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Jennifer Hudson's Mother and Brother Found Murdered; 10 Days Away From the Presidential Election: the Issues You Care About Could Sway Your Vote; How to Find Employment in This Ailing Job Market

Aired October 25, 2008 - 07:00   ET


T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: From the CNN Center, this is CNN SATURDAY MORNING on this October 25th. So glad you could be here. I'm T.J. Holmes.
BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everybody. I'm Betty Nguyen. Yes, October, it feels like it outside, finally.

HOLMES: Yes, finally. Fall coming in here in Atlanta this morning.



NGUYEN: We might as well. Boy, we've got a lot of news for you. Thanks for joining us today.

HOLMES: Yes, a really sad story, strange story out of Chicago. Jennifer Hudson, this Oscar-winning actress, singer -- mother and brother found murdered in a home in Chicago. And now the story is that a seven-year-old kid is missing right now. We will get into this story. A lot of past-moving details on that.

NGUYEN: Also, we were talking about the economy today because we're just what -- 10 days away from the election?

HOLMES: I think, that's it.

NGUYEN: That is all that we have. Folks, you are going to have to make a decision. And one of those decisions may play on the economy. What you feel about it, what's being done about it?

HOLMES: And speaking of the economy, Betty...


HOLMES: How is it people can't even fill up their tanks these days, how can they afford a $1,000 pair of shoes?

NGUYEN: But have you seen the shoes?

HOLMES: I have seen the shoes. You have kicked me several times with those shoes, actually. No, Christian Louboutin, you all may know that name, you may not. Most men listening probably don't.

NGUYEN: Women's ears are perking up right now.

HOLMES: They know him. Well, he will be in-house with us today, the designer himself.

I know you ran into him. You're going to have to sit-down and have a chat with him.

NGUYEN: What a vision, too. And his business is booming in this economy.

HOLMES: Amazing.

NGUYEN: And we're going to talk about that.

HOLMES: Amazing. But we will start with that story of Jennifer Hudson. It's getting a lot more these days now, or this morning really, about this horrible crime. Of course, Jennifer Hudson of "American Idol" fame, the great story. She went on to "Dream Girls," that movie.

NGUYEN: Oscar-winning.

HOLMES: An Oscar and her first real major role as an actress.


HOLMES: But now, the murder of her mother and her brother is what we're finding out about now. And we are getting word as well that there is a -- we believe -- there's a suspect in custody. Nothing confirmed just yet, though.

NGUYEN: And reports say that suspect, they are really trying to figure out how this all went down. And so, we're going to have much more on that.

HOLMES: First, Kareen Wynter has been looking into this story for us. Police, again, it's a fast-moving story. And really, nothing really confirmed yet by police. We don't know if we have a suspect, necessarily. We don't know if this somebody they just to want to talk to in custody, but a lot of baring reports coming out of Chicago.

But our Kareen Wynter has more on this case for us right now.


KAREEN WYNTER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She called Chicago her reality, a place of balance. But for Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson, the windy city has now turned into a place of mourning. On the Chicago's South Side where Hudson grew up, police found two people murdered inside this home Friday afternoon.

Hudson's publicist confirmed to CNN that the victims were the actress' mother, Darnell Donerson, and her brother, Jason Hudson.

OFFICER JOSEPH PATTERSON, CHICAGO POLICE: The first victim was a female found in the living room floor with a fatal gunshot wound. The second victim was a male subject found in the bedroom with a fatal gunshot wound.

WYNTER: The family's pastor spoke to a local television station.

VOICE OF PASTOR WILLIE DAVIS, PROGRESSIVE BAPTIST CHURCH: It is a very sad scenario. We discovered -- was contacted today to inform us that they found Jennifer's mother and her brother, you know, murdered in the mother's home.

WYNTER: Later, police issued an Amber Alert for this seven-year- old boy, Julian King, Hudson's nephew, who may have been home at the time and was possibly abducted by the suspected killer.

Hudson's rise to stardom began with "American Idol." She didn't win the title but it helped launch her Oscar-winning career with the film "Dream Girl." She credited her mother with her short road to fame.

JENNIFER HUDSON, ACTRESS: I always had a positive upbringing and positive people around me, you know. So, that definitely helped out. And even when I feel down or feel like I don't want to do this anymore, I can't do it anymore, my mother was there to say, you know what, this is what you love to do, you have to hold on to that.

WYNTER: Hudson has held on to a number one single on the Billboard music charts. She has a new hit album and a hit movie "The Secret Life of Bees." Now, in the midst of success comes sorrow for a young star who never forgot her roots.

Kareen Wynter, CNN, Hollywood.


NGUYEN: And we do want to share this information with you that Kareen Wynter just mentioned in her report. Once again, police have issued an Amber Alert for Jennifer Hudson's seven-year-old nephew, Julian King. They think he may have been abducted by the suspect in the killings. If you have information at all, the police want you to call 911.

HOLMES: All right. We will turn to the campaign trail now. Ten issues in 10 days. We are counting down to Election Day.

We are breaking down the issues you care about most and telling you what the presidential candidates want to do about them. The problem, the plans, education to healthcare, homeland security, certainly, the economy everybody is talking about. So, that's the one we're going to kick things off with today. Issue number one will have 10 issues in 10 days. You can catch it only right here on CNN.

CNN, of course, has correspondents spanned out across the battleground states, helping us cover the last lap in this presidential race. Jessica Yellin you see there out in Las Vegas, Nevada. Senior political analyst Bill Schneider in Lima, Ohio. And Dana Bash covering in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for us.

Also, we have our team coverage today includes a couple of familiar faces and friends of our Saturday morning show here. Deputy political director Paul Steinhauser, he's in Lima and our political producer, Sasha Johnson in the nation's capital for us today.

Twenty electoral votes up for grabs where you are there, Paul Steinhauser. I'm supposed to start with you according to the script but, you know, ladies first. I'm going to start with Sasha here.

Sasha, I'm going to ask this to both of you, really. We talk about Ohio but let's talk about Pennsylvania first. If we -- on election night, if the networks call Pennsylvania for Barack Obama around 9:00 or 10:00, can we all go to bed? Is that game over?

SASHA JOHNSON, CNN POLITICAL PRODUCER: Not necessarily. I mean, it depends what other states we call later in the night. I mean, if Barack Obama were to pick up Ohio, for example, then, yes, you would sort of call game over.

But let's say that John McCain holds on to Ohio where Paul is, that Barack Obama picks up some states out west, like in Nevada and New Mexico, and Colorado -- where we're going to see them stumping today and tomorrow, then John McCain absolutely needs to win Pennsylvania to win the election. And...

HOLMES: So, Paul, you see it like that as well? We've got a lot of tip we get on the east coast, it will be early. Those polls will be closing first -- Pennsylvania, Florida, you're talking about Ohio. I mean, something needs to happen. We'll know something early, you think?

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN DEPUTY POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes. And you've got to throw in Virginia in that mix as well. That was another state that voted for George Bush four years ago where John McCain now finds himself pretty far back in the polls, 10 points according to our latest polls and eight points in our poll of polls. So, yes, he's playing defense, T.J., that's what he's doing this weekend. John McCain is kind of playing defense.

Look at the states he's going to. He was in Colorado yesterday, New Mexico today. Tomorrow, he goes to Iowa and then he comes here in Ohio. Other than Ohio, he's behind in all the states, states that George Bush won four years ago, T.J.

HOLMES: And, Sasha, is there a sense or do you pick up a sense, they are probably trying to hide from you if they were feeling this -- but is there a sense in the Obama camp that they're just try took run out the clock -- they don't really need to make a case anymore, they don't need to argue anymore, they just need to wait this thing out and let that clock expires?

JOHNSON: Well, they don't want that. They don't want supporters to feel like they're just running out the clock. I mean, they said that they're going out there every single day and delivering a consistent message about change.

And, yes, do they want to run up the clock, do they want nothing to go wrong in the last couple of day? Absolutely. But they are still very nervous. They know that with 10 days left that is a long time in politics and anything can happen. Do they feel good? Absolutely. But, as Paul just said, I mean, they are now able to go into states because they feel confident about the John Kerry map of 2004, they are able to go into states that are staunchly Republican and try to start picking up voters. And we could him see pick up some of these western states.

HOLMES: And McCain as well, Paul, the last, I guess, couple of days, past week or so, there had been a little -- a few rays of light, if you will, a few openings with the Biden comments about Obama being tested, he's capitalized on the Joe the Plumber issue, "the spread the wealth" comment -- that just were a few things. And also, Obama has been off the campaign trail over two days visiting his grandmother.

But, you know, McCain had the spotlight, if you will, to himself for a little while. You know, some of those things maybe working in his favor but the one thing that's not, he's got a huge money disadvantage right now.

STEINHAUSER: He does. He's got enough money to advertise, T.J., and that's why you do see his ads in these states, but not as many as Barack Obama. Barack Obama has got a lot more money than John McCain so he's able to advertise a lot more.

Though, you did mention that Joe the Plumber and the Biden comments -- and those are two brand new ads that the McCain campaign has put out because those are two of their attacks in these last 10 days, that Barack Obama is not ready to take over as commander-in- chief, he will get tested, John McCain is ready. And then the other one, that Barack Obama wants to redistribute the wealth, and he will tax you. These are two of the themes you're getting from John McCain.

And a third one he's picked up in the last couple of days, T.J., he is warning that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are going to increase their domination in Congress so you need me in the White House.

HOLMES: Yes. And then, of course, to the possibility you've got Democrats could end up with that filibuster-proof 60 votes in the Senate as well. So, that's been thrown out there as well.

Paul Steinhauser and Sasha Johnson, again, two familiar faces and friends of ours here on CNN SATURDAY and SUNDAY MORNING. Good to see you guys. We'll see you again a little later.

And a reminder to the viewers out there, CNN has all those bases covered for you on your election night a week from Tuesday, that's November 4th -- from the first vote to the very last, bring you the results from all 50 states. You want to be with us -- Betty.

NGUYEN: All right, T.J. You know, fixing the financial crisis. How the candidates plan to deal with that. It's a big question and we're going to check out their to-do list.

Also, are you looking for work? We're going to show you the safest jobs to have in a scary economy and give you the secret on how to land them. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: Well, investors, they are just trying to catch their breath today. I want to take a look at this time-lapse video of the Dow Jones Industrial Average from yesterday. Watch it go down.

Well, the Dow started the day in the red and just pretty much stayed that way, fluctuating throughout the day a little bit, but never rising into positive territory. It finished the day down 310 points, wiping out, well, about $400 billion in market value. For the week, market wealth declined by approximately $800 billion.

HOLMES: That is issue number one right now. And we are doing 10 issues in the 10 days leading up to the election. So we're going to start with, of course, the economy. A major issue right now. It's a major struggle for a lot of folks and it's a major talking folks for two folks in particular, McCain and Obama.

NGUYEN: Oh, yes. Here's John McCain in Durango, Colorado, talking about Barack Obama's plan for the economy.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R-AZ) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Mr. Obama is more interested in controlling wealth than creating it and redistributing money instead of spreading opportunity. I'm going to create wealth for all Americans by creating opportunity for all Americans.


MCCAIN: Senator Obama says he's going to soak the rich, but it's the middle class that are going to get put through the ringer because a lot of his promised tax increases misses the target. To pay for nearly a $1 trillion in new government spending, his tax increase would impact 50 percent of small business income in this country and the jobs of 60 million middle class Americans who work for those small businesses.

We're not going to let that happen in America, my friends.


HOLMES: All right. John McCain there talking about the economy. We're going to hear from the other side, Biden makes some comments as well, talking about the economy. You know, of course, the V.P. running mate on the Democratic side, of course.

NGUYEN: Right.

HOLMES: We'll hear from him in just a bit.

And we'll have a special four-hour edition of "BALLOT BOWL" live from the campaign trail. You can hear those candidates as they make their cases for swing votes in battleground states, today, starting at 2:00 Eastern Time. NGUYEN: Well, tax cuts in exchange, though, for shipping jobs overseas.

HOLMES: Yes, Josh Levs putting that to the truth test.

Josh, good morning to you, sir.

JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, guys. So, Obama -- excuse me, I'm getting my voice to wake up. Obama saying that McCain would offer more tax cuts for outsourcing jobs. Well, the CNN truth squad, we have a verdict on that.


NGUYEN: All right. So, classical music may be associated with Old Europe, right?

HOLMES: OK, we hear (ph) that sometimes, yes.

NGUYEN: OK. But one woman is adding a Latin American flare to a New York orchestra.

HOLMES: Yes, you'll see here at the Latin Grammy's next months. And Melissa Long takes us to the top to meet a young conductor who's following a different beat.


MELISSA LONG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Music is her passion but communicating it is her gift. A 27-year-old, Alondra De La Parra is the first Mexican woman to conduct a professional orchestra in New York City.

ALONDRA DE LA PARRA, CONDUCTOR: I know that conductors exist since I was almost born because I would always go to concerts with my parents.

LONG: De La Parra dreamt of being a conductor since she was 13. After high school, she moved to New York, studied piano at the Manhattan School of Music. But after studying European composers, De La Parra had a new dream. She wanted to start an orchestra where people could experience the classical music she grew up listening to in Mexico.

DE LA PARRA: You first have to visualize it and then you have to believe it. And then you do it.

LONG: While still in school, De La Parra recruited her classmates and founded the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas. For the past four years, the orchestra has been bringing music from Latin America to the rest of the world.

DE LA PARRA: I want to inspire people but I want to inspire them to do good things. And how? Well, only through music, because that's what I can do. I like the fact that music can connect with people at a level of instinct and a place that nothing else communicates in. It doesn't need words. It doesn't really matter who you are, you can connect in that space.


NGUYEN: Well, to politics now. Because Barack Obama was off the trail on Friday, he was in Hawaii visiting his ailing grandmother, so we're going to let you hear from his running mate, Joe Biden.

HOLMES: Yes, Joe Biden was out there, speaking for Obama. Also, Michelle Obama was out there as well, taking her husband's place.


HOLMES: But Biden was speaking in Martinsville, Virginia about McCain's idea for the economy.


SEN. JOE BIDEN, (D) VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: John McCain is the one who said that under George Bush, this economy -- under George Bush, this economy has made great economic progress.

Ladies and gentlemen, look, I know Halloween's coming.


BIDEN: John McCain is now comparing Barack to Bush, saying he is not Bush, voting with Bush 90 percent of the time. John McCain is saying that the Bush's economic program has been good for America. And John McCain is now, of the last couple of days, the candidate of change.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, as I said, I know Halloween's coming but that one costume will not fit John McCain. The American people ain't going to make it.

Look, on a serious note, I know we're not running against President Bush, but the facts are, we are running against the very economic policy that John McCain is promising to continue. What is that policy? It's George Bush's basic economic policy.


HOLMES: All right. And we will continue on the campaign trail, of course, throughout the morning, and we are covering 10 issues in 10 days leading up to election as well.

NGUYEN: And this issue today is being the economy. And this financial crisis, a lot of people, really, as we've been talking about that, can't make the rent; really have a hard time making those car payments. Yet, at the same time, people dealing in luxury goods. Say, Christian Louboutin.


NGUYEN: They are still willing to fork over the money for those type of shoes. So, we are going to be speaking with the designer himself. He is in-house to talk about how he -- his business is really booming despite the economy.

HOLMES: Yes. I've got to a question or two for him.

NGUYEN: Look at those shoes -- that's all you need to know.

HOLMES: I've got a question.


HOLMES: All right. Well, another major American automaker in trouble. We got some major cuts to tell you about for Chrysler. The struggling automaker announcing it will get rid of about 5,000 white collar jobs. That's about 1/3 of its white collar workforce. This comes in the middle of serious merger talks between Chrysler and a couple of other automakers.

NGUYEN: All right. Well, you know, the unemployment lines -- they are getting longer every day. Just since January -- listen to this -- 760,000 jobs have been eliminated. More layoffs are expected. And college graduates are flooding the job market.

So, if ever there was a time for answers, it is now. So, let's get right to it because April Fawcett Nagel, the CEO of FirstPRO, a staffing and executive search, is here in studio to talk about actually where the jobs are.

I'm telling you, people are listening very closely because there are a lot of people out there who need them. So, what sectors are hiring right now?

APRIL FAWCETT NAGEL, CAREER CONSULTANT & RECRUITER: I think medical is still strong. I.T. is still strong, accounting and finance, administrative and office support, the government is still hiring.

NGUYEN: In fact, speaking of the government, I understand the next eight years, about 2/3 of the government employees will retire?

NAGEL: Absolutely.

NGUYEN: So, there's going to be a lot of openings there.

NAGEL: A lot of openings and, you know, if you have to think outside the box now, that's an area you might want to check out.

NGUYEN: OK. So, when you're thinking about going in and, really, not just having a good interview but getting the job...


NGUYEN: How do you go about doing that? I mean, what's the best way? You say think like an employer.

NAGEL: Absolutely. You have to think like an employer and a business owner. What -- how do you want to package yourself to appeal to what they're looking for? You know they want to know can you do the job, will you do the job? What do you bring to the table? Do you fit in our company culture?

And you really need to think like they do and determine what value you're bringing to the company. You know, you have to be prepared now more than ever before for an interview.

NGUYEN: And be adaptable in a sense. I mean, you may go in and wanting something, but you might have end up doing a couple of other things.

NAGEL: Flexibility.


NAGEL: Big time in this market, you know, you may have to accept a position with a less compensation, little less prestige, little lesser job title than you're used to. But lots of opportunity down the road.

NGUYEN: A lot of people when it comes to finding that job, they'll just flood the market with resumes.


NGUYEN: It's kind of like fishing. You send it out there, you see who, you know, you catch, maybe perhaps. But is that enough? I mean, just sending out a resume, is that enough?

NAGEL: You know, I find that many times is never enough in any market, but today it's impossible. You've got to work those contacts. You've got to...

NGUYEN: So, don't be afraid to call them.

NAGEL: Absolutely. You've got to go and be prepared to have your answers and say...

NGUYEN: There's fine line between pestering and being assertive.

NAGEL: There is. There is and you don't want to sound desperate even in desperate times. So, you know, follow-up letter, follow-up thank yous where you can reiterate what experience you're bringing to the table, how much you're interested in the job. People underestimate that. Expressing an interest in the job and wanting to take it to the next level -- that's what the company is looking for. They want someone who wants to work for them.

NGUYEN: And quickly, for college students. A lot of them looking at the markets thinking, oh, my goodness, am I going to get a job once I get my diploma? NAGEL: They're going to get a job. But the education doesn't make it automatic. And they, too, have to adjust their expectations. And if they're in a position where maybe they need to live at home another year...

NGUYEN: Oh, say it isn't so. You know they're not liking this.

NAGEL: I know. Get out and, you know, get some internship in their field that...

NGUYEN: Make those connections because a lot of times it's not what you know, it's who you know.

NAGEL: It's who you know and that experience is invaluable and it's going to put them ahead of the pack. You know, that's the other key thing you've got to stand out from your competition because the competition is a little tougher today.

NGUYEN: Absolutely. April Fawcett Nagel, thanks so much for speaking what at stakes, some good advice, a sound advice.

NAGEL: OK (ph).

NGUYEN: Appreciate it.

So, are you worried about your job? That's the e-mail question today. E-mail us: And we're going to read some of your responses a little bit later on CNN SATURDAY MORNING.

HOLMES: All right. Betty, I wonder if my mom would let me move back in right now.

NGUYEN: Probably not.

HOLMES: Probably not. All right.


HOLMES: Well, all right. Well, coming up here in just a little bit, there's a guy running around our building. We call them a geek all the time. So, somebody else did. I don't know why it was a big deal. But it's actually D.L. Hughley who called our Josh Levs a geek. D.L. Hughley is breaking the news. That's tonight on CNN. You want a stick around for that.

And stick around to see what this little back-and-forth and that confused look on D.L.'s face is all about.


NGUYEN: Well, good morning on this Saturday. And welcome back, everybody. I'm Betty Nguyen.

HOLMES: And hello there. I'm T.J. Holmes. So glad you could be with us on this Saturday morning.

NGUYEN: All right. So, 10 days and counting until Election Day. The candidates are making their laps around the country.

HOLMES: Those last laps, yes.

NGUYEN: Yes. Barack Obama is back on the trail today. He was in Hawaii Friday with his ailing grandmother.

HOLMES: And here now a look at the travels today. Actually, we're going to have some video from Hawaii there. But Obama is going to be in Nevada and New Mexico today. He gets there not long after John McCain is leaving the state.

McCain spent time in New Mexico before then leaving for Iowa. His running mate, meanwhile, Sarah Palin starts the day in Iowa, then it's on to Indiana and Florida for her.

The Democratic V.P. candidate, Joe Biden, is in Virginia today. That's a key battleground state that right now Obama is making some ground. He's ahead in a lot of the polls there.

NGUYEN: All right. So, with less than two weeks to go, just 10 days, in fact, we are going to take 10 issues in 10 days. And, of course, that being the countdown until the election.

So, our issue this morning is the economy and where the candidates stand. There's something both candidates agree on. They supported the $700 billion bailout bill and want to reform the financial sector.

But here's where they differ on what comes next. Obama supports a $50 billion emergency stimulus package -- an issue that John McCain has been hammering on, on the campaign trail. McCain is proposing a spending freeze.

And here's where they stand on the housing mess. Obama supports a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures while McCain wants to spend $300 billion to buy bad mortgages.

So, for the latest on the presidential campaign trail and analysis from the best political team on television, check out your home for politics online:

HOLMES: All right. They are running out of time to make their case. They're running out of time to get to those independents voters.

NGUYEN: Right.

HOLMES: They are running out of time to insult each other at every turn. No, they're attacking each other, of course, like crazy these last few days. Really, it's a race to get the most digs in at this point.

NGUYEN: Absolutely, because, you know, everything counts at this point. And that means the CNN truth squad is going to be pretty much busy all day and all night. No sleep for folks like Josh Levs who joins us now. LEVS: Yes. Hey, there, good morning, guys. It's true. It's true. I got a lot of caffeine, some Red Bull coming to me in the next couple of weeks.

Just take a look at this. We're going to start off with this. And this is something we talked about a little bit earlier. This is an interesting one. It's about outsourcing. And here is something that Barack Obama said on the trail.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D-IL) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: More tax cuts for jobs outsourcing. That's what Senator McCain proposed, as his answer to outsourcing. He said that's, quote, "simple, fundamental economics."


LEVS: Here is why we're declaring that one false. John McCain supports a tax cut for all corporations -- alright -- from 35 percent down to 25 percent. And he says it could help keep jobs here and prevent outsourcing.

Now, here is what John McCain actually said in his CNN interview.


MCCAIN: And guess what? If they go to Ireland, they're only paying 11 percent. So, where they're going to go where they can create wealth and create jobs? It's simple, fundamental economics.


LEVS: And McCain writes about his plan on his Web site. He's not proposing anything that would qualify as tax cuts for outsourcing. I actually asked the Obama campaign for any evidence that he is. And what they sent me did not include anything to back up what Obama said.

So, long and the short of it, that's how we got to the verdict of false on this one. You can get a lot more details, of course, over here at And I'll tell you -- coming up later this hour: we're going to look at McCain's assertion that Obama would not help the unemployed, guys.

NGUYEN: (INAUDIBLE). All right. Thank you, Josh.

LEVS: Thanks a lot.

NGUYEN: You know, if you can't wait until November 4th for that vote of yours, that important vote. Well, you are not alone because a lot of people are doing the early voting thing. And we talked to some of them this week.


DARRICK BURR, EARLY VOTER: It's more worthy to spend your time to make your decision, no matter who you're voting for. At least you know you made a choice. Your choice is made and you had the right to make it. So now, you get it done.

JANE DUCKWORTH, EARLY VOTER: I think it's a lot of voting for the first time people, young people. And because of all the publicity that this election has gotten, I think it's getting young people to vote this year that probably might not have made the effort.


NGUYEN: Well, people getting out there and casting their votes early in this historic election. Make sure your vote counts.

HOLMES: Well, are you sick and tired of seeing these faces?

NGUYEN: Wait until Halloween.

HOLMES: Yes, you're going to see them a whole lot more. A lot of people are going to be dressing up as their favorite presidential candidate. You can just by -- you see there. These things are really popular.

President in the past there and presidential wannabes. This is a store actually in Minneapolis, has a whole lot of them. Latex masks. Everybody -- oh, that's Laura Bush there. Of course, there's Al Gore. Several in there.


HOLMES: You can also be Sarah Palin. Obviously (ph), that one is going to be...

NGUYEN: I was going to say, that's probably going to be one of the most popular ones this year.

HOLMES: Pretty popular, with the glasses...

NGUYEN: And the hair up.

HOLMES: And the $150,000 wardrobe.

NGUYEN: That might be kind of hard to do in time for Halloween. But, hey, you can always try.

Speaking of high-dollar items, hey, just click your ruby red slippers and repeat after me, ladies out there, there are certain things even a bad economy cannot stop.

HOLMES: And, apparently, these shoes are made for walking and you're going to have to walk to the ATM before you go get those shoes.

NGUYEN: And get of a lot out.

HOLMES: OK. We give him a hard time, but I like to give him a hard time. But Christian we'll be telling you actually introduced me to this brand. I didn't know it before I met you, actually. But I've learned a whole lot about it since. But he is in the...

NGUYEN: Before you know it, you'll be wearing his shoes.

HOLMES: Yes, well.

NGUYEN: Maybe not.

HOLMES: Maybe not. But he is in the house, in studio right over there. Betty is going to have the interview of her life in just a second.

NGUYEN: Stay with us.


NGUYEN: Well, a pair of his shoes can cost, hey, as much as a mortgage payment. No joke. Yet, as the economy continues to spiral down, Christian Louboutin's profits keep going up, way up. The French designer is in Atlanta this morning. Here he is, the man behind the shoes with the red sole.

Thanks for being with us today.

CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN, DESIGNER: You're welcome. Thank you for taking me in.

NGUYEN: Absolutely. OK, you're business is booming. It's the best year ever, double-digit profit growth. And you're opening stores in many different countries. How is it that in this financial crisis, in this sluggish economy, you're able to stay so strong?

LOUBOUTIN: You know, number one, things are a little bit ahead in the sense of this crisis, (INAUDIBLE) that's the only time to go on (ph). So, we are already doing some projections. But also, I don't know. I don't know. It just happened that way.

NGUYEN: It's the red soles, that's what it is. OK, well, let me ask you this. What do you think it is about your shoes that will have women willingly paying $1,000 for a pair?

LOUBOUTIN: You know, I think, it has to do with desire. I'm basically, you know, when I was 12, I wanted to design my shoes and I was brought up in a very feminine environment with women, only women, basically -- my sisters and my mother. So, I think that women do see that those shoes are designed through pleasure and through passion and that what counts. And you do see that, and it goes back to you.

NGUYEN: But there are people -- T.J. has asked me this before, why do they cost so much? So you're the man, you're here. Why do they cost so much?

LOUBOUTIN: Listen, you know, you have different type of wines in the same way.

NGUYEN: That's right. LOUBOUTIN: What is the difference between a good wine and the bad wine? It's the way it's done. And at the end, so it showed (ph) there's difference. So, a shoe is a shoe, but at the same time, there's a lot of components, there's a lot of things which make, you know, from a cheap line to a more expensive line.

NGUYEN: Well, in fact, some people will call your line "works of art" because if you look at the different shoes, they are so varied. But the red sole, let's talk about that for just a second because that is your signature. How did you come up with it?

LOUBOUTIN: I was -- I was designing and when you're sketching, when I am sketching I put a lot of color. But this time, I was really thinking of pop art in general. So, every drawing was full with colors.

And when I came to the factory and started to do the first shoes, the first prototype out of this collection went out and it was nice, but when I was looking at the drawing. The drawing was better. The heel was the same, the color was nice, but there was something missing.

And then suddenly, you know, I looked at the drawing, I looked at the shoe, and there was this big black massive sole which was not in my drawing. And I have said to my assistant who were actually -- who was polishing her nails. So, she had her nails polished and grabbed her nail polish and cover the sole.

NGUYEN: You started putting nail polish on the bottom of the shoe and that's kind of where it started?

LOUBOUTIN: And then I looked and I thought, that becomes the drawing, the original drawing. So, I said, OK, then, I'm going to keep the red sole.

NGUYEN: A light bulb went off and the rest is history.

OK, women from all over the world, stars, Tina Turner, Madonna, Oprah, you name it, have worn your shoes. What's been your proudest moment as a designer?

LOUBOUTIN: I would say my proudest -- number one, my proudest moment is every day when I'm seeing women in my shoes. And definitely, you've been naming someone like Tina Turner, you know, when she's performing I always adore performance artists and my first job was actually to work at (INAUDIBLE) there in Paris, so, show girls, you know, and...

NGUYEN: Dancers.

LOUBOUTIN: Musicals.

NGUYEN: Yes. And definitely, I was very inspired and interested by girls on stage. That's been my first thing (ph). I never really thought of fashion at the beginning. I was totally into show girls. I mean, musical girls. So, when I do see them on stage, of course, you know, it impresses me and I'm very, very proud. But my biggest pride certainly is when Yves Saint Laurent stopped (ph) at his house, he did this beautiful, beautiful show. It was the last show he ever did, haute couture. And I had drawn a shoe thinking of him and it was sign just like if it was encrusted in diamond on the arch.


LOUBOUTIN: And so, I just did the shoe thinking, well, this shoe is never going to exist because the house is sort of collapsing. But I send the shoe, I send the shoe to Lulu who was his assistant. And Yves Saint Laurent looked at it and he said this is the most beautiful shoe (INAUDIBLE).

NGUYEN: That coming from Yves Saint Laurent.

LOUBOUTIN: I'm going to use this (ph) at the finale of my last show.

NGUYEN: It really was compliment, yes.

LOUBOUTIN: So he used this shoe for his last show. So I'm very, very proud of that. It's a bit lot original than it is (ph).

NGUYEN: And you had told me that your desire is to make beautiful shoes for beautiful women. And you, so far, have done that with class. Thank you so much for spending some time with us. We do appreciate it.

LOUBOUTIN: Thank you.

NGUYEN: T.J., so that's the man behind the shoe.

HOLMES: Oh, beautiful shoes for beautiful women.


HOLMES: This is all we need.

NGUYEN: Maybe he can paint some red on the bottom of that for you.

HOLMES: I don't know what you need. I mean, it is a good looking shoe, sir, for a couple of good looking guys? Maybe, does this work?

NGUYEN: So far -- those are OK shoes, right?


NGUYEN: Not bad.

HOLMES: How much were yours, Reynolds?

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You know, I got these on sale. What -- maybe $20, $30.

HOLMES: OK. I was out $60 or $70 here. So...

WOLF: Yes, good times.

HOLMES: All right.


HOLMES: Well, Reynolds, we're here to talk weather. I know you're doing a little shoe design of your own there.

WOLF: Yes.

HOLMES: You're sitting here, but...

WOLF: Yes, I just kind of draw something up, you can't see it, the light is too bright.


WOLF: The first thing you don't want to.

(INAUDIBLE), we are going to be seeing some changing colors today. We've got all kinds of fall colors around the country.


WOLF: We're going to show you some great video. Let's get started with the shot, though, in New York, where the color is great for the time being. Gray skies right now. Very quickly, there's a shot of the city. People are waking across parts of the northeast including New York.

Good morning to all of you. It's going to be a nice day for you. In fact, temperatures are going up into the 50s and 60s in many locations. But then, the hammer is going to drop and cooler temperatures are going to be on the way, possibly, some scattered showers in parts of the northeast also.

Let's move right along and show you some great video that we've got. This video is going to show you some of the fall colors that we have. Out toward Sacramento, you see some of the tree there. Nice colored gold there and it also got a little bit of pine needles probably out, some of those evergreen trees. Nice and pretty there.

Now, some other colors we're going to show on radar this morning. The scattered showers we're seeing across parts of the northeast. Let's zoom into a coupe of key locations, namely, up towards the Great Lakes. We're seeing the rain. It's going to pick up right along parts of I-75.

Well, what we're going to see, we're going to talk about this during the next weather update, is we're going to have a series of frontal boundaries, they are going to move right through parts of the northeast. It's going to bring in some much cooler temperatures to parts of the Appalachians, the northeast, the Great Lakes, and possibly, some heavy snowfall into spots like Cleveland, Buffalo, New York. That's all coming up just at the top of the hour.

Let's send it back to you, guys, at the desk.

HOLMES: All right. Sure thing, Reynolds. We will see you again shortly, kind sir. And we will also show our viewers the one place the presidential candidate has never gone before. Check it out.

The ad you can't get away from, targeting an audience that is extremely hard to reach. And our Rick Horrow, he is with us for analysis that you can only get right here on CNN and a face you can only see on CNN.



HORROW: Only on CNN. That face -- CNN, later.

HOLMES: All right. We will see you after the break.

HORROW: Yes, sir.


HOLMES: All right. World Series hasn't gone to game six since '03. But if it does this year, we already know it's not going start on time. Sports business analyst, Rick Horrow, buddy to our show here, who's always on time.

Sir, good to see you. Thank you for being here.

HORROW: Good to see you.

HOLMES: Obama is essentially pushing back the start time of game six if we have game six. Why did FOX agree to this in the first place? And, I guess, could they have said no?

HORROW: Three words, one million bucks, is the answer. Yes, they could have said no and apparently they made the same kind of offer available for McCain and other networks are doing that as a simulcast next week. And the bottom line is -- that advertising in this economy is real tough. The advertiser association says 1/3 of the corporations are going to spend less, 1/3 the same, but 1/3 more for these big-time premium events. This is a big-time premium event and they'll take Barack Obama's money for it, really.

HOLMES: This was strictly ability money and you're telling me that was it? And aren't there some people out there, you know, some baseball purists who are like, I don't care what it is, I don't care what the money is about, don't change the game, don't allow the World Series to be altered by, you know, some advertising.

HORROW: Yes, there must be three or four of them around. I haven't seen them. It's not strictly about money. It's about social responsibility. You know, most of us have not gotten enough of the campaign. We want to see another half hour of it, don't you?

HOLMES: Yes, we picked up the sarcasm there. Also, Obama, something else, speaking of not have gotten enough. His ads are in places people usually don't see ads. And I think some ads that the first time we've ever seen some of these ads in some of the places he's putting them.

HORROW: Yes, and this is brilliant. The video games, I think he's a video game player as well. But he had to find a unique way to reach that 18 to 34-year-old demographic. So, he's got the pop-up ads in "Madden '09," "NASCAR Live," "NBA '09" -- nine video games say, go to my Web site and vote for me. It's pretty ingenious.

HOLMES: It is ingenious. Do we have any idea how expensive this is to do this kind of advertising?

HORROW: Well, it's less expensive than it's going to be because everybody understands the value of it. But I guarantee you, whatever he spent, he's going to make that money back from people who really don't watch TV, but make their lives focused around video games. And that's some of the 18 to 35-year-old demographic I talked about.

HOLMES: All right. Let's turn to the World Series. Again, if it goes back game six it will be pushed back a bit -- that car is funny to me. And I don't know if you could see that. We have a NASCAR design with Obama '08 all over it.


HOLMES: His picture plastered on the side.

But let's move to the World Series now. How is it going so far? A lot of people were out there before this thing started saying if the -- if the Tampa Bay Rays got in, the ratings would not be good because it's kind of a smaller market team, doesn't have the big following, and all that history of the Red Sox nation, and what not. So, how have the ratings been so far?

HORROW: All right. Well, the ratings have been okay. But here's the deal. That big word "parity," leveling the playing field, you can't have it both ways. The Rays are this 29th in franchise value, but they are this year's surprise. Last year's Rockies, White Sox, Cardinals, Tigers, the years before. Because the money is spread, you've got surprise teams coming out of the pack.

Now, the ratings aren't that great because you don't have New York, Chicago, Boston, or L.A. in the series. But you can't have everything. Advertisers are spending money for this. I think it's going to be a really close series. I'm not going to predict right now, but the bottom line is that if you want to have surprising, competitive series, you don't always have big market teams.

HOLMES: All right. That works and we will get your prediction maybe later, around game six maybe. Maybe you'll go out on a limb for us then. Rick Horrow, business and sports analyst, and buddy of our show here on CNN SATURDAY and SUNDAY MORNING, Rick Horrow, enjoy the rest of your weekend.

HORROW: All right, man. See you next week.

HOLMES: All right.

NGUYEN: Well, we do have a sad story to tell you about. A murder case in Chicago, a young singer and actress in mourning today.

HOLMES: Yes, Jennifer Hudson, certainly a lot of people remember her and her story, especially her role in "Dream Girls" that she won an Oscar for. Well, her mother and brother shot dead.


HOLMES: All right. We've been hearing from you this morning, and many of you concerned you could lose your job.

NGUYEN: Oh, man. You know, on the campaign trail, John McCain is criticizing Barack Obama for failing to help the unemployed. Well, Josh Levs is with the CNN truth squad and he joins us now to get the lowdown on that. All right, true or false, Josh?

LEVS: And what you're about to get the answer really early on, just the way you guys like it. I tailor this for you. Let's take a look at the sound bite, you'll see the ruling. This is what happened after McCain pointed out that jobless claims have gone up.


MCCAIN: Just yesterday, we received news that jobless claims have increased by 15,000, and yet just this week, Senator Obama announced that his plan would have a work requirement -- meaning that those who are unemployed will receive no help under the Obama plan.


LEVS: And you see the status right there from the truth squad: misleading. Now, here's the deal. McCain is referring to Obama's plan to help people with mortgages. He calls it a universal mortgage credit plan.

Actually, let's see if we can zoom in and weigh in on it. This is where Obama writes about it on his Web site. Now, here's what happened. Obama in recent days added a work requirement to that, meaning you only get that tax credit if you're employed. And the McCain campaign had criticized it the old way, saying that before that it amounted to welfare.

So, the Obama campaign said that Obama changed his plan to try to ward off those attacks, but, of course, it's politics. When he made the change, McCain criticized him for that. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MCCAIN: This week we learned that Senator Obama is concerned that his plan for wealth redistribution is seen as welfare. So, he just added a work requirement.


LEVS: See, get in trouble either way on the campaign trail.

Now, Obama does have policies designed to help the unemployed in general. Let's zoom in one more time. On his Web site, he talks about a $210 billion plan to create jobs in construction and environmental industry, for example. So, that's why, guys, our ruling on this is misleading, narrowly applied to just the mortgage tax credit, it's true. But it's not true of Obama's policies in general.

And I'll tell you, speaking of unemployment, we're encouraging all of you to write us this morning. If you're worried about your job, this is the e-mail question today. Let us know -- And, guys, I'll be back within the next half hour to read some of those.

NGUYEN: All right. Looking forward to it. Thank you, Josh.

LEVS: You got it. Thanks.

HOLMES: And we got something else for Josh here.

NGUYEN: Yes. We need you to stick around. Don't go anywhere.

HOLMES: I got to ask you about this. Show the folks at home something that you were pretty geeked up about, if you will.


LEVS: There's something on that one word.

HOLMES: Yes, D.L. Hughley is joining our team. He's trying to take our jobs right here, actually.

NGUYEN: Well, we'll see, because he debuted his new show last night. Hopefully, you caught it. But, in case you didn't, it is called "D.L. HUGHLEY BREAKS THE NEWS." And here's a little taste.


D.L. HUGHLEY, CNN HOST: This week, Barack Obama released his medical records and it showed that his cholesterol level is 173. Now, I personally have never heard of a black man with a cholesterol level that low. I walk around with 300 my damn self. I mean, if you can put a scoop of mac and cheese and a chicken wing in a blender, that would be my morning smoothie. Brothers, we don't go to Jamba juices, we go Jambalaya juice. Are you crazy?


(LAUGHTER) HOLMES: All right. Now, you had to come on board, and you take us through this. What happened here, Josh?

LEVS: Well, they asked me to do this, and they apparently have seen the truth squad.


LEVS: And they had very nice things to say. So, they asked me to come along and go through. Well, you'll see. Here's what happened.


LEVS: Hello, D.L. Hughley? Hello? D.L. Hughley?


LEVS: Hello?

HUGHLEY: Hey, what's going on?

LEVS: D.L., I'm Josh Levs from CNN's the truth squad.

HUGHLEY: The geek squad?


HUGHLEY: Wait a minute. I thought you guys were from Best Buy.

LEVS: No, D.L., the truth squad. We're an in-house fact- checking system for stories in the news.

HUGHLEY: I didn't know CNN checked facts. Now, what can I do for you?

LEVS: Well, during your last report there...

HUGHLEY: Wait a minute. You mean monologue.

LEVS: I believe, yes, you were the only one talking. And you reported some erroneous and misleading information. First, you said that Barack Obama has a cholesterol level of 173. That is true. However, the second part of your story where you claimed that black people patronize a business called jambalaya juice, that is completely false. There's no record of any such business existing.

HUGHLEY: Wait a minute. It's just a joke, Josh.

LEVS: Hey, here at CNN Center in Atlanta, we call that "lying."

HUGHLEY: Wait a minute. I'm a comedian.

LEVS: Liar.

HUGHLEY: Hey, man. You better be glad you're in Atlanta. (END VIDEO CLIP)


NGUYEN: You had some nerve there, Josh.

LEVS: Well, they made it easy. But, you know, I forget how hilarious the truth squad is to everybody. Actually, they helped remind me through this thing, you know.

HOLMES: We need a truth squad for the truth squad because it turns out actually, Josh, that that is not Obama's cholesterol number you were throwing out there. What was it? The ones that...


HOLMES: It was Biden's.

LEVS: I didn't throw it out there.

NGUYEN: Yes, Josh.

LEVS: I didn't throw it out there. It wasn't me. Oh, man. I cannot win today. But the records...

NGUYEN: Truth squad.

LEVS: ... speaking of the truth squad, he did not call me a geek.


NGUYEN: Well, we will.

LEVS: He probably I am one, though.

NGUYEN: And that's the truth.

HOLMES: We will.


LEVS: It's tonight. It's tonight. It premiers tonight.


LEVS: Thanks, guys.

NGUYEN: The series premier, folks. Do not leave the television set. You've got to see this tonight, 10:00 Eastern right here on CNN.

HOLMES: From the CNN center in Atlanta, Georgia, this is CNN SATURDAY MORNING, 25th day of October, I'm T.J. Holmes.

NGUYEN: Yes. Good morning, everybody. I'm Betty Nguyen. We do want to thank you for being with us today and we start with just some tragic news for the family of a celebrity this morning. The mother and brother of an academy award winning actress are murdered.

HOLMES: Also this morning, we're talking presidential politics, the long presidential campaign, 10 days from being over. Can you believe it? We are look at 10 key issues as we count down to Election Day.

But as Betty was just mentioning, that horrible crime, we're just finding about this morning, the murder of Jennifer Hudson's mother and brother. Now Jennifer Hudson, a lot of you will remember her from "American Idol" fame. She was one of the top 10 at least and also in the movie "Dream Girls" which she got an Oscar for. Reports say a suspect is in custody right now, but police have yet to confirm that.

NGUYEN: And we just got word that police have found one of the cars that they've been looking for. They think this car may be the one a suspect took off in with Hudson's seven-year-old nephew.

Our Kareen Wynter that is has more now on this case.


WYNTER (voice-over): She called Chicago her reality, a place of ballots, but for Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson, the windy city has now turned into a place of mourning. On Chicago's south side where Hudson grew up, police found two people murdered inside this home Friday afternoon. Hudson's publicist confirmed to CNN that the victims were the actress' mother, Darnell Donerson and her brother Jason Hudson.

OFFICER JOSEPH PATTERSON, CHICAGO POLICE: The first victim was a female, found in the living room floor with a fatal gunshot wound. The second victim was a male subject, found in the bedroom with a fatal gunshot wound.

WYNTER: The family's pastor spoke to a local television station.

VOICE OF PASTOR WILLIE DAVIS, PROGRESSIVE BAPTIST CHURCH: This is a very sad scenario we discovered, was contacted today to inform us that they found Jennifer's mother and her brother, you know, murdered and in the mother's home.

WYNTER: Later, police issued an Amber alert for this seven-year- old boy, Julian King, Hudson's nephew who may have been home at the time and was possibly abducted by the suspected killer. Hudson's rise to stardom began with "American Idol." She didn't win the title, but it helped launch her Oscar-winning career with the film "Dream Girls." She credited her mother with her short road to fame.

JENNIFER HUDSON, ACTRESS: I've always had a positive upbringing and positive people around me, you know? So that definitely helped out. Even when I fell down or felt like I don't want to do this anymore, I can't do it anymore, my mother was there to say, you know what, this is what you have to do. You have to hold on. WYNTER: Hudson has held onto a number one single on the "Billboard" music charts. She has a new hit album and a hit movie, "The Secret Life of Bees." Now, in the midst of success, comes sorrow for a young star who never forgot her roots.

Kareen Wynter, CNN, Hollywood.


NGUYEN: And we do want to share this information with you, that Kareen just mentioned in her report. Police have issued an Amber alert for Jennifer Hudson's seven-year-old nephew, Julian King. They think he may have been abducted by the suspect in the killings. So if you have any information at all, police want you to call 911.

HOLMES: We are putting some miles on that thing these days. We got 10 days until Election Day. The candidates hitting the battleground states today and we are hitting the battleground states as well. Barack Obama is back on the trail after visiting his ailing grandmother in Hawaii. CNN deputy political director Paul Steinhauser is in one of those battleground states, Ohio.

Paul, there you are in front of that bus. I know you've been with that bus a long time out there on the trail. You hate to probably park it in the garage here in a few days, but tell us, you're there in Ohio. You're there in Ohio, certainly a battleground state. How close is it? Polls seem to be all over the place the past few days and weeks.

STEINHAUSER: Our latest CNN poll of polls right here in Ohio -- I'm in Lima, Ohio. That's where we are with the bus and you're right, we put a lot of miles on this bus in the last year and a half. Our poll of polls here in Ohio has Obama up by about seven points, a little bit more than he was last week. Still, though, still too close to call in this state, obviously, still within the sampling error.

Twenty electoral votes here in Ohio, a very, very important state. This is the state that decided it all four years ago. It could happen again and Michelle Obama, she was here yesterday stumping for her husband and also this morning she's giving the Democrats' radio address. She's really talking not just as someone supporting Barack Obama but also as a mother.

Take a listen.


MICHELLE OBAMA, DEMOCRATS RADIO ADDRESS: I'm a wife who believes with all my heart that my husband will be an extraordinary president. I'm a mom whose girls are the center of my world. They're the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning and the last thing I think about when I go to bed at night.


STEINHAUSER: Now her husband, Barack Obama, T.J., is back from Hawaii. He was in Hawaii for a day and a half visiting his gravely ill grandmother, but he's back on the campaign trail now today. He's going to be out west. He starts the day in Nevada and he ends the day in New Mexico. Those are two of three states out there where the Democrats think they can really take states that voted for George Bush four years ago and turn them blue this time around, T.J.

HOLMES: And on the subject of radio addresses, I guess and also on the economy, you're there in Ohio. John McCain addressing the economy again in his radio address. Is he saying anything new, different or just pounding some of those points home?

STEINHAUSER: He's pointing a lot of his points home and he's bringing up a name I think you've heard and I've heard a lot lately, a guy called Joe the Plumber. Take a listen to this.


MCCAIN: As Joe the Plumber and small business owners across the country have now reminded us all, America didn't become the greatest nation on earth by giving our money to the government to spread the wealth around. In this country, we believe in spreading opportunity for those who need jobs and those who create them and that is exactly what I intend to do as president of the United States.


STEINHAUSER: That's part of John McCain's line -- that's part of John McCain's line right now T.J., that Barack Obama will raise your taxes. He would redistribute the wealth. Obama says he's only going to raise taxes on those making over $250,000 a year. Today, McCain is out west as well. He's in New Mexico, another state where he's down in the polls, a state that George Bush won four years ago.

Tomorrow, he goes to Iowa and then he comes right back here, T.J., to Iowa. It's all about Iowa. He will be back here tomorrow. You're going to see both campaigns spending a lot of time here the last 10 days of this campaign.

HOLMES: A lot of time but they don't have a lot of time left. Our Paul Steinhauser talking about Joe the Plumber. Everybody is the something these days. Joe the plumber, you got Paul the political producer, Betty the news anchor. We got all kinds of stuff. But Paul, we appreciate you, buddy. We'll see you again.

NGUYEN: All right, so, 10 issues and 10 days. We are counting down to Election Day, breaking down the issues that you care about most and telling you what the presidential candidates want to do about them. So, the problems and now the plans. From education to health care and homeland security, we do want to kick things off today with issue number one, that, of course, being the economy. Again, 10 issues in 10 days only on CNN. So let's get right to it, shall we? What are the candidates saying about the economy, about taxes?

Well, CNN's Ed Henry takes a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Another sharp sell off on Wall Street is fueling concerns of a deep recession and turning the final stretch of the presidential race into a pitched battle over whose tax plan can better fix the financial crisis.

MCCAIN: Senator Obama assures us that he has a very clear target of just the top 5 percent of income-earners and any time you hear talk of a targeted tax increase, you might want to double-check the skill of the marksman.

HENRY: John McCain continues to pounce on Barack Obama's comment to Joe the Plumber about spreading the wealth around to charge his policies are socialist.

MCCAIN: Senator Obama may say he's trying to soak the rich, but it's the middle class who are going to get through the ringer.

HENRY: While Obama took a day off from campaigning to visit his ailing grandmother in Hawaii, his running mate Joe Biden was in West Virginia insisting Obama will lower taxes for 95 percent of Americans.

BIDEN: We're going to rebuild the middle class in this country. We need to do several basic things. We have to start by cutting taxes for working people.

HENRY: Biden also mocked McCain's efforts to distance himself from President Bush.

BIDEN: John McCain is now attacking the Bush budget and Bush fiscal policies which he voted for, I might add, but, folks, this is as crazy as, you know, Butch Cassidy attacking the Sundance Kid. That's a team.

HENRY: The sparring comes amid signs the Obama/Biden ticket has the upper hand on taxes, reversing a long edge for Republicans. The latest "Washington Post"/ABC tracking poll shows Obama is leading McCain 51 to 43 percent on handling taxes, the same eight-point lead the president had over John Kerry in 2004, a major reason McCain trails in battlegrounds like Colorado.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a hall of fame quarterback, he's a friend of mine, John Elway.

HENRY: Where he got a pep talk from retired football star John Elway.

JOHN ELWAY, FMR. DENVER BRONCO QUARTERBACK: Senator, it's the fourth quarter and your game -- some pundits I watch on TV are already counting you out, but I know a thing or two about comebacks. And I cannot wait until November 4th when you once again prove those pundits wrong.

HENRY (on-camera): But the electoral map is daunting for Senator McCain right now. On Saturday he's in New Mexico, Sunday, Iowa and Ohio, Monday, Pennsylvania. Virtually all of those states must win.

Ed Henry, CNN, Washington.


NGUYEN: Well, you know our correspondents are on top of this race and no offense to them, but if you really want to know the nitty- gritty in this race, just ask a D.C. cabby. That's right. Tax pundits is what I'm going to call them and it's a story that you don't want to miss in our 9:00 Eastern hour this morning.

HOLMES: You don't have to be a CNN correspondent to know what's going on out there.

NGUYEN: Absolutely not, you just got to watch CNN to know.

HOLMES: Well, Sarah Palin is answering some questions these days, some pressing questions, but not about the campaign. Palin's attorney says she gave three hours of depositions yesterday to a panel, an Alaska personnel board is what it was.

Now, this board is looking into whether she unfairly fired the state's public safety director. The former director says Palin fired him after he refused to sack a state trooper who had divorced the governor's sister. I don't know if you're following all that. It's being called "Trooper Gate" these days.

Well, we'll turn to this now, tens of thousands of you across this country braving those long lines to vote early. Now you can count President Bush among the early voters. He didn't exactly go stand in line anywhere, however. He filled out his Texas absentee ballot on Friday. Yes, the White House says he voted for --

NGUYEN: John McCain, you think? Maybe?

HOLMES: He's kind of on the fence there, but he ended up going with McCain after all, just kidding, folks. Vice President Dick Cheney also mailed his absentee ballot a couple weeks ago, also voting for McCain/Palin.

NGUYEN: All right. So several states are allowing early voting in this race and the turnout for that in Georgia said to be high, particularly in metro Atlanta. I want you to listen to these two new voters. The first one was asked if he was nervous.


DARRICK SCHOFIELD, FIRST-TIME VOTER: Yes, I'm nervous and at the same time, I'm holding from crying because I see the turnout. It's like overwhelming. Maybe just something I missed, but it's exciting, just being in line and watching. So, people are paying attention to what's going on with the election.

CATEDRA FANN, FIRST-TIME VOTER: It's different. I just felt more into it this year than I've ever been before. I'm 25 now, so I just felt like this is the time for me to just really go out and vote this time.


NGUYEN: People are excited. But there are those that still don't know which presidential candidate to vote for. Do you know? Are you ready? Do you not like either one of them?

Well, instead of posting a McCain or Obama sign, a Florida man has this in his front yard. They both suck '08 is what it says. Wow. Well, the man says he follows politics but doesn't support either of the candidates, so he says he won't be voting this year. A lot of people really take offense to that and say if you don't vote, then you can't complain.

HOLMES: You can't complain. Some people vote just so they can complain even if they don't like either candidate.


HOLMES: Well, somebody we might see that people could vote for later, you knew this was coming, Joe the Plumber. He may be looking for a new gig. There's a lot of talk about whether or not he had his plumbing license. Well, he doesn't need necessarily a license to run for Congress. This is Joe Wurzelbacher (ph). He's that fix-it-up man, that fix-it man who became famous after he challenged Barack Obama's tax plan.

Now, he says he is considering running for Congress in 2010. If he runs, Joe the Plumber will go up against Marcy Copshyer (ph). She is one of Ohio's veterans, a House Democrat. She's very popular there, actually won by 75 percent in the district last time. So, he might be up against it if he tries to run against her, but we knew that was coming.

NGUYEN: You could see it, right? Joe the Plumber running. I guess you might as well capitalize on it while you got it.

HOLMES: Fifteen minutes of fame.

NGUYEN: People know who this man is, without a doubt.

So, if you still haven't decided who to vote for, maybe this will help you. I would like that. You can vote for whoever you like or maybe not, a rap song for the candidates that you just cannot miss.

Reynolds, you've got a rap for us, right?

WOLF: The sign behind them says "malaria kills." Seriously. Do you see that?

NGUYEN: Yes, it does.

WOLF: What kind of message is that? I don't know. I mean, I know there's a point you're trying to make, but, man, that sign, that kind of hurts things a little bit.

HOLMES: That's very observant of you Reynolds.




HOLMES: All right. Certainly one of the first things people worry about when the economy starts to suffer, they're worried about their jobs. Will they have one?

NGUYEN: That is this morning's e-mail question. That's coming up next.

Plus, somebody uses the "G" word.


HOLMES: Comedian D.L. Hughley calls a member of our team, somebody you've seen here this morning, a geek.

NGUYEN: Might be fitting. We'll do the truth squad on that one. Stay with us.


HOLMES: All right. This morning we asked our viewers, are you worried about possibly losing your job? Of course, your responses, in this economy you could expect we get a lot of responses.

NGUYEN: A whole lot of them. CNN's Josh Levs is piecing through your e-mails. What are folks saying, Josh?

LEVS: A lot of people with some really moving stories. We got a little time here. Let's zoom in on the board. I want to show you some things we're hearing.

Let's start with this one. "I work six hours a day looking for work six days a week. Getting an interview is an increasing challenge, especially for 50-plus-year-olds with experience in financial services, senior management. Check this out and no, I am not a high- powered executive who sucked the blood of U.S. consumers." That's from Mercedes Esposito.

Listen to another one here. "Yesterday, I got laid off from my sewing manufacturing position. I was there just over a year. I'm not the only one. Here in central Minnesota, the outlook's quite bleak. My husband has to work out of state as a computer programmer so we can keep our house here in Minnesota. Something is wrong with this picture."

And guys, we're going to keep looking at these all morning, bring you some more of them. Let's show everybody the e-mail question one more time. This is the question. Are you worried about your job? You can shoot us a line right there, We will be back next hour reading more of them and again through the weekend and tomorrow because these stories are really in a lot of way the biggest description of we have of what the economy is like right now for so many people, guys.

NGUYEN: It's a tough one out there, no doubt. Ten issues in 10 days. We are working on that as well Josh. Thank you.

HOLMES: Something else we are excited about around here, some of us not because we think he's trying to take our job. I'm not on stage, trying to do stand-up comedy, all right, D.L. Hughley. He has a new show, a brand-new show that's going to premiere here on CNN tonight. He is new to the network, kind of show him around a bit. Our Josh Levs --

NGUYEN: He has taken over, in fact. You know he will. And Josh, you are really the guy on his list. Take a look, folks.


LEVS: Hello, D.L. Hughley? Hello?

HUGHLEY: Hey. What's going on?

LEVS: D.L., I'm Josh Levs from CNN's the truth squad.

HUGHLEY: The geek squad? Wait a minute. I thought you guys were from "Best Buy."

LEVS: No, no, D.L., the truth squad. We're an in house fact- checking system for stories in the news.

HUGHLEY: I didn't know CNN checked facts.


HOLMES: That's all we do around here. You can't start with us, D.L., insulting us.

NGUYEN: That's right. You don't make friends like that, D.L. You don't want Josh on your bad list. I mean, this man can come after you. Doesn't he look tough?

LEVS: So scary to so many people.

HOLMES: The geek squad, truth squad, interchangeable really.

NGUYEN: So Josh, the truth about it is, that was pretty cool.

LEVS: It was pretty cool. It's awesome to work with them. They're a great team and it was a total honor. No, hey, I loved everything about it. But I'll tell you, check out the show. It's going to be so funny. It's tonight at 10:00. I've seen parts of it already. It's hilarious. You guys are going to love it.

HOLMES: That's it, breaks the news, series premiers tonight at 10:00 right here on CNN. We'll be tuned in.

Also, a lot of folks you may think people have been dancing around the issues on the campaign trail maybe. NGUYEN: Oh, my goodness, I thought that was real for just a second.

HOLMES: It is real. It is.

NGUYEN: It's their faces on, obviously, somebody else's body.

HOLMES: No, that's real.

NGUYEN: It is not. Look at McCain. There's Barack Obama. Look at McCain. He's ready to break down. Uh-oh. Here we go.

HOLMES: We'll explain it shortly.

NGUYEN: Look at those moves. Don't go away, folks. This video's great. Stay with us.


NGUYEN: Getting their message across with just 10 days to go until the election. No, not the candidates, the kids.

HOLMES: That's these kids' take on a popular (INAUDIBLE) song right now, a number one hit by (INAUDIBLE) right now, "Whatever You Like" and these students from (INAUDIBLE) Academy in Atlanta telling you, does it matter who you vote for, you just need to vote. Just vote however you like.

NGUYEN: Well, that song, the dance, now a warning. Some of you may find this video just a tad bit disturbing.


NGUYEN: Uh-oh.

HOLMES: That is out of control. Oh, that is --

NGUYEN: This is crazy.

HOLMES: That's the disturbing part you were talking about. That's disturbing.

NGUYEN: Yes, definitely. Where's Biden? I don't see Biden.

HOLMES: All right. The viral video here, one of the latest out there, political dance off putting together -- put together actually by the people at the mini movie channel. You can go online and check out the rest of this thing. And as you can see, it's hilarious.

NGUYEN: They both have some serious moves. Unfortunately, it's not them.

OK, so cab drivers, they're talkative, especially around the election. You know, they have their opinions and opinions is what we can expect this time of year, especially with this big election taking place in less -- what, 10 days from now. HOLMES: Ten days from now now, but first, "HOUSE CALL" with the man who also has some pretty fancy dance moves, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. It's coming up for you right now.