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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Interview with Senators Tom Coburn and Mark Warner; Debt Ceiling Disaster; President Obama's Appeal to Women; Governor's Pardons; FBI Looking into JPMorgan
Aired May 15, 2012 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, HOST: OUTFRONT next --
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm here. I'm ready to do it. Let's go.
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BURNETT: In Washington tonight, deal or no deal? President Obama called the first female president, sorry, could have fooled me. And a young student being at being attacked by a flesh eating bacteria and tonight her parents come OUTFRONT.
OUTFRONT tonight, crisis in America. Just take a look at this video, sort of sums it all up. (INAUDIBLE) you at home watching, me, all of us, we're hurdling full board a cliff that could be our doom. This is the so-called fiscal cliff, $15 trillion in debt climbing every day, $2.8 trillion in tax cuts scheduled to expire this year, another debt ceiling drama looming.
If we hit this cliff (INAUDIBLE) we're going to die. Today I spent the day hearing the conversation at the fiscal summit from the key players, a bipartisan group including President Bill Clinton, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan, House Speaker John Boehner, Senator Alan Simpson (ph) of the famed Simpson-Bowles and what I heard from all of them was a bipartisan call for action and alarm.
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REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), HOUSE SPEAKER: The next two years could be the most consequential two years we see in Washington and have seen in the last 50 or 60 years.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And interest rates will go up so fast you won't be able to catch your breath.
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BURNETT: How much? How much are they going up? Well some Wall Street investors, the most bearish, say that Americans could relive the late '70s or early '80s. And one investor told me he's making big bets in the treasury market, 17 percent for a mortgage. Now that may be incredibly dire, but it's happened before in this country. Debt on debt on debt means interest on interest on interest. So we did the numbers. Current projections from the CBO say the U.S. will spend, prepare yourself for this one, $624 billion in interest in 10 years. We will spend more on interest than on Medicaid in six. This is absolutely not OK. I interviewed Speaker Boehner and asked him whether Armageddon is avoidable.
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BOEHNER: We all know Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, they're all bankrupt. And it's not like there's money in the Social Security Trust Fund or the Medicare Trust Fund. It's all been spent.
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BURNETT: Still, the speaker told me that to approve the debt ceiling increase this year he's going to demand spending cuts and reforms dollar for dollar.
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BURNETT: Is the debt ceiling going to go up?
BOEHNER: I think I've made it pretty clear right here. Allowing the debt ceiling to go up without addressing our fiscal challenge would be the most irresponsible thing that I could do.
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BURNETT: OK. The reality is it this. The debt ceiling must and it will go up, but is there a solution that isn't just talking politics and not getting anything done. Yes.
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B. CLINTON: And I've read every word of the Simpson-Bowles report. I believe could you put together enough Democrats if you could make the simple argument that you simply cannot spend all your money on the present and the past.
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BURNETT: Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus solution to the debt crisis. It's called Simpson-Bowles and it would cut taxes to three brackets, 12, 22 percent, 28, tax cuts for all. There are places where we'll all pay more. And there will be cuts to Medicare, mortgage interest deductions are also on that list. But it's better than that cliff. Sometimes I wonder myself if the democracy our country is so proud of, the democracy that happens here in this building where I'm standing tonight isn't what is -- isn't actually what's putting the wind behind the lemmings tales (ph).
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BURNETT: Is democracy going to be what sends us over the cliff? BOEHNER: We're in -- you know we're in our 223rd year of our experiment in democracy in representative government. And you know it's not worked well. You could go back to the days of the Greeks or the Romans. There's some point at which they had problems.
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BURNETT: The view from America's cliff makes the view from Everest look like a little hill. Because this is the world's greatest and most free economy and if we fail, all the opportunities, liberties and luxuries of being American are at risk of becoming history. Sort of like the Greeks and the Romans. So let's do a deal.
Playing for the Democrats tonight Mark Warner, Democrat from Virginia and playing for Republicans Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, good to see you both.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good to see you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good to see you, Erin.
BURNETT: And I know you've both been on this show a lot talking about ideas and compromise, "gang of six" and here you are tonight. So let's see what we can do. You're right now in the middle of conversations, right, Senator Coburn?
SEN. TOM COBURN (R), OKLAHOMA: That's correct.
BURNETT: And how close are you to something that could be significant in your group?
COBURN: Well I think we're close. The point is, is to get the politics out of it, the presidential politics out of it and actually work on the real problems. And that still has some influence as we work because there's political jockeying for what's going to happen in November and what we need to do is throw all that out and start thinking about the best long term position for the country.
BURNETT: Senator Warner, both of you have been doing that and it seems like you've accepted a lot of cuts, he's accepted some tax increases, revenue increases. I mean this is a deal --
SEN. MARK WARNER (D), VIRGINIA: We found a plan to get us between four and $5 trillion over the next 10 years off our debt. It's not perfect. It wouldn't be exactly what Tom wanted or exactly what I wanted --
WARNER: But at the end of the day, the alternative, go back to the lemmings (ph). We're going over this cliff. There should be no elected official that will have any excuse come the end of this year to say they didn't see it coming. So we have got to get out of our foxholes. I think there is a majority in the Senate. I think there's even a majority in the House. We have got to make it safe for folks to do the right thing and as Tom has said, that means you're going to probably make some folks mad along the way, but at the end of the day, the value add not just to our economy but just the overall confidence in our institutions would be enormous.
BURNETT: And do you think that the American people now are ready to hear they'll be cuts to Medicare?
COBURN: Well, I think that's one failure of the president is one of the things we lack right now on this problem is leadership. If the president were to stand up and say folks we have this big problem (INAUDIBLE) and here's the problem and define it accurately and say there's all sorts of solutions. What we ought to do is make the process work. The reason I voted for Bowles-Simpson is I wanted to get it on the floor of the Senate so the Senate could do its work. And then have everybody vote and defend their votes on what they think is the best solution to it. But ultimately we can come to an agreement on the Senate floor.
So Bowles-Simpson start is a wonderful start. It's not everything I'd want. It's not everything Mark would want, but we have a chance to amend that and come up with what the Senate, have the House do the same thing, put it in conference and let's actually send a signal to the world that we're going to fix our problems. It will change our economy tomorrow if we did that in terms of growth.
BURNETT: The confidence of a debt rating --
BURNETT: -- count up. We're going to get to 365 days soon since we lost --
WARNER: Remember, we have got American business is sitting on $2.5 trillion in cash on their balance sheets. Giving them the predictability that we've kind of got to rationalize tax code --
WARNER: -- that we're going to meet our obligations and a tax code that's simpler as well as entitlement programs that can be sustainable (INAUDIBLE) 50 years, I think that will be a job generator as much as any single program that either the presidential candidates have.
BURNETT: Are you frustrated and do you think the conversation would be different if the president had come out early and endorsed Simpson- Bowles?
WARNER: I think the president -- I think the president should have done more to explain the problem. He did come out and endorse our "gang of six" plan.
BURNETT: Yes. WARNER: I think that maybe cost us some votes. I think there are some folks particularly in the House that if the president endorses anything, it will be immediately assigned why they can't be for it. I think in many ways it falls then to a group of bipartisan senators who are willing to take the first set of arrows from both sides and both of us have, you know to lay out a plan and I hope and I think the president will be supportive of that.
BURNETT: And I want to ask you all about something, this issue of democracy, which I brought up with Speaker Boehner today, that you know we've got a payroll tax cut that is important to people right now, but once people have these things, it becomes hard to take them away. The Bush tax cut is a great example.
WARNER: That's why I voted against it because (INAUDIBLE).
COBURN: I did too. I voted against it as well.
BURNETT: There you go. All right, so you're on the same page on that as well. I wanted to just play a sound bite though about what President Clinton said about the Bush tax cuts and get your reaction. Here he is.
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B. CLINTON: You could tax me at 100 percent and you wouldn't balance the budget. We are going to have to contribute to this and if middle class people's wages were going up again and we had some growth in the economy, I don't think they would object to going back to the tax rates that obtained when I was president.
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BURNETT: Are we eventually going to be able to have those tax rates go away? Because we've all looked at the numbers, if they go away for everybody, it's $2.8 trillion --
BURNETT: That's more than half of the country --
WARNER: Cuts about $4.5 (ph) trillion. So you know and no one's talking about putting them all back in, but I agree with President Clinton. You know beyond 2-X (ph) of poverty, everybody is going to have to have some skin in the game and even if it's a deminimous (ph) amount because this a national crisis. Admiral Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said this debt and deficit issue is a greater threat than terrorism.
COBURN: I think the approach ought to be is how do you stimulate the economy and have a fair tax system.
BURNETT: Right. COBURN: And I don't think we had it right during the Clinton years. I don't think we had it right during the Bush years. But first of all, we passed the Bush tax cuts and didn't cut spending to pay for it, so we widened our deficit.
COBURN: So it's easy to pass a tax cut. It's hard to pass a tax cut that you pay for. So you know one of the things Speaker Boehner --
BURNETT: A lot of people like in your party --
BURNETT: -- some of them tend to believe that a tax cut just pays for itself --
COBURN: Well sometimes it does especially -- but the key is, is how do you create long term certainty and confidence so that the money that Mark talked about sitting on the side actually gets invested and we create wealth. If you create jobs without creating wealth, you haven't done anything for the economy, so you have to do it. And my worry even though I'm for let's have the free for all, let's have the debate --
COBURN: If you tax the people who are the job creators, you've actually hurt our growth and you've hurt the rise in tax revenues that would come to the government. What we know in the Reagan years is when take you away a lot of these deductions and a lot of these special things that people have lobbied for and you flatten and broaden the base, what you have is significant increased economic growth, 4.6 percent over 70 months.
COBURN: I mean unbelievable.
WARNER: You can actually have both because disproportionately --
WARNER: -- folks at the top end were on that take more advantage of the tax breaks than others. So you can have a simpler code. You can have that predictability --
WARNER: -- and you can maintain the progressivity (ph) that I think is important that allows those of us who have done well to say, all right, we're going to chip in to make sure that the next generation does well --
(CROSSTALK) BURNETT: All right well thank to both of you. I'm going to switch the -- the Shakespeare line now. First thing we do is kill all the lawyers. How about let's just kill all the lobbyists --
COBURN: The lobbyists aren't the problem. The members of Congress are the problem.
BURNETT: Oh all right --
WARNER: And the business community and others who need to step up and say this has to get fixed. We've all got to have some skin in the game.
BURNETT: All right. Thanks to both.
WARNER: You bet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
BURNETT: And ahead OUTFRONT is President Obama the first female president? And a new twist in the controversial pardons involving Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, tonight a man freed by Barbour is facing new charges in a murder and the FBI now getting involved in the massive losses at JPMorgan.
BURNETT: Our second story OUTFRONT, President Obama up nine points over Mitt Romney among women voters. Now this is according to the latest Gallup poll. And you may remember last night we were talking about the CBS/"New York Times" poll which had showed Romney up by three points among women, which was within the margin of error, but still surprised both the people on the left and the right on the panel.
They didn't think it would quite be that way. And it is right now nine points in the president's favor according to Gallup. But does that mean he's the first female president? You say what, are you crazy? Well I'm not the one who said this. This is what an op-ed in "The Washington Post" said the president is as he launched a major new appeal to those coveted women voters.
Referring to the president's commencement speech at the all-female Barnard College Dana Milbank (ph) writes -- see "The First Female President?" was its headline and it said "Monday's activities veered into pandering as Obama brazenly flaunted his feminine mystique." Something about it is just I don't know, his feminine mystique, OK. Obama also appeared on "The View" today where he talked about getting teased by the first lady and coaching his daughter's basketball team.
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BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're celebrating four years of Title IX and it shows when girls are given the opportunity and they're competing and they're working as a team, it makes them stronger, it makes them more confident. It's one of the great things that's happened during the course of my lifetime is women's sports becoming just as important, just as powerful --
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BURNETT: CNN's chief political analyst Gloria Borger is with me, former deputy press secretary for President Obama Bill Burton is here, Reihan Salam is in New York. They are on the "Political Strike Team", which we debut tonight, 20 of the best independent political thinkers in the business. We're going to be getting their perspectives all the way through the election. So we're talking today about the strategy on attracting women and we asked all of them and it was nearly unanimous, almost every single one of the 20 and maybe the people downstairs cheering behind me that you can probably hear, they are women after all cheering for the president. I have to say, Gloria, something about this, though, as I was watching on video. I'm like maybe the president needs to spend some time with some men. I see him with six women on "The View" bench.
BURNETT: I see him with --
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: But you say that as a joke, but it's actually true. Because here's the problem for President Obama and I don't know, Bill, you may disagree with me, but he has got to widen that gender gap and make it a gulch because he doesn't do as well as Mitt Romney does with men. So if he's losing men, which he is, he has to win women by a wide margin. Now, historically, Democrats do generally win women, but he's not leaving anything up to chance. So he's at "The View". I'm sure there will be pieces of legislation on Capitol Hill that Democrats are going to roll out that are pro-women.
BORGER: They've had the Lilly Ledbetter Act (ph), which to be fair pay equity very important.
BORGER: But I think he's got to make that gap even larger.
BURNETT: Well headlines like "the first female president" might help.
BURNETT: I know that I chuckle at it, but I mean is this going to be a full board (ph) strategy, going for women.
BILL BURTON, FMR. DEP. WHITE HOUSE PRESS SEC.: Well I do agree with what Gloria is saying in the sense that there is no way for the president to win probably if he doesn't have a good advantage with women voters. And it's not just Lilly Ledbetter (ph). It's also look at the choice on the Supreme Court. Mitt Romney says that he would put an Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. President Obama put Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan on the Supreme Court. There's a huge difference on contraception. Mitt Romney came out to the right of Rick Santorum on contraception. So I think that like issue by issue the president is going to have a real case to make against Mitt Romney.
BURNETT: The president did also say though -- I mean Mitt Romney also said in a debate I believe that he wouldn't touch the contraception rules, the New Hampshire.
BORGER: He did --
BORGER: But that won't stop --
BORGER: That won't stop him from talking about it.
BURTON: Well Mitt Romney --
BURTON: Like it is, is that Mitt Romney has had a lot of different positions and I think that he needs to be held accountable for what he said during this campaign where he is on women's issues, be it contraception or choice, and further to the right than the most far to the right Republicans --
BORGER: Can we talk about the spouses being the character witnesses for the candidates?
BURNETT: I want --
BURNETT: But first I kept hearing this what, what, in my ear? And I thought there was something wrong. And no, Reihan, it's you.
REIHAN SALAM, COLUMNIST, THE DAILY: I'm so sorry.
BURNETT: Is something wrong?
SALAM: Well, you know there's always something wrong with me, Erin, as you know and one of the things is my deep hunger for the truth. And I've got to say the idea that Mitt Romney was to the right of Rick Santorum on contraception certainly strikes me as a curious position. But one thing I'll also say with regard to what Gloria said earlier is that Barack Obama won women by 13 percentage points in 2008. That's a pretty big margin that contributed to his big margin in that election. And if in the Gallup poll he's leading by nine points that suggests a tremendous amount of erosion among female voters. And if it's anything like that "New York Times"/CBS poll in which Romney was actually ahead among women, and again you know there's a lot of criticisms of that poll and that's perfectly legitimate --
SALAM: -- but if it's anywhere close to that, that's really, really rough news for the president. So I encourage the president really do everything you possibly can on this front because that's the way you're going to make this a fair fight.
BURTON: Well just on the facts in terms of Mitt Romney and how far to the right he got, during the debate on contraception, Mitt Romney said not only was he not for what the president did on contraception with health care reform, but he said he was against Title X, which is federal funding for family planning, which is something that's so bipartisan that George H.W. Bush when he was in Congress co-sponsored it and President Nixon signed it into law, so I mean there is a huge contrast on women and I think that the president --
SALAM: Now was Rick Santorum for that provision?
BURTON: No he was not for ending taxes --
SALAM: Oh so -- so then the distinction that you draw is problematic, right?
BURTON: No, the distinction is that --
SALAM: The distinction --
BURTON: -- Mitt Romney is further to the right --
SALAM: -- the right of Santorum given that they have the same position on title --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
BURTON: Romney is to the right of Santorum --
SALAM: How does --
BORGER: Here's the thing. It's in your interests to talk about Mitt Romney as an extremist on the social and cultural issues because his economic appeal is to Independent voters. Independent voters don't like extreme social issues, so you've got to portray him as extreme on --
BURNETT: Before --
BORGER: -- hence contraception.
BURNETT: Before we go I just want to go one other topic. Bill Clinton today, we were talking about the terrible discourse here in Washington and he talked about when he lost to -- Republican Bob Ingliss (ph) lost as part of the very far shift to the right we're seeing in the Republican primary process. Here's what Bill Clinton said.
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B. CLINTON: This guy was on the Judiciary Committee that impeached me and it wasn't enough for him (INAUDIBLE). He's a very good guy, by the way.
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BURNETT: I mean, come on.
BURNETT: If he can forgive and forget that, we can get stuff done here.
BURTON: Where is the --
BURNETT: And you say he's a good guy --
BURTON: Forgive and forget.
BORGER: Makes you really miss Bill Clinton --
BURNETT: All right thanks to all three of you. I appreciate it. It was just one of those moments --
BURNETT: Tried to impeach me but he's a good guy.
BURNETT: I'd be like (INAUDIBLE). All right, our third story OUTFRONT a controversial pardon by former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, obviously you know the back story to this, but one of them has gotten more controversial, because one of the inmates that the governor pardoned in January is now being charged with driving under the influence, accused of leaving the scene of an accident after killing 18-year-old Charity Smith (ph) while he was driving drunk last October. Harry Bostick (ph) was among 200 inmates including four convicted murderers pardoned by outgoing Governor Haley Barbour earlier this year. The retired IRS agent had three DUI convictions when Governor Barbour decided to give him a second chance at the recommendation of the parole board. Our Ed Lavandera is covering the story and is OUTFRONT for us tonight. And Ed as -- I mean this is -- it's hard to put in any other words, just a terrible tragedy that this would have happened. What is the reaction now?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Erin this is one of those stories that the more you uncover the more flabbergasting it got quite frankly. And this is one of those stories -- it didn't quite get as much attention initially as those four murderers that were pardoned who worked on the -- at the governor's mansion and were pardoned. But when you peeled away the layers here there was just something very troubling. This man, a man by the name of Harry Bostick, is a former IRS investigator. He had very influential friends in the town of Oxford, Mississippi where he lives.
These were former U.S. attorneys who in the process of applying for this pardon wrote glowing letters on Bostick's behalf to various people in Jackson, Mississippi including the governor's office, pleading for his pardon of his third DUI offense that he was in the middle of serving a sentence on. He wasn't in prison but was serving in a drug and alcohol program. His friends wrote that he had kicked his habit. That he had overcome his alcohol problems and he wasn't drinking anymore. All of this was kind of packaged up. The parole board in Mississippi voted in a 3-2 vote to recommend him for a pardon. All of this was put in a package, sent off to the governor's office and then a week later he's involved in an accident suspected of driving drunk again that ends in the death of this 18-year-old girl, Charity Smith (ph).
He's actually sitting in jail almost -- for almost three months when the governor decides to pull the trigger and give Harry Bostick (ph) this pardon. The governor at the time said that he had no idea that this accident had happened. We've uncovered e-mails that suggest otherwise that the governor's office was told that Harry Bostick (ph) had been in this accident, that he was still drinking and still the pardon went through.
BURNETT: All right, such -- it's a terrible story and interesting as you said that you've now started to get e-mail evidence that perhaps what the governor said he knew is not what he really knew. What happens from here, Ed, in terms of the governor's -- I'm not saying culpability in this, but what's going to happen to him and also what kind of punishment does Mr. Bostick face now?
LAVANDERA: Well, what happens how is that Harry Bostick has just been indicted by a grand jury in Mississippi. He faces three charges. A DUI drinking charge, but also more seriously a DUI death charge in connection with the death of Charity Smith (ph). He faces at least 30 years in prison. But remember that third DUI charge, a felony, was wiped from his record. So this fourth DUI arrest becomes his third and that could affect what kind of punishment he faces in the future, but the trial is still several months away.
BURNETT: All right, Ed Lavandera, thank you very much and also clearly some more questions for Governor Haley Barbour. Well ahead in our second half, breaking details about George Zimmerman's injuries. We now have information about what state he was in on the night he was shot and this is something you definitely need to know if you're following this case and the FBI now involved in the JPMorgan case. That's next.
BURNETT: We start the second half of our show with stories we care about, where we focus on our own reporting from the front lines. And the debt ceiling on the table again right here in Washington where I'm standing. It will be raised this year we hope.
House Speaker John Boehner today told me he won't do it though unless every single dollar is matched by spending cuts or reforms which don't include higher tax rates, but he told me would mean some people pay a higher tax bill thanks to closing loopholes. Now it doesn't seem that this rule, though, of a cut -- a dollar in cuts or reforms for every dollar of an increase applies to the Republican budget which the CBO says would require a $5.2 trillion increase in the debt ceiling over the next decade.
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BURNETT: One more thing on this debt ceiling and I have to ask it because Chris Van Hollen brought it up here and I checked it. He was talking about the Paul Ryan budget, which obviously you supported. According to the CBO, that would require a $5.2 trillion increase in the debt ceiling over the next 10 years just as it was.
BOEHNER: Yes, the big bad --
BURNETT: So you'd be OK with that --
BOEHNER: The big bad House Republican budge would discard everything under the sun according to my friends across the aisle, would still require a $5 trillion increase in the debt ceiling over the next 10 years. Why? Because of the great big demographic bubble baby boomers like me that are going to retire and continue retiring for the next 20, 25 years. It's a big challenge.
BURNETT: So it's not every increase in the debt ceiling that you're going to say has to be matched one for one. It's the point you're making with this one to try to force overall reform, willing to borrow for your plan?
BOEHNER: Well, I don't know how long I'll be around here, but that was the line in the sand last year. It's the line in the sand this year. And guess what? As long as I'm around here, I believe that line in the sand will be there.
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BURNETT: So what if you could you prevent Alzheimer's? Federal officials announce today that a drug is being tested that could prevent the horrible memory-stealing disease. The clinical trial would target people who have genetically pre-destined to get the disease but don't yet show symptoms. Scientists know that amyloid plaque in the brain is associated with Alzheimer's and the new drug is designed to attack the formation of the plaque. Now, it's going to take a couple years of test to go see if the drug works at all. Alzheimer affects more than 5 million people in this country at a cost of over $200 billion a year.
There's a lot to talk about in the Facebook world today. The company increased the price at which it's going to sell its shares on Friday. It's now $34 to $38 a share. The range was $28 to $35. So that's a big increase and that does put the value of the company at more than $100 billion.
We also learned that General Motors will no longer spend money on advertising on Facebook. According to the "Wall Street Journal," G.M. was spending $10 million in ads and we learned Facebook has bought Lightbox, which is photo app for android. In a blog post, they say Facebook is acquiring the company but developers will join the Facebook team. The G.M. news is important because if you're buying Facebook, you are buying an advertising company. Make no mistake about it.
Well, it's been 285 days since the U.S. lost its top credit rating. What are we doing to get it back? Well, new data shows inflation is not going anywhere. Declining energy prices actually really helped out offsetting gains in other areas.
Well, to our fourth story OUTFRONT. Breaking news tonight in the case against Florida neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman. According to a medical report obtained by ABC News, Zimmerman was treated by a family doctor for a broken nose, swollen face, black eyes, two cuts on the head the day after he shot and killed 17-yeawr-old Trayvon Martin. The new details could bolster Zimmerman's defense which is that he killed an unarmed Trayvon Martin during a struggle because he feared for his life.
State prosecutors say he profiled Trayvon Martin racially and charge him with second-degree murder.
Paul Callan is a criminal defense attorney. Mark NeJame is a criminal defense and CNN legal contributor.
And good to see both of you.
Paul, we've heard about some of these injuries. Obviously, hearing all these in a row is more detail all at once than we've had, and it's also saying that he sought this treatment the day after it happened. How significant is this?
PAUL CALLAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think it's quite significant, actually, and the new thing here is we've heard talk about these injuries from family members of Mr. Zimmerman, but apparently now, there are medical reports sustaining and proving the existence. And the most important one being I think, Erin, the existence of the broken nose which -- the defense would say suggest as frontal assault by Trayvon Martin on George Zimmerman and would support the self-defense claim.
BURNETT: And, Mark, do you agree with that? Because, obviously, George Zimmerman did not actually seek hospitalization. I mean, is that something that would work against him in this case or no?
MARK NEJAME, CNN LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: No, I agree with that opinion. I think very simply we heard this all come out during the bond hearing actually. But now, we have corroboration of the fact that there seem to be genuine and signature injuries to Zimmerman.
Now, what does it mean? It means that there's a greater chance than not that there was some measure of mutual combat going on, and we also know from what we heard in the bond hearing and I'm anxious to see the discovery that the shooting was at close range, gunshot powder and stifling.
So it does seem like there was mutual combat going on from the limited amount we have right now.
BURNETT: Paul, I'm curious, though, all of this being said, doesn't it still really matter who started it, that if there's some way to prove that George Zimmerman started the entire altercation, that it wouldn't matter whether he was framed for his life because he started it?
CALLAN: Well, yes. It's called the initial aggressor doctrine. If you start a fight and you provoke the fight, then you can't use self- defense. But this evidence would seem to suggest that if there was a physical altercation, Zimmerman was on the receiving end, not the giving end.
And I just wanted to added a one thing, there are other reports that the autopsy in the case of Trayvon Martin show lacerations on his fists and a gunshot wound to the chest. Now, if that proves to be true, that would suggest obviously that the fists were used to strike Zimmerman. So we only have part of the evidence here and I don't want to jump to any conclusions prematurely, but I think the defense probably had a good day in terms of structuring their case.
BURNETT: Mark, I know you've been doing some investigating about the prosecutor's office, and specifically why the special prosecutor was assigned. You can tell us anything about that selection?
NEJAME: I'm still puzzled by it and we've been working on it and I've been talking to everybody who will talk back to me. To this day, it is not come out as to what conflict of interest the state attorney for Seminole County had. Nobody in law enforcement, nobody on the street, no lawyers, nobody has been able to state that.
And then we find mysteriously that all of a sudden, this is assigned by Attorney General Pam Bondi and the governor to the special prosecutor. Highly unusual, we don't know of any conflict of interest. We know now the chief never met with the state attorney until after the indictment came in. So why would a case be removed from an experienced, qualified prosecutor, and then when he was going to take to the grand jury and then charges are brought? You know, there should not be meddling from the executive office with these type of matters. Don't know if there was, but we need to find out if there was.
BURNETT: Paul, Mark, thank you.
And next, the FBI is the latest now involved in the -- could be up to $4 billion of losses in JPMorgan. Why the FBI?
Well, the doctors are trying to stop a flesh eating bacteria attacking a college student. Her dad comes OUTFRONT as she fights right now. He's next.
COSTELLO: Well, now, the FBI is involved looking in to potential wrong doing at JPMorgan and there's also reports of the Department of Justice has launched an investigation. Of course, there's also one that could be going on at the SEC. Meanwhile, chairman and SEC Jamie Dimon faced shareholders at the bank's annual meeting. It was, as you might imagine, confrontational at times.
And here's what one person had to say.
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LISA LINDSEY, AFSCME: Shareholders have lost over $50 billion in market cap since February of last year. The stakes are simply too high to continue business as usual when an all powerful CEO is his own boss.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Well, Dimon got to keep his chairman title and a pay package that netted him $23 million last year.
John Avlon is with us, of "Newsweek Daily Beast." Paul Callan is also back with us.
I guess, John Avlon, let me just start with you in terms of this compensation. You know, it seems like this is a moment where the CEO could say, you know what? I'm not to take it. I'm not going to take it. It's unclear whether everyone voted today or a lot of votes had come in before the incident at this point, for the pay package.
But do you think that was a possible big mistake that he's made as he tries to kind of climb out of this hole and rebuild the reputation for the company?
JOHN AVLON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, he obviously didn't feel the pressure to do that. And didn't feel that that gesture would be necessary to either publicly or privately reassure markets or shareholders in the strength of his leadership. But, of course, he's building off a strong base. You know, we had one of the strongest reputations in the banking business, nationally really. So the real problem for JPMorgan Chase and Jamie Dimon here is that the credibility they have taken into arguments about regulations or other things going forward has really been fundamentally compromised by this multibillion loss. But clearly he did not feel he had to make concessions to that point today at the shareholders meeting.
BURNETT: That's right. Our Poppy Harlow is there, too, reported it was sort of a 9:1 margin in favor of the pay package.
So, Paul Callan, it seems like the shareholders were behind Mr. Dimon. But can you explain, Paul, why the heck the FBI is involved?
CALLAN: Well, I'll tell you something, I bring a lot of skepticism to these reports. By the way, all of the wire services, all of the major newspapers, networks are all reports this, but they're using the words that they're looking into this. And, you know, when I last checked, Erin, it's not a crime to lose money if you're a bank in America.
So I don't know what crime they're investigating. They may be investigating some obscure reporting requirement and saying that there was an illegality there, but until we hear there's an open grand jury, I bring a lot of skepticism to the idea that there is a criminal probe going on here.
BURNETT: Is it a case of now you have the Department of Justice, SEC -- I mean, everybody has to look at it, sort of a pile on thing?
CALLAN: That's a different matter. The SEC and Department of Justice have civil arms, as well, where they may be looking to see if shareholders were defrauded or lost their money in an improper way. That's very, very different, though, from a criminal probe.
A civil suit would not surprise me. As a matter of fact I think some have been filed already. Shareholder derivative suits they're called in which Chase will be sued, JPMorgan will be sued, I'm sorry, for alleged negligence.
BURNETT: So, Paul, how much could JPMorgan be on the hook for? Do you have any sense? I'm not talking just FBI, but just overall with all these kinds of investigations going.
CALLAN: Well, we know the initial reports were of a $2 billion loss. It's hard to say what the final number might be because if the market goes back up and shareholders in fact I think the market did go up in JPMorgan's stock today.
So calculating the actual damages is not easy. It certainly probably will be less than the $2 billion figure if shareholders were to prevail in a lawsuit and I don't think it's clear that they could win such a lawsuit.
BURNETT: John Avlon, how much further does this company? Are we at the tip of the iceberg or at the end of the row on this one?
AVLON: Well, I do think there's a certain news cycle pile on effect right now. I agree with Paul, if you really look at the FBI inquiry, which is catching fire, it's unnamed sources talking about a preliminary review in its infancy.
AVLON: So, I wouldn't play spooks on that. But pull back big picture the question about these potential congressional hearings and what the results could be on that. Could this example be more evidence that makes people say, you know what, we need to get the Volcker Rule in place. It should have been in place.
Whether or not it would have affected the trade, could this incident be used to remind people there are still problems out there, credit default swap is still out there and there's more argument for implanting the Volcker Rule now.
BURNETT: All right. Thanks to both. We'll keep following it and see if that FBI investigation turns in to anything or not.
And OUTFRONT next: a college student was attacked by flesh eating bacteria. Her parents OUTFRONT, next.
BURNETT: Our fifth story OUTFRONT: two Georgia parents watching, waiting and hoping for the best, after a rare flesh-eating bacteria attacked their child.
Two weeks ago, 24-year-old Aimee Copeland was on a zip line adventure with friends. It was about 50 miles west of Atlanta, near the Little Tallapoosa River. Copeland took her turn on the homemade zip line and it snapped. She was left with a gash on her leg, went to the hospital, 22 staples to close it.
She thought things were OK. But a few days later, she realized went back to the hospital still in pain and realized she had contracted a flesh eating bacteria, or necrotizing fasciitis.
It's been ravaging her body. Doctors have amputated part of her abdomen, her leg. She's in danger of slowing more.
OUTFRONT tonight, Aimee's father, Andy Copeland, is with us.
Sir, thank you very much for taking the time. It's just -- how is she doing today?
ANDY COPELAND, AIMEE'S FATHER: Erin, Amy is just amazingly resilient. Today, she's actually doing very well. She was in high spirits. Again, we continued to talk. We actually talked a lot more about a lot of things.
She appears to be remembering day to day different conversations we've had. We actually referred to some conversations she had yesterday. So her memory is -- short term memory appears to be coming back which is a very encouraging sign.
BURNETT: Does she understand what has happened to her at this point? COPELAND: Well, she understands she had an accident. She actually understands she's been in the hospital now for 11 days here in Augusta, at doctors hospital. As for all the specifics, we steered her away from the experience itself. To me, it probably does no good in her healing process to bring up any bad memories at this point.
BURNETT: So what are doctors telling you about her chances for recovery. I know it's a miracle that she's come as far as she has.
COPELAND: You know, it is. It's an absolute miracle. When you actually -- if you wanted to quantify it, I believe the doctors thought she had about 1 percent survival that night she arrived here. That was upgraded, believe it or not, to a chance of slim to none later on, which probably isn't much of an improvement.
But the doctors have been baffled. I understand that one of the doctors went by, looked at her charts, examined the vital signs and said this doesn't make any sense. But we know it does make sense, because we believe in miracles. Aimee's our miracle child.
BURNETT: She's a fighter. Even though she doesn't know what she's fighting, that's her natural way, right? She's just fighting.
COPELAND: Absolutely. It's interesting. I saw a Mike Kolakovich (ph) cartoon that was in the AJC yesterday. It had Roberto Duran, Mike Tyson and Aimee Copeland. It said, which of these is the greatest fighter? I think that's has been answered.
BURNETT: Yes, it will be a wonderful. When she -- when she does understand and have to cope with that to know that the nation sees her that way. I know you've been organized blood drives and are still trying to get more blood.
Can you explain exactly why and what it is that you need?
COPELAND: You know, that's a really good point. In fact, I'd like to understand a little bit more about what Aimee's blood usage has been. I know when you're looking at major wounds like Aimee has, there's a lot of blood. You need to run a lot of plasma. There's going to be red blood cells needed, Cryo. We're looking at platelets to be able to help clot the blood. You've got a lot of need.
And the thing is, she's been using a lot of the products that have existed in the bank already. So it's interesting. I went, I guess, Sunday a week ago -- I met with one of her pulmonologist. And asked him, I said, what can I do to help? And he said, go out and get blood.
I thought if I'm just one person giving blood, that's not a big help. So, my goal at that point was to get the community mobilized. We've got blood drives in Augusta, Carrollton, Winder, Lawrenceville, Snellville. So we're really reaching across Georgia.
My next goal was to try to get Columbia, South Carolina involved. I actually have some connections there in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where we're originally from. So, I love to see the who nation join in this, because blood is something that burn victims, wound victims nee and hospitals need it. It should be our civic duty to at least give blood.
BURNETT: Certainly makes us think differently about it.
COPELAND: Absolutely. I was just going to ask. I'd love to see CNN go out and get some blood too. So, maybe we can get CNN out there and get mobilized to get the community in too. What do you think?
BURNETT: I think that sounds like a very good idea. We are a Georgia company.
Look, thank you very much. Certainly a miracle story. And by the way, looking at the pictures of your daughter we were just showing. Beautiful young woman she is.
Well, next, the generation that's doing the most to save America. The e-block is next.
BURNETT: So I spent the day at a fiscal summit and it's hosted by a man named Peter Peterson. He's a businessman, investment banker and a former secretary of commerce. He was the cofounder of the Blackstone Group.
And in 2010, he was one of 40 billionaires that signed the giving pledge, agreed to give half of his wealth to charity. He's also 85 years old.
And was amazing today behind stage was two of his sons were there, his granddaughter were there. They were all participating in the entire event. It made me think about all the generations at play, because you keep hearing all the time lately that the older generations are passing their problems on to the future, right? Although people alive now, hey, forget about it, just run up and, you know, leave it to them later.
But at the summit. That is not the case. It was the older generation that was leading the tone and leading the way. Senator Alan Simpson, you saw him there, is 80 years old. He is the Simpson of Simpson- Bowles.
He was one of the most passionate and entertaining speakers today.
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ALAN SIMPSON, FORMER SENATOR FROM WYOMING: How many contractors do you have in the Defense Department? Well, it's quite a range. What is it? It's between a million and 10 million. That is a hell of a range.
Obamacare, call it Elvis Presley carry, I don't care care.
Where do you get your health care? Is it free? There'll be hair and blood and eyeballs all over the floor. How the hell do you get that? Read in "The Reader's Digest", I guess. Anyway --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Even the guy used to be the guy youngest in the room but isn't so young anymore showed up.
Yes, former President Bill Clinton was there. He gave an absolute great speech. He's 65 years old, which is young, but he's spending a lot of time working towards bipartisan solutions.
So, look. Here's the bottom line. Shows Americans do care. And older people do care a lot.
Tom Brokaw was there, my mentor. They care. They're trying to change the country for the better. Let's do a debt deal.
Anderson Cooper starts now.