tv Starting Point CNN May 2, 2012 7:00am-9:00am EDT
waterboarded -- that's one neighbor potentially of incoming hooters restaurant. why some people want it and some people don't. it's wednesday, may 2nd, and "starting point" begins right now. welcome, everybody. new questions this morning about america's longest running war after a trip to afghanistan by president obama. the unannounced visit to kabul was full of secrecy and symbolism, be but not very many specifics. a tough reminder that there's a long way to go in that country. suicide car bomber and taliban militants disguised attacked a housing compound. nick paton walsh is live with us. good morning. >> reporter: good morning. it appears the suicide bomber drove a car full of explosives into what's known as the green village here. close to the center of kabul, a
place where many foreign contractors and ex-pats live in supposed maximum security and safety. it's unclear what happened after this initial explosion. some suggestion guards shot back and suggestions other attackers disguised in the head to toe female garments distinctive to afghanistan rushed. no matter how this panned out, we saw seven afghan civilians killed, one of which was a school child and ten school children injured. many afghans asleep when president obama visited under secrecy of the darkness yesterday. not having seen his speech awoken, though, to the sound of these explosions. >> thank you. president obama declared in afghanistan the country is no longer a safe haven for terrorists and al qaeda's defeat is now within reach. that trip included an agreement with president hamid karzai outlining the strategic partnership between the two countries that will take place after 2014.
>> last year, we removed 10,000 u.s. troops from afghanistan. another 23,000 will leave by the end of the summer. after that, reductions will continue at a steady pace with more and more of our troops coming home. and as our coalition agreed, by the end of 2014, the afghans will be fully responsible for the security of their country. >> lots of people thought that speech, though, was pretty low on specifics. an editorial in the "new york times" this morning wrote this. "the white house set it up as a big moment, but the president squandered the chance to fully explain his exit strategy from a war americans are desperate to see brought to an end." seth jones is a senior political scientist for rand corporation also a former senior adviser for u.s. special operations command in afghanistan. a new book called "hunting in the shadows." it's nice to have you with us. thanks for being here. president paints a fairly rosy picture in that speech last night of afghanistan.
the reality, of course, is much less rosy and much more complicated. what did he miss? what nuances did he miss in that speech? >> well, it's important to recognize there is an active insurgency that continues. and we saw that earlier today with at least seven people killed in a car bombing in kabul. we also have several neighbors including pakistan and iran that are providing consistent support to insurgent groups. so there's a lot that has to come between today and peace in afghanistan. >> so when the president says this about the tide turning, i'm curious to know your thoughts. let's play that. >> over the last three years, the tide has turned. we broke the taliban's momentum, we built strong afghan security forces, we devastated al qaeda's leadership taking out over 20 of their top 30 leaders. and one year ago, from base here in afghanistan, our troops launched the operation that killed osama bin laden. the goal that i set to defeat al
qaeda and deny it a chance to rebuild is now withinur reach. >> is, in fact, that true? the goal to defeat and deny al qaeda a chance to rebuild is within the reach of the united states? >> i think that's a little optimistic. i think we see al qaeda has partially rebuilt itself across the border in pakistan. it has pushed some fighters, including farouk al qatar. and we've also seen a relationship, a continuing relationship in osama bin laden documents between elements of senior al qaeda and the taliban. so, again, very complicated picture here. >> in addition to people criticizing the speech and it was a short speech, i'll give you that, for lack of specifics, i think you have to look at it a couple of ways, right? there's the speech and the content and then there's the political speech. who is the audience that the president's talking to? i count the neighbors of afghanistan, the afghan citizens and civilians themselves, and
then, of course, american voters. who am i missing? who is the most important? >> well, i think the american voters are probably the most important here. the fact that the president said he's going to be decreasing on a steady basis the american forces means that we're not going to see over the long run a lot more americans killed. but there clearly is an audience here both for afghans and the neighbors. people remember the united states departure from afghanistan in 1989. the funding dried up after the soviet wars ended. and i think it is important to demonstrate that the u.s. is not leaving now. >> would not comment on troop size, would not comment on financial commitments. he did say they would not be building bases. he did say there'd be support and support would be in the form of counterterror support and training. but even there, not specifics who would be doing the training. what do you think was the most important element out of that speech? >> well, again, the u.s. will not be leaving permanently. i think that is the message to send to the afghans and to the broader region. the u.s. will not after 2014 completely abandon the country.
i do think that's an important message to send. >> politically, many people have said the timing is interesting, the one-year anniversary of the killing -- i mean literally squeaking in under the wire of the killing of osama bin laden. here's what the president said about americans being tired of war. >> i recognize that many americans are tired of war. as president, nothing is more wrenching than signing a letter to the family of the fallen. or looking into the eyes of a child that will grow up without a mother or father. i will not keep americans in harm's way a single day longer than is required for our national security. but we must finish our job we finished in afghanistan and end this war responsibly. >> what else do you think he needed to say? >> well, i think he needed to say, again, why are we there? and he started to get to that on the al qaeda front. but i think a more realistic
assessment of the situation because al qaeda today is not a defeated organization. we have branches that have spread out across parts of the globe in yemen and somalia. i think it's helpful to make a strong argument this war will not stop in 2014. that this group that's based on the afghan/pakistan border will continue to target the u.s. h e homeland for the foreseeable future. >> he glossed over the iraq war in half a line. >> he also said the war in iraq is over. it's over from an american soldier standpoint, but that war is continuing to rage and actually levels of violence from al qaeda in iraq have picked up this year. so that war is far from over. >> when you look at this trip, gauge it for me from a political standpoint and then from a content standpoint and sort of policy standpoint. victory as it's being touted today by administration sources? all political from folks who are opponents of the president? or as you look forward to this
meeting in chicago with nato, a wash? >> i think it's a wash to some degree. the nato summit in chicago will be critical. we're looking for more specifics from the summit, looking for troop numbers, looking for a better strategy, and commitments from america's allies in nato. >> does this speech and this visit help? >> well, probably helps because it does show a longer term american commitment, but without the specifics, it's hard to take that too seriously. >> nice to see you. thanks for joining us this morning. we appreciate it. >> thank you. >> you bet. in about 20 minutes we'll be talking to the former minnesota governor and the former presidential candidate tim pawlenty. he'll weigh in on the president's visit to afghanistan. of course, he is now representing the romney campaign. first, though, we want to get to other headlines making news and christine has that for us. good morning. >> thank you, soledad. major developments in the escape of chen. the u.s. has negotiated his freedom. late last night, he left the u.s. embassy and was taken to a
medical facility to be reunited with his family and receive treatment on an ankle he hurt escaping from house arrest six days ago. just yesterday, cnn was chased out of his home village. the crew was followed by an unmarked car for hours, then a crew -- a group of men jumped out and attacked the crew. the entire ordeal has threatened to overshadow secretary clinton's trip to beijing. she arrived there this morning. clinton was the first person to speak to chen after he left the u.s. embassy. he reportedly told her, "i want to kiss you." now we're learning the u.s. has negotiated chen staying in china no longer under house arrest and will be moving to another part of china to study something he's not been allowed to do until now. secretary of state clinton has released this statement. i'm pleased we were able to facilitate chen gaungcheng's
stay and departure from the u.s. embassy. five men in fbi custody accused of trying to blow up a major bridge and plans to reportedly target nato and the republican national convention, as well. the fbi says three of the men are self-proclaimed anarchists. they had been monitoring the group since october and provided the fake bombs that the group allegedly attached to the bridge outside cleveland. investigators say the public was never in any danger. criminal charges are now expected in the death of florida a & m drum major robert champion. a state attorney will hold a news conference this afternoon. five band members are facing possible felonies. 26-year-old champion died back in november. beaten on a bus as part of a band hazing ritual. minding your business this morning, u.s. stock futures lower ahead of the opening bell. the dow closed at a four-year high yesterday. it was a boost from a strong report on u.s. manufacturing that took it there. plus, a new report says that people are putting more money into their retirement accounts,
taking advantage of those stock gains. fidelity says average 401(k) balances rose 8% to just about $75,000 at the end of the first quarter compared to the same period a year ago. facebook's initial public offering fast approaching. the wall street journal reports this morning that face book shares will begin trading publicly on may 18th, that's the plan. the journal also reporting the road show to shop at stocks for big investors will kick off monday. company shares will be traded under the ticker symbol fb. and fig newtons are now just newtons. craft decided to drop the fig. the cookies have other fillings besides just fig. fresh strawberries and blueberries and raspberries will be proudly displayed on the box. they were first produced in the 1890s. so good-bye, fig. >> the passing, the end of an
era. >> don't change my newtons. >> children are crying in their coffee. thank you. appreciate it. still ahead this morning on "starting point." rupert murdoch, and calls for the end of his media empire in the united states. we're going to talk this morning to the man who wrote the book "the fall of the house of murdoch." and our get real, the effort to bring hooters to brooklyn is a bust, get it? our panel heading in this morning. talk about that and much more. good morning, everybody. you're watching "starting point." back in a moment. [ sneezes ] [ male announcer ] you may be an allergy muddler. try zyrtec® for powerful allergy relief. and zyrtec® is different than claritin® because it starts working faster on the first day you take it. zyrtec®. love the air. [ sneezes ] ifif y youou'r're e lolookokinio geget t totogegethther, yoyou u cacameme t to o ththe. bebecacaususe e heherere a at, wewe'r're e ononlyly a abob.
welcome barks back, everybody, this morning, more fallout in that scathing report that condemned rupert murdoch and his news corp.'s company. saying "when coupled with its conduct in the united states, it is clear that news corp. has engaged in a pattern of misbehavior that disqualifies it from holding broadcast
licenses." meanwhile, news corp. firing back against that british report which said that rupert murdoch was not a fit person. that's a quote, to run a major international company saying that very conclusion was "unjustified and highly partisan." so what does it mean for the future of rupert murdoch and his media empire? let's get to a contributor from "newsweek" and "the daily beast." he joins us this morning from london. nice to see you. thanks for being with us. i appreciate it. in addition to all we were talking about yesterday happening in parliament. the u.s. department of justice is also investigating. so how does what we heard yesterday out of where you are in england affect that investigation here in the united states? >> well, phone hacking isn't within the remit of the department of justice's investigation. i think you probably know that's probably more likely to be focused on the foreign corrupt practices act, which relates to something that committee yesterday didn't investigate, which is quite extensive
allegations of corrupting officials. the other tabloid paper which murdoch owns, "the sun," the daily paper isn't accused or being investigated for payments to police. that comes under the foreign corrupt practices acts. and those investigations are still ongoing. >> news corp. currently has 27 broadcast licenses, local tv stations across the country, new york, los angeles, dallas, washington, d.c., parliament saying that he is unfit to run news corp. using the words willful blindness. how much jeopardy is, in fact, rupert murdoch in in this particular country with those licenses? >> that's the sec and has strict criteriato analyze in the british case. if it goes beyond britain. there are other investigations, fbi looking at cases in russia. there's another case ongoing in sicily about alleged hacking of
rival pay tv channels. so the problem is there's a pattern of these practices. that that would definitely under u.s. law require some investigation. there's also civil cases pending in the u.s., i believe, which allege phone hacking of british or american citizens on u.s. soil. now, that could force disclosure from news corp. that's what happened here. it took ten years, but the patent of a civil case forcing disclosure from news international led to these revelations. we don't know where it would go in the states. >> it was quite an amazing thing to listen to tom watson, a member of the parliament who was just the -- one of the most damning statements i've ever heard ever on live television talking about rupert murdoch. what kind of weight does it hold? you know, one of the things we heard was an apology might be demanded and might be forthcoming. what would that matter? what would the impact be? >> well, i noticed that news corp. statement was quite
apologetic. i think tom watson has a particular beef. he claims he was surveyed several times and followed by news corp., or news international employees. i think there is a sense that was along with an inquiry, a huge blow against murdoch and may be a sign that his departing the uk, at least in newspaper terms. but remember, that's only 1% of news corp.'s revenues. the b sky b thing is much more lucrative and much more interesting to him. but even still, news corp. is, you know, vast organization throughout the world. it is shaming him and causes acute problems, but i'm not sure to what extent. with the share points going up because of a buy back he's in jeopardy just yet. >> peter dukes, thanks for joining us. appreciate it. >> you're welcome. and this into cnn, a brand new photo of chen gaungcheng. shows him being wheeled by a
nurse in a hospital in beijing. he's been transferred there after six days at the u.s. embassy. u.s. officials negotiated his freedom and we're told he's going to be moving to another part of china where he'll be able to study. we've got to take a short break, but still ahead on starting point, secret service agents caught up in the colombian prostitution scandal say they're not going to cooperate. we'll tell you why. and our get real this morning, folks in brooklyn happy about getting the nets, less happy about getting hooters. what they're going to do about it. this is off meredith baxter's play list, it's santana "smooth." [ female announcer ] introducing coffee-mate natural bliss.
made with only milk... cream... a touch of sugar... and pure natural flavors. coffee-mate natural bliss. from nestle. add your flavor naturally. it's real milk full of calcium and vitamin d. and tastes simply delicious. for those of us with lactose intolerance... lactaid® milk. the original 100% lactose-free milk. to help protect your eye health as you age... would you take it? well, there is. [ male announcer ] it's called ocuvite. a vitamin totally dedicated to your eyes, from the eye-care experts at bausch + lomb. as you age, eyes can lose vital nutrients. ocuvite helps replenish key eye nutrients. [ male announcer ] ocuvite has a unique formula not found in your multivitamin to help protect your eye health.
wow. so meredith, usually -- >> i love new york. wish it was smack dab in between the river and the rio grande, but it's not. >> they go for the wings, they don't go for the waitresses or the tight tops, they're not going for the orange shorts. i don't get it. >> no. >> why would anybody want to stop a hooters from opening up? according to the "new york daily news" the restaurant chain is looking to bring the fun to the location near the new barclay's center, which is the new home of the nets. the new nets arena. >> they're debating that. >> i was trying to figure it out. is it the new york nets? the brooklyn nets? >> we'll see. >> not only debating that, but
debating this. should a hooters be allowed to open? because there's a group of local moms who say, no, a group called save park slope says we will fight hooters on all fronts. you remember this is the same group that declared that the ice cream vendors were a nuisance to be dealt with proving once again that moms in park slope are not to be messed with. >> they've gotten to save brooklyn from a lot of things. ice cream and hooters. >> one mother was quoted as saying it's a disgusting national chain with bad beer and bad food. another said strip joints are next using the classic slippery slope argument. you start with a hooters -- so that was the dilemma. but the biggest issue for them might be space because there's not a lot of big store fronts apparently in park slope, which is where they want to go. when i was pregnant, i loved the wings at hooters. i used to go all the time much to the tremendous embarrassment of my husband and friends -- >> there are straight men who
wouldn't set foot in a hooters. it's embarrassing. i applaud the moms for this. i don't think it's going to be happening. i think the last thing professional sports needs is more ties to juvenile nicknames for the female anatomy. >> well, we support you and the women everywhere appreciate that, but i like the wings. can we get a good restaurant with good food? >> yeah, just take -- get the wings, take them out. >> yeah. i haven't gone since i've had children. but when i was pregnant -- >> it's exciting, and will it be the brooklyn nets or the new york nets? >> i hope it's the brooklyn nets. i do. i hope it's the brooklyn nets. >> i think they should call it the new jersey nets since the new york giants are in jersey. we can have a hypocrisy sports tradeoff that way. >> i like that way. >> i'm here for solutions. who wants to smack me now? it's very, very thrilling and it's great for brooklyn. i was one that wished the nets moved to brooklyn when they tore
down shea stadium. whether there's a hooters or not, it's great for the economy and great for brooklyn. >> it's going to be classy. >> keep it classy. >> lest not have a hooters, let's have a tgi fridays. still ahead on "starting point," if we can. it's like a hitchcock movie, one man fearing an attack from above. we'll tell you what happened. plus the gop reacting to president obama's secret trip to afghanistan. some critics say it was just a campaign stop. governor mitt romney seemed to be okay with it. we're going to talk to his national campaign co-chairman tim pawlenty ahead. and jason siegle wants hillary clinton to act with him in a movie. this morning, a personal response from the secretary of state. this is christine's play list, "move like jagger," my 11-year-old likes this song too.
(female announcer) most life insurance companies look at you and just see a policy. at aviva, we do things differently. we're bringing humanity back to life insurance. that's why only aviva rewards you with savings for getting a check-up. it's our wellness for life program, with online access to mayo clinic. see the difference at avivausa.com. so why exactly should that be of any interest to you? well, in that time there've been some good days. and some difficult ones.
but, through it all, we've persevered, supporting some of the biggest ideas in modern history. like the transatlantic cable that connected continents. and the panama canal that made our world a smaller place. we supported the marshall plan that helped europe regain its strength. and pioneered the atm, so you can get cash when you want it. it's been our privilege to back ideas like these, and the leaders behind them. so why should our anniversary matter to you? because for 200 years, we've been helping people and their ideas move from ambition to achievement. and the next great idea could be yours. ♪ [ man ] when i went to get my first new car, my dad said to get a subaru because they last. ♪
♪ i love it when we start our morning with a little bruce springsteen. that's rosalita off tim pawlenty's play list. a look at the headlines, christine's got that. hey, christine. >> good morning to you, soledad. 3 of the 12 secret service agents involved in the colombia prostitution scandal refused to take a lie detector test and were dismissed from the agency. nine others implicated in the scandal have taken a polygraph according to new york congressman peter king. he says none of those nine agents failed the test, but their responses did lead to some of them being dismissed. meanwhile, though, "washington post" reports secret service did pay 10 of the 12 women they brought back to their hotel. the wife of a former close aide to john edwards back on the witness stand this morning in the disgraced former senator's
tri trial. explaining why she videotaped the home and the possessions of the senator's mistress rielle hunter in 2008. she told the court her family's relationship with edwards had soured and she felt she needed proof there really was a rielle hunter. former yankees pitcher andy petit testifying that clemens used human growth hormone. clemens is accused of lying to congress about using steroids. petit was on the stand yesterday at his retrial. pettitte said the hgh would help with recovery time. it was a conversation that clemens famously once said pettitte misremembers. a man in ohio now wears a helmet when he mows his lawn after a hawk swooped down and dug its talons right through his hat and into his skull. >> cutting the grass over there -- >> on the riding mower. >> on the riding mower and all
of a sudden i heard a noise. boom, it hit me. >> boom, it hit me. richard had to get a tetanus shot. he and his wife say they literally don't want to ruffle any feathers and will cut down the tree after the hawk's eggs hatch and leave the nest. could more sleep be the key to weight loss? a full night's sleep may suppress the genes that cause weight gain. research claims people who get more than nine hours a night are less likely to put on weight. those who get less than seven hours up their chances of gaining weight. scientists suggest shorter sleeps creates an environment where obesity genes can flourish. i'm about to read you the best rejection letter ever. hillary clinton driving a hard bargain in hollywood turning down a chance to appear on the sitcom "how i met your mother" starring jason siegle saying, "i was delighted to read about your interest in sharing the big screen with me. i'm occupied at the moment, but perhaps some day i can help you forget sarah marshall again.
my only condition is there be muppets involved and that is non-negotiable. you have my best wishes for continued success with your career. that's one to frame, i think, soledad. >> that's so lovely. and by the way, secretary state. i would never, ever do that. but thanks for writing and asking. thank you, appreciate it. president obama marking a possible new chapter in afghanistan during a surprise visit that fell on the one-year anniversary of the death of osama bin laden. the president and afghanistan's leader hamid karzai signed a new agreement laying out the framework for the partnership between the two countries after u.s. troops withdraw in 2014. the president also addressed the troops that are still there. >> i know the battle's not yet over. some of your buddies are going to get injured. and some of your buddies may get killed. and there's going to be heartbreak and pain and difficulty ahead.
but there's a light on the horizon because of the sacrifices you've made. >> mitt romney issued a statement on the president's trip writing this, i am pleased that president obama has returned to afghanistan. our troops and the american people deserve to hear from our president about what is at stake in this war. success in afghanistan is vital to our nation's security. joining us this morning, the national co-chair of the romney campaign is former minnesota governor tim pawlenty. thanks for being with us, sir. >> good to be with you, soledad. >> thank you, i appreciate that. i would love an elaboration beyond that statement that governor romney released of the trip, the timing, and also the details or in some case lack of details that president obama laid out last night. >> well, of course, it's appropriate for the president to visit our troops in afghanistan and give them encouragement, express our thanks and to
remember the sacrifice that's been made. but beyond that, in terms of this agreement that was signed, governor romney feels it's important to define the mission ahead in terms of strategic outcomes, not in terms of days or months on the calendar. and those strategic outcomes include making sure al qaeda is defeated, making sure the insurgencies including groups like the taliban are incapable of reforming in a way that threatens afghan security or the situation in pakistan and making sure that the afghan security forces and police tos haves enough capacity to be able to make sure that the country is at least reasonably stable. and those goals, i think people agree with, but what we don't like is the president putting these arbitrary deadlines rather than conditions on the ground governing america's position in afghanistan. >> so mitt romney would say don't withdrawal in 2014 and don't necessarily give an announcement that extends the support to 2024? >> well, governor romney said
2014 may be an appropriate timetable, but let's not announce it ahead of time for those who don't have america's interest at heart. that's what president obama has done governor romney would have taken a different approach and planned and executed those plans in private. >> mitt romney had said he felt that the ad that president obama's campaign was running talking about the killing of osama bin laden was very political and had politicized an issue that really was one that should've united americans. does he believe that this trip, as well, was some kind of campaign trip? it was political? >> no, governor romney says he's pleased that the president has made this trip. and i think for the president and commander in chief to visit troops, to give them a boost, to give them encouragement, to remember and speak to their sacrifices fully appropriate, soledad. the only real difference here is the president making public pronouncements about time lines on a calendar versus governor
romney's approach which is defining it be i the strategic objectives and others and making sure those objectives are successful and america's goals are met rather than just putting arbitrary deadlines, in other words conditions on the ground governing our plans not arbitrary deadlines on the calendar. >> clearly this trip is campaign related. this trip to afghanistan is an attempt to shore up his national security credentials because he spent the last three years gutting our military. would you agree with that? both that it's an attempt to shore up national security credentials and also that the past three years the president spent the time gutting the military? >> well, the president has the country on a trajectory to cut $1 trillion out of the defense budget over the next ten years. those would be untenable reductions in american security capability and our defense budget. so yes, we have severe concerns about the direction that president obama is heading our defense budget and security capabilities and he should be
called to account for that. governor romney has sharp differences with the president on that. governor romney has called for not only maintaining but increasing the defense budget, maintaining and increasing the number of ships with the navy and down the list. that's very different vision for america's security and defense future than president obama has. that's a legitimate and important issue. but we aren't criticizing him for going to afghanistan and visiting the troops. >> let me ask you a question about newt gingrich. there's an official quitting of the campaign coming. he's expected to feshlly qu off quit. it was an ugly campaign a lot of the time. the obama campaign is expected to deploy a quick ad showing that newt gingrich is going from a non-romney fan to being suddenly a romney fan. let's throw that ad up if we have it. >> as a man who wants to run for president of the united states who can't be honest with the
american people, why should we expect him to level about anything if he's president? >> are you calling mitt romney a liar? >> yes. >> so how difficult -- i mean, you know what? and there's probably 30 to 60 more ads like that that somebody could make. how difficult is that going to be to have -- or is this sort of the etch-a-sketch moment? we shake it, we move on, new day, new campaign, and new audience you're talking to? >> well, it's probably not going to be a lot more difficult, soledad, than bringing out the hillary clinton clips about barack obama when they ran against each other. so there's a celebrated and time-honored tradition of people who fight hard against each other for a party's nomination saying some things that are intention or conflict about each other but then becoming colleagues and teammates as you get on to the bigger goal, which is defeating the other side. in this case, defeating
president obama. he's been a disaster as a president in terms of his handling of the economy, he's been somebody who has disappointed us with all of these broken promises, his achievement. from his perspective of health care reform is probably unconstitutional and going to be removed. and so, of course, the president is trying to distract americans and voters from his own record which is nonexistent or bad in trying to get people focused on some old comments by newt gingrich. i think shortly, newt will be supporting and endorsing and encouraging governor romney because he's a far better candidate and will be a far better president than president obama. >> we'll see how that change of position goes. tim pawlenty, thanks for talking with us. >> okay. good to see you. >> thank you. still ahead this morning on "starting point," mitt romney's openly gay spokesperson quits. he says the attention that was paid to him became too much. we're going to talk also to the former head of the cia's clandestine service who
waterboarded mohammed. [ female announcer ] goodnight gluttony, a farewell long awaited. goodnight, stuffy. goodnight, outdated. goodnight old luxury and all of your wares. goodnight bygones everywhere. [ engine turns over ] good morning, illumination. good morning, innovation. good morning unequaled inspiration. [ male announcer ] the audi a8, chosen by car & driver as the best luxury sedan in a recent comparison test.
welcome back, everybody. an openly gay spokesperson for the romney campaign says he's stepping down this morning. richard grenel upsetting some social conservatives. in a statement he said this, while i welcome the challenge to confront president obama's foreign policy failures and weak leadership on the world stage, my ability to speak clearly and forcefully on the issues has been greatly diminished by the hyper partisan discussion of personal issues that sometimes comes from a presidential campaign. he is out. good opportunity for me now to reintroduce our panel this morning. will kaine is with us from theblaze.com. john is back with us this morning, political comedian, and meredith baxter joins us, she has written a wonderful book. we talked when the book came out, this time it's paperback.
everybody's favorite mom actor. >> thank you. >> over a million other things, as well. nice to have you with us. let's talk about mr. grenel. some of the tweets about him, he wrote about rachel maddow saying she needed to take a breath and put on a necklace. he said hillary clinton was starting to look like madeline albright. note to children, when your mom's a grandma, don't let her wear a backless dress. he then deleted. i think something like 800 tweets he deleted when he took the job. these tweets were taken before he took the job. and then on the left -- i mean on the right, there was a sense that bringing in somebody who was openly gay was a very anti-family, i think is a quote that was used. >> for the sake of accuracy, let's make clear. this is not about republicans or mitt romney's campaign being unaccepting of gay people. that's not what this is about. this guy has been attached to
republican figures for quite a while. he worked for john bolton, it's not about whether or not this guy was openly gay. the ones -- the people that are opposed seemingly opposed to richard grenel were opposed to his advocacy for same-sex marriage. now, is that why he resigned? because some social conservatives out there put blog posts up saying, hey, this guy's a big advocate for same-sex marriage? is that your platform? is that why he resigned? he's had a ton of tweets that have ranged from inappropriate to shady, and i don't know why he resigned, but i know he's been cleaning his twitter, a lot of things going on. not because he was openly gay. >> no, i don't think people were saying he was openly gay. i think the question was the comments that came out and the word was representative of family, i think is a rough way of putting it. it's an interesting person to discuss this with because i know
when you came out really to matt lauer on the "today" show a couple years ago now, that was one of your big concerns was sort of the everybody's mom, you know, now sort of how will i be perceived as people who see me as sort of the family figure? >> well, grenel didn't seem to have that difficulty. he was open, he knew, and i don't have any opportunities to applaud romney's campaign, but i think they handled this well to the extent of my informations. they seemed to back him and wanted him there. it was the right ring, the homophobic comments were just amazing. but my question is the same as yours. why did he go? that was there -- >> did governor romney have a chance to reject his resignation and say i want you here? because a lot of people respect mitt for having the guy on the bill. there's nothing in the bible that says being gay is wrong and this man who is now a victim.
still ahead this morning on "starting point," does waterboarding terrorists like khalid sheikh mohammed keep america safe from future attacks? you're watching "starting point," we're back in a moment. because in this business, there are no straight lines. only the twists and turns of an unpredictable industry. so the eighty-thousand employees at delta... must anticipate the unexpected. and never let the rules overrule common sense. this is how we tame the unwieldiness of air travel, until it's not just lines you see... it's the world.
those enhanced interrogation techniques and says he has no regrets. speaking out in his new book "hard measures." nice to have you joins us this morning. this book is really a defense of torture, a defense of waterboarding, what you call enhanced interrogation techniques but there are plenty of people that would say it doesn't work. what it does do is get bad information out of people who will just say anything in order to have the torture stop. why are they wrong and you're right? >> first of all, it's not a defense of torture. it's an explanation of the enhanced interrogation techniques that were approved by the president and certificate fight as legal by the justice department and briefed to the congress and the proof of how successful they were is in the information that we obtained. there is loads of information that came from that program that allowed us to destroy the al qaeda organization that attacked
us on 9/11. it worked. >> waterboarding was -- >> it was one of the ten. >> walk me through. i read that you waterboarding khalid shaikh mohammed 183 times. is that right? >> that is not right. it is a myth. somehow 183 pints of water became 183 times. he told the red cross that he was waterboarded during five sessions and that was it. it's a handful of times that he was waterboarded. >> walk me through how it works. when you're going to waterboard somebody. you tie hands behind the back and you lean them back. >> first of all, i was not the actual person doing the waterboarding. i was the person in charge of it all. the person lays down inclined with his feet up making sure that no water gets in the lungs and then water is poured from a distance of about a foot and the water pouring very specific
guidance in the legal opinion says you can do it for up to 40 seconds but in reality it was mostly ten seconds. water is poured. there is -- the airflow is restricted and there's a sensation of drowning. >> how quickly do they give you information? >> it depends. there were some detainees that actually in a few days they were cooperating. be mindful that waterboarding was only done on three occasions to three persons who have american blood on their hands. in most cases a few days. in case of khalid shaikh mohammed, a couple of weeks. two or three weeks. >> how did you decide who would be the ones that would be waterboarded and who would not? >> usually, of course, the high value detainees, people like khalid shaikh mohammed, who was the architect of 9/11 and killed
3,000 people. and the person responsible for blowing up the "uss cole" and killing 17 sailors and the first detainee we ever had and was responsible for the planning for the millennium attacks and had actually dispatched a terrorist to blow up los angeles international airport. he was the first one. so those were the only ones that were waterboarded. >> john mccain said when he was tortured, he was giving out the lineup for the green bay packers. he would just make stuff up. he was literally providing bad information just to get them to stop and sometimes he would give a little information but for the most part he was making stuff up. as a person who experienced a lot of that, that he sees no value in it and is against it. does his word have weight? >> let me tell you that the people who were involved in the debriefing because there's a myth here. the interrogation face of it only took a few days or a couple
weeks. but the more detailed work was the actual debriefing in which the experts that we have at the agency and world experts on al qaeda were able to vet the detainee because they had so much information that they were able to ask him questions that we had answers for and vet these individuals. later when we had more prisoners, we would be able to use one against the other but the intelligence is compelling. >> it seems to me that the wrong debate is whether or not it works. if we submit to the premise that it does work as a society, then what do we embrace and what do we not embrace. i would assume there are many, many legitimately torturous things that work. where do we draw the line? >> if you look at the techniques themselves and paid attention to the ten techniques that are used
here, they are pretty wimpy if you look at them one at a time. you know, these are things that have no moral qualms on my own or anyone else who work with me in doing mindful of the fact these are people who killed and who are going to kill more of our people. >> the techniques are in this book are out of time but we can talk on the commercial break and write about it online as well this morning. the book is riveting. it's called "hard measures, how aggressive cia measures after 9/11 saved american lives." thank you. appreciate it. we'll take a short break. we're back in just a moment. ♪ there's a place i dream about ♪
but centurylink is committed to being a different kind of communications company. ♪ we link people and fortune 500 companies nationwide and around the world. and we will continue to free you to do more and focus on what matters. welcome, everybody. new photos of the blind chinese activist. secretary of state hillary clinton responding. and end game in afghanistan. >> this time of war began in
afghanistan and this is where it will end. >> president obama says we're closer to crushing al qaeda but doesn't mention a lot of specifics on when or how much more it will cost. was the trip overseas a campaign tactic? "starting point" exclusive. a man is in trouble for not turning off all of his electronic devices. you'll remember the passengers who captured that bird strike on his ipad. joins us with a letter he just got from the faa. it's wednesday, may 2nd. "starting point" begins right now. ♪ >> welcome back, everybody. you're listening to meredith baxter's playlist. it's adele's "rolling in the deep." my children love it. she's also the author of "untied." a terrific book. memoir about your life.
john fugelsang is with us as well and will cain. lots of questions about the purpose of president obama's surprise trip to afghanistan. right after air force one went wheels up the taliban exploded a car bomb in kabul that killed seven people. that was a fairly tough reminder that there's a long way to go in afghanistan. the new agreement between president obama and the afghan president hamid karzai is called the strategic partnership agreement promising american support for afghanistan through 2024, ten years after the last american combat forces are scheduled to leave the country. >> my fellow americans, we've traveled through more than a decade under the dark cloud of war. yet here in the predawn darkness of afghanistan, we can see the light of a new day on the horizon. the iraq war is over. the number of our traps in harm's way has been cut in half and more will soon be coming home. we have a clear path to fulfill
our mission in afghanistan while delivering justice to al qaeda. >> some felt the speech fell short including "the new york times" in an editorial this morning wrote the speech was frustratingly short on specifics. mr. obama didn't explain what the united states and its allies planned to do to improve the training of ofafghan forces so they can hold off the taliban or what president hamid karzai plans to do to rein in the corporation and incompetence of the leadership. let's talk about the president's speech. lots of people said it was low and it was a short speech and low on details. what more would you like to know about that agreement? >> actually, as far as the speech itself, i think he probably went as far as he had to for the purpose of the event he was at. as far as what we have to know for the future, it's important to know will the u.s. have the right to go from afghanistan
into pakistan to launch drone attacks for instance. or if we see al qaeda operations forming in pakistan, do we have the right to preempt them? that's very important. otherwise i believe you could see al qaeda forming right outside of the afghanistan border and whatever troops we have left in afghanistan in 2014, 2015, 2016, will not be adequate to match up against them. that's one issue. secondly, i think we have to try to find out how many troops will be and where they will be positioned as far as what is their role going to be and how is counterterrorism going to be defined? that's the main issue. i don't want troops just sitting there and being targets. we have to know what their rights are and how far they can fight and carry out their mission. >> the president made it clear if there was one area where i thought he was pretty clear it was the efforts to negotiate with the taliban. here's what he said. >> we're pursuing a negotiated peace. in coordination with the afghan
government, my administration has been in direct discussions with the taliban. we've made it clear that they can be a part of this future if they break with al qaeda, renounce violence and abide by afghan laws. >> how likely do you think that is if they break with al qaeda, which they're not doing, if they renounce violence, which they're not doing, if they abide by afghan laws, which they're not doing and don't show any signs that they're going to do. >> i think there's a lot of hope and aspiration in what the president is calling for. i don't know how well grounded in reality it is. we know from bin laden's parents there is still contact between al qaeda and the taliban. why after all these years the president thinks the taliban is willing to pursue a new path. it's possible we can find certain people in the taliban we can deal with for their own selfish reasons but to think the taliban movement is going to change as we withdraw. if they weren't willing to step down and break their alliance with al qaeda when we had over 100,000 troops there, as we pull
down our troops, why should they be more willing to engage. i think in a way what the president is saying there is a bit of a cover for the troops he's pulling out. >> nypd commissioner ray kelly was talking to me yesterday and said 14 different plots against new york city since 9/11. do you think that we're better at stopping them? if you look at the subway bombing plot, is it that intelligence is better or we've been lucky for a lot of them. what do you think it is? >> largely because of the infrastructure. the international anti-terrorism infrastructure that was put in place after 9/11 by president bush. there's much more cooperation with our allies. we have the patriot act. we have many layers of defense and quite frankly i agree with jose rodriguez. i think a lot of the information that we obtained from guantanamo and from the interrogations was extremely helpful in stopping attacks against this country. >> anarchists or self-described anarchists were arrest and are now in custody in ohio.
the goal for them was to blow up a bridge. there are other targets too that they were able to record. how big was the threat there do you think? >> i think it was significant. the fact the fbi was involved. the fbi was able to infiltrate it, if you will. these groups are also dangerous to the country. i don't put them in the same category as al qaeda because they're not affiliated with a foreign power and they don't have the extensive reach that al qaeda would have or islamist terrorists groups in this country would have. certainly they have to be monitored and watched and you talk about five people who want to blow up a bridge. that's pretty serious. we live in a dangerous world. we have a key enemy in al qaeda. there's also other terrorist groups. there are other dangerous groups that have to be monitored carefully and the fbi should be credited in this case for being able to stop it. that's going back to afghanistan. the main thing is not what happens in afghanistan per se but it cannot be allowed to become another sanctuary and a
base for al qaeda to launch operations against the u.s. or our allies. >> we've been talking over the last couple weeks about the secret service mess i guess is a good way to put it. you asked them to fill out a questionnaire. what kinds of questions did you ask and what kind of answers did you get back? >> well, we got answers back last night. and i would say the answers are very detailed. we wanted to identify who was involved. we wanted a time line. we wanted to show exactly what the secret service did once they found out what was happening. i have to say that mark sullivan, the director, immediately notified the inspector general back on thursday of two and a half weeks ago when this first broke before it went public which shows he wanted a real investigation. i would say the main thing i get out of this, the investigation has been very thorough. 10 of the 12 women have been questioned. the other two, colombian police and secret service are looking for. we know that it appears that no material was obtained by any of
the prostitutes. there's nothing that's missing. all of the blackberries were accounted for. there was no president's schedule available and it does not appear any of the 12 women had any involvement other than prostitution. they were not working for any terrorist organization. i think in a way the secret service has ducked a bullet. what happened here really goes against all of the principles of the secret service because it was disclosed and there was no long-term security matter involved here, it gives the secret service the opportunity to clear up what has happened and do all accounts to make sure it never happens again or at least minimizes it to make it very difficult for that to happen again and get the signal out there to all secret service members that this conduct will not be tolerated. it puts the president's security at risk and this could have done that. fortunately it didn't. >> peter king, chairman of the homeland security committee, thank you for joining us this morning. nice to see you, sir. appreciate it.
other stories make headlines. christine has those for us. >> a brand new photo of human rights activist chen guangcheng this morning. this is the first photo of chen since he escaped house arrest and fled to the u.s. embassy in beijing. it shows chen in a wheelchair at a hospital in beijing. he was transferred there after six days at the u.s. embassy. u.s. officials negotiated his freedom so he'll be headed to another part of china to study. hillary clinton responding to the developments in this case. the secretary of state weighing in. we'll have details about that coming up live with jill dougherty in beijing in just a few minutes. criminal charges are now expected in the death of florida a & m drum major robert champion. a state attorney will hold a news conference this afternoon. five band members are facing possible felonies. 26-year-old champion died in november. he was beaten on a bus as part of a band hazing ritual. america's choice won't include newt gingrich. gingrich is dropping out of the race for the republican
nomination. this afternoon the former house speaker is expected to briefly mention his support for mitt romney and plans are in the works for a formal announcement in the next few weeks. gingrich's campaign is more than $4 million in debt. u.s. stock futures are trading lower ahead of the opening bell but the dow closed at a four-year high yesterday and a new report says people are putting more money into their retirement accounts. taking advantage of those stock gains. fidelity says average 401 balances rose 8% to 74,600. that's compared with the same period a year ago. terrible check in, long lines at security, worse staff and it's dirty. that's why travelers named laguardia airport in new york the worst airport in the country. the survey done by travel and leisure. new york airports didn't do so well in general here. lax finished number two followed
by philadelphia and then jfk and newark both serving new york city. minneapolis-st.paul was voted the best airport in the country. that is a beautiful airport. i'm telling you, the marine terminal at laguardia is a different story. that's nice. >> minneapolis airport is quite lovely actually. lax, i love lax. >> that's the worst. >> laguardia is great. >> it's fine. >> it's small. you can get through laguardia. jfk, impossible. >> exactly. >> they can't all be las vegas, folks. not every airport is easily assessable. >> minneapolis-st.paul. i'll be there next week. >> it's quite nice. they should rent out space. still ahead this morning speaking of flying ahead on "starting point," an effort to make the skies friendlier through facebook. this is great idea. now you can find the person, choose the person you want to sit next to on the plane. the random stranger.
you get to pick them. what a good idea. >> especially if you're a creepy guy. >> i can tell where this is going to go. >> it's a horrible idea. >> yes. >> i always sit next to people who talk a lot. >> i would love to sit next to meredith baxter on my flight. >> i'm a creepy. i would like to sit next to you on my flight. >> you can follow us on twitter. john's playlist, arrested development. ♪
( whirring and crackling sounds ) man: assembly lines that fix themselves. the most innovative companies are doing things they never could before, by building on the cisco intelligent network. but proven technologies allow natural gas producers to supply affordable, cleaner energy, while protecting our environment. across america, these technologies protect air - by monitoring air quality and reducing emissions... ...protect water - through conservation and self-contained recycling systems... ... and protect land - by reducing our footprint and respecting wildlife. america's natural gas... domestic, abundant, clean energy to power our lives... that's smarter power today.
economic talks with chinese leaders but the headline has been the welfare of the chinese activist chen guangcheng. chen had been hiding at the u.s. embassy after he escaped house arrest last week. this morning he's being treated for an ankle injury that happened as he climbed over a wall. now secretary clinton spoke with chen on the phone after the u.s. negotiated for him to stay in china. he's going to move to another part of the country to continue his studies. in a statement the secretary says this. i am pleased that we were able to facilitate mr. chen's stay and departure from the u. embassy in a way that reflected his choices and our values. i was glad to have a chance to speak to him today and to congratulate him on being reunited with his wife and his children. cnn foreign affairs correspondent jill dougherty is live for us in beijing this morning. good morning to you, jill. >> hey, soledad. >> there has been a lot of chaos over the last 24 hours or even more as mr. chen came into the
u.s. embassy at a critical time in other negotiations and conversations that were about to begin and trying to figure out how do you navigate this very sensitive diplomatic issue at the same time that you figure out how to keep him safe. >> reporter: and that's precisely what the big problem was because he showed up unexpectedly. they were blind-sided by this. and it came at probably the worst possible time because this gigantic meeting they were holding this, this strategic economic dialogue with china, is very big. all of the top officials are here. the relationship is very important. and then this human rights issue comes up that was very unique and very challenging and very sensitive. how did they do it? we had a briefing a couple hours ago with two senior administration officials. they gave details, for instance, soledad, about mr. chen coming out of his house and having to
climb over walls. he hurt his foot and when he came to the embassy, that became one of the reasons they say for allowing him into the embassy in the first place. something that chinese wouldn't want. they say it was an humanitarian basis. and now that decision and agreement with the chinese government and mr. chen that he will be allowed to be with his family, be under medical care, and go to school. he's never been able although he's a lawyer, self-taught, he's never been to the university. he'll be able to choose a university. he wants to stay in china. and he will be here to continue his work. and then another detail, soledad, that's really interesting as he got out of the embassy, he's with these u.s. officials, diplomats who have been working for about six days nonstop flat out to try to resolve this. they get into the vehicle and they are looking for a phone. they had left their phones in the embassy. he wanted to talk to hillary
clinton. they were able to get a phone from one of the staff and give it to him and they had this conversation. he thanked her for all of the attention to his case and then he also said in broken english, they say, i would like to kiss you. so there are a lot of really personal details but there are a lot of challenges for him in the future. >> as they head into this round of talks that are critical. jill dougherty for us this morning. thank you. still ahead on "starting point," the faa scolding the man that shot this video. remember the bird strike that forced the plane to make an emergency landing. is there a double standard onboard when it comes to gadgets we'll ask him. liking the guy that's sitting in row 23a. you may be able to pick your seat mate on your next flight using facebook. this is christine's playlist. i have to say that i'm unfamiliar. zap. it's our fastest and easiest way to get you into your car.
but when i was diagnosed with prostate cancer... i needed a coach. our doctor was great, but with so many tough decisions i felt lost. unitedhealthcare offered us a specially trained rn who helped us weigh and understand all our options. for me cancer was as scary as a fastball is to some of these kids. but my coach had hit that pitch before. turning data into useful answers. we're 78,000 people looking out for 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare. departure. hertz gold plus rewards also offers ereturn-- our fastest way to return your car. just note your mileage and zap ! you're outta there ! we'll e-mail your receipt in a flash, too. it's just another way you'll be traveling at the speed of hertz.
how well do you know the person who is sitting next to you on any random flight? there's a new program that will let you choose your seat mate. it's coming from dutch airline klm offering a service called meet and seat. it's like speed dating. i like this. you look at your seat map and then browse facebook and decide who you sit next to. it's for single people. >> connect with your linked in or facebook account to view other passengers profiles with meet and seat you can meet other travelers and add interesting new people to your network. also after your flight -- >> i believe it is just for people traveling individual one seat. you can't do it with your entire family. >> what happened to privacy?
i thought you couldn't even call and find out if so and so is on this flight. that's privilege information. >> it's elective. >> you can elect in. social media profiles. you have to opt to share. are you on facebook? >> sort of. >> i don't think you have to worry about it. travel with a lot of people. you have to be booking with one passenger and get it 48 hours before you take off. you can't scope one out and say that's who i want to sit next to. >> so can someone say no. >> i'm sure you can block. it doesn't say on this but i bet you could. >> there's going to be a lot of single men looking on this. that will be about it. >> when i said singles, i didn't mean to hit on people. i met individual seats. >> you don't know much about testosterone, do you? there are things in my fridge that will last longer than this program will be.
>> i think the klm meet and seat and you can check it out on klm.com is a winner. >> i think it has legs. if you will set down next to someone for three hours, you might as well prescreen them. >> come up with interesting things to talk about. >> can you decline? are you notified if someone asks to sit next to you. these are the questions that frightened women want to know. >> the two of you -- >> i'm going to sit next to you. >> the two of you are perfect together with your conspiracy theories being built here in this corner. >> just creepy men theory. >> i think it has great potential. still ahead on "starting point," an exclusive talking to the man who was scolded by the faa for rolling on a bird strike with his ipad. you remember you're not supposed to have electronics on speaking of flying. a mother arrested for her 5-year-old daughter's alleged trip to a tanning booth.
trying not to giggle before i get through the segment. she is obviously a big fan of tanning salons. she's under arrest because of her daughter who came to school with some burns. we'll tell you what happened in that crazy story. you're watching "starting point." [ male announcer ] this is the at&t network. a living, breathing intelligence helping business, do more business. in here, opportunities are created and protected. gonna need more wool! demand is instantly recognized and securely acted on across the company. around the world.
got the mirrors all adjusted? you can see everything ok? just stay off the freeways, all right? i don't want you going out on those yet. mmm-hmm. and just leave your phone in your purse. i don't want you texting, all right? daddy...ok! ok, here you go. be careful. thanks dad. call me -- but not while you're driving. ♪ [ dad ] we knew this day was coming. that's why we bought a subaru. ♪
♪ >> i love this song. we're waiting for it to start. let's listen some more, shall we, to john mellencamp, "jack & diane." there we go. now he's singing. welcome back, everybody. let's get right to christine for a look at the day's big stories. good morning, christine. >> the wife of a former close
aide to john edwards back on the witness stand in the former senator's trial. young explaining yesterday why she videotaped the home and possessions of edwards' mistress, rielle hunter, in 2008. she told the court her relationship with edwards soured and she felt she needed proof there was a rielle hunter. three of the 12 secret service agents implicated in the colombian prostitution scandal refused to take polygraph tests and were booted from the agency. peter king says nine others took the test and led to some of them being dismissed. "the washington post" reports that secret service personnel did pay 10 of the 12 women they brought back to their hotel. the city of sanford, florida, has a new interim police chief this morning. richard myers, the former police chief in colorado springs, will take over in sanford by the end of the week. myers will be replacing chief bill lee that stepped down in
the wake of the trayvon martin shooting. a 7-year-old myspace page belonging to martin's killer, george zimmerman, surfaced. it was abandoned in 2005 but contains disparagiing remarks about mexicans. a new jersey mom arrested for allegedly bringing her 5-year-old daughter into a tanning booth where the little girl was reportedly burned. authorities say 44-year-old took her daughter into a standup tanning booth without the staff knowing. she's now charged with child endangerme endangerment. new jersey law bans kids from under age 14 from using tanning salons. dermatologists warn tanning can be very dangerous. >> this can be very dangerous. this can be a life changer. i discourage people from going
to this tanning salon. >> she's disputing the charges. she says she didn't take her daughter into a tanning booth but was sunburned from playing outside. think you could pass the u.s. citizenship test? a new survey says many americans would not. the report claims one-third of americans would fail the test. 75% did not know the function of the judicial branch. 62% did not know name of the speaker of the house. these findings of a big surprise since the claim study claims 77% of americans think we should all be able to pass it. they think somebody else should be able to pass it but not they should have to pass it. >> 99% can tell you what kim kardashian ate for breakfast yesterday and who she married and got divorced and in how many days. speaks volumes about the american educational system, doesn't it? moving on. remember the bird strike video that we showed you. this is in right here. there they go. after that you hear this flock
of birds being sucked right into a delta flight's engine. it forced the l.a. bound flight to make an emergency landing shortly after takeoff. the key word was takeoff. you remember that video was shot by a passenger. your electronic devices are supposed to be turned off. the faa sent him a formal letter telling him he has broken a rule. grant joins us along with ali velshi who was also on that flight. we were talking about how daughter f terrifying the flight was but today we're talking about the letter that was sent to you from the faa. your failure to comply with flight attendant instructions during a critical phase of flight and an aircraft emergency could have affected the safe outcome of this flight. we've given consideration to all of the facts and in lieu of legal enforcement action, a civil penalty, we're issuing this letter which will be made a matter of record for a period of two years after which the record
will be expunged. what did you think what you got this very official letter from the faa, grant? >> well, i thought i should call cnn and make sure you guys covered this story because it's ridiculous. >> why do you think it's ridiculous? >> because first of all let me just say i don't think i'm above the law or anybody should be. i've been on thousands of flights. i've flown over 3 million miles. a million of those miles with delta. and to think that a device, a telephone, or this ipad can take down a plane, to think that, that's my daughter's p for papa, to think that any of these devices could potentially take down a plane is ridiculous because figure 90% of all people in america now have an iphone on them. 19% of all people have a tablet of some sort. if only 10% of the passengers on that plane had their device in on position, thousands of planes would fall out of the sky every
day. >> they would say that is not the point, sir. the point is that the faa says you need to listen to flight attendants and they told you to turn off your electronic devices and you did not evidenced by the video of the birds beak suing s into the engine. you were doing exactly what you're not doing. if you don't want to abide by the rules, don't fly. don't they have a point? >> i totally understand that position, soledad. however, if truly -- i think ali will support me on this, if truly these devices, phones and ipads are that dangerous, the faa has a responsibility to ban them from planes. >> make them put it in -- >> pilots use now ipads. each one is allowed up to one in the cockpit. >> this is the thing. i've studied this for this and i studied it in years gone by. every time. it does seem that this rule came out of the federal
communications commission because when you are up there if you can hit cell phone towers, it gets confusing from a billing perspective as to had is supposed to bill you. we can use things in flight when you can charge it to our system which is why you can use wireless in flight. the issue is if there really is an interference issue and apparently these cockpits have been shielded since the 1960s, come out and tell us and make everybody turn it off and put it in a lock box when you get on the flight one or the other but the maybe it takes interferes with airplanes, i don't believe it. >> you are not suggesting this is dangerous like a 13-year-old girl bringing on lip gloss not in a small plastic bag. >> we know we want to be kept safe on flights and if you put me through a process that will keep me safe, i'm in. i'm not convinced that three ounces of fluid meet that bar and we do reject things that don't make sense. that's what grant is talking about.
>> we expect your compliance with regulations in your future travels. will you comply or are you going to shoot more video off your ipad as you fly? >> i've flown 3 million miles. >> you say you are not above the rules. it's a yes or no question, sir. this is turning into a hostile interview. yes or no? will you keep rolling or no. >> what i'm concerned about is what watch list am i on? am i a terrorist for the faa? will i get double screened? i'm a business consultant. i'm forced to fly around and help out businesses and help out the american economy and i'm going to get a letter saying instead of us sending you a fine, by the way what would that fine have been? they need to clarify what the deal is. if the electronics are dangerous to the american public, ban them from the planes today. >> all right. >> i don't think you got a yes or no out of that. if i sit with you on the plane
again, will i see you on the plane again? >> i'll buy you a drink, ali. >> flying with you is always very exciting. good to see you. >> nice to see you, grant. still ahead on "starting point," a year ago he stood before the royal couple with 2 billion people watching worldwide. the dean of westminster abbey will join us and talk about that. so did the country that came in 17th place. let's raise the bar and elevate our academic standards. let's do what's best for our students-by investing in our teachers. let's solve this. i have to be a tree in the school play. good. you like trees. well, i like climbing them, but i've never been one.
puts demands on the brain interfering with the brain's ability to retain traumatic memories. and "the scream" is up for sale. bidding is expected to top $80 million. soledad? >> thank you very much. meredith baxter has a book called "untied." it's now in paperback. when the book originally came out, we had a chance to talk. what i love are the photos and your life story but you have great family photos. tell me about the process of writing the book. was it hard to do? >> actually i didn't know i was going to write a book or i would have been reading more memoirs in preparation for it. i think -- i just basically poured it out and in retrospect i wish i had said, you know, given it a broader world look at it and done research as other
people in this situation would have done. >> you say it poured it out. at what point when you were writing that book did you say most strongly to yourself, do i really want to share this? >> i never had that feeling. i've been in a 12-step program for some time and we're honest with people we don't see and won't see again. that wasn't difficult for me. trying to decide what was the real truth of the situation was important. we tell ourselves stories and operate off a certain belief system but sometimes the belief system is below that one and i had to find that to try to understand why did i live my life the way i did? >> you were a victim of domestic violence and you have written a lot about it. why did you live -- you know people will often say why not leave? sometimes people will look at the women especially in that circumstance and they say they
don't have the financial where with all, they have nowhere to go, but at that point you had jobs, you were well known, you had a credit card. why not say i'm a famous actor. i'm getting out. >> it's interesting. it never occurred to me. i didn't know i could. for me -- i think this is fairly universal to a degree i suppose. universal to a degree. things happened in my childhood that led me to develop a conviction of who i was and my value in the world and what i would expect from the world and i thought i was a loved person. when that's your belief person you can't trust someone to show up for you and no one wants to hear you, you get very small inside and dry. and i was basically looking for that childhood book "are you my
mother?" >> you're such a terrific actor both in comedy and drama. do you find the self-reflection you've done both in your time in recovery and in writing this book has made you a better actor? >> no. >> you don't think so? >> no? >> maybe. what do i know? >> the self-awareness. to go through a 12-step program and write an honest memoir. don't you think that deepened your awareness as an artist? >> it could if you were working on a project that asked for those qualities. when i did betty broderick, that's the tv movies we did about san diego socialite who killed her ex-husband and his wife. i was three years into a very long expensive contentious divorce. i carried big guns into that. you saw it all on the screen. in that way, yes. that was not about information. that was just fury.
>> the book is "untied." thank you. it's now out in paperback. we'll come back in just a moment and talk about the royal wedding. fairy tale life fantasy come to life and the dean of westminster abbey will join us. you're watching "starting point." we're back in a moment. >> it's human nature to invent and human nature to try to make your life better. it's human nature to try to make the world around you a better place. to execute on all of those ideas. it's really hard. good ideas should find ways on shelves because they are ideas of people with the right luck or circumstance. they should find their way on shelves because they are great ideas. that's it. plain and simple.
this is how we tame the unwieldiness of air travel, until it's not just lines you see... it's the world. made with only milk... cream... a touch of sugar... and pure natural flavors. coffee-mate natural bliss. from nestle. add your flavor naturally. [ gnome ] bonjour americans! enjoying your holiday? ooo no. the hotel lost our reservation, so nonsense! you book at travelocity, your reservation's guaranteed. well, i didn't book with travelocity. you didn't use travelocity? i did not book with travelocity, okay?!?
million people visit every year. welcome, mr. dean. nice to have you with us. does it make you more nervous to know? the pictures are so beautiful of that day. were you thinking in the back of your mind and 2 billion people are going to be watching in addition to all of the men who are sitting here watching if anything goes wrong. >> you can't depict in your mind 2.4 billion i think it was bbc told us. you can't imagine it. there are cameras there and lights but you are familiar with those because there are other occasions when that happens. so i was very much concentrated on the people who were there and not just the 2,000 who were in the abbey but the couple themselves. i expected to be nervous. i wasn't in the end. the evening beforehand i walked through the royal chapels remarkable places. i was in there. i had a strong sense of the history and the wonder as it were rising up and embracing
this young couple. it was very powerful emotionally. >> and made you not nervous. i'm surprised. i would think the next thing -- >> i also had a very good breakfast in the morning. i got up early and prayed hard. morning prayer and eucharist and a good breakfast. i had porridge and bacon and eggs and we went out and talked to the crowd. >> so you are british. >> absolutely. >> at one point in the ceremony you said speak now or forever hold your peace. did you worry someone might be, like, actually, hey, i have something to say. >> there is of course that possibility. i've been a priest 35 years. it's never, ever happened. i've never ever heard of it happening. >> do you prepare for that? >> you have to be prepared. the point is that if someone were to raise an objection, it would obviously only be one of them was married already or something of that kind. in any wedding you have to take it seriously and take them apart and discuss it and then decide
whether or not you can go ahead with the marriage. it didn't happen. >> you were prepared and ready just in case. >> we were prepared. >> over in the states people went gaga for charles and diane wedding and andrew and sara ferguson wedding. a huge spectacle. this wedding didn't have the furver. do you find that you have couples who have co-habitated and had extensive relationships before making their vows. >> most couples have, it's true, live together for a period. there was a time when they useded to cover that up by giving you different addresses. they don't that now. everyone is entirely happy with that. >> it doesn't lose luster for you, does it? >> these people know each other well. the wonderful thing with william
and catherine was they knew each other well and had a lot of experience together and were making vows in the presence of god in the face of the congregation saying this is for life. that was a very powerful and meaningful moment. >> who else can get -- >> i was go to say if you really had a sense of their commitment to each other. these two folks were really into each other. >> and loved each other and liked each other. >> who else can get married? >> we have also the chapel which is a senior order of chivalry. and so members of the order of the barth, their children and grandchildren can be baptized. >> how many weddings would you guess you have done? >> i never actually counted up. i must have done hundreds literally. maybe a thousand.
quite a lot. >> mr. dean, nice to have you. westminster abbey such a beautiful location. i'm sure all of the people comicome ing from america to london will check it out as the olympics take place this summer. nice to have you. end point up next. we're back with our panel in just a moment. [ garth ] thor's small business earns double miles on every purchase, every day! here's my spark card. and here's your wool. why settle for less? great businesses deserve the most rewards! the spiked heels are working. wow! who are you wearing? uhhh, his cousin. [ male announcer ] the spark business card from capital one. choose unlimited rewards with double miles or 2% cash back on every purchase, every day! wait! your boa. what's in your wallet?
i have a great fit with my dentures. i love kiwis. i've always had that issue with the seeds getting under my denture. super poligrip free -- it creates a seal of the dentures in my mouth. even well-fitting dentures let in food particles. super poligrip is zinc free. with just a few dabs, it's clinically proven to seal out more food particles so you're more comfortable and confident while you eat. super poligrip free made the kiwi an enjoyable experience. [ charlie ] try zinc free super poligrip.
>> in our last seconds, we'll give john our end point. >> an honor to meet meredith baxter. i have an off broadway show i'm doing this weekend. my director just got a tony nomination so shout-out to her. >> thank you to our panelists this morning. we appreciate it. tomorrow on starting point, bobby jindal will join us along with diana mendoza. we'll see you