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STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN
Interview with Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz; Attorneys: Sandusky's Adopted Son A Victim; Mitt Romney Addresses Association of Latino Leaders; Miami Heat Wins NBA Championship; Can Women Have it All?
Aired June 22, 2012 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome, everybody.
Our STARTING POINT this morning, there are some fears of a double dip recession. Markets tanking after major banks took a huge credit downgrade, all signs pointing to a very costly Friday.
And his own son. There are shocking new accusations against Jerry Sandusky. But the deliberating jury will not hear them. We'll tell you what's being said.
And it could be the key to victory. President Obama speaking to an estimated 12 million Latino voters today, a speech to the same group that Mitt Romney tried to win over yesterday.
And it's the coronation. King James steam rolls his way to a first NBA title, and puts his haters, Will Cain, out of business.
WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: That's one in his column.
O'BRIEN: I win one. Packed hour ahead.
RYAN LIZZA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Ten more, Will.
MARGARET HOOVER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I need documentation of that.
O'BRIEN: OK, hater. Whatever.
Packed hour ahead this morning. Sara Ganim is going to join us for day two of the Sandusky deliberations. We're going to talk to DNC chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz. And also our own chief political correspondent Candy Crowley will join us. That's a lineup of some seriously, serious women.
It's Friday, June 22nd, and STARTING POINT begins right now.
O'BRIEN: See, I asked for gospel. I get gospel. Thank you. That would be "I'll Take You There" by the Staple Singers. It's viewer request Friday. Who gave me that? That's @AOBrooks. Thank you for helping me out, @AOBrooks, for helping me out, because when I asked people on my team, I get nothing.
LIZZA: Were you ever a veejay?
O'BRIEN: No. Should I be?
O'BRIEN: Or is that --
HOOVER: You want to cash in your chips, you always have that.
O'BRIEN: Is that some kind of cruel --
LIZZA: No, I'm not bullying you.
O'BRIEN: Our team this morning used to be Ryan Lizza, but we're not going to talk to him at all in this hour, because I'm mad at him now.
Also, Margaret Hoover is joining us. She's the author of "American Individualism".
And Will Cain is the columnist for TheBlaze.com.
CAIN: Good morning.
CAIN: Thank you.
O'BRIEN: Welcome. Let's just listen to the Staple Singers. Love it.
All right. We've got concerns to talk about over a looming double dip recession this morning. Overseas markets closed down after Moody's downgraded 15 banks worldwide. Five of the U.S.' biggest banks have been affected. That would be Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Citigroup, all taking a hit.
And also making investors kind of jittery, the Feds' negative outlook on the economy and Europe's ongoing debt crisis are the focus there, and the economy of course the number one issue for voters. And also the number one issue for President Obama.
So how could the latest financial problems affect re-election for him? Let's get right to Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. She's the chair of the Democratic National Committee.
Nice to see you. You got a lot --
REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D-FL), DNC CHAIR: You too.
O'BRIEN: -- you got a lot of bad news you have to deal with. How is this going to affect the election, do you think?
SCHULTZ: Well, we are focused as President Obama has been since the start of his term on making sure that we can continue to push forward on bringing the economy moving forward stronger, creating jobs, and getting things turned around. And it's all the more reason why the Republicans that I work with in the House of Representatives and in the Senate need to come to the table and work with President Obama to make job creation a priority.
I mean, this has been quite frankly close to if not the most do nothing of do nothingest congresses. The time that we are spending out of session rather than in session focusing on job creation has just been appalling. And what we need to do is focus on President Obama's to-do list for Congress, which includes passing legislation that would make the critical investments that we need to make to create jobs and get things moving forward even more strongly.
O'BRIEN: So, I'll give -- let's do a big hypothetical. Let's say, OK, that is done. Let's say by some miracle, which is a big giant if, as you well know, everybody comes together, kumbaya, and they pass the Jobs Act.
You're talking about 1 million jobs in a sea of 26 million jobs that are -- or people that are unemployed, right? Isn't that ultimately really a drop in the bucket? That can't be the only thing to look forward to.
SCHULTZ: Well, of course. No, no, of course not.
The president's to-do list includes the making those critical investments so we can create more jobs, making sure that we work together on a tax policy that strikes a balance on deficit reduction. And insures that when it comes to focusing on the middle class and working families that we insure that small businesses and the middle class get the tax breaks that they need, while not cutting our way to deficit reduction, and really draining the economy of the resources that it needs for progress, because we know that there's a fragile recovery underway.
And every major economic expert has said you can't cut your way to deficit reduction. If you pull out too much, too fast, then you'll really have a problem. So, we need to make sure that the people who are already doing fabulously well in this country pay a little bit more. That everybody has a fair shot. Everybody pays their fair share. And everybody plays by the same set of rules.
O'BRIEN: Let's --
SCHULTZ: Those are the goals that we need to work together on. And unfortunately, the Republicans in Congress and Mitt Romney continue to demonstrate that they are rooting for failure. As evidenced, Soledad, by the Romney campaign telling my state's governor that they should tone down the progress and the celebration about the progress that our state's made, because that's not in line with what the Romney campaign wants to telegraph about the president's record on job creation.
O'BRIEN: So, let me stop you there just to bring people up to speed. You're talking about the state of Florida. And as I know you know, the Romney campaign has denied they have done that, although it is a report in "Bloomberg".
SCHULTZ: Of course they have denied it.
O'BRIEN: So let's turn for a minute and talk a little bit about Mitt Romney and what he has done saying about immigration. He spoke in front of NALEO, the organization of Latino leaders. What did you make of his comments?
SCHULTZ: Well, not very much. It was -- as you said earlier this morning, when you interviewed my colleague Randy Forbes, Mitt Romney was about as vague as he could be. There was no specific proposal. No clear path so that the 12 million undocumented immigrants in this country would know under a Romney presidency what their future would hold.
You know, the only thing that he has done is tell them that he keeps his promises. Well, if we look at Mitt Romney's promises, he just recently -- I mean, he's hoping that the American people don't have a very long memory. But during the primary, he said during the debates and on the stump that he would have vetoed the DREAM Act.
This is a candidate that has the most extreme policy on immigration of any presidential candidate in recent memory. He has embraced the Arizona style immigration laws and has those leaders who wrote those laws as his campaign advisers on immigration. So we should believe him when he says that he would veto the DREAM Act, we should believe him. We should believe him on the specifics he has given us which are all extreme, and which would really mean a terrible future for those who are in this country through no fault of their own, like the young people that President Obama gave a path to remain in this country and either serve in our military or attend college or make sure that they can continue the only dream they've ever lived, which is the American dream.
O'BRIEN: Mitt Romney has said that he'll be fleshing out more of a response. I guess we'll be watching for that.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz --
SCHULTZ: Waiting with baited breath.
O'BRIEN: I certainly am, I know.
She is the chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Nice to talk to you as always, thank you. Appreciate your time.
SCHULTZ: Thanks, Soledad.
O'BRIEN: All right. Let's get an update on the day's top stories. Christine has got that for us.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning.
Two years after leaving Cleveland, the King has his crown. LeBron James and the Miami Heat are the champions of the NBA, crushing the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games, with 121-106 victory in Miami last night.
James leading the way with 26 points, 13 assists, and 11 rebounds, capturing his first title, along with series MVP honors.
Two big weather stories this morning. A big storm brewing in the Gulf of Mexico, and the northeast still sweltering. Temperatures will climb into the 90s again today for the third day in a row.
Meteorologist Alexandra Steele joins us live on these two stories.
ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hi, Christine.
Well, in terms of the heat, the worst is over. Kind of the pinnacle, yesterday, 100 degrees in Baltimore. All of these records, 99 in Washington, 98 in New York City. But what we're going to see today is the transitional day, certainly not as hot as yesterday.
A cold front moving through. You can see already dropping temperatures in the 70s and 80s behind it. Today, along the 95 corridor, just around 80, 90, 91 degrees or so. But then we're only going to cool off further.
By Saturday, temperatures in the 70s. And then places like Albany, New York that, had 94 yesterday, get down to 70 on Tuesday. So temperatures certainly cooling down.
What's not cooling down, what's heating up, what's happening in the Gulf of Mexico. What we're watching here is an area of low pressure, kind of getting its act together now. It's going to take a couple of days, but becoming more well-defined. National Hurricane Center does have about a 70 percent chance this could become a tropical cyclone, and we're going to watch this.
If it is named, it gets named Debbie. You can see these forecast spaghetti models. So, there's no serious consensus on what will happen. So anyone in play all the way from Texas to the Florida coast.
We'll know a little more throughout the day -- Christine.
ROMANS: All right. Thanks, Alexandra.
ROMANS: Historic flooding in northeastern Minnesota. This morning, the multimillion dollar cleanup will begin. A Coast Guard helicopter had to pull Alan and Linda Johnson to safety Thursday in Thompson, Minnesota. The two were left stranded by flooding caused by the overflowing Thompson reservoir. The floodwaters have decimated that neighborhood.
Believe it or not, Charlie Sheen is going to be president of the United States, only in the movies, of course. Director Robert Rodriguez announced he's casting Sheen as commander-in-chief in his upcoming film "Machete Kills," the sequel to his 2010 movie "Machete."
Sheen's father, Martin Sheen, famously played the president, of course, in NBC's "The West Wing."
O'BRIEN: Oh, for God's sake. Is he back in the news, really?
ROMANS: Yes, he is. Yes, he is.
O'BRIEN: OK. All right. Thanks, Christine.
Still ahead this morning, a bombshell from Jerry Sandusky's son that the jury did not hear. Why did he not testify?
We're going to talk this morning to Sara Ganim. You know, she won the Pulitzer Prize for her coverage of this case. She'll update us on what's happening in the Sandusky trial.
And then today's tough call, teachers entitled to jobs that no longer exist. A ruling on the decision to fire thousands of teachers after hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans.
And we'll leave you with Lady Antebellum. Another first, I believe. I don't think we'd have Lady Antebellum. This is "Hello, World." And it comes to us from Lisa Desposito .
I wonder if that's the same Lisa Desposito that I went to high school with. If it is, hi, Lisa! From Facebook.
O'BRIEN: Some bombshell accusations to tell you about in the Jerry Sandusky case. Sandusky's own adopted son, Matt, now says that he too was sexually abused by his father and that he was willing to testify in the sexual abuse trial. The jury, though, is currently sequestered.
They will not hear these new allegations. Matt Sandusky is now 33 years old. He went to live with the Sanduskys as a foster child when he was 11. And until now, he's denied that he was ever abused and even supported his father, initially. Jerry Sandusky, of course, is accused of abusing 10 boys over 15 years.
Sara Ganim is the reporter from the "Patriot News." She won the Pulitzer-Prize for her coverage of the Sandusky case. And she, obviously, has been following this trial very closely. What do you make or are there questions being raised about Matt's timing in all of this since we know the jury has gone on to deliberations. They won't hear the points that he's raising. SARA GANIM, REPORTER, THE PATRIOT-NEWS: That's right. And Soledad, it's interesting, because just 10 days before he came forward and made these allegations publicly, the trial started, and he was sitting in the section of the courtroom reserved for Jerry Sandusky's friends and family.
He was sitting among other adopted children of Jerry and Dottie Sandusky with Dottie Sandusky who's Jerry's wife, and he was even mentioned in opening arguments by the defense attorney as being a potential witness who could testify on Jerry's behalf.
He was sequestered as a potential defense witness, but came back into the courtroom right after those opening arguments and sat through the testimony of accuser number four who was the first to testify, who actually mentioned Matt Sandusky as having been in a shower situation with him and with Jerry Sandusky when victim four says he was molested at one point.
He said Matt Sandusky left when it began. He was asked what Matt Sandusky looked like, and he answered that he looked nervous. I never, after that point, saw Matt Sandusky in the courtroom again. I did think it was a little strange at the time, but we never saw anything, and we didn't hear anything until 10 days later when that jury went in to deliberate.
O'BRIEN: You also had a chance to speak to Matt's birth mother. And a lot of what she said originally around the time when he was 11 years old and becoming a foster child raised some red flags at that time as well about Jerry Sandusky, right?
GANIM: Right. It's interesting. His biological mom is actually the first person on record in 1996 to make allegations, to bring something up against Jerry Sandusky. She did it in the courthouse right behind me where this trial has been going on for the last two weeks. She said, you know, I see strange behavior.
Something is not right. My child's behavior has changed. Jerry Sandusky appears to be stalking him. She said that she had asked her son what was going on. He said nothing more than I don't want to talk about it. There was one time he ran away from the Sandusky home in the middle of the night.
But Matt, you know, he denied all of that. He continued to live at the Sandusky home. He was even adopted as an adult. It was his own choice to have an adult adoption to change his last name to Sandusky. And for years, you know, even after his mom testified before the grand jury in 2011, he continued to deny that anything ever happened.
O'BRIEN: Let me turn to our team for a moment. You know, it's interesting as this is going to clearly head to a civil trial, and a civil trial means that they're going to be looking to get money probably, victims from Penn State and certainly from Jerry Sandusky, himself. I think some people, sometimes, raise the issue of timing for that as well.
HOOVER: Well, I mean, I'd be very curious to hear -- to the extent, our former guest actually asked, implied that Matt Sandusky was in his own way a bit of an enabler. Do you see that? Sara, do you see that?
GANIM: You know, it's hard to tell. I have seen -- I've heard from others who have been around the Sandusky home. For example, the attorney for the person who's been now -- is being called victim number 11, that these kids were separated. They were in the home around the same time, but they really didn't have a whole lot of interaction with each other.
So, you know, the thing about Matt Sandusky's accusations as they were presented yesterday is there wasn't a whole lot of detail. There were no dates. There was no show of how extreme or how little this abuse that he alleges might have been. We saw a whole range of abuse during the trial alleged.
And we don't know where he falls into that spectrum. And we don't know where he falls in the spectrum of time. So, I think, at this point, there's still a lot of questions. We haven't heard anything from Matt Sandusky, only from his attorney. We really don't know at this point.
O'BRIEN: Yes. I would agree with you. Lots and lots of questions. Sara Ganim, though, really in the forefront for us. Thanks, Sara. Always appreciate it. Her reporting has been just absolutely stellar on this.
LIZZA: Yes. She's amazing.
O'BRIEN: Still ahead this morning on STARTING POINT, thousands of teachers fired after a school district was washed away in hurricane Katrina, but a judge has ruled the school went about it all wrong. Does school have a choice? It's our "Tough Call" this morning.
And don't forget, you can watch CNN live or on your computer or mobile phone at CNN.com/Live or follow me on twitter @Soledad_O'Brien. If you want to wish me congratulations on the Miami Heat win, for example. Here's the --
O'BRIEN: Yes, I did. Yes, I did. Bittersweet symphony. It is a viewer request from Amy Empty . Hi, Amy Empty on Facebook. I know everybody is requesting today.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Welcome back to STARTING POINT. I'm Christine Romans.
ROMANS (voice-over): Markets are down worldwide this morning after the rating agency, Moody's, downgraded 15 of the world's largest banks. U.S. stock futures, though, are up a little bit pointing to a bounce at the open. Not a big surprise since stocks had such a brutal day yesterday. The Dow fell 250 points yesterday.
Watching your money this morning. New data shows the recession hit minorities much harder than White Americans. White Americans now have 22 times more wealth than Black Americans and 15 times more wealth than Hispanic-Americans. Look at these numbers. This is median household net worth in 2010 according to the census bureau analyzed by CNN Money.
Whites have $110,729, Hispanics, $7,000 median net worth, Blacks, only $5,000. Median household net worth for Black, Hispanic, and Asian-Americans fell by about 60 percent from 2005 to 2010. White house holds saw only a 23 percent drop. The housing crash has a lot to do with that.
And a new low for mortgage rates. A 30-year fixed rate mortgage now stands at an average of 3.66 percent. With the drop we've seen in mortgage rates over the past year, you can save about $48 a month for every $100,000 borrowed. And, Soledad, also because of all this talk of the weakening global economy, gas prices are going down. There are even calls for gas prices to go below $3 by the fall.
O'BRIEN: Interesting. That's interesting. But never going to offset those terrible numbers you just showed about black wealth, Hispanic wealth compared to White wealth. That's horrific. It really is.
All right. Let's turn to today's "Tough Call." A judge has now ruled that when Louisiana fired thousands of its teachers right after hurricane Katrina, that was illegal. After the hurricane, you might remember, it shut down the New Orleans school system.
7,500 school employees were fired, and now a judge is awarding more than $1 million to seven people who sued the Orleans perish school board and the state for wrongful termination. Back in December of 2005 -- remember, Katrina hit in August of 2005 -- the local school board fired the workers.
Many of the schools were closed. There was no way to pay anybody. The judge found that that state law required the board show cause and hold hearing before you could fire tenured teachers. And they also were supposed to create this a recall list, so that if you were laid off teacher, you'd be among the first to fill any kind of vacancy.
But when the schools were actually did reopen years later, most of those schools were charter schools that were filled by outsiders. In fact, New Orleans today, I think, it's 80 percent of the schools are charter schools there.
LIZZA: And this is being send as a big success story.
CAIN: This isn't a tough call for me. I mean, the jobs essentially, the employer essentially, the schools ceased to exist. Now, your employment contracts can't be so inflexible that when your employers ceases to exist.--
O'BRIEN: It's not a contract. It's a state law.
CAIN: It has to be accommodated with the fact that these no longer existed.
O'BRIEN: But they did not hire those teachers back, and they also took the opportunity to get rid of a lot of those teachers, right? This was a chance to say, we have a failing school district already. No schools. If we fire everybody, we clean them out. And we can use as a very real excuse the fact that Katrina has damaged all these schools.
But if you did it the right way and you had a recall list et cetera, some of those teachers would have been brought back in.
LIZZA: They made up a status for these employees. They called it disaster leave without pay, which the judge found was fictional as she pointed out. There was no status.
HOOVER: But in a calamity of this sort of proportion of which there was absolutely no template, it's hard to say that they should have followed standard practices for firing.
LIZZA: No. Actually, it's just the opposite. When you have a calamity, when you have a crisis like that, the law needs -- that's exactly the time when the law needs to be followed.
HOOVER: Guess what, the police officers in New Orleans flood the city. There were no enforcement officers of any kind in New Orleans. So, to say that they should have fired the teachers --
O'BRIEN: But that's not true.
HOOVER: By the way, 55,000 students also fled the city. The entire system evacuated.
O'BRIEN: But we're not talking about -- there was no school two days after Katrina or five days. We're talking about --
HOOVER: Or two months.
O'BRIEN: -- in the months and year after Katrina, right? There was an opportunity that was taken. And that opportunity was, we can get rid of a lot of teachers and what we can do is leverage the disaster to kind of do what we want to do. Now, some of those teachers, no doubt, should have been fired, and also, there was no way to pay for many of these people.
HOOVER: It's worth noting, New Orleans school district was bankrupt before the election. The superintendent of the schools had been convicted of bribes.
O'BRIEN: You guys are the ones who always argue the law. Not me.
HOOVER: The FBI had been investigating the superintendent. I mean, --
HOOVER: This is one of the worst school systems in the country --
HOOVER: -- one of the best in the country now.
O'BRIEN: Oh, I don't know.
HOOVER: It is. Absolutely. It's one of the top 10 school districts in the country.
LIZZA: But that's a whole different issue.
HOOVER: This is not about the kids. This is about -- yes. This is not about the kids anymore.
O'BRIEN: This is about the law, actually. I think it's about the law.
CAIN: No. It's the example of the kind of contracts (INAUDIBLE) state level with employees that are so absurd they cannot accommodate a calamity. You see that as an opportunity for calamity to reinforce -- I say, this shows how sclerotic our contracts we've made with our public employees is.
LIZZA: That's a whole different issue. Maybe the contracts should be different. But when you've illegally fired people, those people go to court, and get redress, and the judge wrote this long opinion very clear on the law. And they were wrong to fire them. I don't see why this is a tough call at all.
O'BRIEN: And they got a million dollars for it. Obviously it was, because we got a good debate going this morning.
We have to take a break. Still ahead this morning, can women have it all? Here, I can answer that no. No, they cannot. A new magazine article has everybody talking about it. The author is female, and she says, no. She says women cannot rule the boardroom and the nursery as well.
Also, President Obama making his pitch to Latino voters today. He's going to speak before a big convention of Latino leaders. Mitt Romney, you'll remember, was there yesterday. We're going to talk about both sides with CNN's political expert, Candy Crowley.
And you'll never guess just how much money has been raised for this woman right here, the 68-year-old school bus monitor who was bullied by a bunch of middle school kids. The video went viral, and the generosity has gone viral, too. We'll tell you just how much money they've donated to her cause. You're watching STARTING POINT. We're back in a moment.
O'BRIEN: Welcome back, everybody. Two major issues are affecting President Obama's campaign today. This afternoon he'll make his first address to Latino voters since he announced his administration's new deportation policy. He'll be speaking at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials which is taking point in Orlando. The economy is the number one issue. And Moody's has just downgraded 15 World Banks, including five in the United States. Right now U.S. stock futures are looking up, but world marks closed down, and Europe's debt crisis already had investors on edge.
All of that brings us to Candy Crowley, CNN's chief political correspondent, the host of "STATE OF THE UNION." Let's start with the Moody's downgrade Because if the economy is what everybody picks first as the most important issue, this is big, big problems obviously for the president.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN HOST, "STATE OF THE UNION": It is problems. And not because everyone totally understands what this all means. But when you hear that five of the six biggest banks, at least in terms of assets in the U.S., have been downgraded, you know immediately that is not good news. It brings back some pretty painful memories of when the economy first started to go down. You already have all of this talk about recession. It does not help the case that things have gotten better. So I think it adds to the general unease, and if the unease is about the economy, the person that it seems to hurt the most just in terms of politically and the elections is President Obama.
O'BRIEN: Certainly a lot of conversation about immigration too, right, Because if you're talking to NALEO, immigration is sort of the subtext. Here's what Mitt Romney said when he did his address before NALEO yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I want you to also know this. I will prioritize efforts to strengthen legal immigration and make it more transparent and easier. And I'm going to address the problem of illegal immigration in a civil and resolute manner.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: Interesting to see that he really has not articulated very clearly what he's going to do about that category of illegal immigrants, the Dream act kids. And I thought again he didn't do it again at NALEO yesterday. CROWLEY: He didn't. He talked about replacing it, superseding what the president has done in terms of young paperless illegals that are in the country right now. But he didn't right out say I'll keep it in place until I get something different. So he used some buzz words. But here I think is the context that you sort of look at Mitt Romney's speech yesterday. And that is not just in the context of the Latino vote, which clearly they have to reach out to.
And he is not going to win the Latino vote. The numbers are overwhelmingly in favor of President Obama even before he made this decision about young illegals. So it's not as though anyone expects suddenly Mitt Romney is going to win that vote. But he has to win enough of the vote to kind of take the edge off of it and try to make it up elsewhere.
And it's also important to swing voters. What swing voters don't like are the hard edges of either party. And when you see a candidate who is willing to go before a group that is largely Democratic, which NALEO is. It's bipartisan, but it's elected officials and the majority of elected Hispanic officials are democratic. So when you go before that group, when you go before the NAACP as Mitt Romney intends to do, then what you do is sort of take away that kind of, we won't talk to anybody, it's our way or the highway sort of thing that swing voters, middle of the road voters don't like to see. So it helps him in a couple of ways.
CAIN: It makes me wonder, let's see two obvious points. The Republicans can't concede the Latino vote for now and into the foreseeable future. And Mitt Romney for all intents and purposes have won the Republican nomination. There are some formalities still we have to go through. But why doesn't Mitt Romney embrace the dream act, a long-term solution, a democratic solution, and package that with tight border security and essentially outflank President Obama?
HOOVER: Flip flop. That's why.
CAIN: You can live with flip flops.
HOOVER: No, you cannot. What candy is saying is important. She says what independent voters don't like are the hard edges. What you saw Mitt Romney doing yesterday is significantly shifting the tone with which he is speaking about these issues.
CAIN: I think tone is not enough, Margaret.
HOOVER: Tone is a really important first step, Will. And it's certainly a way to get into opening up that conversation in a general election. But he hasn't even gotten the nomination. He can't outflank President Obama on the left.
O'BRIEN: Oh, please. Yes, he could. Come on.
O'BRIEN: Is there some rule? There's no detail in these speeches. (CROSSTALK)
O'BRIEN: If you listen to the comments the other day, it's gibberish.
LIZZA: Well, Obama comes out with this policy a week ago, completely catches the Romney campaign off guard. And they have to decide, we're going before NALEO. Do we come up with a specific new immigration policy or just attack the policy?
O'BRIEN: Some thought they would, and they did not.
CANDY CROWLEY: Their view is stay away from specifics because the more specific you get, you more open to attack you are. You want to make this election about Obama, not you.
O'BRIEN: Candy, what do you have coming up this weekend?
CROWLEY: Most candidates wait until the fall to put out a detailed plan. The summer is a bad time to do it. People aren't paying that close of attention. We have Ed Gillespie, strategist for the Romney campaign coming up. Also an important decision coming up that has to do with Arizona and immigration.
O'BRIEN: That's on "STATE OF THE UNION." Candy, always great to see you. Have a great weekend.
All right, Christine has an update on the headlines.
ROMANS: Good morning, again, Soledad. A bloody siege at a Kabul hotel is over right now. Taliban militants stormed this building and opened fire last night, sparking an overnight gun battle with Afghan and NATO troops. Three security guards, a police officer, two of the attackers are dead this morning. That's according to the Afghan interior ministry. The death toll could climb higher.
New video of George Zimmerman the day after the killing of Trayvon Martin telling police his version of what happened. Some say his stories don't match up. Compare a clip of Zimmerman explaining why he got out of his car that night to what's recorded on the 911 call.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: Begin to ask me where he went, what direction he went in, and I said I don't know. And then I thought to get out and look for a street sign. So I got out of my car and I started walking.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which way is he running?
ZIMMERMAN: Down towards the other entry to the neighborhood.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Which entrance is that that he's heading towards?
ZIMMERMAN: The back entrance.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you following him?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. We don't need you to do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: The Martin family attorney says Zimmerman's story doesn't match that call.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's not a small inconsistency. That's a huge one. Because our whole position has been that this case is not a stand your ground case because George Zimmerman pursued Trayvon Martin. And the fact that that is not what he wrote in his statement, that he pursued and ran after him, when we know by his own words that's what happened, you know, what else -- what else can we believe in a statement if from the very beginning there's a lie?
Zimmerman told police Martin jumped from the bushes and attacked him. The tape shows bandages on his head.
We've been showing you video of the school bus monitor horribly bullied and taunted by kids. Now one bright spot. Karen Klein has received nearly half a million dollars in donations to go on vacation. By now, you have probably seen the tape.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're a troll. You're a troll. You're a troll. You old troll.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How about I bring my knife and cut you? If I stabbed you in the stomach, my knife would go through you like butter because it's all lard.
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ROMANS: Klein says she can't comprehend all of the support she's received.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I still can't believe it. I can't believe it, that there's that much.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Southwest airlines reached out to us today. They have 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.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You've got to be kidding me. That's awesome. Nine people?
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ROMANS: The video sparking even more bullying, though. Police say the kids accused of harassing Klein are now getting death threats.
Two years after leaving Cleveland, the king has his crown. LeBron James and the Miami Heat champions of the NBA dominating the Oklahoma City Thunder. James leading the way last night with 26 points, 13 assists, and 11 rebounds. He claimed his first title along with series MVP honors, Soledad.
O'BRIEN: Woo-hoo is all I'll say about that.
O'BRIEN: Thank you, Christine.
Still ahead on STARTING POINT, can women today have it all? There's a new article in "Atlantic" that says it's time to stop fooling yourselves, that you can't. We'll debate this one next.
And how is a little poison, "Something to Believe In"?
O'BRIEN: Randall sending that to us on Facebook. Will thanks you.
O'BRIEN: That's "Talk to Me", that's Rihanna. Tulisia Harris- White on Facebook sent that in to us. All right, Tulisia, you may pick the next five. That was good. I like that. I like that.
All right. The big question, of course, comes to us from the "Atlantic" article; it's written by Ann Marie Slaughter, and it's all about whether or not women can have it all. Not in today's economy, she says, at least. She was the first woman Director of Policy Planning for the State Department, but she -- she writes that getting her high-powered dream job meant that her family life would suffer.
At a gala with President and Mrs. Obama at the Museum of National History she writes this. "I sipped champagne, greeted foreign dignitaries and mingled. But I could not stop thinking about my 14- year-old son who started eighth grade three weeks earlier and was already resuming what have become his pattern of skipping homework, disrupting classes, failing math and tuning out any adult who tried to reach him."
And she goes on to write that she and her son barely spoke and that her husband took care of both their sons during the week when she decided to write an op-ed about the struggle really of working moms. A colleague who was in a similar situation just basically said, "Don't do that. Don't do that." Don't reveal that because women, younger women, rely on working women with kids to kind of keep up the front that it is doable. And it's not. I agree with her -- I agree with her 100 percent.
CAIN: Interesting there and Anne Marie sat on both side of the fence she said, she sat on the side fence where she thought she was pulling it all off. She thought that she could have it all and do it all. And she said she had that somewhat condescending smile towards a women that said that they couldn't and then her life showed that there is the other side where it is very, very difficult.
And yes I think is time is a zero-sum game, you just can't -- you can't have -- can be in two places at the same time.
O'BRIEN: But it's different for women. So let's ask Margaret some questions. No seriously this one -- you are the -- you are the person she's writing to.
HOOVER: And she is writing to me. She is basically challenging me if I want a career I shouldn't have children.
O'BRIEN: You don't have children.
HOOVER: I can make a choice right now. I can have children or not.
O'BRIEN: Do you want to have kids?
HOOVER: And you know what I -- well, I aspire to have children. I hope that I can have children someday. I'm certainly not looking --
O'BRIEN: Do you plan it? Do you say I'm going to work for three more years and then I'm going to think about having kids?
HOOVER: I've never been a big planner.
LIZZA: What was your reaction to the piece?
HOOVER: You know honestly, I've heard also that you can have it all, you just can't have it all at once.
HOOVER: And it's sort of figuring it out and staging. But these are choices that in our -- in our society women have to make in a way that men specifically just don't have to make. Because -- and maybe you have the kind of marriage where you do split it evenly, and maybe your husband stays home and the woman works.
That is somebody is -- you know it's every family is different. I think the -- the triumph -- real triumph of the feminist movement is that women get to choose, right. Women -- but she has a choice to make. She could have chosen to continue to stay at the State Department, to have lost her tenure. O'BRIEN: Right but isn't her argument that it's very hard to do both things well? And that the --
O'BRIEN: -- and that society really does not put the same --
HOOVER: Isn't that life, though? Like you can't do everything all at once.
O'BRIEN: But -- but I would argue that society doesn't put the same pressure on -- on Will and Ryan to be parents in the way that society when you have kids will put the pressure on you to be the mom. When -- when my kids have issues in school, they call me, right?
O'BRIEN: And -- and my babysitter e-mails me during the show because someone is having a meltdown. And I know that I have to make a doctor's appointment in the commercial break because my kid has some kind a weird rash. That -- that -- that is --
CAIN: It's not just the side of -- that's a recognition of the difference between you and me. And not just on a personal level, of men and women. Your kids don't just call you because society told them to. Because you know what you have a different relationship with your mom than you do your dad.
O'BRIEN: Maybe. I mean, you know my dad -- their dad could also take them to the doctor. I just -- I would just say there's a certain amount of pressure that will come on you that does not come on the husband.
MARGARET: So what is your advice?
So have children or not have children? After reading this do you agree with her?
O'BRIEN: You know I think it is very difficult to have it all. I definitely like to think that I keep all of my options open so that if I had to stop working tomorrow for some reason, I would do that because you have to make decisions about your kids first.
But it's very, very hard. I cannot tell you the number of times I have been on some breaking story, on a satellite phone at $8 a minute, trying to talk a crying child out of something. And you know what it sucks. It completely sucks.
LIZZA: I have the same issues in my family and one thing that leaped out at me in this piece is I thought maybe as my kids, who are five and three now, as they get older it gets easier.
LIZZA: And just leaped out in the story it's wow -- it gets much, much harder.
HOOVER: Well, raising teenagers and the emotional stresses they go through.
LIZZA: And what (inaudible) -- is there is a political element to this because the Obama administration. This has bubbled up before the Obama administration, their inability to make life for working women work properly.
And I think there's a lot of -- there's a lot of gender issues in the White House and at the State Department.
O'BRIEN: Everywhere. Everywhere, you know what, even the -- even the people who are the most pro-working mom at some point will say, I need you in the office, not at the play with your kid. You need to make a decision. And we need to go to commercial break.
O'BRIEN: Today's "CNN Hero" is a guy who is living the American dream and gave it all up. This is kind of interesting because we've talked a little bit about this article too. His amazing story is up next.
You're watching STARTING POINT. We're back in a moment.
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T. JACKSON KAGURI, COMMUNITY CRUSADER: In Uganda -- HIV/AIDS came striking like a machete in a cornfield, killing men and women, leaving 1.2 million children orphaned. The grandmothers stepped in and closed that gap; some of them have up to 14 children to raise.
I was born and raised in Nyaka Village. I moved to America. I went to Columbia University. I came to visit. I looked in these eyes of women who carried me as a child and said, now is the time to also give back.
I am T. Jackson Kaguri of the Nyaka Aids Orphans Project.
Who is happy this morning?
We started with $5,000 that my wife and I had saved for a house. We provide free education to children who are orphaned by HIV/AIDS.
We provide them uniforms, health care, the library, clean water, and we started giving them meals. We teach the grandmothers the skills so they can support themselves. Eleven years later, this project has produced close to 600 students and helped about 7,000 grandmothers.
I feel humbled looking in the faces of the children smiling, focused on what their dreams are going to be.
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HOOVER: I have some data here that says New Orleans. Sorry.
O'BRIEN: We've got to take a break.
Up next, a special "End Point." I'm going to sing a little song to you.
LIZZA: Really, oh my God.
CAIN: You are?
O'BRIEN: Yes, I am.
HOOVER: She's singing. Keep going.
O'BRIEN: I can't. I can't sing at all. But I just want to point out we are playing that song for the Miami Heat. We should get a shot of Will Cain, because he is not the champion today.
CAIN: Well, look. I'm no particular Oklahoma City fan. I just didn't want Miami to win. But I have to give them congratulations. Good job. You deserve it.
O'BRIEN: Gotcha. Gotcha, gotcha.
Coming up on Monday, we're going to talk to Mira Sorvino. She was a classmate of mine and looking forward to chatting with her live in the studio.
Carol Costello has "CNN Newsroom" right now. See you on Monday everybody.