Return to Transcripts main page
Romney, Ryan Reunite on Campaign trail; Cosmonauts Take Space Walk; Warning About Anesthesia Before Age 3; Embattled Senator Attacks Opponent's Rape Claim.
Aired August 20, 2012 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOINED IN PROGRESS
PAUL RYAN, REPUBLICAN VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Churchill said, "The Americans can be counted upon to do the right thing, but only after they've exhausted all the other possibilities."
I think that's kind of where we are right now. The good news is it's not too late. We can get people back to work. We can get people out of poverty. We can reignite prosperity. We can save Medicare and we can do this by electing leadership.
And the man who is going to lead this comeback for America is the man standing next to me. His name is Mitt Romney and he is going to be the next president of the United States of America.
MITT ROMNEY, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you, Paul.
Oh, what a treat to be here. Thank you. What an honor. Thank you so much. Paul, you're terrific. Thank you.
And to Frank and Charlie, Kelly, what a team here. And only a Catholic guy would be able to get the bells to toll just at the right time at Saint Anselm's, you know that? Father, you did that for him, I know.
Oh, my goodness, so many friends here in New Hampshire, I - gosh, I feel like I'm almost a New Hampshire resident. I come here and -- it would save me some tax dollars, I think.
But it's great to be here with you. You've been here for me on the day that I announced. You've been with me, time and time again, at town meetings like this. And you voted for me when it counted most and got me the nomination in a lot of respects, and I owe a great deal to the people in New Hampshire and appreciate your willingness to be here with me today. Thank you so much.
It is delightful to have a guy part of my team who has character and integrity, who has the capacity to take on tough issues, who is willing to take on tough issues and not just kick the ball down the field and hope someone else will deal with America's challenges.
I appreciate a man of courage, integrity and strength, as Paul Ryan is. I appreciate the fact that he's learned how to work with people on the other side of the aisle.
As you may appreciate, having served as governor of Massachusetts, you either did that or you perished because my legislature was 87-percent Democrat. Oh, they were OK. That's all right.
Anybody here from Massachusetts? Oh, my goodness, wow. I always comment there's a border security problem here, all right? Thanks for letting me across the border this morning.
This is a guy who's been able to work with good Democrats, find people that could look beyond partisanship, find common ground to get things done. And that's what we need to have happen and I'm planning on going to Washington with Paul Ryan, and we're going to get this country back on track for American people.
I'm asked from time to time, why are you doing this, Mitt? Why did you get into this? And you know the reason. You've heard me say this before.
But you see, I want to make sure that everyone in America who wants a job, can get a good job. I want to make sure that everybody who's thinking about retirement or in retirement knows they have a secure retirement.
I want people to know that, if they get ill, they're going to be able to get treated. They're going to have health care that's affordable. And I want every mom and dad to know that their child will get the best education in the world. These things we have to provide to Americans across the country.
And I know what it takes to get those things done. I've had the experience of working in the real world, if you will, the private sector, and seeing how enterprises get started and how they change the lives of people when they're successful, and how, by the way, sometimes they're not successful and how we lose jobs.
I understand those things. I want to bring that understanding to make sure we can create good jobs for every American that wants a good job. We've got to do that.
And, so, I have a deep desire to make a difference for the people of America, of the middle-class, of all classes, that we love so deeply. This is a great land and we owe our people a bright and prosperous future, and that's what Paul Ryan and I will do with every ounce of our energy. That's what we'll bring to the American people.
Now, I've seen something about what it takes and one of the fun things of this campaign over the last year and some odd months has been to get to know the people of America and see just how we tick and how -- actually how New Hampshire ticks, as well.
I was at the Madison lumberyard. I don't know whether you know Madison, New Hampshire, and there were a couple guys there, Jim Smith, Ken Moore. International Paper owned the lumber mill there and they decided that lumber was not part of their future, so they were going to close it down.
And these two guys went to the bank and got some investors and loans and they bought the lumber mill from International Paper. And they keep it in business and they employ a lot of people there.
And I respect that entrepreneurship, the innovativeness of individuals who step in, who take a risk, who make things happen.
I met a young woman. I was in High Point, North Carolina, just a few days ago, and her name is Melanie McNamara. She's in the furniture-making business and, I'll tell you, the Chinese have just killed one job after another in furniture manufacture for a lot of reasons.
But, putting that aside, she figured she was going to lose her business and the jobs of the people that worked for her unless she could find some way to keep in business. And she had this idea. She's going to make furniture of a very specific nature, furniture that goes in the waiting rooms of hospitals. That's her niche and she does that well. The 27 people who work for her are happy to have a job because she figured out how she could compete with the Chinese and win and we're going to do that all over the country.
I met a guy in Southern Illinois, Jim Liautaud is his name and Jim graduated second in his class in high school. Second from the bottom, that is. He decided that college was not in his future. And so he went to his dad and said, Dad, can I borrow some money? I want to start a little business.
And he and his dad worked something out. His dad would own half the business. He'd own half and they were going to serve food. And he went out to buy one of these hamburger griddles, you know, and then the rollers that make hot dogs, and then he needed this big hood to take out of the smoke and all that.
By the time he costed it out, he found out he didn't begin to have enough money to buy all that stuff. As a matter of fact, the conclusion was all he could really do is make sandwiches.
So, he got some tables and went to a friend's garages and made sandwiches and then delivered them to people's homes. That was his idea, good sandwiches, delivered at work.
Now Jimmy Johns has 1,500 restaurants and employs 60,000 people. Isn't that amazing?
It's just -- you see, it's just the way America works. It's individuals in their own ways pursuing their own dreams, who take a risk in some cases, who worked harder than they ever imagined they would, who use all their brainpower to come up with ideas like, OK, we're going to make hospital furniture or we're going to find a way to make this lumberyard work, even though this big company that owns it can't make it work profitably, and we're going to start this little restaurant and it's going to grow and go all over the country.
This is the way America works. I understand that. The Founders understood that. You see, when they decided what America would look like, they had some extraordinary -- I'll call them -- inspirational thoughts. One was this, that our rights did not come from the government. Our rights came from the Creator.
And among our rights were life and liberty and, by the way, that includes religious liberty. We respect the right of religions to practice in a free and tolerant way. And, number three, the pursuit of happiness. Americans should be free to pursue happiness as they choose.
You see, the Founders recognized that far more effective in guiding an economy than having bureaucrats try and tell people what to make and how to make it and where to sell it and how much to charge for it, instead of that, we'd let free people decide what they want to do, each person going of in their own way, building enterprises like making sandwiches or hospital furniture or cutting lumber.
And this -- this would create, as you know, the most powerful economy in the history of the world. You see, America's economy is driven by freedom. Freedom is what makes America work.
And the president says something and Paul alluded to it a moment ago, but the president said something extraordinarily revealing about himself and about how he thinks about the economy. You could see where he was coming from with what he did. You know with the stimulus dollars, you know how much money he invested in so-called "green energy" companies? $90 billion. $90 billion.
I guess he likes to picks winners and losers -- in his case, losers -- and those businesses, he thinks in some respects that he and his people by picking businesses can do a better job than free people, consumers making the choice of what's better for them.
And it just hasn't worked. It's the wrong approach. And what he said underscored his philosophy. He said this and you heard it. He said, "If you have a business, you didn't build it, someone else did that."
And I -- he said, look, Mitt, you're taking me out of context. That's really not what I meant. So, by the way, go on YouTube and look at the context, all right? The context is worse than the quote, all right?
Because he says, you know, if you're successful, you think it's because you're smart, but there are a lot of smart people. And, if you're successful, you may think it's because you work hard, but there are a lot of people that work hard. And I wondered, where's he going with this? Is there something wrong with being smart and working hard?
You see, in America, we value people who are smart, who work hard, who take risks, who build things for themselves and for others. And we recognize we're in this together and we help one another and Americans, coming together -- by the way, out of many, one -- us coming together and uniting that creates a stronger nation, but nonetheless, we recognize and celebrate the success of each individual and we acknowledge their success.
We don't denigrate it. We don't divide Americans based upon their level of success. We come together.
The other day, you know, I thought about a kid that works hard to get the honor roll and she works real hard. I know that to get the honor roll she had to go on a school bus to get to school, but when she makes the honor roll, I credit the kid, not the bus driver.
And, so, as opposed to having a president who thinks that government creates our economy and allows it to grow, I understand that it's free people and freedom that drive our economy.
I'm going to do five things when I'm in Washington with Paul Ryan. Five things, we're going to do that are going to get his economy jump-started again. Number one, we're going to take advantage of our energy resources, our coal, our oil, our gas, our renewables, even nuclear. Number one, energy.
We've got a lot of energy. Low-cost natural gas is going to bring manufacturing jobs back and, by the way, keep our utility bills down.
Number two, I'm going to make sure our schools are second to none. We need our kids to have the skills to succeed. That's number two.
Number three, I want trade that works for America. That means we're going to open up new markets for our goods in Latin America and other places. And we're going to crack down on cheaters like China when they play on an unfair basis.
Number four, for people in this audience to take a risk to start a business or to invest with a friend that's got a good idea, or some big corporation overseas that's thinking about building a factor, maybe in the United States or maybe somewhere else, for them to put money and put it at risk in America, they have to know we're not on the road to Greece.
And, so, we're going to have to do something and do it soon and that is show America that this team can put America on track to a balanced budget and stop the deficit spending.
And there's one more and that's this. I want to champion small business. I want to make it easier for entrepreneurs and innovators. I want the small businesses you work in to find it easier to hold on to capital so they can grow their enterprise.
The president wants to raise taxes on small business. I want them lower. I want to make sure that regulators and regulations are designed to make sure we encourage small business and, by the way, I want to take off that big cloud that's hanging over a lot of small businesses. And that is, I want to make sure we get ObamaCare out of the way and replace it with something which will help encourage job growth in this country. You know how important this is. You know what a difference this will make for America, for the 23 million Americans out of working, for the 1-out-of-6 out of poverty. We need these things to help those folks. We also need to do these things to help the coming generation.
And one more thing. American strength is critical not just for us in this country, but also for the world. I was fortunate enough to be in Poland a couple of weeks ago and had the chance to meet with Lech Walesa, a world hero.
And I had just met with Prime Minister Tusk and, so, I came in and Lech Walesa looked at me and he said, "You must be tired. You just came from overseas." He said, "Sit down. I talk, you listen."
So, I did. And he spoke for about 15 minutes and he kept on hammering me with the same point. We need American leadership. Where is American leadership? Look at the challenges in the world. Look what's happening in the Middle East? Look what's happening around the world? We need America to lead.
Let me tell you, if this man is your vice president and I am your president, we will do everything in our power to keep America strong, to lead in the world with strong values, strong homes, strong principles.
We'll lead with a strong economy, get this economy going again so people have good jobs and so that we can make sure we have a military that's second to none in the world. It's essential America is strong.
That's my commitment to you. We're going to get America back. We're going to make sure it remains strong.
And my request of you is that you also make a commitment. I'd like you to find one person, one person who voted for Barack Obama who you can convince to vote for Paul Ryan and me, all right?
Now, you each know someone who voted for Barack Obama and I know there are a lot of them out there that aren't quite sure what they're going to do. So, you guys, I want you to meet with them. I want you to talk to them. I want you to tell them that we're going to help get good jobs. We're going to make sure we restore strengths in our homes and schools. We're going to get America's economy so strong that we can afford a military that protects liberty for ourselves and preserves peace on the planet.
And I'll bet if you do that job, we can make sure we win not just in November, but in New Hampshire. New Hampshire, make the difference. Help this man and I become the next president and vice president. With your help, we're going to get America back! Thank you so much! Thank you!
Now, it's your turn. Now, it's your turn here. We're going to take some questions, and small audience back here. Please, just shout it out. I'm not sure you need a microphone, but if - yeah?
QUESTIOIN: (INAUDIBLE) politicians often talk about ending the national deficit, but that's not really the real problem. It's our national debt and I'm wondering what you can say that with help us know that you will help end the national debt, not just the deficit, but the actual debt itself.
ROMNEY: Well, as you know, we have about $16 trillion of debt, which is about the size of the total economy. And passing on this debt to our kids -- oh, and by the way, not just the debt, but also unfunded promises to coming generations and to our generation, that's about another $62 trillion on top of that.
We're passing these burdens on every year. The folks at "USA Today" calculate the amount of debt and unfunded promise per household is over $500,000 per household you don't know you're carrying and will carry and the interest on that and, most likely, my generation will be gone before all that interest and debt is paid off.
These are burdens for things we've purchased during my lifetime that are going to get paid for by my kids. In my view, it's not just bad economics. It's immoral for us to pass these burdens on to coming generations.
So what do I do? Well, first, you've got to end the deficit and then start accumulating, if you will, reserves and growing. That's what we did. Most states figure out how to do this. They balance their budget.
And, in my state, I came in. We had about a $3 billion budget gap. We balanced the budget then we began building a rainy-day fund. It was over $2 billion when I left. That's how you do it.
So what do we do here? I have three things I'd do to, one, get rid of the deficit, and then let me tell you how we're also going to go on to start pulling down the debt, three approaches.
Number one, we're going get rid of programs we don't need. My test is this. I'll look at every program and say, is this so critical, as a program, it's worth borrowing money from China to pay for it and, on that basis, we're going to get rid of some programs like ObamaCare and some others.
Number two, we're going to take a lot of programs and sent them back to the states where they can be run more efficiently and with less fraud and abuse.
And, number three, we're going to skinny-down the size of the federal workforce that remains with attrition to make sure it's more productive.
Now, how do you actually gets to a balanced budget and start paying off the debt? And the answer is there are three mathematical ways you could do that. One, you could raise taxes. Not going to do that. That's a mathematical way.
Two, you could cut spending. I'm going to do that, but number three and most important, you can grow the economy, all right? And, so, when Democrats say, oh, just raise taxes. What they don't understand is that raising taxes slows down growth and it's like a dog chasing your tail, you're never going to get to the balanced budget by raising taxes. You have to encourage growth.
That's why our policies are focused on, one, bringing down spending and, two, encouraging growth. That's why we champion small business. That's why we champion our energy resources. We want to grow this economy and cut federal spending.
You do those two things, we get to a balanced budget and, ultimately we get rid of this debt. Thank you so much. Thanks.
Paul? No, this guy -- I want to hear what he has to say on this topic. I mean, he's been working on this for the last 14 years.
RYAN: I can't really top that. That is the magic secret, pro- growth economics to get people back to work. Going from collecting an unemployment check to creating and building businesses to having a paycheck, that brings in more revenues through economic growth. Cut spending, reform government programs so that they are paid for.
The problem is we've had decades of politicians from both political parties making a lot of empty promises to voters to get reelected and what will happen if we have a debt crisis is those empty promises become broken promises with painful consequences unless we act.
Turn on your TV when you get home. Look at Europe. That's what happens. They made all these empty promises. They've got a debt crisis. Now, they're in recession. Now, they're slashing health and retirement benefits for current seniors, raising taxes, slowing down the economy. Young people don't have jobs.
We need to prevent and preempt that and that's what this is designed to do. Get people back to work, cut spending, reform government, prevent us from being Europe, and then we'll be the port in the storm in the global economy.
America will be the place you want to create jobs, you want to have your company. This is the engine of economic growth we've had before. We can turn it around and, if we do that, then we'll get our debt under control and get it paid off and our kids and our grandkids will have a debt-free nation.
Just like our parents, they took on the challenges in their generation. We do that and we revive the American idea and the American legacy.
QUESTION: Governor Romney, Congressman, we haven't had a budget at the federal level for three years and there's an absence of a blueprint for our nation. There's an absence of a rapport with the constituents and with Congress and that's the problem with our existing president.
What are you two going to do when you're in the White House leading the nation to get a budget in place that will give confidence to the financial markets and give confidence to the business community and the world economy that you've just spoken about?
ROMNEY: Yeah, thank you. Good question. Paul?
PAUL: We're going to follow the law. Go figure. We have a budget law. The budget law that governs how Congress taxes and spends your money, that law says that not only is April 15th tax day for all Americans, it's budget day for Congress and that Congress is supposed to pass a budget every year by April 15th.
But where Kelly works, because she's in the minority, the Senate has chosen to ignore this law for three years. We haven't had a budget for three years because the United States Senate hasn't passed a budget for three years.
Yeah, you guys ever heard of a guy named Harry Reid?
OK, you have. I rest my case.
ROMENY: Apparently, yeah.
RYAN: Yeah, I guess so.
But the point is, it takes leadership. President Obama has given us four budgets, each and every one of these budgets ducked the tough issues, kicked the can and have given us deficits that are over a trillion dollars, every single time, and no solution in sight.
He punted leadership. The senate hasn't led. We're still living under that Obama budget from 2009 that paved the way for ObamaCare and everything else.
So what we're going to follow the law, lead, introduce a budget that solves this problem. We need Kelly to have more help in the Senate and courageous people like Frank Guinta who served on the budget committee, who helped us do this.
We're going to get courageous men and women back in Congress. We're going to lead, offer a budget and fix this mess before it gets out of our control.
ROMNEY: I'm just going to underscore one thing there and that is, as the congressman indicated, there is the role of leadership. I hope you've experienced that in your homes, as moms and dads lead. You've seen it in the enterprise you may work. You've seen it in your state here.
There are time's when there's strong leadership and you're able to get things done. There are other times in any enterprise you're associated with where you haven't seen the kind of leadership you need.
And the president the other day was speaking about some issues he hadn't tackled and Congress hadn't acted on. He said, well, they know where my office is. They know where the White House is.
It's like, you've got to be kidding. You're the president. You have to know where they are. Go meet with them. Go talk to them.
I mean, I remember ...
RYAN: He doesn't do that.
ROMNEY: He can't point at Harry Reid and say, oh, they can't get the job done there in the Senate. He's got to go over to the Senate. He's got to meet with them, talk to them.
Remember Ronald Reagan sitting down with Tip O'Neill? Two more different guys, I can't imagine and, yet, there were important things in the country at that time, and there are important things today.
And you have to have a president who, after getting elected, is willing to sit down with people across the aisle and lead America. This is that kind of time. We can't go on the way we're going on or we'll end up being Greece. We cannot do that.
If I'm there, I will fight and I will lead and we'll have a budget and it will ultimately get us to a place where we can pay back debt.
QUESTION: Thank you, Governor. When the son's boss asked why he wanted the day off, he said, I get a chance to see Romney and Ryan.
And he said, you mean that guy that wants to raise taxes? So what are you going to do to combat the lies that the leftists are telling about you?
ROMNEY: Yeah, thank you. It seems that the first victim of an Obama campaign is the truth. And it has been sad and disappointing.
Frankly, you know, when I became the presumptive nominee, the president called me and congratulated me on becoming the presumptive nominee and said that America deserves an honest debate about the future course of the country. And I agreed.
I'm waiting to hear him begin that because all we've heard so far is one attack after the other and, frankly, they're typically not honest. There may be one in there that is. I keep looking for it, but it's been a disappointment.
And, so, for instance, let me make this clear. You know I signed a statement. I will not raise taxes on anybody. I don't want to raise taxes on the American people. And this is a president who, by the way, has proposed raising the tax rate from 35 percent to 40 percent.
And let me just point out, you realize the great majority of enterprises that we all work in, Americans work in across this country, are taxed as individuals. They pay that rate. They don't pay the corporate tax rate. They pay the personal tax rate. They're called flow-through companies. They pay individual taxes. When you raise taxes on small business from 35 percent to 40 percent, you will kill jobs.
And then he put in place the ObamaCare tax. It doesn't sound very big. Only 2.3 percent of revenues, not of profit, of revenues. So these businesses that are making medical devices and medical instruments, they have to pay taxes, even if they're not making a profit.
He's been raising taxes. He's proposing raising taxes. Let me tell you the heart of my tax proposal. I will not raise taxes on the American people. I will not raise taxes on middle-income Americans. We're going to make sure that Americans have the money to pay their bills. We're not going to raise taxes. That slows down growth and kills jobs.
ROMNEY: We're going to get this economy going.
And, Mr. President, stop saying something that's not the truth.
(END LIVE FEED)
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: A friendly crowd in Manchester, Massachusetts, where the Romney/Ryan team, doing the tag-team approach on this campaign event. They're in New Hampshire, next door to Massachusetts, talking about those who might need to actually come over the border. He, himself, Governor Romney, saying maybe I should be here because I could get a tax advantage. I don't know if any one is going to seize on that, but you know that everything that is said on these campaign stumps is parsed and twisted and turned by the opposition as well.
Let me go to Jim Acosta who's on the stump with Governor Romney and also his running mate to get a wrap-up of this event.
Like I said, friendly crowd. Some of the questions pointed, without question, but certainly not difficult for these two campaigners.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, actually sometimes the questions can be friendly at these town halls. Let's be honest about this. And just a few moments ago, you heard a perfect example of that, but it did tee up what was some of the harshest rhetoric we've heard from Mitt Romney, directed at the president in this campaign. A woman in the audience asked, what are you going to do to combat the lies? You heard Mitt Romney say right after that, well, the first victim of the Obama campaign is the truth. This super-heated rhetoric that we have been hearing the last couple weeks, Ashleigh, from both campaigns, it is not letting up.
There is a distraction for the Romney campaign today. They are holding this big event here at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire, with Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan both together, the first time in a week. But there is this controversy out in Missouri, that issue of Congressman Todd Akin, who made those comments about what he called legitimate rape. Obviously, the Democrats have pounced on this. Republicans have as well. Scott Brown, the Senator from Massachusetts, has called on Todd Akin to drop out of that Senate race in Missouri.
I had a few moments with a senior Romney advisor, Kevin Madden, a few moments ago, Ashleigh, and he told me that Mitt Romney has no such plans to call on Todd Akin to get out of that race. So a bit of news there. Kevin Madden did direct us to comments that the GOP contender made to "National Review Online" earlier this morning when he called those comments, from Todd Akin, inexcusable.
BANFIELD: We'll talk about Todd Akin coming up in this program later. Jim Acosta, I just want to ask -- this is a very effective team campaigning together. But is it the best use of both of these politicians or should they spread the love and separate and cover more ground?
ACOSTA: That's what they did a week ago, Ashleigh. They went their separate ways. We were there on the tarmac with them. I think it was Wisconsin. I hope that's the state we were at when they went their separate ways. I believe that's right. But, yes, that was the move at that time. But I think the Romney campaign realized there's more energy, the crowds get bigger, they're a little bit louder when Paul Ryan is at his side.
I talked to another Romney adviser this morning. They say they like the chemistry between these two politicians. So, yes, there is a lot of fretting in Washington whether Paul Ryan was the best pick, but Romney seems to be feeding of the energy and the enthusiasm that Paul Ryan seems to whip up with these conservative crowds. He is a conservative hero. And I think Mitt Romney is feeding off some of that energy -- Ashleigh?
BANFIELD: Jim Acosta in the great state of New Hampshire, Manchester, to be specific. Thank you for that, Jim. We appreciate it.
He'll stay on it for us and bring us any news that comes out of that of that campaign event.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BANFIELD: And our breaking news this morning comes courtesy of the Augusta National Golf Club. Are you sitting down? Legendary home of the Masters Tournament has just admitted its first women as members. And here they are, former secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, an avid golfers, and South Carolina financier, Darla Moore, presumably another avid golfer. Of course, you know, for years, Augusta National has been under pressure to break with the men-only tradition. Now the chairman, Billy Payne, says this -- and I'll quote from him -- "These accomplished women share our passion for the game of golf, and both are well known and respected by our membership. It will be a proud moment when we present Condoleezza and Darla their green jackets when the club opens this fall."
BANFIELD: Two Russian Cosmonauts have ventured outside the international space station and right now they're taking one of those fabulously weightless walks in space.
Our John Zarrella joins us from Miami to talk us through it.
The first thing I heard was they were going to be heading out to build some kind of deflection shield. And my "Star Trek" mind started to think there was some passive problem with space junk and out-of- control meteors. But what are they really doing?
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's micrometeoroids. Those tiny, tiny, tiny little things that, when they're traveling at 20,000 miles an hour, just a tiny rock in space can put a big damaging hole into a space station. They're going to install that on one of the components. But right now, they have not gone outside. They're well over an hour delay. There was a problem with a leak in a seal in between a couple of the compartments in the air lock. So they've been dealing with that. So we can see a live picture from NASA television right there of the Russian portion of the international space station, but right now a delay. They're going to do that. Then they're going to move a hand-operated crane. What they're doing is a little housekeeping to get ready for a new module, a new science lab that's going up there on the Russian side in 2012. And, Ashleigh, this is the 135th -- when it takes place -- space walk from the international space station over the last decade, 15 years or so. That's unbelievable.
BANFIELD: I don't care, it never gets old, Zarrella.
ZARRELLA: No, it does not.
BANFIELD: I think it's the coolest thing ever.
ZARRELLA: It does not.
BANFIELD: And they have nerves of steel. Think about what it would take to step on out into space, no matter their gear.
While I have you here, my favorite space nerd.
BANFIELD: Can I ask you about these incredible photographs. Clear as though they were taken with your best Nikon from the Mars "Curiosity. They are out of this world. And pardon the pun. ZARRELLA: Yes, let's not forget about Mars because "Curiosity" continues to be the most terrific NASA story out there. There's no question about it. Over the weekend, it went a bit unheralded. They used their Chem-Cam, which is at the top of the mask, and they zapped a rock, first time ever, in space, a rock zapped by a laser. The bottom line is they hit that rock about 30 times with tiny laser shot, and the plasma emitted was the heat that is generated is photographed by a telescope. They can now analyze that rock, which they named Coronation Rock. There's another image, Coronation Rock. Another one they released is called the Promised Land. And that's Mt. Sharp in the distance. The reason they call it that is because they want to ultimately get over to Mt. Sharp. It's layered rock. They can look back into the history of Mars when it was a wetter time, more like earth, by looking at Mt. Sharp. So eventually --
BANFIELD: It looks like Arizona.
It's so awesome to see that.
ZARRELLA: Yes, it's like the Grand Canyon. Yes, like the Grand Canyon. Yes.
BANFIELD: I'll bet it's a little warmer though than Arizona perhaps.
ZARRELLA: No, it's a little warmer in Arizona.
ZARRELLA: It's about 15 below out there.
BANFIELD: Oh, a little warmer in Arizona. Never mind. You know what, I misspeak just like the candidates. I talk a lot.
Zarrella, thanks. It's good to see you. Thanks for checking that out for us.
ZARRELLA: Sure. Good to see you.
BANFIELD: We do appreciate it.
ZARRELLA: Bye, Ash.
BANFIELD: And you are my favorite space geek, no matter what.
By the way, I should also mention that an American and Japanese astronaut are scheduled to perform the second walk from this team on August 30th.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BANFIELD: Welcome back.
While surgery carries risk for anybody who is going under, it can have some particularly stronger risks perhaps for little kids. Now a new study is suggesting children who have anesthesia before the age of 3 are at a higher risk for developmental delays later in life.
Our senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, is with us.
Man, this sounds scary.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It does. I'm going to tell this story very carefully, because I don't want to freak parents out. As a mother of two children who had surgery under the age of 3 --
BANFIELD: I had one, too.
COHEN: -- exactly, it's a scary thing.
This was a study was a study of children in Australia, about 2,600 kids. They found those kids who had had general anesthesia were about twice as likely to have developmental delays, if they had the anesthesia before the age of 3. We're talking about things like listening, reasoning, those kinds of delays.
And the reason why I want to tell it carefully is that maybe these children, because they needed surgery, had some kind of condition to begin with, and maybe that's what we're seeing, is that sick kids have more developmental delays. Maybe it was the anesthesia, maybe it was the surgery, we just don't know.
BANFIELD: Or maybe it was the underlying condition.
BANFIELD: But if it was a trauma like a bike accident or something else, should parents be more concerned?
COHEN: I think the answer here for what parents need to is, if a doctor says your young child needs surgery, you want the same discussions you be having anyhow even without this study. Are we sure my child needs to be put under? Are we sure they need surgery? Is there a local anesthetic we could use anyhow? Have that discussion with your doctor no matter what. If your child needs surgery, they need it. I don't want parents to say no to surgery just because of this study. If your child need surgery, that can be life-saving.
BANFIELD: I think that's the problem. Of course, we ask those questions, of course, we want to know before, because there's already the risk of death.
COHEN: Right. Right. BANFIELD: What else should get you asking these questions? But there are no other kinds other than just, if there's a local, you really don't have another shot at this, do you?
COHEN: Again, if your child niece surgery, they need surgery. Kids shouldn't be having unnecessary surgeries anyhow.
BANFIELD: Anyway, yes.
COHEN: But it's worth asking the question, especially with a very young child, can we wait or are there alternatives? Have that discussion, but don't be scared to have surgery if that's going to save your child's life.
BANFIELD: And remember, it is one study.
COHEN: There have been a couple studies that have shown similar things. What doctors need to do is they need to look at this and try to tease it out. Was it the underlying medical condition? Was it the anesthesia? Was it something about the surgery itself? This is on the doctors' plates right now. There's not a lot of parents can do.
BANFIELD: All right, Elizabeth Cohen, thank you.
BANFIELD: So here is it is, an odd one. What exactly is legitimate rape? What exactly did a six-term member of Congress mean when he suggested that, quote, "The female body can block conception during unwanted sex," end quote.
This is trouble. Missouri Congressman Todd Akin is running for the U.S. Senate seat, a seat that belongs to Democrat, Claire McCaskill, which is why his comments to a St. Louis interviewer set off a nationwide uproar.
Listen for yourself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. TODD AKIN, (R), MISSOURI: It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from the doctors, that is really rare. If it is a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let's assume that maybe that didn't work or something, and I think that there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be in the rapist and not attacking the child.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: I didn't know where to begin. I'll say this though. Akin later said that he misspoke. but the long-time social conservative and the member of the Tea Party Caucus still opposes abortion in every circumstance, rape included. It is not still really clear which part he considers misspoken. McCaskill is calling Akin's comments, quote, "ignorant and offensive." And she spoke this morning on MSNBC.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. CLAIRE MCCASKILL, (D), MISSOURI: For me, in this race, I want to make a moment that Missourians can take a close look. He was elected by the Republican primary voters by a wide margin. And I know that there are people that are out of the mainstream that really support Todd Akin. But for most Missourians, I hope that this is one of the gut-check moments when they realize this is not somebody we want speaking for us, and our values.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: I want to bring in CNN's Wolf Blitzer, who is live in Washington, D.C.
I think that the question right off of the bat, is this a game- change in this particular race?
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST, THE SITUATION ROOM: Potentially, it is. It is great news for Claire McCaskill, who was in deep, deep trouble. The Republicans were assuming that Akin would win that seat in Missouri. Now, assuming he stays in, and that is an assumption, I assume that he will stay in the race, but assuming he does, this is going to be a much closer race than a lot of people thought.
He has embarrassed the Republicans, not only in Missouri, but across the country with these comments. That is why we see everyone from Romney and Ryan on down distancing themselves as quickly as they did.
He has until 5:00 p.m. local time on Tuesday to withdraw without penalty to the Republicans in the state. I know, behind the scenes, there are some Republicans -- and one, for example, Scott Brown, the Republican Senator from Massachusetts, already calling on him to step downing because of the embarrassing comments that he made.
This is a potential game-changer in that Senate race in Missouri, Ashleigh, to be sure.
BANFIELD: Regardless of how you feel about the abortion and the case of rape or incest, there is this issue of how women can stop a pregnancy during and/or after rape, which is so disconcerting.
I want to mention here that it really didn't take very long, Wolf, for the Romney/Ryan ticket to put Mr. Akin at arm's length. Let me read their statement: "Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin's statement. And a Romney/Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape."
That last line really stuck out, because isn't that a change for Congressman Ryan?
BLITZER: Yes. Congressman Ryan over the years has said that there should be no exception for rape as far as abortion rights for women are concerned. It is not a change for Romney. But as you know, Romney is at the top of the ticket, and Ryan is number two. He has to forget about his old positions. He supports what Romney says right now. And Romney says there should be exceptions in the case of incest and rape and life of the mother and all of that -- life of the mother, I should say. and so whatever Ryan's position in the past has been -- and he has opposed abortion for women, including incest and rape, those instances, he now has to go along with what Mitt Romney's position is, which has been consistent in recent years that there should be no abortion unless there's incest, rape, or life of the mother.
BANFIELD: This is a total head-scratcher, Wolf. Thank you.
We always invite our viewers to tune into your show. "The Situation Room," beginning at 4:00 p.m. this afternoon.
Thank you, Wolf.
BLITZER: Thank you.
BANFIELD: I want to go back to the complete uproar over the GOP Congressman's comments and, again, the alleged ability of the female body to somehow resist contraction. It is very unusual.
Let me bring in Lavinia Masters to talk about this, because there are facts here that are critical in this debate. She is a sexual assault victim herself, and also advocate and author.
Ms. Masters, first, let's get to the facts. The Congressman suggested that rarely -- originally, he suggested, before he says he misspoke, rarely do rapes result in pregnancies. What are the real numbers?
LAVINIA MASTERS, SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIM, ADVOCATE & AUTHOR: The real numbers are astounding. But as far as I know -- I'm not sure where he gets the statistics. But to say that your body rejects pregnancy, I've never heard that before. I was raped at 13 and the only way my -- I didn't get pregnant, my understanding, is me going to the emergency room and the doctors doing the process of emergency contraception and stopping any kind of pregnancy or diseases that could have occurred after that. But for him to come up with these figures, I'm unsure where he got the figures and I'm unsure what the current figures are myself. But to just blatantly say something, and you don't know the facts, it is not a wise decision to do.
BANFIELD: I dug up a couple of figures. I was looking for what I could find on this. And it is difficult. I will be honest with you, it is difficult to find the figures. But we did find approximately three different studies that suggest that the numbers are around 6 percent. One was from the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, as well as Planned Parenthood, and also Medical University of South Carolina. And they all came up with about the same percentage, around 6 percent. But that does not take into account all of the women who are raped who do not come forward, or take into account the women who are raped and are on birth control. MASTERS: Exactly. Exactly.
BANFIELD: Let me ask you this. When it comes to this issue, the notion that somehow a woman can stop conception during or after a rape, biologically, I have never learned that anywhere. Have you heard it or read it anywhere?
MASTERS: I haven't either. That is ludicrous to say. It is amazing that he would make a statement like that. I don't want to say that I am picking sides or mudslinging. as a survivor of something so heinous as sexual assault to say something like that, it sets me back to make me even think that I could have stopped something from happening to me, and if I did not come forward -- I mean, what would I do at 13 years old with a baby, even if I didn't have the option of abortion, to try to raise a child and put more burden on my family, who is going to help to support and feed that child? Some things we have to think about them before we -- or process them before they come out of our mouths.
BANFIELD: Lavinia Masters, I think thank you profusely for joining us. Thanks so much for your perspective on this comment.
MASTERS: Thank you for having me here.
BANFIELD: We do have to scoot away. But CNN INTERNATIONAL is coming up right after the break. Thanks for watching.