Skip to main content

tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  August 29, 2012 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT

12:00 pm
welcome to the cnn grill in tampa, florida. i'm brooke baldwin. we're hours away from a huge night for the republicans as they are here for the republican national convention. mitt romney's running mate, his number two here, congressman paul ryan introduces himself to tens of millions of americans who will be watching tonight. we'll get to that in a moment. first, we have to talk about this urgent situation along the gulf coast. it's now been almost a full day since hurricane isaac started battering the gulf coast and we are seeing the kinds of pictures really we had hopes we would never see coming out of there again. >> i got you. we're going to get you over here to this truck. >> the seventh anniversary of
12:01 pm
hurricane katrina crews are out once again along the gulf coast region trying to save people who did not heed the call to evacuate. i want you to listen to this woman who waited a little too long to get out of isaac's way. >> we tried to leave and then we didn't because we had nowhere to go. came on the tv and said there's a breech in the levee. we were trying to leave but trying to drive in the car you couldn't see your hand in front of your face. with me being a diabetic and i had a stroke. we were in the house. we stay in a trailer. >> what's it like back there now? >> bad. water is over the top of the roof. we had to breakthrough the
12:02 pm
ceiling and come through the attic. >> an emotional woman there. thankfully she is a-okay. isaac has been downgraded to a tropical storm. no longer a hurricane. a tropical storm came on shor as a category 1 hurricane. the storm packing a lot of rain with it. when we remember isaac in the future, when we talk about this in the future it will be known as a flood maker and by the looks of these pictures you can see why. right now the gulf of mexico is spilling over and flooding the main highway along the coast. i want to get straight to gulf port, mississippi. let's focus on this with david matingly. keep your feet plants there. talk to me about the conditions where you are. >> reporter: these conditions are what i've been fighting all day long since before dawn. we've had these hazard winds. we've had just torrential rain.
12:03 pm
just in the last hour i'm seeing the hardests rain from this storm coming down. it was so dense and thick that i couldn't see the ocean behind me. it was a complete white out with the rain coming in here. we've had tropical storm storm conditions since midnight of last night and now look at this. it's still going on. i spoke to the governor of mississippi a couple of hours ago and he confirmed what believed that nobody really expected this storm to just park itself on the gulf coast. as it turns out, mississippi is really on the wrong side of this storm as if there might be a good side, but this is is side, the eastern side, where all of the water typically is. this water has been falling relentlessly on mississippi. their revising their rainfall
12:04 pm
p predictions. it just won't leave. brooke. >> david, if you can hear me through this whipping wind, i was just talking to john who is somewhere around you in gulf port talking to me about this gulf coast highway, highway 90. where is 90 compared to where you're standing now and is it shut down? >> reporter: watch me. this is highway 90 might behind me. this is the westbound lane right here. the westbound lane right here is higher. it's open. just beyond me, beyond that median is the eastbound lane. it's much lower. it's completely covered with water right now from the storm surge from the ocean. that's why highway 90 right now is impassable.
12:05 pm
>> that is all you needed to say. look at that. that is the highway. now it just looks like a massive ocean. thank you very much. we'll check back with you. i want to take you to louisiana now. we've been talking a lot about plaquemines parish. it's been a house by house rescue. isaac caused flood water to top a levee. that surprised a lot of people. listen to this. this is his assessment of isaac. >> no one thought this storm was going to do what it did to plaquemines parish. i myself, it doesn't matter about damage to a home, but i had more damage from this storm than i did from katrina and i rode out katrina. >> rescue crews were out answering 911 calls from people that didn't think it was going to be so bad. look at this now. more than 150 calls came in from plaquemines parish including
12:06 pm
this guy rescued from his house along with his dogs. >> i didn't think it would happen again. i have two trucks. a motor home underneath there never used. gone. >> you left for katrina? >> yeah, we left for katrina. i ain't coming back no more. >> did you lose your home in katrina too? >> yep. >> now you've lost the same home twice? >> yeah. >> lost the same home twice. his langge got a little more colorful but given his situation can you blame him? he said he is too old for this bleep. i do have kim on the phone with me now. she lives in breakway. this is in plaquemines parish. her home was flooded up to the eve. we're going to throw this picture up. are you with me on the phone?
12:07 pm
>> i am on the phone, yes. >> we're going to put this picture up here. you are in new orleans. this is your home. your husband and parents are in this home. they are waiting to leave. walk me through this photo. what are we looking at? >> this is the back of my home. my home sitting on what's called highway 39. the levee that was topped of breech. what you're looking at is my view to the mississippi river. that's my second floor balcony. my home is a three-story home. what you see to the right there is my single floor bedroom that kind of jets out from the main building of the home. it sticks out a bit. that chimney stack is a fireplace that i have in my bedroom. it's past the gutter cans.
12:08 pm
we have 12 acres of property. that's my parents double wise home that's in the back. it's completely flooded. it sits elevated about three and a half feet off the ground. then the water goes up from there. >> my goodness. i understand, kim, that you lived in this home and forgive me i'm looking on screen because i was looking at this picture. you were there for katrina. katrina came, three feet of water. you say we're going to rebuild and now this. >> we dtsdsecided to go ahead a rebuild. we wanted to go back to our home. it's great. it's a beautiful place to live. there's a lot of people there. you can see from the other foot j is that everybody sticks together. everybody is friendly towards another. the lady rescued off the roof,
12:09 pm
we're familiar with her family. jesse and his father have been instrumental in the past and not just with katrina but with gustav and hurricane ike as well. it's no surprise. >> i was talking to jesse. we were talking to jesse and all those rescues. forgive me for interrupting. when will you know if your home is a loss and do you stay or rebuild for a second time? >> you know, my home is a loss. we know that already. i'm not able to speak to my husband. my husband is still there. we're going to make that decision together. it's been our home for a long time. it's a beautiful place to live. we have a lot of animals that. it's great place to raise our animals which is the reason why my husband stayed. i'm not sure this time. i'm not quite sure what we're
12:10 pm
going to do this time. we have to discuss that as a family. i have a senior in high school and we have to discuss what we're going to do as a family with our children. >> thank you for sharing the photos. go ahead. forgive me. there's a bit of a delay here. i want to thank you for calling in and sharing your story. we wish you well. >> thank you. >> we're crossing our finger frs you and whatever you decide to do. isaac is turning north. graham is north of new orleans in st. john. st. john baptist parish where roof top evacuations are under way. set the scene for me. >> reporter: we're just on the other side of lake pontchartrain from new orleans a little northwest from new orleans. what's happening here is as you've heard all of this rain and all of this wind has been
12:11 pm
with us just for such a long time that it's pushing that storm surge and going over into a neighborhood that's right on the edge of lake pontchartrain here in st. john parish. it's pushing all of that water into that neighborhood. folks did not think that was going to happen. no one thought it was going to happen since the storm has been sitting here now. they are calling for anyone with boats to meet at the home depot and trying to organize the boats. they've called in the national guard to help with some of the rescues and get some of these folks out of this one neighborhood. in one neighborhood, the storm surge continues to batter the neighborhood and really is making that water rise a lot more quickly than folks thought. >> did people think it's the
12:12 pm
storm they thought it would be? >> we thought it was going to get out of here quicker than this. the problem is it's still sitting over us. we're still expecting a lot more wind and rain tonight. there's really no telling how far some of these waters will rise in these low lying areas. peas parish were under a voluntary evacuation that was issued ahead of storm in these low lying areas but for the folks that chose not to leave their having to deal with this now. the rain and the wind continues to come down and really no end in sight for these folks who were really caught off guard. >> thank you very much. i want to bring in chad meyers here. let's play some sound from a woman who was rescued. >> what's it like back there?
12:13 pm
>> it's horrible. everybody house is gone. nobody >> it sounds like a lot of people underestimated this hurricane. >> i think we underestimated too what the army corps upgraded wall would do to the unupgraded walls levees across plaquemines parish. the place we're talking about is right here east bank plaquemines parish not upgraded and butting up against an upgraded area. it had nowhere to go this way and all of a sudden into the east bank. let's zoom in and i'll show you the problem. when the levee failed it failed over here. it was over top for a long enough i know there has to be wash out somewhere. the neighborhood they were rescued from, some people right there and also all along the
12:14 pm
river here. there's a levee that separates theayou aother leve that stops the mississippi river from flooding. this levee was bd somewhere alo here. as it did that the water poured in and had nowhere togo. e problem is as it wt(d in here it was held in by both of these lees s no you have a swimng pooat's 50 miles long. the plan is at some point to blow a hole in this levee to allow the water to go back out into the mississippi because the water is still ten feet higher than it should be. that's why the levee couldn't hold it. >> they're calling on regular folks with boats to come on in and help. >> winds are still 60.
12:15 pm
>> oh,really. >> you're putting those people in danger trying to get them to help. these volunteers are volunteeng and putting their livesn dange at the same time. >> they are. they are. chad, thank you. we're going to talk about a gulf coast in a moment. here in tampa he's the fires who cameout of nowhere, led the presidential polls for weeks and weeks. we'll talk with the always interesting herman cane about his failed bid for president and future plans. ♪ ♪ ♪ every mom needs a little helper. that's why i got a subaru. announcer: love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru.
12:16 pm
turn to senokot-s tablets. senokot-s has a natural vegetable laxative ingredient plus the comfort of a stool softener for gentle, overnight relief of occasional constipation. go to senokot-s.com for savings. of occasional constipation. you see us, at the start of the day. on the company phone list that's a few names longer. you see us bank on busier highways. on once empty fields. everyday you see all the ways all of us at us bank are helping grow our economy. lending more so companies and communities can expand, grow stronger and get back to work. everyday you see all of us serving you, around the country, around the corner. us bank.
12:17 pm
sir, can you hear me? two, three. just hold the bag. we need a portable x-ray, please! [ nurse ] i'm a nurse. i believe in the power of science and medicine. but i'm also human. and i believe in stacking the deck. [ female announcer ] to nurses everywhere, thank you, from johnson & johnson.
12:18 pm
try capzasin-hp. it penetrates deep to block pain signals for hours of relief. capzasin-hp. take the pain out of arritis. back here live at the 2012 republican national convention. here at the cnn grill in tampa, florida i'm pleased to be joined by a businessman and former presidential candidate himself, herman cane of georgia. >> thank you. delighted to be here. >> let's go over the highs and lows. it goes back to october when you were doing quite well. just between us, were you measuring drapes for the white
12:19 pm
house. >> not measuring drapes but i was picking out my cabinet. i was number one in the polls until this coordinated attack of my character and my life. it impacted my family and ultimately that was the reason i dropped out. i had become a threat. >> picking out the cabinet but not the drapes. let's revisit that era of herman ca cain cane. you were talking about your 9-9-9 plan. roll it. >> no, no. you doing to pay the state sales tax no matter what. whether you throw out the existing code and pay that. that's apples and oranges. >> i'm going to get a bushel basket with apples and oranges in it because i'm going to pay both taxes. let me make this comment. >> i remember watching that
12:20 pm
moment. i remember that. >> yes. >> huge applause there. >> yes. >> do you think you would make a better president than mitt romney? >> i think both of us would make great presidents in different ways. >> who would be better? >> you can't say that and the reason is he has a different skill set although i admire his business experience and i have a different skill set. i think that we both could be equally good presidents. in fact, great presidents because of the fundamental similarities in our philosophy and business approach. mitt know what is a budget is. he's not going to try to run the united states without a budget. you can't succeed as a leader, as a ceo without a budget. we have a lot of similarities in that regard. our styles are different. >> given the state of the country, who would be better? >> we would both be equally the same. >> you can't blame a girl for trying. would you consider yourself as a
12:21 pm
full fledged member of the establishment or do you refer being an outsider? >> i'm a constructive outsider. >> what does that mean? >> i don't trash the republican party, but i do believe in those principles and i relate well with some people who do not view themselves as part of the republican establishment. i'm a constructive outsider but i'm also very devoted to trying to get the romney/ryan ticket elected. >> how much credit does president obama deserve for taking out bin laden? >> he gets 51% of the credit because he had to make the ultimate decision. >> who gets 49. >> goes to the special forces, the sgejs work putting together the plan that goes back to george bush. he gets a large portion of it because they could not do that without him getting the final okay. he gets 51% of the credit.
12:22 pm
>> why not more? people would say it's the man in charge. they've been hunting him down for years and years. that didn't issue any orders. it was under president obama. >> if the plans had not be in place, if the special forces had not been trained, if other things that led up to that key decision moment he wouldn't have been able to make that final decision. that's why. >> you sound a little frustrated talking about that. >> no, i'm not frustrated. let's talk about how we grow the economy. >> you listen to chris christie last night. he injected the enthusiasm into that. it was crazy on the convention floor last night. he talked about a leader respect is more important than being loved and how the nation needs mitt romney and paul ryan. what is it about this moment that makes it a mitt romney? >> this current administration has no positive results other
12:23 pm
than making that 51% decision to take out bin laden, unemployment went up and stayed up. more people on welfare. the debate over medicare. let me tell you something about being a ceo most of my career. day one you you take over, you take ownership of solving the problem. you cannot blame your predecessor when you take over an organization. there are things that president obama could have done but he chose not to do them. for example, the biggest thing that this president, with all due respect, would never do is talk about reducing taxes across the board. if you look at the history of this country over the last 50 years, it works. the biggest flaw in president
12:24 pm
obama's philosophy is that you don't raise revenue by raising taxes. >> that's something governor christie was trying to point out. others would have to disagree with that. thank you for stopping by the grill. i recommends the burgers. very tasty. >> i'm going to eat now. let's talk about mitt romney speaking live. the topic quickly turned iran. you'll hear what he said, next. [ male announcer ] whether it's kevin's smartphone... mom's smartphone... dad's tablet... or lauren's smartphone... at&t has a plan built to help make families' lives easier. introducing at&t mobile share. one plan lets you share data on up to 10 devices with unlimited talk and text.
12:25 pm
add a tablet for only $10 per month. the more data you share, the more you save. at&t. ♪ i can do anything ♪ i can do anything today ♪ i can go anywhere ♪ i can go anywhere today ♪ la la la la la la la [ male announcer ] dow solutions help millions of people by helping to make gluten free bread that doesn't taste gluten free. together, the elements of science and the human element can solve anything. solutionism. the new optimism. and the human element ari'm fine.y, babe?. ♪ ♪ ♪ with a subaru
12:26 pm
you can always find a way. announcer: love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru.
12:27 pm
just moments ago mitt romney spoke at an american legion convention in indianapolis. the speech was shown live right here at the republican national convention in tampa. let's listen to what it was he told the crowd. >> i know that you know that the world continues to be a dangerous place, major powers are rapidly adding to their military capability.
12:28 pm
the regime in tehran led's chants of death to america and drawing close to nuclear capabilities. the threat of radical islamic terrorism exists despite the welcome removal of bin laden and other al qaeda leaders and with north korea having shared nuclear technology, the threat continues to be very real. of course, we're still at war in afghanistan. we still have uniform men and woman in conflict risking their liveas you once did we appreciate their sacrifice. we salute them. we honor them. we respect and love them. [ applause ] all of this is happening around the world now. for the past four years
12:29 pm
president obama has allowed our leadership to diminish. in dealings with other nations he's given trust where it's not earned. insult where it's not deserved and apology where it's not due. a fundamental principle of american foreign policy has long been to work closely with our allies so they can be a greater effort to deter aggression before it breaks out into open conflict. we used to nurture our alliances and stand up for our common values. when it comes to allies and when nations that opposes like iran and cuba president obama has moved in the opposite direction. our foreign policy should take page from the u.s. marine corps. no better friend, no worse enemy. >> mitt romney speaking there in indianapolis at the american legion convention. he will be back in tampa. this is his week. this is his party. he will be accepting the nomination tomorrow night here in tampa. i want to take you back to the
12:30 pm
urgent situation along the gulf coast. we have to continue talking about isaac rescues. they are underway as tropical storm isaac wreaks havoc. we will get a live update as folks are forced out in search of higher ground. pecial care in keeping the denture clean. dentures are very different to real teeth. they're about 10 times softer and may have surface pores where bacteria can multiply. polident is designed to clean dentures daily. its unique micro-clean formula kills 99.9% of odor causing bacteria and helps dissolve stains, cleaning in a better way than brushing with toothpaste. that's why i recommend using polident. [ male announcer ] polident. cleaner, fresher and brighter every day.
12:31 pm
[ male announcer ] polident. one is for a clean, wedomestic energy future that puts us in control. our abundant natural gas is already saving us money, producing cleaner electricity, putting us to work here in 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.
12:32 pm
that also becomes headaches. i was very skeptical about aspirin. bayer advanced was completely different. it reay did get riof the pain. at fastreliefchallenge.com. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] you've been years in the making. and there are many years ahead. join the millions of members who've chosen an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. go long. face hurricane season year
12:33 pm
after year. i suppose you have to have some sense of humor. ed lavendara covering from theous of grand isle. listen to how this man views isaac. look carefully at the floor of his house. >> what's it like being trapped here seeing all this water? >> i feel like get in my truck and go ride. we took a little water. we got to let it go down another few inches. >> it's gone down a little bit. >> probably dropped five or six inches in the last hour. looked like it stopped. i was hoping it would continue to drop. >> this is a cycle i find amazing, you sit here and look out your side door. >> everybody wants water front property. >> water front property. is he serious?
12:34 pm
i guess kudos to him for laughing about it. >> reporter: we've been laughing for the last 36 hours with this guy. it's been unbelievable. he's not lying about water front property. look at everything. the gulf of mexico out here. it's now been 24 hours since we've been experiencing and feeling conditions like this. we're surrounded by water. the good news is it's gotten up to about six inches in the bottom floor below us. right below us is the garage that's taken on three to four inches. this is the house over here. i want to show you brooke, over here, if you follow me this way we've got a good view finally. a lot of our view has been obscured by the rain that's coming down so intently. we got a good view back over here this way. this is the bay side. looking out at the house this way, this is new orleans. what we've been trying to get a
12:35 pm
handle on is this is dean blanchard's shrimping operation. we spoke to the mayor who hasn't been able to get the crews over there. there were three or four shrimpers that decided to ride out the storm on their boats. we can't make our way over there's three or four guys over there. last night it was lit up pretty there sitting inside those well. there were lights on that boat boats. we don't know if that's true, if that we can still see. they are still there or left at some point yesterday when it started getting ready bad. the house is completely surrounded by water. the storm and the eye of the storm, we took a direct hit here in the eye of the storm came over and we're hoping this thing is moving so slowly and the conditions won't let up. >> i have seen those shrimp boats. i can't imagine why someone would want to ride it out. it's new meaning to the phrase water front property.
12:36 pm
glad you're all okay. we will take you back to the gulf coast in a moment. it's a hot button issue on the campaign trail. the back and forth on health care. mitt romney promising to repeal obama care if he wins the election. what would romney put in its place? next, a closer look at his plan for seniors on medicare. my volt is the best vehicle i've ever driven. i bought the car because of its efficiency. i bought the car because i could eliminate gas from my budget. i don't spend money on gasoline. it's been 4,000 miles since my last trip to the gas station. it's pretty great. i get a bunch of kids waving at me... giving me the thumbs up. it's always a gratifying experience. it makes me feel good about my car. i absolutely love my chevy volt. ♪
12:37 pm
they're whole grain good... and yummy good. real fruit pieces. 12 grams of whole grains and a creamy yogurt flavored coating. quaker yogurt granola bars. treat yourself good. the economy needs manufacturing. machines, tools, people making stuff. companies have to invest in making things. infrastructure, construction, production. we need it now more than ever. chevron's putting more than $8 billion dollars back in the u.s. economy this year. in pipes, cement, steel, jobs, energy. we need to get the wheels turning. i'm p. making real things... for real. ...that make a real difference. ♪
12:38 pm
has oats that can help lower cholesterol? and it tastes good? sure does! wow. it's the honey, it makes it taste so... well, would you look at the time... what's the rush? be happy. be healthy. there's so many choices. the guests come in and they're like yeah i want to try this shrimp and i want to try this kind. they wait for this all year long. [ male announcer ] red lobster's endless shrimp is back, but only for a limited time, for just $14.99. try as much as you like any way you like, like new teriyaki grilled shrimp or new parmesan crusted shrimp, for just $14.99. [ angela ] creating an experience instead of just a meal that's endless shrimp. my name is angela trapp. i'm a server at red lobster and i sea food differently. how did the nba become the ihottest league on the planet?
12:39 pm
by building on the cisco intelligent network they're able to serve up live video, and instant replays, creating fans from berlin to beijing. what can we help you build? nice shot kid. the nba around the world built by the only company that could. cisco. we've heard this promise time and time again. he said if he is elected president he'll repeal obama care. we're looking at what he will do to replace it. one provision allows seniors to get discounts on some prescription drugs. i want to talk to elizabeth cohen. one of the questions people have is what discounts are they getting and what would they get to keep under said romney plan. >> reporter: the way that it works right now is medicare
12:40 pm
beneficiaries at a certain spending level get a discount on drugs. it's a 50% discount on prescription drugs. the obama administration says this has saved medicare beneficiaries about $4 billion. as you've said romney has been clear. he wants to reverse obama care which means seniors would no longer be getting discounts on prescription drugs. >> then what would romney do for seniors in the so-called donut hole instead. we asked his spokesperson this and here is the way she put it. she said you know what, step away from the donut hole and look at medicare as a bigger picture. she says that obama had put $$70 billion cuts worth of medicare in. she said that puts the program in jeopardy. she said a senior in the donut hole is still better off without
12:41 pm
obamacare. i will tell you we looked at fact checks from two nonpartisan fact check organizations. they say the $700 billion isn't cuts and current beneficiaries will not be hurt with central benefits such as hospital care and care for doctors. they say they will not be hurt and they aren't really cuts. they really argue with what romney says. >> people are paying very close attention to what romney says. elizabeth, thank you. if you would like to learn more about mitt romney's approach go to this website. go to cnn.com/empoweredpatient. president obama speaking live in virginia. his speech was interrupted. we'll play that for you next. live pictures inside the cnn grill, tampa, florida.
12:42 pm
this place used to be a parking garage. built in six weeks. getting torn down in four single days. be right back. lusive to the mil, and commitment is not limited to one's military oath. the same set of values that drive our nation's military are the ones we used to build usaa bank. with our award winning apps that allow you to transfer funds, pay bills or manage your finances anywhere, anytime. so that wherever your duty takes you, usaa bank goes with you. visit us online to learn what makes our bank so different. scroll... tap... pinch... and zoom... in your car. introducing the all-new cadillac xts with cue. ♪ don't worry. we haven't forgotten, you still like things to push. [ engine revs ] the all-new cadillac xts has arrived,
12:43 pm
and it's bringing the future forward. bu risk,proven tecogies allow natural gas pdurs to supply affordable, cleaner energy, while protecting our envonment. across america, esle, technologies protect air - by monitoring air quality and reducing emissions... ...protect water - through consvation and self-contained recycling systems... ... and protect land - by redfootprint and rescting wildlife. america's natural gas... domestic, abundant, can ene y to power our les... that's smarter power today.
12:44 pm
12:45 pm
this is the president speaking in one of my favorite places. he's been to universities in iowa and colorado and now virginia. he's intrupted. take a look. >> the choice that you make in that one instant is going to shape your country. it's going to shape the world for decades to come. i know that's a pretty heavy idea to lay on you on just the second day of class. it's true. the decisions that we make as a country right now on everything from the economy and jobs and taxes to education and energy and war and climate change. all these decisions are going to be affecting your lives in very
12:46 pm
personal ways. thank you. [ applause ] >> four more years. four more years! four more years! >> listen, i couldn't really hear what those young people were saying but that's good that they are getting involved. what i'm trying to tell you is don't just chant, you got to vote. [ applause ] you got to vote. the decisions we make war, peace, the economy, the environment, all those things
12:47 pm
are going to be decided and they're not just going to affect you, they're going to affect malia and sasha too, my fathers. >> maybe you're hearing better than mine. i wouldn't hear what was yelled but making light saying whatever you're going to chant just society. an undercover journalist shows how danger it is as they try to keep from reaching the president's doorstep. don't miss this record inside syria. you'll also find us in person, with dedicated support teams at over 500 branches nationwide. so when you call or visit, you can ask for a name you know. because personal service starts with a real person. [ rodger ] at scottrade, seven dollar trades are just the start. our support teams are nearby,
12:48 pm
ready to help. it's no wonder so many investors are saying... [ all ] i'm with scottrade. it's no wonder so many investors are saying... ♪ (train horn) vo: wherever our trains go, the economy comes to life. norfolk southern. one line, infinite possibilities.
12:49 pm
12:50 pm
a group moniting the violence violence in syria says more than 22,000 people have been kild, 22,000, since the uprising began a year and a half ago. more than 120 killed today alone. and despite the numbers and the deaths, syria's president, bashar al assad said and i'm quoting him "the situation is much better." cnn has been getting account of what's going on inside syria for two weeks. for safety reasons we are not naming this journalist. the voices have been altered. we have to warn you as always. this is war. this is war up close. some of the images you're about to see get very, very graphic. take a look. >> reporter: even as battles raged in its suburbs, the center of damascus remained a haven from the violence threatening to engulf the capital, but all that
12:51 pm
was changing. just got woken up by a series of explosions somewhere out there in the distance. it's like this every night although it normally calms down just before the dawn and then kicks back up as te day goes on. tonight's been pretty bad. down on the street below we can hear -- i don't know if you can hear the gunfire, but this is the closest it's ever been. you can e lining up for shelter by theide of the rad under the buils there. it sounds very, very close. this is late afternoon, so it's still rush hour. most of the time since we've been heredowntown's been pretty safe. we haven't really been able to go much beyond downtown for t last few days.
12:52 pm
almost everyday smoke clouds over e skyline. check point block every street and sound barriers line corners. the blood ha spilled onto bashar aasd's doorstep. ask syrian forces have responded by stepping up detentions and interrogations. we got a chance to interview a pro-democracy activist recently released from detention. in spite of the stigma associated with the abuses he suffered, he wanted to tell us his story.
12:53 pm
>> reporter: the families of those in detention aren't allowed to visit or communicate with their loved ones. this mother told me she hadn't even received an official notication that her son is in
12:54 pm
government custody. >> reporter: back in central damascus, for now at least, the gunfire had stopped. but for how much longer? mom: ready to go to work?
12:55 pm
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ every mom needs a little helper. that's why i got a subaru. announcer: love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru.
12:56 pm
they're whole grain good... and yummy good. real fruit pieces. 12 grams of whole grains and a creamy yogurt flavored coating. quaker yogurt granola bars. treat yourself good.
12:57 pm
before i let you go i just wanted to take you behind the scenes because 50,000 people have gathered right here in tampa for the republican national convention. so here we go inside the convention on to the floor. welcome to the republican national convention. we are here at the forum building. and we just wanted to lift the veil and take you inside. show you what it takes. and in order to even go through those doors, you've got to have not just this press pass, you've got to have this to get on the
12:58 pm
floor. so let's go. here we are inside the forum. you can see the big cnn politics sign. that's what you normally see when you see our a-team on television. right now we have scored basically front row. we are smack dab on the convention floor. take a look this way. you can see what's happening right now. this is the big delegate count. and there's a huge applause moments ago they hit that magic number for mitt romney, 1,144 delegates. amazingly enough, new jersey governor chris christie speaking tonight, the keynote address, it was his home state of new jersey that put mitt romney over that magic number. which speech are you most excited about and why? >> well, i'm certainly excited to hear governor romney's acceptance speech. but without a doubt governor chris christie is a great speaker and he sort of lays it on the line. i think he'll be fun to watch. >> i saw an extra smile on your face when you say chris christie. what is it about him? what do you think he can really help really the undecided voters across the country? >> he's straightforward. he's frank. he doesn't beat around the
12:59 pm
bushes. he says what's on his mind. and he drives it home. >> so you have 50,000 people here in tampa for the rnc. but look at this. journalists, 15,000 journalists here in town covering the republican national convention including this guy over my shoulder, mr. wolf blitzer. these coal miner hats were your idea. why? >> well, i don't think people really realized that west virginia is the energy capital of the nation. we have more coal. we have more natural gas. we have more oil in marseilles shale. we are the energy capital. and i wanted people to know about it. >> for people who have never been to a convention, how the heck do you describe this? >> it's fabulous. it's the biggest pep rally