tv CNN Newsroom CNN January 24, 2012 8:00am-10:00am PST
florida than him, but that he will have more people. he also said that that's exactly a mirror image of what happened in south carolina, that propelled him to win, obviously, on saturday, kyra. and newt, get this, left, exited to the song "how do you like me now," kyra? >> quite a confident guy, isn't he, shannon? thank you very much. >> that's right. >> we'll be on the politics all day long. a reminder for all the latest political news, you can just go to our website, cnnpolitics.com. trying to remember, a country song, toby keith? >> yeah. i think it's toby keith. >> i was thinking the rap version, actually. how do you like me now. that's the one i was thinking. >> all right. there we go. kyra and suzanne's music. >> rendition. >> exactly. >> we'll see if it works for him. >> good to see you. take it away. >> thanks. live from studio 7, i'm suzanne malveaux. want to get you up to speed for tuesday, january 24th. he made more than $42 million in two years, paid about $6 million
in taxes, that's the headline from mitt romney's tax returns. it was released today. going to have a breakdown ahead. right now romney is on the campaign trail, he's in tampa focusing his attention on president obama. we're actually waiting to hear from him and what he's calling a prebuttal to the president's state of the union address. and rick santorum campaigning in stuart, florida, this hour. florida primary just seven days away. republican candidates are facing off for more -- one more debate rather ahead of tuesday's florida primary. the latest matchup in tampa last night, mitt romney hammered, hammered away at newt gingrich, and his record of leadership. gingrich shot back, accusing romney of lying. here's a taste. >> in the 15 years after he left the speakership, the speaker has been working as an influence peddler in washington and during those 15 years, i helped turn around the olympics, helped begin a very successful turn around in the state of massachusetts.
>> he just said four things that are false. i don't want to waste the time on them. i think the american public deserve a discussion about how to beat barack obama, the american public deserves a discussion about what we would do about the economy and i think this is the worst kind of trivial politics. the economy is going to be the main focus of president obama's state of the union address. that is tonight. a democratic source briefed on the speech says it's going to focus on economic inequality, making sure that everybody gets a fair shake. now that's significant because it's aimed at setting the tone for his message roaring into the campaign. syrians turning out by the thousands, just look at that, to the person who posted this on youtube says that the huge crowd is mourning 11 people killed by government forces in the town of duma. across the country, at least 37 people were killed yesterday alone.
some of the most powerful countries in the region are now withdrawing their representatives from the arab league, monitoring mission in syria because of what you are watching there ongoing bloodshed. emergency crews in the south, they are looking under the rubble, underneath homes, trying to find anybody who might be alive and trapped. a powerful tornado hit jefferson county, alabama. that happened yesterday, destroying more than 200 homes. a teenager and an 82-year-old man were killed. one man shielded his wife and son in the bathtub when the roof blew off their house. >> when the sirens started, all the power went out, got totally black, and my son started crying for his mom. so, i ran down the hallway to get him. >> all right. you might remember the dozens of arsons that terrorized los angeles over new year's weekend. well you had exploding cars, burned buildings, damage
expected now to reach $3 million. the man accused, 24-year-old german national harry burkhart, will be arraigned later this hour. the reason prosecutors say he did it, was his rage against americans. after his mother was arrested during a traffic stop. four convicted murderers who were pardoned earlier this month in mississippi, they're still going to remain free, at least for now. now these men are among almost 200 convicts pardoned by haley barbour in his final days as governor. a judge has put off deciding whether those pardons are constitutional until next week. check out this amazing fiery picture of the sun. this is nasa that actually took it during a largest solar storm in almost seven years. absolutely incredible. fantastic light display tonight. you can see as radiation from the storm will reach the earth. could affect satellite communications as well.
so, want to dip in real quick here, let's take a listen in to mitt romney. this is him at a event in tampa after releasing his tax returns. let's listen in to see what he's going to say. >> are silent. warehouses are deserted, corporate offices are empty, and real estate endeavors are abandoned. floridians are struggling to find a job, keep a home, and raise a family. as i travel across the country, i've heard similar stories in virtually every corner of america. high unemployment, record home foreclosures, debt that's too high, opportunities too few. this is the real state of our union. but you won't hear stories like those at president obama's address tonight. the unemployed don't get tickets to sit next to the first lady. instead tonight, the president will do what he does best. he'll give a nice speech, lot of memorable phrases in it, but he won't give you the hard numbers
like 9.9% unemployment here in florida. or 25%. that's a percentage of foreclosed homes in america that are here in florida. or $15 trillion, that's the size of america's national debt under this president. instead tonight, president obama will make the opening argument in his campaign against a do-nothing congress, but we cannot forget that for two years, this president had a congress that could do anything he wanted it to do. it was a democrat-controlled congress. with huge democrat majorities in the house and the senate, president obama was free to pursue any policy he pleased. did he fix the economy? no. did he tackle the housing crisis? no. did he get american back to work? no. he spent $787 billion on a stimulus bill that didn't work and put us on track to borrow
and spend $5 trillion in just his first term. he forced through obama care. a trillion dollar entitlement we didn't want and we certainly can't afford. he took over auto companies and student loans. he stacked the national labor relations board with union yes men who in turn did favors for his campaign contributors. and his favorite friends. when we needed stability, and solvency, he gave us solyndra. when we needed a climate for private investment, he gave us cash for clunkers. when we needed more domestic energy to keep prices low and to create jobs, he imposed bans on drilling and turned his epa regulators loose to slow our development of natural gas. and he spearheaded one of the largest expansions of government in american history and he's paying with -- paying for all that with money he's borrowed from china.
three years ago, we measured candidate obama by his hopeful promises and his slogans. today, president obama has amassed an actual record of debt, decline, and disappointment. this president's agenda made these troubled times last longer. he and his allies made it harder for the economy to recover. instead of solving the housing crisis and getting americans back to work, president obama has been building a european-style welfare state. he's pushed for a second stimulus, deep cuts to our national defense, he's asking the american people for another trillion dollars, and for another term in office and with this in mind he tells people, we can't wait to which i say, oh, yes we can.
tonight the president will make what is referred to as the state of the union address, but make no mistake, what he's really offering here are partisan planks for his re-election campaign. the president's been telling people that his agenda will create economic opportunity that's built to last. that's the phrase he'll use, "built to last." let's talk about what's lasted. what's lasted is unemployment above 8% for 35 straight months. what's going to last is almost as much debt in four years as all the prior presidents combined. what's going to last are home values that are too low and foreclosure rates that are too high. and a legacy of debt that will imperil future generations is what will last from this administration. what's critical is we make today barack obama's last state of the union address, no more from barack obama.
the president's agenda sounds less like built to last and more like doomed to fail. what he's proposing is more of the same, more taxes, more spending, more regulation. and all of his proposals involve big government and big price tags. tonight we're also going to get treated to more divisive rhetoric from a desperate campaigner in chief. it's shameful for a president to use the state of the union to divide our nation. and someone ought to tell him, in order to put the economy back to work, everyone needs to be working. but more than anything, i expect the president will take this opportunity to take another victory lap, you know, in his big speeches he tends to tell
tall tales about an america that's thriving on his watch. in 2010 he announced the worst of this economic storm has passed. i know the people of tampa don't believe that. today. >> you're listening to mitt romney calling president obama the desperate campaigner in chief. want to bring in jim acosta who's with romney in tampa. first of all we'll talk about the details of romney's tax returns, but first, do they think that this is -- this line of critique, that kind of criticism against the president himself, going up against obama soepds to fire power against mitt romney and some of his other republican rivals, that is really effective here that that's going to work, it sets him up to be the guy who people see as the one who's going to be the candidate? >> suzanne, that's a very good question. this what is mitt romney has done for the -- most part in this campaign. he's directed most of his attention at president obama. so in a way, he is going back to
what has worked for his campaign for many, many months. he is only just recently been distracted by, you know, the, you know, surging threat to his campaign from newt gingrich and so he's been talking about newt gingrich more and more over the last couple days but going back to what he's talking about this morning in this prebuttal to the president's state of the union address, we're standing inside an abandoned warehouse that mitt romney said would be working if president obama's economic policy was working for the country. you can see that banner over my shoulder, i don't know if you can make it out, it says "obama isn't working." that's been an ongoing theme for the romney campaign. i have to just look at -- point to some of the things mitt romney said a few moments ago i think was striking. he said, quote, it is shameful to use the state of the union to divide our nation. he said the president agenda is less built to last and more doomed to fail. i mean these are tough words directed at the president, but it's all because there's really sort of a tit for tat going on
between the president and his political people and mitt romney's campaign. let's be honest here, mitt romney released his tax returns this morning, shows he pays a far lower tax rate than most middle-income americans and this is something that president obama has talked about a lot over the last few months, that the rich should pay more in taxes. they should pay their fair share in taxes. to underline that point tonight, the president's state of the union speech in the first lady's box tonight, warren buffet's secretary, somebody warren buffett has said pays less in an effective tax rate than he does. a back and forth going on between these two campaigns right now. >> jim, thank you. forget about how much money romney made for a minute and just picture this, mitt romney's last two tax returns, taken together, were more than 500 pages long. it's a lot of complex details. obviously our christine romans is digging through all of it and have a look at what she has found about those tax returns in a moment.
first your chance to talk back on one of the big stories of the day. president obama going to speaks to the nation tonight in his annual state of the union address. he's expected to discuss big issues facing the economy, jobs, the debt. what do you want to hear from him? that's today's talk back question. carol costello is in d.c. with more. >> hello, suzanne. tonight millions of middle-class americans struggling to find hope in our state of the union like michael and mora binder. represent what middle-class americans fear the most, they'll sink farther under water on a bad mortgage or lose their jobs, they'll fall out of the middle class, all of that has happened to the binders who find thunderstormselves in an economic place they can't phantom. >> there's not a lot of hope for me right now of, you know, somebody's going to fix this. it feels like, you know, we've got to, you know, buckle down and do everything ourselves and, you know, not expect anybody else to figure it out.
>> see, they don't care about allocations president obama is a socialist or mitt romney is richer than god or that newt gingrich may or may not be an influence peddler. now they want help and they want specifics. so when colorado congressman doug lambborn says he'll skip the president's speech because he's heard it all before, and house speaker john boehner calls the speech pathetic before he's even heard it, many middle-class americans will wonder if anyone gets it. the same holds true if the president transforms the state of the union into a campaign speech or uses rhetoric to tout an economy getting better but at a glacial pace. our talk back question today, what do you want to hear in obama's state of the union? facebook.com/charl carolcnn. >> state of the unions are always -- what is the state of the union, it's strong. you don't hear presidents saying
not so good. what is the real deal here when you look at the economy, look at home foreclosures, all those things. a lot of people, despite what the president has been trying to do, are still suffering. >> that's right. and the speech is supposed to be about the state of the union. not a political campaign speech. so that's what mitt romney was talking about in his speech that you heard down there in florida. we'll see what it turns out to be tonight. >> all right. carol, thank you. here's a run down of the stories we're covering. the first one pretty amazing, a man survives being swept away by an avalanche. and it's all on tape. >> i couldn't move. i mean i just was suffocating in the snow. >> can you breathe? we got you, buddy. we got you. >> that is a lucky guy. unbelievable pictures after a powerful tornado wipes an entire alabama neighborhood off the map. and republican critics call newt gingrich a failed leader. supporters say he is just what the party needs. how the presidential hopeful is
trying to bridge the divide with a new swagger. want you to check this out. >> we look forward to working with you. thank you very much. ♪ ♪ how do you like me now ♪ how do you like me now ♪ how do you like me now ♪ how do you like me now -one. -two. -three. -one. two. three. one. -two. -three. -one. -two. -three. [ male announcer ] with the bankamericard cash rewards credit card, earn 1% cash back everywhere, every time. 2% back on groceries. and 3% back on gas. automatically. no hoops to jump through. -it's as easy as...1. -two. -three. [ male announcer ] 1, 2, 3 percent cash back for the things you buy most. the bankamericard cash rewards card. apply online or at a bank of america near you.
the bankamericard cash rewards card. when bp made a commitment to the gulf, we knew it would take time, but we were determined to see it through. today, while our work continues, i want to update you on the progress: bp has set aside 20 billion dollars to fund economic and environmental recovery. we're paying for all spill- related clean-up costs. and we've established a 500 million dollar fund so independent scientists can study the gulf's wildlife and environment for ten years. thousands of environmental samples from across the gulf have been analyzed by independent labs under the direction of the us coast guard.
i'm glad to report all beaches and waters are open for everyone to enjoy. and the economy is showing progress with many areas on the gulf coast having their best tourism seasons in years. i was born here, i'm still here and so is bp. we're committed to the gulf for everyone who loves it, and everyone who calls it home. we're following all things politics including mitt romney, in tampa, florida, making remarks live. he is still speaking. we are live streaming on
cnn.com. you can go there if you would like to hear the rest of his speech. we'll probably dip in as well as he continues to try to win votes in tampa, florida. and we're checking stories, our affiliates are covering across country. buried alive. in a matter of seconds the snowmobiler gets swept away by an avalanche. this happened in washington state. one of the guy's friends had a helmet cam. he records this whole thing as it happens. they say it was pretty terrifying. >> i knew that i was buried enough in snow that i couldn't move, i mean i just was suffocating in the snow. >> when they were digging i was like, this isn't good. you know, so i was grabbing a shovel while the guys were in there with their hands. >> can you breathe? we got you buddy. we got you. you're good. >> they knew where i went in the snow and that was the saving grace, snowing where i went in the snow.
>> that is unbelievable. to palm springs, california, we are just -- just about every street now shows signs of damage, from winds that hit almost 70 miles an hour. that is close to hurricane strength. now crews are trying to clean up the trees, the branches, the other debris. you can see they are rushing to try to get all of that taken care of. we wish them well. new york, a tractor trailer driver loses control, smashes into a guardrail and ends up dangling off an overpass in his cab. the trailer, meanwhile, crashed through the guardrail, lands on the embankment below. the driver remarkably okay. the vehicle not so much. and devastation in alabama. entire subdivision wiped off the map. in jefferson county, after a tornado with 150-mile-per-hour winds struck early yesterday, many families were actually sleeping when it hit. bob van dillen is joining us from clay, alabama. pob bob, we know two people have
lost their lives in clay. rescuers are they still looking for survivors? >> no. at this point they are not. that rescue stage is over with. everybody is accounted for. what they're doing now, if you can look behind me, a lot of people that own those houses are trying to pick through and see what they can salvage. about everybody at every blank house, look at the damage we have, it's in all degrees. one pile of rubble behind me, that's a house that is totally gone. that one is just absolutely demolished. a little bit of the slab is still visible on the left and the debris pile is off to the right. the next house you go to is another house that has a couple rooms left, but we only had one serious injury in this subdivision and it was at that house right there. a guy got sucked out of his room and thrown right on to the ground that hurt him a bit. he should be okay. you go to the next house and you can see the damage right there. notice that green couch sticking out of the window. that's from a house just two houses down to the left, the one
totally destroyed. that is not her couch. the lady that lived there, she's on the top story, she got thrown out of her house and landed with her bed and her mattress on top of the rubble you see on the right and then we had a neighbor come by and rescue her. she's okay. go to the next house, look at this one. almost all gone. this was a family with a 1-year-old baby. the baby lucky was staying with neighbors last night. it's good news because that room is gone. the baby's room is gone. she was not there for that to happen. just thank goodness for that. we caught up with a couple people that live in this division itself and i asked them, matt, what's the first thing you did, you saw the tornado go through, what happened next? >> i ran in the house. it was maybe 30 seconds, and i grabbed my family and threw them in the closet. we were all gathered up and heard the big boom and i waited maybe a half a minute and -- and i said, baby, stay here for a second. i came out and said we've been
hit, it's pretty bad. you hear the smoke alarms going off, the fire alarms going off, people screaming. >> reporter: and the first thing he did after that was he went around and he checked his neighbors which is always amazing to me. there's about 100 houses in this subdivision. 20 to 30 of them cannot be rebuilt. there are some about a block away that just has a little bit of shingle damage, that's it. i think the path from what i can see is about 100 yards wide where i stand right now. so not that wide. but very powerful. 150-mile-per-hour winds. suzanne. >> that's amazing, bob. i had a chance to talk to the governor yesterday about all of this. they are recovering from last april's tornados that hit more than 200 people were killed in that incident. you talk to people, do they get a sense of fear that, you know, they're recalling what had happened just last year and are feeling that same renewed sense of concern? >> well, it's a good question because a couple of people reminded me of the exact date. right, april 27th deal, and they live on the i-59 corridor. this is the second time they got
hit, you're right. one, i was talking to a man on his front porch when he saw that tornado go by over the hill and they had no damage. in this subdivision last night, on monday morning early, it was their turn unfortunately. >> all right. thank you, bob. appreciate it. we wish them all the best in their recovery. mitt romney is finally released his tax records, rather, for the last two years. they total up to more than 500 pages. it shows he made more than $42 million over a two-year period. our christine romans rolled up her sleeves and she dug through all of it to take a look. find out what it means. >> a glimpse into hundreds of pages of tax documents from will ward and ann romney. the president candidate mitt romney. and a lot of this we already know, but revealing here to the extent of his wealth and just how complicated his family finances are. much of this wealth in blind trusts, so someone else is managing all of this. even in 2010, he had a swiss bank account, he has funds around the world in places like
bermuda and the cayman islands, all, according to his advisers completely legal. mitt romney said he's proud of every penny of taxes he pays and he has paid over the past couple years more than $6.2 million in taxes. he's also given away even more than that. given away about $7 million, much of it to the mormon church but also to other entity like cancer research, multiple sclerosis research and boys and girls club. this is a campaign that is trying to say look, this is an example of the american dream, someone who did not inherit money from his father but managed to work his way into the american economy, build a business and build connections and build vast vast wealth. others, though, are saying now wait a minute. this is actually the personification of income inequality because he is now making vast amounts of money every year and paying 13, 14, 15% tax rates on those because you are taxed less for making money with money than making money with your work, with
actual hours worked. i want to quickly show you how this stacks up in the competition in the race how the money stacks up. mitt romney and ann romney in 2011, $21 million. $21 million. effective tax rate of 13.9% for their 2010 tax return. how does that compare with the gingrichs? the gingrichs paid a much higher tax rate, and made about $3 million. and the obamas made about $1.8 million with an effective tax rate of about 26%. so clearly the campaign, the romney campaign, suzanne, would hope that all of these documents now put this question to rest, but i can assure you there are an awful lot of people going through every last page and they will still be talking about the wealth of mitt romney, both on the republican side and the gingrich camp and also on the democratic side, to show he is not in touch with the average american family. median income by the way $49,000 a year. suzanne? >> not going to be put to rest so far. you think democrats are the only ones fighting to keep newt
gingrich out of the white house? some republican leaders, they're afraid of his nomination, but he's feeling pretty confident. >> we look forward to working with you. thank you very much. ♪ how do you like me now ♪ how do you like me now so uh this is my friend frank and his, uh, retirement plan. one golden crown. come on frank how long have we known each other? go to e-trade. they got killer tools man. they'll help you nail a retirement plan that's fierce. two golden crowns. you realize the odds of winning are the same as being mauled by a polar bear and a regular bear in the same day?
here's a run down of some of the stories we are working on next. why newt gingrich's rise in the polls is actually scaring some republicans. and then canada has announced its candidacy for president of the united states. 11:45 new york senator kristen gillibrand will join us to talk about tonights a state of the union address. after a big win in south carolina, newt gingrich building momentum now in florida. take a look at the most recent cnn/gallup poll, the former speaker about even with mitt romney nationally. some of the party, they are not happy about this. dana bash has the story. >> reporter: newt gingrich may have led republicans to their
first house majority in 40 years, but the prospect of gingrich becoming their presidential nominee is producing significant gop angst. >> most people on capitol hill and in washington are very nervous about a gingrich presidency. >> reporter: veteran republican leadership aide ron says publicly, what many lawmakers and strategists will only tell cnn privately. >> it sends a shiver down a lot of republican spines. you can actually feel the nervousness in washington from republicans around town that gingrich could actually bring the craziness back of his speakership from the 1990s. >> reporter: several gop congressional sources tell cnn it's not only about the white house. republican leaders worry gingrich at the top of the ticket could be a drag on their candidates for congress, even hurt chances for taking over the senate. they point to races in virginia, ohio, florida and nevada, as examples of senate races that could be in jeopardy. why? gingrich's reputation as an undisciplined messenger. like when he said this about the
medicare plan most republicans supported. >> i don't think right wing social engineering is any more desirable than left wing social engineering. i don't think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate. >> reporter: some, like senator jim demint, dismiss concern. >> i think what we've seen from newt that people like is a willingness to take on the media and to really stand up and fight. >> reporter: still, just 12 s sitting republican lawmakers have endorsed the former house speaker. 64 support mitt romney. the gingrich campaign e-mailed a list of 11 former members of congress who served with gingrich backing him now, including j.c. wases. >> we had a balanced budget with newt. first time in our lifetime we didn't spend more money than we took in. >> reporter: many have endorsed mitt romney. susan made this ad as gingrich's support began to climb. >> i served with newt gingrich in congress. newt gingrich had a leadership style that can only be described
as leadership by chaos. >> reporter: gingrich, tries to turn the criticism into a plus. >> it's very clear the establishment wants romney. >> you just came from a breakfast with speaker john boehner. what does he have to say about gingrich? >> not much. he's very, very careful, suzanne. you know he was, of course -- newt gingrich one of his top lieutenants when gingrich was speaker but he's being careful not to saying anything about gingrich publicly or anybody else. he might not be, but other members of his conference are. one quick story i was riding up the elevator yesterday with one of the house republicans who's endorsed mitt romney and why did you mitt romney? he said, well i served with gingrich a long time and sort of smiled. >> i guess that says something without saying the words there. >> exactly. >> when you were with boehner, did he say anything about the president's state of the union address that's taking place? i know there's already some back and forth over whether or not this is really going to be significant? >> yes. it was very interesting. he had a breakfast for a small
group of reporters talking ahead of this state of the union address and talking about the themes that democrats are already running on, the president himself, specifically the idea that republicans' policies are bad for the middle class and boehner said that the president said he was going to run as a uniter, not a divider, but he's running on the policies of division and envy, which boehner says, to me is almost un-american. pretty strong stuff from the speaker ahead of the speech tonight where president obama will be sitting right in front of him. >> wow. okay. we'll be looking for the body language and, of course, in that chamber as one half stands and the other half sits and it goes back and forth depending on what they like or don't like. dana, thanks. appreciate it as always. are you fed up with all the political in fighting, ready for an alternative, right? no problem. jeanne moos, she has the answer. >> reporter: who needs the republican or democratic parties when there's now -- >> the canada party. america, but better.
has a pretty unique way of encouraging the students to read more. he lets them throw marshmallows at him. that's good incentive, i would think. only the students who meet the school's accelerated reading requirements get to be a part of all of this. even more kids qualified this time since the last challenge. that time, oh, yeah, they got to dump apple sauce on the principal's head. that's pretty good stuff. another guilty pleasure for you this morning, okay, they're babies, twins, and here's what happened when they heard their dad sneeze. >> that's my boy. >> all right. so they just decided to sneeze along with him. and, of course, it all ended up on youtube. wonderful moment. now back to politics. have you heard the one about the new presidential candidate? yeah. sounds like a joke. it is. our jeanne moos.
>> reporter: you're looking at the latest candidate for president of the united states. >> hello, america. it's us, canada. >> reporter: canada has announced its candidacy. >> we've seen your candidates and, frankly, they scare the [ bleep ] out of us. we're volunteering our country to lead your country. >> reporter: americans may think of canada as mountains, mounties, maple syrup and chipmun chipmunks, but nuts is how some canadians think of the u.s. presidential race. >> why do we want to be your president? two words. these guys. >> who's the president of uzbeki-becky-stan stan. >> what's the third one there? >> i'm speaking. >> the newspaper -- >> he was asking to have an open marriage. >> as close to despicable. >> let's do it again. >> reporter: who needs the republican or democratic parties when there's now -- >> the canada party. america, but better. >> reporter: it better be a parody. >> this is not an invasion. it's an intervention.
>> reporter: two canadian residents, an actor and a writer. us americans, you seem to be mocking us? >> if your neighbor's house is on fire and it's peeling your paint, you can either grab some marshmallows or grab a hose. and while we're here to hose america. >> here to hose america i guess. >> reporter: chris cannon is a former u.s. marine and still an american citizen, who plays championship level frisbee. the two have created a campaign poster. >> yes, we, canada. >> reporter: and two videos with more to come tweaking the u.s. >> and we have the same problem you do with illiterate foreigners invading our southern borders to steal our jobs. >> reporter: creators faith the wrath of an american service woman. >> suggesting that i put the video up my backside. >> reporter: among the canada party's campaign promises, we will build a keystone oil pipeline, but it will carry maple syrup. it's the republican race that inspired the parodies.
>> are you just going to keep talking? >> no, but i will. >> all this stuff is twirling around in my head. >> reporter: but they poke the president as well. >> mr. obama, we're canada, and even we think you're too polite. >> reporter: at least if canada is ever inaugurated. >> i, barack husain obama -- >> reporter: maybe it will get the oath, right. i canada, do solemnly swear. jeanne moos. to faithfully execute the office. cnn. of president of united states. ♪ >> pretty funny. we're getting a lot of responses to today's talk back question. we asked, what would you like to hear president obama's state of the union address? judy says, want to hear a speech that is positive, offers realistic hope and i want the entire program and audience to be civil. carol costello is up next with more of your responses. y bo
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we're getting ready for president obama's state of the union address tonight. people are weighing in on what they would like to hear. carol costello is here with the talk back questions and responses. so carol, what are folks looking for from this president now? >> pretty fiery responses today, suzanne. the talk back question, what do you want to hear in obama's state of the union. from jeff, what he'll do so congress will stop sitting on its hands. what part of the american jobs act will be implemented and when. j.d. says an immediate full audit of the federal reserve and removal of all the troops from iraq, afghanistan, germany, japan and an end to our meddling in the middle east. too bad these will never happen. from mike, i'm sure we will hear a host of hopes and yan aspirvation, a nation building towards a prosperous future for our children and grandchildren as i am sure we will also see and hear applause and standing ovations by half of the audience while the other half sits
quietquie quietly with scowls on their faces. from sal va, i would rather not hear anything any hor. i would like to see results for once. enough talking more doing. keep the conversation going, facebook.com/carolcnn. back with you in about 15, 20 minutes. >> all right. thank you, carol. one of gabrielle giffords last acts as a congresswoman is going to be attend tonight's state of the union address. no doubt, she is very well going to be getting the biggest applause of the night. we'll hear more about healing, trying to heal a divided washington. back then he had something more important to do. he wasn't focused on his future. but fortunately, somebody else was. at usaa we provide retirement planning for our military, veterans and their families. now more than ever, it's important to get financial advice from people who share your military values. for our free usaa retirement guide, call 877-242-usaa.
when you've got the parties and the president coming together in one evening. we don't expect them to all get along necessarily. new york senator kristen gillibrand is joining us from washington to talk about tonight's state of the union address. senator, great to see you. obviously everyone's going to be in the chamber there together. we're going to see a lot of the theatrics, people standing, some people sitting here. when we look at the year ahead and even beyond the elections, whoever wins, we are looking at a at a very bitter congress. is there anything that you feel that you can do personally to try to break through some of the gridlock in our government and get something done? >> i do. i think there is so much work that can be done on a bipartisan basis. even a nonpartisan basis. and what i look forward to hearing tonight is about that agenda, that bipartisan agenda. for example, it is a very bipartisan idea to see manufacturing in this country again. we all want to see made in america again. and i expect the president to
talk a bit about that. and i know that's something that can really bring democrats and republicans together. i also hope to hear a bit about small businesses. small businesses are such an economic engine in this country. they make two-thirds of all new jobs. that is a bipartisan idea. it's not a democratic idea or a republican idea, it's just a good idea. and so the more we focus on those nonpartisan approaches and we try to come together and do what's right for america, i think we will be successful. we saw it in the last congress when we did don't ask, don't tell, and when we did the 9/11 health bill, it is possible. >> is there anything that you think your party can do differently or better to try to reach over to your republican counterparts? >> i think it's important to start with a shared core common value. so, for example, when you're talking about the economy, we all want to get people working again. we all want to help businesses grow. and so we can take that basic belief that we share and then try to build upon it. and if with edo e do it in a wa
not adverse to any other party, we can get it done. so i think we can come together and get something done, and i look forward to hearing tonight what the president wants to lay out as some of his priorities. and i think a lot of those priorities truly will be shared. >> you, gabrielle giffords, debbie wasserman schultz, you guys are like the three musk ti musketeers there on capitol hill. she's going to be there tonight, obviously, before she resigns. a very close friend of yours. it really was the attack against her that sparked this kind of renewed commitment that you guys made to each other about working together across the aisle, sitting together. that hasn't happened this year. why do you suppose the tone didn't change in washington? >> well, we had to just keep working towards that. unfortunately, politics becomes so partisan too quickly. and, you know, gabby's been such an image of hope and a source of inspiration for so many of us, and i just remember right after the shooting, when president obama went to tucson and he gave that incredible speech where he talked about the death of that
9-year-old girl, christina green and said, you know, she has a vision of america about what makes us great, about what makes this democracy work, and we all are being called to live up to that vision. and that call to action is so important. and i think gabby's presence alone in the chamber tonight will help bring this congress together. i think she is a source of healing for all of us. and i think by her nature, as she served, she always served on a bipartisan basis. so i hope my colleagues can all look to her as that source of inspiration to get something done in this congress. >> and senator, i understand you're bringing a date. the republicans get a democrat, the democrats get a republican. who's your date tonight? >> lindsey graham, and i'm looking forward to go with lindsey. lindsey and i share a lot of priority tons national security agenda. we actually shared a trip to afghanistan and pakistan together and we're working on a number of bills together right now. >> all right, senator, we wish you well in your date tonight. we hope you guys do get along. sounds like off good relationship so far.
and we'll see what the president, if there is that kind of reaching out across the aisle tonight. thanks, senator. >> thank you. >> so that's a democrat talking about what will happen tonight, what could happen tonight. in the next hour, we're going to ask those same questions of republican senator saxby chambliss. as president obama prepares for tonight's state of the union, we're also looking back at the pledges that he made during last year's address. one of the promises was transparency. did he deliver? our tom foreman, he's got the story. p >> this white house has promised from the start to be more open, more transparent about the way it does business than any that we've seen before. and for the president, that meant queueing the tech talk about a special new program in the west wing. >> because you deserve to know exactly how and where your tax dollars are being spent, you'll be able to go to a website and get that information for the very first time in history. >> the administration lit up the federal taxpayer receipt project in april on tax day.
it can be found at whitehouse.gov under the taxes session and you can indeed get a breakdown on where your tax dollars go. that's a promise kept. >> and tonight, cnn's special coverage of president obama's state of the union address, it begins at 8:00 eastern, live from washington. and imagine booking a flight without even paying hidden fees. it sounds like a commercial for some sort of dream airline. well, there's a new law that's now making this a reality. ♪ ( whirring and crackling sounds ) man: assembly lines that fix themselves. the most innovative companies are doing things they never could before, by building on the cisco intelligent network.
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all right. time for a quick check of the markets. felicia taylor is joining us from the new york stock exchange. and felicia, what does it look like so far? >> with a little bit of a sell-off, and it's because we've got somewhat of a mixed earnings picture out there, and also, investors are still looking for some kind of announcement out of greece. today on the earnings front, we've got verizon, travelers, and mcdonald's, but they're all dragging down the dow. mcdonald's interesting, though, because it was a stellar performance in terms of earnings, but the stock is off as investors wonder, a, if the fast food giant can keep it up, and also currency fluctuations, because about 60% of mcdonald's business does come from overseas. verizon posted a loss and
traveler's fourth quarter profits fell. markets still anxious about greece, especially after s&p warned that it may downgrade greece, even if it restructures its debt. so a restructure may not even be good enough. suzanne? >> felicia, you and i travel a lot. we're on planes. i understand there are some new rules that might help us out a little bit. yes? >> yeah. you know, this is really about transparency for the consumer. airline ads are going to have to include all of those fees. whether they're taxes, whatever it may be, in the price of the ticket that they're advertising. the new overhaul begins on thursday. you might remember that airtran was recently fined for advertising $59 one-way fares. that sounds great, but the ads had little asterisks that showed, you know, taxes and fees, but not how much those taxes and fees would be, so you didn't know what the actual price of the ticket would be. so now ads have to show everything, whether it's fuel charges, the government's fee for 9/11, taxes, anything else. and also airlines are going to have to clearly lay out how much the bag fee will be on your e-ticket. so the new ads may show fares that seem higher, but they're
actually the same fare, but now it includes all the fees that they've been tacking on anyway. you're actually seeing what you're paying as opposed to being looped into a $59 fare and then ending up paying more like $70 or $80 because of all the fees that have been added on. >> and that's just annoying, when you see that. they add it up and it's much more expensive than you ever imagined. i think it's a good idea. good for them. >> yeah, it's frustrating. >> thanks, felicia. appreciate it. >> thanks, suzanne. top of the hour. i'm suzanne malveaux. i want to get you up to speed. it could be his biggest speech of the re-election campaign. president obama going before the nation tonight to tell us how things are going and what he wants to do to make them better. the economy, of course, is going to be the main focus of the president's state of the union address. sources say he's going to lay out a blueprint for the economy. he's expected to focus on income equality, the debt, taxes as well as jobs. our special live coverage begins at 8:00 eastern.
and even before the president delivers his speech, mitt romney knocking it down. presidential candidate delivered what he calls a pre-buttal, earlier in tampa, slamming president obama's economic record. >> today president obama has amassed an actual record of debt, decline, and disappointment. this president's agenda made these troubled times last longer. he and his allies made it harder for the economy to recover. instead of solving the housing crisis and getting americans back to work, president obama has been building a european style welfare state. >> after getting grilled by his rivals, mitt romney finally released his tax returns today and we knew he was wealthy, but in the last two years, romney made more than $42 million. his tax rate was just under 14%. he gave more to charity than he did to the irs. much of it going to the mormon
church. we're going to have a deeper look at his tax returns later in the hour. and the republican candidates are facing off for one more debate ahead of next tuesday's florida primary. their latest matchup was in tampa. that was last night. newt gingrich took a swipe at mitt romney over his tax returns. romney fired back. here's a taste. >> i'm prepared to describe my 15% flat tax as the mitt romney flat tax. i'd like to bring everybody else down to mitt's rate, not to bring him up to some other rate. >> and may i -- >> mr. speaker, is the tax on capital gains also 15% or is it zero. >> zero. >> well, under that plan, i'd have paid no taxes in the last two years. >> you don't want to miss cnn's america choice debate, that is thursday, 8:00 p.m., live from jacksonville, florida. in about an hour, fans of joe paterno will get a chance to pay their respects at a public viewing at penn state. the university's former football coach passed away on sunday, less than three months after his
61-year career came to an bankrupt end. the board fired him after his former defensive coordinator, jerry sandusky, was charged in a child sex abuse scandal. his daughter, mary kay, is defending his legacy. >> my father lived a full life. he lived his life -- he was -- what you saw was what you got with my dad. he was honest, he had integrity. he was committed to doing the right thing. and there was no question in any of our minds or his that he always did the right thing. even if it wasn't easy. >> alabama's governor is touring the damage left behind after a powerful tornado hit his state early monday morning. at least two people were killed. 211 homes destroyed in jefferson county. let's take a look at those pictures. unbelievable. the search continues now for more victims. the tornado hit lows to where the worst tornado outbreak in u.s. history hit last april,
which killed more than 240 people. all right. tonight, president obama carrying on a tradition that dates back to george washington. the president of the united states giving his assessment of the state of the union. >> the state of the union is not good. >> that the state of our union is sound. >> the state of the union is strong. >> the state of our union has never been stronger. >> and the state of our union is strong. >> i want to take a look at the economics, the politics of tonight's speech. christine romans is going to examine the state of the economy. christine, we are now recovering from the great recession. where do we stand now in terms of jobs and investments? what's the state of the economy? >> the state of your economy is what's going to be so important to people as they head into the voting booths, and of course the
president knows that more than anyone. things are recovering. that's a very good way to look at it. if you look at your investments, the stock market is near a six-month high here. right back up to where it was basically last april. and take a look at something like the jobs market, which is probably more important to most people than their investments. the job is the engine of your personal economy. you know, initial jobs claims just last week were the lowest in three years. we know 1.6 million jobs requester creawere created last year, suzanne. it so shows you the mass job losses that were underway at the beginning of the president's tenure, they have slowed, and in fact, the economy is slowly, slowly creating jobs. so that's where we are on those two important parts of the state of people's finances on their personal investments and their job. >> and christine, what about the state of housing? how are we doing? >> that's probably your biggest investment and your biggest debt, right? a lot of folks have said that things look like they're bottoming out in the housing market too. we've heard that before, but we
know that the number of foreclosures slowed a little bit last year, that's important, but partly because the banks have had to slow down so much. we know that home sales increased last year a little bit by 1.7%, so people are starting to sell homes again. but we also know that that doesn't mean that the price of your house is going up. in fact, your median home sales fell at the end of last year, down, you know, about 2.5%, and there are forecasts that are all over the map for this year, home prices either being steady or falling a little bit. one analyst has it all the way down, falling another 7%. i will say home prices are better in washington, d.c. and they're better in places like san francisco. so there are some parts of the market that are starting to recover. >> and overall economy, state of the overall economy? big picture? >> well, we're likely to see that by the last quarter of last year, things got a little bit better. remember, in the summer, we were talking about concerns of a double-dip recession. this economy avoided a double-dip recession and may have been growing by some estimates as much as 3% by the end of last year. so that shows you this slow, steady recovery.
but there are plenty of statistics and economic numbers that both sides will be using to try to prove their case. the president, that you're better off today than you were a year ago. and the republicans, that you're worse off today than you were four years ago. and that's going to be the crux of what you're hearing on the campaign trail and the state of the union. >> all right, christine, thank you. we'll all be walking. i want to talk about the politics of tonight's speech. brianna keilar live from the white house. this is the last state of the union speech before the election year. what are the kinds of things that the president is going to need to say to win over the independent voters or even maybe people who are on the fence now, undecided? >> reporter: you know, one of the big things that he's going to be pressing, suzanne, is this idea of fairness. and we've heard him talk about this now for months. the idea that americans should have a fair shot, a chance to be in the middle class, and basically pursue the american dream, and his vision that the government can serve a role in that. and also, that americans should pay their fair share. this is key. this is something that has polled very well.
democrats feel like they have sort of a winning strategy in this. expect president obama to push for the expiration of bush tax cuts for the wealthy and also to be pushing for tax reform, done in a way so that wealthier americans pay more. that sort of goes to his idea of paying the fair share, as something he was trying to target, not only his democratic base but also independents. and also expect him to kind of lay out a vision of what he wants in the future. i mentioned sort of the role of what government should be. the big liability, suzanne, as you know for this white house, nine months out, was the unemployment number. and so he's trying to make his case for some of the things he's done, trying to claim some credit for the modest improvements in the economy, but making the case there's more to be done. >> and real quickly, brianna, even before the state of the union has been dlfred, we're
hearing from powerful republicans who are criticizing the president. what's the bottom line of their criticism? >> reporter: he's being hammered of being political, even ahead of this speech, which we haven't heard, but of course there's it's a political speech. there's an element of that to it. it's an election year. but you really only have to look at some of the places he'll be visiting here in the coming days, very strategically important, iowa, nevada, colorado, arizona and michigan to really know that. but he will also be putting out some policy ideas, although a lot of them, of course, republicans are not on board, u sedan. >> brianna, we'll all be watching. it's a strange thing to watch sometimes when you see republicans sitting, democrats standing, and it goes back and forth depending on what the president has to say there. we'll see how it plays this evening and into the campaign. thanks, brianna, appreciate it. so here's your chance to talk back on one of the big stories of the day, it's what we've been talking about. president obama's speaking to the nation tonight, the annual state of the union address.
he's expected to discuss some big issues facing us, right? talking about jobs, the economy, the debt. what would you like to hear from him tonight. that is today's talkback question. carol costello is in d.c. with more. and carol, people are going to be watching tonight. they want to know, what's the state of the unio yoihe union? people are struggling. >> yes, they are. tonight there will be millions of middle class americans trying to find hope if our state of the union, like michael and moira. they represent what most middle class americans fear the most, that they'll sink farther underwater on a bad mortgage or lose their job, or they'll fall out of the middle class. all of that happened to the bidners, who now find themselves in an economic place they can't fathom. >> there's not a lot of home for me right now of, you know, somebody's going to fix this. it feels like, you know, we've got to, you know, buckle down and do everything ourselves and, you know, not expect anybody else to figure it out. >> see, they don't care about
allegations president obama is a socialist or that mitt romney is richer than god or that newt gingrich may or may not be an influence peddler. no, they want help, and they want specifics. so when colorado congressman doug lambborn says he'll skip the president's speech, because he's heard it all before, and house speaker john boehner calls the speech pathetic before he's even heard it, many middle class americans will wonder if any politician will ever get it. the same holds true if the president transforms the state of the union into a campaign speech or uses lofty political rhetoric to tout an economy that is getting better, but at a glacial pace. so the talk back question for you today, what do you want to hear in obama's state of the union. facebook.com/carolcnn. i'll read some of your responses later this hour. >> thanks, carol. here's a rundown of some of the stories we are covering later this hour. first, mitt romney releasing his tax returns, but he wants to talk about president obama's record before the state of the
union speech tonight. how's that going over? then, we're going to show you what happens when there's a huge explosion on the sun. we've got some amazing pictures. and then, how do you make a decision like who to pick for president? i talk with a man who's got some answers. >> impressions of how competent somebody is register in the brain in a fraction of a second, and we have a lot of results indicating that this affects voting. [ dad ] i'm usually checking up on my kids,
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together in an evening, but we don't necessarily expect them to all get along. georgia republican senator saxby chambliss, she's johe's joining from washington to talk about tonight's state of the union address. senator, very nice to see you. glad you could join us here. >> thanks, suzanne. >> we're going to see all of you guys together in the chamber. it's a formal occasion. the president will lay out the state of union here. people look at this year and they look beyond this election and they still see washington gridlocked. they say, why can't congress get more done? how do you plan to personally try to break through some of that and actually work with those across the aisle to move legislation forward? >> well, first of all, suzanne, you've got to have leadership coming from the top, and frankly there's been a void in basically every area out there. and i hope tonight that the president says, look, we were in a tough election year, but there's still major things that we need to accomplish that are
important to the american people and important to our country. and if he will take the initiative, i think it will help. otherwise, there's a continuous process here in the senate of trying to work on both sides of the aisle. people are reaching across, senator warner and i work very closely on the debt and the deficit issue. we're going to continue that work. our base have very broad out there from a bipartisan standpoint, from a war on terror standpoint. senator feinstein and i, i'm the vice chairman of the intel committee, she's the chairman. we see eye to eye on almost every issue. and when we have differences, we're able to really work them out for the most part. so those types of things have worked very well from my perspective, and i look forward to on thing to work with both republicans and democrats and with the white house. >> senator, i mean, i guess both sides want to do that, but listening to you now, it would sound like everything is working well in washington. and so many people in this
country really believe that members of congress are not doing their jobs. you have one of the lowest percentage of approval rates in a long, long time. is there something you can point to specifically that you think your party could do a better job of reaching out to democrats? >> well, i don't know that i can say that there is one specific area that republicans are somewhat dilatory in when it comes to trying to work things out. i, i -- you know, there are any number of issues, reaching from energy to housing to the war on terror where we have seen cooperation to a certain extent. the problem is, and the american people are justified, frankly, in their opinion about the gridlock in washington right now, because at the end of the day, what is the result? and the result has been, we simply haven't accomplished a whole lot. i mean, gee whiz, we could not even get the extension of the
unemployment and the payroll tax with the keystone pipeline in it at the end of the year for 12 months. we could only get it extended for two months. there's something wrong in this town and we've got to keep working at it until we get it right. >> and how do you do that? because congresswoman gabrielle giffords, she's going to be there tonight, and it was a terrible attack against her when she was shot in the head. she's going to be at the state of the union. this is really the last act, if you will, before she resigns to focus on her recovery there. but you guys made a pledge to work together, to put some of this ugliness behind after that tragedy. why hasn't the tone changed in washington? >> well, it has changed somewhat, but you have to understand, too, suzanne, that these are not black and white issues. these are very complex issues. these are issues that require not only a lot of debate, but a lot of thought going into it to make sure that we do it right.
and whether it's cybersecurity, which we're working on now, and frankly, we're working on in a bipartisan way, and a bicameral way. we're engaging with the house on this issue, and that is a critical issue. and i expect the president to give some detail on that issue tonight. >> all right. and senator, i have to ask you before you go, do you have a date tonight as well? i know they're paring democrats and republicans to sit together. do you have somebody you're sitting with? >> i'll be honest with you, suzanne, i've been in a classified hearing all morning. i just got back into town this morning and i frankly haven't given that much thought, but enjoyed sitting with senator warner last year and who knows where i'll be tonight. >> all right. you let us know if you find a date, a democratic date. >> okay. >> we appreciate it. thanks again, senator. as president obama prepares for tonight's state of the union address, we are looking at some of the pledges that he made during last year's address. has he kept his word on troops in afghanistan, for instance? our tom foreman takes a look.
>> with so much attention on afghanistan for so many years now, the president certainly had some things to say about that. >> this year we will work with nearly 50 countries to begin a transition to an afghan leader, and this july we will begin to bring our troops home. >> some troops have started coming home, true. so if you only focus on that narrow part, you have to give the president credit. but there is a bigger picture that many critics insist must be considered. right before barack obama took office, there were 32,500 american troops in afghanistan. however, he approved two troop surges, which doubled our military presence there. so by the time we vote for president again this fall, just under 70,000 will still be in afghanistan. for that reason, we have to call his pledge a work in progress. >> tonight, cnn's special coverage of president obama's
all right. got the largest solar storm in almost seven years flaring and tell us what this is all about, chad. >> well, we have solar flares, we have mass ejections, they're two different things. a solar flare is like the steam coming out of a pressure cooker and it's just radiation, comes right out of the sun, right to the earth.
a cme is like when you put spaghetti on the stove and it's there too long and the middle of it goes, blip. that's like a little explosion. we've had two separate things. we'll talk about them both. the radiation in the atmosphere now, they actually moved some airplanes around, not flying over the poles last night. they had some of the planes lower their altitude because of this radiation in the upper atmosphere and now we have this burp coming at us. it's the belching, i guess, of the sun. there's the sun, it belched a couple days ago, about 38 hours ago, and that belching hour is now here. it is part of the solar wind, it's plasma that came out of the sun. it is coming at the earth right now and is causing a solar storm. you're thinking, why haven't we talked about this for a long time? because the sun's been basically dormant. now the sun is acting up. we are in a solar maximum now, a g-3 class solar storm. voltage corrections are going to be required. we're going to have some power outages, maybe on some
spacecraft, on some satellites, but this is not a g-5, which we've had in the past, widespread power outages, grids completely gone, spacecraft not even seen, satellites completely gone. even our solar panels are completely obliterated. that's not happening. but the solar biological hazard of this radiation is up there for astronauts, no outside the vehicle things on the solar panels or even if there were a bunch of astronauts out there on the international space station -- i have five minutes of news here and i have a minute 30 to talk. i'm going to have to do this another time. >> i was going to ask you a follow-up about the weather, but we will come back to this. it's a big event. >> all right, thank you. bye. after being grilled by his opponents, mitt romney finally releasing his tax returns, more than 500 pages. we'll tell you what it means for the campaign. shoes. one day i'm on top of the world... the next i'm saying... i have this thing called psoriatic arthritis.
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next. mitt romney catching heat for paying a low tax rate on the $42 million he made over the last couple of years. and then, do you think real hard before you make a decision or do you act in a split second? i'm going to talk to a world-famous psychologist about how we think. that's in our bookmarks segment. and later, truthometer, separating fact from fiction in last night's republican presidential debate. well, he made more than $42 million over the last two years, but it's not mitt romney's earnings that have people talking, it's how little he pays in taxes. journalism tax expert david cay johnst johnston, he's joining to us break down the numbers here. explain to us all how it works. you have the romneys here, enemy more than $21 million, how is it that his tax rate is just 13.9%? >> republican congress taxes the romneys and a narrow class of other people differently than everyone else. most of romney's money comes from something called carried interest.
it's a share of the profits from successful investments. and even though his money was not at risk, the client's money was, mr. romney gets the benefit of the 15% tax rate. and as a result, the romneys, on their $21 million of income, paid the same tax rate as a single worker making about $54,000. >> explain to us also about this idea of the gift, and the fact that some of these funds were transferred to his sons. >> well, if you wanted to give $100 million to your children, assuming you had it, normally you would have to pay a gift tax of about $30 million. the romneys paid no gift tax. that's because the carried interest is considered by congress to be a profits interest, that is a share of the profits, and not ownership, so when you give it away, you can value it at zero. even though you're giving your children something with enormous value, because profits are going to employee into it. the tax returns for 2010 shows
two gifts that went into one of the romney trusts. they were both valued at zero. you and i can't do that, but congress lets managers of private equity and hedge funds do this, and it's inaddict oif of how america has two tax systems, separate and un equequ. one for most of us, and then one for people like mitt romney who is in the top 1% of the top 1%. >> let's just be clear here. romney and his campaign, when they put out these numbers and these figures, they say, we've done nothing wrong here. we're sackful family. we make a lot of money, we give a lot to charity. but they haven't broken the law or done anything that would be considered incorrect, is that right? >> suzanne, that's exactly right. the romneys have done everything as best i can tell that is perfectly proper. there's a scandal here, but it's not the romneys, it's congress. and by the way, under newt gingrich's plan, the romneys would pay virtually no tax. under mr. romney's plan, his tax would drop dramatically, because
under his tax plan, the roughly one in 500 americans that makes over $1 million a year would get 28% of all the tax cuts that mr. romney is proposing. >> and real quickly here, he has not released his tax returns from 1982 to 1999, the time he was head of bain capital. so is this a complete picture of what romney pays, how he does business, without those figures? >> no. you know, his father released 12 years of returns, president bush released his returns for every year he had significant income, so did barack obama and many others. and we need to see the '84 to '99 returns. and i think he should certainly meet the standard his own father set in 1968, which was before we knew that richard nixon was involved in filing criminally fraudulent tax returns. >> all right. thank you very much for breaking it down for us. appreciate it. well, you've seen the polls, the political ads, and more than a dozen debates, but when election day finally rolls around, do you vote with your head or your heart?
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we are rolling out a new segment today. we call it bookmarks. it is the big ideas from the best sellers and it's driving the national conversation. so here's a question. when you have to make a decision, do you go with your gut or do you like to think things over first? well, the answer, that answer says a lot about you, and it says a lot about the way american voters choose their presidents. so recently i spoke with daniel from princeton university. he's been studying the science of decision making for decades. his latest book, "thinking fast and slow" riding high on "the new york times" best seller list right now, and it splans how we all use these very different styles of thinking every day, especially when it comes to politics. >> doctor, thank you so much for joining us. first of all, you outline two deferent ways that people make
decisions. you call them system one and system two. tell us how they work. >> well, you know, they are two different ways of thinking and we're all familiar with it. if i say two plus two, the thought four comes to your mind without you having to do anything. it just happens to you. but if i ask you to do 17 times 24, you're going to have to work at it. so some thoughts come by themselves, that's system one. some thoughts you've got the work for. and that's system two. >> having covered the white house for nearly ten years, i got a chance to see very different styles of leadership and decision making. so president bush, he prided himself on being a gut guy, going with his gut, and he really derided this notion of self-reflection. he even called it naval gazing. president obama on the other hand prides himself on being very deliberative and has this style of being professorial.
how do these types of decision making affect a world leader? >> well, there's no question that you couldn't find a better example of a system one decider than george bush and a more extreme example of a system two decider than president obama. interestingly enough, the public likes deciders, likes decision makers to make their choices quickly. and somebody was very deliberate appears to be less decisive. this is clearly costing president obama something, in terms of how his divisiveness is judged. because people go by the speed with which decisions are reached. this is, by and large, likely to be wrong, but that's the way that system one works. we want people to follow their intuitions. >> give us an example. are there characteristics, physical characteristics you can point to to help people form opinions about what they believe
that a person is like? >> we go a lot by appearance. we tend to get an impression of strength from the general shape of the face. square shapes go one way and round faces go the other way. strong is square, round is weaker. something about the eyes is quite important, the distance between the eyes. we pick up a great deal from the shape of the face. this affects voting. it actually, the appearance predicts the results of elections. >> you look at the candidates here, and you couldn't have more square-jawed candidate than mitt romney, if he went up against another square-jawed individual, president obama. >> central casting couldn't do much better in terms of the looks of the candidates. >> do you think that people are looking for this already? that they can already determine from the candidates that they see, that they've already started to form late some of those assumptions and opinions? >> well, you know, from the research that we know, they
started within one second of seeing those faces, and then it tends to accumulate. of course, you can discover that you really agree with somebody with a wrong shape of face, but a lot is influenced by those cues that we're barely aware of. president clinton was a very good example of somebody to whom people could relate very immediately, and there was that sense of intimacy that he could generate on television. so did president reagan. the way that presidents stride from the helicopter tells us a lot, we think it tells us a lot, about how decisive they are. that is probably nonsense. it's very unlikely to tell us something valid, but we have those intuitions. they come to us. and we actually cannot resist them very well. >> so that's a candidate to hear what david khaneman has to say about political pundits and how
they do to predicting the future. check out the rest of my interview on my facebook page, facebook.com/suzannecnn. and newt gingrich comparing your local credit union to freddie mac, the troubled mortgage company. he says they're both government sponsored. find out whether his claim passes the truthometer test, up next. to supply affordable, cleaner energy, while protecting our environment. across america, these technologies protect air - by monitoring air quality and reducing emissions... ...protect water - through conservation and self-contained recycling systems... ... and protect land - by reducing our footprint and respecting wildlife. america's natural gas... domestic, abundant, clean energy to power our lives... that's smarter power today.
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pulitzer prize winning editor of politifact.com, joining us with a look at some of these recent claims, and whether or not they measure up to the truthometer. bill, let's start with this one from newt gingrich, during last night's debate. he said, when i was speaker, he had four consecutive balanced budgets. what do we know? >> we rated that false on the truthometer. he actually had two consecutive balanced budgets while he was speaker. the other two occurred after he left office. let's not forget, he resigned in, i think it was 1999, so the last two budgets were not ones when he was speaker. so he gets a false on the truthometer for that one. >> all right, false. what about this one from mitt romney last night. he said, "we have 25 million americans out of work." is that true? does that seem high to you? >> that is high. we gave that a half-true on our truthometer.
the official number of unemployed, using the regular standard, is 13.1 million. so get to 25, you have to use what economists call the u-6, which includes categories of people that we really don't think about being unemployed, people who have given up locking for work, and also people who are in a part-time job and would like to work full-time. so we gave him a half-true. >> and another quote from gingrich, rerepeats a claim that "electric co-ops and credit unions are government sponsored enterprises, like the mortgage company freddie mac." >> way off on that one. we gave that a pants on fire. the the reason is, what gingrich is trying to do here is to make his work for freddie mac sound pretty benign, like he's just working for your local credit union. but, indeed, credit unions are not the same as freddie mac in terms of being government sponsored enterprises. a gse, there are only a handful,
they are chartered, they're actually created by legislation, by congress. and in the case of freddie mac, actually, you know, have a direct line of credit. so not a good comparison. way off. there are only a handful of gses, not credit unions, not electric co-ops. so pants on fire on the truthometer for that one. >> bill adair, thank you, bill. appreciate it. we are getting a lot of responses to today's "talk back" question. wh what do you want to hear from president obama in the state of the union address. jane says, "i want to hear him identify by name every senator and kongsman that has held up every piece of legislation he has recommended. that would be interesting viewing." carol costello is up next with your responses. but first, some free money advice from the cnn help desk. >> time now for the help desk, where we get answers to your financial questions. joining me this hour, ma nicheya is a personal finance expert and linnette is the founder of ask
the money coach.com. ladies, thank you for being here. first question, this comes from betty in milwaukee. betty wrote us, "i have no savings and my student loans will come due in may. should i cash out my 401(k) and pay off my $28,000 in credit card debt?" >> okay, short answer, no. you have multiple challenges to deal with here, and while it might seem easy to that i can a 401(k) and cash it out, you'll have to pay penalty and tax. your student loans aren't coming due in full. it's your first payment. what i would rather see her due between now and then is take on some extra work, earn some extra income, tighten that belt and start paying down an extra $50 a month on those credit card bills, $100 a month if she can, and make sure she can make the minimum payment, but don't touch the 401(k) money. >> huge tax implications there. lynnette, your question comes from jeff in anchorage, alaska. he writes, "although i pay off
my credit cards each month, i have too many accounts open. how should i close down the cards while avoiding damage to my credit score?" >> great question. you don't want to close all the accounts at once. that can backfire against you. and leave open the account that you've had the longest or the account that has the highest credit line. because part of your credit score is based on the length of your credit history, as well as your credit utilization rate, which just means how much debt you've charged versus how much you have available. so keep those cards open and maybe close one or two, but sequentially, over time, not all at once. >> and don't get anymore, no matter what they offer. >> well, you can get them, but use them wisely. >> that's the key. thank you so much, if you have a question you want answered, send us an e-mail anytime to firstname.lastname@example.org. what ? customers didn't like it. so why do banks do it ? hello ? hello ?!
all right. we are getting ready for president obama's state of the union address tonight. people are weighing in on what they'd like to hear. carol costello, she's here with today's "talk back" responses. carol, what do they want to hear from the president? >> wait until you hear our "talk back" question today, what do you want to hear from president obama's state of the union address. edward says, "i want to hear the president talk about those who caused the financial collapse/meltdown and them doing some jail time." this from john, "i would like to mention our president mention the word grace. grace towards others when they screw up, what could our world look like tomorrow morning in our conversations and news stories were about what it looks like to share grace with us instead of the same old partisanship we've come to know and expect."
this from peter, "truth and transparency for once, in the history of modern politics, not gilded words and hastily made promises that will never happen, but truth for the american people. i believe we deserve that much at least." this from emily, "i'd love to hear the president sing again for us. it was al green last week, perhaps we can hear some lady gaga tonight." hmm. i'm all for that. keep the conversation going, facebook.com/carolcnn. and thanks, as always, for your comments. >> that was a good one, carol, i have to say. >> if he dresses lady gaga, that would be even better. >> stay with us, carol, i want you to check this out. we have the oscar nominations, oscar nominee george clooney here. i want you to watch this. ♪ happened just a while ago. best actor in his role of "the descendent descendents". guess who his rival is. do you know? >> brad pitt. >> brad pitt, yeah, for "moneyball." so both of these movies are up for best picture. and which one -- okay, i spoke
with one of the producers, i'm not going to mention which one it was, she says, it doesn't matter if you see the film, she's going for brad pitt. >> really? i only saw "moneyball," so i can only go for brad pitt too. >> i think she's just looking at how good-looking the two are and she's going with brad pitt. >> i think it's a toss-up. that's hard! that's a difficult choice. >> it is a tough one. but they're both great movies. so we'll have to see, the better actor or the most handsome actor, may the best man win, right? >> i'm sure it's based on talent, suzanne. >> all right. see you, carol. well, forget about newt gingrich, mitt romney. if there is one republican who should scare the democrats, it's karl rove. we're going to tell you why. would you take it? well, there is. [ male announcer ] it's called ocuvite. a vitamin totally dedicated to your eyes, from the eye-care experts at bausch + lomb. as you age, eyes can lose vital nutrients. ocuvite helps replenish key eye nutrients. [ male announcer ] ocuvite has a unique formula
but we were determined to see it through. today, while our work continues, i want to update you on the progress: bp has set aside 20 billion dollars to fund economic and environmental recovery. we're paying for all spill- related clean-up costs. and we've established a 500 million dollar fund so independent scientists can study the gulf's wildlife and environment for ten years. thousands of environmental samples from across the gulf have been analyzed by independent labs under the direction of the us coast guard. i'm glad to report all beaches and waters are open for everyone to enjoy. and the economy is showing progress with many areas on the gulf coast having their best tourism seasons in years. i was born here, i'm still here and so is bp. we're committed to the gulf for everyone who loves it, and everyone who calls it home.
some say that karl rove, a name you may not have heard recently, should be the one scaring democrats more than any republican candidate. why? jessica yell rin reports on today's in depth. >> reporter: he's the man democrats love to hate. >> two groups funded and advised by karl rove -- >> an interest group can give millions of dollars to karl rove, secretly. >> reporter: what's up with that? >> president obama will have the cash, but he can't win by running on his record. >> reporter: karl rove is the most public face of american crossroads and crossroads gps, outside spending groups devoted to electing republicans and blocking the president's agenda.
but the man who runs it all is steven law. his offices are just a few blocks from the white house. >> it's kind of shockingly spare, really. we have holes in the wall and it's not particularly a high-end kind of place. >> reporter: but don't let that fool you. >> our goal is to raise between $240 million and $300 million. >> reporter: because the obama campaign is so good at raising money, he's convinced as soon as there's a republican nominee, the democrats will -- >> try to make them unelectable prior to the conventions. our nominee will not have resources and groups like american crossroads can come in and fill that gap. >> reporter: law's groups can collect sometimes multi-million dollar checks in two ways. for donors who don't mind giving publicly, there's american crossroads. this super pac can make hard-hitting political adds. >> we've got shovel-ready -- shovel-ready -- shovel-ready projects. >> reporter: for donors who want no fingerprints, there's crossroads gps.
contributions here are kept secret. the group has to make mostly so-called issue ads, meaning they can't say vote for or against a candidate, but can you tell the difference? >> shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected. >> 14 million out of work, america drowning in debt. >> reporter: gps does more than tv. they also invest in other groups on the right, a kind of venture capital fund for politics. >> we should expand the playing field, make sure that the groups that are doing effective things are getting money. >> reporter: in 2010, they wrote fat checks to organizations fighting tax increases and president obama's health care law. crossroads also hosts a regular lunch here to coordinate strategy with other super pacs on the right. >> it's totally appropriate for us to communicate with other groups like that. >> reporter: law says crossroads was created to counter the influence of labor unions on the left, but one campaign watchdog sees big differences between the two. >> i think labor unions improve
democracy, because they represent large numbers of people. american crossroads, it simply isn't the case. they represent a very small number of very wealthy billionaires. that's less democratic by definition. >> we're going to bring in jessica here. it's an interesting parallel, jessica, and an excellent report you did. this parallel they draw between crossroads and labor unions. do you believe that that's a fair comparison? >> reporter: well, when you talk to labor union representatives about this, they get very upset and say absolutely not. labor unions are subject to much more serious disclosure laws, because they don't just report to the federal election commission, they also report to the department of labor. so they have to show every dollar they spend on political things, on political issues. two, they say they're much more involved in get out the vote efforts, although the folks at crossroads says they're really working hard at get out the vote efforts online. and the other point labor unions make is that they're much more democr