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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
John McCain in Denial About Polls; Did Local TV Anchor Try to Sandbag Biden?; San Francisco Voter to Decide on Legalized Prostitution
Aired October 27, 2008 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JANE VELEZ MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, with just eight days to go until the election, does Sarah Palin already have her sights set on 2012? Some claim Palin has a lot in common with a rogue elephant. Has she gone rogue?
Then, more reports surface that the McCain campaign is cracking up. But you wouldn`t know it from his interview on "Meet the Press."
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Those polls consistently show me much further behind than they actually are.
VELEZ MITCHELL: Also, the latest on the tragedy of Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson. How did this brutal attack happen? We`ll have the latest details.
And a local TV anchor goes after Joe Biden.
BARBARA WEST, TV ANCHOR: Aren`t you embarrassed? How is Senator Obama not being a Marxist?
SEN. JOE BIDEN (D-DE), VICE-PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Are you joking? Is this a joke?
VELEZ MITCHELL: Were her questions fair, or more along the lines of gotcha journalism?
You think you`ve got issues? We`ve got more.
VELEZ MITCHELL: Hello, everyone. Welcome to "Issues," and we`ve got issues. And I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell. We`re here to discuss them.
We`re only eight days from election day. Eight days. Wow! It is hard to believe, considering it feels like eight years since this campaign began, as the clock ticks down.
The polls going up, for one candidate anyway. CNN`s poll of polls shows Obama leading McCain nationally by eight full points and maintaining leads in important battleground states like -- let`s see -- Ohio, Nevada, Florida, Missouri, Virginia, all states President Bush won in 2004.
Most agree the polls paint a grim picture for John McCain. But one person disagrees: John McCain.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCAIN: I don`t agree with their conclusion that I`m 11 or 12 or 14 points. Whatever it is. We have polls, including I think a Zogby poll, showing us three or four points behind. So if you want to continue to refer to a poll that I disagree with, I have to start out with our conversation saying I don`t agree with that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ MITCHELL: OK, so he doesn`t agree with the polls. So what polls do you trust, John McCain? Try polling your own campaign operatives. Many of them acknowledge you are in hot water, in big trouble.
Here`s my issue: John McCain is in denial. The McCain campaign is imploding, but he`s acting like it`s sunshine and lollipops. There are more and more reports that there are rising tensions in the campaign. The press reported this weekend V.P. choice Sarah Palin is going rogue and defying her handlers. Oh, my gosh. A McCain adviser called her a diva who takes no advice from anyone.
The tensions are obvious, people, and it may very well be the final nail in the coffin for McCain`s presidential run.
Now McCain has already been accused of being erratic. He`s been accused of being irritable. We can add one more to that list: in denial.
Joining me now, Joe Hicks from Community Advocates and conservative commentator for Pajamas TV, and Princella Smith, the chief advocate at American Solutions.
Princella, let`s start with you. Sarah Palin clearly going rogue. Some are calling it the Palin insurgency. Do you really think that she thinks the way she is handling herself in this campaign sets her up to run for president in 2012?
PRINCELLA SMITH, CHIEF ADVOCATE, AMERICAN SOLUTIONS: Well, this is precisely where I think that people are getting bored. I don`t know if the media is bored or I don`t know if people are bored. This election, you said it right at the top of the segment, has gone on entirely too long and I think people are look for stories.
Look, this happens every -- every election cycle there is always tension between the VP team and presidential team. I don`t know how much of this is even true, but I do know that this is not what the American people care about and they`re more concerned with what is the state of the country going to be in 2012, by the time we get to 2012? And they`re worried about voting now as opposed to who`s going to be at the top of the ticket on 2012.
So I`ll be honest with you: I don`t really know and I don`t think people really care.
VELEZ MITCHELL: I think people actually do care, because they are fascinated, Joe Hicks, with Sarah Palin. And, you know, they say hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. I think she feels she got the shaft from the whole McCain team, that they rolled her out the wrong way. She`s annoyed.
And she`s like, hey, you know, I`m worried about No. 1, meaning Sarah Palin and this if this ticket`s going down. I`m just going to jump off that sinking ship. I`m going to plan for 2012. I`m going to position myself as the leader of the party. And I think she`s planning on doing that. I think she feels that she can sort of disengage and disconnect from McCain, let him sink and swim away.
JOE HICKS, PAJAMAS TV: Listen, this woman`s trying to win an election. I think Princella is right here. You know, she`s trying to figure out what works on the campaign stump, and they`re trying to find themes that connect with voters.
So this notion that somehow she`s a rogue out there, operating on her own, listen, come on. There`s no doubt the national media has been in the tank for Barack Obama from the jump on this.
VELEZ MITCHELL: Please, please, please.
HICKS: Present company excepted.
VELEZ MITCHELL: Oh, come on.
HICKS: Liberal media bias...
VELEZ MITCHELL: When the whole Reverend Wright thing was happening, everybody actually had the opposite view. And they were like everybody is beating up on Obama, because all we`re doing is playing the Reverend Wright clips over and over again, which we did for weeks and weeks.
So it`s a timing issue. He got his bad news out of the way early. But the fact is, you can`t say she`s not a rogue. I mean, she has done roguish things. She held an impromptu news conference on the tarmac at a Colorado airport, where her handlers were trying to basically shut her up, telling the media, thank you, thank you, thank you. And she just kept right on talking.
And not -- you know, on top of that, OK, she`s criticized the robocalls that McCain`s camp is heavily invested in. She says they irritate her. I happen to agree with her on that. But she`s not sticking with the campaign program.
And finally, she said that she was upset that they pulled out of Michigan, and that was another thing that was basically -- just basically sassing John McCain. She`s like a teenager. She`s like a teenager.
HICKS: That is Sarah Palin, though.
VELEZ MITCHELL: Go ahead.
HICKS: That is Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin -- Sarah Palin is a strong woman. She -- that`s -- you know, she comes out of Alaska, where she was - - has a sort of an independent streak in her. And I think that`s what I think is great about her. I think the campaign to try to keep her muzzled and on some little narrow track.
And yes, she`s going to break out of that. Because I think that`s not the natural way she connects with voters. And I think they controlled her far too much. That`s not the sign of a rogue, though. That`s the sign of her trying to figure out how she can be as effective as she can be and finding out the things that work.
VELEZ MITCHELL: McCain -- McCain people called her a diva. Said she listens to no one.
SMITH: People first accused this woman of only being on a script from this campaign. And I just -- I`m so amused that how all of a sudden, OK, is she only on script from the campaign or is she only on her own script?
Like this -- again, none of this makes any sense. People just need to let people campaign as it goes. It`s just the last eight days.
VELEZ MITCHELL: I think damned if you do, damned if you don`t. I agree with you on that. Yes, and we`ve all been in that position. Hang on for 30 seconds. We`re going to be right back.
VELEZ MITCHELL: OK, we`re discussing the McCain campaign and rogue Sarah Palin. Also joining in now, Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons.
You know, I`ve got to say that you`re right. I think she is in a "damned if you do, damned if you don`t" position. Jamal, we were talking to the conservatives there, and they`re saying basically nobody is cutting Sarah a break.
I have to say, I`m going to cut her a break on something. I want you to listen to this, but first I want to say I pretty much don`t agree with Sarah Palin on anything. I mean, I don`t believe in teaching creationism in public schools. I don`t believe in the aerial hunting of wolves. I don`t believe that polar bears should be taken off the endangered species list. I don`t believe in teaching abstinence only.
But I do think that perhaps she is the victim of sexism. These are the -- some of the attacks on her. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELISABETH HASSELBECK, CO-HOST, ABC`S "THE VIEW": Instead of the issues, they are focused, fixated on her wardrobe. This is deliberately sexist.
GOV. SARAH PALIN (R-AK), VICE-PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: This whole thing with the wardrobe. You know, I tried to just ignore it, because it`s so ridiculous. But I`m glad now that Elisabeth brought it up, because it gives me an opportunity, without the filter of the media, to get to tell you the whole clothes thing.
Those clothes, they are not my property, just like the lighting and the staging and everything else that the RNC purchased. I`m not taking them with me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ MITCHELL: I have to say that was her most endearing moment, Jamal Simmons. I mean, she has a point. She`s just -- and that was, of course, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, the one in the green, from "The View," who`s now campaigning with her.
But you know, she`s given these outfits. She`s just been picked as a vice-presidential choice and she`s got a lot on her mind. And people come up and say, "Here, wear this. You`re going to be going here, there, and everywhere." And she doesn`t necessarily really think about it and all of a sudden she`s being attacked for having these $150,000 wardrobe.
I kind of do feel that there is a little bit of sandbagging here. And I think -- you know who sandbagged her? Jamal, I think the RNC sandbagged her by not thinking it through before they bought her all those fancy outfits.
JAMAL SIMMONS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yes, I think the place to start looking to point fingers is at the RNC. I mean, they`re the ones -- John McCain is the one who picked someone that he didn`t really know very well, who wasn`t really prepared to be vice president, apparently in policy or in wardrobe. They had to really kind of put her whole package together.
The reality is that, when you look at this issue of clothes, if they had spent $150,000 on John McCain`s wardrobe and they reported that put in their finance report, we`d be talking about. We already talked about John McCain`s shoes when, I think, he had these $900 pair of Ferragamos or something that he was wearing, something like that. So there may be some sexism, just like there`s racism that exists sometimes.
But I don`t think that she`s not popular because of sexism. She`s not popular because people don`t think she should be president of the United States.
VELEZ MITCHELL: That`s exactly right, Princella. Listen, she`s saying basically she didn`t blink when she was offered the VP spot. Maybe she should have blinked. We know she knows how to wink.
But I mean, hasn`t she essentially dumbed down this campaign with all the Joe the plumbers and the Tito the builders and the -- you know what I`m calling my dog now? I`m calling her Foxy the fetcher, and I calling my mother Mom the kvetcher. I mean, I am just -- just -- it`s like "Romper Room." What`s going on with this campaign?
SMITH: Well, let me be Princella the communicator for a second. And let`s go with this. It`s interesting you bring up Joe the plumber, because honestly, at the end of the day, I don`t think the American people care about what Sarah Palin has on.
And this is what they care about, OK? This is what the voters are thinking about. What`s going to happen every 2008? OK. Interesting statements were made by Steny Hoyer and Nancy Pelosi about a week and a half ago. They said we will have to start making some harsh decisions.
I`m very curious to know what those harsh decisions mean. Do they mean that we`re going to finally cut the capital gains tax? Do these harsh decisions mean that money is going to go to left-wing groups like ACORN? Does this mean that $300 more billion dollars is going to go to help people like ACORN?
VELEZ MITCHELL: I -- I hear what you`re saying, Princella.
SMITH: I`m sorry. I just -- We can`t entertain this triviality.
VELEZ MITCHELL: Well, we are entertaining it. Because you know what? I mean, and I want you guys to stay right there and hang in, because we`re going to be back with some more of this fun stuff.
But, you know, the problem with talking about all that stuff is that it`s very hard to make sense of it. I mean, when I was watching the debates, you know, there was wildly different estimates of what yearly health premiums are for the average American. So, you know, you can`t really make sense of all of the stuff they`re saying. And that`s why some of this stuff rises to the top. This is what people are also interested in. We have to discuss it, because it reflects on character.
With the election just days away, a new scandal focuses on media behavior. Did Democratic vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden get mugged during an interview with an ABC affiliate, and was the anchor lady trying to sandbag him? Or was she doing a bang-up job? Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: Are you joking? Is this a joke?
BIDEN: Is that a real question?
WEST: That`s a question.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ MITCHELL: That`s just the beginning. I`m going to show you how the rest went down.
And this is an awful story. Dreamgirl Jennifer Hudson is really living a nightmare tonight. The very latest on her horrific family tragedy, straight ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WEST: Aren`t you embarrassed by the blatant attempts to register phony voters by ACORN, an organization that Barack Obama has been tied to in the past?
BIDEN: I am not embarrassed by it. We are not tied to it. We`ve not paid them one single penny to register a single solitary voter. We have the best get-out-the-vote operation in modern American history. We`ve registered the voters ourselves, and so there is no relationship.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ MITCHELL: Well that lady sounded a little angry, didn`t she? That was just one testy exchange between Democratic vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden and a local TV anchor in Florida who got so under Biden`s skin that he asked her if the interview was a joke and wondered aloud, "Who is writing her questions?"
Some are saying the anchor, Barbara West, was biased. Others claim the questions were tough but fair.
The Obama camp has said Biden`s interviewer was, quote, "both combative and woefully uninformed about simple facts," end quote.
So is this gotcha journalism or fair game? And where is that line between bias and tough questions?
Joining me now to help me find some answers, Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons; Joe Hicks from Community Advocate, a conservative commentator for Pajamas TV; and Princella Smith, chief advocate at American Solutions.
Princella, let me start with you. I`m not going to hold back on this one, because I used to be a local TV news anchor for years and years, and they were always calling me into the office and saying, "Don`t put any spin on the ball."
Once again, for emphasis, this woman, Barbara West, is a local news anchor. She`s not hosting an opinion show on cable TV like this. We all know local news is a totally different animal. They`re supposed to be objective. I can be opinionated, because this show is an opinion show. Either she should get her own cable show or she should leave her personal opinions at home out of the questioning.
She sandbagged Biden. Yes, no? I say yes.
SMITH: I`m going to have to say no, in the sense that I believe that she asked tough questions. There is nothing wrong with asking tough questions about things that people are going around and advocating for and questioning about.
Look, the truth of the matter is that 3-1, Americans are against what is being called redistribution of wealth, but I guess more plainly is being called someone taking your money and giving it to other people.
VELEZ MITCHELL: Princella, I have -- you know what...
SMITH: I don`t think it`s against the rules to ask a question. And she did. People are not asking the Obama camp questions.
VELEZ MITCHELL: They are not saying that there is a redistribution of wealth. Every form of taxation, what you do is you take money from a taxpayer and you redistribute it. So this whole Marxism argument is...
VELEZ MITCHELL: And we`re going to listen to the sound bite in a second about that Marxism argument that -- and the question she was asking. But let me say first I think -- and Jamal, help me out on this one. Every single form of taxation is a form of wealth redistribution in some way, shape, or form.
SIMMONS: Let`s just get right to it. We just actually did a big redistribution of wealth. We took $700 billion from taxpayers.
VELEZ MITCHELL: Exactly.
SIMMONS: And we distributed it to Wall Street firms.
SMITH: And it was absolutely wrong. It was absolutely wrong.
SIMMONS: But we said it was necessary. And it was agreed upon by Republicans, Democrats alike.
The point here is that that is what happened. These questions weren`t just tough. I think Barack Obama and John McCain -- Barack Obama and Joe Biden are willing to take tough questions. These questions were absurd. This was as if she was reading off of a right-wing blog. Not even the RNC. This is like a right-wing blog attack sheet that she was asking these questions from.
VELEZ MITCHELL: Well, guys...
HICKS: Come on, guys.
VELEZ MITCHELL: Another example I want you to listen to for one second.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WEST: You may recognize this famous quote: "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs." That`s from Karl Marx. How is Senator Obama not being a Marxist if he intends to spread the wealth around?
BIDEN: Are you joking? Is this a joke?
BIDEN: Is that a real question?
WEST: That`s a question.
BIDEN: He is not spreading the wealth around. He`s talking about giving the middle class an opportunity to get back the tax breaks they used to have.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ MITCHELL: Joe Hicks, she gives it away. She`s angry, and she`s actually hostile.
HICKS: I don`t think so at all. Come on, guys. Listen, I`m probably the only one on this show that can speak with any real authority here. I am a former Marxist, so I -- when I hear the kind of language. Yes. When I hear the kind of language...
VELEZ MITCHELL: Well, you`re going to get a spanking then, because Marxists are in trouble this week.
HICKS: That Barack Obama -- well, they should be in trouble. When I hear this kind of language -- income distribution, spreading the wealth around -- everyone who`s a communist or Marxist knows what that means.
Now, am I arguing that Obama is a socialist? No, I`m not making that argument. It was a fair question for this reporter to ask, though, given that Barack Obama is angry (ph).
VELEZ MITCHELL: You know, she interviewed McCain, and she had a totally different attitude. She was all friendly and -- and...
SMITH: OK. Do we really want to go through the media and talk about their attitudes?
HICKS: It wasn`t her opinion. It wasn`t opinion. This was a question that...
VELEZ MITCHELL: Please come back, all of you. I love this panel. Please come back.
Prostitution may be the world`s oldest profession. San Francisco voters could give it some new life by making it legal. Stay right there.
VELEZ MITCHELL: On election day, voters will have a lot more to think about than just those candidates we`ve been talking about. Tis the season for ballot initiatives. We`re going to be looking at some of the most controversial all week long.
Tonight, we head to San Francisco. Definitely not your average American city. For example, their S&M fair draws more than 400,000 tourists, and a big-time porn producer has taken up shop in a former armory.
But is the City by the Bay ready for legalized prostitution? That`s what we`re talking about here, folks. San Francisco could become the first major American city to decriminalize prostitution if voters approve Prop K, as in Kryptonite, a measure that would prevent local authorities from investigating, arresting, or prosecuting anyone for selling sex.
CNN`s Thelma Gutierrez has the scoop.
THELMA GUTIERREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In San Francisco, the City by the Bay, where the sex trade is underground and sex workers live in the shadows, the oldest profession may soon become effectively decriminalized, with new protections for prostitutes. It`s called Proposition K.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Prop K calls on the police to enforce the laws against violence, coercion, rape and other areas against sex workers.
GUTIERREZ: Layla is a sex worker. She describes herself as an escort who works in the peep show clubs.
"LAYLA", SEX WORKER: If Proposition K passes, sex workers won`t be such easy targets anymore, because we`ll be able to go to the police if we are harmed by a customer.
GUTIERREZ: Layla says once she was assaulted by a client but found it difficult to pursue a complaint. She says sex workers are afraid to go to police, because they might get arrested themselves or won`t be taken seriously.
She says Proposition K would decriminalize sex work and allow police to go after real criminals, which would save the city more than $11 million. That`s how much it costs to investigate and prosecute prostitution cases.
KAMALA HARRIS, SAN FRANCISCO DISTRICT ATTORNEY: It is a mistake to think that prostitution is a victimless crime. Quite the contrary.
GUTIERREZ: San Francisco attorney Kamala Harris is against Prop K, because it will open the flood gates to sex tourism, more prostitution, drugs and crime, especially in poor neighborhoods.
HARRIS: It is not just simply what`s happening between consenting adults in the privacy of their home. It`s what`s happening on the street corner that is plaguing the neighborhood. And attracting more crime, that is threatening the safety of that neighborhood.
GUTIERREZ: If passed, Prop K would put an end to the investigation, arrest and prosecution of prostitutes. Harris says that would have a terrible impact on human trafficking cases.
HARRIS: Proposition K would cut off our ability to begin those investigations into what is really, the modern-day slave trade in this country, human trafficking.
LAYLA: We absolutely want to see human traffickers prosecuted. This -- this law actually calls for increased prosecution of violent crimes against sex workers. Whatever they`re doing right now by arresting a lot of sex workers to find the big fish, it isn`t working. San Francisco has not made one trafficking prosecution in the last two years.
GUTIERREZ: Layla says if prostitution is decriminalized, sex workers could become allies to the police. But opponents say Prop K gives free reign to pimps and johns and sends the wrong message to the world.
Thelma Gutierrez, CNN, Los Angeles.
VELEZ MITCHELL: All right. We`re going to keep an eye on San Francisco and tell you more strange issues being taken to the voters. Every day this week, another proposition.
Stay right there. We`ve got more.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Welcome back to "ISSUES". I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell.
This next story - beyond comprehension; Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson`s mother and brother were found shot to death in their Southside Chicago home on Friday. At that time, seven-year-old -- seven-year-old Julian King, Hudson`s nephew, was missing from his bedroom. But the family was still holding out hope that somehow he was alive.
Well, this morning, that hope was dashed. Julian King`s body was found on a white SUV on Chicago`s Southside where police had been searching.
Three people are now dead in this awful tragedy and so far we`ve heard about one suspect. Amy Paffrath is the host of E News now. Amy, there was a news conference just a little while ago; tell us what is the very latest?
AMY PAFFRATH, HOST, E! NEWS: Well, the very latest is that Jennifer Hudson and about seven family members and friends went down and did identify that body to be Julian King. So it tragically was the body of her seven-year-old nephew. That`s about all, right now. There has been no weapon recovered. No one has been formally charged.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, I have to say this is -- it`s so, so upsetting to see a woman like Jennifer Hudson, who pulls herself up from her boot straps, who was discovered on "American Idol" she is not the off spring of some Hollywood insider. This is a woman who came from the streets of Chicago and made it on her own merit. Bursting out of "American Idol" then really just captivating the world on "Dream Girls."
And then to have this happen to her; take her right back down to the streets that she escaped. It`s got to be a triple blow to her; in that sense.
PATHLOT: It`s definitely a tremendous blow to Jennifer Hudson. Her career was on fire right now. She has a film out on "The Secret Life of Bees." She was getting ready to start a world tour to promote her new album "Spotlight".
So for this to happen in the middle of all that is just enormously traumatic from her, it has to be. And how she`s going to recover from this? I mean, we`ll find out in the weeks to come.
But everybody`s thoughts and prayers are with her. Hollywood definitely has an outpouring of support going towards her. Randy Jackson released a statement. Barack Obama released a statement to her family.
So the support is there. It`s just an awful thing to happen to her. A star on the rise and like you said she did it all herself. She went through the ranks; she wasn`t dependent on a family member helping her out or by her good looks. She really worked hard to get where she is. And this is just awful that this has happened to her in the middle of an enormous career.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And this is a huge mess. The suspect is the husband of Jennifer Hudson`s sister. And he is a suspect in the initial two murders of Jennifer Hudson`s mother and brother, but not yet a suspect in the murder of the child.
They were married. They were separated, they were planning on getting divorced. This is the guy who is in jail now, and do we have any expectation of when he might be charged with the two initial murders?
PAFFRATH: Well, there is actually nothing coming out about that. They are holding him as a person of interest, which is basically the same thing as a suspect. They`re just not putting that term on him just yet.
There were multiple gunshots to Julian King that the "Chicago Tribune" is reporting. So they are testing the clothing of Williams to see if it matches some of the gunshot blasts.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: This boy was shot inside the vehicle. Imagine the terror this seven-year-old boy went through. He`s apparently in the house when the mother, Jennifer Hudson`s mother and brother are shot. So those are his close relatives and then he`s yanked from the house, taken God only knows where and then shot in the back of this SUV.
I mean, that has to be -- this is a seven-year-old boy. It is beyond comprehension. The sadism and the violence involved in this crime, that we`re talking about motive. What possible motive could have you for killing three people? It`s beyond comprehension.
Amy, thank you. I want to tell you, that authorities are looking in one direction at the moment as we`ve been talking; the estranged husband of the Oscar-winning actress`s sister, 27-year-old William Balfour.
Balfour is being held as a suspect and has been transferred to an Illinois state facility in the system because he violated his parole for a 1999 attempted murder conviction. That`s right. This guy is a big-time loser.
Pat Brown, you were a criminal profiler.
We are talking about somebody who possibly killed three members of his family. Now, you know, we have total compassion for the relatives of those who died, but we have to say this suspect, William Balfour, was convicted of attempted murder several years ago.
Julia Hudson, Jennifer`s sister, married him two years ago. There is a cautionary tale here and I`m suggesting that tale is if somebody goes to prison for almost seven years for attempted murder, please do not let them into your life, because this is precisely what can happen.
PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Well, I`m with you there, Jane. I mean we have Jennifer Hudson made some great choices in her life, and unfortunately, her sister made some really bad choices in her life.
Yes, she hooked up with a violent, psychopathic criminal. For whatever reasons women do these things, because he was cute, because he said sweet things and Julia made an interesting comment. She says, my little boy didn`t deserve this, and he didn`t deserve to die like that. The sad thing that women don`t understand is that little boy doesn`t deserve to have a step father in their life that are criminals.
So you`ve got to keep those guys out of you kid`s life because you know they repeat their behaviors, psychopaths don`t change. So you bring that guy into your child`s life and then he starts trouble between and you him and then he decides to come back and takes it all out on your entire family which is exactly probably what happened.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you`re absolutely right, and of course, we do not know. He has not been charged. We want to absolutely emphasize that this man has not been charged yet.
He is considered a suspect in the two initial killings of Jennifer Hudson`s mother and brother, and he is being held right now and they`re trying to figure out his connection to the murder of the seven-year-old nephew, if any.
But we can tell you that his alibi doesn`t add up. The police interviewed his girlfriend and basically there were inconsistencies. So his alibi has holes in it.
And here`s the other fact I want you to analyze for me, Pat. Balfour and Julia, who is Jennifer`s sister had been separated, ok. He had recently threatened to take the boy; the boy who is now dead. He has threatened to take that child away and this is another warning sign that in these intimate partner crimes, there is usually some kind of foreshadowing.
BROWN: Oh, absolutely. And this boy wasn`t even his boy. I think he just wanted to tell Julia that she could not have what she wanted. That he would take things away from her. Her family had thrown him out of the house and then she wasn`t in his life anymore and he was going to take the one thing away that was precious to her.
And if you look back at the crime scene, you have two dead people in the house, but the boy is missing. You know that there`s no home invasion guy who is going to come in there and kill two people and say, oh, let me take the boy with me. That`s not going to happen. That boy is going to be dead in the home.
So this was the whole point of the -- the whole object of this was to get back at Julia to show her who was boss and that she shouldn`t have messed with him, because he was going to end up winning and he apparently did.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And this is the classic profile.
You know people always say, motive, motive, motive. When you`re dealing with somebody who`s capable of doing this, motives are sketchy. Because of the mind of a criminal is very sketchy.
And I have to ask you this Pat, do you think that Jennifer Hudson`s celebrity, her fame, may have played any kind of a role in this?
Because you`re talking about somebody who is obviously going to a chip in their shoulder, resentful, then it turns out that the woman he`s married to, that he`s now separated from has a very famous sister and he feels excluded from this family. That is obviously in some way above him. He`s -- you know, not cut out for this family. So it feeds his sense of low self-esteem.
BROWN: Actually, no. I don`t think it matters at all. I think we`re talking about a psychopath, they just love that power and control. And what he got taken away from him was that that power in the family. Not because of Jennifer Hudson; just because they probably got fed up with dealing with him because he`s a violent psychopath.
They know his true colors came out; he`s not going to stay hidden for very long no matter what he says to them. And they want him away from them and then at that point he`s going to take his revenge.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know you`re right in that, in the sense that these kind of horrific crimes happen every day of the week. The reason we`re talking about it is that a superstar got sucked into this because of family patterns.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But there is an epidemic of violence in this country that we are going to have to deal with. Pat, I want you back to talk about this more.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you so much.
We`ve got more details on the horrific murders of the family members of Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson coming up, immediately following this program.
Nancy Grace will have the latest at 8:00 pm Eastern.
And unfortunately there is more sad news we have to get to tonight, a very popular Arkansas newscaster Anne Pressley brutally beaten to death in her own home has now died. Coming up, we`re going to try to shed some light on how this horror occurred, and who is responsible?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: This story is totally sick.
The community of Little Rock, Arkansas in deep mourning tonight; 26- year-old TV anchor woman, Anne Pressley died from her injuries on Saturday evening, less than a week after a brutal attack in her home.
Joining me with more details is Dana Bradley, a reporter at KARN news radio. Dana thank you and I know this is difficult for you because I know you knew Anne and worked with her at one point. And we`re going to get to that in a second.
But, first, the police have suggested this was random. That maybe perhaps Anne stumbled into a burglary that went horribly wrong. But apparently the victim`s dad is questioning that scenario. There were no signs apparently of forced entry and I have a question about her dogs. Weren`t they let out of the house?
So aren`t there inconsistencies with this theory of random burglary?
DANA BRADLEY, REPORTER KARN NEWS RADIO: Well, the thing is with -- the Little Rock Police Department is still saying -- they are still using the motive as robbery. Now, evidence and -- there was no signs of forced entry and the dogs were out of the house. Were out of the yard, but her neighbors has always said that her dogs always get loose. So that might not be a deciding factor in this case, that the fact that the dogs were actually out. Because that was kind of a common thing for her dogs to run loose in the neighborhood.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know, I was a local news anchor all over the country in small towns in Florida and Minnesota and in Philadelphia. And it`s scary sometimes, because it`s not like the big city where you kind of whisk into a car or you have some protection. I mean, you`re just a person who is on the local news and then you leave the station and everybody in town knows where the station is. And it`s easy for somebody to follow you home.
I mean, in a way, these very, very beautiful young women who were doing this kind of job at a small town are vulnerable, don`t you think?
BRADLEY: Well, you know, and I just came actually from talking with a couple of other TV reporters this afternoon, and a lot of people are scared. We`re all sad and we`re all mourning, but a lot of the female anchors and reporters are scared.
I believe the police department has been speaking with some of them, and kind of just giving them extra tips, saying to look out for ways to be safe. Because was it random or was it something that they`re targeting these people that they see in their living room every day?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You were very close with Anne.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tell us about her. Obviously, she`s beautiful. Obviously she was very intelligent, very successful, highly motivated, extremely popular. But what can you do to give us insight into her personality? Give us the story. Tell us something about her.
BRADLEY: Well, the story I like to share, is -- we worked side by side and I was also her producer on the morning show. So when I would work -- when I would produce the show, I worked overnight and it would be the morning time by the time she came into work.
And the newsroom is tired and we`re dead and it`s quiet and everything, but the second Anne got to work, the second she walked through the door it was like a bright light would just come on and she was just a happy -- she was a sunshine.
I like to say she was an angel walking on earth. Her smile, her personality, and her beauty, you can feel it. You just got a good vibe from her.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, the thing about this random burglary is that even if she`d walked in on it, they didn`t need to beat her to a pulp. I mean, this young woman was pulverized. Her left hand was broken.
That doesn`t track necessarily with somebody stealing a bunch of credit cards. Apparently one of those credit cards was used. Tell us about that.
BRADLEY: Well, first of all, let me back up a little bit. She was found in her bed beaten and unresponsive. Now, if there was a burglary, they must have broke in throughout the night while she was still sleeping and then to her left hand was broken, allegedly from her trying to fight the person back.
Now, about the credit card, that information has seeped out some kind of way. And it was printed in the local paper that one of her credit cards was used at a local gas station right down the street from her home. Now, when I questioned the Little Rock police about this, they would not confirm nor deny it. Because they don`t want to release any information about the investigation as it might be detrimental to the investigation.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you`re saying that there`s sort of a discrepancy. Either she walked in on a burglary already in progress or she was asleep and somebody broke in or got in somehow, because she was found in her bed. Those two don`t really add up?
BRADLEY: Well, the story -- the way the story has been told is that she was found in her bed. We don`t know -- details have not been released if she had on night clothes or if she was up moving around. Those specific details about the investigation, Little Rock police won`t speak to it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I just want to thank you so much. I know this has to be extremely difficult for you, and I hope that everybody in that area and the reporters and the anchors are safe and stay safe. Thank you very much.
BRADLEY: Thank you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, Dana.
Joining me now is Lisa Bloom, attorney and anchor and commentator for Court TV which is now True TV.
Lisa, we have been seeing an outpouring of grief from this community; flowers piling up outside Anne Pressly`s home, she was a very much loved person; and this young woman, this beautiful girl, beaten to a pulp. I mean, just pulverized.
I have to talk to you about the big picture and that is violence against women. I mean, this is just another example of what`s happening every day all across the country. You know it`s not another woman. It`s a man exhibiting violence toward women.
When are we women going to say enough, we`ve had it, we`re marching on Washington, we`re doing something to say this is not acceptable in our society?
LISA BLOOM, ATTORNEY: Well, good for you, Jane. And congratulations on the new show, by the way. You know I`m your biggest fan.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, right back at you.
BLOOM: And I also agree that this is a very disturbing story. Like you, I`ve made my living as a television anchorwoman for a lot of years. And like you, and like every other woman on television, we get a lot of threats, a lot of stalkers.
I hope the police are looking through all of the emails, all of the phone calls that I`m sure she got because she was a beautiful young woman on the air. For members of the community, there`s always a couple of creeps out there who are sending those things and I hope her network was taking those threats seriously.
I hope that all networks take those threats seriously against women on the air. It is different for women on the air than it is for men on the air. Yes, they get the threats, they get the stalkers too, but not anywhere in terms of comparable numbers that women do. And this seems like a very personal attack to me.
She was in her bed, she was found in her bed and if her body was moved to her bed that would be very easy to find out forensically. She was beaten in a very personal kind of way. Bones in her skull, bones in her face, bones in her chest, were broken. So this doesn`t sound like an ordinary robbery to me.
And I agree with you this is a very, very disturbing case.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, you know, you brought it up. Because you`ve done that local news stuff as I did and you do get threats.
It`s a small town, so everybody knows exactly where you are. There`s nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. Do you buy the idea that this was a random burglary?
BLOOM: Well, I don`t, based on what we know. I should also say that Anne Pressly, may she rest in peace, also did what I recommend women everywhere do when they live alone and that is have big, barking dogs that often will protect you.
Many criminals say they`ll go to a house with big, barking dogs, they`ll move on to the next house if it`s just a random robbery. So if somebody got past the dogs or the dogs were loose that indicates to me perhaps somebody that knew her and that knew the dogs and the dogs would be friendly with that person and wouldn`t necessarily bark and alert neighbors.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, Lisa, stay right there. We`re going to come back to you in just a moment with more on this horrific story.
You know, with the world in the shape it`s in, it`s easy to be jaded and cynical and bitter. And that`s why it`s kind of nice to find a story that shows people can be extra-loving under extraordinary circumstances.
Manuel Uribe is used to people staring at him, he is known as the world`s heaviest man. He hasn`t left his bed in more than six years. He once tipped the scales at over 1,200 pounds. But yesterday Manuel was the center of attention for another reason. He married his long-time girlfriend. Both bride and groom dressed in silk.
Many guests watched him and he says he is losing weight -- now he has already lost 500 pounds -- because he found love. And let`s hope he gets even healthier with this new bride, even more fit, loses even more weight. I think that would be the best wedding present of all.
We`ll be back in it just a moment.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m back with more on the tragic beating death of Anne Pressly. TruTV`s Lisa Bloom joins me again.
And we`re talking about the fact that it just doesn`t quite add up, this idea of a random burglary with no signs of forced entry with the two dogs out running. And then we had this wrinkle, Lisa. She had a small role as a conservative commentator in the new Oliver Stone movie, "W." I happened to see that this weekend, a fantastic movie.
BLOOM: Yes, I saw it, too.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And she was great, wasn`t she?
BLOOM: Yes, she was great and, by the way, I liked the movie, overall for whatever that`s worth. I don`t want to jump to any conclusions that there is some kind of political motive.
I hope nobody confused her with Ann Coulter. She was playing an Ann Coulter like role. She was acting. She wasn`t actually that person. So hopefully that`s not what was involved here.
But I think that what`s going to be key to this case is looking at what kind of threats may have been made, what kind of creepy e-mails she surely did get as a gorgeous local anchorwoman from members of the community. That`s surely what people have to be tracking down right now, Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you know, her family is such a class act. Through all of this, they are deciding to donate Ann`s organs to charity. You and I see it all the time. These victims of these unimaginable, horrific crimes, and still, they keep their dignity through all of it when the rest of us are in a rage.
BLOOM: Absolutely. Can you imagine, your 26-year-old daughter, sister, loved one, and she`s really at the top of her game, her career is clearly taking off.
You know, Oliver Stone himself handpicked her for the role in the movie. Of she was there covering the fact that the movie was being made. He picked her out because he thought she looked like Ann Coulter. And she could play that kind of a role and she got the role; a big break for her. I think this young woman really would have been going places.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you know, we have to get back to this issue of violence against women, especially against beautiful women, young women, defenseless women. What are we going to do about this, because if women were killing men at this rate, you know they would have us all on Prozac and locked up somewhere.
BLOOM: I hear you, Jane. And it is a problem. Of course, crime overall is down and that`s a good thing and that includes rape, that includes sexual assault. This is not a sexual assault.
Although the fact that she was found in her bed and beaten indicates to me that perhaps it was an intended sexual assault. Also the fact that her left hand shows defensive injury shows that perhaps she was trying to fight somebody off.
And a lot of sexual assaults are not concluded. Somebody may attempt a sexual assault and they`re not able to complete the act.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We have to end it there. Thank you for your incredible observations.
You know, there two kinds of conversations. One that happens on TV, the other happens everywhere else.
I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell and I`m just trying to keep it real. Thanks for being part of this.
Thanks to Lisa Bloom. I hope she comes back and joins us again.
Please come back tomorrow for some more real "ISSUES."