tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN May 17, 2012 4:00pm-6:00pm EDT
the dozens of banks involved in the ipo and well-heeled investors with brokerage accounts. it comes in a rather bad week in the market wrapped up in concerns about europe's huge debt problems. let's bring in our chief business correspondent ali velshi who is watching all of this. we're about to know any minute now, ali, how much the stock will go for. >> bottom line is they could take hours. we think it will come out very, very quickly. the top of the range is $38, all indications are that facebook is oversubscribed. there are more people who want to buy the stock than there are stocks available and as a result they're going to the high end of the range and they can go higher, but we're thinking about $38 and that is the price at which institutional investors will get it. that's not the price that retail investors at 9:30 who want to buy it are going to get it. it's important to understand. look at that loss on the dow.
that's got nothing to do with facebook. that has more to do with what's going on in europe and the average person, greece has more to do with your economic life than facebook. there will be a whole bunch of people who will get a lot richer overnight and they will pay a lot of taxes. the state of california stands to gain $2 billion in tax revenue because of all these people who will owe tax on their new gains. if you're in the state of california or any state in the united states $2 billion out of nothing is a big windfall. >> $2 billion is huge, and i'm sure the state treasury could ask that money. just ask the governor jerry brown. they'll come out with a price and tomorrow when the stock starts trading on the nasdaq people will see it go up or go down, there's no guarantee in this business at all that it will continue to go up. >> the price today will be what the institutional investors will
buy it for. it could start trading at any time. generally speak it's around 9:30. sometimes they come out at 10:30 and 10:40 and sometimes it takes a few minutes to start trading and that's when you can put a trade in through e.trade or schwab or ameritrade account and you will pay what the market offers. you will pay up to $40 and the stock's trading at $50 you're not going to get it. you'll pay whatever it is and you're buying stock from people who bought it at the ipo price or back in the old days when they were venture capitals and they got stock in exchange. these are people who have been in the company four or five years and they want to monetize their investment and they want to sell the stock to you at a profit and you want to own it hoping that you will own it in a year or two years or three years. remember, if you feel it important to invest in facebook for you, it doesn't have to be all of your portfolio and you don't actually have to buy an
ipo the first day. there's nothing wrong with waiting and buying it next week or a month from now. the reason we do this coverage is so many people are eager to get on the stock. i'm getting all of these e-mails and tweets saying how do i buy it? how do i buy it? i'm saying think about this, maybe it makes sense to buy facebook, maybe it doesn't. >> you can't afford to lose money because there's every possibility that it can go down after it goes up and that's the nature of the stock market. don't do it unless you can afford it and you're not going to be all that concerned. good advice as usual. the initial public offering should turn many facebook employees into instant millionaires and billionaires. let's check the scene in california. dan simon is joining us from menlo park. there are a lot of millionaires
working at facebook right behind you. >> exactly right, wolf. the valley, silicon valley is expecting a huge windfall of money throughout the economy. you're talking about new home sales, car sales and we're expecting to get a piece of that facebook money that will be available shortly. hundreds if not thousands of millionaires in this complex behind me. let me tell you what they're going to be doing tonight and this is an interesting public relations move that facebook is doing. they're doing a hack-a-thon. this is for all facebook employees to bill whatever they want to bill and get back at the company's roots in terms of billing stuff. so employees will be coding at their computers and doing all kinds of projects not related to their job. however, if they find something that catches fire that can be their full-time job. mark zishgberg will be here with the employees for this hackathon
tonight. this is the 31st hackathon and some of the most inon vaft features came as a result of the hackathon including the light button. the hackathon will end as soon as the nasdaq bell is rung and they'll do it at 6:30 a.m. local time. >> have you been speaking to a lot of the folks over there and a lot of the workers? what kind of reaction are you getting from that? >> reporter: you know, it's interesting, you can't get much access to the employees because they're under the quiet period leading up to the ipo, but when we spent the last couple of weeks talking to various experts in the valley and this is all everyone is talking about. there's been talk about the facebook valuation. most people we talked to said this does not suggest a bubble
and facebook is in its own val -- it's bubbling a bit in terms of its own valuation and the bubble that you see taking a lead on this, they actually have lots of users and they have actual profits and they have solid business plans unlike say what we saw a dozen years ago when the bubble burst with web 1.0. dan simon reporting to us from menlo park, thank you. i want to go right to alison kosik. i take it "the wall street journal" and others are reporting what ali suggested, $38 a share? >> exactly. that's what the ipo is expected to be according to "the wall street journal" for facebook that will price at $38. we were give then range of $34 to $38. that had actually been raised throughout the week because of so much interest in this stock. one investor called this nothing
short of pandemonium. when it stock opens tomorrow morning at the:30 an hour later when things start rolling if you're an ordinary investor trying to get in on this, good luck getting the $38 price. those orders have been in. you have the buyers and sellers working feverishly and they're bidding the price up most likely and don't be surprised if the $38 shoots up higher in minutes. >> you said at $38 and now it looks like $38, not a huge surprise. >> the way a company prices an ipo is they want it to be attractive enough that they think they can get money off of it, but high enough so the initial investors, the ones that bet on you and invested in you will get a good return on your money. so it's a complicated dance that companies do with their investment bankers, morgan stanley, in this case, where
they say how much can we charge for this? they started $28 to $35 and mark zuckerberg and team hit the road and they went to these investor meetings and there were more people coming to these meetings and there was standing room only and people said we want a lot of shares and so they kept pushing that price higher and higher and higher. so $38 was the top of the new range that they suggested they would offer it at. that's the price that if you said you wanted to buy the stock and you were a big, institutional investor that's what you will get it at. tomorrow morning some people will be eligible to sell their shares. facebook is putting shares on the market and then there will be buyers as allison said. our viewers might be some of those buyers. if you are going to be a buyer tomorrow morning and again, this is a personal decision, this is not an endorsement of facebook.
here's the thing, make sure you put in a limit order because if you put in a market order no matter what price, you could end up paying far more than you expected for shares of facebook. >> we'll see what the market does tomorrow, but more important we'll see in the weeks and months that follow. one day does not make a stock as we know from personal experience. don't go too far away. i want to move on to other important news we're following on. including the passing of a ledge endary music winner, donna summer died after a long battle with cancer. she was 63 years old. let's turn to our entertainment corresponde correspondent nisch elle turner. the entertainment and music world are simply reeling over the loss of a successful singer
whose career spanned decades. ♪ ♪ ♪ last chance for romance tonight ♪ >> donna summer's last dance revved up nights at the disco. her voice became the soundtrack of the '70s dance scene and she was the queen as seen here on the performance on "american bandstand." summer's career took off with "love to love you baby." the song was considered too racy in 1975 fueling its appeal with fans. summer's other disco hits included "hot stuff" and "bad girls." her song "she works hard for the money" became the anthem of the '80s. ♪ ♪ >> reporter: and summer worked
hard touring and performing for nearly two decades before slowing down to focus her personal life and her faith. in spite recording less, her fervent fans stuck with her through the years. in a 2008 interview with cnn summer spoke about the appreciation she had for their loyalty. >> it makes me feel blessed. completely blessed. i don't have an answer for it except i have the favor of god on me. it really is, i go away and come back and they're there and it's, like, wow, what a remarkable thing. ♪ ♪ >> reporter: summer's most recent album "crayons" was released in 2008 and she had an appearance later that year on "american idol". ♪ ♪ >> in spite performing music in a variety of genreses summer retained her title as queen of disco, a moniker she didn't
mind. >> it's nice being the queen of something, darling. >> reporter: she died after complications of a long, private battle with cancer. she was surrounded by her family at home in florida. >> that song was, you know, was a song i'd get to sing at the end of every show, mostly and by that time i'd finish the show, that was a good song. ♪ ♪ ♪ a representative tells cnn that summer's family asked that in lieu of flowers they would like people to make donations in donna's name to the salvation army. >> our deepest condolences to the entire family. >> thanks very much. mitt romney rejects a proposal to bring back a controversial figure from the last presidential campaign. the uproar over a proposed
ad offensive that aimed to hit president obama on a sensitive issue and the obama white house adds a few extras to the bog arres biographies of former presidents. jack cafferty is next. [ horn honks ] hey, it's sandra -- from accounting. peter. i can see that you're busy... but you were gonna help us crunch the numbers
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and take advantage of special financing. so call now to get up to 1,375 dollars in rebates. or zero percent financing for 18 months on select lennox home comfort systems. offer ends june 15th. and download our lennox mobile app -- free. lennox. innovation never felt so good. >> jack cafferty is here with "the cafferty file." jack? >> president obama is under fire for adding his own policy plugs to the official biographies of past presidents on the white house website. here's how it works. the white house added blurbs to the ends of official biographies. the so-called hey did you know factoids appear on every president going all of the way back to calvin coolidge, for example, june 28, 1985 speech, president reagan called for a
fair tax code where a millionaire didn't have a lower tax rate than his secretary. today president obama is calling for the same thing with the buffett rule. the these added links call for the repeal of don't ask don't tell. the rnc has created its own obama in history website. it shows the president is part of other historical events like the moon landing and the declaration of independence. and with historical figures like einstein and richard nixon and of course, elvis. the white house insists the biographies themselves were not changed. they say they simply added links at the bottom of each page and it's a commonly used internet practice to explore people further. while these additions didn't cross the line by changing the presidential bog arrests themselves, the white house could have made it clear that they were not part of the official white house presidential biography.
here's the question. is it appropriate for president obama to change the official biography pages of past presidents on the white house website? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile and post a comment on my blog. go to my post on the situation room's facebook page. a weighty issue, but interesting. >> most people would say it's not appropriate, but curious to hear what they think. >> it wouldn't be the first time a politician would do something inappropriate. >> the advertising offensive that would have brought back a rather controversial figure from the last presidential campaign. let's bring in our national political correspondent jim acosta. a fast-moving story here, jim, what do we know? >> that's right. at a campaign event earlier this afternoon in florida, mitt romney condemned a proposed ad campaign aimed at dredging up the president's pastor reverend jeremiah wright, it's a sign of
how this race could be no holds barred. >> it was a pitch to tear down the president laid out in this proposal by "the new york times" that recommends hitting barack right between the eyes. they plan to end the spending for good. the proposal sketches out a serious of tv spots with jeremiah wright in the clips that nearly derailed his 2008 campaign. >> not god bless america. >> ending spending says it received a proposal, but rejected it. >> we've got to stop this incredential spending. >> reporter: the pack is aligned with online brokerage tycoon joe rickets seen in his own web video railing against the national debt. rickets is neither the author nor the funder of the rickets plan to defeat mr. obama.
it is filled with racial overtone, referring to obama as the metrosexual, black abe lincoln. it was at the kickoff of the democratic national convention in charlotte. vice president joe biden questioned the morality of the planned offensive. >> i think guys like that so misunderstand the statement. they act like it's 1942. >> it's leak breakfast is served. >> reporter: when asked about the campaign plane, mitt romney said he hadn't read it yet. >> i haven't seen the papers this morning. >> governor, do you think reverend wright is off limits in his campaign. >> reporter: slammed by the obama campaign for the nonresponse romney went further at a campaign event later in the day. >> i repudiate that effort. i think it's the wrong course for a pack or a campaign. i hope that our campaigns can respect ofly be about the future
and about issues and about a vision for america. i've been disappointed in the president's campaign to date which has focused on character assassination. >> but the gop contender did raise the question of wright's influence on the question earlier this year in a radio interview with sean hannity. >> the president takes his philosophical leanings in his regard not from those who are ardent believers in various states, but instead on those who would like to see america more secular. i'm not sure which is worse, him listening to reverend wright or him saying that we must be a less christian nation. romney defended those comments. >> i stand by what i said, whatever it was. >> reporter: back in 2008 john mccain was offered the chance to use jeremiah wright in his race against president obama, but he declined saying he did not want to run that kind of campaign.
without spending a dime on air time. >> one thing i don't understand, he strongly ran away from the whoefl proposal today saying it wasn't his proposal and doesn't want anything to do with it and he wants to deal with the economic, substantive issues of his campaign. why didn't he tell through a spokesman that same thing to the new york times before they went to press? >> reporter: that's a very good question, wolf. this response that came from joe rickets came several hours after that article first appeared in "the new york times," and i think what basically happened was pressure was starting to come to bear on joe rickets, on this political action committee. keep in mind, rahm emanuel, the mayor of chicago is not pleased with joe rickets. the washington post is reporting that the mayor of chicago is very upset with joe rikts and he's the owner of the chicago
cubs and he wants to keep people in chicago happy and he's not doing that. >> it's on our blog, cnn.com/situationroom, just posted that blog a little while ago. jim accost a thanks very much. joe biden gets emotional at an event talking about the tragic death of his wife and daughter coming up. one of the surviving members of the fatal car crash, the vice president's son, bo bo biden, attorney general of delaware will join us here in "the situation room." if you made a list of countries from around the world... ...with the best math scores. ...the united states would be on that list. in 25th place.
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let's get right to our "strategy session." joining us now democratic strategist hillary rosen and republican strategist, also cnn contributor alex castellanos. thanks very much for coming in. hillary, let me start with you. i'm sure you were please that romney was -- just as john mccain ran away from it four years ago. romney did the right thing today, right? >> i think he did do the right thing. it makes no sense to resurrect something like that. it didn't work the first time and frankly, i think he did it because he knew it wouldn't work this time, too. >> alex, you're an expert in this field. it would alienate the moderate democrats and the undecides and
he's likable according to all of the poll and if they were to take that strategy that could be counterproductive from the republican perspective. >> i think that's true, wolf. i think this election was about the economy. the economic house is burning down and if we're talking about other things that are aren't central to that then you're really out of the discourse. you're playing the super bowl in the wrong stadium, and i think romney saw that today, but you know, on both sides on both extremes of the political spectrum, democrat and republican there are thunder out there who always want their unique or weird issue heard and there are always consultants out there that are willing to take that money, and i think that's where that came from and that's where it should go back. >> it's uncharted territory because of the new era of unlimited spending and hilary with the super pacs you could have far right groups, far left groups come up with millions of dollars of commercials that are
nasty, trashy and ugly and not much that the candidates themselves, if anything, can do about it. >> that's true, and i think we just saw in the republican primary where really, mitt romney's super pacs outspent the other republican opponents by hundred of millions of dollars and essentially with really negative attack ads. that's the strategy. that's going to be romney's strategy, and i'm not saying i think the obama supporters are going to be not looking at the same thing, but we have a president here who is supported legislation to stop that kind of money from coming in to campaigns. mitt romney has supported that and it's frustrating for all americans, i think. >> you wrote a provocative column, alex. let me read a line from it. team obama has turned the candidate of hope and change
into a ferociously political animal. they've discard their most valuable asset, his stature, the outsider who flew above the, polarized politics of red and blue now does nothing, but campaign. >> there nis now running a very different campaign. he is polarizing men against women. the mythical republican war against women. rich against poor. employer against employee. young with college loans against old, and i think the strategy is not unlike the bush strategy for re-election when 43 ran which is if i can't win the middle, i'll win the middle, i'll polarize the country on every issue on everything, but the economy and that's what we see the president doing. ask people to live in an america where we each have to fight each other to get to the front lines and really do something about
our real problems. americans don't want that kind of a divided, angry people tearing at our own throats. >> hilary, go ahead. >> i couldn't disagree more with my friend alex, but campaigning as mario cuomo used to say, campaigning is poetry and prose and it's not theless, fairly ugly. we're operating in a very polarized environment today, but the issues that the president has sought to accomplish for the american people have brought people together. he has worked together on things like banking and consumer reform. republicans have been against it. just yesterday there was a meeting at the white house to bring people together on the budget. the president reaffirmed his commitment to working to reduce the deficit and bring people together on a budget. this is a president who i think
every single time has reached out across the aisle and has tried to find ways to include republicans and democrats alike in solving the problems of the country, but it is fairly clear as many people have studied recently that there's just no getting across this kind of political divide. so you have to find those moments where you rise above it and it's increasingly difficult in politics. >> substantive issues to debate as opposed to the sleazy stuff that's out there, guys, thanks very much. it was the defining moment of joe biden's life, a horrific, tragic crash that killed his wife and daughter. coming up, i'll speak with one of the survivors of that crash, the son bo biden. he's here to discuss that and more. we're america's natural gas
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vice president joe biden has been giving it everything he can out there on the campaign trail with rousing, fiery speeches and plenty of emotional moments. heartfelt politics is something that apparently runs in the biden family. joining us now from norfolk, virginia, the attorney general of the state of delaware, bo biden, the son of the vice president of the united states, jo biden. attorney general, thanks very much for coming. >> great to be with you, wolf. >> you're getting involved in the campaign and you're trying to energize veterans out there and you're trying to get them to support your dad and the president of the united states. it didn't take long for the republicans to hit right back. let me read a statement from the former secretary of veterans affairs. it says this. i believe that they, referring to veterans are not being well served today because some of the policies in place because of some of the policies in place under the obama administration goes on to say, today we see a significantly higher unemployment rate among those
young men and women who are coming home and can't find meaningful jobs and it impacts their well-being and it impacts their mental health which is another area that they're not being well served. tell us why you believe that statement is inaccurate, why the president and the vice president have been good for american veterans. >> number one, the president has been great for veterans as well as the american people, 26 months of sustained job growth. 4. million jobs created in the private sector. an effort by the president through joining forces to create new jobs for veterans. tax credits for employers to hire veterans and a commitment of 62,000 jobs to do just that with returning veterans who are well suited for a variety of jobs. number one, number two, wolf, it's important to note that this president has increased spending for veteran affairs by more than any president in the last 30 years.
his 2013 budget would increase veterans affairs spending by 10%. this is contrasted with a fellow from massachusetts, governor romney who had his first months in office in massachusetts tried to slash veterans benefits by hundreds of thousands of dollars and most importantly, he literally announced on veterans day that he wanted to privatize veterans benefits. he said to the 10s a s antens a thousands of soldiers after decades of war that he wants to privatize the veterans, va. come on, there could be a good debate of the role of government, and how we take care of them at home. >> your dad is out there and on fire on the campaign trail. i'm sure you noticed. what was your reaction when he seemed to get ahead of the strategy on the issue of gay marriage. >> look, my dad spoke from the heart. i'm incredibly proud of what he said. i'm even more proud of what the president said as it relates to
making sure that, look, this is a fundamental civil rights issue. it's a civil rights issue. it's something that people in my state in delaware and every i go are incredibly proud of the stance the president's taken on the matter of equality. it's simply about equality and civil rights. at a moment when we're sending people to defend our nation, whether they be gay or straight to not allow them to have the same rights that we have on the home front doesn't make sense and that's why you saw the president talk the way you did last week and you saw my dad talk about jobs and job creation in ohio. this is a president who literally saved general motors who has done an incredible amount to save jobs in michigan and contrast it with governor romney who literally said let gm go bankrupt. that's what he said and the the press won't let him backpedal.
>> your dad had this meeting with fire fighters and he had this exchange and he mentioned you. [ inaudible ] my two sons were saved by my fire company and the jaws of life. >> you were just a little boy. how old were you when that occurred? >> i was just shy of 4 years old and, wolf, last week, i celebrated the 85th anniversary of the fire company, the mill creek fire company that responded to the scene in 1972 in december 18th that helped me, my brother and helped my dad and they've been doing ever since. these are incredible people and one of the greatest honors i've
gotten was ten days ago at the mill creek fire company when they made me an honorary member, and these are folks, we have an all-volunteer fire service in our state and whether it be mill creek, not just in delaware, but across this nation. >> do you remember anything from that accident? >> i remember bits and pieces and it's not something i talk a heck of a lot about. what i remember is a father who was at my side before that, and from that moment on he took the oath of office and the sergeant of arms had to come to my bedside to take the oath and my dad's been at my side ever since and my brothers and my sister. i have a cyster who is 30 years old and getting married next month. if i'm half as good a dad as my dad as been to me and my brother and sister, my kids will number good shape.
>> thanks very much for coming in. >> thanks, wolf. supreme court justice's home is burglarized. this isn't the first time. you'll find out where and how it happened. that's coming up. we have chilling new video reminding us just how powerful mother nature can be. ♪ oh! [ baby crying ] ♪ what started as a whisper ♪
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the home of the united states supreme court justice is burglarized. lisa sylvester is monitoring that story and also other top stories in "the situation room." what's going on, lisa? >> thz been a rough year for justice stephen breyer. we are learning that his home in washington has been burglarized. fortunately no one was home when
it happened. in february, breyer was robbed at his vacation home in the caribbean. and the postal service says it's movi moving forward with a plan to cut jobs at 29,000 plants. it customers it will mean slower mail delivery for the most commonly sent mail. congress may pass a bill to save those jobs, but probably not until the summer at the earliest. the postal service has a $3.2 million loss this year. an incredible video of a landslide. 800 cubic meters of rock, the equivalent of 200 million gallons were on the move. just take a listen to just how loud it was.
the ralandslide happened in intervals, and no deaths or damage to buildings have been reported. >> reporter: if you're going to steal a $a 500 bike. check out the surveillance video out of tulsa, oklahoma. it shows a man completely face planting off a bike which he had allegedly just stolen from a bike shop. some would say he might have gotten what he deserved. >> certainly did. don't steal. bad, bad, bad. thank you, lisa. here's something you should know, as well. if you renounce your citizenship for tax reasons the united states will defriend you. two senators are about to get tough with two co founders of facebook. we are about to get a glimpse into the future. a new car that drives itself. [ male announcer ] they were born to climb...
hope future administrations refrain from this example of hiding propaganda in history. your question is much ado about nothing. i think president obama getting bin laden will be with me on election day, and i didn't lose a son or grandson when he was killed. president obama slowly, but surely, bringing a stable feeling hope to our household. the president's using an official website page to gain political edge? shocker. the republicans were upset they didn't think of doing it first. kathy writes they didn't change anything. they simply added the president's accomplishment for comparison. i don't understand what the big deal is with this, it is only the first month of this race and i'm tired from the b.s. from both sides. no, jack, it is not only ina proep atfor them to alter the biography pages. it's flat-out disgraceful. the only thing bigger than the debt he racked up is his ego. the white house says whas a
website? the audacity of his nassisistic excuse of a president. truly he thinks we're stupid and some of us are. and it's the white house website. what did d they change? they added some information. he did promise change, remember? you want to read more on this, go to the website, the blog, not the website. go to our post on "the situation room's" facebook page. the latest tragedy to hit the kennedy family. a life unravels and ends in suicide. we're taking a closer look and google brings it's driverless car to washington, d.c. our own brian todd goes along for the ride. you'll be amazed by this new technology. literally across the street from her sister. [ banker ] but someone else bought it before they could get their offer together.
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that's personal pricing. it's like something from a futuristic movie. google is unveiling the car that can actually drive itself. we're taking it for a test spin here in washington, d.c. and cnn's brian todd got a chance to experience this amazing, new technology first hand. brian? >> reporter: wolf, this is oscar. this is google's new self-driving car. it's been in development for at least four years and this is the prototype for a technology that google is going -- is here in washington to display. they hope that it's going to be able to help elderly people, blind people get from place to place without having to rely on another driver. we'll show you some features of this car. we're not allowed to film some of the technology inside it because it's proprietary technology and google doesn't want us to give some of that
away. there is a laptop here which they are using just in the development of the car to kind of sense where people are and where other vehicles are and it allows them to program that into the software of the vehicle and let's come over here and we'll show you a couple of features of this car. these are all sensors. these are sensors on the side and on the side here and what we will also show you is a camera which obviously is a crucial part of this vehicle. it annes it pates what other cars are doing in front pf all of this information is gatherered into the camera into the radar into the laser scanner on the top here and it's pros issed into the computer and the computer commands the car what to do, to stop, to turn and do other things and it all happens dozens of times a second that information is processed through so the computer is in the car and this stuff is mounted in the car and the computer gives the car the commands on what to do.
we took a test drive just a couple of moments ago where we were, you know, just going around the block here with the google engineers without driving and we were able to get some still pictures from inside the car to show that. we were out driving this thing and a garbage truck moved across the road in front of us and the car on its own came to an abrupt stop and it was doing that the entire time we were in it. so a lot of very cool and very strange sensations when you're moving around in this car. he's got no hands on the vehicle. this has stopped automatically. why did it stop automatically? there was a taxi who was cutting us off there a little bit. a lot of questions around this car. is it going to be able to anticipate pedestrian behavior in addition to car behavior. google is developing a software
that does anticipate pedestrian behavior and will make the car abruptly adjust to something that a pedestrian might do which is very, very unpredictable. and hackers have been able to hack other technology and other cars like antilock brakes on occasion. google says they have engineers at google who are used to their technology being attacked all of the time and they're doing everything they can to minimize the prospect of hacking of this vehicle and a very exciting new piece of technology that google is developing, the self-driving car, emphasizing that google has no interest in actually making cars. they're developing this technology so that car companies can put that into their vehicles. wolf? >> and you're in "the situation room." happening now, presidential campaign fireworks over a republican proposal to revive a sore subject for president obama. his controversial former past o the reverend jeremiah wright.
mitt romney rejecting the explosive idea, but will that put it to rest? more than a million tons of tsunami debris starting to reach the american shore. could it be radioactive? we're looking at the potential danger. and the suicide of robert kennedy's wife and the family known for power and tragedy. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com mitt romney is trying to distance himself from a potentially ugly new turn in the political ad wars. at issue, a proposal by some high-profile republicans who have provocative, anti-obama
commercials. it's giving people flashbacks to the 2008 campaign. let's bring in jessica yellin. she has the details. >> reporter: hi, wolf. the proposal called "the defeat of barack hussein obama," the statement from his company emphasizes that this proposal has never gone anywhere, it was just a plan, but it was so explosive it's making headlines anyway. the proposal obtained by "the new york times" begins our plan is to do exactly what john mccain would not let us do in 2008. it would show voters, quote, jeremiah wright and understand his influence on barack obama for the first time in a big attention-arresting way. you might recall reverend wright for these memorable comments. >> america's chickens are coming
home to roost. >> god bless america. god damn america. >> pitch to an anti-obama group by the billionaire founder of t.d. ameritrade, lasting giving romney the winning edge. >> i want to make it very clear, i repudiate that effort. i think it's the wrong course for a pac or a campaign. i've been disappointed in the president's campaign to date which has focused on character assassination. >> reporter: his comments followed an earlier statement by the obama campaign accusing mitt romney of reacting tepidly at a moment that required moral leadership when he was first asked about it by reporters. romney has brought up the president's affiliation with reverend wright in the past appearing on the sean hannity radio show in february he said i'm not sure which is worse, the
president listening to reverend wright or him saying that we must be a less christian nation. tactics like this don't necessarily work. >>ness in are much more concerned about the economy than what president obama's pastor may or may not have said many decades ago. there's a reason the mccain campaign didn't use this tactic four years ago. they didn't think it was going to work and the romney campaign doesn't think it will work now. >> reporter: wolf, senator mccain through a spokesperson did release a statement saying mccain is very proud of the campaign he ran in 2008 meaning not to use reverend wright. senator mccain's campaign manager from that time said this proposal, just the release of it alone will do damage to the republican brand and to mitt romney's effort to run for president and will add more poise into the already poisoned political debate in this country. that's from steve schmitt, mccain's former campaign manager and one top republican
strategist he called this political malpractice. wolf? >> we'll see what happens down the road, but i want to dig a little deeper, jessica. thanks very much. our chief political analyst gloria borger. romney moved quickly to repudiate this proposal. >> first because the proposal was completely offensive and from his intention to bring the race issue back front and center to its description of the sitting president of the united states as soon who sees himself as quote, a metrosexual black abe lincoln. there are other political reasons for doing it. first of all, president obama is well liked by 52% of the american public and so why get in this kind of an argument with somebody who is right with the public and secondly, any minute that mitt romney spends talking about something other than jobs and the economy and the president's health care bill,
people in his campaign believe he's wasted and so did the republican strategists i spoke to today. he said this is just crazy. >> this is the case potentially of the super pac and the super pac didn't accept this, and it was the super pac thinking it was doing the right thing to help the candidate, but it could hurt the candidate. >> it could have completely undermind his campaign. there have been independent groups in the past, not necessarily super pacs and we've seen these in the republican primary, because they're a relatively new development. you remember this, the 2004 campaign against john kerry, the swift boat ads which questioned john kerry's patriotism and war record some would argue did have an effect on the outcome of the 2004 campaign because what these independent groups can do is touch issues that candidate himself does not want to go near. so they can be effective.
my argument and other people argue that this ad would have really back fired against mitt romney. >> kerry didn't respond quickly enough and the folks didn't repudiate those ads and you saw what mitt romney did today which was to say this should not occur. >> what else struck you about this whole episode? >> i think if you're cynical about american politics and lots of people are, if you read the proposal that jessica was quoting from today it will make you feel worse. there's one line in it that stuck with me and it's about manipulating the american public. it said how to inflame questions on his character and competency while allowing themselves to still somewhat like the man becomes a challenge. i don't want to be naive about this. campaigns do like to stage manage things and one republican i spoke to today said, quote, it's bad taste, bad judgment and
bad policies. >> the person who created this proposal was the same person who did the i am not a witch, christine o'donnell ad campaign in delaware that worked out so great for her. >> and also the same person wo tried to do this with john mccain and criticize john mccain as confused and old in this proposal. so, yes, the same exact person and also did ads for, by the way, moderate jon huntsman. >> gloria, thanks very much. >> there's new evidence of a seismic population. minority babies outnumbered white babies for the first time. tom, tell our viewers what you're seeing. >> you hit the nail on the head. what it means it means that we're changing. it might be maverick county, texas, that is the census that
has the largest minority population. look at almost 97%, but the simple truth is we can't tell exactly where the babe came from. in 2010 it was 49.5% in terms of minority babies born in the country under 1-year-old, over here in 2011 with the latest numbers they have just over 50% which means just under 50% are white babies. this is an interesting trend because it's not really a big change in the overall picture, but the way it fits into everything else is interesting. why did it happen? we've had massive immigration from the mexican border, much of it mexican citizens who came here from the past 30 years who helped drive the base of 30 people who were having children here. they have the higher per-family birthrate and that has helped drive this up.
right now the immigration from mexico, particularly illegal imfwragz seems to have largely stopped and increase of people of mexican origin in this country is being driven primarily by the birth of children under the age of 1. overall this is the u.s. population. almost 200 million white people. almost 52 million hispanic and 8 million other categories and the country's population of 311 million because some people can claim more than one category. so the white population still has a substantial size difference here, size advantage, but look at this. this is the median age. the white population in whose latest numbers about 42, so getting out of the child bearing years and hispanic population at 27 years, that's really well in the child-bearing years and the
trend we're seeing now, wolf, could go on for quite some time with all sort of ramifications, politically, economically in terms of education and how the whole societiy is changing. tom foreman, thanks very much. good assessment for our viewers. some are steaming at facebook founders. they're not going to let them get away. what drove robert kennedy's estranged wife to kill herself? we have the autopsy report and it comes amid renewed talk of a kennedy curse and we'll have more on the death of the disco diva. ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] when this hotel added aflac
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jack cafferty is here with "the cafferty file." jack? >> wolf, this is discouraging. another sign that the education system is failing. florida is lowering the passing grade on the writing portion of the standardized test. students' 2012 scores plunged on the florida comprehensive test writing exam. 27% of fourth graders scored a passing grade of 4 out of a
possible 6. last year 81% of fourth graders passed. eighth and tenth graders had similar declines in their scores. so the state board of education decided to change the test-passing score from a 4 to 3 and presto, suddenly the number of kids who passed was the same at last year. manipulating tests in florida is covering up problems in the system and it is using standardized test scores to make important education decisions. it helps to correct the process, not the results, whatever that means. schools and parents were told that this was coming. florida announced last summer there would be tougher grading for the writing exam with more focus spelling, grammar and punctuation. those issues had been graded with leniency, apparently. state officials may not have communicated those changes well enough to school districts and
the teachers. doesn't it make you wonder how florida graded writing exams before the increased focus on things like spelling, punctuation and grammar. here's the question, what does it is a about u.s. education if florida lowered the passing grade on a standardized test after students' scores dropped? go to our blog or to our post on the situation room's facebook page. wolf? >> thank you. if you came of age back in the mid-1970s your disko days may have been filled with the music of donna summer. she died today and she cranked out hit after hit that helped define an era. ♪ so let's dance the last dance ♪ ♪ let's dance the last dance
♪ ♪ ♪ yes, it's my last chance for romance tonight ♪ ♪ >> summer's throaty voice and sexy moves made her a star with songs with "last dance," love to love you "and "hot stuff." one of her last big hits in 1983 became an anthem for a lot of working women. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ 9:00 a.m. on the hour ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ she works hard for the money ♪
♪ so hard for it honey ♪ she works hard for the money ♪ so you better treat her right ♪ >> great song. donna summer suffering from cancer. she was 63 years old. our deepest condolences. a wonderful, wonderful entertainer. >> the luxury car giant acura recalling tens of thousands of cars. we'll tell you which ones were affected and just how serious the problem is and more and disturbing new signs frequent flyers could be paying more for airline tickets and other passengers. stand by. you're in "the situation room." does your phone share what you are seeing and hearing right now
droid with color for facebook. it's the ultimate status update. get a droid razr maxx by motorola for only $199.99. recently, students from 31 countries took part in a science test. the top academic performers surprised some people. 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.
today's cabinet session will affect francois aland. fulfilling a campaign promise to, quote, set an example for the rest of the country. >> a senate panel has called jamie dimon the head of banking giant j.p. morgan chase to testify about the company's shocking $2 billion trading loss. the chairman of the senate banking committee says the panel is exercising its due diligence, the fbi and sec has opened preliminary investigations. acura is recalling 56,000 cars because of a power hose that can leak over time. tl sedans from 2007 and 2008, no crashes, injuries or fires related to the defect have been reported and it will begin notifying customers by mail next month and if you are a frequent
flier, you could actually be paying more for your airline ticket than other passengers. cnn minnesota affiliate wcco uncovered a number of scenarios where frequent flyers paid more than 100 to $1,000 difference. delta blamed a computer glitch that has been since fixed. the airline doesn't plan to notify customers, but they can call with concerns. a lot of people will be surprised by that story. >> what a computer glitch including your best customers, your frequent flyers and they'll be paying more than others. that's not good for delta. they need to do damage control majorly right now. thanks very much. facebook is going public tomorrow and one of the founders is giving up his citizenship. some here in washington saying that's not going to happen. we'll meet a woman who has been
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just a little while ago facebook announced the price of its initial public offering of stock setting it at $38 a share. that's the third largest ipo in u.s. history. certainly it will make facebook ex executives even richer including a woman who has been behind the success. >> reporter: you know the story. mark zuckerberg started facebook in his harvard dorm room. do you know cheryl sandberg? she's his right hand woman and people say facebook wouldn't be where it is today if it weren't for her. >> she's cheryl sandberg, number two to founder mark zuckerberg. she joined facebook in 2008 taking it from 150 million users to more than 900 million today.
if sheryl hadn't been there i don't think it will have been so successful, she had a whole month's worth of meetings trying to figure out what business facebook was in. a harvard grad who worked as chief of staff, she landed next at google where she built the company's ad business. >> think sheryl's main contribution was essentially going from zero customers to how we'd get billions of dollars and millions of customers and she built that from scratch. losing her could harm the company. i interviewed her the day facebook became profitable. the big announcement today is that we hit 300 million active users and we're cash flow positive. she challenged young woman to do the same during her 2011 commencement speech at barnard. you are the promise for a more equal world.
a world where men ran half our homes and women ran half our institutions would be just a much better world and for this mother of two, balance is key. >> i walk out of this office every day at 5:30 so i'm at home for dinner with my kids at 6:00. has she changed the culture of facebook, do you think? >> oh, absolutely. her influence has gone far beyond facebook and she's established a new way of doing things and a new way to aspire. >> she's changed silicon vally? >> absolutely. if you look at oracle or apple, a lot of these companies have a single leader and usually it's always been a guy who is seeing a singular vision who is seeing ego drive tone leadership driven. >> people who know her think washington is in the cards. >> i told her she should run for president. >> i honestly think she could one day be president, that's not a joke. >> do you have political
aspirations? >> i have aspirations to do something that matters, and right now i don't think there's much i could do that would matter more than facebook. >> but, wolf, a big challenge that sandberg's going to change is figuring out how facebook will make money off an exploding number of mobile users. ultimately mark zuckerberg controls the company with more than half the voting shares, sheryl sandberg is the woman. she's the woman who grew it into the behemoth it is today. and she's proven to do just that at facebook. when you look at this ipo you cannot overstate the importance of this woman. wolf? >> she's going to make $1 billion overnight as well which is not too shabby for this young woman. poppy, thanks, very, very much. one of facebook's founders is under fear accused of renouncing his united states citizenship to avoid paying taxes and some senators are
fuming. they are saying they will make him pay. let's bring in our congressional correspondent dana bash. what's going on? >> reporter: more than 1700 americans renounced their u.s. citizenship last year and only one was a facebook billionaire and that means he will not have to pay u.s. taxes and some senators are using harsh words calling him despicable. >> reporter: in the movie "social network" eduardo saverin was a sympathetic figure betrayed by facebook co-founder mark zishgberg. >> you signed the papers. >> and you set me up. >> and you're going to blame me because you made a bad business deal. >> reporter: saverin is hardly sympathetic. >> saverin has turned his back on the country that kept him, educated him and helped him become a billionaire. this is a great american success story gone horribly wrong.
>> the back story, saverin lost his position at facebook, but still has an estimated 4% stake in the company worth billions of dollars. ahead of facebook's ipo, saverin renounced his u.s. citizenship in favor of the country he's lived in since 2009, singapore. that could save saverin millions in taxes. >> eduardo saverin wants to defriend the united states of america just to avoid paying taxes and we aren't going to let him get away with it. >> he should be held accountable. chuck schumer and bob casey came up with legislation to force saverin to pay tax on facebook profits. it would require health americans to still pay a 30% capital gains tax on u.s. investments double the rate for
a u.s. citizen. if they don't pay that they'd be barred from the u.s. in a carefully worded statement, saverin responded that he would pay hundreds of millions in taxes to the united states government. i have paid and will continue to pay any taxes due on anything i earned while a u.s. citizen. note nothing on paying taxes on facebook profits now that he's no longer a u.s. citizen. he expate rated because he wants to live in singapore. >> anyone who believes mr. saf rib did not do this at least in good part for tax purposes is quite gullible. >> a footnote, shierm posted a link to his new legislation, where else? on his facebook page. >> reporter: the new legislation does announce -- one example is the israeli ambassador to the u.s. michael or rin.
he was an american citizen, but he had to renounce his citizenship. same with queen rania and when she became queen of jordan. there are examples of people renouncing citizenship for other than tax reasons. thank you very much for that report. senator chuck shierm wichum be a guest on john king for our viewers in north america. >> we're getting word from the autopsy report what was found in the teenager's system after he was shot. and the united states may be unprepared for tons of tsunami debris about to reach america's shore. just ahead, the dangers and the price tag. i do believe that the biggest work we have is to converse with the work of art. we are losing in a certain way interaction with the real
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the united states is just now beginning to feel the blow of the devastating earth wake and the tsunami that struck japan more than a year ago and now the west coast is bracing for what could be a major threat with tons of debris headed directly that way. lisa sylvester has details. >> reporter: 1.5 million tons of tsunami debris moving across the pacific ocean, just starting to reach the west coast of north america. recently this harley davidson motorcycle washed up on a remote canadian island. thousands of pieces of plastic, styrofoam and household goods are expected to make landfall starting next year. nick says the items are not radioactive, but still pose a danger to marine life. >> we know it harms marine mammals and sea turtles and birds and we know it has an impact on coastal economies and we can't predict the future of
where this debris will end up, but we can prepare for it. >> this from noaa, shows the path of the debris as it moves across the northern pa sick. noaa is the lead federal agency for the cleanup, but some are not happy with the progress that's been made. noaa's service acknowledged it doesn't have a budget or a plan. >> have you made a low risk, medium, high-risk cost analysis of what this would be? and the answer from your administration was no, which made no sense to us after a year knowing -- i don't know, tsunami did happen. >> i don't have an answer that's going to mack you happy, that's for sure. i really don't. lots of priorities are going on and small program and we're out there and we don't know what the scope is and i don't have a clue. >> david kennedy, assistant
administrat administrator of noaa. it is facing a 25% cut under the obama administration budget for next year, so the cleanup may become the problem of cash-strapped states already struggling to make ends meet. >> to be very frank with you, it's somewhat frustrating to hear that statement because the role of the federal government in personalings is to assist states and not just your responsibility good luck because that's not acceptable. >> now the debris is following a general ocean current flows, but it has dispersed with which makes it harder to track by satellite. in march there was a japanese ship that surfaced off the coat of alaska. it made the 4500 mile trip and it was not picked up by satellite, and it shows you there may be a lot of other surprises coming up along the western coastline. >> we don't know what's coming. >> a lot of unanswered
questions. thanks very much, lisa, for that. >> now information being released from the autopsy report of the trayvon martin case. we'll have the case of the defendant george zimmerman. stand by, we're going through the information for you right now. oh! [ baby crying ] ♪ what started as a whisper ♪ every day, millions of people choose to do the right thing. ♪ slowly turned to a scream ♪ there's an insurance company that does that, too. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? ♪ amen, omen [ woman ] it's like a magnet. pulling us together for different reasons. music. games. photos. shows. we share stories, laugh... and truly engage. it brings us closer and that is my happy place. ♪
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getting some breaking news on the situation involving the trayvon martin shooting down in florida. cnn's martin savidge has been going through the autopsy report and other information released by the court. martin, what are you getting? >> this is a treasure trove of documents released today. the saiment same information that went to the defense earlier in the week and coming from the prosecutor's office. there are 67 cds, 200 pages worth of material and five statements coming from sanford police departments, but most important would be this, and that is the medical examiner's report. in other words, the autopsy report that was done on trayvon martin the day after he was shot and killed by george zimmerman. the final diagnosis reading here, he says no surprise, a gun shot wound to the chest, intermediate range,a cording to this report anywhere from three
feet, to almost right up against the body. the path of the projectile did sht exit out his body. it did penetrate his heart. so trayvon martin died as a result of a gun shot wound to the heart. other things we found that was interesting, inside the chest blood specimen. they found traces of thc, which is going to get a lot of talk and we were talking earlier about injuries to trayvon martin's hands, could he have been in some sort of fight as george zimmerman maintains. there was a quarter inch, not all his hands are bruised, and you are just looking at the photograph of the actual gun that george zimmerman used to fire the fatal shot on february 26 thath killed trayvon martin, he says when he was attacked by
trayvon martin and martin's family refutes that greatly. you continue to go through that information. we'll stay in close touch with you. thanks for that information. >> the estranged wife of robert kennedy, jr., killed herself. it is another painful loss for a family that's been touched by tragedy generation after generation. let's bring in cnn's alina cho. >> by all accounts mary kennedy was deeply depressed and struggled with prescription drugs and alcohol and had a very public and very ugly falling out with her husband robert kennedy, jr. it may have been simply too much for mary kennedy to handle. she was a kennedy by marriage &, but mary richardson kennedy looked every bit the part, married to robert kennedy jr., four children together, all under the age of 18, now without a mother. on wednesday mary kennedy's mother was found at her home in
bedford, new york, the official cause of death asphyxiation due to hanging, citing two unnamed sources, "the new york times" says mary's body was hanging from a barn behind the house and she left a note anda uth oirts tried to revive her. the kennedy curse. >> we know from a history of this family, it is very hard being a kennedy. mary and robert married in 1984 after being introduced by her college roommate and best friend, carrie kennedy. robert's divorce from his first wife became official, mary was already pregnant, but eventually this marriage, too, was doomed to fail. robert kennedy, jr., filed for divorce from mary in may 2010, a divorce that was never finalized, but in the public's view that is precisely when mary
kennedy's life began to unravel. the next night police were called to the home for a domestic incident. robert kennedy said his wife was intoxicat intoxicated. two days later she was arrested for driving while intoxicated and for driving under the influence of prescription drugs and that charge was later krped. while it was said she never got over the separation, robert kennedy has been seen in the arms of another, a celebrity, actress cheryl hines. mary kennedy was 52 years old, an accomplished architect, a founder of the food allergy initiative. her family said, our heart goes out to her children, whom she loved without reservation. and robert kennedy, mary inspired our family with her kindness, love, gentle soul and generous spirit. but the price of being a kennedy. >> the overwhelming celebrity, the attention, theab obligation
and expectations, it is very, very hard. >> a long line of drantragedies camelot, two assassinations, chappaquiddick, jfk jr.'s plane crash to name a few and now this. >> what a great tragedy. our heart goes out to the kennedy family on this loss. >> let's go to jack. the question this hour, what does it say about u.s. education if florida lowered the passing grade on a standardized test after the students scores dropped dramatically? >> an educated single mom writes, it means we are in serious trouble. as a divorced african-american mother who obtained two degrees while raising her family, i'm tired of politicians and parents blaming the teachers for what the parents ought to be doing at home. put down the ipads and the iphones and pick up a book. as a society, we have to get
back to real values or we are doomed. john in california writes, jack, it says that the teachers union overpaid school administrators and our useless politicians win while our kids and rest of the country loses. the education of our people needs to be rethought and rebuild from the ground up. paul writes, when my daughter was little, my wife and i would play skrabl with her. we never let her win. by the time she was 17, she could beat us. by lowering passing grades, florida educators are doing what we refuse to do. they are throwing the game. the losers will be the students whose dip ploy mas will be worth less. michael in virginia writes, our education system is broken. everything needs to be fixed and no one is listening. if you keep lowering the passing grade, pretty soon you will have a test that you cannot fail. bob in ohio, no surprise there, a southern state with lower education standards. james in north carolina, reducing standards is much easier than raising them. below average has become the new
above average. but i'm not complaining if my wife hadn't lowered her standards, she would have never married me. if you want to read more about this, go to the blog, cnn.com/caffertyfile or through our post on "the situation room's" facebook page. that's pretty funny. >> i'm not sure that education, it is so important, has the priority in our country right now that it really needs. we are dropping behind, as you point out, all of these other countries. so many of these countries around the world. >> something like a facebook or a microsoft or an apple, these people come along in america and develop these ideas that literally change the entire world. they don't come from a lot of the countries that have higher test scores than we do. if you look back through history, from the rigwright
brothers through thomas edison to henry ford, the stuff that has changed the world for the better comes out of this country. >> you are absolutely right. i am very proud of that. you make a great point, jack. always worthwhile remembering that point, jack. >> i think so. >> see you tomorrow. thank you. if you are tired of having to tow a boat every time you want to go fishing, you can ditch the boat and drive the car straight into the lake. coming up, the story of the sleek-looking car that allows you to do just that. [ woman ] my husband, hank, was always fun.
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if the price is right, it could be yours. jeanne moos taking a look at the amphibious car better known as the sea lion. >> reporter: it is a head turner on land. heads really spin when you take it for a spin in water. does it come with a guarantee that it won't sink? >> no. >> reporter: it is called the sea lion and for sale to the right buyer. >> he probably saw chitty chitty bang bang as a child and he is into james bond. >> reporter: remember 007's submarine car with fins that popped out and a periscope that popped up. the say lion doesn't fire missiles. it's wheels do retract and a wing on the front goes up to deflect waves. mechanical engineer mark wit spent six years designing and building it using a mazda rotary engine. >> it is a true racing car. >> reporter: its claim to fame as an amphibious vehicle is its speed on land, engineered to go
as fast as 180 miles per hour. in water, an outfit named water car says -- >> world's fastest amphibious vehicles. >> reporter: a little over 60 miles per hour. >> what do you have to do to prepare this for the water? >> it is real hard. drive it right in. >> reporter: amphibious cars can easily pull a skier. these are consumer vehicles but the aluminum sea lion is purely a racer with its bubble hatch, no the a car to frolic around in the water. it is no the scary? >> i have been scared in it, yeah, i have. it is not a pleasure boat. it is an engineering experimentation vehicle. >> reporter: the question is, do you wear a seat belt and a life jacket? >> i have worn the life preserver and broad an oar. >> others promote their cars as chick magnets. the sea lion has been magnetic in its own way. the co-owner of fantasy junk,
the dealer selling the racer says. >> interest has been overwhelming and global. >> reporter: the sticker price, a mere $259,500. mark wit says he has never encountered fish out driving although apparently the spy who loved me did. when you are asking a buyer to sink $259,000 into a car, it better have a slightly ambiguous amphibious horn. jeanne moos, cn nchl. >> do you need the wipers on all the time while you are in the water? >> you actually do. >> new york. >> that's it for me. thanks for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in the situation room. the news continues next on cnn. . >> good evening. tonight, a conservative superpac says it has no intention of financing to tie to the former pastor. romney and