay more attention. it was a rubber horse mat. >> reporter: a great horse easily costs six figures. the money, obscure nature of the sport and attire made mitt romney's connection to it a natural. >> not surprised liberal critics
call dressage elitist, because the uniform makes you look like lady suit or from done ton abby. >> reporter: that played perfectly into democratic attacks as a rich elitist out of touch with normal americans. >> the romneys spend $77,000 a year on my upkeep. after mitt romney ships your job overseas, i dare say you are not one of his horses. >> the europeans are really great at all of this. here is the spoiler on all of this. in the results today ann romney's did not do particularly well, finished about 13th in the preliminary round. we will see how the politics play, as well. >> that will be going on for a little longer than i think the olympics will be. >> i do know that is not the only thing you are keeping your
eye on today. fill us in on the big olympic events. >> this is the spoiler alert. big news today in swimming. michael phelps finally edged out ryan lochte to get his first individual gold of the games. here is the amazing part of this. this is his medal count in a lifetime. 16 gold, 20 olympic medals which means compared to me that is a 20 medal lead so that is pretty big. there are other big wins that are worth looking at in gymnastics. gabby douglas won the all around, tremendous job. we had wins in judo and rowing and swimming. the overall count, the big count in the whole thing edging out china 37-34. same number of gold medals. >> you are getting pretty good at this. a video going viral is
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[ male announcer ] when diarrhea hits, kaopectate stops it fast. powerful liquid relief speeds to the source. fast. [ male announcer ] stop the uh-oh fast with kaopectate. . finally tonight all aboard. >> reporter: this is a choochoostory that ran off the tracks. >> oh, my god! listen to that horn. >> reporter: the excited train guy was so exciting -- >> that horn gives me the chills. >> reporter: that the video chugged from website to website.
comparing it to this. >> oh, my god. >> reporter: the train made a stop at the today show. >> now there is excited train guy. >> made a caboose out of himself. >> reporter: the caboose is anyone who thought this was real. >> this is special. >> reporter: the guy who voiced it didn't intend to cause confusion but he is enjoying it. >> i guess it is cool. >> reporter: he is the general manager of a railway. he was trying to get interest by making a funny video inspired by the real excited train guy. >> people like me are called foamers. >> reporter: as in foaming at the mouth. he was generally overexcited when he took this video six months ago. >> i am finally going to get a heritage on camera. >> reporter: sound familiar? >> yeah! >> reporter: the general manager says he was inspired by mark's
enthusiasm. >> that is special and that whistle gave me the chills. >> reporter: to do a humorous remake. >> that horn gives me the thrills. >> reporter: which is labiled movie magic. mark was impressed. >> good job. you nailed it. >> reporter: commenters describe it as a traingasm. mark chuckled as he watched it online for the first time. >> wow. >> reporter: he says he got flack when he first posted his train video. some rail fans said he was giving them a bad name. >> i'm an embarrassment is what they said. >> reporter: now people are praising his passion, being a foamer is contagious. it's a beauty. the air gives me chills. mark's imitator watched the video ten times to emulate it. >>