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Countdown To The Presidential Debate; Schwarzenegger Back With New Memoir; Suicide Attack In Afghanistan; Final Day Of U.N. General Assembly; Clinton Talks "Alternative Strategy" For Syria; Doctors Grow New Ear on Patient's Arm

Aired October 1, 2012 - 06:00   ET


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: A mad dash for the end of the race. President Barack Obama, Governor Mitt Romney get ready to square off at this week's debate.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Plus a couple of big surprises from Arnold Schwarzenegger. He talks candidly about his love child and the gay marriages he performed while governor of California.

SAMBOLIN: And so much more. And an epic fail by the United States. After being up by a significant lead, the guys in the Ryder Cup lose big time, a re-enactment by John Berman coming up.

BERMAN: This is what I was doing yesterday.

SAMBOLIN: For shame.

BERMAN: It was awful, awful.

SAMBOLIN: All right, good morning, everyone. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Zoraida Sambolin in New York.

BERMAN: And I'm John Berman. Sad about the Ryder Cup, but happy to be in Washington this morning. It is 6:00 a.m. in the East.

Up first this morning, we are counting down to the showdown in Denver. President Obama and Mitt Romney preparing to square off Wednesday night in the first of three critical presidential debates.

Both sides are falling all over each other to praise the other candidate to lower expectations for their own candidate, except for one guy, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who's setting the bar very high for his own guy, the Republican nominee.


GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: He's going to come in Wednesday night, have his vision for America. He's going to contrast what his view with what the President's record is, the President's view for the future. And this whole race is going to be turned upside down come Thursday morning.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BERMAN: The whole race turned upside down, setting the bar very high. CNN political reporter, Peter Hamby, joins me live now from Washington. Exactly what was Chris Christie doing there? It doesn't seem to be part of the Romney campaign playbook.

PETER HAMBY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: No, I mean, what Chris Christie is doing was being Chris Christie, which is that, you know, even though the Romney campaign sort of approves when their surrogates go on campaign trails, he'll just go off the rails and say whatever he wants.

But, yes, you're right. The expectations game for the Romney campaign has been to lower them as low as humanly possible. You know, the Romney campaign said flatly last week that the debates won't matter, which is sort of a ridiculous assertion.

But, you know, equally funny is last night in Nevada, President Obama at a rally told a crowd that he was a, quote, "just OK debater," which is kind of amusing, because if you're President of the United States of America, chances are you're probably OK as a debater -- John.

BERMAN: What are these campaigns trying to do, Peter, with just a few days to go before the debates?

HAMBY: Well, you know, the President's in Nevada doing some debate prep with John Kerry, the Massachusetts senator, who's playing Mitt Romney in debate sessions. Romney has been in Massachusetts, with Ohio Senator Rob Portman, the Obama stand-in, in his debate prep.

He's going out to Denver later today. He's got a rally, but he'll also do some prep. Look, the mission for Obama is to come across, you know, shows some kind of empathy. You know, he's always been criticized for being a little cold and aloof. So his campaign is working on that.

For Romney, you know, he's got to fundamentally change the way this race is right now. He's got -- he's trailing by about five points in both states, and nationally. One thing that's interesting, "New York Times" did a piece this weekend looking at the debate strategy and there's a line that jumped out to me.

It said this, Mr. Romney's team has concluded that debates are about creating moments, and has equipped him with a series of zingers that he has memorized and has been practicing on aides since August.

Those of us, you and you, John, in particular, who've been watching Mitt Romney for five or six years now, are really psyched to see what kind of zinger one-liners that the former Massachusetts governor comes up with on Wednesday.

BERMAN: We will wait on those zingers. And by the way, the Democrats jumping all over that line, saying this campaign debate shouldn't be about zingers but about serious issues.

All right, Peter Hamby live from Washington this morning. Thanks for being with us. HAMBY: Thanks.

BERMAN: -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: It is 3 minutes past the hour. Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is opening up about his double life, the deception of having a son with his housekeeper and keeping it a secret from his now-ex-wife Maria Shriver.

He not only has a new memoir out he also talked about the scandal on "60 Minutes."


ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, FORMER CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR/AUTHOR: I think it was the stupidest thing I've done in the whole relationship, was terrible, I inflicted tremendous pain on Maria, and unbelievable pain on the kids.


SAMBOLIN: Since the scandal, Schwarzenegger has signed on to star in five movies.

And there is no sign this morning of two missing Tennessee children, a 9-year-old girl and her 7-year-old brother. Their grandparents were killed in a house fire last week, and at first it was believed the children were also killed. But their bodies were not found in the rubble. A statewide amber alert has now been issued for them.

BERMAN: At least 11 people killed overnight in a suicide bombing in Eastern Afghanistan. The Taliban is claiming responsibility. NATO officials say the bomber targeted a patrol in Khost City. The attack comes a day after two Americans died including the 2,000th U.S. military member to be killed during the war in Afghanistan.

SAMBOLIN: And the Supreme Court opens its new term this morning at 10:00 Eastern. Some key issues the court may handle include affirmative action, same-sex marriage and voting rights. Yesterday six of the nine justices attended the red mass at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle, that's in Washington. It's held every year just before the start of the court's new session.

BERMAN: And we are waiting for an announcement today for the latest in the search for Jimmy Hoffa's remains. Investigators are waiting for tests on mud and clay samples from a home in suburban Detroit. They searched under a shed there Friday.

A tipster claims he saw what appeared to be a body being buried there in the site the day after the former teamster chief disappeared in 1975. So, far, though, Zoraida, as we've talked about, they've found nothing in this search in that driveway.

SAMBOLIN: All right, and an epic collapse by the U.S. at the 39th Ryder Cup. The Europeans roaring back from a 10-4 deficit late Saturday to take a breathtaking 14.5 to 13.5 point win. Germany's Martin Kaymer sinking a heart-pounding five foot putt on the final hole to seal that victory. It is Europe's seventh in the last nine Ryder Cups.

BERMAN: Yes, tied the biggest comeback in Ryder history.

SAMBOLIN: Look at that guy dancing.

BERMAN: And awful jackets but they still won. So you can't criticize them for their fashion.

All right, Sunday night football, Super Bowl champion New York Giants lost to the Philadelphia Eagles, 19-17 in a clash of NFC East powers. The Giants attempted a 54-yard field goal in the closing seconds to win the game, but Lawrence Hines came up short.

Now the Atlanta Falcons are still undefeated. They are 4-0. Matt Bryant's 40-yard field goal with 5 seconds left gave Atlanta a dramatic 30-28 comeback win over Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers.

You know, Matt Ryan threw a big pass out of his end zone with time running out there. And the real refs, they almost duplicated what the replacement refs did a week earlier. They nearly robbed the Green Bay Packers of a win.

After Green Bay had taken a 28-27 fourth quarter lead against New Orleans, the Saints clearly fumbled the kickoff, clearly a fumble there. But the refs missed the call and Green Bay had no challenges left.

So the play stood. Now, the Saints went on to miss the potential game-winning field goal. So thankfully, the Packers, they survived and won.

SAMBOLIN: You see the refs there rumbling with the players there. So they survived. Carmageddon two is over. Was it a success? That's coming up next.


SAMBOLIN: Welcome back to EARLY START. It's 11 minutes past the hour. In just a few hours, Syria's foreign minister will have his say at the United Nations. He will address delegates on the final day of the general assembly.

The crisis in Syria has been front and center for world leaders throughout the session, both on the stage and on the sidelines. CNN foreign affairs reporter Elise Labott joins us now. Elise, what are we expecting from that speech?

ELISE LABOTT, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS REPORTER: Well, I think he's, Zoraida, going to make a vigorous defense of the regime's activities. You've seen him this week at the United Nations meet with other kind of rogue states, Belarus, the Sudanese government, and he's saying, listen, we're in a fight against terrorists right now.

He's lumping all the opposition, even the peaceful protesters, in with these rebels, and insurgents that have been, you know, bombing a lot of regime facilities and he's going to say, listen, we need to crack down on terrorism, and you need to crack down on states like Qatar, like Saudi Arabia, who are funding these guys.

SAMBOLIN: And meantime, we keep on seeing all of the atrocities coming out of there. Secretary Hillary Clinton is hosting a "Friends of Syria" meeting, attended by about 20 of the world's foreign ministers last week and she talked about a possible alternative strategy. Let's listen to it.


HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: But it's no secret that our attempts to move forward at the U.S. Security Council have been blocked repeatedly. On Tuesday, I met with Joint Special Representative Brahimi to discuss alternative strategies, but the United States is not waiting.


SAMBOLIN: So this is in lieu of a resolution from the Security Council. Do we have any details on what those strategies are?

LABOTT: Well, it's kind of a lot more about what they've already been doing. What they're trying to do is plan for the day after Assad, because no appetite for military action right now.

So they're trying to unite the opposition, it's very fragmented and splintered, all these different groups, some armed. Some not armed, some political. Trying to get them together, helping them train for the day after and providing services and getting their politics together.

SAMBOLIN: The day after Assad. All right, Secretary Clinton has also pledged $30 million in aid to Syrians affected by all of the violence. How does that money go? Where does it go?

LABOTT: Well, it's going to humanitarian aid groups on the ground. Because Syrian regime isn't letting, you know, the United Nations, per se, get in. What she also did was announce $15 million for the opposition nonlethal aid. Not arms or anything like that. But aid in what they're calling liberated areas.

These are areas that the regime kind of gave up or seated and we're not going to focus on these areas. And it's trying to train these people, train journalists, train politicians, and train them how to provide services.

Right now, a lot of these areas aren't getting electricity. They aren't getting sanitation. How do you help the civil service help deliver services to the country so everything's not falling apart, and then waiting for that day after that we've been talking about?

But as you see, it's continuing to spiral, many deaths, and while they're planning for the day after, people are dying right now. SAMBOLIN: When is the day after? When is the day after? All right, Elise Labott, thank you so much for that. We appreciate it. John, back to you.

BERMAN: All right, 14 minutes after the hour right now. Lots of news this morning. Let's get the headlines with Christine Romans.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John. With two days to go before the first of three critical debates, President Obama is hunkering down in Nevada, getting prepped with Massachusetts Senator John Kerry.

He's scheduled to fly in to play the part of Mitt Romney in practice sessions. The President is trying to lower expectations at a rally in Las Vegas yesterday.




ROMANS: Mitt Romney is already in Denver. "The New York Times" reports he'll be armed with several zingers he's been rehearsing when he takes the stage Wednesday night. You can watch the debate live, of course, on CNN.

Police in Michigan suspect a woman who collected welfare benefits after winning the state lottery may have died from a drug overdose. Amanda Clayton was found in her suburban Detroit home over the weekend. She was sentenced to probation this summer after admitting she continued to collect food stamps even after she won $1 million.

Negotiations between BP and the U.S. government have stalled now. The two sides are trying to hammer out a settlement for the 2010 Gulf oil spill. A British newspaper reports the U.S. is seeking at least $18 billion, $3 billion more than BP is reportedly willing to pay.

And the busy 405 Freeway is open this morning as Los Angeles survives Carmageddon 2. That was the nickname given to an intense repair project this weekend that shut down a 10-mile stretch of Interstate 405. L.A. drivers were asked to plan accordingly and weekend traffic was reported to be light.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

SAMBOLIN: We have breaking news right now. In Alabama, tornado warning issued for part of that state.

Let's get right to Rob Marciano. What can you tell us, Rob?

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Just issued from the national weather service. A tornado warning for Coffee County, this is in southeast Alabama, near Elba moving to the northeast at about 20 miles an hour. No reports on the ground but certainly a dangerous situation. We will see more of these likely as we go through the day today.

Lots of moisture coming in from the Gulf of Mexico and a fairly dynamic system for this time of year that's going to be rolling across the Southeast. The rain shield itself is stretching across the Tennessee Valley into the Piedmont and across the southern Appalachians. Some of this has been and will continue to be fairly beneficial rain. So we'll take it.

Texas in some cases across west Texas, they saw more rain the last three days than they did all of last year. So you'll want to talk about finally finishing off that drought. They're making good inroads there.

So here's your severe weather threat, includes Alabama where the tornado warning is out, the Pensacola area and the panhandle of Florida. It does stretch up into Chattanooga and Atlanta throughout the afternoon today, as this storm makes its way up across the Appalachians. Just north of D.C. for the most part will be rain free but the rains will stretch towards you tomorrow, and then behind this system is some cooler air.

I think the main weather headline here going forward is it is October 1st, and it will certainly start to feel like fall across a good chunk of the U.S. here over the next two weeks. Temperatures expected to be below average.

So, enjoy your 69 degrees in Chicago, 72 degrees dry day in New York. Again, all that stuff in the Southeast will be rolling up towards the Northeast. Meanwhile, kind of toasty out in So Cal, 98 degrees. That's where the heat is going.

Zoraida, back up to you.

SAMBOLIN: Go West, folks, go West.

MARCIANO: Exactly.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you, Rob.

MARCIANO: You got it.

BERMAN: All right. It is 17 minutes after the hour right now. Coming up, China's manufacturing industry is slumping. That's right. We said it.

Our own Christine Romans has the details, coming up next.


SAMBOLIN: It is 21 minutes past the hour. We are minding your business this morning.

U.S. stock futures are up. Today marks the start of the new quarter.

Christine has a look at the winners and the losers in the last three months, and what we're expecting for the rest of the year in the market.

ROMANS: I sure hope that individual investors were a part of this rally. I mean, I know for some months now, individual retail investors like you and me have been pulling their money out of stocks because they're so nervous about the economy. But stocks have been going up and it was a really good quarter.

For the Dow up about 4 percent in the quarter. For the S&P up almost 5 percent. For the NASDAQ up almost 5 percent.

When you look at those over the course of the year --

SAMBOLIN: Look at this.

ROMANS: Stock investors have been credited here with a pretty good performance.

I want to look at some of the widely held stocks. Stocks that are in a lot of mutual funds, in case you're in mutual funds. Apple is up more than 11 percent. ExxonMobil, that's a big oil company, up 6 percent. G.E. up 11. You can read them all for yourself. Microsoft down a little bit.

But that's how some of those -- the big widely held stocks performed in the quarter. By the way, Apple is up 62 percent year-to-date.

What's doing all of this is the Fed pushing money into the system. It's been very good for stock investors. It's been very good if you own a home, because mortgage rates just keep going down, down, down.

It's not very good if you're a saver. And this is what I hear a lot from people. Wait I'm getting close to retirement, I'm putting my money into super low risk investments and this is what you're getting -- nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing on those interest rates for those.

So that's what we're watching in terms of how your money fares for you in the third quarter. And what happens going forward. We'll have to wait and see.

But stocks so far have defied, you know, defied gravity. So a lot of things around the world we're watching cause for concern.

SAMBOLIN: Well, you've got some concerns about China.

ROMANS: China, the manufacturing data out of China showing that that economy is slowing. The manufacturing growth is slowing.

China's not slowing. Let me be clear. China is still growing, just not as quickly as it has been. And so we've been watching each one of those reports come out and tell us, you know, things, factory activity there is not doing as well as it had been in the past.

And China, of course, is a big barometer for the rest of the world. When China slows it means customers aren't buying as much, that means America's customers probably aren't buying as much, too. SAMBOLIN: At what point do we feel some of that? We know you're watching them for us.

OK, one thing we need to know about our money today?

ROMANS: And the one thing you need to know about your money today -- money is super cheap for car buyers, Zoraida. Never have -- never, ever, have we seen auto loan financing rates so low. Even buyers with low credit scores.

Lower credit scores are finding more affordable to buy a car right now. Zero interest in maybe 10 percent of loans right now, are zero interest loans. Even people who are called the B-class or B-tier borrowers, maybe 650 credit score, even they are getting really cheap financing.

SAMBOLIN: Wow, but that could be a little risky, though, right?

ROMANS: It's the Fed pushing money into the system which is keeping rates low for homes, rates low for cars, rates low for savers, and pushing stocks up. So that trend's continuing right now.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Christine Romans, thank you very much.

ROMANS: You're welcome.


BERMAN: All right. Thanks, guys.

Cities across the country facing growing financial pressures, and local governments, boy do they need help. One company, Code for America, is trying to bring the tech world into city hall to turn it all around.

Take a look.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Meet Jennifer Pahlka, founder of Code for America. It's kind of a Peace Corps for geeks.

JENNIFER PAHLKA, CODE FOR AMERICA: Most people have seen that really geeks have changed the world so much in the past 10 or 20 years, that they haven't changed government yet.

We get people to take a year off. It's geeks. It's also designers. It's product managers, people from the technical industries. We get them to work with people in city hall to solve problems in cities for a year.

GUPTA: She wants to fix local government one smartphone app at a time.


BERMAN: Do not miss "THE NEXT LIST," Sunday 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

And get this -- he just doesn't have time to explain it. Paul Ran gives a surprising answer when asked about Mitt Romney's tax plan. You will have to hear this, coming up.


BERMAN: Loaded guns on a commercial plane. Coming up, how the firearms made it onto the aircraft, and you will never believe who was allowed to bring them on.

SAMBOLIN: Plus, it's debate time in America. Mitt Romney and President Obama are getting their talking points in order. And they are fine-tuning their arguing skills.

BERMAN: And remember the girl who was pranked by being voted into the homecoming court? Well, she got the last laugh. It is wonderful.

SAMBOLIN: And she looks great.

BERMAN: Absolutely. Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm John Berman in Washington this morning.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin in New York. Ninety-nine minutes past the hour here.

President Obama and Mitt Romney are getting ready for a make or break prime-time event. After campaign rally last night, the President went to a resort just outside of Vegas to start last-minute preps for the debate. Senator John Kerry, his Mitt Romney stand-in, said to be traveling with the President to Denver, where the first debate takes place. It's on Wednesday. Of course you can watch it live right here on CNN.

On the other side, Mitt Romney's campaign switching up their tactics over the weekend. Backing away from statements meant to downplay their candidate's chances at the debate.

And with the brand-new "Washington Post"/ABC News poll showing the race tight as ever this morning, take a look at that folks, the stakes are high on both sides.

Ron Brownstein is the editorial general of the "National Journal" magazine and CNN's senior political analyst. He joins me now.

Thank you so much.


SAMBOLIN: I want to start with Chris Christie, because he went all rogue and we're used to seeing that, right?

BROWNSTEIN: Right. SAMBOLIN: But he apparently did not get the memo about managing the expectations for Mitt Romney. Let's listen.



CHRISTIE: Well, listen, he's had a tough couple of weeks, let's be honest. I'm not going to sit here and come on this morning and sugar coat the last couple of weeks. They've been tough.

But here's the great news for Republicans: we have a candidate who is going to do extraordinarily well on Wednesday night. He's going to contrast what his view is with what the President's record is, and the President's view for the future.

And this whole race is going to be turned upside down come Thursday morning. Wednesday night is the restart of this campaign and I think you're going to see those numbers start to move right back in the other direction.

So, I have absolute confidence when we get to Thursday morning, George, you're going to be shaking your head saying it's a brand-new race.




SAMBOLIN: That's a change in approach.

BROWNSTEIN: First of all, that's Chris Christie's shtick, the voice from the bleachers, Ralph Kramden, telling you the truth without any varnish on it.

But in fairness to him, Republicans at this point do have competing and somewhat incompatible goals going into this debate. On the one hand, obviously, they don't want to overhype the expectations for what Romney can do. The debates have been sometimes important, sometimes not.

On the other hand, Romney has been trailing in all the public national polling, and battleground state polling, and I think they do need to kind of jolt their supporters into saying look, this isn't over. OK. Don't tune out, we are still in this race.

SAMBOLIN: How important do you think it's going to be?

BROWNSTEIN: You know the answer is there's no way to tell. The debates have oscillated between being very important some years and being not so important others. I mean, the 1996 debate between Bob Dole and Bill Clinton. Quick, name a defining moment.

But I do think there is an opportunity here for Mitt Romney. I mean, his challenge is not so much to make a case against President Obama over the last four years. There's no question voters are ambivalent about the performance. What he's got to make a case that he can make the next four years better.

You know, we have a poll out, our "National Journal"/"Heartland Monitor" poll, the country is divide, are you better off? Are you worse off? Or are you about the same as four years ago?

And among the about the same folks, people who don't say they see any improvement over Obama, the President is still leading by over 20 points. That is what Romney has to change.

SAMBOLIN: I want to share something "The New York Times" says. They say, "The Romney team has been included the debates are about creating moments and has equipped him with a series of zingers that he has memorized and been practicing on aides since August."

You've talked about, you know, things that have happened in other debates and some zingers. We've got some here that we want to share.



I want you to know that also, I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience.

LLOYD BENTSEN, FORMER V.P. CANDIDATE: Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy.


SAMBOLIN: So what are the risks and rewards of that type of strategy?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, first of all, they're right. I think, you know, the impact of the debates and primarily the remembered moments are kind of viral before we used the phrase, that kind of crystallize and reverberate the days and drive the coverage. So, I think that's right much more than an overall sense of someone was a better debater over the 90 minutes.

I mean, the risk, you look pre-programmed, packaged. That's a challenge for Mitt Romney in general. The voters not seeing him as authentic in many cases. So, that is a danger for him.

But I think the basic analysis is right, a memorable moment, particularly when it rephrased the debates by Clinton saying, saying he took us as far as we could in one term. Romney's challenge is to build a new frame around what the choices here.

SAMBOLIN: So, is the camp actually trying to do that, to reframe it because of the day after the debate, right, and all the conversations that are going to happen? BROWNSTEIN: Right. What they need is voters to be talking about this in a different way after the debate. That's a tall order. That's it's hard to do in a single debate.

But I think ultimately what Romney needs to do is shift the focus away from were the first four years a failure? But who could make the next four years better for you? For a lot of reason, that basic frame that Republicans try to bill, that economy hasn't worked, Obamanomics hasn't worked, that is not enough to get him over the top.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Ron Brownstein, always nice talking to you.

BROWNSTEIN: Thank you.


BERMAN: All right. Thanks, Zoraida.

If you're looking for specifics in the Romney/Ryan tax plan, maybe you have to keep searching. Because Paul Ryan says, he doesn't have time to explain it. The Republicans claim they can lower all individual tax rates by 20 percent and pay for it by targeting deductions for the top earners.

But listen to what happened when Chris Wallace of FOX News pressed Paul Ryan for hard figures.


REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: There's been a traditional Democratic and Republican consensus, lowering tax rates, by broadening the tax base works. And you can --

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS: But I haven't given me the math.

RYAN: Well, I don't have -- it would take me too long to go through all of the math.


BERMAN: All right. The Tax Policy Center in Washington has already studied the Romney/Ryan tax plan and concluded it is mathematically impossible for a tax cut of that size to work without either adding a tax burden on the middle class, or increasing the deficit.

SAMBOLIN: And talk about getting the last laugh, John. Whitney Kropp, the Michigan teen who was nominated to her homecoming court as a joke, absolutely dazzled at the game on Friday. Look at her. And she has this to say to other bullied teens.


WHITNEY KROPP, BULLIED TEEN ON HOMECOMING COURT: The kids who are bullying, do not let them bring you down. Stand up for what you believe in and go with your heart and go with your gut. That's what I did, and look at me now. I'm just as happy as can be. (END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: Look at you now. Super confident.

Whitney's supporters, including students from the visiting team, wore orange to the game, and that is her favorite color.

BERMAN: So strong. Love hearing her talk.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, it's really great.

Arnold Schwarzenegger puts himself in the hot seat, answering questions about his failed marriage, his affair, his love child, and the fact that he performed same-sex marriages while in office. We're going to hear directly from Arnold coming up next.


BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. Thirty-nine minutes after the hour. Just checking the time there.

SAMBOLIN: I caught you.

BERMAN: I'm John Berman in Washington.

SAMBOLIN: I'm Zoraida Sambolin in New York City.

Some of the biggest potential bombshell of Arnold Schwarzenegger's career but no one found out that he fathered a child with his housekeeper until months after he left the governor's office.

Now, he is opening up about that in a new memoir hitting shelves today, it is called "Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story."

Schwarzenegger sat down with "60 Minutes" to talk about the book, his life, and the mistake that wrecked his marriage to Maria Shriver.


SCHWARZENEGGER: I think it was the stupidest thing I've done in the whole relationship.

SAMBOLIN (voice-over): It was a secret he kept from his wife Maria Shriver and the public for years.

SCHWARZENEGGER: It was terrible. I inflicted tremendous pain on Maria, and unbelievable pain on the kids.

SAMBOLIN: The most painful chapter from Schwarzenegger's new memoir "Total Recall," the moment when he admitted to Shriver that he had father a child behind her back with the family's housekeeper, Mildred Baena.

SCHWARZENEGGER: She then said, "Hey, I think that Joseph is your kid. And am I off on this or not?" And I said, "You're absolutely correct." SAMBOLIN: Shriver confronted her husband about the affair in a counseling session the day after he left office in 2011. Schwarzenegger admits she raised suspicion before, but he hadn't been truthful.

LESLEY STAHL, "60 MINUTES": So, you lied to her?

SCHWARZENEGGER: You can say that.

SAMBOLIN: Baena remained the couple's housekeeper, working for the woman she betrayed.

STAHL: Even after you realized it?


STAHL: Was that -- was that strange?

SCHWARZENEGGER: Very difficult, strange. I mean, bizarre. Everything you want to call it but it's the best way I could handle it.

SAMBOLIN: Schwarzenegger writes of a, quote, "hot affair" with actress Brigitte Nielsen, his co-star in the 1985 film "Red Sonja". She was already living with Shriver at the time.

STAHL: She knew?


STAHL: So it's a recurring issue with you?

SCHWARZENEGGER: I'm not perfect.

SAMBOLIN: Affairs weren't the only secrets. Schwarzenegger also admits he tried to hide open heart surgery from Shriver and says he didn't tell her about his run for governor until days before he announced it.

SCHWARZENEGGER: She said, shaking, and she had tears in her eyes, that I was stepping into something that was much deeper than just me running and her being a supportive wife.

SAMBOLIN: She ultimately gave up her journalism career to campaign with her husband. Now, years later, his time in office over, Schwarzenegger says he'll also live with the regret of what he did to his family.

SCHWARZENEGGER: That is something that I will always look back and say, how could you have done that?


SAMBOLIN: We tried to get a response from Maria Shriver about the "60 minutes" interview but her spokesman said there would be no comment.

So I want to bring in Christopher John Farley. He's the editor of the "Speakeasy" blog for "The Wall Street Journal."

CHRISTOPHER JOHN FARLEY, EDITOR, WSJ'S "SPEAKEASY" BLOB: Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

SAMBOLIN: I'm so happy to have you.

What did you think of this interview? Were there any surprises do you think?

FARLEY: Not surprises. But it was interesting to see how much he decided to hide from the public and his wife. You know, wanted to hide heart surgery from his wife. Hiding this love child he had with this housekeeper from his wife.

SAMBOLIN: Running for governor.

FARLEY: Hiding -- running for governor from his wife until the last minute. Also, posted this segment on the web, hiding the fact he'd had these same sex ceremonies in the governor's office and hiding that from the public and finally revealing even though publicly he was against same-sex marriage --

SAMBOLIN: You know what? Hold that thought. I want to play that so that everybody can hear it. It's something that was not on the "60 Minutes" interview last night. Let's listen.


STAHL: Did you go to the wedding?

SCHWARZENEGGER: I performed the wedding in the office.

STAHL: You married --

SCHWARZENEGGER: I married her in the office, in the governor's office.

STAHL: Then you must be for gay marriage.

SCHWARZENEGGER: I don't have to be for gay marriage. I'm for the chicest kind of wedding and the kind of ceremony that I had when I got married to Maria. That she happens to love a woman, and I am as a guy that loves a woman. That is two different things. It doesn't make any difference. She should still have her ceremony.


SAMBOLIN: This from a governor who publicly opposes same-sex marriage. You hit the nail on the head. You have hidden things from your wife but you hid this from the American public.

FARLEY: Right. That's very interesting, because he didn't come out against same-sex marriage. He didn't come out for the definition of marriage being between a man and a woman. Yet he was actually there marrying, officiating over the marriage of someone who was a member of his staff. So that's very interesting, and I'm sure that will be something people discuss for days and weeks to come.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, my gosh the perspective that we're missing here is from Maria Shriver, responding to any of these things, and how it was that she put up with it.

FARLEY: Yes, I think the interesting thing is some people will find problems with what he had to say. But he's no longer a politician now; he's now a movie star again. He's got five films in the works and there's a lower bar for what the public would accept. Because it doesn't matter whether they're going to vote for him or not anymore; it matters will you still see his movies given what he said on "60 Minutes"? I think probably a lot of people will say, well, movie stars, we expect them to act like this. We expect them to have wild times. We expect different things out of our politicians than movie stars. And we'll see whether it actually affects his movie career.

SAMBOLIN: Do you think we're going to hear from Maria Shriver?

FARLEY: We'll see. She's obviously a journalist. She's someone who knows how to put together words and tell her story. I'm sure there are a lot of publishers out there that would like to tell her story.

SAMBOLIN: For a 656-page book some reviewers say it's pretty thin on juicy details. We got some juicy details from the interview. What did you think?

FARLEY: Well, I've not finished the book. But parts I've read he spent a lot of time talking about body building. He spent a lot of time talking about growing up in Austria. And that part of the book is amazing. This is a guy that grew up in a house that didn't have running water, that didn't have -- that didn't have electricity. And yet by the time he was in his 20s, he says he was a millionaire.

And, of course we all know the story after that, becoming the No. 1 body builder in the world, becoming a movie star, becoming Governor of California. So it's an amazing story of coming up from near nothing to become pretty much Mr. Everything.

SAMBOLIN: OK, this is the last question for you because I found this really surprising that he is optimistic that he and Shriver will come together again. Is he talking about them reuniting, married? I know that they're not divorced yet officially, but she filed for divorce.

FARLEY: Yes. A guy that can do what he's done and come from where he came from and see his name in -- a name that big, on the big screen, he probably feels he can do anything, and convincing your wife to come back to you, maybe that doesn't seem as big as becoming Governor of California, doesn't seem as difficult, and I wouldn't put it past him to be able to sort of pull off things like that.

SAMBOLIN: All right, Christopher John Farley, thanks for sharing your thoughts this morning. We appreciate it. John?

BERMAN; I can't believe he thinks that they might get back together again. But we'll leave that there. Soledad O'Brien joins us now with a look at what's ahead on "STARTING POINT". Soledad. SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, John, thank you. You heard Zoraida and John -- Christopher talking about that just a moment ago. We're going to continue our in-depth look at Arnold Schwarzenegger's first interview. His former press secretary will join us live to talk a little bit about the former governor. Also, the contradictions in his book and his interview on "60 Minutes" and his secrets as well.

Also ahead this morning, a man who was wounded in the Colorado movie theater massacre, Steven Barton, is now appearing in an ad that's aimed at getting voters' attention before the first presidential debate. We'll show you what he says in the ad.

And what brought together a half dozen Hollywood stars, including Meg Ryan, America Ferrera, and Olivia Wilde? A new documentary, it's called "Half The Sky" and it's based on the bestseller by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. They're going to join us both live later this morning on STARTING POINT. We'll see you right at the top of the hour.

BERMAN: All right. Thanks, Soledad. Sounds very cool.

Y'all have to look at this picture right now. It is unbelievable. Ears growing on arms.

SAMBOLIN: That is incredible.

BERMAN: On purpose. What the heck is going on here? You have to stay. We're going to explain this to you. Our medical unit will give you all the details coming up after the break.

SAMBOLIN: This is real. This is absolutely real, folks.


BERMAN: You are looking at a live picture of the Capitol here in Washington, D.C. I am in Washington this morning taking part in some preparations for CNN's debate coverage. The first presidential debate coming up on Wednesday night and CNN's coverage will be awesome. You will not want to miss it.

But before that, I have to show you a picture which is just going to blow your mind. It looks like something out of science fiction but it is quite, quite real. Now take a look at this. This is an ear that doctors at Johns Hopkins grew on the arm of a cancer patient. An ear growing on an arm.

Senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joins us now live from Atlanta. And, Elizabeth, we've been looking at this picture all morning. Explain it to me. What's going on here?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: And, John, I don't know if you saw on your monitor, but when we showed it, I went like this, still even though I've seen it so many times. It's still just makes you - it's such an eye-popping image.

So, what's going on here is that a woman named Sherry Walter had cancer, had skin cancer on her ear, and they need to remove almost all of her outer ear plus some of the structures that were inside because the cancer had spread. And so what they did was they thought, wow, I wonder if we could grow her an ear. So they took some cartilage from her ribs and fashioned it into the shape of an ear, but this doesn't look like the real ear, it needed skin.

So they put the cartilage that was shaped into an ear under her arm and they waited four months. The skin grew over it. They took it out and they put it on her head and she now has what looks like a -- almost looks like a real ear. I think you could still tell the difference on her head where her old ear used to be.

BERMAN: So what does the ear do?


Go ahead.

COHEN: I just wanted to note that they sculpted this even more since they've taken this photo. So it looks like they carved it out a little more, given her a lobe. So it looks even more natural. But I'm sorry, John, go ahead.

BERMAN: I was just saying, what does the ear do on the arm for four months? It just grows?

COHEN: It does two things. One, the blood vessels during those four months have a chance to grow into the cartilage and actually supply, you know, get a blood supply going. The other thing that it does is the skin needed that time, because they needed to be able to stretch the skin. It wouldn't naturally have just on its own covered that ear. So what they did was they injected it with saline, in relatively small amounts, over the period of those four months so that the skin could expand and stretch over that structure made out of the cartilage.

BERMAN: So is this just cosmetic now or does this ear actually work?

COHEN: The ear actually works in that they were able to reconnect some of the inner parts of her ear with this outer part of the ear, and she went from having no hearing to having normal hearing. And one of the great things here is that her body won't reject it because it's made from her own body parts. It's not somebody else's ear.

BERMAN: Amazing. I have to say, I've seen it, you've explained it to me, I still don't believe it. Elizabeth Cohen live in Atlanta this morning. Thank you very much.

COHEN: Thanks, John.

BERMAN: Zoraida?

SAMBOLIN: Okay, that is like the story of the year, John. That is remarkable.

Fifty-four minutes past the hour. When we come back, the Best Advice from Newark Mayor Cory Booker.


SAMBOLIN: It is 58 minutes past the hour. We're going to wrap it up as always with Best Advice. Here's Christine.

ROMANS: And today's best advice we get from Cory Booker, who is the Mayor of Newark. Listen.


MAYOR CORY BOOKER, NEWARK, NJ: It was advice following a quote by President Lincoln. Lincoln said that everyone -- actually he said every man is born an original but sadly most die copies. And it was just the advice to be -- to live your authentic truth, to make your life a testimony to the essence and truth of who you are and who you were created to be.


ROMANS: You know, I've asked him this question a couple times and he's quoted Lincoln both times I've asked him this question.

SAMBOLIN: Has he? You know, I was just about to ask, did you give him a heads up on this because, boy, that was genuine and deep, huh?

ROMANS: It's the second time in a couple of years I've asked him for Best Advice and both times he's quoted Lincoln. Interesting, right?

SAMBOLIN: That's so great. Thank you for that.

That's it for EARLY START. I'm Zoraida Sambolin. John Berman is in Washington, D.C. "STARTING POINT" with Soledad O'Brien starts right now.