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CNN BREAKING NEWS
Continuing Coverage of Dorner, Police Confrontation; Interview with Lt. Brian Murphy; State of the Union Analysis
Aired February 13, 2013 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Hey, that's it for this special edition of 360. CNN's breaking news coverage continues now with Chris Cuomo.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN breaking news.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: -- getting a reaction to the president's address to the nation tonight, the State of the Union and the Republican response as well.
However, we begin in California with Miguel Marquez. He's in Big Bear, in Southern California. He's been tracking the story all day long; he has the latest.
Miguel, what do we know?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know there is a body in a cabin just up the road from where we are and that we believe it is the body of Christopher Dorner.
We have confirmed it through several federal law enforcement and through someone who apparently has leaked it from Los Angeles Police Department that Dorner is in that cabin and now it's just a matter of collecting his body and 100 percent identifying it.
San Bernardino sheriff's office have pushed back, as has LAPD, saying they haven't gotten in there; they're not sure it's him but the San Bernardino sheriff's office also saying that throughout the day Mr. Dorner was spotted several times, was in that cabin and never left that cabin.
I also have from another law enforcement official, federal official, that his cell phone, Mr. Dorner's cell phone went on throughout the day and it is possible that they were able to talk to him at some point during the day and confirm that he was in there and that, more importantly, he did not have hostages in that cabin.
At one point he tried to get out of it, apparently by throwing a smoke grenade out of the cabin and trying to shoot his way out. He was forced back into the cabin and some time after that, whether he set the fire or was law enforcement that started the fire when they were pumping gas into that cabin, it turned into a conflagration and he is still in that cabin.
And for all intents and purposes, this was a huge scene just a few hours ago and now all of the police have left the roadblocks here; there is no more searching going on tonight. San Bernardino sheriff's office seemingly confident that they have their man. Chris?
CUOMO: Of course, the story is still developing. Part of that, Miguel, is because there are lots of different aspects of law enforcement, local, city, state, federal involved here. You have been at the press conferences all day. And your part, you are coming from the San Bernardino sheriff's office. Let's play a little sound from Cindy Bachman at one of those press conferences. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We had reason to believe that that was Christopher Dorner because the victims of the car theft said that the suspect that stole their car looked like him and his actions after stealing the vehicle led us to believe even stronger that it was him. We have not confirmed that it is him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: You have to remember, this is a very confusing situation. And lots of different law enforcement involved. This happened randomly. They hadn't been tailing this suspect. What happened essentially in shorthand format is they got a report from people who had their pickup truck hijacked.
The people who were driving the vehicle said they identified the man who did it as Christopher Dorner, the ex-cop, the subject of this manhunt. That, of course, triggered the suspicion of wildlife and game officers who were there. They wound up getting in to a firefight with this suspect. They wound up chasing him; the vehicle was ditched. He ran into the woods, found a cabin.
That's when San Bernardino sheriffs and a lot of other enforcement came in, combined assets, surrounded the cabin and that's what led to the dramatic end that you see here, that cabin in flames. So there have been a lot of moving parts here and confusion.
And, Miguel, when you hear that, the reason Cindy Bachmann had to come back on and give a press conference, I believe -- let's get your reaction to it -- is after she originally told us that they believed they had Dorner's body, the LAPD came out and said, we don't know that. We are keeping all security of people in place. We're not sure. Then came this. Your reaction to it all?
MARQUEZ: Yes, I think she wants to make 110 percent sure that they do, in fact, have him. But it is very clear that officials across the spectrum here believe that, with the exception of LAPD, who says they are going to keep up their defenses tonight of those individuals who are named in Dorner's manifesto, on this mountain, there is no more search for Dorner going on this evening.
One little difference in the way this seems to have played out this afternoon, the "Los Angeles Times" reporting that it was two cleaning ladies that walked into that cabin initially. Dorner surprised them in there. He then tied them up. He stole their purple Nissan car, took off in that. The law -- the fish and game individuals saw him in that, had a shootout with him. He ditched that car, went into the woods, carjacked, basically, a white pickup truck, when they was -- he was chased in that until he crashed it. Then he went into the second cabin and that's where apparently he met his end, Chris.
CUOMO: That's right, Miguel. You took it back even another step. Literally there were two carjackings today. There were hostages, we believe, for some time, but ultimately no hostages in the cabin. That's what officials believe at this point.
There were two separate shootouts, one with the wildlife and game officers, then the San Bernardino sheriffs were in a subsequent shootout where one of the officers lost his life, the other one was injured. We're told he's going to be OK. So it's been a very complex day, and that's why communication, especially when you have so many different branches of law enforcement involved, it gets confusing.
At the end of the day, all that matters is accuracy and safety and certainly that's the goal of all involved here. For more perspective on this, let's also go out to the West Coast, to Randi Kaye. She's in Los Angeles. She's been following it all day for us.
What's the latest for you there, Randi?
RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR: Well, Chris, just a short time ago, we had the LAPD spokesman, Captain Andy Smith come out. And he was pretty heated about the fact that there had been all this talk about Christopher Dorner's body being not only pulled from that cabin but also identified as Christopher Dorner. And he said that is absolutely not true.
Again, another story trying to clear up whether or not there was a body or wasn't a body and if there was an identification. But he said that that's absolutely not true.
I pulled him aside after that press room, we spoke privately and he said that he was on the phone with somebody who was standing right next to what was left of that cabin. He said he could still see the embers; there was still plenty of smoke and fire there. He said it was too unsafe for anybody to go inside. They absolutely would not have entered what was left of that cabin.
And he also said that before they were to remove a body, Chris, they would spend hours in there, photographing the scene, making sure they documented everything. They would never have removed a body so quickly. He said they're hoping to get in there still tonight if things do cool down but they may have to wait until daylight tomorrow to actually get inside, Chris.
CUOMO: Randi, thank you so much for the reporting and perspective.
Miguel, thank you to you, as well.
Long nights for both of you. Thank you for doing all of the reporting today. Now it is interesting, Miguel Marquez made a point earlier today when there was all this confusion and we weren't sure whether the body was found or not or why.
And there were different agencies giving different information. Miguel Marquez said, well, we know this, all of the blockades that had been along this Highway 38, this route where he was, are now gone.
And the law enforcement perimeter seems to be shifting. Now that wound up becoming very consistent with some knowledge of some type of end point here in this investigation in what was a developing situation which also wound up corresponding with the person who is on the phone with us right now. The information we got from a man named Tom Fuentes, a former assistant director of the FBI.
Tom, can you hear me?
TOM FUENTES, FORMER A.D., FBI: Yes, I can, Chris.
CUOMO: Now just to set the stage for people, you had told Anderson and me earlier in the day that you had received reports from law enforcement that they believed Dorner was inside. They believed that that's why they had to launch a tactical response and put in either flash devices or tear gas devices and then we got a confusion of information.
But as you look at it in the totality of circumstances and what you have learned today, what do you think the best-case scenario is right now?
FUENTES: I think exactly what we said earlier tonight, that he was in there and that he was killed in this basic incident that happened, and he did not escape. And the information that I was reporting on was based that somebody at that site, an officer at that site, had called back to one of their parent agencies and said that he's here and dead.
And you know, that was vehemently denied by LAPD. But something Randi Kaye just said is telling, and that is that the L.A. commander says he was on the phone with somebody standing right next to the cabin. So that tells you right there that people were at the site making phone calls back to their agencies.
So that could have led to the confusion and that may have not been the only phone call made to another officer at LAPD, which is why information may have come out that was conflicting with what they officially wanted to report.
But in spite of the fact, you know, I can understand why LAPD would want to maintain the protection of the people involved in this until there is absolutely somebody goes into that burned-out area and finds that body.
But on the other hand, from the San Bernardino standpoint, they have to be 100 percent sure that this was over or they wouldn't have called it off. They have already essentially been burned once in this by the fact that they scaled back their search on that mountain thinking, well, he is gone, he's in Mexico, he's out of state. He's somewhere else. We're not going to need as many police officers searching residences and cabins up here. And then what? They find out he is holding hostages in -- under their nose in a location that should have been still a primary search area.
So I think that is an embarrassment that is going to be, I think, focused on, although more in the days ahead and how could that have happened?
How could they be scaling back and the guy is up there holding hostages and then now tonight, when you have this essential shootout and fire, if there was any possibility that he escaped through the perimeter and got out there, they are facing the same situation. He's already taken hostages and home invaded before. He'll do it again. He'll steal another car.
CUOMO: Well, that's the point, Tom.
FUENTES: Certainly --
CUOMO: I mean, that's the point. Looking at it from the flip scenario here because you do have branches of law enforcement that don't work together that often, and there is so much fear because this man, Christopher Dorner, has been so efficient and effective at taking on the police officers and winning, of course, in the most horrible sense of the word.
What is the worst-case scenario if there is no body or the body in there turns out not to be Dorner? I know it is a remote possibility. But in the abundance of caution --
FUENTES: The worst-case -- the worst-case scenario, if that played out to be true and tomorrow or the next day when they get inside that burned-out cabin and they discover there's no body or a body of somebody else, let's say, possibly an innocent person, but Dorner's body is not found, then this is going to be one of the biggest black eyes on a law enforcement agency that we have had almost ever that they stopped the search.
They called off the road blocks. They basically scale everything down, making it appear that they are totally confident that this is resolved and the community is safe and that their own territory on that mountain top, all the residents up in that area are safe. If they call all that off and find out later he is not there, he got out. That would be the most incredible -- that would be -- I don't know, just incredible to me.
CUOMO: No, I understand, Tom. I understand it is a little remote. But, again, abundance of caution and all that matters here is the safety and completeness of this coming to an end and certainly we can understand why there is so much uncertainty right now, given the confusion and all the moving parts. But I appreciate your perspective. Thank you for the reporting all day and I'm sure I will be talking to you about this again. I appreciate it.
FUENTES: You're welcome, Chris. Sure.
CUOMO: So that's the latest for now, what we understand in this manhunt in California. As information comes in, we will give it to you. But right now, we are going to turn to the president's State of the Union address, the most powerful and emotional moment of it may have come right near the end when he talked about gun violence.
He demanded up-or-down votes on his gun control proposals and some victims of shooting violence stood, cheered and even shed tears. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I know this is not the first time this country has debated how to reduce gun violence. But this time it's different. Overwhelming majorities of Americans, Americans who believe in the 2nd Amendment, have come together around common sense reform, like background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun. Senators --
-- senators of both parties are working together on tough, new laws to prevent anyone from buying guns for resale to criminals. Police chiefs are asking our help to get weapons of war and massive ammunition magazines off our streets because these police chiefs, they're tired of seeing their guys and gals being outgunned. Each of these proposals deserves a vote in Congress.
OBAMA: If you want to vote no, that's your choice. But these proposals deserve a vote because in the two months since Newtown, more than 1,000 birthdays, graduations, anniversaries have been stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun -- more than 1,000.
One of those we lost was a young girl named Hadiya Pendleton. She was 15 years old. She loved Fig Newtons and lip gloss. She was a majorette. She was so good to her friends, they all thought they were her best friend.
Just three weeks ago, she was here in Washington with her classmates, performing for her country at my inauguration. And a week later, she was shot and killed in a Chicago park after school, just a mile away from my house. Hadiya's parents, Nate and Cleo, are in this chamber tonight, along with more than two dozen Americans whose lives have been torn apart by gun violence. They deserve a vote.
OBAMA: They deserve a vote. (APPLAUSE)
OBAMA: Gabby Giffords deserves a vote. The families of Newtown deserve a vote. The families of Aurora deserve a vote. The families of Oak Creek and Tucson and Blacksburg and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence, they deserve a simple vote.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: An interesting aspect of this, of course, the emotion there, especially with all of those victims in the audience.
But when we did polling after the State of the Union about what moved people in different ways, this issue resonated the most in terms of an increase in support for the president's proposition, which is to say the numbers went basically from 61 percent believing that his ideas about gun control policy will make the country better, take it in the right direction, went to 70 percent and those who disagreed with the direction went down just a little bit from 31 percent to 28 percent.
But the question is, as I bring it to you in the panel -- thank you very much for joining me -- is this issue can be looked at two ways. It's a side issue. We have lots of gun laws already. They don't make a difference.
Let's deal with the big issues, the budget and health care and entitlements and such. But the emotion of it gives it a resonance. And it seemed that way in the room tonight. So I will begin with you, Van Jones, former Obama adviser.
Let me ask you this, do you believe, even with the emotion, do you believe that Left and Right can come together and get something done that would be meaningful on gun control?
VAN JONES, FORMER OBAMA ADVISER: Well, first of all, I think that even the second time you hear the president make that powerful, powerful statement, it's emotional. And he really struck a chord. And I think that's going to go down as one of his most defining moments, where he really, I think, spoke to the heart of the issue and the heart of the country.
I hope that we can get something done. And I will tell you why. Some funerals get on television. A lot of funerals don't. And I think Americans are tired of going to funerals and seeing young people in the caskets and old folks like me and you sitting up in the pews. I'm tired of seeing prom pictures being used on funeral programs.
You know, I'm tired of that. And I think, you know, some of the proposals, they're about assault weapons -- assault weapons -- and we've talked about the fact it is mostly handguns. Some of these proposals won't get to the violence but we've got to start someplace and I hope we will. I hope we will.
CUOMO: Now, listen, I'm going to play a little bit of a provocateur on this. But because -- there is only one reason. I have covered every shooting since Columbine. I have been with the families, I understand the pain. But -- and here's the but that I want to bring out to the table -- there's not a lot of cause to believe another law would make another difference.
It seems enforcement will make the difference. And I know there is emotion towards let's give it a quick fix, but maybe there isn't one. Maybe there isn't one.
Margaret Hoover --
MARGARET HOOVER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: That's why you're doing it --
CUOMO: Margaret Hoover, Republican strategist, what do you think on this? Even though the heart tells you one thing, can there be compromise?
HOOVER: And are these propositions simply laws that will make us feel better but not make us safer? The Justice Department has identified something like 77,000 people who have broken a law, have been identified on criminal background checks, lying on criminal background checks to buy guns. And -- sorry, the FBI hasn't identified them, turned them over to justice, justice hasn't chosen to prosecute them.
CUOMO: That we can fix.
HOOVER: There are a lot -- yes, we can fix this easily. So you're right. The question is where is the common ground? What can we find in terms of the common ground? And how do we then get Republicans and Democrats on board together? And I think one of those areas where you are probably going to have the most likelihood of doing that is on background checks.
The NRA has supported it in the past. There are reasonable Republicans who are willing to go with a larger majority of Democrats in this area. Look at suburban Democrats outside of Philadelphia for example. They are willing to talk about background checks.
CUOMO: Is it enough, Cornell Belcher, if you say we are going to make background checks more real? Do you think that is enough when people are staring at semiautomatic rifles and saying, no, they just have to go. We need the assault weapon ban? Is it enough?
CORNELL BELCHER, FORMER DEMOCRATIC PARTY POLLSTER: Well, look, here's a couple of things. I'll get to that. But first, it is not a side issue when you are living in South Central Los Angeles. It's not a side issue if you're living in Chicago. So don't say it is a side issue. It is not a side issue for too many communities. It is an up- front issue. Too many of our young people are dying.
That said, where too many Republicans are is unsustainable. I think Anna's actually going to agree with me this. You cannot be against all these common sense gun laws. I mean, it is near universal acceptance of this idea that we need background checks.
I mean, it is strong support and CNN's own polling about the need for us to sort of limit some of these -- some of these clips. To do nothing around the issue of guns right now is a nonstarter. It is not politically sustainable for any party to simply say we are not going to do anything around guns right now.
ANA NAVARRO, REPUBLICAN CONSULTANT: I agree with Cornell, actually. I think that it is imperative upon Republicans, upon the NRA to be part of the solution. What we are hearing again and again from the American public is that they want something done.
There's nothing wrong with laws that make you feel better. In fact, we got a ton of laws that make us feel worse. There wouldn't be anything wrong with one that makes us feel better.
And, yes, there's a lot of other things we have to do. We have to reinforce the laws that are already in the books. But if there is some common ground that can be reached -- and I think there is. I have spoken to enough Republicans in the Senate and in Congress who feel that there is common grounds on things like the universal background checks.
And we cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good. If there are certain good things we can agree on, we must do that. It can't be my way or the highway. But that extends for both sides of the aisle.
The other thing that you have to understand here is that there is a lot of Democrats. There's not a lot, but there's enough Democrats, seven in the Senate, certainly, who are up for re-election, who remember the huge Democrat losses from the last time this got done. You can ask Mark Pryor in Arkansas how he feels about this --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will. Hold on -- Van, hold the point for it. Then I love -- I want to end -- we're going to go to break, but I want to end on that. We can't let the perfect get in the way of the good. That is the line of the night so far.
We're going to take a quick break.
We're also going to be looking at the Republican response to the president, Senator Marco Rubio, very impressive as well, and we'll show you why. And we're going to take you to a focus group that got to think about Senator Rubio's remarks and our reality check. We are going to have a team taking a hard look at the president's proposals on jobs, so stay with us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN breaking news.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO (voice-over): Hello, everyone. We have more on the breaking news in California. The manhunt for the former police officer Christopher Dorner. We're going to go back live to Los Angeles. But first, we're going to give you the latest on our other big story, President Obama's State of the Union speech and reaction to it.
Let's take a look at what our focus groups in Virginia thought of Senator Marco Rubio's Republican response to the president's speech.
We measured -- we measured their reaction while they watched. Now, let me explain how this works, these squiggly lines behind me. The blue line represents Democrats and the red line is for Republicans. The yellow line is for independents.
And how do they all work? Well, here's Senator Rubio's best moment of the night, according to the frequency with his own party. It happened at 10:32, when he talked about taxes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLA.: This idea that our problems were caused by a government that was too small, it's just not true.
In fact, the major cause of our recent downturn was the housing crisis created by reckless government policies and the idea that more taxes and more government spending is the best way to help hard-working middle-class taxpayers. That's an old idea that has failed every time it has been tried.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Democrats, on the other hand, gave Senator Rubio low marks for similar comments at just about the same time, 10:31.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUBIO: Presidents in both parties, from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan, have known that our free enterprise economy is the source of our middle-class prosperity.
But President Obama, he believes it is the cause of our problems, that the economic downturn happened because our government didn't tax enough, spend enough or control enough. And, therefore, as you heard tonight, his solution to virtually every problem we face is for Washington to tax more, borrow more and spend more.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: And with independents, Senator Rubio scored low marks at 10:40, when he spoke about the 2nd Amendment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUBIO: Of course we face other challenges as well. We were all heartbroken by the recent tragedy in Connecticut. We must effectively be able to rise to violence in our country, but unconstitutionally undermining the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans is not the way to do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: All right. We will go now to CNN's Erin Burnett. She is with the focus group in Richmond, Virginia.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Well, Chris, Marco Rubio's speech was a little bit of a different reaction here than the president's. So let me just start off by asking all of you, who thought that Marco Rubio did a good job?
All right. Definitely have some people, although when you compare it, Chris, to what we saw with the president, the numbers were much more overwhelming in terms of being positive for the president.
But let's find out what it was about Marco Rubio's speech that inspired and didn't inspire. Let me start with you, Flynn (ph). I know you are an independent; you voted both ways. But you had something positive to say about Marco Rubio.
FLYNN (PH): Well, I think he makes a pleasing appearance. He's youthful, he's articulate. His thoughts were well organized, they were well presented and most of the things he said, I agreed with.
BURNETT: All right. Well, there you go. There's one point of view.
And let me go down to you, Michelle (ph), I know that you are Republican and -- but you thought that Marco Rubio did a good job and how come?
MICHELLE (PH): I thought he did a good job because he was able to include some descriptions about his proposals, whereas the president glossed over a lot of the issues.
BURNETT: Any proposals that stood out to you specifically?
MICHELLE (PH): He was more specific, it seemed, on managing the money and the immigration reform.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you.
Now we will go from -- we'll go from one Republican to another. And let me come down to you, Ellen (ph). I know that you, as a Republican, were not as excited about Marco Rubio's performance. Where did he fall short?
ELLEN (PH): I think one of the things that I was disappointed in was that he focused so much on his own personal immigrant story. And I felt that he could have been a little more inclusive of everything else.
BURNETT: So it was a little bit too much about himself?
ELLEN (PH): A little too much.
BURNETT: And, Keith (ph), you're -- as an independent, you had some policy questions.
KEITH (PH): Well, I'm not sure that he drew the sharp kind of contrasts around policy, particularly around Medicare and education that would have supported how partisan he was in the beginning. And so I was waiting to hear something very different from him, based on how he started the speech. And it felt like it at least was similar to what Obama was saying.
BURNETT: And when he started on the speech, is this something -- I know we were all talking about beforehand in the room, but when he was talking about respecting all life that sort of seemed to be a social issue but then wasn't? Or is that not what you are talking about?
KEITH (PH): Well, I mean in the very -- in the very beginning of the speech when he came out and was striking a fairly partisan tone with Obama, I was waiting to see or hear some policy differences that were a little sharper than what -- than what he actually proposed.
BURNETT: All right.
And then a final word here to you, Shannon (ph). I know that you also felt that he was falling a little bit short as an independent voter?
SHANNON (PH): Right, I was surprised and kind of disappointed at how combative -- how combative his tone seemed to be, the president's tone, his whole tone very conciliatory, looking for opportunities to work together with Congress.
Rubio seemed to be more of the same problem we've had the past four years, us versus them instead of here are opportunities to work together; here is where we can be on the same page and get something done over the next four years.
BURNETT: And of course, as you all are aware, the rebuttal to the State of the Union is sort of a tryout, and it's a tough tryout. You don't have the audience, you don't have people there. But again, show of hands and let me lay this out again, Chris.
We have got 12 Democrats here, 12 independents and eight Republicans, so Republicans are not as equality represented. But overall, do you all think Marco Rubio will make a good candidate for president? Raise your hand.
All right. He has got some votes there, so maybe from the perspective of Marco Rubio, that speech might have been successful, but we shall see over the next couple of days. Back to you.
CUOMO: All right, thank you, Erin. And make an excellent point for the senator, so much pressure. This is his first time with a massive national audience. He doesn't have the crowd there to play off of. He's just staring into a camera as I am now, but I do it for a living and this was right out of the box.
And many people are favorably impressed, politics aside, with the person, Marco Rubio. So a success for him in all of that.
Of course, the other man of the evening is our president, Obama. And a big push for him tonight, a big bar for success was about the need to create jobs, fiscal responsibility and his ability to help the middle class. Here is what he had to say tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Our economy is adding jobs, but too many people still can't find full time employment. Corporate profits have skyrocketed to all- time highs, but for more than a decade, wages and incomes Have barely budged. It is our generation's task, then, to reignite the true engine of America's economic growth, a rising, thriving middle-class.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Tom Foreman is standing by now with a reality check on what the president had to say about jobs.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know, Chris, really this issue of jobs has been the issue of the Obama presidency from the beginning, and he did talk about it tonight, just like he did during his campaign, let's get more jobs for the middle class, let's help them move ahead.
Let's help them with their savings, but the simple truth is the first thing that he will have to do is help them get out of the hole they have descended into in recent years. Let's look at the jobs record since he took office. Back in 2009 when he first came in, 133 million Americans were unemployed at that time.
That number was already dropping dramatically coming out of the Bush years and it kept dropping until February 2010, when it hit its very lowest point, then we began this long, slow grind up to where we are today, which is about 1.2 million jobs higher than it was when the president took office in 2009. That is an improvement, but not nearly as robust as many people would like to see.
And here's the more important point. The jobs that we lost over here were better than the jobs we have gained back over here. And let me explain what I am talking about here. Rutgers University did a study where they talked to a lot of people who had lost jobs and then regained other jobs, and this is what they found, of those people 22 percent said they are being paid the same as they were before.
Beyond that, though, look at this, 24 percent said they are being paid more and 55 percent said they are being paid less. This is one of the great underreported stories of this economy, underemployment, people who are working hard, who are trying to move ahead, many of whom are middle class, and they just can't get any real traction here.
This is the great challenge for this president, not merely to produce jobs, but to produce good jobs which continue to be in short supply. Chris?
CUOMO: Tom, you make an excellent point. And not only looking at that big red section -- is that an obvious challenge, because when you look at underemployment, you go from 8 percent to 15-16 percent, so it is a much more formidable number, and it's also impressive because it seems as though you should have a magic wand, Tom, the way you move your hand and things appear -- I'm new to CNN. That is very impressive. I'm going to come see you after I finish here. You have to teach me how to do that.
CUOMO: Now let's go back to our contributors right now . I have, starting from my left, Van Jones, Ana Navarro, Cornell Belcher and Margaret Hoover, blessed panel, thank you. It's good to have you here. Let's start with what really should be the headline, OK? We have a bad problem with underemployment, We don't talk about it that much. We like unemployment because it's a lower number -- let's be honest.
So the Democrats and jobs, Ana Navarro, have they proven in any demonstrable way that they are making jobs in this country the way we need them to be made?
NAVARRO: Well, look, if we take a look at the last quarter of this last year and how it had to readjusted, the answer is no. I think we would all agree that we are still a country in economic distress and I'm glad that President Obama pivoted back to jobs, because I hadn't heard him talk about the economy, the deficit, jobs, none of the fiscal issues during the inaugural.
I thought it was a huge gap in his inaugural speech, so it is a good thing he is talking about it. I may not agree with everything he is saying, but at least I am glad he is addressing it. I do think that, you know, he offered a gigantic grocery list of what he wants. I'm not sure he gets it all.
In fact, I'm sure he doesn't get it all. I am not sure we can afford it all. He said it is not going to increase by one dime, he is right, it is going to increase by a whole lot of dimes.
CUOMO: The price tag is biggest. So what happens? And now, Van, let me get your response for ---- we'll get -- go to the break. We'll get more on the other side of it, but what is the response?
JONES: Well, I think a couple of things. First of all, just back on the last topic, nothing stops a bullet in most of these neighborhoods like a job, like a good job. It is a big economic dimension to the violence. These issues are connected, number one.
Number two, the things this president put forward that would create jobs are things that I think we can afford to do and have to do. He talked about public/private partnerships, bringing in private capital to fix our bridges and our roads. It is fiscally irresponsible to let the bridges fall down, 70,000 bridges fall down and then fix them, when it costs more money.
So he is putting forward ideas that I think are common sense ideas. I hope he gets more credit for reaching out with these common sense ideas that will create jobs and make America stronger.
CUOMO: You say interconnected, and it's one of the problems with it is job growth and raising taxes creates partisan gridlock like almost nothing else, because the Republicans -- Margaret, tell me if I'm right, quickly -- that when you say we're going to raise taxes, it seems to be the opposite of job growth and stimulus to the Republicans, fair?
HOOVER: Fair, and also Republicans feel like they've just let taxes go up. Taxes just simply aren't on the table. One other thing I'll say quickly, because I know we have to go to break, the president mentioned the word debt in the context of the federal debt once in his speech. Marco Rubio mentioned it five, six, seven times.
That is a major error, because the president had -- this is the high watermark of his influence.
This is the moment where he wants to get bipartisan legislation passed, if he wants to actually attack what he said were the drivers of our debt in a "Washington Post" editorial board meeting in 2009, reforming entitlements, if he wants to be that guy, the president who has that legacy, he has now to act, and he totally missed the opportunity tonight to go in that direction.
CUOMO: Cornell, quick counterpoint, because you look so deep in thought.
BELCHER: Well, a quick counterpoint is it just boggles my mind, if we -- if we want the economy, if we want the economy (inaudible), we can have the economy (inaudible) boy, they are in a real recession, you know. If we want to sort of cut away and keep cutting, cutting is not -- you can't cut your way to prosperity; it's just -- it just is not common sense.
CUOMO: All right, so let's -- and let's leave it there.
JONES: And $4 trillion of deficit reduction in his plan, so there it is.
HOOVER: Deficit, not debt.
CUOMO: All right. They'll keep fighting behind me. We're going to go to a break and also remember, following another very important story tonight, a shootout, a hostage standoff, and now we are waiting still to confirm the fate of a fugitive ex-cop and accused killer. We will get an update live from California when we come back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN breaking news.
CUOMO: Hello, everyone. Recapping this hour's news from California, authorities are hoping a 10-day killing rampage is over after Tuesday's shootout and fire near a mountain resort.
They are pretty sure Christopher Dorner, the fired Los Angeles policeman now linked to four deaths, is the man who took refuge in a cabin that burned down. But I say pretty sure, because the LAPD says there's no truth to reports of a positive identification.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COMMANDER ANDREW SMITH, LAPD: That cabin is still too hot for anybody to make entry. There has been no body located inside of that cabin. That cabin has not yet been searched because the fire is still too hot as of five minutes ago for anybody to go into there.
Any reports of a body being found are not true. No body has yet been found in there. Any reports that that body has been identified as Christopher Dorner are not true. No body has been identified and no body has been located.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Why the confusion? We are going to talk about that with a journalist in a moment, but first, some more information.
Tuesday's shootout and fire happened in San Bernardino County, where one deputy was killed and another critically wounded by a suspect, again, authorities believe to be Dorner. They say the same suspect was holed up in the cabin that burned down, but they haven't gone inside yet.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CINDY BACHMAN, SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY: That cabin has not been entered. Law enforcement officers on scene have not been able to enter the cabin, it is too hot, it is still smoldering and is it not safe for them to enter.
I cannot tell you at this time when they might be able to enter the cabin. It is a huge crime scene, anticipate them being there most of the night. There is no conflicting information. They have not been inside the cabin. It is not safe to do that. They believe there is a body inside, they have not yet been inside, it is not safe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: That is Cindy Bachmann from the San Bernardino sheriff's office. A lot of confused information. Let's try to straighten out, at least, some source for the confusion.
On the phone right now we have Jens Erik Gould. He is covering the Dorner story for "Time" magazine.
Jens, good to speak to you again. What is your sense of why there is competing accounts about what is going on, if there is a body, what the result is of the burning?
JENS ERIK GOULD, "TIME" REPORTER: Thanks for having me on, Chris. There is quite a lot of confusion going on; a police chief, actually a deputy police chief from the Riverside police came out saying -- or was reported in a meeting to have said that the body was found. The LAPD, as you just showed, then came out and said, no, no body has been found and it looks like we will be stuck with that until the morning. CUOMO: Well, look, there are a lot of good reasons why this confusion could be going on, right, Jens? I mean, it's unusual to have so many different branches of law enforcement coordinating in a situation like this, branches that don't ordinarily communicate, I mean, it simply could be a question of that, yes?
GOULD: Yes, this was unprecedented. It -- you only need to look at it with the largest reward ever offered in the history of this city and this region.
You had all sorts of different agencies coordinating, in fact, the agency that began the whole standoff today was the fish and wildlife service, (inaudible) wardens who got involved in a -- in a chase and a shootout with Dorner, so they were coordinating with the deputies which were involved in the gunfight and then you have the LAPD, and you just have so many people going -- involved in this that it is quite confusing.
CUOMO: I mean, just to give some sense of the enormity of what they had to take on today, two different carjackings, hostages, two different shootouts, at least three different branches of law enforcement involved and now, Jens, we are left with this conflicting situation where the LAPD is saying we don't know that he is in there and to prove we think he may not be in there, we are going to keep all of the security precautions from the people who have been targeted by these man up and going and then you have the San Bernardino sheriff's office that seems to have removed the perimeter, allowing the traffic to flow, the blockades are gone, very conflicting message.
But, listen, thank you very much for giving us your reporting throughout the day. I am sure I will speaking to you about this again. Thank you for putting in the time with us.
GOULD: Thank you, Chris.
CUOMO: All right. That is Jens Gould, he is covering this for "Time" magazine. Now we're going to go back to the president's State of the Union address.
Here's what we did. We polled Americans who watched the speech for their reaction. Some numbers: more than half -- 53 percent -- said they had a very positive response; 24 percent said they were somewhat positive; 22 percent had a negative reaction.
We also asked if the speech will lead to more bipartisan cooperation, 39 percent said yes, 53 percent said no. Remember those numbers. We're going to talk about them in a second.
Most viewers were satisfied with the length of the president's speech, 81 percent telling us it was about right, it was about an hour and so.
We asked how this speech compared to the president's inaugural address, 58 percent said they liked tonight's speech better -- better; surprising -- 20 percent preferred what the president said on Inauguration Day. Again, this was only a poll of people who watched the president's speech, not scientific so much. More viewers were Democrats, just as more Republicans tend to watch a Republican president's address. So it makes sense that there were more Democrats on this one.
The president spoke tonight about a controversial issue that he mentioned in his inaugural address. We're going to play for it -- play some of it for you right now. The topic is climate change.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: We can choose to believe that superstorm Sandy and the most severe drought in decades and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science and act before it is too late.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Get back to or contributors right now.
Hoover, were you laughing at me for flubbing on the prompter or were you laughing about something else?
HOOVER: (Inaudible) just doing a little dance (inaudible) climate change --
CUOMO: I'm OK with that. You laugh -- you laugh at me --
HOOVER: You might have (inaudible).
CUOMO: You laugh at Van Jones. You got to -- he's got a great name; he's got good moves. You can do what you want.
The environment --
NAVARRO: You know, we're all friends (inaudible) we different -- we're all just happy he mentioned climate change, because this man gets giddy.
CUOMO: All right, listen, I'm going to give you your climate change, climate change matters, OK, there's no question.
However, what fomented the most debate here before we left is a very fundamental proposition that we're going to deal with imminently, and it is spending. Everybody seems to be saying the same thing in the government, that we're cut spending; of course we have to cut spending, we have a moral we have a legal, we have all these duties to cut spending and then there's a constant fight about what that means.
Tonight, President Obama, to set the table, said my budget proposal will keep us deficit neutral. And I ask you, Cornell, is that good enough when you have to be paying down debt and the deficit? Is it good enough to be neutral? Can it be true that it is neutral and is it enough?
BELCHER: Well, no, but not for the reasons that you say. He wants to make it completely neutral, because that's -- way is sort a compromise and saying, look, we're not going to add on anymore, however, most economists would tell you, right now, we need to stimulate our economy more.
Guess what, that chart that showed sort of when that where we started picking up, funny thing is you correlate that chart to when the recovery package was implemented, and we started picking -- our economy started picking up. It is not -- it's not rocket science.
NAVARRO: You know, you got to stop picking on Chris.
Can I just (inaudible)?
CUOMO: You have disagreed with everything I've said.
NAVARRO: This man has been on his feet for 15 hours.
CUOMO: He outdressed me. He has got better hair and he's attacking everything I say.
BELCHER: He is the new guy.
CUOMO: You know, I mean.
NAVARRO: Trial by fire. So look.
CUOMO: You are supposed to disagree with them, that's the way it is supposed to work. I'm not even supposed to exist.
NAVARRO: What's (inaudible) when they disagree with each other.
HOOVER: There is a fundamentally different view between the liberal vision and the conservative vision on how -- what it takes to stimulate the economy.
Republicans believe that if the government gets out of the way, and lets the private sector grow, it will generate new taxpayers that will generate -- pay more taxes that will generate more revenue, and Cornell and his friends believe that it -- it's the government spending that is going to generate growth in the middle class. (Inaudible) --
OK, (inaudible) I'll let you -- I'll let you know (inaudible), whatever you want, because that is your expertise, but the truth is, if you say deficit neutral, if you say deficit neutral but you have trillion-dollar budgets, right, you are still adding a trillion dollars to the debt every single year.
CUOMO: Strong point from Hoover, what do you say, Van Jones?
JONES: Well, I say a couple things. I think this is a very interesting issue. We really -- at the break, were going back and forth really hard, and I think Democrats and Republicans actually are mirror images when it comes to climate change. Democrats say we have a moral obligation to act, if we keep doing what we're doing right now, we're going to inherit a future that will be terrible. We'll superstorms that are awful.
Republicans say the same thing on the budget. They say the same thing on debt and deficit. If we keep doing what we are doing, and somehow the logic that makes sense to Democrats on climate doesn't make sense on the debt.
CUOMO: Two different types of storms.
JONES: Right. But you --
JONES: You have a climate cliff coming up and you have a fiscal -- and fiscal and budget and debt cliff, so, there it is.
CUOMO: So we have this group here. We also have the entire group of everyone else on the Internet social media and you know what, it lit up when President Obama called for increasing the minimum wage. It was the most tweeted moment most of the speech, racking up 24,000 tweets a minute.
Now, there was also a lot of activity on a lighter note, OK, both Twitter and Facebook exploded when Senator Mark Rubio paused to take a drink of water during his speech.
Take a look at the moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUBIO: Nothing has frustrated me more than false choices like the one the president laid out tonight. The choice isn't just between big government or big business. What we need is an accountable, efficient and effective government.
HOOVER: (Inaudible), you are a pro.
CUOMO: See what I'm saying? That is all you will talk about. The puns on Twitter were relentless, the account @ThirstyRubio popped up, and so did the hashtag Watergate.
NAVARRO: No, no, the problem was that he reached for a bottle of water, had the man reached for a Mojito and a cigar --
CUOMO: You don't know what's in the cup. You don't know what's in the cup. Look, do I think it matters? Of course, it doesn't matter. I think it is one of the most painful parts of politics, that the man is up there, he -- of course, the mouth is going to be dry, and I have drunk like nine cups of water tonight, but it winds up being such a big deal. You know, I don't won't talk to about it anymore.
We have a -- we have a -- I'm not going to do it. You know what? For the senator and for all decency we're not going to talk about it anymore, but here is what we are going to talk about.
When we hear the president speak emotionally about gun violence tonight, we had a very exclusive and special interview with a police officer and a hero who was in the audience for the president's address. He survived a massacre, a barrage of bullets. You must hear his story.
CUOMO: We have something special for you now. We saw raw emotion in the House chamber tonight when President Obama spoke about gun violence. He pointed to a police officer who had rushed to the scene of a shooting massacre, take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: We should follow the example of a police officer named Brian Murphy. When a gunman opened fire on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, Brian was the first to arrive and he did not consider his own safety, he fought back until help arrived and ordered his fellow officers to protect the safety of the fellow Americans worshipping inside, even as he lay bleeding from 12 bullet wounds.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Not only had he been shot all those times, but the reason he took all those shots was to distract the shooter so he could not go back inside the temple. How do I know? We sat for an exclusive interview with Lieutenant Brian Murphy. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LT. BRIAN MURPHY, OAK CREEK POLICE: I have been hit an awful lot. When you're on your belly and you look down and your hands are basically just shot to pieces, then you start thinking, I might be in trouble here.
CUOMO (voice-over): Lieutenant Brian Murphy remembers every one of the 15 bullets he took on what he calls a beautiful Sunday morning this past August, just moments after responding to a call of shots fired at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.
CUOMO: What happened? MURPHY: I yelled stop. I saw his pistol come up. We both shot pretty much about the same time, 30 or 40 away yards maybe, I missed and he hit me directly in the chin. It went down my throat and ripped apart my voice box and my larynx.
CUOMO (voice-over): His voice is still damaged, but there is dashcam video to tell the show, Murphy confronting the shadowy figure of the killer, who runs right at him, both firing.
When Murphy is hit, the shooter closes in. Nine people were already shot. Six died in a hateful act of domestic terrorism, now Lieutenant Murphy was in the shooter's sights.
MURPHY: And that is when the shots hit me in the back of the leg and hit the vest a couple of times, then he shot me directly in the back of the head, just right here in the back of the skull. And that was the one that kind of stopped me in my tracks for a second.
CUOMO (voice-over): That should have killed Murphy, but it was just the beginning.
MURPHY: He just continued to shoot probably six to eight feet away. And then all of a sudden, it got very quiet. There was no sound. There was nothing. And that was the first time that I thought I might be going out. I just felt warm and my eyes got heavy, and I thought, I could stay here.
CUOMO (voice-over): In a life or death situation, the officer makes an amazing decision. Instead of curling up to protect himself, he keeps moving to distract the gunman, a heroic move that came at great costs.
CUOMO: Nobody gets shot this many times. Was that going through your head at all, like I can't believe how many times I have been shot.
MURPHY: Actually, what -- it's funny you say that, it is kind of silly to laugh about it, but there was a point where I just thought, Jesus, are you not done? I mean, how many times can you shoot someone?
CUOMO (voice-over): Even when help comes, Murphy waves off his fellow officers, telling them to help others first.
His survival is a miracle.
CUOMO: I have never met anybody who took 15 rounds before. You probably never heard of anybody who took 15 rounds before.
CUOMO: So why you? Do you ask yourself, why was I chosen to survive?
MURPHY: It's probably one of the first questions I asked, even in intensive care, was, why me? I probably couldn't have lived with myself if it was one of the officers who I work with. CUOMO (voice-over): Part of why may have been answered when he received an invitation to be a guest of the president at the State of the Union.
CUOMO: When people see you at the State of the Union, what do you think you will symbolize?
MURPHY: I hope perseverance. I hope dedication to duty.
CUOMO (voice-over): His presence in the first lady's box may also symbolize the president's push for tougher restrictions on guns.
MURPHY: From a societal point of view, there needs to be recognition of the fact that there -- this is a problem. Does it necessarily mean restriction, I don't know. My shooter would have passed any background check, matter of fact, went and bought his weapon legally. Does that mean that we just give up and say we don't need to touch anything? I think what is being done is the correct thing.
CUOMO (voice-over): For all he has lived through, there one thing Lieutenant Brian Murphy is not sure he can live with. He doesn't like to be called that word.
MURPHY: If you wanted to call me, you know, obstinate and stubborn man of the year, I'll take it. But hero, I still have a hard time with.
CUOMO: You're going to get used to it because you're going to get some practice.
CUOMO: Because you are exactly what we want to hold out to people as what heroic behavior is all about.
If not you, who?
MURPHY: I appreciate your saying that, I really do.
CUOMO: I've never been so happy to shake a hand from Brooklyn.
MURPHY: Thank you. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: He's from Brooklyn, and Lieutenant Brian Murphy, you are a hero and you represent us at our best.
I want to thank our panel tonight: Van Jones, Ana Navarro, Cornell Belcher and Margaret Hoover. Thank you for all of your insight tonight.
Thank you for all of you watching us. We're going to have more on the State of the Union and more on the unfolding drama in California right now, on CNN.