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STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN
Zimmerman Charged; Texts from Hillary; Caine's Arcade; First Time Unemployment Claims Higher than Expected; Democratic Strategist Criticized for Comments about Ann Romney; First Lady Versus Colbert; 10th Anniversary for Botox
Aired April 12, 2012 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Welcome, everybody.
Our STARTING POINT this morning is George Zimmerman who now stands as an accused murderer, waking up behind bars this morning, heading to court later today. We're going to hear from his new attorney and also get some reaction from Trayvon Martin's family.
And the war on women debate. Mitt Romney is trying to turn the tables on the White House as one Democratic strategist pulls Ann Romney into the fight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILARY ROSEN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: His wife has never worked a day in her life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: Well, it doesn't stop there. Ann Romney fires back over Twitter. In fact, her very first tweet.
And Hillary Hills says thanks for the LOLZ. Secretary of State joins in on the Texts from Hillary blog. The creators of this hysterical blog are going to join us up next live.
It's Thursday, April 12th. STARTING POINT begins right now.
O'BRIEN: That's from the playlist of the creators of the hit blog which is called Text from Hillary. It's Stacy Lambe and Adam Smith. The band's Grizzly Bear, the song "Two Weeks." They're going to be joining us.
ROLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Grizzly Bear. It sounds like (INAUDIBLE).
O'BRIEN: Look who has joined the panel. It's Roland Martin.
JOHN FUGELSANG, POLITICAL COMEDIAN: In the gay community, Roland, that means something different.
O'BRIEN: Roland Martin joins our panel. He is from "Washington Watch," of course, and a CNN contributor.
John Fugelsang is with us. He's a political comedian.
And Will Cain is a columnist for TheBlaze.com.
Someone tweeted me yesterday I should say that you are a conservative. So, if people haven't figured that out -- Will is a conservative voice here in America.
WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Let me talk and you'll figure it out.
O'BRIEN: All right. STARTING POINT this morning. This afternoon, 1:30 Eastern, we expect to see George Zimmerman facing a judge for the first time.
Here's a look at his new mug shot. It was taken last night at the Seminole County jail, which is where he spent the night. Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder, 46 days after he shot and killed Trayvon Martin in what his folks have claimed was self-defense.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGELA COREY, FLORIDA STATE ATTORNEY: We did not come to this decision lightly. This case is like a lot of difficult cases we have handled for years here in our circuit, and we made this decision in the same manner. Let me emphasize that we do not prosecute by public pressure or by petition. We prosecute based on the facts of any given case, as well as the laws of the state of Florida.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: Those are the words from the special prosecutor Angela Corey.
Natalie Jackson is an attorney for Trayvon Martin's family and joins us this morning.
Nice to see you again. Thanks for being with us.
NATALIE JACKSON, MARTIN FAMILY LAWYER: Thanks, Soledad.
O'BRIEN: So, it was interesting. We saw some videotape of Trayvon Martin's mother and father and relief on their faces when the announcement came across was absolutely palpable. How are they doing today? How are they feeling?
JACKSON: I texted Sybrina this morning, Soledad, and just told her that I'm so impressed by her gracefulness and her goodness and her godliness. And, you know, she -- they're still grieving. They lost a child.
But I think they feel relieved and they feel that someone recognizes that their child mattered. So, I think that this validates that their child mattered.
O'BRIEN: What do you think of the charge of second-degree murder?
JACKSON: I think that that's an appropriate charge. It's actually a very brave charge of Angela Corey and it really shows that she conducted an independent, impartial and fair investigation in this case. She could have easily charged this as a manslaughter, to try to appease everyone. And she didn't.
She did what prosecutors do. She charged it to the hilt.
O'BRIEN: So, let me ask you a question. If the jury does not -- it eventually goes to jury, which is an "if" at this point, can they actually convict on a lesser charge so charge is high but they could convict on manslaughter, is that correct?
JACKSON: Yes, they could. They could convict on many variations of manslaughter. The jury has a lot to consider in this case.
In Florida, we have an aggravating factor, aggravated manslaughter on a child, which is also included. Trayvon was under 18 years old. So, he has child status in Florida. So, the jury has many options here.
O'BRIEN: It also could end before it even gets to a jury if there's a hearing -- there's a number of hearings as you well know. One is going to be on the law, the "Stand Your Ground" statute. So, theoretically, if it's decided that it can't be prosecuted under that statute, it could also end there, right?
JACKSON: It could. One interesting thing I noted from Ms. Corey's interview yesterday is she said if this statute applies, that's been the question here. You know, you always have common law self-defense. However, that's been the question, whether or not this statute applies based on actions of George Zimmerman.
O'BRIEN: George Zimmerman has a new attorney. His name is Mark O'Mara. I'm going to play a bit of what Mr. O'Mara told us this morning in an interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK O'MARA, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S ATTORNEY: He's stressed. He's tired. He's been through a lot with the way this case has been handled to date. I'm just hoping that his mental health stays with him and we can move forward with getting the case figured out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: He's talking about his new client George Zimmerman who he hasn't had a chance to talk to face to face. Do you know Mark O'Mara? Do you know about his reputation?
JACKSON: I do know about this reputation. I practice here in Florida. I never have been up against him because I do defense work also.
But he has a great reputation. He's a board certified criminal lawyer here. He has a reputation of being professional, ethical and a good lawyer.
O'BRIEN: What about the DOJ case now, the hate crimes case? Which is a federal case. What we're talking about with Angela Corey is a criminal case. And then you have the federal hate crimes case. What's happening on that front?
JACKSON: I believe that they are still investigating on that front. The lead attorney in this case, Ben Crump, he's been talking with the justice department and he's been communicating. He has all of that information. We've been focusing on the state charge.
O'BRIEN: There is a bond hearing and at some point in looks, they're going to -- George Zimmerman could be able to post bail and his attorney told me this morning he'd like to see him get out of jail and not say in jail for his own protection.
Would you like to -- would that be fine with you and the family as well if he posted bond and then got out?
JACKSON: This family has only called for equal justice in this case. They called for simple justice. They haven't asked for any favors. They asked for justice to apply equally for all.
And George Zimmerman does have a -- if a judge decides that he has a right to bail, that is the system and we will respect the system.
O'BRIEN: Robert Zimmerman is George Zimmerman's brother and he was talking to Piers Morgan last night. And Piers asked him if he had a message for Trayvon's parents. Here's what he told Piers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, JR., GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S BROTHER: When the wheels of justice turn and when all of the system exonerates my brother, we are confident that will happen and the truth will come out, and that George has been telling the truth the whole time. Please for peace's sake for the whole world and for people who are observing our legal system, please accept that answer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: Do you worry about unrest regardless of which way this goes? And I'm not sure on which side. Do you worry about that?
JACKSON: Soledad, no. Not from the ralliers and protesters that we've been in contact with. There are 2.2 million people that signed a petition to arrest George Zimmerman. These people have been peaceful. There's been no violence.
And, you know, this conversation about unrest, it always comes from people that have been in the media supporting George Zimmerman. There has been no unrest from the protesters and people who just cried for justice on this side.
O'BRIEN: I guess my question, I actually meant both sides. I wasn't specifically talking about people marching for Trayvon. I meant unrest in general for people because tensions are high. Believe me, I follow myself on Twitter. I know there are a bunch of angry people on all sides of the issue frankly.
You know, so I'm wondering if you worry about what could happen in this case regardless of what happens.
JACKSON: I think we all have a responsibility and I think that Martin family have been responsible in their message of peace and support of justice and I think that Mark O'Mara has gone a long way to offer that message also.
So, when we say, you know -- I think there are more peaceful people and we have a responsibility to make sure that the few disrupters don't -- you know, their noise doesn't disrupt the hearing of justice in this case and the peaceful people who just want simple justice.
O'BRIEN: Natalie Jackson joining us, attorney for the Trayvon Martin family. Nice to see you. Thanks for talking with us.
JACKSON: Thank you.
O'BRIEN: You bet.
Christine has got headlines this morning. Good morning.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Soledad.
An overnight wake-up call for people living near Mexico's Gulf of California -- two strong earthquakes magnitudes 6.9 and 6.2 coming just minutes apart. Those came just hours after another quake measuring 7.0 hit western Mexico. That one was felt hundreds of miles away in Mexico City, causing people to evacuate when the tall buildings there began to sway.
Confusion, panic and hurt people getting in the way. We're hearing for the first time the 911 tape from the night that Whitney Houston died. TMZ obtained this tape of a hotel security guard making the call after Houston was found facedown in the bathtub. He says a woman in Houston's room was out of it and wouldn't let him in to try to perform CPR.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DISPATCHER: OK, and you don't know if she's conscious or breathing at all?
CALLER: Apparently she wasn't breathing and she's 46 years old.
DISPATCHER: She was not breathing?
DISPATCHER: OK, but she is breathing now?
CALLER: I don't know.
CALLER: The person that called me was irate and didn't get much out of her. We have security going in there now.
DISPATCHER: OK. We'll send some police and fire over there if there's a person not breathing. Does it sound is like the person is still not breathing?
CALLER: Yes, that's correct.
DISPATCHER: OK, we'll put down for not breathing. Is there anyway you can give me to the room so I can try to do CPR?
CALLER: Yes, we're going in now.
DISPATCHER: Can you get me into the room so I can try to give CPR instructions?
CALLER: Oh, I'm sorry. No, because she kept hanging up on us.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
ROMANS: According to the report on Houston's death, her assistant and bodyguard were the only people in the room at the time.
Rick Santorum once called Mitt Romney the worst Republican in the country. Now that he's out of the race, would Romney consider Santorum for the number two spot? A voter asked him that question.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you consider him as a vice president candidate? If not, why not?
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Everybody's on my list. Everybody's on my list. I'm not taking anybody off the list, all right?
I actually don't -- I don't have a list yet. So I can't say someone is on or off my list. The people I've had the privilege of running against would surely be among those I'd consider.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: Meantime, Newt Gingrich insists he has no plans to drop out. He says it's a two-man race between him and Romney.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want to continue doing what I do best, which is talk about big solutions and big approaches. I want to keep campaigning. And we'll see what happens.
You self-admitted, Governor Romney does not yet have the nomination, despite every effort to get people to concede it. I have every right to continue to campaign until he gets a majority.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: The next GOP primaries are April 24th when Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island all go to the polls.
Sweet child of whine? Guns N' Roses leader singer and infamous drama queen Axl Rose, he has decline his induction into the rock and roll hall of fame. In a letter to the hall, Rose says he won't join former band mates at the ceremony Sunday in Cleveland. He says the hall doesn't seem to be a place where he's wanted or respected. The hall of fame plans to induct Rose with the rest of the group.
O'BRIEN: That's sad. I want you. I respect you.
ROMANS: Who knew that rock and rollers were so temperamental? My goodness.
O'BRIEN: Too delicate and sad.
O'BRIEN: I respect him.
FUGELSANG: I was looking forward to him going to the hall of the fame and making the ceremony start four hours late like a Guns N' Roses concert.
MARTIN: Guess what? People like should understand, in 30 years from now, they often regret those type of nights in terms of not really being a part of it. So, I say suck it up, grow up and enjoy it.
O'BRIEN: Or he's taking a stand for something he doesn't want to do. I support you Axl whatever you decide.
FUGELSANG: He wears a Charles Manson t-shirt but thinks playing with Slash is in poor taste. So, we don't know what's going on.
MARTIN: If temptations could come together and accept their award, trust me, you can show up and accept it.
O'BRIEN: There are other groups, Hall and Oats got back together.
FUGELSANG: Hall and Oats rivalry.
O'BRIEN: There have been moments.
CAIN: Tot topic.
O'BRIEN: Clearly. Clearly. I touched a nerve.
Still ahead this morning on STARTING POINT, the blog Texts from Hillary went so viral so fast that Hillary herself had to be part of it. The two men behind it will join us live up next.
Also, a filmmaker takes his car to a shop to get a handle for his car door and discovers a cardboard wonderland. This is a great story about a little boy there who's name is Cain (ph) and he's built an arcade.
Also, you don't look a day over four. Happy birthday Botox. Botox is 10. We're going to talk to folks who discovered. They actually discovered during dinner at their kitchen table.
This is Roland's playlist. Prince.
MARTIN: "Baby, I'm a Star."
O'BRIEN: Yes, you are.
O'BRIEN: That's "Pumped Up Kicks" -- I'm trying to do my introduction to the segment. (INAUDIBLE) texts from Hillary, and that's off their playlist. And in fact, that blog as quickly as it came is gone. It was a brilliant meme "Texts from Hillary" started by these two guys over drinks. They both work in communications in Washington D.C.
Thirty-two posts, 83,000 shares on Facebook, more than 45,000 blog followers. Truly a sensation. It all started with this image. Take a look. That's Secretary Clinton on her Blackberry on a military C-17 plane. The creators of "Texts from Hillary," Stacy Lambe and Adam Smith join us this morning. Nice to see you.
ADAM SMITH, CO-CREATOR, "TEXTS FROM HILLARY": Thanks for having us.
O'BRIEN: So, you saw that photo, which is "Time" magazine photographer took that picture on the plane, and then what happened?
SMITH: We were just at the bar last Wednesday, having drinks after work, and we started talking about this picture. And I just thought it was amazing. And, I said let's make a meme out of this. And Stacey said, Texts from Hillary, and then, that's really just how it started. O'BRIEN: Then, it took over. So, we picked some of our favorite ones that I'll show you -- let's start with this one. It's President Obama, and he says, "Hill, what you doing?" What's this? Get rid of that on my screen.
O'BRIEN: I hate when the technology fails. Thank you. "Hill, what you doing?" And she says, "Running the world."
O'BRIEN: So cute. Let's do our next one. Oprah. "And you get a car." And Hillary says, "No, thanks. I ride in a G-6."
O'BRIEN: Next one is Mark Zuckerberg. "Guess what I just bought?" And Hill tweets back, "A shirt with a big boy collar?"
SMITH: That was after the purchase of Instagram.
O'BRIEN: Yes. Yes, yes. It goes on and on and on. What were your favorite -- were you surprised that it took off so fast and what were your favorites?
STACY LAMBE, CO-CREATOR, "TEXTS FROM HILLARY": Yes. I mean, obviously we knew we created a meme that was fun, authentic, and got people involved. So, I think that's why it took off. You know, we had followers on Tumblr, Twitter and (INAUDIBLE) that really embraced it. But as far as my favorite, I have to admit, you know, getting brunch with Meryl. I mean, who wouldn't want to be --
SMITH: I think I learn that I'm not the only one that likes to look at pictures of powerful women talking to each another.
O'BRIEN: In big sunglasses. I thought the --
O'BRIEN: -- Congressman Weiner. He's just texting.
O'BRIEN: Very, very funny. You shut it down, though. I mean, this is the moment when you'd be taking meetings about turning this into a sitcom or do your book on it and then you shut it down. That seemed to surprise everybody.
SMITH: Well, we met the secretary. She invited us over the State Department because she --
O'BRIEN: Because she actually created her own.
SMITH: Yes. And she loved the blog, and she created her own, and she wanted to meet us. And once you meet the subject of your meme, I think that it's very hard to top that.
CAIN: You gentlemen realize that the secretary can never be seen in public using her phone again, because she can never be photographed again.
O'BRIEN: We had a shot up of what she added. The meme that she said and says, "What's up, Adam? Nice -- (INAUDIBLE).
SMITH: I think it might be made up.
O'BRIEN: Well, it's going to stick now. It's great. So, it's ended. Do you feel sorry about that? I mean, do you regret it? What's next? Who's next?
LAMBE: Well, what's next is text of Soledad.
O'BRIEN: Oh, I need to make sure I was good in that shot.
SMITH: That picture of me is so terrible on that one --
O'BRIEN: That is a terrible picture. I agree.
O'BRIEN: So, how come you didn't sort of have it run further? Very rarely do people take something brilliant and creative and just stop.
SMITH: We also have day jobs. We don't just make websites for a living. And so, I think our bosses will be happy that we can get back to doing the work we've not been doing. And I think, you know, it's good to go out on top. We don't want to be like the last season of "Seinfeld" that everybody makes fun of because it was terrible.
CAIN: Not everybody understands what a meme is, by the way. She explained the meme like an internet craze, you know, fad runs out of control. What's surprising, though, is I think most memes are accidental. And you guys actually said let's create a meme and then did that.
LAMBE: Yes. I think we were just like, yes, let's do this. But, you know, you never know if it's ever going to take off, and I think that's like the internet dream, right?
CAIN: Your first attempt?
LAMBE: Not my first attempt, but definitely probably my best one.
SMITH: He's well known Tumbler already, so --
FUGELSANG: Surely, you see a potential book in this. Come on.
LAMBE: I think we've got a few calls already.
SMITH: We don't want to discuss negotiations
O'BRIEN: There you go. You can tell he's already got an agent. That's agent talk. So, what was it like to meet the secretary? They bring you to the state department. She had already contributed her own, you know, add to the meme.
SMITH: It was great. You know, the secretary's office is very secure. They take your cell phones away when you walk in. And, she came out of her office, and she was -- shook our hand. She was all smiles. She was very warm. Very friendly. She told us how much she loved the site.
And I don't know if you saw the picture of the three of us where we all have our cell phones out, sunglasses on, that was all her idea. She said I want to do this picture. I wanted to do, but I didn't want to ask.
CAIN: So, you won't mind when you're audited later this year.
MARTIN: You met her. Are you waiting for the White House visit?
LAMBE: You know, never say no.
O'BRIEN: Again, the agent talking. The agent talking.
MARTIN: Right. But you want to do it, then?
LAMBE: I happen to know Barack Obama already follows me on Tumblr.
CAIN: Big dog.
O'BRIEN: And with that, we end the interview. Adam and Stacey, nice to have you guys. Congratulations. We loved it. We just thought it was hilarious.
MARTIN: You can't wear a plain white shirt and blue blazer.
O'BRIEN: We move on. Thank you, gentlemen. Appreciate it.
Still ahead this morning, we're going to talk about a little film, only about ten minutes long, about a little boy's make-believe cardboard arcade. Here it is.
We'll tell you what happened, how the little boy made it and what happened when a filmmaker discovered him and made his dream come true. It's a great story. You're watching STARTING POINT. We're back in just a moment.
O'BRIEN: Yes. That is arcade music. Welcome back to STARTING POINT.
So, the little boy whose name is Caine Monroy, kind of a do-it- yourself genius. He built this elaborate arcade in his father's used auto parts store in east Los Angeles using lot of a cardboard, boxes that his dad, you know, used to shift things here and there. A filmmaker comes in, Nirvan Mullick is the name of the filmmaker, who's so surprised and taken by Cain's creation that he asks the father, do you mind if I shoot this?
Can I shoot this for a mini-film? He falls in love with this kid and also the project and then decides it would be a great idea to make this boy's concept of an arcade made only out of cardboard boxes, make it his dream come true. So, he creates a flash mob. And the flash mob, suddenly this little arcade goes worldwide, and the flash mob shows up in East Los Angeles to play on the arcade that this nine year old has created. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: Oh, my gosh. It was so cute. The people lining up to play the arcade. To see the little boy's face when he discovers that the people lining up down the block to play his arcade games which only made out of cardboard boxes was absolutely hilarious.
They ended up raising money for CainesArcade.com for his college fund. It's up to $90,000 for this kid who has a tremendous imagination. What a great story.
CAIN: He needs to size (ph) the cardboard boxes and pushes --
(LAUGHTER) O'BRIEN: He does. He feeds the tickets out. It's a lot of work for that little kid. It's a great idea.
FUGELSANG: That's what you got to do to get to college.
Still ahead this morning on STARTING POINT, the weekly job numbers are going to be released just moments from now. Is it going to be good news for the economy? We're going to bring those numbers to you.
And what women want? Mitt Romney is now trying to convince female voters he's a better choice than President Obama, but his wife, Ann, kind of ended up in the middle of the fight. Ron Brownstein is going to join us to talk about that battle. And here's Ron's playlist, Mayer Hawthorne, "The Walk." You're watching STARTING POINT.
O'BRIEN: Good morning. Welcome back, everybody. This just in, the jobs numbers. Let's get to Christine with a closer look for us. Hi, Christine.
ROMANS: Hi there. This just in. This is the weekly jobless claims report, and 380,000 people filed for unemployment benefits for the first time last week. That's more than economists were expecting. Quite frankly, they thought it would be another four-year low, but instead it's a little bit disappointing. We want to see this number come in below 400,000 but higher than expected. It means the labor market overall is healing when you keep it below 400,000.
Let's talk about gas prices. Have they topped off? The national average for a gallon of unleaded regular is now $3.91. It's down for six days in a row. Some analysts say we've already reached the peak. They say gas prices it could fall from here. Gasbuddy.com says prices at the pump could drop to $3.70 by next month.
Your cable bill is taking a bigger bite out of your wallet. While wages for workers have remained stagnant but the average monthly cable Bill has been climbing steadily six percent a year. The report says it will surpass $20 a month by the year 2020.
Keep watch on North Korea today. The country says it will launch its new rocket by this coming Monday. International leaders are urging North Korea to cancel this launch. The U.S. says it's suspending food aid. Japan is threatening to shoot down this rocket. North Korea insists this operation is for peaceful purposes only. But U.S. and South Korean officials believe it's simply a cover for a ballistic missile test.
New shelling in Syria this morning possibly ending hope for a U.N. backed ceasefire plan. The ceasefire deadline passed earlier today and all was quiet in the first seven hours. No major attacks, as we reported to you. And then some opposition activists said they hoped the government would stick to that peace plan. But now explosions and gunfire rocking at least one Syrian neighborhood. We're keeping a close eye on Syria and that cease-fire.
Connecticut now on its way to ending the death penalty. The state house voted late last night to repeal the death penalty. The Senate has already voted in favor of the bill, and Connecticut's governor has pledged to sign it. If he does, the death penalty will be replaced with life in prison without possibility of release. But the 11 men currently on death row would still face execution.
A grandmother arrested for selling marijuana -- she's no small fish. Investigators say she's the biggest player in the drug trade in the Grand Lake area of Oklahoma. Police busted her after a four-month investigation. They found four pounds of marijuana and more than $270,000 in cash at her home.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't believe this. You know, this is a lady that my grandmother's age, and I could never in a million years picture my own grandmother doing this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: Investigators say more and more seniors are turning to drug trafficking as a way to make extra money after retirement. A grandmother arrested for weed, but she was a major drug trafficker.
O'BRIEN: That's crazy.
ROMANS: That's the allegation at least.
O'BRIEN: Christine, thank you.
Both Democrats and Republicans are battling over the war in women in the run-up to the election. For months the Obama campaign accused Republicans of waging that war. Now Mitt Romney trying to turn the tables. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: These are just statistics which show how severe the war on women has been by virtue of the president's failed policies -- 92.3 percent of all the jobs lost during the Obama years have been lost by women.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: And 92.3 percent, let's get right to Ron Brownstein, CNN senior political analyst and editorial director of the "National Journal." Is that number accurate?
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: It's accurate in its own boundaries but it isn't the whole picture. The recession since the beginning of the recession the balance looks different. The first couple years we were talking about a "man-session" because the job loss was concentrated among men in the early stage with cyclical industries like manufacturing and construction taking the biggest hits.
Since we have bottomed out and started growing again, women's professions dominated by women, health care, government employment, teachers, they have taken the bigger hit. So in the recent period women have not been improving as much as men, but they didn't fall as much as men in the first period.
Another way of looking at this, in the last 51 months, 48 of 51 months unemployment rate is higher for men than for women. On the other hand, the picture is not great for either side at the moment. Mitt Romney has a point on that case.
O'BRIEN: So the bigger political picture in the war of women is really in a way capturing the hearts and minds of women because that will be the category that will move this election, correct?
BROWNSTEIN: Women are a majority of the vote. Women are key to president Obama's hopes of re-election but it's a mistake to think about all women under one broad rubric. One category as president himself noted this week.
You have to think of it in a couple of different ways. Minority women are overwhelmingly Democratic. White women without a college education, working class white women called waitress moms have voted Republicans in five of the six previous elections, and polls show that mitt Romney is still winning among them today.
The big problem for Romney are college educated white women more socially liberal who have been the most affected by the focus during the Republican primaries on issues like funding for Planned Parenthood and access to contraception. Obama won 52 percent in '08. He's now up to 60 percent of those women in the latest ABC/"Washington Post" poll. Other polls show they are moving sharply toward him. That's where the damage has been and where the biggest challenge is for Republicans in the female vote between now and November.
O'BRIEN: And that's why all of this is framed as a war on women or a war against women. So then Hillary Rosen, who has been on this program a couple times, talked to Anderson Cooper last night about Mitt Romney's economic policies and this is what she told him. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILARY ROSEN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: What you have is Mitt Romney running around the country saying my wife tells me that what women really care about are economic issues. When I listen to my wife, that's what I'm hearing. Guess what? His wife has actually never worked a day in her life. She's never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school, and how do we -- why do we worry about the future?
(END VIDEO CLIP) O'BRIEN: That started a giant debate. Ann Romney sent her first tweet and said this, "I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work." First of all, what do you think of what Hilary Rosen said and how it was framed?
BROWNSTEIN: I can't believe she said it the way that she meant it, because that is not a fight the Democrats want to have. You saw that by the way immediately David Axelrod and Jim Messina from the Obama campaign disavowed those comments.
O'BRIEN: Let me stop you there, because I'll show everybody what they said. Jim Messina first, "I could not disagree with Hilary Rosen any more strongly. Her comments were wrong and families should be off-limits. She should apologize" is what he tweeted. David Axelrod tweeted this "also disappointed in Hilary Rosen's comments about Ann Romney. They were inappropriate and offensive." So obviously that is a good insight into the take of the Obama campaign on those remarks.
BROWNSTEIN: Two separate issues there. One, you don't want to go after the spouses of candidates. That's something that's kind of considered off limits in presidential politics.
And more importantly, the other fissure is because single and married women. Single women vote Democratic traditionally, married women vote more Republican. Marry women who stay home with kids vote yet more Republican overall. And the last thing Democrats want is to project an image of disdain or looking down on women who choose to stay at home with children.
Ironically we do this quarterly poll in the economy, heartland monitor, we found much less conflict between stay at home and working women than you might have expected in the past. The idea of mommy wars is behind us.
O'BRIEN: I think that's a very '80s theme. I have to say.
BROWNSTEIN: Totally. Women recognize that they are making choices. They are juggling conditions that are not always ideal between balancing work and home. And the idea that staying home is not work, I can't believe Rosen meant it exactly that way, but that is certainly not a debate Democrats want to get into. They much rather be focused on the debate we saw during the Republican primary about issues whether employers should fund contraception in health care. That is a net winner for them with women. This divides women in a way that probably does not do them any good.
MARTIN: I think the comments are ridiculous. You act as if you don't communicate with other people. I'm not a woman but trust me. I have three sisters. I have a mother. They are women who I work with. If I'm sitting here talking about what women are discussing in our conversations, what do you say? You're a guy, you don't understand that? That's why her comments don't make any sense whatsoever. And again to insult someone by saying you haven't worked a day in your life, people do make those kinds of choices.
O'BRIEN: I would like to reference you back to the five boys. MARTIN: Also there are some people, some guys I know, they made a decision in their marriages, wife is making more money. He stays at home. Am I going to criticize a guy for raising kids? No.
FUGELSANG: You don't go after spouses. You'll never hear FOX News criticize Michelle Obama, right?
O'BRIEN: I think the way we judge it is on the way we decide is appropriate or inappropriate. I agree with Roland. It's so over the line on a lot of different fronts. Anybody who is raising anybody honestly is hard work. Ron, nice to see you. Appreciate it.
Still ahead this morning on STARTING POINT, the first lady visits comedian Stephen Colbert's show, but she got bigger laughs than he was. And 10 years young today. Botox is celebrating its birthday. We'll talk to the discoverers of the use of Botox. From the doctor's playlist, Canned Heat, "Going up the Country."
O'BRIEN: The First Lady Michelle Obama meets the self-proclaimed first gentleman of Colbert Nation and the President's name and popularity came up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN: You are popular. You are -- do you ever lord over the President the fact that you're more popular than he is? Do you ever say like hey watch it or I may not campaign for you?
MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: I might try that when I get home.
COLBERT: Have -- have you endorsed him yet? Are you prepared to do that?
OBAMA: I am prepared. I'm endorsing my husband Barack Obama. I think he will be a phenomenal President. He has done a phenomenal job. He's my man.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: She was funny. She's got excellent timing I think. She always has.
MARTIN: You will never win that while on your own show.
MARTIN: She's going to win it every single time.
FUGELSANG: Yes true.
MARTIN: But -- but she is funny. O'BRIEN: She's got naturally very good --
FUGELSANG: It's too bad about her looks but you're right she's very funny.
O'BRIEN: She's also cute.
FUGELSANG: In fairness -- in fairness, aren't most first ladies more popular than their husbands?
O'BRIEN: Yes they are.
CAIN: I think it's obviously --
O'BRIEN: They are -- which is why they are hauled on TV shows.
CAIN: This is women's day in general on STARTING POINT.
O'BRIEN: I know and I'm disturbed about having three men on the panel. And I need some more girls out here with me.
MARTIN: We will -- hold up -- remember I'm straight with that. I'm cool.
O'BRIEN: You want more women on the panel?
MARTIN: I got no problem talking about women. That's a great subject of mine.
FUGELSANG: In high school I was legally a sissy. So I'm you know almost --
CAIN: You aren't anymore?
O'BRIEN: Still ahead on STARTING POINT -- still ahead on STARTING POINT 5.6 million injections in just 2011 alone. Americans are stuck on Botox as the treatment turns ten years old. Two doctors put their minds together to find out what they could do. I have an incredible story to tell you about Botox. They're going to join us up next.
Stay with us.
O'BRIEN: Welcome back everybody.
The numbers really say it all. $1.8 billion projected in sales this year alone; 5.6 million injections last year alone and millions of happy customers. We're talking about Botox, which is celebrating an anniversary. This week marks ten years since the FDA approved Botox for cosmetic purposes. But how much is too much? Who better to ask than Miss Piggy?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MISS PIGGY, "THE MUPPET SHOW": But I'm 99 percent Botox but that might be underestimating it.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Your forehead doesn't move at all, does it?
MISS PIGGY: No, it doesn't. There's hardly a single expression I can make with this face.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARTIN: Don't get Anderson giggling.
O'BRIEN: Dr. Jean and Alastair Carruthers discovered the use of Botox as a treatment for frown lines. They join us this morning. Nice to see you. Tell me the story of how it was discovered, this use. It really happened over your dining room table, right?
DR. JEAN CARRUTHERS, DISCOVERED REVOLUTIONARY USE OF BOTOX: Well that was the, that was the connection point. I'm an ophthalmologist and I did a fellowship will Allen Scott in San Francisco to learn how to straighten out people's eyes using Botulinum toxin or Botox.
And then the next use was people with eye spasms. These are people who can't close their -- can't -- can't open their eyes in order to cross a street. Can't drive a car, can't earn a living. Two days later after their eyelids were injected, suddenly they are 20/20 functionally normal.
J. CARRUTHERS: So it's one of those patients who got angry at me and she said you didn't treat me here. And I said yes I'm sorry. I would have treated you there but I didn't think you were spasming there. And she said, I know I'm not spasming there but every time you treat me there I get this beautiful untroubled expression.
So I knew that this was a really important point.
O'BRIEN: You brought that to your husband?
CARRUTHERS: Yes over dinner with three little boys and you know what dinner is like with three little boys. Chaos.
So over to you Alastair.
DR. ALASTAIR CARRUTHERS, DISCOVERED REVOLUTIONARY USE FOR BOTOX: So Jean produces this idea which has become very vaunt and it went straight over my head in the chaos.
O'BRIEN: And this is the first time.
A. CARRUTHERS: But she goes into the office the following day. Looks at our receptionist and says Kathy, I'm going to treat you. And Kathy had been watching Jean's patients coming in and out. So it was a no-brainer for her. She knew it was a simple, safe efficacious treatment and so she said, yes. Jean treated her. And two days later I looked at Kathy and I said wow. This is really something.
O'BRIEN: How does the Botulism toxin work that it has this use and also a bunch of other uses that are you know, off the original label?
J. CARRUTHERS: In this indication what it's doing is weakening muscles that make the frown. And what that does is obviously to get rid of the 11 and lift the brows a little bit giving you a fresher -- a fresher more relaxed look. And that was what was really great because Kathy was our receptionist and by 3:00 in the afternoon before the treatment she was ferocious.
CAIN: Ok I'm not necessarily, I think you probably target demographic. But when you went to Kathy your receptionist, did you know that there was this pent up insecurity in people about their brows, about their frown lines, about their --
CAIN: Did you know oh my gosh we just hit on something that everyone is insecure about?
A. CARRUTHERS: You're bringing up something that has become -- it's a chicken and egg argument.
CAIN: Right that's what I'm wondering.
A. CARRUTHERS: You know, the fact that the baby boomers were there were all wanting to work, had no time for downtime and yet didn't want to look stressed. And then we come along with Botox and it's a marriage made in heaven.
A. CARRUTHERS: But would Botox have happened some other way? Sure.
FUGELSANG: When do you say no? When do you decline a patient and say, no, it's not the right treatment for you.
O'BRIEN: Because some people do have a completely frozen face.
FUGELSANG: There are actresses I know who can't get work anymore. I mean, like when would you say, know when to say when?
A. CARRUTHERS: Now with the frozen -- the frozen face is one of those things that those actresses, they --
FUGELSANG: They'll be ok.
J. CARRUTHERS: It is going to wear off.
A. CARRUTHERS: It's going to wear off but sometimes they get the wrong idea and they'll find someone to go along with their idea.
FUGELSANG: Is there an age limit? Like is someone too young for it?
J. CARRUTHERS: No, no my oldest patient who just passed was 98.
J. CARRUTHERS: And so -- self-esteem we're talking about, it has no age.
MARTIN: I have to ask. I'm with Will. I'm not your demo. I've got -- we have a saying "Black don't fret" so you don't inject your stuff, it's not really flying with me.
Why? The flat forehead. To me, what's the big deal? To the point we say are these folks who simply can't be happy with themselves? Why go there?
A. CARRUTHERS: The idea that people have is that botox is all about wrinkles. It's not. It's about self-esteem. It's about feeling better about yourself. This is what my patients tell me. The way they feel about themselves improves.
MARTIN: So then people are (inaudible).
O'BRIEN: No, not really.
FUGELSANG: You have other issues.
J. CARRUTHERS: Ok. I'm going to just say that when I look at your forehead, your left brow is about three-quarters an inch lower than the right brow --
MARTIN: I know.
J. CARRUTHERS: -- and you have quite a deep frown line and it makes you look unbalanced and it makes you look really angry.
MARTIN: And guess what; when I'm on television and I'm making a point I'll raise my eyebrow and I would say guess what.
J. CARRUTHERS: When you're not angry.
MARTIN: But I'm not. You're not putting a needle to my forehead.
O'BRIEN: Happy birthday to botox. Congratulations on this discovery.
J. CARRUTHERS: Thank you very much.
A. CARRUTHERS: Thank you.
O'BRIEN: "End Point" with our panel is up next. You want to look that way.
O'BRIEN: "End Point" in our remaining few seconds. John, why don't you start for me?
FUGELSANG: Botox is ten years old. Don't look surprised. I just want to caution politicians who are considering it, you can't be the face of a movement if your face has no movement. Thank you.
MARTIN: To the folks at botox, look at my eyebrows. Black does not crack.
O'BRIEN: Will Cain, 15 seconds.
CAIN: Look at Roland's yellow pocket square.
MARTIN: Hey, it's gold. It's gold.
CAIN: Yellow tie, yellow shirt, he coordinates.
MARTIN: You got that right.
O'BRIEN: Yes he does. He does. He certainly looks good. He's a good dresser
MARTIN: Don't you wish you have your brother's style. You know this.
O'BRIEN: That's all the time we have today. I'm so happy to say that.
"CNN NEWSROOM" with Carol Costello begins right now. I'll see everybody back here tomorrow morning.