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CNN NEWSROOM

Plight Of The Girl Child In India; Who Is Running Egypt? Sandusky's Alleged Victims Testify; Military Aircraft Crash; Accused Auburn Shooter In Court; No Ironman For Armstrong; Obama and Romney In Ohio; Clashes in Myanmar; President To Visit WTC Site Today; Illegal Immigrants Reveal Their Secrets; Illegal Immigrants Reveal Their Stories; Obama, Romney Battle in Different Cities in Ohio; Romney talks Jobs, Criticizes Obama on Economy.

Aired June 14, 2012 - 13:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, again, everybody. I'm Fredricka Whitfield in today for Suzanne Malveaux. Let's get right to it. A major setback for Egypt today. Who is running the country? The highest court declared Egypt's constitution invalid today and said anyone elected under it has to go. Egypt's military rulers basically took over all legislative power. It's already a very tense time politically. Egyptian voters will choose a president in a runoff election come this weekend.

And prosecutors in the Jerry Sandusky child molestation trial will wrap up their case today. More witnesses are taking the stand today against the former Penn State coach. One is an alleged victim whose mother called authorities after she found out Sandusky had showered with her so. Sandusky is accused of abusing ten boys in a 10-year period.

And the military is investigating another crash of its tilt router (ph) osprey aircraft similar to this one. It went down during a routine training mission in Florida yesterday. All five crew members are alive but injured. The osprey's safety has been questioned in the past, particularly after two deadly crashes in late 2000.

And the man accused of a shooting spree in Auburn University now faces three counts of murder. Desmonte Leonard allegedly shot six people at a pool party yesterday. Three died and you can see Leonard here at his first court appearance this morning. The funerals for the three killed will take place tomorrow and Saturday. Two of them seen here were former Auburn football players.

All right. It is not a good day for cycling superstar Lance Armstrong, he is fighting a familiar uphill battle today. Accusations that he is a blood doper. Today, the world body that controls the triathlon says Armstrong cannot compete in the race Europe this month, but that is not the big issue. A new investigation may find a valid reason to take away his world record seven world Tour de France champion titles. CNN's Casey Wian is in Los Angeles today. So, Casey, what is this new investigation where it's also legendary's (ph) new evidence? What is Lance Armstrong side of the story as well? CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Fredricka, that's right. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency sent a letter to Lance Armstrong and several others involved in what the agency calls a conspiracy to not only use performance enhancing drugs over a 13-year period, but to traffic in performance enhancing drugs. Now, according to Lance Armstrong, he took to Twitter, as many people do these days, and called it a witch hunt. He also released a formal statement that said, unlike many of my accusers, I have competed as an endurance athlete for 25 years with no spike in performance. Also, he says he has passed more than 500 drug tests and never failed one. He calls this a vendetta by former competitors and he calls it unfair. Now, there is a hearing that is expected to happen sometime before November, even before that hearing. These charges are going to go before a review panel, but Lance Armstrong is saying that these charges are basically based on old allegations, and cannot be proved -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: And we talked about the seven Tour de France titles, but what else is at stake for Armstrong?

WIAN: Well, Armstrong, himself, say says this is an effort to have the Tour de France titles stripped from him. Also, this, as you mentioned, he has had a career recently after he retired from cycling of competing in triathlons. He's not going to be able to do that any longer while this investigation is under way. Also, we should point out that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency says that all of these witnesses it says it has against Lace Armstrong cooperated in its investigation into performance enhancing drugs in cycling. It says Lance Armstrong was given an opportunity to do so, and he did not and that's why he is facing charges or at least these allegations, not all of the other cyclists who have admitted to using enhancement performance drugs -- Fredricka

WHITFIELD: So, this U.S. Anti-Doping Agency investigation is one thing, might it ultimately lead to a potential criminal case?

WIAN: It doesn't appear so. Lance Armstrong was the subject of a Justice Department investigation. That investigation was closed without any charges earlier this year. Also, a grand jury looked into this, and they did not return an indictment against Lance Armstrong, so it does not appear that any criminal charges will result of this -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right. Casey Wian, thanks so much.

So, that banned substance Lance Armstrong is accused of using is called EPO. An athlete who uses it can manipulate the amount of red blood cells and that can boost the athlete's performance. Our Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is here right. So, exactly what is EPO?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: EPO stands for Erythroprotein. And what this hormone does is it brings more red blood cells into your blood, and red blood cells increase the amount of oxygen that your muscles can get. This drug has been a wonder for Aids' patients or kidney failure patients, and you can see here the blood -- all red blood cells. So, imagine having more of those bringing more oxygen to your muscles. Well, athletes have taken a look at this in the past and said, wow, look, more oxygen to the muscles, that would be good for us, too.

WHITFIELD: So, if it's used in other patients with other kinds of ailments, including kidney patients, then why would this be a difficult thing to detect?

COHEN: Ah hah. It's because our bodies naturally produce EPO. We have natural. And it took years for them to figure out a test that would distinguish the natural EPO from the kind of EPO that you take as a drug. Just because the drug exists doesn't mean that it's easy to detect levels in your bloodstream. Plus, this letter that they wrote to Lance Armstrong and others says that he did things to mask his use of EPO. For example, they say he would take smaller doses so that it was more difficult to track them. It says that that he used masking agents. There are things you can do to mask the drug in your system, and they say that he injected it into his veins rather than right -- you know, right under the skin.

WHITFIELD: And these are the allegations that are unproven.

COHEN: Still unproven.

WHITFIELD: OK. So, if you were an athlete who were to use the EPO, what potential side effects or dangers would there be to that user?

COHEN: EPO can cause a lot of problems. What it does is to make your blood thicker. You know, we saw before all those red blood cells, it makes it thicker. If you have thicker blood, you are more in danger of having a stroke which is basically when things get so thick you're -- the blood won't get to your brain. More higher danger of having a heart attack, anemia or sudden death during sleep. So, if someone is doing this --

WHITFIELD: Over a prolonged period of time?

COHEN: Well, it is not necessarily going to take all that long. I mean, there have definitely been athletes who have suffered --

WHITFIELD: Yes.

COHEN: -- you know, from using this, and it's not clear exactly how long they used it for. But this drug can be dangerous.

WHITFIELD: Well, that is fascinating, because he is still seemingly the picture of health.

COHEN: Exactly.

WHITFIELD: So, all -- that list of those things --

COHEN: Hasn't happened.

WHITFIELD: -- hasn't happened. COHEN: Right. Because if those things aren't absolutely going to happen to you if you use EPO, it just increasing the chance that it's going to happen. So, you're running that risk, because there are plenty of people who use EPO and that never happens.

WHITFIELD: Fascinating stuff. All right, thanks so much. I know we will be talking about this again as the investigation continues to move forward. Thanks so much, Elizabeth Cohen, appreciate it. So, that banned substance Lance Armstrong is accused of using, that EPO of course we'll continue to follow what the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency concludes as they carry on with their investigation.

All right. Here's what else we're working on. (voice-over): They are among the most persecuted people on earth. We'll tell you what life is like for Muslims in Myanmar.

Then, the freedom tower is climbing higher every day. Tonight, the president is visiting with union workers building it.

And they are illegal immigrants. They reveal themselves on the cover of "Time" magazine.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: I want to take you straight to the battleground state of Ohio where just moments ago, we are taking the images now, just really off by a matter of seconds, and President Barack Obama there arriving at the airport in Cleveland there for a campaign event. He'll be heading over to the Cuyahoga Community College, now you are looking at the live pictures with the contingent there greeting him on the ground. He'll be at the Cuyahoga Community College. He'll be talking, in large part about the economy and also trying to paint a picture -- a more hopeful picture of the economy with yet one more term in office.

And he will also -- we understand this administration trying to take a little bit of credit for Ohio's unemployment rate dropping below eight percent to 7.5 percent. And his appearance at the Cuyahoga Community College is expected to be about roughly 30 minutes from now. And the near simultaneously, we also understand that Republican contender Mitt Romney will be in Cincinnati, Ohio, delivering his version of events, and his view of the economy straight ahead if he were elected to office. That is the location where Mitt Romney will be in Cincinnati. And again, Cleveland is the place 250 miles apart where the president will be. Both of them roughly 30 minutes from now.

All right. Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is on a historic visit to Europe after decades of house arrest in Myanmar. She called for an end to ethnic and religious violence in her homeland during a speech to international labor leaders.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AUNG SAN SUU KYI, OPPOSITION LEADER, MYANMAR: The international league for democracy has repeatedly emphasized the need for rule of law and an end of ethnic conflict in our country. And as these basic requirements are met, the foundation for healthy social ,politic ad economic growth cannot be laid down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Meantime, people are fleeing Myanmar after violent clashes broke out between Buddhists and Muslims in some areas. Paula Hancocks has that story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Bangladeshi residents point to a boat they say carries Muslims escaping neighboring Myanmar. An increasing number have been fleeing recent violence in the western reclaimed state, but Bangladesh security forces are sending them back. Their situation is unexplainable, one border guard says. Yesterday they told us, please kill us, and throw our bodies in the river, but don't send us back. (INAUDIBLE) has been given shelter by some Bangladeshi villagers and spoke of the sectarian violence between the rehamiam (ph) Muslim minority and Buddhists in western Myanmar.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE.)

HANCOCKS: They killed three, four people in front of me, he says. I got scared and thought they might kill me, so I decided to come to Bangladesh as it's a Muslim country in hopes they would give us shelter. Hundreds of homes have been torched in reclaimed states over recent days with deaths and injuries on both sides of the conflict. Clashes erupted after police detained three Muslim men for the alleged rape and killing of a Buddhist woman late last month, an apparent revenge attack, and led to the death of 10 Muslim men on a bus and the cycle of violence is continuing. President Ten Se is declaring a state of emergency Sunday has warned of consequences if violence spreads.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE.)

THEIN SEIN, MYANMAR PRESIDENT: Stability and peace, the process of democracy and the development of this country, which are only in transition right now, could be severely effective and much would be lost.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Rakhine Muslim minority claims to have been long persecuted by the former military junta, which considered them to be illegal immigrants. Human rights groups are questioning whether deploying the military to quell this conflict is wise.

PHIL ROBERTSON, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: They have continued a policy of the military government a systemic discrimination against the Rakhine, who are not considered citizens, who had their citizenship stripped from them in 1982 by a citizenship law.

HANCOCKS: The Myanmar government says it has opened six refugee camps for those displaced by the violence, showing footage of its aid effort on state TV. But the United Nations says it is having to withdrawal staff from the area because of the unstable situation.

HANCOCKS (on camera): The government's handling of this crisis will be watched very closely. After being praised for brokering cease- fire with other ethnic groups, this is seen as a crucial test for the new civilian regime.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, Soule (ph).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: And they are in this country illegally and they don't care who knows about it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: All right, President Barack Obama there in the battleground state of Ohio. Still on the ground there at the airport as he just arrived in Cleveland. Soon to spell out his view of the economic picture this point forward if elected to the presidency for a second term. He'll be heading momentarily to the Cuyahoga Community College, where he will address the electorate there. Of course, we'll be covering that live.

And then on the other side of the screen, you're seeing a live picture of Cincinnati, the location where Republican Candidate Mitt Romney will also be taking to the podium there, unfurling what he believes is the best economic plan this point forward. The two with their competing speeches on the economy, and other matters to appeal to the battleground state of Ohio. Maybe taking place simultaneously. We say a big maybe because both are slated at 1:45, but it's still unclear whether the Republican candidate wants to try to compete with the president at the same time there from Ohio. But they're just about 250 miles apart there.

All right, a grim milestone has been reached for U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The number of American troops killed in that war has now hit 2,000. The deaths include all casualties of Operation Enduring Freedom since 2001. There was also one U.S. soldier who has been captured.

And later this evening, President Barack Obama will visit the Freedom Tower in New York City to get an update on the construction there. It's also part of the president's push to generate jobs. CNN's Poppy Harlow gives us a look at what he'll see.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

POPPY HARLOW, CNNMONEY.COM (voice-over): Thirteen hundred feet tall, and climbing, the world's most watched building is fast approaching its final height.

MARC BECKER, DEP. GEN. SUPT., TISHMAN CONSTRUCTION: For me, just two words sums it up, "pride" and "honor." MIKE PINELLI, GEN. SUPERINTENDENT, TISHMAN CONSTRUCTION: This is how we fit in, you know. We're the final process of the rebuilding, you know, which signifies our resiliency as a nation.

HARLOW: For the more than 3,000 men and women rebuilding the World Trade Center, today is big. President Obama will tour the site and sign a beam to be placed at the top of one World Trade Center.

PINELLI: He's going to come and sign it. It will be the first signature on the top of the up (ph) beam.

HARLOW: This stop falls right in line with the president's latest jobs push.

PAT FOYE, EXEC. DIR., PORT AUTHORITY OF NY & NJ: This is a big job generator for New York City and for the New York/New Jersey region.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we have everywhere from ironworkers, concrete workers, steam (ph) to elevator constructors, painters.

HARLOW (on camera): Union jobs?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All union jobs, yes.

HARLOW (voice-over): Key for the president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now you're in one of the four lobbies.

HARLOW: Mel Rafini (ph) oversees 1,200 workers building One World Trade Center.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's 30,000 pieces of steel that we coordinated. That's equivalent to seven Eiffel Towers.

HARLOW (on camera): It was July 2001 when ground was broken for the Freedom Tower. But a year later, those plans were scrapped due to security concerns. Then in April 2006, a second ground breaking. And that brings us to where we are today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The political situation, as well as the architectural and engineering challenges, were all unprecedented here. It stopped and start and changed direction several times. It's been very hesitant. There have been all these political battles and financial battles over it.

HARLOW: What do you say to those that have criticized how long this has taken.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, my response to that comment is, they're right, the project has taken longer, it's cost more. I would expect that the entire site will be in the $15 billion range.

HARLOW (voice-over): Security is priority number one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This will be, in an unintrusive way, the safest commercial space any place in the world.

HARLOW (on camera): Is One World Trade Center even stronger that the Twin Towers that stood before?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, by far.

HARLOW (voice-over): It now stands 104 stories high and will be topped out in the next few weeks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ultimately be 1,776 feet.

HARLOW (on camera): A very symbolic number.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A very symbolic number. Not accidentally.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: All right, Poppy Harlow joining us live now.

So, Poppy, if it's going to be topped out in the next few weeks, I'm sure there is great relief, great trepidation, and just real exuberance, too, for the many people who have worked on that structure.

HARLOW: It's the culmination, Fredricka, of so many years of hard work. Frankly speaking, a lot of bickering politically, financially. The president today, he's going to be here around 5:15 Eastern Time, he's going to get a preview of the topping out ceremony. And that is the word they use in the construction world for when this building reaches that final height.

When I was there a few days ago, it was at 1,300 feet. It will be, as you heard, 1,776 feet. And the president is going to sign this beam, along with all of the construction workers later on who worked on building One World Trade Center. That beam will be at the top of the building.

So, very symbolic, but also a very political stop for the president being around all of these union construction workers. Something that he pushed as recently as last Friday when he spoke about the need for Congress, in his opinion, to act on the Jobs Act. He talked specifically about construction worker. He will be surrounded by them here in lower Manhattan a little later today.

WHITFIELD: All right, Poppy Harlow, thanks so much for bringing that to us from lower Manhattan.

All right, they are living here illegally and hiding from authorities, until now.

And don't forget, you can watch CNN live on your computer while you're at work. Head to cnn.com/tv.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Some 12 million people living with a secret they're too frightened to reveal. They're here in the U.S. illegally. But some are tired of hiding, so they are revealing their secret in an extremely public way. In "Time" magazine, on the cover story. They recount the daily pressures of hiding the status and the struggles to gain citizenship. At the center of that shot, a man who publicly outed himself in a "New York Times" article last June. Jose Antonio Vargas joining us now live from New York.

Good to see you, Jose.

JOSE ANTONIO VARGAS, DEFINE AMERICA, CO-FOUNDER: Thank you so much for having me.

WHITFIELD: So you write in the "Time's" article that wherever you go, people ask you, once they know your story, that you've revealed yourself in "The New York Times" articles, why haven't you been deported, is a question that you didn't even know the answer to. You thought people would, you know, start coming after you, meaning the government, and deport you since you revealed that you were here illegally. And then you decided to turn the tables. You actually reached out to immigration authorities to say --

VARGAS: Yes.

WHITFIELD: Why haven't you detained me, deported me? What did they tell you?

VARGAS: Well, I mean, to me, you know, in fiscal year 2011, the Obama administration deported almost 400,000 people. And we're talking about people who got deported because they had like minor traffic offenses. You know, getting pulled over. And we're talking about people who are mothers and fathers and uncles and aunts and sons and daughters. They're people.

And I was just, you know, curious, because I could not have been any more public about coming out last summer. And really the goal for me was, in the process Define America, this campaign that we founded is, to have a more honest conversation about this issue.

WHITFIELD: So, what was the response? And do you feel like you're kind of you and maybe the other people in this story thought, you know, revealing themselves, you're kind of taunting authorities, almost challenging them, why aren't you doing something?

VARGAS: Well, I mean, by the way, like people have been coming out long before I came out about this issue. I mean, I don't know if you heard about those four undocumented Americans from Miami who walked from Miami to Washington, D.C. you know, to lobby for the Dream Act in 2010. I mean, I remember being editor at "The Huffington Post" here in New York sitting at my desk like watching video on YouTube of these four courageous people taking that walk and like thinking to myself, what am I doing? You know, like, I have to be a part of this.

More and more people like us are coming out everyday. And not just people undocumented, but the people who support us, our teachers, our pastors, our neighbors, our friends. And this is really an unprecedented movement in the immigrant rights community that is changing how, you know, politicians and even the Supreme Court looks at the issue.

WHITFIELD: You say there's some real contradictions. You have come out, and people know your story, and they ask you why you have not been deported. And some people are expressing great anger that you continue to be here and continue to work as a journalist, even though now you say that you have lost your objectivity, so you really are advocating in your journalism by revealing these stories. But you also reveal in this "Times" story that while those contradictions are measured in lots of different ways, Americans in large part support the idea of crating some paths to citizenship for undocumented workers. Yet, 52 percent of Americans support police stopping and questioning anybody who is suspected of being illegal?

VARGAS: That strikes at the heart, I think, of the fact that we have not had, in this country, an honest and truthful conversation about this issue. You know, I said in the story that I'm like a walking uncomfortable conversation that nobody wants to have. Well, there are 35 people on the cover of "Time" magazine who are walking uncomfortable conversations. And we are forcing the president and Governor Romney to talk about this issue differently.

(CROSSTALK)

WHITFIELD: So you're hoping, and your hope in that conversation that the Dream Act, say, for instance, would be passed and there would be an easier path, because you say, like yourself, it is not easy to get into the process of trying to become legal. You would have to leave the country for 10 years in order to apply.

VARGAS: Exactly. Right. And people who have been living here since they were 6 and since they were 3. I found this guy on Facebook, Roy Niey (ph), who is from Israel, who got here from Israel to New York when he was 3 years old, and graduated and educated and can't work. I am talking to another woman, Vuetta Agraby (ph), in Austin, Texas, who has a master's degree in nursing who wants to be a military nurse, and she can't work. The fact that we can't even agree on the Dream Act, which to me is a litmus test, right, it tells you how divorced from reality, you know, in some ways most of the politicians are when it comes to this issue.

(CROSSTALK)

VARGAS: We want more taxpayers. We want more people contributing.

WHITFIELD: It is a fascinating article. And you reveal so much, not just about your personal story, but that of so many others.

Jose Antonio Vargas, thank you so much.

Cover story of "Time" magazine this week.

VARGAS: Thank you so much for having me.

WHITFIELD: Thank you. In the last 12 elections, the candidate who has won Ohio has gone on to win the White House. Today, the state is battleground zero for the president and the challenger in two different cities in Ohio.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: All right. Battleground showdown. President Obama and Mitt Romney both converging on Ohio right now to deliver dueling speeches on the economy. They may be far apart when it come comes to their economic plans, but today, they are less than 250 miles apart on the campaign trail. Romney will be speaking momentarily in Cincinnati while President Barack Obama will be speaking moments from now in Cleveland. You are looking at the live picture in Cincinnati where momentarily Mitt Romney will be taking to the podium there. And then we understand that the president, not long from now, departing from the airport in Cleveland. He will be making his way to Cuyahoga community college. and the original plan was both would be speaking at roughly 1:45 eastern time, but then we got word from the Romney camp that perhaps his might be about six or eight minutes before the president's so as not to have the literal dueling speeches. But now, just looking at the clock at 1:36 eastern time, the two may be going to the podium at roughly the same time. It will be a challenge for us, because we know that you want to see both the president and the Republican challenger talking about the economy there in the battleground state of Ohio. When both, or either, arrive, you will be seeing it as we do.

In the meantime, President Obama is raking in campaign cash tonight. After his speech in Ohio next hour, or this hour, the president is heading to New York to attend a fundraiser at the home of "Sex in the City" star, Sarah Jessica Parker. Some are calling it "Checks in the City." Parker is hosting the fund-raiser along with Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of "Vogue" magazine.

All right. Wall Street is putting its money behind Republican challenger, Mitt Romney. And right on cue. We will take you right now to Cincinnati where you are seeing Mitt Romney who has taken to the stage there. Let's listen in on his idea of the -- his view of the economy for the United States.

MITT ROMNEY, (R), FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR & PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you, Ken. He built this enterprise. And Dave is now running it. This enterprise and others like it, Ken has built. Employs a lot of people and creates good jobs here in the United States of America.

Ken, for your entrepreneurship and the work you do here, we express appreciation. Thank you to you and people like you. Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: Thank you also to Brad for leading was the Pledge of Allegiance. Best of luck to him in the election. And we have to get that man elected and put into Washington, D.C. and --

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: And a special thanks to Rob Portman and Governor Kasich. Senator Portman and Governor Kasich, good friends of mine, who are, in significant measure, responsible for the fact that I won the primary in Ohio. And had that not happened, I might not be the nominee. So to Rob Portman and John Kasich, thank you. Great leaders.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: I express great appreciation for them.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: Now, you may have heard that President Obama is on the other side of the state, and he's going to be delivering a speech on the economy. He's doing that because he has not delivered a recovery for the economy.

(LAUGHTER)

He will be eloquent as he describes his plans for making the economy better, but don't forget, he has been president for three and a half year, and talk is cheap. Action speaks very loud. If you want to see the results of his economic policies, look around Ohio. Look around the country. And you will see that a lot of people are hurting. A lot of people have had tough time. And the policies that the president put in place did not make America create more jobs in fact, made it harder for America to create more jobs. Recently, he went on the "Today" show and he was asked about what he'd do, how he would measure his success, and he said, look, if I can't turn the economy around in three years, I'll be looking at a one-term proposition. And he is right. He is looking at a one-term proposition.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: He's going to be saying today that he wants four more years. He may have forgotten that he talked about a one-term proposition if he could not get the economy turned around in three years. But we will hold him to his word.

Now I know that he will have all sorts of excuses. And he'll have all sorts of ideas. He'll describe about how he will make it better. But what he says and does are not always the exact same thing. And so if people want to know how his economic policies have worked and how they have performed, well, talk to their neighbor and ask whether things are better. They can talk to the 50 percent of college graduates this year who cannot find a job. They can talk to the people who represent the unemployed. The president said that if we let him borrow $787 billion for a stimulus, he would keep the unemployment below 8 percent nationally. We have now gone 40 straight months with unemployment above 8 percent. But then he will say, well, the things he has been doing have been good and helped to create growth and put people back to work. Oh, really? Go check on that. Go to small employers or big employers that you know in your community. Talk to people like Ken or Dave. Talk to other employers in the room. Talk to people that you know that run a retail store or a small manufacturer, and say, did President Obama's policies help put people back to work? Or did they make it less likely for you to hire people? I have a prediction to make, because I have been doing that all over the country, and talking to small employers and big employers, and I hear, day in, day out, that they feel that the administration sees them as their enemy. They feel that the Obama policies have made it harder for them to put people back to work. Almost everything that the president has done has made it harder for entrepreneurs to start a business. Has made it less likely for businesses like this to be able to hire more people. And again, go ask business people.

Again, go ask business people. You can do your own survey. anybody out there who does not know how to vote, who does not know how to do a better job to get the economy going, talk to the people. Talk to the people in business that do the hiring. Talk to the employees who want to be hired and ask them, did the president's policies make things better or worse for getting jobs?

Let's go through them one by one. That stimulus didn't work. That stimulus didn't put more private-sector people to work. How about Obama-care? The president said the other day that he didn't know that Obama-care was hard for small business. Oh, really? The Chamber of Commerce carried out a survey, some 1,500 businesses across America, and 75 percent of those people surveyed said Obama-care made it less likely for them to hire people. Think of that.

Then there was his financial regulatory reform, Dodd/Frank. You have some bankers. Everybody goes to the bank from time to time. Go to the credit union or to a bank and ask if Dodd/Frank helped you out? Did it make it better for you as a bank to negotiate small loans or help people with their mortgages? Did it make it easier to make a new loan? Or did Dodd/Frank make it harder for you in the banking business? Did it make you pull back? What you are going to hear is that the small business was not helped by Dodd/Frank. And small banks and community banks were not helped to make a loan because of Dodd/Frank.

And then there were president's energy policies. I know today he is going to talk all about how he is really going to give a boost to energy. But talk to the people in the coal industry and ask whether his regulations have helped them mine coal. What they will tell you is, on almost every front, he has made it harder to get coal from the ground, and made it less likely for people to use it. As a matter of fact, as a candidate, he said that if you build a coal-fired plant, you will go bankrupt if his policies are implemented. So we are not taking advantage of the coal we could.

How about gas? Go to talk to the people in the natural gas world and ask them what it is like under the Obama administration. They will tell you that the administration has tried to push itself into regulating the production of natural gas in such a way that it is unreliable, and less likely to use our gas. Talk about the oil people? They will say he put a moratorium on the gulf and not drilling in ANWR or on the outer shelf in Virginia. Of all three of the resources in abundance, this is a president that has made it harder for us to create jobs there and to get low-cost energy to manufacturers like this one.

And there's one more. You don't have to ask people about this one. You already know the answer. Did he get that pipeline in from Canada? No. I can guarantee you, when I'm president, we will get the approval for the pipeline of Canada. And if I have to build it myself to get it here, I will get that oil into America.

(APPLAUSE)

One of things that Ken spoke to you about briefly -- and he has been to Washington to testify -- is the fact that trade is good. Of the business people that I met with, a few minutes ago, a number of them said that their business relies pretty substantially on selling products to other nations. It is good for us to be able to trade with other nations. It creates jobs here. I happen to think that there are enormous opportunities in place like Latin America. Huge market areas so close to us, where we have natural competitive advantages. And some of these businesses are taking advantage of that. Now, China and the nations of the European Union over the last three and a half years have made real inroads in Latin America and other places in the world with trade agreements and negotiated trade agreements. 44 different trade agreements negotiated by China and European nations with other nations around the world. Guess how many trade agreements our president has negotiated? None. None. And then, of course, to the ones that we have -- now and then, people sign agreements, but they don't live up to them.

I have heard today about a number of circumstances where our friends in China, who are important trading partners, and hopefully will be on the same page as us on trading matters, but nonetheless, they have a penchant for stealing intellectual property, counterfeiting our goods, stealing our technology, our brand names, our trademarks, our know-how. That kills American jobs. Every now and then, you hear presidential candidates talk about how they will crack down on it. Well, on day one, I will label China a currency manipulator, and that will allow me to apply tariffs where they steal our intellectual property and kill jobs.

(APPLAUSE)

WHITFIELD: All right. A lot of criticism for the president of the United States by Republican challenger, Mitt Romney there in Cincinnati. Romney says, on the president, he has not delivered a recovery for the economy, acknowledging the president is going to be about 250 miles away delivering his speech and his outlook for the economy there in the battleground state of Ohio. Romney claiming that the president has not done enough in three and a half years. And he is challenging the president to talk to the small business owners and to take to them, and see if the president has made it any easier for them in the past three and a half years.

Of course, in Cleveland, we will be bringing you the president's comments and his outlook on the economy as soon as he enters that room there at the Cuyahoga Community College. And when that happens, you will see it as we do.

All right. Meantime, more signs today that the job market doesn't have much hope on the horizon. We will get a report.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: More signs today that job creation is slowing. 386,000 Americans joined unemployment lines for the first time last week. That's up from the week before and higher than expected. Experts say the reading is volatile because it's closely tied to layoffs, making it a key gauge of the labor market.

Cell phone maker, Nokia, isn't helping the hiring cause. The company says it will slash 10,000 jobs worldwide by the end of next year. Nokia says it's trying to cut costs and remain competitive. It will also focus on the development of its Lumia Smartphone series, which competes with Google's Android and Apple's iPhone.

And they say everything's bigger in Texas, even the hail. But you won't believe the damage this storm just did.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It just pummeled. It was unbelievable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, just --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: No other way to put it. They say everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes hail. Last night, a powerful and fast-moving storm blanketed the Dallas area with baseball-sized hail. It is blamed for a lot of property damage. You saw those windshields that were even blown out.

Chad Myers with more on this.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. Yes.

WHITFIELD: This has been a pretty nasty spring and almost summer weather season, hasn't it?

MYERS: Exactly. And this was really just two separate storms. Nothing else on radar, except for those two cells that moved right through Dallas.

WHITFIELD: All it took.

MYERS: We have a couple of pictures here.

WHITFIELD: Wow.

MYERS: This is someone's backyard swimming pool. I haven't seen it yet, but we've also heard -- (CROSSTALK)

WHITFIELD: Suddenly, looking like a hot tub. (LAUGHTER)

MYERS: That's what I said. Looks like the bubbles in a hot tub. But we're heard a Truhuli (ph) exhibit was really damaged by it. An outdoor -- a master of fine glass, and it was an outside exhibit, and this baseball-sized hail was pounding on it as well.

WHITFIELD: Wow.

MYERS: I'll tell you what, it's dangerous to be outside. Somebody just asked me, can you get hurt by this? Absolutely. This is coming down at over 100 miles an hour. You get hit by a golf ball, like I did -- my friend hit a five iron at me. That hurts. And it still does five years later.

(LAUGHTER)

This would certainly leave a mark. And all these cars have a lot of dents in them.

WHITFIELD: You'll never forget it.

MYERS: I can show it to you.

WHITFIELD: You can show me later.

(LAUGHTER)

Thanks so much, Chad. Appreciate that.

MYERS: You're welcome.

WHITFIELD: We mentioned, in the battleground state of Ohio, the dueling speeches on the economy. Mitt Romney is speaking right now in Cincinnati. And in Cleveland, momentarily, the president of the United States. We'll take you there, live.