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tv   Starting Point  CNN  February 14, 2012 7:00am-9:00am EST

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guy. went from the brench to the top of the nba. will cain is laughing because i don't usually get to cover sports. my strength, my forte. but jeremy lynne, the question today is is he getting all the buzz because he schooled kobe, yes, or because he is asian? we're going to talk about that this morning. "starting point" begins right now. welcome, welcome. your listening to music from jac jacob's play list. we love you. anything whitney houston, this is whitney houston's "love will save the day." i'm going to introduce the rest of the panel. will cain is back. where were you? >> i come when you ask. >> you lie. you lie. >> you act like i've been holding out on you. >> we love having you. thank you for much for being was. and joe bebe is back, contributinged for for "rolling stone." let's get right to it this mo
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morni morning. the investigation into whitney houston's death, her body is back in new jersey. they are refusing to say whether or not she drowned. they're waiting for the toxicology reports. in past cases, we know it could take weeks or weeks. he also won't comment on whether alcohol or drugs may have played a role in her death. >> look at a body and not know what the cause of death is. you might have a suspicion, but the person could have suffered a heart attack or an embolism or something. and no matter what medications they're taking, until we run a toxin and see the level and see what's in the system, we're not going to speculate. >> he's been on tv a lot saying a lot of nothing lately. how come it takes eight weeks to do a toxicology report? >> this is typical. let's be honest. we're talking at many, many tests. you know, initial reports say i -- >> right, but eight weeks? >> they don't want to get it wrong. and goodness knows we need to be careful here. we don't know exactly what happened. what i like is when he gets up
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there and says if you're wondering, if there was an embolism or a heart attack, immediately now i'm wondering about that. that's what i think may have -- >> he's very -- >> not as if it's weapons of mass destruction. it is a sad, horrible death, but it is a celebrity story. i mean, you know, they have to take their time and do it right. >> we should mention, i haven't officially introduced you. i introduced the song. senior writer with "newsweek" and also qutd the daily beast." it's nice to have you talking about this. it's been interesting to compare and contrast the different versions of whitney houston's last days with people who knew her very, very well. chaka khan and kelly -- she used to be a backup singer with chaka khan. she used to be a backup singer with kelly price. here's what they had to say last night. >> i was coming through a city like l.a. we made specific plans. i come in day -- night before, the day of performance. especially if you're still -- if you're not -- you've gone into
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proper treatment and gotten really handled, gotten your situation handled, yeah, that was the first big mistake, for her to come in an entire week before her performance at the party. >> she was not high. i'm a girl that grew up in the projects in new york city. i know high when i see it. she was not high. >> i stand on that whoever flew her out to perform at that party should have provided someone to be there, to somehow look -- just keep the riffraff out of the situation. just keep some of the dangerous people away. >> i saw her with a couple of glasses of champagne. and our interactions were normal. there was nothing that seemed that it was over the top. she didn't seem to be intoxicated to me. >> i thought was amazing last night when she was talking to piers morgan. this is a woman who knows what she's talking about. any concert she goes to and stands up and talks about songs
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she's written and can't remember them because she was high. yeah, i wrote that. i can't tell you the story behind it because i was high when i wrote that song. she's constantly talking about her drug use. interesting perspective that differs from kelly price's because the riffraff thing, seems like it was more prescription drugs at this point, we don't know, than riff rap, random people sellingi her drugs. >> i think there's a loft minimizing going on and a lot of people pretending that nothing was quite wrong. all of these comeback albums that seemed -- you know, she would go on tv and she was probably sober for a few weeks before she went on, but we heard this overwhelmingly from people who worked with her that, you know, on the 2002 album she wasn't sober when she went into that diane sawyer interview and i don't even think she was really sober when she did "i look to you" in 2009. >> where does the investigation go now? if you're talking about drugs now, and again, the coroner has said a lot about nothing at this point but reports there was valium in the room, xanax,
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lorazepam, midol. >> prescription drugs can be abus abused. >> i can answer that. >> these are extremely powerful drugs found there. xanax is an extremely powerful drug. it's an anxiety drug. it's easy to abuse. and it's bad to mix with alcohol. when you listen to kelly price, if you examine all of her statements what she initially said was whitney was sober, yeah, she had a little champagne. that's the question now. were the people around her as jacob were saying, enablers or like chaka khan, people who have been through this, recovered from those, there is not such a thing as a little champagne if you're struggling with addiction. >> other people say whitney houston was a person that could clean up very well. she could make a comeback and make a comeback and look amazing. there are reports that her body was flown from california to new jersey on tyler perry's plane. i hadn't seen that confirmed
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anywhere yet. what happens now in terms of funeral and memorial service, do you know? >> apparently a giant thing at the prudential center. over 10,000 fans will be allowed in. and i don't know how she would have felt about it. i mean, she was so uneasy with her celebrity in a lot of ways. for a person who is one of the biggest stars of the era, she -- she was -- she was not warm and fuzzy about her celebrity, though she was -- she seemed like she was our princess. she wasn't. and she had a hard time with what she was marketed as. >> she did an interview with katie couric when she was talking about some of her critics the, which i thought it was interesting. 1996. i think we have a clip of it. could we play that, guys? it was full screen. i know katie well so i think i can do a dramatic representation of katie couric. she said, talking about her critics. you're not black enough for them. you're not r&b enough. you're not pop. the white audience has taken you away from them.
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is this the issue for a search for who you are in terms of credibility and there's search for who you are in her oprah interview -- >> obviously it was a real issue. the criticism got to her. at the start she participated in getting this massive, massive pop audience and bag crossover artist but the criticism was consistent right from the start. that she whiteney was one of the names thrown at her. >> i did not know that. >> did you know that? >> i had no idea. but the criticism also goes from people like j.lo. she's not latina enough. a lot of minority stars fall into that trap. >> crossover, bigger audience and yet at the same time -- >> they're turning their back on their community. >> you have a lot of issue, when you listen to her oprah winfrey interview which i think was a fascinating interview she was really ambivalent about the fame part of success. you know, like couldn't be normal anymore, you can't just go out to the grocery store anymore. everybody is watching every single thing you do. >> and almost the entire family
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was financially dependent on her. >> not unusual. >> two brothers who one of whom was a backup singer and another of whom who had -- was busted, you know, with cocaine in his car. and you know, dionne warwick has had a lot of problems herself despite being very successful. and i think it was -- she just had a lot of people in the payroll. and one thing we heard is that the reason she went on tour last year when she was really in no position to go on tour was the family needed money. you know, she didn't go broke from drugs. she went broke partly from having so many people on the sort of extended list that she was -- that she was helping. >> this is a very, very familiar story in the entertainment industry. you build an organization around you and you need to keep it running. >> right. right. so sad. we're going to keep talking obviously about whitney houston and the latest in the investigation and also the plans for the funeral and memorial service. later this morning we're going to talk to gloria estefan. in the '80s two of them were
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vying for the top spot. she has amazing memories of whitney houston. she's going to join us as well. other stories making news today. good moshing. >> good morning. can't wait for that gloria e estefan interview. government forces bombarding the city of homs again this morning. witnesses say it's the heaviest shelling this week with six deaths reported so far today. 30 civilians were killed yesterday. arwa damon has been able to cross into syria but we're not disclosing her location for safety reasons. she says the situation is rapidly deteriorating. >> reporter: the area where's the government crack down is at i its worst, people say there are snipers positioned on every single street, corner, you can hardly cross a marry thorough fair without coming across government snipers. then, of course, there are all of the tanks at the government checkpoints. it's an incredibly intense situation here. it's also incredibly emotional.
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anger is running at an all-time high, as is frustration and desperation. in washington, an about face by house republicans. they've now agreed to extend the payroll tax cut without demanding spending cuts to offset the $100 billion estimated cost. a vote could take place this week. house speaker john boehner says other costly measures like renewing jobless benefit, for example, those will have to be paid for before they can be passed. rick santorum surging ahead of mitt romney by six points in michigan. that's the latest american research group poll. that has romney's super pac spending extra half a million dollars on ads in washington where romney was born, by the way, in michigan, rather, to try to avoid a loss. conservative republican national review is calling on newt gingrich to drop out of the gop race. the editors there say they want to see a romney/santorum contest. moody's is threatening to cut the aaa ratings of britain,
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france, and austria. they downgrading six other european nations including spain, italy, and for chew gal. mod difficult's is worried about the ability to enact the necessary reforms it needs to look at the debt crisis. stock futures and the u.s. trading up right now. that follows european markets up. markets getting a boost over night with positive. and the german economy, largest single economy in europe. markets are volatile right now. all the uncertainty in the eu. we'll see what happens as we get closer to the opening bell. also, check out tef lugs of the drive-thru at this ski resort in squaw valley, california. they just opened a starbucks ski-through at 8,000 feet. it's exactly what it sounds like. you just ski up to the window. you order a piping hot caramel macchiato and no need to take the skis off. >> great idea if i could ski because i tore it my knee last year. why take the effort to get in your car and drive.
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i love it. with our panel again, talking jeremy lin. new york nick. first u.s. born nba player of asian decent who is performing. and a lot of people coming down on him. have you heard these? floyd mayweather who is never all that ever, he tweeted this. jeremy lin is a good player. oh, really? but all the hype because he's asian. black player s do what he does every night and don't get the same praise. that's just not true. >> i don't actually think black players school kobe every single night. i don't think that happens every night. >> he is a harvard grad. i love him for that. very rare that harvard people go off to the nba. handful or maybe just a couple. great tweets about this, spike lee, if you follow him on twitter has been running a contest to see how you can use lin's name. he's having people submit sentences like he's school-lin,
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ball-lin. i love it. here's stephan colbert talking about jeremy lin. >> folks, there is a name for what we're all feeling. >> lin-sanity can't. >> it becomes lin-sanofi in new york. >> basketball fans have a raging case of linsan any ty. >> yes, i've had a raging case of linsanity. i've been called legally linsane. my symptoms, linsome nialinsomn. and folks, it's an exciting time. fans have not come down with a basketball born disease this intense since the mid '70s outbreak of kareem abdul jabot chew lymph. >> it's been interesting to hear lin himself talk about kind of the racism and discrimination he's experienced along the way. back in 2008 he said there is a
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sport for white and black players. sorry, 2008. i hear everything go back to china. other side of campus, open up your eyes. >> i can't -- look, race may have something to do with the story. the smallest piece of the pie in the story. this guy's story, i'm a huge fan of dallas mavmavericks. his story is the guy that's been cut by three teams who came from the end of the bench, who was a couple days away from being cut by the knicks and now he is this out of nowhere superstar. that, by the way, is taking place in new york. >> and by the way, the knicks really need him desperately. >> that's the story. >> i think the criticism of him has been race based, has been, you know, often people tweet things around the fact that he's asian. and it's unusual in the nba but also particularly, i think, cruel and discriminatory. really, who cares. the guy is helping the knicks.
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>> jeremy lin is going to be fine. he's not the first asian-american player. yao ming came before he did. we're going to move on. ahead this morning on "starting point," president obama is meeting china's next possibly leader. the author of the book "the coming collapse of china" is going to talk to us about why he thinks the u.s. still holds the cards of this meeting. censoring teachers. there is a bill in this state that would bleep them like they're on tv. this is odd. our "get real" this morning, my favorite story of the day. an epic coaching rant and it's been caught on tape which is why we like talking about it this morning. high school cheerleading coach goes completely sylvester on her squad. nuts. we're going to play it for you straight ahead. i'm good about washing my face.
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aw, you know, sucking up to the host is such a good idea. i want to point out that i fully support that and i feel like the three of you have done nothing on that front for me. >> you look wonderful this morning. >> thank you. thank you. thank you, sir. appreciate it. let's talk about china this morning. president obama is set to meet with chinese vice president his name is xi jinping. xi arrived yesterday, expected to become china's head of state sometime next year. ahead of his visit china's vice foreign minister says the two countries have a trust deficit which is never a good thing. gordon is a columnist and author of the book called "the coming collapse of china" which goes against what i think many people have been saying about how we think about china. first, let's talk a little bit about this i visit. trust deficit is never a good way to go into a meeting. what is at stake here? >> i think there are so many issues that the united states has with china and china have with us. so all of these things are going to be discussed from iran to
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trade to north korea. you name it. you know, there's not an issue in the world today that doesn't affect china and doesn't affect us. >> there's a lot that's known about xi, partly because of wickly leaks some of that was release and partly because he has a daughter who is a an undergraduate at harvard. tell us more about him. >> he's a prince-ling. a guerrilla leader before that. so essentially he's the number sixth ranked member on the standing committee which is top of the chinese political system. he's a hard liner. he's not shy of saying things that other chinese leaders won't talk about. for instance, a couple years ago in mexico he criticized foreigners up and down. it's a pretty tough words. you normally don't hear that from chinese leaders. he's confident enough to be able to do that. >> people have said this is a get to know you trip, which of course it is. you don't do a get to know you
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trip with the president. what is the agenda of this trip? >> well, for him, for xi jinping it's not to make a mistake. the reason is his whole path to power is not so clear as it was two weeks ago. >> what happened? >> about a week ago there was an extraordinary series of events. while we were watching the super bowl, mid-level chinese official tried to defect to a u.s. consulate in western china. one provincial leader invaded another province with hundreds of armed security troops to prevent all of this from going on. essentially, many people say that this was engineered by hu jintao, the senior leader of china, to sort of attack one of the allies of xi jinping. that means that xi jinping while he looked 100% a couple weeks ago now looks only 80% in terms of being able to get to the path of being the leader of china. >> so he is pro-western. how is that going to play -- you don't think so? unfair characteristic? >> i don't think so.
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>> when you read his quotes from iowa he speaks very much with great affection for the united states. >> well, you know hrks we may have affection for the united states but every communist leader has institutional constraints which he acts under. and right now the hard liners dominate in beijing and if xi jinping wants to be the next general party secretary, top of the political food chain in china, he's got to be a hard liner. the military has become more independent, becoming more hostile. xi jinping's power base is the military so that really is the problem for us. >> the role of china, every single candidate at some point is -- even the president as well, talking about china. how is that a tricky situation, certainly while you had the visitor here? >> well, there's a lot of political constituenties in the united states and a lot of people want a hard one in china and some want a soft one. we sell stuff in china. when you look at labor to business and to all different group, trying to coordinate that
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is difficult. some people go hard line like romney, others go soft line. but the problem is that you just don't know where the political center of the united states is on china. >> everybody is watching it very closely to see on all sides what exactly happens here. gordon chang, nice to have you. senator is going to join us talking about the obama budget. look at his plan for his budget. we'll talk about thanchts plus "get real," epic rant from high school cheerleading coach. she calls her team the high heifers. we'll tell you what happened after that as "starting point" continues. ♪[music plays]
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♪ you have specifically made fun of leonard cohen and how slow it is? >> you're about to get yourself banished off -- i did. really, will cain does -- because i love him. i love him so i make fun of his musical tastes. sometimes they're really bad. but joe levy is a guest in our house today so it is a little slow. you may want to work on that. >> i think people need to ease into the day. >> no. >> ease. >> no. they don't. moving on. this is my favorite story of the morning. we have heard some of the legendary koempi icoaching rant day. often nfl coaches are screaming at their grown male players. not in this case. this issed that of a high school cheerleading squad. she's talking to teenage girls, probably haven't heard something like this unless you're sue
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sylvester from "glee." listen. >> what would possess a person your age to get a boob job in you don't even know what your body is going to look like. it's an insult to nature and completely distracting. i can't take my eyes off them. i'm actually talking to them right now. oh, boobs mcgee, you're demoted to the bottom of the pyramid so when it collapsing your exploding job will protect them from injury. >> the woman, and we're going to tell you about is sort of the real sue sylvester which if you're a coach is a bad, bad thing. this is from tv station kprc outside of houston. took place at the cypress woods high school cheerleader encouraged by her dad. coach went nuts on the team. here is what she said. y'all don't have a mortgage. you get away with crap. who do you think you are? hiaifighfalutin heifers?
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you can just come and go as you please. fire me! >> the tender young delicate ladies in your care. there was an 11th grader who recorded what she said. that 11th grader, i think she got detention for a couple of days because you're not allowed to record your teachers. where did the mortgage thing come from? >> she's invested in this cheerleader squad. personally i don't see why she was fired. >> verbal abuse. teachers are over worked, underpaid, frustrated but she knew better. >> this is no surprise. from texas. >> you're from texas, you know high school football is a rae religion there. coaches act this way. cheerleading is serious business. we look at it as though it's fun and games. but they -- >> it is verbal abuse, bottom line. >> i'm not saying it isn't. but it's going to part of high school coaching. >> lighten up.
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>> she said, i love this story because it's like who calls their cheerleading squad highfalutin haeifers. bring it on. we're talking this morning about tensions between israel and iran this morning. latest round of finger pointing over what israel says are plonted bombs. they say planted by iran. exclusive details about the death of whitney houston. we spoke to a friend who says she was on the right path right before she died. plus, teachers forced to follow fcc rules, no cursing or you'll get a fine. straight ahead on "starting point." stay with us. [ female announcer ] fashion or food, it's all about taste.
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♪ all right. senator pat toome, that's thealman brothers.
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first, though, we've got to look at new details about whitney houston's final days. family friend says she was taking various medication for anxiety and sleep and throat infection and was taking medication for that. that friend insists though that houston was no longer an addict and not doing any hard drugs. houston told her friend just weeks before her death that she was at a comfortable place in her life. deb feyerick spoke with that friend. she joins us from newark with more about the details of the death and the funeral arrangements and how the family is coping. deb, first of all, update us on what happens next in terms of arrangements for the body. >> reporter: well, the body is here at the funeral home. it arrived late last night. whitney houston's mother cissy houston, gospel legend, here with cousin dionne warwick. family stayed until about 2:00 in the morning, actually. and i'm told that cissy houston is, while she's overwhelmed, she's very strong throughout this process.
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this is a very religious family. and the friend tells me that her faith is going to get her through there. also, bobbi kristina, whitney houston's daughter, is in new jersey. we are told that bobby brown, also in new jersey, though it's not clear whether they're at the grandmother's or at bobby brown's home. there's a lot of talk, as you mentioned, soledad, about potential drug abuse, about her past addictions. and this friend tells me, no, it's not the case. that she was, quote, unquote, clean from using cocaine and marijuana. though she did have an occasional drink and she was taking xanax for anxiety and sleeplessness along with medication for a sore throat infection. take a listen. >> i know for a fact that she wasn't on anything hard. she had gave that life up. she had let it go. and we were proud of her. we are proud of her.
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she was back on top. and i quote her in saying, i'm in a good place, i'm where i want to be. and she was. she was at a good place. she was where she wanted to be. she was drug free, as far as the hard drugs are concerned. but she did have things that us as humans go through. we have sleep anxiety, we have sore throats, and there was medication to cover that. >> reporter: and right now we are being told that the funeral is likely to take place on the friday and that there will be some sort of memorial service at the church where whitney houston sang as part of the junior choir where she really found her voice. and where her mom was the choir director for more than 50 years. and very religious family, relying on faith. one of the reasons that whitney houston may have been more at a comfortable place now, according to friends shr, she had found h
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way back to god, something she had lost while trying to go through and trying to overcome that addiction. >> heart breaks for those family members now dealing with the aftermath of this. thanks, deb, for that update. other stories making news. christine has those for us. good morning. i don't hear you, christine. i'm going to stop you dl. can you hear me? i'm trying to figure out our technical difficulties. sure. i'm going to do the news. you let me know when your like is ready and you hop in and take it back. >> here we go. >> she was starting with fingerprints between iran and israel. israel blaming iran for the bombing of two embassy vehicles. four people were hurt when a detonation device went off in a van in india. another bomb went off in a car in georgia. one person was hurt there. iran blaming israel for both incidents. accuses iran of bombing the own vehicles for tarnishing ties with india and jordan. radical islamic cleric released from jail in the united
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kingdom. they say he conspired with terrorists and was an inspiration for one of the 9/11 hijackers. he had been in jail since 2005. immigration court says the british court could not justify his continued detention. he's released on bail while the british government works to have him deported back to his home country of jordan. christine, i think your mike is ready. >> i'm ready. >> pick it up. >> team work, my friend. all right. a.m. house call, a breakthrough that could help heart attack victims recover faster. scientists at cedar cyanide center in l.a. and johns hopkins university in baltimore say they have successfully used a patient's own heart stem cells to regrow new heart tissue and help undo the damage caused by their heart attacks. doctors report that this stem cell therapy cut the amount of scar tissue in half in safety trials. there was also an unprecedented increase in new heart muscle. amazing. arizona teachers watch your language. republican lawmakers in the state are working to pass a bill banning teachers from using
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words the fcc has deemed too hot for tv or radio. the bill is in response to complaints of teachers in high schools using four-letter words in front of students. proposed penalties range from a one-week suspension for a first offense to being fired for a third offense. kate up on the, your "sports illustrated" swimsuit edition cover girl. there she is. the magazine hits newsstands and iphones and ipads today. new app gives them a 360-degree view of the girls. elite cover girls which inlewd katly ireland, cheryl tiegs, tyra banks, and brooklyn decker. 360 degrees. >> how is that sports? seriously. like how is that sports? by the way, rocking bodies. i fully support that. but how is that sport? >> it's very competitive. >> it's very irrelevant. >> it's not about sports and you don't care. thank you, christine. appreciate the update. president obama hitting the
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road to talk about his newly released budget proposal. he spoke to students at a community college in virginia trying to sell the plan directly to voters. here's what he said. >> i'm proposing some difficult cuts that frankly i wouldn't normally make if they weren't absolutely necessary. but they are. >> the plan includes tax hikes on the wealthiest americans and targeted investments including $476 billion for infrastructure upgrades over six years. $350 billion for job creation, $30 billion to hire teachers and police and firefighters. $30 billion to modernize schools, and $2.2 billion on rnd for advanced manufacturing. talking about the budget with me this morning is republican senator pat tommey of the great state of pennsylvania and joined on the budget and economic committees and served on the debt super committee. nice to have you. thanks for talking with us. >> good morning. >> you said about the president's budget, it doesn't go after the deficit, it doesn't go after entitlements. let's talk about both of those things. first, entitlements.
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what entitlements would you cut? >> let's look at what the president himself has said. he has said that the long-term driver of our deficits and ore debt are unsustainable budget picture is mandatory health care spending. it's the big health care programs. the president knows that. and yet he gives us a budget in which spending grows, taxes are higher, spends even more than the tax increases and gives us a bigger deficit than we had last year and no reforms at all on the fundamental driver of these programs. so i think that's a tremendoused a have indication of leadership. we need to restructure the design of the big health care programs. medicare and medicaid for younger workers so when they retire it will be there for them. we're on a bath right now where it will not survive. >> let's take a look at your plan for cutting the budget. here's -- there's an analysis and i know you know this, at the center on budget and policy priorities. it's a nonbipartisan organization. here's what you propose. tax cuts for the wealthy. for people who are making under
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$200,000, taxes would raise -- would rise. you would limit the child credit. you would limit -- >> wait a minute. i got to stop because that's factually rid clousz. >> really? >> yes. factually wrong and ridiculous and not close. >> what part about it? >> raising taxes on people whose income is lower than $200,000. why said is we should make the current tax rates permanent. what i prefer to do, that's at a minimum, like what i propose in the super committee, a process by which we would simplify the tax code, get rid of some of the deductions and loopholes and credits and broad den the base by which we apply taxes and lower rates for everybody. >> some of them would be, for example, the mortgage interest deduction, you want to get rid of that or limit that, right? and the child credit, true? >> they might be. here's my suggestion. you know, marty feltseen, an economist, came up with a a creative and i think elegant way to deal with the fact that me with all of these huge
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deductions that force us to have high marginal rates. his suggestion is put all of the itemized deduction into a basket and limit the total value of that basket. doesn't mean you have to eliminate any one of those items but you couldn't have all of them. >> but there are people -- the advantage is you could lower marginal rates accordingly. >> there are people who look at what you have proposed and let's focus on the two we're not arguing over. the child credit and the mortgage interest deduction and you had said earlier medicaid and medicare, right, all of those, and there are people who look at that which is what you're proposing and say, so that's bad for the middle class. those are all deductions that middle class people rely on and wealthy people don't really rely on. >> let's remember the middle class pays a marginal tax rate on their income. and what i said is if we diminish the value of deductions want to lower that rate as well. the middle class would be paying a lower marginal rate. as far as medicare goes, the president acknowledged it's not sustainable in its current form. i'm not talking about pulling the rug out from under anybody
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who is on medicare now or about to go on medicare. but somebody my age who is 50 years old or someone in their 40s, we've got to make some changes. i think wealthy people are going to have to pay more, frankly, for this benefit. i just don't think it makes sense to continue this universal entitlement that's growing faster than our economy can possibly grow. >> let me ask you about the super committee. when you served on the super committee and it failed to reach an agreement you said this is a quote, the president actsively made our job more difficult. the president in turn said about republicans, republicans refuse to listen to the voices of reason. that's a quote there. so as, you know, i'm just a voter, just a regular old voter and i look at those congressional approval numbers and i think, wow, these people just cannot get anything done, even in the most important issue, the super committee cannot get something done. how do you fix that? >> you know, it's very, very frustrating. what i tried to do is offer a proposal that was outside of my comfort zone, something that met the demands of the other side.
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i offered tax reform that generated new revenue. they said they had to have revenue. i said, okay, we really need to change the architecture of the big entitlement programs, but since you guys aren't willing to do it, can you at least agree on some of the very minor tweaks along the edges that will save some money? that was a proposal that got some initial traction but then, frankly, the most liberal wing of the democratic party rebelled against it and we were unable to make it in congress and i wish we had. >> sounds like you're saying there's no hope because it becomes a political thing. it's not about trying to trick the budget, it's about, listen, we're not going to bracelet you do what you want to do, because we know you're not going to let us do what we're want to do so we're going to have a giant stalemate and too bad for the voters. >> this is some of what we offered the democrats to do in order to reach an agreement and they weren't willing to meet us halfway. that makes it pretty hard to get a deal done. i think ultimately it takes presidential leadership and unfortunately in this budget we're not seeing it.
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>> interesting. thank you, sir, for your time. appreciate it. still ahead this morning going to talk to a key democrat on the budget committee. we'll talk about senator toomey's comments. "starting point" is back in just a moment. stay with us.oa ? because there are mountains to climb. ♪ dreams to be realized. ♪ new worlds to be explored and hearts to be won. quaker oats. energy to get you going, fiber to help fill you up and help keep your heart healthy. super people eat super grains. hey, it's sandra -- from accounting. peter. i can see that you're busy... but you were gonna help us crunch the numbers for accounts receivable today. i mean i know that this is important. well, both are important. let's be clear. they are but this is important too.
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welcome back to "starting point," everybody. new polls out. they could be game changers. the polls confirm what we have been calling the rick santorum surge and it paints a very difficult picture for mitt romney. going to get to those numbers in just a moment. first though we want to bring in a former adviser to mitt romney. brett o'donnell is the president of o'donnell associates. he advised mitt romney on debates and then something happened. first, nice to see you, sir. thanks for being with us. we appreciate your time. >> you're very welcome. great to be with you. >> thank you. let's talk about the article in the "new york times" that was really talked about how mitt romney was able to turn around what was really a challenging time by success in a debate. and you, to a large degree, were responsible for some of that success. you were coaching him in the debate. and then kind of you were booted off the committee that was sort of helping mitt romney.
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what happened? >> well, i'm not really going to talk about what happened either behind the scene or what we do. i mean, i think at the end of the day what people have to remember is they have -- candidates have advisers but it's the candidate who has to it's the candidate that has to go debate, give the speech, do the media interview and governor romney's a great candidate. he did a great job in the last two debates in florida and i expect that he'll do very well moving forward. >> huh. i find it so interesting when people say i'm not really going to talk about that, but i guess people can read through the lines, into the lines, whatever they want. let's talk about some of the polls. you say mitt romney is a great candidate. the polls would not necessarily agree with you at this moment. we have rick santorum up two points in a national poll. he's leading 30% to mitt romney's 28%. then if you look at a poll that focused specifically on the state of michigan, american research group poll, he's up by six points there. so let's say you were brought
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back in right now to advise the romney campaign, what would you be telling them? >> well, i mean, i would be telling them to keep running their race. you know, what we've seen over the course of this campaign is that governor romney's been pretty steady in his support and that he has been very steady in running his race. if he panicking at this point or tries to shift strategy dramatically, i think he keeps doing what he's been doing trying to get his message out. and watch the other candidates go up and down. i think this race has been about winners winning and governor -- senator santorum absolutely did a great job last week winning three primaries, a couple caucuses. i think that gave him some momentum. governor romney won maine. it remains to be seen how that will carry over. in this race almost, you know, nothing has carried over for very long. >> that might be the understatement of this political season, that nothing has carried over. we could graph it out. it's been something like that.
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as you mentioned, governor romney won maine and won that cpac straw poll. next up you have arizona and michigan. what happens if he loses there? is this just big, giant stakes at this point? he's tripled his ad buy. is this sort of the moment to watch for? because you look at that poll, that's a problematic poll. >> well, you know, every time people have counted out governor romney he's come back and won. people that counted him out in florida after he lost south carolina, i actually think it made him a better candidate coming out of that loss in south carolina. and, you know, going into michigan i certainly wouldn't count him out. he has a large infrastructure. he's running lots of television. and don't forget there's arizona on the books as well that day. >> right. >> so, you know, i think voters will take a look at both races and we'll see what happens going into super tuesday. i think that's a game changer because super tuesday
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nationalizes the race. it remains to be seen whether or not either speccer gingrich or senator santorum can run a national race. >> the national review has called for newt gingrich to get out of the race. it's not clear whether gingrich remains in the race because he still believes he could become president next year or because he wants to avenge his wounded pride. do you think that that's true, that he should get out of the race at this point? >> well, i don't think anyone should tell a candidate when to get out of the race. i was the advisor, chief strategist to michele bachmann's campaign and i really strenuously objected when folks were calling for us to get out of the race before voters had even had a chance to vote. so, you know, i think that it's up to speaker gingrich when he gets out of the race. it's a matter of can he go on and should he go on. that's a judgment that he and his staff will reach and i don't think anyone should be calling for him to get out of the race, especially in this election where things have gone so up and down so fast. i mean, every time we count him out, he comes back.
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>> you just said that about mitt romney too. >> yeah. yeah. absolutely. i think that this is good for our party. it gets ideas flushed out. it puts things on the table that surely the obama folks already know. it's not like republicans are coming up with something new that the obama campaign didn't already know. it's good to get these things flushed out now and make a stronger candidate when we turn the corner toward the general election. >> brad o'donnell, will you be working with the romney campaign as he moves forward into more primaries maybe? >> who knows. we'll see. i remain open. i'm just excited to see what's happening in the race and we wish all of them well. >> that's a very political answer, sir. we wish everybody well. brett o'donnell, nice to talk to you again. always great to have him on, giving us the inside scoop on that. this morning heat on rupert murdock on the scandal at the sun. charges could be filed here. we'll talk to the man who wrote the book on the media mogul
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straight ahead. then are kids forced to literally pay cash for things like not looking their teacher in the eye? a chicago charter school under fire for fining children, many of them from low income homes, for those kinds of things. this is a little bit of a crazy news day story, isn't it? watching "starting point." got a short break. back in a moment. that right now, you want to know where you are, and where you'd like to be. we know you'd like to see the same information your advisor does so you can get a deeper understanding of what's going on with your portfolio. we know all this because we asked you, and what we heard helped us create pnc wealth insight, a smarter way to work with your pnc advisor, so you can make better decisions and live achievement.
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still ahead this morning on "starting point", a key democrat on the budget committee will explain why she thinks the president's budget plan is good for jobs. also, gloria he stephan knew whitney houston for years. we were going to talk to gloria anyway. we'll ask her. did you see nicki minaj at the grammys. what was that? >> little red riding hood. >> i think it's an understatement to say catholics were not happy about that. we'll talk about that straight
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-- captions by vitac -- good morning. welcome back, everybody. you're watching "starting point." this morning we're focused on syria and on the brink of a total war there. there's videotape of the shelling. cnn has made it inside the country. got a perspective you're not going to see anywhere else. plus, long-time competitors on the music charts. gloria estefan will join us to talk about whitney houston. the first time she heard that voice. she'll talk about some of the work she's doing anyway. then of course a tragedy struck and we'll ask her about whitney houston. mitt romney on the ropes. a former advisor talked about whether or not he's able to hold off a surging rick santorum. all of that is what we're talking about this morning on "starting point" which begins right now. ♪
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i like that. that's off will cain's play list. will, you are our most improved player today. brian adams, "new york, new york." i want to thank you for the chocolates and flowers. everybody, joe, i do appreciate the big gift you brought. nobody gave me anything today at all. >> that was a total lie. i was like, are we playing off this. >> i was mocking all of you for absolutely nothing today. we're talking this morning about the exact cause of whitney houston's death. it's not yet known. the coroner has held a number of press conferences but literally will not say anything specific. it seems that her life may have ended the way that many other americans have died. death from a prescription drug overdose is a definite possibility. it has more than tripled since 1990. ard coulding to the cdc 12 million people are taking prescription drugs for no medical reason at all. republican congresswoman is joining our panel this morning from washington, d.c. she's been holding promiscuous
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hearings on prescription drug abuse. this is near and dear to your heart, i know. talk to me about your personal attachment to this because i didn't realize that you had a son who really struggled with addiction issues. >> right. i actually have had multiple family members who have struggled with prescription drug issues. i've witnessed it. i've been through it. i've seen how devastating it can be. it is the fastest growing epidemic in neck right now is the prescription drug abuse epidemic. >> how difficult was it to be the mother in terms of sort of how society and people around you, were they helpful? did you get a lot of support? >> soledad, that's a great question. as a mother you think it's your fault. it only enables it, makes it worse. i used to feel sorry for myself that it was my son and it's so hard because as a mother you love your children so very much, but any family member who has a loved one who suggles with addiction can tell you it's equally as painful but i think
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no more so than ever when it's on children. i think that if parents are using, then children suffer the most. >> it's interesting to see the statistics. 7.7% of teenagers report using prescription medicine for non-medical purposes. more teens abuse prescription drugs than any other drug besides marijuana. apparently more than cocaine, hero win, met. is it they're getti ar that the from their parents? >> a lot of people think they get it from granny's medicine cabinet. this epidemic is well beyond getting it out of a family member's medicine cabinet. there are holes in the supply chain. there haes no doubt that people are pharmacy and doctor shopping. they're going from pharmacy to pharmacy to find a pharmacist who will fill a prescription. doctors necessarily aren't on top of it. one of the things that i'm promoting is prescriber awareness, that doctors need to become a little bit more trained and aware of the abuse
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prevalence of some of these very, very powerful narcotics. >> after whitney houston's death tony bennett got on stage at the very party she was supposed to appear and he called for the legalization of drugs. to me, i don't want to take you off topic, it seemed that he was missing -- that actually many of the people he was discussing really had prescription drugs in their past. it was more of a struggle with prescription drugs than, you know, going to the corner and dealing with a dealer on the corner. >> look, many of these prescription drugs are just almost heroin in a pill. they're legal. people are dying. currently today as we speak throughout the course of the day over 20 americans will die. actually, over 50 americans will probably die from some sort of overdose. if 50 dolphins washed up on the shore of america every day, there would be such outrabge an such a clamor for somebody to attack this problem head on and
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i think that's what we need to do. legalizing drugs is not the answer. >> how did your son beat it and what are you calling for in your legislation? >> you know, i have a number of items in the legislative form and some that are more conceptual, some are putting pressure on the dea and fda. in my son's case, he's not the only one in my family, but my son was very courageous. he got into rehab three times. he's working on his sobriety and his recovery. you know, addiction is a lifelong disease, much as is cancer. he will be battling that addiction for the rest of his life. he's very courageous for doing it. my hats off to anybody who's working on their sobriety. prescription drug abuse is the fastest rising epidemic and we need to go straight on at it. again, i have a prescriber education bill. i also have a bill that would limit access to oxycontin which is one of the most powerful narcotics on the market. originally it was approved by the fda for late and very severe cancer pain. over the course of time doctors started prescribing it for
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anything at all. >> what's this, oxycontin? >> oxycontin, yes. >> you know what, when i had dental surgery i got -- that's what i was given for dental surgery. >> soledad, there's another important point here. america right now is so overmedicated that in the past three drug take back days that the dea has had, they have taken back 995,000 pounds of unwanted pills. you have to ask why are 995,000 pounds of excess pills out in the market to begin with. >> mary bono mack joining us this morning. nice to see you. we appreciated last week as well. >> thank you. other stories making headlines this morning. christine romans has that. good morning. >> good morning, soledad. let's go first to syria on the verge of full-scale war. we're getting reports of relentless shelling and loud explosions in the syrian city of homs this morning. witnesses say it's the heaviest bombardment that they've seen all week with now nine deaths reported so far just today.
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cnn's arwa damon, she has crossed into syria. we're not disclosing her location for her own safety and the safety of her crew. she's reporting that the situation is rapidly deteriorating. >> reporter: in the areas where the government crackdown is at its worst people say that there are snipers positioned on every single street corner. you can hardly cross a main thoroughfare without coming across government snipers. that, of course, are all of the tanks and government checkpoints. it's an incredibly tense situation here and it's also incredibly emotional. anger is running at an all-time high as is frustration and desperation. >> anything pain walsh is live in beirut, lebanon. what's the latest at this deteriorating situation? >> reporter: i'll start in homs, particularly the area that's the focus of the shelling. we've seen 14 deaths reported so far today, ten of which in homs. i was speaking to an activist in
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baba ama earlier today and our conversation kept being interrupted by artillery rounds landing closer and closer to his home. let's hear what he had to say. >> they are shelling around us. there is no place here that is a safe house or shelter or basement. you have to be lucky to stay safe. >> reporter: now i'll point out this is apparently the worst shelling for five days inside home homs. he says they believe they're trying to terrify and punish the population rather than move in from that particular area from the north. i should also point out there is an operation ongoing in bara, a different part of the country where it appears troops are moving house to house making arrests. very troubling live stream of pictures from there. gunfire continually rings out across that particular neighborhood. certainly no let up at all in the violence today in syria.
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>> nick, another story you're following, the taliban and peace talks. they want to bypass the afghan government entirely and talk directly to the united states government. what can you tell us about that? >> reporter: absolutely completely switch sides to a different part of the world now, afghanistan. we've received an e-mail from the taliban in which they answered a number of questions we put some weeks ago to them. key to all of this is they're rejecting one of the major conditions the americans have put forward for a discussion to happen between the taliban and the afghan government about peace. the americans want this to be between afghans, afghan owned, afghan led is their own phrase. the taliban is clear to us. they think the president of afghanistan is a puppet government. they say the ones with the power in opposition are the americans and they want to talk directly to them. now that really upsets the apple cart that hillary clinton and everybody in the state department's been pushing now for weeks, months even to try to get this process underway.
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th they wanted the afghan government on board. they seemed upset they weren't involved. now they are on board. now we have another problem with the taliban saying they don't actually want to talk to the afghans, they want to talk to the americans instead. they have the military, they have the cash. this process, flakey as it was in the beginning, is looking even shakier with this particular statement. >> thank you for the latest on two very, very important stories. meantime moody's has downgraded the credit of three nation, spain, italy and portugal. it's threatening to cut the aaa ratings of bring the tan, france, and austria. they are worried about peacing the necessary rereforms to fix the debt crisis. if you look at the biggest issue in this race is about liberty. that's presidential hopeful rick santorum getting interrupted by occupy protesters in a speech in tacoma, washington. three demonstrators were
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arrested. afterward, the former senator said it is true intolerance. a network of charter schools coming under fire for charging students $5 for minor disciplinary infraction. that includes things like untied shoelaces, napping in classes, not meeting a teacher's gaze. some parents are outraged. they say the fines are a tax on low income families. the school system says it helps promote a culture of safety inside that school. soledad? >> so that makes no sense at all. what it does do is it fines people who can't afford the fine. i think making sure the kids have their shoelaces tied is a good idea. i want my kids to learn that. there's no way to fine the kids. they don't have a job. >> i know. >> if their parents are economically challenged, i mean, doesn't that seem like going out and doing the -- >> glapi iclapping the erasers? >> i think that ran out of gas 30 years ago. >> went to tablets.
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we're back to talking about the budget. in the last hour we heard from pat toomey. he says the amount of money in spending in that plan is alarming. here's what he told me. >> let's look at what the president himself has said. he has said that the long-term driver of our deficits and debt are completely unsustainable budget picture is mandatory health care spending. the president knows that and yet he gives us a budget in which spending grows, taxes are higher, he spends even more than the tax increases and gives us a bigger deficit than we had last year and no reforms at all on the fundamental driver of these programs. >> democratic congresswoman agaqwen moore is joining us. you heard what the senator just said. mandatory health care spending. the president knows that and still delivers a budget that actually doesn't tackle any of the problems that exist right now. what do you make of that
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criticism? >> well, just let me say good morning, soledad. happy valentine's day. >> thank you. you'd be the only person who has said that so far to me today, ma'am. go ahead. >> you know, i think that the republicans have made it really clear that they want to end the so-called social safety net from cradle to grave. that would be anything from wic, medicaid to social security and medicare for the so-called opportunity society where you're sort of on your own, where you give all the money 1209 so-called job creators and hope that it trickles down. i think that the president's budget really tries to shift us from the speculation and wall street to a budget that focuses on innovation, creating new energy products, invests in
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manufacturing. >> but all of those things at the end of the day -- >> that i live in. >> all of those things at the end of the day, what senator toomey was saying, we cannot afford it. we cannot afford health care proposals that are on the table as they stand right now. we just cannot as a country afford that. >> well, soledad, let me say this. health care costs are rising, and not just medicare and medicaid, but health care in general, and that is part of what the affordable care act tried to rein in those costs. in fact, in this budget the president does provide savings within medicaid, medicare at the tune of $360 billion so it's not true that there aren't some changes and some cost efficiencies realized in medicare and medicaid. the point is -- >> i'm sorry. go ahead. >> it's impossible to -- i have a bill, for example, for changes in social security, but it's impossible to negotiate with a side who is bent on sort of
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changing these programs and destroying them as we know it. >> senator toomey would say the same. he said basically the same thing. the other side's not going to meet us halfway. you democrats being the other side. as a voter, just a regular old voter at home, when i hear both sides telling me the other side is not going to meet them halfway i look at a future that will be ugly and messy. >> let me say this again. this -- we have a social contract that really says that, you know, you can attain the american dream. if you work hard you can own a home, you can put your kids through college, and that you can have a retirement and you can age in place with some security and with some dignity. and i think that that is really where the battle grounds are being drawn. the president's budget focuses on retaining that american dream.
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it invests in our students. you can't say that that's spending. we cannot allow our kids not to have an educational opportunity. we cannot allow the infrastructure to deteriorate. we cannot allow -- we cannot not invest in innovation and provide businesses with those tax credits and writeoffs that they need for innovation. >> clearly its a he going to become a -- >> putting new technologies on in the name of austerity. and i do think -- >> go ahead. i'm sorry. i didn't mean to cut you off. can you hear me? >> yes, i can. >> i'm sorry to cut you off. we're running out of time. what i was going to say was clearly this is a debate we're going to have a lot over the next weeks as the president is unveiling his budget and everybody on all sides is taking shots at it. thanks for being with us this morning. she's from wisconsin. still ahead on "starting point", heat on rupert murdock today over the scandal at his
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newspaper, "the sun." new hacking charges could be filed. we'll talk to the man who literally wrote the book on the media mogul straight ahead. plus the sen mate is forced to bail out its own barbershop. even the barber shop can't make cuts. "starting point" continues after this break. ♪
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welcome back, everybody. you're watching "starting point." embattled media mogul rupert murdock is under increasing pressure this week. he's returning to england after more arrests at his flagship tabloid "the sun." you remember in fact last summer murdock shut down "the news of the world" in the wake of the scandal. at "the sun" the staff is reported as being despondent. could be some charges filed here in the united states. michael wolf literally wrote the
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book on murdock. he wrote the book, "the man that owns the news." thanks for being with us. murdock is returning to london this week. how bad is this crisis right now? >> i don't think you can -- i can't imagine a corporate crisis that is larger than this. >> they talked about being despondent, the employees unhappy. it's worse than that? >> they -- from -- remember, there are essentially two companies that you're looking at here, two parts of the company. there's the american company which comprises most of the assets and the earnings and then there is the british company which is largely newspapers. kind of a legacy company. it's where -- one of the places where murdock got his start and one of the places where his heart is. but i would say that most of the people, most of his executives in america have been saying for a long time, why do we have newspapers? shrinking business. we have growing businesses here.
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and then since last summer when the scandal wave -- one wave of scandal after another wave of scandal has hit these papers, it comes now to the point, i think we're pretty much at the point where people are literally saying to murdock, we've got to do something here. we've got to get rid of these. >> you have a circulation of 2.7 million. that's a lot. that's wildly successful for a newspaper. >> "sun" is the most powerful newspaper in the united kingdom. you might couch that with "the daily" would say they are. this is a major force. >> shutting it down would seem like it was a bad option. >> the news of the world was very successful. one of the things that happened since they shut "the news of the world" they found out there was corruption throughout the paper and they shut it.
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we are looking at the possibility that we will find even more corruption and more serious, essentially bribing the police. people are saying if you shut that paper, then what would be the logic for not shutting this paper? >> when you look at -- in fact, you mentioned sort of the empire, you have fox news, 20th century fox, fx network, hafrpe kol lings, then the sun, "the new york post", wall street journal, dow jones back to united states base. what kind of legacy issue does he have? >> hundreds of pages. australia, b sky b in the u.k. >> legacy issue. that has to be part of the reluctance to say, kill it. >> i think that that's true. i think the legacy issue is going to be more true in keeping it. what rupert murdock is looking at, he'll be 81 next month, is a business which will produce nothing but bad news, nothing
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but scandal. threatens the -- i mean, his -- the legal jeopardy of his son, son and heir, james murdoch, gets more and more dire every day. >> and the legal bills. >> what they're looking at, we have to deal with this in some dramatic final fashion, and i think it will be we have to get rid of the business in the u.k. >> he's heading back to london. thanks. nice to see you, michael. still ahead this morning on "starting point." things got more intense between israel and iran. a new round of finger pointing where israel says bombs that have been planted by iran. gloria estefan is going to join us. she's talking about some of her memories of whitney houston. that's straight ahead. stay with us. what's this? [ male announcer ] quaker oatmeal squares
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oh, there's a prize, all right. [ male announcer ] inside every box of cheerios are those great-tasting little o's made from carefully selected oats that can help lower cholesterol. is it a superhero? kinda. ♪ welcome back, everybody. there's a free skiing pioneer sarah burke died of a brain injury that happened while she was training on the super pipe in park city, utah. it hit close to home for snow
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border kevin pierce because he suffered a very similar injury two years earlier. cnn chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta joins us. we're looking at the human factor. good morning. >> reporter: good morning. you watch the snow borders on the super pipes. i don't know if you've watched this. it's pretty incredible. that's a half pipe with really vertical walls. obviously it's dangerous. we hardly ever get to hear about what happens to these people if they have some sort of significant injury. you mentioned sarah burke. kevin pierce had that sort of injury some time ago. at the time they thought, look, he's never going to snowboard again. he's probably not going to make a neurological recovery. it was a pretty devastating injury. if i can show you for a second on this brain model, it was the right side of the brain. on the i inside of the brain he had significant bleeding in this area here. it was responsible for his balance, coordination, memory, eye function, his vision to some extent. it was pretty significant. doctors didn't think he may walk again, let alone snow bored.
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here's how kevin put it when reflecting back on that time. >> i remember being there in that rehab hospital and being like, oh, i'll be out snowboarding in a couple more weeks. that was two months after the injury. just like then it was two years later. i had no idea at the beginning what was involved. >> reporter: people who follow the sport at all know that kevin pearce was the front-runner for the u.s. olympics in vancouver. he was the guy that a lot of hopes and dreams were pinned on. rehab for him meant significant time, soledad. eight hours a day trying to rehab his function obviously in his body. also underwent some operations to restore some of the vision in his eye. but then you see him starting to come back to some extent, at least going down a much easier hill there, soledad, but that's sort of an example of a recovery. >> was that him in the blue? >> reporter: yeah. you saw him. >> wow. so what do the doctors say? do they say, okay, you can go back to competition? he looks good.
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wow. >> reporter: so doctors are being very cautious. cautious is a relative term compared to a snowboarder who is obviously not as cautious. they're saying he had a significant brain injury. if you were to have another one, it could be exponentially worse. you and i, soledad, talked about this with respect to football injuries. same sort of concept there. they think he is more susceptible. they also think the idea that he could snowboard like you saw him there, that was at breckenridge. they say you can try small things like this. the competition, if you're pushing yourself hard, may be too much of a challenge. we asked kevin to reflect on that as well. take a listen. >> my goals have definitely changed, from going -- planning on going to the olympics to getting back on a snowboard. that's a bit different. the amount of hard work i've put in. kind of what it's taken to get back to snowboarding though is undescribable. i feel like this is so much bigger than winning a medal. >> reporter: a big reset button
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for this young man and his life. small amounts for now, soledad. kevin pearce, keep an eye on that name. when you do, think about what he has overcome. significant brain injury. back on the slopes. >> if i were his mother, i'd be terrified to watch him snowboarding. great to see him back at a sport. thank you, sanjay. still ahead on "starting point", crucial cancer drug for children is suddenly in short supply. we'll tell you about a plea that's coming from parents and doctors. if you're not getting any roses today, that would be me. i resemble that remark. no hearts with messages on them. well, we'll tell you that there's an app for your disappointing valentine's day, or maybe not. stay with us. have i got a surprise for you! [ barks ]
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is? for five points. >> gloria estefan. >> we have a winner. who's in our studio right now? kathy. >> gloria estefan. >> that would bring three cubans to the table. that might be an all time network high. run those numbers for us. welcome back, everybody. lets to get to us this morning. christine has that for us. >> that's quite a tease. ica not wait for that. i'm such a big fan. i have goose bumps. thanks, soledad. let's get to some finger pointing between iran and israel. they're blaming them for booming of their vehicles. another bomb went off on a car in georgia. no one was hurt there. iran is blaming israel for both incidents accusing israel of bombing both of its targets to hurt ties. >> a florida bus company has been slapped with a lawsuit by the parents of robert championship, suspected hazing victim at florida a&m
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university. his family is suing the bus driver. they say he stood guard while that alleged assault took place. drug makers hit with desperate pleas to make more of a scarce cancer drug for children. hospitals fear they could run out of the drug in days or weeks. if they do, doctors worry their patients could die. four doctor groups sent pleas to the companies that make the drug. doctors say the drug could help them cure 90% of child cancer cases diagnosed this year. just when you thought you were out of outrage, a new report in "the daily" says that senate bailed out its own barber shop last year after it ran a deficit of $300,000. this, despite charging $27 for a shampoo, cut and blow dry, $105. the employees are federal, not private. did you see this performance from nicki minaj. her song roman holiday. it started with a mock
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confessions. it was followed by a mock exorci exorcism. the catholic league not too happy. the president blames the recording academy said they would never allow an artist to insult other religions. feeling alone, there's an app for that. leave your heart with these apps for the love. the x app. it prevents you from calling or texting that bad newsboy friend or girlfriend when you're feeling especially lonesome today. dear old lets you submit rapts, poems, do you still have some old jewelry from an ex-flame, you can sell it with the never lieblgd it anyway app. >> i love that. an app that keeps you from calling your old boyfriend is such a good idea. yes. that is true. moving on. >> happy valentine's day. >> thank you. back at you. grammy award winning singer gloria estefan joins us. she met whitney houston back in 1991 when they were both
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rehearsing for tours and then after news broke of houston's death estefan tweeted a sentiment that was shared by many people, somebody please tell me it's not true. gloria estefan joins us. i saw that because i follow you on twitter. you were scheduled to come in and talk with us anyway about your album. we are going to talk florida politics. >> what fun. >> i know. i know. because this tragedy, i want to talk a little bit about this first. you know what's been really interesting to me to see is how hard it is to be in the spotlight as a singer. we were talking yesterday to whitney houston's god mother and she said that she knew her voice was going. as a singer, how difficult would that be? >> it's very difficult because it's your life, and especially someone like whitney that was really above and beyond, you know, your token singer. this woman is probably one of the best voices of our time, and it becomes -- especially since she was doing it since she was very, very young. this was the central part of her
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personality. but it has to be tough. i sing since i'm talking, two years old, so to lose that i think would be tough. especially someone that makes a living out of it. doing anything in the public eye is much more difficult because it's pressure. it's that kind of pressure. >> she had a well-known struggle with drugs, in and out of rehab over many, many years. a lot of her friends now have been talking about just how hard it is. chaka khan who had a well known addiction and she talks about her addiction issues. how hard is that as a performer? >> it depends on who you are. they were nowhere around me. traveling with me is my family. i was never exposed to that kind of thing. is it accessible if you want it? i'm sure. is it easier sometimes to get on stage if you feel better or if you feel a little out of it? i imagine it would be. i don't like being out of control. that's just my personality so it would be tough for me but, yes, if you have the money, then most definitely, you know, party. a lot of people party. the problem with addiction is
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you don't know until it's too late if you have an addictive personality. by that time, then you're in trouble. and then you're in trouble in the public eye, it's even worse. >> when did you first hear her sing? i guess it was the late '80s, early '90s, it's gloria, it's whitney, wait. did you have a friendly rivalry? >> listen, there's room for everybody. you don't eat only one kind of food, you don't wear only one kind of clothes. when you make music, everyone has a certain taste. i was in japan and her album came out. when i heard "saving all my love for you" i was in awe. i played that record over and over. she had seven number ones back to back i think it was. what an amazing voice. in the '80s. she was amazing. i was a huge fan. then i met her, like you said, when we were getting our tours together in greenwich studios in miami where they filmed the old flipper shows. we used to see each other every day. i went to her wedding. we became closer after that.
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>> it's so funny to hear singing sensations talk about being a fan of another singing sensation. i know. >> you cannot be. she was phenomenal. i feel so sad for bobbi kristina, for her mother, because i'm a mother. i know they've got to be going through -- i send a lot of of prayers to them. >> we have to take a commercial break. on the other side i want to talk about what you're working on next. we'll have that straight ahead as we talk with gloria estefan. then we'll talk about mitt romney losing his lead. polls show because he can't shake that rich guy thing. you're watching "starting point." we're back in a moment. ♪ flip it over and replay ♪ we'll make everything okay ♪ walk together the right way ♪ do, do, do, do in the works package, we change the oil we change the filter... tire rotation, suspension, we make suspension checks... what we have here is the multi-point inspection. every time a vehicle comes into a ford dealership you'll be presented with one of these. we check the belts, hoses... brakes.
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welcome back, everybody. despite mitt romney's win in the maine caucuses and then that cpac straw poll over the weekend, the former massachusetts governor has a pretty big reason to worry. there's a new national poll out that shows that mitt romney is losing support in independents. if a general election were held today, which of course it's not, we have a long way away, he'd only get 42% of the vote. president obama would get 51%. compare that from a month ago that said mitt romney would have gotten 50% to the president's
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40%. could this be a result of the rich guy narrative? his interview on this program here earlier in the month didn't help him very much on that front. here's what he said. >> i'm in this race because i care about americans. i'm not concerned about the very poor. we have a safety net there. if it needs repair, i'll fix it. i'm not concerned about the very rich. they're doing just fine. i'm concerned about the very heart of america, the 90, 95% of americans who right now are struggling and i'll continue to take that message across the nation. >> ron brownstein is the editorial director at the national journal and the national journal decided to go ahead and figure out what the impact was of those very words that he said on this show. what did you find? >> our united technologies poll, we did a poll on the aftermath of his comments and how it looked at what americans feel about the safety net. we did find the country divided on whether the middle class or poor had suffered most in the downturn. a slight majority saying the middle class, 45% saying the
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poor. we found that as political scientists have talked about, americans are philosophically conservative and operationally not. on one hand programs for the poor is a big cause of the deficit and they are reluctant to cut entitlements that benefit the middle class. >> let's break down some of those poll numbers. let's throw this one up, guys. the one that says 3% say it's because when they're talking about the main issue in spending, 3% say too much government spending on programs for the elderly. 14% say spending on programs for the poor. 24% say defense spending. do we have this poll, anybody? >> yeah. >> there it is. thank you. and then 46%, that top number there, the issue is that the wealthy are not taxed enough. so what's the take away from these numbers? who benefits? president obama? >> president obama is winning the -- you know, president obama is winning the argument about
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the causes and solutions, i think, to the deficit. he loses the argument when it is a whether question, not how. if the question is whether to reduce the deficit, republicans have the advantage. if democrats accept the premise of reducing the deficit at least somewhat and are arguing more about how, it moves to more favorable terrain. the big problem they face is there is consistently poll after poll support for raising taxes on the top earners. they don't want to do that. as a result they have to go deeper into cuts into entitlement programs to reach the same level of deficit reduction. the public is resistant to that. that is a favorable set of arguments for the democrats. there is the philosophical layer and there is still the belief that obama may be -- >> i love when you do that on this hand and on the other hand i'm going to completely contradict what i say. >> it's the framing. >> i completely understand you. let's talk about these poll numbers out of the state of michigan which show a six point lead for rick santorum who i
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thk has really improved as a candidate certainly in terms of his performance and then have that big win last week. 33% to mitt romney's 27%. michigan is relevant because that's where mitt romney's father was the governor. how big of a deal is this? >> that would be an absolute earthquake i think in the race. if mitt romney loses michigan, i think you would have much more of the discussion we heard last week around the table at cpac about inducing another candidate into the race or brokered convention. michigan is a state where he has, as you say, all of those home court advantages. also in a state where 3/5 of the voters were non-college, more working class voters, that's where he struggled. it exemplifies the changing nature of this party. it should be an audience receptive to rick santorum. given romney's home court advantage, if he loses, i think that would upend the race more than anything. >> he's tripled the spending. what day is that primary? >> february 28th. >> thank you. nice to see you, ron. we prefer in person. >> yes. >> we like to see you in the
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♪ i love this video. this is gloria estefan's latest video. is it fun to shoot these? it looks like it's out and out fabulous. >> you know what, i had a blast doing this. i co-wrote it with my son. it was going to be a fun video about dancing. it's also we love cult films, my son and i. it's a cult film about how cult films reflect our culture. our culture now is everything vampires. there's a lot of sublayers as people discover little things. i had a blast. it's hard work, but i loved it. >> you have been a worker. you have always been -- ever since -- we've interviewed a number of times over the years. you've always had 18 projects happening.
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you're going to be on "glee." >> yes. i'm going from new york to l.a. it's going to happen. >> do you get to pick your character? do you get to say i want to be crazy, fun, good? >> i think the writers would have something to do with that. we did discuss it. i spoke with ryan murphy. i'd like to have it out with santanna's grandma. >> the final seconds we have, let's talk florida politics. that was a nasty, nasty campaign. did it feel that way living there? >> aren't they all? is there any other kind of campaign now? that's all there is. it's kind of disgusting. it really is a turn-off. i wish we could find somebody good for the job, but you have to get elected before you can actually do anything. to get elected, it's the polls. >> that's what we've been talking all day. we have "end point" up next. we'll ask gloria estefan to give us her end point. ♪
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all right. time for "end point" in our remaining seconds. gore yeah estefan has agreed to stick around. your "end point" this morning? >> my thoughts and prayers to whitney houston's family that's going through this tough time. happy valentine's day to everyone. we have to take advantage of love everyone every second we can. >> no one gave me a valentine, no one at this table. >> day's not over. >> will cain? >> i want to wish my wife well. she's not feeling well. my 4-year-old brought the plague into the house. >> my kids are killing me. three latinas as the table. i think we'll hear more about immigration reform at the table. >> i would agree with you on that. joe, you get to be -- >> now i'm in the wrap-up position. i'm forced now to wish my wife a happy valentine's day, which i was going to do. i've been saving something special which is wishing you a


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