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STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN

Alabama Hostage Safe with Family; "American Sniper" Killed at Shooting Range; President Pushes Immigration Reform; Tracking Down A King; Gas Prices Climb

Aired February 5, 2013 - 08:00   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Top of the hour here on a Tuesday morning. Good morning. I'm Brooke Baldwin.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm John Berman. Soledad O'Brien is off today.

Our STARTING POINT: thank goodness, finally free. A 5-year-old boy held hostage for almost a week rescued from a bunker just in time for his birthday. The question is, will he be able to recover now? We're going to talk with a psychologist who worked with kidnap victim Jaycee Dugard.

BALDWIN: Also, a face to the mystery. Brand new images this of what King Richard III really, really looked like from way long ago.

BERMAN: Better than that.

BALDWIN: Better than that, we promise. We're going to talk with the woman who spearheaded this whole campaign to find him and to clear his name.

BERMAN: And Americans don't buy as much of it as they used to but somehow gas takes a bigger chunk out of the family budget. We're going to explain.

BALDWIN: It is Tuesday, February 5th. STARTING POINT begins now.

(MUSIC)

BERMAN: Today's panel of fabulous people: Will Cain, CNN contributor and columnist for theblaze.com, Roland Martin, CNN political analyst and host of "Washington Watch with Roland Martin."

ROLAND MARTIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: What up!

BERMAN: And Chris Frates, reporter for "The National Journal." He is also here and we are so grateful for that.

BALDWIN: Hey, gentlemen.

BERMAN: Great to see you all.

BALDWIN: In the man show.

BERMAN: In the man show and Brooke.

BALDWIN: And Brooke.

MARTIN: So chipper.

BALDWIN: Hey, good morning.

BERMAN: Wouldn't you be if you were surrounded by such handsomeness.

BALDWIN: Manly types.

(LAUGHTER)

BERMAN: Our STARTING POINT -- I'm moving on the story we're grateful, of course.

BALDWIN: Yes.

BERMAN: The kindergartener gets to spend his sixth birthday safe -- safe and sound with his family tomorrow after spending nearly a week as a hostage in on underground bunker.

Yesterday afternoon, the FBI stormed that bunker where Ethan was being held captive by Jimmy Lee Dykes. After negotiations deteriorated, the FBI, they decided to go in for the rescue.

BALDWIN: Dykes was killed, still not clear exactly how that happened yet. But police say he boarded Ethan's school bus, this was last Tuesday, shot and killed the driver, Charles Poland, as he was trying to save some of the other kids on the bus. This young boy Ethan who reportedly Asperger's and ADHD was abducted and held in Dykes' bunker for six days. He is said to be OK -- at least physically right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHERIFF WALLY OLSON, DALE COUNTY, ALABAMA: This little boy, he's a very special child, he's been through a lot. He's enduring a lot. And just by the grace of God, you know, he's OK.

STEVE RICHARDSON, FBI SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE, MOBILE DIVISION: He is doing fine. He's laughing, joking, playing, eating, the things that you would expect a normal 5 to 6-year-old young man to do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: I want to bring in Rebecca Bailey. She's a psychologist with a specialty in reuniting loved ones after trauma. She worked with kidnapping victim Jaycee Dugard.

So, let me ask you, Rebecca -- you know, we hear that Ethan has been laughing, been joking, he's been reunited with his favorite dinosaur. Are these all good signs? What would you be looking for right now?

REBECCA BAILEY, PSYCHOLOGIST: I think it's wonderful signs and a testament also of the human spirit. Frequently, we expect situations where the victim comes out in the same way that the traumatized people are watching and waiting and hoping. So this is a very good sign and it's wonderful that he's home for his sixth birthday. That's wonderful for the family and, of course, wonderful for him.

BALDWIN: So, his birthday is tomorrow. And I'm just curious in the precious hours and days after this release. How should the family be with him? How much of this will he even really remember?

BAILEY: You know, I think that the most important thing is to remember how every family is different, and every situation is different. Certainly, there will be memories and certainly this family and this child has been obviously affected by this traumatic experience. But as the days go on and time unfolds, we'll find out more what the child needs, what the family needs. My understanding is they're siblings and what's extremely important in the next week or so is remembering that their lives have been touched as well.

So what we need to see in the next week, two weeks, is the family pulling together and we hope to see them pulling together and celebrating the success of this child being home safely. At the same time, some of the shock will begin to wear off, and each family member may react differently.

MARTIN: Dr. Bailey, Roland Martin here. I understand the focus on Ethan.

And what about the family? I mean, all of a sudden, you have a mom who is totally protective. So, what must they do to not totally freak out and frankly constrain him and his life going forward?

BAILEY: Well, I think in the next week or so things need to settle. I understand that this is a community with a strong faith base which is very important, and understanding that this is an extremely unusual situation that occurred and as time goes on, the shock and the -- will slowly dissipate.

And, you know, for me to tell the mother how she should handle that is difficult to say. Each person has to do it at their own rate. But we often do see families going back to normal, returning in time particularly in a small community where the community bands together to take care of their families.

CHRIS FRATES, REPORTER, NATIONAL JOURNAL: Doctor, Chris Frates here. I wonder, what should we be looking for or what should the family be looking for as we move forward? What are the kinds of things we see in these kinds of victims as they grow up?

And what are some things to watch for? What are some dangers? And how should that family handle this very difficult situation?

BAILEY: Well, what's important is, first of all, initially, understanding, in addition to the absolute trauma of having been in this situation which I won't speculate what the child went through or didn't go through because sometimes that can be as harmful. But what -- where -- what we need to be aware of is how much media scrutiny, how much intrusion from outside can continue to perpetuate the difficulties with the child.

So, again, we need the next couple weeks to just let things calm down and unfold as they go forward. It's going to be important clearly to have some mental health involvement. Frequently around these cases, you'll see lots and lots of casts of characters, different, wonderful agencies that come in and sometimes that can be daunting. So as the days go forward, sort of figuring out who the point people are and who will stay involved with this family.

Some families need intensive reunification, some families over a period of time. Some siblings need more mental health, help than others. So --

BERMAN: Doctor --

BAILEY: Yes, go ahead.

BERMAN: Dr. Rebecca Bailey, thank you so much for joining us this morning. Obviously, all of our thoughts are with this family, Ethan's family.

BALDWIN: And his siblings, his siblings as well.

WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: But the story that so many -- Christine, you have a child this age. I have a child this age. John, I think you have a child this age. It's easy to put yourself in a situation constantly looking at your child, has he changed, what has he been through, looking for every little piece of info you could possibly find.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Just putting your kind on a school bus. I mean, all you did was -- after you put your kid on a school bus and something like this happens.

BERMAN: The moment that Ethan's mom found out her son was safe apparently she couldn't stop smiling. There was an Alabama State Senator Harri Anne Smith who spent time with her and she spoke about that amazing moment on "A.C. 360."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HARRI ANNE SMITH, ALABAMA STATE SENATOR: She was being whisked away at this point now to be reunited with her son. She hugged my neck, she thanked me, and she was a little nervous, but there were smiles all around. So I knew something was going on and then I later learned she was being reunited with the little boy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Smiles, she knew -- she said she knew the little boy would be OK.

Christine Romans, you have a look at the other day's top stories.

ROMANS: A lot going on today, you guys. Let's get started. Police in Texas say the man accused of killing America's most deadly sniper confessed to his sister saying he, quote, "traded his soul for a new truck". Eddie Ray Routh was accused of killing ex-Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield at a Texas shooting range. Kyle was known for being the most deadly sniper in American history with 160 confirmed kills in Iraq. Police say Routh was driving Kyle's truck when he was arrested.

Former presidential candidate Ron Paul taking heat for a tweet about that death, Kyle's death. He tweeted, "Chris Kyle's death seems to confirm that he who lives by the sword dies by the sword. Treating PTSD at a firing range doesn't make sense."

A renewed presidential effort for immigration reform and some form of gun control. Today, President Obama will meet with key immigration groups, progressive groups, labor groups and then he meets with a dozen CEOs. The goal here is to figure out how to get a bipartisan immigration reform.

On gun control, though, President Obama says consensus already building.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Real and lasting change also requires Congress to do its part and to do it soon. Not to wait. The good news is that we're starting to see a consensus emerged about the action Congress needs to take.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: And this politician has provided David Letterman an endless supply of monologue material. Last night, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was face-to-face with Dave and he brought the donuts.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID LETTERMAN, TV HOST/COMEDIAN: I made jokes about you, not just one or two, not just ongoing here and there, intermittent, but --

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I didn't know it was going to be this long.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

LETTERMAN: Now wait a minute! Maybe you can do that sort of thing in your state, buddy.

CHRISTIE: I don't care if you're funny. I mean, from my perspective, if the joke is funny I laugh, even if it's about me. If it's not funny, I don't laugh.

But I've never felt like it was, you know, anything that really bugged me all that much, no.

LETTERMAN: Now, what percentage of the jokes have you found funny?

CHRISTIE: About 40 percent. Roughly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: The timing is so good, I mean -- very well done.

CAIN: "I didn't know it was going to be this long." Classic.

MARTIN: That is the first time he's heard any of those jokes. So, he's had lots of preparation.

FRATES: A hundred percent Jersey man.

BALDWIN: Vintage Christie.

Coming up, we're talking mitochondrial DNA, 15th century, anyone? Rewriting the history books? We're excited. King Richard III's face reconstructed. We are getting a look for the very first time this morning. Next, the woman who spear-headed the campaign to find his remains and clear his name, she says.

BERMAN: Then, imagine this, try to imagine it, flying on an airplane and not hearing the sounds of crying children or feel them kicking new the back of your seat.

BALDWIN: What?

BERMAN: One airline making that dream come true -- when you wish upon a star.

MARTIN: Hey, you sound happy.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAURENCE OLIVIER, ACTOR: I have set my life upon a cast and I will stand the hazard of the die. I think there'll be six Richmonds in the field. Five have I slain today instead of him. My horse! My horse! My kingdom for a horse!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Until now, this was probably our best portrait of England's king, Richard III, actors like Laurence Olivier portraying him as this evil villain. We all thought he was a hunchbacked, twisted in mind and body. But --

BERMAN: But, this morning, we have a brand new, the kinder image of the king. This is emerging after DNA tests confirmed that remains found buried beneath an English parking lot are actually his. So, this project was driven by Philippa Langley, a member of the Richard III Society who wanted to set the record straight on just who this guy, this much-maligned king, really was.

So, good morning, Phillipa, and congratulations to you.

PHILIPPA LANGLEY, MEMBER, RICHARD III SOCIETY": Good morning. Thank you.

BERMAN: So, how did this come to be despite, you know -- aside from an obsession with Richard III, how did you decide to track this down like this?

LANGLEY: Well, I hooked up with a historian and genealogist, Dr. John Ashdown-Hill. And he had traced Richard III's mitochondrial DNA sequence and he'd also refuted -- there was a story about Richard's bones being dug up and thrown into the nearby river, the River Soar, and he managed to refute that story with his research.

So, you put those two things together, it seemed like it was a good story to go in search of him.

BALDWIN: I'm stunned because, you know, I was reading something that you said when you were walking around this area where his bones were found and you said, "I had the strongest sensation that I was walking on Richard's grave and was on a mission." I mean, this is like stuff from the 15th century. Here we are in 2013, your mission. Why have you been so wrapped up in this?

LANGLEY: I think it was a really strong sensation for me in that car park, and I had to follow it. Bonkers though it sounds, I had to do it. But I think, you know, it's more than that, it's about when you read about this man, the real Richard III, he's so different to the tune of portrayal in the Shakespearean character that I felt that I wanted to go in search of his remains to give him the reburial fit for a king for sure, but I also wanted to bring to light the real Richard III at the same time.

FRATES: Ms. Langley, Chris Frates here. I'm just wondering if you could tell our viewers, how did you find him, I mean, under a parking lot? How did you figure out to dig there? Could you take us through how you located him in all of the town?

LANGLEY: It was a really strange story. We could tell by the street signs that we were in the right area for the Greyfriars precinct, but we didn't know if we were in the right area for the Greyfriars Church. So, I had this very strange experience where I felt I was standing on top of Richard's grave and there was an "R" marked into the tarmac. It was just a hand painted "R" for "Reserved," but when I had the feeling, I felt that I was standing on his grave right by this letter "R."

So, when we then outlined the trenches, that letter "R" was in the first trench and in the very first few feet of the first trench, and we actually found him on day one.

BERMAN: Someone made the joke -- it was real long-term parking was the joke that someone made there.

(LAUGHTER)

MARTIN: So, we know how he looks, but he still could have been an evil guy. So, I'm trying to figure out, how does knowing how he looks somehow change the perception of the history of who he was?

LANGLEY: Yes, totally. Well, we have lots of information about Richard III. He was 30 when the Tudor writes got to him and started telling us about him, but we've got heaps of information from those that knew Richard and wrote about this man, and they tell a very different story. We get a guy who's loyal, brave, pious and just. And it's only when the Tudor writers get to him that he has a certain character change, put it that way.

BALDWIN: So, I guess, I have one more question in terms of getting all, like, "semi-nerdy", to use your word. So, it was the DNA within Richard III's bones that was matched to a cabinetmaker that was the sister of Richard III that finally made you say, ding, this is the guy.

BERMAN: Elementary.

BALDWIN: Elementary, my dear. Is that right?

LANGLEY: Yes. Absolutely. It was one of the main things, yes, but strangely before that, we had to do the carbon 14 dating and that was a big test, because that tells us how old the remains were. So when we have the carbon 14 dating, and then, when we got the DNA match with the Canadian guy, Michael Ibsen, I mean, it was just -- it was the clincher, really. That was it, game over. We knew we had Richard III.

BALDWIN: It's incredible.

BERMAN: All right. Philippa Langley, thank you so much for joining us. Congratulations. Like we said, good look on the Richard rehabilitation, the image rehab.

(LAUGHTER)

BERMAN: Going to take some time, I think. Shakespeare had a jump on you.

(LAUGHTER)

BERMAN: But no, it turned out he wasn't a hunchback, it was just scoliosis.

(CROSSTALK)

ROMANS: He still killed his little kid nephews. I mean, we have to go back and check the record. I think she's -- many have said that he was still a medieval king --

BALDWIN: He wasn't as murderous.

ROMANS: They were all pretty mean, mean dudes then. MARTIN: All America is saying, this is why we left.

(LAUGHTER)

MARTIN: I didn't have that choice, but other Americans, why they left.

BERMAN: Let's move on.

(LAUGHTER)

BALDWIN: Super Bowl. The super bowl ad that you didn't see and it may be the most controversial of them all. Will Farrell's hilarious spot, whoa, more kissing.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: Welcome back to STARTING POINT. I'm Christine Romans, "Minding Your Business" this morning.

U.S. stock futures are higher today. The Dow dropped from its 14,000 milestone Monday. There were concerns about a banking scandal in Italy and corruption allegations against the Spanish prime minister, those weighed on markets, but your futures are up this morning.

Toxic mortgage assets slapped with the highest investment grades helped fuel the financial crisis and bring down the economy. Now, Standard & Poor's, a major credit agency, they gave those high grade ratings says the justice department plans to sue it. S&P denies any wrongdoing. It says DOJ lawsuit would not have any legal merit and that S&P relied on the same data as everyone else including the government and other analysts who failed to predict the housing bust.

Gas prices climbing fast up 17 cents in the last week. The average price of a gallon of regular is now $3.53 a gallon. That's according to AAA. The same time, a new report from the energy department says Americans are pumping more of their income into gas. The government says U.S. households spend an average of 2,912 bucks or about four percent of their income on gas last year.

That's the highest level in four years, even though, gas costs are eating up a bigger chunk of family budgets. Americans are buying less gas as cars become more fuel-efficient. But that tells me as the American budget is shrinking and gas is taking up a bigger part of it.

BERMAN: On a subject of energy, you know, we know Beyonce did not shut the lights off.

(CROSSTALK)

BERMAN: But we're taking a look at what's trending on the web this morning. A lot of conspiracy theorists believe that Beyonce signaled that she's part of a secret society --

(LAUGHTER) BERMAN: Forget the lights for a second. What she did is she made a diamond shape with her hands during her Super Bowl halftime performance and I'm told the gesture is considered a symbol of the illuminati. Illuminati was founded in 1776, and members claim to have mysterious knowledge from a higher source. There's also a theory circulating that Beyonce may have been sending a secret message to her husband, Jay-Z, or, it's also possible she just put her hands up like this.

ROMANS: I have a higher source. The teleprompter is my higher source.

(LAUGHTER)

ROMANS: That's what I'm following.

MARTIN: To all people out there, there's a sorority called Delta Sigma Theta.

BALDWIN: Yes.

MARTIN: That's their symbol. They got to have (ph) to look at members.

ROMANS: Is she a member?

MARTIN: No. I'm just saying that --

BERMAN: Are you a member?

MARTIN: No. This is a sorority.

(LAUGHTER)

MARTIN: I'm Alpha Pi Alpha. My wife is a member, but my point is --

(CROSSTALK)

MARTIN: These Illuminati people are absolutely crazy. They look for this stuff in all of these different celebrities. Stop it, seriously.

ROMANS: Pocket square, there's a triangle.

MARTIN: Oh, that's Illuminati? I'm in the group.

BERMAN: He's covering it up.

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: Whether you were watching the game, whether you were watching the Beyonce concert with some guys playing football around it, whatever it was, it was a record-breaking 164 million or so people apparently watching this game, but there was a commercial here that aired in just a few markets that got people talking. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) (SINGING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Yes. Here we go. Back to the smooching theme of the morning. Will Ferrell and quite the make-out stash with this woman on the bus. This is an ad for Old Milwaukee beer, aired in just three markets, Sherman, Texas.

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: -- Montana. Becoming a tradition of sorts, apparently, for Will Ferrell. Last year, he filmed a different ad for Old Milwaukee that aired only in Nebraska.

BERMAN: You know, I read that he hasn't (ph) actually charged for making these ads. It allows him to be, you know, creative and kiss people.

CAIN: Given a blank slate, Will Ferrell comes up with --

BALDWIN: This.

MARTIN: OK. It's not like he was creative in that ad. So --

FRATES: Maybe he just wanted an excuse to make it out with somebody.

MARTIN: That's true.

ROMANS: -- and the company I called (ph) -- the company said, you know, we did not pay him to do -- he did this. We didn't do this.

BERMAN: Another Super Bowl mystery. All right, guys.

BALDWIN: The Boy Scouts --

MARTIN: Illuminati.

BALDWIN: The Boy Scouts may soon lift their ban on accepting openly gay members, but some thinks the move will cost the membership. Is that the case? It's one of the questions we want answered. The president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission on with us next.

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