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CNN SUNDAY MORNING
Showdown Looms in Syria; Candidates Hit the Trail; Mars Rover Landing
Aired August 5, 2012 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): From CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, this is CNN SUNDAY MORNING.
One hundred million miles, $2.6 billion, NASA's Curiosity rover expected to land on Mars tonight.
Plus, later --
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Is she allowed to have a boyfriend?
RUDY SILVA, COACH: No.
O'BRIEN: Is she allowed to party on the weekends?
O'BRIEN: Is he allowed to take a few days off and not train when she's worn out?
KAYE: A lifetime of sacrifices may lead to a necklace of gold. But regardless of performance, three American boxers will make history in London just by showing up.
All the pomp but none of the pressure. Want to know the best job in the country? We'll have one comedian's take.
KAYE: Good morning, everyone. I'm Randi Kaye. It's 8:00 on the East Coast, 5:00 a.m. out West. Thanks for starting your morning with us.
We begin in Syria where rebels are bracing for what could be a final showdown with the government military. The rebels say at least two columns of heavily armed government troops are advancing on the Syria's biggest city of Aleppo.
Warplanes and tanks have been pounding the commercial hub relentlessly. Opposition fighters say they have surrounded Aleppo's highest point, where regime forces are already in the city are holed up.
Senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman is in Syria.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Clearly, the Syrians far outgun the rebels. And the concern is that we are really on the verge of a major government counteroffensive to win back control of Aleppo, Syria's biggest city, and its commercial hub. Of course, the concern among Syrian officials in Damascus is that if Aleppo falls, that's really the end of the game.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: The fighting is forcing a surprise move by Hillary Clinton. The secretary of state now plans to go to Turkey next weekend for talks on the escalating crisis in neighboring Syria.
To Oklahoma now where firefighters are renewing their efforts to stop fast-moving wildfires. Their main goal is to try and save homes. More than 100 homes have been burned so far, and many more are being threatened. It's led people to do whatever they can to try and save all they own.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our water wouldn't come on. The electricity is off. And I took my shirt off and just started hitting the flames around my house where the grass is short.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: (AUDIO GAP) is being fueled by the ongoing drought, the lack of rain, and soaring temperatures have caused a perfect storm for the fires. There was a little rain yesterday, but not enough to really help out those firefighters.
In legal news, reports that Jared Lee Loughner may plead guilty in the shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. "The Los Angeles Times" and "Wall Street Journal" both report that Loughner will enter a plea on Tuesday. He was originally ruled mentally incompetent to stand trial but has been receiving treatment.
Loughner is blamed in the attack in Arizona last year that killed six and wounded 13 others in a Tucson, Arizona, parking lot. People had gathered for a meet and greet with Congresswoman Giffords. She was among those wounded. Giffords is recovering but retired from Congress earlier this year.
The U.S. attorney's office tells CNN that they can't confirm or deny reports on a possible plea.
To politics now, and the question on everyone's lips -- hey, Mitt, who's it going to be? Who are you picking as vice president? So, is he finally ready to reveal the name? Here is CNN political editor Paul Steinhauser.
PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: Hey. Good morning, Randi.
All eyes will be on Mitt Romney this week for hints on whom he'll choose as his running mate. So far he's not talking.
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will absolutely decide and announce my running mate before the third day of the Republican convention in August. But other that, I have nothing for you.
STEINHAUSER: The Republican presidential challenger campaigns in Iowa Tuesday and Wednesday. Friday, he kicks off a four-day bus tour through three other battleground states -- Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida.
It's also a busy campaign week for President Obama. He fundraises tomorrow in Connecticut and reaches out to voters in the crucial swing state of Colorado later in the week -- Randi.
KAYE: Paul, thank you very much.
President Obama is getting some Hollywood help on the campaign trail. Actress Eva Longoria attended an Obama for Women rally in Miami. She was also sporting a Hispanics for Obama pin. She talked with local reporters about why she's chosen to back President Obama.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EVA LONGORIA, ACTRESS: I don't like the direction in which it would turn if Mitt Romney was president. He does not represent what I value as American values. You know, President Obama just reflects the America that I want to see.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: But don't feel badly for Mitt Romney. He added his own celebrity endorser this weekend. Academy Award winner Clint Eastwood, who said he was backing Governor Romney because the country needs a, quote, "boost".
Now to the Olympics and all the action in London today. For women boxers, it is a day that's been several years in the making and now they will take their place among the world's greatest athletes in London. That's where we find Alex Thomas. He is at the Olympic Park this morning.
Alex, good morning.
This is a milestone. I mean, how did it come about, and what do you think we can expect to see over the next few days?
ALEX THOMAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It came about simply because equality is as much a watch word of modern sports, as it is in any modern Western democracy and the IOC, the International Olympic Committee, who run the games, simply have to balance international pressure when people pointed out four years ago in Beijing that, hey, the men get to box. The women don't. And actually women's boxing was not in the original program for London 2012, but it was included in a landmark decision in 2009.
So women have had three years to train for this. And it's a five-day tournament. And 36 fighters have come to London in 2012 from 23 different countries to contest three different weight divisions -- lightweight, flyweight, and middleweight. And it is an historic occasion for the Olympics.
KAYE: I'm going to ask you about tennis in just a second, but let's talk track and field, where today, South African Oscar Pistorius will continue his historic run in the games.
THOMAS: Yes. Oscar Pistorius, known as the "Blade Runner", the fastest man with no legs is another nickname that he doesn't mind. The first amputee to compete at the Olympic Games. And we celebrated yesterday when he got through to the semifinals. And that's what we'll be racing on later on today. He'll have to run a lifetime best at least to get through to the final.
We had huge storms in the area recently. If that happens again, rain tonight, that could be a problem for Oscar because his blades touch the surface in a very small surface area. It's one of the disadvantages to having blades. Controversy that some might argue he has an advantage. But we all wish Oscar well as he is also making Olympic history.
KAYE: Yes, and a lot of people waiting for the rematch today between British -- between Andy Murray, of course, and Roger Federer. He is getting his second chance at Federer. So what do you think? How is he looking?
THOMAS: Absolutely. Well, I forgot to mention the men's 100 meters final as well later. Fastest man on the planet, Usain Bolt, looking forward to that as we are the tennis, which starts in -- well, less than an hour's time.
Roger Federer against Andy Murray, the same two tennis players who contested the Wimbledon championships just last month. They are back at Wimbledon again because that's hosting the Olympic tennis for men.
Going for men's gold, Federer might be the most successful player in men's tennis, but he's never won an individual men's gold. He won the doubles four years ago. Murray is not only going for that title to try and beat Federer to the gold medal. He is also going for the gold in the mixed doubles with British teammate Laura Robson. So an exciting day on the other side of the London.
KAYE: Yes, wouldn't it be something for Andy Murray to take it there in London?
Alex Thomas, thank you so much. Nice to see you.
Looking for life on Mars. NASA is closer to getting answers as the Curiosity rover closes in on the Red Planet. We'll check out how they're pulling off this incredible mission.
KAYE: Good morning to our viewers in Atlanta. Thanks for starting your day with CNN SUNDAY MORNING.
It is an exciting time for NASA scientists, or really anyone who's ever looked into the sky and wondered if there is life on other planets. That's because the Curiosity rover is close to reaching Mars, where it will search for signs of life.
And Chad Myers is with us this morning to talk more about this.
All right. So, let me get this straight -- eight months in space, 354 million miles travelled.
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Right.
KAYE: And $2.5 billion spent on this thing. This has to go right.
MYERS: And it's not the first Mars rover that may not get it right there. You know, I mean, there have been others that have bounced around and not really landed correctly. But this is a major milestone in history here for us.
We will -- I am convinced -- it's not if we find some type of life on Mars. We will find not maybe living, maybe it lived a billion years ago -- you know, that idea. But with this rover, we are going to find something.
But it's not without their terror, their seven minutes or 14 minutes, depending on how you want to add it all up.
There's the rover. It's amazing thing. It's as big as a small car. It has cameras. It has lasers. It has sensors to sense the atmosphere.
It's going to be looking for methane. Methane caused by living things putting off that gas. This is going to be a vehicle that we are going to see land here.
You're going to hear a lot about Gale Crater. No, it's not a lady with a talk show. Gail Crater, that's it is right there.
There's Mt. Sharp in the middle. Believe it or no, Mt. Sharp as half as tall as Mt. Everest is here. The crater, way deep down into this Mars surface. It's been hit by, this crater, by something, asteroid, meteor, whatever it was, about 300 billion years ago.
So this has been a big hole in the Martian surface for a long time. If there's a hole and if there's water, where is water going to go? Into the hole. That's why they want to be in the deepest spot there at Gale Crater as they land.
If you'll ask me, what's all this fuss about how hard it is to land on Mars? We have landed on the Earth so many times. How hard can it be?
The atmosphere in Mars is 100 times less dense than the atmosphere of the Earth. So when they deploy this parachute that's going to slow it down to 300 or so miles per hour, it doesn't going to do very much because it doesn't have a lot of air to catch. So now all of a sudden, we have to do this sky crane maneuver with all of the jets going back and forth.
Let me get to the NASA video here. We'll open it up and show you how it all works.
There's the unit up there on top dropping by cables the rover down. So why don't you just land it with jets all the way to the surface? They thought about that, but they thought if we put this thing all the way down to the surface, it's going to kick up a bunch of dust and cover our rover with dust, and maybe it won't ever work, maybe, our camera lenses won't be able to see anymore.
So, they said we can't take this all the way down to the surface. We have to lower it by sky crane, as they call it, and here it is. It's going to drill into the Mars surface, and it has lasers to break up rocks.
The lasers will be able to do spectrometry to tell us what's in that rock. Will there be any fossils we see? Will there be any type of bacteria? What possibly else could we be seeing on the Martian surface?
This is such an exciting time. The seven minutes of terror happens because at the speed of light, the signal from this rover sending back to Earth actually takes 14 minutes to get there. This top of the atmosphere to the surface of Mars, from 31,000 miles per hour, which is going right now, to zero miles per hour, it takes seven minutes.
So it takes 14 minutes to get that signal back. We won't even know if this thing landed safely until well after it landed and it's already moving or it's crashed.
KAYE: It is so exciting.
MYERS: That's why you just won't know.
KAYE: All right. But fingers crossed, it lands safely, right? And then it goes to work, right? It has to search for signs of life.
MYERS: Yes. It's going to go up this crater. It's going to up to size. They think they see layers of strata, kind of like what you see at the Grand Canyon. And if that happened, that happened only because -- let me go back to a graphic I had, because of erosion. If there's erosion -- especially this crater they see here. Now, this is an image of another thing flying around.
It looks like there's a little gravity, a little erosion right through here. If that truly is erosion, it has to be water. And if there's water, there certainly can be life.
That's why they're going here. That's why it's so incredible. And maybe we'll find dinosaurs on Mars that have lived four billion years ago. I don't know.
It's going to be this intense with this new rover. The atmosphere, sensors, being able to drill, being explode these rocks with lasers, it's never been done before. I know it's $2.5 billion, but I'm excited. It lands in 17 1/2 hour or so. It's going to be very cool.
KAYE: I can sense your excitement. I guess we'll get these images pretty soon, right? Right after, you know, a few hours or so after it lands?
MYERS: Well, they'll tell us whether it was safely down. It has a bunch of unfolding to do. Rather than the old rovers like we had which relied on the sunshine, this is actually a nuke powered rover. There's a nuke reactor inside this thing that will last for many, many years. So we don't have to worry about it and worry about the sun going dim in the winter and bright in the summer.
MYERS: It's going to run for a long time.
KAYE: All right. I'm setting my clock -- my alarm clock, 1:31 a.m.
MYERS: John Zarrella, I'll be there watching it with him.
KAYE: All right. Chad Myers, nice to have you here. Thank you.
MYERS: You bet.
KAYE: Three weeks ago, two young girls vanished in Iowa. It is still a mystery what happened to them. Find out how NASCAR drivers hope to raise awareness on this baffling case.
But first, here's what's popular this Sunday morning on CNN.com.
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KAYE: That may be one of the most iconic images ever, Marilyn Monroe singing "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend." The screen goddess was found dead 50 years ago today apparently from a drug overdose.
Born Norma Jeane Baker, her childhood was filled with foster homes and an often absent mother who suffered mental problems. Bleaching her hair blonde and perfecting her walk, Monroe skyrocketed to fame in Hollywood, becoming an international sex symbol. Decades later her films are still remembered, including "Some Like It Hot", "Bus Stop" and "Niagara."
If Marilyn had lived, she would be 86 years old today. We want to hear from you this morning about this. What do you think Marilyn Monroe's lasting legacy is 50 years after her death?
You can tweet me @RandiKayeCNN, and I'll be sure to read some of your responses later this hour.
Checking stories across country now:
NASCAR wants to bring attention to the case of two little girls who went missing in Iowa. Nine-year-old Elizabeth Collins and her 10- year-old cousin Lyric Cook were riding their books near a lake when they vanished three weeks ago. Today, two cars in the NASCAR sprint cup race will sport a special decal bearing the girls' images. The decal will also show the telephone number for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
We all know texting and driving is dangerous. This next story in Texas drives home that point. A man was driving and when he tried texting, he drove off a cliff. His truck had major damage, and the man almost died.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just need to understand, don't do it. Don't do it. It's not worth losing your life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Doctors in Texas say they are seeing more injuries from driving while texting accidents.
A frightening crash and a nail-biting rescue to tell you about. A pregnant woman was driving with her two young children when her vehicle tumbled into a ravine. Bystanders pulled the children from the car. They are just 3 and 5 years old.
And fire crews arrived and they managed to get the children's mother out as well.
And take a look at the newest resident of the North Carolina zoo. The baby gorilla was born yesterday at approximately 8:00 a.m. He is a boy. And the zoo says that he is healthy, strong, and active.
So, now, he is about 24 hours old. And the zoo is getting ready for another gorilla birth in November.
A California man lost his job around the same time President Obama took office. Four years later, has he found work? And does he think the president deserves to be re-elected?
KAYE: Twenty-four minutes past the hour. Welcome back.
Mitt Romney is hammering the president over the new jobs report.
It was really a mixed bag, 163,000 new jobs added. But the unemployment rate still rose to 8.3 percent. President Obama says it's evidence that the recovery is working. While Romney says it's a failure by the White House.
He spoke with our chief political analyst Gloria Borger about what he thinks needs to happen next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: Now is the time for something dramatic. And it is not the time to grow government. It's the time to create the incentives and the opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses big and small to hire more people. And that's going to happen. You're going to see that happen in this country but not under this president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: You can see more of that exclusive interview coming up on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION". That's at 9:00 a.m. Eastern, right here on CNN this morning.
And for the man Mitt Romney hopes to replace, President Obama, a second term in office could hinge on whether American voters think he is doing enough to create jobs. That includes one California man, who has been out of work for all of the president's first term, all of it.
He spoke with CNN's Kyung Lah about his experience and whether he thinks the president should be re-elected.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The start of the day and a new full time job for Ernie Casillas. These first steps on the Los Angeles airport tarmac have been nearly four years in the making.
(on camera): How long were you unemployed?
ERINE CASILLAS, LOST HIS JOB ALMOST 4 YEARS AGO: I'm going on four years November 6th.
LAH: Four years?
LAH (voice-over): Barack Obama started his new job as president a short time after Casillas lost his job making big bucks as a mortgage primer.
CNN met him as the subprime mortgage crisis wrecked havoc on the economy and his own career.
CASILLAS: Driving expensive car, having an expensive suit, and now I'm in the industry like everybody else looking for work. It humbles you.
LAH: He not only lost his job, but his home, and his marriage. He moved in with his mother.
Casillas went to job fairs and networks, sending out hundreds of resumes. He started his own computer consulting company. But it never took off.
Increasingly desperate, he put this ad on Craigslist stating bluntly "I need a job."
Last year, still unemployed, he hit downtown Los Angeles, carrying a sign.
CASILLAS: I am so tired of collecting unemployment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just think there's a lot of us walking here who know we're not that far away --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- from where you are.
LAH: Last week, he was at rock bottom.
CASILLAS: I had something to eat. I didn't have money for gas. I looked under my car seat and I had $1.65.
LAH: That paid for the gas that took him to meet Anna Rosales, and she gave him a job as a supervisor for her cleaning company, newly contracted at LAX.
ANNA ROSALES, CEO, AVOR INC.: He deserves it. Everyone deserves to work. Have you ever been unemployed? Ever not been able to pay a bill? There's a whole lot of Ernies out there.
LAH: As the next presidential election looms with the economy as a defining issue, Casillas' political intentions may surprise you.
(on camera): Who are you going to vote for?
LAH: Why not vote for Mitt Romney?
CASILLAS: He -- I don't think that he's with the people. He's the person that we work (ph) for.
LAH: Casillas says Obama, less distasteful than Romney, deserves more time.
He said his long jobless ordeal showed him there's no easy path to reemployment and no quick fix for this country's sluggish economy.
(on camera): The latest job data does show slight improvement. The Labor Department says 185,000 people are no longer considered long-term employed. But that's really just a drop in the bucket. Millions more have been out of work for six months or longer.
Kyung Lah, CNN, Los Angeles.
KAYE: He still wears the tattooed symbols of hate on his body, but he's trying to change that. Hear from a former white supremacist who now embraces Christianity.
KAYE: Welcome back to CNN SUNDAY MORNING. I'm Randi Kaye. Bottom of the hour now, here are some of the stories that we're watching this hour.
We start in Oklahoma where destructive wildfires are quickly moving through neighborhoods. Already more than 100 homes have been burned. Hundreds of people were evacuated ahead of the fires. Oklahoma's governor toured the damage yesterday.
Rains from tropical storm Ernesto are hitting Jamaica right now. The storm has actually weakened a good bit with winds down to about 50 miles per hour. Ernesto is still expected to strengthen into a hurricane later this week, but tracking models have it mostly missing the U.S.
And the Mars rover "Curiosity" is nearing its final destination. It is supposed to land at about 1:30 in the morning. "Curiosity's" mission is to see if there is any evidence that life once existed on Mars. NASA is expecting to see the first pictures from "Curiosity" just a few hours after it lands.
Serena Williams is looking to complete the Olympic double in London today. She captured the gold medal in women's singles yesterday and is playing alongside her sister Venus for doubles gold right now.
In "Faces of Faith" this morning, we bring you the story of one man who's learned to let go of hate and is now embracing Christianity. Chris Simpson lived as a white supremacist for more than 11 years. He tattooed the words "Pure Hate" on his knuckles and adorned his body with dozens of Nazi symbols. It was just a few months ago that the former Marine began to believe his involvement with hate groups would lead him down the wrong path.
And Chris joins me now to talk about that journey. Chris, good morning.
CHRIS SIMPSON, FORMER WHITE SUPREMACIST TURNED CHRISTIAN: Good morning, Randi. How are you? KAYE: I'm well, thank you. So tell me, what was that moment, your "a-ha moment", if you will, that made you turn away from hate and embrace Christianity?
SIMPSON: It was something that I already knew, that I just needed an outside perspective to tell me. A friend of mine, Ronnie, who works across the street, that is of Arabic descent, told me, he says, "All that hate that you're carrying around, it's doing nothing more than killing you."
You know, you know he said, yes, you may make someone mad or angry early in the day. But at the end of the evening, they will have shrugged it off and let it go and you're still carrying it around. And that was the defining moment. That was what I needed to hear.
KAYE: It sounds like it. And he sent you back down the other path. But what made you become a white supremacist in the first place?
SIMPSON: It was an abundance of emotions. When I was 11 years old, I lost my grandfather to leukemia. When -- in April of 2000, I lost my daughter to open spinal bifida. And that was also what took me away from Christianity.
But I was filled with anger and hatred and jealousy and envy and confusion. And I just started listening to everything around me. And I could relate to other people. And it started building, the anger and the hatred just started building, and I wanted others to feel as angry and as full of hate as I felt.
KAYE: What did you think that movement offered you, though?
SIMPSON: Acceptance. I could identify with a lot of different people because of things they had gone through in their life related to things that I was going through in my life. It was a family- oriented lifestyle.
SIMPSON: I mean you were brought together and -- and you bonded together as a family.
KAYE: And so now you have this change and you're embracing Christianity. How is your family taking this?
SIMPSON: My family loves it. I love it so much. I don't have anywhere near as much stress. I have five children all under the age of 10. And with five children, that young, there's -- there's enough amount of stress there as it is.
But my son, my 9-year-old, he is going to be our pastor. He does foot washings that he's seen in the Gospel of John. He's done baptisms. Repeating the words that -- that my pastor asked me when I had my baptism done April 15.
KAYE: And do your kids see the change in you? I mean have they noticed? Have you spoken to them about, you know, maybe some of the wrong decisions that you think you made?
SIMPSON: Yes. Yes, they have noticed it. I am noticing more of a change in them than I believe that they notice in me. When they were born, we were already in the white supremacist movement. So all they had been taught was hatred.
SIMPSON: That's all they knew. And the flip from hatred to peace and understanding has been so dramatic. And just -- I can't believe how far they've come in just a short amount of time.
Chris Simpson, what a story. We appreciate your time this morning. Thank you.
SIMPSON: Thank you for having me.
KAYE: And for more stories on faith, be sure to check out our widely popular belief blog at CNN.com/belief.
A war of words breaks out in Washington over taxes. Why those five little letters are looming large both in Congress and on the campaign trail.
And we're remembering Marilyn Monroe this morning on the 50th anniversary of her being found dead in her Los Angeles home. We want to know what you think her lasting legacy is. You've been tweeting me all morning. And I'll read some of your thoughts.
KAYE: Good morning, Washington, D.C. So glad you're starting your day with CNN. We'll be right back in 60 seconds.
KAYE: We have been talking about this all morning.
In 1962, half a century ago today, the iconic Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her L.A. home. And the world's fascination with the tragic Hollywood star has not faded.
Performers from Madonna to Lady Gaga have emulated her signature pin-up style and yes she even have thousands of Twitter followers, more than three million Facebook fans as well.
So I've asked you what you think Monroe's lasting legacy is all these years later.
Meg wrote in, "I think Marilyn Monroe's legacy was about being real, to be happy with yourself because imperfections are beautiful."
And Jack tweeted, "Ms. Monroe was today's Kim Kardashian. You do the math."
And finally this person called Captain Kiwalski tweeted simply, "Marilyn Monroe's movies are still amazing to watch. I watch them all the time with my grandmother."
So what do you think Monroe's legacy is? You can keep tweeting me @RandiKayeCNN.
Turning to politics, "put up or shut up": that was Mitt Romney's advice to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who made this serious unsubstantiated claim that Romney didn't pay taxes for 10 years. But Reid says Romney may want to take his own advice and end all of this speculation by opening up the books.
Let's take you to Washington now CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION" is coming up at the top of the hour; joining me with a preview is Candy Crowley.
So Candy, how does this play out? I mean will Reid eventually give up his source or will the Romney team release more tax records to put this full issue behind him?
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN HOST, "STATE OF THE UNION": Yes, no, neither one, I don't think. I just -- Harry Reid, I covered for some time, and I don't see him backing down. Do I see one day that this -- this particular line of attack goes away and something else comes up? Perhaps. But he's not going to give up his sources. And he's not going to give up his attack.
They like this, in the Reid camp. They like this in Chicago at the re-elect headquarters. Because what does it keep in -- on the front pages? Mitt Romney's taxes or lack thereof, his returns in the public.
So I don't see Harry Reid thinks what he's doing is working so he's not about to stop. And I -- from what I can tell, in Camp Romney, there is absolutely no movement toward thinking, hey, why don't we just put these things out? I think he's going to put out one more set of tax returns. That's this year's once they are complete. He's been on an extension. And that will be it.
So I don't see actually either one of them backing off. But perhaps it will quiet down with something else starts up.
KAYE: Yes. Absolutely -- the next issue.
You're going to have more of Romney's exclusive interview with Gloria Borger on the show today. We played a few clips of that. That's going to be an interesting one.
CROWLEY: Absolutely. It's always interesting to know what he thinks. Particularly given the situation right now, Gloria asked him a lot of questions about the current economy off the new jobs report, which obviously you know Mitt Romney and Barack Obama read entirely differently. So we will be playing part of that.
And getting some response from Robert Gibbs, who as you know is a senior advisor to the Obama campaign.
We're also going to talk to Lindsey Graham. And talk to Bob Johnson and Carly Fiorina, both business people who have been heavily involved in politics to kind of get their take on what they think the economy needs.
KAYE: All right, Candy. We'll be watching. Thanks so much.
KAYE: And keep it here for "STATE OF THE UNION" with Candy Crowley. It starts in about 15 minutes at 9:00 a.m. Eastern, 6:00 a.m. Pacific, right here on CNN.
There have been 47 vice presidents to serve the U.S. since 1789. Three won the Nobel Peace Prize and I'll tell you why one former VP says the job isn't, quote, "worth a pitcher of warm spit". Don't go anywhere.
KAYE: Welcome back.
Now a look at some of the big stories that we'll be following in the week ahead.
First thing on Monday morning, of course, or later tonight depending on where you live, NASA's Rover will touch down on Mars after its eight-month journey. The $2.6 billion vehicle will be looking for life on our neighboring Red Planet.
And also on Monday, later in the day, the third Annual Department of Education Bullying Prevention Summit begins in Washington. One of the focuses will be to understand the connection between bullying and suicide.
Now taking a look at Tuesday, Tucson's Safeway shooting suspect Jared Loughner will be back in court for a competency hearing in Arizona. The "Los Angeles Times" and the "Wall Street Journal" both report Loughner will also plead guilty to some or all of the charges against him.
Taking a look here at Thursday, that is the next hearing for Fort Hood shooting suspect Nidal Hasan, who has made news for contempt of court by showing up to the hearing with a beard. If he doesn't shave by the start of jury selection, he will be forcibly shaved in fact.
And on Friday, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney kicks off a four-day bus tour targeting media markets from Virginia through North Carolina.
And there's your look at the week ahead.
John Adams famously called the vice presidency, quote, "the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived".
My next guest, comedian Dean Obeidallah compares the job to being a lesser Kardashian sister. We'll get him to explain. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
KAYE: Politicians, journalists, and millions of Americans are waiting for Republican candidate Mitt Romney to name his running mate and the decision is sure to steal headlines when it happens. But others, well, just don't think the announcement will be such a big deal in the long run.
Just last Thursday, Texas governor Rick Perry said it won't do much to change the dynamic of the presidential race unless of course the pick makes a huge gaffe. And a few former vice presidents, well, think the job itself is pretty useless. John Adams called it quote, "the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived". And John Nance Garner bluntly said "The vice presidency isn't worth a pitcher of warm spit". Pretty strong words.
Political comedian Dean Obeidallah joins me now to talk about this. Dean, good morning.
DEAN OBEIDALLAH, POLITICAL COMEDIAN: Good morning.
KAYE: So these former vice presidents say that it's useless. But in your new CNN op-ed, you say it's one of the greatest jobs in America, even better than being president. Why is that?
OBEIDALLAH: Absolutely Randi. It's a great job. You get paid $230,000 a year. You get a plane. You get your own house. You get a staff. It's like being a Kardashian, and you have less responsibilities than a Kardashian to be honest.
No one knows what the vice president does on a daily basis, let's be honest. He hangs out, gets paid great and treated like a celebrity. Secondly, I think honestly, the vice president is safe. The President, sadly, in our history some presidents have been assassinated.
Nobody shoots at a vice president. In fact our vice president shot other people. Remember Dick Cheney shot his friend in the face four years ago. And he wasn't the only the one. 1804 Aaron Burr had a duel, killed the former Secretary of Treasury, Alexander Hamilton. And we think our climate of politics is tough.
So I think it's a great job, honestly. It's a job I would like.
KAYE: Just for the record, I believe Dick Cheney apologized. It wasn't on purpose. Ok, let's --
OBEIDALLAH: No, no, I know. I'm not saying it was on purpose. Sure.
KAYE: -- make sure we get that in.
OBEIDALLAH: Sure. KAYE: All right. But listen -- but they do have some -- the vice president does have some duties here and constitutionally mandated responsibilities. So it's not just, you know, number two hanging around.
OBEIDALLAH: Well, you know what; he does. And absolutely true. He has three constitutionally-mandated duties in our constitution. And one, he is the president of the Senate, which is ceremonial. Second, if there's a tie in the senate, he casts the tie-breaking vote which Biden has done zero times in four years. And third he has to read the result of the Electoral College.
Let's be honest, there are assistant managers at McDonald's who have more daily responsibilities than our vice president. There's a reason why the vice president was open for 16 times through the years for years at a time, and nobody filled it because nobody cared. So -- I mean, I think it's really an appealing job for a lot of people to think about.
KAYE: You know, they have to be ready, you know, at a moment's notice.
OBEIDALLAH: Yes. Sure.
KAYE: So it's a pretty important job, right, to be ready to take over. They have to be qualified and ready to jump in.
OBEIDALLAH: You have to be. I mean, that's the big thing. And I think if you're vice president, one of your biggest jobs is to make sure the President feels healthy and feels good at all times. Check everyday -- how are you feeling? Good. All right stay in there because I don't want to do this job. I just like hanging out, what I'm doing.
Number two, I want to be -- you know, number two, be a beta male. That's what I aspire to myself.
KAYE: Ok. Well, so who do you think Romney is going to pick? I mean could this person really change the race or you think maybe they'll just grab some headlines?
OBEIDALLAH: A little bit. I mean obviously everyone is talking about Senator Rubio or Congressman Ryan. I think perhaps Senator Portman from Ohio has some intangible benefits. I mean one -- he has the foreign policy experience. He was in the House for 12 years before, in the Senate he was budget director. Also, amazingly he is actually more boring than Romney and makes Romney look exciting.
But you know what; Romney, if you're listening, you want a game changer. Think out of the box. You know who you pick? Me. I am ready.
KAYE: Oh, boy.
OBEIDALLAH: I have got a campaign poster already made for myself. KAYE: Are you really campaigning right here?
OBEIDALLAH: I'm Dean Obeidallah for Vice President. I swear to you, I have a vision, integrity and great hair. That's my slogan. Or if Obama wants to get rid of Joe Biden, this is not partisan; I will serve either party as vice president. I don't want to be elevated to President. I just like to hang out, be vice president --
KAYE: You know, I'm just not comfortable having you as the number two, waiting in the wings --
KAYE: I'm just not. I'm sorry. I know we're not supposed to take sides here, but --
OBEIDALLAH: I have come on the show. I can still do this. What else would I have to do? I could come on the show every day.
KAYE: Well, listen though, if you do become vice president, Dean, they certainly have given a lot of comedians a lot of material over the years, a lot of gaffes. Do you have some favorites?
OBEIDALLAH: I do. I mean I think our current vice president, Joe Biden is amazing. I mean everyone knows that the health care passed he goes "This is a big f-ing deal." But also one of my best gaffes from Joe Biden is he was speaking with the prime minister of Ireland at a public event and offered his condolences for the prime minister's mother dying when in fact she had not died, she is still alive.
But I think the king, or the president, shall we say, of gaffes is Jay Danforth Quayle. Dan Quayle -- people might not remember him, if you're younger. He was George Bush before George Bush. Dan Quayle said stuff like the Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and a child. So I don't know if bondage was the right term. But Dan Quayle also offered advice for potential vice presidents saying one word sums up your job when you're going to be a vice president. And that one word is to "be ready", which is more than one word.
KAYE: Yes. I wonder you know, just very quickly -- we only have about 10 seconds left. But do you think that vice presidents go on, you know, to -- I mean, presidents go on to get their libraries and things like that. What happens to the vice presidents?
OBEIDALLAH: I think they end up growing a beard and teaching at Columbia University like Al Gore. Or hang out, starting running that TV network -- fun stuff.
KAYE: All right, Dean. Thank you very much. And good luck with your campaign.
OBEIDALLAH: Thank you Randi. Thank you.
KAYE: Thanks so much for watching today. "STATE OF THE UNION" with Candy Crowley starts right now.
Have a great Sunday.