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EARLY START WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN

High Hopes for March Employment; "Bounty Hunter" Pep Talk on Tape; More Jobs Expected

Aired April 6, 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: Good morning to you. And welcome to EARLY START. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Christine Romans, in for Ashleigh Banfield this morning. She's on assignment.

It's 5:00 a.m. in the East. Good morning.

Coming up this hour --

SAMBOLIN: The president looking for an election boost, America looking for a better sense of security, when the huge jobs report comes out in just a few hours from now. We'll talk about what you can expect.

And the coach at the center of the NFL bounty scandal caught calling for head in a tough pep talk to his team -- this tape that could be the nail in the coffin for his career.

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)

SAMBOLIN: Oh, that's not going go of very well. The agency in charge of cutting government costs makes a joke out of it in a new web video. And this coming right after we found it blew almost $1 million on a Las Vegas conference.

And a Japanese ghost ship that was drifting off the coast of Alaska now sleeps with the fishes. New video of the Coast Guard unloading the cannons on it.

But up first, it's the missing piece of the recovery, the critical jobs report for March is due out in about three and a half hours. At 8:30 Eastern Time, a report with the potential to shake up the 2012 election.

Christine Romans will tell us what we can expect today -- Christine.

ROMANS: Oh, good morning. You're right, it has the potential to shake up the election but more importantly, we hope it shapes up your jobs prospects. And we can see that jobs are continuing to grow.

This is what we're looking for. This is the trend over the year. We're looking for in March 200,000 jobs created for the month -- 200,000, an unemployment rate of about maybe 8.3 or 8.2 percent. I want to put it in context for you because you know it's been a really long, slow slog here. And some have criticized the fact that the jobs have not come back more robustly. But others say look where we have came from.

I can show you where we came from since the last months of the Bush administration into the early months of the Obama administration. If you look back here, you see, this is this big drought -- look at all these jobs lost. All of these red are hundreds of thousands of jobs lost through the financial crisis and the ensuing recession. And then you see a very slow, slow jobs gain pattern.

And now, we're hoping for a trend, at least many workers are hoping for a trend that shows 200,000 jobs created consistently.

Zoraida, when we bring you those numbers, we're going to bring you some instant reaction to it, at 8:30 Eastern. But I'll make sure to definitely dig into those and find out what kinds of jobs, Zoraida, are being created, how well do they pay and what does the trend like overall.

And, of course, we let you know what the campaigns are saying about them.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, the spin, right? The spin.

ROMANS: Absolutely right, Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Thank you very much, Christine.

Two minutes past the hour here. Did George Zimmerman use a racial slur moments before shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin? Zimmerman's father and his attorneys insist that he did not and they may have science on their side now.

A renowned forensic audio expert analyzed a 911 recording separating Zimmerman's voice from the cell phone interference. And he says the word Zimmerman used was punks.

We put that portion of the tape on a loop. Listen and judge for yourself.

(AUDIO CLIP PLAYS)

SAMBOLIN: I think it's three for three here. It's really tough to understand it.

Trayvon Martin's family claims the neighborhood watch volunteer racially profiled their son because he was black. Zimmerman says he acted in self-defense. No charges have been filed in that case.

And Florida's controversial stand your ground law is at the heart of the Trayvon Martin case. It says you have the right to kill if you feel your life is being threatened. The law prevented police from arrested George Zimmerman. The task force evaluating the self defense statute held its first meeting last night. It is headed by Florida State Senator Chris Smith.

He talked to CNN's Erin Burnett last night about their goal.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS SMITH, FLORIDA STATE SENATOR: We are looking to modify the goal. I think the law is being misused, but it is -- the premise of it is something that Floridians believe in. But it's being misused and misapplied. So, I think we need to clarify the law more and especially send a signal out to people that this is not what we expect Floridians. We do not expect you to be the aggressor, we do not expect you to start the fight and then avail yourself of this law and hide from prosecution.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: At least 20 other states have similar stand your ground laws.

Florida State Senator Chris Smith will join us live here at 6:30 Eastern Time, to talk about the outcome of last night's meeting.

ROMANS: All right. Another embarrassment for the General Services Administration. This is government agency in charge of saving the government money. The head of the GSA resigned this week after details came out about a lavish conference she held in Las Vegas, a conference that featured, among other things, a clown and a mind reader, and $7,000 in sushi.

Now, a new web video surfaced that shows another GSA employee joking about excessive government spending.

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)

ROMANS: I'll never be under OIG investigation, the Office of the Inspector General.

The video also mentions an awards program for GSA employees that gave out $200,000 worth of taxpayer-funded iPods, electronics gift cards to entry level government employees. House Republicans plan to hold a hearing on this, on the GSA issue later this month.

You got to feel bad for the guy, though, who is just the worker who put together the video. I mean, I'm sure they were encouraged to try to do team building and come up -- I'm sure they had no idea they would be on national television because of excessive spending of their agency.

SAMBOLIN: I mean, why would they do something like this? I really don't understand it. Even jokingly, right? Choose another topic. Do something different.

ROMANS: When you're in the era of budget cuts, very politically charged atmosphere of trying to figure in how to rein in government spending, it's the optics.

SAMBOLIN: And in an era where everybody pushes everything to the web, and you're going to be found out. Good gracious.

All right. Six minutes past the -- by the way, it's really nice to have you this morning.

ROMANS: Thank you, thank you.

SAMBOLIN: Six minutes past the hour here.

The White House is weighing in on the controversial men-only member policy at Augusta National, home of the Masters Golf Tournament. We talked about this yesterday quite a bit.

Augusta had traditionally offered club membership to the chief executive of IBM, a major tournament sponsor. But IBM's new CEO is a woman. There she is right now.

White House spokesman Jay Carney says President Obama believes the club needs a course correction.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president's answer to this question is yes. He believes, his personal opinion is that women should be admitted. I happened to have a discussion with him about this, so I know that that's his answer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: And guess what? President Obama and Mitt Romney agree on this. Romney says if he were running Augusta National, women would be included as members. Although he doesn't think that he qualifies to be a member. His golf game is just not that good.

ROMANS: Well, you know, people who know Ginni Rometty, who runs IBM, say she does play golf, you know? But we have not heard what she says about this.

But it does show you that in rarefied era of American business, there aren't very many women at these top spots and it puts IBM in a tough spot.

SAMBOLIN: She could be a game changer, right?

ROMANS: She could be, but her job is to make money for IBM. So, however that fits to the whole, you know? I mean, her job is to return shareholder value, not make history at the Masters. So, we'll see how that pans out.

SAMBOLIN: It still would be nice. I think it's great.

ROMANS: A new video coming in overnight of the Coast Guard blasting this empty fishing vessel that was swept away in the Japanese tsunami over a year ago. That so called ghost ship -- it was unlit, unmanned, just kind of drifting around out there. The Coast Guard said it was posing a navigation threat for other vehicles in the area. So they took it down. SAMBOLIN: At home with the fishes now.

All right. Coming up: forget the $10 million chandelier. After comparing himself to a really expensive light fixture, Keith Olbermann puts a much higher price tag on what he's worth. We're going to have all those details for you ahead.

ROMANS: And it's all about the dress, right? The dress, the wedding gown. You spend your life finding the guy and then you lose the dress? The effort to reunite a bride with a wedding dress that was taken by a tornado.

You're watching EARLY START.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: Eleven minutes past the hour here. Welcome back to EARLY START.

Time to check the stories making news this morning.

ROMANS: And we get the jobs report at 8:30 Eastern Time this morning. That would be the big news for you and your money. And if the experts CNN talks are right, America's workforce could be in for some pretty good news. Economists predict the economy added about 200,000 jobs in March. They also predict the unemployment rate will drop just slightly to 8.2 percent.

SAMBOLIN: Upon further review, a forensic audio expert says George Zimmerman used the word punks and not a racial slur during a 911 call, just before he shot Trayvon Martin. The tape could help determine whether it was self-defense or a hate crime.

Martin family claims their son was racially profiled.

ROMANS: Witnesses say this looked like a bomb went off at a beauty parlor in North Carolina. A driver who suffered an apparent medical emergency plowed right through this building. Luckily, the accident happened before dawn. No one was inside. The driver suffered, thankfully, only minor injuries, but the building had to be condemned.

SAMBOLIN: Keith Olbermann's public parting of the ways with the last TV gig is getting a bit ugly here. The former "Countdown" host has filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Current TV. He is asking $50 million to $70 million in compensation.

ROMANS: Wow.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, that's a big wow.

Current TV calls the suit false and malicious. It's also accusing Olbermann of sabotaging his own show, including failing to come to work. In a statement, the network said, quote, "We hope Mr. Olbermann understands that when it comes to the legal process, he is actually required to show up." Dig, dig, dig. (CROSSTALK)

ROMANS: Some of the e-mails between management and Olbermann and -- oh, my.

A farmer in Kentucky hopes the Internet can help him reunite a bride with the wedding dress he found on his farm. The dress still in hanger, showed up on Jon Trapp's fence in the days after the deadly tornadoes in early March. Now, he's enlisted the aid of Katrina Payne who runs a Web site called "Saving Memories".

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KATRINA PAYNE, SAVING MEMORIES: I think that would be great to reunite that with the lady it belongs to.

JON TRAPP, FARMER: Maybe that will bring a bit of joy to somebody to get something like that back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: So far no one has come forward to get the dress but they're hoping that this additional publicity will help solve the mystery.

SAMBOLIN: It looks like an antique, doesn't it?

ROMANS: Yes. Or somebody wanted something that was vintage for an upcoming. Right on the hanger. So, there you go.

All right. Alexander Steele is in for Rob Marciano this morning. She's got our travel forecast.

Good morning.

ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: What a good story.

If you're watching, really nice --

(CROSSTALK)

STEELE: All right. Well, the good news is those tornadoes and the weather that's brought that severe weather throughout this entire week finally moving eastward. So, Good Friday to you.

And as we make our way eastward, finally, here's the storm system. Dallas, Memphis, Jackson, all in the clear. Only rain here from Virginia and the Carolinas. And we'll see it during the morning hours and then it clears out. So, that is the good news.

So, if you're lucky enough to be heading to Augusta, some morning rain showers, then a beautiful weekend. But you know what's absent from Augusta? Those iconic azaleas. Temperatures at Augusta, 16 of the last 20 days have been above 80 degrees. So, they have passed their peak and they're really gone for the most part. The 1,600 bushes, they're just a few picks (ph) of colors. So, that's too bad.

In terms of the forecast, a beautiful holiday weekend for so many. Northeast, we're actually at some seasonable temperatures. Southeast dries out, Saturday and Sunday really quite nice.

We're going to watch Sunday night. So, this looks like a rainy Sunday in Seattle and Portland, it's really not. That rain coming in late on the night. So, Sunday in the Northwest, some rain moving in late in the day, Southwest looks great.

And really much of the Northeast will be dry. We have just been watching this one front, this is our next weather-maker, it moves east so a few rain showers around the Great Lakes on Sunday. For the most part, guys, really finally after what has been such a rough weather week, it's all progressive, moving eastward and really sets the stage for a great weekend.

ROMANS: That's nice to hear, because we got eggs -- we got eggs to catch.

STEELE: That's right.

ROMANS: Eggs to collect.

SAMBOLIN: Eggs to collect.

ROMANS: Alexandra Steele, thank you.

STEELE: Sure.

SAMBOLIN: Fifteen minutes past the hour here.

And we are getting an early read on your local news making national headlines. This morning, we have papers from New York, Los Angeles and Denver. Quite a few here.

We are starting out with battling op-eds breaking down President Obama's speech at the "Associated Press" luncheon in Washington on Tuesday. During his speech the president blasted the budget plan proposed by Republican Congressman Paul Ryan, you know, as social Darwinism.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This congressional Republican budget is something different altogether. It is a Trojan horse disguised as deficit reduction plans is really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country. It is thinly-veiled social Darwinism.

One of my potential opponents, Governor Romney, has said that he hoped a similar version of this plan from last year would be introduced as a bill on day one of his presidency.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ROMANS: You know, I've been reporting to you for a couple of weeks that how the president and Romney lay out their economic strategies will decide this election. How they feel about our money is now they're going to, you know -- who's going to win this election. That's the talking point on the trail.

Both "The Wall Street Journal" and "The New York Times" putting op-ed tearing apart the president's speech.

"The Wall Street Journal's" Peggy Noonan writing, quote, "I guess what's most interesting is that it's all us versus them. Normally at this point, early in an election year, an incumbent president operating within a rounded none threatening blur. Mr. Obama isn't doing this. He wants it all stark and sharply defined early on. Is this good politics? It is unusual politics."

SAMBOLIN: And "The New York Times'" David Brooks writes, quote, "The first truth is that we will have to do these big things to avoid a fiscal calamity. The second truth is there is no one-party solution. The third truth is the gimmicky speeches obscure the president's best character and make it seem as if he doesn't understand the scope of the calamity looming in front of us. Obama shouldn't be sniping at Ryan. He should be topping him with something bigger and better."

ROMANS: All right. "Los Angeles Times," a story I want to talk to you about here. A marine is accused of harshly criticizing the president, and he could soon be booted out of the service. A military panel has recommended an other-than-honorable discharge for Sergeant Gary Stein.

That means, Zoraida, he's not eligible for military benefits. I mean, when you're basically booted out of the military, so goes all of the benefits of being a military veteran.

Stein is accused of posting messages on Facebook, calling the president a coward and an enemy. He was selling an Obama no-bama 2012 bumper stickers, or stickers, I guess. And a Marine Corps commanding general is going to make a final decision on his status.

But it is against the law to be, you know, publicly criticizing your chain of command. And, you know, the president is at the top of the chain of command.

SAMBOLIN: Those are your consequences.

We are moving on to "The Denver Post" now. It's not (INAUDIBLE) yet, marijuana is already in the air in Denver. Listen to this -- actually, watch this. New billboard posted in the Mile High City reads, quote, "For many reasons, I prefer marijuana over alcohol. Does that make me a bad person?"

The billboard is part of publicity stunt for a proposed amendment that would regulate marijuana like alcohol. The signage posted above the liquor store.

(CROSSTALK)

ROMANS: That's your kindergarten teacher.

SAMBOLIN: That's what I'm talking.

ROMANS: No, I'm kidding.

SAMBOLIN: Well, my question is marijuana versus alcohol? Which is better? Which is worse? I think we need a medical expert on this. What do you think?

ROMANS: Or maybe none is better than either, but -- I mean --

SAMBOLIN: That's the comparison they make. It's interesting.

ROMANS: All right. Still ahead. The coach at the center of the NFL bounty scandal caught on tape calling for players heads. It's shocking even when you know about the bounty scandal, to actually hear this and see this.

Now many are asking if he'll ever coach again at any level.

You're watching EARLY START.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: Good morning, New Orleans. Or hope you're just rolling into bed, New Orleans, I'm not sure. Whichever you're up to today on Good Friday.

It's 64 degrees right now. Later on, it would be sunny and 82.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, nice. So we have shocking new audio coming to light in the NFL so-called bounty scandal. At the center of this storm, New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. He is serving an indefinite suspension for offering money to his players for hurting players on the opposing team.

ROMANS: And now, audio tapes allegedly of Williams could be the smoking gun that some say could end his career.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

GREGG WILLIAMS, FOOTBALL COACH: Remember, whatever it takes, whatever it takes to get on that bus, drive back to that airport and get ready for the next one. Respect comes from fear. This is how you get respect in this league.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

ROMANS: Respect comes from fear. Alina Cho is here with more on what's in this recording.

Good morning, Alina.

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. I listened to it a couple of times, it is unbelievable. It really is jaw-dropping when you hear it. Even if you don't care about sports, this is a story to pay attention to. We're talking about this -- the allegation is that the New Orleans Saints were offering to pay players money to hurt other players from opposing teams.

And the evidence against defensive coordinator Gregg Williams looked bad to begin with. So, if this really is him on these recordings, it just got a whole lot worse.

Now, the recordings were made by a documentary filmmaker named Sean Pamphilon. Pamphilon says there from the speech that Williams gave to his players, the night before a big playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers back in January. He said the speech was about 12 minutes long, but the audio he released is a cut-down version of three, four minutes. And in the tirade laced with profanity, Williams reportedly gives specific explicit instructions on where to hurt players. Listen.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

WILLIAMS: We hit (EXPLETIVE DELETED) Smith right there. Remember me. I got the first one. I got the first one. Go lay that (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out. We are going to dominate the line of scrimmage and we're going to kill the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) head.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

CHO: It's pretty unbelievable. You know, that clip appears to be a reference to 49ers quarterback Alex Smith. And when he's saying, "I got the first one," he is allegedly robbing his fingers together like this, indicating that he'll pay the players money if they hurt him.

Now, here is where 49ers running back Frank Gore is mentioned. Watch.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

WILLIAMS: Kill the head and the body will die. We've got to do everything in the world to make sure we kill Frank Gore's head. We want him running sideways. We want his head running sideways.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: My God.

CHO: It's pretty amazing. When he says kill the head and the body will die. That's something he says repeatedly, at least in this three or four-minute clip.

And then the other thing that he said that really struck me was he said, remember, the NFL is a production business -- implicating, of course, you got to do what it takes to win and stop at nothing to win.

SAMBOLIN: He's very specific on players, right? I mean, it's like a how-to.

CHO: It is. And he also mentions weaknesses. Where to go after them, right?

So, that part is really incredible. In one exchange, listen to this he goes point by point indicating those weaknesses of opposing players.

On the left you are about to see Kyle Williams, risk of concussion. Michael Crabtree in the middle, knee is a problem. And Vernon Davis on the right, apparently he has a bad ankle.

So, these are what he says are weakness points, go after these points. You know, it's pretty unbelievable.

ROMANS: We know coaches use obscenities. We know that they try to rally the guys. You know, we know all that.

I mean, but this stuff is -- where do things stand for Gregg Williams and the investigation into the bounty program from here, I guess?

CHO: Well, you know, there was some hope, I think on the part of some people on the saints that he might get reinstated next year or this year. Not sure that's going to happen now.

You know, here's the latest. The NFL did give Gregg Williams an indefinite suspension. He says he will not appeal that suspension. And if this is him on the recording, football career is effectively over.

And ironically, listen to this, ladies, the recording surfaced on the same day that the Saints head coach, Sean Payton, appealed his year-long suspension for failing to put a stop to the bounty program.

And the Saints not the only team here in question. Back in January, two players from the New York Giants said that they had targeted Kyle Williams, that's the same player we mentioned before, to try to take him out of the game. That part is really scary, to think that there's a possibility --

ROMANS: Targeting Kyle Williams because he had a risk of concussion?

CHO: Because he was risk of concussion, he was an opposing player, take him out. No conclusive evidence, I should add.

ROMANS: Right.

CHO: But if this is true, and it goes beyond one team, of course, that is extremely a big problem for Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, who has said on tape just a couple weeks ago, if this is true, if this was going on and there seems to be corroborating evidence that this was going on, widespread and on a regular basis -- the highest levels of the team should have been aware of this and should have done something about it. SAMBOLIN: I'm glad you brought up the New York Giants. I know Kyle Williams really well, I date his dad. You know, at the end of the day, he says I'm in really good shape, I'm moving forward, I'm prepared to play.

But this is a dialogue that needs to happen on many levels because it is a very aggressive sport.

ROMANS: What are the players saying? This must be consuming the players, right?

SAMBOLIN: Well, they are prepared to play. I think at the end of the day, that's what they're saying. We did hear back when this happens, with the New York Giants., we've been saying, hey, this is kind of what happens, right? This is a very aggressive sport.

CHO: Right. But especially --

SAMBOLIN: But when you start saying attack specific players for specific reasons and you're talking about the head, right? And what the ramifications are there, potentially, it's incredible.

CHO: Well, especially, because -- and you have been following the news the past several months and past year or so, there's been so many stories about the risk of concussion and the problems that players have over the years from playing this sport. It is a dangerous sport already. So this is scary stuff.

ROMANS: Alina Cho -- thank you, Alina.

CHO: You bet.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Twenty-nine minutes past the hour here. Coming up, a witness to history. The Secret Service agent who ran to help the first lady on the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated. You're going to hear from him.

You're watching EARLY START.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Zoraida Sambolin. Some of the big stories that we're talking about in this half hour, all about jobs today. Everyone waiting for the big March jobs report that will come out in three hours. It could tell us more about the 2012 election than any poll or debate can.

And the most trusted man in the life of First Lady Jackie Kennedy, and it wasn't JFK, folks. Her bodyguard, the Secret Service agent assigned to her, speaking to Piers Morgan about the day the president was killed. Details we have never heard before.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Holly smolley. This is way serious, way more serious than I wanted to get into. (END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: The April Fool's joke that went horribly wrong. Why a couple of relatives thought they walked in on a major crime scene. My goodness -- Christine.

ROMANS: All right. That doesn't sound like a very good idea.

We are counting down to a big jobs report this morning. The administration helping to make it a truly Good Friday for the president, the economic recovery. CNN Money is estimating this report will show 200,000 jobs added in the month.

Markets are closed for Good Friday, the stock markets closed. But Wall Street and the president's -- and the president's GOP opponents will be listening and commenting.

Joining us now with more on what the jobs report could mean to all of us and to anyone who wants to become president, Greg Valliere, chief political strategist for Potomac Research Group.

Good morning, Greg. Nice to see you.

GREG VALLIERE, CHIEF POLITICAL STRATEGIST, POTOMAC RESEARCH GROUP: Nice to see you, Christine.

ROMANS: Is this trend going to hold, this 200,000? Is it real, the recovery?

VALLIERE: Probably, yes. There's maybe been a little softening in the last few weeks, but the labor market is healing. There's no question. And I think today's number will be further evidence that the labor market is healing.

ROMANS: OK. So let's take a look at a couple of other numbers that really matter to people. A lot of folks have been talking about, you know, what's happened with the jobs situation under this president. Let's look at gas prices. Gas prices are up 114 percent since President Obama took office.

I'm not blaming the president, I'm just saying they are, and the American family is paying another $2,000 a year in gas prices.

VALLIERE: Sure.

ROMANS: Take a look at the stock market. Stock market is up 75 percent. The S&P 500 since this president took office. You look at unemployment, unemployment getting a little bit better. Are these numbers the polls that really tell us how Americans are going to vote, do you think?

VALLIERE: It's a pretty mixed bag, isn't it? I think for right now you've got to say that the economy has gone from horrible to mediocre. But to say that the economy is going to be a huge plus for the president, I think that's premature.

ROMANS: Why?

VALLIERE: Because we're not sure we're out of the woods. There are still headwinds. Europe, gasoline prices. The economy could weaken this summer. My sense is by the fall the unemployment rate will be below 8 percent. That's pretty good for the president.

ROMANS: That is good for the president. So then you've got this issue where Mitt Romney has to try to say that the recovery would be better if it weren't for some of the president's policies. Is that the tact that Republicans are going to take?

VALLIERE: Sure. They've got to be careful not to be naysayers and ignore the obvious that the labor market is improving, but they'll say it cost a lot of money to get us where we are. Maybe the prescription was too expensive. And they will talk about gasoline prices. That's a real albatross for this president, and my hunch is gasoline prices are not going down anytime soon.

ROMANS: Joe Biden this week said he think they are going to start coming down, either -- maybe this year, maybe next year. But eventually they will come down.

VALLIERE: Yes.

ROMANS: Gas prices go up and gas prices go down. It's a thing that every week people feel more than anything else. So how important is the messaging on the campaign trail? Because the president has to be careful about not sounding too confident about the jobs market when people at home are saying it took me $52 to fill up the minivan this week.

VALLIERE: Yes. And I'd add, also, there's a lot of people who've gotten jobs but they're not great jobs. They're not making what they made before they got laid off from their previous job. And there's still anxiety about foreclosures and further layoffs. So the White House cannot gloat, they cannot sound triumphant. You know George W. Bush went on an aircraft carrier and said mission accomplished in Iraq and it wasn't. So the White House has to be very careful with the way they spin this.

ROMANS: And so does Mitt Romney, and team Romney, the presumed, you know, big candidate to run against this president, because he can't deny that there are some improvements that are happening at the same time.

VALLIERE: Well, that's right. Whether it's the stock market or the unemployment figures, there have been improvements. And for him to sound continuously negative would make him look a little tone deaf, in my opinion.

ROMANS: You know, Greg, it's interesting, this week CNN Money had a survey of stock analysts. And even though the stock market, the S&P 500 is up 75 percent this year, a majority of those stock analysts want a Republican in the White House. So stocks have done well. Companies are improving. They've got all this money in the bank but they don't want this president. Why? VALLIERE: Well, they don't like the president's tone. They feel he's anti-Wall Street, anti-rich people. They don't like his policies. They think that his regulatory policies are too excessive.

I travel all around the country, Christine, I see people who were in the market. And I'd say it's 70/30, maybe even 80/20 in favor of Romney. But I point out to them two things they have to worry about. Number one, Romney has been very harshly critical of Ben Bernanke. And I don't think the Wall Street likes any politician meddling with the fed.

ROMANS: All right.

VALLIERE: And number two, number two, Romney has been very harsh towards China, almost guaranteeing a trade war with the Chinese. I don't think Wall Street wants to see that either.

ROMANS: Yes, Wall Street wants a Republican president but it's interesting what a change it is, just four years ago, it was this president, President Obama, who got more money from Wall Street than any other president in history. So it's interesting turn.

Greg Valliere, nice to see you. Have a nice weekend.

VALLIERE: You bet. You, too.

ROMANS: Keep it here, we're going to bring you those jobs numbers. Also instant reaction live at 8:30 Eastern on "STARTING POINT" -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: Thirty-eight minutes past the hour, new video released of the hotel room sting operation that caught a former sheriff of the year trading crystal meth for sex.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get down. Police. Down on the ground. Get down. Freeze.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's see your hands. Let me see your hands. Let me see you hands and your face. Put this down. Put this down.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Roll right on your face.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: The Arapaho County, Colorado, sheriff's office released the video two days after their former sheriff, Patrick Sullivan, pleaded guilty to felony drug possession and to soliciting a prostitute. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail, two years probation there.

And new revelations from a former Secret Service agent who was Jackie Kennedy's bodyguard. Clint Hill was by Mrs. Kennedy's side throughout her time as first lady. Fifty years later he's breaking his silence in a new memoir. Last night CNN's Piers Morgan asked him about the day President Kennedy was assassinated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINT HILL, JACKIE KENNEDY'S FORMER BODYGUARD: That never really leaves my consciousness. The sight of that is always in my mind. It's one of those things that you just will never be erased. It's a tragic moment in history. And it's a tragic bond that Mrs. Kennedy and I shared with being there, witnessing the event that occurred.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: Clint Hill's book is titled "Mrs. Kennedy and Me." And Clint will be Soledad O'Brien's guest at 7:50 eastern time on "STARTING POINT."

ROMANS: All right, we're now hearing from the pilot who helped an 80-year-old woman land a plane after her husband collapsed at the controls. This is actual video that a person took as 80-year-old Helen Collins was landing that play. Collins is not a pilot. She radioed for help telling responders she was out of fuel and her light -- her right engine, I think, was out. And then they sent a wingman to help her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Helen, this is Cathy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Cathy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A hell of a place to be.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You better get me in there pretty soon, I don't know how long I'm going to have gas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, Helen, we're going to launch another aircraft. It will come up, and it'll fly right next to you and give you instructions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Wow. The pilot who assisted Collins spoke to Wolf Blitzer who was filling in for Anderson last night on "ac 360." Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's a hero in my book. She did exactly textbook for a very, very low-time pilot or non-pilot should say performance. It was just outstanding how she kept the aircraft under control at all time and stayed with it. You know, never gave up. And that's the secret to a successful outcome in aviation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Oh, and there they are. She suffered only minor injuries. Her husband unfortunately was later pronounced dead at a hospital, but keeping her cool.

SAMBOLIN: Yes.

ROMANS: You know, with her husband, you know, collapsed, she's in the plane. Wow.

SAMBOLIN: Incredible story.

ROMANS: Wow.

SAMBOLIN: Forty-one minutes past the hour. Ahead on "EARLY START," the multimillion dollar mistake. A lucky guy in Michigan has 4.4 million reasons to be thankful -- thankful that is for the error of his ways.

ROMANS: He does not care about the jobs report today.

SAMBOLIN: Yes.

ROMANS: He doesn't need a job. Plus another Michigan man's practical joke practically lands him in jail. This -- this is such a bad idea. You're going to believe it. You're watching EARLY START.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: It is 45 minutes after the hour. It is Friday. Good morning, everyone, it's time to check the stories making news for you this morning.

SAMBOLIN: And happy Friday. We will get the all-important March jobs report at 8:30 Eastern Time this morning. Christine is very excited about this.

ROMANS: This is --

(CROSSTALK)

ROMANS: Every month, I'm like, first Friday, jobs report.

SAMBOLIN: Well, the economists predict the economy will have added 200,000 jobs in March. They also predict the unemployment rate will drop slightly to 8.2 percent. But Christine is going to break it down for us.

ROMANS: I'll break it down -- it comes out at 8:30.

Rick Santorum meeting with conservative leaders in an effort to bolster faltering presidential campaign. The Pennsylvania primary later this month could be a do or die for Santorum. A spokesman says, though, ratcheted up calls for Newt Gingrich to drop out of the race and get behind team Santorum.

SAMBOLIN: Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, gets all choked up in church during a Holy Thursday service in his home state. Chavez started to cry as he spoke about his latest battle with cancer. Hours earlier he had returned from Cuba where he has been undergoing chemotherapy for an unspecified type of cancer.

ROMANS: And he is known for being such a tough guy.

SAMBOLIN: Yes.

ROMANS: They call Chavizmo, you know? He's very big and powerful. To see such a human moment from him is so interesting.

A Michigan man wins $4.4 million with an instant lottery ticket. A ticket he didn't even want. The man walked in --

SAMBOLIN: I'll take it.

ROMANS: I know. He walked into a travel center at Saginaw County, he meant to buy a $10 ticket, he accidentally put $20 in the lotto machine. Darn. So, lucky mistake, that ticket ended up making him a big winner. And now he says he's planning to use the prize money to live, quote, "debt free" from bills and mortgage payments. Yes. I love it.

SAMBOLIN: My goodness. I don't know, you wouldn't -- I don't know that you would normally agree. You know he put a little bit more money in there than he should have.

ROMANS: I know, well, you know, I --

SAMBOLIN: You know what I think --

ROMANS: What I think about lottery tickets is you're probably not going to win. But I love it when I hear that people do.

SAMBOLIN: All right, 47 minutes past the hour. A couple of pranksters in Michigan set up a murder scene to trick their relatives.

ROMANS: No.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Play a joke on him. Little April Fool's joke, two days late.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Two days late? (INAUDIBLE) joke.

SAMBOLIN: The man and his girlfriend used ketchup as blood, cut bullet holes in a shirt and used mushrooms as fake flesh.

ROMANS: Then the guests arrived, it looked a murder scene, and they headed for the door.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When they seen me, they were gone. They headed for the door. We thought they were going to -- come back in. They didn't come back. They left and called the police. (END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: I'm sorry to laugh. A law enforcement officer from (INAUDIBLE) department arrived on the scene and that's when things spiraled out of control.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He told me to turn around, get my hands up, walk backwards. Down on the ground. It wouldn't be nothing I'd try again, not in the near future.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Oh, my. The couple was taken into custody. There were no charges filed after the truth came out. We don't know what happened to the relatives. They're awfully lucky nobody had a heart attack.

SAMBOLIN: No kidding.

ROMANS: Or no one got shot because they thought maybe there was a murderer on the premise.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Don't do that. Moral of the story there. Forty-eight minutes past the hour. Still ahead a waitress and mother of five praying for a miracle to get out of a financial bind. She gets a tip of a lifetime and it's almost taken away from her. Wait until you hear this bizarre story.

You're watching EARLY START.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: Welcome back. Fifty-one minutes past the hour. Time to take a look at what is trending on the inter-webs.

A waitress gets a tip that is so big police thought it had to be illegal. Stacey Nutson of Morehead, Minnesota, a waitress at the Frying Pan. She's the mother of five. So this is what happened. Someone just left takeout on her table. It was a bag, so she ran it out to the car thinking they must have forgot it.

But the customer said hey, keep it. There was $12,000 inside.

ROMANS: No way. No.

SAMBOLIN: Bills of various denominations, Christine. So police seized the tip, claimed that it was drug money. She sued to get it back. They offered her a $1,000 consolation prize. She said, it's my money, I'm going to sue you. The police have not returned the tip, they say, after an investigation. The waitress does say she believes the money was an anonymous gift from someone who knew her family was in the financial need.

ROMANS: Wow. In a paper bag. In a bag. Wow. All right, from the blimp, nothing but net. The guys at Dude Perfect, known for their crazy viral trick shots, going real big for their 100th video. Shooting a basketball from a moving Goodyear blimp.

SAMBOLIN: No.

ROMANS: See that? Swish. Shot on somebody on Saturday. It has already, what, more than 500,000 views now? And that's only --

SAMBOLIN: Is this real?

ROMANS: There you go. Well, let's see. Is it one shot? Can you see the one shot from the -- I don't know. You're so skeptical.

SAMBOLIN: I am. On these videos, I do, because they can do so much with editing, right? So, I don't know.

All right, and fans of the "Hunger Games" can own a really big piece of the blockbuster. The town of Henry River Mill Village in North Carolina which served as set for much of the film is up for sale now. The owner is selling all 72 acres for a cool $1.4 million. It's an old mill town which produced fine yarn. The actual mill closed sometime in the 1960s. The last resident moved out in 1987 and the mill burned down 10 years before that.

ROMANS: And this movie is such a blockbuster.

SAMBOLIN: What would you do with that town?

ROMANS: I don't know. It's a -- you know, it's a beautiful spot.

All right. Baby on a plane and outrage over the GSA's overspending spree, all that in this morning's episode of late-night laughs.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY LENO, HOST, "TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO": Here's kind of a miracle. A baby was born this week on a Delta flight from Ghana to Atlanta. Now after the baby was born, the flight attendant wrapped the kid in an airline blanket and then charged the mom eight bucks.

(LAUGHTER)

Beautiful story. Beautiful story. Why it's better it wasn't on Virgin Airlines, that would have been -- yes, that would have had a virgin birth during holy week. Fantastic. Well, now the mother -- the mother of the baby is in trouble with the TSA, because when her water broke, it was more than three ounces.

JON STEWART, HOST, "THE DAILY NEWS": The people holding the conference that wasted a ton of government money are the people in charge of making sure the government doesn't waste a ton of money. It's like the Center for Disease Control holding a conference in Andy Dick's Jacuzzi. It's like the Justice Department selling guns to Mexican drug dealers. It's -- what? They -- they did? They got yearbooks. The people in government known for efficiency and cost cutting made sure they had physical evidence of the boondoggle they had in Vegas.

I believe we have a picture of the agency's director from the yearbook. Yes, look, she was voted most likely to resign over a bet that portrays her in a most comical misunderstanding of the agency's mission.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: That's all in case you missed it.

So ahead in our next hour, what to expect in today's big jobs report. Issue number one on the campaign trail, and around so many dinner tables.

ROMANS: Yes. Plus adding insult to injury, government workers, you just heard Jon Stewart talking about it, on that Las Vegas spending spree laughing it up. Guess who is paying for it? You don't really have to guess, do you?

SAMBOLIN: Right.

ROMANS: You're watching EARLY START.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)