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EARLY START WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN

Romney Captures Florida Primary; Pfizer Recalling Birth Control Pills

Aired February 1, 2012 - 05:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: The word of the day. The word of the day, Ashleigh.

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: She's going to say it.

SAMBOLIN: I'm not. I'm not going to give it away. It's a very funny word.

Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

BANFIELD: Nice to have you with us. I'm Ashleigh Banfield.

We're bringing you the news from A to Z this morning. It's 5:00 in the morning, the witching hour.

If you missed it, big night for Mitt Romney -- one of his biggest nights yet, you might say. And off to Minnesota he goes with momentum, the crowds roared. The win was big in Florida. But as his campaign moves west, can he keep that momentum?

And Newt Gingrich, by the way, did not use this opportunity at the podium to say congratulations, Governor Romney. Nor did he even call the governor to concede Florida. He just moved right on to the next stop. What does that mean?

SAMBOLIN: And, Ashleigh, there's a huge buzz over Facebook going public. You want a piece of the action?

BANFIELD: Yes.

SAMBOLIN: You may need a lot of money to get in on the hottest IPO ever. Christine Romans is going to let us know if we can get in all of that action.

BANFIELD: And this is amazing. Those dash cam video -- this is likely the best yet.

SAMBOLIN: Oh.

BANFIELD: One officer watches while his friends swims to a sinking car. Zero in, because there are two women in the back, see them? And they don't know how to swim. Look what he did.

You're going to find out from this man's voice what it was like to rescue these two women from that lake in Texas.

SAMBOLIN: Well, on the heels of that, Ashleigh. Knock, knock.

BANFIELD: Knock, knock. Who's there?

SAMBOLIN: The FBI with a chain saw tearing down your door. Why? Oops, by the way, it was a mistake.

BANFIELD: We've made mistakes about the FBI before, haven't we?

SAMBOLIN: Yes, we have. Yes, we have.

This was a terrifying moment for that mom. We're going to share the details on that.

BANFIELD: Better that she's OK now.

SAMBOLIN: Crazy mistake.

BANFIELD: All right, everybody. So, let's talk politics, shall we?

It was a big night. There was a lot of excitement for Mitt Romney. Running away from Florida, heading into Nevada with a lot of momentum, or at least it seems so.

Here is the aftermath of that convincing victory. Kiss for his wife. Hello to all the kids, minus one boy.

You know, the governor came to the forefront in this state backed by Hispanics, seniors, and Catholics, and also women. It was kind of right across the board, folks. Also supported by people who said, you know what, it's all about the economy and beating up Obama. Those are our top issues.

SAMBOLIN: So, the final totals here, Romney, 48 percent; Gingrich, 32 percent: Santorum, 13 percent; and Ron Paul there at seven percent.

So Romney is trying to rally the Republican Party behind him now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our opponents in the other party have been watching, and they like to comfort themselves with the thought that a competitive campaign will leave us divided and weak. But I've got news for them: a competitive primary does not divide us, it prepares us, and we will win.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: Well, a great sound bite.

But for his part, Newt Gingrich was putting his positive spin on what happened in Florida, almost saying it stays in Florida. He says the results show it is a two-man race, and he is vowing to stay in this one for the long haul.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The same people who said I was dead in June and July, and said I was gone after Iowa, who seemed totally quiet the night of the South Carolina victory, are now back saying what's he going to do, what's he going to do, what's he going to do? So, I just want to reassure them tonight: we are going to contest every place, and we are going to win, and we will be in Tampa as the nominee in August.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: Well, here was the big win: 50 delegates for Romney in Florida's winner-take-all primary. He now has 84 delegates, Gingrich 27, Paul 10, Santorum eight. But 1,144 are needed to officially clinch the nomination.

Political editor Paul Steinhauser is live from Tampa.

They still have a long way to go, Paul.

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: They sure do.

And where we're going? We're going west.

You know, right behind there, eight hours ago, Zoraida, that's where Mitt Romney had his victory celebration. He hopes to do it again in Nevada on Saturday.

Let's take a look at the February calendar because there are a lot of contests. But they look more favorable to Romney that they do to Gingrich, starting with Nevada, thanks to its large Mormon population, that's maybe one reason why he would be considered the favorite in Nevada.

Just a couple of days later, next Tuesday, look at this. You've got a couple of caucus states -- Colorado, Minnesota, and then Missouri with a nonbinding primary. Moving on to Maine on the 11th. That's where they're going to have their results in Maine.

You know, Ron Paul and rick Santorum doing campaigning in those states, hoping to get delegates. It's all proportional in those states.

And finally at the end of February, you've got two larger states holding primaries, Arizona and Michigan. And Michigan, that's Romney country. His father was the popular governor there. Romney was born there.

Arizona could be a little more up for grabs. Of course, we have our debate in Arizona.

But, again, for Gingrich really, nothing too favorable. He's looking ahead to Super Tuesday. That's not until March 6th -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: Hey, Paul, we're talking about Gingrich. We're talking about Romney. And Gingrich famously said yesterday it's a two-man race. But there are two more in the race.

STEINHAUSER: Yes, there are two more. And one of them, Rick Santorum, already in Las Vegas last night. He wasn't even here in Florida, he moved ahead. He says that even though he came in a distant third, he thinks Gingrich's defeat will help him. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Newt Gingrich had his chance, had his shot, had a big win out of South Carolina, and couldn't hold it, couldn't deliver in Florida. I think they're going to be looking for a different conservative as an alternative to Mitt Romney now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEINHAUSER: And that's what he's looking for. Santorum talking to our Dana Bash last night in Las Vegas. And Ron Paul, the congressman from Texas, well, he is looking ahead to those caucus states as well. Here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RON PAUL (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We will spend our time in the caucus states because if you have an irate, tireless minority, you do very well in the caucus states. But there's something else the caucus states lends itself to because, if you have an energized group of people that are working in the campaign and actually believe in something, it's better to work in the caucus states.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEINHAUSER: Zoraida, the candidates are moving on, and so are we. We're packing our bags. We are heading to Nevada.

SAMBOLIN: Still on the road.

I know Ron Paul has a strong presence in Nevada as well. Thanks for wrapping that up for us. We appreciate it.

BANFIELD: Good chance to bring in Christine Romans who's looking at all of the exit polling data, which really tells the deeper story of the win.

So, Christine, I guess the question would be: what were the Florida Republican voters at least looking for in their dinef (ph), for their leader -- the quality they wanted in him?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Is that your word of the day?

BANFIELD: How did you know? Was it that obvious?

ROMANS: Very good. Very good. I'm very pleased with that.

No, you know, what were they looking for? It looks like they were looking for Romney. I mean, when you look at -- these are the exit polls. When you look at who won each category, you can see Mitt Romney -- his face is all over this map. He won up and down the age continuum, up and down the continuum for how much money you make.

Let's take a look some specific areas, shall we? Top candidate quality -- 62 percent of them said they wanted to beat Barack Obama. Who won that category? Romney handily over Gingrich.

Let's talk about the conservatives, though. Here's where Mitt Romney needs the work, because the conservatives, people who consider themselves very conservative, you guys, they went for Gingrich, 41 percent to about 30 percent.

When you talk about the economy, that was the top issue, deficit in particular -- Mitt Romney won with this. It seems as though his business experience works for him in Florida. And, wow, more than half of those who said the economy was their top issue, they went for Mitt Romney as well, compared to 30 percent for Newt Gingrich.

So, when we look at the numbers and we look at the faces on these pictures, it's clearly clear from the exit polling that Mitt Romney was -- I mean, he won.

But when you look at the very conservative, they were a little more, I would say, restrained in their support, and that's where Newt Gingrich got most of the support.

And I will say one thing about Steinhauser, he says he's packing his bags and going to Nevada. I wonder what kind of suitcase he has. That guy is on a plane or on a bus or in a live shot. I guess it's an election year, and he's, you know, our political guy.

BANFIELD: I bet it's small enough that he doesn't have to check luggage if he needs to get on a plane.

ROMANS: I bet you're right. He's smart and on the move.

SAMBOLIN: He probably has quite a closet on that bus.

Thank you so much, Christine. We appreciate it.

So, not much time for Romney to celebrate because the Nevada caucus takes place in just four days. And Romney and Ron Paul appear to have a distinct advantage there. Here's why: they were the top two finishers in Nevada in the 2008 race. Both maintained campaign offices in the state and have been organizing there for months.

And Nevada may also play into Romney's hands because of its substantial Mormon population.

BANFIELD: The Nevada caucus format tends to hurt Gingrich somewhat. The state's Republican Party requires also that its voters register by January 20th. So, if you think back, that was one day before Gingrich's big win in South Carolina, which means that Gingrich might not be able to capitalize on that momentum surge that he was experiencing after South Carolina.

And also, the former speaker didn't even open a campaign office in Nevada until last week. Not great for him. But we'll see how that plays out.

In the meantime, you want to make sure for the best political coverage on TV, keep it right here on CNN.

At 7:00 a.m. Eastern on "STARTING POINT," Soledad O'Brien going one on one with the winner, Mitt Romney.

SAMBOLIN: And every morning, we give you an early start to your day by alerting you to the news happening later. And stories that are just developing now, but they will be the big story tonight.

The showdown over Syria is expected to get more intense today at the United Nations with pressure on Russia. The Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is leading the charge to get President Bashar al-Assad out. Russia refused to accept action on Syria that would have Assad removed from office.

Meantime, Syrian troops reportedly crushed pockets of rebel fighters on the outskirts of the capital of Damascus yesterday.

And coming up at 7:30 Eastern on "STARTING POINT," former Assistant Secretary of State Jamie Rubin will join Soledad to talk about the crisis and the bloodshed in Syria, and what it could take to stop it.

BANFIELD: Also making news, later on, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is entering the final stage of his extradition battle today. It's happening in the U.K. later on. He has been fighting this effort to be moved back to Sweden to fight the allegations of rape and sexual assault. Hopefully, we'll have some news later on today of what happens.

SAMBOLIN: And it's what the entire tech world has been waiting for. The Facebook IPO filing could come as early as today, folks. Experts say the social network could be valued between $75 billion and $100 billion once it starts trading publicly. Mind-boggling.

BANFIELD: A lot of money. It would be an expensive IPO if you want to get in on it.

All right. Happening now, also, an Alaskan volcano looks like it might just be ready to blow. If you think it's a long way away and it doesn't affect you, hold because, yes, it really actually could threaten a lot of intercontinental air travel. Apparently, 90 percent of air freight from Asia and 20,000 passengers fly through that air space in that area daily.

The satellite data is detecting eruptive activity, they called it. It's the Cleveland Volcano, take a look at where it is -- way down the archipelago, about 1,000 mile southwest of Anchorage in the Aleutian Islands. And the warning levels have raised. Apparently, the eruptions could happen at any time. So, they're really keeping an eye.

This is what it looked like last time it erupted back in 2009. Wow. Spectacular pictures.

SAMBOLIN: Just incredible.

BANFIELD: Look at the cloud of ash. Obviously, that dissipates pretty quickly. It goes as high as 20,000 feet, which obviously can threaten the aircraft and the major travel in that hub. So, we're watching that for you.

SAMBOLIN: Not somewhere you want to be traveling at that moment.

Jacqui Jeras has the big weather picture. She is in Atlanta.

Good morning to you.

JACQUI JERAS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hey, good morning, ladies.

We're tracking some thunderstorms, some of which are strong along the Gulf Coast this morning, and then just some spotty showers in the Northeast. But the plus side of all this, is that temperatures are going to be crazy warm once again today east of the Rockies.

So, watch out for thunder and lightning across parts of Louisiana into Mississippi. It's really across the Deep South where the heaviest of rain will be throughout the day today.

Stuff you're getting across the Northeast just kind of spitting. So, look for occasional showers. We also have poor visibility once again along the Gulf Coast with dense fog advisories for you. San Antonio, Austin and to Houston as well, and still kind of watching that fire area into parts of Florida.

So as we look at that big picture, this is really our big storm system across the east, another one in the Pacific Northwest bringing rain and valley snow. This is going to be the storm to watch as we head throughout the rest of the week because it's going to dip on down and then make its way up as we head towards the weekend.

Let's talk about those good temperatures, though. This is insane. I mean, how is a groundhog actually going to predict the end of winter if winter never actually happened? This is what I'm wondering. Tomorrow, of course, is Groundhog Day.

Sixty in New York, 67 in D.C. And look at that, 71 in Raleigh today, ladies.

BANFIELD: I think the new predictor is if the groundhog is sweaty. He sees his shadow.

JERAS: Or a bad hair day for the groundhog, yes.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you, Jacqui.

BANFIELD: All right. Let's talk first lady of the night, shall we? Michelle Obama was on "The Tonight Show." And she's talking about her workout routine.

SAMBOLIN: Really?

BANFIELD: I'd really like to know in detail.

SAMBOLIN: Those arms. Those arms.

BANFIELD: I know. The right to bare arms.

And then she talked about this great little anecdote about the time Al Roker got in her way.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELLE OBAMA, U.S. FIRST LADY: I usually start out with a three-mile run, and then I do anything from weights to a little kick boxing sometimes.

JAY LENO, COMEDIAN: Kick boxing?

OBAMA: Sometimes.

LENO: I saw you with Al Gore. Not Al Gore. I mean, I saw you with Al Roker.

OBAMA: I didn't kick him.

LENO: It looks like you got a little testy with Al Roker. Show that footage.

AL ROKER, NBC NEWS: Are jumping jacks your exercise of choice?

OBAMA: You know, I do everything. I mean, jumping jacks, squats, lunges.

ROKER: Uh-oh.

OBAMA: We do a little everything, little boxing.

ROKER: Does the president have to worry about the boxing part?

OBAMA: You know, sometimes when he sees me punching, he kind of --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: What a great moment. Don't you love that?

BANFIELD: That's the problem with news. We're not allowed to edit like that. We're not allowed to make that stuff up. That's pretty funny stuff.

SAMBOLIN: Good for her.

BANFIELD: Yes.

SAMBOLIN: All right. It is 5:14 in the East.

Time to check the stories that are making news this morning.

Fresh off of his Florida victory, GOP front-runner Mitt Romney is headed to Minnesota today. They're holding their caucus in a week. It will be the first visit to the state for Romney during the campaign. He'll be meeting with former Governor Tim Pawlenty before heading to Las Vegas.

BANFIELD: And let's take you overseas for a moment. Children of the Minnesota couple that's missing in that Italian cruise ship disaster say that they are now planning a memorial service for their parents. Gerald and Barbara Heil are two of 16 passengers still missing from the Costa Concordia shipwreck. The Italian authorities have now called off that search citing a danger to the rescue workers. The Heil family said in a statement, we are certainly disheartened to hear this news, but we understand and accept that decision.

SAMBOLIN: You know, they also thanked everybody for their efforts in trying to find their parents.

BANFIELD: Just heart breaking.

SAMBOLIN: All right. And police in Miami breaking up an Occupy protest camp. Take a look at. They swept through the camp site last night, ejecting the demonstrators, tearing down the tents, and making a few arrests as well. But protesters had been hunkered down at that location for more than three months.

BANFIELD: So if you live in Florida, and even if you don't, you know that the campaign ads were so incredibly nasty, but on the level of nastiness, just how bad was it? You might be really surprised.

SAMBOLIN: Ashleigh?

BANFIELD: Oops.

SAMBOLIN: The FBI busts into the wrong apartment with a chainsaw. Take a look at that picture. The Feds are apologizing to the terrified woman and her 3-year-old daughter who was crying in another room. What happened? That story is coming up in early read. Yes, big oops.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BANFIELD: It is 18 minutes past 5:00 on the East Coast.

We're getting early read on your local headlines that's making national headlines. This morning, we got papers from Nashville. We got papers from Boston.

Why don't we start with Nashville, "The Tennessean"?

Senator Rand Paul's run-in at the airport is starting to ask questions of people about the accuracy of the screeners that we all have to go through. You'll remember that there was a big to do in the terminal when Rand Paul refused the pat down after setting off one of the scanner alarms.

And the critics are saying, you know what? Those scanners aren't so accurate, and they send out false positives. Studies are apparently revealing that they might be oversensitive to sweat or certain kinds of clothing. The TSA doesn't really release data or answer questions.

SAMBOLIN: He was saying also that they arbitrarily go off.

BANFIELD: Right. That they did answer --

SAMBOLIN: That's what they said.

BANFIELD: They did answer they don't arbitrarily go off. But Rand Paul didn't care. He was mad.

SAMBOLIN: All right. So, the "Boston Herald" here. A horror film come to life. Listen to this.

The mom and her 3-year-old daughter were terrified -- that's probably an understatement -- when armed men break their door down with a chain saw. Well, it turns out, folks, that the FBI raided the wrong apartment. The agents meant to bust the next door neighbor's door down. It was a drug conspiracy crackdown. The FBI has apologized.

But listen to this. They kept her on the floor for up to 45 minutes while her 3-year-old daughter wailed in the next room.

BANFIELD: You've got to be kidding me.

SAMBOLIN: That's what happened?

BANFIELD: They just left the 3-year-old for 45 minutes alone?

SAMBOLIN: Yes, while she was on the floor. When they were trying to figure out -- even though it says they knew from the moment they walked in there they had the wrong apartment.

BANFIELD: Policy here, what's the deal?

SAMBOLIN: I don't know. That's all I know. Kind of crazy.

BANFIELD: There's got to be some kind of policy. Look, there's lots of criminals who have kids, right? So, there's got to be some kind of policy that when they do a raid, they know what to do. And usually you see the officers on shows like "Cops," walking out holding those kids.

SAMBOLIN: Well, I think the chain saw, the mother screaming, set off that child.

BANFIELD: I smell a civil suit.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, you always smell a suit.

BANFIELD: It's such a litigious country. And it's like exciting to see the issues always (INAUDIBLE) in court.

All right. Let's switch gears a little bit to something that you will not escape, even if you don't live in Florida. In almost every election, the race to the finish line is fiercely competitive. But the interesting that the rivalry between Mitt and Newt is off the rails. New heights of hostility, particularly those millions and millions spent on campaign ads in Florida.

Take a peek.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

NARRATOR: Gingrich was paid over $1.6 million by the scandal- ridden agency that helped create the crisis.

NARRATOR: What kind of man would mislead, distort, and deceive just to win an election? This man would. Mitt Romney.

TOM BROKAW, NBC NEWS: Tonight, he has on his own record, the judgment of his peers, Democrat and Republican alike, by an overwhelming vote, they found him guilty of ethics violations.

NARRATOR: If we can't trust what Mitt Romney says about his own record, how can we trust him on anything?

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

BANFIELD: More than likely coming to a TV near you, states ahead, because that's just Florida so far. According to the Kantar Media Campaign Media Analysis Group, 92 percent of the ads that ran in Florida this past week were negative.

We're joined now by the president of that organization, Ken Goldstein.

I am so thrilled to talk to you because I know that in the many years that you have been doing the work that you do, you get calls from people like me saying, Ken, is this the worst it's ever been? And you're always having to get us off the ledge. But not this year.

KEN GOLDSTEIN, PRESIDENT, KANTAR MEDIA CAMPAIGN MEDIA ANALYSIS GROUP: Exactly. I think I've been studying this for 14 years. As you said, folks like you call me and ask is this the most negative campaign I've ever seen? And I usually say no. And I have a discussion about over whether negative advertising is actually that bad.

But this last week in Florida, over 90 percent, 92 percent, of all the ads were negative. I've certainly never seen anything like that. I've never seen anything like that in a Republican presidential primary.

BANFIELD: And as we say the 92 percent figure, it's important to sort of break down as well this was a five-to-one money fight. I mean, Newt Gingrich was really outspent by Mitt Romney in this ad campaign.

GOLDSTEIN: A bit less than five-to-one over the course of the whole campaign and about three-to-one in this last week.

BANFIELD: Pardon me. Thank you.

GOLDSTIEN: But it's certainly the case that when it comes to paid media, when it came to advertising, Romney and his allies outgunned Newt Gingrich and Newt Gingrich's allies.

BANFIELD: Is it a super PAC problem? When you say it's the worst year ever, it does correlate with the first year ever of the super PACs.

GOLDSTEIN: So, I didn't say the worst year ever. You said the worst year ever.

BANFIELD: OK.

GOLDSTEIN: So, yes, you know, I certainly said it was the most negative. But, listen, as Mitt Romney himself has said and others have famously said, politics isn't bean bag.

And this election was a competitive election. Romney fought back hard. And if you think things are getting negative or a little snippy in the primary, wait until you see the general election.

BANFIELD: I know. I hate to say I can't wait, but I can't wait, because this is the big reveal that's coming. So, OK, knowing that you were coming on the show today, me and the researchers got real busy going back to our Founding Fathers and how they waged their campaigns, because I would think we would all assume they were very gentlemanly like and it was a very polite battle.

Not so much. I'm going to throw a few things out there from our dirty campaigns of the past. This is Thomas Jefferson's campaign talking about John Adams. P.S., by the way, John Adams is the president and Thomas Jefferson is the vice president, calling the president a "hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman."

Well, John Adams' campaign was having none of that, and the president and his men shot back at the vice president, saying this: He is a mean-spirited, a lowlife fellow, the son of a half breed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father."

And if that's not bad enough, George Washington's wife weighed in on the campaign as well. This is what Martha Washington said about Thomas Jefferson. "He's one of the most detestable of mankind."

Ken, who knew -- who knew it was that bad that far back?

GOLDSTEIN: Well, I think that's -- you and your researchers get an A. You make an excellent point here.

We have this notion that suddenly negative advertising is this modern thing. Just now with the advent of television and commercials, that politics in America and discussion in America used to be high brow.

Listen, the main reason why all of those things you just read weren't actually ads then was because TV didn't exist. Think about what people said about Andrew Jackson. I will not say what they said about his mother on the air.

The Lincoln-Douglass debates, which we think is the most high brow, high American political rhetoric, it was basically Douglass going negative on Lincoln, and Lincoln going negative on Douglass.

So, negative advertising doesn't automatically mean slimy, doesn't automatically mean things are enormously bad, it just means the focus is on the other person.

BANFIELD: Such fascinating stuff. I could talk to you all day long.

But, Ken, thanks so much. I have a feeling we may talk in the general election too.

GOLDSTEIN: Thanks for having me. Appreciate it.

SAMBOLIN: Going to get worse, huh?

BANFIELD: Apparently.

SAMBOLIN: Still ahead, Facebook IPO for the little guy? Can we get in on all the action? We're going to find out.

You're watching EARLY START.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Zoraida Sambolin, along with Ashleigh Banfield.

BANFIELD: Hello. Nice to have you with us. It is 29 minutes 5:00.

Let's get you caught up on the news this morning.

Mitt Romney, wow, racks up 50 delegates in a 15-point win in the Florida primary victory last night. He'll be campaigning in Minnesota today. That state is set to hold caucuses next Tuesday. And then it's off to Nevada to begin campaigning for this Saturday's caucuses in that state.

SAMBOLIN: Iran said to be crossing an aggressive line and looking to launch terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. That warning coming in a written Senate testimony from the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

According to this morning's "Washington Post," he pointed to an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador as a red flag saying, "Iran's willingness to sponsor future attacks in the United States or against our interests abroad probably be shaped by Tehran's evaluation of the costs it bears for the plot against the ambassador as well as Iranian leaders perceptions of U.S. threats against the regime."

BANFIELD (voice-over): Pfizer is, this morning, recalling some one million packages of oral contraceptives. This after they discovered a problem that could cause women to take an incorrect daily dosage and possibly increase the risk of an accidental pregnancy. If you are one of the people who is a bit concerned right now, here's what you need to know.

The recall involves Lo/Ovral 28 tablets and also a generic version of that birth control pill. The company says the problem has been identified and corrected. They say they've got no reports of any adverse health effects, but I'm not sure if adverse health effects is another expression for pregnancy.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SAMBOLIN (on-camera): You know, I was reading about this, and they said that some of the pills were put in the wrong order, and that is going to make them ineffective. So, be careful, dump them. Go get a new pack.

BANFIELD (on-camera): Yes.

SAMBOLIN Change them. Talk to your doctor.

BANFIELD: Don't take chances on that.

SAMBOLIN: Oh my goodness.

All right. So, it is 5:31 in the east. With 50 delegates safely under his belt, Mitt Romney is turning his attention to Nevada. That state holds its caucus Saturday. And here are the final Florida totals, in case you missed it. Romney racking up 46 percent of the vote, Gingrich 14 points back at 32 percent.

So, let's talk to our panelists this morning. From Littlerock, Arkansas, we have Alice Stork, former communications director from Michele Bachmann's presidential campaign, from San Francisco, Ruben Navarrette, syndicated columnist with the "Wasghinton Post" writer's group, and here in New York, our friend, John Avlon, senior political columnist for "Newsweek" and the "Daily Beast."

John, I am going to start with you here.

JOHN AVLON, SENIOR POLITICAL COLUMNIST, NEWSWEEK AND THE DAILY BEAST: OK. SAMBOLIN: So, it was a decisive victory, obviously, for Romney last night. Gingrich says that he is staying in until the bitter end despite the fact that he told "Bloomberg News" that he only has $600,000 left in his coffers. And now listen to what Cain is saying about Gingrich.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HERMAN CAIN, (R) FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If he stops getting victories, then he should quit or he should end his campaign. I don't think that's going to happen. The fact that Speaker Gingrich won decisively in South Carolina, Governor Romney won decisively in Florida, it still is more indication of how it is split. This is why I believe it's going to go on for a long time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: John, is this just about victories or are they weighing in how the political party is affected? And also, last night, when Gingrich decided not to congratulate Mitt Romney, we know that he doesn't have a lot of money left.

AVLON: Yes.

SAMBOLIN: How is he going to move forward?

AVLON: Well, first of all, the thing to remember is that the process to get the nomination isn't just about momentum, it's about math. You need 1,144 delegates to clinch the Republican nomination. Right now, Mitt Romney with winning two out of the first four states has around seven percent of the way there.

So, all the other candidates are completely justified in my eyes to say, look, we're going to continue campaigning as long as we can. A lot of the states coming up in February and March are importantly proportional. So, you get the portion of delegates that you get of the popular vote. It's not winner take all like Florida.

So, while Newt Gingrich blew a lot of money in Florida, and that's going to be a real challenge for him going forward, and you'll start hearing Rick Santorum, another folks, make the case that Newt is out of money, time to look for another viable conservative alternative to Mitt Romney. Everybody in my mind is completely justified saying to go on. This ain't over.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Alice, we're going to talk about the exit polls. Gingrich takes conservative strong Tea Partiers, also the evangelicals. Obviously, Romney does not take (ph) everybody else. Ron Fournier of the "National Journal" says, "of the last five protracted nomination fights for nomination in the Republican Party, four led to the Republican's loss in the general election."

Romney dismissed that last night. Listen to what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MITT ROMNEY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Is this primary unfolds our opponents in the other party have been watching? And they like to comfort themselves with the thought that a competitive campaign will leave us divided and weak. But I've got news for them. A competitive primary does not divide us, it prepares us, and we will win.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

SAMBOLIN: Will the Republican Party be able to unite?

ALICE STEWART, FORMER COMM.. DIR. BACHMANN FOR PRESIDENT: It certainly will. Of course, this has been a very negative campaign, and we learned with Florida that the negative campaign ads have worked, and exit polls, people show that debate impacted their decision, but also the negative ads, which have been blanketing Florida air waves.

But in breaking out how the electorate voted, obviously, as you said, Gingrich won quite a bit of the true conservatives and the evangelicals, but you look at what Romney pulled out in his vote. He pulled a lot of the Hispanics and seniors, and that's going to be critical. That's something that the Obama administration is keeping a close eye on.

So, what we're going to see is it's important to remember that negative campaign works, but also, the debate performances have worked, and also what people also say in the exit polling is they voted for Romney based on his electability against President Obama and his favorability. He has higher favorables than Newt Gingrich.

And that's something that Gingrich needs to keep in mind. I do think -- I agree with John 100 percent it's important for all the candidates to stay in. This is a far cry from the 1,144 delegates. As Gingrich said last night, 46 states to go. So, it's important for them to stay in, but it's going to be a tough road ahead.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Ruben, I want to talk to you about illegal immigration. Just three percent of Florida voters called it the most important issue, but the tenor of the discourse could affect the outcome, right? Mitt Romney softened his position on illegal immigration. You know this. Originally, he said, he would not support the DREAM Act, and then, he flip flopped.

RUBEN NAVARRETTE, CNN.COM CONTRIBUTOR: Right.

SAMBOLIN: And he said, yes, so, if there is military service involved, I am going to support the DREAM Act. He talked about self- deportation. Even though Gingrich has a softer immigration policy, Romney actually won that vote. So, what is it about the Latino vote? Is it important to have a strong position on immigration?

NAVARRETTE: It is. You know, Senator Marco Rubio in Miami, I was in the room when he said this. He gave a speech. He talked about it being a gateway issue for many Latinos. Latinos care about the same issues as everybody else, jobs, the economy, and education. But when immigration flares up, it gets our attention. And it's very important that candidates approach the issue in a responsible way. The big flip-flop, the big one, for Mitt Romney coming out of Florida was that, you know, he's now as for a temporary worker permit for illegal immigrants. That's no small thing, because he has spent a long time in his campaign beating up on Rick Perry, first, and then Newt Gingrich saying that they favored an amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Turns out that when we got to florida, we had a kinder and gentler Mitt Romney who then came forward, flip-flopped, and said, now, I support the same thing. So, Mitt -- here's your headline. Mitt Romney is in favor of an amnesty. And he said it in Florida. They're going to hang it around his neck when he comes out to the southwest.

Here's the important thing to remember, though. Latinos are all different. The Cuban-Americans in Florida do not translate to the Mexican-Americans they're going to face in Nevada.

(CROSSTALK)

SAMBOLIN: it will be different.

NAVARRETTE: You bet.

SAMBOLIN: Ruben, John, and Alice, thank you so much for joining us. And for the best -- we could talk forever, couldn't we? For the best political coverage on television, keep it right here on CNN at 7:00 a.m. eastern. On "Starting Point," Soledad O'Brien goes one-on- one with Mitt Romney.

BANFIELD: So, if you're talking about forever and you'd like to live forever on a lot of money, get in on the Facebook IPO.

(LAUGHTER)

BANFIELD: We're going to give you -- exactly -- the anatomy of the IPO and whether you and me and all the other little guys have a shot at this big thing. You're watching EARLY START.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: Good morning, San Francisco or good night. That is a live picture of Coit Tower. I hear it's lovely to climb and take a view of San Francisco. It is 47 degrees now. You're going to have some showers this morning, but later, it will be 60 degrees, kind of perfect weather, which is what San Francisco is, right? Rainy, cloudy sometimes.

BANFIELD: Cloudy.

(LAUGHTER)

BANFIELD: Big day on Wall Street. Facebook finally, possibly, going to file the IPO. Papers could happen within 20 minutes if Christine Romans is correct, and she's pretty clever. CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Maybe --

BANFIELD: We're very excited about this.

ROMANS: Maybe in two hours, maybe in three hours, maybe sometime today.

SAMBOLIN: Can you do me a favor, though?

ROMANS: Yes.

SAMBOLIN: Dumb it down a little bit and explain IPO.

ROMANS: Well, you can't get it and neither can you or you or you. IPO is initial public offering, and this is when a company, a private company or a new company -- you know, it's only eight years old. This is company it becomes public. It offers shares to the public, so, big investors, pension funds, endowments, mutual funds, individual investors can buy the stock of Facebook.

It means for those of us who follow Facebook as a company, we'll be able to get a look underneath the hood of the car to see how much money they're making from advertising, from their Facebook credits, from their gains and other things, and how much money really this company is making. How does it compare with, you know, some of the other ones that we've seen lately?

BANFIELD: No. Before you go there, why can't I get in on it if it's public?

ROMANS: You will, eventually.

SAMBOLIN: Not initially.

ROMANS: You don't get that first big -- you know, you can't just call a broker and say, I would like one of the first shares of this very sought after company.

BANFIELD: Is that because they allow friends and family first and then allow the rest of us?

ROMANS: The way it works is the big investment banks who are the book runners or the underwriters or the people who are taking this public. They'll go on a big road show. So, they're going to probably announce today that they will be filing. Today is not the day that it starts trading, right? So, they're going to announce today.

And then, there'll be a road show of the bankers will go across the country and they'll talk to the big investors and say -- and those big investors are big investors.

BANFIELD: Yes.

ROMANS: Pension funds, mutual fund companies, you should buy this, this is why. So, they're the ones with the big money, the big investors. The little guy, we get in if our mutual fund company buys some of it. That's how we get it. And then, eventually, you can buy it on a trade account or whatever after it trades for a few days.

I mean, how does it go? I mean, people who really wanted to get in on the Google IPO a couple years ago, right, or actually, yes, a couple of years ago, it IPO'd, which is a terrible verb. I hate that as a grammar -- I am a (ph) grammar person. It got in at $85. Look, it's a $580. There's a lot of people -- there are secretaries and people who work at Google who made an awful lot of money, people who are in on the very beginning of that.

GroupOn, though, look, it went public last year, and it's trading right where it started. And LinkedIn is up, I think, about 60 percent. So, LinkedIn was a good investment if you bought it at the IPO price. We will watch to see what the market does. There'll be a lot of buzz about Facebook over the next days and weeks, but today should be the day.

BANFIELD: I got in on some of those IPOs in the 1990s.

ROMANS: Yes.

BANFIELD: I don't want to talk about it.

ROMANS: Well, the 1990s, I don't want to talk about the 1990s at all.

BANFIELD: I don't want to talk about it.

ROMANS: Yes. Let's just forget the --

BANFIELD: Let's not even talk about it. Christine, thank you.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

SAMBOLIN: Could be lucrative, right? I mean --

ROMANS: It could be if you -- but, I mean, people that think they can get in the first day it starts trading, and good luck on that.

SAMBOLIN: There you have it.

BANFIELD: All right. So, here's something phenomenal. This rescue caught on the dashboard cam. Look, you've seen a dashboard cam a million times, but you've never seen one like this.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, my gosh!

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD (voice-over): One deputy standing by and watching as his friend is going under water, smashing windows, and getting two young women, zero in, look, in the backseat. They can't swim. They're on the phone to 911. You will find out what happened.

SAMBOLIN (voice-over): How did they get there?

BANFIELD: It is just an incredible story, then, it's coming at you, next.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN (on-camera): Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Zoraida Sambolin along with Ashleigh Banfield. We're so happy you're joining us this morning.

BANFIELD: It's great to have you here with us, and this is a story to tell your kinds, because there's a lot we can all learn from this next one.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD (voice-over): A Texas deputy being called a hero after rescuing two women from a car that ended up in this lake on Saturday night. All of it dramatic footage captured on the deputy's dashboard camera. The women were heading home when the driver was unfamiliar with the area and was talking on the phone trying to figure out with her father where she was.

And then, accidentally, just drove the car down a boat ramp and right into that lake. The deputy just happened to be making his routine rounds when he saw a car's break lights sticking out of the water. Imagine the luck. He was able to pull those women to safety, and neither one of these women could swim.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD (on-camera): On the telephone now is that fast acting hero officer, Deputy Keven Rowan from Rockwell, Texas. Deputy Rowan, congratulations, and thank you for being you, and walk me through what you thought when you saw brake lights sticking out of the water.

KEVEN ROWAN, RESCUED TWO WOMEN FROM A SINKING CAR (on the phone): Well, good morning and thank you. That morning around 1:00 a.m., I was driving through the park, like you said, you know, kind of just to check the park, and I happened to go down to the west boat ramp at Lake Ray Hubbard at this Robertson Park.

And when I pulled down the end of the ramp, I noticed some tail lights sticking out of the water. And, at first, you know, I let my dispatch know, you know, there's a vehicle in the water, and I get out. And I didn't see anybody in the vehicle at first, then, I shined my flashlight and saw two women in the backseat.

BANFIELD: OK. At first, I thought that that was a buddy of yours shining the flashlight for you, but you're alone, and you're just figuring it out that you've got people that need to be rescued. Could you hear them?

ROWAN: Actually, when I shined the light, I could hear them beating on the window saying help, help, and I noticed one of them was on the phone. BANFIELD: Now, I understand she had been on the phone with her father while she was lost and trying to figure out where she was. And then, once they ended up, these two young cousins, 20 and 21 years old, in the water, and the water was rising as the car was sinking, she called 911.

ROWAN: Yes, ma'am. She was on the phone with dispatch but could not tell them where they were due to the fact they were lost.

BANFIELD: All right. So, tell me what you did. I mean, you got your heavy belt with the gun and all your gear, and you're looking at this car sinking. What did you do?

ROWAN: Well, I was trying to yell at them, can you get the windows down? Can you open the door? You know, trying to do anything I could to try to see if they could do anything. And, as one of them went to the front seat, I don't know if they were trying to open the door, unlock the doors, the front end of the vehicle started nose diving farther, and I yelled go back in the back.

And then, I went to my vehicle and called for more assistance, send more deputies. You know, send some assistance over here to help me out. And I went to my vehicle, took off my gun belt, and threw it down on the ground and then made my way into the water.

BANFIELD: And I'm watching the pictures of you doing it right now. Did you know what you were going to be up against? I mean, at this point, did you know you were going to have to break windows? Did you know, you're going to have to be under water?

ROWAN: Actually, since Texas has been pretty dry lately and the lake was down, but we had some heavy rains in the last two weeks. And, I thought the water was going to be shallower than what it actually was. When I reached the vehicle, I actually couldn't touch, and the water was above my head. So, I was kind of swimming and kicking my feet and trying to use a window punch and break the window.

BANFIELD: And you're wearing boots, right, at this point?

ROWAN: Yes, ma'am. I didn't have a chance to take my boots or my vest off, my bulletproof vest.

BANFIELD: And here you are walking out as though this is just effortless with these two young women who could not swim. How did you do this?

ROWAN: I just didn't want to get panicked and make a mistake. You know, boat docks are slippery or fall down or something like that. You know, I just take my time -- not take my time, but you know, try to do it as easily as I could without falling and get out to the vehicle, but do as fast as I could, you know?

BANFIELD: Breaking windows, rescuing young women, carrying them to safety. This is the most ridiculous question, but I've got to ask it. How do you feel, sir, today? ROWAN: Well, when it first happened, you know, I never expected none of this. It's just that's what my job is. I'm a police officer. You know, I go, and I help people, and I come home. You know, I never thought any of this would happen, but, I mean, it feels good to get accolades and praises from people, you know, saying, you did a great job, you know?

It's good to hear that sometimes because a lot of times, you know, police officers get a bad rep. And, you know --

BANFIELD: Deputy Rowan, I'm going to one-up that. You didn't do a good job. You did a great job.

ROWAN: Thank you, ma'am.

BANFIELD: And I am going to say, I'm proud to call you friend. That's President Bush saying (ph) since we're talking Texas. I'm just thrilled that you came on the show to talk to us about this, and God bless you for your heroics, and thanks for what you do.

ROWAN: Thank you, ma'am. I appreciate it.

BANFIELD: What a great story.

SAMBOLIN: What a great calming, soothing voice, too. He seems like he's steady, steady as a rock.

BANFIELD: Did you see that? Walking out like this is all in a day's work.

SAMBOLIN: This is going to be OK. It's going to be OK.

BANFIELD: Remember that name, Deputy Keven Rowan, my friends.

SAMBOLIN: All right. It is 5:52. Still ahead, we're going to take a look at what's trending. New York City cops bust a fifth floor building full of a very, very valuable crop. Do you recognize it, folks?

BANFIELD: Listen to the crew.

(LAUGHTER)

SAMBOLIN: The crew here recognizes it. I know you do.

BANFIELD: You guys don't care about anything we've talked about. We talk about the drug bust (ph).

(LAUGHTER)

SAMBOLIN: You're watching EARLY START. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BANFIELD: Keeping you in the pop culture loop this morning, taking a look at what's trending on the interwebs, and we've got one of those things that's kind of involved the fungible kind of crop.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, all right. Are you wondering what fungible is? She's going to tell you in a minute. Police raid marijuana. It is a marijuana mega mansion. It is in the Bronx. Listen to this. Nearly 600 plants were there, seven feet high inside that building.

BANFIELD: Did you just say high?

SAMBOLIN: Yes. I did say high.

BANFIELD: Girl.

SAMBOLIN: It was a 50-pound a month operation, cranking out millions of dollars worth of weed. Specifically, they said, $250,000 every 30 days. So, 30 men were arrested. CBS in New York, the cops were tipped of by the sky high electric bill is what they're saying. So, this is what I found interesting. Could you smell it, right?

BANFIELD: You would think you could smell it.

SAMBOLIN: Yes.

BANFIELD: So, even when it's not burning, you would think walking by that building, you could smell it.

SAMBOLIN: So, this woman says, that's crazy, because I used to walk passes (ph) every single day. I live down the block on Garfield. Never even smelled nothing coming out of this place. They smell nothing.

BANFIELD: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

SAMBOLIN: But, this other guy says, I mean, there's no mistake that this was obviously marijuana. I could smell it a mile away.

BANFIELD: Really? Maybe some of the neighbors were kind of enjoying the fact that that might have been in the neighborhood.

SAMBOLIN: The sky high electric bill was the tip-off?

BANFIELD: Yes, right. You would think. And that's how most of these grow houses get busted. They sort of forget, yes, you're ticking up the meter.

All right. So fungible, just so you know, it is a movable, perishable good of some sort that can be estimated by number or weight. So, there.

Ahead, what a win. What a campaign. What a, what a negative, negative fight. So, why could this race be the most negative ever? You're watching EARLY START.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)