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GOP Leader?; Building Collapses in Germany

Aired March 3, 2009 - 15:00   ET


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: All right, two breaking stories that you're going to see unfold during this hour.

One of them is -- the very latest -- we understand the Coast Guard may be coming out at any moment now to tell us whether those three football players have been found at sea or maybe not found. We are going to be in contact with the family.

And then there's a building collapse in Cologne, Germany, that we're going to be showing you the video of as they continue to do the search for survivors, or victims in any measure. We will be on top of that for you.

Oh, and here's what else we're going to have for you coming up in the next hour.



SANCHEZ (voice-over): Republicans on the attack. Who's sorry now? The head of the RNC calls out Rush Limbaugh.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: ... and start doing the work that you were elected to do, instead of trying to be some talking head media star.

SANCHEZ: Limbaugh calls out Mr. Steele. So, Mr. Steele relents, apologizes. What's going on with the Republican Party? Who is the leader?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think Michael Steele needs to get out there and understand that he is the leader of the Republican Party.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're still very actively searching.

SANCHEZ: Why is this man the only one found after a boat with two football players capsizes off of Florida?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just saw a military plane go down and two parachutes deploy.

SANCHEZ: You will hear the pilot and control tower's last words before his Navy fighter jet crashed into a house, killing four people.

This show, this week, in "The New York Times," and now on "Doonesbury," in real-time, our national conversation begins right now.


SANCHEZ: All right. Here we go. Hello again, everybody. I'm Rick Sanchez.

We have got our Twitter board set up. We have got our MySpace and our Facebook plasma set up as well. And we are going to be talking to you about what's in the news right now.

And Just as we're getting ready to go on the air, we're hearing now that the Coast Guard is going to be having some kind of news conference. We expect there might be some important news out of this news conference. Remember, now, it's been since Saturday night since these three guys disappeared, these three football players, off of Clearwater, Florida. We are going to turn that around as soon as it happens for you.

In the meantime, there's another developing story that we're following right now. This is out of Cologne, Germany. This is tough to watch as well. Let's put those pictures up, Claude (ph), if you possibly can.

Look at this. This is a building. As we speak right now, they are still doing a search in the area. It's a government building that collapsed. We understand dogs have been in the area looking for people, canines. As many as two other buildings were damaged.

And now we're hearing reports -- I mean, look at the devastation from this thing. When you look at that aerial picture, you almost get the sense that it was almost an entire city block that collapsed. And now we start to get information that there may have been an apartment building that was attached to this government building, which may have been affected by the collapse as well.

Let's do this. Let's go to our CNN producer, Ben Brumfield. He's joining us now from Cologne, Germany, part of our CNN European team that's following this story.

Ben, what's the latest? What are officials saying right now? We will just continue to look at these pictures while we listen to your voice.


Officials are saying that -- right now that they're looking for three missing people. The number had gone between two and nine, because they got their numbers by talking to neighbors and eyewitnesses who had said -- given varying accounts of how many people were in the area when the building collapsed.

The people who worked in the building itself all got out safe. The reason for that is that they heard some noises, some rumbling before the building fell. They felt uneasy, and they left the building.

And, sure enough, their uneasy feeling came to be, and the building collapsed onto the street in front of the building.

SANCHEZ: We have got some sound coming in, Ben. I'm being told now this is a witness that watched this as it happened. And I guess it took quite awhile to happen.

Let's listen. Let's turn that around, Claude, and see what they have to say.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I watched how this tear in the building worked its way up from the bottom all the way to the top. And then the exterior of the building broke off. And I drove away backwards and watched as the building slowly collapsed into itself, just like in the movies, like in a bad movie.


SANCHEZ: Wow. Are these pre-WW2 buildings?

I mean, are we talking about general wear and tear and dilapidation here? Or is there an investigation to find out if there's something perhaps more nefarious?

BRUMFIELD: Well, actually, no, Rick. Police have said that they pretty much know what happened.

There's been a subway project going on here in Cologne. And they have been building some of that right in front of that building down the street. And what happened was is that some of the earth underneath the foundation of that building collapsed into the construction hole, the area of the construction area. And, of course, with the earth missing, the foundation couldn't hold, and so the building just kind of fell forward into that gap, and then tipped over forward into the street.

SANCHEZ: Wow. You know, look at that picture right there, if there's a way we could almost hold that, Claude. Look at the size of that thing. It almost looks like a crater of sorts. Can you give us a sense of just how large this is in this area, Ben?

BRUMFIELD: Well, actually, I know the area quite well. I lived here for a number of years, and actually still have a place here and spend my free time here, which is why I'm here.

And it's actually just a regular city street where people live and where there are some businesses. Buildings are about four or five stories tall, including that building. And it's not a very old building. It's actually -- it's a 20th century building. There's nothing historical about the building itself, just about the documents inside that building.

They're quite historical, because this town was founded as a Roman colony over 2,000 years ago.

SANCHEZ: Ben Brumfield following the story for us, CNN producer there in Cologne. And, obviously, if there are any developments on the story, we will be getting back to Ben and our crews there to bring you that information.

Thanks again, Ben.


LIMBAUGH: It's time, Mr. Steele, for you to go behind the scenes and start doing the work that you were elected to do, instead of trying to be some talking head media star.


SANCHEZ: That's Rush Limbaugh. He's calling out GOP chairman Michael Steele yesterday. So, how is Steele now responding to Mr. Limbaugh? Did you watch "The Godfather"? Remember "I come here on the day of your daughter's wedding"? Remember that scene? Well, just imagine that, as you prepare yourself to watch this next segment.

Also, a terrorist attack in the heart of one of Pakistan's biggest cities, we have got the video. Wait until you see this. You will see for yourself in just a little bit.

And then Britain's prime minister comes to town with a message for President Obama. This is interesting. He wants him, the president, to think global, and to think maybe about nationalizing banks, something he's been proposing. Would that be good for the United States? Will the president go along with it? There's a lot to talk about here that affects you and me in the wallet.

That's why it's next. Stay with us.


JIMMY FALLON, HOST, "LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON": ... about the president's stimulus package that just passed through Congress.


FALLON: It could have passed sooner, but Congresswoman Virginia Foxx wanted to play with it a little.





SANCHEZ: We call this a national conversation. We keep in constant dialogue with you as we go through this hour. It's now 10 minutes past the hour of 3:00.

A couple of comments I want to share with you as we move on our with our newscast. First, from Chicago, a viewer who is saying: "Please report on the attack on the Sri Lanka cricket team in Lahore, Pakistan."

You're absolutely right, another attempt to destabilize Pakistan. We are all over this story. We're bringing in the video. We're going to be showing it you in just a little bit. In fact, it's actually something to watch. We're going to let this just roll and you will see the attack as it happens.

Also, let me lower this just a little bit. We have got another comment coming in on Rush Limbaugh. "Went from talking trash on Donovan McNabb" -- obviously, the quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles -- "to Obama. Boy, is he ambitious" -- lots of Rush Limbaugh comments coming in. We will be sharing those with you.

All right, now to this. Take a look at this video. This is an amazing piece of video. This is the actual shot taken by the Coast Guard as they made the rescue yesterday of Will Bleakley. Oh, pardon me, as they made the rescue yesterday of the one boater who survived that situation off of Clearwater, Florida. That's actually him being brought in on the basket.

We also have a shot -- I don't know if we have that for you now -- that's the shot I was talking about. Look at that. That's how he spent 48 hours, sitting on top of the boat. You can see he's wearing his raincoat. It may have been one of the reasons they were able to spot him. He's also wearing a life jacket. But he's on top of the boat out at sea about 50 miles, where he waited and waited and waited until finally the Coast Guard was able to reach him.

Here's the problem now. Here's the problem. He was with three other guys. Let me tell you who they are, Marquis Cooper, Oakland Raiders, Corey Smith, played for the Detroit Lions, and Will Bleakley, who played for the University of South Florida. All four of them went out fishing.

These three guys right here are still out there somewhere, as far as we know. They have not been found. We're expecting that perhaps within the hour -- there's their vessel once again -- it's a 21- footer. And they were out pretty far. And, apparently, they were thrown over by a wave. If the Coast Guard makes a comment on this story during this hour, we're going to turn that around for you, and you will hear it as it happens.

And, yes, we may be expecting some news on this story.

Here's another big story. And this one affects your wallet, your pocketbook. It's about the prime minister of Great Britain, Gordon Brown, coming to the United States. And the reason he's going to come here and meet with Barack Obama is multifold.

But one of the things he's trying to do is give Barack Obama a more global perspective on what's going on with the economy worldwide, perhaps asking Barack Obama to even nationalize some of our banks, because that seems to be the direction that some around the world are heading into.

It's interesting. I want you to hear now what the two men had to say when they met with reporters for the first time about two hours ago. Here it is.


GORDON BROWN, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We've had a global banking failure, and it's happened in every part of the world.

It's almost like a power cut that went right across the financial system, and we've got to rebuild that financial system. We've got to isolate the bad assets. We've got to underwrite the financial system so that loans can start again to businesses and -- and families. And we've got to get enough lending into the economy so that people -- enough credit so that people are able to go about their normal business again.

And that's why we're looking ahead to the G-20 in London in April, because a bad bank anywhere can affect good banks everywhere. So we've got to root out the problems that exist in other parts of the world, as well, set principles for the banking system for the future, and make sure that the banks subscribe to lending agreements where they actually increase the lending that is available to -- to citizens in every country.


SANCHEZ: What's interesting is that Gordon Brown's having problems in his own country with popularity.

He's -- in fact, the British press has been saying that they're hoping that he will somehow be able to get close to Barack Obama, close enough to have some of Barack Obama's popularity rub off on him. That's a quote from "The Times" today.

He's also going to be addressing Congress tomorrow, both the Senate and the House.

Let's bring in Robert Lenzner. He's our "Forbes" editor man who talks to us about all things econ and tries to make us at least try and understand them.

You know what's interesting about this? He's got this thing called the Global New Deal...


SANCHEZ: ... kind of a Rooseveltian program that he wants to enact all over the world.


SANCHEZ: And he wants to push Barack Obama in this direction. What the hell is he talking about?

LENZNER: We're already going in that direction, OK? Everything that Barack Obama has put forward in terms of the stimulus plan and everything else is our own New Deal in the 21st century. So, they may nationalize their banks, but nationalization is not going to be a panacea. And banks aren't going to be forced to do lending. The major problem is that consumers are -- have too much debt. There's too much debt in our economy. And we have to work it off.


LENZNER: It's not a question of -- the banks aren't going to be any better if they're owned by the government than where they are right now.

SANCHEZ: As an American, as somebody who lives in this country and is scared, like the rest of us...

LENZNER: Right. I am.

SANCHEZ: ... with what's going on on Wall Street and what's going on with my mortgage, both of us are in the same boat -- everybody watching this newscast right now is in the same boat.

Should Barack Obama limit himself to what happens in the United States, or should he be reaching out to the Russian president and the British prime minister and trying to solve those problems at the same time? Or does solving those problems hurt us?



Solving -- no, everyone's got the same problems to some degree or another. The -- there's a near collapse of the world economy, so I think Obama should reach out. I think that all the leaders should talk to each other.

I don't know whether anything practical will really come from it, if you really want to know what I think, because this is all happening so fast. There are so many problems. And there's this deterioration of the economy and the markets all over the world. I don't know what the Group of 20 can do to stop it, to be honest with you.


LENZNER: But I think, yes, we should have as much cooperation as possible.

SANCHEZ: It sounds like it's something that does need to be done, at least with as many voices and as many minds as possible.

Let me ask you a tough question, Bob.

LENZNER: Yes. All your questions are tough.


SANCHEZ: I know. But this one's kind of -- really, I'm cutting right to the chase, man.

LENZNER: Go ahead.

SANCHEZ: I'm hearing this all the time now. I'm hearing people use the D-word again. They're just putting the word mild in front of it.

LENZNER: Well...


SANCHEZ: There were two reports yesterday that thing may not actually be a recession, that it may not be a recession; it's going to be a mild depression. Talk real skinny with us. We're adults. What's this going to be and what does it mean?


LENZNER: I'm afraid that I might excise the world mild, OK?

Now, the definition of depression, according to "The Economist" newspaper is if the GDP is going down at a rate of 10 percent. We're now going down at 6.2 percent. And if the unemployment continues to rise at a certain rate, gets over 10 percent, then you might be able to define that this is a depression.

I think we are facing the real threat of a real depression, not just a mild depression. I'm sorry to have to say that.


LENZNER: But you asked me on CNN. And I think people are in sort of -- they're going step by step in a kind of willful denial, that first there was going to be a turnaround halfway through this year. Then there was Bernanke saying, if we do everything right about the financial community, we could possibly stabilize in 2010.

And now we're talking about, as you say, people around the world, and there are -- the -- Nouriel Roubini of NYU, who is the economist, has really called this last year-and-a-half very accurately, I think he thinks that, unless we do some very, very radical maneuvers quickly, instantly, immediately, that we are going to have some kind of catastrophe like that.

SANCHEZ: Wow. Well, let's hope somehow we're able to pull out of this thing. But you know what? We appreciate you.

LENZNER: You asked me a straight question. I'm giving you a straight answer from my heart.

SANCHEZ: I know. I know. No. And I appreciate it. And let's not beat around the bush with this thing anymore.

LENZNER: Well, it may get me in trouble. But that's the way I see it.

SANCHEZ: Yes, you will probably be in the blogs tomorrow. What a surprise.

LENZNER: No, I hope not.

SANCHEZ: We live there.

Hey, Bob Lenzner, thanks so much for being with us.

LENZNER: Yes, not at all.

SANCHEZ: Talk to you again soon.



LIMBAUGH: And we can do it persuasively. Some of us just haven't had the inspiration or the motivation to do so in a number of year, but that's about to change.



SANCHEZ: You have heard the line: Rush Limbaugh is the de facto leader of the Republican Party. How does that sit with Republicans? We're going to ask Indiana's Mike Pence, who is about as high on the food chain as any Republican is. Is Limbaugh the leader? Very simple question.

And next, Claire McCaskill Twitters and is also ready to make some news. She is incensed, she says, at Republicans who complain about pork and then feed at the trough. Is she about to call them out publicly? Stand by. It may happen.


CHELSEA HANDLER, HOST, "CHELSEA LATELY": A California mayor has resigned, because the guy from -- his name is Dean Grose of Los Alamitos in Orange County -- forwarded an e-mail picture of watermelons on the White House lawn, with the caption "No Easter egg hunt this year."



HANDLER: He resigned and then he said he didn't mean to offend anyone and was unaware of the racial stereotype that black people like watermelons.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love that he would rather be stupid than racist.

That's just great. (LAUGHTER)



SANCHEZ: All right, here we go with the next part of the conversation, an interview that we have been looking forward to for some time.

First, let me try and set this up. You have heard the conversation on this newscast and on many other newscasts just a couple of weeks ago. There were many red state Southern governors who were on the record saying we're so angry about this stimulus package, we are so angry about the spending, that we don't want the money. We don't want the money in our states.

You heard that from people like Haley Barbour and Governor Sanford of South Carolina, to a certain extent, from Governor Jindal in Louisiana. What six states, I ask, that resisted the stimulus money are getting for what they're putting into the system now?

In other words, let me rephrase that. How much from every dollar that they get from the government are they giving back or receiving? We have got a brand-new statistic. I want to break this down for you. And these are the six states that we were talking about, six red states.

Let's go to that graphic, if we have it. We are going to start with Mississippi. Look at this. Look at this, all right? Mississippi gets $2.02. That's more than twice what they send to the federal government. In other words, they get twice as much as they put in. The people of Mississippi get more than they are taxed.

Louisiana gets $1.85, Alaska, Sarah Palin, $1.83. Remember, Louisiana was Bobby Jindal. Haley Barbour was the governor of Mississippi who said he was mad because the people of his state were getting cheated. South Carolina's Mark Sanford, his state? They get $1.35, follow me here, $1.35 for every dollar they put into the federal system. So, they're getting more than they're putting in. Idaho, same thing, $1.19. Texas just about breaks even, just an interesting statistic that we thought we would share with you, given the news items that have been coming out for the last week or so.

I want to introduce you now to Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill. She, we understand, is going to possibly be making some news here in the near future. She is going to be going to the Senate floor and perhaps even calling out some people who have been making statements as those that we were just commenting on.

Senator McCaskill, thanks so much for being with us.

SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D), MISSOURI: Thank you for having me.

SANCHEZ: Are you going to be naming names?

MCCASKILL: Well, it's not necessary to name names, frankly. They're available for anybody who wants to take a look at it.

It's pretty clear that we have got a double standard going on here. People who live in glass houses are having boulders rain down upon them right now, because a whole bunch of the folks that were righteously indignant over the stimulus bill are now lining up at the trough for earmarks.

Just one example, the leader of the Republican Party is getting twice as much in earmarks than the leader of the Democratic Party. That's how nonsensical this process has become.

I don't mind -- I mean, I don't really want to be too judgmental of my fellow senators, but what I don't like is the hypocrisy that so many of these senators went on and on about supposed earmarks in the stimulus bill, which, by the way, there were not any, and, then, two weeks later, line up for their earmarks.

SANCHEZ: Is there -- would you go as far to say there's something ironic, at best, at worst, perhaps hypocritical, about complaining something, and then feeding at the trough, as some have been calling it in Washington?

MCCASKILL: Listen, there's a couple of facts you can't argue about.

One is, earmarking was taken to a new art form under President Bush and Republican control of Congress. Now they say they have learned from the error of their ways, Bobby Jindal and Haley Barbour and Mark Sanford and all these Republican governors saying, we have learned our lesson. We're not going to earmark anymore.

Meanwhile, the Republicans in the Senate have lined up for billions and billions and billions of dollars of earmarks. Now, you can't have it both ways. You can't be half-pregnant on this deal.


SANCHEZ: What are you going to say if the Republicans come back and say, you are the ones who have the record of spending, and you are the ones who are spending more in this stimulus bill than needs to be spent at this time, given a time when the nation is going through such a crisis?

Your response would be what?

MCCASKILL: The stimulus bill was about two things, cutting taxes, one of the largest tax cuts in America's history -- 40 percent of the spending in that bill is going back into the pockets of the American people -- and 60 percent about creating jobs.

Now, I don't know what the earmarking is about. I am one of the senators that don't participate in earmarking. There aren't many of us, though. And that's where the people of this country are going to have to get busy and figure this out. It doesn't make sense for you to pound the table and say, we can't do earmarking, and then turn around and do it. SANCHEZ: Are you bothered -- did you know that most of the red and especially the Southern states are the ones who earmark, as you say, the most? And, by the way, we checked the record, and you're right. There's a big zero next to your name on earmarks.

MCCASKILL: Well, I think what people need to realize is a lot of the earmarking has to do with what committee you serve on. If you're on the Appropriations Committee, you get to spend a lot more money. I don't know that that's a smart way to spend government money, but that's the way they do it here.

So, if you look at Mississippi, Thad Cochran is the chairman of the Appropriations Committee for the Republicans. And Roger Wicker is his Republican colleague.

SANCHEZ: They're number one and two.

MCCASKILL: And so that really -- and, if you look at Alaska, Ted Stevens was ranking on Appropriations, had been appropriator for years and years, and has always brought home an incredible amount of money to Alaska in earmarking.

As you remember, that's where the bridge to nowhere was, was in Alaska. So, there are some bad habits around here. And we have got -- and let me just say this about the Democrats, in defense of the Democratic Party.


MCCASKILL: We have cut earmarks in half. And now, for the first time, you have got that list in front of you, Rick. You can see what earmarks everyone has.

Back, under the Republicans, it was a secret. Now, at least, we have brought it out into the light of day. The American people know what's going on. And we have cut the number in half.

SANCHEZ: Transparency, it's important.

MCCASKILL: It's very important.

SANCHEZ: You make a good point. And we will stay on top of this and certainly continue to check both parties to see who's getting the earmarks and who's getting the pork and who's talking out of both sides of their mouth.

MCCASKILL: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Claire McCaskill, Senator, thank you so much for being with us.

MCCASKILL: You bet. Thank you.

SANCHEZ: This is a brash daylight terror attack. It's caught on camera in the heart of one of Pakistan's biggest cities. Are the people behind this the same ones responsible for last year's Mumbai attacks? You're going to be able to see this for yourself.

And, by the way, who is the leader of the Republican Party? And does their name rhyme with lush?


SANCHEZ: Is Rush Limbaugh the leader of the Republican Party?

I want you to watch something. This is Rush Limbaugh yesterday literally scolding the chairman of the RNC.

Take it, Claude.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: It's time, Mr. Steele, for you to go behind-the-scenes and start doing the work that you were elected to do, instead of trying to be some talking head media star, which you're having a tough time pulling off. I hope you figure out how to run a primary system. But it seems to me that it's Michael Steele who is off to a shaky start.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SANCHEZ: Within three hours of that, Mr. Steele, as Rush Limbaugh referred to him -- within three hours, he had called the news media -- Politico gets the credit for this -- and apologized to Rush Limbaugh. Today, they had another conversation where he further said he was sorry about what he had said -- in fact, on CNN -- about Rush Limbaugh being apparently ugly or his rhetoric being ugly and being "an entertainer."

Let's do this now. I want you to see what Rush Limbaugh had to say. This gets interesting. This is last Friday, Rush Limbaugh before his big speech. He's talking again about wanting Obama to fail.


LIMBAUGH: The dirty little secret, Mary Ann, is that every Republican in this country wants Obama to fail, but none of them have the guts to say so. I am willing to say it. We want him to fail because we want to preserve our country as we found it. We do not want to see a successful attack on capitalism.


SANCHEZ: Joining us now is the congressman from Indiana, Mike Pence. He's good enough to be with us. Congressman, thanks so much for being with us, sir.


SANCHEZ: Are you watching this and did you hear what Rush Limbaugh just said -- the dirty little secret is that all Republicans want Barack Obama to fail?

A very direct question to you, sir.


SANCHEZ: Do you want Barack Obama to fail?

PENCE: Oh, come on, Rick. Nice try. I know what Rush Limbaugh meant. I actually listened to him about a month ago when he made this point on the air. I heard much of his speech on Saturday.

Look, everybody wants America to succeed. But everyone like me, like Rush Limbaugh and others who believes in limited government, who believes in conservative values, wants the policies that this administration is bringing forward -- higher taxes, a massive increase in government spending, a huge increase in the role of government in our daily lives, a departure from traditional values -- you bet, we want those policies to fail.

Because, Rick, we know big government, increases in debt, the micromanagement of the economy out of Washington, D.C. is a policy that will fail. It has failed throughout the last century, across the globe...

SANCHEZ: All right...

PENCE: Free market economics, limited fiscally disciplined government and respect for values are policies that will succeed...

SANCHEZ: What do you do...

PENCE: ...and will get our economy rolling again.

SANCHEZ: What do you do -- what do you do a year from now if this thing starts to turn around the economy?

Who -- what do you say to the American people, gee, we were wrong?

PENCE: Well, no. Look, I believe in the resilience of the American economy. The president said the other night -- he struck an optimistic tone. I believe this economy will begin -- in the midst of lots of bad decisions and reckless runaway spending on Capitol Hill -- this economy will fight through these times.

SANCHEZ: So you say...

PENCE: But Republicans on Capitol Hill...

SANCHEZ: You say...

PENCE: ...know what will really work, Rick...

SANCHEZ: So you say...

PENCE: ...if we cut taxes on small business owners and family farmers and working families right now, we could get this economy moving now and not have to wait a couple of years for it to work out. SANCHEZ: You're saying the economy will come back despite Barack Obama and his policies, not because of Barack Obama and his policies.


SANCHEZ: That's what you're on the record saying right now?

PENCE: Rick, the American people know we can't borrow and spend and bail our way back to a growing economy. We can't afford to bail out every failing business in the country. And we also -- we know we -- we can't afford to bail out every American that's made bad decisions and hasn't paid their mortgages with the taxes of people that have figured out how to pay their mortgages and pay their bills.

These policies will not work. That's why people like me, Rush Limbaugh, young Jonathan on your program, and I think a majority of the American people, want to see Congress come together around the kind of fast acting tax relief and fiscal discipline that has always and will always be the prescription for getting our economy moving again.

SANCHEZ: But to quote, Congressman, one of your own, you spent like drunken sailors for eight years in this country.

Why weren't you making these arguments then?

Why weren't you holding the throat of these guys who wanted to spend a lot of your money -- AKA, let's see, I think the names were Bush and Cheney?

Did you know them?

PENCE: Well, yes, Rick, I knew them well. And you don't know me very well if you don't know I fought my president on education spending. I fought my president -- I was one of the 25 Republicans that opposed the prescription drug entitlement. I fought the earmarking culture and runaway spending under Republican control. And I'm going to keep fighting it, as Democrats take us further down the road of deficit spending and debts.

You know, I really believe the American people fired Republicans largely because of runaway federal spending. They sure didn't want the Democrats to do more of it.

SANCHEZ: Let me ask you, before we do anything else, do you think that Rush Limbaugh is right now, given everything that's been going on, the people who have gotten mad at him who have then gone back and apologized to him and said I'm sorry, is he the de facto leader right now of the Republican Party?

And is that -- is that a good thing?

PENCE: Oh, come on, Rick.

SANCHEZ: Yes, I know you're smiling. So am I. It's kind of a weird thing to follow, but it's in the news cycle, Congressman. PENCE: And you know what -- you know what Jonathan and Rush Limbaugh have in common?

SANCHEZ: What's that?

PENCE: You know, the 14-year-old boy you just had on. They're both private citizens who are well-informed with strong opinions. And neither one of them is the leader of the Republican Party. You've got -- you've got a lot of leaders in this party, in the Senate and the House. Michael Steele is a good man.

But look, Rush Limbaugh is a private citizen...

SANCHEZ: But you -- if Rush said...

PENCE: ...with strong opinions and he has every right to speak those opinions on the airwaves of America and not be subject to criticism from people in power.

SANCHEZ: You're right.

But if he said something you disagreed with, would you call him out?

PENCE: I've disagreed with many commentators on the national stage before. I'm -- and I've always struck a strong conservative posture in my career, Rick. But I call them like I see them.

SANCHEZ: Good for you.

PENCE: Rush Limbaugh knows that. Other commentators know that. But, look, remember here, you know, there's a lot of people on Capitol Hill talking about bringing back the censorship in the form of The Fairness Doctrine on the airwaves of America.


PENCE: So people get a little jumpy when people start -- in power start calling out people in your business who (INAUDIBLE)...

SANCHEZ: Well, I think...


PENCE: expressing his opinion.

SANCHEZ: It's just the opposite. If anything, the media is giving Rush Limbaugh more power and more viewers, not fewer viewers and less power -- not if you've been watching recently.

PENCE: Well, I'm talking specifically about -- you know, I'm talking specifically about this business about...

SANCHEZ: I get it.

PENCE: ...don't be listening to people and you know -- this -- it's a blood-bought right in this country to express our opinion, to criticize those in power...

SANCHEZ: Good for you. You're right.

PENCE: ...left, right and center. And I cherish Rush Limbaugh's voice. I admire him. And -- but this party has got a lot of leaders.

SANCHEZ: You've got it.

Hey, listen, Congressman Pence, thanks so much.

A really interesting conversation. I very much enjoyed it, sir.

PENCE: Thank you, Rick.

SANCHEZ: All right.

Here's what else we're going to be bringing you in just a little bit -- the very latest on what's going on with not only that conversation about Rush Limbaugh, but two analysts will now consider what we just talked about, as well as your comments and whether or not Rush Limbaugh and Michael Steele need to really get back to together.

We'll be right back.

Stay with us.


SANCHEZ: Here we go, continuing the discussion about Rush Limbaugh.

Patricia Murphy joining us here, as well as Neal Boortz, who knows a little bit about guys on the radio who have millions and millions of viewers.

Let me get right to you, Mr. Boortz.


SANCHEZ: Look, you get this guy. You get -- you understand Rush Limbaugh. You're probably one of the closest people in the whole country to what he does -- to as many followers as he has. You've been with him to places like the White House.

Is he -- what he's doing, is it show business or really politics?

BOORTZ: You know, I can't speak for him. I really can't. A lot of people -- I mean, Rick, we have some pretty good jobs, don't we?


BOORTZ: You, me, Rush?

And people say how can I do that?

How can I get into that? And I say, well, if you ever do, start in a small market. You've heard the whole routine. But when you get on talk radio, don't ever get the idea that these people are your followers. They're not. They're your listeners.

Now, I have some good cover here. I'm a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party. So these other rascals can go out there and just tear each other apart and a pox on both of their houses for a while.

SANCHEZ: They're listeners, they're not followers.

BOORTZ: They're listeners, they're not followers.

SANCHEZ: Does Rush Limbaugh have listeners or followers?

BOORTZ: Again, I can't speak for him.

But you know what Rush...

SANCHEZ: Ditto heads?

BOORTZ: Let me tell you what my job is...


BOORTZ: ...what a talk show host's job is. It's just this easy. I attract listeners to a radio station and I hold them there long enough to play commercials for them. That's it. That's what we're supposed to do. Now, we happen to do that with political thought, political commentary, maybe a little humor thrown in here and there. But we are there to hold listeners for commercials, so they'll go out and buy stuff.

SANCHEZ: Yes. Neal Boortz is an icon.

BOORTZ: Oh, yes.

SANCHEZ: Patricia Murphy is becoming one.


SANCHEZ: OK, politically...


SANCHEZ: I mean, the fact that he calls out Michael Steele, the head of the RNC, and then Michael Steele, within three hours, apologizes to him and calls him.

MURPHY: Unbelievable.

SANCHEZ: What's -- what's the political lowdown on this?

What's going on in Washington?

MURPHY: The lowdown is that the Republicans don't know who they are right now. There's a struggle to be the face of it. The person who doesn't want to be the face of it's Rush Limbaugh. On his show yesterday, he said he'd be embarrassed to be the head of the Republican Party right now.

They don't know who they are...

SANCHEZ: But he's filling the vacuum with speeches and rhetoric, is he not?

MURPHY: Absolutely. Absolutely. And conservatives are lucky they've got him. Conservatives are usually a little bit bland. You can't remember -- it's hard to remember a lot of things, even what Mr. Pence just said, he's a very nice man. It's a little bland. It's hard to grab onto.

Rush Limbaugh grabs people by the collar and makes them listen. Conservatives are lucky to have him right now.

SANCHEZ: Take us out, Neal Boortz. We're down to 30 seconds.

How do we put the punctuation on this conversation about Rush Limbaugh and what's going on right now in the Republican Party?

Is it leaderless?

BOORTZ: Well, I'll tell you what, Rick, now I know why you didn't invite me down to the studio, you dog.


SANCHEZ: Because of Murph?

BOORTZ: Never mind.

Oh, the Republican Party?

Look, 40 percent of the pork in this budget bill was Republican pork. Come on. They don't know where they're going yet and they'd better figure that out pretty soon.

SANCHEZ: All right. We've got it. Thanks so much. Patricia Murphy, Neal Boortz, we'll keep doing this. Our thanks to both of you.

MURPHY: Thanks.

SANCHEZ: A terrorist attack in the streets of Pakistan while several cameras roll. Take a look at this video. It's scary stuff. It's raw and you'll see it for yourself.

And a soldier who reports to duty with her kids in tow. She said she had no choice.

What did the military say?

That's next.


SANCHEZ: And we welcome you back.

A quick Twitter, if we possibly can: "The Limbaugh phenomenon," says Ralph, who's watching us right now, "is nothing new. Back in the 1930s, politicians trembled at the power of broadcaster Father Coughlin."

An interesting historical point and we thank you, Ralph, for bringing us that while we're watching this newscast together.

OK. Something else to take note of now, if we possibly can. It's a story that gives me kind of mixed feelings. I'm interested in what you think about this one.

It's a young woman, a former soldier. She left the Army four years ago, released from active duty. Everything fine. What you may not know and what I didn't know is that when you leave the service, the military can recall you to duty within a certain amount of time after you leave. It doesn't happen very often. But it does happen.

And you can take a look at Lisa Pagan then and now. It happened to her. She was discharged in '05 and in '07 got orders to report to duty again. She has a problem with that now. She has kids now, since she got out. Her husband's on the road all the time. She says there's nobody there to take care of her children if she's forced to go back in the military service, possibly go overseas.

Here's what Lisa Pagan did this week. She drove from North Carolina to Fort Benning, Georgia. She reported for duty. She brought her kids with her. They're both barely out of diapers, by the way. And she brought her story with her.

And along came the media -- a long story short, the Army agreed to release her from military duty. My feelings are mixed because of this. I support them -- support them or not, our two wars overseas are being fought by men and women with families, with kids, with obligations and responsibilities back home. They're dealing with it and it can't be easy.

Lisa Pagan said that she can't fit military service into her life right now. I mean anybody is going to be glad that it worked out for her.

But I promise you, there's plenty of her former comrades who would do anything right now to be in her civilian shoes, don't you think?

Go to my blog -- -- and tell me what you think about this situation. We'll be right back.


SANCHEZ: You asked us at the beginning of this newscast on Twitter to look into this situation with the Sri Lankan cricket team attacked. I mean this is really -- it sounds like a sports story, but it's really an act of terrorism is what it is.

So let's do two things. I want to take you through the video. This is in Lahore, I understand, in Pakistan. I want to take you through the video. The video is amazing, by the way.

Look at this.


SANCHEZ: These are militants. They come out and they start firing on the -- on the cricket team from Sri Lanka that was visiting at the time. Several people were killed. And let's do this. I've invited Tom Fuentes to join us as we look at these pictures.

Look at the firing. I mean all of this in broad daylight.

Tom Fuentes is former FBI.

He's been checking into this for us.

Tom, what do we know?

What's going on in Pakistan?

It seems like every day there's another story like this one.


Well, right now, it's too soon to tell who's behind this, but it certainly can be any number of groups. When you have a dozen 20-year- olds with AK-47s and rocket propelled grenades, that's a pretty standard description of terrorists.

So there's nothing exotic or scientific in this particular attack. It appears they were hiding behind trees, bushes and in cars waiting for the bus to go by carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team.

When the bus came by, they opened fire and have killed at least eight people in the shooting.

SANCHEZ: We're in Afghanistan -- just a border away -- trying to take on the Taliban and al Qaeda.

These terrorists -- these militants that we see here, are they likely members or factions of those two groups?

FUENTES: They could be. But so far no one's taken credit for it. And Lahore is more in the southeast region of Pakistan, near the Indian border. So there's a number of groups that it could -- that it could possibly be, or factions within groups that it could be.

You have to also understand that cricket is the national pastime of Pakistan. So this is a very high profile event to have a visiting team from Sri Lanka come in to compete at the Lahore Stadium, which is the most famous stadium in Pakistan.


FUENTES: So the terrorists knew that they would get a great deal of international attention by this particular attack.

SANCHEZ: And that's exactly what they're doing. And they're getting it, because it is certainly a legitimate news story.

My thanks to you, Tom Fuentes, for bringing us some of the information on that story. And we'll keep checking and keeping tabs on it.

By the way, we just...

FUENTES: You're welcome.


SANCHEZ: We just got something in a little while ago that I want to share with you in a little bit.

Remember the plane crash off of San Diego, off the Marine base in Miramar, California?

We've just gotten in -- and you're going to be able to listen to this for yourself. We've just gotten in the broadcast, the conversation between the cockpit and the tower as that plane was going down and landed on a house and killed four people.

We'll be right back and you'll be able to listen to it.


SANCHEZ: You always wonder what the reaction is at air traffic after a plane goes down. You're about to hear it. This is after the FA-18 crash off of San Diego.

Here now, the conversation.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 2025 has crashed. I need (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're kidding me?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. Thank you very much. And let me know what situation or any kind of flow that you need.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, can you give me any status on the pilot or anything like that?

Do you know it yet?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We do not know.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We -- we have police helicopters going to check it out, but don't know if there was ordinance or if the pilots are OK. But we did observe a parachute.


And was it short of Runway Six in the canyon out there by the 805?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's about two left of the field exactly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two left of the field exactly.


SANCHEZ: That's amazing. Air traffic controllers trying to get a handle on this situation. There were four people inside that house. All of them perished. The pilot, by the way, was able to escape. And he was able to safely walk away from that situation. Wow!

All right. Let's come back here in just a little bit. Plenty of comments from you on what's going on today -- certainly a lot of comments having to do with Rush Limbaugh.

Stay with us.

You'll hear those in just a little bit.


SANCHEZ: Welcome back.

Let's get a couple of quick comments of yours in. MySpace first. It says: "Rush is an advertiser, not a leader."

Now, let's go over to Twitter. JustAngie says: "Mr. Steele needs to grow a backbone. Apologizing to a tool like Limbaugh makes him look weak and ridiculous. Pathetic."

And then Christy says: "Rick Sanchez, you rock the house."

Yes, you should hear what my critics say.

Let's go to Wolf Blitzer.

He's standing by now in "THE SITUATION ROOM" -- Wolf, what you got?