tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN October 19, 2012 2:00am-3:00am EDT
hmm? still don't quite get it. i don't know. it's a mystery why he didn't splash perfectly in the water and amaze his friends with his >> a stunning number about abortion and how crucial it is in the race for the white house, but does the poll add up. another psych rhett recording from mitt romney. what he told business leaders about their employees and an alleged islamic extremist charged with plotting to blow up mott manhattan building came to the united states on a student visa. we'll have an investigation about how easy it is to get one of those. let's go ""outfront."" good evening, everyone. i'm erin burnett.
"outfront" tonight, a shocking new poll. women in the swing states in this country rank abortion as their number one issue in this election. gallup asked female voters an open-ended question. literally this, name the most important issue in 2012, and tops the list was abortion with 39% of the women responding. 19% said jobs and then you can see health care, economy and equal rights. during the biggest economic crisis of this generation, in fact of the past few general ragss, the biggest issue to 39% is abortion. so far this year we've seen almost every poll rate the economy and jobs as the top concern for all voters. we said let's look at recent polls and what they said. we found this. pugh gave women a list of issues and asked which are important to your vote. 54% was abortion. granted, that's not as high as the 89% that said the economy or
three-quarters who said education, but it's still more than half. there's this from cbs news. 38% of women said they will not vote for a candidate who disagrees with them on abortion. that's a similar number to the 39% who say abortion is their top issue. here's the thing. we don't know if these women are pro-choice, all in and support president obama, who are anti-abortion and support governor romney. it's clearly a big issue for a whole lot of women, and women matter. in 2008 women made up 53% of the electorate, 56% of those women voted for the president, 43% for john mccain. the president is having a harder time courting women this time around after the first debate, romney was running dead even with the president among women voters. he had had an 18-point deficit the prior month. this morning ann romney tried to shore up support for women during an appearance on "the view," and she also talked about abortion. >> i am pro-life. i'm happy to say that.
mitt has always been a pro-life person. he governed when he ran as a pro-choice. >> that may not have helped her husband, because frankly, it's a little confusing. as has been mitt romney's position on abortion during the year. here it is in 1994 running again ted kennedy for the u.s. senate seat in massachusetts. >> i believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. i have since the time that my mom took that position when she ran in 1970 as a u.s. senate candidate. >> now fast forward to last year. here's mitt romney trying to capture the gop presidential nomination. >> what i'd like to see happen would be for the supreme court to say, look, we're going to overturn row v. wade and return to the states the authority to design whether they want abortion on or not state by state. that's how it was before roev. wade. i'm pro-life. >> less than two weeks ago he spoke to the editorial board of "the des moines register" and he
seemed more unclear on the issue. he said there's no legislation with regards to abortion that i'm familiar with that would become part of my agenda. so, if mitt does win and he does set an agenda, what will it include with regards to abortion? this literally could turn the entire election. barbara comstock is a romney campaign senior adviser. good to see you again. i appreciate you taking the time. you, obviously, have just heard mitt romney, three different points of view here on abortion. which mitt romney is the one that's running for the white house? >> listen, in the past two debates and the focus groups that you've watched in the first presidential debate and one just this week that mitt romney is very much focused on the economy, and that's why the gap in the women's vote has closed and getting much closer. actually, the men's vote is governor romney's leading in double digits and his focus on
the economy because that's the number one issue. women have been affected by unemployment. over half a million women have lost their jobs. we're at the lowest rate of unemployment. we know there are good people on both sides on the social issues that support us, and so those are difficult issues but they're good people of good faith on both sides. >> can you answer my question. which mitt romney will show up? we have on the gallup poll the number one issue for abortion, 38% won't vote for a candidate that disagrees with them on abortion. what would president romney do? >> he's stated he's a pro-life, but as you pointed out, that poll did not say which side women are on. oftentimes when there are polls it shows that it kind of cancels out somewhat the people who are single-issue voters. we know obviously people feel strongly on both sides of that issue. a lot of that -- the supreme court decides a lot of these
decisions, and what we're dealing with and what congress deals with and what stalts deal with are some of the economic issues on funding. those are things where we want to have funds, limited funds go to things like science and math education, things that we support. getting jobs for women. having jobs for our kids when they come out of college, which they don't have now. those are the issues that women are concerned about. >> they are concerned about those, but they're concerned about this. i'm trying to get a hard answer, because i know whether you're pro-choice or pro-life, you care about this answer. you talked about the supreme court. there's going to be vacancies on the supreme court in the next administration. if it's a president romney, will he put forth a supreme court justice who would uphold roe vs. wade and there be exceptions for abortions or the republican platform that allow for none, something 75% of american voters disagree with? >> having worked on supreme
court nominations and justice department previously, i can tell you republicans don't put a litmus test on judges. we want someone to interpret the law, not make it. that's the only test that we ask for. so we don't know what a supreme court justice is going to do. we obviously want a supreme court justice that won't be making new law, which is often the case with more liberal justices. you can see from the supreme court case on the health care bill recently, we never can predict what the supreme court will do. having worked on those, i will not -- and knowing supreme court justices, i will not predict what they're going to do, and i don't think any democrat or republican can. i think maybe perhaps you can predict democrat nominees a little better than republicans. you know, the issues are going to -- are going to drive the economy and drive women are these economic issues. you've seen that in the focus groups you've done. you've seen the polls, and that is why the polls are closing. they understand mitt romney, who had a cabinet that was half
women, wants to put women in senior positions, wants them to have a good working situation. >> he does? >> that's his record -- >> he does have a -- he did a record of having women in hi administration, which brings me to the debate the other night. the binders full of women. obviously, mitt romney was saying to say there's binders full of resumes because they're qualified people. i have to say at the least it came out awkward. >> we don't have to order up binders to find qualified, talented driven young women who can learn and excel. >> when governor romney was asked a direct question in the debate about equal pay for women, he started out by talking about binders. binders. >> they're trying to make hay with this. if they succeed, this could cost governor romney the election. are you worried about their making inroads on this? >> not at all.
you should have shown juror focus group, because i was watching it with the lieutenant governor who served with mitt romney. that answer when he put women in senior positions and how he sought them out, how he had a family friendly work environment polled very high in your own focus group. i would point out that it's interesting to see the president and vice president talk like they are, because it was anita dunn, the communications director of the obama white house who said this white house was a hostile workplace, and it met all the legal requirements of a hostile workplace. you had christina romer who said she felt like a piece of meat. i hope you would show those clips instead of them ignoring the reality of their own administration and how they treat the women that worked for them. i think romney have been worked for him and know so many women, i hope you would show that ad up right now. women, democrats and republicans, who he had in senior positions, they talk about how great he was to work
with. he put a woman in charge of his vice presidential vetting things, something democrats give to an old-gray-haired time. >> thank you very much. still to come, getting bossy, there is a new audiotape out tonight that we have obtained of mitt romney telling business owners that they have to go out and tell their employees who to vote for. did that cross a line? plus, president obama's ever-shifting portrayal of al qaeda and the attack in libya. does how he portray the terrorist group and his record add up? whoops, someone hits the wrong button and embarrasses google. well, if it isn't mr. margin. mr. margin? don't be modest, bob. you found a better way to pack a bowling ball. that was ups. and who called ups? you did, bob. i just asked a question. it takes a long time to pack a bowling ball. the last guy pitched more ball packers. but you... you consulted ups. you found a better way.
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our second story, should your boss influence your vote? that's the question after this audiotape of mitt romney surfaced. he's speaking to a group of business owners in the month of june. >> i hope you make it very clear to your employees what you believe is in the best interest of your enterprise and therefore their job and their future in the upcoming elections. and whether you agree with me or you agree with president obama or whatever your political view i hope, i hope you pass those
along to your employees. nothing illegal about you talking to your employees about what you believe is best for the business. let me start with you. he made it clear you could agree with me or the president, but pass it along. it wasn't tell them to vote for me, but he's the one doing the recording. that's the hope. is this fair and square? >> i think it is, because employees and employers have free speech rights. it's fair to express that view. it's also fair enough if you're an employee to tune out that view, which i think is really important particularly for someone like me who worked for plenty of people of different political views. i hear about them all the time, and i'd say i'm going to tune that out. i had a secret ballot and i can vote however i want. that's key. again, yeah, you have every right to talk to your employers about what you think is best for the enterprise, mitt romney, president obama or gary johnson. >> i remember at a company i worked for once saying, hey, donate to our pac and that gives to this person. they're sort of trying to
influence you, john. paul says there's nothing wrong with this. you are not loving it? >> i'm not loving it for the common sense reason. should your boss help determine your vote? we have free speech rights, voter intimidation and coercion are strict standards. the question is when that wall gets broken down, when it's no longer a matter of secret ballot, when entrepreneurs are -- we have three cases we know of includes the koch brothers and two other companies, saying, you have a right to vote for who you want. in one case, this is david siegel of westgates resorts in florida. he wrote his employees this. he said the economy doesn't currently pose a threat to your job. what does threaten your job, however, is another four years of the same presidential administration. i encourage you to vote for
whomever you you think will sever your interests the best. that's playing fast and loose, maybe consistent with the letter of the law but not the spirit. saying could be threatened by a second obama administration term. that doesn't pass it for more americans. >> how is this different from what unions do? >> it's not different at all. unions are organizations, voluntary associations. sometimes, sometimes they're not and you have a closed shop. they can express what their broad view is of how their craft or industry is going to be impacted. you sure as heck -- >> union leaders take to television all the time saying what they think is best. >> what john described that letter, i think that's pretty obnoxious and will lead to a backlash from employees. employees in a tight labor markets who have other places to go, they have the right to say stuff it, and they should. >> let me talk about the union point. i'm not a fan to the union involvement in campaigns where
they take money and funnel a portion of the paycheck to political contributions. there's a fundamental difference. unions can't fire people. unions can't threaten to fire people directly for not saying what they say politically. unions make endorsements over whelmingly democrat. union members don't vote the way their unions endorse. it's a two-thirds split. reagan democrats were classic. that's an important distinction it seems to me. >> who knows who anyone votes for? you can go in and your boss could say vote and they don't know. >> if there was a situation where someone said i'm going to fire you because of how you vote, that's absolutely unacceptable. >> that would be voter intimidation and against the law. >> absolutely. mitt romney said it could be and there are a lot of small business people out there who strongly support president obama. look, you have the right to express your views, and i hope you do that. >> this is a time of enormous
economic insecurity. that letter in particular and the other letters prey upon that insecurity. the economy is okay, but if president obama is re-elected, you need to worry about your job. that preys upon that insecurity. >> that was not mitt romney but a ceo of a company. >> a florida-based company in a state where every vote matters. >> i think david siegel's letter was a big mistake. >> let us know what you think about that one and the whole union issue. we want your thoughts. take to twitter and facebook. a man in the united states on a student visa charged with plotting to blow up a new york building. an act where men, women and children would have been killed. was it too easy to get into the country? an accidental move by google that caused a massive shockwave today. ahhhh drill sound chirping electric shaver shaking remote tapping sound shaking drill chirping tapping
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our third story "outfront," the alleged extremist islamic student wo tried to blow up the federal reserve bank in new york. his foiled plot is raising questions about america's student visa process. the 21-year-old bangladeshy who camed to united states on a legitimate student visa. then he transferred very quickly to the asa institute of business and computer technology in
new york city. that move did not trigger a red flag, and that, according to elected officials, is a problem. >> but we do know that the student visa program in the hands of a few wrong-doers, so-called, sham universities around the country, are serving as a back door for foreign nationals to enter our country improperly. >> "outfront" tonight is susan candiotti. you find out how easy it might have been for this young man to get a student visa? >> i talked to another student that attended that same university in missouri, and this is a student from bangladesh. he told me that the process he thought took a really long time. i said how long? he said a month and a half. i don't think that's that long. he said he was asked three questions and three questions only in an interview in bangladesh. the three questions were, number one, how did you learn about the
school? okay. easy enough for him to answer. he read about it on the enter the net and figured he could afford it. number two, he was asked what do your parents do for a living, and the third question is your grades aren't particularly good. he admitted to me they weren't. why do you want to go it to school in the united states? and the student told me that he told the interviewer, i thought maybe if i worked really hard i could do better in the united states. >> and that was the simplicity with which he answered those simple questions, and then that was it? >> that along with an application that his father took care of, so he didn't know much about it. a written application. >> that's incredible. what else have you found out about the family of the bangladeshi student that tried to blow up the fed? >> the family was tracked down in bangladesh, and they said we don't buy what the federal prosecutors are saying about our son. they maintain that he was a very studious, religious, and only wanted to go to the united states to study computer technology, and that's what he was doing.
in fact, they suggested the possibility that someone might be out to get him and set him up. >> that's their version of it. in terms of visas, it's hard to say how these -- how this goes from student to student, college to college or country to country, right? >> that's correct. for example, you heard congressman schumer say that there are sham universities out there. no one is suggesting in this case that the university in missouri is anything of that kind, but he is calling for an investigation into the process to see whether it could be improved. >> susan candiotti, thank you very much. sounds like something we need especially given the fact we want so many more foreign students in the country. still "outfront," president obama's evolving language about al qaeda on the campaign, what he said and stopped saying and people said he stopped saying it. the romney campaign pulling staff out of a key state. why are they doing it, and could it backfire?
front lines. jerry sandusky's lawyers are appealing his conviction. according to court documents his lawyers claim they didn't have enough time to prepare for trial, and they add that the statute of limitations had expired on some of the charges. sandusky was sentenced to no less than 30 years and no more than 60 in prison after being convicted of sexually abusing ten boys over a 15-year period. sources say that want man who allegedly organized the shooting of a pakistani teen was captured in 2009 but release due to a lack of evidence. malala yousufzai was shot because she spoke about girls a rights to education. malala is currently in stable condition in a british hospital. she was flown there by the united arab emirates. the sheik says the attempt on her life was an attack on her and every girl's right to a future.
her assailants must be brought to justice. the cdc and the fda have confirmed the presence of fungus in unopened vials in a steroid produced by the new england compounding center. it further links the center to the recent outbreak of fungal meningitis. the cdc says there are 257 cases linked to contaminated steroid injections. they're a confirmed case in new york, and that brings the total number of states affected to 16, and 20 people have died. google had an odd day today, so it has to come out with its quarterly numbers and came out with them before they were supposed to. everybody got to see their disappointing numbers three and a half hours early, and they came in pretty much below everybody we spoke to, what they were expecting. that sent google shares plunging 8%. that's a lot in a very short amount of time. obviously, putting that out early while the market was open was a mistake. as a result, which is what was
posted on the s.e.c.'s website. you can see it says pending larry quote, a reference to the ceo larry page who has to make a comment. google claimed the company responsible for filing the document said they filed it without authorization. 441 days since the u.s. loth its top credit rating. there are more concerns tonight about the fiscal cliff at the end of the year along with the tax hikes that go into effect in january. jp morgan economist said cliff-related fiscal issues could take a full percentage point away from economic growth next year. now our fourth story "outfront." we have breaking political news. we're reporting that mitt romney's staff is starting to pull out of the state of north carolina. you say why? because they're failing? apparently the campaign is so confident of a win there, they're shifting resources to battleground ohio instead. the latest polls appear to back
them up on that, showing romney in the lead before the first game-changing debate. the numbers got better since then. here's the current cnn electoral map. this assumes that nine states are toss-ups, one is the state of north carolina. if mitt romney wins there, he's 15 electoral votes closer to election. if you add in florida, colorado and virginia, he's still not at 270, which is the number required to win. now, if he can pick up ohio in addition to those, he'll be the next president and his team thinks the move out of north carolina did help him do that to ohio. obama and the dnc are determined to stop him. brad, what's your take on this? are they too confident? >> look, i don't think it's real, erin. it's one of the most transparent head fakes i've ever seen. remember what happened today in north carolina. early voting started in north carolina, which we have a huge advantage in, which
propelled the president to victory in 2008. so the day that we're turning democrats out to the polls, the republicans say, race is over. no need for anyone to vote. it's over. we're leaving. it's just not true. the race there is close. if you eliminate one outlier poll that showed romney up by nine points, the race is within the margin of error. we have a great ground game there, and we had great turnout on our side for early vote today. >> all right. let me ask you this, though. the president did carry north carolina in 2008. it was a razor-thin margin. 14,000 votes over john mccain, but he was the first democrat to win the state of north carolina in 32 years. that was a significant achievement. there's no question about that. so you really think now that the polls at the romney campaign are pointing to are wrong. do you think they're wrong, they're being stupid, or i mean what's the reason they would do this or do they think they're losing to you and that's why they're pulling out? >> not at all. the race is close.
i think they have a small advantage right now in the most recent polls, most of which have been republican-leaning polls. no, i think this is a head fake. they pretend they're leaving north carolina, and they're sending one person out of state. they're trying to depress our vote during the early vote period. they're trying to get new stories placed that the race is over. we've registered over 100,000 new voters in north carolina this year alone, and the romney campaign is very concerned they can't match us in the early vote. we've seen how the early vote is going in ohio and iowa and wisconsin where we're way ahead in votes that already been cast. i think they're trying to depress the vote and convince the voters it's over, no reason to vote. the game is over. >> let me ask you this. the president has vastly outspent governor romney in north carolina, 21.5 million to 15.9.
according to the president's website, 53 campaign offices in the state and mitt romney has 10. given all of that, are you disappointed it's only as close -- even by your own admission, it's razor-thin. you've put a lot more money and effort for that. >> on the other side of the ledger, the super-pacs and outside groups spending money on romney behalf spent more in north carolina than groups on our point. i don't think our advantage is nearly as strong as the campaign-to-campaign spending would indicate. we won this state by 14,000 votes in 2008. it will be very, very close. a ground game, and we have more offices and volunteers. it can make up 3 to 5 points. if we're within a few points on election day, we can pull it out in north carolina. i predict that we will. look, we got a bus tour going on right there. our party chair was there. the first lady was there on monday.
if they are pulling out, we certainly aren't. we intend to win north carolina. >> thank you very much, brad. we appreciate your time. now, al qaeda on the run, or maybe not. it depends on the day and it depends on whom you ask. president obama has consistently said al qaeda is on the run until recently. as we reported last night, the president dropped his reference to al qaeda in his campaign speech yesterday. today, though, it suddenly reappeared. here he is. >> i said that we'd end the war in afghanistan, and we are. i said that we'd refocus on the people who actually attacked us on 9/11, and today's al qaeda is on its heels and osama bin laden is dead. i said we'd focus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and we have and bin laden is dead. i said we'd refocus on the terrorist who actually attacked us on 9/11, and we have.
and today a new tower rises above the new york skyline, and al qaeda's on the path to defeat and osama bin laden is dead. >> we broadcast this show from the border of mali this summer where we saw how al qaeda-linked militants are in control of part of northern africa and gaining strength. the very night we were there the president at a fund-raiser said al qaeda was on the run. peter brooks, former deputy secretary of defense, and nick burns former u.s. ambassador to nato. peter, i'll start with you. >> okay. one week's time the president has dropped a reference to al qaeda. he left it out twice. we only played one sound bite. now he's put it back in. >> well, i mean, this is related to libya, erin. you know, we're all confused about what happened there other than the fact that four members are dead. they're breaking news every day, and i think the president is concerned about talking about
defeating al qaeda and seeing what's going on, what happened in libya, what's going in north africa, that you talked abou he talks about afghanistan and going after the peop tha attacked us there. that al qaeda core, which is in afghanistan and pakistan. the fact of the matter is that the real problem in afghanistan is the taliban. so the message is very, very mumbled and mixed, and i increasingly get confused what he's telling us. >> the reference is in the speech consistently and then they took it out. it got noticed not just by us but by others i'm sure. do you think the administration felt pressure to put it back in today? >> you know, i think the president is being consistent here, erin. the president has been relentless, this administration, in going after al qaeda, osama bin laden's al qaeda. the united states has made major
inroads in the bush and obama administration in weakening al qaeda on the afghanistan/pakistan border, which is where al qaeda was when they attacked us on september 11th, 2001. it's true, of course, there are al qaeda affiliates or offshoot groups in places like somalia and yemen and mali in west africa. the battle against those groups certainly continues, but that doesn't diminish the considerable success president obama has had in reducing the main threat to the united states. >> let's follow-up on that point. the white house spokesman said our assessment that we have decimated al qaeda leadership has not changed. osama bin laden is dead. it to many americans osama bin laden equaled al qaeda. those two things were the same. has the administration underestimated the new al qaeda? let's call it that.
all these people linked or affiliated or inspired by? >> they have made great gains against the core, the group that attacked us on 9/11. osama bin laden is dead, no goubt it. we have other offshoots and affiliates and one probably attacked us on the 11th anniversary of 9/11 in libya. this libya thing is going on and on, and we don't get the answers we need. so i'm really confused how the president is actually using this, but, you know, we have to be -- we have to focus on this -- the continuing proliferation of al qaeda and the threat that is it brings to the united states and our interests overseas. >> nick, let me ask you. since osama bin laden was killed the administration said al qaeda is on the run. it started immediately thereafter when leon panetta was talking. do you think officials feared that discloses the fact that al qaeda-linked groups were responsible in their estimation and they knew this early on within 24 hours for the attack
in benghazi, any didn't want to talk about that because they feared it the hurt their credibility on the broader claim that al qaeda is dead and on the run? >> i don't think that charge, erin, is credible. i served in both republicans and democrat administrations including george w. bush administration. what happens in national security crises like this, let's take the attack on benghazi, you can't really trust the first reports that come in, but it did appear to a lot of people that the initial demonstration in benghazi might have been inspired that video from california. it then became more clear sometime later that was not the case, and that this probably was a terrorist attack. i find credible and believable based on my own experience in government that sometimes reports change, and your understanding of a complex matter does change over time. i think this attack on the president is politically inspired. i don't think it has much merit at all. >> a final word to you though, a
lot of these points about who was responsible, at least the fact al qaeda-linked groups were was known within 24 hours by the intelligence community. we didn't know about it, but they knew. >> i mean, that's what we understand today, and yet, five days afterwards the u.n. ambassador was telling us it was inspired by a video and demonstrations in cairo. congress has to get on top of this and give us some answers here. i think the american people are confused about the terrible tragedy that inspired in benghazi almost six months ago. >> thank you. benjamin netanyahu's power and influence over who will win in a few weeks in this presidential election. it could affect the vote in the most -- could be the most important start of all, florida. it has been called geeks on the water. it's a big idea. ♪
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moral right to place a red light before israel. i think iran must understand that there is a red line so they stop advancing on their program to produce atomic bombs. >> it's time to stop iran and stand with israel with no apologies. >> and there's a very clear reason why that ad was airing in the state of florida. fareed is with me, the man who knows the most about the israel/iran situation and what the u.s. is going to do about it. jewish voters in florida is 4% of the electorate. some people say it's not much, and i say the difference that separated obama and campaign in 2008 was smaller than that. it could turn florida and the entire election. how much can an ad like, netanyahu's words, sway that vote. >> i think that in general you're talking about such small numbers this may not apply, but
in general jews in america vote more along lines that have to do with the economic policy, with issues like religion where they are more secular than they were religious. jewish voters in florida, 4% of the electorate. some people say, that's not very much. >> even in this situation given the recent speech that prime minister netanyahu gave, at least the prime minister made the argument israel's very existence is called into question. >> how can they expect the united states to draw a line they are not willing to draw? >> the prime minister has used an ad for mitt romney saying he will be tougher on iran. the president and governor have sounded very similar on iran. here they are. >> i understand and share prime minister netanyahu's insistence that iran should not obtain a nuclear weapon.
it would threaten us, israel and the world. >> my red line is iran may not have a nuclear weapon. they are unacceptable to the united states of america. >> president obama said the same thing. it is unacceptable for iran to have a nuclear weapon. >> i laid out what i would do to keep iran from reaching that red line. >> are their red lines the same or would a president romney be more likely to use military action than has president obama? >> interesting, in his foreign policy speech, romney walked back in previous incarnations. he said iran can't get a nuclear weapon capability. now, he says a nuclear weapon, which is pretty much what president obama says. it is a small distinction. romney has softened a bit on iran. there is very little difference between the two of them. there is one issue in which the defense minister of israel brought it up, romney may have
more trouble acting, because a new president is always reluctant to engage in a major military adventure. romney will have to get confirmed as secretary of state, secretary of defense, deputy secretary. is he going to initiate a military strike before all that is in place? more likely than not, if the israelis are being smart about it, they realize that a new romney administration will be less likely to act against iran. >> now, in terms of sanctions, whether they are working on iran and obviously, all sorts of work has been done on this, the eu is calling for tighter sanctions. how much of an effect are sanctions having on energy? >> it is having a huge impact on iran. the currency is down 50%. the economy is in shambles. you can see it in 100 different ways. iran has a lot of oil. five years ago, the second largest exporter out of opec. it is still going to have money. >> there are still people buying
it. >> you can't change that. the chinese, indians, africans, everybody needs oil. >> fareed, thank you. good to see you. >> please watch the special elections for powering america. a boat you have on the coast of california, that is full of entrepreneurs circumventing american laws. [ male announcer ] this is joe woods' first day of work. and his new boss told him two things -- cook what you love, and save your money.
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and now out front, a big idea. bring smart people from around the world to silicon valley without the red tape of american laws. who needs those, you know. so you do it on a boat. dan simon has the story. >> got a cruise ship for sale. this man would like to buy one. he is not looking for the world's most expensive yacht. he is looking for office space. >> we have clients around the world that are kind of knocking on our doors to come here. >> those clients, entrepreneurs from all over the world. dario mutabaja is president of a start-up company called blue seas. >> how did you come up with blue seas?
>> blue represents water and seed represents growth. >> the concept is to park a cruise ship in international waters. it would allow foreign workers to live and work near silicon valley. >> our goal is to help high-tech entrepreneurs to access silicon valley ecosystem to move their operations to silicon valley without having to deal with the very difficult problems associated with visas. >> reporter: mutabja, an immigrant himself calls blue seed an entrepreneurial solution to the problem foreign entrepreneurs have in securing visas to work in the u.s. an issue that has been tangled up in the political impasse over comprehensive immigration reform. >> by not having a good system for these smart people, i think the u.s. economy is kind of
undermines. >> reporter: blue seed is a clever way to work around the status quo. these are some of the mock-ups. it would be home to 1,000 workers or 200 to 300 start-ups. residents would be fairing ashore with tourist or temporary visas. >> our goal is to flag them into the system legally. >> being close to silicon valley, they would be able to meet with investigators or potential partners. joseph dunn is a tech entrepreneur who says the commute from boat to land would be a minor hassle. >> to go on a helicopter, that would be cool. >> reporter: yet a helicopter is in the plan too. it sounds like a far-fetched idea but blue seed has at least one big-time backer, billionaire, peter teal, facebook's first big investor. they would make their money by charging tennants rent, anywhere from $1200 for a shared cabin to $3,000 for aop