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Huntsman Endorsed by "Boston Globe"; Colombia to Hand Over Deported Teen to U.S.; Air Force Cadets Charged With Sex Crimes; Deported Teen Coming Home; U.S. teen Sets World Climbing Record

Aired January 6, 2012 - 05:00   ET


ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. It is a very EARLY START. Five o'clock on the East. I'm Ashleigh Banfield.


We are very happy that you're joining us. We're bringing you the news from A to Z.

It's 5:00 a.m. on the East.

So, let's get started here.

Jon Huntsman getting a big endorsement in the battle for New Hampshire, being called the best prepared to be president.

BANFIELD: Also, you probably heard the story about a 15-year- old girl who got booted out of this country without her parents knowing. There's a big story behind it, but a bigger story coming. And that is, she's going to be coming home. We'll tell you why and how it's happening.

SAMBOLIN: And did you hear about the big jobs report for December? It's coming out today. Christine Romans is calling it the big granddaddy of them all. She said it's probably good news for the Democrats as well. She's going to join and share all of those details.

BANFIELD: And there's this thing that climbers really like to do. It's called like the seven peaks. Well, that's a big deal for anybody. But if you're 15 years old, it is a huge deal. We're going to tell you all about this kid, who happened to just globe-trot the world and climb the seven highest peaks.

SAMBOLIN: And for good measure, Ashleigh, we're going to add in an eighth one.

BANFIELD: Which one's that?

SAMBOLIN: Oh, you'll see.


SAMBOLIN: A little wonder that we're going to meet this morning. I'm really looking forward to it.

BANFIELD: Learn something every day.

SAMBOLIN: All right. So, we begin this morning with the critical endorsement in the battle for New Hampshire. Not for Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum or Ron Paul, but for Jon Huntsman.

So, "The Boston Globe" has it as a banner headline, they say former Utah governor offers the Republican Party an opportunity to actually renew itself.

"The Boston Globe" editor spoke to our own Erin Burnett just last night.


PETER CANELLOS, "THE BOSTON GLOBE" EDITOR: Huntsman is bolder in the campaign. You have a real sense of where he would take the country. He's engaged on the issues in a much more forceful way than Romney has.


SAMBOLIN: So, this endorsement comes at a crucial time for Huntsman. He is polling in the single digits and he's banking his entire campaign on New Hampshire. He believes the voters in the Granite State are independent thinkers.


JON HUNTSMAN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The establishment is teeing up Mr. Romney as the choice for the Republican Party. And I say -- the people of New Hampshire will not be told for whom to vote.


SAMBOLIN: Democratic strategist Kiki McLean live from Washington, conservative commentator Lenny McAllister live from Jacksonville, Florida; and CNN political editor, Paul Steinhauser live from Manchester, New Hampshire.

Thanks for joining us.


SAMBOLIN: So, let's -- Lenny, we're going to start with you. Let's look at line from that endorsement. "The Globe" said this, "While Romney proceeds cautiously, strategically, trying to appease enough constituencies to get himself the nomination, Huntsman has been bold. Rather than merely sketch out policies, he articulates goals and ideals."

And just a reminder, that "The Wall Street Journal" also came out strongly in favor of Huntsman's economic plan. So, he's getting a lot of good press here. But he is still in the single digits as he's leading into New Hampshire. He's in fourth place there. He's tied with Gingrich.

So, do you think press like this is going to help him? Will it catapult him now?

LENNY MCALLISTER, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: This is a very good thing for Jon Huntsman and it's a very bad thing for Mitt Romney because one of the criticisms that the Romney campaign has had towards the rest of the field is that the anti-Romney vote, some of it may have been on anti-Mormonism, some of it could have been on anti- moderatism.

But now, you have a moderate Republican that is also a former governor, that is also a Mormon, getting a huge endorsement from the "Boston Globe," which, of course, is in the state of Massachusetts.

This only solidifies the ceiling that Mitt Romney has. This is a big problem for the establishment within the Republican Party, that would like to see Mitt Romney be the nominee, because this is an indictment of this candidate. And I think that it's going to give Huntsman a big bounce if he can do well in the debates this weekend, you will see him shoot out of the single digits and be a player on Tuesday.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Let's switch gears here.

Kiki, let's talk about Rick Santorum, it was a very rough day for him in New Hampshire. He got into a pretty tense back and forth. I'm sure that you saw it.


SAMBOLIN: It was a forum that was organized by New England College and it was open it all students, let's listen and then we'll talk about it.


RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If your point is, people should be allowed to do whatever makes them happy, right? Is that what you just said?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: As long as they don't harm other people.

SANTORUM: So if they're not harming other people. Who determines whether they're harming people or not?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Anybody can understand that.

SANTORUM: If there's, so everybody can understand it. Oh. Everybody can -- we're not going to have courts.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: There's morals.

SANTORUM: So there is some -- there is some objective standard.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Two men to have two rights as the same rights as a man and woman.

SANTORUM: Well, what about three men? Stop!


SAMBOLIN: So, it's kind of welcome to New Hampshire, you are not in Iowa any more.

Kiki, do you think he's going to be able to handle all of this increased scrutiny now?

MCLEAN: Well, this is a big issue, right? The scrutiny comes in two ways. Number one, it's the scrutiny of the media and the analysts going through his record. The fact that is a guy who did get creamed in his own re-election in 2006. You bounce it against the fact that he did get re-elected to the United States Senate from a big state.

And it's about the back and forth. He's not going to be in rooms full of people who agree with him now. This is about how do you persuade and bring people and personality has a lot to do with that.

It was interesting, you know, we've been watching in my office, what happens in social media and what kind of conversation is going on. And yesterday we noticed in that -- in that brief window, that the negative comments online increased double-fold on Rick Santorum. Debates around what you just saw him do.

So it's two things. Number one, it's the substance. And number two, it's how do you handle it. He would have been lot better off saying, look, I think you and I just disagree and let me tell you what I believe, and moving into that, rather than the patronizing, kind of picking on her when she tried to challenge him.

SAMBOLIN: Yes. You know, these are a bunch of young people who are going to scrutinize him with social media as well.

MCLEAN: Exactly. And when you look at the kind of conversations going on, what we found through Iowa is that it's parallel to what you see in the polling and it's kind of an interesting validation, when you see that movement go forward and come up and down, and where in the sentiment in the content of those conversation goes. And that wasn't a good sign for Rick Santorum yesterday.

SAMBOLIN: All right. I don't want to leave Paul out here.

So, I want to talk about the McCain/Romney show. It was a bit awkward and yesterday, it was very awkward in South Carolina.

Let's listen and then you can give me your perspective on it.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I am confident with the leadership and the backing of the American people, President Obama will turn this country around. We believe in America. We believe that our best days are ahead of us.

Excuse me, President Romney. President Romney.


SAMBOLIN: Paul, how do you make a mistake like that and how does this affect Mitt Romney?


PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: Oops, I guess you could say. Sorry, Senator McCain, get the name right. Listen, though, there was a lot of talk when McCain endorsed Romney the other day, about the bad blood between the two men. But remember, four years ago, after Romney dropped out of the race, he became a major surrogate for McCain in McCain's general election drive against Senator Obama at the time.

Senator McCain helps him here in New Hampshire. McCain is well- liked here. You remember, McCain beat Romney right here in New Hampshire four years ago, and McCain also won South Carolina. So I think McCain helps Romney in a lot of ways. What McCain doesn't help Romney with, though, is where he needs help, with Tea Party supporters and social conservatives -- guys.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Kiki McLean, Lenny McAllister, Paul Steinhauser -- thank you very much.

BANFIELD: And, of course, for the best political coverage on television, make sure to keep it here on CNN, because we've got it all. Just the massive machine, the election center.

Seven a.m. Eastern on "STARTING POINT" with Soledad O'Brien, Eric Fehrnstrom, senior advisor to Mitt Romney's campaign is going to join us. And then, one hour later, 8:00 a.m. Eastern, "The Boston Globe" editor, Peter Canellos is going to talk with Soledad on "STARTING POINT" about that big endorsement and what it means.

SAMBOLIN: And every morning here, we give you an early start to your day by alerting you to the news that's happening later and the stories that are just developing now, but you will be talking about them tonight. They're going to be the big story tonight.

Today at noon, a brand new CNN/ORC/"TIME" poll of the race in South Carolina comes out. It's the first poll of the state since early December when Newt Gingrich has that big lead.

Mitt Romney is holding a rally at a peanut warehouse in the state, that's happening in about three hours.

BANFIELD: And just four days to go until New Hampshire, and Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman, Newt Gingrich all going to be there, they are trying to chip away at the massive lead that Romney holds in that state.

SAMBOLIN: And today, Joran van der Sloot goes on trial for the murder of a young woman in Peru. Van der Sloot's lawyer says he admits to killing Stephany Flores, but says it was not premeditated. Of course, Van der Sloot was twice arrested in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway in Aruba. He was never charged.

BANFIELD: An update now for you on that really bizarre story out of Texas, that teenager who ran away and then, oops, got caught by the police, gave them a fake name, got mistakenly deported to Colombia, because the name she gave was somebody who probably might have been up for deportation.

Now, she's going to be coming home. I guess they've corrected the big wrong. The Colombian government is going to hand over the 15- year-old girl. Her name is Jakadrien Turner, and she's coming over to the U.S., into the hands of U.S. embassy officials a little later today.

She was a runaway for a year-and-a-half in Texas. Her grandmother, who managed to track Jakadrien down in South America, says she is relieved.


LORENE TURNER, DEPORTED GIRL'S GRANDMOTHER: Well, it was worth it. All the wrinkles under my eyes, I've aged, look like I'm 80 now, but that's all right. It's OK. I'm not mad at her. I love her. And children make mistakes.


BANFIELD: Man, oh, man.

CNN's Ed Lavandera has been watching the story live from Dallas. He joins us from one of my favorite cities.

Ed, it's good to see you. Let me ask you a couple of questions about this, because I think a lot of people were confused at how a 15- year-old girl could just end up on a, I think, a charter plane, in a foreign country where she has no relatives, does not speak the language and somehow, either wouldn't or couldn't speak up for herself.

Where did something drop here?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there's so many different levels and even though the news here this morning is that Jakadrien is in the process of being brought home, there's a great deal of questions unanswered as to how all of this could have happened.

Essentially, she was arrested in April of last year with no identification on her. Simply told authorities, local Houston police, after she was arrested for shoplifting that her name was Tika Cortez, and she told them she was 21 years old -- gave them a false birthday as well.

And that kind of set off this long string of situation here, that it's baffling to be quite honest. I mean, essentially she fooled local police, the local court system there. Who believed throughout her guilty plea and serving some short time in jail and then being handed over to immigration agents, and the court system there, through the whole deportation process. And then even the Colombian government that had to have met with her and given her the necessary paperwork to be sent to Colombia, there's a long line of people who fell for the story.

BANFIELD: OK. Here's why I don't get that. I understand that teenagers will lie sometimes. I get all that. But I also understand that the United States government is pretty meticulous on its paperwork, having been an immigrant myself.

So, why wasn't there some fingerprinting done? Because the way I get it, you have to get fingerprints to match an ID, you can't just say you're Tika Cortez who I think was of age, 21 years old and get away with it. Someone's going to check it out.

LAVANDERA: Well, this is what I've been told by immigration officials, is that she was fingerprinted on the local level. She was fingerprinted again when she was passed over to ICE. But nothing matched anyone that was in the system. So, it was essentially in the words of one person I spoke to, it was like a clean slate. This person was in their view, brand-new, brand-new to them.

Obviously, this is still very early. All of this will change. So, there were some initial reports that she had matched somebody in the system. They say that's simply not the case.

BANFIELD: Ed, will you do me a favor, will you watch when she gets home and find out if they're going to consider charges of lying to authorities, I know she's a juvie, but that could be down the pike. Or maybe they figure she's kind of, I'm not sure. But thank you for all that.

LAVANDERA: You got it.

BANFIELD: Lavandera, live in Dallas.

And coming up at 8:00 Eastern on "STARTING POINT," our Soledad O'Brien is going to talk with Jakadrien's mom, Johnisa Turner. And also the family's attorney. So, you got to make sure you stay tuned for that.

SAMBOLIN: What a crazy story.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: The training program in Colombia. The Colombian government put her in a work training program.

SAMBOLIN: The latest was just unbelievable.

ROMANS: I mean, she was living there on her Facebook page, all these pictures of here, parties, you know, in Colombia, you know, living in Colombia. She didn't speak the language. I mean, it's just a really --

SAMBOLIN: Can you imagine as a parent not being able to do anything about it, right?

ROMANS: It's a parent's worst nightmare actually. Have your child run away, you know, not have control of her and have this entire international --

BANFIELD: What's weird is she doesn't sound too scared.

SAMBOLIN: She seems like she's a tough one here.

ROMANS: I can't wait to hear from her.

SAMBOLIN: Let's switch gears. We've got some good news that is expected today on the jobs front. I got a little confused, because I was reading the report from yesterday and the numbers were enormous.

ROMANS: I know. So, that was a private payroll survey from ADP. Yesterday, they said they expect big job gains in December. We're going to know for sure at 8:30 Eastern when the government gives as you told you, Zoraida, the granddaddy of all economic reports. This is my Super Bowl every month.


BANFIELD: She's like bouncing off the ground.

SAMBOLIN: I ask one question, she lit up and then she (INAUDIBLE).

ROMANS: Because I'm going to show you, I'm going to show you on the magic wall what the charts look like and you can see why folks are getting so excited about the jobs numbers, because the numbers are starting to show that things getting a little bit better. I'm not saying we're out of the woods and I'm not saying it's great. So don't email me about that, right?

But this shows you what it's like this year. These are the numbers of jobs created every month. You see that it started out tepid and we had couple of big spikes earlier in the year. We got nervous in the spring and summer, remember, it looked people -- we're talking with a double-dip recession. And then things started to pick up steam, with 120,000 jobs, I think, created in November and then we're looking for 150,000 for December.

Now, a lot of these jobs we're seeing anecdotally -- we're seeing from small businesses and we're seeing from the service sector. So, keep in mind, some of these jobs being created might be temporary jobs or might be retail or restaurant-related jobs in December. And we always watch this time of year for all kinds of, you know, weather- related.

Now, this is really a political story to you guys. You know that all of the candidates already have a press release ready to go about whatever the job is going to say at 8:30. I want to show you the real fact-check of what has happened with the job situation since the president took office. This is when President Obama took office, you guys, and you come in here, Jack, you can, we were losing 700,000 jobs every single month, January, February, March, April, May -- look at all of these jobs losses, this was a really horrible, horrible time for the American economy, and for the American people.

And then, you've got stimulus here, you've got some census hiring and now you look, this is what economists are focusing in on, the slow, but steady one after another, improvements, slowly but surely in the labor market.

So there you go you guys. I mean, it's not really enough to dig too deeply into the unemployment rate. But it is this slow healing in the labor market that economists are watching.

We'll know for sure at 8:30.

BANFIELD: Can I tell you how much I love your graphic. I was seriously watching it like this. Christine was on my side, like looking at it.

ROMANS: I know, it's good, right?

BANFIELD: Excellent. That's a lot of work.

SAMBOLIN: We're up for good news.

BANFIELD: Thanks, Christine.

It is now 16 minutes past the hour. Wake up, already, you're going to be late for work.

But if you're not yet, here are the stories that are going to make headlines for you today.

He may barely have a pulse in the GOP race, but Jon Huntsman has a big endorsement this morning. "The Boston Globe" has thrown its support behind Huntsman just days before the New Hampshire primary. That's the Boston paper -- remember, Mitt Romney was the governor of that state.

The paper says Jon Huntsman gives the Republican Party an opportunity to, quote, "renew itself."

SAMBOLIN: And the Air Force is charging three cadets with sexual misconduct, including one that is accused of rape. All three attended the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, but were reportedly involved in separate incidents over the last 15 months.

BANFIELD: And we could learn a little bit later on today if Penn State has a brand new head football coach to succeed Joe Paterno. "The New York Times" is reporting that the new England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien interviewed with Penn State. Officials say they're going to keep an eye on that one. Apparently, it all happened yesterday.

SAMBOLIN: And still ahead, new Casey Anthony video, have you watched it? She never mentioned her daughter. Mark Lippmann (ph) weighs in, and so does Ashleigh Banfield, because I know this is your baby here, so to speak, right?

BANFIELD: I spent time with Lippmann in a courtroom in Orlando, remember, everybody? He's going to talk about this and what it means and why there may not be as much to the story as you think there is.

Also, and if you're in the French Quarter in New Orleans, and it's after 8:00 at night, and you're under 15 years old, amscray, there's a curfew coming in. And the cops are coming for you. Why are some people saying it's racist?

Hey, you're watching EARLY START.


BANFIELD: That music will wake you up if you're not awake at 21 minutes past 5:00 on the East Coast.

SAMBOLIN: It keeps me awake, I got to say. Or you're disco- bouncing.

BANFIELD: (INAUDIBLE) get home from the club in L.A.

Hey, welcome. This is early or very late start, wherever you are, wherever you live. I want to get you caught up on some local news.

I know when you're watching a national show, you don't think you should be listening to local news, but some local papers have some good national headlines as well.

SAMBOLIN: And some local communities as well, right? So you're watching us.

BANFIELD: Our morning papers this morning, we're going to start with one in New Orleans and go on to Billings, Montana, as well.

The "Times-Picayune" in New Orleans is talking about the French Quarter being in place to a kid who is 15 years old after 8:00 at night. They're deciding there in a sweeping decision, 6-0 in the city council, to put a curfew on those kids and make sure that they are not out after dark.

Here's the weird thing -- most parents would say, yes, good idea, I think that is great. That isn't a good place for young kids to be. But the African-American leaders there are saying, no way, this is a racist ploy so police can just profile African-American young males. Weirdly, though, about five seconds later in the same breath they're saying, but we should make it a city-wide curfew. So, they just don't like it in the quarter for some reason.

SAMBOLIN: Well, this happened where -- I'm from in Chicago and they actually have attached a fine to it as well. So, if your kid is caught out after the curfew, they will fine the parents for it. And you know, folks thought, great idea, right? Parents should be responsible, that's right.

BANFIELD: Once you start talking money, they'll get the kids back into the house.

SAMBOLIN: So, do you have a dog?

BANFIELD: I've had four at one point and I am down to two.

SAMBOLIN: Well, a dog is really like a family member, right?

So, listen to this story it comes from the "Billings Gazette". So, this guy, Dave Gaillard was killed by an avalanche while skiing with his wife. There's the picture of his dog was with him -- Ole is his name or Ole, we're not sure. He was buried with him and presumed dead.

Actually, we don't know if he was buried, but they do say if he was, that he actually was able to pull himself, dig his way out and then, you know what he did? He walked four miles on his stubby legs back to Cook City in temperatures that dipped into the teens that night. He went back to the hotel where they were originally staying. So, they're calling this nothing short of a miracle.

You know why? Because that dog is a corgi.

BANFIELD: The queen has corgis.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, I didn't know.

BANFIELD: She loves corgis.

SAMBOLIN: Well, they're not large dogs. They were not bred to do this kind of thing. They have short legs and they were being -- you know, they herd livestock. So, you're absolutely right, that's probably why she has them.

So, on average the males stand a foot and a half tall and weigh about 27 pounds. So, this little guy --

BANFIELD: Those little legs --


BANFIELD: That must have been amazing for his wife to have that at least --

SAMBOLIN: His whole family says, oh, my gosh, we needed this. We really needed this.

BANFIELD: I've been in an avalanche.

SAMBOLIN: Have you?

BANFIELD: I have. I skied in a avalanche, and I skied out of it. It wasn't big, thank God. But I'll tell you something, you don't know the power of snow until you've done that.

SAMBOLIN: Oh my gosh!

BANFIELD: It's terrifying.

So, this may be the only debate in which the candidates want you to laugh at them and it's not really a debate. It's kind of a takeoff on debate.

SAMBOLIN: So, our own Larry King did moderate this Funny-or-Die Yahoo spoof debate. It airs this morning. But we've got an exclusive preview just for you that you will not see anywhere else. Check it out.


LARRY KING, CNN HOST: We have reached a very important part of the debate. The Reagan speed round. Now, you know how this works? We give the candidates seven seconds and whoever can mention Ronald Reagan's name the most wins the round! Go.

CROWD: Reagan, Reagan, Reagan, Reagan, Reagan, Reagan, Reagan, Reagan, Reagan, Reagan, Reagan, Reagan.


KING: And the winner of the Reagan speed round is -- Jon Huntsman.


BANFIELD: That's pretty funny. Probably the best person, though, the most accurate portrayal of Herman Cain goes to Mike Tyson, it is remarkable. Look at that. Mike Tyson.

I'm starting to really like Mike Tyson, I got to tell you. He's one funny man. And look at Horatio Sannz, a former "SNL" alum. This is him in full makeup.

SAMBOLIN: Clearly, yes.

BANFIELD: He's portrayed Newt Gingrich. And when he's in full make-up, he's actually pretty good. And when he's not in full makeup, he looks just like him.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Well, you know, I've been complaining about how cold it is here in Atlanta.

BANFIELD: She's got the shrug today.

SAMBOLIN: So, I was complaining on the Facebook page. I'm from Chicago and my friends in Chicago say come on back, because record highs are possible in the Midwest today.

Rob Marciano, is that true?

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It is true. And, by the way, regardless of the temperature outside, you can hang meat in this studio at times.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, my God. No kidding.

MARCIANO: So forget about that record warmth guys across the Midwest of the country, and that's all moving off to the east. Over 100 record highs yesterday. Some of them in Lincoln, Nebraska, 68 degrees, Omaha, 66. Some people in Minnesota saw 60 degrees.

Now, that's significant because never in the state of Minnesota since we've been keeping records have they ever hit 60 in the first week of January. So remarkable, remarkable heat across the midsection of the country.

And guess what? For our friends getting up in southern California, you saw records as well, 83 degrees in San Diego and Los Angeles. Thirty-seven right now in New York City. Forty-three degrees in Chicago. So, that is toasty certainly by Chicago standards.

A little bit of snow moving across the Northeast, it's actually a warm front that's pushing off to the East. So, this is going to allow the heat to build up into the Northeastern and I-95 corridor. So, you'll start to see the temperatures on the rebound.

Fifty-eight degrees in D.C., 48 degrees in New York City, 54 degrees in Chicago, come on, 72 in Dallas? You will take that, hundreds of records set over the past few days. Few weeks, I should say for winter. It hasn't been much of a winter. So --

BANFIELD: Can you just do me one favor, just every so often will you humor me and give me the Winnipeg temperature?

MARCIANO: You know, when you say you skied out of an avalanche. I'm thinking, only somebody from Canada.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, would have done that.

BANFIELD: I got out of a helicopter and got into an avalanche.

MARCIANO: And you Canadians are high maintenance, because Ali Velshi was always demanding temperatures for Toronto. So --

BANFIELD: Well, a lot of people think Toronto is part of the U.S.

SAMBOLIN: I only want to hear about temperatures in Chicago if it's really, really, really, really cold.

BANFIELD: She made a right decision to be here.


SAMBOLIN: Thank you very much.

MARCIANO: All right, guys.

BANFIELD: Thanks, Rob.

Still ahead, that really creepy, strange, bizarro video. And I'm not talking this one, I'm talking the one after Casey Anthony's trial. She's popped up on YouTube, my friends and she's done a complete 180 on the makeover. By why is there a video of Casey? And why is she saying the things she's saying?


BANFIELD: Good morning. I'm Ashleigh Banfield. It's 5:31 on the east coast.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. Welcome back to EARLY START.

On the agenda this half hour, we have new Casey Anthony video.


SAMBOLIN (voice-over): Have you seen it? She looks kinds of odd. She never mentions her daughter. Very different from what we're used to seen her look like.

BANFIELD (voice-over): She's wearing my glasses.

SAMBOLIN: Kind of sort of, right?

BANFIELD: What's up with that, Casey? Come on.

SAMBOLIN: So, maybe, because you spent so much time on her case, right?


SAMBOLIN: The attorney for Casey Anthony's family is going to weigh in this morning.

BANFIELD: And also, I love it when people say, oh, you know, you peak early? Well, this one, this kid peaked really, really early. That's no climber, folks. That's a 15-year-old kid climbing all of the top seven summits of the world. There are very few grown-ups who can say that they've accomplished that task and look at Joe, he's a cutie.


SAMBOLIN (on-camera): He is a climber. I can't wait to meet him. I heard about him weeks ago, and we finally get to meet him today.

BANFIELD (on-camera): I'm also feeling like a total loser, because if a 15-year-old can that and I can barely like be on the treadmill for 20 minutes? It's 32 minutes past the hour now. So, it's time to get you caught up on your top headlines of the morning.


BANFIELD (voice-over): Did you miss it? Well, here it is. The endorsement from the "Boston Globe," and it goes to -- Jon Huntsman. If Jon Huntsman does not do well in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary, I think it's fair to say, it's a big buh-bye. This newspaper bypassed Mitt Romney. That's the front-runner, and that's the former governor of where that newspaper actually hails from.

It said Mr. Huntsman instead offers the Republican Party an opportunity to, quote, "renew itself." And by the way, this is the second time that Massachusetts's largest newspaper has snubbed the former gov.

SAMBOLIN (voice-over): Yes. They say for a vision and national unity. Huntsman for GOP nominee.

So, three Air Force Academy cadets are charged with sexual misconduct, including rape and aggravated assault. Officials say the three were involved in separate incidents. This all happened over the last 15 months.

BANFIELD: And also, one of two men who allegedly broke into a woman's home in Oklahoma now free on bail. There's the video. Watch them. This is Dustin Stewart. He's charged in the death of his pal, his accomplice, even though he didn't even fire the fatal shot that killed that accomplice. The homeowner fired the shot, Sarah McKinley.

That was after she called 911 to ask if it was OK to do so. It turns out under Oklahoma's capital doctrine, your home is your castle and you have the right to kill to protect yourself if someone's in your home.

SAMBOLIN: And this morning, you know, the Colombian government is expected to hand over a Texas teenager to the U.S. embassy. Picture of a 15-year-old Jakadrien Turner was mistakenly deported to Colombia after running away from home a year and a half ago. We have so many questions. We're going to try to get you some answers on that.


BANFIELD (on-camera): So, if you were doing the Google yesterday or even if you were just seeing people do the Google at the office, chances are they came up on what video?

SAMBOLIN: Oh, Casey Anthony looking really different.

BANFIELD: It was so strange to see that come out of nowhere.


BANFIELD: And the makeover, like Zoraida just said. A very unusual change in appearance for Casey Anthony. This grainy black- and-white video surfacing. Apparently, though, we're hearing not by choice. We're hearing Casey didn't make this decision to put this up on YouTube, somebody posted it for her whether she knew about it or not.

She's also saying that this is not the first or last time we're going to, at least, it's not the last time we're going to hear it. It's just the first of a series of video diaries that, apparently, she plans to record.

But here's the strange part. There's no mention in any of this about her daughter who was either depends on what you believe out of that trial, either was killed or died accidentally. She never talks about the loss of Little Caylee. She doesn't talk about her family. She doesn't talk about the trial.

She doesn't talk about how the entire country was gripped by that trial. She talks mostly about her new computer, her phone and her adopted dog. And it's got a lot of people very curious, but she's certainly says one thing, and that is that she's optimistic about her future.


CASEY ANTHONY, CAYLEE'S MOTHER: Just a little story on how much things have changed since July and how many things haven't changed. The good thing is that things are starting to look up and things are starting to change in a good way. I hope they stay -- things stay good. And that they only get better.


BANFIELD: Mark Lippman is the attorney for Casey's family, not for Casey, but for her parents and her brother. He joins me now. Mr. Lippman, it's good to see you again. We spent a lot of time together in June, July, and August. You were like my best summer friend.


BANFIELD: I'm good. I'm a little curious about the story, though, because when I looked up in the monitor and I saw that face, I thought, this is odd. I didn't expect this. And now, I think I'm hearing that you didn't expect it either nor did George and Cindy Anthony. Is that correct?

LIPPMAN: Yes. We actually found out yesterday. I got a call at about a quarter to seven in the morning from a news agency asking if we had a comment about the video. And, of course, I said, what video and that's when the storm broke loose and saw the video, called my clients, and from there, that was the first time they had seen it also.

BANFIELD: And I know that you were very quick to put out a statement on behalf of your clients, because that's what happens when a Casey Anthony story breaks, you get a lot of phone calls. LIPPMAN: Yes

BANFIELD: And it's hard to answer them all. So, let me just read, if I can, part of the statement that you put out from George and Cindy. "They are concerned that the release of this video or any future videos could endanger their daughter. Cindy and George hope that Casey remains safe, wherever she may be."

My question to you was going to be, do they know where she is? But it's pretty darn clear they may not still know where she is? So, data (ph) yet?

LIPPMAN: No. She's still in seclusion. And my clients have no idea where she is in seclusion. And they are definitely concerned that, especially with all the analysis going on about this video that wherever she is now, she most will likely have to move again.

BANFIELD: I want to play a quick piece of the tape where she talks about a dog that she's adopted, and I want to ask you something about that on the other side. Let's have a listen to it.


ANTHONY: This has just been such a blessing in so many ways. Now, I have someone to talk to, when I'm by myself, so I'm not bothering the poor dog. I have adopted and I love. And he's as much my dog as any of the other pets I've ever had.


BANFIELD: OK. Mark Lippman, when I watched the four-minute-plus tape, I kept waiting for some mention of something super substantial about this enormous case that we were all gripped by, and yet, nada. The dog, the camera, the microphone. And I was wondering if George and Cindy were a bit upset about no mention of Caylee, no mention of them.

LIPPMAN: You know, they're really, I guess, the best word is ambivalent. They don't know the context of what this video is for. It doesn't seem to be apparent. A lot of people were speculating that it was put out there for some sort of financial gain. It doesn't seem to be targeting any specific audience, especially it's not a tease in any way.

So, they really don't understand what the context of it was or who the audience or if it was just for Casey, herself, and somehow it was leaked. But, without knowing more about why this was put on, they don't want to make any decision as to whether or not they should be upset.

BANFIELD: I think that's such a headline that you say that they're ambivalent, because I keep wondering when something might break between these two parties, Casey and her family, it was just so ugly in that courtroom. And I just want to put up quickly a statement from Casey's lawyer, Cheney Mason, who was in that courtroom with her helping Jose Baez to defend her. He said that Casey has maintained notes and memoirs for her personal counseling. She did not upload or release this to YouTube. She doesn't know how the video got on YouTube. Last question for you, Mark, did George and Cindy think, for any moment at all, that she was trying to make money by putting out drips and drops of a video memoir?

LIPPMAN: No, no, not at all. Again, it all depends on the context. At this point, they don't have enough information to really understand why that video surfaced now and what the reason for it surfacing was.

BANFIELD: Well, listen, I got kind of sick of spending so much time with you in the summertime, but I'm really happy to have seen you again, because I did miss you, and I appreciate you getting up real early for us this morning. Thanks, Mark.

LIPPMAN: Thanks very much for having me.

BANFIELD: OK. I hope we see you again soon.

SAMBOLIN: All right. It is 39 minutes past the hour here.

An American teenager breaks a record. I'm dying to meet this young man. He tops the world's highest peaks. He's the youngest one to do it. He started this at the ripe old age of ten. So, we have the opportunity to talk to him live. He's in New York. Can you believe it? And we're in Atlanta.

BANFIELD: He's a New Yorker.

SAMBOLIN: No, he's not actually. OK, anyway, we're going to tell you all about this young man. You're watching EARLY START.


SAMBOLIN: Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Zoraida Sambolin along with Ashleigh Banfield. Boy, I've got to tell you, I'm very excited about this. I get to introduce you to 15-year-old Jordan Romero. He is the youngest person in the world to climb all seven of the world's tallest peaks.


SAMBOLIN (voice-over): So, you're looking at video of Jordan completing in December, climbing up Mt. Vincent in Antarctica. My goodness!


SAMBOLIN (on-camera): So, Jordan is actually live at the CNN Time Warner Center in New York. And I got to tell you, I'm super bummed out because, typically, we're in New York, but this week, we are in Atlanta. I've been dying to meet you. Welcome. Thank you for joining us this morning.

JORDAN ROMERO, YOUNGEST PERSON TO SUMMIT WORLD'S SEVEN TALLEST PEAKS: Thank you for having me. It's good to be here in New York.

SAMBOLIN: Absolutely. So, this morning, I got to tell you, you were the topic of conversation while we were getting our makeup done. Most of the women in there are mothers, and so, they want to know, where did this love of climbing begin?

ROMERO: Yes. I was nine years old when I was in fourth grade, you know, a lot shorter as a kid, I can tell you that. And it was, it was something that just fascinated me when I saw this mural of the Seven Summits. And it was something that I wanted -- it was a dream that I wanted to pursue and just go for.

And I told my dad about what I wanted to do. And, here we are, I now set a new world record and climbed the Seven Summits together as a family.

SAMBOLIN: OK. So, I just got to clear something up here. It's not seven, it's eight, right? What's the eighth?

ROMERO: The eighth. Yes. The eight mountain is Mt. Carstensz Pyramid, the highest mountain in Oceana, because it's debay (ph), you know, there's a list for Australia, like with all the normal Seven Summits with Australia, and then, you've got the highest mountain in the Indonesian islands and Australia. So, we're doing both of those mountains. So, this is actually the eighth.

SAMBOLIN: And so, of all of your experiences, and you've been to all seven continents, which was your greatest challenge?

ROMERO: You know, greatest challenge, I think, would have to be Everest, you know, for how long the trip took. The trip was about two months. We were gone from home, from April 5th to June 5th, and that's the whole season when everyone goes to Everest, and just for how long it took and some of the areas we were in, and up in the, you know, up in the death zone with supplemental oxygen, it was challenging.

SAMBOLIN: And when you say "we", did your parents --


SAMBOLIN: -- join you at all for this journey? One of the moms actually said this morning in the make-up room. She said the only way I would allow my kid to do that is if he climbed on my back.


ROMERO: Well, yes, it's my father and my step-mom, Karen. And we're the first family to climb the Seven Summits together.

SAMBOLIN: All right. So, some of these are, some of these records will never have been broken, right? Because there are some requirements in place now that say that at that young age, you can't climb any more.

ROMERO: Yes, it's -- I know there's probably someone who is hoping to chase this record. I'm not totally sure. Maybe in the future. But you know, we had no intention on actually breaking a record. We're doing it for the experience and the fun. And it's all totally worth it at the summit and being back home safe.

SAMBOLIN: Jordan, just one last question, what's next for you?

ROMERO: You know, it's a lot in store. But in the future, I'm going to be thinking about a possible South Pole expedition to go down to Antarctica, because, perhaps, the coolest place I've ever been to. But now, we're just going to let things settle right now, and it's winter season, I'm going to be doing some skiing. So, you know, but the adventure life continues, and it's our lifestyle.

SAMBOLIN: Well, watch out for the avalanches. We had that this morning in our newscast. We're really proud of you, Jordan. Congratulations to you.

ROMERO: Thank you very much. And you know, this whole goal is always to inspire kids and to let them -- have them find their own Everest. So, thanks --

BANFIELD: You've inspired us.


BANFIELD: You've inspired kids and the grown-ups.

SAMBOLIN: You've definitely accomplished that. Congratulations to you. We look forward to hearing more from you.

ROMERO: Thanks for having me on.

BANFIELD: Nice work, kiddo.

SAMBOLIN: What a cool dude.

BANFIELD: I know. I feel like so half a person next to this kid.

SAMBOLIN: But you know, he makes a really good point, right? I have a 13-year-old, and I'm thinking, OK, we are going to show you this, right? Anything is possible.

BANFIELD: Forty-six minutes past the hour. Time to check news making headlines across the nation.


BANFIELD (voice-over): "Boston Globe" snubbing Mitt Romney once again. Massachusetts' largest newspaper giving its endorsement to Jon Huntsman for the Republican nomination. Four years ago, the "Globe" chose John McCain over Romney. You remember, right, that Romney was governor of Massachusetts? Can't get the endorsement of the paper there? Yikes.

SAMBOLIN (voice-over): Virginia's governor and lieutenant governor are calling on the state's Republican Party to do away with loyalty oath for voters to sign in order to participate in the GOP primary in March. Governor Bob McDonald said the oath is unenforceable and could work against the party's interests. The ACLU has threatened to sue if the oath stays in place.

BANFIELD: And the mother of the L.A. arson suspect, Harry Burkhart, has, well, she's got her own date in federal court today.


BANFIELD (on-camera): Dorothy Burkhart is facing deportation to Germany. Her son is accused in more than 50 arson fires that were allegedly triggered by her recent immigration hearing.

And if you're doing the math, the countdown is on --

SAMBOLIN (on-camera): For the New Hampshire primary.

BANFIELD: Four, three, two, one. Front page faces come up with Dan Tuohy. He's the regional editor for in New Hampshire. And I guess, this guy has such an experience.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, quite a bit. You're watching EARLY START. We'll be right back.


BANFIELD: We've been talking big about New Hampshire, because the primaries are just four days away, and they're important and there's some cool stuff going on. Dan Tuohy is the regional editor for He is live for us this morning. You're covered just a few of those primaries. I think five of them at last count.

I also just want to let people know, Dan, that if they don't know what is, your AOL's platform of over 850 news and information sites coast to coast, and I suppose it's pretty remarkable that you've dispatched journalists all over the ground in every key state for reporting on the primaries and the results and the impact of 2012.

Did I get that right? Is that kind of the best synopsis of what has been up to politically?

DAN TUOHY, ASSOCIATE REGIONAL EDITOR, PATCH.COM NEW HAMPSHIRE: That is correct. We've been all over New Hampshire just trying to catch up with candidates. It's local news. The New Hampshire primary is a national event, but it's all politics are local and our editors at are making it happen.

BANFIELD: I love that you brought up all politics is local, because I thought that I was really up on New Hampshire until I saw the Boston newspaper endorsement. Were you as surprised as I was or were you expecting it because you're really into the arcane stuff when it comes to the New Hampshire primary?

TUOHY: Arcane is a good word. I wasn't expecting it. It was good timing for the "Boston Globe." It's a great get for Jon Huntsman. He's had some New Hampshire endorsements, the Concord Monitor, the Valley News. This is a much bigger paper and much bigger readership.

And, we'll see if it can, you know, get him to the finish line. The finish line for Jon Huntsman might be second place or third place given Mitt Romney's wide lead here in New Hampshire.

BANFIELD: OK. If Jon Huntsman doesn't pull off, at least, let me just guess here, I don't know, second or third-place finish in New Hampshire, because this has been the cornerstone of his campaign. I don't know if he's spent everything he's got on New Hampshire, but he spent a lot.

And he's put in a lot of time there, and he's sort of focused, I think, is the most fair way to describe it. If he doesn't pull off something, at least, impressive in that state, is it history? Time to pack it up?

TUOHY: That's what everyone says. And, really, he's been here 150 times plus for campaign stops. I think if he doesn't do well here, second place, or very strong third, and somehow, move forward he did well and overcame expectations. The headline come Wednesday will be failure to launch.

He's really investing the time, and he's still maybe about 10 percent, 15 percent. Everyone is surging. That's the story line from the campaigns. But whether New Hampshire voters, who can sometimes be fickle and unpredictable, we'll find out come Tuesday.

BANFIELD: Dan Tuohy, will you come back and talk to us?

TUOHY: Absolutely. Thank you.

BANFIELD: Good, because I like that you are impressed with arcane. I think it's a triple word score in scrabble, and I just like you. So, I hope you'll come back and talk New Hampshire with us.


BANFIELD: And I'm going to check out Thanks for being with us.

TUOHY: Thank you.

SAMBOLIN: All right. It is almost six o'clock here.

BANFIELD: There's a long day between questions and answers. Half the time you think if he doesn't like her. No, he's answering. No, he didn't like her.

SAMBOLIN: Because some people are just so fair (ph), right? They just know.

All right. So, now, who is the home wrecker? Coming up, Tiger Woods' ex-wife demolishes a mansion so she can build a new dream home, of course, with her divorce settlement. We're going to give you some of the details. You're watching EARLY START.


SAMBOLIN: Welcome back. So, we are trying to keep you in the loop on pop culture this morning. So, we're taking a look at what is trending on the web and in social media.


SAMBOLIN (voice-over): Everybody was talking about this this morning. Tiger woods' ex-wife, Elin Nordegren, apparently, she took a wrecking ball to a $12 million mansion that she bought after her divorce.

BANFIELD (voice-over): In this economy?

SAMBOLIN: Yes. The pictures -- well, the settlement was pretty substantial.


SAMBOLIN: Pictures of the before and after were posted on Yahoo! this morning. It was a six-bedroom, eight-bath home in North Palm Beach, Florida. She reportedly has planned to build her own dream home on the site. And I also read that there was a house on the market in that neighborhood for $18 million.

BANFIELD: Yes. I was looking at it, it was nothing. It wasn't worth it.

SAMBOLIN: Not much of anything.


BANFIELD (on-camera): You know why they love most about the story? I've got to be honest with you is that, originally, the realtor who was there said that they were going to do renovations and that they started the renovations and said, just scrap the renovations and tear the whole thing down. I just like (ph) to be those guys. I just like (ph) to be those guys.

We've got lots coming up. We're going to break and see you right back in a moment on EARLY START.