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Dow Plunges; Economy Hurting President Obama?; Gay Republican Landmark Campaign; Clinton: Romney's Business Career "Sterling"; Zimmerman Ordered Back to Jail; Stocks Suffer Worst Loss of 2012; Netflix Tops Apple in Online Video Sales; Fierce Fight over Cigarette Tax

Aired June 1, 2012 - 16:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, breaking news we're following: the Dow Jones industrials closing down 270 points, investors cringing after a dismal new jobs report. This hour, a year of stock gains has simply now been wiped out.

Is the economy dragging down the president? We're about to get brand-new poll numbers on his campaign showdown with Mitt Romney.

And we will also meet a candidate expect what no Republican has done before, win his first election to Congress with voters knowing he's gay.

I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

A very weak jobs report is having a very chilling effect on Wall Street and the economy right now, the Dow Jones industrials closing down about 270 points only moments ago, the other major indices also taking a hit.

We learned today that only 69,000 jobs were added to America's work force last month. That's the weakest growth in a year. And the unemployment rate ticked up to 8.2 percent.

President Obama on the campaign trail today, he's struggling to convince voters he's part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Our White House correspondent Brianna Keilar is traveling with the president in Minnesota right now.

Brianna, what's the latest reaction?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, it was a similar refrain that we heard from President Obama. He urged Americans to look at the broader trends for jobs and unemployment, and he did give Congress a little credit, specifically for passing that payroll tax cut extension this winter, but he said Congress needs to do much more.


KEILAR (voice-over): After a disappointing May, with unemployment increasing slightly and the economy adding fewer jobs than expected, President Obama addressed a crowd in the politically friendly state of Minnesota.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our businesses have created almost 4.3 million new jobs over the last 27 months, but, as we learned in today's jobs report, we're still not creating them as fast as we want.

KEILAR: At this Honeywell factory that employs 65 veterans, Obama announced a program to help vets earn accreditations so their military experience can help land them a job in the private sector. He also tried to explain the bad jobs numbers, pointing to what he calls headwinds, the economic crisis in Europe, and high gas prices amid concerns over Iran's nuclear ambitions. It is a defense that has become repetitive.

This was October.

OBAMA: The biggest headwind the American economy is facing right now is uncertainty about Europe.

KEILAR: Last July.

OBAMA: Over the past few months, the economy has experienced some tough headwinds.

KEILAR: And more than a year ago.

OBAMA: And our economy has been facing some serious headwinds.

KEILAR: In Minneapolis, Obama again prodded Congress to take action on his so-called congressional to-do list.

OBAMA: So my message to Congress is: Now is not the time to play politics. Now is not the time to sit on your hands.

KEILAR: Governor Romney called the economic numbers devastating and accused Obama of passing the buck.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The president is always quick to find someone to blame. First it was George Bush and then it was Congress, ATM machines, Europe. He's always got someone, but the truth is the job of the president is to get America back to work.


KEILAR: Now, as Romney attacks President Obama on the economy, the Obama campaign is continuing its new scrutiny of Romney's economic record while he was governor of Massachusetts.

And, Wolf, it's a bitter fight because recent polls both of the nation as a whole and in key battleground states show that voters are very much divided, split, on whether it is Obama or Romney who would do a better job on the economy.

BLITZER: Brianna, thanks very much, Brianna on the scene for us traveling with the president. One top economist is calling the May jobs report -- and I'm quoting now -- "shockingly low." Investors clearly were thrown for a loop as a result as well.

Let's go to CNN's Alison Kosik. She's over at the New York Stock Exchange.

A pretty poor day today, Alison. What happened?


Traders I talked to, they told me they were stunned over this lousy jobs number. Analysts say people are literally trading on fear today and you see that playing out in the numbers today, the Dow dropping 274 points, getting ever so closely to that 12000 level.

And it's no surprise that the Dow's selling off at this point. The number was a big disappointment, but look where the Dow is now. It's actually erased all of its gains for the year. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are right now in a correction. The Dow is flirting with correction territory.

Here is a big worry for Wall Street, Wolf. this anemic job growth, it's not just a blip. It's a trend. You are seeing month after month these subpar numbers of job growth. March and April was revised lower. One analyst says, at this point, the U.S. isn't slowing down. It's actually pulling up the emergency brake -- Wolf.

BLITZER: And it wasn't that long ago, Alison, that the Dow Jones was over 13000. Now it's getting close to 12000. And you say all of the gains of this year already lost.

What are people on Wall Street expecting in the weeks and months to come? What are they saying?

KOSIK: That's the thing. They don't know what to expect. What they are hoping for is that maybe the Fed steps in and takes some stimulative measure.

What is interesting, when you see how much and how quickly the markets really lost all of what they gained, talking about the Dow especially, in just one month's time, the Dow has erased all of its gains for the year. This is actually the worst loss of the year. I'm talking about today's performance.

It's amazing how quickly really the gains just fizzled out, with analysts saying that what you're seeing once again are investors just trading on fear, and we especially saw that in the bond market today, the 10-year yield hitting below 1.5 percent -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Yes. All right, that's what happens, I guess.

Thanks very much, Alison. Appreciate it.

We will have more on the economic story, the jobs story. That's coming up, but now to a scary storm and the threat of tornadoes in a very heavily populated area just outside of the nation's capital.


BLITZER: We are going to stay on top of this story as well. We have got some storm chasers out there in the Maryland area outside of Washington as well.

We're about to release brand-new polling numbers on the presidential race. Is there anything in these brand-new numbers for President Obama to be happy about? Stand by for the new poll information. That's coming up.

And find out why Mitt Romney may want to thank the former President of the United States Bill Clinton. Some Democrats, though, aren't very happy with what the former president is saying right now.

And a congressional candidate is breaking the mold in Romney's home state.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Being gay in Massachusetts is no problem. Being a Republican is a little more difficult.



BLITZER: All right, this just coming into THE SITUATION ROOM, some brand-new polling on the presidential race, and it shows the Obama-Romney contest very, very close right now nationwide.

The president has 49 percent support, Romney has 46 percent in our brand-new CNN/ORC poll of registered voters nationwide. That's within the margin of error. Neither candidate has a clear advantage on the number one issue by far for voters out there, which would be the state of the economy.

Let's bring in our senior political analyst, Ron Brownstein.

Just want to make it clear, these numbers were -- this polling information was done before today's unemployment numbers came out.


BLITZER: But let's just show our viewers some comparison as far as the president's handling of his job as president right now; 52 percent approve of the job he's doing; 47 percent disapprove.

But if you take a look, they have basically been the same. Back in March, 51 percent approved, 49 percent in April, 52 percent right now.


BLITZER: What does that mean as far as boding for his reelection that he's got a 52 percent approval number?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, that's good news if it holds, Wolf.

Probably the single best indicator of how an incumbent president is really doing in his battle for reelection is his approval rating. If his approval rating is over 50, he's a favorite. If it's under about 47, he's a clear underdog. If it's in between, you have got a close race.

Now, Obama is at 52 in your poll in approval. He's a 49 in his vote, which is also significant, because there's only been, by my count, seven polls by anybody since the first week of April that have had him at 49 or above.

But the backdrop for both of that, the tailwind for both of those numbers has been an improving sense among Americans that the economy is going to improve over the next year. That has really been the -- kind of the wind in his wings that has -- that has moved him into this stronger position.

If the kind of job numbers we saw today and last month continue, there's an enormous risk to the president that that optimism begins to crumble, which I think inexorably would have some downward pull on both his ballot and his job approval.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: All right. We asked registered voters, take a look at these numbers over here, Ron, whether or not their financial situation was better, worse or the same as a year ago. Thirty-seven percent said it was better, 43 percent said worse, about 20 percent it was roughly the same as a year ago.

Give us your analysis of what these numbers suggest.

BROWNSTEIN: Well, Obama those numbers are reminder that Obama to some extent is levitating above attitudes about the economy. You look at the underlying conditions at unemployment at over 8 percent. The difficulty we've had creating jobs and the assessments that we've had their immediate economic situation and he's actually in a stronger position than you'd expect given those underlying conditions.

Now, the reason for that is that many of the people who are hardest hit on minority voters are still overwhelmingly with them. He's 73 percent in your poll among all nonwhite voters. If you look at the white electorate though, he is right at the tipping point at this point. He's at 39 percent overall in your poll. He probably needs 40, around 40, or above to win.

And he's especially, Keating Holland just gave some new numbers right before we came on, only 34 percent of non-college whites say they're voting for President Obama. That's significantly down from 40 percent. Those voters are ideally cool to him, but area also bearing the brunt of this economy, the unemployment much higher, as you know, for non-college than college-educated workers.

BLITZER: The new CNN/ORC poll also shows that the economy by far is the single most important issue among registered voters. Fifty-two percent say the economy is the most important problem facing the country today. The deficit, 18 percent, health care, 14 percent, but all these other issues, low single digits -- terrorism, 5 percent, illegal immigration, 4 percent, Afghanistan, 3 percent, policies toward gays, 2 percent. It's the economy, by far, that will dominate this election.

BROWNSTEIN: I thought you were going to say it's the economy, stupid, right. And that is why you see this intense battle between Obama and Romney over trying to undermine the economic credentials of the other.

The president knows that if this is a retrospective referendum on the four years, most Americans are dissatisfied with what the economy has produced both for the country and for them individually and their families. He wanted to be a prospective verdict and a prospective choice and in that he wants to disqualify Romney in the eye of voters by undermining what seems to be -- what it is in your poll continuing to show a strong asset for him. Most American, the first instinct is that his business background does, in fact, equip him to deal with the economy and the Obama campaign is waging this ferocious effort to undermine the core strength of Mitt Romney.

BLITZER: Ron Brownstein, thanks very, very much.

Once again, I want to emphasize these poll numbers before -- all the polling was done before today's jobless unemployment numbers came out.

So, do you want to know what life is really like out there on the campaign trail? This coming Tuesday, please join me and CNN's political team for the CNN election roundtable. You can submit your questions, get answers in real time in this live, virtual chat. It all happens at Tuesday at noon Eastern. Logon to and you'll get new information and you'll be joining me next Tuesday, noon Eastern.

Bill Clinton is getting some grief right now from some fellow Democrats for this remark about Mitt Romney. Listen.


BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: A man who has been governor and had a sterling business career crosses the qualification threshold.


BLITZER: We're going to take a closer look at Bill Clinton's gift to Mitt Romney, the possible damage to the Obama campaign. Stand by.

Plus, a Syrian diplomat is booted from the United States. We'll have the exclusive video and the back story.

Also, he used to be out there fighting against the force. Now, Darth Vader is fighting a parking ticket.


BLITZER: Now to the battle for the U.S. Congress. One candidate out there in Mitt Romney's home state of Massachusetts is running a different kind of campaign in part because he's openly gay.

Let's bring in our senior congressional correspondent Dana Bash, who is working the story for us.

An interesting story in Massachusetts, Dana. What's going on?

DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Richard Tisei is his name. He's a candidate who's OK with raising some taxes to pay down the debt. He served for a couple of decades in the Massachusetts statehouse and he thinks same-sex marriage should be legal.

He's got to be a Democrat, right? Wrong.


BASH (voice-over): GOP congressional candidate Richard Tisei sure doesn't sound like most House Republicans. He talks about compromise above confrontation.

RICHARD TISEI (R), MASSACHUSETTS CONG. CANDIDATE: Bring some common sense and willingness to work across the aisle.

BASH: He refuses to sign a pledge not to raise taxes.

TISEI: If there are loopholes that need to be closed and you can take that money and help pay down the national debt, I don't have a problem with that, I'm not going to lose sleep over it.

BASH: But what really makes this challenger unique, he is openly gay and he'd be the first House Republican to say that while running for Congress.

TISEI: I am (INAUDIBLE) Republican. I think the government's hand should get off your back, out of your wallet, away from the bedroom.

BASH: To say not only support same sex marriage, he fought to make it legal while serving in the Massachusetts Senate. His joke, where he's from, his party affiliation is more shocking than his sexual orientation.

TISEI: Being gay in Massachusetts is no problem. Being a Republican is a little more difficult.

BASH: But being a gay Republican in Washington is quite different. Most House Republicans he would serve with oppose same-sex marriage and other gay rights.

(on camera): People who are going to be watching this kind of scratch their heads and say, really?

TISEI: You know what, though? I don't really view -- everybody I met down here has been terrific. And one -- I guess in a way I'm well-prepared for this because having come from Massachusetts, I have seen the way people have shifted over time. And I do think that being down here, yes, we might not agree on that particular issue.

BASH (voice-over): Republican leaders in Washington may want to signal a shift, too -- at least an image. They helped arrange our interview with Tisei in Washington, with other so-called young guns -- candidates Republican leaders are helping.

REP. GREG WALDEN (R), OREGON: The country is counting on this crop of candidates to continue the way that came in in 2010 to change America and change Washington.

BASH: Other GOP candidates here, a black woman from Utah and an Indian-American from California.

The House speaker insists it's just pragmatic politics.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: They just happen to be good candidates in districts that are winnable for us.

BASH: Tisei is trying to unseat eight-term Massachusetts Democrat John Tierney. He warns Tisei may sound moderate, but he's ended up voting Republican all of the way.

REP. JOHN TIERNEY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: He's supported by the young guns and the people on the radical right. And he's going to fall right in light with them.

BASH: Tisei insists he won't change.

TISEI: You know what? Washington has to change.

BASH (on camera): Including your own party?

TISEI: I think everybody here has to.

BASH: Tisei says he does not want to be known as the gay Republican, but rather a Republican who happens to be gay. Like every other Republican running for Congress, Wolf, he says he has a singular focus when it comes to issues and that's the economy.

BLITZER: Not just the Republicans. The Democrats say it's their focus, as well -- the economy, economy, economy. Thanks very much for that, Dana.

It looks like Bill Clinton isn't quite the attack dog he used to be. Why the former president says Mitt Romney had a, quote, "sterling career" at Bain Capital. It looks like sort of undermining President Obama's campaign message. Stand by.


BLITZER: Bill Clinton's reputation is one of the Democratic Party's best weapons and taking a bit of a hit right now and it all began right here on CNN when the former president said some nice things about Mitt Romney, sort of undercut the Obama campaign's message.

Mary Snow's taking a close look at what Bill Clinton had to say and the fallout.

Mary, what happened?

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, Republicans see this as a gift, those nice things that President Clinton had to say deal with Mitt Romney's business record, which is a major target of the Obama campaign and Republicans are eager to tout it.


SNOW (voice-over): Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney wasted no time seizing on positive comments on his business record coming from a top dog from the rival camp Bill Clinton.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think Bain Capital has a good and solid record. I was happy to see President Clinton made a similar statement today and called my record superb.

SNOW: That follows what President Clinton said on CNN'S "PIERS MORGAN" program Thursday.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: A man who's been governor and had a sterling business career crosses the qualification threshold, but they have dramatically different proposals.

And it's my opinion, in a way that the Obama proposals and the Obama record are far better for the American economy for most Americans than those Governor Romney has laid out.

SNOW: While Clinton predicts Obama will win, describing Romney's business career as sterling is very different from the way the Obama campaign portrays Bain Capital.

President Clinton is the latest Democrat to stray from the Obama campaign's line of attack on Bain. Newark Mayor Cory Booker raised eye brows on mayor on "Meet the Press."

MAYOR CORY BOOKER (D) NEWARK, NEW JERSE: I have to say from a very personal level I'm not about to sit here and indict private equity.

SNOW: In Massachusetts Governor Duval Patrick said this on MSNBC. President Clinton spread it out further.

CLINTON: I don't think that we ought to get in a position where we say this is bad work. This is good work.

SNOW: CNN senior political analyst, David Wergen who served as an adviser to several presidents including Clinton says Bill Clinton had pro-business records since his days as Arkansas governor and he says there's a division among Democrats on the attacks against private equity.

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Overall, there is a fear of Democrats who are descending from the Obama attacks. The attacks themselves sound like they're anti-business and a free enterprise quality about it and in business some companies succeed and others don't. When a company doesn't succeed to a lot of Democrats seems tenured.


SNOW: Now, the White House pretty brushed off Clinton's remarks. The Obama campaign pointed out President Clinton also talked about a tactic some private equity investments used and investing in company, rung of debt and firing people and forcing them to lose retirement. President Clinton said that when comparing investors -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Mary, thanks very much. Let's dig a little bit deeper right now in our "Strategy Session." Joining us, the Democratic strategist and CNN contributor, Donna Brazile and the Republican strategist and CNN contributor, Mary Matalin.

It seems Donna, that the president is undermining this whole Bain Capital strategy by suggesting that Mitt Romney's reputation there was sterling.

DONNA BRAZILE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Wolf, I think it's important to keep the focus that the criticism is that Mitt Romney said as a result of being a businessman at Bain Capital he created jobs.

There's not a lot of evidence to show that he created as many jobs as he said he did. That's the criticism. That's the part of the narrative that the Obama campaign is trying to undermine by pointing out that his record as a job creator is not that strong.

Not only as governor of Massachusetts, of course, as his experience as Bain Capital. That said, Wolf, look. I understand people want to find divisions between both political parties.

And we all have divisions within our party, but the truth is that we're unified in making sure that we move this economy forward and not go back to the disastrous policies that put us in this fiscal mess in the first place.

BLITZER: It sounds to me, Mary, that floor Democrats not just to President Clinton and Duval Patrick, Cory Booker, the former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell. They're suggesting a very different line of private equity in Bain Capital than the Obama campaign is suggesting.

MARY MATALIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, and with respect with my dear BFF Donna, the comparison is not for jobs created. It likens it to a vampire, the vulture, the blood sucking the life out of communities and families and that's an attack on private equity.

That's an attack on free enterprise. President Clinton and those other governors and senators, present and past don't want to have that party be tagged as anti-business.

It took Clinton a lot of effort to get the tagged author back and the proof is in the pudding, 80 percent of the hundreds of businesses said Bain Capital gave expertise and they did create jobs.

Jobs that lost versus zero percent of the public equity that the public has invested in to green projects that have contributors were major investors in have produced nothing.

They've all gone bankrupt and they've lost jobs and the price of that is taxpayers who didn't wish to invest are paying the price. That's the comparison.

BLITZER: Hold on for a second -- hold on for a second, Donna, hold on for a second. First of all, not all of the jobs that the Obama administration, all of the projects the Obama administration invested in have all gone bankrupt. I want to point that out for one thing, but she does make a fair point.

There are some companies that Bain Capital helped get started where there are tens of thousands of employees right now, Sports Authority and Staples Hundreds of thousands of people are working not simply because of what Bain Capital did and it did help with the private equity that got the companies going.

BRAZILE: Wolf, this is not an attack on free enterprises and capitalism. It was fair with Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry. The capitalism that Romney practiced that enriched a few people at the expense of many, the many by sounding of that they would keep their pensions.

They hurt a lot of middle-class families. President Obama hasn't benefited from Solyndra or anybody going bankrupt because of the world market and so forth.

So, look, I do think that this is an important issue for us to point out, but it's not the only issue because the voters want to know what have you done for us lately? What will you do to improve our lives tomorrow? That's the issue going forward.

BLITZER: All right, let me move on. I want to speak about this a little bit more in the next hour with our own John King. Both John and I covered the Clinton White House.

And I'm hearing echoes of Bill Clinton's famous triangulation going on and we'll get into that in the next hour, but let me talk about Rob Portman, the senator from Ohio

Mary, here's an exchange that Rob Portman had with our own Gloria Borger and an exchange of being in Israel and being with the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But Gloria has this question, listen to this.


GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Senator, I have to ask you very quickly what about those who say you don't have enough pizazz or pop to be the number two on the ticket with Mitt Romney at the top of it?

SENATOR ROB PORTMAN (R), OHIO: Well, look, that's fine. People will say all sorts of things and they have. My goal is to be the best legislator and, you know, the best public servant that I can, and that's always been my goal and that's what I've been able to achieve in my 12 years in the House and my work in the previous administration.

I think what people are looking for right now is not the kind of pizazz and pop that perhaps we got in 2008. Certainly President Obama offered that, and what they want now is someone who can work closely with the Congress and get things done.


BLITZER: Mary, I know you think he's on the short, short, short list, as a vice presidential running mate. He's not flamboyant and an intelligent guy. Is that good or bad?

MATALIN: That is excellent. So many of our elections are in direct response to their predecessors and in this case, we've seen the results of pizazz and cool and it's resulted in unprecedented unemployment.

The jobs numbers today were a disaster. The Dow is tanking. The consumer confidence is tanking. You look at Ron Portman and you see experience and you see calm and you see collected. You know my bias here.

We have any number of good candidates on the short list. Nobody knows what it really is, but Rob Portman is a very, very special public servant.

BLITZER: We'll continue the conversation --

BRAZILE: We lost 3.1 private sector jobs and green the economy by over 100,000 jobs this year. It's very important. The president's trying to get these jobs numbers down. He just needs help from the Republicans. Hopefully they'll start happening and pizazz, Wolf, is overrated.

I think a lot of people -- Sarah Palin had a lot of pizazz and didn't work out all that great for John McCain. Guys, thanks very, very much.

Please make sure you tune in next Tuesday for my interview with the former president of the United States Bill Clinton. He'll join me here in THE SITUATION ROOM, 4:00 p.m. next week right there on Eastern on Thursday.

A Florida judge is ordering Zimmerman back to jail. Lisa Sylvester is monitoring that and some other top stories in "THE SITUATION ROOM." What's the latest, Lisa? SYLVESTER: Hi, there, Wolf. Prosecutors say Zimmerman, quote, misrepresented, misled and deceived the court at a hearing about whether he had a U.S. passport and also lied about his family's wealth.

A Judge is revoking Zimmerman's bond and ordering he surrender himself in the next 48 hours. Zimmerman is charged with murder in the death of Florida teenager, Trayvon Martin and We will have a full report on that at the top of the hour.

CNN shot this exclusive video of the top Syrian diplomat leaving the country. He was called to the State Department and told he and his family had 72 hours to leave.

He's been the top Syrian envoy in the U.S. since the Syrian ambassador was called back to his country in October. In a rare, coordinated effort, the U.S. and other countries expelled many Syrian diplomats. In a rare coordinate effort this week, the U.S. and a number of other countries expel many Syrian diplomats.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has four months to decide if an Iranian dissident group is a foreign terrorist ordinary. MEK was put on the terror list in 1997 because of the deaths of Americans during the 1970.

But a federal appeals court says it will remove the group from the terror list if Mrs. Clinton doesn't make a decision. MEK has fought the terrorist resignation for years.

Yes, that if you got parking tickets, don't write one for the most notorious bad guy of the entire empire.

BLITZER: OK, thank you. Last month saw the weakest job growth in a year. Our own Erin Burnett is talking to top CEOs across the country. He's getting their take on the new jobs report and their take on the economy. Stand by for that.

George Zimmerman is ordered back to jail. We just had that report and much more coming up at the top of the hour on why he has only 48 hours to turn himself in.


BLITZER: A couple of serious negatives for the U.S. economy today. Only 69,000 jobs were added to America's workforce last month. That's the worst job growth in a year.

The news then hit Wall Street rather hard causing stocks to nosedive big culprit there and that has a huge what we're seeing again. The question is this just one terrible month or is this going to continue to be bad.

ERIN BURNETT, HOST, CNN'S "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT": But in general we have not seen the growth and the jobs numbers that we should. There is maybe a little bit of positive news on the side, Wolf.

BLITZER: What is that?

BURNETT: I was wondering -- well, here's the good news, gasoline futures fell 6 percent. Biggest drop since last august and oil prices are down 18 percent in the past few weeks.

And it takes a bit of time for the oil prices to feed through all of the way to pump prices and you start to see gasoline prices drop dramatically and that of course, gives people more money and feedback into the economy. It isn't the salvation that I'm looking for, but it could be what we see the next three or four weeks at the pump.

BLITZER: Good news down the road. See you at 7:00 p.m. Eastern, "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" later tonight. Thank you.

Doctors appear in TV ads saying they oppose a new tax on cigarettes that would raise money for cancer research. That's not sitting well with our own Dr. Sanjay Gupta. His report coming up.

And brace yourself for a division of galactic proportions. NASA researchers say they know when the galaxy, as we know it, will come to an end.


BLITZER: Netflix overtakes Apple in a major field. Lisa Sylvester is monitoring that and some of the other top stories in THE SITUATION ROOM right now. Lisa, what do you have?

SYLVESTER: Apple is used to life at the top, but Apple is no longer number one when it comes to online video. Netflix has unlimited streaming only planned where as Apple offers episodes from their store. Netflix has done wonders, which had a 44 percent of online movie revenue in the U.S. last year compared to Apple's 32 percent.

NASA scientists now say they know exactly when the galaxy will come to an end, but don't panic. We're talking 4 billion years from now. Massive gravitational pull will ultimately bring the galaxies together causing them to collide and become one. The discovery was taken from images after the 22-year life span of the Hubble space telescope.

Justin Beiber is recovering from a concussion after slamming into a wall at a concert. The teen singer apparently did this backstage and he passed out for about 15 seconds. A doctor checked hem out and determined he did suffer a concussion.

Beiber is laughing at it though. He tweeted, I will see you again, glass, and I will have my revenge. Sounds like the making of a bad song, actually, Wolf.

BLITZER: I hope Justin Bieber is OK. A lot of people obviously love Justin Bieber. Good to know that he still has a sense of humor. We only have 4 billion years left, is that what you're saying?

SYLVESTER: That's right. These two galaxies will come together and they know this, and you know what? I'm safe knowing that we have 4 billion years. That works for me, Wolf?

BLITZER: Four billion. No short-term investments for me. Thanks very much.

A new twist in the case against the man charged with killing the Florida teen Trayvon Martin. George Zimmerman is ordered back to jail. We'll tell you what's going on. Stand by.

Ads for new cigarette tax, and our own Dr. Sanjay Gupta who are actually taking the side of big tobacco. Stand by for that as well.


BLITZER: Smoking is an expensive habit, but that's not necessarily the case in California where the tax on cigarettes is one of the lowest in the country. Our own Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports on how that could change.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ahead of voting day, California TV screens are full of ads. Not for Mitt Romney or Barack Obama, instead Proposition 29.



GUPTA: Here's what's at stake. California voters will decide the fate of Proposition 29, raising a tax by $1 on every pack of cigarettes.

STANTON GLANTZ, DIRECTOR, UCSF CENTER FOR TOBACCO CONTROL RESEARCH AND EDUCATION: There's tremendous evidence from all over the world that when you increase the tax on cigarettes and you increase the price people smoke less.

GUPTA: It would raise an estimated $735 million a year and most of that money would go to cancer research.


GUPTA: According to Map Light, a non-partisan research firm, nearly $47 million has been spent to try and stop Proposition 29, more than half of that from big tobacco, $27.5 million from Philip Morris and another $11 million from R.J. Reynolds.

GLANTZ: We estimate that if Prop 29 passes it will cost Philip Morris and Reynolds and other tobacco about a billion dollars a year in sales and that's why they're in here spending $40 million or $50 million trying to stop it.

GUPTA: Meanwhile, supporters of Prop 29 have spent just $12 million. One of the biggest backers is Livestrong. That's a non-profit founded by cancer survivor Lance Armstrong.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Vote yes on 29.

GUPTA: I should say that I'm a board member.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not one penny goes to new funding for cancer treatment.

GUPTA: Of all of the ads against the cigarette tax, a few stands out to me, they feature doctors seemingly taking the side of big tobacco.

I really wanted to talk to Dr. Porter, but she wouldn't take our calls. I did find other critics of Prop 29 and they said smoking may be bad, but that didn't justify a new tax.

DAVID SPADY, AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY: It's a tax increase in a state that already pays the highest taxes in the nation. It's ballot box budgeting that basically puts a group of unelected individuals in control of billions of California tax dollars at a time when California is facing a $16 billion budget deficit and an example of nanny state legislation.

GUPTA (on camera): Well, there's no question that California has a reputation as a leader when it comes to healthy living, but as things stand now, the cigarette taxes here are among the lowest in the country. Just 87 cents a pack. On Tuesday, voters will decide if they want to keep it that way.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, San Francisco.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: And Sanjay will go in-depth on this story this weekend on "Sanjay Gupta M.D." Make sure to tune in 4:30 p.m. on Saturday or Sunday morning, 7:30 a.m. eastern.