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Exit Strategy for U.S. Forces in Afghanistan; War on Human Trafficking; Cigarette Warnings Get Graphic; Huntsman Joins GOP Race; The Help Desk; Talk Back Question; Apple Dance's New Star
Aired June 21, 2011 - 11:59 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Suzanne Malveaux. Let's get you up to speed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JON HUNTSMAN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is the hour when we choose our future.
I'm Jon Huntsman, and I'm running for president of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: One more elbows his way into the Republican rumble for the 2012 presidential nomination. Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, a motorcycle-riding Mormon with seven children who speaks fluent Mandarin, announced his presidential campaign today. Huntsman has served both Republican and Democratic presidents. Until January, he was President Obama's ambassador to China.
Huntsman's entry means there are now nine official Republican presidential candidates. Now, you can see them here. They are alphabetically from Congresswoman Michele Bachmann to former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.
President Obama is outlining his plan to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan. That is going to happen tomorrow night.
An administration officials says the president will announce that all 30,000 surge troops he sent to Afghanistan last year will come home by the end of 2012. Already, the administration is worried that Afghanistan's flourishing opium trade is going to help the Taliban fund a comeback.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOHAMMAD, POPPY FARMER (through translator): We grow poppy because of poverty. Without it, we would go hungry. We didn't grow it for four years here, but the government gave us no help. So we started again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: Ash from a volcano in Chile grounded flights across Australia today. Qantas and Virgin halted all service to and from Sydney and Melbourne. This is the ash cloud's second trip around the globe. Last week, the plume messed up travel for 100,000 Aussie flyers.
Forecasters count 40 possible tornadoes in a storm surge across the great plains. This tornado in central Nebraska wiped out a couple of farms, and dangerous weather is possible again today from Dallas to St. Louis to Chicago.
Three Kentucky coal miners will get a telephone call from the U.S. labor secretary. That is happening today. Rescuers say the workers are doing well after floodwaters trapped them inside the mine for 14 hours. The workers were able to reach the highest point inside the pit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DICK BROWN, KENTUCKY ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT CABINET: Here comes the water down, and they were able to walk through the water and walk on outside.
HEATHER KOHLEPP, FAMILY FRIEND: It's amazing. You know, you hear about the tragedies in West Virginia, and it's a good thing there was just three. Like I told someone else, if it had been any later, then there would have been 30 trapped miners.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: You're looking at live pictures, the Casey Anthony trial. Lawyers picking up the pace now in this murder trial today. Now, this is the young Florida mother who is accused of killing her toddler three summers ago.
Now, three defense witnesses have testified so far today, but the third witness drew some questions from the judge himself, who is trying to determine if lawyers in the case are following the rules that he laid down. Now, the judge got so fed up with the bickering yesterday, he canceled court for the day.
Comedian Tracy Morgan is back in Nashville today to apologize in person. He is working with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Discrimination to send what he calls a message of support. The "30 Rock" star and "Saturday Night Live" veteran went on an anti-gay rant during a standup routine in Nashville earlier this month.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRACY MORGAN, ACTOR AND COMEDIAN: I don't have a hateful bone in my body. I don't believe that anyone should be bullied or just made to feel bad about who they are. I totally feel that in my heart.
I really don't care who you love, same sex or not, as long as you have the ability to love. That's the important thing here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: Here's your chance to "Talk Back" on one of the big stories of the day.
Forty-seven million Americans smoke, and the FDA wants to see that number become zero. But are the new cigarette warning labels going too far?
Carol Costello, she joins us from New York with more.
And Carol, you and I have been taking a look at this. I mean, we're talking about a corpse, literally a corpse, on the packaging of these cigarettes. You've got to wonder, I don't know, does it make a difference?
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I know. And you're talking corpse, as in dead guy.
Suzanne, President Obama's goal with this is simple -- to protect the American people from the dangers of tobacco use. The FDA is requiring cigarette makers to place graphic images on cigarette packs, and we mean graphic -- rotted yellow teeth, or this blackened lung. There is even a dead guy with his chest stitched up. The slogan on that one, "Smoking can kill you."
You think that's bad? There's a TV ad campaign in New York that shows amputations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've gotten this disease from smoking, and I have had about -- I'd say between 17 and 20 amputations. I used to paint my own house. I cannot hang up pictures. A light in my kitchen blew out and I can't change it because I have no fingertips.
Everything I do now, I have to stop and think, because just me banging my hand or something could cause me to lose my finger.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Effective? New York says, you betcha.
In the past decade, smoking-related deaths have declined 17 percent in the city. The tobacco companies aren't buying it though. They say the ads violate the First and Fifth Amendments.
This, from Philip Morris -- and I'm quoting here -- "Any government requirement that compels a private entity to carry a message not of its own choosing raises constitutional concerns."
Smokers aren't thrilled about anti-smoking laws in general. It's a free country, they say. Smoking is legal, and it doesn't kill everyone, let's face it.
And as one pro-smoking advocate puts it, "The health Nazis don't get this point. They want to control everything we do from smoking to eating your veggies." McDonald's fries? Don't even go there.
So the "Talk Back" question today: Do anti-smoking campaigns work or do they go too far?
Facebook.com/CarolCNN. I'll read your comments later this hour.
MALVEAUX: All right. Thank you, Carol.
Here's a rundown of some of the stories ahead this hour.
First, the exit strategy for troops in Afghanistan.
Then, firefighters cornered by wildfires blazing across the Georgia/Florida state line.
Plus, lured to America with promises of a better life. A victim of trafficking tells her story.
And also, the so-called hip alternative for lighting up in public.
And Jon Huntsman, officially joining the race for the White House.
MALVEAUX: It's time for you to "Choose the News." Here are your choices.
1: "Sharks of Summer." California beachgoers are ordered out of the water after a great white sighting north of San Francisco. But not everyone heeded to the warning.
2: "Wimbledon Lifestyle." It is the second day of this celebrated tennis championship, but it's not just tennis. It's a lifestyle that brings folks to this quaint London district.
And 3: "Apple Danceoff." Not so shy. A young man breaks out his best dance moves and becomes an Internet sensation. Watch as Apple's danceoff promotion inspires customers to work it out.
You can vote for your favorite story by texting 22360. Text 1 for "Sharks of Summer", 2 for "Wimbledon Lifestyle"; or 3 for "Apple Danceoff."
The winning story is going to air at the end of the hour.
Now to the exit strategy for U.S. forces in Afghanistan. President Obama's going to announce details tomorrow on the end game, and his plan for bringing thousands of Americans home from this country's longest running war.
Our CNN Pentagon correspondent Chris Lawrence, he's joining us.
And Chris, we know 100,000 U.S. troops are in Afghanistan. What do we expect to hear from the president in terms of how many are getting out and how quickly?
CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: What we have been hearing, Suzanne, is that he's going to announce that the 30,000 troops that he ordered in as a surge about two years ago, those troops will be coming home by the end of next year, 2012. The rationale for that is something that's sort of unique to Afghanistan in that, because of the harsh winters there in certain parts of the country, and the way that they grow poppy, they have what are called fighting seasons, which is basically the spring and the summer, where the fighting with the Taliban really intensifies.
What this would do is it would allow a lot of that surge to remain through this summer, and also through next spring and summer. So, basically, the military would get two more full fighting seasons out of that surge.
I talked with an analyst yesterday who talked about how some of the forces may be shifting, though, in where they fight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL O'HANLON, SR. FELLOW, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: Any drawdowns that we can make in places like Kandahar and Helmand, let's say, this upcoming winter should be partially redirected toward Afghanistan's east, where we have not yet had enough resources. And therefore, major drawdowns would have to await the end of the fighting season in 2012. That's essentially what the current strategy implies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAWRENCE: And again, President Obama expected to make that announcement public tomorrow -- Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: Chris, we know there are deep divisions within the administration in Washington about this. We have got the vice president, Biden, on one side, the outgoing secretary of defense, Gates, on the other side.
Do we know how President Obama is making decisions? What is he weighing when it comes to deciding how many of these troops are actually going to get to go home?
LAWRENCE: Well, a couple things are at play.
One, he's probably much more knowledgeable about Afghanistan today than he was two years ago when he had to make the initial call on the surge. Two, this is something that goes all the way back to when he was campaigning. He campaigned on the idea that Iraq was a distraction, that he wanted to make Afghanistan the focus of the military policy, and really focus on the war. And he really doubled down on the strategy when he committed those 30,000 troops.
You're right, on one hand, he's got the military who are advising to go cautiously. What we've heard is they would like to see maybe no more than 5,000 troops come home by the end of the year, the rest coming home next year.
All the way on the other side, you've got everybody from Republican presidential candidates to Senator Carl Levin pushing for about 15,000 troops to come home this year. Of course, one of the reasons they're citing is, A, Osama bin Laden being killed, and B, the fact that we're spending about $2 billion a week in Afghanistan.
MALVEAUX: All right.
Thank you very much, Chris.
From our affiliates across the country, four firefighters were overrun by flames near the Georgia/Florida state line. Two were killed. The other two, treated for smoke and heat-related injuries. WJXT reports the crew was cutting fire lines yesterday to help prevent the fire from spreading.
Look at what happened at a speedway in Clark County, Indiana. The cars were coming around this track when, all of a sudden, one car goes flying right into the crowd. Four people were taken to the hospital, three for minor injuries, one with a broken pelvis.
In Upstate New York, tricky river rescue. The Army National Guard is called out to pull a rescue boat off the rocks in the Niagara River. The boat got stuck near Horseshoe Falls when parks police officers got lost in the fog. They're all OK.
MALVEAUX: Well, the fight against modern-day slavery and human trafficking, and California companies are being held accountable.
MALVEAUX: "CNN In-Depth." California is waging war on human trafficking. Many of you might be surprised to know the extent to which companies profit from exploiting others right here in the United States. It is a form of modern-day slavery.
CNN's Barbara Starr looks at the fight to end it.
FLOR MOLINA, TRAFFICKING VICTIM: I was an easy target.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Today, Flor Molina is on a mission. A decade ago in Mexico, she found herself in desperate circumstances and ended up becoming a victim of human trafficking.
MOLINA: After my baby passed away, I was really worried how to take care of my other children. I was working two jobs, cleaning houses and cooking in a restaurant.
STARR: A woman approached with an offer, she says, too good to pass up -- a job in the United States.
But Flor found herself in a Los Angeles sweatshop sewing and workers 17 hours a day, forced to live in the factory, she says, not allowed to speak to anyone.
MOLINA: If I didn't do what the person told me to do, I was -- I was punished. She pulled my hair out, slapped me, pinched me and pushed me.
STARR: One day, Flor was allowed to go to church and she never looked back.
State Senator Darrell Steinberg authored the law that goes into effect next year, trying to take a first step in shedding new light on the results of human trafficking.
DARRELL STEINBERG, CALIFORNIA STATE SENATOR: We are often so isolated here and we go about our daily lives and consumers don't often stop to think, what went into the making of the -- of the clothing that they're wearing or the good that they have purchased?
STARR (on camera): The law requires retailers and manufacturers who have $100 million in revenue and to business here in California to publicly disclose whether or not they have a plan to track the supply chain of the products they sell and make, to ensure that supply chain is free from trafficking or slave labor. If they don't publicly disclose it, they can face sanctions from the state attorney general.
(voice-over): Many retailers already disclose their plans. Clothing manufacturer Patagonia believes transparency on trafficking appeals to its customer base. It's been posting supply chain information on its Web site for years.
ROB BONDURANT, VP MARKETING, PATAGONIA: Part of our mission as a company is to lead an examined life. And that means understanding where your product comes from, not from the point of design, but from the point of manufacturing, from the stitch line, from the -- from the moment that we actually pull a sewing machine out all the way through to the point where a customer purchases that product.
STARR (on camera): So whether it's this shirt right here, these jackets over here, some of your popular winter fleeces, what do you do to ensure the integrity, that trafficking is not involved in making these?
BONDURANT: Well, it all starts with our own internal audits. And we have a social and environmental responsibility team that sits right with our production department. And they have full veto power of whether a product goes into production or not.
STARR (voice-over): Nonprofit organizations who help trafficking victims say it's their experiences that have really helped push progress on the issue.
KAY BUCK, COALITION TO ABOLISH SLAVERY AND TRAFFICKING: The most important thing about the Supply Chain bill in California is that it was very much informed by the survivors that we serve.
STARR: As one of those survivors, Flor remains determined to speak out and never live in fear again, even though, she says, her trafficker is still threatening her family.
MOLINA: For me, it's a commandment. It's something that I have to do, because as I said before, there are a lot of people who are more afraid than I am.
STARR (on camera): Advocacy groups here in California say they hope the next stop is a federal law, although they acknowledge it could take years to make that happen.
Barbara Starr, CNN, Los Angeles.
MALVEAUX: Young women and girls in Nepal bought and sold for sex. They are all victims. And on Sunday, the survivors get a voice. Demi Moore joins the 2010 CNN Hero of the Year to take you inside the fight to end this modern-day slavery.
"Nepal's Stolen Children," a CNN Freedom Project.
Well, the FDA unveils disturbing new cigarette warning labels, but that may not be enough to keep some people from lighting up. We're going to talk with a psychologist about what it takes to quit.
MALVEAUX: Here's a rundown of some of the stories that we're working on.
The psychology of smoking -- despite the dangers, smart people who can't stop lighting up.
Then, a look at the new accessory for social smokers.
And later, America's growing army of disgruntled workers. Details from the New York Stock Exchange.
Well, we told you about those graphic new cigarette warning labels the FDA is unveiling today. Well, the agency hopes the disturbing images will make people think twice about lighting up. But for the 47 million Americans who still smoke, it may take more than a graphic warning label to get them to quit.
Joining us from New York to talk about the addictive aspect of smoking is clinical psychologist Jeff Gardere.
Thank you very much, Jeff, for being here.
JEFF GARDERE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: My pleasure.
MALVEAUX: Let's talk a little about these new smoking warnings, these labels here. They are meant to change behavior, obviously, and we all know, there are a lot of smart people who know the dangers about smoking, but they still smoke.
Is there any evidence that these kind of graphic in-your-face warnings actually work?
GARDERE: Well, they do work. We have known over time that a lot of these sorts of commercials and graphic images were put out there.
Normally, what we see is, initially, people may be turned off to the ads because they are so heavy-handed. But as there is more media coverage, and as it becomes part of the public consciousness, the truth really does set in that these ads are telling the truth, that smoking can cause premature death, it causes all sorts of health issues, especially cancer. And then people come to accept it.
MALVEAUX: Jeff, does it make any difference if you're trying to target hardcore smokers or young folks who might be looking to light up for the first time? Do they receive it any differently?
GARDERE: I think -- yes. I think what the ads are trying to do are get to women and to young smokers, people who have been targeted by the tobacco industry.
There's more of an anti-smoking culture with young people now, so it's easier to get to them. And we are a much more health-related sort of society, so therefore, we'll tend to listen to these warnings.
But the real problem are the diehard smokers, the people who have been doing this for years and years, who have a physiological addiction. I'm talking about nicotine addiction. But, as well, have a personality that is much more at risk for being addicted to cigarettes and other sorts of chemicals and substances.
MALVEAUX: So, Jeff, help us understand, what is it that successfully changes behavior? Is it economics like raising the price of -- the cost, you know, of a pack of cigarettes, or is it making it inconvenient, banning it in public places, or is it shaming people and saying OK, now there's a stigma attached?
What really changes behavior?
GARDERE: Well, I know what doesn't work is trying to shame people, because people become intractable. And that's why we have this term called "reverse psychology." We try to find another way to get to them. Trying to shame them into not smoking makes them much more -- puts them in the mindset of their saying you can't tell me what to do, I am an adult.
But we know what really has worked, raising the price of cigarettes, of course, and giving them much more information, health- related information, as to what can happen to them. So it really is about common sense, and it is also about making it inconvenient as far as pricing, as far as having to produce I.D., and so on.
MALVEAUX: And the image of smoking, how has it changed in the last 30 years or so? Does that help people put the cigarette down?
GARDERE: I think very much so, that the media has helped us to stop smoking. If you remember back in the day, everyone had a drink in the left hand and a cigarette in the right hand. And it was fashionable, you were considered to be affluent to be a smoker, to be smooth and so on.
Now we do see this whole campaign of showing people losing fingers, losing limbs, dying of cancer, having all sorts of respiratory illnesses. There's nothing sexy about that at all, and I think this is what is getting to people, not shaming them, but showing them what can happen to them. How they in fact can have a very horrible death and poor health if they continue to smoke.
MALVEAUX: Jeff Gardere, thank you so much, Jeff. We really appreciate your insights there.
There are some smokers who are struggling to quit, and they are turning to an alternative when they get the urge to light up. And it's electronic cigarettes. Our CNN Silicon Valley correspondent Dan Simon is joining us from San Francisco.
Dan, first of all, explain to us -- a lot of us didn't really know they existed but they have been out there for a little while, these e-cigarettes.
DAN SIMON, CNN SILICON VALLEY CORRESPONDENT: Right. They are also sometimes called bionic cigarettes. These are plastic and electronic devices, battery operated. They contain a nicotine solution, and when you inhale, it creates a kind of vapor. These devices are sold online, in retail stores, and certain Hollywood celebrities are using them. That's adding to the popularity.
And one of the leading providers in this space is a company called Blue, and they post a promotional video online. Take a look at that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Blue is your any time, anywhere alternative to traditional cigarettes. With a similar look and feel to traditional cigarettes, blue delivers the taste you like without the harmful chemicals, tar or odor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SIMON: Well, anti-smoking groups are not convinced that these devices are safe. They point to an FDA study done in 2009 that showed that that nicotine solution also had some carcinogens. So, obviously there's a huge debate about this. It's one of these things that's gaining in popularity and obviously, there's going to be more attention placed on e-cigarettes as more and more people use them. Suzanne?
MALVEAUX: So, Dan, they would like to see these e-cigarettes banned as well. I understand something that is new about this is this social networking component of all this. Can you explain what that is about?
SIMON: You know, it's interesting. These electronic cigarette makers have determined just like a lot of companies that if you add a social networking component, it will, you know, add to the popularity. So they have embedded this feature, at least Blue cigarettes have, that when there's another Blue smoker nearby, the actual pack of cigarettes will vibrate. And that will let you know that someone else is nearby. There are also some Facebook and Twitter features as well that will share information, that background when there's another Blue smoker in the proximity, Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: Interesting. Okay. Dan Simon, thank you very much. Appreciate it.
Getting news, this just in. President Obama is going to be addressing the nation, that is tomorrow at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. This is regarding the strategy, the plan for Afghanistan and also the announcement that we're expecting from the president to talk about drawing -- withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan. How he will implement this policy moving forward. It is a policy that was first unveiled December of 2009. The drawdown of American troops from Afghanistan.
That will happen in a national address from the White House at 8:00 p.m. Eastern tomorrow. We'll have more after the break.
MALVEAUX: Half the workers across the country are now unhappy with their jobs. That's according to a report from consulting firm Mercer, which finds that many seriously are thinking it's time to go.
Alison Kosik. She joins me again from the New York Stock Exchange. Alison, I find this very surprising, considering how bad the economy is, how much - how important it is to keep your job. But I think, according to this report, at least, a lot of people are ready to walk out of the door for good?
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. You know, when you're fed up, you're fed up. And according to this study, 30 percent are seriously thinking about quitting. But that's mostly younger workers who plan on getting a new job. The younger set tend to have, you know, less company loyalty and are likely to switch jobs.
But an additional 21 percent have a negative view of their boss and are just checked out mentally, but they will go ahead and stay put. What's interesting about this study, Suzanne, is that no matter where you are in the food chain, these negative feelings, they hit all career levels, Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: What's driving this, do you think?
KOSIK: You know, they're not happy with what they're being paid. That's understandable. We've watched wages stagnate during the recession. They really haven't gone up much since.
Other issues are career development, health care benefits, because what's happening here is employers are asking a lot more of their workers these days. Employers, you know, they cut workers during the recession. So the ones who are left, they have to work twice as hard. Well, now some companies are adding jobs, but the fact is they're not adding enough to make up for what was lost. Suzanne?
MALVEAUX: So, what's the effect here for the employers? The implications for them, those who are actually hiring?
KOSIK: Their biggest problem, employers, is really how to keep their employees. They could lose a good worker because they're unhappy, but the even bigger issue here is it could lead to decreased productivity. You know, people get burned out. They're not going to work as hard. They will get apathetic and they could do sloppy work.
But you have to think about something else. If you are thinking about switching jobs, there's a Career Builder survey that says that job hunting is among the most stressful things in life, so you know what? It may not be so bad where you are. Grass is always greener. Watch what you wish for kind of thing. You may be happier just staying put for awhile.
MALVEAUX: OK. All right, Alison. Great advice. Thank you.
Well, a new face in the race. Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman announces his bid now for the White House. The Republican field growing now more crowded. We will talk to conservative political contributor Amy Holmes about that.
MALVEAUX: Jon Huntsman jumps into the race. Today, he officially announced he is running for the Republican presidential nomination. Huntsman made his announcement in New Jersey with the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop. He warned that the country is headed towards a future that is, in his words, "totally unacceptable and totally un- American."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JON HUNTSMAN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Today, Americans are experiencing, through no fault of their own, something that is totally alien to them. A sense that the deck is stacked against them by forces totally beyond their control. No matter how hard they work, save and plan, the opportunities are not there for them that were present for previous generations. Perhaps saddest of all, we have lost faith in ourselves.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: Huntsman not exactly a household name, but the Obama administration is concerned about him as a candidate. There's a profile of Huntsman from CNN's Joe Johns.
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Good looks, lots of money, popular back home. Knows how to ride a motorcycle. Oh, and his dad's a billionaire.
The Obama White House thinks Huntsman is a star, too, and a threat to re-election. So much so that they actually hired him and sent him off to the other side of the planet as U.S. ambassador to China. Almost 7,000 miles away from Washington, D.C. Though he did not stay for long.
And now that he's back home, Democrats and the president are singing Huntsman's praises, hoping his ties to Mr. Obama will be a turnoff to Republican voters.
MALVEAUX: That's just part of Joe Johns' report. Jon Huntsman elbows his way into a crowded field of Republican contenders, so what does he bring to the field? What does this mean for the other candidates?
Joining us to talk about that is CNN political contributor and independent conservative Amy Holmes. She is co-host of Talk Radio Network's "American Morning News." Amy, great to see you.
AMY HOLMES, CO-HOST, "AMERICAN MORNING NEWS": Great to see you.
MALVEAUX: It's funny in Joe's piece, because he says really that common wisdom was that President Obama knew that Huntsman could be a dark-horse candidate, potential threat in 2012. So essentially he shipped him off to China to get him off the playing field. I mean, his worst-case scenario perhaps is realized now. How big a threat is Huntsman to president obama?
HOLMES: Well, it sort of defies the advice to keep your friends close and your enemies closer by sending Jon Huntsman away. Huntsman has been away while Obama's been spending and racking up these bills and having these big domestic policy disputes with conservatives and the GOP.
So far with the speech today at the Statue of Liberty, some of the conservative reviews are in and he was found to be relaxed, easy, presidential. These are all, of course, great assets to campaigning.
And another asset, too, because he was away in China, 7,000 miles away, as Joe Johns just reported, is that he can define himself. So, you said, you know, he's not a household name. Well, he can make himself a household name on his own terms, as say someone like Sarah Palin who is so well-known that it's very hard for her to sway opinion for people who don't know who she is.
MALVEAUX: So, let's talk a little bit about that. Because we know that Huntsman is a moderate. He's very popular. He got more than 78 percent of the vote in Utah as governor. He's essentially Mitt Romney without the baggage of health care. How does he stack up against some of his other Republican opponents?
HOLMES: Well, he may not have the baggage of health care, but he does have the baggage of being pro-civil unions, for example. And some conservatives are pointing to that as a potential liability, That he's too moderate to win in the GOP primary and appeal to that much more conservative, particularly socially conservative, base.
But I would point out that Mayor Giuliani back in 2008 during that campaign election, he was actually double digits ahead of his rivals going into the primary process among evangelicals. They liked Giuliani even though they knew that he was pro-gay marriage, he was pro-choice and had those socially liberal positions because he was America's mayor, and they also saw that he could be a winner going up against potentially Hillary Clinton. Of course, it turned out quite differently, but being socially -- excuse me, socially moderate isn't necessarily as big a liability as folks think.
MALVEAUX: And what about the idea now that you have two Mormons in the running here? Mitt Romney as well as Huntsman. Does this tend to neutralize this issue for both of these candidates?
HOLMES: I think that it does. That, you know, Mitt Romney standing alone in the field sort of quote/ unquote, has some 'splaing to do to the evangelical base. But with two of them, I -- you know, I think that it does neutralize it for both of them, that they don't have to be -- they're certainly not going to attack each other on that basis. And for other candidates to even try to raise that issue I think makes it a little bit more difficult.
I also think Jon Huntsman being a governor like Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty will also be an asset to Mr. Huntsman.
MALVEAUX: And, Amy, we just have to take a look at these pictures. Just an excuse to show him on the motorbike again. I mean there are some theatrics involved in campaigning, in politics. And we've him there on the motorbike. And then, you know, his whole family walks across this field, very dramatic fashion, earlier today. It seemed like it was a football field, but they made it across the field. The Statue of Liberty in the background. What do you make of all of this? Does this set him apart from some of the others? Does it give him an advantage here that he's got these lovely, illustrious pictures behind him?
HOLMES: Well, every candidate, of course, is going to be trying to stage these types of photo ops and be -- I mean anybody can stand in front of the Statue of Liberty. Huntsman happened to do this on his announcement. And, of course, we saw Sarah Palin, she was on a motorcycle. Everybody loved that.
But, you know, these images can also be a little bit dangerous as we remember with Michael Dukakis and the tank. (INAUDIBLE) looking like Snoopy there. So, you know, these things, they're working in his favor. Hopefully there won't be major banana peels in his future.
MALVEAUX: Yes, we might see those in some ads working against him, too. We'll have to see. All right, Amy Holmes, thank you so much. Nice to see you.
HOLMES: Thank you, Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: Today's "Talk Back" question, do the FDA's new anti- smoking cigarette labels go too far? Sophia says, "the ads are not going too far. It's the truth of what smoking could do to the body."
But first, here is some free money advice from the CNN "Help Desk." (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
CARTER EVANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Time now for "The Help Desk," where we get answers to your financial questions. Joining me this hour, Greg McBride. He's a senior financial analyst at bankrate.com. And Lynnette Khalfani-Cox. She's the founder of the financial advice blog askthemoneycoach.com.
Kimberly in Florida asks, "my dad is 71 and retired in June of last year. He has money to live on and planned his retirement execution well. Not counting his cash savings, he has $250,000 in a 401(k) account, drawing it out when he's scheduled to do so. My dad wants his 401(k) to be as conservative as possible to limit any loss, so where should he invest the money he draws out?"
GREG MCBRIDE, SENIOR FINANCIAL ANALYST, BANKRATE.COM: Well, for all the money ideally that you're going to take out for the next five years, you want to have that invested very conservatively. You're looking at things like money markets, even CDs or short term bonds. However, you don't want to invest that entire $250,000 account extremely conservatively because your dad could live another 25 or 30 years in retirement and you want to make sure that the money lasts as long as he does. So you will have to take a more aggressive stance with some of that money just to preserve the buying power when he's in his 80s and 90s.
EVANS: OK. Wummi in Florida says, "I just started building my credit last year and I'm trying to improve it. I only have one credit card from Capital One right now. I tried to apply for another card but I got denied due to my short credit history. So, how do I go about building my credit?" This is a great question, Lynnette.
LYNNETTE KHALFANI-COX, FOUNDER, ASKTHEMONEYCOACH.COM: This is a great question. Obviously a lot of people out there want to improve their credit rating because we're in the credit crunch and your credit score matters more than ever.
Listen, the keys to improving your credit score are somewhat basic. Keep those credit card balances low. Make sure you pay all your obligations. And I mean everything on time. And you actually should not think about applying for a lot more credit cards. You said you just got one a year ago. Inquiries can actually hurt you. That's when a lender does a hard pull and decides whether or not to extend you credit or a loan. And inquiries, by some people's estimates, can cost you anywhere from five to maybe as much as 35 points on your credit score. So only apply for credit when you really and truly need it.
EVANS: Yes, you're right about paying all those bills on time. Some credit reporting agencies now count rent payments in your credit rating.
KHALFANI-COX: That's right. That's right, Experian.
EVANS: Have a question you want answered, send us an e-mail any time to email@example.com.
MALVEAUX: You've been sounding off on our "Talk Back" question. Carol Costello is here with your responses.
Hey, Carol, what have you got?
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Got a lot of responses, Suzanne. The "Talk Back" question today, are new cigarette warning labels going too far?
Jim says, "almost every smoker I know wants to quit, but for whatever their reasons, they can't right now. These images won't change a thing. It's just the government playing mommy again."
Justin says, "we smokers all know the risks and dangers of using tobacco products, but in reality it's no more of a risk than getting into a car. Life itself is a risk. We step out of our doorways and for all we know we could drop dead then and there for numerous reasons."
Drew says, "sure, let's go a step farther and put stickers on food, now showing that eating too and obesity causes death and amputation."
Tyler says, "they don't go far enough. Besides discouraging nonsmokers from starting, they need to impact pre-existing smokers and encourage them to quit. The facts are there, smoking kills. There's no other way around it than not smoking."
And, finally, Terry says, I smoked for 40 years. It was very difficult to quit. If it wasn't for all the meth and cocaine and alcohol, I wouldn't have made it."
Keep the conversation coming, facebook.com/carolcnn.
MALVEAUX: Carol, I hope -- I just hope he's not serious. I just hope he's not serious.
COSTELLO: OK. He's joking. Well, you get his point, right?
MALVEAUX: I get it. I get it.
COSTELLO: I mean every -- there are lots of things in the world that are bad for you and kill you, but they're still legal and you have a choice whether to partake or not. Keep the conversation going, facebook.com/carolcnn. Thanks, as always, for your comments.
MALVEAUX: And we encourage everybody to stop smoking, if you can help it. If you can try, it's a good thing to do, to try to quit if you can.
COSTELLO: It is indeed.
MALVEAUX: All right, thanks, Carol.
You told us what you wanted to see. Your "Choose The News" story just moments away.
MALVEAUX: Here's your "Choose The News" winner. Want-to-be stars are taking advantage of Apple Store computers to record their hot dance moves. As CNN's Dan Simon reports, the trend has gotten one young man named Trevor a new stage for Internet stardom.
SIMON (voice-over): Most people see it as a store. Twelve-year- old Trevor Moran sees it as his stage to dance and lip sync to favorites like Justin Bieber.
TREVOR MORAN, APPLE STORE DANCER: Hey, guys, what's up? It's me, Trevor, in an Apple Store, of course.
SIMON: He's on his way to Internet stardom with dances to Lady Gaga and Britney Spears. Trevor's videos on YouTube have gotten five million hits.
MORAN: I walk in the store. I act totally like a regular person and then I bust out and start dancing. And that's just like the best part because I walk in the store totally mellow.
SIMON: It turns out he's not the only one doing this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every Apple Store I go to, I'm going to have a dance-off in the Apple store. No matter where I'm at.
SIMON: Yep, Apple Store dances are happening all over the country.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, guys, what's up? OK. So I'm going to be doing my first ever Apple Store dance.
SIMON: Sometimes they wear costumes. Sometimes they bring friends. The music choices range. And as you can imagine, they always seem to catch the eye of other customers.
MORAN: A lot of looks. There's a lot of laughs. There's a lot of stares. The employees, when I first did it, they didn't really know what was going on. They kind of stopped me at first. Like they're like, oh, turn that down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There you go.
MORAN: But then now all the employees at the store that I usually go to, they're totally cool with me now and they like -- they love me. My favorite video I would say is my dance to "Friday" by Rebecca Black. I do not rehearse any of my dances. Freestyle. I wing it. I just do what dance moves I got, you know? SIMON: He records those moves using one of the store's machines and uploads directly from the store to YouTube. His goal is to translate this into more than just Internet fame. He dreams of a career in show business.
Dan Simon --
SIMON: CNN --
MORAN: Thank you all so much for watching.
SIMON: San Francisco.
MALVEAUX: He might just get one. If your choice did not win or you just want to check out the runners-up, I'll have links to them on my page at facebook.com/suzannecnn.
CNN NEWSROOM continues right now with Randi Kaye.
RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR: Hi there. I love that kid. Too cute.
MALVEAUX: He's hilarious.
KAYE: He is great. Not shy at all.
All right, Suzanne, have a great day. Thank you.