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CNN Sunday Morning

Romney's Off-Air Comments Posted on YouTube; Bonds Ties Home Run Record

Aired August 05, 2007 - 09:00   ET


VERONICA DE LA CRUZ, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: Good morning to you. It is Sunday, August 5. Good morning from the CNN Center in Atlanta. I'm Veronica de la Cruz, in today for Betty Nguyen.
T.J. HOLMES, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: Good morning you to all. I'm T.J. Holmes. Congress, working on the weekend and they're getting some stuff done. We'll be talking about that and listen to this:


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't like coming on the air and having you go after me and my church and me and my...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not going after -- I agree with your church.

ROMNEY: I know, that's right. But, I'm not running as a Mormon.


HOLMES: Republican presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney saying enough talk about his religion.

DE LA CRUZ: Plus this, clearing the wreckage. We're about an hour away now from an announcement out of Minneapolis.

And this:


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I came from San Francisco to see the Giants play. I saw Barry Bonds tie the home run and, wow, awesome.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm really excited. I was -- I'm glad I was here.


HOLMES: Praise from fans who watched Barry Bonds reach a major milestone. We take a look at his career highs and the lows on this CNN SUNDAY MORNING.

DE LA CRUZ: And we begin this morning with the Minnesota bridge collapse. The next phase of the recovery process is underway. Here's what we know right now. Search teams will begin using sonar equipment to check further upstream and downstream. Up to this point, they focused efforts just around the bridge debris.

The NTSB cleared the bridge scene. State transportation workers can now begin removing cars from the wreckage. NTSB investigators are looking at the north end of the bridge. They now say the large shifts seen on the south end probably didn't contribute to the collapse.

The NTSB is planning a news conference at this hour at 9:00 Eastern and CNN will bring you live coverage of that, of course, that is 10:00 Eastern, at the end of this hour.

Police also released the names of eight people believed to be missing in the collapse.

HOLMES: And they have confirmed five people were killed in the 35W bridge collapse. Later this hour we're talking to a friend of one of the victims, Patrick Holmes, about his life and legacy.

DE LA CRUZ: Well, congress has approved $250 million to rebuild the 35W Bridge in Minneapolis. But that is small potatoes compared to the billions needed to shore up all of the nation's bridges. But, where is that money now? CNN's Jim Acosta takes a closer look.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If you're wondering why America doesn't have enough money to fix its crumbling bridges, critics of government waste say hold on to your hats and take a drive down Interstate 99 through central Pennsylvania.

That's where the federal government has spent $690 million to build Interstate 99, the largest city it will ever serve is Altoona with a population of roughly 50,000 people. The project was spearheaded by former presence Congressman Bud Shuster when he was the chairman of the House Transportation Committee. The state later named it the Bud Shuster Highway.

(on camera): I-99 technically is not an interstate because it never really leaves the state of Pennsylvania. It's actually more of an intrastate, or as one critic described it intra-Bud Shuster's Congressional district.

STEVE ELLIS, TAXPAYERS FOR COMMON SENSE: Essentially, we're deciding what is going to get funded in our infrastructure not on basis of need, but on basis of political muscle.

ACOSTA (voice-over): Steve Ellis is a critic of congressional pet projects known as "earmarks" that are written into transportation bills. He says the Bud Shuster Highway is no different than the so- called bridges to nowhere in Alaska which, if they're ever built, would cost taxpayers close to a half billion dollars. Ellis slams them all as Congressional pork.

ELLIS: There are projects not getting funded that are critically important.

ACOSTA: Today, Pennsylvania has some 5,900 bridges deemed structurally deficient, more than any other state in the country; spans like this one near Scranton are patched time and again. The state's governor, Ed Rendell, is looking to Washington for help.

GOV EDWARD RENDELL(D), PENNSYLVANIA: The American infrastructure is crumbling.

ACOSTA: While Rendell says Congress should eliminate wasteful earmarks, he admits his state has its fair share of Potomac pork.

RENDELL: I'm not a hypocrite, we benefited by having Bud Shuster as the chairman of Transportation and he was awesome in what he did for us, but for the overall country, was that good or right or fair or appropriate? No.

ACOSTA: As we drove down the Bud Shuster Highway, we found it ends just miles from the Bud Shuster By Way, which takes you to the town of Everett, hometown of, you guessed it, Bud Shuster. That's where we caught up with the retired Congressman.

BUD SHUSTER, FMR PA HOUSE TRANSPORTATION CMTE CHAIR: You talk to any of the people here in central Pennsylvania, and they'll tell that you this highway was needed.

ACOSTA: Shuster insists the highway has brought economic development.

(on camera): Wouldn't we have money for the bridges in this state if we didn't have the Bud Shuster Highway?

SHUSTER: Oh, that's ridiculous. That's ridiculous. First of all, you're talking about billions of dollars that are need here and the way you get that billions of dollars is you have to decide that you're going to dedicate more money. And to look at one highway is very simplistic. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

ELLIS: This sort of thing is, unfortunately, will continue to repeat itself until we actually prioritize our funding to where it's actually the most essential.

ACOSTA (voice-over): Essential may be in the eye of the beholder or in Washington, in the holder of power.

Jim Acosta, CNN, Everett, Pennsylvania.


DE LA CRUZ: Are some of America's other bridges in danger of failing? Well, tonight at 8:00 Eastern, Soledad O'Brien and the CNN Special Investigations Unit looks into "Road to Ruin: Are We Safe?" Again that, is tonight at 8:00 Eastern.

HOLMES: Congress, taking care of business in a late night session before taking a break for the rest of August. Lawmakers passed three major bills. President Bush's wiretap bill expands the government's ability to eavesdrop without warrant on foreign suspects communicating in the U.S. Then, there's the record-setting Pentagon budget, it provides nearly $460 billion for defense spending. That measure does not include 2008 funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The House also approved $16 billion in new taxes for oil companies and provided billions in tax breaks and incentives for renewable energy and conservation efforts.

DE LA CRUZ: That eavesdropping bill that T.J. was just talking about was a top priority for the president. For more on what it means for the administration and you, we turn to White House correspond Suzanne Malveaux who joins us now live from Washington.

Suzanne, good morning.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning. What this means to the president and director of National Intelligence, Mike McConnell say that it means now that U.S. has a critical tool to eavesdrop on foreign correspondents without getting a warrant to track potential terrorist plots against the United States, and in doing so, they say our government can better protect the American people during this heightened state of alert this summer.

This revised law of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act allows the government, they say, to listen in on conversation happening overseas even if they go through a U.S. switching center or have some kind of connection to the United States.

A court ruled that earlier this year that was actually illegal that if the government wanted to do that, it first needed to get a warrant.

Now Democrats say along with the American Civil Liberties Union, what this revised law means is that Americans' calls and e-mails that also get run through the U.S. switches could also be subjected to eavesdropping.

The ACLU put out a statement saying this: that there are "No protections exist for Americans whose calls or e-mails are vacuumed up leaving it up to the executive branch to collect, sort, and use this information as it sees fit. It seems that political cover is more important to our senators than the rights and privacy of those they represent."

And some Democrats express deep reservations. And Attorney General Alberto Gonzales who would have the authority along with McConnell to approve the wiretaps with little court oversight. But the administration is trying to convince Americans that there would not be abuse and this revised FISA bill is temporary -- it would expire in six months of the president signing and essentially what it does, Veronica, it gives lawmakers and White House some breathing space to figure out how to modernize this controversial program -- Veronica.

DE LA CRUZ: And a big victory for the president in the meantime. All right, Suzanne Malveaux, nice to see you. Thanks. MALVEAUX: Thanks.

HOLMES: An American al Qaeda member warns of new attacks against the U.S. In a newly released video, Adam Gadahn says U.S. Embassies and American interests are prime targets for terrorist attacks at home and abroad. Authorities say Gadahn grew up in California and later moved to Pakistan. In October he was indicted on charges of treason and offering support for terrorism, but was not captured and he has not been captured. The FBI says it is reviewing the message for clues and leads as it does with all such messages.

DE LA CRUZ: An American soldier has been sentenced to 110 years in prison for his role in the rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and the killings of her family. Jurors at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, convicted Private First Class Jesse Spielman on numerous charges, Friday, including conspiracy to commit rape and four counts of felony murder. He'll be eligible for parole after 10 years.

HOLMES: In Iraq, today, the U.S. military says it killed an al Qaeda in Iraq leader behind attacks on a revered Shiite mosque. Those attacks include a bombing, last year, that sparked sectarian violence. The military says he was killed Thursday in a U.S. operation east of Samarra, but it was just announced today.

Still on Iraq here, a mortar attack targets a gas station in Baghdad. Police say at least 11 people were killed, 15 others wounded. Some were burned by the fuel that burst into flames from that attack.

DE LA CRUZ: Measuring progress in Iraq is one topic, today, on THIS WEEK AT WAR. Join host Tom Foreman, that is today at 1:00 Eastern right here on CNN.

HOLMES: Well, the bomb squad called out near Charleston, South Carolina, overnight, detonating a suspicious device. Police say the device was found in a car during a routine traffic stop for speeding on a highway near Goose Creek. The traffic stop forced a mile-long stretch of U.S. Highway 176 to close last night. It was reopened about 4:00 a.m. Authorities say two men are being held, could face charges of unlawful possession of an explosive device. And according to police, the car was heading away from Goose Creek and a naval weapons station is located there.

DE LA CRUZ: All right, here's what's coming up: Out of the park. Take a look. Where is it? There it is. And -- all right. That's not the one. But anyway, it's out of the park and it's right into the record books. Barry Bonds ties Hank Aaron's home run record, No. 755, T.J.

HOLMES: Oh, but not everybody is happy about this baseball milestone that we are not showing you right now. We're going to show it you to later, though -- Josh.

DE LA CRUZ: It's coming up.

JOSH LEVS, CNN.COM DESK: Hey everybody, Josh Levs here over at the desk. We're going to do that. We're also going to show you how you can weigh in on this big milestone/controversy. And also, you know, a Sunday just isn't a Sunday without that weather report from Reynolds Wolf.

What's up Reynolds?

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Not much. We're seeing really a quiet, quiet morning in many spots of the country in terms of severe weather, but we do have a lot of heat that's going to build over the next couple days and into the work week. I'll give you the full forecast coming up right here on CNN SUNDAY.



ANNOUNCER: Bonds hits it high (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's history in the making. And you just got to watch and you got to cheer. I'm just glad I was here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a record-breaking moment and whether he deserved it or not, I'm glad I was here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I came from San Francisco to see the Giants play. I saw Barry Bonds tie the home run and, wow, awesome.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm really excited. I was -- I'm glad was here.


HOLMES: She was there. Barry Bonds, he broke through.

DE LA CRUZ: And there was the video. There it was, we saw it.

HOLMES: Yeah, we finally saw it. We did see it. That was Barry Bonds who now sharing the throne, he hit home run No. 755, late last night in San Diego.

DE LA CRUZ: And you know, that ties him with Hank Aaron for the most all-time. Now Bonds isn't playing today, so they will stay tied until at least Monday when he's back home in San Francisco.

CNN's Larry Smith takes a look back at the career of the new co- king.


LARRY SMITH, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When he made his major league debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1986, Barry Bonds didn't look like a future home run champion. He hit just 41 homers in his first two years. However, that was one more than home run champ Hank Aaron had managed in his first two seasons in the big leagues. But, Bonds had star written all over him. With a young outfielder in the lineup, the Pirates began winning, capturing three consecutive division titles from 1990 to 1992.

In that last year, Bonds won his second most valuable player award. And he used that cache to land a lucrative free agent contract with the San Francisco Giants. Playing for the franchise from which his father, Bobby, and godfather, Hall of Famer, Willie Mays, had once played, Bonds evolved from a great player to a superstar.

His 34 home runs in his final season in Pittsburgh was a career high. But, in the next dozen years, he would fall short of that total only once.

His biggest year came in 2001 when he hit 73 home runs, shattering the single-season record set by Mark McGwire just three years earlier and becoming the most feared slugger in baseball history.

Shortly after that, his name game linked with the Balco steroids scandal. In grand jury testimony illegally leaked, Bonds allegedly admitted that he may have unknowingly taken performance enhancers known as the "Clear" and the "Cream."

Publicly, Bonds has denied ever using steroids and has never tested positive, though that hasn't quelled the allegations. Even as he stands on the edge of baseball's greatness, a federal grand jury is probing his alleged perjury in the Balco trial. His trainer and childhood friend, Greg Anderson, has been sitting in a jail cell sense November, held in contempt for refusing to testify against Bonds.

Despite the distractions, Bonds is one of the most decorated ball players, ever. His seven Most Valuable Player awards are the most in any sport. He's a 14-time all-star and his defensive prowess won him eight Gold Gloves, and he's the only player ever to hit 500 home runs and steal 500 bases.

Now at 43 years old, he claimed baseball's greatest title for himself and he may not be done. Earlier this year, Bonds expressed a desire to play in 2008 and take a shot at getting 3,000 career hits.

Larry Smith, CNN, Atlanta.


DE LA CRUZ: And we really didn't hear it too much in Larry's piece, all the boos. A lot of people kind of, you know, upset about this whole home run record.

LEVS: Yeah, well those boos have been chasing him for lots of games now, it just keeps happening. And you know, when he's travel, even often when he's at home, you are seeing that.

But, what we've got right now, I want to tell what you is going on, because you can really got some context, history, here. We got the story, the big 755 from last night. Also, you know, our sister site is "Sports Illustrated," it's actually

And you're going to see excerpts from the "Game of Shadows," there, which explores allegations of Bonds using steroids. Also, this is really interesting, "Sports Illustrated" looks at how much money in endorsements Bonds might be losing because of this controversy.

Also now, you can weigh in with your thoughts on this milestone. Just go over to, click on the i-Report link. It asks what's your take on Bonds? And then you can fill that out, send it in. Some of your responses are going to be posted.

You can also send in pictures and videos. Now, here's one that we got of a man watching the game with his dog who apparently is not a very big Bonds fan. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's up. It's Barry.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See him? See Barry? See Barry? See him? Right here. Where is he? Where is he? There's Barry.

Where is he? Yeah.

There you go. Apparently from what we're hearing from the owner of the dog is not any bigger of a bonds fan.



LEVS: Yeah, there you go. So, apparently from what we're hearing from the owner of the dog, is not any bigger of a Bonds fan then the owner, himself.

DE LA CRUZ: Is the dog booing?

LEVS: Supposedly that's the dog's version of booing. When he hears the name Bonds, he barks in an unhappy manner, is what we're told.

So, we're getting your videos and taking a look, we're going to post some of your responses, we're going to share them throughout the day, so keep an eye out for that. Whether you're excited about this, whether you're disappointed, whatever it is, write it. Some of those will be on dot-com.

DE LA CRUZ: All right, good job this weekend on the dot-com desk.

LEVS: Thank you, and I've been filling in for her, just trying to fill her shoes as best I could. So, thank you.

DE LA CRUZ: Well, good job. HOLMES: All right, thanks.

LEVS: You bet.

DE LA CRUZ: Well, you know, it took 31 years for someone to equal Aaron's home run total. But if Bonds does break it, he may not have to wait that long to see the record fall again and that's because A-Rod, Alex Rodriguez, just became the youngest player to hit his 500th home run. And he hit it yesterday.

A-rod is just 32 years old, he's a baby. What, Barry Bonds is 43? At his current pace, Rodriguez would have 885 home runs by the time he's the same age as Barry Bonds is right now. Look out. Look out Barry Bonds.

HOLMES: Might not last long and all this might go away, the controversy, anyway.

DE LA CRUZ: And he's going to be oh, so happy, I'm sure.

HOLMES: All right. Well, we're going to talk about some somebody who wasn't so happy. Campaign heat caught on tape. Presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney gets into it with a radio talk show host over his religion. We'll show you the video just moments away. First, this:


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our interest is in delivering sustainable energy services. So we wanted to build our system from scratch here and train local people here through the process of building, the people would learn how to service them.


DE LA CRUZ: One man's efforts to power a tiny community in Nicaragua. They may make him this morning's "CNN Hero." That's next, keep it right here.


DE LA CRUZ: Well, all this year we are bringing you stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things to impact their communities and the world. And today we introduce you to a 28-year-old using his engineering skills on the isolated coast of Nicaragua. He is shining a light in the darkness. And that's why Mathias Craig is today's "CNN Hero."


MATHIAS CRAIG, BLUE ENERGY: It's very difficult to explain to people how remote it is here on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. It's very remote. There are no roads, essentially, anywhere. So, all transportation is by boat.

Monkey Point has always been an abandoned community. They have a serious energy problem here. In these isolated communities, only the wealthiest people have generators. And most people in the community will never have access to that power source.

My name is Mathias Craig, and I work to bring sustainable energy services to isolated communities.

It's going to be good when we raise it.

We're really based around the wind turbine. And then we have a power system with batteries where we store the energy produced by the windmill.

This converts battery power to alternating current. This is what is being transferred to the school. The school also doubles as a community center.


CRAIG: Our interest is in delivering sustainable energy services, so we wanted to build our system from scratch here and train local people here through the process of building, that people would learn how to service them.


CRAIG: It has a tremendous impact. Any path they choose pretty much requires electricity and clean water. So, by providing one of those basic services, you're opening up a whole a new world of opportunities.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We is living in a historical moment right now, having electricity in Monkey Point is something great to have and in the development in the education level.

CRAIG: My most satisfaction, that I can receive, is really getting a chance to be in the community and see how the energy is being used and seeing the benefit that it provides.


DE LA CRUZ: If you would like to help bring light to hundreds of people along with Mathias' organization, Blue Energy, or you would like to nominate your own hero for special recognition later this year. You can find more information on our Website that is

HOLMES: Want to let you know, as well, that we are awaiting a news conference coming up at the top of the hour from Minneapolis. The national Transportation Safety Board expected to talk about its investigation into that bridge collapse. Expected again at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. We will bring that you to live.

Well, you might have seen this back and forth between two presidential candidates, two Democratic presidential candidates. DE LA CRUZ: Which ones?

The big dogs. Two of the biggest out there. What Barack Obama said that Hillary Clinton pounced on, questioning his experience. We'll be talking about that. And later on CNN:


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had come to the conclusion that I, myself, only -- the thing that I must do is to build on to what my father actually started.


DE LA CRUZ: The organization founded by Martin Luther King, Jr. Turns 50 this week. A special report from CNN's Fredricka Whitfield on the SCLC, its troubled history and its legacy.

Plus, more of the rare interview with Martin Luther King, III. That's coming up to day at 4:00 Eastern only on CNN.


HOLMES: Welcome back, everybody. Good morning to you. Our top story this morning, divers again, will be looking for bodies amid the debris of last week's devastating bridge collapse in Minneapolis.

Tonight, hundreds are expected at an interfaith service to remember the five known people killed and also pray for the missing. Also, people are starting to set up a memorial, starting to leave flowers near the site. We have new video here to show where you people are starting to set up that memorial. These pictures just coming in to us.

But this is somewhere near where the bridge collapse happened. We're starting to see flowers showing up, people leaving flowers and notes to remember those victims.

We are expecting, as well at the top of the hour -- about a half hour -- a news conference from the NTSB expecting an update on their investigation. We will have that for you live when we get it.

Also in South Carolina, bomb experts detonated a suspicious device overnight. And reopened U.S. Highway 176 near Charleston. The device was found in a car during a routine traffic stop for speeding on that highway.

DE LA CRUZ: Some political hot topics to get to this week, generating a lot of talk. Senator Barack Obama feeling some backlash from his "Get Tough on Terrorism" speech. Rivals pounced on his comments about possibly using force in Pakistan and holding a dialogue with dictators.

Also, Mitt Romney, religion and YouTube. The candidate telling an interviewer the focus should not be on his faith. His candid comments found online. HOMES: And we start now with Democratic senator Barack Obama and the political fallout from his "War on Terror" speech on Wednesday. Plenty of talk about that, mostly from Obama's political rivals. This is some of what he had to say.


SEN BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's time to turn page on the diplomacy of tough talk and no action. It's time to turn the page on Washington's conventional wisdom that agreement must be reached before you meet, that talking to other countries is some kind of reward and that presidents can only meet with people who will tell them what they want to hear.


HOLMES: And Amy Walter, a CNN political contributor and editor in chief of "Hotline."

Good morning you to, Miss Walters.

AMY WALTER, HOTLINE: Good morning.

HOLMES: Good to see you. Did this work out for everybody? He got a chance, I guess, gets some, you know, foreign policy chops. And also his opponents got to pounce on him because they say he doesn't know what he is talking about because he's inexperienced.

WALTER: That's right, so the question is, who -- who won and who lost? It really depends, of course, to the campaign strategists who spin it the best. But the reality is this -- look, Barack Obama knows that in order to surpass the frontrunner right now, Hillary Clinton, he has to show that he does have the foreign policy chops, as you said, to be able to prove that he can do the job.

Remember, so much of what voters are looking for right now may not necessarily be the depth of experience. Remember, Hillary Clinton doesn't have the longest tenure in the Senate, it's people like Joe Biden and Chris Dodd who have longer foreign policy experience, but when it comes right down to it, it's the perception of strength.

This is what, if you talk to any Democratic strategist they'll tell you, is what we worry the most come November of 2008 is that voters do not see Democrats as strong enough, as tough enough. And that's what both of these frontrunners were trying to do this week.

HOLMES: So, is that working for them so far? Have we been able to tell? I know it's still early. He made the comment on some of these things not too long ago. So, is there a perception out there now that, OK, maybe he can do this, maybe he's strong enough.

WALTER: I guess we have to wait and see. And where we'll start to get a sense of it is just as we start to see the two candidates start to really put their campaigns together.

Remember, so much of this now is shadowboxing and inside the beltway spinning. They now have to go out and make their case to the voters. We're going to see in Iowa and New Hampshire, we're going to see a couple more debates coming up. Let's see if those sorts of issues start to really come to the fore.

HOLMES: All right. Who benefited, too, the YearlyKos convention? That happened in Chicago. Always these Liberal bloggers got together. It says a lot that so many of the candidates showed up to this thing, says a lot about the power of the blog.

WALTER: It sure does.

HOLMES: But, who came out well? We saw Hillary Clinton get booed at this thing for a time or two. So, who kind of came out on top in that?

WALTER: Well, the question for Hillary Clinton always is not will they love me, but will they not dislike me? OK? That's really what she was going for. She came into, especially a year ago, when the first DailyKos convention began, there was a lot of talk that Hillary Clinton was not a favorite of the Liberal blogger, she was too establishment, she voted for the war. Somebody like Barack Obama seems like a perfect fit, or John Edwards that said I made a mistake in voting for the war.

I think what we saw in this convention was basically that everybody fit into their categories, John Edwards got a great deal of applause with his popular sort of, go get 'em, you know, go get the big guys, I'm standing up for the little guys sort of effort. Going after lobbyists. This was an easy crowd to throw some red meat to on that.

Barack Obama did get a hit in on Hillary Clinton, on the issues of lobbies. But it seemed as if Hillary Clinton stood her ground and really, that's all she needed to be able to do is to show, look, went into front of a particularly not easy crowd for me. I did well, I neutralized this and I can move on.

HOLMES: Throw a little red meat to, I'm not sure how the bloggers would like saying "throw red meat to them." Sounds like a bunch of animals in there.


Just to wrap up on the Democrats here, because we got other stuff, after the break, we're going to talk about. Is anybody making any headway, any inroads in making this more of a two-person race between Clinton and Obama or is it still those, two the clash of the titans and everybody else just falling by the wayside? Is anybody at all showing any signs of life into getting into that, what teams like a two-person race?

WALTER: I know, trying to get into the first tier. I mean, it seems that John Edwards has dropped out of that tier when he looked both at national polling and specific early state polling.

Iowa is the one place, though, where he is still competitive so that is going to be a very key state to see if there really could be more than two people in the mix here depending on the outcome look like in January.

The guy who seems to be gaining some momentum though, clearly not enough to get into the first tier is Bill Richardson. He's been up on TV and making moves in the early states. So, those are, right now, the four that everybody's watching. But it is pretty clear that the top two have a big gulf between them and the other ones.

HOLMES: All right. Amy Walter, we're just getting started. We're going to talk about some Republicans in just a moment, so stick around. And also we're also going to be talking about the power of YouTube in presidential politics. Listen to this.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't like coming on the air and having you go after me and my church and me and my...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not going after -- I agree with your church.

ROMNEY: I know, that's right. But, I'm not running as a Mormon.


DE LA CRUZ: Mitt Romney's off air comments make their way to YouTube. You can hear them here.

Plus, political analysis after this.


HILL HARPER, ACTOR: What defines success is knowing that there's no limit to the possibilities and opportunities that you have. OK? And then acting accordingly.

ANNOUNCER: Playing the part is not only Hill Harper's pursuit, it's also his passion. He stepped onto the acting scene in 1993 for a recurring role on the TV series "Married with Children" and later appeared in films like "He Got Game" and "In Too Deep."

Today Harper plays Dr. Sheldon Hawkes on hit TV show, "CSI New York." And when he's not on set, he uses is fame and fortune to help others in need.

HARPER: Success, to me, is determined by how much you give back. You've to put your money where your mouth is.

ANNOUNCER: Harper donates a portion of the proceeds from his "New York Times" best-selling book "Letters to a Young Brother" to support the Manifest through Destiny Foundation, a nonprofit that was formed to empower males to follow their dreams.

(END VIDEOTAPE) WOLF: Hey all, it's going to be roasting hot day today across many parts of the nation, including Kansas City, Memphis, and Dallas where high temperatures are expected to reach the upper 90s. Another city in the fray, St. Louis, they may get into the century mark before the week is over. We'll talk more about that coming up in just a few moments, right here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.


DE LA CRUZ: Welcome back. Well, you know that running for president is a tough job and sometimes conditioned dates snap back when things get testy. Case in point, Republican Mitt Romney on a radio talk show after about 10 minutes the interview veers into Romney's Mormon faith, particularly its opposition to abortion and how that might affect Romney as president.


ROMNEY: I'm not here to discuss a religion or discuss the principles of religion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I understand. I'm not trying to...

ROMNEY: You know what? I get just as much opportunity to speak as you do, so let me finish my sentence, if you will.


ROMNEY: And that is I'm pro-life. As governor of Massachusetts, I faced issues that came to my desk that relate to life and death and I came down on the side of life. I wrote an op-ed piece in the "Boston Globe" as to why I was life, every decision I took as governor was in favor life.


DE LA CRUZ: All right. So things remained pretty civil while the show was live, but when they went to break, well, take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope we can do this and spend some quality time on the air rather than the sound bites.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't like coming on the air and having you go after me and my church and me and my...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not going after -- I agree with your church.

ROMNEY: I know, that's right. But, I'm not running as a Mormon. And I get a little tired of coming on a show like yours and having it all about Mormons.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See, I don't mind it being about that.

ROMNEY: I do. I do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I agree with the ethics of your church for Pete's sake.

ROMNEY: So do I. So do I.


HOLMES: OK. We got our political analyst, Amy Walter, back.

Taking a look at all of that, what is going to be his bigger issue, getting over folks trying to get over him being a Mormon or the fact that he switched up on the abortion issue? I mean, are both of these -- I guess they're kind of connected. But, what do you see as kind of being the bigger problem here?

WALTER: Well, T.J. I think that is the key question. And quite frankly, I do think that, really, the question in the minds of a lot of Conservatives who right now do not feel like they have a candidate in the race, right now, a Republican who they feel is, you know, their pick, 100 percent comfortable with. I think really the question is where were his positions before? Where does he do now? And can they find a way to, you know, feel comfortable with the Mitt Romney who ran -- who was governor, the Mitt Romney who ran for Senate in 1994 and the Mitt Romney who's running for president right now? I think that is a bigger question for him.

Now, I think that was very interesting the playback between himself and this radio announcer. I think what he's been trying to do, and he's talked about this, too, he has to really go out and defend himself and addressing the Mormon question head on, because it still keeps coming up in interviews, it keeps coming up in town hall meetings and that maybe there's an opportunity for him, much like for JFK when he ran for president in 1962, the Catholic question, head on, that he's going to have to actually do that and move beyond it.

But, I think what this showed here was, I don't know if this was really a detriment to him to look like he's going out and defending himself, defending religion, and defending his position on the abortion issue.

HOLMES: That exactly was going to be my next question. These guys are so scripted, they are so careful, they are so polished all the time and we see mitt Romney in a way that most people are not used to seeing him. He was firing back and he got fired up about it.

WALTER: That's right.

HOLMES: So, people saying this, this is on YouTube. It can't hurt him?

WALTER: Right. I mean you say, well, here's a guy that looks like he's standing up for himself and standing up for his religion. I don't think that that's a problem. The problem is when you get caught on YouTube doing something that goes against what you've been, you know, purporting or what you look like you stand for. If you saw him get into an altercation on some other issue, that would be a totally different, you know, thing that we were talking about right now, but the fact he was going out there looking very, very aggressive and defending himself.

HOLMES: And you mentioned that some Conservatives not exactly excited because they don't necessarily have a candidate who is in the race, well, there may be one on the sidelines. He's a candidate, he might be a candidate, he might not be a candidate. Fred Thompson, what is he doing? Why are we still waiting for this man to become an official candidate? Is this hurting him? Are people just getting Thompson fatigue now? Do something for us, Fred.

WALTER: T.J. you keep asking me all the questions that have two answers. Right, like is this good or is this bad? Mitt Romney, should he worry about this or that? And same with Fred Thompson, you say, well, OK, look, he's got to make up his mind soon. Right? Tick tock. You are running up against people who have a lot of money, they've been on the trail a long time you are going to get -- the more you wait, the scrutiny becomes tougher and tougher, the bar is higher and hard. People are going to have just great expectations about you that you're not going to be able to live up to.

Or do you say, you know what, the longer you wait, the more opportunity for your opponents to trip up, the more opportunity there is to keep the spotlight off you and on to your opponents. So is this a good choice or not? We're not going to know, obviously, until later on.

But look, what we've known thus far is he's been a no announced candidate. And the news this week hasn't been very good. We've learned that his June fund-raising was decent, but he didn't really blow anybody away with the fund-raising he had. We know that his campaign has already had staff turnover. There's talk about the fact that his wife, who is very active in the campaign, and that has created some backlash, there. And so, you know, we're already starting to hear, even before he's gotten into the race, that there's some internal, you know, shake-ups. The question is when you wait this long, how can you -- can you afford to stumble right out of the blocks?

HOLMES: All right. Amy Walter, I will be sure I kind of script my questions a little better for you next time.

WALTER: Yeah, make them easier for me next time.

HOLMES: Yeah, I'll make them a lot easier next time. Amy Walter, it's been a pleasure. Thank you. Good to see you this morning.

And folks, you can watch for the CNN YouTube Republican debate coming up this fall. We'll see if Fred Thompson is in it. Just like the Democrats, Republicans will you're your questions. It will be live, something you certainly don't want to miss, so make sure you look out for that this fall.

DE LA CRUZ: Something you got to do, script out your questions. Something T.J. never does.

HOLMES: I was (INAUDIBLE) Amy didn't appreciate my questions this morning. Sorry, Amy. I'm going to do better next time for her.

DE LA CRUZ: All right, 47 minutes after the hour. we're keeping you informed this morning. The NTSB holding a news conference at the top of the hour on the Minneapolis bridge collapse. We're going to take you there live.


HOLMES: And folks, we're showing you a live picture, there on your left, of a press conference we're expecting to start, right there, in a short time at the top of the hour, really in the next 10 minutes or so from the NTSB, hoping to get that update on their investigation into that bridge collapse. So, when they step to the microphones, we will bring that to you, live.

DE LA CRUZ: Well, police have confirmed the deaths of five people in the Minneapolis bridge collapse and one of them was 36-year- old father of two, Patrick Holmes. Joining us now live from Minneapolis is Doug Amsden, he's a friend of Patrick Holmes.

Thanks so much for joining us, Doug. I know this is a tough time for you. So, we do appreciate it. Tell us how you received the news.


Well, it was kind of a weird story. We actually had a game Wednesday night and about the third or the fourth inning we got -- started getting some news that there was a bridge accident somewhere in the Twin Cities and we really didn't have the specifics as far as what highway it was on. And at the end of the game we walked out of the parking lot and started flipping on the radios and we found out the exact location of the bridge accident.

And then I didn't get word about Pat passing until early Thursday morning. About 6:30 in the morning I got a call from the manager of our amateur baseball team. To get a call from him at that hour of the day is fairly -- was fairly uncommon, so I kind of assumed something was wrong right when I got the call. And I tried to -- before I answered, I was trying to place who I could have thought it would have been, but just couldn't put in anyone. And when he told me what happened, it was a pretty big shock and actually I think most of us are still in shock by the whole thing.

DE LA CRUZ: Tell us, what are your two most vivid memories of your friend? I mean if you could ask people to remember Patrick in a certain way, what would you say?

AMSDEN: I knew him first as a baseball player. I played baseball with him for seven years, I've known him for eight. So first and foremost, I knew him as a baseball player. He was a competitor. He was fiery. He was honest. He spoke his mind. Sometimes you didn't agree with it, but you know, that was Pat. And then in addition to that, he was a great family man. He loved his kids, loved his wife. The baseball team had become a family. The players knew wives, kids, parents, so we were all pretty close. And his kids were always coming to games afterwards they were running around the field. He'd bring -- brought his son to practice. You know, they were out in the outfield catching fly balls after practice he was throwing batting practice to his sons and things like that. So, those are some of the memories I'll have of Pat is just, you know, his love for his family, his love for baseball.

DE LA CRUZ: All right. Doug Amsden, friend of Patrick Holmes who lost his life in this tragic event. Our thoughts and prayers are definitely with you everybody else at this time. Thanks so much, Doug. We appreciate it.

AMSDEN: You're welcome. Thank you.

HOLMES: We do want to turn now and check in with Howard Kurtz. He's in Washington with what's ahead on RELIABLE SOURCES.

Good morning to you, Howard.

HOWARD KURTZ, RELIABLE SOURCES: Good morning, T.J., thanks very much.

Coming up, presidential candidates and 250 reporters flock to a Liberal bloggers convention in Chicago. Is this the new Democratic establishment?

And why John Edwards now running against FOX NEWS?

"Vanity Fair" runs a scathing profile of Judith Giuliani. Is Rudy's third wife fair game? We'll ask the author.

Plus, O.J. sounds off in an obscure Website and asked about his search for the real killers. Give me a break.

That and more ahead on RELIABLE SOURCES.

HOLMES: All right, Howard. How do you really feel? All right, thanks so much, we'll see you here shortly.

DE LA CRUZ: Well, you are looking at a live picture from Minneapolis. There they are, they're setting up the microphones for this press conference. We're standing by for this NTSB news conference, this is on the Minneapolis bridge collapse, as soon as it begins, we will take you there live. Stay with us.



HOLMES: And once again, folks, want to let you know we're awaiting NTSB officials to step to that microphone in Minneapolis, waiting for the update on the bridge collapse --getting an update on their investigation. When they step to those microphones and start to give that update, we will bring that you to live. That is expected to happen shortly. They seem to be -- pretty much have everything just about everything ready to go, so it should happen in just a couple minutes. We'll have that for you when it happens.

DE LA CRUZ: In the meantime, RELIABLE SOURCES with Howard Kurtz is coming up next. Ahead, efforts to recover victims of the Minneapolis bridge collapse from the murky waters of the Mississippi. And like T.J. was just saying, we are just minutes away now from a press conference from the NTSB that is slated to begin at the top of the hour. The latest on the investigation into what caused the deadly collapse.

And on LATE EDITION, Wolf Blitzer on U.S./Afghanistan relations. President Hamid Karzai meets with President Bush, later today, and Wolf has an exclusive interview with President Karzai. But first a check of what is going on in the news, right now.

HOLMES: They are still trying to zero in on the cause of last week's deadly bridge collapse. We might hear more about what they zeroed in on. Like we said, we're awaiting -- the press conference to happen at any moment. They've concluded that nothing on the south end caused the collapse, so they'll shift their attention to the north end. We do believe, again, you've looking at this live picture awaiting NTSB officials to step up to those microphones and begin. They've concluded that nothing on the south end caused the collapse. So they'll shift their attention to the north end, we do believe.

Again, you're looking at this live picture. Awaiting NTSB officials to step up to those microphones and begin a news conference in Minneapolis. As soon as that happens, we will take you to that live.

Also, if you haven't seen this yet, Barry Bonds has tied baseball's all-time home run record. The San Francisco Giant slugger hit his 755th home run in San Diego, tying the record set by hank Aaron in 1974.

The crowd responded with a mixture of cheers, and there certainly were some boos. Bonds has steadfastly denied claims that he has used steroids.

Also Afghan President Hamid Karzai due at Camp David this afternoon. He'll spend the night at the Maryland retreat. This will be the first meeting between President Bush and Karzai in nearly a year.

President Karzai will be a guest on CNN's "LATE EDITION", which begins an hour from now.

We'll have more top stories for you here in 30 minutes. But right now we're going to turn it on over to Howard Kurtz and RELIABLE SOURCES.