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Secret Recordings of Militiamen; Republicans Prepare for Debate in D.C.; Does Coffee Help Prevent Cancer?; Jon Huntsman Interview; Teenage Boy Admits to Killing Gay Classmate; Mother of Missing Girl Arrested; Interview with Jon Huntsman; Egg Producer Accused of Animal Cruelty

Aired November 22, 2011 - 15:00   ET

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


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, top of the hour. Welcome back. I'm Brooke Baldwin.

Couple stories on our watch now.

Tonight, Republican candidates square off on CNN. Also, chances of a U.S. downgrade after the super committee's failure. And weather threatening the busiest travel days of the year. And a great excuse to pour yourself an extra cup of coffee. I like the sound of that one.

Time to play "Reporter Roulette" here.

And I want to begin with CNN senior political editor Mark Preston, live for us at Constitution Hall there in Washington, D.C., the home of the CNN debate tonight.

And, Mark Preston, just set the stage for me.

MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL EDITOR: Yes, Brooke, in just a few hours, the eight Republican presidential candidates are going to be right behind me here, here at Constitution Hall in the heart of Washington, D.C., and we are just steps away from the White House.

These candidates tonight are going to focus on trying to sell themselves on a very, very, very key issue. That is national security, an issue that has not really been discussed a whole lot, Brooke, so far in this campaign. In addition to that, these candidates are going to be talking about the economy, which has been said by some military folks as the number one national security facing the country is the economy and America being able to turn it around.

It will be very interesting to see what happens. We have some candidates now who are on the rise, such as Newt Gingrich, and some candidates who are on the decline, such as Rick Perry, and, of course, all of them in the middle at this point all trying to vie for support as we head right into Iowa and January 3, Brooke.

BALDWIN: As you mentioned, this is the first debate in which former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is sitting at the top of the latest CNN/ORC poll. I know we're looking at all eight candidates, but who has the most to gain and who has the most to lose? PRESTON: Well, everybody has the most to gain and everybody has the most to lose, but you're right, this could very much be the debate for Newt Gingrich.

This is the first time that Newt Gingrich will be at the top of the polls where he sat on stage. It was just back in June where everyone thought that Newt Gingrich's campaign was over. His campaign staff had left him. There were a lot of questions about how he was running his campaign. He had no money.

But what we have seen in the last three to four weeks now is that Newt Gingrich has been on the rise. And the reason for that is, is that Republicans who are not happy with Mitt Romney, who don't think that he's conservative enough, are looking for an alternative. We thought that might have been Herman Cain. However, Herman Cain has leveled off. We thought it was Rick Perry back in August who really burst on to the scene. He has leveled off. Now voters are starting to give Newt Gingrich a look and we're seeing that in the polls right now -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: Mark Preston, thank you.

And again quick reminder, the CNN debate on national security and the economy tonight 8:00 Eastern moderated by Wolf Blitzer right here on CNN.

(STOCK MARKET UPDATE)

(WEATHER UPDATE)

BALDWIN: And next on "Reporter Roulette," a study suggesting there may be an association between drinking coffee and a reduced risk of cancer.

Senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joins me live.

And I love my coffee. So let's talk specifically what kind of cancer and how much coffee.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. It was interesting.

The women in this study -- first of all, this is a huge study out of Hartford and the women who drank at least four cups of coffee were about 25 percent less likely to get endometrial cancer. But other studies have found a similar kind of thing with other kinds of cancer. They have found that people who drink coffee are less likely to get Parkinson's, are less likely to get diabetes. So it's really a whole host of things.

BALDWIN: But I thought that you're not supposed to have too much coffee, that's it's bad for you.

COHEN: Did your mother ever wag her finger and say coffee will stunt your growth?

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: ... was wagging her finger a few times, yes.

(CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER)

COHEN: Well, what is interesting is that that may have been an old wives' tale because there are now there are all these studies out saying coffee might actually be good for you.

Now, it doesn't mean that if you don't drink coffee, you got to go out there and drink it. It doesn't mean if you only drink one cup a day, you should drink four cups a day. But it does mean that if you're already drinking it, you're probably doing something that is pretty good for your health.

BALDWIN: Now, let's be more specific, because all kinds of people put all kinds of different things in their coffee. And that has to also affect the outcome, yes?

COHEN: Yes. I bought you a coffee.

BALDWIN: Thank you.

COHEN: And I brought some of the stuff that people put in it. So if you put in -- we got a coffee with room, as they like to say.

So if you put in about two ounces of whole milk and if you put in a bunch of these sugars, you're adding about 150 calories, OK, into one coffee. If you drink let's say four of these, 150 calories times four, that's a lot. And now you're getting -- you might get fat off your coffee.

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: That's just the caloric issue.

COHEN: Exactly. Coffee on it is own has almost no calories. But once you start adding lots of milk and lots of sugar, it's almost like drinking a soft drink.

BALDWIN: OK.

COHEN: You want to be careful about that. Because if you become obese, then forget it. Any help that this coffee might give you, it doesn't matter.

BALDWIN: So my nonfat milk and half a Splenda is OK?

COHEN: There you go. That's...

BALDWIN: Everybody makes fun of me.

COHEN: ... probably better than what I just did, right?

BALDWIN: Thanks for the coffee, by the way, Elizabeth Cohen.

COHEN: Oh, you're welcome. It's all yours. Thank you.

BALDWIN: And that's your "Reporter Roulette" here for this Tuesday.

Still ahead, the secret conversations of a homegrown militia.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When it comes time to saving the Constitution, that means some people got to die.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: The feds say a group of bitter men wanted to attack and poison Americans, and now we're actually hearing their voices, hearing their disturbing plans straight from their own mouths.

Plus, he perhaps knows President Obama better than any of his fellow Republican candidates. So why is Jon Huntsman so behind in the polls? I will ask him live ahead.

Also, the hunt is on for the pilot of a plane who disappeared after landing. Find out the bizarre cargo found on board.

And this:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tell me who that is over there?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: After six months away from home, an emotional surprise. Yes, pause the tape. There's a lot more to this story than just a reunion. Stay right there.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

BALDWIN: Now this:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's very unfair for you to ask me that. Do I look like I hurt my daughter? Do I look like I hurt my daughter? Do I look like I hurt my daughter?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: One month after a little girl disappears and her mom accuses the media of not covering her story, that woman is behind bars right now. We're going to tell you why.

Plus, we're now hearing the secret conversations of a homegrown militia, a group of men with dreams of murder. CNN has obtained the undercover recordings. We're going to play them for you next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Their targets allegedly included the IRS, the ATF, the FBI, and police officers, but instead four self-described militia members from North Georgia, they're sitting behind bars this hour because someone was listening to their plans.

The FBI arrested all four of them back on the 1st of November and we are just now hearing their voices, hearing these undercover audio recordings of them allegedly plotting their attacks.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

FREDERICK THOMAS, DEFENDANT: There is no way for us, as militiamen, to save this country, to save Georgia, without doing something that's highly, highly illegal: murder. That's (EXPLETIVE DELETED) illegal. It's got to be done.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

BALDWIN: These aren't young guys. These four men range in age from 65 to 73. And the federal government is taking these threats very, very seriously.

George Howell has been all over this.

And, first, just how did the authorities get these recordings?

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, all of the recordings came from confidential informants who were following the group for months and months at a time.

And, basically, here it is. This is the disk that we obtained, sort of a mix tape, sort of a greatest hits, if you will, of all of these alleged statements that they made. And it's definitely a smoking gun for prosecutors.

Prosecutors believe that the men did want to kill many people. It comes down to basically a judgment call for the jury. Were these just older men who were trash talking the government, Brooke, or did they have a plan to carry out these attacks? And prosecutors believe they were getting dangerously close.

BALDWIN: Well, let's hear a little more from this best hits mix tape, if I may.

We're going to hear from Frederick Thomas, the man described as the ringleader, talking about taking lives. Take a listen.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

THOMAS: Are you committed?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am. THOMAS: To taking action? If we get a militia unit going large enough, are they committed to taking action? Will they take a life? All right.

So, who's willing to take a life?

We know what we want to do. We know how to do it. What we need to be is prepared to do it. So that's what we're doing now, making the preparations, getting what we need, so that when we go about doing it, we are equipped. Don't know when that's going to be.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.

THOMAS: Within a year, I'm sure. That's the way things are going politically in the country.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

HOWELL: Scary stuff.

BALDWIN: Equipped. I remember you were talking about castor beans.

HOWELL: Yes.

BALDWIN: Remind us of these alleged plans of attack.

HOWELL: Along with the castor beans, first, they wanted to buy ammunition and explosives and the castor beans to create ricin.

And for the first time, we're seeing pictures, Brooke, of the bag of castor beans that these agents took from the property, also the plants that castor beans came from.

BALDWIN: Here they are.

HOWELL: Yes, again, prosecutors say that these men had a plan, had a recipe to produce that toxic ricin and spread it on highways in major cities across the country.

BALDWIN: Let's listen one more clip. This is Thomas again talking about their targets.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

THOMAS: Who do we want to shoot? Lots of people. When do we want to shoot them?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yesterday.

(LAUGHTER)

THOMAS: That's right.

And who are we shooting at? Civilian government operatives is who we're going to be shooting at, IRS, ATF, FBI, and the cops.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

BALDWIN: "When do we want to shoot them? Yesterday." And you hear one of the guys laugh.

HOWELL: Yes.

BALDWIN: Obviously, the recordings are pretty damning, but what do the attorneys say?

HOWELL: Their attorneys say, first of all, that all the quotes that we were hearing are basically out of context, no telling when the men said this, where they were, whether they were serious or not. And they also say that these four men were just too old to be seriously taken as a threat.

But, at this point, they all pleaded not guilty and they are just waiting for their trial dates.

BALDWIN: George Howell, thank you.

HOWELL: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Coming up next, the Obama campaign furious today over Mitt Romney's very first television ad. Critics say the Republican takes the president's words out of context and misleads the public. We're going to play it for you. You decide for yourself after hearing the original comment and then the edited-down one.

Plus, the surprising reaction from the Romney camp. Gloria Borger standing by live from the site of the CNN debate -- our chat next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Mitt Romney has released his very first campaign ad. It's getting all kinds of attention, and not necessarily the good kind of attention.

Let me bring in our chief political analyst, Gloria Borger.

And, Gloria, the Romney campaign admits its ad quotes President Obama out of context. Let's watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, MITT ROMNEY CAMPAIGN AD)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A rescue plan for the middle class. We need to provide relief for homeowners. It's going to take a new direction. If we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose, lose, lose.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm going to do something to government. I call it the...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: So that's the ad. You heard President Obama speaking. But we just wanted to play you the original sound bite from the president. This is actually from the campaign trail. This is October '08.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Senator McCain's campaign actually said -- and I quote -- "If we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: So there you have it, Gloria Borger, pretty aggressive from camp Romney.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: It is pretty aggressive.

And, honestly, it's just not a credible ad. I mean, you saw the context. Barack Obama, candidate Obama was talking about John McCain, quoting John McCain. And the people who make these ads, Brooke, know full well what the entire context is.

At this point in a presidential campaign, you're looking for credibility. I don't think Mitt Romney bought himself one ounce of credibility with this ad. It's just not accurate and it's unfortunate that they decided to us it, because quite frankly if you want to take on Barack Obama on the economy, there's probably plenty of stuff to chose from out there, wouldn't you say?

BALDWIN: You could. Gloria, we should point out where you're sitting. You're sitting at Constitution Hall, of course the site of tonight's big debate.

BORGER: Yes.

BALDWIN: So let's mention that, beautiful facility there in Washington, steps from the White House.

BORGER: It is.

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: And I know that, look...

BORGER: And, Brooke, I want to tell you that...

BALDWIN: Yes.

BORGER: I want to tell you, behind us, we have got Jon Huntsman. I don't know if you can see him. He's right at his podium there. He's practicing. He's the guy in the plaid shirt.

BALDWIN: Kind of hard to see, but I trust you.

(CROSSTALK)

BORGER: The candidates...

BALDWIN: We will be talking to him in a couple of minutes.

BORGER: The candidates come by and they look at their podiums.

Oh, good. Great.

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: Yes, we have Jon Huntsman on the show. So we will see how that -- how it feels up there on the stage.

BORGER: There he is.

BALDWIN: But I do want to ask, look, you have these eight candidates. Any of these them has the most to gain, most to lose, but who really needs a win tonight, Gloria?

BORGER: Well, I think Newt Gingrich would really benefit from a strong performance tonight.

As you know, he's popped to the top of the field. He's got some experience in foreign policy, having been speaker of the House. People look for that sort of commander in chief plausibility. And I think so Newt Gingrich really will want to cement his lead.

On the other hand, someone like Herman Cain really has a very high bar he's got to jump over, because he hasn't performed well on foreign policy. He did that have that moment when he was being interviewed by some journalists in Milwaukee and had that kind of brain freeze on Libya policy, and has said, you know, I don't need to know a lot about foreign policy. I trust my commanders.

I think the question to Herman Cain might be, what if your commanders disagree? Then what do you do then? So you have to know something about foreign policy.

So, again, people are looking for a plausible commander in chief. And I think they are going to see that tonight on the stage from a few of these people.

BALDWIN: I will be watching. You're there. I will be at home tweeting away. Everyone, tweet, hashtag CNNDebate.

BORGER: Yes.

BALDWIN: Gloria, thank you.

Again, quick reminder, that's at 8:00 tonight Eastern, Wolf Blitzer moderating. And, as I mentioned, in a couple of minutes from now, I'm speaking live with Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman. And we're going to talk about everything from what he really wants to hammer home tonight, speaking of national security, to why his daughters have become such a big part of his campaign. So we will be talking to the former governor. That is coming up.

Also ahead, a guy walks up to his gay classmate, pulls the trigger. Now, after a mistrial, the teenage killer learns his fate.

Plus, this: (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's scared. She's scared. Please, I know she's scared.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: A little girl is missing. Her mother blasted the media, accusing reporters of not covering the case because she's black. Well, listen to this -- the mother has now been arrested. Sunny Hostin is all over this one today. She's on the case. She's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: A teenage boy accusing of killing a gay classmate is finally admitting that he did it.

Then a five-year-old girl missing for more than a month, now her mother is arrested. "On the Case," Sunny Hostin, and Sunny, let's start with this story out of California. You have 17-year-old Brandon McKinearney admitted to shooting his young classmate Lawrence King execution-style in a school computer lab when he was just 14 years of age. His first trial ended in a mistrial. He pleaded guilty to avoid a retrial, and now he faces 21 years in prison instead of 50 years to life. My question is, why do you think they want to avoid a retrial?

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it's really clear, actually, because many of the jurors from the first trial, they have spoken out and they were very uncomfortable with the fact that this teen was tried in an adult court. He was 14 when he committed this crime and they were really very troubled by the fact that he was tried as an adult. And it's a tension that exists very, very often in cases like this. Many adults are uncomfortable with juveniles being tried as adults. And I think that is really the reason why this deal came about. They didn't want to try him again as an adult in front of a jury.

BALDWIN: I want to play just this quick bit of sound. This is the father of Lawrence King.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GREG KING, VICTIM'S FATHER: We're a little bit bittersweet. I don't think that 21 years is really justice for a cold-blooded murder. But on the other hand we've been going through this for four years and at least there is closure coming up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Was justice served, do you think?

HOSTIN: I don't know that justice is ever served in a case like this. You're really talking about two lives, young lives being lost. He won't get credit for the four years. He's already been in prison, Brooke, so he will not get out until he's 38 years old. Many are saying that if justice was to be served that this is just because he will spend the majority of his life, or not the majority but a lot of his life behind bars.

BALDWIN: A horrible, horrible story. And then this arrest here, this other case of a missing five-year-old Arizona girl. Jesse Shockley's mother Jerice Hunter, she is now in custody, police custody. We have these new court documents that say that Jesse's 13-year-old sister told police that their mother locked her in a closet and later said Jesse appeared dead. Sunny, mom is in court today on child abuse charges. Can she face murder charges without a body?

HOSTIN: Oh, I think so. And there's no question that she is the number one suspect here. The police have come out and said they are focusing all of their attention on her. I have read the court documents in this case, Brooke, and it's just astonishing what this mother is alleged to have done.

And the words are coming from her 13-year-old daughter which testified to -- and gave a probable cause statement as to just really rampant abuse in this household not only against this five-year-old little girl but against all of the children here. And so there's no question that she certainly can be tried without a body. Remember Scott Peterson? There are a lot of other cases that go to trial like this, and this is really just one of the saddest cases of child abuse that I've seen in a while.

BALDWIN: You mentioned the 13-year-old. That is the only eyewitness account. That is enough to hold up in court, though, yes?

HOSTIN: I think so. I've put child witnesses on the witness stand much younger. They are often found to be credible. It's difficult to put them on the witness stand but this 13-year-old came out. She's in foster care right now. The children have been taken away from their mother. She spoke to other foster children, she spoke to her foster mom, and she has spoken to investigators. So this is an account that by all accounts is very credible.

BALDWIN: Sunny Hostin "On the Case." Sunny, thank you very much.

Coming up next, pictures surface of law firm employees making fun of the homeless. And now, guess what, these people are out of jobs. You've got to hear how this went down and see the photos as well.

Also, undercover video showing what appears to be animal cruelty. It's having a massive impact on the eggs you buy in the grocery store. That's coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: You may not be able to find any eggs in Target stores this upcoming holiday week because the retailer dropped an egg supplier accused of animal cruelty. This whole started with this undercover video at a chicken farm. I'm going to tell you some of the details. It's even tough to listen to, let along the video to look at. So just a heads up. You may want to turn away here.

But this video shows hens crammed into crowded in cages, worker burning beaks, and one worker swinging a chicken on a rope over his head. Another worker can be seen pressing his thumb against the back of chick's neck until it breaks.

So this video right her, it was shot by the animal rights group, Mercy for Animals against Fargo Farms across the Midwest. Fargo says it is launching an internal investigation now, has fired four employees thus far. Target say eggs will be back in all of their grocery stores by the end of this week.

And they made fun of the homeless and now they are out of a job. A New York law firm specializing in foreclosures is shutting down just three weeks after the "New York Times" published these photos. Here we are, employees dressed as homeless people at the company's Halloween party last year. After these photos came out, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac cut off all business with the firm. And ex-employees sent these pictures to "New York Times" columnist Joe Nocera who spoke to CNN Newsroom after breaking the story.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE NOCERA, COLUMNIST, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": They acknowledge that they do hold a Halloween party. They deny that the photos depicted people being kicked out of their home. But I think the photographs speak a whole lot louder than that denial.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Nocera said the firm sent an e-mail that read, in part, "Mr. Nocera, you have destroyed everything and everyone related to Steven J. Baum PC. It took 40 years to build this firm and three weeks to tear it down."

After this story broke, Baum also sent a statement to CNN. Here is part of it, quote, "On behalf of the firm I sincerely apologize for what happened last year at our Halloween party." The U.S. attorney's office was investigating whether the Baum firm misled homeowners into foreclosure. Just last month the firm agreed to pay $2 million and change their practices, but now 89 Baum employees will be jobless.

Coming up next, my live interview with Jon Huntsman. I'll ask him what he thinks of Newt Gingrich, the new leader in the GOP presidential candidate polls. And we'll also, we're going to share this heartbreaking story with him. It's a story of injustice. I'm going to get him to respond to it. We're back in 70 seconds, my interview with former governor Jon Huntsman. There he is at Constitution Hall. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Without further ado, I go straight to our nation's capital, Washington D.C., because we have a candidate for president standing by for me, Republican Jon Huntsman, former governor of Utah. He's live at the site of our CNN national security debate. Welcome, governor. It's nice to have you on.

And if I may just run down your resume here. You served as deputy U.S. trade representative, ambassador to Singapore, ambassador to China. So global affairs, national security, kind of your home turf here. If you can, governor, just give me one point that you're hoping to drill home tonight.

JON HUNTSMAN, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, Brooke, that's most important of all, and, listen, I've lived overseas four times. I've been immersed in a lot of the issues of the day. Sometimes the more you know about the subject matter, the more difficult it is to compress it into 30 seconds.

But let me say, we don't have an effective foreign policy or an effective national security policy unless we are strong here at home. And our biggest problem today is we have a dysfunctional Congress. We're in need of term limits. We're in need of doing something about the revolving door with respect to lobbyists. We have a president who is not leading.

And the rest of the world is watching all of this play out. We should be in a position, Brooke, where we light up the world in terms of our values, in terms of liberty, democracy, human rights, and open markets. That's when the world is a better place. But right now we're not leading and I'm not sure we're able to lead until we get our house in order, and that means our economy. That means our debt, that means Congress that actually is doing the work of the people as opposed to being at the extreme ends politically and pointing fingers of blame at one another.

BALDWIN: Governor, speaking of values and also overseas, I just want to play something for you. This is actually just a tease of a story we played for our viewers this hour. I want you to listen, if you would. You're going to hear from our correspondent Nick Paton Walsh. This is part of his report from Afghanistan about a woman who is now in prison for being raped. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A rapist was the husband of her cousin, but in Afghanistan's draconian society this 19- year-old was also blamed. Her rape, sex with a married man, was seen as adultery by the courts and she was sentenced to 12 years in jail.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: She was raped, she was blamed, sent to jail. Jon Huntsman, your Afghan policy aside, as a presidential candidate, are you willing to speak out against such an injustice? I mean, Afghanistan is a country where we're fighting, we're dying for. We've given them nearly $60 billion. Will you call out this injustice tonight at that stage that is behind you?

HUNTSMAN: Listen, this is an injustice and it ought to be called out. Moreover, we need to say that we have accomplished as a country what we can do in terms of our military involvement in Afghanistan. Certainly we'll have a very rigorous counterterror effort left behind. Certainly there will be a civil society strengthening exercise. And certainly there will be some sort of a system that works on rule of law and human rights and addresses the kinds of issues that you're talking about here. But we need to rescale what we're doing there. We should be not nation building right now at a time when this nation so desperately needs to be rebuilt. We've had 10 years in terms of strengthening and bolstering civil society, helping the police and military getting the government back on its feet again. We need to start worrying about our own affairs here in the United States.

But all the while that light needs to shine, that needs to shine our values that would speak to the issue that I just heard in my earpiece. There's nothing more powerful in this world than when the United States stands up and speaks by example and speaks with a loud and strong voice. That does hit the market on rule of law and basic human rights and individual dignity. It is always what we have stood for and that is, I think, leading by example, which we need to do.

BALDWIN: Before we go on, and I know this is the first time I have ever spoken with you, but I've seen you a lot, and you seem pretty unflappable, and if I may, governor, downright nice. Is there anything that makes red in the face angry? Just give me one thing.

HUNTSMAN: Listen, I'm not going to get into anger management. I try to be pretty much cool and collected for the most part. You can't be the dad of seven kids without having figured out how to be a little bit calm and collected. You can't have managed the U.S.-China relationship without being calm and collected. You cannot have been twice elected governor of a state without problem solving and becoming completely unglued.

BALDWIN: There's not one thing that --

I'm not going to talk about the dog at home because my wife would kill me for that. But, yes, there is one thing.

BALDWIN: OK. We'll get to the dad of seven part in just a minute. But I do need to ask about the race. We have a poll. I'm sure you've seen the numbers. The names that stand out to me if we all look at this, you have Gingrich and Huntsman, Gingrich first, Huntsman last. In a way, the first part of that equation should give you hope because it wasn't too long ago, just this summer, governor, when the former house speaker was - he was down in the single digits himself, right?

HUNTSMAN: Right. That's exactly right. This race is so fluid and so much in flux that we've seen everybody spike and go down. Everybody gets 15 minutes of fame. I don't 15 minutes of fame. All I want is a substantive, predictable rise like in New Hampshire, and then I want sustainability. I don't want to go up and down.

And sustainability is based upon putting forward ideas that are real, ideas that are tied to our biggest problems of today, which are economic and they're trust. We have a financial deficit and we have a trust deficit in this country as well.

And it's about sharing a vision that is tied to your background, which is being immersed in public service and private business in ways that have proven results. So I have no doubt about what's going to happen in New Hampshire. New Hampshire is moving up for us and will continue to move up for us by the end of the year. And that will be the market mover, Brooke. Once New Hampshire changes, everybody takes note and always is the case, and they say, something's happening here. I think we need to take note. And then you're in the game.

But listen, this is a fluid environment. And even in New Hampshire, you've got 80 plus percent of the voters who are undecided.

BALDWIN: Governor, before I let you go, I know you have a busy couple of hours ahead to prep for this debate. As you mentioned, you have seven kids, including three lovely women, Abby, Mary Anne, and Liddy, collectively -- I follow on twitter, the "John 2012 Girls." Let's watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We need you to get involved to make sure our next president is based on substance, not sound bites.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Check out our dad at John2012.com and follow us on twitter at John 2012 Girls.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Obviously, that's a spoof on the Herman Cain-Mark Block ad. Tell us about these three girls and their role in your campaign because I read the article in the "Washington Post," they're calling them the quote unquote breakout stars of the GOP primary trail.

HUNTSMAN: Now you know, Brooke, why I'm prematurely gray. Just take a look at those three girls and their antics. You talked about anger management. I've told them nothing that will embarrass the old man. Do what you want to do. You're free to speak out, but just don't embarrass your dad. So we hope we can get through the campaign cycle without that happening.

But I love them dearly. They're truly talented. They're proving to the world you can communicate in interesting and creative ways in the political world today. I'll give a speech on foreign policy or America's role in the world, and I'll get five hits on YouTube, and they'll put up some corny little spoof on someone else's ad and they'll get a half a million overnight. I say the world isn't fair, but that's the way the game is played these days. So are they my three best surrogates in politics? Brooke, they are my three best surrogates in politics, and they have a way of communicating that is unique and novel that provides a new window through which people get to see our family and understand our candidacy.

BALDWIN: Governor Jon Huntsman, nice to meet you, nice to talk to you, best of luck to you tonight. We'll be watching you and the rest of the group. The CNN debate on national security and the economy, tonight, 8:00 eastern right here on CNN moderated by Wolf Blitzer. Back in 90 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

POPPY HARLOW, CNNMONEY.COM CORRESPONDENT: Time for the help desk, where we get answers to your financial questions. Joining me now this hour, Jack Otter, the executive editor of CBSMoneyWatch.com, and Donna Rosato, senior editor at "Money" magazine. Donna, your question comes from David in Pennsylvania. David says his wife and he have over $169,000 in combined adjusted gross income. They maxed out their 401(k) buy his company doesn't match. What other options do they have to fund their requirement?

DONNA ROSATO, SENIOR EDITOR, "MONEY": That's great that they are investing so much and maxing out their 401(k). Unfortunately they make too much to invest in a traditional IRA or a Roth. But there is something they can do. They can put the money in a nondeductible IRA and then convert that money into a Roth IRA. And that's a big advantage because when you're paying the taxes on it now up front, but when they require, they can withdraw that money tax free, and the rules on what you can use are a little more flexible.

HARLOW: Jack, your questions from Gerald. Gerald owns bond funds and CDs. He's asking should he be buying only CDs until interest rates finally rise to where they're going to settle out and then after that, go back to buying both? Should he be looking strictly at CDs right now?

JACK OTTER, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, CBSMONEYWATCH.COM: Well, it's a great plan. The problem is we have no idea where bond rates are going to settle out. You know, we could be facing a Japan future.

HARLOW: We know interest rates are going to be exceptionally low through 2013.

OTTER: Through 2013, but who knows? They could be low through 2020 or we could see the 70s again where they go into double digits. So I would say go with a short-term bond fund just because the return reward is not so great on the long-term bond funds. With CDs, stick with some CDs. I would look for maybe five-year CDs where the withdrawal penalty is not too big in case rates do spike. By now you can get three percent, and the withdrawal penalty is six months, two months. If you can do that and rates do spike, you can pull out, take the hit, but invest at a higher rate.

HARLOW: Thanks so much, guys. And folks, if you have a question you want answered, just send us an e-mail anytime to CNNHelpDesk@CNN.com.

BALDWIN: Poppy Harlow, thank you. Coming up next, a late night host asks Michele Bachmann to play word association. Here how she describes her fellow Republican candidates.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: All right, Political Pop time. First up, Michele Bachmann appeared on Jimmy Fallon last night. She had a little bit of fun with the late night host. They played word association using some well- known political names. Let's watch.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIMMY FALLON, LATE NIGHT TALK SHOW HOST: Cain.

MICHELE BACHMANN, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Nine.

(LAUGHTER)

FALLON: Palin.

BACHMANN: Gorgeous. Gorgeous.

FALLON: Obama.

BACHMANN: Finished.

FALLON: Whoa.

BACHMANN: Be nice.

FALLON: Whoa.

Perry.

BACHMANN: That's not one word. I've got to do three. Governor. Texas -- Can't remember the other one. Oops.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: By the way, Michele Bachmann, not the first guest on the show. Who came before her, you ask? This thing, a Muppet from the upcoming movie, the Muppets.

That's it for me here at the world headquarters here in Atlanta. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Now to Wolf Blitzer, home of the CNN debate tonight. Wolf, to you.