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CNN NEWSROOM

Schools May Not Open in Chicago; "The Price of Politics"; Democrats, Israel and the GOP; DNC Chair Defends Her Performance; Down Syndrome Teen Kicked Off Plane; Chicago Teachers on Strike; Swivel, Future of Shopping

Aired September 9, 2012 - 19:00   ET

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


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Romney attended church and spent the day -- a down day in Massachusetts, but his taped interview on NBC's "Meet the Press" has a lot of people talking. Romney says he favors some ideas from Obama's health care reform legislation.

At least 79 people were killed in Iraq today in a wave of attacks. In Kirkuk car bombs targeted a police recruitment center, intelligence headquarters and Iraqi security forces. Six car bombs exploded in Baghdad, killing 33 people and two more car bombs exploded in a commercial district in Amara (ph). The U.S. embassy in Baghdad condemned the attacks for targeting innocent civilians.

A volcano shoots ash and gas two and a half miles into the sky in Nicaragua. More than 1,500 people were evacuated yesterday after Nicaragua's (inaudible) volcano erupted three times. The San Cristobal volcano is almost 6,000 feet tall. A government spokeswoman says some 20,000 people in surrounding towns may be affected by it.

In Syria, opposition forces say a bomb landed on a kindergarten in Aleppo today, the bomb leveled an entire residential block reportedly causing many casualties. The oppositions says at least 160 were killed across the country; they also claim the government is targeting their water supply.

It was only fitting that a Briton had one of the last gold medals of the London Paralympics David Weir clinched it with a win in the men's marathon. After 11 days of competition, the games are wrapping up with an elaborate closing ceremony. Organizers say they sold nearly three million tickets to the games.

We still don't know if public schools will be open tomorrow in Chicago. That means about 400,000 school kids may stay home while teachers and city officials try to find some common ground on pay and other quality of life benefits. It's an ongoing dispute but the teachers say they will not show up in the morning without an agreement.

Ted Rowlands now in Chicago -- Ted, at some point, somebody's got to make a decision about whether there will be school tomorrow and it is getting late.

TED ROWLANDS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is getting late, Don and it is assumed that there will not be an agreement tonight by most people. That's what everyone is telling parents to assume. To get Plan B set and ready to go, at issue is not just money, but some other issues, including job security. Some believe this is just a money grab from teachers, but take a listen to the union boss of the teachers' union. And she says there's a lot more to it than that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KAREN LEWIS, CHICAGO TEACHER'S UNION: Our union has put together a research-based solution to solving some of the problems in Chicago. Those of us who do this work are tired of being told basically sit down and shut up. We know better.

I don't think people understand that in our system, we have had a revolving door of administrators. Every time they come in, they come in with some new idea that we're supposed to implement and no support, no research.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROWLANDS: There you see Don, a lot of acrimony and there has been over the past few weeks they are still negotiating and they say the deadline is midnight tonight.

LEMON: I said benefits, pay or whatever quality of life benefits, so Ted, spell out exactly what these big issues are. What's this all about? It's not really just about money. Correct, it's not just money?

ROWLANDS: Yes -- no. And one of the specific things that the teachers want is for their older, the veteran teachers to be protected in the case of a school closing or if schools are consolidated. That's something that's very important to them.

And one thing the district wants is a merit pay scenario to take place in the fourth year of the contract. They want nothing to do with that. So those are the three main things, those two and then and salary.

So, whether they'll be able to figure it out in the next few hours, who knows.

LEMON: We spoke to a parent earlier. And I'm wondering we spoke -- we heard what she had to say, what are you hearing from Chicago parents while you're there? How -- how are they going to face a potential few days of no school?

ROWLANDS: Well, here are a couple of things here and first of all -- oh, what am I going to do with the kids? You know some people say they're going to have to take off from work. Some are figuring out child care scenarios.

We talked to one woman a few hours ago here in the Englewood District she says she's concerned about safety. Safety not only for her kids, but the 400,000 kids that are going to be out of school and in the streets of Chicago potentially and of course, they are dangerous streets. Take a listen to what she said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHATARA SCAGGS, MOTHER: If the kids are not in school, they're out getting to some kind of trouble or something. They're out getting into something other than being in school. And they should be in school, learning. Other than being out and being destructive.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROWLANDS: And Don, there will be 144 schools open tomorrow for parents to drop kids off. It is not a learning environment. They are being staffed by non-union employees of the school district. The teachers say that it is going to be a chaotic disaster is how they articulated it. We'll just have to see how it all plays out.

The bottom line is, tomorrow morning, it is going to be a bit chaotic here in Chicago.

LEMON: Yes the clock is ticking on whether they come to some sort of resolution. Ted Rowlands thank you. We appreciate it.

You know it's being called required reading for Washington insiders and while Bob Woodward's new book is not out until Tuesday, we got our hands on a copy. You're about to get a sneak peak. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Ok let's talk about you. "The White House is not happy with Debbie Wasserman Schultz. She's become a distraction especially with the misquotes and making news in the wrong way." What do you say to that?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: My chat with Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the reporter she accused of intentionally misquoting her.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: He broke the Watergate story that brought down a president, now Bob Woodward has his sights set on President Obama and his relationship with Congress. It's all in a new book called "The Price of Politics".

Our Athena Jones has got her hands on a copy and she tells us about it.

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi Don. Well, I have the book right here. And it has a lot of interesting details especially around the negotiations between the President and White House staff and the congressional leadership over the debt ceiling -- you'll remember that big debate last year, last July. It was a really big deal that it came down to the wire. One part here I want to point to is on the night of July 29th, this was the day that the House led whereby Republican past Speaker John Boehner's version of the deal that would have raised the debt ceiling in two steps. This is something that the President was very much opposed to. Because it would have meant a second debt ceiling fight this year in the midst of this already heated election season.

And so during that discussion he asked his Treasury Secretary if he could veto this and Treasury Secretary Geithner said you can't veto this. It would cause basically a catastrophe, as we know the U.S. not being able to pay its obligations.

Now, what's interesting here is that Woodward writes that one of the President's top political advisers David Plouffe, I'm going to put this quote on the screen here. David Plouffe said "If he caves", meaning President Obama, "it will have long lasting political repercussions that we may never get out of. If we draw a line in the sand on something this important and cross it, we may never be able to come back."

Now, essentially, ultimately, the President did not have to worry about whether to veto this bill. The House Republicans ended up dropping that insistence on making the debt ceiling increase come in two parts and agreed to make it one part so they could avoid having this whole fight again this year.

But it's an interesting glimpse into some of the behind-the-scenes action there and some of the considerations that were going on.

On more point Don I should mention is that for people outside of the Beltway, outside of the Washington bubble who may not be as interested in all the -- the nitty-gritty of retelling of the story, what they would be most interested in is the conclusions that Bob Woodward draws after interviewing more than 100 people coming up with more than hundreds of hours really of recordings, thousands of pages of transcripts. And not everybody -- he really takes both Speaker Boehner and President Obama to task for essentially kicking the can down the road when it comes to dealing with these big issues of how to rein in the deficit.

But he's particularly tough on President Obama; he says presidents work their will or they should work their will and that Obama has not. He has not done so, so some interesting look at that whole discussion and it will be interesting to inform the debate as we go forward -- Don.

LEMON: Yes thanks, Athena. We got a lot of people talking. Appreciate it.

You know last week, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz accused a writer of misquoting her comments about Republicans and Israel to an audience of Jewish Democrats. She's not just a congresswoman. She is the Chairwoman of the Democratic Party. She came on CNN to set the record straight last night. Here's what she told me about Phillip Klein, who reported her remarks in "The Washington Examiner".

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: If you look at what "The Examiner", which is a conservative blog site, so, it's not surprising that they would deliberately misquote me. And I'll reiterate that they did deliberately misquote me. First, they took only the first line of what I said and then they cut it off.

And so you haven't played the rest of what I said and what they did was they reported that I said that Republican policies were dangerous for Israel and actually that's what Ambassador Orrin commented on. I never said that Republican policies were dangerous for Israel, in fact that's the opposite of what I always say, what I always say and what I said in that event -- and it's very important that we understand -- that Israel should not be a political football.

What the Republicans are doing --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Hey --

SCHULTZ: -- is they are suggesting that there is daylight between the parties on Israel.

LEMON: Ok, do you regret anything --

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ: I said that the Republicans are --

LEMON: -- do you regret anything that you have said if you -- would you say anything differently?

SCHULTZ: I do not. No, I would not.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: You would say ok.

SCHULTZ: I regret that "The Examiner" has repeatedly taken what I've said out of context.

LEMON: All right, let's move on.

SCHULTZ: If they had printed the entire quote and -- and if they had actually told Ambassador Orrin what I actually said, I think his -- I thinks his response would have been different.

LEMON: Ok.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: All right, so, last hour, we let Phillip Klein have his say and I asked him if he did as the Congresswoman claimed -- intentionally misquote her.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PHILIP KLEIN, SENIOR EDITORIAL WRITER, "THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER": On your show last night Debbie Wasserman Schultz made two egregious, factually incorrect accusations about me. The first was that I deliberately misquoted her. That's not true if you look at my initial report I not only quoted the part of what she said about the Israeli ambassador, I actually included the entire paragraph-long quote in which she elaborated on that point. That she was making.

The -- you know, and not only that, I subsequently posted the audio which you just played. The reason why you have that is I played it and I purposely not only quoted the part about the Ambassador, I left 30 seconds of audio on either side of it so that everyone could see what was leading up to that comment and what she said after it, so it's clear that I wasn't quoted out of context.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: And Philip, you know I -- I was going to make that point, that we actually got the link to the audio from your paper -- from -- from "The Washington Examiner".

KLEIN: Yes.

LEMON: From the Web site and so that's how we got it. Listen, I have -- I have been and many people have been accused of being -- of being misquoted or taken out of context because people will run a snippet, but you said you ran the entire thing and you left parts on both sides so that people could sort of get an idea. But she's talking about -- what she's talking about here she says is context is inference and -- and what's -- you're not getting -- "The Washington Examiner" is not getting what the inference is in there. There's -- what is - what is this, what is she talking about?

KLEIN: Ok. Well, the thing is that she's trying to draw distinction between -- she claims in the segment that you just played that -- when she was on your show last night, she claimed that what she was -- that I wrote and that I reported that she was criticizing Republican policies and Israel in saying those were dangerous for Israel. And she's saying what she really meant was that when Republicans criticize President Obama's record on Israel, it turns Israel into a political football and that's what undermines Israeli security.

But the problem with that is I never used the word "policies" in my initial report. I never said "policies". Not singular, plural, not in any way, shape or form.

LEMON: Ok.

KLEIN: If I could just say, the reason the word "policy" has got introduced to this at all is that Michael Orrin, the Israeli ambassador, used the word "policies" when he was responding to my report. I never used the word and you know, she evidently thinks it's easier to attack a, you know, conservative journalist and smear me on TV.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Phil Klein.

So, here's a question for you and the whole reason we're doing this. Do you think that these accusations and responses and possible misquotes, does it detract from the main objective of the DNC right now, and that is getting the President re-elected? That's really -- and also holding our officials accountable.

I asked the Congresswoman if she was in fact, a distraction. Her answer is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz acknowledged to me last night that she has plenty of critics, but she says she's proud of her work as party chair. So I asked her about those critics even in her own party who say she's been making headlines for their wrong reason.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Let's talk about you. I see the reports.

WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ: Ok.

LEMON: "Wasserman-Schultz walks a tight rope." "White House not happy with Debbie Wasserman-Schultz." "Democrats are upset with her." That she's become a distraction, especially with the misquotes and making news in the wrong way. What do you say to that? Are you worried about your job? Does that concern you at all? Do you think you've been more of a distraction to the Obama re-election process than a help?

WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ: Well, not only do I not think that, I know President Obama doesn't think that. I know that the senior advisers surrounding President Obama don't think that. They've all -- when they've been asked on the record have said that they have confidence in me.

And the references that you're talking about have all been these anonymous, you know, off the record, deep background commentary that you know, I mean, it's sort of typical for the political process and the right wing conservative blogosphere has done a great job of trying to fan the flames for.

I'm focused on making sure, A, that I can do the best job that I possibly can representing my constituents in the 20th Congressional District here in south Florida and focusing on making sure that I can help President Obama get re-elected, win my home state of Florida and help Democrats get elected up and down the Beltway.

And I'm proud of my service both in Congress as well as with the Democratic National Committee. And I believe that President Obama as well as his senior advisers are as well.

LEMON: Well, thank you for coming on.

WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ: You're welcome.

LEMON: You come on, you answer the questions. Some people say "Hey, she's not answering quite honestly, but you come on and you take it. And you do it with a smile.

Thank you.

WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ: Thank you.

LEMON: I appreciate your candor.

WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ: Sure.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: We didn't end it there. We also covered the Democrat's platform and why they had to revisit and revote on references to God and Jerusalem. You can hear it all on CNN.com/video or my Facebook page DonLemonCNN.

They say they were booted from a flight because their son has Down syndrome and they're talking with CNN about their experience.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: You don't have to be in front of a television or watch CNN. You can do what I do. You can stay connected. You can do it on your cell phone or you can do it from your computer at work. Just go to CNN.com/TV.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Half past the hour right now. A look at your headlines:

Investigators are desperate for clues in a gruesome shooting near a mountain resort in France. Police found the bodies of four people at a rural rest stop on Wednesday, each shot twice in the head. There were two survivors, a four-year-old girl who was not hurt and a seven- year-old girl who was shot and came out of a coma yesterday. Speculation about the shooting has ranged from a family feud to a robbery gone bad.

Some 400,000 kids may not go to school tomorrow -- 400,000. That's every public school in the city of Chicago. Teachers' union and city education officials are behind closed doors all weekend trying to find enough common ground to avoid a teachers' strike in 700 schools.

In just a few minutes we're going to talk live with a retired Chicago teacher who says the school system is broken and it's time for a strike.

It's a hit that is hard to watch. A Tulane football player collided helmet to helmet with a teammate during yesterday's game against Tulsa. It was such a blow that Devane Walker (ph) will now need surgery to repair his fractured spine. Trainers and doctors rushed to the motionless player as the crowd looked on in horror. No word yet on whether he suffered long-term paralysis.

Forget having a lazy Sunday -- residents all over the northeast cleaning up following a round of fierce storms. One tornado touched down in a beach front area near New York City. Another touched down in Brooklyn. Winds tore down tree limbs and ripped out power lines knocking out power to thousands of customers.

A California family is planning to sue American Airlines, saying the airline stopped them from boarding their flight because of their 16- year-old son who has Down syndrome. Joan and Robert Vanderhorst and son Bede were set to fly first class from Newark to Los Angeles, but moments before they were supposed to board the plane, an airline employee told them because of the boy's agitated behavior and for safety concerns, the family would not be allowed on the plane.

CNN's Kyung Lah from Los Angeles now.

Hello Kyung, you sat down with that family. How was Bede acting today and how is the family reacting to them?

KYUN LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, this is the very first time that we've actually met and gotten the chance to see Bede. And the parents say the reason why that they wanted people to see him on CNN -- the reason why they wanted people to get to know him is that yes, he is a teenager who has Down syndrome, but he's a calm teenager. But you decide for yourself. Here's a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERT VANDERHORST, FATHER OF TEEN WITH DOWN SYNDROME: Dogs are like wolves. Dogs are like wolves. They're like cousins. Wolves are cousins to the dogs.

BEDE VANDERHORST, TEEN WITH DOWN SYNDROME: Wolf.

R. VANDERHORST: Yes, wolf. What does a wolf do?

B. VANDERHORST: Barks.

R. VANDERHORST: He barks and chases the sheep. The wolf kills the mom, the old sheep, bites her, kills her and she's dead.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LAH: So, the boy we saw today, not violent, very calm, responding to his parents. Granted, he was in his home, but his parents say this is their son.

Now, last weekend, when they were at Newark and they were trying to fly back to LAX, they say that a pilot saw their son in the gate area. That pilot knew that they were going to be flying first class and deemed their son a flight risk. Well, the parents say that they don't think that their son is a flight risk.

Here's what they believe. Here's what they told us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAH: Why were you kicked of that plane?

R. VANDERHORST: That pilot decided that my son didn't belong in first class -- just based on my son's appearance, not on behavior.

JOAN VANDERHORST, MOTHER OF TEEN WITH DOWN SYNDROME: It's not like we are -- our point was to disturb anyone. Our point was to get home. And his face shouldn't disturb anybody.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LAH: Ok, so what is American Airlines saying? Here's a look at a statement that they released to CNN. They said, quote, "Asking the Vanderhorst family to take a different flight was a decision made with careful consideration and was based on the young man's behavior. Our Newark customers' service team worked with the family in an attempt to make him as comfortable as possible. Unfortunately, the crew determined he was still agitated and at that point, the Vanderhorsts were asked to take a different flight. We have refunded the family's upgrade fees." Don.

LEMON: I was going to ask -- I just -- it just makes me want to cry looking at that video of the kid with the sweet face. And you know -- we don't know what happened in the airport. But so, they took a different flight. How did they eventually get from Newark to southern California? Did they go on American Airlines again or did they take another airline? What happened?

LAH: Here's where the story continues and where their outrage continues. The family moved to a different airline -- United Airlines. And what the family is saying is "Ok, so we're deeming an in-flight risk at American, but we can fly United?" So they end up at United. They think, "Ok, well maybe we'll try to fly first class out of United" -- you know, equal, equal. Nope, they got put in coach. They had to fly at the back of the plane.

Now, United Airlines is saying the reason why they did that and almost segregated the family is because they did it for the family's privacy and to give them additional space -- Don.

LEMON: Have they decided their next step?

LAH: Well, at this point, the family is talking to an attorney. They haven't filed any complaint letter. They haven't filed anything legal. What they are hoping is by bringing this out in the public, by talking about this and making people aware of what happens with people with disabilities, the challenges that they face, you know, regardless of whether or not we understand what happened at this particular gate, they say that there are many challenges, many burdens that families and the individuals have to deal with. They just hope by talking about it, people will become more aware.

LEMON: That's exactly what was running through my head. You can't imagine what these families have to deal with already. But yes, keep following that story, Kyung, will you, please?

LAH: You bet.

LEMON: Thank you very much.

Moms and dads in the city of Chicago being told to make some kind of plans for their kids tomorrow. There probably will be no school and I'm not talking about just a few students. Try 400,000. Home from school. Possibly for days. It appears that teachers in Chicago will go through with their promise to strike starting tomorrow and that's not definite yet. There's been no official word from the negotiating room.

Howard Emmer, there he is. I want to talk to you, sir. You taught the Chicago school system for nearly 30 years. Your kids went through this system. What is going on there? You say this strike is overdue. What's going on?

HOWARD EMMER, RETIRED CHICAGO TEACHER: Well, yes, I taught for many years in the Chicago public schools. I had kids who went through Chicago public schools, I've never seen it this bad. The Chicago Board of Education has brought us to the brink of a crisis. They are the cause for why things are as they are. My group, Parents for Teachers, we're a community organization. We will be out there on the pick up lines if it comes to a strike and it does look like it will.

We support the Chicago Teacher's Union because the union is fighting for the kind of schools that kids of Chicago deserve. Parents and teachers agree that small class size, a rich curriculum, instead of teaching to the test, fully resourced schools, these are the things that the kids need and the Chicago Board of Education policies are not focusing on these things.

LEMON: Let me jump in here. So specifically then, you talked about class size. What's broken in CPS, where should teachers and administrators focus their energy and attention on resolving this? What's broken?

EMMER: Can you say that one more time please?

LEMON: I said, what is broken in the CPS with the school system? Where should the attention be focused to fix what you believe, what you say is broken?

EMMER: Well, on the kind of schooling that Mr. Emanuel's kids receive at the private school, they go to. In Chicago public schools, class size is 30 in some cases, 40. Many schools don't have libraries. The type of curriculum is basically teaching to the test and that is not a rich kind of curriculum, the kind of curriculum that his kids receive. That's all that teachers and parents are asking for. And that should be the focus. Instead, the Chicago Board of Education has been "experimenting," charter schools, turn around, reconstitutions. We say make every neighborhood school a quality school. It is the schools in the low income African-American communities that have been closed. Stop disinvesting in those communities and kids and start investing in every kid and in every school. LEMON: Well, Howard Emmer, we wish you and everybody in Chicago the very best. Thank you so much.

EMMER: Thank you and I just like to say parents can call Mr. Brizare to put on some pressure. 773-553-1500. He is the CEO of the public schools.

LEMON: He's probably going to get a lot of calls. He probably won't appreciate it because he's going out around the country. But thank you any way. We have to move on now.

OK. So, he dropped everything and ran to help others in the World Trade Center on 9/11, but the certified EMT, a Muslim-American is not getting the same honors as other first responders.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: On Tuesday, this country will mark the 11th anniversary of 9/11. Lots of people will go to the National September 11th Memorial in lower Manhattan, but one thing they won't see on a list honoring first responders is the name of one Muslim-American. His family says his faith is the reason why. Here's CNN's Susan Candiotti.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When 9/11 terrorists attacked the world trade center firefighters and police were quick to respond. So is Mohammad Hamdani, a 23-year-old certified EMT who had worked as a police cadet. He skipped his job at a university research lab and rushed to the site.

TALAT HAMDANI, MOHAMMAD HAMDANI'S MOTHER: He was a prime example of what it is to be a human being and he went there to save humanity.

CANDIOTTI: And sacrificed his own life in the process. His family posted his photo among thousands of others on the Wall of the Missing. A Pakistani-American who grew up in New York and dreamed of becoming a doctor. The following March Hamdani's remains were found in 34 parts.

TALAT HAMDANI: They gave us his jeans and his belt which has been identified that they were his clothes.

CANDIOTTI: A police funeral followed with full honors from fellow cadets, the mayor and police commissioner.

COMMISSIONER RAY KELLY, NEW YORK CITY POLICE: (INAUDIBLE) who responded that day. He was indeed a hero.

TALAT HAMDANI: It was a very healing moment. That was given in honor to me on the first anniversary honoring Salman as an NYPD cadet.

CANDIOTTI: An NYPD badge that reads cadet. But with all the accolades, all the honors for them the most important one is missing.

(on camera): When the 9/11 Memorial was unveiled, the family of Mohammad Hamdani wanted to see his name here among first responders who like him lost their lives trying to save others.

Instead his name is positioned over here in the section among those considered loosely connected to the World Trade Center.

(voice-over): Hamdani's mother is convinced his Muslim religion has set him apart.

TALAT HAMDANI: They are discriminating because of his faith and that is not right.

CANDIOTTI: She points to this flyer that circulated days after 9/11 sent to ambulance dispatchers among others. It has Hamdani's police cadet photo and reads has I.D. wanted. The NYPD disavows any knowledge of it and says Hamdani is a hero. The 9/11 Memorial Foundation and police deny discrimination saying Hamdani was no longer an active cadet and had not received a presidential medal for valor and therefore he did not meet the memorial's criteria of first responder.

TALAT HAMDANI: This is about my son. He is not here to speak for himself. I have to speak for him and I will until the day I die.

CANDIOTTI: She doesn't understand why no one will help.

TALAT HAMDANI: I want to see it in my lifetime. It's a very - so intense pain that is indescribable.

CANDIOTTI: Too painful to re-visit where her son's name remained apart from others who tried to save lives.

Susan Candiotti, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON: So, phone rings and you don't recognize a caller I.D., so you don't answer. Big mistake.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hi Barney, this is Barack Obama. Just calling to say -

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Leaving a message wasn't enough for the commander in chief.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: So you picked up a phone and a guy said he was the president, would you believe it? Well, President Obama made a call today from a Florida campaign office, but oh, Barney, I'm not sure he bought it right away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Hi, is this Barney? Barney, this is Barack Obama. It is. We're over at the campaign office and the folks are telling me what unbelievable work you're doing as a neighborhood team leader and I'm making a few calls to say thank you and tell you how not only do I appreciate your service in the armed forces, but I really appreciate all the help you're giving.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wow.

OBAMA: You don't believe me, do you? He's - being quiet right now. I'm not sure. No, it's true. It's me. Anyway, so, I just want you to just know that what you're doing every day, that's making all the difference in the campaign, all right? So keep it up.

OK, and everybody, you know, everybody - up in Washington, Michelle and all the girls and everybody, they say thank you, too. There you go. All right. So keep at it, Barney. Appreciate you, man. All right. Bye bye.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Got to go, Mitt Romney's on the other line. Oh, all right. See you. A star is born. That was corny.

A star is born during the Democratic National Convention. Not a politician. Look at her. Isn't she cute? A politician's daughter.

Oh, forgot, we're not in break. Don't forget, wherever you go, we go, too. Hello. You can watch CNN live on your computer, while you're at work, even on your smartphone, make sure you head to cnn.com/tv. I'm glad I didn't say anything negative.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: A shop owner put the squeeze on the president today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I going to do more of these.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: You want to call that, is that a bear hug? A man hug? That was a bear hug. He lifted the president about a foot off the ground. President said the shop owner has a big heart and complimented him on his efforts to encourage people to donate blood in his community. That was actually a very nice moment, very nice moment. The president also courted Florida seniors today by focusing on the program many seniors rely on, Medicare.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Their voucher plan for Medicare would bankrupt Medicare. Our plan strengthens Medicare. No American should have to spend their golden years as the mercy of insurance companies. They should retire with the dignity and the respect and the care that they have earned. Yes, we will reform and strengthen Medicare for the long haul. And we will do it by reducing the cost of healthcare, not by dumping those costs on the seniors.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Mitt Romney's campaign spokesman accused President Obama of false attack on Romney's Medicare plan.

In a taped interview on NBC's "Meet The Press" today, Mitt Romney talked about Bill Clinton's on-stage presence at last week's democratic national convention.

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MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He did stand out in contrast with the other speakers, I think. He really did elevate the democratic convention in a lot of ways. And frankly, the contrast may not have been as attractive as Barack Obama might have preferred if he were choosing who would go before him and who would go after.

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LEMON: Well, tonight find out what President Obama and Mitt Romney are really like. Starting at 8:00, we profile the Republican presidential nominee in "Romney Revealed, Family, Faith and the Road to Power." That's followed at 9:30 by "Obama Revealed, the Man, the President," and it's right here on CNN, of course.

What's a political convention without a traditional state roll call? Well, you know, it's a rather mundane procedure. Usually all 56 delegations try to enlighten the crowd with odd state facts or glowing comments about their history or they may throw in a few political jabs.

While some delegates nailed it, nailed it, others not so much.

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C.C. GOLDWATER, GRANDDAUGHTER OF BARRY GOLDWATER: Madam secretary, Arizona is the Grand Canyon state and has produced some fabulous politicians on both parties. One includes my grandfather, Barry Goldwater.

I'm C.C. Goldwater. My grandfather wouldn't recognize the Republican party of today. Barry Goldwater believed in personal freedom, the right to privacy and a woman's right to choose. A little nervous.

On behalf of the Arizona delegation, I want to cast 77 votes for Arizona, for Barack Obama, the next president -

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, Arizona.

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LEMON: Oh come on. She's not used to public speaking. I think she did a great job. She's probably really nervous and she knew everybody is watching. There you go I said it.

Democratic national convention's keynote speaker upstaged by his own daughter. CNN's Jeanne Moos show us how.

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JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Kids at conventions are loose cannons. So when the keynote speaker, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro referred to his three-year-old -

MAYOR JULIAN CASTRO, SAN ANTONIO: Carina Victoria.

MOOS: The cameras naturally went to her and caught her scratching and sticking out her tongue, until she suddenly noticed herself on the big screen as if it were a mirror.

CASTRO: And I found myself whispering to her as was once whispered to me, may god bless you.

MOOS: As she flipped her hair, the tweets flew, ready for her close up, work it, baby girl.

To her father's surprise, delegates were laughing at a part of his speech that wasn't supposed to be funny. As a "Chicago Tribune" reporter tweeted, Carina Victoria Castro for secretary of the adorable. Next thing you know, her hair flipping was flipping around the web, put to the pop hit by Will Smith's daughter, Willow.

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MOOS (on camera): And the girl dubbed little miss hair flip, whipped her way into the annals of cute convention kids. The last time this happened, it involved licking rather than flipping.

Who can forget Sarah Palin's daughter, Piper.

SARAH PALIN, FMR. ALASKA GOVERNOR: ... and I knew their families too.

MOOS (voice-over): Licking and slicking her baby brother's hair as mom addressed the 2008 Republican convention.

Back at the hair flip for the ages, Carina was so mesmerized, she almost forgot to join the standing ovation when her dad finished, while the applause was music to his ear, she covered hers.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

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LEMON: She is adorable, huh? That was sweet.

OK. Piles of clothes in the dressing room? See ya! How about trying on all your new clothes right in the middle of the store, in front of every one?

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LEMON: In New York City, it's the glam and glitter of fashion week. Let's see if I can do it like the entertainment guys. It means millions of dollars to the New York economy.

J.Lo was there but some of the cutting edge technology they're showing off may mean a lot to you. Tech reporter Katie Linendoll joins me from New York. Hey, I have missed you, good to see you. We're talking about 3D virtual dressing rooms. OK. What in the world is that?

KATIE LINENDOLL, TECH EXPERT: Yes. The future of shopping. It's here, Don, which I love. This is Swivel, it's a 3D virtual shopping dressing room. It's actually powered off of Microsoft's Kinect technology. The amazing part about this is I got to step inside here. It scans 48 parts of your body, so it really sizes you up, head to toe.

And then from there, this is where it gets interesting, you can try on different clothes, different accessories and you can also change the sizes, you can move around to 45 degrees and the clothes move with you. Also you can browse specific collections. I was going through all the different fall trends. There are things from fur. There are things like handbags. There was evening gowns, wedding dresses that you can try on. And a lot of people weren't just taking it another step further, they were actually taking a photo of themselves and sharing it on Facebook and Twitter instantly polling their friends to see if they liked it too.

Now I will say Bloomingdale's got the jump-start on this technology. It's Swivel is available in 20 department stores through September 16th, through Fashion Week. And if you're at a Bloomingdale's 20 across the country is actually going, check it out. It's pretty neat.

LEMON: And it's called Swivel, right. You can get your swivel on. It looks expensive. Do you see this as the future of shopping? Like you said it's going to start showing up in stores - I mean Bloomingdale's is not exactly discount clothing.

LINENDOLL: Right. I actually thought this was incredibly expensive for how immersive it can be for a retailer. But the interesting part was I spoke to Microsoft and I spoke to Face cake who creates Swivel. And they said the barrier to entry here is incredibly low, all you need is a computer, a flat screen and a Kinect sensor, which you know, is under 200 bucks. So it's relatively inexpensive to have.

But I was actually asking them, do you see this going a step further. We see this from the department stores stepping into that kiosk.

LEMON: Beyond shopping.

LINENDOLL: But what if you could power a - yes, what if you could power your XBOX and actually open up an app from Ann Taylor or Anthropology or wherever you like to shop and in the comfort of your own home be able to use this technology and try things on. I like to call this "Your Move QVC" Don.

LEMON: Wow. That's pretty cool. Can we see that video again? Kind of reminds me of like a "CSI: Miami" episode. I just recently - it's pretty cool. Yes. I like that. LINENDOLL: Well, you can really get inside there too.

LEMON: It's not just gals, it's guys as well, everybody.

LINENDOLL: Everybody was jumping inside this. I think the second story is here is al these companies using this Kinect technology, we're seeing German shoe manufacturers as you can see here. They powered up three Kinect sensors to virtually try on different shoes. This is happening over in Europe and also auto manufacturers.

LEMON: I got to run, Katie.

LINENDOLL: OK. Cool.

LEMON: We're going to get caught off.

LINENDOLL: Future of shopping, awesome.

LEMON: Enjoy it. I'm Don Lemon. Thanks for watching.

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