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Wisconsin Gov. Faces Recall Vote; U.N. Meeting On Syria Massacre; Jumping On Clinton Comment; Jobless In The Eurozone; Live Feed: Obama Talks Jobs; Hosni Mubarak on Trial for his Life; John Edwards Looks Towards Future

Aired June 01, 2012 - 13:00   ET


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Suzanne Malveaux. Let's get right to it. The United Nations human rights officials are in an emergency meeting today. They are talking about last week's horrific massacre in Syria. The top U.N. human rights officials are urging the world community to throw more weight behind efforts to investigate what actually happened. One hundred eight people died when witnesses say an armed man went door to door killing entire families, including children.

Ugly day on Wall Street today. One big reason, disappointing jobs report for May. The labor department says that employers added just 69,000 jobs. The unemployment rate ticked up to 8.2 percent. Alison Kosik, she's watching what's taking place at the New York stock exchange. How is this jobs number here, this report today, dragging down the markets? Clearly they're responding.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, yes. Well, I mean, you know what? I talked to several traders and they told me, Suzanne, they are stunned over this lousy jobs number that you said, the 69,000 number from May. So, it's really no surprise that you're seeing a huge sell-off right now, the Dow falling 227 points. At the point where we're at right now, at 12,165, guess what? The Dow erased all of its gains for the year, because this jobs number came in as a huge disappointment. One analyst telling me, you know what? It's not just that the U.S. is slowing down, it's pulling up the emergency brake at this point. And here is the big issue here. This anemic job growth we got for May, it's not just a blip here. It seems to be a trend, this analyst is telling me, because you look at March, you look at April, those job numbers, those job additions, were actually revised lower. Good bit of a bright spot here believe it or not. The unemployment rate ticked higher to 8.2 percent, but it's not all bad because it shows more people got back into the labor market to try to find a job. But the problem here, Suzanne, is that more people in the labor force are seemingly chasing fewer jobs out there -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: All right. Alison, thank you. Jobs, the economy, the crucial issues in the presidential election. Some Republicans jumping all over the comment that was made by former president Bill Clinton.

So, I want to bring in Chief National Correspondent John King to talk about it. John, first of all, let's just take a listen to what Clinton said on CNN about Mitt Romney's business career.


BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A man who has been governor and had a sterling business career crosses the qualification threshold, but they had dramatically different proposals, and it's my opinion anyway that the Obama proposals and the Obama record would be far better for the American economy and most Americans than those that Governor Romney has laid out.


MALVEAUX: So John, he talks about this sterling record that he has as his business career. Clearly, the Obama administration and certainly when President Clinton and Obama will campaign on Monday together in New York, they'll probably talk about this. But how important was that in terms of messaging? What does he need to say to make people understand just where the economy is going and what President Obama has done?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think you were seeing there, Suzanne, the true DNA of Bill Clinton. There are a couple things there. Number one, he says Mitt Romney is clearly qualified, over the threshold. His record as governor, his sterling business career. That's not what the Obama administration is saying. That's not what the president is saying. They're saying this is a guy who at Bain Capital didn't care if workers got laid off, didn't care if companies got shut down, he just wanted to make a profit. You would not use the term sterling about that business career if you thought the same thing as the president of the United States, do you? So, Bill Clinton making clear he has a different view of Mitt Romney, the businessman, than President Obama does. That's part of his DNA.

Remember, he came to (INAUDIBLE) -- Arkansas governor came out of the national scene, why? He said after Walter Mondale lost 49 states, the Democratic party was too much about taxes, too much about spending, too much about saying business was part of the problem. Bill Clinton said the Democrats had to change and make business and creating jobs and entrepreneurship, things like Bain capital, part of the solution. So, there is a divide here between the former president and the current president about how to embrace business.

But bill Clinton also made clear, Suzanne, he thinks President Obama's proposals are better. He wants President Obama to win. I took that -- I have covered Bill Clinton for a long time. Remember, he's the don't stop thinking about tomorrow president. That was his slogan. He thinks it's a mistake for any politician to look in the rear-view mirror and debate somebody's past. He wants these two candidates to talk about the future, and you heard him say that. He thinks if the president is talking about jobs, talking about Medicare, talking about the economy, then Obama has a better plan. But that was a nudge of friendly advice, you might say.

MALVEAUX: And knowing Clinton, I certainly think he's probably not going to change his message, even if the two of them do talk about this on Monday. He's going to say what he wants to say. But first, we're going to --

KING: He just said -- he just said in Wisconsin, being former president means you get to say what you want.

MALVEAUX: He certainly does. Let's talk about the jobs report, because obviously Republicans are seizing on this. They got five more of these before people decide who the next president is going to be. That's not a lot of time for the Obama administration --

KING: Yes.

MALVEAUX: -- to put out a message here. Tell us how it plays out in the swing states, those six to 12 states that are going to determine who becomes the next president.

KING: You just made a critical point, not a lot of time. You're looking at the tossup states right there, Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, New Hampshire, Virginia and Florida. It's interesting, in two of those states, the unemployment rate is up since President Obama took office, those are Colorado and Nevada. In the others, Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Iowa and Virginia, the unemployment rate is actually down a little bit, not down dramatically, but down a little bit. So, in those swing states maybe people aren't feeling the pain that they might be feeling in other states. So, that could benefit the president a little bit. But, Suzanne, there is no question, this is a huge warning sign to the Obama White House, because it's not just may, as Alison Kosik just noted, they revised downward the job numbers for March and April. So, if June, July, and August are not better than March, April, and May, a lot of Republicans think you will be saying the term president Romney come January. Because for all the other things we're going to debate in this campaign, for all we can talk about Bain Capital, record in Massachusetts, you're an incumbent president in a bad economy. Guess what? Ask George H. W. Bush, it's likely you will lose.

MALVEAUX: Yes. And it is his responsibility. I mean, he inherited a bad economy, but, you know, ultimately, people are looking to him --

KING: Right.

MALVEAUX: -- for those solutions.

KING: He did inherit a mess, but you know what? Life and politics are not fair. The buck stops here, that's why they say it.

MALVEAUX: All right. Thank you, John, good to see you.

KING: All right.

MALVEAUX: It is the first criminal case against a high ranking catholic church leader involving sexual abuse. Philadelphia Monseigneur William Lynn could be facing a long prison term if found guilty. He is accused of covering up allegations of molestation and rape against priests by transferring them to other parishes. And he is not the only one who is on trial, the Reverend James Brennan, he is accused of attempted rape of a 14-year-old. Sarah Hoye, she's at the courthouse in Philadelphia where the jury now has this case. It's been a 10-week trial. Sarah, this is a historic. This is a historic case that we are watching. Tell our viewers why.

SARAH HOYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is a landmark case, because not only are you going after let's say a individual priest accused of sexual abuse, you are actually going after the establishment. This is the first time U.S. prosecutors have ever charged a high-ranking cleric with endangering children. So, you're going after the individual and the establishment.

MALVEAUX: And we have seen civil action that has been taken, but this is first time, I understand, that this is a criminal prosecution.

HOYE: Absolutely. This is a criminal case with a criminal hearing. So, at the end of this, once the jury has deliberated, both of these defendants could be facing, like you said, some serious jail time. Monseigneur Lynn, who is that high-ranking official, he could be facing anywhere from 10 and one half to 21 years in jail if convicted. And Father Brennan, he's looking at 13 and one half to 27 years. So, this is a serious case with serious ramifications.

And Sarah, I know there's a gag order that bars both sides from speaking to the media, but there have been people who have been watching this trial, and they've been talking, tell us what you're hearing. What do you think is going to happen?

HOYE: So, what we're hearing, whether they are victim advocacy groups as well as attorneys who are watching this, is really that this case is going to be precedent setting. You're going to be looking at things in terms of statute of limitations, how this case will translate into how people are charged with sexual abuse, how this is also looked at of how we look at people who are victims of sexual abuse. So, this just isn't one case in one city, this is going to have a ripple effect across the entire U.S. as well as globally. Because the catholic church just isn't here in Philadelphia, it's not just here in the U.S., it's a global institution. And the fact that this is dove tailing right into the Sandusky case at Penn State, you're also going to be looking at how institutions look at sexual abuse. So, this thing has the potential to have many, many tentacles, many, many legs, and outcomes to last for quite some time.

MALVEAUX: And there's an interesting detail here, because the district attorney, Seth Williams, he's prosecuting the case against these high church officials. He, himself, the D.A., he is catholic. Is there anybody who is talking about that?

HOYE: He himself talks about that. He's very open with the fact that he is catholic and that that will not stop him from going after what he sees as an injustice. He's very interested in this, and, in fact, he turned up at court yesterday during the closing arguments by the prosecution. So, he sat in the entire afternoon session. So, he was there. He's in front of this thing, and he has lots to say about it. Once that gag order is lifted, I'm sure we'll be hearing quite a bit from the district attorney himself.

MALVEAUX: All right. Sarah Hoye, thank you. Excellent reporting as always.

Here is what we're working on for this hour.

(voice-over): Hard times at home and abroad as Europe deals with its own jobs crisis.

And on trial for his life. What's in store for Egypt's fallen dictator?

And he says he sinned.


JOHN EDWARDS: I did an awful, awful lot that was wrong.


MALVEAUX: But is America ready to forgive John Edwards?


MALVEAUX: There's a big problem in Europe right now, and it's going to sound pretty familiar. The job -- the problem obviously is jobs, and there aren't enough to go around. The unemployment rate in the 17 countries that make up the Eurozone is the highest since the Euro was created, 11 percent unemployment. Economic growth in Europe and the Eurozone in the first quarter of this year, 0 percent. That's right, zero.

Richard Quest, he is in London to talk a little bit about this. First of all, I mean, we get these numbers here, it's -- 8.2 percent unemployment, 11 percent unemployment there. Why is it getting worse?

RICHARD QUEST, HOST, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS": Because the recession never really ended. There was never the stimulus. There was never the growth that you have experienced in the United States. And no sooner was the great recession over than the sovereign debt crisis bit. Austerity became the order of the day in case the bond market went on the attack, and before you know where you were, governments were cutting back, private industry was cutting back, consumers were cutting back. You know, I want to put this into perspective for you, Suzanne. You talk about the 11 percent Eurozone unemployment. It's about 10.5 percent for the E.U.. Put that into context with the United States. Every -- there are only three states in the U.S. that are equal or worse than the Eurozone. The other 47 are much better. The three worst states that are equal or worse, California, Rhode Island, or Nevada with unemployment rates of a 10 to 11, 11.5 percent. Every other state in the United States is better than the EU average.

MALVEAUX: So, Richard, let's -- I mean, when you listen to these numbers, it's disappointing here on this side. Folks are following this. Does that create more unease in Europe when they realize things are not so great across the pond?

QUEST: I'm going to give you an even more frightening statistic to compare. The youth unemployment in the United States at the moment, these are the numbers from helpfully (ph) the Europeans when they bring their numbers out. Euro stats. They actually have the U.S. numbers as part of this so we can compare and contrast.


QUEST: You know the old saying, compare and despair. The U.S. is 16.4 percent youth unemployment. The European Union overall, 22.4 percent, with some countries, like Spain, at 50 percent youth unemployment. So if you want to know where the disgrace is at the moment, it is in the unemployment situation within the European Union and the Eurozone.

MALVEAUX: So, one of the good things that we've been talking about, Richard, I guess it's the silver lining if you will, is that there are a lot more people who have re-entered the market now here on this side. Had some 640,000 people decided, OK, we're going to start looking for work again. Is the same thing happening in Europe or are folks just basically giving up?

QUEST: No. You've got a huge disparity. Huge. Unemployment in Austria is just 4 percent. But Luxembourg, the Netherlands, 5 percent. It's hard to find, you know -- you advertise for a job and you can't find people.

Unemployment in the other countries, 10 -- 8, 9, 10 percent. But here's the difference. In the U.S., you can get off your backside and go from one state to another. The language is the same. The laws are the same. If there's a lot of similarities. We don't enjoy that flexibility. In times we will, but you can't just up sticks from Spain and go to Germany, even if you're legally entitled to, because if you don't speak German, you don't stand a chance. And that, of course, is the lack of flexibility that frankly is making unemployment an entrenched problem within large parts, Greece, Italy, Spain, those sort of countries, Ireland even, of the Eurozone.

MALVEAUX: Do you have any good news on your end of the deal here? I mean we are seeing at least some optimism of people looking for work. Is there anything in your unemployment when you pull back the layers and you go, OK, well there is something that's working now, or not really?

QUEST: Nope. Nope. And the reason is because, as long as the Spanish crisis seems to be getting worse, and they've had six months to sort this out and really, you know, it's classic. You have a ticking time bomb in the corner. And everybody says, oh, you know, there's a ticking time bomb over there. We better do something about it. And it ticks. And that's what's happened. Let's not have any, you know, being clever after the event. We have known that the Spanish banks were going to wait to explode in the corner, and now I'm afraid the countdown is getting quite close and people are seriously worried about the contagion. So you asked me, is there any cause for immediate optimism on this side of the Atlantic economically, plenty of other optimism of course, but economically the answer has to be no.

MALVEAUX: Oh, not good news from where you stand. Richard, thank you. Good to see you, as always, even if it's not good news. Thank you.

For decades he ruled Egypt with an iron fist. Well, now, Hosni Mubarak, he is on trial for his life. And the verdict could be just hours away.


MALVEAUX: President Obama is speaking in Golden Valley, Minnesota, talking about the jobs numbers and a to-do list that he's pushing Congress to accomplish. Let's listen in.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: All that's happening because of you. Everybody here plays by the rules. You work hard. You meet your responsibilities. And you deserve leaders who do the same. Leaders who will stand shoulder to shoulder with you and do everything possible to strengthen the middle class and move this economy forward. That's what you deserve.

Look, we can't fully control everything that happens in other parts of the world -- disturbances in the Middle East, what's going on in Europe -- but there are plenty of things we can control here at home. There are plenty of steps we can take right now to help create jobs and grow this economy.

Let me give you a couple of examples. I sent Congress a jobs bill last September full of the kinds of bipartisan ideas that would have put our fellow Americans back to work and help reinforce our economy against some of these outside shocks. I sent them a plan that would have reduced the deficit by $4 trillion in a way that is balanced, that pays for the job-creating investments we need, by cutting unnecessary spending, but also by asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more in taxes.

And I, you know, I'll give them a little bit of credit. Congress has passed a few parts of that jobs bill, like a tax cut that's allowing working Americans to keep more of your paychecks every week. That was important. I appreciated it. But Congress has not acted on enough of the other ideas in that bill that would help make a difference and help create jobs right now.

And there's no excuse for it. Not when there are so many people out there still looking for work. Not when there are still folks out there struggling to pay their bills. It's not lost on anybody that it's an election year. I understand that. I've noticed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Four more years!


OBAMA: But we've got responsibilities that are bigger than an election. We've got responsibilities to you. So my message to Congress is, now is not the time to play politics. Now is not the time to sit on your hands. The American people expect their leaders to work hard no matter what year it is. The economy still isn't where it needs to be. There are steps that could make a difference right now. Steps that can also serve as a buffer in case the situation in Europe gets any worse. So right now Congress should pass a bill to help states prevent more layoffs so we can put thousands of teachers and firefighters and police officers back on the job.

Now, layoffs at the state and local levels have been a chronic problem for our recovery, but it's a problem we can fix. Congress should have passed a bill a long time ago to put thousands of construction workers back on the job rebuilding our roads and our bridges and our runways.

Now, since the housing bubble burst, no sector has been hit harder than the construction industry. And we've got all this stuff that needs fixed. Remember that bridge here in Minnesota? So this is a problem we can fix. Let's do it right away. Instead of just talking about job creators, Congress should give small business owners a tax break for hiring more workers and paying them higher wages. We can get that done. We can get it done right now. Let's not wait.

Right now, Congress should give every responsible homeowner the opportunity to save an average of $3,000 a year by refinancing their mortgage. We've got a historically low rate right now.

I was with a family in Reno, Nevada, a couple weeks ago. They got a chance to refinance even though their home was underwater, put that money back in their pockets because we had taken some steps as an administration to make that available for those who have mortgages held by government agencies, like the FHA, or government guarantee. But not everybody has those kinds of mortgages. I want everybody to have those same opportunities. I assume there are some folks here who could use $3,000 a year. Let's get that done right now. That means they're going to be -- you know, if you have $3,000 a year extra, that helps you pay down your credit cards, that helps you go out and buy some things that your family needs, which is good for business. Maybe somebody will be replacing some thingamajig for their furnace. They've been putting that off. But if they got that extra money, they might just go out there and buy that thing, right?

Look, right now Congress needs to extend the tax credits for clean energy manufacturers that are set to expire at the end of this year. You know, I was talking to Dave Cody (ph). The issue of energy efficiency and everything we need to do to shift away from dependence on foreign oil, we're making huge progress. You know, we're actually importing less oil than any time in the last eight years. We're down under 50 percent. But we can do more. And these clean energy companies, they're hiring folks. They're helping us break dependence on foreign oil. It's part of a package of stuff that Honeywell is doing a lot of work on. But almost 40,000 jobs are on the line if that's tax credits expire. Why would anyone in Congress walk away from those jobs? We need to pass those tax credits right now. We need to pass them right now.

It's long past time we started encouraging what a lot of companies have been doing lately, which is bringing jobs back to this country. You know, and some of them are coming to Minnesota. The governor and I were talking in the car about some companies coming back. Red Bull, right, coming back. But let's give more incentive. It's time for Congress to end tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. Let's use that money to cover moving expenses for companies that are bringing jobs back to America. That would make a difference right now. So those are all steps that we could be taking to strengthen the economy, to provide us some insurance if the situation overseas starts getting worse, so we control our own destiny, keep this recovery moving forward.

Which brings me to the last thing Congress should do to help businesses create jobs. That's why I'm here at Honeywell today.

I believe that no one who fights for this country should ever have to fight for a job when they come home.


OBAMA: And for Congress, that means creating a veterans jobs corps so we can put our returning heroes back to work, as cops and firefighters, on projects that protect our public lands and resources. And they should do it right now. They should do it right now.

But if we're going to serve our veterans as well as they have served us, we've got to do even more. We just observed Memorial Day, which makes us think about the extraordinary sacrifices so many make. But we've got to make sure we translate words into action. We can't just be in a parade. Can't just march. We also have to deliver for our veterans. Over the past three decades -- over the past decades, rather, more than three million servicemembers have transitioned back to civilian life. And now that the war in Iraq is over and we're starting to wind down the war in Afghanistan --


OBAMA: -- over a million more -


MALVEAUX: You are listening to President Obama urging Congress on a to-do list, and talking about jobs.

Next, you think John Edwards' political career is over? Don't be so sure. Politics is full of prodigal sons. We'll look back at some of the other fallen politicians who have pulled off some pretty amazing comebacks.


MALVEAUX: We have new information in the Trayvon Martin shooting case. Just minutes ago, we learned that prosecutors asked a judge to revoke the bond for George Zimmerman. He's the neighborhood watch captain that shot and killed the unarmed teen in Sanford, Florida. Trayvon Martin's parents, well, they were outraged that the judge set a bond of $150,000. Now both sides are asking the judge to prevent the release of more information in this case. They want the information sealed. An attorney for the media is arguing that the public should see the evidence in this very highly watched case.

For decades he ruled Egypt with an iron fist. Now, Hosni Mubarak is on trial for his life. And the verdict could be just hours away. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: Hosni Mubarak, the long-time president of Egypt, may spend the rest of his life in prison, or he could be executed, or he could be set free. Tomorrow we're going to find out. That is when a judge in Cairo hands down a verdict as well as a sentence. Mubarak is on trial for corruption and ordering the deaths of almost 850 people who stood up against him in protest.

Want to talk to Mona Eltahawy, an Egyptian journalist.

You were just in Cairo yesterday. Mona, first of all, what will it mean for you? What do you think is justice for Hosni Mubarak?

MONA ELTAHAWY, EGYPTIAN JOURNALIST: Well, I was actually in Cairo until last Tuesday. I got back a few days ago, Suzanne.


ELTAHAWY: But I can tell you there is a lot happening in Egypt. We have an election runoff coming up. We have emergency law that was lifted yesterday after 31 years in place. And now the verdict tomorrow for Hosni Mubarak, his sons, and his former interior minister as well as other officials affiliated with his regime.

What it means to me and so many people in the Middle East and North Africa is to see a former Arab dictator stand trial and stand trial in person because the Ben Abaden Binaly (ph), the former Tunisian dictator, was tried in absentia. So it's very important to see justice take place.

For me, justice is much more important than revenge. This isn't about revenge. It's about those 850 people who died and it's about the 30 years during which Hosni Mubarak suffocated Egypt and violated so many human rights.

MALVEAUX: Mona, what would be justice for you? What do you think -- how should he suffer? Should he be put in jail for the rest of his life? Should he be executed? What do you think justice is?

ELTAHAWY: I do not support the death sentence so I would like to see Hosni Mubarak and all those standing trial spend the rest of their lives in jail. The question is up in the air, Suzanne, because, to look at the situation really honestly, the legal and judicial system in Egypt is completely corrupt because it was set in place during the Hosni Mubarak regime and regimes before him. I have very little faith in the Egyptian judiciary system. When you look at what's happened, 12,000 people have stood trial before military tribunals thanks to the military junta that currently runs Egypt. That military junta is comprised of 19 generals who were basically Mubarak's friends. To hope for justice right now unfortunately is very difficult because that military junta is going to ensure what it wants to happen happens.

(CROSSTALK) ELTAHAWY: Remember, it was the people of Egypt who demanded Mubarak's trial. And it was the people of Egypt's pressure that put him on trial.

MALVEAUX: So, Mona, you were in Cairo, and you had a chance to get a sense of the pulse of the people. What do you think is going to be the reaction on the streets if Mubarak walks or if he doesn't get much jail time? Do you think there will be violence that will erupt in the street? How are people going to respond to this?

ELTAHAWY: Egyptians managed to get rid of Mubarak, not the military. Whatever happens tomorrow, I'm sure they will oppose any sentence they consider unjust peacefully. And I think right now because of the anger towards the military junta and towards Mubarak himself -- and also let's remember not a single security official, not a single police officer has stood trial and been convicted of those 850 deaths, or almost 1,000 actually, because it's almost 1,000. Mubarak only faces the 850. But not a single security personnel has faced justice. And so Egyptians are extremely angry. We're very angry that the regime keeps putting itself in the winning position and we end up suffering. Honestly, I this I whatever sentence he gets tomorrow, people will be angry because it's completely unjust. No one is on trial for the deaths of those martyrs.


ELTAHAWY: And just to show you how the injustice continues, two activists, a man and his sister, are being called for questioning by the attorney general in Egypt tomorrow for the burning of the headquarters of the regime's candidate in the presidential election.


ELTAHAWY: What kind of justice is this?



ELTAHAWY: I'm sure people will be angry tomorrow whatever happens.

MALVEAUX: And I want to address something specifically because you have been very outspoken about this. You wrote a very compelling article, why you believe specifically that women, in your words, "are hated in the Middle East." You say, "An entire political and economic system, one that treats half of humanity like animals, must be destroyed along with the other more obvious tyrannies, choking off the region from its future. Until the rage shifts from the oppressor in our presidential palaces to the oppressors on our streets and in our homes, our revolution has not even begun."

How do you begin that revolution, Mona? How do you make sure women are involved and their rights are protected?

ELTAHAWY: I think that women have already begun the revolution because I mention several cases of courageous activists in the Middle East and North Africa. What worries me is that we've had regimes like Mubarak's that discriminated against women. They oppressed everyone. But under them, a system of misogyny continues. Now, we're looking at an Islamist regime, possibly, because we have a parliament in Egypt controlled by Islamists and we have a Muslim Brotherhood candidate for president, and they do not believe in women's rights. So my essay was a call for all those who believe in women's rights and the need to dismantle that misogyny. To understand that the political revolution will fail unless we have the social revolution.

MALVEAUX: All right.

ELTAHAWY: And the kind of injustice I spoke about with Mubarak, that kind of injustice trickled down and it's a hierarchy of injustice. And I think it is women who will make these revolutions succeed.


ELTAHAWY: Because they understand what it's like to be at the bottom of that ladder.

MALVEAUX: We're going to have to leave it there.

Mona Eltahawy, thank you so much.

And, again, we're going to be following that and see exactly what Hosni Mubarak's fate is in the next couple of hours.

So you think John Edwards' political career is over? Don't be so sure. Politics, full of prodigal sons. We'll take a look back at some other fallen politicians who have actually pulled off some pretty amazing comebacks.


MALVEAUX: Jurors in the John Edwards' trial are speaking out about their nine grueling days in the deliberation room. Listen.


DAVID RECCHION, JUROR: We had emotions. Each day was a new day. We would start with calmness. We actually prayed together as a group. We'd finish the day and challenge ourselves every bit of the day.

CINDY AQUARO, JUROR: There were times it got very frustrating. The emotions got high, and we'd have to take a minute, step back, and just everyone calm down.


MALVEAUX: So some jurors said they believed that Edwards was guilty, but felt the prosecutors didn't prove their case.

Well, now that Edwards is no longer facing prison time, he is looking to his future, and he's now acknowledging his sins. Listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN EDWARDS, (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If I want to find the person who should be held accountable to my sins, honestly, I don't have to go any further than the mirror. It is me. It is me and me alone.


MALVEAUX: CNN producer, Raelyn Johnson, covered the Edwards trial as well as the presidential campaign in 2008.

So, Raelyn, first of all, after the verdict it pretty much sounded like it was almost a campaign speech that he was delivering, when he turned the corner from being a sinner to someone who is now going to try to do good in the community. And it sounded like he wanted a public career. Do we have any idea, any inkling about what is ahead for him?

RAELYN JOHNSON, CNN PRODUCER: Absolutely. John Edwards told you what he wanted yesterday, and he's going to deliver on that. He is a relentless politician. And even in the moment when he apologized to everyone and almost broke down in tears about his daughter, Quinn, that he, for so long, never even acknowledged, he immediately turned around and became the John Edwards that I always recognize, and he started stump speeching. And he wants to have a poverty campaign. Here's why. For so long that has been John Edwards' message. And for those of us inside the Beltway, some of us believed it, some of us didn't. But he is convinced he is going to tell the public, like he did yesterday, that I did wrong, but don't you think after all that I have been through, all the ups and downs and all the roller coasters, I have gambled, I have become the luckiest man right now. 12 people have given me my life back. And instead of maybe just saying, thank you, I'll walk away and talk about poverty later when the public, the rest of the public might be more forgiving of me, he told us what he's going to do, which I know from my sources, is launch a poverty law center as he calls it. One of the causes of his life. I think that's been worked on in the background, whether he was facing prison time or not, but that's what we're going to see from John Edwards next. When, I don't know.

MALVEAUX: Not surprising. Not surprising.


MALVEAUX: You and I covered him back in 2004, 2008. He's got a lot of charm. He's got and a lot of confidence really for someone who has messed up so badly. He's not the first that messed up. We have seen before people that ask for forgiveness, former President Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich.

Let's watch they're mea culpas.


BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am profoundly sorry for all I've done wrong in words and deeds. I never should have misled the country, the Congress, my friends or my family. Quite simply, I gave in to my shame.

I intend to seize those opportunities and meet those challenges with all the energy and ability and strength God has given me.

NEWT GINGRICH, (R), FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER & FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I said up front, openly, I made mistakes at times. I've had to go to God for forgiveness. I've had to seek reconciliation. I'm also a 68-year-old grandfather and I think people have to measure who I am now and whether I'm a person they can trust.


MALVEAUX: So Raelyn, it wasn't a big deal for Gingrich, a factor for the race, and he won two primaries, South Carolina and Georgia. Also, President Bill Clinton, a whole new world for him now, a new future. What do we make of people's ability to forgive John Edwards?

JOHNSON: Well, here's the thing. Those were two proper apologies. Those apologies didn't come with, and by the way, here's what I'd like to do in the future. I think that's going to be the issue for John Edwards, is that the public is still sort of very upset with him. His issue is poverty. You care about poverty. By his own statistics, he has told us, it will take 10 years through his programs and his research to eradicate poverty. Some people say, you can wipe those 10 years out in the public and do it on the side and then come back. But you have to let the public decide when to forgive you. Yesterday, essentially, with his apology, he was saying, I got off, and now don't you love me again?

MALVEAUX: We have to leave it there.

Raelyn, thank so much. Good reporting as always.


MALVEAUX: So you don't need a spell check around this young woman.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An ambush, snare or trap, guetapens.




MALVEAUX: National Spelling Bee champ, 14-year-old Nigdha Nandipati. And the word that she spelled correctly, "guetapens," which means ambush or trap.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have a champion.



MALVEAUX: Good for her. The eighth grader doesn't just gut a trophy, also gets a $30,000 cash prize.


MALVEAUX: It's a case of football versus the forest.

Here's CNN's Brianna Keilar.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If trees could talk, the stories these woods could tell.

(on camera): What has this tree been around for?

JOHN SILER, FORESTRY PROFESSOR, VIRGINIA TECH: We've got the moonwalk. We've got World War II, World War I.

KEILAR: The tree was around for the American Revolution?

SILER: Yes. In fact, the tree was probably 10 to 12 inches in diameter at the American Revolution, so they could have sat under the tree at that time. It would have had a lot of shade.

KEILAR (voice-over): The Stadium Woods are located on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. Forestry professor, John Siler, has found trees older than 300 years here.

SILER: In an urban environment this is probably the single largest collection of old white oaks in an old-growth forest anywhere in the eastern U.S.

KEILAR: It's now in danger. Virginia Tech's athletic department wants to build an indoor practice facility for football, baseball and other sports on four of these 11 wooded acres.

SILER: That pink flag right there, representing the wall of the building.


KEILAR: Eight-time conference champs and eyeing a national title, the Hokies $40 million football program is looking to attract the nation's best high school recruits.

JOHN RANDOLPH, COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN & URBAN PLANNING PROFESSOR, VIRGINIA TECH: An indoor practice facility is a key part of that element. A lot of the big schools are adding them, and we've had this project in the works for a decade.

KEILAR: Urban planning professor, John Randolph, is trying to find a solution. He chairs a committee that is considering alternate locations for the facility, where a parking lot or tennis court currently stand.

Until that committee issues their recommendation in June, Professor Siler and a grassroots organization of Blacksburg residents and Virginia Tech students are publicizing the cause locally and on the Internet.

(on camera): You have people from Washington State, New York.

SILER: Oh, yes. It's Bashan (ph), New York, Knoxville, California, Oklahoma. This is all over the United States now.

KEILAR: Virginia Tech is feeling the pressure.

(on camera): When you see people prod you, is it on both sides of the equation or is it mostly people who are saying, keep those trees there?

RANDOLPH: Keep the trees.

KEILAR (voice-over): As it decides what happens to this forest that has survived so much.

Brianna Keilar, CNN, Blacksburg, Virginia.


MALVEAUX: CNN NEWSROOM continues right now with Kate Bolduan.

Hey, Kate.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hey there, Suzanne. Thank you.