tv CNN Newsroom CNN September 4, 2012 1:00pm-3:00pm EDT
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case for re-electing president barack obama. i'm suzanne malveaux live from the site of the democratic national convention in charlotte, north carolina. just a week ago we heard ann romney's speech on the personal side of her husband. tonight it is michelle obama's time and her turn. she's not going to have to work as hard to convince people that president obama is likable. check it out. in a recent "washington post" poll, 61% of registered voters said the president seems more friendly and likable compared to 27% for romney. so what does michelle obama need to say tonight to get democrats revved up, convince voters that her husband should get another four years? office? we're going to talk about it, bring in our republican consultant, cnn contributor, alex, and cow c-founder of rebu the dream. good to see you guys both. in person. i love this. cnn grill. likability. you know, alex, you're always talking about i don't have to have a beer with a guy, you know, the economy's really
important. but people do want to be able to feel like the person in office gets it, they trust him, they know him well. did he do -- did ann romney do a good enough job last week not to have that be an issue this week? >> i used to work with mitt romney. i always told him if she ever primaried him, i'd vote for her. she's just a rock star, and she is a window, like many wives and husbands are for their mates, she's a window into who he is. we saw more of him through her eyes. sometimes than we do through our own. michelle obama has a similar job tonight. you know, the president is such a bright mind, but sometimes we get the sense that he's a little distant from him, that he's better with ideas than people. and she connects him. they've got two lovely daughters. tell us their story. it's their future as well as everyone else's that barack obama is supposed to be doing something about. >> i want you to check this out.
this is four years ago. this is when michelle was really just trying to get the country to know her and her husband a little bit better. and here's how she set it up when she talked to me. >> our table was smaller. it was in a little bitty apartment, but, you know, we had consistent traditions and rituals and routines in our family that he embraced. the fact that we all got together on thanksgiving, you know, the fact that our christmases were big with lots of family and cousins. i think that was something coming from a smaller family that he missed although his traditions were pretty solid. it was just with a small group of people. so i think he, you know, he has said that, you know, what he would want for his own children would be the kind of traditions and stability that was more reminiscent of how i grew up. >> van, do you think that's as relevant today as it was four years ago? because people are looking at
their own lives. they appreciate who they are as a first family but they're looking at their own lives and their own economic situation. >> well, first of all, it's hard not to get choked up listening to her. what a turnaround. four years ago she was considered this scary one. now she's, like, everybody loves her. and now he needs to be warmed up a little bit. you know, i think what she can shine a light on is how hard he's working. and how hard he's trying. there's this myth out there he's going around playing golf, that he doesn't care. their whole thing is obama isn't working. this man is working. i think as a wife and as a mother to talk about that, just a window on light. the other thing, of course, he's not getting that much help from the other side, the republican party sometimes is like a lucy holding the football. every time charlie tries to kick it they move the ball. >> alex, you going to let him get away with that? >> i'm just saying, so the impact of trying to rescue a country without a good partner on the other side, but continuing to go to work every day, i think people understand what that's like to go to work every day, but try to do a good job even if the other people who are supposed to be helping you
aren't really helping you. >> i want us to listen to ann romney, too. she described what it was like for her and mitt romney in the first days they were dating and became a couple. let's listen real quick. >> we got married and moved into a basement apartment. we walked to class together, shared the housekeeping, ate a lot of pasta and tuna fish. our desk was a door propped up on sawhorses. our dining room table was a fold-down ironing board in the kitchen. but those were the best days. >> all right, alex. so i have to tell you, i mean, this kind of reminds me of the talks we used to get from our parents. you know, i walked to school uphill both ways, you know? i mean, like they're trying to outdo each other here. why is that appealing to people? why are they trying to seem like, oh, i had it rougher than you did?
>> suzanne, you hit it to start with. policy is great. we want these candidates to tell us where they're going to take us. just as important, can we trust them to take us there? do they understand our shared american experience? do they have our values? so it is as important who they are as where they're going. and that's what i think family can do for you. i'm going to be interested tonight to see if these two great parents, barack obama and michelle obama, talk a little bit about education. they've chosen great schools for their kids. i wonder if they're going to extend that opportunity, equal opportunity to go to a good school to every american. >> for me, again, i think that you're in a situation where michelle obama's one of the most beloved people. she's becoming more of a beloved person. she's also a fighter. and i think she's going to get out there. i think she's going to want to defend her husband. i think ordinary people are just now starting to tune back in. i think those of us who are political junkies, we watch every thing that's been going on
the last several months. people are going to say, the first lady is on television, what is she going to say? i do think they share our values. they really had a struggle i think most people can relate to. we have a president who didn't get a chance to pay off his student loans until a couple years ago. people can relate to that. >> people didn't know about mitt romney, yes, he comes from a very successful family but he had to sort over. what he's made, he's earned. by the way, is obama's -- >> you got one in there. i love it. >> final question here. this is a big deal. obviously the middle class. and who define themselves as middle class. we hear all kinds of -- i mean, almost outlandish when you think about it, the range from $25,000 all the way up to president obama who says $250,000. you guys are considered the middle class. does it matter how people just feel as opposed to what they're making? but how they feel how they're doing? >> well, the middle class is a value set in america. i mean, it's -- unless you have two jets or you're homeless, you
feel like you're the middle class in america. it's part of our identity. the problem we have right now, you saw democrats struggling, is america better off or america worse off today? the problem we have now we have two americas. we're beginning to see the split where some are better off and some are worse off. the people who are feeling worse off want to stay in the middle class. they desperately want to stay in the middle class. romney, unfortunately, his only plan to keep them in the mid-class is cut his own taxes. obama has a plan to rebuild the middle class. michelle obama can speak to that tonight. >> i'm shocked to find we may have different views on this. middle class, this is a country of equal opportunity. we all believe that's what defines us as americans. when you say, i'm mid-ing class, that says, look, i'm no better or worse than anybody else and i deserve the same shot. that's really what people are saying. i think romney's challenge as well as obama's challenge is to tell us what's going to be different the next four years. what are we going to do that's going to change things? i think obama, frankly, the administration, is exhausted.
the poverty of ideas has hit them now. there is nothing new they can say. so far. education may be one place, but what's going to be -- romney hasn't done it either, by the way. mitt romney has to get up there and say, i'm going to turn what's been going on in washington under republicans and democrats upsidedown. end all the crazy spending, get that money out of washington, get it into your economy, not washington's. we've been growing the wrong economy. somebody has to come out of this as change. >> alex, van. good to see you both. we'll be watching. it is a big night for the democrats. even bigger night for the man who is going to give the keynote address tonight. we're talking about julian castro and if you don't know him, you soon will. he's one of the rising stars of the democratic party. our ed lavendera got the chance to meet him before the big night. >> hey, everybody, i'm julian castro. >> reporter: first thing you need to know it's pronounced hoo-lee-ahn castro. the j. is silent, not julian. if you get the spanish wrong,
don't worry, san antonio's latino mayor hasn't mastered espanol either. >> i know it better than i speak it. i grew up in a household with my mother and grandmother mostly speaking english. i understand it, but speaking it back is the challenge. >> reporter: julian castro's grandmother immigrated and worked as an activist in san antonio's chicano movements. from the early beginnings julian castro and twin brother went to stanford university and harvard law school. now he's a rising star in the democratic party tapped to give the keynote speech at the democratic convention, the same speech an unknown barack obama gave at the convention in 2004. you get talked about as someone who could be the first hispanic governor of texas, some people suggesting the first hispanic president of the united states. do you like that kind of talk? can you handle that kind of pressure? >> no, i'd be lying if i said that's not flattering. of course it's flattering to anybody, but the biggest mistake that i could make or anybody could make in this situation is
to believe the press. to believe the hype. >> reporter: castro was elected mayor in 2009, and then re-elected with 82% of the vote. now he's 37, the youngest mayor of a top 50 city in the united states. he's also used to the baby face jokes. one of the funnier things that has happened to you when you first met president obama, he jokingly asked if you were the intern. >> that's right. yeah. >> you being asked to do this speech, is that kind of making up for that jab? >> i don't know. i don't know. but i accept, you know, i always got the age jokes at different points in my career. >> is it still happening? >> every now and then. you know, i'm starting to get the gray hair that i need from my 3-year-old daughter and from politics. >> reporter: this is the biggest speech of castro's career. latinos enjoyed prominent speaking roles at the republic an convention, and castro must convince latinos to stick with president obama and turn out in big numbers. there are a lot of latino leaders out there who say
president obama has not been a friend of the latino community. >> under any score, immigration, education, health care, on any number of issues he has been a very effective advocate for the latino community. >> reporter: he's in the midst of pushing for a small sales tax hike to fund pre-kindergarten programs for low-income children in san antonio. castro enjoys a squeaky clean political image except for that 2005 san antonio river walk parade scandal. castro was a city councilman and couldn't make it to the parade in time. so his twin brother jumped on the city council float instead. castro's political opponents said the brothers were trying to fool the massive crowd. castro laughs it off now. how can we be sure you're going to be the castro brother giving the speech tonight? >> well, he says he's a lot better looking than i am. there you go. >> and the wedding ring. actually his brother will introduce his twin at the convention. you'll see the castro brothers
standing side by side. ed lavendera, cnn, san antonio, texas. democrats bringing out the heavy hitters this week. the lineup of the speakers includes the first lady, former presidents and rising stars in democratic party. first lady michelle obama speaking tonight. so does san antonio mayor julian castro. tomorrow night, former president bill clinton takes the stage and thursday vice president biden is going to accept his nomination ahead of president obama's acceptance speech. here's what we're working on for this hour. president obama speaking to voters in virginia on his last stop before heading to his party's convention. he could heat could be a deadly problem today for storm victims living without air-conditioning in louisiana and mississippi. of course, we keep hearing about the middle class and the election but who packetly lexa middle class, and how much do you need to make to actually be in it? at usaa, we believe honor is not
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everything's bad and it's obama's fault. and governor romney knows the secret to creating jobs and growing the economy. the only problem was he kept it secret. >> my colleague, dan lothian is at norfolk state university. dan, first of all, one of the lines that was interesting, there were people who were booing in the audience when they heard about some of the things coming out of romney's camp, his plans and his policies. the president said, don't boo, go vote. how worried are they that they need to drum up, right, they need to drum up and get those folks out to the polls? >> reporter: well, they certainly are trying to get the base fired up. you saw that not only here, but yesterday when i was traveling with the president in ohio, he's speaking to largely friendly audiences so you're seeing dramatic response from the
voterses as he's addressing. by the way, you're hearing the marching band from norfolk state university behind me. so i'm competing with some music here. but the president, as i pointed out, he is addressing these friendly audiences and trying to tout his accomplishments while at the same time saying that republicans are not offering up any new ideas. in addition, though, to the typical stump speech we heard the president zero in on military issues. obviously virginia being a state that has a big population of those in the military. so the president today touting what he and the first lady had pushed for to help veterans and their families, talking about ending the war in iraq, and about getting osama bin laden as well. but one of the things that's creating a lot of buzz was not actually said here, but it was said during an interhaview that the president had with a local reporter in colorado when he was asked to grade himself on turning the economy around. and the president said that he gave himself an incomplete grade. well, republicans jumped on
that, sending around a flurry of e-mails. the romney campaign also jumped on this as well. saying that this is just another example of why this country needs new leadership, but i should point out that this is not the first time that the president has given himself an incomplete grade. most recently he did it during an interview on "the view" on abc back in may. nonetheless, you say something like that during the sort of heated moment of this campaign and the final stretch to election day and republicans are playing with this and pushing it very hard, suzanne. >> dan, it sounds like it would be a logical part of the narrative of i need four more years if it's incomplete in terms of turning the economy around. one of the things we're going to hear this evening is from the first lady, michelle obama, and she's going to be trying to humanize her husband and the president and bring a fresh kind of perspective to who he is. what does the president plan on
doing? >> reporter: that's right. you know, the president opened his remarks here by saying that tonight he would be back at the white house sitting down on the sofa with his daughters watching the first lady's keynote address. take a listen to what he said, how he might get emotional while watching it. >> i'm going to be at home and i'm going to be watching it with our girls and i'm going to try not to let them see their daddy cry. because when michelle starts talking, i -- i start getting all misty. >> reporter: the campaign believes that she is a powerful message in terms of humanizing the president as you pointed out. she can talk about what keeps him up at night, give americans a different picture, perhaps, of what they currently have of the president. suzanne? >> all right. dan lothian, thank you, dan. wildfire puts an end to labor day fun for dozens of hikers and campers near l.a.
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in washington state, a police standoff ends with a gunman dead, but police aren't revealing details yet on how he died. the s.w.a.t. team in rural arlington came under fire from the gunman when they showed up sunday in a wooded area north of seattle. they were responding to complaints of gunfire. the sheriffs office says the suspected gunman died in the incident. turning to california, where it was a smoky end to the long
weekend for campers and those who live in the san gabriel mountains near los angeles. they were evacuated after wildfire broke out. at this point the fire still burning and is only about 5% contained. investigators are checking out a vehicle that was found in the area where they believe this fire started. and eighth person has died in the aftermath of hurricane isaac. 90-year-old man from louisiana passed away in his home. he had no electricity, no air-conditioning, and temperatures there have now been climbing. new orleans mayor mitch landrieu addressed the power problems on cnn this morning and said the city is now making progress. >> first, 97% of the power is restored. we expect to get that other 3% up really, really soon. so as it sits in new orleans proper, we're doing fine. i think the big story is, number one, president obama's team has really been fantastic. the white house has been involved since day one. secretary napolitano has been on it, craig fugate.
the cooperation between the federal, state and local agen agencies have been really good this time. >> two of the eight storm-relatstorm-relate ed deathed happened in neighboring mississippi. for the first time ever the democratic party has backed gay marriage in an official party platform. we're going to talk to congressman barney frank about that plus get his thoughts on mitt romney, someone he knows well from his home state of massachusetts. don't forget, watch cnn live on your computer while at work. head to cnn.com/tv. [ female announcer ] quaker yogurt granola bars. they're whole grain good...
democratic party set to make history today. for the first time the party is backing gay marriage in its official party platform. joining me now, congressman barney frank, democratic representative from massachusetts. retired. you married your partner in july. jim is here. got a chance to meet him. congratulations on all fronts. what does it mean to you? what does it mean to you that you not only have a candidate but a platform that seems to
match the agenda which is supporting gay marriage? >> when i first came into congress in 1980, i was afraid to be honest about my sexuality. and seven years later i got what i thought was the courage to do it. it turned out it didn't take as much courage. and i feel very good for myself. but to be honest, even better, i'm now -- i've been chairman of a committee. i get sort of well treated. there are 15-year-olds all over america who are still afraid to tell their parents who they are. there are people who work in many states in america pumping gas or selling something or working in an office who are afraid to be honest to put a picture of the person that she or he loves on the desk. i know we're making progress in diminishing that. i feel very good that the party i worked for so many years now says, you know what, we're going to treat everybody in this country fairly and equally. i think, by way, it's going to be a good thing politically as well as morally.
it's certainly the case with younger people. and the point -- that's why i'm glad i can do this. we've had same-sex marriage in massachusetts now for eight years. over the strenuous objections of mitt romney who fried very hard to wipe it out. and all of the negative predictions have turned out to be wrong. people should go back, i wish people in academic life, in the media would do this. it was going to lead to this problem, that problem, and other problem. in fact, most of the states where we have same-sex marriage and had it for many years if you're not yourself gay or less bewrap and don't know many people who are, as far as you're concerned, it never happened. it's a nonevent. it has no negative effect on anybody and a positive effect on a lot of us. >> i went to an event a couple days ago. gay activists were expressing support for a obama administration. i met a young woman who's a republican who said she voted for mccain last time and is considering voting for president obama because of his support for
same-sex marriage. that's her story. there are other people who believe north carolina might be lost because of that position, that there are evangelicals and others who strongly disagree with the president and because of that he might have to give up north carolina and some other support. again, it could cost him in some ways the election. >> the evidence we've had is that the people -- there two aspects to any question about political impact. what do people think, and how strongly do they think it? let me give you an example of gun control. an majority of americans have in the past been polled saying they don't favor gun control, but overwhelmingly of the number who care enough to make that the basis for their vote, they're against gun control. so it wins politically. there are a lot of us who care passionately about our rights being recognized and a lot of our friends and relatives. the number of people who would otherwise have voted for barack obama with his position on choice, with his position on the environment, with with his position on health care, but who are turned off only because he's for same-sex marriage, i think
is fairly minimal. after all, this is the man who got rid of don't ask, don't tell. he's been a supporter of equal treatment for people based on sexual orientation for a long time. i don't believe there are very many people who are going to vote for him who now switch. there have been some people in the african-american community who have been opposed -- although the congressional black caucus has been overwhelmingly supportive. i do not see many signs of african-americans who so much depends on everything else defecting on this. i think the question is not what's the vote in north carolina. we know they voted it down. >> right. >> but how many people in north carolina who would otherwise have been a vote for barack obama are going to switch based on this? i think it's very negligible. >> let's talk about your home state, massachusetts. you know mitt romney fairly well. it seems as if, you know, the health care reform plan in that state is -- it's been viewed as highly successful here. he's running away from this. i mean, he says it's a very different kind of plan than obama care which is a national
plan. do you think that people are convinced that when he talks about repealing this that is there something in the plan in massachusetts that people aren't paying attention to? >> no, no. they're very similar. the only difference is one was state and one was federal. the thing about mitt romney, he's a businessman. he brings certain business techniques to government. one of them is the notion of an expiration date on the product. when mitt romney takes a position, it's good only until a certain point. and you should be told, but don't buy this after april of 2013 or 2014. and i don't know how many anybody could think otherwise. he has been on every side of every important issue in american history since he's been around. and on the health care plan, the ironic thing here is if you look at his record as governor of massachusetts the only thing that stands out is the health care bill. he's not just try to repudiate his accomplishment but trying to repudiate his only accomplishment. i have to say, i read now that mitt romney has a businessman will become the chief executive of america and do all these
great economic development things. i wish that had happened when he was governor of massachusetts. when he was governor of mt massachusetts we had no great economic transformation. we weren't very good in terms of national job creation. so i tell you, there's a mitt romney who is running for president now who tells you he's going to do all these things. he was governor of the state i live in for four years and did none of them. i'm very skeptical. >> congressman, i have to leave it there. thank you for joining us. i appreciate your time. thank you. so what do the democrats and president need to do to win the presidency in november? we're going to talk about the pros, the cons for the president up next. ge. that's the power of human resources. the society... for human resource management and its members know... how to harness that power, because we help develop it. from the next economy, to the next generation, we help get... the most out of business, by getting the best out of people. shrm. leading people, leading organizations.
now the dnc. are there any differences, whether mood or tone or participation that you're seeing coming from the rnc to here? >> i think that the democrats have done a good job at doing preci precisely, setting sort of precisely the scene that they wanted to. they started from the very beginning saying, oh, well, the republicans are a bunch of elites and it's just going to be, you know, those 2,300 delegates or so, but we're going to open this to the public. now, that only goes so far, but, you know, we have the president's speech on thursday and the big arena, about 75,000 are expected if it doesn't -- >> rain. >> if the skies don't open up. they've also done that in the sense of, the past few days, the floor, i know you've seen it, has been full of people coming through, having their pictures taken. it has a different feel in that way. and i think the democrats went out of their way to make it kind of like there's just people all over. also a much more confined area, feels like it, at any rate. so downtown here is the streets
are as busy as the aisles in the convention hall. >> a lot of traffic in most places. >> lots. and the security here is larger, shall we say. like, it goes out much further than it did for the -- >> very intense. you and i both covered michelle obama, barack obama, four years ago. michelle at that time really seemed like there was a lot on her plate. and there was the reverend wright issue. there was the patriotism issue. and there was a little bit of tension four years ago. she has blossomed and her popularity has exploded here. what does she need to do tonight? how do you think this is going to be any different? >> i think exactly what she's been doing throughout her term as first lady. i mean, you and i know there was a time earlier that michelle obama was a tougher, do we want to say, just, you know, publicly was kind of more involved and eventually she -- they changed her hair style and she -- look, in the white house, she has
become more popular than her husband. her approval rating is higher. she's taken on issues like child obesity. she's got that garden she put out there. she is such a tremendous role model, sort of as a mother, because she says all the time, as you know, and did then, my girls are my first priority. >> right, she did. >> i think that makes her, you knows, she in so many ways to me she does the same role that ann romney did for mitt romney. that is she really does bring him into the regular person fold a bit. you know, because he can seem -- both these candidates can seem aloof and a little bit removed and their wives just seem so, like, oh, i have these two girls and they do this and do that. there's an immediate connection that michelle obama makes and that, in itself, is enough. >> what is the message, do you think, that she is going to be conveying tonight? >> i think she's going to talk about, again, her husband, how
he's taken to the job. how they understand the hurt that's been out there. i think we'll hear a bit about military families because that's been also one of her issues along with dr. biden, the vice president's wife. and so i think we'll hear that. but, again, i think this is a woman who makes her husband's case very well. and, again, one of the things that makes her so popular is she stayed out of the hard edge of politics. she's one of his best political weapons, but it's a soft weapon that goes very deep. and i think she'll stick with that. >> she seems much more comfortable in her role as first lady. certainly. you would imagine that that would be the case. >> sure, after four years you learn a lot. just about anything, it toughens you up, you learn a the lot, and you're more secure. they understand this is probably going to be a close election and she'll be out there fighting as hard as anyone. it's just that her weaponry is a bit more difficult to spot. >> right. exactly. candy, good to see you as
always. we'll be watching later as well. both parties trying to play to the middle class, but how much money does it take to actually officially be a part of the middle class these days? we're going to find out. hey there, today on the help desk we're talking about student loans. such a hot button issue these days. a lot of folks asking me about this. joining me this hour, donna rosato and ryan mack. ryan, take a listen to this question. >> i'm 20 grand in student loans and want to know if the government has any plan to help me out in the future. >> this is the big question. will there be more help or, you know, arguably less help out there in the future? >> i mean, there is a student aid and financial responsibility act that was passed and as of july 1st, 2010, there's no more middleman between the individuals who are paying between the government and individuals who want to pay to get loans directly from the government. 2014, your income in terms of 10% of income will be capped on how much you have to pay back toward your loans. there are additional pell grants in the legislation and additional assistance for making
sure, for additional train for individuals to go in and get jobs from community colleges. besides all that, the best way to help yourself is make sure you're paying your bills on time, consolidating your debt if possible and have an organized plan and budget to make sure you're making payments every single months. >> a lot of young folks it's hard because they don't make a lot of money when they come out of school. if you have a federal loan, get on a payment plan that's adjusted to what your income is. it stretches out the term of the loan. the payments are more manageable so you have better solid credit. if you're in certain fields, if you become a teacher -- >> some forgiveness, right? >> that's right. they'll pay some of your principle. that's a positive thing, too. >> a big concern is with the deficit, with the crisis in this country, you know, are some of those programs going to get cut back? >> that's a real threat. we don't know. >> a big question. we just don't know. thank you, guys. appreciate it. if you have an issue you want our experts to tackle, upload a
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are you a fan of "csi new york"? you'll recognize my next guest. he plays the coroner on the hit series. he's joining us from charlotte. good to see you. i got to know you four years ago in the freezing cold in iowa. >> yes. pounding the pavement. registering voters one at a time in iowa. >> why are you still on board here? why are you still on the campaign? >> i tell you, i've known the president now over 20 years. we met i think it was the third day of class at harvard law school. and, you know, ever since then i've been impressed with the type of man he is, who he is, what he stands for. when you've known somebody that long and you've seen their career grow and you want to help them along the way. and particularly when you realize the type of help he offers other people. and so i'm so happy, so proud to
be on the road for him again. going to battleground states and meeting people all over the country. >> it's nice to be in warm weather as opposed to cold as well. >> charlotte is much warmer than iowa. i was born in iowa, actually. i'm not going to talk bad about iowa. i love iowa. >> tell us something, because you've known him for many years since your law school days. tell us something we don't know about the president. >> well, you know what, i would say that what we don't see enough of, or as much as i think people who may be around him in more social settings see, is his sense of humor. he's one of the funniest guys. he has an extremely quick whit. he's quick with a swroek. obvious joke. a lot of the things are not a joking matter. there's not an opportunity to crack jokes. maybe every once in a while at a correspondent's dinner. other than that there's not an opportunity for him to show that to the public. the public would raefl really love his sense of humor.
it's very sharp, very quick. >> tell me about the young voters. that was a group you were targeting last go-round. you were visiting college campuses and these kinds of things. four years ago, there was so much enthusiasm. you could really tell in covering him that the campaign was generating kind of energy that you really hadn't seen before. when he got into the white house, there were many who felt like he didn't leverage that, right, over the course of the last three or so years and he has to do more work now to re-earn and re-introduce himself to young people ho. how important is that right now? >> the youth vote is critical, the youth vote will decide this election as it did in 2008. i just did a town hall an hour ago at johnson c. smith university. sold out crowd of enthusiastic young people. we also had a digital connect to many other colleges around the country. young people are still engaged but engaged ed in a different . in 2008 there was a long primary
process, you have to remember, a long lead-up, so it was a lot of time to lead up, lead up, lead up. then when he took office, he had to deal with all these issues that the country faced. th in fact, i got a funny tweet, literally just got it, a picture of president bush saying we gave this guy eight years to create this mess and a picture of our president saying i'm going to give this guy eight more years to clean it up. we have to i wasn't about the fact that he didn't leverage the youth vote. i think he got it off and had to deal with real issues right there. the youth are still engaged. >> you know the president well. did you get any time to just hang out and talk and pick up the phone or e-mail? >> there's no time for all that. jay-z claims he is directly connected. i don't know about that. here is the deal. great example is his birthday. amazing time. he was dancing.
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go to the grocery store you'll see organic products on the shelves. most people think it's good for you but bad for your wallet, a little expensive. some say food labeled organic may not be any better than conventional food. tell us what the study found. >> reporter: they found that organic pesticides have a 30% lower risk of contamination. when they looked at people's urine they found that organic eaters had fewer pesticides
inside their body. there's no good science showing that having fewer pesticides in your body is necessarily healthier. you won't live longer. you won't necessarily not get cancer or heart disease or any other bad disease. those studies have not been done. you mentioned money. we have here some produce that's organic and some that is conventional as they call it. we have organic right over here. the exact same foods. the organic food costs about $5 more than this set of food. that's a big difference. if you want fewer pesticides in your body because you think that's a better thing then go ahead and spend the money on organic but don't think you'll necessarily live any longer. there's one special group and that's pregnant women. there have been studies that show that pregnant women with high levels of pesticides in their body are more likely to have babies that are low birth
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middle income have household of 25 and $75,000 a year. the average middle class makes $50,000 a year. the economy has changed the way americans define middle class. >> what does it take to be in the middle class? pugh research asked that question and 80% said it takes a secure job. 66% said health insurance and 45% said it's a home. homeownership is what it takes to be in the middle class. it shows you how preoccupied americans are with a job. let's flash back to 1991. back then 70% of people said it's owning a home that puts you in the middle class. two or more cars. almost half said two or more cars. a college education, almost half said that's what's important. number five, 33% said a white
collar job is what makes it for the middle class. it shows you just how times have changed. it shows you how preoccupied people are with the idea of having a secure job and that is the key to middle class because back in '91 people assumed the economy would give them a job and it was the consumer parts of the culture that defined middle class for them. "cnn newsroom" continues with brooke baldwin. >> thank you. hello to all of you. we'll take you back to charlotte, back to the dnc in a moment. we've been telling you about the fighting in syria. we've been showing you the pictures and bringing you these stories but little compared with the story i've just watched. it's about a man and his 4-year-old little girl who he is struggle to keep her alive. she's been shot in her face by a sniper. he seeks out strangers who turn
out to be a cnn crew filming another act of violence against another nameless syrian child. she has a name. it's rina. her struggle and his struggle became the story of the journalists. what did they do? put the cameras aside to help. it's in that moment when we become a part of a crisis we're covering. it's no longer about the story but about humanity. that moment when it's all about this girl named rina. what you're about to see has many disturbing images. if you have little ones in the room i'll give you a moment to get them out. this next piece is very tough to watch. i had a hard time watching it. it's defining. it's chilling. it's important and it's personal. nick walsh has the story. >> reporter: on aleppo streets a truck races through traffic. we follow them because we've seen a man leap inside carrying
a limp little girl in his arms but perhaps because our car is new he now rushes towards us for help. rina is four. >> quick, quick. >> reporter: go to the hospital. she's choking. >> what happened? >> reporter: she was on the balcony at home when the bullet struck from nowhere. she's struggling to breathe. a bullet is hit her cheek. >> here, here. >> reporter: at the hospital the doctors move to clear her airway. think think she'll live. this underequipped rebel hospital can't treat her fully.
they make a tough decision to send her across the front lines to a better i equipped government hospital where we can't go. this is where the bullet entered her home. across the street is a cemetery in tall buildings all inside rebel territory but snipers work everywhere. this war has left no one safe. the grandmother saw it all. she was in her mother's happen when it entered here. we saw blood and then she screamed for mother and went silent she says. it was fired from the other side of the cemetery from the tall buildings over there. it's unlikely the gunman would have seen his target but it's an example of what many say here is the visited upon normal civilians every day. the children know what happened.
they find a knocked out tooth but not the bullet that hit rina. they go believing the worst is behind them. it's hard to understand why a sniper would fire into a residential home unless to terrify civilians in rebel areas. the next morning we learn she was taken to two government hospitals. none of the hospitals were able to remove the bullet relatives tell us which was stuck? her throat. rina died. her body brought home and buried in the cemetery where the gunman fired from and her home. >> i want to bring in nick walsh. you just never know when you find yourself smack dab in the middle overcovering a crisis and you don't have time to think. you just have to help and help others suffering like there other girl. i do want to ask you, do you know how specifically she died?
who killed her? she seemed so close to survive at the hospital. >> reporter: how did she die? a medic traveling with the cnn crew with decades assessed the trajectory the bullet must have traveled and it had to have been fired deliberately from an apartment block opposite the cemetery. the gunman wouldn't have seen the girl inside the room because the glass on the window was frosted but clearly in our opinion this was aimed to try and terrorize people in a residential area. how did she come to die? she seemed to be breathing and about to survive? it's a question to be asked of the two government hospitals she visited. relatives say she was given urgent medical attention but they weren't able to save her. that's to suggest the bullet lodged in her throat did cause a
fatal injury or perhaps the hospitals aren't well equipped. >> supposed to perhaps the keyword. you talk about the terror. we watch these stories each and every day. help us understand here why these families, why these people remain in syria. >> reporter: part of the family left a different area inside aleppo where much of the family, the serious fighting is helping and must have thought they were safe where they were in this particular part of the city. hundreds of thousands of people leaving the country fleeing that almost indiscriminant violence. this family making the decision to stay. why would you think you're a danger in your own front room behind frosted glass on a high front building. >> you said the children know what happened. these young people in syria. what do they understand is
happening? are they growing up with this sense of fear of perhaps hate as well? >> reporter: i think really how people in the city is complete parano paranoia. they see the shellings that happen around them. it's not clear what the target is. the military forces are scattered around the city. that's not where the shells land. we show the impact of one of these air strikes on a residential area in which 11 people are killed. it's terrifying to be a civilian in aleppo now because of the jets and the guns and the shelling. the only way to understand why the shells seem to land is because they are trying to terrify the civilians of that city. >> the children.
thank you. the little girl was just one of hundreds killed across syria. this week started with 250 people killed across the country. all of these new images from the civil war showing fierce bombings, neighborhoods decimated and survivors trying to save those trapped under the rubble. the number of refugees leaving the staggering. the united nations has numbers roughly at 235,000 people leaving. more than a hundred,000 grabbed what they could and left. for those who have remained behind to fight their own situation is worsening. at least 135 people killed today. the united nations estimates there's nearly a million people, one million in need of urgent
help. just this afternoon the head of the red cross was in damascus to meet with the president of syria. bashar regime will let groups expand their operations but new aid groups will not be allowed to entered. more news unfolding including a big party in a very important swing state. ments. tonight, democrats unveil their next crop of stars including a young mayor from texas. plus, john mcclain meets his match. a cop gets all die hard hanging onto a suspect's wind shield for 25 minutes. you'll see how it ends. they'll cost you extra but one study says organic foods don't live up to the hype but are researchers missing an important point.
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to jimmy carter and finds barack obama lacking. >> when it comes to jobs, president obama makes the jimmy carter years look like good old days. if we fired jimmy carter then, why would we rehire barack obama now. >> here is the president making his way toward charlotte. he says most republicans want to raise americans taxes. he says he hasn't and he won't. >> i've cut taxes by $3600 for the typical family. i've kept my promise to cut taxes for middle class families and small businesses. now i'm ready to make sure taxes aren't raised by a single dime on your family's first $250,000 of income which means 98% of americans wouldn't pay a single dime in income tax.
>> back to charlotte, democrats kick things off tonight. john berman is there at the cnn grill. tell me when the convention floor is going to fill up. i know having been in tampa, parts of it sort of fell flat. when will it look like a party in charlotte? >> reporter: it's a great question. i look at conventions as these organic things especially on the floor. there are times when it fills. there are times when it wanes. we kick off tonight at 5:00. it will be a little boring. a lot of speakers that might not get people so jazzed up. it's important to get the crowd excited by the time you hit the primetime hour of 10:00 when the real speakers speak. i think the hour between 9:00 and 10:00 is when you'll see the excitement start to build. you have the former governor of ohio, ted strickland. i think people will be listening to him and the governor of massachusetts. he also is known to give
something of a stem winder. he may be able to get the crowd riled up. a lot of times people on the floor don't listen. you need a speaker who can get their attention. >> let me bring you back to julian castro. i'm guessing people might make some jokes about the name here. why here? >> reporter: he's 37 years old. he's a rising star in the democratic party and he's in that key demographic of the party. he was raised with his twin brother who is running for congress. he's seen as the future in many ways of the democratic party. he's expected to talk about opportunity. that's the word we keep hearing down here about what his speech will be about. 15 minutes expect him to speak. there's a lot of aennticipation. you may not have heard his name
yet but in 2004 who heard of barack obama. >> no pressure for him to have that obama moment. can you give a sense of looking back in the past. it was bill clinton and then barack obama and now julian cast castro. are you getting some momentum of this? >> reporter: not yet posturing for 2016 but everyone else in town is. look at the iowa delegation. who comes to visit the iowa delegation and have a meal, break bread with iowa. the last couple of days the mayor of los angeles. the senator from minnesota. mark warner, the senator from virginia. the governor of montana. everyone goes and meet with the people of iowa here. they're all very nice, the people of iowa, but that's not why they are meeting with them. iowa is the first in the nation caucus. you don't have to scratch the
surface very hard or far to hear people talk about hillary clinton. i was talking to a former advisor this morning who said you ever wish she were here being renominated. they said i'm not going to go there but there's always 2016. >> he couldn't get confirmation from him but too close sources are saying he's voting romney thinking ahead to 2016. let me ask you about michelle obama. i know you have a busy grill behind you, i'll let you go. michelle obama speaking tonight. ann romney spoke last week and seem to have a clear mission to win over women and help humanize her husband. does michelle obama have a mission that's clear cut, do you think? >> reporter: it's different. it's very different. what ann romney had to do was fill in some of the blanks for mitt romney and soften some of those edges that people have seen and make him more likable. everyone knows president obama at this point.
michelle obama, the first lady, i don't know that she'll spend so much time on that. she's going to harp on the middle class and talk a lot about the middle class. that's the theme the democrats tell us they will talk about more than any other here. she's also tell some personal stories about his resolve and his firmness in office and talk about his strength as a leader. we're told she will not mention mitt romney. i don't expect it to been overtly political speech. maybe not as much to do as ann romney had to do but i think she's wildly popular. michelle obama more popular than the president which is different than four years ago. four years ago when she spoke in denver, her popularity was in question. she was seen as a controversial figure but now not even close. >> people love her. hopefully they will be tuning in to watch her. thank you, sir. if you'd like to watch him you can do so on early start 5:00
a.m. eastern time. coverage kicks off tonight, 7:00 eastern. then we're staying up late for you. piers morgan is. he's going to wrap up the first night of the dnc tonight at midnight. a traffic cop goes above and beyond the call of duty. he hangs onto a speeding car for 25 minutes. we have the video of how it ends. exclusive to the military, and commitment is not limited to one's military oath. the same set of values that drive our nation's military are the ones we used to build usaa bank. with our award winning apps that allow you to transfer funds, pay bills or manage your finances anywhere, anytime. so that wherever your duty takes you, usaa bank goes with you. visit us online to learn what makes our bank so different.
afghan president stirring controversy at home and abroad with his hand picked choice to be the country's new intelligence chief. he's a karzai loyalist and anti-taliban fighter. he's been linked to range of allegations including drug trafficking and torture. he denies the claims against him calling them propaganda. the battle for afghanistan's future rages on. a suicide attack killed 25 people and wounded 35 others who were tending a funeral today.
clinging to the roof of a speeding car, holding on as this car zigs and zags and hits other cars. one police officer refused to let go. we have the story and the video of south korea's die hard cop. paula. >> reporter: he's been dubbed south korea's john mcclain referring to bruce willis character in "die hard." he refused to let him escape last week by hanging onto his car for 25 minutes. the driver tried to shake him off. kim said in an interview for the first ten minutes i thought i was going to die but then as he kept zigzagging the car and did an illegal u turn and crushed into other cars including police cars to get rid of me i was
determined to survive and catch him. as the car stopped he jumped off the wind shield and chased him into the subway before apprehendsed him. he only stopped the man for a traffic violation when he drove away. it emerged later he was wanted on drug related crimes. the video is going viral. he feels slightly sorry for what he's done because when he told his wife and mother what he had done they both burst into tears saying he doesn't need a promotion. he needs to stay safe. thank you. we'll take you back to the cnn grill in charlotte as the democratic national convention is rolling on. it's starting today. our favorite political couple tackling the party's platform. we'll be right back. my volt is the best vehicle i've ever driven.
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big, big night for the democrats. they are cranking up their three-day convention in charlotte. guys, welcome. welcome. good to see both of you. john, let me begin with you. i know a lot of democrats stumped by the question of whether americans are better off now than they were four years ago. they are beginning to get on their feet with this. we heard the vice president came out late yesterday and said bin laden is dead. general motors is alive. you bet we're better off. this morning ohio's ted strickland chimed in. here is what he said. >> people said are we better off four years ago? america is better off. four years ago we were losing
750,000 to 800,000 jobs a month. we've had 29 straight consecutive months of private sector job growth. >> john, why did it take so long for the democrats to get their footing on the question? >> reporter: this is politics 101. the right answer to the question is america's better off than they were three years and ten months ago because the economy, the fiscal prices bottomed out in march of 2009. when obama got into the oval office this country was in economic free fall. the stock market and unemployment rate are better than they were as of march '09. they are getting stuck up in that. they shouldn't be. biden gave the best answer. kill bin laden, save gm. that's a good argument. >> reporter: you're going to be shocked that i pushed back a little bit.
>> shock me. >> reporter: obviously it's how americans feel but we still have an 8.4% unemployment rate and americans are still struggling from that. prices of commodities and items that you buy at the grocery store are higher. people are having a harder time getting through on the basic items in daily life. the democrats have stumbled is because they know that. it's a trick between having a ten year and having plan to make it better. that's why the president said he has an incomplete. >> let me talk about a stumble. let me pick up where john talked about march of '09. i want to ask you about september 15th of four years ago. it was september 15th being the day four years ago that lehman brothers collapsed and we as a nation, that was just total economic calamity. by that measure, four years ago things don't look so bad now, do they? >> reporter: well, i mean in my
view and i think in the view of most americans the country isn't far better. i went back and read ronald reagan's -- >> that was a mess in september. >> reporter: but it was four years. whn you lo when you look at the four years of when president obama gave his acceptance speech and look at reagan's acceptance speech it's stark how much the improvement was. he had solid concrete employment and inflation. we don't have that to point to this go around. >> reporter: the reagan recovery was enormous in terms of gdp growth but there's no question we're in far better place than four years ago. that's not partisan spin. that's just reality. >> let's talk about party platform. the democrats have passed this. i want to look at two points that stand in stark contrast to
the republican platform we were talking about last week in tampa. same-sex marriage. we support marriage equality and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples. moving on. on abortion. abortion is an intensely personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor and her clergy. there's no place for politicians or government to get in the way. margaret i'm throwing there to you. i'm sure democrats will use these planks to bolster their theme that they are looking forward and per a democrat theme looking at republicans they'll make them sound like they want to take the country back to the '50s. is that what you anticipate? >> reporter: you hit the nail on the head exactly. that is exactly the rhetoric you're hearing from the left. society and our country is going to roll back and you had the mayor of l.a. said this platform
of rnc say this is the platform of 1812. we're going to lose our rights and america's going to a less free country. as a republican who is in favor of freedom to marry and wrote a letter to my own platform's committee encourageing us to no make it a wedge issue, i think the democrats did the right thing. republicans are not for this and this is the place where republicans are out of step. abortion is a different issue. it would be far better served if they acknowledge there's different issues on this complex social issue rather than being so adamantly even out of line with their party's nominee who is in favor of abortion with rape and incest. >> john, last question quickly. when it comes to the economy and we heard the president gaving this interview saying when it comes to his mission on the
economy, the word he used is incomplete, is that an error he made? >> reporter: i thought it was an error he made. he sort of handing us. >> john do you agree with your wife there? >> reporter: i think that maybe a rare point of agreement on this one. >> okay. have fun in charlotte. thank you very much. we'll talk tomorrow. >> we'll see you tomorrow. you're hearing both political parties rally around the middle class. many of you define the middle class in different ways. is it a owning a home, a car, job security. we're taking you inside the middle class, next. drug and alcohol abuse is up. and those dealing with grief don't have access to the professional help they need. when you see these issues, do you want to walk away or step up? with a degree in the field of counseling or psychology from
i need one. stay tuned for that. what do the majority of americans think it takes to be middle class? is it owning your own home, having a car, a couple of cars, owning a college degree. in what some could call a sign of the times, this new study says that having a secure job tops that list now. felicia, we were talking about this earlier. talk about how much times have changed from '91 when everyone wants to be a homeowner to now. >> reporter: the perception has really changed. that's a little disturbing. 86% of those responding say having a secure job is what they perceive to be as putting you in the middle class. 66% said health insurance. that's also related to employment. a job that's secure also provides health insurance but any job that doesn't offer health insurance probably doesn't pay enough. in some ways these results lower the standard for membership in
the middle class or what's per soo sooefed to be. they found that only 33% said a white collar job would make you middle class. 7 70% said owning a homemade you middle class. that used to be the be all thing for the american dream. that compares just 45% today. fewer people say investments like stocks and bonds make you part of the middle class. >> i was tweeti ining about thi story. so many people were saying we need a job. thank you. it's been one week since isaac hit the gulf coast. for some folks time stands still. standing water, no electricity, we'll get you an update from the coast, next. it doesn't get any better than endless shrimp at red lobster. you can mix and match all day! [ male announcer ] red lobster's endless shrimp is back... but only for a limited time! try as much as you like, any way you like!
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he did not send it to the pentagon for review prior to publishing. now department of defense lawyers are considering taking legal actions. this is a no brainer. >> this is pretty open and shut. this is a solemn obligation. i signed many secrecy agreements over the course of my career working at the department of defense. it, so me, is quite incredible that someone invested with preserving our nation's secrets didn't think to have this reviewed. >> george little at the pentagon. those returning home after hurricane isaac are facing stifle temperatures, no ac, 100,000 people still without power and many, many dead animals are washing ashore there each and every day. officials say it's as many as 16
to 18,000 rodentrodents. it's so bad that by sunday half the cleanup crew had quit. louisiana authorities are keeping a close eye on the swollen river. more rain is expected there this week. he will forever be known as the gentle giant with a distinctively deep voice. actor michael clarke duncan died yesterday in los angeles from complications of heart attack he suffered back in july. he was perhaps best known for his portrayal of a death row inmate in the "green mile." . >> i'm tired of being on the road lonely as a sparrow in the rain. i'm tired of never having a buddy to be with to tell me where he's going to, coming from or why. mostly i'm tired of people being ugly to each other. >> john coffey. >> that performance garnered him
an academy award nomination for best supporting actor and in his other numerous roles duncan never failed to steal a scene. >> red. >> no wonder you turned her down. >> you did turn her down even though i went to yanni? >> you didn't go? jimmy sent me. >> i know that frankie can be very persuasive. >> i'm fine. thank you. >> why did you want me to go see yanni? >> ricky, you can walk. >> what did you say? >> i pray you know that pain and hurt. >> don't you put that evil on me. don't you put that on us. you are not paralyzed. >> i am so paralyzed. >> no, no, no. >> you're rough on him. >> he needs to know. he's always crying.
♪ leaving on a jet plane >> he towered at 6'5". always seemed to have a smile on his face and will be missed. michael clarke duncan was 54 years old. it will cost you extra but one study says organic food doesn't live up to the nutrition hype, but are the researchers asking the right questions. of as credit card! pizza!!!!! [ garth ] olaf's small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase, every day! put it on my spark card! [ high-pitched ] nice doin' business with you! [ garth ] why settle for less? great businesses deserve the most rewards! awesome!!! [ 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?
no doubt you have saw it at the grocery store. you have compare organic items to the nonorganic items. you question whether you want to spend that extra money. some stanford researchers wondered that as well. they revealed more than 200 studies and they found no nutritional difference. none. this begs the question we wanted to ask what about the chemicals and pesticides used in the food and the milk and the meat. let's talk to elizabeth cohen. we wanted you to explain if they took that into consideration as we look at the veggies you brought. >> we brought some organic and conventional. they did take that into consideration. this was an incredibly complicated study because it's the study of studies.
we've broken down the main points in writing. first of all, what they found is that organic produce was instead less likely to contain pesticides as you would expect. 30% lower risk and they found that people who ate organic produce had fewer pesticides in their body and they could tell from looking in their urine. you might say if you got fewer pesticides in your body isn't that a no brainer? that's what's interesting is there aren't good studies that show that people who have fewer pesticides in their body live longer. intuitively it would make sense but there aren't the studies out there. >> i know it does cost more. i look at the blueberries and think six bucks, seven bucks. do the healthiness of organic food worth the cost? >> let's talk about the cost,
first of all. this is organic and this is convention conventional. it's the same stuff. this cost almost $5 more. this is not a ton of food. my family could scarf this down in an afternoon, no problem. $5 is fair chunk of change for that food. you have to decide. if you're ultra wealthy maybe this isn't a concern for you. you have to think do i care about having pesticides in my body. if i'm don't want them or want as few as possible, then i'm going to spend the money. don't think i'm going to live longer or not get cancer. >> are there no studies that say pesticides not good for you? let's say pregnant women. >> pregnant women are in a different category. for them there have been studies that show women that have a lot of pesticides are more likely to have baby with lower iq and
lower birth weight. for pregnant women that's a different group of people. >> okay. ask yourself as you're standing there weighing the option do i want to pesticides or not. >> and how much am i willing to pay? if it were a million dollars more you probably wouldn't but $5. different people will say different things. >> thank you. for more about making the decision here, do you go organic or not organic go to cnn.com/empoweredpatient. tonight is the night democrats introduce their rising stars to you, to america, including this one guy who is a twin. he went to stanford and harvard. he's one of the country's youngest big city mayors. the u.s. will launch another operation to get the attention of iran. love to walk. yeah, we found that wonderful thing.
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or when you have a little trouble a long way from home... as an american express cardmember you can expect some help. but what you might not expect, is you can get all this with a prepaid card. spends like cash. feels like membership. let me take you to the persian gulf because in 16 days countries will be on this part of the world to practice deacting mines. what does this do? it involves mine neutralizing ships with names like the uss devastator and the uss century. the pentagon was specific on where they will be used. let me show you. take a look. zooming in we're talk about the
areas the red sea and the gulf of amon. not one very specific place. this is iran. you can see how close this would take to iran. despite the tiptoeing in july, pentagon officials said this about this big massive mul multinational event. >> this is not an exercise aimed to deliver a message to iran. this is an exercise that's designed to within this mults multinational forum increase our capabilities. >> the pentagon is viewing how iran will view there exercise. secretary general said if israel
a very, very good friend, solid ally of the united states rs if they hit iran's nuclear facilities than iraq could hit u.s. bases in the middle east. i want to digg deeper on this. matthew is an assistant professor at georgetown. matt, welcome back. explain to us if the u.s. becomes a target, israel hits iran. explain all this for me. >> just a little bit of background. the new report came out saying iran is making progress on its study program. negotiations have stalled. this means at some point soon the united states might have to decide between letting iran have nuclear weapons or taking military action or complicating
things. if if united states or israel were to attack iran one of the things iran could do is to mine the persian gulf. >> let me stop you right there because before we get into the big mine sweeping exercise just in terms of a bomb, use of a nuclear bomb, how close is that happening in iran? >> right now iran is enriching uranium to 20%. in order to build nuclear weapons it would have to enrich to 90%. the first thing is to enrich to those higher levels. then there's a question about how long it would take. the best estimate is it would be a few months that it would take iran to enrich enough uranium to 90%. >> a few months. >> a few months. we're running out of time. >> this mine sweeping exercise,
you think about what does that mean for us here in the kwiets. it's right before the u.s. election. is this an attempt to appease israel not to take action, at least not yet for the u.s. >> obama administration would clearly like to push off any military action with iran until after the elections. they decided a conflict with iran before the elections would be bad for the election process. the administration is doing a lot of things now to try to slow iran's nuclear program and try to reassure our allies in the region. this has two audiences. first to iran and our allies in the region to suggest that we'll be there to defend them if necessary and to reassure them and keep them from taking action in the next few weeks. >> i think that's important to point out that those two audiences there. let's take it one step further because post