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CNN SUNDAY MORNING
Romney in Israel; U.S. Wins and Loses; Economy is Key to Election
Aired July 29, 2012 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): From CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, this is CNN SUNDAY MORNING.
Trying to make a comeback after an embarrassing first run. No, I'm not talking about an Olympic athlete, but Mitt Romney's international tour.
Plus -- a stunning victory and surprising defeat. A tale of two American swimmers in last night's must-see 400-meter race.
And -- the suspect in the Aurora shooting in court tomorrow. He could face more than 100 charges. A veteran Colorado prosecutor explains why.
KAYE: Good morning, everyone. I'm Randi Kaye. Thanks for starting your morning with us.
We start with Mitt Romney's already eventful visit to Israel. Moments ago, he arrived at the famous Western Wall. That came after Romney sat down with several of Israel leaders like Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres.
CNN national political correspondent Jim Acosta has been traveling with Mitt Romney. He joins us by phone from Jerusalem.
Jim, good morning.
Romney is due to give a foreign affairs address today. What do you think he'll focus on?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, Romney, the focus is certainly on Iran. Mitt Romney is expected to say in remarks later today that the Islamic republic faces what likely an inevitable war with the West, potentially with Israel if it does not give up its quest for nuclear weapons. I can tell you, Randi, that the Republican contender just wrapped up a visit to the Western Wall, which is widely considered to be the Jewish faith's most sacred sight. He was there for 15 minutes, approached the wall, said a prayer, left a note of prayer also at the wall. Ann Romney was with him at the visit. And he didn't make any public comments with the press, mainly spoke to the Jewish leaders who are also there on hand, and Randi, I had a chance to talk to a couple of Jews who are there at the site. They were impressed by Mitt Romney's visit there. They said this is a presidential candidate in their minds that gets the plight of the Israelis here in the Middle East, the danger that this country faces with some of its neighbors.
And now Mitt Romney is heading back to his hotel to confer with the adviser, he is going to be given that address later on this afternoon and as you mentioned, he just wrapped up a whole slew of meetings with the Israeli meetings, including the prime minister who backed up much of Romney's tough talk on this trip, basically saying that he seconded what Mitt Romney had to say -- Randi.
KAYE: And, Jim, what can you tell us about this cancelled meeting with opposition party leaders?
ACOSTA: Well, the campaign is not saying much about it this morning. It was a jam-packed schedule. So, we are trying to get some more information, but it is a full slate of meetings that he has today and it's really sort of an unmistakable warning that we are hearing from Mitt Romney on this trip to Iran.
Earlier this morning, one of the top foreign policy advisers, Dan Senor, gave a briefing to the press where he said that Governor Romney respects any decision, and those are the words he said, respects any decision that Israel would take to strike Iran unilaterally if that country did not give up its nuclear ambitions.
It's worth noting, Randi, that the campaign put out a clarification later in the day sort of softening some of that rhetoric -- Randi.
KAYE: And, Jim, I know you are obviously trying to follow Mr. Romney's every move there, but there is one campaign fundraiser that's now close to the press, right?
ACOSTA: That's right. Yes, we heard about this last night when we came in with the campaign advisers or aides, I should say, told reporters coming in to Tel Aviv that the fund-raiser scheduled for Monday morning will be closed to the press. This is despite arrangements made between the campaign and the news media to allow some sort of full coverage of these fundraisers.
It's interesting to note that one of the donors who is expected to be at this fund-raiser is Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate who's donated millions to Mitt Romney super PAC. So, at this point, you know, the big question is, Mitt Romney has said very publicly that he will not criticize the president on this trip, but if the press is not allowed to watch his every move, as you said, and listen to every word, then it's kind of hard to verify that, Randi.
KAYE: It's certainly is. Jim Acosta, thank you for the update from Jerusalem. CNN's Wolf Blitzer, by the way, is also in Israel with Mitt Romney, and he's going to be interviewing the presidential candidate in just about 30 minutes from now. So, be sure to stay tuned to CNN throughout the morning. And as soon as we get some of that interview back in house here, we will bring it to you.
A new poll shows that many more people like President Obama and then Mitt Romney, Mr. Obama's job approval ratings may have plummeted. And despite recession, an unpopular health care law and string of fights with Congress, an overwhelming majority still say they like him.
Here are the numbers from the latest "USA Today"/Gallup poll. Take a look, the president scores 60 percent in likability and his Republican rival gets only 30 percent.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JORDAN GHAWI, SHOOTING VICTIM'S BROTHER: I want to leave you with two things and one is: if this coward could do this with much hate, imagine what we can do with this much love. And another thing, if you are putting your dreams on hold, you stop that right now, and you chase those dream, you don't know how long you have here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: That was a brother of the Colorado shooting victim Jessica Ghawi. Friends and family remember the 24-year-old aspiring broadcaster this weekend with words like spit fire and spunk and tough. Services were also held for three other shooting victims Saturday: Navy Petty Officer John T. Larimer, as well as Alex Teves and Matt McQuinn. Teves and McQuinn both died while shielding their girlfriends.
The man police is responsible for those deaths at the Aurora movie theater goes back to court tomorrow. Twenty-four-year-old James Holmes is expected to be formally charged in last week's massacre. It left a total of 12 dead and dozens injured.
Witnesses say he entered the theater with the midnight premier of the new Batman movie, tossed a canister of tear gas and then opened fire. It has since been revealed that he had been seeing a psychiatrist.
The first full day of competition in London is in the history books and for Michael Phelps not such a great day. Ryan Lochte captured the first gold medal for the U.S. on Saturday, beating everyone else by more than three seconds. He soundly defeated Michael Phelps in the men's 400-meter individual medley. Brazil won the silver, Japan took the bronze. While Phelps did not medal, coming in fourth place. Phelps was gracious and congratulated his teammate.
This morning we are asking, what's your favorite event these Olympics, and who is the athlete or athletes that you are most interested in and rooting for? We want to hear from you, so you can tweet me @RandiKayeCNN. We'll read some of your responses later on in the show this morning.
And even though this year's opening ceremony was the most watched in Summer Olympic history, there is something that NBC didn't actually let you see. It edited out a special tribute to victims of war and replaced it Ryan Seacrest's interview with Michael Phelps. NBC Sports issued this statement saying, "Our program is tailored for the U.S. television audience. It's a credit to Danny Boyle that it required so little editing."
The Olympics organizers said the tribute and the minute of silence was for people killed in all theaters of war and featured images of spectators and deceased loved ones. Many saw it as a tribute to those of the 2005 London terror attacks. However, the IOC didn't specifically acknowledge the 11 victims from 1972 Munich Olympic despite repeated calls for them to do so.
More news coming from Friday's opening ceremony. Indian officials are outraged that a mystery woman appeared to crash their parade. Take a look here with me. You can see her there. She clearly standouts, wearing turquoise pants and that red hoodie. The athletes are all dressed in yellow. She doesn't actually fit in. An Indian official complained that the Indian contingent only got 10 seconds of TV coverage and everyone was focused on the mystery woman, and not the athletes. It's still not clear who she is and why she was allowed out there.
Nearing the aide of disaster, that's the story in one Syrian city where rebels says a massacre could be just days away.
Plus, a Mississippi church throws cold water on one couple's wedding plans. Wait until you hear why.
KAYE: That is the scene from the streets of Aleppo, Syria's biggest city. Those are rebel fighters fighting back at the Syrian military. The military is using tanks and helicopters to battle the rebel opposition forces. Opposition activists say at least 24 people have been killed across the country today, including seven right there in Aleppo. A hundred and sixty people died across Syria on Saturday.
Opposition leaders warn that Aleppo could soon be a scene of a massacre by the military. CNN's Mohammed Jamjoom joins me now from Abu Dhabi.
Mohammed, good morning.
We have seen some of the fighting. Are most the battles taking place all over the city or are they concentrated in one area?
All right. Sounds like we are having a little bit of trouble for Mohammed there unable to hear me.
Mohammed, can you hear me?
All right. We'll move on and we'll get back to him as soon as we can, and bring you much more of what's happening there in Syria.
Moving on, we know that one of the victims from the Colorado shoot shooting had a miscarriage. So, what could that mean for suspect James Holmes when he heads back to court tomorrow?
Plus, Marco Rubio shaken but not stopped. An emergency landing does not stop him from talking to potential voters.
KAYE: Welcome back. Fifteen minutes past the hour.
Tomorrow, the only suspect in the Colorado theater shooting, James Holmes, is expected to be charged. But another topic may take center stage. Prosecutors and defense attorneys are fighting over a package that James Holmes sent to his psychiatrist -- seen her -- Dr. Lynn Fenton. Police seize the package and Holmes lawyers say what's inside is protected under patient/doctor privilege and they are demanding it'd be turned over. They are accusing police of leaking information about the package to the media. Reports say it contained a notebook written by Holmes, including plans for that movie theater massacre.
Joining me now from Colorado is Karen Steinhauser, a former Denver prosecutor.
Good morning, Karen. Nice to see you again.
KAREN STEINHAUSER, FORMER DENVER PROSECUTOR: Good morning.
KAYE: So, we understand that Fenton never received the package. But either way, she hasn't spoken to the media. Will police talk to her? What's the process here? And if they do speak to her, how much is she obligated to tell them about what was in that package? What exactly is protected?
STEINHAUSER: Well, first of all, any communications between the defendant and the psychiatrist are absolutely protected. We don't know at this point when the last time was that he had any communications with her. We don't know the nature of those communications and at this point, those communications are protected.
KAYE: So, in terms of this hearing tomorrow, where he will be officially charged, what can we expect? How much charges do you think we might see?
STEINHAUSER: Well, there's a couple of things that probably are going to be happening tomorrow. First is the actual formal reading of the charges or at least the advisement of all of the charges that he is facing. I believe that we can anticipate possibly over 100 charges. And the reason for that, first of all, with regard to the actual homicide victims, homicide, first-degree murder can occur in two different ways essentially fitting these facts, so it's possible the prosecution could file 24 different counts involving the actual homicides. With regard to attempted murder, the prosecutor can determine that they're not just going to file attempted murder with regard to the individuals who are actually hit by bullets. In other words, the prosecutors could say that if his intent, the defendant's intent was to actually hit other people, even if those bullets didn't hit them, it's possible that the prosecutors could still file attempted murder counts with regard to those individuals.
We also have first-degree assault charges that will be filed and second-degree assault charges. We have charges that will be filed pertaining to explosives, explosives that were involved in the movie theater or in his apartment.
KAYE: Let me -- let me ask you about these charges, because we've got some more sad news this morning, that one of the women wounded in that attack, who also lost her 6-year-old girl in that attack, had a miscarriage. Now, her family blames it on trauma from surgery. But would the miscarriage or the loss of that child add to the death toll and add to the charges that the suspect is facing?
STEINHAUSER: Well, under Colorado law for the definition of a person as it relates to a homicide is defined as someone who has already been born. So under Colorado law, they would not be able to file an additional homicide count with regard to that miscarriage.
KAYE: And getting back to the notebook that was sent to this psychiatrist, what would both sides and we don't know if it is going to be turned over to the defense, but what would prosecutors and the defense specifically be looking for in that notebook?
STEINHAUSER: Well, the defense attorneys of course are wanting that notebook, because it's their belief and their assertion that that notebook is absolutely privileged, that it was supposed to be communications between their client and the doctor. There are also going to be concern in terms of what's in there, how does it relate to the mental state? In other words, I anticipate that they have already hired doctors to do private evaluations to determine whether their client is competent, whether their client was insane at the time. So, they want that notebook.
For the prosecutors, what they are looking at -- does this notebook contain evidence that would prove that this was an intentional, deliberate, well planned out attack by somebody who was not criminally insane at the time.
KAYE: And if, as we talked about, if that notebook is considered private doctor/patient communication, does all of that evidence go away?
STEINHAUSER: You know, not necessarily. If somebody, if the defendant in this case raises the issue of competency, raises the issue of insanity, then all of those communications and that information contained in there, I believe would be part of the case. In other words, something that doctors who would be appointed to make that determination would look at in making that determination.
KAYE: And when you mentioned the evaluation process, both sides will have a chance to evaluate him, correct?
STEINHAUSER: Right. What will happen is that if the issue is raised, then a doctor will be making an evaluation. Defense attorneys probably already have private doctors making an evaluation, but once a report is done, the prosecutors have a right to seek another report, seek a second opinion.
KAYE: Karen Steinhauser, appreciate your time this morning. Again, thank you.
STEINHAUSER: You're welcome. Thank you.
KAYE: Trouble for one of Mitt Romney's key surrogates. Marco Rubio fails to show up to a campaign event in Iowa, but he had a really good reason. We'll tell you what happened to the Florida senator.
But, first, good morning to New York City. Lady Liberty is waking up with us. It's going to be a great day.
KAYE: Checking stories making the news cross country now.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio had to skip a campaign event for Mitt Romney in Iowa because his plane broke down. He made the announcement on Twitter saying not one, but two planes I was on today had malfunctions. The second one forced to make an emergency landing in New Mexico. I know how to take a hint.
But he did not totally miss the event. He spoke to the crowd on his cell phone.
A couple in Crystal Springs, Mississippi, had to find a new place to get married after the church they attended banned their wedding. Few of the church members threatened to remove the pastor if he performed the ceremony because the couple is black.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TE' ANDREA WILSON, WEDDING BANNED AT CHURCH: There were people in the sanctuary that was pitching a fit about us being a black couple. I mean, I didn't like it at all, because I was not brought up to be racist.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: The pastor who was white ended up residing over the ceremony at a separate church just down the street. The church is holding meetings now to determine what to do if they get another request from a black couple.
In Iowa, a search goes on for two missing little girls. On Friday, about 200 people came back to vigil they held a week ago to once again pray for the return of 10-year-old Lyric Cook and her 8- year-old cousin Elizabeth Collins. They disappeared on July 13th while apparently riding on a trail around a lake. Their bicycles and purse have been found, but authorities have no other leads.
Yes, that never gets old. A controlled demolition of the 19- story St. Ann's Heritage Tower in Rochester, New York. Whenever we see a demolition, we bring it to you. About 40 years of memory, 200 feet of stones, steel, and concrete. Now, a giant pile of rubble.
A new parking lot and some medical buildings will be built in that surrounding area.
Mitt Romney is visiting Jerusalem today. He is visiting one of the holiest sites on a holy day. We'll speak to a rabbi on the significance of the Western Wall.
KAYE: Religion and politics tend to cross path during an election cycle. And this year is no different. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is in Jerusalem today, as we've been telling you, on the second leg of his overseas tour. He has to meet with Israeli leaders and is now visiting one of Judaism's holiest sites, that is the Western Wall.
Rabbi Yossi Lew joins me now to discuss the significance of that wall and what Romney's visit means to Jewish-Americans.
So, he was at the wall. We just got word, Rabbi, that he put a note inside of the wall and a lot of us do the same thing when we visit that wall. What is the significance of that and some other traditions having to do with the Western Wall?
RABBI YOSSI LEW, CHABAD-LUBAVITCH, GEORGIA: Well, the Western Wall is part of the retaining wall the -- a temple built by King Herod some 2,000 years ago. And it is the closest wall to the Holy of Holies section of the temple. In the absence of the temple after it was destroyed Jewish people flock there to pray, to pour out their hearts that's why it's called the "Wailing Wall", people wail, are crying, feel connected to God.
And whilst they are there, they will pray, recite psalms and some people kiss the wall, and some people feel that by putting a note in the wall, their thoughts on paper will get closer to God and that's why people do this type of activity.
KAYE: Now this is a holy day in Israel in which the Western Wall is a significant central figure. What day is that?
LEW: This is the ninth day of the month -- Hebrew month of Av. And on this -- on this day twice the temples were destroyed. The first temple built by King Solomon was destroyed 2,343 years ago, I believe -- I might have that backwards, it might be 2,434.
KAYE: We won't hold you to it.
LEW: And the second temple -- it was destroyed by the Babylonians. The second temple was destroyed by the Romans 1,944 years ago. The -- the temples are discussed in the Book of Kings, in the Biblical Book of Kings as well as in the Book of Ezra.
KAYE: We -- we do have some sound of Mitt Romney speaking with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today. Let's just listen to that for a moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm honored to be here on the day of Tisha B'Av to recognize the solemnity of the day and also the suffering of the Jewish people over the centuries and the millennia and -- and come with recognition of the sacrifices of so many, unfortunately the tragedies of wanton killings are not only things of the past, but have darkened our skies in even more recent times.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: And you were recently in Israel. Did you get a sense of what the Israeli people wanted to hear from Mitt Romney?
LEW: I think he's on the ball. This is the day that the temples were destroyed. It's a sad day, the saddest day of the Jewish calendar. It's a fast day we will not be eating or drinking until after night fall tonight. I am not wearing leather shoes, and like a mourner.
And I think though that the sadness of the day per se is insufficient to mark the day. The day should be also marked with the hope that there will eventually, the promises by the prophets in the -- in the Bible that there will come a day that there will be a world filled with peace and no suffering should also be part of this significance of this day.
So it's not just to commemorate the sad times, but to hope for the best times in the messianic era.
KAYE: Would it possibly be viewed as a bit of faux pas for him to come there on this holy day and even hold a planned fundraiser for this evening?
LEW: This evening the fast will be over and the sadness over. I believe that it -- it actually shows solidarity by a person coming to a place which is the focal point of all of the Jewish people. We pray three times a day and we face that wall. So I guess it would be considered that. I'm not sure.
KAYE: And -- and as we're talking here -- I'm sorry to interrupt you, Rabbi, but this is new video just in to us of Mitt Romney. There you see him in the dark jacket at the wall there. And what -- what -- describe what you see happening here.
LEW: They seem to be opening up one of these books that we pray from on a day like this. It is only used on one day of the year, which is today, and they are probably showing him that. And it's a book of -- it might contain the Book of Lamentations as well which is what is focused on this day. And the man in the black hat is the Rabbi of the (inaudible) wall, and of all holy places in the Holy Land. His name is Rabbi Labinowitz. And they are now facing the wall.
KAYE: And this is such a special place. It's such a significant holy place for the people there in Israel. And as we consider that -- you know so much is made of Mitt Romney's faith, his Mormon faith in the U.S., what do you think about that, and how that plays out in Israel?
LEW: It's good that he has someone, some -- someone to believe in. He has a faith in something, and in a Supreme Being, I am not familiar with that much with the Mormon faith. But people who are men of faith or women of faith are people who usually have some kind of commitment to a higher Supreme Being. So --
KAYE: And there he is as we watch -- I'm sorry again to interrupt you, but here -- this is the note, this is the moment. Oh, all right well, oh no, there it is, it's back. We have a video of him about to put his note inside one of the cracks in the wall, hoping to get his message, his prayer or whatever it might be closer to God, correct?
LEW: This is the -- yes. Correct. This is the place where I brought my son three weeks ago and marked his bar mitzvah, his 13th birthday in front of this wall.
KAYE: And you can see -- you can see all the other notes stuffed in there.
KAYE: Rabbi, thank you so much.
LEW: Thank you.
KAYE: And congratulations to your son as well.
LEW: Thank you.
KAYE: I appreciate your time -- Yossi Lew.
And for more stories on faith, you can be sure to check out our widely popular belief blog. You can find it at CNN.com/belief.
A milestone on the way to the White House -- it's now 100 days and counting until Election Day. So where do voters stand? We'll take a look.
KAYE: And a very good morning to our viewers on the West Coast. Maybe you are just waking up, maybe even with us all morning. To all the early birds watching this morning from Los Angeles -- a nice shot of LAX there -- thanks for starting your morning with us. And here is a look at some of the big stories that we will be keeping an eye on in the week ahead.
On Monday police in Colorado plan to file the chargers, the formal charges against the suspected Colorado shooter James Holmes.
On Tuesday, we have the beginning of the trial of Drew Peterson; that is when it's scheduled to begin. He is the former police sergeant from Bolingbrook accused of killing his third wife back in 2004 and suspected in the disappearance of his fourth wife from 2007.
And also on Tuesday, the Federal Reserve will hold a two day meeting, a topic of that expected to dominate that agenda is whether or not they'll introduce another round of stimulus.
On Wednesday, it is all about Chick-Fil-A they are calling it the Chick-Fil-A appreciation day or the eat-in. Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum are asking pro-family supporters to eat at Chick-Fil-A if you share their views on traditional marriage. Now the opponents of that are also planning a little something of their own going kiss at Chick- Fil-A day.
And on Sunday, will have the Mars Rover, the "Curiosity" that will land on the surface of the Red Planet where it will spend the next two years exploring the planet.
So that is a look at your week ahead, right there.
KAYE: Sarah Palin is apparently hungry for chicken and controversy. She posted this on Twitter and Facebook, "Stopped by Chick-Fil-A in the woodlands to support a great business." That's her and her husband Todd.
Chick-Fil-A has come under fire as we were just telling you after its president Dan Cathy came out in opposition to same-sex marriage. Several communities are now trying to block Chick-Fil-A from coming into their cities. Fellow Republican Mike Huckabee has organized that Chick-Fil-A appreciation day scheduled for Wednesday.
Today is an important day on the political calendar. In case you are keeping track it is exactly 100 days now until Election Day.
So we wanted to take a few moments to step back and look at the big picture. Here is one picture, Mitt Romney in Israel, but foreign policy isn't big on the minds of voters, what is big is the economy.
Joining me now is CNN contributor Maria Cardona and Alice Stewart, a veteran of political campaigns who worked with Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann's campaigns this time around.
Good morning to both of you.
MARIA CARDONA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Good morning Randi.
ALICE STEWART, FORMER PRESS SECRETARY FOR SANTORUM CAMPAIGN: Good morning Randi.
KAYE: Let me show you this CNN/ORC poll, we asked who would better handle the economy? Mitt Romney gets the nod but one percent, really probably doesn't mean much in this case.
So Maria let me ask you about this. When it comes to the economy, who really has the edge, do you think?
CARDONA: Well, it is so interesting, because you would think that Romney would have a much larger edge than he does right now on the economy against President Obama. And this is where I think voters are right now and why I think that the President is actually doing well in the face of not very good economic news lately.
And that is that with the Republicans trying to make the argument that President Obama has been so bad for the economy that his policies have put the country in such the wrong direction with their outspending and out-raising Obama the way that they been at least in the last two or three months, the -- the candidate -- that candidate that is running against Obama, mainly Romney, should be trouncing the President at this moment, and he's actually not.
So the fact that they are neck and neck, the fact that in a lot of the swing states Obama is ahead, I think indicates that voters right now are not convinced and are not buying Romney's argument that in fact they should change horses midstream and giving Obama the edge.
KAYE: All right, let me get -- let me jump in. Let me get Alice's take, Alice what is your take here and what do you think is issue number two?
STEWART: Well, certainly we're seeing poll after poll, we see Governor Romney far ahead of the President in terms of the voters having trust in who can turn the economy around and -- and there are two reasons for that. One is the President's record has failed to make things better for the American people. We have 23 million Americans out of work. We have -- we have skyrocketing unemployment above eight percent for more than 40 mob months so we have his record.
But also time after time he repeatedly demonstrates the fact he doesn't understand the economy saying the private sectors is doing fine. And he does not respect business owners saying "you did not build that". That's completely disrespectful to the risk takers of this country who put their heart and soul and their hard-earned money into creating business that creates jobs and also help the economy.
So those two factors right there go to show that he doesn't understand it and obviously his policies have failed to make things better.
KAYE: Alice, let me follow up with you on this because as long as we're talking about numbers here our poll also shows that nearly 80 percent of people are set. I mean here we are 100 days from Election Day and most people know who they're voting for. What are the other 20 percent waiting to hear? STEWART: Well, certainly the want to hear more details of his policies. And what we're looking at is the key in this election will be the undecideds and the Independents. And we're seeing poll after poll that shows that many of them see that this economy is heading in the wrong direction. And that's because of the failed policies of this current administration.
And what they're going to see is as -- as we get further through the summer and closer in the next 100 days, we're going to see more of the governor's policies that are for free market policies, not big government. Putting -- putting control of turning this economy around in the free market. Reducing the government regulations and creating incentives to people to come in and create jobs.
It's not big government that will help turn this economy around. It is free market and Governor Romney understands that and he's got a proven record of having that in the private sector, and that's what people are going to look to, to help turn the economy around and create jobs.
KAYE: All right. Let me bring Maria back in. Maria, is there one group of voters, do you think that could make the difference here?
CARDONA: Well, certainly Latino voters not only can make the difference but they already have. They certainly were instrumental in giving the election to President Obama in 2008 by turning states like Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico blue. And I think they certainly will have that same affect again this time around.
And when you have a Republican strategist saying that the, that a president cannot get elected -- a Republican president can't get elected to the White House without at least 40 percent of the Latino vote, and you have in the latest polls that President Obama is besting Romney 70 to 22 percent, Romney is in a lot of trouble.
And not just with the Latino voters because again, the majority of the American voters understand three things. Number one, that the Romney campaign is taking things out of context like the "you didn't build this" because he was talking about infrastructure. Number two, the majority of the polls show that Americans actually like President Obama much more than they do Mitt Romney. And number three that the majority of the Americans trust Barack Obama to actually understand what middle-class families are going through. And those are three very important things going into this election.
KAYE: All right. Listen we are just getting started here -- certainly with the two of you. Both of you are going to stick around if you don't mind. And also up next our Candy Crowley is going to join our discussion as we move to the issues of foreign policy, Romney in Israel, and voter apathy.
KAYE: Welcome back.
Just about ten minutes before the top of the hour. The presidential election is just around the corner now; there are exactly 100 days to go. Joining our discussion is CNN chief political correspondent and anchor of CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION Candy Crowley. Candy, good morning to you.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN HOST, "STATE OF THE UNION": Good morning.
KAYE: So our latest poll of polls shows President Obama with a four-point lead -- certainly far from comfortable. What do you think? I mean does this election come down to the economy, plain and simple? And if things are looking up at the end of October, then Obama wins. If things are a bit iffy, then Romney wins? What's your take?
CROWLEY: I think you should let me split the difference. I think it is about the economy, but I don't think it's so simple as if the economy is terrible, Mitt Romney will win and if it seems better President Obama will win re-election.
I think that it has more to do A, with consumer confidence; but in the end, you are looking right now at a race that is virtually unchanged. Looks like it may be a dead heat. And the economy is already pretty weak. So the fact that it is a dead heat tells me that what this is going to come down to is who can turn out their voters.
I think that is why you are seeing all these negative ads so soon and so heavily in the swing states, that this is not about swing voters who hate negative ads, this is about your voters and trying to electrify them enough to get them to the polls. Even if they don't like you so much or what you have done, but they don't like the other guy at all and that will get them there.
KAYE: Yes. And listen we talked earlier about Romney going overseas. He had a few slip-ups in London from comments in England on the Olympics to this fund-raising dinner now in Israel that was supposed to take place during a fast. What do you make of these gaffes? I mean do they really matter, and does foreign policy even matter in this election?
CROWLEY: Foreign policy is always the undercurrent of any campaign, because what is the first thing you need on a domestic agenda -- Americans who feel safe at home. So it is there, but it is trumped by the economy right now. What do I -- do I think this matters? I think they are not the headlines thus far, and he has other trips to make and other speeches to make that Mitt Romney has wanted.
I think that the dust-up in Britain looking as though he was suggesting their security wasn't good or they've had some slip-ups is less important than going forward where he has major chances to at least in picture show that he would be a different foreign policy president than President Obama.
But I don't expect that come November, people are going to be looking at these pictures going well, yes, because he took that trip. I think this is more to get your voters comfortable with the idea of you on the world scene. KAYE: Right. Let me bring back in Maria Cardona and Alice Stewart. In 2008, Obama rode this wave of excitement -- we all remember that -- to victory. Is any group on either side really excited and energized heading into November, Maria?
CARDONA: Well, we talked a little bit about Latino voters in the last segment and if you look at the polls, they are actually are more excited than the general population about President Obama. And I think the reason for that is because they have seen his commitment on immigration. And we know that there has been some disappointment, because he was not able to keep the promise that he made in 2007 to deliver comprehensive immigration reform. But they also see that he has tried and he has faced the party of no on behalf of Republicans, on the comprehensive part but also the policy that he announced two months ago where he would cease deportations on what we call the dreamer kids -- the kids who came over here when they were young through no fault of their own.
And what you see on the Republican side is absolutely nothing. No effort to do anything on immigration except to stick to the ultra right wing policies and Latino voters are looking at that. That's what -- the prism that they use in order to see whether they can trust the candidate or not.
Alice, 30 seconds, your take?
STEWART: Well, I think, too, the specific groups, the Latinos with the unemployment rate of 11 percent and African-Americans with unemployment at 14 percent as Candy said, it is going to be about the economy. And people are going to look at who they can trust to turn the economy around.
And what we're seeing with President Obama, his policies have failed and he is not doing anything to make things better. He hasn't met with his jobs council in over six months. He hasn't had an economic briefing in over a year. So he's not only not doing things right, he's not doing anything to improve.
And the Romney campaign is going to continue to remind Americans that these policies of big government; restrictions on the risk-takers and job creators has not worked. Despite what the President says that it did work -- it has not worked, evidenced by the GDP of 1.5 percent and tremendous unemployment.
So his policies have not worked. And people are going to look to Governor Romney who has a proven record of creating jobs and as a strong business owner and a successful person in the private sector to help turn this economy around as what Candy said, voters want.
KAYE: Alice Stewart, Maria Cardona, Candy -- thank you so much.
CARDONA: Thank you Randi.
KAYE: Well, be sure to keep it here for "STATE OF THE UNION" with your show coming up here in just about five minutes. You'll to plenty of great stuff there all about politics.
All morning we have been asking what's your favorite event this Olympics and who is the athlete or the athletes that you are most rooting for? Your responses next.
KAYE: Note to everyone, watch what you say about the U.S. Women's Olympic soccer team. Goalkeeper Hope Solo hit Twitter to call out NBC sports analyst and former player Brandi Chastain for criticizing their play in a win over Colombia yesterday. Writing this to her nearly 500,000 followers, quote, "It is too bad that we can't have commentators who better represent the team and know more about the game." No response from Chastain on Twitter.
The team has one group game remaining against North Korea and Manchester on Tuesday and we will be watching to see how that goes.
All morning we've been asking you what is your favorite event this Olympics and who is the athlete or perhaps the athletes that you're most rooting for. Here's what some of you are saying. Thanks for the tweets so keep them coming.
Jenna Scott tweeted, "My fellow hill-topper Claire Donahue in the women's 100 meter butterfly this afternoon."
Sean Dillon says, "Definitely basketball, rooting for Kobe Bryant."
And Zaria wrote us, "My favorite Olympics even is women's gymnastics. Interesting to see how well Gabrielle Douglas does. #Team USA."
You can, of course, still be part of the conversation. Just tweet me @RandiKayeCNN write now. I'm reading them.
Thanks so much for watching today.
"STATE OF THE UNION" with Candy Crowley starts right now.