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tv   Starting Point  CNN  February 22, 2012 4:00am-6:00am PST

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>> "starting point" with soledad o'brien is next. >> ladies, good morning. our "starting point" this morning is news that has broken overnight. two western journalists are dead, killed in syria. one who reported on this network about the murder of a small syrian child just hours before she herself was killed. tragic story to bring you this morning. also, a desert showdown tonight. final face-off before arizona, michigan, and super tuesday. the front-runner, i don't know who the front-runner is. we're going to talk also this morning about comments about satan and will they come back to haunt rick santorum or will they continue to lead to his surge? a new document industry with inside information about the clinton white house. it describes bill as used car salesman and talks a lot, a lot about what happened at the monica lewinsky scandal broke out. no surprise that the clintons are not happy about it. we're doing to talk to a close friend of theirs right here in the studio. "starting point" gets under way right now.
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welcome, everybody. right to breaking news. two western journalists including an american journalist has been killed in syria. the american is marie colvin who reported from syria for us just hours ago as he was talking to anderson cooper on this network. remi ochlik is a french photographer who was also killed. it happened in the city of homs. we have new videotape to show you. this is showing you the rubble from that videotape where the shelling rather, where the journalists were killed. and last night when she was talking to anderson on "ac 360," mary colvin talked about the murder, as she put it, that she sees happening in that scity every single day. >> this is the worse, anderson, for many reasons. i think the last time we talked when i was what mathere's nowhe to run.
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the syrian army is holding the perimeter. there's far more ordnance being poured into this city and no way of predicting where it's going to land. >> mary colvin, you see her there with an eye patch over her right eye. that's because when she was in sri lanka covering a story she lost an eye. so a terrible story to have to report. we're going to give you more details as we learn them this morning. also, we are following developments on the rest of the day's headlines. christine romans has those for us. >> good morning. that's right. in kabul, the american embassy on lock down right now. this as protest rage there across afghanistan over the mistaken burning of the koran at a military base. thousands of afghans demonstrated outside the base setting fires and venting their outrage. an official says some of the religious material was removed because detainees were writing on the documents to exchange extremist messages. the u.s. is apologizing saying this was an honest mistake.
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iran threatening to preemptively strike first anyone who threatens it. that statement coming from a top iranian general. the u.s. and israel has not ruled out strikes against iranian nuclear facilities. it comes as u.n. nuclear talks in iran have failed for a second time this year. a team of u.n. inspectors left iran after being denied access to a military site where nuclear weapons testing may be taking place. lower tax rates in exchange for giving up loopholes. it's a key part of president obama's corporate tax reform plan. that plan to be unveiled today by the administration. it proposes cutting the overall corporate tax rate from 35% to 28%. then eliminating dozens of loopholes and subsidies and adding a new minimum tax on foreign profits. the goal is to keep jobs and manufacturing in the uts. administration officials say the changes are essential for fixing a system that's uncompetitive, unfair, and inefficient. minding your business this
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morning, stock futures for the dow, nasdaq, s&p 500 all trading slightly lower. the dow briefly, briefly crossed the 13,000 line yesterday. for the first time since may 2008 but it couldn't hold on. markets worldwide are down this morning. investors are concerned the new bailout for greece won't be enough to solve the debt problems in return. secretary of state hillary clinton didn't get the memo. take a look from the group vote to from the g-20. everyone in white except for hillary clinton in lime green. this state department said it wasn't aware of any formal dress code for that photo-op. alked
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advising mitt romney on the debates. we're excited to have you. a fellow at the institute of politics at harvard's kennedy school of government. nice to have you back. this is like everybody back home again. i like this. and kathy aru, contributing editor at "washington post" magazine is with us. nice to have you all. we are talking this morning first about the new documentary. did you get a chance to see this? it's about the clintons and, of course, it's causing controversy and part of the reason we're talking about it is because it was causing controversy because much of it focuses, of course, on the scanned that took place in the president's oh of during his term in office. here's a little chunk of how it went. >> this is him being a used car salesman, this is a sense of a guy being a charming hick. he was loathed because, first, i think we've all nonsomebody like bill clinton and we don't want
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them to be president of our country. >> mr. clinton, mr. clinton -- >> the wife was terrifying as well. she was pushy. she was humorous. she couldn't get her hair figured out. there were just so many things about hillary we didn't like. >> as you can imagine when she really, really hates the clintons, decides to give a lengthy interview you kind of know where this documentary is going to go. a long-time friend of the clintons and former white house special counsel lenny davis joins ur panel as well. thanks for being with us. i can't imagine anything that's going to star goldberg, you kind of know where it's going to go. did you end up watching the documentary? >> i ended up watching it with a bag nearby just in case. let me first say that i did not talk to the clintons at all. i don't know what they think of this. this is me speaking as a long-time friend for over 40 years. the fact that they put this evil person with hatred that is ugly to even watch on national
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television in a documentary on pbs who set up linda tripp to betray a young woman on tape and that is about the clinton presidency which i would like to talk about, the achievements that are completely omitted with bogus scandals covered as that f. they were real, like white water that ended up with nothing, zero, after 3,000 articles in the "washington post" and the "new york times." and that's where they spent their time which i think is really unfair. >> no love loss. there are people who would say, 40 minutes of the documentary is spent on monica lewinsky and the scandal. there are a number of people who are not particularly, you know, partisan who would say, listen, that was a scandal that led to attempts to impeach the president of the united states. that wasn't a white water, that wasn't something that disappeared. that was a scandal that really had the nation pem broied in that conversation. you think that's unfair, that amount of time spent? >> 40 minutes.
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>> of 4 hours. >> disproportionate. let's give the total picture. there were eight independent counsels in eight years. 116 million dollars spent, before lewinsky. $116 million. nine people investigated. five cabinet secretaries. president and mrs. clinton, and two officials. not one conviction, not one finding of wrong doing after $116 million of media obsession, funded and, i think, energized bipartisan republican investigations. zero results. entire series of four hours. probably spent three-fourths of those four hours on those bogus, completely nothing scandals. whitewater, nothing. foulgate, nothing. travel office, nothing. these were headlines hyped bipartisanship ending up in nothing. the lewinsky matter, yes. certainly personal failing.
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president clinton acknowledged that. it led to an impeachment. party line vote. the united states senate, 55 republican senators, they couldn't get 51 to vote for either one of the counts from the very partisan house process. so that's really yes, worth mentioning but in that very limited context. >> i think there are people who are going to disagree with you on that. go ahead. >> i think one of the things interesting about this is that it's a pbs documentary. as you know the entire system of public media has often been criticized as a left-leaning institution. so i'm wondering if part of the makeup of this was actually sort of strategic on the part of pbs to say, well, we can also have right wing-leaning content on. i don't know if that's part of it. it also shows that the political past is not the past. the clinton era will be relived again and again. >> here's robert talking -- he was interviewed for the documentary. let me play you a little chunk
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of that and then tell ask you a question on the other side. >> i've asked myself a number of times why he put himself and his presidency in jeopardy in such a careless way. the presidency is probably the loneliest office in america. bill clinton who so much needed and wanted to be loved couldn't say no to someone who was going to give him affection and wanted affection back. >> do you agree with his assessment and were you asked to be in the doc? >> no, i wasn't. and, of course, i don't know about him and his private life, whether he would want to talk about that in his personal weaknesses. president clinton acknowledged privately and publicly about his personal failings that led to the lewinsky matter. at the end of his eight terms, the american people had their verdict on those personal failings. he created 23 million jobs took
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a $300 billion deficit and turned it into a surplus and approval raying on his last day in office, soledad, was 65%. so with all of the acknowledgement of his personal failings on the public stage with his family and everything out there and his apologies, the american people got it. achievements in office were more important with the 65% approval rating when he left office. >> when you think back at his legacy, let's say we're having a conversation like this 15 years from now. we will still be talking about monica lewinsky. 65% approval rating, a lot of people wish they would have that right at this moment. you don't even think that by constantly setting the record straight it would help this scandal? >> it's a salacious media that focuses on scandal rather than 23 million jobs and a trillion dollar surplus and 65% approval
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rating, do we talk about all xantder hamilton's affair, do we talk about john kennedy, is that the legacy of franklin roosevelt, is that the legacy we really talk about? no. the scandal machine in the '90s, the hyper partisanship, a partisan impeachment, ignoring 23 million jobs, welfare reform, and what independent turned out to be the american people's verdict on what you said is a 65% approval rating on the last day in office. the highest approval rating in a two-term president in american history, that's the way history should judge him, not the salacious scandal machine that created bogus scandals. i'm talking about $116 million spent for absolutely zero. so will there be fact versus salaciousness in judging what was really going on, bogus scandals driven bipartisanship. >> we're leaving with that rhetorical question because the answer is we're going to have to wait and see how the history judges the presidency.
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thank you. still ahead on "starting point," the devil expected to come up in the desert tonight. no question about that. rick santorum talking about satan and then talking about his comments about talking about satan. we're going to get a preview this morning from the moderator john king. also, we told you about the stories of the teachers in buffalo getting free plastic surgery. we'll bring in a teacher to talk to us. she took advantage of the perk and she is defending it and we'll talk about that contract dispute under way as well. adele sending a message without using her musical voice. my play list is "hurricane." have you heard this song? listen. ♪ everything. but why energy? we've got over 100 years worth. is it safe to get it? but what, so we should go broke with imports? look, i'm just saying.
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"pumped up kicks." >> they perform the with beachboys on the grammys, too. >> i like that. the only debate that is going to happen before super tuesday is happening tonight. it's a cnn republican debate and is taking place in mesa, arizona. beautiful there. when i spoke to john king about it. there's a lot at stake for the candidates. john king is the host. i had a chance to talk to him yesterday about what he is looking from each of these candidates as he goes into it. john, thanks for being with us. so very big pressure, of course, from mitt romney because on the 8th is a state of michigan and a lot of what people are talking about is, you know, can he win that state and if he doesn't what does it mean? >> it's one of the states that matters because he was born there. because he has advertisements and he won the state of 2008. he said i'm the son of michigan. governor, ceo of auto company back in the day. branding test for mitt romney. people say he's a weak front-runner. he needs to prove he can win in a industrial state, where the
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economy, which is supposed to be his number one issue, is by far the defining issue of the campaign if rick santorum can betemit romney in michigan, that would throw it back to square one and we have a lot of people thinking we don't have a front-runner anymore. >> i was going to say front-runner when you look at the polling, you might say, well, actually it's rick santorum who is the front-runner now. he's got a lot of pressure on him in a different way because he hasn't really gone into a debate as a front-runner. >> i would say there is no front-runner. this is my seventh presidential campaign and it's unlike any other. rick santorum is like the no mem pull. throw out the term front-runner. the guy with the ball right now, the momentum, is rick santorum. his record in the senate, what he said recently about faith and contraception and the like and he needs to prove himself not only as a republican candidate for the nomination but as a potential republican nominee. but at the moment, soledad, he has a very clear strategy. why is he being so strident in
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his rest rhehetoric about presi obama and what about the general election. rick santorum has one goal right now and it's not about mitt romney. he's trying to knock newt gingrich out of the race. >> all the gingrich people will say, it's not going to happen. gingrich sort of dropped out of the conversation all together. every so often he popped up, he called himself the comeback grandfather. but he has a lot at stake, too. >> he has a ton at stake in the sense that eventual lu you have to start winning to prove you're a viable candidate in the race. speaker gingrich made a tactical decision to not emphasize arizona very much. he has excelled in the debates, raised money off the debates. there's a critically important debate for him and then the week after the debate. let's assume he runs third and fourth in michigan and arizona, that will hurt his fund-raising. super tuesday is the defining day of this contest for newt gingrich. >> let me ask you about the
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social issues you were just talking about with rick santorum. hess he's been doing well on that messaging but even the communications director for the rnc i spoke to yesterday told me this is an election decided on the economy. rick santorum has not been talking about the economy and it's been a social issues week or two where everybody is talking about gay marriage, talking about contraception, talking about everything else but the economy. >> senator santorum is from the steel town just outside of pittsburgh. he wants to revive the manufacturing base but he has been focusing primarily on the social issues. he has been escalating his rhetoric in the contrast of president obama and governor romney and others on the issues like contraception, social issues. he is drive third quarter debate. if he's not getting attention on the economy right now it's of his own choosing. to the conservative republican base, senator santorum has a lot of appeal. they love his passion. they love his position on the issues. they above the fact --
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>> there's a but coming. but, but. >> there is a but coming. but coming in that 50/50 presidential election, if you assume this is an election decided, president obama versus the republican nominee in one or two states, a state like pennsylvania, florida, state like ohio, those states are decided in very close elections in the more moderate suburbs where you might have women voters who are fiscally conservative but socially moderate. the social issues among independents and suburban women are not as much of a winner as in republican primaries. republicans have the jitters when they watch the tone of the campaign over the last few days. >> ron paul has disappeared. >> ron paul is an impact player in this race. he's getting 10% here, 12% here, 18% there. he's picking up delegates. anything he gets is coming from somebody else. however, soledad, you can't be the nominee unless you start winning. and we're now into the double digit number of contests. if ron paul doesn't have a win after the morning of super tuesday he's not a viable
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candidate for the nomination. that's hard medicine for his supporters to take. he's important in these debates. he will have delegates at the convention. but if he doesn't start winning and start winning soon, he's not a viable candidate for the nomination. it's simple math. >> john king, looking forward to the debate tonight. thanks for being with us. that simple math doesn't necessarily translate into dropping out of the race in any way, shape, or form. watch the debate here on cnn tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern time. we're going to have complete analysis right here tomorrow morning. still ahead on "starting point," our "get real" is the story of an eighth grader expelled over her asthma inhaler. she chose to share it with a friend who was having an asthma attack. also, new york city mayor says he's going to have to keep this country safe and he's defending the nypd's surveillance of muslims.
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this is a great song. this could vie for my theme song. "right now," van halen. i like the idea of starting the show with van halen. i like that. "get real" this morning. does anyone have asthma? >> yes. >> terrifying, right? i've had sort of asthma like attacks and your chest starts tightening up and you cannot breathe basically. this is a story about a young whom who was in a kind of desperate situation. eighth grade student from colorado leaned over and borrowed her friend's asthma inhaler during gym class because she felt like an attack. she doesn't have to worry about gym class because she's been expelled. according to denver, the girl broke the district's drug policy which forbids the sharing of any prescription drugs. even the girl who lent the inhaler was suspended but she was allowed to go back to the school. the girl's father says he's proud of her daughter and would
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do it again for choosing a zero tolerance policy over human nature and common sense. we feel that the lewis palmer middle school really should think about this policy. >> however. >> however. >> >> as a teacher, you're about to tell me something. >> i'm a former teacher and i know the laws around this. and, however, she has asthma. why did she not have her parents say that she had asthma and fill out the proper paperwork and make sure she had an inhaler on the school grounds? >> i agree. >> why borrow someone else's inhaler. an inhaler is a drug and it could be a dangerous drug just like aspirins with k. not be passed out at school. if a fellow students has a headache, give them an aspirin. >> punish the girl, yes, don't share your inhaler. absolutely. but any time you punish someone by kicking them out of school at a time in this nation -- >> they have the school law. >> punish them by keeping them in school, keep them in school double, have her go to saturday school. school punishment should not be expulsion in a semester before
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she is due to graduate from middle school. >> change the rule. >> if you have -- >> don't make me fight you, kathy. >> you're a former teacher. >> there's got to be some room for bend here. >> not with schools. >> obviously sharing the inhaler, that's probably, you know, out of bounds, but -- >> sharing a drug. >> but it was an inhaler and she was having an asthma attack. what would happen if our kids needed -- i've had asthma attacks. they're pretty severe. you know, in the moment, you need to get that rescue. >> they did what it took but they suffer the consequences. >> i'm glad you're not my teacher is all i want to say. >> i was strict. >> i bet you were. still ahead this morning on "starting point," governor chris christie, often doesn't have a filter which makes him entertaining on television. we'll tell you what he said to a billionaire, kind of a blunt message. we told you about the plastic surgery perk for some buffalo schoolteachers. a teacher is going to talk to us
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this is not my play list. this is cruz. i like that. great song. great album. let's get right to headlines. christine? >> good morning, soledad. just in this hour, four more bodies found in the shipwrecked costa concordia. more than a month has gone by since that cruise ship hit the rocks. 20 people now confirmed dead. 12 people are still missing. national gop front-runner rick santorum is defending comments he made four years ago a says, quote, satan has his sites on the united states. he spoke to our jim acosta. >> i believe in good and evil.
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i think if somehow or another because you're a person of faith you believe in good and evil is a disqualifier for president, we're going to have a very small pool of candidates that can run for president. >> santorum currently the gop front runner most national polls. new york mayor bloomberg fired back at the president of yale university and others who have suggested the nypd went too far. >> of course we're going to look at anything that's publicly available in the public domain. we have an obligation to do so. and it is to protect the very things that let yale survive. very cute to go and to blame everybody and say we should stay away from anything that smacks of intelligence gathering. the job of our law enforcement is to make sure they prevent things. >> this was all in reaction to an associated press report that said that the nypd was closely monitoring muslim school
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organizations in schools across the northeastern u.s. christians around the world are celebrating ash wednesday b. many will go to church today to get mash on their foreheads which is meant for pent tans. mardi gras, a time of celebration before this season. revelers partied down in new orleans. all right. she's not typically known for diva-like behavior was adele was upset when her acceptance speech was cut short at the uk britain awards so she flipped the bird. >> i can't believe i'm about to cut you off. >> you cut me off. >> i'm so sorry. >> can i just say then, good-bye and i'll see you next time around. >> after winning six trophies at the grammys, adele won best british female solo artist. >> who wants to be that guy. adele, i am so sorry but they sent me here to cut you off.
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that's a bad gig. thank you. there was a story that got a lot of attention yesterday when we brought it to you talking about schoolteachers in buffalo. and gary tuchman was report that teacher there's in buffalo are eligible for plastic surgery under their health plan no cost to themselves. there's a doctor who advertises in a newsletter. >> they would come in for like hair removal on their lips, face. >> do they also come in for liposuction? >> yes. >> breast enhancement? >> yes, they do. >> facelift? >> yes. >> rhinoplasty? >> yes. >> so it's busy? >> yes. >> so about 3400 teachers are eligible. they don't have to pay anything out of pocket. in fact, last year the school district covered $5.9 million in toes plastic surgery costs. at the same time the school faces a $42 million deficit. valluerie is a buffalo teacher.
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valerie, thanks for talking with us. boy, was my twitter blowing up yesterday. people were all over. some people thought it was -- they were horrified by the fact that teachers like you get this opportunity on your insurance. other people thought it was crazy that we were doing this story at all. tell me why you think this is a good thing, that you think it's good that this is offered to teachers in buffalo? >> i think everybody has a choice. teachers have an opportunity to choose from many plans. people need what they need. people deserve to be happy. we need to look past point of cosmetic surgery. i think that, you know, sometimes people's spirits are fracture and they try to figure out a way to heal. it's more about the inside than the out. >> your plastic surgery was not -- i think the 90% of surgeries are done are cosmetic like botox and laser hair removal and skin regeneration. that was not the case with you. tell me about your plastic
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surgery. >> well, in terms of the medical care i received, i don't really know exactly what your call it, but i had lost more than 100 pounds and i needed some care. and the doctors were kind enough to help me. >> people have framed this as a, you know, teacher going crazy, getting botox, story when my sense is that actually what this is welly kind of about is your debate over your contracts. is that correct to say, do you think? >> i believe that there is a debate and it's long, you know, been going on quite some time, about the contract. i'm very, very happy that there's been some new blood insected into city hall. i think with that new blood comes an awful lot of talent. i think the new superintendent of schools was able to work with
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him and the children and adults that we serve will be better off and stop focusing on things that don't matter, like a rider on a plan. i mean, really. it is our future that we're all working together for. >> you sound more like a politician than a schoolteacher, navigating, very carefully. >> well -- >> in some ways being very serious. >> i'm not navigating. this is a man that's willing to go to jail for me. he's i'lling to go to jail for me. i think sometimes we lose sight of what's important. this is not that important. >> so some people would say though if you're talking about -- i think the number is almost $6 million. that's a real number. that's $6 million that -- in a school where you have a $42 million deficit that sounds -- is being spent on plastic surgery and other plastic surgery type options. doesn't sound like everybody is focusing on the kids. it's like, wow, maybe there is some savings to go to teachers.
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it's not against anybody b who knows anything about buffalo. are they wrong? >> well, this is my take on it. >> okay. >> the city of buffalo has an $800 million budget. $800 million. oftentimes part of that money is returned because we simply can't figure out a way to spend it. so let the people and the players coming to the table work that part out. in terms of the jobs that were created because of plastic surgery and this industry, the families that are effected, you know, people need to work. if somebody is going to help me and offer me medical care, the kind of care that's going to make me feel better about me, i appreciate that. and i'm not going to judge the botox people. do you want them walking around with paper bags on their heads? what do you want? people deserve to be happy. happy people are productive. it makes everybody wonderful. so let's embrace that part of it. i hope everybody has an
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opportunity if they need it and if they want it to get the kind of medical care they deserve. >> i got to tell you i think there's a bunch of people who are going to disagree on that. >> that's fine. i appreciate that. >> you bet. still ahead this morning on "starting point," chris christie has a message for warren buffett. and it's blunt. we're going to play a little bit of what he said about that, that is short. also, black history month. today there's a historiced the dedication that going to happen in washington, d.c. we're going talk with the founding director of the african-american smithsonian museum.
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>> sounds to good. >> it is. >> in the morning when my kids are singing to it, on the weekend. i love it. it's so cute. president obama on tuesday called on congress to consider the buffett rule again, forcing anyone who is earning a million dollars are year pay 30% taxes. he says he thinks it's wrong that secretary is paying a higher tax rate than he does. last night piers morgan asked new jersey's governor chris christie about buffett's stance. >> he should just write a check and shut up. really. just contribute, okay? i mean, you know, the fact of the matter is that i'm tired of hearing about it. if he wants to give the government more money, he's got the ability to write a check. go ahead and write it. >> michele bachmann and the rer taj foundation made similar calls in the fall which said this. >> cheerful to see -- make your
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cheerful to see the child like faith in the american public. we have a deficit of $1.2 trillion or something like that and they say the way to solve it is by voluntary contributions. if they really think that that's sound tax policy, you know, god bless them. i mean, they have a different view of human nature than i do. >> you know, i thought warren buffett had a real point there because chris christie can always makes headlines in his comments but at the same time what underlies the comment is a serious issue. it's about your tax rates. >> this is really is a false debate because we could take all the wealth from the top 1% and that would fund the government until about august? a fiscal year. so really in order to get this revenue going that we need, it's got to be an across the city growth. and so this debate really becomes a false detate, you know, it's a show. >> no one is asking the 1% to pay all the taxes.
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the reality is the framing around the taxes is the bush era tax cut should be repealed. it's nobt about, you know, i think a lot of times people are like, these are new taxes. no, there was a decision made in the last administration to cut taxes on wealthier americans that did big us into a whole. i think it's about the structure of the tax system. >> that's up for debate as well. i would argue that it wasn't the taxes that dug us into the hole, it was the spending that started in the bush administration and now has got, you know, to where we're a trillion deficits every year. >> when you see chris christie you have to say, the man comes across on the screen. you know, piers asked him about his weight which is something he doesn't talk about a lot. here's what he said. >> i'm trying to be healthier. eating better. working with a trainer on a rig basis and worked were we met today. i'm trying. you know, i'm getting ready to be 50. i'll be 50 this fall. and i'm starting to feel my own mortali
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mortality. i have to be around for my kids and hopefully grandchildren. you start to think about it as you don't as a younger man. >> it's working. >> we're trying. >> keep going, governor. >> piers throwing the compliment, it's working. you're a shadow of your former self. >> he's not a governor, he's a character. he's a tony soprano. >> republicans watching that, do you think, god, i wish chris christie were in this race? >> how could you think that? >> well, i mean, he has done an incredible job in new jersey. he said he doesn't want to run for president right now. i respect that. >> the guy, yeah, yeah, yeah. >> new jersey, he's cutting back on schools, cutsing back on so many programs. >> here's my question, as the guy who coaches people in debates, would you like to have that person as the person who is in one of those debates and he's a character and he -- >> i would love to keach him. he's smart, he's quick on his feet. he's witty. i mean, i think he would do an incredible job. >> he's a mess. he doesn't listen. he just says what he doesn't think. i would hate to coach that man. >> you're not a debate coach. >> i'm not.
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actually, i'm sorry. i'm sorry. still ahead on "starting point," we're talking black history. we're doing to talk to the founding director of the african-american smithsonian museum. two western journalists killed. one is an american who filed her last report for cnn just a few hours ago. you're watching "starting point." back in just a moment. i found through design a way to tell stories, a way to bring people to new places. there's no reason why design can't be attainable, why a great design can't be something that everybody can have. i mean, that's something that i truly believe. [ male announcer ] the draw of the past is a powerful thing.
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♪ that's j.d. hayworth's play list. some day somewhere. love that song. the former arizona congressman's coming up in just a little bit to talk with us. you could argue that it has been almost 100 years in the making. african-americans have been fighting for a focal point on d.c.'s mall since 1915 when black civil war veterans asked for a mon ult. it wasn't until 2003 that any progress was made when president george w. bush authorized creation of a permanent african-american smithsonian museum. today, appropriately during black history month, president obama will be breaking the ground on the museum's construction. it is not scheduled to open until 2015. it is the first national museum devoted exclusively to documenting african-american art, history. lonie bunch is the director of
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the museum. it's nice to see you, sir. thanks for talking with us. literally it's been 100 years since people have been talking about something to remember contributions of african-americans. congress funded it in the 1920s -- approved it but did not fund it back in the 1920s. tell me a little bit about how hard the struggle has been to get this going in recent years. >> well, i think what's important to realize is that often it was hard to get support because this was considered first a republican initiative, then a democratic initiative, but really in 2003 with john lewis and sam brownbag it became bipartisan. that was what was successful to get the president to sign the legislation. since then we've been, woulding hard to make this day a reality. >> i read that a lot of your interest in history came from when you were a kid and really came from your neighbors who were mostly italian. tell me about that. >> that's right. i grew up in a town where most of us learned how to speak sicilian so i always wanted to
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understand who these people were. i wanted to understand how race mattered in that new jersey town i grew up, and i realized that maybe i could understand it if i could understand history. so that got me excited about looking into the past trying to understand who we are as americans. >> so you have something like 20,000 artifacts that will be in this museum that opens in 2015 from slave shackles to lieuy armstrong's trumpet. i'm going to walk you through some things and i want you to talk about them when i show you a picture. child sized shackles. tell me about those. >> i think what's important to realize is that slavery dehumanized everybody. i have to be honest. when i found those shackles that were for children, i think i cried. and so this will allow us to help people understand both the pain of slavery but also the resiliency it took to survive that and overcome. >> rosa parks dress. i didn't realize she was making a dress when she had -- right before she was arrested for not giving up her seat.
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>> absolutely, because she was a seam stress. people forget that. this was the dress she was actually working on and carrying with her on the day that she was arrested. so we think that's really an important iconic dress to have. >> and michael jackson's fedora. i wanted to point this out because i think it took us from things we think of as long ago history and more recent. i wouldn't have thought michael jackson and history outside of pop cultural history maybe. >> well, but this museum has to explore the full sweep of the african-american experience, and that includes popular culture. there's nobody more impressive than michael jackson. to have his fedora is an important thing for the smithsonian. >> there have been folks who run smaller african-american museums who have said they've been concerned that the smithsonian is going to suck a lot of the funding that might otherwise go to these smaller african-american museums. do you think that's a possibility or problem? >> well, i think there will be times when something may come to
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the smithsonian that won't go to the california african-american museum, but my goal is to make sure that our presence improves everybody. so part of it is as we've been collecting artifacts we go into communities and we work with local museums. when people bring artifacts, most of them stay locally so that the local museums benefit when the smithsonian comes to town. i am committed to being a beacon that draws people to washington but then pushes them back to local african-american museums so that the visibility of the smithsonian will also illuminate their work because i realize that we are standing on the work of so many institutions that have been around for generations. >> and there's so many great institutions to go and see, including yours when it opens in 2015. nice to see you. appreciate it. >> my pleasure. great to see you as always. >> thanks. ahead this morning on starting point, fighting words from iran threatening to strike first anyone who threatens them. plus a lawsuit now over president obama's birth control
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mandate. this time a college is fighting the white house. and the huntsman daughters will join us. their father's out of the race but they're still engaged in politics. we'll tell you why. you're watching "starting point."
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hey, good morning, everybody. our "starting point" this morning is breaking news coming to us overnight from syria. two western journalists have been killed there. one who reported on this network about the killing of a syrian child just hours ago and now she is reported dead. a desert showdown tonight, final face-off before arizona, michigan and super tuesday. the first debate also where rick santorum is pretty much the front-runner. that's going to change things. we're going to talk about what the strategy is there. also what could be the end of affirmative action as we know it. the supreme court takes up race as a factor in college admissions. we'll talk with someone who is against affirmative action. president obama krooning again. there he is.
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♪ baby, don't you go ♪ come on, baby don't you wanna go ♪ he's pretty good, actually. that's a tough crowd. i think mick jagger's in that audience, buddy guy is in that audience. some people like to sing and they can't sing. you're like, okay, okay. move it along. "starting point" begins right "starting point" begins right now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com welcome, everybody. we start with breaking news this morning. two western journalists, including an american, have been killed in syria. syrian activists say they were killed during the heavy shelling in the city of homs. american marie colvin, she wore an eye patch after she was wounded in srilanka. they residential released this. it is great sadness i have learned of the death of marie
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colvin. one of the most outstanding correspondents. we are doing all we can in the face of shelling and sniper fire to get him to safety. and also to recover marie's body. it's just the latest to die in the slaughter. opposition is now reporting that 106 people were killed just yesterday. last night on ac 360 marie colvin was talking about a murder that she says, as she describes what's happening in homs every single day, listen. >> every civilian house on the street has been hit. we're talking about -- this is kind of poor popular neighborhood. the top floor of the building i'm in has been hit. in fact, totally destroyed. there are no military targets here. the -- there is the free syrian army heavily outnumbered and outgunned. they have only rocket propelled grenades. they don't have a base. there are more young men being killed.
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you see a lot of teenage young men, but they're trying to help get the wounded to some kind of medical treatment. so it's just a complete and you thor lie that they are only going after terrorists. there are rockets shells, tank shells and aircraft being fired in parallel line into the city. the syrian army is shelling the city of starving siville zblans marie colvin, i know it's impossible to stay safe. please try. thank you for talking to us. >> thanks very much, anderson. that's the last conversation she had with anderson cooper last night. michael holmes is live in beirut following the story. michael, of course, what a devastating story to have to report the deaths of the journalists and others who have been injured as well. what's the very latest in homs? >> reporter: yeah. the shelling is continuing. 19 people at least have died
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there this day in this one suburb where marie was, along with remi as well. as you said, it's a great tragedy. i've known her for years. first met her in the west bank in 2002 when we both came under fire along with other journalists and bundled into an armored vehicle together. she has covered wars from s sri lanka where she lost her eye. that was the year before i met her for the first time. she was recently in libya reporting fearlessly. she was more than courageous. she was a real -- she was a teller of truth. she's somebody who had a remarkable sense of humor at the same time. but almost had that sense of responsibility to go to these places and to report these stories. my colleague ar roy damon who just came out of there a day or two ago was with marie riding in the back of a truck together as they left one of these hot spots
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and almost laughing about the danger they were in. she knew very well what she was doing, as do all journalists who go into those areas. it's really cast a poll over the journalistic community. marie would want everyone to know that syrians were killed in that same attack which is on a house that is being used pretty much as a media operations center by syrian activists. they have live feeds from there. they stream video from there. very courageous locals doing their job as well and dying every day. soledad? >> what a terrible story as we continue to cover it. michael holmes for us this morning. thank you, michael. there are other stories making headlines. christine has those. >> let's go to kabul first. the american embassy in lockdown right now. this is protest rage across afghanistan over the mistaken burning of the koran at a military base. thousands of afghans demonstrated outside the base setting fires and venting their
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outrage. an official says some of the religious material was removed because tdetainees were writing on these documents to exchange extremist messages. the u.s. is apologizing saying it was an honest mistake. more nuclear defines from iran. the country's supreme leader said sanctions won't change the course of its nuclear program which he insists is peaceful. meantime, the top military general is threatening a preempttive strike against anyone who threatens iran's national interests. the u.s. and israel have not ruled out strikes against iranian nuclear facilities. a christian college in louisiana is suing the federal government over its birth control mandate. the lawsuit from geneva college specifically targets the so called plan b or morning after emergency contraceptive. that suit claims that a mandate ensures provide plan b violates both first and fifth amendment rights. geneva's president says the school rejects an fda finding
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that plan b is a form of birth control. he said it is designed to induce abortion. it's official, president obama has the singing bug. first al green. remember this? ♪ i so in love with you >> now he's crooning for a second time t. little more hesitant. singing "sweet home chicago" with buddy guy, bebe king. ♪ baby, don't you wanna go ♪ come on, baby don't you wanna go ♪ ♪ same old place, sweet home chicago ♪ >> it seemed like he got more confident as he went on. that's a little scary. >> you know what, i think once
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you commit, you have to fully commit and just sing it, right? >> that is mick jagger, right? >> i think it must be. it looks like him. >> wow. that's a tough crowd. we are earlier pictures of president bush drumming. i love to watch that stuff. christine, thank you. >> you're welcome. let's re-introduce our panelists with you. fred o'donnell is joining us. he is a debate avante. i want to talk about the debate as we head into tonight. it will be a big day. if a ride shade is with us. nice to have you all. let's get to it. tonight in mesa, arizona, it is a high stakes debate. for everybody. it's a high stakes debate for mitt romney, high stakes debate for rick santorum. now he's the front-runner. newt gingrich, he's been off the map for a little while. high stakes debate for him. ron paul hasn't had a victory yet so it's a high stakes debate for him. it's make or break for everybody. it is, of course, just six days before michigan and arizona's
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primary. there's a new poll that underscores just how important the debate is tonight. it's a cnn time orc poll. 36% for mitt romney. 32% for santorum. the margin of error is roughly -- that kind of slipped out. 4.5%. so they are literally neck in neck. the former arizona congressman, j.d. hayes worth has endorsed newt gingrich for president. he joins us now. it's nice to have you. thanks for being with us. we appreciate it. let's begin with -- >> soledad, good to be with you. >> thank you very much. we were playing your music earlier. we liked it a lot. >> marshall kren shaw. good stuff. >> we have to work that more into our play list. i want to talk about newt gingrich. we said it really a lot at steak for everybody clearly. for newt gingrich, he has sort of dropped off the radar. people don't talk about him as much as they were, certainly after south carolina. what is the strategy to try to re-insert him and revive his
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campaign right now? >> well, first of all, soledad, let's acknowledge that for once it truly is a volatile race. we've talked about volatility and presidential politics since we've been involved in this or at least since i've been involved, both as a voter and later as a member of congress, but you've seen the tremendous changes in the field. and i think that will continue. i think for newt gingrich it's basically back to the future. in other words, focusing on the big ideas, the major policy pronouncements, and looking back at a resume of solid accomplishments. i was there. i understand what that republican majority we were able to pass welfare reform that required work. we were able to work with bill clinton, get the first tax cuts in a decade and a half, including meaningful tax cuts with capital gains. of course, we were also able to deliver for, count them, four consecutive balanced budgets. that's a record of success. i think you'll see newt try to build on that. basically you have a dynamic
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where mitt romney and rick santorum will concentrate, fire on each other while newt will move back to ideas. >> the debate -- brett o'donnell is with us. do you see that same thing? do you see the two kind of front-runners going at it and newt gingrich is able to step out and say let's talk ideas? >> certainly newt has been at his best when he's debating the media or the moderator. it's not when he is actually going at it with the other candidates. i think when he mixed it up with mitt in the florida debates, he got the better of him. that's got to be his strategy. i question whether or not, you know, it'll actually be the way that j.d. describes it. i'm not sure that mitt and rick will mix it up that much. it would be great if it was like nascar where the front-runners wrecked each other and the third place guy drove through the smoke, but the problem is knew the newt hasn't had a victory in a long time.
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this race has been about advertising, debates, and about momentum. i'm not sure how newt gets back into the race. >> let me play a little clip of what rick santorum had to say because it certainly sounds like he's bringing it to two fronts. he's bringing it to rom dney an he's also bringing it to gingrich. >> i'm not a manager. i'm not a visionary. i'm a guy from a steel town who grew up -- who grew up understanding what made this country great. . >> so i'm going to translate that for the audience who maybe didn't catch it. i'm not a manager. that would be a slam at mitt romney. i am not a visionary. that would be a slam at your guy, sir, congressman hayworth, visionary being i'm not newt gingrich looking at the big, big, big picture. i'm just a guy trying to make america great. do you think that strategy will be a winning strategy for him? >> i think, let's face it, everyone who gets involved in this, none of us suffer from a
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shortage of self-esteem. i appreciate rick trying to claim that he's truly a man of the people, but, again, it's back to a record and resume. it is speaker gingrich who as a leader of the republican congress was able to achieve real results. rick was part of that team and we appreciate that. there are also some troubling aspects of his voting record in terms of not really standing up for right to work, in terms of some questionable votes along the way, and i think everyone's record is fair game. but i believe in final analysis the speaker's solid record of accomplishment down the road as we go through a more complete picture will result in his nomination. >> some degree though. you don't get the more complete picture until everybody's focused on you. you can't get everybody to focus on you until you are really the front-runner, right? the minute that newt gingrich was a front-runner after south carolina everybody piled on. you've never seen more articles about newt gingrich probably except for in the '90s. now really the risk of not winning is that you start losing the ability to draw the focus of the media.
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it's a cycle that can help you. >> he's not going to -- you know, he's not going to win michigan. he's not going to win arizona so the narrative coming out of those two states is going to be that either romney or santorum has momentum and, you know, newt's going to get excluded from the conversation. i mean, it's just -- elections are about winners win. the more someone begins to pile up victories, the more that person gets put out in front of the that happened with santorum when he scored four victories a couple of weeks ago. i don't know how zblsh at the risk of debating. >> go ahead. >> at the risk of debating the debate, i realize it can be hazardous to my rhetorical health, this is a long process. i know there's been a long process, brett, i appreciate what you did trying to roll up things with mitt romney very early on, but the fact is this is a fight to the finish. you are going to see a process that will go on until and through the california primary and so i think it is way premature to write off speaker gingrich and i would say to
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everyone, especially those who may be endorsing other candidates, this he do so at their own eventual risk. i think for the country's eventual reward. >> congressman j.d.hayworth joining us. >> soledad, thank you. i love when politicians say and we appreciate so and so's service but. 's he very good at that. still ahead this morning on "starting point", there are some new warnings to tell you about about iranian agents hiding bombs in cheap electronics. we're going to update you on that story. plus romeo santos will be joining us. he also, though, is trying to send a message to his fans about voting. wants latinos to turn out and vote. we'll discuss that as well and show some great videos of this handsome young man who will join us live. plus the huntsman girls will join us. their dad's former secret weapon. we sat down and talked with them. we'll see if they're still able to help the gop with what they're planning to do. here is a track from their play
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♪ sigh. singing promise with usher. i love this video. it just kicked off his nationwide tour promoting his first solo album. he's promoting to work to register voters at all those
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concert dates. there are lots of people filling up madison square garden. 21.7 million hispanics are eligible to vote in up why coming elections, the most ever, but of course the truth is a very small percentage who are eligible to vote will. it's great to have you. we appreciate you coming in early where we know you're doing concert tours at night. i'm sure you're not usually up this early. why was trying to get folks at your concerts to register to vote and be involved in the voting process important to you? >> i receive a lot of e-mails for many things. most of them i'm not going to lie i ignore. >> we all do, yes. >> but i thought this was a good cause and i could encourage my young fans, the majority of my young fans and latinos to vote. i felt like, you know what, i want to get involved. >> do you feel like people are open to that message because if you look at -- you're 30 years old. latino male. the only like half of people like you are voting who could vote who are registered to vote.
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>> that's what i find interesting. i found like me as an artist, like a lot of people look at me like a role model. i guess, you know, i looked at it from a perspective. if romeo's doing it, we're his fans, we're going to do it as well. i thought it was a good way to get my young fans, latinos, majority to vote. >> many of the stories we covered you see there are large latino populations and could move the needle just don't go to the polls. >> excuse me. i'm getting a phone call. >> wait, wait. i'm voting. >> my mother. >> you know, the reality is a lot of people don't vote, particularly in mid-terms, but even in presidential elections. and younger voters are not as likely to turn out. i think what you're doing is great. i'm teaching this semester and i'm having someone from mtv come to my clast next week. i think it's important to figure
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out how to motivate younger voters. >> you're the king of bachata. a lot of people don't know what that is. how would you describe it? it's songs of longing and emotion, right? >> the best way i can describe it is, all right, it's not like country music, but it's very soulful. very caribbean. very tropical. comes from the dominican republic. the main instruments in the genre would be bongos. >> some of the songs are about immigration. i miss the place that i came from and i miss the people around me. do you feel like it's time to get latinos, are you interested and encouraging them into the conversation around immigration or is the big message, go to the pol polls? >> my music is about love, depression. men like begging their girls to please come back. like i said, when you reach a certain crowd with love, music,
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whatever the case may be, they already see like a role model. then you can probably get them to do a lot of things. this is a positive thing. i felt like, you know what, let's definitely get involved. >> in the commercial break if you want to serenade any of us about love, depression, longing for women, we are open to that. i don't know if you are. but we are. nice to have you. good luck at madison square garden. we appreciate you joining us. still ahead on "starting point", president obama's corporate tax revamp unveiled in a couple of hours. christine romans will join us to break it all down for us. this is from romeo's play list. this is "you." it includes me. ♪ ok, guys-- what's next ? chocolate lemonade ? susie's lemonade... the movie. or... we make it pink ! with these 4g lte tablets, you can do business at lightning-fast speeds.
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♪ some of us are going to start singing through the segments. this is rihanna. love in a hopeless place. >> start spinning on the weekends. >> does that pay well? i might do that. can i bring the kids? let's talk this morning about some new details that are being unveiled. it will happen in a few hours about president obama's corporate tax plan. politicians on both sides agree that when it comes to corp rat taxes the u.s. cannot compete with the rest of the world. christine romans breaks down the president's plan in smart is the new rich. that's the name of her new book. >> she always plugs it for me. >> i get 5%. talk about the president's plan. how is it looking? >> this is what we expect is going to come out today. the president wants to cut the corporate tax rate to 28%. it was 35%. it would eliminate dozens of loopholes, subsidies that allow companies to pay less than that 35% rate. it would also reduce the
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effective tax rate on manufacturing to 25% and put a new minimum tax on foreign earnings. what the white house wants to do here, they want to incentive advise companies to keep jobs, profits, investment in the united states. here's the thing. the united states has a 35% tax rate. when you compare that with the rest of the country, as you can see, we're right up there, right, among the highest in the world when you add in local and state taxes, it's more like 39%. take a look at this chart from the cbl, congressional budget office. it shows you that in 2011 companies actually paid 12% of their profits last year in taxes. so take a look at that. over the past i think -- >> let me stop you there. even though sort of technically it's a 35% rate. >> it isn't. >> in actuality, it's 12%. >> it isn't. you can see that's been falling. it's been falling dramatically. one of them is they have cash in the bank. a lot of money sitting on the sidelines. they have all of these tax loopholes, subsidies, and
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deductions. it's legal to do so. some of the highest paid lawyers in the country are tax attorneys. what you have here is a very complicated corporate tax structure. the president will lay out his framework for how to make it more simplified. we'll be hearing from mitt romney and his tax plan, another tax plan from him today as well. >> is the president's strategy in undermining mitt romney's big announcement because we've been waiting to hear about mitt romney's tax strategy, people have their eyes focused on michigan. >> just last week timothy geithner came under fire from folks in congress who were like, what are you going to do about taxes? what are you going to do about the corporate tax rate? what are you going to do about refining taxs? privately people in the administration are saying, soledad, in this environment, this is not going to happen in the near term. the only thing you can count on your own taxes. the national retail federation says you'll get your tax refund this year. most of you will save it. isn't that interesting? the highest percentage of people
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will save their tax refund than we've seen in nine years. corporate taxes, this is in the political realm. this will all be election year election nearing. with your money, you're saving and paying down your own debt. you can only control your own taxes and destiny. still ahead this morning on "starting point", new documentary about the clinton white house. some people say it focuses too much on scandal. then the huntsman daughters will join us. we'll ask them why they're still engaged in politics when their dad's out of the race. from brett's play list, the gogo dolls. ♪ and i don't want the world to see me because i don't think that they'd understand ♪ americans believe they should be in charge of their own future.
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♪ you know what, you cannot hate otis by jay-z and kanye. that is the huntsman girls' pick. we act as if you are one person and together do a joint ipod list, is that true? >> yeah. >> basically. >> we all added our own favorite songs. >> based on itunes. >> be you're the cool girl. >> of course. >> up to date. >> i love it. we're going to get to a conversation with the huntsman girls.
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should i say women? >> we're in the in between phase. >> almost women. >> tweens. christine has that. >> good morning to you, soledad. breaking news this hour. at least 250 people hurt in a train crash in buenos aires. the state media reporting this accident happened as the train entered the station. authorities have not said what caused the crash but witnesses claim the train didn't brake or didn't slow down while it was entering the station and smacked into the platform. authorities in thailand reportedly busting an iranian hit squad armed with bombs hidden in cheap radios. according to abc news they were planning to use them against israeli targets in bangkok. the $27 radio is packed with ball bearings to maximize the damage. paul babeu is getting the attorney general's
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investigation. the top investigator is looking into allegations that he threatened to deport his immigrant ex-boyfriend. he resigned from the mitt romney campaign after his expublicly accused him of abuse of power. he denies the claim and he continues to run for congress. mime mayprimaries in michig arizona are important. a new poll shows mitt romney and rick santorum are in a virtual tie. 37% backing romney, 35% going for santorum. the two are also deadlocked now in arizona. primary voters in both states go to the polls in six days. a motor city may lay caught on camera. this brawl involving nearly a dozen women broke out inside a restaurant at detroit's motor city casino hotel. the women can be seen throwing fist, pretty much throwing anything else they can get their hands on. at one point they were standing on tables, jumping over chairs before security guards moved in to break it up.
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christians 5r7around the wo are celebrating ash wednesday. many will go to mass to receive ashes on their head. it sets the tone for the entire season of lent. last night of celebrations before lent begins. mardi gras goers partied in typical fashion. it's going to happen one of these days, soledad. >> that was the zulu float. i was mrs. big stuff. that was so much fun. >> next year let's take it on the road. >> we should do that. it's so much fun. there's no way you'd get up the next morning and do the morning show. we'll have to pretape the whole thing. thanks, christine. tonight cnn is hosting what could be the final republican debate. a lot's happened in the month. it's been nearly a month since the last debate. arizona is next on the primary list. a new cnn orc poll is showing romney and santorum are statistically in a tie there. jon huntsman's daughters join me
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now. would he have abbey huntsman livingston joining us, liddy huntsman and the last time we spoke we were in a diner with a lot of craziness. it's like climate controlled. all very nice. nice to have you. your dad's out of the race. he is throwing his support to mitt romney. you guys could have just sort of said, we're done now that dad's out. why stay in the race? >> we want to keep the conversation going. and i think at this point i think we're realizing that there really isn't a clear front-runner. >> you think? >> it's important to keep our generation involved in the conversation to feel like they're part of it because it affects them so much. so there's so many ways to reach out to people, through technology. it changes every day. so it's really fun to be part of it. >> so we thought about what do we do with our twitter account? we kind of went on hiatus for two weeks. i think we're having fun just staying in the game. >> why do you think there is no front-runner? why do you think mitt romney is
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struggling at this point when he was the front-runner? i know everybody's been the front-runner for a minute in this race? >> i think there's that silent majority who hasn't really -- they haven't spoken out if they've been silent, but i think a lot of people don't feel like they have a home. especially our generation, the younger generation, we don't care a lot about the silly issues. one thing we care about is jobs. graduating in 2010, 67% of kids didn't have jobs. that is like a huge issue. so i think the majority of people just don't feel like they have a home. at the end of the day they want solutions and a job and a better life. >> much of the conversation has focused on social issues. it was either about religious freedom or contraception. you are young women. if you look at rick santorum's numbers it seems like women are not as edge gaungaged in his ca. what do you think that's due to? >> i think it has to do with women feel like it's their right
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to have the right to say if they want contraception. i think the fact that some candidates are coming out and stating that they believe it's not right or moral, then i think a lot of women take it offensively. a lot of women do use that in their daily life. >> i think contraception is an important issue obviously for women, but i think the more that we spend talking about it, it takes away from getting the economy back or foreign policy. i think it's been interesting to watch how contraception has become such a huge issue the last couple of weeks. >> it's been really interesting. some of that is really the candidates, mitt romney actually jumped back into the conversation. i'll play a little clip of what he said. he's been focused economy, economy, economy. as santorum's seen his numbers rise talking social issues. here's what he said roping in the social issues. let's play that. >> i'm pro life. i'm in favor of protecting the sanctity of life.
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i'll cut off funding to planned parenthood. unfortunately perhaps because of the people the president hangs around with and their agenda, a secular agenda, they have fought against religion. i can assure you as someone who has understood very personally the significance of religious tolerance and religious freedom and the right to one's own conscience, i will make sure that we never again attack religious liberty in the united states of america if i'm president. >> you guys are all in your 20s. is that a message that's going to resonate with young people, talking about the secular agenda of the president's people? no, you don't think so? >> i really think every second that you talk about the social issues is a second away from talking about jobs. i can tell you when we're out with our friends, it's about jobs, the economy. the social issue is a way for mitt romney to feel like he's gaining some traction over santorum, but at the end of the day i really think that republicans are -- there's one-third with romney, one-third with santorum.
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i think what they like about santorum, they may not agree with everything that he says, but with president obama there were promises made that i feel probably weren't kept and they feel kind of giped on that. santorum is someone that embody yis someone that sticks with what he said. people feel lost. the longer that this continues to go on the more it will hurt the republican party. there will only be four months if it goes to the convention before the general election. >> do you get word from the campaign? do they say, listen, ladies, don't say this, don't say that? do you have those conversations? do they have to approve stuff? >> we do. we're very independent women. we're very strong women. >> we speak our mind. >> which can be terrifying for a campaign manager as you well know. we love having you in. we hope that you'll come back and join us. any time. my studio is your studio. >> thank you. >> literally. so i can go on vacation. no, i'm kidding. still ahead this morning on "starting point," we're going to talk about a new documentary that has some inside information about the clinton white house.
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in it someone describes bill clinton as a used car salesman. we'll also talk about what happened the moments after the monica lewinsky scandal broke. we're back in a moment. what's the best way to santa cruz, california? [siri] here are directions to santa cruz. where's the best bbq in kansas city? is there a rodeo in amarillo today? where are we? [siri] here's your current location. how big is the grand canyon? any gas stations we can walk to? [siri] i found 2 gas stations fairly close to you. what does orion look like? [siri] i found this for you. remind me to do this again. [siri] okay, i'll remind you. can i help you? yeah, can i get a full-sized car? for full-sized cars, please listen to the following menu. for convertibles, press star one. i didn't catch that. to speak to a representative, please say representative now. representative. goodbye! you don't like automated customer service, and neither do we.
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welcome back, everybody. a new pbs documentary is out. critics say it focuses too much on scandal, roughly 40 minutes of four hours, including some moments that happened after the monica lewinsky scandal broke. listen. >> when the lewinsky scandal broke the president paged me. i returned the call. and he said, ever since i got here to the white house i've had to shut my body down, sexually i mean, but i screwed up with this girl. i didn't do what they said i did, but i may have done so much that i can't prove my innocence. and i said to him, the problem that presidents have is not the sin, it's the coverup. you should explore it just telling the american people the truth. he said, really, do you think i could do that? and i said, let me test it. let me run a poll.
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so i took a poll and i tested popular attitudes on that. and i called him back and i said, they will forgive the adulterer but they won't easily forgive that you're lying. >> that was dick morris talking about what happened when the scandal broke. what i thought was interesting, he said we should explore what would happen if you just told the truth, which is such a political statement. this is the mud pit that you play in, sir. come on. in politics. let's poll it. really, you're going to poll to see what the response might be should the truth be told in a conversation. >> well, i think there's a couple things there that are pretty interesting. first of all, it's part of the narrative. it was a story that consumed the clinton white house for a very long time, but second of all, you know, it was a criticism of the clinton white house, that everything was poll tested. and the fact that we're finding out that they even poll tested how to respond to the lewinsky matter was -- is pretty fascinating, i think. and i think it's also fascinating that the president
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didn't take dick morris's advice and instead, you know, pursued the lie for a good bit of time until he confessed. >> when we talked to lonnie davis, he said what outraged him was so much time was spent on the scandal part and also investigations that ended up going nowhere and less spent talking about the -- president clinton's very high approval rating, 65% when he left office, which certainly is a headline. but people often talk about the scandal. >> i think that it's part of the hallmark of our time, particularly politically. you have to remember that at the time that president clinton was going through the impeachment newt gingrich was pursuing him and newt gingrich himself was having an affair. he didn't lie under oath about it, but he was also. so politics is always incredibly messy. i think we're fascinated in some ways more with the bet room personas with politicians than the legislation. it's messy all around. >> it certainly is. i said messy. >> politics is a lot like
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nascar, you know? people go to the races to see the race but they also go to see the wrecks. the messy part is what interests us. i think that's why pbs chose to post it. they knew it would draw an audience. >> certainly we're still talking about it. coming up this morning on starting point, the supreme court is talking about whether race can be a part of college admissions.
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welcome back, everybody. the supreme court is going to reconsider a case using race as part of the admissions process at public universities. it was a 2003 decision that allowed race to be used. in the new case the student is suing the university of texas. the policy automatically admits students who are in the top 10% of their high school class, 80% of the freshman class. the remaining 20% includes other factors such as race. he filed a brief in the case saying he believes affirmative action actually hurts the intended beneficiaries. it's nice to have you talk with us. how do you think affirmative action hurts the people who get the opportunity to in some ways certainly in education potentially change their lives, get an opportunity they might
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not otherwise have? >> since 2003 there's been a lot of research that has shown there's a significant mismatch where minority students are convinced to attend a university where their s.a.t. scores might be 150 to 200 points lower than the mean, that it's much harder for them to get the gratedes. there's a lot higher dropout rate if they didn't go to the university or college where they really fit in. >> there are some competing studies that would disagree with you on that, that would say that that's actually not the case. my mom used to have a little saying, better to get into harvard because you're black than not to get into harvard because you're black which was the case many, many years ago. do you think affirmative action is bad policy overall? >> well, i disagree with you that there are studies that refute the ones that i'm saying. that the overwhelming -- there's really no contradiction that the extreme preference that university of texas showed by bringing hispanics from 21% of
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the student population to 25 has a devastating effect on minorities. there is no dispute of that. so it is better to get an a or b average at a university that's outstanding than to go to an ivy league school and drop out. >> okay. so do you think that -- the court can go numerous ways on this. are you feeling very confident that the court's going to decide in your favor and we're really talking about that 20% of the student body at the university of texas. >> there's two ways the supreme court could go. in 2003 the supreme court said you could use a little bit of discrimination to get a critical mass of minorities for 25 years. what texas has done with its extreme use of racial preference is say, we want to engage in massive amounts of discrimination as much as we want for as long as we want. so the supreme court could either say, we really meant just a little bit of discrimination and for a little bit of time or the supreme court could say, we were wrong back in 2003.
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that wasn't -- that wasn't a decision that's workable. and so we really need to eliminate any preferences. >> or the supreme court could look very closely at texas and have a ruling that doesn't really have an implication for anything outside of the university of texas. i only have a few seconds left. >> i think there are books like one by bowen and bach who are both ivy league presidents. it shows that it has benefits for students of color and white students. when you talk about the ivy leagues, harvard, for example, graduates something like 97, 98% of its students. it's a question of support at some of the other schools that don't have as much infrastructure. >> we're going to have to leave it at that. we appreciate you having this conversation. i'm sure we'll continue it when we see what the supreme court comes down with. thank you very much for being with us this morning. we appreciate it. our "end point" is up next. we're back in a moment. [ male announcer ] this was how my day began.
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it's time for entd point
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which means it is the end of our program. kathy, you get to start for us. >> in honor of the debates i am going to say rick santorum. he needs to pay more attention to women who are not liking him. he needs to stop being so extreme. let's not say amniocentesis causes abortion for women. rick santorum, calm down being anti-woman. >> i have to follow up on that. i do think that these debates tonight are going to be fascinating to see what social territory is staked out because i'm going to be really interested to see how the entire republican party pivots after this kind of bruising social issues fight and tries to appeal to the general election population. >> with no front-runner, there are lots of front-runners is a better way to put it. what is our final "end point" today. >> first of all, happy ash wednesday. >> thank you. >> but also, you know, tonight's debate is really the biggest debate of the entire season.

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