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The Day After Presidential Debate 2; Tense, Testy And Turbulent; Fact Check: Tackling The Deficit; Jesse Jackson Jr. Under Investigation; Earthquake Rattles New England; Bain Capital Shipping Jobs To China; Envoy Pushes For Syrian Cease Fire; Nike Dumps Lance Armstrong

Aired October 17, 2012 - 14:00   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. Hi, everyone. I'm Brooke Baldwin.

And there you have it, two men, each trying to convince Americans he should lead the country over the next four years. And now you're about to hear who stretched the truth and what President Obama and Mitt Romney are saying on the campaign trail today.

But first I want you to just hear instant reaction, instant analysis moments after the debate ended. Here is Wolf Blitzer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WOLF BLITZER, HOST, CNN "SITUATION ROOM": I think it's fair to say that this debate, the President came out and did what he failed to do in his first debate, sets the stage for debate number three, Anderson.

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, CNN "AC360": Yes, certainly, I think Democrats are going to be a lot happier with his performance in this debate, certainly, than they were the first presidential debate. Let's quickly get a reading from David Gergen, Gloria Borger, John King. David, what did you think?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Most improved. That award certainly goes to Barack Obama. I think he had a much, much stronger debate tonight. You can read social media. There are lots of people out there, Democrats who are all fired up.

But I must tell you, I think that Mitt Romney has had two very good debates back to back. I think he had a solid performance tonight, and I think overall, he looked much more like he could be president than he did two weeks ago.

But I think, overall -- I tried to score it by the questions, and everybody will have different views of this. I had a lot of questions as draws, I had a couple of questions that I thought that Romney did better on. I had a little bit more edge to the President. I gave him the edge on the whole (INAUDIBLE)

ANDERSON: John King.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think the Libya question was not a good moment for Governor Romney. I think, otherwise, in the debate, both sides -- as we said after the vice presidential debate, both sides can leave thinking they did what they wanted to do. There is zero question Democrat intensity will come back. It dipped after the first presidential debate. The president did that part of it.

I think Governor Romney did a very good job prosecuting against the incumbent's record. And I think that's the question we can't answer tonight. We can score both of these candidates. It's very hard to understand what is the fundamental dynamic of the election right now.

Two weeks ago, it was about Governor Romney. He made it in the first debate about President Obama. There's still sort of quicksand out there. It was -- what is this? What are the American people deciding on election day? If they're deciding to keep the incumbent, then Governor Romney's performance tonight was probably better, if you will. It will mean more out in the electorate than it does as we score it.

This is a competitive election. It was a good debate. And wow, we have...

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Does it stop the slide that we have seen from President Obama over the last couple weeks?

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: We don't know.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: We don't know, but I think this debate was so different that you could argue that, if it did stop the bleeding, you would sort of understand why.

(CROSSTALK)

GERGEN: I agree. I agree.

BORGER: You would understand why.

KING: ... Democratic intensity coming up just a little bit would slow the slide...

BORGER: You don't know.

KING: ... at least, maybe stop it.

BORGER: But I will tell you, Mitt Romney's best moments were focusing on the economic record and saying, The middle class has been buried, many times, which we have heard before, and also, We don't have to settle for this. Those were sort of key catchphrases.

For me, the President's best moments were Romney versus Romney. Romney in the primary, on immigration for example, Romney as governor on coal and energy and assault weapons... (CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Let's bring in our contributors, Republicans and Democrats, too, because I know they are champing at the bit, too -- Van Jones.

VAN JONES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Listen, this was -- the President of the United States was the President of the United States tonight. He -- there are only two things I think that people are looking for. One is, Are you a strong leader? And are you on my side?

He was clearly a strong leader tonight. He was passionate. He was focused. And I thought when he went over the line -- when Romney went over the line and challenged his integrity with regard to the people that died, and the President stood up and said, "That's not who I am," that will -- I think that will go down as one of the great moments in an American debate.

And beyond that, I think Romney may have hurt himself with women. Here, the question is about equal pay for equal work. Romney -- the only thing he says is that when he's 50 years old, he heard there was a problem, and he wants to figure out ways for moms to get home on time to cook dinner.

That is not the right answer to that question. I'm sorry.

(LAUGHTER)

JONES: The right answer to that question is, is that America's government should be a partner for America's mothers to make sure by law...

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Let's keep going. Alex, I just want to get a quick response.

ALEX CASTELLANOS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think I've begun to figure out who Van's going to vote for.

(LAUGHTER)

CASTELLANOS: I thought a lot of women in America saw a debate tonight where two high school jocks were -- didn't like each other very much, and I'm not sure they're going to be turned on by this debate.

As much as I loved the first debate, I thought this one was less. Obama was angry. He had daggers in his eyes for Mitt Romney all night long. His pitch went up. As this debate started, he was...

COOPER: Did you see love in Mitt Romney's eyes for President Obama?

CASTELLANOS: You know what? I thought Mitt Romney was not as strong a lot of the debate as President Obama was. He was in control a little more than Romney, but I thought Mitt Romney was much more pleasant, much someone...

COOPER: Dee Dee Myers? CASTELLANOS: ... you would have in your living room more often than you would Obama.

DEE DEE MYERS, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, shockingly, I disagree a little bit with that. I think that President Obama came in and accomplished what he needed to do strategically and tactically. He needed to present a narrative. He needed to convince the country he had a plan for the second term.

And he came out of the box and he talked about his plan for manufacturing, education, balancing the -- you know, balanced approach to deficit reduction, investing excess money in infrastructure and other things that will help the economy grow. We hadn't heard from that from him in the last debate.

So I think he achieved strategically what he needed to do. And he was energetic and he fought for the American people, for the middle class.

ARI FLEISCHER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Anderson, it struck me that -- this was in terms of what they said -- a flat-out draw. The governor was extremely effective in making the litany in that soft-spoken way of all the things President Obama promised but failed to do, such as cut the deficit in half, et cetera. The president was very good, particularly compared to the last debate, punching back at Romney's record.

But what the President never did -- and this is where I give the edge to Mitt Romney. He didn't talk about the future. He did not talk about his specific plans for what he will do in a second term because he doesn't have it. His whole campaign has to be to take Mitt Romney down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Last word there from Ari Fleischer. And in just a moment, we will address precisely the point. But first let's back up because the question on the minds of many voters was whether Barack Obama would deliver more passion last night than he did in debate number one.

No doubt he did. Take a look at this. This is a side-by-side comparison, so you have October 3rd, that debate, on the left side of your screen, last night on your right -- two Barack Obamas.

And this. Did you catch this refrain today? The president's backers are saying, Where was that before?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Candy, what Governor Romney said just isn't true. Very little of what Governor Romney just said is true. Not true, Governor Romney. And when Governor Romney says the challenges, well, Obama didn't try, that's not true.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BALDWIN: Stand by because we're going to take you through this whole thing piece by piece by piece. But first, I need to report that Governor Romney has just completed a speech. Here he was in Chesapeake, Virginia.

Here is your emerging theme today. The president has no agenda, none, for the next four years. Mitt Romney.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY, (R ), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I just think the American people had expected that the President of the United States would be able to describe what he's going to do in the next four years. But he can't! He can't even explain what he's done in the last four years!

(LAUGHTER)

ROMNEY: I mean, he spends most of his time trying to talk about how my plan won't work. Well, what about his plan?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Well, the President is out campaigning, as well. Here he was at Cornell (ph) College in Iowa, where he just finished speaking. He will be appearing a little later today in Athens, Ohio, at OU, Ohio University. In fact, that is where we are right now.

But back to last night. I have asked John King to join us, John King, our chief national correspondent. And John, just take look at this, if you would. This was the general tone.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(CROSSTALK)

OBAMA: I thought we were talking about immigration.

(CROSSTALK)

OBAMA: I just want to make sure that...

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN, DEBATE MODERATOR: If I could have you sit down, Governor Romney...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Oh, look at that! Finger pointing, getting close. John King, you watched, I watched, all 90-plus minutes. And that is pretty much how it went. You know, we did a snap poll of debate waters afterward, 46 percent said Obama won, 39 percent said Romney won.

Oddly enough, John -- look at this -- on taxes, edge to Mitt Romney. Health care, edge to Mitt Romney. And economy, edge to Mitt Romney.

John King, any idea why this discrepancy? Because the overall winner was the President, but Romney clearly won most of the major issues last night.

KING: I think -- and that's important, what you just said about the major issues, because the stylistic, the rock-'em, sock-'em Robots part of the debate will fade from memory, and voters will make their final decision, especially that small slice of undecideds, probably about economic issues.

So the Romney campaign is quite happy with that, that in the underlying numbers in the poll, they won when those watching the debate said who did a better job handling the economy, who did a better job talking about health care, who did a better job talking about taxes.

Why did the President win? In part, Brooke, it was just a contrast. He was a cardboard cutout in the first debate. He didn't move much. He didn't have much passion. He didn't fight back.

Last night, he was in there from day one. He threw the first punch. He got right into it. The entire debate, he was feisty, he was passionate. And I think even Romney supporters said that in terms of the fight, the President maybe outperformed Governor Romney.

It's the substance that will matter in the end. And what this tells you -- the snippiness, the shortness, the interrupting each other -- both of these men are fierce competitors and both of them know this election, 20 days left now -- 21 last night when they were debating -- is as close as it can get.

And everything they do, every stop they make -- you saw them on the trail today -- Chesapeake, Virginia, Governor Romney's trying to gin up evangelicals. The president's on two college campuses today trying to gin up younger voters.

They know exactly what they're trying to do. It's turnout now, and they have such little room for error, they were a bit snippy.

BALDWIN: Snippy -- certainly no longer the cardboard cutout, as point out, the President last night, you know, over and over challenging Governor Romney on his facts.

And let's look at this, John, because you know, we rarely see a moment where someone really does get something wrong and actually gets caught. So this concerns the fatal attack against those four Americans in Libya. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack, it was an act of terror? It was not a spontaneous demonstration. Is that what you're saying?

OBAMA: Please proceed, Governor.

ROMNEY: All right, I want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the President 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror. OBAMA: Get the transcript.

CROWLEY: He did, in fact, sir. So let me -- let me call it an act of terror and...

OBAMA: Could you say that a little louder, Candy?

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

CROWLEY: He did call it an act of terror. It did...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: I mean, this was toward the end of the night. This made me sort of sit up on my sofa and think, John, I mean, of all these moments here, really, this to me seemed to be the moment that viewers will probably remember.

KING: I think viewers will remember this moment because Governor Romney made a mistake. I do not think, in the end, most voters are going to make up their decision based on Libya or foreign policy. They're going to make their decision based on which of these gentleman they think has a better plan for the economy for the next four years.

But on that point last night, you know, in the Romney campaign they're complaining that Candy Crowley rightfully fact-checked him on that. Well, they can complain about that. Governor Romney -- somewhere in his preparations, somebody gave him research that was wrong. You know, the President did use the word "act of terror" in that statement.

Now, the administration did a whole lot of other things. After that Rose Garden statement, the President went to the United Nations and was still blaming the YouTube video. So Governor Romney has a point here in questioning how the administration handled the response to the Libya attack, why it ignored warnings to give more security there, the things that it said in public that turned out not to be anywhere near the truth.

Governor Romney has a point, but he undermined himself by making a mistake right there, and Candy was right to correct him. And the President took that opportunity to make it not about his leadership, not about the administration's misstatements and some would say misleading statements, but to make it about Governor Romney.

The President was an adept debater right there, and then the Romney campaign -- publicly, they complain about Candy all they want. But privately, they need to figure out who gave the Governor such horrible information about what the President said.

BALDWIN: John King, thank you. And to use John King's word, snippy -- one of the snippier exchanges of last night's debate involved the exchange over energy policy. He was talking about how important the economy is to you. We're talking about gas prices, oil exploration. Listen to this from Mitt Romney.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: But what we don't need is to have the President keeping us from taking advantage of oil, coal and gas. This has not been Mr. Oil or Mr. Gas or Mr. Coal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: No Mr. Gas, no Mr. Oil, no Mr. Coal. If you were watching last night's debate to get an idea as to has the best energy policy, well, much of the discussion went something like this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: In the last four years, you cut permits and licenses on federal land and federal waters in half!

OBAMA: Not true, Governor Romney.

ROMNEY: So how much did you cut them by?

OBAMA: Not true.

ROMNEY: How much did you cut them by then?

OBAMA: Governor, we have actually produced more oil...

ROMNEY: No, no! How much did you cut licenses and permits on federal land and federal waters?

OBAMA: Governor Romney, here's what we did -- there were a whole bunch of oil companies...

ROMNEY: No. I had a question, and the question was, How much did you cut them by?

OBAMA: You want me to answer a question...

ROMNEY: How much did you cut them by?

OBAMA: I'm happy to answer the question.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Look how close they were getting back and forth. Ali Velshi, my goodness! That was just one of those moments -- chief business correspondent. You know, you heard it, Mitt Romney saying the Obama administration's energy policy has cut production on federal lands, the President saying, you know, once again, Not true, not true, Governor Romney, Romney also saying if the President's oil policy was working, we would have cheaper energy.

You watched. Where is the truth?

ALI VELSHI, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: You know, that's just -- I wrote a column about it this morning. That's just not true. The governor was conflating energy production as a whole with gasoline prices. And they're not as related as you would actually think.

On the whole, energy production in the United States is up. That includes oil. That also includes natural gas. Natural gas and oil are not generally interchangeable. Yes, you can use both for home heating, but that's kind of where the similarity stops.

Generally speaking, in this country, natural gas, which is -- production of which is way up in the United States, is used for electricity production, which means it brings the cost of electricity, particularly for heavy industry like steel and industries like that, down. And that can create jobs because it enhances the ability of industry to do business.

You can't replace oil for cars. Now, the United States uses 20 percent of the world's oil output every single day just for transportation. Now, it's mostly freight and goods, as opposed to people.

But the fact is we -- the way you bring gas prices down is you bring the oil prices down. And presidents don't actually have that much control over it.

BALDWIN: Well, that is exactly one of my points here because they talk about gas prices, certainly a topic that resonates with anyone, right, with a car.

VELSHI: Right.

BALDWIN: But the back and forth over this...

VELSHI: Sure.

BALDWIN: The point is, you know, is that we've heard from the President there is no silver bullet. They can't control that.

VELSHI: Right. There is one way to bring oil down to $1.86 what Mitt Romney said, that four years ago in Nassau County, where the debate was held, gas was $1.86. You know why? Because there was a recession. That's the best way to cut the price of gasoline in half.

Generally speaking, there are only a few ways you can bring the price of oil down. You can release oil from the strategic petroleum reserve, in the case of a hurricane or somehow -- some kind of supply shortage. You can increase fuel efficiency standards, which this administration has done, but that won't kick in until 2025.

Or as the price of gas goes up, as we saw, once it gets to $3.50 a gallon, people start making smarter choices about buying their cars and how they commute and where they live.

And that's what's actually happening in America. America has for 10 years consumed less and less and less gasoline because they don't like the price of it. BALDWIN: Ali Velshi, let's talk about Jeremy. This was college student Jeremy, right out of the gate, question number one. Here he was.

VELSHI: Great question.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: And I want to turn to a first-time voter, Jeremy Epstein, who has a question for you.

JEREMY EPSTEIN, FIRST-TIME VOTER: Mr. President, Governor Romney, as a 20-year-old college student, all I hear from professors, neighbors and others is that when I graduate, I will have little chance to get employment. What can you say to reassure me, but more importantly my parents, that I'll be able to sufficiently support myself after I graduate?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Now, that answer -- anyone who was watching knows that went on for a while. But the question is, did anyone -- did either of them actually answer it?

VELSHI: No, and that was part of the problem last night with these kinds of things. They get really specific questions, and they use that as an invitation to talk about broader policy, which is what they both did. They both sort of said, Here's the things we have to do in order to create more jobs overall.

Now, you know this is a pet peeve of mine.

BALDWIN: Yes.

VELSHI: Both campaigns have said that if you elect them, they'll create 12 million jobs...

BALDWIN: Twelve million jobs.

VELSHI: ... over four years, and I've said that I'll wear a dress if that happens. But there are ways that happens. We had very strong housing numbers today. Housing is actually a big producer of jobs. We talked about energy. The energy boom in America is a big producer of jobs. We need an infrastructure program. That could be a big producer of jobs.

But they complicated the answer to this one. And in the end, I thought to myself, Jeremy Epstein, that was a great question. Gentlemen, that wasn't a particularly direct answer.

Now, in fairness, you can't really answer Jeremy's question all that easily. A 20-year-old who's going to be out looking for a job when he graduates very soon -- it's an uncertain environment out there. There's really nothing we can say to that 20-year-old.

You can probably tell a 15-year-old that when they're getting ready to work, we should have more opportunities ready for them. Hopefully, maybe even an 18-year-old.

BALDWIN: There are a lot of Jeremies out there, though.

VELSHI: Yes, there are.

BALDWIN: I'm sure many of them who are equally frustrated.

(CROSSTALK)

VELSHI: And by the way, you know what, Brooke? Mitt Romney did say one thing that was true. About half of graduating students right now don't get jobs. That's a fairly serious issue. So again, not a solution for Jeremy, but hopefully, in years to come, we'll solve that.

BALDWIN: OK. Ali Velshi, thank you so much.

You know, you talk to anyone, they agree that the debate was certainly volatile. It was full of tension. And the woman in charge of keeping the President and Mitt Romney in line was our own Candy Crowley. You're about to hear her thoughts on what happened, including as we were talking about a moment ago, her real-time fact check that has everyone talking today.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Candy Crowley, our very own -- she moderated last night's debate, and she certainly grabbed some headlines all to herself for this one exchange pertaining to the deaths of those four Americans in Libya, including the U.S. ambassador. At issue, whether the President called the consulate attack in Benghazi an act of terror one day after it happened.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: It took the President 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.

OBAMA: Get the transcript.

CROWLEY: He did, in fact, sir. So let me -- let me call it an act of terror and...

OBAMA: Could you say that a little louder, Candy?

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

CROWLEY: He did call it an act of terror. It did, as well, take -- it did, as well, take two weeks or so for the whole idea of there being a riot out there about this tape to come out. You're correct about that.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BALDWIN: That was last night. Fast-forward to today. Candy responded to her critics, some of whom said she was backtracking about stepping in.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN, MODERATOR: And what I was trying to do, by the way -- Oh, you fact-checked him -- I was trying to move this along because we were -- the question was Benghazi.

There is no question that the administration is quite vulnerable on this topic, that they did take weeks to go -- Well, actually, there wasn't a protest and actually didn't have anything to do with the tape -- that took a long time. That's where he was going. That was his first answer. That was Romney's...

And then we got hung up about, Yes, he said, No, I didn't, I said terror, You didn't say terror. And there was this point where they both kind of looked at me, you know, and then, you know, he -- Romney is looking at me, the President was looking at me.

And what I wanted to do was move this along. Can we get back to the -- so I said -- He did, you know, say acts of terror, call it an act of terror, but Governor Romney, you are perfectly right that it took weeks for them to get past the tape and the...

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, HOST, CNN "STARTING POINT": Two sets of applause. After terror, people on one side applauded...

(CROSSTALK)

O'BRIEN: Then you said, Yes, it took two weeks, people on the other side applauded. So not a backtrack?

CROWLEY: No. I mean, he -- I mean, the question was (INAUDIBLE) got so stuck on that act of terror. It took him -- now, did the President say this was an act of terror? The president did not say -- he said the...

O'BRIEN: These acts of terror.

CROWLEY: These acts of terror. But he was in the Rose Garden to talk about Benghazi. So I don't think that's a leap.

O'BRIEN: We actually had...

CROWLEY: Sorry.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: That was Candy on "STARTING POINT" this morning. She also said that while she didn't feel any intense animosity between these two candidates, she did hear one of the uncommitted voters say for a minute, it looked like Romney and Obama were going to hit each other -- hit each other, as they were getting so close there in that circle. Well, my next guest wrote a book on these debates, specifically the high-risk TV moments, and last night, there were plenty of those. We're going to play some of those for you. Plus, find out how this debate sets up next week's the final showdown.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Last night's debate got a little testy, sometimes downright volatile. How will the hostility translate to voters?

Let me bring in TV debate expert and Northeastern University professor, Alan Schroeder. He wrote a book called "Presidential Debates: 40 Years of High Risk TV."

So Alan Schroeder, welcome to you. Let's begin with this one moment, the really arguably the most pointed one-liner from the President all night long, came after the candidates were talking immigration, veered into personal investments and then this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CANDY CROWLEY, MODERATOR: Governor Romney, make it short. See all these people. They have been waiting for you. Make it short.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Any investments I have over the last eight years have been managed by a blind trust. And I understand they do include investments outside the United States, including in Chinese companies. Mr. President, have you looked at your pension? Have you looked at your pension?

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I've got to say --

ROMNEY: Mr. President, have you looked at your pension?

OBAMA: I don't look at my pension. It is not as big as yours, so it doesn't take as long.

ROMNEY: Let me give you some advice.

OBAMA: I don't check it that often.

ROMNEY: Let me give you some advice. Look at your pension, you also have investments in Chinese companies, you also have investments outside the United States. You also have investments through a Caymans trust. So --

OBAMA: We're completely off topic here. I thought we're talking about immigration.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: I don't look at my pension. It is not as big as yours. Zing, according to the Twitter-verse last night. Alan, do you agree?

ALAN SCHROEDER, AUTHOR, "PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES: 40 YEARS OF HIGH RISK TV": I do agree. There is another thing going on in that clip that I think is interesting and that is Mitt Romney saying have you looked at your pension? Who talks like that, you know?

It is not something that I think average Americans sit around doing, looking at their pensions and wondering whether you have overseas investments. So I think it was a good moment for Obama.

It was a weird moment for Romney and it also, you know, you hear Candy Crowley in there saying, we have all these people here who want to ask questions and he just plows right through her.

I think that's not a very strategically smart thing to do in a town hall debate.

BALDWIN: Let me get to that because you point out in your piece, Romney does not like it when he doesn't think he's getting his due with regard to time, et cetera. Here is an example. Let's roll this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: He got the first question, so I get the last question -- last answer on that one.

CROWLEY: Actually in the follow-up it doesn't quite work like that, but I'm going to give you a chance here. I promise you I'm going to.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Now some voters may look at that and say, yes, that's assertive. You say --

SCHROEDER: I say that it is not assertive. It is sort of greedy. And not only that, but it completely ignores the point of the exercise, which is to allow this group of 84 people to -- 82 people to ask their questions during the debate.

You know, it has nothing to do with the audience and the questions they're interested in. It has everything to do with Mitt Romney and his perceived slight in this. And so for me, that's another moment that back-fired on Romney.

BALDWIN: And then a couple of phrases we heard from Mitt Romney, take a look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: Thank you, Jeremy, I appreciate your question. Thank you. I appreciate that question. I appreciate wind jobs in Iowa and across our country. I appreciate the jobs in coal and oil and gas.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: I appreciate that question. Translate that for me, Alan Schroeder, what are you hearing?

SCHROEDER: It means I really don't want to answer that question. But I'm going to buy myself a couple of seconds here by saying I appreciate it so I can think of a response.

BALDWIN: Why do you think that? Why doesn't he truly appreciate it?

SCHROEDER: Well, I don't know, because these are -- most of the times he would say that it was on topics that, you know, he didn't particularly want to be discussing.

And I should ad that President Obama was not entirely responsive to the questions being asked of him either. You know, I think one of the frustrations people have is you ask a question.

And the politicians sort of, you know, ducks, bobs and weaves and figures a way to get his answer in there, whether it has anything to do with what was on the floor or not.

BALDWIN: It is certainly frustrating if you're the one asking the question. I know, Alan Schroeder, we appreciate it, Northeastern University. You can take a look at Alan's piece. It's on cnn.com/opinion.

Question, can the next president keep America from going broke? Got very heated between the President and Mitt Romney over the ballooning deficit. We're fact checking those claims next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: One area where President Obama and Mitt Romney butted heads was over the deficit. Both sides of the aisle will agree America is going broke and younger generations will get the bill.

CNN's Tom Foreman did this fact checking on each man's claims. Hi, Tom.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brooke, as you know, both of these candidates have made it a cornerstone of this election to talk about the deficit, the difference between how much money the government is taking in, and how much money the government is spending every year. And it came up in this debate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: I'll get us on track to a balanced budget and I'm going to reduce the tax burden on middle income families. And what is that going to do? It will help the families and it will create incentives to start growing jobs again in this country.

OBAMA: If we're serious about reducing the deficit, if this is genuinely a moral obligation to the next generation, then in addition to some tough spending cuts, we have also got to make sure that the wealthy do a little bit more.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOREMAN: This is the deficit right now, $1.9 trillion. If we wanted to pay it off, every man, woman and child in the country would have to kick in about $3,500. That's a lot. And yet each candidate says confidently, I can reduce the deficit. How would they do that?

Well, first, let's talk about what they agree on. They all say we're going have to contain the spending of the government, control it, we're also going to have to rewrite the tax code and we have to get the economy moving again because that's what's going to produce money and revenue and really solve the problem.

But beyond that, they don't agree on much. Let's look at the Romney plan first. If this were to represent everything he wants to spend money on, and he needs this much to cover it, he knows he's not going to get it because he has a deficit. So how is he going to deal with that deficit?

He says he's going to do it with tax cuts. Tax cuts initially are going to make the deficit worse. So he needs to offset them. He says he's going to do that by looking at deductions in loopholes, things that people use to avoid paying taxes.

Says he won't go after things like the mortgage deduction or the health care deduction, things that many middle class people rely on, he suggests he won't go after those, but that's the problem.

Economists say if you grab up all the other deductions that you might put on wealthier people and put them all back in this pile, it is not going to be enough. You're going to end up eventually having to tax the middle class or watching the deficit just get bigger.

At least based on the plans they know right now. Barack Obama, he has a different version of the same song. He's got all the things he wants to pay for. He also will not have all the money he needs for it, he's going to have a deficit too and he says you can deal with it by taxing the wealthy.

This is a popular plan with many voters, but it also has a fundamental flaw. There just aren't that many wealthy people in the country. If you define wealthy as being people who individually make more than $200,000 a year, as he often does, for every one there is like that in the country, this is how many there are who don't make that much money.

You would have to tax this person at a much higher rate than the White House is talking about to solve this problem and even then you probably wouldn't get enough money to really make up the deficit.

The simple truth is both of these plans are woefully short on important details to tell fuss they would really reduce the deficit. We need to hear more from both candidates.

In the meantime, when they say I can reduce the deficit, all we can do is give that a grade of I for incomplete.

BALDWIN: Tom Foreman, thank you.

Just in to CNN, we're getting word, Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. is under investigation and we know now the FBI is involved. That's next.

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BALDWIN: Just in to us here at CNN, the FBI is investigating Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. who recently took medical leave, reportedly suffering from a mental illness.

According to a federal law enforcement official, the investigation involves possible financial improprieties. You know the deal, Jackson is up for re-election.

And coming up next hour, we report on a rare public sighting of this representative at a local bar and what he said in his first interview since taking leave.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Earthquake. Yes, it is.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My gosh.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: My gosh, she said. I can't believe I'm saying this, but a rare earthquake southern Maine last night of all places. And while it didn't cause any damages or injuries, it shocked people in and around the area like this woman at a town meeting. The 4.0 quake was centered in Maine, but people felt it all across New England.

Coming up next, Governor Romney has been forced to defend his record with private equity firm Bain Capital and now others are protesting the investment firm's next business move. We have a live report next.

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BALDWIN: Twenty three million people out of work here in the U.S. and now more American jobs are being shipped to China. Nearly 200 employees that the plant, this is the Sensata plant in Illinois, they're about to be laid off.

Even more devastating here, they said they even had to train their Chinese replacements. Bain Capital, once headed by Mitt Romney, is behind this outsourcing, outsourcing an attack point in last night's debate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: When he talks about getting tough on China, keep in mind that Governor Romney invested in companies that were pioneers of outsourcing to China.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Ted Rowlands, live in Free Port, Illinois, where Sensata workers have set up a Bain Port is what they are calling, basically protesting Bain Capital for the layoffs expected next month. The workers, Ted, had a debate watch party last night. What was their reaction?

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brooke, as you might imagine they were glued into the debates and watched it right here from Bain Port. You could see it is raining here right now.

BALDWIN: That umbrella is not doing you any good.

ROWLANDS: Yes. Factory is right across the street. So they are out here every day. They have been for the last 35 days. Right now, they're inside this tent. This is where they watched the debate last night.

As you can imagine, they were keenly interested in anything about jobs and China. We should point out that Mitt Romney left Bain seven years before Bain bought this plant.

He had absolutely nothing to do with the specific decisions that are going on now with the loss of jobs here, however these folks here do believe that because he is a majority shareholder in Bain and because he is the Republican nominee for president that he does have the power to do something about their jobs and their job losses.

BALDWIN: Now, you're talking to these folks and I know one person you spoke with absolutely blames Romney for what is happening. Let's take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The guy running for president who has the nerve to stand behind the podium and says, jobs are a top priority and talk about getting tough on China. And his company is moving my job to China the day before Election Day.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: You have a statement from the Romney camp. What are they saying?

ROWLANDS: Yes, we reached out to them. Here is what they said. They said Bain invested in Sensata in 2006, seven years after Governor Romney left the field. Only the President can level the playing field with China and President Obama has failed to stand up to China's unfair competition.

Obviously, people here have a vested interest to keep their jobs and they really do have a lot of anger towards Bain. This is a company that made millions of dollars last quarter. In fact, they had record- breaking profits last quarter and it is hard to convince these people that they need their jobs to make even more money.

BALDWIN: And, Ted, I understand there were arrests.

ROWLANDS: Yes, there was an action today, six people were arrested. They went to the company and they tried to deliver a petition and they asked for a meeting. Six people were arrested. And organizers here say watch for more of those arrests, more of those actions, as the company winds down the operations at this factory by the end of the year.

BALDWIN: Ted Rowlands, thank you very much.

And now this, some chilling video from the front lines, above the front lines in Syria when this chopper is shot from the sky. See the smoke? That story is next.

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BALDWIN: Dramatic new video said to show Syrian rebels shooting down a regime helicopter. Take a look for yourself. Down it goes, bursting, ball of flame. Reportedly here rebels gunned this chopper down yesterday.

This is western Syria. We have to say CNN cannot independently verify the authenticity of the video that showed up on social media sites.

But I can tell you that Syria's bloody civil war began now more than 18 months ago. And international envoy Lakhdar Brahimi met with Lebanon's president today in Syria. He's expected in Damascus later today.

Appealing to women voters was a focus of both candidates. We talked a lot about this yesterday, remember. And so during the debate, we will check all and follow through and see if they hit the mark. We'll do that next hour.

Plus, new fallout for Lance Armstrong amid the mounting controversy over his cycling career. Those details are ahead.

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BALDWIN: Lance Armstrong, whether you believe he was doping or not, his spectacular fall from grace has been tough to watch.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is my body and I can do whatever I want to it. I can push it and study it. Tweak it. Listen to it. Everybody wants to know what I'm on. What am I on? I'm on my bike.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: I'm on my bike, he says. Well, today his fall had a hard landing. Armstrong stepped down as chairman of his charity, the Live Strong Foundation.

Here is the statement he released. Quote, "to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career, I will conclude my chairmanship."

And then minutes later, it got worse. Nike announced a decision to end its contract with Armstrong. And on top of Nike, we're also hearing this hour he lost his other high profile deal with brewery giant Anheuser-Busch.

It was just last week, we were talking about this, the big news from USADA, U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, releasing the blistering report detailing his alleged use of performance enhancing drugs.

And it was those findings that prompted Nike to say this: "Due to the seemingly insurmountable evidence that Lance Armstrong participated in doping and misled Nike for more than a decade, we have terminated our contract with him."

You think about Nike, and you have Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant. Nike is a company known for standing by its sullied athletes. We are going to talk more about that with Christine Brennan, "USA Today" sports columnist, coming up next hour, but now this.