Return to Transcripts main page
Boehner: No Talks, No Debt Deal; Amber Alert Site Offline Due To Shutdown; Source: SEALs Couldn't Capture Target Alive; Lawyer: Biker Who Smashed Window "Overreacted"; Voters Approve New Sandy Hook School; Franchitti's Horrifying Crash; Sneaks On A Plane; Message To Washington; Congress Called Out For Shutdown
Aired October 7, 2013 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now in the NEWSROOM, a terrifying crash at an Indy car race caught on camera. Top driver and a dozen fans hurt in the wreck so what went so terribly wrong?
Plus, a 9-year-old stowaway.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm quite surprised that he got through security and all the things that we as adults have to go through.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: How does a kid get on a flight to Vegas without a ticket? Airport officials have a lot of explaining to do. And this -- Miley Cyrus rocking SNL, not a whole lot of twerking, but plenty of buzz. The second hour of CNN NEWSROOM starts now.
We'll talk Miley in a little bit. But first good morning, I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for being with me. The clock is ticking, six plus days of the partial government shutdown and one day closer to the brink of an even bigger economic disaster, the deadline to raise the debt ceiling now just ten days away. But with the clock ticking and anxiety building, the White House and House Republicans can't even agree on whether they should talk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: The American people expect in Washington when we have a crisis like this that the leaders will sit down and have a conversation. We're interested in having a conversation about how we open the government, but it begins with a simple conversation. And the president is risking default by not having the conversation with us. The nation's credit is at risk because of the administration's refusal to sit down and have a conversation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: A simple conversation. That's all it will take. Let's go to the White House now and White House correspondent, Brianna Keilar. So why won't the president sit down and have that simple conversation with the House speaker?
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, if you ask the White House that, Carol, they will say they're open to having a conversation, but they don't want to do it under the threat of a default. They don't want to do it under the threat of a government shutdown. There's a whole lot of sort of he said, he said going on.
But bottom line, these two sides are still very far apart maybe as far apart as they've ever been. There are, as we understand it, no discussions that we can tell. And the effects of this partial shutdown that we're in, kind of starting to pale very much in comparison to the projected effects of a default.
We had heard last week, Carol, that behind closed doors, Speaker Boehner had told his conference that there was not going to be a default. He may have to rely or he would rely on Democratic votes if needed. Some people took that to mean that in the 11th hour, maybe he would just put what's a called a clean bill.
A debt ceiling increase on the floor even if his Republicans en masse were abandoning him, but this weekend, yesterday, he sort of poured cold water on that idea. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOEHNER: We are not going to pass a clean debt limit increase. I told the president, there's no way we're going to pass one. The votes are not in the House to pass a clean debt limit and the president is risking default by not having a conversation with us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Now Speaker Boehner, Carol, also said that there are not the votes for a clean bill to re-establish government funding, to end shutdown. White House officials are responding to that saying that either the speaker is lying or his members are and President Obama weighing in on that as well. He said we can vote to open the government today.
We know that there are enough members in the House of Representatives, Democrats and Republicans, who are prepared to vote to reopen the government today. The only thing that is keeping that from happening is Speaker Boehner has made a decision that he is going to hold out to see if he can get additional concessions from us. And Carol, the White House insists they are not going to give concessions on either.
COSTELLO: And it goes on. Brianna Keilar, reporting live from the White House this morning.
The government's Amber Alert web site usually shows the faces of missing children, but this morning it is blank that's because of the partial government shutdown. The site reads due to the lapse in federal funding, this Office of Justice program's web site is unavailable. There it is. Officials have said if an amber alert needs to be issued during the shutdown. It will reach out to the media.
We're learning new details on the failed raid this weekend with SEAL Team Six in Somalia. Barbara Starr is at the Pentagon with the latest. Good morning, Barbara.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol. CNN has learned that the Navy SEALs went into that town in Southern Somalia because they had the mission to capture their suspected terrorist alive, a man named Ikrima. This is beginning to explain a lot about why SEAL Team Six was put in such jeopardy to go into this town in Southern Somalia, which was a known al Shabaab strong hold.
Al Shabaab, of course, the al Qaeda-linked group in Somalia. They had the mission to try to capture him alive. But when they got to the town, we know now they came under heavy fire, there was an intense fire fight, and the Navy SEAL commander on the ground made the determination that they were not going to be able to capture him alive and that's when they decided to withdraw.
The SEALs returning to the beach, counting those and making sure they had everybody, and going back to their ship. So where do we stand now, what is unclear is whether Ikrima was killed in the fire fight that erupted. Whether the SEALs ever had eyes on him, if you will, whether they absolutely determined that he was there that night even though that's what the intelligence said and what the exact status of it was.
Was it a failed raid? Well, from the Navy SEALs point of view, from officials we've talked to, they, of course, are very grateful that no Navy seals were killed. They are injured in the fight that everybody got out safely. They didn't get their target, but now they are assessing what exactly happened, the level of opposition that they came under and regrouping. We don't know if they're going to try again. We can only presume they might -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Barbara Starr live at the Pentagon this morning. Checking other top stories at 7 minutes past the hour, the lawyer for a biker captured on video smashing an SUV's windows says his client overreacted. But Reginald Chance's attorney says the biker did not beat the driver. Chance is one of two suspects charge over the weekend in the bikers' swarm case. New York police are looking for two other people so they can question them.
Voters in Newtown, Connecticut, have overwhelmingly voted to accept state grant money and build a brand new elementary school. It will replace Sandy Hook Elementary where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults last December. Since the massacre, Sandy Hook students have been attending class in a neighboring town.
One race fan at the Grand Prix of Houston said he thought he was going to die. Carl Daniel was taking this video when Dario Franchitti's car got bumped on the last lapse. Watch.
Franchitti was rushed to the hospital, 13 fans were hurt by flying debris. Joe Carter is here with more. So how is Dario Franchitti? JOE CARTER, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: He's OK. Again, here we are in a situation where we're seeing an Indy car essentially blow up into a million pieces and the driver is going to be OK. He has a concussion. He has a broken ankle and he has two fractured vertebrae that are not going to require surgery. But you see in the video, the car coming around the corner.
What actually happened is he runs into the back of two different cars that already hit each other. So that catapults his car up into the air and into that catch fence. These Indy cars are designed on impact like that to basically break into a bunch of pieces. They absorb the shock so the shock doesn't hit the driver. That way the pieces come apart from the car, which helps absorb any of that damage to the actual shell --
COSTELLO: Let me ask you this. Still the debris is flying everywhere and it hurt 13 people in the stands. I know that the race organizers try to protect the fans through fencing and other things, but perhaps they should rethink having these races in the middle of cities.
CARTER: Yes. You know, this is a traveling race unlike the NASCAR where the track stays all year round and they can continue to engineer and improve the track barriers, these are traveling shows, if you will. I don't want to look so much on the fact that people are in danger because the catch fence and those cement barriers did their job. I mean, they really did.
If you look at the impact of the car here, I mean, people could have been killed, but they weren't because of fact of the engineering of the fence and the barriers kept most of the debris inside. I know there was a tire and some wheel assembly that did go over the fence and that's what injured -- three spectators had to be taken to the hospital but all are OK this morning and that again, a testament to the engineering of these fencing and the barriers.
COSTELLO: Scary stuff. Joe Carter, thanks so much.
Anyone who has ever taken off their shoes and suffered through a pat- down to board a plane is steaming over this one. A 9-year-old boy manages to get through airport security without a ticket or parents with tickets or IDs. In fact this kid sailed through security and managed to get on a plane and flies to the land of what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
Yes, we went to Vegas. George Howell is at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport where this all began. Good morning, George.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Carol, good morning. You know the drill, if you fly there from Hartsfield, Jackson in Atlanta. If I fly from O'Hare or if you leave here from Minneapolis, it is a routine rigorous system. You go through this process where you raise your arms, you take out your ID and you take off your belt and your shoes. It's what you have to do.
In fact, there are three different levels of security that proved to be nothing to a 9-year-old boy who flew more than a thousand miles and seemed to outsmart the system.
HOWELL (voice-over): This is where it all started. A 9-year-old boy walked off a light rail car Thursday and into the Minneapolis Airport with plans to travel but no ticket. He passed through the security checkpoint at the TSA screening. No problem.
(on camera): Then he continued on to the G-Concourse, specifically here at Gate G-4. But it's still unclear exactly how he got the ticket agent who was collecting tickets here.
(voice-over): What we do know is this minor did board Flight 1651 and traveled some 1,300 miles to Las Vegas. Officials say it wasn't until the flight crew became suspicious because he was traveling alone and contacted Las Vegas Metropolitan Police who took the child into custody upon landing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think they should have taken him to the tables and let him play a little, his luck was doing well, you know, once he got to Vegas.
HOWELL: Air transportation expert, Terry Tripler, says the whole thing highlights big gaps in security especially when it comes to children.
TERRY TRIPPLER, THEPLANERULES.COM: That 9-year-old child does not need identification, anyone under 18. So I can understand standing behind a family or whatever as the family is checking in and they're not aware that he's standing behind them. I can understand that. I cannot understand the Delta gate agents. This is where I put the major problem. It happened there.
HOWELL: While no one would talk on camera, we did get a lot of statements, first from the TSA essentially saying that they did their jobs. Quote, "The child was screened along with all other passengers to ensure that he was not a threat to the aircraft." And then Delta, quote, "Delta is taking this incident very seriously and working with authorities in the investigation. Due to the fact that it involves a minor, we are not commenting further at this time." For the traveling public who know the rigorous routine of airport screening --
ROSE MANFREDI, AIRLINE PASSENGER: And we have to go through taking our shoes and go through the belt, go through the thing.
HOWELL: It's a mystery how a child could have slipped through the cracks.
GORDON SELINGER, AIRLINE PASSENGER: I'm quite surprised that he got through security and all the things we as adults have to go through.
HOWELL: So days after this happened, there are new questions, and this one, did the -year-old come here at the airport to scope out the system before he traveled? CNN can now confirm through airport officials here that the child was caught on surveillance video on Wednesday, the day before he took that flight to Vegas.
And here's what they saw, Carol, they saw him go to a baggage carousel, take someone's baggage. He went to a restaurant. He got food, dined and dashed, and left the luggage there. He returned the next day and makes that trip to Vegas.
COSTELLO: And we still don't know who this boy is, who his parents, where his parents are or was he trying to run away? Do we even know that?
HOWELL: Well, you know, and certainly, given that he did, in fact, run away, he did get to the airport, not once but twice, that's certainly a question that investigators will be looking into. It's unclear whether he is still in Las Vegas or if he has been transferred back here to Minneapolis. And as far as his name, just given that he's a minor, given that he's 9 years old, you can expect that agencies will not release that name. So it's hard to track him down to figure out where he is and of course, also hard to find out where his parents are.
COSTELLO: George Howell reporting live for us this morning. Thank you.
Still to come to the NEWSROOM, how do you fix a broken government? More than six days into a partial government shutdown, actually we're in day seven. We're 10 days away from the debt ceiling. I'll talk to two lawmakers to get their opinion on why our government simply cannot function.
COSTELLO: Since Washington first lunched into a partial shutdown last week, we've had a crew on the road sampling the sentiment of Americans who live far outside the corridors of power. And not surprisingly many of you are pretty darn angry. Today's CNN's Ted Rowlands is in Gary, Indiana. Good morning, Ted.
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol. Gary, Indiana, of course, has had a lot of problems more so than pretty much every other city in this country. So people here don't have a lot of patience for what is going on in Washington. They're absolutely disgusted that our so-called leaders have gotten into this mess. Here a sampling of what we've heard so far this morning in Gary.
ROWLANDS: What message would you send to Washington?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That they need to work for us and listen to us, and work together. Both parties have to work together and quit blaming each other.
ROWLANDS: What word would you use to describe what's going on in Washington?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Disconnect, total disconnect from -- from constituents.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's all -- power struggles, money struggles. It's ridiculous.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Feel what the people feel. You know, put yourself in our shoes especially low-class, you know, middleclass, you know, put yourself in our shoes.
ROWLANDS: What word would you use to describe what's happening in Washington?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hideous, hideous.
ROWLANDS: Hideous. That's a new one. We've heard disgusting, embarrassing, hideous, they're all -- basically, Carol, you get the idea that's what people outside the beltway are thinking about what is going on in Washington. And the longer this goes on, the anger is just going to increase around the country.
COSTELLO: I think you're right about that one. Ted Rowlands, thanks so much reporting live from Gary, Indiana this morning.
So after all you've heard about the government shutdown, what is your message to Washington? Make a little video to us and send it to ireport.com. Come on, vent. We like venting. As the shutdown continues, we will share your views here on CNN.
Divided, dysfunctional, and deeply unpopular, just a few words that could describe the current Congress, you heard a few more words from Ted Rowlands' report. This partial government shutdown is not helping Congress's image. Millions are frustrated including "New York Times" columnist, Frank Bruni.
Here is how one he described what he calls our sickly political system writing in part, quote, "Voters should take their disgust with this shutdown and turn it into a fierce, sustained push for a better, fairer system because the system's the problem. The system's the illness. And I worry that on top of everything else. We're growing so accustomed to our sickly lost that we're losing site of his direness."
Joining me now is Congresswoman Louise Slaughter of New York. She is in Rochester, New York and on Capitol Hill, Congressman Tom Cole of Oklahoma. Good morning and welcome to you both.
REPRESENTATIVE LOUISE SLAUGHTER (D), NEW YORK: Good morning.
REPRESENTATIVE TOM COLE (R), OKLAHOMA: Good morning.
COSTELLO: Good morning. So Congressman Cole, I don't know if you heard Ted Rowlands' report, but some of the comments from voters in Gary, Indiana -- he described the government right now and Congress hideous, one described it as disgusting. We had to beep out the other adjective. So when you hear things like that, it's got to hurt. Does it propel lawmakers to get something done, to sit down and try to end this partial government shutdown?
COLE: Well, I certainly hope it does and I couldn't agree more honestly with your viewers and the people that were offering those observations. I think you just laid out the key thing to do, sit down and get something done. That's really what this is about right now. So far the president and Senator Reid have been unwilling to sit down and talk.
We sent them multiple proposals, fine and we said, well, let's just sit down and have a negotiation. Speaker made it abundantly clear on Sunday, I'm waiting for a call and be happy to visit with the president at his convenience. So I think the sooner negotiations begin, the quicker we can do what frankly everybody knows needs to get done --
COSTELLO: Everybody knows that the negotiations are not going to start soon. And with all due respect, Congressman Cole, every congressman I ask this question, they say, I know people are disgusted with us. I know we have a low approval rating. I know people hate us, and I hope something happens out of it, but it never does.
COLE: Well, I think actually it will. You saw -- look, we've had several things happen where we voted to put people back to work and defense workers are back to work. So I think we'll get there, but it ought to be sooner rather than later.
COSTELLO: Congresswoman, you wanted to say?
SLAUGHTER: May I? I sure do. Tom and I are friends and we work together to get the violence against women act passed this year. We know how to work, but this is a self-inflicted wound. They don't want to work. They have had two direct opportunities to vote to put the government back to work and a procedural thing that Tom and I both know very well because it comes in rules committee, not a single Republican voted for it.
Twice they have turned down the opportunity. There seems to be a thing here that if you say often enough, this is terrible and I wish I had an opportunity to fix it, that people are going to believe it. Please don't believe it --
COSTELLO: But I think you're on to something. Because if you look at this way the "Washington Post" says 36 laws have been passed by current Congress. That's it. It seems like you're not doing anything.
SLAUGHTER: No, we're not. And one of the most well-researched pieces that I've seen was yesterday in had the "The New York Times," and this was planned since 2009 and the plotters are David Cope, former Attorney General Ed Mason, a member of the Heritage Foundation. They don't care if the government is shut down. It doesn't matter if you vote to pay people retroactively if you're not going to let them come back to work now. That's what we've been going through those kinds of bills --
COSTELLO: So I want to address -- I would like Congressman Cole to address that because this is a Republican lobbying group, several of them and they've been pouring millions and millions of dollars into efforts to get the government shutdown, to force Obamacare out of existence --
SLAUGHTER: It's all --
COSTELLO: Is that why our system is broken, Congressman Cole?
COLE: No. I don't think so. First of all, I don't there are some deep, dark plot here that goes back to 2009, really? I don't think so.
SLAUGHTER: It's 2010.
COLE: If you'll allow me to finish my point. I allowed you to finish yours. If the president and Harry Reid would just simply sit down at the negotiating table, I think this thing could end tomorrow, right? It's pretty unreasonable to -- you have to agree -- well, basically the president said you have to do exactly what I say and then I'll be willing to talk to you. That's not a negotiation that's a dictation. And that's frankly we were at right now.
SLAUGHTER: No. No, it isn't. That's not where we are right now. I really hope -- I think America understands where we are right now. But if you don't, let me tell you that 800,000 people are not working, but they are going to get paid for it later. They've offered a piece of this and a piece of that as they attempt to get the kind of government that they want. Not the kind of government that people need and the people are accustomed to having. It is again, let me say, a self-inflicted wound that could be healed this afternoon.
COSTELLO: Well, Congressman, address this as piecemeal. I mean, I know that the House voted unanimously to make sure the government workers who are furloughed will get back pay eventually. But passing bills like that is sort of like offering every American vanilla ice cream because everybody pretty much liked it so there's no -- we need you guys to sit down and figure out the hard stuff not the easy stuff.
COLE: You keep hitting the right word "sit down." That's all we're talking about, sit down and negotiate. Half of those 800,000 people we'll have back to work, and that was done in a bipartisan fashion. I don't see why that's a big problem in putting others back to work. But again -- we can start talking and get it done.
SLAUGHTER: The Senate did its job. All we have to do is take the Senate bill, which kept the government open, kept everybody working, at the numbers that the Republican House wanted. Now, all they have to do is take that Senate bill, pass it, and it could go to the president today.
COLE: All the Senate has to do is sit down and talk. That's not an unreasonable --
SLAUGHTER: The Senate doesn't need to talk. The House is the house is the holdup. On the floor of the Senate, they passed that resolution. We have to take it up and do it. We are simply playing some cynical game here to -- to try again to cause the president a lot of grief.
COSTELLO: Congresswoman, with all due respect, John Boehner went on ABC Sunday and said I just want to have a simple conversation and he didn't mention Obamacare so much. Why doesn't the president pick up the phone and call John Boehner?
SLAUGHTER: That's not what he said. He said I will not pass a debt limit, a clean debt limit. That was news -- a week ago he said he would.
COLE: Why would you pass a debt limit, which, by the way I voted to do last time, without doing something about the deficit? I mean, that seems pretty logical to me that you would want to have -- it's not. It's $700 million.
SLAUGHTER: But it dropped from a trillion in the last year.
COLE: That's because we negotiated last year -- excuse me -- in 2011 and arrived at a deal. We're saying we should do the same thing now, but $700 billion is not a low deficit.
COSTELLO: Well, we're going to have to leave it there. We're talking about the same stuff and I guess, this is a conversation that goes on in the House of Representatives.
SLAUGHTER: It's tougher when you live with it.
COSTELLO: I bet it is. Congresswoman Louis Slaughter of New York and Congressman Tom Cole of Oklahoma, thank you so much for joining me this morning.
Still to come in the NEWSROOM, a wanted terror suspect is off the street and now in U.S. military custody. So what secrets can America pry from him? We'll tell you what the FBI and CIA are planning.