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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  October 24, 2011 11:00pm-12:00am EDT

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really. halloween haters, it is real simple. you don't want to see a scantily clad 17-year-old making out with her 51-year-old husband, maybe you shouldn't go to a pumpkin patch. yeah, i said it, haters. that does it for "360." thanks for watching. "erin burnett outfront" starts now. we're on the front line in iowa with rick perry pushing a flat tax. how will voters respond. he's hunting for votes. and the president like you've never seen him before, we promise. we cannot resist showing you the new barack obama. and the bottom line on america's housing crisis. will the president's newest plan get it done? let's go "outfront." i'm erin burnett. it's monday and outfront tonight ground zero for the global economy. housing in america.
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if we don't fix it more downgrades of our economy are coming. the president rolling out some changes to his tenth housing plan today in one of america's hardest hit cities, las vegas. >> if you meet certain requirements you will have the chance to refinance at lower rates which could save you hundreds of dollars a month and thousands of dollars a year on mortgage payments. >> in a nutshell the plan increases the number of home owners eligible to refinance. now the administration says it would allow more of the five to seven million under water home owners who are still current on their mortgage payments to refinance. the administration is pushing for a rate of about 4% for those refis. we had two key questions. one, will the plan increase housing prices? well the chief economist of real estate website zillow website told us, even if the plan is fully implemented and everything is perfect, prices of homes may not rise.
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that was not the answer we were hoping for. two, will it work overall? ken rosen is an economist who helped write the original housing plan and told us he is very skeptical it will be implemented successfully, because it only backs mortgages handled by fannie mae and freddie mac. we don't have enough people to handle this many refis because unemployment has plunged 55% since the crisis. the bottom line is this though. even though there are questions about the plan we have a very big hole to dig out of on housing which at its peak was about 20% of the entire american economy. meantime we have more self-inflicted wounds like a congress that can't promise to make a deal to avoid more downgrades of america's debt which will cause interest rates for all americans to rise. will cane is a contributor here at cnn, contributor to theblaze.com. bill rady is former ceo and chairman of mtv international and author of "what makes business rock." thanks to all of you for being with us. i guess let's start with you, tim, since you're coming here
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from the democratic side. do you think that this plan can get it done? i mean obviously the president has been trying all these various options in part because congress hasn't been able to step up and do more. >> that's right. first of all i think it's important to remember that the housing economy is about 18% to 19% of our economy so one thing everybody agrees on is we can't do nothing. what i think the president was saying today is pretty simple where we can facilitate home owners who are in their homes and can make payments but at a lower interest rate. let's do that if that means keeping home owners in their homes. but the key part of the president's message i think is probably getting a little lost in the coverage today is what the president also said is that our housing problem is really an unemployment problem. foreclosure is largely a result of people being unemployed and that's why the president is out there pushing his jobs plan which economists say will create about 1.9 million jobs. you'll see the president continuing to push that because i think that is the most
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important part of the housing program. >> obviously housing and jobs are linked. it's a chicken and egg sort of issue or cycle. what do you think though? just in terms of the politics of whether this sort of thing can get done? deals like this for the reason they haven't worked is because it's not just getting the borrower and bank onboard but a lot of other people own the mortgages and it gets very complicated. >> right. tim talked about the president's message. i'd say it's part of the way he's selling it. he's selling it with the tag, we can't wait. it sounds nice, but in a government where we have separation of powers, three branches of government, checks and balances, sounds a little bit odd to say, we can't wait. we just have to do something. on the actual economics of the program i'm pessimistic. it seems like tinkering around the edges. the core problem is we have people in homes they cannot afford. that is not about the interest rate but their principal.
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until we solve that housing continues to be a problem. >> many people have backed off that issue, because a lot of people could take the hit. taxpayers, banks. bill, what do you think, though? is our problem here that we just need to accept that it's going to take a long time for asset prices and for most people that's their most valuable asset their home? they still have to fall. we can't stop it. >> yeah. there are some parts of what will just said i agree with but on the other hand every little bit helps. although this was a little bit, but i think i would go for anything that helps and i think that's what he's doing. i think you're right. it is going to take a long time to sort this out and there are much worse problems by the way when it comes to housing. i just came from britain and i think there is a terrible problem there. of course greece, which we can talk about and europe but it's just going to take a long time to sort this out. every little bit helps. >> i want to talk about the other big issue in washington but also europe. since you brought it up, obviously the biggest trading partner for the united states, not just a peripheral issue
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everyone. this is front and center to whether america can get out of our crisis. angela merkel and nicolas sarkozy an odd couple indeed. there they are and they're angry at each other and that's humorous i suppose but it's also dead serious. you spent a whole career over there. are they going to get out of this or are they going to send us into another recession? >> we designed a business that was based on country specific so anything that goes across different nationalities and languages i think -- >> i.e. 17 of them? >> have you ever heard 17 people agree on anything? especially if they speak different languages and are from different cultures. the real tragedy is sarkozy had to not be there for the birth because he had to meet yet again with merkel. you know, just think of the endless hours the policy makers have been spending on this, the bureaucracy. we discovered a long time ago you have to, all politics is local. people ultimately care about their own country. and think about the poor greeks. yes, the stereotype is the beauty, beautician who had a pension at age 50 but i asked a taxi driver who was there last month because they always know the true story. a greek taxi driver, what do you think? they said, gosh. i don't know. my pension is going down. my taxes are going up.
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my benefits are going down. the germans hate us and the eu won't give us any respect and the brand is ruined forever. the greek brand. he said, you know, you have a phrase for it. it's all greek to me. >> bill and i were talking back stage. you're telling me thousands of years of separate traditions and cultures didn't melt into a single entity in the euro zone? that doesn't end until it breaks up or it becomes a single political unity. the interesting thing is, it's not that different than housing. this doesn't end until we liquidate housing or have principal reduction. tinkering in the middle won't get it done. >> you raise a fair point. the u.s. has to be prepared for europe to break up. they have to be prepared for it which brings us to congress and how congress isn't getting anything done. tim, let me ask you whether congress in your view is actually going to do something that will shock the world, create confidence, and get our economy back ontrack and that is do a deal with the super committee, a grand bargain? >> i think they'll certainly do a deal. i think the question is how big that deal is going to be. i think most people look at the
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super committee and think they'll make some changes in terms of spending cuts, spending reductions but i think that giant kind of tax and spending grand bargain is going to be elusive probably until next year. one thing is that people don't realize is that the sequestration, the cuts that are automatically triggered don't actually take place for a year so the thing that everybody knows has to happen, tax increases, cuts to spending, entitlement spending, discretionary spending, everybody knows the formula. the real pressure is not going to be until after this year. >> well that is not going -- we can't afford from a market perspective -- we can't afford this to be a countdown again and afford to go into automatic cuts whether they happen next year or not. it's just bad for the country. >> tim and i have to agree. i'm pessimistic. any credible long-term plans require tax increases, revenue increases, entitlement cuts. congress shows no propensity to do either of those. >> i do a lot of work in countries around the world. it used to be we had the best system. the question no one is asking,
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is this really a best system? should we be a parliamentary system? clearly it is dysfunctional. nothing is happening. it's destroying -- you said it earlier -- confidence. the whole economic situation is probably based on confidence. >> it is. >> i live in britain. i thought the brits were pretty bad on themselves. i've never seen this country in such a funk. there is no confidence. there is no x factor. i think you'll have to get x factor back. >> not the best model right now. >> i don't know. when you point one finger three come back. i think right now nothing is working. >> thanks to all three of you. we'll leave it there. viewers let us know what you think whether we should dry a different system. just a macro question. because we can't afford this thing to be a countdown again opinion >> wow. >> they got to step up. courage, courage in congress could lead to confidence. all right. still out front moammar gadhafi's body has been in a libyan meat locker for five days. the latest from the michael jackson death trial. and what the defense must do to save conrad murray and oh, we can't resist. a much younger barack obama
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i got it, i'm sorry. these people, huh? you know i've found that anger is the enemy of instruction. you don't know the egos that i have to deal with. you're probably right. thank you! whoever you are. i'm pretty sure that was phil jackson. he's quite famous... million championships... triangle offense innovator... [ male announcer ] the audi a8. named best large luxury sedan. nice wheels zen master. thank you...todd. ♪
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the number tonight, zero. that's how many ribs are in a
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mcrib sandwich. the favorite is going to be returning to mcdonald's nationwide but only through november 14th. to promote the return of the mcrib mcdonald's has launched a game called the quest for the golden mcrib. what is in a mcrib sandwich, since it's not a rib? it is a boneless pork patty that includes barbecue sauce, sliced onions and pickles but is not for those on a diet. 500 calories, 26 grams of fat. 40% of the daily recommended fat intake. oh, mcdonald's. all right. libya, word tonight from a military spokesman in tripoli it is highly likely the body of moammar gadhafi will be buried at a secret location tomorrow. this comes after men lined up for days to see the decaying remains of gadhafi who was shot in the head last thursday. his body has been laid out in a meat locker four or five days. the line of people parading through to look at him frankly is barbaric. it's a sign that in libya home to the world's largest light sweet crude oil reserves there is still a real struggle for anyone to take charge.
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cnn's dan rivers has spent days reporting on the bizarre scene and joined us moments ago from tripoli. >> reporter: it's extraordinary, yeah. i don't know how it's allowed to happen frankly. it's dragged on for as you say getting on for five days now. and we think now there is a possibility that he will be buried either tonight or tomorrow local time here but this has been a really embarrassing episode i think for the new government here. it's marred the declaration of liberation for this country. there's still lots of questions about how he died and just questions about the ethics and morality of treating a body like this no matter who it is. you know, he's a human being and they said they'd treat his body with dignity. they said he would be buried in accordance with muslim traditions and so far they haven't stuck to that. they have carried out an autopsy, yes, but we still don't know the full results of that. all we know is that he was shot
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in the head but we don't know at what range and so it's, you know, these questions about whether he was executed rather than killed in a cross fire continue and from the u.n. down ward people want answers to these questions. >> they do. it certainly will say a lot as to whether the national transitional council can govern even if it has the will. does it have the ability? wanted to ask you, dan, about moammar gadhafi's son, his heir apparent, who according to officials in libya is potentially on the border trying to escape. what can you tell us about that? >> well, i think we have to be a little skeptical about claims concerning any of the gadhafi family especially safa who has according to them been captured or hospitalized or surrounded or involved in a gun battle. we've had a different rumor almost every day in the last week but the latest we were
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hearing from one source is that he is down south somewhere attempting presumably to flee over the border. but frankly until we actually have some conclusive proof i think we have to be pretty careful about putting too much credence in that. >> all right. we shall see. thanks so much. >> sure. >> all right. we looked into what ongoing civil war in libya could mean for oil prices given there are 140 tribes and clear concern over who is in charge. an expert oil analyst ran the numbers for us and says if there is fighting prices for oil could go back above their arab spring highs to as much as $125 a barrel. now here in the united states that translates into $4.50 per gallon of gas. what happens in libya sure matters here. if you think libya matters, it's really nothing compared to saudi arabia. the kingdom of saudi arabia is the most important country in the world for stable oil and gasoline prices and tonight there are serious succession questions for the monarchy. with the crowned prince of saudi
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dying on friday night the next in line to the saudi throne is prince nayef the conservative chief of saudi's feared secret police. he is 78 years old and is tightly allied with the religious clerics in saudi arabia. he is known for opposing the rights of women to drive or other rights. king abdula is a much more liberal force, at least 87 years old and has spent a lot of time recently in hospitals in morocco and new york. the fact that we do not know their exact ages is indicative of how new the saudi monarchy is. their father was the first king and succession passes from son to son. when this generation dies there are thousands of princes who could rule. experts hope the succession will be smooth but if it is not the country's instability would rock the world. again, if king abdulah dies and the west becomes comfortable with prince nayef oil would still go up 5 to 10 dollars a barrel.
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if nayef makes an allegiance to them, it could jump as much as $20 a barrel. if there is saudi unrest or disorderly transition to the next generation oil could go get this $200 a barrel. that would send prices here in the u.s. as high as $8 a gallon. succession in saudi arabia is a big story around the world. the prosecution wrapped up the state's case today against dr. conrad murray. now his defense team has a turn to try to poke holes in the state's theory that murray's reckless use of the drug propofol which was used to help michael jackson sleep, makes the doctor criminally responsible for the star's death. ted rowlands was in the courtroom for us today. so the defense now has the floor. what are the holes that they can try to exploit? >> well, one thing the prosecution's theory dictates is that michael jackson died from an i.v. drip and the problem they have is that at the scene at jackson's house they didn't find that i.v. cord anywhere. that's something i think the
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defense will try to work through and get that message across to the jury. the other thing they have to do is try to rehabilitate murray's reputation somehow through character witnesses. >> i know a lot of defense witnesses did take the stand today after the state rested. is anyone going to be the star for them? >> absolutely. paul white is an anesthesiologist and he is basically the other side to what the prosecution put up. and he does have qualifications. the key will be whether white's theory of what could have happened will resonate with this jury because the prosecution's expert witnesses surely it seems did. the jury really was locked into their testimony. >> all right, ted. thanks. talk to you soon. outfront next new developments in the baby lisa case. police spotted something unusual on security camera footage. we'll tell you about that. and the latest from iowa. rick perry pushing a flat tax. will it be enough to win over that state's voters. they carry a lot of weight. and a story we can't resist. barack obama like you have never
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and really i can say that there's only one or two people on the planet who may have seen him like this before. [ tires screech ] [ crying ] [ applause ] [ laughs ] [ tires screech ] [ male announcer ] your life will have to flash by even faster. autodrive brakes on the cadillac srx activate after rain is detected to help improve braking performance. we don't just make luxury cars. we make cadillacs.
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now a story we can't resist. a collectible company called ashton drape galleries has released a new barack obama doll. that's not that unusual. we have seen dolls honoring presidents in the past.
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there was george washington. there was teddy roosevelt. eisenhower, g.i. jfk. and of course this is a little strange 2008's cabbage patch candidates. but it's not even the first time this particular company has reproduced famous people. they've made dolls of lucille ball and kate middleton has a doll now. they've even made one of the president's wife michelle like she is now. but what makes the new doll so unusual is that it's depicting president obama as a life like baby. the president barack obama commemorative baby doll is made of collector quality vinyl dressed in blue shorts, white booties and a t-shirt that reads the birth of hope. priced to move at $150. reviews have been mixed with some reviewers on amazon calling it horrible, over priced, and some scary. speaking of scary dolls this gives us an excuse to play a clip from the 1998 "killer doll" movie "bride of chucky."
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♪ >> now! >> okay. it wasn't that scary but still. ooh. we just couldn't resist. still "outfront." the outfront five, a big idea. in washington everybody hates each other and it's hurting america. how do you fix it, elmo? hunting for votes i want to make the tax code so simple that even timothy geithner can get his taxes in on time. a disturbing theory. >> he had the baby in his arms and had the baby's head kind of like this. >> where is baby lisa? >> kind of frightening actually. >> all of this "outfront" in our second half. the postal service is critical to our economy--
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delivering mail, medicine and packages. yet they're closing thousands of offices, slashing service, and want to lay off over 100,000 workers. the postal service is recording financial losses, but not for reasons you might think. the problem ? a burden no other agency or company bears. a 2006 law that drains 5 billion a year from post-office revenue while the postal service is forced to overpay billions more into federal accounts. congress created this problem, and congress can fix it. yum. that's good. you've always loved the taste of classic campbell's soups.
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we start the second half of our show with stories we care about where we focus on our own reporting. we do the work and find the outfront five. first up housing. the president in las vegas today announcing changes to his latest housing plan. in a nutshell the plan would increase a number of people eligible to refinance. the administration says it would allow more of the five to seven million under water home owners who are still current on their mortgages to refi at a rate that
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the obama administration hopes will be 4%. now ken rosen is an economist who helped write the original housing plan and told us he is skeptical it's going to be implemented successfully because it only helps mortgages backed by fannie and freddie. number two, hurricane season not over yet. rina rapidly intensifying into a hurricane in the western caribbean heading toward mexico's yucatan peninsula. the cnn severe weather team told us rina will likely hit near cozumel later this week as a major category three and then make a sharp turn toward cuba this weekend. number three netflix announcing today its revenue hit a record high in the third quarter. $822 million. now not all the numbers were good though. we did the math. we found out that netflix lost 800,000 american subscribers in the quarter. the company also projects it will lose as many as a million streaming subscribers and 25% of its dvd subscribers in the u.s. that all sounds pretty bad. the stock is down more than 25% at this hour in after hours trading. number four the official steve jobs biography went on sale
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today. outfront contacted amazon. they said the book tops both its e-book and hard copy bestseller list. a spokeswoman added the book is turning out to be the top selling book for amazon for the entire year. obviously the book comes out just under three weeks after steve jobs died. number five it has been 80 days since the u.s. lost its top credit rating. what are we doing to get it back? the debt super committee holds a public hearing wednesday and have 30 days to make a big move. this is not one to play chicken with. his endorsement is one the most sought after in the republican party and gop candidates are representing representative steve king and his iowa voters. just before the show representative king came out front with his thoughts on the gop field and pheasant shooting. yes, yes, yes, with governor rick perry. >> we did have great shooting all the time we were there so i would count it as a really good day in the field and whenever you can go out and pick up a shotgun and have a day like that, that builds a memory that
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you don't forget for a lifetime. >> i'm sure. how did governor perry do? he as good with a shotgun as he says he is? >> you know, if i had to say, there were a couple times had to back him up and a couple times he had to back me up. all in all he held his own very well and there is no exaggeration on his part the way he characterized it. he is a good shooter and you can tell by the way he handles himself. >> all right, you had endorsed fred thompson in 2007, which by all accounts was very important for mr. thompson. iowa gave him a strong third place showing ahead of john mccain. so what is your feeling after spending time with governor perry in what did you talk about? what sense of the man did you get? >> you know, it is hard to get deeply into that when you've got all of that action we had. the action was so good that i'm reluctant to tell you how good. i'll say my view on this he is very comfortable in the field and around people. he does a good job of engaging
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with all the new faces i saw him introduced to. he made it a point to repeat their name back to them and i saw he remembered some of those names. i'm impressed by that, one of the things that i struggle with. but i think he is a good listener. i think that, you know, his instincts on the tenth amendment are very good. he wants to reduce the power of the federal government and evolve those powers back to the states. that is part of his over all philosophy. >> so are you ready to endorse anyone? in particular, what is your sense of the economic plans? obviously governor perry going to be putting forth that flat tax. you've got mr. cain with a flat/sales tax. >> i have been for a lifetime a fair taxer. i spent my career pushing fair tax. i understand it. i devised it long before i ever heard that anybody else was thinking about it. and of course i didn't devise the bill but i devised the strategy. and so that's one of those economic components that i don't see out here in the field right now. i'm not going to get everything i want and nobody in america is going to get everything they want in an individual candidate probably. but the economic proposals that
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are out here, the 9-9-9 versus the flat tax, look at these pieces. i think what's really missing is a presidential candidate that can paint that vision, that dream for america at least one of the candidates needs to convince us that they not only see where america needs to go but they can articulate a way to take us there. those two components i don't think have been put together correctly yet by the presidential candidates. >> well, thanks very much, i appreciate your taking the time, representative king. >> thank you very much. >> jennifer jacobs is chief political reporter with the des moines register and spent the weekend with the gop candidates. john avalon is senior columnist with the daily beast and a senior contributor. good to have both of you with us. jennifer you just heard representative king say not ready to endorse anybody. how did the candidates do with iowa voters? who do you think won this weekend? >> well, there was a christian conservative forum and at that forum in des moines it seemed like the conservatives there
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really swooned for newt gingrich. i don't think they disliked any of the candidates but gingrich just got the biggest raves afterward. but they did, they said they are still as confused as they have been all along. they just don't know who they're going to pick yet. >> what did newt gingrich do to get all of those standing ovations? i'm curious. >> yeah. he got two standing ovations and quite a bit of applause throughout his speech. the conservatives i talked to afterwards said they appreciated how detailed he was. he just seemed so confident that he could fix the economy. he said it's not that difficult to fix the economy. we can do this. and he just pretty steadily keeps up a drum beat of opposition against barack obama and iowans who like to keep that republican on republican infighting to a minimum really appreciated that he kept the focus on barack obama. >> what is your take from this weekend? they were all out. shot guns and everything. >> this was faith and freedom weekend. here's what is extraordinary
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about this aspect of the field right now. new poll gave a snap shot just before this weekend. normally the folks who are in iowa are the people who appeal to social conservatives and spent a lot of time on the ground. what the polls are showing right now is it's herman cain and mitt romney the two candidates who arguably spent the least time in iowa who are leading the polls overwhelmingly and gingrich, santorum, bachmann, perry are all clustered under 20% if you add them together. so this is really a little bit different. at the end of the day it is usually social conservatives who determine the winner of the iowa caucus. huckabee pulled out a big upset over mitt romney last time. >> the economy matters this time. >> absolutely. >> what about the whole issue of taxes? people care. you got the flat tax rolling out tomorrow with rick perry. you've got herman cain with his tax plan. >> you heard steve king say he is looking for the fair tax advocate like huckabee last time. but the fact that perry is weighing in with a specific plan tomorrow will help him enormously. he was hitting abortion this weekend, he was hitting abortion. thought there was a weakness on herman cain where he seemed to endorse the freedom of choice
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but that economic plan is going to help perry. it should. we'll have a good debate about the best way to approach tax simplification. so it's part of an ongoing debate that will play well with the primary voters. >> jennifer, what is your sense in iowa of how much voters are going to focus not just on the economy over all with the candidates but on these tax plans some of which are rather bold, rather radical specifically? >> i think that's exactly what they're looking for. rick perry has been in a slump here but i think that he could rally here if he can really convey to iowans that he is the best person to really turn around this economy. that's what they're looking for and that is exactly right. they are telegraphing in the polls with their appreciation for herman cain and mitt romney that they really are driven by their wallets this cycle. >> how much time does rick perry have? i mean at some point he came in, that was his peak. he's dropped. how much time does he have john before he is out? >> john kerry was able to overwhelm howard dean in the last weeks before the primary in 2004. so this is a situation where
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it's malleable until the last couple weeks but rick perry came in with a bang. remember michele bachmann won the straw poll. rick perry sucked up all the oxygen. now he is stuck in low single digits. he's got a lot of ground to make up so it's always later than you think in politics especially with a presidential primary breathing down your back. he has a couple weeks to start getting momentum back on his side no more. >> jennifer, what is your take in iowa? >> yeah. he's really bringing it into iowa. the campaign has been working quietly to really rally iowa captains, county captains and precinct leaders. they're reportedly going up on the air in iowa with some television advertising that is going to focus on jobs in the economy and his flat tax. i think you're going to see a surge of activity from all the campaigns but from perry for sure. >> do you think, john, that herman cain is going to put more time into iowa or no? this has not been his -- >> he should. the guy is polling at 37% right now. barack obama and john kerry won with 38%. it is absurd to me especially
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given the media attention if he got us this far ahead he should invest some time and effort. >> you don't think he should count on remaining that way. >> and you don't think he should count on that remaining that? >> absolutely not. we are a long way out and iowans will make up their mind in due time. >> they have the position to say court us or else, right, jennifer? >> yeah. i think they're getting itchy to rally behind someone. there is a growing awareness that if they split amongst anybody but romney crowd they're just going to hand the nomination to romney. so they want to be excited and in love with one candidate so they can really get behind somebody and kind of put an end to this kind of question mark. they want to pick somebody. time is running out. just ten weeks away from the caucuses. >> thanks so much to both of you. now we know why they all fight to move the date up. everybody wants to be the one that has to be romanced. up next, an oil well burning. and later, 20 days since she
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went missing, the authorities are doing something new to find baby lisa. the earthquake in turkey, it was devastating, we go there live. that's a coffee and two . the afternoon tour begins with more pain and more pills. the evening guests arrive. back to sore knees. back to more pills. the day is done but hang on... her doctor recommended aleve. just 2 pills can keep arthritis pain away all day with fewer pills than tylenol. this is lara who chose 2 aleve and fewer pills for a day free of pain. [ female announcer ] get money saving coupons at aleve.com. [ female announcer ] get money saving coupons i heard they found energy here. it's good. we need the jobs. [customer:] we need to protect the environment. [worker:] we could do both. is that possible? [announcer:] at conocophillips, we're helping power america's economy with cleaner, affordable natural gas. more jobs. less emissions. a good answer for everyone. well, if it's cleaner and affordable. as long as we keep these safe. there you go.
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will be giving away passafree copies of the alcoholism & addiction cure. to get yours, go to ssagesmalibubook.com. same time every night we do this. our outer circle. we reach out to our sources around the world. we begin tonight in turkey where rescue workers are scrambling to find survivors. there was a deadly 7.2 magnitude earthquake which struck the eastern part of the country. our international correspondent
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is in turkey tonight and diana are rescuers having success finding people alive under the collapsed buildings? >> reporter: erin they are having some success. that is why they are continuing to dig at various sites in these two affected towns and for example here at this site behind me in van the head of the search and rescue team says he does have indications that there may be two people down there in the rubble still alive. the most poignant part of that process is when they stop for a moment of silence basically to listen to see if anybody is knocking or calling and obviously if they hear something then they don't stop until they found them. erin? >> thank you very much. it doesn't so many like any of the buildings would have been built to earthquake code having been there. next to tunisia where there was a big turnout in the first national election since the uprising which overthrew the long-time dictator. ivan watson is in tunis. ivan, how many people actually went to the polls. when are we going to know the
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winner? >> reporter: erin, tunisia's top election commissioner called the turnout an historic vote and fabulous. he said that more than 80% of the 4 pngt 1 million voters who registered to vote showed up to cast their ballots. final results are expected to come out tuesday afternoon. though, so far, preliminary indicators suggest that a moderate islamist political party won first place, but not enough for a clear majority. it will have to form a coalition with at least one secular political party to form tunisia's first post dictatorial government. erin? >> thank you very much. now to texas. officials are trying to get a fire from a blown oil well under control. ed lavandera is in dallas. how long will it take to get the fire stopped? is it threatening homes nearby? >> reporter: there are some 500 to 600 homes in the area where the oil rig explosion happened but there are no evacuations under way at this point. all of this happened in milam county, texas which is just northeast of austin, texas. and they've been bringing in
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specialized crews to put out this fire. all of this happened over the weekend where these oil drilling crews got much more than what they bargained for as they were drilling for oil and special crews are being brought in and we're told it could take up to a week to put out this fire. erin? >> all right. thank you, ed. there are new developments in the case of missing baby lisa irwin tonight. 20 days after her parents say she disappeared in the middle of the night from her crib, a surveillance video from a bp gas station less than two miles from her home shows a person dressed in white. you can see there with the arrow. that kind of a blob there moving. walking away from a wooded area about two hours before lisa was reported missing. now police and the fbi are not commenting on the tape or the investigation but it does raise new questions. pat brown is a criminal profiler who has been following the case and is out front tonight. pat, thanks for being with us. when you look at that surveillance tape, what do you see? >> i see a guy going to take a leak in the woods.
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i'm sorry, erin, but that's all i see. we've got, this has probably absolutely nothing to do with baby lisa. i mean, could it be? absolutely and the police have to take that into account. you don't want to have tunnel vision but let's face it. what you're talking about that time of night near a gas station you got guys going out for cigarettes, guys picking up some food, guys getting some beer. >> okay. >> you know? >> true. and i appreciate the cynicism but there have been at least three witnesses who saw a man walking with a baby in the area that night. so does that, would that put any more weight on it? does that help at all if you're investigating the case? >> well, again, you have to take it into consideration but let's take a look at what we're really looking at. there are three witnesses with two other supposed sightings. they need to be polygraphed because we don't know how accurate they are. two of them saw a guy with a baby. the guy at the gas station doesn't have a baby with him. either he dumped the baby at that point or he's not related. the two guys with the supposed baby are carrying along a baby with just diapers on.
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now deborah bradley says she put her child down dressed. no kidnapper goes into a house and undresses a child to carry it away. so if the police are actually taking this seriously the baby, one of those baby sightings with a man in a white shirt with a baby they might be looking at somebody taking away a dead baby so it doesn't mean that is a kidnapper. it may be somebody removing a body. so are the police looking at it? absolutely. but to get overly excited about this video at the gas station i think is kind of, you know, probably not that exciting. >> so family attorney cindy short spoke to cnn just a short while ago. had this to say about the investigation. here she is. >> this family has cooperated in every way they possibly could cooperate. i think we have calculated that over time she has actually spent approximately 40 hours talking with investigators. >> all right. that may be true but obviously there's been questions about the family's cooperation. let me just ask you this. the cadaver dog smelling the scent of a decaying body in the
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mother's bedroom. we haven't heard much more about that. i guess that could have been left by a diaper. >> no. i mean, this is something again the defense attorneys are pointing out there's ten different things especially this diaper that's being left. this is a decaying body the dog is looking for, not a diaper with some -- that a baby was wearing. just think about this. if that were true that the dog is finding diapers, why is the dog only finding the diaper by the bed? i mean, in all of those ten months, did deborah bradley only change the baby's diaper on the floor by the bed? did she have that child stapled down by the bed? i don't think so. the dog should be hitting the house finding all kind of diaper areas. that's absolutely ridiculous. the dog is specifically looking for decomposition of a human body, and that's why the police are taking this very seriously. >> all right. well a lot of people very curious to see what happens. obviously, the outcome is obviously not looking very good
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in terms of whether the baby is still alive. thank you. >> thanks, erin. we have a very special guest coming up. this is somebody who claims to have all the answers to solve the crisis in washington. >> i'm just going to fix washington. don't change the channel. amateur from a mile away... while going shoeless and metal-free in seconds. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle...and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price. now this...will work. [ male announcer ] just like you, business pro. just like you. go national. go like a pro.
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and now elmo time. we love elmo even though his
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voice, you know, i love it for a certain amount of time. elmo is a sensation that's changed kids' lives for 26 years. now there's a new documentary, being elmo: a puppeteer's journey. the film traces the story of kevin clash, the puppeteer who truly is elmo. >> elmo! >> he's been so unbelievably huge. >> hi, everybody! >> well, elmo is huge and the man behind him amazing. the film's already won the special jury prize at sundance, five other awards as well. i spoke to kevin clash earlier and asked him what makes elmo so beloved. >> well, mainly for kids, it's a mirror image. i mean, elmo is laughter and love and just wanting a hug and kiss and be validated. that's what kids are like, you know, so his age group, almost
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3 1/2. so the kids that watch him, they can definitely gravitate to him and connect with him because he's them. >> in all his -- >> and also adults, they watch the show. they grew up watching the show. >> yeah. >> and they turn into a 3 1/2 or 4-year-old when they're talking to elmo also. >> that's true. he's been around since 1985 is his born date. >> 1985, '86, yeah. >> you were saying that you like the elmos to be the well liked people that they are. that means a little grungy and ragged y. >> when first built, they look like dolls. when i get a new elmo, i take him out to schools and travel around so they can get all of that love from the kids on them and make the fur a little more rattier. >> you were 9, right, you knew you wanted to be a puppeteer?
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>> ways 9 and 10 and watching kukla fran and olly and not only enjoying the show but wanting to see how the muppets were built. >> here's something from the movie when i guess you had your first inspirations with your dad. here it is. >> i saw my dad's trenchcoat inside there was this black fur. i thought, wow, that would make a great monkey. i cut it up and i made this puppet called mondy. i put the puppet in my mom and dad's dresser. >> and did they say, our child is a prodigy or did they say you just cut up your dad's coat? >> listen, i'm here. i lived to tell the tale. no, he actually, he got it. he asked me to come to him. i came to him shaking like a leaf. and he said, what's his name? and i said, mondy. and he said, next time ask. >> all right. well, kevin, thank you very much. now we're going to bring in.
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>> lord stewart. >> the hairy guy. >> he would be really mad if you didn't. >> we're not going to exclude him. guess who is here, the monster himself. hey, elmo. >> hello. how are you? >> well, i'm good. your hair and makeup look very nice. >> well, thank you. elmo doesn't have hair. elmo has fur. >> fur. nice soft fur. elmo, why do you think that everybody likes you so much? >> because elmo loves them too. >> is that why? >> yeah. >> i can see that. you like little kids? >> elmo loves everybody. >> big kids, grown-ups? >> elmo's so happy to see you too. >> i can't believe i'm meeting you. i'm a little intimidated by you. >> intimidated? that's a big word. elmo doesn't know what that means. >> hey, elmo, because everyone loves you so much and you're on a show a lot of people watching a news show right now. >> i'm not on a show. i live on "sesame street." >> you can solve a problem right now? >> really? how? >> in washington everybody hates each other.
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it is hurting america. how do you fix it? >> play dates. >> play dates? >> yeah. everybody has play dates. >> like put a republican and democrat play dates? >> play dates. and everybody brings their own food. >> okay, yeah. >> and they have to share and they have to sing songs. >> i think that might solve it. better than anything we've tried so far, elmo. well, elmo, it's really nice to meet you. thank you so much for coming on. >> nice to meet you, too. you need to come to "sesame street." >> can you shake my hand? >> no, but i can kiss it. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> do you ever get sick of it? >> no, because what's so wonderful about "sesame street" is we go with whatever's happening in that year. everything is always topical on "sesame street." when "desperate housewives request" came out, we did desperate houseplants. we do spoofs. we bring on the musical artists

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