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New Developments in Trayvon Martin Case; Controversial Anti- Obama Strategy Revealed; Interview With Congressman Charles Gonzalez; Interview with Senator Schumer

Aired May 17, 2012 - 18:00   ET


JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. I'm John King.

Tonight, a conservative super PAC says it has no intention of financing a new plan to tie President Obama to his controversial former pastor. But the Obama and Romney campaigns clash over the idea anyway.

Plus, the Romney immigration agenda is the focus of our candidate report card tonight, including his then and now answer to whether illegal immigrants should get a path to citizenship.

And as Facebook prepares to go public, one of its founders say senators who label him an ingrate and a tax cheat are wrong.

We begin this evening with an important lesson in attack politics. A plan no matter how controversial or audacious is useless unless someone is willing to bankroll it. And at the moment, no one is willing to pay the estimated $10 million price tag to implement this plan, the defeat of Barack Hussein Obama, it is called.

And at first glance, you might think Mitt Romney would be interested, but think again.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I repudiate that effort. I think it is the wrong course for a PAC or a campaign. I hope that our campaigns can respectively be about the future and about issues.


KING: You heard Governor Romney there. Implementing this campaign, this is about the president's past, more specifically, his two decades attending the Chicago church of the controversial pastor Jeremiah Wright.


REVEREND JEREMIAH WRIGHT, TRINITY UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST: And then wants us to sing God bless America. No, no, not God bless America. God damn America. That's in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America.


KING: Now, in the pitch trying to sell this plan to a super PAC, GOP ad guru Fred Davis wrote this -- quote -- "While much of the nation knows of Reverend Wright, the good reverend and his inflammatory influence have never been packaged in the proper attention-arresting way with sufficient resources to truly drill it into America's consciousness."

Our chief White House correspondent, Jessica Yellin, tracking this story.

Jess, first and foremost, why did this plan collapse?

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, for one thing, instead of turning into a five-minute ad and unveiling it during the Democratic National Convention, as the ad maker Fred Davis proposed, the proposal was leaked to "The New York Times" and ended up on the front page, which prompted the Obama campaign to issue a statement calling on Mitt Romney to essentially denounce it.

You saw Mitt Romney eventually renounce this. And then, the person who the proposal was given to, a PAC called End the Spending, the founder of that group put out a statement saying, I reject this and I am not accepting it. The group that actually made the proposal also said, hey, hey, hey, it was just a proposal. Nobody actually bought it.

Basically, everybody is taking a hands-off policy now. No, no, it wasn't me. Even the ad maker saying, listen, I'm the one who put this out there and nobody else did anything with it. John, all hands off now.

KING: All hands off maybe, but if you read it, Jess, one of the many cynical things said in here is if we do this campaign, we will get a lot of free media attention, because people will want to talk about it.

Here's proof. They didn't even have to do that and people are talking about it. Does the Obama team assume someone, someone will eventually finance something like this?

YELLIN: No. Their sense is that this dog won't hunt. Their view is that this has been sort of asked and answered.

And I have spoken to a lot of Republican operatives who also believe that this is not a winning tactic, because, really, the voters that are up for grabs in this election are the independent swing voters who tend to be turned off by this kind of politics.

John McCain has said that he is glad he didn't use it. But even John McCain's former campaign manager says that he thinks releasing this, even this memo, is going to hurt Mitt Romney and the Republican brand.

And I spoke to somebody who is involved in this year's cycle, a Republican, top Republican operative who called this memo, this proposal, the idea -- quote -- "political malpractice." I don't see a lot of Republicans wanting to grab ahold of this right now or at all -- John.

KING: That's certainly the evidence tonight.

Our chief White House correspondent, Jessica Yellin.

Let's continue the conversation with our chief political analyst, Gloria Borger.

And as Jess noted, Republicans could not run from this fast enough. Fred Davis, many people might not know his name, he's the one that brought you "I'm not a witch" from Christine O'Donnell, the nefarious killer sheep it was back in one of the California campaigns last year. He has been around a long time. He's been successful in many times. But, boy, a lot of his friends right now are saying, whoa.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, and most recently worked for Jon Huntsman, a more moderate Republican presidential candidate.

The people -- people who used to work for John McCain repudiate this on the record, off the record. I spoke with Charlie Black, who was the senior adviser to John McCain, who said that anybody who wants to relitigate the Reverend Wright issue is wrong.

And then there are other Republicans who say, first of all, it is offensive, number one. Number two, President Obama is liked, very well liked by the American people; over 50 percent like him. Why do you want to attack somebody that people really like?

And, third, any time Mitt Romney is not talking about the economy or jobs or the president's health care plan is a minute wasted. And why waste your time on this? And you saw Mitt Romney today try and turn the conversation right back to the economy.

KING: And so if you read the plan -- and I read all 50-plus pages of it today.

BORGER: Right.

KING: Fred Davis is not a dumb guy. He might be controversial. He might be wacky.

BORGER: Right.

KING: Why would he think this would work?

My take is, look, he has been president for three years now. The American people have been through some pretty tough times. They would like to have a campaign about a job, about the economy, about government spending, not about what Mitt Romney did in high school or what President Obama did in church 10 years ago.

(CROSSTALK) BORGER: What he is trying to do, and the Romney people understand that their problem is this likability question. They do better than the president who is best able to manage the economy by a little bit.

But where the president does really well is that people like him. And so this was Mr. Davis' way of sort of whittling away at the president's likability, because the feeling was if you could get that number to go down, then you can help Mitt Romney.

And don't forget sometimes these independent committees ads work. I take you back to 2004, John Kerry and the swift boat ads. They sort of whittled away at John Kerry's patriotism and his military record, something the Republicans didn't want to touch as a candidate.

KING: Somebody did.

BORGER: But somebody did.

KING: Somebody did.

We will keep an eye on this one.


KING: Now to today's monster-sized deal in the tech and financial worlds. After the stock markets closed just a couple of hours ago, Facebook announced its initial public offering of stock, or an IPO for short, will be priced at $38 a share. That would raise $16 billion.

That's a record for a tech company and the third largest IPO ever in the United States.

CNN's Alison Kosik here to explain what it means for the value of the company and for you.

Alison, $38, that's significantly higher than originally anticipated. What caused that?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's not actually coming as a huge surprise, because before this week Facebook had actually priced range of these shares between $28 and $35.

Then this week, Facebook went ahead and told the SEC, you know what? We are going to put that price range between $34 and $38. Well, today, on the eve of when Facebook is going to offer these shares to the public, it met with its bankers, it met with its underwriters and they all came to the conclusion that $38 will be the price.

Everyone wants to know why did this price go higher. It went higher because there is strong demand, that in the past couple of weeks, Facebook executives have been going around the country pitching the IPO to potential investors. And you know what they found? They found that more people want it. And the more people that want it, the more you can sell it for. In fact, one investor said the response to this IPO, John, has been nothing short of pandemonium -- John.

KING: And given that interest, the more people want it, the initial wave goes out to institutional investors. Does the average Joe have any chance of paying $38 or somewhere near there?

KOSIK: Honestly, good luck. You have to remember, what's happening right now are these buy and sell orders are actually going in right now getting ready for the big IPO.

Yes, when the IPO actually trades tomorrow, 9:30, it may be -- it is most likely going to be delayed a little bit -- it will start at $38. But in no time, with today's electronic trading, you can bet that this price is going to be bid up higher and higher. So, it is going to be really, really tough to actually get in on that $38 a share.

And to put it in perspective so everyone can kind of take a breath, because there has been a lot of hype with this Facebook offering, look at what other -- these sort of other hot tech IPOs that have come out as of late, LinkedIn and Google. Sure, today, they're trading above that initial price, that initial IPO price. In fact, Google is more than 600 percent above.

But then look at Zynga, look at Pandora, look at Groupon. They are trading below that first price, that the first trading price. Groupon is below 50 percent. So that kind of takes you back down -- it takes you back down to Earth to make you realize Facebook can be just like any of these other high-tech IPOs and just kind of take a breath and you may want to wait for the volatility of these shares to sort of calm down before you jump in -- John.

KING: Certainly don't do it if you can't afford to lose it. Alison Kosik for us at the market tonight, Alison, thanks so much.

KOSIK: You said it.

Now to a story just coming into CNN. A Florida court just released the autopsy report on Trayvon Martin. He's the Florida teenager of course killed last February by a neighborhood watch volunteer. In addition to confirming Martin died from a single gunshot, the autopsy report also says his blood contained the active ingredient found in marijuana.

CNN is going through those documents now. We will bring you much more information throughout the hour as we get it.

Ahead though, "Fortune" magazine editor Andy Serwer joins us in just a little bit. He was around for the dot-com boom oft 1990s which ended badly for a very large group of people. We will ask him if history is about to repeat itself.

But next, our candidate record card, Mitt Romney and illegal immigration. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: It was a flash point at times in the Republican primaries and now the immigration issue will be a dividing line between President Obama and Mitt Romney both on specific policy questions and in the competition for Latino voters.

And as we continue our report cards on the big campaign issues, a look at Governor Romney's record on the immigration agenda reflects the rightward shift of his party in recent years.

For example, Governor Romney is a big backer of E-Verify. That's a national electronic database that helps employers check the legal status of their job applicants.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And if an employer hires someone that has not gone through E- Verify, they're going to get sanctioned just like they do for not paying their taxes.


KING: Governor Romney, as part of his immigration agenda, promises much tougher border enforcement.


ROMNEY: I believe that to protect legal immigration, we have to stop illegal immigration. And for that reason, I would, in fact, build a fence and I would have enough border security agents to make sure that we are able to protect the border.


KING: Part of a more controversial aspect, Governor Romney says with E-Verify and other enforcement measures, he believes many illegal immigrants will leave voluntarily or self-deport.


ROMNEY: The answer is self-deportation, which is people decide that they can do better by going home, because they can't find work here, because they don't have legal documentation to allow them to work here. And so we are not going to round people up.


KING: And remember George W. Bush and John McCain not all that long ago saying there should be a path to citizenship for those already here in the United States illegally? On that issue, Governor Romney has shifted with the times.


ROMNEY: Look, amnesty is a magnet. What when we have had in the past, programs that have said that if people who come here illegally are going to get to stay illegally for the rest of their life, that's going to only encourage more people to come here illegally.

Those people who have come here illegally and are in this country, the 12 million or so that are here illegally, should be able to sign up for permanent residency or citizenship, but they should not be given a special pathway, a special guarantee that all of them get to stay here for the rest of their lives merely by virtue of having come here illegally.


KING: Joining me now to discuss Governor Romney's proposals on immigration and the impact of this issue in the campaign, the Democratic Congressman Charles Gonzalez. He's chair of the Congressional Spanish Caucus. And Al Cardenas, he's chairman of the American Conservative Union and a Romney campaign adviser.

Al, let me start on that very last point. George W. Bush, John McCain as part of what they called comprehensive immigration reform, and politically they said back then it would so help Republicans with the Latino community, a path to status, a path to citizenship.

Governor Romney has evolved. Is he now in the wrong place when he says no?


Our beloved Ronald Reagan in 1986 thought the best way to solve the problem then in a compassionate way was to grant citizenship. And amnesty didn't work. Amnesty magnified the problem. We have a crisis with amnesty. We have got to figure out what's the right thing to do for America.

KING: Another issue, Congressman, that will come up again is the so-called DREAM Act. I want to listen to Governor Romney in the campaign.

This is if you have illegal immigrants who came over as young children. Their parents brought them over. They had nothing to do with it. And maybe they want to join the military or maybe they want to do community service. Can they then get on the pathway? Here is Governor Romney during the primaries.


ROMNEY: The question is, if I were elected and Congress were to pass the DREAM Act, would I veto it? And the answer is yes.


KING: He would veto the DREAM Act. That was the Democratic proposal.

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida now says he is trying to come up with a proposal that he believes can maybe get more bipartisan support.

Is there, in this issue where there has been so much partisanship, so much proposals and then no with a lot of rhetoric, is there an opening there?

REP. CHARLES GONZALEZ (D), TEXAS: Absolutely. Let us see the bill. What are the provisions?

The president and Democrats in Congress have simply reached out to Senator Rubio and said, give us the specifics and then we will start talking.

KING: Well, let's talk....


CARDENAS: Yes. I think that Governor Romney just to be specific about where he stood has clearly said that with respect to the portion dealing with our young men and women serving in the military, that he would sign and approve and support that part of that proposal.

The challenge that he had and we have is that the Democrat proposal for the students involved not only a direct path to citizenship, but allowing their parents and others who were not under 12, but were adults, to also seize that opportunity.

We are for reviewing what can we do these students without rewarding those who broke the law. Marco is working on that. If we put politics aside, that may well be, John, something we can accomplish...


KING: But we haven't been able to put politics aside in this debate for a very long time. And the raw politics at the moment are this.

If you look at the Latino vote in the presidential election, President Obama 69 percent, Romney 22 percent. I would say, I don't think without any fear, that if that number holds up nationally come November, Governor Romney can't win the election. Your state of Florida would be very hard to win.

States like Nevada, states like Colorado, even perhaps Virginia and North Carolina, if they are very close, the Latino population would be a swing vote. Does Governor Romney have to change on the policy or the tone of this debate or nothing at all in your view to improve that number?

CARDENAS: I think all he needs to do is engage the community. The Hispanic community is interested about jobs, their kids' education, crime in our communities.

He is going to address those issues and he's going to begin a conversation on immigration. By the time it is all over, I don't know what the numbers will be, but they certainly won't be those. We will have a vast improvement.

KING: Do you think that's possible?

GONZALEZ: I don't think it is possible, because I don't think the governor can walk away from some of his statements, which have been absolutely extreme.

In 2007, he said one thing. And it was a road map. No one knew what the specifics were. Five years later, it is a road map. We don't know the specifics of his immigration proposals. We do know this. He said he would veto the DREAM Act if it passed. We do know that he vetoed a provision when he was governor providing in-state tuition to the DREAM kids.

We do know that he has said SB-1070 in Arizona is a model for federal legislation. That is not going to win him any Latino votes or the votes of anybody who is reasonable and is looking at the economic best interests of this country.

CARDENAS: John, the congressman well knows that during the first two years of this administration, his party was in charge in the House, the Senate, the White House. He made a good effort. The president didn't. If he willed it in the first two years of his administration, we would have had immigration reform.

so now he has got to show Hispanics why he didn't get it done before. He has got a steep hill to climb. We do, but so does he.


GONZALEZ: One last word, because every time they say the president didn't get immigration passed, you better look as to who blocked it. And it was the Republican Senate.

It was the Republican Senate with cloture votes. And when there is a closer analysis of that, we know the president can propose, he can advocate, but at the end of the day, it is only members of Congress that can pass legislation, and the Republicans time after time have blocked this legislation.

CARDENAS: He was able to get health care done. He could have gotten immigration done.

KING: Gentlemen, I appreciate your time today. We will continue this conversation and the candidates will as well, 173 more days. Thank you.


KING: Still ahead, the truth about the Reverend Jeremiah Wright and campaigns that choose to take the low road.

But, next, why eating out anywhere, any time, might blow your diet to pieces.



KING: Up next: A U.S. senator calls one of Facebook's founders a tax cheat.


SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: He comes here. Because of the American dream and the American way, he becomes very rich, God bless him. And then, as soon as he makes all that money, he leaves.



KING: In this half-hour of "JOHN KING, USA": Facebook's latest move is about to make a lot of people very, very rich. But there are some important cautions to think about before you try jumping on the bandwagon.

And the idea of using the Reverend Jeremiah Wright in an anti- Obama attack ad brings up a very important "Truth": Everything is fair game in politics, but it may or may not be useful or relevant.

And tonight's "Moment You Missed" is a musical icon I will miss.

Facebook announced its initial public offering of stock, or IPO, at a price, $38 a share. Some analysts have cautioned Facebook has peaked, they say. And should investors be worried that, if Facebook has maxed out its earning power.

Let's talk about it with Andy Serwer. He's the managing editor for "Fortune" magazine.

Andy, here are some of the cautions people note. They say growth has slowed on Facebook. Just revenues up just a little bit, 45 percent. Just -- that's not a little bit, but less than before.

Facebook is a media company that needs advertising. And people say, well, advertising there doesn't really work. Facebook doesn't profit much from its mobile app. A lot of communications are going that way. About half of its users. And everyone is gunning for them, meaning it has a lot of competition. Is this a good buy, a bad buy? Not sure?

ANDY SERWER, MANAGING EDITOR, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: Well, here's the thing, John. I mean, Facebook, the company, is in great shape. I mean, it's a juggernaut. It's -- there's never been anything like it. Everyone watching the program either uses it or has decided not to use it. Nine hundred million users, 900 million people. There's still a lot of ways for this company to make money.

Now, you put that over here. Then the second thing is the valuation of the stock. Right? And that's a whole separate matter. And the stock could be way overvalued. I happen to think that tomorrow when the stock, when the company goes public, it's going to go up. It's going to go up a fair amount.

But having said that, over the longer term, it's a real question as to where the stock goes. I think the company will survive, thrive, and continue to grow.

KING: And have the markets, have the experts figured that part out? Because if you go back to the dotcom boom and then bust, this is a great example right here, AOL/Time Warner. Has the system figured out, when you don't have bricks and mortar, when you don't have assets or workers or buildings or product that you're making, how to put a value on things?

SERWER: They really haven't. I mean, they can use all kinds of metrics, you know, price to book and price earnings ratios, price to sales, all that. And -- but, basically, tomorrow is going to be mob rules.

And, you know, there were a lot of boom and busts back in the day as you suggest, John, back in 1999/2000, the dotcom busts. But you know, there are also some companies with real staying power. You look at a company like eBay and especially

So you know, I have to say that I think Facebook is more like that. It's a huge company. It's got tremendous potential. It's not going anywhere. The price may be expensive.

And remember, when Apple and Google went public, they were very expensive, too, and the stocks went up. So the bottom line is here no one really, really knows at all, and that's what makes tomorrow so exciting. It's going to be really cool to watch.

KING: It will be really cool to watch. I'm going to read to you from your magazine here. This is not -- from an article about not buying Facebook. OK. Here we go. It's at

"At what is basically the last minute for this offering, we learned that some of Facebook's biggest venture investors were putting up more of their shares for sale than originally planned. These early investors of Facebook don't just want to cash out; they want to run away. That's not a good sign."

Now, answer the cynic who says Mark Zuckerberg and his colleagues, some of these early investors, they think that they've peaked and they want to cash out.

SERWER: Well, I'm not quite sure that that's the only thing they want to do. First of all, if you're an investor in a company, you want to sell and take some gains. They're not selling all their stocks. They're selling some of their stock. They're selling a little bit more. But that, I think, the pressure to sell more of their stock, I think, came from Facebook, because Facebook wanted them to sell more.

So in six months from now when their lockup ends, it wouldn't hurt the price then. It's a little bit of a complicated Wall Street thing.

In any event, Mark Zuckerberg is only selling 6 percent of his shares. So he's there for the long haul. And as I said, these investors want to take gains. That's what they do.

You know, on the other hand, you know, when the stock goes out tomorrow at $38. It may start trading initially at $50, who knows? It may go to $60, $70, $80. If I were an investor out there, I'd be very wary about chasing it at that price.

KING: That's good advice here. Context from Andy Serwer. Andy, thanks for your thoughts. As you mentioned, mob rules. We'll all watch and have fun tomorrow, I guess.

SERWER: Yes. It's a great time.

KING: Thanks, Andy.

Anyway, we were just talking about Mark Zuckerberg. He's a household name. The Facebook founder and CEO stands to make an estimated $19 billion off his shares when the IPO kicks in.

You may not be as familiar with Eduardo Saverin unless you're a Facebook junkie or saw the movie, "The Social Network." Saverin is a co-founder, and his stake could be worth some $3 billion. Here's where it gets tricky. He renounced his U.S. citizenship last year and now lives in Singapore. Two U.S. senators say he knew this big payday was coming, and it's all a calculated tax cheat.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: This tax avoidance scheme is outrageous. Eduardo Saverin wants to defriend the United States of America just to avoid paying taxes. And we aren't going to let him get away with it.


KING: Now, Saverin insists that's not so. In a statement today, he said, quote, "I have paid and will continue to pay any taxes due on everything I earned while a U.S. citizen. He says the congressional debate is based on, quote, "speculation and misinformation."

But, remember what he said in that statement. Tax experts we consulted say that since Saverin is no longer a U.S. citizen, he's not subject to taxes he would otherwise have to pay. Senator Schumer says that's in the ballpark of $67 million, and he wants to make sure the treasury gets the money.


KING: There are some who would question whether you can do this retroactively and whether it's constitutional.

SCHUMER: It's absolutely constitutional. We are not just aiming it at Saverin but the close to 10,000 people that have renounced their citizenship since 2003. All the effects will be prospective. They can't enter the United States, period, no matter what. Right now, they can just get a visitor's visa to come in, as if nothing happened.

And second, in the future, not in the past, they'll have to pay taxes on any dividends, interest income, capital gains that they earn at the rate of 30 percent. And that's like changing any tax law. Just because you were taxed at 20 percent five years ago doesn't mean you have to be taxed at 20 percent next year.

KING: And so essentially, you're telling Mr. Saverin and others like him, either pay up or kiss the United States good-bye and never set foot in her again?

SCHUMER: Never set foot in it again, and you will pay a price for investing here, too.

KING: I want you to read something from Ed Kleinbard, who you probably know, the former chief of staff of the joint committee on taxation. He essentially agrees with you. He says, "I'm troubled by the Saverin expatriation. But it would put the IRS in a very awkward position if it were required to investigate an individual's state of mind as opposed to what they actually did."

How do you enforce it? Because some people would give up their citizenship, either for a political reason or moral reason. Perhaps even for some employment reason.

SCHUMER: We give them a chance to make their case, but the burden of proof is on a tax -- tax avoider. In other words, the presumption is that, if you leave the country and pay much less in taxes, that that's the reason you did it, but you have a chance to rebut it. And if you make a strong case, you won't get the penalties that we propose in our legislation.

I doubt Mr. Saverin would be able to prove that. He chose Singapore, a place that has zero percent tax on capital gains.

KING: I want you to listen to your co-sponsor, Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania. This is obviously a dramatic story, the Facebook IPO. It's been on the front pages not only in the United States but all around the world. Here's how Senator Casey put this.


SEN. BOB CASEY (D), PENNSYLVANIA: We've got troops overseas that are sacrificing on our behalf every day for what -- all the values that we hold dear. And Mr. Saverin spits in their eye. He spits in the eye of the American people when he does this.


KING: Is that a bit over the top? I understand your outrage here. And I understand your point that you feel he should pay taxes. Is he spitting in the eyes of the troops and everybody else?

SCHUMER: It's particularly confounding that Saverin, by his own admission, came to this country from Brazil to seek safety, because his family was being threatened by various gangsters. I think they were a family that had some means in Brazil.

He comes here. Because of the American dream and the American way, he becomes very rich, God bless him. And then as soon as he makes all that money, he leaves. He doesn't strike me as somebody of -- you know, you wouldn't see that story on someone who really had moral -- high moral character.

KING: Senator Schumer, appreciate your time tonight.

SCHUMER: Thank you. Appreciate it.

KING: Take care, sir.


KING: New details this evening in the death of the Florida teen, Trayvon Martin. An autopsy released just this evening confirms Martin died of a single gunshot wound, and that marijuana -- the marijuana ingredient THC was found in his system.

"In Session" correspondent Beth Karas joins us for more.

Beth, to you what is the most significant new piece of information in this discovery package released a short time ago?

BETH KARAS, CORRESPONDENT, TRUTV'S "IN SESSION": Well, as you just mentioned, the fact that marijuana was in his system is significant. However, the level of it may be negligible. He may not have been under the influence that night. Marijuana will stay in your system for a while.

Nonetheless, right now it seems to corroborate what George Zimmerman said when on 911 call, he said, "He seems to be a little bit out of it. Maybe he's on drugs."

In addition, we now know that the gunshot wound is at an intermediate ranges, which means it was anywhere from 1-18 inches away, the muzzle of the gun, from Trayvon Martin. It was probably a couple inches away. That is consistent with George Zimmerman's story, that he was being hit and that he reached for the gun, because he felt threatened and was unable to breathe at one point. That's his story.

In addition, the third thing is that there was an abrasion on the fourth finger, the ring finger of Trayvon Martin's left hand, just below the knuckle. That is consistent with Trayvon Martin having punched Zimmerman. Zimmerman says that was happening.

Now, if you think about it, John, if Trayvon Martin saw a gun, he wasn't going to be punching with his fist. Right? So he wouldn't have seen the gun at the time he's punching. He might have been justified in punching, but he wouldn't have seen the gun. This corroborates George Zimmerman at this point.

So these documents are basically giving a truer picture of what was going on. There are still hundreds of pages that we're going through. So we don't know everything, all the other details in there. But these three things jump out at me as being corroborative at this point of Zimmerman. It doesn't mean that he is not guilty, but it certainly corroborates what he told the police.

KING: "In Session's" Beth Karas, appreciate your insight. As you noted, we'll continue to go through these hundreds of pages of new discovery in the Trayvon Martin case. Thanks so much.

Coming up here, an uproar about a GOP proposal to revisit President Obama's controversial pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Is everything really fair in love, war and presidential politics?


KING: Jeremiah Wright was back front and center in our politics today, and then he suddenly wasn't. This year, the 52-page plan to make the president's former pastor a big campaign issue, a movie, TV ads and Internet push: $10 million of spending designed to reintroduce you to this.


REV. JEREMIAH WRIGHT, FORMER PASTOR OF PRESIDENT OBAMA: And they want us to sing "God Bless America." No, no, no. Not God bless America, God damn, America. That's in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn, America.


KING: Well, maybe the president's former pastor may yet return. And if not, there will be other cynical distractions from the conversation the country ought to have about the economy, government spending and America's place in the world.

Now to his credit, when he was asked about the proposal to attack President Obama for the Reverend Wright connection, Governor Romney repudiated that.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I repudiate that -- that effort. I think it's the wrong course for a PAC or a campaign. I hope that our campaigns can respectively be about the future and about issues. And about a vision for America.


KING: Now, not that Governor Romney has always been opposed to linking the president to his controversial former pastor.


ROMNEY (via phone): And I'm not sure which is worse, him listening to Reverend Wright or him saying that -- that we must be a less Christian nation. (END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Now, "Truth" is, Reverend Wright has said controversial and, frankly, some reprehensible things. And if it's fair game for the Obama campaign to tweet around copies of a story that Mitt Romney behaved like a bully once in high school, then it's fair game, I guess, that a post-law school Obama attended Wright's church for 20 years. Everything, fair or not, is fair game in today's world.

But is it useful? Is it relevant? That's a very different question. It's also more than a stretch to suggest the president can't think for himself. An ad campaign based on the theme that if Reverend Wright says it, then President Obama believes it is about as credible as saying every Catholic follows their clergy and opposes contraception and abortion. Life doesn't work that way. Politics shouldn't either.

Here tonight to talk truth, former Bush speechwriter, CNN contributor David Frum; "Washington Post" national political correspondent Karen Tumulty; and President Obama's campaign pollster Cornell Belcher.

David, let me start with you. Do you think there is any realm in which conservatives and Republicans want to bring Jeremiah Wright back into this campaign?

DAVID FRUM, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: They don't. But there has been bubbling at the same time.

A new story sort of from the under news of a very dubious investigative reporter who's got a lot of things wrong in the past, but he claims that he's got a tape in which Reverend Wright said that he was offered money in 2008 not to speak anymore. You want to be really careful with that story because of the source. If there's any truth to that, that would be a real story in a way that this is not.

KING: And so the Obama campaign goes after Romney hard, saying repudiate it, repudiate it, repudiate it. Then, he repudiates it, and they say, "Well, he didn't repudiate what he said on the Sean Hannity radio show that we just played in that clip there."

They seem to think it's OK to talk about this and pressure on this as long as the plan doesn't happen.

CORNELL BELCHER, POLLSTER FOR OBAMA CAMPAIGN: Look, a couple things. One is, you know, the last thing they want is some fool spending $20 million or $10 million talking about the Reverend Wright thing. It takes them off -- takes them off message.

Strategically, if you're a Republican, you don't want this being the topic of conversation. You want to draw the contrasts economically. You know, the Reverend Wright story doesn't create a job or save a home.

The second part I would say about this is this has already been out in the public domain. And quite frankly, the last time it was in the public domain, was when then-Senator Barack Obama's finest moments.

That speech that he gave in the race, you know, whether you're a Democrat or Republican, across the board, one of his finest moments. It makes no political sense whatsoever.

However, this is the evil of letting unfettered money, opening up the gates and letting rich people spend as much money as they want in this process and taking it away from the voice of the people and make it about whatever sort of crazy issue some rich person thinks it ought to be about.

KAREN TUMULTY, NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, "WASHINGTON POST": The money did not get spent. The ad campaign did not get made. And the person who they were going to to bankroll the ad campaign is among the loudest denunciators of -- is that a word? The loudest denunciations of this thing today.

BELCHER: Do you think this will be the last time someone, some rich person comes up with a real crazy idea?

TUMULTY: Definitely, the Obama campaign was not only calling upon Mitt Romney to denounce this. They were also fundraising off of it by the middle of the afternoon today, as well, saying this is only the beginning of what is coming.

KING: That -- that's part of what I'll call the problem in politics. As people even say, this is bad, they don't leave it at there. They say, now, send me money. This is bad and somebody might do it again. We've become a blog and a posting-driven set of politics when it becomes to a big issue.

FRUM: We've become a soccer nation, where every time -- every time anybody's foot comes anywhere near your shin, you drop to the floor -- you drop to the grass and howl pitifully, calling the ref's attention. That's what happened with the Ann Romney story. That's what's happening now with this.

KING: And so Governor Romney tried to turn this. This is -- they were going to form a new PAC called Character Matters about something or other. And Governor Romney, in repudiating this -- again, he didn't just say, "It's a bad idea. I repudiate it." He decides to try to turn the tables and say, "Well, what about you guys?"


ROMNEY: We can talk about a lot of things, but the centerpiece of his campaign is quite clearly character assassination. And the centerpiece of my campaign is going to be my vision to get America working again and provide a brighter future for our kids.


KING: Now he was referring to there -- he says the attacks on his record at Bain Capital, they're taking it out of context and they're trying to present him as not a bad guy. Character assassination?

BELCHER: Is it character assassination? Look, he's made his ability to make jobs, not profit, the jobs, the centerpiece of his campaign. We're not supposed to talk about his record on that at all? That's absurd. Of course we're going to talk about his record.

If he's going to make jobs the centerpiece of his campaign, which is fair, we're certainly going to examine that record and see where, quite frankly, he's cut a lot of jobs, he's laid off a lot of people and he's made a lot of money for himself, and that's absolutely true.

TUMULTY: I was struck about how differently he reacted to this than he did a few weeks ago, when this woman stands up at an event in Ohio and says President Obama should be tried for treason, or the way he reacted to Rush Limbaugh when she [SIC] called a Georgetown law student a slut. He's -- you can see now that he's not only pushing back, but he's trying to grab the narrative and turn it to his advantage.

KING: Well, he has a competitive race. If you look at all the data right now, Romney is in a pretty good position. I don't think anybody could argue with that, especially if you go state by state. And so does he -- does this stuff hurt him? Does it matter if somebody -- if somebody he has no connection to comes out with an attack on Reverend Wright or something else out there, does it matter?

FRUM: It's time, energy and oxygen that you're not using to do what you want to do. Any time you're not talking about what you want to talk about, you're talking about what somebody else wants to talk about.

Can I go back to this Bain matter, by the way, and why I think that it's fair to call that character assassination? If President Obama had a very different vision about private equity and its place in the American economy, if he had some policy in place to prevent private equity companies from doing these kinds of structurings that may or may not work, then it would be an economic issue.

But when you're saying, "My policy of how they should be governed is exactly the same."

KING: Or if he refused to raise money from them.

FRUM: "All I'm saying is look at this guy, he's a bad guy." Then it -- then it's personal, because it is not grounded in any economic difference.

BELCHER: No. Look at this guy. This is his record. He has a record of laying people off, gutting companies, sending them to bankruptcy and making money off of that.

KING: So should the president take money from guys who work at Bain, then?

BELCHER: Absolutely. He should take it and pay me.

KING: Ay-yi-yi-yi-yi.

All right, Cornell, Karen, David, I'm going to leave it there for tonight.

Erin Burnett coming up at the top of the hour. Erin, Facebook just set the price of its initial IPO at $38 a share. Good buy?

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Well, that is the big question. That's the existential question of the day for the global market. It is the biggest IPO in American history. It's going to be a pretty incredible morning tomorrow.

I have to tell you, John, I have stood on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange when companies went public. I remember the New York Mercantile Exchange, the NYNEX. There's sort of this hush over the floor. All of a sudden the bell rings, and 20 minutes went by before they could even figure out what the first opening price for that stock was.

So there's the IPO price, in Facebook's case 38. Then there's that craziness that goes on, and then they find where it's actually going to open. Obviously, this is going to trade on the NASDAQ so it's going to be an all-electronic process, which is a little bit sad in terms of what we'll see tomorrow, but it is going to be something the whole world will be watching to see where it trades.

We're going to break that down for you, talk about whether it will go up at the open, whether you should buy it and also what this means for Mark Zuckerberg. He'll be one of the wealthiest people in the world, John, but globally, do you want to throw a guess out as to what rank he'll be tomorrow morning?

KING: Globally, 50th.

BURNETT: Fiftieth. OK. So maybe -- yes, 30th. So he's only going to be good for 30th. And that's with a net worth of about $20 billion. So yes, there's 29 people with more money than that.

KING: But he's 28 years old, is that right?

BURNETT: That's right, yes. He hasn't accomplished too much.

KING: Yes, he's got a lot -- lot to look forward to.

BURNETT: You can buy a heck of a lot of hoodies.

KING: Erin, we'll see you in just a few minutes.

BURNETT: All right.

KING: I'm going to give some money to Cornell to buy some of that stock before he gets out of here.

Up next, what you might call the changing face of the United States population. We'll also remember the career of a music icon.


KING: Welcome back. Here's Kate Bolduan with the latest news you need to know right now.

Hello again.


Hello again, everyone. More headlines we want to bring you real quick.

An update just in from Mississippi. A sheriff's department investigator in Humphries County tells CNN authorities detained a man who stopped two motorists last night and pretended to be a law- enforcement officer. That could be significant, because someone posing as a police officer is suspected in the deaths -- in the shooting deaths of two motorists in the state last week.

And students and parents near Atlanta are on edge -- you can be sure of that -- as police search for a suspected sniper. Witnesses in Hampton, Georgia, say they saw a man raise a rifle as a school bus approached Monday, but he got scared off, dropping the rifle and paperwork with -- get this -- information about school bus routes. Police say he fired a handgun at one of the witnesses before unfortunately slipping away.

And another week, another record low for mortgages. The rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage dropped to 3.79 percent this week. According to a survey for Freddie Mac, last year at this same time the same mortgage averaged 4.64. So if you had a $200,000 mortgage, you'd save about $43,000 over the course of the loan. More good news on that.

U.S. minorities now represent more than half of America's population under the age of 1. According to the Census Bureau, 50.4 percent of newborns are Latino, Asian, mixed race or African-American. The latest numbers forecast a more diverse -- a more racially diverse America.

People have been watching this, of course. This trend they say has been coming for a long time. They were just kind of wondering what year would be the turning point.

KING: And this is the turning point. It changes everything. You look at the changing demographics at America. You can look at it from education policy, look at it from languages in schools. I look at it politically. States like Texas, long Republican. If Republicans don't solve the Latino problem, it will be a Democratic presidential state in a few years. Fascinating study.

BOLDUAN: Fascinating.

KING: If you care about the future of this country. Good to know that.

Don't go anywhere. BOLDUAN: OK.

KING: Tonight's "Moment You Missed" is an icon I'll miss. The queen of disco, Donna Summer, she died today from cancer at the age of 63, but her soaring voice will leave an indelible stamp on American music history.




KING: At the height of disco -- "Dance, Dance," love that one -- 17 minutes, the long version takes. It launched Summer's career. That's in 1975, and that was just the beginning. "Hot Stuff," "Bad Girls," "She Works Hard for the Money," and "Last Dance." Just a few of Donna Summer's hits. She earned five Grammys in a career that spanned decades and genres, but she never lost the aura of disco royalty.


DONNA SUMMER, SINGER: I'm the queen. It's fine. Look, it's life with the greater something dollars (ph).


KING: Dorchester, Massachusetts. Grew up not far from John King in Great Heights. Great Heights.

BOLDUAN: A lot of good things happening there. That's really great.

KING: Wish we had more time on that one. That's all the time we have, though.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.