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STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN
Alleged Colorado Theater Shooter Mailed Package to University of Colorado; Mitt Romney to Tour Europe; Interview with Mike Roger; North Korean Soccer Team Refuses to Take Field After Flag Mix Up; Arkansas Wildfire; Missing Iowa Girls Surveillance Video; Medicaid Expansion A Lifesaver?; Terminal Disease; Violating Civil Rights?; Complaint Against Top High School; Olympic Athletes "Rise Above"
Aired July 26, 2012 - 07:00 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, Mitt Romney is in London hoping to raise some more campaign cash in the first stop of his three country international tour. Over shadowing the trip a bit is a racially charged quote in the British newspaper "The Telegraph" and comes from an unnamed campaign advisor. It says this, quote, "We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage and he, Romney, feels the special relationship is special and the White House didn't fully appreciate the shared history we have."
Jim Acosta live in London this morning. Jim, what's the reaction to the quote that comes from this unnamed advisor?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Soledad, as soon as Mitt Romney landed here in London for his overseas trip he found the controversy surrounding basically what has been hoped by his campaign as what they're calling a listen and learn tour. It has been sort of who said what in the last 24 hours. As you mentioned that quote that appeared in an article in the "London Daily Telegraph" apparently or allegedly we might even want to say from an unnamed Romney advisor.
And even though the international press could not independently verify whether or not that advisor even uttered those comments, the vice president and the Obama campaign jumped on those comments and released a statement from Vice President Biden and put it up on the screen for you. He said "Not surprisingly in this statement this is just another feeble attempt by the Romney campaign to score political points at the expense of this critical partnership, this assertion is beneath a presidential campaign." For his part Mitt Romney was asked about all of this in an interview with NBC and here is what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am not sure who this person is. I can tell you that we have a very special relationship between the United States and Great Britain and it goes back to our very beginnings, cultural and historical. But I also believe that the president understands that, so I don't agree with whoever the advisor might be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: And we should mention the Romney campaign is flat out denying that this quote came from one of their advisers and even if it did it does not reflect the thoughts or opinions of Mitt Romney or the campaign.
But getting back to why Mitt Romney came here in the first place, he is meeting with British leaders and met with former prime minister Tony Blair and the leader of the labor party, Soledad. And what's interesting, he was asked by the foreign press whether or not he wanted to comment on what some of the policies are here overseas with respect to the economic policy, austerity, that program that has been of some controversy here in the U.K. He said he is not going to criticize the president while he is overseas and won't comment on the politics of other nations either. So he is keeping it close to the vest.
One thing we should note, he is going at 10downing street meeting with the current Prime Minister David Cameron and may not highlight of the day and we'll hopefully see it when it happens, the Olympic torch is actually going to be coming by right past 10 downing later this afternoon.
O'BRIEN: There is a lot going on on the street where you are today. Jim Acosta, we appreciate it. Thank you. In a few minutes we'll speak with a Romney supporter. Mike Rogers of Michigan will be my guest.
First a look at the today's top stories, and Christine has that for us. Good morning Christine.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Soledad.
New developments in the aftermath of the Colorado movie theater massacre. Law enforcement sources say the shooting suspect James Holmes mailed a package to the University of Colorado campus in Aurora. It was received on Monday and it forced the evacuation of an entire building. CBS news says the package was addressed to a psychologist and contained a letter talking about shooting people and also contained scribblings showing a gunman shooting victims.
Meanwhile Aurora police say they're letting residents back into the apartment complex where the gunman lived, an apartment building that may have come down in flames had the suspect rigged the apartment with 30 IEDs and 10 gallons of gasoline blew. More on the developments in a live report from Aurora.
Battle lines in the gun control debate, President Obama weighing in five days after the massacre in Aurora. He told the national urban league last night he backs the Second Amendment and not when it comes to assault weapons.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We recognize the traditions of gun ownership passed on from generation to generation, and that hunting and shooting are part of a cherished national heritage. But I also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that ak-47s belong in the hands of soldiers and not in the hands of criminals.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: The president blames opposition in Congress for lack of progress in reducing gun violence.
The man behind this white knuckle motorcycle ride is now under arrest. This startling video exploded on YouTube with a million hits since posted anonymously in April. And 25-year-old Randy Scott recorded himself on the bike leeching speeds of 186 miles an hour and weaving in and out of traffic on a Canadian highway. He is charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.
The Olympic torch is working its way to the site of tomorrow's opening ceremonies. Today the Olympic flame gets a royal welcome at Buckingham Palace. Prince William, Prince Harry will be there when it passes through Downing Street, and the U.S. secretary general is scheduled to run with the torch around Parliament Square.
Michael Phelps will not march in tomorrow night's Olympic Games opening ceremony because he is scheduled to swim the opening heat of the 400 meter individual medley early Saturday morning. Phelps says starting early is one of the downfalls swimmers have to deal with but says he likes going first. He does plan to march in the closing ceremony, Soledad.
O'BRIEN: One of the downsides of being the Olympic champion, all right. Christine, thank you.
As we told you earlier, Mitt Romney is in London. He is kicking off the overseas trip with several countries. When it comes to foreign policy, new poll, NBC poll shows that President Obama is leading Mitt Romney when it comes to who would better handle the issues -- 47 percent to 43 -- 32 percent rather.
That brings us to Congressman Mike Rogers of Michigan, a supporter of Governor Romney's and advised the campaign on foreign policy and the chairman of the house intelligence committee. Thanks for being with us.
REP. MIKE ROGERS, R-MICHIGAN: Thanks for having me.
O'BRIEN: Let's talk about this foreign tour. Can a foreign tour turn around a foreign policy impression in the poll that I just showed a moment ago you can see that the former governor is a little behind the president when it comes to impression of foreign policy credentials let's say.
ROGERS: I think so. I think it is very important for the American people to see that Mitt Romney can have a dialog and on the world stage in some very serious strategic partnerships. Great Britain, really no better partner that we have and the Canadians certainly rank right up there and you talk about Israel and Poland and all strategic important partnerships for the United States. And all of those relationships have been strained by some I think missteps by this administration.
And I think having him there and having him have that dialog with senior leaders of all of those countries at a time when there are challenges is very important for the American public to see and Mitt Romney can handle the job as president when it comes to foreign policy.
O'BRIEN: Strategic and important, as you say, but I think many critics have said short on the details so far. He mentioned Syria but really pretty much in passing. He was vague when it came to comments on Iran and in London he was talking about the Olympics and the weather and here is what he told Brian Williams when they started talking about Israel.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: With regards to any nation that feels its security is at risk that they should have a firm conviction that America is securely behind them. I hope that people of Israel feel that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROGERS: Do you think that's a fair criticism, that he has been painting with a very broad brush and it has been pretty light on the specifics so far?
O'BRIEN: I do. And I think he is respectful of what our very delicate circumstances, and you need that in foreign policy debates. But what he is referring to is the fact that Israel doesn't believe that the United States is fully behind their notion that they're going to do everything to stop a nuclear program, and, more importantly, neither does Iran. And because of that confusion, because of that lack of assertion of U.S. leadership, there have been some problems there with slowing down the nuclear program.
I thought Mitt Romney was exactly right. He was reinforcing the point that this is the time for serious and strong leadership and the president does not talk about foreign policy often if hardly at all. And that lack of leadership on the world stage has consequences, and I think what Mitt Romney was referring to is some of those consequences for not showing U.S. leadership including the ability to maybe even avert Israel from bombing Iran, and all of that is at stake and in play and I think he is being exactly respectful as not the president of the United States but somebody who I think is trying to say we'll have a more certain, a more committed policy to making sure that Iran and Israel both believe that we're serious about Iran not having a nuclear weapon program.
O'BRIEN: As I am sure you know, every time there is a mass shooting and tragedy of conversation turns to gun control, and this time after what happened in Aurora is no different. This is what Mitt Romney has said about the Second Amendment. He said he believes in the Second Amendment. He thinks new laws wouldn't make a difference and went on to say this about hearts need to be changed. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: We can sometimes hope that just changing the law will make all bad things go away. It won't. Changing the heart of the American people may well be what's essential to improve the lots of the American people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: What does that mean in the context of gun control, change the hearts of the American people, when you look at the person who is alleged to have pulled off this crime and now is going to face trial for it? It seems -- I wasn't sure what he meant.
ROGERS: I think he is talking about the broader problem. We have seen a surge in violent crime in our cities. Gang crime up just in the city of Chicago alone and about a weekend or two ago, 35 murders. And there are things that we can do trying to point to one incident and one type of weapon isn't going to solve this problem. As a matter of fact, it was against the law to have a weapon in the movie think ter. Colorado has very strict gun laws.
So we have two things here. How do we get after the violent crime that's happening in American cities today, a huge rise. And how do you deal with mentally ill individuals who are expressing themselves that they're going to commit this crime? Those are two things and we saw this in the Gabrielle Giffords case. Those are two things we can have some impact on. Upped to intercede with the mentally ill early in the treatment and allow counselors to talk to police when they make those kinds of threats.
O'BRIEN: And why not challenge gun laws at the same time? I would agree with that. I would say, yes, absolutely that's an issue and on a lot of fronts, and wouldn't one of them be let's not sell AR- 15s so a guy can order it online easily and have it delivered to his apartment?
ROGERS: Yes, but, Soledad, that's not what killed the individuals in the movie theater. That weapon didn't even function correctly. So that's the trick. That's what I think is dangerous about saying this type of weapon we don't like. If we focus all of our energy on that the problem will go away. That's not the problem. He was determined to kill people and he had plenty of weapons on him when he walked into that movie theater which was against the law already. It was against the law the way he purchased the weapons. It was already against the law.
So we ought to abandon that which is a false red herring and deal with the issue how would we have interceded on that individual. And, by the way, Mr. President, you have lots of resources to help the urban centers crack down on what has been a rampant murder spree by street gangs in Chicago and Los Angeles and New York and other places.
And here is my point, Soledad, he wants you to focus on this one slice of it. There is a huge problem out there of which this president has resources to deal with. Let's deal with those things. Let's start dealing with the issues that are taking these folks off of the street before they find some way to kill a whole bunch of people.
O'BRIEN: Let's deal with specifically what Mitt Romney said, which is what I am trying to dig into. He said changing the hearts of American people. Don't worry about the gun laws. Bringing the gun into the movie theater was illegal anyway. If we could change people's hearts, that's a better strategy. I am confused by that.
ROGERS: I just think what he is talking about is, listen, this pervasive attitude that anything goes and everything is OK and I think is having a toll certainly on American decisions that are being made, street gangs going wild in the city.
O'BRIEN: How would that make a difference in a shooting that took the lives of 12 people and injured 58 others? I guess I am just trying to connect what he is saying to this particular Aurora shooting.
ROGERS: I think you're focused on the wrong end of that conversation. I think he was basically trying to say, listen, there are things we can do to intercede. You can intercede early with somebody who has the mental health issues who is clearly reaching out and trying to say I am going to do this and somebody help me. That didn't happen. So that's how you stop something like that.
What he is saying is, listen, if we turn around urban employment in this country, I think it has a major impact on what's happening in the streets of places like Chicago and Los Angeles and other places where violent crimes, Soledad, is just going through the roof. And we're not paying attention to it. We're trying to say if we change the gun law -- I got to tell you, nobody believes that you can have another gun law in Colorado or Chicago which has very strict gun laws. That's not going to solve the problem. Let's focus on solving the problem, and I think that's what Mitt Romney was talking about. This is a holistic approach to getting at these problems. One of them is you have to get people back to work. When he is talking about turning hearts, I think he is trying to say we need to change the way people think about this anything goes violent mentality, and all of those things can be impacted with the right leadership.
O'BRIEN: Congressman Mike Rogers, nice to see you. Thanks for talking with us.
One thing I want to clarify. You mentioned that this was I think you were referring to a young man clearly reaching out with mental health issues. And I know you know that none of that yet has actually been determined. We're still waiting to get information from both the attorneys and mental health officials.
ROGERS: Well, he mailed the package. I think that was a clear sign, at least one clear sign that he was reaching out, as an old investigator.
O'BRIEN: Unclear what's in that so I don't want to go out on a limb and say things we have not confirmed were in the package. Thank you for your time.
Tonight Piers Morgan is going to sit down with Mitt Romney, and Ann Romney tonight as well will be his guest.
And ahead on STARTING POINT, Facebook is about to deliver its first earnings report after the big mess of a public offering. Will Wall Street click like on it or not? Our "Get Real," North Korea insulted at the Olympics. Already? The flag flat that forced the team to walk out. You're watching STARTING POINT. We're back in just a moment.
ROMANS: Welcome back to STARTING POINT. I'm Christine Romans minding your business this morning. Facebook reports earnings after the closing bell this afternoon. The company will show how it plans to make money through advertising and the global app. Stock is down about 23 percent since the day it became a public company.
In the markets U.S. stock features turned higher. We're looking at earnings reports and economic data on top and get a fresh look at the jobs market next hour with the initial jobless claims report.
And the USDA says food prices will increase because of the drought across the country and it is not just for staple it is like beef, veal, corn and soybeans. All the products will go up, too, like cats up, barbecue sauce and ramen noodles and cupcakes. Those are the down the aisle costs.
O'BRIEN: Major new development in Colorado this morning. A package from the alleged movie theater shooter James Holmes was discovered in the mail room at the University of Colorado. That brings us to Ed Lavandera live in Aurora this morning. Ed, what can you tell us about this package?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If you remember a couple days ago it was a Monday there was a package that was found in the mail room at the university of Colorado that cause the several buildings to be evacuated briefly as bomb technicians and investigators tried to figure out if there was something hazardous in it. They went there because it actually turned out to be a package James Holmes sent to a psychology professor according to a law enforcement source we spoke with.
CBS is reporting inside that package there was a spiral notebook that contained writings from Holmes talking about wanting to kill people and also some drawings showing a gunman killing his victims. So the psychologist clearly investigators taking a closer look at that chilling spiral notebook that arrived in the mail room at the University of Colorado on Monday.
O'BRIEN: And now we're learning more about the academic background of the suspect. What do we know about both him as a student and sort of his abilities academically?
LAVANDERA: It is interesting because he received this prestigious grant to study at the University of Colorado to get into this neuroscience program, one of only six students that received it. We have learned a source tells CNN that toward the end of the semester he had done poorly on one of his final exams. All of this happening at the same time that we have learned from other law enforcement sources that this is about the time that he was amassing his arsenal of weaponry, the four guns used in the shooting as well as the explosive material found in his apartment. So clearly investigators and psychologists taking a look at what happened here in the last few months if it was that exam or anything around this time period in his life that triggered what happened here.
O'BRIEN: Ed Lavandera, we continue to ask questions on the why of why this happened. Thank you for the update. Appreciate it.
Still ahead on STARTING POINT, a bizarre moment in Olympic history. We'll tell you why the North Korean women's soccer team refused to take the field. That's get real this morning.
And our STARTING POINT team is heading in. They're not refusing to take the field. We have Roland martin and Will Cain.
MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: He told me I look like a right writer.
O'BRIEN: I don't know what that means.
ROMANS: Welcome back to STARTING POINT. A quick couple of headlines for you. Penn State's legal troubles mounting this morning, the university's primary general liability insurer filed a motion claiming insurance coverage should be denied because the school failed to disclose what it knew about Jerry Sandusky's behavior.
The mother of baseball legend Cal Ripken Jr. is back home safe this morning after being abducted. Police say an armed gunman showed up in Violet Ripken's home early Tuesday morning, forced her into her car and took her, took off with her. She was found in the backseat of her car with her hands tied but we're told she is safe and sound this morning.
O'BRIEN: What a horrific thing.
ROMANS: Just terrifying.
O'BRIEN: Christine, thank you. So good to hear she is back fine. Our team this morning, we're joined by Mark Geragos, a criminal defense attorney, looking a little like Johnny Cash today.
Roland Martin is the host of "Washington Watch with Roland Martin, and he is looking like Roland Martin this morning with a pocket square happening.
GERAGOS: It is more like a shower cap. ROLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Mark, let me show you. You need a little color. You need color today.
GERAGOS: I do need some color. I don't know that I need a shower cap.
O'BRIEN: Will Cain is so happy today he is not the target.
WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Target?
MARTIN: Look at that, totally changes the outfit.
O'BRIEN: I like it. Let's move on. Our "Get Real" this morning, we have seen screw ups like this before. Remember the time the version of the Kazakhstan anthem was played for an athlete at a ceremony in Kuwait. The athlete took it well and smiled and kept her head down.
This is a bigger blunder, I think. It happened at the London Olympics, the North Korean women's soccer team refused to take the field after the flag of South Korea was being displayed on the big screen next to the players. The team eventually did return when the mistake was rectified and the match against Columbia started late and the Olympic organizers apologized profusely. I wonder, is that it? Can you imagine?
CAIN: I have to disagree about one thing. I don't think it is a bigger mistake of playing the bore at version of the Kazakhstan anthem.
O'BRIEN: Let's see.
MARTIN: They're not really the best of friends.
O'BRIEN: I think it might be. I think it might be. I don't know. I fully support the North Korean team in not taking the field. What do you do? You can't go on.
O'BRIEN: It is your flag. It is your country.
MARTIN: It is a national insult.
GERAGOS: It's an insult to the North Koreans, right.
O'BRIEN: It is the Olympic Games. Politics aside, it is the Olympic Games.
MARTIN: Imagine if they put the Cuban flag up for the American team, do you really think they will take it? Oh, we'll just step on the field.
CAIN: I agree. Get real.
O'BRIEN: It is going to be a long day with Will Cain this morning, I can tell already. Still ahead on STARTING POINT, a top ranked high school is hit with a civil rights complaint. We'll talk about the legality of this if they purposely shut out black and Latino students.
And a weather alert to tell you about, the threat of severe thunderstorms in the northeast and possibly even some tornados. And it is not the coughing and sneezing passengers on the airplane you should worry about, it is where the plane is taking off from. The airport that is most likely to spread disease.
You're watching STARTING POINT. We're back in a moment.
O'BRIEN: Welcome back, everybody. Get right to Christine Romans who's got an update on the top stories this morning. Hi, Christine.
ROMANS: Good morning, Soledad. Parched land proving futile for wildfires, 10,000-acres fires burning across two counties near Lawton, Oklahoma about 100 homes threaten.
In Arkansas, a fire forced the evacuation of a small town of Ola, Arkansas. Crews are worried about strong winds pushing flames into a fireworks warehouse.
Here in the northeast, severe thunderstorms and even tornados possible today. Let's get a quick check of the weather with meteorologist, Rob Marciano. Good morning, Rob.
ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning again, Christine. Yes, storms are firing from Chicago across the Great Lakes to Michigan and Southern Ontario and even western Pennsylvania and upstate New York.
But this is just kind of a preshow to the big show later on this afternoon as that heat and humidity that's been building across the central plains makes its way to the northeast.
And this storm system kind of strong for late July is going to be the trigger that sets of thunderstorms some of which will have some damaging winds, certainly some large hail and a few may have some isolated tornados.
But that threat extends from Cincinnati all the way to Springfield, Massachusetts so be on the alert. The heat before that will be substantial as well, 101 in D.C. and 91 in New York City, just adding some fuel for the fire. Christine, back up to you.
ROMANS: All right, thanks for the warning, Rob. New video that may show two young girls on the day they went missing nearly two weeks ago now in Evansdale, Iowa.
The sheriff believes 10-year-old Lyric Cook and her 8-year-old cousin, Elizabeth Collins, are seen on this grainy surveillance tape riding their bikes. The bikes were later found near a lake. Investigators believe the girls are still alive.
Your "A.M. House Call," Medicaid expansion could be a life saver. A new study from Harvard says expanding Medicaid coverage could help people live longer and prevent thousands of deaths.
The lead author, Dr. Benjamin Summers, is now advising the Department of Health and Human Services, which is carrying out the health care overhaul, important to note that.
The lesson, don't go through airport security barefoot. Researchers at MIT ranked the top airports for spreading disease. They looked at travel patterns, locations, time spend waiting in lane.
Number one, JFK in New York, L.A.X. number two and Honolulu International ranked third. I am not sure being barefoot has anything to do with that. I think it is because of the people there -- Soledad.
O'BRIEN: I mean, what do you do if you have to go through with no shoes on?
ROMANS: You have to go through.
ROLAND MARTIN, HOST, "WASHINGTON WATCH WITH ROLAND MARTIN": An extra pair of socks in the bag.
O'BRIEN: Really? In that time you have while you sprint for the plane you will carry an extra pair of socks.
MARTIN: I've done it, absolutely. I am not walking on those nasty floors.
O'BRIEN: Thanks, Christine. Appreciate it.
This morning we were talking about the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. It's in Virginia and it is considered to be one of the best magnet schools in the country. It is ranked the number two high school by U.S. News and World Report and tenth by "Newsweek."
But a new federal civil rights complaint says the school is essentially shutting out minority students. This year's incoming freshman class is just 2.7 percent Latino, 1.4 percent black.
Tina Hone is the founder and executive director of the "Coalition of Silence" and her group and the NAACP filed the complaint with the Department of Ed this week.
She is also a former member of the Fairfax County School Board. It is nice to see you. Thanks for talking with us.
Why this lawsuit and why now? These number that are bad in terms of minority students getting access to this top tier school have been bad for a while.
TINA HONE, FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR, COALITION OF THE SILENCE: They have been bad for 30 years. When I served on the school board, we got an annual report every year about T.J.
And in that annual report about T.J., there was always at least some hand wringing about the dearth of African-American and Latino kids in the school. This year on July 19th, when the school board had its work session about T.J. the tone was different.
O'BRIEN: How so?
HONE: The tone this time was about allegations that have recently been brought forward by teachers and members of the T.J. community that because of the focus if you will on black and Latino admissions and T.J. and changes to the admissions process to try to increase the diversity in T.J.
That in fact, we've ended up in a situation where 25 percent of the kids at T.J. need remediation and I say remediation with quote marks around it because I think so they use the term to terrify the community.
And in fact the remediation we're talking about at T.J. is very high level math remediation. It's not arithmetic, and the other reason.
I think one of the things about the statement is that juxtapositioning an allegation that so much focus on diversity that we ended up with a hopelessly flawed admissions system and by the way 25 percent of the kids need remediation, it suggests that it is --
O'BRIEN: More diverse means the school is getting worse. That's what they're trying to say.
HONE: Or just do the math, about 1,700 kids in T.J. and fewer than 100 or black or Latino. There is no way that less than 4 percent of the student body, less than 100 kids are bringing down T.J.
O'BRIEN: So the school says this. They say it's basically a pipeline issue. Here is their statement. Aggressive outreach efforts have been used in an effort to improve representation among African- American and Hispanic students and those efforts have resulted in a significant increase in applications.
However, the admission rate for those under represented populations remain a concern and we recognize more work needs to be done. Why is that response not enough for you?
HONE: One, if you saw the type of outreach that they're talking about, I don't think they would be proud to show it on CNN.
O'BRIEN: What's the outreach?
HONE: Well, there was a film at the same work session and I talk about this work session because the coalition had not made a decision to file this complaint until we attended that work session.
Nearly every member of our board attended the work session. At the work session they played a tape to purportedly to show these are the kids that we are trying to reach who are underrepresented.
The majority of the kids on the film were not underrepresented minorities. There was one African-American child on the film. She was barely audible, and when asked, what do you care about math or science?
She goes I want to be a nurse. For me as an African-American and my mother is black and my father came from Yugoslavia, to see that and see our school system put this forward to the school board and public as proof that it was reaching out effectively to these communities, I was deeply offended by that.
O'BRIEN: We have a panel of lawyers here. Roland, before I get to you to Mark. I want to talk about the legal things and we'll get to you in a second.
So do you think a lawsuit is an effective vehicle for making these kinds of social changes? I mean, it sounds to me like the issue has been there for 30 years and trying to figure out how do you move the needle on actually changing the racial makeup of this school?
MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I don't think there is any other way. You wouldn't be having her on if they hadn't filed the lawsuit. It wouldn't be getting into the public consciousness, so I think it is the right thing to do. Sounds like on the face of it that they have a problem.
HONE: And it is important. It is not a lawsuit. It is a complaint filed with the Department of Education and the process is the Department of Education has to look at the allegations that we make and determine whether or not there is enough for them to open an investigation.
WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Interestingly, the school has been the subject of a lawsuit regarding race and admissions. Just nine years ago, the school sued for supposedly using race as a factor in admissions and the fact that the allegation buzz that white students were being discriminated against.
That the school was over admitting equally qualified students based on race, right? If you're black and white and you have equal qualifications the minority students were getting access more readily than the white students. That was the allegation.
GERAGOS: What was the rate back then nine years ago?
CAIN: I think 11 students African-American.
GERAGOS: Out of 1,700, that was the over representation.
CAIN: No, no, Mark. It's 10 of the 11 were admitted were admittance rate of equally qualified students of other races was much lower.
GERAGOS: So nine years ago it was 11 out of in a class of how many?
HONE: It's 1,700. GERAGOS: And that was over representation?
CAIN: I don't think you're understanding me.
HONE: The argument is given the number of black and Latino kids who applied compared to the number of white and Asian kids who apply a far higher percentage of black and Latino kids purportedly equally qualify were actually getting into the school.
GERAGOS: The absolute numbers were you 11 kids --
O'BRIEN: The numbers are only stunning in that they're terrible numbers if you're looking at how minorities are going to get into and succeed.
CAIN: How is the school and using race in admissions and we will have this debate very soon at the national level at this (inaudible) reaches the Supreme Court, which it will.
O'BRIEN: You often find the reverse is true. There is a large Asian population and you will often discover that those white students that feel like they're losing their spots because of black students gained the spots are actually losing their spots because Asian students are not getting in.
The Asian students are not getting access who have excellent grades and are being left out to keep those numbers to a certain level. We have seen that certainly.
MARTIN: And for people at home to understand why this is a value, I went to a magnet school. Magnet schools typically are given greater resources than traditional schools.
Also, the specialized schools, college recruiters are targeting these schools. You talk about who is getting full rides when it comes to engineering programs and they're going to schools like this here.
If you're African-American and shut out of these schools and not getting those scholarships so you're not getting that opportunity as well. So it is much deeper than I just can't get in.
O'BRIEN: And much deeper than high school and really is middle school and it really is elementary school, all of those things. It is a pipeline in a way that no one is fixing.
HONE: Absolutely. That's one of the flaws with the response from the Fairfax County School System. Their response talks about we're doing outreach.
If all they have to show for their efforts to try to increase diversity of T.J. is they have done a few videos and visited a few schools, we will never solve the T.J. problem.
We don't solve the T.J. problem by focusing on the T.J. admissions process. We solve the T.J. problem by dealing with a separate and inherently unequal network of level four highly gifted centers that operate this.
O'BRIEN: We're out of time. This is a fascinating conversation obviously depending on what happens with this complaint. We'll continue the conversation. We appreciate you talking to us about it.
HONE: Thanks so much.
O'BRIEN: We have to take a break. But still ahead, a CNN exclusive, I sit down with three Olympic stars who are chasing the golden London this summer. That's Maya Moore, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony. You're watching STARTING POINT. We're back in just a moment.
O'BRIEN: Welcome back to STARTING POINT. The Olympic opening ceremonies will happen tomorrow in London. To celebrate Nike affiliate Jordan brand has launched a campaign, which is called rise above.
It is a series of videos, really nicely done. Look at the obstacles that other people had to overcome to rise above their circumstances. For example, here is one athlete.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're underdogs. You know, being an underdog, you always want to come out on top. You always want to prove to people that, you know, you're not handicapped. For somebody to respect me as a basketball player, it is like the greatest compliment I can get. When you're doing something that you love, it is something that is inside you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: Get a chance to check these out. They're really, really nicely done. Three of the most successful basketball players around are part of the campaign and I had a chance to sit down and talk to Carmelo Anthony, a forward for the New York Knicks. Chris Paul who is an L.A. Clippers point guard and Maya Moore, she is a forward for the Minnesota Linx.
O'BRIEN: What is it like to be back under a college coach? Is it any different in all?
CARMELO ANTHONY, NBA PLAYER, NEW YORK KNICKS: This is our third time around. Like Chris said, we have been together since 2006 when we lost in the world championship. He could have easily just gave it up there and said I don't want to deal with this no more.
He came back and he made it a point that we were going to come back and redeem ourselves in 2008. He had the best players in the world on that team as well and we all bought into what he wanted to do, which is win a gold medal.
We all checked our egos at the door and said that wasn't nobody big on this than the other person on this team. Once everybody checked their egos, the rest is history.
O'BRIEN: Do they really check their egos?
ANTHONY: Really, really.
CHRIS PAUL, NBA PLAYER, LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS: The reason we are all as good as we are just like Maya in the women's team is because they all do have an ego. You have to be confident, but not arrogant. That's what makes everybody the best at what they do. I am sure you're the same way.
O'BRIEN: Me? I don't know what you're talking about.
PAUL: You're the best at what you do.
O'BRIEN: I don't know what you're talking about and none of the people have comment that work with me. OK, so talking about arrogance, let's go right to Kobe Bryant's quote, "The 2012 team is younger and more athletic than the dream team."
ANTHONY: I am getting tired of hearing that. I mean, just the comparison is like we were never duplicate what the dream team did. What the dream team did in '92, we will never duplicate that.
Not even on the basketball club or what they was able to accomplish off the court and the court an d the way they changed the game, changed the way the world looked at us as basketball players. We can't do that no more. It's already -- that ground is already there.
O'BRIEN: Let's talk a little bit about what's been said about your game, Maya. Her steal is faster than the strike of a rattle snake.
ANTHONY: That's mean.
MAYA MOORE, WNBA PLAYER, MINNESOTA LYNX: Reaching for a ball, I think. Yes. That's what they tell me. That's fun. You know, just to be able to be appreciated.
O'BRIEN: Wearing him down with the modesty. Remember he was talking about the ego. Go back to that.
ANTHONY: If I want the ball, I'll take it.
MOORE: What can I say? I have never had to respond being compared to a rattle snake.
O'BRIEN: Do you feel pressure going to the Olympic games? Is it different than the pressure being in the NBA?
PAUL: The pressure is condensed in the Olympics. O'BRIEN: What do you mean?
ANTHONY: Meaning that in the NBA, you have 82 games. We play each other four times a year. Some teams two times a year. In the Olympics, it's one time. You know, we play a game.
Then you've got to prepare yourself for the next game, the next country. And that one game might be totally different than the game that you just played. So you have to be mentally prepared for being able to switch like that.
It's totally two different teams and two different situations. You have 24 hours, 48 hours to prepare for a different country. And you don't know what's being thrown at you.
PAUL: I did win a world championship, an NBA championship. And everybody -- like if I was to win one, L.A. would love it. California would love it. Now if we were to beat the Knicks in the championship, New York wouldn't be happy for me. You know? They would be mad, but when you win a --
O'BRIEN: Yes, we would.
PAUL: When you win a gold medal, everybody in the United States of America is cheering for one team, one team. They are not mad at anybody. That's what's crazy about this whole experience, that everybody really comes together.
O'BRIEN: It's so interesting to talk to them about what -- we chatted right before they were headed out to the Olympics about what they are going to expect.
And they are just so confident and ready to win. Maya Moore who is -- you know, plays in Minnesota Lynx was much more humble, if you will. They are like, no, no, Maya. Here's what you need to do.
They said her strategy should be, give me the ball and get out of the way. And all of them played basketball with my boys, who I brought on the shoot because it was on a weekend. And they were helping Charlie and Jackson who were there.
MARTIN: Keep in mind when it comes to Olympic basketball, the United States has dominated. I mean, flat out and so they walk in saying, it's gold medal and nothing else. Of course, that's just how we think.
O'BRIEN: A bronze is a loss.
GERAGOS: Do not say a bronze is a loss. It's an insult.
MARTIN: NBA players? Yes, they want to be able to come back home.
CAIN: You know, what's cool, at least for Carmelo and Chris Paul, guys that make in the $10 million to $20 million range a year, and they are going to play basketball for free for country and patriotism, risking injury, risking --
GERAGOS: Well, look what happened with Blake Griffin. He went and got injured while he was there.
MARTIN: And let's keep in mind they are playing for free. The U.S. Olympic Committee, they are getting paid by all the corporate sponsors. And Dwyane Wade and the other players say, look, you guys are getting this big cut. I'm just saying. So somebody is getting paid, but not the players.
O'BRIEN: I'm not worried about any of them. Not a single one, Roland.
MARTIN: You got skills, get paid for it, baby.
O'BRIEN: Tomorrow, we're going to have part two of my day with Carmelo and Chris and Maya. They're going to talk about how their childhoods helped them become the players that they are today. STARTING POINT is back in just a moment. Stay with us.
O'BRIEN: Still ahead this morning on STARTING POINT -- people -- Mitt Romney's U.K. visit off to a little bit of a rocky start. How a comment that people say is racially insensitive is diverting some of the attention off his agenda.
And she was not kidnapped. Katherine Jackson is alive and well. Speaking on camera for the first time since she lost custody of Michael Jackson's children. We're going to tell you what she had to say.
And lefty in the house. Golf hall of famer, Phil Mickelson, is going to join us live that's straight ahead. Stay with us.