tv Early Start CNN August 1, 2012 5:00am-7:00am EDT
greatness, doesn't it? is it number of medals or is it longevity of olympic career or is it the impact that you have on your individual sport? loads of people have been tweeting me about it using the hashtag cnn olympics. the only person who can say that michael phelps isn't the greatest olympian ever is the one who wins 20 medals. we might be waiting some time for that. another says the most decorated, right thereupon with the best. but i think you can't possibly touch jesse owen in 1936. other people suggesting carl lewis because it's harder to win track and field medals. a lot of brits, of course, backing steve redgrave who won five golds in five games. a career spanning 20 years. i suppose the thing with michael phelps is he's still got three events he's competing in here. so we could be up to 21 medals
by the end of the games. i mean, it's probably quite hard to argue, isn't it? >> yeah. superstar by anybody's measure. but we were talking about impact, right, for the olympics. so a lot of names in there. i know we like to look forward. but we want to talk about the u.s. women's gymnastics. >> reporter: yeah. it was incredible. where the men failed, the women more than made up for it. there was some incredible scenes. the fab five, as they're being called, said they've been watching videos of atlanta '96 for the inspiration. boy, it certainly paid off, didn't it? they led from start to finish. they were set on their way by three phenomenal vaults. russia, their nearest challengers, just really crumbled under the pressure. particularly on the floor. the usa ran a massive five point winners. which in the gymnastics is a
humongous amount. redemption, as you said, for jordyn wieber after her disappointment in the individual all around. >> so nice to see, amanda. >> reporter: yeah. where there were tears of sadness a couple of days ago is where we see those tears of joy, wasn't it? >> absolutely. i can't let you go without talking about the badminton players being investigated for throwing games yesterday? >> reporter: yeah. who knew? we all know about red cards and yellow cards in sport. who knew there was such a thing as black cards? it's like the black card of doom that was handed out at the badminton when the umpire came out to disqualify these teams. he did then renege on that and the matches went on. what happened in the badminton, 14 already qualified from the group stages into the next round. they're being investigated for allegedly trying to lose matches so that they could govern who they play in the knockout stage. it's two teams from south korea, a chinese team and an indonesian
team. in the matches there were no rallies longer than four shots which really is quite incredible. the people were booing as shots were going into the net, going long. basically it's being investigated. it doesn't really affect anybody other than themselves as teams. but it's really not in the spirit of olympic fair play and playing to win, is it? >> no, it is not. so much to talk about. amanda davies live in london for us. we'll check in with you. thank you. >> not at all in the olympic spirit, i think it's safe to say. we're going to take a look at the overall medal count. u.s. the tied with china, 23 medals overal. trailing in gold medals 13-9. japan is third with 13 medals overall. france coming on strong now with 11 medals. what to watch for today. after a disappointing fifth place in the team event the american men will compete in the gymnastic men's individual all around. and the young phenom missy franklin competes in the 100 meter freestyle preliminary rounds. >> we'll talk about all this
with john roth liethlisberger. congressional republicans releasing a blistering report on the failed gun running operation known as fast and furious. it slams the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms, concluding, from the outset, the case was marred by missteps, poor judgments, and an inherently reckless strategy. that strategy led to fast and furious guns turning up at crime scenes in mexico and here in the united states. in the most notable case, it led to the killing of u.s. border agent brian terry. this was 2010. according to the report, agent terry's death came at the end of a long chain of mistakes starting at gun shops. quoting from the report now, the gun dealers were reassured that atf was closely monitoring the transactions and interdicting the weapons. that was false.
republican congressman jason chaffetz of utah telling anderson he is stun zbld they put this ridiculous plan together. something understood amountly flawed from the beginning. look at it on the surface. we knowingly gave the drug cartels nearly 2,000 weapons. mostly ak-47s. there didn't seem to be an adult in the room that said, do we really do that? maybe this is a bad idea. >> democrats are blasting the gop report. they're calling it a political witch hunt. gore vidal has died. a ubiquitous man of letters. a fixture on talk shows. his works included "the best man" playing on broadway now. he twice ran for congress. once in the '60s. again in the '80s. he lost both times. his nephew says he died in his hollywood hims home from complications from pneumonia. a united airlines flight from boston to newark had to be
diverted after flight attendants found a camera in the seat pocket. the thing is they couldn't find the owner. no one claimed the camera. investigators had to inspect the camera and the plane. starting today, all new health insurance plans will have to provide eight free preventive health benefits to women. it's a requirement of the president's health care reform law affecting an estimated 47 million american women. the benefits include contraceptiv contraceptives. that was controversial. breast-feeding supplies. screenings for gestational diabetes, sexually transmitted infections and domestic violence. plus routine breast and pelvic exams, pap tests and prenatal care. first responders carrie a baby to safety from raging floods in phoenix. take a look at this. kind of hard to see. they rescued a total of nine people who were trapped inside their vehicles in water four feet deep. the area was hit with severe storms last night. >> look at those waters going. it is a power struggle literally affecting more than half a billion people.
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relief after three of the country's interconnected power grids were strained to the point of collapse yesterday. it led to the largest electrical blackout in india's history. the numbers are staggering. more than half a billion people had no power in the summer heat. the blackout stopped trains on tracks. it trapped miners underground. it paralyzed subways and snarled traffic in much of the capital. we're going to be on this story all morning. but it was a big, big blackout. right now the power is back on in india, thankfully. but there's a lot of concern about whether the power grid there can sustain all the need for that growing country. >> they say they have to fix the infrastructure. that's a pretty expensive proposition. i had no idea it was 10% of the population. that's outrageous. when you think of that big number, oh, my goodness. we'll see. we're going to check in with a reporter there in a little bit to see how the situation is going. 13 minutes past the hour. let's get you up to date with this morning's top stories. making the case for best olympian ever.
you want to chime in, mr. berman? >> yes. he's the best olympian ever. >> the united states winning gold in the men's 200 meter free style relay. the 19th overall medal for michael phelps. the team anchor. making him the most decorated athlete. >> the greatest ever in terms of impact, maybe jesse owens. miracle on ice hockey team from 1980. unless congress steps in the u.s. postal service will be in default today. it owes the federal government $5.5 billion to prepare health care benefits for future retirees. the postal service acknowledging it doesn't have the money to pay this bill or a $5.6 billion payment that's due in september. the senate passed a bill back in april to help the postal service, but the house hasn't acted on it yet. a florida man who spent 24 years in prison for a rape he did not commit is back behind
bars this morning. he's charged with attempted murder. 51-year-old allen kroetser is accused of opening fire on a car while driving on the app latch chi parkway in tallahassee. in 2006 he was freed from prison after dna evidence proved that he was wrongly convicted in a 1981 rape and robbery case. he was given more than $1 million in compensation by the state of florida. police in new orleans are looking for oscar winning actor cuba gooding jr. following an incident early tuesday morning on boushen street. he faces arrest on misdemeanor battery charges. police say the actor allegedly became irate with fellow patrons at the old addison palace when they asked to take pictures with him. the bartender claims gooding pushed her twice as she asked him to calm down. former arkansas governor and 2008 presidential candidate mike huckabee has declared today chick-fil-a appreciation day. he is asking supporter of chick-fil-a's stance against same-sex marriage to show up and grab a bite of chick-fil-a.
so far more than half a million people have signed up on facebook. same-sex couples are planning their own demonstration. a kiss-in at chick-fil-as across the country on friday. it is now 16 minutes past the hour. we're getting an early read on your local news that's making national headlines. it has been a difficult summer for colorado governor john hicken loop. he has those awful shootings in aurora. deeping with forest fires. now we get the news he's separating from his wife of 12 years, helen thorp. the two say they're parting amicably. the letter they wrote is astounding. they made a point of saying they're not breaking up because of an affair. they also made a point of saying which i find interesting, they ask people please continue to invite us to the same social functions. it won't be awkward for us. interesting, right? >> a good way to handle it. >> people are talking about hickenlooper as a possible democratic presidential candidate in 2016. it'll be interesting to see how this affects that. >> that is a very interesting
way of dealing with it in such a public way, right? at such a private moment. the university of california davis police lieutenant who pepper sprayed campus protesters, remember that, last fall, is no longer employed by the school. this comes to us from the san francisco chronicle. lieutenant john pike was vilified last year after being caught on tape as you're seeing there dousing demonstrators with pepper stray. the students were protesting at the time rising tuition. the school will only confirm that pike's employment there ended yesterday. they will not say if he was fired. since last november's incident, pike has received more than 17,000 angry or threatening e-mails. 10,000 text messages. no, it is not good. and hundreds of letters. police also say he's been forced to live in various locations for his own safety. i found this interesting. this is according to a data base of state worker salaries. he earned $110,243 in 2010. quite a lucrative job lost.
for an expanded look at all our top stories, head to your blog. cnn.com/earlystart. 18 minutes past the hour. the worst drought in decades has farmers helplessly watching their crops wilt in the summer heat. our christine romans with a firsthand look from her home state of iowa. she has a live report coming up. the capital one cash rewards card gives you a 50% annual bonus. and everyone likes 50% more cash. [ russian accent ] 50% more rubles. eh, eh eh, eh, eh. [ brooklyn accent ] 50% more simoleons. [ western accent ] 50% more sawbucks. ♪ [ maine accent ] 50% more clams. it's a lobster, either way. [ male announcer ] the capital one cash rewards card. with a 50% annual cash bonus, it's the card for people who like more cash. [ italian accent ] 50% more dough! what's in your wallet?
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50 years. in iowa, the country's largest producer of corn and soybeans farmers are watching crops struggling in the field saying they don't know what to expect when it's harvest time in a few months. >> cnn's christine romans has been walking the rows of corn talking to the farmers in the hawkeye state. she joins us live from la claire, iowa. where exactly are you in la claire? >> reporter: i am right in front of a place called argo corners. it's an old general store that is now a breakfast place for farmers. i'm telling you, this is an institution. it's got a cult following in my hometown. when the farmers start rolling in here, this is where you get the unvarnished conversation about crops, politics and farm economics. this is what i'm real excited to do this morning at argo corners in la claire. here's the issue. huge variability in these fields for corn. this is a pretty decent looking ear of corn. we also found this and this. this is not something you can harvest. this is what we're seeing in these fields.
huge varmt. farmers, you fwis, aren't just waiting. they're not just sitting idle. they are working very hard right now. we spent some time yesterday with a farmer who, quite frankly, is looking at a really bad patch of some of his acres and decided to chop it up to feed the animals. look. >> my name's jake tinger. we've been farming -- my dad farmed his entire life. my grandpa farmed his entire life. this is done. >> if it rained? >> if it rained right now it wouldn't do any good. >> reporter: you've sort of surrendered. you're chopping this up to feed the cows. >> we chop some every year. this year we have to chop more. >> reporter: is it kind of a little bit sad that could have been a beautiful corn crop? >> i'd rather have it in there than looking at it all dead every day in the field. that's a little more depressing to look at when it's out there dead. the silage, at least i have an outlet for it. a grain farmer, you know, if there's nothing there all they can really do is just shred it
all. >> reporter: so he's watching parts of his field so dry. looks like october in parts of his fields. he's just chopping it up and he's going to -- that's called making it silage. he's going to feed it to his cattle. overall here, a lot of farmers, they have patches of land, you guys, that are okay. you know, they can see that they're going to get a decent yield out of those acres. others have patches of sandy areas or just really dry spots that are just going to be a total loss. again, i keep telling you, we won't know for sure until they can get in their combines and tally it in the fall. >> we're happy to hear they're being resourceful. what about crop insurance? we are concerned about the livelihood there. >> reporter: every person we talked to has crop insurance. if you're involved in any of these government programs you have to have crop insurance. after 1988 when billions and billions of dollars of losses because of the big crop failure in 1988, they have crop insurance. they have varying degrees of crop insurance, quite frankly. right now what they're doing is a lot of farmers are trying to
figure out, does it make sense to pay another $25 an acre to spray the beans for spider mites when maybe you're not going to be able to get much out of that acreage. every single decision they make every day is such a cost benefit analysis. yes, they have insurance. no, that's not going to protect some of them 100%. but it will protect some. and a lot of -- most, quite frankly. a lot of these farms are telling me, look. this is what we do. we take big risks. we're looking to next year. they're already talking about how much snow we're going to get in the winter to make sure they're replenishing some of the sub soil for next year. they're already looking ahead to next year, quite frankly, to make sure this doesn't happen again. it's a very complicated and calculating business, being a farmer. i tell you. >> no doubt. we're glad you're there bringing us these stories. we appreciate it, christine. >> those pictures of the little corn, such a stark image. a stark view of what's really going on out there. the drought that's been plaguing farmers across the midwest this summer is taking its toll on pot growers as well. a sheriff in butler county,
ohio, says his department's annual sweep of marijuana crops turned up plants that were considerably smaller than usual. everyone's getting hurt with this drought. a helicopter survey of suspected pot fields turned up about 80 puny pot plants in seven locations. >> i don't mean to laugh at that. good gracious. a proud moment for team usa. the women's gymnastics team rolling over the competition, grabbing the gold. three-time olympic gymnast john roethlisberger joins us to break down their performance coming up. if you are leaving the house now watch us any time on your desktop or mobile phone. go to cnn.com/tv. [ male announcer ] count the number of buttons in your car. now count the number of buttons on your tablet. isn't it time the automobile advanced? introducing cue in the all-new cadillac xts. the simplicity of a tablet has come to your car. ♪
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a golden moment in london. the u.s. women's gymnastics team triumphant for the second time ever. mitt romney in print today. he's defending his culture comment that made millions of palestinians so angry. super human strength. a young woman somehow lifts a car off her father, saving his life. you'll hear from her sf. >> you know something about super human strength? >> i do? welcome back to "early start." i'm zoraida sambolin. >> i'm john berman. 30 minutes past the hour right now. we are talking about the olympics. it was the textbook definition of domination. team usa crushing the competition in women's gymnas c gymnastics final last night outscoring second place russia by five points. from the very first vault by jordyn wieber to a stellar floor routine by ali raisman, capping
off a stellar performance, each girl did exactly what they came to do. the americans didn't botch a single routine. all but three of their 12 scores were 15 or higher. the women's amazing performance on tuesday helped add to the usa's total medal count. the women took the gold for just the second time in history. it was the first time since kerri strug in the so-called magnificent seven of atlanta in the '96 games of atlanta. i'm joined by three-time olympic gymnast john roethlisberger. he joins us from london. so glad you agreed to come back today. watching those women last night, that was something. >> john, it was -- it was domination like i've never seen in an olympic team competition. it kind of reminded me of the big brother fighting with the little brother. you know, when he holds his head and the little brother's swinging and swinging. finally he lets him go and he falls on his face. the american women from start to finish. halfway through it was a little tight. on the balance beam it was an opportunity for russia to get back in it.
the u.s. was not having any of it. they put the pedal down and they were gone. >> not sangle weakness. it was a really interesting decision going into last night for the u.s. team. the national team coordinator marta karolyi said they chose to put jordyn wieber first. she was the one who didn't qualify in the individual competition. she said this. we had a lineup meeting and a discussion back and forth over who was best here and who was best there. we all felt like with her character she would come through and put her disappointment behind her and do this for the team. if we doubted that, we would not put her in the lineup. they didn't give her any chance to have nerves, john. they just stuck her right out there and put her first in the rotation. >> there was a lot of talk about how jordyn would do coming into the team finals. i never thought for a second she wasn't going to come out and do what she had to do to help team usa win the gold medal. you know what? they're so good on vault they could put any one of those girls up there on vault and they're going to have a huge score. having a veteran like that, someone who's been under pressure, somebody who knows
what it's like to be out on the world stage, being a world champion, i think it was a good call. >> it was so great to see their smiles. underneath their smiles you know they're cold competitors. just icy steel. let's talk to some people who have to show the icy steel today, john. we're talking about men olympians. danell leyva and john orozco. competing in the men's all around after their disappointment in the team competition. what do they need to do today? >> the united states men, danell and john, they've got their own version of redemption they have to do today. they've had some trouble on the pommel horse in the team finals. danell leyva looked very good. like he could contend for the olympic gold medal. when those guys go back to pommel horse tonight, can they get it back together? can they hit? danell leyva in particular, if he is close at about the four event mark, after about four events, if he's close within striking distance, watch out. he has got two great events, the parallel bars and high bar.
there's a guy from japan named kohei uchimora. he's been dominant. arguably in some people's opinion the greatest gymnast ever in the history of the sport. he's won three world championships in a row. he's come here to the olympics in london and he has looked less than stellar. he almost cost the japanese team the silver medal when he messed up his horse routine in the team finals. he's not been himself. he's had uncharacteristic mistakes from the podium training through team finals. everyone's scratching their head going is this guy going to give away that olympic gold medal? if he gives up an opportunity, watch out for john and danell and some of the other teams. the russians have a couple strong competitors. fabian from germany. somebody else will be right there. it could be a miracle win for possibly one of the americans tonight. >> there's a lot to watch tonight. john, quickly before we let you go, we're having a debate here over who is the greatest olympian ever. has michael phelps earned the right to be called the greatest olympian ever? >> you know, everybody measures people by olympic medals.
i'll be the first one to tell you. you so thankfully brought up the fact i missed pommel horse in the '96 olympics and we did not win an olympic medal. i appreciate you doing that. surprise there's not b roll of that today. people are always measured by olympic medals. that's always the bar. that's fine. as an athlete, you know what? i measured myself by that a lot of ways. that's what i always wanted. he's won the most olympic medals. he is the best olympian in the history of the olympic games. i don't know how you can argue with that. it's unreal. it's unreal what he's done. to think he's got, what, 15 gold medals at this point? my gosh. >> it's very impressive. john, you win the gold medal for not holding a grudge. >> no kidding. >> thanks for coming back today. you're terrific. such interesting insight. >> love you guys. thank you. >> talk to you soon. >> is it settled now that you got it from an olympian? >> he wins no matter what. by definition he wins. 35 minutes past the hour. another gold. another record. and more whispers this morning.
chinese teenager ye shiwen strongly denying she is on banned performance enhancing drugs after breaking another olympic record on her way to a gold medal in the 200 meter individual medley. doping allegations started after she totally smashed the world record in the 400 individual medley on saturday. ye swam faster than american male ryan lochte over the final 50 meters of that race. mitt romney is defending his controversial culture comments that enraged millions of palestinians. romney is back in boston this morning after what some people called a rocky three nation tour. he set off a firestorm in the middle east when he told donors in jury rus lem israel's culture helped it more economically successful than the palestinians. the presumptive gop nominee wrote an op-ed piece in the national review entitled "culture does matter." he says economic freedom is the only force that's consistently succeeded in lifting people out
of poverty. >> we should be playing the song "hot, hot, hot." people in the southern plains are bracing for more triple digit temperatures today. alexandra steele in for rob marciano. is this ever going to let up? >> it doesn't certainly look like it. that ridge of high pressure is in place. looking at the long-term trend through the next few weeks. certainly the heat remains. we'll talk about the heat. but also in addition to the heat, we've got drought and we've got flooding, believe it or not, from arizona to alabama. take a look at what it looked like in birmingham yesterday. you could see the depth of this flooding. three inches of rain in one hour. to give you a little perspective, the average rain for the month in birmingham is four inches. so just an inundation. flash flooding not only in alabama but even in arizona. flooding concerns, also the heat. look at these numbers. 111 yesterday in tulsa. wichita falls, 110. monday, little rock had 111 degrees. it was actually only the fourth time since 1879 that they've
ever gone above 110. this is dangerous heat. and certainly unprecedented. not only in its scope, but just how high these numbers are. here's where the extreme heat will be. heat indices 110 to 115. once again, south central plains, that's where the heat will be on. from memphis all the way, you can see, to kansas city and down toward texas. highs today the big picture. northeast, 79, 80 degrees. pretty pleasant. afternoon thunderstorms, perhaps. 96 in atlanta. pales in comparison to what we're going to see. 113 in oklahoma city. 114 in wichita. wichita as well, 111. the heat is on, no question about it. really no relief, guys. that's the problem with this. when the heat's there, the soil stays dry. it's kind of just a circle of heat and drought. >> alexandra steele, thank you. 38 minutes past the hour. this is amazing. >> it is. >> a recent college graduate from glenallen, virginia, is being credited with saving her father's life with some quick
thinking and super human strength. part time life guard lauren said good-bye to her dad, alec, when she was leaving the house on saturday. but when he didn't respond, she saw his legs sticking out from underneath his car. >> oh, my goodness. >> he'd been working on the car when the jack slipped. >> lifted up right here and just kind of -- just kind of threw it, like, shoved my body into it as hard as i could. then i came back and dragged him out. started cpr. >> she just kind of threw the car. lauren says an adrenaline rush helped her lift the car off of her father. she credits her life guard cpr training with keeping him alive until paramedics survived. he suffered broken ribs and other fractures. he's expected to make a full recovery. you know the scene from the original superman movie when little super boy lifts the car off his dad? that's what this is like. >> oftentimes you hear these stories. when a mom does something superhuman like that when their kid is stuck under something. it's incredible, but it happens.
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♪ ♪ ♪ this is new york state. we built the first railway, the first trade route to the west, the greatest empires. then, some said, we lost our edge. well today, there's a new new york state. one that's working to attract businesses and create jobs. a place where innovation meets determination... and businesses lead the world. the new new york works for business. find out how it can work for yours at thenewny.com. top of the morning to you in new york city. it is now 73 degrees. start counting your blessings,
because it's only going to be 82 degrees. a little bit of thunderstorms. but in some parts of the nation, 110 degrees today. we're staying in new york. we're going to talk about the o olympians. they swim, they soar and they speed into the record books with iconic pictures capturing the world's best performances. forever heroes with faces that absolutely inspire. "time" magazine sent martin schuler to get the pictures we don't often see. the athletes in their home element. the images appear in this week's new issue on newsstands now. and on three special covers that are commemorating the games. joining me right now we have martin schuler. thank you so much for joining us. you know, i have a picture of "time" magazine here and one of the covers. we got a preview of these last week. just simply amazing. you really enjoy photographing athletes. why is that? >> well, athletes, they have amazing bodies for the most part. they're doing something interesting that you can tap into. you can photograph them doing what they do best. also, they don't think about
photography. they're not as posed as many other famous people, so much about their looks and appearances. athletes are much more about numbers and beating records and just about their athleticism. >> we're showing some of the pictures here. you shot gymnast gabby douglas, swimmer ryan lochte and hurdler lolo jones. that picture of lolo jones, it's very reflective, very different. why capture her like that? >> jumping over her dog? >> no, actually this one here. >> well, you know, what impressed me about these athletes is the dedication to their work. to their sport. the amount of hours they put into it. oftentimes athletes train before the sun comes up and then take a break and then train again at night. so they have, like, two training sessions a day. it often is very lonely. you get up by yourself. i wanted to capture this, like, getting up by yourself in the morning to get ready to train. everybody's still sleeping. that was my goal with that picture. >> you had this great access to
them. did you have a favorite moment or perhaps even a favorite athlete? >> you know, it was great to meet gabby douglas. living with a host family away from her family at such a young age to move away from your own family to train with the coach of her choice and live with a family she's never met before. to have four little sisters, basically, living with her. to see them interact was very inspiring. >> this is my favorite photograph. i hate to interrupt you. but this is just simply amazing. how do you go about deciding that's how you're going to photograph her? >> i saw the kitchen. i saw these four little other girls running around that are all very athletic as well. athletes never stop being an athlete. they're always thinking about their bodies. always doing something, stretching, preparing themselves. i liked the idea of taking the sport home and showing that, you know, that it's become such a big part of their everyday life. >> i'm going to depart a minute from the olympics here. and i think we have another photograph that you shot for the cover of "time" magazine. we don't have it.
let's talk about it, though, since i've already mentioned it. because everybody has seen it, i think. it's the woman breast-feeding her child. we do have the picture, the photograph there. you know, when we look at the pictures of you -- the ones you take of the olympians, we're all in awe, right? this one caused a lot of con tro ver i. how did you feel about that? going in did you know it was going to cause the level of controversy? >> as a photographer you try to take a picture that has a big impact and makes people question what their preconceived notions about something that they already know. it was my idea to put the boy on the little stool. it was actually my son's stool that i brought to the photo shoot. you know, it was my goal to make people wonder and everybody can come to their on conclusions. i'm not there to judge. i'm just there to try to take an impactful picture. >> i have to mention before you go, two of the three people you photographed are already competing, both winning gold medals. so you must have that magic touch. do you think we're going to get
a third gold medal now? >> it wasn't my choice. it was the magazine's dilemma to pick the right people. which is incredible. you have to put an issue together about the olympics. then you have to pick these athletes before they're actually qualified for the olympics. then you have to wonder how they do in the olympics. they did a great job. "time" magazine picked the right people. >> i don't know. i think perhaps you may have the golden touch. who knows. lolo may be winning a gold medal. we appreciate your time this morning. your images are absolutely breathtaking. thank you for that. thank you for sharing them. martin, thank you. john, back to you. >> such terrific pictures. all right. it is 48 minutes past the hour right now. let's get you up to date with this morning's top stories. for the first time since 199 # the u.s. women's gymnastics team wins gold. they were nearly flawless. in first place from wire to wire. they dominated the entire competition. after the men flopped in the team final, they will go for the individual gold today. it was embarrassing and the international olympic committee is being ordered not to let it
happen again. rows of empty seats in sold out arenas, and thousands of fans desperate to sit in them. awful pictures. too many corporations bought up the seats and failed to use a lot of them. not very nice. a british olympic association says tickets need to be distributed better. the same thing happened four years ago in beijing. spectators there had to be bused in to fill the empty spaces. rebel fighters in syria report they've taken control of two critical government police stations in the country's largest city. the syrian troops continue shelling central aleppo from the ground and from the air. syrian forces have been using those police stations as military bases. we're told at least 40 police officers died in violence overnight. a former navy mp is accused of trying to smuggle more than four pounds of methamphetamine out of the u.s. by packaging it up to look like snickers bars. 34-year-old harris was arrested last friday by federal agents at l.a.x. airport as he prepared to
board a flight to japan. customs agents say they found 45 individually wrapped candy bars that turned out to be meth. >> wow. that deluxe apartment in the sky can now be yours for a cool $100 million. it is believed to be the most expensive apartment in the united states. with the highest outdoor space in any city residence. it's located where else? of course, new york city. the 8,000 square foot wrap around penthouse is described as a one of a kind gem. >> i wonder about its closet space, you know? does it have nice closets? that's what i look for. >> with 8,000 square feet? plenty of closet space. why don't you go see it? >> a little bit out of my price range. roughly $100 million out of my price range or so. listen to this. say good-bye to the wrapper known as snoop dogg. he's taking a page out of p. diddy's play book. more on that and his musical makeover, coming up. if you are leaving the house right now you can watch us any
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welcome back, everyone. it is five minutes before the hour. i'm john berman along with the smiling zoraida sambolin. i can't even say your name. that's why you're smiling. >> that's because i threw you off a little bit. >> we're taking a look at what's trending on the interweb this morning. >> i said before we started, do you believe in aliens? because some people think that this is what's going on. these are massive mysterious crop circles that appeared. i say it looks like mickey mouse. we don't have an aerial view. i think it does. the farmer jokingly said we had an aliens attack, i guess. it's likely just a prank. this happens every year. someone else's farm every year. somebody in your staff thinks they do it themselves so they can get the publicity. >> i like to say the truth is out there. in honor of "the x files."
>> crop circles. >> the somewhat patriotic mani/pedis of the olympics. look at these fingernails in the pool. >> the guys? >> the ladies. look at these different finger names being worn by different swimmers in the olympics. britain, usa. the red, white and blue. i saw dr. sanjay gupta yesterday talking about the different uniforms that people wear for the olympics and how they help them get faster. i'm not sure there's anything with the fingernails that actually help you swim faster. >> they look cool. we have a photographer in the house. he'll tell us, would that be something you would photograph, right, as part of the olympics? kind of cool. the artist formerly known as snoop dogg. apparently he's decided to change some things. he's announcing he's burying the dogg. he'll now focus on making re fwr ggae music under the name snoop lion. he says rap isn't a challenge anymore and he wants to feel like a kid again. he's releasing a project calmed
reincarnated. his debut single la la la is out on itunes. he said they refer to him now as uncle snoop in rap. he says when you're an uncle, it's time to find something new. i want to feel like a kid again. we're going to be listening to some reggae music. we'll see. >> thank you. one of this morning's top stories coming up at the top of the hour, a scandal at the olympi olympics. olympians accused of trying to throw their matches. can you believe it? you're watching "early start." to reflect on some of life's biggest questions. like, if you could save hundreds on car insurance by making one simple call, why wouldn't you make that call? see, the only thing i can think of is that you can't get any... bars. ah, that's better. it's a beautiful view. i wonder if i can see mt. rushmore from here. geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.
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gold medal, some are calling michael phelps the greatest olympian ever. drought disaster, a firsthand look live from a modern day dust bowl. free for 47 million american women, more provisions from the president's health care reform law kick in today. good morning, welcome to "early start", i'm zoraida sambolin. >> mitt romney doing a little bit of damage control, defending his controversial culture comments that enraged millions of palestinians. a young woman lifted a car off of her father saving his life. you are going to hear from her. >> a modern day super woman to say the least. grace and dominance, everyone still talking about the magical night for the u.s. women's gymnastics team, they routed the russians and everyone else on the way to the gold medal in team competition. and michael phelps, cementing his legacy, he's now the most
decorated olympian of all time. winning his record breaking 19th medal and adding another gold to his all-time mark. amanda davies is live in london and the numbers are glaring, michael phelps, the best olympian ever, what do you think? >> reporter: well, john, medalwise, cerinly yes, it's 19 and counting because he's still got three more events to come here at the olympics, got those two medals in the pool last night. causing massive debate across the papers and on the web is the greatest olympian of all time the one with the most medals or lon gefty? people have been tweeting about it using the hash tag, cnn olympics. the person who can say that michael phelps isn't the greatest olympian ever is the
one who wins 20 medals. phelps himself can see that happening but it may take a long time. the most decorated right up there with the best, but i think you can't possibly touch jesse owen, 1936. other people suggesting steve redgrave, the british rower, got five golds in five games in a career spanning 20 years. other people suggesting carl lewis, hard are to win less medals on the track. if michael phelps was to win another three medals, that is quite something. in terms of what he said, he said he wanted to be known as the first michael phelps and somebody who has done something that nobody else ever has and he's certainly done that. >> no question about that. scandal has not been far from these olympics, really any olympic games and this is one i have a hard time believing. they are saying bad minten
players threw their matches. >> the badminton federation are investigating this morning because there are suggestions that four pairs in the women's round robin were playing to lose matches yesterday because they already qualified for the next stage of the competition and trying to govern who they play in the next round. in essence, the allegation is that the two chinese sides didn't want to meet in the next round. we're talking about two matches played between two korean side and chinese pair and indonesia pair. and black cards were wielded, which is are the black cards of disqualification by the umpires saying this isn't -- the crowd was booing, no rallies over four shotlong, shots go into the nets on purpose. the games were allowed to continue but it's very
interesting the split here between fans saying fz not in the olympic spirit. but quite a few sports people have come out saying this is about olympic medals and they are giving themselves the best possible chance of taking the medals. >> i think you're there to play and should play. let's talk about the women's gymnastics team, their wire to wire dominance last night. look at those smiles. >> it is fantastic, wasn't it? >> it was only a couple of days earlier that we had been seeing tears of pain from jordyn wieber after she missed out on the individual play. it was fantastic to see the tears of joy and utter elation because the u.s. team frankly smashed it in the final. watching pictures of atlanta '96 were inspiration in the run-up to it and it certainly did the job because they led from start to finish in the final. they got off to some fantastic starts with phenomenal vaults to
get them going. and russia really struggled on the floor and basically struggled under the pressure. so a five-point victory, which in gymnastics terms is absolutely huge. it is a brilliant thing for them to see. >> amanda davies with the best seat in the house. thanks for being here. the u.s. tied with china with 23 overall medals but trailing in gold medals 13-9, japan in third and france coming in with 11 medals there. >> what to watch for today or follow on twitter, after a disappointing fifth place in the team event, the american men will compete in the men's all-around individual finals and the young fen om, missy franklin completes in the 100 meter freestyle. and u.s. gymnast bart conner will join us, a member of the last men's gymnastics team to capture the gold. can our men bounce back today in
the individual competition? >> i hope so. six minutes past the hour. all health insurance plans will have to provide eight free preventative benefits to women, impacting an estimated 47 million american women. the benefits includes contraceptives and bread feeding supplies and sexually transmitted infections and domestic violence, plus routine breast and pap tests and prenatal care. >> an interesting primary election overnight. the texas gop chooses a new man as it's contender for the u.s. senate. several newspapers reporting ted cruz is the winner of the republican primary runoff against lieutenant governor du hurst. he had support from sarah palin and rick santorum.
renowned politician gore vidal has died. his works include the best selling novels "lincoln" and the tony nominated play "the best man." he lost both times. his nephew said he died of complications from pneumonia. he was 86 years old. >> one of a kind. defense secretary leon panetta arriving in jerusalem for talks with israeli leaders. iran's nuclear program and violence in syria expected to top the agenda. he is scheduled to visit the iron dome, a missile defense system funded largely by the u.s. a nasty collision between a bird and this united airlines flight as it landed in denver. yesterday's crash left a gaping hole in the nose of the 737. the smithsonian institution will try to identify the bird. it has a dna database of all
bird species in the entire world. we're happy to report no one was hurt. >> how about the birds? >> oh, my goodness, come on. seriously? >> it's agriculture and economic disaster in the plains. it is no joke, affecting so much of the country. coming up, christine romans takes us to her hometown where she's been talking to farmers affected by this historic drought. on the company phone list that's a few names longer. you see us bank on busier highways. on once empty fields. everyday you see all the ways all of us at us bank are helping grow our economy. lending more so companies and communities can expand, grow stronger and get back to work. everyday you see all of us serving you, around the country, around the corner. us bank.
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culture comments that enraged plinz. he is back in boston after what some people are calling a rocky three-nation tour. he set off a firestorm when he told donors that israel's culture developed become more economically successful than the palestinians. culture does matter, in it he says economic freedom is the only force consistently succeeded in lifting people out of pof erlt. what exactly accounts for prosperity if not culture, he writes. >> would you like to be the first to know who mitt romney's running mate would be? >> i would like to break that. >> you're not going to break that. there's an app for that. smartphone application will send users a push notification once a decision has been made on a vp candidate. >> the obama campaign detect s messages four years ago this is a one-up there.
it will be his third campaign stop in ohio this week. in mansfield, hundreds of jobs could be lost if defense cuts shut down the air lift wing of the ohio national guard. the white house says it is committed to finding a way to keep the air bass open. >> lots of farmers are having problems because of the drought, and in iowa, the largest producer of soy beans and corn, farmers don't know what to expect when it's harvest time in a few months. >> christine romans has been walking the rows of corn and talking to farmers in the hawkeye state, her home state. she joins us from hiiowa la cla. where are you? >> reporter: argo general store, kind of got a cult following in this part of the state, farmers come in here starting 4:30, 5:00, in the morning, have coffee and eggs and bacon and
get in the field. talk about politics here and the farm bill and talk about what's happening from the drought. i want to take you -- can you hear that bacon sizzling. a farmer i met yesterday, really busy now. the farm fields are dry but he is hard at work. watch. >> we've been farming my dad farms his entire life. my grandpa farmed his entire life. this is done. >> if it rained? >> it wouldn't do anything. >> reporter: you've sort of surrendered, chopping this up to feed the cows. >> this year we have to chop more. >> reporter: isn't it sad that could have been a beautiful corn crop. >> i'd rather it be in there than looking at it dead in the field. at least i have an outlet for it. a green farmer, if there's nothing there, all they can do
is shred it off. >> reporter: he's going to feed that silage to his cows. and some of those parts of the fields you guys look like october, very dry, there's no corn. there's just no corn in those bad parts of the fields. he has some ground that was very good, low bottom near a creek, very good yields there. there will be a harvest. there will be a harvest here but not be anything that they wanted for sure. nothing near the records they've had the past couple of years. a couple of things about farmers, they had a couple of good years and most had crop insurance. they are better protected. it's the consumer who will feel this and that will be in higher prices next year. >> it's amazing to see pictures of the crop being chopped up. it's going to be fed to the cows now? >> reporter: yeah, they chop whatever is the weakest part of their field, that guy usually chops some every year, he's
chopping more and earlier and worry about feed costs, he's ready to supplement his livestock because they are not out grazing because the past tour land is dried up. it's a complicated dance they do every year and it will mean higher costs for them and mean higher costs for you. >> christine romans, thank you so much for joining us. >> it is 16 minutes past the hour, looks like pot growers are suffering the consequences of the drought. the sheriff in butler county ohio said his annual sweep of marijuana crops turned up plants that were considerably smaller than usual. a helicopter survey of suspected pot fields turned up about 60 puny pot plants in seven locations. >> there you go. let's get you up to date. making a case as the best olympian ever. the united states winning gold in the 200 meter freestyle relay, it was the 19th overall
medal for michael phelps, making him the most decorated athlete in olympic history. the u.s. women's gymnastics team winning their first gold medal since 1996. an emergency hearing will be conducted to determine whether rick curl should be suspended. he is facing allegations that he had a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old girl in the late 1980s and paid her family $150,000 for their silence. usa swimming is a governing body of the u.s. olympic swim team. another panic in a movie theater in south beach in miami. 100 people bolted out of a late night screening after they saw a man wearing black gloves screaming, this is it from the back of a crowded theater. >> look at his mug shot oh, my goodness. >> some moviegoers tackled him
down until police around. he was charged with disorderly conduct. police say there was no evidence of any gunshots, no one was hurt during this but obviously a scary rush. the general services administration's lavish spending scandal will be the focus of a house hearing today. the house transportation and infrastructure committee will get an update on the investigation into the gsa overspending and other taxpayer abuses, an investigation by wusa uncovered $30 million in unreported bonuses for fiscal year 2011. a milestone to report from new orleans where the new $90 million saint bernard parrish hospital is getting ready to open its doors. the state of the art facility is due to open in september. since katrina struck parrish residents have been forced to go across the city for medical care. his personal life is keeping
tabloids busy for many years, now former nba bad boy dennis rodman says he's getting ready to pass on life lessons. it is a new children's book. rodman recently reunited with his father after 42 years of separation. now the man they used to call the worm is hoping the new book will bring him closer to his own children. >> everyone has a children's book, right? >> it looks kind of cool with the bull. >> there are important life lessons we can learn from dennis rodman. >> i never know, maybe he has full circle now. >> who knows? we're going to move on now. it is a power struggle that is literally affecting more than half a billion people. coming up, india struggles to keep the lights off after two blackouts in as many days. for an extended look at our top stories, head to our blog, cnn.com/earlystart. measure commitment, folks by what's getting done. the twenty billion dollars bp committed has helped fund economic and environmental recovery.
long-term, bp's made a five hundred million dollar commitment to support scientists studying the environment. and the gulf is open for business - the beaches are beautiful, the seafood is delicious. last year, many areas even reported record tourism seasons. the progress continues... but that doesn't mean our job is done. we're still committed to seeing this through. mid grade dark roast rest fresh full tank brain freeze cake donettes rolling hot dogs g of ice anti-freeze wash and dry diesel self-serve fix a flat jumper cables 5% cashback signup for 5% cashback at gas stations through september. it pays to discover. to find you a great deal, even if it's not with us. [ ding ] oh, that's helpful! well, our company does that, too. actually, we invented that. it's like a sauna in here.
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welcome back, i'm john berman. >> i'm zoraida sambolin. half of india breathing a selective sigh of relief now that full power is back on. the power grids were strained to the point of collapse yesterday. it led to the largest electrical blackout in india's history, more than half a billion people had no power in the middle of all of that summer heat. the blackout stopped trains on
tracks and trapped mineers underground and paralyzed the subway system and snarled traffic of much of the traffic. in dell hi with the latest. we understand this is 10% of the world's population affected. >> reporter: that's right, 10% was affected and had a miserable tuesday, a tuesday that was very stressful for about 680 million people, but we do have good news today and that is that things are slowly and surely getting back to normal. the trains are back up and running and traffic signals are working so there is very little traffic on the streets. things are moving smoothly. people have been able to get to the offices today. things are generally improving. we've also had strong words from india's new power minister who came on the job just this morning. and he's been trying to reassure the public that this will never
happen again. >> such things women not occur back again. and a committee has been -- and i'm going to be brain storming with that committee in a day or two. my responsible is to ensure the grid should never collapse and it has to be sustained both on the short term and long-term basis. that's the need of the power and need of the country of which we're going to ensure. >> reporter: frankly, india cannot afford to have another power outage. all of the problems in india's power sector according to the planning sector, shafz off 1.2% points of growth every year in india. with the economy slowing down, it's now growing at the slowest pace in ten years, they need to update and modernize its power
sector to ensure something like this never happens again. >> i wanted to mention at the beginning of this we said there were mineers caught underground, there were no injure injuries there, right? >> reporter: that's right. they were brought to safety and things are improving all around, yes. >> very happy to hear that. thank you very much. >> can't believe that power outage for 680 million people. >> and what it will take to fix the infrastructure so it never happens again. it's 84 degrees, during the hottest time as well. >> not good timing at all. it is 26 minutes past the hour. a proud moment for team usa. for all of us, the women's gymnastics team rolling over the competition and grabbing the gold. bart conner joins us to break down their performance coming up. ♪
♪ i want to go ♪ i want to win [ breathes deeply ] ♪ this is where the dream begins ♪ ♪ i want to grow ♪ i want to try ♪ i can almost touch the sky [ male announcer ] even the planet has an olympic dream. dow is proud to support that dream by helping provide greener, more sustainable solutions from the olympic village to the stadium. solutionism. the new optimism.™ ♪ this dream
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a golden moment in london, the u.s. women's gymnastics team triumphant for the second time ever. a british teen arrested for a tweet he sent to one of his country's olympians. >> a young woman somehow lifts a car off of her father saving his life. >> i know we're talking olympics today but that may be the
favorite story of the day, a remarkable moment we want to share with you. >> i'm john berman. >> i'm zoraida sambolin. let's talk olympics, michael phelps is the greatest olympian of all time, winning his 18th and 19th gold medals. he still has two events to swim, 200 individual medley on thursday and butterfly on friday. could increase the medal count to 21 before the games are ever. on the ladies side, team usa krurked the competition in the gymnastics final to take home the gold. they outscored russia by five points. romania by seven. the americans didn't boch a single routine. all but three of the 12 scores were 15 or higher. women taking gold for the second time in history, the first time since kerri strug and the
magnificent seven in 1996. guess who's back? bart conner, two time olympic gold medalist. thank you so much. i said if anything big happens will you come back? and here you are. i want to talk about women's gymnastics from our perspective it was unbelievable and perfect. what did you think? >> zoraida, to be in that building last night was magical, to see those young ladies, the fab five or fierce five as they want to be called, deliver on the sports biggest stage was something spectacular. we knew they could do it but let's face it in 2004, the u.s. team had been the world champions the previous year and failed to win the gold medal. the same thing happened in 2007 to 2008. under enormous pressure of expectations these young ladies just rocked the house. there was no question that they were the gold medalist. >> i like the technical term, rocked the house. your wife is legendary gymnast
nadya co-men neech. is she with you? >> we're a very happy household right now. >> she was the first one to score a perfect ten in the uneven bars. so mckay la maroney, how do you feel about that and your wife? >> they changed the scoring system after the 2004 olympics when there was scoring controversies. this new open-ended scoring system is hard for people to understand and even the experts were confused. when you see a winning score of a 16.1, you have no relativity, don't know how close that is to perfection. in terms of perfection, she's the hands down favorite to win the vault gold medal in a couple of ways. the way she pops off the vault table is like no other athlete on the planet. of the u.s. women have a chance for eight more medal and they are just showing not only their technical strength but mental
strength as well. >> it's nice to see that. we have no idea what that's all about. i know you have a lot of perspective on that. i want to talk about that with jordyn wieber, first on the rotation of the day, a very purposeful decision that was made. was it a surprise decision for you? >> i'm really proud of her. as we know, she was the world all around champion with big expectations to win an olympic gold medal and it wasn't to be. she's a victim of being on a really great team. you qualify only two from each time to the all-around finals and she was third of the americans. to see her regroup and take the leadership role was very inspiring on every level. >> i want to put up something that team usa coach said and here it is, others might disagree, the 96 team might disagree but this is the best team, difficultiwise, consistenciwise, that was us
finest. >> he is the coach of jordyn wieber and has done a fantastic job. it's difficult to compare the '96 team with this team. in that era the athletes had to do kpulsry exercises and had so many legends on the team as well. that probably made it a little more difficult. it's really kind of apples and oran oranges, i would hate to pick one over the other. >> i have to ask, looking forward it leyva and orozco, what can we expect? redemption? >> the champion from japan had a disaster opening round. i hope they get the act together because i think they've been through the pressure and i would love the americans win one all-around medal today. >> we would love to see that as well. i'm inviting you back to chat with us again.
bart conner two time olympic gold medalist. dominique dawes will talk about the dominant performance last night and the fame that lies ahead for the girls. >> it is coming. it is 36 minutes after the hour and u.k. teenager has been arrested for allegedly sending a mean-spirited twitter message to tom daily. he retweeted a message he received that quote, you let your dad down, i hope you know that. his father died last may after a long battle with brain cancer. the teenager who sent the tweet questioned by police on suspicion of malicious communications and overs investigating other communications on his twitter account. another gold, another record and more whispers, chinese
teenager yes shiwen denying she is on performance enhancing drugs after breaking another record in the 200 meter medley. doping allegations started after she smashed the world record in the 400 on saturday. ye swim faster than american male ryan lochte over the final 50 meters of the race. a college professor is charged with setting fires at the southern california high school. his late son who committed suicide used to attend. a professor in the department of pharmaceutical sciences. his 14-year-old son killed himself sometime after disciplined last march at the university high school. he was planning on killing students and administrators at the school before taking his own life. this is a happier story. a part-time life guard is being credited with saving her father's life with quick thinking and super human
strength. lauren is good-bye to her dad when she was leaving the house on saturday. when she didn't respond, she saw his legs sticking out from underneath his car. he had been working on the car when the jack slipped. >> lixted it up right here and just kind of -- kind of threw it like shoved my body into it as hard as i could. i came back and dragged him out. and started cpr. >> sure, she just kind of threw the card. >> lauren says an adrenalin rush helped her lift the car off her father. she credits her life guard cpr training for keeping him alive. he suffered broken ribs and other frak tours but expected to make a full recovery. >> an average car weighs 4,000 pounds, that is the power of love. you know the saying, know your enemy. mark zuckerberg should know google since he has a sibling on
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welcome back "early start." >> glad you're here. it is hot in a big chunk of the country. people in the southern plains are bracing for more triple digit temperatures today. alexandra steele joins us from atlanta. >> good morning, we're not talking 100, 101. we're talking 110, 111. some places like little rock
have seen only since 1879, 110 plus only four times. we've seen so much of that. big picture today, here's where the swath of heat is from kansas to oklahoma, memphis, even through western tennessee down through arkansas, northeast, 70s and 80s, pretty pleasant. we'll see late day thunderstorms potentially in the east. look at these numbers. oklahoma city, 112 today. 111 tomorrow. 110 friday. certainly not a lot of really kind of unrelenting heat and no real break as we look toward the longer models. temperature still high pressure in control in the center of the country and incredible heat. that begets the drought and it's a vicious cycle, quite hard to get out of. >> hope we get out of it soon. thanks so much. >> 43 minutes past the hour. let's get you up to date with the top stories, for the first time since 1996, the u.s. women's gymnastics team wins gold. they were nearly flawless.
some people say they were flawless and first place from wire to wire and dominated the competition. after the men flopped in the team final, they will go for individual gold today. >> author playwright and politician gore vidal has died. and he had the tony nominated play "the bestman." he twice ran for congress and lost both times. he died in his hollywood hills home of complications from pneumonia. gore vidal was 86. providing free benefits to women, it's a requirement of the president's health care reform law impacting 47 million american women. the benefits include contraceptives and breast feeding supplies and screenings for guess tagsal debeats and domestic violence. routine breast and pelvic scams
and pap tests and prenatal care. zuckerberg working at google? this is true, the sister of facebook founder mark zuckerberg is now employed by the enemy after google bought her marketing firm wildfire. she worked at wildfire as a junior product manager. facebook and google are fierce competitors in the social networking space. >> are all of those kids phenoms? good gracious. >> so many to talk about. are politicians ruining america? stand-up comedian and actor hughly joins us, a new book called "the audacity of dopes." and he has advice for the political process. mitt romney now clarifying those culture remarks that he made when i was in israel. is he right? does culture matter? never to mins words, newt
gingrich will weigh in on that this morning and team usa living up to the hype from the high flying laddyes of the fab five and michael phelps as the greatest olympian ever. and domestic ninique dawe sxs w us. >> really cool guests, can't wait. we have brand-new poll numbers from key swing states. mitt romney back on the trail. what's the challenge he faces now? looking for dividend-paying stocks for your portfolio? with the fidelity stock screener, you can try strategies from independent experts and see what criteria they use. such as a 5% yield on dividend-paying stocks. then you can customize the strategies and narrow down to exactly those stocks you want to follow. i'm mark allen of fidelity investments. the expert strategies feature is one more innovative reason serious investors are choosing fidelity.
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welcome back, mitt romney is getting ready to hit the road after an overseas trip that saw the message overshadowed at times by some gaffes. mitt romney will hit the campaign trail with stops in colorado and nevada and indiana and ohio next week. pay attention to ohio because a brand-new cbs news/"new york times" poll has obama leading romney in florida, 51-45. in ohio, he's up 50-44. pennsylvania, 11 points, 53-42. joining me to talk about this, cnn contributor and washington correspondent ryan lizza, those numbers are brand-new, minutes old. you were surprised? >> i was surprised a lead in ohio is significant.
the way the electoral map shakes, romney can't win without ohio. obama can because he has colorado and nevada and virginia which he won in 2008. he can nail those down and lose some of the larger states and still win the race. pennsylvania, i think that has not gone republican in many cycles. mitt romney thought because of the lagging economy maybe pennsylvania can come up to the republican column. so far this race, the polling doesn't look good there. two polls -- two states -- one state that is not on the list, is witness, another democratic state romney is hoping to take away. you have to be cautious about any single poll, polling trends are what is important. good news for obama. >> talking about trends, in ohio we have seen president obama consistently ahead in all of the polls, he's heading there today for the third trip if four weeks. why does he seem to be
outperforming his national numbers in ohio, which is in no way reliably democratic. >> a couple of theories, unemployment is lower than the national average, 7.2%, rather than 8%. and maybe just maybe we're starting to see the impact of this flood of attack ads that the obama campaign has been running in the swing states thats have been savaging mitt romney basically as a wealthy out of touch guy who laid off lots of people when he was at bain. now for the last few weeks we've been talking about how despite the gaffes and ads, the race stays where it is, stuck. maybe what we're seeing is that negatively defining romney is starting to have a little bit of payoff for obama. ohio is a working class voters that obama has struggled with and making a play for them by painting romney as out of touch. and if you look at the internals in the polls, it looks like some of the voters are starting to have that view.
but one other thing i was totally struck by in all three polls, the percentage of likely voters who say they are undecided, 4%. >> that's nothing. >> that means everyone is locked in at this point. >> let's talk about ohio because the romney team has another brand-new ad which is begin interesting and hits obama at his strengths, we're talking the auto bailout. >> in 2009, under the obama administration's bailout of general motors, ohio dealerships were forced to close. >> you hear that, it said ohio. very interesting. it is a national ad but brings up ohio. the romney team very concerned about the battle in ohio and taking fight to an area which is again seen as an obama strength perhaps. >> it's sort of a devilish ad in the sense that it is attacking the bailouts which romney was against saying that the bailout
actually led to businesses closing. now, you know, the obama campaign i'm sure would respond, if they hadn't done the bailout the job losses related to the auto industry whofb much much worse. they are attacking obama now from the left, it's a complicated argument. previously in the primaries they were attacking him from the right, saying they shouldn't have bailed gm out and let the free market take its course. that i think will be the obama campaign's response to this. >> a lot of interesting games. ryan lizza, thank you so much for being with us here. >> thanks for having me. >> all right, thank you very much. today's best advice comes from someone who knows success as an nba star and a u.s. olympian. carmelo anthony, coming up next. cash rewards card gives you a 50% annual bonus. and everyone likes 50% more [ russian accent ] rubles. eh, eheh, eh, eh. [ brooklyn accent ] 50% more simoleons. [ western accent ] 50% more sawbucks.
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all right, it is just a few minutes before the hour. >> we wrap it up as always with best advice. today from nba star, carmelo thony, also on team usa for the men's olympic basketball team. >> the best advice i've ever received was to be who you are, never change who you are. a lot of people would say they want you to be this person or want you to be this way. you should be proud of who you are. >> carmelo could be proud of who he is, good player for the knicks and usa. usa had trouble with tunisia. >> a lot of people thought they should win by 50. they won by 33.
>> that's a really tough time. my goodness. >> "starting point" with soledad o'brien starts right now. welcome, our starting point this morning, sticking the landing, a magical night for the u.s. women's gymnastics team, historic one as well for michael phelps and embarrassing one for a few badminton players accused of throwing the games. mitt romney explaining his comments that culture matters, those are the comments the palestinians called racest. hughley on his new book "audacity of dopes." chris van hollen and aaron piersol. "starting point" begins right
now. our "starting point," they are now america's sweethearts, magical night for the u.s. women's gymnastics team in the team economy tigs and michael phelps, the most decorated olympian of all time, winning his record breaking 19th medal and adding another gold to his all time mark. amanda davies is live in london. good morning, they interviewed the woman who michael phelps topped, whose record he beat. she's 77 years old and she said time has come. she was okay with it. >> reporter: she's had quite a long time of being the most decorated olympian ever, hasn't she? upsteps michael phelps and it was widely expected to happen. it had been disappointing to
this point but he is now the most successful olympian ever after picking up the silver and gold in the relay. the big question here, does that mean he's the greatest olympian ever because he has the most medals, is he the greatest or should that be measured in terms of long he havety or impact on the sport and legacy he leaves. there hasn't been much time to celebrate, he's been back in the pool this morning for the 200 meter and he got through those fairly easily. >> we're looking at the tweet sent from the president to michael phelps and it goes like this. con grats to michael phelps tore breaking the all-time olympic record. you made your country proud and signed it b.o. for barack obama. i'm so tired because i stayed up to watch the women's gymnastics, that was