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Biden Addresses NAACP; Sole Abortion Clinic in Mississippi Fights for Existence; News Evidence Released in Trayvon Martin Case; FBI Releases Report About Sandusky Case; Mississippi's Only Abortion Clinic Fights To Stay Open; New Evidence Released in Trayvon Martin Case
Aired July 12, 2012 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, ANCHOR, "CNN NEWSROOM": Carol, thank you so much. And we are continuing to follow these live pictures, waiting for Joe Biden to step up to the mikes. But it was just moments ago we heard a tape message from the president of the United States.
OK, we're working that for you. Actually, it's -- we work on something called Quick Turn and the president -- or actually, they just aired a tape message from the president at the NAACP convention. We are waiting for Joe Biden to step up to the mikes. Usually these things run on time. Today, not so much.
So while we wait for Joe Biden to step up to the mike, Donna Brazile, a Democratic strategist, is joining us. We're also waiting for Ana Navarro, a Republican strategist.
But, Donna, let's start with you. You know, just kind of stepping away from all the typical politics surrounding this event, as I've been sort of reading through and reminded of other times that Joe Biden has spoken at various events, I'm just curious if you're sitting back, wondering, I wonder what he's going to say and if he's going to cause a stir in Biden-style.
DONNA BRAZILE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, as you know, Joe Biden is quite capable of giving a very strong, inspiring speech. This is an audience that he is familiar with.
As chairman of the Senate judiciary committee for many years, Joe Biden championed civil rights, equality for women and other minorities. This is an opportunity for Joe Biden to talk about the president's record on those issues.
But, also, I think Joe Biden will respond to what Mitt Romney said yesterday about the economy and the president's record on the economy. And I'm sure Joe Biden will receive tremendous applause when he talks about healthcare, not as ObamaCare, but of the Affordable Care Act and how it helps middle class families and other families, how it helps small businesses and children with pre-existing conditions and other Americans.
So, I think Joe Biden will respond to Mitt Romney, but his purpose today is to remind this audience what President Obama has accomplished in the area of civil rights and equal justice for all Americans.
PHILLIPS: So, Ana Navarro, I know we've got you plugged in now. The Republican strategist joining us on this conversation as we wait for Joe Biden to step up to the mikes. What do you think about President Obama sending Joe Biden to this event?
ANA NAVARRO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you know, vice presidents are good for a few things. You send them to the burials of foreign leaders, the weddings of foreign leaders and you send them places you don't want to go. And I think that's what he's doing with Joe Biden today.
I'm not sure there's going to be all that many people to applaud or boo Joe Biden. We were just seeing pictures from a few minutes ago at the auditorium and there's a lot of empty seats. I don't know if it's the weather. I don't know if it's Biden. I don't know if it's -- you know, but people seem to be running late for Joe Biden today. I think that might explain some of the delay. There's a lot of empty chairs in that room right now.
PHILLIPS: Well, ladies, I am going to please ask you to stand by while those seats do get filled and they obviously get the lights ready for Joe Biden to step up to the mikes there at the NAACP.
Donna, Ana, stay with me. We will join the speech as soon as it begins and we, of course, will talk about it afterwards.
PHILLIPS: Meanwhile, the other big story that we are talking about this morning, it's damming, it's scathing, and it's what a lot of people already suspected.
We're talking about former FBI Director Louis Freeh and his investigation into the Jerry Sandusky case. His report just issued a short while ago reveals that Penn state officials completely disregarded signs pointing to Sandusky's abuse of children and totally failed to protect the victims. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOUIS FREEH, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR AND FEDERAL JUDGE: Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky's child victims by the most senior leaders at Penn State.
The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized. Mr. Spanier, Schultz, Paterno, and Curley never demonstrated through actions or words any concern for the safety and well-being of Sandusky's victims until after Sandusky's arrest.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIPS: National correspondent Susan Candiotti in Philly for us. So, Susan, let's talk about specifics here. What exactly did Louis Freeh find in his inquiry? SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'll tell you he found so many things, but among his key findings, I must say, it's impossible to walk away from reading this report, from attending this news conference, without forming an impression that those four top officials, including Coach Joe Paterno were not involved in a systematic cover-up of serial child abuse happening at Penn State, involving, specifically, Jerry Sandusky. That is what Louis Freeh found.
Now, among the key findings, let's look at some of them. I think we have a graphic to show that kind of sums it up.
That they repeatedly, the school did, these top officials, conceal facts. That there was no attempt to investigate the 2001 incident, no attempt to find the victim in that case, no concern for children's safety.
And, Kyra, I will tell you this, you know those e-mails that we began reporting on that were leaked to us just a couple of weeks ago involving the 2001 shower incidents that we all have now heard about involving Jerry Sandusky and the young boy in that shower, reported by Mike McQueary, Judge Freeh called e-mails, those e-mails, the most important evidence in his investigation because they pointed out what these officials knew. They talked about whether to report it and did not report that incident, as they were supposed to do, to outside authorities to investigate.
He also talked specifically about a culture of silence, as it were, at the university, in so many words, and he said the most vivid way to describe that is to point to, I think it was, victim number six, involving a janitor who said that he had seen Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulting, I think it was victim eight, assaulting a boy in the shower there at the Lasch Building and that he was so upset about it, but he didn't report it.
He did tell a supervisor, but no one said anything because they said they were afraid they would lose their jobs. That pretty much summed it up for Louis Freeh.
PHILLIPS: All right, Susan Candiotti, we're going to continue to talk about this because we're going to go to the vice president in just a second at the NAACP, but I do want to get in that Paterno's family denies that he ever knew about the abuse.
They did release a statement earlier this week. Here's what it says. Quote, "Joe Paterno did not cover up for Jerry Sandusky. Joe Paterno did not know that Jerry Sandusky was a pedophile. Joe Paterno did not act in any way to prevent a proper investigation of Jerry Sandusky. To claim otherwise is a distortion of the truth."
OK, let's take you now to the NAACP convention. The vice president of the United States is getting ready to step up to the mike. As you know, the NAACP has called Biden a longtime friend of the organization. Let's go ahead and listen in to the vice president.
(BEGIN LIVE FEED) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Joe Biden continues to provide leadership on important issues facing our nation.
Of relative interest to this audience, Joe Biden was a stand-out high school athlete who participated in an anti-segregation sit-in at a Wilmington theater. He is married to Dr. Jill Biden and they have three children and five grandchildren. NAACP delegates, again, join me in providing a warm, NAACP family welcome to the vice president of the United States of America, Joseph R. Biden!
JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Hello! Please, thank you very much.
You know what they say, flatter is all right as long as you don't inhale. You keep this up, I'll start inhaling. It's good to be home. It's good to be home. It's good to be back.
Ladies and gentlemen, Madam Chair, as we used to say in the Senate, if you excuse the point of personal privilege, where is Delaware? Hey, Delaware, I want you to know something, ladies and gentlemen, I'm a lifetime member of the NAACP and there's that old expression. You go home with those that "brung" you to the dance. They have "brung" me to the dance.
I'm a United States senator and a vice president of the United States for one reason because I was educated. I was educated by Lewis L. Redding. I was educated by Reverend Maurice Moyer. I was educated by Lit Mitchell, Hicks Anderson and I went through the battle with Mouse.
Mouse, are you out there? Hey, Mouse, how you doing, man? All right. Mouse and I go back a long way to the days when I was a public defender. Even before that, when the days I was the only white employee on the East Side. Remember, Mouse? And by the way, Mouse got my back a bunch of times.
But at any rate, it's so, so good to be with you all. I want to thank you all for your leadership and for your friendship and, again, to be personal, for your loyalty. It is not an exaggeration. Were it not for the leadership of the NAACP, for the men and women who educated me when we would sit over in Reverend Wright's churches. We were talking about desegregating the Rialto and the Queen movie theaters. Remember, mouse, those days?
I learned so much. I learned so much. And I owe so much. But ladies and gentlemen, this is -- as much as I enjoy it, this is not about me. This is about another office. This is about the presidency. This is about -- more than any other office in the land, the presidency is about character, the character of your convictions, whether you put country above politics.
From the very moment that Barack Obama took his hand off that Bible on that cold January day in the Mall, he has done just that. He has put country first. When the economy was about to go over the cliff, I watched him make some of the toughest decisions any president has had to make since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He saved the nation's financial system and, in doing so, he prevented a worldwide depression. It wasn't a popular decision, but it was an essential decision and he was right while we needed a national financial system to function and credit to flow again.
He stepped up and rescued the automobile industry. It was not popular. It was not popular, but it was critical and he was right, saving a million jobs and creating 200,000 new jobs in the automobile industry. General Motors now leads the world again and Chrysler is the fastest growing company in America.
This is a man who made the call to go after Osama bin Laden. It was a bold -- it was a bold decision, a bold decision with profound risks for our warriors as well as his presidency, but he made it and he made that decision on his own. Bin Laden is dead and America is more secure because of this man's decision.
He passed the Affordable Care Act, a goal strived for by presidents starting with Teddy Roosevelt. It required him, early on, to use up almost all of his political capital. He prevailed where no president had done before. He was right. He was right. He cut $100 billion from the federal debt over the next 10 years, providing access to affordable health care to 30 million Americans, eight million black Americans who would never have had insurance.
This is a man, this is a president, who has the character of his convictions and almost never since we've taken office, during this entire time, did the Republican congress reach across the aisle to help.
On the recovery act, which kept us from sliding further into a depression, only three Republican senators and not one House member voted for it. On the Affordable Care Act, no Republican in the Senate and none in the House on the final vote.
But it wasn't just on the big signature issues. It was on the easy, obvious things where we got no cooperation. Extending the payroll tax, only seven Republicans initially voted for it. Lilly Ledbetter, equal pay, three Republicans voted for it in the House.
When we attempted to raise the debt living to maintain the full faith and credit of the United States, not a single Republican met the responsibility of meeting that requirement, resulting in a negotiation that brought us to the brink of disaster, ultimately causing America's credit rating to be lowered for the first time.
But it wasn't until later -- folks it wasn't until later that we learned that this was a plan, obstructionist was a plan from the outset. According to a recent book by respected author, Robert Draper, he stated, in a meeting the night of inauguration, according to Draper, Republican leaders from Paul Ryan to Eric Cantor to Kevin McCarthy, they gathered. McCarthy in the book is reported to have said, "If you act like you're a minority, you're going to stay a minority. We've got to challenge them on every single bill and challenge them on every single campaign."
Newt Gingrich, who was also there, said -- and he was prophetic -- "You will remember this as the day the seeds of 2012 were sewn." Well, they were seeds of obstruction.
Later, Mitch McConnell just said it out loud. When talking about lessons he'd learned from history, he said, quote, "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one- term president." Not to get us out of this recession, not to promote jobs, not to do the things that need to be done. But make Barack Obama a one-term president and, folks, their discipline is amazing. They have never let up, but neither has my guy. Neither has president Barack Obama.
He has not given up. He continues to be driven by the character of his convictions and, folks, in the end, that's what the presidency is all about, your character, your convictions and one more important thing. It's about your vision for the future of America. And here the candidates for president have fundamentally different visions for the future of this country.
By the way, I think Mitt Romney's a fine, family man. I believe he's driven by what he believes, but the differences are so basic about how we view the future of America.
Let me give you just a few examples. On education, we see education as central to the vision of how to ensure America's ascendancy throughout the 21st century. We see as the single most important criteria for minority children. We see education. We see a future where, once again, America has the highest percentage of college graduates in the world, a future where school graduation rates of high school are not a matter of what neighborhood you feel like, what your background are your parents, what your economic circumstances are.
A future where everyone has access to education beyond high school because six out of ten jobs in the coming decade are going to require more than a high school diploma. A future where everyone can find a decent job where quality early education is available to our children, increasing exponentially the chances they will succeed in school, where class sizes are small so kids can get personalized attention they need, where we demand more of our teachers and we treat them like they are, professionals, high standards and pay equal to other professions.
Look, education doesn't play a central role in the Romney- Republican vision of the future of America. It's on the back burner. It's not a priority. You doubt me, just look at their budget for the future, massive cuts in early education. The one thing all educators agree on is the central, most important initiative to deal right upfront, right upfront with the achievement gap, elimination of the tuition tax credit for families, cuts in Pell Grant scholarships for children of low-income families, cuts in Title I funding for lowest performing schools, cuts of $2.7 billion, cuts in special education funding.
In my view, backing away from the proposition that we've held for years and years that children should be educated to the degree to which they are educable. Cuts by $2.2 billion, cuts in job training, just listen to what they say, what he says. He says the effort to reduce classroom size may actually hurt education more than it helps. Tell that to all of those private schools. Tell that to all of those parents.
Energy, we envision a future where clean, renewable energy represents an increasingly large share of energy consumed in America, an America that is energy-independent. We see a nation that breathes cleaner air, where our cities are not polluted, where asthma doesn't claim the lives of African-American children four times as great as it does to all other children because of the environment in which they live.
Romney sees a different energy future, where renewable energy, wind, solar, biofuels, they are not a priority. Where Romney's allies in the Congress oppose any incentives to invest in clean energy, but insist on retaining a $4 billion a year tax cut for the oil industry, a tax even they acknowledge they don't need.
Women's rights, we see America where no woman pays more for health care than any man in America, where working women have access to quality affordable child care, where women receive equal pay for equal work. We see a future where the barriers are removed for women and girls who want to participate in science, technology, engineering and the math fields, where the Violence Against Women Act, the proudest achievement of my career is not only law, but part of American culture, where the government doesn't make choices for women, where every woman has unfettered access to contraception and family planning, if she desires it. In short, we see, we see an America where our daughters have every -- and I mean, every -- opportunity our sons have.
Governor Romney and his allies in the Congress see a different future for women in America. The governor isn't sure what his position is on the Violence Against women Act. He's not sure whether or not Lilly Ledbetter law that was passed was good. But he is certain what his position is on Row v. Wade, overturning; Planned Parenthood, get rid of it.
He's certain that any employer should be able to decide whether or not to make contraception available on their health care plans, where working women lose access to quality child care, where social policy is basically a throwback to the '50s.
In innovation and medical research, we see an America where HIV is a thing of the past, where infant mortality is dramatically reduced. That's why we continue to invest in basic research and the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health. The research universities, Romney sees a very different future, where he cuts funding for the NIH and National Science Foundation. Health care, we see a future where everyone has access to affordable health care; where seniors have access to prescription drugs at a lower cost; where they have access to preventive care, making their lives more livable and reducing costs; where insurance companies cannot deny coverage because of a pre-existing condition; where there are no limits on insurance policies; where children can stay with their parents on their policy until they are 26; where Medicare is guaranteed and Medicaid is expanded; where no American faces the prospect of bankruptcy just because they get sick.
Romney and his allies see health care a different way, controlled by the insurance companies; where pregnancy is a pre-existing condition; where coverage can be taken away if you get sick or hit your limit; where Medicare is voucherized; 19 million people cut off of Medicaid; where 30 million Americans will have to wait for another generation before they have a chance for affordable, decent health care.
On a tax system, we see a system where everybody pays their fair share; where the middle class tax cut is maintained and where no one making a million dollars or year or more pays a lower percentage in income than middle class and working class families; where the college tuition tax credit is made permanent; where the earned income tax credit and the child tax credit are preserved; where everyone -- and I mean everyone -- has skin in the game and no one gets played for a sucker.
The tax code that Governor Romney and his allies envision continues to be skewed to help the very wealthy. He preserves the Bush tax for the wealthiest among us, $530 billion of that tax cut over the next 10 years going to just 120,000 households in America while we cut and eviscerate all of these other programs, while the debt continues to climb.
But in addition, he proposes a with $1.6 trillion tax cut. The people who can qualify are only people who make $1 million or more. He eliminates college tuition tax credit. The earned income tax credit, and the child tax credit are cut. The result, 2.2 million African-American working families will see a tax increase if he succeeds. That's a fact.
On foreign policy, we see a future where we, we, the president and I and the Democratic party see a future where America leads by the power of example as well as the example of its power; where the democracies of the world join to share the burden of maintaining world peace; where we continue to reduce nuclear arms around the world; where responsibility is turned over to the Afghans and American troops can start to come home.
Governor Romney and his allies see a very different future for America's involvement in the world, one that still has 30,000 combat troops in Iraq. Remember, he criticized us for bringing them home, said 30,000 combat troops should remain. Where we set no date for leaving Afghanistan. We stay and he doesn't say how long. Where the new START treaty, the new arms-control treaty with Russia, endorsed by every former secretary of state, secretary of defense, national security adviser in the Republican party, where he said he would not have proposed it and would have voted against it and I suspect means where he would abandon it.
Where Russia is viewed, in his mind, as the greatest geopolitical threat and foe America faces. Where in the future we once again decide to go it alone. This guy's vision of the future of American foreign policy is mired in the Cold War and the Cold War is over.
On civil rights, your raison d' etre, the reason for our existence -- and, by the way, I want to remind everybody of one thing. Remember, remember what this, at its core, was all about. Why this organization at its core was all about. It was about the franchise.
BIDEN: It was about the right to vote.
BIDEN: Because when you have the right to vote, you have the right to change things.
BIDEN: And we -- the president and I and Eric, and all of us, we see a future where those rights are expanded, not diminished --
BIDEN: -- where racial profiling is a thing of the past --
BIDEN: -- where access to the ballot is expanded and unencumbered --
BIDEN: -- where there are no distinctions made on the basis of race or gender and access to housing and lending.
BIDEN: And so much more.
BIDEN: Did you think we'd be fighting these battles again?
BIDEN: I was chairman of the Judiciary Committee for almost 17 years with a ranking member. We went through these battles. I didn't think -- I didn't think we'd be back. I remember working with Republicans. Republicans. And by the way, this ain't your father's Republican party. (LAUGHTER)
BIDEN: Remember, remember working with Republicans on Motor Voter, on expanding the franchise on early voting and voting by mail. Some of these were Republican ideas. But this is not the Republican party viewed today, nor Romney's. They see a different future, where voting is made harder, not easier, where the Justice Department is even prohibited from challenging any of those efforts to suppress votes.
BIDEN: No, no, I know -- look, I know you know, but I'm not sure everybody does. The House of Representatives' Republicans voted affirmatively to prevent, to prevent the Justice Department from even investigating whether or not there was voter suppression?
BIDEN: Folks --
BIDEN: -- there's a lot more to say, but this is preaching to the choir.
BIDEN: Let me --
BIDEN: Let me close, my friends --
BIDEN: -- by saying I want you -- I mean this sincerely. Just close your eyes and imagine. Imagine what the Romney Justice Department will look like.
BIDEN: Imagine when his senior adviser on constitutional issues is Robert Borke.
BIDEN: Imagine the recommendations for who is likely to be picked as attorney general and head of the Civil Rights Division --
BIDEN: -- or those other incredibly important positions of justice. Imagine -- and I mean this -- this is one of the most critical issues in this election. Imagine what the Supreme Court will look like after four years of a Romney presidency.
BIDEN: Folks, this election, in my view, is a fight for the heart and soul of America.
BIDEN: These guys aren't bad guys. They just have a fundamentally different view. The best way to sum up the president's view, my view, and I think your view, is we see America where, in the words of the scripture, what you do unto the least of my brethren, you do unto me.
BIDEN: As President Obama says, we are our brother's keeper.
BIDEN: We are our sister's keeper.
BIDEN: We have an obligation.
BIDEN: And at the outset, as I said, I believe this election will come down to character, conviction, and vision.
BIDEN: And it will not surprise you, I don't think it's even a close call.
BIDEN: So it's time -- it's time for the NAACP to do what it's always done, what it did for me, a young kid in Wilmington, Delaware, to inspire a generation, to stand up, make our case, stand our ground, and make real, hard vision for America.
BIDEN: God bless you all and may God protect our troops!
BIDEN: Thank you.
BIDEN: Thank you.
(END LIVE FEED) PHILLIPS: Vice president of the United States Joe Biden there at the NAACP convention in Houston. You heard his introduction. Long- time friend of the NAACP.
Let's bring in our Donna Brazile, democratic strategist; Ana Navarro, Republican strategist.
Donna, he rolled out the scripture. He got spiritual, and they love that.
That is Joe Biden. We had to expect that.
DONNA BRAZILE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST & CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, if was a family reunion. Joe Biden, as I mentioned, is very familiar with the audience. He's been a champion for civil rights and equality all of his adult life since serving in the United States Senate. He's been someone that the NAACP and many other civil rights and women's organizations and others have relied on to champion those issues, to breakdown the barriers, to provide equal opportunity to all Americans.
I thought this was a great speech. It was inspiring. The audience loved it. There's no question that he talked about President Obama's accomplishments. He stabilized the economy. He captured and brought bin Laden to justice, on and on.
The most important part of his speech was the vision. He said, this is where Mitt Romney would lead the economy, on taxes, foreign policy. He laid it out for the audience, for America. He summed it up best by saying that this election is about the heart and soul of America. And the quotation of scripture at the end, so what you do to the least of these. So I thought it was a remarkable speech.
Of course, there are still people who would have preferred that President Obama was there. But Joe Biden delivered today not only for the president but I do believe he gave a great speech for many Americans who still want to see a country that continues to live under those words, equal justice under the law.
PHILLIPS: Ana Navarro, you have strong opinions, so why do you think the president did not go and asked Joe Biden to go and stand in for him. And then you see a speech like this, you get a reaction like this, and you tend to think, OK, it looks like that was the pretty good decision to make.
ANA NAVARRO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST & CNN CONTRIBUTOR: You know, Joe Biden is very familiar with this role. I just saw him give a very similar speech two days ago to another group that was snubbed by Obama this year. And I think Biden showed in the speech that he's familiar with this crowd, that he knows how to speak, that he knows how to hype up this crowd. He also showed he's very comfortable and familiar with his role as attacker in chief. Yes, the NAACP didn't get the top dog but they got the attack dog. Joe Biden was out there in full force. He knows how to do it. He's been doing it for years. He gave a very effective speech. He gave a speech that touched on all of the good things. He gave -- you know, I'm glad that at least he came up with one good point to say about Mitt Romney, said he's a good family man. But he went to town on Republicans, on Mitt Romney.
Interestingly enough, he spoke for 30 minutes, which, for Joe Biden time, is almost a short speech.
And didn't once mention the 14.4 unemployment rate that the African-American community is living under the Obama administration and the Obama administration. So it's an interesting speech about all the good things, taking credit for everything but the sun coming up in the morning.
It was a great speech for that crowd. Beautifully put together. Joe Biden showing his mastery at speechifying. But he did not address some of the worst problems that the African-American community is confronting right now. And it was good for him to be doing this the day after Romney because he knew what the hot-button issues were. He knew what to say and what to spend the time on. He knew that Mitt Romney had been booed on health care yesterday, so he spent a great deal of time on that. I tell you, it was Joe Biden at his best on the speechifying.
PHILLIPS: Donna, I'll get you to respond in just a second.
The president -- the crowd did hear from the president. It was via video, however. Let's take a quick look at that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I stand on your shoulders. And at the NAACP, you have always believed in the American promise, that idea that no matter who you are or what you look like or where you come from, America is the place where you can make it if you try. That's why you fought so hard for good jobs and a quality education and a justice system that treats everybody fairly. That's why you help make health care reform a reality. That's why you're still fighting today, because you know that our mission right now is not just to recover from the recession, it is to reclaim the security that so many Americans have lost.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIPS: What do you think, Donna? Is he taking the African- American vote for granted just by doing a video message and letting his number-two come and make the big speech today?
BRAZILE: Every summer, every year there are almost -- colleges, numbers of organizations that hold their gathering, from the National Urban League, the National Action Network, the same week Operation Push, Reverend Jesse Jackson is having a conference in Chicago. So they should now Reverend --it's important to understand that President Obama is not going to make every event and show up at every conference. But he was there in spirit. He gave a video and Joe Biden gave a speech today worthy of praise. And in many ways, he answered some of the misleading lies and charges that the Republicans have leveled against this administration. He took them on. He took on some of nonsense that Mitt Romney talked about yesterday in terms of education and health care. But more importantly, and I think Ana raised a good point, and that is African-Americans, like most American, are concerned about jobs. And if Republicans are concerned, the should spend more time on capitol hill passing the president's jobs plan, his Jobs Act, so we can get America back to work, so that people are paying for the services that they desire from the government. And then we can talk about some of the other initiatives that President Obama is trying to get through Congress. But this is a Congress, as Joe Biden mentioned earlier on in his speech, that is hell bent on making President Obama a one-term president and not willing to work with the president, compromise with the president so that every American can succeed at doing what he or she desires.
PHILLIPS: Ana, you heard Joe Biden saying it basically comes down to two men with different visions for the future of this country. Do you agree?
NAVARRO: I do agree. I think it is a very stark choice. I think Mitt Romney needs to lay out his vision, needs to exactly show just how different it is. I think that's absolutely right. I think Joe Biden hit it on the nail there when he said there's two different visions for the country. And the question is going to be, what is the vision that the American people choose, come November.
Barack Obama is in Washington. The president has a very light schedule. Today, I think he's giving an interview to Charlie Rose somewhat later. So really, he didn't go there because he chose not to go there. He's got to have his own reasons. But I think Joe Biden had to deliver for him because he wasn't there. Being there in spirit doesn't count. Being there in the flesh does. And Joe Biden did deliver a very good speech today.
PHILLIPS: Ana Navarro --
BRAZILE: But you know what counts? You know what counts? Is making sure the right policies are in place so that all Americans can find jobs, survive this recession, the after effects of the recession, and so that we can be more strong and competitive in the 21st century. That's what matters. He may not be there physically. President Obama was not there. We can acknowledge that. But the policies and direction and vision his has for the country is what will service the NAACP and many other Americans in the near future.
NAVARRO: I agree with you Donna --
PHILLIPS: It sounds like he satisfied the crowd.
NAVARRO: Qualities matter. And the qualities are that at 14.4 percent unemployment.
PHILLIPS: Donna Brazile, Ana Navarro. Ladies, we'll leave it there. Thank you so much.
PHILLIPS: Mississippi's only abortion clinic will stay open for now as they fight a law that could shut it down for good. A judge yesterday continues to block a law that would require clinic physicians to have privileges to admit patients to hospital.
David Mattingly is joining us from Jackson.
David, let's recap what this law says so we have a clear picture.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kyra, we are reporting inside Mississippi's last abortion clinic. It's still opened for business. It's not seeing patients today. It's an administrative day. But this clinic does see 2,000 women a year coming here seeking abortions. They have those abortions performed in rooms just like this.
The state law in effect now requires the doctor to who perform these abortions, to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. That may not sound like a big problem but these doctors are from out of state. The application process takes a long time. They've applied to all the hospitals here in the Jackson area, about a half dozen of them, and so far they have not been able to hear back from the hospitals about those emitting privileges. In the meantime, this clinic would be in violation of that state law.
Yesterday, the federal judge hearing the case decided to extend a temporary restraining order so this clinic could remain open while the judge determines the future of that state law.
So that's where we are right now. Everyone is still in limbo waiting to hear what happens next with the law and the future of this clinic -- Kyra?
PHILLIPS: All right. And we will wait for that.
David Mattingly, thank you so much.
As he mentioned, it's a temporary order. It's just that, temporary. The threat to actually shut down Mississippi's only abortion clinic is very real, as we pointed out. But what exactly is the intent behind this law? Here's what the state lawmaker who actually authored it says.
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STATE REP. SAM MIMS, (R), MISSISSIPPI: We still believe this is a health care issue for women in Mississippi. We still believe that women receiving the abortions need to have a certified OB/GYN and they need to have physicians follow them in a local hospital. So it's still a health care issue for us.
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PHILLIPS: All right. Diane Derzis is the owner and woman in charge of the Jackson Women's Health Organization, the state's last remaining abortion clinic, where you just say David Mattingly talk to us live. Diane is also there.
Diane, you just heard Mims talk about the law's intent, in his opinion. Are you saying that's not a fair argument, to protect women against unscrupulous doctors?
DIANE DERZIS, DIRECTOR, JACKSON WOMEN'S HEALTH ORGANIZATION: That's absolutely not a fair argument. Even the state has issued its own report on the safety of this clinic. We are in full compliance and have been ever since we've had a license. Mr. Mims has been clear elsewhere that his intent is to shut down this facility, to see abortion cease to exist in the state of Mississippi.
PHILLIPS: Do you believe this is all political, that his is an anti-abortion force that is behind this?
DERZIS: I think there is no question. I think Phil Bryant has made that clear, the lieutenant governor has made it clear. In fact, most of the state representatives have been clear that their intent here is to keep passing laws that will, in fact, put us out of business. This isn't the first time they've tried it. They've done it in previous years and we've been able to comply. We still may be able to comply. But they just weren't willing to give us the time necessary to hear back from the hospitals.
PHILLIPS: Diane, why not just hire local doctors. We're hearing bits and pieces of the law and the requirements and what is being discussed about these out-of-state doctors and these privileges there. why not hire local doctors?
DERZIS: I would love to have local physicians. That's not an option here because the anti-choice people stalk them, send out wanted posters in their neighborhood, threaten their children. They create such a climate of harassment and terror that none of the local physicians here are willing to do that. As we saw earlier with Paul Redicson (ph), Phil Bryant removed him from the Board of Health. that's a clear message that any of you help this clinic will suffer.
PHILLIPS: What about the critics that say, if this is shut down, there are other abortion clinics in states where your patients could go, so why isn't that enough?
DERZIS: Last time I looked, Mississippi is still a state in this country and women still have a constitutional right to have access to abortion. The other part of that is traveling out state you're looking at at least four hours, twice, because there's a 24-hour waiting period in every surrounding state. That's fine if you're a woman of means. For those women who are maintaining two to three jobs, who have children, who have to arrange child care, come up for money with gas, you've placed a burden on those women that is untenable. And the latest rulings on that show that you cannot place a burden on a woman. she has a constitutional right to have this procedure. We are still legally operating.
PHILLIPS: Diane Derzis, appreciate your time this morning. Thank you.
And an official --
DERZIS: Thank you.
PHILLIPS: You bet.
We did speak with an official with the Department of Health in Mississippi and this is what they tell CNN. Let me actually go, so I get that exactly.
Can we come back to that official statement? That would be great. Thank you.
What we are told is, despite some of the past minor citations that the Jackson Women's Health Organization has a very good record with the State Health Department. That is the statement we got. As we heard Diane tell us the same thing, they are complying with what the state asked them to do.
PHILLIPS: It's a key question that weighs heavily on Trayvon's Martin's family, supporters, and the community, did Trayvon's race play a role in the night George Zimmerman killed the unarmed teen. New evidence released by prosecutors less than an hour ago that give us insight into that exact question, and includes a look at what FBI agents discovered during their investigation.
Martin Savidge has been following this closely, combing through all the documents.
But let me ask you, is it new evidence or are these additional documents, all the documents that we already have been sifting through?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And it's not just documents. We're talking audiotapes, video tapes. we're talking photographs.
PHILLIPS: This is all new pieces of evidence that we have not seen, heard, come across?
SAVIDGE: In some ways we have heard this before, but there is new documentation that sort of verifies what we had heard. You've got e-mails that took place between George Zimmerman and the chief of police at the time, Bill Lee. This is documents we had heard of, now we actually have them in our hand. We have airplane surveillance of the neighborhood where the shooting took place. Does it show anything specific? No. But again, this is all the evidence that the state has gathered in its second-degree murder case against George Zimmerman. And by law, they have to provide it to the defense team, which is what they've already done, and by Florida law, they also have to make it available for the public to see, and that's why we are getting it now.
PHILLIPS: OK. Anything new? If not, what stands out to you?
SAVIDGE: No big blockbusters yet.
PHILLIPS: No big blockbusters.
SAVIDGE: But interesting nuance. For instance, you hear the police conversations after the shooting has taken place. I mean, this takes you back to that very cold, dreary February 26th night when George Zimmerman first saw 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. And after the shooting has taken place, there's a lot of confusion in the neighborhood. That's quite clear. Multiple calls coming in. police were already on the way. They can't quite figure out where the shooting has taken place. Somebody is screaming for help. Where is this happening? That's the initial essence of confusion, which is common when these shootings take place. But the first officer on the scene, Tim Smith (ph), finds Trayvon Martin on the ground and George Zimmerman beside him.
PHILLIPS: Anything to show that race was a factor here? Because we're talking so much about the various civil rights investigations.
SAVIDGE: Right. This is a separate federal probe being done by the FBI. 12 federal agents descended on the area. So far, we're still looking for what they have found.
SAVIDGE: The public concern was, of course, that race may have motivated George Zimmerman to shoot, and race may have been somehow involved with George Zimmerman being cleared by the police department.
PHILLIPS: And in addition to that we're following the Department of Justice investigation into the same issue.
Martin Savidge, thank you so much.
SAVIDGE: You bet.
PHILLIPS: Thanks for watching, everyone. CNN INTERNATIONAL will begin right after a quick break.