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WEEKEND EARLY START

Obama Signs Order For Spending Cuts; The Week That Was; Bleacher Report; A New, More Relaxed President Obama; Christie Not Invited to CPAC Conference; Jodi Arias on Trial for Murder

Aired March 2, 2013 - 06:00   ET

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


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: From CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, this is EARLY START WEEKEND.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We shouldn't be making a series of dumb, arbitrary cuts to things that businesses depend on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: But apparently we did. While you were sleeping, the clock struck midnight and $85 billion have all but vanished.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: And the biggest to go broke. That's one American city's notorious distinction. Now the state is stepping in and maybe taking over.

BLACKWELL: A brutal cross-examination of a suspected killer. But were these tears really genuine or all part of an act?

It's Saturday, March 2nd. Good morning. Good morning. I'm Victor Blackwell.

KEILAR: And I'm Brianna Keilar, in for Randi Kaye.

We start this morning in Washington with those forced spending cuts that were never supposed to happen. Well, they are happening.

BLACKWELL: Yes, overnight, $85 billion in federal funding was slashed from the budget, effecting everything from education to the FBI, to food safety, national parks. The president is calling the cuts dumb and arbitrary.

Our chief White House correspondent Jessica Yellin has more from Washington -- Jessica.

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, Victor, the president has now signed the order triggering these forced spending cuts. Now, administration officials acknowledge there was no kind of negotiating over a deal to avoid those cuts at a last minute White House meeting with congressional leaders. They say the two sides are just too far apart.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) YELLIN (voice-over): Congressional leaders, summoned to the White House for a last-minute meeting, left less than an hour later with no deal. Soon after, the president came to the Briefing Room to give his side of the story.

OBAMA: None of this is necessary. It's happening because a choice that Republicans in Congress have made.

YELLIN: At issue, Mr. Obama wants to raise some money by closing tax loopholes. Republicans want no new taxes. Instead, replace these unpopular cuts with more targeted cuts. Both sides are dug in. Mr. Obama insists he's done everything he can to reach a deal.

OBAMA: What more do you think I should do? OK. I just want to clarify. You know, because if people have a suggestion, I'm happy to -- this is a room full of smart folks.

YELLIN: Some in his own party have suggested the president could use the power of his office to pressure both sides to move past their lines in the sand.

(on camera): Couldn't you just have them down here and refuse to let them leave the room until you have a deal?

OBAMA: I am not a dictator. I'm the president. I can't have Secret Service block the doorway, right? So --

YELLIN: Leadership (ph)? I'm sorry (INAUDIBLE) --

OBAMA: I understand. And I -- and, you know, I know that this has been some of the conventional wisdom that's been floating around Washington, that I should somehow, you know, do a Jedi mind meld with these folks and convince them to do what's right.

YELLIN (voice-over): The president also tried to paint a picture of the spending cut's impact.

OBAMA: Border patrol agents, FBI agents, civilians who work at the Pentagon all will suffer significant pay cuts and furloughs.

YELLIN: The administration has come under fire for those warnings, including from New York's billionaire mayor.

MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (I), NEW YORK CITY: There's a lot of posturing, I'm going to lay off my employees today unless you do something.

YELLIN (on camera): What do you say to the people like Mayor Bloomberg, who think that the effects of this spending cuts are being overstated by the administration?

OBAMA: The notion that my school for my children on an Army base might be disrupted because Congress didn't act, that's an impact. Now, Mayor Bloomberg and others may not feel that impact. I suspect they won't. But that family will. YELLIN (voice-over): Zing (ph). Still a careful balancing act for the president who's trying to keep public sentiment on his side over what could become a fiscal crisis.

OBAMA: This is not going to be an apocalypse, I think, as some people have said. It's just dumb. And it's going to hurt.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

YELLIN: Don't expect to see the president crisscross the nation talking only about spending cuts for the next few weeks. He'll also move on to focus on immigration, guns, and other domestic priorities, while the administration waits for Congress to work out the fiscal mess -- Brianna, Victor.

KEILAR: Thanks, Jessica.

Now, despite the cuts, air traffic control towers will not be shutting down. At least not for now. An official had warned the spending cuts would mean more than 160 towers would be shut down next month, which could have resulted in airport delays. But now the FAA says that warning wasn't authorized. But many air traffic controllers will likely be forced to take unpaid days off as a result of the cuts.

BLACKWELL: Staying with politics. Some environmentalists are outraged following a State Department report on the controversial Keystone Pipeline. It said the pipeline would not have a significant impact on the environment. Now, remember, the pipeline would run through the heartland of the U.S. from Canada to the Gulf Coast and carry 830,000 barrels of oil a day. The new report sets the stage for President Obama to decide how to proceed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VAN JONES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: More importantly, what happens if you've got the Obama pipeline -- now it's the Obama pipeline -- and it leaks. His legacy could be the worst oil disaster in American farmland history. He's got to make a tough choice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Well, supporters of the pipeline say it will create 5,000 jobs and could reduce reliance on imports from other countries.

KEILAR: New York Republican Peter King is slamming fellow Republican Marco Rubio for fund raising in his home state. King says New Yorkers shouldn't give a penny to the senator because he originally voted against aid for victims of Superstorm Sandy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: Senator Rubio voted against it. Never came to New York to inspect the damage. Never spoke with Governor Cuomo or Mayor Bloomberg or, as far as I know, Governor Christie. He just voted no as if this is like accepted policy that Republicans -- national Republicans can vote against New York. That's bad enough. Then, I understand, he's in New York trying to raise money apparently for his presidential campaign. I was thinking, in my case, if I had voted against aid to Louisiana after Katrina, I wouldn't have thought of going to New Orleans to raise money. Or if I had voted against aid to Florida after a hurricane, I wouldn't have thought of going to Miami to raise money for myself.

So I just think it's time that we in New York send a signal, we've had enough. We're not going to allow this to go on where politicians can attack New York, vote against New York. And this was -- we're not looking for a bridge or a tunnel or some special project. This is life and death we were talking about.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: Rubio later voted in favor of aid for Sandy victims.

BLACKWELL: The man charged in last July's movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado, may plead not guilty by reason of insanity. In court papers made public yesterday, lawyers for James Holmes say they can't make a final decision on the plea until a judge rules on their motion challenging the constitutionality of Colorado's insanity defense law.

As it stands, people who evoke it must disclose potentially incriminating information. Now, in this case, that could include Homes' mental health records plus a notebook he purportedly sent to his psychiatrist.

In about an hour, rescuers will resume their search for the body of a Florida man who was swallowed by a sink hole.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

911 CALLER (voice-over): We need an ambulance and the cops. But (ph) he's stuck underneath the house. The house just fell through.

911 DISPATCHER (voice-over): OK. And what happened to the house?

911 CALLER: The bedroom floor just collapsed and my brother-in-law is in there. He's underneath the house.

911 DISPATCHER: OK. Hold on one second. Let me connect you with EMS. OK

911 CALLER: OK.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: That was the 911 call made to police early Friday morning. Witnesses say they heard a deafening sound and then a sink hole opened up under Jeff Bush's bedroom. Can you imagine?

His brother, Jeremy, tried to save him but was unsuccessful. And Jeremy broke down in tears as he spoke to Anderson Cooper last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, CNN'S "AC 360": Jeremy, I'm so sorry for what you're going through and I -- what happens now? What -- I mean where are you --

JEREMY BUSH, SINKHOLE VICTIM'S BROTHER: There's a picture of my brother right there. There's a picture of my brother right there. The man I love. The guy I always -- I -- he's my brother, man. He was everything to me. And that's him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Officials say the sink hole is still expanding and could eventually take the whole house with it.

KEILAR: Overseas now. Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez is fighting for his life. That's according to his vice president who says Chavez is being treated at a military hospital in Caracas. Chavez just recently returned to Venezuela after undergoing cancer treatment in Cuba. His health kept him from attending his own inauguration in January when he was elected to a second six-year term.

And President Obama has nominated the first female superintendent of the Air Force Academy. Major General Michelle Johnson is currently NATO's deputy chief of staff for operations and intelligence. She graduated from the academy where she was the first female cadet wing commander. Johnson's appointment still needs to be confirmed by the Senate.

BLACKWELL: The birthplace of the U.S. auto industry is on the verge of bankruptcy. Detroit's facing billions in mounting debt. So, will someone step in to bail them out?

KEILAR: And did the NFL go too far during this week's scouting combine (ph)? We'll tell you why league officials are now investigating some of their own members.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KEILAR: One of America's largest cities is just about broke. So the state of Michigan is stepping in to take over Detroit city government.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. RICK SNYDER (R), MICHIGAN: If you go across the country and talk to people, there's probably no city that's more financially challenged in the entire United States. If you looked at the quality of services to citizens, it's ranked among the worst. So we went from the top to the bottom over the last 50 or 60 years.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: That was Michigan's Governor Rick Snyder at a news conference yesterday. He announced the state is taking drastic action and appointing an emergency manager to run the city government. That manager will have the power to cut spending and throw out city contracts, if necessary. The mayor, maybe not surprisingly, disagrees with the decision.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR DAVE BRING, DETROIT: The state has not been as good to Detroit as I think they should have been. because we lose revenue sharing based on our population loss. And so there's just a myriad of things right now and most of it revolves around revenue. And, you know, we can't cut our way back out of this problem. I think we've cut as much as we can cut. We've got to think about how we can raise revenue again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: Now the question is how long will it take to turn the city around? The governor told Wolf Blitzer that this won't be a quick fix. Snyder mentioned that he already has a top candidate for the manager post.

BLACKWELL: The pontiff parts with his Prada, things get harry for Hagel, and Honey Boo Boo, she's going worldwide. Here's a look at the week that was.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: The battle over Chuck Hagel's nomination is over.

CHUCK HAGEL, DEFENSE SECRETARY: That's a reality.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: The red shoes of a pope, gone.

JON STEWART, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW": It's got to be done, though, because otherwise this guy could just make himself pope again by clicking his heels together three times.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Honey Boo Boo child is a massive hit overseas and I can't believe I just said that.

BLACKWELL (voice-over): The Prada goes away, Honey Boo Boo goes overseas, and did members of the NFL go too far?

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN: After a bitter confirmation, Chuck Hagel has now been sworn in as U.S. defense secretary.

BLACKWELL: It wasn't easy for Chuck.

DAVID MUIR, ABC NEWS: Republicans had delayed his vote and objected over his views on Iran, among other things.

BLACKWELL: Like some of his past affiliations.

STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, "THE COLBERT REPORT": Is he a member of the al Qaeda kids club?

BLACKWELL: Ah, I wouldn't go that far. Needless to say, after all that, at the Pentagon, it's now Charles in charge. At the NFL combines this week, speed was a factor. So was agility. And so was sexual orientation. Wait, what?

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN: An NFL draft prospect says that teams asked him if he likes girls.

BLACKWELL: According to one prospect --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): They asked me like, do you have a girlfriend, are you married, do you like girls?

BLACKWELL: That's a big no-no.

CARLOS DIAZ, CNN SPORTS: Any federal, local, or state law says you cannot base employment on someone's sexual orientation.

BLACKWELL: The NFL is investigating the allegations.

DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, "THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": As you know, the pope, a couple weeks ago, was fired.

BLACKWELL: I'm sorry, come again?

LETTERMAN: They caught him stealing communion wafers.

BLACKWELL: Not exactly, but he did resign and he did say good-bye to something else.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, ABC NEWS: He will dispense with his signature red Prada shoes.

STEWART: That's got to hurt.

BLACKWELL: The pope will trade in the red ones for a pair of brown ones.

COLBERT: Meaning, he'll no longer be able to transport himself to Kansas.

BLACKWELL: The shoes, he had to give back. But we should expect to see more of them (ph).

JIMMY FALLON, HOST, "LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON": Like most Catholics, he'll be back for Christmas and Easter.

BLACKWELL: Honey Boo Boo is going worldwide.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You better recognize (ph).

JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE": So that should be good for our reputation abroad.

BLACKWELL: TLC announced its hit show is already number three in Poland.

KIMMEL: In other countries it would be called cheese monsters battles Type 2 diabetes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Honey Boo Boo is set to Italy, Sweden and Latin America all in the next month.

CONAN O'BRIEN, HOST, "CONAN": Which means the show will be translated into Spanish, Arabic and maybe someday English.

BLACKWELL: And that's a look at the week that was.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KEILAR: I didn't take you for a Honey Boo Boo fan, but I totally busted you when that package was running.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Well, you know, I watch the show. It's not something I'm proud of. But, you know, if you watch it, you know that June loves her children and --

KEILAR: She sure does.

BLACKWELL: And Sugar Bear loves that family.

KEILAR: Sugar Bear.

BLACKWELL: Yes, Sugar Bear. He's my favorite character. I don't watch every episode, but when it's on and I can't find the remote --

KEILAR: Yes, uh-huh, that's what it is.

BLACKWELL: Yes, I will watch an episode.

KEILAR: Yep, can't find the remote. Classic excuse.

BLACKWELL: There's a lot of love in that family.

KEILAR: There is.

BLACKWELL: OK, well, then, do you watch the show?

KEILAR: I have seen the show, Victor.

BLACKWELL: Oh, no. OK, now it's all about Victor's watching Honey Boo Boo.

KEILAR: I have seen -- I have seen the show from time to time. I'm not going to lie.

BLACKWELL: OK. There aren't many episodes. So from time to time is probably the whole series.

KEILAR: I'm not proud either. It's fun.

BLACKWELL: All right.

KEILAR: Well, let's talk about golfing phenom Rory McIlroy. He stormed off of the course. BLACKWELL: Yes, not only that, but he went right from the course straight to his car. We'll tell you why.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: A family friend charged in the death of Usher's 11-year-old stepson is set to appear before a judge this weekend. Jeffrey Simon Hubbard is being held without bond pending his court appearance. A grand jury near Atlanta has indicted him of first-degree homicide by vessel. Police say Hubbard was piloting the jet ski that collided with Kile Glover last July. Now, Glover suffered severe brain injury from the accident and was taken off life support.

Actress Bonny Franklin has died.

(AUDIO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: You know the theme song and you may remember her role as a single mother on the show "One Day at a Time." Franklin broke into the entertainment industry 60 years ago on the "Colgate Comedy Hour." In 1970, her theater performance in the show "Applause" earned her a Tony Award nomination. She passed away yesterday of complications from pancreatic cancer. Bonnie Franklin was 69-years-old.

The '90s hit TV show "Matlock" made a comeback in Cleveland this week. Executives at the local NBC station aired a two-hour "Matlock" movie special in place of regular programming repeats. It actually beat shows on competing networks like ABC's "Scandal." "Matlock" beat "Scandal." The station says viewers wanted more "Matlock" after the Academy Awards left the late Andy Griffith out of their Oscar night memorial tribute.

KEILAR: Time now for sports. And we start with a story that has the golf world talking. Rory McIlroy, the top ranked player in the world, walked off the course yesterday in the middle of the Honda Classic. His excuse, a tooth ache. Jared Greenberg is here with more in this morning's "Bleacher Report."

And this is a tournament that he won just a year ago. So this is sort of very contrasting to that a year ago, Jared.

JARED GREENBERG, BLEACHER REPORT: Yes, Brianna, what a difference a year makes. And this is the third cut he's missed so far this season. You know, a wise man once said, no pain, no gain. Well, Rory McIlroy would tend to disagree. He said he's in pain and he's out. The world's best golfer has not been on his A-game. While playing on his ninth hole yesterday, McIlroy had enough, walking off the course. First he told reporters he was in a bad place mentally. Then in a statement, McIlroy apologized for his sudden withdrawal saying a sore wisdom tooth wouldn't allow him to concentrate.

Oh, by the way, Tiger Woods not in need of a trip to the dentist. He's seven shots off the lead heading into today's third round.

From Super Bowl MVP to the richest contract in the history of the NFL. Not a bad month, huh, for Joe Flacco. The Ravens have reportedly rewarded their championship quarterback with a new deal that is worth $120 million.

Well, how about a few million bucks for a few dunks? Or at least just $1 million. That's what Hall of Famer Magic Johnson is offering LeBron James if he'll enter next year's slam dunk contest. Of late, LeBron has turned the Miami Heat pre-game lay-up line into a must-see event. Friday night, he provided this gem. In his first 10 seasons in the NBA, LeBron has declined an invite to participate in the NBA all-star weekend slam dunk contest. This has become basketball's version of batting practice. Fans are now arriving early to see LeBron put on a show before the game even starts. Look at LeBron throwing it down.

Player of the year, candidate on the diamond. Not baseball season yet. You don't think so? Well, think again. Check out North Carolina State's Brett Williams laying out, full extension, does his version of a cart wheel and, most importantly, Williams makes the catch. Not sure if the NC State gymnastics coach has given Williams a call yet after seeing that, but maybe the Olympic team should check him out.

For all your entertaining sports news, including a preview of today's huge college hoops game between Duke and Miami, make sure to check out bleacherreport.com.

And one footnote to that Joe Flacco story, Brianna. And this will make you feel really, really good. He'll make nearly $170,000 a day during the regular season.

KEILAR: Holy cow. Now that cart wheel was unbelievable.

GREENBERG: That was an amazing catch. This early in the season, college baseball is ready in full swing and now it's your turn. Do you think you can do that?

KEILAR: I don't know. I certainly can't do a cart wheel like that.

Jared Greenberg with the "Bleacher Report." Thanks for that -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: A $1 million just to enter the dunk contest? He doesn't have to win? $1 million.

GREENBERG: No, that's it. Because they know everybody's going to tune in. That's who they want to see, Victor.

BLACKWELL: I'll do it for like $150. I'll enter.

KEILAR: Cheap.

BLACKWELL: All right. Hey, those forced spending cuts, they were designed to be so ruthlessly extreme that Congress would have to compromise to find another option. Well, that didn't happen. And today, what's known as sequestration begins.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: Thirty minutes after the hour. Welcome back. I'm Victor Blackwell. KEILAR: And I'm Brianna Keilar in this morning for Randi Kaye. Thanks for starting your day with us. Here are the five stories that we are watching.

A nightmare in Florida where a sinkhole opened up beneath Jeff Bush's bedroom, swallowing him alive. His panicked screams on Friday were the last that anyone's heard of him, and he's now presumed dead. Officials say the hole, which is under the house, is as wide as 30 feet across, and it's expanding, taking the house with it as it opens up. In about 30 minutes, crews there are expected to resume the search for Jeff's body.

BLACKWELL: In London, Europe's horse meat scandal widens. Fast food giant Taco Bell has taken beef totally off the menu in its three UK outlets after tests on ground beef found traces of horse meat. A spokesman said the company had voluntarily ordered testing of its beef products in light of last month's scandal.

Train may best be known for songs like "Marry Me" and "Jupiter."

(MUSIC)

BLACKWELL: But now the pop band's making news for their politics, refusing to perform at the Boy Scouts National Jamboree until the organization drops their ban on openly gay members. Last month, Scout leaders put off a vote on gay membership until May at the earliest. The Jamboree kicks off July 15th.

KEILAR: It was a picture perfect liftoff, but there was trouble for the Space-X Dragon capsule on Friday. Space-X said three of the four thruster pods on the capsule, which are needed to get it to the space station, were not working for a time. The unmanned spacecraft is carrying supplies to the International Space Station. The problem has been fixed, but it will delay docking with the station by about a day.

And today kicks off the $85 billion in forced spending cuts that will take place over the next seven months. President Obama signed the order last night after the White House and congressional leaders failed to come up with an alternative. Defense spending will be impacted the most. Congress will take another stab at replacing the cuts with another, less severe plan later this month.

BLACKWELL: Hey, have you noticed that there's a new side to the president we're seeing, one we haven't seen before? The commander in chief is more relaxed, more emotional, more open. And at least one person thinks he knows why. Our chief White House correspondent Jessica Yellin has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

YELLIN: President Obama has been showing his softer side lately. From tears of joy, speaking to campaign workers the day after his reelection.

OBAMA: I'm really proud of all of you.

YELLIN: To tears of sadness after the Newtown shooting.

OBAMA: Beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old.

YELLIN: He's not just showing his emotions, he's sharing them too.

OBAMA: I wish I'd had a father who was around and involved.

YELLIN: Having some fun here with the Miami Heat.

OBAMA: I think part of the reason they came back today is they want another shot at the old guy.

YELLIN: And going off script about Republican tactics.

OBAMA: We're just going to try to shove only spending cuts down, you know, well -- well, shove spending cuts at us.

YELLIN: What a difference four years makes. First-term Obama was known for his cold, detached style. Early in his first term, he failed the empathy test with this California teacher about to be laid off.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I got my rift (ph) notice on Saturday.

OBAMA: I'm sorry, you got what notice?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My rift notice, which means I'm going to be intentioned to be laid off.

OBAMA: A pink slip.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, a pink slip. That's why I'm wearing pink.

YELLIN: Now the president's more likely to wear his heart on his sleeve.

OBAMA: This is where Michelle and I met, where we fell in love.

YELLIN: And using passion for political effect too.

OBAMA: Gabby Giffords deserves a vote. The families of Newtown deserve a vote.

YELLIN: He once saved that kind of emotional rallying call for campaign style events outside the Beltway. No longer.

The president's biographer says it all changed after he won reelection.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we've all seen since the day after his reelection a more relaxed Barack Obama. Something that took a lifetime for him to get to this point. We've really seen a new Obama.

YELLIN: The new Obama is going where the first-term president generally wouldn't dare. Talking about his biracial identity in a eulogy for his childhood senator. OBAMA: Here I was a young boy with a white mom, a black father, raised in Indonesia and Hawaii. And I was beginning to sense how fitting into the world might not be as simple as it might seem.

YELLIN: Remembering his troubled teenage years, speaking to kids back home in Chicago.

OBAMA: When I screwed up, the consequences weren't as high as when kids on the South Side screw up. So I had more of a safety net. But these guys are no different than me.

YELLIN: In his first term, the president was far more cautious about his past. On most topics, he just didn't go there. Now, as the president himself points out.

OBAMA: I've run my last election.

YELLIN: He's free of the pressure to woo swing voters, so he's using his stories to try to inspire audiences and pitch policies, bringing a more complete personality into focus.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think one ever knows the real him. But I think that it's closer to being the private and the public Obama coming together in a clearer way.

YELLIN: Don't take our word for it. Even he admits he's changed. Check out his humble brag.

OBAMA: The longer you're in it, the more humble you get. And the more you recognize your own imperfections.

YELLIN: Humility he can afford after winning a second term.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Obama is never going to be the "I feel your pain" like Bill Clinton type of president, but he's getting closer.

YELLIN: During his 2008 campaign, President Obama used his biography to connect with audiences and sell himself as the melting pot embodied. Now, he seems increasingly comfortable doing that again.

Jessica Yellin, CNN, the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KEILAR: I don't like it when I don't get invited to a party. But not invited is what Chris Christie is, and he says he doesn't care. That's the sentiment from the governor, not invited to the CPAC conference.

The conference chairman said that Christie was not invited, because his recent positions, including support of a super storm Sandy relief bill and the Medicaid expansion, were not conservative enough. But Republican Congressman Peter King tells CNN that CPAC's decision was a mistake.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. PETER KING, R-NEW YORK: That's a suicidal death wish. CPAC to me loses all credibility. You have a governor who is conservative, he's balanced the budget, he's taken on public employee unions, he is pro- life, and yet he has a 74 percent favorable rating in a Democratic blue state. So he's a person who has shown that blue-collar conservatism works, that it appeals to working men and women, that it appeals to women.

And these are the areas where we've been suffering. Chris Christie is doing the job, but they say because he fought for the aid for New Jersey, which he was entitled to, the same aid that every other state has always gotten, he won't be accepted.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: As he said, he's got plenty of invitations to speak at other places.

KEILAR: I like getting invited to the party, though, myself. It kind of smarts when other people are invited and you don't get to go.

BLACKWELL: And you see the Instagram pictures the next day.

KEILAR: That's right. Oh, I didn't want to go anyways.

BLACKWELL: You should have been there. You should have been there.

All right, hard turn here, she cried, she lied, she killed.

KEILAR: And now the prosecution is hammering away at Jodi Arias' story.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: Jodi Arias' defense team. They're going to have their work cut out for them when she returns to the stand on Monday. Did you watch this week? It was a week of intense cross-examination. She confessed to lies, to cover-ups, graphic sexual acts, confessions some say have damaged her credibility. And now it is Arias' turn to prove she killed her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in self-defense. Here's Randi Kaye with more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The state of Arizona versus Jodi Ann Arias indictment, count one, first-degree murder, premeditated murder.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: January 2nd, a trial more than four years in the making finally begins.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not a case of whodunit. The person who has done it, the person who committed this killing sits in court today. It's the defendant, Jodi Ann Arias.

BETH KARAS, "IN SESSION": Jodi Arias was very confident that first day. KAYE: "In Session's" Beth Karas has been in the courtroom every day of the trial.

What was the forensic evidence that the prosecution said linked Jodi Arias to the crime scene?

KARAS: Blood. Fingerprints, palm print and hair.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jodi loved Travis. And so what would have forced her to have to take Travis' life on that awful day?

KAYE: The defense team argued that a lifetime of physical and mental abuse by family and boyfriends had reached a tipping point for Jodi Arias.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And on June 4th of 2008, it had reached a point of no return. And sadly, Travis left Jodi no other option but to defend herself. On that horrible day, Jodi believed that Travis was going to kill her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you speak to how much contact you had with Ms. Arias?

KAYE: The defense began with a friend of Jodi's.

GUS SEARCY, FRIEND OF JODI: It -- probably at a minimum of once a week we would touch base with each other.

She was always very well spoken, a little bit timid, a little bit shy.

KAYE: A former boyfriend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know Jodi because we were in love.

KAYE: And even friends of Travis.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How did Travis treat Jodi when it was just the four of you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Very well.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And what do you mean by very well? What did he do?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They just seemed happy to be with each other, like very cuddly and very much a couple.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please be seated, the record will show the presence of the jury, the defendant, and all counsel.

KAYE: Then on the trial's 14th day, a deceptively routine order from the judge.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ladies and gentlemen, I'm going to ask that you go back to the jury room for approximately three minutes and then return. Ms. Arias, you may come forward and take a seat, please. KARAS: All of a sudden I see Jodi Arias walking across the courtroom to the witness stand.

KAYE: Minutes later, as they filed back in, an extraordinary moment for jurors. Seeing, without warning, the accused gazing at them from the witness stand.

KARAS: Well, jurors filed in and are used to seeing her sitting over at counsel table. And it took a second to realize she's in the witness box. She's going to be telling her story.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLACKWELL: So was Jodi Arias a domestic abuse victim or a cold-blooded killer? From disturbing phone sex recordings to her stunning testimony, the riveting courtroom drama continues to slowly pull back the curtain on the violent murder of Travis Alexander. Watch the "AC 360" special report, "Sex, Lies and Audiotape, the Jodi Arias Trial," tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern on CNN.

KEILAR: It was seven days dominated by a murder in Mississippi and Wikileaks admissions. Here's your week of crime in 60 seconds.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KEILAR: A shootout in California leaves two police detectives dead. Authorities say Jeremy Goulet (ph) gunned down Sergeants Lawrence Baker and Elizabeth Butler Tuesday. When the police found him, Goulet was killed in a gunfight.

Marco McMillian, an openly gay Mississippi mayoral candidate, was found dead near a levee miles from his car. Police have arrested Lawrence Reed, age 22. The local sheriff's office says Reed faces murder charges.

The parents of a transgender first grader have filed a lawsuit against a Colorado school district. Coy Mathis's parents say that the school discriminated against their child when they refused to allow him to use the girls' bathroom. Coy was born with male sex organs, but identifies as a girl. The school district says it acted reasonably and fairly in the matter.

And on Thursday, Army Private First Class Bradley Manning pled guilty to 10 of the 22 charges against him with regard to releasing classified information through Wikileaks. He did not plead guilty to the most serious charge, aiding the enemy. And that's your week of crime in 60 seconds.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KEILAR: I know that if we were not here doing the news, we would be working out, right?

BLACKWELL: Oh, yes. Crunching it out.

(CROSSTALK) KEILAR: So as you ponder whether to hop on the treadmill or the weight machine, crank out those reps on this Saturday morning, allow us to help you decide.

BLACKWELL: If you're really thinking about it, you're probably not going to do it. Only if you're planning are you going to go. The jumping jacks and all that. Yes, you need them, but there's something else you need to help you live longer. We'll show you what it is.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: March is national nutrition month, and this morning, we're talking about how to prolong your life expectancy. We all know that exercise can help decrease the risk of disease, but if you mix that in with a healthy diet, you'll be on a long road to a healthier and hopefully longer life. Fitness and nutrition expert Desiree Nathanson is here to talk about how we can extend our life expectancy. Good to have you back.

DESIREE NATHANSON, FITNESS AND NUTRITION EXPERT: Thanks, Victor. Good to be here.

BLACKWELL: So we know if you eat right, you can do well. But are there exercises that can extend a lifetime?

NATHANSON: Well, there was actually a study done a few years ago that showed doing just 15 minutes of activity a day could increase your life expectancy by 14 percent. And it could also increase your life expectancy by three years. So just 15 minutes a day.

BLACKWELL: Of what?

NATHANSON: So, for instance, I have a quick little circuit you can do anywhere. You just pick four exercises, you do it four times through, and you do 45 seconds on, 15 seconds off. So you can do like 45 seconds of dips or push-ups, you can do 45 seconds of squats, which we've done before.

BLACKWELL: Many times.

NATHANSON: You can do 45 seconds of a plank and 45 seconds of jumping jacks, but you want to rest for 15 seconds in between. So you do that four times through, that's 16 minutes, that's your 15 minutes a day.

BLACKWELL: And it's simple. It's simple.

NATHANSON: It is, it is very simple.

BLACKWELL: So there was this new study that came out that made everybody excited.

NATHANSON: Yes.

BLACKWELL: That the Mediterranean diet can extend your life, right? So what's a part of this diet? We've got some of the food here. NATHANSON: Yes. And we've actually known that the Mediterranean diet is beneficial for your health, but this study proved that it lowered your risk of cardiovascular disease, which in turn will increase your life expectancy.

BLACKWELL: Hey, if the heart still works, then you're still around.

NATHANSON: That's an important part.

BLACKWELL: It is.

NATHANSON: So the Mediterranean diet is a plant-based diet. So it's mainly the fruits and vegetables, the whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes. That's what you want the base of your diet to be. On, on top of that with a Mediterranean diet, you want to have fish, fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, maybe three times a week.

BLACKWELL: You know what I started to eat a lot of? Roasted eel.

NATHANSON: Really?

BLACKWELL: Yes, so good.

NATHANSON: That's seafood, so three times a week.

BLACKWELL: All right.

NATHANSON: And if you're going to have meat, you want to substitute red meat with poultry. And if you are going to have red meat, you want it to be a small serving, perhaps a deck of cards and maybe just one or two times a month.

BLACKWELL: Hard to stick to.

NATHANSON: Yes. And then low-fat dairy products, so yogurt, milk, and then the fun part of the Mediterranean diet is the olive oil. So this is a big component of it, and it's extra virgin olive oil. So substituting butter with olive oil. You know, dip your bread in olive oil, use it in cooking, that would be huge.

BLACKWELL: And I thought you were going to say the fun part is the chocolate. Because this is what I've been--

NATHANSON: Yes, that is the fun part. So sweets are optional. And you want to do them in moderation. But if you have dark chocolate, you can melt it and eat some fruit with it or have it on its own. And then wine, let's talk about wine. Just because wine is in the Mediterranean diet, it does not mean you can have a bottle a day. So it's one glass a day for women and up to two glasses for men under the age of 65.

BLACKWELL: All right.

NATHANSON: And that doesn't mean that you can have seven glasses on Saturday night if you haven't had any more.

BLACKWELL: Good mix. Desiree Nathanson, thank you. NATHANSON: Thank you, Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right. So Joan Rivers and Heidi Klum, they're friends, so why are some people now demanding Rivers apologize for what she said about Heidi Klum? Hear Rivers' comment and decide for yourself in our next hour.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: You know, after that entire health segment, all those healthy foods, the only thing Desiree took with her, the chocolate.

KEILAR: Oh, really?

BLACKWELL: Left all the fruits and vegetables. The health expert took the chocolate.

KEILAR: She left the wine.

BLACKWELL: Yes, we do have that.

Hey, the sequestration, although serious, proved to be fodder for the late-night comics.

KEILAR: As did sports and fat pets. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL MAHER, TALK SHOW HOST: You know what today is, right? Sequester day. It's sequester day. Oh, I know, this is March 1st, sequester day. You know what happened here. For months, they've been trying to get the deal, the Republicans and the Democrats. The two parties could not agree, so they said many months ago we were going to set a date, and this is the date, March 1st, to motivate themselves. If we can't do it by then, then automatic spending cuts that could send us back into recession will go into effect.

Well, this is -- this is like not having the will power to diet. So, instead, rigging your refrigerator to blow up if you open the door. This is where we are with our Congress now.

JAY LENO, TALK SHOW HOST: NBA legend Michael Jordan has been hit with a paternity suit by a woman who claims he fathered her 16-year-old son. You know, that could be true, because that means she got pregnant in 1996, and that was the year Michael led the league in scoring. Right?

JIMMY FALLON, TALK SHOW HOST: A new study found that at least 50 percent of all pets in the United States are overweight. Veterinarians plan to treat this as a serious problem, or as fat pets put it, did you say treat? I would like one.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: My dog loves a treat and knows the word so well.

BLACKWELL: Did you say treat?

KEILAR: That's right. Thanks for starting your morning with us.

BLACKWELL: We've got a lot more coming up on "CNN SATURDAY MORNING," starts right now.