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Dream Vacation Becomes A Nightmare; AmEx Using Twitter As Its Own Vending Machine; Senate Armed Services Committee Expected To Vote On Hagel's Nomination Today; IOC Wants To Get Rid Of Wrestling In Olympic Games; Memorable Moments From Previous Speeches

Aired February 12, 2013 - 15:29   ET


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: A dream vacation has fast become a nightmare for thousands of passengers on board this Carnival cruise ship. Break down at sea. Look at all these people at the tip-top there, probably just getting some fresh air.

Slowly, this cruise limping its way to Mobile, Alabama. Folks on board this ship say food and water are scarce. And the smell of sewage, which is apparently filling the hallways, is dripping down the walls. That's kind of sickening. Listen.


ANN BARLOW, ABOARD THE CARNIVAL TRIUMPH (via telephone): The staff is doing a really good job, under control as far as trying to keep the food coming, drinks, trying to do the best they can.

There's only food on the very top of the ship. So, that's kind of inconvenient. But they're trying to keep it stocked. There's only really a couple of lines. It takes three-and-a-half-hours to get your food. The smells are -- I can't describe them.

Our room is flooded. There is sewage, raw sewage, pretty bad. When you walk in the hallway, you have to cover your face. We don't have any masks for breathing.

It's disgusting. It is the worst thing ever. We're sleeping on mattresses. Our room is so horrible.

There is a lot of speculation and rumors going around, and everybody is trying to do the best they can.

DONNA GUTZMAN, ABOARD THE CARNIVAL TRIUMPH (via telephone): The only time anyone really broke down is when we all kind of fell apart when we realized we had to wait for someone to tow us.

But Carnival has been good. They're meeting our needs the best that they can. All the crew members have been very nice.

You know, there's times when the ship is leaning pretty hard and you're worried if you're flowing to flip over and you're wondering if they're telling you the truth about that being normal or, you know, where the actual tow ships are.


BALDWIN: And let's remember the whole lie as far as why they were stuck first place. There was a fire that knocked out power, crippling the ocean liner's water and plumbing systems. That was back on Sunday.

John Zarrella is in Progreso, Mexico, where this towed ship was supposed to head here. We know it's changed course. We know, John, why it's changed course and when it finally arrives in Mobile?

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, well, what happened was initially they believed that Progreso, Mexico -- the port is about 20 minutes from where we are -- was going to be the closest place to bring it.

But as the ship was without power, it began to drift and the currents were so strong in the Gulf, it drifted about 90 miles north, so by the time the tugs got there, it made no sense to come down to Progreso. It made more sense to tour it back to Mobile, Alabama.

Now, Carnival is saying it's going to be some time on Thursday before the ship actually arrives, but U.S. Coast Guard -- the captain of a Coast Guard cutter that is actually escorting the Triumph said it could be as early as late Wednesday night when they actually get close to Mobile or to the port.

So, sometime late overnight hours, Wednesday into Thursday, or as late as Thursday afternoon. Brooke?

BALDWIN: And, John, you hear these tales of sewage dripping down the walls. What is Carnival saying about that?

ZARRELLA: Well Carnival is saying in general, look, some toilets are working in the public areas and in some of the rooms. There's really no electricity on the boat, so -- but Carnival is also saying that they're providing as best they can for the people.

Some of the showers are working so that people can take a shower. Some of the elevators are working. And that they also had two other cruise ships pull up alongside of the Triumph and drop off supplies and drop off additional personnel to help with the care with the people on board.

But specifically addressing this issue of raw sewage, Carnival has not addressed that. Brooke?

BALDWIN: What about the Coast Guard? How hands on are they? Have they boarded the ship?

ZARRELLA: No, the Coast Guard has been standing on station and this -- the Coast Guard cutter Vigorous is there, and if there was a need, they would take whatever action they could.

But their job is basically to be on-station and then to provide an escort just in case they're need as the ship goes into Mobile. They have not boarded the ship. The captain of the Vigorous has said that they, in fact, are in communication and have been in communication with the ship's master on the Triumph, but that's it.

They're just there as protective measures and to guide the Triumph into port.

BALDWIN: John Zarrella for me in Mexico. John, thank you.

Also today, new revelations about Pope Benedict's health. Did you know he has a pacemaker? This appears to be the first time the Vatican has acknowledged this.

His spokesman says the device didn't have any bearing on the pope's decision to resign. Doctors replaced the pacemaker's batteries a couple of months ago in a routine procedure.

Meantime, this is -- I tell you. This is the shot seen around the world today. A couple of hours after the pope announced his resignation, lightning appeared in the sky above St. Peter's Basilica.

And did you know that when it is time to choose the pope's successor, Cardinal Roger Mahoney will be among those voting.

It was just two weeks ago Mahoney was stripped of all his public duties by the archbishop of Los Angeles amid revelations he helped conceal child molestation by priests. He will be voting for the new pope.

And get this, back here in the U.S., one guy says he is considering the job.


CHRIS TUCKER, COMEDIAN: They want me to take his place. But I said, you know, I don't know about that.


TUCKER: I don't know. I mean, I travel too much. You know, I don't know if I can stay at the Vatican that long, you know?

So, you know, I don't know. But, yeah, pope got tired. Pope said, man, I'm tired. I don't know. I've got to go do something else. I'm not doing a good job. The pope got -- he got tired, man.


BALDWIN: Well, Chris Tucker, you have a couple more weeks to decide. The pope's last day is February 28th.

Forgot your wallet? No worries. You can now pay with a hash tag. Stick around to see how this is going to work.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BALDWIN: American Express is now turning Twitter into its very own vending machine. This program just started, so Amex cardholders can sync their cards to their Twitter accounts and then buy discounted products simply by tweeting a special hash tag.

CNN's Zain Asher is live for me in New York. And, Zain, I was actually at South-By-Southwest in Austin last year and they were just sort of rolling this idea out which I had never heard of anything like this.

How does this work?

ZAIN ASHER, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: OK, well, Brooke, you know, surprisingly Twitter is actually not going to be getting a cut from any of the items sold on its site through American Express.

But, hey, it's a great way for twitter to offer real value to advertisers because, now, companies rather than just advertising their product can now use Twitter as a platform for direct sales, hugely valuable.

Also, Brooke, let's say you want to buy a Kindle or Xbox through your Twitter, you actually have to send out a tweet. Now, if you have 100 followers, advertisers now have a hundred more people knowing that you're buying their product, and, again, word of mouth, Brooke, hugely valuable to advertisers.

BALDWIN: But -- and there's the "but" here. I mean, a lot of people will be worried with their credit card information. We're talking Twitter is a public medium. What about security concerns here?

ASHER: I mean, there are some concerns. But you don't have to worry about tweeting something by mistake, and then getting charged for it.

Now, here's how it works. You tweet first hash tag and then you get a reply tweet and then you get a confirmation e-mail, so there's no risk of buying something by my mistake.

But some people are worried. You know, what if someone hacks into my Twitter account?

American Express, we spoke to them today. They say that there's not going to be any sharing of people's credit card details with Twitter.

So if your account is broken into, your credit card information should still be safe. Brooke?

BALDWIN: OK, Zain Asher, thank you very much.

And, coming up, we're going to talk to our chief congressional correspondent, Dana Bash, about this big vote that is happening today.

We know that Chuck Hagel, former senator, is the president's top pick to take the next spot after Leon Panetta is ready to go and that's secretary of defense spot.

So, how will that vote go down? Will this be smooth sailing for this former senator? We'll find out, coming up.


BALDWIN: When the president speaks tonight for the State of the Union, the parents of the gunned-down teenager from his Chicago neighborhood will be there to hear him in person.

Sitting beside Michelle Obama will be the parents of Hadiya Pendleton, that 15-year-old young woman from the Obamas' neighborhood in Chicago, shot and killed a week after she performed at the president's inauguration in Washington.

The honor comes as Chicago police announce the arrest of Pendleton's alleged shooters. They are 18-year-old Michael Ward, there on the left, and 20-year-old Kenneth Williams.

Pendleton's cousin spoke by phone to Anderson Cooper last night.


SHATIRA WILKS, HADIYA PENDLETON'S COUSIN (via telephone): On behalf of my family, we are elated to know that there is one person, or two now, off the streets that could very well cause harm to my neighbor, another relative, or anyone in the world.

We're excited to know that the police, the Chicago police department, worked diligently.

However, there is no level of comfort, not long-term comfort. You know, we are still miserable. Miserable would only be the term to really acknowledge the feelings of the parents and the family.


BALDWIN: Chicago police say the men fired at Pendleton by mistake as they were going after rival gang members instead.


BALDWIN: In the next couple of hours, a big moment for Chuck Hagel, the man President Obama wants to be secretary of defense.

The Senate armed services committee expected to vote on Hagel's nomination today and, while it is likely he will be confirmed, some Republicans are still very much so putting up a fight.

I want to go straight to chief congressional correspondent Dana Bash, live on the Hill here, and Senator Lindsey Graham specifically one of those Republicans making headlines, especially after this past Sunday.

He just spoke. What did he say? DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, the complaint among all Republicans so far -- in fact, you saw David Vitter, Republican from Louisiana, speaking just there -- is that they don't think that Chuck Hagel has given them enough information, information the senators asked for, specifically on speeches that he made after he left the Senate, who he made them to, what he said, how much money he made, and there are even accusations of him hiding information.

But the Democratic chair, if you see him right there, Carl Levin, he has made perfectly clear that he thinks enough is enough, that Hagel has gone above and beyond in giving the information required for confirmation.

So, that's why after you hear the senators talk, which as you know, Brooke, senators like to do, and make their points, we're going to see a vote, likely going to be pretty much along party lines, but then the next big thing to look for is what happens on the Senate floor.

The Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that he hopes to hold a vote to actually confirm Hagel for defense secretary by the end of this week, but the question is going to be whether or not any Republican is going to filibuster it.

But it's important to keep in mind, at this point it looks according to our vote count, it's not a question of if, it's just a question of when, whether or not Republicans are going to gum up the works and require some procedural hurdles to be gone over before Chuck Hagel is actually confirmed.

We'll probably know the answer to that tonight whether or not there will be a formal filibuster.

But, bottom line, headline is, according to our vote count, we think that Chuck Hagel seems to be in good shape to be the next defense secretary.

BALDWIN: OK, we will look for that news in the midst of the State of the Union there in Washington.

Dana Bash, thank you very much.

And the 2000 Olympic games in Sydney changed the face of American wrestling. That is the year that Rulon Gardner from Wyoming beat this Russian wrestler, who, by the way, hadn't lost in 13 years.

Look at this picture. This American, on the right, this is an American dairy farmer, took home the gold medal, lots and lots of pride, but guess what? Today, he's angry. He's angry because the International Olympic Committee wants to toss out the sport that made Gardner a household name.

Wrestling is going to have to fight against seven other sports, sports like baseball, karate, if it wants to be in the 2020 Olympic games. And Rulon Gardner joins me on the phone today from Logan, Utah. And, Rulon, just give it to me straight. How angry are you?

RULON GARDNER, OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST (via telephone): Well, you know, it seems it's not really a matter of how mad I am. I think it's just disappointed. I think it's a travesty to the Olympic movement that one of the two original Olympic sports is being dropped.

And there's no question, it's just kind of a one-act says all and, you know, right now, we're kind of stuck in the situation we're at and, hopefully, we're going to fight to keep this sport alive.

BALDWIN: You know, I know it's one of the oldest Olympic sports, but when you hear from the IOC, they say maybe it's not as relevant in terms of sports as, you know, boxing or cycling.

Why do you think -- what would be your pitch to have wrestling stay?

GARDNER (via telephone): Well, you know, overall, there's almost 200 countries around the world that have wrestling federations involved and we actually had 28 different countries win medals in the London Olympics last year and, so, then wrestling, the sport of wrestling, is all over the world.

I've been to Cuba eight times wrestling down there. I've been all around the world. I've been to communism. I've been to China. I've seen the world and the sport of wrestling promotes the best of what the world has to offer.

And I think it's kind of just a travesty to the Olympic movement that, you know, you would take one of the best, well-known sports out there and, basically, just, you know, put it on the chopping block and say it's gone so they can add another -- maybe another more mainstream sport.

BALDWIN: It sounds like wrestling really has been your ticket to seeing the world.

But beyond a personal reason for a future wrestler, if the wrestling federation doesn't win this fight in terms of the sport, how does it impact it?

GARDNER (via telephone): I think if we don't win this fight, I think the sport may actually just kind of -- you know, the international sport of wrestling may diminish and you have youth wrestling in America's actually been getting bigger, getting stronger as we go.

But the sport overall, if we don't keep Olympic wrestling going, I think we could be in for a free-for-all and I don't see that being a good ending for anybody and, so, hopefully, we can push the IOC to see that we have not stopped fighting and we want to show you the world that wrestling deserve to be at the Olympics.

It was one of the two original Olympic sports. You look at the Greeks and one of the original statues they have is of a wrestler.

BALDWIN: Olympic gold medalist, Rulon Gardner. Rulon, we shall see if they win that fight. Thank you so much for calling, a pleasure and an honor to talk to you.

As we've been ...

GARDNER (via telephone): You're welcome. We're not done fighting.

BALDWIN: I hear you. I hear you, loud and clear.

As we've been telling you, President Obama's State of the Union speech is tonight. And, coming up next, we're going to take a look at some of the more memorable -- shall we call them -- moments from previous addresses. Do not miss what John Berman has found.


BALDWIN: Two hundred miles stretching all the way from Midlothian, Texas, to Austin, this is how long this funeral processional is. This is for former Navy SEAL, sniper Chris Kyle, here. Look at these pictures.

Remember the story. Kyle was shot dead at a remote shooting range earlier this month. Considered one of the best shooting snipers in U.S. history, he survived four tours of duty, but investigators say he was killed by a man he was trying to help.

His widow, describing Kyle at his funeral in Arlington.


TAYA KYLE, WIDOW OF CHRIS KYLE: I stand before you, a broken woman, but I am now and always will be the wife of a man who's a warrior both on and off the battlefield.


BALDWIN: Today, you see those slick streets? In the rain, thousands of Texans lined the roadways and the overpasses. The procession made up of about 200 motorcycles, buses, and police cruisers.

OK, State of the Union, 9:00 tonight, you know the deal, a lot of pomp, a lot of ceremony, and if you watch closely enough, every once in a while they do something spontaneous at the State of the Union.

John Berman takes a look at some of the most memorable moments from previous speeches.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Speaker, the president of the United States. JOHN BERMAN, CO-ANCHOR, CNN'S "EARLY START": From the very moment the president walks down the aisle, it is a parade of people- watching.

Members of Congress jockey for position like it's a Justin Bieber concert.

Former Congressman Dennis Kucinich, maybe he's the biggest believer, or maybe he just aisle seat. He always seemed to be there for the big hello.

All helloes, not created equal. Maybe the most famous, Senator Joe Lieberman once appeared to get a kiss from President George W. Bush.

Sometimes Mr. Freud seems to seep into a president's speech. In 1974, some inadvertent foreshadowing from President Richard Nixon.

FORMER PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: And I urge the Congress to join me in mounting a major new effort to replace the discredited the president -- present welfare system.

BERMAN: And, in 2000, President Clinton, perhaps revealing his true political colors.

FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: Tonight. I ask you to support new funding for the following things, to make American communities more liberal -- livable.

BERMAN: There is always loud applause, but also head shaking, stony silence and the extreme disapproval when President Obama criticized a campaign finance ruling, a full-out mouthing of "not true" from Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.

But for every nightmare, there is a dream. The forever dreamy Tom Brady, once in the stands for George W. Bush.

On the subject of dreams and nightmares, guess which one John McCain was having in 2007.

Oh, a big yawn from Harry Reid in 2010, and from Vice President Biden, perhaps a moment of meditation in 2011.

Mr. Biden's hands have their very own chapter in the State of the Union history book.

With so much sitting and standing and clapping, it's easy to see why he might have a timing issue.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: ... for less than one percent.

BERMAN: There's the air-boxing fist pump.

OBAMA: That dream is why a working class kid from Scranton can sit behind me.

BERMAN: And, of course, the palms to the sky shrug.

OBAMA: Because nobody messes with Joe. Isn't that right?

BERMAN: We have the Constitution to thank for this annual address and, even if the State of the Union is animated, sleepy or dreamy, according to the president ...

OBAMA: The state of our union will always be strong.

BERMAN: John Berman, CNN, Washington.


BALDWIN: Berman, thank you.

Hey, did you know that every member of Congress can bring a guest to the State of the Union? Every single one can.

So, as we mentioned earlier on the show, Ted Nugent will be the guest tonight of Texas Republican Steve Stockton, Nugent, of course, an outspoken proponent of gun rights.

And, as it turns out, a lot of other guests have connections to the gun debate here. First, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, she will be in attendance. Her husband, Mark Kelly, will be there, as well, as will the parents of Hadiya Pendleton. Hadiya was shot dead in Chicago one week after performing during the president's inauguration weekend.

And Tony Bennett will be there, as well, at the invitation of Nancy Pelosi. Bennett is an outspoken proponent of gun control.

And, again, don't forget to watch special coverage tonight, 7:00 Eastern, only on CNN.

I'm Brooke Baldwin, thank you so much for being with me here.

Let's go to Wolf Blitzer in Washington. Hey, Wolf.

WOLF BLITZER, ANCHOR, "THE SITUATION ROOM": Brooke, thanks very much.