tv The Situation Room CNN September 7, 2012 4:00pm-7:00pm EDT
police posted through that stretch to make sure you're not going too much faster thanthat? >> i don't care about 85. i care about 55 and 85. it's that difference. it's the delta between two different drivers that makes it more dangerous. not clearly it's dangerous at 85 more than 75, but it's the difference. the slow people and fast people. >> chad, thank you. >> you're welcome. >> thank you. and thank you so much for watching us this week. i'm brooke baldwin. let's go to "the situation room." begins right now. thanks very much. happening now, fewer new jobs and fewer people looking for jobs. we're taking a closer look for any hopeful signs in these latest jobs numbers. also, we're seeing or trying to find out how the presidential candidates or many of the jobs numbers to their own advantage. and some convention watchers noticed an interesting switch after decades of playing defense, the democrats now claim they're the party of u.s. national security. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
normally a drop in the nation's unemployment rate would be considered good news, but not today. the government's brand new report shows employers added only 96,000 jobs last month. that's far fewer than expected or needed. and even though the unemployment rate dropped to 8.1% from july's 8.3%, it really isn't a good sign. our chief business correspondent ali velshi here to explain why. explain why if it goes down from 8.3% to 8.1%? >> good question, wolf. the number of jobs created or lost and the unemployment rate. they are not connected. they are two different surveys. the way you take a poll, the government calls and conducts two different surveys. one gives you the jobs created.
one gives you the unemployment rate. the problem with the unemployment rate is that it's a percentage of the number of people who are either working or looking for work. not a percentage of everybody able to work. and what we found out is that in august 368,000 people left the work force. they dropped out. now, there are several reasons why you drop out. you are retiring, you're going to school or you're disenchanted. you can't find a job. let's say you live in a part of indiana where your home price is so low that you can't sell it, so you can't move to get a job. the labor participation rate, which is also on that screen, that's something interesting to remember. people say if the unemployment rate is 8%, that means 92% of the population is working, right? wrong. of the population available to work, the number of people employed today is 63.5%. now, there are lots of reasons why it's not higher than that. like i said, some people are in school. not to be funny, but some people are in jail. things like that. but the labor participation rate, 63.5% is the lowest it's
been since 1981. number three, wolf, manufacturing jobs. we lost 15,000 of them in august. that's a bad sign. we've been losing manufacturing jobs generally for a couple decades. but we evened out, we bottomed out a couple years ago and we've been slowly gaining every month. that's a bad sign that america's losing manufacturing jobs. so all in all, you know it, wolf, we've known each other a long time, i'm optimistic. this is a glass half empty situation. >> all right. because they say if only 96,000 jobs were created, they say just to tread water you really need about 150,000 to 200,000 jobs a month. >> correct. >> just to try to stay even. >> that's right. because people retire, people pass away. young people enter the workforce. they've come of age to work and we have immigration. to offset that we always have more people, about 150,000 extra people coming into the workforce every month. you have to create 150,000 new jobs roughly just to tread water. when you're creating 96,000, you're not solving problems.
you're actually adding to them. i've been getting a lot of feedback from people saying why are you negative about 96,000 jobs? that's 96,000 people working who weren't working the month before. i agree with that. it's better than losing jobs. but it's not enough. wolf, in fairness to the obama administration, we have created jobs in the private sector, which is where you want them created, for 30 months in a row. the trend is correct. this just isn't a big enough number. >> they did revise the previous two months to show that 40,000 jobs they thought had been created really weren't. isn't that right? >> that's correct. so every month we get revisions to the two prior months. in this case they were revisions lower. what that means is if president obama were to want to claim that he has made up for all the job losses since the day he took office, he needs another 260,000 jobs created in the next two months. there will be two more jobs reports before the election, the last one will be four days before the election. it's a milestone that doesn't matter to most people. and if you're unemployed it certainly doesn't matter to you.
but it will give him the ability to say i inherited the worst economy since the great depression and i made up for every job loss on my watch. if you can be sure they achieve that, it will be a nice democratic ad the weekend before the election. >> quickly, one final question. is it -- all of the bad numbers, relatively bad numbers, disappointing numbers, i should say, right now does that put added pressure on the federal reserve, ben bernanke, to take action in the coming weeks to try to turn things around? >> right. so there are a few ways to stimulate job growth. one is government policy. the other is fiscal policy. which is the federal reserve making more money available to the banks, which means they can make more money available to businesses at a lower interest rate even though interest rates are pretty low right now. the fed meets next week. and that does put pressure on the fed to say while we think this is a government policy problem and the government should solve it, if the government can't do it, we may have to. you might see some action. it will be next thursday. i'll be available if it happens. >> i know you will be. we can always count on you, ali.
both presidential campaigns are spinning jobs numbers as best they can. our national political correspondent jim acosta standing by over with mitt romney's next campaign stop in new hampshire. our white house correspondent jessica yellin is in iowa right now where the president will be speaking in a little bit. we'll have live coverage of that. let's start with jessica. how is the president responding to these disappointing numbers? >> reporter: wolf, the president acknowledged the numbers, but he looked for a silver lining. here is what he said when he was speaking in new hampshire earlier today. >> business once again added jobs for the 30th month in a row. a total of more than 4.6 million jobs. but that's not good enough. we know it's not good enough. we need to create more jobs faster. >> reporter: that's not good enough, wolf.
that was his nod to the shrinking labor force and the slow growth of the economy. but senior administration officials, senior democrats say they do not think that the weak economy -- that these new numbers are going to have a negative impact on the race. why? because they believe that this is already factored into voters' consideration. and the race is essentially tied. wolf. >> and they say -- as they say in the markets, they've already discounted that factor, shall we say. set the scene. we're about to see a special event, the president, the vice president, their wives. what's going to happen? we're going to have live coverage here in "the situation room." >> reporter: well, i'm in iowa city where the president and vice president will appear in about two hours. a little over two hours. speaking at a university campus. one of the topics i expect the president to take on is the different economic philosophy he
shares that he embraces and how he'll draw contrast from mitt romney in a topic he'll take on no doubt is this top issue of taxes. one of the ways he's drawing distinctions and a new theme something he embraced last night and something we heard from him in new hampshire was a little bit of a joke. i want to play a piece of it for you right now, wolf. >> all they've got to offer is the same prescriptions that they've had for the last 30 years. tax cuts. tax cuts. gut some regulations. oh, and more tax cuts. tax cuts when times are good. tax cuts when times are bad. tax cuts to help you lose a few extra pounds. tax cuts to improve your love life. it will cure anything according to them. >> reporter: so he's building on this theme that there's a choice
between two different economic messages suggesting that there's one, his, that will move you forward, hint-hint. and as you've heard before, mitt romney's he suggests would take the nation backwards. wolf. >> jessica, thanks very much. don't go too far away. we'll come back to you. the president and the vice president, their wives at a joint event. we'll have live coverage here in "the situation room." let's check in with jim acosta right now. he's in new hampshire seeing how mitt romney's reacting to these latest numbers. what's he saying, jim? >> reporter: wolf, mitt romney will be at this minor league baseball park in a few hours here in nashua, new hampshire, to make his pitch on the economy. the latest unemployment report from the government served up a major league softball to the gop contender. mitt romney tried to offer sobering words on what he called the hangover on president obama's convention party. yet another disappointing report on the nation's stagnant job
market. >> it's been 43 straight months above 8%. it's a national tragedy. >> reporter: in a brief news conference, romney had a new line for where the president is taking the country. >> the president's plan is four more years of the four last years. and i don't think the american people want four more years of the four last years. >> reporter: romney also hit back at the president's charge that he is yet to offer many specifics, promising that his plan will create 12 million new jobs. with tax cuts, fewer regulations and more domestic energy. and listen to how he vowed to tackle the deficit. >> balancing our budget. president bush and president obama neither one made the kinds of steps on that front that i think needed to be made. >> reporter: and as for that jab from the president at romney's gaffe on whether the british were ready to host the olympics. >> you might not be ready for diplomacy with beijing if you can't visit the olympics without insulting our closest ally. >> reporter: the gop nominee punched back.
>> i'm very pleased that my olympic experience allows me to talk about the olympics in a straight talk manner. and i think it would be appropriate if the president would talk to china in the straight talk manner. this president can tell us it was someone else's fault. >> reporter: as soon as the president's speech was finished, the romney campaign announced an aggressive ad blitz aimed at eight battleground states all captured by president obama four years ago. >> i should tell you i feel right at home because i'm in a barn. >> reporter: ann romney was in one of those targeted states, virginia. urging voters to turn the reigns on the economy over to her husband. >> so let's talk some horse sense. barack obama said four years ago, if i can't turn this economy around after three and a half years, i'm looking at a one-term presidency. [ cheers and applause ] well, it's our turn to turn the
economy around. and i know mitt can do it. >> reporter: now, there could be some trouble looming for mitt romney if that unemployment rate ticks below 8%. that's the number that he has said the president cannot beat. but the romney campaign does see an opening in the economy. something they plan to drill down on as one advisor put it for the next 60 days, wolf. >> he's wrapped up at least for now several intensive days getting ready for the three debates, the presidential debates, in october, is that right, jim? >> reporter: that's right. he was basically in seclusion this week, wolf. he only came out of his debate prep with ohio senator rob portman playing the role of barack obama for a couple small events. he didn't even take his full press corp out with him for these events. just a small pool of reporters. he did manage to get his message out on the economy on those two occasions. but some top advisors to mitt romney told me their big emphasis this week was getting ready for these debates. they know this is the next big audience for this republican nominee heading into the fall,
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so feel free to enjoy a bowl anytime. mmm i can still see you. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. more now on the dismal jobs report. the possible fallout for president obama's re-election campaign. our chief political analyst gloria borger is here to talk about it. he was urging patience last night, gloria. the president, listen to this. >> i won't pretend the path i'm offering is quick or easy. i never have. you didn't elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear. you elected me to tell you the truth. and the truth is it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built
up over decades. >> so the jobs numbers that came out today, which were disappointing. >> right. >> how does that play as far as what he was trying to say in his acceptance speech? >> well, there are a couple ways to look at it. first of all, what you hope when you're a campaign going into a convention is that you're either going to break the race wide open or you're going to get a significant bounce coming out of it. and i think what these numbers could do is affect the size of a bounce if there's going to be any bounce. we saw the mitt romney didn't have much of a bounce. maybe the president wasn't going to get one anyway. but maybe it could sort of undermine the size of it. on the other hand, wolf, i will also argue that in the long-term, not in the short-term, but the long-term i think people's feelings about the economy are already cooked. i think that that probably happened some time over the summer when job growth was pretty anemic. and so i think that the people who are disaffected because of the economy, they'll look at what the president said. and they'll decide whether they want to be more patient or not.
because they already know that the state of the economy is what it is and that these numbers are pretty much what was anticipated. >> it's a delicate line for romney and his advisors to walk. >> oh, yeah. >> you can't seem to be rooting for the country to lose jobs. here's how he handled that question today in iowa. >> the republicans are fighting for moves to help the economy. my five-step plan is designed to get the economy going. you're not going to get this economy going unless you do the things i described. and if you continue with a president who as you saw last night had no ideas about what to do for the economy. >> so how do they walk that line? >> just the way you heard him. he's essentially saying that the president's incompetent and he's the one more competent to deal with the economy. he can't seem to be cheering for a bad economy. but that's why at these conventions we heard so much talk about trust and character and values.
the stewardship of the economy is turning into a values issue. and does the president have the right values or understand americans enough and the trouble that small businesses are having from mitt romney's point of view, from the president's point of view he says mitt romney lives by a different set of rules and doesn't understand the pain you are suffering. so that's why we heard so much of this sort of revelations about who these men are. because after all, you need to trust one of them with your economic future. >> people are always making fun of these conventions. they really don't matter. i think they do matter. >> i do too. >> i think bill clinton showed that they mattered. what does president obama need to do? he needs to bring back into the party all those people who voted for him the last time, that base. young people, women, minorities, they can't be apathetic. they might not go out and vote for romney, but they have to come back and vote for him. and what bill clinton for example did is he reassured a
lot of those folks. >> exactly. they might be staged, aside from clint eastwood who was pretty well not staged, they might be staged. but what they do is they tell you what the parties stand for. in this particular year the visions could not be more different. we heard the word choice so many times from president obama last night. and i think the people deserve to kind of understand and get it sort of put out there what each party stands for. and then make their decision and if you look back at these two conventions, it comes down to one thing. what is the role of government in our lives? is there too much government? as the republicans believe. or as the democrats believe, do you need government to keep that social safety net and to grow the economy from the middle out? >> much more on the conventions, much more on the jobs numbers coming up. >> yep. >> gloria, thanks very much. also other news we're following. it was once a hurricane, will it be a hurricane again? we're tracking the storm named
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militant group blamed for the deaths of american and nato troops now being officially branded a terrorist organization. lisa sylvester's monitoring that and some of the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. what's going on, lisa? >> hi, wolf. well, secretary of state hillary clinton notified congress today of her decision to officially designate the haqqani network as a terrorist group. linked to al qaeda and taliban allegedly carried out an attack in kabul, afghanistan last year.
and the death toll is climbing in a string of powerful earthquakes in china. at least 67 people have been killed. 731 others are injured. nearly half a million homes were damaged. four earthquakes struck the mountainous region one after the other in a span of less than two hours. and what was hurricane leslie is now a tropical storm. it stalled about 450 miles from bermuda and now likely will miss the low lying islands. but forecasters are still warning that it could still threaten coastal areas by sunday with large waves and dangerous rip currents. the national hurricane center expects leslie to regain hurricane strength once it starts moving again over warmer waters. and britain's prince harry, he's in afghanistan. he arrived there today to start a four-month military deployment as an apache helicopter pilot. the third in line to the british throne stationed at a military base in the taliban heartland. a palace source says he's going
to be treated just like any other soldier. just last month you may recall photographs of the prince naked in las vegas made tabloid headlines. i think he's going to want to put all that behind him and focus on other things, focus on the future now that he's in afghanistan. >> we just hope he's safe. just hope he gets home safe and sound as well. a seismic shift in foreign policy. do democrats now have more muscle than republicans? we're going to talk about that and more. our strategy session is next. [ male announcer ] the first look...is only the beginning. ♪ ♪ introducing a stunning work of technology. ♪ introducing the entirely new lexus es. and the first ever es hybrid. this is the pursuit of perfection.
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and the visions so vital for the oval office. the most inexperienced foreign policy two-some to run for president and vice president in decades. >> most of all, president obama had an unyielding faith in the capacity and the capability of our special forces. literally the finest warriors in the history of the world. >> my opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy. but from all that we've seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that cost america so dearly. >> interesting switch. today's strategy session joining us democratic strategist mo and republican strategist alice
stewart. alice, you want to respond? those of us who have covered politics for a long time, normally it's the republicans hitting democrats for being weak on national security. this time around the democrats had a huge opening because mitt romney in his acceptance speech didn't even thank the u.s. troops. they're on 80,000 or 90,000 fighting for their lives in afghanistan right now. there was no appreciation in his acceptance speech for what they are doing. >> well, the question is who is barack obama to question anyone's foreign policy experience? you know, to say that mitt romney is new to national security and foreign policy is laughable. he has zero military experience. and his policies thus being president of leading from behind has made america weaker in the eyes of the world. the way he has not stood up to iran and allowing them to continue to build nuclear weapons. that's not good. the only place he really wants to cut the budget deals with the military. and whispering to foreign leaders, wait until i get re-elected, i'll be more
flexible with you. that is not what we need. we need a leader like mitt romney. and his plans for dealing with foreign policy would not cut the military budget. he would support the military. and he strongly believes in peace through strength. the only way to have a strong military is to continue to support it financially. >> i'm going to let mo respond to that. first, why didn't he thank the troops in his acceptance speech? >> well, he met with them privately the day before. granted he talked about many things during that night when he had the time to speak. granted it probably would not have hurt to mention that. but he talked about what people across this country are concerned with. jobs and economy. and plan to help strengthen the middle class and turn the economy around and create jobs through his plan for working on energy and deficit reduction, improving skills for american workers, putting america on a level playing field when it comes to trade. these are things that will help strengthen our economy and put people back to work. >> all right. go ahead, mo. >> i think the republicans and the romney/ryan ticket are in a
tough spot here. first, the american people think the president has done a fantastic job on foreign policy and national security issues. as we heard repeatedly throughout the course of this past week, his leadership getting outside of the war in iraq, beginning to draw down troops in afghanistan as well as going after al qaeda and taking out osama bin laden. those are just cornerstones along with the broader foreign policy objective of rebuilding our standing in the international community. which was in a terrible place before president obama took office. the contrast with mitt romney -- my problem is not his lack of experience. my problem is his lack of vision on foreign policy. and the fact that he said as a candidate that we didn't need to move heaven or earth to take out one guy, that one guy being osama bin laden. i think most people would disagree with that. the fact that his first foreign policy trip as a candidate he insulted one of our biggest allies. there's a lot of reason to be
concerned about a romney foreign policy. >> hold on, alice. playing off of that, they were clearly trying to drive home the point, the democrats, at their convention that it was this president who gave the order to those navy seals to kill bin laden. listen to this. >> ask osama bin laden if he is better off now than he was four years ago. >> we can now proudly say what you've heard me say the last six months. osama bin laden is dead. and general motors is alive. >> a new tower rises above the new york skyline. al qaeda is on the path to defeat. and osama bin laden is dead. >> all right. they clearly think that's a huge winning issue for them. i assume you agree it is an important winning issue, the fact that on his watch he managed to do what president bush could not do, namely kill bin laden. >> well, i agree with mo. you're not going to find an american anywhere that's going
to disagree with the fact that the president made the right call with going after bin laden. that was a good call. but there's a lot more involved in foreign policy and national defense than that one call. and going around the world in a world apology tour, that didn't help our standing across the world. and cutting military spending, that doesn't help us militarily. while national security is a big issue and it's critical and hats off and prayers go out to military families, jobs are the number one issue. and with the jobs report that came out today of 8.1%, we have unemployment rate above 8% for 43 months. the president promised us it wouldn't go over 8%. he said if he can't turn the economy around, this will be a one-term proposition. that's a promise i'd like to hold him to. >> is there a risk, mo, you're a good political strategist, is there a risk of the democrats overplaying their hand? overly politicizing the killing of bin laden? >> i don't think they're overly politicizing it.
one of his accomplishments was not just taking out bin laden, but redirecting our national security resources -- the al qaeda infrastructure throughout the region. that is something the american people were very, very concerned about. rightfully so. and this president reprioritized that as a national security objective. and that's something we should talk about as we look at which of these two candidates is going to be best to lead our military's commander and chief moving forward. >> mo, alice, both of you standby. we have more to talk about. thursday was president obama's big night at the democratic convention. a lot of people are still talking about the former president, bill clinton. could that hurt come november? or will it help?
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america, i never said this journey would be easy. and i won't promise that now. yes, our path is harder. but it leads to a better place. yes, our road is longer, but we travel it together. we don't turn back. we leave no one behind. >> the president's acceptance speech last night. let's get back to mo elleithee and alice stewart. he's sort of getting tepid reviews, but still a pretty powerful speech. >> well, he's a great speech giver. there was a feeling amongst the crowd last night, we were there, it was amazing.
and people were energized. but the problem is all they talked about was here's my vision, here's what hopes and dreams, but we need plans. we need specifics on what he's going to do in the next four years. we rolled the dice four years ago on hope and change. and we got blindsided. we can't have it anymore. we need a specific plan, like the romney/ryan plan to help the middle class. last night was a great party. this morning we woke up with a terrible hangover with this unemployment report and we cannot continue down this path president obama has led us on. we can't continue to have unemployment above 8%. we've got the lowest job participation in three decades because people are simply not entering the work force because there's no jobs out there. we need someone who will go in there, reduce the size of government, encourage private sector growth and get people back to worth. >> i'm going to bring in mo. but i'll point out a lot of criticism of mitt romney at the same time for not being specific himself in releasing details on
what he specifically would do including some of the editorial page writers at "the wall street journal" who are basically conservative. mo, as far as the president's speech last night, was that written for the huge bank of america outdoor football stadium where there would have been 65,000 or 70,000 people outdoors as was the case in denver four years ago? would it have come across better outdoors as opposed to indoors at that time warner cable arena where there were about 20,000 or 25,000 people inside? >> yeah. honestly, i don't think the venue mattered one bit, wolf. i think what people actually cared about was the substance. and i got to disagree with alice. big difference between president obama's speech and governor romney's acceptance speech was that president obama had a vision. that president obama did talk about the future. all governor romney talked about was i'm not barack obama. well, that's not a vision. that's not telling anybody about where he wants to take the country.
i thought this was a very well orchestrated convention with michelle obama giving us more insight into barack obama the man. followed by bill clinton talking about the obama record on the economy and trying to bring people together. and then teeing it up for president obama to talk about what's next. and i thought that was very powerful. >> but you know, mo, the first lady did do a great job in her speech. bill clinton did an amazing job as well. the criticism of the president while he set out certain goals and said this is how many jobs i want to create, this is what i want to do as far as exports are concerned, the environment is concerned, he didn't go into specifics and lay out how he's going to achieve those goals, mo. that was the expectation at least by some folks. and they were disappointed he didn't use that venue to do it. >> well, look, this speech was really the first stop in the general election campaign. and this -- i don't believe -- i know there's a lot of people
wondering what kind of bounce either side is going to get. i don't believe there is going to be much bounce for either side because i believe this is going to be a continuous conversation with the american people over the next eight and a half weeks or so. so the president yesterday laid out the vision, laid out the broad strokes of where he wants to take the country. between three debates and eight and a half weeks of campaigning, there's going to be plenty of time to fill in those details. but as i said, he at least laid out that vision of where he wants to go. something i don't think very many people at all on either side are hearing from governor romney. >> very quick. i have to wrap this up. the president got a huge, huge super star to go out the next few weeks and raise money for him, do some campaigning, speaking for him namely former president bill clinton. high octane as we all know. very, very popular in terms of bringing back democrats, independents, moderates or whatever. does mitt romney have a similar high octane super star that can go out there and do the job for
him? >> well, the truth is people don't need a high octane super star. they need a true leader. they need someone that will go in there with a plan. granted bill clinton gave another great speech. he's very energizing and charismatic and the people loved him. he's not running for president. unfortunately, barack obama is on the democratic side. and you can't take a vision to the bank and deposit it. you can't take a vision and pay your bills. you need a specific plan. and the romney/ryan five-point plan, he has outlined that. he specifically wants to look at energy, trade, skills. he wants to look at deficit reduction. and he wants to repeal and replace obama care and do away with the burdensome regulations in this country. those are specifics. >> hold on, guys. we have to wrap it up. we're out of time. the only point i want to make, alice, those are goals, those five specific points. as far as specifics how he's going to cut, for example, tax reform. he wants to cut tax rates, but
he doesn't say which loopholes, which deductions, what he wants to do to balance some of those tax cuts. those are the specifics people are looking for. that's the criticism. but this conversation will continue down the road. alice stewart, mo elleithee, thanks for coming in. stunning new pictures from mars. what the curiosity rover has been up to. and clint eastwood breaks his silence on the rather bizarre speech he gave at the republican national convention. he's now revealing how he actually came up with that idea.
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curiosity is sending some stunning new pictures of mars. lisa sylvester's monitoring that, some of the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. lisa. >> wolf, the rover curiosity is certainly living up to its name and transmitting amazing new images of the red planet. a new photo from the rover's camera on the mast shows off the rover's arm against the spectacular martian landscape. at the end of the arm, a high resolution camera that will examine the planet's soil up close. another new photo shows the rover's tracks as seen from an orbiter circling the planet. scientists can get insights into the changes on the martian surface by examining these tracks over time.
and since landing on mars on august 6th, curiosity has trekked 358 feet taking pictures as it moves along. nbc tonight show host jay leno is taking a $15 million pay cut, 50% of his salary. why? to protect the staff of "the tonight show" from further layoff. 20 employees were let go last month. the show also confirms leno has extended his contract until september of 2014. clint eastwood stole the show at the republican national convention when he addressed an empty chair that he said represented president obama. now he's breaking his silence about that moment that went viral. calling mr. obama "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the american people" eastwood told a california newspaper the chair was actually a last-minute decision adding "there was a stool there. and some fella kept asking me if i wanted to sit down. when i saw the stool sitting there, it gave me the idea, i'll
just pull the stool out there and i'll talk to mr. obama and ask him why he didn't keep all the promises he made to everybody." eastwood says he may have "irritated a lot of lefties, but he was aiming for the people in the middle." i know, wolf, you have some very strong thoughts about that, about clint eastwood talking to the chair. i know you thought it was absolutely bizarre. >> you know, it was so awkward. i was on the convention floor in tampa. and i was watching. and i was looking at the faces of the delegates, the republicans who were there. and some of them -- i mean, i know i was squirming. it felt so uncomfortable. >> yeah. >> not necessarily -- i'm sure the romney folks weren't very happy about it either. >> you said the romney family. i think there were some people said the romney family -- >> yeah. just regular delegates weren't happy either. all right. never mind. we'll talk about it some other time. >> okay, wolf. block by block, we're moving on in syria. shot-by-shot exclusive amazing look behind the battle lines in
an ancient city now caught up in a modern civil war. 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. let's raise our scores. let's invest in our teachers and inspire our students. let's solve this.
now to a cnn exclusive. a behind the scenes look at the brutal battle for syria's commercial capital. nick payton walsh made it inside the city of aleppo where civil war is reduced to a bloody stalemate. here's nic's extraordinary report. >> the new dead lie next to the old. aleppo's old city thousands of years in the make iing. we're with rebel forces as they push into vital terrain and fight for syria's commercial capital towards a key police
[ gunfire ] when we rejoin them a few days later, they have fallen back the hundred feet they have gained. civilians in uniform, their taking pot shots at nothing in particular. goading their enemy with revolutionary song. even offering them a number to call if they want to defect. but they can't advance again. it's not just the regime's bomber jets that hold them back. up on the roof we see how snipers, deadly accurate here, can freeze the front line. in this historic part of the city, the rebels are trying to inch forward. but so often pushed back by government forces. in this case held back by a government sniper positioned in the buildings opposite us. even from the rebel's sniper positions, the regime is close but well dug in.
a conscript years ago but now an electrician. a sniper is shooting at them. and he moves across the road to take him out. but his discipline and marksmanship is the exception. he thinks he got him. it's the older men here who are in charge. hakeem, a local commander, briefly visits and tells us his brigade has given up on outside help from the west. this is our final word, he says. we don't want any help from anybody. we're no longer waiting. and we have the means to topple the regime. he outlines a plan to the men. shortly afterwards this bus appears. one rebel tells us they plan to fill it with explosives then tie a prisoner's hands to the wheel and force him to die driving the
bus bomb at the regime. but even though we saw the brigade take prisoners earlier, that doesn't happen here. the bus leaves. an armored truck arrives instead which they plan to place down the street as cover for their gunmen. preparations for an operation. handmade grenades, homemade bombs, highly volatile canisters full of explosive. but the men still have to focus. shooting in the dark. later that night we leave, but they drive the truck down the street. at dawn it's in place in the old position. overnight they've tried to gain the advantage by moving that dump truck about a hundred feet down the street past their last position, but still these men who have been unable to advance over this incredibly small amount of terrain. the regime fires grenades
setting it alight. the rebels decide to fight back. this is an anti-aircraft gun. they run forward to fire rocket-propelled grenade. there's too much smoke to know what they've hit. more a game here than a fight to the death. but this is a city of millions torn apart by every pitched battle for every hundred feet. nick paton walsh, cnn. and you're in "the situation room." happening now, the glow from the democratic convention gives way to a bit of gloom. disappointing jobs numbers shadow president obama as he hits the campaign trail. and mitt romney is quick to take advantage. romney may have a new headache of his own. an anonymous group claims to
have hacked into his tax returns. it's demanding a ransom. so is it a heist, or is it all a hoax? and her fiery arm waving speech got the crowd going at the democratic convention. now it's going viral. if you missed jennifer granholm, we're going to give you another chance. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." didn't take president obama long to get back on the campaign trail. hours after leaving the fired up convention crowd in charlotte, he began a campaign swing in new hampshire. but president obama's bringing some extra baggage with him, gloomy new job numbers that show the labor market slowing down sharply. the economy adding just 96,000
jobs in august. down from a revised 41,000 in july. the unemployment rate did drop from 8.3% to 8.1%, but that's because hundreds of thousands of americans stopped looking for work. here's cnn's white house correspondent dan lothian. >> reporter: wolf, joined by the first lady and the bidens, president obama tried to build a momentum from the democratic national convention. at his first stop here in portsmouth, the president made his pitch to the middle class. but also confronted the reality of a still struggling economy. even before he began drawing a contrast between his policies and the ideas of his republican opponents, president obama admitted there was no better person to make his case than former president bill clinton. >> somebody e-mailed me after his speech and said you need to appoint him secretary of
explaining stuff. that's pretty good. that's what this election's about. >> reporter: explaining is one thing. turning the economy around is proving to be much more difficult. the august jobs report is another reminder. the white house insists the economy is healing, but slowly. and as the president reminded supporters in new hampshire, adding instead of subtracting jobs. >> business once again added jobs for the 30th month in a row. a total of more than 4.6 million jobs. but that's not good enough. we know it's not good enough. we need to create more jobs faster. >> reporter: but republican opponent mitt romney says the president doesn't know what he is doing when it comes to jobs and the economy. >> after the party last night, the hangover today, the jobs numbers were very disappointing. >> reporter: both campaigns are offering different visions on how to fix the problem. and their messages are aimed at
middle class voters. especially those in key battleground states. at his first post-convention rally, the president ticked through his accomplishments and offered a list for the future. from boosting exports to investments in clean energy and education. and he blamed congress for standing in the way of progress. >> we could create a million new jobs right now if congress would pass the jobs plan that i sent to them a year ago. >> reporter: for voters frustrated by the slow recovery and uncertain about the president's ability to fix the economy, vice president biden tried to sway them with an emotional appeal. >> he has courage in his soul. he has compassion in his heart. and he has a spine of steel. >> reporter: with both conventions over, the question is, has anything in this race changed? senior white house advisor david pleth told reporters not to expect a significant post-convention bounce.
the race will most likely remain where it was. wolf. >> let's take a closer look at both presidential candidates' strategies from now until november with the "new york times" political correspondent jeff zellany and ryan liz. ryan, were you surprised the president didn't offer more specific details on how to achieve those goals in his acceptance speech? >> i was. i mean, he did offer more specificity than romney's speech. the way he set up the speech we deserved a little more detail. remember at the beginning of his speech he said this was one of the most important election of our lives, a clear choice about the two competing visions of the role of government in society. in that clip you played, wolf, he talks about he's a president who tells you the truth. and i left the speech and re-read it this morning a couple times still wondering on some of the big issues he's talked about
a lot in the last few years, what he's going to do and whether he will pursue them if he's re-elected. for instance, he mentioned climate change. but he didn't really tell us what he would do on that. we don't know on immigration reform. is he going to pursue a comprehensive deal or not? and the first and most fraught issue he'll face, the fiscal cliff, we don't know exactly what his tax reform plan is. we don't know what he would do on medicare and social security and all those very complicated issues regarding getting a deal to deal with the long-term fiscal tuation. so i found the policy parts of the speech -- they seemed like they were wrung through the pollsters and campaign strategists a few too many times. they seemed a little small bor to me. >> let me bring jeff into this conversation. we heard paul ryan. we heard joe biden. we heard the president of the united states. they all went out of their way raising the whole simpson balls
commission but they all rejected it when they had an opportunity to promote it. were you surprised by that, jeff? >> it was a little surprised by that. and i agree with ryan. this campaign's slogan is forward and they were promising he would give a window into the next four years. but at the same time it was not a state of, you know, the union address. it was an acceptance speech for the party's nomination. and, i guess looking at what they were trying to achieve, simply overall was to ask voters for their patience, to ask for a little more time to get things done. and he was talking to voters who already supported him once four years ago. that's all he needs. i mean, he is not trying to necessarily puersuade any new voters. he's trying to re-engage and re-energize some voters who may not be quite as sure of him this time. overall i don't think it will go
down as one of his best speeches. but often speeches in the history of president obama and even senator obama sometimes looked better farther down the road than they look in the moment of the speech. i think we've sort of glorified some of his speeches over the years in terms of being so spot-on in the moment. if he wins re-election to a second term in november, i think this speech will be remembered as being just fine. >> i think everyone thinks president clinton -- president clinton by all accounts gave a great speech. he certainly did a lot of help for president obama. he's going out to campaign for him. he's going to raise money for him. how significant is president clinton's role in trying to get president obama's second term? >> i think it's pretty important. i mean, you know, as the obama campaign points out, there are only a couple national politicians who have approval ratings as high as president clinton. basically clinton and michelle obama. once you start getting in the mud of partisan politics, your
approval ratings start to drop. and clinton's been a little out of the game for the last few years. he's seen as more of a senior statesman. and there are plenty of republicans that now have fond -- look at him fondly. and i also think the fact that obama and clinton have this complicated history. they're not the best of friends. i think it makes clinton a more -- a better validater for obama. when you watch them hug on stage the other night and you know the back story, you know that bill clinton didn't always like and respect this guy. it means a little bit more when he goes all out campaigning for him. so, you know, some people in the campaign will call him their secret weapon. it sounds like he's going to be doing a lot more in the next few weeks. >> yeah. you had a great piece in the new yorker magazine on this relationship. jeff, it was interesting on the morning after the democratic convention, the romney campaign
releases ads in eight battleground states. i'll put them on the screen. colorado, iowa, nevada, ohio, new hampshire, virginia, north carolina, florida. i assume those are the battleground states they think they have a good chance of winning. missing from that list, wisconsin, paul ryan's home state. michigan, were you surprised for example wisconsin and michigan were not included? >> wolf, i was not surprised that michigan was not included. i mean, governor romney -- i was just thinking back to a conversation i had with him a year ago. and i asked him if michigan would sort of remain a sentimental favorite. and he said he would look at the map and see. so i think that the romney campaign knows that michigan is a stretch. something would have to shift fairly fundamentally in this race with the economy and perhaps other things for michigan to be in play. wisconsin was a bit more of a surprise. wisconsin is a much more of a classic battleground state.
even though democrats have won it in the last five presidential elections, it's still been very close in 2000 and 2004. and paul ryan comes from a state that's more of a democratic area. so if he was to win over some of the democrats in janesville, in rocket county where he's from, that could help the republican ticket. the romney campaign i think is going to wait and see what happens with some of the ads that some republican super pacs are placing in wisconsin. seeing if it softens things up a little bit before they spend some of their own money there. north carolina was also an interesting place. the romney campaign clearly believes they still have some work to do. and that they have not closed the deal in this state. but you're right. these eight states are a road map. and bill clinton is going to ohio and florida. so they're probably not two more important states and if you want a third, virginia, those three
are the top states. >> clinton could do great especially for the president in florida. thanks very much, jeff. ryan lizza, thanks to you as well. in our next hour we'll hear live from president obama, vice president biden. they're together also with their wives at the university of iowa in iowa city. we're going to have live coverage of that event. that's coming up in our next hour. there's one item in the democratic party platform that republicans hope will derail president obama's chances in november. that's just ahead. you see us, at the start of the day. 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,
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with both parties conventions now over, the two candidates didn't waste any time slamming the other's performance. in dueling speeches delivered almost simultaneously. watch this. >> i was surprised by his address because i expected him to confront the major challenge of the last four years, which is an economy which has not
produced the jobs that the american people need. i expected him to talk about 23 million people or at least to talk about the unemployed in america. i expected him to talk about the number of families having a hard time making ends meet. the number of middle income families who have seen the cost of health insurance go up, cost of food go up, cost of gasoline go up. even as their incomes have gone down. i expected him to talk about those things. but he did not. instead it was a whole series of new promises, which he also won't be able to keep. because the policies he believes in and the direction he's pulling will not make america stronger. if president obama were re-elected, we would have four more years of the last four years. and the american people are going to say no to that. >> but our friends at the republican convention, they've talked a lot about what they thought was wrong with america. they didn't tell you what was right. they didn't tell you what they'd do to make it right.
they want your vote, but they don't want to show you their plan. and that's because they know their plan won't sell. that's because all they've got to offer is the same prescriptions that they've had for the last 30 years. tax cuts, tax cuts, gut some regulations, oh, and more tax cuts. tax cuts when times are good. tax cuts when times are bad. tax cuts to help you lose a few extra pounds. tax cuts to improve your love life. it will cure anything according to them. >> president obama and vice president biden expected to be speaking once again in our 6:00 p.m. eastern hour. when that happens we'll bring it to you live at the university of iowa. same sex marriage is once again an election issue. but this time the democratic party and the president, they
are coming down firmly on the side of extending marriage rights to gaye couples. so what impact will that have on the november election? let's go tour white house correspondent brianna keilar. >> reporter: at this convention, democrats are wholeheartedly embracing same sex marriage, in the very state that just passed a referendum banning same sex marriage. colorado's first openly gay person to be elected to a first term in congress spoke tuesday. >> that's why we must continue bringing america together. ♪ >> reporter: and just take a look at the entertainment lineup. delta ray wrote the anthem opposing the same sex marriage ban that passed here may 8th. it was one day later that president obama changed his stance on the hot-button issue. >> i've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that i think same sex couples
should be able to get married. >> reporter: four years ago when he was running for president, obama held a different view. >> define marriage. >> i believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. >> reporter: the president's change of heart has energized young voters and his base. >> it absolutely makes me respect and support him ten times more. that's an issue for the bedroom. not for our courts. >> reporter: six out of ten americans have a family member or close friend who is gay. and most americans now support same sex marriage. but it's also a devicive issue that could cost the president some votes. >> i haven't decided who i'm going to support for president this year. marriage should definitely between a man and a woman. just say it that way. >> reporter: republicans are hoping ads like this one made by a conservative super pac and running this week in north carolina will pull voters away from the president. >> obama is trying to force gay marriage on this country. that's not the change i voted for. marriage is between a man and a
woman. >> that's not the change i voted for either. >> what can we do? >> we can vote for someone with values. >> reporter: but the obama campaign is betting he gains more votes and campaign donations than he loses over this issue. the day after her big speech, michelle obama touted what her husband has done for gay and lesbian voters. >> whether it's passing hate crimes legislation or speaking out for the rights of all americans to be able to do what barack and i did, which is marry the loves of our lives. >> reporter: cnn, charlotte. >> washington state, minnesota, maryland and maine will have that issue on the ballot. a scathing statement for diplomats to leave. canada, cutting ties with what it considers the world's most significant security threat. stay with us. you're in "the situation room." great shot.
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canada calls it quits with iran. lisa sylvester's monitoring that, some other top stories in "the situation room" right now. lisa, a lot of folks probably didn't even know canada has diplomatic relations with iran. at least until now. >> yeah. that is right, wolf. you know, canada is cutting diplomatic ties with iran now. it's already shut down the canadian diplomatic mission in iran and now called its staff home. today, canada's foreign affairs minister ordered iran's diplomats out of the country in the next five days. in a scathing statement he blasted iran over increasing concerns about its nuclear program, antisematic rhetoric and support of terror groups. four nfl players have been given the go ahead to play this weekend despite being suspended
for their roles in the new orleans saints so-called bounty program. a league statement says nfl commissioner roger goodell will quickly determine what discipline to impose for violating the league's pay for performance rule. it says until then four players are reinstate and had may play. and a prank has gotten a 26-year-old philadelphia man in trouble with the feds. kenneth w. smith has been arrested and indicted for allegedly placing a bogus call yesterday threatening a u.s. airways flight bound for dallas. today's federal indictment says smith called police and he told them that a passenger on that plane was carrying liquid explosives. the plane was diverted and searched as was the pranked passenger and then sent on its way. if convicted, smith could face ten years in prison. and in texas you can put the pedal to the metal from austin to san antonio. the texas transportation commission has approved an 85-mile-an-hour speed limit on a new toll road on a 41-mile stretch of state highway 130.
it's expected to be the highest speed limit in the united states when it kicks in this fall. you won't even have to slow down to pay those tolls. officials say they'll be collected electronically along the way. imagine that. 85 miles an hour. >> yeah. have you ever driven on the autoban? >> i haven't. autobonn comes to texas. thanks very much. in this tough economy even a full-time job is no guarantee of a roof over your head. we're going to meet a man who works all day, works very, very hard. only to sleep in a parking lot. in communities across the country. whether it's supporting a delaware nonprofit that's providing training and employment opportunities, investing in the revitalization of a neighborhood in the bronx, or providing the financing to help a beloved san diego bakery expand, what's important to communities across the country is important to us. and we're proud to work with all of those who are creating a stronger future
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from 8.3% to 8.1%. that's because so many people stopped looking for work. let's go out front right now with cnn's erin burnett. how much pressure does this put on the federal reserve chairman ben bernanke to do something? >> it puts a lot of pressure on him. wolf, there's anand naidoo yul symposium he hosts in wyoming in the summer. that was just last week. he talked about the jobs market and the united states being a grave concern. now, for him that's a very, very strong adjective to use. to use the word grave. and that was before we got this number. and the number really is weak. and it shows that the economy just continues to sort of stumble along. when you look at 96,000 jobs, it wasn't just that. the past two months they weren't great to begin with. they got revised lower. not as many jobs created in june and july as we thought and then august was weak. and nothing was in there that looked good. people dropping out of the work force, the number of hours people work, the wages per hour, nothing indicating any improvement. it was august, the end of the summer. but this is a trend we have
started to see. ben bernanke now is going to be -- the pressure will be to do another round of so-called quantitative easing. easing money and flooding the system with money to get interest rates to go lower. the challenge, wolf, is that he has done this several times. he has not perhaps gotten the support that he would like from congress or the white house. both of them to blame for not passing more help out of washington. but he's brought interest rates down. that's what he can do, right? they're already rock bottom. and we're still dragging along. so he could keep flooding the system with money, but every time you flood it, you got to wonder if it's a lot less effective than the last. that's what we've seen the last few times. >> that raises a question, would any specific fed action make a difference between now and election day? >> that's the hard thing, wolf. i mean, one thing that it would probably do -- that's why you didn't see the market drop a lot today, it didn't go up a lot, but it could make stocks go up. when you look at the big thing for the obama administration, that the stock market's up 65%,
70% since he took office, that's an incredible number. it's the second best performance since eisenhower. and a big part of the reason is ben bernanke and easy money. when ben bernanke throws the money at the system, the market goes up. that helps 50% of americans. the wealthiest 50%, perhaps. but what about everybody? there's real kwi about the efficacy of what ben bernanke can do. so he can try, but without washington helping, ie congress, the president and fiscal policy, it's getting less effective every time. >> chances of congress doing anything between now and the election zero. >> zero. >> and you're absolutely right about the dow jones. it was about 7,000 when the president took office. it's over 13,000 right now. so if you've got a 401(k) -- >> this is nothing to scoff at. but usually the market goes up because it foresees an advance that the economy is getting
better, more hiring, more money. this time the market is the barometer that stands out as not going up for that reason. so, yes, it's good. but it's not sending the signal that it usually would, which would be good for everybody in the whole economy. >> erin knows this stuff. she'll be out front 7:00 p.m. eastern later tonight. loved working with you at the conventions, erin. thanks very much. >> you too, wolf. >> see you soon. >> okay. the number of americans suffering in today's economy extends far beyond just those who are unemployed. for some having a job doesn't necessarily mean having a place to live. cnn's kyung lah joins us now with this part of the story. kyung. >> reporter: these numbers don't show reality for working class. we met a man who makes a decent middle class wage, but he's not living the sort of suburban life you might expect. julius is behind the wheel of a santa barbara mtd bus five days a week. a full-time job that pays $19 an
hour to the jovial driver with the unforgettable beard. when his workday is over, he moves from his bus to another vehicle, his van, where he lives. >> a regular full-size mattress. >> reporter: this is home because he makes too much to qualify for public housing but can't afford rent in the high cost city of santa barbara. a lot of people think if you have a full-time job in america you're okay. that's not really the case for you, is it? >> no. i got a full-time job. i'm barely making ends meet. >> reporter: debt from a failed small business piled up. and he and his wife are still digging out. so this county parking lot is where they sleep. joined by more than a dozen others who live in their cars. it's called the safe parking program. 114 spaces spread out across the county with a waiting list of more than 40. >> i have senior citizens. i have couples. i have families. >> reporter: a third of the people says the program's manager have jobs but are
underemployed. like approximately 17% of americans. what do you think it says about america when somebody who has a job, who wants to work, still has to live in a car? >> i think people would be shocked. i think they would be shocked if they would come and meet some of these people because i'll tell you, when they come into my office, i want to cry. because it reminds me of someone that could be my mother, my sister, my brother. >> reporter: or your bus driver. >> morning. >> reporter: who starts his day on the move. breakfast with his wife, mary, is at the donut shop. >> toothbrush, tooth paste. >> reporter: the bathroom, a public one. the dressing room, the back of the van. >> normal life is what you miss. living in a van is not the norm. >> reporter: has the middle class in america changed? >> i think the middle class has
slid down the scale a little bit more towards the lower class. it's a little tougher for the middle class people to survive and to actually pursue the dream. >> i love you too. >> reporter: he keeps chasing his dream hoping whoever wins this election will be able to shift the economy into gear. >> good morning. thank you. >> reporter: he and his wife say they've considered moving to a more affordable city, but he'd have to give up his full-time job. in this economy, wolf, he's worried that there wouldn't be a job in a new city. >> stories behind the story. thanks very much, kyung, good report. appreciate it. an anonymous group claims to have stolen mitt romney's tax returns and demands a ransom. but is it a heist or is it a hoax? this happy couple used capital one venture miles
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mitt romney has dismissed all the political demands to release more than two years of his tax returns. but now an anonymous group claims to have hacked into them and holding them for ransom. brian todd is looking into this. what are you finding out? >> wolf, no indication anyone's willing to pay a ransom right now. and there are real questions over the legitimacy of this claim. nonetheless this has drawn in the u.s. secret service and an investigation is underway. >> i've paid taxes every single year. >> reporter: and he's released his tax records covering the past two years. democrats have been clambering for more, but likely didn't expect they'd appear through a plot right out of "ocean's 11." there's a claim of a sophisticated heist of mitt romney's tax records. an anonymous letter posted online is boasting just that.
and includes an extortion attempt against romney's accountants price waterhouse coopers. the letter says a team breached offices on the night of august 25th in tennessee. the team gained access on the third floor via a gentleman working there. then it says they moved to the second floor, set up shop in an empty office and "all available 1040 tax forms for romney were copied." >> and we're in. >> reporter: cue the ransom demand. the group purportedly behind the heist wants a million dollars or de-encrypt his tax records on september 28th. the group also says all major news media outlets are going to be sent encrypted copies of some of mitt romney's records. so far nothing in my inbox or anyone else's here. claims packages were sent to price waterhouse coopers and the offices in williamson county, tennessee. inside those packages flash drives allegedly containing copies of the romney tax records. >> we actually thought that it
was, you know, some sort of prank. and actually i almost just threw it away. >> reporter: good thing williamson county democratic chair peter berg didn't do that. the secret service has that package now. has even dusted his office for prints. price waterhouse coopers tells us we are working closely with the united states secret service. and at this time there is no evidence that our systems have been compromised or that there was any unauthorized access to the data in question. do you think this is a hoax? >> i think it's difficult to tell at this point. >> reporter: former justice department cyber crime prosecutor explains what the hackers would have had to do to get into romney's files through that office in tennessee. >> they got credentials to get into a computer here. they connected through the network to the pwc headquarters using the authorized credentials of somebody's access account, downloaded the document from the central computers or the document repository, locally, saved it to a flash drive and
absconded with it. >> reporter: he says to do that the thieves would have had to collaborate with a person in that tennessee office or trick them into giving the password for romney's files by using some kind of phishing scheme or something like that. he says very likely only a couple people in the entire realm of price waterhouse coopers would have that password. the secret service will not confirm there's been an actual breech. wolf. >> are there other things that extortionists or these hackers would normally do to indicate to these victims that they have this information? >> there are. mark says when hackers actually do something like this and they want some kind of a ransom, they will try to prove it by publicizing a user name and password that only someone on the inside of that firm would know. and he points out that in this case they've given no detail like that. so this may not be legitimate. >> could still be just a hoax? >> could be. >> but the secret service is investigating. >> they're checking it out of
course. >> thanks, brian. thanks very much. up next, the speech that made democrats go wild. >> all across america, auto back, manufacturing is rebounding. why? all energy development comes with some risk, but proven technologies allow natural gas producers to supply affordable, cleaner energy, while protecting our environment. across america, these technologies protect air - by monitoring air quality and reducing emissions... ...protect water - through conservation
live pictures coming into us right now from the university of iowa. iowa city, iowa. pretty soon the president of the united states, the vice president, dr. jill biden, the first lady, michelle obama, they will all be there at a campaign event. we're anxious to hear what they have to say on this, the day after the democratic convention. the day also when jobs numbers came out that were pretty disappointing. our coverage there will go on. standby for that. in the meantime, if there was a surprise in the democratic convention, it was the fiery arm-waving speech by the former michigan governor jennifer gran home. she ignited the attack on mitt romney, an all-out praise for president obama who saved america's auto industry in its
darkest hour. watch this. >> the entire auto industry and the lives of over one million hard working americans teetered on the edge of collapse. and with it the entire manufacturing sector of this country. and we looked everywhere for help. almost nobody had the guts to help us. not the banks. not the private investors. and not bain capital. but in 2009 the calvary arrived. and our new president, barack obama came in. he organized the rescue. he made the tough calls. and he saved the american auto industry. [ cheers and applause ] now, you know, you know, mitt
romney, he saw the same crisis. and you know what he said? let detroit go bankrupt. now sure, sure, mitt romney loves our lakes and our trees. he loves our cars so much they even have their own elevator. but the people who design and build and sell those cars, well, in romney's world the cars get the elevator and the workers get the shaft. [ cheers and applause ] you know what i'm say in'. mitt romney, he says, he says that his business experience qualifies him to be president. sure, he's made a lot of money. good for him. good for him. or maybe i should say good for
him. but how did he make that fortune? and at whose expense? you know too often he made it at the expense of middle class americans year after year. it was profit profit before peo. but president obama with the auto rescue, you know, he saved more than 1 million american jobs, but it wasn't just michigan! hey, hey, hey, it wasn't just michigan, my friends. in colorado the auto rescue saved more than 9,000 jobs. in virginia, virginia! more than 19,000 jobs. in north carolina 25,000 jobs. in wisconsin, wisconsin, 28,000 jobs. in pennsylvania, 34,000 jobs.
barack obama! when america was losing 750,000 jobs per month, who gave us a lift? barack obama! when american markets broke down, who jump started our engine? barack obama! and when america needed help, who got us rolling on the road to recovery. america, we need to rev up our engines in your car and on your ballot, the d is for drive forward, r is for reverse. in this election, we are driving forward, not back. let's reelect our great president, barack obama! >> wow, what a speech that was. i was on the floor listening to her. she really as you can see electrified the crowd. probably the rescue of the u.s.
auto industry the main reason the romney campaign right now spending no money advertising in michigan, i suspect they think michigan is a lost cause for them right now. other news we are following, including space shuttle and shuttle "endeavor" preparing to go to los angeles. why the last 12 miles of the trip are causing big controversy. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] introducing a reason...to look twice. introducing a stunning work of technology -- the entirely new lexus es. and the first-ever es hybrid. this is the pursuit of perfection. and the first-ever es hybrid. perform, compete and grow. and people are driving this change. that's the power of human resources. the society...
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begins. casey wian explains. >> reporter: here is the problem. in front of me is one of the hundreds of trees, what's left of hundreds of trees cut down to clear a path for space shuttle's final trip. it will begin the final leg of the final journey here at los angeles international airport. it will then take a 12 mile trip along city streets to the california science center. even before the trip starts, it's already causing a lot of controversy. the main reason, all of these trees you see here and hundreds of others throughout the city are being taken out to make room for the space shuttle. along the route, it will pass famous l.a. landmarks, like randy's donuts, pass over the 405 freeway. i can't go on the freeway, it is too big to fit on the overpasses. the first stop is in the city of
englewood where more than 130 trees already have been cut down. the mayor says it is a good deal for the city. >> one of the things you notice manchester boulevard is freshly resurfaced, happened two-and-a-half years ago. one of the reasons it needed resurfaced, these trees' roots buckled the pavement. we will get an opportunity to not only replace the trees, after five or ten years, undo the work that was done replace them two for one with trees in the forestry master plan. and also, we get to participate in history by having this come through the city. >> trees shouldn't be cut down unless necessary and for them to cut down the trees for a space ship, not necessary. >> reporter: it is not just trees that are being removed. they have to temporarily take out stop lights and they have to raise power lines, install brand new poles. as the shuttle makes a right turn on martin luther king junior boulevard, it will enter
the historic neighborhood. this street is lined with scores of beautiful trees. many of the local residents here are very upset that many of them will be cut down for the shuttle. what will the loss of some of the trees mean? >> not only does it strip us of our beauty, but also in terms of the health of the community, we start finding that the environmental protections are lost. trees enhance the economic value of our homes. >> reporter: we are approaching the final destination, california science center, which is paying to move it through the streets of los angeles. the science center says it will leave a trail of improvements, including two new trees planted for every one that's cut down. it says the ultimate befit will be here, a tourist attraction that literally has been out of this world.
now, even though the trees are being replaced two for one, one woman that lives in this neighborhood tells me this tree was over 100 years old. obviously residents aren't going to be able to get benefits from the new trees this try was providing, shade and beauty for decades to come. that's why they remain upset. >> very upset. casey, thank you. happening now. a weak jobs report could put a damper on any convention bounce the president may get. he will speak live this hour. romney camp is pouncing, hoping to undercut president obama's big play for two battle grounds. they're moms and bloggers and telling both parties what women voters want. i am wolf blitzer. i am wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room". -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com mitt romney describes the jobs report as the hangover
party for the convention. the unemployment rate actually fell slightly to 8.1%. but that's mostly because more than 350,000 people stopped looking for work. let's bring in our chief business correspondent ali velshi going through the numbers for us. what's going on? >> wolf, we don't know why people stopped looking for work, but 368,000 stopped looking for work. what it did, it brought down the overall pool of people that are considered in the work force. in america, you're considered in the work force if you're employed or actually looking for work. when that number was reduced, what it did is have the effect of lowering the unemployment rate because 8.1% is the new unemployment rate. that's why that's not good news because we're measuring a smaller pool. we now have the smallest pool of available workers since 1981.
the work force participation rate. now, there are reasons people leave the work force, wolf. people are retiring, people are returning to school, but in some cases, take the example of somebody that's unemployed in a place where their housing values are lower than they were when they paid for the house that they can't leave. that's part of the problem. so this unemployment report is not good. you need about 150,000 jobs, new jobs a month, just to keep pace with the added number of people to the work force. so the fact is you see that on the right of the screen. we added 96,000. lower than expected. there were estimates for 120 to 145,000, some thought higher. much lower than expected, much lower than needed. even the drop in the unemployment rate, wolf, does not actually signal good news. >> even worse news, the revised on what the previous two months say, actually 41,000 or so jobs were not created after all. earlier they thought they were.
>> often when we get, regularly when we get the jobs created number, remember, jobs created number and unemployment rate are two different surveys conducted by the government, often they revise the last two months. in this case, they did revise the last two months lower. 41,000 jobs lower. what that does, that changes what i call the obama administration's magic number. and that means for the next two job reports, there are two more left, last one comes out four days before the election, the obama administration would like to see 261,000 more jobs created in september and october because that will allow barack obama to make the claim that he has replaced every job lost under his watch. in the last thirty months, private sector added jobs for every month, that's the part the obama administration and white house is trumpeting, but that 96,000 is lower than expected and lower than needed. >> ali velshi, thanks very much.
we are standing by for an event in iowa. the president and vice president will be speaking there. presumably they'll mention the jobs report. president obama has been emphasizing the economy is still creating jobs, while mitt romney is focusing in on jobs lost. >> today we learned that after losing around 800,000 jobs a month when i took office, business once again added jobs for the 30th month in a row. a total of more than 4.6 million jobs. [ applause ] but that's not good enough. >> the president said by this time we would be at 5.4% unemployment. 5.4%. instead we're at about 8%. you know the difference that that makes in how many people would be working in america? 9 million people! >> of course, unemployment is a huge issue in this election, especially in key battleground states. the president made a play for two states in his convention speech last night.
let's bring in our chief national correspondent john king, he is reviewing the numbers for us. john, what do you see? >> wolf, that speech you mention, the president referred to michigan and ohio, making the case of auto bailout. you played last hour, jennifer granholm saying barack obama saved the auto industry. why is that important? it is important in the wake of job numbers. it is a tough sell for the president. go to michigan to look at unemployment in the course of the obama presidency. this is a tough sell for a president trying to convince the american people things are getting better. one of the ways you try to do this, play the cards you're dealt, one point unemployment was 10%. now that rate, it is not great news, but it is back at 8.1%. he can say from peak of the recession, things are getting a bit better. but it is a tough sell. look closely at one of the dynamics makes it hard for the president. you look at this report, 360,000, almost 370,000 leaving the labor market, this is what hurts the president, wolf.
heard him talk about more and more things are being made in america. as we get closer to the election, manufacturing lost 15,000 jobs. that's tough for the president, especially in the midwest battle grounds. won ohio and michigan last time. question is, can he hold them this time. what are the factors the president hopes help him? unemployment is down from beginning of obama presidency, so is ohio, 7.2%. from 8.6 when the president took office. some places like colorado it is up, north carolina up, nevada up, in the key midwestern battleground of ohio, it is down. why does it matter? wolf, back to 1960, last time ohio got it wrong. it voted for the winner in the presidential every election since. this is strong or leaning obama states, including michigan in that, if he can keep michigan and add ohio, look what it does. it puts the president at 255. you mention he is in iowa.
if a state like ohio bets for the president, safe bet iowa is as well. get ohio and iowa, look where it puts the president. 261. takes 270 to win. mitt romney could afford to win one state, he would have to run the board. even in tough economic times, the map is slightly in the president's favor if he can hold ohio. that will be a big test. keeping ohio would make it almost impossible, not impossible, but almost impossible for mitt romney to win the white house. >> i notice the romney campaign have a lot of cash to spend now that he is legally the official nominee of the party. they put ads up in eight states in battleground states. i didn't see wisconsin, certainly not michigan on that list. wisconsin, home state of paul ryan. michigan where romney was born. are they giving up on these states? >> they say no. we need to watch this closely. there was super pac spending in
michigan, 16 electoral votes. there have been gop pro-romney super pacs in michigan. that's stopped. they say they're not giving up. if they give up on michigan, it changes the dynamic. governor romney wanted to take that state, put it in play. if that's safely in the obama call, then wisconsin. you make a key point, over the next several weeks, watch where the money goes on ad spending. that tells you where they think they have a chance. >> follow the money. we will have more on the way the new jobs play on the campaign trail. kate bolduan has more top stories. >> a lot going on, getting back to washington, back in the saddle. other headlines we're watching. the u.s. plans to slap a terrorist label on a group based in pakistan. hakani has ties to the taliban, blamed for kidnappings and bombings whose targets include americans.
author and journalist that covered afghanistan says it is a significant move. listen here. >> and i think what we have today from the state department and from the obama administration is an acknowledgment that the hakanis are bad news and deserve to be taken out rather than reconciled with. >> the terrorist designation makes it easier for the united states to go after those that support the hakani network. in syria, a series of explosions rocked damascus as civil war fighting escalated in the capital and suburbs. this car bomb exploded near two ministries and a car bomb killed six in another part of the city. opposition reports 130 died in fighting across the country. one-third in the capital area. chicago bracing for the first teacher strike in a quarter century. 29,000 union teachers union
members threaten to walk off the job. ted rowlands explains what's going on here. >> reporter: as you might imagine, pay is one, another job security for veteran teachers when schools are consolidated or shut down. they want those teachers protected. another thing is chicago is extending the school day this year and want specifics laid out in a contract which the board has been reluctant to do. >> if the teachers walk off the job, chicago officials will open 144 sites across the city to give 400,000 students effected a safe place to go. and cnn confirmed jesse jackson junior is back home in washington after being treated for depression at mayo clinic. we have been following this closely. the illinois senator, jackson has been out since may. we asked his chief of staff if he will be back to work when the
house reconvenes, we heard we hope. we were speaking to him yesterday in charlotte. >> saw him in charlotte. obviously wish his son the best. >> it was fun, great to be part of the team, led by you. >> you did a good job. >> thanks, wolf. big joint campaign event soon in iowa. the president, vice president, the first lady, dr. jill biden all together. get ready. you're going to see it live here in "the situation room." ♪
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easy day written by a former navy s.e.a.l. barbara starr is digging into this for us and joins us. barbara, what's going on? >> admiral william mccraven, a man you know well from having interviewed him has taken the extraordinary step, extraordinary, going back to members of the s.e.a.l. team that killed osama bin laden and asking them one more time more than a year after it happened, did it go down the way you told me. and military sources are telling me that the s.e.a.l.s came back and said absolutely. here is the key question. it is raised in this book, no easy day, by one of the navy s.e.a.l.s there who says he is telling the real story, he says when they went up the stairs when he got into the room, bin laden was already on the floor essentially in his last moments of life. he had already been shot.
he was twitching and gasping. s.e.a.l.s say that's not how it went down. they entered, bin laden was standing up, they perceived him to be a threat, that's when they shot and killed him. mccraven went back to the s.e.a.l.s, including the first man in the room, he wanted to make sure because this book is now so controversial. admiral mccraven is a guy as you know, wolf, he wants his details straight. he went back to the s.e.a.l.s. they told the admiral it went down the way we told you it went down. >> admiral mccraven is an excellent special operations guy and knows what he is dealing with. i am sure he wants to get to the bottom of this 100%. all of us want to get to the bottom of this. barbara, thanks very much. it is a big story. >> fascinating how much controversy this book caused. understandably so with allegations in it. coming up, both presidential candidates are hitting the campaign trail today. we have been talking about that.
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chief white house correspondent jessica yellin is traveling with the president. what are you learning about when the president saw the jobs report and his immediate reaction? >> reporter: hi, wolf. i understand the president saw the jobs numbers thursday night, last night. i don't know if he saw them before or after his convention speech, but it is standard practice for the white house to receive the job numbers the night before the public sees them, so that the president's top economist can speak to the fed chair or treasury department in case they think it is a market moving event, and that is exactly what happened last night. i am told the president did review them. perhaps he knew before he addressed the american public. >> the president and vice president and their wives are in iowa, university of iowa. give us a preview. what do we expect, iowa being a key battleground state? >> reporter: this is a crowd that's been standing outside
here, wolf, for at least four or five hours. and it has been raining on and off. they have been standing here waiting for him. they're excited to see him. he will be here with the vice president as well. both of them speaking, the topic will be the economy. but they will be speaking to a very fired up crowd that's been listening to music and getting quite drenched. the president has been hitting this topic, this joke line that's been somewhat biting, trying to draw distinction with mitt romney on taxes, suggesting that the president if he is reelected will work for the middle class. if mitt romney is elected president, he will work for the wealthy, the millionaires, by trying just to cut taxes for millionaires, and the joke line is every time he shows up, there's a new thing taxes will do, help you lose weight, cure a cold. when he shows up here, we will see what new joke he says it will do.
wolf? >> jessica, we're going there live when we see the president and vice president. thanks very much. mitt romney is engaged in a long distance debate with the president over the weak jobs report. our national political correspondent jim acosta is with romney in new hampshire. jim? >> reporter: that's right, wolf. mitt romney will be here at this minor league baseball stadium in new hampshire in a little less than an hour from now where he will be giving a pitch to voters on the economy, and earlier in the day, he was served a major league softball in the form of the latest unemployment report. mitt romney tried to offer sobering words of what he called the hangover after president obama's convention party. yet another disappointing report on the nation's stagnant jobs market. >> it's been 43 straight months above 8%. it's a national tragedy. >> reporter: at a brief news conference, romney had a new line for where the president is taking the country.
>> the president's plan is four more years of the four last years. and i don't think the american people want four more years of the four last years. >> reporter: romney hit back at the president's charge he has yet to offer many specifics, promising his plan will create 12 million new jobs with tax cuts, fewer regulations, more domestic energy. listen to how he vowed to tackle the deficit. >> balancing our budget. president bush and president obama neither made conscious steps on that front that needed to be made. >> reporter: as for that jab from the president at romney's gap on whether the british were ready to host the olympics. >> you might not be ready for diplomacy with beijing if you can't visit the olympics without insulting our closest ally. >> reporter: the gop nominee punched back. >> i am pleased my olympic experience allows me to talk about the olympics in a straight talk manner and i think it would be appropriate if the president would talk to china in a straight talk manner.
>> reporter: this president can tell us it was someone else's fault. as soon as the president's speech was finished, romney campaign announced an aggressive ad blitz in eight states captured by mr. obama four years ago. >> i should tell you, i feel right at home because i'm in a barn. >> reporter: ann romney was in one of those states, virginia, urging them to turn over the reigns for the economy over to her husband. >> so let's talk some horse sense. barack obama said four years ago if i can't turn this economy around after three-and-a-half years, i'm looking at a one term presidency. [ cheers and applause ] well, it's our turn to turn the economy around and i know mitt can do it. >> reporter: you heard mitt romney talk about 43 straight
months of unemployment over 8%. paul ryan tweeted something to that effect earlier today. there's a danger for mitt romney when it comes to that 8% figure. you saw the unemployment rate today taken down to 8.1%. if it goes below 8%, it could take away the entire line of attack for mitt romney. as one romney adviser told me, they see an opening on the economy that they're going to be drilling into for the next 60 days. >> going to do their best on this issue of the economy. thanks, jim. it will be a powerful issue, this whole debate. >> oh, yeah. >> i am anxious for the three presidential debates in october. >> and as you know, we have one jobs report coming out right before people head to the polls, few days before they head to the polls. it is going to be interesting up to the end. something we're obviously watching. president obama and mitt romney, talking about this hour putting very different spins on the august jobs report. so who is right? our economic panel is weighing in next.
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happening now. the president, vice president and their wives all on the stump together. we'll go there live. undecided voters rate president obama's convention speech and whether his goals are clear or fuzzy. and what's the secret to winning the women's vote? mom pundits have some tips. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room." dramatic highs and lows in the race for the white house now in full swing with the conventions over. and both campaigns laser focused on november. the spotlight had barely cooled for president obama's big night when the latest unemployment report cast a shadow over the democrats' post convention glow. joining us, president of the center for american progress and steven moore from "the wall street journal." mira, i will play a clip. this is what mitt romney said reacting to the latest numbers,
then we'll discuss. >> this is a tough time for middle class in america. there's almost nothing the president has done in the last three and a half, four years that gives the american people confidence he knows what he is doing when it comes to jobs and the economy. >> i thought mitt romney's statement, governor romney's statement was fascinating. if you see the whole statement, he criticized the president. he again didn't layout any ideas on what he would do. >> were you satisfied in the president's acceptance speech in what he said he would do? there were goals he laid out, he didn't get into specifics how he would achieve the goals. >> he did talk about the hiring of teachers, that's a situation there, a great example of what's happening in washington. one of the problems we have in the economy is we lost 700
public sector jobs, a big drag. we should be hiring teachers. that was a specific idea the president laid out. and i wanted to clarify one thing on manufacturing. i think it is an important point. manufacturing is a critical, critical component of economic recovery. i don't think we should look at august necessarily as a stand-alone or some indication because that's a time where every year plants shut down. there's more of a blip than something we should look at long term. >> he has been criticized including editorial writers from "the wall street journal," talking mitt romney, that he hasn't laid out a lot of specifics how he would turn around the economy. >> this is a pretty lousy number, way below where we should be, and fits a pattern of this recovery, it has been the weakest recovery since the great depression. >> having said that, 96,000 jobs created new jobs is better than
losing 7 or 800,000 jobs. >> if we had the average growth rate we had, we would have -- >> do you accept this collapse of the economy, at the end of bush administration was the worst since the great depression? >> i think what reagan inherited was worse. >> 800,000 jobs less. we didn't see that in 1979. >> we had 14% inflation. you're probably too young to remember this. 14% inflation, 20% mortgage interest rates and the american economy was deindustrializing. the economy on a 12 year decline. we should be doing better. not just me saying this. >> romney didn't really get into specifics in his acceptance speech. >> i think that was a weakness. the american people want more. you read his plan, he talks
about how he wants to cut taxes, obama wants to raise them. he wants deregulation, obama wants more regulation. wants to cut spending, president obama wants more stimulus spending. there's a pretty big clash between what the two candidates are talking about. >> unfortunately i don't think mitt romney has done anything beyond what you have just said. we're talking he has given a sentence on what he would do. he is not providing new ideas or specifici specificity. >> he wants to overhaul the tax system, something we have been trying to do a long time. >> many of these major tax cuts, he didn't talk about. >> he wants to overhaul the tax system, not saying which deductions and loopholes he would eliminate. >> if he said we have to get rid of mortgage deduction, charitable deduction or this and that, you and the media would pick that apart. you have to do this in the context of a broad reform where you're lowering rates, getting
rid of as many deductions as you can. >> here is what the president said in his acceptance speech. i'll play this clip. >> i cut taxes for those that need it. middle class families, small businesses, i don't believe another round of tax breaks brings jobs to our shores or pay down our deficit. >> you believe another round of tax cuts for millionaires -- >> i think the fact we have the highest corporate tax rate in the world is a significant depressant to the economy. >> what about raising the highest income tax from 35 t 39. >> that's a horrible idea. by the way, we're not talking about cutting tax rates, we are talking about getting them back to where they have been. if we do that, if you raise those tax rates, people that get hit the hardest by those raising of taxes are small business owners. >> just to be clear about where mitt romney stands, he wants to lower the individual rate, 20% across the board, lowering the individual rate. >> through tax reform. >> yes, but lowering taxes for
the highest income americans, okay? not just the status quo. in 1993, we raised taxes, president clinton raised taxes on highest income americans and we had eight years of job growth, fantastic job growth and so this idea that tax cuts is the solution -- there's no evidence to that. >> the opposite policy of bill clinton. welfare reform has been the opposite. on spending. >> i'll take bill clinton's word from wednesday over yours. >> those policies are different. that's the problem. bill clinton isn't on the ticket. >> he said, welfare reform, medicare, budget, i agree with barack obama. his policies are the ones to move us forward. he is a fantastic validator.
romney and obama campaigns are going to great lengths to win over women voters. but like any voting block, there's great diversity within the group. >> cnn's lisa sylvester talked to two paying close attention to the conventions. what are you finding out? >> if you look at the speaker lineups of republican and democratic conventions, women play prominent roles.
both parties are coveting the women's vote. we talked to two bloggers, one liberal, one more conservative to find out how the two candidates measured up. >> come on, big guy. >> this arlington, virginia mom came to the united states when she was eight from the former soviet union. she says the early memories in the united states helped shape her current views. she believes passionately in her rights and freedoms as an american. she served in the u.s. military and writes a blog called the liberty zone. if politicians want to know a few things about the so-called women's vote, they can stop by and ask her. >> we care about the same issues as men care about. we don't want to be targeted as some kind of special interest group. we are not. we are people. we are americans. we are people trying to make a living and trying to support our families. that's no different from any man. >> she has followed and blogds
about the democratic and republican conventions. >> what would it take to get my vote, it would take for each of them to put forth a balanced budget that cuts spending, that reduces our debt, that reduces our deficit, and that puts our country on a secure economic footing. without that, it's just more talk. >> women matter. they may be what puts president obama over the top. 54% of women leaning towards the president. 42% to mitt romney. republicans hope to close the gender gap as november approaches. democrats to expand their lead. the convention speeches reflect that outreach. >> it's the moms who have always had to work harder to make everything right. >> at the end of the day, my most important title is still mom in chief.
>> in chevy chase, she writes a blog. she says the economy is front and center on the minds of middle class moms. there's another issue that surfaced for her, access to birth control. >> certain fights i thought women had fought and that we had certain rights that we didn't have to worry about any more. >> she says if there's one common thread among women bloggers, it is this. >> what i am seeing online, they truly want to know specifics from both sides. like it is all well and good to get up on the stage at both conventions and tell us that you have policies that are going to address unemployment, going to help our kids be better educated and that will help clean air and clean water, but what specifically are you going to do? >> they have different political views, but still looking for the same thing, more details from the men battling to lead the country for the next four years. and we saw republicans do a
major pitch to try to win over women in the republican national convention, but you know what, the numbers, they didn't change much. when it comes to women, president obama still maintaining his double digit lead over governor romney. kate? >> we will see what happens in the next two months. both parties clearly trying to appeal to women voters inventions in the last two weeks. lisa, thanks so much. take you back to live pictures from iowa city, iowa, where the president, vice president are about to start speaking. they're making their way to the stage. going to be going there next. stay with us. mid grade dark roast forest 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.
there he is, the vice president joe biden, running a little late, so is the president. they're finally at university of iowa in iowa city, got a rally going on on this, the day after the convention. let's listen in. >> jim faucet, another great mayor, great to be with you. thank you, jim, for your service wherever you are, for your service in the korean war. really appreciate it. wasn't the president incredible last night? [ applause ] i tell you what, doesn't it make you proud to be an american?
[ applause ] folks, the president and i have become friends. i know this guy. he has courage in his soul. he has compassion in his heart, and he has steel in his spine. want to tell you. i have been with him almost every day the last four years. there's not a day gone by i haven't been grateful that barack is our president. it's about his courage. he has the courage to make the tough calls on education, health care, medicare, ending the war in iraq, bringing end to the war in afghanistan. [ cheers and applause ] folks, this president is going to level the playing field again and bring the middle class back in the game for a change.
[ applause ] he knows how america was built. he knows it was built by the growing great middle class. and he knows and i know something our opponents either don't know or seem to have forgotten, america is not on the decline, america is on the rise! [ cheers and applause ] let me say again what i said last night to our opponents. gentlemen, it is never, never a good bet to bet against the american people. [ cheers and applause ] folks, you know folks on campus know the president better than just about anybody in any state. you know he only has one gear, forward, forward, forward! and ladies and gentlemen, it is
a couple of people i want to mention. first of all, your outstanding congressman is here. your mayor matt hayek is here. and somebody who's been with me since we started our first road trip here in iowa back in 2007, your attorney general, tom miller's, in the house. and all of you are here. it is wonderful to be here. and some of you guys know i've just come from charlotte, north carolina. where we had an outstanding convention. folks down there could not have been more welcoming. michelle, what can i say, she was amazing.
president clinton made the case the way only he can. somebody sent around a tweet saying, you need to appoint him secretary of explaining stuff. thought that was a pretty good idea. and then joe biden was all fired up. he was ready to go. then last night i did my best to lay out the stakes of this election which could not be higher. you've seen both sides made their argument. you know now what a fundamental choice we have ahead of us. i believe this is the clearest choice we've had in my lifetime. it's not just a choice between two candidates. it's not just a choice between two parties.
it's a choice between two fundamentally different visions of our future. where america goes. ours is a fight to build that basic bargain again that created the largest middle class and the strongest economy the world has ever known. the basic bargain that says if you work hard it will pay off. that responsibility will be rewarded. that everybody gets a fair shot. and everybody plays by the same set of rules. from main street to washington, d.c. and restoring that basic bargain is why i got in the public service in the first place. i started my career working in the shadows of steel mills. and for the last decade, we've seen too many families here in iowa be an all across the
country struggling with costs that keep rising even when paychecks don't. people racking up more debt, using credit cards, home equity loans. just to make the mortgage or pay tuition or put gas in the car or put forward on the table. and all that collapsed in the great recession. where millions of innocent americans lost their jobs and their homes and their live savings and we have been fighting to recover ever since from that devastation. now, our friends at the republican convention, they liked to talk about everything they think is wrong with america. but they didn't have much to say about what they'd do to make it right. they want your vote. they want your vote but they don't want you to know their plan because they know you wouldn't buy it. because we tried it.
all they've got to offer is the same prescription they've been offering for 30 years. tax cuts. tax cuts. tax cuts when times are bad. tax cuts when types are bad. tax cuts to help you lose a few pounds. tax cuts to improve your love life. whatever the issue, they've got one answer. >> we're going to continue to monitor the president at iowa, university of iowa. we'll have much more. we're watching what's going on. stay with us. ere've been some good days. and some difficult ones. but, through it all, we've persevered, supporting some of the biggest ideas in modern history. so why should our anniversary matter to you? because for 200 years, we've been helping ideas move
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the world's fastest robot, if you're wondering what that was, has broke en its own speed record. in a recent test, the robot hit 23.8 miles an hour. that's 10 miles an hour faster than its previous personal best. if robots can have personal bests of anything. also went faster than olympic phenom usain bolt. cheetah is part of the effort to build the next generation of military robot but they also pointed out it's got nothing on a real cheetah which can clock up to 60 miles an hour. >> wow, that's amazing. >> can you run that fast on a treadmill? >> no. i can drive in the car. >> yes, exactly. >> that's it for us. remember, you can always follow what's going on in "the situation