Return to Transcripts main page
Audio Of Justices' Health Care Debate; JetBlue Pilot's In- Flight Breakdown; Critical Moment For Health Care Law; Report: Sanford Police Department Sought Charges; Passenger's Terror At 35,000 Feet; Search Underway In Colorado Fire Zone; Rhetoric On Trayvon Martin Intensifies; Avoid A Tax Audit; High Court Reviews Medicaid Rule; "Hunger Games" Fans Show Ugly Side; Fonda to Portray Nancy Reagan; L.A. Dodgers Sold for $2 Billion
Aired March 28, 2012 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: -- court justices began their third and final day of hearings on President Obama's health care reform. We're getting a rare listen to the discussion and arguments from inside the courtroom.
Plus, Newt Gingrich guts his staff. The presidential hopeful lays off one-third of his campaign workers and cuts back on his schedule.
Also this morning, as I said, we're learning more about the captain who had a mid-flight meltdown. We have new information on who that pilot is and JetBlue passengers who pounced on him when he unleashed this terrifying rant.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My God, I am so distraught. We've got Israel, we've got Iraq. We've got Israel. We've got Iraq. We've got to get down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: A federal law enforcement official identifies the JetBlue pilot as Clayton Osbon. This morning he remains in the hospital. He's under observation. His LinkedIn account shows he's flown with JetBlue for just under a dozen years.
It also shows that he graduated with a bachelor's degree in physics from Carnegie Mellon University. JetBlue's CEO talked about the incident on NBC's "Today" show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVE BARGER, JET BLUE PRESIDENT, CEO: Really what happened at altitude and a call into the FA is that we had a medical situation, and that's how we responded. Clearly, especially in today's media is real time math, so we know that it also became a security situation. So I think as we know less than 24 hours later, it started medical, but clearly more than that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Don't know if that makes Sarah Straw feel any better. She was in the bathroom while the pilot pounded on the door. She said she feared for her life. We're going to talk to her in just a bit on NEWSROOM.
It is a critical moment for President Obama's health care law. Right now, the Supreme Court is in the first of two sessions. Justices are looking at a key question.
If one part of the law is unconstitutional, and we're talking about the individual mandate is that seemed to flummox justices yesterday. Does that mean the rest of the law belongs on the scrap heath as well?
CNN's Dan Lothian is at the White House. So, Dan, the mandate requiring most Americans to have health insurance or be penalized, it seems to be in trouble based on the court's questions. So tell us what the justices are saying and what it might mean.
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And that's what a lot of court observers were saying. This is really historic, getting a chance to hear those audiotapes because you also get a chance to see which direction these justices are leaning.
The liberals are clearly standing behind this health care law. The conservatives are asking some very tough questions because they're concerned about the president. That this would be setting if you're requiring Americans to buy something.
Justice Roberts wondering whether or not you would be able to require Americans to buy cell phones, for example, in order for them to be able to call in the case of an emergency so there were really some blunt arguments on both sides.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA, SUPREME COURT: "Everybody has to buy food sooner or later. So you define the market as food. Therefore, everybody's in the market. Therefore, you can make people buy broccoli."
JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG, SUPREME COURT: "The people who don't participate in this market are making it much more expensive for the people who do, that is, they will get a good number of them will get services that they can't afford at the point where they need them, and the result is that everybody else's premiums get raised."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LOTHIAN: Many court observers saying that this yesterday was not a good day for the Obama administration, but senior administration officials saying that they still remain confident that the individual mandate will be upheld.
Again, today, as you were pointing out earlier, the issue is severability, deciding whether or not the entire health care law should be thrown out. If the individual mandate, which is the main funding mechanism for the health care law is found to be unconstitutional -- Carol.
COSTELLO: So the final ruling isn't supposed to come until June. I know what our political, not political, but Supreme Court observer Jeffrey Toobin said that this isn't going well for the Obama administration. What are other analysts saying? How might it go? Can we even tell at this point?
LOTHIAN: Well, you know, I think it really is too early to tell which way this will go. You look back at other cases where it looked as if in the early parts of the arguments that it would be a slam dunk. That something would not be upheld, but in the end it was.
That's essentially what the administration is saying. Look to the past, and don't look to one particular day to determine how it will all turn out. I think, you know, you know how the liberals will come down on this, the conservatives.
It's pretty clear, but the one question is Justice Kennedy who is often the swing vote and at times yesterday he was skeptical, but also at times he was sympathetic to the government's case as well. So we'll have to wait and not making any predictions at this time.
COSTELLO: Dan Lothian, live at the White House. Thanks.
A surprising turn this morning in the Trayvon Martin case. According to the "Miami Herald" and the initial police report charges of homicide and manslaughter were considered against the shooter George Zimmerman on the night he shot Martin.
But it was the Florida State Attorney's office that prohibited police from making an arrest. Martin Savidge live in Sanford, Florida. So what is the reaction of the community to this latest twist?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, of course, you know, this is raising, once again, a lot of concern. It's another leak. We should point out, by the way. This is information that would essentially say that on the night that 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot.
That there was at least one investigating officer who felt that there should be charges of manslaughter that were brought. If take a look at the initial police report, and we've had this initial police report for some time, this is not really new information.
It's just framing the information in a different way. But under the headline there of the offense section, it says specifically manslaughter/unnecessary killing to prevent an unlawful act. OK, that's what's on the initial report.
But we should point out then that of course, George Zimmerman said, well, the reason that he shot and killed the 17-year-old was that it was self-defense. He needed to defend himself. He thought his life was in danger. That's what brings up this controversial law in the state of Florida, the stand your ground law.
Under that law, he could not then have charges of manslaughter filed against him. That's just the way the law is here. As a result no charges filed as of yet. The investigation continues.
If they find he was not acting properly in his own self- defense, then the charges can come that, all according to the chief of police here in Sanford -- Carol.
COSTELLO: OK, so there's a special prosecutor that's been assigned to the case. You know, in the state attorney's office, they're conducting this investigation. Do they have a timetable?
SAVIDGE: No. They don't have a specific timetable. I mean, we have that initial report that there would be some sort of grand jury might be seated on April 10th. A lot of people have been holding stock that was a good date you might finally find out.
However, the special prosecutor has said, look, they just started the investigation. They've been on the job about four business days, as she says, there was a weekend in between, and they have a lot of ground to cover.
They essentially start all over again. So we don't know a specific date as to when any outcome may be given. Remember, there are three possible outcomes. You could charge him, clear him, or send it over to a grand jury. We're still waiting.
COSTELLO: Yes, I have a feeling you'll be in Florida a long time, Martin. Martin Savidge reporting live from Sanford this morning.
Now back to the JetBlue flight that had to make an emergency landing. The pilot went on a rampage. He had to be subdued by passengers.
Sara Straw was on board that flight. She was in the bathroom as the pilot was pounding on the door. She joins us now by phone from Las Vegas. Hi, Sara.
SARA STRAW, JETBLUE FLIGHT 191 PASSENGER (via telephone): Hi. How are you?
COSTELLO: You know, I'm fine. I just can't imagine how you felt in that bathroom. Did you realize at first who was pounding on the door?
STRAW: Yes. You see what happened was I went to the restroom like anybody else, and all of a sudden towards the end, I heard someone pounding on the door.
My first initial reaction was it was just somebody who really needed to use the rest room. Then I noticed that the door was trying to be forcefully opened, and it was jarred open a bit and then when I left the pilot was who was standing right there.
At that moment, he was frantically saying how he needed to get in there. He had to get in there. My initial reaction was maybe he was sick. You know, your mind doesn't go -- well, my mind doesn't go to the worst case scenario.
I went to my seat, you know, afterwards like any other just assuming that maybe he wasn't feeling well or something like that. Then after -- while he was in the bathroom, from there one of the flight attendants had grabbed the off-duty pilot that was sitting in the row behind me, and he took him into the cockpit.
Meanwhile, the pilot who was in the restroom came out, and they had a conversation with the flight attendants like everything was normal. They proceeded to the back of the plane, and within a good two minutes all of a sudden I see that pilot belining frantically toward the cockpit door screaming how he had to get in there.
He needed to, you know, throttle down the plane. There was a bomb on the plane. They're going to take us done. That's when all the gentlemen jumped up and restrained him.
COSTELLO: So at this point are you just praying?
STRAW: At this point, I mean, I'm not going to lie. My first initial thought went back to the days of 9/11, and all I kept thinking was is, OK, is this what they went through? Is this how they felt?
This sense of not knowing where -- your life was in somebody else's hands at this point, and that is the scariest feeling you can possibly imagine to go through.
You know, and I can't help but think that that's what they all felt like, and their result obviously, as we know, was not as lucky as ours. But you know, you start thinking of the what ifs. What if he got in the cockpit?
What if that co-pilot didn't recognize something and kick him out? You start playing these mind games with yourself, and that's where I was headed. I had a little bit of an asthma attack and I had to calm myself down.
COSTELLO: My goodness. Initially JetBlue was saying, you know, this pilot had a panic attack. In your mind, I don't know if you've had a panic attack. I have, but I have trouble breathing. I had it once in my life maybe, but it didn't make me act like that. So when you hear that he might have had a panic attack, are you saying to yourself, really?
STRAW: Yes. I've had panic attacks many times. I'm crying. I need some water and then I'm good. I think there's more involved. I think maybe -- I don't want to make false accusations. This is a man's life. He has a family. I don't want to do that.
But, I mean, you never know. Maybe he was on medicine that kept his mind at a mental -- at a sound state, and he didn't take it. You just don't know. That's why they're investigating, and I hope they find out what's wrong with him so we can get him help.
You know, no one in their right mind does this, so there had to be something more we don't understand yet. I hope it gets taken care of. He can get the proper attention and care he needs so this doesn't happen again.
I mean, granted, I'm sure he won't fly again. But this way, you know, he can at least try to get back to living his life without this going on.
COSTELLO: So has JetBlue contacted you at all?
STRAW: Excuse me?
COSTELLO: Has JetBlue contacted you at all?
STRAW: You know, we all -- they did contact us via e-mail with their condolences. They credited back flights. We got free flight vouchers. Other than that, no one's contacted us after physically seeing them face to face, but the one thing I do have to strongly urge, I knew this was a crew member from JetBlue.
As an airline as a whole, they were just -- the other flight attendant, the co-pilot, the aftercare of JetBlue staff that took up from Amarillo to Las Vegas were so amazing and just so calm.
We knew we were in good hands, and they really assured us it was going to be OK. They felt horrible about the situation. Just like it was out of their control, they had no idea this was going to happen. And so, yes, they made sure that we all knew we were OK.
COSTELLO: Sara Straw, we're glad you're OK and we're glad you joined us this morning. Thank you.
STRAW: Thank you so much.
COSTELLO: A deadly fast-moving wildfire is threatening more homes near Denver. Rob has the latest fire forecast for you after a break.
And a huge deal for the Dodgers. The team has sold for a record $2 billion, and Laker legend Magic Johnson is one of the buyers. A live report from L.A. That's later this hour.
COSTELLO: The search is under way right now for a woman missing in an area near Denver, an area that was devastated by that fast moving and out of control wildfire. The wild fire has killed an elderly couple, scorched 4,500 acres.
Rob Marciano is here to tell us. It's still zero percent contained, really?
ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, I mean, they do this in order of priority. First is to protect life and then second is property, and third is containment. So the third one is what they're going after today, although there is still one person missing which you mentioned.
Search and rescue teams are on site right now to look for that one person that's missing. Thirty six people including six rescue dogs. They have some heavy artillery as far as some air support coming in today as well.
They have an extra couple of choppers and they have a tanker that came yesterday. There you see it dumping some fire retardant and also dumping tens of thousands of gallons of water to try to contain this thing.
But there's the end result, 28 homes damaged or completely destroyed, some of these very, very nice homes. This isn't a suburb of Denver, but it's pretty darn close. It's about 25 miles as the crow flies.
The red area there that's area that has burned, the line that they're trying to contain this thing. The blue area is the folks that have had to evacuate including 900 homes. There are another 6,500 homes that were on standby for potential evacuation.
But they don't think that they are going to have to deal with that today hopefully because winds will be relatively light. Here's a look at the winds there, 5 to 10 miles per hour at the moment. We do expect to see maybe some gusts later on today.
Here's our forecast as far as our computer models. Anytime you see the green area, that's where winds could gust between 20 and 30 miles an hour. There you see it in the front range of the Rockies potentially not only today, but going through tomorrow as well.
There's a little system coming across the Northern Rockies that could bring winds 30 to 40 miles an hour across Wyoming. But down across the fire lines south of Denver, the forecast from the National Weather Service and the fire forecast experts are predicting temperatures in the 60s.
It's cool right now and the winds are lying down right now, so this is the best time to hit it. Winds could gust to maybe 25 miles per hour later on today, but relative humidity is very, very low.
The entire month of March, Carol, has been extremely dry not only for snowpack, but for rainfall as well. So that kind of set the stage for this potential event.
COSTELLO: I know you'll keep an eye on it. Thank you, Rob.
The rhetoric surrounding the Trayvon Martin case continues to intensify. Citizens, celebrities and politicians are all speaking out about it and demanding the arrest of the shooter, George Zimmerman.
Among them Democratic Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, she represents Sanford, Florida, the town where the shooting took place. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. FREDERICA WILSON (D), FLORIDA: Trayvon was hunted down like a rabid dog. He was shot in the street. He was racially profiled. Mr. Zimmerman should be arrested immediately for his own safety.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Congresswoman Wilson is joining us live now. Thanks for joining us, Congresswoman.
WILSON: Thank you for having me. Trayvon was my constituent. He lived in my community. I'm not from Sanford. I'm from Miami, Florida where his entire family lives.
COSTELLO: Right. We understand. Do you really think that George Zimmerman should be arrested right now?
WILSON: Yes, I do. I think he should have been arrested the night of the crime. I mean, that's what law says. That he should be arrested. In fact, it's come out now that he was going to be charged with manslaughter, but the state attorney overruled that.
COSTELLO: Even though a special prosecutor's investigating this case, the FBI is involved, the Justice Department is involved. Even before those investigations are complete, you still think George Zimmerman should be arrested right now?
WILSON: I think George Zimmerman should have been arrested from the very beginning. I think there was enough evidence to arrest him just from the 911 tapes that I heard. I think that there are many threats against his life.
That's why I say it for his own safety. I think that he should be arrested for the crime because of everything I heard on the 911 tapes, and everything he said happened. And everything the girlfriend said up happened. To me, it is enough for an arrest.
COSTELLO: I want to get your reaction to comments from the state-appointed investigator in this Florida case. Let's listen to her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGELA COREY, SPECIAL PROSECUTOR INVESTIGATING CASE: The political outcry makes our job harder because anytime there is a misunderstanding of the process based on what we are required to do under Florida law, it does make our job more difficult. So we would hope that people would give us a chance to get this task that the governor has given us accomplished.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: So, Congresswoman, is your rhetoric making it for difficult for the special prosecutor to do her job? WILSON: Carol, let me explain this to you. The NAACP of Florida has some misgivings about the special prosecutor because of her record with young black boys.
So there's not a lot of trust in the justice system right now in Sanford, Florida. So the call for Mr. Zimmerman to be arrested, I will continue to make that call.
COSTELLO: Mr. Zimmerman is in hiding supposedly in fear for his life. This fringe group is looking to make a citizen's arrest, and celebrities are tweeting what they think is Zimmerman's address and innocent people have to move out of their homes. There's no doubt this case deserves a lot of attention, but at what point do you as a lawmaker say we have to calm things down a bit?
WILSON: I think I have calmed the students down in Miami-Dade County. They were walking out of school. I don't know any citizens who have had to move out of their homes. I know children have walked out of school, and we have said to them not to walk out of school.
I've gone on the radio and television and said that to them because we're going to give them a forum to express their frustration. You must understand that a young boy is dead. I have a mentoring program in Miami, Florida for young, black boys. It's 20 years old. This is not something that's new to me. I experience this all the time, and I am tired of burying young, black boys. I am tired of this and I think that Mr. Zimmerman should be arrested.
COSTELLO: Just a last question for you. This special prosecutor has no timetable for when her investigation will be complete, for when or if George Zimmerman will be arrested. When is too much time in your mind?
WILSON: I think today is too much time. I think that in order to keep her on a timely schedule to make sure that these parents don't continue to grieve, I have a calendar that I take to the floor of the House of Representatives every single day, and I'm counting down the days.
Today will be day number 32. Let's see how with all of these justice divisions, all of these different entities and agencies involved in this investigation from the FBI, the FDLE, the special prosecutor, we also have the Justice Department there.
Someone very soon should be able to give the entire nation some peace of mind that justice does exist in this nation. We should not have Mr. Zimmerman walking free.
COSTELLO: Congresswoman Wilson, thank you for joining us this morning. We appreciate it.
WILSON: Thank you.
COSTELLO: President Obama's health care reform law being challenged right now at the U.S. Supreme Court. At issue today, a provision that would add more people to the Medicaid rolls, so who pays? We'll have details coming up.
COSTELLO: Tax day is less than three weeks away and about 50 percent of all taxpayers have yet to file. If you are one of them, listen up. Alison Kosik is at the New York Stock Exchange with details on how to protect yourself from being audited -- Alison.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so if you don't want the taxman knocking on your door, don't make stupid mistakes. The first big mistake, people don't put down the right Social Security number.
Many people are also making simple math mistakes and it's becoming more of an issue now these days because more people are doing their own taxes to save money.
Also, you have to be careful about what you put down when you make those charitable deductions. Like, let's say you make $20,000 a year and you report $10,000 in charitable deductions. I'm thinking that's going to raise a red flag.
You have to remember, when you report the charitable deductions, it's actually the retail value of items that you donate that you report, not the original value. It may also be worthwhile to keep your receipts, take photos of those items, too.
Finally, if you own a business, you got to expect this. Expect the IRS that it's going to take a closer look at you because the IRS actually targets small businesses and cash industries because there's more wiggle room there.
There's more room for fudging, you know, like pizza places and coin Laundromats, they take in cash. If you want a full list of these red flags, Carol, go to cnnmoney.com.
COSTELLO: We'll do. Quick check on the markets before you go.
KOSIK: Markets are flat. Looks like investors are going to be sitting on the sidelines after a pretty strong first quarter. The Dow is right now down about 10 points -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Thanks, Alison.
The Gingrich machine is getting more lean. Pink slips, fewer appearances so does he have Santorum, Romney and Obama right where he wants them? We'll put that to our "Political Buzz" panel, next.
COSTELLO: Checking our "Top Stories" now. We're learning more information about the JetBlue pilot whose rant forced passengers to subdue him. His name is Clayton Osbon. His LinkedIn account shows he flown with JetBlue for almost 12 years. This morning he remains in a hospital under observation, rather. The plane eventually made an emergency landing; no one was hurt.
Earlier this morning I talked to a passenger who was in the bathroom when that pilot pounded on the door.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARA STRAW, PASSENGER ABOARD JETBLUE FLIGHT 191: All of a sudden I see that pilot bee-lining frantically towards the cockpit doors screaming how he had to get in there. He needed to you know throttle down the plane. There was a bomb on the plane. They're going to take us down. And then that's when all the gentlemen jumped up and restrained him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Also right now the U.S. Supreme Court begins their third and final day of hearings on President Obama's health care reform. Justices are looking at a key question. If one part of the law is found to be unconstitutional, does that mean the rest of the law heads to the scrap heap as well?
The mega millions lottery jackpot could soon reach a new record. No one won last night's jackpot so it's expected to grow to $476 million by Friday's drawing. That would make it the largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history.
"Political Buzz" is your rapid fire look at the best political topics of the day. Three questions, 30 seconds on the clock. Playing with us today: CNN contributor, Maria Cardona, on the left; Dean Obeidallah, of the Arab-American Comedy Festival in the middle; and on the right, Crystal Wright, she's a conservative blogger in D.C. Welcome to all of you.
CRYSTAL WRIGHT, CONSERVATIVE BLOGGER: Thanks Carol.
DEAN OBEIDALLAH, FOUNDER, ARAB-AMERICAN COMEDY FESTIVAL: Thanks.
COSTELLO: Ok. First question, the Newt machine getting a lot more lean. Gingrich have cut a third of his staff and his schedule but he's not dropping out. He doesn't care what the majority of Republicans think either.
So guys, what good could he possibly be doing for his party? Crystal?
WRIGHT: Newt is Newt and he will stick in this thing as long as he sees an opportunity for himself. So I say more power to Newt. I mean, it's not necessarily a good sign that he's cutting back staff. It may look like he's running out of cash, and it raises a lot of questions.
But at the end of the day, there's no rules -- there are no rules on how long you can stay in a presidential race. So more power to Newt is what I say. And I think it's going to take away votes from Santorum and it's a good thing. So --
COSTELLO: Ok Maria.
MARIA CARDONA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Absolutely zero benefit to his party, Carol. But should this really surprise anybody? Anyone who has looked at Newt's career throughout his whole political life knows that it's all about the glorification of Newt. He almost already destroyed the Republican brand in the 1990s and is now clearly out to do it again.
And yes he might be the smartest guy in the room, he might be the one with the biggest ideas, but when it comes to actually doing what's best for his party, Newt is not your guy. Newt is all about Newt.
OBEIDALLAH: Carol, I think there's really a simple answer Newt Gingrich is a scorned, bitter candidate sort of like Glenn Close in "Fatal Attraction". He will not be ignored, he's not going down quietly.
Remember look, in South Carolina he won the primary in January, top of the polls. Mainstream Republicans turned on him. Romney's big campaign ads against him, destroyed him. He wants revenge. Second, what else is he going to do? Go to early bird dinner at Applebee's? His wife is 22 years younger. She doesn't want to stay home. She wants to be out of the house. So I think for Newt this is both political and personal he's got to keep his wife happy.
COSTELLO: Oh geez. Ok onto the second question. Shall we?
OBEIDALLAH: Yes right.
COSTELLO: The health care law being debated right now before the U.S. Supreme Court as the centerpiece of Barack Obama's presidency. Of course it could be in trouble. But Mr. Democrat himself, James Carville, says striking the law down could be a great thing for the President and his party. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES CARVILLE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: And you know what the Democrats are going to say and it's completely justified. We tried, we did something, go see a 5-4 Supreme Court majority. The public has these guys figured out. Our poll shows half think the whole thing is political. They overturn an election, and just as a professional Democrat, did nothing better for me than overturn this thing 5-4.
And then the Republican Party will own the health care system for the foreseeable future. And I really believe that. That is not spin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Ok so is that spin? Could there possible be a political advantage if the court kills the law? Maria.
CARDONA: Well, certainly there could be, Carol. And -- and I think that James is right, that this could be a rallying call for liberals. But look. I think what has been lost in all the posturing of the policy and the politics are the actual people who have benefited from the law already; 180 million Americans who have benefited from all the provisions that have come into place.
CNN has done a heart-wrenching piece on this little girl named Violet whose life has been saved by the provisions in the current health care law. So whether it's a benefit for Democrats I don't think James nor myself nor any other Democrat wants to be a party to something that will put children like Violet at death's door.
WRIGHT: I think Maria and James Carville must be living in an alternate universe. If the Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare, which is President Obama's signature initiative, his trophy initiative, Obama -- you know it's a great, it would be a great thing for Obama if he wants to lose in 2012, because that's exactly what -- that will be a sure shot for Republicans.
And it will reduce this President's administration to one huge, embarrassment for barreling forward with something that violates the U.S. Constitution. And that is the individual mandate. So yes, I think it's a great thing because it will insure that the Republican nominee will get in the White House in 2012.
OBEIDALLAH: Carol, I cannot agree -- I cannot disagree more with the last statement. And it's like Monday I was on "Political Buzz" and before James Carville said that, I said the same thing. Show James Carville my tape.
The fact is this is the biggest issue the Republicans have to run against President Obama. The economy is getting better so that issue is gone.
WRIGHT: Yes, right, right.
OBEIDALLAH: But just this week Mitt Romney had a big campaign slogan, Obamacare. Repeal Obamacare. That's gone. What does Romney have left? Good hair? Rich friends? These guys have nothing else. I'm being sincere.
CARDONA: He's exactly right.
OBEIDALLAH: This is the greatest blow to the Republican Party ever.
WRIGHT: Sure, yes.
OBEIDALLAH: And you know what, it shows that the President -- we have a balance of powers. No more overreaching.
WRIGHT: Dean, Dean. Get on your medication, Dean. Get on your medication.
OBEIDALLAH: I don't take medication.
WRIGHT: The economy isn't getting better.
COSTELLO: I'm glad they are not in the same room.
Ok, let's head on to the third question. It's our "Buzzer Beater". 20 seconds each. Here is the third question, Mitt Romney offered Jay Leno his thoughts on an unexpected vice presidential option. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY LENO, TALK SHOW HOST: Really, it's never come up? I'm not even running and I discuss it with my wife. So you haven't thought of -- I'll tell you what.
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'll tell you what, I'll tell you what. I can do you a favor with this. I'll choose David Letterman. We can help us both out.
LENO: There you go. There you go. There you go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Ok. So what comedian is the best running mate for each candidate? Dean?
OBEIDALLAH: I think Romney should pick Jeff Dunham, the guy who works with a ventriloquist doll that will make Romney look like a human being. That will be very nice. I think Rick Santorum should go with Rosie O'Donnell. Just the fighting alone will be priceless for all of us. I think Newt Gingrich should run with the Geico lizard. He's not really a comedian but they're both reptiles they have that in common. I think President Obama should drop by and pick me Obama/Obeidallah 2012 -- '02 ticket. I'm just throwing it out there President Obama.
COSTELLO: Geez, Crystal.
WRIGHT: I think Romney has it right. Picking David Letterman would add a little fun to his campaign and shake things up. But I want to focus on President Obama. I think Obama should dump President -- I'm sorry, Vice President Biden, and I think he should either pick Eddie Murphy or you know, somebody -- or Bill Maher. Because you know after all Bill Maher has donated a million dollars to the President's PAC and he would really shake things up. Yes, because that's your guy, guys. Bill Maher.
CARDONA: Romney should go with Foxworthy -- Jeff Foxworthy already supports him, and it'll give him appeal to southern voters and gives Foxworthy a whole new line of jokes. Like you know you're a Romney neck if you're so rich that even your Cadillac needs elevators. And for Rick Santorum I think he should go with Roseanne Barr. He's already running for the party so that would appeal to the wing nuts on both sides of the political spectrum.
COSTELLO: Oh thanks for reminding us of Roseanne Barr's candidacy, Maria.
CARDONA: There you go.
COSTELLO: Thanks for playing to all of you.
OBEIDALLAH: Thanks Carol.
CARDONA: Thanks Carol.
COSTELLO: You're welcome.
Expanding Medicaid eligibility; that's a key provision of the health care reform law being challenged right now before the U.S. Supreme Court. Find out what the controversial rule could mean for the uninsured. That's coming your way next.
COSTELLO: Today the U.S. Supreme Court is holding its third and final day of hearings on President Obama's healthcare reform law. The court will also consider a challenge to a Medicaid rule. Dozens of states claiming it unconstitutionally requires them on to expand their share of Medicaid costs. I know it's complicated but senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is here to tell us exactly what this means.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: What it means, bottom line, is if healthcare reform goes through, there will be a lot more people on Medicaid than there are now. I'm going to introduce you to some of my imaginary friends because they will help illustrate who is going to be getting on Medicaid.
So first of all, let's look at the fast food Fosters. This is the Foster family. Mom and dad work in fast food, and they have two kids. In order for mom and dad to get on Medicaid now, they have to earn about $23,000 or less. But after health care reform, if it still stands, they can make as much as $31,809.
So you can see, Carol, that is a huge difference. There's a big difference between earning $23,000 and between earning $31,000.
COSTELLO: That's true. Ok. So that's the income portion of this. Are there other people who would qualify who don't now?
COHEN: Yes, and that would be single people. Right now if you're single you can't automatically just get on Medicaid because you're low income. That doesn't happen. So healthcare reform changes that.
So let's take a look at Seamstress Sally. Seamstress Sally right now, she earns $15,415. She cannot get on Medicaid. They just won't even take her. She doesn't have kids, she's not pregnant, she can't do it. However, if health care reform does go through, she can get on Medicaid at that income, even though she's single.
COSTELLO: So we're talking about a lot of people, right.
COHEN: We're talking about a 44 percent increase --
COHEN: So we're adding 17 million people to the ranks of Medicaid.
COHEN: That's a lot of people.
COSTELLO: Wow. So the U.S. Supreme Court as you said --
COHEN: Is looking into -- the Congressional Budget Office, I should say, because everyone has different numbers. Sorry go ahead.
COSTELLO: I know. That is important to get in, because this is a highly contentious law, I know.
COHEN: Right, right, right.
COSTELLO: Ok. So let's say the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the law and this Medicaid provision. Does that mean that automatically those who are now newly qualified will be kicked out?
COHEN: Well, the Medicaid part hasn't gone through yet so it's not like Seamstress Sally is getting Medicaid and then she won't. So that won't happen. The big question here is you and I have been talking about the individual mandate all week. That's the part of the law that says you must have health insurance. We're going to force you to buy health insurance.
If the Supreme Court gets rid of that, it might also mean that Medicaid -- this Medicaid part goes away as well.
COSTELLO: Got you. Elizabeth Cohen. Thank you.
COHEN: Thanks Carol.
COSTELLO: New dash cam video shows a dramatic ending of a high- speed bus chase -- yes, bus chase, in New Mexico. We'll look at that story in "Cross Country" coming up.
COSTELLO: A disturbing new development to "The Hunger Games" craze. "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" host, A.J. Hammer joins us now from New York. And some offensive comments on Twitter. It's pretty disgusting, actually.
A.J. HAMMER, HLN HOST, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT": Yes. Not just disgusting, Carol. These are some really ignorant and racist comments that are coming online -- pretty upsetting. A lot of the fans of "The Hunger Games" are naturally up in arms over the story.
Now if you haven't seen the film, if you haven't read the first book, there's a very poignant moment in the story involving a young girl named "Rue". The character is played by an African-American actress, and stunningly that fact upset some people enough to spew about their feelings online.
There's this Tumblr blog which is called "Hunger Games Tweets" and it compiled a few of these racist online messages. I want to read just two of them for you.
One says, "KK, call me racist but when I found out Rue was black her death wasn't as sad." And the hash tag is "#ihatemyself".
The other says, "Why does Rue have to be black? Not going to lie. Kind of ruined the movie."
Listen, the ignorance is obvious, so is the poor grasp of the book though because the author clearly describes Rue as having dark brown skin and eyes. Of course, the majority of the movie's fans are really upset over these tweets because Rue is one of the more popular and sympathetic characters in the story.
But I am happy to report, Carol, these offensive tweets have already been removed by their authors and in some cases the accounts have been deleted.
I just hate doing this story in 2012. It still astounds me.
COSTELLO: It really is hard to believe.
Onto another topic now. Jane Fonda set to play Nancy Reagan -- seriously?
HAMMER: Yes, yes.
HAMMER: You know, a lot of people were taken aback by this. "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" has confirmed Jane Fonda is in talks to play Nancy Reagan. It's for the upcoming film "Butler". Now this movie is based on the real life of Eugene Allen. Eugene worked on the White House staff from 1952 all the way to 1986.
Now Fonda, of course, is very active with a lot of liberal causes, so that makes a lot of conservatives pretty upset about the casting saying "Hanoi Jane has no business playing Nancy Reagan."
On the other hand if you need a fantastic actress to play this kind of a role, Fonda is it perfect. And when you consider the other names that could be attached to this project, listen to this: Forest Whitaker as Allen, Mila Kunis as Jackie Kennedy, Liam Neeson as LBJ, John Cusack -- one of my favorite actors ever -- as Nixon. It could be an amazing cast, Carol. Shouldn't matter what her politics are. She's an actress.
COSTELLO: Oh, but it does, A.J. It does.
COSTELLO: Everything is political these days. And it's a sad thing, actually, in many respects. But A.J. Hammer, thanks so much.
If you want information on everything breaking in the entertainment world, A.J. has it tonight on "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" at 11:00 p.m. Eastern on HLN.
COSTELLO: Baseball season is upon us. All is right with the world. Game one of baseball's regular season, in the books. The Oakland A's taking on the Seattle Mariners before a full house in the Tokyo dome, and that meant a homecoming for Seattle's batting star, Ichiro. He was welcomed with a flurry of flashbulbs. Ichiro went 4 for 5 as the Mariners beat the A's 3-1 in 11 innings.
Maybe, just maybe, the Magic will come back for the Los Angeles Dodgers. It's true. A group that includes former Lakers star Magic Johnson bought the troubled team for a record $2 billion. Wow.
CNN's Casey Wian is in Los Angeles. $2 billion?
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. It's an incredible amount of money, Carol. The most ever paid if this deal is approved by Major League Baseball and the bankruptcy court for a sports franchise in North America. A lot of Dodger fans, and full disclosure here including this one, are very, very happy this morning.
Of course, Magic Johnson, the former Los Angeles Laker legend and very successful Los Angeles businessman is part of the group. He's the face of an investment group that has agreed to acquire the Los Angeles Dodgers, as you mentioned, for $2 billion.
Now, of course, this purchase is because of the financial troubles by the current owner of the team, Frank McCourt. He bought the Dodgers in 2004 with very little of his own money. He promised a new era of family ownership for the team. That quickly fell apart once he and his wife, Jamie McCourt, who is also an executive of the Los Angeles Dodgers, had marital problems, ultimately filing for divorce.
The Dodgers went into bankruptcy and were very, very mediocre on the field. Now, perhaps one of the best known Los Angeles Dodgers, former Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda is very happy about this deal. Here's what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOMMY LASORDA, FORMER MANAGER, LOS ANGELES DODGERS: I've known Magic since the first time he came to Los Angeles. A great basketball star, and getting involved with baseball, I'm happy for them. I just feel that they're going to do everything they can to bring the championship team to Los Angeles.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WIAN: Now, the Dodgers message board is run by Major League Baseball was full of messages as you can imagine this morning mostly from fans very happy about this deal. Some, though, also very concerned by the fact that Frank McCourt will retain partial ownership of some of the land surrounding Dodgers Stadium in a $150 million deal with the new owners -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Casey Wian reporting live from Los Angeles.
A high-speed bus chase caught on a cop's dash-cam. I can't say that right. It was caught on a cop's dash-cam. We'll have the dramatic ending, next.
COSTELLO: Checking stories "Cross Country", in New Mexico, cops release dash-cam video of their high-speed chase of a school bus. You see the officer trying to ram and stop the bus. It was it stolen earlier this month actually. You'll see it there shortly.
Cops laid spikes on the road but that didn't stop the bus. So another officer rams the bus with his car leading to a dramatic ending. This is just unbelievable. Officers also shot the suspect who now faces three criminal charges. He survived.
In California a woman racing to reach her elderly mother who she says fell gets not one but three speeding tickets.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was concentrating on my mom being hurt.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think based on the circumstances it was blatant disregard for the public safety, and we don't know whether there's an injured relative or not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Police say she was driving more than 100 miles per hour. They arrested her for reckless driving and resisting arrest.
And in San Diego someone must have loved Dr. Seuss's The Lorax so much they stole a statue of it from the home of his widow. There are only two the statues in the world.
The family's message to the culprit, return it now and they will not press charges.
That does it for me. I'll throw it over to Fredricka to talk more about health care.