Return to Transcripts main page


Mitt Romney Unplugged; Thousands Pack into Tahrir Square; Interview with Representative Ron Paul; Is Ron Paul Ready To Endorse Romney?; Report: Rubio Not Vetted; Obama's Economic Stake In Summit; New Tool To Expose Credit Card Problems

Aired June 19, 2012 - 16:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now: Mitt Romney unplugged. He's trying to show voters a side to his personality they haven't seen before. We will see if he can pull it off.

Also, I will ask Ron Paul if he's going to support Mitt Romney or try to undermine him at the convention. The Texas congressman will join us live this hour. We will talk about his presidential hopes and the 2012 election.

And if you're fuming about surprise credit card fees or lousy service, there's now a place where you can share your complaints with the entire world.

I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

This is just coming in to the THE SITUATION ROOM right now. Take a look at this. Wow. It's a huge, huge crowd that has gathered at Tahrir Square in Cairo, tens of thousands of people back at the site where last year's revolution started.

The demonstrators are protesting the moves made by the Egyptian military leadership, which they say could hurt the presidential election results. Also, only moments ago, we have confirmed that the former president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, has suffered a stroke, that according to officials in Egypt. His heart apparently has stopped.

But it was revived. He needed critical condition care. He has received it. We're monitoring this situation very, very closely.

But look at that crowd at Tahrir Square. It started there. It's continuing right now. The election results should be known by Thursday, whether the Muslim Brotherhood wins or a former aide to Hosni Mubarak.

That crowd going crazy. It's approaching midnight in Cairo right now. It's just after 10:00 p.m. right now. But it looks lively, shall we say, in Cairo.

Ivan Watson is on the scene for us. We will go there momentarily. Stand by. Drama unfolding on the streets of Cairo right where that Arab spring in Egypt began at Tahrir Square.

Other news we're following, including the presidential race here in the United States. The Romney camp is using the summer lull before the fall campaign frenzy to reintroduce their candidate to voters, even though he's been running for president for years. The goal? Show Mitt Romney as a looser, funnier, more humble kind of guy.

Our national political correspondent, Jim Acosta, is in Michigan right now. He's covering Romney's bus tour.

What's going on, on this front? I know you have been doing some investigating, Jim?


JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Mitt Romney had a confession to make in Michigan.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You're not here because I'm some spectacular speaker. You all know better than that.

ACOSTA: A looser, more confident and sometimes self-deprecating Romney emerged during his campaign's first big general election bus tour.

The Romney shtick often turned to lighthearted references to the local cuisine. Some he got right.

ROMNEY: You have a lot of chicken here in Franken -- oh, yes, chicken and, you know, noodles. This is good German food right here. What a wonderful place. How many people are here from Frankenmuth?

ACOSTA: Other times like in Pennsylvania, he needed help from the crowd.

ROMNEY: Where do you get your hoagies here? Do you get them at Wawas? Is that what -- you get them? No? You get them at Sheetz?

ACOSTA: He also mixed it up with the media leaving a note on the press bus kidding reporters that he had erased their hard drives. On his campaign plane, he poked fun at himself for one of his more odd- sounding moments during the primaries when he commented on the trees in Michigan.

ROMNEY: When we land, look around. And you will see the trees are the right height.

ACOSTA: Asked what advice he gets from voters?

ROMNEY: Stop trying to be like yourself. Be someone else. Just don't be you. I'm just kidding.

ACOSTA: But the campaign was really trying to show a side of the candidate the public has rarely seen, which is why on Father's Day his staff released home videos of a young Romney goofing around with his sons.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He loved to horse around.

ROMNEY: No picking your nose at the table.

How are you doing, knuckle snorts?

ACOSTA: The Obama campaign complained the Republican's bus tour was short on specifics and failed to acknowledge the progress being made in some of the states on Romney's itinerary, like Michigan, where the unemployment rate has plunged from 14.2 percent in mid-2009 to 8.5 percent in May. Romney gives the credit to the state GOP leaders he campaigned with along the way.

ROMNEY: What I have heard in each of those states is if we could just do in Washington what we're doing at the state level, we could finally solve some of the kinds of problems we're dealing with.

ACOSTA: Romney finished this bus tour having made some bold predictions, that he will win states in the Midwest.

ROMNEY: We're going to win Wisconsin and we're going to get the White House.

ACOSTA: And in the Northeast that Democrats have claimed for years.

ROMNEY: I got news for you, Congressman. I am going to win Pennsylvania.

ACOSTA: And he understands the significance of winning his boyhood home state.

ROMNEY: If I win in Michigan, then I become the president.


ACOSTA: And we will be seeing something else from Mitt Romney in the coming weeks that we have not seen so far from his campaign. He's going to be doing a lot of minority outreach. Later this week, he's going to be talking to a group of Latin American leaders down in Florida. And then in July his campaign confirms he will be giving an address to the NAACP -- Wolf.

BLITZER: He's really going after a lot of those undecided, independent, moderate voters, the decision to go ahead and address the Latino community later this week in Orlando, the decision to go before the NAACP next month. It's presumably going to help him with some of those undecided. Is that the strategy he's undertaking right now?

ACOSTA: I think that's right, Wolf.

And one thing that we saw throughout this entire bus tour is, you know, the Obama campaign and President Obama obviously with that immigration decision that came out late last week, that could have put Mitt Romney on the defensive throughout this bus tour.

But what they decided inside the Romney campaign was say, hey, look, our message is the economy. So the next day they were back to talking about the economy, Wolf, at stop after stop after stop. And that continued right until today. And I imagine he's going to be talking about it later this week when he talks to Latino leaders down in Florida.

His message is not so much about immigration, because that is an issue that obviously appeals to a lot of Latin American voters out there. He thinks that message of the economy pertains to every voting bloc out there no matter who he's talking to, Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, Jim, thanks very much.

We also have new evidence that President Obama's decision to stop deporting many young illegal immigrants here in the United States could help him in November. A brand-new Bloomberg poll shows 64 percent of likely voters support the policy change; 30 percent are against it.

And take a look at this. Those very important independent voters support the president's decision by a slightly wider margin, 66 percent in favor, 26 percent opposed.

Let's bring in our chief political analyst, Gloria Borger.

You're looking at these numbers. What are you seeing?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I'm seeing that it's a great advantage for President Obama. They knew exactly what they were doing when they saw an opening because there was no Republican proposal on the DREAM Act.

And so they decided to drive a truck right through that opening. And clearly what the administration is hoping is that this helps with the enthusiasm of Hispanic voters. They need Hispanic voters to turn out in key battleground states like Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Florida. And so they're hoping that, if they show this kind of a difference between the two parties, that the choice will be pretty clear and that Hispanics will turn out in great numbers.

BLITZER: And it's put the Republicans sort of in an awkward position. Listen to the House speaker, John Boehner, speaking today.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: It puts everyone in a difficult position. I think we all have concerns for those who are caught in this trap, who through no fault of their own are here.

But the president's actions are going to make it much more difficult for us to work in a bipartisan way to get to a permanent solution. It's the president himself who said over the last couple years that he couldn't do this. And so the question remains whether he's violating the Constitution.


BLITZER: So how difficult a position are the Republicans in right now? BORGER: Well, when you can't argue the policy, you argue the process.

And that's I think what we heard John Boehner doing. And today the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, came out and said, you know what, we're not going to say anything in the Senate until we hear Mitt Romney speak at the conference that Jim Acosta was talking about later this week, a major Latino conference of elected officials.

What Mitt Romney is doing is, he's saying, look, I'm going to focus on the economy. Jobs is the number one issue for Hispanic voters. The economy is the number one issue for Hispanic voters. And the campaign is making a bet that those Hispanic voters who believe immigration is the number one issue are going to be voting for President Obama anyway.

So he's going to stay on message. Now, whether he will go beyond what he said, which is he wants some version of the DREAM Act for the children of military families, for example, we will have to wait until that conference. But expect him to talk a lot more about the economy and Hispanics.

BLITZER: Marco Rubio, he had his own ideas about a modified version of the DREAM Act. He's the very popular Republican senator from Florida. Where does this put him right now?

BORGER: Yes. Well, again, in a tough spot. And in a way I think he's become a little bit less relevant, if you will.

He was working on coming up with some kind of a policy. His staff says it was very difficult to get any kind of bipartisan agreement. But because there was that opening and there was no policy, the administration jumped right in. And the president said, OK, I'm going to do this, even though, as Boehner pointed out, a year ago, the president said he didn't have the unilateral authority to do that.

So Marco Rubio's now on a book tour. ABC News and "The Washington Post" are reporting that he's not being vetted seriously for the vice presidency. So, suddenly, I think he becomes a little less relevant in this debate. When it comes to the state of Florida, though, expect to see Marco Rubio out with Mitt Romney.

BLITZER: He will be joining us here in THE SITUATION ROOM, Marco Rubio, this week as well.


BLITZER: Thank you.

Jack Cafferty's joining us right now in THE SITUATION ROOM. He's got "The Cafferty File" -- Jack.

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Wolf, John Kerry has been tapped to play Mitt Romney in debate preparations for the president. This is great. It's perfect casting on the part of the Obama campaign, one elite, rich, emotionless Massachusetts politician filling in for another.

"The Boston Globe" first reported that Senator Kerry has been tapped to mimic the presumptive GOP nominee Romney in debate practice, which means that Kerry will do everything from anticipating Romney's answers and his attacks to copying his speaking style and his posture.

Of course Kerry has a lot of experience in presidential debate business. He faced off against George W. Bush three times back in the 2004 campaign. Most people agreed Kerry won those debates, but Bush eventually won the election.

President Obama's senior campaign strategist David Axelrod says Kerry is an expert debater who has mastered a wide range of issues, including Mitt Romney's Massachusetts.

Kerry has observed Romney's role in Massachusetts politics going all the way back to 1994, so he should be in a good place to point out Romney's weaknesses while governor, especially his economic record.

Axelrod calls Kerry "the obvious choice," which may be true in more ways than one.

As the "Globe" notes, critics blast both Kerry and Romney for being aloof and for flip-flopping on major issues.

Plus, they're both rich, really, really rich. Romney is worth about $250 million. Kerry comes in at about $193 million.

Meanwhile, John Kerry could wind up playing a larger role in a second Obama term if the president manages to win reelection. There's growing speculation that Kerry could take over as secretary of state if Hillary Clinton leaves as she says she intends to.

As for who is going to play Mr. Obama in Romney's debate practice, we don't know that yet.

Here's the question: Is John Kerry a good fill-in for Mitt Romney?

Go to and post a comment on my blog or go to my post on THE SITUATION ROOM's Facebook page -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Good question, Jack. Thank you.

We're going to follow the wild scene unfolding in Cairo right now. Take a look at this, thousands and thousands and thousands of people. These are live pictures you're seeing from Cairo. It's 10:13 p.m. at night over there. They are in Tahrir Square. They are protesting. They are chanting. What's going on? Stand by -- more of the special coverage right after this.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BLITZER: We're following breaking news -- look at this, thousands and thousands of people have gathered right now in Tahrir Square, in Cairo, the Egyptian capital.

CNN's Ivan Watson is standing above all of this watching what's going on.

It's very dramatic, Ivan. Give us the latest. What are these folks protesting, demonstrating about?

IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you could call this deja vu all over again, Wolf. I mean, this is the square where the protest started a year and a half ago that helped drive dictator out of power. And now they're at it again.

But the protests are different now. Just last weekend Egypt held historic presidential elections. These are for the most part supporters of the Muslim Brother candidate, Mohamed Morsi, who has claimed victory in the election. That victory is being challenged by the opposition candidate, Mubarak's hand-picked prime minister, Ahmed Shafik. They claim they won the election.

But really what these people are doing is they're protesting against the supreme council of the armed forces which took over after Mubarak, and in the last week has dissolved the recently elected parliament and assumed a great deal of additional powers in addition to instituting what Jimmy Carter is describing similar to martial law. In fact, he went one step further in a statement today to criticize chief of supreme council saying he's deeply troubled by the undemocratic transition -- Egypt's political transition has taken. He is warning the supreme council not to meddle in the affairs of writing up a new constitution.

This country has no legislature right now and no constitution. And the winner of the election still hasn't been formerly announced yet -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Supposed to announce that on Thursday. On top of all this, Hosni Mubarak, the former president under arrest, apparently they say suffered a stroke, cardiac arrest. What do we know about this?

WATSON: Well, the spokesman for the state prosecutor's office tells us that Mubarak had a heart attack today and he was resuscitated by using electric shocks and CPR and he's now on an artificial respirator with military doctors on the way to inspect him. He may be moved to a military hospital within hours.

He's 84 years old. But we have to warn the viewers over the course of the past year and a half since Mubarak was ousted from power, there have been rumors about his deteriorating health and false reports about health emergencies every week or month.

And there's been a lot of skepticism or suspicion that his families and lawyers are using to try to improve his conditions in prison and in the various hospitals he's been kept in. That hasn't saved him from being sentenced in court earlier this month to life in prison for being an accomplice in the deaths of some of the protesters killed in this very square a year and a half ago -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right. Ivan, we're going to stay on top of this story. We'll get back to you shortly. Thanks very much.

I want to get immediate reaction now from the Republican presidential candidate, the United States Congressman Ron Paul, is joining us from Capitol Hill.

Congressman, thanks very much for coming in.

You see thousands and thousands of folks gathered at Tahrir Square right now. As you know the United States, the U.S. Congress appropriates $1.3 billion a year in U.S. military assistance to Egypt. What do you make of what's going on? What's your immediate reaction?

REP. RON PAUL (R), TEXAS: Well, look, it's chaos and they have a long way to go before it's settled. And I would look at it and say those moneys going to Egypt propping up dictator since, what, 1978, '79, all wasted money, part of the reason why we're in debt. And then we got tired of our dictator, we sort of encourage the rebellion.

And look at where it is. Al Qaeda is stronger in that country now than it was before. This supports my argument that we ought to mind our own business and stay out of the internal affairs of these nations.

But to me, it looks sad. I think it's a real mess over there and it doesn't look like there's going to be any significant change of military dictatorship and the kind of dictatorships we unfortunately have unsupported so many times for so many years.

BLITZER: When you say al Qaeda's stronger in Egypt, I think you mean the Muslim Brotherhood, not necessarily al Qaeda, because the Muslim Brotherhood, apparently, their candidate has won these elections for the next president of Egypt.

PAUL: No, I say al Qaeda as well. The Muslim Brotherhood sometimes get a bad rap and they're not equivalent. But there's more al Qaeda there now, my understanding, than there was, you know, prior to the rebellion that is going on right now.

BLITZER: I just want to be precise, what you're saying is that al Qaeda has a significant presence in Egypt right now? Is that what I'm hearing?

PAUL: I say they have a present -- how significant it is, look at a crowd like that, could there be some involved in the Muslim Brotherhood or whatever? Possibly so. But because of the chaos, the same thing -- look, there's al Qaeda now in Iraq. There was none when we went into Iraq and al Qaeda in Iraq is going into Syria.

I think all our well intention and money is for naught. I think it just leads to problems like this and contributes to our bankruptcy.

BLITZER: You delivered a major speech on Syria today and warned President Obama not to take any action, basically, to ease what's going on there certainly no military action. But give our viewers here in the United States and around the world the gist of what your point is.

PAUL: Well, what I did was I copied the Boland Amendment. Back in, you know, when Nicaragua and contras were fighting, Boland had an amendment passed reiterating the Constitution that you don't go in and support people like that, explicitly denying the present authority to go in. That's what this does.

If he wants to go in, get a declaration of war and certainly confide with the Congress, don't get your declaration of war and your permission from NATO, United Nations. That is an affront to all of us, it's on affront to our Constitution, and not the way we're supposed to use military action around the world.

BLITZER: And you're fearful that the Obama administration is about to undertake some sort of military action in Syria? Is that your concern?

PAUL: Well, last week, it was announced the Pentagon has the plans made. A month ago, they said they didn't have them. Last week they said the plans have been ready for military action in Syria. The neo-conservatives are gleeful over this and they're delighted because that's what they've been agitating for.

BLITZER: I want you to hold on for a moment, Congressman. We'll have much more to talk about, including some political questions. We'll take a quick break. Much more with Congressman Ron Paul right after this.


BLITZER: Supporters of Ron Paul's presidential bid are suing the Republican National Committee. They're accusing the RNC of improperly helping Mitt Romney throughout the Republican nomination fight and they're challenging rules requiring many Republican delegates to vote for the winner of their state's primary or caucus at the convention.

In an internal memo obtained by CNN today, the RNC is calling the lawsuit, quote "frivolous." Ron Paul stopped actively campaigning but still hoping to influence the convention at the end of August in Tampa.

Congressman Ron Paul is joining us once again from Capitol Hill.

What's your reaction to this lawsuit, Congressman?

PAUL: Well, I've heard a little bit about it. But it's not part of our campaign. There certainly have been times when we felt like we came up short in the process, but not extremely so. It hasn't ever motivated me to file a lawsuit.

But, you know, at times when we've been pushed around, it's because the other side hasn't followed the rules, you know? And they closed down conventions for us. And they've done things to try to prevent us.

But that has not motivated me to file a lawsuit.

BLITZER: Are you OK just being associated with some of your supporters who have filed this lawsuit?

PAUL: Am I associated with them?

BLITZER: No. Are you okay being associated because these are all your supporters who actually filed the lawsuit?

PAUL: Well, if they have a legitimate argument that they can make and that's what they want to do, I'm not going to say don't do it. If they ask my advice, I'm going to say don't. I didn't motivate them to do it.

But sometimes they do. I mean, sometimes they're in the states there's been times when I want people to act dignified and not try to cause a ruckus and break -- you know, and disrupt things. At the same time I tell them you don't have to tell them to get pushed around. If they're not following the rules, you have a right to stand up for the rules.

I think for the most part these winning caucuses that we've been involved in we have followed the rules. And the other side has at times not followed the rules.

BLITZER: But I assume you've reconciled yourself with the fact that Romney will be your party's nominee?

PAUL: Well, it looks like he has the delegates, yes. But he doesn't have the control of the hearts and minds of the people. And right now, a lot of people -- a lot of delegate who are pledged to vote for Romney are actually very strong supporters of ours and will be strongly supporting us when we want to put things into the platform to say, hey, we don't need another war. Yes, we do need to audit the Federal Reserve. Yes, we ought to really cut spending.

So there's going to be a lot more support there than the delegate count indicates. They'll be support for our cause of liberty and for what we've been doing for a good many years.

BLITZER: Your son, Senator Rand Paul, has endorsed Romney. I take it you're not yet ready yourself to endorse Romney, are you?

PAUL: No. Not ready.

BLITZER: You're not ready?

PAUL: No way.

BLITZER: When you say "no way," what's stopping you? You obviously appreciate the fact he's going to have 1,144 delegates that will put him over the top.

PAUL: What's he going to achieve? I think it's legitimate for us to continue to debate. I know they don't want the debate at the convention. Everything has to be smooth and proper.

But you know, I helped pay for the convention because the taxpayers pay Republicans $18 million plus. And Obama gets $18 million plus to have these grand parties. I think we should be serious and discuss differences.

It used to be that we would go the last time I actually went and attended a convention. We didn't even know who the nominee would be. And that was in 1976 when Reagan was challenging Ford.

I mean, they used to mean something. Right now I would like to have these conventions mean something and continue to debate and decide what we as a party actually believe in.

BLITZER: Are you ready to say that Mitt Romney won this nomination fair and square?

PAUL: Won what?

BLITZER: Won the Republican presidential nomination? Has Mitt Romney won the Republican presidential nomination fair and square?

PAUL: I have no reason to say that he cheated. No. I don't have that. All I know is that various factions in the party, which is something that has been rather well-known throughout history, is that people will do certain things to make their party look better. But as far as saying that he's done something unfairly, no, I'm not saying that.

BLITZER: Have you been in touch with him or his folks about a role for you at the convention?

PAUL: Not me personally. Maybe staff have indirectly, but, no. I'm not expecting a whole lot to happen there because, you know, we had to have -- you know, we had to have more delegates to say that we had to have, you know, time for speeches and that sort of thing.

No, it hasn't been resolved. They haven't turned us down. We haven't made any requests. And a little bit more time might solve all those questions.

BLITZER: Well, a lot of us will be watching to see, Congressman, if you get a primetime speaking venue at the Republican convention. That would be significant. I assume you agree.

PAUL: I think so. I think that I would probably take care of the opportunity if I could give my speech.

BLITZER: Congressman, as usual, thanks very much for coming in.

PAUL: Thank you.

BLITZER: Ron Paul joining us from Capitol Hill.

Up next, the Senator Marco Rubio not even being vetted by Mitt Romney's campaign as a potential vice presidential running mate. We're going to get to the bottom of that and a lot more. Our "Strategy Session" is coming up.


BLITZER: Right to our "Strategy Session." Joining us two CNN contributors, the Democratic strategist, Donna Brazile and the Republican strategist, Ana Navarro, she is a former National Hispanic co-chair for the John Huntsman Campaign.

Ladies, thanks very much for coming in. Were you surprised, Ana, to wake up this morning and see all these reports out there that Marco Rubio, the popular Republican senator from Florida, is not even being vetted by the Romney campaign as a potential vice presidential pick?

ANA NAVARRO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I was very surprised because, first of all, I think he should be vetted. Marco Rubio deserves to be taken seriously. I can't figure out the logic of the Romney campaign or somebody from the Romney campaign saying that. I've got to think somebody spoke out of time, Wolf, because it just makes no sense.

BLITZER: How do you know it was leaked by the Romney campaign? It may have been leaked by somebody supporting Marco Rubio.

NAVARRO: Well, because, you know, that's not what ABC News said. You know, more than that, the question is why is this happening? Why are they doing that?

I see no benefit to Marco Rubio. I see no benefit to Mitt Romney to something like this being leaked. I think it's a mistake and surprising mistake by a campaign that until now has shown tremendous message discipline and leak control.

BLITZER: Because if they don't think he's really ready to be president of the United States, we know Mitt Romney's top priority is whoever he picks should be ready on day one, not a learning process, with the experience, the capability ready to be president, God forbid if that were necessary.

Why make him go through a long vetting process, questionnaires, all the tax returns for all those years, the embarrassment, if they don't really the he's ready for it?

DONNA BRAZILE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, look, I think first of all it was a snub. I also believe it was insulting to Senator Rubio. After all, he's a rising star within the Republican Party. He's very popular with the Republican base.

He's very popular in the state of Florida. Everybody knows Florida is a battleground state. Marco Rubio has been spending most of his time shop around alternative to the Dream Act. I don't know who in their right mind would leak it.

And another important book that "The Washington Post" reported also wrote about Marco Rubio. It's where you put old school politics where you put blacks and Latinos out there as potential running mates and then you start cutting them off at the knees.

BLITZER: We know that Tim Pawlenty and certainly Rob Portman, the senator from Ohio, Tim Pawlenty the former governor of Minnesota, John Thune, I think, the senator from South Dakota, I believe they are on the short list.

NAVARRO: Look, Wolf, he doesn't have to be vetted. Mitt Romney has the complete choice of who he chooses to vet and who he chooses to be his running mate. It's his choice. It's his decision. He's going to have to live with it.

BLITZER: But it's a most important decision he has to make as a nominee of a party?

NAVARRO: But also I think there's no winning side to saying that he's not being vetted. I think there's somebody with an axe to grind against Marco Rubio, maybe.

And I agree with Donna. I think it's no coincidence it's happening on the day he's launching his book tour when he's about to get on a bus and go through swing states do an entire book tour through Florida.

Marco Rubio is a media blitz. He's going to get asked about this every time. He's taking the high road. He's not responding about this. He's not my boss. I can say I think it was wrong, I think it was a mistake and I think it was dumb.

BLITZER: Of those other three that I mentioned, who do you think is strongest?

BRAZILE: Bland, boring and super boring?

BLITZER: Rob Portman was a trade representative, a budget director, a senator, a congressman.

BRAZILE: They all have strong bios. I think Mitt Romney is going to look for somebody who possibly could add to the bio he's putting out there, his narrative about being a job creator.

He might look at one of those individuals. He also might look at Governor Pawlenty. He's been vetted a little bit. You know, I see him a lot on TV.

BLITZER: It was the first-runner up four years ago and McCain picked Sarah Palin instead.

BRAZILE: He has a paper trail. But, you know, Mitt Romney may go off the page and find somebody from the private sector and overwhelm all of us with a lot of paper.

BLITZER: I think I'll pick one of those guys. BRAZILE: Needs a little spice, just a little spice.

NAVARRO: Put money on those after we get off air.

BLITZER: Guys, thanks very much.

BRAZILE: Thank you.

BLITZER: President Obama's in Mexico right now, but his eyes are set on Europe. We're live at the G-20 in Los Cabos where we have new developments in the chase to try to solve the European economic crisis.


BLITZER: President Obama's wrapping up his last trip outside of the United States before the November election. And he's hoping to return from the G-20 Summit in Mexico with some encouraging news for the U.S. economy.

Our White House correspondent, Brianna Keilar joining us now from the summit in Los Cabos, Mexico. Brianna, have they made any progress based on what we know right now?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Progress, I would say yes, Wolf, a solution to the eurozone crisis, which is the emphasis of this summit, no, but progress.

And that has come in the form of some commitments from nations here to the International Monetary Fund, tens of billions of dollars to that fund to increase it to more than $450 billion. It's really quite a last resort fund should the eurozone crisis spill over in a dramatic way and start effecting countries outside of Europe.

And also we're expecting an assertion at the end of this summit saying that the eurozone members here, four of the 17 nations are here, that they are committed to finding a solution.

And, Wolf, you know this is hugely important for President Obama. His re-election prospects very much hinge on the U.S. economy. And right now the U.S. economy is hinging on the eurozone crisis and finding a solution there.

This summit is really seen as a prelude to the EU summit that will take place in Brussels at the end of the month where we'll likely see much more meat on the bones towards a solution -- Wolf.

BLITZER: The president as you know is speaking later tonight. Do we have any clue what he might be saying?

KEILAR: We're expecting, Wolf, that he'll be focused on the eurozone and he came here to the G-20 Summit with a message. Sort of a pressure message towards the eurozone leaders here especially Germany's Angela Merkel that they need to get it done.

That they need to find a solution and make some progress towards that so we're expecting that to come kind of in the form of him saying that some of these nations understand that they need to do more than they've done.

And he'll also be taking a few questions. No doubt he'll be pressed on Syria as well as a number of other topics -- Wolf.

BLITZER: I think you're right. Brianna, thanks very much.

In this note to our viewers, I'll be anchoring our live coverage of President Obama's news conference at the G-20 Summit in Mexico, it all starts our live coverage 7:30 p.m. Eastern later tonight right here on CNN.

We've all felt the frustration bad customer service or extravagant credit card surcharges. Now there's a new place for you to vent and get results.

And we continue to watch the live pictures out of Cairo right now, thousands and thousands of protesters packing into Tahrir Square. Look at those live pictures.

This is where the revolution in the Arab spring in Egypt started. There are new developments only moments away. We'll go there.


BLITZER: We've all heard people complain about credit card companies and the high fees and the interest rates they sometimes charge. But now there's one place where the whole world can see those complaints in hopes that it will make a difference.

Let's bring back Lisa. She's working this story. What's going on?

LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, there, Wolf. Well, this is a site where consumers can go on and look up how their credit card company measures up whether or not it has logged a number of complaints.

Is there an issue, for example, that a person might be facing that maybe others out there are facing and that's the point of having a data base like this to shine some light on the industry. But the banking and credit card industries, they don't like this a bit.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got problem?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Peggy? Third time I've called. It's time I speak with a supervisor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Supervisor is genius. I transfer. Transfer. Transfer.

SYLVESTER (voice-over): It's such a stereotype that some credit card companies are making fun of their own industry. Hidden fees, lousy customer service, a surprise jump in interest rates, a lot of people have griped about credit card companies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Paid a couple of bills and they sent me more bills behind that one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I missed a payment by five days and they cut off my card. I went to charge something and I couldn't charge it because they had cut it off.

SYLVESTER: Now people have a new tool. The federal government has launched a new consumer complaint database. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau unveiled the site, which includes a snapshot of the 45,000 complaints the bureau says it's collected from consumers on their mortgage, student loans and credit cards.

The bureau's director says, quote, "We hope to improve the transparency and efficiency of this essential consumer market." The database still in its beta version includes 137 cases focused on credit cards and listed by type of complaint, zip code and how the issue was resolved.

Consumer advocates are applauding the new site. The consumer watchdog group, public citizen, has criticized companies for misleading practices.

BARTLETT NAYLOR, PUBLIC CITIZEN: Among the problems are marketing materials that would suggest fees are at a certain level, but small print on page 42 of this particular contract surprise you with something you simply haven't considered.

SYLVESTER: No surprise, credit card companies and banking groups are pushing back accusing the newly formed Consumer Bureau of publishing data that has not been vetted for accuracy.

NESSA FEDDIS, AMERICAN BANKERS ASSOCIATION: That's the bureau vets or verifies the information, it's basically rumor and gossip. And we don't really want consumers making important financial decisions based on rumor and gossip.

SYLVESTER: The American Bankers Association says there are 320 million credit card accounts. They say complaints tally only about 100 of 1 percent.


SYLVESTER: Now, billing disputes are the most common type of complaint followed by gripes about interest rates and accounts being closed.

As for the verification issue, the consumer bureau, they say they confirm with the credit card company that a person making a complaint has had or currently has a credit card.

Even still though, Wolf, the industry feels this list is going to include a lot of frivolous complaints. BLITZER: That's what happens. Thanks very much, Lisa.

When President Obama takes to the practice debate stage, he'll be facing off against John Kerry. But is John Kerry really a good fill-in for Mitt Romney?

And Egypt's former president, Hosni Mubarak headed to the hospital right now. We're live in Cairo right at the top of the hour.


BLITZER: Jack Cafferty's back with the "Cafferty File," -- Jack.

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Question this hour, Wolf, is John Kerry a good fill-in for Mitt Romney when it comes to practicing for the upcoming presidential debates?

Mack in Michigan, "Let's see, never had a real job, check. Living high off money that was either inherited or married into, check. No connection to the reality of an average American, check. Heck, I think John Kerry's just a Republican who wears sweaters."

Burt in Los Angeles writes, "Kerry's from Massachusetts, supportive Governor Romney's universal health insurance law there, his flop on the Iraq war will be easy for him to act out Romney's flip- flops on nearly every other major issue. And finally, he's rich enough to be as out of touch with Americans as Romney is. He'll do fine."

Bob writes, "In quantum physics the same particle can exist in two places at the same time. I believe Romney/Kerry proves this theory."

Gordo of New Jersey, "Let me count the ways, pedantic, boring, out of touch with the common man. I would love to watch these practice debates at bedtime. Of course, Kerry knows foreign affairs. Romney not so much."

King in Massachusetts writes, "To play in best, Kerry's going to have to add that nervous, uncomfortable laugh that Mitt makes during his campaign stops whenever he runs into regular people or sees regular food, like donuts and homemade cookies."

Russ in Pennsylvania writes, I think they starred in the movie "Twins" with Kerry playing the short dude. In the end, they both made money."

And Ken in California, "Good choice, but aren't they overestimating Romney's abilities? Maybe they should get Dan Quail instead."

Tough. If you want to read more about this, got some funny stuff, go to the blog, or through our post on THE SITUATION ROOM's Facebook page -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Jack, thank you.