tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN August 10, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am EDT
consequences. certainly tough talk. but does it add up? no. just this week, american ally south korea announced plans to import iranian oil, something the country stopped for all of six weeks to comply with the toughest sanctions ever. korea fountain end around on the sanctions against ensuring oil tankers. this development now means that four of the top five buyers of iranian oil are buying iranian oil right now. less than they used to, but buying it. when you hear about how much money iran is losing thanks to oil sanctions, it would be more if the blackout was complete. oil is not issue the u.s. looking the other way ends. samsung is south korea a biggest country. you may remember this big example. samsung is crushing sales in a second quarter of this year. they sold 50 million smart phones, double what apple sold.
samsung does business in iran selling the galaxy three printers and televisions. it's totally legal. apple is not allowed to sell anything because of sanctions. this double standard seems to be a-ok as far as the government's actions are concerned. why? because the u.s. chose not use leverage when signing a free trade deal with south korea in 2010. korea got access to american marks and the united states did not demand they choose companies between the u.s. or iran. there is another loophole that congress can close when it comes to sanctions. overseas subsidiaries can do business in iran? sanctions may not be a good idea. they hurt regular people and tried to have them hauled and iran may not be totally effective. our point is this. right now the president of the united states and secretary of
state put the u.s. on the line. they are getting the toughest sanctions in history, but the loopholes exist because the u.s. government lets them. are they afraid that the standard charter or a company like samsung would choose iran over the united states? out front tonight, an earn specialized in business law and a state department official and former secretary of defense and senior fellow of national security affairs. two gentlemen who are the perfect people to talk about this. why is it that these loopholes are still there when the u.s., the president of the united states made it very clear that these are the toughest, strongest and most serious sanctions ever? >> erin, the u.s. stepped up sanctions by any account and made it much more difficult for any company wherever they are based to do business in iran.
there exceptions in u.s. law and you mentioned 1 that allows companies that have a foreign incorporated subsidiary to do business with iran. more importantly the bigger gap is where certain countries still have not agreed to sanctions and put in place their own national sanctions. you mentioned south korea and the other countries. that's really why there needs to be more action to put stronger sanctions and stronger economic impercivs against iran. that also requires the u.s. to step up and press allies to put sanctions in place. >> let me ask you. the u.s. had this moment of incredible leverage. the south american free trade deal was the biggest deal signed since nasty. it was a big deal. i don't think there was any question whether it's u.s. or iran, what they would have
chosen. we didn't seem to ask. >> you bring up a bigger point here. that is that sanctions tend to be ineffective. they are not water tight. there is lots of leakage and the iranians have been sanctioned by us since 1979. they learned how to get around them. they are reflagging and renames ships. they have front companies and doing all these things and doing joint bank ventures to get around the sanctions. unfortunately sanctions and what the problem is and what they are hanging their hat on, they are not always effective. they are a feel good measure. they are more draconian and less draconian than military action. the fact is unless everybody plays along and there 200 countries in the world, they are not going to work. >> i know you and i have talked about this over the past couple of years with reporting we have done with companies that were doing things that appeared questionable. that loophole is still open. congress can close it.
>> that's true. that exception is still in place. it's under 31 cfr part 560. congress could close it, but they did amend the sanctions act in late 2010. strengthened the sanctions that also applied to any company including foreign incorporated subsidiaries and now those companies cannot do business in the oil sector in iran for instance. they made it tighter and they haven't completely removed it. >> a lot of frustrated. the thing with the standard charter and the headlines with the new york banking regulator alleging that they have done $250 billion with iran. they deny anything of that size. i asked the question for this reason. you look at the bankses that have been censured for doing business with rogue states including iran. the u.s. got a lot of money from
violators. credit suisse paid a half billion dollars in fines. ing, barclay's nearly $300 million and that's a lot of money. it's easier to look the other way and get the money. i know that sounds ugly, but is it? >> i see your point. it's punishment to the banks, but it's deterrents from others and to others for breaking the law or regulations and prevent them from aiding iran and the big thing is that iran is probably the greatest threat to international security today and others should not be working with them. >> thanks very much to both of them. >> appreciate you taking the time tonight. >> is mitt romney in real problem and will that mean a game-changing pick for vp? >> the business of soccer literally. your chance to own one of the biggest and the fans are some of the most passionate on the planet.
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to his google popularity. see the two together. they almost look like twins. how risky of a choice would he be? his reputation is more richie cunningham and less the fonz. don king knows more about the facts than anybody. u.s. congressman since 1999. incredibly young guy. chairman of the house budget committee and something loved by the right and hated by the left. why the sudden buzz? >> in part it's because many conservatives don't just mitt romney. they want one of their own on the ticket. a number say we are in the middle of this small and petty campaign. we have been talking about the ads that are about nothing. why should we have a race about entitlement reform. about cutting government spending. it would be risky , but change the tone and the tenor of the
campaign. >> what are the pluses and minuses are picking paul ryan? >> number one, suspicion of romney in the conservative base. this would energize the base. no question about it. he is a great debater and an energetic campaigner and he is 42 years old. you add youth and vigor and challenge the president on the college campus. >> he is not a foreign policy guy. >> he has never run or won statewide. 42 could be an asset, but it could be a negative. people say young guy and he is only a house member. is he ready to be a commander in chief? >> another name is tim pawlenty. governor of minnesota from 2003 to 2010. the g.o.p. candidate in 2012, but not successful. his life story is the anti-romney and here's the quick bite of what he told you. >> i grew up in a meat packing
town. the dominant focus economically for the 60s and 70s all suddenly shut down. as a young boy, i saw this massive job loss and economic dislocation and heartache and wory in my neighborhood and community. it's one thing to talk about it and another to live and experience it. >> obviously different back growns and he has a heart warming connection to people maybe, but does he have a connection with mitt romney? >> he does have a comfort level even though they were tough on each other. he has been a loyal soldier since he got out. the pluses on tim paw lenty and grew up in south st. paul. comfortable goofing around and something he is not comfortable doing. they think he could help in the blue collar communities, he is a catholic turned evangelicals. that is a suspicion of a mormon. he held the line on spending
when he was a governor. governor romney and pawpawlenty. on the downside, conservatives didn't like him when he raised cigarette taxes. you may not love it, but romney, massachusetts health care. when you say pawlenty, there is no initiative and there is this. evidence and even his friends can see this. they put minnesota in play for romney. >> the final one, rob portman from ohio. he was senator and budget director under george w. bush which may be a problem. also a member of the house. what is the main plus and minus for rob portman. >> ohio roots. it's a two-point state f. rob portman can boost you up where he comes from, hamilton count fe he can help you, mitt romney needs ohio. he was the budget director and that's a huge challenge facing the country and he knows every nook and cranny. he was on the armed serfs
committee and you could say here's a guy with security skills and has bipartisan respect. they like him and think he is a nice guy and enjoy working with him. the bush bag that you mention, he can say 20 plus years in washington. other people might say washington insider and some people say he is bland. >> you got to call it like you see it, john. we poled the strike team on this and this is our panel of 31 independent juniorists and analysts and say does he need a game changing pick? the country is split like this. 53% say yes and 47% say no. let me bring in the other john into the conversation. what do you think? game changing pick? game-changing pick might be like a marco rubio or chris christie. >> that's right. the conservative comes out hard
for paul ryan. i went game changer. it's a long way out for the election and the trend is not mitt romney's friend. obviously game change got a bad name after sarah palin. someone can excite the base and get them engaged in. florida could really make a big difference and paul ryan. that's a long ball. there risks that would excite the base. >> john king, what was your vote? >> i'm not sure a game changing pick would do it. mitt romney's problems are mitt romney's problems. his unfavorables are going up. he is a rich guy who wouldn't appreciate the fight for the middle class. could you help that with a paul ryan or tim pawlenty. mitt romney's problems are mitt romney's problems. go back in history and go back to lbj when a pick changed a race that significantly. this is close enough and it trended away from romney.
most people think do no harm is priority number one. he has to fix their own problems. it would help. it won't do everything. >> thanks to the johns. we will find out soon. a secret plan by the obama campaign leaked. next the olympics effect. a number of reasons why it's for dreamers. like others who braved the sky before her, it took a mighty machine, and plain old ingenuity to go where no fifth grader had gone before. ♪ and she flew and she flew, into the sky and beyond. my name is annie and i'm the girl who dreamed she could fly. powered by intel core processors. ♪
. >> the olympics are going to finish this weekend with big contests including the american's basketball team going for gold. american athletes have done the country proud, raking in more than 90 medals. there were great stories. those decorated olympian ever, the breakthrough darling, gabby douglas. who can forget that. ashton eaton. these men and women spent hours striving to accomplish their dream, shaving milliseconds off their time to go a millimeter further and add a tenth of a point of difficulty for most of them this has been their life. they started in little league and gymnastics classes. most of us never get close to an olympic podium, but doesn't mean
we wasted our determination and hard work. 18 of the staff members out front played sports in high school. this weekend in new york city, 2500 people are going to compete in the iron man triathlon. colleges across the country, athletes are on the fields practicing getting ready for the fall season. many of theaz athletes set goals for themselves. maybe breaking a record if you are lucky when you do, that's the gold medal for you. for me playing college sports is a big part of who i am. it taught me persevere yens and resilience and how to lose. 6'10" and 3/4 inches. that's the height our producer jerry wilson who goes by will, jumped in the high jump at duke. it was a record set in 1991. he looks scary there, but he is just as handsome now. it stood for 20 years that record and was broken last year by tanner anderson who jumped
7'4" and 1/4 inches. we mentioned a challenger to be better and smarter. will's daughters on his footsteps on the gymnastics floor and the softball field. we will take you live to a massive sinkhole that is widening and gobbling trees. a nearby mining company said their operations have nothing to do with it. does it add up? leaked do you means that show the obama campaign's plans for the democratic conventions include republicans. i'm done. i'm going to... drink this... on the porch! ♪ give me just a little more time ♪ [ female announcer ] mops can be a hassle, but swiffer wetjet's spray cleaner and absorbent pads can clean better in half the time so you don't miss a thing. swiffer. better clean in half the time. or your money back. and for dry messes big and small try swiffer sweeper vac. ♪
>> we start the second half of our show and focus on our own reports from the frontlines. a memorial for the six people killed in a sikh temple in wisconsin. people came to pay their respects. among those speaking was scott walker. he wore a head covering in keeping with the sikh tradition. he called it an act of terrorism and hatred and a hate crime. three people remain hospitalized including an oak cream police officer. two of them are in satisfactory
condition and one in critical. a man killed three american troops in southern afghanistan today. the taliban claimed the man is an afghan commander who lured the troops to his village. this is the latest incident on green on blue attacks. they are dressed as soldiers and target coalition troops. csis said that the taliban and other insurgens knowing that sponsoring the attacks met media impact and that is why they keep doing it. the world's most valuable sports franchise, manchester united made the trading debut on the stock exchange. shares were $14 each, $2 lower than thought and it closed flat. unchanged. $14. that is well below average performance according to paul hick whoa told us the average gain for the ipo in first day of
trading has been about 15%. maybe the die-hard fans of manchester should wager on wins instead of betting on the stock. the international energy agency has cut outlook for global oil demand next year. a big vein sluggish economic growth. that's not the only concerned party. plenty of people are uncertain about how the economy is faring. the latest poll, only 19% of americans think the econ he is starting to recover. that is 5 percentage points fewer than in april. fewer think the economy is getting worse. up 6 percentage points from april. it has been 372 days since they lost the top credit rating. the budget deficit decreased and through july, the deficit is $974 billion. now our third story out front. a massive sinkhole is widening.
100 foot tall trees are sinking and leading to southern louisiana. the sinkhole was spotted on august 3rd, but residents said they saw the holes months ago. now it's 400 feet wide and it's growing. they are out front in the parish about 30 miles south of baton rouge. >> from above, it's hard to fathom, but this massive sinkhole swallowed up sundays of sip resz trees some as tall as 100 feet and has the shawl bayou town about 30 miles south feeling anxious. >> it's an area that is now turned to slush. it's the trues and so forth have sunks into the ground. >> the sinkhole dropped about a week ago and is about 320 feet wide and some places reaches 400 feet deep and residents have been told to evacuate their
homes. . >> cnn center with breaking news. we are receiving confirmation that the republican white house candidate mitt romney is going to finally announce his vice presidential candidate on saturday during a major campaign stop. we have cnn's chief analyst gloria boringer on the line. this is officially on the schedule? >> it is officially on the schedule. we have been getting a lot of buzz that this could happen during the candidate's bus tour which made a lot of sense. finally this evening he is doing a bus tour through the key battle ground states. finally this evening the campaign itself just announced the fact that at 9:00 there will
be an announcement and our peter handy is also reporting this evening that mitt romney has called several of the republicans who are on a short list on friday night to tell them he selected a running mate and he didn't tell them who it was according to peter handy, but he did let them know that he had chosen someone else. >> let's talk about who the candidates are. i will bring in john king for that. we have john king and gloria borger. who are the prospects? >> the leading prospect is the 42-year-old chairman paul ryan, a conservative republican from the state of wisconsin, a blue collar guy who has been at the center of the big budget debates in washington for the past several years and especially since the republicans took control after the 2010 elections. this would be a bold and a risky
choice for ryan. he has a controversial budget that would slash federal spending dramatically and slash the retirement program for senior citizens. some democrats have been salivating saying please pick him. conservatives are also begging, they want a big campaign with big ideas. paul ryan we are told have a lot of indications. including his home district and event tomorrow and the first of the bus tour on the uss wisconsin, a retired navy warship. we don't have confirmation of that. rob portman from ohio is a veteran of the bush administration and foreign policy experience and also with the budget director. again hoe represents the state of ohio which romney has to win. he was a leading candidate as well as was a former rival for the nomination. you see him on the right, tim
pawlen pawlenty, the former governor of the state of minnesota. those are the finalists we know. a few others have been mention. marco rubio and chris christie. if you are looking at the smoke tonight, the smoke leads you to paul ryan. the congressman from wisconsin. sometimes the smoke can be misleading. >> as we try to put our fingers in the wind and pick the tea leaves, pick your analogy. how important of a development is this? obviously it's a big announcement no matter what. given this campaign and the lack of interest in some quarters in this campaign, is this a big deal or could it be a snoozer as well? >> the important thing to look at about a vice presidential pick is what it tells you about the candidate. if it were to be as john suggests a possibility of paul ryan, he would learn about mitt romney. you would learn, for example, he
would be willing to embrace and campaign on a very controversial budget that paul ryan offered in the house of representatives as a budget chairman. romney endorsed it, but this takes it to a different level and the presidential campaign would then become really a debate about how to save this country's economic future. because paul ryan is the front and center of that debate. he tangled himself with president obama on the budget. two very different visions about how to get our nation's house in order. i think it's an important decision not because paul ryan is going to determine whether or not romney wins the presidency. i think it really tells us a lot about the presidential debate we are going to be having in the fall. >> john king, how does the
campaign itself change once this announcement is made? >> number one, governor romney right now is very competitive if you go state by state. he drifted down a little bit. president obama has a slight advantage in the polling over the last month or so. for governor romney, he has a number of challenges. tighten up the polls when you go state by state. closer to november pay less attention and look more as you go state by state at the electoral college. over the past hmong or two, what are his problems? unfavorable ratings are going up. all the attack ads who said he is a rich guy and the obama campaign said he doesn't care about the middle class. he wants to make a lot of money and doesn't care about you. he wants to cut taxes to the rich and doesn't care about you. governor romney will win the election and not the vice presidential pick. that can help. he will dominate the stage for
the next several weeks. he will pick the running mate and go into the convention and get to surround himself with other speakers taking the republican message and has to combat the narrative that he is a rich guy that doesn't care about the middle class americans. paul ryan is a blue collar guy and tim pawlenty is, it helps. they are not voting for them, but it will help. >> the campaign is trying to keep the hype and the buzz alive in the countdown to this. they even have got a smart phone ap where you can follow the story that way. very important to the campaign to keep the buzz alive. >> it is. what they are trying to do is generate excitement around the number two choice. another point to consider here if it is paul ryan is this is a generational nod in the republican party. last year at this time i was in wisconsin interviewing paul ryan
because there was a lot of buzz about whether he should get into the presidential race. there were a lot of republicans trying to convince him as sort of the standard bearer of the new generation of republican leaders that she ought to jump in himself. he decided not to do that, but if romney were to name someone like paul ryan, he would be saying this is the future of the republican party after me and i am embracing it. that would make lots of conservatives very happy. on the other hand let me say that paul ryan is a creature of washington. he used to work for jack kemp, former vice presidential candidate jack kemp and he has been in washington 20 plus years. so it could be romney picked a creature of washington and maybe there a lot of outsiders who say that's not the way to go. >> stay with us. i want to recap for viewers who
may just be joining us. we are talking a lot about mitt romney and paul ryan. we don't know who the nominee is at this point nchl but we have confirmation that there is an event on the schedule on saturday about nine hours from now. the campaign said that the republican white house candidate mitt romney is going to reveal his vice presidential candidate and as gloria and john report, phone calls have been made and the calls have gone out. we do not know. john king, there is always a chance there is a leak. we will be scratching our heads for a while. >> we all scratch our heads for a while. they make the announcement through a text message and it's a great way to get the cell phone messages and they can use that down the road to raise money before the election. they make sure everybody is turned out. the romney campaign said the same thing.
four years ago, we at cnn helped stymie the obama campaign's plan and broke the news. we will see if the romney people can keep this until they can announce it through the text message. campaigns try to do this to see, but that ap, they would love to announce it by ap, but more importantly that would generate interest around the country. they get names of potential donors around the country. go back to history when the vice presidential nominee last impacted an election for the united states of america. they might have to go back to 1960 when lyndon johnson helped john kennedy win because he brought the state of texas. you also had vice presidential nominees who have been panned. george bush in the state, there
is a text book case that maybe it doesn't matter that much. for governor romney, it is important for the broader narrative. who is he and what is it about. you have been following this. a petty campaign in the last month or so. the attack ads are negative and they are not anywhere close to the truth. if this pick triggers the debate and paul ryan talks about big issues like spending and medicare and washington's priorities, if it's a tim paw lenty and two guys have no washington experience, in f this can retrigger the debate, governor romney wants to turn it to his advantage. the mud slinging and things, who will govern after this. it might be a good thing to change the tone and tenor. >> do you want to jump in? >> on the tim paw lenty that john mentioned, that will be going in a different direction as an outsider guy who has been
the governor of the state of minnesota and comes from very blue collar root who is get along well personally with mitt romney. he and his wife have been up to their place in new hampshire. pawlenty has been out there as a dedicated surrogate and ran for president once hims. not for long, but he did run and he criticized mitt romney famously on his healing care plan calling it o bottom me in care. these two men have been friends and enjoy each other's company and you can't discount the personal factor as well they talked about the personal factors and there were a couple of other factors that were important. it has to be something that the candidate is comfortable with. they have been working closely with. two, it had to be something that
they believe to be president on day one. i have been told this from the romney campaign over and over and over again in recent weeks that. has been very, very parnt to mitt romney as he makes a choice. he has done this in a deliberate way looking at a lot of data. pouring over everything and making his decision. >> great stuff, gloria. i want to bring you back in because you did a piece on paul ryan and spending time looking into who he is and what he stands for and what he could mean to the campaign. tell us more about that. >> again he is 42 years old from wisconsin. when he was first elected to the house, that was a swing district. a lot of people said a conservative republican can't win it. he won the district and kept that district even though he has conservative views and reporters tried to ask him about the vice presidential rumors. he said he didn't want to talk
about it and he doesn't have to. so many friends have been pushing him in recent days. >> we want to give you that. for paul ryan debating joe biden might feel like a demotion. >> why not freeze spending now and would you support a line item veto and help us get a vote on it in the house. >> let me respond to the two specific questions, but i want to just push back on the underlying premises about us increasing spending by 84%. >> the discretionary spending and the bills that congress signed into law that has increased 84%. >> we will have a longer debate on the budget numbers there. >> ryan is the numbers guy and the chairman who is not afraid to say in his crew the only way back to sanity is to dramatically shrink government and change medicare. >> if you don't address these issues now, they will steam roll us as a country. the issue is the more you delay
fixing these problems, the much uglier the solutions will have to be. >> in short, he's a lightning rod and if mitt romney caps ryan, he will reshape the 2012 race. >> for would be a bold choice, but a risky choice. it's hard for me to say mitt romney who played it safe making that gamble. >> there upsides. it would energize the gop base. ryan is an energetic debater and at 42, he would add youthful vigor to the ticket. ryan said it would help across wisconsin and the midwest. >> he gets wisconsin and that blue collar conservatism. >> tapping ryan is a gamble because of the budget that bears his name. up until now, romney has done everything to make the campaign a referendum. >> the president's policies are not creating jobs. >> add ryan to the ticket and
there is no escaping this. >> ryan planned to end medicare as we know it and must be taken off the table. >> other downsides, he has never run statewide and has no foreign policy experience and some will question whether or not weather a 42-year-old house help is rate to be commander in chief. >> one of the stars the future. whether he is rate at this moment, only on the campaign trail could tell. he is going to get and take a beating. >> family history makes him a fitness fanatic, leading house colleagues in crueling cross taning workouts. >> my dad died of a heart attack at 57 and grandfather at 55. >> he sent an e-mail as an ambassador to tanzania. >> i am sitting in a deer state and it's hunting season. leave me alone. >> he is a self-described nerd,
but don't under estimate his ambition or competitive streak. if he had druthers, he would rather debate the president. >> i love the idea of barack obama and that we elected an african-american man. that is a cool thing. i don't like the ideas coming from barack obama. >> romney will share the biggest fall debate stage. >> governor mitt romney, hopefully the next president of the united states of america. >> romney who decides whether to place a risky bet on paul ryan. john king, cnn, washington. >> all right. just to reiterate, paul ryan is one of the potential candidates on a very short list. we do not know at this point who is going to be in the announcement about eight or nine hours from now. it is a short list indeed and all of the potential vice presidential candidates for republican mitt romney got phone calls already.
they know, we don't. it's not going to stop us from talking about it. john king, would this be a risky choice? >> very risky choice. we don't know it's paul ryan. there was a private plane that went to his hometown. they sent planes to a couple of places last time. he received calls from governor romney. he knows if he's it or not it. so do portman and pawlenty. if it is paul ryan, the interview we saw a year ago was conducted by gloria borger who i think is still with us. this guy thinks republicans need to not duck the hard choices and stand up and tell the american people the country is in a mess. if we don't make the tough choices, that is 16 years as u.s. president. they served two terms and four years of president obama have dukd the choices. democrats say great, we can say
they are going to ruin the program, but ryan and his fans think you will win if you have an honest conversation about the big problems. if he is the pick, it would change the tone of this race. no question. >> john king, stay with us. we have had to stay goodbye to cnn chief analyst gloria borger, but we have wolf blitzer watching this from d.c. let's bring him in now. wolf, anything you want to add to this? >> the fact that it's going to be announced in norfolk, virginia aboard the uss wisconsin, that may be an indication of what's going on. it's by no means certain, but the fact that it is the uss wisconsin aboard the ship that the announcement will be made seems to suggest that paul ryan has the inside track.
we don't know that for sure. it could be someone else. we will know soon enough. if it is paul ryan, it will make a lot of that conservative pace as they have been pointing out very, very happy and as you know, not only the "wall street journal" and editorial base and other publications conservative letters are urging mitt romney not to go for the safer choice. less flamboyant and the tim pawlenty or rob portman. he is very, very liked by the conservative base and feel he would generate a lot of momentum to get out the vote for the republican votes come november. we are 87 days away from the actual election. who knows what it will be. a lot of the indication are that it will be paul ryan. we don't know for sure. >> remind us and walk us through the list here. we have senator marco rubio and we haven't talked much about him. we mentioned rob portman from
ohio, a hugely important state, the former governor tim pawlenty that you raised as well. >> they called in about the vp stuff. >> go ahead there, wolf. >> can you hear us still? >> i think we lost wolf there. >> i'm here. >> we will bring him back in. >> if you can hear me, go ahead. >> somebody else was interrupting. >> we had an interrupt, but no problem. we are going as we go. walk us through the others as well. >> tim pawlenty with the other runner up and john mccain selected sarah palin, the two-term governor of minnesota, he is very close and very popular. he is known by a lot of staffer who is look for mitt romney and he was on the short, short list. rob portman, the representative in the bush administration and former congressman from ohio and
well-liked and highly respected. romney clearly feels she qualified to be president of the united states in the worst case scenario if something were to happen to him. in ohio -- [inaudible] >> the louisiana governor was on the short list, but i'm sure his name seemed to have faded a little bit. marco rubio's name faded for other reasons even though florida saw him as important. he can help them with that community. those are the names that have been out there. to see the governor of new jersey and excellent in many respects, but probably a little bit too controversial on some of the social issues given the fact that some of the judges he nominated in new jersey may have supported abortion and gay rights and that would have upset the hard core social conservatives in the republican base. each one brings advantages and
disadvantages, but it's up to mitt romney who he feels comfortable with and wants. i remember four years ago for obama picking joe biden. he was not the front-runner, but he brought a lot of foreign policy experience and president obama didn't have it. he was respected and running for a democratic nomination and didn't do well and got the nod and he has been vice president ever since. >> wolf blitzer there in d.c. for us. i want to bring in john king again. we have viewers with us around the united states and around the world as well. to what extent have americans been paying attention to the campaign so far? bring us up to date on how it played out for those who may not be following it day to day. >> it's interesting and may be fascinating. two campaigns are under way. if you look at the polls, president obama decided in the national polls right now, both
supporters and governor romney are locked in and made up their mind and won't change. there is a tiny slice of undecided voters. this campaign is not being weighed but in or nine. everyone knows california will be democratic and texas will be republican. you have tiny states and big states like florida and ohio and swing states virginia and north carolina. the campaign is going to be weighed in the or nine states. the campaign wants to put pennsylvania in play and michigan and wisconsin perhaps. you have the eight or nine states. some of them big and some small. hundreds of millions will be spent to influence about six to eight or 10% of the electorate in these states. most have said they decided. again, a slight advantage obama at the moment if you look at the polls. if you look at the fundamentals, low consumer confidence and the
new poll just out today shows the majority of americans are optimistic and think the economy is getting worse and not better. if you look at those and never mind the candidates and the economic fundamentals, the incumbent president has never been reelected. the numbers favor obama and the history favors romney. that's about as close as you can get. a lot more bush v gore than obama versus mccain. we have 87 days to go. this pick is part of governor romney's efforts to reach the poll numbers a little bit, but they are confident that they have a good shot at incumbent president and we have a campaign that is about to kick in tomorrow when we get the republican running mate. >> from the perspective of the obama campaign if i can bring you back in here. is there a candidate on the short list that the obama campaign will hate or love the
most? >> i am not worried about any of them right now. as far as paul ryan, a lot of democrats think they have an opening if it's paul ryan because he has come out with budget proposals to trim spending including medicare that is very, very popular with seniors. he wants to change medicare and the way it's publiced for people under 55. they would see a significant change in the way medicare is handled by the federal government and they say they will have an opening if it's paul ryan to go after him on medicare. he wants to end medicare as we know it. they say that's the republicans and romney will be vulnerable on that issue as a result of that medicare being very, very popular. remember seniors in the united states vote in much higher percentages than younger people vote in the united states. that's an historic fact.
as far as paul ryan is concerned, it would bring a lot of energy to that republican base and turn out will be better. it has been a little bit of concern how conservative mitt romney is to begin with. they will have the base to energize them. that's the plus side and the democrats think they will be able to go after that ticket and raise the issues of social security and medicare and other issues like that that are popular. #