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Romney Wooing NRA Gun Owners; CNN Hero; High Risk Of Tornados; Zimmerman Status Hearing; Affidavit: Zimmerman Said "Punks"; Finding Egypt's New Leader; President Obama's Tax Return; A Club Of Their Own
Aired April 13, 2012 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: First up here is one of the first really true tasks of whether Mitt Romney can win over staunch conservatives, now that he's presumably sewn up the Republican nomination. In just about 20 minutes time -- we don't see anyone on that stage yet -- but we will be seeing Mitt Romney speaking at the National Rifle Association, the NRA, annual meeting. His advisers are calling this the launch of his general election campaign against President Barack Obama.
Also, a double dose of bad news for communist North Korea. First, its vaunted rocket fails, blows to smithereens over the Yellow Sea. And then the U.S. says, forget food aid. Nope. Punishment for launching that rocket in the first place.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK TONER, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: And we're prepared to engage constructively with North Korea. But as we've said many times, we're not going to reward bad behavior.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Also, George Zimmerman's legal team may try to get the judge to recuse herself. The reason? Her husband's law partner is Mark Nejame, the CNN legal analyst who was originally contacted about representing Zimmerman. He did decline. But Judge Jessica Ricksiedler discloses information at a status hearing minutes ago. Meanwhile, George Zimmerman's bond hearing has been tentatively set for next Friday, April 20th.
And the shooting death of those two Coast Guard members is now being investigated by the FBI. The two were found dead yesterday at a communication stationary near their base in Kodiak, Alaska. A co- worker found the victims at their work areas. Access to this facility, it is restricted, but a guard spokesperson says there is no evidence of a terrorist attack.
And Apple denying allegations that it conspired to fix e-book prices. The company issued the response now to that Department of Justice antitrust lawsuit. The government alleged that the actions of Apple and other companies basically prevented competition that would have lowered those e-book prices. Apple says, nope, there's no collusion at all. And three people -- look at these pictures. Three people dangled from a New York skyscraper today after scaffolding they were on collapsed. Look at this. Fifteen floors up. Happy to tell you, they're all OK. But our affiliate in New York, WABC, reports crews pulled them of the scaffolding through the windows. No word yet as to what caused the collapse.
And a sad note for you on this Friday to the story behind this video. You remember this from earlier in the week showing these students forced to steer a bus to safety. It was Monday. A school bus driver in Washington state lost consciousness, prompting these students to take the wheel. School officials now tell our affiliates the driver, 43-year-old Ryan Callis, has died. Police said Callis suffered a heart attack.
A former CIA officer accused of leaking classified information pleaded not guilty today in federal court. Prosecutors say John Kiriakou -- he's the one wearing the glasses there on the left -- not only gave journalists sensitive details, but also lied to a CIA review board about materials he wrote in a book. Kiriakou could get 45 years in prison if convicted on all charges.
And got a lot more for you in the next two hours. Watch this.
George Zimmerman's life behind bars. His food, his clothes, the way he passes time. The man who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin now sits in jail and has some very specific requests as he waits for the next step in the legal process.
I'm Brooke Baldwin. The news is now.
The hero mayor makes a dramatic rescue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR CORY BOOKER, NEWARK, NEW JERSEY: And I looked back and saw the kitchen in flames.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: He rushed toward a burning building to save a woman inside. The mayor explains what he was thinking.
Mission not accomplished, but there's more to the North Korea rocket launch flop. This top secret country admits to failure. What's going on there?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was a gradual, continual, unrelenting diminution of our work, our status as employees, our jobs, our careers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Ever deal with a bully at work? It's not just a problem our kids face. But how do we catch it before it turns violent?
And Common stops by the show. Find out why he needs your help.
BALDWIN: This next story might have you asking, what has your mayor done for you lately? Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, New Jersey, got home last night and was shocked to see the home next door on fire. Two Newark detectives, they got most of the family out, but a woman was still strapped upstairs. What did Mayor Booker do? He ran inside, though the smoke, through the flames. He found her and tossed her over his shoulder. The only way out was through the burning kitchen and Booker carried her right through the flames. The mayor did suffer second degree burns on his and as they made it to safety, but modestly Booker says he shouldn't be fitted for a cape just yet. He says he was terrified.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR CORY BOOKER, NEW JERSEY: When we ascended to the top of the stairs, something exploded. And that point my security detail 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. And 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. And so he let go of me.
And then I just -- just went into the kitchen -- through the kitchen to the back room. And, honestly, at that point, I did not feel bravery, I felt terror. It was -- it was a very scary moment because I couldn't find her. It looked like I couldn't get back through where I came from. And I couldn't breathe. And it was a moment that I felt very religious. Those are neighbors of mine for six years. So, you know, I talk 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. I've just -- again, I feel a sense of gratitude today to God and I'm here and still feeling like of like I had my proverbial come to Jesus moment in my life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: I don't know. I think a cape might fit the major pretty well. The woman Booker rescued, by the way, was hospitalized in stable condition. And you can hear much more of his harrowing rescue story, his tale, when he talks to Piers Morgan tonight. Don't miss it, 9:00 Eastern Time.
Also, a small town in New Hampshire, this police chief there is killed just one week before his retirement. One week. He was part of a drug task force which was met by a barrage of gunfire while trying to execute a warrant. Greenland Police Chief Michael Maloney was shot to death. Four police officers were wounded. Hours later, a robot was sent into this home after a very long standoff.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MICHAEL DELANEY, NEW HAMPSHIRE ATTORNEY GENERAL: That robot was able to detect two deceased individuals inside the residence. One of the individual was a male by the name of Cullen Mutrie. He is 29 years old. He is a resident at that location. And we believe that he is the man that shot and killed Police Chief Maloney and was involved in injuring four other officers at the scene.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: A woman was also found dead in that home. Police say the two died from either a murder/suicide or possible a double suicide there.
Coming up, we're talking tornados possibly again. They could break out this weekend. We're tracking the severe weather with Chad Myers.
And right after this break here, as we mentioned at the top of this show, we are watching, we are following Mitt Romney at this NRA convention. Here why this evening, in a matter of minutes, marks a major turn in his campaign.
BALDWIN: All right, we want to come up on this live picture. Oh, this is a funeral home, obviously engulfed in flames. You can see the streams of water attacking it. This is a four alarm fire. This is Salisbury, North Carolina, just north of Charlotte. We've got some aerials thanks to our affiliate there, WSOC. If you know the area, this is the Lyerly Funeral Home. Look at the flames. This thing has been going since just after noon Eastern Time to just over two hours. Obviously fire -- multiple fire trucks on the scene trying to get those flames under control. Flames, heavy, heavy smoke. This funeral home has been there since 1957. We're going to keep our eye on this. And we're also making calls to see what in the world has happened there.
Meantime, I do want to take you to this scene as we are about to witness what could be a landmark moment in Mitt Romney's political career. His advisers are actually calling this the launch of his general election campaign against President Barack Obama. And it is happening in front of a demo he has to win over. I'm talking the heat- packing conservatives of the National Rifle Association at their annual meeting there in St. Louis.
And Peter Hamby is there. He's actually hopping on the phone to talk to me about the significance of this event.
And first, Peter, what does Mitt Romney -- what does he say to this crowd?
PETER HAMBY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, his campaign, Brooke, is billing this as the first in a series of major speeches that are going to reframe the presidential race as a choice between Mitt Romney's vision of limited government and Barack Obama's assault on freedom. That's their words. Basically, you're right, he needs to appeal to the base. This is a perfect segment of that. You have gun enthusiasts here who are, you know, people that I've talked to, not just concerned about the second amendment, but also about spending the debt. Very, very heavily Republican audience.
But the Romney campaign saying that for a general election message, they can rally the base by attacking Barack Obama. As you know, the base is not thrilled in any way with President Obama. But by talking about the economy and President Obama's management of the economy, they think they can appeal to both independents, while also firing up the troops that are here today in St. Louis, Brooke.
BALDWIN: So as he's trying to fire up these troops and, you know, attract this far right crowd, you know, I look back on sort of Romney's past when it comes to guns and, I mean, looking back to even '94 when he was running for U.S. Senate, and I'm going to quote him, he said, his positions don't line up with the NRA. So walk me through, if he's at all walked back that line in recent years.
HAMBY: Right. Well, we're not going to hear him really talking in great detail about his record on guns today. He's going to talk mostly about how he thinks President Obama is going to roll back second amendment rights. Barack Obama actually hasn't done that so far. I asked a Romney official today to provide an example of where they see legislation where Obama has dialed back gun rights. They couldn't really provide one. They say the Justice Department's handling of the Fast and Furious scandal shows signals that they don't know what they're doing with guns. So, yes, I mean, Governor Romney here, the task at hand, again, is really to keep these troops in line.
BALDWIN: Now that, though, you have Mitt Romney, we saw just earlier in the week, you know, Rick Santorum, you know, essentially bowing out. Mitt Romney pretty much has this, you know, nomination locked up. Why not launch this, you know, general election campaign in front of a much more moderate audience. Why do this at this annual NRA event?
HAMBY: Yes, that's a really good question. As you know, so many of these events are about the cameras in the back of the room rather than the audience itself. They know that this is one of the biggest events that Romney has spoken at since Rick Santorum dropped out of the race. There will be a lot of attention on it. So the campaign is obviously, you know, investing a lot and making this the big speech.
You know, Governor Romney, you were just talking about before, doesn't have the best record on guns. In 2002, when he was running for governor, he claimed he was endorsed by the NRA when he wasn't. Kind of awkwardly made reference to hunting varmints and moose. So, you know, he can't talk specifically about guns and things like that. So it's more about just the size and nature of this event and the fact that it's getting so much attention that they think they can -- they can make a splash here today.
BALDWIN: Well, we know you're there. We're going to watch it. We'll keep our eye on it. If it gets interesting, certainly we'll dip in live there. The annual NRA event in St. Louis, Missouri. Peter Hamby, appreciate it. Thank you.
And as we are waiting to see Mitt Romney speak there at the NRA, again, it's supposed to happen any moment now -- I see some action there on the stage -- we will dip in.
We're going to take a quick break. We'll be right back.
BALDWIN: All right, here we are. It's 20 minutes past the hour. We've got two stories we're watching for you. Both of these are live pictures.
On the left side of your screen, we are waiting to see Mitt Romney behind that podium. That's going to happen any minute now. Folks, this is the annual National Rifle Association event in St. Louis. We're going to see Mitt Romney. His campaign is billing this as the first of several major speeches. And they're really seeing this as the launch of the general election. And he has chosen, you know, an audience in front of gun-toting Americans hoping to attract that far right conservative voter that Rick Santorum had attracted, now that we know he's out of the race. He's -- Mitt Romney, he's trying to capitalize on that. So we're going to dip in when we see something happening with Mitt Romney there on the left.
On the right, quickly, you're seeing a whole lot of smoke and a lot of flames. Remember, this is that funeral home fire. Oh. You can see firefighters on the scene. This is a four alarm fire. If you know the area, this is the Lyerly Funeral Home, Salisbury, North Carolina. We don't know as far as how many people were inside working at the time, injuries, how this happened. We're making phone calls. As soon as we get an update on either of those stories, we will bring that back to you.
In the meantime, I do want to stop and introduce you to this week's CNN Hero. More than 100,000 foster children in this country, they're waiting to be adopted. And this week's CNN Hero is fighting to find a family for each and every one. And he knows how tough the road can be, especially when the hopeful parent is gay.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was adopted and I felt that I wanted to adopt a kid that needed a home. My son was in foster care for four years. That was (INAUDIBLE). But from the minute Michael and I met, I knew right away that we were going to be a family.
I thought things was going great. But after a month, Michael was removed from my house. I was instantly cut off from him.
DAVE WING-KOVARIK: Finding that family for that child, it's nothing short of a miracle.
Let's go. We have to get ready for the horses.
And sometimes families are faced with barriers because of a myth or a misunderstanding causing the kids to stay in the foster care system longer.
Being a gay or lesbian individual or couple makes it much harder.
My name is Dave Wing-Kovarik. I adopted from the foster system but now I help other gay and lesbian individuals realize their dream of becoming parents.
We're working together with you on that.
And I want to make sure that you've got that family to family kind of support.
I've worked hundreds of cases side by side social workers.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We covered a lot of information last week.
WING-KOVARIK: I've trained thousands of foster parents. It doesn't matter if you're gay or straight. And we do it for free.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He figured out how to get us over that finish line. Our family wouldn't have adopted each other if it hadn't been for David.
WING-KOVARIK: I'm fighting for the right of that child to have that family.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Daddy, is tonight movie night?
WING-KOVARIK: It's why I keep doing it every single day.
BALDWIN: Coming up, we're going to get the latest from Chad Myers here on this possible severe weather. We could be talking about it today, maybe into the weekend here. What part of the country? How severe is this threat? Again, we are talking tornadoes. That is after the break.
Also, we are going to listen in here, live pictures, from this NRA event. We're going to watch and wait for Mitt Romney. He's going to speak at this convention in St. Louis. Stay with me. Back in a flash.
BALDWIN: Bottom of the hour here. Welcome back. I'm Brooke Baldwin. A couple of stories we're watching for you right now.
First, this tornado warning. They're coming again.
Also, what George Zimmerman really said to 911 dispatchers the night he shot Trayvon Martin.
Also today, the first family's taxes release.
And angry crowds in the streets of Cairo. We haven't seen that in a while. We're going to take you there.
We have correspondents covering all of this. Let's play "Reporter Roulette."
All right, I want to bring in Chad Myers.
And, Chad, as we're talking again about severe weather, again about tornadoes, where?
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, there may be a few today, but tomorrow is the day. Tomorrow is the bad day. From Omaha through Lincoln, Nebraska, all the way down into north Texas. This is a high risk day. The severe storms forecast center, storm prediction center, they put this number, this word out two, three times a year. So this is another one of those one or two times a year type events.
BALDWIN: So what does that mean, that it's going to be bad?
MYERS: All the ingredients are there for it to be bad, yes. And what could even be worse, Brooke, is that it could happen in the dark. It could happen tomorrow night for most of you in this area. The red area, the most important. But even the orange, almost all the way into Illinois, central Illinois there, and as far south even into Texas.
This is the area. This is the bogey through here. Wichita down into Oklahoma City, all the way through into Kansas City. Omaha, Lincoln, an area up here as well that will have tornadoes on the ground. Many of them could be on the ground for a long time and be very big tomorrow.
The problem is, they could be moving at 70 miles an hour as well. There's a big jet stream blowing through this area. When the storms get into the jet stream, that means they're going to move very fast. You're not going to be able to case them or look at them. You're going to -- once you hear the warning for your area, take cover immediately. This will be a big day tomorrow with tornadoes on the ground affecting a lot of the central part of the country, Brooke.
BALDWIN: OK. Chad, thank you. Folks, if you hear the sirens, obviously pay attention, listen and seek shelter.
Next on "Reporter Roulette," I want to go to Tampa, Florida, to David Mattingly here -- there, where this status hearing happened not too long ago for George Zimmerman. David, what came of that?
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this status hearing, it turns out there's apparently not going to be anything routine with this case. We were hearing about the judge -- Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler, in this case. It turns out, and this was a way to get it all out in the open, she is married to an attorney who works at the law firm of Mark Nejame, who is a CNN contributor for this case. Nejame was also approached by the friends and family of George Zimmerman as they were seeing representation for him. So that lays the groundwork now for the attorneys in this case to ask her to recuse herself. This hearing today was just a way for them to get that all out in the open, to keep the wheels moving, so to speak, going forward to see if the attorneys want to ask her to recuse herself and they will have to submit the documentation for that and then she will have to consider it. And apparently she wants to be able to have that done before next Friday when we're expected to have a bond hearing for Zimmerman, which would be possibly his first step in getting out from behind bars.
BALDWIN: OK. So we'll look to see if she's sitting on the bench. That will be decided by next Friday. In the meantime, I do want to ask you about this special prosecutor's affidavit. And I just want to cite part of it here. So in this affidavit it claims Zimmerman uttered the phrase, "these blank punks." That is significant, David Mattingly, because why?
MATTINGLY: Well, for two reasons. First of all, it shows that the prosecutor does not believe that George Zimmerman uttered a racial epithet there, as had been discussed in the past. There was some belief that the Justice Department might be looking into that to see if there's a possible hate crime here. But apparently, for this case, this criminal case, there was no mention of a racial epithet, instead using -- that George Zimmerman used the word "punks."
But it also goes for the prosecution here as they were looking into the state of mind of George Zimmerman and they're going to have to prove that he had some sort of evil or malicious intent as he approach that night in that apparently -- eventually lethal confrontation with Trayvon Martin.
So we see two things happening there, but for this criminal case, it says a lot in where the prosecution intends to take the jury if they ever get in front of a jury.
BALDWIN: David Mattingly in Sanford. David, thank you.
Next in the reporter roulette, the move to ban old leaders running the new Egypt. The parliament has now passed a bill keeping anyone from Hosni Mubarak's regime from running for president for 10 years.
Now it has to be approved by the constitutional court. I want to bring in Ian Lee there for us in Cairo where protesters, I know they packed into Tahrir Square. Ian, first, just explain to me this demonstration and who organized it?
IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brooke, the protest today was organized really by two groups of supporters that have their candidates running for president.
This includes the Muslim Brotherhood's presidential candidate and also a candidate from the (inaudible). They were denouncing the presidential candidacies of Omar Soliman and Ahmoun Shafik.
These are two people who in the Mubarak's regime up to the very end. And protesters said that if these men are allowed to run for the presidency, basically the revolution is null and void and that everything that they went through is turned back if these men win.
BALDWIN: OK, and I said constitutional court earlier, I meant the Supreme Council of Armed Forces. If this bill is approved, it has to be approved by that body. Then how would that impact the upcoming election?
LEE: Well, Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has the final say on about everything that's going on in Egypt right now. We're uncertain if they're actually going to approve this law even though it was passed unanimously.
But also the Supreme Electoral Council, the Presidential Committee has the final say on the candidates. Now, while the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces will approve, if they even approve this bill and that these men aren't able to run, it comes down to the Presidential Election Committee.
They have the final say ultimately and we'll find out later this month if these men are able to run.
BALDWIN: In Cairo, Ian Lee, thank you, Ian.
Next, the "T" word as in Texas, millions of us sweating getting our 2011 tax returns done in time to meet Tuesday's IRS deadline. You have the president. You have the vice president, both making their returns for the past year public.
We have Athena Jones for us there in front of the White House. So Athena, do tell what's the big headline from Obama's 1040s?
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Brooke. Well, for the Obama's the big headline I'd say is the fact that they reported an income of $789,674 for 2011. And you know, that's nearly $1 million less than the previous year, Brooke.
As you now, a lot of that money, more than half comes from the president's day job, a salary he gets $400,000 a year. The rest are from his bestselling book sales and of course, some of sales had dropped in the last couple of years from their height a few years ago when they reported $5.5 million.
BALDWIN: What about the vice president?
JONES: Well, the vice president didn't earn as much. The Bidens reported adjusted gross income of $379,035. So still a lot more than most people make. Obamas and the Bidens paid more in taxes than a lot of people make. So those are the headline numbers this year.
BALDWIN: What was the tax rate?
JONES: Well, for the Obamas, it was 20.5 percent and the Bidens actually paid a little more. Their tax rate was 23 percent. So both of those are pretty high, but as Obama would have it, under the Buffett rule. He wants to say people making lots and lots of money pay even higher rates.
BALDWIN: So there is obviously as we've been hearing, in fact, just yesterday, two days ago talking about the Buffet Rule, there's obviously a political angle in releasing these numbers today, yes?
JONES: Well, of course, there's a political angle. As always, I have with me a print out of the e-mail sent out by the campaign this morning. It says, the headline is, "What is Mitt Romney hiding from the American people?"
So the campaign is really pushing Mitt Romney to release his taxes and not just for this year, but for several years past. As you know, his father released -- Governor Romney released 12 years of taxes when he was running.
So they are pushing him saying what are you hiding? Do you have offshore accounts? Did you pay really low tax rates you're embarrassed about?
Now in fairness, the Romney campaign says they'll release them when they've been filed. They've already released an estimate. So that's their response today, Brooke.
BALDWIN: Athena Jones at the White House. Athena, appreciate it. That's your reporter roulette here on this Friday.
Coming up, the day Osama Bin Laden was killed, President Obama called two men who weren't in the White House situation room, but they had been before. They're part of this exclusive club, one that keeps secrets from the rest of the world.
Coming up next, "Time" magazine, this is a fascinating cover story reveals the secrets of these former presidents. The friendships made, the lessons learned.
For instance, which president taught his successor how to salute properly? Think about that one. We'll be right back.
BALDWIN: Love reading your tweets for the show. Send me a tweet especially on this next segment. This is just fascinating of all the people alive today, only five have occupied the White House as president of the United States.
They have either been or currently are the most powerful men in the world. So these five men are the subject of "Time" magazine's cover story this week, the world's most exclusive club complete with perks, a code of conduct, plenty of historical intrigue.
So we wanted to know more so we asked Nancy Gibbs to join us. She is the deputy managing editor of "Time," the co-author of the article and of the book that comes out on Tuesday, "The President's Club, Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity."
And what a fraternity it is, Nancy Gibbs. This is fascinating. I know I told you that in the commercial break, but I just have to say it again.
So many secrets revealed. I know you've worked on this for years and years. Give me just off the top one nugget that really stands out to you that when you learned about this, you just thought my goodness.
NANCY GIBBS, DEPUTY MANAGING EDITOR, TIME MAGAZINE: Well, one of the things -- when we first did our research, we referred to the presidents club sort of informally as just all the guys who have been president.
We didn't realize that it really is a club. There is, in fact, a clubhouse. It is an unmarked townhouse about a block from the White House, which Richard Nixon arranged to have quietly purchased for the use only of former presidents.
So you know, only four people in the world are allowed to check in and you have to call the White House to make reservations. But you walk in the front door and the rug in the foyer has the presidential seal embossed on it. And it is probably the most exclusive clubhouse in the world.
BALDWIN: Have you set foot on that carpet? Have you been inside?
GIBBS: My co-author, Michael Duffy went through it this week. It was the first time outsiders have been allowed in. You know, what we found was that they talk to each other.
There are rules. There are rituals. There are protocols of the way presidents and former presidents relate to each other the things they will do for each other.
That I think is in a way out of synch with what we see now as this political battle where both parties are so at odds with each other so much the time. We watch presidents of different parties work together in extraordinary ways that we have not known about.
BALDWIN: Let me jump in because you say in your article, you know, this goes back being on opposite political aisles, it goes back to '53. Eisenhower, Truman -- Truman and Hoover, they all agreed to, you know, work together.
The country comes first, when we talk today about deep partisan politics, I want you to first tell me what you really delve into this close relationship between the Bush family and as you call them, the brother from another mother, Bill Clinton.
GIBBS: You know, here you had -- you had Bill Clinton and George Herbert Walker Bush having, you know, a classic tough election fight in 1992. But in accordance with sort of club protocol, when it was all over and President Clinton had won.
President Bush wrote him a note that he left for him that said by the time you read this, you'll be our president, our president. And I'll be rooting hard for you. That's sort of the way this works.
Once someone is elected, all of them feel the office matters more than the occupant so they all work together to strengthen and enhance the presidency. They talk about the importance that a president succeed and that the president have the power to do what he needs to do for the good of the country.
And we kept seeing this over and over again. With Bill Clinton and the Bush family, he now goes on vacation with the father and raises money with the son and escorted Barbara Bush at Betty Ford's funeral. So he is like another member of their family.
BALDWIN: Let's fast forward though to after President Obama, senator, now obviously president when he was officially elected. He wanted this gathering of all of those, you know, current former presidents.
It's a part of your article. He said he wanted clubbed initiation, called up President Bush, called the Bush White House and they got hard. Even carter, aids asked? He's criticized everything we've done for eight years. Yes, Obama said, Carter, too. Tell me more about this historic meeting.
GIBBS: It was the first time in about 30 years that you had five past presidents or future presidents together in the White House. And in this case, it was not about giving him advice about what he ought to do about the budget.
It was about, this is what it's like to live in the White House, the Bushes and Carter and Clinton had all raised teenage daughters in the White House as the Obamas were about to do.
This is a much more intimate transfer of power than the one that would take place a few weeks later than on inauguration day. This is sort of handing over the keys about what it is like to live in the fish bowl and how you handle it both as an individual and a family.
BALDWIN: And you'd point out Ronald Reagan taught Clinton how to salute properly. Also on the night the SEALs killed Bin Laden, Obama placed his first two calls to George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. We're just scratching the surface with all these amazing details.
Nancy Gibbs, fascinating talking to you again. The book is "The Presidents Club" coming out Tuesday. Thank you, Nancy. Appreciate it.
GIBBS: Thank you.
BALDWIN: Now this bullying. Bullying can happen at any age. Certainly, you've worked somewhere in your career that can be considered toxic. Well, now a new film addresses what is so many Americans feel.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you have a lot of things happening to you in the work force and you're going there and you need money and you're trying for survival. They keep heaping one more thing on you, one more thing on you, somewhere it overrides the brain and that switch does go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: The work place bullying epidemic. We're going to talk to this man behind this movie next.
BALDWIN: Coming up here, you are looking live at Mitt Romney's wife, Ann Romney. It was actually Mitt Romney a moment ago speaking about working moms.
You know what happened yesterday the back and forth between Ann Romney and Hilary Rosen. Now we see Ann Romney, let's just dip in and listen to this mother.
(BEGIN LIVE FEED)
ANN ROMNEY, WIFE OF MITT ROMNEY: How women were being referred to as a special interest group and I thought to myself, really only Washington could do that. There's only part of that that is correct. Women are special.
We love this country. We've loved the people of this country. We've had an extraordinary experience going across and meeting tens of thousands of wonderful Americans so concerned about the future of this country.
We recognize that we are heading in a direction that's perilous and this is what I love the most. Women are talking about the economy and jobs about the legacy of debt that we're going to leave our children.
We are mad about it and we're going to do something about it in November. With your help, we need to make sure we keep this country strong and fighting for the right reasons. So thank you all very much. We'll hear from Mitt.
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you, sweetheart. It's great to be here with so many friends from the National Rifle Association. This organization is sometimes called a single issue group.
And that is high praise when the single issue you're fighting for is freedom. And you can be proud of your long and unwavering defense for constitutional rights and liberties.
In about 207 days, we're going to do something that's really quite amazing. Americans will be choosing not only a president, but an entire House of Representatives and a third of the U.S. Senate.
The entire world will be watching us. And by around midnight on November 6, maybe a little earlier, a little later, we'll know the results of millions of Americans exercising their right to vote.
In doing so, Americans will be making a profound choice, a decision, which is much more important than just one person or one party. We will not just select the president who will guide us.
We will also choose between two distinct paths and destinies for the nation. So many of the big issues in the campaign turn on our understanding of the constitution and how it was meant to guide our lives.
It was one of Missouri's greatest sons, Harry Truman, who expressed his guided conviction that you and I share in a ceremony that place the constitution and the declaration, the permanent care of the care of the archives.
President Truman offered a word of caution. Liberty, he said, can be lost and it will be if the time ever comes when these documents are regarded not as the supreme expression of a profound belief, but merely as curiosities in a glass case.
Truman believed, as we do, that the principles of the constitution are enduring and universal, that they were designed not to bend of the will of presidents and justices who come and go.
The beliefs that we are all created equal, that we are endowed by our creator with our unalienable rights. These are not relics of another time. They reflect truths that are valid in every era.
The framework of law created by the declaration and the constitution is the source of American greatness. It has generated unparallel opportunity and prosperity. Our founders understood this, which is why they created a system of government that's limited.
President Obama is moving us away from our founder's vision instead of I wanted government. He's leading us towards limited freedom and limited opportunity. This November, we face a defining decision.
I'm offering a real choice, a new beginning. I'm running for president because I have the experience and the vision to lead us in a very different direction. We know what Barack Obama's vision of America is.
We've lived it this last 3-1/2 years. Mine is very different. My course restores and protects our freedoms. As president, the constitution will be my guide. The declaration of the independence will be my compass.
Now today, I want to talk about this administration's assault on our freedoms. First, our economic freedom then our religious freedoms and then our personal freedoms and I want to share my own plans to turn America to the first principles of the nation.
The American economy, it is fuelled by freedom. Free people and free enterprises are what drive our economic vitality. The Obama administration's assault on economic freedom is the principal reason why the recovery has been so slow and so tepid.
And why it is it couldn't meet their projections, let alone our expectations. The president's assault on economic freedom begins with taxes and his tax hikes. Of course, by their very nature, taxes reduce freedom.
Their only role in a free economy is to fund those things that are absolutely essential. Like national security and education and care for those who can't care for themselves. And yet, this president has proposed raising the marginal tax rate from 35 percent to 40.
The vice president has now proposed a new global business tax. Medical device companies are soon to be subject to a new tax on revenues and the president is now touring the country touting a new tax on investment and the wealthy.
Congress does not need more money to spend. It needs to spend only what it has. Now the Dodd/Frank Law is another example of the president's attack on economic freedom. It's an 848-page behemoth that's going to be followed by thousands and thousands of pages of new regulations.
Now regulations, of course, are necessary, but burdensome regulations serve only to restrict freedom and imperil enterprise. And the victims of the regulation are not nameless, faceless banks.
They're employees, business owners and customers who rely on banks that ultimately lose out. Now under President Obama, bureaucrats are insinuating themselves into every corner of the economy undermining economic freedom.
They prevent drilling rigs from going to work in the gulf. They keep coal from being mined. They impede the reliable supply of natural gas. They even tell farmers what their children can and cannot do to help on the farm. Remember that old line from Will Rogers, he said that he worried whenever Congress was in session.
Today our freedom is never safe because unelected, unaccountable regulators are always on the prowl. And under President Obama, they're multiplying. The number of federal employees has grown by almost 150,000 under this president.
Now, for centuries, the American dream has meant the opportunity to build something new. Some of our greatest success stories are people who started out with nothing, but a good idea and a corner in their garage.
Today Americans look at what it takes to start a business and they don't see a promise and an opportunity. They see government standing in the way. The real cost of this isn't just the taxes that we're playing and the money spent complying with all the rules.
It's the businesses that are never started, the ideas that are never pursued and the dreams that are never realized. You know, we once built the interstate highway system and the Hoover dam. Today, we can't even build a pipeline.
We once led the world in manufacturing and exports, infrastructure investment. Today, we lead the world in lawsuits. We once led the world in educating our kids. Today, half the kids in our 50 largest cities won't even graduate from high school.
If we continue along this path, we'll spend our lives filling out forms and complying with excessive regulations and pleading with political appointees for waivers and subsidies and permission. That path erodes freedom.
It deadens the entrepreneurial spirit and hurts the very people it's supposed to help. Freedom is the victim of unbounded government appetite. And so is economic growth and job growth and wage growth.
And as government takes more and more, there's less and less incentive to take risks and to invest and to innovate and to hire people. This administration thinks our economy is struggling because the stimulus was too small.
The truth is, we're struggling because our government is too big. I'm running for president because I have the vision and experience to get America out of this mess. My agenda takes America in a right direction.
It preserves freedom. It encourages risk taking and innovation. It fosters competition. It promotes opportunity. Instead of expanding the government, I'm going to shrink it. Instead of raising taxes, I'm going to cut them.
The answer for a weak economy is not more government. It is more freedom. Freedom hasn't been one of President Obama's only targets. Our first freedom, our religious freedom has also been under attack by this administration.
You may have seen in a recent labor regulation case, the government claimed that a church should not be free to determine who qualifies as a minister under the law. It claimed that the government should instead interfere with that decision, the government.
The constitution came to the rescue. We wonder what the court would do. They rejected the Obama administration's attack in 9-0 unanimous decision.
And of course, now the Obama administration has decided that it has the power to mandate what Catholic charities and Catholic schools and Catholic hospitals must cover in their insurance plans for their employees.
It's easy to forget how often candidate Obama assured us that under Obama care nothing in our insurance plans would have to change. Remember that one?
Well, here we are just getting started with Obama care and the federal government is already dictating to religious groups on matters of doctrine and conscious.
In all of America, there's no larger private provider of health care for women and their babies than the Catholic Church, but that's not enough. That fact doesn't satisfy the Obama bureacrats.
No, they want the Catholics to fall in line and violate the tenants of their faith.