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Reactions to Romney Interview; "Modern Family" Stars Stuck in Elevator; Queen Elizabeth Released from Hospital; NYT: 700 Plus Million Homes Wrongly Foreclosed; Historic Tryout

Aired March 4, 2013 - 09:30   ET


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Happy Monday to you. 30 minutes past the hour. I'm Christi Paul in today for Carol Costello.

And here are some of the stories we're watching. U.S. stocks set to open lower as the bell rings on Wall Street. You hear it there. Investors are worried about China's push to avoid a real estate bubble and continued uncertainty in Europe as well. That's what's driving numbers, a big leap today. In about 45 minutes, President Obama is going to announce his pick for budget director. He'll nominate Silvia Matthews Burwell at the post. We know she heads the Wal-Mart Foundation and previously served President Clinton, in fact, where she became the deputy budget director in that administration.

Vice President Biden says he's sorry for not being part of the civil rights movement in 1965. He joined hundreds in Alabama, to commemorate Bloody Sunday, the day civil rights activists were beaten by police. Biden marched with Georgia Congressman George Lewis, who was among those beaten by police.

Let's wake you up with a little bit of buzz today. Your rapid fire look at the best political topics of the day. Three topics, 30 seconds on the clock. Playing with us, CNN contributor L.Z. Granderson, and CNN contributor and analyst for "The Blaze," Will Cain. Thank you for being with us.


L.Z. GRANDERSON: Thank you.

PAIL: First up, Mitt Romney and the what ifs of a failed presidential bid. We know his wife, Ann Romney, says the government's forced spending never would have happened under a President Romney watch.


ANN ROMNEY, WIFE OF MITT ROMNEY: He has enormous skill sets in dealing with difficult issues, and I totally believe at this moment, if Mitt were there in the office, that we would not be facing sequestration right now.


PAUL: OK, so we have to keep in mind that Mr. Romney wasn't able to really unify his own party to support him. Could he really have forged this bipartisan deal and averted the forced spending cuts, as his wife claims? All right. L.Z., take it away.

GRANDERSON: No. Short word answer, no. It's very nice she loves her husband. That's very cute. The fact of the matter is that, when he was governor for years, Governor Romney vetoed more than 800 times the Democratic legislature he was working with. What makes the number more astonishing is that he was on the role for part of or all of 417 days of his four-year term. So, basically, he spent the majority of his time vetoing all the policy that made it up the chain to him to sign. I don't understand how she thinks he's all of a sudden going to unify something, when he couldn't unify his own state.

PAUL: All righty, Will?

CAIN: Well, look, right, so the point isn't just can you avert the sequester (ph) it's can you put together a bipartisan deal to have serious entitlement reform serious debt reduction? I can't live in an alternate universe and prove a negative, to say yes, he would have been better, or as L.Z. so confidently says, no he wouldn't have been. But I can say this: President Obama probably couldn't have done worse. President Obama has chosen to do what is the rhetorical presidency, to campaign through this whole process to berate the Republicans - something Mitt Romney pointed out. That wasn't bringing the parties together. Rather it re-entrenched them on both sides. So, I can't say he have would have gotten a bipartisan deal done. But I don't know that he could have done any worse that Obama.

PAUL: All righty. Well, let's get to number two here, which is a reality check. Mitt Romney we know did have trouble connecting with voters. Was there, I should say, a disconnect from the obvious? Despite a parade of gloomy polls and even dissatisfied grumbles from fellow Republicans, Romney says he was convinced he was going to win this thing even after the polls closed on election night. Listen to this.


GOV. MITT ROMNEY, (R) FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It was a slow recognition until ultimately, when the Ohio numbers began coming in and they were disappointing, I said, look, this looks like we've lost. Wasn't certain. Some people said, oh, look, if this number here comes in, you could win. By 8:00 or 9:00, it was pretty clear that we were not going to win.


PAUL: All righty, Romney, was he blinded by optimism or just in the dark to believe that he could win on election night? Will?

CAIN: I don't know. Is he talking about election night there? Talking about some people still coming in at 8:00 or 9:00. He might have been listening to Karl Rove, who held out until the very last moment. Whether he was blinded by optimism or the dark, he didn't see. And there was a lot of people that didn't see that the electorate had changed in 2008 and had remained the same in 2012. 2008 wasn't this aberration. That you would have historical turnouts of minorities and young voters, and it would happen again. I'm sure that Mitt Romney had advisers convincing himself that it would look a lot like it did in 2004, not 2008. And they were wrong up until the end.

PAUL: All righty. L.Z.?

GRANDERSON: He was living in a bubble, essentially. I'll tell you, I saw a campaign ad he ran in Michigan talking about being the center of Detroit, and he didn't have a single black person in the campaign ad. How do you do when talking about Detroit? I spent time in Ohio shortly after President Obama visited Ohio State University. I had a hard time finding any Mitt Romney signs. I don't know what world he was living in, in which he thought he was going to win those two critical states. I don't know what world he was living in where he thought he was going to be president and couldn't win his home state of Massachusetts. I just assumed he was living in a bubble and was overly optimistic for sure.

PAUL: All righty, well let's talk about topic number three here because we've got to keep it moving. Dennis Rodman, diplomat maybe? The former NBA player back from North Korea, where he met with basketball fan and iron fisted leader Kim Jong-un. Rodman says he loves the guy, even in the face, of course, of all those pesky prison camps and starving masses, for heaven's sakes. The Worm, apparently, is even dishing out an invite to President Obama.


DENNIS RODMAN, FORMER NBA PLAYER: He want Obama to do one thing: call him.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC HOST: He wants a call from President Obama?

RODMAN: That's right. He told me that. He said, if you can, Dennis, I don't want to do war. I don't want to do war. He said that to me.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Did you say, why don't you pick up the phone and call President Obama?

RODMAN: No, you know, it's a different story. It's a different story because, guess what, the kid is only 28 years old. 28.


PAUL: All righty, no one's ever going to confuse Rodman with being secretary of state. We'll just put that out there. But what about his gushing praise for this guy? Is rodman a pawn? Is he a peace maker? Or is he just another punch line? is L.Z.?

GRANDERSON: Was that a "Saturday Night Live" skit?


GRANDERSON: Because I just simply can't believe we're still talking about Dennis Rodman in this capacity. Look, you can't expect the United States president to take a shout out instruction from Dennis Rodman about how to handle international politics. Of course, he's a punch line. It's very funny except for the fact that we have a very serious battle on our hands with North Korea.

PAUL: Exactly. Very good point to make. Will?

CAIN: Right. I would love to laugh along with Dennis Rodman. He has been good at reminding us that whatever we're paying attention to, for example, sports and basketball, it's entertainment, but not on this. This is serious. He was embarrassing yesterday. George Stephanopoulos addressed it as it should be, as a serious topic, talking about prison camps and the threat to the United States. And Dennis Rodman was embarrassing. He didn't know what he's talking about. He's over there talking to Kim Jong-un, who he described as a good guy.

PAUL: CNN contributors L.Z. Granderson and Will Cain, thanks for being with us today, it was good to see you.

CAIN: Thank you.

PAUL: All righty.

GRANDERSON: Thank you.

PAUL: Thank you.

It was, as we move on here, the threat talked about all over Washington, Gene Pperling dust-up with longtime Washington reporter Bob Woodward. Woodward said he was threatened on his recent reporting on the spending cuts. However, we need to clarify, he did not name Sperling. Sperling finally responded to CNN's Candy Crowley.


GENE SPERLING, ECONOMIC POLICY ASSISTANT TO OBAMA: Bob and I have known each other for 20 years, and we've always had a friendly and respectful relationship. Anybody who looks at the e-mails that went from me and that came back from him can see that there's respect and friendliness. And all I --

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Somehow he didn't feel that, though.

SPERLING: You know, I can't explain that entirely. I'll say the following. I think he's a legend. I hope that him and I can put this behind us, and I hope that it helps all of us focus on, I think, the issues that Bob and I care most about, which is how we come to the type of budget agreement that will help our economy, help jobs, help middle class Americans.


PAUL: You can watch "STATE OF THE UNION" with Candy Crowley every Sunday morning on CNN.

Actress Halle berry has more in common with her new movie role than she'd like in "The Call."


HALLE BERRY, ACTOR: Operator said to me, ma'am, if they're in your house, you must be quiet. Stop talking. And I could not stop talking.


PAUL: So she is talking now and telling us about her own terrifying experience with a home intruder.


PAUL: This is what happens when you put three actors from ABC's hit comedy "Modern Family" and they get stuck. They start to vent on Twitter.







PAUL: The actors were on their way to a fund-raiser in Kansas City on Friday when their elevator stopped between floors. They were able to finally get out about an hour later, along with, as you can see there, about a dozen other people. Hey, if you're going to be stuck in an elevator, wouldn't you love to be stuck with them? You know it would be fun.

Halle Berry plays a 911 operator in her new movie "The Call," and she apparently had real life experiences that had a hand in preparing her for this role. Our Nischelle Turner is live in Los Angeles with the details. Nischelle, what did she say?

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Christi, first of all, I can't even imagine this feeling. It's very scary. And it was kind of a scary story for Halle. She told us she had to make a panicked 911 call about a year before she started this film. Listen to this.


BERRY: I did have to call 911 about a year before I made this movie. I had someone who was attempting to break into my house. When I called --


PAUL: All right. I want to take a break here for just a second.

Take a look at Queen Elizabeth there. She is walking. She looks healthy. She's being released from the hospital. Live pictures for you here in London. She had some sort of gastrointestinal issue, and they were real concerned about her. Concerned enough she had to go to the hospital, which is very unusual for the royal family. We just saw her walk out. She looked healthy. She looked happy. Obviously, they're most likely going to be taking her back to the palace so she can get a little bit of R&R. Good news there. Queen Elizabeth has left the hospital. Max Foster is there as well. Max, looks like everything went off without a hitch.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. As you say, she looks really well. She had a big smile. She didn't want to come in here in the first place, but her doctors wanted to treat her for this gastroenteritis we were told about on Friday. Things got worse and worse and worse until yesterday she got admitted to hospital. She's canceled all of her engagements this week. A very big deal for her. She doesn't cancel things. She always wants to live up to her commitments. She didn't want any fuss here. She did want any royal visitors. As you can see, she walked quite healthily out of the hospital. She is fit and well. We can only assume she's going off to recover now at Windsor Castle.

PAUL: Exactly. Hey, Max, thank you so much for bringing us the very latest. We appreciate it. Again, as he said, she looks fit. She looks well. Obviously, whatever she was able to accomplish in the hospital, doctors were able to get her back up and moving again.

Let me tell you about the 700 families wrongly foreclosed on. Wait until you hear what's worse. This happened to military families who have people they love serving our country while in harm's way.


PAUL: All right, let's get you in the know with our "Top Stories" today.

This is just in, in fact to CNN, the Brooklyn baby rescued by caesarean section on Sunday after a deadly hit and run, I'm so sorry to tell you, has died this morning. Both parents were also killed. This was after a BMW crashed into their vehicle and drove off. The police are asking the driver of that hit and run to turn themselves in.

Secretary of State John Kerry's continuing his overseas trip by meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Saudi Arabia. Kerry wrapped up a two-day visit to Egypt on Sunday, pledging $250 million in U.S. aid to support the country's future as a democracy.

And a special honor for a survivor of the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre. Look at teacher, Natalie Hammond there she dropped the ceremonial first puck at the Canadians-Bruins game. She said she's a lifelong Bruins fan. Her leg is still in a cast, people, because she was hit by bullets while protecting her students. Hundreds of military families are learning they wrongly lost their homes. And "The New York Times" said they were foreclosed on despite federal laws prohibiting this from happening while their loved ones were serving overseas.

Alison Kosik joins us now from the New York Stock Exchange. So how did this happen, Alison?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes I think you know if you think about it, it's like a bad movie that never ends Christi.

PAUL: Yes.

KOSIK: You know this goes all the way back to the housing crisis, many families still dealing with the effects. And what "The New York Times" is saying is about 700 military members were wrongfully -- have wrongfully lost their homes in 2009/2010. Now the reality is to put in perspectives this is just a small fraction of Americans who lost their homes to foreclosure wrongfully, since millions in total were foreclosed on. But it doesn't make it any less painful.

Now if you look at JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, Bank of America -- they all foreclosed on 200 military members who shouldn't have been in the first place. 100 of them have their mortgages with Citigroup.

Now here is the huge issue with this. This violates service members Civil Relief Act. So that is the federal law, which protects military members from foreclosure while they were on duty. Now "The New York Times" says the numbers haven't been released publicly.

Now here's why this is all coming to light now. It's because these big banks, they are looking into their past foreclosure abuses, it's all part of a $8 billion settlement with regulators. So what they have to do they can go back and identify borrowers who are evicted but shouldn't have been.

Now Wells Fargo is saying that it regrets any hardship that was caused. Several banks point out that people will be compensated. But the thing is how much they're going to be compensated is really are going to depend on each individual case.

You know the $8 billion settlement means you know these people can receive anywhere from hundreds of dollars to up to $125,000. Yes that sounds OK, but you know what, the reality is Christi, for most they've already have been kicked out of their homes so they're not going to be able to get this homes back. So it's very painful for a lot of these military families.

PAUL: No doubt but is there any recourse for them?

KOSIK: Well this is the recourse, is basically this $8 billion settlement.


KOSIK: You know they can basically get their -- get their compensation that way. It's a real tough pill to swallow.

PAUL: Yes no doubt. All right, hey thank you so much we appreciate it Alison.

And you think Carl Edwards is flipping out, the NASCAR driver is actually celebrating after breaking a 70-race winless streak.


PAUL: Well, NFL history was made when the first female tried out for teams at a Regional Combine. Jared Greenberg joins us for this morning's Bleacher Report. OK so how did she do?

JARED GREENBERG, BLEACHER REPORT: Well Christi it didn't last too long. Lauren Silverman's bid for an NFL contract fell short but she still made it further than any women ever has. She was battling a leg injury. The 28-year-old Silverman was only able to last two kicks. The Regional Combine of the New Jersey was open to anybody willing to pay the registration fee offering all 37 participants, including the first ever woman the chance of a lifetime. Silverman, well she had $275 and a dream.


LAUREN SILVERMAN, TRIED OUT FOR THE NFL: I've always been an athlete, I've always been a gamer. And you know when I had the opportunity to be in the NFL, one of the world's most competitive leagues, I absolutely had to take the chance.


GREENBERG: Danica Patrick's day also was cut short a blown tire forced Patrick to crash into the wall in Phoenix. A 37th place finish a week after crossing the finish line 8th at Daytona.

Carl Edwards turned last week's misfortune into a victory in the desert; he hasn't crossed first in his previous 70 races. For Edwards, clearly fired up and celebrating in style. Give him a 10 on the flip.

Men all over the country are saying ouch, Serge Ibaka the Oklahoma City Thunder with a low blow on Blake of the Clippers Ibaka was then hit by refs with a flagrant foul but he was not ejected. Prior to the Thunders next game which is Tuesday Ibaka should be hearing from the league office regarding a suspension or fine.

Wild moment over the weekend New York high school hoops, New Rochelle in the black uniform is down two, final seconds. (INAUDIBLE) to secured the win, Aaron passed to Kalil Edney. Edney then chucks it up from 55 feet. You bet you. What a shot.

Take another look. Edney, who is the in bounder gets the ball back, the lights and zeros don't come on until he releases the ball. Move over Lebron and Kobe, for the time being Edney finds himself thrust into the national spotlight. His Twitter account is blowing up. His followers have more than tripled since he made this incredible buzzer beater knocking off the 7th time defending champs Mount Vernon.

The Lakers are back to the 500 mark, but will it last and lead to a playoff berth. The guys on have the answer.

Christi, a footnote from that ridiculous high school shot, the last time Mount Vernon lost in the sectional title game was 2005 against the Ray Rice led New Rochelle squad, you'll recall last month, Ray Rice won the super bowl for the Baltimore Ravens. Is it a coincidence?

PAUL: We've to keep our eye on this guy. Never know where he'll end.

GREENBERG: What a shot.

PAUL: Thank you so much Jared.

GREENBERG: You got it.

PAUL: That was definitely nothing but net. Wow.

All right. Next hour CNN NEWSROOM begins after a short break. Stay close.