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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  January 8, 2012 4:00pm-5:00pm PST

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from someone using footage from a swedish diaper commercial. >> i flew us to the rock i really had in mind. >> reporter: that high up, who wouldn't need a diaper. jeanne moos, cnn -- ♪ somebody left the gate open >> reporter: new york. hello, everyone. the top of the hour. i'm don lemon and you're in the "cnn newsroom." we'll begin this hour with questions dogging the new president of the penn state university. specifically, how could he have not have known as the child sex abuse allegations against former assistant football coach, jerry sandusky. "the patriot-news" first exposed the scandal back in march, and at the time, current president rodney erickson was the second in command at the school, but he insists he knew nothing until reading the grand jury report in november. joining me now by phone, sarah ganim, reporter for "the patriot-news" in harrisburg,
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pennsylvania. sara, people think that excuse is pretty flimsy. >> reporter: yeah, don, what happened yesterday at the announcement for the new head football coach, the one that will replace interim coach tom bradley, who replaced joe paterno when he was fired just a few days after the jerry sandusky scandal began to unfold, so rodney erickson was asked this question by reporters at an intimate question-and-answer session after the announcement. he was asked the question, how could penn state officials, such as yourself, be caught so off guard when this was news that, you know, people in pennsylvania were talking about, and that was re-published in several publications back in march. he said what he has said all along. he said, i did not know penn state was involved in this scandal until i read the grand jury report in november. he then refused to follow up a question about "the patriot-news" article in march. he went to another reporter. his press secretary basically said one more question and we're done. and we got one more question in
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and i asked him, did you actually read that story in march? and he said, no. he stepped back and he was gone. he got out of there right after we asked that question. it so appears as though, you know, he was the probst for the university in march. he was the guy that ran the day-to-day operations. he made sure the academic stuff was happening while former president graham spanier, who was fired along with joe paterno, while he was out doing, you know, the thing that the president of a university does. you know, talking to donors, being the face of the university, rodney erickson was running the day-to-day operations at that point. and that's why he is now the president of the university. the trustees dropped "interim" from his title right after he was appointed and said that, you know, this is it. he is our president. and it appears that he's standing by this statement, that he did not know this was coming. >> well, here's a question, then. does the penn state community still trust erickson to restore
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the school's reputation now that he's in charge? >> reporter: i mean, he has been saying that he is going to restore -- he's been saying, basically, all the right things. he's been saying, you know, we're going to strive for transparency, we're going to make sure this never happens again, make sure no one ever feels like they cannot come forward and report something. however, you know, i think what really will show us how the penn state community is feeling are going to be these town hall meetings that are next week. wednesday, thursday, and friday in pittsburgh, philly, and new york. i'm told that they are sold -- not sold out, but alumni who signed up, they are full. and so i think it's going to be very interesting to see, you know, what these alumni, some of them who are presumably have been donating over the years to their alma mater, what they're going to say. what kind of questions they're going to ask. if you remember the town hall
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meeting that took place earlier this year that was for students and faculty only, rodney erickson and his panel that went to that, they really didn't answer any of the tough questions. they kind of dodged them. it will be interesting to see if they're going to take that same approach next week. 600 people in pittsburgh, 600 people in philadelphia, and 350 in new york. and that one's going to be webcast as well. that one in new york, so people can watch it online. it's going to be very interesting to see what happens. >> sara ganim, much appreciated. in other news now, family and friends of a missing maine toddler, eayla reynolds, spent the weekend removing fingerprint dust and trying to put the little girl's back in order. she vanished from her home on december 17th and police are calling it a criminal investigation. saturday, ayla's paternal grandma told susan candiotti in an exclusive interview that family members in the home the night ayla vanished had nothing to do with her disappearance. tonight, susan joins me now from
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waterville, maine, with the very latest. what do you have, susan? >> reporter: hi, don. well, the grandmother still stands by her comments that she made to us yesterday in terms of she said, no one in that house that night had anything to do at all with the disappearance of little ayla reynolds. however, she has some new information she wanted to clarify a point in her interview, exclusive interview with cnn yesterday. the clarification is this. she said that the night that little ayla disappeared, that she, the grandmother, was not at the home. now, police at this time have consistently refused to divulge the names of anyone, any of the adults, they say, that were at the house where ayla went missing from that night, except to say that there were several adults, including someone who was not a member of the family. however, ayla's grandmother said that she wanted to tell us that she immediately disclosed to the police after ayla disappeared
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that she was not at the home that night and she did tell them where she was at another undisclosed location, that she would not reveal to us. now, police have consistently said that the families of ayla have been fully cooperating in this investigation. and ayla's grandmother told us that she wanted to clarify this, because she was trying to be very careful to follow the police instructions that had been given to her. she said that they told her not to reveal any details about what happened that night, who was in that house that nice, or anything else she knew about what happened that night. she explained that she was very tired at the time of her interview and said something to us that she didn't mean to, when i asked the question, did she hear any noise at home that night, she said that she did not. but, of course, she wasn't there. the details that she did receive, don, she said, were received by her -- from other sources, including, of course, her son.
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now, this is an investigation that now is into its third week. police have said that they suspect foul play and they're desperately trying to find that little girl. in fact, all the members of ayla's family have said they, too, want to find ayla. this is what this investigation, of course, is all about. finding that 20-month-old toddler. don? >> susan, thank you. let's talk presidential politics, shall we? mitt romney just wrapped up a rally in new hampshire and our political correspondent jim acosta standing by. an exiter where one of romney's big supporters took on a heckler. what happened, jim? >> reporter: don, i wish you could have been here for it, or if we could have just dipped in for a few moments. it was pretty rowdy stuff. we're inside the exiter high school gymnasium. they're taking everything down behind me. if that's going on behind me, please stay tuned to what i have to say here. mitt romney was giving a pretty big speech here. it was a huge crowd, went into
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an overflow room. one of his top surrogates, chris christie, was at his side, and during the speech, a few protesters in the audience started chanting "mitt kills jobs, mitt kills jobs." and then chris christie went up on stage and the protesters started doing the same thing, "christie kills jobs, christie kills jobs." i don't know if we have the sound ready to play it, but we can play it if we have it ready for you. chris christie had a pretty chris christie-type response to the hecklers. let's play it for you now. >> americans are right to be angry. they're right to be disappointed in the government that in washington, d.c. is doing nothing but posturing and bickering and solving nothing for the people who wind up needing -- >> christie kills jobs! christie kills jobs! >> really?
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you know, some may go down tonight, but it ain't going to be jobs, sweetheart. >> reporter: so there you have it. a very chris christie-style response to those hecklers. those hecklers were eventually led out of the room here. and the speech sort of went on without any major interruptions after that. but it does goes to this overall prom that mitt romney had today out on the campaign trail. earlier today at a separate speech here in rochester, new hampshire, he was giving a speech and he talked about how at one point in his lifetime, he feared the pink slip. he was worried about losing his job. that caught a lot of reporters off guard. they've been peppering the romney campaign throughout the afternoon for a response to that. i did get an e-mail from a romney campaign spokeswoman who basically said that when romney was a college student and heading into the early part of his career, there were moments when his employment was quote/unquote, by no means guaranteed. that is how the romney campaign explaining that one. but don, make no mistake, this was a tough day for mitt romney.
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take that pink slip comment, add to that what happened here at this event earlier this evening with the hecklers, and chris christie's response, it was a tough day for the governor. but, you know, he's way ahead in the polls. it's probably going to take more than that to knock him out of his front-runner status. >> i'm glad you mentioned the polls. if you can get to it quickly, because playing that took up a lot of time here, we've got to move on, there are some new poll numbers released up there too. what's the headline? >> reporter: the headline is that mitt romney is still way out in front. there's a new daily tracking poll from suffolk university that still shows the former massachusetts governor with a 15-point lead. his nearest challenger is ron paul and governor huntsman sneaking into third place there with a decent showing. it's going to be interesting to see, don. if those are the numbers on primary night, it's going to be hard to see how perhaps this field stays at six contenders going into south carolina. we'll have to see what happens. obviously, we don't want to predict what may happen on primary night, because after all, this was a very interesting day out on the campaign trail
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for mitt romney, don. >> cnn's jim acosta, thank you very much. make sure you stick with the best political team on tv for the new hampshire primary. that's tuesday night, 7:00 eastern, right here on cnn. it was one year ago today gunfire at a tucson supermarket, congresswoman gabrielle giffords was seriously wounded, six people were killed, and right now the victims are being remembered. we'll take you there live in two minutes. t and had them read it. no, sorry, i can't help you with that. i'm not authorized to access that transaction. that's not in our policy. i will transfer you now. my supervisor is currently not available. would you like to hold ? that department is currently closed. have i helped you with everything you needed ? if your bank doesn't give you knowledgeable customer service 24/7, you need an ally. ally bank. no nonsense. just people sense.
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will be giving away passafree copies of the alcoholism & addiction cure. to get yours, go to even after a full year, the shock has barely begun to fade. last year on this very day, january 8th, a calm parking lot turned into absolute madness.
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a gunman opening fire on a crowd gathering to meet congresswoman gabrielle giffords. and by the time the shooting was over, six people were fatally wounded. giffords survived, despite taking a bullet point-blank to her head. she's expected to attend a vigil marking the event tonight in tucson. and that's also where we find our thelma gutierrez now. thelma, how are people marking this grim anniversary? >> reporter: well, don, i can tell you that at sundown, several thousand people are expected to fill this mall here at the university of arizona. there will be a candlelight vigil. we've already noticed that many people are starting to trickle in. i can tell you also, don, that one of the most poignant moments of the day happened precisely at 10:11 this morning. [ bells ringing ] hand bells and church bells
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throughout the city rang at 10:11 this morning, don, and that was to mark the precise moments that the first shots were fired at that safeway store, exactly one year ago. now, it has been one year since gabrielle giffords has actually come to visit that crime scene. she's not been there since. she's been in houston where she has been undergoing a very rigorous rehabilitation schedule. but her chief of staff told us that she decided that it was time to go back and visit that scene. she went yesterday with her husband, mark kelly. >> i saw her yesterday. we had -- she wanted to stop by the safeway. she hadn't been yet, so i was with her for that experience and, you know, it's a very intense feeling to stand in the space where, you know, six people lost their lives and 12 others were injured and -- >> and her life changed. >> and her life changed, exactly. and some memories started to come back, actually, yesterday, while being there, which was
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interesting for her. >> reporter: now, for many of these people, it's hard to believe that it has already been a year, a very intense and a very emotional year. >> we have breaking news for you. several people have been shot. the shooting occurred at a grocery store. >> we have discovered that we have 18 individuals who were shot. >> reporter: january 8th, 2011, a day tucson will never forget. >> the bodies laying on the concrete. >> the screaming, the crying, the bleeding. >> reporter: 19 people were shot that dead, six of them died. the youngest, 9-year-old christina green, was one of many who had gone to the safeway store to meet arizona congresswoman gabrielle giffords. christina was there with her neighbor, susie heilemann. >> and then there was a gunshot. >> christina was shot in the chest. >> i was holding hands with
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christina. we were just eyeball to eyeball. she was confused and scared and i knew when we were lying on the ground outside of safeway the light went out of her eyes. >> reporter: as many of the victims lay bleeding in pools of blood, two men wrestled the gunman. >> i put my legs behind his knees and my arm on the small of his back and another guy was stepping on his neck. >> reporter: the guy is in police custody. >> he is jared lee loughner, 22 years old. >> reporter: the scene was chaotic with sheriff's deputies and civilians trying to triage victims. >> is anybody injured? you said congresswoman giffords was hit? >> the congresswoman has been shot in the head. daniel hernandez ran to her side and tried to stop the bleeding. >> i didn't know if there was an exit wound. all i saw was the entrance wound. >> reporter: in the end, it was hernandez, the paramedics, and the trauma team that saved gabrielle giffords' life.
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>> overall, this is about as good as it's going to get. when you get shot in the head and the bullet goes through your brain, the chances of you living is very small and the chances of you waking up and actually following commands. >> reporter: january 8th, 2011 will be remembered as a catastrophic day. a one where a year later, a community has pulled together to honor the victims and survivors of the deadliest rampage in the city's history. when the sun goes down, the candlelight vigil here on the university of arizona campus is scheduled to begin. we understand that congresswoman giffords is expected to attend. her chief of staff told us, however, don, that she is not expected to speak at this event. don? >> thelma gutierrez, thank you very much, thelma. parents have a lot of choices to make when it comes to picking the best schools for their kids. but how many know the differences between public and private schools, magnet schools and charter schools? cnn's education contributor steve perry explains.
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>> hi, i'm lindy martin from murphy, texas. and dr. perry, i'm wondering, what is the difference between a charter school, a magnet school, and then private school and public school? >> this is one of the most important questions that people can ask. magnet schools are publicly funded, publicly run schools of choice. magnet schools are typically schools that are open for the purposes of making sure that there's integration in a particular neighborhood. then there are charter schools. charter schools can be run by the district or they can run by a private not-for-profit or in some cases a for-profit school. a public school is the one you're used to seeing, the one close to your house that your kids go to because they're close to it. then there are catholic schools and other religious schools, and there are schools that are private and separate from the public school system. the differences are, local public schools are run by the local board of education, magnet schools are run by the local board of education, charter
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schools are run sometimes by the local board of education, but typically by private. then there are, of course, private schools, which are run by a private organization. >> all right. steve, thank you very much. republicans courting the african-american vote, at least they're supposed to be. but based on some major stumbles by the candidates, that might be hard to believe. we're discussing, next. goldie taylor's here. [ carrie ] i remember my very first year as a teacher, setting that goal to become a principal. but, i have to support my family, so how do i go back to school? university of phoenix made it doable. a lot of my instructors were principals in my district. i wouldn't be where i am without that degree. my name is dr. carrie buck. i helped turn an at-risk school into an award winning school, and i am a phoenix. [ male announcer ] find your program at [ smack! ] [ smack! smack! smack! ] [ male announcer ] your favorite foods fighting you?
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all right. let's not pretend that the republican party has much of an african-american base. after all, 96% of black voters went for barack obama back in
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2008, but can that really explain the stumbles and miscues that we have seen the republican candidates make over race? i want you to watch ron paul's round about answer to this question on fox news today. >> are you saying that the owner of a restaurant, a private restaurant, should be able to decide whether or not to serve black people? >> what i'm saying is, i'm challenging individuals to say what is private property. is private property -- is your house private property, but where are restaurant is not? how do you separate the two? the whole thing is, that's ancient history. that's been settled a long time ago and nobody's going to go back to it. it would be the most devastating thing and stupid. it would be wrong. it would be morally wrong. but i'm not going to throw out -- because i have such high regard for property rights. i think you have to change people's hearts and minds, but you have to understand property and property protects our religious beliefs, our personal beliefs, our civil liberties. >> all right. so i want to welcome now independent voter and political analyst goldie taylor.
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so, goldie, letting restaurant owners decide whether to serve black customers, you know, ron paul, for the most part, he usually doesn't do talking points. . it se it seems like a yes or no question to me, so why didn't he give a straightforward answer? >> let's be clear, these are not stumbles or miscues, these are absolutely planned, seeded, on-purpose stuff. so to say that the civil rights stuff was unconstitutional because it impeded on private property rights, that was exactly what it was supposed to do. it was to tell people that they could not discriminate in housing, they could not discriminate into who they welcomed into restaurant. and so anyone who says, for any reason, that that was the right thing to do and keep doing, he said this multiple times. he can't take it back. >> so i'm going to ask you, do you think that the civil rights act of 1964 should have been enacted, you would say? >> absolutely. no question. >> i was on the treadmill i
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almost fell off. i was like, where is his straightforwardness. >> like 100 years too late. >> you're just sensitive, though, because you're black. >> you know i'm playing devil's advocate. >> absolutely. there are people out there who will say that you and i are more sensitive because we happen to be african-american. this is a human rights issue. so whether you're black, brown, white, you know, asian, or gay, lesbian, straight, this is a human rights issue. >> all right. let's move on now. rick santorum, he's been talking about something he said a week ago in new hampshire. listen to this, goldie. >> i don't want to make people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money. i want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money. >> okay. so i want to be fair. santorum said that he claims that he never said the word "black." here's what he told cnn. >> i looked a t t ed ed ed ed . and i'm pretty confident i didn't say black. i started to say a word, and
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kind of mumbled it and changed my thought. but i don't recall saying black. no one in that audience, no one listening, no reporter there heard me say that. i think it was, from everything i see, and i've looked at it several times, i was starting to say one word and i sort of came up with a different word and moved on. this is the result of running with scissors. >> this is -- here's the thing, and i'm sure people at home would say, just because they're black, they're liberal, whatever, they don't know our politics. you know, they see we're african-american. the tape plays a story. if you play the tape, you hear what he said. so what gives here? >> the narrative that seems to be coming out of this gop field seems to be that we don't want to give our hard-earn dollars to people who don't work, to people who are lazy, to people who are, you know, involved in criminal behavior, to other people who have not earned what we have
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earned. that seems to be what newt gingrich is saying. that seems to be what ron paul has been saying. it certainly seems to be what our friend, rick santorum, was saying on that tape. if he didn't get the rest of the world out, i'm still not giving him a discount. >> here's the thing. would you have the same assessment, you believe, if it was a democrat or if it was an african-american candidate who said the same thing? >> without question. >> all right. there you go. >> people have seen me go toe to toe with others. >> thank you very much. i think that needs to be said. when we get into these situations, there's a lot of, you know, oh, they're going after rick santorum because he's liberal or because he's -- thank you. let's move on to newt gingrich. a comment he made on thursday. listen. >> i'm prepared, if the naacp invites me, i'll go to their convention and talk about why the african-american community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps. >> now, he did say it was taken out of context. and if you listen to his explanation, yeah, i can sort of understand what he says.
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quite honestly, he said it was taken out of context and that it was the elite media and he would go to the naacp convention and explain to african-americans. >> if you put this in the context of newt gingrich's entire political career, he's been saying this for 30 years. he has been saying that african-americans, by and large, are a welfare-dependent population. what he doesn't say is the majority, the vast majority of pa people who are refusing food stamps are working people and they are white. and with this current economic downturn, that number is growing exponentially. so they've got to be careful when they start to talk about the least of these, because the least of these is starting to look a lot more like him. >> the truth is it has nothing to do with race or ideology, the truth is the truth, and you ouls speak it. thank you, goldie taylor. a u.s. military base on lockdown for nearly a week, all because someone has stolen valuable equipment used ifn battle. toothpaste is the wrong thing to use on a denture,
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nearly 100 soldiers are on lockdown on base in washington state, not because of a threat, but because of a reported theft of sensitive military equipment. our affiliate -- cnn's affiliate, king, has more on this story. >> is it daddy? >> daddy. >> yeah, that's daddy. >> reporter: it's been five days since jayden terra seddon has seen his father in person. but he is not deployed. to the anger of his mother and stepfather, he's under lockdown at joint base lewis mccourt. >> this is not the way to do it. >> i'd like to see him come home. >> reporter: david along with about 100 other soldiers from the ft. stryker brigade find themselves stuck inside the
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gates of the base. no one can leave until military police catch a thief suspected among them. >> if one fails, all fail. you know, if one person's in trouble, they all get into trouble. >> reporter: a flyer posted on base says the thief or thieves stole sensitive military gear over the holidays. no weapons are missing, but hundreds of pieces of weapon attachments are. things like rifle scopes and night vision gear. >> you expect soldiers to be upstanding and not to do this kind of behavior. but i'm also upset with the way that the military are doing this. >> reporter: lockdowns are a common practice in cases like these. one happened in 2001 over just one pair of goggles, but this time -- >> this is a lot bigger deal than one pair of glasses. >> reporter: some soldiers have been venting on facebook about a lockdown that caught many of them by surprise. >> he's always strived and worked very, very hard to be first in everything that he does and also along with his men. so when something like this happens, it frustrates the devil out of them. >> authorities say the gear was
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stolen some time during the base's holiday break. legendary news mandan rather has some choice words for the gop. he's never at a loss for words. calls it like it is. he joins me now live from new hampshire. a quick break before we get to him, though. the "i'll sleep when it's done" academic. for 80 years, we've been inspired by you. and we've been honored to walk with you to help you get where you want to be. ♪ because your moment is now. let nothing stand in your way. learn more at >> good morning, dave. >> good morning, dave. [taps on window] dave. >> both: hey, dave. >> hey. >> hey, dave. >> mr. dave... >> dave? >> 'sup, dave? >> dave? dave? >> dave? >> dave! dave? >> hi, dave. >> oh, dave's looking for you.
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it is time now to begin our annual search for cnn heroes,
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honoring everyday people who are changing the world. you can nominate someone special at and give them a chance to expand their work helping others. and also give them the recognition they so deserve. here's cnn's anderson cooper to show us how. >> tonight we gather to honor the best that humanity has to offer. >> if you join us, we'll be unstoppable. >> cnn heroes is looking for everyday people who are changing the world. how do we change these extraordinary people? well, with your help. you can nominate someone right now at maybe your hero is defending the planet by protecting the environment. >> there are people here who care, and i'm one of them. >> or helping people overcome obstacles. >> there will be no man left behind, as long as we are this nation. >> or finding a unique approach to solving a problem. whatever their cause, nominating a cnn hero is easy. first, go to then click "nominate." we ask for some basic
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information about you and your nominee. then tell us what makes your hero extraordinary. how are they changing lives for the better? >> you're doing a great job. >> it's really important to write from your heart, because it's your words that will make your hero's story stand out. a couple of tips. please don't nominate yourself. it's against the rules. it's not necessary to nominate someone over and over. we read each and every nomination. really, we do. and be selected. those honored as cnn heroes are truly dedicating their lives to serving others. after you've told us about your hero, click "submit." it's that simple and that worthwhile. so nominate someone deserving today. >> thank you so much for bestowing this incredible honor. this has been the greatest night of my life.
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the one and only dan rather has covered the biggest news stories of our time for more than four decades, at home and abroad, and in war zones like vietnam. >> the latest word over the loudspeaker is that there
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possibly will be a meeting this afternoon between the opposition forces and marine leaders with general wallet, united states marine commander in this area. dan rather, cbs news, south vietnam. >> today dan rather is on the job in new hampshire, covering the republican presidential primary for hdnet. and he is the host of that network's "dan rather reports." good to see you, mr. rather. thank you so much for coming on. >> well, don thank you very much for having me on. i appreciate the time. thank you. >> i'm curious about your impressions of this republican race, and where things stand just two days before the first primary. >> well, the republican praise is still, of course, in the early stages of being formed. i'm surprised that the contours of the race have been established this early. i wouldn't have thought they'd got established until some time after south carolina and florida. in terms of the horse race part of it, it is clearly mitt
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romney's to lose, but he could lose it. as you well know, don, new hampshire prides itself on prizes and particularly surprising front-runners. we still have a time to go before tuesday. a lot of people make up their minds. so i consider it still a volatile situation. odds-on for romney, but he's a ways from having it won yet. in terms of the substance of the race, we really haven't had much genuine substance discussed, although we've had debate after debate. such subjects as really what to do about our shaky and volatile economy. what to do about the war in afghanistan, what to do about the problems of race in the country. those can kinds of really fundamental questions have yet to be addressed. as the campaign deepens and lengthens out, we can hope that they will be. >> you seem to think that the american people aren't quite being served by them, by what
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the candidates are saying in these debates? >> well, the direct answer to that, don, is no. that not only in the debates, but in the early stages of the campaigning for the gop nomination, basically, when you boil it down, the candidates have been talking to, trying to get through to the fringes of their party. the fringe is their own party. never mind the mainstream of the american public in the debates, and for that matter, in most of their company appearances at small gatherings. so they're really not talk to the masses of americans. they're not talking about the lies that most americans live. they're taking shots at one another and appealing to what they say the extreme, but very important parts of the more hard right part of the party. >> i guess the question is, having done this and having
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moderated debates, what would you differently? how would you get them on track with the topics you think are important? >> well, the questions have to be direct and tough. i want to make clear here that i know most of the people who have been conducting these debates, and almost without exception, they're good journalists, some of them great journalists. but everybody's a little bit afraid to ask, you know, direct questions. for example, one direct question is, tell me, mr. candidate, who gives how much money to your campaign, and a what do you think they expect to get for it should you get elected? that's a very important question, in that money is almost overwhelming american politics. we're talking about a $3 billion presidential campaign. so that's one line of questioning. another line of questioning might very well be, listen, every one of you up there in that debate platform, you supported president george w.
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bush. tell us where you think that administration went wrong. you're quick to tell us how the obama administration went wrong, and certainly, they made some mistakes, but you also supported president george w. bush, so tell us where you think that administration went wrong, in, among other things, leading us into this economic recession, if not depression. a third area is, we all know how important race relations are in our country. it's unchanging. it's one of the biggest subjects in the country. and so, a direct question to each candidate, if elected president, what would you do to improve race relations in the country? those are the kinds of questions that don't get asked. it's my hope that as the campaign goes along, they will be. >> let's stick to this. we just had a discussion about race, about some of the comments that the candidates made, and some of them have said that they were taken out of context. even this morning when ron paul was asked about the civil rights act of 1964, there was not really a direct answer there.
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why do you think that is? and do you think that whoever's asking the question should be more pointed and not fear being labeled as ideological or biased in some way? and just ask the direct question, especially when it comes to race? >> i think that's part of it. don, those of us who are in journalism, and particularly those of us who have been in it a while, we have to acknowledge. and i do not accept myself if this criticism. there's a certain amount of fear. there's a fear that if you raise the race question in any way in a public forum like the debates, that somehow you, the questioner, will be accused of doing something wrong. i'd like for all of us, including myself, to get over that. but this is part of the reality. you know, journalists are human. they have their concerns. they have their fears. and so often when it comes to any discussion of race, almost everybody's afraid to touch it for fear they'd be somehow misunderstood or it would be used in some way against them.
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this is not healthy for our political discussion, it's part of the reality. >> and what about ideology? because you mentioned -- you mentioned some reticence in asking direct questions for, you said, for a certain fear. but what about fears being labeled, and i'm talking about the questioner or the journalist being labeled a liberal, being labeled a conservative. that fear should not be there for a journalist. a question is a question is a question. >> well, that's true. and what happens when one is covering politics, almost anything you do that a candidate or his campaign doesn't like, they will try to hang a sign around you, which is uncompliment uncomplimentary. they'll say, oh, that questioner is a liberal or a socialist on the one side. on the other side, they'll say, oh, well, he's just a mouthpiece for the conservative or reactionary party. and we journalists, and i include myself in this, we need to get over it, but it's a very hard thing to get through.
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and therefore, so often when you have a political interview on television, and never mind something as big as these debates, ongoing debates are, that in some ways it's a dialogue of the deaf. the reporters are a little skittish, fearful, as i say, about asking a direct question when it puts the candidate really on the spot a question about money, question about race, something like that. and the candidates are operating out of a script. you can see it time after time, that no matter what the question is asked, that they're going to give the pre-programmed answer that they've been schooled by their consultants -- >> talking points. >> yeah, talking points. and just go down the talking points. for example, the debate this morning, which was, in my opinion, better than some. it was certainly lively h llier some, but time after time, a question would be asked of governor perry, and i don't mean to single him out, or just about any other candidate, and the candidate would answer the
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question he wanted to have been asked, not the question that was asked. and one of the faults of journalists, and i include myself in this, is the lack of follow-up. rarely -- you sometimes see it, but you rarely see the questioner said to the candidate, well, what you said is all fine, but it's not the answer to my question. >> and keep boring it. >> we have a short time left. sorry to cut you off. but keep boring in until they answer you question. there's nothing wrong to do that as a journalist. i want to ask you about president obama. history says he has an uphill fight due to the state of the economy. how do you assess his chances in all of this? >> i think at this moment, it's still early in the race, and i would like to remind everybody about how early it is. i think he's the underdog. not the underdog by much. my personal opinion, which is frequently wrong, is if the election were held today, depending on who the republicans
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nominate, of course, that i think he might very well lose in a close election. however, again, my opinion, i think these debates and the republican race for the nomination up to now have revived president obama's chances, somewhat. also, chanced have been buoyed and unemployment figures are still terrible but at least they are now headed down. i expected, november, number one, a close race. i think it will be decided by independent voters and swing voters in the middle. >> dan rather, thank you, sir. hd net dan rather reports, he's the host. make sure you tune n i appreciate it, sir. >> thank you, don. from a stock market newbie to a child's college fund plenty of burning money questions out there and nicole answers them up next. [ female announcer ] splenda® no calorie sweetener is sweet...
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first week of 2012 behind us. many have made new year's resolutions having to do with money. how to get more of it and nicole lapin is here to help out and joins me from new york ready to answer your questions, your money questions. >> ready. >> let's get right to it. karl drafts tweets "i'm a market novice, was thinking of getting into stocks. is now a good time? thank you." >> yeah, you know, let me tell
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you a little secret secret between us girls. toward the end of the year they'll drop their dog stocks because they want a tax credit. they're getting rid of all the losers so in 2012 they can call it a loss. that mean as a lot of stuff is on sale. this could be a good time to go bargain hunting. you know what happens in january, don, this is another little wall street secret. three things happen, small stocks tend to rise, number one, the general market tends to go up, number two, and also the losers for the end of the year tend to go up, as well. market novice, january could be a good month to change that. >> all right. very interesting. question number two, it's a tweet from simon plum" nicole, why in the gop debates do they keep stating the u.s. is in a recession? it may feel like it but by definition we're not." >> that is a great question. you know, dan rather also talked
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about this in asking the candidates about being in a recession and depression. so much confusion. two quarters of negative growth or some economists will say an uptick of 1.5% on the unemployment rate is the definition. the thing about a recession, you don't know you're in one until two quarters later so technically a lot are saying we're not in a recession. we remember from 2007 to 2009 which, of course, is the longest recession we've seen since world war ii. we co-see that double dip but that remains to be seen. again, if you're looking at the gop debates, a word by any other name or recession by any other name still feels as painful. >> question number three, nicole. tweeted by mike taronga, ""we are putting $300 a month towards our children's college fund however it seems to be losing 0%
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each month." do we ride it out or stop contributing or just put it in our savings?" >> i don't know how old your kid is. under 8 years old typically you'll want to be stock heavy and talked about this being a good month to be in stocks. between 9 and 13 years old for your child you should probably be a little bit more bond heavy. if you're above 14 you're going to be shorter term bond heavy and get that money out so that little mike can actually go off to college but i got to say, you know, don, we have to give mike some kudos for actually making this a good new year's resolution, try to do it in an automatic way. don't coming out of your paycheck it doesn't feel as painful did i answer all those questions like dan rather said? >> you did. i didn't have to dig deeper and challenge you because you answered them. >> but here's a question i have for you that many people have been asking me. i say, i don't know. i'm not a financial reporter. i would guess the answer is do
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it now. when it comes to refinancing. people are saying the economy is getting better. jobs improving. rates are at an all-time low. should i do it now, should i hold out a little bit longer to refinance my home? >> this is a really good time to explore all of your options. look at your new year's resolutions in a financial sense, as well. this is not only a good time to start saving automatically but start checking out if you get your best yard cacredit card ra call all of your major bill collectors, internet, cable, tv and actually ask for a lower rate. the worst thing they could say is no so make this a good time. >> nicole, thank you very much. appreciate it. i'm don lemon in cnn. see you back here 10:00. a replay of saturday's debate. abc news and begins in 2 1/2
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