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STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN

New Video Emerges in Trayvon Martin Case; JetBlue Pilot Subdued After Hysterical Outburst; Supreme Court Wraps up Hearings on Health Care Reform Law; Chances Of Winning Mega Millions, 175,711,536 to 1; North Korea Missile Launch; Colorado Family's Great Escape; Report: Cancer Rates Drop; Green Coffee Beans Show Potential For Losing Weight; Gas Prices Rise For 20 Days Straight; Behind The Pump; Two Key Endorsements For Romney; Tiger Woods Win

Aired March 29, 2012 - 06:59   ET

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


SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN HOST: And good morning. Welcome, everybody. Our STARTING POINT this morning, the tale of the tape. First time we're seeing what the shooter, George Zimmerman, looked like immediately after killing Trayvon Martin. He said Martin smashed his head on the ground. We'll take a look to see if the videotape matches that description.

Also, a JetBlue captain is now facing federal charges for his apparent midair meltdown. Apparently, he was telling passengers it's time to take a "leap of faith," which in a pilot is a very, very scary thing to hear. So, many people are wondering now how he was deemed mentally fit to fly. We'll take a look at that this morning.

Plus, Tiger Woods' former coach has a new tell-all book. He coached Tiger through major wins and also through his monumental fall. What did he see and what does he see in tiger now? We'll talk about that.

And our "Get Real" this morning, millions trying to get rich quick. Me, too. Absolutely.

(LAUGHTER)

But, wait till we tell you what your odds are of winning. Here's a little hint. Really, really, really, really, really bad.

It is Thursday, March 29, and STARTING POINT begins right now.

That's my playlist, no, not Will Cain's play list. That song is by Marc Anthony. Our playlist this morning -- I meant our panel this morning. Joining us this morning, John Fugelsang is a political comedian. Nice to have you along. The face you're making.

JOHN FUGELSANG, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Just saying good morning.

O'BRIEN: I like it. I like it.

FUGELSANG: I'm working on my impression.

O'BRIEN: I have to work on my mug for the camera. ROLAND MARTIN, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: It's called being happy to be here in the morning.

O'BRIEN: We used to call it the "Nightline" nod, nod at the camera. Nod at the camera.

Let's start with this Trayvon Martin investigation. There's new videotape. Have you seen it?

WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I have not seen it.

O'BRIEN: You'll get a chance to see it this morning. It's from ABC News. George Zimmerman gets out of the patrol car they brought him in the night of the shooting. We've talked a lot about George Zimmerman and around George Zimmerman and his friends have come up to talk about what he has said happened. But now to take a look at what he looks like on this videotape and also to try to match some of those descriptions that appear in the affidavit from police and friends and his father's description have been pretty amazing. Trayvon's mother spoke as well, and she said her reaction to seeing this videotape was pretty amazing. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SYBRINA FULTON, TRAYVON MARTIN'S MOTHER: This video is the icing on the cake. This is not the first part of evidence that they have had. They have had the 911 tapes and they have also had witnesses. This is in addition to what the Sanford police department already has. This video is clear evidence that there is some problem with this case and that he needs to be arrested.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'BRIEN: It has been interesting how slow it has been to get -- it's been a month since Trayvon was shot and now this is the first time we're really seeing through ABC News this videotape.

MARTIN: One of the things that came out, people made the argument from the outset is, OK, you chose not to arrest him. So, did the investigation end? Because there are other people, there are other witnesses who said that they felt that it was Trayvon who was screaming as well. So, it was as if the Sanford police department did not truly do a full investigation. The parents from day one said we want justice. We want a full investigation. They simply didn't get it. The pressure brought to bear has made all of this possible.

O'BRIEN: George Zimmerman's father is talking on camera first time as well. CNN's Martin Savidge is in Sanford, Florida with what he is saying. Good morning, Martin.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Soledad. What's interesting about this conversation, first of all, is Robert Zimmerman is speaking out on his son's behalf. He did not go on full camera. In other words, he's in silhouette because he claims he is in fear for his own safety. That said, let's listen to his words. He points out what he describes as the dramatic life and death struggle that his son faced with Trayvon Martin. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERT ZIMMERMANM, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S FATHER: After nearly a minute of being beaten, George was trying to get his head off the concrete, trying to move, with Trayvon on him, into the grass. In doing so, his firearm was shown. Trayvon Martin said something to the effect of "you're going to die now" or "you're going to die tonight," something to that effect. He continued to beat George, and at some point, George pulled his pistol and did what he did.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAVIDGE: Two quick things, Soledad. Number one, Robert Zimmerman was not there. He is, of course, recounting the words to the storyline his son has told him. The other thing there about the firing of the weapon -- there have been some story lines and it's suggested there was a fight over the gun and maybe that the gun went off during that struggle. The father does not portray that at all. He says, no, George Zimmerman made a clear and conscious decision. He pulled out the gun and he fired.

O'BRIEN: I think he's also saying -- again, if he's repeating his son's words, he's saying that weapon was concealed the entire time, right? Because then he says at some point in the scuffle, the gun is revealed. So he's saying the gun was concealed up till that moment.

And he also says that Trayvon Martin was smashing his son, George Zimmerman's head on the concrete well over a minute. Then the gun is revealed and then he goes back to bashing George's head on the concrete. When we look at this videotape of the -- of George Zimmerman coming out of the police cruiser, it's interesting to me to see a couple of things, one, how George Zimmerman is sort of walking and not particularly being assisted by police officers in any way.

And, two, there's some freeze frames we have, Martin, of his face and his back. And, again, it's not 100 percent clear, so I wouldn't go on the record saying exactly what I'm seeing, but he certainly is not gushing blood and has not been wrapped in a bandage, after the fire department, paramedics have taken a look at him and cleaned him up a little bit. What do you make of this videotape, Martin?

SAVIDGE: Well, I think it is quite striking. You look at this. We have heard these dramatic accounts from the Zimmerman supporters as to how difficult the fight was. But then we see George Zimmerman. And keep in mind, we don't know the exact timeframe. It was some time that night. I don't know how many hours later. He's moving easily. I don't see bandages or a nose that looks overtly broken, blood streaming down the face or these other injuries that we were told about. So you look at this and say, wait a minute, the image I see don't match the stories I've heard. O'BRIEN: And the stories don't match each other. They are all coming from people who weren't there but are translating what they've been told. Thanks, Martin. We'll continue to check in with you this morning.

More information. It's been fascinating, I find, about every detail that comes out of this case, that we analyze very quickly and try to match up the stories. One that comes from one side, and the other that comes from the other side. The other side includes the story of Trayvon Martin's 17-year-old girlfriend, Dee Dee, was on the phone with Trayvon moments before he was shot. She told ABC News that Trayvon called her after he first spotted George Zimmerman following him. And she says that he was scared. Here is what she said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was walking fast. When he say this man was behind him again. And he said this man was still behind him. And I come and say "run."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'BRIEN: Matching up these two versions where there literally is one minute in between, by looking at phone records, when she ends the conversation, because it sounds like the ear piece is pulled out, by her description. There's some kind of scuffle at that point. And between that and one minute is when police are trying to determine exactly what happened in that one minute.

MARTIN: It's hard for me to trust Zimmerman's dad, who says the phone call didn't exist. Zimmerman's dad says Trayvon wasn't on the phone with his girlfriend. There are phone records that match time. So, the dad, who was a judge -- you would think after that's been established, he wouldn't sit here and insist that he wasn't on the phone when the facts are he was.

FUGELSANG: The fact that he is a judge will be coming into play in terms of questions of the proprietary of the behavior of the Sanford police department.

O'BRIEN: I think there's going to be questions all around.

FUGELSANG: And the T-shirt. He's wearing a light-colored T- shirt. There are no blood stains of any kind. He could have had his face cleaned up, but the white color T-shirt --

O'BRIEN: In the affidavit from the Sanford Police Department, which I have here, they write, I could observe his back appeared to be wet and was covered in grass, as if he had been lying on his back on the ground. Zimmerman was also bleeding from the nose and the back of his head. So that is not only a report from his father and friends, but the official police report as well at this time.

CAIN: I think you said it right. There are a lot of questions. That should be our perspective. That's the one I've been trying to push forward at times. There's still this mystery minute. I would hope we don't arrive at our conclusions and then find facts but see the facts, and some of them, like this video, they may tell us things we weren't prepared to see before and then arrive at our conclusions.

O'BRIEN: We'll have a town hall on Friday I'm hosting at 8:00 p.m. Friday that we'll raise the questions we're still asking as we continue this conversation.

Another big story we're following this morning is that midair meltdown by the JetBlue pilot. His name is Clayton Osborne. He is in a Texas hospital and in FBI custody. He is being charged with interfering with a flight crew. I'm covered in legal complaints today, so I'll just go to my next one here, this affidavit.

(LAUGHTER)

FUGELSANG: Something you want to talk about, Soledad?

O'BRIEN: Yes. It's kind of the story line of the morning. The complaint against him says the strange behavior began when he showed up late for the flight, which meant he missed the crew briefing. After the flight to Vegas took off, the first officer said he started making incoherent statements about religion and then yelled at the air traffic control to be quiet. The first officer became concerned when the pilot said "things just don't matter" and became very alarmed when he said "we need to take a leap of faith."

FUGELSANG: Please don't.

O'BRIEN: That's terrifying at 30,000 feet, began giving what was described as a sermon. Osborne was finally restrained. He got up and went to the bathroom, tried to break into the bathroom, where a passenger was using the bathroom, tried to tell her I need to use the bathroom.

Meanwhile, they brought another off-duty pilot in, locked the doors. And then he tried to break back into the cockpit, tried to pound down the door to the degree to which the two pilots flying thought he might actually break in to the cockpit.

MARTIN: That man was having a rough day.

FUGELSANG: These folks going to Vegas, they wanted to gamble and, boy, they got it.

O'BRIEN: It's crazy. Darelle Joiner is a former air marshal. That's a tiny portion of the description of what happened. It seems to me, though, if there's one big takeaway, it's that the first officer acted almost perfectly, considering the circumstances. Would you agree with that?

DARELLE JOINER, FORMER AIR MARSHAL: Absolutely. I think he did everything right, couldn't have been done any better. I think he was -- from the beginning, he detected the erratic behavior. From that, he probably devised a plan in his head. At first opportunity when the pilot left the actual cockpit, he made a decision to say at that point we're going to go in this direction and keep this pilot from coming back inside. I'm sure he gave some orders, direction to the rest of the flight crew to support that.

O'BRIEN: What's interesting is that we hear now that they did, at one point -- even over the loud speaker -- tell the passengers help restrain the guy. That was an announcement over the p.a. system. There were no air marshals on this flight, but that's got to be incredibly unusual, to notify passengers if you think there might be a need for assistance, right?

JOINER: To the first point as well as no air marshals on the flight, I couldn't speak to that and I don't think that information would be disclosed. Just because air marshals don't come out in a situation like that does not mean that they weren't there on the flight. They could have been there and have assisted as a regular citizen.

O'BRIEN: They just wouldn't have said -- interesting. It would have gone down the same way, had there been air marshals on the flight?

JOINER: You look at it from the standpoint of a law enforcement officer. No different than a police officer being involved in a mob or riot. You're not going to jump out and get involved in that riot without backup. Me, personally, as an air marshal, I would not have joined that group. You just can't know what's going to happen. You don't know what else is going on. My first thought would be to make sure there's no other interruptions. I want to make sure I can still maintain my vigilance.

O'BRIEN: Do you mean that you might have thought that what was going on was almost a ruse? You would stand back -- if it looked like other passengers were assisting and there were enough of them, you would stand back to watch to see if something else were to happen out of that?

JOINER: I'm not going to say I would have thought that. You can't be certain. You have to make sure that's not the case. But again, you want to make sure you're in a position to take control if you need to. I'm not going to say that in that particular situation I would have come out as an air marshal. I maybe would have assisted. Either way I would have made sure to communicate with my partner or partners to make sure we're going to defuse the situation as best we can. Everybody is vigilant. Everybody is alert. Everybody is wide awake on those aircrafts today.

O'BRIEN: If you know they say over the p.a. system, we need passengers to jump in, every single passenger knows what that means.

FUGELSANG: And there were men traveling to a conference, bouncers at the ready.

O'BRIEN: That's a crazy story. Darrell Joiner joining us this morning. He's a former air marshal. Thanks for being with us, appreciate it.

JOINER: Absolutely. Thank you.

O'BRIEN: We have some other headlines to get to. Christine has those. Good morning, Christine.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Soledad.

Some breaking news for you. Just in, the U.S. military says it has never had access to the scene where Army Staff Sergeant Robert bales allegedly gunned down 16 Afghan villagers and that will likely hinder the military's prosecution of bales. That's according to a U.S. official who tells CNN Bales returned to his base and told his roommate he had been out killing Afghan citizens.

Movie Director Spike Lee apologizing to a couple in Sanford, Florida, after a re-tweet forced them to leave their home in fear. That re-tweet by Spike Lee listed an address that supposedly belonged to George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed Trayvon Martin. Elaine and David McClain say they have a son named William George Zimmerman who lived there at that address in the mid-1990s. They say they had to go to a hotel to get away from the hate mail and the media.

Spike Lee tweeted last night "I deeply apologize to the McClain family for re-tweeting their address. It was a mistake. Please leave the McClains in peace."

Pope Benedict calling for an end of the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba. The pontiff wrapping up his visit to Cuba with a face- to-face meeting with Fidel Castro. He called on Cubans to become a society of broader vision, a challenge complicated by what the Pope calls, quote, "restricted economic measures imposed from outside the country."

An anchorman is back, Ron Burgundy rocking a flute and delivering some breaking news last night on "Conan O'Brien."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONAN O'BRIEN, LATE NIGHT TALK SHOW HOST: You came on the show to play the flute and insult me. That was the idea?

WILL FERRELL, COMEDIAN: No.

(LAUGHTER)

FERRELL: Actually, I have an announcement. I want to announce this to everyone here in the Americas.

(LAUGHTER)

FERRELL: To our friends in Spain, Turkey, and the U.K., including England --

(LAUGHTER)

FERRELL: -- that as of 0900 Mountain Time, Paramount Pictures and myself, Ronald Joseph Aaron Burgundy have come to terms on a sequel to "Anchorman."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: And I can't wait.

O'BRIEN: That's good. That's good, "including England."

(LAUGHTER)

CAIN: Everybody can be excited about that.

O'BRIEN: That is good news. That is very good news. We've lost Roland Martin off our panel. He goes and does that phone call with Tom Joiner, but he'll be back in just a moment.

And still ahead this morning, we'll talk to some children who were absolutely terrified by a wall of flames. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Daddy, where's mom? What's she stopping for?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'BRIEN: Oh, my goodness. The family escaped from a wildfire caught on camera by one of the children. We'll hear from them coming up.

And Political Ticker Barnum said there's one born every minute. If you think you're going to win the mega millions -- which, by the way, I do -- we'll show you what the odds are. What do you think the odds are?

CAIN: Poor.

O'BRIEN: Don't miss a thing this morning. Follow our entire show on our live blog at CNN.com/startingpoint. From Christine's playlist, One Republic, "Good Life."

CAIN: Christine. We haven't heard her music.

ROMANS: No, we haven't.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O'BRIEN: President Obama's health care law now behind closed doors and in the hands of two Republican-appointed justices. Three days of oral arguments are over and verdict is expected sometime in June. The big issue of course, can any portion of the law survive if one piece of the law is struck down? Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL CLEMENT, ATTORNEY: If the individual mandate is unconstitutional, then the rest of the act cannot stand.

(END VIDEO CLIP) O'BRIEN: That's attorney Paul Clement there. Government numbers break down who is affected if the entire law is struck down, 50,000 with high-risk pre-existing conditions, more 2.5 million young adults under 26 currently on their parents' insurance plans, nearly 3.6 million seniors who save money with steps taken to close the gap in prescription drug coverage, and up to 17 million children who have preexisting conditions. According to Politi-fact, there are less than one million children with pre-existing conditions who are not insured.

CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeff Toobin was in the court during the argument. Everyone was talking about the "train wreck" comment that you had. But ultimately this not goes to the justices who sit behind closed doors. It's not just about the oral arguments but the briefs as well.

JEFF TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Right.

O'BRIEN: What makes you be able to say, with confidence, which direction they're going to go?

TOOBIN: The justices ask a lot of questions. The way the court is involved in recent years is that the justices' questions are very good -- not perfect, but very good predictors of how they're going to vote. They ask questions expressing a point of view. It was not hard to pick up the point of view of the majority of that court. And that's what makes me think some or all of this law is in grave, grave trouble.

O'BRIEN: The justices were divided. I want to play a little bit of the audio from the hearing. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG, U.S. SUPREME COURT: Why should we say it's a choice between a wrecking operation, which is what you are requesting, or a salvage job and a more conservative approach would be salvage rather than throwing out everything?

JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA, U.S. SUPREME COURT: My approach would say if you take the heart out of this statute, the statute's gone. That enables Congress to do what it wants in the usual fashion, and it doesn't inject us into the process of saying this is good, this is bad, this is good, this is bad.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'BRIEN: That was Justice Ginsburg and Justice Scalia.

TOOBIN: Think about how far the debate moved in just three days. Going into the debate, everyone except Will Cain thought this law was going to be upheld. But by Wednesday it was almost a foregone conclusion that the individual mandate, the heart of this law, was going to be struck down. And that's a tremendous change in constitutional law.

O'BRIEN: So the law goes, then if this is struck down, the law goes as well?

TOOBIN: Not clear. That's what yesterday was about.

CAIN: Honestly, Jeff, I am really jealous of where you sat the last couple of days. This is a fascinating point in American history that you watched the arguments over. I want to ask you, from my reading of this so far, Wednesday, yesterday, was highly tense. Not just between the justices and the lawyers, between Roberts and the solicitor general, but among the judges. Did you see that?

TOOBIN: Yes, it was, because with -- on Tuesday, when you were talking about the individual mandate, you just had liberals against conservatives. It was very straightforward. On Wednesday, on the issue of what do you do once you declare the individual mandate unconstitutional, there was true confusion on the part of all the justices about, you know, do you get rid of the whole thing? How do you carve out just the affected portions? And I don't know how that is going to resolve itself. Usually you -- often, you can predict. That was very hard to predict.

FUGELSANG: Despite the consensus, didn't you notice the pattern of the more progressive judges of how to salvage the good parts of the bill rather than just throw it out?

TOOBIN: Definitely. You saw the liberals saying, look, you can't throw the whole thing out. It's a 2,400-page bill.

O'BRIEN: It's a 700-page bill and 450 other provisions they're talking about.

TOOBIN: Many hundreds of pages. Much of it is uncontroversial. Much of it is unconstitutional, there's no debate. So the liberals are saying how can you get rid of those provisions just because of other stuff that may be dough baited?

CAIN: Which is the more activist role for the court, to pick and choose what's good and bad or for you guys to go, you just redo it in congress?

TOOBIN: It was so easy to get it done the first time.

(LAUGHTER)

FUGELSANG: They were living in a dream world. The idea that Congress would say, thank you, Supreme Court. We'll go back to this for the first time in a generation that they got something done, and, oh, yes, we'll get right back to it.

CAIN: They don't make the law.

O'BRIEN: We've got to get to commercial break. Thank you for that. Still ahead on STARTING POINT, the juicy pieces of a new book by Tiger Woods' former coach who said Tiger is rude, cheap. And if you want to know if the coach is breaking the code, his name is Hank Haney, and some of his colleagues are furious. We'll get to that straight ahead. And then our "Get Real" this morning, the mega odds of winning the mega millions. We have more of a chance to being hit by an asteroid. Not to depress anybody, but it's possible. It's possible. Will Cain's playlist, Guy Clark, "L.A. Freeway."

CAIN: Good song.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(MUSIC)

O'BRIEN: That's En Vogue "Free your Mind." That's off of Roland's playlist. Where is Roland? Soon, I hope. I can't wait. I can't wait.

Our "Get Real" this morning, it's time to get real or get rich. Mega millions, did you all buy your mega millions tickets? Are we all in? Can I join that? These are lines out the door at gas stations. Mega millions jackpot is a record $500 million. And that is $110 million more than the previous record, which was back in March 2007, which I also entered and obviously did not win. The drawing is tomorrow night.

They say all it takes is a dollar and a dream, but it might really be a pipe dream. According to the Mega Millions Web site, the chance of picking -- hi, Roland, grab a chair. Without looking at the prompter here, what do you think the chance of winning all five numbers and the mega million?

ROLAND MARTIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I have to finish that to be on this show.

O'BRIEN: No, 175,711,536 to 1.

WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: That's great. Here is what I propose. Playing off the story we did a few weeks ago. All you guys give me a buck. I'll buy some tickets. I'm going to buy some for myself as well.

O'BRIEN: The odds of being killed by lightning, a million to one. Odd that is you'll die in an asteroid collision in the year, 300 to 1. That sounds like -- the odds of two people sinking a hole in one on the same hole, 17 million to 1.

JOHN FUGELSANG, POLITICAL COMEDIAN: The odds of Newt Gingrich getting the delegates needed to qualify -- people are learning how to stay focused. It's beautiful.

MARTIN: They say.

O'BRIEN: Even Boyd Christmas from "Dumb and Dumber" has a better chance of getting the girl. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My chances? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not good like one out of 100?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'd say more like one out of a million.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you're telling me there's a chance?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'BRIEN: And, guess what, in Mega Millions we're telling you there's a chance. There's a chance.

MARTIN: In real life, he has no shot. None.

CAIN: Optimism is beautiful.

O'BRIEN: If you decide to take the lump sum, Will Cain, how much money do you walk away with?

CAIN: How much was the total, 500 million?

O'BRIEN: Yes, roughly.

CAIN: Lump sum $50 million.

MARTIN: Lump sum about 175.

O'BRIEN: It's $359 million.

CAIN: Man.

O'BRIEN: After taxes.

CAIN: I've got bills to pay. That's nothing.

O'BRIEN: What's with the close shot?

MARTIN: Steal my show.

O'BRIEN: No need to show my pores on this show.

MARTIN: Show up and gloat. Go ahead.

O'BRIEN: All you need is a dollar to dream.

MARTIN: That's it.

O'BRIEN: Still ahead this morning on STARTING POINT, gas prices are now at an historic high. People are worried about when it's going to stop going up. We're going talk to the former president of Shell Oil.

Also through the orange glow, you see a family's escape from a wildfire caught on camera by one of their children. Mom, what's she stopping for? They're terrified. We'll hear from that family straight ahead. You're watching STARTING POINT. I'll take a short break. We're back in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O'BRIEN: Welcome back to STARTING POINT. Let's get right to headlines. Christine has those for us. Hi, Christine. Good morning.

ROMANS: Good morning, Soledad. New evidence that North Korea plans to move ahead with plans for a controversial missile launch in mid-April. A new satellite image you're seeing there shows increased activity at the launch pad site.

Trucks in motion, a crane arm moving into position to lift stages of a rocket. The launch is expected between April 12th and April 16th. It would violate several U.N. resolutions as well as that recent agreement with the U.S. to halt its nuclear ambitions in exchange for food.

The Colorado Forest Service is apologizing this morning for the setting a controlled burn that was supposed to prevent the kind of wildfire it caused. More than two dozen homes have been destroyed near Denver. Two people were killed.

One family's heroing escaped through the smoke and the flames was captured on a son's cell phone video. On "EARLY START" this morning, the father, Doug Gulick said the family was very lucky.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DOUG GULICK, FAMILY ESCAPED WILDFIRE: We've loaded up the car and the last thing I saw was, you know, this large flame shoot up and we realized we had to go right then. We turned that corner and went from daylight into pure darkness.

And the reason my wife -- my wife was in the jeep in front of us. The reason she stopped, she thought the road might not be passable.

And then our neighbor passed her and he knew that there was only about half a mile of that to drive through and he went in front of us and we got out. It was terrifying, obviously.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: The family says they believe their home is still standing.

In this morning's "A.M. House Call," some good news to report, cancer rates in the U.S. continue to fall. The nationwide report conducted annually by the government credits prevention and better screening to these dwindling numbers.

New cases of prostate, colorectal, lung and breast cancers all went down. Now, some cancers did increase, though. Skin cancer rates are up. The authorities are blaming tanning beds.

If you're looking to lose some weight, try some green coffee beans. Researchers say the unroasted beans reduce the absorption of fat and glucose in the gut, improving metabolic function.

Subjects lost an average 17.5 pounds in 22 weeks and reduced their overall body weight by 10.5 percent. And I don't know how many of those beans you got to eat. How much of that coffee you got to drink? That's a lot 17.5 pounds in 22 weeks.

O'BRIEN: Yes, that's really good. All right, it's good to know. Christine, thank you.

Well, gas prices are rising again. How many times have we said that on this show? New national average announced by AAA this morning, $3.92 a gallon. That's up a penny from yesterday.

Some analysts are predicting that we could see $5 a gallon gas by summertime. John Hofmeister is the former president of Shell Oil Company. He's the founder and CEO of Citizens for Affordable Energy. And he joins us this morning. Nice to see you, sir. Thank you for joining us.

JOHN HOFMEISTER, FOUNDER AND CEO, CITIZENS FOR AFFORDABLE ENERGY: Thank you, Soledad.

O'BRIEN: So by calculations, gas has gone up 21 cents over the last month and we know that commodities traitors really are helping set these prices.

But people also talk about tensions with Iran is what's driving the gas prices up, but really if you look over that last month, why up 21 cents? There really hasn't been something that's changed in that past month alone.

HOFMEISTER: Well, it can jump around on any number of factors, Soledad, but the underlying cause is that the world is tight on supply. We've seen this coming for years and years.

In fact, in 2007, I warned candidate Obama that if he didn't do something immediately in his first term to dramatically increase the amount of hydrocarbons we were producing in this country, he would face incredibly high gas prices when he ran for re-election in 2012.

He did not do anything. In fact, we actually went the other way. We stopped a number of things from happening in producing hydrocarbons. But it's not just oil that we need. We also need the natural gas.

Fortunately, that's coming through on private lands, in states where the federal government has no role. But we need to figure out how to turn natural gas into transportation fuel. That would make a great big difference in the way in which American motorists are no longer dependent upon OPEC and the cartel price fixing mechanism of OPEC.

O'BRIEN: So there's another theory that says a way to make motorists not dependent would be to come up with alternative sort of options when it comes to fuel, that you have a two-tiered approach, right?

HOFMEISTER: That's right.

O'BRIEN: One, people are using natural gas and oil, you also say we need to think of other ways to get energy because this is long term, not going to be possible. I thought since February of 2009 that U.S. oil production was up.

The notes I have say 15 percent and that same exact time, you have the price of oil going up or gas going from $2.07 to $3.58. So why is the increase in production of 15 percent not leading to a decrease in that gas price?

HOFMEISTER: Well, the 15 percent on the U.S. base is a very small number. So, it's several hundred thousand barrels a day, not millions. When, in fact, the world needs millions. So, China has gone from 5 million barrels in 2005 to 10 this year.

They will be at 15 million barrels demand by 2015. Those are millions and millions of new barrels that have to be produced. On top of that, the industry has to make up for annual declines. Oil declines about 6 percent to 8 percent per year in existing wells.

So on a worldwide basis, that's about 7 million barrels a year just to replace the declines over the existing period, plus the new demands from China or India. If the U.S. is only producing a few hundred thousand barrels a day, it's just a drop in a bucket basically in terms of what we need.

So what the president hasn't done, but not just this president, but the last seven presidents before him and the last 20 congresses have really let the American people down by not having any kind of domestic energy plan that would take care of this country and its economy and its citizens over a sustained period of time.

That's why I argue that we can't drill our way out of this. I agree with the president, but we could increase drilling by 30 percent or 40 percent.

O'BRIEN: So let's get to the questions.

MARTIN: John, Roland Martin here. If gasoline goes to $5, we saw it last time under President Bush that when it gets high, people all of a sudden change their attitudes. Isn't that also part of the deal? The consumers have to change their attitudes and force a different view when it comes to what you're talking about. The consumers have to demand it.

HOFMEISTER: Consumers absolutely have to demand solutions. But we live in a country that has more energy than we'll ever use in our history and so what we need is a plan to create that energy, turn it into what we can use as power.

That's where we haven't had a plan. We're not stupid, but we're playing out politics in energy, which is stupid. The politics of energy makes no sense whatsoever. Whether it's a Republican or a Democratic administration, they've all failed the American people in coming to grips with this problem.

So I founded Citizens for Affordable Energy, Roland, to do just what you're talking about, to get citizens activated in a way that puts pressure on the political leadership to say fix this problem once and for all. We have the energy.

Let's go use it and let's get off OPEC because who needs OPEC? We have all the energy we need. That will take 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, but that's what we need to do.

O'BRIEN: John Hofmeister is the founder and chief executive of Citizens for Affordable Energy. He's also the former president of Shell Oil Company. Nice to have you, sir. Thank you for joining us.

HOFMEISTER: Thank you.

MARTIN: That's the problem right there. We don't like to wait for it, 20, 30 years, people say, no.

FUGELSANG: We're exporting it to China and India right now. I mean, we complain about a lack of resources here, but we're selling it. Keystone is all going to go overseas.

A big factor in this that no one is talking about is Vladimir Putin made a lot of promises for his re-election and his economy depends on taxing the oil they sell out of Russia.

O'BRIEN: We got to take a short break.

Ahead on STARTING POINT this morning, Mitt Romney is getting a couple of big endorsements from a former president and maybe from his future vice president. We'll see about that. We'll talk about that straight ahead.

Plus the affairs, texts, big fall from the spotlight. We're talking to Tiger Woods' former coach. He has a new tell-all book. Some people say it should never have been written. My playlist is Chris Brown "Forever." You're watching STARTING POINT.

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O'BRIEN: That's off Roland's playlist, Milk & Sugar.

MARTIN: Milk & Sugar, baby.

O'BRIEN: We got two key endorsements to tell you about for Mitt Romney this morning. Hello, people. Pay attention. The former President George H.W. Bush expected to make his endorsement official today and Florida Senator Marco Rubio announced his support on Fox News. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SENATOR MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: Well, I am going to endorse Mitt Romney and the reason why is not only because he is going to be the Republican nominee but he offers, at this point, such a stark contrast to the president's record.

I mean, look at the president's record. This is someone who has run the country not very well over the last three years, has no experience beyond doing that. At the same time, he has no experience with the private sector or the free enterprise system.

In Mitt Romney, we have a candidate, an alternative, that in addition of being successful as a governor, running an important state in this country, has also been successful in the private sector and offers a very clear alternative to the direction this president is going to take our country --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'BRIEN: Gosh, I was waiting for him to say and he's going to make me vice president, which would really be great. But he never said that.

MARTIN: Of course not.

O'BRIEN: But I thought he might. Many people, of course, are wondering if it's going to be Marco Rubio. So along with those two endorsements, Romney also is backed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Utah Senator Mike Lee, Arizona Senator John McCain who gotten very early with his endorsements.

FUGELSANG: But who is Chuck Norris going with?

O'BRIEN: You know what? That is the $64,000 question. We're going to do a two-hour special on that tomorrow.

FUGELSANG: Really?

O'BRIEN: No, I'm lying about that.

FUGELSANG: Americans want to know.

O'BRIEN: Up next on Starting Point, we're going to talk to Tiger Woods' former coach. The coach has a new book out, which covers everything from Tiger's golf game, changing grips and what he learned from sex addiction therapy. That's straight ahead. Stay with us.

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O'BRIEN: Tiger Woods like we used to know him notching his first PGA Tour victory this weekend since taking a hiatus back in 2009. Roland Martin obviously a big golfer.

It came after a mysterious car accident, which wasn't so mysterious eventually that led to revelations about his infidelity and lots of persona drama in his life.

That infidelity is one of the hot topics in a new book that comes from Tiger Woods' former coach, Hank Haney. It's called the "Big Miss."

Tiger says he's not happy about the book. Said he's disappointed and he calls the writing of the book unprofessional. Hank Haney joins us this morning. Nice to have you. I didn't realize the "Big Miss" is a golf term. What exactly does the big miss mean?

HANK HANEY, FORMER GOLF COACH FOR TIGER WOODS: Well, the big miss tee shot. The big miss putt. You know, the big miss tee shot is a shot that every golfer fears because it put you in a position where you can't recover. The big miss putt, an opportunity to win a tournament is also a big miss. So it has multiple meanings, but they're all golf meanings.

O'BRIEN: It's called the big miss because, of course, it's a metaphor for really you're talking about Tiger Woods' challenges in his life. Some people are so angry that you wrote this book because they feel like you are betraying a confidence. You followed and worked with him for six years. You reveal a lot about his personal vulnerabilities. Do you think that's an accurate criticism?

HANEY: Well, I mean, I knew some people would have that opinion. I was OK with that. I have my opinion and my opinion was that these were my memories too. They weren't just Tiger's. I'm a coach. I'm not the first coach that's ever written a book.

I mean, Phil Jackson wrote a book. Joe Torre wrote a book. John Wooden wrote a book. Just about every football coach has written a book. There's a long list of coaches that have written books.

I just wanted to share my memories and talk about greatness that is Tiger Woods and that's what I do in the book. I mean, overwhelmingly this book is positive.

O'BRIEN: Everyone is, like, where's the vulnerability. There's a lot of golf that I'm kind of like, the golf. Let me talk about what happened right after Thanksgiving and the drama. A lot of people are reading that. Tell me a little about what you thought of Tiger Woods personally. You said he was cheap. He was rude at times.

HANEY: You know, in the book what I do is describe all of the things that pertain to his golf. I mean, to be an incredible champion like he is, you have to be self-centered.

So in context those things you mentioned the cheapness and the rudeness at times, those are things that go with being self- centered. And I describe it in detail about how Tiger is such an incredible champion.

Overwhelmingly, the book is incredibly positive. But it wouldn't have been an honest book if it didn't have some negative in there too. MARTIN: We talk about self-centered. It's you and your caddie when you're out there playing. Basketball is five people, if you're not shooting, well, you can play defense.

So you have to be self-centered in golf. But I got to ask you, you're a swing coach of other players. Why should a player trust you as his swing coach to hire you in the future if they sit here and say you revealed personal details about him? I have to watch myself around you. That's not what --

HANEY: Well, I have coached pros for 32 years. Over 200 touring pros and Tiger was my last student. When I started with Tiger, I made a decision he would be my last student.

CAIN: You're done?

MARTIN: No more pro players?

HANEY: No. I retired from that. It's not something I have to worry about I guess.

FUGELSANG: I have a question about the salacious elements that you didn't want to talk about. I don't really want to judge Tiger Woods although I think that you don't cheat on a woman after making her sit through that much golf. My question is in regards to the more salacious aspects of his personal life, was there any pressure put on by publishers to include that to increase sales?

HANEY: No, absolutely not. Only in the context that it really applies to his golf is there really anything in there. I didn't know anything about everything that Tiger was doing.

I mean, Steve Williams, Tiger's caddie, didn't know. I didn't know. The first I heard about it was when Tiger's agent called me two weeks before Tiger had all of the scandals come out and he told me there's going to be an article coming out in "The National Enquirer." It's about Tiger and this girl. It's not true and everything is going to be OK.

O'BRIEN: You know when an agent is calling to say something coming out is not true. We have to take a short break. We'll keep having this conversation because I find golf really uninteresting. I thought the book was really fascinating.

MARTIN: I thought you play golf?

O'BRIEN: Badly, which is why I find golf very uninteresting. Hank Haney, thank you very much. We're going to have you stick around for the commercial break.

Still ahead on STARTING POINT, this new videotape of George Zimmerman just moments we believe or maybe even hours after he killed Trayvon Martin raising lots of questions today.

People are now analyzing that tape to see if the extent of the injuries that have been reported not only in the police report, but also by Zimmerman's friends and relatives match what you see on the videotape. We'll take a look at that straight ahead.

Plus, the vice president says thank you to a soft drink. His latest bidenism is coming up straight ahead. We're back in a moment.

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