Return to Transcripts main page


Blistering Heat; Interview with Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn; Interview with Beau Biden

Aired July 2, 2012 - 08:00   ET



BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: And a good Monday morning to you. I'm Brooke Baldwin, sitting in for Soledad.

And our STARTING POINT this morning: temperatures hitting triple digits today across several states. Major storms knocking out power to millions of people and relief -- sorry to say -- could still be days away. We are live in one of the hardest hit areas.

And what did they know? CNN is accessing these disturbing new e-mails that raise new questions about whether Penn State officials were covering up information about Jerry Sandusky.

Plus, it may be constitutional but vowing to repeal the health care law.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: This has to be ripped out by its roots.


BALDWIN: The stakes are growing even bigger for November elections. And our troops don't just face danger overseas, they face it right here at home. The enemy: predatory scammers. We're talking financial scams. Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden is leading that go fight to protect our troops from financial disaster.

A jam-packed show ahead. Along with Beau Biden, we're talking to Marsha Blackburn and ESPN's Mike Gold (ph) and Marcellus Wiley.

It is Monday, July 2nd. STARTING POINT begins right now.


BALDWIN: You can always tell whose song it is by the first person doing this. That was Abby Huntsman, Keane, "Sovereign Light Cafe."

Hello to all of you. Yes, you like that? Thumbs up on that?

ABBY HUNTSMAN, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: They just performed live two weeks ago. You can see that they were amazing.

BALDWIN: Awesome.

So this is Abby Huntsman, the host of "Huffpost Live".

As is Marc Lamont-Hill, host of that as well. A professor also at Columbia, and the host of --

MARC LAMONT HILL, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: "Our World with Black Enterprise."

BALDWIN: There we go.

And, Margaret Hoover, author of "American Individualism."

Welcome to all of you. I got a lot going on this morning.

I know we're feeling the heat here in New York this morning but some folks in other parts of the country are feeling worse here. Millions of Americans absolutely desperate for relief. Sixteen people have already died since Thursday when triple digit temperatures spawned deadly storms leaving millions without power.

I want you to just take a look at the states here. These are the states that are really feeling it, really suffering. You have Ohio -- 425,000 customers without power. That was as of 10:00 last night.

The same story in Virginia. The same story in Maryland where hundreds of thousands of people are waiting for electricity to come back on. And I'm sad to say there's not a lot of letup in sight here, folks. This morning, 20 states are facing heat advisories and it could be up to a week before everyone gets their power back.

Athena Jones is live in Montgomery County, Maryland, this morning where I know of traffic signals are out, Athena. I know morning commute in your neck of the woods is not easy on a normal day let alone (AUDIO BREAK).

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Exactly. Good morning, Brooke.

You know, we're in Montgomery County, Maryland, just a few miles north of Washington, D.C. This is an area known as the place where there's always lots of traffic. We're at a traffic signal.

The electricity came on here just a couple of hours ago but there are several down the road where the lights are still out and we know that there are still several hundred in this county alone, several hundred traffic signals that don't have electricity as well as hundreds of thousands of people across this region that are still without power.

The latest figures we've gotten from Dominion which is the main provider in Virginia says just (AUDIO BREAK) people are power. That's down from a million at the height of it. So some progress being made.

And then Pepco (AUDIO BREAK) around Maryland and D.C. says that they have just over 230,000 people without power. Now they say they're going to be able to get the power back to everyone they hope by the end of the week -- so, by Saturday or Sunday if the weather permits.

But we may see these numbers going up and down because workers sometimes have to cut off the main lines to do some work and there are still tree limbs, frankly, falling on some of these lines.

One interesting thing I should mention we've seen on Twitter is people complaining that they're not seeing enough work crews out. One woman tweeted she hasn't seen any out in her area. Pepco responded to that woman and said they're out there. Crews are working on circuits and substations. They may not be visible from your home but the point is that utility companies say they have people out, crews for more than a dozen states and as far away from Canada trying to get the power back on.

And, of course, this is very important as we're approaching 95 degrees today. I can tell you right now, Brooke, it's only 8:00 and it's officially hot.

BALDWIN: Athena Jones, I appreciate you. I know you kind of drew the short straw covering the heat for us this morning. We appreciate it.

And I know a lot of people feeling empathetic with you in that part of the country.

JONES: Thanks, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Athena, thank you.

Also Colorado battling extreme heat, deadly wildfires. Meteorologist Rob Marciano is live in Colorado Springs.

And before we get the latest on the fires, just talk to me about the extreme heat multiple states, Rob, that multiple states are facing this morning.

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, well, the heat that they're getting back East was out here a week ago and was one of the reasons that the fire accelerated so horribly through this neighborhood.

Check out some of the record highs. This is just a handful. By the way, we had 1,800 record high temperatures in the last seven days.

Macon, 108. Are you kidding me? One hundred seven -- Columbia has seen 106. The list goes on.

And LaGuardia hit a record as well again today. Heat advisory, heat warning a little bit smaller map today. Most of it to the South and East and a little bit back to the West. But from D.C. up through Boston, you'll be a little bit -- a little bit a little bit cooler. And when I say that, I mean temperatures will still be well into the 90s.

Your daytime highs expected be to be 95 in D.C., well into the 90s in Atlanta and Nashville and back through Chicago as well.

We have record breaking high temperatures again here weekend. Here is the forecast - map western U.S. fires burning in multiple states, large ones. And the fire here in Colorado Springs, I'm happy to tell you, 55 percent containment even with the record breaking high temperatures we had once again this past weekend. Firefighters were able to get a handle on this thing and red flag warnings yesterday. So just under 18,000 acres burned.

But, as you know the damage done here. The residents, many of whom were allowed to finally go back to their homes yesterday and look at the charred remains, an emotional day for sure. They were going to do it in buses but they decided no more humane way to do it. They do caravan in personal vehicles and get folks a little bit more privacy that way.

Sun up now coming. We are closer than we have been in the past days. You can see the charred landscape and part of the mountain shadows neighborhood where the bulk destroyed homes exists and we' getting a better view this morning of some of the charred landscape. It's quite remarkable and heartbreaking as you would imagine.

Three thousand people still remain evacuated and many of those will not get to their homes for some time to come -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: Look at that. That really is sort of the first picture we have in daylight finally seeing these sort of (AUDIO BREAK) home after home, rows of charred remains.

Rob Marciano (AUDIO BREAK) Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Now, (AUDIO BREAK) top stories. Zoraida, good morning.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Brooke, we start with a CNN exclusive. Three former Penn State officials may have covered up 2001 incident involving former coach Jerry Sandusky and the young boy in the shower. CNN has (AUDIO BREAK) former university Graham Spanier, vice president Gary Schultz and athletic director Tim Curley after graduate assistant Mike McQueary reported the incident to them.

Spanier deciding not to tell authorities. Instead he told Curley, quote, "the only down side for us is if the message isn't is heard and acted upon and we then become vulnerable for not having reported it. But that can be assessed down the road."

Curley and Schultz face perjury charges and are also accused of failing to properly report suspected child abuse.

Mississippi's only abortion clinic is still operating for now. A new law took effect yesterday requiring abortion providers to be certified OB/GYN practitioners with privileges at area hospitals. That law puts the Jackson Women's Health Organization at risk. But a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order yesterday. It keeps the clinic open at least until a hearing scheduled on July 11th.

Mexico's old guard back in power after a 12-year hiatus. (AUDIO BREAK) Pena Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party winning the presidential election. But leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is refusing to go concede defeat. Pena Nieto's party controlled for more than 70 years (AUDIO BREAK) election of the National Action Party's (AUDIO BREAK).

New York state Supreme Court will intervene in the congressional race between incumbent Charlie Rangel and his challenger senator Adriano Espaillat. There will be a hearing this afternoon. Rangel has declared victory and his opponent conceded. But now, it seems votes in dozens of districts disappeared. The latest count shows Rangel's lead has dwindled to 802 votes, with more than 3,000 still unaccounted.

Brooke, back to you.

BALDWIN: Zoraida, thank you.

Republicans, they are gearing up for a fight to take down the health care law planning to vote to repeal that law next week, July 11th. Really keep in mind this is a symbolic vote because the repeal will likely never pass the Senate, where Democrats as you know are in the majority.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), CALIFORNIA: They will bring it up and when they bring it up, they will ask for a repeal. Repeal of all the things I said that help children, help young adults, help seniors, help men or women who may have prostate cancer, breast cancer, whatever it is, any precondition.

BOEHNER: We will not flinch from our resolve to make sure this law is repealed in its entirety.


BALDWIN: Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn is the Republican deputy whip. She's also a member of the Healthcare Subcommittee.

Congresswoman, good morning to you.


BALDWIN: Let me just begin with the point we just left off with. This is a largely symbolic vote. You don't have Republican controlled Senate. You don't have a Republican sitting in the White House.

I know a lot of Americans are thinking they're just wasting their time up there on the Hill voting on July 11th.

Why bother?

BLACKBURN: Well, I think the reason that you bother is specifically this: the American people want Congress to say Obamacare was a mistake and what they would like to see us do is start over with a clean slate and do this right.

And, Brooke, what you're going to hear is us focus on five things: increasing access and choices, decreasing (AUDIO BREAK) and mandate; simplifying the system for both patients and providers restoring that half trillion dollars worth of cuts that were made to Medicare, and making certain that we make health care tax free because right now one thing we know for sure, it is not.

So we're going to just put our nose to the grindstone, if you will, our shoulder to the grind stone. We're going to push forward. We are going to make certain that we get this job done.

BALDWIN: Now, as your put your nose to the grindstone and have your five tenets here, I just want to point you to some new numbers because it appears American approval of what happened on Thursday is up.

So take a look at this. This is the latest Gallup poll. This is after Thursday's ruling from the Supreme Court. Forty percent agree with the Supreme Court's decision. 46 percent don't.

Interestingly, though, we look among independents, 45 percent now agree, 42 percent disagree.

Do those numbers suggest to you at all, Congresswoman, that if you vote to repeal, there will be backlash?

BLACKBURN: No, they don't. Quite the opposite actually, because what the American people have said, you know what, we said all along it was a tax, and as I was out over the weekend at farmers markets and at church and at the grocery store and visiting with constituents -- so many people said back in August '09 we were saying this seemed to be a tax, and if this was going to be the largest increase in history. Indeed it was and is.

And now the Supreme Court has said, yes, indeed, it was a tax. So what people are saying is -- why in the world did the president, did the secretary of HHS did all of these officials spend so much time trying to say, oh, no, no, no, no, this isn't a tax. It's a penalty.

BALDWIN: Let me, Marc, go ahead and jump in.

HILL: Congresswoman, it seems to me the only way that this could be repealed is through a reconciliation tactic.


HILL: Two years ago or three years ago Republicans opposed Democrats when they said they may use reconciliation to get health care through, that it violated the spirit of Congress and it was anti-democratic and now I hear Republicans using the very same language.

How do you explain that?

BLACKBURN: Marc, I think that what we know is that most Americans, about two-thirds of all American think this bill is unconstitutional. We know this is tremendously unpopular. (AUDIO BREAK) the American people do not, it was forced through.

And we know and we think there's a majority in the Senate that would work with us on getting this off books. And making certain that the implementation of Obamacare is to be forestalled and is not going to be started. That money is not going to be put in place.

So if the best way to accomplish this goal is reconciliation so that the states aren't having to expend that money. That's w ho we're going to do it.

BALDWIN: I see, Congresswoman, I see Margaret Hoover wanted to hop in.

MARGARET HOOVER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: There's another point, Congresswoman, Margaret. Probably (AUDIO BREAK) is that in the 1974 Budget Reconciliation Act said that you can act on legislation if it had to do with the budget, curtailing the budget.

Well, now that the Supreme Court has said that this is a tax, if you acted to amend this, then you use the reconciliation process, you would be directly working to curtail the budget. So, it actually (AUDIO BREAK) use budget reconciliation as the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 did, which Republicans use rather than the sort of the fancy footwork that Harry Reid maneuvered us through budget reconciliation effort.

HILL: But here's the problem, right?

BLACKBURN: Right. That's one of the things that I think people say. Now, this is a tax so, therefore, it changes the way we can approach eliminating it from law.

BALDWIN: Go ahead. You disagree.

HILL: I can accept that argument if two or three years ago, Republicans didn't say that they pose reconciliation as such. They didn't say within this particular context. They said period. And also, yes, even if (INAUDIBLE) of Americans opposes, which I don't accept, they also don't oppose reconciliation.

Every poll that's ever been given to American people say don't like reconciliation because it seems like it's sidestepping Congress.

HOOVER: Well, you and I both know is that Republicans and Democrats have used budget reconciliation in the Senate for years and years and years things through the other side didn't want and maybe it's unpopular at the time, but as you look back on the Bush tax within 2000, 2001, and 2003, people aren't saying (INAUDIBLE) both parties say you might not like it when it's not going against your party.

HILL: We agree to disagree.

BALDWIN: I love it. And Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, we appreciate you coming on as well.

BLACKBURN: It's good to be with you.

BALDWIN: Good to have you with us.

Still ahead, we're going to have to leave it there. We'll revisit later. Promise.

HILL: Will all be off camera.

BALDWIN: In the commercial break. In the commercial break.


BALDWIN: Still ahead this morning on STARTING POINT, two U.S. sprinters are fighting for the same slot on the 2012 Olympics team here in London. So, there's only one way to settle this whole thing. I'm sure you've seen the photo, is to have a run-off. But is the rematch itself (INAUDIBLE)?

And today's "Tough Call," New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, is known to be pretty outspoken, but didn't he go a tad too far when he questioned a reporter's intelligence?

Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn's playlist, Darryl Worley, "Have You Forgotten." You're watching STARTING POINT.


BALDWIN: It is winner-take-all race, and tonight, two U.S. Olympic hopefuls square off in its rematch. Jeneba Tarmoh and Allyson Felix tied for third place in the U.S. Olympic trials 100-meter race last weekend. Both runners are already going to the London summer games on the U.S. team, but, tonight will decide who gets that final spot on the 100-meter squad.

And there's this whole twist here. There is a chance both runners might be pulling out of the race altogether. Joining me now Mike Golic and Marcellus Wiley of ESPN's "Mike & Mike in the Morning." Fellas, good morning to you. You know, I can't say I blame either of these ladies for not wanting to maybe risk injury running tonight.

They're both thinking, hey, I'm already going to London as it is. I mean, what are the odds we may not even have a run-off?

MIKE GOLIC, ESPN'S "MIKE & MIKE IN THE MORNING": The odds could be there, but I hope the odds are against that, because I want to see a run-off. I mean, these are athletes that have worked for four years for this moment and to decide who is going to be in the individual for the 100-meter, I know they're both in, but we're talking relays for some.

(INAUDIBLE) unless, there's an (INAUDIBLE).



GOLIC: -- difficult, though. And as Mike knows, I played in one of the most controversial endings in football and the music CD miracle (ph) was it a four later backward past that may upset our Super Bowl -- making it. We lost playoffs because of that controversial call. Sometimes, you just have to deal with it and put your (INAUDIBLE) and move on.

BALDWIN: (INAUDIBLE) thank you, guys.

(INAUDIBLE) that's our "Tough Call."


BALDWIN: Time for (INAUDIBLE). Here's a deal, New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, you know him for his brush, tough talking style. (INAUDIBLE) Q&A with reporters. The context of the story is here he was.

He's with water treatment plant and (INAUDIBLE) we're having. So, the reporters, though, as reporters are inquisitive, you know, they (INAUDIBLE) back the legislature for the special session on the middle class tax cuts. Here's the exchange.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On Monday, are you going to be addressing legislature?

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) NEW JERSEY: Did I say on topic? Are you stupid? On topic, on topic. Next question. Good, thank you -- thank you. Thank you all very much and I'm sorry for the idiot over there. Take care.


BALDWIN: So he says, stupid and idiot. Is that acceptable for a governor of New Jersey to be using that language?


ABBY HUNTSMAN, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I feel the first -- I feel like every couple of weeks, we're saying did he go to far? Did he go to far? I think the first time he went off topic and called someone stupid he went too far. I think we hold him to a different standard. And if we had heard President Obama say that to somebody, I think that would be a huge story.

BALDWIN: So, you think by him saying it, it's fine. It's Chris Christie.

HUNTSMAN: People talk about him being a vice presidential choice, there's no way. You can't say these things. I'm sorry, but when you --


HOOVER: We can disagree, but this is exactly what people love about Chris Christie. They love that he's authentic, they love that he's real, and they love it. They say, look, we have the rules, we had the ground game (INAUDIBLE).

HILL: He could have said, (INAUDIBLE). But to call somebody stupid, to call somebody an idiot --


HILL: It's abusive. It's mean and it's abusive. That's what he is.

BALDWIN: Any official, you have reporters out there and we want to ask the tough questions, and even though you're at a water treatment facility plant, Lord knows I've done this as well, you shout questions that are off topic because you want the answer and if you get an answer, awesome. If you don't, --

HUNTSMAN: When you're just a public official, you should expect any question to come your way. And I think about like my little siblings just watching this, and I just don't think that's right. I don't think he should be speaking with that language. There's another way he could say it like Marc said, you say that's out of line, I'm not going to talk about that right now.


HOOVER: You may disagree with his style, but the truth is the governor has style. People it a lot. This is why he got 1.1 million views on YouTube for one of his town halls.

HILL: Yes, because there are many Americans who are also mean and rude and disrespectful.


HILL: Exactly. Those are main tweeters. He's a mean guy, man.

HOOVER: -- authentic voice in politics.


BALDWIN: -- with a wink and a smile, stupid. Thank you, guys.

Still ahead this morning on STARTING POINT, a shocking attack. An American graduate student mauled by chimpanzees (INAUDIBLE) overseas. Details on what exactly happened and how he's doing now.

Also, Delaware attorney, General Beau Biden, an Iraq war veteran, is here. He says our service members are facing a new enemy at home being preyed upon by these financial scammers. How he's trying to stop when STARTING POINT returns. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Welcome back to STARTING POINT. Happy Monday to you. We want to let you know in just a couple of minutes Beau Biden will join us with this new mission he's undertaken to help our troops. He is the Delaware attorney general, the son of Vice President Joe Biden. Do not miss that. Quickly here to Zoraida Sambolin with today's headlines. Good morning.

SAMBOLIN: Good morning to you, Brooke.

From the northeast to the Midwest, this morning 20 states are under heat warnings with a state of emergency declared in Ohio, West Virginia, and Virginia. And 16 people have since Thursday when triple digit temperatures sparked wild storms and left millions without power.

And this morning firefighters are gaining ground against the deadly wildfires in Colorado. And 55 percent of the Waldo Canyon fire is now contained and officials are lifting evacuation orders for all but 3,000 people in that area. And 32,000 residents have been forced to leave their homes, but now many of them are returning to it devastation. Officials say nearly 350 homes have been destroyed there.

A nuclear power plant is up and running in japan for the first time since may. Despite protests outside, startup operations began Sunday at the number three reactor. Japan gradually shut down all 50 of its nuclear power plants for safety checkups after the shutdown at the Fukushima plant which was hit by the tsunami in 2011.

An American graduate student who was attacked by two chimpanzees at a South African animal sanctuary is listed in critical but stable condition after undergoing, get this, six hours of surgery. His says her brother lost his ears, a leg, and toes in the attack. Oberle (ph) was mauled by two large, male chimpanzees while leading a tour.

The four middle school students who viciously harassed their school bus monitor have been suspended from the school and the bus for one year. A YouTube video of their verbal attack went viral. All four students will take classes at an education center. They must also complete 50 hours of community service, that with senior citizens. Karen Klein says she is satisfied with their punishment.

BALDWIN: Thank you, Zoraida. Each and every day U.S. troops put their lives in danger. Many I know making the ultimate sacrifice. When they come home, their challenges aren't over. They and their families, they're oftentimes the target to these predatory financial practices, these scammers. They face all kinds of problems ranging from debt to foreclosures. Beau Biden is leading the fight to protect our troops from monetary scams. In fact, just last week he testified before a Senate committee on banking, housing, and urban affairs the financial pressures they're facing overseas and here at home. So, beau Biden, welcome to you. You are an Iraq war veteran and the son of vice president Joe Biden. Good morning, beau.

BEAU BIDEN, DELAWARE ATTORNEY GENERAL: Good morning. Thanks for having me on.

BALDWIN: I want to just begin on a personal note with you. You completed your tour of duty in Iraq in 2009 and you wrote about how you really witnessed the pressures these men and women experience firsthand. Tell me about that. What did they say?

BEAU BIDEN: Me and my colleague, the major that I worked with, I saw on a fairly regular basis that people overseas are experiencing the same things we here stateside, and that is the financial pressures of the economy, specifically foreclosures. What we saw over there is people being foreclosed upon while they were literally on a daily basis going outside of the wire, as we say over there, which I didn't do, and having to contend with phone calls from home about being foreclosed upon from the stateside. Look, we have the relief act which has been in place since the civil war to protect soldiers and air men and service members who are deployed to make sure that they're going to focus on the mission to deal with what the commander in chief asks them to do and come home safe. Too many are worrying about what's happening state side by way of foreclosures.

BALDWIN: But, beau, what is it about these families, the members of the military and the families here at home that seems to put them at even greater risk to be preyed upon. Why?

BEAU BIDEN: Well, there's a number of reasons why. One reason why is there's just been the systemic but too many people, too many financial institutions in certain cases aren't following the Servicemen Relief Act which prevents them foreclosing upon or filing civil actions against service members. There's a major national bank that was foreclosing on marines and other service members when they shouldn't have. A brave marine challenged them and got a multimillion dollar settlement on behalf of himself and others for violations of that act. This has been a systemic problem throughout a number of the banks. Attorney General Holder has been holding them responsible to the tune of millions of dollars. I never thought we'd see a case where we'd been fighting a war for 10 years where they're not following the basic law.

BALDWIN: I know you were testifying and there was a story about how one woman, a widow, had to pay off a debt from what little money after her husband passed away in battle. It's horrendous when you hear these stories. The reality of the situation is t of embers of the military have to move around a lot. You have 180,000 military members who own homes and oftentimes they're relocated. They have to up and sell a lot are underwater. You, Biden, you pushback in February to make sure the multistate mortgage settlement included some protections and we mentioned you testified in front of Congress last week. What more needs to be done to protect these people?

BEAU BIDEN: Really we changed the law. Look, one-third of the America n people including service members, are under water. Right now when you move from Dover to Andrew's Air Force Base by order of the president, you have to sell your house in Dover, Delaware, to be able to move to Andrews Air Force Base. This settlement led by tom Miller is to say the banks actually will consider those orders, those permanent change of station pcs orders which military families will know, considered as a hardship when the bank considers those short of a can do by way of a short sell or some modification in terms of the note. It's been a broad expansion led by all 49, 50 attorneys general, quite frankly led by the president and the secretary of housing and urban development and the attorney general. It's been a fundamental expansion of an important right.

MARC LAMONT HILL, PROFESSOR, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: It seems to me there's bipartisan support for this. It seems like sound public policy, capping interest rates, avoiding predatory lending practices. Why don't we do this for everybody? It's all there for military members who experience this are there for poor people everywhere. Why not public policy for everybody?

BEAU BIDEN: Well, look, a number of attorneys general led by Martha Coakley of New York, still focusing on these things every day. The $25 billion settlement was just the first step. There will be just the things you talk about.

If I may add, Rhode Island has a great bill as it relates to military families. Right now they are sent overseas, they need to send their orders to the bank to be able to take advantage of the benefits under the service men relief act. Oftentimes we don't have orders until we're on a plane or after we've gotten on the plane. A very important piece of legislation to look at that tonight require orders to be sent to the bank but allows a letter to be sent to the bank to take advantage of the law on the books for decades.

BALDWIN: Before we let you go, I have to ask, your dad is the vice our country, I have to ask you about the health care ore you do that I want to toss some sound. This is a moment, your dad during the bill signing. This is March of 2010. Here it is.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: This is a big -- deal.


BALDWIN: I mean, we laugh, but it was a big deal. I'm sure you've had a conversation with your dad since the ruling came down on Thursday. What has he said to you about this?

BEAU BIDEN: It's an important moment for the American people. The president has done what he said he was going to do as a candidate, make sure for the interests of middle class Americans, quite frankly, to make sure they have access to affordable health care. This is going to be a very, very important thing for American, and I'm incredibly proud of the president and the vice president pour understanding that this is an essential thing we need to fix to make sure people have access to health care and that those who choose not to get it aren't able to ride freely off the backs of us who 85 percent of who will have health care insurance.

BALDWIN: Did he repeat those words to president Obama on an open mic?


BEAU BIDEN: My dad was very, very proud of the president for pursuing this. I'm proud of both the president and the vice president and the Congress for doing what's right for the American people.

BALDWIN: Beau Biden, we appreciate you. Thank you so much.

And now, still ahead on STARTING POINT the controversial graduation speech of an English teacher who told the class of 2012 that none of them were special. We'll see if Steve Perry agrees with the cold, harsh reality of being ordinary.

And one of the world's greatest mysteries, what happened to Amelia Earhart over the South Pacific in 1943? You're watching STARTING POINT. It is July 2nd.


BALDWIN: A Little (AUDIO GAP) courtesy of Margaret Hoover and her play list. Thank you guys (inaudible) show; it's fantastic. Welcome back in the STARTING POINT here a good Monday morning to you.

You know one of the biggest mysteries in American history could -- could soon be laid to rest. What happened to Amelia Earhart? She vanished 75 years ago today on her quest to fly around the world. And tomorrow the Amelia Earhart expedition is set to leave Hawaii en route to Nikumaroro Island to search the area rescuers -- excuse me -- researchers believe Earhart's wreckage is located.

Now much of this stems from the single photograph -- this comes from 1937. It was taken just about three months after her disappearance.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We found some really compelling evidence, skilled photo analysts from the State Department (AUDIO GAP) the landing here, this is where the airplane went into the drink. We're going to try our best to find her.


BALDWIN: Since uncovering that photo researchers say they have found old radio transmissions that they think could have been from Amelia Earhart herself. Discovery is documenting tomorrow's mission. I read I think it's going to cost like $2.2 million to try to do this. It's privately-funded. But still, this is not cheap.

MARGARET HOOVER, AUTHOR, "AMERICAN INDIVIDUALISM": I think it's worth it. I mean she's amazing. This is a woman who captivated the minds and the imagination of millions of young women across the country and young people across the country.

BALDWIN: And still -- still does.

HOOVER: Especially during the (inaudible) year of 1937 at a time when America really needed inspiration, there was this idea that Amelia Earhart the first woman to go across the Atlantic by herself was somewhere surviving on a lone island in the Pacific. It's actually incredible. So it will be -- it was like the mystery of the "Titanic" right?


HOOVER: We wanted to know where it was, we needed to find it to commemorate her and have the finalization.

BALDWIN: We have to have the closure don't we?

MARC LAMONT HILL, PROFESSOR: We have to finish that story absolutely.


ABBY HUNTSMAN, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I can't wait to see what they find.

BALDWIN: I know 75 years later. Who knows what they'll find out.

Still ahead on STARTING POINT, is it ok to just be ordinary? Certainly Amelia Earhart was not but that is the premise of this new article. Remember that graduation speech this teacher gave to kids saying, "Hey, you're not special. You need to work on being exceptional." So we want to know which is the right message? We're asking CNN's education contributor (AUDIO GAP)

We'll be right back.



Are we expecting too much of the next generation or perhaps not enough? This is the premise of this "New York Times" columnist and author (AUDIO GAP) who says being unremarkable is not necessarily a bad thing.

Here is what she writes, quote, "All year my son's school newsletters were filled with stories about students winning prizes for university level scientific research, stellar musical accomplishments and statewide athletic (AUDIO GAP). I wonder if there is any room for the ordinary anymore, for the child or teenager or adults who enjoys a pickup basketball game but it's far from Olympic material, who will be a good citizen but won't set that world on fire.

I'm sure you remember that high school graduation speech that went absolutely viral not too long ago. This English teacher David McCullough Jr., told students, quote, "You're not special".


DAVID MCCULLOUGH, JR., ENGLISH TEACHER: Contrary to what your soccer trophy suggests, your glowing seventh grade report card, despite every assurance of a certain corpulent purple dinosaur, that nice Mr. Rodgers and your Batty Aunt Sylvia, no matter how often your maternal caped crusader has swooped in to save you, you are nothing special.


BALDWIN: So is it ok to be ordinary or should students push harder? Steve Perry is our CNN education contributor. And Steve Perry, I'm confused. What's the message here?

STEVE PERRY, CNN EDUCATION CONTRIBUTOR: Well, the message from us at Capital Prep is, no, it's not ok to be ordinary. The expectation is you woke up to do something amazing today. So find out what that is and do it.

It doesn't mean that you have to be the greatest basketball players and make the most amount of money. It doesn't mean that you have to sing the best or look the best but you've got to do something (AUDIO GAP) in you, something powerful that can maybe transform not just your life but the lives of others.

BALDWIN: But -- and I understand you know at your school, striving for success is the priority. But you know, then you have all these parents who are giving out the awards who say everyone is amazing and everyone is successful and you're fabulous and you can be anything you want. Is that taken a little too far?

PERRY: That's about them, though. That's about them.

BALDWIN: The parents.

PERRY: They're giving those awards out so that they can feel good about themselves. They are dealing with their own insecurities and as a result of their own insecurities they want to set the bar as low as possible.

Well, folks, America is in the middle to the bottom of the pack academically. If you think that that's okay, then keep doing what you're doing. I think that we can do better. I think that we have a country full of people who are smart and capable and the harder we push, the more we're going to get.

HOOVER: Steve, though, is this a problem you see in the education system? I'm not saying your school but more broadly? Don't you have this trophy participation generation that thinks that they can get a trophy just for showing up?

You have books now being published about the millennial generation. They're showing up in the work place and they are being asked to do Xerox, they make copies and errands to run (ph) and they don't like, you know, because they think they are more special than they are.

PERRY: Absolutely. Absolutely. It is us. The schools, we do a really bad job of telling students what they really are and are not good at. And we tend to lower the bar too much. In fact, we even have a professional development here for the past couple of days of last week. And one of the things that we're looking at standards- based grading to show this is what the standard is for the country. This is your real skill level.

Regardless of what your mother says about you, this is what you really know how to do. So we need to work to get you up.

LAMONT-HILL: How do we at the same time, and for once I actually agree with you on that quote, but --

PERRY: I know.


PERRY: I know you set your mind to doing otherwise but sometimes some things make sense.

LAMONT-HILL: I just use common sense. But the question is for me, how do you keep the middle of the pack motivated? How do you keep people motivated who aren't at the high level? You know, because the problem is if we only teach to the top, if we only praise the top, we only praise high achievement then those kids who are just average --



PERRY: The presumption is that we're only looking at one skill set. The presumption is that we're only looking at whether or not you do well in science. When you are a great educator, you have the capacity to look at what the children can be beyond the traditional.

There are so many things, for instance, that you can do to show a child that they have the capacity to make an impact. You can reward kindness. You can reward integrity. You can reward desire to be successful. There's more than just --


BALDWIN: And Steve isn't it the job of being a great educator is to find that sliver of remark ability in a quote/unquote "average kid", right? There is always that sliver.

PERRY: That's exactly it. That's -- the best educators on earth find a way to engage children where they are. That's the core of education. Every single one of us can think back to an adult who is sitting in an educational capacity who made us feel like we could walk on water. In fact, the very essence of education is not seeing you for where you are today but where you can be.

We are a dream factory and when you're a great dream factory, you'll find ways to cull the dreams of every single child and make them feel like today is really that special of a day.

BALDWIN: Goosebumps. We're all feeling remarkable today. LAMONT-HILL: That's how you make me feel Steve.

BALDWIN: We're all feeling remarkable today.

LAMONT-HILL: That's a feeling you feel every day. I can say that.

HOOVER: There's a genius in every point. That's a really good point. And in adults.

HUNTSMAN: You have to find that.

HOOVER: And in Marc, too.

LAMONT-HILL: Yes, in me.

BALDWIN: All right, guys, on that remarkable -- on that remarkable note, the "End Point" is next. Thanks, Steve Perry.


BALDWIN: All right, time for the "End Point". You've been checking your iPhone.

HUNTSMAN: I just read a tweet from Donald Trump. Isn't he wonderful and entertaining as always? But it's just -- he said something that bothered me. We found out this weekend that Chief Justice Roberts changed his mind about the health care mandate and Donald Trump just said that he wanted to be loved by the Washington establishment. And I also saw this weekend that Glenn Beck is now --


BALDWIN: This is not confirmed. This is not CNN confirmed.

HUNTSMAN: No, this is not confirmed. But there's been talk about it. And Glenn Beck also is making sure he's calling Chief Justice a coward. And I just -- you know, I feel like there's a certain amount of respect we should have for our Supreme Court --


HUNTSMAN: -- and for decisions that they make. And so it's just -- it's frustrating for me to see things like this.


HUNTSMAN: I don't think it's political at all. I really don't. I think the fact that he changed his mind shows -- whether he did or not -- shows that he took time to really research and find out more about it.

BALDWIN: (AUDIO GAP), 20 seconds.

HOOVER: I'm going really quick. We're talking about the Colorado wildfires. They're prevalent, they're rampant. They've affected hundreds of thousands of people almost. If you know somebody who has been affected by the fire, you wonder what you can do. Your heart goes out to them. What (AUDIO GAP) can you do?

Get them a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant or really nice restaurant because they're eating at shelters right now. To be able to go out and dine on really nice steak, send them a Gift certificate for their favorite restaurant. That's the best thing you can do.

BALDWIN: Thank you all so much. Thank you. And thank you for watching.

Let's go to Carol Costello. "CNN NEWSROOM" begins right now. Carol good morning.