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tv   Americas News Headquarters  FOX News  January 28, 2012 4:00pm-6:00pm EST

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if you see marine, armed force member, buy him a drink in a bar, buy them a meal. that's all you can do. have a great weekend. see you going full speed ahead in the sunshine state. republican candidates just days ahead of the critical primary in florida. mitt romney and newt gingrich barnstorming across the state and they have the field to themselves. rick santorum is in virginia and ron paul in maine. welcome to a brand-new hour. i'm gregg jarrett. >> heather: i'm heather childers. for the latest in the flight fight for florida. romney and gingrich throwing everything but the kitchen sink at each other. latest real clear politics poll
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average finding them a little more of 8 percentage points apart. with the clock winding down to the primary on tuesday, two campaigns show no signs of letting up. carl cameron is live in orlando. hi, carl. >>. >> reporter: it's gotten intense and the personal attacks are literally rhetorically no holds barred. gingrich is accusing romney of lying. medicare fraud in the past costing people of jobs. mitt romney is ahead now by anywhere between five and seven points in the polls. assuming the role of front-runner projecting more calm and energetic nominee candidate and two of of them are arguing over the debates. here is a little bit of today's
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back and forth. >> you cannot debate somebody who is dishonest. you just can't. the people say i'm a good debater, i can't debate somebody who won't tell the truth. that is a problem. they stand there. for me to react as intlins as the statements would require breaks up the whole room, makes it impossible to have a civil debate. >> reporter: what he is talking about the ruckus applause that follows his deft zingers. romney made fun of that. listen. >> speaker gingrich said he didn't so well because he said the audience was too loud. last one was they were too quiet. when i debate the president i'm not going to worry about the audience. i'm going to make sure we take down barack obama and retake the
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white house. >> reporter: behind the scenes the telephones are burning up with calls trying to make sure people vote on tuesday. direct mail is falling all over florida. radio and tv is jammed with attacks from super pacs, florida like every state so tar is likely to set a spending record in terms of how much money is put on the air in attack ads. >> heather: carl, thank you very much. gregg does have more on this. >> gregg: the battle for florida is really turning into a slug fest. gingrich and romney running campaign ads attacking each other and rhetoric is getting far more caustic by the day and the lead has changed twice. now, we're just days away and did the last debate make the key difference here? bob kusack is managing editor of
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the hill. for a guy who said he could stand up to president obama during a debate, did newt gingrich get out debated this week especially on thursday by romney? >> yeah. i think he did. it was a big shocker. carl cameron talking about mitt romney and zingers, we haven't been talking about that for romney. we saw some on thursday night. mitt romney it was the biggest moment in his political career. if he didn't put in a strong performance, he could have been done and he beat gingrich. you know there is no more debates until floridians go to the polls. >> gregg: bob, if there was seminole moment, this may have been it. >> we discovered to our shock, governor romney of shares of fannie mae and freddie mac. maybe he should tell us how much
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money he has made in the investments. >> away made our financial disclosure have been in mutual funds and bonds. i don't own stock in fannie mae and freddie mac. have you checked your own investment. you also have investments that also invested in fannie mae and freddie mac. >> was that tanker point? >> i think it was. that is mitt romney taking fight to newt gingrich, not talking about president obama, not how much he loves america. taking it to newt gingrich. we hadn't seen it before. mitt romney being able to think on his feet. thursday night he did that. >> gregg: gingrich has come under criticism from all people conservatives including publications, the national review, the american spectator, ann coulter, tom delay, bob dole jumped in with pretty severe criticism, as well. do you think that since
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gingrich's win in south carolina and maybe because of it the long knives have come out against him? >> oh, yeah. definitely the attacks have been constant. he survived in fact based on strong debate performances and he has been anti-establishment candidate even though he spent a lot of time in washington. he didn't respond well to have space station on the moon. they have played well with small portion of nasa workers but it's been open to ridicule. he acknowledged he did not perform well in the debate. >> gregg: the other thing is, florida, if you look at the demographics it has ten different television markets. romney has been outstanding gingrich tremendously, one figure ten to one in tv ads alone.
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is that a significant advantage to him? >> huge. everyone said i don't like negative campaign ads. the reason why they continue is they work. whether it's the super pacs, clearly mitt romney has the guns in this battle. when you hear ads after ads and prominent republicans coming out newt gingrich, maybe he is not most electable. that militant romney has gained back the edge he lost in south carolina, electability. can he beat president obama. more people think after thursday's debates he has better shot than before the debate. >> the hispanic vote is very important in florida. romney got the endorsement of the governor of puerto rico joined him on the campaign trail. there was senator marco rubio leveling harsh criticism at gingrich over one of his attack ads.
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a factor there, as well? >> yeah, definitely. a lot of republicans have yifd mitt romney stamp on immigration as too hard line. as you mention, marco rubio they are getting all the news and it's good for mitt romney. that plays into his game plan. >> gregg: bob, great to see you. make sure tune in on tuesday, special coverage kicking off at 6:00 p.m. eastern time. fox news is america's election headquarters. >> heather: fox news alert. off the coast of italy, rough weather forcing crews to postpone pumping fuel from the costa concordia as they recovered a woman's body today. is a people are still missing.
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meanwhile, in miami, six passengers, they are suing the parent company for $460 million in compensation. they claim that the ship's operator was guilty of negligence. that was in january 13th for the wreck. now costa is offering all uninjured passengers $14,000 covering the loss of being a average, refunding the cost of the cruise and reimbursing passengers for going home. dangerous scenario in syria. arab league say conditions are too violent for human rights monitor and they are suspending their mission. they are getting out. syrian authorities called the move in an attempt to influence united nations to put more pressure on the regime.
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they say trying to end the crackdown against anti-government demonstrators. >> heather: potential problems for the son of the transportation secretary, speaking out as he was preventing from leavingegypt. he may face up to five years in prison. peter doocy has at latest. >> reporter: sam lahood says it's scary to be facing charges in egypt working for an organization and the son now says he may be stuck in egypt for a long time. >> if it does go to trial and trial could last up to one year in a case that is wide ranging as this one. but the penalty for that six months to five years in jail. >> reporter: frank wolf has been calling the u.s. to halt aid to egypt because he says they are not laying the groundwork for a
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freer society which congress said they had to do in most recent appropriations bill. wolf says the recent actions by the egyptian government are a clear violation of the condition that congress laid out. as such should have a direct bearing on aid to egypt until the situation is rectified. if similar assaults on religious freedom occur in the future, aid should be indefinitely halted. egypt's military alone gets $1.3 billion a year from the u.s. and state department said yesterday they have been put on notice. >> decisions are going to have to be made later on in the winter and spring. it certainly something we've been calling to the egyptian government's attention. >> reporter: we have learned that group of high powered lobbyists have ended a four-year wreap the egyptian government. >> heather: what is going on behind the scenes to bring sam
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lahood home? we'll. [ talking over each other ] to a spokesman for the last four u.s. ambassador and joins us live. >> gregg: pentagon is now constructing a floating base off the coast of iran. they are retrofitting an aging ship to be used as a mobile command center and launching pad for the u.s. navy seals. doug is live in washington with more on this. >> that is right. this is probably another sign that the united states is taking iran's threat to block the straits very serious. it's a ship that had been scheduled for decommissioned last december but there was a no bid contract to retrofit the ship, a float forward staging base, a floating dock which small patrol boats and navy seals could operate. in a statement the navy says the
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retrofit is of our gentle importance, while the work is being done, it is not accurate to surmise this signals a rush to meet some urgent combat requirement. this is a longstanding request but with the opportunity before us we are fulfilling. >> there is another issue, in addition to that they are seeking additional congressional funding to upgrade the most powerful bomb. after testing showed it lacks the capability for which it was designed to break through most hardened steel structures. pentagon said, we've lot long said we need the capability that will divide us but we are committed to their development and comfortable this will contribute to all -- >> reporter: this new development is that iran is moving its nuclear weapons
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program into hardened facilities. >> heather: a big celebration going on right now in st. louis. city declaring a holiday and hosting a parade for the heroes who put their lives on the line serving in iraq. in addition to the celebrations there a veterans village that explains what benefits and resources are available to them. they call it the first welcome major home parade for iraq war vets. >> gregg: search for survivors in south america, rescue crews combing through the rubble of collapsed building. >> heather: forget those long lines finding a new job could be just a click away. why career fairs are going digital. >> gregg: still ahead, twitter fans somewhat angry about changes that could come to the social networking site.
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what twitter plants plans to do. >> it is doing what it's supposed to do as it expands into each one of these countries. that is to abide by the laws. [ thunder crashes ] the first and most important step toward accomplishing something is showing up. [ thunder crashes ] and with the most advanced all-wheel-drive system in its class that adapts to conditions as they change, now all you have to worry about is what you accomplish when you get there. ♪ forty years ago, he wasn't looking for financial advice. back then he had something more important to do. he wasn't focused on his future. but fortunately, somebody else was. at usaa we provide retirement planning for our military, veterans and their families. now more than ever,
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>> heather: welcome back. the president of yemen is heading to the u.s. leader seeking medical treatment after sustaining injuries in an assassination attempt last year. >> and rio de janeiro, brazil the death toll rising in the collapse of three buildings, 17 people are confirmed dead. >> new court documents that bp allegedly tried to keep secrets and details from the gulf oil spill. company e-mails showing that bp officials did not release a figure that how much oil was leaking into the water. >> gregg: forget all the crowds and long lines at a job fair. people looking for work might want to check out a virtual career fair. more and more companies are going online to save money and get more time with potential candidates with more. >> julie: this is lot like internet dating.
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that didn't exist back when you were single. in the competitive job companies are taking a new approach by hiring to turning to online career fairs are matching employees with employers. it has up to 120,000 members, flocking to the online networking event. it's choreographed by job seekers -- they are accessed from anywhere in the world. >> you don't have to travel where some recreated irs across the country. you can log on in your office. >> there is no face to face but it's to try to best fit for your company. >> i think for the employer the advantages are history, it's very cost-effective, it's extremely efficient. all of our data is electronic
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format. third thing would be geographic, there is no limit. i can reach out to everyone in the country. >> julie: it can help troops re-entering civilian life such as milacruit.com just this past year they had had 100,000 attendees and more than 4,000 confirmed hires. learn more about the company's website such as facebook and twitter. one that you have abandoned as of late. >> i'm thinking about taking it up again. it's been many months. >> julie: i'm keeping track. >> heather: the fate of the son of ray lahood remains uncertain. sam lahood says he may face five years in egyptian prison.
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>> gregg: while you cannot get away from mother nature one state rocked by deadly tornadoes, that is next. [ male announcer ] drinking a smoothie with no vegetable nutrition? ♪ [ gong ] strawberry banana! [ male announcer ] for a smoothie with real fruit plus veggie nutrition new v8 v-fusion smoothie. could've had a v8. and it hasn't been going exactly as planned. cut. cut! [ monica ] i thought we'd be on location for 3 ys -- it's been 3 weeks. so i had to pick up some more things. good thing i've got the citi simplicity card. i don't get hit with a fee if i'm late with a payment... which is good because on this job, no! bigger! [ monica ] i may not be home for a while. [ male announcer ] the new citi simplicity card. no late fees. no penalty rate. no worries. [ male aouncer ] red lobster's ur course seafood feast is back. get soup, salad,
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>> heather: time for the top of the news, two leading candidates in florida primary are stumping for sbroets votes. romney and gingrich are barnstorming ahead of tuesday's primary. >> off the coast of italy the death toll rising in the crash of costa concardia. is a people of missing. 7 people are confirmed dead. they recovered a body today. >> in rio de janeiro, brazil, raising the number of dead after the collapse of three buildings there. at least 17 people confirmed dead. >> gregg: the son of
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transportation secretary ray lahood say he may be facing five years in prison inegypt. what can the obama administration do to bring him home. let's bring in rick grenell spokesman for ambassadors to the united nations. shouldn't it be matter of picking up the phone the top brass military in egypt and saying look, if you want that $1.3 billion in military aide we give you each and every year. knock it off and let i am come home? >> let's home this is mistake because it will be a costly mistake for the government have egypt. our u.s. ambassador ann patterson she is an amazing diplomat. i'm sure she said to the highest authorities you are making a big mistake. maybe this is lower level individual who somehow is
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harassing these ngos so if it's not fixed sometime soon, they are going to start to pull back some of that funding. don't forget there is a billion dollars in loans that is becoming due in three years that egypt owes the united states. there is a move in congress to forgive those loans. that is going to get pulled back. our aid will get pulled back. military aide will be pulled back as well as the world bank and imf monies. >> gregg: let me you ask you about the syria. arab league that tried to to solve the crackdown down, there they are throwing up their hands, they are leaving calling it quits. it's hard to tell how many have been killed by assad, anywhere from 5400 to more than 6,000. anti-government rebels are gaining some ground. they are trying get armed.
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we helped the libyans. what could we be doing to help the syrians? >> again, remember i know you know this, when you talk about the syrians you have to talk about the iranians. so that is why it's an important place. not only has assad brutalized and killed his own people but this has a lot of national security implications for the united states. that is why we care for what happens there. we have to get more active in pushing forward a plan to work with the people to overthrow assad. we have to be able to speak very clearly that assad should go. we need to work with the opposition so they can prepare and dump him and have a peaceful transition. it will be messy when it happens. as the u.n. is saying, there is about 6400 people that have been killed. this is developing into a regional peace and security issue. u.n. needs to do a lot more.
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>> gregg: should the united nations back a resolution endorsing action by nato? >> yeah, i think very minimum they should pass a resolution endorsing nato. you have the arab league sending in observers trying to tamp down on the problem but the problem is getting worse. now i think you have to have the u.n. step in. arab league was only there because the u.n. couldn't get its act together. this obama administration promised us they would leave the world -- yet the ambassador there has not been able to convince the russians or chinese to go on tough resolutions, whether be on iran or syria. we need to take it out of her hands and get it up higher to the white house to make it a priority. >> gregg: and cover of the "new york times" magazine, israel
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versus iran. it goes on to state. three conditions have been met before you go to a tactical air strike against nuclear facilities in tehran. israel has ability to cause severe damage and there is as the it approval to do it and three, all other possibilities for containment have been futile. does that strike you as all the conditions being met for such a strike? >> absolutely. i'm not saying that war is always the answer or military strike is always the answer. we know there are a lot of negative consequences when this happens. i think we're at the point where the obama administration has got to use the military option a little more in the face of the iranians because sanctions are not working. we haven't had u.n. sanctions on iran in 22 months. so these e.u. sanctions that are
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going out for the oil, regional sanctions and becoming clear that greece is not going to implement these sanctions. italy and spain say they are not going to implement the sanctions. we should give up on those. as far as approval of the international community we clearly have that. we probably have as the it approval for more countries where the obama administration is pushing the israelis. i would argue all too hard to look the other way and rely on sanctions and rely on more talks. i think that is mistake. but the saudis and others are clearly not interested in having the iranians with a bomb. >> gregg: thanks very much. good to see you. >> heather: cleanup efforts are in full swing after a string of deadly tornadoes ripped through alabama. they killed two people and damaged more than 450 homes
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there. alabama getting hit particularly hard in the past year with killing 250 people. now there is a push from the governor to do more to keep residents safe. elizabeth is live in atlanta. i know you've covered a lot of these situations as they have developed. what is the latest? >> reporter: the hardest hit areas last year were farther south. in fact the most tornado prone state in 2011 was alzheimer's, confirmed 177 twisters in 2011162 tornadoes and then we saw those in mississippi and then texas and missouri. alabama has had 22 twisters in 28 days. the chief meteorologist is here in atlanta, listen.
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>> we haven't had a cold winter in the south. most times when a strong systems have come along, temperatures are in march, 60s and 70s. any time you have that in the wintertime, there is always cause to worry because the air is more buoyant. it has a tend to rise and easier tendency to rotate. >> we remember that deadly tornado where 238 people lost their lives. after that, the governor created a council to help save lives. they say the state needs more public storm shelter erlgs. tax cds for homes and bits, better education and awareness programs as well as new warning systems and annual sales tax holiday for storm related activities. there have been 70 tornadoes so far this year making it the third most active january in recorded history.
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a lot of things that people need to prepare in case the storms come along. >> heather: best advice is to be prepared. elizabeth, nice to see you. >> gregg: they are sounding off a lot of anger throughout over plans by twitter to voluntarily censor some tweets. we'll take a look what is sparking the outrage coming up. >> heather: an innocent game of tag turns into a nightmare for a 6-year-old boy and his family. accusing the child of sexual assault. did they go too far? our power panel is up next. >> he is a good kid.
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ask your doctor and visit juvederm.com. >> heather: many in the online
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world ticked and twitter. the media site allowing censorship of tweets that break laws. activists use twitter as a way to speak out but they are saying they are sold out. twitter is saying it ma l make all of their twists public. let's bring in our power panel. an drea, co-host of the five and jehmu greene former president of the women's media center and a fox news contributor. thanks for coming in. beautiful saturday here in new york city. twitter causing an uproar on twitter because they plan to take a second look at tweets censorship. is censorship the right word? >> i think it's delicate. a lot of people say it breaks free speech but they are doing this in countries where they are breaking the law.
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so as a columnist myself, i'm always in favor of free speech. free speech doesn't give you the right to break laws. so i think twitter is doing the right thing. they are not doing it on the slide, they are very transparent. if you break the law in your own country we don't want to be a part of that. >> it's the policy if you pull it down all the way around the world. what they are doing in the actual country, where they are breaking the law, they put up censorship fine but in other countries they will post it. >> it really comes down to changing the technology and more transparency. activists though they are respond weigh the twitter blackout they need to take a second look at this. they are being given greater tools for these messages not to be taken down across the world. at the end of the day, freedom of speech and expression means
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different in every country. in francend germany you wouldn't see nazis marching down the streets but here, you have kkk groups spreading their fiflth on main street. it's different country by country. >> the state department, if you are going to offer a global product, you need to abide the laws in that country. i really respect them. >> and a there is a post removal request, a chilling effect.org. >> the governments are monitoring these websites but again every country is different. foreign governments they can monitor the web, if you are living in egypt or a country that does that, that is your choice. >> this is opening the door for twitter to expand into china specifically. >> there probably is a business aspect behind it. >> from a corporate standpoint, if the country complains, they
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actually have legal advise there's will look at the tweets, look at the loss and then they will analyze it. they won't take it down, this is wrong it goes against our country. they have to be breaking the law and then twitter will take a look at it. >> the company has to protect itself. it's not just twitter, you have to look at facebook and google and other companies are already doing it. they are up in arms more with twitter because it played such an important role in arab spring and sometimes actually being arrested, tweeters but their message was getting out. it's being able to expand operation. >> heather: a decades old tradition in alaska airlines, deciding to do away with christian prayer cards out of respect for people of all faiths. there is an example of some of
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the rare cards. they show a tranquil picture, complete with a bible verse out. i will be glad to rejoice, i will sing praise to your name. they are doing away with these. it's been going on for 30 years. it started as a marketing tool because apparently some passengers were offended. >> for the longest time, according to the airline they received some negative comments recently. i think they should make them optional. we've all collected them and said a lot of prayers. it should be optional for the passengers who want them. i personally, i would like one on a flight. >> before i fly and go on a train, please protect the conductor. spreading the gospel i like the fact they on would give them out. but you have to be sensitive.
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>> in 2006 they stopped giving this most passengers in coach. this was only now for the past few years. maybe it's like, if you want a prayer card they could look as an option but at the end of the day, if there is an outpouring of anger from christians, they should be more outraged this was a marketing ploy to begin with. >> this wasn't about spreading the gospel. >> how do you know? >> they got it from another company. >> the passengers liked it. >> i thought it was a good one. >> like it was a choice now because to do away with it altogether. what about those people that were comforted by it. now, they are left out. >> it becomes a choice and going to charge $5 for your prayer
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card. [ laughter ] >> for a pillow or water. >> you don't have to read it. you can flip it under your tray. >> heather: tag, you need a lawyer apparently, speaking of two, a school laying down harsh punishment on a playground tag. family fighting back. did the school go too far? and how relationships can lead to much more than somebody talking behind your back. could your friend be making you physically ill? when you have tough pain, do you want fast relief? try bayer advanced aspirin. it's not the bayer aspirin you know. it's different. first, it's been re-engineered with micro-particles.
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>> heather: welcome back. new outrage over a six-year-old boy charged with sexual assault. a california elementary school accusing a young boy of abuse after allegedly brushing another boy's these during a game of tag. power panel is back. so, six years old, playing tag on a playground and then accused
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of sexual assault and suspended. >> absolutely ridiculous. >> i think the impact on the six-year-old boy. in california you can't even be charged with sexual assault as a six-year-old. this administrator, dire consequences could stick with this young kid for his lifetime. >> when we were playing on the playground, the things we use to do and push the bullies we would push off of us, would it be assault? >> they talked to this child six years old for two hours to get him to confess. like a big investigation or something. >> and parents are devastated. talk about legal fees they have to pay, humiliation in their neighborhood. their child. six years old h is ridiculous. the fear of the other parents, you let them out of the us brushes up against somebody else. >> don't we have better things
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with our children, giving them more responsibility in life. >> parents accused their daughter's friend of the same thing, six years old for playing doctor. >> also the school's response to this, no apology. they just confirmed there was an investigation and they say, under education code we can't charge a child with sexual battery but we must take any allegation of assault very seriously. >> when a parent has to get a lawyer for yix six-year-old kid. they got an attorney. >> reading and writing and arithmetic? what happened to it? now the kids are going out on the recess ground when they be kids, they can't be kids on the recess ground. focus of schools is anything but
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the basics. >> third-graders who really can't read. >> exactly. >> and we care more about the fact that kid brushes up against another child. >> they should say, hey we were wrong and we apologize. >> heather: another topic it's about your friends. could your friends actually be making you sick? apparently new research says, yes. from ucla it found negative social interaction can lead to increased inflammation that could increase your risk for diseases like cancer and heart disease. now, they say, you deal with a group of people on the five. >> that is true. bob beckel has caused had my blood pressure to go up but we have a great health center here at fox news.
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it's true we all have friends. you have a friend in your life that has constant drama. it's exhausting to be around. you have to get rid of them in your life. whether they are causing serious problems. >> they are not good for you. >> and stress they say can have create more cancers or heart disease. bottom line, if somebody is toxic in your life, be strong enough to get them out! >> and stress causes problems. >> i do think there are different types of toxic friends. there was a study self-magazine, there is near systemist, chronic complainers, there is a person that flakes on you all the time. if this is somebody you want to keep in life and come up with a process. at the end of the day, we do need to break up with friends a lot of the time. with social media and facebook,
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it's harder to break up with friends because -- i've done it. >> you can communicate with these toxic friends but it's tough to cut them because they are on twitter and see you on facebook. >> then they send you a message, why did you unfriend me. facebook stalker? >> no, we have to, not just who your friends may be toxic but every individual, am i someone that i would like you as high therapist. >> you could be toxic? >> we're fine. [ laughter ] >> to keep your friends closer and keep your enemies closer. >> not in my book. >> heather: thank you so much. all friends up here all the
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time. to another friend, gregg. >> gregg: i have two beautiful teenage daughters, that is toxic enough. ui i tell you it keeps me up worrying about them. coming up, the latest fight in florida, the fight is heating up. have you heard some of the, changes between newt gingrich and mitt romney. who may be winning over the undecided voters coming up. of any small business credit card. the spark card earns double miles... so we really had to up our game. with spark, the boss earns double miles on every rchase, every day. that's setting the bar pretty high. owning my own business has never been more rewarding. coming through! [ male announcer ] introducing spark the small business credit cards from capital one. get more by choosing unlimited double miles or 2% cash back on every purchase, every day. what's in your wallet?
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>> heather: a busy day on the campaign trail as the battle for the surgeon shine state starts really heating up. welcome to a brand-new hour of america's news headquarters. i'm heather childers. >> gregg: i'm gregg jarrett. the fight for florida is underway, but some of the candidates are headed to where they hope may be friendlier waters. ron paul is speaking to supporters in maine and rick santorum also out of the state with an evening event scheduled in virginia that. leaves the two front runners to crisscross the state where early voting just wrapped. they're pitching why they think they're the best ones for the job. >> if i'm president of the united states, i will cut federal spending, i will cap spending as a percent of the economy and i will finally, finally balance the american budget. >> it's time somebody fought for
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hard working you reduce government spending. >> carl cameron is live in orlando. gingrich is behind, according to at least a couple of polls. how does he make a comeback before tuesday? working real hard? >> aggressively, that's right. florida is the first winner take allstate in the game so far. there is more delegates at stake than all the preceding states combined. so there is really quite a bit on the line here. gingrich is fighting hard. he's been going after mitt romney's character, suggesting that romney's ad campaign is dishonest and filled with lies and going after mitt romney with a very aggressive populist
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american. gingrich has basically unleashed with everything he has in the last 24 hours. here is a sampling from earlier today. >> my competitor on tuesday has money power. no question he can raise more money from wall street than i can. and he has big institutions pouring money into him. what i want to do is have people power. >> the question is whether or not he has enough people power on the ground in florida to make up the deficit in the polls on election day. as it stands, gregg, about one in three republicans in florida say they're likely to change their minds. the undecided is pretty low, single districts at this point. >> gregg: the l word is being tossed around, lies. how is romney responding, carl, to newt gingrich's claim that his attack ads are lies? >> well, with a little bit of sarcasm and fairly tough pushback, what romney points out is that newt gingrich calls himself an historian, but seems
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to want to dispute what happened when he was speaker of the house and got reprimanded and as a consequence, it's a pretty tough battle. here is a little bit of romney reminding folks about newt gingrich's history. >> he was fined for ethics violations. he ultimately had to resign in disgrace. he can't rewrite history. we have to go back and look at history and say he may be a great guy with a lot of great ideas, but he is not the leader we need at a critical time. >> and romney usually compliments that with an attack on gingrich for his proposition of a manned space staying on the moon, suggesting for mr. speaker to propose that, completely ignores the fact that the country has huge debts and can't afford that teach expanded government program. >> gregg: early vote not votingt ended in florida. how important is this in the primary? >> it's very, very important. over the years in florida where early voting and absentee ballots have been a big part of the process, they've been
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decisive in a couple of races. already about 11% of the florida vote has been cast. about 500,000 absentee ballots were considered. more than 270,000 have been returned. the early balloting which ends today is up to about 180,000 votes cast and it will president-elect obama be significantly -- probably be significantly larger. over the course of the weekend, getting all the ballot totals down. this is a state that's sensitive to arguments about ballot counting. the polls show romney has an advantage, between 5 and 10 percentage points. the romney campaign is saying when it comes to the absentee ballot and early vote, they expect to have a pretty big advantage, 7 to 12% over gingrich because they started early organizing these types of votes. whereas the gingrich campaign was preoccupied with early races
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>> gregg: carl cameron. >> he'll be speaking shortly. >> gregg: i figured as much. >> heather: wealthy in washington, business world made a big to do out of mitt romney's financial success. but just how rich is he? apparently you would have to add up the total wealth of the last eight presidents from nixon to obama and then double that number. george washington is still considered the top dog, including nearly 60,000-acres among his properties and businesses. his net, it all depends on how you rate thomas jefferson's plantation, the millions that herbert hoover made in mining, and jfk's share of his family's fortune. >> gregg: president obama is now blasting republican lawmakers for failing to ease gridlocked washington. in his weekly address, mr. obama also asking americans to do their part. >> tell your member of congress
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that it's time to end the gridlock and start tackling the issues that really matter, an economy built on american manufacturing, american energy, american skills and education and a return to american values. an economy built to last. >> gregg: republicans are claiming that president obama is blaming washington for his failed policies. florida senator marco rubio saying the president's solutions are not sustainable. >> he tells those who are hurting that the only way they can be better off is for others to be worse off. he tells all of us that the only way for some us to climb up the economic ladder is for others to be pulled down. this divisive rhetoric, this effort to gain political support by convincing some that they will be better off if we punish others, this stuff never worked anywhere it's been tried. >> gregg: rubio is widely regarded as a favorite running mate for the republican ticket in 2012. heather. >> heather: the u.s. military is
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taking a defiant stance overseas, announcing plans to convert this decommissioned warship into a floating base off the coast of iran. the ship will be used for humanitarian assistance in military operations, including confronting pirates off the coast of somalia. doug is live in washington with more on this. hi, doug. >> good evening. there is more useful purpose for position ago strip like that in the strait of hormuz, so special ops teams on small boats can be properly placed in order to respond in the event there are attempts to block it. the shipping question is the uss ponce, that was supposed to be decommissioned last december. but the navy put out an unusual no bid contract to retro fit the ship as a float forward staging base. in a statement the pentagon down played fears that this is a rapid response to some new
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provocative action by the iranians quote, while this work is being done in an expeditious fact, it is not accurate to surmise this signals a rush to meet combat requirement. this is a long standing request that with the opportunity now before us, we are fulfilling. but further fueling speculation that tensions between iran and the west are escalating, the pentagon also said it needs to upgrade its bunker buster bombs. it is asking congress for additional fund to go upgrade the 30,000-pound massive ordinance penetrate because testing has revealed that the bomb does not do what it was designed to do. penetrate the most hardened of bunkers. that the pentagon is publicly admitted to the development of these two new assets may send a very strong signal to iran that it should reconsider any plans to blockade the strait and consider its nuclear weapons program. >> heather: fairly strong signal. thank you very much. doug, live from washington, thank you. >> gregg: the outgoing president of yemen is on his way to the
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united states. he arrived in london earlier today. he's scheduled to receive treatment at a new york area hospital for wounds he sustained during a bombing at the presidential palace last june. he has been in power since 1978, earlier this month, he agreed to step down in exchange for immunity for his role in yemen's protests. >> heather: as ceos meet in switzerland, a group of thick skinned protesters you could say, that they bared it all to get their message across. yes, they did. three ukrainian women now under arrest after taking their tops off and trying to break into the invitation only summit. the activists are from a group that's widely known towards half naked demonstration. they say wealthy people like the ones meeting there are the reason for the world's poor. >> gregg: there is something you
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don't see every day. a wild weather week across parts of the country, from twisters in the south to tornadoes in the north. maria molina has more. >> it was a very active week with snow and also tornadoes and extremely active as far as tornadoes go to the point where as far as right now our preliminary reports, about 109 tornadoes reported, making january of 2012 the second busiest january as far as tornadoes on record. so very extreme weather week we had across parts of the southeast and even stretching from parts of texas and arkansas where we got reports. further to the east, including the gulf coast of florida. so kind of a widespread area where we saw tornadoes. but as far as this weekend goes and even the start of next week, we're expecting relatively quiet weather as far as tornadoes go. we're not look at another severe outbreak in the short-term. as far as the weather right now, very quiet across the nation. high pressure dominating across
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the east. sunshine for georgia, alabama, across parts of the central plains. a little unsettled across the northwest. it will get worse as we head into the next 48 hours where another storm system will be arriving with a lot of rain and also mountain snow. across parts of the northeast clipper system also move. right now we have one producing very light snow across interior portions of the northeast. we're talking about just one to three inches of snow locally higher amounts right off lake ontario. we could get up to five inches. that's where most of the snow will be. but here is looking at the time line. we'll have the one clipper system move into the northeast and another one arriving as we head into monday evening. keep an eye out. otherwise pretty quiet stuff for sunday and monday. >> gregg: maria, thanks very much. >> i was in the basement. my house started shaking. came outside and ran over there to start helping people. >> we came out, all we could smell was propane and gasoline
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coming out of everybody's houses. there were a few first responders that came out. trying to get everybody accounted for. >> heather: just a few weeks into 2012, already alabama is being slammed with raging tornadoes. this past monday a deadly and destructive twister touched down. in fact, last year, alabama was the most tornado-prone state. since alabama's governor can't change the weather, now he is developing some programs to protect property and lives before and after the storm. elizabeth prann is live for us in our atlanta bureau with more on this. hi, elizabeth. >> hi, good to see you. when we think of tornado alley, we typically think of states like kansas and oklahoma. but you may be surprised to hear that the hardest hit states last year were much farther south. in fact, the number one hardest hit state was alabama with 177 twisters that touched down last year, neighboring mississippi
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saw 162 tornadoes. the second highest. next on the list was texas, north carolina, and missouri. the pictures are so hard to forget, the deadliest day, april 27 when 248 people lost their lives across the state of alabama. after that horrific day, the governor decided to create a counsel to come up with a list of 20 recommendations to help people better prepare and help save lives. it includes more public storm shelter, more tax credits for safe rooms in homes and business, better education and awareness, new warning systems, as well as an annual sales tax holiday for storm-related supplies. the recommendations couldn't have come at a better time because it was last monday when there was an outbreak of tornadoes in alabama. leading this year with 22 reported tornadoes in the state of alabama in just 28 days. so what's up with this very deadly pattern across the south? we spoke with ken cook, he's the chief meteorologist at fox 5
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here in atlanta. shear what he had to say. >> we won't be off the hook in march and april because the system we have, the type of weather pattern that's set up right now is very active. it tends to get more active as you get into march and april. we start getting a bigger contrast. warmer tot sow, still cold in the northern states and canada, then you have your fastest jet stream, most active and strongest weather systems. >> now, cook wouldn't confirm that the new tornado alley is the south, but he did say that we are expected to have warm march and april so people need to be very prepared and take a look at some of these precautions that the council is setting up. heather, back to you. >> heather: thank you very much. elizabeth prann reporting from atlanta. thank you. >> gregg: she refused to talk with reporters, but the mother of the infamous barefoot bandit giving a news crew a piece of her mind. colton harris moore sentenced to time in prison. punished for leading police on a two-yearlong man hunts and taunting investigator, leaving
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chalk outlines of his feet at crime scenes. his mom refuses to talk, but that didn't stop her from sending a message. >> you don't need to hit my camera. >> get away from me! >> we're in a public place. >> i don't care. get away from me. >> gregg: harris moore was sentenced to 6 1/2 years behind bars for his various crimes. >> heather: the son of a top u.s. official speaks out after he was barred from leaving egypt. sam lahood now saying that he may be facing some serious prison time. >> gregg: the president's campaign team may be planning on using mitt romney's wealth against him. will that be an effective attack? if he becomes the nominee. that's up next.
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>> gregg: new kind of political attack may be emerging on the campaign trail. wealth becoming a major issue. the president's reelection may be planning on using mitt
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romney's wealth against him. not to mention his stewardship in venture capital. winning strategy? alexis is executive director of the american values institute. brad blakeman, former deputy assistant to george w. bush. brad, let me start with you. sources in the obama campaign seem to think that all of these attacks on romney, especially attacks on wealth, tenure at bain capital, will damage him with independents and swing voters and the exit polls in south carolina, were those attacks were volumeous. so does this only help the president? >> no, gregg. if we look at the fox news poll of just last week, 62% of independents are leaving this president and not just leaving him because they don't like his policy, they're angry with this president. i think they're looking for a success. somebody who has run a business, who has been involved in government, and mitt romney should not run away from his
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success. he should herald it and the president has a lot of explain to go do because he's never held a private sector job, yet he's a multi-millionaire. how did he make money? off his brand, where romney made his money in the trench, in business, taking risk. i say it to the democrat, bring it on. the american people want to elect a successful president and not somebody who is all talk, no action, who has a record to prove it. >> gregg: the obama team may think romney's experiences of venture capitalist is a liability, but take a look at this. we'll put it up on the screen. this is our most recent fox news poll. different than what brad cited. it finds that it's an asset by a 54-30 margin, more voters think it's a good thing for a candidate to have that kind of financial knowledge rather than a bad thing because the candidate might be too close to wall street. is the obama's argument about romney mistaken? >> no, not at all. i have to say, this is just not an obama team strategy. this is a family fight started
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inside the gop with newt gingrich and his billionaire benefactor. so the idea that we're attacking romney and his record at bain is not something that's just coming from the obama campaign. on the question of whether or not the experience in venture capital is an asset, i have to say, i think that not all private equity is bad and i think most americans see that. the question is, during his tenure at bain, was he creating wealth and creating jobs or was he actually shifting the burden onto the taxpayers? when you look at the record, i think there is some real question that american also have to look at. >> gregg: you know what, brad? two weeks ago, a majority of independents had a favorable view of mitt romney, then came the tax returns, the swiss bank account, cayman island investments. and now independents have an unfavorable view of mitt romney by a two to one margin. that according to the most recent poll out of the "washington post." in contrast, 51% of independents
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have a positive view of president obama. that's his highest since last april. >> well, gregg, look, we've seen in a short week how mitt romney's fortunes turned around when he had the ability at several debates to explain his wealth, to explain to the american people how he aned his money and he aned it the old-fashioned way. he rolled up his sleeves. he didn't inherit it. he created tens of thousands of jobs doing so. i think if it came down to romney and obama, i think there is no question that the american people want to go with experience in business because we already have a failed record on the economy. we've president who promised that if his policies were followed, unemployment wouldn't reach above 8%. we know unemployment is almost double that in urban areas and it's as high as 9%. not only that, jobs are being lost tens of thousands of jobs in the very areas who supported this president the most. so his record isn't good. the american people understand
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that. they gave him a chance and now they're going to look for change. >> gregg: you know what, alexis in while mitt romney has surely been tested with all kinds of accusations here, maybe that makes him a stronger candidate should he win a nomination. that's a big if, i admit. but here is why. because all of his potential liabilities will have been exposed well in advance, allowing the electorate to sort absorb all of it, maybe accept it, and it permits the candidate to hone his defense of those potential liabilities and he's certainly elevated his debating skills after 19 debates. i think we saw that on thursday. what about that? >> indeed he has. if anything, he's definitely showing a good learning curve after running for the last 16 years. so i applaud him for that and i applaud him for being able to be a businessman and a wealthy man from scratch. i do think, though, that the through line that we're going to see from his record at bain through the tax plan that he's
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proposing is his intent to shift the burden on to middle class taxpayers. i just do not believe the american lectorates going to support any more subsidies of the wealthy at the expense of working class americans. i think he's going to have a real challenge even if he gets himself together. >> gregg: all right. brad, you've been following what's happening in ohio. you have a bit of breaking news to tell bus? >> i i do. i'm in cincinnati, ohio, in the northeast hamilton county. republicans had their annual pancake breakfast straw poll and this is the first kickoff of the election season here in ohio and i'm here to report to you that romney got 48% of the vote. santorum got 22%. newt got 24. and ron paul got 6. so a little good news out of ohio, battle ground state for romney today. >> gregg: all right. brad, thank you for that. alexis, good to see you as well. appreciate both of you being here. >> thank you. >> heather: the cheering crowds at the republican presidential debates are getting plenty of
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attention. should they or should they not be allowed to root for their favorite candidate? mitt romney weighed in. next, media watchdog tells us what she thinks. >> this last one speaker gingrich said he didn't do so well 'cause the audience was so loud. the one before he said he didn't do so well because the audience was too quiet. this is like goldilocks, he's got to have it just right. when i debate the president, i'm not going to worry about the audience, i'm going to make sure we take down barak obama and take back the white house! let'st we know can do the job. new glidden duo paint plus primer. ♪ one coat does double duty. ♪ and fits our budget perfectly. so there's a brand-new room right where the old one used to be. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. new glidden duo paint plus primer
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>> gregg: it's bottom of the hour. time for the top of the news. big welcome home celebration honoring iraq war veterans. st. louis hosting the nation's first parade since the last group left iraq in december. >> heather: police in the bahamas investigating a death on the carnival cruise ship.
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apparently a 26-year-old man from south carolina jumped from one deck to another on the carnival fantasy on friday. >> gregg: and afghanistan's president karzai is in great britain for talks with the prime minister, david cameron. the meeting coming one day after france announced it would withdraw troops a year earlier from the 2014 date agreed to by nato. >> heather: the son of a top u.s. official detaped in egypt is speaking out. sam lahood, the son of transportation secretary ray lahood, is banned from leaving the country and now he says he could face up to five years in prison. peter doocy has the story for us from washington. >> sam lahood says it's kind of scary to be facing charges in egypt working for an unregistered nongovernmental organization and the transportation secretary's son now says that he might be stuck in egypt for a long time. >> if it does go to trial and the trial could last up to one
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year in a case that's as wide ranged as this one is, but the penalty for that is six months to five years in jail. so these are very serious charges. >> republican congressman frank wolp has been calling for the u.s. to halt aid to egypt because he says they are not laying the ground work for a freer society which congress said they had to do in their most recent appropriations bill. wolf says he's recent actions by the egyptian government are a clear violation of the conditions that congress laid out and as such, should have a direct bearing on aid to egypt until the situation is rectified. further, if similar assaults on religious freedom occur in the future, aid should be indefinitely halted. egypt's military alone gets $1.3 billion a year from the u.s. and the state department said yesterday they've been put on notice. >> those are decisions that are going to have to be made later on in the winter and spring. it's certainly something that we
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have been calling to the egyptian government's attention. >> we have learned that a group of high powered lobbyists here in dc have ended a four-year relationship with the egyptian government. heather. >> heather: thank you, peter doocy, reporting from washington. thanks. >> gregg: he seemed quiet at political debates. this week on monday, in fact, nbc asked a florida audience to refrain from saying anything as republican candidates duked it out on stage. newt gingrich says in the future, he won't even participate in debates where the audience is banned from speaking. good idea to have the audience cheering and clapping and participating or not? liz is an author, journalist and fox news contributor here with her commentary. liz, what do you think? >> good afternoon, gregg. i think why not? i mean, these debates have gotten really interesting, and it's a momentous chance for the
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electorate to get a look at these people and see how fast they are on their feet. what it has finally resulted in, however, the controversy and what newt gingrich is talk being is it's become really a fight between cable news and network television. let me read you a quote from the "new york times." cntwork executives from fox and cnn argue that regardless of the occasionally unruly crowds, their presidential debates are civic exercises intend to do help educate and inform voters. but they also see the debate's value is television production. active, engaged crowds are fun to watchment people who sit on their hands are not. that was written by jeremy peters. there is all this talk about a lincoln-douglas debate. those debates were very boring and given the shrinking of the attention span that we have today, i mean, we just can't do that. the audience should be able to
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react and i think gingrich is right when he invokes the first amendment. >> gregg: let me play devil's advocate because i read the same article and let me quote from that same article in which the author posed the following question. we'll put it up on the screen. does the roar of an exercise crowd distract from the real weighty task at hand selecting the best candidate for president by encouraging candidates to play for applause lines? look, shouldn't the candidate, lays, be judged on his views and his proposed policies, not on his ability to pander to a debate audience with applause lines? >> of course. but i would put it this way: if you're decrying the aspect of this -- is it any worse than watching these overpaid super anchors emote and play devil's advocate and act like it's their running politics in this country? i don't think they should run
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politics in this country. i think it should get back with the people have something to say. god knows the government has taken so much away from us anyhow. so why not be able to react to debate? it is part entertainment. but it's also a wonderful education for voters. >> gregg: i wonder if newt gingrich is trying to have it both ways, after the debate on monday, he complained because the audience didn't participate. fast forward to thursday where the audience does participate and he complained about that one, saying they sort of threw him off his stride and claimed romney had packed the audience and he offered no evidence of that. the republican party, which issued the tickets, denies it. so that sort of invites the question, i wonder whether, liz, the audience didn't react to newt gingrich so favorably on thursday because maybe gingrich just didn't do that well. >> well, i think -- that's a separate issue, i think. i don't think it should be mixed up to the whole idea of whether or not as to who is going to control these debates.
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as you probably know, but for the benefit of our audience, the presidential debate commission which controls these things doesn't really have a heck of a lot to say now because there are often debates given between community group, et cetera, when the presidential debates come along for the general election, this is going to be a lot different. this is going to be 90 minutes. >> gregg: they don't allow audience participation. they never have and they confirmed to reporters this week they're not going to do it this time around. so when gingrich says i'm not going to participate -- >> would who are these people? why should they have the last word? what is the presidential commission on debates? what are their politics? why should they have the last word? i ask you. >> gregg: don't you think that a raucous audience exerts undue influence, overshadowing very serious and important subjects? >> i would -- my reply that often and usually more than not
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reflects the exact feelings of the people in their living rooms. >> gregg: yeah. let me ask you one more question. i got 30 seconds left, chris wallace, our colleague here at fox, said that 19 debates is, quote, ridiculous and insane. does he have a point? >> well, he's probably unhappy 'cause he doesn't anchor all of them. >> gregg: no, in fact, he bemoaned fact that he did four of them and at some point in time, everybody's policy's positions are so well staked out that it's very difficult to come up with something new. >> thursday's debate was winner. i was rivetted. it isn't because i'm a political junky, but it was a fascinating -- you really see the character of these people and you go along with them as they reason and you see how fast they process. can they marshall all the fact as soon as can they not sound like they're doing another talking point? it really reveals how smart you are and i think it also reveals how decent you are. >> gregg: all right. well said. liz, good to see you as always.
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>> good to see you. >> gregg: thank you. heather? >> heather: convicted murderer and kennedy cousin michael skakel now pleading for a shorter prison sentence. he's doing 20 years for beating to death his 15-year-old neighbor, martha moxley. judge jeanine weighs in, up next . ♪ side by side, e, two, three ♪ ♪ counthe birds in the big o tree ♪ ♪ la la la [ male announcer ] the inspiring story of how shipping giant can befriend a forest may seem like the stuff of fairy tales. ♪ ♪ you and me and the g old tree side by side ♪ butyou take away the faces on the trees... take away the pixie dust.
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so, are you all right, man? yeah. let me help you out. thanks. ♪ lean on me, ♪ when you're not strong, and i'll be your friend. ♪ see you around. yeah. ♪ i'll help you carry on... ♪ >> heather: the kennedy cousin who was convicted of killing his 15-year-old neighbor in 1975 now seeking a shorter sentence. michael skakel serving 20 years for the murder of martha moxie. he was charged in 2000, exactly 25 years after police say he beat her with a golf club near her connecticut home. both were teen-agers at the time. in court this week, skakel still
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insisting he's innocent. >> i actually played with her car every day, please, let the truth come out. i told mrs. moxley -- i told martha i would take responsibility for it. i would do everything. >> heather: the judge is host of "justice" right here on the fox news channel. and she joins us with more on her take. michael skakel saying he prays to her daughter for the truth to come out. is that a little scary, that he prays to her daughter? >> yeah. i think the way he says it is unusual. but i think he said all the right things when he said, look, i prayed for the mother and every day i wish the truth would come out. what this defendant did, michael skakel, on this appeal, was he said, look, judge, i've got a
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13-year-old son. i have taken three polygraph tests and passed them. he's saying look, this sentence is far too excessive. he got 20 to life, as you said. and at the end of the day, it's nothing new here. what we've got now is a guy who is appealing to the mercy of the judges saying, look, had i been arrested at the time this crime occurred, i would have faced only four years. and the prosecutor said now, wait a minute. the truth is that you should have turned yourself in in 1975 and they could have sent to you adult court in 1975. you could have been sentenced to 20 years as well back then. so all of the arguments that he's making, and that's why i think that he's throwing himself on the mercy of the court -- have all been heard before by all of the appellate courts in connecticut. the united states supreme court has refused to hear his case.
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now we've got a long shot where he's saying, you know, i really want a shorter sentence. i deserve a shorter sentence, and i don't think it's going to happen. >> heather: what about these appeals, these series of appeals with the family. they have to relive this death every single time it happens. is this unending for them? >> that's an interesting question because so much of this always focuses on the defendant. you have to understand that the victim's family, every time they go into court, every time they hear about this case, whether it's the kennedy family or anyone else, what you've got here or the victim's family, moxley family is what i should have said -- it's like picking at a scab. the wound is continuously picked at and they never forget the agony and the pain of what happened. so it's just this ripple effect that just keeps going on and on and on. it's like martha moxley said, the mother, she said, look, you shouldn't have waited 26 1/2 years. we had to live in pain for 26
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1/2 years, trying to resolve the mystery of what happened to our beautiful 15-year-old daughter. >> heather: skakel says he's innocent, that he did not do this. >> he maintains his innocence. he brought that up, heather, on another appeal where he tried to implicate two other teen-agers and the court knocked him down. so there are no new issues here and why this thing is even up on appeal again is really a surprise, other than they're saying we have assistance of counsel and therefore, the court ought to consider that as well. just throwing everything in the pot. again, causing a lot of pain for the moxley family. >> heather: your show tonight what, do you have coming up? >> tonight it's a lot of politics. we've got governor huckabee, sarah palin, frank luntz, ed rollins, and a lot of what's going on in this unending debate that's been going on in the republican presidential nominee. >> heather: it seems to be never ending. >> never. >> heather: long road to hoe on that front. thank you very much. you can catch "justice" with
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gentleman jeanine at 9:00 p.m. eastern right here on the fox news channel. we'll tune in for that. thanks. >> thank you. >> gregg: the bale for florida ahead of tuesday's gop primary is kind of like watching a ping-pong game. the lead there changing hands a couple of times in the past two weeks alone. so what are the latest polls saying? scott rasmussen weighs in, coming up next. ht i was invinci. i'm on an aspirin regimen now because i never want to feel that helplessness again. [ male announcer ] be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. talk to your doctor, and take care of what you have to take care of. ♪ [ gong ] strawberry banana! [ male announcer ] for a smoothie with real fruit plus veggie nutrition new v8 v-fusion smoothie. could've had a v8.
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>> heather: welcome back. a horse race is taking shape in florida ahead of tuesday's gop presidential primary. with the leader changing twice, the latest real clear politics poll finding that mitt romney's lead shrinking over newt gingrich. and a couple weeks ago, romney was enjoy ago substantial lead. but it vanished when gingrich vault to do first place in florida after his big win in south carolina. only to be overtaken this week again by romney. >> gregg: now we've got a new poll from rasmussen reports giving romney 39% of the vote compared to gingrich at 31%. let's bring in scott rasmussen from rasmussenreports.com. always good to see you. i'm getting whiplash trying to keep track. first it's romney, then gingrich, then romney. have you ever seen anything like
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this? >> well, we haven't seen anything like florida since last week in south carolina. the numbers were in the reverse. what's really happening here is it's per suspicions of electability that are changing. and after south carolina, gingrich's debates there, his victory, republicans thought maybe he's the better campaigner. so he surged to the lead. this week hasn't been so good to the former speaker. now republican primary voters in florida are saying, gingrich is not as electable, not as strong a candidate, so romney is back on top. >> heather: what about nationally? nationally the gop candidate in the lead right now, anyway, is newt gingrich with a 7-point lead over mitt romney among likely republican voters. right? >> that's right. this is a little bit unique in this cycle. a few months ago as we were heading into iowa or new hampshire or south carolina when a candidate rose in the state polls, they also rose in the national polls. right now while gingrich's
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numbers are heading in the wrong direction in florida, he's still holding his own in the national polls. it may just be the added blitz and intensity of what's going on in florida, or it may be just another sign of resistance to accepting mitt romney as the potential republican nominee. >> gregg: it could change if romney goes on to win florida, but look, you measured how the various gop candidates match up against president obama. what did you find? >> we tracked this every single day. right now mitt romney performs the best. down by four points. speaker gingrich and ron paul are down by ten. rick santorum down by 8. these numbers still reflect an awful lot about barak obama rather than the republicans. and the republican concern should focus on the fact that president obama is now getting 46 to 49%, no matter who we post him against. a few weeks ago, he was getting in the low to mid 40% range.
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>> heather: so scott, it is getting late in the game. what about another candidate, what are people saying about that, another candidate throwing their hat into the ring? >> one out of three republican voters say it would be good for the party to have somebody jump in and that's a big number. it's about the same level of support as romney and gingrich enjoy. i have a hard time figuring out the logistics of it. a look at this number is reflecting sort of a frustration among republicans. they haven't found that candidate to fall in love with yet. >> gregg: you measured ethics in politics, which may be an oxymoron. what did you find? >> gregg, we do this all the time when the candidate is accused of something and newt gingrich has had some ethical charges resurfaced against him in the last week. 68% of republican primary voters say he's at least as ethical as most politicians. 82% say the same about mitt romney. got to point out, this is
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against the poll of people that aren't seen as the ethical standard of the world. 52% of voters say that their own representative in congress trades votes for cash. so by those standards, gingrich and romney look pretty good. >> gregg: if you include earmarks, maybe they do. scott rasmussen, thanks very much. good to see you. >> heather: thank you, scott. >> gregg: that's going to do it for us. stay tuned. rick folbaum and arthel neville take over at the top of the hour. >> heather: we will see you tomorrow right here at 4 p.m so please join us. >> gregg: have a great weekend, everybody. bye.
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