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tv   Americas Newsroom  FOX News  March 1, 2012 9:00am-11:00am EST

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>> steve: thank you for joining us. we'll see you back here tomorrow, same time, same channel bill: guys, thanks for that. now we move to the midwest where they're bracing for another wave of violent storms possibly today. only a day after deadly tornados claimed the lives of 12 people from tennessee to the state of illinois and that damage stretching for miles. one of the hardest hit areas is harrisburg, illinois. six dead. look at these images. 170 mile-an-hours winds ripping homes to shreds. that degree is scattered for miles. they're picking up pieces of their homes and lives and getting ready for more. martha: beginning of march it is unbelievable. good morning, i'm martha maccallum. according to the national weather service at least 16 tornados were spotted over this several state area. we have brand new video
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showing us the aftermath in harrisburg, illinois. it is devastating to put a word on it. look at these people's homes. listen to them reliving what this was like. >> the roof lifted off and the walls started to separate from the house. we thought that was end of it right there. >> we dug for two hours at least before they found her body. her home was over there and she was here. >> she was the best mother in the world. she was a special lady. >> my ears were popping. crashing everything. you could see everything. just a debris field. i can't explain it really. it is just horrendous. everything was in the air. bill: that small scene, that same scene playing out in some small towns all across the area. mike tobin is live in harrisburg with a scene to show us this morning. mike, good morning. >> reporter: well, bill you
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mentioned the 170 mile-an-hour winds. this is what 170 mile-an-hour winds do. two days ago this pile of destruction was a strip mall. look at this truck over here. this was a delivery trucked tipped up on its end. the payload section ripped open like a sardine can. it is not in the parking lot. that is the parking lot. the winds picked up a couple days was the front of that strip mall. this isn't flimsy construction. this is wooden frame but stone facade you seen as you drive around in the midwest. look off in the distance. you see some power crews out in that direction, restoring power. you see some of the homes. you see some of the homes that are intact. my read on that is as tornados come through and they bounce along this is where the tornado cut its path of destruction. off there in the distance where the tornado bounced back up and stopped destroying the homes. bill. bill: we've seen the homes ripped off their foundation.
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was there much warning in the area before this rolled through? >> well the problem is a warning came in the middle of the night while everyone is sleeping. those sirens are loud enough to let people on the street know to take cover. they're not really loud enough to get people out of their bed. and that is why you had a lot of people who were hurt, who were sleeping in their homes in the middle of the night. the storm came through and there was nothing they could do about it. bill: that is a critical point. now the concern about today. we hear forecasters have another warning in that area, the same area? >> reporter: the forecasters have a warning in this area. you see there are blue skies overhead. this will provide a window for some of the poor people to pick through the belongings of their destroyed homes. it is only a window. another storm system is moving through. the storm prediction center out of oklahoma says it is the kind of storm system that can generate more tornadoes. this part of the country is
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right in the bull's-eye. bill: this is the first day of march. this was leap day when this storm hit, ironic enough. mike tobin, thank you. we'll check in with you through the the morning. harrisburg, illinois, southern part of the state. martha? martha: that same storm system spawned deadly storms in tennessee as well. at least three people lost their lives. seven homes were destroyed in cumberland county. dozens were damaged. emergency crews are working through the night to help people trapped inside those homes this hour. listen to what the folks described about what they heard. >> just like a train. like they say it sounds like. sounded like thunder. >> very unexpected. we didn't expect to it to happen. >> last few years tornado alley moved through here. we've had several last few years. >> i was amazed. being dark. rescue crews doing all they can. a lot of volunteers trying to offer their assistance.
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>> hear when the warnings went out. there was a few people here. we went into the basement of our facility make sure everyone was safe. it passed over pretty quick here. martha: boy, what a system this has been. it continues to be this morning. we're watching it live throughout the show. the national weather service is evaluating whether any actual tornados in tennessee may have touched down. bill: there are more from these storms. battering branson, missouri, historic town. well-known for draw of country music. landmark buildings and hotels. the famous theater district heavily damaged. dozens of people hurt there. that twister shaking up a lot of people who have fresh memories of the tornados that devastated joplin, missouri last spring. >> it is insane. can't believe it. myself and a lot of other entertainers are concerned how this will affect us paywise. >> at any given time there are hundreds of people walking around. you see all the debris behind me. it would have been bad. bill: folks in branson are
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counting their blessings though. it is a popular tourist spot and peak of the season two weeks hits. 60,000 visitors would have been in hotels any given day. martha: the u.s. report, you report pictures, coming in from branson. you see a damaged house. lots of debris. a tree fallen on a car. if you are in one of these areas hard hit we would love to see your ureporting from that scene. up load the pictures at please send those only if you can do them safely of course. speaking of safety the severe weather threat as i said is not over yet. we're watching a live developing situation on this radar. meteorologist janice dean will be live from the extreme weather center. she will update us where folks need to be concerned about this next. that's coming up. an ominous warning about america's economy from the last person you really want to hear it from, fed chair
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ben bernanke. tells congress that a one-two punch of expiring tax breaks and spending cuts could be devastating to the economy. >> at the same time, i think you also have to protect the recovery in the near term. under current law on january 1st, 2013, there will be a massive fiscal cliff of large spending cuts and tax increases. martha: a massive fiscal cliff, in the words of ben bernanke. fox business network's stuart varney, anchor of "varney & company" joins me now. stuart, just as people are starting to feel things are getting a little bit better, ben bernanke with a stern warning. >> you are dead right. recently the economic news has been generally positive. looked like things were looking up. but just in the last few days we started to get some negative signs so that the green shoots of optimism may be trampled on all over again. you heard from ben bernanke just a moment ago. throw this into the mix as well. housing prices still
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falling. now down to a 10-year low. can't remember that before. big orders at factories falling sharply recently. and we've got a big drop in orders from factories. plus the gas price spike. that has not yet hit the overall economy. so the question is, where are we going with this economy? and the answer is, it is not as good as we thought it was over the last few months, we may be at a turning point. maybe heading, moving south a little bit. that is not what we want. we're not going to get the robust recovery we thought we were going to get. this economy may be at that turning point where it starts to slow down even from a 2% growth rate. martha: he mentioned spending cuts and expiring tax cuts as two reasons that could fuel that financial cliff that he talked about. what is he referring to there, stuart? >> that is coming up way down the road. down the road in the future, january of next year when all the bush tax cuts will be revoked. so you have a big tax increase. and big spending cuts
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imposed by congress are supposed to go into effect. you take money out of the economy with a tax increase. you take money out of the economy with a spending drop and you've got this cliff that ben bernanke was talking about. that is down the road. there is maybe a turning point for the economy in the immediate future. that is got everybody worried at the moment. martha: those rising gas prices feeding into the situation. coming up on "varney & company" our own stuart varney. good to see you. >> martha. bill: i. bill: a snapshot of our own economy. weekly unemployment claims are down, better than expected. weekly claims need consistently below the 350,000 mark signaling hiring is well below the unemployment rate at 8.3%. federal reserve chairman cautioned significant declines in the jobs rate is not likely without stronger economic growth.
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hero is on the hill. >> stronger improvement in the jobe market requires stronger growth in final demand and construction. the job market remains far from normal. the unemployment rate remains elevated. long term unemployment is near record levels. number of persons working part time for economic reasons is very high. bill: on that note, more on that dire warning trying to urge congress to get it together and why rather some other economic, economists are going further in saying that we're in for a economic 9/11. so that is coming up. martha: we've got a fox news alert for you right now. two more american soldiers have been killed in afghanistan. the gunmen were reportedly an afghan soldier and a teacher. in less than two weeks six americans have been killed in afghanistan following the protests over u.s. troops reportedly accidentally burning core rans that has started this stream of violence that we have been experiencing over there.
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president obama spoke to "abc news" yesterday. he said that his apology for that incident, he believed, quote, calmed things down a bit. did it? we're going to have more on that coming up with kt mcfarland today. bill: was i trying to say economist? i don't know what it was. i think it went from three or four syllable words, i cut it in half, didn't i. that is amazing thing. try it at home while you can. we're watching a lot more in a moment here including this. the luckiest day he will ever have. a base jumper counting his blessings after packing his parachute upside down. martha: oops. bill: how did he get out of this one alive. martha: guardian angel i think. three days at sea with no power, does this make you want to go on a cruise these stories the last few weeks. no power. no bathrooms. they had water and sandwiches airlifted in. the costa allegra finally
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docked. the passengers describing what they thought would be a vacation. it turned out to be a cruise to nowhere. bill: good luck to that company. keystone pipeline getting support from unlikely place. what is bill clinton doing. >> one of the best things about being a former president you can say whatever the heck you want. [laughter]
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martha: we are just learning this morning about an american teacher killed in iraq. local police reporting that the teacher was shot by a student in an apparent murder-suicide. it happened at a private school in the kurdish region of northern iraq. officials are with holding details on the american pending family notification. there is no word yet what the motive might have been in this unusual case. we're keeping close eye on this. we'll bring you more details as we get he will this. bill: certainly will. meantime 50 minutes past the hour. big show of support for the keystone oil project the president rejected a month
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ago. president bill clinton say the government should embrace keystone. that oppressed $7 billion project would carry oil out of canada down to the gulf coast by way of nebraska. clinton says all it needs is an alternative route. >> with the extra cost of running it is infinitesimal compared to the revenues that will be generated over a long period of time. so i think we should embrace it and develop a stakeholde stakeholder-driven system of high standards for doing the work. bill: jonah goldberg, editor-at-large, "national review." fox news contributor. how are you doing, jonah? >> good, bill. bill: bill clinton first, then we'll address everything else. why is he talking about like a republican? >> i don't know if he is talking like a republican. he is talking about bill clinton. he knows where to put pipe liens because he is so
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unbelievably smart. everything would be easy if everyone listened to me. aren't i clever. aren't i special. sort of classic bill clinton where he is very cleverly makes it sound like only guy in the room that can make everything work. he casually ever so subtlely throws obama under the bus. and even complains about how no one is paying enough attention to him in the full video clip from that speech. he complains no one pays attention to ex-president unless something controversial and makes the secretary of state mad. this is pay attention to me classic bill clinton moment. bill: that may be. i think there is more at work. he says you can say whatever the heck you want if you're a former president. but his wife has a big opinion on this matter. it crosses an international border which sfwos to the department of state. she is the secretary of state and she was asked about his comments. listen here. >> the former president bill clinton says embrace it. >> very smart man.
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[laughing] but, unfortunately is not bound by the laws and regulations any longer of the united states to make decisions that follow a certain procedure and that is what we have to do. >> so is it a mistake for the former president to say embrace it? >> of course not. i think it is not a mistake for people -- this is america. people say they embrace it. people say they hate it. bill: well, cast your theory but it seems to me bill clinton softening the beachhead to allow other democrats to embrace the idea? >> i think that's right. worth noting that bill clinton wasn't all that bound by proper laws and procedures when he was president either. i think you're right. i think is, he is creating a headache for obama. he is creating room for senate democrats in particular to break with obama on all of this. and it is part of, bill clinton never does anything for a single reason. he is the ultimate multitasker and compartmentalizer. this is a way to
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self-aggrandize while at the same time as you say soften the beachhead. i don't think obama is extremely happy about this. basically what clinton is doing if i were president this would have been solved and never become a major political issue. that can't be helpful for obama caught in the cross-hairs of high gas and energy prices. bill: we had the ceo of transcanada, that is the company that would build the pipeline on our program two days ago he says hey if you build this thing your gas prices will go lower. given the public discourse with bill clinton is this set for reversal from the white house, state department or both do you believe? >> i don't know. we know they're going to build part of it already, right? obama is caught in a much bigger problem. the keystone thing i think is important and was really bad for obama to nix it, at the same time, it is not the be all, end all solution to our energy problems and gas problems. we had stephen chu say the policy of this administration is not to
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lower gas problems. i think obama is in a real fix politically on all this. i think he would love to a way to put keystone aside. if he goes back on his promises to environmentalists and his base who stuck their neck out for him i think it creates real problems when it will be a base election. bill: joe gnaw, thank you. great fodder. great fun to talk about. thanks for coming back, okay? jonah goldberg. >> thanks, man. bill: all right. martha? martha: here is a question. how much does google really know about you? ever have a creepy feeling when you think about something and things cropping up? starting today they will know a lot more about you than they used to. big story. we'll explain a big change how google works. you need to hear this next time you do a search. bill: republicans going after the president when it comes to gas prices like these over four bucks a gallon in parts of the country already. why one senator says the white house wants the price to go up. another senator says this. >> president obama has traded in the hard-hat and lunch bucket category of the
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democratic party for a hipster fedora and a double skim latte. [ male announcer ] juice drink too watery? ♪ feel the power my young friend. mmm! [ male announcer ] for excellent fruit and veggie nutrition... v8 v-fusion, also refreshing plus tea. could've had a v8.
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♪ . bill: number one song, or rather number one story at for the past 12 hours. this story will bring you way back. the monkees davy jones dead at 66 after a heart attack. before mtv and "american idol" you had the monkees. fronted by teen heartthrob, davy jones. a made-for-tv band formed to cash in on beatlemania.
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they drafted off the bat tales. performing tunes like day dream beliefer, last train to clarkeville and so many other number one hits. who can forget the guest star turn on the "brady bunch.". this will take you back. >> there is one little problem. >> what? >> well, i don't have a date. do you know a girl that would like to go with me? >> do i. >> well, how about the -- [laughter] flip side. martha: doesn't get any better than that, right? doesn't that take you right back? bill: that was most rerun episode of any tv show ever. anyone who came contact with davy jones about his personality and humor. martha: such a lovely man. definitely one of my little girl crushes. we used to watch the reruns,
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after school. you could watch the reruns of that. bill: over and over and over. martha: they were brilliant. a lot of their music was written by neil diamond and carole king. some of those songs, "i'm a beliefer" showed up in "shrek". a really great guy. how said. bill: surprising in the world of youtube and google we can find that stuff again. that tv show only ran for two years. it was canceled. it played over in cindication for years after that. martha: that was the first thing i did. i went on youtube i watched clip we played from the "brady bunch." marsha, i would love to go with you. how about the flipside, marsha? bill: we remember davy jones, dead too soon at the age of 66. martha: he will be missed. songs in the backtrack of our day today as we move along and we bring you this story this morning. if you are ever alarmed how
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much google knows about you, i know i am, brace yourself because starting today the search engine giant will know a whole lot more about all of your moves on-line. peter doocey is watching this for us from washington. good morning to you, peter. how exactly is google trying to convince users that these changes will actually be good for them? >> reporter: one example, google gives, martha, they can in theory make sure users are not late for meetings. looking at calendars and locations and local traffic conditions. there is two ways google will get that information. starting today whether you like it or not. one way is by collecting all the data you enter when you create an account. the other way by logging all the things you search or watch or map out while you're logging into those accounts. here's their pitch. >> the new policy reflects our efforts to create one beautifully simple experience. it means that if you're signed in, we'll treat you as a single user across all of our products, combining information you provided
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from one service with information from the others. so you have a better, more intuitive experience from the moment you sign in to the second you log out. >> reporter: something that video is clearly missing though is the motivation and explanation, martha, of how much easier this policy will make it for google to now figure out who to target their ads for and then sell those ads. martha: more information they have the more they can do that. is this raising some privacy concerns? i would think it would be, peter. >> reporter: it is. congressional privacy caucus co-chairman and democrat ed mark kay -- markey, caesar warned beware of ides of march. with google's should beware of the eyes of march. all users should be able to say no particularly sharing information with children and teens are involved. 36 attorneys general wrote a letter to google. they also think this is a violation of privacy. ftc has control over google
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because after separate privacy issue but so far they haven't tried so swat it down. martha: that will get interesting. peter thanks. bill: there is major bat el underway as senators get ready to vote on a amendment to eliminate the contraception coverage mandate. eliminate it. can they do that? a fair and balance panel coming up on that. martha: people talking for the first time after being stranded aboard another cruise ship. their horror stories coming up next. >> it was just a matter of inconvenience. not having enough food. not being able to rest well at night. the heat is unbearable. so we had to spend most of our nights on the top deck. [ male announcer ] sweet. tangy. creamy. you don't often find these things in one place. maybe in vegas, if you know where to look. and us. so come on, give us a whirl. ♪
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bill: got some breaking news and some sad news out of california. andrew breitbart is dead at the age of 43. a man who has made his mark over the last few years in a more public way with several stories written published, broadcast how washington works and abuses on behalf of the federal government. he leaves behind a wife and four young children. said to have died of natural causes late last night near his home or in his home rather near los angeles california. andrew breitbart made his mark alongwith matt drudge of "the drudge report" for several years before breaking off in a more independent capacity running several web sites out of his california office.
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jonah goldberg knows him well. with me now. this sure is a stunner, jonah. >> yeah. i was on five, 10 minutes ago, when i walk out and one of our producers what was breaking on the wires. i'm, i'm still a little stunned about it. andrew, i've known andrew for a dozen years. we were sort of, among the first guys out there on the web. we use, back in the old days of instant messenger we would talk, i don't know, five times a day back in the late '90s, back when he was working for drudge and i was starting he was, he was one of most fearless people i ever knew. and, it's hard to --. bill: jonah, i want to read something to other viewers directly off the internet. this is posted on one of his
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web sites, breitbart tv. it goes like this. with a terrible feeling of pain and loss we announce the passing of andrew breitbart. andrew passed away unexpectedly from natural causes shortly after midnight this morning in los angeles. we have lost a husband, a father, a son, a brother a dear friend, a patriot and a happy warrior. andrew lived boldly so we more timid souls would dare to live freely and fully and fight for the fragile liberty he showed us how to love. andrew recently wrote a new conclusion in a book called, righteous indignation nation, quote, i love my job. i love fighting for what i believe in. i love having fun doing it. i love reporting stories that the complex refuses to report. i love fighting back. i love finding allies and famously i enjoy making enemies. did he? >> oh, yeah. i mean andrew, when i say was most fearlessgy guy i
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ever knew. really was true. he truly loved fight. one of the things we agree on. important to be a happy warrior. if you don't like being in the breach get the hell out of the breach and he really liked it. and he, one of his favorite pastimes was to retweet all of the hate that people threw at him because he considered it a badge of honor. bill: drove him a little bit you would think? >> yeah. it was his wheaties. what he had for breakfast he figured if you're not taking flak, if you're taking flak you have to be over the target. and many ways he was, how about this, he, was a true, he was modern conservative's iteration of a 1960s radical. he really believed the edifice of modern american liberalism was corrupt and hypocritical. he took deep and profound eoffense being called a racist because he wanted to treat everybody the same and he believed that free market
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and freedom was the way to go. and that really rankled him. he loved turning the tables back on his enemies. sometimes maybe with too much gusto, maybe not. but he loved the fight. and what breaks my heart is his wife suzie and their four kids, suzie was, is andrew's rock. was sort of the yin to his yang. such a stable and great mom. the idea of her being left alone now. we were the sail age. anyway, i probably shouldn't have come on. bill: i know this is a tender time. and i and martha as well and our viewers certainly appreciate what you offer on a time like this. i will let you get your thoughts together jonah. >> thank you. bill: we'll have more on this, thank you. >> bill, i remember, we talked to andrew breitbart in brian kilmeade's studio not that longing a. i remember he was running around the country doing a ton of interviews at the time. he wanted to get emhome. he hadn't been back to l.a.
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in a while. very excited to see his wife and four children. very young to lost him at the age of 43 years old. this is a shocking piece of news this morning for all of his friend and colleagues and everybody who worked alongside him all these years. i want to bring in monica crowley, radio talk show host who was joining us on another story this morning. perhaps we'll get to that a little bit later. monica, i want to get your thoughts on this news, shocking news this morning. >> it really is, martha, before we say anything more about andrew breitbart. we need offer our prayers and thoughts to his wife and four young children. certainly they're suffering right now. our thoughts go out to him. andrew was a friend of mine. i've known him for several years now. i want to echo what jonah said. he was so full of life. he lived life to the fullest whether on the air, off the air. working on his web sites. breaking stories. just hanging out with friends. i have known very few people
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in my life who lived life to the hilt the way andrew breitbart did. i think it is a huge loss to the conservative moment. he was a social media pioneer. started working with drudge and broke down all kinds of boundaries and barriers in that regard, on twitter, facebook, you name it. he was out there fearlessly doing the work that so many in the mainstream media would not do. i think this is a huge loss of course to his family but i think to the rest of us and any of us who are interested in the truth. martha: i thought it was fascinating what jonah goldberg said moments ago how he was a modern conservative in a feisty way that reminded him in many ways of a '60s progressive in terms of the energy he brought to the fight and how deeply he felt, that his cause was right and just in exposing what he saw as a very corrupt basis of liberalism in this country. he spoke so passionately about that.
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i want read over some of the passage from andrew's breitbart's new book on the website, big government website right now. i want to read the rest of it because i think it adds to remembering him right now. three years ago i was mostly behind the scenes guy who linked stuff on a very popular website. he is of course referring to drudge there. i always wondered what it would be like to enter the public realm to fight for what i believe in. i've lost friends, perhaps dozens but i have gained hundreds, thousands who knows of allies. at the end of the day i can look at myself in the mirror and i sleep very well at night. >> he was a different kind of leader, martha and he was an unconventional guy no matter how you looked at it. he was an unconventional guy and he began his career in an unorthodox way and kept going wit it. he took pride in his unorthodox ways. it was always in the service of the truth. he looked around, he saw mostly left-wing media not
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doing the job of telling the truth to the american people. he saw a big opening there and decided to take it. boy, did he take it with gusto. this is a guy who so courageously went up against the most powerful entities in the country, whether it was the white house or congress or entrenched interests and he exposed what they were doing and told the truth. i just had him on my radio show a couple weeks ago talking about his book. he was an amazing guy and i think he would want to be remembered first and foremost as a great father and husband but also secondly as a truth-teller. martha: and you know, as we're saying earlier that fearlessness that you find in so few people, to sort of rage against the machine and go up against powerful people in powerful positions that just clearly drove him in his life and in his work, monica. >> absolutely. you know the other thing, martha, and you sort of touched on this is that he sort of came of age in the 1990s, 1990s and he saw
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corruption all around him. he saw the media wasn't doing his job. and i think he also saw that the left was lying in a lot of cases to the american people. that they were using deceptive tactics. and he said you know it? i will tell the truth but i'm not going to use the tactics of the left. i will use truth-telling tactics. that's what he did. martha: you also tapped into this, his embracing. you look at conservative leaders, william f. buckleys and all the people along the way, andrew breitbart clearly embraced the social media. he knew how to spread his message on internet and embrace it and really a leader for so many others who have followed in his path already. >> absolutely. you know, he saw the power of the internet before most people did. he and matt drudge joined forces and really revolutionized the way news and politics were covered on the internet. he saw the power of it
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actually to go over the heads of the established media and go right to the american people. the most successful politicians have understood that from back in the day. andrew breitbart had at the dawn of the social media, at the dawn of the internet saw that power to go straight to the american people and actually to go to international audiences and have his hand in there remaking how the internet would work and how we would all communicate with each other. boy, did he revolutionize it. martha: monica, stay with us for a moment. we'll continue this conversation and bring in tucker as well in a moment. bill: tucker carlson is with me now from the tucker, my regards to you. i'm sorry for the loss of your friend. >> yeah. it's hard to believe it is actually true. i talked to him last night. seemed totally exuberant as he always does. funny as hell. really, i know, there were people, many people who didn't like andrew and he was a pugnacious guy.
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anyone who knew him in person he was one of the more cheerful people ever. just a riot. just truly one of the funniest people i ever met. bill: did your friendship, was it borne out of washington or borne for him living in california? who are how did that develop, tucker? >> i met him, we're same age, our wives have the same name and four kids and same business. we were bound to run into each other after a while. we're from the same place. i don't know, i met him in the '90s in washington. just kept up with him is compelling, was a really compelling person with a great capacity for friendship. i hope that doesn't get lost in the, i'm sure, intense discussions about his politics and his political activism. he was a great guy. he really one of the great dinner partners ever. that is one of the highest compliments i could bestow on anyone with a thorough decency. even to people, maybe especially to people he didn't agree with.
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as intense as he was in his arguments, he was able to see what people were really like beyond their politics. i don't know if that was always obvious in public but he had friend who passionately disagreed with him, including some people very close to him. so he is just a great guy. bill: he was fearless too. >> totally, completely fearless. bill: he sure did. >> on the brawling part of it. bill: i remember meeting him on numerous occasions. every conversation i had with him he was full of life and full of opinion and full of something to say. martha: yeah. bill: almost to the point where i couldn't get a word in. >> no. martha: imagine that right, tucker? >> you know, i'm a talker. i like to get more words in than most people but breitbart was one of the few people where you eating with him, i didn't feel the need to talk too much. he was so completely and utter arely entertaining and truly i would say, i'm not just saying this because of the tragedy.
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i mean it with total sincerity, really one of more generous people i ever known. help a lot. started a business couple years ago not unlike his. didn't feel competitive. was nice to us from day one. helpful to us from day one. and just a great friend and a just, terrific, terrific person who really loved his kids and his wife and, i just can't even believe this is true. he just had his birthday last month. this is just too bizarre honestly. martha: tucker, talk to us a little bit his sort of development of his political thinking. >> right. martha: just looking at some of his background. influenced by the clarence thomas hearings early on. >> yes. martha: formation of how he got to where he got in terms of his passion for conservative politics. >> he grew up in a liberal mill you. he grew up next door to business partner, wonderful guy, larry solof. if adopted by best friends, families that basically lived next door to each
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other. everybody liberal. west side of los angeles. it is liberal. andrew was a liberal all the way through his time at tulane and began to see internal contradictions with liberalism. basically if you grow up the around overwaning monochromatic left-wing activism that he did, gets annoying. he was kind of person who was not afraid to say, i dissent. i disagree. boy, did he take a lot of heat for that. i mean on a very personal level. college roommates he had would no longer speak to him. relatives, some very liberal relatives, a lot of them obviously he remained close to. some of them were put off by his politics. not easy to have andrew's politics on the west side of los angeles at all. and he did. he was totally completely fearless and deep in his analysis of politics. he is not a shallow person at all. he is great performer but much deeper than that. very, very smart and had
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thought through his ideas. not that interested in electoral politics. he was not some election analyst type as i have been i confess over the years but really interested in how ideas shape the culture. and knew a lot about, also great music aficionado. loved '80s music, not very food music but knew a lot about it. martha: we're looking video of him this year at the 2012 cpac conference not that long ago speaking to the crowd there. he definitely had a way of entertaining the crowd and being a brilliant speaker at all of these events. i want to bring in another friend of his and friend of ours of course, greg gutfeld, who joins me now, host of "the five." welcome. give us your thoughts. >> i'm speechless. he is probably one of my closest friend and i love him and, honestly i, it is, almost impossible for me to believe it that this guy is
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dead. i talked to him constantly and, and i have never met anybody who so full of life, so, like, to me, i feel like it's a hoax but, you know i talked to him about his health a lot and you know, he, you know, he put that, he never, i don't know he always put the mission and his family and life in front of i think his own, his own health and at a certain point, i don't know. but i was hoping he was going to take care of himself but i guess not. i don't know. but he was, probably the most fearless person i ever met. probably the, one of the funniest, sharpest mind you will ever come across. he was, you know, his passion billion conservatism and about pulling conservatism kind of into the modern era of what
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tucker was talking about music. that was one of his things. like you can't reject pop culture. you have to be part of it. that is how america sees the world, how the world sees america. he got that. he was just, he was just fun personified. my wife always caught him the wizard, because wherever he went stuff always happened. even people that couldn't stand him, they had to admit there was something special because he was enjoying himself. he didn't have a bad bone in his body. makes me sick to my stomach. his fallly is just awesome. martha: i was just saying a little while ago, bill and i met him and talked with him, with brian kilmeade note too long ago. that is one of the things i remember about him. so effusive and passionate in his analysis of everything. as you point out so aptly, greg, he embraced modern culture. there is dichotomy in some
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ways. some say embracing pop culture and becoming part of the moment, understanding social media in a way that perhaps, you know, some conservatives were not aligned with, in most people's mind. he was capturing that and moving that into the future in a way that many people, you know, weren't able to get a grasp on when he started doing it but he did, i just remember talking about his family and how much he missed them and how excited he was to get home to see them because he was on the road doing this book tour for quite some time. the word is, as we continue to report this morning, that he died of natural causes. as you point out, greg, he was a passionate liver in every sense of the word i guess you could say. it is a big, big loss this morning. >> it is. you know, he is leaving a powerful legacy. he will be a legend. that's for sure. bill: greg, thanks for sharing, okay? >> sure. bill: our thanks to you for talking about your friend this morning. must have been 10 years ago
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when i was talking to breitbart down in washington, d.c.. i was fascinated how they built the drudge report which has been for the past 10 years the dominant website with news and information that we have ever known. and many imitatetores come along and they have been unsuccessful frankly. how do you guys do it? how big is the your staff? no just matt and me. bill: really just the two of you? what a legacy he leaves and a wife and four children as well. it is so sad and our hearts and prayers go out to his wife and four children in california. marsha blackburn, tennessee congresswoman who just had breakfast with andrew. with us now from the hill. marcia, good morning to you. >> good morning. bill: shocking right? >> yes, certainly is. when andrew was in town for cpac there was a group of us, happy warrior conservatives if you will. we comprised theme team. he had breakfast with us over in the capitol and we
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always found him to be such an encourager of the fight. and so instructive. how we get our message out. how we frame issues. how we talk about issues. and how diligent he was to always take his time and encourage us to stay in the fight and hang in there with it. bill: what do you think drove him? >> i think that a love for freedom, free people and free markets. is really what drove him because he was always focused on what was the truth, that was being told or what was the misstatements that were being made and how we cut through that. and i always appreciated every time he came in to talk with us, that he helped us to simplify that message and to focus on the things that the american people were deeply concerned about, which is freedom for the future. freedom for our children. making life better for those
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that will come behind us and realizing that people come to our shores for freedom and for the american dream. and, you know he was just so good at helping us to recenter, to be thoughtful, about what we said. be able to back up the states that we made. and i enjoyed every conversation i had with him. and he indeed is going to be missed within the halls here in congress. bill: between the politics, yourself and washington and we in the media, we've been familiar with andrew's work for many years. >> yeah. bill: but there is probably i venture to say a big part of our viewing audience not quite as familiar. i think the best way to describe the way he went about his life and his profession is that if some people ran away from the fire, andrew ran toward the flames. >> well, you're right about that. it's, he had a thirst for
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the truth. and i always appreciated that because when he would meet with us and we would talk about different issues and what we were finding out, he had that curious mind and that thirst for the truth that said, this is great. these are nuggets. and i just always felt that his focus was on the big picture. and how we preserve freedom and then, he could localize it so well because of his commitment to his family and then his commitment to the conservative cause and help us figure out, working in today's culture, how to help individuals join us in this fight because that's what you've got to do is, make certain they understand how this is going to affect them. so, a lot of wisdom that he brought to the table with us. and indeed, certainly an encourager for those of us in the fight every single day. bill: our condolences to you, marcia black burn. you lost a friend and also
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everyone with us. recalling young life of andrew breitbart the mark he left whether media or politics on the american social discourse. andrew bright broo bart, dead at the age of 43. natural causes at his home in los angeles late last night into the early morning hours. he leaves behind a wife and four young children and to his wife and four children our hearts and our prayers and thoughts are with you from today and every day forward. andrew breitbart, dead at the age of 43. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] help brazil reduce its overall reliance on foreign imports with the launch of the country's
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martha: we start with this fox news alert, conservative commentator andrew breitbart has died, he was 43 years old and died at his nome los angeles late last night. good morning, everybody, and welcome to the second hour
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of ""america's newsroom"", i'm martha maccallum. bill i'm bill hemmer, the coverage continues, the statement saying breitbart died suddenly of natural causes in his home just after midnight pacific coast time. he was a commentator for the washington tiles and outspoken critic of the mainstream media and was known for his efforts at exposing government corruption and media bias, and breitbart carried a bright torch through his life, each and every day. martha: we've heard moving tributes from several of his friends this morning. grel palkot joins us, tucker karlson, jonah goldberg breitbart leaves behind a family that was known to all those people and was thought of warmly, his wife, susie and four young children left behind and they will feel this pain in the -- this loss in the most painful way. shocking news this morning. >> very shocking martha.
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i was pretty close friends with andrew and the one thing that i can tell you about him, i mean, he knew only one speed in his life, and he was going tirelessly, 24/7, with big government, big hollywood, big journalism, giving speeches. i think the one thing that motivated him more than anything else, he had a sense of urgency that the country was really, really headed in the wrong direction, and he lived this. he didn't sleep very much. i know he did have some heart issues involved, about a year ago, and i know we don't have the details of this but he did have some issues, health issues that i think frankly attributed to his lifestyle, because he lived, you know, his principles out every single day, 24/7, and what you saw is what you got, a champion of freedom, a guy that really, really, more than anything else, wanted to see america get back on the right course.
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i know it was his passion, he wanted to do it for his country, his kids, his family and it's a trackidge -- tragic, tragic loss. martha: he spent a lot of his time trying to kind of smoke out from behind the bushes things that he thought were corrupt or people that he thought were being hypocritical, in the way that they were presenting themselves, and some of the stories that he worked on over the past year or so, the shirley sheraz story, anthony weiner, a number of these big issues, these big stories that came up over the year may be things that people will identify with him if they're not as familiar with his personal work. >> he was fearless. one of the things that i would ask him every once in a while, because if there was some type of left wing convention going on or an occupy movement going on, andrew loved nothing more than to go down there with a camera, confront them, challenge them on their ideas, on the words they would say, on their
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hypocrisy and literally throw himself in the middle of it, and where a lot of people would say you know, that's the last place i want to be, andrew was like he enjoyed nothing more than being in the middle of it, because he felt that this was something that he was compelled to do. this was in his heart. this was in his soul. and knowing him as well as i did, behind the scenes, he lived this out. this is what his passion was and in that sense, he was always going to be in the middle of a fight, because he felt that this was worth fighting for. and if there is one thing, you're right, martha, that he really, really, really disliked, it was this hypocrisy that does exist, the double standard that does exist where if you're on the left you can say all types of incendiary things and it never gets noticed but if you're conservative and you say one word, phrase or sentence that is deemed politically incorrect you're going to be excoriated and the left will make every attempt to kind of silence your voice. so it was a real passion, i
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can tell you, behind the scenes. this was him, this is how he lived and this is what he cared the most about. martha: and he was sometimes at odds with other conservatives, of course, as any members of any sort of philosophical group are, he was very supportive of the gay community within the republican party and wanted to make sure they had a presence at cpac, that was problematic for him at one point, but as we're saying, it was true to who he was in terms of fervently pursuing his line of thinking on any given thing. he was definitely true to himself. >> you know, it's funny, and i won't give specific stories because they were private but there were times when he and i -- it wasn't about that issue but it was about certain stylistic issues, it was about the best way that i thought that he could accomplish his goals, and we had just passionate discussions back and forth, either on the phone or on e-mail or instant message exchanges, and the thing is in the end, you know, i just realize that i had a good friend,
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and i always just admired the fact that he cared so much about all of these things. and you know, he's going to be greatly missed. i know it's got to be devastating to his wife and kids. and so many people loved and admired him. i mean, there's one thing that i think people are looking for in troubled tiles and these, for many americans that are not working, for the 47 million americans in poverty, these are very troubled times, and i think what people were looking for and why they gravitated to andrew and admired him so much is because andrew took no prisoners. andrew, he didn't have a governor, he didn't have a shutoff valve. andrew was up 20 hours a day, working. he lived this out. people knew it, understood it, those that followed him on twitter know exactly what i'm talking about. he'd be in, battling late into the night and with
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either people he agreed with or disagreed with and he never backed down from a fight, and so he had a level of courage that is really almost unmatched today in media, and he took all the shots coming his way and he took it with great stride. martha: sean, thank you very much for sharing your thoughts with us. >> his family is in our prayers today. he's got four young kids, and his wife, i know they're devastated today, as are many, many conservatives. martha: and so many of his friends. and thank you, as one of them, for joining us this morning, sean, see you soon. bill: there is a bit more reporting coming in now, apparently near his brentwood home in los angeles, he was walking last night around midnight when he collapsed. someone saw him fall, according to the associated press, right up here, and called paramedics, they tried to revive him at the scene, he was later taken to the hospital. breitbart suffered heart problems as sean referred to about a year ago. there's a lot of reaction, as you can understand. this word has not even been out for one hour.
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here is rick santorum, dalton, georgia, on the trail, reacting now. roll this: >> shocked, obviously sorry for his family. shocked. i can't think of anybody out there with more energy, out there, constantly driving and pushing. what a huge loss. for our country, and certainly for the conservative movement. and our prayers go out to his family. hard to hear. bill: you can expect a lot more reaction throughout the morning and into the afternoon today here, and it's so fascinating to hear greg, tucker, sean, talk about -- and molly for that matter, too, talk about the personality about this man, how they were drawn to him and with the sadness, there is also a smile across their face because they remember the good times and how this
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guy probably put them in a good mood. martha: they all grew up together as part of the same movement at the same time. bill: more on the death of andrew breitbart coming in "america's news rooms", andrew breitbart, the news, dead at the age of 43 in los angeles. martha: all right. and we want to get back to some of the election news that we are covering for you this morning as well. and we have some very interesting polling to share with you. a major reversal in the race for the republican presidential nomination. brand new poll numbers on the battle between mitt romney and rick santorum. it is almost a mirror image of where we were a couple weeks ago when rick santorum enjoyed a huge surge and took over the top spot in this race. big turnaround to report to you now folks. mitt romney is now 16 points ahead of rick santorum. back on february 14,
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santorum held a 12-point lead. those numbers, according to the latest rasmussen survey, these numbers have just come in. scott rasmussen is here, president of rasmussen reports, author of "the peoples' money" and he joins us to go over some of these numbers. you know, we all ask that question, scott, after michigan, after arizona, it started to seep in, were we going to see a difference and boy, are we this morning. >> this is a huge difference and all up and down the line we see a shift in favor of mitt romney. this is thest lead any republican has had in our national polls and that goes all the way back to early 2011. what we're seeing, even among tea party voters, a narrow plurality picks mitt romney over z rick santorum. santorum's vote comes primarily from someone who wants to have republican values but even there, romney is close. romney cleans up on people who say the most important
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thing is a candidate who can beat barack obama. martha: we've been covering exit polls throughout this process and let's pull up this next number that scott was talking about, mitt romney at 50 percent. this has got to be a huge happy moment for the folks in the romney camp, because for so long he was mired in the 20, 22 percent number and everybody kept -- every time we did an interview with any of his people you had to ask that inevitable question, why can't your candidate get out of this zone and this is the first time we've seen a major breakout, 50 percent for mitt romney. >> in a head to head matchup, a big swing from a couple of weeks ago where santorum was way ahead, santorum was the first person to defeat romney in a head to head matchup in the primary polls -- poll, so now we're seeing perhaps because of michigan, arizona, perhaps because after santorum's surge people took a different look at him, perhaps because of the debate, we don't know the reasons but we are seeing a shift in this race, mitt romney the clear
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frontrunner. martha: there will be a lot of talk about this. let's pull up the nup. the things that have been in santorum's past have been the social issues that have come up, the contraception that has come up. we don't know yet. we'll need to see underlying data to see whether or not that contribute to what we're seeing here, also the question about courting democratic voters in michigan, did that work to his favor or against him, 49 percent. who is the strongest opponent against president obama, 49 percent say mitt romney and boy, the others are left significantly behind him in this measure, scott. >> and martha, this is something that we can talk about all the other issues and all the details that feed into it, but from the beginning, republicans have said first and foremost we want a candidate who can win, we then want someone who can bring about change when they're in the oval office, but first it's about winning. when newt gingrich surged he surged because people thought his debating might make him electable, when
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santorum surged, he surged for something else but this holds mitt romney ahead of the pack, he is seen as the strongest candidate, the most electable and that is the primary goal. in the national poll tracking, romney and obama now, essentially even. martha: very interesting numbers this morning, scott. thank you very much, always good to see you. see you soon. bill: 12 minutes past the hour. president obama dismissing his critics after the apology to afghanistan for burning of the koran at a military base there. after dozens die in riots, why he argues the apology is helping in afghanistan. martha: plus here's a question for you this morning: are your tax dollars being used to help promote some of the obama administration's most unpopular polices according to the poll? two senator, one democrat, one republican, both want answers to that question. and senator rob portman is going to be with us momenting away. there he is standing by, and we'll talk to him in a moment. bill: these pictures, and the devastation is just beyond words. more on the storms that are in the forecast for these
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folks today. >> this is what 170-mile an hour winds do. two days ago, this pile of destruction was a strip mall. look at this truck over here. this is a delivery truck, tipped up on its end, the pay load section, ripped open like a sardine canned it's not in the parking lot. this is the parking lot. the winds picked that truck up and moved it into what was a couple of days ago the front of that strip mall. that's good morning, veggie style. hmmm. for half the calories plus veggie nutrition. could've had a v8. enough plastic water bottles to stretch around the earth over 190 times. each brita filter can take up to 300 of those bottles out of the equation.
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martha: two senators are launching an investigation into whether your tax dollars are being used to fund pr operations, basically, for some of the president's polices that he wants to pronote, and the two people who are working on this are democrat claire mccaskill and republican rob portman from ohio, they're teaming up on this investigation and senator rob portman joins me now, the ranking member on the subcommittee on contracting
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oversight. good morning, good to have you here today. >> thank you for having me on, i appreciate it. martha: it is an investigation into 11 federal agencies. what prompted this, exafs your concern? >> it's a long standing concern. we've had hearings on this issue and the question is what are they paying for public relations service, let's let the american people know. sometimes it's legitimate to help educate the public about something that the government is doing and something that affects consumers particularly, taxpayers, with you -- but often it's spin and that's the question, how much of it is spin, how much is inappropriate. examples would be the stimulus. you remember the signs we all saw on the highway and they're still out there, one was in my community in ohio saying this is your stimulus dollars at work. was that worth the millions of dollars that was put into those signs, and the health care law is another example that's been a lot of advertising that's going on about the health care law. if it's informational, it's appropriate, actually, to help people understand the bill but to the extent it's political spin it's not
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appropriate. we're trying to decipher what is appropriate or not. martha: looking back, president bush got some heat in the similar vein for the promotion of no child left behind, people said that that was pr and not public education. it can be a very fine line, this issue. >> yeah, it can. and again, this is aby partisan request, it's not a partisan exercise, it's an opportunity for the american people to understand what's being spent of their tax dollars on public relations. and what part of it is appropriate, what part is not. so i think it will be very helpful just to bring this to the light of day and to have a little analysis of it. there have been reports out on it that have been critical and so we want to get to the bottom of it. martha: so you've asked 11 different federal agencies to give you the information, the doubtation, to back up the legitimacy of these expenditures and to prove to you and your committee that these are not public -- that these are not pr, these are really education programs they're paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for. what's the response from the agencies been so far?
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>> we'll see. we have given them until mid march to get back to us, we've asked for information that should be ready available, so we haven't heard back from anybody yet. we just sent the request out this week. but i assume we'll get a good response. i think agencies are happy to be given the opportunity to explain why public relations services are necessary, and again, to the extent it's educating the public about something that's important to them, i think that's appropriate, but to the extent it's out there selling a political agenda, really spin, i think it's inappropriate and we're just trying to decipher what agencies are doing -- fits good stuff, that's fine, but if it's not, we need to know about it and the american taxpayer needs to know about it. martha: senator rob portman, good to talk to you, sir. >> good to talk to you. martha: i know you're enthusiastic about mitt romney. >> i like those numbers. i'm promoting him in ohio as the guy who would win in the fall and would be the best president. martha: some say you're on the short list for vp.
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what do you say about that? >> i'm happy where i am. i just got elected to the senate. we have a lot to get done, the budget, decifit and other things. i hope he wins and can turn things around. ohio is the next key state. martha: we'll have more on that later, then. senator, thank you very much, good to see you as always. >> thanks martha. bill: you could argue on supertuesday next week, no state matters more than the buckeye state. how will ohio vote? we're live on the ground there in a moment. also the conservative movement has lost a huge voice, andrew briert bart dying suddenly late last night, leaving a wife and four children, breitbart, dead at the young age of 43. >> when i see good people who are hispanic or gay or black, who are in these groups and the mainstream media abides by a concerted attack to call those people traitor toss their cause, i'm going to stand up to those bullies. that is my motivation.
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bill: for the next six days you're going hear an awful lot about ohio because it is really the center of the battle come supertuesday. back in 2008, this has been the critical state now for the past several presidential elections, 2008, barack obama took ohio, beating mccain by five points, eventually won the white house, back in 2004, remember that election, deep into the night, with john kerry against george bush, it was ohio who put bush over the top, beating kerry by two points, and winning the white house in the second term with 118,000 votes over then senator -- then presidential candidate
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senator john kerry. where are we today? new national poll that we just talked about with senator portman, this is specific to ohio right now, this was taken toward the end of january, beginning of february, santorum had a lead on mitt romney, when you average all the polls together, by about eight points and now we see whether that changes, and if it does, in what way coming off of michigan this past week. the delegate count stacks like this. romney is at 167, santorum, 87, the total you need to get the nomination, 1144. we're a long way from that right now. so you can expect the battle through march and april and possibly beyond. carl cameron is live in franklin county, the capitol city of columbus, but romney is in north dakota. what's going on? good morning, carl. >> reporter: well, good morning bill. north dakota is of course a caucus state coming up on supertuesday and romney is spending some time there and the romney campaign is
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touting a vict -- victory or at least a partial victory, because the nonbinding precinct level caucuses in the state of wyoming have been concluded, and romney has won, 39-32 percent overith mitt romney. this doesn't mean he won delegates yet. it's the beginning of a process that will take a few more weeks as both the county conventions take place but romney says he's won another state or the process thereof and romney trails in ohio. the buckeye state is absolutely the nation's premiere bellwether. it's always a swing state in general elections. and whether it's republicans or democratic primaries, in the presidential game, who wins ohio gets a huge boost. so this is atate that both of them are fighting very, very hard for. bill: romney was pounded by democrats, right, for remarks he made yesterday and then had to clarify. walk us through that carl. what happened? >> >> reporter: well, he was talking to an ohio reporter who asked him specifically whether he supported the so called blunt amendment, pending in
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congress, and would allow employers and insurers to deny health coverage if they find it morally reprehensible, if they don't agree with it and when he was asked romney said initially he didn't support that bill and within about an hour his aides were burning up the phone and e-mails saying no he does support the blunt amendment and avoiding major controversy. democrats are pounding him saying this means romney would allow employers and insurers to deny health coverage if they find it morally deplorable or disagreeable and their going after him, rick santorum saying it was troubling the way he changed his position, but the republicans are giving him a pass now that democrats are pounding him on it. bill: all eyes are on you for the next six days! thank you. martha: a big loss for the conservative movement, andrew breitbart dead at the age of 43. moments away we will remind you of some of the headline
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stories he uncovered when he tried to reveal what he thought was hypocrisy in peoples' lives, some included shirley sherad and anthony weiner. all of that coming up, after this. (bell rings)
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should we be letting him p-l-a-y with our t-a-b-l-e-t? [ mom ] i think it's fine. it's the new element from at&t so it's w-a-t-e-r proof. cool. what else does it d-o? it's fast. it's 4g lte. 4-g-l-t-e? mhhmm. i think it's time to stop spelling? ok. a-y. [ male announcer ] introducing the waterproof pantech element. buy one for $249.99 and get a 4g burst smartphone free. only from at&t. martha: a fox news alert, this morning sad news to report. we are learning that conservative commentator andrew breitbart has passed away. he was just 43 years old.
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he leaves behind his wife, susie and four children. he was a very strong voice in the conservative movement and was extremely outspoken about biases as he saw it in the mainstream media. this is breitbart talking about the anthony weiner texting scandal that he broke. this was at the press conference before anthony weiner got up to talk about it himself. remember this moment? take a listen: >> 72 hours in palm springs with your family is excruciating when you are being challenged. andrew, why aren't you on vacation, why won't you get off the phone, because i'm being accused of being a hacker against a congressman. he said nothing, he allowed for that to go, he perpetuated that false, my lishous, mean -- then he went on cnn to attack me. martha: gosh, that was quite a moment because anthony weiner called that press conference because he wanted to make his first statement about that whole scandal and
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while we were waiting in the room for anthony weiner, andrew breitbart took the stage to defend himself and say he had not hacked into wein he were's website and his twitter account. boy, william la jeunesse joins me now from our los angeles bureau with a look back at andrew breitbart's fiery and passionate career. william. >> reporter: martha, andrew breitbart was smart, outspoken, he was funny, fearless, he was confident, and very confrontational. he was very political in his opinions. but he was not personally disagreeable. >> everything is changed in the last few years. conservatives used to take it, and we're not taking it anymore. >> [applause] >> because this is my war cry for 2012. you need to join me in this war against the institutional left. this is not your mother's democratic party. duh! >> >> reporter: now,
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andrew died this morning just after midnight, after a walk outside his home in westwood. he leaves behind as you said martha, four children and his wife susie. he grew up in los angeles, attended tulane university and later helped edit the drudge report, he had a short stint at the huffing post and he started his own website. he published photos of then congressman anthony weiner who as a married man began sending compromising sexual photes of himself to women. andrew was also involved in the publication and promotion of a sting operation meant to expose the government-funded government community acorn, as will to go help, and assist and counsel a couple posing as a pimp and a prostitute. that helped them obtain government benefits. he was also involved in a tea party movement. he frequently appeared at their rallies. critics accused breitbart once of making ethnic and antigay slurs to discredit
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him, he offered $100,000 to anyone who could find any audio or videotape of him saying those things. of course it was never revealed that he did, and some had to later apologize to him for that. and finally, he was also involved in the firing of a department of agricultural official, shirley sherrod, who she appeared in a video, appeared to make racist remarks against white farmers, that got her fired, she later sued andrew breitbart. martha, the man, we've had several guests on, i knew andrew as well in los angeles and went out with him a few times, and he was a courageous guy, very opinionated, he could defend his remarks, and for many conservatives, this was a -- this is a great loss. back to you. martha: indeed. william, thank you very much, from los angeles. bill: with me in the studio, sally cohen, community activist, founding member of movement and fox news contributor. good morning to you sally. >> good morning.
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bill: you had a conversation with andrew just within the past year and i would imagine from your perspective and his perspective, that was a rather engaging conversation. >> yes. first, i'd be remiss to not start by saying it's sad when anyone passes, and my thoughts and prayers go out to andrew's family, especially his young children and his wife. it really is tragic. and you know, andrew and i didn't see eye to eye on a number of things, there's no question. thun of the -- one of the things i hope more folks like myself who did in fact have positive and in fact fun interactions with andrew on the left doing is remind us all at the end, we're all human beings and when someone passes, even if you consider then an point, i hope we can be civil. bill: i imagine the discourse in that conversation was rather engaging. he didn't run from it. >> no. here is what happened. i was at a progressive conference, the network to nation conference, which had a sister shadow conference online, which tracks the network nation conference and followed it for a while,
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andrew was at that conference, he came over to the networks conference and called a scuffle, a lot of liberals getting in thais face. bill: just what he -- >> just what he loves. just what he loves. he loved to provoke a reaction from people. but to be honest, i was sort of embarrassed. i was embarrassed that we hadn't acted -- that some of the left has represented there hadn't acted with more civility and respect and let him walk around, come to the conference. what do we have to hide. so i subsequently went over to the right online conference, who i had a number of friends in attendance, ran into andrew, and we had two interactions. the first was we posed for a picture and jokingly he put his hands around my neck and pretended to be strangling me. he had a sense of humor, he was will to go laugh at himself and we sat down for about an hour and a half and had drinks. again, we didn't see eye to eye on everything, but look, i think he was thoughtful, i think he was passionate, i think he was complicated, and also, i think, you know,
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much as folks on the other side may have disapproved of him, he actual actually challenged liberals to do better at what we do by being aggressive, by fighting for what you believe in. he was a good reminder to do that. bill: that's a remarkable thing to say. he was a thorn in the side to the left, and the left knew it. and he knew it. >> yes, but you know -- >> bill: and it is rare when a single individual can grab a headline and make it a national story. >> that is true. but let's also remember the other things he did. i mean, he was also in some ways, you know -- again, i say he was a complicated person. not only did he help found found the drudge report, he helped found huffington post. we lose that a lot in his buyingography. >> he was in the huffington establishment. >> he was involved and supportive of gop proud, the gay republican organization. he actually was -- had a very complicated person, who never put on airs, never said something he didn't believe in. he believed in what he said and again, fought for it,
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and i had to admire that and we've always had a good relationship since. i'm sad he's gone. bill: indeed, we all are. sally kohn, thank you. martha: we are following a number of stories developing at this hour, including president obama hitting back at his critics over his decision to apologize about what happened in afghanistan. why our next guest says that she believes that the president broke a cardinal rule in this case. k.t. mcfarland, coming up. ♪
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bill: back to breaking news and yet another round of severe weather, some of it expect areas already hard hit by tornadoes, 12 dead after violent storms ravaging parts of the midwest and leaving images of these -- like these of neighborhoods standing, now leveled, and the governor of illinois has officially declared the town of
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harrisburg, illinois a disaster zone. >> it was terrifying. i've never been through anything like this. it did sound like the training coming through the living room. >> they were bringing a lot of people up out of there this morning. >> people that didn't make it? >> we don't know. they were on stretchers. bill: janice dean with the fox extreme weather, what are you seeing? >> reporter: we've got a day of reprieve but bill, as you mentioned, we're going to see some areas that were hit hard hit again on friday into saturday, and if we could just advance my map, i'm hoping my producer brandon is with us, but this storm system is exiting, a new storm system is going to move in friday into saturday. therery go. we see the remnants of this storm, we have the potential for several inches of snow across the northern part of new england, and then as we head through the severe threat today, a slight risk for tornadoes, but really, tomorrow is going to be the day that we are going to watch very carefully, because again, areas that were hit very hard, wednesday, could be hit hard
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again, and we are dealing with more potent ingredients. so more of perhaps destructive, long lasting tornadoes. so there's the future radar, you can see the storms starting to fire up friday, late afternoon, into the evening, possibly overnight. i just want to point your attention again to the region where we think we could have those large, long lasting destructive tornadoes, again, over areas that are recovering today from wednesday's severe weather outbreak. bill: so you have warm air from the south colliding with cooler air from the north. >> yes. bill: and that's the combination that can be deadly every time. >> absolutely. and we have a very strong jetstream to add that extra punch. so you know, i really want to warn people today, because this could actually be more destructive, if that's possible, than the outbreak that we saw on wednesday. bill: janice, thank you. we'll check back in. janice dean in the weather center. martha: to overseas news,
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president obama saying his apology to afghanistan he believes was necessary after the burning of korans at an american military base sparked deadly riots that have continued right up to today. listen to what he had to say: >> the reason that it was important, and the same reason that the commander on the ground, general allen, apologized, and that is to save lives. and to make sure our troops who are there right now are not placed in further danger. >> it's hard to tell. do you think it has improved it, that apology? >> it calmed things down. we're not out of the woods yet. martha: certainly not out of the woods. two more nato soldiers, american soldiers, killed today. k.t. mcfarland joins me now and she believes that the president has broken a cardinal rule in international relations. k.t., what do you mean by that? >> never complain, never explain, because then you're on the defensive. what president should have done instead of apologize was sat down with president
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karzai and said after hundreds of billions of dollars after ten years, after thousands of americans being killed or wounded, you can't even keep order in your own country, you can't prevent these riots from getting out of control and killing americans? you can't prevent a person to go in the interior ministry of kabul, afghanistan and execute an american military officer in the back of the head? what's going on here. we spent ten years and american blood and treasure and you can't even keep your streets safe. martha: you know k.t., the other thing that the president said in this interview that really caught my attention and i'm paraphrase whag he said here, he said like iraq, troops will be out, and the afghans there are the -- have the capacity just as the iraqi toss secure their own country. >> that's not what we're seeing at all. martha: in iraq on afghanistan. >> here's the problem with afghanistan, it's like a three legged stool, the military lettings, our american men and women in uniform, they've performed brilliantly, done everything that was asked of them, they've turned around the situation in afghanistan but
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our political leaders failed us, they failed to deal with the karzai government which remains corrupt and incompetent and unable to govern its own country and they failed dipcle to get -- diplomatically to get the packies -- pakistanis to shut down the border where our adversaries are going to fight another day. martha: you think we need to get out now? >> president obama has made the decision the war is lost. if you look at what he's saying, what people are saying, but he doesn't have the nerve to say bring them home now. he's saying we'll bring them home after the election because he doesn't want the political loss. to me that's the ultimate cynicism. could we win in afghanistan, sure, if we want to spend another ten years, hundreds of billions of dollars, american lives not, but if you've made the conclusion we're not going to do that, bring them home, have a residual force. martha: the boldest decision would be to face the reality of what -- of how he sees the situation. >> and own up to it.
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martha: if we're done, get out. >> don't have to shoot our way out. we don't need one more person die. martha: k.t. thank you very much, good to see you. bill: some say he does not connect with every day voters. today mitt romney is out to prove them wrong. his message to blue collar americans in a moment. >> why is bruce springstein involved in the case of a missing college student? that's next. [ male announcer ] juice drink too watery? ♪ feel the power my young friend. mmm! [ male announcer ] for excellent fruit and veggie nutrition... v8 v-fusion, also refreshing plus tea. could've had a v8. or annuity over 10 or even 20 years?
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>> ♪ >> ♪ >> ♪ >> ♪ martha: bruce springstein is reaching out to fans to help find a missing boston college student. twenty-one-year-old franco garcia disappeared just over a week ago after leaving a bar near the school with his friends. springstein posted garcia's missing poster on his twitter and facebook page. springstein's son also attends boston college, so the intos trying to help out in this way. his message urges anyone with information to call police at 617-796-2100 with any information about this young man. bill: certainly is an interesting tweet to send out. so hearing the first horror storys from passengers trapped on board a nightmare at sea, about 1000 people, crew members, passengers, back on dry land in the seychelles after a
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three-day strand in the india ocean, the costa aleg gra, towed to port, a fire crippling that ship and passengers describing what they were going through on board for several days. >> we didn't know what they were doing, it is our opinion that they didn't know what to do. >> it was very hot, humid, no lights. that was rather difficult for a lot of people. obviously not for me because i'm visually impaired. yeah, you have to, you know, make ends meet. it was difficult, the heat was the main problem. >> the heat was immense. we couldn't say in our cabins for long periods of time, we're talking about temperatures of 110, maybe 120 degrees. bill: grerk burke is live on this story out of italy, another ship from the same fleet sank, 32 were killed then and these cruises, they're having a bad year with this company. how are they dealing with this, greg?
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>> >> reporter: costa cruise is in full blown crisis mode now. if there's one consolation this time around, anyway, it wasn't deadly and there haven't been so many complaints about the crew. people have said they acted quite professionally throughout the whole thing. but what they're doing, trying to do, is make it right for the people, offering passengers their money back, offering them flights out of the seychelles right away if they want to get out. if they don't want to get out they can get a two-week vacation in the sai chilles -- seychelles, a beautiful island place, and that's not a bad deal but it's certainly an uphill battle for the company, who has the number one and number two spots for vacation from hell. it was basically a fire in the generator room and they were adrift the better part of three days, finally got picked up by a french fishing boat. bill: what were some of the biggest passenger issues on board? >> reporter: well, bill, the main problem, the
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electricity went out. it was a fire in the generator room. the electricity went out. so that meant no light, except for flashlights, no air conditioning, no running water, and that probably is the biggest one. no running water means no bathrooms. and that's what you're hearing from all these people getting off it, that that was definitely the biggest problem. then of course the heat. they couldn't go into their cabins for long periods of time because of the heat and the air conditioning being out, so basically spending the time on the decks or in the common rooms. most of these people now, just looking for a shower, a big bed and a clean bathroom. bill: and an airplane! greg burke in italy, thank you greg. martha: people are incredibly patient, don't you think? i would have been losing it. they were very, very good troopers on that ship. better than i would be. so one of the things that we've been awaiting this morning, we're going to talk more about this today, but we had news from the senate, allowing employers to opt out of any health care provision they oppose. this comes down to the contraception issue and the
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church. it's called the blunt amendment. myth romeoo mitt romney is going to seek about this. bill we've been showing you the destruction from the tornadoes in the west, illinois especially hit hard. we'll talk to that governor, plus an update on more watches and warnings from yet another storm. this thing is not over yet by a long shot. >> it was quiet one minute, and the sirens went off. >> had this been at 10:00 in the morning when people were here shopping, doing what they normally do, i think the damage and the death toll could have been much higher. . exactly. everyone's more energized, more alert. i've lost their respect. last night i hit on a dirty hyena and she laughed in my face. that's nasty. remember when i usedo be it? i was the man. you needed to track the gazelle down for dinner, you came to me. oh who's laughing now!? gazelle!! [ laughs ]
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>> well according to nasa a huge asteroid to collide with the earth in the year 2040. in 28 years we could be hit by a giant 500-foot diameter asteroid. good news 2040 is election year so we'll get out of that one at least. [laughter] bill: all right. a mix of news. martha: what a day huh?


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