Return to Transcripts main page
President Obama Remarks On MLK Day; Huntsman To Drop Out Next Hour; Conservatives Split On Candidates; Search Resumes For Cruise Ship Survivors; Man Arrested In Homeless Killings; Snow Blankets Seattle; Taking A Dip With Dolphins; Snow Hammers Pacific Northwest; First MLK Day Since Memorial Dedication; Raising Millionaire Taxes
Aired January 16, 2012 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Honoring MLK. Let's go straight to the President of the United States. He's at the Brown Education campus in D.C.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm not going to make a long speech, because we're here to do some work. But mainly, what I want to do just to say thank you to all of you for participating. I know there are a lot of organizations that are represented here today.
We are so glad to be at this outstanding school where we're going to be doing a whole bunch of stuff to make the facilities even better than they already are.
But, you know, this is the third year now that Michelle, Malia -- and usually Sasha's here, she couldn't make it today -- that we provide or engage in some sort of service on Dr. King's birthday. And there's no better way to celebrate Dr. King than to do something on behalf of others.
You know, I know there's been a lot of controversy lately about the quote on the memorial, and they're changing it and making some modifications. But you know, if you look at that speech, talking about Dr. King as a drum major, what he really said was that all of us can be a drum major for service, all of us can be a drum major for justice.
You know, there's nobody who can't serve, nobody who can't help somebody else. And whether you're 7 or 6, or whether you're 76, you can find opportunities to make an enormous difference in your community. And you know, at a time when the country's been going through some difficult economic times, for us to be able to come together as a community, people from all different walks of life, and make sure that we're giving back, that's ultimately what makes us the strongest, most extraordinary country on earth, is because we pull together when times are good, but also when times are hard. And you guys all represent that.
So, on behalf of our family, we want to say thank you. I'm sure Dr. King, were he here, he'd want to say thank you. And I look forward to spending some time next to you guys. Hopefully, I have some good instructors here so that I don't mess anything up.
So, if you're putting the paint brush in my hands, make sure that I've got some very clear lines, and I'll try to stay within them, all right? Thank you, everybody. God bless you. Thank you.
PHILLIPS: The President and his family visiting the Brown Education campus in D.C. But of course, taking a moment to honor Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday, his life and legacy.
Well, it's five more days until the presidential primary in South Carolina and only minutes until that Republican field gets a bit less crowded. At the top of the hour, we are told that Jon Huntsman is going to announce that he's quitting the race. Our Joe Johns is in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for us. So, Joe, what do we expect him to say?
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, number one, Kyra, we do expect him to turn and throw his support to Mitt Romney, which seems a little bit incongruous, of course, because Jon Huntsman has actually fired a number of attacks at Mitt Romney during the course of this campaign.
Huntsman still defends his candidacy. It's also interesting, Kyra, I think we have to say that there's been a lot of speculation that Jon Huntsman might very well be in the mix four years from now in the event the Republican nominee does not defeat President Obama, and he's on his way out after eight years.
So, Jon Huntsman expected to make that announcement at 11:00 Eastern Time. We're told this was a family decision. It's also just a little bit surprising, because he just got the endorsement here of a big newspaper.
And a lot of people were thinking, you know, Jon Huntsman might have a chance to show what he could do. On the other hand, there were many who said the writing was on the wall, Huntsman's candidacy simply did not catch on.
Part of it because he's very conservative, but he worked for President Obama as the envoy, the diplomat in China, and that, of course, caused a big problem for him because people just couldn't see how he was a conservative at the same time working for this president of the United States, Kyra.
PHILLIPS: So, Joe, let me ask you, I had a chance to interview Huntsman last week. I asked him specifically about this tension between him and Romney.
You guys don't seem to like each other, is how I posed the question. He said, no, I really respect him. He's a good family guy. Yet when I talk to you and our other political reporters, apparently, these two camps hate each other. Why come forward and endorse Romney?
JOHNS: Well, the writing's on the wall. You look at Romney. You see he's doing very well here in South Carolina. Also, very much a reality that if Romney wins here, it's going to be very hard for any of the others in the field to beat.
And of course, Huntsman was really pretty much running at the bottom of the pack and wasn't getting any traction at all here in South Carolina. So, you know, why stand in the way of something that looks like it's about to happen?
And on the other side of that, if you're in good stead, if you will, with the nominee going forward, maybe something will work out, either a convention or you keep those lines of communication open. Who knows what comes to Jon Huntsman down the road -- Kyra.
PHILLIPS: Joe Johns in Myrtle Beach for us. Thanks, Joe.
You can join Wolf Blitzer and of course, the Best Political Team on television for live coverage of Jon Huntsman's announcement. It's scheduled for the top of the hour, 11:00 Eastern. You can see it right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.
Well, clearly, Huntsman was never a game-changer when he was in the race, but will his departure make a difference? CNN political editor, Paul Steinhauser with us. Let's talk about the bottom line here -- does the political landscape shift at all -- Paul?
PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: Kyra, I don't want to rain on Jon Huntsman's parade, but not so much. Look, take a look at this. This was our poll from Friday, CNN/ORC. This is a national poll of Republicans.
And while the left side, that's with Huntsman and the right side, without Huntsman. There's not much change there. Look, other than Romney going up a slight two points within the sampling error, not a lot of change there at all -- Kyra.
As Joe was saying, you know, listen, he had a third-place finish in New Hampshire. That's probably as good as it got. He was not polling very well in South Carolina. Not a lot of impact here on the race -- Kyra.
PHILLIPS: Tea Party holding its convention, not getting behind Romney. So, if he doesn't get the support of the Tea Party, can he move on and actually win the presidency?
STEINHAUSER: Yes, he could. He could. He definitely could win the nomination because it seems like conservatives are divided right now between Santorum, between Gingrich, Perry and Paul.
Live pictures right now we have of the Tea Party Patriots. They are meeting in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, not far from where you saw Joe Johns. Teaming up with the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition, and they're having all the candidates, yesterday and today, speak at this convention. That comes before tonight's big debate there.
But Kyra, yes, not a lot of love lost with the tea Party Movement with a lot of the activists here when it comes to Mitt Romney. But you know, our polling indicates that among Tea Party supporters, they do have some support for Mitt Romney -- Kyra.
PHILLIPS: All right, well, Evangelical leaders also meeting over the weekend. The endorsement there not Romney, they're backing Santorum. Let's talk about that impact.
STEINHAUSER: Yes, listen, Rick Santorum, former senator from Pennsylvania really -- I think you could say where he's religion on the sleeve to a degree, really reaching out to social conservatives.
I guess it's no surprise that the social conservative leaders in Texas over the weekend, after three ballots overwhelmingly chose Santorum over Gingrich. Romney was not a factor, really, in the voting, but the leader said that his Mormon faith was not, not a factor.
Does this help Santorum? He's got six days now to capitalize on this until the primary in South Carolina. He needs to work on that immediately, because listening, social conservatives, to a degree, are pretty much a factor in South Carolina -- Kyra.
PHILLIPS: Thanks,Ppaul. Be sure to watch CNN Thursday night to hear the candidates in their own words. The ads have been pretty nasty, but will the candidates keep up the pressure face to face?
The CNN Southern Republican Leadership Conference debate comes your way Thursday night, 8:00 Eastern.
We're getting more new details about that cruise ship that ran aground Friday night off of Italy. We know that the captain took the ship to close to shore. Cruise line CEO says that rocks which sank the ship are clearly marked on the charts.
The search was suspended for a while today because the ship started moving, and that posed a threat to divers. But we're told the search has resumed, and we're hearing more stories of chaos from the survivors.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There wasn't anybody to help you. I mean, really, the passengers were loading the lifeboats by themselves.
RHONDA ROSENTHAL, COSTA CONCORDIA SURVIVOR: We had the boat about four or five gates down before we found a lifeboat we could get into and then the people were very angry that we got on that lifeboat because it was very crowded.
VIVIAN SHAFER, COSTA CONCORDIA SURVIVOR: The crew was so young. And you would have thought they could have handled it better. You would have thought they could have handled it better on the shore, you would have thought they could have handled, you know, getting people off the boat, warning people.
BRANDON WARRICK, COST CONCORIDA SURVIVOR: It was just bad, like mad scrambles to get on the lifeboats nobody followed any procedures. The crew was yelling for people to wait their turn. And pretty much, it was just a giant every man for himself to get on to the lifeboats, the first ones before they were even lowered.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIPS: And we will talk to Dan Rivers just shortly. He's obviously following all the developments on this story for us. We will check in with him. The capsized cruise ship dominates headlines around the world. Zain Verjee is reading up on the reaction out of London -- Zain.
ZAIN VERJEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kyra. The CEO of Costa Cruises spoke at a press conference today and basically said he was really sorry, that they believe it was human error and that there is an investigation.
Let me give you a flavor of the headlines. "The Guardian" here in the U.K. says this -- "Floating hotels that can be sunk by a rock." It goes on to say that "this incident raises the specter of the kind of disaster the cruise industry and its passengers hoped was long past. Ships costing the better part of $1 billion can still be holed by a rock."
"The Globe and Mail" in Canada has this -- on a picturesque Italian shore, an incomprehensible mishap. Just last summer, the mayor a letter to thank the "Costa Concordia" for giving his island an incredible spectacle on its way out to sea, but no cruise ship has ever performed as close to an island as this."
Finally, in Belgium, "The Standard" has "blind panic in a floating city island." A marine time expert that they quote, Kyra, who says, "this type of cruise ship is truly a floating city, which is not a bad thing if everything goes smoothly, but in an accident, it means you have a mass of people unable to evacuate quickly and calmly." -- Kyra.
PHILLIPS: Zain, thanks so much. I understand we've connected now with our Dan Rivers. Calling in to us there from the scene of where that ship went down. Dan, have you been able to confirm if the rescuers have been able to start up their search again?
DAN RIVERS, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, it certainly seems there's much more activity around the wreck now. I'm on a cliff top overlooking it, and it is just the most jaw- dropping sight.
But as I talk to you, there are tugs approaching it again. They had all backed off for several hours after the ship was beginning to shift. We saw helicopters coming in and plucking fire fighters off the wreck because they were obviously concerned for their safety.
I haven't seen anyone go back on, but we don't have a full view of the other side of the ship, obviously. So, there's a possibility the fire fighters have managed to get back on again and continue their search.
When we talked to overnight last night, they said they weren't going to give up hope until they had verified that every single one of those 2,000-odd cabins had been thoroughly checked and there was no chance of finding any more survivors.
I think, you know, obviously, getting on for three days now since this happened, the chance of finding anyone alive is dwindling, but they seem determined that they're going to be as exhaustive and thorough as possible.
PHILLIPS: Dan Rivers calling in to us there from the site in Italy. Dan, thanks so much. We'll have more from the CNN NEWSROOM straight ahead.
PHILLIPS: Checking stories now cross country, Anaheim, California police identified 23-year-old Itzcoatl Ocampo as the man who's been targeting and killing homeless people. Witnesses say that they saw him allegedly stabbing a homeless man to death on Friday. Several of them chased Ocampo later leading police right to him.
And in Seattle, police are bracing for an icy morning commute followed by another round of snow and rain.
Then we head over to the Florida Keys for this. Taking part in a different kind of therapy, swimming with dolphins it was just one unique stop within a three-day soldier ride cycling event organized by the Wounded Warrior Project.
All right, well, brace yourself if you live in the Pacific Northwest. You're going to see plenty of snow this week, at least that's what our Rob Marciano has to say. What do you think?
ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: We have already seen snow across parts of the northwest. A lot of people haven't seen much of it this winter, but last week, obviously, Chicago, places across the Great Lakes saw a decent amount of snow.
Roll the video, if we have it, from Seattle. This is from yesterday and depending on where you live, you got stuff like this, a couple of three inches sticking to the roadways, causing all sorts of havoc.
And you know, in and around the greater Seattle area, lots of hills, so that could mean whether or not you got home or not or slid back down the hill. This is a usual sight for the higher elevations, but to get it in the low country of the emerald city, that is certainly unusual.
Currently, temperatures right around the freezing mark and we've got a lot of cold air barrelling down finally from Alaska. Remember, all the snow, all that cold air that was up in Alaska, record-setter there.
Some of that's finally getting released into parts of the northwest. Now we've got another system as well that's going to be heading in this general vicinity. So, with the jet stream getting a little more active, getting a little further to the south, that's where we're going to start to pile up stuff. Winter storm watches have just been posted now for the next batch coming into Portland and Seattle. Could see several inches of snow in those two cities, especially Seattle, timing of which would be late tomorrow and then into Wednesday morning, and then eventually, this will warm up to more of a rain event as we go towards Thursday and Friday.
But until then, it's certainly -- want to show you one other thing. Until then, it looks to be fairly impressive. Also, what is less impressive right now, what's going to get more impressive is this batch of rain that's moving across the south into what is chilly air across the northeast.
I don't have to tell you that. If you live in the northeast, temperatures this morning in some spots were up to 26 degrees below zero in upstate New York, 22 right now in New York City and 22 degrees in Philadelphia.
We do have winter weather advisories that have been posted north and west of the city for some sleet, snow and freezing rain late tonight. Kyra, back over to you.
PHILLIPS: All right, Rob, thanks.
Checking out the candidates' cribs. So, what are these GOP presidential candidates leaving behind if they move to Pennsylvania Avenue? Stay with us.
PHILLIPS: Well, the nation is honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. today, and this year, people can observe the day by visiting the new memorial in D.C. that's dedicated to the slain Civil Rights leader.
White House correspondent Dan Lothian joining us now. We just heard from the president speaking to a group of students there in D.C. What's his next stop, Dan?
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. He was at Brown Education campus. It's an elementary and middle school. You know, it's two-fold for the president and the first family today.
They're, on the one hand, honoring Dr. King, his legacy, but they're also trying to draw attention to something that's been very important for this White House, and that is service in the community.
And so, the president, the first lady and one of his daughters will be at this school or are at this school. We believe they'll be doing things like painting, fixing up the school, similar to what they did last year at another school here in D.C., where they were also involved in a painting project.
In addition to today's visit, the president yesterday and the first family did attend a church service here in Washington, the Zion Baptist Church. It was the first time there. The program obviously focused on Dr. King and his legacy. And then they wrap up the day at the Kennedy Center, where there will be a musical celebration honoring Dr. King.
PHILLIPS: All right, Dan Lothian at the White House. Dan, thanks.
Well, as many states struggle to make ends meet, some are turning to their wealthiest residents to bring in some much-needed revenue.
Alison Kosik in our New York Bureau. Alison, this is a pretty big shift from even last year.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Exactly, and this has just been a huge issue in Washington, whether or not the uber rich are faring their fair share in taxes.
Now what we're seeing is this is really beginning to bubble to the surface at the state level, and it's all about how states are having trouble in bringing in more revenue.
So, what's happening now is at least two governors, Kyra, are getting ready to hike taxes on millionaires. Now, up until recently, many had been reluctant to go ahead and raise taxes in general. Maryland, New Jersey and Oregon, they all let their millionaire taxes lapse, but spending cuts alone, they have just not been enough to close the big budget deficits that these states face.
So, in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo ended up hiking the tax on the rich after initially refusing to renew the state's millionaire tax. And in California, Governor Jerry Brown is banking on voters to approve an almost $7 billion package in November.
And what that would look to do is create three new tax brackets from 2013 to 2016, and it would mean that single taxpayers would pay an extra 1 percentage point on income over $250,000, 1.5 points if you make $300,000, and 2 points on earnings over $500,000 -- Kyra.
PHILLIPS: Well, of course, conservatives aren't happy with any of this.
KOSIK: Right. Well, I mean, most conservatives actually acknowledge that these millionaire taxes will bring in a good amount of short-term money, but they do argue that state economies will be hurt in the long run.
They call these taxes a job-killer. One official says that higher rates are only going to push wealthy people to move out of those states that have these kinds of laws, limiting economic growth.
But you know, it's become apparent in many states that something needs to be done to dig out of these very deep holes. If you want to read more about this today, of course, you can go to cnnmoney.com to get more on this issue -- Kyra.
PHILLIPS: All right, Alison Kosik, thanks so much. Still to come, what does our "Political Buzz" panel think about Jon Huntsman's daughters? They created a lot of buzz campaigning for their dad. He may be quitting the race, but maybe we haven't heard the last from the Jon 2012 girls.
PHILLIPS: Checking top stories now. The nationwide strike in Nigeria over skyrocketing fuel costs have stopped for now. Labor union leaders are temporarily halting the protests that threatened to shut down Nigeria's oil production. It all started last week when the government decided to eliminate the country's fuel subsidies.
And the company that owns the doomed Italian cruise ship blames the captain for the accident that's killed at least six people and left about 16 others unaccounted for.
Costa's chairman and CEO says a short time ago, the captain deviated from a well-established sea route. He also added that there's no evidence that any of the 2,000 tons of fuel aboard that ship has leaked into the sea.
All right, time for "Political Buzz," your rapid-fire look at the best political topics of the day. Three questions, 30 seconds on the clock.
And playing today, CNN contributor Maria Cardona, political analyst of Hiram College, Professor Jason Johnson and CNN contributor, Will Cain.
First question, guys, Jon Huntsman, he was the guy that the White House saw as the biggest threat to President Obama. He ignored Iowa, finished a weak third in New Hampshire, where he put all his focus, and then he's going to drop out next hour. So, do you think we're going to see him again in 2016, Maria?
MARIA CARDONA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think it depends on two things, Kyra. The first is what he does from now until 2016 to maintain himself relevant and continue to be part of the conversation.
But the second and most important thing, I think, is whether the Republican Party continues its rapid lurch to the right. If that happens, then I think it's going to be very difficult for Jon Huntsman to run.
Because even though he was a fiscal conservative, Republicans would not get over the fact that he actually was rational, he believed in science. He believed in evolution.
He believed in climate change and he was not ready to give up his principle and his values to say and do whatever need to be done in order to get elected.
WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: The 2016 is a world away. It's forever. It's impossible to know what his position or the entire field of candidates, both on the left and the right, might be at that time.
That being said, if Huntsman decides he wants to run in 2016, he can take massive lessons from his 2012 campaign. Don't paint yourself as a moderate. Don't call yourself that. Don't appeal to Democrats and throw conservatives under the bus in a primary.
Don't run a general election campaign in a primary election. All that being said, four years away, 2016, if some of the predictions are true, Christine, Ryan, I don't see his place in a field like that.
JASON JOHNSON, POLITICAL ANALYST, HIRAM COLLEGE PROFESSOR: Look, the Republicans have such a great farm team. Let's say Barack Obama gets re-elected in 2012. They've got Nikki Haley. They've got Marco Rubio.
Jon Huntsman is going to look like a throwback to the early 2000s that nobody wants to deal with again. So, I think once he makes his announcement, endorses Mitt Romney, he's going to ride off into the sunset like so many other Republican candidates of the past.
The Republicans need to be looking towards the future. And if actually Mitt Romney ends up winning the election, then definitely there is no room for Jon Huntsman in any position except maybe going back to the administration as some kind of ambassador. He's got no future in 2016.
PHILLIPS: All right, talking about the future, guys, it's looking like Romney. Anything is possible, though. Let's just put it out there. But hypothetically speaking, if it's a Romney versus Obama matchup, where does Obama hammer Romney the hardest? Will?
CAIN: I mean, I think where he should hammer him the hardest, what would probably be the most effective in my mind would be to continue to press on this flip-flopper thing, that he's been on both sides of so many different issues.
That I think will be the most effective. I anticipate that's not what he'll do, or that would be his "b" game, his JV strategy. His main game will be hammer on him because he's rich. Play the inequality, the Bain card. Play that over and over and I have huge amount of skepticism over whether or not something like that will work.
CARDONA: I think it will be to hammer him on the exact same things that Romney has handed him and the Democrats on a silver platter, and it's not to hammer him because he's rich, it's to hammer him because he does not understand one iota what middle class and working class families are going through.
And he has said things to underscore that -- that he likes to fire people, making $10,000 bets like it's 10 cents to you and me, belittling a tax cut for middle class families like a temporary band- aid. This is somebody that does not understand middle class families and what they're going through and wants to put in place policies that put middle class families in a hardship to begin with.
JOHNSON: Look, if we've got a ten-month race between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, it's going to be tough. It's like Frasier and Niles arguing. These are two guys who are kind of out of touch with a lot of regular people.
But I think Obama's main argument is going to be, as out of touch I am and as many mistakes I've made, this guy is even worse. He'll go through everything. He's going to talk about Bain Capital. He's going to talk about how Mitt Romney flip-flops.
He's going to talk about how even when Mitt Romney helps someone like in South Carolina yesterday, he had $150 in his pocket, Barack Obama is going to throw every single thing he can at Mitt Romney throughout this campaign and see which one sticks because he certainly can't talk about his own record.
PHILLIPS: Jason, did you say Frasier and Niles?
PHILLIPS: I love it! All right, your "Buzzer Beater," 20 seconds each on this one, guys. Jon Huntsman's exit means his daughters, the Jon 2012 girls, stars of social media as we know, are going to have to find something else to do. And we were kind of thinking maybe "Dancing with the Stars," I don't know, reality show. What's next for them, Maria?
CARDONA: I think they have a bright future. They could direct somebody's social media campaigns. They could be video directors. They could go to Hollywood. But I think they should actually run for office. They're beautiful, articulate, they're smart, and especially Republicans in the House need a lot more beauty and certainly a lot more brains.
JOHNSON: Look, I really think they're more of an amazing race kind of group. They can make lots of allegories to their father's race. They can say, hopefully, we'll be less than 4 percent behind the rest of the candidates.
I think the three of them are very witty, charming, engaging, but politics is not the way they want to go. I think America likes seeing young, active generation who aren't just politically minded. So "Amazing Race" is their future.
PHILLIPS: All right, Will?
CAIN: I'm with Jason. I think politics is the last place to be. I don't think they helped their father's campaign all that much. But I think we can agree the Jon 2012 girls don't need to go away. They can stick around. We can find a place for them somewhere in this world of television, right, somewhere.
PHILLIPS: They would dominate "American Idol," let me tell you! Have you heard them all sing? I mean, they can start a band with their dad. There you go and go on tour. Thanks, guys.
CARDONA: I like that.
PHILLIPS: There we go. Appreciate it. Thanks so much.
CARDONA: Thanks, Kyra.
PHILLIPS: All right be sure to watch CNN Thursday night to hear the candidates in their own words. The ads have been pretty nasty, but will the candidates keep up the pressure face to face? The "CNN SOUTHERN REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE DEBATE" comes your way Thursday night, 8:00 Eastern.
And the six Republican candidates looking to upgrade their address to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but as CNN's Kate Bolduan reports, it's not like they're giving up one-bedroom apartments where they are now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Sometimes, I just don't think that President Obama understands America.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Candidates often talk about their roots, saying where they came from tells you a lot about who they are.
GOV. RICK PERRY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Grew up in a house that had no indoor plumbing. But I didn't know about what I didn't have. What I did know was what I -- what I had.
BOLDUAN: But while they try to relate to the common man on the campaign trail, what they go home to may not seem so common. Multimillionaire Mitt Romney owns several properties, including this beach front home in La Jolla, California. Real estate Web site Zillow Values the Spanish-style house at just under $10 million.
Jon Huntsman purchased his D.C. townhouse for over $3.5 million, while he was still living in Beijing serving as the U.S. Ambassador.
NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We only got -- everything I have is paid off, my home, my cars, everything.
BOLDUAN: And that "everything" for former Speaker Newt Gingrich includes this four-bedroom pad in McClain, Virginia, currently valued at $1.3 million, 30 percent above purchase price.
GINGRICH: We have one rental house in Wisconsin that has a very modest mortgage. BOLDUAN: Sharing a Virginia address, Rick Santorum. He purchased this four-bedroom, five-bath home with a heated pool in Great Falls, Virginia, for $2 million back in 2007.
PERRY: So, I told people, I said I was an original conservationist. In wintertime, we didn't spend a lot of time in the water. We didn't waste too much water with the number two washtub on that back porch.
BOLDUAN: Rick Perry hangs his hat in a rental property in Austin right now, while the Texas Governor's mansion is undergoing $20 million in renovations. You'll find a very different setup, though, for Congressman Ron Paul in Lake Jackson, Texas. He's currently selling his four-bedroom house for $325,000, though Zillow Values the property $60,000 less.
(on camera): You can find out much more about the homes behind the presidential candidate at CNNMoney.com. But of course, we don't want to leave President Obama out. The Obamas purchased their Chicago home back in 2005 for about $1.6 million. It's estimated to be worth $1.3 million now.
Kate Bolduan, CNN, Washington.
PHILLIPS: Well, the "Golden Globes" kick off the unofficial start of the awards season. We've got the highlights with our A.J. Hammer.
PHILLIPS: All right, George Clooney and Meryl Streep won big at last night's "Golden Globes Awards" show and "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT'S" A.J. Hammer was there.
So, A.J., you know the word that this is a preview of the Oscars. So, what do you think?
A.J. HAMMER, HLN HOST, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT": Well, that's what everybody says, Kyra. I think in some cases, for sure it was, but the Globes really haven't been the best predictor in terms of Oscar winners over the past couple years, at least.
However, George Clooney taking home the best actor in a drama award for "The Descendants," I think he definitely has become the front runner for an Oscar this year and he had what I doubt was one of the best moments of the night. He took the stage, as you'll see, using a cane. He had that so he could poke fun at his pal Brad Pitt that was Brad's cane. Brad's dealing with an injury. Clooney joked that Pitt wouldn't be able to get to the bar without it.
And I'm thinking Kyra considering that Pitt lost out to Clooney in the best actor category, Clooney might owe him a drink, or maybe it's the other way around. I'm not exactly sure.
PHILLIPS: Either way, they're best friends and they love to jab at each other, right?
PHILLIPS: All right, so, Clooney is the best actor front-runner, A.J., who is the favorite for best actress?
HAMMER: Well, I think this is going to be a tight race at the Oscars this year. You have Meryl Streep, who is named best actress in a drama for her great role as Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady," and then Michelle Williams won for best actress in a comedy or musical for her role as Marilyn Monroe in "My Week with Marilyn".
And this is where things at the "Globes" get kind of muddled for the Oscars. These guys both so brilliant at this point anyway, I don't know who I'd favor in the Oscar race, although if Streep does wins, hopefully, she'll remember her reading glasses this time when she gets on stage. She forgot them last night. And again one of the night's great moments, is she got bleeped by the sensors. Who thought that would happen to Meryl Streep? But she was so genuine and humbled after all these years. It was great to see.
PHILLIPS: She's a pretty incredible individual. All right, well after last night, did you see a favorite for best picture?
HAMMER: Well again, I think this will be another tight race between two winners from the Globes. You have "The Descendants" and "The Artist," they took home top film honors in their respective categories for best drama and best musical and comedy. "The Descendants" was clearly seen by more people and is more popular and you would think it would be the favorite.
But you know, "The Artist" I wasn't surprised it won last night at the "Globes". It really appeals to people in the movie industry of course, that's who votes for Oscars, and the silent movie took home three awards of -- I believe the fourth was nominated four -- they got the best picture nod and its star John De Jardine won for best actor as well.
So maybe Clooney does have a little competition going into Oscar night, Kyra. It's going to be a tight race there as well, probably.
PHILLIPS: All right, we'll be watching closely. A.J., thank so much. And if you want all information on everything breaking in the entertainment world, A.J.'s got every night. "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT," 11:00 p.m. Eastern on HLN.
Well, God may not be a Denver Broncos fan after all. We'll talk about that and what else we've learned from the weekend's NFL playoff games, next.
And the mother of a Minnesota groom says he and his fiancee got married in a very Minnesota way. The ice-fishing "I-Dos," next.
1040 (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
PHILLIPS: Checking stories "Cross Country" now.
A southern California man is accused of trying to poison his wife. 43-year-old Fernando Porras allegedly put the cleaning chemical Goof-Off into her cereal. The wife is expected to survive; he is expected to be charged with attempted murder.
And encouraging news: on a fuel delivery yo Nome, Alaska, the Coast Guard cutter that helped get that field tanker has made it. 300 miles of ice it had to break through. Workers have been placing a hose down to transferring that fuel from the tanker and that could happen today.
'I do's" on ice; a Minnesota couple decided to have their wedding on a frozen lake, like every Minnesotan, come on now. Everybody just rode up to the altar on snowmobiles and once the vows were exchanged, they sped off in the frozen tundra bliss.
GOP front-runner Mitt Romney has said that if elected president, he would deport illegal immigrants within 90 days and build a border fence between the U.S. and Mexico. But Mexico holds a special significance for his family. CNN senior Latin-American affairs editor Rafael Romo explains.
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN-AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR: In the rolling hills of northern Mexico, about 180 miles south of the U.S. border lies a community that stands out for its religious roots.
MILES ROMNEY, MITT ROMNEY'S SECOND COUSIN: We established the apple orchards, peach orchards, farms, ranches. And that's basically what we do today.
ROMO: Miles Romney is the descendant of Mormons who settled in this area more than 125 years ago.
ROMNEY: Well, they come from a hard-working family. We come from honest people.
ROMO: His great grandfather led the first group of Mormons to the state of Chihuahua, the same Mormons to whom the family of U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney traces its heritage. In fact, Mitt Romney's father, George, who also ran for president in the United States, was born in this area himself.
Miles Anthony Romney is Mitt's second cousin. Miles is so proud of Mitt's political career that he managed to get a Romney bumper sticker sent to Mexico, and he also displays the Romney name on his window. And he can understand why Mitt Romney's religion is an issue for some people.
ROMNEY: I think it's just a misunderstanding on their part. I know people try to use that against Mitt, but they just can't find anything on him to dig up about him.
ROMO (on camera): The first Romneys arrived in this part of Mexico around 1885. They came from Utah, where as Mormons, they faced religious persecution and were not allowed to practice polygamy. There are still about 40 members of the Romney family here in colonial Juarez, who trace their roots back to the first settlers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was actually a very small percentage of the church that practiced polygamy.
ROMO: And while that percentage included his great grandfather, Kelly Romney, another of Mitt's second cousins since the community hasn't practiced polygamy since the church banded in the late 1800s.
PHILLIPS: Don't forget, join Wolf Blitzer and the best political team on television for live coverage of Jon Huntsman's announcement scheduled for the top of the hour, that's 11:00 eastern. You can see it here live on CNN.
Joe Paterno is telling his side of the story. The Washington Post interviewed the former coach about the Penn State alleged sex abuse scandal. Paterno says an assistant coach told him he saw Jerry Sandusky abusing a boy in the shower, but Paterno says he just didn't know how to handle the information.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
JOE PATERNO, FORMER COLLEGE FOOTBALL COACH: And then I called, you know, my superiors, and I said, hey, we got a problem, I think. Would you guys look into it? Because I didn't know -- you know, I had never had to deal with something like that and I didn't feel adequate.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
PHILLIPS: Paterno also says that he turned the case over to the people he thought would have more expertise than he did at matters like this. Authorities have said that legally, Paterno did do what he was supposed to do.
Tim Tebow's Broncos are out, so are Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, but four teams are still in the hunt for the Super Bowl. Let's bring in our best bud for NPR sports, Mike Pesca. So, Mike, what happened to our Packers?
MIKE PESCA, NPR SPORTS: Well, they're your Packers, Kyra, not mine. And what happened to them was --
PHILLIPS: I'm speaking for me and my producer, ok?
PESCA: What happened was (INAUDIBLE) and Jason Pierre Paul and Justin Tuck -- in other words, I'm not going to name the Giants defensive line, but they put so much pressure on Rodgers that he couldn't really operate the precision offense that the Packers have been fielding so far this year. And the other thing that happened, the people talked about the ability of the Giants to pressure the quarterback. Their other defenders were really good. When we saw Aaron Rodgers scramble so many times, that means that Packers receivers were being covered. I've likened the Packers to the death star, that the way to beat the death star is you don't shoot down all those thai fighters and that big laser gun. You've got to get to it before they launch their attacks on you.
So the Giants did that, they forced fumbles, they forced turnovers and they played really well on offense, also.
PHILLIPS: We're going to (INAUDIBLE) you the coppers but I'm going to move on. So I guess God is not a Broncos fan and his nephew Tom Brady showed up Tim Tebow.
PESCA: Well, who knows, maybe God is a Broncos fan. Maybe god can turn water into wine, but a Lafitte Rothschild is another story. Maybe God can say I am all powerful and all knowing, but we're talking about the Patriots offense here. Those guys are really, really good.
I did read a poem that said of the 70 percent of Americans aware of Tim Tebow, 43 percent thought that divine intervention was somehow at stake. I think -- you didn't hire me here tomorrow a theologian, but I think what the Patriots did offensively put an end to that sort of speculation.
It doesn't mean Tim Tebow isn't a very fine person. But as a quarterback, I think we saw last week what a lot of defensive coordinators throughout the league know, he has a lot of deficiencies as a quarterback and the Patriots offense has almost no deficiencies.
PHILLIPS: And I thought you were the sports god. Ok. Well, what did we learn from this weekend's games, Mike, and what should we watch for next Sunday?
PESCA: You know, I think that there was this thought, there has always been this cliche in the NFL that defense wins championships, and that's not true. It's not necessarily true. But there was almost an overcorrection to that cliche in that people were saying, well, defense doesn't really matter anymore.
You're talking about the Saints, the Packers and the Patriots' offenses, three of the top five offenses in NFL history in terms of yards scored. And people said even though those three teams had bad defenses, that won't affect wins and losses.
We saw this week that really good defenses play a part in games. And while I think the Packers are going to be, or should beat the Ravens, even though the Ravens have a good defense, the giants' offense, they're going to struggle against the 49ers' defense. They're so strong and so fast.
What the 49ers did to the Saints surprised a lot of people. But any of the four teams, any matchup in the Super Bowl will be compelling. There's a lot of Super Bowl experience among these four teams. It's going to be, again, another exciting football weekend.
PHILLIPS: All right We'll be watching. Hey, we'll be watching. Thanks so much, Mike.
PESCA: You're welcome.
PHILLIPS: Prostitutes in Nevada are raising cash for Republican presidential candidate RON PAUL. And they're using their customers to do it. Why they favor him over his rivals, next.
PHILLIPS: Well, several prostitutes in Nevada have really taken a liking to GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul. They like the fact that he supports their right to do what they do, as controversial as it may be. So, guess what? They're trying to help him win. More now with senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Ron Paul's met a lot of his supporters, but he probably hasn't met these women, and they love him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The client comes into the bunny ranch and says I'm pimping for Paul, they're going to have a real good time, aren't they, girls?
COHEN: Dennis Hoff owns the bunny ranch. And if the presidential election were held today, there's no question who would win here. The prostitutes at this legal brothel have a "Pimping for Paul" campaign, because Paul supports their right to make their living this way.
RON PAUL (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, you have a right to do things that are very controversial.
COHEN: Prostitution is legal in 16 counties in Nevada. Prostitutes -- they prefer the term working girls -- say this helps protect their health. First, they have the right to reject any customer they don't like.
So, you bring a gentleman in here and you do an inspection of some kind?
What are you looking for?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We ask him to drop his pants.
COHEN: They're looking for signs of sexually transmitted diseases.
CAMI, PROSTITUTE AT THE LOVE RANCH: At that point, say honey, there's a little something here that I'm concerned about. I don't know that it would be in both of our best interests to party here today. Why don't you go to a doctor and get that check that out?
COHEN: Second, every customer has to use a condom every time, by law.
So, if a guy says to you, hey, a couple hundred bucks if I don't have to use one of these, what do you say to him?
MORGAN, PROSTITUTE AT THE LOVE RANCH: No, sorry. I mean, even if it's, you know, thousands and thousands of dollars, I still look at my health that's involved. I don't know where this guy has been.
COHEN: And thirdly, the working girls are checked regularly for sexually transmitted diseases.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: See you in a week.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right, doll.
COHEN: The Nevada Department of Epidemiology says in more than 30 years, there's never been a single case of HIV among legal prostitutes in Nevada. But their jobs have come under attack from federal officials.
HARRY REID (D), MAJORITY LEADER: The time has come to outlaw prostitution.
COHEN: The working girls want to keep the federal government out of their business, so they're asking customers to donate to Paul's campaign on their way out the door. In two days, they raised $587, and they're pimping for more.
COHEN: The owner of the bunny ranch says he tried to give money directly to the Ron Paul campaign but that a campaign staffer advised him instead to give it to a political action committee that supports Ron Paul.
Now, we reached out to the Ron Paul campaign and we didn't get a response. Back to you.
PHILLIPS: Well, it's the end of the road for Jon Huntsman's presidential campaign. In just a few minutes, he'll announce that he's quitting the race. And we'll have live coverage for you with our Suzanne Malveaux and Wolf Blitzer. Stay with us.
PHILLIPS: And welcome back with "Fast Forward" to events happening later in the CNN NEWSROOM. As we've been mentioning, 11:00 eastern, Republican candidate Jon Huntsman expected to announce that he's dropping out of the presidential race. A senior official tells us he'll endorse front-runner Mitt Romney. We'll be taking that live any minute now, as soon as he steps up to the mike.
Then at 6:00, President Obama and the first lady head to the Kennedy Center. They'll celebrate Martin Luther King day at a let freedom ring celebration. And three hours later, the GOP candidates square off for a debate in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Stay tuned for that.
That does it for us. Happy Monday. We'll see you back here tomorrow morning, 9:00 a.m. Eastern, bright and early. Suzanne Malveaux takes it from here.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Lots of politics. Love the politics.
MALVEAUX: And happy Martin Luther King day, too, by the way.
PHILLIPS: Same to you.
MALVEAUX: All right.
PHILLIPS: We celebrate his life.