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tv   Starting Point  CNN  October 22, 2012 4:00am-6:00am PDT

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this morning for full debate coverage. maryland congressman chris van hollen will join us, wyoming senator john barrasso. stephanie cutter of the obama campaign. former new york city mayor rudy giuliani and comedian d.l. hughly will join us. "starting point" begins right now. morning. welcome, everybody. lots to talk about, it's the final showdown. you're looking at lynn university in boca raton, florida. in 14 hours, president obama, mitt romney, will be on that stage in those chairs, they'll be facing off for foreign policy. it will be their third and final debate. 15 days until the nation votes. and this could be shaping up to be one of the most critical events before that vote, because a new nbc/"wall street journal" poll, which was conducted after the second debate, shows the two rivals are locked in this absolute dead heat. let's get right to white house correspondent brianna keilar. she's in boca already this morning. brianna, good morning.
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>> hi, good morning to you, soledad. that's right. when you look at that poll, 47-47. neck and neck, that's what this is telling us. still a neck and neck race. margin of error there about 3 1/2 points, and also continuing kind of the trend that we've seen in recent weeks which is a shift towards mitt romney. a couple of important things to point out that we're learning from this poll. one, when you look at women, president obama still has a sizable lead, 51-43%. you say, oh, that's obviously eight points. that's pretty sizable. but actually this might be kind of alarming for the president. because this is the smallest lead that he's had, and the other thing we're seeing is that in battleground states, mitt romney actually having a little bit of a lead there. for their parts, the obama campaign kind of downplaying these new poll numbers. and the romney campaign looking at them more favorably. let's also talk a little bit about some of the endorsements that the candidates picked up over the weekend. a number of them from key papers in battleground states. here's the other thing to focus on. not a whole lot of enthusiasm,
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even in these endorsements. for mitt romney, a couple of florida papers, tampa tribune and the orlando sentinel, both of them kind of a lukewarm endorsement. the columbus dispatch, ohio, obviously key. and the new hampshire union leader, no surprise that went for mitt romney. president obama, two ohio papers, akron beacon journal, the cleveland plain dealer and the denver post. and just to give you kind of a sense of maybe the lack of enthusiasm here, soledad, even though the "denver post" did endorse president obama, it said that neither candidate has a plan for the future. soledad? >> yeah, that's almost the opposite of lukewarm. that's like, eh. brianna keilar for us this morning. >> exactly. just a few moments we're going to be talking with obama supporter the maryland congressman chris van hollen will be our guest. first john's got an update on some of the other stories making news. happy monday, soledad. a full ten days after the attack in benghazi the cia was still telling president obama they stem from spontaneous protests. according to reports first
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published by "the wall street journa journal", the cia did not alter its assessment from the daily intelligence briefing for the president until september 22nd. even though witnesses and other sources disputed the assumption early on that protests sparked the attack. u.s. ambassador christopher stevens and three other americans died in last month's terror attack in libya. the 45-year-old ex-marine who opened fire at a walk area spa was allegedly hunting down his estranged wife. three women were killed in yesterday's rampage but police haven't said if zena haughton was among them. police say the suspected shooter radcliff haughton was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside the spa. former senator george mcgovern is being remembered as a war hero who became a champion of peace. mcgovern died at the age of 90. he was a democratic nominee for president in 1972 but lost in a land slide to richard nixon. bill and hillary clinton among a number of other democrats cut their teeth by working in politics for mcgovern in the early '70s.
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the clintons say he was a tireless advocate for human rights and dignity. cycling's governing body will decide if it will strip lance armstrong of his seven tour de france titles. a decision being made right now by international cycling union president pat mcquaid. the u.s. anti-doping agency made its decision on armstrong saying there's overwhelming evidence that he took part in quote the most sophisticated professionalized and successful doping program while he rode for the u.s. postal service team. armstrong's attorney called the report a one-sided hatchet job. "saturday night live" getting the last word on the obama romney town hall debate that at times resembled a verbal street fight. >> well, so how much did you cut? >> not true. >> you didn't cut anything? you're not going to cut anything? >> i'm about to cut you! >> oh, i'd like to see that. i'd like to see that. >> what governor romney just said is simply not true. >> oh, i want to fight you! >> any time. >> come on. >> can't tell if that's the real debate or "saturday night live."
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it's so realistic. >> i'm going to cut you. all right, john, thank you. in fact tonight's debate is going to focus on foreign policy. and of course, poll numbers just a moment ago, anybody's race at that point. 47% to 47% in that brand-new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll. democratic congressman chris van hollen of maryland is an obama supporter and joins us this morning. good morning, sir. nice to see you. >> good morning, soledad. great to be here. >> thank you very much. let's start with the polls. we just showed neck and neck with the nbc/"wall street journal" poll. if you also look at the registered voters choice for president, a little bit of a gap there. it's mitt romney at 44%, president obama at 49%. and if you look specifically at women, president obama holds a lead there, with registered female voters, 51%, to 43%. that tightens up a little bit, though, when you look at likely female voters, 52% to 41%. none of those numbers, though, should make anybody on either side particularly comfortable. how worried are you when you look at those polls, 47% to 47%?
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>> well, you're right, soledad. i mean the polls are showing this is an extremely close race. i think everybody expected this race to tighten up as we got toward the finish line. i do think if you look at the battleground state polls, which will determine the election, the president still has a lead in places like ohio. but, nobody should be taking anything for granted, and the president certainly is not taking anything for granted. turnout is essential. as is that battle for the dwindling number of undecided voters. >> let's talk about endorsements. i'm going to read some of the ones that have now endorsed mitt romney. this one from the tribune. under president barack obama's liberal and inconsistent leadership the country has limped along barely a step ahead of another recession. this one from the columbus dispatch. in 2008 americans made a leap of faith when they elevated the inexperienced obama to the white house. that faith was not rewarded. this one from the orlando sentinel. we have little confidence that obama would be more successful
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managing the economy and the budget for the next four years. for that reason, though we endorsed him in 2008, we are recommending romney in this race. wow. that's bad. >> well, you know, soledad, you get editorial boards from around the country that have been expressed a diversity of opinion that you see in this country. but the reality is the president came into office, we were losing 800,000 jobs every month. we've now seen the 31 consecutive months of positive private sector job growth, over 5 million jobs created. things are improving. i mean the american people see that. that is also reflected in polls of consumer confidence. the economy is coming back. we're not where we want to be. but as the president has said the very last thing we want to do is go back to the same set of policies that got us into this mess to begin with. which is exactly the prescription that governor romney's proposing. i don't think anybody wants to do a u-turn back to those days. >> we know that tonight's debate, which will focus on
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foreign policy, i'm going to go out on a limb and say benghazi is going to come up yet again. here's what "the wall street journal" is reporting. this. president barack obama was told in his daily intelligence briefing for more than a week after the consulate siege in benghazi that the assault grew out of a spontaneous protest despite conflicting reports from witnesses and other sources that began to cast doubt on the accuracy of that assessment almost from the start. is this essentially saying that intelligence failures are to blame here for what the president and also the susan rice was saying, and jay carney was saying and all their various coming out in public and talking about what exactly what had happened in benghazi in the weeks after the, the killing of the ambassador? >> well, there's no doubt we should get to the bottom of the intelligence information. but what this clearly shows is that the president and susan rice and others were presenting with the american people with the facts as they were provided to them by the intelligence agencies. which really makes, i think, mitt romney and his team look
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pretty small for the way they tried to exploit this whole thing for political purposes. drumming up these kind of conspiracy theories. and soledad, my dad was a career foreign service officer. like ambassador chris stevens. and i have to say that from the very beginning, the way that mitt romney's tried to exploit this for political purposes, is a real violation of the tradition we've had in this country, where we come together at these moments of tragedy, when americans are killed overseas. and it was just unfortunate that they decided, instead, to try and exploit the situation there. >> but if it's an intelligence failure, and it's a failure from say, looks like the cia, isn't ultimately that an administration failure, since that's really who put the, you know, leader of the cia in this position? >> well, there's no doubt we should constantly be trying to improve the way we gather our intelligence. and the way we assess that intelligence. the way it works is that you
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have different intelligence gathering organizations, the cia is one of them, they then feed that information to the director of national intelligence. so to the extent that there was a -- a system that did not gather the information quickly enough or accurately enough, we should take a look at this. but, you know, it's -- it's just ironic to hear many of the folks on mitt romney's team who were there during the bush administration, who were part of what was probably the greatest intelligence failure we've ever seen, which were the attacks of september 11th, 2001. coming forward now to try and cast aspersions on the president, on his team. what we know now from the report that you just cited, is that the president and his team briefed the american people on the information they knew, as they knew it. and, this effort to try and spin some kind of conspiracy theory that mitt romney and his team had been doing from day one, is clearly way off base.
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and they tried to create the notion that somehow the white house was putting out a narrative, inconsistent with the facts that they were being given. and now we know that's just not the case. >> chris van hollen, congressman from the state of maryland. thank you for talking with us. coming up at the bottom of the hour we're going to talk with republican wyoming senator john barrasso will be our guest. we want to make sure you tune in to cnn's live coverage tonight. the final presidential debate that begins at 7:00 p.m. eastern. let's get right to some breaking news this morning. the international cycling union has now stripped lance armstrong of his seven tour de france titles. the president of that union saying this, lance armstrong has no place in cycling. the decision comes after a u.s. anti-doping agency accused him of doping. we'll have more details on that developing story straight ahead this morning. also ahead this morning, he famously quit goldman sachs in a scathing public resignation letter in "the new york times." now that former banker explains why he did it.
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but is he telling the full story? we'll hear from someone who knows goldman sachs inside and out. also game seven between the cards and the giants, who is heading to the world series in that showdown? just ahead. christine what do you got in business? >> it's a big week for tech this week. i'm going to have a market check and let you know what it means for the economy as well. you're watching "starting point." questions?
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unlocking the world's potential. to a currency market for everyone. the potential of fxcm unlocked. nyse euronext. unlocking the world's potential. welcome back to "starting point." minding your business this morning, gas prices falling for eleven days straight. the national average for a gallon of regular fell more than a penny in the past 24 hours according to aaa. new average $3.67 a gallon. don't spend it all in one place. oil analysts expect gas prices to drop further in the coming weeks, in part because of slowing demand. u.s. markets poised for a bounce after a dismal day friday. the dow lost more than 200 points on friday. this morning u.s. stock futures for the dow, nasdaq and s&p 500 all trading a bit higher. it's a big week for earnings. a big week for tech. we're going to get yahoo!'s
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quarterly earnings after the bell today. new ceo marissa myers just back from maternity leave. this will be her first earnings call with investors. facebook releases its second earnings report since becoming public, and stock down of course 50% now since the ipo. apple and amazon report their earnings on thursday. really big week. housing news, gdps. >> not everybody needs a long maternity leave. i took four weeks. >> you took four weeks? >> maternity week two weeks sparked so much controversy. >> i think the great thing about -- >> women -- >> what does it say about us if we want to take four months? >> if you're the cho and you have a gajl dollars take the maternity leave you want and if you're an employee, do what you have to do. >> she is a very unique person. >> yes. >> definitely a unique person. >> moving on, let's talk about continuing talking about ceos and banking in this case, one of the most spectacular resignations in corporate america, the goldman sachs employee greg smith quit his firm in a very public way. maybe the most public way if
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you'll remember. after a dozen years he wrote this scathing op-ed, which was published in "the new york times." now he's expanding his public resignation letter into a book which is called "why i left goldman sachs." the book is out today and he spoke to anderson cooper on "60 minutes" last night. >> so an op-ed resignation, you hoped it would be a wake-up call? >> i really did. because a lot of people who acknowledge these things internally, but no one is willing to say it publicly. and my view was the only way you force people to change the system is by saying something publicly. >> joining us this morning, the author of "money and pow ir: how goldman sachs came to rule the world" william cohan. he's also worked on wall street as an investment banking working for jpmorgan and morgan stanley as well nearly two decades. nice to have you with us. you called this guy, greg smith, a con man. what do you mean? >> look, i haven't met greg, nor have i read his book. >> clearly you don't like him, though? you called him a con man. >> it's not -- it's a type, soledad. i've seen this type, 17 years on
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wall street, this is a guy who was very happy to take goldman sachs' money year after year for twelve years. and then he wants to get promoted, and he wanted to get paid a million dollars. >> sounds like a banker. >> this is what i want. i want a million dollars and when i don't get it. >> i'm mad. >> i'm mad and i'm going to take it out on you. wall street does have a very big problem. and it got us into this financial crisis, and no one's been held accountable for that. there is cultural problems on wall street. part of the cultural problem on wall street is people like greg smith who are not happy with making $500,000 a year, who are 33 years old, and single. i mean i don't understand it. >> last week we were talking about the, the gomdman report that was released before the 60 minutes story came out. and, and it sort of painted him as a disgruntled employee. so is that just trying to provide some context for everybody as they cover the story or is that like character assassination? i mean couldn't he be a jerk and be right? >> yes, he could be a jerk and be right. and frankly, it's pretty ugly
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for goldman sachs to release his personnel files to the public. they did the same thing with fab reese toure the french banker who was involved in the abacus trade that they got sued on with the s.e.c. >> which he wrote about. >> that is ugly, too. on the other hand, greg smith opened himself up to this. he wrote the op-ed in "the new york times." he's now written this book. but he points out i think very big flaws in wall street. there are flaws on wall street. let's face it. it's not a perfect organization. >> here's what i thought were -- i thought he was on very thin ice last night when he was talking to anderson. let's play this chunk where he, anderson asked him, if you got your million dollars, if you got your promotion, would you have still quit? >> well, what i can say to you is, and this may seem stupid, but i, i didn't go to wall street purely to make lots of money. >> but i don't know anybody who's ever gone to wall street with -- and not had the idea of making money.
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>> no, i, i, i definitely wanted to make money. but i left because things had veered so far from what i actually believed was right, that i could have just left and walked out and said nothing about it. but i, i would have felt that it was not the right thing to do. >> christine your face when he says that. you're like -- >> well, look, anybody who has twelve years in their job, or in the place where they work, things are different twelve years into it than when you -- than when you started, right? and you may -- maybe it's his perceptions of the culture that began to change, as well. look, this is a guy who, who, who is probably the middle of the pack. you know. he was two years away from becoming managing director, probably. many of his friends he started with in the internship, a third of them i think were already managing director. he's sort of -- his arc had played out. he seems like a really decent guy, honestly. you call him a con man but he seems like a decent guy. >> i don't know him personally. >> i don't either. you read about his background, family, he came from south africa. what he wanted to do, you know, he picked the best investment bank he could think of goldman
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sachs because of the culture. look it's a leadership factor. goldman sachs is unlike other investment banks in that it has this culture of pleasing your clients which is why this is so newsworthy the accusations he makes. but also all these really important world leaders have come out of goldman sachs. >> the basic gist of what he's saying is that goldman sachs or one of the points he makes is goldman sachs was not really protecting their clients. that they openly called them muppets -- >> not serving. >> and openly calling them muppets and he talks about not only do junior people do that their senior and hierarchically senior people would laugh about it. isn't that devastating? no? >> soledad -- >> it's a pretty crass and -- >> still a leader on wall street. even through this financial crisis, even through everything that has been heaped on them by senator in congress. if they weren't serving their clients every day, you know, to like 99% quality control, then they would not still be a leader
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on wall street. trust me. these are very sophisticated -- >> clients don't care about being called muppets by the junior people and senior managers. >> they want -- guess what? they don't. they care about whatever it is that wall street can provide when they go to wall street to get. they don't care about what somebody says behind their back at midnight. >> they care about money. they care about money. >> and they all care about money. nice to have you with us this morning. still ahead this morning on "starting point," todd akin. he's back. remember he, he was the guy who started the legitimate rape comments. now he's comparing his opponent to a dog. our get real this morning. "starting point" team is headed in. we're back right after this. [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso.
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morning. welcome back, everybody. you're watching "starting point." our team, ron brownstein, editorial director at national journal, also a cnn senior political analyst. nice to have you with us. suzy welch is back. columnist and best-selling author. roland martin is cnn political analyst with a show on tv one, washington watch with roland martin. >> nice color. >> thank you very much. we kind of match today. john berman kind of matches with us, as well. john berman stuck around from "early start" to help us with the news this morning. our get real is about missouri republican todd akin. i don't know. this guy. taking a lot of heat because he compares his democratic senate incumbent claire mccaskill to a dog. actually he just called her a dog. he was abandoned, you'll remember, by his own party back in august after he talked about legitimate rape. here's what he said about claire mccaskill at a fund-raiser on saturday which took place in springfield, missouri. >> so she goes to washington, d.c., and it's a little bit like a, you know, one of those dog, you know, fetch, and she goes to
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washington, d.c. and gets all of these taxes and red tape and bureaucracy and executive orders and agencies, and she brings all of this stuff and dumps it on us in missouri. >> i was surprised he didn't say missouri, first of all. that was my first shock. and then do you think like is it just a new low for like calling your, your, isn't it an unusual thing to call somebody a dog who you -- >> yeah, yeah. i mean, look, this is a candidate who has basically just dropped verbal grenades on himself through the whole campaign and may, in fact, cost republicans the senate in the end. very difficult, you know, to see him recovering from just one after the other after the other. >> i don't like it. who can like this. and yet i wonder if part of it is because she's a woman. what if he called his male opponent a dog. i don't know if there would be the same sound and fury. >> the other things he said earl kwrerm >> it's all in the context. >> we're not dealing with the brightest bulb in a dark room. okay? i mean, so, if you look at the previous comments, look, you can -- you can criticize your
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opponent without going -- without going to this extent. and all he is do something giving republicans more reasons to run from him. just makes no sense. it also, this is a tight election. election here is -- >> this is a democratic polling thing, public policy poll which is democratic pollster but they say that mccaskill is leading akin 46% to 48%. do you think dog is is exist? >> i think it's rude across the board. i think when you call a woman a dog it has a different connotati connotation. >> you say republicans are running from him, maybe. not all republicans are running from akin. some are running back to him. >> once he stayed in. he's the gift -- >> it's a big one to give up. >> he's a gift that keeps giving in terms of news coverage because we keep talking about him. a major shock to the, the, the rules of sports. lance armstrong, breaking news on this, he's been stripped of his seven tour de france titles following that doping scandal. we've got details on what they have said coming up next.
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also, how would the new information about the deadly consulate attack in benghazi affect tonight's debate? we're going to talk with wyoming senator john barrasso. this .
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>> morning, welcome, everybody, some breaking news to start with this morning. lance armstrong has been stripped of his seven tour de france titles. while leveling the punishment cyc cycling's governing body had very harsh word for him. >> uci wishes to begin that journey on that path forward today by confirming that it will
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not appeal to the court of arbitration for sport, and that it will recognize the sanction that they have imposed. uci will ban lance armstrong from cycling, and uci will strip him of his seven tour de france titles. lance armstrong has no place in cycling. >> the decision comes on the heels of the u.s. anti-doping agency's damning report which concluded that there is quote overwhelming evidence that lance armstrong took part in quote the most sophisticated, professionalized, and successful doping program while he was riding for the u.s. postal service time. armstrong for his part didn't respond directly to the report but he has long denied zoeping. john berman's got a look at some of the other stories making news for us. that's a bombshell. >> none bigger than that. the last ally lance armstrong had, had been supportive of him for some time. now he's essentially got no one
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left. cnn has learned that the u.s. embassy in amman appeared to be among the targets of a major terrorist plot that was foiled by jordanian authorities. that's according to a source close to the investigation. the 11 terror suspects are jordanians who recently spent time in syria. they allegedly called their plan 9/11-2 in a plot which was supposed to happen on november 9th called for the suicide bombings at two shopping malls along with attacks on diplomatic targets in amman. now the latest in the unrest in reb none. three people were killed in violence overnight. political and religious leaders held back a mob of street protesters yesterday following the emotional funeral of a top intelligence official. he was killed in a car bombing friday which has widely been blamed on the syrian government. the protesters tried to storm the lebanese prime minister's office after they denounced the government as a puppet of syria. the cdc says the recent outbreak of fungal meningitis appears to be slowing down. only one new case was reported on sunday. so far 285 people have been sickened in 16 states since the
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outbreak began. 23 people have died. the outbreak has been linked to three lots of contaminated medicine which is used in spinal injections to help control back pain. the tainted medicine has now been recalled along with all other products made by the new england compounding center in framingham, massachusetts. sunday night football action, despite a sloppy first half and being down four starters the pittsburgh steelers managed to keep things close against the cincinnati bengals until the fourth quarter. game tied at 17. the first touchdown of chris rainy's nfl career proved to be the game winner as the steelers went on to beat the bengals 24-17. soledad you're going to like this story. the new jersey state police say -- oh, no this is a different story than i thought. >> this is a terrible story. >> and it's weird, too. you know this story about this is the guy who fell, right? >> yes, it is. a fan suffered severe head injuries when he fell off an escalator at metlife stadium following sunday's giants/redskins game.
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he fell 21 feet onto a metal stage. >> how do you do that? that is not easy to do. you have to be kind of you know out on the edge. >> on the escalators? >> remember that another fan in another stadium same thing happened. this is not the first time. >> crowds are huge. >> crowds are huge, and -- >> happier sports news. the san francisco giants did it again. they avoided elimination. they beat the st. louis cardinals 6-1. they scared the national league championship series at three games apiece. that forced a deciding game seven tonight. tonight's winner will play the tigers in the world series. >> going to pretend that's the yankees playing. >> -- lance armstrong, max report ertson said in 1988, never, ever lose your integrity or credibility because in the end that's all you've got. >> that's true. i think a lot of athletes who have some kind of very bad thing like marion jones and several others, they look back and say -- >> roger clemens.
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>> -- the question is, is there a way back for lance armstrong? >> not at this moment. certainly doesn't feel like it. >> all right let's move on and talk a little bit about this debate. there is a final chance for both president obama and mitt romney to battle each other in person. it's the third final presidential debate in boca raton in florida. it's anybody's race at this point. if you look at the polling from nbc news/"wall street journal" all tied up 47% apiece. let's get to republican senator john barrasso of wyoming. he's on the foreign relations committee. tonight's debate focuses on foreign policy. it's nice to see you, sir. thank you for talking with us. >> soledad, thanks for having me. >> you belt. i showed you the first one a moment ago. all tied up 47-47. then if you look at registered voters choice for president, president obama is ahead 49 to mitt romney's 44%. that's also nbc news/"wall street journal" polling. sampling error is just over 3%. even that shows it's very, it's very tight. how worried are you when you look at numbers like this? >> when you notice mitt romney is doing so well on the issues of who's best qualified to
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handle jobs, the economy, and the debt, which is the overriding issue in my opinion all across the country. what people are focused on is the economy, but i think this is going to do very well for mitt romney over the next two weeks and for election day. >> let me read to you some endorsements that the president has gotten. i was reading to chris van hollen just a moment ago, some of the endorsements that governor romney has gotten. but for president obama the denver post says on policies ranging from tax reform to immigration, from health care to higher edd, none of romney's numbers add up. he's been unwilling or unable to outline for voters specifics that demonstrate his math works probably because it doesn't. the durango herald in colorado says romney has publicly demonstrated no core convictions behind his obvious belief that he should be president. he apparently thinks that simply not being obama is qualification enough. and finally the cleveland plain dealer all politicians change positions over time, obama in 2008 shifted his position on health care reform more to the center. but romney's frequent changes raises questions about his core
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principles and make his lack of policy details all the more troubling. you've got two issues that they keep going to. number one, he shifts. number two, where are the details? >> the -- when you take a look at all of the polls, even the endorsements of the president have been very tepid. there's not a lot of support for the president out there either. you're going to hear tonight in the debate mitt romney getting back to the core, since it's a foreign policy debate, the most important issue, the biggest threat to our national security. the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff said is our national debt. and what did the president promise? he promised that over the first term that he would cut the deficit in half. he has not. we've added $5 trillion to our national debt. this is terrible for our nation. and ronald reagan supported peace through strength and strength a lot has to do with our economy and how strong of a nation we have and mitt romney is the right person to lead on that. >> as you know, if there were a democrat sitting up here that person would tick off all the
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things that the democrats would say. which is look at the trending. certainly the, the unemployment numbers are now down. the president was talking about that the other day. and a and all these other sort of indicators, i'm trying to think of them off the top of my head, housing starts and consumer confidence, et cetera setate ra, they would say, it's been slow for sure, but look, it's finally turning around. and, and that's an indication that the president's been on the right track. i mean we hear that a lot whenever someone who's representing the obama campaign comes and talks to us. why are they wrong about that? >> the country can't afford -- can't afford the next four years to be like the last four years, is what we've gotten with the president. the president for his first two years had everything he wanted. he had 60 democrats in the senate. he had the house, and he had -- and the white house and they gave you everything they wanted. and i'll tell you the country is in worse shape as a result of it. the so-called stimulus package has failed. the health care law i believe is going to bankrupt the country. we cannot afford that for the next four years.
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i believe that the president has failed to lead. he's failed to lead internationally as well as nationally with the economy. all he seems to want to do is just spend more money, add more to the debt, and i don't think that's the right prescription or solution for our country. we need a bold leader who can actually get people working again. we still have 23 million americans who are either unemployed or underemployed. if you take a family and they go to -- their income has dropped about $4,000 over the last number of years, and yet the president said their insurance premiums, health insurance premiums would be down $2500 a family. instead they're up. i think ron's trying to get in a question. >> good morning, senator. ron brownstein. yesterday there were reports that the administration is considering a moving toward direct negotiations with iran over its pursuit of nuclear weapons. do you think that would be -- >> the white house has denied that -- >> no, no, they denied that they've reached an agreement in principle but there's no question they seem to be discussing the possibility of --
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of direct negotiations with iran. do you think that would be a good idea or a bad idea? and do you think mitt romney would pursue direct negotiations with iran if he is elected? >> the president's been saying this, he said this when he ran four years ago that he would open up negotiations with iran. four years later, under the president and the promises that he's made, iran is much closer to a nuclear weapon. they have four times as much enriched material as they had when he took office. the sanctions that we have basically forced upon the white house and the president has finally gone with, then they gave a lot of waivers. -- money to iran. we need to do anything possible to make sure iran does not have nuclear weapons. the white house denies the story. so it will probably come up in the debate tonight. >> and you didn't answer the second part of that which was mitt romney where would he stand on that? would he do the same thing in -- in discussions with the iranians. >> i think mitt romney will do anything he can to make sure that the iranians do not get nuclear weapons.
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>> senator barrasso nice to see you, sir. thank you for talking with us this morning. >> thank you, soledad. >> cnn's live coverage of tonight's third and final presidential debate will begin at 7:00 p.m. eastern. we'll be coming to you from boca raton in florida. coming up next, the true story behind the hit movie "argo". we'll tell you what really happened when six americans went into hiding during the iranian revolution. cnn's exclusive interview with five of the six diplomats who survived that frightening ordeal. that's straight ahead. security gets the most rewards of any small business credit card! how does this thing work? oh, i like it! [ garth ] sven's small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase, every day! woo-hoo!!! so that's ten security gators, right? put them on my spark card! why settle for less? testing hot tar... great businesses deserve the most rewards! [ male announcer ] the spark business card from capital one. choose unlimited rewards with 2% cash back or double miles on every purchase, every day! what's in your wallet? here's your invoice.
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welcome back, everybody. ben affleck's new movie "argo" is the little-known story of six americans who eluded capture during the 1979 iranian hostage crisis. and the covert cia operation
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that got them out of the country. cnn's alina cho spoke exclusively to the real-life embassy workers upon whom that film was based. >> what happened? >> six of the hostages went out a back exit. >> where are they? >> the canadian ambassador's house. >> reporter: in the movie "argo" ben affleck plays tony mendez, a real-life cia operative who hatches a plan to rescue six americans who eluded capture during the iranian revolution. >> i got an idea. >> there's a canadian film crew of a science fiction movie. we all fly together as a film crew. >> reporter: that fake science fiction movie is called "argo." >> if i'm doing a fake movie it's going to be a fake hit. >> reporter: these are the real embassy workers on which the film is based. what was your first thought when you saw it? >> it was more exciting than the real thing. >> reporter: bob anders, lee schott, mark and cora. five of the six. the first time they've all sat down together for a tv
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interview. the only one who couldn't be with us is kathleen's husband joe, currently working for the state department in the sudan. these are the actors who played you. what do you think? >> sure looks like joe. >> yeah. >> they even got his little sweaters right. he used to wear these little sleeveless sweater vests. >> reporter: they took me back to the day, november 4th, 1979, when iranian students climbed the walls and stormed the u.s. embassy. what went through your mind? >> this will only last for a little while before the government will come and stop this. and i just tried to keep my staff kind of calm and collected. >> i remember calling my mother after about the first 24, 48 hours, and said don't worry, you're going to see some things on the news but i'm safe and i'll call you in a few days. of course i didn't call back for three months. >> reporter: 79 days they hid from the iranians in the homes of canadian diplomats and came to be known as the house guests. >> people would come to the
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house, we'd go upstairs and hide. and at one point, there were revolutionary guards posted outsided door. >> reporter: then, on january 26th, 1980 -- >> there's a knock on the door. i open the door. and there's two guys standing there in trench coats. and i said, really? trench coats. >> no. >> this is what i do. and i've never left anyone behind. >> tony is a very charming guy. >> did you trust him? >> we didn't have a whole lot of choice. i think if we said no thanks, send in another infiltration expert. >> do you really believe your little story's going to make a difference when there's a gun to our heads? >> i think our little story is the only thing between you and a gun to your head. >> movie spoiler alert. it worked. and once they cleared iranian air space -- >> we all ordered drinks, and i'm sure that the people on the plane, if they wondered, you know, wondered why there were these arms that went up, as we
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made eye contact, because we were sitting in different places. but we knew why. >> part of the reason why it took so long for this movie to come out is it wasn't because they were working on the script for this long. it's because the information was classified for 17 years. in fact, it wasn't until it was declassified during the clinton administration in 1997 that hollywood started to think about it. and a big reason why it was kept secret for so long, according to these embassy workers, is because the cia wanted to keep this option on the table in case they wanted to use that option again. isn't that interesting? >> a read a ton of books dealing with the cia. you're right. some of the stuff they do is amazing once you find out about it. this story here is just stunning. >> the movie is supposed to be fantastic as well. >> the movie is incredible. i know all of you have been very, very busy. >> just a little. >> take a moment. will you? take a moment and watch the movie. >> after the election. alina cho, thanks, alina.
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welcome back, everybody. you're watching "starting point." a quick check of your travel forecast. alexandra steele has that for us. >> good morning, soledad. two things on two sides of the country. snow or a potential tropical storm could slow you down. to the west we go. today, tomorrow the biggest news. the first major real winter storm of the season. although not officially winter yet. we're talking about the sierra and the siskiyous above about 5,500 feet. we could see about a foot of snow. to the other side of the country we go. this time of year, actually, tropical season in the atlantic goes until november 30th. this time we look a little closer to home. there's an 80% chance that we could see this tropical disturbance develop. computer models taking it --
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look at this consensus. slamming over jamaica, eastern cuba. then it is such a big system even if it stays just east of florida in the eastern seaboard we still could see rain and wind. a lot to watch as we head toward the weekend. >> alexandra, thank you. we're watching it. ahead on "starting point" this morning, the countdown to the final showdown. mitt romney and the president 13 hours from now -- sometimes i just run words together to tighten it up a little bit. we're going to talk about that final debate straight ahead. also, stephanie cutter from the obama campaign will be our guest. the former new york city major rudy giuliani will be talking with us as well about the debate straight ahead. ten days after the attack on the consulate in benghazi, why was the cia telling the president it was caused by protests over an anti-islam video? new report of the day on the foreign policy debate, as to what we know. we'll talk about that. we also know presidential campaigns make for very good political humor. kmeed yn d.l. huguely will join us and assess how it's been
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-- captions by vitac -- and you are. good morning, everyone. you're watching "starting point." final face-off. breaking news. lance armstrong has been stripped of his seven tour de france titles in the wake of the doping scandal. we'll discuss that. the goldman sachs employee with the incredible public resignation goes on tv for the first time. his name is greg smith. he says he was trying to change a toxic culture. one man who worked on wall street for 17 years says actually he's a con man. stephanie cutter is going to join us. rudy giuliani will join us. d.l. hughley will be talking with us. it's monday, october 22nd. "starting point" begins right now.
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morning. welcome, everybody. our team this morning, ron br n brownstein, editorial director of national journal. cnn senior political analyst roland martin. stop. what's that about? too early. >> peace sign. what up? it's monday. >> all right, all right. host of "washington watch" susie welch. john berman from "early start" sticking around helping us with the news. you're not going to give us the peace sign? >> whatever roland said. >> our "starting point" this morning -- >> jump into the week. >> look at that right there. that's where everyone will be looking tonight. the countdown to the final debate. that's lynn university. tiny lynn university, boca raton, florida. in 13 hours both the president and governor romney will be walking out on that stage and trying to convince america that they've got the foreign policy chops to be commander in chief. it's their third, final debate. 15 days.
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can you believe it? 15 days until the election. brand-new nbc/"wall street journal" poll to talk about that was conducted after the second debate shows that they are locked in a dead heat. look at those numbers there. 47 and 47. brianna keilar is in boca already this morning. that number has got to be read very badly for president obama. >> reporter: that's right. and when you listen to the obama campaign, soledad, they're trying to downplay the poll numbers. you talk to folks on the romney campaign and they're happy with where they are. yes, neck and neck. this is where the race continues to be at this point. it's tightened up in recent weeks. also we've seen it shifts towards mitt romney. that's what that 47 to 47 with a margin of error of about 3 1/2 points tells us. a couple interesting things going on in this poll. look at women. president obama still with a sizable lead, 51 to 43 over mitt romney. that's actually something alarming to president obama because it's the smallest lead that he's had. then when you look at
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battleground states, mitt romney in these polls -- or in this poll has a little bit of a lead. so, again, the obama campaign trying to downplay these polls and obviously the debate tonight really mattering for both of these candidates. let's take a look as well at some of the endorsements the candidates got over the weekend. battleground states, both of them picking up some here. mitt romney, tampa tribune. also picking up the orlando sentinel out of florida. columbus dispatch. not surprisingly the new hampshire nunion leader. president obama also picking up in ohio two ohio endorsements. akron beacon journal and cleveland plain dealer. in colorado the denver post. what's really interesting, soledad, not a ton of enthusiasm. the two florida papers kind of a lukewarm endorsement of mitt romney. same with the ohio papers. the denver post which endorsed president obama saying neither has a plan for the future. >> yeah. that's very true. kind of meh on all of these.
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do you think it matters, susie? >> the newspapers? i think people look -- most people know what their newspaper, local newspaper is going to say. they've been watching. they read them for years. you know the boston globe is going to go for obama. you know your local paper. either it's going to confirm what you already think. i'm not sure people turn to -- nobody turns -- >> we love this guy! >> endorsements matter in tight elections. if you can think of 1,000, 5,000 votes in a very tight election, trust me, you like it. if you're the candidate who didn't get it -- >> inside that nbc/"wall street journal" poll, president only 47 this close to the election. pretty ominous. secondly, only 36 among white voters who said his formula for victory, 80% of minorities, 40% of the whites. puts him below. that's a pretty ominous number if you're at 36% of whites. losing white women by double digits in both f o these polls out in the last 48 hours. >> they've got to be concerned about that.
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brianna, thank you very much. let's go to john berman for some of the other stories that are making news that don't have to do with the debate. >> no. >> is there other tough happening? >> breaking news this morning about lance armstrong. armstrong stripped of his seven tour de france titles. while leveling the punishment, cycling's governing body has very harsh words for him. >> wishes to begin that journey on that path forward today by confirming that it will not appeal to the court of arbitration for sport. and that it will recognize the sanction that it has imposed. uci will ban lance armstrong from cycling and uci will strip him of his seven tour de france titles. lance armstrong has no place in cycling. >> no place in cycling. this decision comes on the heels of the u.s. anti-doping agency's damning report which concluded there is, quote, overwhelming evidence that armstrong took part in the most sophisticated professionalized and successful
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doping program while he road for the u.s. postal service team. armstrong for his part, he didn't respond directly to the anti-doping agency report. but he has long denied doping. a full ten days after the attack in benghazi the cia was still telling president obama they stemmed from spontaneous protests. according to reports first published by "the wall street journal," the cia did not alter its assessment in the daily intelligence briefing for the president until september 22nd even though witnesses and other sources disputed the assumption early on that protests sparked the attack. u.s. ambassador christopher stevens and three other americans died in last month's terror attack in libya. the 45-year-old ex-marine who fire at a milwaukee area spa was allegedly hunting down his estrange rampage. police have not said if his wife was among them. police say the shooter, radcliffe haughton, killed himself inside the spa. it's not every day you can tell your boss take this job and
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shove it in a "new york times's" op-ed. that's exactly what goldman sachs vice president greg smith did in march after working for the firm for 2 yea12 years. he accused goldman of deceiving clients and pursuing profits at the expense of clients. he has a new book called "why i left goldman sachs" which is out today. smith spoke to anderson cooper on "60 minutes." >> so an op-ed resignation, you hoped it would be a wake-up call? >> i really did. because there are a lot of people who acknowledge these things internally but no one is willing to say publicly. and my view is the only way you force people to change the system is by saying something publicly. >> a goldman investigation last week claims smith quit goldman because he expected to earn $1 million a year, double what he was making. we spoke last hour to william cohan who worked on wall street for 16 years. he said greg was a con man angry over not making more money.
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"saturday night live" taking on last week's presidential town hall debate with jason chaneling mitt romney. >> this is a president who has made it harder for u.s. oil companies to drill. okay? he brought criminal action against an oil company in north dakota because 25 birds were killed. 25. let me promise you that as your president, i will never care how many birds are killed. you could kill 250 birds. you could kill 2,500 birds. if it brings gas prices down one cent, i would personally stalk, capture and strangle every bird in this great land. except eagles. >> except eagles. >> soledad, they were pretty tough on your piece from the island. >> the accents. twitter was, too. oh, my gawd. i love long island. >> my man got the mike, though. that was smooth. >> on twitter people were making fun of those long island
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accents. you know what? those are my people. those are good accents. >> all yours. >> that's right. strong island. >> they understand each other. >> no one else. >> oh, uncalled for! all right. let's go back to talking about tonight's debate. i want to bring in former mayor of new york city, rudy giuliani. he's at the debate site in boca raton, florida. he's a romney campaign surrogate. nice to see you. thanks for talking with us. >> good morning. >> who do you think goes into this with the upper hand since the topic is foreign policy? >> well, i mean, up until a few weeks ago i would have said the president. because his polling numbers on foreign policy were pretty darn strong. last couple of weeks with all the problems in libya and the administration's, i don't know, now four or five different conflicting statements about it, maybe mitt romney goes in with the upper hand. the president's got a lot of explaining to do which he hasn't explained. one of the looming questions is, did he know about the two prior attacks on the consulate, one of
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which blew a hole big enough for a truck to go through? those attacks occurred within three, four months of the attack on september 11th. we still don't know if the president knew about it. if he did know about it, what action did he take or didn't take. and if he didn't know about it, why didn't he know about it. >> the last time you were on we were talking about benghazi and you said that it was a cover-up. now as i'm sure you know, "the wall street journal" is writing this. president barack obama was told in his daily intelligence briefing for more than a week after the consulate siege in benghazi that the assault grew out of a spontaneous protests despite conflicting reports from witnesses and other sources that began to cast doubt on the accuracy of that assessment almost from the start. sounds like they're saying actually the intelligence was flawed and so flawed that the president and people around the president weren't getting accurate information. does that change when you say cover-up? >> no. come on. >> i assume from the hysterical laughter you're going to say no. tell me why.
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>> my goodness. that's an incredibly generous interpretation for the president. >> i'm asking. i'm not interpreting. i'm asking you. >> okay. >> "the wall street journal" has said the intelligence was flawed. >> yeah. but also the president should have known just based on common sense that an attack like that, an attack in which they are using rocket propelled hand grenades, in which mortars are used, if the president had been privy to the information beforehand that there were numerous attacks there, planned attacks including two on the embassy, one in april, one in june, in which a hole was blown in the wall of the embassy, now all of a sudden you get an attack on september 11th and you're scratching your head about it? my goodness. if it wasn't a cover-up, then the ineptitude of this administration is startling. it really can't be trusted to protect us. >> mr. mayor, hold on one second. >> if you couldn't figure out this was a planned attack, you had a series of planned attacks before this. to us, because this information was concealed by the
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administration, this appeared to be a big surprise. meaning the american public. shouldn't have been to the president. >> hold on while i chat with our panel. >> that consulate was being attacked. >> hold on one second while i chat with the panel for a second. >> sure. >> what i'm wondering is if this was a lack of common sense and the cia was saying this for ten days, was it david petraeus? is major giuliani saying david petraeus, head of the cia, had a lack of common sense about what was happening in libya? that would be the implication of saying it was a lack of common sense not seeing this was a planned attack right from the get-go and that's what the cia was saying. >> let's see if we can move away from the president. >> i'm just asking. >> may i -- no, but may i be allowed to answer the question? >> of course. >> the reality is, the reality is, the president of the united states way back in april should have been aware of the fact that this consulate was under siege. then all of the sudden in june he gets a hole blown in the wall of this consulate. he shouldn't have to pin it on david petraeus or hillary
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clinton. if he's the president he should be aware of this from his security briefings. what we need to know is was he briefed on the prior attacks? did he know of the prior attacks? when this attack took place -- >> so -- >> please let me finish. when this attack took place did it key into him that there had been prior attacks at exactly this spot, a spot in which the british consulate had moved their consulate just a few weeks earlier? if all that information is known to the president, of course, there was a cover-up. if it wasn't known to the president, well, then maybe he was misled by the cia. i don't know the answers to that. the administration is stonewalled here. they're not giving explanations. we still don't know if the president was aware of the prior attacks. >> let me ask another question. i don't know if you caught matthew dowd who -- he's an abc news political contributor. here is what he said about when he was working at the time and weapons of mass destruction had been discovered. i'm going to play a little chunk of what he said. >> i think -- let me just say one thing to put this benghazi
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thing in context of, like, why don't we have answers and where are they? i worked for president bush. we had a president in an administration for years made an argument about weapons of mass destruction for years. now we've lost thousands of lives over in iraq based on a false assumption. it wasn't two weeks. this was months and months and months of a conversation where we never got the right answer to this. we still today, nobody in the administration at a high enough level -- >> the point is that intelligence gathering is bad. >> so he is the chief strategist, right, for bush/cheney. so he's even saying that after weeks it would be -- even talking about weapons of mass destruction, took years. they still don't have the right answer. by jumping on so quickly and expecting sort of accurate final answers within weeks is -- is, i guess, unfair in a way. >> if what? we're going to blame this on bush, too. >> okay. so you got to stop putting words
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in my mouth, sir. seriously. hang on. let me finish. every time i ask you a question -- >> i'm going to answer the question. >> let me finish my point. every time i ask you a question you push back as if somehow the question is being posed to you is unfair. it's not. i'm a journalist. you said some things. i'm trying to get accurate responses from you. you are welcome to answer. go ahead. >> okay. here's the answer. >> thank you. >> it sounds to me like we're trying to blame it on bush. it's absurd to blame benghazi on bush. all the president has to do is answer the simple question. did he know about the consulate attacks that took place before september 11 of 2012. there were two of them. one of which blew a hole in the embassy wall. also did he know that the british consulate which is basically next door, that they moved out because of these tremendous number of risks to that consulate. if he knew all that, which would only take, like, a few minutes -- >> that's not what matthew dowd is saying. when i played that chunk for you, that's not what matthew dowd is saying. let me finish my point. what matthew dowd is saying similar situation talking about
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weapons of mass destruction. back then in the same confusion, it took a long time. years later we still don't know. he's not saying blame it on president bush. he's just saying that weeks in a place like libya, it could take a long time before somebody actually knows what exactly happened. we also have a report from the "wall street journal" that it looks as if the intelligence was flawed. that's what he's saying, sir. >> but it doesn't take a long time for the president of the united states to tell us whether or not he was aware that this consulate had been attacked twice before. if he was aware, what did he do to protect that consulate? >> my question for you -- >> that is an easy question to answer. >> i agree. i agree. the point and my question to you -- >> why doesn't he answer? >> the point and my question to you is does matthew dowd have a point that it could take far longer than two weeks or four weeks before people understand what happened? he's saying the example when he was working for the bush administration was weapons of mass destruction. does he have a point? >> he has a point about some
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parts of this incident. he does not have a point about the part of the incident that refers to what was the president's knowledge, did the president take steps to protect our ambassador and the other people there, didn't he take steps to do that, and why wasn't that information made available for a month, a month and a half. those are very valid points that do not take five years to figure out. >> those are points michael dowd did not make. thank you for talking with us. we're out of time. we always enjoy chatting with you. it wakes me up, that's for sure. >> if major giuliani was given a report when he was the mayor of new york from intelligence stating this is what we think. he went to a news conference. he would repeat exactly what his intelligence gave him. he knows it. that's nonsense saying what did he know back in april. he's trying to shift the story because of this week enld's report. >> there could be a whole nother explanation. there's a narrative. there's a narrative the obama administration has that al qaeda is in retreat. the cia didn't want to say to
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their boss, actually, that's not happening. >> interesting now to see that "l.a. times" report where they say it actually was not al qaeda. there's so much -- >> bringing bad news to their boss. maybe he was getting bad intelligence. but why? he was getting it because -- >> we are making the wrong assumption that it was bad intelligence. what they clearly stated was this is what we know now. they said it may change. >> we will move on. because we've just heard the republican reaction, obviously, from major giuliani about that debate. we're going to hear from stephanie cutter. she's representing the obama campaign. of course, no matter what happens on election day, we'll show you why your paycheck is going to get smaller. a bummer. christine will join us to explain. back in just a moment. [ male announcer ] citi turns 200 this year.
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working together has never worked so well. oh, hey alex. just picking up some, brochures, posters copies of my acceptance speech. great! it's always good to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking. you know, i'm glad we're both running a nice, clean race. no need to get nasty. here's your "honk if you had an affair with taylor" yard sign. looks good. [ male announcer ] fedex office. now save 50% on banners.
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welcome back, everybody. tonight's final debate on foreign policy comes amid a lot of new information including brand-new polls to talk about. stephanie cutter, manager for obama's campaign. look at this new quinnipiac/cbs news poll looking at specifically ohio. president obama holding on to a five point lead over governor mitt romney in ohio. that's a good news. but, this is critical, that margin has been cut in half since september. that's got to be very worrisome for you. also he holds a 50% to 45% lead over romney among likely voters but that's down. the sample of error is plus or
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minus 3%. how worried are you about those numbers there? >> i'm not worried that 53/43 was ever realistic. we're pleased with where we are in ohio. ohio was a critical state. we have many different pathways to 270 electoral votes. mitt romney has one. it also goes through ohio. we're extremely pleased we're up five there. there's a good reason for it. one, our ground game. we're knocking out early vote all over that state because of our ground game. two, because of what the president has done over the past four years to move our country, and particularly ohio, forward. saving the auto industry. bringing manufacturing jobs back. cutting taxes for the middle class. all of these things matter. and i think the people of ohio understand where the president would go over the next four years in terms of continuing to move our country and ohio forward. >> let's talk about florida for a moment. if you read "the new york times" the 538 blog which nate silver writes, mr. romney has made larger than average gains in the state, talking about florida,
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since the denver debate and become a definitive favorite there. that should obama concede florida? >> absolutely not. absolutely not. you know, i've been here a couple of days. i've seen our ground game at work. our people are coming out. voting by ballot early. early vote starts here in a couple of days. we're pleased with where we are. there are polls that show us three up, polls that show us three down. this is the nature of a tight race. we always knew this was going to be a tight race. soledad, i've said to you previously this is going to come down to the wire. it's going to be a very close race. we need everybody to come out and vote. we're re in florida for this debate. it's an important conversation we're going to have tonight. you know, the president has had a steady, strong foreign policy over the past four years to keep this country safe and secure. we're stronger today than we were four years ago. i think that will stand in contrast to mitt romney who has not been steady. who's been reckless.
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who has been, you know, traveling the country -- traveling the world, you know, blunder after blunder. lots of bluster on some of our most important challenges across this world. iran, saber rattling. no end to the war in afghanistan. this is an important conversation we'll have tonight. i think it's important to the people of florida. i think it's important to people across the country. >> hold on one second, stephanie, while i talk to ron brownstein. >> if you look at the polling that's come out since the first debate, there's some evidence the biggest impact has been with white women voters moving toward mitt romney. >> across the country or ohio specifically? >> across the country. the nbc/"wall street journal," politico have president obama trailing by double digits among white women. basically double the deficit he had in 2008. still holding on in ohio. i'm just wondering what -- if the obama -- you look at what the obama campaign was talking about last week in that second debate and certainly after, they are focused on these voters. i wonder if they have a thought
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on why that's happening. >> roland? >> i'm also curious if stephanie could speak to the issue of the new ad the obama campaign put out where they're talking about iraq and afghanistan and the end of that says about bringing those -- spending those dollars home. is that the way to spend -- >> strategy. stephanie, let's go back to you. you have an opportunity tonight, of course, to talk about foreign policy. but the poll numbers as ron was just talking about when it comes to female voters are in decline for the president. how do you, using the stage you'll have tonight talking about foreign policy, try to turn those numbers around for that critical voting block? >> well, let me answer the first question first. in terms of women, there will be a gender gap on election day. there will absolutely be a gender gap. for good reason. you saw in last week's debate mitt romney couldn't articulate any sort of agenda of how he's going to move women forward. both in terms of economic security but health security. he wasn't being honest about the positions he's taken over the
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last six years of running for president. whether it's not standing up for equal pay for women or, you know, telling their bosses that they can have control over whether women have access to contraception. female employees having access to contraception on the insurance plans. you know, to roland's question, i think tonight is absolutely an opportunity for talking -- we've been at war for more than a decade in afghanistan. the president's bringing that war to an end. he's already committed to using half of those savings from that war to invest back home. to do some nation building back here. building our roads, bridges, highways. putting construction workers back to work. he spoke about that at the convention. it's a key piece of his agenda over the course of the next four years. mitt romney hasn't committed to ending the war. he hasn't said how he's going to wind it down. you know, we'd like to hear some answers about that tonight. previously he said he's going to kick it past the election. >> they'll have an opportunity tonight. stephanie cutter with us this morning, thank you, stephanie.
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nice to see you as always. appreciate it. >> thank you. nice to see you. >> as our debate coverage continues, going to take a look at the humor. "saturday night live" has been killing it lately, huh? so funny. d.l. hughley is going to join us to talk about the comedy that will come out of these presidential debates. that's straight ahead. [ engine revving ] ♪ [ male announcer ] every car we build must make adrenaline pump and pulses quicken. ♪ to help you not just to stay alive but feel alive. the new c-class is no exception. it's a mercedes-benz, through and through. see your authorized mercedes-benz dealer for exceptional offers through mercedes-benz financial services.
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and the candidate's speech is in pieces all over the district. the writer's desktop and the coordinator's phone are working on a joke with local color. the secure cloud just received a revised intro from the strategist's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... working together has never worked so well.
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the strength of a global financial leader. the heart of a one-to-one relationship. together for your future. ♪ welcome back to "starts point." i'm christine romans. in today's smart is the new rich, payroll tax cuts expires next year. at this point there's little appetite in washington to keep this temporary tax goody. someone making 100 grand took home an extra $2,000 in the paycheck. that's likely to go away. instead of paying 6 ppt.2% of your pay to fund social security
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you paid only 4.2%. it was meant to be temporary. for the $50,000 a year worker, this tax hike, it's real money. equivalent to 333 tall starbucks lattes. 262 gallons of fwas. 1,200 bags of skittles. it's real money you won't have. that's something that could affect the overall economy. aarp has urged congress and the white house to let this tax cut expire saying the stimulus it provided after the recession was necessary. aarp says we couldn't be tampering with the tax structure to fund social security. plan your budget accordingly. >> that is not small. >> it's a little bit of the fiscal cliff story. this is part of the fiscal cliff story a lot of people think is not going to get fixed because it was never meant to be permanent. >> almost everybody pays payroll taxes. for many americans in the kind of middle and below, it is a bigger share of what they pay.
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>> we got to take a short break as we get ready to start our next half hour. coming up on "starting point" tonight's debate will focus on policy. who gets the advantage? we'll talk to john negreponte. and gangnam style. it never ends. after the break. hi, i'm phil mickelson. i've been fortunate to win on golf's biggest stages. but when joint pain and stiffness
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debate tonight focuses exclusively on foreign policy. the two of you, shush. we're starting the show. suzy, i don't want to call you out, but i will. major developments over the weekend. talking about our nation's tense relationship with iran, the september 11th attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi. the candidates likely to face
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some very, very tough questions. we want to get right to the former u.s. ambassador to the united nations, also the chairman of the council of the americans foreign policy veteran john negroponte joining us. who has the advantage when it comes to foreign policy? >> as a general rule the incumbent does. they've got the record, the experience. i think generally speaking to the extent that foreign policy is an issue in elections, it's -- it's a referendum on the policy of the incumbent. i think the challenger by definition has less experience in that area. has got to be convincing that he would be a good commander in chief. but he's got to do that by referring to other aspects of his record. obviously, he hasn't got a foreign policy record to point to. >> talk to me a little bit about benghazi. because i have a feeling we're going to be talking about
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bengha benghazi. we're fwoigoing to talk about c. let's start with benghazi. we now know from reporting it looks like the president for the first ten days or so was getting flaw flawed intelligence. how does this change the conversation? l.a. times saying it looks like al qaeda may not have been involved in this attack. can you explain how all that will impact what happens tonight? >> first of all, let me say if 90 minutes tonight are devoted to a discussion of benghazi, i think we're all going to be the poorer for it. there are just so many other issues out there. benghazi is symptomatic of continued instability in the middle east. i think that's the broader conversation that has to be had in regard to the middle east. what's going to happen to egypt? what's going to happen to the iran nuclear program? i certainly hope that they get over to issues such as afghanistan and pakistan. the fate of afghanistan after we've withdrawn our troops in 2014. and, most importantly of all, if
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you're talking about foreign policy, what's going to happen to that very, very important relationship, bilateral relationship, between the united states and china. that's the 800-pound gorilla, if you will, with respect to the future of the united states' foreign policy. >> ambassador, what do you think of the -- one of the issues they'll certainly be debating tonight is mitt romney's call for labeling china a currency manipulator on day one. what do you think about that, what would the impact of that broader relationship that you just described? >> yeah. i think historically what's happened through the past eight presidencies is quite often during political campaigns, there's some heated rhetoric about china. antagonism and so forth. then when presidents take office, they find that really what they've got is a management issue. they've got to manage the relationship with china. it's too important to shoot ourselves in the foot, so to speak. so i think he's going to have if he gets elected some very tough
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decisions. the other thing i'd say with respect to that is i'm not certain that you can declare china a currency manipulator on day one. there's a process that has to be gone through. if he's elected i suspect that's what will happen. >> it also jumps out, we've heard general colin powell criticize mitt romney by talking about russia and their influence. would it be a mistake for romney to focus on that tonight as opposed to asia, a opposed to the middle east? >> well, i mean, i think that particularly for mr. romney, but for both candidates, they're going to want to show that they have a good appreciation of global affairs as a whole. all five continents, so to speak. so surely if russia comes up, i think he's going to touch on the fact that they have become a what more antagonistic power in recent years. they're feeling their oats, so to speak. they've been antagonistic
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towards their near abroad. they've been more difficult to deal with both bilaterally, in the security council and elsewhere. certainly that's going to be one of the topics of discussion. >> ambassador john negroponte joining us. we'll have complete live coverage of tonight's debate right here on cnn. coverage begins 7:00 p.m. eastern time. other stories making news. john berman's got that for us. >> a source close to the investigation tells cnn that u.s. embassy in i man was apparently among the targets of a terrorist plot that was filed by jordanian authorities. the 11 terror suspects were all jordanians who recently spent time in syria. they allegedly called their plan 9/11 2. douglas kennedy goes on trial today, the son of robert f. kennedy accused of assaulting two suburben new york nurses back in january. that's when kennedy reportedly took his newborn son, beau, out of the maternity ward for some, quote, fresh air. the nurses who tried to stop him say they were kicked and had their arms twisted.
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kennedy has pleaded not guilty and will be given the choice between a bench or jury trial. police in phoenix are crediting a man with a samurai sword with breaking up a fight onboard a metro light rail train earlier this month. this actually happened. officers are now looking for the suspects who are roughing up the man in the light blue shirt until this self-styled samurai warrior stepped in with his samurai sword. >> ninja! >> when the train came to a stop the man with the sword chased the attackers out of a car. there was a man with a samurai sword on that subway. which i guess happens in that area. >> craziness in that one story on so many levels. >> usually the guy with the sword is more of a problem. >> more news on samurais now. sunday night football, the pittsburgh steelers managed to keep things close against the cincinnati bengals despite being down four starters. after a sloppy first half the steelers found themselves with the game tied at 17 in the fourth quarter.
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chris rainy scored the first touchdown of his nfl career. that td proved to be the game winner as the steelers went on to beat cincinnati, 24-17. >> what about the houston texans? >> i'm all for the texans. they're good. next week. the nfl now getting down with gangnam style. it has become the new celebration dance on the gridiron and at starting point with soledad o'brien. new york giants' jason pierre-paul just one of the players who celebrated a sack with the horsy and lasso twirl on sunday. >> game seven. tonight. game seven. >> game seven tonight in the nlcs along with the monday night football game. >> ahead this morning on "starting point," do parents have to give the talk a little earlier? a new study says boys are
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entering puberty much earlier than before. comedians have been having a field day with the election season. we'll talk to d.l. hughley about ups and downs of covering mitt romney and president obama. back in a moment. bob...
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oh, hey alex. just picking up some, brochures, posters copies of my acceptance speech. great! it's always good to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking. you know, i'm glad we're both running a nice, clean race. no need to get nasty. here's your "honk if you had an affair with taylor" yard sign. looks good. [ male announcer ] fedex office. now save 50% on banners.
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[ male announcer ] fedex office. mike rowe here at a ford tell me fiona, who's having a big tire event? your ford dealer. who has 11 major brands to choose from?
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your ford dealer. who's offering a rebate? your ford dealer. who has the low price tire guarantee... affording peace of mind to anyone who might be in the market for a new set of res? your ford dealer. i'm beginning to sense a pattern. buy four select tires, get a $60 rebate. use the ford service credit credit card, get $60 more. that's up to $120. where did you get that sweater vest? your ford dealer. welcome back to "starting point," everyone. boys are reaching puberty earlier. much early according to to a study by the american academy of
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pete yat ri pediatrics. senior medical correspondent elizabeth cohen joins us from atlanta to explain it. the question is how much earlier are we talking about here? >> it's a good chunk of time. about six months to two years earlier. it's especially earlier for african-american boys. let's take a look at the ages. this study found that african-american boys hitting puberty at around 9 years old. white boys around 10. hispanic boys a little bit older, 10.4 years. there's concern about this. early puberty in girls has caused some psychological problems such as depression. puberty really changes the physiology of your brain. the big question, why is this happening? you know what? no one really knows. it could be chemicals in the environment. it could be chemicals in our food. no one is sure. this is really the first time that they've seen this early puberty in boys. so the next step is to figure out why and to see if parents can do anything about it. in the meantime, what parents need to do is, perhaps, have that talk with boys a little bit
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earlier. >> looking forward to that. thank you, elizabeth cohen in t atlan atlanta. we've been talking politics all morning. no discussion got us more heated than this discussion. >> that's terrifying. >> we're all talking is it a chemical thing. is it milk? is it meat? what are they drinking? kids are younger and younger knowing more and more. we used to worry about the easter bunny and when they were going to find out about santa claus. those days are over. they're seeing stuff and know stuff. still ahead on "starting point," the presidential campaigns make for great political humor like on "saturday night live." take a look at this. >> how much did you cut? >> not true. >> you didn't cut anything. you're not going to cut anything? >> i'm about to cut you. >> i'd like to see that. >> we comedian d.l. hughley in just a moment. to test the 2.0-liter turbo engine.
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in fact, i am willing to bet here and now that you have never in your life even once used the phrase "terrorist act." >> get the transcripts. get them. >> governor, he has, in fact, used the phrase terrorist act. >> candy, no, no, no. candy, come on. >> i'm afraid he did. >> candy, please. candy. >> that's "snl" with last week's presidential debate. no shortage of material for comedians. stand-up comedian, actor, political junky d.l. hughley knows a little bit about this.
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the second line is how the audacity of dopes is ruining america. >> what's the first line? >> my kids watch this show. i can't repeat the first line. let's talk a little bit about the humor. have you found the candidates it shall i think they a-- i think of boring individuals. >> to be a president you have to be boring. you don't want a guy that's a lot of fun with his hand on a bomb. i had a good time last night. you don't want that. >> biden is vice president. >> i think that it's just -- like, when i was watching the tape that was released with mitt romney talking about the -- any dude that doesn't know you don't talk about 47% when they're serving your food probably has never seen "the help." >> last week the conversations were all about big bird and about women in binders. let's play the little chunk of that. we'll talk on the other side. >> how did you find out your name had been mentioned in the debate? >> oh, i got a million tweets.
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>> said he had, quote, binders full of women. which is a little creepy. binders full of women. something they find in a serial killer's basement at the end of a "law and order: svu." >> does it actually have an impact? >> i have a friend with a binder full of women. he's not running for president. >> business people, when they heard that term, what's wrong with it? we're always getting binders full of resumes. i've heard more conversation from people saying i simply don't get -- i don't get the binders. it was a real demarcation about who got it and who didn't. in some groups it made a difference. >> every time we have a presidential election it reminds us how there are many different americans. they really increasingly have little contact with each other. they start with very different perceptions of what's happening, what's appropriate. >> that's where your question really comes in. there are a lot of folks who do get their information from late night shows, comedy shows. >> which is exactly why we're in
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the state we're in. it's like, we watch "honey boo boo." >> comedians also get to frankly be a lot more honest about politicians and their positions than other people. >> they're less apologetic. to some extent honest. i think there's no -- like, i don't have a bunch of fans i'm trying to sway one way or another. >> the "snl" sketch this saturday night worked so well. everybody watching it thought this is probably what they're really thinking. is that funnier? when you'rkind of exaggerating the character? >> both can be. i think just the stakes changed. it went from, like, you know, from one really bad debate -- i was, like, watching barack obama going, you do know you're in a fight right now? you're not a mormon. have some caffeine. you can have a shot of coffee. when the mormon's more aggressive than the black guy, that's -- it was like watching
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d donnie osmond slap mike tyson. >> will you watch this debate as a comedian and take notes, 30 minutes in this is what was said? >> it already writes itself. literally. you can't script the things they say you're going to find ironic or funny. truth is absolutely more funny than fiction. >> d.l. hughley, "the endangered list" airs saturday 8:00 p.m. eastern on comedy central. nice to have you with us as always. we got to take a break. back in just a moment. anncr: every president inherits challenges. few have faced so many.
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four years later... our enemies have been brought to justice. our heroes are coming home. assembly lines are humming again. there are still challenges to meet. children to educate. a middle class to rebuild. but the last thing we should do is turn back now. president obama: i'm barack obama and... i approve this message. i wish my patients could see what i see. ♪ that over time, having high cholesterol and any of these risk factors can put them at increased risk for plaque buildup in their arteries. so it's even more important to lower their cholesterol, and that's why, when diet and exercise alone aren't enough, i prescribe crestor. in a clinical trial versus lipitor, crestor got more high-risk patients' bad cholesterol to a goal of under 100. [ female announcer ] crestor is not right for everyone. like people with liver disease or women who are nursing, pregnant or may become pregnant.
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we are out of time. we want to send it right to "cnn newsroom" with carol costello which begins right now. see you back here tomorrow morning for "starting


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