Return to Transcripts main page


Terrorist Release "Flawed"; Mubarak's Extreme Wealth; Credit Card Use Rising

Aired February 8, 2011 - 10:00   ET


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Well, we are just about at the top of the 10:00 a.m. hour on the East Coast, 7:00 a.m. out West. I'm Kyra Phillips and here are some of the stories that have us talking this morning.

This one may let hit home; Americans racking up debt on their credit cards again. For the first time in more than two years, Americans bumped up the amount they owe. It's the first time that happened since just before the financial meltdown.

Donald Rumsfeld's new book is on store shelves. Don't expect any apologies about invading Iraq though. He says everyone in the Bush administration believed Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

Darth Vader, then and now. On the left, the little boy who charmed Super Bowl viewers in that adorable Volkswagen commercial. On the right, James Earl Jones, who provided Darth Vader's voice in all those "Star Wars" movies. We have more on that in just about 15 minutes.

Well, attention already turning to the next presidential election in 2012. Believe it or not, the fields begin to take shape just a year from now with the Iowa caucus. Republicans already showing unity in their goal to capture the White House. In fact, that overshadows everything, according to a new CNN opinion research poll, 68 percent say that they prefer a nominee who can beat President Obama. Only 29 percent say they prefer one who agrees with him on issues.

Now, over the next two days, we are taking a closer look at the race for 2012, the contenders. CNN senior White House correspondent Ed Henry kicks off our coverage. So Ed, President Obama just passed the two-year mark in office. Is he likely to face a liberal primary challenge?

ED HENRY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It seems very unlikely based on our new polling. We asked Democrats -- do you want to see President Obama be the democratic nominee in 2012, or another Democrat? 78 percent of Democrats saying they want President Obama to be the nominee. That's an increase from the last time we did the poll. Only 20 percent saying they want to see another Democrat get into the field.

Now, why is that important? It's important because there have been four primary challenges to incumbent presidents since 1968, Johnson, Ford, Carter, and Bush 41, the first President Bush. All four of those either retired or they were forced out of the race like LBJ in '68 or they were softened up by their primary challenge like Jimmy Carter in 1980 and then lost in the general election. So this is a big deal if President Obama can keep the field totally clear on his side, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: All right. And let's talk about the Republicans. It seems like a wide open field of candidates. Have they come anywhere close to unifying behind just one?

HENRY: No, they haven't. Now, obviously, it's still early. As you said, we're a year out from the Iowa caucuses. So the Republicans have time. But they are going to start (INAUDIBLE) people getting into the race, and when we looked at the field as it's shaping up in this new CNN Opinion Research Corporation poll. Interesting, Mike Huckabee at the top with 21 percent. You've got 19 percent for Palin, 18 percent for Romney, Gingrich and Ron Paul. You see them sort of rounding out the top five.

But we can't read too much into this because if you go back to 2007, about a year out from the Iowa caucuses, who was at the top of the Republican field, many of the polls had Rudy Giuliani, simply because of name I.D. but when it came to the actual voting, obviously, he was knocked out very early. So this is giving us a snapshot right now. There is a lot of campaigning, a lot of politicking yet to come here.

PHILLIPS: All right. We'll keep talking. Thanks, Ed.

Well, it looks like one of the major political debates for the 2012 presidential election year is making itself clear, immigration. Taking the latest step on immigration, Arizona. Legislators there, in 39 other states as well, fed up with immigration problems, and they're looking at denying citizenship to anyone born of illegal immigrants.

The group state legislators for illegal immigration says that lawmakers in the yellow state quoting here "want to correct the monumental misapplication to the 14th amendment." An Arizona legislative committee held a hearing yesterday on a proposal to end birth right citizenship.

CNN's legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin is pretty skeptical of changing the Constitution's 14th amendment.


JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST (on the phone): The language of the 14th Amendment says "All persons born in the United States are citizens. It doesn't matter who your parents are. It doesn't matter if they are in the country legally or illegally. If you are born in this country, you are a citizen. That is not something the Supreme Court, I think, is going to revisit. I don't know why they need to revisit it. It is not like it's been controversial for 150 years. This is what the law is.

As long as the 14th amendment says what it says, I think this is really a frivolous legal endeavor.


PHILLIPS: Yet another remarkable twist in the Egypt uprising. Right now, crowds growing in Tahrir Square. Our teams on the ground say that this is the largest gathering they've seen in days, and what's more, it's not exactly clear why the crowd is so massive today. Activists have spent the last 15 days demanding that President Hosni Mubarak be removed from power. They say there will be no compromise, and they won't leave until he's gone.

As protesters fill Freedom Square, more than two weeks since this began, shouts for Mubarak to step down are coming from more than just his own streets, but if or when he does leave, he won't leave empty handed. The Mubarak family has billions of dollars, and just to put it in perspective. Warren Buffett's fortune, "Forbes" says he's got $47 billion. The number one wealthiest person in America, Bill Gates. Well, he's got 53 billion bucks.

The Mubarak family fortune is estimated at $40 to $70 billion. But it doesn't stop there. According to Egypt, analysts and widespread media reports, the Mubaraks have homes in London, Paris, Madrid, Dubai, Washington. Still, there's more, New York, Frankfurt, and, sure, a couple more back home. Well, these protesters outside the Mubarak family home in London, not only want to see that family gone, they alleged that the Mubarak family stole their fortune from Egypt's coffers and they want that money back.

Let's put a fine point on it, shall we? The ruling family has billions of dollars. We've laid that out. Well, one-fifth of Egypt's population lives only a dollar a day. We reached out to the Egyptian embassy for comment and they are yet to respond to our requests. We are going to talk with Professor Amaney Jamal, she's a political professor at Princeton University. That's where she joins us live. Professor, you know, Mubarak went from a military man to a billionaire. That happened not just by savvy investing.

AMANEY JAMAL, ASSOC. PROFESSOR OF POLITICS: No, not at all. Basically Mubarak was more or less an authoritarian leader who used his position to consolidate millions and billions of dollars in wealth through various projects, investments, and ways of just basically squandering, if you may, the resources of Egypt.

PHILLIPS: And so, you know, where was the U.S. in all of this? I mean, our country has given Egypt more than a billion dollars a year. Where was the accountability? I mean, we just continued to endorse a rich man that was getting richer?

JAMAL: Well, the United States did object, did demand for more transparency and did asked the Mubarak regime to privatize in ways, but at the end of the day, the United States also had strategic concerns that it wanted to secure. So at least the criticism against the United States is that it didn't take a tough enough stance on the levels of corruption within the Mubarak regime.

PHILLIPS: And here's something else I think that a lot of people don't realize, that if you want to become an entrepreneur in Egypt, if you want to start a business, you have got to pay fees to the government, and you even have to provide a certain amount of your profits to the regime, correct? So it's not easy to say, all right, he may be getting richer and he's taking our money but it's OK because I can come up with some type of business where I can make money and I can do well?

JAMAL: That's right. Even if you are savvy and have the resources to start your own business, you're often going to encounter the red tape of the bureaucracy, which means that you have to pay fees, you know, basically, clientistic channels, you have to pay bribes or what they call wastas (ph) to get your business off the ground and even then sometimes you have to allocate a certain percentage of the profit to members of the ruling government.

PHILLIPS: And no one's freezing the Mubarak's family fortune, right? His cash? I mean, if he leaves office, he takes all the money with him, and then what happens to the Egyptian people? I mean, this is their money and they can hardly find work how it is.

JAMAL: Yes, that's the big, deep source of frustration and grievance on the street right now is that as you point it out, there are levels of poverty that are overwhelming in Egypt, and to see these levels of corruption, to see these levels of abuse of power, if you may, with no accountability or very little accountability is what basically is taking these demonstrators to Tahrir Square and launching these protests and demonstrations. I mean, there's a lot of frustration on the street about the levels of corruption within the Mubarak regime.

PHILLIPS: Bottom line, you're not going to get any of that money back, are they?

JAMAL: Up until now, we haven't heard of any effort to investigate. There might be some sort of investigation. It doesn't look likely as of now.

PHILLIPS: Professor Amaney Jamal from Princeton University, we appreciate you weighing in. Thanks so much.

JAMAL: Thank you.

PHILLIPS: You bet.

Rob Marciano giving us the latest now on all of that severe weather, I guess, from Chicago to -- is that where we're starting, Chicago?

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Let me start in the midwest, (INAUDIBLE) --

PHILLIPS: All right.

MARCIANO: -- where temperatures are dangerously cold right now. We've been talking about -- it sounds like a broken record, I know, all winter long, but another pulse of Arctic air driving south. These are wind chills, what it feels like against your skin. Minus nine in Chicago. It was about that last week when I was there in the blizzard. I can tell you that it feels awful. I mean, you're out there five, 10 minutes, and you're frozen. Think about minus 20 or what it feels like to be 34 degrees below zero. That's what it feels like right now in Sioux Falls.

So dramatic cool down here to say the least, and it's all driving behind this system which has snow from Denver to Wichita, and this is going to dump from anywhere from six to 10 inches of know potentially more across some places in the plains from Oklahoma City up to Tulsa, as far south as Dallas. I mean, one to four inches potentially here with snow, mixed in with sleet at times. Obviously, the further north you go, the colder it is and the more snow you'll get but it's going to be an icy commute tomorrow for Dallas. It will be the second time in less than a week of at least less than 10 days where Dallas pretty much shut down, at least temporarily.

The good news for these folks is that there will be a bit of a warm-up come this weekend. What happens to that storm as it presses off towards the east? Well, it drives down to the south. Look at that -- a little bit of white on the map from Huntsville to just north of Atlanta and then off into the Carolinas. So these areas, including places like Nashville could probably see a couple more inches of snow with this thing, but southern cities like Atlanta and Birmingham and Huntsville will probably see an inch or less with this. So it's been unusually cold and snowy winter for a lot of folks. That trend continues. A brief warm-up over the weekend but we got to get there first. Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Let's examine your conscience, shall we?

MARCIANO: Are we doing it again?

PHILLIPS: We're going to do it again? We have to do it every hour.

MARCIANO: Oh, goodness.

PHILLIPS: This is, you know --

MARCIANO: We have a lot of sins to confess.

PHILLIPS: It's a Roman Catholic app, it's called Confession. If you don't want to go to church, if you don't want to see the priest, if you don't want to, you know, it takes a lot to get in the car, think of everything you've done wrong.

MARCIANO: Some people feel weird telling about telling a stranger --

PHILLIPS: Exactly. So why not tell your app. All right. So here's how it works, folks. You log in. There's a little confession that you hit, and you begin your confession -- in the name of the father and the son and the holy spirit. You were saying that that was wrong, by the way?

MARCIANO: I remember bless me father for I have sinned. It's been so long since I my last confession.

PHILLIPS: So long you've sinned or made the confession.

MARCIANO: Last confession.

PHILLIPS: Got it. I want to make that clear. And then you fill in how many days it's been since your last confession, all right and you continue in on your app and you type in all your sins. Would you like to volunteer a sin?

MARCIANO: I raised my voice briefly, again.


PHILLIPS: You raised your voice to?

MARCIANO: My computer.


PHILLIPS: Of course, I hear you back there. You get a little nervous sometimes. All right. You type in your sins, you move on. Only $1.99, by the way, this app costs. Then you got your Act of Contrition here. You say your prayer. God, I'm sorry for my sins with all my heart, (INAUDIBLE) to do wrong, failing to do good, et cetera, et cetera. Catholics know what I'm talking about here, and then you follow to the next part of this app, you receive the absolution and respond with Amen. The priest says give thanks to the Lord for he is good, you follow-up with his mercy endures forever and you are finished. Boom, you're done. You've made your confession. Then I love this -- there is usually something that comes up from the saint or the pope.

MARCIANO: A scorecard or a penance?

PHILLIPS: A little something, something to encourage you to continue. But this comes from Pope John Paul II. "Do not be afraid to be saints, follow Jesus Christ who is the source of freedom and light," et cetera, et cetera. And there you go, you are done. You've confessed.

MARCIANO: And this is endorsed by the Vatican?

PHILLIPS: Yes, it is. $1.99, you confess on your iPad, and you are good to go.

MARCIANO: For those who think the Vatican is in the dark ages, I mean, get on with the iPad right there.

PHILLIPS: They were one of the first, you know, the Roman Catholic church to go on-line, do Youtube, start talking about, you know --

MARCIANO: (INAUDIBLE) I feel cleansed. I feel so much more pure.

PHILLIPS: Let me heal you right here, I got to get on the head. Bless you. Thank you, Rob, for playing.

MARCIANO: All right. We'll see you next time.


Well, he's been off the radar for a minute, but Simon Cowell planning another comeback. I wonder if he's confessed of late, $1.99, that's all the app cost, Simon.


PHILLIPS: Big news out of the West Coast, Michael Jackson, the manslaughter trial of Dr. Conrad Murray coming to a TV near you? Well, "Showbiz Tonight" host, A.J. Hammer joins us live in New York with the latest. So what's the word, A.J.?

A.J. HAMMER, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" HOST: Kyra, this could be up there with the O.J. and Anna Nicole trials. An L.A. judge broke the news when he said the start date of the trial is going to be March 24th. Dr. Conrad Murray was, of course, Jackson's personal doctor when the pop star died of a drug overdose back on June 25th of 2009.

Now Murray pled not guilty in this case. He told the judge he's an innocent man. Opening statements are likely to be delivered during the first week of April, and the trial is expected to last about six weeks according to the defense and prosecution, of course, but as we have seen in the past TV cameras in courts can certainly slow down the process.

Well, Simon Cowell is preparing for his return to network television. He is making the rounds right now to promote his U.S. version of Britain's hit show, "The X Factor." In a conference call with reporters, Cowell wouldn't reveal who is going to be appearing on the judges' panel with him. He does say he's still recruiting that panel. But it's just the big difference between his old show "American Idol" and this show is "X-Factor" is going to have a large age range of contestants and winners are going to get a $5 million record deal. That's pretty big.

Now, as for his old show, of course he was asked about that. Cowell said ""Idol" has reinvented itself and the new panel is doing just fine." And one of the Super Bowl's biggest stars is now making the rounds. I'm not talking about a football player right here but I'm talking about that pint sized Darth Vader fro the Volkswagen commercial, which has now gone viral.

He's six year old Max Page, couldn't be cuter. He's in New York City right now and he got to meet James Earl Jones. James Earl Jones, of course, provided the voice for Darth Vader in those "Star Wars" movies. And Max was on AMERICAN MORNING today and he told us what surprised him about the legendary actor. Watch this.


CHETRY: And Max did you like getting a chance to meet James Earl Jones. MAX PAGE, PLAYS MINI DARTH VADER IN VOLKSWAGEN COMMERCIAL: Yes.

CHETRY: What did you think of them?

PAGE: Well, he was really cool. I never thought he would be so cool.

CHETRY: He has a deep voice, didn't?

PAGE: Yes.


PAGE: I thought he would just have to make the deep voice. I didn't know he already had one.


HAMMER: It was fantastic. Now, after meeting the little Lord Vader, Jones told reporters this, Kyra, it's all about pretend. That's the fun part about being an actor, about being a child. So certainly well said an how much fun is it to see Max getting all of this attention and having such a good time with it.

PHILLIPS: It's pretty awesome, especially everything he went through medically. What a dynamic relationship.

Only six years old. We love him. Great little shout out to him.

HAMMER: Unbelievable?

PHILLIPS: I know it is.

HAMMER: Kyra, I am your father.

PHILLIPS: Oh, I don't know. You got to work on that. Max needs to help you out, A.J..

HAMMER: I know.

PHILLIPS: Well, Britain says it was a bad decision to let the Lockerbie bomber go free. The daughter of a victim, well, she knew it was an injustice long before the official report came out. We're talking to her in just a moment.


PHILLIPS: So you help snuff out 270 lives, blow a plane out of the sky, spend a few years in prison and then live like a hero in Libya, you get a big hug from Moamar Gadhafi, such is the life of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber. Scotland let him out of prison in 2009, sent him to Libya to die, thinking he only had weeks to live, an act of compassion, the government said. An act he sure didn't show in 1988 when he committed mass murder.

Well, Megrahi is still alive, cheating justice with every breath. And you can imagine how the loved ones of victims in the U.S. and U.K. feel about it. Well, the results of British Prime Minister David Cameron's investigation of Megrahi's release are now in.

He called it a "flawed decision." However, he denies that the release was a deal in disguise to win points with Gadhafi and help BP score an oil contract with Libya. That's been a huge question in all of this. Did the U.K. sell out justice. Here's what Cameron told Parliament yesterday.


DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Those who think there was some sort of conspiracy cooked up, between BP, the British government and the Scots to release Megrahi. That's not right. It was a Scottish decision by the Scottish government, in my view, mistaken.


PHILLIPS: But the report did say that the Brits gave the Libyans advice on how to get Megrahi out of prison, how to soften up the Scots, and there's no denying that BP had eyes for Libya and that oil contract. So this report may not be a smoking gun but it could be the tip of the iceberg. We are speaking about this with Sonia Tedeschi. Her father one of the 270 people who lost lives in Megrahi's act of terror.

So when you heard this yesterday, Sonia, that it was a flawed decision according to the British Prime Minister, did that give you any feeling of justice somehow being served?

SONIA TEDESCHI, FATHER KILLED ON PAN AM 103: Um, certainly not. I think I agree with him that it was a flawed decision, but justice has not been served here. He has been set free and whether or not it was the Scottish decision or, you know, the British government influencing -- telling the Libyans how to go about doing this, but that's not OK to do, and that's not justice.

PHILLIPS: So, what do you want to see? What would bring about justice for you? Do you want to see this being continually being investigated and Megrahi be brought back, to be put in jail?

TEDESCHI: I think that is certainly the point of a life sentence that he would spend the rest of his life until he dice of whatever causes in jail. Also, there have to be repercussions to actions that the British government can't counsel the Libyan government in how to go about getting compassionate release and that be OK. That's not justice, either.

PHILLIPS: And you think about your dad every day. You have mentioned that to all of us in the past. What do you remember most, Sonia?

TEDESCHI: Yes. He was so much fun. He loved people. He brought people from all over the world to our house so they could get an education. He was a caring man. He was such a great daddy. PHILLIPS: Yes, I know. And you have talked about him a lot, and no doubt we lift him up as we try and get one step closer to hoping that something will happen with Megrahi to make all of your feel a little bit more at peace.

Sonia Tedeschi, it's always great to talk to you. Thank you so much.

Thank you, again.

PHILLIPS: Well, more of us are saying charge it, please. That's because credit card use, well it's up. Going down, the number of kids drinking in college. All right. Business correspondent Stephanie Elam has those for us.


PHILLIPS: The opening bell rang just about an hour ago, Dow Industrials up almost 25 points. More Americans stepping up to the cash register and saying charge it. CNN business correspondent Stephanie Elam is in New York. Steph, credit card debt rises for the first time in two years. Good sign or bad?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, somebody is getting ready for something. They're spending money on something and maybe they're having a couple babies and they need to get a whole room together or something. But somebody is spending a lot. I'm just saying, Kyra, maybe it was just you. But there are people -- are doing better and they spent a little bit more in December, feeling a little more merry over the holiday season, perhaps.

Let's take a look at the numbers. First time in more than two years that we're seeing this kind of a jump. Total debt outstanding, as of December 31st this is according to the government, the Federal Reserve, $800.5 billion. That's up 2.3 billion from November. So what does this mean?

It means perhaps the consumers are feeling better about the economy and maybe they're feeling better just about their own job security. There's also the fact that maybe this means some businesses are starting up, and so, you know, a lot of small businesses, when these ideas are germinating, they charge a lot of it. And it also could mean though on the negative side, that maybe people are feeling like, you know what, things are just too thin and I have to go to credit in order to make ends meet.

So overall though seeing these is really interesting because the last time we saw this was in August of '08, and that's the biggest time that we've seen - the last time we saw numbers like this, and that was right before the big financial meltdown, which started in September, when Lehman went away, and all of those things happened then, very dire straits then. So, things looking a little bit better as far as consumer spending. Remember, that generates a lot of the growth in the U.S. economy. That's why we like to see people are spending, Kyra. PHILLIPS: OK, yes that is good news. Some other good news, I love hearing this as I start to become a mom, and you're a new mom. College drinking going the other way. Fewer kids going into college, you know, throwing down the brewskis and the cocktails. Love this.

ELAM: So it seems, so it seems. Things may be changing a bit --

PHILLIPS: Depends on what school you go to!


ELAM: There's always that because isn't there always a list every year that says hey, here's the top drinking schools -

PHILLIPS: The party schools. Yes, exactly.

ELAM: The party schools. We all know about them. I remember them from California because that's where I always heard them because maybe it's changed since the billion years ago I was in college.

But since 2006, 38 percent of incoming freshman saying they're not drinking. Now, it's 62 percent. Now, this organization Outside the Classroom, they are dedicated to alcohol training and also getting kids to not drink as much. They do say there is sort of a freshman college effect where people go to school and then they may start drinking once they get to college, but overall the same. More people looking at this saying, you know what? This is the rest of my life, I really need to focus while in college and realizing that maybe having that kegger picture on your Facebook page could probably stop you from getting a job when you get out of college. So, they are being a little bit more savvy about what they're seen doing.

So, maybe a little change there. Who knows? Maybe they do it but not as much, all in all. That's what we can hope since we have little children on the planet now.

PHILLIPS: That's right. By the time they get there, our kids get there, everything will be perfect, right? There will be no issues, no interests in partying, they'll be totally focused.

ELAM: Oh, sure, exactly!

PHILLIPS: They'll be on full-rid scholarship.


PHILLIPS: That's right! We'll be talking, Steph, in about, hmm 16 years.

ELAM: They can't be boring, though. There is no way you're children are going to be boring children, so I'm not buying that one at all.

PHILLIPS: Oh, look who's talking! Look who's talking!

(LAUGHTER) PHILLIPS:: Thanks, Steph. All right.

Day 15 of the uprising in Egypt, and today's massive crowd is larger than expected. In fact, our crews there in Tahrir Square say this is the largest rally they've seen in days. So far, it's been peaceful.

Let's get the latest. Frederik Pleitgen is there in Cairo. Fred?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Kyra. You are absolutely correct -- right. The crowd is massive today. I can still see people actually coming into Tahrir Square from several directions trying to make that crowd even larger, obviously. People we have been speaking to do there on the square say they are still very resilient, that they're in it the long hall and they're not going back anytime soon.

Now the interesting thing, Kyra, that's also happening is there appears to be a second front of protests that might be opening. We're hearing about 500, maybe 600 protesters who have made their way to the Egyptian Parliament building and are chanting in front of that building, chanting apparently "fraud" which they have also been chanting in front of the information ministry in the days past. So, it certainly appears as though that a second venue now, a second demonstration might be forming. Not sure whether or not those people will stay there.

Nevertheless, the numbers here in Tahrir square remain massive, and they've really been getting larger as the afternoon progresses.

PHILLIPS: The good news is it is remaining peaceful. We will keep an eye on it definitely with you, Fred. Thank you so much.


PHILLIPS: Now, back here in the States. The U.S. Marines, definitely a brotherhood. But members of one infantry unit actually take their roles just a step further.

CNN's Ed Lavandera joining us live from Dallas with the story of five sets of brothers heading to war. How did you find this story, Ed?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It kind of started with an article out of Houston profiling one of the brothers. There was a line in there mentioning that these guys weren't just the only set of brothers. It is not completely out of the norm for something like this to happen. But we brought these five sets of brothers together for the first time.


LAVANDERA (voice-over): A deep bond runs through this line of Marines. But this is a brotherhood beyond the uniform.

LT. COL. TODD ZINK, COMMANDING OFFICER: I didn't realize we had five sets of brothers right away.

LAVANDERA: The U.S. Marine Corps's first battalion, 23rd regiment, is a family. An infantry unit made up mostly of Texas reservists and includes five different sets of brothers. All about to deploy to the war in Afghanistan.

(on camera): Have you leaned on each other quite a bit?

LCPL. WILL HERNANDEZ, U.S. MARINE CORPS: Yes, it gives us a sense of home.

PFC. RAUL HERNANDEZ, U.S. MARINE CORPS: I don't think there's anybody better to keep me safe than him.

GYSGT. HECTOR VEGA CIGARROA: This will be, you know, one of the biggest struggles we go through together as brothers.

CPL. DANIEL BEANS, U.S. MARINE CORPS: Do we worry? Absolutely. You never know what's going to happen out there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: any brothers are in a situation where they are both able to deploy together.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): The families of these Marines face an emotional time during their seven-month deployment. Double the fear, twice the stress.

(on camera): How about your folks?

LCPL. JONATHON FASELER, U.S. MARINE CORPS: They're having a hard time back home knowing that we're here. You know -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But they support us.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): In the dangerous days ahead, good, old- fashioned sibling rivalry will help lift their spirits.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I always call my mom and say he's picking on me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He used to beat me up a lot. I didn't do too much beating on him.

LAVANDERA (on camera): Who's the better Marine?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He takes the prize for this one.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's the better Marine.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Here they're all brothers in arms. And that's where the rivalry ends for this band of brothers.


LAVANDERA: And Kyra, you know, the hardest part of doing that story? Squeezing ten interviews into one TV piece. You know how hard that it.


PHILLIPS: Yes, that's the biggest challenge. That's a tough thing. You want to talk to every single one of them. What a great story. Ed, thanks so much.

It's just about 20 to the top of the hour, and today, we are talking about the 2012 elections. CNN poll suggests most Republicans would prefer a candidate who can beat President Obama rather than one they agree with all of the time. The poll also shows most Democrats will stick with the incumbent.

Mark Kelly, trained to lead space shuttle Endeavour's final mission in April. He's been on personal leave since his wife, congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, was shot in the head. Kelly's decision to rejoin the crew came after Giffords showed marked improvement.

And Donald Rumsfeld's new book is on store shelves. Don't expect any apologies about invading Iraq, though. He says everyone in the Bush administration believed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

Homes for sale to cops and firefighters for $1,000 in Detroit. Talk about a discount. It is part of the mayor's plan to make the Motor City safer.


PHILLIPS: A rally cry for Detroit pride in the form of a Chrysler commercial. Well, it's become one of the most talked about Super Bowl ads. 3.5 million YouTube hits and counting. It features a pulsing beat and the rapper Eminem right there in the driver's seat.


ANNOUNCER: What does a town that's been to hell and back know about the finer things in life? I'll tell you. More than most. You see, it's the hottest fires that make the hardest steel. Add hard work and conviction and the know-how that runs generations deep in every last one of us.

That's who we are. That's our story.

EMINEM, RAPPER: This is the Motor City, and this is what we do.


(END VIDEO CLIP) PHILLIPS: It makes me want to hear more. How often does an ad give you chills, too? But it speaks to the survival instincts of the Motor city. And while the nation's still buzzing, the city's mayor is taking a new step to revive Detroit. Cheap homes for cops and firefighters, cheaper than those Chryslers.

Jason Carroll live in New York. Break it down for us, Jason.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, much cheaper than the cost have of a new Chrysler. You know, that was a compelling spot, but the question really becomes how do you revitalize a city when you can't get people to live there?

Well, in Detroit, the mayor is starting with its police officers. More than half of the force actually live outside the city, so the mayor is offering them an incentive to get back into the city for as little as $1,000. That's it, $1,000. Police officers can buy an abandoned home.


DAVE BING, MAYOR OF DETRIOT: Police officers living in their neighborhoods have the potential to deter crime, increase public safety, and improve relations between the community and our sworn officers.


CARROLL: All right. Here's what mayor Dave Bing is doing. He's offering low-cost housing. He's willing to put federal stimulus dollars, as much as $150,000, toward fixing up the the homes. The incentive is being offered to fill some 200 abandon houses currently owned by the city in Detroit's Boston, Edison and East English Village neighborhoods.

As for Detroit police that are already living in the city, they can also get in the deal. The mayor says he will offer these officers the opportunity, albeit a smaller one, to improve their existing homes with some of those stimulus dollars.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got to reward the ones that did stay. I never left. I never had a plan to leave. I make Detroit work for me. It's my home.


CARROLL: Well, the mayor's office tells us that 50 calls have already come in from officers wanting to participate. Eventually, the incentive will also be offered to Detroit's firefighters. The mayor's office told us they hope this will catch on with some of Detroit's large corporations, offering employees incentives to live where they work.

Also, the hope is that if this program is successful, Kyra, it will then move to some of the other neighborhoods in Detroit so badly and so economically depressed. Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Jason Carroll, great news for Detroit. Love the incentives there. We'll follow it for sure.

Iowa and New Hampshire are the first states with presidential contests, but our new poll suggests that most Americans want to change that. Our Political Ticker straight ahead.



CONAN O'BRIEN, HOST, "CONAN": Just before the Super Bowl aired, President Obama sat down for an interview with Fox News host Bill O'Reilly. And I watched this. I could be wrong. I'm going out on a limb here. I don't think Bill O'Reilly really likes the president.


O'BRIEN: That's the impression I got. You decide for yourself.


BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: Mr. President, thank you very much for doing this, and I must thank you on behalf of the Fox News Channel.


O'REILLY: Nice to se you, and I hate you.


O'REILLY: Now, who's going to win the game. Now, c'mon, c'mon!

OBAMA: Bill, here's the thing. The folks who hate you, they don't know you.

O'REILLY: You don't care who wins.

OBAMA: No, I do care! I want a great game.

O'REILLY: Hate you. So, you don't care.

OBAMA: Green Bay is probably a little faster.

O'REILLY: Muslim!




(END VIDEO CLIP) PHILLIPS: So congressman Ron Paul may be thinking about a run for higher office. Deputy political director Paul Steinhauser here with that story. Hey, Paul.

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN DEPUTY POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Hey, Kyra. From the funny guy to the straight guy.

Well, yes. Let's talk about Ron Paul. Let's talk about Ron Paul. Remember, he ran in 1988 for the presidency as a libertarian candidate. He made a bid in the last presidential election for the GOP nomination.

Will he run again? I spoke to Jesse Benton. That is Ron Paul's political director, and he told me this. Ron Paul is strongly considering a presidential run and is assessing all of his political prospects. So, we're definitely going to keep our eyes on Ron Paul. Just yesterday, Kyra, a pro-family group in Iowa announced that Ron Paul is coming out there next month to speak at a presidential series. And of course, Iowa. You know Iowa. Kyra.

PHILLIPS: All right. Well, Americans like that Iowa and New Hampshire go first, right?

STEINHAUSER: Well, maybe not. And you alluded to this before the break. You know, Iowa and New Hampshire traditionally for decades now, they have led off, kicked off the presidential caucus and primary calendar.

Check this out from our new poll, new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national poll. Look at that! Majority of Americans say, no, we don't want to see those states go first all of the time. You know, maybe other states want a piece of the action and want to see their states come first. Kyra.

PHILLIPS: All right, Paul. Thanks.

We're going to have your next political update in just about an hour. And of course, for all of the latest political news, you can go to our Web site,


PHILLIPS: All right. Let's check stories happening later today. House Republicans holding hearings on legislation restricting federal support for abortion. The move has little support in the Democratic- controlled Senate.

The government plans to announce results into its investigation into why someToyotas were accelerating beyond drivers' control. The issue actually triggered a massive recall of the company's cars and trucks last year.

And Packer fans will honor their heroes at Lambeau Field today. The team is back in Green Bay after winning the Super Bowl.


PHILLIPS: Darth Vader then and now on the left. That adorable six-year-old little boy who charmed Super Bowl viewers in that Volkswagen commercial. And on the right, you know James Earl Jones. He provided the Darth Vader's voice in the "Star Wars" movies.

So, how do you turn 500 bucks into a million dollars? Well, first you have a vision. Then you get a camera. Maybe most importantly, be the owner of one talented pug. CNN's Jeanne Moos takes our championship look back at the real highlights from Super Bowl Sunday.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: She cares more about her bowl than the Super Bowl, but the pug is a million-dollar winner. Biggest loser besides the Steelers was Christina aguilera. Her national anthem bombed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was offended that she couldn't get the words right.

MOOS: The pug, luckily, had no speaking lines. Doritos invited folks to make their own commercials. This one featured a guy teasing a pug through a glass door.

The budget for the pug commercial? $500. The prize, a million bucks.

The pug ad tied a Budweiser ad for most popular Super Bowl commercial, according to the "USA Today" AdMeter. The creators just got engaged the other day, and the dog belongs to a friend.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Her name is Oko Nono.

MOOS: Oko Nono because she misbehaves and has to be told no-no so often she thinks its her name. Now these two film school grads have made their names. They'll use the million dollar prize toward their wedding and film projects and for the pug.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Some bling. We've got to pimp out the pooch.

MOOS: But Christina Aguilera is the one in the doghouse for not singing the correct words. The ones on your screen.

CHRISTINA AGUILERA, SINGER: What so proudly we watched at the twilight's last gleaming

MOOS: She may have forgotten the words this time, but she used to know them. And here's the proof.

AGUILERA: Eleven-year-old Christina at a hockey game got through the line that all these years later tripped her up.

But hey, lots of folks get stuck on the ramparts. Michael Bolton got over a million views on YouTube after he resorted to notes on his hand to get through the very same line.

This kid at a basketball game was another casualty of the ramparts.

At least Aguilera kept going and later apologized for getting caught up in the moment and losing her place. Some may criticize her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's pretty disrespectful to this country.

MOOS: So you know the words?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course I know the words.

MOOS: But even with a little prodding --

what's so proudly --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- held and the -- oh no, I just messed up on TV.

MOOS: At least in this country we're free -- free to blow it.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


PHILLIPS: Well, this may seem like a Monty Python skit but this crazy crime apparently busting took place in North Hampton, England. Now, watch closely as jewelry store robbers are driven off by a handbag-wielding heroine. That's right. The red-coated elderly woman whacks the bad guys with her bag, driving them off! A couple even fell from their scooters before making their getaway.

That does it for us. Hope you have a great rest of the day. But stay tuned! Suzanne Malveaux here in Studio 7 with the next two hours.