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STATE OF THE UNION WITH CANDY CROWLEY
Interview with Ben Jealous; Interview with Raul Grijalva, Chaka Fattah; Interview with Rick Perry; Interview with Pat Quinn
Aired July 14, 2013 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CROWLEY: Not guilty but not over.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY (voice-over): Today, the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial echoes from the courtroom across the country and through the universe of social media. On Twitter, from Trayvon Martin's mother, "Lord during my darkest hour, I lean on you. You are all that I have. I will love you forever Trayvon." From George Zimmerman's brother.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has more reason now than ever to think that people are trying to kill him.
CROWLEY: The NAACP asked the Justice Department to pursue a civil rights case. Our interview with its president, Ben Jealous.
Then, Congressmen Raul Grijalva and Chaka Fattah with their first take on the verdict and their conversations this week with the president.
And the trial is over, but the story isn't. Our Panel, Michael Jackson's former attorney, Thomas Mesereau and former prosecutor, Sunny Hostin and Paul Callan weigh in on the what ifs and the what nows.
CROWLEY: And finally, the verdict prompts street demonstrations, including this one in Chicago. Two very different governors weigh in on the case and their hot button battles with state lawmakers. Exclusives with Texas Republican Rick Perry and Illinois Democrat Pat Quinn.
I'm Candy Crowley and this is STATE OF THE UNION.
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CROWLEY (on-camera): Very first this morning, the not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. The neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin is a freeman this morning after the jury's decision late last night. We've seen some protests in major cities across the U.S. More plan today. There is anger among Martin's supporters, but mostly, these demonstrations have been peaceful. The six women jury acquitted Zimmerman after 16 hours of deliberations refusing to convict him of second-degree murder or manslaughter. He showed little expression at first as the verdict was read in Florida. Many of Zimmerman's supporters say this is a vindication of his claim that he shot Martin in self-defense early last year.
This case has raised important questions about crime and race in America. Zimmerman's lawyer insists the trial wasn't about race, but he says the national debate that's been going on -- that's been going on is appropriate and necessary.
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MARK O'MARA, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S LAWYER: Did it bring to the forefront the conversation that young Black males are treated a certain way in the criminal justice system. Absolutely. Is that positive? Absolutely. Do we need to have that conversation? Absolutely. However, if pretending (ph) that conversation on top of the Zimmerman verdict is going to affect our ability to have that conversation, shame on them, because that conversation needs to be had.
And now, it may not be had because we have sort of artificially separated the two camps, if you will, over this verdict. This verdict still has nothing to do with civil rights. Civil rights needs to be talked about but not in the context of the George Zimmerman verdict.
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CROWLEY: NAACP president and CEO, Ben Jealous, says the civil rights group is outraged and heart broken by the Zimmerman verdict. He is joining us now from Orlando. Good morning and thank you for joining us.
BEN JEALOUS, PRESIDENT AND CEO, NAACP: Good morning.
CROWLEY: Ben, I want to ask you, you do want to pursue a civil rights federal case against Zimmerman. Have you talked to Eric Holder, the attorney general about that?
JEALOUS: We have talked to senior people on his team. And we are glad that what they began months, you know, months back continues which is a serious reviewing of everything that came out in this case, everything that was known before this case if this moves into a civil phase, they will review all that comes out in that and then they will make a choice about whether or not they will pursue criminal civil rights charges.
We are calling on them to do just that, because when you look at his comments and when you look at comments made by young Black men who lived in that neighborhood about how they felt, especially targeted by him, there is reason to be concerned that race was a factor in why he targeted young Trayvon.
CROWLEY: There were various reports early on after this case became public. The FBI did go down and talk to some of George Zimmerman's employer, his fellow workers, ex-fiancees, et cetera, et cetera, and they all said to a person at least in, so far, as these reports came out, that they didn't see any sign of any kind of bias.
They noted a couple of things that he has mentored some African- American children that there is not bias there. What specifically makes you believe that this is a civil rights case? JEALOUS: You know, there were comments made -- I don't think we want to retry it here, but the reality is that his comments are these punks always get away. Comments by young Black boys in that neighborhood felt like he kind of zeros them out give people concern. And the reality is that even if there had been several burglaries in his neighborhood and he believed that the suspects were never caught were young Black men, there is no reason for him to kill Trayvon.
And so, it's important, just as we all put our faith in this justice system here in Florida and in the jury that we let the justice system run its course. And the reality is in these types of cases where there are very serious questions, we know there will be a state phase. There will be a civil phase almost assuredly and then there will be a federal civil rights phase.
JEALOUS: And we are putting our faith in that system.
CROWLEY: You said you that you were outraged by this verdict. Who are you -- who's the focus of that outrage? Are you upset with the jury? Are you upset with the prosecutors? What went wrong?
JEALOUS: We're upset with a situation in this country where as Black people, as Black parents, parents raising Black boys, Black girls in society, that it feels so off that our young people have to fear the bad guys and the good guys. The robbers and the cops and the self-appointed community watch volunteer who thinks that they're keeping folks safer.
And we want to finally live in that country that our kids say our country is every day when they say the pledge, and they say this is one nation under God with liberty and justice for all, we yearn to be in that place.
CROWLEY: Right. And I want to play you something that Benjamin Crump said yesterday. He, of course, has been the Martin family attorney for some time now. And here's something he said yesterday.
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BENJAMIN CRUMP, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: Trayvon Martin will forever remain in the annals of history next to Medgar Evers and Emmett Till, as symbols for the fight for equal justice for all.
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CROWLEY: Medgar Evers and Emmett Till, of course, just became icon cases in the civil rights movement. Do you consider this of that caliber?
JEALOUS: There is no question that this case has pulled together the current generation of young people of all colors in the way that the Teal case did and the way that the Rodney King case did. This case stands out and we should ask ourselves why it does stand out to young people. Why there are so many young people who identify with the experience of having your color or your friends color or their style of dress or their hoodie confused with grounds for suspicion.
And we should listen for our young people and search with them when they ask how is it that young Trayvon Martin could be killed by George Zimmerman and George Zimmerman gets no time when Michael Vick got two and a half ears for killing dogs when a domestic violence victim in Northern Florida shot warning shots in the air over the head of her attacker and got 20 years.
JEALOUS: And it's important that we take the feelings of our young people very seriously, and we help them sort through this.
CROWLEY: Just quickly, I want to ask you, Robert Zimmerman's brother was on CNN last night, and he expressed fear for his brother's life. As you know, there have been some threats on the internet, et cetera. Your message to those people who might threaten or might actually do harm.
JEALOUS: We are very pleased that last night we saw no violence in this country that was related to this case. We are very proud of the discipline that this generation of young people have shown. I'm sad to say that my own generation didn't show such discipline when we were outraged and heartbroken at the verdict in the Rodney King case.
And it is -- I think we should, frankly, right now, be celebrating the fact that we've seen a generation of young people respond by using our system. Raising their voices, yes but not using their fists.
CROWLEY: They have, indeed, raised their voices peacefully. All of those who are out protesting Black and White, the verdict those who feel it was an injustice. Ben Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, thank you for your time.
JEALOUS: Thank you, Candy.
CROWLEY: Up next, more reaction to the Zimmerman verdict from a member of the Congressional Black caucus and Hispanic caucus. They talked with President Obama just days ago about gun violence and much more.
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BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon. And, you know, I think they are right to expect that all of us, as Americans, are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves and that we're going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.
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CROWLEY: That is now a famous sound bite from President Obama about a month after the death of Trayvon Martin. We want to bring in Congressman Chaka Fattah. He's a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and Congressman Raul Grijalva. He's a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Both of you have been in meetings with the president this week not about this particular item and we'll get to that later.
But first, I want to talk to you about your reaction to the verdict and the reaction afterwards which generally seems to be that the justice system is still unfair to minorities. Your take congressman?
FATTAH: I think there was the same kind of response when Casey Anthony jury came back. You know, people have different opinions about this. But I think most people
CROWLEY: But there's no race element to it.
FATTAH: Well, if you take race out of this, would you have as a young person who died going to buy candy was innocent, was not involved in any criminal activity and a person who officials had asked not to follow him took a gun and killed him. And now, that person will get his gun back. George Zimmerman will get that gun back.
He will be out, and I think the notion that the jury is saying to him that if he did the same thing again today, or tomorrow, or next week, or someone else did it that there would be no punishment is not a great signal to send.
CROWLEY: So, you think the signal is that this was an injustice. You think there should have been a guilty verdict? Is that what you're saying to me?
FATTAH: I think that there's an innocent boy dead. A person was asked not to follow him and he took a gun and killed him. And yes, I think that there should be been a punishment for that and more over, the fact this this gentleman will have his gun back or others like him could go out and do the same thing tomorrow with a belief that our criminal justice system has now said that that's perfectly fine.
That that set of facts are fine. That if someone tells you not to follow a kid, that you follow him, that you get out of your car and you shoot him and you kill him, that that's OK.
CROWLEY: But the following was not a crime, obviously and the killing, at least according to the jury was not. But Congressman Grijalva, help us here. Do you think that the U.S. justice system continues to be a racial divide that Whites get a far better deal in the justice system than African-Americans?
GRIJALVA: Yes. I think you just have to look at incarceration rates, who's in jail and who's not. You have to look at the fact that poor people, and unfortunate, predominantly of color have the least effective defense in their cases. And you have to look at this particular case, I think, it's right to ask the justice department to fully, fully pursue civil rights violation because, you know, we all respect the jury system.
CROWLEY: To investigate or to have charges leveled?
GRIJALVA: To lead to that consequence. To lead to a consequence of charges, if necessary. But there's a precedent here that I think is very dangerous, that not only did the jury find Zimmerman innocent, even of lesser charges, but, you also validated the stand your ground kind of laws that are in other states.
One in which, you know, empowers the individual citizen to basically take the law into their own hands. I think that's a precedent everybody should be very concerned about because that's the movement.
FATTAH: To wrongly take the law into your own hands. He was not even -- this wasn't a vigilante acting against a criminal. This was a set of assumptions that were wrong in which an innocent child died. So, it's beyond that. And that's what is concerning here. What the jury is saying is here's George Zimmerman back.
Here's his gun back and what he did is perfectly fine and he's coming to a neighborhood near you or someone acting the same way he acted, and that's what's dangerous.
CROWLEY: So, if I could because I have to move you on to this other subject before I run out of time. Both of you believe that the judicial system, in this case, was unfair to an African-American young man, teenager, and it was not justice. Is that your --
GRIJALVA: Initially, I think it's unfair, but like our justice system works and it's well said by your previous person, we need to continue to pursue. It's not the last word.
FATTAH: I think justice will be done, eventually. That is to say that there's a situation right now where a jury has ruled. But I don't think that we've seen the end of this. That is, if there's a real problem here with what the Florida justice system has said about what is permissible for a person to do and get away with.
CROWLEY: I'm going to deliver minimally here and ask you quickly, both your caucuses met with the president this week. Immigration reform looks like a true mess on the House side. It looks like you may not be able to deliver. It is -- is it your sense that immigration reform will not pass the House this year in any way that it could be merged with the Senate bill?
FATTAH: I think we will pass it. I'm going to be asking my house colleagues when we come up for any type of vote on this to offer the Senate bill as the Democratic alternative. Let's get to a vote.
CROWLEY: And the immigration bill. FATTAH: The immigration bill. As the Democratic alternative and under regular order in the House, the minority always has an opportunity to offer its own proposal.
CROWLEY: But might never make it to the floor --
GRIJALVA: The leadership, both on a morale and on a necessary policy initiative is in the hands of Boehner and the leadership of the Republican Party. They can piece peel it (ph). They can pick it to death. They can try to take away a pathway to citizens which are nonstarters for many of my colleagues or they can go forward and allow something comprehensive, something that is bipartisan and something that will move us off this position. But right now, the comments by Boehner have been anything but encouraging.
CROWLEY: Looking dark.
GRIJALVA: And not looking good.
CROWLEY: Congressman Grijalva, thank you so much. Congressman Fattah, thank you very much.
When we return, mixed emotions in Sanford, Florida. We go there live where the community is responding to the verdict.
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JAMES DAVIS, COMMUNITY ACTIVIST: And we got a jury from this county, and ironically, the jury that they chose was a jury that didn't include any Blacks at all, but I understand that that jury may have some Hispanics on it.
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CROWLEY: That was community activist, James Davis, responding to the verdict. CNN's Alina Machado is in a predominantly African- American neighborhood in Sanford, Florida getting reaction. So, Alina, what reaction have you gotten? ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Candy, good morning. People here seem to be in shock. We were out here right after the not guilty verdict came down and people were walking around. There was a very small group that had gathered near a house where there had been a verdict watch party in this community and that small group was primarily shocked. They were walking around kind of with a dazed look on their face.
There were some people who were very angry. It was easy for us to see the anger. They were upset, but, they were also very, very peaceful. Now, i spoke with the pastor, Valery Houston (ph) of this charge. This is an AME Church here in the community. Goldsboro is what the name of this neighborhood is. And she told me that she was very emotional. She is very emotional. She will be addressing this verdict with her congregation this morning.
She also says she will be announcing to her congregation that there will be a rally this afternoon in front of the courthouse for Trayvon Martin. Now, she says that she is not necessarily going to be telling her congregation to go to this rally, but she will be encouraging peace and encouraging for this rally to stay calm and that's the same kind of message that we've been hearing leading up to this verdict -- candy.
CROWLEY: Alina, do you tend to find people saying exactly what that gentleman said which was there were no Blacks on this jury?
MACHADO: That is a common comment that we have seen in this community. There are also concerns about the initial investigation and what kind of role that may have played into this verdict. And these are all things that people are talking about here, again, as they try to process this not guilty verdict.
CROWLEY: Alina, I think what we're looking at is I want to tell our viewers on the right hand side of your screen, that is a live picture outside the courthouse where, indeed, we do see -- do believe we will see some demonstrations later today. Alina, when you're talking to these folks, do they end up talking about further cases down the line, because we're hearing that a lot from officials saying this isn't the end of it. There could be a justice department case, et cetera?
MACHADO: There is talk of that in this community. The gentlemen that you guys used in that sound bite leading up to me, his name is James Davis, and again, he is calling for the same thing. I think they want to see more happen, but at this point, they're just really shocked. I don't think that they were necessarily expecting a complete acquittal in this case -- Candy.
CROWLEY: Alina Machado, thank you so much.
When we return, what could be ahead for both sides involved in this case? Our legal panel is going to weigh in.
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ANGELA COREY, FLORIDA STATE ATTORNEY: Trayvon Martin was profiled. There's no doubt he was profiled to be a criminal and if race was one of the aspects in George Zimmerman's mind then we believe that we put out the proof necessary to show that Zimmerman did profile Trayvon Martin.
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CROWLEY: That was Florida state attorney Angela Corey just after the verdict came in last night maintaining that this case has never been about race. We want to bring in our legal panel to talk about this. Joining me the defense attorney, Thomas Mesereau. He successfully defended Michael Jackson in 2005 and our CNN legal analyst, Sunny Hostin and Paul Callan. Thanks all you for being here. We have the NAACP. I don't know if you heard the Ben Jealous interview saying, we've got grounds for a civil rights case. Do they? Mr. Mesereau, why don't you kick it off? THOMAS MESEREAU, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, first of all, I think there will be a Justice Department investigation into possible civil rights violations. At this point, given the state of the evidence, I don't know if there's enough to bring a federal civil rights action. However, if there are other witnesses out there and other evidence that suggests that Zimmerman was a racist and was governed by racial hatred and animus, then you could see an action. The investigation will probably try and find things that haven't surfaced yet, and if it does you may see an action in this regard by the government.
CROWLEY: And Sunny, we do know that the FBI has talked and talked some time ago to coworkers and bosses of Zimmerman, all of whom said we don't know of any racial bias. Do you see a solid foundation for a sure fire civil rights case against Zimmerman?
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, we know that the Justice Department has been conducting a parallel investigation into this case, although they let, of course the state of Florida prosecute the case, and so I think Tom is exactly right. I'm sure that they are still trying to gather information, perhaps interviewing other people, looking into George Zimmerman's past to determine whether or not there was racial animus here. So I think the suggestion that the justice department may bring a case is valid one. I just don't know if that's really going to happen.
CROWLEY: Paul, what besides is civil rights case from the justice department, what other legal action is possible against Zimmerman?
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I think it's highly unlikely -- and have to disagree with Sunny and Tom, I think it's highly unlikely that the justice department will pursue this case. They ran a parallel investigation. Of course they're looking for evidence of racial discrimination as a motive for the killing and they're looking at the local justice system to see if racism was a part of the resolution of the problem and the Feds then come in and apply U.S. constitutional law. But this was a very thorough investigation. They brought in prosecutors from an adjacent county. They put a lot of money into the investigation and the FBI was running a parallel investigation. So I have to think the FBI certainly would have shared with local prosecutor's evidence that they had of racial discrimination. And in the end, the judge said, I'm not going to allow evidence of racial discrimination to be offered of or spoken of in the trial because there's no evidence. Nobody has presented evidence to me supporting it. So I don't -- unless something surprising comes up I think you'll see an investigation that will ultimately be closed and we'll move on from this very, very unfortunate and tragic case.
CROWLEY: Yes. Actually I don't think either Thomas or Sunny said it was likely. They just said well, yes, you know, it's possible. But I want to move on to one of the things that has been said about this case. It has been that we knew that the president came out very early and talked about if I had a son he would look like Trayvon. The congressional black caucus put out a resolution about what Zimmerman had done before he had been charged and sort of found him guilty and there are some prosecutors who've said, you only go to court if you have a case you can win and this case was not winnable and never should have gone to court. I want to get your take on that.
HOSTIN: You know, I disagree with that, Candy. I was a prosecutor and I have been following this case from the very beginning. I have been in the courtroom since jury selection. I think there was sufficient evidence of second-degree murder in this case. I think that they did prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt, second-degree murder. Clearly the jury didn't agree with me. The jury didn't agree with the state. I respect the jury's verdict but to suggest that somehow the state did not have enough to charge George Zimmerman with second-degree murder and they somehow violated their ethical obligation I think is a false narrative here and it's unfortunate that that's what people are saying. Yes, maybe, they should have charged manslaughter instead so that they could secure a verdict but to suggest that there was no evidence of ill will or hate or spite in this case is just not true.
CALLAN: You know, Candy -- you know, Candy I think the big mistake that's made when we look at a case like this is we like to use our court cases as a social prism to sort of judge what's happening in the United States and this case touched on race, gender, class, gun control, stand your ground. All kinds of issues that are sensitive issues to Americans but in the end, these cases get resolved by what evidence is available in a courtroom and a local jury, that looked at all of the evidence in a very well tried case by the way. Great lawyers on both sides, full presentation of the evidence, this jury said George Zimmerman acted in self-defense. And you know, to say that it's social commentary on the American system on the fairness of the American system, I don't think so. I think it's just how the jury judged the evidence that was given to them.
CROWLEY: Tom, I want to get your take on whether this was too weak a case for the prosecutors to bring in but I also want to know what you think about the commentary that this verdict makes, if anything, about the American justice system.
MESEREAU: Well, first of all, the case absolutely should have been prosecuted. You have an innocent 17-year-old doing exactly what he had every right to do who was gunned down as a teenager. I mean, come on. The case should have been brought and in many other jurisdictions and many other juries would have convicted Zimmerman in my opinion. I agree he had outstanding defense attorneys, Mark O'Mara and Don West did a terrific job. You also had very, very good prosecutors who were very passionate and dedicated to what they did but this case could have gone the other way somewhere else. The facts were there. This man took a gun. He wasn't a police officer. He decided to follow someone when he was advised not to. He set the stage for an altercation and then he shot this young boy dead who was doing nothing wrong. So the case should have been brought. As far as the message goes, unfortunately, it's not a good message. This is a message to the black community that black lives are devalued in our system from time to time. That much of the problems from the past still exist when it comes to racial divide, when it comes to looking at people of other race and at least consciously or unconsciously not putting as much of a value on their lives as your own racial or ethnic group. So it also shows that even though we have the best legal system in the world, the best justice system it does make mistakes and I don't think the verdict was a just one but I completely understand it.
CROWLEY: Let me just ask you all quickly, is this the end of this case or does it go through the legal system say, if not for a civil rights case, maybe a civil case filed by the parents?
CALLAN: It's likely from a criminal standpoint of course it's over because double jeopardy applies unless the federal government wants to get involved then there could be the possibility of new federal charges being lodged. Civil case, a different matter. The family could sue civilly but Florida has this very strict, stand your ground law, and they have something called, an immunity hearing which might in fact ultimately lead to a dismissal of the civil case. Defense attorney O'Mara referred to that in his press conference yesterday. So I'm doubtful that you'll win it civilly (INAUDIBLE) the parents.
CROWLEY: Paul Callan a CNN legal analyst as well as Sunny Hostin and thank you so much again to Thomas Mesereau. We appreciate you all. I hope to see you again soon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nice being with you. Thank you.
CROWLEY: Up next two governors with different perspectives on gun laws talk about crime in America and the Zimmerman verdict. Republican, Rick Perry of Texas, and Democrat Pat Quinn of Illinois standing by.
CROWLEY: Watching the action across the nation to the not guilty verdict in George Zimmerman's murder trial people have gathered in the streets of downtown Chicago. Federal and state officials are keeping a close eye but mostly things have been pretty calm. In just a moment I will talk to the governor of Illinois, Pat Quinn. I want to go first to Texas and Republican governor Rick Perry made a lot of news this weekend. Also a lot of news being made in Florida, governor. So let's start there. What do you make of the Zimmerman verdict and the reaction to it?
PERRY: Candy, without a doubt, a tragic event and as your experts you had on the previous segment they did a very good job of laying out the details of the case. And the issue boils down to you had two very, very capable teams, prosecutors and the defense teams laying out the evidence and the jury made the decision. And although, you know, there maybe people on either side of this that don't agree with how it came out, the fact is that we have the best judicial system in the world and we respect it. And you know, that's my position is that a very thoughtful case was made by each side, the jurors made the decision, and we will live with that.
CROWLEY: And certainly the critics have said, the critics of the verdict have said we respect the jury, but the other point they're making is that innately the justice system is racist, is unfair to people of color, in particular African-Americans. Do you think that?
PERRY: I don't. I think our justice system is color blind, and I think that, you know, again, you don't find people that always agree with the jury's decision. But that's the reason that we have the system that we have in place. And I think it, you know, by and large, it may not be foolproof. People may make mistakes in the jury system on the civil side. You have that appellate process, but in this case, I will suggest that two very extraordinary capable teams laid out the issues and that jury made the right decision from their standpoint.
CROWLEY: Let me move you on to doings in your state including a controversial abortion bill, perhaps not in Texas but certainly we saw one of your state senators Wendy Davis launch a very impressive filibuster but the second time around you got more restrictions on abortion. In an editorial that senator Davis wrote on CNN.com she said that the effect of this, that by putting out more things that clinics have to -- more standards for clinics it will close down about 90 percent of women's clinics in Texas bringing them down to 5 clinics in Texas to serve the needs of women. Do you agree that the bill is going to do that and doesn't that put poor women in particular in a place where they have nowhere to go if they choose to seek an abortion?
PERRY: Well I don't agree with her premise and I don't agree with her numbers and I think history will prove that she is wrong by asserting that. The bottom line here is that in the state of Texas and again, this gets back to the issue of should the states be able to make these decisions or should we allow this big cumbersome federal government to decide for all of us. I happen to be one of the people that believes that the federal government should do a few things and do them well and then allow the states to make the decisions on these types of issues.
So in the state of Texas we put some substantial amount of money into women's health programs over the course of the last two years. Partly because the Obama administration pulled our funding to the state of Texas because they disagreed with Texas restrictions on these abortions. And most people I think in this country and in Texas certainly believe that six months is too late to be deciding whether or not these babies should be aborted or not and we put the limit at 5 months in this bill.
CROWLEY: Right. Let me move you on to politics here and ask you about your future. You ran for president once. It was a rough kind of go. You're going to be foot loose and fancy free as we say in 18 months. Why wouldn't you try again to run for president?
PERRY: Well, you're absolutely correct about the 18 months to go and that's what my focus is rather than 2016. There's a lot of work to be done.
CROWLEY: But you wouldn't be the first governor to do a lot of things that look good on a resume. So that's why I kind of ask, you know, is that where this is headed.
PERRY: Well I hope -- I hope that it's not about a resume. I hope it's about the people of the state of Texas and helping create a climate where folks have the ability to have a job and take care of their families. That's what we have done here. You know, Candy, some one third of all the jobs created in America in the last 10 years were created in Texas. That makes for a better living, better quality of life and that's the competition that, you know, Governor Quinn and I and other governors across the country have.
CROWLEY: Right. And, Governor, the immigration bill in the House now looks a little iffy. There are some Republicans on national footing that say if immigration reform is not passed Republicans cannot put a Republican in the White House. Do you agree with that?
PERRY: I disagree that the idea that there's one piece of legislation is going to decide whether or not an individual is going to get to the White House is a little bit out of the realm of reality. Let's secure the border. We have talked about this for a long time.
PERRY: It's interesting. I have been the governor for over 12 years now, 1200 mile border with Mexico. We have a great deal of experience of dealing with border and border security and Washington in any form has not come to Texas and sat down with us with any focus and said how do we deal with this and I think that's...
PERRY: ... really interesting. I don't think the will is in Washington D.C. to secure the border. So until that happens I'm not sure the American people are going to trust Washington to come up with some immigration bill until they secure the border.
CROWLEY: And quickly, governor, you have been raising quite a ruckus across the United States as you tour various states looking into businesses to move into what you consider a more business friendly environment in Texas. Among those states, Illinois, we're about to talk to Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois who responded to your visit and called you, "a big talker," and added, "we don't need any advice from Rick Perry." I was just wondering if you had something you'd like to say to the governor as we turn to him.
PERRY: Pat is a good competitor and the fact is it's not about him and it's not about me. It's about the business climate in our respective states and competition is good. I will suggest to you the Chicago Bulls come to San Antonio and they're not poaching jobs - poaching wins, they're about competing. And sometimes we win. Sometimes we lose. You know, Chicago back in the early 2000s was able to lure Boeing to their city for the headquarters. And it made us really take a look at our economic development, our tax structure, our regulatory climate, our legal system and we have put a very, very competitive system into place...
PERRY: ... and we compete with each other. It's how America will be stronger or when these 50 states compete against each other and are allowed to be the laboratories of innovation rather than Washington making all the decisions and micromanaging down into the states.
CROWLEY: Governor Perry, I got to move you alone here, lest you take up some of Governor Quinn's time. But I really appreciate you showing up this morning. I'll see you down the road.
PERRY: You're welcome, Candy.
CROWLEY: Thank you. Governor Quinn let me -- I'm going to give you a chance to respond to Governor Perry on trying to get jobs out of Illinois and into Texas. But first, I do want to talk to you about the Zimmerman verdict. You have seen that in your state there are demonstrations in Chicago and perhaps elsewhere. This is also a city that's no stranger to gun violence. Is there a national implication to this verdict?
QUINN: Well, I think there is. It's a tragic episode. I agree with Trayvon Martin's father that his heart is broken. My heart is broken. And our faith is not broken, as Mr. Martin said. It's important that we really look at this stand your ground law. I don't think that's a good law. We don't have it in Illinois, and we don't want it. And I think also the idea of individuals with guns that are concealed that are told by the police not to do something, violating that police order, there's something really wrong when that happens. And I think lots and lots of people across our country feel that way.
CROWLEY: And a lot has been said, though, about the justice system and that it seems to many people sort of innately racially divided from whether someone is charged all the way through the verdict. Do you think that the American justice system is innately racist?
QUINN: Well, I sure hope not. The American way is colorblind. And you know, Dr. King 50 years ago on August 28th of 1963 talked about that goal of all of us to have a colorblind society and if our justice system needs improvement we must together, all of us, Americans, work together to straighten that out.
CROWLEY: And let me give you a chance to respond to Governor Perry. They have fewer regulations. It's a pretty business-friendly environment down there. It's kind of easy living. What is your response with him trying to draw business away from Chicago and elsewhere in the state?
QUINN: I believe in competition. You know, the Chicago Bulls can compete with anybody. So can the Chicago Blackhawks. We just won the Stanley Cup. We have in Illinois well-educated workers. We've been able to attract corporate headquarters from all over the world. We also have a higher minimum wage. We believe that we should fight hard to alleviate poverty. Texas has one of the worst poverty rates in the country. They also have a situation of industrial accidents that are just unacceptable. So we believe in worker safety laws. And there's quite a difference between Rick Perry and I. We both went to Iraq and Afghanistan four years ago. I was his roommate.
CROWLEY: Oh, my goodness.
QUINN: And for seven days I heard him talk -- I talk about -- I heard him talk about his favorite subject -- Rick Perry. So we have a good debate going. We have a completely different philosophy.
CROWLEY: You do indeed. QUINN: But that's what America is all about.
CROWLEY: Friendly competition, sort of. Let me ask you about you and your state legislature. You have cut off the paychecks of your state lawmakers because they have not acted on your pension crisis. A lot of people have said this is showboating. Some have questioned whether it's legal. Can you keep this up? And for how long?
QUINN: Well, our Illinois constitution adopted by the voters in a referendum gives the governor the power, the line item veto power to reduce appropriations. Our budget year just began. And because our legislature has not put a pension reform bill on my desk, our pension liability is $100 billion. We've been working on this for several years. I finally said to the legislators, we're not going to give you your pay until we put a pension reform bill on my desk --
CROWLEY: You really are going to do that? Until they give you a pension reform bill, no salary, no paycheck?
QUINN: I've already done it. I suspended their pay on Wednesday. I also told the comptroller not to pay me. This is a major issue that we have to work together on. And you know, you shouldn't get paid unless you get the job done.
CROWLEY: OK. And just quickly, you're up for re-election next year. Your numbers look pretty grim. And in fact, you're going to be challenged probably by your own attorney general and by President Obama's former chief of staff. Are you in the re-election race no matter what?
QUINN: I'm running for re-election. Last time I ran in 2010 "The New York Times" gave me a 9 percent chance of winning and here I am. I know how to organize grassroots citizens.
CROWLEY: All right. Thank you so much, Governor Quinn, for coming in this morning. I appreciate your patience.
QUINN: OK. Thank you.
CROWLEY: Up next, we'll go live to Sanford, Florida only hours after the Zimmerman verdict. A look back at this extraordinary trial and what we can expect in the days ahead.
CROWLEY: The entire nation has been focused on the city of Sanford, Florida which for over a year has carried out this story, since that rainy night when George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin. Now only hours after a jury acquitted Zimmerman we want to go back to Sanford because that's where CNN's George Howell is.
George, it was so late, it came so late, and I was up and watched you and it was terrific (ph). But tell our viewers who might have gone to bed, what was it like right when that verdict was handed down? GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Candy, this is interesting. Let's just start with what we see back there. An empty parking lot. That's amazing because it's been busy out here for several days. Last night we saw a couple hundred protesters here. They all left peacefully. No problems here. You saw George Zimmerman in the courtroom relieved after hearing that not guilty verdict. And at the news conference just after the verdict was read we saw prosecutors there. Prosecutors saying that they still hold firm to the facts but they respect the verdict. We saw prosecutor John Guy walk over to Don West to try to shake his hand. Don West refused to do so. And the defense team, they say it was sort of a David and Goliath situation, Candy. But in the end they say that they won.
CROWLEY: George Howell. Thank you so much. We will talk to you later in the day. Thank you all for watching STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Candy Crowley in Washington. Stay with CNN for continuing coverage of the George Zimmerman verdict. Kate Bolduan and Chris Cuomo will return at 11:00 eastern. I'll be back at noon. "Fareed Zakaria GPS" is next.