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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  March 6, 2012 11:00am-1:00pm EST

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this much we already know, neither rick santorum nor newt gingrich will win virginia. that's because neither man managed to get on the ballot there. santorum is the price of ohio, either. quintessential battleground state is the biggest political prize of the day. but georgia has the most delegates. and native son gingrich expects to win most of them. super tuesday or no, santorum, gingrich lined up today to bash iran and president obama before the american israel public affairs committee. the candidates claim the president hasn't done enough to stop iran from developing nukes. iran denies its doing any such thing. and in his speech to apac on sunday mr. obama vowed to prevent it. here's part of santorum's address this morning. >> as i sat and watch this play out on the world stage, i've seen the president who has been reticent. he says he has israel's back. from everything i've seen from the conduct of this administration, he has turned
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his back on the people of israel. >> israel prime minister told the group time is running out for a peaceful resolution to the threat of a nuclear iran. benjamin netanyahu's remarkses came after his meeting with president obama and before his visit the leaders of congress. netanyahu met with top senators and next hour he will meet with house leaders. now in the 1:00 hour, president obama will hold a news conference. if that shifts the spotlight, at least momentarily from republican presidential politics, well, it's the perk of being president. he's expected to announce more help for homeowners at the risk of foreclosure. one step is tailored for service members and veterans who can't refinance or who have already lost their homes. you will see the president live, start to finish, here on cnn. eight u.s. service welcoming forward with scathing allegations against the military. they're filing a federal lawsuit alleging that they were raped,
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assaulted, or harassed during their service. what's more, they claim they were punished for reporting their sexual assaults to their superiors. women's lawsuit alleges the defense department failed to tackle the problem and the defense department is not commenting but publicly said the military does not tolerate sexual assault. you will hear from two of the alleged victims in just about ten minutes. state tv in syria is airing screens of what it cause peacend calm in the wake of a military onslaught in homs. official media blamed the devastation on, quote, terrorists. but youtube tells a different story. among the latest videos posted is this apparent bombardment of the mosque in the city of dahra. opposition sources say that two people have died there today among 14 killed nationwide. and john mccain has seen enough. the arizona senator is calling for u.s. air strikes on syrian forces. >> you will find a thousand reasons not to do the right thing. every time we've been involved i've heard the same excuses, and
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in this particular case, if we want to stand by and watch syrians being massacred in the most brutal and incredibly genocidal fashion, then that is a decision we can make. but please don't tell me we can't do it. we can if we have the will. >> while the white house says it's focused on diplomatic and political approaches rather than military intervention in syria. for the first time in four weeks gas prices are not going up. that's according to aaa which says the average price of unleaded regular dropped.3 of a cent overnight. did you notice, it's $3.76 a gallon. the nationwide average was $3.48. t.j. lane is due back in court today in chardon, ohio. the high school sophomore who allegedly opened fire in the high school cafeteria a week ago faces three counts of aggravated murder. two counts of attempted murder,
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and one assault. still in juvenile court but probably not for much longer. prosecutors say that lincoln fessed to those shootings. and arizona sheriff may get slapped with a lawsuit by his former boyfriend. according to the "arizona republic" he plans to sue sheriff paul babbou and the county for $1 million. this comes after a mexican immigrant went public about his relationship with the sheriff. he says that he allegedly threatened to deport him if he didn't keep their relationship a secret. the sheriff denies those allegations. but the lawsuit could complicate things for him. he's running for congress. britain's prince harry living it up in the caribbean right now, bahamas one day, jamaica the next. the prince is on a four-day visit on behalf of his grandmother celebrating her diamond jubilee. his visit to jamaica comes as the nation's new prime minister is pushing to cut ties with the queen as the head of the state. prince harry and the prime
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minister will meet for lunch this afternoon. actress patricia heaton seems to be taking a queue from rush limbaugh. heaton went after georgetown lawsuit on twitter with stinging sarcasm over the contraception insurance debate. according to politico, which is what she tweeted. hey, g-town, stop buying toothpaste, soap, and shampoo. you will save money and no one will want to sleep with you. it wasn't long before heaton felt the backlash. she reportedly disabled her account briefly but resurfaced with several apologies. hey, it's super tuesday. more than 400 dell baits at stake. ten states holding primaries and caucuses. four gop presidential candidates fighting to win. it may be the 63 delegates in ohio that the candidates want the most. ohio's republican chair joins me next. but first, the power of song. this is a 13-year-old iranian girl who is burning up the internet.
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[ male announcer ] engine light on? come to meineke now for a free code scan read and you'll say...my money. my choice. my meineke. one state has the markings of a true battleground and well weather. ohio. there are 63 dell greaegates at. bragging rights for the industrial midwest. plus, it isn't any candidate's home state. joining me now, kevin dewine, chairman of the ohio republican party. so, kevin, who is going to win? >> good morning, kyra. i think the people of ohio are going to win. the state party hasn't taken a position on a candidate, neither have i. but i think what what you're going to see is a close race tonight between governor romney and senator santorum. >> you say that people of ohio are going to win. according to one cartoonist, i'm going to bring the cartoon up right now, this is actually in
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this morning "cleveland plain dealer", a big yawn for gop choices. what's your reaction? >> well, i didn't see it, so -- >> voter apathy is what it's saying. voter apathy, kevin, is what it's saying. >> look. i would say just the opposite. we are seeing a lot of excitement at the grass roots level of this party. dinners, rallies. the candidates have spent a lot of time here and generated a lot of excitement. and from what we see across the state is a republican base focused on the right thing and that is making barack obama a one-term president. >> okay. you know what, let's take a look at the latest ohio numbers, if you don't mind. romney and santorum, neck and neck in our cnn/orc poll, kevin. with just a couple of days to go, nearly half are not locked in to vote for a certain candidate. so what does this tell you about ohio voters right now?
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>> well, what it tells me is the race -- what i've been saying all along is this race is fluid. when -- coming out of michigan a week ago senator santorum had either an 11-point lead or 7-point lead depending on who you talk to, what poll you looked at. what you see now is that race getting very close. i think the momentum, there's a little bit of momentum probably for governor romney here, although i wouldn't want to call it. i think it's going to be a very close race. the fluidity is underscored by the fact that 50% of the people are still trying to evaluate these candidates, see them, understand what the issues are that they're going to focus on, listen to their economic plans, and head to the polls. >> so what are the issues that matter to them the most right now? what will get them to the polls? >> yeah, i think the -- i think the number one issue across the state and it's really no different from what you're seeing across the country, kyra, and that is the focus on the economy and both senator santorum and speaker gingrich and i'll include speaker
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gingrich and governor romney have been in ohio talking about tax reform, regulatory reform, energy independence, the repeal of obama care. but all of those very technical terms, all come back to a focus on creating jobs, creating an economy that can sustain a family. and that's the most important -- that's the most important thing on the hearts and minds of majority of voters in ohio today and certainly this fall as well. >> kevin, as you know, in 2008 president obama took ohio by a narrow margin. independents went his way. what are you doing right now to try and change that this time around? >> well, i think the president has done a lot on his own, kyra. in ohio the president's approval rating is below 50%. there's a majority of independents who don't believe he deserves a second term. and so our candidate's job -- our nominee's job will be to come here and paint a message and convey a message that is attractive not just to the gop base but can gather these
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independent voters who are displeased and unsatisfied with the president's four years in offers and go gather a few of those right-thinking reagan democrats and build a winning coalition to carry the buckeye state. >> kevin dewine, republican party, kevin, thanks. straight ahead, the military and allegations of rape. unfortunately it's nothing new. but these interviews are. eight service women filing a federal lawsuit and we're talking to two of them next.
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scathing allegations of military women being raped, even gang raped, assaulted, and harassed at alarming rates. those are just some of the shocking allegations in this federal lawsuit just filed today. it's brought by eight current and former service women. the lawsuit paints the military as having a, quote, high tolerance for sexual predators in their ranks. and, quote, zero tolerance for those who report rape, sexual assault, and harassment. this lawsuit could prove especially telling considering that even defense secretary leon panetta admits that sexual assaults in the military are a huge problem. he estimated there were 19,000 sexual assaults last year alone. arianna clay are just two of the estimated 19,000 possible rape victims. they're a part of this lawsuit that was filed today.
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they just held a news conference about it. ladies, thank you so much for joining me. i appreciate it. >> thank you. >> thank you for having us. >> if you don't mind, just to sort of set up your stories, arianna, i'll begin with you. tell me what happened and why you're coming forward. >> after a year of pretty shocking harassment, it culminated in a gang assault led by a senior officer in my command and his civilian friend. they came to my house a block from base. threatened death and proceeded to assault me. >> ariana, let me ask you, did you have a bad feeling when they showed up at your house? did you hesitate at all about letting them in or did you not let them? >> i did not let them in. i did not let them in. they let themselves in.
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they were uninvited. i did have a bad feeling. he was screaming at me from the time that he entered the door. he felt that since i had humiliated him in front of his junior marines by not obeying his order, that he wanted to humiliate me. >> and, elle, just watching both of you. your body language, i know this is not easy to talk about. i hate taking you back to these allegations. but i just want to be able to set this up properly. elle, tell me what happened to you and why you are coming forward along with ariana. >> okay. i was the only female officer at essentially all-male command that supplies and defends the white house and the president. they are the ceremony dog and pony show of the marine corps. they pride themselves more on how they look in a uniform than their ability to lead a and protect their marines. but after roughly a year of being stationed there i was
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ordered to attend a mandatory command sponsor colonel endorsed pub crawl, paid for with taxpayer dollars. and after the pub crawl, i was asked by my commanding officer to come back to his office, he wanted to address some things with me. i had no feeling that, you know, any of this would go, my life was going to change immediately. considering i was ordered to attend this event, so when i got back to his office he immediately began to press himself against me and pressure me. i tried to fight him off. there was a physical altercat n altercation. i was knocked unconscious and that's when the rape occurred. >> and, elle, i'm going to follow-up. you brought up this pub crawl. and before i ask you this, at any point did you think, i'm not going to do that, i'm not going to go. how can you order me to go to a pub crawl. >> drinking events, mandatory weekly drinking events at this
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command, so in both our cases i guess things didn't change much because hers was two or three years ago. we were required to attend these weekly social events which revolved around drinking. >> yeah, kyra, i was ordered to at tend by the man who raped me, by the company commander. so i tried to not go and i was told that it's not optional. >> were you forced to drink, elle? >> absolutely. in addition to just immense amount of alcohol consumption and overall "lord of the flies" atmosphere there's a lot of haze that occurs as well. >> let me ask you this. officials at the marine barracks came forward saying that the charges were, quote, thoroughly investigated and found to be unsubstantiated unsubstantiated. also the officials went on to say that both of you were accused of misconduct, including frat nizing with other officers and excessive drinking and have sense left the marine corps. what's your response to that?
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>> i would say to that that that's the case they've been trying to make for years, that there are just a few bad apples instead of admitting to the crisis on their hands. you know, it's not that far fetched to say of all of the combat arms marines there, many of whom have not worked with females that there might be some issues. although it was corroborated that i was routinely called a slut and a whore, my commanding officer also decided that i had welcomed the harassment because i wore makeup and running shorts. so, yes, the commander's in a position where he reports directly to the command can't of the marine corps and that's not something they want to report. the system is it up so that he's in that undesirable position. so this is consistent with the retaliation. the lawsuit alleges that they have zero tolerance for those who report us results rather than having zero tolerance for
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those who are the perpetrators and this is consistent with that statement. >> kyra, to go on with that, i mean, what we're finding, too, and what what happened to me for six years is the process of reporting an assault and a rape is moodily spun upon, well, how do we make the victim the accuse about what will be the s subtrifunlg by which they are dismissed. ariana klay accepted both responsibilities for any investigations. unfortunately we were lieutenants at the time so we accepted responsibility for wrong doing. why did no one else? >> you know, i want to ask you both this, too. you are obviously beautiful women and so my guess is there were many men that attempted to ask you out, make a pass at you. i mean, let's be real. when you're a beautiful woman, that's what happens. how did you deal with passes in the past?
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elle? >> you know, at first people, you know, you're they're shiny new toy. because i was the only female officer at an all-male command with a handful of exceptions for female enlisted junior marines, people did ask you out and people did make passes. at first it was just kind of easier to laugh them off. but then you realize they became more serious and i would try and just say, you know, this isn't really professional, unfortunately, or i'm dating someone. the minute you said that, you went from being the shiny object of their affection and their potential lust to being called horrible derogatory terms. so i mean, the minute you deflect any sort of attention that they may want, now you're their enemy, now you're their target. it got worse and worse. >> the military has come fo ward saying that sexual assault has no place in this department. also i want to point out after the fact, after these astounding numbers of sexual assault cases
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have come forward and these allegations, that the pentagon now has a new director of sexual assault prevention and response. an air force major general, a female who has said that we own this problem, we need to fix this problem. ariana, do you have faith in that? >> i don't because they've been saying that for decades. and to really have reform, it's going to take completely restructuring the system, you know. it's a matter of basic checks and balances and separation of powers. right now the military investigates itself. you know, the marine corps deals with the greatest moral challenges every day. war fighting institution. so it's not equipped to deal with this challenge alone. it needs an external neutral organization to assist it. and that's not going to be anything within dod. >> and, elle, you know, i have talked with women in your position, ones that it's very
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tough for them to come forward and talk about this because they're afraid that immediately the men in the military will say, see, this is why they shouldn't be in combat, this is why they shouldn't be mingling with us. final thought, elle, what do you say to women who are scared to come forward because of the stereotyping, because of the backlash? >> i mean, i would be remiss if i said it wasn't extremely challenging and that this is the first time in six years i've had a voice. and that's -- that -- so the victims out there who ant to come forward or who are debating coming forward, please do. there's strength in numbers and we're not all lying. this won't go away. this continues to happen. be strong. believe in yourself. live up to your morals. come forward and try and get help and do what's right for you, yourself, before the military. >> elle, ariana, appreciate your
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time this morning. >> thank you. just about two hours from now president barack obama holds his first news conference of the year. we're learning that he's going to take on the housing crisis. alison kosik on who is expected to benefit, next. i look at her, and i just want to give her everything.
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in less than two hours president obama will be holding his first full news conference of the year, focus, new initiatives to help struggling homeowners. alison kosik is at the strokes. twoits pronged, right? >> exactly. this would benefit two groups, kyra. for one, it would benefit current and former members of the military and it would help people who have government-backed fha loans. first let's talk about the veteran and military members. they could be in line for cash payments. the lenders have to go back into all their records, double-check every military foreclosure that's happened since 2006 and if military members were wrongfully foreclosed on, they could be paid. also, this program looks to pay those service members who weren't allowed to refinance to
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lower rates. all right. so that second part of the plan looks to help people who have the government -backed loans. fha would cut the fees for borrowers looking to refinance their mortgages to lower rates because their thinking here is if their fees were lower it would give people more incentive to refinance. this would obviously keep people in their homes and this would essentially pay service members back if they got the short end of the stick. kyra? >> while i have you, let's look at the big board. how are you numbers looking? >> numbers aren't looking good. stocks are getting hit hard. the dow falling 144 points. getting word from around the globe that the recovery could be slowing. the eurozone said that its economic growth contracted in the last part of last year. also china gave a weaker outlook for growth, as well. that is putting investors on hedge today. as you see, the dow falling 146 points. the vix is jumping, that's the fear index, jumping 12%. it shows that that fear is
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coming back into the market. kyra? >> allison, thanks. ohio is the battleground this super tuesday. 63 delegates up for grabs. another key state, tennessee. what the results from these two states can tell us about the race for president. plus, in less than two hours, president obama giving that first news conference of the year. is he crashing super tuesday? that's fair game, next.slee ng? ng? just wanted to check and make sure that we were on schedule. the first technology of its kind... mom and dad, i have great news. is now providing answers families need. siemens. answers. ♪ [ sighs ] [ bird chirps ] [ bird squawks ] ♪ [ bird screeching ]
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this is the part of the show where we get to the heart at political debate. at this hour super tuesday is in full swing. voters in ten states making choices right now. republican analyst lenny mcallister and robert zimmerman is with us. we talked about the importance of ohio and georgia. there's another key state to discuss. tennessee, 55 delegates are up for grabs. what will tennessee tell us. robert? >> tennessee is the state to watch. i'm glad you're bridging it up.
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we know in ohio that mitt romney is going to get more delegates than rick santorum because the romney campaign has more delegate slats than santorum does. tennessee can be defining. if mitt romney can win that state, then it's really all over but the shouting in terms of his nomination. he's got the support of the governor and the legislative leaders. if rick santorum or newt gingrich can win that state, it gives them a chance to keep this contest going longer and fighting another day. >> lenny? >> it has to be a trifecta. it can't just be tennessee by itself. if romney wins tennessee but loses ohio, it doesn't look that convincing at virginia although there's only two of them on the ballot. it still will prolong this contest in the narrative of mitt romney not being a strong candidate still stays out there. if romney can win the trifecta of tennessee, ohio, and a strong win in virginia that will signal to north dakota, idaho, alaska, that maybe we need the get on
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board and that may even influence the results tonight where mitt romney may come out of this contest to see with seven out of ten states in his bag, if you will, his victory bag. >> let's talk about apac conference. looks like three of the four candidates, romney, santorum, gingrich, will be taking a little break from super tuesday, speaking to the apac folks spp that critical, robert? >> well, you know, i understand why the republican presidential candidates want to be there. it's a way of addressing the energy crisis, iranian issue, and also speaking to the evangelical base that supports israel. what is really beyond the pale what i have never seen in any oa either political party is how they exploit and use the iranian situation for their political advantage. we have a history in this country of pulling together at times of international challenges and in crises. here we have mitt romney in particular making comments at apac that would raise the price
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of oil and has no place in terms of people who aspire to be presidential leaders. >> lenny? >> is this a democratic strategist talking ten years after everybody barbed george w. bush while he was president in 2003-2004? please, give me a break. >> lenny -- of course they're going to politicize this. that's why prime minister netanyahu came here and said what he said on american soil. this is a political year, and everybody is going to use the election to his or her advantage. president obama wants to look presidential right now. he's doing a good job about talking to president netanyahu. there's a reason why he's having a press conference later today, because although he has plenty of other things to do he is competing against the republicans in their primary field today. it's not that far fetched of an idea. the republicans need to look more presidential than president obama when it comes to dealing with israel and iran. that's why it makes all the sense in the world. >> robert, lenny mentions the president's news conference. is he crashing super tuesday? i mean, is that a tactical move?
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>> well, i never want to see the president get in the way of republicans attacking each other. but clearly -- >> but he wants to. >> this is very much -- this is an important news conference but, of course, it's political. everything that happens in 2012 is about politics. let's be realistic. but the more important point is this a chance for the president to seize the agenda, to really set the message and shows his own presidential leadership in comparison to what we see the republican presidential candidates engaging in and their tactics. >> thank you, robert zimmerman, and lenny mcallister. that's fair game. drill, baby drill, that's what many oklahoma voters are saying, so what do they think of the gop candidates' energy policies? ali velshi talking with the voters, next. but first, rush limbaugh has now apologized twice forle aing a georgetown law student a slut and a prostitute. apology apparently not good enough for the 12 advertisers
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who have now pulled out of his show. so as rush loses money and fans, here's his second go at a "i'm sorry." >> i deskrecended to their leve when i used those two words to describe sandra fluke. >> but limbaugh's verbal assault against fluke was much more about the words. sexless, reckless rampage was in cnn contributor david frum's words, a new kind of low. so low that even some of these conservative cronies came out against him. perhaps that's why he apologized. or perhaps even rush realized he went too far. either way, looks like limbaugh's 15 minutes of saying whatever he wants against anybody he wants is up. [ male announcer ] we put a week's worth of bad odors in a home. some aerosols may just mix with them. can febreze remove it. [ moderator ] describe the smell. it's very pleasant. some kind of flower maybe? awww, oh yuck!
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who wants some ronald tonight!? geico. fifteen minutes could save you 15% or more. it may be the reddest of all red states. we're talking about oklahoma. mantra, drill, baby drill. it's one of the ten states voting this super tuesday with 40 delegates at stake. and one sure bet, a lot of voters are casting ballots for the republican they believe has the best energy policy that's best for their state and if polls are correct, well, that's rick santorum. ali velshi, from what i understand, is having a hot lunch date with someone who is not his wife. what are you talking about? i hope it is energy, ali velshi. >> well, it's politics and energy. this is janet. she's joining me here from
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oklahoma. we're here in guthrie at a diner. excellent place to spend a day. and janet is not a -- you're not a registered republican, so you did not -- you're not voting in this primary. you were a democrat last time. you voted for president obama. you're not going to do that this time. >> i didn't vote for obama. >> you didn't vote for him. >> no. >> but you're a democrat, you were in the past. >> yes. >> you're definitely not vote for president obama this time. >> no. >> who do you think you will vote for in the general election? >> probably rick santorum. >> tell me why. >> he just seems a little more honest and down to earth and i just like what he's got to say. >> you feel like you don't know the other candidates well enough? >> no, especially on the democratic ticket. i don't. yeah. >> and that's -- when you're referring to that you're saying there's actually a democratic primary going on in which you did vote in. most people aren't paying much attention to that right now. >> right. >> because it's quite likely that barack obama is going to get that nomination obviously. so it's going to come down to barack obama versus one of the republicans voting today.
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will you vote for a republican regardless of who it is? >> yes. >> why? what don't you like about president obama? >> i just don't like his politics. >> is it economics that's doing it? is it the economy? >> it's the economy and it's just how he looks at the elderly and the disabled and the medical -- i have a disabled child and she just doesn't seem to be a concern of his. it's -- i just don't like how he looks. >> that's obviously something that may draw you to rick santorum, however, he's got a child with a disability as well. >> part. >> is that part of what you're liking about rick santorum? >> yeah. i think he kind of knows what it's like for, you know, parents with disabled children and what we have to go through to get hale care for them and keep them at home and take care of themselves ourselves. >> in most cases i've been talking to people who are registered republicans who will be voting in the primary today
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or have voted. we're going to be in a few hours moving out to one of those polling places and talking to them more. as you pointed out, while most of the state republicans are probably leaning toward rick santorum or romney, those who are likely to vote in the primary today, polling is indicating are supporting rick santorum. we won't know that until we start to count those later today. >> thanks so much. straight ahead, a mother will do anything to protect her children. >> two steel beams on my legs, and i couldn't -- i couldn't move. >> her amazing story of survival, next.
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time now for stories making news. let's head to boston where the sex abuse scandal surrounding a former red sox clubhouse manager is intensifying. eight more men are coming forward against donald fitzpatrick. fitzpatrick was already accuse
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of molesting at least nine boys when he was clubhouse manager from '71-'91. "the globe" reports it happened at the team's spring training facility. he died seven years ago after serving a ten-year suspended sentence with the florida crimes. to roet rhode island where a judge sent a really strong message about reckless driving. during sentencing he baned a 17-year-old boy driving from life after he slammed his car into this tree last october. according to affiliate the teen and his three passengers were at a party, boozing it up before the accident. the judge said, quote, if you're going to drive dangerously in rhode island and you're a young person, the court's going to respond accordingly. branson, missouri, warning system people count on failed to activate when tornadoes hit last week. that city says the code red system was supposed to automatically send a recorded warning or text when the tornadoes hit. hit.
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nothing was sent. the fire chief says he spoke with code red and learned the company didn't even turn the system on. he says the problem has been resolved and is confident it was an isolated incident. now to henryville, indiana. you've seen the stories of survival and devastation from the tornadoes. but probably nothing as incredible as the story of stephanie decker. >> this is what's left of the decker's home after two tornadoes blew through henryville, indiana. but just before the devastation struck, stephanie decker didn't think twice. she immediately grabbed her 5 and 8-year-old boys, covering them with a blanket, shielding them from the debris. >> i was reaching around, holding them, and trying to keep everything away from them so it didn't hit them. >> reporter: but the wreckage did hit her, breaking seven
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ribs, almostsevering both of her legs. >> i had two steel beams on my legs, and i couldn't -- i couldn't move. i was stuck. >> reporter: but the worst wasn't over. a second twister headed righted for stephanie's family. pinned down by the steel beams, she covered her two children again. >> and they're screaming, mommy, i can't live without you, i don't want to die. please don't let me die. >> reporter: unable to remove the heavy debris on top of their badly injured mother, 8-year-old dominick went for help. stephanie survived, but both her legs are partially amputated. but stephanie's strength didn't waiver. >> if i can make it through that, i can live through anything. >> and to find out how you can help those impacted by the midwest tornadoes, just go to cnn.com/impact. you'll find all the organizations and ways that you can pitch in for those in need. cnn.com/impact.
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mitt romney has a lot at stake. super tuesday could make or break his campaign. coming up, candy crowley, live. she's at romney headquarters in boston. but first, our political junkie question. when was the last time someone won the presidency without winning ohio in the general election? tweet me the answer@kyracnn. i'll give a shout out to the first one who's right.
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all right. before the break. i asked, when was the last time someone won the presidency without winning ohio in the
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general election? it's only happened twice in the past 100 years, but the last time was 1960. richard nixon carried ohio, but jfk won the election. congrats to mike from indiana for tweeting me with the right answer. all right. this super tuesday could be the day that mitt romney brings home all the bacon, or not. so what's myitt up to and wheres he going to take tonight's returns? candy crowley on the phone. she's been chasing him. any luck, candy? >> reporter: he is going to be here in massachusetts, his other home state. this is where mitt romney was governor here, obviously. so he will end the day here in boston, where he is going to vote, and then he will hold his victory or not-so-victory or whatever celebration they're going to have in boston tonight. so what's interesting is there's also a democratic primary happening simultaneously. so as an incentive to get democrats out to vote, the democratic party here is saying,
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let's have more people vote for president obama in the democratic primary than vote for mitt romney in the republican primary. so that's the state dynamic going on here. but i don't think that in any doubt in the republican primary itself, mitt romney's going to take the state where he served as governor for four years. >> candy casting a little bit of shadow over his campaign, another apparent gaffe about wealth, not by mitt, but by his wife, anne. let's take a listen. >> for me, i just want to make my family bigger. those that are suffering from ms or from cancer or from any disease, i feel like i just want to throw my arms open, and just say, welcome to my family, and welcome to the place where i've been. and so, you know, we can be poor in spirit, and i don't look -- i don't even consider myself wealthy, which is an interesting thing. it can be here today and gone tomorrow. and how i measure riches is by the friends i have and the loved
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ones i have. >> as you know, candy, this was taken out of context. so what's your take? is it another romney, a bit out of touch were is the media making too much of this? >> reporter: you know, i think it's another case where the romneys, plural, are really having difficulty to figure out how to talk about their wealth. imagine if she had rephrased it to -- i think in the context of what she was trying to -- and you know, i'm not inside her head, but maybe she doesn't consider a quarter billion dollars wealth, but let's assume she does. consider if she had said, we are wealthy people, in terms of dollars, but i don't measure my wealth by dollars. i know we're fortunate, but i measure my wealth by health. you know, she's had breast cancer, she has ms. so there are many ways she could use to relate. the problem is, both of them are
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so bad at trying to dance around their wealth. they just, to me, they ought to embrace it, because you can't -- they're wealthy. so i think in some ways, this is mrs. romney, you know, perhaps being spooked. now, maybe, again, she doesn't think that's wealth, but i doubt that. and i think in the context of what she was talking about, she was trying to say, listen, you know, it's not about dollars. but, you know, look at the blast she's getting on twitter, look at all the people that take this badly. why? because it feeds into the perception and perhaps the reality that mitt romney doesn't get what it's like not to have a lot of money. so it's a problem for them. it's a sound bite world. so people aren't going to, you know, hear the whole 45 seconds or minute or the totality of the interview. they're going to hear, "i don't consider myself wealthy." >> candy crowley, putting it in context for us. candy, thanks so much for calling in. >> thanks. >> you bet.
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stay with cnn for continuous coverage of super tuesday. watch the results come in live. our special coverage begins tonight, 6:00 p.m. eastern time. thanks for watching, everyone. you can continue the conversation with me on twitter @kyracnn or on facebook. "cnn newsroom" continues now with suzanne malveaux. live from cnn headquarters in atlanta, where it's 12:00 noon here, 9:00 a.m. on the west coast. i want to get you up to speed for this tuesday, march 6th. the super tuesday showdown, it is on. millions of people casting their votes in all ten of the states holding primari ining primaries today. for the republican candidates, it is the biggest day so far. an all-out brawl, it's a chance for them to have their say. the stakes are high, we're talking 419 delegates up for grabs. that is a more than a third of the number needed to win the
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nomination. president obama, he's not letting the republicans get all the attention today. it is no coincidence, he's holding a super tuesday news conference next hour. it's his first this year. we're going to bring it to you live. the president will outline a plan to help homeowners who got slammed by the mortgage meltdown. he's also expecting to face some pretty tough questions on the economy. gas prices, iran's nuclear threat, and syria. prime minister of israel, benjamin netanyahu, he is pushing his campaign to get tough on iran and soon. he's meeting with lawmakers on the hill today to assert israel's right to defend itself if iran tries to build a nuclear weapon. [ explosion ] the bloodbath continues in syria. opposition activists say 14 more people died today. as the government there trying to tighten the grip on the uprising. an opposition group says the
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military blasted a bridge used by people trying to escape across the border into lebanon. now, senator john mccain, he is speaking out, demanding action, including u.s. air strikes. >> if we want to stand by and watch syrians being massacred in the most brutal and incredibly genocidal fashion, then that is a decision that we can make. but please don't tell me we can't do it. we can if we have the will. >> republicans are not at all in agreement on this. house speaker john boehner said today that he thinks air strikes on syria led by the u.s. would be, quote, premature. icy roads causing cars to slide all over the place in ohio. check out this video. unbelievable wipeouts. sets up a camera on a corner in columbus and captures dozens of cars skidding off the road, they just couldn't get traction. fortunately, no injuries were reported. an indiana mom saves her two
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children, not from one, but two tornadoes. but her legs almost completely severed, as her home disi disintegrated around her, debris piling up on top. stephanie decker says her kids were terrified as this tornado hits their house and essentially wipes it away. she is using her body to shield them. >> they are screaming, mommy, please don't let me die. >> decker says she hopes to be walking in three months with the help of prosthetics. 17-year-old accused of that school shooting in ohio heads back to court today. t.j. lane is charged with murder and attempted murder. he's accused of opening fire on students at chardon high school. that happened last week. prosecutors, they don't want any more information about lane to be released, so they're going to argue for that later at the hearing this afternoon. so a little bit of good news here, right? okay. after 27 days of gas prices
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going uh, they come down. but not by much. aaa is saying the nationwide average was $3.77 a gallon yesterday. today, it's $3.76. it's rounded off. the price actually down just 0.3%. we'll see what happens tomorrow. ten states, 419 delegates, four candidates, all adding up to one big day in the republican race for the president. super tuesday voting now underway. correspondents, we've got them all over the country to break down the races. we've got dana bash in the battleground state of ohio. ali velshi is in oklahoma. dana is in mt. st. joseph, ohio. dana, what are ohio voters telling you that is important to them? >> reporter: well, like everywhere else in the country, suzanne, the economy is the top issue here in ohio, especially
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because this state has been so hard-hit, effectively, over the past four years and even before that. but what is really fascinating is that politically, this date is a must-watch. not only for the primary, which, of course, is critical. there are 63 delegates at stake here. but also, because it's a real test, suzanne, as to whether or not these candidates, we're talking mostly about mitt romney and rick santorum, have the power to do well in the general election. because you know, you were out here four years ago and beyond that. this is a critical test ground for who wins in the general election. issues that i hear about, certainly, are the economy, but rick santorum, with especially here in southwest ohio, which tends to be more conservative, this is really ground zero for who's going to win, he is getting a lot of steam from socially conservative voters, pitching those issues. but at the end of the day, we are talking to other republican voters who say that they like rick santorum, but they are keeping their eye on the prize, which is the white house, and they believe mitt romney is more
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electable. >> all right. dana, thank you. i want to go to david now. you're in our own backyard, marietta, georgia. most folks you're talking to, are they talking about the home state favorite, newt gingrich? >> reporter: well, let's put it this way, suzanne. this is cobb county, georgia, north of the city of atlanta. it is traditionally an affluent, republican area. it's part of newt gingrich's former congressional district, so people here are very much in favor of newt gingrich. and he's going to be counting on them very heavily, as people go to the polls today in the state of georgia, because he needs a solid win here today. and polls show him with a 20-point lead over mitt romney here, in order for him to continue with any sort of viability with his candidacy, going forward, from super tuesday. so he's been working the state very hard. he's been campaigning here, seven out of the last nine days. he's even had some campaign workers in his home district going door to door this weekend,
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to make sure people get out and vote. because the way the system is set up here, he has to win by 50% of the vote in 14 different districts in order to walk away with all of georgia's 76 delegates. so if he is able to muster that kind of support, he's able to run the table, get all of those delegates, he's making a strong statement to every other state, past super tuesday, that, yes, i am still in this race. suzanne? >> all right. david, thank you. i want to go to ali velshi. ali, are you singing yet, oklahoma, where the wind comes right behind the rain? are you wearing your hat yet? >> reporter: in fact, there is a hat somewhere around here i understand you enjoyed wearing while you were out in the field. this is it right here. but, yeah, oklahoma is known to be a particularly conservative state. and the people i've talked today, here's what i'm getting. number one, a lot of them are participating in the primary later on today. number two, of those who are
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going to vote, tolling is indicating that rick santorum might have an edge over moitt romney, even though the state's republicans in general say they would more be more likely to support mitt romney. this is the pipeline cross roads of the road, an oil-producing state, and all those pipelines go through here. so not a lot of love for president obama amongst those who live in the oil patch, particularly after the decision not to continue on, at least for now, with the keystone pipeline extension. that said, most of the republican candidates have similar have yous on energy, so this now comes down to personal preference. i'm talking to a lot of people who say they've received phone calls from rick santorum, robo calls. they seem to know a lot about him, but we also spoke to people who said, they're going to make their decision today, as they go to the polls, because they want to choose between a candidate they like, in many cases, that's rick santorum, and a candidate they think can beat barack obama, and a lot of those people
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think that might be mitt romney. it's going to be a close race to watch here in oklahoma. a little later on, we're heading to the elections center and polling station to get a sense of how things are going here, suzanne. >> all right, ali. we'll be following you. we want that hat on next go-around. ali, dana, david, thanks very much. we'll get back to you in just a bit. here's your chance to talk back on one of the big stories of the day. forget the voter polls, the ballot boxes, what really matters this go-around? is it number of facebook likes? okay, maybe not. but candidates, campaign staffs, political pundits, they're looking closely at how you interact with candidates on facebook, twitter, youtube. all of them, millions of you are expressing who you like on facebook. romney has more than a million likes, ron paul has more than 800,000. gingrich and santorum lagging behind a little bit, and the commander in chief, president
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obama, is commanding the most liking with more than 24 million. with facebook and twitter, the candidates their staff can communicate directly with voters. but pundits are trying to figure out if these tweets are actually going to translate into votes. here's the talkback. do social media influence your views of the candidates? leave the comments at facebook.com/suzannecnn or you can tweet me @suzannemalveaux. i'll put some of your responses on the air later this hour. here's a rundown of some of the stories we are also covering first. israel's prime minister is pressing the flesh on capitol hill. why republican leaders are eager to get their photo with him. and i'm going to tell you what caused this courtroom fight. then, why is ohio such a big prize in today's super tuesday contest? we'll talk to republican strategists, up next. ... okay??? i've been eating progresso and now my favorite old jeans...fit. okay is there a woman i can talk to? [ male announcer ] progresso. 40 soups 100 calories or less.
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a lot of lawmakers on the hill are eager for a photo op today with benjamin netanyahu. the israeli prime minister, he's in washington. he's making his intentions clear. as he told president obama yesterday, if israel thinks that iran poses a nuclear threat, the israelis will defend themselves and they will attack. elise lavitch is live on the
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hill with more. elise, first of all, has anybody that you've seen or talked to expressed alarm at the prime minister's message? >> i don't think so, suzanne. i mean, as you know, this is a very receptive audience for prime minister netanyahu. you know, republicans and democrats don't agree on much, but there's one thing they agree on, which is the need to stand by israel, and basically, this isn't only a message at home to the israeli public, but also to president obama, that the u.s. congress stands by israel, the need for it to defend itself against a potential nuclear armed run. everybody agrees that that is not something that the u.s. or anybody wants to see. >> and the u.s. gives more than $3 million a year to israel's military. is there anybody that is trying to use that leverage with lawmakers to dissuade israel from attacking iran? >> reporter: no, suzanne. in these tough budget times, the one thing that we haven't seen a sharp decrease in u.s. aid to israel. i think that everyone on the congress is in wide agreement that there needs -- that israel needs to be protected, aid for
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its military, aid for its security. in fact, there are some reports now of legislation that some republican lawmakers might introduce to give israel additional missiles. so i think that everyone wants to maintain that, what they call qualitative military edge for israel in this dangerous neighborhood. >> it's a tough thing to actually understand, but how much do we know, as lawmakers, really getting behind the israeli prime minister, a political move on their part, or are they -- are they in step, lock step, with the prime minister? >> well, i think that you see some initial reports coming out of the meetings that he had with senator mccain and senator graham saying, he's playing to those fears that the obama administration is not necessarily taking israel's concerns into effect, the idea that they want to go -- israel wants to go after iran, before it has the capacity to build a nuclear weapon, rather than the obama administration and some democratic lawmakers that say, give sanctions some time, give
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diplomacy more time, and we've seen today that the p5 plus 1, this group that's been negotiating with iran, is already answering their calls for more talks. i think we could more talks. and you saw some of the republican candidates, newt gingrich, santorum, speaking to the group, calling the president an appeaser of iran. i think that, definitely, this is a political football. but at the same time, everybody knows about the need to defend against nuclear iran. senator kerry, though, voicing some concern about what president obama called this loose talk of war. all this kind of drum beat is only emboldening the regime, and increasing oil prices. >> all right. elise labatt, thank you so much. appreciate it. checking stories our affiliates are covering cross-country. got to check out this wild scene in a massachusetts courtroom. a guy being arraigned on murder charges, when the victim's family goes after him. one person got off a punch to the face before courtroom security took control. the suspect is accused of
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stabbing to death his estranged girlfriend. not going to believe what officials say caused a deadly fire in an ohio nursing home. a meth lab. the fire chief says somebody set up the meth lab in one of the nursing home facility rooms. one person died, five others now are in the hospital. and why are these new yorkers holding up pink slips? to remind folks of the millions of americans out of work. the demonstrators lined up for three miles long, along broadway this morning to draw attention to unemployment. to the former first lady, and she is famous for telling it like it is. we're going to hear why barbara bush says this is the worst campaign she has ever seen. to find you a great deal, even if it's not with us. [ ding ] oh, that's helpful! well, our company does that, too. actually, we invented that.
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former first lady barbara bush, never been one to hold back. and she's got a lot of attention for her opinion of the republican race right now. >> it's been, i think, the worst campaign i've ever seen in my life. i just hate it. i hate the fact that people think compromise is a dirty word. >> she hates it. but she does have a favorite.
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the former first lady has lent her voice to the romney campaign, urging voters to support him in robo calls. all right, political junkies, we are finally here. it is super tuesday. candidates are making a last frantic push for the votes that could put them in the driver's in the battle for the nomination. we are talking ten states, 419 delegates up for grabs. some big campaign bucks being dumped into advertising on this make-or-break contest today. cnn political contributors alex castellanos and paul begala joining us to get the nitty-gritty to have today's results. what can it mean for the candidates. great to see you guys, here in person! >> great to see you in person. >> i don't want to do this faraway stuff anymore. >> we miss you in washington. >> i'll come back from time to time. let's talk about ohio. we've got 66 delegates up for grabs. obviously, very competitive there. now, according to a romney political adviser, calling this a knife fight in a phone booth, that's gross, okay?
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that's just a gross analogy. but it is a bloodbath. why do you think we are seeing such a nasty and close race, alex? >> i'm not sure it's all that nasty. i think if anything, our -- the primary lacks enthusiasm for the candidates with, as opposed to real passion, pitting a candidate against each other. and i think that may hurt republicans in the fall. we've seen a lot -- paul and i have seen much tougher races than this, where much worse has been said about the candidates. but this is a big day. you know, mitt romney could not afford to lose michigan a week ago. rick santorum can't afford to lose ohio tonight. if he does, then that's the beginning of the -- they'll have to hook the jumper cables up to him. >> how would you describe it in ohio? >> i think alex is right. it is pretty doggone nasty especially for a republican party. they're the hierarchical party. i think mrs. bush makes a good point, the extremism in their
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party, the republicans used to be the practical party. certain her husband is a very practical guy. now compromise is a dirty word in the republican party, and that's why this is so bitter. because mitt romney used to be for compromise. he was for, basically for obama care, before it was obama care, now the far right is dragging him off to the extreme. >> but in politics, as in life, as in football, compromise is not always the way to solve a problem. if i'm standing at the edge of a precipice and i want to go ten steps, well, just compromising and going three steps off the ledge, that doesn't help me. and the reason -- >> i love that. that's great. >> the reason why a lot of republicans and president obama won't compromise right now, because both parties feel we're at a critical moment, economically, and there's a lot to fight over. that's why there's so little compromise. >> i want to talk about something we really didn't expect. nobody expected a fight over birth control during this campaign season. but after rush limbaugh makes these comments about the college student, calling her a slut for weighing in on this debate, he apologizes. advertisers are pulling out.
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they don't want to touch this hot potato here. this seems to go beyond rush limbaugh. it's taken on a whole new meaning in this campaign. i want you to listen to last night, stephen colbert. >> of course, you call one woman you've never met a slut and a prostitute and demand that she post an internet gang bang tape, and suddenly the lamestream media is jumping down your throat, if there were room in there with all that ham. so naturally, the republican candidates were called upon to repudiate rush, and they did so in no certain terms. >> it's been absurd. but, you know, that's -- an entertainer can be absurd. >> it's not the language i would have used. >> yeah, slu tt and prostitute s not the language mitt would have used. he might have used harlot or bow-legend dumpster skank. >> i want to go to you first,
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alex. >> you can talk politics. it's okay. >> no, i want to throw this one your way here. does anybody benefit from talking about this and weighing in? because, clearly, this has become a political campaign issue. >> at this point, it's, you know, there's nothing here for republicans. but there was a moment for mitt romney and for other republicans, when this happened, to demonstrate some strength. you know, this is not a moment to leave the bat on your shoulder and to say, to remain silent. this is a moment to say, look, it within the way too far, no. this is not acceptable. you don't demonize a young lady like that, who's expressing herself, on something she feels passionately about. and republicans should have done something about that. you know, last election was hope and change. >> do you think that language was strong enough? from either one of them? santorum and romney? >> i honestly don't. and i think it was a missed opportunity for them to do well, politically, by doing the right thing morally. and i think they could have been much stronger. >> and paul, do you think it helps obama here with women and
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moderates, who look at this and say, oh, you know, this has gone beyond the pale. >> it does. the republicans are now in the position where they basically want to repeal the 20th century. the right of married couples to use birth control has been enshrined in the constitution since 1964, griswald versus connecticut. rick santorum says that was wrongly decided. mitt romney wants to defund contraception and planned parenthood and title 10. which, yes, title 10 is contraception funding by the federal government. was written into law, by the way, by barbara bush's husband, george h.w. bush, signed into law by president nixon. the republicans have taken this extreme anti-woman view, and it's driven, mitt romney's favorable now is 28. 28! >> we're running out of time. republicans are not against contraception. >> sure they are. >> we have the adulterous candidates to prove it. >> ouch! >> that's not the case. look, nobody wants to defund contraception, nobody's against women here. this is ridiculous. this started as an issue about religious liberty.
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that is still there. >> all right. we've got to leave it there. paul and alex, great to see you both. we'll continue the conversation another time. thanks again. join us tonight, our coverage of the super tuesday primaries and caucuses beginning at 6:00 eastern with a special edition of "john king, usa." that is followed by cnn's complete live coverage of the results at 7:00 with john as well as wolf blitzer, erin burnett, anderson cooper, candy crowley, and many more. as a part of our super tuesday coverage, you can also take part in the cnn election roundtable. it is a live insider chat. it is going on right now, cnn.com. wolf blitzer and our political team want to take you behind the scenes, where our reporters and analysts are answering your questions. it is a big day for the republican presidential candidates, but president obama, he is stealing some of the spotlight. we're going to explain. a live report. gold choice. the freedom you can only get from hertz to keep the car you reserved or simply choose another. and it's free. ya know, for whoever you are that day. it's just another way you'll be traveling at the speed of hertz.
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here's a rundown of some of
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the stories he's working on. president obama said he has some new ideas to help struggling homeowners. he'll tell us what they are. coming up, who will the president match up against his potential gop opponents in november's election? we're going to find out. and later, you know moms, they'll do whatever it takes to protect their kids. but wait until you hear one mother's story of bravery and sacrifice from the tornado zone. president obama hoping to steal a little bit of the republican's thunder today. he is holding a news conference. that is happening in the next hour. head of the democratic national committee, she says, it's no accident. >> it's not coincidence. i mean, i think we have got a lot of really important issues going on in the country right now. president obama just hosted prime minister netanyahu in the white house yesterday. there are, you know, so many different things going on in terms of jobs and the economy and the discussion of where we need to go with this country and moving our economy forward. so this is a perfect day to, for the president to hold a news
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conference. >> to bring in white house correspondent dan lothian. wow, dan. i mean, they're pretty straight up about the whole thing. we saw on the day of the michigan primary, president obama, he goes before the american auto makers and reminds them, hey, i was the one to bail you out. now, today, the single most important days for republicans trying to take his job, he steals the light in a news conference. tell me this, which obama is likely to come out today? obama the candidate or obama the president? >> reporter: well, i think you'll see a little bit of both. you know, this is a white house that never misses the opportunity to seize the headlines. and for the last several months now, you know, you've had the republican race, which has been, you know, so heated and grabbing a lot of headlines out there. and so, as you pointed out, there have been other big days for republicans when this white house has either scheduled an event or made some kind of an announcement that has stolen some of the thunder. so you see that again. i think what's interesting is, when the president goes out on the road to do some of these
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official events, oftentimes, it's hard to tell the difference between an official event and a campaign event. but what white house officials will say is, look, when the president is out there talking about policy, that's also a chance for him to talk about his accomplishments, so that's why they say it sounds like, you know, campaigning. so this is a president who, today, will be certainly focused on real issues, will talk about his accomplishments, but in an election year, everything also is about the politics. >> and dan, real quick here. i know that he's announcing some initiatives. is he going to make news, we think? >> reporter: well, a little bit of news p. i mean, what the president's going to be talking about, according to white house officials, is help for military personnel, for veterans who are struggling to pay for their mortgages. so he'll provide a little bit of relief in the sense that they'll get lower interest rates or fees, rather, lower fees as they try to get lower interest rates, saving about $1,000 a year. and also, what we will hear from the president is a deal reached
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with big lenders, whereby it will provide, again, some of those military personnel, who had high interest rates, who were given high interest rates, or were wrongly foreclosed on, that they will get some compensation for that. so in general, those with fhaa loans and these military personnel will be part of this announcement that the president will be unveiling at the press conference today. >> all right. dan, we'll be circling back, obviously, in the 1:00 hour, for that press conference. thanks again, dan. we'll bring you live coverage of the president's news conference. that in the next hour, scheduled to start at 1:15 eastern from the white house. sad news. 12-term democratic congressman donald payne has died. payne was the first african-american elected to congress from new jersey. his office says he died of complications from colon cancer. president obama is offering his condolences. in a statement released just in the last hour, he says in part, "michelle and i were saddened to
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hear about the passing of congressman donald payne. don will be missed and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this difficult time." congressman payne was 77 years old. republicans are fighting it out in ten states today. we're going to tell you what's at stake in super tuesday races and how the candidates match up against president obama. ♪ ( whirring and crackling sounds ) man: assembly lines that fix themselves. the most innovative companies are doing things they never could before, by building on the cisco intelligent network. my son and i never missed opening day. but with copd making it hard to breathe, i thought those days might be over. so my doctor prescribed symbicort.
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republican candidates fighting it out today. ten states, more than 400 delegates up for grabs in super tuesday races. i want to bring in our senior political analyst, david gergen, who's here with us. and we love to see you in person. >> thank you. it's good to see you. >> i want to do some hypotheticals here, some matchups between president obama and the republican candidates, if the general election was today. recent polls showing president obama beating romney by ten points. what do we expect in terms of making up the difference there.
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what would romney need to do? >> to make up the difference, he has got to focus like a laser on the economy, and most importantly, he has to connect. the great novelist wrote, the famous phrase in literature, only connect. only connect. i think that is what he has failed to do. but i think it's starting to work for him a little better. these last ten days, his language is changing. i think ann romney led the way on that. >> the same poll actually shows that president obama would beat santorum by 11 points. does that actually say something about electability here? does it bust that myth that mitt romney is more electable than santorum? >> well, there's an interesting question. i must say, most polls show us a significant difference between romney versus santorum, against obama. in most polls, you find santorum running several points behind obama. if anything, the one that's sort of like -- well, a lot of polls
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show ron paul running very close to obama, very close to mitt romney. >> what does that say? i don't know what that says. >> well, he does have a fervent following. and you know, the paul people complain regularly, we're not giving him enough attention in the media, but he's got to -- you've got to be competitive in states in order to get media attention. you've got to show up in the polls. and then he gets the attention. >> right. and let's look forward to the next hour. obviously, you know, brilliant, genius. president obama says, i'm going to have a news conference today, on super tuesday. steal a little bit of the thunder away from the republicans. >> remember he did this last weekend. remember, in michigan, he spoke to the uaw the very day they were voting in michigan and he was clearly competing. as the republican debates fade away, obama wants to have his own debates on primary nights. because he knows we're going to carry it. >> it's going to get a lot of attention today. i want to ask two things, though. the economy is very important to voters. obviously, number one. but reporters, i know, are going
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to go after him on two follows issues, foreign policy. whether or not when the u.s. would get involved if israel attacked iran. and secondly, whether or not we should be involved in syria, in what looks like a civil war. what does the president need to say to voters to assure them that we're not going to get into another war here? >> the truth is, the president came closer to bringing us to war these last few days. you know, it's always -- the assumption has always been that if negotiations fail, if sanctions fail, then we have two very, very difficult options, to bomb or to live with the bomb, in what's called a containment strategy. and what was interesting these last few days was, the president effect liively took the containt strategy off the table. he has dismissed it, he says it won't work, he says it's going to lead to nuclear proliferation. and now what he's basically saying to reassure the israelis is, we're going to try the negotiations, we'll try the sanctions, but if they fail,
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then we will use military force. so there are a lot of generals in the army who thought containment was a better way to go. they dona't want to bomb. they don't want to get involved in this. i was quite interested in that. the president drew himself closer to israel ass well, and think he'll repeat this in effect by affirming israel's right took into account alone. what i think is the administration privately really does not want to get involved with israel. they really want to hold them back. but they understand that israel has a different calculus than we do about the threat. >> all right. david, great to see you. we'll be watching, obviously, president obama live in the next hour. >> we will, indeed. and he'll probably run all through the night. mitt romney's going to look at that. >> stealing all my airtime! >> yeah, exactly. >> all right. thank you, david. join us tonight. coverage of the super tuesday primaries and caucuses begins at 6:00 eastern with a special edition of john ki"john king, u followed by cnn's complete live coverage of the results at 7:00 with john, wolf blitzer, erin burnett, anderson cooper, candy crowley, and more.
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so you've been weighing in on the "talk back" question. do social media like twitter, facebook, influence your view of the candidates? devon says, "not really. they show us how they are by beating each other up in the campaigns." more of your responses, just moments away.
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yao been sounding off on the "talk back" questions. millions of you are following the presidential candidates on twitter and facebook. do these social issues influenced your view of the candidates. will writes, "i don't think it has influenced me. i can judge for myself. i think it is encouraging that other people not interested have been chiming in and paying attention. if we weren't responsible to dig a little deeper before rushing to judgment based on some random posts, then so be it." don says, "until i see a political conversation that addresses the issues and doesn't devolve into an insult filled back and forth social media will have little impact on who i vote for." delvin writes, "absolutely. social media brings out aspects of candidates' campaign platforms not addressed in other forums, such as pro-lifers not really being pro-life, because they support the death penalty.
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that tidbit gleaned from soishl media definitely influenced my view of the candidates." keep the conversation going on facebook or tweet me @suzan me @suzannemalveaux. we'll have more in a bit. a tornado threatened an indiana's mom's kids. she fought back, her kids are okay, but she didn't make it out of the storm, unscathed. hear her story, next. time for the help desk. joining me this hour, john ulzheimer with smartcredit.com. lynnette with askthemoneycoach.com. john, your question comes from jim. he's got a 30-year fixed mortgage he got in 2009, an interest rate of 5.25%, and he wants to know if he should
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refinance. >> that's about 150 basis points higher than the lowest rate. if you plan on staying in the house for more than five years, it's generally going to work out in your favor. especially if he has good credit and a little bit of equity, he can get a rate close to 3.75. >> lynnette, chris wrote in, i want to open a 529 more any kids, a college savings plan, what happens to the account if my children attend an out of state school? does it matter where they attend school? >> here's the great thing about 529 plans, no, it doesn't matter at all. these plans are terrific. i have them for my three kids, because they're portable and transferable in many ways. let's assume you, you know, whatever state you live in, you can buy in california, michigan, texas, you know, utah. it really doesn't matter. because if your kid goes to a school in, say, arizona or michigan, the 529 funds can transfer and go along with them. or if, say, your oldest kid, johnny, decides, i don't want to go to college after all, i want to travel and find myself, you can transfer the 529 plans down
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to little janie, his sister. it's a really flexible way to save for college and a great resource. >> guys, thank you so much. folks, if you have a question you want answered, send us an e-mail anytime to cnnhelpdesk@cnn.com. people with a machine. what ? customers didn't like it. so why do banks do it ? hello ? hello ?! if your bank doesn't let you talk to a real person 24/7, you need an ally. hello ? ally bank. no nonsense. just people sense.
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an indiana mom saves her two children, not from one, but two tornadoes. her legs were almost completely severed as her home disintegrated around her, and debris piled on top of her. drew douglas of our affiliate wlky has stephanie decker's story. >> reporter: here's all that remains of the decker's home after the two tornadoes whipped through henryville. just before the devastation struck, stephanie decker put herself on the line for her kids. she grabbed a large comforter and wrapped her inside and rested herself on top of them to shield them from all of the debris. >> i was reaching around,
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holding them, and trying to keep everything away from them, so it didn't hit them. >> reporter: the wreckage that piled on stephanie broke seven of her ribs and almost completely severed both of her legs. >> i had two steel beams on my legs. and i couldn't -- i couldn't move. i was stuck. >> reporter: decker told her 8-year-old son, dominick, to make sure the coast was clear before getting help. stephanie's fear was confirmed. a second twister was headed right for her family. >> and they're screaming, mommy, i can't live without you, i don't want to die. please don't let me die. >> reporter: despite being pinned down by the steel beams, decker covered her two children a second time in the comforter. after two tornadoes, just minutes apart, leveled her home, dominick and 5-year-old reese didn't suffer so much as a scratch. >> anybody knows her, has no doubt that's what she'd do. >> reporter: unable to remove the heavy debris lying on top of their badly injured mother,
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decker's young son went for help. the phone lines were down, so stephanie used her cell phone for something else. >> i took my phone and made a video to my husband. >> hey. >> telling him i love him. and my children that i loved them. >> reporter: after what seemed like a lifetime, a neighbor and four others finally arrived for the 37-year-old mother writhing in pain. >> he came down and i looked at him and i said, i'm dying, you've got to save me. >> reporter: tourniquets were made to prevent her from bleeding to death. she was eventually taken to the university of louisville hospital, where she continues to cover. both of her legs, casualties from the massive storm. >> if can i make it through that, i can live through anything. >> wow. we wish her and her family the best. our thoughts go out to all of the tornado victims. to find out more on how you can help them, go to cnn.com/impact. you can find all these groups and ways that you can help those in need. that is cnn.com/impact. another city got slammed by a tornado, and now they're
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cleaning up a bit of an oversight. when the tornado hit branson, ohio, last week, nobody got a call or a text message warning them to take cover. of course, they're supposed under the city's code red system. the problem is that the system wasn't turned on. the fire chief says the company that runs the system admits they messed up and they're sorry. so how much is unemployment going to weigh on the minds of voters as they head to the polls this super tuesday? we'll break those numbers, state by state. i'm phil mickelson, pro golfer.
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big decision for many voters heading to the polls on this super tuesday is the economy. christine romans shows us just how big a deal unemployment and underwater mortgages could be for each state. >> it's two issues that affect voters most. where you live and how you pay the bills. let's start with jobs. in six of the ten super tuesday states, the unemployment rate today is lower than when the president took office. alaska, massachusetts, look at north dakota. 3.3%. ohio, tennessee, and vermont. now, ohio, the big battleground state. the rate is down from when the president took office, down from its high of last year. but still an uncomfortable 7.9%. a half a million people there are still out of work. tennessee, the rate is above the national average. 8.5% there. here in georgia, ohio, oklahoma, virginia, candidates can
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rightfully say that the jobless rate has risen since obama stepped into the white house. in newt gingrich's home state of georgia, with 9.4% was the unemployment rate at the end of last year. and in 2010, the state's jobless rate spiked to an all-time high of 10.5%. idaho, oklahoma, and virginia also have higher rates than when the president took office. but in oklahoma and virginia, you got 6.3% and 6.1%. that's better than the national average. i want to take a look now at housing. because, if you're underwater, it means you owe more on the home than the home is worth. super tuesday states have some of the highest rates of underwater mortgages in the country. i mean, take a look at georgia. 33% of homeowners in georgia have a house that's underwater. in dmo, it's one in four. in virginia, it's 23%. this is according to core longic. and the national rate is 22%. and look at ohio, that battlegrounded ohio. 24% of people who have home loans owe more on house than the house is worth. an interesting thing about ohio,

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