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Campaign Trail; Controversial Endorsement; Vegas Ricin Mystery

Aired March 1, 2008 - 12:00   ET

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


BILL CLINTON, FMR U.S. PRESIDENT: Let me say to you, in my post- political life, with my foundation, I work in 40 big cities on six continents on this, I don't work anywhere unless we create more jobs than we lose, creating a clean energy economy. And this is profoundly important.
I also know that in Ohio, you have a lot of coal. Hillary has 10 demonstration projects to produce clean coal. I don't just say this in Ohio and West Virginia, I say this across the country, because the young people here who care about global warming know that no matter what we do or the Europeans or the Japanese do, China and India and Indonesia and Vietnam and Brazil and Mexico and Turkey and the emerging countries are perfectly capable of burning the planet up without any help from us, so we have to prove that it is good business.

China alone is bringing on one coal-fired power plant about every 10 days. If we don't figure out how to provide clean coal technology and take the CO2 out the coal, we will never avoid the worst consequences for the young people of this country and this world of climate change. If we do, we will not only create jobs here in America, we will enable them to borrow the technology and help to save the planet. This is the right thing to do. Her plan is the right thing to do.

(APPLAUSE)

The second thing we have to do, if you want to modernize the American economy, is to stop making excuses for why the United States is the only rich country in the world that simply cannot figure out how to provide affordable healthcare to every single one of its citizens.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, for most people in this audience, the issue is the cost of healthcare. The cost has doubled in this decade. But let's just do a little test. Raise your hand if you know somebody without healthcare, know somebody without health insurance? Look at this.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: All right, at Lakewood, Ohio, there, former president Bill Clinton stumping for his wife, Senator Hillary Clinton. Hello everyone, I'm Fredricka Whitfield, you are in the CNN NEWSROOM. Big campaigns are caffeinated, voters are abuzz and we've got you covered.

Three days to go to pressure-padded primaries in Ohio and Texas. The states could finally decide the winner of the Clinton/Obama drama. CNN home to the best political team on television, count on our veterans to keep you in the know in the runups on Tuesday's critical contest. Our correspondents and analysts are in place to bring you the numbers, the issues, the polls and the voters.

Hillary Clinton with, the candidate with the most to lose Tuesday. She's suggesting you do as well. A blistering ad questions Obama's crisis leadership. We'll show you. Clinton is campaigning across Texas, today. She has dispatched her husband, as you saw, and her daughter, as well, in Ohio.

Barack Obama is in Rhode Island, today. He's responding to the Clinton ad with one of his own. He's also enjoying a new endorsement from a key Senate colleague. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, John McCain is confident enough to spend the day at home in Arizona. He's taking new fire after he accepted the endorsement of an apocalyptal preacher. His opponent, Mike Huckabee, is not giving up. He's staying on the campaign trail in Texas, even though he has virtually no chance of catching McCain in the delegate count.

Four states vote on Tuesday, Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island, Vermont, 370 Democratic delegates are the block, 256 Republicans, enough for McCain to nail down the GOP nomination.

So you can see just how important Tuesday is going to be. No one knows that better than the Democratic candidates. Take a look at these new numbers from our Ohio poll of polls. Among likely voters, Hillary Clinton holding a seven percent lead over Barack Obama and 13 percent of the voters are still on the fence.

In other primaries, large numbers of voters made their decisions in the final days before casting ballots. It's even tighter, however, in Texas, Obama is just four points up on Clinton. And again, as you say, there are enough undecided voters to actually tip this race either way. So, let's get started right there. Deep in Texas, our Ali Velshi is on the Election Express at the Darst oil field in Texas -- Ali.

I like that 10-gallon hat.

ALI VELSHI, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Fred, well, thank you. It's the Texas sun that actually requires it. I am here in the Darst oil field in which they first found oil in 1913. You see that oil pump behind me, there are about 1,600 of these in this field and the neighboring field right around here, so the towns around here tend to be towns that are benefiting from the price of oil. I've been all around Texas over the last weekend, a little bit, and we've been talking to people and one of the biggest concerns is inflation. When you drill it out, it's the price of oil. So, this is really interesting because Texas is the biggest oil-producing state in the United States. finally, now that we're in Darst Field we're finding people for whom the high price of oil isn't all that bad, they don't all hate it. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHAD WALLS, OIL WORKER: Actually, I like it. High price of oil gives us good pay, I guess.

JAY HARVEY, POWER COMPANY MGR: A lot of people that own -- have the gas royalties and the oil royalties on their property, they get some benefit from that and that seems to stimulate the economy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: Now, over behind me, for instance, you'll see one of these fields, these ranches, they've got these oil pumps all over the place, they've also got cows roaming around. These are independent farmers who lease the land for the oil pumps where the oil wells are to a companies that then pump the oil. So, they get a lease, they get rent, basically, for the oil that is pumped off of their land, for the use of that property. These are people who on one hand get the benefit of the oil price, on the other hand, though, even Chad, who we just heard from, who works in the oil fields around here says it is the talk of the town, the high oil prices. He said he drives around in a company truck, the gas for that is paid, but he's got three other vehicles and he has to pay $100 to fill those up.

Also, a lot of people in Texas, whether it's in the work trucks or the truckers who drive through the state use diesel fuel. Diesel is running at about $3.50 versus $3.10 a gallon for gasoline. So, that's really effecting people and when diesel in trucks or diesel in farm equipment gets more expensive, that gets passed on to Americans all over the place because it get passed in terms of what we pay for the food we eat: the milk, the cheese, the bread. We've seen inflation in all of those things in the last year. So, we are in a place in Texas where high price of oil is a good and a bad thing -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, Ali Velshi, thanks so much from Darst Oil Field, there.

Well, while Texas and Ohio are Tuesday's big gets, Rhode Island voters also go to the polls and that's where Barack Obama is today. Our senior political advisor, Bill Schneider is in Providence.

So Bill, where does the race stand in Rhode Island?

BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN SR POLITICAL ADVISOR: Well, every poll in Rhode Island has shown Hillary Clinton ahead. This is Clinton country, but I can tell you something, there are a lot of people gathering behind me for the rally that Barack Obama is going to have starting at 2:00, which is almost two hours away. A lot of excitement here and a feeling that people have that this contest could be a lot closer than people expect. Hillary Clinton has been ahead in every poll, but within the margin of error in the two latest polls. So this race, even in Rhode Island, which is been Clinton country, and always has been for years, this race has gotten very exciting.

WHITFIELD: And so, Bill, you know, Rhode Island has felt rather insignificant in elections past, but not this year. They realize that they really are on the map, even though most candidates are already kind of decided by Super Tuesday, March is really pivotal. SCHNEIDER: Well, people I've seen here in Rhode Island, they come up to me and they say, can you believe it, the campaign has come all the way to Rhode Island? We never expected this. No one has ever paid any attention to us before. They're excited, not just about Clinton and Obama, but they're excited that the race has made it to Rhode Island, little state here, 21 pledged delegates, but yet it's very hotly contested and I'll tell you why. This state is a real test for Hillary Clinton. This is a Clinton-based state and she really has to win Rhode Island.

WHITFIELD: And so this recent poll from one of the affiliates there, WPRI, is it?

SCHNEIDER: Yes, that's right.

WHITFIELD: Their poll says what?

SCHNEIDER: The WPRI poll that just came out shows Hillary Clinton leading Barack Obama by nine points, 49 percent for Clinton, 40 percent for Obama. But the margin of error in this poll is five percent, so that result is within the margin or error. Now, that's a suggestion that this race may be closer than all the polls before that had predicted.

WHITFIELD: Wow, and 11 percent undecided, that's pretty, pretty telling. All right, Bill Schneider, thanks so much.

Stay with CNN for the best political coverage on television. Later today, we give you a chance to hear from the candidates beyond the sound bites. Unfiltered and in their own words, it's the CNN BALLOT BOWL this afternoon 2:00 Eastern. And then BALLOT BOWL primetime beginning at 8:00 p.m. only on CNN.

And then of course on Tuesday night, don't miss CNN's special on the voting in Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont. Coverage begins 7:00 Eastern, 4:00 Pacific, you don't want to miss that.

Well, the latest now on that fiery collision at an airport in Florida. It happened this morning in Titusville about 48 miles southeast of Daytona. A low-flying plane slammed into a grounded plane and exploded into flames. Two people were killed, two others are in a hospital with severe burns. We spoke earlier with Ben Baird of Central Florida News-13.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BEN BAIRD, CENTRAL FLORIDA NEWS-13: Right, they were in the plane that was doing those low maneuvers. We're not sure at this point whether this accident was caused by pilot error or by a mechanical problem with the plane; however, we do know that when these two planes collided, one of the people in that plane doing the low maneuvers was partially ejected, the other person was still inside while the plane was on fire. A couple of bystanders actually came up and help to get those people out of the plane before it was completely engulfed. And that's the only reason those folks are still alive at this point. But again, they are in what was called grave condition at...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Meanwhile, a fire department spokesman says both armature built planes were destroyed in the fire.

Well, he has insulted gays, Catholics and women. A TV preacher backs John McCain, but in the end, it's the candidate who fuels the fire.

Plus, a young woman drinks her self to death. Are the friends who bought the booze responsible? Our legal roundtable in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: On our political radar today, endorsements. This one comes from the McCain camp where one minister's support is stirring up anger with some Catholics. Brian Todd has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRIAN TODD, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the surface, it seemed like a much-needed conservative endorsement for John McCain.

PASTOR JOHN HAGEE, CORNERSTONE CHURCH: John McCain will be a strong, courageous and effective leader from the first day he steps into the Oval Office.

TODD: Pastor John Hagee, a popular televangelist from San Antonio with a 19,000-member church and a TV ministry seen around the world, throws his support to the presumptive Republican nominee, who responds unequivocally.

MCCAIN: I'm very honored by Pastor John Hagee's endorsement, today...

TODD: Since that Wednesday event, one key part of McCain's potential voting base has turned on him, Catholic leaders calling on McCain to repudiate Hagee.

BILL DONOHUE, PRESIDENT, CATHOLIC LEAGUE: This thing is out of bounds, and this is why McCain has to look at this. It's the totality of what the man stands for. He's been bashing Catholicism for decades and making a mountain of money over it.

TODD: In a letter calling on McCain to reject the endorsement and distance himself from Hagee, Catholics United, an online group that advocates strict adherence to Catholic teachings, says: "You were probably unaware of Pastor Hagee's longstanding derision of the Catholic Church."

Here's what they're talking about. In his book "Jerusalem Countdown," updated last year, Hagee writes that the Roman Catholic Church "plunged the world into the Dark Ages" and "Adolf Hitler attended a Catholic school as a child and heard all the fiery anti-Semitic rantings from Chrysostom to Martin Luther. We tried repeatedly to reach Pastor Hagee to get his response to the criticism from Catholic leaders. His aide said he was traveling and not available.

McCain had this to say...

MCCAIN: When he endorses me, it does not mean that I embrace everything that he stands for and believes in.

TODD: McCain's campaign also issued a statement saying he hopes Catholics and all people of faith share his vision for defending innocent life and traditional marriage. But, McCain's campaign didn't respond when we asked if he knew about Hagee's writings before accepting the endorsement. Analysts say that may not move the ball far enough with Catholic voters in key states like Pennsylvania and Ohio.

SCHNEIDER: If John McCain is saying or accepting an endorsement that is offensive to Catholics and doesn't repudiate it, he risks alienating a crucial swing group.

TODD: This comes just after McCain did repudiate talk show host Bill Cunningham for an incendiary speech against Barack Obama and after Obama rejected this endorsement from Nation of Islam leader, Louis Farrakhan.

LOUIS FARRAKHAN, NATION OF ISLAM: Who can lift America?

TODD: Do the candidates bear the ultimate responsibility for the brimstone of their endorsers?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ADVISER: The candidate bears a lot of responsibility for what goes on at his own rallies. If someone comes out of the blue and endorses you and it turns out in their background they have said something which is offensive or insulting, you continue to have some responsibility. It's less, but you do need to disassociate yourself.

TODD: McCain is getting some key backup from conservative Republican Senator Sam Brownback, who is Catholic. Brownback says McCain would never condone anti-Catholicism or even the slightest whiff of it. Still, there is considerable pressure for McCain to move further away from John Hagee than he has so far. The leader of the Catholic League says they'll be relentless in calling attention to this story.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: And the secret is out. A tour of duty cut short. Why Prince Harry left the battlefield, straight ahead in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: And as you saw at the top of the hour, a former president stumping for his presidential hopeful wife, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, there, out of Lakewood, Ohio. We continue to monitor the comments from the former president. And we'll bring it to you as anything of your importance comes to light.

Meantime, it is rare and deadly and police in Las Vegas are still trying to figure out how the poison, Rican, got into a motel room there. CNN's Kara Finnstrom is in Las Vegas and joins us now.

KARA FINNSTROM, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Fredricka. Well, a lot of mystery around exactly what happened in that hotel just behind us. What we have learned is that in the hotel room, where that Rican was found, police also found some anarchist literature and some guns. And that anarchist literature has specific references to Rican.

We've also learned that these discoveries were made two days before someone allegedly found this Rican and handed it over to police. So, some interesting developments, there. These discoveries were made two days before, they made police suspicious enough that there might be some Rican in this room, that they actually conducted their own search in that room and tested for Rican, but those tests didn't turn up anything.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAPT JOSEPH LOMBARDO, LAS VEGAS POLICE: Acting on that information, they requested the presence of our armored team to do a test of the room for any presence of Rican. There was no positive test within the room and the room was determined not to be contaminated.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FINNSTROM: Now, two days later, a man who claims to be a relative of the person that's in the hospital now found that. He says he found the Rican in the room, he turned it over to police. So the question we had for authorities was how could he find something that their team could not? They say they don't have any answers for that, they're still investigating what happened here.

Also, a new development late yesterday was that police did actually search another room and test for Rican. This is a room at the Excalibur Hotel where the man who found the Rican stayed on Wednesday night. They said this was just a precaution and those tests came back negative.

So Fredricka, a lot of questions remaining here. One of the big questions that keeps popping up, especially with this new information that's been released, is could there be any ties here to terrorism. Police still saying that they don't believe that's the case. That they don't have any evidence to suggest that, that the literature and the guns on their own don't necessarily mean a tie to terrorism.

WHITFIELD: All right, very perplexing all the way around. Kara Finnstrom, thanks so much from Las Vegas.

Well, a home coming today, for Britain's Prince Harry after his secret 10-week deployment in Afghanistan was cut short. The second lieutenant was met by his father, Prince Charles, and older brother, Prince William at an English airbase, as you see there. Well, British defense officials withdrew the prince for security reasons after media disclosed his whereabouts. They feared media exposure could have placed the prince and soldiers with him in much greater danger.

Fighting between Israeli troops and Palestinian militants is escalating in Gaza. Palestinian medical sources say at least 45 people are dead. Among those killed, at least nine militants, seven children and 10 adult civilians. Israel said at least two of its soldiers were killed. Israeli forces moved in Wednesday after militants bombarded southern Israeli communities near Gaza with rockets and mortars.

A big shock to Boeing. The company just lost a $35 billion contact to start replacing the Air Force's aging fleet of airborne refueling tankers. The Air Force, instead, picked Northrop Grumman and its European partner for the bob, saying it offered a bigger aircraft.

And in our media, these pictures hosted on YouTube shows tens of thousands of protestors defying a police crackdown and demonstrating again today in the capitol. After these pictures were posted police clashed with the protesters and used force to clear the area. The crowd was protesting last month's presidential elections, alleging fraud and calling for a new vote.

Barack Obama's middle name has been getting a lot of attention lately, and his wife thinks she knows why, the name game in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Hello again and welcome back. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM, I'm Fredericka Whitfield. You can feel the heat the last weekend before the March 4 primary. Some much at stake, so little time, especially for the Democrats. Hillary Clinton burns a trail through Texas today, sending her husband and daughter to stump in Ohio. Barack Obama is rallying voters in Rhode Island. A confident John McCain spends the day at home in Arizona, while rival, Mike Huckabee is in Texas.

For Democrats, the intensity is showing up in blistering new ads. Just take a.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: And your children are safe and asleep, but there's a phone in the White House and it's ringing. Something's happening in the world. Your vote will decide who answers that call, whether it's someone who already knows the world's leaders, knows the military, someone tested and ready to lead in a dangerous world. It's 3:00 a.m. and your children are safe and asleep. Who do you want answering the phone?

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm Hillary Clinton and I approve this message.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: OK, so that ad playing up Clinton's experience. And then there was this from the Obama camp.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: It's 3:00 a.m. and your children are safe and asleep, but there is a phone ringing in the white house. Something is happening in the world. When that call gets answered, shouldn't the president be the one, the only one, who had judgment and courage to oppose the Iraq war from the start, who understood the real threat to America was al Qaeda in Afghanistan, not Iraq, who led the effort to secure loose nuclear weapons around the globe? In a dangerous world, it's judgment that matters.

BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm Barack Obama and I approve this message.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: OK, and then there is another battle brewing, one over Barack Obama's middle name. Mary Snow takes a look at how conservatives are seizing on it, some say, in the name of fear.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARY SNOW, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): His middle name, Hussein, has never been a secret, but twice this week alone, Senator Barack Obama's full name has been used in two attacks drawing scrutiny. Obama's wife, Michelle says it's a fear tactic she witnessed in past campaigns.

MICHELLE OBAMA, BARACK OBAMA'S WIFE: They threw in the obvious, ultimate fear bomb that we are even hearing now. They said his name. They said, "look out for his name." When all else fails, be afraid of his name and what that could stand for, because it is different. And let me play on your fear of difference.

SNOW: Reporters who covered Obama's 2004 Senate race say a Web site went up with Obama's name along with a picture of Osama bin Laden. It eventually disappeared. In this election, conservative radio talk show host, Bill Cunningham, for one, is emphasizing Obama's middle name, Hussein. It was part of a broader attack on Obama, and Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain publically apologized for Cunningham's attacks since they happened at a McCain event. But Cunningham remains defiant.

BILL CUNNINGHAM, CONSERVATIVE TALK SHOW HOST: Hussein is a great Muslim name. I meant no offense and none was taken.

SNOW: The Tennessee Republican party issued a press release captured by some newspapers titled "Anti-Semites for Obama" that included his full name. The Republican National Committee denounced it and it's been retracted. While McCain has vowed to run a respectful campaign, some observers say they expect the attacks to continue if Obama becomes the Democratic nominee.

JIM WARREN, CHICAGO TRIBUNE MANAGING EDITOR: There's a whole world out there on the blogosphere and conservative talk radio that will not be beholden to what Senator McCain wants to do and what might be considered general notions of propriety.

SNOW (on camera): A show Obama told a crowd in Ohio on Thursday that despite political opponents trying to raise fears in 2004, she said her husband prevailed in what she called a climate of negativity and doubt. And she said American people can handle the truth.

Mary Snow, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: And stay with CNN for the best political coverage on television. Later today, we give you a chance to hear from the candidates beyond the sound bytes, unfiltered and in their own words. It's CNN "BALLOT BOWL," this afternoon 2:00 Eastern and then, "BALLOT BOWL" primetime, beginning at 8:00 p.m. only on CNN.

And then of course, on Tuesday night, don't miss CNN special on the voting in Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont. Our coverage begins at 7:00 Eastern, 4:00 Pacific.

So, a Minnesota family says someone needs to be held responsible. Their 21-year-old daughter died and the family takes action against the bar that served her and the friends who allegedly urged her. Our legal guys take this one on after this.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VERONICA DE LA CRUZ, CNN INTERNET CORRESPONDENT: The sounds, the beauty, the things you can expect to experience during a trip to Europe. Because the dollar is coming up short against the euro and pound, you may be thinking about putting that vacation on hold. But there may still be ways to do Europe.

CHRIS MCGINNIS, EXPEDIA.COM: If you really want to go to France or you really want to go to the U.K. this year, you just have to plan on staying in smaller hotels. Choose a hostel instead of a hotel. Plan on traveling to smaller towns.

DE LA CRUZ: So, Chris McGinnis of expedia.com says instead of visiting Paris, you may want to try Lyon, or maybe Marseilles. An alternative to your London stay could be cities like Glasgow or Manchester. And to get the most bang for your buck ...

MCGINNIS: Try to pay for as much as you can up front in U.S. dollars. That means buying a package deal here in the States before you head over there.

DE LA CRUZ: Expedia says booking a European cruise is another option. Packages are typically all-inclusive, covering your room and meals.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: All right, one night, a young lady by the name of Amanda Jax was celebrating her 21st birthday with friends. The next morning, the Minnesota college student was dead after a night of heavy drinking. Authorities say Jax died of alcohol poisoning. Her parents are suing the bar where Jax was served alcohol last October. They're also suing Amanda's friends who allegedly bought her drinks.

The family appeared last night on "Headline News" "NANCY GRACE."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NANCY GRACE, CNN HEADLINE NEWS HOST: Blood alcohol poisoning, .46, nearly six times the legal limit of .08. Joining me right now, her mother, distraught. Jenny Haag is with us. The parents now suing not only the bar that served her, but also her friends who seemingly egged her on.

Ms. Haag, thank you for being with us.

JENNY HAAG, MOTHER OF AMANDA JAX: Thank you.

GRACE: When did you decide to sue?

HAAG: Probably about a week or two after she had passed away and it didn't start out that way. My husband and I didn't have any knowledge of what had happened to Amanda that night. Nobody was telling us what happened. They weren't releasing the coroner's report. And we decided we needed to know. We just couldn't live without knowing what happened to our daughter.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: So, this raises a lot of legal questions that we're going to put to our legal guys right now. Avery Friedman is a civil rights attorney and law professor.

Good to see you.

AVERY FRIEDMAN, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Hi, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: And Richard Herman is a New York criminal defense attorney and law professor. Good to see you as well.

RICHARD HERMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Hi, Fred.

WHITFIELD: OK, so the family -- Richard, I'll begin with you -- the family's able to do this or take this route because Minnesota has what's called a dram shop liquor law, explain.

HERMAN: Well Fred, you always come to me first. Now, I don't mind.

WHITFIELD: Do I? HERMAN: I'm willing to take these questions, but you always...

WHITFIELD: You know, I try to even it out.

HERMAN: I'm only playing, Hillary Clinton (ph), come on.

All right, listen, dram shop means that in the state of Minnesota and many other states, if you serve alcohol to someone who is obviously intoxicated, the bar or the tavern will have liability if that person gets into an accident or injures themselves.

Here, the lawyer incredibly sued the friends as well, which is ridiculous. He's going to get thrown out of court on that. There's no precedence, statutory or case law for that. And he's going to need those friends to help make his case against the bar to say that she was obviously intoxicated. But there's ...

WHITFIELD: Or does the -- sorry.

HERMAN: I'm sorry, there's no case against the individuals.

FRIEDMAN: Well ...

WHITFIELD: Or I wonder, Avery, is it the case of you know, here's the safety net. We're going after the bar, if that doesn't work, we're going after the friends because don't they still need to show intent that intentionly, there was this encouraging of the girl to continue, Amanda Jax, to continue drinking or that the bar just kind of, you know, turned a blind eye, knew she had had already too much?

HERMAN: Fred, there's something called -- I'm sorry, go ahead, Avery.

FRIEDMAN: Well, -- it's actually much more. They have to show that there's an unreasonable risk of harm, Fredricka. And you know what? You lose 1,400 young people every year because of alcohol- related issues. This is much more of a societal issue, Fredericka. And I think the lawsuit is looked at -- I mean, I know Richard's been harsh about it.

But I think where this family is going is looking for causation and maybe urging the Minnesota legislature to say, you know what, if there is a dram shop law applying to bars, maybe if you're a drinking buddy, there should be a same one. So, I look at this lawsuit as something much larger than simply trying to pick on drinking buddies.

WHITFIELD: OK, Richard, you have a last word on this?

HERMAN: Yes, Fred, the lawsuit against the individuals is clearly going to be dismissed. But I'll tell you something. What people don't know is she has prior -- two prior Driving While Intoxicated. So, obviously ...

FRIEDMAN: So what?

HERMAN: ...she had a drinking problem. DWIs, she's got a problem, this youg girl.

FRIEDMAN: Well ...

HERMAN: Unfortunately, she's passed away. It's tragic.

FRIEDMAN: Right.

WHITFIELD: It is tragic.

FRIEDMAN: It is tragic.

WHITFIELD: All right, Roger Clemens, let's talk about this case. The FBI now saying ...

FRIEDMAN: Right.

WHITFIELD: ...we're going to look into it. So, where is this going, Avery?

FRIEDMAN: I'm actually glad the FBI's looking into it, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: Yes?

FRIEDMAN: I am because you've got a deposition of Roger Clemens back on the 13th -- or the 5th of February where he says certain things. He then appears under oath again before a House subcommittee and says seven things different. You have seven material inconsistencies. I think this is very serious.

Now, what -- it's a different standard about going to trial. But for purposes of investigating it, I'm actually glad the FBI is conducting the investigation.

WHITFIELD: And so, Richard, what happened here? I guess the big no-no -- I remember when we first talked about this as, you know, this case was right before Congress, you were saying, what in the world were his attorneys thinking ...

FRIEDMAN: Right.

WHITFIELD: ...to allow him to go on record, to speak like this in Congress and now, it's coming back to kind of bite them?

HERMAN: Fred, it just goes to show you, all the money in the world and all these high-powered attorneys, you can still get bad legal advice. And it's incredible that he went -- he pushed the hearing. They weren't even going to have it. He forced it to go in there, he bought himself an indictment.

I gree with my brother, Avery. You know, he is now a target with the FBI.

FRIEDMAN: Yes.

HERMAN: There are seven instances outlined on the Web site of where he blatantly lied to Congress.

WHITFIELD: Yes.

HERMAN: And you know, McNamee is the government's boy. They went to -- they went to bed with this guy, he's their confidential source.

FRIEDMAN: Hey, take it easy, take it easy.

WHITFIELD: OK.

HERMAN: They believe him. They believe everything that he said.

WHITFIELD: And I know we're going to be talking about this again because it's really just kind of the tip of the iceberg.

FRIEDMAN: Yes.

WHITFIELD: But let's move on real quick to John Ritter. He dies, family says we're suing malpractice because we believe that the doctors who treated him were not keeping into consideration his existing medical condition.

How difficult, Avery, is this malpractice suit for families to win?

FRIEDMAN: It is somewhat difficult and this is complicated because when John Ritter checked into the hospital, he didn't say he was John Ritter. He said he was Edwin Marcus.

WHITFIELD: Why should that matter?

FRIEDMAN: Well, because it created confusion, according to the hospital ...

WHITFIELD: Over his medical records?

FRIEDMAN: Exactly, right.

WHITFIELD: Got it.

FRIEDMAN: And again, there's a compensation effort. What the plaintiff did, what the family did is put on people like the Fonz ...

WHITFIELD: Yes.

FRIEDMAN: ...they put on Peg Bundy. I don't know that that's going to make any difference. This is going to be a very tough call.

WHITFIELD: OK, Avery, Richard, thanks so much.

FRIEDMAN: Well, he was right.

WHITFIELD: It's all fair.

FRIEDMAN: He was right. HERMAN: I want you to begin with me every week, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, we'll see about next weekend.

FRIEDMAN: Take care, see you.

WHITFIELD: All right, see you later.

Sweet and willing to show it. We're talking with teen star Raven Symone about her new movie, about growing up on TV and you know, the pressures of being a child star.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I'm Reynolds Wolf with a look at today's Cold and Flu Season report.

And hey, you at home on the couch, were you sneezing just a few moments ago? Well, if so, you're not alone. In fact, if you look at the map behind me, coast to coast, we've got a lot of people that are feeling bad from the cold and flu. Widespread cases, in fact, all states that are shaded in red.

However, there is one exception, that would be the Sunshine State of Florida, currently in blue, which means only regional cases to report.

Hope you're all feeling better.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Raven, a young American icon, a TV star who's grown up on camera and remains fresh and, dare we say, sweet. You remember her as Olivia in "The Cosby Show." Well now, she's all grown up. And we talked about her career and her new movie.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RAVEN-SYMONE, ACTRESS, "THE COSBY SHOW": What's the world coming to?

WHITFIELD: When you see this little girl on "The Cosby Show" ...

RAVEN-SYMONE: Yes.

WHITFIELD: ...do you recognize her?

RAVEN-SYMONE: No, not at all, actually, I don't even connect the two together.

WHITFIELD: Really.

RAVEN-SYMONE: And it's kind of weird too because so many other people do and so many other people are like, oh my God, you're Olivia. I'm like, yay (ph), I just don't know what to say.

WHITFIELD: Your parents really did choose this career for you. I mean, it started with a modeling agency in Atlanta. They said, yes, she's got the right stuff and then it evolved into acting.

RAVEN-SYMONE: Yes.

WHITFIELD: At what point did you say to yourself you know what, I'm not so sure if this job that my parents have selected for me is really a good fit or has it always been a perfect fit?

RAVEN-SYMONE: Well, it's always fit. But I think as I grow up, and I think with anybody, no matter what career you're in, you always have those days where you're like, is this going to work, like what am I going to do? But seeing that I've been in it for so long, this is what I know how to do.

I kind of looked behind the camera and saw other jobs and other people working their magic, but still being in a creative field. And that's why I started producing. I produced the last season of "That's So Raven," the "Cheetah Girls 2" movie, and now I executive produced "College Road Trip."

I have this Web site called "Raven-Symone Presents." That started on a paper napkin and has, you know, it has its own site now. And we're sponsored by AT&T and Six Flags and we're getting promotion for it. And it's just -- to know that if you stick with something and you believe in it and you find other people who believe in it just as much as you do, you can make your dreams happen.

So, you know, that and then with this movie and with episodes of "That's So Raven," just seeing how something can be birthed and nurtured all the way to something that people watch and enjoy. It brings so much joy to my heart, it's ridiculous. It's really ridiculous.

WHITFIELD: Is it really? Well, you know, it seems like there are so many positive images that are attached to you. You know, you're a great roll model for a lot of young ladies. And you know, when you look at a lot of the other young stars who started out, whether it was, you know, starting out with the "Mickey Mouse" show or other child stars from Britney Spears to Lindsay Lohan and folks are seeing a lot of these young stars kind of crumble.

What do you think is, I guess, at the root of that? Why do some handle it so well and others don't?

RAVEN-SYMONE: I have no idea. I have never talkehed to them nor am I a part of their life in any way. The only thing that I can say is I think it's very unfair that they have to go through the toughest times in their life on camera or on paper, when there are people in this world that need a lot more attention that are going through the same thing. But nobody's helping them and nobody's scrutinizing them. I think we all need to like, take a seat back and look at ourselves and say, why do we treat them like this when we could actually help them or root better for them. WHITFIELD: Let's talk about your movie. You've been involved in so many things, you went down the laundry list, you know. Now, this latest project, this movie, you know, and it's about being in college. And it's an interesting relationship between a daughter and dad ...

RAVEN-SYMONE: Yes.

WHITFIELD: ...dad being played by Martin Lawrence here. You had a great idea about a road trip. His idea is not quite the same. Let's take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIRLS (singing): Going on a road trip, a road trip, a road trip! Whoah!

(LAUGHTER)

RAVEN-SYMONE, "COLLEGE ROAD TRIP": You guys, I think we should start really early tomorrow because I can not believe we're actually going.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't believe your dad's actually allowing you to go.

RAVEN-SYMONE: See, I've been working with him for 17 years, all right, and he knows. You could be chief at the station, but you have to be dad at home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But you tell him exactly that, OK?

RAVEN-SYMONE: Thank you very much.

(LAUGHTER)

MARTIN LAWRENCE, ACTOR, "COLLEGE ROAD TRIP": Surprise! Road trip, road trip, yes!

GIRLS: Oh, no.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Oh, no, is right. College Road Trip," Martin Lawrence is your dad.

RAVEN-SYMONE: Yes.

WHITFIELD: Oh, boy, this had to have been quite the adventure to be a part of this movie.

RAVEN-SYMONE: Most definitely. First, let me say it's a G-rated movie with Martin Lawrence in it. Woohoo!

(LAUGHTER)

RAVEN-SYMONE: We were so excited about it. It was great being on the set with him. I think it's going to -- I think it's a really cool movie, one, because I don't really remember the last road trip movie that you had with your father and daughter comedy dealing with college.

And I think the people that go to it will definitely be able to see the fun that we had filming it, with all of the different stunts and the different situations that Mr. Lawrence and I get into. And you get to see, which I think, especially in today's world, is a little bit missing, the father/daughter team that happens.

You know, nowadays is they're like well, she's a girl, I don't know what to do. And she's like, well, he's a guy, I don't want to deal with him. But you have to work together, you have to grow together. And that's what's something that Melanie, my character and James, that's Martin Lawrence's character, learn on this road trip.

WHITFIELD: And Martin Lawrence, the king of improv ...

RAVEN-SYMONE: Right.

WHITFIELD: ...you never know what's going to happen. So, you know, when you guys were filming, were there a lot of surprises or did he kind of throw you off a few times with his comedy? I mean, did you have to just roll with it?

RAVEN-SYMONE: I think it's definitely a roll with it type of thing. There was no rehearsal. But he's actually -- he makes sure that he stays kind of to the script. But he stays on script, but his people are very involved with the writing. So you know, he doesn't throw too many curve balls at you and if he does, he warns you. He's a very, very giving actor.

WHITFIELD: That's good, and you want that.

RAVEN-SYMONE: Most definitely.

WHITFIELD: Giving to the pig?

RAVEN-SYMONE: You know, the pig's a little diva.

WHITFIELD: Tell me about it.

RAVEN-SYMONE: The pig is a diva. Honestly (ph), like, it was too much for me. We all had to be quiet when he walked on stage, like, he was like, no animals but me. Like, I was like, what is this pig doing. And, best part, they hired the pig before they had like anybody else's contract in place.

WHITFIELD: Oh really?

RAVEN-SYMONE: Best part of the whole movie.

WHITFIELD: The pig was very premo (ph)?

RAVEN-SYMONE: The pig was No. 1. He was called Mr. Pig. He was the pig. WHITFIELD: Wow.

RAVEN-SYMONE: Enjoyable.

WHITFIELD: So, this movie, you know, about to be in theaters. Folks are going to be real excited lining up to see Raven-Symone all grown up. But wait, there's more.

RAVEn-SYMONE: There's more.

WHITFIELD: An album now?

RAVEN-SYMONE: Oh, I was like, where, really, there's more, I didn;t know.

WHITFIELD: Yes.

RAVEN-SYMONE: Yes, an album, my fourth album. My senior album is coming out in April. And I'm going on tour from April until August. I'm so excited. The album, I work with producers like Sean Garrett, Eric Hudson, the Knight Riders (ph), Frankie Storm, Marcia Ambrosia (ph), the Jam, the Clutch, so many people. And they understood where I was coming from.

And my last albums, I love them to death. They didn't do so well. So hopefully, with this involvement with these people, and you know, all the publicity, hopefully, it'll stick a little bit more this time. And people can understand that you don't always have to talk about sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll, even though, you know, that works, but it doesn't really work for me. So, hopefully, you understand that I'm trying to give self-confidence and self-respect on top of the hip- hop beat.

WHITFIELD: Well, it sounds like you're doing all that. Twenty years in the business, but then you think about all these things that you are now involved in. Really, it's just beginning, isn't it?

RAVEN-SYMONE: Yes, it is just beginning because each year, I grow up, I have a new dream I have to accomplish. But I will say this. I am looking for other people. I am looking for talent, I want to make other people's dreams come true because that is the most fulfilling, helping someone else, even if you say, you look pretty today to someone. That makes someone else's day better. So, you look pretty today.

WHITFIELD: Oh, that's nice. Well, you look beautiful.

RAVEN-SYMONE: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: Raven-Symone, thanks so much.

RAVEN-SYMONE: So nice to meet you.

WHITFIELD: Nice to meet you and continued success.

RAVEN-SYMONE: Thank you very much. WHITFIELD: And luck.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: All right, well just in case you weren't taking notes, let's recap. She's involved in so many things. "Raven-Symone Presents" is her Web site. Check that out. The movie, "College Road Trip" out in theaters this month. And then next month, in April, look for her album, "Raven-Symone." Pretty remarkable.

All right, how about that trouble with electronic voting? Will every vote count in Ohio and Texas on Tuesday?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: All right, we certainly hope that every vote counts. But what happens when the electronic voting system shorts out and there are no paper ballots to back up the numbers? Well, those concerns loom large in next week's primaries in two pivotal states.

CNN's Kitty Pilgrim explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ohio and Texas, tight races, flawed voting systems, a potential problem in counting the votes.

In Ohio, the secretary of state insisted on running tests that found critical security failures with the electronic voting systems used in that state. She then urged 57 Ohio counties to switch to paper ballots, but she didn't require it. So, many counties still haven't switched and don't plan to.

JOHN BONIFAZ, VOTER ACTION: There is a resistance in the state to making this change. And that's why it's important that she use her power. Her name is Jennifer Brunner. She ran in part on the platform to do something about this.

PILGRIM: Computer scientists who specialize in electronic voting systems say because of high expected turnout in Texas, any problems with electronic machines may result in long lines and chaos. They also say the state is vulnerable to massive vote count problems.

DAVID DILL, STANFORD UNIVERSITY: In the case of Texas, they're still in the dark ages in a number of the big counties, where they're using all electronic voting with no paper trails or paper ballots at all. They also don't do manual audits.

PILGRIM: Concerns about the consequences are rooted in bad experiences elsewhere. For example, in the Super Tuesday state of New Jersey, voting machines in six counties recorded inaccurate turnouts, sometimes fewer Democratic voters than it should have, sometimes fewer Republican voters. Tallies did not match up. The state says the election rumts are not compromised. But the manufacturer has no answers yet about what happened, issuing the statement, "Sequoia is currently working to isolate and determine the cause of an ancillary reporting issue."

Kitty Pilgrim, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: And stay with CNN for the best political coverage on television. Later today, we give you a chance to hear from the candidates beyond the sound bytes, unfiltered and in their words. It's CNN "BALLOT BOWL" this afternoon, 2:00 Eastern, and then, "BALLOT BOWL" primetime beginning at 8:00 p.m. only on CNN.

And then, on Tuesday night, don't miss CNN's special on the voting in Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, and Vermont. Our coverage begins on that night 7:00 Eastern, 4:00 Pacific.

And a look at the top stories in a moment. Right now, "YOUR MONEY." Here's a preview.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN HOST: Thank you.

Coming up on "YOUR MONEY," find out which issues will matter most in Tuesday's primary elections. Here's a hint. They all have to do with your bank account.

Also ahead, tipping the scale, what to do when your mortgage payments outweigh the value of your home. There are millions of Americans who are in this condition.

And a troubling prediction about our economic future and why our next president may get stuck with a lot of work to do and maybe some of the blame.

We're ready to get started right after "Now in the News."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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