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Markets Down Worldwide; Moody's Cut Credit Ratings For 15 Banks; Gulf Storm Brewing; Day Two of Deliberations In Sandusky Trial; Sandusky's Son Says He Was Abused; Taliban Militants Storm Kabul Hotel; Heat Capture NBA Title; Grandma Bullying Victim Speaks Out; Zimmerman Reenacts Shooting; Attorneys: Sandusky's Adopted Son a Victim; Heat Capture NBA Title; Feeding Frenzy Of Cruelty

Aired June 22, 2012 - 06:00   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN HOST: Global markets tanking after major banks take a huge credit downgrade, all signs pointing to a very costly Friday.

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN HOST: Gulf storm brewing, more extreme weather after floods and a fierce heat wave. So when are we going to catch a break?

ROMANS: Plus, a total bombshell coming after testimony ends in the Jerry Sandusky trial from his son who says he was one of the victims of the accused child molester.>

BANFIELD: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to EARLY START. It's nice to have you with us this morning. It's Friday. I'm Ashleigh Banfield.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. Zoraida Sambolin is off today. It's 6:00 on the nose in the east.

BANFIELD: Let's start with the big story. It's kind of like the big headline, "Wall Street Journal" says all of the up arrows and down arrows and it's really down arrows.

Market down worldwide this morning after the ratings agency Moody's downgraded 15 of the world's largest banks. Who better on the story than the one sitting to my left.

ROMANS: You know, it was another hammer blow in an already pretty fragile psyche, 15 of the biggest banks in the world including five largest U.S. banks were downgraded, Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley.

Some of the largest banks in Europe too including HSBC, Barkleys, UPS, Moody's says these banks have, quote, "significant exposure," end quote, to the volatility in the markets and economies.

Banking analyst, Mike Mayo, says this move by Moody's -- it won't change your day to day banking, but this will affect business for the banks themselves to get loans and will affect who will be able to do business with them and willing to do business with them.

He also said this is likely to be the worst lending decade for banks since the great depression. Many of you have been complaining about that, you're right. The stocks for these banks are actually up a bit this morning because in short, the downgrades could have been worse. These rating changes were already priced in.

It was a rough day on Wall Street over all. The Dow plunged 250 points. That's almost 2 percent. Here's why. More signs of a slowdown in China, in Germany and the U.S. economies after some weak manufacturing data.

Plus, Goldman Sachs put out a report saying investors should sell S&P 500 stocks. The S&P 500 dropped 30 points, that's 2 percent. Finally, these buzz about the banks downgrade are pushing the stocks lower too.

Futures are up right now so we could see a bounce at the open, but yesterday, Ashleigh, was the second worse day for stocks in this country all year, so very tough day.

BANFIELD: When I heard about the bank's exposure and this is a big reason for the downgrade, it made me wonder. The whole time that Jamie Dimon was on Capitol Hill and having to say we exposed ourselves and -- did that factor in here at all, that big mess?

ROMANS: No. That mess is completely different. Jamie Dimon is showing what he calls a fortress balance sheet. I mean, everyone is trying to prove, we have a lot of money in cash. We're being very conservative and lending less, being very conservative so we can withstand the shocks around the world.

BANFIELD: But, you know, the banks have all said, this is all lag, this is lag time that Moody's is doing this because we've already taken measures to assure that this kind of thing won't be dangerous for us. Moody's is behind the times, is that true?

ROMANS: They say that. They say that it's true. But look, the markets fell 250 points yesterday because investors are saying, wow, Moody's is coming out. You know, for Morgan Stanley, cut it two notches. It cut the credit rating two notches, but Morgan Stanley stock actually went up.

BANFIELD: Sometimes perception is reality.

ROMANS: That is the mantra of the markets.

BANFIELD: I have the mantra of the markets today?

ROMANS: You do, perception is reality.

BANFIELD: Christine, thank you. We are going to talk more about that and all just a moment.

However, we have another big story that's brewing too, literally brewing. The tropics are coming alive, there is a big storm churning in the Gulf of Mexico right now. Will it or won't it has been the big story of the night.

Alexandra Steele probably up all night watching all of her radars to try to figure out -- do you have the answer? Do we know if this thing has turned into an official storm yet?

ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: No, it certainly has not. The biggest questions, how strong will it get and where will it go, right? What we want to know, way too early to know. Let me show you what we're talking about.

An area of low pressure is developing in the northern Yucatan. So it's just now kind of defining itself, showers and thunderstorms are what we're seeing there in the orange, but it is still pretty disorganized.

Next two hours, next two days, 48-hour period, we could see it become a tropical depression. The entire gulf needs to be on alert. Why, these are what we call the spaghetti models, these are the forecast models. Look at the discrepancy, one takes it this way. One takes it to the west.

So there's no consensus, thus, it's really difficult in the early phases of development. But, you know, the driver with this is the jet stream. That's steering this entire thing. So that will really be the driver to decide where this thing goes, be it goes east or be it goes west.

Scenario number one, this would be called Debbie, a tropical storm if it were to become so. Here's the area of low pressure, this is the strong jet stream. The jet stream dips down into Texas thus pushing it toward Florida, becoming beginning Monday a wet day.

That's the most benign scenario. Next has it with more rain for Florida and the third taking it to the west for the movement of the jet stream farther north so not allowing it to drive it and push this.

So certainly early to tell, but the good news with the early status, it keeps everyone on alert along the Gulf of Mexico from Texas all the way to Florida.

BANFIELD: So aptly named the spaghetti model. You're brilliant. Thank you, my friend.


ROMANS: All right, the jury in the child sex abuse trial of Jerry Sandusky getting set for day two of deliberations as two new accusers come forward and one of those new accusers happens to be Sandusky's adopted son.

Matt Sandusky going public with claims his father sexually abused him. He said he was prepared to testify about it in court. A man named Travis Weaver is also coming forward telling NBC the abuse he suffered at the hands of Sandusky was accompanied by threats.


TRAVIS WEAVER, SANDUSKY ACCUSER: He kind of pinned me down on the bed and I told him if he didn't get off me I was going to call the police on him. And he just laughed at me and you know, forced me to stay on the bed. And told me if I ever said anything that nobody was going to believe me and he would get my dad fired from Penn State.


ROMANS: Weaver did not testify in the trial. He has filed a civil suit against Sandusky. In the next half hour, we'll be joined live by Pulitzer Prize winning reporter, Sara Ganim.

She was watching Sandusky very closely during closing arguments. I think she has some telling observations she wants to show.

BANFIELD: At one point, he was smiling when the prosecutors were lining up all of those charges. He was actually smiling, right, in front of -- full view of the jury. It's not something to smile about. We'll look forward to that as well.

Here's some breaking news from overseas, from the Afghan capital of Kabul. Taliban militants storming a hotel and opening fire and triggering an all-out deadly gun battle with Afghan and NATO troops overnight.

Three security guards, as well as a police officer and two attackers are dead this morning. This is according to the Afghan Interior Ministry. So far more than 20 civilians have been rescued from the hotel. It's feared that some may be dead inside and others may have been taken hostage.

ROMANS: Party is just getting started on the streets of South Beach because the king has delivered the crown. Lebron James leading the Miami Heat to their second NBA title in six years last night with a 121-101 game five victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

It's Lebron's first NBA championship after nine seasons. He was also named finals MVP finishing off his remarkable season with a triple double, 26 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds. Afterward, he seemed pretty pleased about the decision to play in Miami.


LEBRON JAMES, WINS FIRST NBA TITLE: I knew it was going to have to take and I was going to have to change as a basketball player and change as a person. You know, to get what I wanted. I'm happy. I'm very excited. I'm very happy right now to be a champion, nobody with take that away from me.


ROMANS: That was the happiest day of his life. In the next half hour, we're going to take you live to the streets of Miami for the big celebration. BANFIELD: We have been watching this story that broke yesterday and went viral, the grandmother, the bus monitor, who was verbally abused beyond belief, taking unthinkable taunts from 12-year-old kids.

But now this grandmother may never have to ride that bus again. Just wait until you hair how viewers of the video have reacted and how much they generously donated to her and a little surprise that Anderson Cooper had for her as well. The interview with Karen Klein next.


ROMANS: She has captured the sympathy of the world. Now an elderly bullying victim reduced to tears by children is revealing exactly what she wants to happen to her tormenters.

But first a tiny clip of the disturbing video of that incident. Karen Klein, a bus monitor in upstate New York tormented by middle school kids for an agonizing 10 minutes.


UNIDENTIFIED KID: You're a troll. You're a troll. You're a troll. You old troll.

UNIDENTIFIED KID: How about I bring out my knife and cut you. If I stabbed you in the stomach and my knife would go through you like butter because it's all -- hard.


ROMANS: Klein is a 68-year-old grandmother. She told "AC 360" host, Anderson Cooper all she wanted was to make it stop.


KAREN KLEIN, BUS MONITOR BULLIED BY STUDENTS: I was trying to get it out of my mind. I was trying to make it go away. I was looking at the window. I was -- kept looking in front because I needed to check on the other kids.

I would like them to be at least kept off the bus for a year and be forbidden to play any sports at least for a year. Somebody mentioned community service and I thought that was a pretty good idea too.


ROMANS: Support for Klein pouring in from all over the world, a web site raising funds to send her on a dream vacation. It's now up to half a million dollars in donations. Anderson cooper, he had another huge surprise for her.


KLEIN: I still can't believe it. I can't believe it. That there's that much -- I don't know. I don't feel it will come to me anyway, so I don't think too much about it. I mean, it's a nice gesture, but I don't know if it's for real or not. It sounds too good to be true.

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, CNN'S "AC 360": We've just learned one other thing you don't know about. Southwest Airlines reached out to us today, they've been extraordinarily touched by your story. They wanted us to let you know they'd like to send you and nine people to Disneyland in California for three nights, airfare, hotel, and car all included.

KLEIN: You've got to be kidding me? That's awesome. Nine people?


ROMANS: You know what's awesome, the original goal of the web site was to raise $5,000 just to send her on vacation. Last night, it raised $300,000. By this morning it's $500,000.

So it's still going strong, $448,729 from strangers all over the country who saw that video and said some this woman deserves something good and those kids are punks.

BANFIELD: That almost doubled overnight.

ROMANS: That bully tape had a rippling effect. Police say the four kids accused of harassing Klein have gotten death threats.

The school district responding to those threats in a statement, quote, "People are outraged and they feel the students should be punished. While we agree that discipline is warranted, we cannot condone the kind of vigilante justice people are calling for. This is another form of bullying and cannot be tolerated. We all need to take a step back and look at how we treat each other.

It is our job as educators and parents to teach children and lead by example. We encourage parents to use this as a springboard to begin a dialogue with their children about bullying, respect and consequences."

Coming up, we're going to speak to the founder of Reddit, that's the Web site that picked up the story where it went viral.

My big curiosity is the parents of these kids, they must know who they are, the community must know who they are. They must be mortified or wonder if they are surprised.

BANFIELD: You know, one of the interesting things, at least one of those parents, a father, came over to her house last night and hugged her. But nowhere visible was the child.

It's interesting, perhaps it was too dangerous. Perhaps the child didn't want to go. I don't know. The father was there to apologize in person and hug her.

She's interesting too, because she herself has said, at least a couple of these kids really were just trying to one-up each other and it wasn't about me.

ROMANS: She is showing mercy where the kids did not show mercy to her. But I've been talking to people on Twitter and Facebook, some of you are telling me middle school kids are the worst. In high school, kids are much better. But in middle school, that's where these kids, 12-year-old boys are horrible.

I wonder what you think. I want you to tell me if this is an age thing for them, crowd mentality.

BANFIELD: Twelve. They're 12.

ROMANS: What you think it is.

BANFIELD: Important to remember, they are 12.

@EarlyStartCNN, you can tweet us and let us know what your thoughts are.

Also want to tell you this -- 16 minutes now past -- 17 minutes past the hour. All eyes on Wall Street at this hour. Markets in Asia are trading sharply lower this morning because massive downgrade for some of the world's largest banks yesterday. U.S. markets also on the decline yesterday, the Dow, the NASDAQ, the S&P 500, all dropping 2 percent or more.

Dow futures right now are point higher.

ROMANS: Updating some breaking news for you now. A bloody siege now over in Kabul. Taliban militants engaging in a long gun battle with Afghan and NATO troops, after storming a Kabul hotel.

Three security guards and police officer and two attackers are dead. This is according to the Afghan Interior Ministry. That number is expected to get higher. More than 40 civilians were rescued from the hotel. But again, the death toll could still rise.

BANFIELD: Newly released tapes of George Zimmerman explaining what happened on that night that he fatally shot Trayvon Martin. Has his story changed? Are there inconsistencies? If you look at interview to interview, does it tell you anything?

We're going to break down those tapes for you.


BANFIELD: Twenty-one minutes now past 6:00.

Here's a question for you: Does George Zimmerman's story hold up?

For the first time, we are seeing and we are hearing George Zimmerman in his own words reenacting the night he shot Trayvon Martin to death. This was taken by police the day after the shooting. Keep in mind, this is before any of the controversy, any of the explosive stories surrounding this case was out there.

Zimmerman's bandages are clearly visible on the back of his head. And he gives the detectives a play by play of what he says happened the night he shot and killed the 17-year-old.


GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: That's when my jacket moved up and had my firearm on my right side hit. My jacket moved up and he saw it -- I feel like he saw it. He looked at it and said you're going to die tonight (EXPLETIVE DELETED). And he reached for it but reached -- I felt his arm going down to my side. And I grabbed it and I just grabbed my firearm and shot him.


BANFIELD: So, that video was among several new audio tapes and videotape interviews of George Zimmerman and statements he made to police. They were released by his lawyers yesterday on their Web site.

Midwin Charles is a criminal defense attorney. She knows a thing or two about this kind of case.

I want to get you in today to get a lot of reaction from you about this. But before we dig into the overall -- overarching reasons for why this might have been released, what effect this release might have on a potentially jury pool and anybody watching, I want to get to the specifics of what George Zimmerman says happened and what George Zimmerman said happened on the 911 call.

So, let's play the 911 call as this incident was playing out and then we'll get to the other tape later. Listen to the 911 call first.



DISPATCHER: He's running? Which way is he running?

ZIMMERMAN: Down towards the other entrance of the neighborhood.

DISPATCHER: OK. Which entrance is that that he's heading towards?

ZIMMERMAN: The back entrance.

DISPATCHER: Are you following him?


DISPATCHER: OK. We don't need you to do that.



BANFIELD: So, there is George Zimmerman on the call with the 911 dispatcher trying to figure out direction, is he going to the north, is he going to the south, which direction is he going? Are you following him? Yes, we don't need you to do that. OK.

The day after the crime he goes out with investigators and he gives them this account on video in a reenactment. Have a listen.


ZIMMERMAN: And again he asked me, where he went? What direction he went in? And I said, I don't know. And I thought to get out and look for a street sign. I got out of my car and saw him walking --



BANFIELD: There he goes, getting out of the police car as he would have gotten out of his own car. Do you see any inconsistencies in those two pieces of tape, the night of and next day?

MIDWIN CHARLES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I do, but before I even get into that. I think one of the things that needs to be pointed out here is this is the same guy who has been shown to lie in order to get his bail reduced and his wife was arrested basically for perjury, for lying. So, if he's going to lie about his finances, what are the chances, Ashleigh, that you think he's going to lie about the account that night when he's facing a second degree murder charge.

That said, the huge inconsistency that I see with the audio tape of the 911 call, as well as this video is the reason as to why he got out of the car. He said initially, that he's le following him, we don't need you to do that, and now he's saying, all of a sudden, I'm getting out to look for a street sign.

BANFIELD: That came after though. I mean, you've got to be very, very clear, because the devil will be in the details without question.

CHARLES: It will.

BANFIELD: He is being asked by the dispatcher which direction, is it the north entrance, is it the south entrance? And then he said, are you following him?


BANFIELD: Yes. We don't need you to do that. There are questions about the direction and the location.

And then the next day, he said, I was getting questions about where I was and I got out to look at the street sign.

So, I get the credibility issue. He's definitely got a credibility issue --

CHARLES: Of course, he does.

BANFIELD: -- because of the bail issue.

CHARLES: Of course he does.

BANFIELD: But this -- it can't -- it can't be stated more importantly, this was taken before all of this was a big hullabaloo, before it was this national story.

CHARLES: Even before it was a national story, he still killed someone. He's aware of that.

I mean, what else do you think he's going to say other than he had to defend himself? Clearly, he's aware of the stand your ground law. This is a guy who carries a gun. He's very well-versed in terms of the gun laws in Florida.

But one of the things I need to point out also with this tape is -- and I don't know if you guys have played the whole thing through, I find it incredible and hard to believe he would have been able to reach for the gun, pull it out, and pull the trigger if Trayvon Martin was on top of him, as he says, and pummeling him.

BANFIELD: You know what? The forensics will be a critical issue. You could make the argument that Trayvon Martin's hands might have been busy if he was actually being beaten up --

CHARLES: Where are those injuries? Where are those injuries?

BANFIELD: Well, they were definitely -- they were visible on that tape. He had black and blue under his eyes, he had a bandage on his nose, and he had two bandages on the back of his head.

CHARLES: I saw the bandages, but if he was being pummeled all over his body, I don't see those injuries.

BANFIELD: I think he was saying his head.

CHARLES: And even if you listen to the audio tape of the police investigator who questioned him, I think it's Officer Serrano (ph), he says your injuries are not consistent with the beating you say you took.

BANFIELD: I'm going to play devil's advocate because this is going to happen in court.

CHARLES: It is and it's fair to do that.

BANFIELD: You're the defense attorney, so I have to play prosecutor.


BANFIELD: -- I got to play defense attorney.

That same investigator said during that interview, do you need an ambulance? And he said, the paramedics who treated me said, no, but I don't know. That's something else that hasn't been out there yet. So, I think that's something that will make it into court.

You and I need an hour long show to go over this win.

CHARLES: Let's do it.

BANFIELD: Midwin Charles, thank you. Thank you for coming in.

CHARLES: You're welcome.

BANFIELD: Christine?

ROMANS: Fascinating stuff.

All right. The King crowned as LeBron James and the Heat take home an NBA title. And we will take you to the party in South Beach live.


ROMANS: His own son -- shocking new accusations against Jerry Sandusky that the deliberating jury will not hear.

BANFIELD: President Obama speaking to an estimated 12 million Latino voters today. A speech to the same group that Mitt Romney tried to win over just yesterday.

ROMANS: And you can't say he can't win the big one anymore. LeBron James celebrates his first NBA championship with the Miami Heat and we will take you to the party in Miami.

BANFIELD: Because it's likely still going on.

ROMANS: Police shut down on Biscayne Boulevard, but I'm sure it's still going on somewhere.

BANFIELD: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. Nice to have you with us on this Friday morning. I'm Ashleigh Banfield.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. I'm sitting in for Zoraida Sambolin who is off this Friday.

It's about 32 minutes past the hour right now.

Bombshells in the Jerry Sandusky case the jury continues to deliberate the former Penn State coach's fate. Sandusky's own adopted son, Matt, now says that he was also abused by his father and was willing to testify in the sex abuse trial. The jury currently sequestered will not hear about these new allegations, at least not officially.

Matt Sandusky is now 33 years old. He went to live with the Sanduskys when he was 11 as a foster child and he was involved in the Second Mile charity where the older Sandusky is accused of abusing 10 young boys over 15 years.

Sara Ganim is a reporter for "The Patriot News" at Harrisburg. She won a Pulitzer Prize for her amazing coverage of the Sandusky case. She's following the trial closely.

Sara, why -- tell us again why Matt may have come forward now? He was sitting with the Sandusky friends and family at the very beginning of the case.

SARA GANIM, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: That's right, Christine. That's kind of an amazing part of the story is he's been suspected, he's been in the news, his mother has been saying for more than a year. She even testified before a grand jury that she witnessed very strange behavior between Jerry Sandusky and her son about 1995, 1996 and beyond.

And he denied it. He's denied it for more than a year. He denied it when he testified before a grand jury according to Jerry Sandusky's attorney. We don't have that actual testimony.

But when this trial started 11 days ago, Matt Sandusky was sitting with the family, with the other adopted children, with Dottie Sandusky, who's Jerry Sandusky's wife, and he appeared to be a potential defense witness even. Joe Amendola told jurors they might hear from Matt Sandusky. He was even sequestered with other defense witnesses at the start of that trial.

Now, it was interesting and where things started to seem like they might be changing, is that he broke that sequestration. He came back into the courtroom and listened to the very first witness, alleged victim number four who mentioned Matt Sandusky in his testimony. He said that there was a time when he was in the shower with Jerry Sandusky and horsing around and touching was beginning and Matt got out of the shower.

When he was asked -- when victim four was asked, what Matt Sandusky, or what he looked like, he just said he looked nervous. Matt Sandusky, I never saw him in the courtroom after that day. That was day number one.

It wasn't until the jury went into deliberate, day 10, that we heard from him again through his attorney saying for the first time in, like I said, more than a year, this he is a victim of Jerry Sandusky.

ROMANS: And, of course, the jury won't hear any of this because it comes after the case has gone to the jury in the jury room. Sara Ganim, thank you so much, Sara.

BANFIELD: It's 34 minutes now past 6:00 on the East Coast.

And the King finally has the crown he's been looking for for so long. LeBron James and the Heat champions of the NBA. They crushed the Oklahoma Thunder in five games, this last game, 121-106.

What a victory in Miami last night. James leading the way with 26 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds, capturing his first title along with MVP honors for the whole series. How about that?

John Zarrella live for us outside of the American Airlines Arena in Miami this morning.

So, Mr. Zarrella, I guess a lot of people would say, there must be a mess. But all I can see with one guy behind you waving. What's going on back there?

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You mean just one this morning. My ears are still ringing --

BANFIELD: Look at him, we're number one.

ZARRELLA: I don't think he went home yet.

BANFIELD: I would think Miami would be alive everywhere.

ZARRELLA: You know, it is Miami. But yes, it never was much of a contest last night. The heat pretty much led wire to wire all the way through the game. It was a statement game for LeBron James. You know, the scene here very quiet this morning. Much different than what it was like last night after the game ended.



ZARRELLA: Everybody getting into the action --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're number one for the next -- not one, not two, not three, not seven, not nine. Let's go, baby.


ZARRELLA: Yes. And here's this morning's early edition of the "Miami Herald." The "Kings!" And it is certainly a great, great day here in Miami. We don't know when the party will be, but they did bring home the second championship for Miami Heat. Of course the first one for LeBron James.

And we assume that, you know what, Ashleigh, there's a champagne bottle on the floor over here and I think that's the same champagne bottle I was doused with last night -- Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: Poor Zarrella getting on assignment. And, by the way, I love that headline "Kings" because in a couple of weeks we had Kings, L.A. Kings crowned as champions and now the Heat Miami crowned as kings.

So, John Zarrella, thanks very much for bringing that to us, live in Miami this morning.

ZARRELLA: Champions, yes.

ROMANS: It makes it easy for the headline writers. Just recycle your kings.

All right. Downgrades for the world's biggest banks sending a chill through the world markets, all major global markets hammered.

And here's the one thing you need to know about your money today -- the day after a big down day in stocks is the worst time to scramble to find your 401(k) log and sell stocks. Please make sure you check your 401(k) regularly, make it a habit. Don't make big moves just when there are big moves in the markets. That's the dumbest thing you can do with your money.

BANFIELD: And I get to work with her every day, she's my personal financial adviser.

ROMANS: There's an old saying on Wall Street, don't just do something, stand there.

BANFIELD: That's a good one.

ROMANS: Smart people on Wall Street, don't just do something, stand there.

BANFIELD: I love it.

OK. Latinos could be the voting bloc that sways this election. And President Obama is going to speak in a few hours to the largest gathering of Latino lawmakers, hoping to make a connection with millions of Hispanics across this country.


BANFIELD: It is certainly a reminder of just how important the estimated 12 million Latino voters are going to be this November. President Obama has big plan today, a speech to the largest gathering of Latino lawmakers happening near Orlando.

Florida is just one several key states that could be decided by Latino voters. The president's speech coming just one day after Governor Mitt Romney addressed that very same gathering. Clearly an important bloc of people.

By the way, the governor criticized Obama's executive order -- criticized the president's executive order to allow young people who were brought here illegally as children to avoid deportation. And Governor Romney called this a political move. But he gave few specifics of his own as to what his immigration policies would be.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Some people have asked if I will let stand the president's executive order. The answer is that I will put in place my own long-term solution that will replace and supersede the president's temporary measure. As president, I won't settle for stopgap measures. I'll work with Republicans and Democrats to build a long term solution.


BANFIELD: Well, Felicia Sonmez is the political reporter for the "Washington Post" and she's live with us this morning in Orlando.

So, maybe I could put it this way, Felicia. Some people who have weighed in on governor Romney's speech have characterized it as -- it didn't go over so well.

FELICIA SONMEZ, POLITICAL REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Sure. I think when you look at the reaction among attendees here yesterday, first of all, it's important to remember this is a very mixed crowd. Everyone is fond of saying that the Latino community is not monolithic and that was clear here today.

A lot of attendees that I spoke with yesterday said they were heartened by some of the things that Mitt Romney said, particularly the tone he took which was departure from the harsher tone he took during the primary. But on the other hand, you've got a lot of people who were not satisfied with the details he provided.

So, that was evident in the response to his speech yesterday. I think it's going to be on display when President Obama speaks here today. There are a lot of people here still looking for more from Mitt Romney when it comes to the actual substance of his proposal.

BANFIELD: OK. So the specifics about immigration, it's the first thing I thought when I saw the substance of his address to NALEO. But, then I was reminded of all of the polls out there that show what is important to Latino voters.

And this one from Univision News/ABC News, suggested that 50 percent of the Latino community believes that the economy is the most pressing issue for Latinos, while 46 percent say it's immigration. Now, that is within the margin of error.

But let's move to the unemployment numbers within the Latino community, because the Labor Department released these statistics and show an interesting number. The national unemployment is sitting right now at 8.2 -- Christine, 8.2, 8.1 -- 8.2 for national?

ROMANS: Eight-point-two percent.

BANFIELD: Eight-point-two percent we are today for the national numbers.

Look at what we have for May of 2012. For Latinos, it's 11 percent. It's up almost a point from just, you know, a month prior. And then it's about -- it's down a wee bit from this time a year ago.

So, how much are Latinos really going to care about the immigration issue when there is a big, big story, not only nationally but for Latinos when it comes to the economy?

FELICIA SONMEZ, POLITICAL REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: I think that's absolutely the biggest hurdle that President Obama faces here is that when it comes to his economic record, and particularly, the Hispanic community has been hit really hard by that. Another thing that he has to deal with is the fact that this will be his first time addressing this conference as president.

The last time he spoke here was in 2008 when he was campaigning. So, that is another point that Mitt Romney made in trying to make the case to those who are here and to those watching throughout the country that President Obama has failed to live up to the promises that he made when he was on the campaign trail.

I think that one of the things working in his favor is the fact that the move that he made last week, when it comes to blocking some deportations, and the fact that he, himself, has advocated for a longer term approach to this. So, whether or not that comes to fruition, of course, is in the hands both of the president and of Congress.

BANFIELD: It will be interesting to see what the president has to say. Felicia Sonmez, thanks very much for joining us.

SONMEZ: Thank you very much.

ROMANS: All right. Soledad O'Brien joins us now to look at what's ahead on "Starting Point." Hi there, Soledad.

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN HOST, "STARTING POINT": Hey, good morning to you. Ahead this morning on "Starting Point," we're watching your money. Investors, as you have been talking about, Christine, jittery this morning after Moody's downgrades five of the six largest U.S. banks. It sparks some new fears of a double-dip recession.

Our money experts say this threat has just gotten a lot more serious. We're going to talk about that this morning.

Plus, a troubled Florida millionaire has gone missing. His empty yacht washing up ashore. What happened to Guma Aguiar (ph). We're going to talk to his mother live this morning.

And the king is crowned. What's that? Did my Miami Heat win? Yes. That's LeBron James putting to rest talk of not being able to win an NBA championship. We'll talk about that this morning with Mike & Mike.

And don't forget, you can watch us live on your computer or mobile phone while you're headed to work, go to

ROMANS: All right. Thank you, Soledad.

O'BRIEN: Floating.

ROMANS: She loves it.

O'BRIEN: Floating! Yes, I am.

BANFIELD: She's one happy little lady. Look at her. BANFIELD: You're lucky Zoraida is not here today because she kind of was rooting for the Oklahoma team.

O'BRIEN: That's why she's out sick today. What do you think, that's coincidence?

BANFIELD: What have you done with Zoraida, by the way, Soledad?


ROMANS: All right. Thank you so much. All right. Her story has inspired millions. The bus monitor caught on tape being, you know, verbally abused by school kids. Now, almost half a million dollars raised for her. The founder of the Web site, Reddit, that helped the video go viral joins us live after the break.


ROMANS: It was a feeding frenzy of cruelty. We played you the video earlier. Karen Klein, the school bus monitor, was called fat, a troll, and much, much worse bringing her to tears. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God, you're so fat. Karen, you're fat. You're so fat you take up like the whole entire seat.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don't have a family because they all killed themselves because they didn't want to be near you.


ROMANS: The 68-year-old grandmother also happened to lose her son to suicide ten years ago making that particular comment you just heard cruel, very cruel. The video was caught on cell phone or taped on cell phone on purpose and then posted on a kid's Facebook page.

And then, it was put on YouTube, then it was picked up by Reddit where it went viral. And something amazing happened. Reddit is an online community where millions of users vote on content they like or they think is important. They can also comment on different stories and post.

One user set up an online fund raising site for Karen through The goal was to give Karen a vacation, but the total approaching a half million dollars now.

Joining me now is Alexis Ohanian, founder of Reddit. This is a story of social media. So, you go from cell phone to Facebook to YouTube to Reddit to Indiegogo, and it's people all along the way. First, for bad reason, this kid, this punk trying to, I guess, I don't know, why in the world he would -- whatever.

Then, all the way through, people doing good. But the guy on Indiegogo thought it was $5,000 they've raised. ALEXIS OHANIAN, CO-FOUNDER REDDIT.COM: Yes. A reader (ph) named Max went on and created this Indiegogo account and let's give Mrs. Klein a vacation, thought $5,000 was a reasonable amount for that vacation. And, you know, it captured so many people's attention online that it spread now in $400,000 later. She's going to get the vacation of her lifetime.

ROMANS: Unbelievable.

OHANIAN: -- much deserved.

ROMANS: What do you think this says about social media? And I guess -- I don't know about -- social media trying to right a wrong.

OHANIAN: Well, you know, at the end of the day, I think most people are good. And I think the power of this platform of the open internet, the reason so many of us fight for it is becauase it let's good people, so many of us, so many of the people who gave or if they couldn't give, who still spread the word about it, it gives them a level of playing field to say, this is important to me.

I want to share this, and give it a voice. And when you see the collective power of it, it raises almost half a million dollars for this woman. It really hopefully sets an example. I think so many of us saw that video and could connect with someone in our lives who we wouldn't dare want to put in that position.

It was a way for us to say, you know what, we can do something about this. Maybe, it's just an up vote, maybe it's a few dollars, but it's really empowering. And I'm really hopeful that we can see more things like this continue to snowball, because I really do think at the end of the day, most people are genuinely good. And we need to give opportunities to make us feel good about being good.

ROMANS: It's interesting, though, some of the same platforms can also take somebody down, post somebody's, you know, phone number or e- mail addresses if they don't like what they're seeing. It's a very Democratic place with very few rules out there.

OHANIAN: And that's part of the reason why I think it's so important to stress and encourage the positive behavior, because at the end of the day, we are still subject to the fact that, you know, humans are fallible creatures. And so, we need to use these tools for the best. And so, seeing stories like this are just really encouraging because it also speaks, I think, to a new wave of philanthropy.


OHANIAN: One of the things that you see so many non-profits doing now and so many sort of benevolence websites doing is really connecting individuals, sitting at their laptops with specific people, with specific causes. And so, gone are, I think, the days of the bureaucracy and all that nonsense. It actually getting help to people who need it.

ROMANS: Alexis Ohanian, very early in the morning, co-founder of Reddit, nice to see you this morning.

OHANIAN: Thank you for having me.

ROMANS: Thank you. We'll keep you up to date, Ashleigh and everyone, about how high that is going up. I mean, you can see it right now. It's still going up -- Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: Coming up, "Best Advice."


BANFIELD: "Starting Point" less than a minute away. We wrap it up as always with "Best Advice."

ROMANS: And today's "Best Advice" comes from the former labor secretary, Robert Reich. Listen.


ROBERT REICH, FORMER LABOR SECRETARY: The best advice that I ever got was when I became secretary of labor. And somebody said to me, you know, you're only going to be here for a certain number of years. This is probably the only time you're ever going to be a cabinet officer. Do what you believe is right. Don't feel enormous pressure to bend to this whim or that whim or make a lot of friends or please everybody in Washington.

Do what you think is right. You work for the president. The president has the final say. Push him as hard as you can but be guided by your own sense of what is morally necessary and important for the nation.


BANFIELD: That's EARLY START. I'm Ashleigh Banfield.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. "STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN" starts right now.