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CNN NEWSROOM

Palin Holds News Conference; Interview With Ted Turner

Aired November 13, 2008 - 15:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Coming at you right now: The GOP's rock star, she holds her first news conference.

GOV. SARAH PALIN (R), ALASKA: Well, it is not my formal press conference. That is what I have been doing in the state of Alaska for years.

SANCHEZ: But it goes over not so well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's have one more question. Who you want?

SANCHEZ: Texas Governor Rick Perry to the rescue. You will see it for yourself.

Speaking of rescues, GM says just, give us a loan. Should we?

MARK FOLEY (R), FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN: Oh, sorry. I apologize. I don't even want to be crying on set.

SANCHEZ: Foley breaks down. Now he is the victim.

And Ted Haggard's bombshell. Also a victim?

What you are talking about on the air, on the Web, lunchtime in Seattle, 3:00 in D.C., this national conversation, your newscast begins now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ: And hello again, everybody. I'm Rick Sanchez from the world headquarters of CNN.

It does appear at this point that we do have some breaking news to share with you. It does not look like Congress is going to be able to muster enough support to do any kind of bailout or loan to GM or the big three autos.

Let's do this. Let's go over to Kate Bolduan. She has been getting that information. She's sharing wit it with us now. Kate, what have you got?

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Rick.

Well, this is part of a developing story, definitely not the end result, but we have been talking a lot about congressional Democrats pushing this legislation to help the auto industry. Well, one top Senate Democrat may be pulling back a bit.

Chris Dodd, he is a top Senate Democrat on the Banking Committee, he said today that there's virtually no Republican support for this bill. And he says, in light of that, Democrats should consider holding off pushing this legislation until an Obama administration comes in. Listen here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CHRISTOPHER DODD (D), CONNECTICUT: I, one, would like to see us do something. Right now, I don't think the votes -- I don't know of a single Republican who is willing to support -- and you have heard Senator Shelby publicly speak out on his opposition to doing anything in the automotive area.

So, I would want to be careful about bringing up a proposition that might fail in light of the fact the authority exists and under an Obama administration, there seems to be a greater willingness to deal with the issue.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: Now, Senator Dodd mentioning Senator Shelby. He is the top Republican in the Banking Committee. He put out a very blunt statement saying simply that the struggling auto industry is not a national problem. It's their own problem because of their own mistakes.

Now, it is important to point out that the top spokesman for the top Republican in the Senate, Senator Mitch McConnell, insists that Republicans are in interested, are fact willing to help the auto industry, but just not in the way that Democrats are -- the Democrats are proposing, which is using money that was originally designed to help the financial industry -- Rick.

SANCHEZ: Kate Bolduan, thanks so much for that update.

Breaking news once again for those of you joining us, it does not appear that Congress is going to be able to bail out or give a loan as those in the auto industry prefer to help out the big three, GM, and Chrysler and Ford.

Joining us now is someone who knows an awful lot about this type of business. He is Ted Turner. He has got a new book out. In fact, it's called "Call Me Ted." Ted Turner, thanks so much for being with us, sir. We appreciate it.

TED TURNER, FOUNDER OF CNN: It's good to be here.

SANCHEZ: You look at this, and you almost look like it's the Republicans who are trying to be the populists, because I get on my Twitter board or MySpace or Facebook that we see here in front of me, and almost everyone has a consensus that they don't want the government to give these guys the $25 billion. Are they right?

TURNER: I am not absolutely sure, but my gut tells me that bailing out -- I am not in favor of the government bailing out anybody. I am not in favor of it, but it may be necessary. I'm not an economist. I'm a businessman. And I made a lot of money, but I just barely can read a balance sheet.

(LAUGHTER)

TURNER: And besides that, with Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers and all of the investment bankers who are supposed to be your adviser, they all went broke. If your adviser -- who are we supposed to get our advice from?

And then Hank Paulson, our treasury secretary, who is one of the smartest guys in the country, he changes his mind every couple of days about what we're going to do with the $700 million, right? Didn't he just change it yesterday?

SANCHEZ: He did.

TURNER: So, I am confused. And I think most of the American people are confused. And what's more, I think the Congress is confused, too.

SANCHEZ: When people look at the auto industry, GM, and Ford and Chrysler, they say, you have gotten a lot of money in the past. Some would say they have not been managed very well.

(CROSSTALK)

TURNER: Well, they should have been building small cars a long time ago.

SANCHEZ: That is the point.

(CROSSTALK)

TURNER: Fifteen years ago, I knew this was coming, you know. Just like when I saw the first digital camera, I said, sell Kodak short -- they were in the film business -- because it was clear that digital was going to wipe film off the map. And it has.

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: It is reason enough not to reward them, the fact that they didn't see...

TURNER: Reward them?

SANCHEZ: Reward -- is it reason enough not to reward them, given that they did not see this coming?

TURNER: I don't think we should reward them. I don't think the government should reward anybody. You get rewarded by doing a good job and earning your money, not by being given it by the taxpayer.

And the unions -- as I understand it, the unions -- workers in the automobile industry make more than the average American. So, it will be the middle class bailing out the wealthy. That is crazy. And that is what has happened with some of that money. You know that some of those investment bankers are taking some of the money they got and throwing big parties with it.

SANCHEZ: And you -- when you put this company together, as the founder of CNN...

TURNER: We didn't have any money.

SANCHEZ: ... did you ever ask for any?

TURNER: No. I didn't even think about it.

SANCHEZ: Really?

TURNER: I wouldn't even think about it.

In fact, when the government of the United States was a little short, they could not pay their dues to the U.N., I gave $32 million. I just wrote a check to the State Department and gave it to them, and they took it and cashed it and paid the dues to the U.N.

SANCHEZ: That's interesting, just the opposite.

TURNER: You got it.

SANCHEZ: Ted Turner, thanks for coming in here. We appreciate it, the founder of CNN.

TURNER: That is right.

SANCHEZ: All right, we have got breaking news coming in to us now.

Let's go ahead and share that with our viewers, if we possibly can. Michael, this is from WESH. This is WESH TV. They're a CNN affiliate. They're out of Orlando. And here we go.

Divers are searching for a sign of Caylee Anthony have found a plastic bag with toys and small bones weighted down by bricks, bounty hunter Leonard Padilla has reported, inside of the bag -- again, breaking news coming into us. Thanks so much. I appreciate that, Andreas (ph).

Captain Nieves with the Orange County Sheriff's Office says now that they will not comment on the discovery made by the divers today. Orlando affiliates are reporting that a bag has been found in a river with toys and possibly with bones. He says a supervisor from their department is on the scene where the toys were found to assess the situation.

Let me just bring you a little bit more information on what came out of this original report. Johnny, you over my shoulder? It says, there was also a shamrock, which Padilla said was a favorite symbol of Casey Anthony, a shamrock which was also a favorite symbol of Casey Anthony. Again, this is part of the original report. You are looking at video from time to time there as well of her mother, who has been embroiled in this controversy for quite some time, with accusations that she may have been involved in the disappearance of her daughter. Her mother has been held several times in jail for other charges, not related to this particular case. Police have not been able to file charges on her on this up to that.

Now, let me tell you what else it is saying. The bag, police say, was held under water by two bricks, which may be telling in and of itself. The FBI has now called -- has been called, I should say. And the Orange County Sheriff's Office has confirmed that it is now heading to the scene.

So, there you have it, certainly information that would lead some to believe that there may be a break in the case of little Caylee Anthony, as this information comes forward. And you can bet that we're going to be all over this throughout the course of this hour. We're going to try and get our own Mike Brooks on the phone to see what information he can share with us.

We're also going to be trying to make contact with some of our affiliates, like WESH TV in Orlando, to see what they can share with us as well. And as we get the information, we will bring it to you in just a moment.

Going back now on what we are going to be following for you, as we told you earlier on, Sarah Palin gave one of the first news conferences that she has given to reporters, and some are describing it as something of a strange event, almost like watching a Fellini film, as she gave a speech to the governors who were also there, wondering which direction their party is now going in.

We will have that for you in just a minute. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: Welcome back.

We do have breaking news to tell you about. It appears that there may be, may be, not yet confirmed by the higher authorities, the police departments there or the sheriff's office that is investigating the story, but it does appear there may be a break in the disappearance of Caylee Anthony.

You know, Casey Anthony, her mother, has been under suspicion for quite some time after her daughter's disappearance. She had been, as I mentioned earlier, jailed several times for different charges. Now she is actually being held, Casey Anthony is, in the Orange County jail, awaiting trial on first-degree murder and other charges.

Prosecutors say she did kill her daughter, who has not been seen since June. So, the question is, is this Caylee that they have now found? We are going to be joined in just a moment by Nikki Pierce. She is a radio reporter, by the way, who has been very close to this case and is going to be able to hopefully share some of the nuggets. Let's bring you up to date on what we know now. Divers are searching for a sign of Caylee. They say they have found a plastic bag. And in that plastic bag, there are toys and small bones, and they say that they are weighted down by bricks, this according to one of the searchers there, Leonard Padilla.

He says inside the bag, they found two toys and the bones the size of fingers and toes. This is according to WESH TV, Channel 2 there in the Orlando area. And this is the part that kind of makes you think about this a little bit more. They are also saying that there was a shamrock, which they say that was a favorite symbol of Casey Anthony.

So, who would have placed that in there with her? The bag has also been held under water by the two bricks. Now, we understand that the FBI has also been called. We are looking at some of the pictures of the area.

You can see already how many reporters have been congregating there and have come to the scene as they continue to search for whatever it is they can find that they might be able to then use in the case against her mother, Casey Anthony, if indeed it is confirmed that these are the remains of little Caylee Anthony.

This is a case that goes back to July 9 and 12 of 2008. Casey's parents -- Casey's parents -- Casey tells parents that Caylee has been staying with friends -- that is her mother, Casey, by the way. Police are notified by the disappearance since June 9. Then Casey Anthony is arrested July 16 of 2008.

Searches have been taking place in several of the backyards and the homes. At first, the entire community was involved in this. In fact, there were times when many in the community became resentful, not only at Casey, but at her parents as well, who were trying to keep people out of the area.

It has become a story that really has captivated the entire country, watched on newscasts, like Nancy Grace's, for example, each night to get the very latest details.

And it does now appear that there is a break in the case, although not yet confirmed. We expect that we might be getting a news conference from police any moment now.

But, before we do that, I understand Nikki Pierce is joining us now. She's a radio reporter who has been following this case for quite some time. Nikki, first, bring us up to date on what you know at this point.

NIKKI PIERCE, WDBO REPORTER: I'm sorry. It is difficult to hear. Can you repeat that?

SANCHEZ: Sure. Just bring us up to date, if you would, on what you know about this development.

PIERCE: Oh, sure, absolutely. I am about 10 feet from the river's edge right now, where the divers have been diving all afternoon. About an hour ago, they discovered a stuffed shamrock first under some -- under a tarp of some sort that turned out to be part of a garbage bag and some bricks weighing down that garbage bag, other baby toys, and indeed bones, small bones that look to be finger or toe bones.

We do not have that yet confirmed, but, so far, that is where we are. The diving is continuing. They are sifting through evidence. The FBI is here sifting there the evidence, as is the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

We have no confirmation that this has anything to do with the Caylee Anthony case yet, but they are working on it right now. It is still a very active investigation.

SANCHEZ: What is the distance between this location where you are, this river, and the Anthony home, from which the little girl disappeared, or we assume or it is alleged that she may have disappeared?

PIERCE: Well, it is just a matter of a handful of miles. And we do know from Casey Anthony's cell phone records, the cell phone team, that during the time of Caylee's disappearance that the investigators are focusing on, she was here in this park.

SANCHEZ: I'm wondering, as you look at the scene, what would you -- you are someone who has covered this story for quite some time, and you have probably seen or heard of suspicions and leads like this before. What would lead you the believe at this point, given what you know, that this is really the break in the case that police have been looking for in her disappearance?

PIERCE: Well, again, it has not been confirmed.

SANCHEZ: Right.

PIERCE: But I do have to say there are hundreds of people out here and the investigators have clustered very closely. Something significant here is the stuffed shamrock.

Now, Casey had a tattoo of a shamrock. There was a shamrock sticker of her car, and we know that Caylee had a shamrock-type toy. So, that is making people very concerned in this area, and, of course, the presence of the bones and a garbage bag, we do know that parts of a garbage bag were also found in Casey's trunk.

SANCHEZ: Why has it been so difficult -- and this is the part of the story that really has intrigued so many people. Aside from the daughter's disappearance, which is as horrible as any parent can imagine, there is also the story of to mother, who does not seem to have come clean throughout these episodes. Can you characterize that for our viewers who perhaps have not followed this story?

PIERCE: I have to tell you, it is very, very difficult to understand why Casey Anthony would not come clean and not help the investigation in any way. As you may know, she waited 30 days to even report her daughter missing. And then it was at the behest of her mother, Caylee's grandmother. She has not spoken and has remained silent, even though she has been in jail and under intense pressure to say where Caylee is.

As for the grandparents, Casey's parents, they still steadfastly believe that Caylee is alive and has been taken by someone. And they cannot be shaken from that belief. So, it is very difficult to get any information to the contrary from anyone in that family.

SANCHEZ: How have police been able to charge her with the death or the murder of the daughter if in fact the daughter had not yet been found?

PIERCE: Well, it is a circumstantial case, but a very, very strong one, due to the forensic evidence that was in the trunk of Casey's car when it was discovered.

The stench of human decomposition, it was identified by several investigators and cadaver dogs, along with a stain and some hair that shows signs of decomposition and can be characterized as similar to Caylee's in length and color.

Also, Body Farm, which is a forensic lab in Tennessee that specializes in decomposition, identified the air as having traces of chemicals that only show up during a human decomposition process.

SANCHEZ: By the way, I just want to let our viewers know from a program note standpoint, we are going to be joined by Mike Brooks in just a little bit. He's going to taking us through what police would then do to move on this case to be able to actually make a case, given what we have now.

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: For those of you just now getting home from work, let me just try and catch you up on what is going on. You see that picture right there. It is from the Orlando area. I believe that is WKMG, one of our affiliates. It is a swampy river basin area where police have found what appeared to be possibly the remains of little Caylee Anthony, though not confirmed yet.

Let me tell you what they have found. They have found a plastic bag with toys and small bones that has been weighted down by bricks inside the bag there with the bones the size of fingers. And they also found a shamrock, as Nikki Pierce was just taking us through. And the shamrock, it is significant, because it was Padilla's -- because it was Casey Anthony's favorite symbol, as a matter of fact.

Nikki Pierce is joining us now. She's on the phone. She has been following the story for quite some time and she's taking us through this now. What is this river that we are looking at here? Can you explain that to viewers?

PIERCE: It is the Little Econ River. It's inside the J. Blanchard Park. It is an extremely large park and the river winds through it and it's quite close to the Anthony home. It is largely untouched. There is a lot of brush. There's a lot of forest. People, families do come here periodically, but it is closed after dark. However, as I understand it, some of the local kids, teenagers, do know of ways to get inside.

SANCHEZ: So, the supposition would be from police then if they move further on this and decide to investigate it, that someone then would have possibly placed her bones in that bag in that river, is that correct?

PIERCE: That is correct. That would be the supposition.

Again, we are not sure whose bones they are. The FBI is here. A significant investigative force from the Orange County Sheriff's Office is here. More independent divers are here, and they are all sifting through the evidence and gathering more as we speak.

They have just pulled some more things from the bottom of the river. They're about 10 feet away from me. I can see them sifting through. But I have not seen what the newest discovery is yet.

SANCHEZ: As we are looking at these pictures, who are these guys in the water?

PIERCE: They're...

SANCHEZ: All right. Did we lose her or is that just me? We did? All right.

I'm sorry. Hey, Nikki, I asked you a question, but I didn't know if it was just my system where I could not hear you or our viewers. It sounds like our viewers didn't get your answer either. I asked you, who were -- who are these officers who are in the water?

PIERCE: Hopefully, you can hear me now.

SANCHEZ: I can.

PIERCE: It is the Black Water team, Black Water commercial diving team. They have been hired by Leonard Padilla to do this particular dive.

SANCHEZ: All right. Nikki, I am sorry,. My producer was giving me some information.

Let's do this. Mike Brooks on the other side, he is following the story for us as well. We are trying to see if we can nail down some of the information. Obviously, that is the thing to do right now. All we are going on now is the original report that we had received about what had been found in the river, again, no confirmation, obviously too early in the investigation to be able to confirm that it actually is Caylee Anthony's remains. Brooks joins us on the other side.

Stay with us. We're going to be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: All right. Let me bring you back into this story and try and piecemeal this for you, because what is interesting when you follow a story like this, obviously, everybody is following it in Orlando and it is a story that has really captivated so many people all over the country.

The problem is really what we are dealing with now is this -- these divers that are in this water who have found something, but it really needs to move through the police process, even maybe as far as the FBI, before much of this information can be confirmed.

So, for those of you who are now getting home from work, let me just tell you what it is that they have found or what they say they have found. They say they have found a sign. They say they have found a plastic bag with toys and small bones weighted down by bricks. Now, obviously, that is significant. Here is what else is significant. They say they also found weighted down a shamrock, which was the favorite symbol of Casey Anthony.

Casey (sic) Anthony, as you know, the little girl who has disappeared for quite some time now, her mother, Caylee (sic) Anthony, is in jail. She originally waited 30 days before she even reported her missing. And that is why this story has taken on a life of its own.

Let's do this. Let's bring in Mike Brooks. Mike Brooks certainly has enough experience with this type of investigation, both at the local level and at the national level. Mike, these guys who are in the water right now are not really police officials, right?

MIKE BROOKS, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: Well, there is a group called Black Water Divers. And I believe that they are -- they are some retired law enforcement officers, but they're divers that have a lot of diving experience. And you need it in a river like this, Rick, because the visibility is almost zero, from what I am being told, and there's a lot of muck. And there is also, you know, the danger of alligators in this particular body of water.

SANCHEZ: Mike, you know what? I am now being told -- I am now being told by Carlos Padilla, who is the PIO for Orange County Sheriff's. Orange County, as you know, is right there in the Orlando area.

BROOKS: Right.

SANCHEZ: He is saying -- and I'm going to give you a direct quote. You ready? "Nothing credible has been found. Nothing credible has been found." That is a PIO, public information officer, as you know, who usually speaks only after he has been told to say something like that by the sheriff. What do you make of that?

BROOKS: Exactly. Well, if -- you know, whatever -- if Carlos is saying -- he has been on top of this case the whole time, Rick, and if he is saying that nothing credible has been found, then I would have to -- because they are the lead agency in this investigation. This is the second day that they have been diving in this river. There were just a couple divers in there the other day, but apparently this whole operation today is being funded by the bounty hunter Leonard Padilla.

SANCHEZ: Nothing of evidentiary value found, they go on the say.

Why would Padilla put out a report -- and, again, the report is, and that is how we reported it, that they had said that they had found this, a shamrock, which is a favorite symbol of Casey Anthony, a plastic bag, toys, and small bones.

Boy, if that does not make you stand up and listen, just about nothing would in a case like this. And it happens to be about a mile or less from her home.

BROOKS: Well, Rick, and this Blanchard Park is also -- she had talked about that she used to take Caylee there. This is Casey Anthony, used to say that she would take the baby Caylee there.

And it is also this same Blanchard that the river runs through, Rick, is where she said she last saw the baby-sitter, Zenaida Gonzalez, who we now know never existed. She said that is the last place she saw the baby-sitter with the baby Caylee.

SANCHEZ: Well, let me ask you this, then. Let me try and come at the other way.

BROOKS: Sure.

SANCHEZ: Given your experience, is it possible that police officials are just not giving information now which they may give later?

BROOKS: It is possible.

But for Orange County to come out and say nothing of evidentiary value found, I would say right now, Rick, that they are basically saying that they have not found anything.

But that is not to say that they are not -- that they will continue this and that they may find something, but, for right now, going on what the PIO of Orange County Sheriff's Office is saying, they have not found anything of evidentiary value. And I would go with his -- with his statement.

SANCHEZ: If they're saying there is no evidentiary value, then there is no evidentiary value, which means it doesn't seem...

BROOKS: Yes.

SANCHEZ: It doesn't seem -- let's be clear. What he is really saying is, it is not the remains of -- of Caylee Anthony.

BROOKS: That is what -- that's basically what he's saying right now. But, you know, they apparently had (AUDIO GAP) other things in this river. And Leonard Padilla has said that if they don't find anything today, that they'll be back tomorrow. SANCHEZ: All right. Mike Brooks -- the best at taking us through something like this. We've been giving you the information as we've received it. The new information seems to suggest it may not be what it first appeared to be. We're going to stay on top of it. As we get more information, and if it changes again, we'll bring it to you. And we'll continue to talk to Brooks and others who have been close to this investigation.

The big question many Americans want to know is why in the world should we bail out or give a $25 billion loan to the big three automakers?

Well, there's good arguments on both sides. We're going to be talking to a Michigan Congressman who has some of those arguments for you on the back side and the breaking news involving that story, as well.

Stay with us. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: We just want you to know, many of you are paying attention to what we're doing right now. Many of you have been commenting on the story that we are following out of Orlando, as you were the story we brought you at the very top of this newscast about the big three possibly being bailed out, rescued or given a big fat loan -- however, you want to say it. Robert, let's go to the Twitter board: "I agree with Ted Turner on the auto bailout. Mr. Turner seemed to indicate that it was not a good idea, that it's not something that we need to be doing right now. The industry says the money would help to refocus, be creative. What's it doing until now?"

Interesting point. Let's bring in now Sander Levin. He's a Michigan Congressman. You know this is very important to Michigan. Congressman Levin, thank you, sir, for being with us today.

REP. SANDER LEVIN (D), MICHIGAN: Glad to be. And by the way, it's important for the nation -- Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, but it's really throughout the country. That's the issue. It's a national issue and not just a state issue.

SANCHEZ: Point well taken, sir. I want you -- rather than me creating the argument, I want you to hear what an economist has to say about this.

This is Peter Morici from the University of Maryland. Here's why he says it shouldn't be done.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PETER MORICI, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND PROFESSOR: General Motors, Ford and Chrysler have been some of the worst run companies in America. That's why they're in the fix that they're in -- that you can pay your workers too much, you can sloppy management and you can be slow to the market with new products and the government will bail you out. It simply makes no sense to send that kind of message to the private sector in America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Congressman, is he right? How would you argue with him?

LEVIN: Well, first of all, you know, G.M., Ford and Chrysler are now facing the same situation as other companies in this country in all sectors. It's because of an overall credit crisis in the country that they're really being hit. There can't be credit received by them. People can't get auto loans and so their production has dropped, their sales have dropped...

SANCHEZ: So, for what...

LEVIN: ...dealers are going out of business. So in addition to any problems within the auto industry itself -- and there's been some restructuring -- there are problems that are national economic problems that have greatly diminished their sales and diminished their cash situations.

SANCHEZ: So...

LEVIN: And so...

SANCHEZ: It sounds like you're saying it's exacerbated it. But let's be clear, because what he said -- and I think this is part of the problem with this -- with the perception, at least. And that is -- let me ask you the direct questions that he made.

Were workers paid too much? Did they not understand the market forces and what was going on? And did they have sloppy management?

LEVIN: OK. Let me answer that.

Workers -- two years ago, several years ago, UAW and the big three reached agreements. Now new employees are going to receive $14, $15 an hour. The average personnel working is receiving $28 an hour. The new workers will not receive defined benefit plans.

SANCHEZ: Yes.

LEVIN: And so there's been a restructuring. In health care costs, a lot of them have been shifted away from the companies. So there's been -- to answer question number one, there's been restructuring already undertaken.

SANCHEZ: So it's interesting. You're saying, look, the changes are being made, but you would -- would you admit that they haven't actually been good proprietors throughout the last 30, 40 years as they've run these companies?

LEVIN: No, I think they made serious mistakes, like the banks did, the mortgage companies did. And we're not letting them disappear...

SANCHEZ: So you're saying... LEVIN: Well, let me finish. Let me finish.

So mistakes were made in the past. But in recent years they have begun to get in tuned with what is needed in the country. There are now more 30-mile per gallon cars made by G.M. than any other company. They're making hybrids. They are getting ready and are ready, in substantial measure, for this new era. You have to give them a chance -- give them a bridge loan so that they have a future.

If the big three go under -- or any part of it -- it will have a catastrophic effect throughout this country -- hundreds of thousands of people laid off and all the people who work for suppliers, all the people who work for dealers. Look, one of 10 jobs in this country are automotive-related. Do we want a great part of the American economy to sink? The answer is no.

SANCHEZ: Got it.

LEVIN: We need a bridge to the future.

SANCHEZ: Sander Levin, you represent your case very well, sir. We thank you, Congressman, for being on with us and taking us through it. We appreciate it.

LEVIN: Thank you. We'll do it again.

SANCHEZ: By the way -- we will, sir.

By the way, I should mention that the upshot and the breaking news out of this story is that it appears, according to Christopher Dodd, that Congress is not going to move forward with this bailout or rescue or loan, because it appears that there are not enough Republicans on board to see this through.

So at least for now, it looks like it's not going to happen.

We'll be right back in just a moment with the very latest on Sarah Palin. It was in Miami today -- and some would say it really was the Sarah Palin show. You'll see it from beginning to end.

Stay with us. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: And we welcome you back.

There's new information coming to us, as well. We've been reporting throughout the day on the Sarah Palin speech that she gave today.

She did two things, actually. She gave a speech to Republican governors. And she also held a news conference. And both of them were strange. The news conference, because it seemed like Republican governors simply weren't prepared for that and things changed throughout the process.

In fact, we've got information that we can put up that we've learned from CNN reporters who were there this morning.

Let me take you through some of that information.

The beginning is that it appears that some of the governors who had first met there weren't prepared for what was going to happen. And they say that Palin was supposed to do this press conference alone.

All right. It turns out, then they decided that they'd all stand behind her while she did the press conference. And that -- and there's a long story behind that, but they weren't ready to reveal what the story was at the time.

I know, this is like a Fellini movie. Then Governor Perry cut her off. And the explanation given to CNN reporter Dana Bash is because: "We were running behind schedule.

Was that actually what was taking place?

And now we're getting new information just into us moments ago that some Republican governors there -- perhaps, some of the more pragmatists -- were upset at the way that the entire thing was handled.

All right, we've got the press conference. And then we've got a speech that Sarah Palin gives to the Republican governors while they're sitting there listening to her talk. That, in and of itself, seemed eerie because of the reaction, or lack thereof.

Let's watch this together and we'll have our guests introduced on the way -- on the back side of this.

Let's do that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PALIN: You know, folks like "Joe the Plumber," who -- yes, who spoke for so many when -- "Joe the Plumber," you remember, he suggesting that taking more of our families' and our small businesses' hard-earned money, what that does is stifle the entrepreneurial spirit that grew this country into the greatest country on Earth.

And thanks to "Joe the Plumber," people whom he was speaking for felt kind of comforted, like, see, I'm not the only one who sees that -- in this suggestive policy that was proposed that "Joe the Plumber" kind of got out of Barack Obama that day. That was valuable.

I will not forget guys like "Tito the Builder." He recently became a U.S. citizen, running his own construction company now. And he -- on the trail, he was telling us so proudly, he says, yes, I was born in Colombia, but I was made in the USA. This is the land of opportunity.

And, man, to see everyday hardworking Americans whom we would meet -- and, again, such a comfort that we had knowing that we aren't the only ones believing in America being the land of possibilities and opportunity. But federal government, man, you've got play its appropriate role, not get in way of the progress of our families and our businesses.

Governor Crist, one of my favorite persons whom I met on the trail was one of your constituents at a rally right here in Florida. And his name is Charlie. He's a fine young man with Down Syndrome. He's just so proud and strong and tough. And Charlie and I exchanged e-mail addresses. The last time he replied, he said, by the way, "Please quit calling me darling."

I was talking about him on the trail once in a while, referring it -- and he says it's not tough enough.

(LAUGHTER)

PALIN: So today, in your home state, a special shout-out to Charlie -- to tough Chuck, darling Charlie.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: It was like a stump speech. Let's bring in -- let's bring in Ken Vogel from Politico. Let's also bring in Adam Brickley. He's the blogger who many credit with getting Sarah Palin on the ticket -- or certainly getting her all that attention across the country. And then our own Mark Preston from Preston On Politics.

Ken, I'll begin with you. What do you make of this?

KEN VOGEL, POLITICO.COM: Well, it really highlights a dilemma that Sarah Palin has. On the one hand, she wants to maintain the spotlight -- the national spotlight that she got as a result of the campaign. But on the other hand, she wants to move beyond a perception of her that kind of left a bad taste in a lot of people's mouth toward the end of the campaign and then after the campaign, where there was a lot of scapegoating of her.

So she's getting the attention because of the campaign, but she wants to recast herself as something other than the campaign. So it's a little bit of a bizarre choice that she gives what, as you correctly identified, was pretty close to her stump speech in this sort of first real public chance after the campaign in a public setting.

SANCHEZ: Yes. And a stump speech to governors. I mean these aren't there -- this is not a Sarah Palin rally. These are other governors from across the state. I imagine, you know, guys like Crist and Jindal and Pawlenty are sitting there going, what am I supposed to do, stand up and cheer?

Mark Preston, what do you make of this information that we're getting from Dana Bash that some of the Republicans there -- the governors -- were kind of upset at the way this whole thing was handled this morning?

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: Well, Rick, you know, the race for 2012 began the day after election day. And, clearly, some of those governors that were standing behind Sarah Palin have eyes on the Republican nomination, as well. And what one of those governors said to CNN's Dana Bash, who really did some great reporting today down there in Florida, is that, look, it almost appeared as were standing behind her and she was the de facto leader of the party.

And right now, Rick, there is no leader of the Republican Party and everyone is trying to maneuver right now and find out if they can move into that slot.

And, look, what we're seeing from Sarah Palin, at this point, is she is trying to rehabilitate her image. That's why we've seen her do all of these TV interviews. That's why we've seen her do these speeches. She was not able to control her image during the -- during the campaign, and this is her time to do so.

SANCHEZ: Adam Brickley, let me bring you into this, because you are a -- a supporter of Sarah Palin.

ADAM BRICKLEY, PALIN SUPPORTER: Yes.

SANCHEZ: When Governor Perry of Texas seemed to be -- I don't know, of helping her, concluding her -- her speech, rescuing her. I don't know what he was doing. But all of a sudden he put his hand on her and then moved in and said no more questions. How did you take that?

BRICKLEY: You know, I'll have to go back and watch that again, to be honest. I wasn't able to watch the news conference this morning. And this is actually the first I've been able to see of it. It was certainly an interesting moment. But for now, I buy the explanation that they probably were running behind schedule at the conference. We paid a lot of attention to these Governors Association conferences...

SANCHEZ: Do you think she makes them uncomfortable? Do you think she makes some of the other Republican governors there uncomfortable with all -- with her, I suppose, "rock star status," as some have called it?

BRICKLEY: Oh, I'm sure she makes several governors uncomfortable, namely the ones who are considering running for president in four years. But, you know, this is kind of what has to happen. Obviously, she is the rock star. She kind of is as close as we have to a de facto leader of the party right now. And she does need to get her image back under control and put her own closing notes on the campaign. So this is kind of an unavoidable situation, to be honest.

SANCHEZ: Ken Vogel, let me bring you back into this, because rock star status or not, there does -- there does appear to be a divide taking place here. "Newsweek" called it "the pragmatists versus the social conservatives."

I mean, you know, you've got Charlie Crist in Florida. You've got Bobby Jindal. You've got -- in Louisiana. You've got -- you know, you've got Pawlenty in Minnesota.

But then you've got Rick Perry. And it's interesting, if you look at who was standing behind her when she was speaking, it was most of the social conservatives, while Crist, for example, was sitting down in the audience. And apparently, according to Dana Bash, didn't even know that she was even holding this news conference. Is there a divide?

VOGEL: Oh, absolutely. And that's -- we're not just going to see a fight to -- for the sort of titular leadership of the Republican Party in the next two to three years. We're going to see a fight for the real direction of it, between the social conservatives and the fiscal conservatives.

And what's interesting is though Sarah Palin really became a hero of the social conservatives during the campaign, really championed some of their rhetoric, some of their causes, in Alaska, she was known as more of a pragmatist, almost a technocrat, bringing people together.

And what we see here in this press conference in particular and in some of the interviews that she's done, is an effort to back to that.

She thinks -- she realizes that she needs to have sort of a wider appeal -- not within just one element of the Republican base -- if she's going to have a legitimate chance at reemerging for the two -- as a legitimate player for the 2012 Republican nomination.

SANCHEZ: Well, let's talk about this, too, because I think this is important. You know, a lot of people are watching at home and they listen to her speak and they're thinking, why don't I understand what she's saying? Is there a syntax problem here?

In fact, we've got one now. This is MySpace, right? Yes. This is a MySpace comment that just came in moments ago. Have you got that, Robert?

"Oh, my God. She did not talk about Joe -- not the plumber. I get confused trying to listen and understand what she's talking about." She says, "I feel dumber and dumber by the second."

You know, I mean it's not to pick on her, but there are people who get that perception from her. Adam, do you think she's held her own in terms of knowing what she's talking about in the public forum?

BRICKLEY: Well, yes, I do. And I think she's been especially good in all these interviews she's done recently with Greta Van Susteren on Fox News, with Wolf Blitzer on CNN. Those have all been very good interviews and she's getting back in control of herself.

You know, the person you obviously just quoted, you know, referring to "Joe not the Plumber," obviously is somebody who's not going to like Sarah Palin or any Republican, I'm guessing, to begin with.

SANCHEZ: OK. We'll leave it at that.

Gentlemen, thanks so much. Interesting conversation. It certainly is the Sarah Palin show certainly in Miami. And it continues through your night -- through the night. Make sure you tip your waitresses.

We'll be right back in just a moment with this and a whole lot more -- the latest on both of these stories that we've been following on The Fix.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: And we welcome you back.

Something else to take note of today.

Guess who's coming to dinner, visiting Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne Cheney, today at the Naval Observatory residence of theirs?

Joe and Jill Biden. This, as America collectively says God, would I love to be a fly on the wall.

Here's why.

Listen to what Joe Biden had said about the vice president on the campaign trail.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D-DE), VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT: John McCain received the coveted endorsement. He was endorsed by Vice President Cheney. Vice President Cheney's been the most dangerous vice president we'vehad, probably, in American history. Dick Cheney has been wrong about everything else for the last eight years. Cheney is on a roll. The man's on a roll.

Folks, do you need anymore proof? A bizarre notion invented by Cheney. Vice President Cheney.Dick Cheney. I love it. Cheney is on a roll.

Vice President Cheney came out and endorsed John McCain.

If it was Cheney Stadium, we'd be at an undisclosed location. You'd never have been able to find us.

Pretty soon, he's going to be calling me Dick Cheney. And that wouldn't be good.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: So is this the way it works, you chew somebody up and then you go to their house for dinner? Is there something disingenuous about that, perhaps? Judging from the reaction that we get from many of you on this show -- many of you who write to us on Twitter and MySpace and Facebook -- yes, because you seem to be less forgiving. And so it goes.

The Fix, when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: Here's some good news many of you have been wanting to hear this week. Look at that number -- still a plus in front of the 513.56. The market is up. It's kind of something that is surprising because, well, it just hasn't looked that way, folks, in a couple of days.

Wolf Blitzer standing by now to bring us up to date on what's going to be happening today in "THE SITUATION ROOM" -- Wolf, what you got?

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Lots happening, Rick.

Barack Obama officially resigning his U.S. Senate seat. So who will replace him?

And how Obama's future cabinet could have a big impact on the face of Capitol Hill.

Sarah Palin's first formal news conference cut short in an awkward move over at the meeting of the Republican Governors Association.

And as you've been reporting, the vice president, Dick Cheney, about to meet with the man who will replace him, Joe Biden. He'll get a tour of the vice presidential residence, as well.

All that and a lot more coming up right here in "THE SITUATION ROOM."

SANCHEZ: All right, you know, Wolf, we've been talking about the auto industry on this show. And they've also been talking about the auto industry in late night shows, like this on The Fix.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST "THE COLBERT REPORT": Everybody is saying that we're in the middle of an international crisis, the markets are drying up, consumer confidence is down and jobs are disappearing. But I didn't buy all the doom and gloom until I saw today's "New York Times."

(LAUGHTER)

COLBERT: Evidently, there is a shortage of sperm donors in Britain.

(LAUGHTER)

COLBERT: Even our sperm banks are failing.

(END VIDEO CLIP) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "CHELSEA LATELY")

CHELSEA HANDLER: So what do you think about the Obamas visiting the bush -- the Bushes in the White House for the first visit?

Did you watch any of that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was all right. But I think President Bush -- this is the first thing he said, is he complimented Michelle Obama. He said, oh, she's a good one. She's...

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It didn't make me feel comfortable.

HANDLER: Really?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

HANDLER: That's -- after eight years of that guy, that's what you don't feel comfortable with?

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY LENO, HOST "THE TONIGHT SHOW": As you know, the auto industry is not doing well. No. In fact, the big three now -- Matchbox Tonka and Hot Wheels.

(LAUGHTER)

LENO: Those are the big three. Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JON STEWART, HOST "THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART: The governor who gave a grand total of zero press conferences when what she thought was important has launched a P.R. blitz to show voters all they missed by not electing her queen of America. Oh, my God Matt Lauer, I didn't see you come in.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: You caught me homemaking. Oh -- and a completely local Alaska camera crew shoot. I'm just making some moose chili and -- oh, what another awkward yet down home -- oh, Greta, you came in. I can't believe you also caught me at my most relatable.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST "THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": I don't know about this. Barack Obama says he'll be living in the White House with his family, his two daughters and his wife and his mother- in-law.

(LAUGHTER)

LETTERMAN: His mother-in-law. Yes, he may want to rethink closing Guantanamo, you know what I mean?

He...

(LAUGHTER)

LETTERMAN: Maybe not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: All right. We can smile today. Look at the market. It's up again -- up over 500 awhile ago.

Is it still there? Yepper. Stephanie Elam is standing by, checking this out for us.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN FINANCIAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes (INAUDIBLE).

SANCHEZ: 570. Wow! This thing could get to 600, huh?

(STOCK MARKET REPORT)

SANCHEZ: I wonder if it had anything to do with them deciding that they're not going to really be rescuing the auto industry right now.

ELAM: I think some people just wanted to get into the market because after six days where we've had losses -- we lost 1300 points on the Dow -- some people were doing some bottom feeding, picking up some stocks and getting back in there.

SANCHEZ: Yes. If there's bargains, why not get in and get them? Do you see that right...

ELAM: That's the time to do it.

SANCHEZ: So, it's got to go way down before anybody gets in. Now, is this the bottom? Who knows, right?

ELAM: I don't think we're there yet, Rick. I think we've got more to come. But at least right now, up 7 percent for the Dow. There you have it.

SANCHEZ: Stephanie Elam, thanks so much for that report. Maybe it will end up over 6.

Wolf Blitzer is standing by now with the latest in "THE SITUATION ROOM" -- Wolf. BLITZER: Thanks very much, Rick.

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