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Gay GOP Alliance Rips Obama Stance; Police Arrest Kin Of Tennessee Kidnapping Suspect; Mortgage Rates Hit Record Lows; Prosecutors To Wrap Up Edwards Case; No Suspects in Churchill Downs Murder; Taibbi -- Most Boring Election Ever; IV Nutrients to improve Test Scores
Aired May 10, 2012 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: How has this public relations stunt led to a public relations disaster for one company?
But first this hour, the fallout and the fury over President Obama's support of gay marriage. On this morning, after his big announcement, emotions are still raw.
Is it an act of political courage or cold calculation? The president for what it's worth says it's neither. He says he's simply following the religious convictions he shares with his wife.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We're both practicing Christians and obviously this position may be considered to put us with odds with the views of others.
But, you know, when we think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf. But it's also the golden rule, treat others the way you want to be treated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: The debate over same sex marriage has not only religious beliefs, but political alliances. Some political experts say that Mr. Obama's stance may cost him support from Catholics and southern Democrats, but will it win him any support across party line?
Clark Cooper is the executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans, an alliance of gay party members and supporters of gay rights. Welcome, Clark.
CLARKE COOPER, LOG CABIN REPUBLICANS: Thank you, Carol.
COSTELLO: So some people might find this a little surprising. You called the president's announcement offensive and callous, why?
COOPER: For those who are following the issue down in North Carolina, there was a very serious debate on the ballot measure in North Carolina that actually, unfortunately passed. This is known as Amendment One.
They put into the constitution, not allowing not only gay marriage or civil union status in that state, but not recognizing any kind of intrastate transferral from like say the state of New York or where I live here in the District of Columbia.
So the timing was a little off on that, but that said, it was the right thing to do. So, while we are critiquing of delivery, I want to make it real clear where we stand. We lobby for and advocate for the repeal of the defense of marriage act.
Log Cabin probably can certainly have on our plane marriage equality and we work for the freedom to marry. So I want to put that out there. But yes, there's certainly was calculus on the president's part. Several big fundraisers taking place this week --
COSTELLO: I'm just going to interrupt you for just a second because you called it offensive. So does it really matter if it's offensive or not if you're trying to advance a cause?
COOPER: Well, it's turned out the dial, but again, the timing could have different and you know, it was the right thing to do. So the focus here is obviously on the issue of marriage equality. We're for it.
Many of those people who are for it. It isn't the only issue voters will be looking at. So there's the question of how does this move the needle on the broader campaign.
I think it's going to help law makers and those running for office to actually delineate with their position is either they're going to have to establish something on the middle ground, come out for freedom to marry or actually recommit if they're against it.
COSTELLO: Isn't this an odd place for you to be in as a gay Republican, because some say that the president's endorsement of gay marriage will invigorate conservatives. And it's the only thing that will, you know, in other words, it will make them excited about voting for Mitt Romney.
COOPER: Well, it depends. There's a conservative case for marriage or for the freedom to marry. Again, the whole idea of the federal government precluding one being able to practice their individual liberty to get married to those they love is actually certainly anti-conservative.
So there's certainly an argument to be made on the conservative side for the freedom of marriage. Why former Bush colleague Ted Olson is the lead prosecuting attorney on the case to repeal DOMA.
It's why you have folks like Governor Chris Christie in New Jersey seeking that middle ground with civil unions and why people like Eliana Ross Latesman, the most senior Republican in the Congress who is on the respect for marriage bill, which is the repeal of DOMA. So there is -- COSTELLO: So in light of all that, I guess I'm wondering why you just can't celebrate the president's endorsement of gay marriage as a gay man?
COOPER: I say it is the right thing to do. No one is denying that at all and no mistake, our critique is giving a pass to Mitt Romney. We have been very critical of Governor Romney where he stands and the fact that he's been twisting himself up on this issue. So it's not as if we're just deeming President Obama on his delivery yesterday.
COSTELLO: Clarke Cooper, thanks so much for joining us this morning. We appreciate it.
COOPER: Thank you, Carol.
COSTELLO: President Obama's reversal on same-sex marriage underscores the contrast of Republican challenger Mitt Romney. We've been talking about that. The presumptive nominee says his beliefs and his opposition are unwavering.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have the same view on marriage that I had when I was governor, my view is that marriage itself is a relationship between a man and a woman and that's my own preference.
I know other people have differing views. This is a very tender and emotional topic as are many social issues. But I had the same view that I have had since running for office.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Today, the Obama campaign is ceasing on Romney's opposition and releasing an online video calling his views on gay marriage backward.
Today, the prosecution is expected to wrap up its case against John Edwards and it's not looking like Edwards mistress, Rielle Hunter will take the stand.
Yesterday, a White House aide broke down in tears during testimony about Elizabeth Edwards' last day and her testimony supported the prosecution's argument that Edwards knew campaign funds were hiding his affair. Edwards denies that.
Also this hour, jurors resume their deliberation in the Jennifer Hudson family murder trial. William Balfour is the entertainer's former brother-in-law.
He's accused of killing Hudson's mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew. Prosecutors say Balfour was in a jealous rage and had built their case on circumstantial evidence.
The FBI is in dire need of your help this morning as they frantically search for suspected kidnapper, Adam Mayes. He is the newest face on the agency's ten most wanted list.
Mayes is accused of abducting two girls and killing their mother and older sister. The 12-year-old Alexandria Bane and her 8- year-old sister have been missing since late April.
A reward of $175,000 is being offered for information that leads to Mayes' arrest. So let's check in with George Howell. He's been following this case closely. Any new leads?
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, just the other day, Carol. We saw investigators charge Adam Mayes and his wife, Teresa Mayes with first degree murder. They believed that the two, this couple, worked together to kill Joanne and Adrienne Bane and obviously the search continues.
Right now, investigators are desperately trying to find Kaliah and Alexandria. Investigators do believe that they are with Mayes. They believed that the two girls are alive, but the search continues.
A lot of money, Carol, on the table obviously, $175,000 for any information that could lead to his capture that could lead to an arrest. But we are also starting to hear from that community. You're starting to hear the pain in that community since the death of Joanne and Adrianne.
And you can hear it actually from Adrianne's school counselor. Just take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's just a dark cloud over our school and over our community. It's just the heaviness. Our hearts are heavy, we're saddened for our loss and we're concerned no doubt with the uncertainty of what these other two young children are experiencing or have experienced. And it's one of those situations where as adults there is no way we can wrap our minds around something like this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: So right now, Teresa Mayes, she is in custody again on two counts of first degree murder and two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping.
From the arrest affidavit, we read that she told investigators that she drove the bodies from Tennessee to Mississippi. And also Mayes' mother, Mary Mayes is in custody, charged with four counts of conspiring to commit, especially aggravated kidnapping. So that's where we are now.
COSTELLO: So the FBI is offering this $175,000 reward. Are many tips coming in?
HOWELL: You know at this point, we did hear from those investigators and they are desperate to get tips. They was as many tips as they can.
So you get the impression that maybe they are getting some tips, but maybe not enough. Obviously, they are trying to find Mayes. They believe that these girls are in danger. So they're doing their best to try to track them down and they want any tip they can get.
COSTELLO: George Howell, thanks.
The family of two students killed in the Philadelphia duck boat accident will split a $15 million settlement. Surrounding victims of the crash will divide $2 million apiece. The accident happened nearly two years ago when a barge towed by a tug boat plowed into a tour boat. The impact pushed that boat and those aboard under water.
This just in, mortgage ratings hit a record low again. Alison Kosik is at the New York Stock Exchange. I didn't know they could go lower.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, again, so, yes, this marks the second straight record low for mortgage rates. You look at the third year fix, Carol, it's at 3.83 percent.
This is, of course, is coming from Freddie Mac's report that comes out every week. Here's how far they have fallen. You look at five years ago mortgage rates were more than 6 percent.
So, yes, everybody is asking why are rates falling? Well, it's because of the economy. Remember last month's jobs report, it was very weak. French and Greek elections, that's anteing up that uncertainty in the market, making investors really nervous.
So what you get now are investors buying bonds. Bonds are considered a safe, less volatile investment and what that does it pushes mortgage rates down.
One analyst says mortgage rates are likely to start rising, of course, as the economy improves. But you know how that goes, Carol, it's kind of a double edge sword. You know, we want to see the economy improve. We want to see it get better, but we also still want our low mortgage rates. It's usually doesn't work that way.
COSTELLO: I know you save a whole lot of money if you refinance, but frankly, Alison, it's difficult to refinance. You have to have perfect credit. It's hard to get a hold of the banks. You know, and talk to a natural person. It takes forever and the paper work --
KOSIK: Forget it. You need to hire someone to do your paper work. And you know what it also does? It depends on when you bought. Here's a scenario for you, if you bought, let's say at the end of the boom, in 2007, the average rate was at 6 percent.
So if you have a $200,000 loan and refinanced today, you would stay save about $300 a month. That comes out to about $3,700 in savings a year. Of course, the catch is what you talk about. You know, for one, closing cost.
You got to pay them and you have to qualify and it could be really hard right now if your home has dropped in value. But you know what? It's worth checking out, anyway. I would say call the company that issued your mortgage, call other lenders and see if you can get a good deal.
COSTELLO: I found the secret as you just keep calling every day and leaving really long irritating message, and finally, they'll get back to you.
KOSIK: That's like stalking, though.
COSTELLO: You have to though. I'm telling you. I've been through it. It's awful.
KOSIK: I'll remember that.
COSTELLO: Thanks, Alison.
A publicity stunt for Italian automaker Ferrari, boy, did it backfire. This was a video, of course, of a driver doing donut. It was the money shot in Ferrari's new commercial in China. The only problem the spin out took place on the ancient city wall.
It's more than 600 years old and dates back to the Ming dynasty. So that stunt left thick, black tire treads that could not be cleaned up. Ferrari is apologizing, profusely.
You might be excited about the presidential campaign, but our next guest says it might be the most boring election ever, like more boring than the worst reality show you can think of. We'll talk about that.
Body scanners and pat downs just two of the more annoying parts of air travel, but the TSA says it will expand a program to help get you through it all. A little bit faster, but there is a catch. We'll tell you what it is.
COSTELLO: It's 15 minutes past the hour. Checking our top stories now.
The Justice Department plans to sue Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio over racial profiling allegation. Arpaio and the feds had been working on a settlement in the case that apparently fell true when Arpaio refused to accept a court appointed monitor. That observer would have checked whether Arpaio's officers were following the law during traffic stops.
Rescuers at the site of a deadly Russian plane crash say they have not found any survivors and they plan to start removing bodying from the area tomorrow. Wreckage of the plane was found in a mountainous area in Indonesia. After it disappeared during a test flight on Wednesday, 48 people were believed to have been on board. (Inaudible) that a Saudi mole helped derail a plot to bomb a U.S. bound airplane stun people in Washington and beyond. And now the Obama administration wants to know who leaked the news.
National Intelligence Director James Clapper has ordered a review to find out if those leaks came from one of the 16 agencies he oversees. The review will not include the White House or National Security staff, which are technically not part of the intelligence community.
Are you a frequent flyer? Well, stop me if you have heard this one before. A special program where you hand over lots of your personal information and then the government lets you sail right through the security line.
Lizzie O'Leary has the details on the TSA's plan to expand its pre-check program.
LIZZIE O'LEARY, CNN'S AVIATION AND REGULATION CORRESPONDENT: Kkeep your shoes on? Check, belt too? Check. Even a jacket? Check. This is precheck.
PERRY DAVIS, PRECHECK PARTICIPANT: If you're in a hurry, the benefit is that you get through security a lot faster and you don't have to take your computer out of the bag or your liquids, or your shoes off and that saves some time.
O'LEARY: It's a fast track route, complete with a dedicated security lane that will be in 35 of the busiest U.S. airports by the end of the year.
The idea is that travelers who give the government more personal information, your name, birthday and gender and are well known to the airline like frequent flyers are less of a security threat. TSA Administrator John Pistol calls it reducing the haystack of risk.
JOHN PISTOLE, TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION: It's a paradigm shift both for TSA and the traveling public and the way we engage in a partnership and say, let's work together to say if you're willing to share some information about yourselves.
Then we can work with you, perhaps to have expedited physical screening so we can focus on those who we know less about and can focus on those higher risks that we assess.
O'LEARY: Precheck is free and only for domestic U.S. flights. Select American citizens are invited to join by airlines. TSA officials won't disclose exactly who gets an invitation, but it's clear that they are very frequent flyers.
PISTOLE: The more pre-screening we do with individuals because they're willing to share information either through the frequent flyer program or trusted travel programs such as global entry under customs detection. Then we can make some pre-screening decisions and expedite their physical screening at the check points.
O'LEARY: The global entry program, which is separate from pre- check costs $100 and requires U.S. citizens to be fingerprinted and interviews by customs officers.
In return, they also get to use the fast lane and speed through customs. These expedited screening programs are proven popular and TSA is expanding them to include some senior citizens, military personnel and kids.
All pre-check members will still go through security and some will be subjected to random screenings. So it's not always like in the fast lanes. Lizzie O'Leary, CNN, Washington.
COSTELLO: And President Obama's stance on same sex marriage. We're going to talk more about that. Evolved thinking, a big flip flop, our "Political Buzz" panel tackles that question. That's coming your way next.
COSTELLO: Howard Stern is known for his raunchy shock jock antiques. He's also the newest judge on NBC's "America's Got Talent." The new season starts on Monday.
And now the Parents Television Council is telling advertisers to jump ship. But Stern told NBC, he's a good judge.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOWARD STERN, JUDGE, "AMERICA'S GOT TALENT": What a crazy idea to put me on a family show, somebody at NBC should be fired for that, don't you think? Listen, I am a serious judge on "America's Got Talent" and they came to me when Piers Morgan left the show.
And they said, you know, we think you would be a good judge. I have watched the show. I'm a fan on the show. I'm not going on the show to disrupt the beauty of "America's Got Talent" because I love the show.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: A.J. Hammer, host of "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT." So what do you think might happen on Monday?
A.J. HAMMER, HOST, HLN'S "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT": I think it's going to be a big surprise to anybody who doesn't think that Howard is right for this gig. He's certainly for stranger to big battles, Carol.
He knew that this would happen when he took on this job on "America's Got Talent." Well, you know, other than a few clips here and there, we haven't really seen Howard in his new role yet.
Still the Parents Television Council is already calling for this all out boycott of the show and its sponsors. They say he could ruin what they call one of the few family friendly shows on television.
The PTC has been going after Howard for years. Howard is actually making the most of it. In fact, he told Matt Lauer on the "Today" show this morning, NBC should be paying PTC millions of bucks because the more they keep complaining about him, the more people will actually want to tune in to AGT to see what he does.
I think they're just being narrow minded about what Howard is all about. He says he wants to make the most of this new opportunity. And Carol, I know that people that don't listen to him regularly and have that antiquated view of him, will see Howard in a whole new life come Monday night.
COSTELLO: I'll be watching Monday. Make it all more intriguing hasn't it?
I have to talk about John Travolta because you guys got an exclusive interview with the attorney for the man accusing Travolta of sexual assault. What did he say?
HAMMER: Well, our Kareen Wynter sat down with the attorney who represents the man who is making these allegations, and he says they are not convinced of Travolta's claim that he wasn't in L.A. when the first alleged attack is claimed to have taken place. That was January 16. Here's what he had to say to Kareen. Let's watch that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OKORIE OKOROCHA, ATTORNEY FOR JOHN DOES: There's a certain upper echelon of people who would routinely stay there. And these records and who was there and the witnesses, it's really not that difficult to prove.
But in the bigger picture, we can clearly establish that this is his custom habit and practice. And it is consistent and it has been going on for many years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: Really, really strong claim there obviously. And Travolta's attorney provided "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT," Carol, with a restaurant receipt from the night of the 16th in New York as proof that Travolta wasn't on the west coast as these alleged victims have claimed.
We're going to have to see how this unfolds. It's all very unfortunate regardless of what is going on here, but again, Travolta getting the benefit of the doubt absolutely at this stage.
COSTELLO: A.J. Hammer live in New York for us.
Now is your chance to talk back on one of the big stories of the day, the question for you this morning, what's your reaction to President Obama's endorsement of same-sex marriage.
Now that the dust has settled after this big announcement, the question is, how will this affect the way Americans vote? Sorry to say, but there may be some signs. For one thing, the president needs the support of African-American voters.
Some of the same voters who helped overwhelmingly passed North Carolina's amendment one banning same-sex marriage. Obama's announcement worries some black supporters.
Edward O. Dubose is president of the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP tweeted, quote, "This strategy is not going to turn people who are strictly Democrat for Romney. What it does is, it keeps them home and that is even more dangerous than anything else," end quote.
A recent Gallup poll shows Americans are split equally on the subject of same-sex marriage issue. The polls also showed young voters and independents more in favor of legalizing it.
Obama needs those voters to weather the fall and in telling ABC's Robin Roberts why he changed his mind, it didn't hurt the president to mention his ever popular wife and kids.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Malia and Sasha, they have got friends who are same-sex couples. It wouldn't dawn on them that their friends' parents would be treated differently and frankly, that's the kind of thing that prompts a change of perspective.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Keep in mind, the president also gave himself some wiggle room saying the matter should be decided not by the federal government, but by the states.
So the talk about question for you today, what's your reaction to President Obama's endorsement of same sex marriage? Facebook.com/carolcnn. I'll read your comments later this hour.
Joe Biden basically forced his boss's hand on the issue, so should President Obama be thanking him or cursing him? Our "Political Buzz" panel weighs in on that part of the story after a break.
COSTELLO: Just about 30 minutes past the hour. Checking our top stories. The FBI needs your help in finding suspected kidnapper and alleged killer Adam Mayes who they just placed on their 10 most wanted list. Police believe he has 12-year-old Alexandria Bain and 8-year- old sister. He's also accused of killing their mother and their older sister. Asking for anyone with information to call 1-800-tbi-find.
Today the prosecution is expected to wrap up its case against John Edwards and it's not looking like Edwards mistress Rielle Hunter will take the stand. Yesterday, a former White House aide broke down in tears during testimony about Elizabeth Edwards' last days. Her testimony supported the prosecution's argument that Edwards knew campaign funds were hiding his affair.
Andy Colson, the former "News of the World" editor who quit in the midst of a phone hacking scandal is being questioned today at a government hearing. Colson and other were arrested in connection with the scandal although no one has been charged. Colson who stepped down for a spokesman for David Cameron last year is currently free on bail, of course, this all taking place in Britain.
"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, Sirius XM radio host and comedian Pete Dominick on the left and CNN contributor Will Cain on the right. Welcome.
PETE DOMINICK, SIRIUS XM RADIO HOST & COMEDIAN: Thank you.
First question, President Obama expresses support for same-sex marriage and the comedians start mining for gold.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY LENO, TALK SHOW HOST: This is a monumental event, you know why? This is the first time Joe Biden said something Obama didn't have to apologize for. Amazing, amazing. In fact, he changed his campaign slogan from "forward" to "fabulous".
DAVID LETTERMAN, TALK SHOW HOST: Obama also announced a new cabinet position, decorator of the interior.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: But seriously, this gave the campaign a twist. The Obama campaign is already attacking Mitt Romney saying his policies would hurt same-sex couples. House Speaker John Boehner a Republican is telling fellow Republicans to avoid a social issue fight.
So guys will the President's stance on same-sex marriage help or hurt the Romney campaign, Will?
WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: So listen -- I -- I'm going to set aside personal feelings on this issue because this is strictly a political analysis. I think this issue of same-sex marriage reinforces loyalties, so those that were already excited about the prospects of same-sex marriage were probably going to vote for President Obama anyways and now they're slapping his back.
And those that are opposed to it were probably going to vote for Mitt Romney also anyways. And now they are going to look to turn out for him even greater. And that's what it's about, it could affect turnout politically, it could affect Obama's turnout negatively and -- and Romney's positively. That has the potential, more so than swing voters turnouts.
DOMINICK: I think Will is right and building on that, I mean, this was a good issue for the Bush re-election in 2004, 11 states put it on the ballot. The country has evolved with the President. So who wins on this? We're not seeing Romney making a big deal out of this like John Boehner's comments. The President wins on this.
I had caller call in to my show yesterday Carol said, I was going to hold my nose and vote for President Obama. Now I'm going to take my fingers off my nose and I'm going to work for the President, knock on doors and make phone calls. He's definitely are going to get more young people energized and this is a great move for him. But Will's right, the net -- the net gain, we won't -- we don't know yet.
COSTELLO: Ok an online petition calls on Democrats to ditch Charlotte as the Democratic convention city because of North Carolina's passage of that anti same-sex marriage amendment. In their minds they're not going to Carolina.
Democratic leaders say they are not changing their plans they'll keep the convention where it is. But should the Democrats say see you to Charlotte? Will?
CAIN: Could you pick a worse place than Charlotte for the Democratic National Convention right now honestly then after the North Carolina gay marriage vote but also hey, Occupy Wall Street is in Charlotte this week. They are occupying the Bank of America shareholder's meeting, and Charlotte is a huge banking center outside of New York.
But no, you cannot pull-up stakes and move this late in the game. That would look like utter defeat, utter tucking your tail between your legs and running. There is no prospect, no way, no how they can move out of -- out of North Carolina.
DOMINICK: Well by the way the Democratic National Convention is in the Bank of America stadium in North Carolina. You know Carol we learned a lot about North Carolina this week. I learned that in North Carolina, you can marry your cousin, but not if he's gay. The last time North Carolina, men on their constitution on the issue of marriage was to ban interracial marriage.
So they took a big, black eye, in my point of view. But I mean, the idea of moving -- I'm all for activism but I don't like the purpose here, the idea of moving the convention, I mean, they already have a very anemic liberal base. Why punish those people? They've got to win this state or they -- they want to win the state. They did it last time and they're going to try again this time.
COSTELLO: That's right, North Carolina is a swing state. Ok, on to the third question, your "Buzzer Beater" 20 seconds each, the White House says Joe Biden forced the President's hand on the same-sex marriage issue. Do if you're Mr. Obama, do you put duct tape on Biden's mouth or do you thank him? Will?
CAIN: You -- I -- I you just put up with it, it's what you do. I don't know if you thank him or duct tape him, but you just brace yourself for more because as James Carville told me yesterday -- Biden will be Biden, you have signed up for this. Biden brings you some benefits he knows the legislative process behind the scenes. He's helped inside the Senate but Biden also knows how to run his mouth and he will run his mouth and you will, Obama administration put up with it.
DOMINICK: Well, Americans are so disenchanted with politicians because they -- we feel they are so dishonest. God forbid a politician like Joe Biden speak the honest truth. I think he's thoroughly enjoying the taste of his own foot. I hope he gets out there and gets asked about marijuana, legalizing marijuana and maybe you could push the President on that. Or maybe he could say, I wish there were six more seasons of the "Chapelle (ph)" show, or universal health care, maybe he could be more honest about those things and the President would move a little on those issues.
COSTELLO: Ok we'll see. Thanks for playing today, guys. Will Cain and Pete Dominick.
You might be excited about the presidential campaign, but a lot of people say it probably will be the most boring election ever, like more boring than the worst reality show you can think of. We'll talk about that.
And investigators are searching for clues on whoever killed a man hours after the Kentucky Derby. The victim's son believes the killer could be wandering around Churchill Downs right now. We've got exclusive.
COSTELLO: The son of the man who was found dead hours after the Kentucky Derby says the killer must be one of the stable workers. Wilson Perez spoke exclusively to Ed Lavandera.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The mystique of Kentucky Derby day draws tens of thousands to watch a millionaire's game. The glamorous fashion, a tip of the hat to a bygone era.
(on camera): What many people might not know about horse racing is that on that side of the racetrack it's a completely different world. That's where all of the fanfare and the beauty of race day takes place. It's a different story on this side of the track.
(voice-over): This is the forgotten side of a horse track. It's called the backside, a secluded world of transient workers in the horse racing industry. Some 600 people live on the backside of Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. It's where 19-year-old Wilson Perez worked alongside his father, Adan Perez until Adan's body mysteriously turned up in barn number eight just hours after one of the most famous horse races in the world.
Wilson Perez is speaking about his father's murder for the first time.
(on camera): How difficult have these last days been?
Wilson says it's been very hard supporting everyone in my family. I need to stay strong. Wilson Perez is one of Adan's seven children, their family lives in Guatemala. Wilson begged his father to bring him to the United States two years ago so they could work together. They groomed horses. Son walking in father's footsteps.
Wilson says the last time he spoke to his father was around 11:30 Saturday night just a few hours after the final race of derby day. Wilson says his father called from a restaurant he was out with friends.
He said everything sounded normal in that phone call. He called to ask him where he was and what he was doing and everything sounded normal.
(voice-over): About five hours later Adan Perez turned up dead.
(on camera): This is barn number eight where the body of Adan Perez was found and the barn backs up to the racetrack itself. This is the backstretch. You can see the twin spires in the background there. This is where the horses ran on the backstretch of the Kentucky Derby.
(voice-over): Stable hand Hugo Hernandez shows us where Perez's body was left. Access to the backside of Churchill Downs is mostly restricted. Workers are registered and carry special identification which heightens the mystery. Is the killer living among those who work here?
KEN BOEHM, CHURCHILL DOWNS CHAPLAIN: The outside world doesn't see this world. They -- they don't know what the backside of a racetrack is like.
LAVANDERA: Churchill Downs Chaplain Ken Boehm says this mostly Hispanic immigrant community keeps to itself. Workers here are transient move from horse track to horse track. The work is exhausting, seven days a week, no vacation. Some clean barns, groom and feed horses. Workers can live for free on these grounds. Most come from Central America.
Workers tell us most people earn between $250 and $800 a week. Wilson Perez hasn't stopped working even as he tries to get his father's body buried in Guatemala.
(on camera): He says he wants answers for what's happened here and he wants whoever is responsible to be found guilty.
He can only wait for investigators to solve his father's mysterious murder.
Ed Lavandera, CNN, Louisville, Kentucky.
COSTELLO: The presidential race, the most boring election every? Our next guest describes it as the worst kind of reality show, with Joe Biden playing the only interesting character. We'll talk about that, coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two of the most powerful women in business are keeping it all in the family on the Fortune 500 list. Frontier Communications CEO Maggie Wilderodder and Campbell's Soup CEO Denise Morrison are sisters, 13 months apart. They are the eldest of four daughters, all of whom followed in their father's footsteps and became executives.
They attribute part of their success to their mother, teaching them that quote, "ambition is a part of being feminine".
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: The general election campaign, well, not technically, but it is on. In one corner, the challenger Mitt Romney has lost before. This is his biggest fight yesterday. In the other corner, the President; he's defending the title he won four years ago.
Are you pumped for this clash of the titans? Well, Matt Taibbi is not. He writes, "Obama versus Romney is the worst reality show on TV since the Tila Tequila days. The characters are terrible. There's no suspense. And the biggest thing is, it lacks both spontaneity and a gross-out factor."
Matt Taibbi is a contributing editor with "Rolling Stone" magazine. He joins us from New York. Welcome.
MATT TAIBBI, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, "ROLLING STONE" MAGAZINE: Thanks for having me.
COSTELLO: Nice you're here. So really boring, didn't President Obama's surprise evolution give the election some life?
TAIBBI: Didn't his what -- I'm sorry?
COSTELLO: His evolving views on same-sex marriage --
TAIBBI: Oh, same sex marriage, yes.
COSTELLO: -- didn't it pump up the race?
TAIBBI: If you notice, that was really Joe Biden who injected that little plot to us into the race. But yes, I guess there's going to be a few controversies here and there. But really it lacks the same kind of thrills we had four years ago when it seemed like every week there was some new crazy controversy from Reverend Wright to Geraldine Ferraro to, you know, to Bill Ayers. It was something like that every week. And we're just not having that this time.
COSTELLO: I don't think you can ever top the election of 2008. It was a fact that it was great (ph).
TAIBBI: Yes, it was fantastic. Yes, yes. Purely from a reality show television aspect, I think it was the most entertaining election we have had.
COSTELLO: Absolutely. Although, you know, the race is neck and neck. I mean are you suggesting the two men are at in virtual tie simply because voters are bored right now?
TAIBBI: You know, I saw that poll. I don't believe it. I think -- I don't know any campaign journalist out there who thinks that Romney has a legitimate chance to win. I'm not making a value judgment about either candidate.
I just think that in the press, there's this general feeling that this election is a foregone conclusion. You have a relatively popular incumbent, the economy is not doing terribly, and traditionally, especially the candidate who has as a major fundraising advantage almost always wins and Obama has raised a lot more money than Romney has.
So I just think that -- could Romney win? Yes, it's possible. I just don't think it's likely and that takes a lot of the suspense out of the race.
COSTELLO: Yes. But didn't you hear James Carville the other day. He said that many people feel exactly what you just said and that's dangerous because he thinks Democrats could lose.
TAIBBI: Yes, that's possible but one of the things we have to remember and I think we all in the media, we all get caught up in this. There are very few political taboos in American journalism. But there are a lot of commercial taboos, and one of the big one is you can never say that something is a foregone conclusion. It's our job in the media to try to drum up interest in this. We have to sell advertisers and we have to get viewers and ratings.
So we can't just come out and say that this thing is over six months before it happens. So there's a strong incentive by all the pundits, including people like me, to come out there and say well, this could happen, that could happen. Romney has a legitimate chance -- it's just a subconscious poll that works in all of us in the media that drives us to make those kinds of comments, I think.
COSTELLO: Ok. So you're making me really depressed. Give me some redeeming value in this election, in light of all you just said.
TAIBBI: Well, I mean it's still -- it's still the presidential election, it's the most powerful office in the world. There's always going to be some kind of drama about it. And there's quite a lot at stake and I'm sure we'll come up with something that will make it interesting before the end. But this election feels a lot like 2004, scum, when you had a very powerful and relatively popular incumbent and kind of uninspiring challenger who was nominated reluctantly by his own party which leads to an anti-climatic ending, And I think that's where we're headed for in this race.
COSTELLO: Yes, because you kind of have to think like a minute. Just figure out who that worse to see if they can come up with their names.
Matt Taibbi, thanks so much for joining us
COSTELLO: Students (inaudible) an IV in the Classroom. We're asking our senior medical correspondent, does this really help students study.
COSTELLO: All right. We have some interesting images from China. These are students, they're in a classroom. You're going to see them, there they are. This is a classroom, not a hospital room. These students are hooked up to IVs and the IVs are pumping in some sort of nutritional supplement into their blood, into their system. The goal is to help these students study better for important college entrance exams.
This is so bizarre that we had to bring in our senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen. What exactly are they pumping into their systems to study better?
ELIZABETH COHEN, SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: We're told that it's amino acids. And amino acids are sort of this -- sometimes used in alternative medicine by some people. But certainly never in this way. There's not any proof that those amino acids are going to help their brains work better or help them stay awake.
But they think there is. There's some suggestion that maybe amino acids will help combat mental fatigue and so they ran with that I guess. And they figured out -- as I understand it, these tests in China are a huge big deal. It's not like the SATs or something, where it's part of your future. This is their future. So they figure, well, we're going to go all out and really, you know, make sure we do well on these exams.
What's interesting to me is that the adults not only know that they're doing this. I mean obviously those bags are right there. They're not invisible. But the school actually helped pay for all of this. Yes.
COSTELLO: Didn't they ever hear of (inaudible).
COHEN: Maybe they don't have that in China. I don't know. But --
COSTELLO: Ok. So is it harmful in any way. COHEN: You know we talked to some doctors about this and they said depending upon the type amino acid you're using, and how much of it you're using and for how long, you can cause kidney and liver damage not to mention the fact that you're putting a needle into your arm. And we don't know who did the needle insertions. I mean did the school nurse come and do them or did the kids do them on each other?
We don't know.
COSTELLO: They probably learned how to do it.
COHEN: Maybe so there's a risk of infection and other problems. I mean it's just generally a bad idea.
COSTELLO: Well, I don't see it coming to the United States any time soon.
COHEN: I don't either, but I do want to tell you something, though, we can look at this and laugh, and say oh, my goodness, how could they do this. But I'll tell you a year ago, I watched a young man named Jared study for his finals in Alabama, and he was very open about taking Adderall. And we watched him take Adderall, he bought it from a friend, who had gotten it prescribed to him.
You know, I know that's not an IV but still he's illegally taking prescription drugs to stay up later. They need to focus more as you said.
COSTELLO: Don't do that. Right, exactly.
COHEN: I hate -- you shouldn't need to do that.
COSTELLO: Elizabeth thank you so much.
We asked you to talk back on one of the big stories of the day, the question, what is your reaction to President Obama's endorsement of same-sex marriage? I'll read your responses after the break.
COSTELLO: We asked you to talk back on one of the big stories of the day. The question for you this morning, what's your reaction to President Obama's endorsement of same marriage.
This from Carissa. "If my gay cousins who've been together longer than I've been alive don't deserve the same respect as Kim Kardashian, Newt Gingrich and the sister wives, there's something serious wrong with this country."
This from Wanda, "This country was founded on Christian values and Obama just made a mockery of Christian values the founding fathers fought for. We are the laughing stock of the world. Thank you Obama."
This from Gincy, "Since god created gays and lesbians, it seems only fair that they should be able to join them together in holy matrimony if that is their choice."
This from Deloris, "just another reason not to vote for Obama. I am so upset. I am speechless."
Keep the conversation going, facebook.com/Carolcnn. And thanks as always for your comments. I'm Carol Costello, "CNN NEWSROOM" continues right now with Kyra Phillips.