tv CNN Newsroom CNN September 19, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm EDT
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hour, i'm brooke baldwin. we begin with resignations. resignations already unfolding in the wake of this newly released report on the "fa "fast & furious" weapons tracking program. here are the cliff notes, 14 atf and doj employees face disciplinary actions for their roles in this botched gun walking operation. no criminal charges, important to point out no criminal charges here are being recommended. but on top of that, you also have the two high ranking officials among those named for discipline. this report says lower level field agents were quote/unquote, trying to make a career for themselves and failed to notify higher ups. joe johns, we bring him back, he's in washington, he's been flipping through this thing, reading it. what does it say? what does it say about attorney general eric holder specifically? >> reporter: well, it is interesting, there is so much talk about eric holder up on capitol hill and, of course, this is a politically charged season.
you have to say that. he's been accused of cover-ups. he's been accused of, you know, not helping congress out in its quest for information. well, here is what the office of inspector general's report says, the oig is supposed to be a fair broker in all of this, holder was not made aware of potential flaws in this operation until february of 2011. this is long after the death of the border agent, brian terry, that sort of brought everything to a halt and made all the signals and alarms start going off. the office found no evidence that the attorney general was informed about it or learned about the tactics employed by atf in the investigation prior to january 31st of 2011. the office of the inspector general found it troubling that in a case of this magnitude and one that affected mexico so significantly was not directly briefed to the attorney general. so people who were beneath eric holder apparently never told
hihim all the details. they go on to say, usually expect such information to come to the attorney general through the office of the deputy attorney general. well, we do know now that there are two resignations as you said. the former acting director of the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms, kenneth mousen has retired along with jason weinstein, the deputy assistant attorney general. so two of the 14 people named for some type of disciplinary action have moved on, if you will. >> so two of the 14 in the last here 64 minutes since this review has been out. what is the white house saying? >> reporter: the white house is basically saying, told you so, as a lot of people are, on both sides of the aisle here. the white house saying we have been saying for a long time now that this thing started in the prior administration, that it was attorney general eric holder who actually got rid of the program. they also sort of took a
political turn and told congressional republicans, those on capitol hill, who had been doing this investigation, that it is time to move on. that's something you would probably expect during an election year. >> joe johns, thank you very much. want to continue this conversation because attorney general eric holder, because of what is being reported now because of this review, may perhaps be feeling vindicated. but earlier this year, republican lawmakers voted along party lines to cite holder for contempt and that had never happened to an attorney general ever before. multiple hearings were held, calling holder to capitol hill, and let me tell you, we listened to them, they got nasty. i'll play some of the sound from a number of months ago. this was house oversight committee chairman darrell issa getting into it with holder during one of the hearings. take a listen. >> we're not looking at the straw buyers, mr. attorney general. we're looking at you, straw purchasers. we're looking at you. we're looking at your key people who knew or should have known about this and whether or not your judgment was consistent with good practices and whether
or not instead the justice department is basically guilty of allowing weapons to kill americans and mexicans. so will you agree to cooperate with that investigation on the house and the senate side? >> we'll certainly cooperate with all the investigations, but i take great exception with what you just said. the notion that somehow or other this justice department is responsible for those deaths that you mentioned, that assertion is offensive. >> jason chaffetz was part of the hearings. he joins me live from the rotunda at the capital. welcome. good to see you. let me just first get your reaction here to some of the nuggets that have emerged from this 478 some page review. what is your reaction? >> well, at first blush it is, like i said, more than 478 pages, it seems the inspector general did a very thorough job. it validates what chairman issa, myself and others have been saying all along, that when you have the federal government knowingly and willingly gift drug cartels 2,000 weapons, you
end up having a dead border patrol agent and then the department of justice lies to congress in their february 4th letter that there are a lot of serious flaws in that whole setup. at the very highest levels of the department of justice, there was a lot of wrongdoing there. and we were chastised as house republicans as being on a witch-hunt and all this, but i would look to this report and it validates exactly what we said, this was fundamentally flawed from the get-go, the department of justice didn't have the proper controls. the attorney general was getting very bad advice and was ill served and did not take personal responsibility in that inner circle there at the department of justice. >> but, congressman, you talk about lies and specifically from eric holder, i know you wanted to subpoena a number of documents from the doj and a lot of questions pointed toward him as to what he knew and when. now we have learned it was specifically february of 2011 when he was made aware of this, you know, very much so botched operation. i want to read part of his statement today for you. quote, it is unfortunate that
some were so quick to make baseless accusations before they possess the facts about these operations, accusations that turned out to be without foundation and that have caused a great deal of unnecessary harm and confusion. i hope today's report acts as a reminder of the dangers of adopting as fact unsubstantiated conclusions before an investigation of circumstances is completed. congressman, do you believe holder? do you believe he was not involved? >> i totally disagree with that certification that was just made. it was -- >> answer my question first, do you believe him, are you believing this review that he did not -- he was not aware? >> the question about when he was aware of that, i will look to the report and i believe that. >> okay. >> here is the problem, in february of 2011 is when they -- the department of justice letter head, they sent this false and misleading letter. it was ten months later that the department of justice finally pulled this fact. i would point to page one of the
inspector general's report, which calls upon the working with the department of justice to unseal these wiretaps, because they believe, i think, that the department of justice is not being candid with the american people, and they say there is nothing in there relating to gun walking. the inspector general wants that stuff released and i think when the public sees it, when we see it, you'll see that we will be vindicated that, yes, indeed gun walking or certainly red flags would lead to these questionable tactics was in these wiretaps and i think that's why jason weinstein resigned and why the attorney general is wrong when he testified to congress. >> that is two of the 14, sir, two of the 14 atf and doj referred to for discipline. you think all 14 should go away? >> well, i think -- we're not only the oversight committee, but also the government reform. we got it make sure we have controls in place so this never, ever happens again. we got a dead border patrol agent. yes, they have identified 14. i'm not in a position to say there should necessarily be more than that, but clearly at the senior levels of the department of justice, particularly the
criminal division with lanny brewer, there needs to be some reform in place, absolutely. >> final question for you, congressman, is this over for you? no more questions? >> no, i wish it was. again, the inspector general said, there needs to be more documents released. we still have not seen a bulk of these documents, the inspector general got to see, and then we also have to put the reforms in place and we should do so on a bipartisan way so this never happens again, regardless of the administration that is in place. >> brian terry, losing his life over this, december of 2010. congressman jason chaffetz, thank you. we have more polls for you, more numbers, showing reaction now, reaction for first time to mitt romney's comments caught on video from that private fund-raiser back in may. want to bring in paul steinhauser. this is the first time we're seeing this. how are the numbers looking? >> this is the first. done by gallop last night. let's get right to the numbers. they asked about the comments.
does it make you more or less likely to vote for mitt romney? among registered voters, one in five saying the comments make them feel more likely to vote for mitt romney. you can see at the bottom, 43% say no difference these comments don't make any difference to them. brooke, democrats and republicans are probably not going to be swayed by this. what about independent voters, the ones who decide this election. gallup breaks the number down by independents. 15% say the comments make them more likely to vote for him. 29% less likely. 53% no difference. one thing i think you can count on, we'll see more polling on this over the next couple of days. >> paul steinhauser, thank you very much. and here we go, on that private video, another elected republican breaking ranks with mitt romney because of his comments about his -- about obama supporters. also one of the smartest men in television, joins me live, here he is, fareed zakaria, nice to see you, sir. we'll talk after the quick break.
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was talking about is financially dependent on the government and has developed a sense of entitlement. romney and president obama now appearing on david letterman, both had a chance to pick apart and expound upon romney's original statement, which we heard multiple times by now. fareed zakaria is with us from new york. nice to see you. let's just first all listen here to mitt romney and president obama. first mitt romney. >> you said your wording may have been inelegant. others said you just kissed half the electorate good-bye, this election year, that you all but called them moochers. did you? >> no, i'm talking about a perspective of individuals who i'm not likely to get to support me. i recognize that those people who are not paying income tax are going to say gosh this provision that mitt keeps
talking about, lowering income taxes, that's not going to be real attracted to them and those that are dependent upon government and those that think government's job is to redistribute, i'm not going to get them. i know there is a divide in the country about that view. i know some believe that government should from some to give to the others. >> now, i don't know if you have seen the videotape, but i'm sure you know what we're referencing here, mitt romney at a fund-raiser, i believe, in florida, a cell phone videotaping his remarks and he talks about being in very dismissive terms why 47% of the people voting don't matter to him. what does that mean? is that just -- is that what rich guys at country clubs are talking about? >> well, i don't know what he was referring to. but i can tell you this, when i won in 2008, 47% of the american people voted for john mccain. they didn't vote for me. and what i said on election
night was even though you didn't vote for me, i hear your voices, and i'm going to work as hard as i can to be your president. and one of the things i learned as president is you represent the entire country. >> so, fareed, what do you make of this, a new chapter in the presidential race? what do you make of the original remarks from romney and this whole back and forth ever since? >> look, i think obviously it was a gaffe in the sense that, you know, when somebody once said a gaffe is when a politician accidentally tells the truth or tells you what he actually believes. i think it is revealing because of the larger issue, which is there has developed among some people on the right, some people in the republican party, this very divided view of america, a view of america as makers and takers, and i think that it is unfortunate because, first of all it doesn't really work quite
that way. and in the sense that as many people have now pointed out, many of the people who don't pay taxes actually support romney. they tend to be senior citizens or they tend to be in the military. but more broadly, i think there is a tendency to view people who perhaps are lower income as being moochers, as the phrase was, or lazy or lack responsibility. i think that's very unfortunate and actually unfair. i mean, i live in new york city, and you watch some of these people who make, you know, very little money, say a taxicab driver, these guys are putting in 12, 14-hour days, they're working very hard, perhaps they don't have the right skills, perhaps they're just unlucky, but for whatever reason, they're not doing so well economically. it doesn't mean they're not responsible as parents. it doesn't mean they're not responsible in terms of getting to their job every day. and to view them through that prism that because they're low income, it must mean that they lack responsibility, drive, hard
work, i think just is very -- it is really unfair to people. >> speaking of economics, global lessons putting america to work, this is a special you have cooming up thcoom i coming up this weekend. what did you find? >> why does germany have a much lower unemployment rate than we do. one of the things we did find is that in many countries, particularly in europe that are working well now, that have lower unemployment rates, companies and government create a very strong incentive to keep investing in people, so that if you have a slowdown, you don't fire the worker, maybe you reduce his or her hours, so that you maintain that link, they continue to train themselves in -- on the job, they don't lose those skills, and as a result, when demand comes back, they come back. so they keep faith in the people and invest in people. that makes a big difference. >> we get to watch the answers
from all around this sunday, 10:00 in the morning and again at 1:00 p.m. eastern. fareed zakaria gps, we'll watch you on sunday. thank you very much. now coming up here, big night for presidential candidate mitt romney, goes after latino vote in miami tonight, all the while still defending the secretly recorded comments from a fund-raiser. so what are members of his own party saying about those videos? our political team weighs in next.
another elected republican has broken ranks with mitt romney. and romney's widely reported remarks recorded last may that close to half the country is financially dependent on the government and developed a sense of entitlement. dana bash broke the story, she's live in washington. gold star for you today, miss bash. who are we talking about here? which senator? >> dean heller of nevada, an incumbent senator. nevada is a swing state for mitt romney also, so it is a critical state to look for on the senate level and the presidential
level. i asked him what he thinks of mitt romney's comments. he said he tries not comment on a controversial issue like this, but on this one, he said he thought it was important. he didn't use the word distant, but that's effectively what he's saying. he doesn't agree with mitt romney on the whole question of the 47%. i want to put up on the screen some of what senator heller said. i have five brothers and sisters, my father was an auto mechanic. my mother was a school cook. i have a very different view of the world. he went on to say, i don't write -- i don't write off anybody. my dad had back surgery and was out of work six to eight weeks. i think the government has a responsibility. one of the responsibilities of the federal government is a safety net. he also said something very interesting, brooke, he was very candid, he said if mitt romney wins the state of nevada, then he, the senator, will win re-election. it was very honest about how tied his fortunes are to him, but more broadly, i think the most interesting observation i have in talking to a whole bunch of senators, republican senators
mostly, today, is that so of them their response was started with, what mitt romney meant to say was -- it is never a good day when you have senator after senator, ally after ally trying to clarify your remarks for your own benefit, but also for their benefit, because so many of these lawmakers here are in their own re-election bids. tough ones. i want to show you one quick thing. we can play it for our viewers. maybe another very telling moment here on capitol hill. the senate republican leadership came out to microphones as they do every week after their regular lunch, the republican leader left without taking questions and then the whole group of senate republican leaders instead of staying and answering reporters questions, they just walked away. >> they left? >> -- starting with jobs and spending. >> thank you very much. >> our own ted barrett was one of those screaming questions to
john thune, the tall senator from north dakota, from south dakota, excuse me, and others as well. no answer. they did talk off camera, sort of mildly defended mitt romney and tried to explain his comments as others have. but didn't want to talk about it on camera. that was pretty clear. >> it is what they did not say that is perhaps the most telling part of that, dana bash. thank you so, so much, again. great get with the senator. we also mentioned this a moment ago, gallup released this new poll that gives us a picture of the effect of mitt romney's leaked remarks on voters. take another look with me. 20% of those polled say the comments about the so-called 47% make them more likely to vote for romney. 36% say they are less likely to vote for him. 43% say the remarks make no difference. peter hamby what do you make of the numbers? people on twitter say should we care about all the numbers? what say you? >> it is tough to tell.
if you had to pick a side, they skew probably more negative than positive for the romney campaign. if you look inside the numbers, most democrats say it is not going to make a difference in their vote, most republicans not surprisingly say it won't make a difference in their vote. look at the independent number inside the poll, about 30% say it will make them -- these comments will make them less likely to support romney. a majority of independentes say if will make no difference. the way this poll is conducted, it is a snapshot in time, a one-night poll, and these people are called up by pollster and read the comments. and asked to respond to them. it is hard to know have they actually seen the video, do they know the tone and context, do they know he was in a $50,000 a plate dinner in boca raton? not strictly according to the poll. it is impossible to know. if you had to pick a side this is probably worse news than good news for romney. >> so worse news there. but at the same time, a lot of hard core conservatives say this forced romney to take a clear cut stand, which is what a lot
of them wanted him to do all along. does the campaign at all think maybe they have stumbled on to something good or are they trying to play the hand they have been dealt? >> that's what it is. this is out of necessity they have stumbled into this. and they have to do something about it. this is the third time since the convention that they have had to kind of retool their message. you had at the convention and earlier this week, they'll retool their message and reintroduce the candidate and now they're reintroducing him again in the span of a few weeks. these are ideological cross currents in the conservative movement going on about this. the real practical impact concerning the senators that dana just showed on tv and candidates in tight races, people care about winning and the political operative class is less concerned, you know, about the conservative movement and more concerned about how to win and that's what the romney campaign is doing now with their new message about an opportunityive society versus redistribution.
>> peter hamby, thank you very much. a quick note for all of you before you head to the kitchen too cook lunch or order take out, like some of us tend to do, you want to hear this story this consumer reports study has some very disturbing news about righright rice and now it is calling on the fda to take action. woman 1: this isn't just another election. we're voting for... the future of our medicare and social security. man 1: i want facts. straight talk. tell me your plan... and what it means for me. woman 2: i'm tired of the negative ads and political spin. that won't help me decide. man 2: i earned my medicare and social security.
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know how you measure that out, per week for children because of the arsenic levels in rice. but i want to be very careful with this, that the science here for lack of a better term is mushy, because we don't know really how much arsenic is safe or not safe. we talk to a doctor from the american academy of pediatrics and he said, look, we don't know enough. we just don't know enough to make sort of definitive limits. you should definitely put your child in a car seat. your child should definitely wear a helmet on a bike. how much rice should they eat? we don't know. >> how is arsenic getting in rice? >> isn't that crazy? >> from water? >> from the ground. arsenic has been used in pesticides. and then that got into the ground, and then it got into the rice. >> what does the government say? >> the government says that they are actually looking into setting arsenic levels for rice. right now there are none.
arsenic levels, you can't have above a certain amount for water, they don't have that same thing for rice. i want to tell you what the rice federation said. >> there is a rice federation? >> there is a federation for everything. we have been made aware of concerns about the level of arsenic in rice, but are not aware of any established studies directly connecting rice consumption and adverse health effects. they say there is no line connecting the arsenic with anything bad happening to you. >> okay, you can eat some rice, but there are limits to your -- >> according to consumer reports. i want to be very clear about that. not everyone would agree with this. some scientists would say don't worry about it. >> okay, thank you. >> you're welcome. >> i appreciate it. coming up next, i speak with one of the world's most famous musicians, wyclef jean talked to me about his thoughts on president obama and i surprised him with a video and his apparent affair with singer lauryn hill. >> i think --
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he is arguably one of the world's most recognizable stars in music, from immigrant to childhood thief, to grammy winner, to presidential candidate, wyclef jean sat down and talked about the scandal that apparently broke up the fugees in 1997, talked about president obama, and i played a video for him that absolutely caught him by surprise. wyclef jean joins me from new york and he has a new book out called "purpose, an immigrant story," about his childhood, his family's career as musician and as politician. and it is quite the book, wyclef. so nice to meet you. thank you so much for being here with me. >> thank you for having me. >> let's get right into it.
we were talking before the interview, you said, my goodness, all the attention this book has been has been spinning out, lauryn hill, original member of the fugees, a woman, you have incredible respect for her talent, a woman you loved, had an affair with while you were both married and a woman who thought thought was carrying your child. take me back to the point of the book and tell me what happened. >> in this part of the book, which is, you know, the book is titled purpose, the beginning of the book speaks about me coming from haiti, and leaving haiti coming to america. growing up in the projects, moving to new jersey. my father was a nazarene minister. it goes on to talk about how the fugees started off, inside of a basement. and late teens, you know, going into, like, early 20s and the
book just -- there always has been a puzzle with the fugees where through different articles they always spoke about the situation with me and lauryn and our affairs and me being married. being now in my early 40s, ready to write a book and to explain to all the fugee fans in the era of the fugees, the great album, the score you was hearing, there was always a triangle of romance going on at the time in my 20s. i would say lauryn had the album, the miseducation, and probably the missing puzzle which, you know, i want you all to read the book, i don't want to just give everything -- >> give us a little something because you write about it. give me something, wyclef. tell me about the moments, the heated concert, 1997, when she was pregnant, with, as you thought, was yours, your child. >> yeah, i would say the probably one of the most controversial parts in the book
is, to you, you know, is -- which i did write, was the first child, definitely assumed that it was mine, you know, going to haiti, the height of our career in 1997, bringing the fugees and later finding out that the child was not mine. i would say that was probably the heart of what took our group apart in my 20s. >> wanted to just quote you in that moment, something died between us, i was married and lauryn and i were having affair, but she led me to believe the baby was mine and i couldn't forgive that. we reached out to the lauryn hill camp to get her side, as of course, this is your account. have you been in touch with her at all since all of this has come out? >> well, i mean, i always reach out and the first thing that you have to understand is this is not a book which is based on imagination, you know? close circles that are within family members knew exactly what
happened, you know. and within my autobiography, if i was putting out a book, it was important that every section of the book be true because it is not about what i'm going through now in my 40s being old and understanding, but i could always go back and say, you know what, if anybody out there is going to form a group in your 20s, these are the obstacles that you too might go through. >> wyclef, let's talk politics, because, of course, we all know you ran for president of haiti, you were disqualified and what you say was a technicality. but you also firmly supported president barack obama, at least then senator obama, back in 2008. you held a conference for him, even performed for his nobel prize ceremony. as recently as last year, this is what you told the bbc, what turns people off politics is the citizens feel that every politician do exactly what they need to do to get elected. they say exactly what you want said and once they get elected the population feels that there is no change.
i'm just curious, is that how you feel about president obama today? >> no, the statement that you made was not a statement referring to president obama. it was a generalization of politicians in general. the way that i feel about president barack obama, i feel that within the next four years coming, i strongly believe everyone who supports wyclef, that definitely orb should definitely go out and vote for president barack obama. >> that interview did not end there. my next question to him, absolutely caught wyclef off guard, played a video for him that quite frankly stunned him, you actually saw it on the show a number of weeks ago. wait for his reaction next. vera! the most dependable, longest lasting, full-size pickups on the road. so, what do you think? [ engine revs ] i'll take it. [ male announcer ] it's chevy truck month. now during chevy truck month,
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here is more with my one on one interview with wyclef jean. we talked about the presidential race. i remember from a couple of weeks ago a piece of video that aired on this show that had a pretty interesting song playing in the background and we asked him about that piece of video. watch. i also just want to play -- it was an interesting moment that was on the show a couple of weeks ago. now that we have you it is sort of perfect. we have been covering the slaughter in syria for 18 months. and it just so happens, wyclef, one of our reporters, arwa damon, she goes out and is profiling this media activist who has the daunting task of documenting the dead.
there is this moment, when the man she was speaking about, all the killing, you hear this specific song in the background, listen closely. >> he plays music as he recalls the fate of one of their media activist friends. detained by syrian security forces, and returned to them with his eyes gouged out. >> take the eyes, the same, my job. i'm so shocked by this. when i finish the revolution, i toss the camera like this and i throw. >> do you hear that? people on twitter were watching that piece and they said, my goodness, brooke, that's killing me softly, in syria, amidst the slaughter. this is a man who takes his life
in his own hands, every day, listening to your group, to the fugees. what is your reaction when you see that? >> well, i mean, the fugees was created on the model that we are refugees, meaning that everybody around the world that feels like they're searching for refuge. and the idea of even the creation of the group when we started was to always give those in every part of the world that felt like there was a part of a struggle and needed hope, so it is deep. it is actually my first time hearing that. very deep. >> wyclef jean, thank you so much, your music still touches so many people, so many years later. your new book, "purpose, an immigrant story" now on shelves and available online, thank you, sir. so good to see you. >> thank you. great to see you too. on a desolate highway f in your jeep grand cherokee. and when you do, you'll be grateful for the adaptive cruise control that automatically adjusts your speed when approaching slower traffic.
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correspondent barbara starr. >> reporter: how many troops and just what weapons are needed to defend the nation. president obama and governor mitt romney each are making a different case. governor romney has said he wants to significantly add to our conventional forces. >> we must have a commitment not just to more ships and more aircraft but also in my view to more members of our armed forces. >> reporter: president obama wants a smaller conventional force and $500 billion in pentagon spending cuts over the next ten years. >> and so long as i'm commander in chief, we will sustain the strongest military the world has ever known. >> reporter: let's start with the romney plan. the candidate says he favors a larger force of naval ships and aircraft but has not said how he'd pay for it. romney has also said he wants to add 100,000 troops to the current force of 1.4 million. now for a look at obama's plan.
as part of $500 billion in spending cuts, president obama says he wants to get rid of older ships and delay buying new ones. he also proposes cutting the army by some 66,000 and reducing the marine corps by another 20,000. obama envisions continuing use of small special forces teams and unmanned drones. a signature weapon of the last decade. but romney surrogate and former d.o.d. comptroller says not so fast. >> there's no objection, no ideological objection at all to having drones, unmanned aerial vehicles, unmanned sub surface vehicles, all kinds of unmanned vehicles. the issue is to what extent do you rely almost exclusively on drones and on special force sns. >> reporter: for president obama secret cia drone attacks against militants in pakistan and yemen have had results without risking putting u.s. troops on the
ground. he told cnn's jessica yellin. >> it has to be a situation in which we can't capture the individual before they move forward on some sort of operational plot against the united states. >> i don't think whether obama or romney wins we're going to see this technology go away or see any greater minimized use of it because of their own approach. i think we've seen president obama's most definitely willing to utilize these. have been a signature part of his counterterrorism agenda and it would be very hard for romney to roll that back even if he wanted to. >> whether it's romney or obama in the oval office, the bigger problem with drones may be the international pushback from governments and human rights groups increasingly voicing their opposition. barbara starr, cnn, the pentagon. barbara, thank you. some good news for the economy, home resales were up in the
month of august. alison kosik joins me next with a look at what this means for the real estate market nationwide and also your own home. ahhhh drill sound chirping electric shaver shaking remote tapping sound shaking drill chirping tapping shaking remote wouldn't it be great to have one less battery to worry about? car honking irping the 2012 sonata hybrid. the only hybrid with a lifetime hybrid battery warranty. from hyundai.
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home resales on the rise. new homes being built, existing home prices are up, but people are still looking for jobs. today we hear about a big bump in home resales in the month of august. you see that 7.8%, nearly 8%. pretty close to the unemployment rate. but that bump comes even though we have yet to break a streak of unemployment topping 8%, the longest since the 1940s. there she is, alison kosik, at the new york stock exchange for us. alison, put this in perspective. what's happening here? >> reporter: it's just another sign that the housing market, brooke, is really turning a corner at this point. the national association of realtors says part of the reason is what they're seeing is more buyers are taking advantage of lower prices for houses right now. even though prices have been slowly climbing, they're still
pretty cheap because of the big hit we took during the recession. plus the mortgage rates are still near record lows. the current 30-year fixed is just at 3.5%. and guess what? they're expected to go even lower. that's because of the federal reserve's announcement last week that it would buy up $40 billion a month in mortgage backed securities. so that makes buying very attractive. there's also a lot of this pent-up demand that's been accumulating since the recession started. a lot of people have been waiting to get out of their homes and now they feel pretty confident or a little more confident about doing it. brooke. >> here's the question though, not to be the cynic, but i mean, i kind of wonder, is this only happening in certain parts of the country? or is this actually nationwide? >> reporter: that's the good news. you look deeper in this report and you see the sales increases happened across the entire country. not just in these little pockets. the northeast saw a bump of almost 9%. in the west a little over 8%. even prices are up. median price of a previously owned home now stands at just