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Volatile Markets; Elizabeth Olivas Graduates; George Zimmerman's Bond Revoked; Tiger Woods Wins PGA Tour Event; "The Laws of the Ring"

Aired June 4, 2012 - 08:00   ET


SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome, everybody.

Our STARTING POINT this morning: Markets around the world take a beating. Europe's debt crisis, China's slowing economy, America's sluggish job market -- all of these things triggering jitters this morning. Also, fears of a fresh recession.

New developments in the Trayvon Martin case. To talk about, the man who shot Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman, is back in jail and the judge saying he and his wife lied about their money and maybe a passport.

And you call him the California Kid, Urijah Faber. Do you know him? He might be one of the most dangerous people on the world. He's a popular mixed martial arts fighter. This man is tough. He is here live.

WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Maybe you can challenge him to choke me out like the last MMA guy that was here.

O'BRIEN: That was not me.

Monday, June 4th. And STARTING POINT begins right now.



O'BRIEN: I got you. Got you. That is Run-DMC. "Walk this Way." That is Roland's playlist.


O'BRIEN: Roland Martin is the host of "Washington Watch with Roland Martin".

Margaret Hoover is with us, too. She works in the George W. Bush library. She's the author of "American Individualism." You have to talk about your book one day. I like to do that sometime this week.

And Will Cain is a columnist at


O'BRIEN: STARTING POINT this morning is a tough one, tough week. Volatile markets and markets in trouble after that report about the U.S. labor market on Friday came out.

Right now, Dow futures now down slightly and S&P 500 and the NASDAQ are poised to open kind of flat.

CNN's Alison Kosik is live at the New York Stock Exchange for us this morning.

Was the disappoint jobs report, Alison, on Friday the only factor that are, you know, pushing all these markets downward?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: You know, that's a good question. And it wasn't the only thing, Soledad.

But I'll tell you what? It definitely was kind of the last straw to cause that big sell-off that we saw on Friday. It was actually the biggest sell-off of the year. You know, 69,000 jobs added to the work force it's not enough to get the economy, the momentum, you know, to move forward.

So on Friday as well, we didn't only learn that the jobs being added to the work force is slowing down. Manufacturing is slowing down as well. And then you know what? They are the usual suspects. The weights on this fragile economy, the uncertainty with Europe's debt problems and the strength of Spain's banking system that is going to continue to cause jitters in the market.

Same concerns about China. China's growth is slowing down. And the reason why we care about Europe and China is because those are the big places where we export a lot of our goods. So, if they buy less stuff from us, it's going to affect us.

So it brings us to our own problems. Yes, we are heading toward that fiscal cliff. All at once at the end of the year, tax rates are going to be going up, spending cuts are going to happen unless Congress steps in to stop it. That is also keeping the markets on edge, that kind of uncertainty, especially when you hear the Congressional Budget Office come out and say, you know what? If this fiscal cliff happens and it happens all at once, it could put the U.S. economy back into recession.

But let's look on the bright side. Futures have recovered as you said, Soledad. Stocks looking flat before the opening bell.

You know what the markets are looking for? This Thursday, Fed Chief Ben Bernanke. He's going to be testifying before a Senate committee and they are looking for some words of support. So, they are hoping for that. Their fingers are crossed -- Soledad.

O'BRIEN: All right. Alison Kosik for us this morning -- Alison, thank you for the update.

So, over the weekend, both Republicans and Democrats spinning the jobs numbers trying to make their own point. Listen.


GOV. DEVAL PATRICK (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Job gains are always good news -- 27 straight months of job gains is great news but we're never going to have the rate of job gains that we need until the Congress passes the jobs bills that the president has put before them.

GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: If you're a small business person, you can't deal with uncertainty. So you sit on the sidelines. If you're a big company, you don't know what you're going to do. You sit on the sidelines.


O'BRIEN: Jen Psaki is the former White House deputy communications director and she's also an Obama campaign surrogate joining us this morning.

Jen, nice to have you. Thanks for being with us.

JEN PSAKI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY COMMUNICATIONS DIR.: Good morning, Soledad. Thanks for having me.

O'BRIEN: It's my pleasure.

Voters care about the economy. We can establish that. We know that to be true. How big a problem is this number?

You look at the graph it's kind of going like this, downward, not good for the Obama campaign. How big of a problem is this for you?

PSAKI: Well, you just heard Governor Patrick say it. You know, this is 27 months -- straight months of job sector growth, 4.3 millions jobs. The economy is growing, that's good news. But it needs to grow faster and what the president said on Friday.

He's also called for a number of steps. He wants to put in place a veterans jobs corps. He wants Congress to move forward to infrastructure spending and investment. He wants to give tax breaks to companies to bring jobs back from overseas.

These are steps congress has the ability to pass and move on now, and that's what really needs to happen in order to move the economy forward at a faster rate which I think we all agree needs to happen.

MARGARET HOOVER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Jen, is there a sense that President Obama's re-election rests on things that are somewhat out of his control? I mean, jobs need to come back and employment needs to come back. You all continue to blame the Congress for not acting on the jobs bill.

Is there a sense in the White House that maybe Paul Krugman was right that the stimulus bill in the first place wasn't just big enough?

PSAKI: Well, the stimulus job -- you heard even Governor McDonnell say it this weekend worked and did what it needed to do. But we didn't know, and it's a point you sort of touched on. We didn't know how deep the hole was and how much needed to happen at the time. So, obviously, more needs to happen which is what the president is pushing for.

Now, whether or not Congress acts and moves the ball forward here is on them. That is something the president is not giving up on pushing for and he also has taken steps on his own, you know, as he said, we can't wait, in order to move the economy forward.

But there are factors like Europe that we can't control. So we need to do everything possible that we can do that is within our control and that's what the president is focused on.

O'BRIEN: Earlier today, I was talking to Senator Tom Carper. And he was saying that he looks at it like a strategy, he was doing baseball analogies which everybody knows and I never follow sports analogies super well. But he was saying doing singles and hit singles and I'm going to play a little bit of what he said and I'll ask you the question on the other side.


SEN. TOM CARPER (D), DELAWARE: I call that like hitting singles and we need to continue to hit a bunch of singles, create a more nurturing environment for job creation, set the stage for hitting a home run. And a home run that is what we need to hit after the election.


O'BRIEN: So, two questions out of that. Number one, can you wait after the election to hit a home run? Sounds like he is saying in fact, we are not hitting a home run until after the election. Do you think that is true?

PSAKI: Well, I'll attempt to continue the baseball analogy here. My husband is a huge fan. I would say we need some doubles and triples too and not just singles so we need to take steps that are significant enough and that means things like investing in infrastructure.

One of the areas that hit hardest in the economy we saw on Friday was instruction jobs. That is an area where we haven't been able to move forward on the president's plan. That is where we need to -- not something small but something bigger than that.

So we need to take steps now. We want to do everything we can possibly do. Now, of course, when the election is over and politics is a little bit on the back burner, there may be more of an environment to do more. Of course, the Congress will have to deal with the tax cut package but we need to do things now and that is what the president is focused on. He's not going to wait until November if he can possibly move things through.

O'BRIEN: But it sounds like you're kind of blaming Congress at the same time. You say he needs to do things now but Congress really isn't moving but we will try to do a couple of things now. And I wonder, to what degree -- I mean, how do you -- isn't sort of the role of the president to say, I am responsible for moving this forward, I have to get this ball down the field, regardless of whether Congress is going to help me or not?

PSAKI: Absolutely. The president has laid out the steps that he wants to take. He's reached his hand out and says, look, we need to move forward with infrastructure. We need to do more to bring jobs back from overseas. We need to do more to help small businesses.

And there is an obstruction in Congress that's been happening for months that's made it difficult to move things forward. He can't do everything on his own. He needs a partner and that's how government has been set up, so he needs them to move forward so he can sign the legislation into law.

MARTIN: Jen, it should come as no shock. The president said 2009, his re-election will be judged largely based upon the economy. So there it's no shock this is what folks are focusing on.

O'BRIEN: Let me add on that that. That sounds like doom and gloom again back to our first question. If, in fact, you're going to be judged on the economy, if I brought people in off the street and I think you would agree with me.

CAIN: President Obama said he should be judged on this.

O'BRIEN: He did, he said he should be judged. If we brought them in and I said how do you feel about the economy? I believe those people would say, I am nervous, I am scared and I am unhappy, the economy does not feel good to me.

MARTIN: That's right.

PSAKI: Well, the economy, there is no question. Every poll will tell you and everybody you talk to will tell you the economy is the number one issue and I think that's an area where President Obama and Mitt Romney definitely agree. The question is who is the better candidate, whether it's President Obama or Mitt Romney to move the country forward?

President Obama has laid out what he wants Congress to do. We have had a lot of talk over the last couple of weeks about Mitt Romney and his record and whether that qualifies him, not just qualifies him but whether those are the right ingredients to move the country forward. He wants to go back to the same policies that led us into this crisis to begin with.

His record in Massachusetts leaves a lot to be desired, 47th out of 50 in job creation. He left the state with debt. He left the state with a lot that needed to be done.

So, the question is who is the better choice to move the country forward and that's the debated we are going to be having the next five months because there's no question the economy and continuing to help the recovery is what is -- everybody is talking about at their kitchen tables at home.

O'BRIEN: I think we all agree on that. Jen Psaki, thanks for talking us.

PSAKI: Thank you, Soledad.

O'BRIEN: Time to look at the rest of the headlines. Zoraida has got.

Hey, Z. Good morning.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you.

A developing story out of Nigeria. The pilot of a Nigerian plane that crashed into a residential neighborhood in Lagos killing all 153 people on board is an American. His identity was not been released yet.

At least ten people on the ground were also killed in yesterday's crash. Firefighters and police struggling to put out the flames, they ran out of water just three hours after the crash. Nigeria's president declaring three days of national mourning and ordering a full investigation now.

Investigators are trying to determine what caused an air tanker to crash while fighting a wildfire along the Nevada/Utah border. Two pilots were killed there. They were dropping fire retardant on the flames when their tanker went down yesterday afternoon.

The tanker was on its second run of the day and was loaded with about 1,600 gallons of fuel and 2,00 gallons of water and fire retardant. The 5,000-acre white rock fire began burning Friday night after a lightning strike in eastern Nevada.

Voters in Wisconsin just a day away from a critical recall election that could force the Republican governor out of office after just 18 months. Scott Walker, a Tea Party favorite who cracked down on public unions facing a high stakes challenge tomorrow from Milwaukee's Democratic Mayor Tom Barrett. A lot of people believe what happens to walker could set the tone for the national election in November.

And as we get closer to the election, want to know what life is like on the campaign trail? Tomorrow, join the CNN election round table with Wolf Blitzer and CNN's political team. Submit your questions and get answers in real-time in this live virtual chat.

Don't miss the CNN election roundtable that is tomorrow at 12:00 noon Eastern by logging on to

Soledad, back to you.

O'BRIEN: All right. Zoraida, thank you very much.

Still ahead, a student stuck in Mexico was able to make her graduation!

HOOVER: She made it!

O'BRIEN: She did. Remember we told you her story? She was going to miss her graduation because of a technicality around her visa. But she made it. We're going to bring her story, to chat with us about how the day went, coming up.

And the ultimate excuse from missing school is I was hanging out with the president. We will hear from the young man who got a note from the president himself.

CAIN: That is cool.

HOOVER: That is so cool.

O'BRIEN: This is STARTING POINT. We are back in a moment.


O'BRIEN: A little Kanye first thing in the morning. Just a note, Margaret. The note! I do like your choices. And someone said I was not really listening enough to your music.

CAIN: You should have ended that sentence, somebody said I'm not listening enough to you, Will.


O'BRIEN: No. They didn't say that, actually. What they said was I needed to embrace your music choices more, so I am embracing today. Today is a beautiful day.

CAIN: It hasn't been played yet.

O'BRIEN: All right. And even more good news. A really happy ending for that Indiana teenager. We told you about her story last week. Remember, she was stuck in her Native Mexico 1,500 miles from home, afraid she was going to miss her high school graduation because she was salutatorian. I can salutorian, but you know, some words I just can't --

CAIN: Second place. She's in second place.


O'BRIEN: Anyway, her name is Elizabeth Olivas and she did make it home in time for her ceremony on Saturday. She delivered an emotional speech to her classmates at Frankfurt High School. Listen.


ELIZABETH OLIVAS, HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE: Some of you will face with challenges that you never thought you would have to make, but, when they're there right in front of you, take them. Battle by it until you win, because not only it shows and proves how strong you are against the world. If you don't prove it to the world, at least you prove it to yourself. And, to me, that's winning. (END VIDEO CLIP)

O'BRIEN: Elizabeth is getting a little emotional in her speech. She's lived in Indiana since she was four years old, but she was born in Chihuahua, Mexico and never became a U.S. citizen. The law -- actually, I think, discovered as a teenager, but she was not a citizen. The law requires you to return to Mexico within 180 days of your 18th birthday so you can get a visa. Calculation error, though, because of leap year made her a day late so she could have been stuck in Mexico three years.

She got a waiver, though, after we spoke to her on Thursday. We spoke with her attorney as well whose name is Sarah Moshe, and she joins us. Nice to see you. I know Elizabeth is resting up because she had a very, very busy weekend. Nice to have you with us. So, give me a sense of how it all came together at the end.

I know it involved seven hours waiting in the consulate office before you knew it was going to happen. Tell me about that.

SARAH MOSHE, ATTORNEY FOR ELIZABETH OLIVAS: Good morning. Thank you. Yes, on Thursday morning, Elizabeth submitted her application for a waiver of that three-year bar, and the Department of Homeland Security spent several hours reviewing that. Once that was approved, she was transferred to meet with the state department, and those folks were able to issue travel documents.

O'BRIEN: So, what's her legal status now? Is this a waiver where they've just given her an opportunity to come in? Now, she's to go back to Mexico and reapply or is she in for a while? What happens?

MOSHE: No. Thankfully, she's here. She entered the United States with an immigrant visa and will receive a green card. So, her status is lawful permanent resident, and then, five years from now, she'll be able to apply for sat citizenship.

O'BRIEN: So, she came back to great fanfare. It looked like it was very emotional. I know you were there. describe how it was for you.

MOSHE: It was amazing. It was amazing. I mean, this is a huge victory for Elizabeth and her family and also for my law firm and for me, and for really many, many people across the country. I think it gives us a lot of hope, and we are looking forward to the possibility of many changes in the law.

O'BRIEN: Were you surprised at the degree to which Elizabeth was embraced by not just the community, but I think the greater community as well?

MOSHE: I have been surprised. I'm pleasantly surprised. I'm extremely pleased. I've said time and time again I'm so proud of Frankfurt, I'm so proud of Indiana, I'm so proud of our nation. I mean, this has just been really heartwarming.

O'BRIEN: I know that she has said she wants to study to be a nurse. I think that's what she was saying the other day in an interview. Is that correct? Where does she go next?

MOSHE: That's the plan for now. She intends to start college in the fall, and she's looking at several schools in Indiana. She does want to study nursing. So, we're hoping together as mentors a group of us can encourage her to reach all of her goals.

O'BRIEN: All right. Sarah Moshe is the attorney for Elizabeth Olivas. Nice to have you with us. We certainly appreciate it. Congratulations to her. She's a teenager, and you know she's -- it's 8:20 in the morning here so she's like about five more hours of sleep, at least, this morning.


O'BRIEN: Thanks, Sarah. Can you repeat that? I lost you.

MOSHE: Oh, I said she needs to rest. So, thank you.

O'BRIEN: I bet she does. It's been a long week, but it had a very happy ending.

Still ahead on STARTING POINT this morning, it could be the best excuse ever for missing school. We're going to tell you about a fifth grader who has a note from the president.

And don't forget, you can watch us on your computer or even on your mobile phone, We're back right after this.


O'BRIEN: All right. Pearl Jam, "Last Kiss." I like this for the morning.

CAIN: It's a good one. It's hard not to like.

O'BRIEN: Yes. Will Cain.

MARTIN: Way to go, Will.

CAIN: Oh, you approve?


HOOVER: I don't know --

O'BRIEN: Come on.


O'BRIEN: She thinks he's lying.

MARTIN: Wow! Wow!

O'BRIEN: No. I don't believe it. I don't believe it.

HOOVER: I just want to say, you know -- (CROSSTALK)

O'BRIEN: I just want to say cumbayah, everybody. It's Monday morning. We start of strong and happy.

Here is the best excuse note ever for school. It's, "Sorry, I was hanging out with the president. Couldn't come in."

CAIN: Cool.

O'BRIEN: President Obama wrote this official absent letter for a Minnesota fifth grader whose name is Tyler Sullivan. It says this, "Mr. Ackerman, please excuse Tyler. He was with me." The 11-year-old skipped class so he can watch his dad introduce the president at the speaking event. Tyler and his teacher, Mr. Ackerman, said the president approached him.


TYLER SULLIVAN, ROCHESTER MINNESOTA FIFTH GRADER ABSENCE LETTER FROM PRESIDENT OBAMA: He came up and he asked me if he wanted an excuse note since I was missing school Friday. I was, like, uh -- I was so shocked, I didn't say anything.

TERRY ACKERMAN, TYLER'S FIFTH GRADE TEACHER: I knew, obviously, he was absent from school on Friday. I wasn't sure what he was doing. And I found out after the fact that this all happened to Tyler, which I was very excited for him. Very excited.


O'BRIEN: You can totally see them fighting over who gets to keep this piece of history!

CAIN: So, it's hard for me to contain my contrary in nature on this, but let me ask you this. If the note from the president is an excused absence, when does it become an unexcused absence? Secretary of state? Ambassador?

O'BRIEN: It was lower than that.

MARTIN: That's cold.

O'BRIEN: When I took my girls to Haiti, I took them out of school and I was like, we're going out of town. Excused absence.

HOOVER: So, anywhere from president to the mom.


O'BRIEN: Anybody older than a fifth grader who hasn't written the note himself. Any adult vouching for a reasonable absence I think will count. Just wait until your little kids are fifth graders.

MARTIN: Every teacher now is questioning every note.


HOOVER: You (INAUDIBLE) authenticate the president's autography.

O'BRIEN: Yes. Yes. I think so. I think so.

All right. Still ahead this morning on "Starting Point," George Zimmerman's bail has been revoked. The judge said he lied about his finances.

Plus, Tiger Woods, what a comeback? Of course, we're going to show you the shot. You don't want to miss this. You're watching STARTING POINT. We're back in a moment.


O'BRIEN: Welcome back, everybody. Let's start with a look at today's headlines with Zoraida Sambolin. Good morning, Z.

SAMBOLIN: Good morning to you.

The pilot of a Nigerian plane that crashed into a residential neighborhood in Lagos was an American. His identity was not been released yet. All 153 people on board died and at least 10 people on the ground were also killed in yesterday's crash. Firefighters and police struggled to put out the flames. The wreckage burned for more than three hours after that crash. Fire trucks just could not carry enough water to that site. Nigeria's president declaring three days of national mourning.

Federal health officials say a fifth victim has contracted a flesh-eating bacteria in the southern United States. The latest victim is an elderly woman in South Carolina. She is recovering after emergency surgery where doctors removed a part of her leg. The four other victims diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis are all from Georgia.

And prepare for a volatile week in the markets. Right now Dow futures are down right now slightly. The S&P 500 and the NASDAQ are poised to open pretty flat, up just a bit. The troubling report on the U.S. labor market on Friday sent the markets diving, drawing focus away from the debt crisis in Europe back onto the U.S. recovery. Plus, a slowdown in China's economy also has investors a bit on the edge this week.

Silver medalist and world champ gymnast Sean Johnson is retiring. Johnson says a knee injury she suffered while skiing two years ago shaped her decision. Last month she told STARTING POINT the injury could affect her shot at making this year's Olympic team.


SHAWN JOHNSON, WORLD CHAMPION GYMNAST: After my knee and everything, you know, just trying to cater my training and everything around fitting into one spot. But honestly it's so up in the air.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SAMBOLIN: Johnson leaves the sport with three world titles, one gold, and three Olympic silver medals and a great attitude, Soledad. She is always smiling.

O'BRIEN: It's sad news for my daughters who are big fans for hers when I tell them today she is not somebody they can watch in the Olympics. Thanks, Z.

You can tell it to the judge, I guess. George Zimmerman has some explaining to do. He is back in jail. The man who is charged with murdering Tayvon Martin had his bail revoked. The judge says Zimmerman and his wife lied when they told the court they were broke but they had a pretty hefty defense fund. Earlier the Martin family attorney said the ruling shows that Zimmerman can't be trusted.


BENJAMIN CRUMP, ATTORNEY: It focuses everybody's attention to George Zimmerman's credibility and, remember, his credibility is the main thing here because it is only his version of the facts that say Trayvon Martin attacked him. All of the objective evidence suggests that he pursued and shot Trayvon Martin in the heart. And that is going to be a crucial, crucial issue, credibility, credibility, credibility.


O'BRIEN: Zimmerman's lawyer is expected to ask for a new bond hearing. Joining us this morning is CNN legal analyst Mark Nejame. Thanks for being with us. Do you expect, in fact, he asks for a new bond hearing he put George Zimmerman and Shelley back on the stand to explain what was behind I guess what got them -- getting him back into jail?

MARK NEJAME, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, if he has any hope for a bond, he has to.

O'BRIEN: They have to be on the stand?

NEJAME: Yes. How else do you explain the circumstances? The state has submitted toted judge apparently the transcripts from the jail which suggests there was some sort of hiding or removing of funds. At least the judge believed that from what we now understand. So in order to overcome that, how else can you get it explained without having him take the stand? So a very, very, very risky move, though.

I was not a fan of the fact that he was -- he took the stand the first time at his bond hearing. Any of those statements can be used against you. And I do agree with Mr. Crump as it relates to credibility as everything. I don't agree with him that it's only the credibility issue. Forensics and eyewitnesses and ear witnesses are all relevant, but I do think the credibility is everything. When you put somebody on the stand, you're throwing the dice.

O'BRIEN: I read a report saying the judge is even surprised that the prosecutors aren't charging Shelly with anything. And it looks like the judge is not bringing any contempt of court charges against her as well. Does that surprise you?

NEJAME: Well, I think it's a little early right now. I doubt that the judge has made any communication with the prosecutors to suggest that. But I think clearly that's an option.

But you have a contempt of court, which the judge could consider, and you have criminal charges which the state could consider. I'm not sure anybody wants to do all that. Remember, another high profile case, the Anthony case, there was a lot of discussion about would the state charge other people in that. I think in this case sometimes you want to keep your eye on the ball and don't make it look like you're being retaliatory.

However, this is a very aggressive prosecution team, and nothing they are doing, they are not playing softball in this case. So it wouldn't surprise me if they are considering it. Whether strategically they think it's a boast decision, a decision they will make behind closed doors.

O'BRIEN: I want to read to everybody a transcript of the conversation that happened between George Zimmerman's -- George and his wife Shelly in jail and also sort of compare that to the April hearing. In the transcript , George Zimmerman says, "In my account, do I have at least 100? Shelly says no. How close am I? Shelly says, Eight. George says, Really? So total everything how much are we looking at? Shelly says, Like $155." Then just a couple of days later at the hearing that took place on April 20th, she is asked, "You mentioned in terms of the ability for your husband to make a bond amount that you have no -- you all had no money, is that correct? To my knowledge that is correct, she says. Are you aware of the website? She says I'm aware of the website. How much money is in that website right now? Currently, I do not know" when clearly if you take it off the transcript from a couple of days before, she knows exactly how much is in the account. I know you wanted to jump in, Will.

CAIN: I want to return to the issue of credibility, credibility, credibility. Can you tell us how this plays out in a potential trial for George Zimmerman? His bond hearing testimony, how does that play out? George Zimmerman gets on the stand and shown to be a liar by this evidence here or his credibility is questioned by this evidence here?

NEJAME: If I might. I think that the bigger issue initially and preliminarily will be the stand your ground hearing because the stand your ground hearing is basically a motion to dismiss and have the case thrown out early. The judge will be the finder of fact and name a determination whether stand-your-ground is appropriate. You have to determine the witness here is credible because it's his basically his version which would suggest this is a stand-your-ground case. Now the Judge Lester who I've known for 30 years, he has a real credibility issue as it relates to Zimmerman. Now, that is where his lawyer, O'Mara has an issue. Can he reverse the judge's thought process?

MARTIN: Mark, I know some would probably say this is no big deal, but Roger Clemens is on trial right now for lying to Congress under oath. That was one of the issues also with Barry Bonds. So the court takes very seriously when somebody lies under oath to a court officer.

NEJAME: I can't agree with you more. If I was ever a judge, and I never want to be, but I'd be tougher on two types of crimes, and one of those is lying. We accept lying too readily in the court system and say, that's what happens. When you get caught, it's a big deal, as it well should be.

Now with that said, I think that we do need to hear the other side. We have not heard another side yet. I think we need to allow the hearing to play out. If there is a counterpoint to this, we don't know. If all of the facts, we don't know all of the circumstances. It does make it look like his wife was absolutely holding information back from the court. But without a full hearing to hear all sides all we can do right now is guess and have a supposition. I want to get to the hearing.

O'BRIEN: Does the court take into account -- when I've discussed this case with people, they say, yes, but on the other side here you have a guy who is 28, you know. He is relatively young. He is panicking and trying to figure out how to get out of jail. Does a court take any of that sort of into account or is it, listen, you lied and now you've wrecked your credibility to some degree and since you've lied, we are going to be much harder on you? How does it work?

NEJAME: If you're under oath and you're 28-years-old, you're man, you're deemed to know. If you're 18, you're deemed to know. He is deemed to know what went on, and I don't think that there is going to be a lot of forgiveness for that. I think there may be an explanation that may provide some measure of mitigation, but I think he is going to be held to his words and the consequences of those as he well should be.

I do want to make a quick point, though. Remember, that when all of this was going on, he had very little time to meet with his lawyer. The other lawyers got off the case. O'Mara got on it. Zimmerman turned himself in. So I don't think there was any opportunity to truly communicate with O'Mara. Even the court has said he is not held ethically to any of this. As soon as he knew about it he brought it to the court's attention.

But if there is any measure of mitigation that I'm hearing is may be that, that he was confused as far as who was in control. Although the tapes suggest he and his wife believed they were in control.

O'BRIEN: Thank you for being with us. We certainly appreciate it.

Still ahead this morning, Jack Nicklaus called it the gutsiest shot he has ever seen. We'll tell you how Tiger Woods came roaring back to win the Golden Bear's golf tournament.

And this man is one of the most feared fighters in the world. He is here to share what he calls the laws of the ring which he says are applicable to all of us in our personal lives. Here is Roland's playlist, Stevie Winwood, "Roll With It."



O'BRIEN: That is the police. One of the first concerts I ever saw way back in the day before you guys were born.

HOOVER: Please. A lot of people would like to see the police.

CAIN: I was here.

O'BRIEN: That was sarcasm.

CAIN: I'm old.

O'BRIEN: You were in elementary school.

CAIN: Seasoned.

O'BRIEN: That's right. Not old, season.

Well, the reports of Tiger Woods demise seem to be greatly exaggerated. Tiger tied the immortal Jack Nicklaus for second place on the all-time wins list by winning Jack's tournament, and it happened in Ohio yesterday. He captured his 73rd PGA tour victory and his fifth memorial title with a shot that Nicklaus himself called the gutsiest he had ever seen. Watch this thing. Is this called a flop shot? Right to the 16th hole. Then it turns. It's in.

HOOVER: You are like a golf announcer, Soledad. That was really good.

O'BRIEN: Thank you. It was pretty incredible to watch.

HOOVER: Is he back. Do you think he is back?

MARTIN: Yes, no.

O'BRIEN: Really?

MARTIN: First of all, he went on this tournament earlier on a bomber, won this one. If he wins his own tournament he'll win all of the living legend tournaments. Perfect position for the U.S. Open at Olympic in San Francisco in two weeks. So I think he is back.

HOOVER: Yes you're right.

CAIN: If you had to pick out the dedicated golfer on this panel, who would you go with?

HOOVER: Yes, yes.

CAIN: It's him.

MARTIN: I've been playing 25 years. CAIN: He's got basic country club shoes on right now.


O'BRIEN: Are you any good? I mean you're talking good game, are you any good?

MARTIN: Yes, I am an 8.6 handicap.

HOOVER: I thought you said 8.5.

MARTIN: Well not 8.6, I shot 8.5 on Friday.

HOOVER: Well all I know is this gentleman keeps golf clubs in three different cities. So he doesn't have to travel --

MARTIN: Yes I do. Yes I do.

O'BRIEN: It must be nice to be you, Roland.

MARTIN: Yes I do and we'll have multiple pairs of golf shoes too because I have to coordinate them.

O'BRIEN: Oh, no, no. We're not going down that path. No, no, stop. Take the camera back. The shot back to me.

All right. Still ahead, I want to talk about this book. You know who Urijah Faber is?



O'BRIEN: He is a professional mixed martial arts fighter. Like the man -- there he is.

HOOVER: Here in the studio and by the way if I could take --


MARTIN: Hey. How is it going?

O'BRIEN: Feel free. Feel free.

MARTIN: I'm from Texas --

O'BRIEN: I love this new book and his -- I also love your playlist.


O'BRIEN: Featuring Dr. Dre California Love. Nice to have you on STARTING POINT.

FABER: Nice to meet you. Thanks for having me.

O'BRIEN: And I love your book, we're going to talk about it coming up.

FABER: Awesome.

O'BRIEN: We've got to take a short break first.




O'BRIEN: This Martin DJ is your party?

MARTIN: All the time. I have a party --


O'BRIEN: I've never been invited.

FABER: This is my karaoke song, when I sing karaoke. It's like one of the only songs I know 90 percent of the words.

CAIN: And there is no pressure on the voice.

O'BRIEN: That is a very good point. Urijah Faber is joining us this morning. He was nicknamed "The California Kid". UFC's one of the most popular mixed martial arts fighters in the entire world; 26 wins, five losses, ranked number two in your class.

And now sharing lessons that you've learned in your 33 years of life in a self-help book -- a memoire/self-help/motivational book which is excellent. I love this book. I love this book.

FABER: Thank you.

O'BRIEN: And I -- I really -- sometimes it worries me when I see people pummeling the crap out of each other frankly in the sport that you -- you fight.



O'BRIEN: So why a book? I'm surprised. Why a memoir?

FABER: You know it was something that took its own -- its own life. And I -- I started back in 2008. I was asked to write an article for a magazine and I was going to do it on building a champion for, you know, making your kids into champions. And it was the whole theme was you don't get to choose what your kid is going to be a champion at.

And I started writing this whole thing and it took on its -- its own life. I didn't even write the article. I kept on going with this book. And I just feel there are so many people out there that want to follow their passion. They want to succeed and there are just some basic things that I feel like people sometimes overlook and --

O'BRIEN: So I cringe when I watch people punch each other. That's just -- and I'm a mom with four kids. Like I am exactly the opposite of you. And I found that so much of what you write is so relevant to I think everybody's life. So I'm going to read a little bit.

You say "I make a point to stay positive". This is from chapter one. "And I'm always toward meeting the next thing to feed my excitement. Whenever something bad happens to my life I'm pretty good about shrugging it off and going forward. In reality I have to do it anyway." You a very naturally positive outlook. Where did it come from?

FABER: It really comes from -- from my upbringing. And I -- I've had a lot of different experiences. And some good, some bad. But I came from a -- a really cool early upbringing it was like a hippie Christian commune. My -- my parents were in Santa Barbara and it's called the ghetto by the sea.

They say, you know, I have to visit the college town right there and I was born in a house to midwives and you know these kind of uplifting.

O'BRIEN: But then you had some tough times, too. Your parents got divorced and got a little ugly with your dad.

FABER: Yes there's been a lot of the -- there's been a lot of stuff that isn't perfect. I mean, that's -- that's the way life seems to be for everyone. There is always a sob story out there, or a tough, tough luck story that -- that you know, people have in their lives but I mean, that is just it. And I -- I mean, my life wasn't perfect but it seems like a lot of what I've learned and what I've been introspective about has brought me where I am today.

And people can make all sorts of different pathways for themselves and it just kind of depends on how you look at things and how you address them and how you deal with adversity.

So I definitely felt like I've had a lot of adversity in my life. But just the -- the core and like the matrix of my life has been a lot of great stuff and I took stuff from people that I've met along the way and some fun stories and -- and it was cool.

O'BRIEN: It's all stories, I mean this is an all narrative about people and your life stories.

MARTIN: How many folks try to challenge you to fight when you go out?

FABER: Not very often.

O'BRIEN: That's because they're not crazy.

MARTIN: They are crazy people like Zombie Man earlier but you never know both have to challenge you. HOOVER: This man helped trail blaze the way for his weight class to even be in the commercial arts community.

MARTIN: Yes still, crazy people.

HOOVER: Well exactly and you wouldn't be one of them.

MARTIN: No, I wouldn't be. I wouldn't be.

O'BRIEN: Could you kill a guy by snapping they're neck? I really want to know. That's a very reasonable question.

FABER: It's a martial arts theory where you like you touch a guy in the right spot and he dies but no.

O'BRIEN: Is that true?

FABER: It's not true. But can you kill a person? I mean I could teach you a move right now that could kill a person.

O'BRIEN: Really? Will you show me. Come on. Let's do this.


O'BRIEN: Hang on. I have to hold on to my microphone. Are we allowed to do this? What do I do?

FABER: So this is a real (inaudible) choke. You take me right here. And then you're going to take your own arm right here.

HOOVER: Not a hug.

O'BRIEN: Oh, like this.

FABER: And put your hand behind my head and you just squeeze until I can't breathe.

O'BRIEN: Am I hurting you at all?

FABER: Squeeze. There you go. Ah.

O'BRIEN: Why is he tapping me?

MARTIN: He wants next. Get him.


O'BRIEN: I'm going to try it later. You could just --

FABER: Well, you could put someone unconscious. I mean because they are not getting the stuff they need to the brain. I guess you could hold on forever. But now, the thing about mixed martial arts it's such an honorable thing to do what I just did was a tap-out or even the referees there. If someone were to pass out they would stop the action. It's actually a really safe sport.

O'BRIEN: Really?

HOOVER: Some people say it's actually even safer than boxing because boxing is the head for 12 rounds. And in mixed martial arts --

FABER: Right.

HOOVER: What do you say thought to the critics who say this is a barbaric sport?

FABER: It's just about education. I mean this sport has its roots in some of the most noble sports in the world. Judo, jujitsu, wrestling, boxing, kickboxing and stuff that's in the Olympics has been around forever. We have to learn all that stuff.

It comes down to being extremely disciplined, extremely technical and it's one of the most difficult sports in the world, but the most -- one of the most honorable, I believe.

O'BRIEN: While you're saying that -- while you're saying that, we are watching two guys like this pummel each other.

HOOVER: Backs just throwing too.


O'BRIEN: Well, this book is amazing because I know you're really good. I just loved it. i have to tell you. Even if this is a sport that you feel like, it's hard to watch. People just beat each other up. But I love this book.

FABER: Thank you very much. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

O'BRIEN: It's just fantastic. It's called "The Laws of the Ring"; and they are applicable even outside of the ring or to those of us who are too afraid to get in the ring.

And we love your playlist -- "Let's Talk of Love".

FABER: Thank you.

O'BRIEN: It's nice to have you.


O'BRIEN: Urijah Faber, thanks for being with us.

FABER: Thanks for having me guys. I hope you all enjoy the book.


O'BRIEN: "End Point" is up next with our panel. We are back in a moment.


O'BRIEN: All right. Let's figure out how much time we have -- a minute -- 20 seconds apiece. Who wants to start.

CAIN: I like your interview with Christiane Amanpour I wish she could have stayed a little longer. She was talking about her conversation with Mariela Castro and how she'd become this pro-gay rights advocate in Cuba. And I think it's at least ironic and it's probably part of her evolution that 50 years ago her father put people -- homosexuals in re-education camps. Interesting position she finds herself in today.

O'BRIEN: And that's something she has actually been working on for a while now.

CAIN: For some time. That's right.

HOOVER: You know, it's hard though. Of course, I support the LGBT rights and remarkable and fascinating that she's, of course, advocating for LGBT rights, but of course you also can't help but think of the people who are still in Cuban jails today --

CAIN: Right.

HOOVER: -- that you certainly hope for resolution for freedom and justice to them.

MARTIN: And of course, there's a take-away flat out the embargo has failed and so Americans should have a change in policy. It's not Republican or Democratic thing and so we should get rid of it because he's still in power. And that might assure more freedom.

O'BRIEN: And we're out of time. We can talk about Cuba tomorrow if we like.

Tomorrow on STARTING POINT, we're also going to be talking to illusionist and comedian Penn Juliette. That's ahead.

Let's get right to "CNN NEWSROOM" with Carol Costello. That begins right now. Everybody, I'll see you back here starting at 7:00 a.m.

Hey Carol. Good morning.