tv CNN Newsroom CNN April 10, 2012 1:00pm-3:00pm EDT
it and facebook has a horrible mobile photos experience. so face sbook saying wait a minute, instagram is great, people love it. our mobile experience really lacks, especially when it comes to photos, this is something that can enhance our site. plus we get to know where people are based upon their photos, so maybe we can direct advertising towards them. >> pretty cool tough. mario, it was a simple concept. that's the thing. i got to think of one. i'm trying to come up with an app. >> everyone is. trust me, everyone is. even kodak. kodak is like what happened to us? we were the photo people. here they are going bankrupt and you have this app in photos that's going for you know, a billion dollars. >> pretty crazy. mario, great to see you as always. >> good to see you. see you in pictures on instagrams. >> okay.
>> the website reads i am the real george zimmerman. it warns viewers to be careful of other websites falsely claiming to be raising money for him. it includes a link for people to donate money, to pay for zimmerman's lawyers and living expenses. so far no criminal charges have been filed against zimmerman. >> so this is how deadline day looks in syria. troops were supposed to withdraw from cities across the country this morning. then on thursday a cease-fire was supposed to take effect. as you can see, the attacks are continuing. opposition grooms say more than 60 people have been killed today alone by government forces. >> kofi annan who brokered the peace deal is appealing to both sides to stop the attacks. >> president obama is on the road today to make his case for the so-called buffett rule. it would require people who make more than $1 million a year to
pay at least 30% in income taxes. the president says it makes the tax code more fair. prevents the very rich from paying a lower tax rate. republicans say it's going to hurt the economy and stifle job growth. >> three maryland public school workers millionaires thanks to the mega millions lottery. they plan on keep working. they are going to remain anonymous for now. officials awarded the check to the three amigos they are called. each of them is going to get a cool $35 million after taxes. >> extreme winds, bone dry conditions fueling dangerous brush fires up and down the east coast, we're talking about warnings in place from florida to new york. firefighters, they are working to try to get things under control. imagine this. not getting hired because of your body fat. that is exactly what a hospital in texas is doing. citizens medical center considers an applicant's body
mass index. potential employees must have a bmi of less than 35. what does that mean. that's if you are 185 pounds for someone who is 5'1". or 265 pounds for someone who is 6'1". the hospital says it wants employees to have an appearance, this is what they call it, free from distraction. that's the quote. many say it's discrimination and should be illegal. our legal analyst sonny hostin is joining us. first of all in doing research this morning because it all got us talking and thinking about it. i understand that weight discrimination is one of the last type of biases for the most part is legal in this country. is that true? >> that's true. isn't that remarkable. it's one of the areas that isn't protected. we know this happens, is happening in texas. one of the protected areas would be race, another would be religion. weight, no. not protected. so this is actually legal right
now. the only state that i found, suzanne, that does have some sort of weight-related practices discrimination protection is in michigan. there are about six u.s. cities. right now with this hospital is doing is legal. the question is, is it smart? this hospital is already facing a discrimination suit arising from a different set of facts so this is something i think that sort of opens this hospital up to exposure. one thing i want to mention is that although this may not be discriminatory under certain laws, bottom line is certain people that are obese are protected by the americans with disabilities act. they are considered disabled. so, this could get this hospital into some hot water. the question i really have is, why decide it on bmi? people don't even know what body mass index is. >> it's controversial as well whether or not that is a real
accurate indicator of whether or not somebody is overweight or obese. you were mentioning here, do people have recourse? if you were an employee and you wanted to work at that hospital and you were overweight or obese, but you could do the job, you were capable of doing the job, could you actually go after that hospital? >> i think you could. i mean, i think that certainly if you are perhaps obese and you are disabled, considered disabled under the americans with disabilities act, you would have some sort of recourse against the hospital. bottom line is this is going to be challenged if it hasn't been challenged already. so, i am surprised that a hospital, again, that's already facing a discrimination lawsuit which has opened itself up to more litigation. it's just not a very smart decision. i often tell people suzanne, it may be legal but that doesn't make it smart. this in my view is not a smart business decision. not a good corporate citizen
business decision. >> i have a question here. you said that a lot of the states, they don't have protections for people overweight or obese. why is that? >> you know, lawyers and legal geeks like myself talk about this all the time. it does seem to be one of the only areas that people seem to freely discriminate and that's weight-based discrimination. our law just hasn't caught up. i think it has in terms of the americans with disabilities act but it hasn't caught up in terms of weight discrimination. >> sunny hos in the, good to see you. a rundown of some of the stories, guess who is back. >> this year the bush institute or this july the bush institute is publishing a book. it's got to be a staggering thing for some of the cynics. they didn't think i could read much less write a book. >> good humor.
the former president out talking tax policy, making a different case than the current white house. >> and after giving props to fidel castro the manager of the marlins is apologizing to fans. then call it "titanic" 2.0, cruise ship tracing the course of the famous ship wreck. just in time for the 100th anniversary. that's why i take colace®. [ male announcer ] for occasional constipation associated with certain medical conditions, there's colace® capsules. colace® softens the stool and helps eliminate the need to strain. stimulant-free, comfortable relief. no wonder more doctors recommend it. say yes to colace®! [ male announcer ] we're giving away fifty-thousand dollars worth of prizes! enter weekly to win! go to colacecomfort.com to enter!
president obama is on the road today making his case that the richest americans should pay their fair share of taxes. this so called buffett rule promoted by the president that fair share is at least 30%. supporters call it common sense, opponents calling it class warfare. former president george w. bush weighed in during a speech
saying it would hurt the economy. >> if you raise taxes on the so-called rich, you're really raising taxes on the job creators. if the goal is private sector growth, you got to recognize that the best way to create that growth is to leave capital in the treasuries of the job creators. >> so why is the president pushing the plan now? jessica yellin explains. >> it's the front page of the campaign website, team obama pushing the buffett rule not for the first time. >> tax reform should follow the buffett rule. if you make more than a million dollars a year, you should not pay less than 30% in taxes. it's a simple principle. the buffett rule says if you make more than a million dollars a year you should not pay a lower tax rate than your secretary. >> reporter: this time there is actually a vote on the bill that will happen monday.
the rule would apply to any one who makes more than $1 million, right now if that money comes from investments in the stock market they could pay 15% or even less in taxes. far lower than the rate on income from a paycheck. under the new bill, they have to pay 30%. >> there's zero chance of it ever passing on the stand alone basis because of the republican opposition and i'm sure some democrats in swing states and swing districts are not going to be comfortable voting for a tax rate increase. >> reporter: why push it? >> that's what votes do, they put senators on record and we will certainly see how senators handle that. perhaps even those who have been opposed to this in the past will rethink their position, consider the fundamental fairness of the legislation. and vote yes. >> reporter: in other words, get republicans on record during an
election year. could you imagine campaign ads saying they voted with the 1%? or maybe it has to do with this. >> what's the effective rate i've been paying? probably closer to the 15% rate than anything because my last 10 years i've -- my income comes overwhelmingly from investments. >> reporter: team romney isn't missing a chance to hit back. it is unusual to campaign on a tax increase, but polls show more than 60% of americans support the buffett rule when it's spelled out. so on this issue, it's all about who wins the war of words. jessica yellin, cnn, the white house. >> so supporters say the buffett rule would make the tax code more fair. they also say it would help bring down the deficit. i want to bring in jean and say this is not necessarily so. jean, what do we know? do we know how much money the buffett rule would raise? >> the joint committee on
taxation estimated that if we let the bush tax cuts expire which is not likely but if we do, the buffett rule would probably raise about $47 billion extra over 10 years or about $4.7 billion a year on average. that's not a lot in terms of deficit reduction and the white house has backed off of the deficit claim, they are saying look, we never proposed this as a big deficit reducer, this is more about fairness. and it's good that they didn't propose it as a deficit reducer because it's not. we have several -- over a trillion a year in deficit. 5 bill john a drop in the bucket. >> what do the independent tax experts think about it? >> well, they appreciate what the administration is trying to do. it's perfectly fair to say or to have the debate should the rich pay more, is the system progressive enough. but they would much rather see that debate and the policies that result from it come out in terms of overall tax reform.
the individual buffett rule putting it on top of today's code they say it's complicating an already complex system. the white house says, and i should say president obama first proposed this as a guideline for tax reform but then they endorsed this senate bill that jessica was talking about which would impose the rule today on today's tax code. so, tax experts say you can accomplish the same goals 18 simpler way in the guise of overall tax reform. >> how much of this is actually political do you think, jean, and how much is really based in solid research on what this can do? >> well, i think it is primarily political, the democrats would disagree with that assertion, but tax experts, i talked to tax experts. i don't cover the politics of it. there are a lot of ways to accomplish the goals that are smarter tax policy from a purist perspective than what the white house is proposing. on the other hand the white house and a lot of budget experts are correct in saying we have to get more revenue in the
system, the rich have to pay more and frankly, more of us have to pay more, too, but that's an argument for another day. >> okay. thank you very much. good job as always. thanks. >> i want to bring in dana bash on the hill here. i understand dana, you've got new video from the acting administrator of the gsa. i imagine they want this out. >> this is a video that the acting administrator of the gsa is doing straight to camera, it is going to be posted on the gsa website on their blog. it is, boy, is this a mea culpa. we have been talking since last week about the fact that the gsa understands and the administration understands full well the political problem that they v. we've seen written statement after written statement about these videos and how they say that this is really incomprehensible and damaging.
now, again, the acting administrator has gone to lengths that we really haven't seen before. putting about 3:45 video on camera saying how bad they understand this is and talking about the steps they are taking to try to defy it. listen to part of it. >> if you haven't i urge you to read the report. when you do, you'll see that what's in place was completely unacceptable. there were violations of travel rules, acquisition rules, and good conduct. just as importantly, those responsible violated rules of common sense, the spirit of public service, and the trust that america's taxpayers have placed in all of us. >> reporter: suzanne, in this 3 minute, 45 second video he goes on to talk about the fact that gsa employee told him about a friend who was serving and wounded in afghanistan, contacted this gsa employee
saying how outraged he is fighting for american freedom and the gsa is spending so lavishly taxpayer dollars. he goes on to talk about a few steps that the gsa is making to in his words, make this right, including first and foremost making sure that spending at any conferences and meetings around the country are vetted and take a look at how exactly the gsa is spending taxpayer money. give at any fact that the whole mission of the gsa, by the way, is to make sure that taxpayer money is spent correctly. >> explain to our viewers briefly what we're seeing, some of these videos that were put out previously, some of the employees and it looks rather bizarre. what were they doing? what was the point? >> reporter: the back story is that these videos were put together by gsa employees for what was effectively a talent show back in 2010, at a western region conference. it took place in las vegas and we now know because of an inspector general report that
has come to light recently, that almost $1 million, $840,000 was spent at this conference. it wasn't just the spending, it was as the administrator said it was the lack of common sense in making videos where they make fun of excess spending, make fun of destroying government property, they make fun even of the president of the united states. and again, they are rewarded for it and awarded for it at this talent agency. it was over the top. >> dana bash, thank you for obviously bringing us up to speed on that, the breaking news and developments out of the gsa. thanks. >> outraged florida's cuban community. the manager of the marlins is apologizing. >> i'm very, very, very sorry about the problem, about what happening, and i will do everything to make it better. >> what he said and what it means for the team. tle emotional here?
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miami marlins manager ozzie guillen says he was very sorry, the team suspended him for five games after he said he loves and respects fidel castro. a lot of cuban-americans they want him fired. a couple of hours ago he apologized. john zarrella is following the story from miami. tell us about what we saw this morning. >> reporter: you know zoo zan, he apologized and got the five-game suspension from the team. of course, the question is that going to go far enough. throughout the course of this news conference, ozzie guillen repeated over and over and over again just how sorry he was. >> i'm very, very, very sorry about the problem, about what
happening, and i will do everything to make him better. everything in my power to make it better. >> reporter: here's the bigger picture around this, suzanne. the marlins opened a brand new stadium, played awe of one game in that. it's in downtown miami in the heart of little havana on the site of the old orange bowl stadium. and it was built by primarily taxpayer dollars from miami and miami-dade county, predominantly latin american and they brought ozzie guillen in for the express purpose of helping them build a new fan base around the latin american community. so, you know, this is all now exploded in their faces literally. >> is there anything that he can do to make amends here to rebuild his reputation with miami's cuban community? >> reporter: i was talking to dan, a long time miami herald columnist, he has a talk show radio show here and he is
cuban-american, and he said that many of the younger cuban-americans like himself will likely forgive and forget. the older cuban-american who is lived through the atrocities of fidel castro, who they compared to their, quote, their adolf hitler, that's going to be a really, really tough sell. he said what he said and he can't take it back no matter how many apologies he makes. >> is there anybody who is saying he has a right to say what he feels, what he believes even if it's offensive? >> you're seeing that a lot on the social media and certainly there, but you're not hearing that in miami. >> all right. john, thank you. appreciate it. >> it's been 100 years since the "titanic" went down. this week two memorial cruises, they are heading to the doomed site. we're going to talk to a woman whose great-grandfather died on that historic trip. all right, let's decide what to
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strong as ever. a movie and of course believe it or not two memorial cruises heading to the site where the ship went down. one left from london, another leaves from new york tonight. sharon willic is going to be a passenger and her grandparents were passengers on the "titanic's" maiden voyage. her grandfather did not survive. her grandmother did. so sharon, thank you for joining us. it's great to see you. we are all curious about your journey. can you share with us why it is that you decided to do this. sharon, can you hear me? all right. we're going to have to move on here. we'll try to get her back as soon as she can hear us. we're going to take a break. [ grandfather ] that a boy!
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we want to bring back the story of the "titanic," 100-year anniversary and now the cruise ship that's going to retrace that route. sharon is going to be a passenger on the ship. her grandparents were passengers on the "titanic's" maiden voyage. her grandfather didn't survive but her grandmother did. sharon, it's suzanne. give us a sense of why you're doing this now. >> well, it's a very emotional time for me. i grew up with the story of my -- it's actually great-grandfather and great-grand to mother. and my maternal grandmother and my mother. i was imbued with the history of this devastating occurrence in our family from the time i can remember. and so, when i learned in 2009
that there was going to be a cruise, an anniversary cruise, i thought i would go to the ends of the earth to be here and i'm thrilled to be. it's going to be a very emotional time for me because i have felt although i obviously didn't know him, i have felt a mental and emotional closeness to him for a very long time. so, being here, going to the site, is, for me like meeting him and being able to say good-bye. >> that's really beautiful. do you have a sense at all of what you would like to do and how you would like to commemorate him when you get to that site where the ship went down? >> well, i don't -- there will be a memorial service, and of course i will attend.
it will be -- it's scheduled for 2:20 a.m. on the 15th of april, which is the exact time that the ship went down. and so i don't know. i really don't know how i'm going to react to that and during it. but i know that i think there will be wreaths that can be tossed overboard and of course i will send him one. it's interesting, if i have a moment, to say that when my great-grandparents went over to europe for a first class trip for a couple of months, then they were called back early for family lore has it for an emergency board meeting of his company, so they were on another ship but they rebooked with cook travel, and were put on the "titanic" in suite e-31, and when they got the notice to go
on up to the boat deck, they were laughing together and saying you know, this is -- isn't this kind of silly. he put her in life boat 4, told her that she'd be coming back and he'd be there waiting for her. and when she got into the life boat and they pulled away, she heard this hissing sound and she realized then that it was water going into the ship and she looked for her husband, and she couldn't find him and his body was never found -- excuse me. >> sharon, it's quite all right. i understand that it's a very emotional experience for you. and i know, i think that your great-grandmother, she left something behind in the water, i believe, for your great grandfather. is that right? >> i'm not aware of that. i haven't heard that. where have you heard it? >> we had somebody who was speaking with your family, they
said you left behind -- she left behind a jewel. >> really? >> that was one of the stories that came out. what do you want to take away from this experience, from this journey? >> i don't know as taking away is -- is even apropos here. i feel that by visiting the site i'm acknowledging him, his being, and i think i'll just feel in years come, it's something to pass down to my son and my grandsons and great grand children which i have. and my son even gave me a journal to take with me to make notes and to give to him back so he will have a record of this trip too. >> sharon willing, thank you so
much. really appreciate your story and your time. we hope that your voyage is fulfilling. we'd like to talk to you again. thank you, sharon. >> you are very welcome. thank you. >> there's middle school heroes to tell you about. they saved the day when the bus driver lost consciousness behind the wheel. >> reporter: this surveillance video shows the moment a school bus driver loses consciousness as the bus full of children careens out of control. >> he's shaking, yeah, his arms are flailing, his eyes are bulging and he's making this weird noise with his mouth. >> one of the students reacts as the bus is heading for a church. >> so i take action, i leave off my chair, grab the wheel, turn it right, get to the right side of the road and take the keys out of the ignition and the engine starts turning off, slowing down. >> the driver was a substitute,
we obscured his face. watch the video again as the bus approaches middle lake school. the driver began showing signs something was wrong. his eyes roll back and he fell over. at that point the bus hits a curb, bumping and slowing when he pulls the keys from the ignition. johnny who had been trained also ran to help. >> i ran up and tried doing chest compressions but his eyes were rolling back and i could tell it was getting harder for him to breathe. >> other students called 911 as a teacher from the school hopped on board to help. the boys say they are glad they kept cool heads in this moment of panic. >> i'm thinking i just want to stop the truck, because i don't want to crash and i don't want to know what it feels like. so yeah, i don't want to die. >> it was scary and exhilarating. >> because? >> because i mean, you want to
know if he's okay but then again it's happening so fast you're heart's pumping, it's breathtaking and breath giving. >> a school superintendent says the students get emergency training several times a year, so they will know what to do if the bus driver needs help. >> after being criticized for the way she looks ashley judd is taking a stand against what she calls an attack on the dignity of girls and women.
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ashley judd returned to tv fans reacted to the way she looked. her face appeared fuller and it's touched off speculation about why. a.j. hammer is here with details. what is the drama about? >> ashley judd is trying to change how we talk about women. she was upset after photos of her with a puffy face were posted and some outlets started speculating she had undergone plastic surgery. judd said she is were taken when she was ill taking medications including steroids. she's responded with an essay on the daily beast. in this essay she talks about some of the common tear her picture generated including speculation what sort of procedures she had and how she's losing her looks. and she was surprised that so much of that commentary coming from women. i looked at her twitter page,
fans have been supportive and i'm thinking maybe ashley speaking out about this will get the conversation going again about how unfair, unkind, and really downright dangerous criticism like this can be. yes, you know, you can open yourself up to all the scrutiny when you're in the public eye, it doesn't make it right. >> i understand she's got a quote that she put out here, saying that the conversation was nasty, gendered and massage a nistic and embody what is all girls and women in our culture endure every day in ways. yes. putting that statement out. talk about this documentary, the makers of "bully" receiving this pg-13 rating. that's what they wanted, now there is a push to get teens to go and see this. yes? >> that's right. now that they can have the teen come, they are doing what they can and justin bieber is using his music to promote the film.
the song "born to be somebody" is part of a new ad about the bully be epidemic in american schools. let me read what justin bieber is saying. my fans are up for supporting a great cause, it's one of the things i'm most proud of as an entertainer. i hope they see "bully" and start the conversation. joining a long line of celebrities, they have all been supportive of this film. it was really their support and the support of thousands of people online signing petitions which played a huge part in lowering the film's rating from r to a pg-13 and i'm going to hop on and say everybody needs to see this. the problem is still there and the dialogue has to continue and get louder. >> thank you. appreciate it. you want information about breaking into the entertainment world a.j. has it on "showbiz tonight" on hln. >> if you had an x-ray at the dentist, there is a study that
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not often that we get to hear from former president george w. bush. today we did. spoke at a conference in new york sponsored by the bush institute, talked about tax policy, a plan to generate economic glotrowth. he reflected on life after the white house. >> i'm asked if i miss the presidency. i really don't.
i enjoyed it. it was unbelievably interesting experience. i mean, it was inconvenient to have to stop at stop lights here coming over here. i guess i miss that. but i really, i do miss being commander in chief a lot. i admire our military a lot. and the bush center will give me, institute, gives me and laura an opportunity to repay as best as we can our vets, so to this end, for example, i'm taking a bunch of vets mountain bike riding in the canyon. i love to mountain bike ride. what i don't like to do is be beating on a mountain bike ride by a one-legged veteran. but it's likely to happen. we also sponsor a golf tournament for our vets, a way to say we love you and honor you and thank you. for this july the bush institute is publishing a book, it's got to be a staggering thing for some of the cynics, i publish a
book and the bush institute. they didn't think i could read. >> he wishes his name wasn't so firmly attached to the tax cuts set to expire at the end of the year. rick santorum is returning to the campaign trail for the first time since his daughter was released from a hospital. santorum is holding an event in gettysburg, pennsylvania, our jim acosta is there. jim, i know that santorum had canceled some events to be with his daughter bella. do we know how she is doing? >> reporter: well, apparently she is fine. she was released from the hospital and the family says they appreciate all of the well wishes and prayers that they received the last couple of days. this is an interesting event we're about to witness. we don't exactly know for sure what is going to be said at this event. we were told earlier by the santorum campaign that this was an event, not a news conference, but suzanne, if you can look
behind me, this is very much a news conference. there are only reporters gathered in this room. there are no supporters. and i talked to a campaign spokesman a few moments ago and they told me they are not going to allow supporters in here for this event. so we expect senator santorum to come in here, make some kind of statement and then perhaps throw open this room -- throw this room open to questions. all of this is interesting because you mentioned those two events canceled earlier this morning. he is maintaining these events later on this evening, he has one later on tonight at 7:00. so, the santorum campaign says hey, don't read into this too much, folks, the santorum campaign goes on. but obviously the optics of this event, what we're witnessing as we get ready to listen to senator santorum come out is raising a lot of questions. we honestly have no -- we're getting radio silence we're gets radio silence right now from the santorum campaign as to what we oovr going to see
in the next 10 to 15 minutes. >> sometimes when you cover campaigns and there's radio sigh leps, that means there is something happening behind the scenes there. are there any signs, any other signs, or anything that you can see from the demeanor of the team or the people who normally talk to who might not be picking up the phone? might not be returning those e-mails that you send out rather frequently that this could be a santorum announcement that he is actually dropping out of the race? >> let's caution that we don't know what's going to happen. they've been reaching out to the national media to see who's showing up, who's not showing up. they hoped is it wouldn't be well covered. that tiply doesn't go on in your
typical campaign event. the fact that they're keeping things close to the vest is also worth noting. we're in gettysburg, pennsylvania. this is a town that senator santorum himself has said holds some significance for him, not only because of the civil war lore of this town, but this is pennsylvania and he's done pretty well in this part of the state over his political career. a couple of weeks ago, senator santorum held an event inside this very hotel in a ballroom across the hall way from where we're standing where it was a very different message. the fight goes on. he was going after mitt romney, taking him on thosish smus such as health care reform. we're not seeing that side of the santorum campaign head into this event. all that could change in 15 to 20 minutes from now when all of thf gets going.
>> the pennsylvania primary is two weeks away. where you are right now, he has got to win this state. and what are the indications so far. how h s he doing there? does she have a tough fight ahead the next two weeks? to try to lock this in? >> eiffel like we're in a flash back to mitt romney. everybody was talking about michigan being his home state. he was the governor of massachusetts. he also thinks of massachusetts as being his home state. but rick san tor was saying there's something wrong if he can't win his home state of michigan. you're hearing the saort of tal coming out of the romney campaign. until the last few hour, romney
was going to run here and point out the loss in the senate race back in 2006. of course, the santorum people will say mitt romney also lost by 17 points back in 1994 to ted kennedy, but the santorum campaign welcomed the news from mitt romney's campaign that romney was pulling that ad for 24 hours while bella was in the hospital. so to circle back to bella, that did create this sort of cease-fire in the last day or so. and sometimes that also can set the table for a dramatic announcement, the likes of which we might be seeing. it's a very different feel in this room, i have to tell you. >> we want our viewers to know and stick around. as jim is reporting here, this is something that was originally an event. it's turned into a news conference. the optics, the feel, the signs in that news room feel very different than what we've seen
before, adding to a potential that second lags that there might be a major dramatic announcement for rick santorum. we'll see if that means if he's still in the race. we'll have more after the break. but first in medical news, those who have had dental x-rays are administratorli more likely to get brain tumors. most of these tumors are noncancerous. scientists say they hope dentists will pay attention to the research and not take more x-rays than necessary. the american college of radiology says that four dental x-rays are equal to the same amount of radiation you're exposed to in a typical day.
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now says it is a news conference, not a rally. that's got the political world a bit buzzing whether or not there's going to be to be news of an announcement, whether or not he will stay in the race. we'll have that live. and we'll bring that to you as soon as they begin. in the meantime, the public backlash over the lack of an arrest in the trayvon martin shooting is being played out in the street ises. now a law that george zimmerman might use in his defense is being targeted. high profile companies with ties to a conservative group that supports stand your ground, they're taking action. >> reporter: in the week of trayvon martin's death, florida's stand your ground law came into spotlight. it's for controversy over the possibility it could shield george zimmerman from prosecution. now a to skus on how that law came into place spreched corporations who are involved with an obscure group called the
american legislative exchange council. the public pressure is being turned up by liberal advocacy groups like color of change. >> our members are asking us questions about stand your ground and how did this law not only get in place in florida but around the country. and all the fingers kept pointing back to alec. it's not just a.l.e.c. they do it with some of the biggest corporate brands in america. >> coca-cola and kraf are two of the big names that cut their ties with a.l.e.c. pepsi and intuit also cut that you are ties recently. a.l.e.c. says its mission is free market and limited government. it helps copy legislation from one state to another, but some of that legislation has little to do with business. for instance, for stand your ground, 15 states use the exact same language in their bills, according to the sunlight
foundation. a.l.e.c. itself said while it did not write stand your ground, it helped spread it beyond florida. >> it's one of our policies but we have a broad range of topics. but it's up to the particular state and what their constituents need and the most pressing problems facing them. >> reporter: another controversial law a.l.e.c. pushed is the voter i.d. law in many states. this man said he spoke to coca-cola last year along with the trade union in calling for better transparency. >> a.l.e.c. is out there trying to put legislation into place in states all around the country. you've got to look very seriously at what that legislation sighs and whether or not you want your company to be associated with it. >> companies that cut ties with a.l.e.c. said they were only
involved in issues that had a direct impact on their businesses. but with big names distancing themselves, liberal advocacy groups say they'll continue to turn up the pressure on more companies. >> mary snow, cnn, new york. >> cnn news room continues right now with ashleigh beenanfield. >> breaking news, as we wait for republican presidential candidate rick an store rum to speak leave in pnl pennsylvania it's going to be the first time he spoke public clu since his 3 yerld daughter was released from the hospital just yesterday. just to be very clear, while this was a campaign event, it's now officially a news conference and not a campaign event. we're going to bring it to you live as it happens. there's a lot of speculation and a lot of people who have been asking what exactly is this we're about to hear from the
former senator from. pn, current canada for the republican nomination. he's been fighting a pitched battle, mostly against mitt romney to try to gain as many delegates as possible. but has not sbn able to scleer the number of delegates to put him in the kind of running mitt romney has been getting the last several week where is he's been the presumed nominee by so many accounts. so as much speculation, and not a whisper from the campaign itself about this, jim? >> well, maybe more than a whisp whisper, ashleigh. i spoke to a senior strategist from the campaign. he's outside in the ballroom. sort of a et mooing room inside this hotel. i asked him about this report that rick santorum is going to
suspend his campaign. he said i'm not going to steer you towards or away from that report. then he walked out of the room and went outside. that's one of those signs you see when something is happening. and i will tell you that things have changed for the santorum campaign. at least when it comes to this event we're about to watch. it started out as an event, but now it is a news conference. and i can tell you just a few moments ago, we have gotten word, cnn is now reporting that rick santorum is suspending his campaign. we just got this news a few moments ago. and that is coming from our john king. he says he's got this from a senior adviser to the campaign. so now word is starting to get out. i can tell you that senator santorum is getting out of this race. at least suspending his campaign. >> suspending, thank you for clarifying. i want to jump over to john
king. you' been wo you' eve been working your sources. tell me a little bit more as you found out. >> suspending is really a technical term here. he's ending his campaign. getting a little feedback here. but by saying he's suspending his campaign, he can continue top run for money and file for matching funds. and he would be still available were something to happen. but i'm told that senator santorum for both family reasons and political reality reasons have decided to now suspend his campaign for presidency and look for him to acknowledge the fact that he believes it's all but certain now the former massachusetts governor mitt romney will be the republican nominee for president. why now? we do know on the family front he's had more difficulty with his young daughter bella just released from the hospital early this morning. we know that pennsylvania was to be his last stand. it was the state he represented in the house and senate. he was leading in the early polls there, sbu recent days
there have been recent days and polling showing governor romney might gars him. he was at 1% not long before the iowa caucuses. he has scrapped anticipate clawed to be in this race. he has emerged as the greatest threat to dpovr governor romney and it's been a tough one in the past few weeks as they deal with the delegate math and fundraising realities. but i'm told he will suspend his candidacy today. don't count him out. it was important to exit gracefully, exit at the right time because they believe should governor romney go on and be the nominee and lose in november, senator santorum will be a viable republican candidate the next time around, ashleigh. >> i don't know, this is the second time that his daughter bella was hospitalized sdurg the campaign. he canceled i think a couple of events last time.
how much is family, how much is embarrassment factor, the delegate count factor an moving on, maybe he couldn't be as convinced he could pull off the additional races in the midwest and texas, et cetera. >> only the senator can answer the question the balance between political reality and family. when i was at 1% to 2%, he talked about how hard it was to be away from her. he has to answer what percentage is this and that. we'll hear from him momentarily. he also knows the political reality and he has for some time said well, i'm not out of this yet. maybe there's an upset to be had here. but he had opportunities. he went down, invested, tried to upset governor romney there, he failed. now he's facing the very tough reality that not certain, but
quite possible and even some would say likely that governor romney was going to bit him on his home turf. you have a cool cue lags. if you think in your mind is 2016 could be right for you. you believe in some capacity you have a future has a leader in the conservative movement, did you want to lose at home? there's no question, there's no question that the changing poll numbers, the changing political terrain in pennsylvania and the pressure from friends around the country, some of who may not like governor romney, may not be enamored with the possibility, the prospect, the likelihood of romney as the nominee but they see it as inevitable now and they don't want to hurt the party. santorum is a proud individual, but let's also a republican and he gits the politics. >> i wanted to ask you about the possible job in any kind of mitt romney administration. but hold on for that thought. i want to skip over to wolf blitzer. do the math for me and let me know how this works going
forward. if, in fact, this is what we're about to hear that the senator santorum is going to suspend his campaign. what happens with all of his delegates at this point? >> a lot of them will be open at the convention to decide who they want to vote for. but it looks like they will all coalesce around mitt romney. santorum was really only the remaining threat to prevent mitt romney from getting to that number. mitt romney is going to have a much easier path. ron paul can stay in the race, newt gingrich can stay in the race, but they're not going to be able to prevent him from reaching that number. so on this day, ashleigh, it's clear to everyone now that the general election campaign has started once and for all with rick santorum suspending,
effectively dropping ouft of this race. it will be mitt romney versus president barack obama for the white house in november of this year. so the general election campaign for all practical purposes begins own this dpa and we'll go forward. all of these primaries coming up, nay will go through the motions in pennsylvania on april 24 in new york and rhode island and some of the other states. in may, i they'll have some primaries, but for all practical purposes, it is over right now. what we had suspected after the last series of primaries in wisconsin, maryland and d.c., santorum has it for all practical purposes. today we can definitively say it's over. that mitt romney is the republican presidential nominee. >> hold that thought. this was to be a campaign event.
now it's officially being called a news conference. we're going to sneak in a quick break, but we have our a-team waiting. back with more right after this. e about a band... ♪ an old man shared some fish stories... ♪ oooh, my turn. ♪ she was in paris, but we talked for hours... everyone else buzzed about the band. there's a wireless mind inside all of us. so, where to next? ♪
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>> we're waiting to hear from rick santorum. in the meantime, i want to speak to jim. i asked john king, how much of this decision is based on the family pressures he's been dealing with. his young daughter bella having been released from the hospital for the second time during this campaign. how much of this is the pressure of the campaign and the lag in that delegate count? this is not the first medical scare the family has had with little bella. they've had to go on stand by mode while the family deals with personal matters. this fits in with the timing of all of this, which will raise the question, and they will be asked at this press conference, hads her condition can got to the point where perhaps now is a better time for your family to not be in campaign mode? so perhaps that is a part of this.
but john was talking about this, there's huge political reasons as to why rick santorum is suspending his campaign now. first and foremost, he does not want to g down having lost this state twice. he lost very badly to bob casey. and had santorum lost the state to mitt romney, that could have badly damaged his prospects down the road. john was saying there have been people friendly to santorum urging him to get ott of this race. run is richard land, a conservative republican who was saying on "face the nation" just yesterday it was time for rick santorum to get out of this race. eight years from now, assuming romney wins in the fall, rick
stan tor rum would be three years younger than mitt romney is right now at that point. so i think feel have been trying to say in every way possible, there really is no way to win this without taking this to a contested convention and the best thing to do ask to get out now. if he takes this into june, he could badly sdaj mitt romney. a lot of these later elections are real will made for santorum. it could have hurt him heading into june. this makes sense for santorum to get out now, politically and from a family reason as well. this all about a week after a conservative meeting urging them
to rally behind a strong nominee. also coming out of playen the heels of the strong statements, the poles are looking good. rick santorum saying i'm going to take this to pennsylvania and win that state. >> it was clearly an uphill struggle for santorum. the mitt romney folks were getting ready to spend $2 million or $3 million in advertising over the next two weeks to crush him. two weeks from today is the pennsylvania primary. it would have been so embarrassing if santorum would have been humiliated in his own home state. if he's looking ahead to 2016, which i suspect he is, he's still really young. he's only in his mid 50s right now. this is a very graceful way for him to drop out. it's a graceful way to set the scene potentially for four years down the road.
politicians tend to look at their futures down the road. so once he announces he's suspending, tblly he'll still be able to raise some money, but for all practical purposes on this date april 10, 2012, it became a general election between mitt romney and president barack obama. so the general election campaign for all practical purposes has begun. you know the former senator. i'm sure this was a difficult decision for him. he came from almost nowhere to win. he's had a remarkably successful campaign, but not successful enough. >> no .. look, even he was surprised frankly at how far he had come given where he was not long before the iowa caucuses, basically an asterisk in the polls. despite very clear writing on the wall, the very clear math that rick santorum did not have
enough delegates and would not be a toibl get enough delegates, short of a miracle to get the nomination, his campaign aids, people who were the closest to him, even as soon as maybe the past week were intent on saying he is not going to quit before pennsylvania. knowing the kind of person he is, it's very clear that two things had to have happened. one is the whole idea of potentially losing his home state, as many of my colleagues have talked about already was probably too much. and also the fact that he had been home with his sick daughter bella probably put things into perspective given where things were. i can also tell you that our peter hamby was reporting that senator santorum had a conference call shortly, a few minutes ago with his wife and with the campaign manager tried to buck up his staff saying
we're not going to give up. clearly he understands his future is at stake here because there are a lot of republicans looking at him saying okay, all right already, we've got to turn the focus now to barack obama. >> rick santorum has placed a phone call to governor romney that he's about to suspend his campaign. >> i have a republican source saying that senator santorum called governor romney to tell him he's prepared to do this. and santorum said he wants to help. the source wouldn't say much more about the conversation. he wants to help. governor romney faces a huge challenge. you see the gender gap. you also see to governor romney's right, a lot of wounds in the republican party. just days ago, it was senator santorum saying every time we nominate a moderate, and he calls romney a moderate, we lose.
senator santorum saying on the health care issue which is a huge issue before the country right now, mitt romney would be the worst possible candidate to put up against president obama because he has the massachusetts health care plan on which parts of were used as a model for the obama health care plan. thf phone call will be viewed quite favor kbli with the romney campaign now. he has problems on his right with the conservative base but also with him and dependents. the sooner the better is the romney campaign reaction to this. >> i suspect, i'm curious to see what you think, this will put enormous pressure on newt
gingrich to follow suit. his campaign is not really moving forward. i suspect there will be enormous pressure on newt gingrich given the enormous debt. i suspect eventually sooner rather than later he'll suspend, financially suspend his campaign as well. >> very tough call. speaker gingrich who has said publicly governor romney is most likely the nominee also said he wants to stay in the race to elevate the policy discussion. he said it's been foo too personal. it's time to do the heeling and trying to get ready. but if you're speaker gingrich, you will also have advisers say you could win in indiana you, not an store rum could win in texas. you could still get several hundred more delegates if you
stay in the a is and have a bigger role in the convention. so some will say please get out, it's over. others saying you now have an opportunity not to take governor romney out, not to dpe feet him, but so try to change the tone and tenor of the conversation. which choice will the speaker make? he's going to answer that question. here he is right now. >> the family is coming in. they're getting ready to address all of us. this is an historic moment. >> it's always an honor to be here in this beautiful town of gettysbu gettysburg. it's such an historic town. first and foremost, i want to thank everybody for the outpouring of prayers over the past weekend. we had a difficult weekend. good friday was a little bit of a passion for us, passion play for us with our daughter bella
who is getting very sick. we were in the hospital all weekend. i'm here to report to start out things that she is a fighter and she is doing exceptionally well and is back with us and the family. we are looking forward to spending a lot of great time for her. but it did cause us to think. the role that we have as parents in her life and the rest of our family, and that was this was a time for prayer and thought over this past weekend, just like it was frankly when we decided to get into this race. karen and i and the kids sat at the kitchen table and talked about our hopes and fears and our concerns. we were very concerned about our role of being the best role we could possibly make as our children and making sure they had a country where the american
dream was still possible. and i think a lot of concerns that we had that karen and i had particularly for our family was that with what was going on in washington, d.c. and all of the problems that you heard me talk about on the campaign trail, that american dream was not just slipping for average americans but for all americans. that dream was slipping away. and we had as good parents to go out what we could to take on that responsibility for our children and for children across in country. and so we started out almost a year ago now and told the story of our family. my grand to thor who came to this country and worked in the gold mines. throughout the course of this campaign, talked about my
stories and stories of our families. but after a while it becameless about our stories and more about your stories. is one such story was a guy named chuck who had a pickup truck and joined our team and drove us around in his dodge ram pickup truck for months on end and did so as a volunteer because he believed. he believed that we provided the best opportunity to turn this country around. and i met a lot of folks in iowa that i'll never forget. folks like sam who is a talk show host. i'll never forget this fighter pilot. a man of very strong
convictions, faring up about what's happening with our country, particularly with national security. not a thee-legged stool of ronald reagan but a four-legged tool including the constitution. wendy, our best volunteer. a few days before the primary, because she was someone dealing with a disability, dealing with an illness, she passed away shortly afterthe caucus. but he was someone that i remembered her passion for the least of us. those who are on the margins of society as many would have looked at her. folks even today, because of our daughter bella who came to our rally, one after another in wheelchairs, bringing their special needs children and holding signs up of children saying i'm for bella's dad.
just a beautiful idea again of not my story but their stories is what really fuelled our campaign and gave us the energy at a time when over and over again, we were told forget it, you can't win. we were winning. we were winning in a very different way because we were touching haertds and raising issues. this phone call after iowa was a young man who came to our first event in oklahoma. in a wheelchair named nathaniel who had spina bifida who wanted someone to speak about people who are overlooked by society or don't seem to be as valuable as others in society. folks like the duggars who gave
us their time and energy because again they believed in the basic importance of having strong families. as part of a strong country. we can't have a strong economy without strong families and strong moral fiber that makes us the moral enterprise that is america. even fun things like the sweater vest. it happened on a night i was doing an event for mike huckabee in des moines. everybody showed up in suits and ties and i showed up in a sweater vest. all of a sudden the twitter verse went wild saying it must be the sweater vest. then it became the official wardrobe of the santorum campaign. and the cool thing was we -- obviously we have a big part of our campaign is manufacturing
base of the economy, so we, of course, sourced that sweater vest in a company making them here in the united states. we ended up going to that little company in minnesota. got a chance to see that little plant that had been around for almost 100 years. it turned out, we're the best customer that they have ever had in their entire history. it's been a wonderful sforry after story of people who have come forward. over a million hits on youtube of that catchy little tune that they were inspired to give. and even today, we have folks working for us in texas to make it a winner take all primary
because they want to make sure that we have the best opportunity for texas and for conservatives to have a voice throughout the course of this primary. it's been inspiring to me, stories after story we've been engaged with. it really wasn't my voice i was out communicating. it was your voice. the voice that you gave me from the stories and experience that i had. people say how did this happen? i was smart enough to figure out that if i understood and felt at a very deep level what you were experiencing across america and try to be a witness of that, that your voice could be heard and miracles could happen and so it did. miracle after miracle, this race was as improbable as any race you'll ever see for president. i want to thank god for that and
thank all of you across this country for what you've given. hopefully not just me and our family, but you've given a voice in many cases to those who are voiceless. we tried to be a witness not just for your story or voice, but provide a positive and hopeful vision, not a neg tv campaign. we we painted a hopeful, positive vision for our country. not just economically, but reflecting the hopes of americans, not just the fears of americans. what we could do to counter violent, radical islam. how we could take on the problems of a sluggish economy and washington that has grown so
big. we put forth concrete solid plans that many of which came from the people that i had an opportunity to interact with throughout the course and time of this campaign. we did focus a lot on the families and dignity of moral life that is america. i know joe kleine will be upset about this, but one of my favorite articles was one that he wrote, where his headline was rick santorum's inconvenient truths. talked about things that maybe get shoved say aside in the public discourse. we carried around our copy of the constitution. it was the constitution that got the 6 tea party folks excited about the operator's manual being discarded by those in washington. what i tried to bring to the battle was what abraham lincoln
brought to this battle feel when he talked about this country being dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. the declaration of independence, we will never be a country who d go forward as a great and powerful country again unless we remember who we are and what makes us americans. that's what our campaign was about, about what made us americans how we built this country from the bottom up, how we must believe in ourselves and our ability to go forward and do the same thing. >> we want moon more counties t anyone else in this race combined.
what we found was that while we found that support, i found a deeper love for this country. i traveled around, it was a love affair for me going from state to state and seeing the difference, but seeing the wonderful, wonderful people of this country who care deeply about where this country is going, who are feeling left behind and in some respects feeling hopeless and want to do something. ladies and gentlemen, we made a decision to get into this race against all odds. while this presidential race is over for me and we will suspend our campaign effective today, we are not done fighting.
we are going to continue to fight for those voices. we're going to continue to fight for the americans who stood up and gave us that air under our wings that allowed us to accomplish things that no political expert would have ever expected. there's a lot of great nns this country and we need to find leaders that will speak to that who will raise us up rather than provide for us and do for us what we can do ourselves. that's the message that came to me and one that i feel very, very good about continuing to talk to americans about. ing i a walked out after the iowa caucus and i said game on. i know many, maybe even including the white house that
said game over. we're going to fight to make sure we defeat president barack obama, that we win the house back and that we take the united states senate and we stand for the values that make us americans, that make us the greatest country in the history of the world, that shining city on the hill, to be a beacon for everybody for freedom around the world. thank you all for much. god bless you. >> there's rick santorum, the former pennsylvania senator announcing he's suspending his presidential campaign, it's over for me, he said, but he says he will continue the struggle. clearly he's going to try to rally support for mitt romney who now for all practical purposes will face president obama for the white house in november. there you saw senator santorum speaking eloquent willry. took him about 12 minutes or so to get to the substance, to the point he was trying to make that he was suspending the campaign. the reason they use the word
suspend is technically the campaign can still go out there and raise money in order to pay back debts to make sure that he won't leave with my personal debts. but the suspension effectively means it's over. and he actually used those words, it's over for me. john king has been watching what's going on. this is a sad moment for rick santorum, but it sounded to me like he's clearing looking ahead. >> and he was asked, would you consider being mitt romney's running mate? there's no question, he plans on being an immediate impact player still in the conservative movement and the republican party. they're not often the exact thing. the movement and the party. hooufr, what has been the defining question in the whole republican primary contest? who would emerge as the conservative challenger, the principal challenger to the front-runner mitt romney. if you look at the map, it was
rick stan tor rum. there was the her man cain movement, the rick stan tor rum movement, the gingrich movement. but look at this map. he went at one point 1% in the polls in iowa to actually winning the iowa caucuses just barely over mitt romney. remember on that caucus night, we thought romney was the winner. but then he went on to prove himself, largely in the midwest, somewhat down here in the south. what do you learn from this? you learn about santorum's tenacity. he was not the best funded candidate. he didn't have the biggest staff, the most experienced staff, but he had personal tenacity and he nen won evangelical voters, tea party voters. he built a campaign largely from his hard work. it tells you about some romney's weaknesses. senator santorum talked about the voice he was trying to represent in his campaign. one of his voice, one of his messages was that mitt romney could not win a general election, that he was not
conservative enough to get these voters down here in the south. to get these tea party voters to vote republican. well, now governor romney is going to need his help to go out to this part of the country and say that was all politic, trust me, mitt romney is better than president obama. it will be interesting to watch if there will be any tensions preside president. >> if he had stayed in the race and lost in pennsylvania his own political future would have been in trouble. now he emerges with a vision. i don't think there's any great admiration or love between rick santorum or mitt romney, but no doubt, rick stan tor rum will work to a certain degree to try to help mitt romney.
you're getting more on the decision by rick santorum to effective whether i end his campaign? >> that's right. santorum really finally made this decision last night. but it was after discussions throughout the weekend with his family and with, of course, his senior aides. and in terms of the raw map is three things had to happen for him to really find a narrow path to keep going. one is, they had to make the contest winner take all. that did not happen. texas was going to be proportional. if he won, which it looked like he would possibly do, he still wouldn't get all of those delegates. second, of course, most immediately is the state of pennsylvania. they weren't entirely sure he was going to win his own shoem
state. and third, the fact of the matter is that newt gingrich still was siphoning off some conservative votes in these contests. despite efforts of people who supported rick santorum, gingrich wouldn't back down and he was taking delegates here, delegates there. those are the ultimate reasons math wise that he decided to step aside today. >> ewith just got a statement from mitt romney personally. let me read it to our viewers. senator santorum is an able and worthy competitor and i congratulate him on the campaign he ran. he has proven himself to be an important voice in our party and in our nation. we both recognize what is most important is putting the failures of the last three years behind us and setting america back on the path to prosperity. a short statement from mitt romney congratulating senator santorum on his campaign run but
clearly mitt romney, very, very relieved. i'm sure his campaign very relieved that it's over right now. that mitt romney will be the republican presidential nominee. there will be some more primaries. some technical issues before the republican convention in august in tampa, but mitt romney now is all set to be president obama's challenger going into the november election. >> any reaction yet from the obama campaign or the white house? >> no reaction. they haven't gone after individual candidates that frequently. bleu the campaign itself singled in on mitt romney. that allows them to target mitt romney and fundraise often. recently, the campaign has been trying to fundraise more aggressi aggressively. now they will target mitt romney one-on-one.
while much of the media's attention has been focused on the campaign going on on the republican side, the obama campaign has spent more than $100 million since they first laumplged last april on building a campaign across this country. so they have been in campaign mode for quite some time. and they will now no doubt ratchet that up. i would expect to see the president continue to be on the road as he is today. he's new mexico florida at three fu fundraisers. we're going to see him attend an event in boca raton now, pushing for the buffet rule, which you and i have discussed before, calling for an increased tax on millionaire, a key component for his campaign message he's fighting for, the middle class as he puts it. so he's increasingly in campaign mode as he goes back and forth between the trail and the white house and this gives him the opportunity to increasingly hit
mitt romney and take the campaign directly to who he now can openly say will be his challenger in the general election. wolf? >> it's going to be a fierce, fierce battle between mitt romney and president obama. we have a lot more to dissect and digest. our coverage, an historic day as this presidential contest gets ready for a new chapter. our coverage continues in a moment. great shot. how did the nba become the hottest league on the planet?
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there was air under our wing that allowed us to accomplish things no political expert ever would have expected. >> he came seemingly out of nowhere to win the iowa caucus. narrowly, but he did win the iowa caucuses. and he's done well since emerging as the main challenger for mitt romney to the republican presidential nomination. but today, rick an store rum ends it all? he effectively ends his race for the white house?
you were in the room when he made that announcement. what did you think when he announced what was going on? i think we're having trouble. we have dana. he said he made this decision last night over the dinner table with his wife and family. you could see how sad they were, their faces behind them. you could see their sadness in their look. but you know what, her husband, their father, he did remarkably well. they have no reason to be ashamed by any means. he came out of nowhere and he almost managed to get it. not close enough, though. >> that's right. and you pointed out something important that we should talk about. we do remember this occasionally, that politicians are people, too. i have seen this family, this very large family, all all of his older kids out on the
campaign trail with rick santorum day in and day out. they suspended their lives, their young lives effectively to be out with their father to help them, to sort of humanize him, which we often see from politicians' families. he have beaten up for some of the things he said, making him appear to be anti-woman. his woif is out there say no, no, that's not the ways. this is definitely a letdown for any political family. while i'm talking to you, wolf, i just want to mention, there are two other republican candidates still in the race technically besides mitt romney and they are newt gingrich and ron paul.
ron paul, i don't think this will come to is any surprise, he's not going to do anything different. he's not going to suspend his campaign. they're going to put a release out to that effect shortly. ron paul was running four years ago and he didn't really ever end his campaign, but about this time, he is going to take it to the convention. unclear at this point how much of an impact that's going to make. >> for all practical purpose, the general election campaign begins today between mitt romney and barack obama. jim, you were inside the room when senator santorum made the announcement with his family. tell us what was going on. >> this was a vintage san forum speech. he did not use a teleprompter. he was speaking ad lib.
it was a very emotional speech. one thing supporters can take away from this campaign, he is connected with families, with children who have disabilities. you could by his side his wife karen who has been, you know, caught up with tears from time to time during this campaign. her eyes welled up when he was talking about that. this is clearly an issue that is near and dear to this family. he also gave some appropriate shoutouts to various aspects of his campaign. he talked about the chuck truck. that was referring to a rick santorum supporter who drove him around in a pickup truck across the state of iowa. he didn't have a big flashy campaign bus like some of the other candidates. he also talked about the sweater vest. rick santorum wore that sweater vest. he would pull off an upset over mitt romney. people would talk about fearing the vest, fear the sweater vest.
there was also a campaign song that two young lady supporters of his came up with called game on, referring to that staimt, those two words that have rick santorum uttered at the end of the iowa caucuses when he said to his supporters game on in that very surprising finish he had in the iowa caucuses. that was an interesting thing to watch. perhaps the most notable thing that came out of this speech, this is something that a lot of people in washington tend to focus on. perhaps it doesn't mean a great deal once this thing moves forward, but he did not mention mitt romney once. during this smeech. he did not talk about getting behind mitt romney. he did not stalk about endorsing mitt romney. he did talk about trying to get out and defeat barack obama in the fall campaign. but this was not a full throated endorsement of mitt romney. and i think that goes to some of the lingering bad blood.
there were times you could tell rick santorum felt unfairly beat up. his campaign manager came out after the speech was over and said mitt romney and rick santorum have set a future date at some point where they will get together and perhaps hammer out some of these things. i shouted out a question afterwards saying are you getting behind mitt romney and he didn't wans the question, wolf. >> he didn't want to take any questions. he's emerging from that event. joe johns is joining us right now. a short statement released by mitt rom noo e, but as. >> this is one of the reasons
santorum stayed in the campaign so long, because of the attack ads, that he deemed somewhat personal. congratulating him on the campaign he ran recognizing that what's most important is putting the failures of the last three years behind them and setting america on the path to prosperity. this is clearly an attempt to try to heal the wounds, if you will. and you've seen how the romle knee campaign is trying to sort of advance and retreat and not trying to go too far in any one direction because the question was when santorum was going to get out of the race. the most interesting thing we saw was when santorum's daughter bella got sick and had to go back to the hospital.
the romney campaign pulling back on attack ads that they had purchased until, you know, they found out what was going on with the child. so there's obviously going to be an attempt here to try to heal the wounds and get on the business about running against president obama. >> no love lost between these two men, at least for now. but you know what, this is politics. stand by, we'll continue our special coverage right after this. all energy development comes with some risk, but proven technologies allow natural gas producers to supply affordable, cleaner energy, while protecting our environment.
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with three strains of good bacteria. hit me! [ female announcer ] live the regular life. phillips'. senator rick santorum suspending his campaign for president. it sets the stage, romney now has the republican nomination for all practical purposes in the bag. >> a couple quick footnotes to make. we changed from this map, wolf, the republican race to this map, the electoral matchup. i want to note a very significant statement from the frun national chairman, he just called stan tor rum's decision commendable. he said he's putting party first. that would be a message to speaker gingrich. the mount establishmentless concerned about congressman ron
paul but calling santorum's decision commendable does send a message to the gingrich campaign. this is the map, blue states won by obama in 2008. just about every campaign or strategist will tell you they see about a sdozen battlegrounds. you come here, here and here. i just take a dozen states that obama carried, what do you get? you start roughly with the democrats about 206, 207. it takes 270. republicans, about 180. just about everybody out there, even the obama campaign, they'll contest indiana but they believe indiana is going to go red. a lot of conversation about virginia and north carolina. for the sake of argument say north carolina goes republican. this is a hypothetical. republicans are confident about colorado. the obama campaign isn't giving
it up. the republicans are confident about florida. i'm going to say for the sake of otherwise, we'll give pennsylvania back to the democrats. now look at this, what do you have? 244, 226. nevada, highest unemployment rate, but republicans have a problem with the latinos in that community. so say obama keeps that one. you see obama with a healthy lead. when you go state by state, you get the makings of what could be a competitive election. republicans are confident about ohio. no republican in modern times has not won the presidency without carrying ohio. then you see romney would be in striking distance. could he windows 95 there? president obama say thinks the