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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  May 18, 2012 4:00pm-6:00pm EDT

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facebook raised a lot of money today, close to $16 billion, if not more. that means facebook is worth just under $100 billion. so for facebook, it's a good day. considering all the hype that led up to this ipo, this public offering for facebook, many people may step out and say, wait a minute, look where the stock is ending today. the stock ending only up about a fraction of a percent just above that initial ipo offer price of $38. look, many would say it was a messy debut plagued by technical difficulties and not as much demand as everybody thought. we then saw other social media stocks tumble as well in sympathy for facebook. which everybody thought would really pop at the open. and it did. we did see facebook shares pop as much as 18% but clearly they are ending pretty flat on the day. wolf? >> alison, the whole point is that that $38 number came in at the high end yesterday. that was a number -- earlier
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estimates could have come in at $25, $35, $38 was considered pretty big. >> that was based on investor interest. remember, facebook went on this road show engaging investor interest and there was a lot of investor interest and facebook thought that it could get that price. and it did. it did get that price. look where it ended today. but clearly, what the expectations is for the hype though for the hype when you see how these other social networking sites did in their ipo, linked dml, google, they have jumped tremendously since their ipo day. that's why that expectation to see facebook do much better than just ending a fraction of a percent higher, that's why that expectation is there. >> what about final numbers on the nasdaq and dow jones? how did they do? >> looks like it was pretty much a flat day overall, flat to lower nasdaq and the dow ending -- actually, the dow down 73 points. nasdaq down about 34 points.
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a tough day. it is a tough market and there's a lot going on for investors. you have to remember the debt crisis in europe continues. that's a huge focus for many investors and for many investors they see the facebook offering today as more of a side show. wolf? >> alison kosik, it wasn't that long ago the dow jones was above 13,000. now it is closer to 2,000. we'll assess what's going on with that front as well. take a closer look at this extraordinary day on wall street. joining us now, our chief bips correspondent ali velshi and cnn's erin burnett. facebook's chart looks more like a sort of yo-yo than a skyrocket today. what's your analysis? >> first, the markets all closed with their worst week of the year so didn't help. there was no market sentiment in facebook's favor. but really the problem was as this thing was supposed to get started about 10:30 this morning, trading didn't get under way. this is remarkable volume that's been traded today. more than 500 million stocks.
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to give you a perspective, wolf, on an average day microsoft will trade 50 million, apple will trade 25 million. to trade 500 million is a big deal but it didn't get started. i think some momentum fell out of it immediately. but here's the problem. at $38, that's what morgan stanley and the investment send cat told facebook they'll be able to get based on demand. an investment bank and a send cat never wants it do go below the price into it actually comes out at. this $38.23 you are seeing and the fact it hard by got below $38 means morgan stanley and its friends have been very busy holding that stock up. if this wasn't an ipo day, this stock would probably be lowered. bottom line -- for long term investors, you still have to make the same decision -- is facebook stock going to be worth more in a year or two than it is today? a lot of people still bet yes but this is not the way you would really want your ipo to go. >> erin, what's your analysis? >> i think ali is spot-on. when you see a it holding $38, just near that close to prevent
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it from breaking the ipo price? it could be the only ipo to close below its debut price. maybe they were a little bit too greedy some people are saying. this had he priced it at $25 originally, that was on the table, then it rose. there would be a broader perception of success. it is fair to say this is a huge ipo. 532 million shares traded today. there's never been an ipo in this country's history that's never traded that many shares. fact they were even to get all that done is a pressure of success. people at facebook are happy about it. one other thing that's interesting, usually you can bet that a stock is going to go down and you'd have a lot of pressure on a stock on a normal day when there weren't a lot of buyers, people would be betting it would go down. no one was shorting the stock today. even without that it was really struggling. one other thing ali said. we've lost $1 trillion in the past few weeks in this market because of fears greece. they are putting the behemoth of
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an ipo into an already tough market. it does seem they did overprice it. >> how much did media hype play in all of this? >> i've been analyzing this a lot. i've been getting a lot of critiques about it. i think america knows more about ipos and public companies as a result of the coverage of facebook. i think a lot of people got warned that just because you use facebook doesn't mean you should invest in it. a lot of people learn that you don't get into an ipo just because you can actually buy the stock. you actually have to consider whether it goes up from where you bought it. i have to say i think we're smarter about ipos and public companies and today's example, the fact that the stock isn't closing at $80, means that people are actually pretty smart, they think this is fairly priced. it is not terrible. it is not horrible -- this is a $100 billion company. but i think we were measured in our buying and i think the media probably played some role in this. is an exciting company. we covered it well. i never think it is a bad thing to give people as much
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information as you can about a stock. even here at cnn, we've had different opinions on this. some people think it's the shift in paradigms for the internet and it is going tonight next big thing and others say stay away from ipos, you're not smart enough to get into them. >> you're at all nervous, don't buy this stock. could end up $50, $500 in a few years. on the other hand, there have been plenty of stocks, especially technology stocks, that have crumbled. >> everyone says it is going to be sort of like groupon, which is 40% below where it went public or like google which went public at $85 a share and we're somewhere $620 or something right now. could go the way of google. by the way, if it does go the way of google when google went public in 2004, in six or seven years facebook would need to be valued at nearly a trillion dollars.
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sort of where apple is today. of course it is possible but it is hard to tell where it is going to go. >> erin burnett has her show at 7:00 p.m. eastern. ali, terrific job from you as well. thanks very much. the company that started in a harvard dorm room is now based in menlow park, california. but it wasn't too hard for the man who linked millions of friends over the internet to ring the nasdaq opening bell long distance. the founder and ceo mark zuckerberg is now a multi-billionaire and many employees today became instant millionaires. our silicon valley correspondent dan simon joins us now live from facebook headquarters. dan, how did it go out there today? >> reporter: i spoke to a facebook executive a short time ago. he said the enthusiasm, the energy was just off the charts inside that facebook square when mark zuckerberg rang the bell. right now it is a little more subdude. a lot of people have gone home and gone to sleep after pulling
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an all-nighter. they had a hack-a-thon. this is where people get together and try to come up with new ideas for facebook. they met in the courtyard about 6:00 this morning. people here in silicon valley are also a bit divided about this stock. if you look at google during this stage when they went public, they were growing at 90% a year. facebook growing at 35% to 40% a year. there's been so much anticipation for the stock here in silicon valley. however, people have been divided in terms of if people should buy it. in terms of what we're seeing here right now, we're seeing a full parking lot of cars so there are still a number of people here but of course, you have that hack-a-thon last night so a lot of people going home to rest. >> they come up with any brilliant ideas in that hack-a-thon, as far as we know, dan? >> reporter: we don't know yet. it will be interesting to see. in years passed they actually have come up with some interesting ideas. that like button you see on
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facebook came as a result of the hack-a-thon. what they do is they pull these all-nighters and they actually meet in committees in subsequent days and figure out what some good ideas are. if some of these ideas take hole, they can actually make that their full-time job. the only requirement for the hack-a-thon is you have to work on something you've never worked on before. it is an interesting way to sort of spur innovation at the company. >> maybe a new company could be formed out of that hack-a-thon. who knows. dan, thanks. mitt romney finds a new campaign symbol. >> this is the absolute bridge to nowhere if there ever was one. that's your stimulus dollars at work. a bridge that goes into where. >> romney launches his first general election ad. the daughter of raul castro gets a visa to come to the united states. why some people aren't that you'll happy about that. authorities in georgia on an
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lot of news happening on the road to the white house today. the republican presidential candidate mitt romney found another bridge to nowhere today revealing a new campaign symbol even as he launched his first ad of this, the general election campaign. our senior congressional correspondent dana bash is joining us now with more. the first general election ad. >> and a very interesting visit that he made. an obama campaign official today told me -- admitted to me that it was pretty difficult for the president to win the white house
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again without winning the state of new hampshire so it is lucky for new hampshire that he owns a home there and was also governor of the neighboring state. today he went for a visit and taunted the president. as far as campaign imagery goes, this was impossible for mitt romney to pass up. a stop in front of a project that received $150,000 from taxpayers, part of the obama stimulus plan. but it is a 19th century bridge that doesn't have vehicle traffic and doesn't even cross the river. >> this is the absolute bridge to nowhere if there ever was one. that's your stimulus dollars at work. a bridge that goes nowhere. >> reporter: the romney campaign also launched their first television ad of the general election. >> what would a romney presidency be like? day one. president romney immediately approves the keystone pipeline creating thousands of jobs that obama blocked. >> reporter: the ad is noteworthy for the tone, positive against a backdrop of uplifting music, a series of
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promises, what he had's do, and a little help getting voters used to the way the words president romney sound. >> president romney introduces tax cuts and reforms that reward job creators, not punish them. >> reporter: it is a far cry from the much maligned first romney ad of the gop primary season which featured the president out of context saying this. >> if we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose. >> reporter: it was actually something then-candidate obama said in 2008 about his gop opponent. >> senator mccain's campaign actually said, and i quote, if we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose. >> another interesting note about the new ads from the romney campaign, it isn't just what they say but where they're airing. four states that president obama won last time around. the states are ohio and iowa and north carolina and virginia. one other bit of news -- that is a romney source toll me mitt and ann romney each gave $75,000,
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which effectively by law is the max that they can give, to the romney victory fund and they did that this week. >> giving to their own campaign. that makes sense. gloria borger is here as well. what's the purpose of this first romney ad from your perspective? >> it is a positive introduction. it's a handshake with the american public saying glad to meet you, and, by the way, this is my agenda on day one. it is also a way of saying why don't you ask president obama what his agenda would be in his first term? you're going to be hearing a lot more of that question from the romney campaign. so a general positive introduction. >> the other thing in talking to romney officials today is that it is positive but it is also specifically contrasting things that president obama is not doing, the keystone pipeline, repealing health care law, of course. it's generally what he would do but also specifics in what they call contrast with the current
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president. >> he doesn't necessarily have to go as negative as he did in seeking the republican nomination. >> i'm sure that will come, wolf. but not right now. because of course they have the super pacs who are going to help them out. >> that's what i mean -- he's got others who can do it. >> for example, here's a little bit of an ad running from crossroads gps, a republican super pac. >> today i'm pledging to cut the deficit we inherited by half by the end of my first term in office. >> broken. because he hasn't even come close. we need solutions, not just promises. tell president obama to cut the deficit and support the new majority agenda. >> wolf, this is the super pac that's karl rove is running and i will tell you, listen to these number. super pacs in this election cycle swujust so far have spent more than $100 million. that's more than twice the amount of independent expenditures in 2008.
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>> it's only may. >> it's only just beginning. wait, just wait. on the super pac front, the republicans have a lot more money than the democrats. there's no doubt about that. >> we'll see if the democrats catch up. >> the democrats started that super pac game much later than the republicans did. it is interesting this first romney ad also came out with a spanish language version. >> it is interesting. what's also interesting is that the romney campaign won't tell us what their ad buy is, meaning how much they actually spent an where it is running. that suggests that they -- it is very small. otherwise if it was a substantial size we would know about it. and also suggests they are doing it probably a good reason for them, to public relations to reach out to the latino community which we all know are a community and voting bloc that the romney campaign is desperately trying to get back in the republican column after they went "d" last time. >> you want to talk about money and spending, crossroads gps ad buy is normally $25 million.
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the only folks who can spend that kind of money and are spending the kind of money is the obama campaign. not the romney campaign. obama campaign and gross roads gps. >> i notice this first general election ad that the romney campaign put out today was in mark contrast to that jeremiah wright proposal that was quickly removed yesterday. >> absolutely. yesterday it was the whole idea that that could have been a potential ad and that mitt romney had to repudiate it right away. initially potentially problematic but ultimately actually was helpful for them politically because it allowed him to distance himself from that and it also happened again in may and not september. >> guys, thanks very much. weefl's continue on the road to the white house. a top election official in arizona says it is possible president obama won't be listed on the state's november ballot. how could that be? i'll ask the republican party chairman who's standing by in
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there are some early indications about how rough this campaign may get. mitt romney may have invited one by rejecting the controversy over jeremiah wright, president obama's former pastor. let's discuss what's going on in this race for the white house. the republican national
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committee chairman joins us. when i saw that "new york times" story i thought but, suggesting it is time to revive the reverend jeremiah wright and throw him in to this super pac. what went through your mind when you read that story in the "new york times"? >> i mean, not a whole lot to tell you the truth, wolf. it is not something we're planning on doing here at the rnc. obviously we don't have any control over these super pacs but i agree with governor romney's assessment on the whole situation there and i don't know how much of it was truly an emotion or wasn't but the fact of the matter is that's not a place we want to go. we want to talk about this president's record which has been atrocious and the president doesn't want to talk about his record and that's because it is a lousy record. so our focus is going to be hold this president accountable to the words that came out of his mouth, the promises that he made and if we do that and show the american people where we're at
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in this country, we're feeling pretty good right now and i think we'll feel even better in november. >> will you urge your fellow republicans out there to support these super pacs that can raise unlimited sums of money to buy ads to stay away from reviving those massty allegati nasty all obviously the whole birther movement? >> listen. you don't hear those things coming out of our mouth here. obviously if that's a tale to others, that's what it is. i want to talk about the economy, i want to talk about jobs and i want to talk about this president's failures in fulfilling promises that he made. look, this president's in line with the man in the mirror and what comes out of his mouth but what he's not in love with is following through for the american people. we know that. people can't put a full tank of gas in the car. they're not buying groceries the way they ought to. people aren't making what they should. i've got a feeling, just a
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humpbl, that the president has a whole lot to do with that and people hold the ceo and the man in charge of this country accountable. look, stephanie cutter said in a video that was release dad from last week that the economy is a challenge. that's why the president doesn't want to talk about it. >> you heard mitt romney yesterday -- i want to move on -- he repudiated that reverend wright suggestion reviving him. i'm not hearing you say you're going to urge, you're going to tell your fellow republicans don't do it. the rnc is not going to do it but i'm not hearing you say they shouldn't do it. >> what i am telling you is i'm in full agreement with mitt romney. i think it is a bad idea. i don't think it is something that this group ought to do. sounds like now they're not going to do it. i don't know what they're up to or what they're not but i support governor romney's position on this. we repudiate it as well. i'm in agreement with everything
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that he said. >> when you say the president's in line with the man in the mirror, what do you mean by that? >> this is a president who was a community organizer, a state senator, and a u.s. senator for two years. never really ran a business in his life. but yet he somehow is trying to make a claim that we're all better off today than we were three or four years ago when in reality we all know that there are fewer people by half a million employed today than four years ago. we've got a president who gives speech after speech after speech. hasn't real ly can point to two or three things he's accomplished as president of the united states. hasn't passed a budget in three years. i'm interested in what it is the president has actually done other than give speeches that makes them believe he deserves another four years. my point is he's a person in love with the sound of his own voice. he loves giving speeches but he doesn't love following through on his promises. >> the economy is not great by
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any means but there have been millions of jobs that have been created when he took office about 700,000 or 800,000 jobs month were being created and there's been a steady job increase over these months. it's nowhere near where it should be but it is still a lot better than three or four years ago. >> but it's not better. there's over 560,000 people still not employed today that were employed four years ago. if we had the same rate of people that were actually looking for work in the marketplace, we'd be at over 10.5% unemployment. he said he's going to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term? if there was ever a voek fjoke promise that wasn't even attempted to be followed through on, that's it. i know there's the job issue but i think the americans are starting to look across the
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american ocean and say if we don't get serious about basic economics in america, we're going to become one of these european countries. i think that we need to fire barack obama to start saving this country. >> he seems to be working though for big business when you take a look at wall street. they've done great over these past 3 1/2 years. the low point of the dow jones was about 6,500. it is now over 12,000. it was already over 13,000. how do you explain the bonanza that big business is going through right now? >> well, what i think what's going on in the marketplace is certainly a bet that some of these companies that people are investing in are doing well and obviously that's a good thing. we don't want that to not be the case. but i think in the end even if you were to look at investors and people that are in the marketplace, look -- a lot of folks have 401(k)s like i do. i'm worried about the future. i'm happy that some of my
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investments are safe but a safe investment today doesn't mean it is going to be safe a year or two years from now. that's why we need to get our debt bomb under control, get our deficits under control. we need to pass a budget in washington that starts spending less and starts spending within our means. this president hasn't done that. i think how people feel across this country -- i'm from kenosha, wisconsin -- they feel uneasy about where we are in this country and certainly by the president's own standard that if i don't have this economy and if you're not better off today than you were three or four years ago then it is going to be a one-term proposition, i don't think people are feeling better off, wolf. unfortunately, this president just hasn't led. >> one final question before i let you go. the republican secretary of state of arizona says he's not yet ready to put barack obama's name on the presidential ballot in his state. he issued a statement referring
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to the president's birth certificate. this is ken bennett, in arizona. he says firstvy been on the record since 2009 that i believe the president was born in hawaii. i am not a birther. at the request of a constituent, i asked the state of hawaii for a verification in lieu of certified copy. we're merely asking them to officially confirm they have the president's birth certificate in their possession and are awaiting their response. what do you think about ken bennett's statement? >> i don't know, wolf. i'm not going down this road. i said from the very beginning i believe the president is an american and it is a distraction. i think that where we need to be focused in on is the economy and the lousy job this president's done for this country. he hasn't followed through on a single promise. it's time to put someone in the white house that's made a life of making a promise and keeping one and that's mitt romney, someone who actually understands how business and small pis operates so that we can get our country back on track.
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>> chairman of the republican party, reince, thanks very much for coming in. prominent democrat james carville says it is time for his party to panic. but the head of the democratic national committee debbie wasserman schultz told me she needs to "peel james carville off the ceiling." what is james' wife and strong republican mary matalin think about all of that? she's standing by live. is the united states really allowing raul castro's daughter to visit the united states? >> it is a big offense to all patriots.
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let's get right to our strategy session. joining us right now, the democratic strategist and cnn contributor paul beg gala and my matal matalin. >> he's doing a good job. he's raising hell and doing a good job. 's just got a crummy product. i took notes during your interview. he didn't say one thing about what god, foregid, if mitt romney became our president he might do for us. he did say the president didn't have any accomplishments. let me remind him he saved general motors, he kill osama bin laden, he signed the lilly ledbetter equal pay back. he created more jobs in four years that george w. bush did in
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eight. >> mary, reince prebus may not have said what mitt romney would do but mitt romney did announce through his campaign what he would do on day one if he were in the white house. >> what would a romney presidency be like? day one. president romney immediately approves the keystone pipeline. creating thousands of jobs that obama blocked. president romney introduces tax cuts and reforms that reward job creators, not punish them. president romney issues order to begin replacing obama care with common sense health care reform. that's what a romney presidency will be like. >> i'm mitt romney and i approve this message. >> mary, are you a good republican strategist. pretty good ad. very positive. didn't really slam the president as hard as some of those other ads out there. >> mitt romney's been the presumptive nominee for under a
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month. just if a couple of week and he's already tied and in some polls ahead of president obama. in all cases, whatever the top line numbers are, among independents and swing voters particularly those who voted for president obama in the last go-round. they are now supporting -- either supporting romney's positions framed up in that spot right there, or they're intensely opposing the president's positions, economic positions on the grounds that they had no impact, or they made it worse. we could talk about the number of jobs but the people who are underemployed or unemployed, about 15%. they're not listening to these numbers, they are feeling it every day. this economy when it is growing at 1.7%. that is not growth. president bush enjoyed 52 consecutive months of growth. he put policies in place that took us out of a recession and overcame the attacks of 9/11. mitt romney will put in place the same sorts of policies with more reform because we're in a
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worst place now because obama did nothing for the last three years. >> go ahead, paul. >> well, look. our president of having to dig us out of an enormous hole, a hole that republican policies put us in. massive tax cuts for the rich, endless war in iraq. this is exactly what governor romney wants to do should he take office. first thing a president romney would do would be to try to cut taxes for rich people like mitt romney and then pay for it by causing what the center for budget and policy priorities, a non-partisan think tank said was the gradual demise of traditional medicare. it is completely consistent with his business record where he took over companies, loaded with debt, paid himself millions and fired the employees. these are the values of mitt romney which is to hammer the middle class and help a tiny elite. that's not the way to get us growing again. >> mary, your husband, james carville, the democratic strategist, our good friend, a cnn contributor, has written a
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few pieces including last week saying it is time for the democrats to panic out there because this is going to be a really close race and a lot of democrats presumably think the president has it all sewn up. to which the dnc chair, deb which wasserman schultz, here in "the situation room" earlier this week, said this about james carville. >> it's my job to peel folks like james carville off the ceiling because it is certainly not time to panic. >> tough question for mary. who's write? debbie wasserman schultz or james carville, your husband? >> good luck with that, congresswoman. james is a permanent inhab tant of the ceiling. my husband is right. he is a genius. he will distort romney's positions. if you want to know what mitt romney's positions are, you can go look on his website but james is speaking the truth and it aggravates him when his colleagues and his comrades are fooling themselves. it doesn't do any good as a
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strategist or businessman or mother or anybody to delude yourself around the democrats are delusional. they never support james. but if debbie wants to take a whack at getting james off the ceiling, go for it, girl! >> good luck. and paul, he will be here in our next hour, james carville. you agree with james, your good friend, that the democrats are going to have a tough, tough fight, they better start to panic? >> absolutely. look, the only way to run is to run scared to begin with. right? all of us who have a mother or grandmother on medicare would like to keep her on that. romney wants to slowly destroy it. but this is a terrible, terrible economy this president has inhartd. he's made it better. he is climbing out of that pitch but this is going to be a very tough election. when you have a guy like romney who will say or do anything and has limitless right wing money, then of course he's going to have a huge advantage. every democrat -- by the way, i advised the probe on a super pac committee who wants to give me a couple million bucks, i'd be happy to take it and advertise
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the real romney go check that one out. >> we'll look forward to speaking with james in the next hour. meanwhile, the united states is giving pakistan hundreds of millions of dollars every year and there are a lot of supplies that are waiting to come to u.s. and nato forces in afghanistan. we wanted to find out where the money's going so in a report from pakistan that you're going to see only here on cnn, we're going to tell you why some u.s. equipment, military equipment needed by american and nato forces in afghanistan, is simply sitting -- not moving -- in pakistan. stand by. and tensions are high between the united states and cuba causing tempers to flare on capitol hill. >> it's all gotten worse, and yet here it is just all systems go for the obama administration. raul castro's daughter wants to come to the u.s.? sure, she's an academic. let her come. o
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lot of cuban americans,
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especially in south florida, are furious right now at the obama administration that a castro -- yes, a castro from that castro family is being allowed to visit the united states. our foreign affairs correspondent jill dougherty has the story. >> reporter: wolf, she's an expert in sexuality but that's not the issue. no, it's politics and cuba. here in the u.s., that can be a more explosive topic than sex. her family name says it all. castro. she's coming to the united states. she's the daughter of cuban leader raul castro, granted a visa by the state department to attend an academic conference. in miami and little havana neighborhood, some cuban-americans are furious. >> she's coming here just to spread their communism, because that's what it is, and they're coming under false pretense to try to lift the embargo. >> reporter: the 50-year-old directs the cuban national
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center for sex education in havana. she's an activist for gay rights in cuba which were none existent in the early years of fidel castro's regime but have changed in recent years. in a 2008 interview with cnn, castro is seen to be brushing off her communist pedigree. "the only advantage is that the person who's now president is also my father --" >> we apologize. we're having some technical difficulties with jill's piece. we'll try to fix that and bring you that report shortly. stand by for that. other news we're following -- video of a firefighter falling through the roof after burning building. we're going to tell you what happened to him. stand by. that'll be $973.42. ya know, your rates and fees aren't exactly competitive. who do you think i am, quicken loans? [ spokesman ] when you refinance your mortgage with quicken loans,
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>> lisa sylvester is monitoring some of the other top stories in "the situation room." what else is going on, lisa? wolf, the suspect will be charged with capital murder. police arrested 28-year-old james wiley on an unrelated offense after a woman claimed he raped her. o'reilly had a gun that matched the one used in the highway murders. police thought he posed as a cop, but now they don't think that happened. >> a firefighter is lucky to be alive after falling through the roof of a burning building. two other firemen had to be treated for burns and exhaustion. the fire engulfed several condos leaving eight people homeless. fortunately no one was seriously injured or killed. and talk about a stadium
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buzzing with excitement. a baseball game in colorado had to be stopped briefly after a swarm of bees took over a spot near the dugout. a beekeeper arrived with a large vacuum to relocate them. >> it wasn't a columbus yellowjackets game. maybe they'll be reconsidering their mascot. i've never seen anything quite like that in the middle of a game. the beekeeper comes to the rescue, wolf. >> rain delay, bee delay. thank you. pakistan has been packing war supplies for u.s. troops in afghanistan. she is here in "the situation room." i'll ask her for an explanation. a man hunt for a man pointing a rifle at a school bus. with the touch of a button ? droid does. does it post it instantly to facebook with sound ?
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the town of georgia is on high alert looking for a man who appears to have been targeting schoolchildren with a rifle. george is there. what's going on? >> wolf, this is the last day of school for students in clayton county, georgia. we've seen a great deal of police presence like this mobile command center that is set up in the community and we are learning this will continue through the weekend and it doesn't matter who you talk to in this neighborhood, everyone is taking the threat against a school bus very seriously. on the last day of school in clayton county, georgia, this is the last thing any parent wanted to see at a school bus stop, but the heavy police presence here since a man pointed this rifle at a school bus comes as welcome news to many. >> there's the helicopter right there, right over your
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neighborhood. are you surprised by that? >> well, i've been seeing it all week so i'm happy to see it each morning i'm out here. >> reporter: from an eye in the sky to dozens of squad cars on the streets, clayton county police essentially moved into this neighborhood after the threat was reported monday. their main focus to keep close watch of grade school students as they make their way to and from school and to reassure parents like angieannette. >> i am nervous. i have students in the school system. i'm nervous and scared. >> reporter: what's your protocol as far as taking the kids to the school bus. >> yes, sir. i'm patrolling my children, and i'm watching them as they get on and off the bus. >> reporter: on monday a man crouched down in someone's backyard, pointing a rifle at a school bus. the police say one of the witnesses yelled at the suspect. he dropped his rifle and a note pad that investigators are looking into and he took off on
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foot. another witness then gave chase. the police say the suspect pulled out a handgun and fired one shot, but missed. >> are you any closer to finding this person? >> well, we've had a lot of information coming in and we're working several leads and we're hoping that that will lead to a suspect, but right now we don't have a suspect. >> reporter: as police talk with neighbors to determine a description of the man they're looking for, the clayton county school district suspended all outdoor activity as a precaution. >> how do police patrols like that help you in the school district situation? >> it builds confidence. it builds confidence not only for the school district, but it would abouts confidence for the community as well. even as bus drivers make their rounds through the neighborhood, people here hope the patrols will continue until the alleged gunman is caught. >> reporter: there were some descriptions that came out early on just after this incident and police are backing off those descriptions. they are currently, wolf, trying
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to put together a composite sketch of the person they're looking for. >> i hope they find them soon, george. thanks very much. you're in "the situation room." happening now, we're taking you to a secret lot where troops are being held hostage in hopes of wrangling an apology out of the president of the united states. an iconic baseball, wrigley field dragged into a chicago political brawl. the mayor of the cubs is facing a wrath because of a proposed ad attack by president obama. and these show horses are prized for their high-stepping gait. wait until you see what trainers do to them to perform. we'll show you video. we welcome viewers around the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac --
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mitt romney is accusing president obama of undermining the nato alliance, an attack on mr. obama's global policy even as he welcomes world leaders to the united states for critical summit meetings. the president met with his new french counterpart. over at the white house today both men have a lot to prove at the g-8 summit and one having spent a few days as president and the other facing a heated re-election campaign. brianna keilar is in maryland for the g-8 summit. brianna, the president heads there in the next hour or so. tell us what he discussed earlier today with the french president. >> a number of things, wolf, but two key issues. one being the eurozone crisis. president obama has made it clear this is europe's problem to solve. of course, there is also this concern that there could be a spillover effect in the u.s.
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we know that president obama supports what the white house has called a more balanced approach and not just cutting spending, but cutting government stimulus and government spending and in that regard he sees a kindred spirit in president aweland. they don't quite see eye to eye as much. auland ran on the promise to pull out u.s. troops and they're not scheduled to come home until 2014, but he is saying today that france would find other ways, different ways to support afghanistan. the go 8 is normally a buttoned up high-profile production hosted in resort towns around the world, but this year the leaders of eight of the world's wealthiest nations will meet at camp david in the serene mountains of northern maryland for a simpler, more intimate
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affair and good thing, they've got a lot of work to do. >> the first and perhaps the most critical item on the agenda is the global economy and a very robust conversation about the eurozone crisis. >> reporter: the crisis that involves 17 european crisis has entered year three and with greece on the brink of financial ruin it's a threat to the fragile, economic recovery of the united states. america is in a tough spot, eager for a solution, but reticent to bail europe out and without much of a leg to stand on considering how its own economic crisis rocked the world. we believe europe has the capacity and the will to deal with the sovereign crisis and the eurozone crisis. >> reporter: president obama will welcome two new players on this stage who are key to finding a fix. mario monti, prime minister of vulnerabilitily and most
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notably, francois auland. so new to the job he had his first meeting with angela merkel head of the biggest economy just hours after taking office this week. one key player is missing. vladimir putin sent his understudy, dmitry medvedev instead. >> i think it's quite an extraordinary development when a russian leader does not accept an invitation by an american president, it also, i believe, sets a clear tone for u.s.-russian relations in the next six month, i think it sets a frosty tone. russia is significant because its resisted, as you know, wolf, u.n. and u.s. attempts to put pressure on syria and iran where casualties continue to mount as government forces take up in armed opposition in iran over its alleged nuclear weapons
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program. so a very key player and it's really the understudy who will be here at camp david, wolf? >> from the beautiful mountains of maryland, brian a enjoy a couple of days there. thanks very much. the obama white house has been working feverishly to strike a deal with pakistan. the united states wants pakistani government to stop blocking key roots to get supplies to troops in afghanistan. we'll talk with the new ambassador of the united states sherri a hand, and we take you to ground zero and pakistan's demand for a formal apology from president obama. ressa zaa has the story you will only see here on cnn. >> reporter: in a secret lot in karachi, pakistan, millions of dollars into american-made nato supplies, once bound for afghanistan sit stranded and unused. the supplies now an ideal home for nature's critters.
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pakistan shut down nato supply routes last november after an air strike killed 24 pakistani soldiers, plunging to u.s.-pakistani relations to the lowest point in ten years. both the u.s. and pakistani government said the equipment that comes through pakistan is non-military. that means you will not find tanks and weapons here, but you will find plenty of these armored vehicles designed to be equipped with weapons. this is a brand new humvee. that's a tourette designed to be equipped with a machine gun. this left the city of baltimore in the state of maryland and came to karachi in september 2011. this thing's been sitting here collecting dust for months. >> we found at least 20 humvees here at roughly $140,000 each, it's nearly $3 million in dust-covered armored vehicles.
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head of the local truckers union says the block aide has caused thousands of pakistani drivers, and hundreds more in daily storage fees, still he says the supplies shouldn't be delivered without a u.s. apology. if mr. obama doesn't say sorry you will not let these containers go? >> it would be impossible. >> reporter: under pressure from that kind of public fury, islamabad has demanded an apology. pakistan also wants an end to u.s. drone strikes and transit fees for each truck to reopen the supply routes. washington has hit back with threats to cut billions in aid. at stake for the u.s. is a key partner in its fight against extremists and at stake for pakistan, billions in aid and the backing of the world's military super power.
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>> reporter: do you think pakistan and the u.s. will ever be good friends? >> they can be good friends. >> reporter: but will they. >> they need a mutual understanding. >> reporter: will it happen? >> god say. >> reporter: the two sides say they're talking and hopeful for a resolution. for now, the nato supplies remain stuck in karachi, a symbol of the bad blood between two countries who say they're partners. reza sayeh, cnn, karachi. ambassador, thanks very much for coming in. it's a pretty tense period in u.s.-pakistani relations as we saw from reza sayeh's piece. we have learned four trucks were finally allowed to leave pakistan and bring supplies to the u.s. embassy in kabul and afghanistan. is this a major shift in
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pakist pakistan's strategy right now? >> i think, wolf, we've been allowing diplomatic cargo through the airlines -- >> as far as i know, truck cargo was suspended. some humanitarian supplies may have drifted through and really, no serious material that had been crossing over unsuspended for six months. so this is a new beginning and obviously it brings good tidings. >> does this mean you're about to resume the normal arrangement allowing trucks from pakistan to bring supplies to u.s. and nato troops in afghanistan? >> yes, i think we're looking at a conversation which is very positive. we have negotiated things that and a memorandum, perhaps that can be transparent. >> can that come as early as
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this weekend when the president goes on chicago and meets -- i assume he'll meet with president obama, right? >> of course, this is a big summit where all leaders and especially pakistan and afghanistan will be conferring to bring stability and peace to the region. we have joint goals that can converge, but the relationship's been in a bad place for over six months. >> you're still demanding a formal apology from the united states? >> i think that's not going to be go off the table. 24 coffins with our flag killed at the hands of a friend, and it was in the fog of war. >> the u.s. is ready to express condolences and express regret. >> i think that's important and i think we will calibrate that as part of our deliberations. >> you want the word apology.
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>> pakistan, the parliament has done a full spectrum review and the parliament has asked clearly for a formal apology. >> until there is a formal apology the trucks won't resume? sh >> i think while our groups are talking, as you know, our participation in the nato summit hasn't been unconditional. our participation has been unconditional. these are important breakthroughs and there is no fit of peak against the united states. we are not doing a full spectrum review because it's some irrational moment of pause. it is because, as you saw, the pakistani people are looking for some restitution. >> you saw "the wall street journal" report today and it says that you want a 30fold increase in fees to allow these container trucks to resume going
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from pakistan to afghanistan. used to cost $200 a container. that would be $6,000 per container. is that what you're asking the united states to pay? >> i'm really not looking at the nuts and bolts of the agreement. those are teams on the ground that are empowered to wade through the complex choreography of framework, but perhaps if you look at the end where your trucks move through much longer, but i believe the double of that amount is paid i wouldn't be sitting here haggling on the price. that's not the mandate. what's important for us is to keep our eye on the bigger picture and the restitutions have to be made so the price is not really what i'm sitting here talking to you about. >> because as you know, the relationship has been strained going back more than a year now to when the u.s. killed bin laden in abbottabad, pakistan.
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>> and the suspicion, think, that some element within the pakistani military or intelligence community may have been protecting him for those years, a suspicion that you deny. >> we've put our entire commission, as you know, that is investigating this. even i've testified in front of it. many people -- it is empowered and it is, i think almost complete in its deliberations. you do know the 9/11 commission took over and these are trr and mean something and it's important that we give a due process, but having said that nobody of theed to see osama bin laden or any member of al qaeda in pakistan or even friendly terrain next to us. pakistan has cooperated in every effort to hunt down to destroy and disable al qaeda.
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they say that we are the most -- the partner that has been most active and valuable. >> and disappointed that the haqqani network which supports the taliban in afghanistan seems to have free reign in pakistan. the haqqani network has become a catch word to judge this relationship. the entire relationship cannot be predicated on the head of the spin. if the spin is so important then i think there has to be an anvil to pakistan's hammer. it's a very porous, very treacherous, open border and we need to police this and interject on both sides. >> good to have you. the pakistani ambassador to the united states. you've only been here a few months. you have a tougha, signment. we'll be staying in close touch. i'll have an exclusive interview with the president of afghanistan hamid karzai. the interview, you will see it in "the situation room." monday we'll be reporting from
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chicago. authorities in chicago say they're armed and ready for protest around the nato summit sunday and monday amid fears of violence. one fbi official warning and i'm quoting him now, expect the worse. also, the mayor rahm emanuel is defending his old boss and taking on a billionaire whose family happens to own the chicago cubs. >> reporter: and we could see a new first in outer space. a company is trying to launch a mission only a few countries in the world can do. ♪
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they're not concerned about nurses. they're concerned about people coming to the city to cause trouble. the city of chicago is getting ready for this, the kind of violence that hit nato three years ago in france and destroyed parts of seattle at the 1999 wto. the last time anything like this happened here in chicago was in 1968 at the democratic convention. >> expect the worst and hope for the best is the best way to characterize how we hope the weekend plays out. >> reporter: a security zone that includes the eight-foot metal barriers is part of the plan to protect world leaders, a plan that is being handled by the secret service. they started towing people's cars from the area earlier this week. >> we plan for things that no one else would really even think of. >> reporter: chicago police would control the protesters. they have riot gear and two of the noise canons that can
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transmit demands or piercing high-pitched sounds to protesters. the actual nato summit is taking place at a building behind this white building and this is the edge of the security zone, meaning that none of the protesters will be able to get any closer to that to the nato leaders which they are not happy about. >> rahm emanuel and his red zone and his sit down and shut up ordinances are aimed at silencing the people of chicago of occupy chicago and it's not fair at all. >> reporter: many of the prot t protesters are from occupy movements from around the country. we met john hill here on tuesday. he's from nashville. he believes that the fear of violence is being overblown. >> it's impossible to say, but i think all in all it's going to be peaceful. >> reporter: and that, of course, wolf, is what everybody is hoping. there are a few scheduled events tonight and tomorrow and then there's the big rally scheduled for sunday when the nato summit
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begins. >> monday i'll be reporting from chicago with you by exclusive interview with hamid karzai, the afghan president will have that monday for our viewers. ted, see you soon. al gore has a girlfriend. next, we're going to tell you who she is and a texas boy suspended from school for his haircut meant to look like his favorite nba player, but there is a happy ending to this story. [ male announcer ] citi turns 200 this year.
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lisa sylvester is monitoring some of the other top stories in "the situation room." what else is going on, lisa? >> three people are dead and three more are injured after a shootout in louisville, kentucky.
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you hear the gun fire there. it erupted in two places yesterday afternoon in a crime-ridden part of the city. officials say they're stepping up security and they're asking for the public's help and it's not clear if the shootings are linked. in follow up to a shooting we did earlier this week. kathleen sebelius was heckled. >> i was really delighted to be invited to speak to you the public policy graduates, having spent my entire life in public service -- [ heckling ]
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>> i spent my entire life in public service -- [ applause ] >> protesters shouting about abortion interrupted her address. catholic institutions have been critical of the obama administration for requiring many employers to provide birth control to their employees and this is a two-alarm fire according to the pasadena, texas, fire department. you can see the church's roof fall over from all of the flames. the fire is still raging that the hour according to our affiliate khou. so far no injuries have been reported and they evacuated the day care next to this church just in case. al gore has a new girlfriend. "the washington post" reports the former vice president is dating elizabeth keadle. she is a democratic donor for california who is also devoted to the environment.
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keadle accompanied gore in january on a trip to raise awareness about climate change. it's been two years since al and tipper gore separated after 40 years of marriage. >> and the 12-year-old texas boy suspended for shaving his head to look like the face of his favorite nba player. now check out patrick gonzalez's haircut of matt bonner. gonzalez's school called it a distraction and he had to shave off that design, but the spurs, they gave him free tickets to last night's playoff game. gonzalez met bonner who is a redhead like him and he said it was the nicest thing any fan did for him. there's a huge height difference. >> maybe he'll grow up to be an independent star. >> it still was a nice thing that the organization did giving him free tickets. >> the least they can do for that. thanks, lisa. it's one of america's iconic
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ballparks and now wrigley field is being dragged into a republican super pac ad attack on the president and as mayor rahm emanuel going too far in defending his old boss, the president of the united states? stand by.
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or visit your local liberty mutual office, where an agent can help you find the policy that's right for you. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? the chicago mayor rahm emanuel is sending a message to the family that owns the cubs, don't mess with team obama. the family's billionaire patriarch has been linked to a proposed republican ad attack against the president. he has rejected the idea, but that certainly hasn't prevented a political smackdown in the president's hometown. lisa is back and she has more on this story. >> hi, wolf. this is a story that involves a controversial preacher, a successful entrepreneur and one of america's favorite teams, the chicago cubs. at the center of it is a man named joe rickets, the founder of ameritrade. his family owns the cubs and
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he's the force behind the super pac called the ending spending action fund that has now come under fire. joe rickets is a self-made billionaire who co-founded the firm now known as t.d. ameritrade. he believes passionately in the limited role of the government and lower government spending. >> when the free enterprise flourishes, everybody flourishes. everybody does well. >> reporter: it is this proposal which rickets' aides say that has put him at the top of the headlines and launched a battle in the hometown in the president of the united states. rickets' super pac has come under fire for a proposed ad campaign leaked to the new york times which would have elicited remarks from jeremiah wright and linked them to president obama. it's caused a major backlash for the rickets family which owned the chicago cubs. it's been in talks for the city of chicago for a $150 million grant to renovate wrigley field and now that's in jeopardy.
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obama's former chief of staff, rahm emanuel is reportedly not returning the family's phone calls and had this to say. >> america is too great a country and too great a future for what they're talking about and it's insulting to the president and insulting to the country. >> reporter: he says they've been blind sided by the controversy. baker says the pac requested a proposal on fiscal responsibility and he insists he never asked for an ad campaign on character issues. >> we didn't author it and we didn't fund it and we didn't suggest it and we didn't approve it. the minute i saw it i was troubled by it. mr. rickets would never do anything to divide our country socially. everything it is focused on is the fiscal responsibility. >> joe rickets' daughter laura, is a co-owner of the cubs and she's one of president obama's biggest campaign fund-raising
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bundl bundlers. how did this controversy even get started? >> reporter: you had to have had this discussion. who leaked the report then to "the new york times?" >> i don't know. that's the million dollar question. >> reporter: brian baker when originally asked by "the new york times" about the story said, quote, no decision had been made on the proposal and he now wishes that he would have been clear that when he said those comments that he meant, quote, that we are not moving forward and i think that could have nipped this in the bud earlier and now it's a full-blown controversy. he wishes he would have said that to "the new york times" it's a nonstarter and we're not involved in this and this story has blown up as a result. thanks very, very much for that. let's discuss what's going on with two cnn contributors, the democratic strategist james carville and david frum.
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what do you think about this? >> i think that's a man that got religion fast. he's got a lot of phone calls and it's understandable and every family's got a grandpa, and i suspect that everybody has like everybody else and he saw the light and got out pretty quick and tried to get out in front of this thing. >> reporter: what do you think, david? >> it's either a good thing for chicago, or not a good thing for chicago, to have a mayor say i'm not going talk to the people involved and i don't like the way they exercise the first amendment rights and that is spooky and for a public official to say there will be public policy consequences and we will not have a deal with your city government because of the way you participate in government that is more than a little
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disturbi disturbing. >> you know rahm emanuel and you've known him for 20 years and he's not a shy guy, as you know. >> no. i am not shocked and this is chicago. you know, if you are afraid of wolves, don't go in the woods. if you own the chicago cubs and i think it was a brouhaha and now they're saying they never even considered it. this is dangerous stuff they were playing with in a very diverse city and thank god we're not playing anymore. >> if the republicans said that obama team was all about chicago politics you would be offended and you would use that same talking point as an excuse. >> i'm not disturbed -- i was more disturbed by the reports, and the rickets' family is split on this and everybody's happy, according to the gentleman that runs the super pac they didn't consider it so let's take him at
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his word. >> and rickets' daughter is a major bundler for president obama. stand by. we have a lot more to talk about including one democrat who tells me it's her job, quote, peel folks like james carville off the ceiling. i'll ask james to respond. does he still think democrats need to panic about november. cnn is taking you to a border checkpoint for an unprecedented look for the refugee crisis. stick around. you're 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.
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>> it's becoming more clear than ever that president obama has a serious problem in north carolina and holding the democratic convention in charlotte in early september may not necessarily fix it. let's bring in our cnn political contributors james carville and david frum. i don't know if you saw the politico reporter's piece on, james, but he went there and the numbers certainly don't look good right now for the president in north carolina. he barely carried the state. >> he won by 7.3, of course,
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it's 47-47 in north carolina. the bad news is we're not doing that great in north carolina and the good news is we don't have to win north carolina to win the election and my good friend gary pierce was quoted extensively that north carolina would be the toughest state for the president. i don't think their anybody thinks it will be a blowout any time soon. >> he's got to win maybe virginia, don't you think? >> yea. he's got to win 270 electoral votes, but north carolina is at the far end of that equation is my point. my point is it's ohio, virginia, colorado could go through them and florida and all of the other states that you really need to win. north carolina is not a state that a democrat needs to win a presidency. it's certainly a state that the republicans have to win, but i'm not surprised at all that the president carried the state
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by .1 of a percentage point and the race is essentially even. nothing shocking there. >> david, romney will have troubles out west in some of those states where there's significant hispanic voting blocs, nevada, new mexico, colorado, given the overwhelming support that the president has among hispanics as opposed to romney. >> hispanics remain a fairly small part of the electorate and that is especially true even in the southwest, but the basic fact of this election is this is a big economy and incumbents under tough, tough circumstances like this have a problem. the core argument for an incumbent is things are better than they were when with i was elected and president obama will go back and say probably. things were better than they were when i was inaugurated and
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worse than they were when i was elected and the election will turn on what do the voting customers think is the crucial data point and the other question is what happens on global markets and that i think is the election since 1980 that will be decided outside of the united states and the decisions in berlin and in brussels that will determine whether we have a second relapse in the global recession this summer and fall and if they make the wrong recessions it will be tough for the american economy and tough for president obama. >> you've been saying for months that the democrats don't have a lock by any means. it's time to panic. i asked debbie wasserman schulz what you've been saying and she said this, listen. >> it's my job to peel folks like james carville off the ceiling because it's certainly not time to panic. >> are you going to be peeled off the ceiling, james? >> you could have fooled me.
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i like debbie fine. it's my job when i see lethargy and people say we have this in the back to say are you losing your mind? by the way, the only other great democrat that agrees with me is peter hart who is the sage of our party and sometimes i might say things a little more colorful, but any incumbent that thinks they're a shoo in, and anybody that thinks it's a shoo-in for re-election hasn't met james carville. >> are you living in that world, david? >> some incumbents do better than others. there are economies that are growing. the polish economy is growing, those economies that are doing well have economies that are more secure. the american economy has not done that well over the past four years and as tough as it was in the start the trajectory has been disappointing. >> david and james?
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>> i just have to point out that obama's sector has been worse than being in office. two-thirds of the jobs created have been by democrats. i don't know where these republicans get off about talking about sorry numbers. >> i beat the spread and it isn't much of an argument. >> unfortunately, we are out of time and this discussion will continue. gray guys have a great weekend. we have undercover video that shows trainers putting things like diesel fuel on the animals. we're taking a closer look at the first signs of commercial space travel. ♪
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we have an amazing peek at the drama unfolding along the syrian-jordanian border. jordan is taking on refugees and trying to keep some peace. we found our pentagon correspondent barbara starr right on the border. >> reporter: wolf, i want you to see what's going on right here on this road. this is another taxi coming out of syria across the jordanian
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checkpoint into northern jordan bringing in -- it looks like this one is bringing in sodas and other commodities. this is a very busy commercial checkpoint between syria and jordan. just beyond it the no-man's-land, but cars are coming through on a regular bas basis. make no mistake, however, out on the desert, tens of thousands of syrian refugees have been escaping. many of them shot at by their own security forces as they try to escape here into border.
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wolf. >> thank you. the investigation now the very disturbing way certain show horses are trained. the humane society has released undercover video to prove its claim of cruelty. images some people will find disturbing. brian todd is over at a horse farm where they have horses similar to the ones at the center of this investigation. >> wolf, six or seven-year-old tennessee walking horse through several competitions. the treatment of horses like grady is the subject of an investigation, undercover investigation by the humane society. they produced a video recently. we have to warn viewers, some might find the content disturbing. the big lick, an exaggerated gait prized in walking competitions. sometimes this is how trainers get them to do the high step
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called soaring. applications of chemicals like diesel fuel to the ankle areas above their hooves. it's illegal. this is undercover video shot last year by investigators from the humane society of the u.s. allegedly showing trainers at a stable in collierville applying it to ankles, wrapping it to cook it into the skin, putting heavy chains on their feet. the animals clearly in discomfort. the result, a big lift of the feet. that's not all. >> what are they doing here? >> stewarding. teaching them to standstill when they do a mock inspection. if they tlinch, they get hit in the head. it teaches them not to flinch. >> they were named in a 52-count indictment this year. his lawyer tells us mcconnell will plead guilty of one count of conspiracy to violate the
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animal protection act. this man owns a breeder farm outside washington. he said he used to train walking horses but stopped years ago because of the practice of soring. >> what does it do to them long-term? >> keeps them in agony during their show career. they keep them for weeks in the sore so when they get to the show grounds they will do the performance they want. >> turner says soring can leave permanent scars. i took grady for a spin around the pasture of he's a disciplined, content creature. tennessee walking horses have a naturally high-stepping gait anyway. the soring, is it necessary in competitions? >> absolutely not. they have got a nice stepping gait that is crowd pleasing. >> it's these exaggerated gaits that win big prizes at
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competitions. an official at one event, tennessee national organization says it's inexcusable. >> this is still a moneymaking enterprise. >> on a small scale for a couple thousand people. i think we can shut this down finally. >> reporter: he says the people that use soring are becoming pariahs pepsico is pulling out as a sponsor of the tennessee walking horse national celebration this summer. it's one of the biggest competitions around. when asked if that decision was related to this video out by the humane society, a pepsico spokesman wouldn't say. wolf. >> brian todd with that story, very, very sad. thank you. only five nations in the world can do it. now a private company wants in on a rather risky space travel business. this man is about to be the millionth customer.
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>> to boldly go where no company has gone before. commercial companies taking over a critical space shuttle role from nasa. may be the precursor to you and me flying into space today. john zarrella has details of one risky attempt. >> reporter: the mission is unprecedented. it is for many in the space business, hold your breath and cross your fingers time. after months of delays, a commercial company's spacecraft is attempting to make history. there is both excitement and high anxiety. >> we've done everything we can think of to ensure the suck of the mission. despite there's still significant risk. >> risk because only a handful of nations have done this before. before now no commercial company has ever attempted it.
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once in orbit the unmanned space x dragon cancel will head for a rendezvous with the space station. if all is well after checks and maneuvers, the astronaut don pet it will reach the arm to reach out, grab hold and berth it. >> it's been a hard technology to develop. of course, we need to prove we've done it correctly. i think there's a good chance we don't quite succeed on the first time. but i'm confident we'll succeed on -- if it's not the first, the second or third. >> there is, quite literally, a lot riding on this. with limited dollars nasa decided to retire the shuttle, develop a new rocket to take humans on deep space missions, say, to mars and turn over to commercial companies the job of ferrying cargo and eventually astronauts to the station. several companies are developing
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vehicles for the job. space ex is the first ready to try. >> carrying the same number of people as the space shuttle. >> reporter: last year musk showed off the spacecraft that shuttled the earth. the billionaire co-founder of paypal has no illusions when it comes to rocket science. >> when i started space x i sound as though i thought rockets were easy. i didn't think they were very hard. i would say it ended up being even harder than that. >> reporter: just exactly how hard will be answered very soon. john zarrella, cnn, miami. >> that's it for me. thanks for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." the news continues next on cnn. good evening. i'm john king tonight, facebook falls flat with tepid response from investors tells us about the social networking site some say can do


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