tv The Situation Room CNN August 15, 2012 1:00pm-4:00pm PDT
doing that. >> like a good wikipedia thread. that's it for me here. i'm brooke baldwin in atlanta. now to wolf blitzer. "the situation room" begins right now. brooke, thanks very much. happening now, mitt romney unplugged. unleashing some of his harshest attacks yet against the president. the obama campaign says he seems, and i'm quoting him now, unhinged. shooting targets a leading conservative group that promotes family values. who is behind it? new information coming in. and a critical test of a plane that travels six times faster than the speed of sound. we're going to tell you what went so horribly wrong. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
now that mitt romney has teamed up with paul ryan, you might think he'd let his running mate take on the traditional role of attack dog. but it's romney putting the brass on in an ugly war of words with the obama/biden camp. jim acosta's in the battleground state of ohio right now. tell us what's going on, jim? what's the latest? >> reporter: wolf, mitt romney doesn't have any rallies today, but paul ryan, his running mate, will be here on his campus of his al mater. it was thought a few days ago that romney's selection of ryan would elevate this campaign to a debate on the ideas. but not anymore. earlier this morning on one of the morning talk shows romney accused the president of waging a campaign of "hatred." >> this is what an angry and desperate presidency looks like. >> reporter: the race for the white house has become a race to the bottom. >> this campaign strategy is to
smash america apart and then try to cobble together 51% of the pieces. >> reporter: the dog-eat-dog campaign turned vicious as mitt romney lashed out at president obama after vice president joe biden went for the jugular. >> going to put y'all back in chains. >> reporter: the obama campaign offered no apologies describing romney's comments as unhinged and strange coming at a time when he's pouring tens of millions of dollars into negative ads. romney tried to laugh that one off. >> i think i'm hinged when i have to characterize what we've seen from the president's campaign. >> reporter: if the word unhinged sounds familiar, it's because that's how the romney campaign described newt gingrich during the primaries as a pro-romney super pac savaged the former speaker with negative ads. >> you know what makes barack obama happy? newt gingrich's baggage. >> reporter: a top democratic source says the obama campaign is giving romney a taste of his own medicine. >> they are just throwing everything at the wall to see if it sticks. >> reporter: that explains why
the president is out to turn romney into something of a joke. mocking the gop contender three times in the same day for once strapping the family dog to the roof of his car. >> i mean, maybe he's tried it. he's put other things on the roof. >> obama has cut $716 billion from medicare. >> reporter: but the romney campaign is showing its fangs by accusing the president of cutting medicare to pay for the new health care law. the obama campaign notes romney's running mate, paul ryan, has proposed similar savings in the program. >> my plans already extended medicare by nearly a decade. their plan ends medicare as we know it. >> reporter: the medicare debate is the only shred of substance in the campaign. >> i do not think mitt romney realizes what he's done to anyone. and further more, i do not think mitt romney's concerned. >> reporter: the romney campaign is still furious with this pro-obama super pac ad that suggests the gop contender was responsible for the death of a steel workers wife. the ad aired for the first time in ohio tuesday.
but the pac priorities usa says it was a station error. >> we have a president who won't even disclaim an ad by his super pac that accuses mitt romney of killing a gentleman's wife which turned out to be not even close to factually true. >> reporter: and vice president joe biden is not letting up. at an event earlier today in blacksburg, virginia, biden said romney's selection of ryan as his running mate is a sign that the "etch-a-sketch" is gone if ryan is going to fulfill that role of the traditional campaign attack dog. he's got some catching up to do when it comes to competing with joe biden, wolf. >> jim acosta reporting for us. we'll be speaking with ed gillespie later this hour. other important political news, judge's ruling in the battleground state of pennsylvania could affect the outcome of the presidential race. he rejected a challenge to a controversial voter id law. our crime and justice correspondent, joe johns, has been looking into this story for
us. a lot of viewers aren't familiar with what's going on. so update us on the latest developments. >> that's true, wolf. it's making headlines in pennsylvania today, but it's also something to keep your eye on across the country as we get closer to election day. legislatures in key swing states like pennsylvania have been tweaking the voter laws. now we're seeing more and more pushback in the courts as voters start asking why. emotional battle over voting rights this election year. more than a dozen states have passed new voting rights laws including the one in the swing state of pennsylvania, which is requiring people to show photo id in order to vote. opponents went to court to try to block the law saying it could disenfranchise up to 100,000 people, especially minorities and older or sick voters who are more likely not to have acceptable photo identification. people like 93-year-old vivette applewhite, one of the lead plaintiffs in the case.
>> and i just think it's terrible. because there's so many people that don't have id and they're not going to be able to vote. >> reporter: republican commonwealth judge robert simpson ruled that the opponents tried to keep the law from being enforced did not establish that disenfranchisement of voters was immediate or inevitable. in harrisburg the legislator who wrote the law said disenfranchisement was never intended. >> the only people disenfranchises are those individual who is are trying to perpetrate election fraud. >> reporter: but the commonwealth of pennsylvania acknowledges that it would not be able to prove a lot of voter fraud in court even if it tried. pennsylvania is also the state where a topop legislator recently seemed to suggest the voter law would help republicans win back the white house this fall. >> voter id, which is going to allow governor romney to win the state of pennsylvania, done. >> reporter: opponents say it just shows something other than fraud motivated the legislation. >> that in the past decade that they have found only about ten
instances of in-person voter fraud. and those were mostly instances where people were simply confused and didn't know what the rules were in their area. >> so this is about voter suppression in your view. >> in my view. and the view of the brennan center, this is about keeping certain voters from the polls. >> reporter: the justice department now is studying the pennsylvania law which representative metcalfe, the author of the law, claims is a waste of time. >> i think it's a fishing expedition where they're really overreaching. they've demanded documents from us through our department of transportation, demanded information that many pennsylvanians would object to. >> lawyers for the opponents of the pennsylvania law will be asking for an expedited appeal. they say the lower court should have applied a stricter standard of review to the government action in this case, but the court did not do that. by the way, wolf, i'm working on an investigative report, an hour-long investigative report for october on this issue of changes of voter laws in the
states. >> what other states are you looking at? there's a bunch of these laws out there. >> absolutely. there are a bunch of them. you sort of have to narrow it down. we're taking a close look at florida, but there's a number of other states. there's ohio, wisconsin, there's texas, south carolina. this dynamic is at play in all of those states. >> if it's a close election, this could have a serious, serious impact. >> absolutely. just a few hundred thousand votes could make all the difference. >> remember florida 2000, 535 votes carried the state for president then candidate bush. the fbi's investigating a shooting at the downtown washington headquarters of the family research council which promotes conservative social policie policies. a man is in custody right now after he allegedly shot a security guard in the arm. cnn's sandra endo is outside the building for us. sandra, what's the latest information you're getting? >> reporter: wolf, we are learni more about the alleged gunman involved in this morning's shooting at the family
research council. and we are learning from a law enforcement source who says that the gunman purchased a handgun fairly recently at a gun shop in virginia. and that was purchased legally. we also understand from a law enforcement source that they obtained a backpack they believe belongs to the suspect inside the building. of course it's a very active scene here right now. and according to a law enforcement source, they believe the suspect is in his late 20s. and he made comments about the council which you had mentioned, wolf, is a conservative chris chance policy organization. and that is when a security guard confronted him, an altercation broke out. and that is when police say the gunman allegedly opened fire wounding the guard in his arm. and the guard fortunately is okay, in stable condition at this hour. but here's what one eyewitness had to say. >> around 10:45 in the morning. we parked. getting ready to walk around. and the police showed up.
entered the building. told the guy to dropped gun. and, you know, at that point we just moved away. and went on. had some lunch. came back and whole crime scene -- whole road was blocked. >> reporter: the family research council president, tony perkins, issued a statement earlier saying that the police are investigating this incident. our first concern is with our colleague who was shot today. our concern is for him and his family. and interesting, wolf, mitt romney, republican presidential candidate also issued a statement saying he's appalled by the shooting that happened today here in the nation's capitol and says there's no place for such violence in our society, wolf. >> sandy, what do we know about the alleged gunman and the comments he may have made as he tried to get into that building? >> reporter: no word yet from officials on what exactly the gunman said as this all unfolded. of course the investigation is just beginning. they are conducting interviews
and holding the gunman in custody right now. the fbi questioning him, witnesses and of course the security guard who was injured. but here's what the fbi had to say earlier this morning. >> we are looking at, you know, e motive, the intent. and working with u.s. attorney's office, it depends on what charges are brought forth and whether it is a local crime here in d.c. or a federal crime that the case would move over and be led by the fbi. but domestic terrorism is one of those violations as in any situation like this that would be looked for. >> reporter: so of course the details coming out slowly. and of course we are expecting to hear more as the days progress, wolf. >> all right. sandy endo reporting for us from the streets of washington, d.c. thank you. we heard the romney campaign slam vice president joe biden's so-called back in chains remarks. should biden and the obama campaign apologize? that's coming up in the cafferty
file. and paul ryan has proposed major cuts to medicaid. is mitt romney on the same page? i'll ask the campaign senior advisor, ed gillespie, that question and a lot more. islamic nations set to punish the syrian regime for its brutal syrian war. ♪ ( 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.
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backing away from joe biden's controversial comments about putting people back in chains, which is pretty remarkable when you think about it. speaking to a prodominantly black crowd, president obama comments on biden's comments city with a long history of racial tension. he later tried to clean up after himself by saying he'd been referring to the republican's use of the word unshackled when talking about banks. it was too late though as he already created a bit of a fire storm. joe biden has a long history of saying dumb stuff. what's alarming here is the nation's first african-american president's okay with this kind of language. the president's deputy campaign manager told msnbc she doesn't think biden went too far when taken in context. "we have no problem with those comments." this is the same kind of
insensitivity the president showed when he said "if you've got a business, you didn't build that." mitt romney's blasting mr. obama today saying his campaign's all about division and attack and hatred. the romney campaign calls biden's comments a new low. hard to argue with that. former new york mayor rudy giuliani weighed in questioning whether biden has the mental capacity to handle the presidency should it become necessary. oftentimes joe biden says entertaining things. and it can be written off as simply putting his mouth in motion before putting his brain in gear. but the comment about putting people back in chains is loaded with racial overtones. and it's a long way from being cute. it should have been embarrassing for the nation's first black president. apparently it wasn't. here's the question. should the white house apologize for the vice president's remarks about putting people back in chains? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile. post a comment on my blog. or go to our post on the "the
situation room" facebook page. i'll bet if he had to say it over again he'd use different words. >> yeah. i'm sure he would. and as john king reported here in "the situation room," a lot of senior obama officials privately are not very happy with what joe biden had to say. one more thing, jack, wait until you hear what former democratic representative archer davis says to me about what joe biden said before that group in virginia. we're going to have the interview at the top of the next hour. >> all right. >> and archer davis, when he was a congressman -- democratic congressman from alabama, he seconded the nomination of president obama when he was then senator obama to become the democratic presidential nominee. it's blistering. and as one of my producers tweeted earlier, it's must-see tv. that will air right at the top of the hour. you're going to be interested in this interview with archer davis. >> look forward to it.
absolutely. >> thank you. other news we're following former penn state assistant coach jerry sandusky is apparently writing a book in his prison cell. kate bolduan is monitoring that and some other top stories in "the situation room" right now. what do you have, kate? >> hey, wolf. writing appears is how sandusky's been spending his time as he awaits sentencing on 45 child sex abuse convictions. johnston, pennsylvania, tv station wjac is reporting authoritying first thought he was writing his own version of events for the sentencing but now think it's a book, it would be his second book, his first book, a memoir, is unfortunately titled "touched." and he's also been taken off suicide watch. we're also watching they're sending in the marines to help fight wildfires across the western u.s. helicopter units from california are joining air force reserve and air national guard units in fighting the fires by air. at least 70 large uncontained wildfires are burning across 13 states west of the mississippi.
also, venezuelan president hugo chavez saying could contact the prisoner that had all the appearances of a mercenary. a brand new drug scandal has hit the mlb. melki cabrera has been arrested. a tweet from the official major league account reads "the positive result of a test is the use for a substance i should not have used. i'm sorry for my mistake. he's definitely sorried and definitely being funnished for it now. >> that's a sad, sad story indeed all around, especially those of us who love baseball. thanks very much for that, kate. >> yep. the u.s. military's breaking its silence about a very, very expensive new test that has failed. stay with us. you're going to find out what happened when it launched the jet designed to go nearly 5,000
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u.n. investigators are reporting today that both syrian regime forces and rebel fighters have committed war crimes. but they say the violations by the pro-government troops are far more severe iluding murder and torture. a powerful explosion rocked a damascus hotel where u.n. observers are staying wounding three people. opposition leaders say nearly 180 people were killed in today's violence across syria. syria's civil war has been the top topic at an islamic summit underway right now in saudi arab arabia. our senior international correspondent, nic robertson, is joining us live. a formal vote to suspend syria is expect eed to happen a littl later today. what does this mean for the crisis in syria? >> reporter: well, it may have little immediate impact, wolf. i don't think anyone within that conference expects bashar al assad to change course.
but one dynamic here, the iranian president here part of the oic, he's been here part of the delegation invited by king abdullah. really, it's a message for him because it's -- out of all the 57 states represented said syria should not be suspended. and iran as we know supports bashar al assad. this is a very strong message from all these nations to the iranian president while he's sitting in the room with them while they debate the horrors of the bloodshed in syria that president ahmadinejad is in part responsible, has syrian blood on his hands because he won't support -- he won't support this measure in bashar al assad. that's a very important dynamic that's coming out of this conference, even if it doesn't change things on the ground immediately inside syria, wolf. >> so what you're saying is this would be a real slap at the iranian president ahmadinejad if most of these if not all of these other muslim nations go ahead and call for the
suspension of syria? >> reporter: this is exactly how it looks. you know, there's theld saying you hold your friends close but you hold your enemies closer still. so when president abdullah invites -- when king abdullah invited president aum din jaud, it was a prime position. ahmadinejad looked a little uncomfort bable at times. but this is really putting the spotlight on president ahmadinejad. there's no way for him to turn away from the stare and gaze of all these other heads of state, these 55 or 57 different member nations here respected in the oic. this really is a putdown for him. you can slice it and dice it any way, but there's no other conclusion that you can come up with, wolf. king abdullah very shrewd in what is done by essentially embarrassing president ahmadinejad in the most polite
way possible. wolf. >> we'll have much more in our next hour on what's going on including saudi arabia's dramatic announcement today ordering all of its citizens out of neighboring lebanon. nic robertson is on the scene. we'll stay in constant touch with you as well. young undocumented immigrants are lining up today to take advantage in a big change in u.s. immigration policy. in just a minute i'll ask one of the top campaign advisors to myth romney, we're talking about ed gillespie, if his candidate is worried about losing hispanic votes. and during our 6:00 p.m. eastern hour, we'll listen live as the first lady, michelle obama, joins her husband live on the campaign trail in iowa. you can feel. introducing the all-new cadillac xts. available with a patented safety alert seat. when there's danger you might not see, you're warned by a pulse in the seat. it's technology you won't find in a mercedes e-class. the all-new cadillac xts has arrived,
and it's bringing the future forward. ♪ [music plays] ♪ [music plays] in he presented himself asdent obamasomething different. i had hoped that the new president would bring new jobs. not major layoffs, not people going through major foreclosures on their homes. he did get his healthcare through, but at what cost? he said he was going to cut the deficit in his first term. i've seen zero interest in reducing spending. he inherited a bad situation, but he made it worse.
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there are still lots of questions about how much advice mitt romney intends to take from his new running mate, congressman paul ryan, especially when it comes to the very, very sensitive issue of medicare. joining us now from boston is a romney campaign senior advisor, ed gillespie. ed, thanks very much for coming in. >> thanks for having me, wolf. good to be with you. >> mitt romney is making it clear he's number one on the ticket, he's in charge, his views will stand. listen to what he said on cbs this morning. >> congressman ryan has joined my campaign. and his campaign is my campaign now. and we're on exactly the same page. and my campaign has made it very clear, the president's cuts of $716 billion to medicare, those cuts are going to be restored if
i become president and paul ryan becomes vice president. >> all right. so he made it clear that the $716 billion, which the president's budget over ten years wanted to cut, those are increases projected increases in the growth of medicare. that would go away used for something else. but paul ryan as you well know he wanted to use that $716 billion for something else as well. but your boss, mitt romney, is saying paul ryan's views are not being accepted. is there anything else in the paul ryan medicare plan that mitt romney is rejecting? >> well, three things, wolf. first of all, you said that the money president obama took from current beneficiaries in medicare, the $716 billion was going to something else. it's important to note that something else is obama care. a massive government expansion. most people don't like it. most people like medicare. they don't appreciate that he transferred all of that money from current beneficiaries to medicare. i think a lot of people also
ought to know that under his plan medicare part a, the hospital trust fund, will go bankrupt in 12 years. so if you're 50 years older or younger, it will not be there for you when you retire under the obama administration's lack of response to that problem. paul ryan's budget did put that money toward extending the longevity of medicare, not paying for obama care. what governor romney has said is that he will repeal obama care. and he will restore the cuts. so a very significant difference between governor romney and president obama. that's what this election is about. the major significant differences between for example the romney plan for a stronger middle class, more jobs, more take home pay. and president obama's failed policies which have resulted in unemployment now above 8% for more than three years. so we're looking forward to this debate. and we're trying to elevate the debate. it's not always easy, unfortunately, given the nature of the obama/biden campaign. but we want to talk about the big problems facing the country
and put forward solutions like governor romney is doing. and, yes, paul ryan is running on the romney ticket as joe biden ran on the obama ticket. he didn't agree with everything that president obama was for back then. >> so he's rejecting ryan's use of that $716 billion. but is there anything else that ryan's medicare plan that mitt romney rejects? >> you know, wolf, i know you want to talk about the differences -- any differences that may have existed between what paul ryan has voted for and thousands of votes in the house and governor romney, but the romney plan is what we're running on. and the romney medicare proposal, which would -- there is a similar approach, by the way, in terms of saving the program for future generations. but when you sign onto a ticket as the number two, you sign on to the number one's agenda. that's what we're running on. the romney plan is now the romney/ryan plan for a stronger middle class. you can go on the website. viewers can see it.
detailed policies. you can't find any detailed policies from president obama on his second term. get a pack of blood hounds and not find president obama's policies. >> go to his website there's page after page after page of what he supports on all of these sensitive issues, what he opposes. >> i have not heard them. >> let's keep this discussion on a high level. medicare obviously very important. paul ryan also when it comes to medicaid, he's recommended in his budget an $800 billion cut over the next ten years. and moving that program basically to the states away from the federal government. does the governor support that? >> well, the governor is a former governor, as you know. and he does favor giving the states greater latitude in terms of how they spend their medicaid dollars. there's a lot of imposition on the states from the federal government right now from washington also as a result of obama care. and governor romney believes that the state should have much
greater latitude in terms of how they spend their medicaid dollars. >> there's been a lot of buzz as a result of that interview that paul ryan gave brit hume at fox news yesterday including his inability to spell out would his own budget result in a balanced budget. listen to what he said. >> i don't know exactly what our balance is because -- i don't want to get wonky on you, but we haven't run the numbers on that specific plan. >> that was etty stunning to me. somebody who knows paul ryan, interviewed him on many occasions, one of the smartest guy in there. i was stunned to hear he doesn't know what his own budget would result in a balanced budget. >> well, wolf, as you know, the estimates for those things are based on a lot of variables in terms of economic growth and projections relative to population and that kind of thing. i know this, governor romney's plan for deficit reduction will get us on a path to a balanced
budget. president obama has racked up $5 trillion in new debt. more than a trillion-dollar deficit every year he's been in office and put forward his budget. more than a trillion dollars in deficit. and he promised that he was going to cut the deficit in half. we know that didn't pan out. that he disappointed us on that promise like he has with so many other promises. and the romney plan for deficit reduction will put us on a path to a balanced budget. barack obama's plan is more of the same. and we can't afford that kind of debt in this country. and that's the choice. the romney plan for deficit reduction, which is one of the -- which is a significant part of the romney plan for a stronger middle class, versus what we know to be a failed record on president obama's part. >> how many years would it take for the romney budget to result in a balanced budget? >> wolf, i'm not sure of that myself, actually. i'll get back to you though. i'm sure it's on our website. i should know it. i'm embarrassed on your air that i don't have that number at the
top of my head. i didn't know we were going to talk about that today. i apologize. >> all right. budget deficits and balance budgets, national debt obviously a very important issue. one other issue before i let you go today is an important day for a lot of illegal immigrants here in the united states, young ones who were either brought here by their parents or had no real cause for their being illegal immigrants. they can now apply for legal residency in the united states. we're getting a lot of reaction from many of them across the country. i'll play a couple clips. >> a dream come true, you know, being able to b like any normal citizen, you know? being able to go back to school, support my mom, support the rest of my family. >> so what does the governor think about this new policy that has gone into effect today that will impact obviously a lot of folks? >> well, governor romney believes that we need a long-term lution to our immigration problem in this
country. and this short-term solution put forward by the president may make it harder for us, actually, to reach a bipartisan consensus on the need for immigration reform. we also believe that by the way when you have americans of hispanic decent who have an unemployment rate 10% higher than the national average, one of the most important things we can do is to get our economy moving again and make sure that hispanic americans like all americans are able to get more jobs, have higher take home pay and see economic growth in this country. and there are a lot of other issues as well that americans of hispanic decent care deeply about when it comes to our future and the future for their children. >> he spoke one of the debates over the last several months self-deportation? >> his position he laid out entails taking a comprehensive look at this, how to solve this
problem. but he does not support president obama's action that he's taken today. he believes that it's not going to help us get a long-term solution. >> ed gillespie is the senior advisor to the romney campaign. ed, thanks very much for coming in. we'll stay in close touch with you as well. >> you bet. thanks for having me, wolf. >> i think you're also going to want to hear the interview that's going to be coming up at the top of the hour with artur davis, the former democratic congressman from alabama. he's got some strong words on what's going on right now. republicans meanwhile are still fuming about joe biden's comments about romney policies putting people supposedly back in chains. in our strategy session we'll discuss that and rudy giuliani's latest slam on the vice president. much more coming up right here in "the situation room." and s. [ chirp ] with android apps, you get better quality control. so our test flights are less stressful. i've got a lot of paperwork, and time is everything here. that's why i upgraded to the new sprint direct connect. [ chirp ] and the fastest push-to-talk nationwide. [ male announcer ] upgrade to the new "done." [ chirp ]
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let's get to our strategy session right now. joining us our cnn contributor, democratic strategist maria and republican mary matalin. react to it's romney's policies, not ryan's policies that will prevail. >> of course that's what they want to say now, wolf. they know ryan's policies, particularly the ryan budget, which is quite extreme is something that will be an albatross around their necks if they don't distance themselves from it. unfortunately romney already said if it did come to his desk as president, he would sign the ryan budget. it's going to be quite difficult for them to walk it back as much as they would want to. >> were you surprised, mary, that paul ryan who is the budget wonk if you will, the wonk of wonks up on the hill, doesn't
even know when his own budget would result in a balanced budget? >> no. there are all kinds of assumptions to be able to skort. i think he was literally answering the question. here's what we do know. governor romney has a record as governor of massachusetts. he lowered the deficit. he balanced the budget. and he created jobs. president obama has a record as president he has quadrupled the deficit, we have historic debt that is burdening our future as far as the eye can see and he's increased unemployment. we have no growth and no chance of a balanced budget. romney has balanced a budget. he has grown the economy in massachusetts. and he is the only plan in history of economic plans, this plan and then the ryan plan and that approach to government is the only one that's created growth as was evidenced by when reagan did it and when john f. kennedy did it. we have history and record on our side. and we have obama's flapping jaws on his side. >> i'm going to bring maria back into this conversation.
mary, as you know, he had such a detailed budget plan that spelled out cuts, spending and all sorts of areas. you would have thought he would have had an idea when his own budget would result in a balanced budget, if it ever does. >> a lot faster than barack obama's. >> he's the chairman of the budget committee. they have a huge staff over there. they can crunch the numbers. they can come up with assumptions. it's not that complicated. >> you know, wolf, clearly what's trying to happen here is the press is trying to divide romney and ryan. everybody knows and in the interplanetary system of these races, the president sets the policy. and as my old boss, dick cheney said, the vice president salutes smartly and carries on. we know this, the difference isn't between ryan and romney. the difference is between romne romney,/ryan and obama/biden. we can create the 12 million jobs through the various policies that mitt romney has
detailed in our further detailed on his website. that's the difference. >> maria, i want you to give me your quick reaction to what joe biden said yesterday. i'll play a clip of rudy giuliani responding. listen to this. >> look at what they value and look at their budget and what they're proposing. romney wants to let -- he said in the first hundred days he's going to let the big banks once again write their own rules. unchain wall street. going to put y'all back in chains. >> i've never seen a vice president that has made as many mistakes, said as many stupid things. i mean, there's a real fear god forbid he ever had to be entrusted with the presidency whether he really has the mental capacity to handle it. this guy just isn't bright. he's never been bright. he isn't bright. and people think, well, he just talks a little too much. actually, he's just not very smart. >> all right.
go ahead, marie, ya respond. >> well, you and i know that's not true. biden is very bright. and he has served this country very well. and obama has tremendous faith in him. we also know that he's prone to gaffes. and that one was cringe-worthy. i do agree with that. but i suspect that the majority of african-americans and this is the audience that we're talking about here, are going to give him a pass on this. because you know what? he's the one who has a terrific record, he and president obama, when it comes to issues important to minorities, african-americans, latinos, gase and lesbians, you name it. he's a lifelong member of the naacp. i'm sure they're going to give him a pass. you want to talk about a campaign divisive, you had john sununu talking a while ago wished this president would learn to be more american. a romney advisor talked about how romney understood great britain more because he was
anglo sax xon. >> mary, i'm not going to let you respond. we're going to get full response from a republican coming up at the top of the hour. thanks to both of you for coming in. in fact, speaking of that response, i want everyone right now to listen to the former congressman, the democrat turned republican artur davis. what he told me just a little while ago about vice president biden's back in chains remark. listen to this. >> i know what joe biden was doing yesterday. and every black person in that room knew who the y'all was. they knew what the chains were about. they knew what the metaphor was. >> all right. i want you to stick around because you're going to hear this explosive news-making interview with the former democratic congressman who seconded barack obama's nomination forresident of the united states four years ago, what he has to say about joe biden and barack obama for that matter is startling. standby.
the presidency. if you followed his career, you'll find this is normal for him. he thinks he's funny, but almost no one gets the joke except him. they ought to put oversized shoes on biden and a red ball on his nose, the man is a clown. south carolina writes why should he? i for one agree. as a black man i feel we're way too sensitive to any analogy of slavery. and this case fits that. jake writes i'm an independent who voted for obama last time. there's no way i will vote for him again. like many, i drank the kool-aid thinking he would benefit the country. instead i witnessed one of the most divisive self-serving presidents in recent memory. it's possible the economy hasn't performed like he's promised, but i can't forgive to fail to unite the country baz he was more concerned about what it would take to stay in power. ian writes an apology.
biden should resign. he brings a disgrace to the office. lee writes part of me says yes, but if the white house acknowledged every blooper biden made, it would only make life difficult for him. it would be better if they muzzled him and put him on a short leash. let joe be joe. no filters, authentic. it's refreshing. wayne in virginia writes, they should, jack. but this administration only apologizes to foreign country. we got a lot of mail on this. look forward to that interview you got coming up in a few minutes. >> you'll be interested in this interview for sure. viewers will want to watch it. a major test for a superfast jet doesn't go as planned. you'll find out what happened when the military tried out an experimental aircraft designed to go almost 5,000 miles an hour. ♪ [ acoustic guitar: upbeat ]
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now that's personal pricing. the military's big test of the new super fast jet didn't go so well. the x-51 waverider ended up spinning out of control and had to be destroyed. our pentagon correspondent chris lawrence is joining us to tell us what went so horribly wrong. what happened, chris? >> well, wolf, it was always scheduled to go into the ocean, but not after just 30 seconds. the air force is telling us that the waverider did safely separate from that b-52 that carried it into the air and the rocket boosters fired as planned. but then they noticed the problem, a fault in one of the control fins. and 30 seconds later it lost control and crashed. now the big question is, what next? the air force had bought four of these waveriders, tested now three of them. it has one left. and it's spent about $140
million on this hypersonic technology. but they've only budgeted up until this test yesterday, wolf. so it remains to be seen if they've got the money to still use that last waverider. hopefully you didn't cancel your round trip ticket on american airlines from here to europe. >> not yet. thanks very much, chris lawrence. and you're in "the situation room." happening now, a blistering attack on president obama from a prominent african-american who once played a key role in getting him elected. just ahead, the former democratic congressman artur davis, he's here in "the situation room." and he's unleashing serious allegations about the vice president and race on the campaign trail. plus, the president ends his three-day swing through iowa in what could be his most powerful weapon out there on the campaign trail, the first lady, michelle obama. and a deadly west nile virus outbreak slams the united states in the worst spike the country
has suffered in almost a decade. just ahead, our own dr. sanjay gupta with the latest on the dangers, the symptoms, what you need to know to avoid getting infected. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." and we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. what a difference four years makes. the stunning transformation. he used to be one of the most prominent democrats in congress and certainly a rising star in the democratic party. but now artur davis who once helped barack obama get into the white house has shifted his support to mitt romney and unleashing a blistering attack on the president's campaign and leveling some serious allegations against the vice president after he said this on
the campaign trail yesterday in virginia. >> look at what they value and look at their budget and what they're proposing. romney wants to let -- he said in the first hundred days he's going to let the big banks once again write their own rules. unchain wall street. going to put y'all back in chains. >> don't forget artur davis is the former democratic congressman entrusted with that prestigious honor of seconding barack obama's nomination for president of the united states at the 2000 democratic convention. >> i am honored to second the nomination of the man whose victory tonight takes us closer to becoming what we know america can be, ladies and gentlemen. this is the cause for which we stand. an american president named barack obama who will lead and inspire the free world. >> that of course was the 2008 democratic convention. but that was then. and this is now.
and artur davis is joining us now from virginia. congressman, thanks very much. the last time we spoke you said you left the democrats, you left president obama because he had moved too far to the left. the question is this, paul ryan, the congressman, you know him quite well. you worked with him when you were in the house of representatives. he's pretty much aligned with the tea party and the right. you feel comfortable with him? >> i feel very comfortable with him. and i'll tell you what, i felt comfortable with him when i was a democrat serving along side him on two committees. he's an incredibly gifted public servant. if you ask if i agree with everything he's ever said in his political career? no. but then again no two people agree on everything that i know. governor romney, if he wins this election, is going to be setting policy. he's obviously going to have the benefit of paul ryan's council. and he's going to be getting very good council. someone who's smart, who's pragmatic, who has shown he knows how to work with
democrats. right now he's working with the democratic senator to fashion a compromise to save the future of medicare. that kind of intelligence and that kind of leadership and that kind of capacity to work with the other side will be a useful asset in the next vice president of the united states. >> what was one or two issues that most disappointed you or surprised you as far as president obama is concerned and cause you to leave his side? >> wolf, i have to tell you, i don't have to go any further than 24 hours ago. when i heard the vice president of the united states, someone i grew up admiring, someone i've been on platforms with, when i heard him go to danville, virginia, and talk about politics in a way that no serious candidate ought to talk about it, when i heard him reach the bottom of the deck and talk about one party putting people in chains, when i heard someone i had admired and been on
platforms with talk about ordinary conservative principles as being essentially racial viciousness because that's the allegation he was making yesterday, i was disappointed by it. but i have to tell you it brought back memories of me. memories of democratic politicians in the south who think they can go before black crowds and say one thing, and nobody else will hear it and they can get a cheer in the room and they can blithely go on about their business. that's not the way you can do politics anymore because of the media and i think -- i hope vice president biden learned an important lesson that you can't say one thing to a certain group of people and assume nobody else hears you. >> there were cameras there. it wasn't simply a closed door event. but what the obama campaign says is he was simply referring to what republicans have said that they want to "unshackle big business in the united states" and get did of many of the
regulatio regulations. and he was responding to that. does that make sense to you? >> wolf, i know that's the spin. and it's creative. i'll give them credit for creativi creativity. but i happen to have spoken to a few african-american audiences in my time representing prodominantly african-american district, i know what joe biden was doing yesterday. and every black person in that room knew who the y'all was. they knew what the chains were about. they knew what the metaphor was. and i will give that audience credit. if you listen to a tape of that audience, you actually hear what appear to be boos or what appears to be shock from some people in that audience. that says a lot that is very good about people in that audience that when joe biden went to a place he never should have gone then instead of getting the cheers he just knew he'd get, he got a negative reaction from a lot of the african-americans in the room. that doesn't lift up joe biden or excuse his comments, but it says something positive about the people in that audience. >> well, let me be precise before we move on.
what are you saying that this represents, this underscores as far as the vice president is concerned? >> it's a divisive tactic that's insulting to african-americans. it's insulting to the american people. it's an insult to the legacy that he used to build up as an order who knew how to inspire people instead of strike fear in people's hearts. and it ought to embarrass president obama. president obama has talked so movingly about our country moving beyond race and his own vice president makes this kind of comment yesterday? it was wrong. and the president ought to be embarrassed by it. and the president ought to say it was wrong. >> the republican presidential candidate, the man you support, mitt romney, he's been pretty tough out there in going after president obama. i'm going to play two clips back-to-back, one from ohio yesterday, one on cbs news today. listen to this.
>> so mr. president, take your campaign of division and anger and hate back to chicago. and let us get about rebuilding and reuniting america. i think if you look at the ads that have been described and the divisiveness based upon income, age, ethnicity and so forth, it's designed to bring a sense of enmyty and jealousy and anger. >> when he talks about hate and anger, is he going too far, romney? >> governor romney is calling out the obama campaign on something they try to do on the slide. they hope no one will call them out for it. i give governor romney credit for doing it. frankly, i wish more people supporting governor romney would call out the obama campaign for what they're doing. i know this tactic. i've seen it with seven democratic politicians before. they get in front of one kind of crowd and think they can say one thing to that crowd, touch some of the worst nerves in american politics and then in the light
of day they can say, oh, i didn't really mean that. i was simply making a metaphor. governor romney is right to call out this tactic for what it is. and he can't stop it, but the american people can certainly fail to rerd it by voting the other way this november. >> so you're with romney when he says that president obama is running a campaign of anger and hate and jealousy? >> governor romney is absolutely right when he says the obama campaign is running a divisive campaign that routinely -- it wasn't just yesterday, it's been routine for the last year pitting one set of americans against another on issue after issue. it wouldn't be so bad if barack obama had not campaigned in such a different way. he's doing what any politician does who's running and struggling in the polls and has a 45% approval rating and a bad economy. he's trying to change the subject. he's doing what ordinary
politicians do. but barack obama said four years ago that he was no ordinary politician. and so many of us believed him when he said that. that's the sad thing about what's happened in this campaign. >> and you believed him for sure because you seconded his nomination at the convention in denver in 2008. artur davis, thanks very much for coming in. >> thanks for having me, wolf. and just ahead, we're going to get reaction from a prominent african-american who knows a thing or two about democratic politics in the south. we're talking about the first african-american governor of virginia, douglas wilder. he'll be joining us to get some reaction to what we just heard from artur davis, my interview with governor wilder only minutes away. the first lady of the united states joins president obama on the campaign trail. and she's poking fun at him. plus, the serious threat that's causing several countries to warn their citizens to leave lebanon immediately. and a teenager cheats at the
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jack cafferty's here with the cafferty file, jack. >> not necessarily breaking news but stunning nevertheless, only one in ten americans thinks congress is doing a good job. with numbers like these, tough to imagine that any of these lawmakers will get re-elected in november, but sadly a lot of them will. according to a new gallup poll, congress gets a whopping 10% approval rating, which ties its all-time low for the last 40 years. 83% disapprove of congress. what's more, congress's approval rating is down among all political groups, 9% for democrats, 11% for independents, 10% for republicans. and while experts say it's hard to pinpoint exactly why americans are so negative about congress, the answer's probably everything. there's the economy, the skyrocketing national debt, the rapidly approaching fiscal
cliff, the soon-to-expire bush tax cuts, unemployment topping 8% for 42 straight months now. and there's no longer any compromise in congress whatsoever. hyperpartisanship means all congress does now is bicker and accomplish virtually nothing. currently congress has decided to give itself another five-week vacation. despite all these problems that they're refusing to address, they're on vacation. the country's on the road to ruin. and congress bears a lot of responsibility. and yet chances are if you check back after the election, many of these very same lawmakers will be right back in the seats they've held for years. why do we keep doing this to ourselves? the definition of insanity? doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome. here's the question, why won't americans vote congress out of office? go to cnn.com/cafferty file, post a comment on my blog. or go to our post on the "the situation room" facebook page. wolf. >> when i saw those poll numbers, jack, the first thought i had is, who are those 10% that
think congress is actually doing a good job? i speak to a lot of members of congress, they themselves don't even think they're doing a good job. so who are these 10%? >> it must be the margin of error in the poll. >> maybe that's it. >> 10% margin of error. >> check that poll. see what the margin of error is. that's a good point. thanks very much. this is the final day of president obama's three-day bus tour of iowa. this morning he stopped for breakfast with three veterans. later he was joined by a very special guest, the first lady. we're awaiting the obama final stop by the way. meantime our white house correspondent, dan lothian, is joining us now with more on what the first lady had to say when she joined the president. how did that go today, dan? >> reporter: well, the campaign believes that it went well, wolf. her role today was to remind iowa voters of the president's biography. that's something that the president himself has not been talking a lot about on this trip. instead he's been focused on the farm bill, on wind energy. today some tough words for his
gop opponents on medicare. representative paul ryan's selection as governor mitt romney's running mate guaranteed that medicare would go from a relatively minor talking point to the center of this presidential race. >> they want to turn medicare into a voucher program. that means seniors would no longer have the guarantee of medicare. >> reporter: the romney campaign countererred with political ads in battleground states accusing the president of taking money from the popular entitlement program for seniors to pay for "obama care." >> now that you need it, obama has cut $716 billion from medicare. >> reporter: on the final day of his three-day iowa bus tour, the president delivered his most detailed defense against sharp republican criticism. >> i have strength in medicare. i have made reforms that have saved millions of seniors with medicare, hundreds of dollars on their precipitation drugs. >> reporter: a new web ad from the obama campaign featuring news reports and economist paul
krugman pitches that message to seniors even though under the ryan budget plan, only those currently 55 and older would be affected. >> ryan could hurt romney in florida. >> reporter: in this medicare battle with dueling charges of dishonesty and hypocrisy, a different voice entered the stage. >> i am just as happy to be back in the great state of iowa where it all began. >> reporter: first lady michelle obama directed her pitch toward the middle class by trying to portray the president as one of them. >> but your president knows what it means when a family struggles. >> reporter: you saw there the first lady trying to make that contrast between the president and governor mitt romney. the campaign telling me that they believe she's a critical voice in the campaign. one official telling me that there's no better advocate for the president's policies than the first lady. wolf. >> dan lothian in davenport, iowa, with the president. thank you, dan. in the next hour the president
and the first lady will wrap up their three-day bus tour through iowa. as soon as they get to the podium we're going to go there live. we're also awaiting paul ryan, the republican vice presidential candidate, to begin his latest speech in ohio. we're going to show you some of that as well. a deadly virus is making a comeback and has a major city declaring an emergency. the latest from dr. sanjay gupta. and weighing in on the biden controversy. we're going to talk with the former governor of virginia on the growing fallout on the so-called chains remark. male spirit present.trong it's the priceline negotiator. >>what? >>sorry. he wants you to know about priceline's new express deals. it's a faster way to get a great hotel deal without bidding. pick one with a pool, a gym, a great guest rating. >>and save big. >>thanks negotiator. wherever you are. ya, no. he's over here. >>in the refrigerator?
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right now more than 693 people in 32 states have been infected. and 26 people are dead. 16 of them in the state of texas alone. just hours ago the mayor of dallas declared his city is facing an emergency, which clears the way for aerial spraying to kill infected mosquitos which carry the disease. let's go to our chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta for the latest. what do we know first of all about this aerial spraying? >> it's something that's been done quite a bit really since 1987. we obviously are hearing more about it, seeing it wolf, because of the context of all of this with the number of cases of west nile virus. but these toxins, this is something i've reported on a lot, i've paid a lot of attention in partcause i'm a reporter but also because i have young children. so i know about this particular one, it's called duet. it's made up of a couple of different toxins, chemicals that are obviously design today try and decrease mosquito populations. the epa has weighed in on this,
other organizations have weighed in on this. it appears to be fairly safe for children, pets and adults. there are certain caveats they say when this is still wet. people should avoid the areas just been sprayed. and also do all you can to try and prevent taking it into your own home. if you live in an area being sprayed, take off your shoes before entering your house. may sound like a simple solution, but can be quite effective, wolf. >> this virus spreading pretty quickly. how do you know if you have it? >> it can be hard, wolf. i will tell you, this may be good news to some extent, is that the vast majority of people who get infected with west nile virus don't know because either the symptoms are nonexistent or they're very mild. and more severe cases people will develop fever, they will develop swollen lymph nodes as the body tries to fight off the infection. sometimes people will get a rash on the trunk area, chest, abdomen or back. in the more severe cases, wolf, these are the cases people really pay attention to, there's
a neuroinvasive component. it's just what it sounds like. invades the area around the nervous system. and people will develop significant sleepiness, coma, seizures and all the things around the spinal cord and brain. and those cases can proceed to death, wolf, as you've heard. but one thing i think is important to point out is that there's an incubation period for this. meaning that right after you get a bunch of bites, you likely are not to get sick right away if you have west nile virus. if you do get sick, it it would be as late as two weeks later. so if you think about this and you have some of these symptoms and you thought, well, it was two weeks ago when i got bit, remember this concept of incubation period and don't ignore those symptoms. >> if you live in dallas or some of these other hard-hit areas, potential danger areas, what should you do to protect yourself? >> you know, a lot of this is on the consumer -- obviously you talked about the spraying. i can tell you, wolf, we know that there's a lot of people working hard to develop a vaccine, but there isn't one.
so for the individual, you know, this is going to sound, again, common sense but long sleeve, long pants. even in some of these hot weather states, will do a lot to protect you. using various bug sprays including deet to ward off mosquito bites. andusk and dawn tend to be the worst times of day. that's when the mosquitos will be most active. try and stay inside at those times of day. if you have water around your house, that's where mosquitos like to breed. get rid of that standing water. and keep in mind that the elderly and people with weak immune systems are most at risk. those are the ones that need to pay closer attention to it sdpl this is a real problem out there. we'll stay in close touch with you, sanjay, to find out what's going on. appreciate it very much. >> you got it, wolf. thank you. stay here in "the situation room," the former virginia governor, doug wilder, is standing by to respond to some of the explosive things that
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what's in your wallet? i was in an accident. i lost my hands, my feet. shriners did a lot more than just heal me. they helped me put my whole life back together. (vo) send your love to the rescue. (vo) donate to shriners hospitals today. at the top of the hour you heard my pretty shocking interview with the former democratic congressman artur davis of alabama. his allegations that the vice president, joe biden, is atte t attempting to use race, race, in his attacks on mitt romney. here's a little clip from that
interview. >> it brought back memories of these democratic politicians in the south who think they can go before black crowds and say one thing that nobody else will hear it. and that they can somehow get a cheer in the room and that they can blithely go on about their business. i represent a predominantly african-american district, every black person in that room knew what the metaphor was. >> pretty strong words from artur davis. let's get response now from former democratic governor doug wilder. he's the first african-american governor of the commonwealth of virginia, the former mayor of richmond as well. someone who knows a lot about politics in the south. give me your immediate reaction. i assume you know artur davis. what do you think of those blistering comments about joe biden. >> i saw him at the convention. as a matter of fact, wolf, i saw him at the convention in '08.
and we had pleasant exchange. i think he turned 180 degrees. he's going obviously not just against biden's comments, he's gone against even the re-election of the president. and that might be reason for him having that view, but my view on the comments made by joe biden were these. first of all, without question they were appeals to race. and if you don't argue with that -- if you understand that, then the next question is why? why do you feel you need to do that? but the more important thing that i got out of this was biden sepated himself from what he accused the people of doing as a matter of fact what he said is they are going to do something to y'all. not to me. not us.
so he was still involved with that separate american. and i'm sick and tired of being considered something other than an american. we are like no other country in the world. we are of every race, every description, every ethnicity, every religion. so i don't know why he felt that he needed to do that at this stage. more importantly, the president doesn't need this now. the president needs to be a part of the bringing people together. i heard one of the president's -- one of the members of the congress speaking rather concerned about if the president has to have a democratic loss in the senate and the republicans take over the senate and keep control of the house, he has got to work with someone if he is re-elected. >> governor, let me interrupt for a moment. i just want to be precise on this. you support obviously the
president for re-election. you don't support mitt romney. but what i hear you saying is that you agree with artur davis in your criticism of the words that the vice president selected. >> oh, no question of that. i do. because when he says they are going to put y'all back in the chains, what he means, you were there, i wasn't. and when you go back, i won't be going with you. it's a separate argument. it's a separate talk. we don't need that from leaders. we don't need that from anybody. we need people to talk about healing one nation ii iin indi visible. >> does it bother you to say these kinds of things? >> wolf, i used to wait tables in just about every hotel and country club in virginia.
and i've heard these people say those kinds of things when they were speaking to the audience where i was working, waiting. and yet when they would come to my college at virginia union university, something altogether different. and then some would say things like, well, you know, i can't say what i would like to say publicly. but let's not get too far gone in that. as far as i am concerned, the president would not associate himself with those remarks, would not make those remarks. and i expect as the days go forward there will be more clarity associated with what the president feels about what joe biden said. i saw something earlier today about someone saying they should dump biden for hillary clinton. it's too late for that. the real question is the people of america need healing. they need to be brought together. biden's remarks brought race
into the campaign. and they were not necessary. >> you were referring to what the former republican presidential nominee, john mccain, said on fox a little while ago. he said it might be wise for president obama to pick hillary clinton as his running mate adding i think obama might be wise to do that. but that's not going to happen obviously for a whole variety of reasons. >> that's true. >> on this, do you go as far as john mccain in saying that maybe the president should dump biden and put hillary clinton on the ticket? >> i had said something like that, similar to that several months ago. as a matter of fact, over eight or nine months ago that it would have been in the president's best interest to pick hillary because -- and i'll go even further. if hillary were on that ticket today based on the job she's done as secretary of state, i think that would be a clearer advantage the president would be seeing. it's not going to happen. it's too late. i think she'll be getting
herself together for 2016. but that doesn't help the president today. what the president needs to do is to disassociate himself from trying to show anybody that division is what this adration. ut >>o biden is watching this show right now, the vice president of the united states, governor wilder, what do you say to him? >> as some may have said, cool it, back up. and there's nothing wrong with saying i was wrong. i never intended to do this. what i said was inappropriate. it was wrong. you can't defend it. >> governor wilder, you're still going to vote for president obama and joe biden, is that right? >> well, they're not separated. you vote for one, you vote for the other. >> so you're still a supporter of the democratic ticket? >> i have never said anything differently. >> okay. governor doug wilder, the former governor of virginia. thanks so much for coming in. >> always good, wolf. good to be with you.
there's a new recall of a popular baby seat. kate bolduan is monitoring that and some of the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. what's going on, kate? >> hey, wolf. some important information for a lot of parents. the u.s. consumer product safety commission says 4 million bumbo baby seats are being recalled because infants can fall out of them. 19 babies have suffered skull fractures, they are reporting. the commission is urging parents
immediately to stop using the seats until they order and install a repair kit that includes a restraint belt. the seats were recalled five years ago for similar reasons. other news we're watching, investigators are trying to determine why two planes collided. look at this video. on the ground at nashville's airport. cnn affiliate wtvf reports the gulf stream and beach craft jets collided yesterday while the gulf stream was being towed. no passengers were aboard the planes and no injuries reported. picking a winner in horse racing may be getting a little easier. a thoroughbred research company is analyzing a strand of horse dna cknaspd gen breeders can u test to determine whype of horse would be produced through different couplings. the acting managing director says the results are racing way, way above over my head on that one. you could call it the case of the missing blank tiles.
for the first time in 30 years of competition, a cheater has been nabbed at the national scrabble championship tournament in orlando. a scrabble official says a teen was spotted dropping two blank tiles near his foot instead of returning them to the grab back. after he was confronted the teen confessed and was removed from the tournament. further proof it never helps to cheat, wolf. >> don't cheat. good advice we all learned in kindergarten. thanks very much. the candidates are traveling across battleground states. mitt romney running mate paul ryan returns to his alma mater in ohio while the obamas, both of them, wrapping up their tour of iowa. we're going to bring you their remarks. that's coming up live in the next hour. and a city under siege. we have a graphic firsthand look at the relentless violence in one syrian city where even a hospital isn't safe. mom: ready to go to work?
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plumes of black smoke and flames, that was the scene in syria today after a huge blast targeted a military complex near a hotel housing u.n. monitors. three people were injured. this as the death toll is reportedly climbed to almost 200 people just today. and we're in beirut right now. nick, another huge blast in damascus. the casualties mountding right now. what's the latest on the violence? >> reporter: the damascus blast more symbolic because it targeted the inner sank tum. according to to state media three people injured. also the hotel where many u.n. members stay rattled. no u.n. casualties. the u.n. was not the target. they were trying to hit a
meeting of senior syrian regime officials. but it's really those plumes of black smoke in the center of damascus where the regime is supposed to have forensic control over the area. that is that symbolic victory of today's blast in a day where we heard of reports of other clashes from syrian activists in areas acrossamascus a that they managed to launch against the building of the new rocket propelled grenades iranian embassy and the prime minister's office. a death toll mounting in aleppo, the city in the north seeing clashes between the rebels and military. suggestion as many as 90 people have died there, some in an air strike by government jets, wolf. >> when you just think it can't get worse, it gets worse. now, you're in neighboring lebanon right now. i was pretty surprised to just hear that saudi arabia is now telling all of its citizens in lebanon, and there are plenty of them there, that they should leave the country right away. is the spillover from syria beginning to impact lebanon? >> that's always been the fear. the longer the conflict drags on
with the regional dimension, the greater the risk it will spill over the border into lebanon. over the past few weeks, there's a complicated back story to today, over the past few weeks there have been a number of people accused of links or assisting the syrian regime picked up by pro-syrian rebel groups. some were lebanese programs. another man accused of working for the militant group hezbollah. today there was a sea change. the relatives, the clan of one of these men who had been kidnapped themselves kidnapped syrian rebels, as many as 20 of them. they also reportedly kidnapped a turkish citizen. now that's significant because turkey is a key backer of the syrian rebels. as a result of this this fear of conflicts across the border in syria prompted saudi arabia government themselves, another open backer of the syrian resistance to tell their citizens to leave this country. it's caused an awful lot of concern here. the hugely flammable and
political environment inside lebanon wrought by decade for civil war could possibly be impacted by what so far across the border has across the borde has yet to stir society. huge concerns that today's tit for tat kidnappings and saudi warning may be the start of something more sinister. >> that is big. nick, thanks very much. syria's largest city aleppo has been involved in fighting for weeks. when they were attacked from the air, a hospital in a part of the city controlled by the opposition, we want to warn you what you are about to see may be very disturbing. here is cnn's senior international correspondent ben wedeman.
>> reporter: 12-year-old screams out in fear and pain. shrapnel ripped through his right leg in an air raid. three passersby were wounded in the attack. the task of treating the wounded here harder by the day, this nurse tells me. half our equipment no longer works, he says. for almost an hour, syrian government jet bombed and strafed the area, twice striking the clearly marked hospital. rebels fired back fruitlessly at the plane. in an entranceway across the street from the hospital, the blood is wet where he took cover. nerves still on edge, the
possibility the plane may strike again. >> go go! >> reporter: his brother fled the emergency ward in panic after the second attack on the hospital and is afraid to go back in. the shelling and air raids have no rhyme or reason. the rounds smash into crowded neighborhoods, far from the frontlines. muhammad was in a back room when his apartment was hit. he sent his family away a few days before. thank god they weren't here, he says, but what am i going to do? where am i going to live? his neighbors clear away the rubble with exhausted resignation. the random shelling and air raids on rebel controlled parts of aleppo means any building
anywhere in this part of the city could be hit at any time. in fact, this building was hit just 20 minutes ago. for many of the residents of aleppo, it's simply time to leave. some go by foot. most by car or pickup, taking the bare minimum. the shelling, he answers, when i ask why he and his family are leaving. we don't know where it is coming from. their destination is what they hope is a safer part of town. but here, no place is truly safe. >> and ben wedeman joins us from inside syria right now. aleppo at one point, ben, was the largest city in syria, about 2 million people. do we have any idea how many thousands ofte or tens of thous already fled? >> we already heard from relief
officials, wolf, that at least 200,000 have left, but there's no question that many, many more have left. as you drive into aleppo, you see truck after truck, car after car, families leaving. the city slowly pounded to smither evens by regime forces. many just can't live there any longer. >> a sad situation. ben wedeman, be careful. we'll speak with you again tomorrow. public approval of congress is hitting a record low in the united states. will that translate to action in the voting booth? and the first lady joins the president on the campaign trail. we'll have her message in iowa coming up in the next hour. [ annie ] this is the story of a girl named annie
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he inherited a bad situation, but he made it worse. i think he's a great person. i don't feel he is the right leader for our country, though. i still believe in hope and change, i just don't think obama's the way to go for that. the president has not earned re -election, in 2012, in my book. i've seen his now definition of hope and change. it's not the hope and change i want, and it's not the hope and change i thought i was going to get. i don't feel that i helped my grandchildren by voting for president obama and i regret that. americans for prosperity is responsible for the content of this advertising. ntgomery and abigail higgins had... ...a tree that bore the most rare and magical fruit. which provided for their every financial need. and then, in one blinding blink of an eye, their tree had given its last. but with their raymond james financial advisor,
here is this hour's hot shots. india, pakistani border, they celebrated respective independence days. in south africa, a sit in. in france, swimmers compete in a triathlon. and a cnn ireporter shows this picture of clouds. jack is back with the cafferty file. >> i like when you do hot shots. those are good. the question this hour, why won't americans vote congress out of office, speaking of hot shots. lou, because the two party system only allows you to vote for the lame guy in the office or the other guy. we in iowa rarely get challengers. they fear the devil they don't know more than the one they do.
another writes most people that vote don't even know who is in congress, they vote for the red or the blue. eliminate the party next to the person's name and maybe people would actually do a little research. bob in iowa. gerrymandering. were you asleep when the locals rigged the system? elizabeth in toronto, that's the million dollar question, congress has done squat since before george w. bush was out of office. another, the incumbent has inherent advantage in name recognition, influential friends, fund-raising and credibility associated with experience. it is hard to demonstrate any challenger will be clearly better. james in north carolina sums it up this way. get rid of my guy? never. he's been up in congress as long as i can remember. but he knows my name and answers my calls quickly. why would i replace him with some up and comer? read more about this, go to the blog, cnn.com/caffertyfile, or
through our post on "the situation room's" facebook page. see you, mr. blitzer, tomorrow. happening now, paul ryan picks up where mitt romney left off as the presidential race gets nastier. we'll hear from ryan live. we also go live to the president and first lady together on the trail the first time in months. plus a gift to fans of julia child on what would have been the tv chef's 100th birthday. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we are standing by for some possible long distance sparring between president obama and vice presidential candidate paul ryan. both have major campaign events this hour. we're going to dip into both of them live. stand by for that. over the past 24 hours, leading players in the race for the white house have unleashed some very, very tough attacks with mitt romney going after the president with new ferocity.
our senior national correspondent jim acosta joins us from ohio where paul ryan is about to speak. set the stage for us, jim. >> reporter: wolf, i can tell you right now this enthusiasm factor that paul ryan is lending to this romney campaign is real. let me show you behind me, there are hundreds of people waiting in line, can't get into the event because of a big security slow down here, wolf. there are already thousands inside. you can tell that paul ryan is generating a lot of energy for this campaign. but wolf, a few days ago it was thought romney's selection of paul ryan would elevate this campaign to a debate on the issues, but that is not happening. earlier this morning in a morning interview on cbs romney accused the president of waging a campaign of what he called hatred. >> this is what an angry and desperate presidency looks like. >> reporter: the race for the white house has become a race to the bottom. >> his campaign strategy is to smash america apart and then try
to cobble together 51% of the pieces. >> reporter: the dog eat dog campaign turned vicious as mitt romney lashed out as president obama after vice president joe biden went for the jugular. >> going to put y'all back in chains. >> reporter: the obama campaign offered no apologies, describing romney's comments as unhinged and strange coming at a time when he is pouring tens of millions into negative ads. romney tried to laugh that one off. >> i think we have to characterize what we have seen from the president's campaign. >> reporter: if it sounds familiar, that's how the romney campaign described newt gingrich, as a pro-romney super pac savaged him with negative ads. >> you know what makes barack obama happy? newt gingrich's baggage. >> reporter: top democratic source says the obama campaign is giving romney a taste of his own medicine. >> they're throwing everything at the wall to see if it sticks. >> reporter: that explains why the president is out to turn
romney into something of a joke, mocking the gop contender three times in the same day for once strapping the family dog to the roof of his car. >> maybe he tried it. he put other things on the roof. >> obama cut $716 billion from medicare. >> reporter: the romney campaign is showing its fangs accusing the president of cutting medicare to pay for the new health care law. the obama campaign notes romney's running mate paul ryan proposed similar savings in the program. >> my plan already extended medicare by nearly a decade. their plan ends mdicare as we know it. >> reporter: the medicare debate is the only shred of substance in the campaign. >> i don't think mitt romney realizes what he has done to anyone, and i don't think he is concerned. >> reporter: the romney campaign was furious with the super pac ad that suggests romney is responsible for the death of a steel worker's wife. the ad aired the first time in
ohio tuesday. the pac says it was a station error. >> we have a president that won't disclaim an ad by his super pac that accuses mitt romney of killing a gentleman's wife, which turned out to not being close to factually true. >> reporter: we are getting guidance to what paul ryan will be telling the crowd in a few moments from now, from his campaign staff, wolf, the aides say he will be touching on the medicare issue and there are some signs he is warming up some new lines of attack against the president and vice president, earlier today on sean hannity radio program, paul ryan said the obama campaign is running on smear and fear, so things are flying. >> tough things from both sides. ohio university where you are, oxford, ohio is where he went to college. he has a connection there. >> reporter: that's right. paul ryan did go to school here. he is getting a bit of a homecoming. haven't seen a whole lot of paul
ryan signs, but the romney campaign is still putting out the signs. my understanding, wolf, is that one of our cnn affiliates has obtained an interview with one of paul ryan's old classmates. it is interesting to hear what that classmate has to say. he says paul ryan was not a party animal back in his days in college, that he basically had his nose in economics books. so that explains pretty much where he stands now on a lot of these issu. >> still has his nose in the economic books. chairman of the budget committee as we all know. jim, stand by. i want to go to paul ryan when he starts speaking over there in oxford, ohio on the right part of the screen. left part of the screen, you see davenport, iowa. the president of the united states speaking there together with the first lady. she's going to be introducing him. we're going to go there live as well, kate bolduan is here. first lady on the campaign trail. had dicey things to say earlier.
>> it is not the first time we have seen her stumping with her. strong remarks from her. she has a higher approval rating than he does. >> powerful asset. >> powerful asset to that campaign. we will get to that when those live events come up. other stories we are watching, in washington, the fbi is investigating why a man walked into the lobby of a conservative policy group this morning and opened fire. a law enforcement source says the suspect in custody is a 28-year-old from virginia. he allegedly made remarks about the family research council before the shooting. a security guard was wounded helping to wrestle that gunman to the ground. the guard is in stable condition. a law enforcement source tells cnn the handgun used in the shooting was bought legally. also, at least 70 large fires are now burning in 13 western states, including a blaze in central washington state, half the size of seattle. in that fire alone, 60 families'
homes or more have been wiped off the map. >> there goes another one. i think the wind is the biggest factor. >> been here 25 years. moved over from belgium. and it hurts. >> everybody's house is gone. all my friends, my neighbors, you know, people i care about and we're all going to have to move, rebuild. hug, shed some tears, start over. >> so sad. national fire officials say the amount of land consumed by wildfires so far this year is greater than at this time last year. also, police just released 911 tapes from the deadly shooting at the sikh temple in wisconsin ten days ago. listen to this call. >> yes, milwaukee sheriff. hello, can i help you? >> i'm calling from 7512 south howell avenue. [ gunshots gunshots ] >> there's shooting. >> okay. did anybody get hit, sir?
did anybody get hit? ma'am, sir -- >> there's shooting. >> sir. >> there is shooting. >> sir, i understand that. did anybody get hit? [ gunshots ] hello? [ dial tone ] >> wow. six worshippers died in that shooting. then the fbi says the gunman killed himself. >> whenever you hear the 911 calls, it is chilling. >> it is chilling to hear it real time. so powerful, so scary. >> all right, kate. other news, a judge's ruling today in the battleground state of pennsylvania could effect the outcome of the presidential race. he rejected a challenge to a controversial voter id law. the crime and justice correspondent joe jones joins us. a lot of debate about this law. >> reporter: it is making
headlines in pennsylvania, but something to watch across the country as we get closer to election day. legislatures in key states have been tweaking voting laws. we're seeing more push back from the courts as voters are asking why. the pennsylvania court ruling is another skirmish in the country's emotional battle over voting rights this election year. more than a dozen states passed new voting rights laws, including the one in the swing state of pennsylvania, which is requiring people to show photo id in order to vote. opponents went to court to try to block the law, saying it could disenfranchise up to 100,000 people, especially minorities and older or sick voters who are more likely not to have acceptable photo identification. people like 93-year-old vivette applewhite, one of the lead plaintiffs. >> i think it is terrible. so many people that don't have id, and they're not going to be able to vote. >> reporter: a commonwealth judge robert simpson ruled the
opponents trying to keep the law from being enforced did not establish that disenfranchisement of voters was immediate or inevitable. in harrisburg, the leg tore that wrote it said. >> the only people are the ones trying to perpetrate election fraud. >> reporter: they will not be able to prove voter fraud in court, even if it tried. pennsylvania is also the state where a top gop legislator recently seemed to suggest the voter law would help republicans win back the white house this fall. >> voter id which will allow governor romney to win the state of pennsylvania, done. >> reporter: opponents say it shows something other than fraud motivated that legislation. >> in the past decade that they have found only about ten instances of in person voter fraud. and those were mostly instances where people were simply confused, didn't know what the rules were in their area.
>> reporter: so this is about voter suppression in your view? >> my view and view of the brennan center, it is about keeping certain voters from the polls. >> reporter: the justice department is studying the pennsylvania law that representative met calf, the author of the law, claims is a waste of time. >> i think it is a fishing expedition where they're overreaching, demanded documents from us through department of transportation, demanded information that many would object to. >> reporter: they will ask for expedited appeal. say the lower court should have applied a stricter review to the action but the court didn't do that. wolf? >> thanks, joe johns, for that important report. we're standing by for two live events. we will have them both for you this hour here in "the situation room." on the left, you see where the president of the united states and the first lady will be speaking in davenport, iowa. on the right, oxford, ohio where
the paul ryan, the vice presidential candidate on the republican side will be speaking. earlier misspoke. he went to miami university, didn't go to ohio university or ohioate. miami university of ohio. already getting a lot of angry tweets from folks that went to miami university of ohio saying wolf, you are wrong. they are correct, i was wrong. now i have corrected that mistake. stand by for both live events.
ready on the left in davenport, iowa. michelle obama will introduce her husband, the president of the united states. we're covering both events live this hour. stay with us in "the situation room." let's talk about what's going on in this race for the white house. joining us now, ryan liz a, for "new york" magazine. cnn contributor. kate is here as well. it has gotten nasty in the past 24 hours. let me play you a couple of clips. we don't have the clips. >> i think i have seen them. >> probably don't need to be reminded. >> it is getting bad, the hate and the racial overtones of what's going on. i mean, i sort of am grossed out by all of it. i am sure a lot of people are. >> my jaw dropped when biden said what he said. i thought that was surprising, over the line. romney came back and said it was a campaign of hate, more
surprising. you can describe romney's policies in lots of ways, and lots of criticisms, but to say he is going to put a group of people in chains is a little out of bound in my vi. on the other hand, to describ the obama campaign in general over the last few months as a campaign of hate seems kind of -- >> hate, anger, jealousy were the words. >> makes me wonder. if we have too short memories, if this is how it gets every election cycle? i mean, the shame on you, barack obama, that's not nearly as where we are now, but you do have these moments when there are personal attacks in every election cycle. >> i totally agree. >> do you think it is worse than normal? >> the chains and hate seem like they were a little bit beyond. you're absolutely right. i always remind people that obama, this is one of my hobby courses, obama didn't run strictly positive campaign. you talk to some of the hillary clinton people with long memories, they will remind you that the gist of his campaign against her in the primaries was
character, not policy. they would argue he essentially called her a liar in that campaign. >> let's not forget how the romney campaign and pro-romney super pacs destridoyed newt gingrich, demolished him with some ads, made him look like such a jerk, if you will. >> especially florida. >> the biden comments yesterday caused a big uproar. artur davis, lot of people don't know who he is, interviewed him last hour, former democratic congressman from alabama. among those that seconded president obama then senator obama's nomination at the democratic convention. >> big honor. >> title of co-chair. >> co-chair of the campaign, 2008. he is now supporting mitt romney and he is going further. when i spoke with him a little while ago, he said this about biden. >> it brought back memories are democratic politicians in the
south who think they can go before black crowds, say one thing, and nobody else will hear it, they can somehow get a cheer in the room, and that they can go on about their business. i represented a dominantly african-american district. i know and every black person knew who the y'all was, knew what the chains were about, knew what the metaphor was. >> then i got reaction from an obama supporter, doug wilder, first african-ameran governor from virginia, thought he would come in and defend joe biden, but he didn't. i think we have a clip. let me play it. >> we don't. >> i saw it when i was in the green room. >> he is still voting for biden, but he was very tough. >> in fact, he said he thought biden should be replaced on the ticket. at the very end, you pushed him will you support the obama/biden
ticket. he didn't make affirmative endorsement. known for being a, you know, complicated democrat, he is not one afraid to criticize his fellow democrats. has a long history of being outspoken, a truth teller in the party. artur davis used to be a solid democrat, slowly ran statewide, got crushed, gradually migrated to the republican party and is sort of the zell miller from the cycle, southern democrat that endorses the republican ticket. seems like every cycle we have one person like that. >> i was surprised how far artur davis went, and totally surprised doug wilder how far he went criticizing joe biden. john mccain said he should dump biden and put hillary clinton on the ticket. not going to happen. >> and john mccain knows just mentioning that is like cat nip
to reporters. hope he will get a news cycle out of it. >> hold on. we expect to hear from paul ryan, standing by in ohio, live pictures of ohio on theight part of the screen, davenport, iowa on the left. first lady and the president speaking there. live coverage coming up here in "the situation room." one is for a clean, wedomestic energy future that puts us in control. our abundant natural gas is already saving us money, producing cleaner electricity, putting us to work here in america and supporting wind and solar. though all energdevelopment comes with some risk, we're committed to safely and responsibly producing natural gas.
quick look at the top stories trending on cnn.com. number four, an unnamed player kicked out of the national scrabble tournament for trying to sneak off a couple of blank les which can be used to make any letter. not a good idea, in case you were wondering. the first time in the 30 year history someone was caught cheating. number three. new study by neilson shows most find new music on youtube. most adults do it by listening to good old radio. and priceline is bringing william shatner back to life, even though they appeared to kill him off earlier this year. number one trending, the tonight's power ball drawing is worth $320 million. the fourth largest jackpot in its history. did you buy your ticket? >> it is a $2 ticket, javier got
it. he said he would split that with me. don't think i should believe him? >> he is very nice. i don't know about you. >> he says that. >> check back tomorrow. we are awaiting the republican vice presidential candidate paul ryan and the president of the united states and first lady of the united states. they're in ohio and iowa. we're going there live. stand by. the capital one cash rewards card gives you a 50% annual bonus. and everyone, but her... likes 50% more cash. but, i have an idea. do you want a princess dress? yes how about some cupcakes? yes lollipop? yes! do you want an etch a sketch? yes! do you want 50% more cash? no you got talent. [ male announcer ] the capital one cash rewards card.
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that will be here for you now -- and down the road. i have a lifetime of experience. so i know how important that is. right now the president and mrs. obama are doing something they haven't done often since they kicked off the re-election campaign, appearing together on the campaign trail. you see live pictures of davenport, iowa on the left part of the screen. that's where the president and first lady are speaking. on the right part of the screen, oxford ohio, you see john kasich. paul ryan will be speaking. senator rob portman in the background, saw him there as well. while we are awaiting the vice
presidential candidate, bring in our guest, ryan lizza. jeff zeleny, national correspondent for "the new york times." what do you make of the latest developments, jeff, you're back from iowa, watching what happens been going on in wisconsin, it has been a dramatic few days. mitt romney made it abundantly clear it is his policies that rule the day, not any of the other budget policies, medicare policies, medicaid policies that paul ryan advanced as chairman of the budget committee. >> he is trying to make that clear, but it is a difficult argument to make. he picked congressman ryan for a reason, because of his bold ideas. it is hard to distance himself from this. he is making clear it is his budget and plan. he is going to have to come out with something a little more concrete. but i'm not sure there's much distinction in the minds of voters. after all, some of the conservative republicans are thrilled he picked mr. ryan because of his stance on things. it is a fine line for governor
romney. the voters in wisconsin and iowa i talked to, even some older voters are fine with this. they think, the republicans think it is tough cine, time for that. small sliver of republic voters that are scared. >> $716 million in dispute, obama proposal for medicare would reduce growth in spending over ten years by $716 billion. not taking it from the recipient but the provider. paul ryan had a proposal to cut that $716 billion in growth, but romney made it clear he doesn't support that. he would reinstate that $716 billion and not touch medicare. >> this is why it has become more an issue. look, every president, vice president match have some mismatch between their policies, right? obama and biden disagreed on several things. and historically that happens.
first thing you do is sort of clean it up when you pick your running mate, explain it is one ticket now. where they got in trouble was the mismatch was so great because ryan has this very specific budget, criticized in certain areas not being specific, but it is much more specific than anything romney put out. it fills a policy vacuum the romney campaign had. and out of the gate, made the biggest issue the medicare cuts that ryan in his budget supported. i think that's why they got into a lot more trouble. >> one thing, kate, when i went to pick this up, earlier i suggested that ryan didn't know when his own budget would balance in that interview he did with brit hume on fox. he suggested his own budget would balance in the 2030s if you will. he didn't know when the romney budget would balance, which is an important distinction. >> and senior romney adviser to
you just in "the situation room" earlier said the same thing, they don't know. he didn't know, ed gillespie didn't know. >> off the top of his head. do you guys know when the romney budget balances? >> nobody knows, you can't know. >> this is the point. this campaign has been surprisingly devoid of policy specifics, very few policies speeches and specifics. we're going to have to see that for the romney campaign in boston after the convention if not before. >> this begs the question. once the ryan pick came forward, we heard we're going to talk about big issues, move away from personal attacks. we saw a quick turn back. i don't think either side is innocent to the personal attacks going back and forth. do you think at this point from what you can see that this election is going to turn on the big issues you say need to be talked about, or is this going to turn on small, negative, personal attacks we have seen to this point? >> voters don't care about small, personal negative attacks. they frame how they view the
candidates. voters want to hear about the economy and specifics. i think it's just a lot of -- it fills ti in between the candidates, they're going back and forth, it is more gamesmanship. i think the election will turn on the economy, won't turn on the vice presidential running mate. i think the obama campaign will try to marry and link them, but it is governor romney's proposals that voters are judging. >> what is the impact then of paul ryan if voters aren't voting on a vice presidential candidate for sure, not necessarily only on a vice presidential pick, what is the impact if they have to spend time showing ryan is on our ticket, we're not running on the ryan budget. >> i think he injects into the ryan campaign a little more of an ideological debate. it has been more of a barack obama wants to take the country this direction, romney/ryan wants to take it this way.
on the other hand, they're mired in a debate on medicare. go back historically. tell me an example of republicans and democrats campaign where medicare was the center of that campaign and where the republicans want it. i don't understand why, i don't know if the romney campaign knew this would happen, but it can't be to their advantage to have this massive debate about medicare. whether they're right on the facts or not. >> they're trying to go on the offensive. speaker boehner, john boehner held a conference call with members yesterday saying it is time to go on the offensive on medicare. own it and go. >> going on the offensive because that's their only option. classic making lemonade out of this. and they want it out of the way now. it is august. but boy, i kind of think we'll still be talking about this. the democrats are going to run ads in september and october on medicare. florida is the central place. this choice is being hailed by most republicans and conservatives. if it would happen, this campaign in florida, too early
to say that, that would be very interesting. >> one of the arguments some democrats made, 2010 mid term elections when the tea party candidates, especially in the house did really wellhat so of the districts they did run on medicare. they said the obama people want to cut medicare, we want to not cut medicare. >> went on the attack. >> seemed to work at least in some of the republican wins, mid term elections. >> 2010 electorate was a more conservative electorate than 2012. >> an example, special election. >> this election will settle it. >> i think rob portman is speaking now, warming up the crowd in ohio. there he is. the first or second runner-up for vice presidential slot. he is getting the crowd going. he didn't get the vice presidential nod, although a lot of people thought he was the frontrunner almost from the beginning. we will go to ohio and iowa when we come back. frds in that time there've been some good days. and some difficult ones.
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mitt romney and paul ryan, the team to turn it around. >> in ohio, rob portman, senator from ohio, getting the crowd ready for paul ryan, the vice presidential candidate on the republican side. you know, it's interesting, we're back with ryan lizza. this is the first national poll since mitt romney selected paul ryan as his running mate. registered voters choice for president. according to gallup, romney 46%, obama 45%. after ryan announcement, romney 47%, obama at 45%. sampling 3%. jeff, doesn't look like a huge
bounce, a bump at least in the first initial national poll. >> i think that's for a couple reasons. one, people are really locked in. four years ago at this time, "the new york times" cbs poll showed one in four people were still open to changing their minds. now it is only one in ten. one.ink peo aremore lockeor for two, people are voting fr the top of the ticket here. and for three, it's august. people are not necessarily paying attention. wait until after the convention. if there's no bounce after the republican convention, i'll be surprised. presuminit goes well, which i'm sure it probably will, i would think there would be some bounce. >> as the convention, usually gets a little -- >> are you surprised by lack of bump? >> i think it is declining over time, don't get as much bounce from vp pick, from the convention, because it is more polarized. >> does it rely on the debates, three presidential debates for the undecided and one presidential debate in october?
>> those are three big events. vp, convenon, debates. some people pay attention late in the process, that could have impact. but we have such a tiny percentage of electorate that's undecided. if you look at who they are, you can't describe them in an i did logically coherent way. low information voters, not moderates or independents, hodge podge of ideology. >> guys, we'll take a quick break. paul ryan, republican vice presidential candidate. we will go there as soon as we come back. [ female announcer ] with swiffer dusters, a great clean doesn't have to take longer. i'm done... i'm going to read one of these. i'm going to read one of these! [ female announcer ] unlike sprays and dust rags, swiffer 360 dusters extender gets into hard to reach places so you can get unbelievable dust pick up in less time. i love that book! can you believe the twin did it? ♪ [ female announcer ] swiffer. great clean in less time.
paul ryan is reminiscing about his days in oxford, ohio when he was a student at miami of ohio. let's listen in. >> let's do it then. we are here to offer you a clear choice. this is a very, very clear contrast for our country to make. do we want to go down the path we are on, the path of debt, a path of doubt, a path of decline or do we want the ideas that will save the american idea? president obama and a lot of other politicians like him in washington are more worried about their next election than they're worried about the next
generation. not us. we will lead. we will earn your support. we will deserve victory. because when we win, then we will have the obligation, the mandates, and moral authority to get this country back on the right track. [ cheers and applause ] you know, i just heard these great gentlemen talking about this a minute ago. this economy is really bad for young americans. half of all college graduates are either working in jobs they didn't train for or not working at all. half! and they're in debt with ever rising tuition. president obama is out of ideas. and that is why his campaign is
based on anger and division. you know, the president i am told is talking about medicare today. we want this debate. [ cheers and applause ] we need this debate and we will win this debate. [ cheers and applause ] >> let's quickly go from ohio to iowa. the first lady is introducing her husband. >> and an entire neighborhood saying happy birthday to malia on the fourth of july. it was so sweet. i remember on the big day of the jefferson jackson dinner we danced with about a thousand folks across the state with the
marching band. we had them back to the white house since, but that was exciting. and girls still talk about our visit to the state fair. that was like i think the first big state fair we ever went to. and it was so much fun. we did everything. we rode the bumper cars and we slid down this big slide. and i mentioned how barack almost dropped sasha off of the slide. she flew up and he barely -- i wasn't very happy about that. and that is where, yes, we experienced our very first fried twinkie on a stick. it was here. and it was also pretty funny because he was a senator at the time and he had a lot of press and they were everywhere. and the girls were holding baby chicks and the cameras were flashing and so when it was time for him to leave, he left early.
the girls actually turned around to me and said, i'm so glad daddy's gone. now we can really have some fun. so we essentially shut the state fair down. we had a gre time. and i have to say that i'm a little bit jealous that barack got to go to the state fair this week without me. oh, so sad. >> it was good. >> so today i want to start by saying thank you, truly thank you. i want to thank everybody in the state for the kindness and generosity and love that you all have shown our family, regardless of what party you're from, regardless of how you felt about us, you have shown us so much love. and you don't understand how important that was for me because iowa was my very first
experience with a national campaign. and because of you all, this state, the people in this state, our girls still think campaigning is fun. they really do. more importantly, because of all of you, barack and i will always remember what this process can be at its very best. truly every election, the folks here in iowa, you all remind us what democracy is all about. and it's really about getting to know the issues and discussing the issues with your neighbors. it's about meeting your candidates and getting to know them and their families up close and personal in a way that very few states get to do. and i'll never forget my first visit here back in 2007. i remember it well because we were in the back yard of someone's home. it was such a simple gathering. and i have to admit that i was a little nervous because i hadn't
done much campaigning. and back then, people barely even knew who barack was, let alone who i was. so i didn't know how it would be. but the folks in that back yard welcomed me like i was an old friend and within minutes, i was so comfortable, that i kicked off my high heels and i was standing in the lawn in the grass with bare feet talking and laughing and listening to people's stories. that's when i learned that that's what campaigning is about. hearing about what's going on in people's lives, about the jobs they're juggling and the businesses they're trying to keep afloat, the kids they hope to send to college if they can find a way to afford it. and the more we talked, the more i felt at home because in their stories, i saw my story. i saw barack's story. and you all know my story. my father worked at the city water plant his entire life.
that was pretty much the only job he had. and neither of my parents had the chance to get a college degree. but as i tell people everywhere i go, what i appreciate about my parents was that they saved and they sacrificed and they poured everything they had into me and my brother so that we could have the kind of educational opportunities they could only dream of. [ applause ] >> we'll listen to the president of the united states. we'll take a quick break. much more from iowa right after this. ♪ [ male announcer ] its lightweight construction makes it nimble... ♪ its road gripping performance makes it a cadillac. introducing the all-new cadillac xts. available with advanced haldex all-wheel drive. [ engine revving ]
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lady of the united states, she's still introducing her husband, telling the folks in iowa right now why she loves him so much. on the right-hand part of your screen, you see, paul ryan, the vice presidential candidate speaking to his hocrowd in iowa. she's a powerful weapon for the president on the campaign trail. >> the guy who can be a little bit more personable and dare i say likable on the republican ticket. and the woman who probably has higher favorabilities than her husband on the democratic ticket. >> 65% favorability. >> our most recent pollage was not so recent but 65% likability. we joke about it but it's an important part of winning an election. >> one of the reasons she is is likable is she has stayed out of politics. it will be interesting to see how the campaign uses her and
how they use mrs. romney as well to what groups and things. it's a fine line to walk for my -- but she's very popular in iowa. >> let's listen for 30 seconds right now. he's going to say something nice about his wife. >> it is good to be back in the quads. i see a lot of familiar faces, a lot of good friends. first of all, let me just say that i, too, could not be prouder of amanda irish, her service to this country, everything that she's done. she wants to go back to medical school. she is going to be a great doctor and she's going to help a lot of people. give her a big round of applause. your mayor and a great friend of mine for a long, long