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Jon Huntsman Announces Presidential Campaign; New Smoking Warnings; U.S. Aircraft Down in Libya; Huntsman Joins 2012 Presidential Race; Senate Approves Panetta Nomination; Another Casey Anthony Bombshell?

Aired June 21, 2011 - 16:00   ET



BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: He's one of America's most wanted, an accused serial killer who has been on the run for years. But, suddenly, the feds want him so badly, they're making an unprecedented push to track him down. And it involves his girlfriend.

I'm Brooke Baldwin. The news is now.

(voice-over): Another Republican goes all in.

JON HUNTSMAN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm Jon Huntsman and I'm running for president of the United States.

BALDWIN: The former Utah governor says the country faces an un- American future.

HUNTSMAN: Everything is at stake.

BALDWIN: But he's got one thing on his competitors: He's worked for President Obama. So does he know the opponent's playbook?

Cigarettes kill, and the government hopes these new ads will prove it once and for all, but there's something different about these warnings that will be hard to ignore.

SPC. SCOTT AUDITORE, NEW HAMPSHIRE ARMY NATIONAL GUARD: Yesterday, I was in the desert. Now I'm back home.

BALDWIN: A dad's dream becomes one kid's surprise.


BALDWIN: Welcome back here, hour two of the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Brooke Baldwin.

And what I'm about to tell you about, it sounds a lot like a scene from a Martin Scorsese movie. You know the part the feds plot to get the long-wanted murderous mobster? But in this case, the guy they want to nab is even said to be an inspiration for a role in a Scorsese film. You ever heard of "The Departed," Jack Nicholson, the Boston mob boss character there? Check it out. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE DEPARTED")

JACK NICHOLSON, ACTOR: When I was your age, they would say we could become cops or criminals. What I'm saying is this. When you're facing a loaded gun, what's the difference?


BALDWIN: Well, the fugitive the FBI wants to nab is straight off its most wanted list.

It is this guy. This is James -- he goes by "Whitey" -- Bulger. He is linked to almost two dozen murders. A plot the FBI has hatched, get Whitey's girlfriend. The FBI hopes people who watch daytime television can help.

So, the agency is running a PSA, a public service announcement, on "Regis & Kelly," "The View," even Ellen DeGeneres' show. Watch this.


NARRATOR: This is an announcement by the FBI. Have you seen this woman?

The FBI is offering $100,000 for tips leading to Catherine Greig's whereabouts. These photos were from the 1990s. Greig has had plastic surgeries. She is wanted for harboring James "Whitey" Bulger, a fugitive on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list.

Sixty-year-old Greig is the girlfriend of 81-year-old Bulger. He has a violent temper and is charged with 19 murders. Call the tip line at 1-800-CALL-FBI.


BALDWIN: So, that's the PSA you may soon be seeing.

And here he is from the FBI, Richard Teahan. He supervises the agency task force looking for Whitey Bulger and his girlfriend.

Mr. Teahan, good to have you on.

I never thought I would hear the FBI targeting a TV show like "The View" or even manicurists, beauty salons, dental offices to find this killer vis-a-vis his girlfriend. Talk to me about her habits that you're hoping to exploit to track him down.

RICHARD TEAHAN, FBI: Well, Brooke, what we're looking to do is to really focus in on her. And she's had multiple plastic surgeries. She's very vain about her appearance. She was a dental hygienist when she was -- before she fled.

And we're really looking to focus in on that daytime audience to appeal to her co-workers, her neighbors, her manicurists, barbershops, veterinary clinics, hospitals, anything that will focus in on her habits. And that's really what we're looking for. (CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: And in focusing in on these habits, the fact like she likes to keep her teeth clean and could be coming to a dental office near you, I mean, is this a first for the FBI, going about it this way?

TEAHAN: It's an innovative approach for us. We have really focused in on Bulger himself for 16 years. And I think it was a really good time to refocus on to her during 2010 and 2011, and connect the dots with her and him, and really focus in on that 21-year age difference, he being 81 and she being 60.

BALDWIN: It's interesting that you point that out, but the number here, 1995, that was the year that he officially went on the lam with her. Why -- why so much attention now? Why today?

TEAHAN: Because I just think it's -- I -- we feel as a task force and as an agency that it's a good time to focus on her and really, really target the audience, the daytime audience that will give us those tips and leads, and really specific tips on her which will connect -- connect to him.

BALDWIN: Why not show a bunch of pictures of him? Why not try to get men, you know, his habits, men to turn him in? Why focus on women? Is there something about women, you think, that they will be more willing to call up the FBI?


I think that we have focused on Bulger through a lot of extensive publicity, both domestically and internationally. And she's always played kind of a second tier to him. And we just think it's time to reshift that focus, not so much the female audience during the day, but the entire audience during the day, that daytime viewing audience.

BALDWIN: Richard Teahan, what is it about an 81-year-old that is so hard to find?

TEAHAN: Very manipulative, very charismatic, deals in cash only, does not leave a credit trail, very careful about who he interacts with, will usually embed himself in a community. And people will really feel like he's a fatherly figure. And they absolutely do not believe that he is a fugitive.

BALDWIN: We will follow up with you. You're airing this PSA 14 cities nationwide, I know, where they're significant for either one of these individuals. And also you have got a billboard in Times Square.

Richard Teahan with the FBI, best of luck to you. Let us know when you catch him or her.

TEAHAN: Thank you, Brooke.

BALDWIN: If it's interesting, if it's happening right now, you're about to see it rapid fire. Let's go. Nearly 10 years after the war in Afghanistan began, President Obama is set to reveal how it begins to end. Tomorrow night, in a prime-time address to the nation, he is expected to announce plans to withdraw 30,000 U.S. troops from the war zone by the end of next year. But a source tells CNN military chiefs advised President Obama to do something different. We're going go to the Pentagon and get a live report for you on that ahead.

And at least 44 people died just north of Moscow after a Russian jetliner made a premature descent. It hit a pine tree, burst into flames there and crashed on to this highway. And according to officials, the jet had 43 passengers and a crew of nine on board when it took off from Moscow just last night. Several passengers and one flight attendant did survive after people who lived near the crash site pulled them out of that burning wreckage there -- no word yet what caused the crash.

Speaking of crashes here, frightening moment there on cam. Watch this. You have a race car getting pushed into the guardrail. Then it plows into the crowd. Watch it again here. This happened at the Sportsdrome Speedway -- this is Indiana -- Saturday. And, amazingly -- look at that -- amazingly, despite the vicious crash, no one was killed, but it did send four people to the hospital, landing on some of those folks.

Want to take you now inside of a tornado. Watch this. Here it is, the twister touching down along the Nebraska-Kansas border. Four members of a Kansas family were slightly injured because of this, their home totally destroyed. Last night's storm disrupted the College World Series. That's happening in Omaha. At first, people didn't take the sirens too seriously, but then they started to run. Fans took shelter until the storm was able to pass. The National Weather Service says winds were close to 70 miles an hour. That game has been rescheduled for tonight.

Now to the South, where a central Florida neighborhood is on the lookout for these guys, a pack of alligators that escaped from their pen by digging under the fence. Florida Fish and Wildlife officials say 17 gators escaped. So far, only a handful have been caught, which, needless to say, has some people a little bit concerned.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The last one that was caught on Friday evening was about five foot three inches.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And wait until I tell my wife that there's eight unaccounted for.


BALDWIN: That is not going to sit so well, sir, with her.

To New Hampshire, where a soldier who just returned from Iraq surprises his son at his baseball game, naturally throws out the first pitch to his kid. Watch this. The dad, Specialist Scott Auditore, describes his quick turnaround from the war.


AUDITORE: Yesterday, I was in the desert. Now I'm back home. And it's green and beautiful with my friends and family.


BALDWIN: Just so you know, because I thought you might, Scott's son Kyle (ph) hit a double in his first at-bat.

Welcome home, Scott, and of course, all of other troops who returned over the weekend.

The government rolling out new cigarette warnings. But if you think these pictures are graphic -- and here are a couple of them -- you should see the labels in other countries. Coming up next, hear from a health director in Canada who reveals whether their graphic -- and I mean graphic warnings -- have actually helped people stop smoking.

Also, this:


TRACY MORGAN, ACTOR: From the bottom of my heart, I apologize to everybody.


BALDWIN: Comedian Tracy Morgan speaks publicly for the first time since going on that homophobic rant. And one of the guys at the comedy club at the time appeared with Morgan today.

Also, did you see what happened while they were walking off stage? That video next.


BALDWIN: They are graphic. They are disturbing. They are the new warning labels that will begin appearing on packs of cigarettes starting next year.

And, folks, this is the first time in 25 years that the U.S. has updated its warnings on cigarette packs. Since then, more than 30 countries around the world have begun using some of these warnings, and some of them very, very graphic.

Here in the states, the new graphics will cover 25 percent of these cigarette boxes. But why are new labels being attached to these -- these packages? Well, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if you took all the deaths that happened each and every year, you add up the car accidents, HIV, illegal drug use, suicide, alcohol use, and murders, it still would not add up to the number of deaths caused by smoking.

And, in fact, Canada is one of the countries that has been using these graphics for 10 years now.

And I spoke with the head of the health -- Canada's tobacco division and asked him if a lot of this about trying to stop young people from even picking up the habit has something to do with it. Here's what he told me.


LOUIS PROULX, CANADIAN CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE AND TOBACCO DIRECTORATE: Absolutely. One of the things that we are very mindful of, our people, is to make sure that people do not start smoking.

Obviously, we are still looking at having people quit. But, definitely, that people do not start is very, very important. One of the measures that go along with graphic warning labels, obviously, in Canada is the age at which kids can start legally buying these packs.

These measures are also very important in trying to reduce prevalence and preventing kids from smoking.


BALDWIN: Now, we can't even show you here on television some of these warning labels, but you can check them out if you go online. You can see what some of these labels look like from all around the world. Just go to

And Tracy Morgan back on stage in Nashville today, this time not for show, but for an apology. Tracy Morgan met with audience members offended by his homophobic rant back on June 3. And one audience member, Kevin Rogers, actually posted details of Morgan's rant online. It led to public and celebrity outrage.

One comment in particular sparked controversy when Morgan suggested, if he had a gay son, he would pull out a knife and stab him. Today, Morgan apologized again, vowing to change his stand-up routine.


TRACY MORGAN, ACTOR/COMEDIAN: So, from the bottom of my heart I apologize to everybody who I offended with my words on stage in Nashville and anywhere else. I just apologize to you.

And I want to take this opportunity -- I mean, to err is human, but to forgive is divine. And these young people here forgave me.

Thank you, Kevin. Thank you. Thank you, everybody.


BALDWIN: Morgan also agreed to record a public service announcement for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation to help promote their "Amplify Your Voice" campaign.

You know, for months now, we have been telling you that people in Syria are being attacked in the middle of the streets, and there is new video showing precisely what's happening. It's dramatic video of a gun battle. You can hear the shots ringing out, you're going to see it next.

Plus a possible game changer in Libya. The U.S. is apparently using drones to take on the Gadhafi regime, but we only know this because of an accident, a disappearance. We are live in Tripoli next.


BALDWIN: I want you to watch this. This is new startling video. This is out of Syria.


BALDWIN: We are told this video is taken on the streets of Homs where bullets are flying. People, you can see them, not there, earlier running for cover and protesters took to the streets following Bashar al Assad's address on Syrian state television just yesterday.

And again, when we show you these images we just have to again stress CNN cannot confirm the authenticate as our reporters are not allowed in Syria.

A U.S. aircraft went down over Libya. It was an unmanned surveillance helicopter, no pilots, no crew onboard. Here's what viewers of Libyan state TV saw afterward. A reporter described this wreckage as that of an Apache helicopter which does carry two people. This is clearly not an Apache. NATO confirms that it is a Fire Scout helicopter that crashed there. This is Libya's central coast.

I want to go to CNN's David McKenzie live for me in the capital city of Tripoli today.

And, David, what does NATO say happened to this aircraft? What kind of -- how did it go down?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We don't know exactly how this went down, Brooke, but what we do know is that the last contact with that Fire Scout.

You know, I have to say you talked about the Libyan state TV footage, then saying it's an Apache helicopter. It's not the first time they said they've shot down an Apache helicopter. It's in fact the fifth time they've said they shot down an Apache helicopter.

We do know that this Fire Scout was launched or took off from a U.S. Navy vessel. It is a U.S. Navy Fire Scout then. We do know that the American military is doing 70 percent of the surveillance at least in this Libyan campaign -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: Do you know, David, how much NATO is using unmanned aircraft? Do we know if they're all American or else?

MCKENZIE: Well, as I just said, so much of the intelligence gathering of the surveillance is being handled by the U.S. military. When the White House had to put forward that explanation of the U.S.'s involvement in this, they did say after that after that first section where U.S. planes were heavily involved in striking targets, that's now dropped off and we're seeing a great deal of support going in from the U.S. Navy.

But one issue particularly is these drones, are those drones. And unmanned drones, they've admitted they used Predator drones in this campaign. Obviously, now they're using this Fire Scout.

Now this was only put into action recently in the last few years, initially to encounter narcotics campaigns off Central and South America and also more recently in Afghanistan, Brooke.

So certainly significant that we see proof that this particular drone is being used, and certainly indication of the level of intelligence gathering that is going on from the U.S. side in this NATO campaign.

BALDWIN: David, let's also talk Misrata. Can you tell me what happened last night there? What are these pictures we've been seeing?

MCKENZIE: Well, you know, it's hard for me to tell exactly what pictures you're mentioning. In Misrata and the east of Tripoli, today there were a series of rocket attacks on that city. This is an area which is hotly disputed between the rebels in the east and the Moammar Gadhafi regime, and at least one person was killed according to our reporters in the east.

There was another attack early yesterday morning by NATO west of here in Tripoli. Now it might be those pictures you see, and that was a house or at least a compound that was struck. A senior Gadhafi aide lives in that house, he was not hit.

But NATO says, and they've always said, that they're not targeting individuals in this campaign, but that was a command and control center. But we saw at least three children that were pulled from that wreckage dead, so certainly the civilian casualties in this campaign are becoming an issue for NATO.

But one must remember, Brooke, that the Gadhafi's force are accused of targeting civilians directly and hiding their military assets in civilian areas -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: Right. And you did address them in the pictures we saw. We also saw images of young children appearing to be burned on their faces as a result of what happened in Misrata.

David McKenzie for me in Tripoli. David, thank you.

Back here at home, Tim Pawlenty is about to do what no other candidate has done, at least not yet, and he's hoping that by becoming the first to do this certain thing he is closer to getting the Republican nomination. Find out about his big move next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BALDWIN: Time now go to Washington to get our "CNN Equals Politics" update. Let's go to Mark Preston with the latest news there off of the Political Ticker.

Mark Preston, so we have Newt Gingrich news. We reported a couple weeks ago that his top staffers -- you were the one, I think, who broke the news, right? -- they're out and now fundraisers out as well.

MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL EDITOR: Yes, you know, Brooke, if things couldn't get worse for Newt Gingrich, they certainly have today. The campaign has confirmed that their two top fundraisers have left the operation.

You know, Newt Gingrich is someone who has faced turmoil before, but certainly this is turmoil that he certainly doesn't need at this point. He's trying to have his campaign re-launched at this point after he lost at least 16 staffers in a major campaign shake-up about two weeks ago, but now his two top fundraisers left.

So Newt Gingrich's spokesman is telling CNN that, in fact, the will move forward. But again, questions really remain how can they move forward if they're not raising the money that's needed.

Now Tim Pawlenty on the other hand is a candidate who seems to be going in the other direction. He, in fact, is planning to spend $50,000 on television ads that will begin airing tomorrow in Iowa. These ads are going to introduce Tim Pawlenty to the very influential voters in that state, and also they're going to explain why they should choose him to be the Republican nominee. So Tim Pawlenty going on the air, the first candidate really doing this major buy, major television buy.

But you know, here's someone that you haven't heard from in awhile, Brooke, Christine O'Donnell. Do you remember, "I'm not a witch"?

BALDWIN: Delaware. Of course.

PRESTON: She was Republican nominee for Senate in Delaware back last year. She surprised everybody. Well, she has a new book coming out right now. It's called "Troublemaker," which in many ways is probably a great name because she caused so much heartache and heartburn for the Republican establishment when she won that primary last year.

Well, she has this new book out and in this book she talks about how her advisers were surprised and really advised her not to be so honest and open about her background and how she got into politics.

And of course, the whole idea of "I am not a witch" was a television ad that came out, a very unconventional television ad that was meant to beat back the acknowledgement that she had made several years earlier that she had "dabbled into witchcraft."

BALDWIN: Thanks for the air quote, Preston. PRESTON: I have to do it, right? The dabbling in witchcraft.

She says she's going to explain the behind the scenes thinking behind that commercial. So, Brooke, she has a new book out and Christine O'Donnell, who has been rather quiet, seems to be making her way back on to the national scene.

BALDWIN: She's been writing a book, that's her reticence.

Mark Preston, OK, good to know. Thank you.

PRESTON: Thanks.


ROBERT GATES, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: There are concerns among the American people who are tired of a decade of war.


BALDWIN: During his final days here as Defense secretary, Robert Gates gets candid on Afghanistan. This coming just 24 hours before President Obama's going to make that prime time speech to Americans on the next step in the war zone, and a source tells CNN the war chiefs disagreed, disagreed with the president's decision. That is next.

Plus, the first lady going to South Africa. Find out what happened when she met with Nelson Mandela. That's next.


BALDWIN: A couple of stories here. We have a troop drawdown in Afghanistan. The first lady visiting Africa. And it turns out lots of travelers love their hotels, but don't feel the same about their airlines.

Time to play "Reporter Roulette." I want to begin at the Pentagon with Chris Lawrence. And Chris, we know big address tomorrow night. The president is laying out his plans to begin bringing troops home from Afghanistan. Do we know yet exactly what he'll say?

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Brooke. Congressional sources telling us that the president is going to announce that he's going to bring the entire 30,000 surge troops home by the end of next year, and that he may be looking to bring home as many as 10,000 troops by the end of this year.

That would be a little bit more than the Pentagon had asked for. Military official, the source says pushed for only 5,000 troops to come home this year. While at other end of the spectrum you had senators, you had congressmen, like Senator Carl Levin calling for as many as 15,000 to come home by the end of the year.

BALDWIN: OK, so we're talking surge troops, 30,000 out by the end of next year. Did the president face - I'm sure he did. How much pressure did he face in terms of keeping the troops there even longer? LAWRENCE: There is always pressure. On one hand, you have the military pressure. You know, retired general "Spider" Marks said a couple of hours ago on CNN's air, look, even a low number, 5,000 is going to be a loss for the commander who loses 5,000 troops, while at the other end of the spectrum, the Afghanistan war is costing about $2 billion per week, and some people say that's just economically, you know, unsustainable in this economy.

BALDWIN: All right. Chris Lawrence at the Pentagon. Chris, appreciate it.

Next on "Reporter Roulette," Michelle Obama visits a legend in South Africa. Nkepile Mabuse is in Johannesburg. Nkepile?

NKEPILE MABUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Brooke, there is absolutely no doubt that meeting Nelson Mandela will be one of the main highlights of the first lady's visit to southern Africa. We understand the meeting lasted about 20 minutes. It was a private meeting, so we don't have details of what was discussed.

But we is can see from some of the pictures that have been released that Mr. Mandela is holding a book. Now, this is one of his books that has not yet been released. It's a book of his quotations over the years, and we understand that the first lady actually got a copy after the meeting.

Now, there's mutual respect between the Obamas and Mr. Mandela. Of course, President Obama credits Mr. Mandela for his political awakening. He says the very first political activity that he ever engaged in in college was an anti-apartheid campaign. And of course, when President Obama was inaugurated in 2009, he received nothing, but praise from Nelson Mandela.

President Obama has met Mr. Mandela very, very briefly in 2005. So, it was nothing like what the first lady experienced today in South Africa. Brooke?

BALDWIN: Nkepile Mabuse for me in J-burg. Nkepile, thank you.

And finally here on "Reporter Roulette," the Dow jumping more than 100 points today. Here are the final numbers. Right above 12 -- 12,190. Alison Kosik live for me at the New York Stock Exchange.

And Alison, that's a little bit of good news. What's behind that?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It is good news. It was all about Greece today. Investors betting that the Greek prime minister with a parliamentary vote of confidence. This is all about that Greek debt issue we've been talking about. This means that Greece could be closer to a bailout package.

Of course, if the prime minister wins this vote of confidence, it means he has a better chance of pushing through these austerity measures or these spending cuts. It is kind of - it is kind of the really determining factor whether or not Greece will get a bailout package. Brooke?

BALDWIN: So, as you're watching Greece I'm watching your twitter feed, Alison Kosik, and I love how you phrased this today. You say "It almost sounds like a bad joke. A guy walks into the bank, holds up the bank for one dollar." I can't believe -- explain. Explain why.

KOSIK: Yes. This is in the news of the weird, right? So, yes, he gives this note and says please, give me only one dollar, and then tells the bank employees, you know what? I'm going to be sitting right out there, right outside on this chair waiting for police. And he perches himself on that chair and waits for the cops to arrive.

You know what? This was all an attempt for this 59-year-old, this James Verone, to go to jail. He wants to go to jail because he wants free healthcare. He apparently, Brooke, has a lot of medical problems and he figured, you know what? Healthcare is free in jail. Of course, taxpayers foot the bill. But this was his way of getting health care. Kind of sad but strange at the same time.

BALDWIN: Bummer for him. He only took a dollar because that only meant he was booked for larceny and didn't get all the health care and all the jail time he wanted. Go figure.

KOSIK: I know. That's the kicker - that's the kicker, right? He didn't go to jail as long as he wants. But you know what he told his hometown paper? He says if the penalty is not enough, the crime will happen again, he says.

BALDWIN: Oh, gosh! Almost sounds like a threat. Well, I guess we'll -


BALDWIN: Finally here let's talk airlines and also hotels. An interesting juxtaposition. We love our hotels, we hate our airlines.

KOSIK: Exactly. I mean, we hate the airlines. The poor service we get, those annoying bag fees, the higher ticket prices. And get this: Travelocity says airfares will go up another 10 percent by Thursday, June 23. Mark that down. Just in time for the Fourth of July holiday.

And a separate survey, this is an American Customer Satisfaction Index, it said travelers are more satisfied with their hotels because they can find lower rates, there are more perks like fancy gyms. It's easier to accumulate the reward points. And also, hotels realize to throw in the freebies because more of them are out there. There are more hotels out there, you can shop around. So, throwing in those free nights and the spa kind of days and the room upgrades just to get people in. So, it's more of an enjoyable experience doing the hotel thing than the airline thing.

BALDWIN: Extra cocktails, extra breakfast. We like that, Alison Kosik, we do.

KOSIK: Yes, yes.

BALDWIN: Thank you so much. And that is your "Reporter Roulette." Thank you.

We know Republican Jon Huntsman, big announcement today in front of Lady Liberty, announcing his 2012 run. But did you hear what happened behind the scenes? His campaign made mistakes involving press passes and a plane. We'll explain that for you next.

Also, Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford is getting a new job. This as her astronaut husband announces a career change. That's next.


BALDWIN: Astronaut Mark Kelly says he is retiring, but here is the other headline. He and his new wife have a new gig -- excuse me, his wife have a new gig. Kelly and Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords announcing they will be writing a book about their lives together. We're told the memoir will cover everything from way back to how they met to the tragic shooting just this past January.

Kelly says he's going to call it quits at NASA this upcoming October 1st.

Jon Huntsman is now officially in the race, the Republican race for president. He made the announcement today with the Statue of Liberty as the backdrop from the same spot where Ronald Reagan launched his campaign some 30 years ago. Our Joe Johns has the profile of the Republican's latest candidate.


JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: A guy with a shot at the White House who could star in his own music video.


JOHNS: Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman might never have gotten into politics if his plan to playing keyboards in a band had worked out.

HUNTSMAN: My initial passion in life was to be a rock 'n' roll musician. In my late teens, you wouldn't have recognized me. My hair was Rod Stewart-shaggy. I wouldn't wear anything but super skinny jeans. I ended up leaving high school a bit short of graduation to play with a band called Wizard. I thought it was my ticket to fame.

JOHNS: Wizard didn't make it, but Huntsman still has the rock star thing going on.

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.

OBAMA: I'm sure he will be very successful in whatever endeavors he chooses in the future. And I'm sure that him having worked so well with me will be a great asset in any Republican primary.

JOHNS: He's perceived by some as a moderate, a past supporter of civil unions and immigration reform, which is a big problem for leading conservatives like Richard Viguerie.

RICHARD VIGUERIE, CHAIRMAN, CONSERVATIVEHQ.COM: I don't see him as a serious candidate. I'm a big fan of the cliche or the idea that personnel is policy. Tell me who you walk with, and I'll tell you who you are. Jon Huntsman doesn't walk with us.

JOHNS: Huntsman is also Mormon, though he doesn't exactly overemphasize it.

HUNTSMAN: I believe in God. I'm a good Christian. I'm proud of my roots. They have to take me for what I am and make a decision based on that.

Take a look at my family. Take a look at my values.

JOHNS: But some Republicans say concerns about the Mormon faith could be settled this election, partly because Mitt Romney, another potential candidate, is Mormon also.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He and Mitt Romney are both in here. If either makes the credible message to be the Republican nominee that will dissipate.


BALDWIN: And Joe Johns is joining me now. So, Joe, skinny jeans and rock 'n' roll aspirations, who would have thunk? Jon Huntsman. I had no idea.

But let's talk about the rollout because there's much ado about this backdrop. Lady Liberty behind him. But despite the setting, I'm hearing - and you tell me, not exactly the smoothest. What are people saying there?

JOHNS: No. A lot of little stuff. Many candidates go through this at different levels. It's sort of like, Jon Huntsman, welcome to the NFL. He's really intelligent and picked a great place for his announcement. Some critics are saying, though, that the speech was uninspiring and the answer to that probably is get used to it. He's honestly just not known as the kind of orator who brings down the house. People who know him know that.

BALDWIN: OK, but then there is this other glitch. Someone spelled his first name wrong on the press passes? Really? JOHNS: That's a little embarrassing, right?


JOHNS: Right. His first name has no H in it. But whoever ordered the press passes apparently didn't know that. So, why does this matter? Well, this is a guy - name recognition is an issue with him. So, how do you get the candidate's name spelled wrong coming right out of the blocks?

BALDWIN: Well, not only that, they sent the media covering the announcement to Saudi Arabia?

JOHNS: Yes, well, you know, there are a lot of politicians who would like to send their media coverage to Saudi Arabia, but our political producer Shannon Travis says the media people who are heading the campaign almost got dropped off this plane that was headed to Saudi Arabia.

Apparently, it was the port authority and not the campaign that was the source of the confusion, but it's little entertaining stuff at beginning of the game that makes things interesting.

BALDWIN: Jon Huntsman, wants to be at the White House and wanted to play in the rock band "Wizard." I always learn something from you, Joe Johns. Thank you so much. See you at 7:00 tonight and now this.


DEMI MOORE, ACTRESS/ACTIVIST: There were 50 guards working for mighty Nepal across 10 check points every day at the border they will intercept on average 20 girls at risk of being trafficked.


BALDWIN: Actress Demi Moore gets a disturbing look into the secret world of sex slavery. She reveals how young girls are captured and forced to have sex. That's next.


BALDWIN: We'll pass along news just in to us here at CNN. You know that the Defense Secretary Robert Gates will be stepping down from his post that he's held for quite a while at the end of this month.

And we have just learned here as we're showing these live pictures from the Senate floor. We're showing them because the Senate has now officially approved the nomination for the current CIA Director Leon Panetta to then move on to become the next secretary of defense. That news just coming down here to us at CNN.

Let's check in with Wolf Blitzer there in Washington with a look at what's coming up there on "THE SITUATION ROOM."

Wolf, no big surprise there that Leon Panetta was officially approved.

WOLF BLITZER, HOST, "THE SITUATION ROOM": No. He's been around a long time and I covered him since he was on the House Budget Committee a long time ago and then President Clinton in 1993 brought him to the Office of Management and Budget, made hum the budget director.

But shortly thereafter he brought him to the White House to become his chief of staff and now President Obama asked him to be the CIA director and now he's about to become defense secretary of the United States.

He's highly regarded here in Washington, not just by Democrats, but by Republicans as well. That's why he got the speedy confirmation as the next secretary of defense. He will head over to the Pentagon.

We'll see if General Petraeus who has been nominated to become the next CIA director replacing Panetta gets that kind lopsided vote in his confirmation. I assume he will. He's pretty popular as well.

So things are moving on the national security front at least as the personnel situation is concerned, pretty smoothly for the president. He does have a huge problem with Afghanistan right now. A lot of folks, Democrats and Republicans are not happy with the pace of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

It's going to be a huge subject. We're going to assess it coming up here in "THE SITUATION ROOM." Tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern, the president will address the nation on how many of those 100,000 troops will start coming out of Afghanistan right away.

It's an expensive ordeal and a lot of bloodshed going on and at a time when the popularity for the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan is going down and the stakes certainly in an election year especially for the president are enormous -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: As Chris Lawrence had been reporting it cost $2 billion a week to maintain that war in Afghanistan.

Wolf Blitzer, we'll see you in a couple of minutes. Thank you so much.

BLITZER: Thank you.

And it is an absolute horror story, young girls living a normal life for one second and in the next second, they're kidnapped and forced into sex slavery.

Some are lucky enough to escape and be rescued. Actress Demi Moore spoke with several people at this border crossing point. Here's a preview of the CNN documentary. We are calling it "Nepal's Stolen Children."


DEMI MOORE, ACTRESS/ACTIVIST: Today I'm with Honorata (ph) at the Kathmandu Airport boarding a plane for India, or to be precise, to take me to the border Nepal shares with India. It's a cross step border that thousands of Nepalese girls are trafficked each year into brothels of Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta and other Indian cities.

In just four hours at the border, I saw several thousand people crossing over. Honorata introduces me to mighty Nepal's own border guards. Their slight appearance belies an intense determination which is born from their own experience. All of Maiti Nepal's guards were themselves trafficked into brothels.

There are 50 guards working for Maiti Nepal across 10 checkpoints. Every day at the border, they will intercept on average 20 girls at risk of being trafficked.

(on camera): Can you explain to me like how it exactly works?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): She says every girl they watch, and they watch the men also. They watch and as soon as they catch the suspect, one, she takes the girl away, she takes the boy and then they cross questions. After cross-questioning, if they find that whatever they're saying is not true, then if it is a boy, they hand over the boy to the police station. Then they take the girl and go to the transit hall.


BALDWIN: Don't forget to watch this documentary, "Nepal's Stolen Children." A CNN freedom project Sunday night at 8:00 Eastern right here on CNN.

Now to an interesting moment here in the Casey Anthony murder trial as the defense claims little Caylee drowned and the family covered this whole thing up. There are now suspicions that Casey Anthony stole this theory from where you're asking. Wait until you hear this. Sunny Hostin is on the case. She's next.


BALDWIN: Now let's check out tomorrow's news today. Let's "Fast Forward."

As Wolf was mentioning all eyes on President Obama as he gives a speech on the future of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. It will be tomorrow 8:00 Eastern.

Plus, Al Capone's gun on the auction block in London. The gangster's Colt 38, which currently belongs to a private collector is expected to fetch more than 100 grand.

Also Queen Noor of Jordan will join me live here in the NEWSROOM, don't miss that conversation.

Now to this. Is it a coincidence or perhaps the inspiration for Casey Anthony's bombshell defense? I want you to see what the prosecutor here in the Casey Anthony case told the judge just this morning. It's about an inmate who is in the same jail as Anthony. Watch.


LINDA DRANE BURDICK, PROSECUTOR: The name of the witness is April Whalen. Apparently, her child died in a swimming pool and was found by the child's grandfather who immediately administered CPR and called 911.


BALDWIN: Sunny Hostin is on the case. Sunny, it sounds kind of familiar April Whalen was in the cell next to Casey Anthony for a short time. Is there an indication that the two women spoke?

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, not at this time. We have heard from Allen Moore. He's the public information officer for the jail. He has indicated that there are no records or reports that indicate that there was any contact between Casey Anthony and April Whalen.

But that from June 4th to June 8th of 2009, they did share the same dorm within the jail and their rooms or their cells, rather, were right next to each other.

At this point, we don't know that there is indication that they spoke to each other. In fact, April Whalen said she never spoke to Casey Anthony, but she did speak to other people in the jail about the circumstances.

So I think the prosecution certainly is continuing its investigation to determine whether or not Casey Anthony somehow indirectly learned of the specifics of what happened to April Whalen.

BALDWIN: Well, let's say since we don't know specifically yet if it was direct or if it was indirect, either way, could this turn out to be a huge issue here in the trial?

HOSTIN: Well, it certainly could if it is found, Brook, that there was some sort of indirect contact between the two then that would or could explain in the prosecution's rebuttal case where this defense theory of Caylee's accidental drowning came from. So you're going have to stay tuned because the prosecution has indicated that its investigation is still ongoing into the facts.

BALDWIN: OK, and then let's talk about the judge. You and I were sort of saying that the judge is not messing around at all, right? He scolded prosecutors and the defense yesterday and called an early recess engaging in his word, gamesmanship. Here's the judge right there. Is the situation there in the courtroom any better today, Sunny?

HOSTIN: No question about it, Brooke. It was a completely different day today. There's still the back and forth with the prosecution objecting and a couple of sidebars, but we don't see what we saw yesterday, which was the prosecution asking for sanctions against Jose Baez and sort of that back and forth. We're not seeing any more of that. Obviously, Judge Perry laid down the law yesterday.

BALDWIN: OK and then also we know the defense witness testified this morning about how long Caylee Anthony's remains were in the wooded area before they were found. In 20 seconds, what is the timeline, then?

HOSTIN: Well, her name is Jane Box. She's a botanist and she said that it was possible that Caylee Anthony's remain his only been there for two weeks. She said possible.

She also admitted though, Brooke, to the prosecution that it was possible that her remains were there longer. So score one for the defense and score one for the prosecution as well.

BALDWIN: Sunny Hostin, that's all. Thank you and thank you for watching. Now to my colleague, Wolf Blitzer inside "THE SITUATION ROOM" -- Wolf.