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President Obama Speaks at United Nations; Bill Clinton Speaks Out
Aired September 25, 2012 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: And here we go, hour two. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thanks for staying with me.
Want to let you know we are awaiting Mitt Romney. He's about to speak in Vandalia, Ohio. Let me just show you here this new poll, actually our CNN poll of polls. It is an average of other polls. As of today, President Obama has stretched his lead in Ohio to six points over Mitt Romney. Just yesterday, that lead was five.
The reason for the change, "The Washington Post" has a new poll today showing the president leading Ohio by eight points. That stretches the CNN average of five different polls to that six-point lead for the president.
Again, we are talking Ohio here, very, very important state for Mitt Romney. We will, again, hear from him shortly as he visits this town called Vandalia, just north of Dayton. We will keep you posted on that.
But now to this, strange bedfellows here. You see this picture? On the right, you have Bill Clinton. On the left, you have Mitt Romney. Romney today addressed the Clinton Global Initiative there in New York. Here's Mitt Romney on rubbing shoulders with the former president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: All I got to do now is wait a couple of days for that bounce to happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: So, Romney speaks before the Clinton Initiative. And shortly thereafter, Bill Clinton spoke to, where is the big reveal, this guy, Piers Morgan with many an interview this week.
Sir, good to see you again. How did that go? How did that go, you and Bill Clinton?
PIERS MORGAN, HOST, "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT": Thank you.
Oh, he's just fantastic, isn't he? I spent about half-an-hour with him. He's just the single most charismatic, impressive politician there is in the world. And many people feel that.
One of the more interesting exchanges I had with him is where I said does he bemoan the fact that America has a 22nd Amendment that now prohibits him from running again? Because I'm sure if he did, he would win the next election. And he was quite funny about that. He's allowed to run as president of Ireland because of his Irish heritage.
He's also, because Arkansas is part of some former French colony or part of the French empire, he is allowed to also go to France where he would have to stay for six months and learn the language, to run as president of France.
BALDWIN: That's not a bad gig.
MORGAN: You could have President Clinton of Paris. It could be most entertaining.
BALDWIN: Which could be very entertaining. I hear they have fabulous wine there, but I digress, Piers Morgan, because I do want to play a little bit of your interview. Seriously here, you're talking to Bill Clinton, talking about Romney's appearance at the Clinton Global Initiative. Here you go.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Mitt Romney today came out with this line, which went down very well with the audience, as you expected. If there is one thing we have learned, a few words from Bill Clinton can do someone a lot of good.
What words would you have for Mitt Romney given the state of the election campaign right now?
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I think, you know, the debates are very important for him.
CLINTON: I think so.
And I think if he's going to double down on that 47 percent remark, that will cause difficulties because we now know that the overwhelming number of those people work and have children. And the reason they don't pay federal income taxes is the median income is as low as it was in 1995 now.
And until the current election season, Republicans and Democrats supported both the child tax credit and the earned income tax credit. This is a rejection of basically more than three decades of bipartisan policy to support working families. It is not a bunch of freeloaders.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: There he goes, Piers Morgan, bringing up that 47 percent from the secretly videotaped moment in that fund-raiser back in, what, May. But no big surprise that he's going straight for that 47 percent line.
MORGAN: No, and quite interesting because Bill Clinton on my show actually a few months ago had, of course, supported Mitt Romney over his record of Bain Capital and refused to join in the Obama super PAC bashing of Romney over that.
BALDWIN: And that made news.
MORGAN: It made a lot of news because it was like he was opposed to the way Barack Obama is coming at it.
But on this, they certainly agree that the 47 percent, which you have seen a real widening now of many of the polls since this whole fury over the 47 percent. It has become a key, key thing, I think. Mitt Romney, as Bill Clinton rightly pointed out, has to have a brilliant debate. That first debate is crucial.
If Barack Obama skewers him over the 47 percent, then all the battle over the economy, over the record that Barack Obama has, which is not that great, you know, 8.2 percent unemployment, $16 trillion debt, gas prices doubling, plenty of clubs to hit him with, but the reality is that 47 percent has now put Mitt Romney in a very difficult position.
BALDWIN: Yes, no doubt the Obama campaign will be reminding Americans of that each and every day until November 6.
Let me turn the page, talk foreign policy, because I know you and President Clinton, you went there as well. Here is more sound. This is his take on Iran and its nuclear program and whether, you know, we should take Iran at its word that its nuclear program is not about building nuclear weapons. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: What they're really saying is that we deny the Holocaust, that we threaten Israel and we demonize the United States or we do all this stuff, we want you to trust us. In spite of the fact that we won't cooperate with the international regime set up to avoid an arms race in the Middle East and set up to avoid nuclear proliferation, we want you to trust us.
So they don't have a tenable position. The reason nobody believes them is they don't have a tenable position.
MORGAN: Do you trust them? Do you trust Ahmadinejad?
CLINTON: Not on this, I don't.
MORGAN: His argument is, look, why should America be allowed nuclear weapons? Why should Israel, who have never admitted they have them, why should they be permitted to have them? Why should many countries be allowed nuclear weapons and not Iran?
CLINTON: Well, then why isn't going for some bigger nonproliferation initiative instead of acting like what he really wants is a nuclear bomb because that will help to get everybody to get rid of their nuclear weapons? No serious person believes that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: So then here's my question, Piers, is what should the United States do? Did the two of you get into that?
MORGAN: We did get into that.
And he's pretty diplomatic. He wouldn't directly answer because, of course, his wife, Hillary, is secretary of state and that's for her to decide really along with the president. So he's quite careful in his position there.
But certainly he didn't detach himself from what the president said today, which is that there is a point in time beyond which doing nothing is not an option. And, you know, the rhetoric is being severely ratcheted up on all sides, from Israel, Iran and from America.
And it is a dangerous situation. But, you know, it is interesting to me hearing him talk about Ahmadinejad because Ahmadinejad has a large following in Iran and in many other Middle Eastern countries who do think there is a hypocrisy towards the way Iran is being treated and the way that other countries are being treated in terms of their ability to have nuclear power.
It also was interesting talking to Bill Clinton about any parallels he saw between Iraq and Saddam Hussein and this situation, because here you have a bad guy in the Middle East, who people are accusing of either having or wanting to have nuclear weapons, and we all know how that ended, with a catastrophic failure of intelligence. That didn't do America or the West any good at all in terms of winning the hearts and minds of the people of the Middle East.
He said it was a very clear difference. The very clear difference was that Ahmadinejad is readily admitting to enriching uranium for nuclear power. The only question then becomes, do we believe him when he says quite adamantly and quite consistently, I have no plans to build a nuclear bomb, I only want to use it for medical purposes and so on? Do we believe him or not?
And Bill Clinton was pretty straightforward. I don't believe him. And many over here in America do not believe him. That's the big, big play now, I think, for Israel, and for America. Does Israel go alone? Does America help Israel? What happens?
BALDWIN: Well, there was Ahmadinejad last night, the possible future president of France, Bill Clinton, coming up tonight on the show. Is there anyone else I need to know about, Piers Morgan, later this week?
MORGAN: Every day is another president. See, the most exciting one I have got I think is a couple of weeks, we just booked Usain Bolt, the Jamaican sprinting sensation, because I quite fancy my chances, 100 meters, the Bolt against the Morgster. Boom.
(CROSSTALK) BALDWIN: Yes, I don't think so. Piers, see you later. Thank you very much for coming on.
Folks, seriously, though please watch tonight, "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT," 9:00 Eastern. Watch the interview with Bill Clinton. My thanks, sir.
A lot more news happening this hour. Watch.
BALDWIN (voice-over): Time is running out. That is what President Obama just told the world about the nuclear standoff with Iran. But does that warning mean anything?
Plus, a dad on his deathbed asks Iran's president to grant his final wish.
And, yikes, the NFL's ref mess just got a whole lot worse. And now the pressure is on the league to do something, anything.
BALDWIN: President Obama tells world leaders that time is running out for Iran. In a speech before the United Nations, just a couple of hours ago, the president warned against allowing Iran to develop nuclear weapons.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Make no mistake. A nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained. It would threaten the elimination of Israel, the security of Gulf nations, and the stability of the global economy.
It risks triggering a nuclear arms race in the region and the unraveling of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. That's why a coalition of countries is holding the Iranian government accountable and that's why the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Chief White House correspondent Jessica Yellin just outside of the United Nations for me.
Jessica, the president very much so been under pressure from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and from Mitt Romney to draw a tougher line when it comes to Iran. How did he handle that today at the U.N.?
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, he resisted campaign season pressure to intensify his rhetoric against Iran just to respond to his critics. He did use stark language to describe what we know to be the administration's policy, which is that he believes that there is time for diplomacy to work, but as he said today, time is not unlimited, and then reiterated that military options remain on the table.
He did not say that. What he said, though, was that the U.S. will do what it must if Iran continues to pursue nuclear weapons. So he didn't alter his administration's position, but he made very clear in language that is important to Israelis at least that he still believes that a nuclear Iran threatens the existence of Israel, Brooke.
BALDWIN: The president in New York also spoke to this crowd today. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARBARA WALTERS, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": What are you going to do the rest of your life?
OBAMA: Well, you know, first things first here. We do have an election ahead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: So you see the president and the first lady sitting with the ladies of "The View."
Again, Jessica, the criticism, you know, coming from Republicans, why is the president taking time to do this and not meeting with world leaders? What is the White House saying?
YELLIN: Well, they're, you know, saying that they're not meeting with any world leaders because he's in and out.
And what I will say to you as putting on my analyst hat is it is a "do no harm" kind of approach. If he were to sit down with world leaders, he could risk having a newsmaking moment. And it is probably safer, I guess, from a political point of view not to do that.
And if he meets with one world leader, then the other ones will want -- other allies will expect a meeting to or it is harder to say no. This way he can say no to all of them. And he's already -- as I speak to you now, Brooke, he already left town.
But as you say, he's taken criticism for it and he will have to answer that criticism. As it turns out, most Americans are not placing foreign policy at the top of their list of concerns, so I guess the calculus was, this is one they can take the heat on, Brooke.
BALDWIN: Jessica Yellin for us in New York. Jessica, thank you.
Coming up, we will talk about this hazing case where parents are absolutely demanding answers after what players on this school soccer team are now accused of doing, accusing their teammates of doing. CNN investigates next.
BALDWIN: Parents at a Los Angeles area high school are demanding answers after members of the soccer team at the school made these allegations school officials are calling, I'm quoting them, deeply disturbing.
These three players, they have accused their teammates of luring them into this ritual of hazing and sexual assault, all part of an initiation on to the varsity soccer team. Some of the boys allegedly subjected to physical assault were as young as 14 years of age.
CNN's Casey Wian is live outside this high school. It called La Puente High School.
Casey, fill me in.
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the latest, Brooke, is that Los Angeles County Sheriff's investigators have interviewed 70 current and former soccer players at La Puente High School over the past several days.
They say it appears that hazing was going on in the soccer program for years and that some of it may have risen to the level of criminal conduct. Four boys at the time of the alleged incident, three of them still minors today, one of them an adult, were questioned, cited and released as the investigation is ongoing.
Also, an unnamed teacher or staff member at this school has been placed on temporary administrative leave while the investigation continues. Some of the boys who say they were victims of this alleged abuse, this hazing, say it was a ritual for members of the team who made varsity.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They told me if I wanted it the easy way or the hard way, the varsity team. And in that moment, my heart was, like, pounding and, like, I just, like, kind of, like, blacked out and I said -- I told them -- I just remember telling them, I want it the easy way. But when I was going to bend down, I tried to run, but, like, they got me back.
BARBARA NAKAOKA, LA HACIENDA PUENTE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT: We do not and will not turn a blind eye to reports of harassment or hazing.
Therefore, we took immediate action to contact law enforcement to initiate an investigation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WIAN: Now, the attorney who represents three of those alleged victims says his understanding is the soccer coach either witnessed or in some way indirectly participated in this hazing. We tried to reach him. He has not returned our calls, that coach. Law enforcement, though, says there is no evidence of direct involvement by any faculty member or a coach at this time, Brooke.
BALDWIN: Wait, Casey. Let me just take you back to something you said a moment ago, that this allegedly has been going on for years. Is this the first time these allegations have come to light?
And many parents and many school officials say they have been taken completely by surprise. They held sort of a protest outside the school yesterday afternoon, very upset about these allegations. They say they were completely in the dark.
BALDWIN: And so an attorney for three of the boys is now saying he is suing the high school and suing the school district. What do you know about that?
WIAN: He says he plans to file a lawsuit. That lawsuit has not been filed yet.
Our producer, Stan Wilson, asked that attorney whether he had any corroborating evidence, such as medical records from the boy who claims to have been hospitalized after being sexually assaulted by what they believe is a javelin spear. They did not. That's all we know at this point about this lawsuit. He says he will be filing it in the coming days, though, Brooke.
BALDWIN: My goodness. Casey Wian, stay on it for us. We will follow up with you, Casey for us at La Puente High School in the Los Angeles area.
Right now, as Iran's president gets ready to speak to the United Nations, a father is on his deathbed right here in America asking Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to grant him one final wish. CNN speaks with this dad by his bedside.
BALDWIN: As we have been reminding you this week, the president of Iran is speaking in front of the United Nations General Assembly tomorrow.
And while nations all across the world will be intently watching Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his speech, there is a dying man in a bed in Detroit who is desperate to get the president to listen to him.
CNN's Paula Newton with this father's plea.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ali Hekmati says he doesn't know how much more pain he can take or how much longer he will live. And so he has a plaintive message for the president of Iran. ALI HEKMATI, FATHER: Please, please, please release an innocent man and reunite him with his father and his mother.
NEWTON: Hekmati recently underwent brain surgery to remove a malignant tumor. He now faces radiation and chemotherapy, but he says his fate lies not with the doctors and treatments, but with the man and the regime that have imprisoned his son.
ALI HEKMATI: I hope and pray that I will get to see my son one last time before I go to the other side.
NEWTON: Amir Hekmati is a former Marine, a decorated Iraqi war veteran, born in Arizona and raised in Nebraska and Michigan. Within weeks of setting foot in Iran for the first time in August of last year, he was there to visit his grandmother, he was arrested, interrogated, imprisoned, and after several months...
AMIR HEKMATI, PRISONER: My name is Amir Mirzaei Hekmati.
NEWTON: ... showcased on Iranian TV as a CIA operative and has been convicted of espionage and sentenced to death, although he has now been granted a retrial.
Hekmati and the U.S. government deny he was ever a spy. Amir Hekmati remains in prison in Iran, and has no idea that his father is dying.
Dr. Ryan Barrett is the neurosurgeon treating Hekmati's father.
DR. RYAN BARRETT, NEUROSURGEON: It is stressful enough dealing with the surgery and the diagnosis and the coming treatment. There is no doubt in my mind that any other family or personal issues are going to make it more challenging.
NEWTON: So with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in New York now, the Hekmatis say they are putting themselves at his mercy.
BEHNAZ HEKMATI, MOTHER: I'm sure that he's going to hear my voice. He's in the United States. He is going to listen to me and hear me. I just want him to hear my voice as a mother. Don't destroy this family. Please don't destroy this family. Bring Amir home. Amir is the heart of this family.
NEWTON: Now facing an incurable cancer, Hekmati says he cannot accept the fact that he may never see his son again.
ALI HEKMATI: That's my biggest fear, that I may not see him. And that's my last wish, to see my son and hug him and kiss him before I pass to the other side.
NEWTON: Ahmadinejad has so far refused to meet with the Hekmatis or discuss Amir's case. But, somehow, this family hopes that what is now a desperate plea will finally be heard.
Paula Newton, CNN.
(END VIDEOTAPE) BROOKE BALDWIN, ANCHOR, "CNN NEWSROOM": It has been described as an ugly scene, the bodies of an American couple found stabbed multiple times in their St. Martin home in the Caribbean.
The main suspect expected in front of a judge tomorrow. The bodies of Michael and Thelma King were found Friday. Police arrested a suspect Sunday, but no charges have been filed and the prosecutors office will only say the suspect is a 28-year-old man who was born in Jamaica.
The solicitor general says there are strong indications he was involved in the murders of the South Carolina couple.
And even though the Dow -- take a look -- is a bit off today, more good news on the housing market and the price of your home, but the good news, folks, doesn't stop there.
BALDWIN: Thousands and thousands of volunteers are out and about today to register voters in their communities for the largest one-day voter registration drive in history.
More than 200 celebrities, musicians are also taking to social media to mark this day. In fact -- Dave Matthews fans, anyone -- Dave Matthews Band premiered a new version of their video. It's called "Mercy."
Dave Matthews, 50 Cent, George Lopez, Stephen Colbert, John Legend. Also, we talked to Wilmer Valderrama last hour. They're all joining in because, back in 2008, 6 million Americans didn't vote because they missed a registration deadline or simply did not know how to register.
And let's talk economy. I know that's issue number one as you head to the polls come November 6th and, you know, it's usually not a good thing for a key economic number to come in at the same level it was nine years ago, but that is precisely where we find ourselves when it comes to the nation's housing market.
Alison Kosik at the New York Stock Exchange to explain. Alison, talk to me.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, home prices, Brooke, they're right back to where they were in 2003, but you know what? After the months of price declines that we saw during the housing bust, I'll tell you what. We'll take it
So, we learned today that the price of a typical home went up again in July. S&P/Case Shiller says home values in 20 cities rose more than 1.5 percent, so we're seeing a trend here because this is the third month in a row that housing prices have gone up.
A good thing about these rising home prices, it's falling foreclosures because what happens is, as these home values increase, you wind up having more equity in your home, that means fewer borrowers are underwater. That is a good thing.
BALDWIN: So, I've seen people asking us on Twitter, is it the time to buy? Is it?
KOSIK: Well, you know, of course, it's a personal decision, but, sure, prices are going up. So, you know what? If you were once on the fence about buying, you may want to consider taking the plunge. You know what? All the data lately certainly makes it look like the bottom is holding.
Plus, look at mortgage rates. They're at record lows. It's another incentive to buy. Last week, the average 30-year fixed hit 3.49 percent. That's down from 3.55 percent the previous week.
But, of course, the big caveat here, you've got to still have pretty stellar credit to qualify, so you know what? The reality is, the harsh reality, of course, is that home buying is still out of reach for a lot of Americans.
But the good news is that home values are going up again and those interest rates are staying low.
BALDWIN: Good, good, good. Alison Kosik, thank you so much.
And, now, I want to talk about a story. We talked about this yesterday and I tell you I heard you. I read all your tweets, your tweets during my two hours here.
Talking about the morning-after pill. In some New York schools, it is being given to students.
But today, we're talking to one parent who is pretty upset over this whole thing. Find out what she is doing to take on city leaders.
BALDWIN: You know how we talk about there is no Republican who has ever gone on to win the race for the White House without winning the state of Ohio?
Well, guess where Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and, also, Rand Paul are right now? Vidalia, Ohio.
They just walked up to the stage. We're going to dip in in just a moment, but I understand they walked up to the song "The Boys Are Back in Town." Let's take a listen.
MITT ROMNEY, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Did you get help from that?
His idea now, he's got one new idea. I admit this. He has one thing he did not do in his first four years he's said he's going to do in the next four years which is to raise taxes and is there anybody who thinks that raising taxes will help grow the economy? No, his plan is to continue what he's done before. The status quo has not worked. We cannot afford four more years of Barack Obama. We're not going to have four more years of Barack Obama.
His plan and his approach says, fundamentally, that government knows better than you how to live your life, how to pick winners and losers, how to choose companies that can be successful and products that have a future, that government, that a group of bureaucrats of real smart people, working hard -- I mean, they're good people who work in Washington, but he has this view that somehow they know better than free people.
So, he's going to put them in the most important -- or one of the most important relationships that you have and that's the relationship between you and your doctor. He's going to put government between there if he has his way.
He wants a government that's more and more expensive and intrusive. Do you know how much money he spent in one year, putting money into companies that he thought had a bright future, green companies?
He spent $90 billion, $90 billion and sent it into companies that, in many cases, that were owned by campaign contributors of his.
Look, this is a ...
BALDWIN: You hear the boos in the crowd. Mitt Romney, attacking the president here, again, speaking in Vandalia, Ohio.
You see his running mate over his right shoulder, Paul Ryan. Just quickly, as I'm looking down, because I want to just give you this quick poll.
As of today, President Obama has stretched his lead in Ohio -- that's in our CNN Poll of Polls, so today we're showing the president with a six-point lead. That's up from five just yesterday.
Also a quick note, our Jim Acosta who has been so intimately following the Romney campaign on the road, he will be interviewing Mitt Romney in the next hour, so please stay tuned for "The Situation Room" where you will see that interview.
BALDWIN: Want to move along it New York where a big, big fight is going on over the morning-after pill, Plan B, as it's known, handed out to some students in certain schools.
The pill, of course, can cause nausea and headaches, dizziness, even lower abdominal pain. It's this pill that women or, in this case here, young girls can take to prevent pregnancy, if they've just had unprotected sex.
Last year, New York City schools began this pilot program that allows these pills to be distributed to students. It's available in 13 schools across the city and that has made some parents, shall we say, pretty unhappy.
Among them, Mona Davids, the president of the New York City Parents Union, joining me today.
And, Mona, thank you for being with me. Tell me how you feel about this, how other parents feel who you're talking to.
MONA DAVIDS, PRESIDENT, NEW YORK CITY PARENTS UNION: Well, parents are outraged. We feel that Mayor Bloomberg has completely overstepped his bounds.
He's putting the health and the safety of our children at risk and, in addition to that, the fact that he is dispensing a chemical hormonal drug cocktail to our children where in New York public schools our children can't even get Tylenol or any kind of aspirin.
It's just absurd and it's wrong and it must stop.
BALDWIN: Right, I understand.
So, a student has to get a parent's permission to get Tylenol, but not necessarily in the case of this Plan B pill.
At the same time, we mentioned that the mayor of New York talked about this, coming out vehemently in defense of this program. Here he was.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, MAYOR, NEW YORK CITY: The good news is we've brought teenage pregnancy down by, I think, something like 25 percent over the last 10 years.
The bad news is there's still an awful lot of girls who get pregnant at a very early age.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: I just want you, Mona, to respond to the mayor's side, the city's side.
Let me just run through some statistics for our viewers. These are numbers between 2000, 2009.
According to the New York City Department of Health who, of course, had to sign off on this program -- let me say that -- and Mental Hygiene, while there was a 20 percent decline in teenage pregnancies in this time period, there are still more than 20,000 teen pregnancies in New York each year, 87 percent of those unintended.
And, Mona, when you look at just the numbers, when you see that decline, when you see the number of unwanted pregnancies, 87 percent, you see that everyone from, you know, the health department to the mayor signed off on this, why do you feel the way you do?
DAVIDS: Because the mayor and the health departments do not know the medical history of these children. They do not know if a child has any allergies to medication, but moreover, it is our children.
Our children do not belong to Mayor Bloomberg. He has mayoral control of the schools. He does not have parental control of our children or our children's bodies.
We are the parents. Mayor Bloomberg and the Department of Health allege that they've done outreach. They allege that they've sent letters, but in our experience dealing with the Department of Education, for us they have a proven track record of not engaging parents, of not sending information to parents and ...
BALDWIN: So, Mona, what are you going -- I hear your frustration. What are you going to do about it?
DAVIDS: Well, one of the things that we're doing right now is we're exploring, you know, our legal recourse as parents because Mayor Bloomberg and the Department of Health are saying that parents should have opted out.
And for us it's a little bit ridiculous, expecting parents to opt out when we have to opt in with informed consent for anything that happens with our children in the schools. If our children want to go on a school trip, we have to give informed consent.
So, we believe Mayor Bloomberg is not only circumventing the rights of parents, but we also believe that he is circumventing federal law. He keeps on quoting state law. but we are talking about federal law here. We're talking about the civil rights of our children and of parents.
BALDWIN: No, no, and the mayor, you know, points out this program has been going on since January, but really I think it sounds like it was made public over the weekend and that's exactly why we wanted to hear from you and take it a step farther and see what you might do about it.
So, we'll follow up with you and we'll see what legal recourse you could take and if and when something changes. Mona Davids, thank you.
Two words you're familiar with, Todd Akin. He's that Missouri Republican who faced many, many calls to drop out of his Senate race after his comments about what he called "legitimate rape."
Well, tonight is yet another deadline for him to drop out, but now he has a big-time Republican in his corner. We'll explain who and what's happening, next.
BALDWIN: As I mentioned a moment ago, a prominent Republican going all-in for Todd Akin.
Let me just refresh your memory on Missouri Republican, Todd akin. He's running for U.S. Senate. Here he is explaining why abortion cannot be justified even in the case of rape.
Quote, "If it's legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut things down." Shut down pregnancies, that is.
So, here's the guy I mentioned, the one who's saying, hey, I'm still for Todd Akin. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have, on occasion, said pretty dumb things in my career. My wife still occasionally looks at me and says, lunar colony?
And I get it. But if saying something dumb disqualified you, Joe Biden couldn't be vice president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Paul Steinhauser, CNN political editor, I think a lot of folks said, when the Republican national committee stopped supporting Todd Akin, when money bags Karl Rove stopped supporting Todd Akin, you know, they said the race was over, win for the Democrats, win for Claire McCaskill, but the Akin campaign is not dead. Could he still win?
PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: He could still win. The polls show it's kind of competitive between him and Claire McCaskill.
She's, of course, the Democratic incumbent running for reelection. This is a state where, you know, on the presidential side, you know, the president really isn't fighting much for Missouri. It seems like it's going to be a safe state for Romney.
But Gingrich, yesterday, out there in Missouri with Akin, he's about the only major Republican politician who's been supporting him, other than former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee who, of course, you remember, ran for the White House four years ago.
A couple of social conservative groups like the Family Research Council are also backing Akin. Keep your eyes on this race, Brooke.
BALDWIN: Paul Steinhauser, thank you.
A lot of talk on this one today, that controversial call last night. Watching Monday night football, NFL fans are saying, probably yelling at the television, that the refs were wrong.
Now, the pressure is on the league to do something. Former NFL QB Drew Bledsoe weighs in, next.
KOSIK: Hi, there. Today on the "Help Desk," we're helping you prepare for retirement and with me this hour, Liz Miller and Greg McBride.
Greg, this question is for you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm five to 10 years from retirement. I have maybe 10-to-20 percent of my net worth available in cash. I'd like to invest and put it to better use, but given the political and economic uncertainties, what would you suggest I do with my cash resources?
KOSIK: And this is actually one of the questions that most of us ask, but this gentleman is five-to-10 years from retirement. What to do?
GREG MCBRIDE, SENIOR FINANCIAL ANALYST, BANKRATE.COM: Well, the money that he's going to be withdrawing in the first five years of retirement has to be very conservatively invested, so we're about talking cash investments or high-quality bonds.
Yes, the returns are low, but he doesn't have the ability to take a whole lot of risk because he needs that money so soon.
Now, money that he's going to earmark for withdrawal beyond that 10- year timeframe, that can and should be invested a little bit more aggressively so that he can preserve his buying power in the years ahead.
KOSIK: Do you agree with that? That there should be some risk?
LIZ MILLER, AUTHOR, "CLUTTER-FREE WEALTH": I think for the longer term and to support that retirement, absolutely, but even in the shorter term, right now, there are some very high-quality stocks with nice dividends that would give some income in the next five-to-10 years to get him ready for retirement and maintain liquidity.
So, I would keep that on the radar in today's environment, as well.
All right, if you have an issue you want our experts to tackle, upload a 30-second video with your "Help Desk" question to iReport.com.
BALDWIN: Well, here we go. NFL replacement refs cannot stay out of trouble.
Their latest and perhaps biggest mishap came on Monday Night Football. Green Bay leading Seattle 12-7, time expiring, check it out.
Last play of the game, Seattle tosses. Last ditch. There you go, Hail Mary pass into the end zone.
Apparently intercepted by the Packers, but wait. See both the refs? Two different signals. Two replacement officials standing there, one says touchdown. The other calls it an interception.
After a delay and a check of the instant replay, it is ruled a touchdown. Seattle wins. Packers are stunned. The rest of us, even President Obama weighing in on this today, wondering, when will this end? Look at this. The president tweeting just a couple hours ago, NFL fans on both sides of the aisle hope the refs lockout is settled soon.
And, as he returned to the White House minutes ago from New York, I'm told reporters were shouting at him, shouting, "Packers," and the president said, quote, "I've been saying for months we need to get our refs back."
So, that's the president. Now, to Drew Bledsoe, former NFL quarterback. Drew, nice to have you on. Played 14 years in the league, Patriots, Bills, Cowboys.
Drew, you know, let me just say that the NFL issued this statement today, basically backing up the ref's call, you know, basically saying, story over. This is final.
Are these replacement refs, are they ruining the season?
DREW BLEDSOE: Well, let me say one thing first and that is that, you know, controversial calls have been around forever.
You know, there were actually two times I was playing football where we left the field, went to the locker room and came back onto the field to finish a game.
One time, the Buffalo Bills didn't even come out to finish the game, so, you know, it's not like controversial calls have not existed prior to these guys being there.
Plus, they're being held to a standard that's a little bit unrealistic. They're being held to a standard of perfection and perfection has never been attained in officiating.
Now, that being said, I do think the NFL is running the risk of affecting their credibility. You know, they got out in front of performance enhancing drugs way before anybody else did.
They've been out ahead of gambling issues. They're addressing safety issues. They're number one on TV. It's the greatest product in American sports and, right now, the NFL is running the risk of losing that credibility and losing that status as the best, you know, television there is out there.
BALDWIN: Are you worried that because of these refs, Drew, you know, 30 seconds, that someone could get hurt out there?
BLEDSOE: You know, that's one of the concerns that you have. You know, the guys that are ...
BLEDSOE: ... they're really, really truly ...
BALDWIN: Oh, did we lose you? There you are, Drew. Twenty seconds, keep going.
BLEDSOE: Yeah, no, the guys, the regular refs are the very best in the world at what they do and they deserve to be on the field and you're at risk of safety, you're at risk of credibility of the league and you're at risk of having a controversial ending to a game like we had last night.
BALDWIN: It's incredible how many people shout at the regular refs and I have a feeling, when and if they come back, there could be a grand, you know, standing ovation for them, which is something perhaps many fans never thought they would see.
Drew Bledsoe, we're out of time. Please come back. Drew Bledsoe, thanks so much for talking to me.
I'm Brooke Baldwin. Now, to Wolf Blitzer and "THE SITUATION ROOM."