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Bush to Host Global Summit on Financial Crisis; Bush Meets with France's Sarkozy, European Commission President Barroso; CNN Looks at Wall Street Elite Lifestyles; More Americans Than Ever Relying on Food Stamps; Many Americans Still Undecided on Presidential Vote; McCain- Obama Car Wash Helps Voters Decide; Manhunt Continues For Missing Las Vegas Child; 106 Year Old African American Woman Says She's Staying Alive to Vote Obama

Aired October 18, 2008 - 17:00   ET


CAPT. VINCENT CANNITO, LAS VEGAS POLICE DEPARTMENT: There is a large coordinated search taking place in the northeast area of the Las Vegas valley. The parameters for that search are Nellis and Pecos, Craig and Cheyenne. Involved in this search are members of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Patrol Division, Nevada Center for Missing Loved Ones, Nevada Child -- Nevada Child Seekers, as well as the National Guard.
Once again, I want to focus on the fact that just because this amber alert was taken down does not minimize the efforts that are being put forth by the members of the law enforcement community. Any questions?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The evidence you found, is that the vehicle that has been (INAUDIBLE)

CANNITO: The vehicle that we found is the white dodge pickup truck we were looking for yesterday. That is Tinnemeyer's (ph) vehicle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you searching for (INAUDIBLE)

CANNITO: We have one person -- we have one person currently in custody that we are addressing, and this is the second individual that we would like to speak with.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Has the interview with Tinnemeyer led to leads as to where the boy might be?

CANNITO: Again, as we continue with this investigation, and we continue on in the interviews with Tinnemeyer, as well as others, as we start putting those pieces together, certainly we're optimistic that it's leading us in the right direction, which would certainly explain why we are currently coordinating a search in the northeast area of the valley.


CANNITO: There was a significant amount of cash that was found throughout the course of these search warrants. Any questions over here? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That area in the northeast part of the valley, (INAUDIBLE) you're concentrating our efforts. Do you think Cole might be there?

CANNITO: We're concentrating our efforts, hoping that someone in that area may have information in regards to Cole. You've seen the flyers that have already been distributed. They've been translated into Spanish, so we're addressing both major segments of the population in that portion of town.


CANNITO: There were various search warrant that were executed over the evening in several jurisdictions, all of which -- we identified and recovered some cash as well as other evidence in all jurisdictions. Ma'am?


CANNITO: The last name Gastilon (ph). The reason that this individual is considered a person of interest is because throughout the course of this investigation, we have identified a number of leads that have taken us to several different individuals, this being one of them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The captain is going to take one more question, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is the child's mother cooperating with the investigation? Do have you any reason to believe --

CANNITO: As has been indicated in the past, this investigation has taken many different aspects, some of which involve family members, some of which involve friends of this family. There seems to be a very strong network all within a very close proximity. So we continue with those efforts. We're continuing to look at everyone involved from beginning of the investigation, again, as our leads have taken us into different avenues. We will continue as well.

I want to thank you again very much. And once again, on behalf of Sheriff Doug Gillespie (ph), which implore the rest of this country, this community to continue with those efforts, continue looking for Cole. If you have any information or leads whatsoever, 828-3111 for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Thank you very much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll get to the spelling on the person of interest.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Captain Vincent Cannito of the Las Vegas Police Department, wrapping up a press conference there, talking about the kidnapping of Cole Puffinburger, the six-year-old boy who went missing Wednesday, believed to have something to do with his grandfather, 51-year-old Clemens Tinnemeyer. As you heard him say there, they have discontinued this amber alert, and gave the reasons why on this investigation. I want to tell you what we know right now. That the amber alert for Cole Puffinburger has been canceled. Police say it had stopped being effective in generating leads. Late last night, the boy's grandfather was taken into custody in Riverside, California. Apparently, he is a material witness in all of this. And police say Clemens Tinnemeyer, again, is a drug trafficker who may have run afoul of Mexican drug cartel.

Now, police say they also have another person in custody in this case. His name is Jesus Gastilon (ph). They say he is a person of interest and police believe Cole's kidnapping may be drug related. Again, the boy's father, just a short time ago -- I want to tell you -- he made this emotional plea. Take a listen to that real quick.


ROBERT PUFFINBURGER, FATHER OF KIDNAPPED BOY: I can't comprehend why somebody would do something like this to somebody and take a kid like that, to take my son and do something like that. Just bring him home. If you've got him, bring him home. Drop him off somewhere. I don't care. Just -- just let him go.


LEMON: And that was the boy's father making that emotional plea just a short time ago. We're continuing our breaking news coverage on this. Our Kara Finnstrom has been following this story -- the very latest on this story since it started to unfold. She joins us now by telephone. Kara, here's the information -- here's what I found interesting in this. I'm not sure if they explained it fully. They said they have a person of interest in custody and that they're also looking for another person. Did you get that out of this?

KARA FINNSTROM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're trying to clarify that, but actually I believe there are a total of two people. It was a little misleading at first, but the one person, Tinnemeyer, who we knew about, and the second person is the only name they've released to us, Jesus -- it's either Castilion (ph) or Gastilon (ph). At this moment, we're trying to get that clarified.

When we asked why he was a person of interest, they simply said we've been following a lot of leads, many of them pointing to this person. The other interesting thing that came out of here is they talked about this large coordinated search that they have underway of the northeast area of Las Vegas. They also say they have recovered a large amount of cash through some of these searches. And, of course, much of the concern here was that Cole's grandfather is believed to have kidnapped -- believed to have, rather, stolen millions of dollars and -- from Mexico -- Mexican drug traffickers.

So that money was a concern for officers. They believe -- they simply say they believe they've recovered large amounts of cash and that they're following up on a number of searches. And the other thing that I think is interesting coming out of this is word had been circulating that those amber alerts had come down with Cole Puffinburger's pictures on them. They stress, you know, this does not mean the search is diminishing. They say it's simply because the effectiveness of those amber alerts go down over time. People see the same pictures as they drive by.

They say, often, when children are missing for a period of time, they'll take down the amber alerts. As more information becomes available, they'll put them back up.

LEMON: It's very interesting here. I think the clarification here, Kara, is that police say they interviewed one person of interest in this, and that led them to Mr. Jesus Gastilon. Kara is getting the latest information for us at the press conference. She probably is going to check in now with law enforcement. Kara, we're going to let you go and do that, and then we're going to bring in someone else who has some information on this. Kara, thank you very much for that.

I want to move on now to Mark Safarik. He is a former profiler with the FBI. He joins us now by telephone from Washington with some insight on this type of investigation. Mark, thank you. I'm not sure if you heard this press conference. We're hearing about large sums of cash. We're hearing about another person of interest who has -- who is in custody now. We're hearing about the grandfather, and this drug cartel. These circumstances are very unusual in these sorts of cases.

MARK SAFARIK, FMR. FBI PROFILER: Hi, Don. Yes, they're very unusual. You typically, when you're talking about a child abduction case in this country, we just do not see child abductions in drug- related cases. They're not uncommon in Latin and South America, Mexico. Typically, you're dealing with adults as victims in the abductions. But in this country, we do not see child abductions for this type of motive.

LEMON: So listening to the press conference and hearing what you're hearing, when you hear about the money, when you're hearing about the other persons of interest, as a former profiler for the FBI, what does that tell you, Mark?

SAFARIK: I think typically when you're talking about a child abduction, the motive for most child abductions here in this country is related to, you know, a sexual gratification. Here we have an entirely different motive, and it changes the dynamics of the investigation. As you heard in the press conference, you're going to be dealing with informants, individuals involved in the drug trade.

And this may be actually more local than -- than people want to think about. I mean, there's a connection to -- have you several interesting aspects in this case. One, you have an international connection, which is very unusual. You have the abduction of a child in a drug-related case. And you have to understand that when you abduct a child like this, it is going to be -- bring a huge amount of law enforcement response and media coverage. It's not really -- if you think about it, it's not really a very advantageous way to recover any kind of cash, if that's what you're looking for.

LEMON: OK. And also, I -- because you can provide some information and you did this for years, Mark, what type of leverage, if any, will investigators have if the grandfather's already in custody?

SAFARIK: Well, you know, I think this kind of move may be an act of desperation, because if you think about it from a logical standpoint, abducting a child, in terms of a ransom commitment for -- you know, for the grandfather -- one, do you really understand what the relationship is between the grandfather and the family, you know, where the child resides, if you're -- if you're the drug traffickers. And that's real problematic. How is that going to get you your money back?

So it may be more an act of desperation and hope for, on their parts -- and you can see what has happened. You've got a national law enforcement response, a national media response, and now it becomes very problematic to effect any kind of transaction, especially for the grandfather, who is now in custody.

LEMON: Mark, stand by, because we may be needing you. Kara is checking with her sources and also with police there in Nevada, and we may be coming back to you to get more of a perspective on this. The news is breaking now and we could get more information in this broadcast. Mark, thank you very much.

And you heard Mark mention that Mexican drug cartel and that is common in that part of the world. They have racked up a massive body count along the U.S./Mexican border, and it is growing even larger. CNN's Casey Wian investigates how U.S. and Mexican officials are dealing with the escalating violence.


CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A dozen bodies, 11 men and a woman found near a Tijuana elementary school. Many had their tongues cut out, some were decapitated. A clear message, authorities say, from a Mexican drug cartel. Discovered only an hour before classes were scheduled to begin.

The escalating carnage just across the U.S. border has terrified and outraged local residents.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's disgusting, you know? For someone like us, being anonymous people, honest people, hard working people, you know, it's like -- it's not fair, you know?

WIAN: More than 3,000 Mexicans have been killed in the drug wars this year. President Felipe Calderon announced new steps to escalate his fight against drug cartels, including committing more federal troops, closer integration between Mexico's notoriously corrupt local police and federal authorities, and Harsher criminal penalties for drug traffickers.

PRESIDENT FELIPE CALDERON, MEXICO (through translator): Only with stronger laws can we gain on the criminals who threaten the security of our communities and who try to poison the children of Mexico with drugs.

WIAN: In the United States, Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced the arrest of nearly 1,800 alleged gang members and associates, mostly from Mexico, during the past four months. A thousand of them are suspected illegal aliens now being processed for deportation. ICE says many are working for Mexico's drug cartels.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We certainly do find that many of these transnational gangs are engaged in a wide variety of criminal activity. And that in doing so, they partner, formally and informally, with other gangs and other criminal associations, including in some instances, the Mexican cartels.

WIAN: Since 2005, ICE says it has arrested more than 7,000 gang members who are in violation of immigration laws.


LEMON: We turn now from our breaking news to what's happening on the campaign trail, and doing battle in the battle ground states. Seventeen days and counting and it is obvious. John McCain is calling Barack Obama's economic plans socialism. He used the S word. We want to hear what you think, you the viewer. We want to hear your voice on all this about what's happening on the campaign trail in the battleground states. Log on to or Facebook, or MySpace. Also, you can go to i-Reports as well, and tell us what you think. We're back in just a couple seconds.


LEMON: Boy, it is really getting down to the wire here. There's only 17 days to go, and Barack Obama and John McCain are spending virtually all of their time in those battleground states. We're talking about the six tossup states you see here on the map, plus a handful of others that the campaigns believe are still within their reach. John McCain campaigned in North Carolina and Virginia today, trying to hold on to a pair of states that are usually safe for Republicans. And before he hit the stage, he used a radio address to compare Barack Obama's tax plans to those used in Europe.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: At least in Europe, the socialist leaders who so admire my opponent are up front about their objectives. They use real numbers and honest language. And we should demand equal candor from Senator Obama. Raising taxes on some in order to give checks to others is not a tax cut. It's just another government give-away.


LEMON: Meantime, Barack Obama is concentrating on the swing state of Missouri. He drew a massive crowd to St. Louis today, estimated at 100,000 people. He also took a moment to respond to a comment John McCain made at this week's debate.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: In the debate this week, my opponent felt the need to inform me that he's not President Bush. Now, in fairness, I -- I know John McCain's not Bush. Bush has that Texas accent. But I know they're not the same people. And in fairness, I don't blame Senator McCain for all of President Bush's mistakes. After all, John McCain only voted with George Bush 90 percent of the time. So I just blame him for 90 percent of George Bush's policies.


LEMON: All right. Well, you heard him talk about the debates there. Well, the unofficial star of this week's third and final debate was, of course, you know the name, Joe the plumber. Last night in Florida, John McCain revealed that he has called and spoken with Joe the plumber. McCain has a rally tomorrow in Ohio and there is speculation that Joe will be there to join him in person.

As you probably know by now, Joe is the one voter who confronted Barack Obama about taxes during a campaign stop just last weekend.

Well, a week ago, Joe the plumber was a complete unknown. Now, he's being haled by the McCain campaign. The CNN truth squad is looking into Joe's role as a political symbol. Let's bring in CNN's Josh Levs now. Josh, I said if I heard Joe the plumber one more time, I was going to scream. What about Bob the carpenter or Ann the stockbroker. You know, what about those folks?

JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I know, it didn't take America very long to get sick of the term Joe the plumber. There are some terms that have been thrown around a lot in this election, but that one people got tired of really fast. The whole reason that McCain used him at all was to make a point. I'm going to show you McCain's point. Along the way, you'll see the truth squad ruling on it.


MCCAIN: Look, I've been working all my life, ten, 12 hours. I want to buy the business that I'm in. But you're going to raise my taxes. And you know what Senator Obama had to say to Joe? He wanted to spread his wealth around. He wanted to spread his wealth around.


LEVS: We saw the verdict appear on the screen there, misleading. Here's how the truth squad arrived at that verdict. Let's just go through some facts here. Obama met Samuel Joe Wurzelbacker (ph) while he was campaigning in the Toledo, Ohio area. Joe asked Obama about his tax plan, and at one point during their five-minute conversation -- you've got to listen carefully for it. It's easy to miss. But Obama said this.


OBAMA: Right now, everybody's so pinched that business is bad for everybody. And I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody. But, listen, I respect what you do and I respect your question. (END VIDEO CLIP)

LEVS: So folks of the truth squad pieced through the whole five minutes. When you look at the full context of what Obama said, McCain's line is misleading. You can see the truth squad ruling up at We've got a few seconds. I transferred it onto a Word document so you can see it in pretty big letters here. I'll show it to you.

"Misleading. McCain's remark was an over-simplification of a five-minute long conversation. Obama replied in great detail about his tax plan and the spread the wealth remark was one small part of that conversation." Don?

LEMON: Josh, the truth squad has also ruled on an attack by Obama over the cost of college. Talk to us about that. What did you find?

LEVS: This is interesting one too, going the other way, Obama attacking McCain on this. Let's do the same thing. Let's take a look at what Obama said. You'll see the ruling.


OBAMA: Senator McCain's top economic adviser said the other day, they have no plans to invest in college affordability because we can't have a give away to every special interest.


LEVS: All right. Here's how the truth squad arrived at a verdict there of true, but incomplete. There are a couple of news reports from the McCain camp talking about college. I'll show you one right here. It's the Associated Press quoting one of his spokesmen, his economic policy adviser, Douglass Holtz-Eakin. Let's go in here. Again, I'm taking the key quote for you so you and putting it on a document here so you can see what he said.

He said, quote, "we don't have any new college proposals in terms of massive expansions of funding. There's a budgetary reality. We have enormous spending pressures already. It would be irresponsible to go to every interest group and promise them lots of money."

But that doesn't mean he's not doing anything for college. Let's zoom in the board one more time. John McCain, on his own website, does talk about higher education. He calls for lowering the tax burden on families in general. He said that could help them then send their children to college. So, Don, that's why when the Truth Squad ruled on this one, they decided true, but incomplete. While McCain has no plans directly addressing college cost, his campaign maintains that his tax plans and improving student loan programs will make it easier for families to pay for college. Hence, true but incomplete.

Let me mention, you can see dozens of these at It's great. Millions of clicks every day. We're glad. People are getting the facts behind the rhetoric. LEMON: I'm glad you mentioned that, because we love people to reach out to I-Report, you can get us on Twitter or MySpace, Facebook as well. We get great suggestions and questions from our viewers. We'll read some of them just a little bit later in the broadcast. Josh, we appreciate it. Thank you.

Pay attention to this next story. You are going to love it. She is 106 years young and she is making sure that her vote counts.


ANN COOPER, 106 YEARS OLD: I haven't got time to die because I've got to see a black president.

LEMON: You want to see a black president?



LEMON: Oh, she is a cutie. Her name is Ann Cooper and she can say whatever she wants because she deserves it. She's 106 years old. She is waiting to see what she thinks will be history. Her amazing story seconds away.


LEMON: OK, I really want you to pay attention to this. This is -- it's a great story, and she's an amazing woman. I met an Atlanta woman who has seen a lot. And no wonder, she is 106 years young, I'll say. But there's one thing she didn't think she would live long enough to ever see and that is the potential for an African-American president. Take a look at her story.


LEMON: It's nice to meet you, pretty lady.

(voice-over): Mrs. Ann Nixon Cooper loves to laugh. And to joke.

COOPER: What's your name?

LEMON (on camera): My name is Don Lemon.


LEMON: Lemon.

COOPER: Lemon?


COOPER: That's an odd name.

LEMON: It's an odd name? COOPER: Yes. Lemon.

(voice-over): In fact, she says humor is her secret to living 106 years.

COOPER: I don't know how it happened, that I said being cheerful all the time might have a lot to do with it. I've always been a happy person, a giggling person.

LEMON: The last year has been tough on the former socialite, a broken hip, two heart attacks, and four blood transfusions. But her care givers say she hung in there to vote early for Barack Obama.

Not many people are greeted at the polls by the mayor.


COOPER: I'm fine.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good! Don't you look pretty today?

LEMON: And a hoard of cameras.

COOPER: No matter what, you get out and vote. Vote your choice.

LEMON: Profound words from a woman who hasn't always had a lot of choices.

COOPER: I couldn't vote because I was black.

LEMON: But she and her late husband, a prominent dentist, managed to raise four children and witness a parade of history: wars, the Depression, men on the Moon, the civil rights movement. She remembers being threatened by a white man on a city bus.

COOPER: I sat down with my little Davis packages and -- don't sit down in front of me! That hasn't been too many years ago.

LEMON: But she prayed that one day things would change.

(on camera): What do you think now that you have a black person who could be the president, Barack Obama?

COOPER: Yes, that's right. Yes, and I'm going to keep up -- I ain't got time to die, because I've got to see a black president.

LEMON: You want to see a black president?

COOPER: Yes. Yes, I got to watch that.

LEMON: That makes you happy?

COOPER: Yes. I'm almost ready for it.

LEMON (voice-over): She can't recall the first time she voted or who for. But this time, if her candidate wins, she'd like to go to his inauguration.


LEMON (on camera): You do?

COOPER: Wouldn't that be something?

LEMON: Can I be your date?

COOPER: Please.

LEMON (voice-over): One woman's dream, decades in the making, spoken from the same home she's lived in since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a close friend, and not just the name of the street she lives on.

(voice-over): Thank you. God bless you.

COOPER: Oh, they are so beautiful.

LEMON: Oh, just like you.


LEMON: Told you she was amazing. Thank you. It was great meeting you. I'll spend more time with her.

We want to move on now. We want to update you on our breaking news out of Las Vegas, and the massive manhunt for a kidnapped 6-year- old boy. Police held a news conference about 30 minutes ago. Here's what we learned there. Cole Puffinburger still is missing but police say the boy's grandfather, who was taken into custody last night in California, has been providing them with information. His name is Clemens Tinnemeyer. Police say he is a drug dealer who may have stolen a large sum of money from a Mexican drug cartel. That may have led to Cole's kidnapping. Police say they've recovered a large amount of cash. They also say they have a person of interest in custody and are now looking for another person of interest, identified as Mexican national Jesus Gastolino. Police did not say what possible connection he may have with this case.

So new developments, but a little boy is still missing and presumed to be in great danger. If you have any information, please get in touch with authorities.

We want to move on now and talk about President Bush. He plans to host a global summit on the financial crisis and he made the announcement today at Camp David where he is meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

CNN's Kathleen Koch at the White House now with the very latest on that.

What are you learning, Kathleen? KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Don, there was a real call for unity from these three men, President Bush saying we must work together. We are in this together. French President Sarkozy saying we will be more effective if we find a solution together.

But at the same time there was distinct pressure from the two European leaders for haste. Sarkozy saying he and Barroso came with a mandate. Barroso adding they must act swiftly.

But President Bush, while agreeing that they would host this world leader summit here in the United States sometime in the near future, he also insisted that this process will take time.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: For this meeting to be a success, we must welcome good ideas from around the world. So I'm looking forward to hearing from President Sarkozy and President Barroso this afternoon and from other leaders in the days ahead.

KOCH: We heard no specifics this evening as to the time and the place of this world leader summit, trying to find ways to prevent a global financial crisis occurring again in the future. It was interesting, however, that Nicolas Sarkozy did say, in his opinion, such a meeting should happen before the end of November and in New York. Now, what we have heard from senior administration officials is certainly no meeting will take place before the November 4th election.

What the Europeans in specific are pushing for is really major reform of the global financial system. The White House has said they're willing to listen to good ideas from anyone, but really they insist that whatever action is taken preserves the free market system.

Back to you, Don.

LEMON: Kathleen Koch, thank you very much for that update.

We have been talking about this economy. You heard Kathleen. And CNN is looking into how we got here. Here's one way. They were living high. Now they're paying the price. And we'll take a closer look at the fall of all those fat cats.


LEMON: Well, CNN's Special Investigations Unit takes a probing look at lifestyles of the Wall Street elite. You can call them rich. And now they may be famous after this report. It is a one-hour special that airs at 8:00 p.m. eastern.

Our Abbie Boudreau with the Special Investigations Unit is here with a preview of that.

Abbie, a lot of people wondering about all of these people being bailed out and their opulent lifestyles, yet those lifestyles continue even after they're bailed out.

ABBIE BOUDREAU, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Sure, that's exactly what this hour is about, Don. We're going to take you inside a rarely seen world of mansions and Mercedes, as we look into how that money was made on Wall Street and how it was spent. One of the persons we actually met and talked to for this special made living large his full-time job.


JORDAN BELLFER, WALL STREET INVESTOR: I lived like a king, and I lived to tell about it, barely.

BOUDREAU (voice-over): He calls himself the wolf of Wall Street. Jordan Bellfer, a self-proclaimed master of the universe, living what he calls "the life."

BELLFER: Wall Street's all about the money, servants at your houses. You know, parties where there's Dom Perignon flowing, helicopters landing on the helipad, pigs roasting on a spit outside with a live band playing reggae music on the beach, dancing girls, jugglers, clowns, the whole entire thing, the life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jordan Bellfer, this is your life.

BOUDREAU: A lifestyle hard to imagine for most. This is home video taken during one of Bellfer's lavish vacations, a get-away on his 167-foot yacht.

BELLFER: This is where everything happens.

BOUDREAU: Named after his wife, Nade Dean, a former beer commercial model.

BELLFER: I started going hog wild. For me, it was like monopoly money. It's like anything you want you can buy.

BOUDREAU: He says he paid $2.5 million for an estate on long island and $5.5 million for a mansion in the Hamptons.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What a great life, huh?

BOUDREAU: His net worth rose to $100 million. That was in the '90s, when he was one of the kings of wall street, becoming chairman of a brokerage firm called Straten Oakmont in Long Island, making, he says, $1 million a week. He says he lived his life as if he were a character in a movie.

Even in private, he played the role of his most envied character, not wanting to disappoint what he calls his invisible audience.




BOUDREAU: Identifying with Gordon Gekko from the movie "wall street." BELLFER: He was just so super cool and super smooth and on top of it, and nobody's fooling the ultimate shark. In front of like every, you know, average kid from the streets dream is to be a Gordon Gekko.


BOUDREAU: You'll hear more, a lot more about Jordan Bellfer's incredible story tonight at 8:00 eastern, in our one-hour special "Fall of the Fat Cats." We'll also take you into the world of Wall Street executives and show you more of their lavish lifestyles.

It's an interesting story.

LEMON: We remember Gordon Gekko, greed is good is the quote from that movie. I want to ask you about guy Jordan Bellfer. How about how did he make his money, this person you were talking about?

BOUDREAU: That's more of what we'll go into tonight, so it's a little bit of a tease. But at one point, he was making more than $1 million a week. This is a huge amount of money. But there is a dark side to that whole story and that's what we'll get into later tonight.

LEMON: All the helicopters and yachts and everything, tonight, 8:00 p.m. right here on CNN.

BOUDREAU: Also Jordan Bellfer will be joining us live for that -- for that hour. So we'll show the story and then people can actually ask their questions, write in their questions and ask him themselves.

LEMON: Very good idea. Can't wait for that. Thank you. I'll be watching right here in the "NEWSROOM" with you guys. Thank you very much, Abbie. Looking forward to it.

So we're going to talk about the economy. You saw the fat cats there. The tough math for the ordinary person of feeding a family on food stamps.


CARRIE LEE, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The average recipient gets $101 a month. At three meals a day, that's about $1 per meal.


LEMON: Well, it's a reality more and more families are facing these days. We'll check in on your street when we come back in just a bit.


LEMON: More and more people on food stamps now. That's what we've come down to. Food stamps are a good barometer of the country's economic health, and right now, more and more Americans than ever are relying on food stamps to feed their families.

CNN's Carrie Lee says even Michigan's governor is among them, at least temporarily.


LEE (voice-over): Across the country, families are struggling to put food on the table.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's very difficult to, you know, try and figure out how I'm going to -- how I'm going to get through this month. You get into a hole and it's hard to get out.

LEE: To make ends meet, almost 10 percent of Americans today, a record 29 million people, rely on food stamps, 4 million more than in 2005.

In Michigan, the only state with rising poverty and falling incomes last year, it's 13 percent.

To highlight the hunger crisis, Governor Jennifer Granholm and other state officials, and even some Detroit auto executives, this week are living on just the same amount as the state's food stamp allowance.

GOV. JENNIFER GRANHOLM, (D), MICHIGAN: I Went shopping, my son and I at Meijer (ph) and had our amount of money we were supposed to be shopping within, it's a good lesson for him and my family.

LEE: The average recipient goat r gets $101 a month. At three meals a day, that's $1 per meal.

GRANHOLM: A lot of macaroni and cheese.

LEE: State officials suspect the problem will only get worse.

ISMAEL AHMED, MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES: The national economics and Michigan's auto industry have caused poverty to grow at an exponential level. For instance, food stamps have gone up double in the last eight years.

LEE: And with the economic downturn, the threat is nationwide.

STACY DEAN, CENTER OF BUDGET AND POLICY PRIORITIES: Those who have been recently laid off or maybe have lost a couple of shifts, so their income has fallen, yet they're facing higher prices at the pump and at the grocery store, they're going to need the help of the program to put food on the table.

LEE (ph): These latest numbers, 29 million Americans, nearly 10 percent of us on food stamps, well, they don't even include the latest September figures. Remember, last month, 160,000 jobs were lost. Home foreclosures soared. The stock market tanked. And let's not forget hurricane damage. So that record number is pretty much guaranteed to go even higher.

Carrie Lee, CNN, New York.


LEMON: Well, if you think your day at the office is tough, I want you to take a listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED REPO MAN: I've been shot at numerous times. I've had knifes pulled on me, baseball bats being chains, talks, every type of dog, big dogs, little dogs, doesn't matter.


LEMON: Well, this is one of the fastest-growing businesses in this down economy.

Coming up at midnight, we are running with the repo man.


LEMON: It is Saturday, October 18th. Do you know which candidate you're voting for? Well, a lot of you do, but some of you still aren't sure.

I was at one of the largest debate-viewing parties in the country where thousands of people gathered to see the candidates battle it out one last time. It's very interesting, their comments.


LEMON: Less than three weeks, two candidates, and one searing hot-button issue.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Talking about the economy.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm going to give the new direction to this economy.



LEMON: And the question on most Americans' minds?

UNIDENTIFIED DEBATE MODERATOR: Why is your plan better than his?

LEMON: People are listening. Thousands of them, in fact, turned up at New Birth Church in suburban Atlanta to hear the candidates talk issues.

MCCAIN: I'll keep your taxes low and I'll provide available and affordable health care for you and your employees.

OBAMA: I mentioned health care earlier. If we make investments now so that people have coverage that we are preventing diseases, that will save on Medicare and Medicaid in the future.

LEMON: New Birth pastor, Bishop Eddie Long, opened the doors of his church for a nonpartisan panel and debate viewing party.

(on camera): You had several thousand people out here tonight in the middle of the week on a school night with kids and jobs and whatever. What does that say about people's involvement in this election?

EDDIE LONG, BISHOP, NEW BIRTH CHURCH: The citizens are concerned. I think we're going to see the largest turnout that we've ever seen. We have a sector that we haven't heard from, which is our youth, first-time voters, those who have been registered. The whole community is really, really involved in this, with the economic situation the way it is. People are concerned and they want to see who's going to lead us out of this.

LEMON (voice-over): While the economy is clearly "Issue Number One," race has also been a focus.

Ambassador Andrew Young defended comments made by Georgia state representative and civil rights leader, John Lewis, who said the McCain-Palin campaign were sowing the seeds of hatred and division.

(on camera): What do you think of the mud slinging? You heard John Lewis got involved in it.

AMBASSADOR ANDREW YOUNG: No, John was concerned about what he calls toxic speech. And I think we have a right to be concerned.

LEMON (voice-over): But even after 90 minutes of heated back and forth between the candidates, some voters are still undecided.

(on camera): Nothing's changed your mind in this debate?

JAY FIELDS, UNDECIDED VOTER: Not really, no. With Obama, I think it's a great speaker and really charismatic, but I feel the way he votes is totally different from what he says. With McCain, I feel like he's the same old politics.

LEMON (voice-over): While others came with their minds made up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I voted already. I made my decision.

LEMON: And some left feeling John McCain showed himself more down to earth and relatable than Barack Obama.

JOHN GRAY, MCCAIN SUPPORTER: I was connected more, ironically, to some of the things Senator McCain said because he's not a polished speaker. He had to fight to speak. He loses a debate every time. He's not a professional speaker. He doesn't know how to look into the camera. He's awkward. And he's human, and I bought it.

LEMON: With the race in the homestretch and no more debate, time is ticking for the undecided.


LEMON: That was a very interesting debate, part of one of the largest in the country.

We promised we would read your comments reaching out on Facebook on MySpace, on Twitter,,

We have breaking news so, pardon me, I don't have time to read a lot of them. But I want to read some of them.

This one is from Twitter. This is seVen S and she said, "Don, what McCain calls socialism toward Obama is the same tax plan Reagan used to cut the massive deficit. Clinton did too.

And there was another one from Facebook saying that it was no different than FDR's social reform.

So thank you very much. We'll try to get more of them on for you tonight at midnight here on CNN.

OK. Wash and vote.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm voting for Obama.

BRITTANY BAILEY, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Do you know that you're not in good company here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I understand that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's no way I'd got with Obama. I'd wait all day if I need to.


LEMON: There's Obama and McCain car wash. We'll have the results of this very unscientific, but interesting clean poll.




LEMON: All right, a McCain-Obama car wash. Check out Brittany Bailey's report.


BAILEY (voice-over): At West Knoxville's three-minute magic car wash, choosing a wash means choosing a president.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's kind of crazy. Yes. I've never heard of such a thing. JIM ROONEY, CAR WASH OWNER: I came up with the idea that I'll force people to choose their president and what better way to do it than a car wash would I have an opportunity to make a choice left or right.

BAILEY: If you choose left, you choose Obama, right for McCain.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If I'm going to have my vote counted it's going to be for McCain and not Obama.

BAILEY (on camera): And there was no one on the other lane.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I'm going to be truthful, even if it is just for a car wash.


BAILEY (voice-over): Some drivers were so determined to have their wash vote counted they waited in long lines or even switched lanes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn't realize I had it like that, sorry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm voting for Obama.

BAILEY (on camera): Do you know you're not in good company here? I understand that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I understand that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is no way I'd go Obama. I'd wait all day if I needed to, because I will not vote for Obama. McCain's my man.

BAILEY: So what if you made a mistake, didn't see the sign and didn't want to wait in line? Don't worry, there's an oops board in here where you can recast your vote.

ROONEY: If I can help them decide right here at my car wash, maybe they'll take that through to November 4th and make a choice.

BAILEY: In Knoxville, Brittany Bailey.


LEMON: Another sign of the times. OK, we want to tell you the car wash manager told us John McCain picked up some support. He leads Barack Obama, 54 percent to 46 percent.

All right, the presidential election is less than three weeks from now. The economy, of course, is uncertain territory. And clinical psychologist Gloria Morrow will join me tonight. We're talking about how to cope with these turbulent times here. That's at midnight Eastern, 9:00 Pacific, right here on CNN.

I'm Don Lemon. Make sure you join us then.