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Newt Gingrich Surges in Recent Polls; Jerry Sandusky Arrested on New Charges; More Republicans Backing Gingrich; FDA To Hold Hearing On Popular Birth Control Pills; Rare Look Into Combat; Five Killed In Nevada Helicopter Crash; "Blago" Gets 14 Years; Gadhafi's Son Tries To Enter Mexico; Egypt's Islamists Claim Most Seats In Election Runoff; Baldwin's Apology To Passengers, Not, American; Newt Gingrich Rising; Can Newt Gingrich Keep His Lead; Certain Birth Control Pills May Have Dangerous Side Effect
Aired December 08, 2011 - 06:59 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When all of his staff left and he was, you know, tanking out, I predicted that he would have another run. That he'd come back.
ALINA CHO, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The comeback kid. Former president, Bill Clinton, a guy who knows a thing or two about doing battle with Newt Gingrich, tells me why he never counted him out.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): New details in the child sex abuse scandal at Syracuse. Bernie Fine's third accuser taking him to court after the D.A. says no criminal charges will be filed.
CHO: This is no movie. This isn't Xbox. This is real war on the frontlines. Taking fire in afghanistan.
COSTELLO: And is the birth control pill, Yaz, dangerous? The FDA taking a look at potentially harmful side effects of the drug on this AMERICAN MORNING.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHO (on-camera): Good morning, everybody. It's Thursday, December 8th. Ali and Christine are off. I'm Alina Cho along with Carol Costello on this AMERICAN MORNING. Glad you're with us.
COSTELLO (on-camera): We are. Good morning to you.
Up first this morning, dramatic gains this morning by a candidate all but forgotten until just a few weeks ago. We are talking, of course about former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. According to new CNN-"TIME"-ORC polls Gingrich leads in three of the first four nominating states, and he's closing the gap in Mitt Romney's backyard. In South Carolina among likely GOP primary voters, Gingrich leads Romney by 23 points. In Florida, Gingrich has 48 percent of the vote compared to Romney's 25 percent. And in New Hampshire where the former Massachusetts governor has a vacation home, Romney leads Gingrich by just nine points.
CHO: I had a chance to speak to Newt Gingrich's one-time political rival, former President Clinton. And I asked the former president for his take on Gingrich's surge in the polls as well as what he thinks of the former front-runner, Mitt Romney, and Jon Huntsman. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: I'm not surprised. Somebody -- one of the -- one of the journalists reminded me the other day that when all of his staff left and he was, you know, tanking out, I predicted that he would have another run, that he would come back. And I -- I honestly had forgotten it. I got it on tape. I remember when you did it.
He is, first, resilient, and secondly, always thinking. And he's got a million ideas. Some of them are good and some of them, I think are horrible. I thought in that last debate he had the most responsible position on immigration. He's the only guy that didn't just totally jump in the tank with the Tea Party and send them home yesterday, never mind what they had done and how many taxes they paid, never mind if the kids are in our schools.
And then the next day he says by the way, we ought to amend the constitution so I can abolish the ninth circuit. It is too liberal, we should get rid of it, and there is a federal judge in another state I want to fire because he made a decision I don't like. So, you know, he has good days and bad days. And we will have to see what happens. But he will certainly make it entertaining.
CHO: Do you think he is the strongest in the field?
CLINTON: I don't know. I don't know. But in both our party and in theirs, very often the strongest person for the nomination is not necessarily the strongest person in the general election. And it's a mistake to underestimate Governor Romney because of, you know, he's performed well in all these debates. He did a lot of rather impressive things as governor of Massachusetts. I don't think he ought to apologize for that health care program. It is working there. Their inflation rate in health costs has been less than the rest of the country's since they adopted that and their health outcomes are higher and they have the highest percentage of insured people in the country. So I wouldn't be apologizing for that if I were in his position.
I think that it is just hard to say who will win. The only one that hasn't had a run yet is Huntsman. I think a lot of him. He's actually qualified to be president. So it is going to be interesting to see whether he gets his run.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHO: Speaking of Jon Huntsman, he is hoping a good showing in New Hampshire will help catapult him to the front of the GOP presidential pack. Huntsman will be a guest on "JOHN KING USA" tonight. You can catch that interview at 6:00 p.m. eastern right here on CNN.
COSTELLO: Prosecutors says two men accused for Syracuse basketball coach Bernie Fine of sex abuse are credible, but no criminal charges will be filed against Fine. That's because New York's statute of limitations has expired. In an exclusive interview with CNN's Gary Tuchman, the county D.A. says a nanny who worked for the Fines has more damning evidence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Your impression the au pair is convinced Bernie Fine had a sexual relationship of Davis while she was at the house.
BILL FITZPATRICK, ONONDAGA COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: No question about it. She all kinds of things that -- she didn't physically witness any molestation, but clearly body language, affect, the way they talk to each other and the way they acted around each other and conversations she had with Laurie Fine, there's no question.
TUCHMAN: For example, when it came to Bernie, what did she say about the way Bernie fine acted that made her know they were having --
FITZPATRICK: The way they would do things, the way they would watch TV, the way they would eat food together, the way they would suddenly disappear together.
TUCHMAN: And what did Laurie Fine say to her?
FITZPATRICK: Lori Fine had numerous conversations with her. And the gist of the -- gist of the conversations were I don't have the right parts for Bernie. And clearly indicating -- you recognize to hear implications, but clearly recognizing that Laurie Fine was of the opinion that Bernie fine was gay and that they were leading two separate lives.
TUCHMAN: So the au pair that worked there said that Laurie Fine talked to her, a 16-year-old girl, about how she didn't have the parts for her husband?
FITZPATRICK: You know, it was -- it was difficult to listen to. But that's exactly right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHO: Meantime a third accuser is taking him to court. Lawyers for Zach Tomaselli plan to announce a civil suit at a news conference later this morning.
COSTELLO: Jerry Sandusky could be let out of jail again today. Police arrested the ex-Penn State coach yesterday on additional sexual assault charges involving two new accusers, one who says his cries for help were ignored.
CHO: Our Jason Carroll is live in Belafonte, Pennsylvania, with the latest. Jason, good morning. JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Alina. Just a few minutes ago, I called the Center County Correctional Facility just to make sure that Jerry Sandusky was, in fact, still in jail. He is. He continues to deny these new allegations as he has denied the previous ones.
CARROLL: For the second time in two months, Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant football coach at Penn State, was hauled away in handcuffs, facing charges of child sex abuse. And in a new grand jury finding two more alleged victims identified as number nine and 10 claim Sandusky abused them as children. Both accusers say that they met Sandusky through his Second Mile foundation. They claim that he took an interest in them, inviting them to his home for meals and on outings, and gradually engaged in sex acts with them.
Alleged victim number nine was between 11 and 12 years old when he first met Sandusky in 2004. He testified that over three years he often visited Sandusky's home and slept over in a basement bedroom. There, he says, Sandusky forced him to perform oral sex and tried to rape him at least 16 times, at times succeeding. The victim testified on at least one occasion he screamed for help knowing that Sandusky's wife was upstairs, but no one ever came to help him.
Alleged victim number 10, a foster child, says Sandusky had oral sex with him and fondled him in a pool on the Penn State campus. Sandusky's attorney denies the new allegations.
JOE AMENDOLA, JERRY SANDUSKY'S ATTORNEY: I have no reason to doubt what he maintained are the outset of the first allegation involving accuser number one, when he maintained his innocence and maintained his innocence all the way through.
CARROLL: The new charges follow what prosecutors say was a similar pattern Sandusky followed with the other eight victims identified in a previous grand jury report, grooming them with money, gifts, and taking them to Penn State games. The new accusers say Sandusky often told them he loved them and not to tell anyone.
CARROLL: And, Alina, bail is set at $250,000. Sandusky's attorney says he is expected to post bail later today. If he is able to do that, some of the conditions include that he will be under house arrest and will have to wear some sort of an electronic monitoring device. And in addition to that he will not be able to have any contact week victims or witnesses and no unsupervised visits with minors.
CHO: Jason Carroll, thank you very much.
COSTELLO: Joining us now is CNN legal contributor Paul Callan. Welcome, Paul.
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: Morning.
COSTELLO: So we have these two new victims who have come forward. And first of all, let's start with the conditions. If Jerry Sandusky is able to make bail, he will have to wear a monitoring device on his ankle. Will that satisfy most people, do you think? Because a lot of people say he should be in jail, period.
CALLAN: I think most people are going to be very, very upset about this. I mean, a lot of people thought with two new victims coming forward, they are going to throw him in jail or set bail so high that he will remain in jail because he's a threat to children and a threat to the public.
Lawyers who know a lot about bail and have argued serious cases would tell you that the purpose of bail is to ensure that somebody shows up for trial. And with respect to Sandusky, there's no indication that he's a flight risk, at least in the judge's mind. He's obeyed every court order that's been issued with respect to his cases. And so these conditions were set down, $250,000 cash bail. He's being monitored and has to remain at home. Nonetheless, I would have expected $1 million or something that was pretty much --
COSTELLO: He's a wealthy guy.
CALLAN: -- unmake-able bail and that he would have been thrown into prison. But the judge is applying the law as it exists.
COSTELLO: In the latest court documents, these two new victims describe being taken to Jerry Sandusky's basement. One of the young men who was about 10 years old at the time, said he would cry for help from the basement expecting Mrs. Sandusky to come help him, and she never did. In light of this, do you think that Mrs. Sandusky might eventually be accused of something?
CALLAN: You know, Carol, I read the details of these charges in what we call the grand jury presentment. And I'm telling you, it is just -- hard reading. The claims of this child, he was screaming in the basement at times and we are talking about -- really talking about sodomy and rape going on in the basement while -- you know, the wife is upstairs.
Can she be charged? It will be very, very hard to charge her because you would have to establish that she actually heard the screams, that she had some sort of supervisory or guardianship responsibility to make a report. All of these things are very, very difficult to establish as a matter of criminal law.
COSTELLO: But in most of the cases, Paul, these boys were taken to the base many. They slept in this base many bedroom that Sandusky had in his home often. So wouldn't the wife notice a pattern of behavior here?
CALLAN: Well, you certainly would think so. And this is what in child abuse circles people describe as grooming. You know, the pedophile picks his victim, a child, and then grooms him by giving him candy, by giving him opportunities to watch TV shows that he can't normally, becoming his friend. Obviously the wife would be aware that this odd situation is going on in the basement. So I -- you know, I don't think that we can rule out criminal investigators looking at her in the future and possibly saying that this is aiding and abetting and part of a criminal conspiracy. But I will say that as of now I haven't seen enough evidence, firm evidence, to link her or indict her on some kind of criminal charge.
COSTELLO: I would think it is odd that -- it is always little boys coming over, never little girls.
CALLAN: You have to look at the way he set up his life. He's involved with this Second Mile charity. His whole purpose in life is supposedly helping young children. So bringing them home she would say, well, it was just part of the charity. He's a sports coach. That's how she's going to try to explain it.
COSTELLO: OK, let's talk about -- we were having this discussion in the newsroom yesterday about whether there would actually be a trial or if some sort of plea deal would be worked out. Like -- there was one line of thought, you know, his lawyer, so strange, allows Jerry Sandusky to give interviews to "The New York Times" and also to Bob Costas, and that's strange from the get-go. We thought that maybe because of that, there would be a trial. What do you think?
CALLAN: I would be very, very surprised if the case ever gets tried, because we are now up to ten alleged victims. Of course, we don't know the strength of case. He is presumed innocent until the evidence is brought forward. But nonetheless, this is an avalanche of claims against him. And bear in mind these are very, very serious charges. Some of these charges he is facing 20 years in prison and consecutive 20 year in prison charges. So if prosecutors at some point approach him and say we are going to make you an offer that will prevent you from serving life in prison --
COSTELLO: But clearly he doesn't believe he is guilty. So could you say maybe he's delusional and his lawyer keeps allowing him to do these things that many lawyers would not allow their clients to do, so you could say maybe the attorney thinks he has some ammunition to use in court despite the fact that there are 10 victims now?
CALLAN: I don't know --
COSTELLO: Alleged victims.
CALLAN: I don't know what the attorney is thinking. You know, there has been a history in some cases involving celebrities in Hollywood, where -- or politicians also, where they will publicly pronounce their innocence just because of what they do for a living. We see how that works out. Blagojevich is a good example, the guy that tried to make a lot of press conferences and appearances. I think I appeared with him on some CNN show earlier when he was charged with a crime. Well, he's being led off to federal prison now.
So it is generally not a good idea if you are a criminal defendant to be making public statements. It helps prosecutors prove the case.
And I think that if had thinks he's going to win the war of public relations here by having press conferences in which his client says, well, I'm not attracted to little boys, little girls, too, I mean, I'm not reading that as a good defense.
So, you know, I think in the end somebody on the defense team is going to wake up and start defending case like a criminal lawyer should defend the case, and that means behind the scenes negotiations try to get the best deal possible for your client.
COSTELLO: We will see.
CALLAN: You imagine walking into a courtroom with 10 victims lined up across the front of the courtroom if these cases are tried together, which is another whole question. I don't know how Pennsylvania will handle that.
COSTELLO: I don't know. Paul Callan, thanks as always. We appreciate your coming in so early.
CALLAN: Nice being with you.
CHO: Thanks, Carol. If you are waking up on the east coast, take your coat. A snowy start here with storms bringing lots of cold wind and heavy rain. We are tracking the latest forecast for you.
And in the midst of war, marines releasing video of a three- hour firefight in Afghanistan, tensions running high, ammo running low. We will explain. It's 16 minutes after the hour.
CHO: This just in to CNN. We are learning what the former head of MF Global, Jon Corzine, former New Jersey governor, is expected to say when he's called to testify in Washington this morning. According to Corzine's prepared remarks, he will apologize to all those affected by his firm's rapid collapse. But it doesn't appear as though he is going to take responsibility for what happened. Corzine is expected to address the missing estimated $1.2 billion in customer money, saying, quote, "I simply do not know where the money is or why the accounts have not been reconciled to date."
COSTELLO: Stay tuned. He is expected to appear before a panel on Capitol Hill today.
COSTELLO: Still to come this morning, inside a firefight in Afghanistan, a very rare look at combat in Afghanistan from the marines' own photographs.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COSTELLO: It's 24 minutes past the hour. Welcome back. "Minding your Business" this morning. Can the Dow extend its three- day winning streak? U.S. stock futures are slightly lower even though at the moment investors are optimistic we are nearing Europe's moment of truth. In Brussels, leaders of France and Germany are expected to urge all EU members to adopt a new plan designed to prevent a repeat of Europe's debt crisis. Even so, the debt crisis is far from resolved. Ratings agency Standard & Poor's placed 17 members of the euro currency on review for a possible downgrade. Germany and France are on that list.
In just about an hour from now we will get a fresh read on the employment situation. The initial jobless claims report is expected to show that 402,000 employment claims were filed for the first time last week. That's up slightly from the week before. Any time the number is above 400,000 it is not really the greatest sign for the labor market.
COSTELLO: The Justice Department is reportedly looking into alleged unfair pricing practices by electronic booksellers. At issue, whether companies like Amazon and Apple fixed prices to block rivals. The move comes after similar investigations by European regulators.
And this morning the Senate votes to move the nomination of Richard Cordray forward. He was tapped by President Obama to lead the new financial watchdog agency. Republicans have vowed to block the nomination.
And don't forget for the latest news about your money, check out the all new CNNmoney.com. AMERICAN MORNING will be back after a short break.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Down!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHO: Real war, a rare look at combat in Afghanistan from the marine's own photographers on this AMERICAN MORNING.
COSTELLO: It's 30 minutes past the hour. Top stories for you now. Jerry Sandusky trying the make bail this morning. The ex-Penn State coach was arrested again on sexual assault charges involving two new accusers. Sandusky faces a preliminary hearing on Tuesday where his lawyer will have the chance to question some of his accusers.
CHO: More and more Republicans are getting behind Newt Gingrich according to a new CNN-"TIME"-ORC poll. Gingrich leads Romney in Iowa, South Carolina, and Florida. He's also moved within nine percentage points of Romney in his own backyard of New Hampshire. COSTELLO: The FDA taking a close look at Yaz and Yasmin today. The agency will be hearing evidence about a dangerous side effect of the popular birth control pills.
Research shows users have an increased risk of blood clots, two to three times higher than other birth control pills. We'll have more later from our senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen.
CHO: It is a rare look at a decade old war. Marines releasing their own personal footage of a fire fight in Afghanistan, one they didn't see coming. One they were determined not to lose.
Our Barbara Starr is live at the Pentagon with something you will see only on CNN. Barbara, good morning.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning to you, Alina. Indeed the Marines e-mailed out this footage that they shot. It was a three-hour fire fight at a small outpost in southern Afghanistan. These are the men of First Battalion Sixth Marine regimen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gets you out of nowhere. Sleeping bag still. I was trying to hear clear went off. Fires are going off.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just to northwest of us across the river, they have a ridge line out there and there are caves in the ridge line that they will crawl into and they engage us from there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- ammo. By the time, like, a couple of hours, we were like -- had 100 still left. That was it. Just got really bad -- real quick.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had 30 mm grenades hitting inside the compound. Getting close, real close. Casualty. Cold casualties. You hear about people being battle tested. This one tested the boys.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to get him on the bird as fast as possible.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One hell of a day. You are thinking, yes, radio patrol. Any other day. It ain't happening that way. Definitely teach lot of people -- got to be ready from now on. You never know what will happen from now on. We lost -- one person, injuries. Who knows what will happen next.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Another day. Another day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hopefully whoever see this one knows what happens. At the end of the day, we are the ones out here.
STARR: We want to you know that this video was provided by U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Jacob Lagozi who filmed all of this while under fire in that fire fight.
We checked all of the Marines that were wounded or either recovering or already returned to duty. But just listen to what they had to say.
They were down to their last 100 rounds for their 50 caliber machine guns. They did call in air strikes to take care of what was happening there.
CHO: Incredible. Barbara Starr live for us at the Pentagon with that. Barbara, thank you very much.
COSTELLO: New this morning, deadly helicopter crash near Las Vegas last night. Five people killed when the chopper crashed down in the River Mountains southeast of Las Vegas.
The aircraft owned by Sundance Helicopters is flying a group of tourists over the Hoover Dam. It's still unclear why the crash happened.
CHO: Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich sentenced to 14 years for trying to sell President Obama's old Senate seat. Blagojevich said he was sorry in court yesterday, but the judge said that apology sounded more like a politician or a lawyer.
COSTELLO: Four people busted in a plot to sneak the son of fallen Libya leader Moammar Gadhafi into Mexico. Mexican officials say Saadi Gadhafi planned to slip his family into the country using false documents and fake names. Saadi Gadhafi is still living in Najir where he fled during the violent unrest in Libya.
CHO: A huge victory for Egypt's Islamists in the runoff elections. The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party claims it won 34 seats. Meanwhile, the Ultra Conservative Party claims five seats. This is the first round of parliamentary elections since the uprising that toppled long time ruler Hosni Mubarak back in February.
COSTELLO: Actor Alec Baldwin apologizing to fellow passengers that were delayed when he kicked off an American Airlines flight for refusing to stop playing "Words with Friends" on his mobile phone.
Baldwin, though, has a different message for the airline and the industry itself. He says air travel is inelegant and akin to a greyhound bus experience.
CHO: All right. Still to come this morning, Newt Gingrich rising. He has a commanding lead in three early voting states. But is the former House speaker built for the long run? Our political panel weighs in.
COSTELLO: We will tell you why the FDA is taking a look at two popular birth control pills after reports of health risks. Our senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen with what you need to know, just ahead on her AMERICAN MORNING. It's 35 minutes past the hour.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COSTELLO: It is 38 minutes past the hour. Welcome back. He may not be president, but Newt Gingrich wants to make one thing perfectly clear -- he is the frontrunner in the race for the Republican nomination.
Polls in three of the first four voting states give the former House speaker a commanding lead, but can he stay on top? Joining us from Washington, David Frum, CNN contributor, and editor of the frumforum.com and Maria Cardona, CNN contributor and a Democratic strategist. Welcome to both of you.
DAVID FRUM, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you.
MARIA CARDONA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you. Good to be here.
COSTELLO: Nice to have you here. David, let's start with you. Those polls show Gingrich leading in South Carolina and Iowa. He is leading big time in Florida. It looks great, but when you take a deeper look at the polls, the people polled say that they are not so passionate about Gingrich even though they will support him.
FRUM: Right. Well, you have to look at the polls in conjunction with the calendar. We've had these balloons before with other candidates and this probably is a balloon of people looking for an alternative to Mitt Romney.
Only this time, the balloon -- the balloons take five to eight weeks to deflate and we are five weeks away from New Hampshire. That -- so the balloon may stay aloft just long enough for Gingrich.
The problem is that the -- the things that got Gingrich into trouble when he was a leader of the Republican Party in the 1990s are all still there inside of him.
I think a lot of Republicans are going to get worried as we get closer to voting day that does have the steadiness and constancy to be an effective representative as compared to somebody like Mitt Romney.
COSTELLO: And we've heard that from some Republicans already. Maria, this isn't lost on Mitt Romney, of course. This morning his campaign is going to hold this press conference.
He is going to call on politicians who will say Gingrich was really bad to work with back in the '90s. Gingrich had this response to our Wolf Blitzer yesterday. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I wish everybody had loved me, but I would rather be effective representing the American people than be popular inside Washington.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: But isn't he an insider? CARDONA: No question about that. And I think voters understand that. He is somebody that in the '90s, you know, he talks about wanting to be effective for the American people.
And you look at a lot of the Republicans that worked with him and they will say that he was exactly the opposite of that for the Republican Party. He almost ruined the Republican brand. I think that that's what you are going to hear from a lot of Republicans.
And I think that that is the danger in a Newt Gingrich nomination because he's completely undisciplined and there's a lot of rich history in terms of his record that Democrats and Republicans and independents are going to be reminded of by either Romney or the Democrats if he does end up being the nominee.
And I think that that is what -- that's the danger of Newt Gingrich. Sometimes Newt Gingrich is his own worst enemy.
COSTELLO: David, of course, all of this isn't lost on Mitt Romney, as I said. He has this new ad out that looks like it is aimed right -- it is aimed right at Gingrich. There is no secret about it. Let's take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have been married to the same woman for 25 -- excuse me, I will get in trouble, for 42 years. I have been in the same church my entire life. I worked at one company for 25 years.
I left that to go off and help save the Olympic games. If I'm president of the United States, I will be true to my family, to my faith, and our country and I will never apologize for the United States of America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: OK. So that looks like a one-two punch to me. Mitt Romney is going to drag out these Republicans who are going to say God, Gingrich is so awful to work with and then he's poking at Gingrich's infidelities, effective?
FRUM: I don't think that's the way to go. The infidelities, although the American public may have forgotten about them, Republican primary voters know all about them. The problem -- I think that -- that ad will look a little bit too I'm perfect than thou.
The real problem for Newt Gingrich among Republicans is Republicans don't like Mitt Romney because he used to be for the health care mandate. So did Gingrich. Republicans have questions about Mitt Romney because Mitt Romney thinks this global warming is real and possibly man-made.
So did Gingrich used to think. Republicans want somebody who can be an effective challenger to President Obama, but when -- back in the '90s when Gingrich was on the -- full public view, he had the highest negatives ever recorded for a political leader.
He was effectively removed. He remained speaker of the House until after the 1998 elections. But he was effectively removed as the top person in that caucus after the 1996 elections when Tom Delay was put in charge because Tom Delay was effective at getting things done for the American people.
That was -- as Maria said that was exactly the problem with Gingrich back in the '90s. He wasn't effective. He lost the government shutdown.
COSTELLO: So why doesn't Mitt Romney point those things out?
FRUM: I don't know. I think -- this is the easy punch to throw, but it is a dangerous punch.
COSTELLO: Let's talk about electability because Chris Christie, very popular, among Republicans especially among Tea Party Republicans. This is what he had to say about Mitt Romney who he has endorsed. This is what Christie said at a rally yesterday. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: He is the only person who I believe can legitimately take the fight to Barack Obama this November. So as Republicans we know we love our party, but I will tell you, that if you are looking for the candidate who agrees with you on everything, buy a mirror.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: OK. So Maria, will Republicans listen?
CARDONA: Well, that's --
COSTELLO: As a Democrat that you are.
CARDONA: Right, exactly. That's going to be the big question. Because the issue with Mitt Romney and we have seen this in some focus groups that have been done amongst Republican voters, is that at their core, they do not like him because they do not trust him.
And the issue with Mitt Romney, we have seen this, you know, that the DNC keeps running ads, and videos pointing all of these out because it is a critical issue if you are looking to elect a commander in chief.
You want somebody that you can trust. Mitt Romney has been on both sides of some of the most major issues that are facing our country. And voters at a very gut level when they go into the voting booth, they want to elect somebody, that, A, they can trust. And Mitt Romney is -- has not been that kind of candidate throughout his political career -- political career. "B," somebody who is positive and optimistic and that they believe is -- is somebody that can lead the country with that optimism. Frankly, Newt Gingrich is not that kind of person.
COSTELLO: OK, what --
CARDONA: And that, I think, is a problem that's facing the Republicans.
COSTELLO: David, I want to you weigh in, too. When you put Newt Gingrich up against President Obama, or Mitt Romney up against President Obama, at this point in time, who has the upper hand?
FRUM: Mitt Romney can beat President Obama and Newt Gingrich can't. Much -- something we tend not to pay enough attention to, be an effective president the day after he takes the office. We're not just choosing a candidate. We are choosing a president. And, you know, I think that Christie had a -- Governor Christie had a great line about the mirror. Mitt Romney has been all over the place on some issues. Gingrich has been to more places on more issues.
Here's the thing people know about Mitt Romney. There are going to be two issues probably facing the next president at home. And they are, one, to get the economy on course and, two, come to some kind of fiscal balance for the country. Anybody who is president will do either of those things. Mitt Romney is opposed to Barack Obama and will emphasize private sector solutions and emphasize spending restraint rather than tax reductions. That's the mix. That's the ballot question.
FRUM: And -- and it is just as clear where Gingrich -- sorry. Mitt Romney will come down on those questions as Newt Gingrich but Mitt Romney's White House won't be a chaos and Newt Gingrich's White House will be a chaos.
COSTELLO: We have to stop the conversation there, sorry. But it has been great.
Thanks to you both.
CARDONA: Thank you. Next time.
COSTELLO: David Frum, Maria Cardona, many thanks.
FRUM: Thank you.
CARDONA: Thank you.
CHO: Still ahead, millions of women use it, but new research shows birth control pills, Yaz and Yasmin, may have a dangerous side effect. Now the FDA is stepping in. Our senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, will weigh in. She will join us in a couple of minutes.
It's 47 minutes after the hour.
CHO: Here is what you need to know to start your day.
Jerry Sandusky in jail this morning but trying to make bail after police arrested the ex-Penn State coach yesterday on child sexual assault charges involving two new accusers.
In Washington, the former head of M.F. Global, Jon Corzine, will go before lawmakers who want to question the former New Jersey governor about the collapse of his brokerage firm. In his prepared statements, Corzine is expected to say he does not know where the missing $1.2 billion in customer money went.
A court in Thailand has sentenced a Thai-born American to two and a half years in prison for insulting the Thai monarchy. It is a charge that could have landed Joe Gordon behind bars for 20 years because the king is highly revered. Gordon's attorney says he plans to file for a royal pardon.
Police on Long Island say they are one step closer to finding the missing woman who sparked the search for a serial killer. Police found the pocketbook belonging to Shannon Gilbert (ph). It was found in the same area where police found the bodies of 10 victims of a suspected serial killer.
Casey Anthony back in civil court today. Attorneys for Zanida Gonzales (ph) will ask a judge to force Anthony to answer all questions asked during her October deposition. Anthony had invoked her Fifth Amendment right 60 times. Gonzales (ph) claims Anthony falsely accused her of kidnapping her daughter, Caylee. You will remember, Antony was acquitted on murder charges in her daughter's death back in July.
It's going to be a cold and wet day for folks on the east coast this morning. Just take a look at that. A storm system is moving from the mid-Atlantic up to New England, bringing with it lots of rain and some heavy snow.
You're caught up on the day's headlines. AMERICAN MORNING is back after this.
CHO: Welcome back. Carol is joining me right now.
COSTELLO: I had to get some tea.
CHO: Thanks for rejoining the program.
CHO: It's 52 minutes after the hour. Time for your "A.M. House Call." Two promising drugs could be a huge breakthrough in breast cancer treatment. A new study found an experimental drug held cancer at bay for an extra six months when given with the standard treatment.
Meantime, another drug typically used for treating patients with kidney or pancreatic cancer slowed breast cancer progression for an extra four months. More than 200,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer every year.
The morning-after pill will not be made available over the counter to young teens. It will stay prescription only for girls under 17. The secretary of Health and Human Services over-ruled an FDA regulation saying more research and data needs to be done on Plan "B" emergency contraceptive. The FDA found the pill to be safe.
COSTELLO: They were marketed as wonder drugs, Yaz and Yasmin, used by hundreds of women across the country. But these two popular birth control bills may have dangerous side effects.
CHO: That's right. Research shows the pills are linked with a higher risk for blood clots so the FDA is stepping in, holding a hearing to talk about these health concerns.
Senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, is live in Atlanta for us.
Elizabeth, what are we learning about the drugs?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: All birth control pills carry an increased risk of getting blood clots. But what we're learning now is that these drugs may be even a higher risk, two to three times higher risk of getting a blood clot than other birth control pills. And I'll tell you, you know, if you didn't see an ad for these drugs, it means you weren't watching much television. These were heavily, heavily marketed drugs. And now some experts are saying that women need to really be attuned to their bodies when they are taking these drugs, Yaz and Yasmin, especially for the first six months. That's when the risk is higher. Pay attention to soreness in legs a pay attention if you feel shortness of breath.
COSTELLO: So why wasn't this known before?
COHEN: Right, that's the million-dollar question, right? Because the companies have to do studies on drugs before they put them on the market. But what happened is Bayer did the studies and, once it got on the market, independent doctors did studies and said, hey, wait a minute, our results don't mesh at all with what Bayer has to say. We're finding that it's a much higher rate of complications. And that's why they are having an FDA hearing to say, gee, why did Bayer find such lower risk of complications than these independent doctors.
CHO: So, Elizabeth, if you're taking this right now, what do you do?
COHEN: You don't panic, is the first thing. If you are concerned, go to your doctor and you think about, wow -- talk to your doctor about whether he or she is concerned and say, is there an alternative. and that's the key here. That's what I want people to remember about this. Just because a drug is advertised on television, does not make it better than its competitors. All it means is that the pharmaceutical company decided to spend a lot of money on it. There are many other forms of birth control pills out there. Be an empowered patient and not get sucked in by advertisings.
And the advertising is beautiful, women running through fields and looking all pretty and everything. I mean, I love watching those, but it doesn't mean that it's a better drug. All it means is that it's a new drug, and new drugs carry higher risk than old drugs. Old drugs have been out forever, right? So, you are -- you know, everyone knows what the side effects are pretty much because millions upon millions of women are taking it.
COSTELLO: But see, Elizabeth --
COHEN: When you see an ad, that means it's new.
COSTELLO: See, Elizabeth, that kind of doesn't make me feel any better because I should have known, through government checks, what Yaz can and cannot do, and what the side effects really are and aren't. It makes me wonder about every drug, every birth control pill that's out there.
COHEN: But here's the difference. When you have a new birth control pill, it's been tested on, let's say, tens of thousands of women or at the most maybe hundreds of thousands of women. When you have a birth control pill that's been out there for decades, millions of women have take taken, so it's a much higher standard, if you will. Millions of women have taken it. And if they haven't seen terrible problems with it, then it's probably a pretty safe drug.
But when it's a new drug --
COSTELLO: Well, thank goodness for the millions of guinea pigs out there.
COHEN: Exactly. Pretty much, that's what it is. That's what it is.
COSTELLO: All right.
CHO: Elizabeth Cohen, thank you so much. Good to see you as always.
COHEN: Thanks. CHO: Sometimes orders don't work between the lines. Sometimes to get noticed, they don't work by the rules. Today, in a preview of our new show, "The Next List," we introduce to you Tristan Eaton, who has grown up since his days as a graffiti artist. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRISTAN EATON, ARTIST: I'm Tristan Eaton. I'm the president and creative director of Thunder Dog Studios. There's a few projects that Thunder Dog has done that are basically the perfect example of what I love about doing commercial art and collaborating with brands.
I was contacted by the Obama campaign, and I ended up creating three posters for the Vote for Change campaign. To be able to be involved formally, to do something official was so just cool because it feels like you're making a piece of history.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: And you can catch "The Next List" each Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Sunday right here on CNN.
CHO: Still to come this morning, my interview with former President Bill Clinton. Hear what he has to say about Newt Gingrich's rise in the polls. That's next.