tv Smerconish CNN April 30, 2016 6:00am-7:01am PDT
turn into rioting in california, forcing the donald to jump a fence just to get to his podium. >> oh, boy, felt like i was crossing the border, actually. you know? i was crossing the border. but i got here. >> how will this tense climate impact the election? john kasich is here and i'll ask him, and though kasich is on a lot of potential vp lists, i want to know who he has on his list. gop rival ted cruz named former foe carly fiorina his running mate despite having no mathematical chance to win the nomination. was that just a campaign stunt? meanwhile, who should the likely democratic and gop nominations be thinking about for vp? and why i felt to compel the legal rights of a presumed sexual predator, a former house speaker, no less.
but first, donald trump has passed the 1,000 delegate milestone to get to the magic number of 1237 to secure the nomination. this after the cruz and kasich campaigns brokered a last ditch deal to stay out of each other's way in the remaining states. that deal seems to have backfired. kasich is staying out of indiana where voters are set to go to the polls on tuesday. that decision just cost kasich an important endorsement. the newspaper wanted to endorse kasich but now he couldn't because he basically dropped out of the race in that state. quote it's unfortunate that voters have been given no chance to hear directly from the candidate most qualified to represent the republican par ity in the tall campaign for the white house. and the voters have a mind of their own. i've heard from many callers this week who tell me they're kasich supporters and they don't want to vote for ted cruz and
shortly, there are cruz supporters who feel likewise about kasich and those who don't like donald trump are turning actively hostile like these protesters the past two days in california. joining me now ohio governor john kasich. i'm looking at the footage of the growing unrest outside these california events for donald trump. it looks insend yar to me. what do you make of it? >> well, you know, michael, you know, i made a speech a couple of weeks ago on two paths. you know, you can either take people's frustrations and anxieties and you can drive them deeper into that -- those anxieties and fears or you can recognize their problems and tell them that together we can fix them, we can solve it. we can make america better. i've chosen to go of course to the positive side and when you live in the negative side i think it has consequences and you know, it's a lot of polarization and it's really,
really difficult. i don't watch it but i've heard about it and it's difficult for me to imagine in the united states of america. >> you are on everyone's vice president list. i know you've told me you're not taking that job. here's my question. who's on your list? >> well, we just started to vet. we've put a team together and they're beginning to look for people who would be a suitable vice president and you know, they've just started. we're at the very beginning of it but we know we need to move quickly on that so there's no announcement at this point. >> i wouldn't expect that you would give me a name but tell me the qualities you're looking for. >> somebody that can be a good partner, somebody that brings a political advantage and somebody that is going to work hard and be right beside me as you carry out this job. the vice president can be turned into somebody that can have some very solid things to do and somebody that can represent the administration well.
i haven't picked a vice president but i've picked a lieutenant governor and it's sort of the same process. who is it that's smart, capable, who is it that can be a good partner so i've done it once. >> was the naming by ted cruz naming kcarly fiorina a stunt? >> i'm not going to call it a stunt or any of that other stuff. he did what he did and i've not named anybody yet and i'm not prepared to name anybody yet. they've got to run their campaign the way they want to. >> and i asked you only because a carly fiorina said a vote for you on tuesday in indy is a wasted vote and i'm thinking she was just named by a candidate who mathematically can't get there. >> when you are mathematically eliminated you ought to leaf the race, he's mathematically eliminated. but i don't want to go there. my job is to talk about my
vision and my program, you know, at my town halls and be able to come on shows like yours and be able to give people a sense of who i am. >> it must be frustrating that fear is selling better this cycle. >> fear always sells better, michael. the reason why we have traffic jams on highways is people rubber neck traffic accidents. there's something inside of us that gets our attention when there's something negative or difficult out there. but over time, people really want to settle down and they want to be hopeful. you know, i'm an ethnic guy and i know you can relate to this. you know, you go to a wedding, right, the whole family, everybody's having a great time in the first hour, in the second hour everybody's fighting with one another and after a shot and a beer in the third or fourth hour everybody's hugging and saying i'm glad we got together. people don't want to live with conflict and they want to be hopeful and that's exactly what i'm trying to deliver. >> okay. on that note, i'm glad you came.
>> you're the best, michael. god bless. >> thanks, governor. so we've just seen two days of ensend yar anti trump protests in california. and what are the political ramifications? joining me now, our political anchor at new york one. jeff greenfield, the former political analyst, emmy award winner and molly hemmingway. is this the new norm, what we've just seen in california? >> unfortunately, that kind of violence has been shadowing the trump campaign. i think there's a real question as to whether or not he wants to decisively try to put an end to it which thus far he hasn't shown much sign that he wanted to do. i think this will really sort of pollute the campaign right up until the convention and some
level of descent and civil disobedience is part of every presidential campaign. the question is how far we're going to let it go before responsible voices and that means the candidate, that means mr. trump really try to decis e decisively try to put an end to it. >> but is it mr. trump who steps in to try and put an end to it or is it bernie and hillary? these people are not going to respond to whatever donald trump has to say. >> i'm not so sure about that. the reality is we've had in an unprecedented way a candidate from the podium saying you know, punch him in the face or hurt him while you want to, i'll pay your legal bills, that kind of a thing and if we've learned anything from dr. king over the years is that violence creates more violence and so if we'd heard from the candidate even once that he wanted to sort of really create a different kind of a tone at his rallies, there's a possibility at least, that there would be at a minimum more sympathy for him and less sympathy for the demonstrators, but the demonstrators are saying
you want to kick us out of the country, you want to call us names and try and impose a religious test on people coming into the country, we're going to let you hear about it and it all starts right there. >> molly, react to what you just heard. >> i think the problem is we are seeing riots, we're seeing violent protests, people bloody other people's faces and cause damage to police cars and in this country we have a god given right to speech and assembly and that also means we should have an ethic where we permit people to assemble without trying to disrupt their speech events and the idea that this would be donald trump's problem and not a much larger problem on the left of not embracing free speech is -- kind of boggles the mind. >> jeff greenfield, as molly notes we have a rich tradition of honoring peaceful protests in this country but it's got limits. right? there's a tipping point. >> yes, the key word here is civil. civil disobedience, you might
even break the law as dr. king did, and are prepared to go to jail for your believes, but the civil part means you do it in a certain way and i think there's a real distinction between what happened early in the campaign when trump was clearly being provocative with the statements that are always quoting and what we've seen more recently where demonstrators and i don't think they're bernie and hillary supporters. i think they're far more radical if they're talking about things like assaulting police cars, punching somebody in the face, hurling obscenities, that's a very different thing and i must say just from going way back almost half a century, once protests turn violent, or disruptive to the point, for instance, of trying to shout a speaker down, the sympathy immediately shifts. i remember the -- after 1968 when the police really went berserk to some extentn chicago. a lot of us thought well, the country will be on the side of the protesters, they were not. because a lot of the protesters
went way beyond civil disobedience to actual attacks and that's the distinction that we have to keep in mind. yes, you want to hold trump can'table for some of the things he said. the provocative things, but you also want to be very careful not to blame trump when the protests turn ugly and violent. >> well, not only that, but to jeff's point, i think if there are incidents that are televised that get ugly, it will inner to trump's benefit. >> actually you're wrong about that. let's pick up where jeff left off. the 1968 democratic convention. a police riot, completely unforgivable. a few days later nixon comes to that same chicago, holds a peaceful rally, goes on to win the election that fall. you know how this works in television, guys. when people come away from it with impressions of i associate this candidate or this party or
this convention with riots, chaos, disorder, that's the impression that they take away from it and you foe, who started it or who said a protester should be roughed up which we heard from donald trump, that all gets swept away and that's not what presidential races are about. >> i guess the question is when people watch this on television are they holding trump responsible or are they saying it's these quote unquote rousers? >> it's interesting how the media covered this and we're part of this as well. if the right were shutting down hillary clinton protests we'd be having a huge national conversation about the growing tendencies on the right and how problematic that is. but we're not having that conversation and i think that does affect the way people are viewing this. but when people see people shutting down speech events, everyone if they don't like donald trump and a lot of the country doesn't like donald trump, they're going to react negatively to that and it's a
much bigger problem on the left. you're seeing free speech being shut down on college campuses and in general, so this just by way of existing reminds people of the problems the left has right now. >> i am having exactly the kind of conversation that you say is warranted. hey, jeff, let me ask you a question about the media. there's a lot of power in the hands of the media in terms of what images get broadcast, because you know you could have 30 people made to look like it's an enormous crowd and if you single in on that one outliar, the one man that's a bad actor, it creates an image that might not be fair. >> that's true and we've seen that not just here but around the world where a camera focuses on a couple of people. i think just in reading the coverage of the coverage that what we've saw in the last couple of days in california was more widespread than just a handful. i also think that fairly or not,
if people associate one candidate with disruption, they will respond to somebody calling for peace. and i don't mean to keep going back to '668, but nixon's whole theme was i can calm the waters and in that sense, humphrey suffered a lot from what happened at the convention even though they were protesters, not his people. in terms of the coverage, i think -- look, i think anybody responsible for choosing the images that go out on the air or now on the web has to be conscious of whether or not those pictures are representative or not. and i'd think in a lot of cases i can point to the media failed in that regard. i'm not sure that happened in california because that looked like a much bigger disruptive crowd. >> i'm just trying to lay the ground work for the future. one final item, everybody has to watch. roll the tape. >> cnn is doing a very good job.
although arel is very biased against me. >> he says that is not true and he is very happy that you got up. >> he's totally biased. some day i'm going to watch him say something good about trump and i'll be so happy. >> you want to make his day? is this the day? what do you i want to say to mr. trump? >> you know, unfortunately i don't know if it's my job to try and make him happy. i don't know if that's what this race is about and i understand trying to game the reps a little bit and get a little sympathy. i mean, i'm tempted to say something snarky like i guess he hasn't been endorsed by any ku klux klan members lately. i guess that's one thing. >> what do you think? tweet me at smerconish. still to come, who are the front
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i'm going to be even better about saving. you can do it, it helps in the long run. prudential bring your challenges . ted cruz' pick of carly fiorina as his theoretical running mate kicked off the discussion. it's exceptionally tricky. this one decision sends a message that can outstrip any other policy. it sets the tone and can make or break a campaign. like when john mccain named sarah palin. joining me now, the man in charge of that vetting who told senator mccain that palin was high risk. i guess you got that right. she began as high reward and become risker as the campaign played itself out. >> it looks that way, but i stand by my analysis. high risk, high reward and she
was some of both, that's true. >> how has this process changed? because you've been on both sides. you've done the vetting and you've represented those being vetted. i'm told that in 1976, gerald ford asked only 18 questions. where are we now? >> the last list i saw, which was the romney list four years ago had over 80 questions with multiple subparts. evermore intrusive as all of us have learned by bitter experience. >> you look at medical records. you look at court records. you look at family history. in what category do most of the problems arise if you can say? >> tend to be family issues. by the time that someone gets to a vice presidential long list of any personal issues have -- are already well known or disclosed,
but the intrusive nature of a vice presidential vet extends far beyond just the potential nominee and his or her spouse to family including brothers, political affiliations of parents, that sort of thing, so that's where we see most of the problems. >> all right. let's run through a list and figure out where are we in 2016. i've got a hypothetical candidate for vice president but he smoked pot. is he out? >> no. no, not -- not since bill clinton admitted that he smoked pot although he said he didn't inhale. >> he's divorced. >> not an issue anymore. >> a dui in his past? >> dick cheney admitted he had two. >> so the standard has shifted, has it not? it sounds that we've become more lenient or lax in the way that we look at potential vps.
>> we've become more lenient, michael. that's very clear. on the other hand, hard drug use, i think that's a line that no one's prepared to cross. >> it's interesting, much like a security clearance, like if you're running for the top job you can evade some of these things and if you're second in command you're going to understood go this level of scrutiny. >> the vice presidential nominee is subjected to a level of scrutiny far more intense than the presidential nominee himself or herself. >> and final question, i'm about to run through what i call the usual suspects in terms of names that get mentioned. it occur to me it's a small universe who get consideration. >> very small. i would say looking on the republican side whether it's kasich or the list that cruz might have evaluated or
certainly. considerable overlap. probably fewer than a dozen. >> thank you so much for being here. >> my pleasure. >> so with the nominations of hillary clinton and donald trump looking more and more inevitable names of potential running mates are being tossed around which are real, which are good, this and more to talk about with our political panel. i've got cnn commentator and conservative analyst with me. let's run through the r's first. i'll throw out a couple of names and we'll run through them. what do you make of rubio as a potential running mate for trump if it's trump? >> i don't think that the relationship is beyond repair. florida is very important. he has experience. he's a likable guy. he gives good speeches, but the little marco and the disparaging remarks may have shaped the image that people have of marco
rubio right mow so i'm not positive about that. >> and isn't it hard to be on the receiving end of a statement like that, that kind of a slander and then decide okay, i can put it aside and get on this ticket? >> sure it is. there's a bigger question for trump. does anybody want to run with him? i mean, i'm serious here. it reminds me of gold water. think about it. if trump gets beaten badly are you going to be forever hooked to his wagon? i mean, if you're nikki haley who would be a very good pick, i don't think she'd get near it. for that matter people running for the senate, the republicans trying to hold on to the senate i don't think they'll be in the same part of the state when he comes into the campaign. >> although in a cycle full of many surprises you could end up being the vice president of the united states. >> for all i know it could be you. >> i'm not sure i'm under consideration from the donald. how about the florida governor?
could you see florida's important, he's a two-term governor? >> we speak pretty plainly. ticket, i'm not sure how that he looks. however, rick scott knows health care. he knows health care costs and that is a big issue in our country. he was a tea party candidate. he's become more moderate so he's willing to shift his position a bit. by all accounts he's a nice guy, people like being around him, so i see that. but i think there are lots of people who would work with trump and take that vp slot and i think many of them are women. >> how about -- i'm not going to identify any women yet but how about jeff sessions? he's a trump supporter in the senate. could you see him being tapped. >> sure. i think he would take it. the two people who would take it is sessions and christie because they're both been hooked up with trump now for several months, but i keep coming back to this. if you've got a long-term future
in politics, you really want to take on this controversial guy. i just -- if i were still in the consulting business i would tell every one of my candidates not because they're republican but you want to stay away from 62% negative. >> john kasich says no, i'm not interested in being his running mate and yet on paper kasich seems to be the perfect vp candidate. >> i think he would and the reason i think he would is because i think that he is bigger than just focusing on himself or his particular political future. i do believe that john kasich really does care about the good of the country and i think that he would go through this and it may take a while, but i think he'd get there for the good of everyone. >> on the democratic side assuming it's hillary could you see a clinton kcastro ticket? >> former governor cain now
senator for virginia but castro would be really good. >> he could be her son he's that young. i'm not sure you want somebody that young out there. >> he could be my grandson so take it easy on that. but the point is that i think the idea -- but you know, she does make a point. do you really -- you talk about elizabeth warren? no way. first of all hillary and warren don't get along that well and secondly it would move hillary too far to the left. she's going to have enough trouble with bernie trying to move her to the left. castro would be okay i think cain would be a much better candidate. >> and how about duval patrick? >> yeah, put him on because i'd love to hear how he explains working at the company of mid romney. >> is there a dark horse that one or the other of you are thinking of? >> sherrod brown.
senator from ohio would be -- very good blue collar guy who is tough on the trail and he would take trump on. trump wouldn't know -- realize what a big fight he was getting himself into. >> who are you thinking of? >> i'm going to help the democrats out with this one. hillary clinton should take a woman. she should take jane harman. she's the ceo of the woodrow wilson center. she is a smart as they come. she is moderate on financial issues and liberal on social issues. and donald trump if he's the nominee could consider mia love out of utah. she walks the walk, talks the talk, she does not see color and she's the real deal. >> i will throw on the mix dennis perez. a very bright guy. a really good story. we love those stories and i could see it for a whole variety of reasons. >> yeah, the only thing, michael, is that it's one thing
to have the first black president and you may now have the first woman president. do you want to get every ethnic group in in two terms? i think she will most likely end up with a white male. in this case, you can get away with it. >> all right. i see the bumper sticker, it says clinton/beckel 2016. >> didn't the guy before that say they ruled it out on hard drugs? i'm out. >> thank you both as always. >> thank you. >> keep your thoughts coming to me. still to come they're arguably the most powerful voting block at the republican national convention. i refer to the pennsylvania 54 and three of them will join me next and there's this. look which of our viewers just figured out how to pronounce smerconish. >> there were two young guys on cnn on smerconish actually, and they were -- who doesn't
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victory in pennsylvania last tuesday. he won all 67 counties. he was more than 500,000 votes ahead of second place finisher ted cruz by winning the state he guaranteed the support of 17 delegates, but despite his enormous victory, 54 delegates elected three per congressional district are still free to vote for whomever they choose when they get to cleveland. that's almost as many as indiana's entire 57. they represent the largest group of uncommitted delegates that any state will send to the convention which could make them decisive. if tump gets close to the magic
number of 1237 rest assured he'll be looking to negotiate with members of this delegation and here are three of the 54. a philadelphia attorney, rob lockery lockery, tell me what happened at your polling place? you were there all day. what did you hear from voters? >> i heard people say all kinds of things from -- regarding donald trump from -- i'm not sure i agree with all the things he says, i'm not happy when he did this and a couple of other words like that but everyone followed it up by saying you know what? he's the kind of guy we need to shake things up. i heard that time and time again. >> so how will you approach your responsibility when you get to cleveland? >> well, first of all, i voted for kasich. that's where i felt i wanted to place my vote, but when i go to cleveland i will be voting for donald trump.
i told the people in the 8th congressional district that i would represent the will of the people and the will of the people in bucks county was 58% overwhelmingly supported donald trump. >> for how many ballots are you going to vote for donald trump? >> well, for as more as it takes, michael. i mean, i -- i know we're not bound, but i'm bound by my word and my word was that i would stick with the winner that won the 8th con kbregressional dist. i thought john kasich would do a lot better but donald trump won it all. he won all municipalities. and he won them not even close and so i find it hard to not be able to support him going through and especially since that was the word that i gave the voters in bucks county in the 8th congressional district. >> liz, how will you approach your responsibility? >> well, as you know, michael, i am in your district and i was
the only candidate that pledged in all of the interviews that i had to all the media sources that i would vote for the winner of my district. when i did your radio program we thought that donald trump won it and i said i would vote for him because he won it. it looks now like john kasich may eke out a victory, in which case i would vote for him. but that would only be if there was a rule change, because as it stands, if the current rules are in place where you need to win eight states in order to be voted on in the first ballot he would not be eligible for that ballot which case i would vote for donald trump on the first ballot. if there was a second ballot in order to honor my pledge i would vote for john kasich on that second ballot. >> interesting. i want to talk to you about winning and i want to rely on an interview i did a week ago here with someone's congressional district you represented. >> there's nothing there for me. i will tell you candidly he hasn't taken criticism very well. he builds himself up by knocking
other people down. he disrespected my fellow veterans, but we've had thousands of thousands of pows. and you go the whole muslim, every muslim is a potential terrorist. i don't know whether it's public or private, but what i see i don't like and i can't support him. >> tom ridge represented pennsylvania in the congress. does winning play into this because ridge doesn't think trump can win. >> oh, i think winning does play into it. i took the position that i was going to be uncommitted, remain uncommitted. was going to take a look and consult the voters. they came in very heavily for trump in my district. but i think i have to add something more. i'm going to wait and see how this plays out for a few more weeks, see what mr. trump does to position himself, to reach to some of those voters in the middle. the point i'd like to make is, the big issue here is america.
the republicans now more than ever have to offer a ticket that can compete. mr. trump demonstrated in pennsylvania and new york that he's been able to attract a lot of democrats, a lot of blue collar voters who haven't typically been drawn to republicans before. i respect that. i respect the fact that he's made an issue of trade and that he's for tax reform. what i think has to happen is the republican party has to come together. and i want to use my position in the delegation and my vote to achieve that synthesis. as you can see from tom ridge's comments, there are a lot of people that donald trump still has to win over. we don't have to get all of them, but i think we need to position this ticket to make pennsylvania and other states competitive and to win in areas that obama carried. i think that donald trump has started that process. >> so what i'm taking away is rob admits i voted for kasich,
nothing wrong with that but i feel obligated to go to trump. liz waiting to see the final count in your jurisdiction and phil english, you're keeping your powder dry as you like to say, but the three of you, you hold a lot of power in this process if he gets close and he needs to get over the hump. thank you so much for being here. good to see you again. >> thanks for having me on. >> thank you all for being here. >> thanks for having me. >> nk thatthanks, michael. dive into delegates and the data of 2016 with the new cnn politics app. and still to come, i know this is going to anger some people, but i'm not happy with the recent conviction of dennis hastert who's been accused of child molestation and i want to explain why.
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about non-insulin victoza®. it's covered by most health plans. legal rights of a presumed child molester. not because i'm sympathetic for his behavior but for the law and the way he was sentenced. once second in the line of succession to the presidency was just given a 15-month sentence. that's more than the federal sentencing guidelines recommended for the crime for which he was prosecuted. at the sentencing hearing the judge spent nearly an hour chastising hastert for his abuse of school athletes decades ago. and that behavior was horrific, but here's my problem. hastert wasn't convicted of molestation. in fact, he wasn't even charged with that conduct. he pled guilty to violating banking laws. hastert's downfall began when he started making cash withdrawals
of his own money in $10,000 increments. that automatically triggered a report from his bank to the treasury department. the government monitors such large withdrawals to detect illegal activity and then when questions, hastert lied. here's my concern. what business is it of the government if americans want to withdraw their own money in any amount from their own bank? the law that requires the reporting was first passed in 1970, was later amended by the patriot act. the $10,000 threshold for reporting has remained constant despite the changing value of a dollar. assuming an annual rate of inflation of about 4%, 10 grand in 1970, that would be more than 60,000 today. congress should end the requirement for reporting cash transactions from one's own account to the government. at a minimum, they should raise the threshold and to be clear, none of this excuses what hastert did.
i'm just uneasy with the law they used to snag him. joining me now, our legal analyst and legal defense attorney. hello, danny. what went on in that hearing? i mean, how can they possibly hold him accountable for behavior that was not really at issue? >> in federal court the sentencing guidelines provide this really complicated formula defense attorneys like me struggle with all the time. but for all of its rules, it's really a free for all. so even though hastert was being sentenced for conduct involving structuring the district court judge is allowed to consider virtually any conduct of history and charactercharacterics. >> none of that was prooven. >> you don't need that exacting criminal standard and in this case the judge said hastert, you haven't exactly denied any of this conduct and sure enough,
hastert did not deny the conduct when several witnesses came up to testify that he had committed acts of alleged molestation. >> i'm sure many people watching this and just having heard this are saying who cares? he's a bad guy, but frankly, i said the same thing about o.j. i'm convinced that o.j. is doing time right now for killing nicole and ron and not for trying to steal his own stuff back. >> it's an understandable sentiment. when it comes to molestation a lot of people feel emotionally that by any means necessary this person should be behind bars but we have a system that holds people accountable for their actual criminal conduct and their criminal history. the issue here is that the sentencing guidelines allow this judge to take into consideration his history and in most cases, michael, the history and characteristics benefits defendants. in most cases judges make the sentence a little lighter because hey, michael smerconish, he gives to charity, it's a good
guy. it's rare is the case and the judge acknowledged this on the record. it's much rarer for a judge to say you know what? this guy, his character is so lousy i'm going to vary his sentence upward. so it is exceedingly rare but it is permissible under the rules. >> the 10 grand issue, do you agree it should be none of the government's business? if i had ten grand in the bank i can go withdraw it. whose business should that be? >> that 10,000 limit doesn't take into account inflation, but more than that you correctly point out that hastert was prosecuted for taking out his own money. there was no illegal purpose for taking out the money. it was the lying first to the bank, but really to federal taking out the money. it was the lying that got him. even the judge acknowledged that the federal government usually doesn't bring these cases and that's what happens. when you have laws like this that essentially criminalize so many kinds of conduct,
prosecution becomes discretionary. >> maybe -- maybe if i'm taking 60k out of the bank, there could be a guy in the parking lot with a gun to the head of my spouse, but for 10 grand today, no. it's none of the government's business. >> it want the withdrawal. it was the coverup. it want the fact that he took out his own money, it was that he tried to conceal it in almost a laughable way. >> still to come, your best and worst tweets like this. yeah, that's a good point. there shouldn't be a statute of limitation on molesting kids and then we wouldn't have this issue. i agree.
dressing, lesbian, african-american muslim mexican national to offset his negatives. >> and i'm digging this, "you look presidential in that suit." i'll have you know the suit is 20 years old and it's only been let out twice. that's once per decade. keep tweeting me here and i'll see you next saturday. abdominal pain?