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White House Reacts To Syrian Envoy Quitting; Three Commercial Airliners Nearly Collided, Romney, Obama Battle Over Taxes; Segregation By Income Rises; Democrats Warn Of Tea Party Gridlock; Accused Shooter Reportedly Worried Doctor; Accused Shooter reportedly Worried Doctor; Millions of Tourists Test London Transit; Booted Badminton Player Quits Game
Aired August 2, 2012 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Suzanne Malveaux, welcome to the CNN NEWSROOM. This hour, we are focusing on three planes coming close to crashing at Reagan national -- sorry about that, Reagan national airport. We are going to take a look at what went wrong. And Mitt Romney speaking to voters in Colorado, we're going to bring you his speech live. Plus, should the rich shoulder the tax burden or should it be spread evenly among all Americans? Well, that is the battle today as President Obama calls out Romney on his tax plan. I want to get right to it.
Three commercial airliners nearly collided in midair this week, that was over Reagan International Airport. This happened when air traffic controllers were making adjustments during some stormy weather and caused what officials call a miscommunication. Well, the FAA is looking into exactly what happened.
And House Republicans now taking their turn in the back and forth of the Bush era tax cuts. They passed a GOP plan to extend the tax cuts for everyone for one year, most Democrats want to extend them only for families making less than $250,000 a year. Well, Senate minority leader Nancy Pelosi, House speaker John Boehner went before the cameras just a short time ago, neither side showing any sign of budging.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: On December 15, 2010, President Obama said that preventing the tax hikes was necessary to, quote, "help our economy." What's changed? Economic growth is even worse now, and the American people are still asking the question, where are the jobs?
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), MINORITY LEADER: Now, this blueprint for, again, extracting money from the middle-class and giving it to the wealthy in our country. You have to give the Republicans credit, they very clear about their agenda. When they talk about tax cuts for the rich, they talk about rewarding success. What they don't talk about is the tax increase for the middle-class.
(END VIDEO CLIP) MALVEAUX: The battle over your taxes, it's now front and center in the presidential race. Mitt Romney, he's speaking at a campaign rally in Golden, Colorado, that's going to happen in about 15 minutes. He is expected to keep hammering away at President Obama over the economy. But the president says, Romney's tax policies would help wealthy Americans and hurt the middle-class. He points to a study by researchers at the Urban Brookings Tax Policy Center.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They found that if Governor Romney wants to keep his word and pay for this plan of this $5 trillion tax cut, the only way they do it is to cut tax breaks that you middle class families depend on. The home mortgage deduction you use to pay for your home. The health care deduction that your employers use to provide you health care. Some of the tax credits we put in place to send your kids to college. What this means is the average middle class family with children would be hit with a tax increase of more than $2,000.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: Romney's plan calls for 20 percent cuts to the current Bush era tax rates, it would eliminate the alternative minimum tax, and it will limit deductions and exemptions. But Romney hasn't said which ones he would actually eliminate. Now, Romney's campaign, they fired back calling the tax study flawed and biased in the statement spokesman Ryan Williams said, President Obama continues to tout liberal studies calling for more tax hikes and more government spending. We've been down that road before and it's led us to 41 straight months of unemployment above eight percent.
Dan Lothian, he is joining us live from Orlando, that's where the president is going to be campaigning in the next hour. And, Dan, first of all, do we expect the president is going to keep the focus on what he has been talking about here and that is trying to help out the middle-class?
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: He will. The president will continue hammering that message and why? Because the Obama reelection campaign believes that this a message that resonates with the voters. The president has talked often about building this economy from the middle out rather than from the top-down, trying to draw that contrast between his policies and the policies of his opponent, Mitt Romney. So, you'll hear the president talk about that.
The president will also talk about how he continues to push support extending the Bush era tax cuts, but only for those making up to $250 -- incomes up to $250,000 a year. The overarching theme of the campaign continues to be that President Obama is looking out for the middle-class, and Mitt Romney is looking out for the very wealthy. So, that will be the message here today.
At the same time, while Mitt Romney is out in Colorado, he does have a top surrogate here in the Orlando area, Marco Rubio. Senator Rubio is -- held an event not far away from where we are standing where he said, yes, you know, the president did inherit a bad economy, but he made it much worse. He told voters that the president will raise their taxes and then he proclaimed that the Obama presidency has been a, quote, "historic disaster." So, both campaigns fighting very hard for this key battleground state, a state that President Obama, according to the most recent polls, is leading him by six points, Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: And, Dan, there are a couple things that the Romney campaign is pointing out when they talk about the economy, two points, they say that growth has slowed to one and a half percent in the second quarter. And they say that unemployment seems stuck above eight percent. The White House, the campaign, how do they counter that? Do they think that they're vulnerable when it comes to those two points?
LOTHIAN: Well, look, it is a very big concern for the campaign. They'd much rather see the unemployment rate below eight percent, in fact, much lower, but it continues to be at that level. And the way that the president counters that, and you listened to him yesterday when he was in Ohio, he tells voters that he is making progress. He believes that his policies will improve things over time, but that there are no quick fixes. It will take time to turn things around, so that's really how the Obama campaign has been countering it.
But, you know, it's a key issue for voters when they go to the polls. What will be in the back of their minds is, do they have a job? Can they afford to keep their homes? Can they afford the send their kids to college, so the economy is a huge issue. And those job numbers coming out tomorrow, everybody will be watching closely to see, because that could have a big impact on who wins the election, Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: Oh, yes, that's going to be huge. Dan, thank you so much. Good to see you.
A widening gap between the richest and the poorest Americans is now hitting home, literally. We're talking about, according a new Pew research study, neighborhoods are becoming more segregated based on income. The study found that the percentage of upper income households in an affluent neighborhood, that rose from nine percent to 18 percent between 1980 and 2010. Well, at the same time, low-income households located in mostly poor neighborhoods rose from 23 percent to 28 percent. A percentage of mixed income in middle-class neighborhoods shrank from 85 percent to 76 percent.
Tea Party supporters, they are celebrating a victory in the Senate primary runoff in Texas. Newcomer Ted Cruz defeated the candidate backed by the Republican establishment. But Democratic leaders in Congress, they warn that if he wins in November, it will be more gridlock on Capitol Hill. Now, Tea Party backers say just the opposite. Our story from Dana Bash.
DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A GOP Texas upstart with a familiar Tea Party rallying cry. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS CANDIDATE, U.S. SENATE: Millions of Texans, millions of Americans are rising up to reclaim our country to the defend liberty and to restore the constitution.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: 41-year-old first-time candidate Ted Cruz walloped the well-funded Republican establishment candidate in the GOP Senate primary with this promise.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Politicians cut deals. Principled conservatives deliver.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: Democratic leaders warn if Cruz wins in November, gridlock in the Senate will be worse.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. DICK DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: Anyone who elected to the Senate starts off, I won't compromise, isn't going to help us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: The Tea Party is a good foil for Democrats, but the reality is Cruz's vote probably won't make that much difference, because he is replacing Republican Kay Bailey Hutchinson, and she votes with the GOP 90 percent of the time. Still, Democrats do have a point that that Cruz, like any senator, would have a lot of power to grind business to a halt.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DURBIN: You know what the Senate is like. One senator stands up and says no, we stop the train.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: And Cruz wouldn't be the only possible new senator willing to do that. In Indiana, Richard Murdoch beat veteran Republican incumbent Richard Lugar vowing confrontation over compromise.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD MOURDOCK (R), CANDIDATE FOR U.S. SENATE, INDIANA: What I have said is -- and what I continue to believe certainly, is one side or the other must prevail, and I'm hoping this candidacy will help to move the Republican party forward to become a permanent majority.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BASH: And the Senate was already bound to be a more polarized place next year because so many moderates chose to leave. Nearly half a dozen are retiring this year. Still, it's an open question whether the Tea Party rhetoric on the campaign trail translates into action in office. Two years ago, a handful of Tea Party backed senators promised to hold their own leadership's feet to the fire to slash spending, shrink the government and protect civil liberties. But once there, only a few uncompromising demands like Rand Paul on the patriot act.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY): Call your Republican leadership in Washington and tell them you're unhappy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: Jim DeMint is a sort of Tea Party king maker helping candidates across the country including Ted Cruz.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JIM DEMINT (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Ted Cruz comes in and I think he can help empower some of the Democrats to make those hard decisions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: He argues, the more Tea Party backed senators, the less gridlock. Here is why.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEMINT: I think there is enough Democrats, if we have a strong mandate election who will work with people like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and Pat Toomey and these new senators here in a sensible way to change the course of the country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH (on camera): In talking to the Republicans here in the halls of Congress, it's clear that leaders understand, if the GOP retakes control of the Senate next year, that expectations will be a lot higher and pressure will be a lot more intense on the Republican leadership to make good on campaign promises to make the federal government smaller. Dana Bash, CNN, Capitol Hill.
MALVEAUX: Here is what we are working on for this hour.
(voice-over): The psychiatrist who treated the accused movie theater shooter was so alarmed by his behavior, she reportedly notified the campus threat team. We'll look into why James Holmes was never taken into custody before his deadly shooting spree.
Women's gymnastics takes center stage today at the Olympics. I will have some of the highlights.
And we'll take you through exactly what happened on the runway at Reagan International Airport when three planes nearly collided.
MALVEAUX: They were reportedly warning signs that Colorado massacre suspect James Holmes might turn violent. This happened before he allegedly went on the deadly rampage at the movie theater. Our affiliate KMGH says Holmes' psychiatrist, Lynn Fenton, became so worried about Holme's behavior she told colleagues he could potentially be a danger to others. Joining us now is the reporter who broke the story, John Ferrugia. And, John, through your investigative reporting through early June, you found out that it was almost six weeks before the shooting that Dr. Fenton was quite worried about Holmes' behavior. What was it that concerned her?
JOHN FERRUGIA, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, KMGH: Well, Suzanne, we can tell you that he told her something that disturbed her enough that she called members of the threat assessment team, the university's threat assessment team. Now, let me set the time line for you. This is in the first 10 days of June. Our sources, and court documents, say that Holmes was being treated by Dr. Lynn Fenton for several weeks. And on June 7th, and, again, this is the first 10 days of June. On June 7th, Holmes took a preliminary exam, oral exam, and he basically failed it. He was also having trouble getting a mentor to continue in the Ph.D. program, in the neuroscience program, at the University of Colorado.
On that same day, June 7th, after he failed that test, he went out and he bought an AR-15 assault rifle. We also know that in this period, he was also talking to Dr. Fenton. And during this period, he told her something so disturbing that she decided that she had to contact this team, this threat assessment team. Now, we don't know specifically what she told him, but we do know that it involved her concern that he might be a threat to others.
MALVEAUX: And how did the university respond here? Because I know they've got some sort of system that's already set up in place. A threat assessment team.
FERRUGIA: Yes. Dr. Lynne Fenton actually helped form this threat assessment team in 2010 and she is a member of this team. Now, we know that she contacted members of the team in separate conversations and they were discussing at this point whether to convene about the Holmes' matter.
But while they were doing that, on June the 10th, Holmes made it known he was dropping out of school, initiated paperwork to do so. And at that point, the team decided, since he was dropping out of school, they had no control or jurisdiction over him, so the team never convened. At that point, Holmes was gone, the team hadn't convened, and we don't know what happened after that.
MALVEAUX: Now, you actually talked to an expert when it comes to threat assessment who believes that the university didn't do enough. Why do they say that? I mean, was there more that the university should have done at that point since the student had already -- Holmes had already left the campus and left the university?
FERRUGIA: Here's the crux of the matter. We have two tracks here. First we have the threat assessment team and we have Dr. Lynne Fenton. Now she's a psychiatrist. She had an obligation to report something to the police if it got to a certain bar.
FERRUGIA: OK. We don't know whether that information met that bar. We know she went to the threat assessment team, which could have been information far below that bar. What we know is, is that the threat assessment team didn't do -- it did not convene. What experts are saying is, that should have been a huge red flag. That when he left school, that could have been a break -- a mental break. That, in fact, he could have been at the end of his rope. That is the time, they say, when the threat assessment team should have swung into action.
FERRUGIA: Now, on the other side, Suzanne, we don't know -- we don't know if Dr. Fenton continued the treat Holmes or if she referred him to another psychiatrist. That's what we don't know.
MALVEAUX: OK. Still a lot of unanswered questions there. But, John, excellent reporting. We really appreciate this.
Team USA goes for the gold again as the flying squirrel hits the ground running.
MALVEAUX: World class swimmers back in the pool today at the Olympic games in London. Athletes from Bahrain, Iraq and Libya, three of the most turbulent countries in the Middle East, took part in qualifying in the first heat of the men's 100 meter butterfly. Gold medalist Michael Phelps and Chad le Clos of South Africa qualified first and second in the second heat.
On the women's side, American Missy Franklin posted the fastest time in the qualifying heat for the 200 meter backstroke. While Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry, who won gold in the past two Olympics, qualified third.
And, spoiler alert. Cover your ears now if you don't want to hear this, all right. Just moments ago, American gymnast Gabby Douglas captured the gold in the women's all-around competition. You remember, of course, Raisman and Douglas helped the American team win gold for the first time in 16 years. Way to go!
And before the Olympic games, a lot of talk about London's mass transit. Whether or not it could handle all the Olympic tourists. Well, CNN's Phil Han headed to a major subway station to find out.
PHIL HAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I am here at Oxford Circus Station, normally one of the busiest underground stations in central London. But I'm going to test out the underground system and head over to Olympic Park. I've got my tickets here. And let's see just how good or how bad the transport system is holding up. Let's head on in.
Well, it's been about 12 minutes since we left Oxford Circus and we're here on the Central Line at Liverpool Street Station.
You've been traveling this line for a couple of days now. How have you found it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I started traveling here on Monday. And it's very, very -- it gives access to the whole entire city. It's so useful. Out of all the lines, I definitely use this one the most.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is very manageable. It should be much fuller, though, if you think about how many people are intended to come to London for the Olympics.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's been quite good, you know. There's no -- there haven't been many delays or any strikes. So people can get from one place to another quite easily. Yes, I think that it's been quite good so far.
HAN: Well, that is the exit point for Stratford Station. We're nearly at Olympic Park. We had to walk through a couple of underground tunnels to get to this point. But as you can see behind me, there's a pretty steady stream of people coming through the gates and now it's my turn to head down to the (INAUDIBLE) finals.
MALVEAUX: There is more fallout today from the badminton scandal at the Olympics. One of the Chinese players disqualified from the games for trying to lose now says she's quitting the sport entirely. She's accusing the badminton association -- the governing body, rather, of ruining her dreams. Yu Yang, she wrote this in her micro blog. "Farewell Badminton Federation, farewell my beloved badminton." Earlier Yang apologized to her fans for failing to, quote, abide by the Olympic spirit." Zain Verjee is live in London's Olympic Park.
Wow, who knew badminton was so controversial. What -- I mean, how are people responding to this?
ZAIN VERJEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And so emotional too. I mean there's really a debate here. You know, this is someone whose whole life had been badminton, you know? Like she has -- she had dreamed it, breathed it, eaten it, you know, for her whole life. And this was her goal. She was finally here at the pinnacle and this is what's happened.
One of the interesting things that people are talking about, Suzanne, is basically, they're wondering now whether the coaches are the ones that instructed the players to just throw the matches, right? So the coaches have apologized, the players have apologized. But one other area that's also being raised is the thing that was different about this badminton tournament was that the officials decided to make it a round robin, which meant that, you know, if you lose, you're not automatically booted out. So it allowed this room for maneuver. So the question is, why didn't those officials even think that this kind of thing may happen?
MALVEAUX: Do those coaches, could they be held responsible as well or are they pretty much in the clear?
VERJEE: They could be held responsible. I mean there's a strong possibility that they will be both investigated by the badminton governing body, as well as by their own national team. So they're not off the hook.
MALVEAUX: Are folks talking about that over there, Zain?
VERJEE: Yes, they're talking about it and they're saying, gosh, we never -- we never knew badminton could get so much attention, because it never normally does. They're talking about it. Mostly the fans are annoyed and saying they want their money back.
MALVEAUX: Oh, OK. I know a lot of people were thinking, badminton, an Olympic sport, who knew? Didn't even realize that so much.
MALVEAUX: But now a lot of attention to badminton.
Talk a little bit about women's gymnastics. It's happening now. It's OK if you want a -- spoiler alert -- give us some winners, because I know the Americans are doing pretty good.
VERJEE: Spoiler alert. Spoiler alert. OK. Yes, Gabby is actually at the top of the leaderboard. She's doing really well. She's just managing to keep off that Russian gymnast at bay.
MALVEAUX: Woo-hoo. All right.
VERJEE: Aly is fourth. Yes, woo-hoo, right, right. Aly is fourth. But, still, you know, the U.S. is performing pretty well. They've still got a while to go. And don't forget, too, Suzanne, the U.S. in the individual all-arounds women's gymnastics won gold twice in both the previous Olympics. So we'll keep our fingers crossed.
MALVEAUX: And I'm getting a little birdie in my ear saying actually I think Gabby -- she actually won. That's what we're hearing. Does she even mind being called the flying squirrel, though? Do you have any sense of why she ever got that name in the first place? The flying squirrel, she's doing a great job, but, you know, I don't know how that happened?
VERJEE: Well, I mean, you know, the flying squirrel, it's a compliment, you know. I'm sure she doesn't mind. It just -- it mean she's deft, she's nibble, she's fast, she's amazing in the air, you know. It's all positive, I think, you know. And to get a good nickname out of it, I think is worth it. Aly, on the other hand, needs a nickname. What do you think? Maybe the magical maneuver or something.
MALVEAUX: Yes. Something better than the flying squirrel.
How is the swimming coming along? How's Michael Phelps? Is there anything else that's popping right now?
VERJEE: Well, everyone is just waiting for this epic, this historic, this great rivalry in American swimming. Michael Phelps versus Ryan Lochte, part two. It's must-see TV. And you can't see it live, Suzanne, but we can in just a few hours. Really, like a lot of people are just talking about, you know, what is going to happen? You know, whose got the faster underwater kick? You know, who can make the quickest turn? Who is stronger in which stroke? And the bottom line is, is that Michael Phelps did come forth, Ryan Lochte beat him the last time the two of them swam together, but if Michael Phelps wins this, he will make history yet again, Suzanne, because he --
VERJEE: That would make him the only Olympic athlete to win three consecutive races in three different Olympics. So that's over a period of 12 years.
But you know what the good thing is about this rivalry is, that you kind of need a great rival to push you to be the best you can possibly be. So in a way they kind of need each other to perform at their very best.
MALVEAUX: Yes. It's pretty awesome. OK, two hours, you'll be sending out a tweet, let us know who actually gets it. I'll be following you, OK, Zain?
VERJEE: All right. I will.
The man who has been chosen to deliver the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention is only 37 years old. He is the first Hispanic ever to deliver that address. We're going to tell you more about him.
And, don't forget, you can watch CNN live on your computer while you're at work. Head to cnn.com/tv.
MALVEAUX: A controversial abortion law in Arizona is not going to go into effect as planned. The law would have made most abortions after 20 week of pregnancy illegal. It was scheduled to take effect today but a federal appeals court has put it on hold until other legal challenges determine whether that law is constitutional.
A steel beam signed by President Obama and the governors of New York and New Jersey is being raised at the site of the new World Trade Center. It is going to rest on the 104th floor of the newly called One World Trade Center. A massive crane helped hoisted the beam into place. The president and Mrs. Obama signed it on June 14th. And the president wrote, we remember, "We remember, we rebuilt, and we will come back stronger."
And a young mayor will take center stage in the U.S. Democratic convention in September. Julian Castro, who is the mayor of San Antonio, Texas, will give the keynote speech.
It is a major opportunity for Castro and, as Rafael Romo shows us, it is also a gesture to a very important voting bloc before November's election.
JULIAN CASTRO, (D), MAYOR OF SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS & KEYNOTE SPEAKER AT DNC: Hey, everybody. I'm Julian Castro.
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): It is a golden opportunity for Julian Castro, who is only 37 years old.
ROMO: The mayor of San Antonio was selected this week to deliver the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in September, the first Hispanic to do so.
CASTRO: It's a real honor to get to speak on behalf of re- electing President Obama. I believe he has done a terrific job for the United States, considering where we were when he started and where we are now.
ROMO: But being the mayor of the seventh most populous city in America and a young charismatic Latino leader may not be enough.
CASTRO: I know I have big shoes to fill. Two years ago, the keynote speaker was a guy named Barack Obama.
ROMO: Analysts say there will be pressure on him to deliver a homerun.
JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC POLITICAL STRATEGIST: He will have this problem. Expectations for him will be sky high. He looks like the man who can meet the expectations, but no one is coming into the thing expecting an OK speech.
ROMO: Castro, who is also the youngest mayor of a major American city, has shown before he is media savvy. When basketball star, Charles Barkley, suggested that San Antonio had more than its share of overweight women, instead of demanding an apology, Castro fired back with this video that went viral.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CASTRO: We have four NBA championship rings and on the way to the fifth, and you -- OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMO (on camera): Obama has honored Castro before. The president has selected Castro to sit with the first lady at this year's State of the Union address just weeks after San Antonio, was ranked the top performing local economy by the Milkin Institute. The Obama campaign also named Castro co-chairman.
(voice-over): Castro, a graduate of Stanford and Harvard Law School, says he is a strong believer in affirmative action, is a policy that gave him and his identical twin brother, Joaquin, the opportunity to attend two of the most prestigious colleges in the world.
After alienating some Latinos with massive deportations, the president is trying to court a voting bloc that heavily favored him in 2008.
MALVEAUX: Rafael joins us now.
And a lot of people don't know the mayor. I have relatives in San Antonio and they know who this man is. But he does not have a big national footprint if you will. Tell us who he is and what impact this might have for him?
ROMO: Well, he has one of the only-in-America kind of stories. His mother ran for the city council at a time when it was difficult for the Hispanics to enter politics. His grandmother came from Mexico when she was 6 after becoming an orphan, and never had anything more than a third-grade education, worked as a cook and maid and babysitter. So it is incredible that in only two generations you go from poverty to having two children who went to Stanford and also he graduated from Harvard Law School, together with his brother, Joaquin. So that is probably one of the reasons. He has also been a successful mayor and that's probably one of the reasons he was selected.
MALVEAUX: He is young. Are people looking at him as a future presidential candidate perhaps?
ROMO: Well, he is a star in the Democratic Party. He, as you said, very young. He was in the late 20s when he successfully ran for city council in San Antonio.
But when you take a look at the big picture, it is probably too early to tell which way he will go. You would probably want to have him have more experience in maybe the governor's office or run for the Senate. His brother is running, apparently, a good chance of winning the 20th Congressional district in Texas. So both brothers are very involved in politics and also very successful as well.
MALVEAUX: And he is very different than Marco Rubio, who the Republicans have pushed out there as someone representing the Hispanic community.
ROMO: He has aligned himself with the Democratic Party. He supports things like affirmative action. Also, he says that he benefitted from affirmative action. Also, he has a more liberal stance when it comes to immigration.
And when you look at the numbers and the fact that President Obama won the election in 2008 with 67 percent of the Latino vote, it is easy to tell why he was selected, because President Obama's trying to court the Latino voting bloc.
MALVEAUX: Thank you, Rafael. Good to see you again.
Mitt Romney breaking another record on campaign spending. We will tell you what it is.
MALVEAUX: Mitt Romney on the campaign trail in Colorado right now. It is one of the swing states that could make or break the presidential race. Romney is reaching out to middle class Americans. He is also firing back against claims by President Obama that his policies are going to hurt the middle class.
Paul Steinhauser is joining us live from D.C.
Paul, the economy is a key issue for both of the campaigns, as well as the voters. Tell us about Romney's strategy, how he believes and how the campaign believes this is playing out when we have just weeks away from the election.
PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN DEPUTY POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, you got it. 96 days and counting now. that is part of the Romney strategy to portray him as a friend of the middle class and say that President Obama's policies over the last three a half years have made the economy worse for the middle class. And the middle class has lost jobs.
Live of pictures in Golden, Colorado, Suzanne. That's where you will probably hear Mitt Romney say, in suburban Denver there, as he takes to the podium in this --, as you mentioned, crucial battleground state, that Barack Obama won four years ago, that he turned from the Republican to Democratic camp.
Romney campaign out with a new campaign ad this morning in Florida. That is where President Obama is later this hour, and next hour campaigning. And in that ad, again, the Romney campaign talks about the tough economy and how it has hurt the middle class. And the Romney campaign is touting they will have 24 events across the country in the next two days, saying they are friends of the middle class. This is to counter the Obama's campaign claims, and especially when he says that Romney's tax plan would only benefit the rich and not the middle class.
Well, what do the polls say? This is a Gallup/"USA Today" poll, which asks who is better in touch with Americans and the daily struggles, who can better relate to them. According to the poll, and others, it indicates that the president has the upper hand. So crucial when it comes to the middle class. Those votes will determine who win in November -- Suzanne?
MALVEAUX: And, Paul, we have seen an extraordinary amount of money spent on the presidential race. Romney and the supporters spending a record number, especially in the key battleground states. How much money has come out to? How much are we talking about? And what is the point where this is really -- there is a diminishing return on all of this that is being thrown out there?
STEINHAUSER: Well, I was just on vacation the last week and I was able to take a couple of days off in New Hampshire where my relatives live. That's a battleground state. Suzanne, when I turned on the TV, all I saw was campaign ads. You will be inundated with them in those states. But if you don't live there, you won't see them at all.
Talking about the money, the Republican National Committee and the Romney campaign announcing yesterday they're going to go up with $8.2 million worth of ads in the next week. Mind boggling numbers. We're seeing them on both sides, Suzanne.
And the difference of this time than last cycle, it is starting earlier this time. We are a month away from the conventions, but they have been flooding the airwaves in the battleground states. The Obama campaign has been out spending the Romney campaign by about 3:1. But, Suzanne, when you factor in the super PACs and other independent groups, it levels out the playing field -- Suzanne?
MALVEAUX: A heck of a lot of money.
STEINHAUSER: Oh, yes.
MALVEAUX: Good to see you.
The pressure is one for one man. Can one man save the Euro? His sole job is to make sure that the European currency does not collapse. He sent out markets into a tailspin, but can he make good on his promise?
MALVEAUX: Chick-fil-A has confirmed reports that yesterday was a record-setting sales day. Two weeks ago, the company's president, as you may recall, set off a firestorm of controversy when he announced his opposition to gay marriage. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee called on folks to show support by buying food at Chick-fil- A. He dubbed it Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. Apparently, people showed up, and it worked.
It has been a big week for the world's central banks with both the Federal Reserve and the U.S. and the European Central Bank handing down key policy statements. The ECB today failed to give concrete plans to deal with the region's debt crisis. Investors, quite frankly, are not happy with this.
I want to bring in Alison Kosik standing by at the New York Stock Exchange.
Alison, first of all, did folks expect that they were going to get something, some stimulus today? Was it a big disappointment?
ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it was a huge disappointment, because Wall Street did expect some grand announcement from the ECB. What you are seeing play out on the board today, all of the red with the Dow falling 154 points, is just this disappointment over a lack of commitment both with the Fed and the Fed equivalent in Europe, the ECB. This is after ECB president, Mario Draghi, spoke big last week, saying that the central bank there would do whatever it takes to protect the Euro. But in the decision today, it didn't put any action behind the words. And instead, said that ECB would get the plans together over the coming weeks. That took the wind out of Wall Street's sails. It was hoping for immediate action.
Europe is a big deal here to the U.S., because what happens in Europe impacts the economy here in the U.S. It can boost it or pull it down, like what we have seen from the earnings of General Motors and FedEx and McDonald's. All of these companies are getting hit by the slowdown in Europe.
The problem is that we are hearing the same thing from the U.S. Fed. The U.S. Fed did not announce any stimulus plans yet. All of the central banks are in a wait-and-see mode. All combined, you see the Dow is down 154 point points on this big fat disappointment -- Suzanne?
MALVEAUX: We're also hearing about a survey of American workers looking at getting a pay raise next year, about 3 percent on average. Is there any truth that most companies are actually going to be giving out raises next year?
KOSIK: Well, you are hoping that the bosses are hearing this, right?
This is according to a survey done by Mercer, which is a consulting firm. And what this consulting firm did was to survey 1,500 mid to large-sized businesses. And it found out that most all of them, about 95 percent plan to give raises next year. But the size that you would get depends on the type of employee you are considered. Look at this. The survey found that, if you are a top performer, you can expect a 4.5 percent raise next year. If you are more of an average worker, which makes up the biggest chunk of the workforce, you can get an increase of 2.5 percent. And if you are a weak performer, an increase of 0.1 percent.
Companies also know this base pay is part of the equation if they want to keep their best employees. Mercer says many companies plan to keep offering extra perks like signing bonuses and cash rewards and bonuses for hitting certain targets.
In the current economic climate, a lot of the things are a cherry on the top. With the unemployment rate sitting at 8.2 percent, 13 million Americans out of work, Suzanne, many people are just happy to have a job -- Suzanne?
MALVEAUX: You are a top performer. Let's hope that the bosses are watching.
MALVEAUX: Let's hope it happens for us.
OK, thanks, Alison.
KOSIK: We will show them the tape.
MALVEAUX: Thanks, Alison.
Well, not one, not two, but three airplanes narrowly missing each other over Ronald Reagan International Airport in D.C. Our Chad Myers explains how this happened and if it could happen again.
MALVEAUX: Ever had an idea to invent something, just didn't know how to go about doing it? A new web site lets you bring those ideas to the table. And if they're the actually good enough, the site's going to test them and make them a reality. Here's the founder in this week's "Next List."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's human nature to invent, right? It's human nature to try to make your life better. It's human nature to try to make the world around you a better place. And what stops people to actually do that and to execute on all those ideas. It's really freaking hard. Good ideas should find their ways on to shelves because they're the ideas of people with the right luck or circumstance. They should find their ways on to shelves because they're just great ideas. That's it. Plain and simple.
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MALVEAUX: I want to go directly to Golden, Colorado. That is where presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, is now speaking. Let's listen in.
(BEGIN LIVE FEED)
MITT ROMNEY, (R), FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR & PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I appreciate -- we have a person running right here. We have Joe Coors (ph) here, running for Congress. Everybody knows Joe.
ROMNEY: And how about Missy Franklin, huh? Isn't that something?
ROMNEY: Wow. Isn't that something?
ROMNEY: That is really exciting. Just a Colorado girl with a big heart.
I met another Colorado girl with a big heart this morning. He name is Mikalah Hicks (ph). You don't Mikalah (ph), but she was involved in that terrible shooting in Aurora. She was hit by a bullet. She was in the theater next door to the most terrible one. And the bullet went into her mouth and took out some teeth and part of her jaw. But she is here and doing well.
I guess -- I guess maybe, by applause, we show how united we are with the tragedy of those people, how much we love them, how much we care for them.
ROMNEY: Our -- I'm sure you know this. I mean, this tragedy has impacted the community of Aurora. I'm sure it's impacted the entire state. The trauma here has got to be extraordinary. But across the country, people are thinking about Aurora and the tragedy there and the lives that have been lost and lives changed forever. We love you and we pray for you. You're in our hearts and you're in our prayers.
Today, I come to talk about making things better.
ROMNEY: And I'm going to start off with a bit of a report card. Some of you have been handed a little piece of paper here. If you haven't gotten that, you will. And I see some people opening these things up. I'm going to talk about that in a minute. You don't need to open it up yet.
But we're going to talk about that, because ever since we were in elementary school, we had report cards. And you saw on the report card, how you were doing. When I was younger, they used to give us "A," "B", "C," "D," "E," F. And then later, they would just say, he's doing well or not so well or he could do better. We got a little soft in the grading. But I'm going to be a little more straight forward with the grading today because, when the president was here as a candidate, accepting the nomination four years ago in Colorado, he laid out the report card on which he hoped to be judged by. And in this speech he said, look, I can tell you how we measure success and we measure progress. And he went through one by one the things he would use to evaluate whether he was making progress or not.
He said, number one, I can judge progress by how many people find a job.
Now, on that basis, we haven't seen what we would have hoped to have seen. Because, in fact, we have fewer jobs that have been created. We have 23 million Americans today that are out of work or underemployed, people who have pulled out of the workforce. 23 million. And of those technically unemployed by the Bureau of Labor statistics numbers, it's still above 8 percent. He said he would hold unemployment below 8 percent. It has not been below 8 percent for 41 straight months. That's the longest period in American history. And so the president has been unsuccessful in his number-one objective, as laid out by his own measure.
Then there was the next one. He said, we're going to see how many jobs we have that can pay for a good mortgage. Then we've seen record numbers of foreclosures. And, of course, home prices that are down.
He said one more thing. He's going to judge success by what happens to average family income. Well, that's gone down. Did you know the average family in America has seen their income go down by $4,000 over the last three and a half years?
Now, in another measure, he said I'll measure success by whether someone who has a good idea will go out and start a business.
Yes. Yes, I hope he understands that actually the people that have a good idea and start a business are the ones who actually build the business.
ROMNEY: We're at a 30-year low in the number of business start- ups that have occurred. A 30-year low. Perhaps because he thinks government is the one that helps build businesses as opposed to people we're seeing that kind of result.
And then one more. A little later he said this. He said he was going to cut the deficit in half. You know, it's -- it's sad. I mean, it's just extraordinary to have someone go out and make those kinds of promises and not be able to deliver on them. I've got a little report card here and it shows his report card. If you look on there with the arrows, you'll look at it, it says there, "jobs." And on the far left, the Obama record, it has there a little downward arrow, a little red arrow, all right. Jobs. Those -- we have fewer jobs under President Obama.
Then there's unemployed and underemployed. That's gone up. That's in red because that's a bad direction. Then we have the unemployment rate. That's bad too. That's why that's in red. Then we have home prices. They've gone down. That's in red too. Then we have the budget deficit. That's gone up. That's in red. And then finally we have family income. That's gone down. All measures he laid out are measures that have gone in the wrong direction.
Now, when I got elected governor of my state, I had -- the people I was traveling with, I said, I want you to write down all the things I've promised during my campaign. All the things I said I'd fight to try and do. Now, I had a legislature that was 87 percent Democrat, and so I knew that not all the things I wanted to do would get passed, but I'd get as many passed as I could and I'd fight for all of them. And I put that -- I said to the people who traveled with me, would you please right down all the promises I made during the campaign. And I entered a few more in my inaugural speech and the state of the state address. So we ended up with 100 promises. And halfway through my term as governor, I actually --
(END LIVE FEED)