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EARLY START WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN
Hints Of Support For Immigration Law; High Court Reviews Arizona Immigration Law; "Champagne Room" In El Salvador; Prostitutes "Part Of The Culture?"; Former Edwards Aide Grilled; Parents of Missing Arizona Girl Plead For Her Return; Obama Kicking Into Campaign Mode; Chrysler Earns $473 Million in Q1; Partying With The President
Aired April 26, 2012 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Ashleigh Banfield.
ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: We are very happy you're with us this morning. I'm Zoraida Sambolin. We're bringing you the news from A to Z. It's 6 a.m. here in the east so let's get started.
BANFIELD: The Supreme Court may be on the verge of upholding Arizona's very tough and controversial immigration law. One justice, an Obama appointee, is even suggesting that White House lawyers are choking again.
Bottle rockets, tear gas and booms in the background. Things getting pretty ugly during student protests in Montreal. More of that video for you and the reasons behind it.
And wild video of a wobbly landing. Are you ready for this? Take a close look at your screen. Imagine being on that plane. A pilot fighting extremely high winds as he approaches the runway. We'll tell you where it happened and the outcome, all coming up.
SAMBOLIN: All emotions are running high as the Supreme Court takes up Arizona's tough immigration law. Protesters hitting the streets of Phoenix yesterday to protest the bill, which was signed into law two years ago prompting the Obama administration to sue.
At issue, who has the power to enforce immigration laws, the states or the feds? Similar rallies were held outside the high court as well, but inside it appeared that justices may be OK with this controversial law.
Justice Antony Scalia suggesting it may be OK for a state to step in if the federal government is not doing its job saying, quote, "what does state sovereignty mean if it does not include the ability to defend your borders?"
Even Liberal Justice Steven Brier appeared to say the law could be upheld as long as no significant number of people are detained for a significantly long period of time.
Raul Reyes is an attorney and "USA Today" columnist. I've got you to weigh in on all of this today. A lot of people are saying it's a tough day for the Obama administration. The Supreme Court justices seem to be in favor of this. What do you make of what happened yesterday?
RAUL REYES, ATTORNEY AND "USA TODAY" COLUMNIST: Well, one thing I want to start off by saying, this is actually something that Chief Justice Roberts began -- opened the case with. This is not a case about civil rights violations. They're not looking at racial profiling. Those are all at issue in Arizona with this law, but yesterday those components were not at stake.
What they were basically looking at was who has the power over immigration, the federal government or the states. So I know it's a little early to talk about federalism, but that's the case. You know, who gets to decide?
From the looks of things, as you mentioned, it did look like Arizona's case was pretty strong because everyone had very pointed questions for Donald Verelli. He was arguing on the supremacy clause.
And it was almost as though the court had moved past that and was saying how is this going to be implemented? How are we going to ensure that people are not in detention too long?
SAMBOLIN: That seemed to be the only issue, right? They were coming up with, the detention.
REYES: Right. Right, so, you know, we're reading the tea leaves there, but it definitely did not look like it was a great day for the Department of Justice. It definitely looked like they were leaning towards thinking Arizona's approach is reasonable.
And Arizona's case basically is they had this problem with illegal immigration. The federal government was not acting and they had to do something. That's the Arizona case in a nutshell.
SAMBOLIN: Right, but racial profiling cannot be excluded here, right? Because it seems to be the controversial issue here that everybody is talking about. Do you think at any point that is going to weigh in or do you think they'll make their decision based solely on state and federal. And then later we'll be dealing with civil rights violations?
REYES: They have to. As a matter of fact, the way they accepted this case they're only dealing with these components. The most controversial part of the law that they were dealing with is the requirement that when police or state and local law enforcement officials stop someone.
That they inquire about their immigration status, if they have a reasonable suspicion that they're in the country illegally. That's what they spent the most time talking about.
Now later on there certainly will probably be lawsuits probably from Hispanic advocacy groups, from the ACLU looking into racial profiling aspects and to civil right violation.
But for now this is all the Supreme Court is reviewing, just these four components of law.
SAMBOLIN: How do you think they're going to weigh in on this? I mean, some people are saying it's going to be 4-4. What do you think is the output?
REYES: Well, if it's 4-4, if it's a tie then it goes -- they stick with the lower court's decision, which means that the law will not stand.
It's also very interesting because Arizona has built a big part of their case, saying that they constructed this whole law very well to work together.
So the question is, what if they strike down one part of it? Does that mean the whole law gets thrown out the window? I mean, that's something we don't know.
SAMBOLIN: There's a school of thought that if the Obama administration actually loses this that it could be a good thing, even though it is egg on their face in the very beginning. Long term, it could be a good thing. Why?
REYES: It could be a good thing because this is a case that has -- Hispanic-Americans are following this case with tremendous interest. It's mobilized a lot of Latino voters in Arizona and many other states that have passed similar laws.
So if the Supreme Court rules against it, it actually could be beneficial for Obama. It will mobilize people to say like, you know, enough is enough. We need to make ourselves heard at the ballot, you know, in November.
We need to get out there in the November election. The one danger for Obama is that I think, actually, neither he nor Romney really want immigration to be coming right back into the political stage, you know, when the general election is around the corner. This is going put it right back --
SAMBOLIN: Unfortunately, it is.
REYES: -- into national politics.
SAMBOLIN: Right there in the middle. Paul Reyes, thank you so much --
SAMBOLIN: I'm sorry.
REYES: It's early.
SAMBOLIN: That's my problem. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. We'll invite you back to talk more about this. It's going to be a heated topic. Ashleigh, back to you.
BANFIELD: It's 5 minutes now past 6:00 on the east coast. Are strippers and prostitutes part of the culture in the Secret Service? That's a good question.
The scandal that erupted at a hotel in Columbia is growing this morning. A new report from Cairo news in Seattle is quoting a government subcontractor who worked with the Secret Service advance team in El Salvador, whole other trip, a trip prior to President Obama's trip there in March of 2011.
He says about a dozen agents and some military personnel got, quote, "wasted at a strip club" there and then paid extra to go to the VIP area to do extra with the strippers, whatever happens in the VIP area.
This all comes a day after the secretary of Homeland Security asked the department that oversees the Secret Service was asked if anything like this had happened before.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. PATRICK LEAHY (D-VT), JUDICIARY COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: To your knowledge, is this the first time something this has happened?
JANET NAPOLITANO, SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: There was nothing in the record to suggest that this behavior would happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: By the way, this all follows a similar "Washington Post" report that quoted unnamed agents that talked about a 2009 visit when members of former President Bill Clinton's detail went out for a night of partying at strip clubs.
The Secret Service tells CNN it has no comment on this story. But one source says -- and I'll read for you, the reaction by our leadership speaks for itself.
SAMBOLIN: Story has a lot of legs there.
BANFIELD: Lot of legs.
SAMBOLIN: It's 7 minutes past the hour, a new video this morning of the so-called death race caravan that got two New Jersey state troopers suspended. They allegedly escorted dozens of really expensive and really fast luxury cars on a dangerous 100-mile-per-hour run to Atlantic City.
This was last month. Former New York Giant, Brandon Jacobs, was reportedly behind the wheel of one of the cars. An attorney for the officers says the whole incident is being exaggerated. He even suggested to us that the troopers were just doing their jobs.
BANFIELD: And away they go.
John Edwards' former aide and confidante is facing some pretty tough cross examination from the defense team in federal court today. Andrew Young, star witness on the stand for the third day yesterday, immunity, by the way.
He can say what he wants. Nothing is going to happen to him. Edwards' lawyers are calling him a liar, accusing him of profiting off his former boss' downfall.
Edwards left the courthouse smiling and have a listen closely. Read along on your screen to what Edwards told his daughter on the steps.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN EDWARDS: The sun's out now.
CATE EDWARDS: Yes, I know.
JOHN EDWARDS: In more ways than one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: Yes, sunny day, more ways than one. Mr. Young is scheduled to return to the stand for even more of the blistering cross examination this morning.
SAMBOLIN: It's 8 minutes past the hour. With White House party crasher top of his resume, Tarik Salahi is running for governor of Virginia in 2013.
Salahi and his wife, Mikaela became international sensations in 2009 when they were able to get past security and crash a White Souse state dinner.
Salahi, filing to one run day after Virginia's attorney general filed a lawsuit against him and his winery for allegedly cheating customers who brought wine tours from him.
The gate-crashing wanna-be governor will tell us why he's running when he joins us live at 7:30 Eastern on STARTING POINT."
BANFIELD: And you can imagine that the campaign against him is going to have lots of video -- a couple of seasons anyway.
It's 9 minutes now past 6:00 on the east coast. Still ahead on EARLY START, President Obama officially kicking off the campaign season with two big rallies scheduled for next week and he's bringing with him a secret weapon. Can you guess who she might be?
SAMBOLIN: Talk about blowing in the wind.
BANFIELD: Look at that.
SAMBOLIN: A pilot tries to wind while battling -- my goodness -- 60-mile-an-hour gusts. Don't want to be in that plane. You are watching EARLY START.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BANFIELD: It is 12 minutes now past 6:00 on the east coast. Time to check news making top story billing this morning. And you probably might not have seen this one coming.
The U.S. Supreme Court seemingly sounding like the justices are backing Arizona in the case against its immigration law. Even President Obama appointed Justice Sonya Sotomayor saying, White House arguments are, quote, "not selling very well."
(Inaudible) coming from her. The high court is deciding whether states have the authority to enforce immigration matters or if it's strictly a federal issue.
That ruling, by the way, could have effect in a lot of other states, too and the final decision not expected, at least before June.
SAMBOLIN: The parents of missing 6-year-old Isabel Celis are begging for her safe return after police in Tucson announced they were actually scaling back the search for the little girl.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BECKY CELIS, MOTHER OF MISSING GIRL: We are here today to play -- to plea for the safe return of our baby girl, Isabel.
SERGIO CELIS, FATHER OF MISSING GIRL: We're looking for you, Isabel. We love you and we miss you so much and we'll never give up. We will never give up looking for you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAMBOLIN: Sergio Celis and his wife, Becky, thanked volunteers who have taken part in the search looking for Isabel. Tucson police say the reward for information in the case has been raised from $5,000 up to $30,000 now.
BANFIELD: And take a look at a pilot trying to land while battling fierce 60-mile-an-hour winds in Northern Spain. Imagine being on that plane as a passenger fishtailing violently while approaching that runway.
The video recorded back in February, but just released this week. Now while that landing looks awful -- and take a look again. Boy, he comes down quickly, too. Apparently -- that was an aborted landing. That one didn't work.
Let's give it another go. Amazingly, everything turned out OK, bumpy or not. They got down. Passengers got off. I'm sure they have lots of stories to tell their grandchildren.
SAMBOLIN: I'll be a little sick on that flight as well. It's 14 minutes past the hour here. New Jersey dad launching a web site to battle what he calls, quote, "culture of bullying" by teachers in his son's school.
Fourteen minutes past the hour here.
A New Jersey dad launching a Web site to battle what he calls, the, quote, "culture of bullying" by teachers in his son's school. Stuart Chaifetz says he caught teachers taunting his son, Akian, who has been diagnosed with autism. We first told you about this story yesterday. Chaifetz put a recording device in his son's pocket. He recorded six hours of tape.
And on that tape, he says teachers can be heard mistreating his little boy.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who are you talking to, nobody?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Knock it off. Keep your mouth closed. Hands down. Quiet. Hands, together. Now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Akian, you're not going to earn if your mouth is going.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SAMBOLIN: The dad was mortified when he heard that recording.
Chaifetz says he wants an apology from the teachers. The school says it has investigated and, quote, "responded swiftly and appropriately".
And stay tuned. Akian's father, Stuart Chaifetz, will be a guest on STARTING POINT this morning. That's at 8:00 a.m. Eastern.
Well, the student protest in Montreal turning ugly late last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got pepper sprayed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAMBOLIN: You heard him say, "I got pepper sprayed". Police pepper spraying a cameraman and his camera as he was trying to tape an arrest. Riot police called in as 11,000 students protesting tuition hikes started getting rowdy, throwing rocks and bottles and setting off fireworks. Police declared it an illegal assembly over a loud speaker and reportedly arrested more than a dozen people.
BANFIELD: So the White House is trying to stir up a youth movement as it appears to kick the re-election campaign into high gear. The president and first lady planning to hold their first official campaign rallies of the 2012 season next week.
And guess where they are? Key battleground states, Ohio and Virginia.
And if the president's three-state college swing this week is any indication, the administration is courting younger voters, using the federal student loan issue to woo them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Congress needs to act right now to prevent interest rates on federal student loans from shooting up and shaking you down. I want all of you to be rich. I want all of you to be successful.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: So Dan Lothian is live in Washington, D.C.
And, Dan, if you look at the statistics, Obama already does pretty well with the younger vote. Why focus there instead of other areas where he might be struggling?
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think he wants to recapture the enthusiasm that really spawned his grassroots effort in 2008. And that really was the youth vote. You take a look at the exit polling at the time, President Obama getting 66 percent of the vote over John McCain's 32 percent. And then you look at the matchup with Mitt Romney now, Obama still at 64 percent rather and Mitt Romney at 32 percent.
So, it's a key group that really can provide the enthusiasm that can help the president win again here in 2012.
BANFIELD: So, I'm reading that the RNC is not too thrilled about the campaigning. And no one was surprised to hear that as well. I have to say, Dan, what I did was I asked our crack producing team to check out some of the old headlines from 2004 about using, you know, Air Force One and taxpayer money for a sitting president to do some campaigning.
And there's this headline right here. You're not going to be able to read it but I'll read it for you from the "Pittsburgh Post Gazette," I think it is. And it says, "Bush enjoys travel advantage on taxpayer-paid Air Force One."
Every single sitting president does this. And then every opposition comes out and screams, "That's not fair." Why is it different this time?
LOTHIAN: That's right. You know, I don't think it's different at all. This happens every time throughout history that there's sort of this issue of who is paying for it, is it the taxpayers or is this a real official event?
And we've heard that every time the president goes out on these trips, he's going to these battleground states. I think that is why it has really sort of irked the Republican Party and they've always complained, hey, taxpayers, you're on the hook for this. And now, you have the chairman of the RNC is reaching out to the Government Accountability Office, asking for an investigation, in a letter saying in part, quote, "Throughout his administration, but particularly in recent weeks, President Obama has been passing off campaign travel as official events, thereby allowing taxpayers rather than his campaign to pay for his re-election efforts."
The White House and the campaign saying, look, there's a formula here that other presidents have used and that they're following the guidelines.
BANFIELD: And we should also mention that back in 2010, there was some regulatory changes which suggests, if you're just going out on a campaign trip, you have to reimburse the government for the cost of a 737. So that's kind of critical. That's important.
LOTHIAN: Right. That's important. And the White House says they have those guidelines and they're following them. But still, there's a lot of criticism coming from the right.
BANFIELD: Dan Lothian on it for us this morning -- thanks. Nice to see you.
SAMBOLIN: Twenty minutes past the hour
The auto industry bailout seems to be working just fine for Chrysler, the company announcing some big profits. We are minding your business. That is coming up next.
And you are watching EARLY START.
DEAN KARNAZES, ATHLETE: Hey. I'm Dean Karnazes. I'm the old marathon man. And I'm on the road about 250 days a year. A marathon is 26.2 miles. An ultra marathon might be 50 miles, 100 miles, 200 miles. I've run up to 350 continues miles on an ultra marathon.
I've run on all seven continents of the earth. Just about every possible terrain, every climate. I recently spent 75 days running from Los Angeles to New York City. I didn't have one day of rest. I had to run between 40 to 50 miles a day.
I got to see the country firsthand in a way people will never see it. One thing I listened to a lot of was audio books. Good way to make an eight to 10-hour run go really fast.
So, running means extremely brutal. It's not always fun. There's a magic in misery. We're drawn to it. And you emerge stronger and you feel better after running.
Thanks for coming on a run with me today and see you down the road.
SAMBOLIN: Twenty-four minutes past the hour. We are minding your business.
New this morning, Chrysler posting shocking profits for the first quarter.
BANFIELD: Poppy Harlow, never shocked. She's waiting for it all. She's in for Christine Romans.
So, I like to say shocking, because it finally wakes people up, because it is 24 minutes past 6:00 on the East Coast.
Shocking to everyone?
POPPY HARLOW, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: True, and we've been up for a long time. Yes. Shocking to everyone.
This is great news for the U.S. economy, for this global company.
Take a look at Chrysler's numbers, they just came into us to us. Chrysler quadrupling --
BANFIELD: Holy cow!
HARLOW: -- more than quadrupling their profit from a year ago, $473 million up from $116 million a year ago. Their sales were up 25 percent from a year ago. This was a company that was on its knees, literally, three years ago.
U.S. sales up 40 percent. That's a big number worldwide, up 33 percent. If you look outside the U.S., their sales were up about 80 percent. So, they're benefiting from the whole auto industry turning around, a lot of you who've been sitting with your old cars, going out and buying new cars.
But also this company, the head, Sergio Marchionne, who used to run Fiat, and now runs both Fiat and Chrysler, has been credited a lot for this turn around. And, of course, this is going to be touted heavily by the Obama administration. And it has been the entire time. They repaid that bailout loan six years early.
But I think it's important to know also, people think they repaid in full. Treasury held a stake in this company, about a 6 percent stake. Chrysler bought that back last year to a loss for the taxpayers of about $1.3 billion. We're still out about $1.3 billion overall on this.
But I would bet, in the next few days, the next time you hear Obama speaking publicly about the economy, you're going to hear about these numbers.
BANFIELD: So, that was just Chrysler that we bought that stake at a loss.
BANFIELD: What about the others?
HARLOW: General Motors paid theirs back in full. I believe that we still have a loss there in terms of the Treasury stake there. I mean, overall, you're going to have a loss for the automakers. And that's what Treasury has said.
But what they will say on the other end of that is how many American jobs they will argue, they argue millions would be saved.
BANFIELD: Well, the fallout if those big three had collapsed. Yes, it can be spun both ways, without question.
SAMBOLIN: I just want to point out that it was two in a row of good news.
HARLOW: That's what we bring you here.
SAMBOLIN: Thank you, Poppy. Come back.
BANFIELD: Is that what you do?
HARLOW: Yes, didn't you know?
BANFIELD: You are lovely. Poppy Harlow, thank you.
Twenty-six minutes now past 6:00 on the East Coast.
Do you like to travel the world?
SAMBOLIN: I want to.
BANFIELD: Are you a little short on cash?
BANFIELD: Zoraida is a very pretty girl and apparently she would qualify perfectly for this next Web site.
SAMBOLIN: Oh, I don't think so.
BANFIELD: You would, sweetie. I know you wouldn't do it. But if you wanted to, you could. Apparently, lovely ladies and apparently lovely men, too -- if you're hot, you can travel for free.
What on earth is this all about? You're going to hear from the creator of this Web site. It is all about dating. Is there anything wrong with that? We'll talk about it in a moment.
SAMBOLIN: It is 30 minutes past the hour. Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.
It is time to check the stories that are making news this morning.
Rupert Murdoch back on the stand this morning. The man at the helm of the media empire being grilled about his political clout, telling a British court he doesn't have that kind of power.
One kidney, three bodies in two weeks. A man who received a kidney from his sister passes it along to another patient in his need when his body rejected it. We're going to have more of the amazing medical firsts, coming up.
And a picture of the president in a dive bar going viral, because the OMG look on the girl's face right next to him. That college student named Madalyn Starkey. Her Twitter blew up when she posted the photo. We're going to talk about her in just a few minutes about her overnight fame -- Ashley.
BANFIELD: That is adorable. She's so cute.
I think the president knows she's pointing at him, because he looks like he's having fun as well.
SAMBOLIN: Yes, he does.
BANFIELD: Thank you, Zoraida.
It's 31 minutes now past 6:00.
Who needs money? If you're beautiful, you can travel for free. You got a lot of other free things, too, apparently.
There's a new dating Web site, though, that's not only generating heat, it's catching some, too. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NARRATOR: On misstravel.com, there are thousands of frequent travelers who hate to travel alone. These generous travelers are doctors, lawyers, bankers, athletes, executives, entrepreneurs and millionaires looking to travel with an attractive person like you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: Did that say anchors? I don't know if I misheard it.
Brandon Wade is the CEO of that Web site. It's called misstravel.com.
Let me get this straight, Brandon. This is a Web site to set up hot -- I'm assuming girls.
BRANDON WADE, CEO, MISSTRAVEL.COM: Mostly.
BANFIELD: But guys aren't excluded.
OK, mostly. Hot girls who get to travel for free with a sugar daddy who doesn't want to travel alone.
WADE: With somebody who is, yes, wealthy and generous.
BANFIELD: And you got two categories if you go to the Web site. You can sign up under attractive, or you can sign up under generous?
WADE: That is correct.
BANFIELD: So, do I have to pay anything if I go under, if I sign up under attractive?
WADE: No, it's completely free to use the Web site as an attractive member.
BANFIELD: OK. If I'm a generous member do I have to pay?
WADE: You have to pay to communicate. So, once you figure out when you like someone, you want to write them, that's when you have to use the Web site to communicate.
BANFIELD: OK. What on earth got you going on this idea?
WADE: Well, I am a huge romantic and love to travel. I figured why not take love and travel and put them together? That's where Miss Travel came about.
BANFIELD: And, by the way, congratulations. You're newly married? Two months ago?
WADE: I was, two months ago. I tied the knot.
BANFIELD: Did you meet Tanya on a Web site?
WADE: I met Tanya through one of my Web sites, yes.
BANFIELD: Through one of your own Web sites? Did you have to pay?
WADE: Fortunately as the owner, I didn't have to pay.
BANFIELD: OK. Now, let me get serious on this, because while I thought it was very funny when I first read, I also realized this could be a pretty risky endeavor. Because what you're doing here is you're providing a venue to set people up to leave the country, potentially, into an environment that could be very risky. Are you not concerned about being at the helm of something that could end up in disaster?
WADE: I am extremely concerned about that. Perhaps that's why the reason we put so much of a disclaimer and warnings, as well as we have a full page about tips. So, my suggestion is that a trip doesn't necessarily have to be out of the country. You can take a trip in your own backyard. Two-hour ride from home is a trip, for example.
So, consider that. But traveling overseas is very dangerous anyways, specifically for the lonely businessman. After business, he may be going to a bar, strip club or nightclub and issues might happen overseas.
BANFIELD: Yes, that's the bigger issue. I think if you're traveling in America, look, you could always get a bus ticket or hitchhike home, which has its own safety issues. But if you're going overseas and hooked up with someone who is a ne'er do well, you know, he could do something with your passport. He can make you disappear pretty quickly. There are a lot of dangers here.
What about the possibility of being exposed to civil litigation in this?
WADE: I think we're fine. I mean, like any other bar, when people meet there, the bar owner is not really responsible. So, what we're trying to get people to love to travel, like-minded individuals to meet. And, ultimately, our goal is to tell them --
BANFIELD: A bar is different. A bar doesn't solicit, come into my bar and meet the person you're going to walk away with. A bar just jump open and serve liquor and has its issues for that alone.
BANFIELD: You are specifically soliciting people to connect in a love interest and go traveling away together somewhere.
WADE: So, obviously, we're telling people don't go traveling with somebody the next day you meet them. Get to know them in your own sort of neighborhood first. Once you know them well, then at that point, plan to travel.
BANFIELD: One of your, I guess, comments on the Web site. Oh, great put people together who have never met each other and send them away to a faraway country. What could possibly go wrong?
But it sounds like you figured it's -- you're protected no matter what?
WADE: Well, we asked a lot of people on my other dating Web sites, you know, how many of you actually travel to meet somebody? And the answer we got was actually very surprising. Over 74 percent said they already do that today.
So, this simply makes the travel component much more forward.
BANFIELD: And just wrapping up, really quickly, how many people signed up? It's pretty new.
WADE: It's about two weeks old and 18,000 people have signed up so far.
BANFIELD: Good golly, miss molly, 18,000?
BANFIELD: Thirty percent of them are the guys that like to pay?
WADE: And 70 percent are the attracted people.
BANFIELD: Seventy percent are the more ones who want the freebie.
BANFIELD: All right. Well, Brandon, good for you to come in. Thanks very much. You'll have to share with us the results. And for your sake and everyone else's, I hope everything goes well and nobody gets into trouble.
WADE: Thank you.
BANFIELD: All right. Brandon Wade joining us.
Over to you, Zoraida.
SAMBOLIN: We may be celebrating some marriages. You never know, right?
BANFIELD: You never know. They could be in Turkey. Turkeys married in Turkey.
SAMBOLIN: All right. I'm going to leave that one alone.
Thirty-six minutes past the hour. Next on EARLY START: media mogul Rupert Murdoch back on the hot seat. He is denying he used his media empire to influence British prime ministers. We have a live report from London. That's ahead.
BANFIELD: Welcome back. It's 39 minutes now past 6:00 on the East Coast.
And a Detroit judge could be ousted from the bench for sending a shirtless photo of himself to a female bailiff. The bailiff's husband not too happy, filed an official complaint with Michigan's commission about it, too.
Here's the picture in question. By the way, the husband says he discovered the photo on his wife's cell phone and that she did not want the photo. That's what he told her husband anyway.
Judge Wade McCree admits to sending the picture. But he also says it was only to show off how healthy he is (ph).
SAMBOLIN: It is.
BANFIELD: He also said he sent it to others and says, quote, "I got no shame in my game." His quote, not mine.
A friend of the judge says the photo is actually just part of a friendly battle.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERNIE PAVONE, FRIEND OF JUDGE: We have this little, I guess, battle between us on who is in better shape. And I'm 10 years younger, but yet I look like I'm 10 years older. So, it was a great shot. He's in good shape. It was not sent out for any ill will or any wrong purpose.
(END VIDEOI CLIP)
BANFIELD: Well, whatever the purpose, there is a commission that's going to decide whether to discipline Judge McCree or actually -- he could face removal all together from the bench. We'll watch this one.
SAMBOLIN: Forty-one minutes past the hour. Rupert Murdoch is back on the hot seat this morning. He's been called before a judicial inquiry to explain how he and his media empire have influenced the political landscape in Britain. Murdoch insisting yesterday he's never asked a prime minister for anything.
And new this morning, Murdoch says there was a cover up over phone-hacking charges in his "News of the World" papers.
Dan Rivers is live in London.
And, Dan, we have been dipping into coverage all morning. We've been watching, not listening. What can you tell us?
DAN RIVERS, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. Well, he has been questioned fairly closely about the phone hacking scandal that you remember last year closed down one of his infamous tabloids, "The News of the World". All along, really, his position has been -- you know, he just wasn't aware or made aware of the extent of phone hacking at that newspaper. This morning for the first time, he used the phrase cover up in connection without blaming his subordinates for not telling him what was going on.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUPERT MURDOCH, MEDIA MOGUL: There's no question in my mind that maybe even the editor, but certainly beyond that someone took charge of a cover up, which we were victim to and I regret.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIVERS: Those words, I think, will reverberate and undoubtedly be the headline here in the U.K. tomorrow. It's pretty frank and candid.
Also, his sort of mea culpa in saying, holding up his hands and basically saying he got it wrong. In hindsight, yes, he should have paid more attention to this issue, should have been drilling down into what went wrong, who was responsible, but he simply didn't.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MURDOCH: I have to admit that some newspapers are closer to my heart than others, but I also have to say that I failed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, that may be. And I --
MURDOCH: And I'm very sorry about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIVERS: You can hear the kind of awkward pauses that he maybe deliberately puts -- or maybe that's just the way he speaks, but are contained in his answers, but leave those words "I failed" hanging there for what feels like an eternity.
It's not often you see the world's most powerful media baron so comprehensively humiliated like this. Just now in the last few minutes, he's been questioned about some of the underhand tactics it's alleged that some of his journalists used, including in the words of Lord Justice Leveson, blackmailing people saying, look, you give us the story. We'll keep your name out of it and then we can get the scoop.
And, again, Rupert Murdoch basically saying he didn't know that was going on or hadn't read a ruling of a previous court case where it was spelled out that that's exactly what had gone on that his journalists had been engaged effectively in blackmailing people to spill the beans on celebrity stories.
SAMBOLIN: Fascinating and surprising details. Dan Rivers live for us in London. Thank you very much.
BANFIELD: Now, 44 minutes past 6:00. Christine Romans is in for the fabulous Soledad O'Brien.
Being fabulous yourself and you have that awful, awful story starting off in New Jersey.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: I do. I have the interview with the father who basically wired his son to find out what was happening in his son's classroom. He says what he found was a culture of bullying by the teachers in his son's classroom. He sent his little boy to school with a recording device, and he's going to join me to talk about the disturbing words he heard on that tape.
Plus, notorious White House party crasher, Tareq Salahi, he wants to run for governor of Virginia. Is this all a publicity stunt?
ROMANS: He's going to join us for the 16th minute of his 15 minutes of day (ph). (LAUGHTER)
ROMANS: And who could forget her as Wonder Woman. Linda Carter is in the house. I know. How many of you wore a Wonder Woman costume for Halloween? Everyone's hands are up.
BANFIELD: This year.
ROMANS: I'm going to put on my wrist cuffs, and we're going to talk with her about a new role that she's taking on. All that and much more on "Starting Point" kicking off in about ten minutes.
SAMBOLIN: It is 49 minutes past the hour. Good morning to you, Denver. It is 58 degrees right now. And guess what, you are going to be facing 77 a little bit later. So, good for you.
A college student sitting at a bar with friends, a pretty normal day in most college towns, but then, the president of the United States walks in. That is what happened to University of Colorado junior, Madalyn Starkey, on Tuesday when President Obama made an unscheduled stop at a local student hangout, The Sink, in Boulder.
Madalyn took a picture with the president, posted it on Twitter, and you know what happened. It went viral. So, Madalyn Starkey is joining us this morning. Good morning to you, Madeline. Did you expect this craziness when you posted the picture?
MADALYN STARKEY, STUDENT WHO TOOK PHOTO WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA: Not at all. It was ridiculous.
SAMBOLIN: And I'm curious as to what you and the president talked about.
STARKEY: Really, we didn't talk about a whole lot. He like went around to everyone's table, shaking hands, saying hey, like introducing himself. And I just get like so star struck when I see famous people. And so, I literally was just like, ah, can I get a picture with you?
And he was like, yes, for sure. Stand up. And so, we did that. And then, after that, I was just like, well, you smell good. And that was pretty much the whole conversation I had with President Obama.
SAMBOLIN: You told the president that he smells good?
SAMBOLIN: What did he say when you said that?
STARKEY: He just kind looked at me awkwardly and was like, yes, thanks, and then, he moved on.
SAMBOLIN: So, listen, were you expecting the president to walk into the bar? How did that happen?
STARKEY: Oh, not at all. Everyone was at a line waiting for his speech. Me and my boyfriend went to The Sink for dinner. We couldn't decide between The Sink and like two other restaurants. We were like, ah, we'll go to the sink. We've been here three times the past week might as well again. And so, we went there.
And then, yes, the secret service men just came in and they're like, attention, the president is coming. If you don't want to meet him, you should leave now, or, you know, like medal wanted (ph) down, and so, we just sat on the down and waited for him, and it was crazy. It was like, this can't be real.
SAMBOLIN: Did you believe when they said that he was coming that he was or did you think it was a joke?
STARKEY: At first, I kind of thought it was a joke, but then, we saw like all the secret service guys and started taking like all the knives and silverware out of the place. And so, we were like, this is serious.
SAMBOLIN: That's a pretty cool picture to have, and I hear you were razzing somebody on Twitter about it.
STARKEY: About like the -- oh, that was -- yes. He's a senior in high school. And I wanted him to take me to prom, and he didn't. So --
SAMBOLIN: I love that. I love that you just said -- hey, listen, did you have any thoughts about the president prior to meeting him that what have changed after spending at least brief time with him?
STARKEY: No. I've always known that he's like a really nice, charismatic guy. So, I mean, yes, he definitely showed that when he was in the place. He's shaking everyone's hands and taking pictures and signing autographs. And so, yes, wonderful dude.
SAMBOLIN: A wonderful dude. Well, Madalyn Starkey, you're a pretty, wonderful dudette also. Ashleigh wants to know if you're voting for him.
STARKEY: I'm not going to say over TV. Sorry.
SAMBOLIN: With a photo like that, I don't know. That speaks the volumes, huh? But very cool.
STARKEY: I just don't want to get any prejudice and bias.
SAMBOLIN: I appreciate that. Thank you very much. I appreciate that. Thanks for getting up nice and early with us. And good luck to you in school, as well.
STARKEY: Well, thank you. Nice meeting you.
SAMBOLIN: Nice meeting you.
BANFIELD: Eight minutes now before the top of the hour, and this is amazing. It is believed to be the first case of its kind in the United States. A transplanted kidney that was failing was removed from that patient while he's still alive and then given to someone else. The kidney originally went to Ray Fearing.
Fearing's sister had donated the kidney to her brother, but sadly, just a few days later, his body began to reject it. So, doctors did this. They decided to take the kidney out and give it to Erwin Gomez.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERWIN GOMEZ, RECEIVED PREVIOUSLY TRANSPLANTED KIDNEY: My strength is back. My appetite is good.
RAY FEARING, GAVE UP HIS DONATED KIDNEY: To find out that this was going to be something bigger than, you know, just a failed transplant. You know, it's going to help someone else. It's going to help people.
GOMEZ: I owe literally my life and my function to them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: Wow! Amazing. Mr. Gomez says he is grateful to Ray Fearing and his sister for doing what they did. Amazing.
SAMBOLIN: I think that was Northwestern Memorial Hospital. I thought I saw it in the background. And they're on the leading edge of kidney transplants. So, that's a very cool story.
BANFIELD: And may be the right folks to do it. I really hope for Erwin, I hope things work out.
It's 53 minutes now past six. And up next, a runaway cow you might want to call him, stopping for a little take out at the drive- thru window. Run away, buddy, because your friends may be in there. You're watching EARLY START.
BANFIELD: Three minutes to the top of the hour. Great time to check out what's trending on the interweb to get your day started, and here's this one. Give the kid the ball. Are you ready? The cameras are rolling at last night's Yankee/Rangers game in Texas. And they caught, perhaps, the worst people in the world ever.
Ball comes into the stands. They pick it up. She's like, oh yey! And the little kid is like, can I have it? And he's like, please? Come on. Give the ball to the kid. No. I want to take a photograph. Let's take a photograph of yourselve together. Laughing, having a great time. Look at the kid. Oh, man.
And that's how it all started. It looked like the player was actually throwing it to the kid. He's got a glove and everything. Come on, people. No, no, it's mine. I've got a good ending to this story, though. See that? A nice kind-hearted fan threw a ball to the kid later. Look at that sweetheart with his T-Texas hat. Oh, now you're talking.
SAMBOLIN: They're comparing balls.
BANFIELD: Are you comparing notes? Maybe he's saying we didn't see it. I don't know. I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt because that would have been real ugly, otherwise. He didn't know the little kid was crying next door?
SAMBOLIN: I wish we were highlighting the person who gave him the ball, as well.
BANFIELD: I know. Thank you if you're out there.
SAMBOLIN: Maybe he was looking for his family. McDonald's employees in Brush, Colorado get a surprise. Take a look at that. A runaway cow decided to visit the drive-thru. Darcy is her name. She'd apparently escaped her pen, hoofed the half mile from the farm to the fast-food joint, but I don't think she had a Big Mac attack.
Her owner called police, and police had to tell her, oh, yes, she's at the McDonald's. You may want to go get her.
BANFIELD: Darcy, run away! Run away, Darcy. Imagine if you're the owner hearing -- exactly. Eat more chicken. Eat more chicken.
BANFIELD: That is the news, folks, the early news, anyway, the news from "A" to "Z." I'm Ashleigh Banfield.
SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. "Starting Point" starts right now.