tv CNN Newsroom CNN October 24, 2012 8:00am-9:00am PDT
i'm carol costello. we continue now with ashleigh banfield. >> thanks very much, carol. i'm ashleigh banfield in new york. it's 11:00 on the east coast and 8:00 a.m. on the west coast. 13 days until the election. 13 days to get your base energized. get your supporters to the polls. and talk to as many undecideds as possible. and really, we're only talking about a handful of states here. you want to stay on point. no distractions, no blunders. so you can imagine what it was like for mitt romney to wake up today and hear about this. republican tea party-backed candidate richard mourdock running for the u.s. senate in a close race in indiana told a at any time audience that children conceived in rape are still god's gift, and part of god's will. >> i believe that life begins at conception. the only exception i have for -- to have an abortion is in that case of the life of the mother. i just -- i struggled with it myself for a long time, but i
cape to realize, life is that gift from god. and i think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that god intended to happen. >> god intended to happen. listen, rape, abortion, they are explosive flashpoint issues for the republicans. and this is one of the most costly and closely watched senate races in the country right now. remember that republicans want to gain control of the senate where democrats hold a slim majority. the tea party-backed mourdock was asked about his position on abortion. and when it came to pregnancies in cases of rape or inseft, as you heard, he said it was something, quote, god intended to happen. the backlash to that statement alone, regardless of what he meant by it, was immediate, it was intense. and following the debate, mr. mourdock put out this statement. to clarify. and said this. quote, god creates life. and that was my point. god does not want rape.
and by no means was i suggesting that he does. rape is a horrible thing, and for anyone to twist my words otherwise is absurd and sick. mourdock's statement is coming out of a political controversy, should we say three-peat almost. congressman todd aciken's comments in august where he talked about legitimate rape and a woman's body being somehow able to reject a pregnancy from a rapist. and last week, congressman joe walsh running in illinois only fueling the flames by suggesting in a question about abortion when the life of a mother is at risk that women don't die anymore in childbirth days of advances in had science. >> first of all, from what i understand from doctors, that's really rare. if it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. >> let me briefly say, there is no such exception. with modern technology and science, you can't find one
instance. >> do you mean to say it's never medically necessary to do an abortion, to save the life of a mother? >> absolutely. >> okay. i have a statistic for you. 600 women die every year in childbirth. doctors go on to say that numbers would be higher if, in fact, there weren't abortions for this particular situation. and this is according to the american college of obstetricians and gynecologists. not even just doctors. mourdo mourdock's comments are the latest -- this trifecta on rape and abortion. it has caused a huge controversy in the gop and our correspondent dana bash is following all of this closely. as i get your reaction and what you've been hearing from the gop on this, i just want to remind people who are watching the clock here, because president obama is about to speak any moment. this has to be huge, not just for mr. romney, but it has to be huge for the senate race. >> sure. >> and let's start in the senate race. this was already a race tighter than republicans had expected, regardless of this.
and there's no question that democrats are jumping on this. they've already nationally released a web video. they took ten minutes, ashleigh, to put out a statement, because they believe this is something that will play right into, as you said, their war on women narrative against republicans. but the one thing i will say, though, remember during todd akin's controversy, the republicans nationally really threw him under the bus. >> is that what they're going to do this time? >> they're not doing this time, not at all. because they argue this is different. and you know what, in many ways it is. what todd akin said is something that is biologically, scientifically, not accurate. women cannot reject pregnancy out of rape. what mourdock was saying, inarticulately, he explained afterwards, he was trying to explain why he does not believe there should be an exception for rape in the case of abortion. and there are lots of republicans who believe that. having said that, this is politically difficult for republicans, and that's why even the man running for governor, mike pence, very popular in indiana, even he is saying mourdock should apologize and we're told he's going to have a press conference at the bottom
of the hour. >> mr. mourdock planning to go live? >> exactly. >> we'll keep a watch on that. i have so many more questions for you. but in the meantime, the president trumps you, if you could stand tight. dana bash, thank you. want to take you live to davenport, iowa, where the president is beginning what one might call a blitzkrieg, six states, two days, and you can hear for yourself the message. let's listen in. >> if you talk about how much you love teachers during a debate, but just a few weeks ago you said we shouldn't hire anymore teachers because they won't grow the economy. you probably have romneyesia. if you sit on stage in a nationally televised debate, saying how much you love cars, you're a car guy. except you wrote an article and titled it, "let detroit go bankrupt." then you almost certainly have romneyesia. if you can't seem to remember
the policies on your own website, or the promises you made over the last six years that you've been running for president, or the promises you made six days ago, you probably have romneyesia. but don't worry,obamacare covers preexisting conditions. we can pick you up. there's a cure. we can make you well. as long as you vote, iowa, we can cure folks of this malady. of this disease. listen, smart people who don't have a dog in this fight, independent analysts, economists, they took out their pencils, they had their green eye shades, they crunched the numbers. turns out, governor romney's economic plan is a sketchy deal. the results are not what you would want to write home about.
the "washington post goals calls his job plan a bait and switch. the bait is that his promise that his plan creates 12 million jobs. the switch is the fact that his plan doesn't create 12 million jobs. that's the bait and the switch. in fact, it won't even create jobs right now. and then governor romney wants to spend $5 trillion on tax cuts that favor the wealthy. $2 trillion on defense spending that our military isn't asking for. and he wants you to believe that he can do that without adding to the deficit or raising middle class taxes. the problem is, you would need to invechnt a new kind of map t actually make this true. the arithmetic does not work. so we know governor romney's jobs plan doesn't create jobs. his deficit plan doesn't reduce the deficit. and we joke about romneyesia, but all of this speaks to something that is really important and that the issue of trust. there is no more serious issue
on a presidential campaign than trust. trust matters. and here's the thing. iowa, you know me. you know that i say what i mean. and i mean what i say. there are some folks in this crowd who have been probably following me since i was running for the united states senate. and you know what? you can -- like this guy right here, who i served with in the united states senate, george shaddu shadduck. and you can take and videotape things i said 10 years ago, 12 years ago, and you would say, man, this is the same guy. has the same values. cares about the same people. doesn't forget where he came from. knows who he is fighting for. and you know what?
i haven't finished all the work that we set out to do back in 2008. but i have fought for you every single day that i've held this office. and with your help, i've kept the commitments i've made. i told you we would end the war in iraq. we did. i said we'd begin the process of ending the war in afghanistan. we are. i said we would refocus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11 and we have. and a new tower rises over the new york skyline, al qaeda is on the path to defeat and osama bin laden is dead. i kept that promise. >> our jessica yellin, cnn's white house correspondent, is on the campaign with the president, and presumably on board for a very difficult two days, as the blitzkrieg goes through six states. jessica, just wrap-up for me quickly, the president is going to be facing tough questions of his own as he goes from state to
state. and clearly he's going to be moving at pace. >> reporter: i'm sorry, it's loud here, ashleigh. would you ask the question again? >> give me a feel for the pace he has to take to cover as many states in as little as two days as he plans. >> reporter: right. he is going nonstop and through the night from here to denver. and then on to nevada. there is a stop in between. he will go on at some point tomorrow, we go to virginia and ohio again, but he also goes to los angeles. he goes to illinois to vote. he's stopping on the jay leno show and did an interview with "the did es moines register," a off the record interview, they published a blog post expressing their frustration it was off the record. and the white house agreed to put it on the record. and for the first time we heard the president say some of what we've already known privately, but that includes the fact that
if he's re-elected in a second term, he would push for immigration reform right away in the first year, and he believes he could get it. that's a headline. and also, that he thinks he can get something equivalent to the so-called grand bargain, as he negotiates with congress on these entitlement and tax reform changes, if he's re-elected, ashleigh. >> all right, jessica, i'll let you get back to the president's rally. i know you have a lot on your agenda for two days. in the meantime, there is something more i want to tell but what the president is going to have to deal with as he moves from state to state today. and that's a story that's been plaguing him for a month now. the attack in libya that killed those four americans, including our ambassador on september 11th. the president has said repeat repeatedly, he shared with all of us, the public, what he knew about the attack. including if it was an act of terrorism. but now we're starting to find out that the white house was told within hours that a radical islamic group was claiming responsibility for the killings. now, that's a group claiming responsibility. it's a little bit different than us finding out that.
there were e-mails, apparently, obtained by cnn sent to the state department, sent to the white house, and to the fbi, on september 11th. and the first one says, in part, quote, the diplomatic mission is under attack. approximately 20 armed people fired shots, explosions have been heard as well. ambassador stevens, who is currently in benghazi and four c.o.m. personnel are in the compound safe haven. but a second e-mail saying the firing of the u.s. diplomatic mission in benghazi has been stopped and the compound has been cleared, end quote. the last e-mail came about an hour later. and this is key. subject line reads, "update to. ans ansar al sharia claims responsibilities for the attack. embassy tripoli reports the group claimed responsibility on faib and twitter and called for an attack on embassy tripoli. that group has ties to al qaeda
and this morning two white house officials told cnn, the e-mails came from the state department o.p. center sharing public knowledge about the claim that was made on facebook. they say the white house has had other information along with that public knowledge that conflicted with those reports. and one source says, quote, there are always multiple and conflicting reports in the initial hours of an attack. that's why you have an investigation. but clearly it could be troublesome for the president as he continues to campaign. i want to take us back to the story we began this newscast with. and that is yet another republican candidate for congress. this candidate for the senate, making very controversial remarks about abortion. richard mourdock suggesting that in the case of rape, that this is somehow, in his words, god's will that the pregnancy may have
actually happened. but that that's god's will. and that has sparked a flashpoint for a lot of people. even mitt romney has had to deal with the fallout on this, because it wasn't long ago that governor romney actually campaigned with mr. mourdock, and actually released an ad on his behalf. have a look. >> this fall, i'm supporting richard mourdock for senate. >> even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that god intended to happen. >> this is a man who i want to see in washington to make sure that we could not just talk about changing things, but actually have the votes to get things changed.
>> senior congressional correspondent dana bash is still here with me, and i'm sorry we are interrupteded your report because of the president's live event. this is clearly on a lot of people's agenda today. for his part, mr. mourdock has said, i did not mean to say that rape is god's will. rape is a horrible thing. but the resulting pregnancy, any pregnancy, is god's will. so he is trying to clear this up. but in the meantime, governor romney has this optics issue, and his support of this candidate to deal with. how is he responding today? >> optics issue. and the big issue, the fact that he has been desperately trying to get the votes of women, and this is not going to help. so the way he responded through a spokeswoman was saying, governor romney disagrees with richard mourdock's comments and they do not reflect his views. he's able to say that, because it's true. they don't reflect his views. there are differences among republicans and really anybody, who is against abortion. and really is whether or not there should be exceptions in what you've been talking about.
rape, incest and the life of a mother. in the case of mourdock, he explained why he doesn't think there should be an exception for rape. mitt romney does think there should be an exception for all three of those things. so that's -- >> is that good enough, dana, to put out a statement from one of your staffers? or does he need to take the bull by the horns and say -- and like you said before, almost throw him under the bus, somewhat, in order to make sure you protect -- let's put the gallup poll up of how women -- you mentioned, he's desperate to get the women's vote. where do women fall on their importance of agenda. and it's at the top, dana, 39%. it's the top issue for women. and this was gallup -- this was conducted between october 5th and 11th so fairly recent. but it's pretty significant when you see it trumps jobs. >> that is why democrats pounced on this. and the ad you just played was from the democratic national committee. it's just a web ad, but clearly they want this to go viral. and they were playing the television ad that mitt romney cut for mourdock. they're trying -- beating the republicans over the head, mitt romney's campaign in particular,
saying he's got to denounce mourdock, he's got to take back his endorsement of mourdock. you know, whether that's going to happen, i'm actually waiting to get an e-mail back from the romney campaign to see if they're going to see anything more than this, and this and this. but there is definitely a conflict here. because in indiana, it's a very conservative state. the democratic candidate for senate is somebody who is anti-abortion. he believes in the exception. >> so it may not have as big an effect. >> not necessarily -- this is not just about indiana. this is about america. it's about the presidential race right now, and mitt romney having to -- as you said, have any distractions, particularly when it comes to his quest for women voters. >> thank you. as you mentioned earlier and thank you for bringing to our attention, a live news conference scheduled by mr. mourdock at the bottom of the hour. so my apologies, we will watch for that. and we will look to see what he has to say, if anything. to clear that up. in the meantime, some people are saying this close to the end of the race, it all comes down to
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for both president barack obama and governor mitt romney. this is it. it is the race to the finish with only 13 days left. what do they need to do? well, that might explain why the next few days are so critical. every tv ad, every robocall, every campaign worker and every knock on every door, a political calculation that factors into a complex game of what you might call campaign chess. right now, both president obama and governor romney are strategically stumping in the battleground states. and who wins could literally come down to who has the better ground game. the ground game, just getting those people who might like you, but might not vote to actually go and vote. today, the president is in iowa, colorado, california, and nevada. the blue line, his campaign blitz just today and tomorrow. while mr. romney is going to hit nevada and iowa. the red line shows his flight plan for today. and vice president joe biden and congressman paul ryan are
crossing paths in ohio, another very critical state. and that's why cnn has dispatched the best of the best. chief business correspondent ali velshi and john avalon on the cnn election express battleground bus tour. all right. so looks like you are both on vacation. let's just start with the picture behind you. i want that assignment. but it's going to get real tough. i've lived on a bus before for a month or so, and it's no fun. so let me start with the business of it. ali, to you first. we just showed a very big map to cover for these candidates. i'm wondering if in some of your driving, and this is highly unscientific, are you seeing the lawn sign metric? are you seeing more romney/ryan signs than obama/biden signs, or is it too early in your tour to tell me that? >> well, first of all, we're talking to a lot of undecided voters, and so as to not offend anybody, john is dressed like an uncommitted voter, and i'm bipartisan. i've got blue, red and a little
yellow and green, just to throw into the mix. but we're in undecided country, right? we've got polk county, where we're in, got as many registered democrats as republicans and the remaining people seem to be split the same way. so we're trying to find out where people are leaning and what kind of decisions they're making to get there, and they tend to be economic decisions. what we're surrounded by are campaign ads endlessly in florida, super pac billboards on the highway. but there are people with two weeks to go, ashleigh, who are not decided. they are not disengaged, generally speaking. they have been following everything. they want specific answers to their questions about how these candidates are going to reach the goals that they have promised. and they are not satisfied that they're getting it. they feel these candidates are playing too much to their base, they're answering specific questions with generalities, and they're not yet decided. now we're trying to find out how they're going to get decided in the next two weeks, but that's what we're finding. >> well, okay. and let's move on to the other major issue, and john, this is something you wrote about. "newsweek" and "the daily beast," a piece about how this
is such a tight race in such critical swing states, battleground states. it may actually come down to the foot patrols. who has got more people going out, knocking on doors and literally hauling people to the polls. it's called the ground game. and what you wrote was astounding in terms of the math. who got in earlier, who set up more, who has more headquarters, who has more campaign stops. can you lay that out for me? >> absolutely, ashleigh. and this is -- owe the ground game is key, an election this tight comes down to ground game, early voting. and the numbers this terms of local headquarters are stunning. nationally, obama has a clear edge. 750 local campaign offices compared to around 280 for the romney campaign. so almost a 3-1 split. in the state of florida, tighter. 2-1, advantage obama, 102 to 48. local headquarters. this is just one metric. local headquarters is a question of real estate. what really matters is those voter engagements. it's the phone calls they've
made, the ability to get people to the polls. it's the ability to get people to vote early. that is particularly key in a state like florida. but ground game is a critical measure in a race this tight, everything matters in the final sprint. and this -- in the case of headquarters, it's advantage obama, no question. >> you know what, just as you were saying that, we popped up a graphic. and i want to look at those numbers again, because i couldn't believe it. it was the headquarters in ohio, florida and virginia, which are three of the most critical states. obama has 122 to romney's 40. in florida, obama has 102 to romney's 48. and in virginia, 47-29. a bit closer there. that's just those three states. and quickly, john, i have to wrap it up. but the other battleground states, are they representative like this, as well, in terms of obama really just -- almost 5-1, outnumbering romney in the battleground -- in the ground game effort. >> it is pretty consistent. across the nation, obama has around 750 local headquarters. mitt romney's campaign has around 280. but, again --
>> wow. >> folks in the romney and republican camp will tell you the rnc is deeply invested in ground game, particularly, and these headquarters are just one metric. what really matters is voter contacts, voter outreach. and republicans feel they have an edge there. but the obama campaign has been at this the last 18 months during the whole time romney was running to get the nomination, the obama campaign was focused on building out their ground game. >> ali and john, thank you very much. >> whose shirt? >> i'm not -- i'm not getting -- i'm going to show you one thing. the only voting i'm doing today -- look at this, boys. this is my absentee ballot, because i'm going to be traveling and working for cnn on election day. so i just want the public to -- know. i have a stamp on it and everything. i'm the most pious citizen, because i'm a news citizen. please, everyone, vote. even if you have to work on it. gentlemen, thank you, enjoy. i expect a snow globe from all of your stops. >> you got it, ash. >> bye, guys. back in a moment.
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podium? there are a lot of people waiting for some pretty important comments about to come our way. commentsrom richard mourdock, the senate candidate in that state, who is facing a lot of trouble right now after making some comments in a debate, a question about abortion and his stance. and he suggested he is against abortion, even in the case of rape. because in -- and i'm going to paraphrase his words, which is a dangerous thing, because he is very specific about what he meant by his words. but essentially that the pregnancy that could ensue from a rape, the pregnancy is god's will. it came off sounding as though the rape and the pregnancy were god's will. he was trying to clarify that with his statement, but now he is going to make a public appearance. and dana bash, you have some breaking information, your sources are telling you there is a reason that he's coming out. it's not him alone who made this decision to come out and make an apology. >> well, he's definitely clearly getting pressured to clear this up fast from the highest levels,
because this is a problem when you look at the narrative that mitt romney in particular has been trying to push, trying to get women. and mitt romney doesn't agree with him when it comes to the whole idea of abortion. he does believe there should be exception for rape, incest and the life of a mother. one of the most prominent figures in republican state politics in indiana, mike pence, currently running for governor, he's like 12 points up, at least. he this morning publicly called for mourdock to come out and to apologize for these comments. it's probably not too hard to make a leap to say that is why he is coming out. but we'll have to see if those words come out of his mouth. >> very quickly, after the dust storm began to blow, he came out with his clarification statement, saying, of course, rape is horrible. those words were twisted, that's not what i meant. i meant that any life is god's will. but you know, you and i do this all the time. we talk about these statements made, people try to clarify them, but the optics are out there, the bigger story gets out
there. and not everybody has all of the time for all of the detail. so it can be damaging, no matter what. >> it could be damaging, and the question is for whom. you know, the people -- the candidate that everybody cares the most about is the guy at the top of the ticket, mitt romney. and he's not in trouble in indiana. he's doing fine in indiana, which is why he actually was the one who cut the ad for mourdock. his support helps mourdock, as opposed to vice versa, which is what you're seeing around the country. he needs to worry about the swing states, he needs to worry about the moms and women who don't necessarily agree with this issue. when it comes to indiana, it's not as clear-cut. it is a very conservative state. the democrat running against mourdock -- >> is very pro life. >> is a conservative democrat. he does believe in exceptions for rape and so forth. >> rape, incest and the life of a mother. >> but this isn't necessarily -- we're in manhattan and people in manhattan would be more likely to be completely turned off by this, not necessarily so for the most part. but the fact that he's -- that he's -- >> he's going to come out, yeah.
and that your sources tell you, it was mike pence, the candidate for governor, who said get your butt out there. and say something. >> he said publicly, yeah. >> yeah. okay. stand by, because he was going to show up about eight minutes ago, so we're on the live beat waiting for that news conference. dana bash, i have another one of our favorite colleagues waiting in the wings, as well. if president obama seems comfortable as the underdog right now, and i don't know if that's your perception, it's definitely some people's perception, it might be because he has had some success and experience as an underdog before. if you remember, he came from behind to defeat hillary clinton for the nomination back in '08 and then when he took on war hero and senate veteran john mccain, worked out well for hip. despite a solid debate performance, he seems to be playing to some the underdog once again. president is making stop after stop across the country, pushing his supporters to vote early, and vote like it's 2008 all over
again. mr. romney, on the other hand, is touting himself as the front runner, ready to lead presidential, just like in the republican primary. might be two different ways of going about things, but just listen to the tone that the two candidates took yesterday. >> in a world of new threats, and profound challenges, america needs leadership that is strong, and is steady. governor romney's foreign policy has been wrong and reckless. last night, he was all over the map. >> we've gone through four debates now. we've gone through four debates with the vice presidential debates and my debates and we haven't matter an agenda from the president. and that's why our campaign is full speed ahead. >> the latest abc washington post poll taken just before the debate does show romney with a slight edge.
governor romney with a slight edge. though still well within the margin of error. we're joined now by my colleague, wolf blitzer, live in washington. wolf, this was a reporter's analysis done by one of our reporter colleagues, phil rucker, from "the washington post." is it fair to say that it appears in some of the campaigning that the president is doing that he's coming off as the underdog? or is that just the analysis? actually, wolf, hold your thought for a moment. that live event we're waiting for in indiana, richard mourdock is speaking. >> i want to talk about the remarks of last night, and i appreciate you gathering. you know, in the debate during last evening, i made a comment that i made, quite honestly, from the deepest roots and the greatest base of my faith. which is to say, that i believe life is precious. i believe that to the marrow of my bones. i believe that life itself is the greatest gift that god can give us.
and i know, because polling shows it. at least 80% of all americans and i'm sure at least that many hoosiers think that god is the author of all life. and i stand firmly on that belief. point number two. i absolutely abhor violence. i abhor any kind of sexual violence. i abhor rape. and i am absolutely confident, as i stand here, that the god that i worship abhor's violence, abhor's sexual violence, and abhor's rape. the god that i worship would never, ever want to see evil done. that is an element of my faith. god doesn't want the evil. but occasionally it happens. sadly, it happens. lastly, as this has unfolded, i've come to understand through
my faith over many, many years, humility is an important part of faith. i'm a much more humble person this morning, because so many people mistook, twisted, came to misunderstand the points that i was trying to make. and is if, because of the lack of clarity in my words, that they came away with an impression other than those that i stated a moment ago, that life is precious and that i abhor violence and i'm confident god abhors violence and rape, if they came away with any impression other than that, i truly regret it. i apologize if they came away, and i have certainly been humbled by the fact that so many people think that that somehow was an interpretation. so lastly, i would say that for those who want to kind of twist the comments and to use them for partisan political gain, you know, i think that's what's wrong with washington these days. you know, i spoke from my heart, i spoke with my principle, i
spoke from my faith. and if others wish to try to turn those words and somehow use them against me, again, that's what's wrong with washington today. it is win at any cost. let's make up issues when we can't find real ones. let's twist, let's distort, let's deceive. and i think that's a side of the process. we're moving on from this. i'm confident that hoosier voters are going to be moving on and be supporting us in big numbers in just 13 days. but facts are facts. as i said, the comments were made, the comments have been misunderstood. i spoke from my heart, i know what i believe. i believe everyone has the right to their own beliefs in that area. as i started my comments last night about this. you know, i said, i respect people who have differences of opinion, because these are tough issues. but i'm not running for the united states senate because i want to avoid tough issues. or take difficult stands. that's why i stand before all of you right now and clarify this. because i think it's very important that all of you
understand what i said, what i intended and just one last comment, if i haven't used the word last three times here as i think of other things. but anyone who views, who goes to the videotape and views that, understands fully what i meant. i really believe that. if they watch that video out there, i understand on several websites, i think the meaning will be quite clear. [ inaudible question ] if god intends for the life that results from a rape, can you say that god didn't intend for the rape? >> that i will say unequivocally, jim. i don't think god wants rape. i don't think he wants that at all. because rape is evil. i abhor evil. i want to assure every woman in the -- excuse me. i want to assure every woman who hears this, who reads the stories of this, that i abhor it, and i'm confident god abhors it. but to twist and suggest that somehow i was saying god approves of rape is the wrong thing, because it's not what i intended. and, again, if anyone came away
with that, i apologize they were able to make that interpretation from my less than fully articulate use of words. >> well, i'm asking -- >> so you're hearing the live news conference, an apology from the gop senate candidate, richard mourdock in indiana, trying to clarify the record what he said when he said he does not support abortion in the case of rape. because that life that resulted was god's will. he is trying to clarify, he is not saying that the rape was god's will. clarification or not, he did say humility is an important part of my faith. my words were mistaken, twisted, and i regret and apologize if i was misunderstood. he also says, for those who twist my words and use them against me, that's wrong with washington. let me bring in my colleague, wolf blitzer. wolf, i understand what he is saying. there is still the critical element, though, of this belief,
and there is the more critical element, some would argue, of the optics of what's being said. apology or clarification or not, these are painful words for a lot of people. >> yeah. and it's obviously going to be a huge issue, not only in indiana, i suspect, but nationally, especially given the aftermath of what happened in missouri with the republican candidate, todd akin's comments about so-called, quote, legitimate rape and now this comment. it's obviously going to be a source of discussion for people who are really concerned about where this country is moving on roe vs. wade, for example, on contraception, on exceptions for abortion, for abortion rights for women, whether it's rape, incest, the life of the mother. and you saw how quickly mitt romney disassociated himself from mourdock when these words came out last night. it's a sensitive subject. as far as the political fallout in indiana, he's running for the senate, he beat richard lugar,
long-time senator from indiana in that republican primary. but he's got a tough race ahead of him in 13 days, and it's unclear who is going to win in indiana. i think it's pretty clear that mitt romney is going to carry indiana. i don't think there is much doubt about that. but the political fallout could be significant for people who are really concerned about this whole issue of abortion rights for women, the future of abortion rights for women. and if you look at that recent gallup poll, that's a big issue for a lot of women out there. >> you mentioned todd akin and his legitimate rape comments and how a woman has somehow an ability to reject the pregnancy from a rapist, and that controversy. there is also joe walsh in illinois who said that modern science means there is virtual flee death during childbirth. that's not true. it's simply stated as fact by our leading scientific community that 600 women die every year in childbirth, and now this. and wolf, i want to just turn away from you for a moment, only because our dana bash, chief congressional correspondent, has been finding breaking news, as
well. your sources telling you that when wolf says that mitt romney is distancing himself from mr. mourdock, not entirely. >> not entirely. i was just told he is not going to pull his support from mourdock. he supports him as a candidate. he cut a television ad airing in indiana right now. one of the things that democrats have been doing to stoke this, they have been calling on romney to ask mourdock campaign to pull that from television, and the romney campaign is saying no, they're not going to do that. >> so we showed that ad at the beginning of this newscast. mr. mourdock campaigning alongside mitt romney, and him suggesting this is the man i want in washington. >> and it's straight to camera. romney is speaking straight to camera saying that he supports him. they're not pulling the ad. they are trying to make clear, though, as we have discussed earlier in the hour, that romney does not support his position, mourdock's position, on abortion. in fact, he hasn't, you know, at all in the past, and doesn't right now. >> everywhere else -- >> supports him as a candidate,
but disagrees with him on this particular issue. >> i don't know if there is anybody to be made from this, wolf. could you quickly, and i literally have ten seconds left. -- i've lost wolf. quickly, dana, he was standing alone at the wife. no family. no other republicans. >> i think this is the kind of press conference that a campaign wants somebody to go out there and do lean. >> dana bash, excellent work. live on the air. black bear. we're back right after this. energy is being produced to power our lives. while energy development comes with some risk, north america's natural gas producers are committed to safely and responsibly providing generations of cleaner-burning energy for our country, drilling thousands of feet below fresh water sources
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his sponsors and his reputation destroyed, life for lance armstrong, if you can believe it, might just be about to get even worse. all of those tour wins, well, they made lance millions. almost $4 million in prize money. the tour wants the money back. roughly $50 million has come in in endorsements and speaking fees. those speaking fees have evaporat evaporated. most of the endorsements, if not all soon gone, and then there are the bonuses. big, big bonuses. paid out by the owner of the legendary u.s. postal team. well, the insurance company that underwrote those bonuses actually had to pay them out is not the least bit happy, and they're saying because armstrong was doping and now officially never even won those races, armstrong should pay all the money back. we are talking about a lot of money. joining me live is jeff tulepson
is the counsel for that company that underwrote those bonuses. thanks so much. i have read a bit of material on how he has been responding in these last few days since the announcement was made to pull all of the yellow jerseys, at least the titles, the tour de france titles, from lance armstrong, and i'm wondering -- i am feeling there's some nuanced language in terms of how much action you are prepared to take? are you going to file a lawsuit for all of the money over the years that you have paid out in bonuses to mr. armstrong? >> well, ashleigh, i don't want to necessarily telegraph what the company's legal moves may be, but i can tell you that we've made demand for return of the bonus money paid to mr. armstrong and his agent, and if they don't comply with that demand, sca is prepared to take all necessary legal actions, including filing a lawsuit, to have those funds returned. >> is that something we might
see today? >>. >> they're want willing to wait a long period of time to have mr. armstrong return those funds. it will be in the near future that sca takes those actions. >> when you are talking about money that seems by my math, and correct me if i'm wrong, upwards of the $11 million range, you know, a long time can be a week terms of interest and legal fees. that's why i'm trying to pin you down more in terms of how long are you prepared to wait since that announcement on monday, and you have had now three and a half working days? >> well, i appreciate that. unfortunately, it's not really proper for me to tell. >> obviously, sca has been working on this for years.
we developed the initial evidence that was used to reach their decision. mr. armstrong was just stripped of his titles on monday by the uci. they're going to decide on frid friday. >> about the return of prize money. what we're going to do and when exactly -- >> i appreciate -- i appreciate your candor as far as you can, anyway. i want to throw up a graphic that shows our audience just how much money we're talking about in bonuses. when lance won the fourth tour de france, he was given back in 2002 a $1.5 million bonus. when he won his fifth tour de france win in 2003, it was $3 million, and in 2004 that bonus went up to $5 million, which, by the way, that last bonus, highly contested and in a negotiation in a mediation it was paid out with interest to the tune of $7.5 million with a big that you'll never reopen that particular $5 million case. does this change the metric on
that last one? >> no. the only legal obligation that sca had was to pay bonuses if mr. armstrong was the official winner of the tour de france. we contested during the team period that he may have been the official winner, but he had cheated to get that title, and mr. armstrong argued differently. now there is no dispute. we know he cheated to get those titles, and he is no longer the official winner of the tour de france races in question or any professional races, and, therefore, sca has the legal right to seek those funds back. >> we know that mr. armstrong committed perjury. he denied that he had err used them. >> we'll see if that has hi affect. i would love to have you back, especially when -- if you do decide to file that action. thanks so much for being with us live from dallas. we appreciate it. that is all the time i have, sadly. sorry.
we just cut him off. he'll be back, trust me. thanks for watching. "newsroom international" starts now. i'm just gettin' started. woo! [ male announcer ] shop now and put it on layaway. so, you have more time to pay. walmart. two. three. my credit card rewards are easy to remember. with the bankamericard cash rewards credit card, i earn 1% cash back everywhere, every time. [ both ] 2% back on groceries. [ all ] 3% on gas!