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March 23rd, 2012
01:52 PM ET

Rep. John Lewis: FL law a license to play executioner

Rep. John Lewis (GA) tells CNN’s Don Lemon that Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law gives people a license to play executioner.


Topics: CNN • CNN Newsroom
March 23rd, 2012
12:42 PM ET

Football legend Joe Namath: "I dont know anyone that doesnt have a special feeling about Tim Tebow"

In the aftermath of the Jets acquiring Quarterback Tim Tebow, "Piers Morgan Tonight" welcomed football legend Joe Namath for an exclusive primetime interview.

And as Tebow-mania prepares to take New York City by storm, the man known as "Broadway Joe" did not hesitate to share his opinion on a suddenly congested depth chart:

"You don't tell your starting quarterback – who's played three years, and who's gradually grown – that he's the man. Then you bring in somebody right behind him, with an added formation, that they're going to give teams trouble with? No."


Topics: CNN • Piers Morgan
March 23rd, 2012
11:18 AM ET

Southern Baptist Convention Pres. on Trayvon Martin: Don't rush to judgement; some people scream racism at the drop of a hat

On Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien, Dr. Richard Land, president, Southern Baptist Convention, Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission, explains why he thinks that Americans need to be careful not to rush to judgment in Martin case.

Dr. Land says, “I think that we need to be very careful, however, that we don't have a rush to judgment. I am shocked, frankly, to find out that Mr. Zimmerman still has his firearm and has not been in any way, shape, or form not put under probationary status.”

He continues, “But at the same time, racism is - to call someone a racist is about the worst thing you can call somebody in our society, and rightly so. And so we don't want to throw that term around flippantly. I think it's good the Justice Department is involved, the state government is involved, and we need to encourage the authorities to do a thorough investigation, and make certain that justice is done, because, of course, we sadly in this country have a history where in the past, oftentimes when the victims were black, there was not justice.”

Dr. Land adds, “I'm not sure it hasn't crossed racial lines in terms of outrage, that there hasn't been a more swift investigation and the fact that Mr. Zimmerman still is at large with his weapon and with no restrictions. But at the same time, we do have people in our society who scream racism at the drop of a hat.”

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs weekday mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.


Topics: CNN • Starting Point
March 23rd, 2012
10:54 AM ET

Florida rep. on Trayvon Martin case: 'We're not trying to make it racial. It is racial'

Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) talks about the Trayvon Martin case on Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien.

Wilson says, “It's racial profiling. This isn't something that someone is pulling out of a hat. It happens all the time. It is happening as we speak. Racial profiling happens in our nation, in our state of Florida…. It happens every day. We're not trying to make it racial. It is racial.”

On the potential public reaction if shooter George Zimmerman isn’t convicted, she adds, “Well, I am afraid to even think. I don't want to think back to the '60s when people burned down cities. So, as we move around and we talk with people who are participating in rallies, we've got to prepare them as they move through this process as to what the outcome might be. There is no way I can see a grand jury not indicting this man. However, it's my understanding the grand jury is all white. I think that needs to be changed first of all. I think it should be a jury of his peers, someone who looks like him or looks like his family members, his mother or father. And I think that the energy - we'll have to find a way to transform this energy in making this a better country for little black boys. We’ve got to all become mentors.”

On the police chief stepping down, she continues, “That's an insult for him to say that he's temporarily removing himself. He needs to be fired. He needs to be removed. That's a temporary situation. He's still being paid. He probably still is a part of the investigation. He needs to be terminated. And those people in authority who refuse to terminate him, perhaps they need to be terminated. That's the only way justice is going to be served.”

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs weekday mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.

March 23rd, 2012
10:31 AM ET

Santorum rep. tries to clarify Romney vs. Pres. Obama match-up in primary, general election

Rick Santorum Press Secretary Alice Stewart appears on Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien to discuss Santorum's recent comment on the potential choice between Mitt Romney and President Obama – “If they’re going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk with what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate for the future.”

Stewart says, “What he was referring to in the context of a statement was that he's worried that voters will have that feeling. What we need in order for the GOP to win is we need to have a choice. We need a clear vision different from what we currently have. With Mitt Romney, it's the same vision, and it’s one that’s not the right direction for this country. And he was worried that voters would have that feeling. What we have with Mitt Romney is a mirror image of Barack Obama. Both believe in government takeover of health care, cap and trade, Wall Street bailout. We need a candidate as nominee for the Republican party that's a contrast to what we currently have and that's what Rick Santorum is. He wants to, first and foremost, we don't celebrate the second anniversary of Obamacare, we need to have a candidate who will vow to repeal and replace Obamacare. We can't honestly take Mitt Romney's word that he's going to repeal and replace it when he's the one that wrote the model, the prototype in Romneycare."

Stewart continues, “Rick has made it abundantly clear once a nominee is chosen he'll stand behind the nominee and do everything we can to replace Barack Obama. That's what the beauty of the primary process is. It's to have candidates out there with differing messages and also different points of view on key issues. Rick is out there to show the contrast. He's out there to show that he's the only consistent conservative in this race in terms of the key issues that people are concerned with.”

When guest anchor Christine Romans asks for clarification, “During the primary season [Santorum] thinks the choice is Obama over Romney if that's your choice, but when it's the general election, he will say Romney."

Stewart answers, “As I said, Rick has made it clear that once the nominee is chosen, he'll stand behind it. We're confident as the delegate math continues that Rick will be the nominee. We feel we have a clear path to victory in this case. Romney is outspending us in areas 21 to one. He's been running for president for more than six years and he's up against the ropes. He has not energized the base. That's why Rick Santorum is doing so well and his message is resonating with people.”

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs weekday mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.

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