Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Tea Party Express Ends Tour At U.S. Capitol; Thousands Protest Government Spending, Health Care Reform; More Troops to Afghanistan?; Interesting Technique for French Restaurants; Influence of Arthur Ashe

Aired September 12, 2009 - 11:00   ET

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


BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR, CNN NEWSROOM: You're looking at video of him as he was leaving the White House a little bit earlier today.

The president is using new figures from the Treasury Department to bolster his case, warning America, quote, "More of your friends and neighbors are uninsured than you think." But he is also assuring the public in his weekly address that reform won't add to the deficit.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As I've said over and over again, not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits, period. This plan will be paid for. The middle class will realize greater security, not higher taxes. And if we can successfully slow the growth of health care costs by just 0.1 percent each year, it will actually reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the long term. Affordable quality care within the reach of 10s of millions of Americans who don't have it today; stability and security for the hundreds of millions who do. That's the reform we seek.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NGUYEN: And we will bring you the president's speech live from Minneapolis. He's scheduled to begin speaking at 2:00 Eastern.

T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR, CNN NEWSROOM: While the president's having a rally out of town, a lot of folks are in his town having their own rally. They're actually having it right up the street from his house. Health care plan among the things people are talking about, at the so- called Tea Party protests. We have live team coverage with CNN's Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser; he's at Freedom Plaza for us. And also Kate Bolduan is there for us at the steps of the capitol.

Kate, I'll start with you. Sure enough, a short time ago nobody was around you but we knew they were on the way. It looks like they have made it to you.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I have now gained quite a few friends here. We are on the West Lawn of the capitol. I'm actually staring at the front of the capitol.

Pardon me if you can't hear me. They're getting - it's getting kicked off and it's getting loud, as you can see. As we were standing here earlier, a couple of 100 people were standing here. Now look at these crowds. They have turned out. They're moving all the way down Pennsylvania Avenue.

The organizers here say people are standing on Pennsylvania Avenue trying to make it onto The Mall to join this group of people. The organizers, in large part, the organizer of this is three day march on Washington, is Freedom Works. It is a conservative advocacy group that supports lower taxes, less government, and broad base. That is what many of these people that we have talked to have said their issue is and why they wanted to come here today.

When they kicked off this rally a little while it really probably summed up why so many of these people are here; they started a chant, "Can you hear me now?" That's when I was talking to individuals in the crowd, that's really what they have told me.

They feel that they're not being heard and they're scared of the direction that the government is going in taking the country right now. And that's why they've turned out here. I've got to tell you, this rally is supposed to start in about two and a half hours. It started at 10:30 this morning because so many people had turned out that they just had to get this going, and that's exactly what you're hearing, and seeing right now.

HOLMES: All right. Our Kate Bolduan, thanks for hanging in. I know it's tough to hear out there. But our Kate Bolduan, again, like she said, Betty, they have made their way down to her. But where were they a short time ago?

NGUYEN: They were by our Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser. They were surrounding him. The crowds have grown by the minute and they have gotten so loud. Let's go to Paul right now.

Paul, you there for us? There you go. Yeah. The crowds - I don't know. You've repelled them for some reason. They're headed the other direction. I know you've spoken to a lot of them individually. What are they saying about today's rally?

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN DEPUTY POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Betty, is it something I said? If you remember an hour ago this place was packed. They're all marching down that way. There are a few left. They're marching down that way to Kate and the U.S. Capitol, down Pennsylvania Avenue.

You're right. We've been speaking to so many people today. Many of them saying they came here on their own because of their concerns about what's going on in the country. They said they didn't come here because any organization or group told them to come here. Take a listen to some of the people we spoke to, right here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ART GERUNDA, TEA PARTY PARTICIPANT: This is the first time I've ever done anything like this and I grew up the last three decades of watching people picket and demonstrate. They want this and want that. I just, you know, this is the first time I've gotten up and said it's time to do something about this. So, to me, it's really a critical point.

AL GERHART, TEA PARTY PARTICIPANT: We're excited about this. You've got thousands of people coming to Washington, D.C., we're standing up and asking the government to quit spending our grandkids' money. It's not about anti-Obama. It's about you're breaking us, breaking us in the future, and we're concerned for the country. Some people talk about us like we're trying to set the country back. We're not. We're trying to get it back to its roots.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEINHAUSER: Some of the concerns and some of the people we spoke to right here in Freedom Plaza. It is interesting. There will be some conservative members of Congress that will be speaking today but for the most part it is not a Washington event, Betty.

NGUYEN: Right. Paul Steinhauser joining us live. We do appreciate that, Paul. Thank you.

HOLMES: The Defense Secretary Robert Gates wants more special teams in Afghanistan to clear deadly roadside bombs. A Pentagon spokesman says he's proposing as many as 3,000 additional U.S. service members. Gates says he owes it to the 62,000 already there to protect them from IEDs. Roadside bombs are responsible for more than half of the U.S. deaths in Afghanistan over the past two months.

NGUYEN: The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan may also ask for more troops. General Stanley McChrystal would need President Obama's approval for another increase, but even before he's received a formal request, the president is getting pushback from his own party. CNN's Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DANA BASH, CNN SR. CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A stark warning from a powerful voice in the president's own party -- hold off on sending more troops to Afghanistan.

SEN. CARL LEVIN, (D) CHRM., ARMED SERVICES CMTE: The larger our own military footprint there, the more our enemies can seek to drive a wedge between us and the Afghan population.

BASH: Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin, who just returned from Afghanistan, says he believes the president's commander there, General Stanley McChrystal, is poised to recommend a large troop increase beyond the 21,000 for combat and training the president approved in March.

And in strikingly critical terms, Levin said no more American combat forces should be sent to disrupt the Taliban and Al Qaeda until the U.S. accelerates the training and equipping of Afghan security forces.

LEVIN: More trainers, a larger Afghan army, more equipment to Afghanistan now for about six months at least. This is -- these are the steps that I believe we need to take before we consider additional combat forces. BASH: Levin's recommendation comes as other Democratic leaders, hearing from anti-war constituents, are openly uneasy and cautioning the president.

REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D) SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I don't think there's a great deal of support for sending more troops to Afghanistan, in the country, or in the Congress.

BASH: Public support for the war in Afghanistan has dropped dramatically since the president's increased troops there six months ago. It is especially low inside the president's own party. Back in February, just 33 percent of Democrats supported the Afghanistan war. Now only 24 percent support it, a stunning 74 percent of Democrats oppose the war.

SEN. RUSS FEINGOLD, (D) WISCONSIN: Can we trust the Afghan army and police?

Some liberal Democrats like Senator Russ Feingold are even calling for a timetable to bring troops home from Afghanistan. That's the approach Levin and other Democratic leaders took on Iraq when there was a Republican in the White House.

Now there's a Democratic president who campaigned on stabilizing Afghanistan and the main political fight for now is over whether to add more troops, not withdraw.

(On camera): John McCain, now the Senate's top Republican on military matters, is blasting Levin's call to hold off on more troops to Afghanistan. He says the lesson of Iraq should be to add more troops quickly in order to clear out extremists, in this case, the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

Dana Bash, CNN, Capitol Hill.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NGUYEN: Be sure to watch CNN tonight for an "AC 360" special report "Inside The Battle Zone", Afghanistan's elections, Taliban resurgence, and mounting American casualties. That is tonight, 8:00 Eastern.

HOLMES: The Space Shuttle Discovery is back on Earth but it's not quite home yet. Discovery landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California last night. Weather forced them to abandon plans to land it at the usual and preferred spot in Florida. Now they'll have to piggyback the shuttle on the back of a jet and carry it cross-country. It sits on the back of a jumbo jet, it costs about $1.5 million to do this, at least. The astronauts spent 13 days in space. They're home but not quite.

NGUYEN: That's tough, because finally after all those delays they landed, but now it's going to cost them cash to get back to Florida.

Well, there is some potential severe weather on tap for much of the Gulf Coast.

HOLMES: Our meteorologist here, Reynolds Wolf, is keeping an eye on things.

I guess where exactly are the trouble spots today?

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: The trouble spot is in a very odd place. The reason I say it is a very odd place is we're talking about Texas where it seems for most of the year we've been talking about how Texas has been so dry, how they have been in a horrible drought, how we desperately need some rainfall. Now we got it, problem is we're getting way too much. So with that there's going to be the real potential of flooding.

(WEATHER REPORT)

NGUYEN: The president and first lady helped paint a room turning a day of tragedy into a day of service. That's next in the CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOLMES: It was eight years ago today, September 12th, 2001, when the country woke up stunned and wounded from the horrors of day before. In Lower Manhattan last night, two brilliant streaks of light memorialized the World Trade Center's Twin Towers, as you see there.

Also another picture to show you here. For first time Mount Rushmore was bathed in light all night. Tourists could reflect on the tragedy under the gaze of Mount Rushmore, under the gaze of Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and, of course, Lincoln.

NGUYEN: President Obama and Congress proclaimed the eighth anniversary of the attacks the first annual National Day of Service. Here's CNN's Susan Candiotti.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Jason Garcia's regular job is a personal assistant at a college. Today he's somebody's reading pal.

JASON GARCIA, VOLUNTEER: The daisies, the peppers, the rows of lettuce.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I showed him the strawberries that I planted.

CANDIOTTI: Garcia is one of about 5 million volunteers who were part of the first official National Day of Service and Remembrance to take place every 9/11. These volunteers are helping children read at a New York City school, showing kids they care.

GARCIA: Just to give back in some small way. It feels really good.

CANDIOTTI: The kids loved it, especially fourth-grader Destiny Velez.

DESTINY VELEZ, STUDENT: We got to read together and we showed each other the pictures from the book that we read. And it was fun. CANDIOTTI: The National Day of Service is the brainchild of My Good Deed co-founders David Paine and Jay Winuk. Winuk's brother, Glen, was New York lawyer who moonlighted as a volunteer firefighter and EMT. On 9/11, he ran into the World Trade Center to help. He died when the South Tower collapsed. He helped inspire the National Day of Service.

JAY WINUK, MYGOODDEED.ORG: The simplest little gesture, the simplest good deed can make such a difference in somebody's life, that if everybody does that, if millions of people do that, imagine how productive that would be.

CANDIOTTI: These colorful paintings brought to life by volunteers will decorate the halls of a grade school.

(On camera): Harlem's Phillip Randolph Grade School hosted about 150 volunteers. Across the country, millions more, everyone pitching in to do big projects and even simple good deeds.

(voice over): In Los Angeles Friday, Charley Kunz (ph) was doing her part. This 12-year-old veteran volunteer already has made hundreds of blankets for orphans all over the world. She's committed to volunteering especially on 9/11.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you make the blankets you know that it's going to help someone else. Today was a perfect day to make blankets because today is National Service Day.

CANDIOTTI: President Obama and the first lady set an example by painting a Washington Habitat for Humanity home. National Day of Service organizers hope to sign up 10 million volunteers for 9/11's 10th anniversary. Destiny also will be 10 that day and ready to pitch in.

VELEZ: It might be fun. You never know unless you try.

CANDIOTTI: She likely will. Susan Candiotti, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NGUYEN: Well, life after 9/11 is the subject of a special hour today in the CNN NEWSROOM, specifically national security. Is this a safer nation since those attacks? Plus, do some of the safeguards in place to protect this country infringe on your civil liberties? The state of the U.S. security, a special hour today, at 4 p.m. Eastern.

HOLMES: Well, some top stories want to pass along to you here.

Up first, a major policy shift on North Korea. The Obama administration said it's willing to sit down one-on-one with the regime. The goal of the talks apparently is not a U.S./North Korean deal, rather trying to coax the North back to six-nation talks on its nuclear program.

Also, Vice President Joe Biden expected to join those honoring the sacrifice of two firefighters who died battling that Station Fire out in California. The two were killed when their truck plunged off a narrow mountain road as they searched for an escape route last month. Thousands are expected at that memorial at Dodger Stadium.

Also the health care reform debate front and center on the streets of D.C. this weekend. Take a look at that. This is the Tea Party Express. It is called that due to the opposition to excessive government spending. They're holding a protest rally this weekend. It's under way this moment. Live picture right there. Tens of thousands expected to be there. They have made their way across The National Mall and up to the steps of the capitol. We'll be checking in with them, and also more -a check of your top stories. That's coming your way in about 20 minutes.

NGUYEN: Absolutely, but right now we'll talk about this. One year ago this weekend the third most destructive hurricane in U.S. history hit Galveston, Texas. That storm put the city seven feet under water. I was there and I went back to see how the city is rebuilding.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: It was one year ago the Gulf Coast was bracing for what actually turned out to be the third most destructive hurricane in U.S. history. I was in Texas when Ike hit, and it left 75 percent of Galveston under seven feet of water. But the island city, no stranger to direct hits from hurricanes, in fact, there's been Alicia, Carla, the deadly hurricane of 1900 which killed some 8,000 people. But every time, Galveston has rebuilt.

So, what about now? Well, I went back to find out.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NGUYEN (voice over): At 2:10 in the morning on September 13th, 2008, Hurricane Ike roared into Galveston, leaving the island under water and in splinters.

(On camera): We're taking a look at the debris because the sun is starring to come up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The water line was up to here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Peter Davis.

GEORGE. H. W. BUSH, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hello, Peter, how are you?

NGUYEN (voice over): Since Ike, Galveston mayor Lyda Ann Thomas has lost residents, funding, and the city's only emergency room. But she has not lost her determination.

(On camera): So, Mayor, it's been a year since Hurricane Ike. What's been the biggest challenge for you?

MAYOR LYDA ANN THOMAS, (D) GALVESTON, TEXAS: The biggest challenge really has been getting our citizens back on the island and getting our businesses open. But I'm very proud to say that after a year approximately 65 percent of our businesses are now open. Certainly on the sea wall, where they are, The Strand, our downtown historic district is a little slower coming back. They -really the historic buildings

NGUYEN: Why is that?

THOMAS: Well, first of all, all the buildings are historic buildings, and that's an historic district. So, they have to be restored according to not only our code, but also to the national historic codes. Plus most of them did not have flood insurance.

NGUYEN (voice over): Money, or the lack of it, seems to be what's now standing in the way of Galveston's recovery. Thomas says it will take an estimated $3.2 billion to rebuild the island city. To date, FEMA has paid $68 million, HUD, $269 million, and Thomas is counting on $28.5 million in stimulus dollars. But the island is coming back.

THOMAS: Our trauma center, which was a level one center, opened about two weeks ago.

NGUYEN (On camera): OK.

THOMAS: So, we're very happy to have our emergency room back. It's important to know that our medical center and the Houston Medical Centers serve an entire region and also that our medical center here is the largest employer in the county. And when it shut down, we were really in trouble.

NGUYEN: At some point, you were having to send people, who needed that emergency help to other hospitals.

THOMAS: Absolutely. We sent them -- a lot of them, it's a huge number, somewhere between here and Houston. And there was a layoff of about 2,500 people. They're rehiring now. We've got 300 beds open, and we're looking forward to opening another 300 beds in the next three years.

NGUYEN (voice over): Planning for the future, while familiar with the city's past, Thomas is from one of Galveston's oldest families. Her grandfather also served as mayor. Ironic because she's living proof history has a way of repeating itself.

(On camera): What's your hope for the city?

THOMAS: First of all, we don't have a storm, right now. But we will. I always say it's not if, it's when. My hope is that as we continue to grow and recover and that we continue to be not only a destination for our tourist, who is love our beaches, but certainly a destination for our medical complex and our research. The Port of Galveston continues to grow, and it is growing and doing well.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NGUYEN: And to keep it doing well, there are plans in the works, at least on the table, for massive floodgates to be built. We have some animation of that. Look at these things. These are huge. What that is going to do is prevent oncoming hurricanes. It is going to extend the existing sea wall some 50 miles. That is a lot of room for this to be built.

To give you an idea how large it is. This retractable gate will be the size of the Eiffel Tower, which would be one of the largest movable manmade structures ever built. This design will also protect Houston and its shipping channel, which is home to about 50 percent of the country's petrochemicals. So there is a lot there that needs to be protected and they're trying to find a way to do it to make sure that other hurricanes just don't devastate the cities down there.

HOLMES: And they say that'll work. It's amazing to see this, that kind of technology even available now. But ...

NGUYEN: As big as the Eiffel Tower.

HOLMES: Wow.

NGUYEN: Exactly.

HOLMES: I can't believe it's been a year.

Want to turn now to show you this picture we've been keeping any eye on now. Really and amazing picture. Betty and I have actually watched this thing grow since 6:00 o'clock this morning. It has grown to tens of thousands, some are estimating. The March on Washington, a Tea Party, not too much tea involved, however. We'll take you back, live, to the protest march on Washington.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOLMES: We're going to take you back to Washington, where it seems that they have gotten quite the turnout today for their tea party protest on Washington.

NGUYEN: Oh, yeah, especially when you see these live pictures. Want to check in again with CNN's Kate Bolduan live at the Capitol. Kate, the march is getting under way and I see people moving behind you. Tell us what's going on.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, guys. Well, the last time we talked to you, we were actually up near the front of the Capitol. Well, we came down because we heard that there were actually so many people still stuck on Pennsylvania Avenue trying to make it through. You can see the people are all still coming from Freedom Plaza all trying to make it over to the Capitol. Capitol Police are really trying to push the crowd one way because at this point from this ground level, I'd say they were hoping for tens of thousands, they've had so many people. We've been talking to a lot of folks about why they wanted to come out here today. I met this nice guy, Bill, from outside Philadelphia. Thanks for joining us. What's it been like this way? Did you ever expect this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, I never expected this, just throngs of people, just the crowds really just moving through the streets, a lot of people, really amazing how many people turned out. BOLDUAN: For you, what was your motivation? Why did you feel you had to come here for this march on Washington today?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I felt that, you know, the government has grown too big, it's gotten too out of control in their spending and the taxes are just way too high. And I'm sick and tired of government growing and spending and taxing everybody into oblivion. I just believe true freedom comes from the lord and we are blessed to be living in this country and I just really want to celebrate freedom today. That's really what I'm here to do.

BOLDUAN: I've heard several times from people who said this is really the first time they've actively protested, the first time they felt they needed to come out. Is this one of the first times you've been?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is actually the only time other than the Promise Keepers that I came down to that I was ever involved in anything. I'm just an ordinary citizen. I'm not part of any political group or cause or anything. I just felt compelled to come down here.

BOLDUAN: Thanks so much, Bill.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you so much.

BOLDUAN: As you hear, we're meeting a lot of different people for this event organized by Freedom Works, a conservative advocacy group. They support lower taxes, less government. Generally, broadly the people on the buses, they do agree with that premise but very individual concerns. And that's what we're hearing a lot from the crowd today at the Capitol.

NGUYEN: All right. Kate, thank you so much. Yes, a varied group there but they traveled some 30 cities starting out in California to get to D.C. today. And that march is taking place right now. The tea party express under way.

HOLMES: And while so many people are descending on Washington, President Obama got out of town. Not to say they're the reason he left, no. Let me make sure I make that clear. He's actually on his way to Minneapolis for a rally on health insurance. The full-court press on Congress happened at a Target Center, this is home to the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves. The rally begins at 1:30 Eastern Time. You can see coverage on that in the CNN NEWSROOM with Fredricka Whitfield.

NGUYEN: Well right now here in the CNN NEWSROOM, some muggy weather to tell you about as the president heads to Minneapolis.

HOLMES: Yes, Reynolds Wolf keeping an eye on things for us. And didn't realize it was going to be such a busy weekend but that's usually the case weatherwise.

(WEATHER REPORT)

HOLMES: All right Reynolds, we appreciate it, talk to you again here shortly.

NGUYEN: Let's talk about this right now, a new plan for Afghanistan. The Pentagon wants more specialists ready to go to combat an increasingly deadly threat for troops already there.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: More U.S. troops may be bound for Afghanistan. A spokesman for Defense Secretary Robert Gates says additional personnel is necessary to help combat the growing danger of roadside bombs.

And there are indications today that 9ran may be willing to discuss its nuclear program. The country's foreign minister said it's possible the issue will be part of upcoming talks with the U.S. and its partners. Now Iran insists it wants to harness nuclear power for peaceful purposes. The U.S. and Israel fear the Iranians want a nuclear weapon.

And a picture-perfect touchdown. You've got to watch this. Last night for the space shuttle "Discovery" now back on Earth after 13 days on a mission to the International Space Station. Now bad weather in Florida prompting NASA to go with plan b. You're seeing it right here. And that would be landing at California's Edwards Air Force Base. Another look at your top stories in about 20 minutes.

HOLMES: Well, we all do it. We eat out. But folks over in Paris aren't eating up.

NGUYEN: Yeah. What does that mean? Well, we'll explain. CNN's Relisa da Silva (ph) shows us how.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RELISA DA SILVA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Fasten your seat belts. Your restaurant is about to take off. Hours before serving dinner Friday night, 12 top French chefs are checking out their high- flying venue. They want to raise the experience of French cuisine to a whole new level and for a good cause, as well, a charity which funds research of rare diseases.

YANNICK ALLENO, LE MEURICE HOTEL CHEF: It's a special event to promote French food, you know, and that the French food, so we go higher than that and then we work ourselves up for children.

DA SILVA: Twenty-two daring diners can sample the chef's gourmet creations, sitting in six seats on a platform under a glass roof and chandeliers, suspended from a crane held by metal cables. But don't worry if you missed Friday night's meal. Meals will be served UNTIL Tuesday for those willing to pay more than $1,300 each, about $150 of which goes to the Federation of Rare Diseases. Here's what's on the menu.

GUILLAUME GOMEZ, ELYSEE PALACE CHEF (through translator): On Tuesday evening for the final dinner, we start with an appetizer of crab with tomatoes. Afterward for the starter, lobster and for the main course, chicken supreme with small vegetables and truffles and chocolate for dessert.

DA SILVA: A four-course gourmet meal with a spectacular view of Paris and the Tuileries Palace Gardens below. We can all drink to that, even if we can't go. Relisa da Silva, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NGUYEN: I don't know. I think I might get a little woozy up there. Might not be a good thing to be eating dinner.

HOLMES: Odd, why that? There are other ways to raise money for charity.

NGUYEN: Right. Someone's always looking for something new and different.

HOLMES: New and different. It's certainly different.

NGUYEN: That it is.

HOLMES: I couldn't do it. You've got to be harnessed in to eat dinner?

NGUYEN: And what if you drop your fork? What happens then? Down there?

HOLMES: All right. Well, coming up here, we know the U.S. Open is still going on. It's about a day behind though because of rain. It got rained out. We actually got to hang out there.

NGUYEN: It was great. It was my first time at the U.S. Open. Got to see Federer and Udan (ph). Great, great matches. But yes, it's getting cold and windy outside, and so it looks like it's going to be Monday or Tuesday before --

HOLMES: Before they finally wrap it up. Right now they say Monday, but weather is not good today, so it might be pushed back two days delayed. But where we were and where everybody watches the main matches up there is Arthur Ashe Stadium. And Arthur Ashe, even though he died some 17 years ago, now still he has quite a presence there. And thanks to that woman there. That is his widow, Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, talking to her about diversity in the game and her husband's vision.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: Well the U.S. Open play is set to resume at the top of the hour, that is if the rain holds off. Let's take a look at New York and see where it's at right now, what the weather is looking like. Well, it's kind of cloudy out there, but steady showers Friday, in fact, led U.S. Open officials to pull the plug on play. It's kind of nasty up there yesterday. Rafael Nadal and Fernando Gonzalez hope to complete their men's quarterfinal match starting at noon Eastern. Women's semifinal play, well, that will follow. Serena Williams used the long rain delay Friday to hand out lollipops.

HOLMES: Got to do something with your time.

NGUYEN: Exactly.

HOLMES: And all those big matches are held of course in Arthur Ashe Stadium there at the grounds in Flushing, New York. However, just the stadium, that's not the only place his presence can still be felt to this day. Arthur Ashe helped found something called The National Junior Tennis and Learning Network. That's still been going on, it's still up and running this day some 40 years later. I caught up with his widow this week in New York at the U.S. Open. Her name is Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, to talk about how she is continuing her husband's legacy and also what some of the athletes of today can do to help continue Arthur Ashe's commitment to service.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES: Why haven't we since your husband, seen another black man in Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, the Australian Open? Why not?

JEANNE MOUTOUSSAMY-ASHE, WIDOW OF ARTHUR ASHE: Well, I think that it's going to happen. I don't know when. I think that, you know, maybe because we are such a me-oriented society today that it's always all about yourself or you that you have less deep down inside purpose to be able to accomplish these gigantic goals.

But I still think it's coming. It's coming. I mean Arthur used to say that. It's coming. He said they're not going to look like me, they're not going to walk like me and they're not going to talk like me, but it's coming. And he was ready.

HOLMES: People think tennis isn't diverse because the only two black players they can name are Venus and Serena. But behind the scene there's a lot more going on.

MOUTOUSSAMY-ASHE: There's a lot more going on, and I thank you for saying that and for doing this piece because that's what NJTL is about. It's more about focusing on the game of tennis and the skills that you learn in playing the game. It's really important that kids understand from a grassroots level, that they're not going to be in the top, not all of them are going to be in the top ten.

Getting in the top ten -- you know, that's pretty significant. But what they must understand is that playing the game, having that commitment, learning the lessons, let it be a hook to changing your approach to how you conduct yourself in the public, how well you perform in school. How you treat your siblings, your friends and your parents. These all things that you learn in the program.

HOLMES: There's a culture now in professional sports, oftentimes with these guys, that we know of. It's not all of them, but still, it's all about me, self, selfish, narcissistic, egomaniacal, whatever you want to call it. Does it drive you nuts giving what we saw with your husband, giving what you know and still to this day, his legacy of giving back, still exist, does it drive you crazy to see some of these young knuckleheads just squander wonderful opportunities? MOUTOUSSAMY-ASHE: Well, I can't say it that strongly. But what I can say is that we have a void. And not having Arthur's voice is a tremendous void, not just in sports, but just as you know, a hero to kids.

HOLMES: There's been for years, really, a lot of controversy surrounding Tiger Woods. And this was another major athlete just came up not long ago and actually said yes, Tiger Woods has a foundation that gives a lot of money. He said, that's not enough. Should Tiger, given where he is, and I don't know him personally or know the situation, but being in the situation, unique position that he is in, would you like to see him take more of a, I guess more of a lead in some of these social issues?

MOUTOUSSAMY-ASHE: Well I don't think he's just playing golf and making money and minding his business. I think that Tiger has a conscience. I think that he has a little ways to go with his experiences in life, to make a decision, a mature decision, to really step out and take a stand on issues. And I know athletes don't like to hear that. People don't like to have to play the role as, the role of a role model.

But you know -- it comes with the territory. He means so much to so many. And when he begins to really realize how has an impact, I have faith. I say this to Tiger and I say this to other athletes that it's not what you're doing now. It's how people are going to remember you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NGUYEN: That's a good point, all about the legacy that you leave behind.

HOLMES: Good points being made there. We were all talking about her legacy. Everybody is amazed here, looking at her --

NGUYEN: She's a gorgeous woman.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: She's stunning. It's nice to actually hear her thoughts, because for so long, you really didn't hear from her. I mean, she's been pretty quiet. But a staunch supporter of Arthur Ashe while he was living and then carrying on the legacy. But I liked hearing her story. I liked hearing her thoughts now.

HOLMES: Well it was nice to spend some time with her and hello to you, now.

WHITFIELD: Oh, hello, how are you guys doing? It's been awhile, Betty.

NGUYEN: I know, we're all back together, finally.

WHITFIELD: We're all back together. OK, well a lot coming up in the noon Eastern hour, from Capitol Hill and beyond reverberations still of Congressman Joe Wilson and what took place and his words and actions in front of the president of the United States and in front of the nation. So how is that campaign fundraising coming along for him in South Carolina, as well as his South Carolina opponent? We'll be delving in, Lisa Desjardins will be joining us from Capitol Hill.

And photographer Annie Leibovitz, a big phew. She gets a reprieve. She gets to hold on to her portfolio and her estate, at least for now. Our legal guys will be delving in to find out exactly what is at stake, this famous picture and everything else.

NGUYEN: She has taken so many just -- really, not only famous, but just iconic photographs. And we were talking about this the other day, to lose that portfolio, my goodness.

WHITFIELD: I know, not only is her portfolio a national treasure, but so is she. But again, you know, it's not over yet. The battle is still --

NGUYEN: It's $24 million, right?

WHITFIELD: Yes, $24 million estate, including her real estate property, which she has many pieces of property and of course that beautiful portfolio, we'll see.

NGUYEN: All right, looking forward to it.

WHITFIELD: Got to tune in at noon to find out what's next.

HOLMES: In a couple of minutes.

NGUYEN: Do you think we would be anywhere else?

WHITFIELD: No, no.

NGUYEN: We've only been on the air for six hours, that's all. All right, I want to talk to you about a lavish party now drawing some questions though from some residents of an exclusive beachfront neighborhood. They want to know why one bank employee is accused of using one person's loss for his own gain.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: Well, one family just devastated by Bernie Madoff's scam. After they lost it all, the bank foreclosed on their dream home on the beach in Malibu. But that house? Not sitting empty.

HOLMES: CNN's Casey Wian tells us now, you may be more than a little surprised by who's accused of using it now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This $12 million beachfront home in southern California's exclusive Malibu Colony is surrounded by celebrities, walls and a guard gate. It was also once owned by a couple that lost money in Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme forcing them to turn the house over to Wells Fargo to satisfy a debt. But instead of selling the house, a Wells Fargo executive moved in with her family on weekends. Neighbors say they entertained guests and even held a party where people were ferried to and from a yacht offshore.

KATIE WOLCOTT, MALIBU RESIDENT: You definitely don't need bank executives living and enjoying repossessed property.

WIAN: These photos are from the Web site of Irene Dazzan-Palmer (ph), a real estate agent who tried to lease the home for the former owners before it went to Wells Fargo in May. The agent tells "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT" she had a buyer interested in making a cash offer for the 3,800 square foot home in one of California's most exclusive neighborhoods, but she says the bank wouldn't show the property. Sandro Dazzan is her son and business partner.

SANDRO DAZZAN, REAL ESTATE AGENT: We did have a -- an offer, all cash offer but we did not get a response back.

WIAN: Instead the "Los Angeles Times" reports Charanda Geiten (ph), a Wells Fargo senior vice president in charge of foreclosed commercial properties moved in on weekends. She was even issued a homeowner's parking pass by security guards, raising the suspicion of neighbors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Generally speaking everybody knows what everyone else is up to.

WIAN: Geiten (ph) did not respond to phone calls and e-mail seeking comment. Linda Livingstone (ph) is head of Malibu's Pepperdine University's Gracia Dio (ph) School of Business. She says it's likely the case is already being discussed in class.

LINDA LIVINGSTONE, DEAN, PEPPERDINE UNIV. SCHOOL OF BUSINESS: It certainly could just be very poor judgment on the part of an individual. It could be issues related to how the company had -- has laid out its policy and the extent to which they have actually enforced the policy in the past.

WIAN: Wells Fargo said it would not comment on Geiten's (ph) actions for privacy reasons. It also said in a statement quote, "Wells Fargo's code of ethics and business conduct handbook instructs team members to avoid conflicts of interest or the appearance of conflicts of interest in their personal and business activities." The bank added that it will be conducting a thorough investigation. Wells Fargo also says the house was kept off of the market because of an agreement with the previous owners and that it would be put up for sale soon. Casey Wian, CNN, Malibu, California.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NGUYEN: Goodness, after hearing that, just imagine what the previous owners think knowing that their home is being used like that.

HOLMES: As a playground essentially at this point.

NGUYEN: They lost it all.

HOLMES: Well, Fred, we'll leave you with that.

WHITFIELD: Yes, thanks a lot. On that happy note... NGUYEN: Yes, exactly.

WHITFIELD: You all have a great day.

HOLMES: We'll see you.