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U.S. Presidential Debate; Hispanic Heritage Month

Aired October 4, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Hi. Welcome to CNN STUDENT NEWS. It`s the day after the debate, so we have a lot to cover from last night. Plus, Hispanic Heritage Month coverage and the sports experience seven years in the making. It all starts right now.


JIM LEHRER, DEBATE MODERATOR: Good evening from the Magness Arena at the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado. I`m Jim Lehrer, the PBS News Hour, and I welcome you to the first of the 2012 presidential debates between President Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee and former Massachusetts Governor, Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee.


AZUZ: That was how it began. In the first of three presidential debates, President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney started out an agreement to begin by thanking each other, the moderator and the University of Denver which hosted the event. The most of the 90 minutes that followed was spent outlining their disagreements on some major issues. They covered President Obama`s health care reform law, they talked about the role that they each think the federal government should play in things like education. But the issue that dominated the debate is one that has dominated the headlines for years: the U.S. economy. President Obama and Governor Romney each criticized the other`s plans for how to improve the economy, and they talked about what has and what hasn`t happened over the past four years.


MITT ROMNEY, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I`m concerned that the path that we are on, has just been unsuccessful. The president has a view, very similar to the view he had when he ran four years ago. That a bigger government, spending more, taxing more, regulating more, if you will trickle down government, it would work. That`s not the right answer for America.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We`ve tried both approaches. The approach that Governor Romney is talking about is the same sales pitch that was made in 2001 and 2003. And we ended up with the slowest job growth in 50 years. We ended up moving from surplus to deficits, and it all culminated in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

ROMNEY: I just don`t know how the president could have come into office facing 23 million people out of work, rising unemployment, an economic crisis at the kitchen table, and spend his energy and passion for two years fighting for Obamacare instead of fighting for jobs for the American people. It has killed jobs.

OBAMA: Over the last 30 months we`ve seen 5 million jobs in the private sector created. The auto industry has come roaring back. And housing has begun to rise. But we all know that we`ve still got a lot of work to do. And so the question here tonight is not where we`ve been, but where we are going.


AZUZ: If you go to our homepage,, you`ll see more of our election resources, and you`ll see a lot more on last night`s debate at

The next presidential debate will be on October 16th, but before that, the U.S. vice presidential candidates will face off. That debate is one week from today.

As part of our Hispanic Heritage month coverage, we are looking at some of the places that Hispanic Americans come from. It`s this week`s Fab 5. First off, what country has the largest Spanish-speaking population in the world? Mexico declared its independence from Spain in 1810, and shares its northern border with the United States. What Latin American country is home to the world`s driest desert? In Chile`s Atacama desert, you`ll find copper mines. You might remember that 33 miners were rescued there in 2010. Chile is also the word`s longest country measured north to south. Number three in the Fab 5 list, what country is home to Machu Picchu, a world heritage site?

The ancient ruins in Peru`s Andy`s mountains were built by the Incas. Now, what Caribbean island and current U.S. territory was taken by American forces during the Spanish-American war? Control of the island of Puerto Rico changed hands in 1898. Puerto Rico isn`t a state but its residents are U.S. citizens. Last but not least, what Latin American country do more than 30 ships pass through each day? Panama has been in control of the Panama Canal since the end of 1999. Built in the earlier 20th century, the canal cut the shipping distance between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans by up to 8,000 miles.

In the United States, Hispanics make up more than 16 percent of the population. That means, they are the largest ethnic or racial minority group in the country. Now, let`s say you are a presidential candidate. Winning over the country`s largest minority group could mean a lot of potential votes. Miguel Marquez takes a look at how this year`s presidential candidates are trying to win the Latino vote.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It might sound like Mexico, but this is the fight for the White House.

Welcome to Washoe Country, Nevada, the frontline in this battleground state. Washoe County`s 250,000 voters are expected to decide whether Nevada goes blue or red, and Latinos, about 30,000 votes here, could make the critical difference in a race that could come down to a few thousand votes. Here is how Nevada`s 1.4 million votes break down, and why Washoe is a battleground within the battleground. Most of the votes here are in Clark County, that`s Las Vegas, it leans left, and rural Nevada is solidly Republican. The state almost evenly split. It leaves Washoe County and that biggest little city in the world, Reno feeling like -- well, the biggest little city in the world.

For Democrats here, the ground war is on, busloads of party faithful, some from other states already knocking on doors appealing directly to Latinos.

Republicans, too, seeking favor with Latino voters.

The candidate`s Spanish speaking son on one of many trips by the candidate, his family and surrogates all descending on Nevada. Obama, the first lady and their surrogates doing the same. A massive effort on both sides for Nevada`s six electoral votes.

CRAIG ROMNEY, CANDIDATE`S SON: That`s why you saw my dad here Friday and mom here, yesterday. We`ve got, you know, this is -- this state is very important to us as are many of the states across the country, but, you know this election is going to come down to just a handful of votes probably in the entire country.

MARQUEZ: The growing Latino population decisive here, in Nevada and across the country, if only it voted.

PROF. ERIC HERZIK, UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA, RENO: Well, the Latino voter is in the sense an untapped resource in many instances. The registration level, the turnout level in the Latino community lags badly other groups.

MARQUEZ: In 2008, nearly 20 million eligible voters nationwide were Latinos, but less than 10 million actually showed up to vote. The White House in the balance, Latino voters could help either party win. Miguel Marquez, CNN, Reno, Nevada.


AZUZ: Here at CNN STUDENT NEWS, we get a lot of "Shoutout" requests though email, through Facebook, through Twitter. There is one way to get a "Shoutout". Teachers, what do you do as you take an original photo of your school, not something off the Web sit, you`ve got to take it yourself. And then submit it to us at " Once you`ve done that, keep an eye on your inbox for our email and we`ll tell you the next step.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s "Shoutout" goes out to Mr. Johnson`s senior civics classes at Pendleton High School in Pendleton Oregon. In baseball, what kind of pitch has virtually no spin? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it a changeup, screwball, slider or knuckleball. You`ve got three seconds, go!

Because it has so little spin, the knuckleball has an unpredictable path. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout."

AZUZ: Knuckleballs are tough to pitch, tough to catch and tough to hit. And that`s exactly what Adam Greenberg faced on Tuesday when he went to pinch it for the Miami Marlins. Greenberg took a strike on the first pitch, and then he swung missed on the second and the third. When he walked back to the dugout after striking out, he was smiling, the crowd was cheering, and his teammates were congratulating him. That`s because it was Adam`s first official major league at-bat, and one that he waited seven years for. You want the explanation on this? Check out the transcript from Tuesday`s show at In fact, that`s where you find transcripts of all the shows we`ve done this school year.

There is a surfing competition in California. And you can`t really say it`s gone to the dogs, because it always was for them. These radical rovers are hanging 10, they`re hanging 20 in the surf city surf dog competition. It`s been going on for four years now. It gets a pretty good turnout. This year, there were nearly 50 paw-ticipants. I guess the event has been building a wave of excitement. The trip out into the water is a lot of work, with all that doggy paddling, but is it worth it to ride the wave back in? For sure. You know which breed is probably the best surfer? A border collie. Some of our puns are great, some you just have to surf-er through, but we will be bark tomorrow with more. See you then.