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THE SITUATION ROOM

No New Pope Announced; President Obama's Charm Offensive

Aired March 12, 2013 - 18:00   ET

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


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: What women want. A CNN special report looks at affordable child care.

Outrage over a medal for drone operators. Plus, what is in a shark's mouth that may be worse than his bite?

I'm Wolf Blitzer, along with Kate Bolduan. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Black smoke billowing from a chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel, a signal to more than one billion Roman Catholics around the world that a new pope has not yet been elected. Day one of a secret locked-door meeting called a conclave is over and in the first round of balloting, none of the 115 cardinal eligible to be pope got the necessary two-thirds majority.

CNN's Anderson Cooper is on the scene for us. He's joining us right now.

Anderson, what's the mood there on this night?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: It's incredibly exciting, Wolf, I think not only for the faithful, but even for tourists who find themselves here in Rome.

We saw throughout the day crowds gathering in Vatican Square as people waited to try to get a glimpse of the smoke that finally we saw billowing out earlier this evening. And it was a day really, Wolf, where the pomp and the pageantry and the history of the church was on full display.

Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice-over): For cardinals about to elect their leader on earth, the day began with asking for guidance from heaven. The mass for the election of the Roman pontiff, open to both the cardinals and the public, and one of the last chances for the cardinals to interact with the outside world before being sealed inside the conclave, led by Cardinal Angelo Scola, who offered prayers for the new pope and drew applause praising the former one.

CARDINAL ANGELO SODANO, COLLEGE OF CARDINALS (through translator): For the brilliant pontificate that he granted to us, to the life and the work of the 256th successor of Peter, our beloved and venerable Pontiff Benedict XVI, to whom we renew in this moment all of our gratitude.

COOPER: Hours later, the procession to the Sistine Chapel, 115 cardinals in order of most junior to most senior chanting the litany of the saints and taking their seats from which they will choose the next head of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.

But before the first vote, an oath in Latin, and in unison a pledge to vote in secret before only God and their conscience in the best interests of the church, affirmed individually by each cardinal under the threat of excommunication.

Finally, after a day of prayer and reflection, just after 5:30 p.m. in Rome, the transition from public pageantry to secret deliberations with a short order, translated, "Those who are extra, leave."

And the wait begins, for two hours, the eyes of the world trained on a small chimney on a Vatican City rooftop, the cardinals underneath it not allowed to discuss or lobby, but only to pray and vote. And with the black smoke, the world learns it's a vote without a decision. The heir to the throne of Peter unresolved for at least one more day.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: Anderson, what happens next?

Anderson, I don't know if you can hear me. What happens next? Obviously we're having a little technical problem. Anderson can't hear me.

I can tell you that Anderson is going to have a lot more, full coverage later tonight "A.C. 360" live from Rome tonight, 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

The cardinals may be under lock and key right now. But there have been leaks in the past. So, how does the Vatican keep the secret election secret?

CNN's Tom Foreman is joining us now with this part of the story.

Tom, some pretty extraordinary measures are now in place.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They really are, Wolf.

Right now, I'm standing inside our virtual Sistine Chapel. This is the only way you can see the inside of this place right now. The Vatican is acutely aware of the fact that many people are trying to get a peek inside here, if only they could. The truth is that the Vatican has put into place extraordinary security measures to keep that from happening.

Last year, they some high-level leaks that the church really did not like, and once the doors have been closed, as they have now, they really don't want that embarrassment again.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) FOREMAN (voice-over): With worldwide media swirling and one impostor already caught -- he was a protester who got close enough to shake a cardinal's hand -- extraordinary measures have been taken to protect the privacy of the conclave. The doors are locked, the windows blocked, and the cardinals have all taken a vow of secrecy.

But here are three ways the Vatican code could still be cracked. First, the Russian gambit. No one in the chapel is allowed to have any sort of cell phone or BlackBerry. Cardinals with Twitter accounts are now tweetless. The room has been swept for electronic bugs and a jamming system has been installed beneath the floor.

But security experts point out every item brought in from clothing to furniture to the stoves to burn the ballots could carry a spy device. Think not? A few decades ago, the U.S. had to rebuild a brand-new embassy in Moscow after so many bugs were found to have smuggled into the architecture and fixtures. Still, security analysts suspect the Swiss guard can keep the electronic threat to a minimum. CNN's Mike Brooks:

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: I think they've got that wrapped up. They've gone over all of those pieces with a fine- toothed comb to make sure there's nothing embedded in anything.

FOREMAN: But what about the connection? The cardinals deliberate by themselves and sleep only 100 yards away. But they need food, water, supplies and possibly medical care. Each person who provides a service represents another potential leak.

BROOKS: Well, they're threatened with ex-communication from the church. So, are they willing to give away any secrets, if you will, while facing possible ex-communication? That remains to be seen.

FOREMAN: And finally, there is the inside man. Remember, the oath of secrecy is standard. But after Pope Benedict was elected, some still-unnamed cardinal leaked information about the other top contenders.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOREMAN: Whether any of this will play out, we don't really know. But we do know this, Wolf. This 2,000-year-old church is taking very seriously the fact that there are people around the planet who are fascinated with what's going on inside this room and may use every modern means possible to find out what it is -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Tom Foreman in our virtual Sistine Chapel, Tom, thanks for that excellent, excellent report.

On Capitol Hill, a hearing on the biggest threats facing the United States. Kate has got that and the other important stories, but first this one.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. This is an important warning for everyone. This warning came from the director of national intelligence, James Clapper. He briefed the Senate Intelligence Committee on the latest annual threat assessment. It includes North Korea, Iran and Syria, but topping all of that is the threat posed by cyber-attack.

CNN's Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr, is working this part of the story for us.

Barbara, how important is his warning? How big is the cyber- threat?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, very big, Kate.

In fact, General Clapper, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, now says it's a top worry. And there is plenty of good reason to worry.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STARR (voice-over): From the nation's power grid to online banking, the U.S. economy is utterly reliant on the Internet. The Pentagon is now watching the cyber threat to the economy every minute.

GEN. KEITH ALEXANDER, U.S. CYBER COMMAND: We've seen the attacks on Wall Street over the last six months grow significantly. Over 140 of those attacks over the last six months.

STARR: In the face of growing cyber attacks, many from China, President Obama recently signed an executive order to improve cyber security.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy.

STARR: A recent investigation even pinpointed this building in China that houses part of a shadowy Chinese military unit responsible for thousands of hacks into American business and government agencies.

SEN. CARL LEVIN (D-MI), ARMED SERVICES CHAIRMAN: China's massive campaign to steal technology, business practices, intellectual property and business strategy through cyberspace continues, and it continues relentlessly.

STARR: For the first time, the president's national security adviser saying cyber attacks are now the number one U.S. issue with the Chinese government.

TOM DONILON, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: It takes time to (INAUDIBLE) serious stuff to investigate and put a stop to these activities.

STARR: The administration's new strategy to deal with it all? Overcome privacy issues and share more information about attacks between government and business.

GEN. ALEXANDER: Think of this as going up to New York City on the New Jersey Turnpike. The Easy Pass would see a car going by. What we're telling the Internet service providers is if you see a red car, tell us that you saw the red car, where you saw it and where it's going.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STARR: So, what you're going to start seeing more of is this effort between the government and private industry that works together to identify these cyber-threats, especially the growing threats from China.

But inside the military, also a good deal of vulnerability. A recent drill, in fact, showed that the Pentagon's own cyber-defenses were very easy to overcome -- Kate, Wolf.

BOLDUAN: And, Barbara, the report names China and Russia as two of the most advanced cyber-hackers is how they put it. But did the report or any of the officials on the Hill today give any idea of anything definitive on the likelihood of an attack on the U.S.?

STARR: Well, I mean, it's already really under way, isn't it?

I mean, businesses are seeing these attempts to get into their systems almost every day. The Pentagon sees it every day. It's a combination of putting up better defenses so people can't get past your firewalls, and for the military, making sure they have the right offenses, so if they see something coming at them in the cyber-world, they can deal with it. Very tough business, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Very tough business, very tough to track, as we well know already. Barbara Starr at the Pentagon, thanks, Barbara.

STARR: Sure.

BLITZER: They wage war controlling unmanned planes from thousands of miles away, but now there's some controversy over a new metal for drone operators.

And what women want, for many working moms, it's affordable child care. A CNN special report, that is coming up as well.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: They wage war by remote control, often from thousands of miles away.

BOLDUAN: And while no one questions the contributions of the military's drone operators, there's a huge controversy now over a medal for them.

CNN's Jake Tapper explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The question at hand is, what does an extraordinary act of service look like? There have been heroics on the battlefield since the beginning of time. But can soldiers

But can a soldier show valor while waging war via remote control?

SEN. JAMES INHOFE (R), OKLAHOMA: People losing their lives on the battlefield, and that's where the attention should go, in my perhaps narrow view. But I think most veterans do agree with me on that.

TAPPER: The medal is so new, it's not actually been awarded to anyone yet, but the outrage came over the fact that it would outrank those medals given to veterans who faced bodily harm.

INHOFE: They're good people and they're doing a good job. But they're doing it from a remote area where the level of danger is not in the same realm as certainly it would be with the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.

TAPPER: The Distinguished Warfare Medal was created by recently retired Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who said it was high time to honor soldiers fighting on a new kind of front.

LEON PANETTA, FORMER U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: The work that they do, the contribution that they make, does contribute to the success of combat operations.

TAPPER: The move was roundly criticized, however, and even mocked in this sketch from Comedy Central's the "Kroll Show."

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Mayday, mayday. Duck, come in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. I'm here. What do you want?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Coffee. Black. Two creams, and a sugar.

Hurry up, Duck. These drones aren't going to fly themselves.

TAPPER: And all of this left newly minted Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel backed into a corner. Hagel, himself a two-time recipient of the Purple Heart, wrote to Congress last week saying he supported the medal. "The medal reflects the evolving nature of our warfare," he wrote, "while it in no way degrades or minimizes other acts of valor."

But today, Hagel was singing a different tune. And he sent his spokesman to explain.

GEORGE LITTLE, PENTAGON SPOKESMAN: The fact of the matter is, the production of the medal has stopped. No one has been nominated for this medal. No one is in training for this medal. So, we do have time to make a final decision.

TAPPER (on camera): Both the VFW and the American Legion released statements today saying that while they appreciate Defense Secretary Hagel launching this review, they urge the Pentagon to -- quote -- "do the right thing for our combat forces" -- unquote -- and not allowed the Distinguished Warfare Medal to take precedence over the Purple Heart or Bronze Star.

I have many Facebook friends personally who are members of the military, and they serve all over the world and they basically echoed the same concern. They can give out this drone medal, they said, but it should not rank higher than these other medals -- Wolf and Kate.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: A little controversy coming in on this.

In the years to come, there's going to be more and more of these drone strikes.

BOLDUAN: That's the thing.

BLITZER: Whether for surveillance, communications, actually killing the enemy, if you will, and there's going to be pressure to start to build up some of the prestige, if you will, because it's a whole new way of war.

BOLDUAN: This is the new era of warfare. But you can understand both sides and where the passions lie. And people are for good reason...

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: Because if you're sitting in an Air Force base in New Mexico, or Arizona someplace thousands of miles away, you know...

BOLDUAN: I think I even read in one place that this is the first time in decades that there's been a new combat-related medal created. It's a very big deal in and of itself that there's a new medal. And of course controversy usually follows.

BLITZER: Jake's new show, "THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER," begins, by the way, next Monday, March 18, 4:00 p.m. Eastern.

BOLDUAN: And THE SITUATION ROOM is at?

BLITZER: And 5:00 p.m.

BOLDUAN: And 6:00 p.m., exactly.

Still ahead, big questions, life on Mars? Well, coming up next, details of what the Curiosity rover discovered on the red planet.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

BLITZER: President Obama is up on Capitol Hill today reaching out to lawmakers. Is it all just for appearances? Details of a pretty shocking report, one White House aide reportedly calling the whole outreach program a joke.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BLITZER: A rare appearance today on Capitol Hill by President Obama, lunching with some of his former Democratic Senate colleagues.

BOLDUAN: It's part of his new effort to reach out to lawmakers. But a shocking report suggests it's only being done for appearances.

CNN's national political correspondent, Jim Acosta, has been looking at this from the White House.

So, Jim, what is the latest?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kate, President Obama's charm offensive kicked into high gear today as he went up to Capitol Hill to meet with Senate Democrats before his upcoming visits with congressional Republicans. But that trip down Pennsylvania Avenue has already hit a few speed bumps.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

QUESTION: Mr. President, what do you hope to accomplish with these meetings?

ACOSTA (voice-over): For a leader in search of kumbaya on Capitol Hill, President Obama's schmoozing skills are already being tested. While the president has lined up three days of dates with lawmakers in both parties after his dinner with Republicans last week, it's a charm offensive that at least one White House official appears to find, well, offensive.

"The National Journal" quoted one White House official speaking anonymously who said: "This is a joke. We're wasting the president's time and ours. I hope you all in the media are happy because we're doing it for you."

(on camera): Is this a show? Does the president feels this is a joke?

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I saw that story, Jim, and I appreciate the question, because I have no idea who said that, but I can tell you that that opinion has never been voiced in my presence, in the president's presence, in the West Wing. It does not represent the president's view. He believes strongly that it is important to engage with lawmakers of both parties.

ACOSTA (voice-over): That engagement will be critical to solving what's become a budget Rubik's Cube. The president is expected to submit his own budget to Congress during the week of April 8, but that's two months after he's required by law to do so and his plan will be at odds with what's being offered by House Republicans, who are still calling for the repeal of the president's health care law.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: So, we will never be able to balance the budget if you keep Obamacare going, because Obamacare is a fiscal train wreck.

ACOSTA: Democrats have their own budget that closes tax loopholes and deductions. Ideas Republicans are resisting.

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NY), MAJORITY LEADER: This week we're seeing a revealing contrast. The president is reaching out to Republicans in the Senate and the other side of the building, a House Republicans are moving further away from the compromise.

ACOSTA: But the question is whether both sides can listen to each other.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a rule the mathematic (INAUDIBLE).

ACOSTA: Last November house speaker John Boehner and Mitch McConnell turned down invitations from President Obama for a special screening of the film "Lincoln" at the White House. But the spokesman for Boehner said the invite came at short notice. A senior McConnell's aid said the offer was just too last minute. So far, it's a political romance story with no happy ending in sight.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: And it appears the president's charm offensive does not extend to the Ryan budget. Senior administration officials are unloading on it saying it's so full of gimmicks, it will explode the deficit. But the White House does believe at least tonight that progress is being made -- Wolf and Kate.

BOLDUAN: Still more meat Capitol Hill meetings on the schedule for the president yet this week.

ACOSTA: There is a whole week.

BOLDUAN: Jim Acosta, thanks so much.

ACOSTA: That's right.

BLITZER: And senator Patty Murray is joining us right now. She is the chair of the Senate budget committee, getting ready to release her budget tomorrow.

Senator, thanks very much for coming in.

SEN. PATTY MURRAY (D), WASHINGTON: Wolf, great to talk to you.

BLITZER: I know you were at the meeting, the president who was up on the hill, met with Democrats in the Senate today. There is a story in "the National Journal" quoting one of the senior White House officials as saying, this is really a joke, this so-called charm offensive. They have no illusions about what's going on. What do you say about that?

MURRAY: Well, I think the president came to our caucus today to talk to us about how the balanced approach that we are putting in place with our budget in the next few days, and moving it through the Senate, is exactly what he fought for in the campaign, making sure that we grow our economy, and reduce our deficit responsibly. And I think he's very effective with that. BOLDUAN: Well, senator, on your budget, we do know -- we don't know all the details, but we know it will call for roughly $1 trillion in increased revenue. And you could call that tax increases. And you know very well, you've been involved in all of these talks over the years. That Republicans are not going to go along with that especially after the fiscal cliff, where they agreed to $600 billion in tax increases. Now another $1 trillion? This budget you're going to be putting out in opening bargaining position?

MURRAY: Well, let me just say this. Paul Ryan has said that there are tax expenditures that are wasteful. Speaker Boehner has said there are loopholes that should be eliminated.

BOLDUAN: That's absolutely right. But that's not $1 trillion.

MURRAY: Well, there is incredible spending within the tax code that we need to address in America to make sure we get to a deficit that we can manage in this country. They have said there is, we have said there is, certainly we can agree on that.

BOLDUAN: And there are so many challenges, obviously. But, one of the big questions will be when we see your budget tomorrow and going forward is, how does it address the issue of entitlements? That is entitlement spending is some of the biggest drivers of our country's debt. Medicare and Medicaid together come up with - can make up one-fifth of the federal budget. So, is your -- are you committed to real entitlement reform in this budget?

MURRAY: Well, let's step back for a minute, because Obama care that has been thrown out there so much, actually began the process of dealing with our health care spending in this nation. And we actually cut about $700 billion in that of wasteful spending and made changes to that program to reduce our overall spending, as we move forward. We are now seeing projections from CBO that say by the year 20, we will have saved $200 billion a year -- or $500 billion a year in health care, in Medicare, because of Obama care.

BOLDUAN: You don't think there needs to be any more reforms to Medicare and Medicaid?

MURRAY: No. I'm not saying that. And in our budget, we will add additional responsible spending cuts to our entitlement programs, so that we can manage this in the long run. But there is a huge difference between managing those health care dollars, making sure that beneficiaries get health care as they retire and go into a time in their life when they need it. And the Ryan Republican budget which says we are going to take that away from you and not give you that security when you get older.

BLITZER: All right. Let's do a few rapid-fire yes-or-no questions and you can give your answers. Do you support a cost of living change in the way people get their Social Security and Medicare?

MURRAY: I think we are showing in our budget that we will put out tomorrow that we can make responsible changes within our budget. But, we do not deal with Social Security in our budget itself.

BLITZER: What about raising the age limit as far as Social Security is concerned? What do you feel about that?

MURRAY: Well look, I come from a place where I know how important it is that when you work hard, you have a point where you can retire, and be able to know that you are -- your health care is taken care of. My dad had multiple sclerosis. He and my mom literally crawled to the age of 65 to make sure they had the health care they need.

I am not in favor of raising that age to a point where our people who work hard, our firemen, or our teachers or our folks who are on the front lines protecting all of us, or even just hard-working Americans who work every day at a grocery store, are told, no, you get to work a lot longer before you have health care in this country before you have Medicare. So, I think that is in a short term a punchy phrase that the Republicans like to put out. But it is not a way to strengthen Medicare in the long run.

BLITZER: A means testing for richer Medicare recipients as opposed to poorer ones?

MURRAY: I think that there have been proposals out there we can all look at. But, that will be determined by the finance committee moving forward.

BLITZER: Your budget that you will release tomorrow does not result in what they call surplus, a surplus of spending. It continues deficit spending for as far as the eye can see. I just want to be precise on that point.

MURRAY: Well, let me answer you this way. You and I were both around when Clinton put his budget out in 1993. That move us to a point of surplus, no one was predicting that. But, we did that budget by doing both smart spending cuts and revenues. That's the path that we are putting ourselves on with our budget.

BLITZER: All right. But it doesn't formally have a 10-year or 20-year or 30-year fixed timeline when there will be a surplus as opposed to a deficit?

MURRAY: Yes. Wolf, let me put it this way. Our economy is extremely fragile right now. If we put out an arbitrary deadline of getting to zero balance, we are going to put a lot of people out of work and a lot of people in a very insecure place. We have had enough of that. It's time to put us on a stable path moving forward. That's exactly what our budget does. And exactly what the Ryan budget does not do.

BLITZER: Senator Patty Murray is chair of the Senate budget committee.

Senator, thanks for coming in.

MURRAY: Thank you. BLITZER: A huge settlement in a major pedophile lawsuit against the catholic church. Four men settled their case against the L.A. diocese and their cardinal, Roger Mahoney for almost $10 million. That word from their attorneys who say the men were abused by a priest on several occasions dating back to the 1970s. The priest pleaded guilty to molesting boys in 2007. Cardinal Mahoney was accused to helping the priest evade law enforcement by reassigning him and placing him back in the L.A. ministry.

BOLDUAN: Still ahead in the SITUATION ROOM, a lack of affordable child care. Advocates say it keeps many women from reaching their full potential. Our CNN Special Report, what women want, is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: CNN is looking at "what women want." We have two days of Special Reporting and what's keeping many women from realizing their full potential.

BOLDUAN: Today, an issue that impacts many working moms, the search for affordable child care.

And CNN's Lisa Sylvester has been looking into this. This is a tough one. You really got to search to find it. What are you finding out?

LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, if you talk to a lot of working parents, one of the main reasons why a woman might leave the work force is because of child care. It can be incredibly expensive. In some cases, families are paying more for child care than they pay for their mortgage or rent. So, what do women want? Well, for starters, how about affordable quality child care.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SYLVESTER (voice-over): On weekends, Becky Manicone of Vienna, Virginia makes sure homework gets done.

BECKY MANICONE, MOTHER: How old was you when you became a teacher?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE KID: Fifteen.

MANICONE: Very good.

SYLVESTER: During the week, it's the au pair who takes over when Becky and her husband, Nick, both lawyers leave for work. Like many parents, having reliable quality child care makes the difference. But until the couple had their girls, now ages eight and five, they had no idea just how expensive and hard to find child care can be. When Becky was still pregnant, she put her name on several day care waiting lists.

MANICONE: The wait lists were really long. At one place they said, well, if you give us a $500 nonrefundable deposit, we'll give you a priority list. And when we got off that list Sophia was already 2-years -old.

SYLVESTER: They looked at nannies.

MANICONE: They were getting paid like $50,000 a year.

SYLVESTER: If it sounds familiar, that is because many parents have been in the same boat. A survey by "Parents" magazine of readers who use child care found that 84 percent found it either challenging, very hard, or impossible to find quality care. The advocacy group child care where says infant care at a day care center can cost as much as $15,000 a year for one child.

LYNETTE FRAGA, CHILD CARE AWARE: In 36 states across the country, the cost of infant child base, infant titled care and center based programs is higher than the annual cost of a college educational for your college education.

SYLVESTER: Many parents do the math and figure that it's more cost-efficient to have one parent stay at home. And more often than not it's the mother.

But, even a temporary break can make it that much harder for a woman to get back in the labor force to continue the upward climb.

Dina Bakst with a group of better balance said employers need to leave in as well. Her group wants the federal government to expand the family medical leave act to include paid maternity leave and paid sick leave.

DINA BAKST, A BETTER BALANCE: When women can take the leave and have support, it both makes child care less costly and also keeps women on the job.

SYLVESTER: It's an issue that even House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi. has raised. Women have won the right to vote, have broken barriers in education and corporate board rooms, yet --

REP. NANCY REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: The missing link in all of it is child care, to fully unleash the power of women, which will be very wholesome for our country.

SYLVESTER: The Manicones opted for an au pair, more affordable than a full time nanny. And they're also fortunate because they're able to work from home sometimes.

MANICONE: I think the flexibility from work is critical. And for us, it is a total godsend that we have flexibility in our schedules.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SYLVESTER: That goes a long way, having a flexible work schedule. One complaint you hear from parents is why is the schedule 8:00 to 3:00, when the work day is 9:00 to 5:00. Other parents have suggested, how about making the summer break just a little bit shorter then maybe, it won't cost so much in child care and some are can't be to all of these just a little food for thought.

BLITZER: You say nanny can cost $50,000 a year?

SYLVESTER: It is. Some of the metropolitan areas like here in the Washington, D.C. area, yes, it can cost a family as much as $50,000. I mean, when you figure the salary, when you know, they're an employer. If you have a full-time legal nanny here in the United States, you have to pay their share of Social Security. There's the Medicare taxes. All of these other fees. You might have workmen's comp. A lot of nannies they want health care benefits, they vacation time. When you added all up, it is not unreasonable here in the Washington, D.C. area for a full-time nanny to cost about $50,000. An au pair will cost less. And that, in this case, that is what they ended up doing as well.

BOLDUAN: So, the search continues for affordable quality child care.

SYLVESTER: Absolutely.

BLITZER: Goo Report, Lisa.

BOLDUAN: Lisa, thank you.

BLITZER: Thank you.

Worse than a shark bite, that bacteria that is now researchers are taking some extraordinary steps to give shark attack victims a fighting chance.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLDUAN: It's a frightening thought, but if you're attacked by a shark, the bite may not be your biggest problem. It turns out the bacteria in the shark's mouth may be even more dangerous.

Here's CNN's John Zarrella.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): No one went in the water. The sign warned, sharks. A lot of them migrating north were close to shore off palm beach. Bad for swimmers, good for shark fishermen Josh Jorgenson. He had one hooked quickly, fighting it through the waves.

Jorgenson working fast got it close enough to grab and pull it to the beach. This wasn't about sport, it was about research.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Watch out! Watch out.

ZARRELLA: Jorgenson and Nova southeastern University assistant professor Nathan Unger --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 6'1".

ZARRELLA: Are hunting bacteria, in the mouths of sharks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to swab the mouth of the shark around the teeth and gums.

ZARRELLA: Once the sample has taken, the shark is released. They are hoping to find out what bacteria sharks carry, and whether it is the same in every species.

NATHAN UNGER, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, NOVA SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY: We call it a black (INAUDIBLE). We're also pursuing bull sharks, tiger sharks.

ZARRELLA: One of the biggest problems doctors face when treating a shark bit is not knowing what antibiotic will work to fight infection because they don't know what bacteria they're up against. Ask Anthony Segrich.

ANTHONY SEGRICH, SHARK BITE VICTIM: The first bite went through the kneecap and the ankle at the same time. So it was about 17 1/2 inches wide, the mouth.

ZARRELLA: Segrich was spear fishing of Palm beach two years ago when he was attacked by a ten-foot bull shark, the most vicious there is. He underwent five major surgeries, five weeks in the hospital, much of the time fighting infection that could have cost him his leg.

SEGRICH: You name the antibiotic, I had it at that point. They hit you with everything.

DOCTOR ROBERT BORREGO, TRAUMA DIRECTOR, ST. MARY'S HOSPITAL: The biggest problem is once the infection sets in, the patient is in the hospital a lot longer than if there was no infection. So their whole care becomes a lot more complicated.

ZARRELLA: St. Mary's hospital in West Palm beach where he was treated is participating in the research project.

BORREGO: What they do next, they'll take this, they put it on a slide.

ZARRELLA: If they can isolate what bacteria sharks carry, they'll know what antibiotics work best. Perhaps, it gain changes for doctors fighting to save a bit victim's life. As for Segrich, --

Here's the question, have you been back in the water diving again?

SEGRICH: As luck would have it, on the very first dive back on the scuba, a big old seven-foot bull shark came by, checked us out --

ZARRELLA: No!

SEGRICH: Yes.

ZARRELLA: No fear.

John Zarrella, CNN, West Palm Beach.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BOLDUAN: Wow. There were 53 reported shark attacks in the U.S. last year. The highest number in more than a decade. One of those attacks was fatal. Have no fear, your chance of dying of a shark attack is very low. The number of people who are killed by lightning in 2012, 28 more than people who died.

BLITZER: I should be worried more about lightning than sharks.

BOLDUAN: That's my advice.

BLITZER: OK, thank you.

The president's charm offensive isn't working. Erin Burnett is going "OUTFRONT" on that. A lot more at the top of the hour. Give us a little preview, ERIN.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST, OUTFRONT: Well Wolf, I had a little fun today looking back and looking at what Paul Ryan has had to say the past two years on his budget. And you know what, it's a little "Wayne's worldish." So, we are going to talk about that. A little bit of white snake as well. We will put out all together and we are going to be talking - we are going to be joined by Peter King will be our guest at the top of the hour.

Plus, a really amazing story about a young man who had the girl of his dreams and has made it to pro soccer. He was playing for the New England revolution. Wolf, the story is amazing. He then felt the calling. He knew something wasn't right. He wanted the wife and family. He got the dream and decided to trade his jersey for the clergy. He is one year away from being a priest and we have a special focus on him tonight and his amazing story.

And then in our essay, facebook knows absolutely everything about you, including the things that you actually like if you're actually smart. Thank God, I'm not on facebook because the verdict would be that I'm stupid. Coming up in the top of the hour. Back to you.

BLITZER: I know you, you are absolutely, positively not stupid.

BURNETT: Liar.

BLITZER: Very intelligent. See you in a few minutes.

BURNETT: All right.

BOLDUAN: Still ahead, we are of course all fans of adorable little creatures doing well, pretty much anything. Catching our eye today, this guy. And he isn't the only pup trying to catch a free ride. Jeannie Moos is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLDUAN: We learned today about an amazing discovery by the Curiosity Rover. Life on Mars was once possible. NASA says rock samples taken from an ancient stream bed and analyzed by Curiosity show some of the key ingredients of microbial life. Curiosity is scheduled to take another rock sample in May which researchers hope will confirm the finds. So, we will be moving there soon.

BLITZER: A microbial life, I must say.

An adorable sea creature hitches a ride on a kayak. Here is CNN's Jeanne Moos.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Rick Coleman is not afraid to go diving at night off the California coast. Look what does care him.

RICK COLEMAN, KAYAKER: Oh, my God, you scared me. Hey, little guy.

You can hear my scared reaction. And then he melts my heart.

What are you doing on my kayak?

MOOS: Not only was the sea lion pup a stowaway, it wouldn't go away.

COLEMAN: You can't stay up here.

MOOS: So what do you do? Rick called his wife in his cell phone on a dry bag.

COLEMAN: Right now, I'm sitting on my kayak, and on my bow is a baby sea lion and it won't get off.

MOOS: Even when he nudged it with his paddle --

COLEMAN: You've got to get off.

MOOS: But less than ten seconds later, this time he stays. The pup had a scuff mark on him.

COLEMAN: He could have had a shark after him. He's got a shark bite on his behind.

MOOS: Animal rescue experts say it's more likely the pup was just cold.

The sea lion wasn't the only pup trying to climb aboard. In this case, a wave surfboard a thousand miles or so up the coast near Seattle, Washington. This seal pup couldn't make it up, and when he did make it, slipped off the other side, or got a hostile reception from the others.

The wind surfboard's owner, Ethan Johnson, had mounted a go pro camera that caught the action. The pup finally ended up nose to butt with the unfriendly pup. Back at the kayak, the sea lion stayed aboard for the entire 20- minute paddle to shore, then sat on a rock and finally swam away. At least he didn't scream bloody murder. Seals yelling like humans have now replaced goats yelling like humans as the yell heard around the internet. This is the second video Rick has posted that became famous on you tube. The last one was a blue whale encounter a year and a half ago.

COLEMAN: Someone said I'm an animal magnet.

MOOS: He then jumped in and shot video of the whale under water.

Comparisons are being made between the life of Rick and the life of Pi. One stuck in a boat with a sea lion pup. The other stuck with a tiger. By the way, they say a sea lion's bite can be ten times worse than a pit bull's. No bull. We're not lion.

Jeanne Moos, CNN.

COLEMAN: Oh, my God, you scared me.

MOOS: New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BOLDUAN: That is the first time we both were like silent watching that. That is so cute!

BLITZER: He has seen a big whale, too?

BOLDUAN: That would be amazing. I would be a little scared, but in awe.

BLITZER: All right. That's all the time we have, unfortunately. But Erin Burnett's "OUTFRONT" starts right now.