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Nanny Accused of Stabbing Children; Interview with Cory Booker; Storm Threatens U.S. East Coast; Romney Campaign Adviser Makes Controversial Comment; Hurricane Sandy Targets East Coast; Jessica Ridgeway Killer; Flawed Ballots In Palm Beach County; Buccaneers Blow Out Vikings; Windows 8 Hits Stores Today; Apple's iPad Mini Ready To Order; Obama: "That's A B.S -- ER"; Dunham Talks About Her "First Time" As A Voter; "As Goes Janesville"

Aired October 26, 2012 - 07:00   ET


SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Our starting point this morning, Hurricane Sandy on the move. It's barreling towards the United States after killing dozens of people in the Caribbean. It's now the East Coast bracing for danger from what could become a superstorm.

Tragedy and horror. A mother returns home to her apartment to find that her two young children have been stabbed to death. Police say it was the nanny.

And controversy this morning over a Romney campaign adviser's comments. Here's what he said.


JOHN SUNUNU, ROMNEY CAMPAIGN ADVISER: When you take a look at Colin Powell, you have to wonder whether that was an endorsement based on issues.


O'BRIEN: It's Friday, October 26th, and STARTING POINT begins right now.

Our starting point this morning is hurricane Sandy. It's targeting the northeast, threatening to become what they call a perfect storm. From New England to Virginia, as far inland as Ohio, already people are being warned to get ready. It's a rare atmospheric condition that has forecasters fearing that Sandy could collide with the east coast sometime early next week and that would make it a devastating super- storm. The hurricane's already done tons of damage, 11 people dead in Cuba. Sandy ripping off the roofs of homes, flattening other homes. The storm killed one person in Jamaica. Nine other people killed in Haiti. Heavy rains from the storm's outer bands have unleashed devastating flooding. Although the hurricane is still several days away from the United States east coast, sandbagging is already under way as far north as New Jersey.

Meteorologist Rob Marciano is tracking Sandy's every move right now. We're getting already dire warnings, really serious red flags about this storm. Tell me exactly what's happening that makes it, you know, worse than what they call the perfect storm.

ROB MARCIANO, METEOROLOGIST: Well, the perfect storm never made landfall for one thing. This one looks like it's going to make landfall. That's what makes it worse. The setup is somewhat similar in that we have a hurricane that's moving north and a strong cold front with a strong jet stream energy that's moving in from the west. And this morning, more than ever, we're getting more confidence that it's going to make landfall. How big and how strong it's going to be, we don't know. But it looks like it's going to get stronger.

It's has 80 mile and hour winds now. It's about 200 miles off the coast of Florida. It's northwesterly moving at 13 miles an hour. Still battering the Bahamas, doesn't look like a typical hurricane. It will begin to transform itself. And these computer -- these lines are -- indicate our computer model. More of them this morning are now indicating they're going to make landfall across the east coast.

Here's the official forecast track, from the national hurricane center. Big waves by the way. Forget about the path here for the folks who live in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida. Big waves will be pounding the coastline there for several days, huge beach erosion and flooding. There's your forecast. The wind field with this thing is going to be very, very large. So you look at this, category 1, and you know, Atlantic City, we've had worse. Not necessarily, because the wind field with this is going to be so big it's going to impact hundreds of miles of coastline and tens of millions of people, a long duration wind event, power lines. Be prepared to be without power, big-time coastal flooding. Even on the backside of this, Soledad, a decent amount of snow for the folks who live in the mountains of West Virginia. It's got it all.

O'BRIEN: And what are we looking at now, when it hits?

MARCIANO: Looks like Monday night into Tuesday. But if it stays offshore and goes a little bit farther to the north, it would be Tuesday night into Wednesday. The time is now really to start preparing your home for the potential of having to deal with this storm for several days and maybe being without power for several days.

O'BRIEN: This is the weekend to make preparations. Rob Marciano following for us. Thank you, appreciate it.

Another devastating story that we're following this morning, absolutely horror. A mother came home to her apartment in New York City and two of her three children had been stabbed in their Manhattan bathtub. Their nanny was also in a pool of blood nearby. Investigators now say the nanny is the person who killed the kids and then tried to kill herself. Just a few hours later a post on the mother's blog painted a very happy picture of the family. This is one of the most horrific stories and a huge why. Why, what happened?

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And that's exactly the question. And the only thing you can think about this mom and this dad, right, this morning, is heartbreak. Their hearts have to be broken right now. The murder of two young children allegedly by their nanny has taken parents across New York city. It has frightened many caregivers. Everyone asking what caused this nanny to apparently snap and allegedly stab two children before slashing her own throat?

The children's mother, 38-year-old Marina Krim, returned home with her three-year-old daughter around dinner time, only to find the apartment dark. The doorman told her the nanny and six-year-old Lucia and two- year-old Leo were still inside. The mother discovered her beloved children in the bathtub soaked in blood, stabbed multiple times, the nanny on the floor, a kitchen knife next to her. Police saying it appeared she had repeatedly stabbed herself in the throat. Neighbors called 911 after hearing the distraught mother's screams.

The father, Kevin Krim, is a media executive at CNBC. He was on his way home at a business trip. He was met at the airport by police and taken to the hospital where his children had been pronounced dead. The mom did keep a blog. It was called "Life with the Krim Kids." You see photos of the children, happy, smiling, living life near Central Park. One entry, by the mom, just hours earlier, hours before this tragedy, she writes, "Leo speaks in the most adorable way possible. Firstly, he speaks super clearly so you can understand every word he is saying. He does things like "want fresh bagel and did ito" when he wants cold milk. Never uses "no" alone, always paired with "thank you." These are just snapshots of this life and what resonates about this tragedy, for so many is the leap of faith parents take when they entrust their children to someone else.

Reports say the family only hired this nanny after the third child was born. The nanny, 50-year-old Jocelyn Ortega from the Dominican Republic. She is in critical condition. She has been arrested but she's not been charged. It's not clear whether police have had an opportunity to question her. They tried to question the mother last night but the mother was inconsolable. She had to be sedated.

O'BRIEN: The baby that she's writing about on the blog is one year old.

FEYERICK: Just turned two. They went pumpkin picking, yes.

O'BRIEN: And there was an older child killed as well, who was six.

FEYERICK: Correct.

O'BRIEN: And the mother was out with the three-year-old.

FEYERICK: Apparently they were at swimming lessons. Whether the other two children were supposed to meet them there, whether she left them behind so they could be bathed and have dinner ready, you know, it's a snapshot of life around the country, really.

O'BRIEN: I had read that the family was had a very close relationship with their, with their nanny. That they had been to the Dominican Republic, right, to visit her family?

FEYERICK: That's exactly right. That's what's so amazing. A lot of families in New York City they vet their caregivers very, very carefully. You're inviting somebody into your home to watch over your kids. To make sure that they're like another parent, you know, for these children.

O'BRIEN: Everybody worries about what they call a stranger, raising your children. And so I find that very interesting.

FEYERICK: That's exactly right. You know, so many nannies become part of the family. They become part of the home. So, this is just tragic.

O'BRIEN: Goodness, terrible. Deb Feyerick, thank you for that report. John Berman has a look at some of the other stories we're following.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, Soledad. Violence in northern Afghanistan, a suicide bombing outside a mosque there has killed 40 people and afghan police say that includes fellow officers and children. Dozens of others were injured, and the interior ministry spokesman said the bomber struck right after morning prayers.

Pakistani teen Malala Yousafzai is back in the arms of her mom and dad. They arrived in Britain just hours ago. Her father telling reporters Malala is, quote, "everyone's daughter." The 15-year-old girl is in a hospital recovering from a gunshot wound to the head inflicted by the Taliban. Malala has become a symbol of courage for risking her life by demanding equal education for girls in Pakistan.

A widening fungal meningitis outbreak has now killed 24 Americans and sickened 323 others, nine of those deaths occurring in Tennessee. Public health officials are hoping the outbreak will peak soon. Of the 14,000 patients who received potentially tainted steroid injections, 97 percent have been reached for follow-up visits.

Two down two to go for the San Francisco Giants in the World Series. They held their home field advantage with a 2-0 shutout of the Tigers last night. The series now moves to the Tigers Comerica Park. You're looking at prince fielder being thrown out at the plate. Probably should not have been waved home. Anyway, game three tomorrow night in Detroit. It is actually a statement of fact. Baseball fans around America right now agreeing with me that probably a good idea to keep Prince Fielder at third on that play. It was 2-0, Giants, Detroit tomorrow night.

O'BRIEN: I'm happy. John, thank you for the update.

We want to bring in the Newark Mayor Cory Booker. He's joining us for the entire hour this morning. I want to start with the, the really dire forecast we were just listening to from Rob Marciano who is talking about this very wide wind field and even though the storm that they're looking at, hurricane Sandy, which is category 1, a lot of people think of category 1 on the low side, that's probably not as bad, he says that this is shaping up to be something very, very devastating.

CORY BOOKER, (D) NEWARK MAYOR: Last year we had an ice storm come through, knocking out power in parts of New Jersey, including my city, for days and days. This is the worst timing for a storm. You have fall and there's a lot of loose branches. So the storm itself will be bad. But I worry about the aftermath, people being caught without power. And when you have power outages, it's not just your ice cream is going to spoil. There are people with medical conditions. There are elderly. A lot of people rely on power as it's getting colder and colder.

So this could be really serious. I've been screaming out on twitter and Facebook this morning, now is the time to prepare. Take the weekend, buy supplies, get batteries, really prepare for the worst. It's better to be prepared for a crisis and not have one, than have a crisis and not be prepared.

O'BRIEN: Let's talk a little bit about politics. New "Washington Post"/ABC tracking poll is showing Governor Romney with a three-point edge but within that margin of error, that poll right there. Then if you look at the swing state poll, I don't know, at this point are you, do you just every morning wake up and go through polls?


O'BRIEN: Really?

BOOKER: Absolutely not.

O'BRIEN: You don't care what the polls say? Let me run through the others and then we'll talk about them. Nevada there's a lead for president Obama 50 percent to 47 percent for Governor Romney. Colorado is tied up thanks to Governor Romney gaining five points there. FOX News poll shows Governor Romney up by two in the state of Virginia. There are only eight true battleground states. You don't sort of say every morning, here's how we're doing by how much in every one of these critical states?

BOOKER: You know, look, I think the key now, these are such small percentage points and they're within the margins of error that this campaign is going to be all about turnout. And so as I travel around, you know, I was just in Pennsylvania, what I keep telling people is don't listen to the noise, either whether it's Obama's three points ahead or a point behind. The reality is that this election is going to be about do people show up to the polls. Is there that enthusiasm? Are folks coming out?

So this is a time that such a close election that this could be very distracts. What people should do, believe in their candidate. Remember there's a lot of down ballot tickets, very important, where the Senate is going, 237 critical house seats, as well. All these elections are going to turn about making sure that the candidates you believe in, you should get out there and vote for them and bring people.

O'BRIEN: Are you finding people more enthusiastic? Not long ago I did a panel with a bunch of moms for parents magazine and really I was getting the overriding feel this is months ago now was sort of like, eh, about this election. BOOKER: First of all the thing I find interesting to me as I travel around, you know, take Pennsylvania, for example, is that there's a dramatic difference between the Obama campaign and the Romney campaign in a substantive way. The Obama campaign had over 50 campaign headquarters in the field, 54 I think to be exact. The Romney campaign had only a fraction. One campaign is really relying, in my opinion, on campaign ads and the like. And I have not seen, four years ago I did not see the kind of sophistication and voter targeting, neighbors talking to neighbors, and get out the vote operation.

So that's why I feel very confident right now that the Obama campaign is going to be doing a lot to push voters out. And what I'm hoping that this election is a testimony to is an enthusiasm is more generated, less from these campaign ads and frankly I've started to just tune out now. And more from people, voter to voter, getting people excite and pulling them out to the polls. I'm hoping this is a campaign that shows there's a diminishing return on the millions of dollars in corporate contributions and the best way to win a campaign is about on the ground, mobilizing people person to person.

O'BRIEN: Let me ask you about John Sununu. We like to call him a friend of the show here at on STARTING POINT. He was being interviewed by Piers Morgan and he was talking about Colin Powell's endorsement of president Obama. I want to play a little bit of what Governor Sununu told piers.


SUNUNU: And frankly, what you take a look at Colin Powell you have to wonder whether that's an endorsement based on issues or whether he's got a slightly different reason for preferring President Obama.

PIERS MORGAN, HOST, "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT": What reason would that be?

SUNUNU: Well, I think when you have somebody of your own race that you're proud of being president of the United States, I applaud colin for standing with him.


O'BRIEN: What do you think? What do you think he meant by that? Because as he walked back the statements later and I'll read those in a minute, but, but --

BOOKER: Whether he meant it or not it was a statement that is unfortunate, and is just reflects a lack of understanding and sensitivity. He's got himself in a jam. He's going to wear that jam for a while. The one thing I don't like about our political culture is we take one person's comments, stupid or not, and then we just try to spread it out and lay over everything. Mitt Romney didn't say this. You know, so it's for me just a dumb comment. It's unfortunately something that's worth talking about because he's still in America. O'BRIEN: You don't think it matters that someone who represents the campaign, I mean if you had someone representing your campaign, and he said something would you, would you say this is not me he's not speaking for me --

BOOKER: I think the responsible thing to do is from a campaign to issue their own comment clarifying, I think so. But I'm kind of just getting to the point where you see a lot of these surrogates. We could go for the entire --


BOOKER: Who say things because none of us, you know, say things and it just -- they become the story themselves. This is days before this election. Really I hope what Americans are is not the dumb racially tinged comments of an individual. There's too much at stake. There are larger issues. What are the plans and platform of candidates, and let's make decisions on that.

O'BRIEN: He walked it back. I'm going to read that. "Colin Powell," he wrote, he said in a statement, "is a friend. I respect the endorsement decision he made. I do not doubt that it was based on anything but his support of the President's policies." Hmm, that's what he said. "Piers Morgan's question was whether Colin Powell should leave the party and I don't think he should." He didn't quite answer that.

BOOKER: Again, it's disrespectful and I hope he understands that. And it's unfortunate and we should talk about those issues and presumptions that so often exist. In this last days let's focus on the candidates themselves, what they are saying.

O'BRIEN: All right, nice to see you. We're going to ask you to stick around all morning with us. We appreciate that. Also this morning ahead --

BOOKER: I'm glad you didn't make gratuitous Yankee comments.

O'BRIEN: Unnecessary.

BOOKER: That's the comment.

O'BRIEN: See, see, he's got that thing. Go for it.


O'BRIEN: Presidential candidates aren't the only ones who are touring battleground states. We'll tell you why members of teachers union are hitting the road as well. Randi Weingarten is the President of the American Federation of Teachers and is going to join us up next.

And we'll tell you why people are spending hundreds of dollars to get this done to their face -- ow. It's out get real. We're back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) O'BRIEN: Welcome back, everybody. Right now leaders and members of the large and powerful teachers union, the American federation of teachers, are in the midst of a bus tour. They're passing through Florida and Ohio and several other swing states trying to get out the vote for President Obama. But, of course, teachers unions have long supported Democratic candidates.

They might feel like they're getting less in return, though. Conservative education reformer Michael Petrilli has said, "President Obama has been much more reform minded than any democratic president before him. He really has co-opted the Republicans on many of their key education positions."

Joining us this morning from Orlando is the President of the American Federation of Teachers, the AFT, Randi Weingarten. Thanks for talking with us this morning.


O'BRIEN: I appreciate that.

WEINGARTEN: Now from almost Sandy-filled Florida.

O'BRIEN: Let's talk about a little bit about what Petrrilli said, which is he felt President Obama was co-opting Republican decisions when it comes to education. Would you agree with that?

WEINGARTEN: You know, the President has, you know, focused on education a lot, starting with the stimulus bill, which was a life line for schools as we were getting out of the greatest recession since the great depression. And there's parts of the President's education philosophy that, you know, we think are fantastic and there are parts that we think need to be different.

But this is the bottom line. This is a president who actually crosses political parties to try to get things done. And that's part of the reason that teachers across the country and parents across the country respect him. And the problem has been that the Republicans have actually been rooting, or some people in the Congress have been rooting against him getting things done.

But the bottom line is this is a president that believes in investment in schools, and ensuring their kids, al kids, get a great education, and is willing to try things. Some of the things we think have worked and some of the things may not have worked, but he deserves a second term to ensure that all kids get a great education.

O'BRIEN: Some of those, the list of things that need to be different, you know, he advocates for teacher merit pay and you've just said pretty bluntly merit pay you don't think works. He supports removing limits on charter schools and pushed for teacher evaluations based on student scores. These are all things you're pretty firmly against. I think a lot of people would -- what is Governor Romney's positions that you take exception with that makes you think that president Obama is better? WEINGARTEN: Well, this is, this is the bottom line, Soledad. President Obama actually believes in public schools. And actually believes that teachers should have a voice in public schools, and that kids should have the investment. He believes in lowering class size. He believes in making sure that public schools have the art and the music, and he's actually pretty clearly said stop the testing fixation.

Do we have to actually try new things like making sure that we have higher standards for all kids so that they're ready for the world that that finds them so that we can rebuild the middle class, so we can actually have an economy and an education system that works together? Absolutely. But that takes an investment.

And what Governor Romney wants to do is basically an opt-out strategy. He's basically said, let's disinvest in education -- I know he's said in front of the camera, I love teachers. But you can't --

O'BRIEN: It was the debate --


WEINGARTEN: You can't actually love teachers and actually -- and actually say that their voice should not be heard.

O'BRIEN: Let me play that clip from Governor Romney that was at the debate.


MITT ROMNEY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look, I love teachers. And I'm happy to have states and communities that want to hire teachers, do that. By the way, I don't like to have the federal government start pushing its way deeper and deeper into our schools. Let the states and localities do that. I was a governor. The federal government didn't hire our teachers.


O'BRIEN: His point is, listen, get the feds out of it. Let the states do it. Is he wrong about that?

WEINGARTEN: Look, he's wrong about that because of what the federal government really does. And then, look, Governor Romney has a binder of ideas. A lot of them are bad ideas. And a lot of them don't understand what education is all about or the federal role is all about. What was the federal role in education? It was to actually try to create equity for kids who were falling behind, for kids who were poor. That's what Johnson did initially when he created title one. And so those dollars, those federal dollars, go to communities that really needed the money. They go to kids that come to school hungry. They go to kids that need to have after-school activities. And those dollars are really important in those communities.

If we actually want to help all kids learn, we need to have those dollars to lower class sizes for the kids that need it most. So the bottom line here is, President Obama wants to make sure that teachers are respected. President Obama wants to make sure that there's an investment in schools. Do we want to make sure that we try different things so that we're actually helping all kids succeed? Sure. Will we try different things? Whether they're a Republican or a democratic idea? Of course. Education should not be, you know, uni-partisan. It should be bipartisan.

O'BRIEN: Randi Weingarten the President of the American federation of teachers in Orlando today. Nice to see you.

WEINGARTEN: It's great to be here.

O'BRIEN: Ahead this morning on STARTING POINT, they say beauty is painless. I'll tell you why some people are shelling out cash to get this done. Doesn't look so relaxing, does it? That's up next.


O'BRIEN: Welcome back. STARTING POINT. We're talking to Mayor Cory Booker who's agreed to stick around for the whole hour. Also joining us is Ryan Lizza, a Washington correspondent for the "New Yorker," Will Cain is a columnist for, John Berman is sticking around since "EARLY START." Let's get to our get real this morning. San Francisco massage parlor is offering this, a beauty treatment that involves slapping you in the face.


O'BRIEN: And allegedly it's going to make your wrinkles look smaller, it will firm up the skin. It costs $350 to have someone do this to your face, and for $1,000 you can get a full course. You can have different styles, face-slappings so that you look like a celebrity, face slapping to look younger, face slapping to charm your significant other. Come here -- for $500. I'll give you -


O'BRIEN: Come here, come here. He's so afraid. I'm going to --


WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Did you say $350 for that wonderful treatment?

O'BRIEN: Could you imagine?


O'BRIEN: That looks ridiculous.

CAIN: I think the Mayor should step in and put an end to it.

RYAN LIZZA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: This wouldn't go down in Newark. I'm guessing.

CAIN: There are a lot of massages offered out regularly in my city and many others.

O'BRIEN: OK, anyway.

CAIN: -- somewhere right.

O'BRIEN: And we're moving on.

CAIN: Or let's --

O'BRIEN: No. Move on. For $100, I'll do a face slap for you.

Ahead on STARTING POINT this morning, concerns over voter fraud for more than 20,000 ballots that are at stake in the state of Florida. What caused it and why the solution is now raising some eyebrows? That's straight ahead.

And then the storm has already killed 11 people in the Caribbean. Hurricane Sandy is on a potential track to the east coast and we're told it has all the ingredients of a superstorm. We'll take a closer look straight ahead.


O'BRIEN: Morning, welcome back everybody. You're watching STARTING POINT. From New England to Virginia millions of Americans are beginning to prepare for what looks like will be a superstorm. It's called Hurricane Sandy.

Already 21 people in the Caribbean are dead. The east coast of the U.S. is squarely in the hurricane sights. This is a view of Sandy from outer space packing sustained winds at this hour of 85 miles an hour off the coast of Miami.

Looking more and more likely that the northeast will be slammed by this storm and that it's going to happen sometime early next week.

Let's get right to meteorologist Rob Marciano. He is tracking the hurricane for us in the extreme weather center in Atlanta. Good morning.

MARCIANO: Good morning, Soledad. It's an extraordinary event no doubt about it. First of all to have a hurricane this strong this late in the season and then make its way up the eastern seaboard. That's unusual.

Let's talk about it, 80-mile-per-hour winds right now, just a Category 1. But we shouldn't say just because it's probably going to be a Category 1 or similar to when it makes land fall, but it's going to transform into something really much bigger than that.

It's about 200 miles or so east of Miami. They're getting hit with wind and rain and some waves. And big waves are going to be rolling up the coastline from Florida all the way up through the Carolinas and really up through the main coastline as well.

We could see waves topping 30 or 40 footer. There's your forecast track. The National Hurricane Center, Saturday night into Sunday we stay a couple hundred miles off the coastline of the Carolinas.

Again, Cape Hatteras, outer banks really going to get pummelled with pounding waves here. Then turn it back towards the northeast. Now at this time yesterday, we weren't that confident with it.

A lot of our computer models, most of them really, have turned it this way. So we're getting more confident in the scenario. The question is how big, how fast it's going to be. We're going to get energy from a fall winter-like jet stream bringing in seriously cold air across the Midwest right now.

That punch is really going to stir this thing into a huge wind storm that could sit around for a couple of days. And that's going to be the main thing here. With that you've got lunar high tides, unusually high tides, coastal flooding, big-time waves, big-time winds.

Sensitive trees and leaves that are still on the trees that could cause some pouter outages, Soledad. I think folks certainly need to prepare this weekend for the potential of being maybe without power for a few days to come anywhere up and down this I-95 Corridor as we get into next week.

O'BRIEN: All right, Rob Marciano. Thank you for that update and that warning. It's actually dire. Appreciate it. All right, let's get right to John Berman, going to look at other stories making news.

JOHN BERMAN, ANCHOR, CNN'S "EARLY START": Thanks, Soledad. A Colorado teenager has confessed to the abduction and murder of 10- year-old Jessica Ridgeway. The 17-year-old Austin Reed Sigg appeared in a Colorado courtroom yesterday.

Jessica lived less than a mile away from Sigg and prosecutors say they have DNA evidence that links him to the murder. He's being held without bail and is expected to be charged next week.

From dangling chads to digital misprints. Shades of 2000 in Palm Beach County, Florida, where it seems 27,000 absentee ballots can't be digitally scanned. There's some kind of design flaw with the printing.

Election officials are duplicating the markings from the bad ballots onto new ballots in order to record the votes. But some are requesting the accuracy of these results. Remember, Palm Beach County (inaudible) ballots in 2000.

Thursday night football the Tampa Bay Buccaneers mauling the Minnesota Vikings. Martin did most of the damage, hit 214 total yards, two touchdowns. Tampa Bay improved their record of 3 and 4 with a 36-17 victory. The Vikings drop to 5-3.

Windows 8, hits store shelves today. It's Microsoft's new operating system that works on both PCs and touch screen devices. You can see it. It is drastically different from the Windows you see on PCs. It's a big gamble for Microsoft as Windows is a huge money maker and really hasn't changed much since 1995. And Apple's iPad mini is now available online for pre-order on Apple's web site. It unveiled the new tiny tablet earlier this week. The company reported earnings that missed analyst expectations, by the way. That does not happen much.

O'BRIEN: That's a little bit of a surprise. Back to that voter, the ballots --

BERMAN: Palm Beach County.

O'BRIEN: How is it not possible? How did we not -- how can we not solve the voter issue? With technology, you're talking about the mini iPad coming out and we're still doing these hand marked --

LIZZA: It's all local and every jurisdiction runs its own voting process --

O'BRIEN: But you could bring in technology and still do it locally.

BOOKER: We've seen how one county could affect a national outcome debate. This is outrageous and to me there should be a level of protest in changing this. We cannot have -- what happens if a county in Ohio.

I'm in New Jersey, but I really care about that because that could end up turning the election. It turns people off. It's a form of voter suppression if you begin to lose confidence in the system.

LIZZA: So should we have federalized standards? The federal government takes much more control over it.

BOOKER: There needs to be -- just like the federal government got involved in the elections back in my parents' time. There needs to be an elevated conversation about how we're going to make sure voter security, when people don't cast their vote that that vote is counted in the right way.

LIZZA: Even the vote right now which is becoming much more popular. Article recently that 25 -- less likely to have your vote counted if you vote by mail than show up on Election Day. Everyone's going towards vote by mail. So, every time you change something it has a new issue.

O'BRIEN: Technology it seems like we can do everything, moving massive amounts of money through technology, right. Companies do all of their business in technology. It seems insane that we cannot figure it out and having someone vote, using the fingerprint.

You could trace whether or not they're a citizen. You'd solve a lot of issues that way, right, and you could absolutely positively just makes more clear. It's not brain surgery. It's just your vote.

Moving on -- and that's my position today! I'm all riled up about this. It's just stupid. How about this, President Obama in an interview he gave with "Rolling Stone" says this. "You know kids have good instincts. They look at the other guy, he says the other guy," when he means Governor Romney, and he says that's a bull -- er, I can tell." He's paraphrasing for the young people. The Romney campaign has been jumping on that. You think that's a big deal?

BOOKER: What are they jumping on? The fact that he said --

O'BRIEN: I don't have to say the word out loud on my show because my children watch before they head off to school.

BOOKER: God bless America. Seriously, if this is all the Romney campaign has to jump on then they're really losing themselves.

CAIN: You know, Ryan and I were talking in the green room, Mayor, you have been very consistent, and not taking small issues and blowing them up into larger narratives. I do think there's an interesting conversation here.

Is there a line between straight talk, which I totally appreciate, and being classy or speaking in a way that is deserving of the office? I'm curious, not as an indictment, but you as someone in a position, is there a line you have to walk?

BOOKER: I think all of us, whoever we are, forget presidents, all of us who are sitting here on TV, in some ways being looked at by somebody and you should always watch your language.

But at some point we're making a big deal. I've heard oval office tapes, you know, of people cursing. This is not -- this is not a big deal.

LIZZA: -- level of --

BOOKER: Four years of President Obama. Talk about a model for our nation. Somebody we want our kids to look up to. You have President Obama, I see children in my city every day looking up to him. So he wrote not the word. He wrote out some blanks. For language that most of our kids by the time they're 6, 7, 8 and 9 are hearing anyway.

O'BRIEN: Some of them are using.

BOOKER: This is what frustrates me about campaigns.

CAIN: You said it --

O'BRIEN: It was in "Rolling Stone."

CAIN: Was he said it and they transcribed it?

O'BRIEN: He was paraphrasing what young people say.

LIZZA: What happened was the editor of the magazine said I had my son, who wanted a message for you or something like that and he wants you to --

BOOKER: This whole issue is horse hockey. It really is.

O'BRIEN: The Romney campaign had a response I just want to read that. President Obama is rattled and on the defensive, they write. He's running on empty and has nothing left but attacks and insults. It's unfortunate he has to close the final days of this campaign this way.

BOOKER: That interview came way before the final days. Just to be a little bit cynical about it, President Obama talking to "Rolling Stone" --

LIZZA: You know, he's trying to talk to the young people in America. So he's dropping a, you know --

CAIN: A little slip of the tongue.

BOOKER: The fact that the Romney campaign make a deal out of this shows more weakness in the Romney campaign. This is not what we should be focusing on going out.

O'BRIEN: Are you going to spend my entire show saying this is not what we should be --

BOOKER: Let's get back to the -- this is actual news I came to discuss.

O'BRIEN: Ahead on STARTING POINT. Politics, sex, all mixed together in a new ad for the Obama campaign from Lena Dunham, the girl star. We're going to talk about that. That's straight ahead. We're back in a moment.


O'BRIEN: In her HBO shows "Girls" writer, director and actress Lena Dunham plays a character who talks about being the voice of her generation. In real life, she's trying to do the same thing encouraging young people to vote for President Obama.

How she's doing it has some people saying it's in bad taste. Here you can decide for yourself.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your first time shouldn't be with just anybody. You want to do it with a great guy. It should be with a guy with beautiful, someone who really cares about and understands women.

A guy who cares whether you get health insurance specifically whether you get birth control. The consequences are huge. My first time voting was amazing. It was this line in the sand before I was a girl. Now I was a woman. I went to the polling station, pulled back the curtain. I voted for Barack Obama.


O'BRIEN: So I have to say, I don't get the outrage that has come out of this ad. Will Cain, are you offended? CAIN: Not offended -- I'm not offended because any kind of taste boundaries. I'm offended as a woman -- I'm offended -- I'm offended -- I think women should be offended that you're reducing the act of voting and the ideological issue that you're debating down to equating it to sex. That you are your body parts.

O'BRIEN: I would say --

LIZZA: -- nice to know didn't care if people cursed. You stood up for your first amendment.

CAIN: No, no, no, I get -- taste level. I fully endorse the Governor or the Mayor's ability to use salty language because you were defending it earlier. You are reducing women to their body parts and it's identity politics.

O'BRIEN: So you're offended by Lena Dunham who writes her show about girls, which is all about these 20 something, and much about their sexual experiences, and --

BOOKER: To this point, one is nobody who has ever voted for me expressed themselves in that way and it's the power Obama has. I do not have -- but more importantly, I am tired of manufacturing outrage. I mean, really --

O'BRIEN: He's outraged. I'm not outraged.

CAIN: Manufactured outrage. He is not Mr. Outrage.

O'BRIEN: You just said now I'm outraged. You just said as a woman you're outraged. Talk about manufactured.

BOOKER: It is not a big point. This is not what we should be focusing on. It's the same thing. I'm a big fan of Sara Silverman. I loved how she was talking to grandmothers in Florida and using her own sense of humor. This was something living --

O'BRIEN: It is not a terrible show. The show is so great. What are you talking about? Because you're not a girl! They don't care what you think of your show because you're not a girl. This show is amazing. I did an interview with Lena Dunham. I'm going to tweet it out. She's very interesting young woman.

BOOKER: Look. Will I agree everybody has a different way to rally their base, she's trying to do that.

O'BRIEN: She's using sex.

BERMAN: -- ran the country the Obama campaign wins. That's what happens.

O'BRIEN: I have got to go to commercial break. Seriously. Ahead on STARTING POINT this morning, the dramatic story of Paul Ryan's hometown, 11,000 people out of work when a GM plant closed there.

New documentary that they've been shooting since 2008 documents what exactly did happen in Janesville, Wisconsin. The documentary producer is with us straight ahead.


O'BRIEN: It's a new documentary about Paul Ryan's hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin, covers the story of what exactly happened almost four years ago when the GM assembly plant there shut down.

Nearly 11,000 people lost their jobs and among them, Gail Lisenbee who worked at the plant for 23 years. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are not going to find too many jobs on the assembly labor, even with quality control that are going to be giving you more than $9 an hour.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you hear her say it sounded like $9 an hour? It would take four jobs to make at least 11. You would have to work four full-time jobs.


O'BRIEN: The filmmaker of "As Goes Janesville" is Brad Lichtenstein. He joins us this morning. Tell me a little bit about why you wanted to attack this story. Because you really started many years ago, before we were actually talking about Janesville, which has been in the news a lot.

BRAD LICHTENSTEIN, AWARD-WINNING FILMMAKER: Before we knew about Paul Ryan. I wanted to make a film about that economic crisis we were all facing. I knew that there were documentaries and people talking about what happened.

But I wanted to show what real people were going through and see how they reinvent their lives and reinvent their economy. I felt that was the story that we needed to know.

O'BRIEN: Tell me a little bit about that woman we were just looking at. Is her story very typical? I mean, as she point outs, you know, the classic a good job has disappeared and there's no way to make up for that. There's no other job that you can just run out and go get and ever hope to get the same amount of money.

LICHTENSTEIN: Right. I mean, she was one of the GM workers making upwards to $29, $30 an hour. There's nothing like that around. She and 750 people left town to go work at other plants that were still open. They took transfers. And she ends up leaving her two middle school daughters and her husband behind, and she's like so many people who were transplanted in that way.

O'BRIEN: You've seen this film. What stuck out to you about it?

LIZZA: What stuck out to me is that you see up close. You actually show the sort of transition that our economy is going through everywhere. These people with great union jobs, high paid, good benefits, are suddenly thrust into entirely new environment. And as we saw in that clip, they go -- they can't find something similar. One woman gets fired by GM and her union gets her job back because they have some bargaining power with the company.

To me, that was what you showed up close, is just literally on the screen, you see the story of how our economy has changed.

O'BRIEN: Is it a political film?

LICHTENSTEIN: It's a political film but not partisan film. I also followed a woman who is a banker in town, who's leading an economic development effort with other businesses, generally conservative and very in line with Governor Scott Walker.

And also a Democrat who ends up going to Illinois when the collective bargaining controversy happens and actually tries to negotiate a deal between the Governor and the Democrats, but fails.

And you see that when we have a phone call from a guy who was posing as a fake -- posing as a -- says I wouldn't talk to my guy because he's a pragmatist, just trying to get something done. He's not a conservative.

BOOKER: Why is this a story in America that's so common but yet so unknown? In other words, there are so many Americans right now are struggling making job. I see in my state where people are working full time sometimes they're taking two jobs and not making ends meet.

LICHTENSTEIN: We have become very obsessed about numbers, look at GDP. We look at unemployment. A lot of people have the feeling once that person loses the job, something changes in their life. We hear about that moment, but don't go on to see the impact it has on families and the whole population shift as people try to chase decent jobs.

O'BRIEN: I'll tell you. Ryan gave you two thumbs up for your documentary called "As Goes Janesville."

LICHTENSTEIN: So goes America.

O'BRIEN: Discounted rate -- great to have you with us this morning. We appreciate it, Brad. We want to thank Mayor Booker for joining us for the hour. "STARTING POINT" is back right after this short break.