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THE SITUATION ROOM
George Zimmerman Arrested; Death and Destruction in the Midwest; Cheney Family Feud; Crack-Smoking Mayor Stripped of Power
Aired November 18, 2013 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now:
Death and destruction in the heartland. We'll talk with a tornado survivor who never stopped praying, even as he captured images of the storm that leveled his neighborhood. We'll go into the Midwest disaster zone.
George Zimmerman busted again. We'll take you live to Florida where police talk about his latest brush with the law after his acquittal in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin.
And medical news you need to know. Experts scramble to untangle the confusion after problems are discovered with new cholesterol guidelines.
Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Jim Sciutto. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
And we're following breaking news right now. George Zimmerman, acquitted in the shooting of teenager Trayvon Martin has been arrested.
You're looking at a live picture from Sanford, Florida. We're waiting for police to talk about his latest arrest.
We're also watching the news out of Toronto, where Mayor Rob Ford, who admitted to smoking crack, is defending himself.
And we begin with the latest developments on the aftermath of the deadly tornadoes which have left a trail of death and destruction in the Midwest.
Shock and grief in the Midwest. The full extent of the damage is now starkly apparent a day after tornadoes and thunderstorms tore through several states. Illinois was hardest hit. Six people were killed there, up to 200 hurt.
In the town of Washington, hundreds of homes were destroyed by 190- mile-an-hour twister. One of them belonged to Steve Buccer, who dashed into the basement just as the storm hit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE BUCCER, TORNADO SURVIVOR: My attitude was, in the next minute and a half we're either going to be in heaven or we're going to be in the hospital or we're going to walk out of here. And completely in the Lord's hands which of those three things were going to happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: Let's go straight to CNN's Brooke Baldwin, who is on the scene there in Washington.
Brooke, I know you've seen this kind of thing before. How does this compare?
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's tough to really compare any kind of disaster like this, Jim. You know that. You've covered things like this. But it's almost like you sit there and you watch it on television, but to stand here in front of just utter devastation, it takes your breath away. And in talking to multiple families, all of whom survived this EF-4 tornado here in Washington, Illinois, they are certainly breathing a sigh of relief tonight but I have to be honest, you know, they admitted to me they are still numb.
But when you look at the number of fatalities here in this town of about 15,000, I'm talking one death. They all know this could have been so much worse.
BALDWIN (voice-over): When the tornado hit, there was nothing anyone could do but stare and scream, hope and pray --
ANTHONY KHOURY, TORNADO SURVIVOR: Our father who art in heaven hollowed be thy name.
BALDWIN: -- and run and hide. Now there is so much hard work ahead, so much pain, so much loss.
Danielle Cassana showed me what's left of her home. This was the master bedroom.
(On camera): Does it feel real?
DANIELLE CASSANA, TORNADO VICTIM: I'm numbed. Numbed. I have breakdowns every time I walk in here.
BALDWIN (voice-over): As many as 400 homes are in shreds here in Washington, Illinois, ripped apart by an extremely powerful EF-4 tornado, packing winds nearing 200 miles per hour. The path of destruction cuts from one side of the town straight to the other.
I traveled about 70 miles from here to Diamond, Illinois, where I met Cassana and her husband, and they told me they huddled in their basement when the storm hit with their three children and one of their friends.
(On camera): How do you get through this?
CASSANA: I don't know. I have no idea. I haven't done really anything because I just walk around. I don't know what to do. I don't know where to start. I don't know. BALDWIN (voice-over): We are hearing stories just like that and seeing scenes like these across a huge chunk of the Midwest. Assaulted by ferocious thunderstorms and dozens of tornadoes.
In Lebanon, Indiana, the storm flipped a car outside of a Starbucks, trapping customers inside. In Peoria, Illinois, a news team left the anchor desk during their broadcast just to find shelter.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We need to go off the air.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We will be back when we can.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
BALDWIN: All across the disaster area, people are picking up the pieces. Danielle Cassana and her husband are thinking ahead to Thanksgiving in just a matter of days, and why they still have reason to be thankful.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll make it. Nobody died.
BALDWIN (on camera): Nobody died.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In our neighborhood.
BALDWIN: What would you say?
CASSANA: We're going to get through it.
BALDWIN: They are going to get through it. Hundreds of others will get through it here in Washington and beyond. Four hundred homes here in this city, gone, but that family you just heard from in Diamond, Illinois, they told me as they were leaving their home after the tornado hit, their home may be a total loss but they made sure to grab those gifts because their kids may not have a home but they said those kids will have Christmas -- Jim.
SCIUTTO: Incredible, the things you save in those moments. Thanks very much to Brooke Baldwin right in Washington, Illinois.
Residents didn't know about it at the time but the tornado that hammered Washington had winds up to 190 miles an hour. As his family huddled in terror, CNN iReporter Anthony Khoury started praying but he kept his camera going.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KHOURY: Our father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen. (END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: Anthony Khoury, who took that stunning video, joins us now by telephone.
Anthony, thank you so much for joining us. We're glad you're in one piece. I have to ask you as you were praying there, did you think you were seeing your own final moments?
KHOURY: I didn't -- I mean, I wasn't -- I wasn't really afraid. And when I -- I come from a very devout Catholic Christian family and when we pray to God, I just -- he calms my nerves and just gives me strength and gives me courage.
SCIUTTO: Incredible strength in that moment. Now you're watching through that window as we're seeing now that tornado tearing up your neighbors' homes. You must have been worried about their wellbeing. Have you been able to locate them since then? Do you know that they're OK?
KHOURY: Yes, they are all good. They are fine, thank God.
SCIUTTO: Thank God for sure. Another thing, too, I can imagine your fear even with that confidence of praying, what gave you the presence of mind to take out that camera and film, capture those incredible powerful scary images?
KHOURY: I just -- I mean, as soon as, you know, I was in the living room with my family, and you know, my dad thought he heard a helicopter and we look outside and there was -- we just see this massive black tornado completely destroying everything in its path, and then I just -- we all ran downstairs and I just looked out my video camera, started recording, and we all started praying as a family.
SCIUTTO: We're now seeing some of the pictures from aerials that show the destruction. When you did emerge from the basement, what did the scene look like to you? What did it remind you of?
KHOURY: You know, it's just something you just see in a movie. I just -- I never -- you know, I grew up in Washington, I lived there for 16 years, you know, it was always a peaceful town. I never thought something like that would ever happen. This is something -- just felt like something in a movie. I never thought I would ever experience something like this.
SCIUTTO: Now I have to think that neighbors in the area, they need help now. Do you see that help coming in quickly or are the neighbors coming together to help each other?
KHOURY: It is coming very quickly. There are so many people, you know, that are just trying to come together and, you know, help out. They want to, you know, they want to do anything they can. They want to donate money, they want to come, you know, come to town, you know, help out the families who lost their homes.
SCIUTTO: We are looking at images like this from the Philippines just last week, and now we're seeing it on our home shores as well.
Can you tell us what people need most at this point? There are so many Americans watching now, they see this, they want to help. What is most needed there now?
KHOURY: I believe they can use all the prayers they can and also, you know, just -- you know, all the -- you know, all the hands and the people come together, donate money, you know, to all those who need it the most.
SCIUTTO: Anthony, listen, I know a lot of people will want to reach out. We are very happy, you and your family, your neighbors are OK. Thanks so much for sharing your stories and also those powerful images.
We are going to leave Illinois now and go live to Sanford, Florida, where a press conference began moments ago. The Seminole County Sheriff's Office with the latest on today's arrest of George Zimmerman.
Let's listen in.
DONALD ESLINGER, SHERIFF, SEMINOLE COUNTY: The easiest way to describe it is rather passive. I mean, clearly he's had the opportunity to encounter situations similar to this in the past. Offered no resistance and cooperated the entire time.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Did you think it was accurate, what she says after his acquittal of Trayvon Martin's murder, he's got invincibility complex?
ESLINGER: Well, I'm not going to speculate on any of those type of questions. I --
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE)
ESLINGER: Well, looking at -- looking at a search warrant is, you know, we want to make sure that everything is handled in this particular case properly and quite honestly, we have the house secured right now so we would rather go and take the extra step to obtain the search warrant than proceed without it. It just makes the case stronger and it's a safer way to address that.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How many weapons do you believe are in that house?
ESLINGER: We believe that there were at least two weapons inside the house but again that would be something that is hopefully revealed as we have the opportunity to execute that search warrant once we have it in hand.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Did you take any calls prior to this one today to that same residence dealing with this?
ESLINGER: Not that I'm aware of. There has been no prior calls involving these individuals at that particular residence that I'm aware of.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Based on similar scenarios, how likely is he -- is he going to get a bail bond tomorrow? Is he going to get out of jail?
ESLINGER: Well, that's entirely up for a judge to decide. And the judge will look, he or she will determine whether or not probable cause existed for the arrest, take all aspects of this into account and make a determination whether or not a bond is warranted in this particular case.
If it is, again, we have requested electronic monitoring not in lieu of, but in addition to normal sanctions that somebody would face as conditions of a bond. So I got time for just a couple more questions on this.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Does he have any kind of representation at this point?
ESLINGER: We don't know. We don't know. He has clearly the opportunity to access attorneys. We -- provide him with the opportunity to access telephones. So he will make those decisions as this progresses but I don't know the answer to that question at this time.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE)
ESLINGER: Yes. The alleged victim's name is Samantha Scheib.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE)
ESLINGER: I don't, but that information will probably be released in the arrest reports that we publish to you shortly after this news conference.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) By the time you guys got there, he was passive inside. What was she like outside?
ESLINGER: I mean, she was obviously concerned. I mean, she was concerned. She was on the phone with our dispatch, communicating as much information as she could so that the deputies were prepared. And obviously, this is something that is going to shake her up.
I have not had the opportunity to speak with her personally but I know that our domestic violence investigators are working with her. She has been provided a notice of her rights and we will be sitting with her in the coming days to make sure that she knows all of the things that are entitled to her as a domestic violence victim.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What charges -- are the charges misdemeanors?
ESLINGER: One of them is a felony. The aggravated assault with a weapon is a felony charge.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Was she in fear of her life? Did she relay that message to deputies when they responded?
ESLINGER: She did. So one more -- one more question then --
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Is he cooperating -- if the domestic violence charges end up getting dropped when the victim doesn't want to cooperate any more. Is she willing to go forward with it?
ESLINGER: Well, she is cooperating to this point. There is no reason why that we can believe why she wouldn't be. And obviously, she's shaken up over this incident, like any of us would be. So she is -- she's cooperating, she's working with the deputy sheriffs and we're going to do everything that we can do to protect her.
ESLINGER: All right. Thank you. Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You said she was in fear of her life. What exactly did she say about that?
ESLINGER: You know, the investigators are still with her now. So her exact disclosure, what exactly she said, I don't have those particular details. But obviously, she was very concerned for her own safety, especially having the weapon pointed at her, and then being pushed out, barricaded out, and then damaged property on the other side of the house. So --
ESLINGER: No injuries that we could see. And again, nobody was in the house, no visible injuries. We're basing a lot of this information off of her sworn statement and report that she provided. So thank --
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do we know who owned the gun? Do we know who --
ESLINGER: Don't know any of that now. I mean, anything --
ESLINGER: We will get it for you. I don't have it right here. But Heather Smith's in the back. She can provide all of that information to you. She's right there.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you know who was instigating the breaking up?
ESLINGER: I don't know. You know, anything really further than this would probably be speculation on my part. And we're not prepared to do that. You know, we want to be transparent, we want to keep you informed what's going on, but with that, we want to be fair. We want to provide information that is accurate and any of those things will probably be less than accurate information at this time.
ESLINGER: We will, and Heather Smith is in the back. She can provide that information for you.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The other two charges, misdemeanors?
ESLINGER: Yes, the other two charges are misdemeanors. It's a battery, and that's -- the battery is the pushing outside, and then the criminal mischief is the destruction and breaking a table inside the house. Thank you for your time.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Was the shotgun loaded?
ESLINGER: We don't know at this time.
SCIUTTO: You've just been watching a press conference live from Sanford, Florida. The sheriff there announcing new charges against George Zimmerman. That's a new mug shot of him taken today, arrested earlier today in a verbal dispute with a woman. He accosted her with a long barrel shotgun, now being charged with aggravated assault.
We bring in CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin right now to comment on this.
Jeffrey, I have to ask you, what do you make of this? How serious are these charges?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: It's very serious. This is a felony and two misdemeanors. He is now in jail. The first question that's going to have to be dealt with is the issue of bail. Will he get out on bail? He is going to have to establish that he's not a risk of flight and that he's not a danger to the community in light of the seriousness of these charges.
It's not at all clear he'll be able to do that. I assume bail will be set at some point, but it could be a great deal of money and then, of course, we have to look at what the evidence is. He's just been charged. We don't know anything more than that, but this is his second serious brush with the law since he was acquitted in the death of Trayvon Martin.
He was involved in an altercation with his wife from whom he's separated in September. No charges were filed there. He's been stopped for speeding a couple of times. So, he's been in some trouble, but now, he's in some very serious trouble.
SCIUTTO: So, tell me about aggravated assault. This is a felony charge that he would face in addition to the two other charges the sheriff mentioned?
TOOBIN: Right. This is just an initial charge. This is something that was up to the police. This will then go to the district attorney, and they will decide what kind of charges ultimately he will face in court. But, the police have a lot of latitude in an initial arrest situation and the fact that they thought it was serious enough to rate as a felony, and that will be the charge that the judge will have to deal with the question of bail on.
It suggests that this is a very serious matter. A gun was involved. Apparently, there was some breakage in the apartment. I didn't get to hear the full press conference, so I'm not fully up to date on what was on the entire nature of the evidence so far, but just the fact that you have a gun, the fact that you have an act allegedly of some violence in the house means this is a very serious matter.
And domestic violence is something that increasingly district attorneys and police take seriously, as they should, and he's in a world of trouble.
SCIUTTO: No question. So, multiple charges now, new charges against George Zimmerman. Jeff, we're going to ask you to stay there. We're going to go to a break and we'll have more updates on George Zimmerman's story and others coming up right after this.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
SCIUTTO: Welcome back. We're following a breaking story here on the SITUATION ROOM. In Florida, George Zimmerman arrested again after a verbal dispute with a woman. He accosted her with a long barrel shotgun. Just moments ago, the sheriff in Seminole County, Florida, had this to say.
DONALD ESLINGER, SHERIFF, SEMINOLE COUNTY: At 12:30 this afternoon, Seminole County sheriff's deputy received a report of a disturbance call at the 1,300 block at top fuel court in Apopka unincorporated (ph) Seminole County, and that is the home of George Zimmerman's girlfriend. When we arrived, the victim in this particular case indicated that she and George Zimmerman were having a verbal dispute.
And at that time, she alleged that he had broken a table and at one point, pointed a long barreled shotgun at her. She was able to work her way to the front door of the residence on her cell phone and called 911 to make contact with authorities. And at that time, he actually pushed her out of the front of the residence and then barricaded the door with some furniture from the inside of the house.
We had constant communication and within three minutes or a little over three minutes, Seminole County deputies arrived on scene and were able to make contact with the victim on the outside of the residence. She provided responding deputies with actually a key to the home and deputies were able to open the door, push away the furniture that was barricading the door, and confronted George Zimmerman as he sat there.
At that time, he was unarmed. He offered no resistance to deputies as they responded and he was immediately taken into investigative detention at that time so they could gather additional information from our victim in this particular case. As that case continued to evolve, they made determination that they had probable cause for George Zimmerman's arrest, and he was arrested and booked into the Seminole County correctional facility at one o'clock this afternoon where he currently is.
SCIUTTO: You'll remember that George Zimmerman was arrested in 2012 in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. He was charged with murder at the time, but acquitted in July of this year. We're joined again by CNN senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin. To be clear, he's been arrested before, he's been charged before, but he's never been convicted.
TOOBIN: Right, and that's a very important distinction, of course, I think most people remember that he was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin and that was a trial that was televised. We covered it certainly extensively here at CNN. And, he was acquitted and that was, of course, very controversial. Everyone, including the president of the United States had something to say about the verdict in that case.
But, he has no criminal record. He has a history of involvement with law enforcement. Just a few months ago, in September, he was -- the police were called to his house and he was involved in some sort of altercation with his then wife. He's now separated. That did not result in any charges. He's been stopped for speeding several times since his acquittal. And now, he's in very serious trouble, because he's been charged with a felony and two misdemeanors.
He will certainly spend tonight in prison. He will be assigned a lawyer. Mark O'Mara who I think a lot of people remember was his lawyer, now a CNN contributor, he has said he is not representing Zimmerman in this case so he will either retain a lawyer, he will be assigned a lawyer, and he'll have his first appearance in court tomorrow, but he'll spend tonight in the jail in Seminole County.
SCIUTTO: His checkered legal past even goes back before that 2012 shooting, restraining orders, et cetera. You're a former federal prosecutor. Can you, as you're prosecuting a case like this, bring up any of that past?
TOOBIN: Well, let me draw an important distinction here. On the question of bail, it will be relevant because the question of bail always involves two questions. Are you a danger to the community? And if you have a record of arrests and not convictions, that's something a judge can take into consideration. Also, are you a risk of flight? Those are the sorts of issues a judge has very wide discretion on what to consider.
If this case goes to trial, the jury will not be able to consider his acquittal in the trayvon Martin case. That's a much more tightly controlled issue of the rules of evidence. So, yes, for bail but no if this case ultimately goes to trial. But that's certainly a long way down the road. SCIUTTO: One thing we noticed, the sheriffs mentioned they want to hold him in a single cell. This is a high profile case. We read about it. Millions of Americans know about it. Are there concerns for his safety while he's in that cell from other prisoners?
TOOBIN: I'm sure there are. This was a very notorious case. A lot of people have very strong feelings about it. It certainly led to a big conversation about race in America, as I'm sure many people remember. Trayvon Martin was Black, George Zimmerman is White, and the question of that was very important in the public reaction to the case.
So, all of this leads to, I think, a very prudent decision on the part of Seminole County authorities which is keep him separated for at least one night and then we'll see what the judge does tomorrow about bail, and then everybody can reconsider what their options are.
SCIUTTO: Recapping for our viewers for a moment, George Zimmerman now charged with three potential crimes, aggravated assault, battery, criminal mischief, after a verbal dispute with a Woman in which he accosted her with a long barreled shotgun. We're told by police in Seminole County, Florida, that he's going to be kept in a single cell tonight out of fears, perhaps, as our own Jeffrey Toobin saying there for his own safety. A very high profile case.
So, thank you very much, Jeffrey Toobin, for joining us. Certainly, a case we're going to be following in these next hours and days.
Coming up, Dick Cheney's daughters are involved in a messy public spat over same-sex marriage. Now, the whole family is caught up in the feud.
And medical news you need to know. Experts scramble to untangle the confusion after problems are discovered with new cholesterol guidelines. You're in the SITUATION ROOM.
SCIUTTO: I'm Jim Sciutto. Wolf Blitzer is off today. You're in the SITUATION ROOM.
Now to a family feud in one of America's best known political families. Former vice president Dick Cheney and his wife are weighing in on that very public spat between their daughters over same-sex marriage.
It started when daughter Liz, who is running for the Senate, said she supports the traditional definition of marriage even though her sister Mary is in a same-sex marriage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIZ CHENEY (R), WYOMING SENATE CANDIDATE: I love Mary very much. I love her family very much. This is just an issue on which we disagree.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: That led to a heated response on Facebook from both Mary and her spouse. It all got very personal.
Joining me now, CNN political analyst, Gloria Borger -- chief political analyst. David Frum, political commentator, also contributing editor for "Daily Beast," and Peggy Nance, the CEO of Concerned Women for America.
Thanks very much for joining us here.
Gloria, how did we get here? This is a political family. Why didn't they work this out before they started?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. Well, that -- that's a really interesting question but family dynamics, as we all know, are a very tricky thing, even in politics. Look, Liz Cheney is running as an ultra-conservative in the state of Wyoming. That's a good thing to be when you're a Republican.
For some Republicans, she's not to the right enough on the issue of gay marriage. As she said on FOX News on Sunday, she said, look, I don't support gay marriage but I believe it's an issue that should be left to the state. That is what her father said going back as far as the year 2000. But after she said that, for some reason, the Facebook messages started flying. Her sister's spouse called her view offensive, then her sister got on and said -- on Facebook and said, you know, my sister's on the wrong side of history, then the parents, you know, you have children, tried to break up the fight. Just kind of a mess.
SCIUTTO: Yes. Politics and sibling rivalry. You don't want --
SCIUTTO: You don't want to get that started. Let me read a statement from Dick Cheney today. Dick and Lynn Cheney today.
SCIUTTO: Because they weighed in. And it seems to me --
BORGER: But the peacemaker --
SCIUTTO: Correct me if I'm wrong. That he was coming in a little bit on Liz's side.
SCIUTTO: "Liz has always treated her sister and her sister's family with love and respect exactly as she should have done. Compassion is called for even when there is a disagreement about such a fundamental matter and Liz's many kindnesses should not be used to distort her position." Is he taking sides here?
BORGER: Yes. PENNY NANCE, CONCERNED WOMEN FOR AMERICA: Well, I think -- I think it's indicative of an argument that's going on across -- getting ready to sit down at Thanksgiving tables and there's division within families, neighborhoods, Capitol Hill, you name it, on the issue of legalization of same-sex marriage.
We know that, you know, the polls show a split within the country and yes, they love Liz, and I'm sure the sisters, they love each other, they need to learn to speak respectfully to each other as we do when we talk about this issue.
This is a very important issue. We need to be able to talk about it with each other respectfully and both sides agree that we each have a voice in this issue. That it's OK to disagree, it doesn't make you a bigot, it doesn't make you mean, that your faith dictates that marriage is traditional marriage, and not same-sex marriage.
SCIUTTO: Well, Penny, you mentioned a disagreement. There's disagreement within the Republican Party.
SCIUTTO: David, you've written that you were wrong on this issue and you've come around to support it.
DAVID FRUM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. Well, look, the way opinions change is exactly the way opinions are moving within the Cheney family, through conversations one-on-one, through intense --
BORGER: Or through Facebook.
FRUM: Well -- and that's part of it that makes you feel kind of bad.
FRUM: I don't like being inside the Cheney family's internal discussions and all families, including former vice presidents of the United States and their kin, are entitled to work things out privately. So it's odd being on television talking about this. However, here we are on television talking about it.
I think one of the things that is back of all of this is whether Liz is sincere or whether she is making an estimate about Wyoming. I think she's wrong about the politics. That if she is going to present herself as a new kind of Republican and challenge an established incumbent, that she needs to look at where Republicans under 50 are on this issue.
BORGER: Well, that's what her sister said.
FRUM: And --
NANCE: But in Wyoming --
BORGER: Her sister said exactly the same thing about --
NANCE: That's not the case at all.
BORGER: Well, here, let me --
NANCE: The stats in Wyoming are very different.
FRUM: But Republicans -- Republicans over 50 already have a perfectly satisfactory representative in Mike Enzi. So if you're going to replace Mike Enzi who's in a --
NANCE: She's not a fighter who plays --
BORGER: But that's --
NANCE: Who plays to the middle and Liz Cheney has strong opinions on defense, has strong opinions on life and is able to --
BORGER: But people said about Liz --
FRUM: Then she can't complain if she has such strong opinions that -- when she meets resistance about --
BORGER: But here's what's going on.
BORGER: Here's what's going on in the state of Wyoming. Want to talk about -- she wants to win this race. And don't forget she's in a primary a year from now, long way. But there is a conservative PAC outside money running ads. And I want to play -- can we just play a little clip of it for a second about this ad?
BORGER: You'll see what she's up against.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHENEY: I fought, for example, the State Department decision to extend benefits to same-sex partners around the world.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Liz Cheney, wrong for Wyoming.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BORGER: There you are.
SCIUTTO: What she's up against.
BORGER: And so that's clearly what she's reacting against.
NANCE: But (INAUDIBLE) they cooked this up, though, right?
NANCE: You're not suggesting that this was -- you know, the family trying to help her out to make her look more conservative, are you?
BORGER: Could be. Anything happens in politics.
NANCE: Come on. I don't believe that. I think she was asked about this and she gave her opinion and then she was slapped down for it.
BORGER: I don't know the answer -- I don't know the answer to that question.
NANCE: But she's very disrespectful to her.
FRUM: You know, you said something that was very important. One -- the theory of the race, the Cheney theory, is why do you need to replace Mike Enzi? And the answer is because Liz Cheney is a much more combative personality. Now question -- leave aside whether we need more of that. Enzi is very conservative. The point is, as you just said, she's much more aggressive and confrontational than he is.
Now leave aside the question of whether or not we leave that -- we need more of that in Washington. I don't think we do. But leave that aside. The point is, you start confrontations, people are going to confront you back. And this is a little taste of what this kind of rough method, right? You invoked a very gentle mode of discussion and I think that's appropriate but that is not -- that is not --
NANCE: But you think she started this discussion. They asked her on FOX News her opinion and she gave it. She gave it in a winsome, kind, loving way and then somehow because she said it she was the villain and they publicly beat her up for it. I think that was disloyal and unkind.
BORGER: You mean -- you mean her sister did.
NANCE: Her sister and her sister's partner.
BORGER: Her sister did. Well, there was also -- there was an interesting dig that Heather Poe, her sister's spouse, took at her which said, I can't help but wonder how Liz would feel if as she moved from state to state, she discovered her family wasn't protected because they call her a carpetbagger.
SCIUTTO: You have the local race there but you also have the debate within the Republican Party, the larger issue of how does a big tent Republican Party appeal to a broader swath of Americans in 2014 and of course in 2016.
FRUM: I went to -- I went to -- I was in a discussion shortly after the 2012 election, and I was asked, you know, what's your view on what Republicans need to do first. And my answer was insult fewer people next time.
FRUM: And I think that a big tent party, you try to add votes. You don't start saying these are the votes we don't want. You say these are the votes we, you know, do want that we might try to get. And one of the questions that Republicans have is as a party of enterprise, that how is it that if you have a partner in an accounting firm where somebody who runs a business and because they live in a different way you say, you know, we're not interested in your support or we're not going to make it easy for you to join us.
Conservative parties throughout the world, Germany, Canada, Britain, Australia, which are successful, have included these issues.
SCIUTTO: We have to go. So, Penny, I'm going to give you the final word.
SCIUTTO: Can the party be a big tent party --
NANCE: I would say there are issues that --
SCIUTTO: -- opposed to gay marriage?
NANCE: -- demand an answer. The majority of people still support traditional marriage and the Republican Party, the majority of primary voters do, and whether it's life, whether it's marriage, these are issues that deal with faith and deal with morality and we have a right to have an opinion.
BORGER: But the party has changed. Because it used to be you had to support --
NANCE: The numbers are still --
BORGER: -- a constitutional amendment.
SCIUTTO: Were going to -- we're going to have to it -- we'll have to leave it there. Fantastic discussion, though. Thank you very much, Penny Nance, David Frum --
NANCE: Thank you.
SCIUTTO: Gloria Borger. Glad to be part of it.
Coming up next, medical news you need to know. Experts scramble to untangle the confusion after problems are discovered with new cholesterol guidelines.
And why did these police officers fire into a van full of children? We have details of what led up to these disturbing images.
SCIUTTO: We're covering a number of breaking stories now, and now breaking news out of Toronto, where embattled Mayor Rob Ford has been stripped of most of his powers by the city council. The latest fallout from his admission that he smoked crack cocaine during what he called a drunken stupor.
CNN international correspondent Nic Robertson is in Toronto for us.
Nic, tell us the latest.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Jim, just high drama here. The mayor in his last speech to council there right before the vote comparing this to the invasion, Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, saying this is like Saddam who -- this is like Saddam Hussein, I'm going to fight you, you have sinned, I'm mad, we are going to get even come the next elections. I mean, really strong stuff.
And this has been periods of drama and farce that we've seen here in the city council today. At one point, the mayor barreling through the desks in the council chamber, knocking over this small elderly counselor, a female counselor, there, picking her up later, apologizing. Him and his brother screaming and shouting at hecklers in the public gallery inside there. And inside the council, the legal drama as well here, counselors unprepared for this, bringing in legal counsel who weren't prepared either. One legal counsel has said I only just got this brief an hour and a half ago. Really making it all up on the fly here, breaking down all the different elements of the powers that they wanted to strip away from the mayor.
Ultimately, a vote, 36-5, the mayor loses significant powers, budget, staff, powers go to the deputy mayor. So really now, pretty much mayor in name only. He says he's going to continue to fight. His brother says it's unconstitutional, just like a third world country -- Jim.
SCIUTTO: Incredible, Nic. Thanks.
Please stand by there. I will bring in Bill Weir, who interviewed Mayor Rob Ford just on this Saturday.
Bill, any of this surprising you, comparisons to Saddam Hussein? I mean, you can't make this stuff up.
BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, you can't. And if you think there's something on TV, you should see him live. We hung out Saturday night with the Ford boys and Doug actually hinted at this. He said that he and his brother are declaring thermonuclear war against all their political opponents. They think they have enough true believers in the Ford nation, fiscal conservatives like themselves, that they can run in each ward around the city using their style of populist sort of retail politics and unseat everyone who voted against them.
They actually got three allies on this last vote, in the last vote last week, to strip his emergency manager in powers. It was 41-2, Rob and Doug were the two. So from the outside, these guys seem like complete political outcasts. When you follow them around the so- called Ford nation, you can see where they get their courage. They are beloved in housing projects, in blue collar neighborhoods, even in some, you know, rich fiscally conservative neighborhoods as well. But this is unlike anything we have seen.
SCIUTTO: Bill, we will hear more of you after this break.
Coming up next, medical news you need to know. Experts scramble to untangle the confusion after problems are discovered with new cholesterol guidelines.
SCIUTTO: There are some troubling new developments in a story we brought you when the American heart association released new guidelines on who should take cholesterol-lowering drugs. It also released an online calculator to help determine a patient's risk, but now we're learning there may be a problem with that calculator.
CNN's senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is here to explain.
Elizabeth, a few days ago we were hearing one thing, now something different. Break it down for you.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: All right, Jim.
So, what happened today is that two doctors from Harvard played around with the calculator and said, wait a minute, we think this calculator is telling people who don't need a Staten that they do need a Staten. And so, you see this thing doctors go in, and they fill in information about their patients on this grid that we see here. And the American heart association stands by its calculator. They say the calculator is doing the job well, and they say look, when you go in and use the calculator, it's not dictating who should take a Staten, which is a cholesterol lowering drug. It's suggesting that certain people talk to their doctor about possibly taking a Staten. But some people feel like they guidelines just haven't gotten it quite right and the heart association needs to tweak them -- Jim.
SCIUTTO: Well, thanks very much, Elizabeth. And as you say, if in doubt, talk to your doctor.
Now, coming up, at least several people killed, hundreds of homes damaged or destroyed. We'll take you live to the tornado disaster zone in Illinois.
But next, why did these police officers fire into a van full of children? New details of what led up to these disturbing images.
SCIUTTO: Shocking images now, the family vacation gone terribly wrong. We have police video showing how it begins to unravel with a speeding tickets, and ends with police firing at a van full of children. You have to see this.
CNN's Miguel Marquez has the story.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): How in the world does a routine traffic stop turn into this? In that minivan Oriana Farrell and her five kids, one as young as 6-year-old from Memphis, Tennessee on vacation in northern New Mexico, pulled over for doing 71 in a 55 zone. Farrell and the state police officer argue over a ticket, Farrell pleading with the officer.
What happens next, shocking, Farrell takes off. Please chasing her down, she gets out of the van. They argue again. When the officer trying to arrest her, she heads for the door.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Turn around and face your vehicle. That's when Farrell's 14-year-old son (INAUDIBLE) jumps out of the van. He struggle with and distracts the police as his mother jumping back into the van, then he does, too.
Backup arrives, tension escalating quickly and violently. Police tail a batten to the window trying to extract the family members. Farrell takes off again, then this. Three shots fired into the minivan packed with kids, Farrell in full on plea mode, breaking seemingly every rule in the traffic book.
Finally, she stops at a hotel in Taos, New Mexico where she and her son arrested, among other things, both for fleeing, child abuse and battery. Farrell and her 14-year-old son are now out on bond, her remaining four kids in state custody.
Miguel Marquez, CNN, Los Angeles.
SCIUTTO: That's it for me. The SITUATION ROOM continues in just a moment with my colleague Jake Tapper.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: This is CNN.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Happening now, breaking news. George Zimmerman arrested again just months after his trial in the death of Trayvon Martin. He's now facing new charges, allegedly involving a gun.
Plus, the heartland hammered by a tornado assault. CNN is live at the disaster area, bringing you very personal stories of survival and of loss.
And Toronto's crack-smoking mayor stripped of his power just a short while ago. He's talking to CNN, and still sounding defiant.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR ROB FORD, TORONTO: I'm not an addict. I'm not an alcoholic. I'm not a drug addict.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Jake Tapper. You are in the SITUATION ROOM.