Return to Transcripts main page
Newark Mayor Saves Woman From Fire; NRA Meets Amid Trayvon Martin Case; NRA Meets Amid Trayvon Martin Case; North Korean Rocket Fails; Peek Into Zimmerman Prosecution; Defending Zimmerman; Toxic Military Homes Under Scrutiny; Kirk Cameron Backlash; Gas Prices May Have Peaked; Old Birds, New Tweets
Aired April 13, 2012 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MAYOR CORY BOOKER, NEWARK, NEW JERSEY: -- the police officers that I was with showed really quick action and got into the billion really quick. They're firefighters who do this every single day.
I'm a neighbor that did what most neighbors would do, which is to jump into action to help a friend. And I consider all of us very lucky. There was a time when I got through the kitchen and was searching for her and looked back and saw the kitchen in flames.
It was really frightening experience for me. I didn't think we are going to get out of there. So I feel just very grateful right now, very lucky to be here with you today. It's over the top, I think I did what most other people would do to help their neighbors out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mayor, was this an adrenaline rush? What we're you thinking when you're in the kitchen, listening for her, looking for her?
BOOKER: You know, there were a couple moments that were difficult? When we ascended to the top of the stairs, something exploded. At that point my security did what they're trained to do, which is to get me out of danger.
And so Detective Rodriguez here and I had a bit of an altercation when he was following orders to always protect me. So he was literally pulling me by the belt. Finally, I whipped around and we had some words, and he relented.
I am his commanding officer at the end of the day and so he let go of me and then I just went into the kitchen, through the kitchen to the back room. Honestly, at that point, I did not feel bravery. I felt terror. It was very scary moment because I couldn't find her.
I looked like I couldn't get back through where I came from and I couldn't breathe. It was a moment that I felt very religious. Let's put it that way and that's why I feel thankful to God because just when I was falling down trying to find somewhere to breathe, I finally heard her and found an opening where I could grab her.
So just grabbed her as quickly as I could and decided that we would try to go through the kitchen, she didn't have much clothes on so she sustained more burns. I was holding here and my clothes got burned. Really only my hand got injured.
So honestly, I really appreciate people saying over the top. I did not feel too heroic. It all happened very, very quickly. I just feel very blessed that she and I got out of that building alive and did everybody do thanks to the quick acting of the two detectives that really deserve a hero's welcome.
I've been working with these guys for many years. I've watched them go into very dangerous situations without a second's thought. And those are the real heroes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does she know her mayor rescued her?
BOOKER: You know, the mother, I just talked to a few moments ago, and yet again, she was the one pleading with somebody to go up there, Ms. Williams, she was incredibly gracious to me last night.
She was very gracious today. The young lady was very disoriented, quite frankly and she's a long time friend. These are neighbors of mine for six years. So, you know, I talked to her a lot.
She didn't even know how badly she was injured. So I haven't visited her in the hospital, but we've been in touch and I know she's going to be OK. Again, I feel a sense of gratitude today to God that I'm here and still feeling kind of like I had my proverbial Jesus moment in my life.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you explain to us about the victim, how old she is?
BOOKER: She's about my age. We're about the same age. We've been friends for a long time. She's just such a good person who, when I come home from a really tough day, she's there to tease me.
She's been a really kind person for a long time in my life. Miss Williams' daughter Xena, she's just a really good human being. I feel very lucky to have neighbors to look out for me and I think that's just really what we were doing as being neighbourly as well. and again, I'm just very happy she's OK.
So we've already made sure they all have places to go. Miss Williams is with her other daughter. We're going to work to get them resources so they can have basic needs right now and figure out a long term solution.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: OK, that's mayor of Newark, New Jersey, Cory Booker talking about how he ran into a burning apartment to save his neighbor.
As you can see, he's OK. The neighbor is also going to be OK. She was checked out at a hospital. She has some burns, but she's going to be a-OK.
We're going to step away from this because it's time to start our second hour of CNN NEWSROOM. We begin this morning with the National Rifle Association as it opens its biggest meeting of the year with the Trayvon Martin case as a critical backdrop.
The shooting highlights core issues for this powerful group, such as gun rights and self defense laws. And the political importance of the group is reflected in today's speakers list.
Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich and former contenders, Rick Santorum and Pick Perry also set to speak, Eric cantor, the House Majority Leader.
Our next guest spoke to the man at the center of it all though and that would be the NRA Chief Wayne La Pierre. Jake Wagman is a reporter with the "St. Louis Dispatch" newspaper. Hello, Jake.
JAKE WAGMAN, REPORTER, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: Hi. How are you? Thank you for having me.
COSTELLO: Thanks for being here. We appreciate it. You sat down with Wayne La Pierre. He's not talking to many television reporters anyway. Did he say there would be any mention of Trayvon Martin or "Stand Your Ground" laws at this convention?
WAGMAN: I don't want to say he quite distanced himself, but he quoted Charleston Heston in saying that for the NRA, they felt that sometimes silence is the best choice.
And so from that I extrapolated we're going to hear very little if anything about the "Stand Your Ground" law at today's NRA convention at least from the speakers. This situation is bad for them for an image and political standpoint.
They would like it to go away. I'm not certain you mentioned the speakers lined up today. I don't know if the NRA has told them, don't mention "Stand Your Ground," but I don't think we'll hear that from any of them. They want to stay away from that.
COSTELLO: Yes, Jake, and I love this quote from Wayne La Pierre. I'm going to read the direct quote from your article in the newspaper.
This is a quote from La Pierre, "Charlton Heston used to say sometimes silence is the right thing to do, and that really is the case here." When do you expect that the NRA will come out and say something about the "Stand Your Ground" laws?
WAGMAN: I bet sometime between now and George Zimmerman's trial. Politically, they don't have much to gain. The NRA is an interesting organization perhaps unique in American politics, in that they have people who loved them. And they have people who hate them.
The people that love them, they're not committed to otherwise. The people that dislike them are not convinced to agree with them. So from the NRA's perspective, why go out and try to argue this. The law, I don't think -- I guess, the caveat with that to be if there was pressure in the Florida legislatures or other legislatures to change these laws.
Then I think you would see some NRA strategy saying what do these laws really say? I think you would probably see some type off, for lack of better term, education campaign. Talking to media and say, OK, well, here's the fine print of this law.
The NRA would love for George Zimmerman to perhaps say that he was not following the "Stand Your Ground" law, which is to say that he ran afoul of it, that he wasn't under the proper danger to use the force that he is suspected or may have been doing.
So they would like to see this case play out. I think that the move probably would be to do something more below the radar, look at the law, try to educate media, if it came to a try to lobby legislatures.
But right now, especially at the convention that is going to happen behind me in a couple hours, they're going to stay away from it.
COSTELLO: All right, Jake Wagman, thank you so much for filling us in this morning. We appreciate it.
Turning our attention now to North Korea. First it defies the world, and then it surprises it. The secretive regime now admits that its controversial rocket launch was a failure.
Pyongyang says the long range rocket broke apart before it could put a satellite into orbit. But the United States and other countries saw the launch as a test of a future ballistic missile.
Today, world leaders will discuss those concerns at the United Nations. CNN's Athena Jones is at the White House. Athena, what's the reaction from there?
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, in a statement, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that even though the launch failed, it was still a provocative act by North Korea and it will only serve to isolate the country further.
It threatens regional security and it violates international law. You know, even though it's not surprising that North Korea would take this action, yes, it's surprising they admit that the rocket launch failed.
But, you know, North Korea has a pattern of aggressive behavior and so it's not surprising they should do this. But the problem is that any missile activity by the country, whether it fails or doesn't fail, any missile attempt by North Korea is going to be of concern to the international community.
So the White House is going to to keep watching this. The U.S. remains committed to its allies in the region according to Carney's statement, of course.
And he said that President Obama is ready to engage constructively as he put it with North Korea. But they have to live up to their commitments first -- Carol. COSTELLO: And, of course, this is having an impact on the political race. Mitt Romney came out and criticized the president's policies on North Korea. Tell us more.
JONES: Well, certainly. As far as Mitt Romney and most others are concerns, he is the presumptive Republican nominee, and so it's not surprising to see a person like this put out statements. So he criticized North Korea, condemning them on the strongest possible terms.
But he also blasted the Obama administration. Let me read you what he said. He said instead of approaching Pyongyang from a position of strength, President Obama sought to appease the regime with a food-aid deal that proved to be as naive as it was short lived.
At the same time, he's cut critical U.S. missile defense programs and continues to underfund them. This incompetence from the Obama administration has emboldened the North Korean regime and undermined the security of the United States and our allies.
I should mention this one morning that food deal that Romney spoke of is off according to a senior U.S. official -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Athena Jones reporting from the White House today.
Military families outraged after being assigned to homes covered in mold.
Some call it a scandal that rivals Walter Reed. We'll tell you why coming up.
Also coming up, we got a glimpse into the case against George Zimmerman as well as the challenges for his defense attorney.
COSTELLO: This morning we now have a peak inside the prosecution op George Zimmerman. On the same day, he appeared in court on second- degree murder charges, prosecutors filed an affidavit of probable cause. That document may give us a glimpse of the case being built against him. Martin Savidge is in Sanford, Florida. Tell us what's in that report.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Carol. Yes, this is a known as probable cause affidavit. It's pretty much a numb nail sketch of the prosecution's case against George Zimmerman. What it basically points out is that they believe according on the state is that George Zimmerman who was the instigator and it was George Zimmerman that did wrong.
Let me just read you a few excerpts starting with number one. It's talking about really Trayvon Martin at this particular time, the 17- year-old, saying that he was in a legal place not doing anything wrong. He was on his way back to the townhouse where he was living when he was profiled, keyword there, by George Zimmerman. Then that same affidavit goes onto, it talks about the 911 call here. This is also key where prosecutors say that, quote, "A police dispatcher informed Zimmerman that an officer was on the way and to wait for the officer."
George Zimmerman says that he continued to go after Trayvon Martin. And that's the last point that's brought up. Because it says it goes on to say that Zimmerman confronted Martin and a struggle ensued. Zimmerman shot Martin in the chest.
Of course, that is the same narrative that Trayvon Martin's family has been giving from the very tragic night. It is not the same narrative that George Zimmerman says that he stopped going after Trayvon Nartin.
And that Trayvon Martin actually attacked him on the way back to his car and well, there was that life and death struggle where he had to fire his gun and kill him, so very different narratives here.
But that's the state's version of events. That's the reason we're charging second degree murder.
COSTELLO: Martin Savidge live in Sanford, Florida.
George Zimmerman's new lawyer says one of his first goals is to bring down the level of anger surrounding the case. Mark O'Mara spoke about his client with reporters yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK O'MARA, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S ATTORNEY: He's concerned about getting a fair trial and fair presentation. There's been a lot of information flowing. I think a lot of it has been both premature and maybe inappropriate. I don't think a case like this should be tried here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: So let's bring in defense attorney Pilar Prinz to talk about this case. Welcome.
PILAR PRINZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Good morning.
COSTELLO: OK. So, he's talking about a change in venue, to use a legal term, right? He wants to change where the trial takes place. What would be a good place in Mr. O'Mara's mind?
PRINZ: Well, probably anywhere other than the county where this crime was committed to start off with. Certainly, it's not surprising that Mr. O'Mara is seeking a change of venue.
What the court has to lock here is can this defendant get a fair and impartial jury who is not already biased because there's so much publicity that going on, and as much as we're seeing it around the country, it's more focused on his location.
Certainly, I would think as a defense attorney when you look at the implications and who the defendant is and the victim in the crime, the alleged victim in this crime. They may be looking at a largely Hispanic area perhaps down in the Miami, the South Florida area, maybe somewhere that he would look to go.
COSTELLO: Maybe Texas. That would be a great place to go, right.
PRINZ: Maybe get out of Florida entirely.
COSTELLO: Mark O'Mara said maybe this trial won't take place this year. He also talked about bringing down the level of anger surrounding this case. Is that the reason to prolong the timing of this trial?
PRINZ: Well, it's going to be a couple of things. Certainly, right now, it's getting so much publicity and the public is so outraged by this case. As time goes on, that's going to calm down. We all move on to some other things.
I think that the level of animosity is something that Mr. O'Mara wants to bring outside of the courtroom, because it can influence his case.
The other thing is he simply wants time to do his job, to prepare his defense. It takes time to do that.
COSTELLO: Pilar, thanks so much for coming in this morning. I hope you come back.
PRINZ: Thank you.
COSTELLO: Dozens of military homes covered in mold. The conditions so bad, they're forced to move out. CNN investigates next.
Plus another Herman Cain ad hits the internet and it's even more bizarre than the others. And that's saying a lot. We'll run it by our "Political Buzz" panel later.
COSTELLO: They risk their lives every day to protect our country, but some members of the U.S. military aren't getting the protection they need right here at home.
Dozens of military families say they're getting sick from toxic mold that's growing all over their homes at a Navy base in Norfolk, Virginia. Here's CNN's Deborah Feyerick.
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Norfolk Naval Base in Virginia is the largest in the world, home to the U.S. Atlantic fleet, but it's facing a crisis.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm in essence combating a war on two fronts.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't feel safe in these houses. I've never felt safe in a house. FEYERICK: A crisis that has turned dozens of military families, their children and pets into virtual refugees, holed up in cramp hotel rooms for weeks at a time. They call this hotel wing the mold wing.
Displaced families who tell us they or their kids are sick after living in rotting homes and being exposed in some cases to unhealthy levels of mold.
Jarl Bliss runs Lincoln Military Housing, a private company that took over Navy family housing seven years ago.
(on camera): Under the terms of the contract, within a two-year period, all homes were supposed to be brought up to a suitable level. Was that done in your opinion? By suitable, I mean all of them liveable?
JARL BLISS, LINCOLN MILITARY HOUSING: Yes, I believe it was under the terms of our agreement with the Navy.
FEYERICK (voice-over): Yet military spouses we spoke with tell a different story.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The second story was sinking into the first.
FEYERICK: A story of decaying homes and well meaning, but incompetent maintenance people.
(on camera): Is it fair to say that Lincoln was simply fixing the same problem over and over and over again?
SHELLEY FEDERICO, MARINE WIFE: It's almost kind of like they just put lipstick on a pig. It's still a pig.
FEYERICK: Lincoln knew it was inheriting hundreds of other poorly built homes.
BLISS: I understand why some of the families are frustrated in the issue. I would be frustrated too with some of the things that went on.
FEYERICK: After a series of local news reports, town hall meetings have been packed with dozens of military families complaining of health problems. U.S. Senator Mark Warner, who himself has a daughter with asthma listened in disbelief.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's been 20 years in business. This is not a way to run a business.
FEYERICK (on camera): Lincoln representatives were denying there was a problem. The Navy was denying there was a problem. Now all the sudden there's been 180-degree reversal and you guys are now acting on it.
BLISS: We've made mistakes. We're not happy about what happened here. REAR ADMIRAL TIM ALEXANDER, COMMANDER, NAVY REGION MID-ATLANTIC: One of our lessons learned has been in this particular partnership and for the time being that we need to increase the amount of oversight that we provide at the deck plate level.
FEYERICK: Homes are now being patched. Almost 90 had now been remediated for mold.
(on camera): Lincoln and the Navy are not doing this out of the goodness of their heart. They're doing it because they got caught.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They got caught.
COSTELLO: Deborah Feyerick is in New York. She joins us live. So it's just astounding. I would never want to move back into those homes. Where is the Navy in all of this?
FEYERICK: You know, that's what so interesting. When this all happened, when the military transferred family housing over to private companies, the Navy, they were happy about that because they took off the burden of being a landlord on them.
But although they were supposed to go in, inspect the homes, make sure the proper work was being done, really, they sort of relegated that responsibility because they trusted the partner.
Their partner was Lincoln and unfortunately, in this particular area, that was not being done. A lot of women that we spoke to said that they really -- they felt intimidated by certain representatives, certain agents of Lincoln.
They said they would complain and nothing was done or they were told they were crazy or they were told that they weren't taking care of their homes. It was really a difficult kind of situation. They weren't getting the kind of answers that they wanted to be getting.
COSTELLO: I just -- you have kids and you have to live in that kind of environment. Even if they say that the mold is gone, I don't know, you would be afraid to move back in.
FEYERICK: You're absolutely right. You know, one woman that's exactly what she says. She said these homes should have been condemned. Whatever she they do to these homes right now, she don't have the peace of mind that it will be safe for her family to live in.
COSTELLO: Deborah Feyerick, thank you. You can catch Deborah's report "Toxic Home Front" in its entirety this weekend as part of a special CNN presents airs Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.
Now is your chance to talk about on one of the big stories of the day. The question for you this morning, should gun laws be reviewed or not?
The National Rifle Association is holding a big convention in St. Louis today. Front and center, GOP candidate Mitt Romney. He'll most likely talk about his strong support of second amendment rights.
The NRA is as you know a very powerful lobby. So powerful gun control advocates blame it in part for what happened to Trayvon Martin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In reality, the NRA's leaders weren't interested in public safety. They were interested in promoting a culture where people take the law into their own hands and face no consequences for it. Let's call that by its real name, vigilantism.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: The NRA has been largely silent on Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law. It has refused our request for an on camera interview. But its president did talk to a St. Louis newspaper reporter before charges against George Zimmerman were announced.
Wayne La Pierre is the man. He said, quote, "We don't know the facts as to what happened in Florida and the law enforcement is doing their job. When they come down to a determination, then we'll have something to say."
Bloomberg is urging the repeal of "Stand Your Ground" type law in nearly two dozen states. That's not likely to happen any time soon. Right now, no gun control law has a chance of passing in Congress.
The debate lately has been less about gun control and more about protecting gun rights. So the talk back question for you this morning, should gun control laws be reviewed or not?
Facebook.com/carolcnn. I'll read your comments later this hour. And we'll talk more about Mitt Romney's message to the NRA with our "Political Buzz" panel. Should he change his message in the wake of the Trayvon Martin case? Left, right and middle weigh in.
COSTELLO: Just minutes ago, we heard from the mayor of Newark, New Jersey, about his busy night. He ran into his neighbor's burning house and carried her to safety. That's him hugging her grateful sister. The mayor got a second degree burn on his hand and suffered smoke inhalation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOOKER: When we ascended to the stop of the stairs, something exploded and at that point, my security detail did what they're trained to do, which is to get me out of danger.
So Detective Rodriguez here and I had a bit of an altercation when he was following orders to protect me. So he was literally pulling me by the belt. Finally, I whipped around and we had some words.
And he relented, I guess. I am his commanding officer at the end of the day. So he let go of me and then I just went into the kitchen through the kitchen to the back room. But honestly at that point I did not feel bravery, I felt terror.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Mayor Cory Booker. In other top stories, North Korea admits its controversial rocket launch was a failure. The secretive regime now says the long range rocket broke apart before it could put a satellite into orbit. But the United States and other countries saw the launch as a test of a future ballistic missile. Today, world leaders will discuss those concerns at the United Nations.
Some stunning new photos from last week's crash of a Navy jet no one was killed when the Jets slammed into the courtyard of an apartment complex. Seven people were injured, including the two-person crew. The Navy says the jet experienced a catastrophic malfunction.
"Political Buzz" is your rapid fire look at the best political topics of the day. Three questions, 30 seconds on the clock. Playing with us today: Democratic strategist, Liz Chadderdon; Hiram College political science professor and Politic 365 correspondent Jason Johnson; and CEO and bestselling author of "Poorer Richard's America", Tom Blair. Welcome to all of you.
JASON JOHNSON, PROFESSOR, POLITIC 365: Good morning.
LIZ CHADDERDON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Thank you.
TOM BLAIR, CEO, AUTHOR, "POORER RICHARDS AMERICA": Good morning.
COSTELLO: Good morning.
First question: Mitt Romney is going to speak at the NRA's big convention later today. In light of the Trayvon Martin case and Stand Your Ground laws, will that change Romney's message to the group? Tom?
BLAIR: I don't think so. I think Romney is still in his primary mode. So I think his address it will be more on the lines of the hardcore factions on the NRA. And this would be a perfect time for him to sort of split the difference. Because you have a situation here that goes right in the face of the NRA.
For decades they have argued if we all have handguns only criminals will have handguns. Here's a case where we have two law-abiding citizens. And someone is carrying a handgun legally, and human emotion takes over and we end up with some young boy dead.
So I think it would be a chance for him to split the ground but he won't.
JOHNSON: If Mitt Romney is smart, he's going to say absolutely nothing about Trayvon Martin. This is not a winning case for Republicans, it's not a winning case for the NRA. And if I were him, I would say, look, we're interested in responsible gun ownership as opposed to Barack Obama who's "Fast and Furious" program lost 2,000 guns to Mexican drug dealers and drug lords.
Stay away from Trayvon Martin. Focused on what's important for the primary and attacking Barack Obama.
CHADDERDON: I completely agree with Jason. He's not going anywhere near stand by your -- you stand your ground laws or anywhere near the Trayvon Martin case. He has way too much making up to do with the NRA to go to a place that the NRA does want to talk about anyway. You're going to hear Mitt Romney talk about the Second Amendment. You're going hear him talk about how important it that Americans were able to defend themselves. But you're not going to hear him say the word Trayvon Martin, no way.
COSTELLO: Ok question number two. Thanks to a Supreme Court ruling this week your children could end up seeing political ads on "Sesame Street". Remember late last year when Mitt Romney said Big Bird needed to get a job?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Those are the things I like. I like the National Endowment to the Arts. I like National Endowment to the humanities, I like PBS. Public Broadcasting all right. Those -- those are wonderful things. But I'm not going to kill Big Bird, I promise. But I'm going to -- but they're going to be -- there going to be advertisements on PBS to help pay for Big Bird. And -- and I'm not going to keep on borrowing money from China to pay for things that are not absolutely essential.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Ok. Counting, sharing, ABC's. It goes great with ads about job creation, tax reform, foreign policy and so on. 4-year-olds love that stuff. Guys, what's the point? Jason.
JOHNSON: Well, first thing is this is really odd. Because the Ninth Circuit of Appeals is usually the more liberal court. This is a problem. And I think this is going to be a third rail for any politician. I mean, think about is who wants to be the first politician to put an ad on "Sesame Street". Parents will hate you. Stay-at-home moms won't like you, working moms won't like you. So I think this is a nonstarter for everybody politically. It will be a big mistake for anybody to Big Bird, Ernie, all those guys that are non-political. And that's the way we like them.
CHADDERDON: I agree again with everything that's been said. But I do want to say that boy those moms sitting there during the day with their kids they are a target audience for political campaigns both on the left and the right. It's going to be hard for them to resist. If it's actually you know on the table for them to talk directly to those mothers on these shows. But I agree who wants to sit there and watch Big Bird and Ernie and the Cookie Monster and then listen to foreign policy debates in an ad? I hope it doesn't happen.
BLAIR: Your question presupposes that only children watch children programs. I would -- I would promote that in certain states there is a percent of the electorate that actually watch children's programs.
But to what Liz said, quite often children's programs are background music to the working spouse at home. So I would suggest that it actually might make sense to convey some messages.
Plus if we have a congressman suggesting that there's 81 communist in Congress right now, maybe we should start the -- the political education process as young as we can.
COSTELLO: Ok time for your "Buzzer Beater" 20 seconds each. Have you seen Herman Cain's new video? It's the weirdest one since the last Herman Cain video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the average American taxpayer. Feeding big government.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Ok. Aside from being slanderous -- a slanderous portrayal of poultry? What does this video mean, Jason?
JOHNSON: This video means that I have a personal message to every Republican out there who wanted Herman Cain to be president. Are you serious? This is the kind of advertising that this man puts forward? I can't believe anyone ever thought he was remotely qualified. His previous ad he shoots a rabbit into the sky. He makes a fish drown outside of water. This just shows that Herman Cain was never qualified to be president. And I'm glad we're seeing this now.
BLAIR: Jason, you're right on. You are absolutely right on. And I -- when I first heard Herman Cain the other day about an ad, I said which is Herman Cain? That's right he was the candidate with the extra pepperoni in his life.
I think what you see here is once the male ego has hold of a national platform, they don't want to give it up. And these ads are Herman Cain's way of staying in the national spotlight.
CHADDERDON: Ok come on guys. These ads are hilarious. You've got catapulting rabbits. You've got killer chickens. But at the end of the day they're completely irrelevant. Not one vote will be cast based on them. Not one voter will change their mind. But I've got to tell you they're darn entertaining.
COSTELLO: I have to agree with you Liz. I laughed for an hour after that.
Tom, Jason, Liz, thanks for playing today. We appreciate it.
JOHNSON: Thank you.
CHADDERDON: Thank you.
COSTELLO: Gas prices have steadily increased for most of the year but now a new downward trend? So have gas prices peaked?
COSTELLO: Child stars of the '80s and '90s are in a league of their own so to speak. And now many of them are banding together against one of their own. And that would be Kirk Cameron.
Showbiz correspondent Nischelle Turner joins us from Los Angeles. And I watched this video in its entirety.
NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
COSTELLO: And we can't show it because it has a lot of bad words in it. But it is entertaining.
TURNER: Yes entertaining was the message. So a party with a purpose that's what they are saying. You know you may remember that Kirk Cameron's comments to our own Piers Morgan about homosexuality. He said, quote, "Homosexuality is detrimental and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization."
Well, some of Kirk's acting peers are letting him know that they disagree. They call themselves "Child Celebrities Opposing Kirk Cameron". It's a collection of child stars from the 80's and 90's and they've created a really funny response on the Web site FunnyOrDie.
The now grown-up actors include Keith Coogan from "Adventures in Baby Sitting"; Josie Davis from "Charles in Charge"; Christine Lakin from "Step by Step" and Ken Michael from the "Parenthood".
Let's listen to some of this message.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He believes gays and lesbians are destroying everything mankind has built.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like fabulous little termites.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But straights outnumber gays like nine to one.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Honestly, as world killers go, the Y2K had a better shot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TURNER: You know, yes, we gave everybody a little piece there, Carol, because you're right. It's a little blue. Not just their shirts. But they are putting the message out there that's saying let's just include, everybody. Inclusion's good, exclusion's bad.
COSTELLO: Oh, yes. But really, you should go online and watch it because it's really funny. And serious at the same time.
Ok, she's a little bit country. He's a little bit rock 'n' roll or pop, I guess. Tell us about this new collaboration with Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift.
TURNER: Yes, these days Justin Bieber is a little bit of everything. He just about does everything. And now he's kind of venturing over to the pop country area. He and crossover star Taylor Swift have teamed up on a new track for his new album "Believe".
In a British radio interview, Bieber broke the news and said that his song with Swift does have a little country flavor. Now the Bieb and Taylor are long time friends. Remember that he pulled that prank on her in the season premiere of "Punk'd". And I'm guessing with the fan base that these two guys have, this song will be a major hit.
But it's not the only celebrity duet on Justin's new album. He announced on Twitter -- and I love it -- that he's teaming up with Usher, Drake, Kanye West, Timba-land and Dip Low. So "Believe" is due out this summer but Carol I have to say, I'm a Believer. I like Justin Bieber.
COSTELLO: That was so bad. But we love you anyway.
TURNER: I know. I try.
COSTELLO: Yes, thanks Nischelle. If you want information on everything breaking in the world, watch "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" at 11:00 p.m. Eastern on HLN.
Fantastic news for this cancer survivor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm like officially done with cancer and chemotherapy. Like once and for all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Oh, yes. But that's just part of an unbelievable day for that buy. He got to play catch at Coors field and it had nothing to do with his cancer. That story is ahead in sports.
COSTELLO: Jeff Fischel is here. The New Orleans Saints, they're moving forward, but there's still talk about that bounty program.
JEFF FISCHEL, HLN SPORTS: Yes, you know, Sean Peyton has been suspended for the entire season. So the Saints have to figure out who is going to replace him. The Saints have an assistant ready. But he's also being suspended for the bounty. So there we go. Who is filling in for the guy who's filling in? Joe Vick has been named the interim coach. But he's out for six games for the bounty. So ESPN reporting the interim coach for the interim coach will be offensive line coach Aaron Kromer.
Author Alan Duntz is out as this former state's assistant, Mike Cerrulo as the man who blew the whistle on the bounty system. Duntz described him as a disgruntled ex-employee who blamed the Saints for his failure to get another job in the NFL.
The Boston Bruins opening their defensive of the Stanley Cup. (inaudible) The Washington Caps come to town, and this is how they get welcomed. Big hit by Dennis Sidenberg.
They get the worst of it. They both go down hard. It's a heart hitting playoffs. That's where the Stanley Cups. This one actually ends up going to overtime, a scoreless tie. Tim Thomas, so solid.
Look at the pad save there. Then back the other way. Here go the bruins down the ice. The outlet pass. Chris Kelly. The slap shot. The bruins win it 1-0.
All right. Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls. The Best two teams in the NBA's eastern conference. A possible playoff preview.
C.J. Watson to three to tie it. With just seconds left. Going to overtime, the Bulls star Derrick Rose had a rough shooting night. Watson picks him up and he does it again in overtime, the "jumper", and the Bulls plug it out. 96-86. It looks like Chicago will be the number one seed.
All right, Blake Griffin well, it turns out he is human. I admit, I said all the time. I have a man crush on him. But this time it went wrong. He's all alone and it's going to be awesome. That never happens. I mean it's Blake Griffin. He's the best dunker in the NBA.
We have to tell you about this. Rookie pitcher Jeremy Guthrie was bored on the day before his first start with the Colorado Rockies. So he sent out a tweet. Anybody want to play catch.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I live downtown. I have my glove. I said, let's do this. Woody Roslyn got the invite to Coors Field. He and Guthrie tossed the ball around and talked. It was a special day for Roselyn. Already for another reason, he's been fighting cancer for the last five years. He lost his leg to the disease but keeps a positive attitude.
Before meeting Guthrie, Roselyn found out from his doctors he's now cancer free. And then he got to throw with a major league pitcher. And it's really a great story -- he actually gives motivational speeches, tries to raise money for cancer research. This Great kid who had a great moment.
COSTELLO: What a beautiful day.
FISCHEL: Absolutely. Let's do this. That's what he said.
COSTELLO: That's awesome. Thanks so much, Jeff.
We have a bit of breaking news to tell you about. The Obamas and the Bidens have released their 2011 tax returns.
And let me give you the scoop. The Obamas filed jointly. They made $789,674 last year. They gave to 39 charities. Which will be the 22 percent of their gross income. They paid $162,000 -- I rounded that off in federal taxes -- 32,000 just about in fake taxes which will be Illinois state taxes. The Bidens, they reported an income of $379, 035. for Two thousand 11 paid 90,000 in federal taxes. 14,000 in Delaware state taxes. They also had to file in Virginia. About $3,600. We'll have much more on this later today. Just wanted to fill you in on that bit breaking news.
Gas prices -- let's talk about them. Now they steadily increase for most of the year. But now a new downward trend -- so, have gas prices peaked?
COSTELLO: We asked you to "Talk Back" on one of the big stories of the day. The "Talk Back" question for you: Should gun laws be reviewed or not?
This from Jean, "Go ahead and defend your family with that kitchen knife or bat then. I think After a few episodes of "I Survived" on the Biography Channel, you may change your mind. Get a .22. At least while guns are still legal. There are evil people out there who don't care about women or children."
This from Thomas, "The laws are fine as they are. However, I would support a requirement that all gun purchasers complete a gun safety course."
This from Karen, "Most definitely. It's a delicate and complicated subject though. Unfortunately those that want to use guns to hurt people will find a way to do it."
And this from Brian, "Review and revise, but not remove."
Keep the conversation flowing; Facebook.com/carolcnn. Thanks as always for your comments.
After a long steady rise, gas prices have been falling for the past seven days. That's prompting some analysts to say prices may have peaked.
Patricia Wu was at the New York Stock Exchange. So Patricia, is it too soon to say if prices have topped out? PATRICIA WU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Carol, it is too soon to say for sure, but we are hopeful. CNNMoney says that prices may have peaked and that's because oil prices are falling. And here's why. That is 70 percent of gas prices are dictated by the price of oil, which is traded on the open market, so it fluctuates. But today it's about $103 a barrel.
The reason why it's been falling is that tensions with Iran have eased since Iran decided to negotiate with the UN over its nuclear program.
Now that being said, if Iran -- things with Iran fell through, if there was a big hurricane season, that could drive prices right back up. But on the flip side of the coin, there are things that are those oil prices. And one thing is less demand. The Chinese and the U.S. committee are slowing, so we're using less oil. At the same time areas like Saudi Arabia, Canada, North Seas they're are not making as much oil as they could. They could boost production and supplies at any times.
The bottom line, Carol, is that oil is a commodity. It's volatile. A lot of different factors could drive it up or bring it down. So no one can say for sure.
COSTELLO: Patricia Wu. Live from the New York Stock Exchange. In your daily dose of health news, a new report suggests we could be getting closer to using aspirin for cancer prevention. The report focuses on two recent studies. Those studies found taking aspirin every day at doses of 75 milligrams and above might lower both the incident of cancer and mortality rates.
Researchers say important questions remain unanswered including the overall cancer fighting benefit.
What happens when you put 80-year-olds in charge of a major company's Twitter account? You get two adorable ladies who are now cyber sensations.
COSTELLO: We want to introduce you to Frankie and Dottie. Two adorable ladies jumping into social media and talking about Twitter and Facebook and Google and all things cyberspace. Unlike most of us, they're almost 90 years old.
Here's CNN's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They're charming the pants off the Internet by being clueless about it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Texting. You need a Wi-Fi?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A We-Fi?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One of those pad things maybe? MOOS: They might not know an iPad from a Brillo Pad but Frankie Chance and Dottie Anik, took over Kraft Macaroni and Cheese social media for three days. Monopolizing Facebook, terrorizing Twitter.
It was a stunt designed to promote the edible icon's 75th anniversary.
MOOS: Twitter wasn't.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This tweet machine.
MOOS: But old birds did manage new tweets. Dottie saying she always used butter to make Mac n Cheese and it was good.
They posted on Facebook of themselves at 16; both are in their mid-80s now. Fans didn't get gooey over the Mac n Cheese. They got gooey over Frankie and Dottie. You two dames are awesome.
Here's Frankie explaining Googling to Dottie.
FRANKIE: He just whips out his little Palm thing. And pop, pop, peep, peep, he just made the answer. It's called Google.
MOOS: And this is how Frankie feels about Facebook.
FRANKIE: Get a life. TMI.
MOOS: But by the end of their three-day social media reign, Frankie described it as mind-blowing and heart-warming. She especially liked having all those nice young ad agency people hanging around her California home.
Oldsters in cyberspace are practically a trend. Betty White just took up Twitter. And remember the couple in Oregon who went viral after accidentally recording themselves on their new laptop?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How pretty your hair is. Just drop your dress a little bit.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop it.
MOOS: Now there are critics who say what's cheesy is making these two octogenarians seem clueless. "The women are being exploited," posted someone. "Ridiculous," says Frankie. Like Mac n Cheese -- that's how Dottie and Frankie feel about their voyage to cyberspace.
Jeanne Moos, CNN -- FRANKIE: Oh Dottie, Dottie.
DOTTIE: We having fun, Frankie.
MOOS: New York.
COSTELLO: I got to throw it to Freddie now.
CNN NEWSROOM continues right now with Fredericka Whitfield.