Skip to main content

tv   Weekends With Alex Witt  MSNBC  March 3, 2012 7:00am-8:00am EST

7:00 am
that does it for us. we'll see you again monday night. "weekends with alex witt" starts now. i got to call 911. >> you are looking for your mom? >> shock in the heartland. a town swept away by deadly twisters, the pictures and stories are unreal. we've got live reports ahead. ? politics, reaction to rush. gop presidential conditioned dates give their comments on the contraception controversy. good morning, everyone. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." now let's get to what's happening. we're beginning with the breaking news in the midwest and south. this twisters caught on tape in indiana. 31 are dead after a second outbreak throughout nation's midsection. officials assessing how many tornadoes touched down. the direction in henriville, indiana, is astounding. school buses tossed like toys,
7:01 am
homes tossed from foundations. we begin in henriville. >> forecasters predicted the harsh weather that came through southeastern indiana but nobody could have foreseen what happened next. the images here in henriville, indiana, are breath taking. we're standing front of what used to be henriville high school. as you can see, a shelf its remain. the middle score next door, the roof entirely blown off. as the sun begins to rise here in henriville, the residents here are letting it sink in of what just happened. >> it's hard. it's just hard on everybody. everything's gone. you know, everything is just gone. >> reporter: the forecast for southern indiana called for severe weather. but what followed early friday evening could not have been predicted. >> didn't really think it was going to happen because tornado warnings come out all the time and never hits us. >> reporter: tornadoes ripped through a four county radius leveling small farming communities. there were as many tornadoes in
7:02 am
the last 24 hours than in an average month of march. the people here are shocked at how quick lit devastation happened. >> things were falling and coming off the walls. noises, crashes, glass flying everywhere. it was like a dream. >> mother nature unleashed her fury on us. >> here in henriville, a town of about 3,000, just north of the kentucky border, the destruction is far as the eye can see. >> it was huge. it was ugly. >> street after street. house after house. >> it was heading right this way. >> family after family. affected. >> i have to go find my mom. >> you're looking for your mom. >> my mom, my sister, my brother,my nephew, my dad. >> reporter: devastated by this
7:03 am
storm that left little in its wake. for those who found shelter, the calm after the storm. it brings meaning. >> we're alive. that's what counts. tvs, cars, all being replaced. no need to get upset. my rocking chair is fine. >> reporter: that's all you can really say. we've spoken to local and state authorities. they are telling us a few things. one please do not come to the affected areas. they are con doukting search and rescue missions and actively clearing the roads. secondly, if you'd like to help, you can make a monetary donation or drop off supplies at the salvation army or red cross. they're also taking donations. nbc news. back to you. >> i'd like to ask you a couple questions. first after, what remains standing? are municipal buildings, government buildings, grocery stores, gas stations? is anything still standing there in henryville?
7:04 am
>> you know, alex, that's a good question. we haven't seen the entire scope of the town but what i can tell you, is that henryville and the neighboring city, maryville, are completely wiped out. there's very little left as you can reference the high school and the same thing, this is a city of about 3,000 next door neighboring about 1,900. we're getting death reports in, the latest toll up to 31. >> extraordinary numbers there. and some devastation. i have to tell you, that piece you put together, that young girl who was looking for what seemed like every member of her family, do we have any idea if she found anyone? >> reporter: we don't have an update on her specifically, alex. it is devastating. if you have not been to an aftermath of a tornado, it doesn't get much worse. it's truly terrifying. >> these are pictures that will stay with us for a while. we'll keep following this story. thank you so much for the live report from a devastated
7:05 am
henryville. >> thank you. the destruction stretches beyond indiana. the town of west liberty, kentucky was hit twice in two days. the storm knocked the church steeple to the ground and overturned several vehicles. national guard troops are going door to door now. ten people have died in that state. >> madison county, alabama, right near huntsville. the storms destroyed dozens of homes, injured several people across that state. moving on to nashville, entennessee, another aspect of storm to show you. golf ball sized hail fell on to that city, the hail bouncing off cars. look at that. the storm struck across the entire state of tennessee. the storm batter ed. >> i started seeing stuff fly g flying. my husband said, it is coming, get in the house. >> i can't remember much about it other than seeing everything flying around. >> the tornado was following us.
7:06 am
luckily this woman was so generous to let us stay in her basement. >> well, the major worry of new tornadoes is over but some areas remain at a slight risk today. nbc meteorologist bill karins has the latest on the forecast. good morning, bill. >> good morning to you, alex. unbelievable conditions yesterday that led to this tornado outbreak. a lot of people are wondering what do we have left as we go throughout the morning hours? we are wondering down to the southeast, the storms rolling through, we have a severe thunderstorm watch. it still continues. for the most part, the tornado threat is over with. we still can get damaging winds out of this in eastern areas of north carolina, south carolina, possibly down there in southern georgia and north florida. that's the extent of it. the big tornado threat has ended during the overnight hours. as far as today goes, again, this area in yellow, still a slight risk of severe weather, compare that to yesterday when we had a high risk. this is minor. there may be an isolated tornado or two. we're not counting on much down there in the panhandle of
7:07 am
florida. definitely windy conditions with thunderstorms that form in the coastal carolinas and northern portions of florida. as far as the forecast goes today, we have the cleanup going on in areas of indiana, kentucky, tennessee, northern alabama. those are the states that were hit the hardest. it is a cold, chilly day. wind chills will be down in the 20s throughout portions of the morning. it will warm up during the rest of day. there's a nice tranquil, quiet weather pattern through sunday. that's a look at the forecast. incredible, one of the worst tornado outbreaks ever, alex, in march is in the history books. back to you. >> thank you so much, bill karins. four people were killed by the storm in jefferson county, indiana. the damage was extensive in that concentrated area. it's not too far from henryville. the homes have been dried in the town of chelsea as well. tom costello is there this morning. oh, tom, what's the latest from there? we can only imagine. >> reporter: yeah, alex, this is just horrendous.
7:08 am
four people as you mention in chelsea. to give you perspective, we're about 30 miles or so up state highway 62 north from louisville. the sun is just now coming up. we're all getting a realization of how bad this is. let me tell you what happened right here. the gentleman who lives here with his wife and child, they had left for the day, however, he was here. he saw this massive storm coming. he thought it was 150 mile per hour winds or so. they're still debating about how decided he could not ride he got in his pickup truck and took off. good thing he did. because his house, used to be 100 yards behind the camera. it's now over there. literally picked up off the foundation and carried above 100 yards down, as you can see, down the hill. this was a shed here. so he survived. his wife and child survived. but alex, unfortunately, three family members just across the road here, did not make it. an elderly couple and also a child who was with them.
7:09 am
and another person died here in chelsea. they are describing the devastation here this morning. tragedy. it was just an absolutely storms that look at the devastation here. let's pull the shot out really wide if we could, because -- i don't know if you can see over mountain of rubble but everywhere you look across this farm country here, the trees have been shredded, homes have been ripped apart. debris is everywhere. and it is astonishing to see what mother nature can do. it's not even really full spring yet, meteorological spring but not what we think of spring. >> tom, these pictures are devastating. there's this baron land escape. the irony, you have the
7:10 am
newspaper, terrible tragedy. i think about that and think about a newspaper boy who would get on his bike or get in a car and, you know, deliver that in the morning to people's homes. i mean, there's nowhere to deliver it. is there anything standing that you can see in your line of sight there, tom? again, i was asking our colleague, any municipal building, shelters, anything like that where people can congregate? >> we're in a very -- yes, we're in a very rural area here. i do see a small home right across the street that seems to have suffered minor damage. but it's certainly -- it's certainly a heck of a lot better off than this. this is not a town, per se, at least not where we are. you go further south down highway 62, there are plenty of buildings that are fine and not damaged at all. that's why it's so strange, as we talk about, tornadoes hops and skips across the countryside. they were talking this morning, talking to the local weather
7:11 am
experts who are saying they think this particular storm that hit this area with 150 mile per hour winds potentially, may have been on the ground for a 20-mile stretch. >> wow. >> imagine that. alex, back to you. >> no, that is incredible. thank you for that. a long day ahead for those residents. tom costello, thanks. we'll hear from one of the many weather channel correspondents covering this story at the bottom of the hour. head to for more on the storm. to politics, republican candidates and the reaction to rush limbaugh and incendiary comments about a georgetown law student. is the gop being held hostage by the talk show host? you're watching "weekends with alex witt."
7:12 am
don't our dogs deserve to eat fresher less processed foods just like we do introducing freshpet healthy recipes of
7:13 am
fresh meat and fresh veggies so fresh the only preservative we use is the fridge freshpet fresh food for fido i'm going to own my own restaurant. i want to be a volunteer firefighter. when i grow up, i want to write a novel. i want to go on a road trip. when i grow up, i'm going to go there. i want to fix up old houses. [ female announcer ] at aarp we believe you're never done growing. i want to fall in love again. [ female announcer ] discover what's next in your life. get this free travel bag when you join at
7:14 am
7:15 am
now to front page politics. a new reaction from president obama and the gop candidates to rush limbaugh's controversial birth control comments. limbaugh used derogatory terms this week to describe sandra fluke, a third year law tune at georgetown. the white house called limbaugh's comments reprehensible. fluke testified about the need for companies, including those with religious affiliations to provide contraceptive health coverage to employees. fluke told andrea mitchell friday that president obama had called her. >> he encouraged me and supported me and thanked me for speaking out about the concerns of american women and what was really personal for me was that he said to tell my parents that they should be proud. and that meant a lot, because rush limbaugh questioned whether
7:16 am
or not my family would be proud of me. >> mitt romney weighed in on the controversy while campaigning in cleveland friday. >> it's not the language i would have used. i'm focusing on the issues that i think are significant in the country today. that's why i'm here talking about jobs in ohio. >> rick santorum shared his thoughts in a tv interview. >> he's being absurd. an entertainer can be absurd. he's taking the absurd sort of point of view here as to how far do you go? and, look, he's in a very different business than i am. >> and ron paul said this, when asked about limbaugh's comments, quote, you'll have to ask him about his crudeness. joining me is a congressional reporter for "the washington post" and mollie ball, national reporter -- political reporter for "the atlantic." good to see you both. >> good morning. >> mollie, i begin with you.
7:17 am
we heard the gop candidates there responding to rush limbaugh's controversial statements. mitt romney's in particular were not a strong rebuke in any way. do you think the republican party is being held hostage by limbaugh? >> i think that's absolutely the case we can't hear democrats making in the next several days about this issue, that the republicans are afraid to stand up to rush limbaugh, that he's operationally in control of the republican party's message and they're going to frame this as a choice between siding with women in this battle and siding with rush limbaugh and his offensive comments. that puts the republican keanes in a tricky spot because rush limbaugh as unpopular as he may be with the national audience is quite popular with the republican base. i think we'll hear more about this. the candidates are not done explaining where they come down on that. that is exactly where the democrats would like this debate to be. >> yes, felicia, given this tricky spot as mollie's calling it, do you think this contraception debate has damaged the republican party.
7:18 am
>> i think what it's done is it's given a whole argument over contraception which republicans were trying to turn into a case of religious freedom to begin with. it's given a name and a face to this issue, making it into a women's rights one. this is something that republicans, for certain, had the upper handhood on in the first few weeks of this. the obama administration reversed course on their health care rule on this. it was something that they may have overplayed their hand on a little bit. but now that rush limbaugh has made these comments, i think what's striking is presidential candidates don't quite seem to know how to respond to this. you had even the speaker of the house, john boehner, come out and call these comments inappropriate and then pivot and look at democrats who have raised about $1.6 million from these. you're not seeing the republican presidential candidates responding in as savvy a way to this, i think, quite frankly. that's a lost opportunity for them. >> are you at all surprised that
7:19 am
the president reached out to sandra fluke? was that political? >> i think absolutely, again, it's framing this choice as are you on the side of women? and the president very personally associating himself with her side in this argument to personalize it, to put her face on it and when you put your face against rush limbaugh's face and his comments, i think felicia's absolutely right. that's a losing argument for raynes. >> felicia, might it have helped one of the gop candidates to stand out and condemn limbaugh more strongly? you both describe the fear of going up against rush limbaugh but if the goal is to really try and ultimately get some of those independents and the like, you heard mitt romney. that's just a watered down comment. rick santorum could have gone a little more strong on this. although his delivery was, you know, pretty powerful there. do you think one of them could have taken this a step further? >> absolutely. it's not always a bad thing to
7:20 am
come out against someone in your party. as mollie's mentioned, rush limbaugh is extraordinarily popular among republicans. i think this comment is absolutely not. you've got to remember, even in the gop electorate, a big share of the voters who are going out there are women who are understandably offended by this kind of thing. i don't think they had to play it as safe as they had been on the campaign trail. i think that was their knee jerk reaction. when you have rick santorum coming out and using the word entertainer in this context and the candidates playing this down, there are certain issues and controversies that you definitely can play down successfully. this is probably not one of them. >> i'm sorry. mollie, i want to switch back real quickly to the washington state caucuses. what do you expect to see. >> this is one of the under the radar contests that will be interesting in terms of pointing us to where the national weather
7:21 am
vane is going. there's a couple of super tuesday states out there as well. it certainly is not as hard fought a contest as here in ohio where i am. you tend to see those contests having much more to do with sort of where the national narrative is going and which candidate seems to be on the upswing. i think we'll see because it's a caucus, do we see an organizational advantage for ron paul? does he finally start to do well? or do we see mitt romney who was behind in washington caucus poll some weeks ago, do we see him now starting to look like the front-runner and starting to look like he's going to sweep those contests that are more or less uncontested? >> we will see, ladies, thanks so much. >> thanks, alex. >> thank you. are more fees on the horizon at one of the nation's biggest banks? that's next on "weekends with alex witt." all i could do was worry !
7:22 am
specialists, lots of doctors, lots of advice... and my hands were full. i couldn't sort through it all. with unitedhealthcare, it's different. we have access to great specialists, and our pediatrician gets all the information. everyone works as a team. and i only need to talk to one person about her care. we're more than 78,000 people looking out for 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare. avoid bad.fats. don't go over 2000... 1500... 1200 calories a day. carbs are bad. carbs are good. the story keeps changing. so i'm not listening... to anyone but myself. (laughs) i know better nutrition when i see it: great grains. great grains cereal starts whole and stays whole. see the seam? more processed flakes look nothing like natural grains. you can't argue with nutrition you can see. mmmm. great grains. great grains. search great grains and see for yourself. you can't argue with me. i had[ designer ]eeling enough of just covering up my moderate to severe
7:23 am
plaque psoriasis. i decided enough is enough. ♪ [ spa lady ] i started enbrel. it's clinically proven to provide clearer skin. [ rv guy ] enbrel may not work for everyone -- and may not clear you completely, but for many, it gets skin clearer fast, within 2 months, and keeps it clearer up to 9 months. [ male announcer ] because enbrel suppresses your immune system, it may lower your ability to fight infections. serious, sometimes fatal, events including infections, tuberculosis, lymphoma, other cancers, and nervous system and blood disorders have occurred. before starting enbrel, your doctor should test you for tuberculosis and discuss whether you've been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. don't start enbrel if you have an infection like the flu. tell your doctor if you're prone to infections, have cuts or sores, have had hepatitis b, have been treated for heart failure, or if, while on enbrel, you experience persistent fever, bruising, bleeding, or paleness. if you've had enough, ask your dermatologist about enbrel.
7:24 am
you get a 50% annual bonus. and everyone likes 50% more cash -- well, except her. no! but, i'm about to change that. ♪ every little baby wants 50% more cash... ♪ phhht! fine, you try. [ strings breaking, wood splintering ] ha ha. [ male announcer ] the capital one cash rewards card. the card for people who want 50% more cash. ♪ what's in your wallet? ♪ what's in your...your...
7:25 am
america's shopping spree. bank of america, new fees coming and a new apple on the horizon. join me now with a deeper look at the financial stories of the week. good morning, vera. >> good morning with alex. >> they beat estimate. do you think weather made the difference. >> spring huff like conditions, i think that had something to do with it, as far as retailers. people were at restaurants, they were out eating which is a nice positive sign. in terms of same-store sales, they came in above estimates. the gap, same-store sales were up 4%, which is very good, because this is a retailer that's been struggling. this is the time of year, of course, when the retailers get rid of the merchandise, they bring in the spring stuff. there's lots of bright colors. people are looking to spruce up wardrobes, bright oranges and pinks, accessories and apparel.
7:26 am
keep in mind, too, that confidence was at a high in february. people were feeling good about things in general, about the job situation and their financial situation and these numbers reflect that. >> yes. i thought people power put this next thing to rest with bank of america considering more checking fees. are the fees ever going to stop? >> you would think bank of america would have learned. unfortunately these fees are here to stay. banks are up against this regulation, right? increased fees with consumers or get them to do more banking with them. what eshg erks consumers is th banks have the cavalier customers. one in three have less than $5,000 in deposits. the banks don't want these guys. they're not profitable customers. they would prefer them to walk away. unfortunately, i think a lot of us will be forced to walk away particularly as the fees rise. nothing in.
7:27 am
>> baing is free these days. there's strings attached with everything. >> what do you know about the ipad that will be released next week? >> said to be faster, better, stronger, better memory. the siri feature is supposed to be on there. $80 more than the previous one. >> okay. thanks for the heads up on that. >> thanks, alex. in this morning's one-minute play back, actress julianne moore talks about her role as sarah palin in "the game change." moore described how she got ready for the role. >> i listened to her book on tape, her book "going rogue." i went on youtube, found her media appearances, speeches, debates, convention speeches, wiped everything off my ipod except for "ice ice baby." my 14-year-old son was really embarrassed by that. nothing worse than having a mom
7:28 am
that has nothing but sarah palin and "ice aice baby" on her ipod. i had it on constantly. regenerist microsculpting cream also unscented. women love it. in original and also fragrance-free.
7:29 am
women love it. to find you a great deal, even if it's not with us. [ ding ] oh, that's helpful! well, our company does that, too. actually, we invented that. it's like a sauna in here. helping you save, even if it's not with us -- now, that's progressive! call or click today. no mas pantalones! one chance to hunt down the right insurance at the right price. the "name your price" tool, only from progressive. ready, aim, save! grrr! ooh, i forgot my phone!
7:30 am
the "name your price" tool. now available on your phone. get a free quote today. chocolate lemonade ? susie's lemonade... the movie. or... we make it pink ! with these 4g lte tablets, you can do business at lightning-fast speeds. we'll take all the strawberries, dave. you got it, kid. we have a winner. we're definitely gonna need another one. small businesses that want to grow use 4g lte technology from verizon.
7:31 am
i wonder how she does it. that's why she's the boss. because the small business with the best technology rules. contact the verizon center for customers with disabilities at 1-800-974-6006. welcome back to "weekends with alex witt." more on this morning's breaking news. at least 31 people are reported dead at this hour. power outages and blocked roads are keeping crews from reaching every victim and the death toll is expected to rise today. the storms hit southern indiana particularly hard. officials there say entire towns are destroyed. and people across the region captured possible tornadoes on their cameras, there were 95 tornado reports across 9 states. today weather officials will tour the damage to determine how many twisters actually touched down. let's get more details on the deadly storm. tom costello once again in chelsea, indiana with the very latest. another good morning to you, tom. >> reporter: to add insult to injury, it is bitter cold this morning. people are waking up, in some
7:32 am
cases looking through what's left of their belongings and homes and it is really chilly. behind me, now that the sun has come up, if you saw, were with us a half hour ago, talked about what happened, now we can see it. take a look at that house back there. i'll tell you where it traveled from. i'll ask my cameraman to do a big, wide pan. the foundation for that house, as we scan across this field, the foundation for that house is over there. as you look at that house, it was literally ripped from the foundation. take a look at the trees behind it. the trees completely shredded. and this is what you're seeing throughout this entire region. this is all that's left of henryville high school. this indiana town, about 20 miles north of louisville, kentucky, saw some of the worst of it as a string of powerful storms ripped a path of destruction from northern alabama to southern indiana.
7:33 am
the kids got out of the school only 15 minutes before the winds ripped it apart. >> we got on the buses and we started heading to my house, and a tornado was following us. luckily, this woman was so generous to let our bus stay in her basement. >> reporter: the clark county sheriff's office describes marysville, ten miles east of henryville, as, quote, completely gone. this is what the super cell storm looked like after flattening harvest, alabama. >> we had just got in in january and moved back into the house and getting ready to move that mobile home. it picked it up, turned it around and slammed it into the house. >> reporter: west liberty, kentucky didn't have that much time to recover. this is the second deadly storm to hit the town in just 48 hours. in the thick of the storm, hail pelted cars, coming down so furiously that they had to pull off the road.
7:34 am
power lines and trees are down everywhere. blocking roads and trapping victims of the storms in the middle of the wreckage and keeping rescuers out. for people in this part of the country, it's hard to imagine that so much could be lost and so much damage could be done in just a few short hours. >> it's hard. it's just hard on everybody. everything's gone. everything is just gone. >> we are back live in chelsea, indiana. alex, to give you a perspective, tv sometimes we try to lock down our cameras and not show you all the stuff we do behind the scenes, but to show you a panoramic view, this is a house behind me, if you will, on the other side of the camera. and across the street. and i've asked the cameraman to do a very big wide pan. you'll see the audio technician here, the satellite truck technician. the point is as you do a pan across this entire area, 24, if
7:35 am
you will, a 360, rather, this is what it looks like. >> there's nothing. >> everything is shredded. >> well, thankfully a few homes here and there. but it is real utter devastation. a minute ago i talked to a gentleman who rode out one of the worst strings of tornados in history in 1974. and he said, from his perspective, he thought that yesterday's event was the worst since that horrendous series of storms 30 some years ago. back to you. >> i'm curious, if a man like that is able to describe it. i'm just taking from personal experience, never having been in a tornado but when i was listening to the hail you were bringing with the radio, been in some nasty rainstorms and your heart pounds and you pull over because you cannot literally go forward. imagine what that is like to have a tornado look that coming at you. >> you know, everybody who's ever ridden out a tornado it seems, for that matter an
7:36 am
earthquake, so often they describe it as a freight train. that's what everybody says, the sound of it, the earth is shaking and rumbling, the wind is howling. it is mother nature, you know, in extremes. i must tell you be i was thinking just before you came to me, when you see this, you kind of get the perspective that we are just but a spec on the planet and whenever mother nature decides to come through, she can do awful damage. >> i'll tell you, well said. wonderful perspective there. tom costello, thank you very much. thank you, cameraman, we appreciate that 360. that does put it in perspective as well. our coverage of the deadly tornado outbreak continues on, which includes a further look at what is causing this violent weather. new reaction to comments made by rush limbaugh toward a female college student or law student rather in the ongoing battle over birth control. more republican leaders are weighing in after limbaugh used demeaning terms to describe georgetown law student sandra fluke. she testified last month about
7:37 am
the importance of companies to provide contraceptive coverage for employees. john boehner issued this statement, quote, the speaker obviously believes the use of those words was inappropriate as is trying to raise money off the situation. and the spokesman for majority leader eric cantor said, quote, it's not language the majority leader would condone. a growing number of sponsors are pulling their ads from limbaugh's show. so quick they include quicken loans, legal zoom and bedding retailers sleep train and sleep number. in this week's office politics, we talk with legendary journalists dan rather. we look back at his global travels over the past half century. we begin with his take on president obama's early days in office and who will decide the election this fall. >> he has suffered in his presidency some from expectations being way too high to unrealistic, some of which he created during the campaign of
7:38 am
what he thought he could do and what he wanted to do. >> hope and change, what we can believe in. >> a lifetime, a career in politics has told me, in the end it comes down to pocketbooks. with the expectation thing, president obama, he's had achievements, he's had many achievements. he's also made some mistakes, in my personal opinion, he made a critical misjudgment when he first came into office. the first priority should have been jobs. the second priority should have been jobs and the third priority should have been jobs. didn't do that. he paid a price for that with the 2010 elections, we'll see whether he pays a price for it in the 2012 presidential elections. president obama, the last chapter is not written.
7:39 am
looked at on paper, he is almost an ideal person to have the presidency, in that he's smart, both intellectually and emotionally he's well suited. he doesn't seem to get too high on the highs or doesn't seem to get too low on the lows. i think the surprise to most people about president obama, he was so inspiring to so many people during the campaign. and inspiring he has not been overall till now. i think sometimes people say what happened? he was an inspirational candidate. even among many people who voted against him don't like his policies or his party, which the reason he got the nomination and won the presidency was his ability to inspire. and since he's been in the presidency, that's been lacking. i think if a representative of
7:40 am
president obama were in the room, he'd say, come on, dan, he inherited an absolute disaster, perhaps catastrophic potentially economic situation. and pretty hard to be inspiring when you inherit that kind of situation. and that's fair enough. this will be a very tough re-election campaign for president obama. it's by no means assured that he's going to win. at this point, i see the election being close. number one, it's going to be a very tough, hard hill to climb for president obama to get re-elected. number two, the election will be decided in the end it will be decided by a 4% or 5% of the electorate that classified themselves as independent or swing voters. within that suburban voters on the outskirts of big cities and within that, women. that will decide the election. >> of all your travels, dan, i mean, we have pictures lining the office walls here from
7:41 am
points all around the world, with dignitaries, with average citizens. is there something that stays with you above anything else? >> so many, i can't really pick one. i will say that when i first came to cbs news in 1962, i was assi assigned -- in some ways assigned myself to cover dr. martin luther king in the civil rights movement. that changed me as a person and a pro. partly my age, i was just turning 30 at that time. perhaps 30. may have been my stage in life, my age, i grew up in texas. it was not alabama, mississippi, georgia but it was institutional racism was a reality. it changed me greatly. but the kennedy assassination, who could prepare for such a
7:42 am
thing? and going into the hell that was vietnam also changed me as a person. >> our conversation will continue today at 1:00 eastern. well president obama's authority to use military force convince iran to pull the plug on its nuclear program? that's next here on "weekends with alex witt." this one's for all us lawnsmiths. grass gurus. doers. here's to more saturdays in the sun. and budgets better spent. here's to turning rookies - into experts, and shoppers into savers. here's to picking up. trading up. mixing it up. to well-earned muddy boots. and a lot more - spring per dollar. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. show the yard who's boss,
7:43 am
with this cordless black and decker trimmer, just $84.97. uhh! [ alyson ] just keep walking... ♪ oh, come on! ♪ ugh, again! [ sniffs ] that's what i'm talkin' about. [ female announcer ] new head & shoulders green apple, with an enticing scent. works on the scalp for up to 100% flake-free hair that's irresistibly fragrant. [ both laugh ] [ female announcer ] new head & shoulders green apple. so i used my citi thank you card to pick up some accessories. a new belt. some nylons. and what girl wouldn't need new shoes? we talked about getting a diamond. but with all the thank you points i've been earning... ♪ ...i flew us to the rock i really had in mind. ♪ [ male announcer ] the citi thank you card. earn points you can use for travel on any airline,
7:44 am
with no blackout dates. earn points you can use for travel on any airline, are you still sleeping? just wanted to check and make sure that we were on schedule. the first technology of its kind... mom and dad, i have great news. is now providing answers families need. siemens. answers. but last year my daughter was checking up on me. i wasn't eating well. she's a dietitian, and she suggested i try boost complete nutritional drink to help get the nutrition i was missing. now i drink it every day and i love the great taste. [ female announcer ] boost has 26 essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin d to help keep bones strong and 10 grams of protein to help maintain muscle. and our great taste is guaranteed or your money back. learn more at
7:45 am
[ dad ] i choose great taste. i choose boost. there are two big headlines this morning. number one, president obama says a, quote, military component is in the mix to stop iran from developing a nuclear weapon. monday, he'll be talking with israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu. the second headline, rivals of mahmoud ahmadinejad is leading
7:46 am
in iranian parliamentary elections. joining me is jack rice, a former cia officer. good morning. >> great to be with you. >> let's talk about this new interview in which the president said there is a military option in the mix to stop iron from getting a nuclear weapon. do you believe that is the case or is it more to test iran? >> i think it is the case. it's certainly something they've been preparing for. this is something the pentagon has been talking about for years, long before president obama. the option is there. the real question is whether or not it will make a difference. i think to answer that question, the answer is no. if you take a look at the parliamentary elections right now, what's very clear is they're driving to the right with the saber rattling of bb netanyahu out of israel and president obama out of washington, d.c. what we're finding is it's driving the iranian political scheme further to the right, more conservative and in some cases, potentially more volatile. >> we have the president right now who's telling israel if they were to attack iran, that would
7:47 am
make the situation worse. is that true? >> i do think that that's true. this is much different. if we think about iran versus what we've seen in the other parts of the world, the syrians were the iraqis or elsewhere, the iranians is three times the size of iraq, 75 million people, three times the population. more importantly, iran has a lot of other political triggers. they can actually drive hezbollah in lebanon and elsewhere to do things. they can drive hamas in gaza and the west bank to do things against the israelis. they have an ability to push and that is a very real concern. besides, the israelis have a reach worldwide and they have not been hesitant to use that. there's a lot more to be concerned about. >> so what you're saying, they may be able to drive something to use against israel. do you believe, jack, the u.s. is facing a threat from iran? do they have agents in the u.s.? as you may have heard recently,
7:48 am
an iranian leader hinted to that. >> that's been the claim for years. we have seen parts of that. are we talking about legitimate, real threats? let's going big picture here. the answer is probably not. our concern, actually, if you want to talk about a threat to the u.s., look at the amount of oil that rolls through the straits of hormuz. more than 10% of the world's oil. it doesn't matter whether or not the americans buy it. this is a world market. you shut that supply down, it will have a dramatic impact. if you pifilled up your gas tan within the last week, you paid a twice for what's going on with the iranians. that's one of the reasons the gas prices have gone up. if we're talking about what the iranians can truly do to the average american, they can do that. that's one of the things we've always been concerned about. >> how soon, do you think, with all these issues coming to a boil, if you will, how soon until there might be action? >> this could come more quickly than i think people expect. i've been watching this and i've been hearing chatter about this
7:49 am
for some time now. people have been concerned about since october, november with, when people started looking at this. the real problem, however, is if we think about what the iaea has done, the analysis of the iranians. the iranians do not have the capability at this point. they can't build this bomb. they can't deliver this bomb, so to speak. if they can't, there's a lot of people questioning why does the netanyahu and others are beating the drums as they are? i think a big part of that has to do with domestic politics inside of israel. we should make one very clear point here. the israelis, there is no one voice. there's a lot of people talking about this from different perspectives. >> we thank you for joining the conversation with your perspective, good to see you. thanks. >> thank you. in the battle for the white house, mitt romney lands another celebrity endorsement, this time from rock star ted nugent. he told a texas newspaper that rick perry would make the best president but of course, perry
7:50 am
dropped out. make the best president, but, of course, perry dropped out. ♪ ♪ we discover who we are ♪[music plays] ♪[music plays] purina one beyond. food for your cat or dog. immerse yourself in all over relief [ female announcer ] feeling that flu all over your body? with alka seltzer plus. it's specially formulated to speed relief to every inch of you. liquidate your flu symptoms with alka seltzer plus. but you go in pieces.
7:51 am
[ female announcer ] you can't pass mom's inspection with lots of pieces left behind. that's why there's charmin ultra strong. its diamondweave texture is soft and more durable so it holds up better. fewer pieces left behind. charmin ultra strong. for a hot dog cart. my mother said, "well, maybe we ought to buy this hot dog cart and set it up someplace." so my parents went to bank of america. they met with the branch manager and they said, "look, we've got this little hot dog cart, and it's on a really good corner. let's see if we can buy the property." and the branch manager said, "all right, i will take a chance with the two of you." and we've been loyal to bank of america for the last 71 years.
7:52 am
7:53 am
the republican presidential candidates facing biggest primary hurdle yet with super tuesday three days away now. up for grabs delegates from 11 states, 424 delegates from 11 states. let's talk about the latest quinnipiac poll. what do you expect to see on tuesday? >> you always look for the trend and the trend is clearly toward romney. he has been gaining some momentum after his michigan and arizona wins. but, you know, there are two big differences that romney has it to worry about between michigan and ohio. first is he doesn't have a home state advantage in ohio. and the second is on the whole,
7:54 am
ohio was 4% to 5% more evangelical christian and that hopes santorum. i think romney will pull it out but a tougher battle than michigan was. >> how about the republican nomination? how is the important of the state of ohio for whomever wins it? >> it's become the headline for super tuesday. it was inevitable because it is the key super swing state for november. romney very much wants it, obviously, in order to cement the idea that he finally, at last, has some real momentum toward the nomination. santorum wants to deny romney that and that is why it's become the big battle that it has. >> how about the southern states? how much do they matter for the romney campaign? >> well, romney is going to lose oklahoma for sure, probably tennessee. i've been wondering if he would make a play for tennessee, but i haven't seen it yet. georgia will almost certainly go to gingrich and then the following week, i think
7:55 am
mississippi and alabama probably go to santorum or gingrich. the way romney looks at it, he is going to inherit most of the southern states in the fall anyway, but it's clear he's having problems there. i think part of it is mormonism. >> despite what you say will probably happen in ohio with romney squeaking it out, what does it mean for him if he only takes the states where he is favored, massachusetts, vermont, virginia? >> well, that would be unfortunate for romney, because that would be a very minimal victory. he would still get the delegate win on tuesday but it's a question of impressions and the impression would be that, once again, romney has performed minimally, rather than maximally. and, in one case, it's mainly just because the other candidates didn't file in virginia. he's only got a race ron paul and he automatically gets on tuesday 46 delegates and eventually the full 49. >> let's say rick santorum wins
7:56 am
the nomination. how does his campaign change for a general election? can his conservativism translate then? >> it would be tough. the only way i could see santorum winning a general election is if you had a sustained 5 dollar a gallon gasoline price all the way through the general election, which probably meant we would head back into recessionary times. i mean, literally, people would have to say i'm going to vote for anybody on the other side in order to oust obama, i'm unhappy about the economy, but i don't see it. >> larry sabato, good to see you. thank you. >> >> thanks. >> that is a wrap of our hours. join me for two hours at noon eastern. straight ahead, more smart political talk on "up with chris hayes" coming up. hey, sis...
7:57 am
it's so great to see you. you, too! ahh, cloudy glasses. you didn't have to come over! actually, honey, i think i did. oh? you did? whoa, ladies, easy. hi. cascade kitchen counselor. we can help avoid this with cascade complete pacs. over time, a competing gel can leave cloudy hard water deposits, but cascade complete pacs help leave glasses sparkling. shiny! too bad it doesn't work on windows. okay, i'm outta here. there's only one cascade. love it or your money back. ask me. [ male announcer ] if you think even the best bed can only lie there... ask me what it's like when my tempur-pedic moves. [ male announcer ] to someone who owns an adjustable version of the most highly recommended bed in america.
7:58 am
ask me about my tempur advanced ergo. ask me about having all the right moves. [ male announcer ] these are real tempur advanced ergo owners. find one for yourself. check out twitter. try your friends on facebook. see what they have to say unedited. goes up. goes up. ask me what it's like to get a massage anytime you want. goes down. goes down. ergonomics. ergonomics. [ male announcer ] tempur-pedic brand owners are more satisfied than owners of any traditional mattress brand. [ woman ] ask me why i'm glad i didn't wait till i'm too old to enjoy this. [ male announcer ] start asking real owners. ask me how to make your first move. ♪ it's the perfect time to save up to $300 on select mattress sets. tempur-pedic. the most highly recommended bed in america.
7:59 am
i want to fix up old houses. ♪ [ woman ] when i grow up, i want to take him on his first flight. i want to run a marathon. i'm going to own my own restaurant. when i grow up, i'm going to start a band. [ female announcer ] at aarp we believe you're never done growing. thanks, mom. i just want to get my car back. [ female announcer ] discover what's next in your life. get this free travel bag when you join at


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on