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CNN NEWSROOM

Georgian/Russian Conflict; Americans Stabbed; Bernie Mac Dies; Retired Olympian Reunion

Aired August 9, 2008 - 12:00   ET

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


T.J. HOLMES, CNN HOST: Well, sir, you hear it there, calling it a criminal decision on your part. We talk about this cease-fire now, one that I hope all sides would hope for. So what will it take for you all, your side, to stop shooting, to stop launching a bomb that direction?
MIKHAIL SAAKASHVILI, PRESIDENT OF GEORGIA: Wait a minute. We are not shooting. We're being attacked, bombed, butchered and destroyed right now.

HOLMES: But aren't you not shooting now Russian planes?

SAAKASHVILI: Just a minute. Just a second. Would you -- I mean, these are Russian planes that's just killed hundreds of civilians only today. And if this -- 11 of them were shot down and some of the pilots have been captured and we are handing them to ICRC. But point here, and he are treating them in very human way, but them main thing here is, is very -- we regret the loss of life on every side. And even these people who attack us, but the point here is very clear. I mean we -- this gentleman is making fun of common sense and of humanity and of anything that is normal.

Russian tanks, unprovoked came, into Georgia, into a small nation, in the middle of the country. They're fighting war and they are bombing us all around the country. They're bombing us from the west, from the east and from the north and from the south. They are bombing civilian targets. And they're killing scores of people and it's happening -- all of this is happening right now as we speak. And the point is very (INAUDIBLE) this should stop immediately. The world should unify, time for the world (INAUDIBLE) unequivocally to condemn this violence to speak with one voice, to stop -- condemn the invasion and aggression and to condemn this war crimes.

HOLMES: Sir, you call this aggression...

(CROSSTALK)

SAAKASHVILI: We're living into 21st Century.

HOLMES: You called this unprovoked.

(CROSSTALK)

But again that provocation is that, again, Russian peacekeepers are there. You all targeted them first and you call it unprovoked but is there no validity to that claim that in fact that you all targeted their peacekeepers? Yes, sir.

SAAKASHVILI: Excuse me. But I mean, we are talking about territory that this integral part of Georgia, deep in Georgian territory with small population that didn't need any military. Those so-called peacekeepers were never invited there. We never legitimized their mandate. This was territory, directly and illegally administered by some Russian officials, but even beyond that we never attacked them.

The point is that after continuous provocation, after continuous attacks on Georgia law enforcement, after civilian population was specifically targeted by this Russian official and so-called peacekeepers, and after Russian tanks started to move into our territory, that was the only moment when Georgian army has responded.

Georgia is not suicidal or crazy to provoke such a big country that has hundreds of tanks at our borders and that has been menacing all this way through with this kind of action, but even that supersede what's happening, that's beyond my expectations. The reality is very simple.

But just the same, I spoke today with President Bush, and you know, I -- he expressed some support as well as Senator Obama and Senator McCain with whom I spoke yesterday several times. It's so clear now that there should be a cease-fire, there should be disengagement, there should be internationalization of process, mediation, and protection of civilian population. Right now, people are in danger, children, women, I mean, small kids have been killed. And you know we need absolutely have to stop it and the world has stop it. Georgia cannot stand on its own, Georgia will protect itself. We're a small Democracy but we're a small nation of less than five million people. We will protect -- we'll try to protect ourselves, but only we cannot support to violence.

HOLMES: Sir...

SAAKASHVILI: And I'm appealing to the consciousness of all human beings to help to stop.

HOLMES: Sir, and you talked about protecting your people there, but certainly of interest to the audience that's watching right now, here, our American audience, is that of Americans in your country. Can you tell me what is being done, if anything is being done to possibly protect them by your government and possibly get them out and also give me the update on your troops that are in Iraq at this point that may be called back to Georgia, might be pulled out of Iraq?

SAAKASHVILI: We called -- we pulled out our brigade from Iraq because every Georgian soldier right now -- I mean, we served in Iraq for all of these years, we had casualties, we have lost of them have died for -- during the Iraqi operation and lots of them are wounded. But we are calling them back because there is no way that these people can normally bear their responsibility, there, when their country is being destroyed.

You know, Russians have used term -- Russian officials yesterday have used term "annihilation of Georgia" and their country is on the process of annihilation by big neighbor. Certainly they cannot no longer sustain their mission in Iraq. They'll be coming back with regards to the American citizens, here.

And you should know that this is country that's one of the friendliest towards America in the world. I mean, we feel very strongly about American -- Americans here and I'm sure as much as we can protect our own civilians and unfortunately, of course, they are vulnerable, Americans feel -- should feel -- I mean, the rest of the population will do their best to protect the government of Georgia will do our best to keep them out of trouble.

But of course, I mean, this is not up to us. As we speak they are (INAUDIBLE) way. This is not contry. We don't have bombshells, we don't have shelters, we don't have -- I mean, our -- we have very good modern hospitals, but we don't have enough of them. And you know, certainly there are -- of course nobody is clearly safe here in this situation. And that's -- I regret to say that.

HOLMES: Sir, finally here, tell us, what it will take for a cease-fire to be put in place and for it to hold? Will you, the one side, need to concede something to the other first...

SAAKASHVILI: We are willing...

HOLMES: You're willing to stop?

SAAKASHVILI: We are willing to do cease-fire immediately provided the other side stops to shoot and to bomb. And we are willing to disengage, disengage immediately and as soon as they stop to shoot at us we're willing to take any of the steps, first steps required from us, as well as, you know, you spoke about Russian peacekeepers, we regret the loss of any human life from both sides, even if they were shooting at us. We don't like people to be killed. We don't like people to be die. We are a very small nation and the citizens we are talking about that are dying here, these are our citizens, these are not some other communities, these are people of my nation and each one of them is vulnerable for us.

You know, human life it's -- we're -- it's the main value -- for us. This is Democracy where every human being should be protected, should be free, and certainly free from violence. Georgia has always been very safe and very unviolent society at least for the last several years, we're sure it can be extremely safe and now it's all going to hell. And please, I mean, the world should really help to stop it and we should really speak with one voice.

You know, time will select very well, only (INAUDIBLE) people couldn't care less, but people should wake up to the reality of what's happening in the midst of this summer vacation and Olympic games, indeed, just one hour ago, a summer vacation hotel in the mountain was bombed and lots of people killed there. People were vacationing and they didn't expect to be caught in the middle of war and this is happening -- this will happen tomorrow as, if we don't stop it.

HOLMES: Well, Mr. President, President Saakashvili, really, I assure you the world is watching and paying attention. We are -- our all hearts go out, like you said, loss of life on any side on all sides, certainly hope that this can be resolved quickly and peacefully. But we appreciate you, Mr. President, President Saakashvili, really, of Georgia, thank you very much. Hope to talk to you again, soon.

SAAKASHVILI: Thank you so much, sir.

HOLMES: All right, a little past my time here, I hate to stop your time, Fredricka, but we were able to get...

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: I don't consider that stepping on, it's a complement. We're complementing each other there.

HOLMES: But, talking to him, there. And certainly we need to let our viewers know that he was making a lot of claims in there about bombings and things, the stuff that CNN, we have Matthew Chance there on the ground, but he's in the capital city of Tbilisi. Not able to get out and confirm a lot of that stuff so, again a lot of claims you heard there, CNN can't independently confirm, but we still had an opportunity to get him on and let him tell his side of the story and so there you have it.

WHITFIELD: Right, conflicting messages certainly about who started what -- Russia, Georgia.

HOLMES: Yes.

WHITFIELD: But, both sides standing their grounds, seemingly.

HOLMES: Still.

WHITFIELD: That they did the right thing. Now it's an issue of who provoked whom? And as you said, Matthew Chance is in Tbilisi, he's going to be joining us here in the Noon hour, as well, and he will fill us in on, perhaps, some of those blanks. A great job with that interview with the Georgian president.

HOLMES: Thank you. Thank you, it's all yours, now.

WHITFIELD: All right, T.J., thanks so much, have a great day.

All right, much more straight ahead including, as this fighting continues to rage on between Russia and the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, Russian's news agency is now reporting that the prime minister, Vladimir Putin, has arrived in the volatile border region. Georgia's parliament today declared a state of war exists between the two countries. They're at odds of a break-away region of Georgia called South Ossetia.

And Georgia, a U.S. ally, launched a military offense this week against separatist in the region. Russia, which has granted citizenship to most South Ossetia residents, responded this way.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SAAKASHVILI: Today, Russia has launched a full-scale military invasion of Georgia. Russian forces including air, land, sea and air more (ph) forces are massed against and attacking our sovereign nation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Well, it's unclear how many people have died in the fighting so far. Russia put the death toll around 2,000, but Georgia says it is much lower than that.

President Bush says he is deeply concerned about the fighting between Russia and Georgia. The president, who is attending the Beijing Olympic games, is appealing for calm.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Georgia is a sovereign nation and its territorial integrity must be respected. We have urged an immediate halt to the violence and a stand-down by all troops. The call for an end to the Russian bombings, and a return by the parties, to the status quo of August the 6th.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Meantime, that's a response of what's taking place between Russia and Georgia. The president is in Beijing for the Olympic games. And now we want to tell you about a rather surprising story that is taking place out of Beijing. Not involving the athletes, but American tourist. An American tourist was stabbed to death and another injured there. It happened in broad daylight at a popular tourist site as the Olympic games got underway. Our Larry Smith is in the capital city.

Larry, what do you have?

LARRY SMITH, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, we do have the name now, Fredricka, of that person who was killed in that attack. His name is Todd Bachman of Lakeville, Minnesota. His wife, Barbara Bachman, was the one who was the one critically injured and has suffered life-threatening injuries and is now trying to recover from those. They are the in-laws of Hugh McCutcheon, who is the head coach of the men's indoor volleyball team.

All of this happened just after midday at the Drum Tower, which is an historic landmark and a tourist attraction in central Beijing, just about five miles away from the Olympic green, where we are right here -- we have right here. Now, we understand from the USOC that they were not wearing any kind of clothing that would identify them as a part of the U.S. Olympic delegation or even as American.

As for the assailant, he's a 47-year-old Chinese national, who took his own life by throwing himself off of the building after it happened. But authorities are still investigating in the hows and whys of this, but so far, there's been no information that would suggest that there needs to be any kind of tightening of security around the U.S. Olympic team or any American tourist who are here watching the games -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: And Larry, I know that you have said that the police have yet to release a lot of details, but have they saying anything what may have provoked this attack? Whether eyewitnesses, who where there at that very popular site, saw or heard anything, any kind of exchange between these people involved?

SMITH: No, not at all. That's the big question. Now their daughter, Hugh McCutcheon's wife, Elizabeth, was with them, but she was not harmed. There was also a Chinese tour guide who was involved in the attack, was also, I guess, was close by, but she, too is not injured. And that's the question, right now, the authorities want to answer. They do believe that he acted independently. They do not think this was any kind of a terrorist attack. It was just simply one person who went off on these people and this unfortunate end.

WHITFIELD: All right, Larry Smith, thanks so much for that update out of Beijing.

And of course we've got new information now on the conflict that we've been reporting to you all morning taking place between Georgia and Russia. Now new images that are just now coming in of Vladimir Putin making his way to the border region. I'm told we have those images. Do we not? All right, well, we're going to try to rack those up and get those repaired for you and bring those images to you as soon as possible.

Meantime, now back to Beijing. A small group of pro-Tibet activists out again this morning in Tiananmen Square challenging security there and facing the jeers of an angry crowd.

Yesterday, three Americans were detained while displaying Tibetan flags outside the national stadium. Activists are using the Olympic games to protest Chinese rule in Tibet.

And this sad news we have to report to you this morning. One of America's best-known funny man has been silenced, much more straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: More now on the violent conflicts that are taking place at the border between Russia and Georgia. There stepping off of the plane you see the Russian prime minister, Vladimir Putin, now arriving there along the border there to help in part, try to quell some of the violence that is taking place. Just moments ago, you heard the interview between our T.J. Holmes and the Georgian president, Saakashvili, who said after continuous provocation by Russia, and Russian tanks moving into our territory -- Georgia's territory, Georgia then responded. Russia is saying that there have been injuries and deaths that have resulted, but it's unclear on exactly how many on either side of the conflict continues and there are some efforts underway to try to bring about some sort of cease- fire between the two.

Meantime here in this country, a sad day for fans of Bernie Mac. The comedian passed away this morning in a Chicago-area hospital. Mac's publicist says he died from complications brought on by pneumonia. Mac had been hospitalized since the beginning of the month and earlier this morning, we heard from comedian, Steve Harvey.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

STEVE HARVEY, COMEDIAN: I'm just completely stunned by the news, man, because you know the brother's young, you know, we're the same age, now. We was doing this thing together for so long, it was just a -- it was a really complete shock and you know to hear it from Reverend Al Sharpton while having breakfast, it was just, I mean, I mean of course it makes you think of the important things.

You know, Bernie was a great family man. And I don't know if people really know that about celebrities. You know, the look at the celebry aspect, but more importantly, Bernie was a great father, man, he was a great father, a great husband, a lot of years, with the same woman. You know and that's -- that's who my heart goes out the most this morning, man. They've got to be in horrible shape and my heart's condolences go out to them the most.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: And speaking of Bernie Mac's family, he is survived by his wife, daughter and a granddaughter. He currently has two movies in post production. Bernie Mac was, as you heard Steve Harvey say, just 50 years old.

Well, his political future in doubt, former presidential candidate, John Edwards, says he is filled with remorse and shame after weeks of denial. Edwards coming clean about an affair with a former campaign staffer. Rielle Hunter, but denying it that he's the father of her baby. He told it to ABC's "Nightline."

All right, sorry about that, We're having a hard time getting that rolling. We'll try to bring that sound bite to you when we can. Meantime, Elizabeth Edwards, who is battling cancer, writes on her web site that: "our family has been through a lot, some caused by nature, some caused by human weakness, and some most recently by the desire for sensationalism and profit without any regard for the human consequences." That quote from Elizabeth Edwards. She is facing a test similar to many women, more on that later on this hour.

Democrat Barack Obama is off of the campaign trail, but on the record today. Obama is vacationing with his family in Hawaii. Before he left, he delivered the Democratic radio address, blasting the Bush administration over deficits and the Iraq war. After he arrived in Hawaii, well, Obama was asked about former rival John Edwards' role in Democratic politics following his admission that he had an affair, John Edwards that is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: John Edwards was a great champion, for the people, during the course of his campaign. Many his themes are ones that Democrats, as a whole, share. Those will be amplified in the convention and I wish them all well.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: For John McCain, it was a campaign stop at the Iowa State Fair yesterday. Even though he was in corn country, he reaffirmed his opposition to subsiding ethanol made from corn. Today the Reblican presidential candidate addresses the Disabled American Veterans Convention in Las Vegas.

1948 Olympians head for a reunion in China, a 60-year journey from London to Beijing, one that is very personal for me.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: All right, President Bush getting his game on at the Olympics, mountain biking for more than an hour this morning on the Olympic course and taking a turn in the sand with the women's beach volleyball team. Go, Mr. President. The president described as jumping in with abandon. All right.

Well, then it was time to practice with the women's softball team after huddling for photos, there was a chalk handprint on the back of his shirt, as you saw right there. That's outfielder Laura Bird's signature prank. All right, he's having a good time there.

Well, today's best athletes are not the only ones in Beijing for the 2008 athletes. Among the millions descending on the Chinese capital, champions of yesteryear. I happen to know one of them quite well. That would be my dad, Mal Whitfield, an Olympic medalist from 1948 and '52. That's not him circled there, some of his colleagues. Harrison Dillard, right there, Herb Douglas right before that.

Well, I went home to Washington last week -- and that's Sammy Lee. I went home to Washington last week to help my dad pack for this upcoming trip.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

Hello. Well, let me reintroduce you to my dad, Mal Whitfield, 1948, '52, Olympic medalist, gold, silver bronze. I first introduced you to "Marvelous Mal" a few years when London became the host of the 2012 games.

Were you euphoric?

MAL WHITFIELD, OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST: Oh yes, I was quite pleased that the committee chose London.

F WHITFIELD: Well, now, it's you and me off to Beijing. Are you ready?

M WHITFIELD: Oh, have I been ready. I haven't had a good night's sleep. I'll sleep on the plane.

F WHITFIELD (voice over): Clearly we're both over the top thrilled as we pack our bags for China. One reason? M WHITFIELD: What happens in the Olympic games, it becomes a family of people, people meeting people from all over the world.

F WHITFIELD: Together to celebrate and witness greatness, the other big reason for our excitement? You're looking at him.

M WHITFIELD: For me going to Beijing will be the most exciting experience I've ever had in my life. Why? Because, personally I'm almost 84 years old. The (INAUDIBLE) time I've spent in sport since I was eight years old, so I wanted to be an Olympian.

F WHITFIELD: And after so many years seeing other Olympians of his day. He doesn't know for sure who will be there, but hopes on Olympians like bronze long jumper Herb Douglas, Harrison Dillard the only man to win gold as a 100-meter sprinter and hurdler, gold medal diver, Dr. Sammy Lee, still both are cut up and pin-up despite recent back surgery.

SAMUEL LEE, 1948 OLYMPIAN: Mal and I, both being from Los Angeles, it's funny.

F WHITFIELD: And still vividly reflective at age 88.

LEE: So-called experts who say that you're the wrong color, the wrong size, it inspires you to be tougher and you're more dedicated.

F WHITFIELD: Despite discrimination, segregation, the depression and military draft during World War II and the Korean War, they stayed on course to make Olympic history. Dr. Lee, winning two golds in the 10-meter platform in 1948 and '52, and a bronze on springboard. He, in the same back-to-back games, dad collectively winning three golds, a silver and a bronze.

M WHITFIELD: I ran three events: 800 meters, the 400 meters, and the 400-meter relays. I just over did it, but it was all worth it.

F WHITFIELD: Dad's weakened knees keeps this retired American diplomat in a wheelchair these days. It may not be easy, but we hope to traverse China with the same vigor and pace it our recent center of Washington's World War II Memorial.

M WHITFIELD: I feel very comfortable. I feel at home.

F WHITFIELD: Being here, conjured dad's memories of hard, inventive, dark of night training, as an Olympic hopeful in between his flight missions as a U.S. Air Force sergeant based in Japan.

M WHITFIELD: Don't deviate, there's no deviation in training.

F WHITFIELD: A fighter then, and a fighter now, who says the constant shooting fame in his joints is already feeling healing powers from this surprised-filled journey to Beijing. His only fear? Old friends don't recognize him.

M WHITFIELD: As ugly as I am, they will remember the face and my laugh.

F WHITFIELD: Weeks after his spinal surgery...

LEE: I'm recuperating and the goal of going to Beijing is stimulating me to get healed fast.

F WHITFIELD: And the prospect of these octogenarian Olympics meeting at the 20th Olympiad inspires me. Let the games and our adventure begin.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: And of course we'll keep you posted on our excellent adventure.

Meantime, right now it's 28 minutes after the hour, lots of things happening around the world right now. Sadly, in this country, comedian/actor Bernie Mac died this morning. He suffered from an inflammatory lung disease and was being treated for pneumonia at the time of his death. Mac was just 50 years old.

And an attack at a popular Beijing tourist site leaves an American man dead and an American woman seriously injured, all of this happening during the Olympic games. The man has been identified as Todd Bachman, he is the father-in-law to the U.S. men's volleyball coach. His wife Elizabeth is hospitalized. The attacker committed suicide. It's unclear whether that attacker (INAUDIBLE) did it specifically because of the games.

Well, new pictures show Russian prime minister, Vladimir Putin, arriving near the border between Russia and Georgia. A Russian diplomat says at least 2,000 people have died in fighting between this country and the former Soviet Republic of Georgia.

And you have heard about his story now for over a day. John Edwards, who for months, denied having an affair, admitted it on ABC's "Nightline."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN EDWARDS, FMR PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Then I went from being a senator, a young senator to being considered for vice president, running for president, being a vice presidential candidate and becoming a national public figure. All of which fed a self-focus, an egotism, a narcissism that leads you to believe that you can do whatever you want. You're invincible and there will be no consequences.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: All right, no consequences? Well, Bill Schneider is our senior political analyst. He joins us now from Washington. Beyond the fact that, Bill, this sent shock waves really across country. Now hearing that statement, you have to wonder if those words help -- if there's any redemption. WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I don't know about redemption. I know that there's a lot of criticism out there from his supporters, including his former campaign manager, David Bonior, who feel betrayed by his actions and what is really striking about them is the recklessness with which he behaved. The absolute heedlessness to what he was trying to accomplish as a politician and as a presidential candidate.

Imagine if he had won the Democratic nomination. He competed for it earlier this year. Didn't get very far, and ended up endorsing Barack Obama. Suppose he had ended up as the Democratic nominee or even the second spot on the ticket with Obama as he had been with John Kerry. He had done -- he had carried out this affair, briefly, he says, back in 2006. It would have eventually come out and it would have been an explosive piece of information that could have destroyed the Democrats' chances.

I mean, this kind of recklessness is very, very disspiriting to people who supported him.

WHITFIELD: And so, you wonder now with those comments, his admission and even now the written statement on the Web site of Elizabeth Edwards', saying that this really underscores the human weaknesses and also underscores the sensationalism that has come with the reporting of this affair. These two statements from this couple -- in any way does that help perhaps, any future political career that John Edwards just might still try to pursue?

SCHNEIDER: Well, we won't know this for some time. I think at this point, this is a private matter for the Edwards' family to sort out. He's not a contender for political office. It's very unlikely he'll play any role at the Democratic Convention. Barack Obama said he would not when he was asked about it yesterday. He is not likely to play a role in the Obama administration.

I think it'll take some time for this to work out. The first priority, of course, is for him to really reestablish his family life.

WHITFIELD: Yes.

SCHNEIDER: And the confidence of his wife and children.

WHITFIELD: All right, meantime now, let's talk about the presidential race, and November just around the corner.

SCHNEIDER: Yes.

WHITFIELD: And we still don't know about vice presidential choices, the running mates, of these two leading candidates. What's going on?

SCHNEIDER: Oh, it's a big guessing game here in Washington, everywhere else. There are lists. Everyone has a list. You bump into anyone in the street in Washington, go to a lunch counter, people will take a list out of their pocket.

WHITFIELD: Right, but who tops the list? We don't care about the list anymore.

SCHNEIDER: Who tops the list? All right, you want my list, here's my list, for what it's worth.

WHITFIELD: Right.

SCHNEIDER: I'm not the nominee, but Democrats are talking about Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana who is a moderate and who's been a Washington for some time. Joe Biden, long, experienced, head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Been in Washington for 36 years. He ran for president. Hillary Clinton is still on a lot of lists. She's going to have a major role speaking at the Democratic Convention. But she's up there.

Bill Richardson would be a very interesting choice. An African- American and a Latino on the ticket. You talk about change. That's a message of change. And a newcomer to the list in recent weeks: Tim Kaine, the governor of Virginia.

WHITFIELD: Right.

SCHNEIDER: He's Catholic, he's a Southerner. He would be very interesting on the ticket. Here's an interesting factoid for what it's worth. Tim Kaine's grandparents and Barack Obama's grandparents lived in the same small town, El Dorado, Kansas. How's that for a coincidence?

WHITFIELD: Wow, that is some coincidence. Now, what about McCain and his picks or choices?

SCHNEIDER: A long list there, too. One of them is someone he's going to be campaigning with Monday and Tuesday, the former governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Ridge, former Department of Homeland Security director. Remember all those orange and yellow colors he invented? Well, he and McCain are going to be campaigning together in Pennsylvania. Very crucial state that McCain hopes to win.

Tim Pawlenty, the governor of Minnesota has been in Washington recently. That's where the -- that's the host city, Minneapolis for the Republican Convention. There's Tim Pawlenty.

WHITFIELD: Yes.

SCHNEIDER: He's very high on most lists. He's young, energetic, talks about the Republican Party being the party of Sam's Club, not just the country club. Charlie Crist, the governor of Florida, you can never dismiss Florida, a key battleground state. Very popular governor who succeeded Jeb Bush in Florida. And I mentioned Tom Ridge.

WHITFIELD: Yes.

SCHNEIDER: Mitt Romney, Mitt Romney has been clearly auditioning for the role. He ran for president. Became popular among conservatives this year at his -- the minute the campaign ended, he started pumping hard ... WHITFIELD: Yes.

SCHNEIDER: ...for John McCain. John Thune, senator from South Dakota who defeated Tom Daschle in a major race a couple of years ago. And then, Rod Portman ...

WHITFIELD: Yes.

SCHNEIDER: ...who -- former Office of Management and Budget director. He's from another crucial state, Ohio. They're all on lists.

WHITFIELD: Wow. Yes, and a lot of familiar folks -- faces on those lists that ...

SCHNEIDER: And some unfamiliar.

WHITFIELD: ...I can't -- yes, and some unfamiliar, but I can't wait 'til we're able to talk about, you know, narrowing the list down to one choice each. That's what we're all anticipating and waiting, right?

SCHNEIDER: That has to be in the next few weeks.

WHITFIELD: Come on, already. All right, Bill Schneider, thanks so much. Good to see you this weekend.

SCHNEIDER: OK.

WHITFIELD: OK, well, you know, this will be very unsettling. Your flight has been canceled. Your flight to Beijing better not be. So then what? What do you do? We'll have some answers.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: All right, this would be a real big bummer, your flight has been canceled, but we've got your back. Here's how you can be on the go again after a major flight delay.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VERONICA DE LA CRUZ, CNN INTERNET CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It can be an air traveler's nightmare. You walk up to the gate and find out your flight has been canceled. But instead of getting angry, try keeping your cool.

TERAH SHELTON, TRAVEL CONSULTANT: Canceled flights cost airlines. They don't want to see that anymore than you do. And yelling and screaming at the customer service representative or the ticket agent, it's not going to get your flight rebooked any faster.

DE LA CRUZ: Shelton also recommends that you have your cell phone handy.

SHELTON: Try to get on the phone. Do try to call the 1-800- number, people over a telephone are much more calm. They have a script on what to say. They have more information. And they can talk to you and assist you a lot better and faster than the ticket agent at the counter.

DE LA CRUZ: But if you can't get back on board that day, don't panic.

SHELTON: Some airlines require refunds. Some require -- if your flight is canceled and it's the last flight of the day, that they pay hotel accommodations. They book you on the next available flight. Meal vouchers, just some things like that.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Whole Foods is recalling ground beef sold in 23 states. Seven people in Massachusetts and two in Pennsylvania have actually gotten sick by E. coli.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I count on them to tell me the truth where my food comes from and that it's healthy and the quality.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In general, I think they certainly take care of their products and I think if this is the case that -- I wouldn't tend to fault them for it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Well, Whole Foods says the beef was actually processed at a plant linked to a big E. coli outbreak earlier in the summer. Ground beef purchased at Whole Foods since early June should be tossed. Take the packaging to the store and you'll get a refund.

A missing girl in a legal tangle. Our legal team is here to sort it all out.

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WHITFIELD: In crime and punishment, you've heard a lot about Caylee Anthony, the little girl from Florida who has been missing for a month now. Well, today is her birthday. She's three-years-old. Her mother says her daughter is alive and the family stands behind her. But authorities this week filed formal charges against the mom.

This is a very troubling case, one with new developments. And here now is CNN's Randi Kaye.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The home on Hope Spring Drive was swarmed by cameras. The curious and crime scene investigators who for a second straight day, left carrying evidence they hope may lead them to this missing toddler. The lead detective in the hunt for Caylee Anthony also paid another visit. He said he was asked to by Cindy, Caylee's grandmother.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are some things that would be important to us and ask us to come out and meet with her and pick that stuff up and talk with her.

KAYE: What they picked up was evidence obtained with this search warrant. The items belonged to Caylee's mother, Casey, and were taken from a close in her bedroom. Three pairs of pants, six shirts in various sizes and two skirts.

(on camera): Police hope the evidence from the house will provide some clues. They're already testing DNA from a stain in Casey's car. Local media say the family has also turned over Casey's cell phone records. Investigators are looking for any contact she may have had with the baby-sitter she claims she left Caylee with on June 9th.

(voice-over): Casey has been jailed on charges of child neglect and filing a false police report since mid-July. Until recently, her family suspected she was lying. This was what her mother said in a 911 call on July 15th.

VOICE OF CINDY ANTHONY, GRANDMOTHER: I told you my daughter was missing for a month. I just found her today, but I can't find my granddaughter. She just admitted to me that she's been trying to find her herself. There's something wrong. I found my daughter's car today and it smells like there's been a dead body about in the damn car.

KAYE: Casey initially said she did not know where her daughter was. Now, she says she knows Caylee is alive and could be in harm's way. In a case full of surprising developments, one reporter in Florida tells CNN Casey may even have posed as her daughter's baby- sitter.

One day after Caylee was last seen alive, her mom reportedly used the baby-sitter's name to look at an apartment, the same apartment where she told police the baby-sitter lived. That apartment, police say, had been vacant for six months. Police have evidence, they have more than 1,000 tips, but are they getting any closer to solving the mystery of Caylee Anthony's disappearance?

Randi Kaye, CNN, Atlanta.

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WHITFIELD: Boy, very little evidence, a whole lot of innuendos there and mom in jail. So, let's see what our legal guys think about this one. Avery Friedman is a civil rights attorney and law professor. Good to see you.

AVERY FRIEDMAN, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Hi, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: Hello. 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: All right, Richard, I'm going to begin with you, since criminal cases are what you deal with primarily and boy, this is so strange. But because of these very odd stories and the placement of Casey and the apartment and it's vacant and all that, it really is kind of no wonder why police would arrest her, but do they have enough to hold her?

HERMAN: Well, Fred, not only do they have enough to hold her, they could probably indict her for the murder of this child and get convicted down in that jurisdiction.

WHITFIELD: Really?

HERMAN: Yes.

WHITFIELD: Wait a minute, that's pretty strong.

HERMAN: Yes, because this --

WHITFIELD: I mean, murder and there is no body and there's no real evidence that sustains all of that. So --

HERMAN: There's a mountain of circumstantial evidence in this case, Fred, from the inception. When this woman waited 31 days to first report that her daughter was kidnapped. Up until the mountain of lies, up until last week where this Zenaida Gonzalez, this baby- sitter was found and apparently there does exist a woman by that name, but she's never heard of Caylee or Casey. She's never met them. She doesn't know who these people are.

Fred, this woman, this Casey, is clearly demented. She's sick. She's lying. I don't believe her parents either. I think they have some involvement in this, Fred. This is a tragic case. This young girl's gone. I don't think we're ever going to see her again.

WHITFIELD: Yes.

FRIEDMAN: But we don't -- honestly ...

WHITFIELD: So, OK, go, Avery.

FRIEDMAN: We really don't know if she's demented, but she's certainly lying. I mean, I think what's very important here is that this excuse about coming up with Zenaida Gonzalez, the so-called baby- sitter, really has no basis in fact. And, Richard's right, this is lie after lie after lie. There's something wrong here. I'm not sure you can get a conviction, but I'm in agreement that you really could have mom indicted right now.

HERMAN: The problem here, Fred, is if they proceed with what they have now --

FRIEDMAN: Right.

HERMAN: -- and say there's an acquittal and year from now, they find DNA evidence of blood or they have an eyewitness who can really put together the murder of this young girl, they can't use it, because of double jeopardy.

WHITFIELD: Because that would be double jeopardy.

FRIEDMAN: Well, but we -- again, we're assuming that she's murdered and I think I understand that sense, but I think -- law enforcement has to do anything and everything it can right now to look for where Caylee is. Let's not assume that she's dead.

WHITFIELD: Yes, and -- but you really do need the sufficient evidence, don't you? I mean, you legal minds, don't you need some sufficient evidence in order to win any kind of conviction? If there's a charge you want to impose as a prosecutor, you want to go forward because you feel pretty confident that you'd be able to win your case.

FRIEDMAN: The charge here is child neglect and lying during investigation and related charges like that. That's not really the big issue here.

WHITFIELD: But how do you prove the child neglect. I mean, what, you know, when you don't really have any evidence, you don't have any hard evidence.

FRIEDMAN: Well, I think -- well, no, there is some evidence, Fredricka. The evidence is that this child's been missing since the 9th of June. And mom made no effort --

WHITFIELD: Why don't you know where your kid is? Yes.

FRIEDMAN: Mom made no effort until the middle of July. And you know what, it was the grandmother who called. It wasn't the mother.

WHITFIELD: Yes, OK.

HERMAN: And she's out partying, Fred, dancing, carrying on during this period of time.

WHITFIELD: I know.

HERMAN: It's just inconsistent with someone who's child is kidnapped.

FRIEDMAN: It's screwed up.

WHITFIELD: It really -- even though there are so many gaps in this case, it's still so outrageous because you're talking about a little person who counts on ...

HERMAN: Horrible.

FRIEDMAN: Right.

WHITFIELD: ...big people to make good decisions.

FRIEDMAN: Three-years-old today.

WHITFIELD: All right, well, let's move on to the other case, which has outraged a whole lot of folks in Detroit, especially those who elected Kwame Kilpatrick, their mayor.

FRIEDMAN: Yes.

WHITFIELD: And so now, the man is jailed. I mean, he's still dealing with the whole perjury case involving an affair, all that kind of sordid stuff. But now, it's an issue of violating probation. Avery, is this extreme, jail?

FRIEDMAN: Well, not really -- you know what it sounds like? Remember the old Steve Martin routine? You're involved in a crime and you go I forgot? Hey, listen, Kwame Kilpatrick was out based on posting bond and doing things right. If you got to leave the jurisdiction, all you've got to do is ask. He decides not to, he winds up in jail. This is exactly what the judge should have done.

WHITFIELD: Yes, so Richard, purposely neglectful there of the rules. That's what the judge essentially said was you know what, I am going to make you an example of this is how you have to follow the letter of the law. And you know what, just because you're the mayor doesn't mean that you're shown any other kind of consideration.

FRIEDMAN: Good for the judge.

HERMAN: And that was the pressure put on the judge, Fred. And I've got to tell you, throughout the United States, there are bail condition violations and people are not incarcerated. The purpose of bail is to ensure the presence of the defendant in the courtroom so the person doesn't flee the jurisdiction.

WHITFIELD: And how long in jail for him?

HERMAN: One night he did, one night. I mean, most people --

FRIEDMAN: That's it. There's a lesson to be learned.

WHITFIELD: Yes. That was oh so embarassing.

HERMAN: There's a lesson to be learned, but the majority of people wouldn't do it, but you know, Fred, Kwame doesn't need to see a swami, he's in big trouble. They're going to supercede the indicment with obstruction charges.

FRIEDMAN: Yes, they got two more felonies on the line there.

WHITFIELD: Yes, this does not help his case.

HERMAN: He's in big trouble, Fred.

FRIEDMAN: Right.

WHITFIELD: All right.

HERMAN: No.

WHITFIELD: Thanks so much, guys. Always a pleasure talking to you every weekend.

FRIEDMAN: Have a safe trip to Beijing, you and your dad.

WHITFIELD: Thank you.

HERMAN: Yes.

FRIEDMAN: It'll be wonderful.

WHITFIELD: Thank you. Can't wait. We'll tell you all about it.

HERMAN: Bring us back something, Fred. Bring us back something.

WHITFIELD: Oh yes, you know I'll think of you.

HERMAN: Please.

FRIEDMAN: OK.

WHITFIELD: All right, thanks, guys.

FRIEDMAN: Take care.

HERMAN: Take care.

WHITFIELD: All right, well, a woman who just wants to say thank you to the U.S. troops. Well, she let her feet do the talking.

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WHITFIELD: All right, all you duffers looking for a golf fix, here you go. The notoriously tough Oakland Hills Golf Course is proving to be just that. Right now, J.B. Holmes, no relation to our T.J. Holmes is the only player coming in under par at the PGA Championship and sits atop the leaderboard.

All right, an incredible woman pulls off an incredible feat, a two-word mission: thank you.

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WHITFIELD: All right, California to Washington, D.C., millions of steps, a 1,000 thank yous. One woman's journey to show her gratitude to U.S. warriors.

Here now is CNN's Brianna Keilar.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KEELA CARR, WALKED 2,700 MILES: I came to tell you thank you.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On May 26th, far from her home in Florida, Keela Car set out from Barstow, California, and walked across the United States on a personal mission to honor American troops.

CARR: It blows my mind that some young man somewhere in the twinkling of an eye is forever changed when an IED goes off. And young men and young women are doing it every day and I may benefit from it. How could I sit some place? How dare I bake a cookie and say, thanks for your legs. Thanks for your sanity. It's worth a cookie to me. It was worth more than that to me.

KEILAR: It was worth selling all of her belongings to fund what Keela calls her "Journey of a Thousand Thanks." 2,700 miles, one foot in front of the other, an estimated 5.5 million steps.

CARR: I'm slightly crazy, but in a really good way.

KEILAR: Keela walked through the Southwest.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Start of day two. Yes, she's got a couple of good blisters on her heel.

KEILAR: And across the Continental Divide, stopping along the way to personally thank American service members. More than 70 days later, when Keela arived at Walter Reed Army Medical Center to visit troops in Washington, D.C. this week, she was overwhelmed to be near the end of her trip.

CARR: Yesterday, I had a little moment. I just kind of dropped down in the grass. I was really glad to be there. This really -- this means -- this means everything to me.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: Wow. Well, Keela Carr ended her journey at Arlington National Cemetery. She placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns. And I know you want to know more about her. Well, she's got a Web site, it's athousandthanks.us. Pretty extraordinary journey.

Well, "YOUR MONEY" is coming up next, but first, a look at the top stories.