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At This Hour

How Small-Town Hospital Was Able to Handle Oregon Victims; Interview with Mike Huckabee on Oregon Shooting, Kim Davis/Vatican Meeting; Education Secretary Arne Duncan Stepping Down; U.S. Coast Guard Trying to Rescue Cargo Ship Caught in Hurricane. Aired 11:30-12p ET

Aired October 02, 2015 - 11:30   ET



[11:30:00] KELLY MORGAN, CEO, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, MERCY MEDICAL CENTER: I think that the more difficult was the families coming in, and not knowing who was included, and who wasn't, who was involved in it. And I think that was the emotional trauma of trying to keep people together and get information out for them.

DR. JASON GRAY, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, MERCY MEDICAL CENTER: Many of our staff, our pastoral staff, were just with the patients. You don't have to say anything. You just have to be there to support them right now. The challenging time will be the next few days, weeks, months, as they replay these incidents and, our staff, too. They need the support, the ongoing support.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: A lot of physical healing, obviously, took place over the last several hours but you got the sense there that emotional healing for the patients and for the staff themselves. Again, with a small town like this, this really hits just about everybody that lives here.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: You really hear how hard it is for them in their voices.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thanks for being with us. We appreciate it.


BERMAN: The shooting already being discussed by those running for president right now. Up next, we'll speak to former Governor Mike Huckabee, Republican presidential candidate. His thoughts on what happened in Oregon, his thoughts on the president's statement immediately following the shooting.

BOLDUAN: Also ahead for us, one victim's father says that the shooter actually asked the victims about their religion before shooting them. What does this say about the man and the motive behind that trigger? A criminal profiler will weigh in ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [11:34:57]BERMAN: Folks who have known and watched the president for years, say this is as angry as they have ever seen him. President Obama addressing the Oregon shooting from the White House. It was the 15th time during his presidency he's given remarks following incidents of gun violence.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And of course, what's also routine is that somebody somewhere will comment and say, Obama politicized this issue. Well, this is something we should politicize. I would ask news organizations, because I won't put these facts forward, have news organizations tally up the number of Americans who have been killed through terroristic attacks over the last decade and the number of Americans who have been killed by gun violence. And put those side by side on your news reports. This won't be information coming from me. It will be coming from you.


BOLDUAN: Now, some of the numbers the president highlighted them last night, CNN has collected them independently from government figures. From 2004 to 2013, more than 300,000 people were killed by gunfire in the United States. And the number here and abroad due to terrorism during that same time, 313. Just something to consider.

Let's discuss this whole issue and this massacre. Joining us now is Republican presidential candidate, former governor, Mike Huckabee.

Governor, thank you so much for joining us. We really appreciate it on this day, as everyone keeps their thoughts -- as you pointed out, keeping your thoughts with the people of Oregon on this moment.

I do want to ask you about the statement, though, that you made following sending your well wishes, after the president's statement, you said that he's exploiting a tragedy and you also said, "At best, his political pronouncements are premature. At worst, the president is being ignorantly inflammatory. If not now, when you see the number of school shootings, the number of massacres." It seems like they almost do happen every week, so when would be the time, Governor?

MIKE HUCKABEE, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR: Oh, I think it's time to talk about it, but we should talk about what these shooters want. It's apparent from the postings online this shooter wanted to be famous. Who makes him famous? Frankly, it's all of the television networks that go 24/7 putting up his name and face. I'm wondering if part of the conversation we need to have is whether or not, instead of tinkering with the Second Amendment, I never hear anybody say, let's tinker with the first. Let's put restrictions, to be very clear. I'm not for putting government restrictions on what the media can do because I hold the First Amendment sacred, but I would think maybe what the police official last night said, I agree with. Let's not give this guy his moment of fame. Let's not put his face on the screen. Let's not --

(CROSSTALK) BOLDUAN: Governor, you won't see his face on your screen and you won't hear us say his name.


HUCKABEE: Kate -- when I hosted my own show -- Kate, let me just finish this a minute. When I hosted my own television show, I refused to give the name of these mass killers.

BOLDUAN: And we're doing the same.

HUCKABEE: I just feel like we only give others the idea.

BERMAN: So, Governor, we haven't said his name once. We haven't shown his picture once. I want to know beyond that, beyond not saying names or showing faces, what you would do as president to address the issue of these mass shootings, to try to keep them from happening in the future.

HUCKABEE: John, I wish there was a simple solution. I think surely if there was, we would have found it by now. We know most of these people are mentally deranged, so do we need to do a better job in mental health? You bet we do. Do we need to have a better understanding of what the signs are? You bet we do. Do we need to have a more aggressive approach to people who are mentally ill and showing these signs to keep firearms out of their hands? Of course we do. But that's not the solutions I hear. I keep waiting for someone to tell me what new gun law can we pass that would have prevented this shooting or Sandy Hook or aurora or Charleston. Just tell me what gun law that is because I've yet to hear somebody tell me what that is.

BOLDUAN: On the issue of gun laws, we actually had the mother of -- the mother of Dillon Hockley, who was killed at Sandy Hook, who was killed at Newtown. She was on the show a few minutes ago and we asked her what message she would send to you, one of the people in power, one of the people running to be president of the United States, and she talked about guns. Listen here, Governor.


NICOLE HOCKLEY, PRESIDENT, SANDY HOOK PROMISE: I certainly wouldn't want to go to the same church or school as him or his family. I refuse to believe that more guns is the answer. There are already over 300 million guns in this country. How many more do we need?

[11:39:56] Governor, she was specifically reacting to something you said after Charleston, the shooting in Charleston that, perhaps, had the parishioners had guns, the shooting would not have been so bad. We asked her what she thought about your idea, perhaps armed people in schools, in churches, would help mitigate these shootings.

HUCKABEE: John, I can just remind you of something? Let's ask this question. What stopped that shooter in Oregon yesterday? What stopped him? He was continuing to shoot. What stopped him? It was a police officer with what? A conversation? Reading from a book? It was a cop with a gun that stopped him. That college campus about a year ago had a discussion whether to arm their security guards. And they chose and decided not to. So, they had a security guard on duty, but he was unarmed. And it was when a police officer arrived, who was armed, who stopped that shooter. So, when I hear people say, fewer guns, fewer guns in the hands of crazy people, I agree. But maybe a gun in the hand of a police officer, in a security officer, or in a well-trained citizen who could intervene and at least save some of the lives if not all of them.

BERMAN: But that's -- you made a key statement there at the end. Save some of the lives. If someone wants to go in and die anyway, still goes in to do this kind of shooting, he's going to get some shots off. Some people are going to still die even if you arm everyone in that room, aren't they, Governor?

HUCKABEE: Somebody very likely will. Look, we go back to the time people killed other from the time of Cain and Abel. Murder is not new. And --


BERMAN: But have there been these --


BERMAN: Have there been these mass shootings every month since the time of Cain and Abel? It was Charleston two months ago, what happened in Virginia last month, this in Oregon yesterday, has that been going on for thousands of years?

HUCKABEE: It's been with bombs, it's been with every kind of weapon imaginable. We don't have as often somebody going in and putting a suicide bomb. I've been to Israel dozens of times. I remember the suicide bombings that happened regularly until they put up a security fence and kept the suicide bombers out. There were thousands of innocent civilians blown up not because somebody had a gun but because somebody made a bomb. Oklahoma City wasn't a gun. It was a bomb. We know that Boston wasn't a gun, it was a bomb. So, if you have crazy people who want to kill a lot of individuals, they'll find a way to do it.

Again, we always have this discussion about the particular weapon. We've got a human behavior problem. We've got a problem with uncivilized savages. We have a problem with people who elevate themselves. This particular gunman targeted Christians, apparently. I might suggest that if people really followed the spirit of Christ, which is to put others above self, instead of self above others, people wouldn't murder each other like this. And --

BOLDUAN: Governor --


HUCKABEE: We have a nation, a world in which people have obliterated that moral character, responsibility and accountability for their actions. BOLDUAN: This is absolutely -- well, hopefully, a lot of folks will

say, this is not the last time we all discuss this, and this is discussed on the campaign trail.

Another issue, a very important issue for you and this all happened in the last minutes. Kim Davis' meeting with the pope, Governor, the Vatican, just a short time ago put out a statement to kind of pushing back on the meeting saying that, yes, that -- acknowledging they met but saying that shouldn't be seen as an endorsement of her position. When she left that meeting, she seemed to think that the pope was supporting her and telling her to stay strong. What do you make of the Vatican's pushback on that? Because this is something so near and dear to your heart.

HUCKABEE: Well, we know the pope told ABC's Terry Moran that people have a right to religious liberty. He said that to him on the plane back to Rome. This morning, Matt Staver, the head of the Liberty Council, who is Kim Davis' attorney, also released a statement, and clarified the meeting happened at the invitation of the Vatican. It wasn't initiated by Kim Davis or her attorneys. It was a private meeting. It wasn't one of a long line of people lined up. It was private. A car was sent for her. They took her to the Vatican embassy in Washington. The meeting was held. It was very personal, very private. I wasn't in the meeting. I couldn't tell you exactly what happened. And I couldn't explain why, after some clarity about the meeting, the Vatican seems to be pushing back other than, there has been an uproar from many people, especially on the left, who don't like Kim Davis, who don't appreciate that she took a stand for her conscience, and maybe there's just a feeling that the Vatican doesn't want to engage in controversy. But I think the pope made it clear, that he does support religious liberty, he does support the notion that a person has a right to express their conscience. And he called it, by the way, not a religious right but a human right, something bigger than just the laws of one country, one state, one city.

[11:45:16] BOLDUAN: Governor Mike Huckabee, thank you so much for weighing in on all of this. Thanks for your time.

HUCKABEE: Thank you, Kate and John.

BOLDUAN: Of course.

We also have breaking news coming out of Washington we'll bring to you. The secretary of education, he is leaving the administration. We'll have a live report and update from the White House. That's going to be coming up next.

BERMAN: Plus, a powerful storm churning very close to the United States. An extremely dangerous system. Will it make impact? The very latest coming up.


[11:49:26] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BERMAN: Breaking news, one of the longest-serving members of the president's cabinet and one of his closest friends in the cabinet just announced he is stepping down.

BOLDUAN: Let's go straight to the White House. That's where senior White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, is.

What are you learning, Jim?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, guys. Yes, Arne Duncan, the original secretary of education for President Obama, is stepping down in December. The White House just confirmed it in the last several minutes. And President Obama will be talking about that in a brief news conference, if you want to call it that, in the state dinning room this afternoon. He will be taking a few questions as he is going to make the announcement. John B. King Jr, who was the education commission in New York State, is deputy secretary of education at the Department of Education, will be stepping in.

[11:50:16] What is interesting about Duncan retired, he is one of the original cabinet members. That leaves a bit of trivial. Tom Vilsack is the only remaining original cabinet member at the Department of Agriculture, and Shawn Donovan, who was at Housing and Urban Department and is now at OMB, so he really doesn't count. And I am probably revealing too much Obama administration trivia here, but it is a sign that he is winding down his administration. When you have someone like Arne Duncan stepping down. He was the head of schools in Chicago when Obama was a political figure in Chicago. And so he part of the Chicago group that came in with President Obama.

As for this news conference, if you want to call it that, the president will be taking some questions later on, and he will be asked obviously about Syria, and the Russians engaging in the air strikes, just as the coalition is, and how is the de-confliction process going with the Russian. And of course, the president is going to be asked about what is happening in response to what happened in Oregon, the community college shoot, and does the president plan to advance legislation aimed at more gun control. The president said I guess that "we need to politicize this," and what does that mean? I expect that will be a question for the president.

BERMAN: By the way, Arne Duncan, secretary of education, violence at schools he's dealt with at schools.


BERMAN: I'm sure that will come up.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely.

Thank you so much, Jim.

ACOSTA: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: A lot more to come from the White House, a lot more to come from us.

We have a new forecast just in on the track of Hurricane Joaquin. We'll have the latest on this powerful storm, and how big of a threat now to the east coast. That is next.


[11:55:30] BERMAN: Breaking news, the U.S. Coast Guard says they are currently searching for a U.S. Cargo ship with 33 people on board that is caught in Hurricane Joaquin.

BOLDUAN: And we just got the updated forecast for this massive storm.

So we are going to Chad Myers for the very latest.

Chad, what are you hearing?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I am hearing that the storm is going to be staying out to sea. We had one model that is out to sea, which is the European sea. And all week, the American model said, no, it is coming on shore. And now we know that the European model is correct, like it was for Sandy three years ago. There goes the storm, moving away. There's the latest path, and missing the U.S. all altogether, but making significant waves in the ocean, and making significant flooding in the Carolinas. This is the big story for the weekend. We will see areas that will have 10 to 15 inches of rainfall and some spots close to that. There is not a place on earth that can take 20 inches of rain in the weekend and not flood something. So we'll keep watching that for you.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely.

Chad, thank you so much for that update.

And thank you all so much for joining us AT THIS HOUR.

BERMAN: "Legal View" with Ashleigh Banfield will start after a quick break.