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Jobless Rates Hold at 8.3 Percent; "Blade Runner" Races Tomorrow; Thousands Of Girls Mutilated Every Day; Gabby Douglas Takes Gold
Aired August 3, 2012 - 12:02 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Listening to Mitt Romney in Las Vegas talking about how he would be a better steward in dealing with the economy.
We want to listen in to President Obama now speaking at the same time from the White House.
(BEGIN LIVE FEED)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you so much. Thank you. Everybody please have a seat. Have a seat.
Well, it is great to see all of you. And I hope you guys are having a wonderful summer.
I am joined here today by moms and dads, husbands and wives, middle class Americans who work hard every single day to provide for their families. And like most Americans, you know, they work hard and they don't ask for much.
They do expect, however, that their hard work is going to pay off. They want to know if they put in enough effort, if they are acting responsibly, then they can afford to pay the bills, that they can afford to own a home that they call their own, that they can afford to secure their retirement. And, most of all, that they can afford to give their kids greater opportunity. That they can -- their children and grandchildren can achieve things that they didn't even imagine.
Every single decision that I make is focused on giving them that chance, because if we want to keep moving this country forward, these are the folks who are going to get us there. Now, this morning, we learned that our businesses created 172,000 new jobs in the month of July. That means that we have now created 4.5 million new jobs over the last 29 months. And 1.1 million new jobs so far this year.
Those are our neighbors and family members finding work and the security that comes with work. But let's acknowledge, we have still got too many folks out there who are looking for work. We have got more work to do on their behalf. Not only to reclaim all the jobs that were lost during the recession but also to reclaim the kind of financial secure that too many Americans have felt was slipping away from them for too long.
We knew, when I started in this job, that this was going to take some time. We haven't had to come back from an economic crisis this deep or this painful since the 1930s. But we also knew that if we were persistent, if we kept at it and kept working, that we'd gradually get to where we need to be.
Here's the thing: we are not going to get there, we are not going to get to where we need to be if we go back to the policies that helped to create this mess in the first place. And the last thing that we should be doing is asking middle class families who are still struggling to recover from this recession to pay more in taxes. Rebuilding a strong economy begins with rebuilding our middle class.
And what we should do right now is give middle class families and small business owners a guarantee that their taxes will not go up next year. When families have the security of knowing that their taxes won't go up, they are more likely to spend and more likely to grow the economy. When small business owners have certainty on taxes and can plan ahead, they are more likely to hire and create new jobs. And that benefits all of us.
And that's why last week, I was pleasantly surprised. I was glad to see the Senate come together and extend tax cuts on the first $250,000 of every family's income. That means 98 percent of Americans won't see their income taxes go up next year. That means 97 percent of small businesses wouldn't see their income taxes go up next year. Not a single dime. That would be important.
And that's why it's so disappointing that so far, at least, House Republicans have refused to follow the Senate's example and do the same thing.
On Wednesday, they voted to hold these middle class tax cuts hostage unless we also spend $1 trillion over the next decade on tax breaks for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans. In fact, it's a little worse than that because their plan would actually raise taxes on 25 million hard-working American families by about $1,000 each.
So, at a time when too many working families struggling to make ends meet, they want to give millionaires and billionaires and folks like me tax cuts that we don't need and that the country can't afford, even if middle class families is to pick up the tab for it. Those are their priorities.
And this week, we learned that there's some in the Republican Party who don't want to stop there. An independent nonpartisan study found that one plan, at least, would give more tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires and they pay for those tax cuts by raising taxes on the middle class, an average tax hike of more than $2,000 for families with children.
I just think we've got our priorities skewed if the notion is that we give tax breaks to folks who don't need them and to help pay for that, we tax folks who are already struggling to get by.
That's not how you grow an economy. You grow an economy from the middle out from the bottom up. And the kind of approach that the House Republicans are talking about is bad for our families and it's bad for our economy.
The people standing behind me should not have to pay more just so the wealthiest Americans can pay less. That's not just top-down economics. That's upside down economics.
Instead of middle class paying more, we should ask the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more, a modest amount so that we can reduce our deficit and still make investments in things like education that help our economy grow.
Keep in mind: we are talking about folks like me going back to the tax rates that existed under Bill Clinton. If you remember, that is when we created 23 million new jobs, we went from deficits to surplus and folks at the top did well, too, because when middle class families is money in their pockets they go out and buy that new car or new appliance or new computer for their kids or go out to a restaurant oh, heaven forbid, they take a vacation once in a while, and money goes back into the economy and business does well because they have got more customers.
And, you know, here is the thing -- there are a lot of well-to- do Americans, patriotic Americans, who understand this and are willing to do the right thing, willing to do their part to make this country strong.
So, for those of how are keeping score at home, here's where we stand. We might have a whole bunch of disagreements with folks in the other party on whether it's a good idea to spend more money giving tax breaks to millionaires or billionaires. And frankly, that issue is probably not going to be resolved until after November.
In the meantime though we say we all agree on extending tax cuts for middle class families. The House says it agrees. The Senate has already shown that it agrees. And I certainly agree.
So let's at least work on what we agree on, let's keep taxes low for 98 percent of Americans and we can argue about the other 2 percent. Let's keep taxes low for the 97 percent of small business owners and we can argue about the other 3 percent.
If Congress sends me a clean bill extending the tax cuts on the first $250,000 of every family's income, I will sign it right away. And I -- I will sign it right away.
OBAMA: There's no reason to wait. There's no reason to make families and small businesses anxious just so one party can score political points. Let's go ahead and give them that guarantee now that their taxes won't go up next year.
(END LIVE FEED)
MALVEAUX: We're listening to President Obama at the White House making the case for tax cuts for those who make $250,000 or less and making a larger argument about the case that he would be the better steward of the economy, looking at the re-election chances there.
Of course, what are we talking about today? We're talking about some new jobs numbers out from July, contains the most perhaps important numbers in the country right now and we are talking about the Labor Department saying the 160,000 jobs were created last month. It actually beat the expectations of 95,000, but the unemployment rate unexpectedly rose to 8.3 percent, as households claim they lost 195,000 jobs.
Still, this news not dampening Wall Street. Stocks actually rallying today, as investors are welcoming this stronger-than-expected jobs report.
I want to bring in our chief political correspondent and host of "STATE OF THE UNION," Candy Crowley to talk about what we are seeing here.
Candy, it's interesting, right? We've got the president at the White House. You have Mitt Romney in Las Vegas at the same time, both of them pushing for their own spin on the jobs numbers. We heard from the president talking about 29 months when they created jobs in the private sector, 29 straight months.
How does he allow and promote this message and the momentum with so little time left to convince the American people that he's the stronger of the two?
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, because he keeps it precisely what they have said from the beginning in the Obama re-elect campaign and that is the choice. This is not a president who goes out and talks a lot about what's happening in the economy. Certainly doesn't talk about the bad stuff.
He is talking about -- you've got a choice here. It's not about -- is the economy great right now, because as you heard the president say not enough. We still need to work on the jobless rate. It is about -- do you want to go back to the situation that got us here in the first place? That is Mitt Romney, he says, the continuation of George W. Bush.
The fact is when you look at these numbers, Suzanne, nothing much has changed here, the exact same -- the numbers go up and they go down and we're always told don't look too much at a month, so let's not, let's look back, what do we have? We have an economy that has created jobs, not enough jobs and that has been true for many, many months.
And the election and the polls show us that not much changed in the polling either. I don't think going forward that I talked to any economist that thinks we will see much of a change, we still have an economy creating jobs but not enough jobs.
MALVEAUX: It's all about the messaging and, of course, the momentum. And they've got four more of these job reports that are actually going to be out there before people go to the polls and vote.
Candy, if you will, stick around. We're going to listen, dip in a little bit more to Mitt Romney and his prescriptions for what he believes will be good for the economy.
ROMNEY: Proud together to tell them all about the wonderful thing also he had done, about 200,000 people came together and in the square, he stood up and began to speak to them and instead of going through all the wonderful things he had done to make their life better, an older woman looked up and said "Liar", and said it again, "Liar." And then people around her began saying it and then it spread throughout the entire crowd. And he had to turn to a soldier grabbed him and ultimately, he was executed.
These moments were individuals stand and make a statement of freedom and say no to oppression, these change the world. These are times for all Americans, for all of us to stand in our own way, our own communities, for the things we believe in deeply.
I love this country because of the freedom of our people here, of our ability to change the world.
ROMNEY: This is a time went world needs American leadership. That's what Lech Walesa told me. He said, "Mitt, American needs -- excuse me, the world needs American leadership and that means leadership and our values and in our homes, leadership in our economy, leadership in our military, a strong America is the best ally peace has ever known.
ROMNEY: This is the time for choice of America. We are going to decide to continue to have the policies of a president who's not had a job in the private sector, policies that led America to have 42 straight months with unemployment above 8 percent, 23 million people out of work or stopped looking for work and underemployed.
Those policies we know where they lead. They lead to an America that's not as strong as it must be for ourselves, for our children and for the world. Or we can instead take a course which I will represent, which is to keep America strong, to get America to do the things to get jobs again, rising incomes again, people know their future's bright and their kid's future's bright.
I love this country. I'm going to do everything in my power to keep America strong. We are going to take back America and keep America the hope of the Earth.
Thank you so very much. Thank you.
MALVEAUX: Bring back candy.
Candy, first of all, when you take a look at the jobs numbers here, the Southern states really the key difference, those swing states, those tossup states could make a difference in who becomes the next president. In those states, four of those seven state -- Ohio, New Hampshire, Iowa and Virginia -- the unemployment rate is actually below the national average. How much does it make a difference here, a significant difference when you look at how many people are employed or unemployed now?
CROWLEY: It is not -- certainly it is somewhat about the specific number of unemployed but it is more about the future. If you -- let's face it more people employed in America than unemployed. So if you look that the voting group, it isn't so much about the unemployment rate as it is: are you worried the neighbor is going to lose his job? Are you worried that you're going to lose your job?
It's almost a consumer confidence issue. If you are in some of the states where the economy seems to be at least doing comparatively well, when you look at the jobless rates stacked up against the national jobless rate, the real question is and I think the question is for most voters: is it on the right track? Do I feel good about what's going to happen next? Not essentially about what's happening right now, what's going to happen next month to my job, my house, my family?
MALVEAUX: All right. Candy Crowley, good to see you as always. Thank you for your perspective.
MALVEAUX: If your heart soars every time you see Olympic superstar Gabby Douglas, you are not alone. We all love her. Talk to her mom about what it was like to raise a champion and to watch her daughter live her dream.
MALVEAUX: It's going to be a big day at the Olympics today.
Michael Phelps gets to swim for more gold today. He's going to compete in the last individual race, the 100 meter butterfly. Most decorated Olympian in history -- that is right, seeking his third gold medal of the 2012 games. Yesterday, he won't 200 meter individual medley.
Also today, all eyes on London's Olympic stadium for the start of the track and field competition. Amazing American sprinter Allyson Felix, she is going to race in the 100-meter preliminaries. She is vying for a spot in tomorrow's semifinals.
And in tennis, Britain's Andy Murray takes on Novack Djokovic of Serbia in the semifinals of the men's singles competition. Roger Federer of Switzerland squares off against Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina in the other men's semifinal matches.
South African athlete will make Olympic history tomorrow when he competes in the 400 meter race. Oscar Pistorius is the double- amputee, nicknamed "The Blade Runner". When the starter's gun goes off, it is going to be a watershed event for legions of disabled athletes.
Robyn Curnow, she caught up with one of his biggest fans.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Images from Oscar Pistorius' athletic career are plastered on the walls of his proud grandmother's home.
She tells me in Afrikaans -- "I like this one. Look here. See, when he goes like this, that's one wonderful."
(on camera): He looks like a winner, doesn't he?
A winner because on his prosthetic blade, her grandson will make history in London."
Oscar Pistorius is the first double-amputee to compete in the able bodied games.
OSCAR PISTORIUS, OLYMPIAN: We couldn't have made these sprinting because we restricted it to the sole that we used more running.
CURNOW: Staggering achieve form a child born with such a disability that his family decided to have his legs amputated below the knee when he was 1.
Gerti Pistorius remembers that as a child -- "the moment you saw him, it broke your heart. I never forget the first time he got toes on his prosthetics," she says. "They came back to Johannesburg, through the big gate and shout, 'Grandma, grandma,' his feet were sticking out the car window and he says, look, I've got toes."
GERTI PISTORIUS, OSCAR PISTORIUS' GRANDMA: Look, I've got toes.
CURNOW (on camera): Isn't that wonderful?
(voice-over): Her old age home in Pretoria, Gerti Pistorius has been planning a trip to London for week, suitcases ready, tickets bought.
She will be there in the stadium to watch her grandson run in the 400 meter relay for South Africa. She says it is going to be emotional.
Both of Oscar Pistorius' grandparents, 89-year-old Gerti and 95- year-old Hendrick normally watch Oscar's races on the television, switching channels away from Hendrick's favorite sport, rugby. Both of them are aware that Oscar will be running for his mother. She died when he was 15.
"As he's so often says, it would have been so wonderful if his mother could have seen him or he could have experienced her seeing him. It would have been wonderful."
(on camera): It would have been wonderful.
(voice-over): In the Olympic Stadium, Oscar Pistorius, it seems will not only be propelled by his blades but also by the memory of his mother and the pride of his family.
GERTI PISTORIUS: A picture of Oscar.
CURNOW (on camera): When you put these up, do you get excited?
"It's part of your heart," she says it is not just putting paper up. You put a piece of your heart, your being and your love for this child on that wall.
Robyn Curnow, CNN, Pretoria, South Africa.
MALVEAUX: She is a supermodel, actress, overall successful, all around, and she is also the victim of horrible abuse. Well now, she is working to make sure the same thing does not happen to other women in Africa.
MALVEAUX: A staggering statistic now on an issue many people find hard to talk about. Well, every day, 8,000 girls around the world are subjected to a brutal practice. It is called female genital mutilation.
For the first time ever, in this West African nation of Ivory Coast, the people responsible for mutilating girls were given jail time. A group of nine women performed the mutilations on about 30 girls during a ritual ceremony earlier this year. Activists hope their one-year jail sentences will discourage the practice.
And one of those activists is Waris Dirie. She's a former supermodel, a Bond girl in one of the "James Bond" movies.
But her life didn't start off that way. She was born into a nomadic family in the Somali desert. She was mutilated herself at the age of 5 and then forced into an unhappy marriage at 13 years old.
Waris Dirie joins us via Skype from Vienna, Austria.
Waris, first of all, thank you so much for being here. It's so good to see you. I know you lead up a foundation to stop female genital mutilation around the world it is called the Desert Flower Foundation.
I want to talk about that. But first, if you can, tell us why this is so important to you and how this has impacted your life.
WARIS DIRIE, SUPERMODEL/ACTIVIST: Well, it is so important because to be as a child, an innocent child, and to be cruelly being taken away, or shall I say, destruct of your life with no understanding. And what comes with no education and no information, you don't know what's going to happen.
That's -- that's -- that's the most terrible thing could you do with a child or you can do to a child. Worst crime: abuse. So this happened not only to me as a child but after me, I have millions of women who are in my place. If we can say truly statistics are so higher, 150 million worldwide. And this is worst crime can be and at this time, why is it the worst crime?
Because nobody is doing nothing and the world is ignoring this crime. I call it undercover world, especially the so-called world leaders wherever they are and whoever they are.
MALVEAUX: Waris, tell me and tell our viewers, explain why this is happening in the first place. What is the thinking behind this brutal practice?
DIRIE: Well, if I had the answer, I would solve that a long time ago. I do believe it starts with -- started 4,000 years ago and for what reason? It's to degrade women, whether sexual or anyway you could.
So, that's the reason why the behind it is you cannot trust women, 100 percent women. And that was the fear the whole program started and 4,000 years later, we still here doing it for centuries. Do I have an answer for that? No, I don't.
MALVEAUX: Waris, I want to give viewers just a sense of how widespread this is. You talked about these staggering numbers and you know, this is for every person, for every young girl, you represent these girls.
It's 150 million girls who have been mutilated in this way. We know that this takes place in Africa. It also takes place in parts of Asia and the Middle East and we know that girls between 4 and 8 years old and also newborns are being mutilated.
You have done an extraordinary job in bringing attention to this and you met a beautiful young girl while filming this movie that was based on your life story and this girl cast to play you as a child.
I understand you were able to convince her parents not to perform this mutilation on her. How did this happen?
DIRIE: Well, you see, all you need is education and information. And not only that, the true meaning behind female mutilation is about -- (inaudible) -- behind the whole thing that women are not in but just a piece of property.
And to change this, what I did to my little girl -- I have many of them, but what makes her special, she is in the movie, "Desert Flower," which is based upon my life and she plays me the day of my mutilation and the true story is she is not mutilated. She is saved today and she is going to school and her family educated and to me a great story.
MALVEAUX: Waris, we thank you so much for bringing her story and for bringing your story and bringing this cause to our attention. It is so important.
We appreciate it we will have you back as well when we have some more time. But again we thank you very much for bringing this to light.
I want to also talk about -- this is a superstar, she is Gabby Douglas. We have seen her in the Olympics I and we are going to talk to her mother very shortly about what it was like to raise a champion and to watch her daughter actually live out her dream.
MALVEAUX: Day after winning the all-around gold medal in women he's gymnastics, Gabby Douglas face on her own Kellogg's cereal box already. The 16-year-old gymnast is the first African-American to win the title at the Olympic Games.
She started with a stellar vault, ended with a dazzling floor routine and her mom, Natalie Hawkins, takes us along the road to the Olympic gold.
NATALIE HAWKINS, MOTHER OF GABBY DOUGLAS: Competition started a long time ago. Who could run the fastest? Who could jump the farthest? Who could jump higher on the couch?
When she started really expressing an interest in doing gymnastics, her sister kept saying, she's really good, Mom, you got to put her in. She wants to try it. You got to put it in.
After years of persuading me, I finally gave in and took her to a trial class. She just never wanted to come out of the gym. She loved it. She would just practice all the time. So, I saw then the hard work.
I didn't realize when I got into this sport how expensive it was, just the commitment over the years. Sometimes I felt questioning. I didn't think I would be able to keep her in the sport, but then I would think about it and I would say you got to fight.
If I had to sell, I sold almost all my jewelries. And if I had to pick up extra shifts at work, whatever it takes. When she began competing, it's hard. You go through the range of emotions, nervous, excited. Even when she was 4, we were on the edge of our seats.
Probably in 2008, we were watching the Olympics at a friend's house, she said, I think I can do that. I can do what they're doing. I'm working on that on the bars. She said I'm going to the Olympics. I can do this.
You know, we may be pursued a coach who had gotten someone to the Olympics and kind of knew, you negotiate ins and outs of what it took to get someone there, she might have a valid shot.
She started saying I need that coach. I need Coach Taub. I said I can't move the family to Iowa. I'm a single parent. I didn't have the resources to be able to do something like that.
My two oldest daughters got together and wrote a list and said, OK, here are all the reasons we are going to help you out here. And here's the reason why she shouldn't go and the only thing on that side is we would miss her.
I love that picture. That was very painful. It was scary. How would I still be mom, you know, back in Virginia when she is living in Iowa? How does that work? I think it was tough on everybody because Skyping is not the same as being able to reach out and touch her.
From day one, she began to improve. She said it was like learning again for the first time when she first started gymnastics. She just started to grow, leaps and bounds. I almost can't wrap my mind around it.
You know, because we talked about it for so long and now it's here. It hasn't quite sunk in with Gabrielle either. When I talk to her, she is like, mom, I'm an Olympian. I mean, I'm an Olympian.
MALVEAUX: Gabby's mom, Natalie Hawkins, she is joining us live from London's Olympic Park. Wow, I love your daughter. She is amazing. Congratulations to you, your whole family.
HAWKINS: Thank you.
MALVEAUX: I love how she said, you know, I need that coach. I need to work with that guy. What has it been like what has it been like the last 24 hours? Have you even had a chance for the two of you to talk, to spend time together, since she has made history?
HAWKINS: We haven't had an opportunity to spend time together. We talked. We Skyped. We texted one another. We talked on the phone. We got to spend a smidgen of time today on one of the morning shows, but it's just been all so surreal.
We all feel like we're in a dream and any moment we are going to wake up. I reminded Gabrielle of something she said to me, you know, years ago. She said, mom, you know, when I get on that stand and I get to bite that medal and I said, yes, we found a picture online of her biting the medal. So that was pretty fun.
MALVEAUX: You have been Skyping and texting. What has she been telling you? You spent the morning together. How is she doing? How is she feeling?
HAWKINS: Well, when I Skyped her this morning, you know, when the video first comes on, there's kind of not any real sound and she just came up like this and it reminded me of the movie "Home Alone," we laughed.
And I kind of mimicked it back to her and I said, wow, you know, you did it. And she said, I -- it's still so surreal, mom, I still -- I'm still trying to grasp what is actually going on.
It still hasn't sunk in yet and some of the other former Olympians, Mary Lou and Carly Patterson said it would sink in when she get home.
Apparently, that is what a lot of the former Olympians have been telling her. When you get home, it will really start to sink in. Right now, she is just in an amazement zone. She is in awe right now.
MALVEAUX: She's already on the box, a cereal box. I mean, life has changed. What do you tell her? What do you tell her for just the extraordinary change that is about to take place?
She has -- the world is watching her. There will be scrutiny. There will be wonderful praise. There will be all of it. Her life as it exists will not be the same. How do you prepare your daughter, who is 16, for something like that?
HAWKINS: What I told her was just to remain really grateful and really humble. You know, I told her just remember why you started this sport. It was for a love of gymnastics and I told her, don't ever lose that.
And even from the beginning, her dream was to be able to inspire other people and inspire other kids. You know, she always says, I want other kids to say if Gabby can do it, I can do it.
And so, for her to achieve her ultimate goal and be able to have children look up to her and say that, it -- she is just ecstatic right now she is like, mom, I did it.
I'm just so excited because if I could just, you know, help inspire one child, I would be so happy with that and I'm getting messages from adults, saying she is inspiring me. So we are just elated. We are so excited for her.
MALVEAUX: She inspires all of us. Yes, all adults and kids alike. I mean, she is really extraordinary and really, I mean, lights up when she smiles, just to see her smile.
I know it hasn't always been that way. What was the toughest part for the two of you? I know that she was away. She was in Iowa for training. What was the hardest?
MALVEAUX: One of the hardest times, you know, she went through some injuries and I couldn't be there and that was really difficult because you always want to kiss the baby boo-boo and make it better and she is the youngest of my four children.
So I wanted to be able to rush by her side and I couldn't do that, but one of the most difficult times was this past year. She turned 16 on December 31st and we had a big celebration for her and, you know, we had to leave a few days later and she said, I want to come home.
And the hardest moment for me was telling her, it was your choice to move here and I just don't think it's a good idea to give up your dream. I knew that if she woke up on July 27th and she was at home watching it on TV, I knew she'd never be able to live with herself. I knew she'd sit beside me and say, what if? And I wouldn't be able to live with that. You know, I knew she wouldn't be able to live with that and I knew I couldn't deal with her not being able to live with that. So I encouraged her. I said, you know, life is not easy. You know, you have to fight through, you know, difficult times. And this is one of these times. And I want to bring you home. And she kept saying, you're supposed to let me come home. And I said, I know, but, you know, so much has been given towards, you know, pursuit of this dream and so many sacrifices have been made and I said, you just can't give up. I'm not going to allow you to give up on that. And so, you know, a few weeks passed. She was angry with me and, you know, a few weeks passed and she called me and she said, mom, I'm going to do it. I'm going to stay. She said, I know what you were saying is correct. You know, I know you're right. She said, but it's just really painful. I want to be home. I miss you guys.
HAWKINS: So that was absolutely one of the most difficult thing to get on that plane knowing that she was ready to give it all up and come home with us because she missed us so much.
MALVEAUX: And, Natalie, talk about this a little bit, because it's different from generation to generation. And Gabby, who's only 16, might not have a full appreciation for the history that she's made as the first African-American woman to win this kind of achievement and this gold all-around competition. You and I are, you know, of the generation where you can appreciate and you know that this is really historic. Do you think that she really understands what kind of impact she has, not just for the broader society, but specifically for young African-Americans who are looking at her?
HAWKINS: I don't think she has. I told her that a while back. I said, you know, if you go to the Olympics and win an all-around gold, you'll be the first one ever to have done that, you know. And she just said, really? She thought Dominique Dawes had done it at that point. She didn't really know, you know.
HAWKINS: And I said, no, I said -- and she really looks up to Dominique Dawes. That was one of her biggest inspirations in the sport.
HAWKINS: And so I said, no, she didn't do it. And she said, what? So she had me go back and we had to look at -- look up Dominique's stats. And so she said, wow. And I still don't think she truly grasped how big it is. You know, that she's the first one. She'll forever go down in the history books. And Dominique Dawes went down in the history books as being the first one, you know, to get an all-around -- I mean to get an Olympic team gold.
HAWKINS: And so for Gabrielle do get the team gold and the Olympic all-around gold, for me, it's just a feeling of absolute joy.
MALVEAUX: And, Natalie, what is next for Gabby? She's so young. I assume that she's already -- is she already thinking more Olympics or is she going to take a little bit of a break, eat what she wants to eat, relax a little bit, come home?
HAWKINS: Yes, we're going to let her take just a little bit of time off. She really wants to try to go for another Olympics. And so she hasn't been home since 2010.
HAWKINS: So I kind of want to bring her back home, let her see her pets. We have two dogs and she really misses them, too. So we want to bring her home just for a little, you know, while, not too long, and let her celebrate with her -- you know, with us, her brother, you know, her sisters and, you know, then it's back to training.
MALVEAUX: Then the hard work begins all over again.
MALVEAUX: Natalie, thank you so much. We love your daughter. She is so inspiring. And to see what she has accomplished, you must be so proud. We're all very proud of her.
HAWKINS: I am.
MALVEAUX: And thank you for taking this time with us. Which appreciate it.
Here's more of what we're working on from NEWSROOM INTERNATIONAL. London might be hosting the biggest party in the world right now, but some locals say they weren't invited.
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DOLORES JOHN-PHILLIP, LOCAL RESIDENT: Nobody has ever said to us, hey, you know, you can have subsidized tickets or it would be nice for you to come and visit seeing it's right on your doorstep. Absolutely nothing.
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MALVEAUX: It was seven years ago that London got the news it would host the 2012 summer Olympic games. Well, shortly after, construction began in east London. In the east end it is called home to immigrants and low-income resident. Well now some say that the promise of the Olympics bringing change to a struggling community has fallen flat. Vice Media, a London based online media operation chronicles what it calls the social cleansing of east London. Here's a portion of their four-part series.
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JOE ALEXANDER, LOCAL RESIDENT: Well, we're very close to the Olympics. We've been pretty much on the building side when it was being constructed. Some people have been complaining of, you know, dust-related illnesses and stuff like that. Of course, I mean the council ignored that.
DOLORES JOHN-PHILLIP, LOCAL RESIDENT: We put up with all the noise, all the dirt, all the grime and nobody has ever said us to, hey, you know, you can have subsidized tickets or it would be nice for you to come and visit seeing it's right on your doorstep. Absolutely nothing. No mention of us. It's almost like we just don't exist. And it's sad, really, cause it's right on your doorstep and you should be able to enjoy it and be part of it, but we're not.
ALEXANDER: We're up in Dennison (ph) Point (ph). I think it's floor 17 or 18. And the council have leased the top five floors to the BBC. Initially they've said that the blocks had asbestos in, so they're not fit for purpose. It's unsafe. But it's safe enough to build media suites.
The community has been dispersed, you know. And this is why they did it. They wanted the BBC, wanted to have these lovely views and, you know, sing praise to the Olympics, which is probably not a bad thing, except when you have to factor in that just down here you see all these houses and all these people are going to be kicked out of their homes and many of them have lived there for 40 -- 40 plus years. This community's nearly half a century old.
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MALVEAUX: Pegah Farahmand, she is a filmmaker and producer of the Vice Media documentary called "Vise Guide to the Olympics." She's joining us from London.
So good to have you on.
I know and we saw in your report, your documentary here, that there was a lot of preparation that went on to bring the Olympics to London here. And you had all these houses and folks who live in the community who really feel like they got the short end of the deal here. Was there anything that you saw when you went back and you talked to folks that was being done for the community?
PEGAH FARAHMAND, PRODUCER, FILMMAKER: Well, I think -- I think the regeneration of Nuam (ph) and Stratford, which is the area that the London Olympics is being held, that they've been planning regeneration of that for a while now, almost just before we won the bid for the games. The Olympics just really sped up that process.
I think there's been a really long history of Olympic cities that sort of fiercely build more and more new buildings when -- in the cities where they host the games and were yet to really see any kind of long-lasting or powerful legacies of these buildings.
And when it came to the regeneration of the -- you know, the areas in Nuam and Stratford, rather than kind of building upon the sort of facilities that were already existing in these areas, these -- you know, the parks and the buildings were merely destroyed and demolished and sold off to the big business and the local communities have had no say at all in the matter really and not felt any part of it.
MALVEAUX: Have folks been able to, for those who still have homes that are there, for those who are not a part of the renovation project, have they been able to go back home? Have they been able to be a part at all of some of the festivities that are taking place in their community?
FARAHMAND: No, not at all. I mean, you know, a lot of these (INAUDIBLE), like you saw in the clip, were evicted from the building, especially in (INAUDIBLE) estate. They were evicted from their homes and sent off to the outskirts of London, parts of London, like Barcing (ph) and Dagano Monesicks (ph). And we're told that these buildings were not fit for purpose and not fit to live in because they had asbestos in them, but then they built media suites in them and really they can't come back to that area once they're out of there. And once the games finish, that's going to be it for them. They're not allowed to -- and they weren't even involved in any of the games. Like Dolores was staying in that clip, no one came and invited them to the site or got them to feel like this was -- they could feel part of the event.
MALVEAUX: And, Pegah, I want to bring this up. Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, of course, because -- obviously, you know, they've got a position here on this. He's quite a colorful guy. You actually see him. He was part of the zip lining to promote the games. He ended up getting stuck there.
But we did reach out to the mayor to ask him about the impact of the games in East London. He declined to comment specifically about it, but they did point to early releases from the office about saying that these games were at least bringing jobs to East London. That people were employed and that they were a part of some of what was happening, the benefits there. In the folks that you talked to and what you've seen there in the city, have you seen at least some of that happening?
FARAHMAND: Well, from the people that I've been speaking to, I think that, you know, it's a slightly shady area as a lot of the local agencies who were employing people for the jobs around Stratford, they were employing from outside of that borough. So what the truth of that is, that a lot of the people who are living inside that borough weren't receiving any of the benefits of that at all.
MALVEAUX: All right, Pegah, I've got to leave it there. Thank you very much for your report and your insight inside London and the other perspective. We really appreciate it.