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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  June 21, 2012 4:00pm-6:00pm EDT

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speeches to a national conference being held near orlando. the president addresses the group tomorrow. mitt romney spoke today. but the presumptive republican nominee has the greater challenge. a gallop poll shows mr. obama with a strong lead among hispanic registered voters. 66% to romney's 24%. but the president's advantage all but disappears in the battleground state of florida where the conference is being held. romney's trailing there by only four points according to a university poll. cnn national political correspondent, jim acosta's on the scene for us right outside orr lan toe. jim, romney spoke about immigration today. how did it go? >> reporter: wolf, a senior romney advisor told me that today's speech was more about laying out broad principles than specific policy proposals. that left some in this democrat-leaning crowd including one undocumented college student who is also an immigration activist feeling disappointed.
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in a cautious speech to a conference of latino-elected officials, mitt romney held his conservative ground on illegal immigration. the gop nominee pledged to replace the president's recent order that halts the deportation of some younger illegal immigrants with broader reforms. but he offered only a few specifics. >> as president, i won't settle for stopgap measures. i'll work with republicans and democrats to build a long-term solution. we may not always agree, but when i make a promise to you, i will keep it. >> reporter: romney noted president obama had campaigned in 2008 on a promise of comprehensive immigration reform but failed to deliver despite having a democratic house and senate for two years. >> he did nothing to advance a permanent fix for our broken immigration system. nothing. instead, he failed to act until facing a tough re-election and trying to secure your vote. >> reporter: as president,
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romney said he would streamline the immigration process and provide a path to legal status and eventually citizenship for undocumented members of the military. but he took no position on the portion of the dream act that would provide a path to citizenship to illegal immigrants in college. legislation he said during the primaries he would veto. >> the question is if i were elected and congress were to pass the dream act, would i veto it? and the answer is yes. >> reporter: after a speech, romney refused to answer questions about the status of undocumented college students like this woman who said she confronted the gop contender on the issue. >> are you disappointed in that? >> i'm very dis appoiappointed e i want to know what my life's going to be like when he gets elected. i want to know what my family's going to be like if he gets elected. >> reporter: in response to the speech, the obama campaign dubbed romney silent mitt. it's like he's physically incapable of taking a position. romney also steered clear of arizona's controversial
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immigration law now before the supreme court. a law that was blasted at this democrat-leaning gathering. >> you know what i'm talking about. senate bill 1070 in arizona, hb 56 in alabama, copycat laws in south carolina and georgia. laws that legalize racial profiling. >> i welcome -- >> reporter: but romney wasn't the only republican playing it safe on immigration. former florida governor, jeb bush, showed off his spanish at the conference and then delivered a speech on education. and romney aides stress the gop contender is reviewing other proposals on the immigration like the draft legislation that is being brought up by florida senator marco rubio. that is until he shelled that proposal earlier this week. rubio, like the president, wolf, speaks tomorrow. >> so the general reaction though from the crowd, what do you think it was to romney's
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speech? >> reporter: well, you know, wolf, the applause was polite. it was a polite response, but it was not the kind of thunderous response he gets from really supportive crowds he has out on the campaign trail. but, you know, let it be known a romney campaign aide came up to me afterwards and stressed this was a democratic-leaning crowd. it's a nonpartisan group. it is an organization of latino-elected officials. as you mentioned in the poll numbers at the beginning of this newscast, the vast majority of latinos are on the democratic side, support the president right now. it's no stretch that the vast majority of the democratic leaders here or elected leaders today would be democrats. it was not a hostile response, wolf. there were no boos. but it was, i think, the best way to put it, it was a polite response, wolf. >> jim acosta, thanks very much. nice gesture on his part there to go to that meeting. certainly next month when he goes to the naacp, that's a nice gesture as well even though most
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of the people there will be supporting the president's re-election. let's dig deeper right now with our chief political correspondent, host of "state of the union," candy kelly. i asked rubio and listen to what he said. >> i think what you're seeing governor romney trying to do is trying to figure out how do we come up with a responsible pro-america, pro-economic growth both humane and compassionate and honors our legacy of immigrants but also understands we do have an illegal immigration problem and we can't be the only country in the world that doesn't enforce immigration laws. i think that's what you saw today from him. not a political speech. not a campaign speech, but a very serious policy speech that i think begins to truly identify the republican party as the pro-legal immigration party. >> the full interview with senator rubio in the next hour. but what do you think of that approach, the gesture he made to the hispanic community today? >> you have to go.
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we've talked endlessly about what an important demographic this is. he absolutely had to go. and in defense of folks running for president, we don't tend to see the rollout of detailed policy until the fall. that's when they judge the people are paying attention. there's also less time for folks to take hot shots at policy than if you roll it out in the early summer when they look at it and say, look, folks aren't paying attention. so most campaigns roll out detailed policy sort of more towards the fall, the end of summer. so this was an opportunity that mitt romney couldn't miss. is this a game changer for him? no. president obama will win the majority of the hispanic vote. we know that. what mitt romney has to do is to make sure that he gets enough of it that he holds down the president's very large margin at this point and then makes it up some place else. so this is more of, sort of a stopping the hemorrhaging, which really the numbers are enormous.
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you played them earlier. there's no way he's going to overcome that. but that sort of edge takes decades to overcome. decades. >> but going to a latino meeting like this and the naacp next month, it does reassure a lot of independents out there -- >> absolutely. >> -- he's a decent guy and wants to have an all inclusive. >> absolutely. it wasn't only democratic-leaning. that's a certain democratic group he spoke to. certainly naacp will be. what independents tend to say when you ask them what they don't like about the various parties, what they don't like about the republican party is the idea they have a harsh edge. so this certainly goes some way at least to say i'm willing to listen, i'm going there, trying to reason. >> good point. thanks, candy. >> thanks. >> jack cafferty's here with the cafferty file, jack. >> all right, wolf. so if the 2008 presidential race was an election on steroids, the
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2012 race might be on quaaludes? let's face it, the obama/romney faceoff shaping up to be a giant snooze. tough to compete with 2008. remember the fight to the death between barack obama and hillary clinton? the historic matchup of obama against john mccain and the wild card that was sarah palin thrown into that mix? this time around we have mitt romney battling a series of candidates who are hard to take seriously. herman cain, michele bachmann, santorum. now romney seems poised to pick a candidate. after president obama, much of the hope drained out of him after three and a half years. joe biden is about the only interesting thing going for the democratic ticket these days. the critics slam both president and romney of being out of touch with ordinary americans. that's because they are. mr. obama often comes off as ivy
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league professor and romney businessman. this makes it difficult to june up for the enthusiasm for the contest. where's the fun "where is the shear, heart-pounding, thrill going up the leg tingle that is the hallmark of a u.s. presidential race." simon points out u.s. politics has always been entertaining going back to george washington and abraham lincoln. with that in mind he suggests off the wall tickets that could bring excitement back to the race like hillary clinton, bill clinton, barack obama/michelle obama and last but not least, john edwards, roger clemens. you think we're liars? takes one to know one. here's the question, why is obama/romney so boring? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile and post a comment on my blog. or go to our post on "the
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situation room" facebook page. wolf. >> you're going to get a lot of comments on that one, jack. get ready. thank you. see you later this hour. we're watching wall street right now where stocks took a major beating today. at the closing bell just a few minutes ago the dow was down more than 250 points. the nasdaq down 70. s&p down 30. all of it can be blamed on fears about the global economy. there was also troubling news emerging today that moody's will likely downgrade some global banks. in the words of one analyst out there that has both traders and investors spooked. four letter words in flashes of nudity, u.s. broadcasters have paid steep fines for them. now the u.s. supreme court has decided whether the government's punishments are legal. plus, the story of president obama's youth and his birth. there's a new version out there with some new revelations, some new contradictions from the president's own memoir. the author will join me here in "the situation room." why not make lunch more than just lunch?
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two major decisions out from the united states supreme court today. one impacting what we all see on television. in an 8 to 0 decision justices rule fcc fines against broadcasters for isolated profanity and sexual content during primetime hours are unfair. and another decision to liberal justices joining the conservative majority in a 7 to 2 ruling against labor unions. let's go in depth with our senior legal analyst, jeffrey toobin. in the supreme court watching this unfold. big day for broadcasters. what does the ruling mean for what can be aired on broadcast tv right now? how far did this go? >> well, unfortunately, wolf, the supreme court on the big issue here kind of punted. as people may remember, nicole richi and cher said some bad words on an awards show. in 2004 the fcc imposed some
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punishments, some really big fines. this has been kicking around the courts for many, many years. what the supreme court said today was, it was unfair of the fcc to change the rules after the broadcast had been made. they did not address the question of whether the first amendment protects so-called fleeting expletives. bad words that are just sort of said in passing. so on the question that all of us are really interested in, which is whether you can say bad words, they didn't really address that question. they simply said you can't change the rules after the words have been uttered. >> how about the labor unions? they lost their fight over fees for political purposes. how huge of a defeat was this for the labor unions? >> this is another very big defeat for the labor unions. because basically what this case said in a nutshell is, if labor unions want to use dues money, money from members for political purposes and obviously unions
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care a lot about politics, they have to ask each union member if they want to opt in to the process. previously the unions had said, well, we will let our members opt out, but they will have to take the initiative to opt out. here they have to ask their members to opt in. that in the real world is going to mean unions are going to have less money to spend on politics. and that's very significant. >> were you surprised, two of the liberal justices went along with the majority? >> unions have been doing so badly in the supreme court for so long. it wasn't entirely surprising. but, you know, those two justices didn't fully join the conservatives. so even in this case you saw the usual 5 to 4 split with the 5 republicans against the 4 democrats. the fleeting expletive case was unanimous. it was unusual in that regard. but liberals versus conservatives, that's what we're
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seeing in the supreme court over and over again. next week, when we finally get health care, arizona immigration, we're looking for those same splits to show up again. >> next week. they got to release their decisions on both of those sensitive issues. health care as well as immigration. thanks. >> got to be done by next thursday. we know that's the end. >> well, they can change their mind if they want to, right? >> well, they really have said that thursday would be the last possible day. they're sitting on monday. it looks like there are too many cases to be resolved just on that one day. so it will probably be monday and one or two other days before thursday. but as for which days and which cases on which days? we don't know. >> you'll be busy. >> we'll be busy. looking forward to it. president obama has a cabinet vacancy to fill and it's because of a bizarre accident. details coming up. and they're used by people in nearly every country in the world, but twitter shut down today. we'll tell you what happened. standby. why not make lunch more than just lunch?
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president obama's losing a member of his cabinet. lisa sylvester's monitoring that and some of the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. lisa, tell our viewers what happened. >> commerce secretary john bryson resigned. he told president obama in a letter he's stepping down because of a seizure he suffered two weeks ago. the seizure was linked to his involvement in a couple auto accidents in california. bryson's deputy, rebecca blank, will continue to serve as acting. and jury is now deliberating in sandusky case. he faces 48 criminal counts.
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during closing argument sandusky's defense attorney, joe amendola, noted inconsistencies in the testimony of a former grad student saying he apparently saw sandusky sod miezing a boy in a shower. sandusky did not testify in his own defense. and the u.s. coast guard is searching for this south florida millionaire whose boat washed ashore in ft. lauderdale. the boat was found yesterday with the navigation lights and engine still on. an employee said he went out on the boat early tuesday evening and that was the last time anyone saw him. he's a philanthropist given millions of dollars to jewish and israeli charities. and twitter was down for little over an hour today. the outage began just after noon here in the east with intermittent service returning shortly before 1:00. it was the longest since last october 7th which occurred during a month of hundreds of brief outages.
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i know that you are quite the man on twitter now with what is it more than half a million followers? >> i do. #wolfblitzer. >> i'm one of your followers. >> thank you. and i you too. >> this is something twitter has been having a problem with. this is not the first time this has happened. we mentioned the month of october it happened several times. it's a glitch i think they're going to have to fix. hopefully we'll find out more of the why about why this has been happening, wolf. >> at lsylvester. >> it's not long enough. >> 40 characters. >> that's the problem. >> follow me. and follow wolf too. >> of course. i'll talk with author david maraniss about his biography on the president. and newly revealed video and
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obama that reveals new details of his early life, which the "new york times" calls both surprising and gripping. the author, david maraniss is joining us now, it's titled "barack obama, the story." thank you for coming here. thanks very much for writing this book. a lot -- not a lot, but key elements the president wrote in his auto biographies you learned were not necessarily that factual based on reality. what was the biggest difference you found? >> well, he acknowledges in his memoir that there are composites and compression of time in there. and it is true that there's a difference between memoir and rigorous factual biography. i would say what he was doing is trying to put everything through the lens of race so that he creates characters somewhat built on real people that i found, but sometimes the real person was white when he was making them black or vice versa. and it was all sort of for one
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purpose in mind in his memoir, which was to write about his self-identity. and my purpose is far different. any biographer's trying to get the real story. so i wasn't doing it to fact-check or vet in that superficial political sense. i was just trying to get the story right. >> if there were any doubt where he was born, you put that to rest. you studied that pretty closely, right? >> i don't think any serious biographer ever had any doubt. but the accumulation of documents is pretty overwhelming as well as interviews with people who are in the hospital scene that week and were passing along the word of this oddity that stanley had a by. that's the first name of barack obama's mother. furthermore there were ins documents for barack obama senior on a visa from kenya. he was sort of problematic for the u.s. i have the reporting where he was before, during and after
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that birth. >> so whether donald trump or others who still don't believe he was born in honolulu? >> i don't know what else you can say. i sort of on one hand don't want to deal with it anymore, but the other hand, what drives them? why do they believe this fantasy? >> there are still polls out there that insist he's secretly a muslim. >> that part i found to be particularly delicious in doing the reporting of the obamas in kenya. their rise -- his grandfather, it's true, converted to islam although he did not practice very devoutly. but when you study the rise of the obamas in kenya, it was conservative evangelical christians who are responsible for the rise. the seventh day add venntist came to western kenya and talked in english. barack obama's father was educated at an anglican school and basically mentored by a woman who came to kenya from the
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united states to spread the gospel and teach literacy. she's the one who brought him to the united states. so it had nothing to do with muslims. >> one of the most compelling parts of the book, and it's a sad story, you believe that the president was actually better off not really knowing or having a life with his father. >> you know, that's a difficult thing for me to say. but trying to be an objective observer historian, i think that's true. >> why? >> because his father was abusive. he wasn't with obama's mother for more than a couple of months. but the next woman he married, another american, told me gruesome stories about being beaten by him physically with his hands, a knife to her throat. he was an alcoholic and very abusive. that would have been difficult for any kid. >> and you're also right how he struggled with his own racial identity. give us an example. >> that is the last third of the book. he's trying to figure himself out. his whole early adult life is an
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arc towards home going from living with white grandparents, having a white mother to finding himself in the south side of chicago finally as an african-american. and along the way i have letters that he wrote where he's describing this struggle and how he's looking at other people with different niches and trying to figure out how he can be both everything because he is both black and white and also find a comfort level in the black community. >> you've also written a great biography of bill clinton. now a great biography of barack obama. two presidents. two guys who grew up really without a father. >> yes. >> but emerged very different in terms of their social behavior. bill clinton, he could go smoozing and socialize, made everybody feel special. this president very different. why? >> well, part of it is coming from hawaii. there's a saying there cool head main thing. he's sort of laid back in that sense. he doesn't need people. he figured himself out. he was an introvert.
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he has the sensibility of a writer. and bill clinton needed people so badly that in high school he would invite friends over just to watch him do a crossword puzzle. he has a need to survive with other people which barack obama never had. >> at one point you're right how it's tough for him to make a serious decision. but he did decide to go ahead and give the order to kill bin laden even though there was no guarantee that mission would succeed. was that in his character? >> it was. but what you see going back to his days as a community organizer in chicago, his mentors and people worked with him there said he was very cautious. he would deliberate and deliberate to the point of sort of driving them crazy. and then he'd make a bold move. you see that in his presidency. not just with bin laden but also with the don't ask, don't tell decision. for the first two years of his presidency the gay community was pounding on him, why aren't you acting. he's trying to figure it out. his life is a study in how to avoid traps. that's why he sometimes appears too deliberate. >> are you working on part two?
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>> it will be a while because i don't want it to be a quick one. i want to get the documents. but there will be a second volume. yes. >> looking forward to that. thanks for all the great work. the book is entitled "barack obama the story." the author is david maraniss. major speech on immigration at a national hispanic convention. but can mitt romney win over latino voters? we're live with the strategy session. and a potentially dangerous air leak from a government by yo terror germ lab. we're learning new details. that's coming up at the top of the hour. favorite foods fighting you? fight back fast with tums. calcium rich tums goes to work in seconds. nothing works faster. ♪ tum tum tum tum tums high schools in six states enrolled in the national math and science initiative... ...which helped students and teachers get better results in ap courses. together, they raised ap test scores 138%. just imagine our potential... ...if the other states joined them.
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today i'm asking you to join me because, while we may not agree on everything, we share
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the same goal, the same vision. and the same belief in american greatness that draws so many people to our shores. liberty's torch can burn just as brightly for future generations of immigrants as it has burned for immigrants of the past. >> mitt romney speaking today before a hispanic group in orlando. let's get some reaction in our strategy session. joining us two cnn contributor, hillary rosen is a democratic strategist and managing partner of nicker backer consulting firm. eric is chief editor of red state.com. eric, do you think he has a chance of winning over a lot of latino voters this time around? >> i think he has a chance of a substantial number. i don't know anyone who thinks he'll win a majority. i don't know anyone needs to with barack obama. ironically people miss delving into polling most hispanic voters don't view themselves as
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hispanic. they view themselves as from their country or origin. and surprisingly the same on economic issues and republicans are probably going to have to go after hispanic voters after cultural issues in this environment they don't want to do and frankly don't blame them skbl sgl you heard romney make the case, hillary, that he has a better economic strategy for dealing with these job-related problems for hispanics and everyone else in america. that was a major part of his pitch. >> i imagine that's the only part of his pitch that he's got a shot at. i was kind of shocked that he started talking about the beauty of immigration and how he wants everyone to come to america's shores and find the land of opportunity when he has been the proponent of shutting down the doors and being one of the most anti-immigrant candidates -- >> hillary, that was last week. >> you know, so -- i think there's no question that sort of this, i feel your pain issue with the latino immigration does
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not work with mitt romney. he doesn't have a record there. but eric might be right that if he focuses on some of the economic issues that he's going to get some swath of them. i just doept think so. i think that president obama has been much more focused on latinos, not just as a constituency but as the vast middle class community. and i think that romney's going to flunk out there. >> well, what's wrong, hillary, with the argument he makes and others make that he loves legal immigration to the united states. he hates illegal immigration to the united states. >> well, what's wrong with it is that it's a fantasy. that you have families that are split up, broken up. some are here. some are at home. and there's no strategy to bring those families together. and that is something that too many people in this country already face. and until you're ready to deal with that, until you're ready to not just show compassion for that but step out and create policies for it like president
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obama did last week, then you're really just giving rhetoric and not comfort. >> what do you think about that, eric? >> you know, i see where hillary's going with this. but one of the beauties for being mitt romney, and i say this and it sounds somewhat funny but it's true, but his position has evolved and devolved repeatedly over the past few years and he can pick up from his timeline from a while back and go off on that where he was much more meaningful to immigration. i think there are a lot more people out there, maybe it's sad to say about the republican nominee, but it's true, a lot of people think he was just saying that to get the republican nomination. if he gets marco rubio as a running mate or something, i think he can go in a different direction. if he embraces the rubio plan, which largely the president implemented by executive order and says he would lock it in by legislation, i think he might be able to persuade some people on that issue. >> speaking of marco rubio, i had this exchange with the florida senator on the whole eric holder issue, the fast and furious issue.
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listen to this. you want the attorney general, correct me if i'm wrong, eric holder, to resign, why? >> we've reached the point of no return. he's lost the confidence increasingly here in congress. i think people in the house have given him multiple opportunities to address these concerns, to answer some of these questions. and they refuse to do it. now you start to wonder what is it they don't want us to know? why are they obstructing congress' right to have oversight over the justice department? that's what i'm concerned about. i think he's just lost the faith and confidence now of too many members of congress in terms of how he's behaved and reacted to this issue. >> hillary, you want to respond to the junior senator from florida? >> yes. i think senator rubio and the rest of the republicans who have made a political witch hunt after the attorney general are embarrassing themselves. there is nothing there. this has become an investigation of the investigation. pass a transportation bill. pass a jobs bill.
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you know, house, the senate passed a farm bill today. are you going to take that up? there's just no way that this kind of federally funded political witch hunt has any support among the american people. and i think to suggest that the attorney general has either lost the face of the people or has done something wrong, there's just no basis and fact on that. and frankly, you know, some of us are kind of getting tired of them trying to distract the issues by keeping it up front. >> eric. >> you know, wolf, there have been more than one american citizen who have lost their lives with the gun sold to the mexican drug cartels in operation fast and furious. today jay carney, the white house secretary, couldn't remember the name of the american border patrol agent who lost his life with these guns. eric holder has maintained nor the white house nor senior justice departments were involved with fast and furious. now they've claimed executive privilege on the documents they don't want to give to congress, which can only be claimed if
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senior officials of the administration or white house were involved. were they lying then or being obstructive now? obama care was 2,700 pages -- >> hilary, hold your thought. >> ended by attorney general holder. he did not promote this program. he ended this program. >> all right, guys. we got to leave for commercial. >> killed people through the obama administration. >> the program started during the bush administration and ended in the obama administration. the death of that patrol guard unfortunately and all of us are -- feel his grief, the grief of the the family occurred during the obama administration. all of that stopped and that's what this investigation is all about right now. thanks very much, guys. the man charged with killing trayvon martin re-enacts deadly encounters. we have remarkable video of george zimmerman walking him through his version of what happened that night. and some of the most dangerous diseases known to man
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we're getting new details about the minutes leading up to trayvon martin's death. george zimmerman's defense attorneys have now released audio and videotapes of their client telling police what happened before the florida teenager was shot. let's go straight to cnn's martin savage. he's watching all of this
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unfold. what are we learning, martin? >> wolf, this is information, as you say, that came from the defense attorneys. but it was originally gathered by the sanford police department in the first hours and first days after the shooting of 17-year-old trayvon martin. it's pretty amazing to listen to because it is george zimmerman in his very own words. the first time we've actually heard him in the moments immediately after the shooting that took the life of the young teen. of course the teen was unarmed. let's take you to perhaps what is the most striking, which is the walkthrough george zimmerman gave authorities the day after. and here you'll listen to george zimmerman describe the life and death struggle he says he had with the young teen just before he fired the fatal shot. take a listen. >> my body was on the grass. my head was on the cement. he just kept slamming me, slamming me. i kept yelling help, help. he put his hand on my nose and
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other hand on my mouth and said [ bleep ] all i could think about -- i felt like my head was going to explode and i thought i was going to lose consciousness. so i tried to squirm so i could get -- he only had a small portion of my head on the concrete. so i tried to squirm off the concrete. that's when my jacket moved up and i had my firearm on my right side hip. my jacket moved up and he saw -- he looked at it and he said you're going to die tonight [ bleep ]. i felt his arm going down to my side. and i grabbed it. and i just grabbed my firearm and -- >> and it was that shot that of course pierced the heart of trayvon martin and he died a short time later. we should point out again, trayvon martin was not able to give his version of events. it's a very one-sided account.
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but it is quite remarkable to hear from the man as he stands at the spot where all of this occurred. again, released by the defense team they clearly feel it bolsters their case in support of george zimmerman. wolf. >> what do we expect happens next in this case, martin? >> it's scheduled on the docket next week for a bond hearing. remember his bond has been revoked because questions about whether he was truthful about how much money the family had. so he was pulled back and put behind bars once more. it could be we have a bond hearing next friday and maybe that plays into the timing of this particular release because credibility here is key. it's a self-defense case. george zimmerman may have lied about his money and the defense -- or prosecution rather is contending did he lie about details in the case? that's why the defense released this video that seems to show george zimmerman's been consistent in his case to authorities. >> martin savidge, thanks very
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much. highlights of mitt romney's boys on tv. >> this seems like a joke, but it's not. let's make this work a little better. i have name tags for all of you. josh, could you distribute these -- i don't know who is who and i've been looking at your pictures for days. people with a machine.
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i tell mike what i can spend. i do my best to make that work. we're driving safely. and sue saved money on brakes. now that's personal pricing. it was crowded on the set of conan o'brien's show last night. all five of mitt romney's sons were there. >> josh. tag. craig. ben. matt. my first question, why the name tag? everyone else got a very -- were you -- you're the oldest. >> i was born in 1970. i'm glad i wasn't born moon beam or sunshine or something. >> what happened though is they
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named you tag first. usually in my family my parents went with conventional names and then i came a little later and they were like let's get crazy. and conan came along. but with you they made a decision right off the bat he will be tag. and then after that suspiciously everyone else has a normal name. >> you know, they had a good friend named tag tagert. by the way, i have five sons of my own and they're all very normal jonathan, david, joseph, thomas, william names. it's easy -- i almost forgot the last one. my daughter allie would be upset with me -- >> good catch on that by the way. very good catch. my first question is, you are all grown men, you're married, you have children. does it bother you that the press always calls you the romney boys? it's like you're 98 degrees or something. >> yeah. we were thinking about -- >> you're a boy band in a mall.
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>> we prefer brothers but some people call us boys. whatever. >> especially like in a western, you know, you would be the posse. get them romney boys in here. >> good stuff. let's go to jack right now. he's got the cafferty file. jack. okay. the question this hour is why is obama-romney so boring? james in north carolina, it's a boring race because the people are bored themselves. the economy is in the doldrums, it's getting worse. i'm more concerned about feeding my family than voting for anyone. ulga in texas writes your questions are boring. they like insight, sensitivity and intelligent knowledge of the issues. don't question the candidates. question the country's voters for not demanding a better type of representation. roger in pennsylvania says obama's the villain who has borrowed trillions on the backs of our grandchildren to create a false economy that's designed to
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get him re-elected. and romney's the superhere ro trying to stop him. another you can't tie romney boringness. he puts the bore in boring. despite the show the candidates are putting on, the american people know they're both run by the same corporate wall street power mongers. only fans of the wwe would believe. mike in minneapolis writes because we're bored. this election began november 4, 2008. enough already. and jeff in georgia says no offense mr. cafferty, but if you're bored with the presidential election, maybe you should start writing columns about theme parks or roller coasters or standup comedians. if you want to read more about this, go to the blog, cnn.com/caffertyfile. or our post on "the situation room" facebook page. we're right on time. look at that. >> amazing, jack. thank you. you're in "the situation room."
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happening now, an vestigation into a potentially dangerous germ leak at a u.s. government lab. this hour, is an agency that's supposed to protect us from disease putting people at risk? also, senator marco rubio defends mitt romney as the republican presidential candidate changes his tone on illegal immigration. i'll talk to senator rubio this hour about an issue that very close to him -- hits home to him to be sure. and about his chances of becoming romney's vice presidential running mate. and a 68-year-old grandmother bullied by middle school students and even taunted about her son's suicide. stand by to see her humiliating bus ride on a video that's gone viral. we want to welcome our viewers from around the united states and the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
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americans depend on the centers for disease control to help keep all of us safe from the most deadly germs and viruses in the world. but the atlanta-based agency now is under the microscope itself because of a leak that could have exposed people to germs so dangerous terrorists might use them as weapons. brian todd has been investigating this story for us. he's getting new information. brian, what are you learning? >> wolf, we've investigated this ourselves and we've just learned a congressional committee has requested documents and launched a probe into one particular cdc lab in atlanta. this facility had an air leak from a room handling dangerous pathogens. it's a highly secured biogerm lab at the centers for disease control conducting experiments with pathogens like monkeypox, bird flu, tuberculosis, rabies and others that could be used as
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weapons. an air leak will be investigated by a congressional committee. congressional sources and cdc tell us it occurred on february 16th of this year. what's your biggest concern of what could have happened here? >> the biggest concern is there was visitors walking through the building. had one of those people been stricken or made ill or worse, obviously that would have been devastating. >> reporter: congressman michael burg esz will be part of the investigation. experts say if experiments had been underway at the time of the air leak, unprotected visitors could have gotten deadly exposure to germs, but an epidemic would have been very unlikely. the system in that lab is supposed to protect against the release of contaminated air. air from a clean air corridor is pushed through vents into that lab where experiments involving those pathogens and including small mammals take place. the air circulates and is pushed to the outdoors through powerful hepa filters. that air is supposed to be cleaner than the air that comes
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in. but on february 16th of this year, visitors in a clean air corridor noticed a puff of air being pushed out through that corridor in a window in a slit in the door. that is not supposed to happen. cdc officials say animals were in that lab at the time, but they were secured in filtered cages. they say the lab was clean, was not active at the time and no one got infected. cdc officials told us they couldn't put anyone on camera. in a statement, a spokesman said, at no time during recent incidents featured in the media were cdc workers or the public in harm's way. this unique facility features multiple security layers specifically designed to protect workers and public in the event of an incident. there's been one other incident in that same building in 2008. it was discovered a high containment lab door was sealed with duct tape. bob holly, former safety chief at government infectious disease lab talked about the layers at cdc like biosafety cabinets
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researchers work in within that lab. >> nothing is handled outside that cabinet. so they're working with minute amounts of material. and the chances of aerosol are negligib negligible. >> but there are also questions about a possible cover-up. in an internal e-mail reported by usa today, a cdc by yol cyst says the cdc will do anything to hide the fact that we have serious problems with the air flow and containment in this whole building. we have not been able to independently verify that e-mail. in response a cdc spokesman said the agency will continue to be transparent in addressing safety challenges and that it will cooperate with that congressional investigation, wolf. >> were any of those visitors or the cdc workers themselves tested -- formally tested after that incident? >> a cdc official we spoke with said no one was tested because he says there was no need to. there were no biological agents circulating in that lab at that time. no need to test anybody.
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but it's the potential that pretty much scares everyone here. >> see what the congressional investigation leads to as well. brian, thank you. the white house today is denying any cover-up of the botched fast and furious gun running sting. republicans are hammering the president for claiming executive privilege to keep fast and furious documents under wraps. and gop leaders are moving toward a full house vote next week on citing the attorney general, eric holder, for contempt of congress. more now from our white house correspondent, dan lothian at the white house. >> republicans are essentially delivering on a promise to investigate the administration and damage the president politically. but republicans say they're just trying to take a look at something that the white house so far will not show them. the white house under increasing pressure to explain why some documents related to the fast and furious gun running sting should not be released tried to shift the focus to its accusers who smell a cover-up. >> instead of creating jobs or
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helping the middle class, congressional republicans are focused on this politically-motivated taxpayer-funded election-year fishing expedition. >> far from a fishing expedition, house speaker john boehner wants to know what they're hiding. >> the decision to invoke executive privilege is an admission that white house officials were involved in decisions that misled congress and covered up the truth. >> white house aides insist they have turned over all documents to the botched incident itself. but holding back after they describe as after the fact. attorney eric holder lashed out at wednesday's contempt vote in the house. >> the action that the committee took yesterday was both unwarranted, unnecessary and
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unprecedented. >> these kinds of disagreements are usually settled in negotiations behind closed doors. the white house says it hopes it can still be resolved avoiding a contempt showdown. but strong rhetoric is enflaming the debate. and nancy pelosi piled on when she accused republicans of targeting holder because his fight of voter suppression in various states. >> this is no accident. it is no coincidence. it is a plan on the part of the republicans. >> now, speaker boehner did not directly challenge that point when asked about it today. instead, he maintains that this quest to get at these documents in question is justified. and while on the point, wolf, white house aides, while they talk broadly about the documents, they won't say specifically what's in them and won't say if they include any communications with the white house. >> see what happens on that scheduled vote next week on the house floor. thank you, dan. let's get to the bloody conflict in syria right now. a new report that the cia is
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playing a secret role in getting weapons to rebel forces. let's bring in our intelligence correspondent, suzanne kelly. she filed this report. >> reporter: a group of cia officers working from turkey helping allies to decide which opposition groups inside syria should be receiving arms. that's according to "new york times" which cites unnamed sources saying rocket-propelled grenades and anti-tank weapons are being sent through turkey into syria. cnn reported back in may that the u.s. was increasing its coordination with gulf nations who are working to arm the opposition. officials insisted thursday that the u.s. is not providing arms to syrian rebel groups but is concerned about who makes up those groups. >> any time that weapons fall into the wrong hands anywhere around the world is a problem. >> reporter: u.s. intelligence agencies now estimate an al qaeda force inside syria to be some 500 strong. a new report by the institute for the study of war spells out the challenges in separating them from an opposition force that is now grown to some 40,000
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men. >> the more difficult question is the rebel groups that are more so lofists. more conservative islamist groups that are not quite al qaeda organizations. they're not necessarily in favor of global islamic jihad. but nonetheless have a more conservative sunni outlook and they could end up becoming more powerful over time. >> reporter: a u.s. official tells cnn that the opposition is clearly becoming more effective. assad may have the upper hand militarily, but he now has to confront more than a rag-tag bunch of guys. i spoke today with the chairman of the house intelligence committee, mike rogers, about this. he said that while he believes the u.s. should be in a position to better understand these opposition groups, he does not have a high level of comfort with the u.s. having any involvement in actually channelling the flow of any weapons that might be moving in to syria right now, wolf. >> thanks very much. in these hard economic times
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here in the united states, is the american dream only for white people? we're going to talk about a disturbing new snapshot of the wealth gap between races. and marco rubio moving memories of his father's sacrifices so he can achieve a dream. my interview with the senator coming up. and live to minnesota now in a state of emergency because of historic flooding. great shot.
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it's a better policy that gets you a better car. call... or visit one of our local offices today, and we'll provide the coverage you need at the right price. liberty mutual auto insurance, responsibility -- what's your policy? jack cafferty's here with the cafferty file. jack. >> turns out most of the world's extra body fat is attached to bodies living right here in the united states. new data from the u.n. and world health organization shows the entire adult global population is nearly 17 million tons overweight. and researchers in london found that while the average global body weight's 137 pounds, the average weight here in north america's 178 pounds. in other words, we're 41 pounds heavier on average than the people in the rest of the world.
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not shocking since two-thirds of the united states is either overweight or obese. but there's more to this. while north america has only 6% of the world's population, we make up a third of the world's weight due to obesity. compare that to asia. they have 61% of the world's population but just 13% of the weight due to obesity. one researcher told the bbc that if every country had the same fatness that we have here in the u.s., it would be like an extra billion people of average weight. scientists say this global fatness is a real concern. it strains the world's food supply and environmental resources. fatter people need more energy and they eat more. this means the competition for environmental resources isn't always about population growth "when it comes down to it, it's not how many mouths there are to feed, it's how much flesh there is on the planet." and we got plenty of flesh right here. spare flesh. experts suggest the best way to fight global fatness, programs that encourage more physical
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activity like walking and cycling. oh, yeah, and put down the fork. here's the question. what does it mean if most of the world's excess body fat is in the united states? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile. post a comment on my blog. or go to our post on "the situation room" facebook page. wolf. >> good thing you work out every day, jack. >> a little. >> and so do you. >> i'm trying. trying my best. jack, thank you. roads have been turned into rivers. hundreds of people forced out of their homes. and land washed away in historic flooding battering parts of minnesota. the city of duluth is under a declaration of emergency right now. residents there say this is unlike anything they've ever seen. let's bring in our meteorologist and severe weather expert, chad meyer with the latest. more rain could be headed that way? >> yeah. an underreported story, i think, we just didn't have very good pictures coming out of duluth,
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minnesota. everywhere you see in orange, pink or red, eight inches of rain in the past 48 hours. this is what eight inches of rain will do to any city or any countryside. look at these dreadful pictures. roads are gone. there are sink holes all over the city of duluth. there was a state of emergency for a while that said nobody get on the road unless you're going somewhere in an emergency. and so this is what we have up in duluth. it rained all monday into tuesday. finally stopped now. but it's the heat of the summer. we're finally in that summer pattern. showers will pop up all afternoon long today, tomorrow even into the weekend. and not like we're not going to see a lot of this runoff finally get into lake superior, but even one more inch of rain was not going to soak in. it's going to run off and make some of these rivers go back up. dramatic pictures, wolf. >> you see that bridge over there? >> gone. >> you're right. that is amazing. our heart goes out to all the folks in the duluth area. wow. >> yeah. >> and you say no end in sight right now? >> well, you know, you're kind of in that pattern where the sun
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comes out during the day, there's so much water on the ground, that water evaporates, makes humidity. the humidity goes into the sky and makes another thunderstorm right where it's so flooded. more rain on top of the rain because the humidity and the water's right there on the ground just to make another thunderstorm right on top of where it's already wet. >> yeah. okay. chad, thank you. we'll continue to update our viewers on this. also, a disturbing new snapshot of the wealth gap between the races here in the united states. and it's now raising this question, is the american dream only for white people? that's coming up. stay with us here in "the situation room." [ engine turns over ] [ male announcer ] we created the luxury crossover and kept turning the page, writing the next chapter for the rx and lexus. see your lexus dealer.
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we have some startling new evidence that the wealth gap
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between white and black americans nearly doubled during the years of the recession. census figures show the disparity. the median net worth at whites more than $110,000 is 22 times greater than it is for blacks. the gap between whites and hispanics isn't much better. asians also lost wealth falling behind whites. it's all a new wake-up call for families trying to fulfill the american dream. that's the focus of "time" magazine's new cover story. we're joined now by "time" managing editor. rick, thanks for coming in. is the american dream dead for all practical purposes when it comes to minorities in the united states? >> i don't think so, wolf. i mean, if you look at median net worth for all americans between 2007 and 2010, it went down by about 40%. there is an increasing income inequality. that's not just by race. that's by income. so the 1% are increasing their
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lead over the rest of us. the top 20% are increasing their lead over the vast middle class. but i do believe, and i do hope, that the american dream of course is still possible and there are people who are socially mobile in all races in all classes throughout america. and what we have to do is empower those people to move up the ladder. >> so, if you're born into a certain class, how realistic nowadays that you're going to move up beyond that class? >> well, you know, this is the argument about economic inequality in america. if the zip code you're born in is below a certain level, it's much more likely than it has been since world war ii that you will stay in that same zip code and same economic level. i mean, it hurt me to see the statistics that came out last year that france has greater social mobility than america does now. that's something we really need to overcome because the american dream is really about overcoming zip code that you were born in and moving up. and we need to empower and
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enable to do that. >> in the cover story "the history of the american dream" in the new issue of "time" magazine, did the folks you interviewed, what did they say about the president? president obama and his role in shaping their attitudes about potentially having a better life? >> yes. i think the election will boil down to speaking of the american dream, which candidate can best realize that dream and realize the potential of that dream for most americans. and for most americans, that idea is about income and about moving up in their kind of economic scale. and right now things are stuck. i mean, an average median income of americans is back what it was when bill clinton was president. and they're looking at both candidates from the perspective of who can change that? who can move things up? who can make it better? >> an important and powerful cover story in the new issue of "time," our sister publication.
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thank you very much. >> thank you, wolf. jurors are now considering the child rape case against jerry sandusky. we're learning of a new bomb shell from one of his adoptive children. let's go to. >> there's no other way to describe it than you just did. it's a bomb shell. we have learned from an attorney representing matt sandusky, matt sandusky is one of the adopted children of jerry sandusky, that he was prepared to testify for prosecutors in this case. and now through his lawyer he is announcing that he, matt sandusky, was molested by his father, is a victim of child abuse by his own father. now, matt sandusky, wolf, prior to now has always been supportive in public statements about his father, jerry. after he was charged with at first 52 counts of child abuse, now down to 48 counts. we have not heard much from him
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in public other than those previous statements. but he was seen coming into the courthouse yesterday. and he was believed to be part of the government's rebuttal case -- the prosecutor's rebuttal case, but they never put one on after jerry sandusky did not testify. but now we are learning this incredible information from a lawyer representing him that matt sandusky asking for privacy is saying that he is a child of sex abuse at the hands of his own father. we don't know how this will impact this case, if any, because this jury is sequestered. should not be seeing news reports at all. should not be talking to anyone about this case. and they have been deliberating for four hours now, wolf. >> and they're continuing to deliberate. do they deliberate throughout the weekend? or do they take a break until monday? >> the judge has told them they can set their own hours. we believe they will indeed be working through the weekend. we understand that a little while ago both the prosecutors and the defense attorney
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representing mr. sandusky are involved in a meeting in the judge's chambers. we don't know the nature of it. we don't know whether this has something to do with this bit of news or whether it has something to do with the jury possibly wanting to end their day. they've been in court since 9:00 this morning. >> thanks very much. the issue of illegal immigration on the front burner right now. i'll ask senator marco rubio from florida if he'd allow to enlist in the united states military. the possible vice presidential contender next. and why americans are a lot heavier than the rest of the world. good afternoon. chase sapphire. (push button tone) this is stacy from springfield. oh woah. hello? yes. i didn't realize i'd be talking to an actual person. you don't need to press "0" i'm here. reach a person, not a prompt whenever you call chase sapphire. [ slap! ] [ slap! slap! slap! ] [ male announcer ] your favorite foods fighting you? fight back fast with tums.
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[ female announcer ] and you've earned a say. get the facts and make your voice heard on medicare and social security at earnedasay.org. a grandmother bullied by children, taunted over her son's death. you'll see the secret video coming up this hour right here in "the situation room." one of the best things about state farm is our accessibility.
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but say the sun rises on december 22nd, and you still need to retire. td ameritrade's investment consultants can help you build a plan that fits your life. we'll even throw in up to $600 when you open a new account or roll over an old 401(k). so who's in control now, mayans? republican presidential candidate mitt romney today trying to convince skeptical latino leaders that he'd be a good alternative to president obama. he criticized the president's policy on immigration calling his decision to stop deporting many young illegal immigrants temporary. but the republican presidential candidate offered few specifics about what he'd do. the immigration issue certainly now front and center for the white house contenders and for a possible romney running mate. and joining us now from capitol hill, the junior senator from the state of florida, marco
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rubio. he's the author of a brand new book simply entitled "an american son." there it is. you see it on the screen. senator rubio, thanks for coming in. appreciate it. >> thanks for having me. >> i want to get to the book in a few moments. let's talk a little bit about immigration right now. the search for latino support out there. i assume you heard mitt romney's address before elected latino officials earlier in the day. to me at least it seemed sort of different. the tone at least compared to what he was saying during the primary. did you hear that? >> well, what i've heard, wolf, is we're a pro-legal immigration party. that's the argument i've made. the republican party isn't the anti-illegal immigration party, it's the pro-legal immigration policy. we understand it's important for america's future. we recognize america has one of the most generous immigration programs over the world. over a million people a year immigrate here legally. no other country comes close. but we have an illegal
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immigration problem and that's a legitimate concern as well. >> the obama campaign wasted no time coming out with a tough statement reacting to what romney said today. they recall that during the republican primaries he said -- he called the dream act a variation of that you seemed to like, the dream act a handout and promised he would veto it if it were enacted and he were president. today we didn't hear that from romney. >> first of all, i think he's been pretty clear he doesn't support the dream act. and i don't support the dream act either. i think there's a better way to do it. i talk about that in my book. there is a way to accommodate these kids that find themselves in the circumstance through no fault of their own, there's a way to accommodate them without encouraging or incentivizing illegal immigration in the future. i think that's what you saw governor romney say today. if he's president, he's not going to find a political point or talking point, he's not going to find a stopgap measure, he's
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going to find an approach that understands the humanitarian component of this problem but that does so in a way that doesn't encourage or reward illegal immigration in the future. i think you can understand the human component of this. these are human beings. i talk about this in my book what they want us to provide families a better future. some come from very desperate situations. we also have to have immigration laws. we can't be the only country in the world that doesn't have immigration laws and doesn't enforce them. there's a balance there we have to fiepd. and i think that's what he'll do as president. he's not going to politicize it the way this president has done. >> when you heard the president last week come out with his new directive on allowing some young illegal immigrants to stay in the united states to get legal status for two years at a time to go get jobs, et cetera. you said immediately afterwards you pulled off from your alternative to the dream act. you were hoping to work with democrats and others to find some sort of alternative way to deal with this. you backed away from that now.
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why? >> what i said was i thought by doing it the way he did, it's going to make it harder to find the kind of solution in the long-term we all want to do. what i first encountered when i came to the senate was no one wanted to talk about immigration. there were too many scars. people gone through too much in years passed. highly charged very politicized issue. the argument i was making is this is a humanitarian issue. not simply an immigration one. these kids are here in the circumstance through no fault of their own. there's got to be a way to accommodate them without rewarding or encouraging illegal immigration. that's what we're working on. and in comes the president without talking to anybody and basically does it by executive order. five months before the election. in a blatant effort to win hispanic votes or energize the hispanic vote and turn it against republicans. he's politicized it. if it's going to be a political ping-pong and political talking point, it's going to be very difficult to come up with the kind of measured responsible approach that we've been working on. >> should illegal immigrants be allowed to volunteer to serve in the united states military? >> well, as part of the
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alternative we were working on, there was a component where those who are honorably discharged in the service of this country would be allowed access to a legalization process fairly quickly. i think the vast majority of americans would agree with that. but that's not really -- that's an important point. and it's one that we should talk about. and should certainly be part of any accommodation. it doesn't really cover that many people. at the end of the day it's not easy to get into the u.s. military. you can't just walk in and say i want to be in the army. they have to accept you. it's not as easy as it once was. standards are pretty high. what about everybody else? that's what we're trying to tackle here. you have young people that came in when they were five years old. some don't know they're undocumented until they try to go to college. valedictorian of high school and accepted to harvard or yale. we can't ignore it in the way that we have an illegal immigration problem. >> standby for more of my
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we're following breaking news right now. the credit rating agency, moody's, has just downgraded 15 major global banks including the two largest banks in the united states, jpmorgan chase and bank of america. our chief business correspondent joining us on the phone right
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now. alli, what does this mean? >> a view moody's has taken of the major banks in the world. those who are listening who are clients of jpmorgan chase or bank of america, citi group is in this bunch as well, basically this is a reduction in the rating of the bank's ability to pay back their loan, their debt, their bonds. so this isn't about your deposits in those banks. those in the united states are still covered by the federal deposit insurance corporation. this is if you are a bondholder, if you invest in these banks' bonds, their ability to repay those banks is now judged to be lower because of all their exposure to the dangerous things going on in the world, particularly europe. so not entirely unexpected, wolf. but this gathering storm of things that are happening and slowing down the u.s. economy, this is one more assurance that we are all connected and that the bad stuff that's going on in europe actually does effect us here in the united states. >> so what you're saying -- what i hear you're saying is people have money in those banks, they
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don't necessarily need to rush over to those banks and take out that money. that money is secure. >> that is correct. in the united states, unlike in europe -- this is for our u.s. viewers, you have insurance from the fdic up to $250,000 per account. if you have more than $250,000 in an account, it is not necessarily guaranteed. there's no danger. they have taken these banks down from the highest of ratings to either one or two notches below the highest. so we're not talking about the fact these banks are like greece or lehman brothers where they're not going to be able to pay back their debt. what we are saying is some of the safest institutions in the country are actually at some risk of what moody's calls outside losses if things continue to go down. if things were to continue to get worse and worse and worse, some of these major banks could take a hit and be at greater risk of not paying back their loans to bondholders. but if you are an account holder at these banks with less than
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$250,000 in the normal deposit account, you are fine. >> ali, thanks very much. we'll watch this story. certainly it's not going to instill a whole lot of confidence as far as the economic recovery is concerned. but we'll watch it closely. appreciate it. let's get back to my interview now with senator marco rubio on his new book and his chances of becoming mitt romney's vice presidential running mate. how did you feel in the past few days when mitt romney singled you out? you're the only one he's publicly knowledged as being vetted as a potential vice presidential running mate. >> i don't pay a lot of attention to the back and forth -- it's like a sport up here, that stuff. i've made a decision a couple months ago, wolf, not to comment on the vice presidential process anymore out of respect for governor romney and the work he's putting into that. the only thing i can tell you definitively i am 100% without any doubt with great certainty that governor romney will make a great choice for vice president. >> without commenting on the vice presidential running mate slot, do you think you're
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qualified, though, to be president of the united states? >> i'm qualified to be a u.s. senator, which is my job right now. i think i do a good job here in the senate and continue to do a good job that people look at me and say, hey, this is someone that works serious about the issues. i may not agree with him on everything, but i know where he stands and he works hard on behalf of what he stands. i think if i do that, i'll have plenty opportunities in the future to do things inside and outside of politics. >> you've written a very personal book about yourself and your family coming to america from cuba. an american son, what was most powerful at least in my opinion and most moving is what you wrote about your dad. and unfortunately he passed away and he's not able to see you right now doing what you're doing. what would you say to your dad right now if you could? >> well, i would just say that, you know, our version of the american dream in terms of what the american dream's meant for our family, and that's really the story i wanted to tell, was that my parents were able to provide opportunities for me that they themselves didn't have.
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and i hope what my dad can realize and my faith teaches me he can see what's going on even not just on television is that his life meant something. it had a purpose. it opened doors for us that weren't open for him. my mom is still here with us. hopefully she sees it the same way. i know their dreams became impossible for them, but they opened a lot of doors for us and always be grateful for that. >> what's the most important thing you hope readers of "american son," what thought you want to leave knowing about you. >> not just me but about my family the only reason i've had opportunities that i've had is my parents worked very hard, they gave up a lot of things so we could have a better life and because i was born an american son. that's the title of the book is about. i know my parents were once my age. they had dreams and hopes themselves. it became impossible for them. but things were possible for me that were impossible for them for one very profound reason and that is because i'm an american son. >> i'm sure your mom is very, very proud. and i'm sure your dad, and i
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assume you agree he's looking down, he's very proud as well. it is an american dream that has come true for you. thanks so much, senator, for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. a grandmother forced to endure a horrifying tirade of verbal abuse from students at a school bus. there are a lot of warning lights
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the video's almost too disturbing to watch. a 68-year-old grandmother here in the united states forced to endure a barrage of horrifying insults from students on board a school bus. here's cnn's mary snow. >> it only takes seconds to see why this video has sparked outrage far beyond the upstate new york town where it happened. >> oh, my god, you're so fat. >> you're so fat. >> school bus monitor, karen clien, wipes her eyes as four seventh grade boys taunt her. at one point she tells them that she's crying. the abuse only gets expletives insults, one could be seen poking karen, then one makes a
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particularly painful comment. a reference to her son's suicide ten years ago. >> you don't have a family because they all killed themselves because they didn't want to be near you. >> i didn't like it. >> reporter: klein, a 68-year-old grandmother of eight who's worked for the grace new york school district more than two decades said she did her best to ignore the students. >> i sat there and took it until they got off the bus. and i thought, it's done. it's over. little did i know. oh, boy, am i glad this year's over. i was trying to ignore it. i really was. i was trying to black it out. big time. i would turn my head and i was looking out the window and hmm, maybe they'll go away. they're still there. so i just was really trying to ignore them, everything that was going on. >> reporter: ignoring it was no longer an option. the video went viral. now a stream of young people are stepping up to voice their disgust about the incident. >> the kids that were in the
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video are part of my age group, and i feel like i should apologize on behalf of my whole entire age group that that had to happen. >> it's kind of like that, what is this world coming to type of thing? you know? and it's just how -- how are these, you know, parents, you know, disciplining these kids? >> reporter: a complete stranger even set up a website to raise funds for klein to take a vacation. money is pouring in along with messages of support. like this one. god bless you, mrs. klein and all other victims of bullying. let this be a lesson to the bullies. police in new york say as of now they're not pressing charges because karen klein has decided against it. it's partly because of the global outrage directed at the students. >> they've received death threats, we've received 911 calls to their home saying somebody was holding them hostage. that's not funny. that's a crime. that's a form of bullying and that makes everyone doing it no better than the four kids who
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did this. >> reporter: now police say they're still investigating. so is the school district. which says it will discipline the students to the fullest extent. they also say they are now looking at other videos posted before this one. meantime, donations to the fund set up to help karen klein have now topped $330,000, the initial goal was to raise $5,000. wolf? >> wow. what a story that is. thanks very much for that. elder abuse. it's a huge, huge problem in our country. we'll have more on that story coming up. over the next few weeks. jack is back with your e-mails. that's next. why not try someplace different every morning? get two times the points on dining in restaurants with chase sapphire preferred.
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i don't want anything to come between my patients and me -- especially washington bureaucrats. we need real reform that improves care, and the president's health care law just isn't it. it just isn't worth it. this is where health care decisions should be made. not in washington. good afternoon. chase sapphire. (push button tone) this is stacy from springfield. oh woah. hello? yes. i didn't realize i'd be talking to an actual person. you don't need to press "0" i'm here. reach a person, not a prompt whenever you call chase sapphire. let's get back to jack for the cafferty file.
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jack? >> what does it mean if most of the world's excess body fat is here in the united states? larry in houston says it means we don't do the manual labor like our fore fathers used to do and it's not going to change any time soon as long as the computer age stays around. richard in south dakota sums it up like this. obesity is the price of convenience. irene says, i'm not sure, but it's not an excuse for the government to control what free americans eat and drink. shame on mayor bloomberg and those like him. the mayor wants to outlaw those large sugary drinks. the big slurpees and big gulps and stuff. gordon in virginia writes, while we're bless in this country by an overabundance for things to eat there's an effort under way quite a while to get people to think healthy, eat healthy and exercise. unfortunately i don't think it's working real well. robert writes, it's called prosperity. it's something they don't have in eethiopia. ed in maryland writes america
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finally has something to export. we're back. want to read more on the subject go to the blog cnn.com/caffertyfile or posts on the situation room's facebook page. >> thank you. he may be man's best friend. every once in a while expect a dog to bite. what you may not expect is when it's the other way around and the man is the one biting the dog. here's cnn's jeanne moos. >> reporter: they say take a bite out of crime, but this is about taking a crime out of a crime biter. >> the dog went for my upper, my upper thing up here, and i ain't never been bit by a nothing or nothing so i bit the dog on the ear. >> reporter: 22-year-old travis glaspie has bite marks all right but the dog's look worse. this isn't just a man bites dog story. it's a man bites police dog as police dog bites man. wilmington, north carolina, officers and police dog, max, were chasing glaspie. a convicted felon wanted for
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shooting a firearm into an occupied car. max got glaspie by the leg while the suspect tried to get the dog off. >> he was actually poking at his eyes. >> i was terrified. the dog came up here on me, i just -- i just bit, the closest thing, i just bit the dog. that's what got him off me. >> did the dog yelp when the guy bit him? >> of course, yes, he did. >> reporter: the bite on max's ear required stitches. >> max was bleeding pretty bad. i was covered in max's blood. i didn't know ears bled that much. >> reporter: lest you think man bites dog only in movies like "the world according to garth," we even heard of woman bites dog. when this woman was being attacked by a rottweiler. this man says he bit his neighbor's growling dog after it messed with him and his dogs for years. >> i was intoxicated plus i'm manic-depressive. i haven't been on lithium and i had a mood swing. you know, mood swings? >> reporter: there are swings of
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a different sort during glaspie's arrest. >> he pulled the dog off me and punched me again. >> did you hit him twice? >> i hit him twice when he poking the dog's eyes out and biting on his ear. >> reporter: glaspie admits biting thing to wasn't a smart move. on the other hand -- >> i got the dog off me. evidently i must have did something right because i could have been killed. >> reporter: maxx, by the way, is doing fine. it was his first bite, dog or human. after only ten months on k-9 duty, he's already looking a little dog ear. jeanne moos, cnn, new york. >> thanks for that. that's it for me. thanks very much for joining us. i'm wolf blitzer in the "situation room." remember the conversation continues, follow me on twitter @wolfblitzer. the news continues next on cnn. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com
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good evening, i'm john king. mitt romney makes an appeal to latino voters. will a softer tone win him a second look from a constituency he says president obama takes for granted? attorney general eric holder, hold him in contempt of congress an election year stunt. nancy pelosi ups the ante call it payback for holder's opposition to what pelosi calls republican voter suppression efforts. watch george zimmerman re-enact his deadly fight with florida teenager trayvon martin. why the defense wants you to see and her zimmerman recount that fateful night. up first tonight, presidential politics. a major shift in tone. not much new on policy front. mitt romney makes a direct appeal for latino votes. speaking to a national conv convention down in florida one day before the same group hears from president obama governor romney began by asking hispanic voters to remember promises the incumbent failed top

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