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(From CBS News Channel)
BETTY NGUYEN: Severe Storms: Tornadoes, intense thunderstorms, and flash floods roll over the Southern Plains. Illinois Votes: Mitt Romney pushes for a big win as Rick Santorum is put on the defensive. RICK SANTORUM (R-Presidential Candidate): My candidacy doesn`t hinge on whether the employment rate goes up and down. BETTY NGUYEN: And the Investigation Opens: The Justice Department and the FBI decide to look into the shooting of an unarmed African-American teenager in Florida. This is the CBS MORNING NEWS for Tuesday, March 20, 2012. Good morning everybody and thanks for joining us. I`m Betty Nguyen. Well, this morning another round of severe weather pounding the nation`s mid section. And it is not over yet. Flood warnings are posted from Texas to southern Missouri. Last night a tornado touched down southwest of San Antonio. At least fifty homes were damaged in the small towns of Divine and Natalia. So far no injuries are reported but there are unconfirmed reports of people trapped in mobile homes. The storm system also brought heavy rain and flooding to parts of Texas and Oklahoma, where much of the state is under a flash-flood watch. More potentially dangerous weather, though, is forecast for today, as the storm front moves from Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, into Missouri, and up into Wisconsin. In politics, Mitt Romney is hoping for a knockout punch in today`s high- stakes Illinois primary. Fifty-four delegates are on the line today. Romney was spending his time attacking the President`s economic policies while Santorum was forced to explain his position on unemployment. Susan McGinnis is in Washington with more. Good morning, Susan. SUSAN MCGINNIS: Well, good morning, Betty. You remember Mitt Romney`s flub when he said he doesn`t care about the very poor. Well, now Santorum is backtracking after a statement he made yesterday. (Begin VT)
SUSAN MCGINNIS: Rick Santorum is defending comments he made in Moline, Illinois, yesterday. RICK SANTORUM (R-Presidential Candidate): We need a candidate who`s going to be a fighter for freedom, who`s going to get up to make that the central theme in this race because it is the central theme in this race. I don`t care what the unemployment rate is going to be. It doesn`t matter to me. SUSAN MCGINNIS: The former Pennsylvania senator says he`d like a do-over and try to explain what he meant. RICK SANTORUM: Of course, I care about the unemployment, right. I want the unemployment rate to go down. But I`m saying my candidacy doesn`t hinge on whether the employment rate goes up and down. Our candidacy is about some thing that transcends that, it`s about freedom. SUSAN MCGINNIS: Mitt Romney tried to capitalize on Santorum`s flub. At a rally in Peoria, he stressed the economy is his top priority. MITT ROMNEY (R-Presidential Candidate): One of the people who`s running also for the Republican nomination today said that he doesn`t care about the unemployment rate, that doesn`t bother him. I do care about the unemployment rate. It does bother me. I want to get people back to work. SUSAN MCGINNIS: The latest poll shows Romney with a fourteen-point lead over Santorum heading into today`s Illinois …