August 3rd, 2012
08:48 PM ET

Triple-A downgrade one year later: Sen. Warner says, "We're just one budget deal away from preeminence for decades"

It is 365 days since the United States lost its top-tier Triple A credit rating. Standards and Poor (S&P) lowered the U.S. credit rating to AA+ out of concern over big budget deficits and rising debt.

"The downgrade reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government's medium-term debt dynamics," S&P said in a statement.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), a former member of the gang of six, a group of three Democrats and three Republicans who worked to find a compromise on the U.S. debt crisis. The resolution brought by the group was met by praise from the President and criticism from Republicans. Like other debt crisis initiatives, Bowles-Simpson and the Super Committee, Congress failed to act to save the U.S. from the fiscal cliff.

CNN's Erin Burnett talks to Sen. Mark Warner about what the downgrade has done to the U.S. economy and what Congress is doing to get us back to Triple-A.

Filed under: Economy • Politics • S&P Triple-A Downgrade
August 3rd, 2012
08:26 PM ET

Chick-fil-A caught in crossfire over same-sex marriage

Chick-fil-A, the fast food chain specializing in chicken, has been getting heat from gay-rights advocates claiming the restaurant is anti-gay. Today same-sex couples shared public kisses at Chick-fil-A stores across the country to get their message out.

Adam Smith, the former CFO of Tucson's Vante Inc., used a different approach. He recently filmed himself driving through a Chick-fil-A and harassing an employee. “This is a horrible corporation with horrible values,” Smith tells the woman at the counter. “I don’t know how you live with yourself and work here.”

“We don’t treat any of our customers differently, we don’t discriminate,” she tells Smith, refusing to argue with him but letting him know she feels uncomfortable being videotaped. “It’s my pleasure to serve you always.”

“I’m a nice guy, by the way… totally heterosexual,” Smith says at the end. “Not a gay in me, I just can’t stand the hate.” Smith lost his job due to this viral video.

OutFront tonight: CNN Contributor LZ Granderson and Pres., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Rev. Al Mohler.


Filed under: News
August 3rd, 2012
08:14 PM ET

Romney on Reid's tax return allegations: "Put up or shut up"

Mitt Romney fires back at Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-NV) for allegations that he has not been paying his taxes. Reid says that an unidentified former associate of Romney's had said he did not pay taxes in the past.

"I have paid taxes every year, and a lot of taxes ... so Harry is simply wrong, and that's why I'm so anxious for him to give us the names of the people who've put this forward," Romney told reporters, calling the tax return issue a Democratic effort to divert attention from a bad economy under Obama.

OutFront tonight: CNN Contributor Roland Martin and Senior Editor for the National Review Ramesh Ponnuru.


Filed under: News • Politics
August 3rd, 2012
07:45 PM ET

Cal Ripken Jr. speaks out: Kidnapping was "premeditated"

Hall of fame infielder Cal Ripken Jr., speaking publicly for the first time about his 74-year-old mother's mysterious kidnapping last week. Maryland police are still looking for a man who they say showed up at Violet Ripken's home last tuesday, forced her into her own car and drove off.

She was found the next morning near her home, still in the back seat of the car with her hands bound.

Police released this surveillance tape of the suspect at a Walmart. They believe that he drove around all day with her. Police are still looking for a motive and haven't found evidence of ransom demands.


Filed under: Crime • News
August 3rd, 2012
07:23 PM ET

163K new jobs in July, 8.3% unemployment: Can Pres. Obama break even on jobs?

The U.S. economy added 163,000 jobs in the month of July, which was better than what economists predicted. But, the unemployment rate rose to 8.3%.

Presidential rivals Barack Obama and Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney were quick to respond to the jobs report by holding public events at the same time Friday.

"I think it's an extraordinary failure of policy, a failure of leadership, and I think it's a moral failure for a country as successful and prosperous as our own to go now four years in a mode which feels to many people as a recession," Romney said after a campaign event in Las Vegas.

Pres. Obama touted the amount of jobs created in his tenure. "We have now created 4.5 million new jobs over the last 29 months and 1.1 million new jobs this year." Obama continued, "Those were our neighbors and family members finding work and the security that comes with work."

Obama, Romney spin jobs report

OutFront tonight: CNN Contributor John Avlon, Contributing Editor for Vanity Fair James Steele , and  Fmr. Director for the Congressional Budget Office Douglas Holtz-Eakin.



Filed under: News • OutFront Deconstruct • Politics
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