Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Bus Crash in Williams, California; O.J. Simpson Jurors Speaks Out; Barack Obama Campaigning Without Joe Biden Today; The National Debt Clock; Robin Thicke Inspired by the Presidential Election

Aired October 5, 2008 - 23:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: The calendar says fall --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. SARAH PALIN (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our opponent is someone who sees America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists who targeted their own country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: ... but it's hotter than Haiti out on the stump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Senator McCain wants us to turn the page on talking about the economy?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Bailout. Boom or bust? What happens tomorrow?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the time we've been here, look at that 3,000 -- oh, my gosh, that's $5,000.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: The national debt clock. The real race against time.

Mafia war. Italian troops deployed -- at home?

Sultry singer. Songwriter.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON (on camera): What do you want people to get from this album besides being inspired by Barack Obama?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A friend of mine calls it anti-recession music.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: One-on-one with blue-eyed soul brother Robin Thicke. The pictures and the stories you haven't seen until right now.

Hello, everyone, I'm Don Lemon. We have a lot to get to tonight, but first, we start with breaking news out of California. We're hearing of dozens of injuries and at least one death after a Greyhound bus rolled into a ditch near Williams. That's about 60 miles north of Sacramento.

These are the first pictures that we're getting as our affiliate stations head out to the scene. You can see red flashing lights from a very long line of cars. Some of those cars including emergency vehicles, we are told.

An area hospital is expecting between 50 and 60 patients. Joining us right now by telephone is tow truck driver Joel Sanders. He is right in the middle of it all.

You rushed to the scene to try to help out. Tell us what you're seeing, Mr. Sanders.

VOICE OF JOEL SANDERS, TOW TRUCK OPERATOR: Just an incredible number of first responders. Triage with the medics and several -- many, many patients laying on the pavement being attended to by the emergency personnel.

LEMON: We have been talking to our affiliates there and also to the California Highway Patrol. They are telling us of at least one fatality on the ground. And judging from what you're seeing, tell us about the extent of the injuries, and do you know anything further than that?

SANDERS: I believe at this point there are two fatalities, and they are landing and taking off several air MEDEVAC units.

LEMON: OK. And you're witnessing that, you're not hearing that from anyone?

SANDERS: That's correct, that's correct.

LEMON: OK. And to that, are they having trouble -- emergency vehicles -- we're looking at this long line of cars here, and we're told some of them are emergency vehicles. We can see flashing lights. Are they having trouble getting to the scene to try to get to these patients?

SANDERS: No. Those are all emergency vehicles that you see.

LEMON: You described this earlier as a horrific scene.

SANDERS: Absolutely. It's absolutely the most horrific I've been involved in, in my 20-year career.

LEMON: All right. Thank you very much for that. Joel Sanders. He is a tow truck driver rushing to the scene to try to help out in that bus crash that happened in Williams, California near Sacramento. We're going to continue to update you on the very latest on this.

Thank you very much for that, Joel.

We'll get the information to you just as soon as we can in this newscast. It is just happening and it is coming out now. We'll get it to you fast.

OK. Another story just in to the CNN NEWSROOM. The jurors speak. The men and women sending O.J. Simpson to prison. Well, they're telling their story for the very first time. They said guilty 12 times. Tonight, you see them sitting in that room. You will hear from them in just minutes.

And as we wait for that story, wait for the jurors and for the latest on our breaking news. We want to tell you what's on our mind here. Here's our big questions. Have we seen the last of O.J. Simpson yet? The economy, bailed out. Now what? And on the campaign trail, the big question is how low will they go? Let's get the answers for you right now in this newscast.

OK. On the campaign trail, we have major new developments to tell you about. Barack Obama is campaigning without Joe Biden today. We learned tonight that Biden's mother-in-law passed away from a long illness. A Biden spokesperson released a statement saying, "we appreciate everyone's respect for the family's privacy during this difficult time."

John McCain is home in Arizona, preparing for his second debate with Barack Obama on Tuesday. And as for Obama, he is in Asheville, North Carolina, where he told voters the McCain camp is focused on smear rather than issues.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Because on November 4th, you and I are going to turn the page, not on talking about the economy, we're going to turn the page on the disastrous economic policies of George W. Bush and John McCain.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Governor Sarah Palin started her day in California. She continues to defend her claim that Barack Obama pals around with terrorists.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The Associated Press called your comments about Obama yesterday racially tinged. What do you think about that?

PALIN: The Associated Press is wrong. The comments are about the association that has been known but hasn't been talked about. And I think it's fair to talk about where Barack Obama kicked off his political career, in the guy's living room. And he, of course, having been associated with that group, a known domestic terrorist group, it's important for Americans to know. It's really important for Americans to start knowing who the real Barack Obama is.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: Well, the McCain-Palin ticket, they went right there and put the Obama camp on the offensive. Tomorrow, first thing, expect a new ad campaign from the Obama camp calling John McCain, quote, "erratic." We have the ad. See for yourself.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three-quarters of a million jobs lost this year. Our financial system in turmoil. And John McCain? Erratic in crisis. Out of touch on the economy. No wonder his campaign wants to change the subject, turn the page on the financial crisis by launching dishonest, dishonorable assaults against Barack Obama. Struggling families can't turn the page on this economy. And we can't afford another president who's this out of touch.

OBAMA: I'm Barack Obama and I approve this message.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Palling around with terrorists. Erratic in a crisis. Swift boat politics. We're just 30 days out from the election with an economy that is frankly in the tank. Senior political editor Mark Preston is in Nashville tonight ahead of the second presidential debate.

And Mark, I understand that you're hearing something new out of the Obama camp tonight that we should expect tomorrow. Let's start with that.

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: Well, absolutely, Don. What we just learned now in the past couple hours is that the Obama campaign, which talked all day on Sunday about talking about the issues, about talking about the economy and chastising John McCain for trying to tie Barack Obama to William Ayers, they have decided now to amp it up.

They are going to put out a web video, 13 minutes, tomorrow that is going to explain John McCain's connection with Charles Keating. Now, this goes back 20 years. The whole savings and loan scandal, the whole crisis that resulted in the Senate Ethics Committee investigating five senators including John McCain, which did require a government bailout. We'll see that from the Obama campaign tomorrow.

LEMON: The Obama campaign, Mark, had criticized the McCain campaign saying that, you know, they were going down -- getting down and dirty. And the Obama camp said they wouldn't get off message, and they promise to stick to the issues. Do they really feel like they were backed into a corner by this? Is that why they're responding?

PRESTON: Don, I think they're looking back to 2004 when John Kerry did not act quick enough when he was swift boated in August of that year. They need to go out. They need to go for the jugular at this point. There's too much on the line. And we're going to see it from both campaigns. I will tell you the McCain campaign has told me today to expect them to really go on the offensive. They're going to make this a character issue on Barack Obama. They think that's how they can win.

LEMON: Oh, boy. All right. 30 days left and boy, is it getting heated out there. And just a couple of days until we have the second presidential debate right here on CNN. Mark Preston will join us in just a little bit to tell us what we can expect from that. Political editor Mark Preston. Thanks, Mark.

PRESTON: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: Well, of course, the economy is issue number one. International markets have had all weekend to think about the massive Wall Street rescue package. Pacific markets opened just about three hours ago, giving us our first glimpse into the global reaction to this bailout. We'll go live there in just a bit to see how that is going.

But another big indicator will be at 6:00 a.m. Eastern. That's when London posts the latest bank-to-bank lending rate. Right now, it's at 4.33 percent, which is considered very low. The update will give us a hint about whether the bailout plan is having the intended effect, which is helping to loosen worldwide credit markets.

CNN business correspondent Jennifer Westhoven there. She is in New York City. Our Emily Chang is in Beijing and Hugh Riminton is in Hong Kong. We'll start with Emily, where the markets have been closed for a holiday week.

Emily, this is going to be the first real test for China.

EMILY CHANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Definitely, Don. The Chinese markets opened about an hour and a half ago to a very ominous beginning. Already, the Shanghai index fell about 4 percentage points since it made some modest gains, now trading down about 3 percent.

Now, the Chinese markets have been closed all of last week for the national holiday. So, this is the first time we're getting to see how they're reacting to developments in the global financial crisis and the passage of the U.S. bailout bill. Now, keep in mind, the Chinese markets are a bit different than the other Asian markets. They're still relatively closed off from the rest of the world. There's not as many foreign investors and there's not as much exposure to the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis.

Now, before the national holiday, we were seeing the Shanghai index rebounding. But over the last year, it's fallen about 60 percent. Now, that could be, in part, due to global trends, but also to internal hits to China's economy, the snowstorms, the earthquake that happened earlier this year, the fact that the Beijing Olympics didn't bring as much of an economic boost as many hoped, and the fact that there's a real estate crisis going on in China and now skepticism towards this U.S. bailout bill, Don.

LEMON: All right. Emily Chang in Beijing, thank you.

Hugh Riminton now in Hong Kong. It's coming off a rocky week, Hugh. How are things looking right now to you? HUGH RIMINTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you know, if they thought Congress, if Hank Paulson, if the Bush administration thought that by getting this bailout package through, it was going to settle markets around the world, it's not playing out that way.

Really, some strongly bad news coming out of Japan at the moment. That major indices, they're heading for a five-year low. And you look at bank stocks, they're down 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 percent. Look at big exporters. Nippon Steel down more than 10 percent. The big five car makers -- Toyota, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Mitsubishi, they're all down heavily again. Why? Because it's not just finance stocks. They're also looking to the U.S. consumer, who they fear is going to go to sleep, go into a deep, long sleep. That's going to affect those export companies.

We're also seeing strong lows in South Korea, another strongly export-driven economy. And in Australia, the banks down there again. The sense now is you go beyond the bailout to the global economy. The news there is generally perceived at the moment, Don, to be pretty much all bad.

LEMON: Hugh, we appreciate that. Now let's go to New York City right here at home.

Jennifer Westhoven, what can we expect when the U.S. markets open in the morning?

JENNIFER WESTHOVEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Don. Well, of course, that fear that you're hearing about is certainly going to come to the United States markets in the morning. There's a lot of fear we've got a lot more falling to go maybe before this is over.

Now, the futures, in this very early going, are down quite sharply by about 1.5 percent, not as much as in Europe, but we might get to there. Now, the S&P 500, of course, last week fell 9.4 percent. It's the worst since after 9/11 back in 2001.

And, of course, the big fear is not necessarily the stock markets, though. It's what's happening in the credit markets. Don earlier was mentioning the LIBOR rate. And I think a London bank rate, you might think, what does that have to do with me? Well, it has everything to do with so many of us. That's why you just heard Hugh saying the fears are about the U.S. consumer.

This LIBOR rate, half of the adjustable rate mortgages in this country are tied to that. That means if you've got an adjustable rate mortgage, your monthly payment could go up. If you've got a fixed rate mortgage, do you think this doesn't affect me? Well, it could affect your neighbor. That could mean more foreclosures in your neighborhood and it could mean that housing prices keep going lower. Of course, that's the number one asset for most Americans, Don. So, that's very worrying.

LEMON: Jennifer Westhoven and our entire money team, thank you very much. We're going to tell you about the debt clock. Rising more than $3 billion a day. We'll have more on this coming up. There it is. $10 trillion. That's where we are right now. That $700 billion bailout surely helped to push it up.

First, we're waiting to hear from O.J. Simpson jurors for the first time. As we wait for that, we want to tell you, they're going to tell us why they're sending him to prison possibly for life.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: I want to update you now on our breaking news that's coming out of California, 60 miles north of Sacramento. CNN is learning now five confirmed fatalities in this bus crash. We're also learning that this bus that went into a ditch was on the way to Colusa Casino. It was a solo accident. We're told that there are five deaths now. The Greyhound Bus rolled into a ditch near Williams, again, about 60 miles north of Sacramento.

These pictures you're looking at are the first pictures we're getting as our affiliates head to the scene. You can see those red flashing lights. That's from a long line of cars, we are told, including emergency vehicles. Area hospitals expect at least 50 to 60 patients.

Earlier we spoke to a truck driver who said it was the most horrific accident scene he has ever seen. We'll continue to update you on this breaking story throughout this newscast.

Meantime, 13 years ago, O.J. Simpson was declared not guilty in the murders of his ex-wife and her friend. Well, 13 years later...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We the jury in the above-entitled case find the defendant, Orenthal James Simpson, as follows: Count one, conspiracy to commit a crime, guilty. Count two, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, guilty. Count three, conspiracy to commit robbery, guilty. Count four, burglary while in possession of a deadly weapon, guilty.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Different charges, a different jury and a different verdict. Right here, right now for the first time, the jurors, who convicted O.J. Simpson on armed robbery and kidnapping charges, speak out. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EVELYN DEUTCH, AP: Now that you have reached your verdict and come through all of this, can you tell us, what do you think of O.J. Simpson?

DORA PETTIT, JUROR: I just think he's an ordinary man that made a bad decision. I don't have anything against him personally. I actually prayed for him before all the stories and I prayed for him afterwards. So I don't have any ill feelings.

TERESA OWENS, JUROR: Unfortunately, he broke the law. Had you or I did the same thing, we would be where he is right now. But had he taken other avenues such as civilly or perhaps gotten the police to go with him, I think this would have been a much different outcome.

PETTIT: He just had to follow the law and basically find him guilty on 12 counts. It's unfortunate that he'll be possibly facing the same charges as someone that would go in while being kept at this point (ph).

When you listened to the recordings, it's very clear.

MICHELLE RENEE LYONS, JUROR: He came out of that room with items that did not belong to him. He let people put these items into his car. He transferred these items from his car to another car. And continued to lie to conceal the entire crime. So nothing fits all the definitions of the law that we had to look at, but to me, that was the most evident that really clinched in my mind that he was guilty.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Which single charge -- I'll say the most debate? Which charge was the hardest to find O.J. guilty?

LYONS: Conspiracy was the hardest one.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was the hardest one to define.

LYONS: ... of the definition. It was so broad as to what constitutes a conspiracy. And the involvement before, after and during the event was what we really needed to prove. It had to be at some point -- within the conspiracy, I think, took us the longest.

PETTIT: I think, just from watching the media, we've been painted as an all-white jury that hates O.J. and that's just not true. It couldn't be further from the truth.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: The jurors in the O.J. Simpson case speak out for the first time. O.J. Simpson sentencing is set for December 5th. He faces the possibility of life behind bars.

We know it's up to $10 trillion at least and growing, the national debt is growing $1 million every six seconds.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON (on camera): It's running out of space.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is running out of space. There's no room for another digit in there. It's frightening. It's a frightening number.

(END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: All right. Breaking news into the CNN NEWSROOM. The first pictures we are getting from this horrible accident in Williams, California. Live aerials now from our affiliate KCRA.

Let me tell you what's going on here. Just a couple of hours ago, this bus accident happened. We are told by officials on the scene that it is a single-vehicle accident, meaning this bus went into a ditch and then rolled over.

Pardon us for that. We'll try to get those pictures back up as soon as we can. We're told there are at least in this, five deaths, five fatalities. This bus was going to Colusa Casino, from Sacramento to Colusa Casino. We're also told by an official at one of the medical centers there that this trauma helicopter, this MEDEVAC helicopter has landed several times and this helicopter is bringing patients in and out just as fast as they can.

They told us there were at least 30 people plus on board this bus, again, which was heading from Sacramento to Colusa Casino. People who were on a trip going to this casino. Again, five fatalities here. Not exactly sure what happened, why this bus went off the road and ran into this ditch. And again, it's early on into this investigation, but the fatalities now are up to five. And we're hearing that many more people are being taken to the hospital. We'll update our breaking news in minutes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: All right. This is breaking news in the CNN NEWSROOM. Live pictures of an accident in Williams, California. It is about 60 miles north of Sacramento. Sadly, we are being told that at least five people have been killed in this bus crash.

And we're getting the first pictures from our affiliate, KCRA. You can see the amount of rescue workers and emergency workers and vehicles on the scene here to handle all of these patients. Tens of patients, we are talking at least 30 to 40, maybe up to 60 patients that are going to be taken to the hospital here.

Also, again, we're being told that there are several MEDEVAC helicopters that have been transporting these patients to level two. Level one trauma units around this area.

This bus was traveling from Sacramento, California to Colusa Casino. So obviously, it was some sort of charter or tour bus to take people on a trip to the casino. It probably happens a lot there. And again, a single-vehicle accident.

Earlier, we saw our affiliate showing us the line and line of cars. We saw red taillights, people backed up for miles and miles there in Colusa, near Colusa Casino in Williams, California. We'll continue to update. There's that video of those red lights of emergency vehicles and traffic. We're going to continue to update you on this. But we also want to keep you abreast of our political news. We are 30 days out from the election. And check out CNN's new poll of polls. Obama leading McCain by six points with 8 percent of voters still unsure. Joining us again, CNN political editor Mark Preston. He's in Nashville, ahead of the second presidential debate.

OK, Mark, so McCain really needs a game-changer. And I want to show you why. Let's pull up our electoral map. You see on this electoral map John McCain has 189, Barack Obama, 250. There are 99 that are considered toss-up. Now, 270 to win. But if Barack Obama gets any one of these major states, it's over.

PRESTON: Yes, absolutely. By CNN's estimation, Don, if Barack Obama were to pick up an Ohio, if he were to pick up Florida, if he were to pick up maybe a midsize and a small state, game over according to CNN's estimations right now.

I told you, you know, you look at the CNN poll of polls there, the national trend, we're seeing that in the battleground states right now. We're seeing states such as Indiana now starting to shift a little bit away from John McCain. They're still in his column right now, but he's having to play defense in states such as Indiana and North Carolina. At this point in the game, you don't want to be playing defense, you want to be playing offense.

LEMON: Well, it's interesting, Mark, because after Sarah Palin's performance the other night and after Sarah Palin was put on the ticket, there are large crowds that you're seeing at McCain events now. But so far, she's not a game-changer either when it comes to the polls and the electoral map.

PRESTON: No, she's not a game-changer when it comes to polls, the electoral map. You're absolutely right. What she has done is energized the Republican base. And what they're hoping is that Sarah Palin can get them out to the polls, that she can excite them enough to really try to help to get out the vote effort.

I'll tell you right now, Don, we're going to see more of Sarah Palin go on the offense. We've seen that all weekend. And expect her to go to these big rallies where they can try to draw as many Republicans as possible. These are the ones they think that if they can get to the polls, that they can certainly win this election. So, that's what her role will be.

LEMON: OK. So, who's under the gun here when it comes to Tuesday night? Is it John McCain or is it Barack Obama?

PRESTON: Well, look, I think that John McCain does need a game- changer. That's the perfect phrase that you used at the top. He really needs to try to turn this election even a little bit, try to build momentum back his way.

On the flip side, this is going to be a town hall format. This is somewhere where John McCain has thrived in the past. This is somewhere where Barack Obama has to be very careful. And look, he needs to put in a performance like he did down in Mississippi in the first one. He needs not to make any mistakes. If he comes out with no mistakes, then I think Barack Obama will do well.

LEMON: Political editor Mark Preston. Thank you, Mark.

PRESTON: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: Of course, Tuesday night is round two. John McCain, Barack Obama in their second presidential debate, live from Nashville. You'll see it all right here on CNN.

You know what? More than 70 million -- 70 million of you watched the vice presidential debate last week. Who won? Who lost? Or was it a tie? Up next, two of our best talkers. There they are. They go toe to toe from the left and from the right.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: We are monitoring live pictures out of Williams, California, from our affiliate KCRA. The latest we know, a bus crash, five people confirmed dead at this hour, many more injured. They are being taken to the hospital. We are watching that for you tonight on CNN.

70 million people, the biggest audience ever, tuned in for the vice presidential debate. And speaking of big audiences, these two men have been every day on the radio. On the right, McCain-Palin supporter Chris Plante, is a former CNN correspondent, just so we get it out there. On the left, Obama-Biden supporter Warren Ballentine.

Welcome to both of you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, Don.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: OK. Warren, one word. One word only. Who won the debate?

WARREN BALLENTINE, OBAMA-BIDEN SUPPORTER: Biden.

LEMON: OK. All right.

Chris?

CHRIS PLANTE, MCCAIN-PALIN SUPPORTER: Well, Palin.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Well, one word, who won the debate?

PLANTE: Palin, of course.

LEMON: OK, good. Now that we're done with that, let's get on to some real issues on then. OK, so let's get to the issues. What are the issues that are driving your listeners to call in to your radio station and sound off?

We'll start with you, Warren.

BALLENTINE: Well, after the debate, I mean, a lot of my listeners thought that Palin was very disrespectful, winking at the cameras, giving shout-outs to third graders. She wouldn't answer any of the questions. She seemed unprepared. I kind of laughed because a lot of people said she did better than expected. I guess when the expectation is zero, you can't do nothing but go up.

So, a lot of my listeners were calling about the debate saying how disrespectful she was and how it was disrespectful to women that she would be standing there basically trying to play the Clinton position, but she couldn't hold Hillary Clinton's purse right now.

LEMON: All right, let Chris get in on this. Go ahead, Chris.

PLANTE: That is hilarious. Disrespectful, indeed, to Joe Biden. That's fall down. I had not heard that from my callers. What I heard from my callers for the most part is that this is the real Sarah Palin. The real Sarah Palin showed up. Not the Sarah Palin that we saw through the CBS filters. Through the ABC filter.

You want to talk disrespectful, go back and look at the Charles Gibson interview. Look at the Katie Couric interview. That's disrespect. What we saw out of her is the real Sarah Palin. She's a real person. She's not a media fabrication. She hasn't been created by Madison Avenue and Hollywood for packaging for television. She's like a regular person, like all the people that don't live in the northeastern corridor and work for the news media. And I think that most people saw that.

LEMON: All right, Chris, let me get in on this because we asked for some comments earlier in the newscast, at iReport and also at Twitter. And here's what we're hearing. Twitter.com/donlemoncnn. They're saying "Don, all distractions and all bull you know what." That's from Luke Walker. "Enough is enough." And then one other person says, "It's really the economy. Unfortunately, the accusations have to be answered because of the distractions they cause."

PLANTE: Distraction is one of the key words of the Obama campaign. Everything is a distraction.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: I just want to know, are your callers able to distinguish the difference? Are they sick of the name-calling and the attack ads?

BALLENTINE: Mine are. And this is the thing, Don. My callers, they don't want an ordinary person in the White House. They want extraordinary people in the White House.

LEMON: OK.

BALLENTINE: And honestly, Palin and McCain both are just ordinary people.

LEMON: All right. Five seconds I'll give you, Chris. Five seconds.

PLANTE: I love it. You know, Americans keep saying that we don't want politicians and inside the beltway types, and now we have a normal person. And what happens to her? We mangle her like a train wreck. It's an amazing thing to watch.

LEMON: Chris, hold that thought. Warren, stand by. They will be back in a moment because on the rundown they're going to tell us about next Tuesday's presidential debates. What to expect.

And the talk of drive time radio, tomorrow. You'll hear it here first.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: All right, welcome back, everyone. "Saturday Night Live" at it again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

QUEEN LATIFAH AS GWEN IFILL: Governor Palin, how will your administration deal with the current financial crisis?

TINA FEY AS GOV. SARAH PALIN: Well, first of all, let me say how nice it is to meet Joe Biden. And may I say, up close, your hair plugs don't look nearly as bad as everyone says.

(LAUGHTER)

You know, John McCain and I, we're a couple of mavericks. And gosh darn it, we're going to take that maverick energy right to Washington, and we're going to use it to fix this financial crisis and everything else that's plaguing this great country of ours.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: That was Tina Fey of course as Sarah Palin and Jason Sudeikis was playing Joe Biden there. And special guest star, Queen Latifah as the debate moderator Gwen Ifill.

All right, radio host Chris Plante and Warren Ballentine, both of them were back. Funny stuff, guys. You know, with just 30 days until the election and two days, two days, really, until we have that presidential debate. Your listeners are probably taking all of this stuff very seriously, though.

Chris?

PLANTE: Well, sure, of course. You know, particularly for my audience which tends to favor McCain, although about 45 percent of our listeners are Democrats, too.

You know, and you asked what was going to be up for tomorrow. I think tomorrow we'll probably going to be looking at the Sarah Palin comments about Barack Obama's association with William Ayers and Ayers' wife, Bernadine Dohrn and whether that is an appropriate message, whether that's something that is permitted in this campaign.

LEMON: Chris, I've got to ask you this. This is an issue that's come up before. He responded to this back in April. Why bring it up again? Because the Obama campaign is saying that McCain has some skeletons in his closet as well. And this is opening up a can of worms --

(CROSSTALK)

BALLENTINE: Desperation.

PLANTE: You know, McCain -- I would disagree with that. I would say that for the most part, the news media has given Barack Obama a free pass on most of this stuff. I think we've heard more about Sarah Palin saying I can see Russia from my house than we've heard about William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. And these people are legitimate terrorists and he has a relationship with Barack Obama. William Ayers has a relationship with Barack Obama that goes way back that has not really been explored.

LEMON: OK, Chris -- all right, let Warren get in to this. Because Warren, you know, Sarah Palin said today that the American people should get to know Barack Obama and whether or not he was friendly with a former terrorist.

BALLENTINE: Well, first of all, this man did this 40 some years ago. Barack was 3 or 4 years old when this happened. Secondly, I mean...

(CROSSTALK)

PLANTE: I hear that all the time.

BALLENTINE: ...you're talking about a pass. Sarah Palin's husband was part of a separatist group that wanted to remove Alaska from the union.

PLANTE: That's false.

BALLENTINE: You want to talk about getting pass...

PLANTE: That's false.

BALLENTINE: ...Bristol Palin, Bristol Palin, if this was (INAUDIBLE), the right-wing media would be all over a teenage pregnancy. You're talking about getting a pass, you want to talk about getting a pass, you've got a woman -- you've got a woman who was a mayor of a town of 6,500 people, governor of a state of 650,000 people, and you're calling that qualified? That's the pass.

(CROSSTALK)

PLANTE: Let me tell you. Let me respond to that, OK.

BALLENTINE: That's a complete pass.

PLANTE: I don't recall Howard Dean's qualifications being called into question who was the governor --

BALLENTINE: Howard Dean was not the nominee, though. He was not the nominee.

PLANTE: Yes. His qualifications were never called into question. He was running for the presidency, not the vice president.

BALLENTINE: But he wasn't the nominee.

PLANTE: Hang on. Vermont is one-third the size of the Arctic Wildlife Refuge.

(CROSSTALK)

BALLENTINE: You're given a Sarah Palin (INAUDIBLE). You don't want to direct the question. You won't answer the question.

PLANTE: Hang on, Hang on. Warren, let me finish my thought here.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Let him make his point, Warren.

PLANTE: Let me finish my thought. Howard Dean's qualifications were never called into question. And he was the governor of a state that is a fraction, a small fraction of the size of the Arctic Wildlife National Refuge. Sarah Palin's budget is more than twice what Howard Dean's was. Her population is greater than Howard Dean's, and her state is larger than Spain, France, Germany and Holland combined.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Chris, Warren -- Chris, Warren, OK. Stop.

PLANTE: But Howard Dean's are not.

LEMON: Both of you. All right, thank you both of you. I just have to ask you real quick if you can tell me what, obviously tomorrow we're going to be talking about Barack Obama, his association, the Republican's aide with a former terrorist, right? You're going to be talking about.

BALLENTINE: We're going to be talking about the bailout, too, on my show because $700 billion, this is nothing more than socialism. If they really wanted to help the people, there's 280 million people in this country, they could have gave each American $25,000. That would have jump started.

LEMON: All right, thank you. Thank you, Warren. Thank you, Warren.

(CROSSTALK)

PLANTE: I agree with the first part but not the second part.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Chris? Thank you very much. You already save, Chris.

(CROSSTALK)

PLANTE: That's socialism, too, Warren.

BALLENTINE: I know, but at least do it in a better way.

LEMON: Oh, my gosh, you guys. You're wearing out your welcome here. All right, guys --

BALLENTINE: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: Thank you. Hey, you guys have a great week, and I will be listening to both of you next week. I appreciate you joining us late on this Sunday night, OK?

BALLENTINE: Thank you, Don.

PLANTE: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: All right, guys. All right, we want to update you now on that fatal crash in California. Live pictures coming in to the CNN NEWSROOM. An update after this break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Hello, everyone, I'm Don Lemon. We hate to give you this terrible breaking news on this Sunday night, but we have learned here that five people have died in a bus crash in Williams, California. 60 miles north of Sacramento.

They were headed to a casino. The Colusa Casino there on a trip when the bus went into a ditch and then flipped over, and there are many more injured in this. They have been taken to the hospital. Some have been helicoptered to the hospital. We're waiting to get word from a reporter who's on the scene from our affiliate KCRA who's bringing us these pictures tonight. We'll continue to update you.

All right. So you may have noticed, but a few days ago, the U.S. passed an ominous milestone. The federal government closed out the fiscal year last Tuesday with -- get this -- $10 trillion in debt, and it is growing about $1 million every six seconds.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON (voice-over): As of right now, the U.S. government, your government, has racked up more than $10 trillion in red ink. You can't even see it on the national debt clock in Manhattan because there aren't enough spaces. DOUGLAS DURST, KEEPER OF THE NATIONAL DEBT CLOCK: $10 trillion is a number that would just be beyond my father's imagination back in 1980.

LEMON: And now it's coming to fruition?

DURST: Now we're there.

LEMON: Real state developer Douglas Durst is the keeper of the clock. His father, Seymour Durst, first conceived of it during the 1980s when the national debt, then $1 trillion, began to grow under President Reagan. Since then, the debt has grown so rapidly, the clock has been overhauled three times. And now needs to be overhauled again. Helena Durst is Seymour Durst's granddaughter.

HELENA DURST, GRANDDAUGHTER OF CLOCK'S CREATOR: We're in the crunch to change the debt clock as fast as we can and to add an extra digit, and do what we can. But we wanted to -- look, we've been looking at making the debt clock flash here, getting people's attention on it, really being able to explain the problem a little bit more than what was limited to us when we first built the clock.

LEMON: The Durst Family takes little joy in shoving all this red ink in the faces of New Yorkers each day. The intention decades ago was only to prod the country to deal with the problem before it got out of hand, not as a countdown to a possible economic doomsday.

D. DURST: It really started in the '80s with the Reagan administration and as the first George Bush called it, voodoo economics. It allowed us to borrow against the future wealth of the country.

LEMON: What most alarms Durst today is how rapidly the national debt is now growing.

D. DURST: 2002, we started running large deficits again. The debt started growing dramatically. Slowly at first, but then ever and ever increasing amounts. It absolutely is a sign of where this country has been going for the last five or six years, living off of ever-increasing debt.

LEMON (on camera): It is a sober reminder for tourists and especially New Yorkers who have to walk by this every single day. And by the time it takes me to walk from there to the camera, which is about 20 feet, our national debt has risen some $12,000, $13,000, $14,000, $15,000 and counting.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I try not to look at it. Sometimes I try and come through the other side. But it's kind of one of those, like, car crash things. You can't look away. It's just so awful, you have to look.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I see an empire falling. And I am sad because this is my country. This is my home. And I love it. And I don't want it to go down this road. I really don't.

LEMON (voice-over): But for now, the clock is ticking.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

Certainly is ticking right there. Can you read that number? That is 10,197,158, and then go on after that and it keeps rising. And you know, to retire that national debt, every man, woman and child in the U.S. would have to come up with -- get this -- about $33,000 in cash. Not credit. That's what got us in this trouble in the first place.

All right. He says his latest CD was inspired by the presidential election. Robin Thicke next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Robin Thicke grew up in Hollywood. He's a son of a famous actor Alan Thicke. But his musical influences went far beyond that -- Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder. And when I caught up with him just a few days ago in New York City, he told me the inspiration for his new CD was an unconventional one.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: I was reading something that you said about you were inspired by the moment Barack Obama running out.

ROBIN THICKE, SINGER, SONGWRITER: Yes.

LEMON: That inspired this album?

THICKE: Yes. I mean, it inspired certain deals and movements of the album. I'm inspired by righteousness, and hopes, and goodness, the same things that Stevie Wonder, John Lennon, Marvin Gaye, Bob Dylan talked about. Those are the kind of things I like to talk about and believe in. So I think Barack cares about everybody, not just a chosen few.

LEMON: What do you want people to get from this album? Besides being inspired by Barack Obama.

THICKE: A friend of mine calls it anti-recession music. So I think that at its best, you know, I mean, it's impossible to deny the things we have to -- challenges we have to face every day as a community. But I think that music and art are supposed to maybe just release it every once in a while. If not challenge us to think a different way. They should make us, make our days a little brighter and our nights a little smoother.

LEMON: How do you feel -- you know, almost everyone I know, like when I share their album with you, because I had your album first, and I shared it with my mom and my sisters. Everybody thought you were black. How do you -- what do you think about that, when people think you're black before they see your face?

THICKE: Well, I mean, you know, I think that it's a compliment because I'm singing a soul music. We're all striving to get to a day where all those boundaries and doors are closed, you know.

LEMON: Yes. I heard you talk about that in Dream World. Is that really your dream?

THICKE: Yes. Well, it is a part of a -- I mean, it's a dream that might never come true, but it's worth just continues dreaming. You know, that racism and poverty, and it can be a thing of the past.

LEMON: All right. What do you want people to know about Robin Thicke and about what you do?

THICKE: I just want people to know that, you know, that I make this music because it comes from the heart.

I always try to make time with music. Ideally, you know, I would rather my music last forever than just have one hot moment. You know what I mean?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Robin Thicke, the CD called "Something Else" in stores now.

OK. You want to see some reckless driving? We'll show you some reckless driving. There it is right there. I'm sure you want to know more about that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: All right. We want to update you now on our breaking news. You see those live pictures there. This is Williams, California. It's from our affiliate KCRA. The very latest that we're getting here. At least five people have died in this crash. This bus was going to Colusa Casino. This happened about 60 miles north of Sacramento. It happened not long ago. Also, just to tell you just how bad this situation is, from one medical center, which is a trauma two facility. It tells CNN, they have received a total of six patients as of 8:20 local time there, 11:20 our time. Four of them of the six are critically injured. Two seriously injured. They expect many more patients throughout the evening. Make sure you tune in tomorrow morning. "AMERICAN MORNING" John Roberts, Kiran Chetry, 6:00 a.m. Eastern. They'll have the latest on that.

We want to get to you before we get out of here tonight. Some headlines from around the world. A standoff. Somalia's coast now in its 11th day. And we just got in some pictures for you. These are new pictures. This is a Ukrainian tanker and the crew that Somali pirates have been holding. A Russian frigate is approaching the scene, while U.S. warships are stationed nearby. Experts say that the tanker crew being held at gunpoint. The U.S. Navy doesn't have much of a choice but to wait things out there.

Let's talk about Italy now. The Italian government says the mafia in Naples has declared war. And now the government is fighting back. 16 people have been murdered since May in the area in what the government calls a mafia campaign of terror. Now, Italian officials have actually deployed paratroopers to take on the mob. They have made several arrests and the fighting goes on there.

Back here in the U.S. Smoke and flames at a northwest Michigan marina. Look at these pictures. Several people are hurt tonight after a propane tank blew up on a boat Traver City. The fire spread to two other vessels there. Witnesses say one man was actually blown out of the boat that exploded. No word on the victim's condition tonight.

If you have a child who plays team sports, here is a clip that will make your blood boil. It shows a coach allegedly shoving an opposing player after a youth football game. Take a look at that. You see that? It happened Saturday in suburban St. Louis. No charges have been filed, but league officials are meeting tomorrow to review this matter. Disturbing tape there. The father of the player spoke to our affiliate KSDK.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE DEAVENPORT, FATHER: There he is in a safe zone, in a fun sport, and this guy really affected him emotionally. It sounds as though his hand hit right at the point of the face mask and the top of the helmet, and it was enough force to make him almost fall down backwards. If you see him, he's grasping as he is falling backwards trying to hold himself up and regain balance.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: All right. Well, the coach who has not been named told KSDK the incident was sparked by unspecified events on the field during that game. We shall see. We'll follow it for you.

No matter how bad a day you have, it probably wasn't this bad. Ouch! Look at that. A 71-year-old driver was pulled over for speeding in Illinois. And police say the driver got so mad he threw it into reverse and, bam! Right up on the squad car. That was not a smart move. That earned him a $220 ticket and a reckless driving charge.

How about this guy. Filling up at a gas station and then kaboom! He was hit by lightning. Here's another view from inside the store. This happened in the town of barker in Upstate, New York. The motorist was knocked out for a few minutes, but otherwise not seriously hurt.

Also, and if you have a sweet tooth for a candidate, check this out. A candy shop in Nashville is turning out chocolates with likenesses of both presidential tickets, everyone on the ticket. Of course, presidential debate on Tuesday. You can take a bite out of it on CNN. We will have it for you. I'm Don Lemon. Thanks for joining us tonight. We'll see you here next weekend 6:00 and 10:00 Eastern. Have a great week ahead.