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Clinton Misspoke About Bosnia Trip; Mayoral Scandal: Perjury Charges for Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick; Pill For Men: Works Like Birth Control Pill; Housing Slump: Home Sales Up Slightly
Aired March 25, 2008 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: Back tracking.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We landed in one of those corkscrew landings --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHETRY: Hillary Clinton's new take on her first lady trip to Bosnia.
Sex, drugs and politics. Detroit' mayor gets indicted today. Plus, another stunning admission from New York's new governor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOMINIC CARTER, HOST: Marijuana?
GOV. DAVID PATERSON (D), NEW YORK: Yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHETRY: The pill for men.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My wife would be pleased.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's only fair. Is it a suppository? Because I wouldn't take it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHETRY: Would you do it? A breakthrough on birth control on this AMERICAN MORNING.
And what do you think? Would you?
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: I'm a little past that, don't you think? CHETRY: It's a "Quick Vote" question this morning. We'll talk more about it throughout the hour. But, you know, with small things being equal, will the guys pony up as well?
ROBERTS: You know, we've had the family and, you know, it's now time to look toward the golden years, which aren't far away that it used to be.
Thanks for joining us this morning. The next big primary prize -- four weeks from today in Pennsylvania, but Senator Hillary Clinton is being forced to talk about her recollection of the past. She's now backpedaling from comments about a visit to Bosnia that she made as first lady in 1996.
Clinton had claimed that her entourage came under sniper fire while landing in Tuzla that year. But the pictures show her and her daughter Chelsea seemingly in no danger or even any sense of urgency. Here's how Senator Clinton described this trip last Monday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: Clinton now calls that a misstatement. Yesterday, she tried to clarify it for the "Philadelphia Daily News" saying, "Now let me tell you what I can remember. What I was told was that we had to land a certain way and move quickly because of the threat of sniper fire. So I misspoke. I didn't say that in my book or other times, but if I said something that made it seem as though there was actual fire, that's not what I was told."
Senator Obama's campaign called Senator Clinton's comments "a growing list of instances in which Senator Clinton has exaggerated her role in foreign and domestic policymaking."
Meanwhile, Senator Clinton is trying to keep her campaign focused on the economy. She hosts a town hall meeting this afternoon in Pennsylvania -- Kiran.
CHETRY: And Barack Obama enjoying some time away from the campaign trail today, but he could be called back into his own controversy as soon as tonight. Right now, he's kicking back in the Virgin Islands. In fact, CNN obtained exclusive video of Barack Obama relaxing on the lounge chair on the island of St. Thomas. But tomorrow, it's back to work campaigning in North Carolina.
Meantime, his former pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, is expected to speak at a church revival tonight in Tampa, Florida. It will be Reverend Wright's first appearance since tapes of his sermons emerged that caused a crisis in the Barack Obama campaign. Senator John McCain will talk about the economy to business leaders in Los Angeles today, in particular, the housing crisis. He was talking Iraq at a stop in Chula Vista, California, where he continued to hammer home his belief that Iraq has become a central battleground in the fight against al-Qaeda.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We urge Palestinians, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia to "help and support of their Mujahadin brothers in Iraq, which is the greatest opportunity and the biggest task." So General Petraeus and I and Osama bin Laden are in agreement. It is hard to understand why Senator Clinton and Senator Obama do not understand that. I don't know if it's naivete or what the problem is, but it's obvious that they are dead wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHETRY: Well, McCain says he thinks it would be a mistake to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq and to redeploy them to Afghanistan as the Democratic candidates have promised to do.
There are also some more revelations this morning from New York's new governor, David Paterson. Last week, just after swearing in as governor, Paterson and his wife admitted to extramarital affairs several years ago. Last night, Paterson was being interviewed by a local New York television station when he was asked about his past drug use.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOMINIC CARTER, HOST: Marijuana?
GOV. DAVID PATERSON (D), NEW YORK: Yes.
CARTER: You have used cocaine, Governor?
PATERSON: I'd say I was about 22 or 23. I tried it a couple of times, yes.
CARTER: When is the last time that -- is that the only time you've tried cocaine, Governor?
PATERSON: Yes, around that time, a couple of times and marijuana, probably, when I was about 20. I don't think I touched marijuana since the late '70s.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHETRY: Paterson says more Americans have tried a lot more and gone on to lead responsible lives. ROBERTS: The crisis around Detroit's mayor intensifies today. Kwame Kilpatrick will be arraigned on eight criminal charges, including perjury and obstruction of justice. Kilpatrick and his former chief of staff, Christine Beatty, are accused of lying under oath about an alleged romance. Text messages revealed otherwise.
AMERICAN MORNING's Chris Lawrence is live in Detroit for us this morning. And Chris, the mayor is vowing that he's not going to resign, that he's going to stay in office and fight these charges.
CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John, the big question is how long can he fight the political battles on behalf of Detroiters and fight these chargers at the same time? The major newspaper in town has asked him to resign. The city council has called on him to resign. But the mayor says he hasn't been proven guilty of anything, and he's going to stay in office even as he's arraigned on eight felony charges.
LAWRENCE (voice-over): He's the youngest man ever elected mayor of Detroit. Now, this mug shot is the face of the Motor City. But Kwame Kilpatrick defiantly refuses to step down.
MAYOR KWAME KILPATRICK (D), DETROIT: I look forward to complete exoneration once all the facts surrounding this matter have been brought forth.
LAWRENCE: But the mayor could be kicked out of office and even sent to prison if he's convicted of perjury and obstructing justice. It all goes back to a whistleblower lawsuit filed by two police officers. They claim they were fired for investigating corruption, including an alleged coverup of the mayor's extramarital affairs. Under oath, Kilpatrick denied he was romantically involved with his chief of staff, but text messages obtained by the "Detroit Free Press" indicate otherwise. One says, "I'm madly in love with you."
And what chief of staff, Christine Beatty, allegedly asked, "Did you miss me sexually?" The message back from Kilpatrick's pager read, "Hell yeah!" Prosecutors accused the mayor of settling the case to keep those texts from being made public, and more Detroiters are demanding Kilpatrick resign.
LAWRENCE (on camera): Who possibly economically could get hurt if that would happen?
TERRY CROSS, BUSINESS CONSULTANT: I think the small neighborhoods businesses would feel it the most.
LAWRENCE (voice-over): Business consultant, Terry Cross, says Kilpatrick has helped local entrepreneurs and brought a lot of new development downtown. On the other hand, the scandal has already caused one major convention to pull out of the city, which hurts suburban business as well. And if the losses don't stop there, all of southeastern Michigan will feel the economic pain.
CROSS: It's going to have an effect on the whole area if it's going to have an effect on Detroit.
LAWRENCE: The whistleblower settlement has already cost taxpayers $8 million.
KYN WORTHY, PROSECUTOR: Public dollars were used. People's lives were ruined. The justice system was severely mocked, and the public trust trampled on.
LAWRENCE: Yes, we got an idea from the mayor's attorney how they plan to fight these charges. First, they're going to say that these text messages are protected under privacy laws, and they were obtained illegally and so they shouldn't even be factored in. Secondly, they're going to say this alleged perjury happened during a civil trial, and the prosecutors only brought perjury charges when it happened during a criminal trial.
He's going to allege that this is selective prosecution, that the mayor is being targeted and singled out. And those are just some of the ways he plans to defend Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick as this case goes forward -- John.
ROBERTS: And at the same time, the mayor remains defiant, Chris. How much pressure is building there in Detroit for him to step down?
LAWRENCE: A lot. You're hearing it on the street from people we spoke with. The major newspaper now coming out asking him to resign. The city council has already come out with a nonbinding resolution. And I think at some point when it starts to hurt the city, when the city can't attract the kind of business it needs -- and boy, Detroit needs more business than just about any city in the country right now economically. At that point, you may just feel that the pressure is just too much for him to stay in office. He right now feels it's not at that point yet.
ROBERTS: Not just Detroit either. The whole state for that matter needs the business. Chris Lawrence for us this morning in Detroit.
ROBERTS: Chris, thanks very much -- Kiran.
CHETRY: Well, a birth control pill for men. There's a new study today that says it could soon be available and is believed to be 98 percent effective in preventing pregnancy. CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us now with more on this. First of all, you're smiling. How would this work?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's not too different than how it works for women. Basically, you're given small doses of hormones telling the body to shut off its natural production of eggs in women and of sperm in men. That's basically how it works in just small doses of testosterone and progestin together.
With women, you get estrogen progestin as you know.
GUPTA: There was a new study out showing that basically when you give this, it decreases sperm levels to a level that it's about 98 percent effective in terms of preventing pregnancy. So sperm levels don't go away completely but they go down to such a low level that they just don't -- it just doesn't produce a pregnancy.
CHETRY: So you take this pill. You take a pill just like women do every day and skip -- you don't have to skip, though, like --
GUPTA: You don't have to skip things because you're not actually -- you're not ovulating.
CHETRY: We're getting specific here so you can make up your mind.
GUPTA: People want to know the answers to these questions. You take it every day. You have to take it for about three months before it becomes effective.
GUPTA: And there is an injectable form as well which you take once a month, but, again, you have to take three times before it becomes effective. And after you stop, it takes about three months before your sperm levels come back up. So this is sort of a reversible phenomenon.
A lot of people -- I know you're doing the "Quick Vote" this morning -- we actually went to the streets as well to try and figure out what people really thought about this. Here's some what we heard.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it would get my wife off the hook, then I'd be totally happy to do it. But I'm just lousy. I can't even remember to take vitamins.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where a man wouldn't get caught with something where the woman would say they're pregnant and he could say, well, I'm on the pill so how could you be pregnant? I can't have any kids. That would be great.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If women can take them and they're OK, then I think it could be all right for men. I definitely want no know what chemicals they are, but I wouldn't be opposed to it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: It's great getting reaction in the streets of New York.
CHETRY: I love it.
GUPTA: Not a scientific poll, obviously, but, you know, -- CHETRY: What are the side effects?
GUPTA: Well, you know, it's interesting because these are small doses of hormones. People think, you know, testosterone, they think the big steroids you get the rage, you get the heart problems. The larger doses are associated with prostate cancer.
We did a lot investigating this. There haven't been long-term studies on taking small doses of testosterone and progestin together for long periods of time, so it's hard to say. But at least in the short term, that doesn't appear to be much in the way of side effects.
Now, it can actually cause some weight gain, four to 10 pounds, mainly muscle mass. That's the testosterone. It also lowers -- this is a good thing, John, you're liking this -- the HDL, also, which is the good cholesterol, that actually comes down a little bit.
GUPTA: So that's not a good thing. But besides that, we couldn't really find much in the way of side effects.
CHETRY: So what took you guys so long? How long is this because we keep saying it could be available soon?
GUPTA: Early next year. You know, it's already available in several countries around the world both in the pill form and the injectable form, but maybe by early next year.
GUPTA: We got to get through the approval process. We're in the family expansion mode in the Gupta household, so we're going to hold off.
CHETRY: I hear you. I hear you.
ROBERTS: But it brings up the potential for abuse. As you said, you put on maybe four or five pounds of lean muscle mass. What's to stop people from going out and getting the pill and use it for bodybuilding?
GUPTA: I think that's always a concern. And worth it, you know, to change dosage. You're supposed to take small doses every single day to add doses for the very reasons you're saying. I think that's probably one of the concerns.
ROBERTS: All right.
CHETRY: Very interesting. Well, Sanjay got a little bit of reaction on the streets. We wanted to ask our viewers this morning, what do you think? Do you think men will take this birth control pill, this oral contraceptive?
Let's see the tally now. Drum roll, please. 50/50? Wow! I think it's pretty much split among the guys here in the studio this morning as well.
ROBERTS: Well, the guy out there are saying, I'm on the pill, you couldn't be pregnant.
CHETRY: That's right. So half are for it and half say no. And many of them acknowledge, I'd probably forget. Maybe I should stick with the injectable form.
GUPTA: That's right. Get rid of the vitamins.
CHETRY: All right. Sanjay, great to see you. We'll see you again throughout the show.
ROBERTS: We just heard Chris Lawrence reporting on Detroit's mayor facing felony charges. The case built on some steamy text messages between him and his former chief of staff. But can those messages be used in court? A look at whether or not that's going to hold up.
And could traffic reports soon become a thing of the past? Find out how your fellow commuters could soon guide you around backups and road crews before you get stuck in traffic, ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.
ROBERTS: Our Veronica De La Cruz here now with other stories new this morning. Good morning to you.
VERONICA DE LA CRUZ, CNN INTERNET CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, John. Of course, good morning to you out there.
We begin this morning with some news out of Pakistan. Yousaf Raza Gilani sworn in as Pakistan's new prime minister this morning. President Pervez Musharraf gave the oath, even though Gilani blames him for jailing him for five years. During the ceremony, Gilani supporters chanted long live Bhutto, referring to former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto who was killed late last year.
Meanwhile, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte arrived in Pakistan today for talks with Pakistani lawmakers.
And new dramatic images this morning of a violent protest and crackdown in Nepal. Police used bamboo sticks to beat monks and refugees in the latest round of demonstrations in support of Tibet and against China. Police arrested about 100 people today. Over the last couple of days, protesters say nearly 500 people have been taken into custody in Nepal.
Families of the victims of the Virginia Tech massacre are being offered $100,000 not to bring lawsuits against the university or the state. A family member who has seen the settlement offer says families and surviving victims would also receive medical help and counseling. It's been almost a year since Seung-Hui Cho opened fire killing 32 people and then himself. Well, the crew of the shuttle Endeavour is ready to return to earth. After swapping out a member of the crew, the hatches were closed and the shuttle undocked. Landing is set for tomorrow night. The crew performed a record five spacewalks, installing a giant robot arm and part of a new laboratory.
So, hey, do you want to beat the traffic? Well, you might soon be able to and that would be courtesy of someone else's navigation system. The dash navigation two-way device works by essentially sending a main computer, a driver's speed and location. Almost simultaneously, you will receive information about where other drivers are maybe barely moving or even stranded.
Generally, roads that are free flowing would be marked green on the map. Congested areas marked red or orange. The new GPS device should hit store shelves Thursday. It's going to cost you about 600 bucks.
ROBERTS: Hope that the person who's got the GPS sending the signal hasn't just stopped to get a doughnut.
DE LA CRUZ: That could be a problem.
CHETRY: Thanks, Veronica.
ROBERTS: Interesting device. Thanks.
DE LA CRUZ: Of course.
CHETRY: Well, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is vowing to fight on after being hit with eight felonies, including perjury, misconduct in office, and obstruction of justice. His trouble stemming from a lawsuit filed by several police officers. Prosecutors say Kilpatrick the multimillion dollar settlement in hopes of preventing the release of text messages that they say revealed a romantic relationship with his former chief of staff. Kilpatrick has denied the charges and promises to fight on and keep working for the city.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR KWAME KILPATRICK (D), DETROIT: I look forward to complete exoneration once all the facts surrounding this matter have been brought forth. In the meantime, I will remain focused.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHETRY: CNN's senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin joins us now with more on this. I mean, you know, when this case first made national news, a lot was made over the steamy text messages. But what is the -- where did this case originate from, so people understand?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: What happened was last year two cops were investigating what they said was corruption in city hall in Detroit, and they said they were retaliated against for being whistleblowers. So they sued the city. They went to trial.
Kilpatrick and his chief of staff testified that there was nothing going on between them. It was -- that they had had no romantic relationship. The jury awarded $6.5 million to the cops.
A little while later, rather mysteriously, Kilpatrick said, OK, I'm going to settle this lawsuit for $8 million, in other words, more than the jury gave. People wondered why that was. But anyway, that's what happened. What happened was what the "Detroit Free Press" learned, which really broke this whole thing, was that they -- that the settlement was based on a secret agreement between Kilpatrick and the plaintiffs to keep the text messages secret.
CHETRY: These text messages would have revealed this affair that he was having.
TOOBIN: Right. And they had lied in the trial. So the issue is not so much that they had a sexual relationship, which, of course, is bad enough.
TOOBIN: But that they used city money, millions of dollars, to keep it secret.
TOOBIN: The fact that it existed and that they lied in the trial.
CHETRY: So here's what the prosecutor said about the situation, because I think she also is trying to make the case that this is more than an extramarital affair that she's going after. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KYM WORTHY, WAYNE COUNTY PROSECUTOR: Our investigation has clearly shown that public dollars were used, people's lives were ruined, the justice system was severely mocked, and the public trust trampled on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHETRY: How strong do you think her case is?
TOOBIN: It looks pretty strong because the text messages seem almost certain to prove that there was a sexual relationship. It's going to be hard to argue that they were lying to each other in these text messages. And they very clearly denied having one under oath. Seems pretty straightforward to me.
CHETRY: Two avenues apparently that there's been some talk from his lawyers that perhaps they were -- these text messages were not obtained legally and also questions about whether or not all of the serious felony charges can arise from a civil case. TOOBIN: You've got Dan Webb. His lawyer is one of the best lawyers in the United States, but I think he's struggling here because, you know, those text messages, they're going to get into evidence. There's no judge who's going to keep those out.
And as for selective prosecution, that's an argument that almost never succeeds. You know, not every speeder is caught on the highway, and if you get caught, you can't argue, well, look at all the other people speeding. That's just not how it works generally in the criminal justice system.
CHETRY: It's also taken on national significance because Kilpatrick was seen as a rising star within the Democratic Party.
TOOBIN: Not anymore.
CHETRY: A superdelegate, right?
TOOBIN: He's a superdelegate.
CHETRY: He was leaning toward Barack Obama. And now, there's increasing pressure for him to step down. What's the political fallout? Let's say he is cleared of these charges.
TOOBIN: You never know in a city. Sometimes there is a backlash to a criminal prosecution and especially when there is a racial dimension. The thing about this, though, is that everyone involved in Detroit politics now at a high level is black, so he can't claim that this is some sort of conspiracy including the prosecutor here.
CHETRY: Including the prosecutor --
TOOBIN: But, you know, certainly his career, anything beyond Detroit, is over. His mother is a congresswoman so, I mean, there's a big political tradition in that family. But I think he's probably -- his career is probably over.
CHETRY: Why is he hanging on at this point then?
TOOBIN: You know, people like their jobs and I think, it's tough to admit that it's over. But, you know, if this continues, it certainly will continue to trial. I think it's going to be very hard for him to stay to be mayor if only for the pressure on it's time. It's very time consuming to be a criminal defendant, hard to be a mayor at the same time.
CHETRY: Exactly. All right. Jeff Toobin, great to see you. Thanks so much.
TOOBIN: All right.
CHETRY: Meanwhile, we want to let people know that we're going to be speaking at our next hour to Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy. We're going to get her point of view and her side on why she thinks this is a strong case.
ROBERTS: Looking forward to that.
Twenty-three minutes after the hour now. Could there actually be some good news in the housing market? Ali Velshi joins us with a look at what could be the slightest glimmer of hope.
And extreme weather. Fire, wind and floods. And things could get a lot worse. That's ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.
ROBERTS: Twenty-six minutes after the hour. Ali Velshi here "Minding Your Business." There's something to harp (ph) this morning.
ALI VELSHI, CNN SENIOR BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
ROBERTS: And that is the fact that home sales are looking a little bit better.
VELSHI: Yes. This is definitely one of those things that you can look at it in different ways. But let me tell you the way I'm looking at it.
Home sales are up. Home prices are way down. But home sales from January to February were up just a smidge, but that is the only smidge we've had since last July. Now, compared to last February, these are the numbers we've got February. February to February, home sales were down 24 percent. So some would say the bottom is falling out of this thing.
But just take a look at prices. In February, the median price, that's the price at which half of the homes sold are higher and half are lower. For a single family existing home in the United States, $193,900. One year ago, it was $212,400, which means people are starting to say, but low mortgage rates and low prices, maybe it's time to get in.
The peak of the market was in July 2006, when the median price was $231,200. So you can see that we've come off almost $40,000 for the price of a home, which makes homes a little more affordable for people. Now, the level of home price that we're at right now is the same that we were at in 2004.
So, remember, for everybody who is talking about the bottom having fallen out of this market, if you bought a house in 2003, the average price of a home in the United States, the median price, is still up. We are not -- this is not the end of the world.
So again, maybe at this point with prices having come down the way they have, there are a number of people saying, you know what, it's affordable for me. I'm not going to worry so much about whether prices will go down further in the rest of the year. I feel like I can afford to get in. Mortgage prices are still good. I'm thinking that is one indication, just one, that things might start to turn around in some point in the next few months. ROBERTS: So we get a little uptick on the Velshi meter today.
VELSHI: A little uptick on the Velshi meter.
ROBERTS: Always good. Ali, thanks very much.
ROBERTS: And later on today, join Ali, Gerri Willis and the rest of the CNN money team for ISSUE #1. It's at noon Eastern all this week here on CNN.
CHETRY: Sometimes when you talk they still like to take a shot at me.
ROBERTS: You're so beautiful, why wouldn't they?
CHETRY: Thank you, John.
Well, Senator Hillary Clinton backing off this morning from her description of a harrowing landing in Bosnia under sniper fire. In fact, here is the video. You're going to see it in a second. It doesn't show running for cover as the senator claimed, but actually quite an orderly arrival. We're going to tell you how the senator is explaining the disparity this morning.
Also, a new call for terror attacks against westerners. First, from Osama bin Laden and now from his number two. Is al-Qaeda gearing up? Our experts weigh in when AMERICAN MORNING comes right back.
KIRAN CHETRY, CNN, ANCHOR: Oh, a beautiful picture this morning. There you see the CNN "Election Express" and in the background Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 32 degrees right now, but it's going up to 52. And it will be mostly sunny today.
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN, ANCHOR: Amazing that they found a parking spot downtown.
CHETRY: I think they made their own parking spot is what happened there.
ROBERTS: They just get there at 3:00 in the morning.
Hey, Hillary Clinton is admitting that a story that she told about landing under sniper fire in Bosnia may have been a "misstatement." Clinton back pedaled on Monday after a video surfaced showing a very different picture from the dramatic landing that she described more than once on the campaign trail. Here's how Clinton described that trip to Bosnia in 1996 just a week ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: You can see from these pictures Hillary and Chelsea Clinton walking off the plane. No apparent snipers anywhere nearby. No heads ducking, no running. She goes on to greet a small ceremony, a small greeting ceremony on the tarmac, meets with some school students as well as military officials.
Our CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider joins us live from the CNN "Election Express" there in Philadelphia. Bill, what do you make of all of this? Is this just sort of the creep that sometimes comes with telling stories repeatedly on the campaign trail?
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POL. ANALYST: Well, there clearly are discrepancies between her version and what clearly the facts presented on the video are and other witnesses' accounts. It does raise a credibility problem, which her opponents and critics have been quick to seize on. And I think there is a danger here, you know, her husband had a similar problem. He would often embellish, say things that were discrepant with the facts, and shade the truth - I didn't inhale. It depends on what the meaning of "is" is. I didn't have sex with that woman. It was a credibility problem for him. So it raises the issue for her, is she going to have a credibility problem as well if she becomes president? It's a very serious matter, of course, for any president.
ROBERTS: What she said on the campaign trail a week ago also seems to be at odds to what she said herself or at least wrote herself about this four years ago in her book "Living History," talking about the same incident, she said, "due to reports of snipers in the hills around the airstrip, we were forced to cut short an event on the tarmac with local children. Though we did have time to meet with them and their teachers and to learn how hard they had worked during the war to continue classes in any safe spot that they could find."
With that account, Bill, at least, would seem to be more in line with what we see in the video.
SCHNEIDER: Yes. It was clearly a dangerous situation. Was she under any immediate threat? That's the issue. Then, there's a question also about whether her remarks were prepared in a text as if it was carefully planned and thought out or whether they were extemporaneous remarks that was extremely transcribed in her Web site. There's controversy over that, too, because it defies expectations that she would say these things knowing full well there were others present, that there were tape recordings, that reporters were there. CBS News produced the video footage. So, the question is, why would she deliberately sit down and set out a story that was clearly at variance with the facts.
ROBERTS: You got to wonder, did she just misremember it, was it a product of fatigue? During this program, we find sleep deprivation is a scary thing. Things that you know you know suddenly you don't know anymore. Let me, let me switch gears a little bit, you know, we've heard all these hot rhetoric flying back and forth on the campaign trail, most recently over Bill Richardson's endorsement of Barack Obama, James Carville likening him to Judas selling out for 30 pieces of silver. Here's what Richardson said yesterday about that whole thing and why he endorsed Obama.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. BILL RICHARDSON (D), NEW MEXICO: It's unfortunate that we Democrats are fighting, Obama and Clinton and then surrogates. I want to keep it clean. My reason for endorsing Obama was that I felt that we Democrats can't continue this bloodletting until the Democratic convention, that we have to come together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: That was Governor Richardson last night on "Larry King Live," Bill. And I get a lot of e-mails about this, and there are obviously partisans from the Clinton side or from the Obama side. You know, either side they're saying, we've got to stop this because there's a danger here among Democrats of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Is that a real possibility here if this continues to go on?
SCHNEIDER: Oh, it certainly is. I mean, I don't think this is the most bitter campaign. Everyone wonders, is this the worst, most nasty campaigning you've ever seen? I've been around a while. I've seen it get pretty tough. But it's veering in that direction during this long period when we have no real primaries and caucuses. It's becoming bitter. It's becoming nasty. We have incident after incident. The question over the controversy over the remarks that Bill Clinton made describing McCain and his wife as two people who love this country and someone said, well, he's being like Joe McCarthy and impugning the loyalty of Barack Obama. We have incident after incident like this where the campaign is just getting nastier and nastier. It isn't helpful to the Democrats who, in the end, are going to have to unite around the nominee because they have to run a campaign against John McCain. The more the bitterness and nastiness, the harder that is going to be to do.
ROBERTS: Yes. And both sides of the campaigns and their supporters have got their heels dug in, he should get out, she should get out. You wonder where these things are going to end. Bill Schneider for us this morning from the city of brotherly love. Bill, thanks very much. Kiran.
CHETRY: Well, Senators Clinton and Barack Obama may have to tweak their campaign schedules. Puerto Rico will be holding a primary on June 1st instead of holding a caucus on June 7th. The Democratic party believes that a primary will be better way to choose its 55 delegates. And the day changes because of a typo, the party mistakenly listed the 7th instead of the 1st in it's original paperwork.
But it's also interesting, John, you and I were talking about this yesterday, this is the first time in a long time that Puerto Rico's mattered. Usually --
ROBERTS: And they've got a lot of delegates, too.
CHETRY: ...has decided. 55 delegates up for stake.
ROBERTS: Fourth largest contest that's left in this presidential race.
CHETRY: That's right. And so they were saying, now with the DNC, saying now it's different. This is the fist time in decades that Puerto Rico will actually be participating in an event of this magnitude. So, they're going to do it for all it's worth.
ROBERTS: This primary season keeps defying expectations. Pretty amazing.
CHETRY: Meanwhile, the biggest primary on the horizon is still in Pennsylvania. And that is now four weeks away. Voters there clearly excited. In fact, more than 4 million people have registered to vote in the primary. Nearly a quarter million of them are people who have never voted before. 29,000 are Republicans who switched sides for the vote. When we say 4 million, we're talking 4 million Democrats, also 3.2 million Republicans. 158 delegates are up for grabs.
James Carville, an adviser to Senator Hillary Clinton, is not backing down from a comment that he made comparing Governor Bill Richardson so Judas. Carville said that Richardson, once a member of President Clinton's cabinet, betrayed the Clintons when he endorsed Senator Barack Obama for president. Now, Carville defended the remark last night on CNN's "AC 360."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES CARVILLE, ADVISER TO SEN. CLINTON: My view is that this was a particularly disloyal thing to do, and that's my view. I was speaking for myself. I'm not speaking for anybody else. That's my judgment then. It's my judgment now. And I've found in my life that if you think something and you feel it, then you ought to say it, and I did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHETRY: Well, earlier on CNN's "Larry King Live," Richardson urged both campaigns to stop the personal attacks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARDSON: Then I don't want to get into the gutter like that. I want to stay positive. I think it's going to hurt his own candidate. I did this for party unity, and I did this because I believe, honestly, that Obama has the intellect, the judgment, the competence, and the enormous ability to bring people together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHETRY: Clinton spokesman Howard Wilson says he does not agree with Carville's comment. ROBERTS: We are monitoring developing news right now. The U.S. Navy says that American cargo ship working for the navy fired on Egyptian boats in the Suez Canal. The ship fired warning shots at several small boats after instructions to turn away were ignored. Egyptian authorities claim that one person was killed, two injured. The boat operators say they just wanted to sell cigarettes and other products to the American ship.
Also new this morning, troop withdrawals from Iraq should be put on hold, according to the top U.S. commander there. General David Petraeus is asking President Bush not to bring any more American forces home after July. At that point, troops will be back to their pre-buildup level of about 130,000.
The proposed merger of satellite radio rivals Sirius and XM is now in the hands of the Federal Communications Commission. The Justice Department approved the plan yesterday saying it would not lessen competition or harm customers. Some over the air broadcasters and consumer groups fear that the merger will lead to higher prices. Regulators don't think that that's going to be a problem.
And prosecutors in Arizona have finally decided to press charges against a former tuberculosis patient. Robert Daniel made headlines two years ago when he was placed in solitary confinement in a hospital jail ward for not wearing a mask in public. Prosecutors in Arizona have now indicted him on two felony counts of unlawful introduction of a disease or parasite. It's not clear right now whether Daniel has returned to his native Russia. Kiran.
CHETRY: Yes. We have some extreme weather to tell you about this morning as well. Rob Marciano tracking it all for us this morning. Hey, Rob.
ROB MARCIANO, CNN, METEOROLOGIST: Good morning again, Kiran. Watching these rivers, trying to get rid of all the water that came into town last week. The Mississippi River, the Ohio River all heading south towards the Gulf of Mexico. And a number of these areas still under flood warnings, although they have crested in many areas, mostly north of Little Rock. That water still needs to get downstream. Around Little Rock, just east towards the white and black river there still in flood stage and they're cresting at record levels today.
And then later on in the week, actually not really until the beginning of next week is when the Mississippi down around Baton Rouge will crest. And we'll see flooding on both sides of the river there in Baton Rouge. Also, the Sabine River is under a flood warning for Calcasieu, Beauregard Parishes there, Newton and Orange County in southeast Texas. So, still several days for this water to get south.
The other issue is the extreme cold across the southeast. These are the current temperatures in places like Atlanta and Montgomery where below 30 earlier today and even right now some spots in central and southwest Georgia are in the mid to upper 20s. So some tender vegetation that in some cases blooming and blossoming and getting all ready for spring and summer, that could be in danger. Three to six inches of snow expected today. This little clipper coming across the Great Lakes, we're already starting to see a pileup across parts of Michigan. Here you see a lot of white from Grand Rapids over toward Saginaw, Flint, back towards Detroit might be a little bit of a wet start. We're in our fist full week officially of spring, Kiran, and winter just doesn't want to give up just yet.
CHETRY: Still holding on. Doesn't want to say good-bye. Thanks, Rob.
CHETRY: Well, back to back calls for jihad, a look at new terror tapes and the fight against extremists in Afghanistan. Are we in for a violent spring in the war on terror? We're going to talk about it.
Also, a fight that pits a fear of vaccines against public health. A growing trend in states across the country to opt out of vaccinating your child. What's the word on that? Well, we're paging Dr. Gupta. He tells us coming up.
CHETRY: Welcome back to AMERICAN MORNING. You know, more parents are opting out of vaccinations for their kids based on personal beliefs and they use these personal beliefs exemptions more and more according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. 20 states including California, Ohio and Texas do allow some kind of personal exemption from childhood vaccines, but it could mean a rise in potentially life-threatening diseases not just for the general public but for the unvaccinated child. CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us now with more on this. You know, obviously, you vaccinate to protect your person, your own child, but also for the greater good, right, in terms of public safety to make sure that some of these diseases are eradicated.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN, CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. And there is a risk even if the child has been vaccinated if a large cluster of children around them have not been vaccinated. It's interesting, the number has gone up in terms of the number of families now allowing this, actually opting into these personal belief exemptions. Most states actually allow an exemption for medical reasons. Many states allow for religious reasons as well and as you mentioned Kiran, about 20 states now in terms of personal exemptions as well.
Back in 1991, it was about 1% overall of people actually opting into these personal exemptions. Now it's up to 3%. I want to give you a quick idea of just the impact that that has. Take a look, for example, for measles outbreaks over the last several years. 2005, we reported on some of these. As you know, Kiran, Indiana, 34 cases; 2006, Boston, 18 cases. Most recently, just last month, San Diego, there were 12 cases. Eight of those children, they had opted out or their families had opted out for personal exemption beliefs.
So this is clearly happening. It also seems to happen in clusters. And this is important because if you have a cluster of people not getting vaccinated, again it puts the larger community at risk. Take a look at the state of California, for example, in general, 1.5%, but by county, certain counties as high as 9% to 13%. Kiran, this is important - you know, I have two daughters - this is important because of two reasons. One is that they may be too young, your child may be to young to have already been vaccinated. They're clearly going to be at risk. But also when it comes to measles, for example, you're about 95% protected. So if you have a bunch of kids around you who haven't been vaccinated, that could actually lead to a measles case in your own child.
CHETRY: Now, the other question is, why are we seeing more people opt out? I mean, there is a big concern, something that we've talked about before, about links with perhaps things like autism or autism-like symptoms linked to vaccines. I think there is a fear out there from people. Hold on, are we doing too much?
CHETRY: Are we giving too many shots to these small babies? Is it affecting their growth?
GUPTA: Yes. Well, you know, with regard to vaccines and autism, first of all, one of the big concerns was thimerosal which is this mercury preservative in vaccines. An important point here, and we reported on this, is that even after the mercury was taken out, autism rates continued to go up. And some people say, look, that's definitive proof that there's not a link between thimerosal and autism.
The other thing was, you know, overall, vaccines, should you be giving so many at the same time? You know, it's a sobering thing to watch your child get five shots at the same time. And most people say, look, it's just not a problem. You know, it doesn't seem to be the cause of autism. But many pediatricians that we spoke to said there's a middle ground here. You could sort of space out these vaccines instead of doing MMR, you could do MM and then R, rubella, a few months later. The concern, of course, is they're going to be unvaccinated for a period of time while you're waiting.
CHETRY: And the other concern too is, it's a difficult thing to sort of prove, that giving multiple vaccines - but do we give kids more vaccines now than we did before and do we give them at once more than we did before?
GUPTA: We do give more and we do give different schedules than before. In part it's because of convenience. Because you know, they've found that parents were less likely to show up for their subsequent visits and kids would go un-vaccinated. And we give more because we have better vaccines now for more life-threatening illnesses. You know, the effects of these though, most scientists, most doctors that we've talked to say it's obviously a much better thing to get vaccinated than not to get vaccinated.
GUPTA: You know, even the Hannah Poling family, the family that we reported on about this federal court case with link to autism, even they say in their subsequent children they would still get them vaccinated.
CHETRY: All right. A deeply personal decision as we've seen. People are making choices because of it. Thanks a lot, Sanjay.
GUPTA: Thank you.
ROBERTS: Coming up now, it's ten minutes to the top of the hour. New terror threats and signs that it could be a bloody spring in Afghanistan. What Al Qaeda could have planned for the U.S. and its allies, that's ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.
ROBERTS: 53 minutes after the hour. Increasing chatter from the two most wanted terrorists in the world. First, Osama Bin Laden urging Muslims to fight in Iraq and threatening Europe. Now a brand new threat from his top deputy, Al Zawahiri calling for attacks on the United States and Israel. They both come as NATO troops dig in on what could be a bloody spring offensive in Afghanistan.
Peter Bergen is CNN's terrorism analyst. He joins us this morning from Washington. Two messages within a week, Peter, from Bin Laden and Zawahiri. Would we be correct to see some coordination of message here?
PETER BERGEN, CNN, TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, it's not unusual for both of them to come out with a message roundabout the same time. Whether they're coordinating messages or not it's hard to tell. We do know that Al Zawahiri is putting out a lot more tapes and audio tape than Bin Laden. That's one of the reasons it's more likely that he will be captured or killed. Because, John, as you know, the chain of custody of these audio and videotapes is the one where you can find them. They're increasingly sending the tapes not to Al Jazeera but just uploading them on the Internet. That makes them harder to detect.
ROBERTS: Right. They're putting them on the Asahab (ph) production facility and puts them on the Islamic Web sites. Let me just pull a little bit of a piece from the latest Zawahiri message. He said, "strike the interests of the Jews, the Americans and all those who participated in the attacks on Muslims." He's talking about the attacks in Gaza. It also singles out Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan for what it calls satanic alliances with the United States and Israeli. There's broad condemnation here. He's declaring enemies all over the region.
BERGEN: Well, this is one of the problems that the Al Qaeda has. It's not a category of institution, personal government that they haven't said at one time or another is the enemy, whether it's the Americans, Europeans, Jews, Muslims who disagree with them, Middle Eastern governments. I mean, this is not really a very smart strategy to paint with such broad brushes. Al Qaeda's enemies, basically extending around the world. You're supposed to try to increase your number of allies, not decrease them. And this is one of Al Qaeda's strategic weaknesses in my view.
ROBERTS: The message goes on to say, "monitor the targets, collect the money, prepare the equipment, plan accurately, and then attack." Do you see, is this a rallying call, or could this be a trigger to sleeper cells that might be out there saying, now is the time to go? I mean, that message about collect the money, prepare the equipment, that seems to be a little more rudimentary level than an attack that's ready to go.
BERGEN: Yes. I mean, the thing is, they've released so many of these videotapes and audiotapes back before 9/11, John, you could make a fairly good case for a particular tape being related to a particular attack. Now they've released quite a number of tapes and so it's hard to actually correlate a particular tape with a particular attack, although we have seen a number of statements from Bin Laden and Al Zawahiri calling for attacks on Pakistan in the last several months. And that's one of the reasons we've seen a real up tick in violence and suicide attacks in Pakistan over the last several months.
ROBERTS: There was quite an effective attack yesterday at that Tarkum (ph) border crossing at the end of the Khyber Pass just between Pakistan and Afghanistan. 38 fuel tanker trucks went up when somebody planned an improvised explosive device in a parking lot. Does this pretend to a particularly bloody spring there in Afghanistan as the snows begin to melt away from the mountain passes?
BERGEN: Well, every spring tends that, John, as you know, there is no reason why this spring will be any different. We've seen, you know, record numbers of suicide attacks, IED attacks and attacks on international forces, NATO countries in Afghanistan are proven reluctant other than the United States to put additional troops in. The Taliban is fueled by, you know, the largest amount of heroin production in the world.
And I think unfortunately, yes, we will see a good deal of violence in the spring and summer this year.
ROBERTS: Terrorism analyst Peter Bergen for us this morning from Washington. Peter, it's always good to see you. Thanks for coming in this morning.
BERGEN: Thanks, John.
ROBERTS: Now, a security breach at Facebook. Some pictures that you want to keep private, well, they're not private anymore. We'll tell you why they may have been exposed. That's ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.
CHETRY (voice-over): His and hers. Arraignment today for Detroit's mayor and his former chief of staff. Text messages about sex. The felony charges. The prosecutor. Live this morning. Home wreckers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is one common thing, unmitigated.
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