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WEEKEND EARLY START

Romney Releases Tax Returns; Libyans Support for U.S.; Expectation of Privacy; Georgia Teen Starved by Parents; Examining Israel-U.S. Relationship; Eating These Foods May Lower Your Risk for Cancer

Aired September 22, 2012 - 06:00   ET

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


RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR: From CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, this is EARLY START WEEKEND.

New violence erupts in Libya, but the message isn't hatred toward America, it's love.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Also, the tape that launched a thousand blogs and may have derailed a campaign. All morning we're looking at Romney's comments on the 47 percent and the anatomy of the leak.

KAYE: You've heard chicken soup for a cold. What about blueberries to fight cancer? We'll show you what to eat to beat cancer and other illnesses.

It is Saturday, September 22nd. Good morning, everyone. Glad you're with us. I'm Randi Kaye.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell.

We're starting with politics and the big news from the campaign trail. A piece of paper -- well, it's more like a stack of paper. This stack right here. More than 300 pages. It's Mitt Romney's tax return. Just one year, though.

KAYE: Uh-huh.

BLACKWELL: Last year, 2011. Not the 10 years some have asked for.

KAYE: The Romney campaign may not have released those old tax forms, but they did try to clear up some of the questions. Our national political correspondent Jim Acosta explains.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Randi and Victor, Mitt Romney arrived here in Las Vegas knowing it's always a safe bet to do a document dump at the end of a week.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ACOSTA: Mitt Romney came to Las Vegas and rolled the dice, releasing new tax information in the hopes of putting a lingering campaign issue to rest. According to Romney's 2011 return released by the campaign, the GOP nominee paid nearly $2 million in taxes on almost $14 million in income, an effective rate of 14 percent. But Romney had to make some adjustments to get to that figure. According to that 2011 return, Romney donated $4 million to charity, but only claimed a deduction of $2.25 million. He reduced his induction and in essence paid more in taxes, the campaign said, to conform to his earlier estimate that he had paid a 13 percent rate in 2011. That's despite what he told ABC News earlier this summer on whether he'd ever paid anything less than 13 percent in taxes.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't pay more than are legally due. And, frankly, if I had paid more than are legally due, I don't think I'd be qualified to become president.

ACOSTA: The campaign also posted this letter from Romney's tax preparers stating the Republican candidate had indeed paid federal and state income taxes for more than 20 years. That appeared to be a direct response to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, that claimed, without any evidence, that Romney had paid no income taxes for a decade.

SEN. HARRY REID (D), MAJORITY LEADER: The word's out that he hasn't paid any taxes for 10 years. Let him prove that he has paid taxes, because he hasn't.

ACOSTA: Despite the flood of new information, Romney is still refusing to release more than two years of tax returns, standing by what he told CNN.

ROMNEY: Those are the two years that people are going to have. That's all that's necessary for people to understand something about my finances.

ACOSTA: The document dump comes after a week of attacks over the candidate's perceived gaffes. President Obama on that hidden video of Romney talking about the 47 percent of Americans who he said are dependent on the government.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't see a lot of victims in this crowd today.

ACOSTA: And Romney on the president's statement this week on changing Washington.

ROMNEY: He said you can't change Washington from the inside, you have to do it from the outside. We're going to give him that chance. He's going outside.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ACOSTA: Also released were letters from the physicians of both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan declaring both candidates in good health and ready for the rigors of the rest of this campaign.

Randy and Victor.

BLACKWELL: Jim Acosta, thank you.

And we'll have much more on Romney's taxes and on that controversial recording of a private fundraiser. That's later in the show.

Turning overseas now. The U.S. has temporary closed some diplomatic missions. Protesters continue to express their outrage over that anti- Islam video that mocks the Prophet Muhammad. This was the scene in Bangladesh. Protesters burned a box labeled "coffin of Obama." And you see here the American flag as well.

KAYE: And in Pakistan, some 15 people have been killed and more than 100 injured as banks, movie theaters and government offices were all scenes of fresh rounds of violence. Pakistan's prime minister seemingly giving his approval to the demonstrations, calling a, quote, "national holiday" to protest the film. The U.S. trying to soothe tensions there, running a PSA featuring President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with both disavowing the video.

But as people take to the streets in over 20 countries, not all of the protests have been violent or anti-American. In Libya, 10 days after a consulate attack that left four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens dead, hundreds of citizens showed their support for the U.S. by taking over the headquarters of a radical Islamist group tied to that attack. Senior international correspondent Arwa Damon has more now from Benghazi.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The revolution began in Benghazi and now it's starting once again in Benghazi to evict these extremist militias. What he was just telling us is that the people inside of (INAUDIBLE), they believe must have heard that the pro-democracy demonstrators were coming because by the time they arrived, they found no one. They were able to go in and take control.

We are seeing the people of Benghazi, the pro-democracy people of Benghazi literally reclaiming their city from the extremist militias.

DAMON (voice-over): There was an initial sense of euphoria. People saying that this is the real Libya, cleansed of extremists by its own people. But the situation quickly turned sinister.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've got five left in your (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bub, bub, bub, bub, bub, bub.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This looks (INAUDIBLE). I'd be careful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) the bottom of the road there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE). UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can -- we can (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What this (ph) over here on the left-hand side, mate.

DAMON (on camera): (INAUDIBLE). There's gunfire in southern (ph) location (ph). (INAUDIBLE).

Just on the other side of this wall is the second location that we are told is being struck tonight. But contrary to what we witnessed at the first place, here there seems to be something of a gun battle going on. We are hearing sporadic gunfire, as well as other small explosions.

DAMON (voice-over): The location, as it turned out, actually the headquarters of a battalion backed by the government. Government officials came out on TV trying to urge for calm and tell people that this is not an extremist rogue militia, but it seems few were listening.

DAMON (on camera): And this here is where the situation in Libya gets incredibly murky. The compound that we're hearing the gunfire surrounding is the Rafal Latazi (ph) battalion headquarters. They are a part of the February 17th brigade that has been endorsed by the government. What the people here are telling us is that following the fervor that existed after the demonstrators initially managed to gain control over the Unpledishadara (ph) headquarters, they're saying that people that are pro-Gadhafi loyalists moved the crowd and managed to somehow manipulate the situation and get them to come and move towards this battalion's headquarters.

Gunfire has progressively been getting closer and closer. It's still a very chaotic situation. Exactly who's shooting at whom is unclear at this point, but there seems to be absolutely no command and control of the situation whatsoever.

DAMON (voice-over): And no telling what morning will bring.

Arwa Damon, CNN, Benghazi, Libya.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KAYE: Our thanks to Arwa Damon. And the Libyan prime minister tells CNN that eight people have been detained in connection to that consulate attack, including members of that radical Islamist group.

Well, it is the tape that is changing the presidential campaigns. And like all of these kinds of tapes, it's sort of grainy.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

KAYE: Yes.

BLACKWELL: Foggy video. Not much there. Hard to see what's going on there. KAYE: But it still rocked the campaigns and led conservatives to call out Mitt Romney. So, how does a tape like this surface four months after it's made?

BLACKWELL: We will explore.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: While you were sleeping, Congress actually got something done. Just after midnight, the Senate approved a plan to fund the government. You see, the government was set to run out of money at the end of the month. Well, now the Senate has kicked that can down the road until March. The House had approved a similar measure a few weeks ago and now all members of Congress are off so they can go home to campaign.

KAYE: The big political news this week has centered around a controversial hidden videotape of Mitt Romney, which raises the question, is there an expectation of privacy for public figures like politicians? That is our focus this morning. So let's start with the Romney tape and the reaction. Here's our Brian Todd.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Randi, a grandson of former President Jimmy Carter was instrumental in getting this videotape out of obscurity and into a media frenzy. Carter's grandson didn't actually make the videotape. That was done four months ago, in a moment Mitt Romney likely wishes he had back.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FORMER GOV. MITT ROMNEY (R-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What has to happen in the country.

TODD (voice-over): It starts with a videotape of Mitt Romney speaking last May at a fundraiser attended by wealthy donors inside a private home in Florida. He's asked how he's going to convince voters that they need to take care of themselves instead of relying on the government. Unguarded, Romney tells the group nearly half the electorate will vote for President Obama no matter what.

ROMNEY: There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them, who believe that they're entitled to health care, to food, to housing.

TODD: The video, showing Romney seemingly callous and out of touch, has blown up after being posted online on Monday by "Mother Jones," a liberal magazine, along with an article by reporter David Corn. Romney quickly called a news conference defending the message, saying the election is a choice between big government and personal responsibility. He also said this.

ROMNEY: It's not elegantly stated, let me put it that way. I'm speaking off the cuff in response to a -- a question. And I'm sure I could state it more clearly and in a more effective way.

TODD: But how did a videotape made four months ago become something so potentially damaging to Romney's campaign now?

(on camera): Parts of the video were posted in drips and drabs at first, mainly as blurry video and audio files on YouTube. In mid August, the "Mother Jones" reporter, David Corn, was put in touch with the source. The person who Corn says videotaped Romney and posted it online. Corn won't reveal who that source is. Last week, Corn was able to verify that the videotape was legitimate and he posted it this week on "Mother Jones."

(voice-over): This account was given to us by David Corn himself, who couldn't speak on camera because he's a contributor to another network. The middle man who got Corn together with the source, James Carter IV, grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, seen here on Facebook with Corn. Corn says Carter had done research for him in the past. On his Twitter account, Carter describes himself as an opposition researcher, political junkie currently looking for work.

HOWARD KURTZ, HOST, CNN'S "RELIABLE SOURCES": He obviously has his own agenda and trying to damage the Romney campaign. And without James Carter IV, this clearly wouldn't have happened.

TODD: David Corn says the person who videotaped Romney told him they weren't affiliated with any campaign, didn't go in with the intent to infiltrate the Romney camp.

The fundraiser who hosted the event is Marc Leder, who the Sunlight Foundation says has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to candidates from both major parties.

BILL ALLISON, SUNLIGHT FOUNDATION: He's private equities with a company called Sun Capital. I think they manage about $8 billion worth of investments. So he comes from the same industry. Actually, that's how he got into private equity, from meeting Mitt Romney.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TODD: We've called and e-mailed Marc Leder repeatedly to ask who the person was who videotaped Romney at his home and to ask who else was there. Leder's representative would only issue us a statement acknowledging that he hosted a fundraiser for a friend in May. We've also tried repeatedly to get the Romney campaign to tell us who they think videotaped him that night. We've gotten no response -- Randi.

KAYE: All right, thank you.

And, next hour, more on gotcha politics. We'll ask to the director of a website that relies on revealing videos of political figures, both in a serious and in a humors say we'll ask if this kind of thing just goes too far.

BLACKWELL: All right, so we don't often hear about paparazzi following politicians.

KAYE: No.

BLACKWELL: They usually focus on celebrities like Kate Middleton. But she may be getting some revenge for those topless shots in European magazines.

And then there's Paris Hilton.

KAYE: Oh, yes. Well, we all know Paris Hilton loves to have her picture taken, right?

BLACKWELL: Loves it.

KAYE: She loves that video camera chasing after her. But now she says it has gone too far. Why? We will tell you and let you listen as well.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: Welcome back. Sixteen minutes past the hour.

This morning we are talking about paparazzi and politics. But celebs, well, they can't seem to have a moment to themselves as well, right?

BLACKWELL: Yes, let's talk Kate Middleton, because she may be getting some revenge for those topless shots of her sunbathing. You remember the one. She was on vacation with the prince and the pictures came out. Well, the French magazine "Closer" has been fined for publishing those photos. A court ordered the magazine to hand over the original photos to the royal family. You'll remember, they hired an attorney because they were going to fight this one.

KAYE: Yes.

BLACKWELL: Unlike the pictures from Prince Harry --

KAYE: Yes. Yes.

BLACKWELL: Which they just --

KAYE: But the crazy thing about those photos of Kate were -- was how far away that guy was. He was like a mile and a half away with that special lens or something like that.

BLACKWELL: Yes and -- I guess the lesson for her is, is there is no privacy, in that family especially.

KAYE: No. For -- no. Yes.

BLACKWELL: Well, the magazine's going to have to pay $2,600. Plus the newspaper could even be shut down.

KAYE: Yes, it's kind of an ugly mess it's turned into.

BLACKWELL: It is. And you know --

KAYE: All for the photo.

BLACKWELL: There are other magazines and publishers around the world that are saying, we're going to publish the pictures. If the royal family wants to come after us, let them do it.

KAYE: I'd be afraid of the royal family personally.

BLACKWELL: I would too.

KAYE: If the queen was coming after me --

BLACKWELL: Yes.

KAYE: I would say, OK, I give, I give.

BLACKWELL: The queen alone. Not the entire family or all the guards, just her walking into the room --

KAYE: Just the queen.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

KAYE: The queen and her little corgis.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

KAYE: I'd be done. OK, you win.

BLACKWELL: And the purse. Yes.

KAYE: But, listen, celebs like Paris Hilton also followed by paparazzi, just like the royals. Hilton usually, you know, as we said, she loves having her pictures taken.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

KAYE: But she's now under fire for some secret recordings of her in the back of a New York City taxi. Apparently a gay friend was in the cab with her and showing her an app called Grinder. And that's actually an app that helps gay men meet other gay men and they hook up through this app. So take a listen, though, to what Paris Hilton has to say.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

PARIS HILTON: Gay guys are the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) people in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) too much.

HILTON: They're disguising.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But listen --

HILTON: (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My (INAUDIBLE) from here.

HILTON: Dude, most of them probably have AIDS. I would be so scared if I was a gay guy.

(END AUDIO CLIP) KAYE: And since the story broke, Paris has issued an apology saying "I am so sorry and so upset that I caused pain to my gay friends, fans and their families. Gay people are the strongest and most inspiring people I know."

Now, I don't get it. I mean because that statement doesn't work with what she said in the cab.

BLACKWELL: At all.

KAYE: Right.

BLACKWELL: I mean, this is probably one of those cases where she said something and now, because everyone knows it, she really regrets having said it.

KAYE: Yes.

BLACKWELL: But those really aren't parallel, the apology and the statement.

KAYE: No. No.

BLACKWELL: She also went on to say that she was having a private conversation with a friend and she did not mean this toward the entire gay community.

KAYE: You know, but I think about -- certainly I've never said anything like that in the back of a cab, but I've been in the back of a lot of cabs.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

KAYE: You know, we travel a lot for work. We travel on vacation. Wherever it might be. I'm on the phone. You know, I'm trying not to be obnoxious. I don't like to use my phone a lot in a taxi. But who knows who this person is who's driving the cab or the car or whatever and you're recorded. I mean, it's -- it's kind of a lousy thing to do. I mean I disagree with what she said, I absolutely do.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

KAYE: But it's kind of a lousy thing to do for the driver.

BLACKWELL: Well, the taxi, the restaurant, everywhere we go, there's someone with a cell phone.

KAYE: Yes.

BLACKWELL: And any cell phone now has a camera.

KAYE: Yes.

BLACKWELL: And you can record. So that's what we're talking about this morning is, you know, is there any privacy?

KAYE: Yes. But, you know the crazy thing that really struck me most about this story is Paris Hilton takes a cab?

BLACKWELL: Yes. Like, I'd imagine she has a driver.

KAYE: Doesn't she have a car.

BLACKWELL: She does have, what, that pink Ferrari or something?

KAYE: I mean, what's up with that? I don't think she'll be taking cabs anymore, but, Paris, good luck to you on that one, trying to get through that one. Boy, oh, boy.

BLACKWELL: That's interesting. We all hear the words and then Randi says, Paris takes a cab?

KAYE: Yes. Well that, to me, was the most shocking thing.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Well, talk about shocking. A man jumps off the monorail at the Bronx Zoo and into the tiger pit.

KAYE: Wow. One of the tigers starts attacking him. But hear how emergency crews saved the man's life without hurting the tiger.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: The space shuttle Endeavour has landed for the last time, but not before a tour of southern California. It's a beautiful place to tour. We'll tell you where it's landed.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: Good morning, everyone. Welcome back.

It is the first day of fall and it really feels like it. I kind of love it.

BLACKWELL: This is my favorite season.

KAYE: Oh, yes. Mine too.

BLACKWELL: I love it.

KAYE: It's crisp.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

KAYE: It's really nice out there.

BLACKWELL: A great start to every morning. Now, here's a look at stories cross country on the first day of fall.

The space shuttle Endeavour finished its final flight yesterday after a tour of California. It landed at LAX. Now, NASA will take it off the Boeing jet that has carried it. It mid October it will be moved to a science museum in Los Angeles.

KAYE: And in Hershey, Pennsylvania, people will attend the annual Farm Aid Concert today. It's organized by Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews. They will also all perform. Farm Aid, as you know, raises awareness about the loss of family farms and raises money to support family agriculture.

BLACKWELL: Let's go to New York. And this story's pretty crazy. A man is in critical condition this morning after a tiger attacked him at the Bronx Zoo. The man, believed to be about 25, jumped out of a monorail and into the tiger pit yesterday. Emergency crews had to use a fire extinguisher to scare the tiger away.

KAYE: Wow.

BLACKWELL: The zoo director says the man was deliberately trying to endanger himself.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is the tiger going to be put down?

JIM BREHENY, DIRECTOR, BRONX ZOO: No, absolutely -- as I said, the tiger did nothing wrong in this -- did nothing wrong in this case at all. I really want to emphasize that, you know, this was a bad situation, but, you know, it was a really good day here at the Bronx Zoo because, you know, we have the cat, which is still alive, and we have this guy that we pulled out of this exhibit and he's still alive.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: That's pretty crazy to just jump in the tiger pen there.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Hopefully he recovers. But can you imagine this tiger's just in his pen and then someone falls from out of the sky.

KAYE: Yes. Yes.

BLACKWELL: Why would the guy would do that, hopefully we'll hear. But --

KAYE: Yes, all he's -- all that tiger saw was lunch probably that's for sure.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

KAYE: All right, this is no tiger, but it probably one of the fattest cats you've ever see.

BLACKWELL: Oh, boy.

KAYE: Oh, my goodness. And guess what, her name is Skinny. An animal shelter near Dallas is taking care of her after finding her on the street. I mean usually a street cat, I've adopted them, they're skinny. This is no -- this cat is not skinny. One employee says Skinny weighs 41 pounds. And just to put that in perspective. That's about as much as a four-year-old child. The shelter hopes someone will adopt her. Boy, you're going to have to feed her a lot, that's for sure. Look at how cute she is. BLACKWELL: Apparently Skinny knows a hookup somewhere in the streets where she can just get food unlimited at any time of the day.

KAYE: Oh, yes, Skinny ain't so skinny, but, boy, is she cute. Look at her. She need as home.

BLACKWELL: But does she -- but does she walk, though?

KAYE: She probably crawls.

BLACKWELL: Oh, just kind of goes -- yes, scoots across the floor.

KAYE: She kind of just slides. She glides and slides.

BLACKWELL: All right, Skinny. Good luck.

KAYE: Yes, but, you know, pet obesity is a serious issue, of course.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

KAYE: This next story is also very serious and, quite frankly, tragic on so many levels.

BLACKWELL: Yes, it's a story of child abuse that started in Paulding County, Georgia, and moved cross country. Well, Nick Valencia is here with us.

Nick, it's hard to believe that a couple could do this to their own child.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think everybody is a little shocked about this. The neighbors didn't even know this young 18-year- old, Mitchell Comer existed. The confinement was so thorough. Investigator arrested his parents last week after this 18-year-old Mitchell Comer was found wandering in a downtown Los Angeles bus stop more than 2,000 miles away from home. How did he get there? Well, he's telling investigators that his stepfather put him on a bus to Jackson, Mississippi, gave him $200 and a list of L.A. homeless shelters were the idea that he'd never come back.

KAYE: So what are these parents facing from the legal system?

VALENCIA: Well, they're facing seven counts of child abuse. Right now investigators are charging them -- they're interviewing the 12 -- the 13 year-old and 11-year-old siblings as well who said they didn't even know the color of their brother's hair, he hadn't seen them in two years. He hadn't been outside in two years. So the parents are being charged with child abuse. They're still investigating these other two siblings to see if there's any more charges to develop from that.

But, right now, Mitchell Comer and the two girls are being held by authorities. They're being placed with other families, other foster families, and hopefully will have a better future than they've had their past so far.

KAYE: Yes. BLACKWELL: Yes, still a lot more to learn about that with Nick. Thank you.

VALENCIA: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right. A groundbreaking announcement from the largest cancer center in the world. How researchers hope to radically reduce the death rate from several common cancers.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: Good morning, Atlanta. What a great shot of the city downtown there. Nice start to the first day of fall, which officially begins this morning at 10:49 Eastern time. Mark your calendar.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: It is 32 minutes past the hour. Welcome back. I'm Randi Kaye.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Thank you for starting your day with us.

KAYE: Checking in on some news overseas right now, a suspected U.S. drone attack in Pakistan killed at least three militants early this morning. The strike was reported to CNN by a local government official.

The drone fired two missiles at a vehicle being used by local Taliban leaders in north Waziristan.

And in Benghazi, Libya, hundreds of protesters angered over the death of the American ambassador stormed the compound. The group that is believed to be responsible for the attacks, the protesters ran the militia members out of the building and set it on fire.

But that support not seen stateside. From Texas congressman Louie Gohmert yesterday, the Republican representative expressed anger over what he sees as the president's role in the Middle East turmoil.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R), TEXAS: Thank you, President Barack Hussein Obama. This will be quite a legacy for you. And I'm not one of those who says he's not a Christian. All I know is that's between him and God, but what I do know is he has helped jumpstart a new Ottoman Empire and left our friend and ally Israel so vulnerable in this sea of radicalism that he has helped bring to the surface.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

BLACKWELL: From the well of the U.S. House of Representatives to the campaign trail, we've been hearing a lot about the relationship between the U.S. and Israel. So we wanted to take a closer look at where that relationship stands and what the presidential candidates are saying about it.

Our Wolf Blitzer goes in depth.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST (voice-over): In addresses that largely focused on domestic concerns, one country in particular was singled out by both candidates in their convention speeches.

FORMER GOV. MITT ROMNEY, R-MASS., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: President Obama has thrown allies like Israel under the bus.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our commitment to Israel's security must not waiver.

BLITZER (voice-over): President Obama came to office determined to make Middle East peace a central tenet of his foreign policy, even if it meant exerting what some of his advisers described as tough love on Israel. He took a harder line on Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory.

OBAMA: In my conversations with Prime Minister Netanyahu, I was very clear about the need to stop settlements, to make sure that we are stopping the building of outposts.

BLITZER (voice-over): That angered many Israelis, especially Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And early trips to Turkey and Egypt with high profile addresses to the Arab and Muslim world without a stop in Israel further exacerbated that relationship.

The push for Middle East peace has been stuck ever since, and that rocky personal relationship with Netanyahu was further underlined during a tense Oval Office meeting in May 2011, when the prime minister seemed to be lecturing the president.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL: Israel is prepared to make generous compromises for peace. It cannot go back to the 1967 lines, because these lines are indefensible.

BLITZER (voice-over): Still at least in public they seem to have moved on.

OBAMA: As I've said to the prime minister in every single one of our meetings, the United States will always have Israel's back when it comes to Israel's security.

BLITZER (voice-over): n some of the most sensitive issues, Obama and Romney seem to agree, at least when it comes to the big picture.

Jerusalem is Israel's capital.

A final peace agreement should include what's called a two-state solution, Israel living alongside Palestine.

And Iran must be stopped from building a nuclear bomb.

But there are differences when it comes to specific details on how to achieve those goals.

Romney charges that President Obama hasn't been a strong enough ally to Israel in opposing Iran's nuclear ambitions.

ROMNEY: Israel doesn't need public lectures about how to weigh decisions of war and peace. It needs our support.

If I'm president of the United States, my first trip, my foreign trip will be to Israel to show the world we care about that country.

BLITZER (voice-over): And he underscored that during his July visit to Jerusalem.

ROMNEY: Well, the Palestinians are going to say, "We're not an independent nation if Israel -- "

BLITZER (voice-over): In a recently revealed tape from a closed fundraiser back in May, Romney said Israel didn't have a strong Palestinian partner.

ROMNEY: And I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say, there's just no way.

BLITZER (voice-over): But Romney declared his support for a two-state solution during an interview that I did with him during his recent trip to Israel.

ROMNEY: A decision as to where the borders would be as we move to a two-state solution, which I support, that's a decision on borders that will be worked out by the Israelis and the Palestinians.

BLITZER (voice-over): Romney says Obama has rebuffed Israel's security concerns; however, the Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, told me in July the relationship with the United States is solid.

EHUD BARAK, ISRAELI DEFENSE MINISTER: I should tell you honestly that this administration under President Obama is doing in regard to our security more than anything that I can remember in the past.

BLITZER (voice-over): Wolf Blitzer, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: And we will be taking a closer look at other campaign issues throughout the morning.

Coming up in our 8 o'clock hour, we'll see where they stand on terrorism and the global fight.

KAYE: Super foods said to help reduce your risk of cancer: are they all they're cracked up to be? Really? We'll separate fact from fiction. I got so excited about all the super foods, I couldn't even talk. There's Mark McDonald. He's going to explain it all for us. Be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: Welcome back. Big news this weekend related to cancer. MD Anderson Cancer Center has announced an aggressive program to eliminate certain cancers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. RONALD DEPINHO, MD ANDERSON CANCER CENTER: We're in a position to make dramatic impact on cancer mortality in this decade.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You're saying if we do everything right, in five years from now, there will be far fewer people dying from cancer, right?

DEPINHO: Correct. I think that with the existing knowledge, and the application of what we now know, we can begin to see dramatic declines in mortality that would accelerate in years five through 10, and beyond set the stage for ultimate control of the disease.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KAYE (voice-over): The goal of the so-called Moon Shots program is to speed up and reduce the number of cancer-related deaths while promoting conversations around new discoveries and clinical studies. Scientists are focusing on a handful of cancers. Those include melanoma, lung, prostate, breast, ovarian and leukemia.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: And here's more good news. There are some things you can do at home to lower the risk of cancer like making the right food choices.

KAYE: Fitness and nutritious expert and the author of the great book, "Body Confidence," Mark McDonald's here to tell us a little bit about this.

Good morning

MARK MCDONALD, FITNESS EXPERT AND AUTHOR: Good morning.

KAYE: So you have some good news here. We have a whole bunch of really healthy stuff. But let's -- we're going to talk about some of the facts and the myths. Let's start with soy. Because you and I have talked a lot about soy, whether we should be eating it or not eating it.

Fact or fiction, soy is a good source of plant-based protein and has no effect on cancer?

MCDONALD: So it's both fact and fiction.

(CROSSTALK) KAYE: (Inaudible), OK.

MCDONALD: So it's a really good source of plant-based protein. So that's a positive thing. The negative thing is that soy actually increases your estrogen level. So when you talk about breast and ovarian cancer, that increases estrogen; that's not great for that cancer.

So a better choice would be whey protein or hemp protein if you're a vegan so that you're not having that estrogen effect. But soy in moderation would be fine from a protein (inaudible).

(CROSSTALK)

KAYE: Like a few times a week maybe.

MCDONALD: Yes. With the cancer , though, you probably want to avoid soy completely.

KAYE: Completely. OK.

All right, we got that sort of sorted out.

MCDONALD: Yes. Well, it's a good protein, just not great from the cancer side.

KAYE: I hear you. I got it.

BLACKWELL: Fact and fiction. All right. So we've got fruits and vegetables here. Let's go starting here with the blueberries. Fact or fiction, blueberries really don't help much; they're just full of sugar.

MCDONALD: Total fiction.

BLACKWELL: OK.

MCDONALD: So your body needs sugar to create -- yes, exactly, right, Randi?

KAYE: Yes. (Inaudible).

MCDONALD: Your body needs sugar to create energy. When you look at a blueberry, it is the low-calorie, it's full of fiber --

BLACKWELL: I knew you could (inaudible) blueberries sit there, I knew. I knew.

KAYE: (Inaudible) --

MCDONALD: And it's natural sugar. That's fantastic. And it provides anti-oxidants. One of the biggest things with cancer is free radicals. They're little molecules in your body that are a natural part of metabolism. But when left unchecked they cause havoc to your cells.

The way you counter free radicals is fruits and veggies. Blueberries provide powerful anti-oxidants that destroy those cells.

(CROSSTALK)

BLACKWELL: Have one.

KAYE: Get (inaudible).

(CROSSTALK)

MCDONALD: (Inaudible) neutralize the free radicals.

BLACKWELL: Does one help?

MCDONALD: Yes.

BLACKWELL: Am I doing anything with one?

MCDONALD: Everything helps.

BLACKWELL: OK. (Inaudible).

MCDONALD: And the average person takes less than two servings of fruits and veggies a day. You need up to 12.

KAYE: That's crazy, right? Right.

MCDONALD: Yes, so you have to make sure you get these --

(CROSSTALK)

MCDONALD: -- focus on colors.

BLACKWELL: I could eat all of this and still not meet the requirement for the day?

MCDONALD: If you eat all of that, you'd be OK, because when you look at serving size, this is about the 12 servings.

BLACKWELL: OK.

KAYE: All right. So let's talk about red wine.

MCDONALD: Yes, ah.

KAYE: Fact or fiction, red wine doesn't have any benefits. This can't be true.

MCDONALD: That's a fiction!

KAYE: All right.

(LAUGHTER)

KAYE: Good thing.

MCDONALD: So obviously alcohol -- I don't want anyone emailing -- BLACKWELL: Yes.

MCDONALD: All right. So alcohol in moderation -- but red wine does provide antioxidants that helps counter free radicals and research has shown it helps lower stress levels at the end of a day. Now ideally you're better to get your antioxidants from here and you're better to lower your stress just from managing your stress levels better with some good exercise and lifestyle.

KAYE: OK.

MCDONALD: But in moderation, fine.

KAYE: Like one cup a day or one glass a day?

MCDONALD: Maybe one glass three times a week.

KAYE: I thought you were going to say three times a day.

(LAUGHTER)

BLACKWELL: I was going to say, we'll make that work.

MCDONALD: One glass is six ounces, not one of those big (inaudible).

(CROSSTALK)

KAYE: (Inaudible) it's all about the portion, too.

(CROSSTALK)

BLACKWELL: I can't walk around with the hurricane glass and just (inaudible) all day?

MCDONALD: I wrote about that in "Body Confidence." (Inaudible).

(CROSSTALK)

BLACKWELL: (Inaudible) went to a friend's house and she had this big glass.

MCDONALD: (Inaudible) was doing 24 ounces and thought that was a glass.

BLACKWELL: I read the book. So you mentioned exercise, because all of this is great, but exercise helps.

MCDONALD: Yes. Huge. So when you look at exercise, it causes a hormone, endorphins, to release, which are your feel-good hormones. It helps your circulation. It helps your stress management. So just getting active helps make your body work better for you.

And that's really when we look at preventing cancer. And just living a higher quality of life. So maybe about three to four days a week, up to five days, at least 30 minutes of any type of activity. Once you get there you, you can increase it up to 60 minutes. KAYE: And it's so good for the brain, too, right?

MCDONALD: Oh, it's huge. And just, you know, when you're stressed, things feel just better when you exercise compared to when you don't exercise.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

MCDONALD: It just makes you feel better. It's so good for your body.

KAYE: So bottom line, lots of greens, lots of veggies, lots of colors, which is what we have here.

MCDONALD: Yes. And -- so nutrition, stabilize your blood sugar, eat a balance of protein-fat-carbohydrates, that's why you have yogurt, nuts, some good oatmeal, drink your water, manage your stress, manage your sleep. And just make it a lifestyle. And that's how we're going to be cancer.

KAYE: What is it about the yogurt?

MCDONALD: So yogurt's just a good balance. So like when you look at Greek yogurt, a lot of yogurt has a lot of carbs and not a lot of protein. Greek yogurt has more protein, so there's an equal balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates in Greek yogurt. It's fantastic.

KAYE: All right.

You taking notes?

BLACKWELL: Yes, because I'm glad you have the ones with the fruit in it, because I just can't do the plain.

MCDONALD: Yes --

BLACKWELL: I can't.

MCDONALD: -- the plain is a little healthier --

BLACKWELL: I can't.

MCDONALD: -- but once again we got to do what's realistic. So then we have a solution for you.

BLACKWELL: So then we add the blueberries.

MCDONALD: Exactly.

KAYE: But these are my blueberries.

BLACKWELL: All right. OK.

MCDONALD: And some nuts.

(LAUGHTER)

BLACKWELL: A little territorial over the blueberries?

KAYE: No, but I mean, you can mix in, you know, not into the yogurt, but there's broccoli. There's all kinds of things. Green tea even is also really good for helping to fight cancer.

MCDONALD: Huge. We were going to talk about green tea. So when you start looking at it, food tastes good. You've just got to get creative, get educated and really enjoy it and understand how you can make it a permanent part of your world and lifestyle. And together, you know, we're going to change the world. We're going to really teach people how to live the life that they want.

KAYE: Yes.

BLACKWELL: Lots of great information, Mark. Thank you. We've got wine three times a week, blueberries every day.

(LAUGHTER)

BLACKWELL: All right.

So how do you turn serious topics like jobless numbers and negative campaign ads into gut-busting jokes? This political season, it may be easier than you think. We'll show you how the pros do it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: Modeling giant Ralph Lauren making history, hiring its first plus-size model. Pictures and details in just one minute.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: Welcome back. We're talking a little bit this morning about Ralph Lauren. The company's making news for hiring their first plus- size model. This is a really, really big deal.

BLACKWELL: I'm surprised that it's taken this long.

KAYE: Yes, I agree. And she is stunning. There she is right there, Australian Robyn Lawley. She's a size 12, she's over 6 feet tall. She won't say how much she weighs, actually, because she says it doesn't matter. It's just her size. As I said, I mean, just really beautiful. She says she tried to stay slim but it never worked.

And she told our Alina Cho about the kind of reaction that she's been getting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBYN LAWLEY, MODEL: You know, I get a lot of girls from all over the world, saying -- you know, whole communities were ostracizing me because of my size. And seeing a girl just be happy and content with her size is such a groundbreaking thing for them to think, because you know, the media, it can be really targeting, targeting especially women and their size.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Now I don't know a lot about women's fashion or the clothing but she's plus size?

KAYE: I know, right?

BLACKWELL: I -- when I envisioned plus size, this is not the woman that pops up in my head first. But according to the "L.A. Times," the average woman in America weighs 162.9 pounds, to be exact, and she wears a size 14. So if the average is a 14 --

(CROSSTALK)

KAYE: And she's a 12.

BLACKWELL: (Inaudible) a 12 -- plus?

KAYE: I don't know.

BLACKWELL: She's the average size?

KAYE: Yes, I mean, and there are pictures of her that we've seen in bikini and in lingerie and, I'll tell you, she looks fantastic.

BLACKWELL: Yes, she looks great.

KAYE: But she certainly says she hopes the other big designers will use the plus-size women in advertising as well. And she actually gave up modeling once. She didn't want to be, you know, on such a strict diet; she didn't like how she felt. And she moved to France and then here she is now, a huge success.

BLACKWELL: Yes, it's terrible that the idea is so far from what people typically wear. I mean, I've heard there's a double zero. What's a double zero? Isn't one zero enough?

KAYE: Yes, I don't know. But it's nice to see. I think this is a really big statement by Ralph Lauren and hopefully it will continue.

BLACKWELL: I'm happy for her.

KAYE: Yes, we had on the show not too long ago a couple of young women who had actually petitioned some of the big name magazines because they didn't want to see the really skinny models because it just isn't healthy.

BLACKWELL: (Inaudible) not (inaudible) airbrushing, too.

KAYE: Yes, exactly. So -- and they're making some headway as well. So that's nice to see.

Alina Cho, by the way, she'll have the full interview coming up next week as well. BLACKWELL: All right. Next hour, we're inviting you to belly up to the bar. Yes, it's early, but come on, we're going to go. That's what we did with Mike Rowe, but trust us, this was not one of his regular dirty jobs.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: You want to read or you want me to read?

BLACKWELL: No, you're going to go first.

KAYE: OK. I'm going to go first.

Unemployment, negative campaign ads and income taxes aren't usually very funny.

BLACKWELL: We talked about this.

(CROSSTALK)

KAYE: Yes, we talked about it and you (inaudible).

BLACKWELL: Oh, was I really? I thought I was picking it up (inaudible).

But so far those are the topics that all late-night comedians are poking fun at this year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY LENO, NBC HOST: The new fall TV season has started and Mitt Romney has a new hidden camera show, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you have this 47 percent that don't pay taxes and these people are never going to vote for me. And real quick, no one is recording this, correct?

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, OK. It's very important that no one records this. OK, good. Because I'm about to say who these people are and I would prefer to not have that on tape. Now, when I say "these people," I mean black people.

LENO: All the political pundits are taking Romney to task for, you know, saying that his gaffe was not presidential. Vice presidential, sure. That's Joe Biden territory.

JIMMY FALLON, NBC HOST: I heard Romney has also agreed to appear on "The View." His advisers think it's a good idea because since it's the one place where it's impossible for him to say anything.

(LAUGHTER)

FALLON: I was just going to -- but if I could just -- you know, Ann would -- ah, forget it. LENO: Well, according to the Labor Department, unemployment fell from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent last month. But that was because only -- that's because about 368,000 Americans gave up looking for work.

(LAUGHTER)

LENO: Today President Obama said that's a step in the right direction and he is encouraging more Americans to give up looking for work so the numbers will come down a little bit.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm Barack Obama and I approve this message, but I'm not real proud of it.

"DAN WHITEHEAD": I don't think Mitt Romney understands what he's done to people's lives by closing this plant. I don't think he even cares.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mitt Romney and Bain Capital made millions for themselves and then closed this steel plant.

"WHITEHEAD": Not long after I lost my job, my wife went in for major heart surgery. And Mitt Romney stopped by the hospital room to tell us we no longer had health insurance. As he was talking, we could see he had a really bad cold. He was coughing and sneezing and everything. I said to him, "My wife is sick, would you mind covering your mouth, if you're going to be doing that?"

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mitt Romney didn't even have the decency to cover his mouth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does he even think about other people? That's just so inconsiderate.

ANNOUNCER: Obama for America is responsible for the content of this advertisement.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KAYE: How hilarious was that, right? No matter what your politics, it's just good fun.

BLACKWELL: Yes, that was well-written. All right.

KAYE: It certainly is.

Well, thanks so much for starting your morning with us. We've got much more ahead on CNN SATURDAY MORNING, which starts right now.