Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

More Troops to Be Requested for Afghanistan?; Continuing the Health Care Reform Debate

Aired September 12, 2009 - 15:00   ET

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


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN CENTER: First, let's begin in Minneapolis. Elaine Quijano is at the Target Center where President Obama just spoke a short time ago reiterating a lot of what he said Wednesday night before joint Congress. Elaine does the president feel like he really is having to drill home this message over and over again because he has to convince the American public more so than he's trying to convince some Democrats and Republicans to see it his way?

ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. Well its interesting Fredricka, to see what else he decides to do. This is a public rally here and President Obama, here in Minneapolis very much sounded like candidate Obama on the campaign trail. It was a large audience, about 15,000 people here at the Target Center. You could tell they were mostly the president's supporters. They were very loud and boisterous and very supportive of the president who clearly rallied the crowd here at the Target Center.

Now as you noticed he did mostly stick to his script from that address on Wednesday to the Joint Session of Congress. He also blasted the critics of the administration who say, look, it's very important not to rush reform. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE U.S: We have heard scare tactics instead of honest debates. Too many have used this opportunity to score short term political points instead of working together to solve long term challenges. I don't know if you agree with me, but I think the time for bickering is over. The time for games is past. Now is the time for action. Now is the time to deliver on health care for every American.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

QUIJANO: The president also cited a new treasury report that says that over the next ten years about half of all Americans under 65 are going to lose their health care coverage, sort of a variation Fredricka on his health care pitch. If you can imagine, Republicans continue to oppose the president's plan. In fact, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, even before the president spoke releasing a statement saying the problem is not the administration sales pitch, the problem is what they are selling.

That Americans are concerned about a rush to what he calls hike taxes on small businesses, cut Medicare benefits, and add trillions of dollars to more government spending and debt. These are the kinds of concerns that the president obviously is hoping to counter here in venues like this one where all though most of the message may not be new, he obviously wants to energize his supporters out there and obviously prod Congress into getting something done and a reform bill on his desk this year.

WHITFIELD: So Elaine, I'm wondering is the president or the White House willing to say that they are ready to accept that a bipartisan plan might be futile?

QUIJANO: You know, judging from at least the president's public comments here you would have to say no. Because he did say that he is willing to sit down and listen, if someone has a set of serious proposals, he's willing to listen. At the same time, he made it very clear, that it's apparent people are looking to kill reform. At one point, Fredricka, he said if people are interested in bringing Obama down that would not hinder him from pressing ahead and trying to get legislation done this year. At least for the moment, the president is saying look I'm open to all ideas. He says though he will not necessarily stand by and allow this debate to be postponed or delayed. This is an issue that cannot wait any longer.

WHITFIELD: Elaine Quijano, in Minneapolis. Thank you.

A nationwide bus tour in support of health care reform is stopping in Florida this weekend. It's health insurance reform now. Supporters in Orlando talked about why they backed President Obama's call for reform.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): All the different people like myself don't come out and support it. It may get lost in the noise. There are a lot of people out there putting misinformation out. We have to let the American people know there are a lot of us out here that do want health care, who want the insurance companies to be honest with the American people.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): We are fighting for something worth fighting for. We are fighting for life.

(UNIDENTIFED FEMALE): Yeah!

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): We are fighting for health.

(UNIDENTIFED FEMALE): Yeah!

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): Those other folks on the other side, they are angry because they know that they are fighting for disease and death.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: The Democratic National Committee put the project together. Four officials say they want to lower cost, protect choice and make sure all Americans have affordable care.

Not necessarily seeing eye-to-eye with the president's plan, you are looking at a huge contingent turn out right there in the nation's capital on the National Mall. Our Kate Bolduan is there covering the other side of the health care reform debate. Many have turned out and say they don't like what the president is proposing.

On to Afghanistan now, a grim reminder of how dangerous the situation is for American forces. Two U.S. troops were killed today in eastern Afghanistan when their patrol hit a roadside bomb. Because of such attacks, 3,000 more American troops may be headed to Afghanistan. Defense secretary Robert Gates is calling for the additional deployment. Gates says he believes American troops are having trouble protecting themselves from roadside bombs because of lack of equipment and personnel.

President Obama has already beefed up the American presence in Afghanistan with 21,000 extra troops headed to the battlefield by the end of the year. The president is facing criticism for his strategy from members of his own party. Here is CNNs Tom Foreman.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): American troops are facing increasingly hot fire in Afghanistan. Even as he tries to send help, their commander in chief is under assault, too. President Obama, again, made it clear, he wants more military pressure on the Taliban just as promised in his campaign.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE U.S: In pursuit of al Qaeda and its extremist allies, we will never falter.

FOREMAN: The president has already been moving 21,000 extra troops into Afghanistan for a total of 68,000 by this year's end. Before the latest request for more on Capitol Hill, top players in the president's own party were waving red flags noting public support for the war is plummeting especially among Democrats.

REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D) HOUSE SPEAKER: I don't think there's a great deal of support for sending more troops to Afghanistan in the country or in the Congress.

FOREMAN: The influential head of the armed services committee, Michigan's Carl Levin is the latest saying no more American troops until he sees more Afghan soldiers on the line.

SEN. CARL LEVIN, (D) ARMED SERVICES CHAIRMAN: This is an army that is willing to fight and take on the Taliban. What they need is larger numbers. They need training, and they need the equipment. We have fallen short in providing them with all of that.

FOREMAN: But, keeping them honest, we contacted military and foreign affairs analyst at several top think tanks with extensive knowledge of Afghanistan. Some of them are more in favor of the U.S. intervention there, some of them less so. But regardless all of them said expecting Afghan security forces to dramatically step up is a tall order at best.

There are currently only about 90,000 Afghan troops, the widely agreed upon goal for security, 240,000. The CATI Institute calls that unrealistic anytime soon. The Foreign Policy Research Institute said there's a mismatch between the president's strategy and the resources on the battlefield. The foreign policy innovative says training more Afghans is a good idea, but not a substitute for U.S. forces and the Rand Corporation says the bottom line is we don't have enough troops, U.S. or Afghan.

So, it appears the president is increasingly caught in a vice between growing resistance at home and advancing enemy on the battle front and a political clock that on this anniversary weekend on 9/11 is ticking loudly.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: And be sure to watch CNN tonight for the "AC 360" special report inside the battle zone, Afghanistan elections, and the Taliban resurgents. Anderson Cooper takes you inside Afghanistan's battle zone tonight at 8:00 Eastern only on CNN, the worldwide leader in news.

Life after 9/11 is the subject of a special hour today in the CNN NEWSROOM. We'll look at whether the country is indeed safer since the attack.

Plus, do some of the safeguards in place to protect the U.S. infringe on your civil liberties. A state of U.S. security a special hour, straight ahead at 4:00 Eastern Time.

Two big words. That's all it took to propel a little known Congressman into a national debate on civility.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: More trouble for the controversial community group. A.C.O.R.N. Friday the U.S. Census Bureau cut ties with A.C.O.R.N. amid accusations of voter fraud. A second video tape that has surfaced suggesting more improprieties by A.C.O.R.N. employees. Abbie Boudreau from CNN Special Investigations Unit reports.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ABBIE BOUDREAU, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): First it was Baltimore, now, Washington, D.C. for the second time in as many days; a video has surfaced showing workers for the non profit housing group A.C.O.R.N. offering help and advice for a couple pretending to be a pimp and a prostitute. The man in the video is an independent filmmaker James O'Keefe is also a conservative activist. Remember A.C.O.R.N. is a liberal community organizing group.

JAMES O'KEEF (ph): My girlfriend is a prostitute.

BOUDREAU: And the latest under cover sting posted on Youtube O'Keefe and the woman poising as a prostitute are heard asking for advice from a pair of A.C.O.R.N. workers on how to set up a brothel without getting in trouble with the tax man. (UNIDENTIFED FEMALE): You going to have to say you are getting a gift from somebody.

O'KEEF (ph): OK.

(UNIDENTIFED FEMALE): But the money got to go in the bank.

BOUDREAU: One of the employees even offered O'Keefe (ph), who said he was a law student, career advice.

(UNIDENTIFED FEMALE): We talking about your career.

O'KEEF (ph): I'm using the money that she is giving me.

(UNIDENTIFED FEMALE): But you don't know where it's coming from.

O'KEEF (ph): I personally know where it's coming from.

(UNIDENTIFED FEMALE): Right. We're telling you, you don't know where it's coming from.

BOUDREA: A.C.O.R.N. witch is active in 41 states focuses largely on housing for the poor. Its president and executive director responded to the tape saying they were appalled and angry and that the two workers have been fired. We tried to reach both women for comment but were unsuccessful. And if all this sounds familiar it is because the same couple did the same sting operation in Baltimore where they were advised by two other A.C.O.R.N. workers on how to set up a brothel, using under aged girls from El Salvador.

At one point on the Baltimore video a worker suggested that the woman posing as a prostitute refer to herself as a performing artist on tax forms. A.C.O.R.N.

A.C.O.R.N. spokesman Scott Levington called the Baltimore tape false and says the tape was doctored. They tell CNN that the film makers made similar efforts in Philadelphia. And in that case A.C.O.R.N. workers actually reported the film makers to the police. A.C.O.R.N. provided a copy of the police report. Despite that, the chair women of the Baltimore chapter of A.C.O.R.N. said both workers like their colleagues in D.C. have been fired.

(UNIDENTIFED FEMALE): They were dismissed.

BOUDREAU: We are also trying to contact the Baltimore workers. Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa is calling for a full Congressional Justice Department investigation. Two tapes, four workers out of a job and a wrath of unanswered questions.

Abbie Boudreau, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: An outburst that continues to reverberate across the country. Two words shouted out during President Obama's Wednesday night speech has many asking this question. How did we get to a point where it's OK to yell, you lie, to the president while he's speaking to Congress?

Give a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRES. OF THE U.S: There are also those who claim that our reform reference would insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false. The reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those here illegal.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): You lie!

OBAMA: Not true.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: How did we get to this point where we can call the president of the United States a liar while he is speaking in the halls of Congress? Joining us to discuss the question Rep. Strategist Phil Musser and Obama supporter and CNN political analyst Roland Martin. Good to see you gentlemen.

Phil, I want to begin with you. Congressman Wilson has said he apologized, he picked up the phone, he called the president, the president accepted. Now, Congress says it's not enough. He needs to apologize on the floor to fellow congressional members. Do you agree?

PHIL MUSSER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think the congressman was intemperate in his remarks. I think he quickly recognized that and called the president and the president accepted his apology.

WHITFIELD: Should more be done?

MUSSER: I'm not sure it's necessary. It's a political pinata. It was a political pinata for the Democrats to shift the focus of the discussion the night that he made it. Well very specifically because ultimately the story became about one congressman yelling out a remark as opposed to the broader discussion over the policy that we were talking about. It was a convenient pivot. The point is that the pinata has been hit and the pinata has been busted. I think the Democrats are going to continue to pile on this guy. At this point and time, it's counter productive.

WHITFIELD: Is it not -- what's at issue here, is it not a complete disrespect of the presidency? We're talking a member of Congress in this outburst and the apology is in reference to that, not necessarily about whether you are in agreement or not about health care reform. The behavior and how it is not in sync.

MUSSER: I think he apologized, he apologized quickly and directly to the president of the United States for the comments he made in the well of the chamber. I believe this ongoing censure/resolution business, the president accepted his apology. Let's remember that, he said I accept your apology, let's move on. Take it as face value and move this debate forward to the substance of the debate here. Getting stuck on this issue is counter productive. WHITFIELD: I do want to ask both of you then, what's at the core here? Roland let me begin with you, what is at the core here? Is it politics or is it something else?

ROLAND MARTIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: First of all, I think there's an absolute hatred by many people of this president. I read a lot of comments online. I got e-mails from folks saying the president does lie. Interesting that the facts about Congressman Joe Wilson voting for the prescription drug deal that allowed for emergency rooms to provide health care to illegal aliens. He's is actually on the record for casting a yea vote when it comes to that.

You have people who cannot stand this president. Do not like the fact that he won. You can see the media driven rally taking place in Washington, D.C. And what you have here is you have people who do not like the fact that he has won. So, what they are trying to do is discredit him at every turn. While people criticize the president for making that comment when Senator John McCain came back the next day and said there are no facts to substantiate what he said. How many are going to call Senator John McCain a liar.

WHITFIELD: So, are we also trying to figure out, the stage has been set, has it not, Phil and Roland about all the precipitated this moment. The you lie moment. A lot of things, everything from the president not being welcome in American classrooms to people casually wearing t-shirts with his image and Hitler and the joker. Even a prayer led by a pastor who said he's praying for the death of the president. This is cavalier, casual if not callous. So where does this come from and are we saying now that it is OK to openly criticize the president to get this anti Obama movement fueled?

MUSSER: I can speak for myself only. I think all those things you referenced represent fringe elements of probably the right and there are fringe elements on the left in this country. The bottom line is that the president was elected with a reasonable mandate. I agree with Roland about that to bring change to the country. He's governed significantly to the left of center.

MARTIN: No, no, no --

MUSSER: Hang on a second.

MARTIN: He was elected to bring change that he described. You want to prescribe a change -- He's living to do the way he used to. You didn't criticize Bush for bringing a conservative focus --

MUSSER: I think if you want to really look at how he won, he won with the middle of the country by persuading them with good rederick that he was not going to be an old fashioned liberal. I think in a lot of regards he's governed with a leftist perspective. So that's what I think is unearthed a lot of the passion that you see with this effective Republicans, the conservative element in this country. And you ask about you know why would Joe Wilson have this kind of emotional outburst? I think it's the manifestation of having just been in the August recess and having these town halls where real Americans are saying whoa, enough government in my life. MARTIN: All the other members of Congress were also on August recess and they did not act like that.

MUSSER: I'm not making apologies for Congressman Wilson.

MARTIN: I didn't say you are.

MUSSER: But I'm trying to help your viewers here understand where I think a lot of this passion is coming from especially on the right side and the right center.

WHITFIELD: But are we saying this exemplifies or it's an example of how this offers license, whether you be a congressional leader or you be a private citizen to chip away at not just President Obama, but the presidency as a whole?

MARTIN: Fredricka, first of all, you made a comment earlier, we have the right to criticize the president of the United States. I had been critical of issues why I disagree with the president. The difference is what the level of respect is. And yes we have people that do not respect the office of the president. The same thing happened when President Bush was there, they were attacking personally and being vulgar in their responses. We have a member of Congress that does this. People like Rush Limbaugh says he shouldn't have apologized. And so what they are doing is they are attacking anything he does, the man killed a fly in an interview and gets attacked.

WHITFIELD: So, Phil, in your view, is this the tip of the iceberg? Do you think it's only going to worsen? We're talking about a presidency that's very young, eight months.

MUSSER: I hope not. I hope that we can all kind of stick to the higher standards of the corium and debate in this country and I think on this issue, you know, it happened, the congressman addressed in a straight forward manner and we should move on because a lot of politics in the air here.

WHITFIELD: Might this stand in the way of the president's agenda? What he wants to get done simply because there is this anti Obama sentiment?

MUSSER: No, I really don't think this is about that at all. The thing that is stand in the way of the agenda are things like the fact that yesterday we were pointed at $1.38 trillion deficit, we are going to have the largest deficit in the history of our country this year. You know, the cost of these --

MARTIN: You know, I'm still --

MUSSER: Hang on a second. The costs of these proposals are staggering. So I think what you are going to see here in the next day is Max Baucus (ph) who is going to roll out this health care and represent probably the last and best shot to get health care done in a lot of ways.

WHITFIELD: On that note -- MARTIN: And folks like me they have a lot of credibility if they would have opened their mouth when President Bush took a surplus, and took it to a deficit and Republicans were spending like crazy. This is the problem. People don't want to be honest with the facts here, but they want to attack him. But ignore what their own party did when they were in charge.

WHITFIELD: That has to be the last word, we are out of time. Phil Musser, Roland Martin thanks so many gentlemen. Appreciate it.

All right severe weather hitting parts of the country. Straight ahead Jacqui Jeras tells us what areas are under flood warnings right now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: A look at our top stories right now. Flash floods in northwestern Turkey sent people scrambling to the rooftops today. About 200 factory workers trapped by rising flood waters had to be evacuated. Military tanks and helicopters were used in the rescue efforts. The rains earlier in the week killed at least 31 people, nine people remain missing.

Vice President Joe Biden joined thousands of mourners at Dodgers Stadium today to attend a memorial for two California fire fighters. Hailed as heroes, the men were killed battling the largest wildfire in the history of Los Angeles County. The so-called station fire has destroyed dozens of homes and scorched more than 250 square miles. Investigators say the fire was caused by arson.

And 24-year-old Yale graduate student, Annie Le was supposed to get married tomorrow. But her wedding is now on hold. Nobody has seen Le since Tuesday when she was last spotted outside the University's med school. Yale is offering a $10,000 reward for information on her where abouts. The FBI has also set up 877-503-1950.

Let's check in with our Jacqui Jeras, and talk about hurricanes. Is Fred still one of them?

JACQUI JERAS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: No.

WHITFIELD: I hate the line Fred has weakened.

(WEATHER REPORT)

WHITFIELD: Yeah. Trickle effect, please. Jacqui, thank you.

Our emotions were very high on the anniversary of September 11. Do you feel any safer?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Eight years ago, the nation was stunned and wounded from the horrors of the day before. The worst terror attacks ever to hit the U.S. In lower Manhattan last night, two brilliant blue streaks of light memorialized the World Trade Center's twin tower and for the first time, Mt. Rushmore was bathed in light all night. Tourists could reflect on the tragedy under the gaze of Washington, Jefferson and Roosevelt and Lincoln.

Concern over another terrorist a attack on U.S. soil has fallen as we move further from 9/11. That's the headline in the latest CNN opinion research poll. About a third of Americans now believe acts of terrorism are likely in the U.S. over the next few weeks. That's down 20 points from the fifth anniversary of 9/11 and more than 30 points down from 2001. Sixty-three percent of those polled are confident in the Obama administrations ability to protect the U.S. from terrorism, 26 percent are not.

So, life after 9/11. It's the subject of a CNN special next our in the NEWSROOM. Our focus, national security. Is the nation safer since those attacks eight years ago? Plus, do some of the safeguards in place to protect this country infringe on civil liberties. "The Sate of U.S. Security" all next hour in the CNN NEWSROOM.

And now, to the CNN Hero of the week. Each year, more than 52,000 Boy Scouts perform service projects in the U.S. as they pursue the highest rank, Eagle Scout. Well, this year, a teenager from Maryland took his community service project a little further to his birthplace in Siberia. Meet Alex Griffith.

ALEX GRIFFITH, YOUNG WONDER: I was abandoned at Hospital No. 20 at birth.

I was adopted at 11-1/2 months old.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first time we saw Alex, he had rickets and was malnourished. We fell in love with him immediately. It was, there's my son. Let's go home, son.

GRIFFITH: Hospital No. 20 me a chance to survive and I wanted to give something back.

I'm building a playground at the hospital where I was adopted from.

Everyone get a place.

I have been a Boy Scout for five years. I want to build a playground for my Eagle project. All the playground at Hospital No. 20 had a (INAUDIBLE) with a wooden seat and a sandbox, which is actually a mud pit because of all the rain.

We had to design the playground.

It's the double side slide.

Then (INAUDIBLE) the playground and then followed (INAUDIBLE) to build it. Volunteers from all over the world helped me to build this playground.

(BEGIN GRAPHIC)

After working more than 800 hours and raising over $60,000 to building it, Alex finally dedicated the new playground to Hospital 20 on his 16th birthday. (END GRAPHIC)

All of us adopted from Russia have not and probably will never forget our birthplace.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I like this playground, because when you slide on it, all the sadness goes away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Makes me very proud. He's becoming an example to others that anything is possible if you don't give up.

GRIFFITH: It made me really happy just being here. It's all I can say.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: If you want more information you can go to our Web site, CNN.com/heroes.

All right, it's opening weekend for the NFL. Well, cash strapped fans punt. A conversation about the business of sports in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: An update now on the missing Yale University graduate student. Investigators today questioned a man outside the lab where Annie Le worked. The was seen getting into an unmarked car with FBI agents. Le was last seen Tuesday at the Yale Medical School complex. She was to be married tomorrow. The wedding has now been cancelled. Police say her fiance is not a suspect.

And President Obama took health care reform on the road to Minneapolis, t day. This past hour, the president urged the audience to knock on doors and talk to neighbors to get health care reform passed. He also repeated his support for a government-run public option, but added he remained open on how to set it up.

A national day of mourning set for Cuba, tomorrow. Cuba's state media says one of the commanders who fought alongside Fidel Castro died overnight of a heart attack. Juan Almeida was 82.

When times get tough, a family has to make some cuts. That's bad news for the NFL, an expert in the business of sports explains why.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Chalk up another honor for the man who dominated pro basketball in the '09s. Michael Jordan was enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame Friday night. Jordan couldn't hold back a few tears before talking about what gave him the drive to excel.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL JORDAN, BASKETBALL STAR: My competive nature has gone a long way from the first time I picked up any sport, baseball, football, ran track, basketball. Anything to miss class, I played it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: So in that speech, Jordan recalled that he was cut from his high school varsity team. He says that setback only made him more determined to succeed.

All right, when times get tough, people tighten their purse strings, right? And perhaps one of the first things they let go is spending money on entertainment including tickets to sporting events, like football. Not good news for the NFL's first weekend. That's the topic for sports business analyst, Rick Horrow.

Good to see you. Oh, you're ready to play.

RICK HORROW, SPORTS BUSINESS ANALYST: When times get tough, I'm going to try to get a job in the NFL. How's that?

WHITFIELD: So, what's going on? I mean, it's pretty clear, if, you know, folks are down on their luck and they don't have a lot of expendable cash, they're not going to the game. So, what's the NFL or other sporting teams to do?

Let's understand, the NFL is the juggernaut of pro sports, they're a $7-1/2 billion business, 21 of the teams understand it was important to freeze or lower prices. Overall ticket prices up about four percent. But there are values. There are only 10 of those games to go to. So look, like everything else, the NFL needs to be creative and offer an entertaining product and that's what this is all about.

WHITFIELD: And this really isn't just about football, though.

HORROW: No, it's about other sports as well. It is about entertainment because there's a policy with the NFL, it's called the blackout policy. If games aren't sold out, can't put them on television. There were about eight, nine games a years, blacked out over the last four years, about 20 or 30 years the four years before, a lot during them during the '80s. so, people are saying we have the right to watch them on television. The answer is you really don't and the NFL has a compromise, you can stream them on video beginning midnight the night after. People say it's not enough, but wait, there is a reason to protect the investment, make people go to stadiums. It's all about having an entertaining product and winning on the field, though, that's what this is.

WHITFIELD: And it might be a ripple effect, right? Because if you don't have the income coming in on ticket sales, advertisement, et cetera, then that means people are not going to see the paychecks that maybe they were accustomed to or expect.

HORROW: Well, here's the other thing, the NFL's values are higher than ever. Fifteen years ago, the value is about $150 million a franchise, a lot of money. Today, the average franchise is over $1 billion. So, it is a high-priced, high-risk business. But if you take fans away, concessions, parking, tickets, you're going to have less money to share with the players or everybody else. WHITFIELD: So, does this mean that people might be paying more if and when they choose to buy a ticket to an event?

HORROW: Well, you got to tow the line. There's got to be a balance. You've got to be able to offer an affordable product. The NFL is still one of the most affordable sports, again because of the number of games. But it also has to be entertaining. People have to be willing to pay more because they're rather go to games versus movies, versus staying home, versus dining out. It's all about how to deal with the $750 billion business of sports in a competive way.

WHITFIELD: All right, Rick Horrow, thanks so much. Enjoy the game.

HORROW: OK.

WHITFIELD: Electronics giant Panasonic is showing off its HD 3D home theater system. The nationwide tour stopped in Atlanta this weekend.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERT PERRY, PANASONIC CONSUMER ELECTRONICS: The new frontier is 3D television. In the theaters today there's different 3D technologies. This is actually dramatically better. And we wanted to actually look as if you were looking out the window. The only way to do that is to exactly mimic the way the human eyes work.

So the human eyes are two different images devices, left and right, and they're separated by several inches. And as a human being we actually see the image at an angle and that gives us our sensation of depth. It gives us a full HD left and a full HD right image, and we put them on the screen very fast one after the other.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely the best I have seen, and there was no eye fatigue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's kind of amazing. I don't know if the consumer will be able to put something like that in their home, but a lot of fun.

PERRY: Cable systems will be able to deliver the signal. Satellite broadcasters will be able to deliver the signal. Over the air broadcasters can deliver the signal. HDTV revolutionized the way we watched TV, 3D completely changes it. It makes it immersive. We believe that when consumers will understand what that means.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's pretty a awesome presentation. I mean, I'm a little older, I've seen 3D going way back, it's certainly come a long way. So, it's pretty neat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The super bowl on this has got to be amazing, absolutely amazing. So, I can't wait.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: Fun stuff there.

Meeting the high cost of higher education in hard times. See how one family is paying for college despite the recession.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: All right, going off to college, very exciting time for freshmen and their families, but it's costing a lot more these days. The average tuition at a four-year college is up as much as $1,400 over last year. That's forcing some families to change their choices. I had a chance to follow one family through the process all the way to move-in day.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice-over): Move-in day for college freshman Presley Chakales, to a place she never expected would bring so much happiness and harmony.

PRESLEY CHAKALES, UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA FRESHMAN: I have been working all day getting my room together, but I like it. I'm excited.

WHITFIELD: Also excited, her parents, Peter and Ann.

PETER CHAKALES, FATHER: This is like a ride to a suburb when you live in Atlanta, so she's close.

WHITFIELD: But the hour-long ride to the University of Georgia in Athens didn't come without detours. Like thousands of American households on tighter budgets, savings and 401(k)s taking double digit losses, family plans are forced to be flexible.

PRESLEY CHAKALES: I was really, really completely set on going out of state.

WHITFIELD: Oh, we remember. We first met this Chakales last spring. College acceptance letters were coming in, along with the prospect of a full scholarship available to Georgia students with a 3.0 GPA or higher planning to attend an in-state school. But at the time Presley and her parents were not seeing eye to eye.

(on camera): So your heart tells you one thing, but the purse strings tell you another.

PRESLEY CHAKALES: Yeah, definitely.

WHITFIELD: So what are these conversations like with mom and dad when you try to come to grips about a happy medium?

PRESLEY CHAKALES: They can get heated.

WHITFIELD (voice-over): That was last march. Now?

PRESLEY CHAKALES: I ended up getting into UGA off of the wait list and my decision immediately changed to back in-state because I was going to UNC-Wilmington, but I switched back to UGA to save an indescribable amount of money.

WHITFIELD: A huge relief for her parents. Even though they spent years saving for her higher education, the thought of unloading at least $25,000 a year for four years of out of state undergrad was stressful beyond words.

PETER CHAKALES: Well, it would have been very, very tough. It was frightening. That financial part was absolutely frightening.

WHITFIELD: Staying in-state, able to benefit from that Georgia full academic scholarship cut their expenses by more than half. Out of pocket now, $10,000 a year for Presley's housing, books, and other fees. The benefits of their family decision, endless.

ANN CHAKALES, MOTHER: I think, you know, she'll be able to study abroad for a semester if she wants to and that probably would not have happened if she had gone out of state.

WHITFIELD: The Chakales are confident Presley will maintain a 3.0 or better to keep the state scholarship until graduation. But the family's savings plan continues. In three years it will be Presley's younger brother's turn.

A CHAKALES: We'll probably start prepping for our son a little bit earlier.

WHITFIELD: In hopes that he, too, qualifies for the same kind of in- state help.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: In-state students at four-year public schools are paying nearly $6,200 this year according to the nonprofit College Boards annual survey of college costs. The cost to go out of the state is nearly $11,000. About two-thirds of all undergraduates get some kind of financial help.