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Palin Accuses Obama: Pals Are Terrorists; O.J. Simpson, Guilty, Faces Life; When Will Main Street See Bailout Bill Results?

Aired October 04, 2008 - 17:00   ET


DON LEMON, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: All right, I think it's fair now to say that the gloves are off. Sarah Palin accuses Barack Obama of, quote, "paling around with terrorists." But is that true? We'll hear more from Palin this hour.
O.J. Simpson, guilty. He now faces life behind bars. And bailout from capitol hill to Wall Street, all the way to main street. When will you see the results? We'll try to answer that for you this hour.

We have been hearing fiery words from the campaign trail but it seems it is getting worse. Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin today accused Barack Obama of, get this, this is a quote, "paling around with terrorists."

All right. If that draws your interest, then good. Because we want to explain this to you. It caught our attention, and CNN's Ed Henry as well. He joins us now from Carson, California, where we're expecting Sarah Palin to be there live at any moment.

Paling around with terrorists, that is a very strong assertion there. Why are we hearing this, Ed?

ED HENRY, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: It is very strong, Don, you're absolutely right. Even before Sarah Palin arrives here in California, her advisers were telling me to expect that this rally later this hour that we'll see that she's really going to, in their words, take the gloves off.

What she's doing is essentially taking on the roll of attack dog at a time when John McCain is very much on the defensive. as you know, slipping behind in part because of the financial crisis, slipping behind in key battle ground states. What she's doing is taking issue and making an issue out of a story in the "New York Times" today, raising questions about Barack Obama's ties to Bill Ayers, a former 1960s radical, founder of weather underground, a group that led bombings at the pentagon and capitol hill, a Vietnam war-era protester.

At a stop in Colorado earlier today, Sarah Palin was talking about the sacrifice of U.S. soldiers and then said, quote, "our opponent, though, is someone who seems America, it seems as being so imperfect that he's paling around with terrorist who's would target their own country."

Now, the Obama camp is very aware that this is late in the game and that Democrats in 2004 got very frustrated when at this stage of the campaign John Kerry did not push back and fight back hard enough when he faced personal attacks from Republicans. So very quickly, the Obama camp put out a statement saying, quote, "The very newspaper story Governor Palin cited made clear Senator Obama is not close to Bill Ayers, much less pals. and he strongly condemned the despicable acts Ayers committed when Obama was 8. Barack Obama 8 years old at the time of these bombings I mentioned.

What is going on here behind the scenes, Obama aids are picking up a story in the "The Washington Post" today where Republican advisers quoted anonymously as saying, basically that the McCain camp wants to distract from the economy, which is not a good issue necessarily for McCain, talk about personal issues, bring up personal issues about Barack Obama in the days ahead. The Obama camp is saying, look, what's going on here is John McCain doesn't want to talk about the financial crisis. he wants to go on the attack instead.

The McCain camp is firing back, insisting these personal attacks get at the character of Barack Obama and whether or not he's fit to be commander in chief.

I think the bottom line is this is just the beginning, Don, we'll hear a lot more of this in the days ahead in these final 30 days or so.

LEMON: Just the beginning, Ed. Are these issues that are important to the American people, or are these just distractions and it's up to us as the media to weed through it to give the viewer and voter the information they really need to know when it concerns this.

Ed Henry standing by. Ed, thank you very much for your reporting.

You know, what will Sarah Palin say next? We'll find out very soon, because she is holding a rally in Carson, California, right there where Ed Henry is. he's covering that. At the half hour, hopefully she will be there. We'll bring that event live just as soon as it happens.

Let's talk about the economy now. of course it's "Issue Number One." After a week of controversy on capitol hill, president Bush has signed that $700 billion Wall Street bailout into law. Treasury Department staffers are working out the details of this program. The big question now, is it enough? Is it enough to save the economy?

The measure will allow the government to spend $700 billion buying up bad debts from mortgage holders. It also increases government oversight of Wall Street transactions. and it bars so- called golden parachutes. You know those payouts to top executives that companies that can help. Well, the measure also raises the limit on federally-insured bank deposits from $100,000 to $250,000. That's a lot of money.

Well president Bush warns that the bailout bill won't be a quick fix. So how long do we have to wait before we, yes, we, see the effects of this? Let's bring in CNN personal finance editor Gerri Willis, who joins us now from New York.

Hello, Gerri. How are you?

GERRI WILLIS, CNN PERSONAL FINANCE EDITOR: Hey, Don. Very good. This bailout, what a bill, right?

LEMON: What a bill, but when will the average American see relief from this? We've been hearing about Wall Street, but what about us? What about us?

WILLIS: Look, this isn't today, this isn't tomorrow, this isn't next week. you'll have to wait weeks before Americans really see impact from this bill.

The first thing you want to see, A, number one on the list has to be credit markets loosening up. Banks making loans to springs for autos, for homes, you name it. And that's going to take a little bit -- a little while. Remember, it's just been, you know, still now, even last week, banks weren't lending to each other. That's how little confidence there was in this system.

The thinking, though, is that this treasury plan will inspire confidence in the system and banks will start lending again. Treasury is going to get underway here making these plans to buy some of this bad debt that's clogging balance sheets at banks. and that should help boost the system. But even that will take some time to get underway as well -- Don?

LEMON: So it's kind of a trickle-down thing.

WILLIS: Right.

LEMON: Many people, even me, and I'm not sure about you, but the biggest investment you have is your home.

WILLIS: Right.

LEMON: So how is this going to affect the housing crisis that most Americans are concerned about?

WILLIS: Well, look. I mean, this bill is really aimed right at the heart of Wall Street. It's not really aimed at trying to fix the housing crisis. There are elements in it that will give assistance to some people close to, on the brink of foreclosure. They can get their loans modified but it's not clear yet if lenders are going to cooperate with those efforts. We're still waiting to see.

I think you've seen prices fall. We've got to see those prices rebound for this whole thing to pick up. And you know main street's just going to have a longer time to wait.

The real aim of this bill is helping Wall Street, and remember, it's not the $700 billion that's going to work first, it's $250 billion, so we're taking it step by step by step. LEMON: And I don't think we can spend enough time with you since you're laying it all out, but I have to ask you too, we've been talking about the average American. You have been -- I'm sure your e- mail box has been lighting up, because mine has been too. But you are our personal finance editor, so I'm sure for you it's even more. What are you hear something.

WILLIS: Well, Don, I have to tell you, on Friday, I went on the air and said, folks if you want to talk about the bailout, share your opinions with us. E-mail us at We got thousands, thousands of e-mails. We were inundated.

All you had to do was read the subject line of the e-mails to understand how people felt. They were enraged by this bill. They did not like it. I had e-mails with subject lines like, "Jail, not bail. No, no, no bailout." I mean, very -- people really angry, especially at the pork that is in this bill that is going to buy some legislative support. So, overall most folks not happy with the bill.

We got the occasional e-mail from somebody saying, "I don't like, it but I think this bailout has to be done so all of us can get loans, not just Wall Street, but also individuals."

LEMON: Because it would get worse. I want you to hold that thought.

Gerri will be back with us tonight at 11:00. we'll go over the specifics.

But hold the pork thought because we're going to get to that in just a moment, Gerri. We've prepared something for the viewers. Thank you, Gerri, our personal finance editor.

WILLIS: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: We want to hear from you, the viewer, always. How do you feel about this bailout now that it's official? Find me on Facebook, twitter and That's Also, if you want to send I-reports as well, we'll take them from you. if you want to send in a video I-report, we'd appreciate that.

Critics say that when it finally got through Congress, the bailout bill was loaded with pork. You were saying that as well. You heard Gerri. Well, what about that? Stay with us. We have a reality check for you.

And both presidential candidates work behind the scenes to get the Wall Street bailout passed. Campaigning in Virginia today, Barack Obama warned that the bailout alone won't be enough to revive the economy.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Unemployment is up, the economy is weakening. Well, let's be clear. The rescue package we just passed in Congress isn't the end of what we need to do to fix our economy. it's just the beginning of what we need to do to fix our economy. Because contrary to what my opponent John McCain says, the fundamentals of our economy are not strong. The fundamentals of our economy are weak. And we've got to address those fundamentals, and address them right now.


LEMON: All right. Now to the Republican side, John McCain is spending the weekend in Arizona. He spoke about the bailout yesterday.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I commend the House of representatives for coming together to pass the Economic Rescue Bill today. I'm glad I suspend my campaign and went back to Washington to bring -- and help bring House Republicans to the table. I believe that the taxpayer protections that have been added have significantly improved the bill. This rescue bill isn't perfect. And it's an outrage that it's even necessary. But we have to stop the damage to our economy done by corrupt and incompetent practices on Wall Street and in Washington.


LEMON: John McCain yesterday in Arizona.

The family very much on Joe Biden's mind today. The Democratic vice presidential nominee has canceled campaign events today and tomorrow. His mother-in-law is seriously ill. Yesterday Senator bidden saw his son and other Delaware National Guard troops off as the unit prepared to deploy to Iraq soon. He also spoke live at that event.

Thirteen years to the day after he beat a murder rap, here's the question, what was he thinking? O.J. Simpson is facing the possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison. The former football star was found guilty of robbing two sports memorabilia dealers.

We have live coverage for you. CNN's Thelma Gutierrez in Las Vegas standing by in Las Vegas. This all happened a while ago in a Las Vegas hotel room.

I've got to ask, Thelma, what was he thinking?

THELMA GUTIERREZ, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know what, Don, that's what a lot of people are asking today. It was just amazing to think that it would end this way.

Last night, O.J. Simpson spent the night behind bars here in Las Vegas. He's being held without bail at the Clark County Detention Center. And his attorney says this is a very difficult time for him. He spoke to him last night. he said he became very emotional after he was taken into custody.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you feeling?

GUTIERREZ (voice-over): 11:00 p.m. Friday night. After 13 hours of deliberations and three weeks of testimony, the jury had reached a verdict.

SIMPSON TRIAL JUROR: Count one, conspiracy to commit a crime, guilty. Count two, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, guilty.

GUTIERREZ: A stunning blow for the former football star who appeared shaken as the verdicts were read.

SIMPSON TRIAL JUROR: Count four, burglary while in position of a deadly weapon, guilty.

GUTIERREZ: Guilty on all 12 counts, including kidnapping and armed robbery. Crimes that carry a possible life sentence for 61- year-old O.J. Simpson and his co-defendant Clarence Stewart.

Defense attorneys say they were stunned.

UNIDENTIFIED SIMPSON ATTORNEY: When something like this happens, it really -- you know, it shakes you a little bit. And I think we're all shaken a little bit right now.

UNIDENTIIED SIMPSON ATTORNEY: You know, defending someone like O.J. Simpson, everybody already had a fixed opinion about him. And it's troubling. It really is.

GUTIERREZ: The guilty verdicts came 13 years to the day when Simpson was acquitted for the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman.

In a telephone interview today, Goldman's father told CNN Simpson got what he deserved.

FRED GOLDMAN, RON GOLDMAN'S FATHER: We're absolutely thrilled to see that the potential is that he could spend the rest of his life in jail where that scumbag belongs.

GUTIERREZ: Simpson was arrested last year when he and five men stormed the Palace Station Hotel room to retrieve sports memorabilia Simpson claimed had been stolen from him. The meeting was set up by a middle mown, Thomas Riccio. two sports dealers, Al Beardsley and Bruce Fromong (ph), say they were held in the room and robbed at gunpoint. Four out of five co-defendants testified against Simpson for lighter sentences.

Simpson's sister sobbed as her brother was handcuffed and taken out of the courtroom.


GUTIERREZ: Now, Simpson's attorneys have said they will appeal. And, Don, when you look at each of the penalties that each of the 12 counts carries, the minimum time that he can be sentenced to is actual 23 years -- Don?

LEMON: There you go. Thelma Gutierrez, thank you, for that story.

We're going to have much, much more on that. Many people are wondering, what do the Goldmans have to say? Hear the rest of what Fred Goldman had to say. That's later on tonight. Make sure you join us tonight at 11:00 p.m. eastern here in the CNN "NEWSROOM." An unbelievable response there from Goldman. It is at 8:00 p.m. pacific time right here on CNN, 11:00 eastern, 8:00 p.m. pacific, the rest of what Fred Goldman has to say, plus, the news here today.

He is the boss, and he has spoken.


LEMON: I could listen to that all afternoon. That is the boss, Bruce Springsteen. He is on the campaign trail, stumping for -- I wonder who he is in Philadelphia at Benjamin Franklin Park there, right next to the art museum there in Philly, across the Delaware from his home state.

Who is he campaigning for, Jacqui Jeras? Don't give it away.


LEMON: You don't know. Do you like the boss?

JERAS: Yes, absolutely. Of course, I do like the boss.

LEMON: Good weather in Philly for the boss?

JERAS: Yes. It looks beautiful. I didn't see those trees turning colors just yet, but falls been around for a couple of weeks, but winter, winter weather? Yes, we're talking snow in parts out west. We'll have the forecast coming up.


LEMON: OK. Look at this. it's just horrific there. That's Haiti. Nearly 800 -- 800 Haitians died as a result of four back-to- back storms. These numbers coming from the Haitian Red Cross. That number could increase with many still missing from the flooding and the mudslides.

Jacqui Jeras joining us now.

Jacqui, that is horrific. Every time we hear about it, we had a conversation with Wyclef Jean and Matt Damon when they went on an aid mission, saying humans should not have to live like that.

JERAS: And all the mud you can still see in those pictures, unfortunately. A little bit more wet weather there in the Caribbean, but we're not looking at an active streak of storms like we've been seeing. Things are a lot quieter in the Atlantic basin. You can see a bit of circulation here, but really nothing to worry about.


JERAS: A little bit of snow. That's a lot of bit of snow, isn't it?

LEMON: It'd be nice to be skiing but it would also be nicer to be on a hot beach, warm.

JERAS: The skiers are salivating. They can't wait to get started.

LEMON: Let's not rush winter in.

Speaking of nice weather, I said it would be nice to be on a warm beach, let's goes to Philadelphia, because we're talking about, you know, where Bruce Springsteen...

JERAS: The boss. I know.

LEMON: Yes, the boss is performing. The folks are leaving there. It's gone now. But it was beautiful weather. But you know what? Let's show you what it was like earlier. There's the boss on stage, Jacqui. Take a look.

JERAS: So what's the answer? Who is he stumping for?

LEMON: I'm going to tell you. But listen to him. Let's listen real quick.

JERAS: Did he make up a song or something?


BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, SINGER: Great to be here in my home away from home, Philly. All right.



LEMON: There he is. We love the boss, don't we?

JERAS: I love the harmonica.

LEMON: He opened up with "Promised Land," his hit. He is campaigning for Barack Obama this afternoon in Philly. And in true Springsteen fashion, the boss added a few more campaign gigs to his schedule. He will be in Ohio and Michigan before his big Obama fund- raiser with Billy Joel. Those are some big name.

JERAS: We saw Jon Voight earlier today stumping for McCain. LEMON: Did you really? Cool. We'll look at that as well.

JERAS: Just to balance it out.

LEMON: Yes, of course. We should get Jon Voight on. Yes, of course.

Thank you, Jacqui Jeras.

JERAS: Sure.

LEMON: Appreciate that.

It's so hard to wrap your head around this number, $700 billion. $700 billion. When will Wall Street's bailout reach main street America? We have answers for you.


LEMON: OK. Wall Street, main street, bailout or rescue, whatever you want it call it, $700 billion has a lot of people talking or spoofing.

Jason Sellvig is a CNN I-reporter and here's his $700 billion solution. Take a look.


JASON SELLVIG (ph), I-REPORTER: Save the country. Your money is safe in our hands. Pay for the bailout? Pay for the bailout. If 700 billion of you each gave us 100 pennies, we would be well on our way to a solution.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know all those people lose their jobs and end up on the street.

SELLVIG (ph): That's what we're after.

I had to take a cab today, sir. It's affecting me.


LEMON: All right. Our director Aaron here says he's cut.

with that crazy hair, Aaron? What was that on his head?

A little humor from our I-reporters about what everyone knows is a very serious issue here.

President Bush says it will take time for main street to see the effects on Wall Street on that bailout.

Carolyn Bigda writes for "Money" magazine.

OK, Carolyn, here's what I want to know. We've been asking this question. I'm not sure if I've gotten really a firm answer from anyone. You work for "Money" magazine so you should know about money. The average, everyday American, when are we going to see benefits from this legislation? I know you have a firm answer for me.

CAROLYN BIGDA, WRITER, "MONEY" MAGAZINE: Oh, I wish I could give you a firm answer. Because then I'd make a lot of money off of it, I'm sure.

LEMON: Man. OK. Well, some answer, something. Give us some hope.

BIGDA: The hope is that with this infusion of $700 billion, it will get the -- you know, the banks lending again, it will help out small businesses, help them make their pay roll, help them invest in their businesses, so that the economy won't come to a complete halt, that we will go on. And maybe in the months to come we will see a rebound in stocks.

LEMON: I've got to ask you, I know we haven't seen anything -- and pardon me for cutting you off. We haven't seen anything this drastic, but we have seen similar situations in the past. and judging from those situations, how soon did it take the economy to rebound after there were problems, again, not this drastic, but how long did it take the money to reach main street?

BIGDA: The last bear market was from about 2000 to 2002, and it takes -- you'll see a major jump in the stock market when the stocks decide that the economy is on the rebound.

LEMON: Weeks? Months?

BIGDA: I can't tell you off the top of my head how long did it take.

LEMON: Last time, did it take months? Years? What did it last time? You said the bear market.

BIGDA: The bear market started in 2000 and lasted until 2002, and then in 2003 we started seeing double-digit returns.

LEMON: OK. There we go, then. Maybe about a year, or since this is more drastic, maybe sooner.

BIGDA: Right. You have to be careful to know that you cannot predict what the stock market is going to do.

LEMON: We understand it's not an exact science. We got that. But at least there's some point in history where we can learn from this. In the meantime then, until that year or so, whenever this happens, what do we do?

BIGDA: Well, you need to not have a knee-jerk reaction. Think about, first, what your investment times rising is. If you're a long- term investor, now is a good time to be investing incrementally into the stock market. Don't put all of your money into it at once.

LEMON: Dip your toe into it; test the waters a bit so you don't lose everything. but if you do win, you'll get some gain.

BIGDA: Exactly. Five years, ten years from now, the market will rebound, and this is the time when you do make a lot of money, because...

LEMON: OK. I hate to cut you off again, but I want to get to this. Loans, mortgages, that sort of thing. What should we be watching out for? What do you have advice on that? A lot of people are in the market for a home now. Prices are down, but is it a good time or bad time to buy?

BIGDA: It's looking more and more like a great time to buy because prices have come down so much, 20 percent, 30 percent in certain markets.

LEMON: OK, that's good but can we get a loan now?

BIGDA: Yes. The tough part right now is getting a loan. You need to have really good credit. you need to have cash in the bank for a bank to even look at you.

LEMON: OK. See, you had some -- that was solid advice. There you go. We learned it here.

BIGDA: I'm glad to help.

LEMON: Carolyn Bigda with "Money" magazine. Thank you very much. Have a great Saturday and the rest of the weekend.

BIGDA: You too.

LEMON: Now, it's time for a reality check. Is there pork in the $700 billion bailout? We'll sink our teeth into that. You don't want to miss it. Two seconds away.


DON LEMON, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: OK, we want to take a quick look at what's happening around the nation and around the world right now. This one is at the top of our agenda. O.J. Simpson could spend the rest of his life in prison. That's right. He was found guilty yesterday of kidnapping and robbing two sports memorabilia dealers. The 61-year-old could face a 30-year sentence.

All right, tough talk today from vice presidential candidate or running mate Sarah Palin. She accuses Democrat Barack Obama of, quote, "paling around with terrorists." She was referring to a member of the '60s radical group, the Weather Underground, who now -- this guy now lives in Obama's Chicago neighborhood of Hyde Park. The Obama campaign calls Palin's remarks offensive.

One Iraqi soldier was killed today when a pair of U.S. military helicopters collided while landing in Baghdad. Two Iraqi soldiers and two American soldiers were injured in that.

So the treasury secretary, Henry Paulson, submitted a bailout proposal three pages long. The one president Bush signed was more than 450 pages. Tucked inside those pages are a heck of a lot of surprises and unanswered questions, like this one.

Here's a question of the day. How much of this is pork?

And we turn to Josh Levs for that.

How much is this -- some people are classifying it as pork. Others are saying this is not pork and you can't call it that.

JOSH LEVS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: If you look at what's actually happening here, it's not what you imagine when you hear pork. But I also don't want to tell people they don't have the right to be frustrated with what happens with taxpayer dollar.

LEMON: Things added into legislation on top of this so they can try to get it through.

LEVS: This is what's tricky in this case. When you hear pork, don't you imagine people in back rooms say, ah-hah, if you do this for me -- that's not what happened here. I want to tell what you did happen. I have a graphic for that. Let's go to this first one.

Here's what happened. What you keep hearing about, the Senate already had a bill separately from all this stuff, right? For tax extensions. There's some groups out there that get tax breaks. The Senate was already pushing a bill to extend tax breaks that exist. And they were battling with these people in the House, these blue dog Democrats, who wanted those tax breaks paid for. They wanted changes in the overall budget so the tax breaks, when they get extended, that they would be covered basically in that way.

The next graphic now. here's what happened here. After this first bailout bill failed, the Senate got a theory. They said, hey, let's take all these things we've been fighting with the House over, attach them to the new bailout bill, and also change the bailout bill in a way that more and more lawmakers will like, that way, think about it. Are these people in the House who had problems with those tax extensions, are they going to come along and say, I refuse to vote for the bailout bill because of this whole other issue on the side that has nothing to do with it? In the end, the strategy worked.

When they made the attachment, see what happened? They got it through. there was no longer a battle over tax extensions. But all these breaks we're hearing about, that people are upset about, already existed. It's not new stuff.

LEMON: Some people would say, we need this. then others would say, this is not, this is pork, added, unnecessary, and that's -- and that's, thus, the battle.

LEVS: That's the battle.

LEMON: I've got to ask you this. What is this we're hearing, rum?

LEVS: Everyone loves the rum line. Well, you love rum in general.

LEMON: I'm not a rum drinker. No. I'm a good, wholesome kid.

LEVS: We won't go over it now due to time restraints. Here's the thing about the rum. You keep hearing that rum, right? The suggestion is that rum producers are getting a lot money, they're not. We have a pretty little picture here that will help you understand what's going on with rum. This is why you've heard it. One of the many provisions inside this bill did this. It took money rum exports already have to pay -- do we have the picture? Well, I'll just tell you. It took money that rum exporters already have to pay. When they send rum to the united states, they have to pay a fee. it's an import fee we charge them. Well, in general, for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, the U.S. takes that money sends it back and let's Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands then spend that money for development projects.

LEMON: Was that in here?

LEVS: It's existed for years, decades even. This process of doing that, you take the money the rum exports have to pay, take that money and send it to the government in the two islands. So they use that. So it's not the simple thing you hear like, hey, rum producers are getting all this money, they're not. Their governments are continuing to get the money.

LEMON: I've got to slip this in for high constituents, who may not necessarily...

LEVS: Right. People may be upset. that's how public money works but it's not what you think of when you hear "pork."

LEMON: You ask the debate obviously, right?

LEVS: Yes.

LEMON: Guess who I watched the debate with? Some hockey moms.

LEVS: Oh, you were with the hockey moms? Oh, that's great.

LEMON: With hockey moms in Georgia. It was amazing. People said, where did you get hockey moms in Georgia? We found them.

LEVS: We have hockey moms.

LEMON: Let me tell you why. It's been amazing, josh, because you know the person we see behind us, Sarah Palin, she is America's best-known hockey mom after the now famous quip, the only difference between a hockey mom and A pit bull, we know the rest, right?

What do hockey moms really think of the Republican presidential nominee? So I held a debate-watching party, but before that, I want to introduce you to these hockey moms.

LEVS: I've got to stay up here for this. This is great.


LEMON: They cheer, even if their children are pounded by the competition. Yet, it's what these mom here in Atlanta say they live for.

SANDRA FREY, HOCKEY MOM: I think hockey moms are a bred in themselves. I think they are pit bulls with lipstick sometimes. and we're fiercely supportive of our children.

LEMON: Sound familiar?

GOV. SARAH PALIN, (D), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They say the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick.

LEMON: Republican vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin has ignited a fire on ice among mothers around the country who spend more time at work and at the rink than at home, especially Sandra Frey, who grew up in Alaska. Her husband serves in the Alaskan National Guard. Two of her children are Marines.

FREY: The Alaskans are fiercely independent people and I know they are a lot of mavericks. I think she will bring in Independents and a change up in Washington.

LEMON: Terri Graefe and Carrie Uzzell support Palin as much as their hockey children.

TERRI GRAEFE, HOCKEY MOM: I do relate to her more. I have five children, I'm a working mom.

CARRIE UZZELL, HOCKEY MOM: Being in the hockey atmosphere, we know what she goes through.

LEMON: Hockey mom, Betsy Rathvon, is one of the few exceptions here today.

BETZY RATHVON, HOCKEY MOM: I'm going to vote for Obama. It makes me very nervous that Sarah Palin could perhaps be the president of the united states. I don't think she's had the experience.

LEMON: In this group, she's a very small minority.

FREY: I don't think she has a lot of experience, but I think she has an independence and confidence.


LEMON: All right, now you've met the hockey moms. Not all of them agree. Not all of them agree. And it really heated up during that debate.

So what did these hockey moms think of Sarah Palin's performance in Thursday night's debate? We watched it all together. I had a party here at the CNN Center and watched it with them. You won't believe what they had to say. It's seconds away. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: All right. So we introduced you to the hockey moms that I watched the debate with a short time ago. They are self-described, and they said it, pit bulls with lipstick. And you know what? I did see that side of them after the debate on Friday night or during the debate. It was a no holidays barred discussion. Check it out.


LEMON: How are you? I'm Don.

(voice-over): They came to the CNN Center without their kids, with their husbands.

(on camera): Oh, hockey mom. Nice. I like that.

(voice-over): Armed with hockey jerseys and shirts.

(on camera): OK, guys, right in here.

(voice-over): Before the debate even starts, these hockey moms have strong opinions.

RATHVON: My big question is, is how can you spend that many hours in a hockey rink and run the state of Alaska?

FREY: I think when Sarah Palin said when she was a hockey mom, she was showing her love of the sport, her support of her kids, her background of Alaska.

UZZELL: There are many women who work full time, have their kids in sports and support them.

LEMON (on camera): Do you say you could be vice president with five kids and doing what do you?

GRAEFE: Absolutely. I think if you have that support and a good family, then yes, you can. Absolutely.

LEMON: OK, hockey moms unite. Let's go.

LEMON (voice-over): When governor Palin walks on to the stage, our moms beam. But the debating in St. Louis quickly leads to debating among the moms.

GRAEFE: Is she going to do anything other than point fingers all night?

PALIN: You said recently that higher taxes or paying higher taxes is patriotic.

... hockey moms across the nation.

GRAEFE: The corporation, not having to provide insurance for their employees? So -- your unemployed and you don't have health care. Then maybe you ought to get a job. I mean, isn't that what America's all about?

LEMON: An hour and a half later, time to talk to the moms.

(on camera): So what do you think?

GRAEFE: She really related to the people, and I think that that is going to make it a really big difference and help the McCain and Palin ticket. So I think, overall, I think she definitely won the debate and surprised a lot of people.

PALIN: Your plan is a white flag of surrender in Iraq.

LEMON: You have a child in boot...

FREY: I have a daughter that's in the Marines, a son that's in the Marines, and my son-in-law is a Marine. Their lives may be dependent on the decisions that are made by the next president. I like Senator Obama. he just has no experience with grown children going off to war, and no experience in war. And I -- I just don't think I want him to gain that on the job.

LEMON: Betsy was the only Biden supporter in the room.

RATHVON: Well, I don't hear anybody saying, OK, this is a plan, this is how we're going to do it and this is how we're going to wrap it up and get out.

FREY: What I came away with tonight is that Joe Biden is a politician, and Sarah Palin is a real person. I really, I mean, I was thinking she is -- she's me.

UZZELL: I came out of the presidential election with the exactly opposite. I feel Obama is a regular guy, and that McCain is the politician.

LEMON: Sarah Palin supporters raise your hand.

GRAEFE: I'm from Alaska.

LEMON: Biden supporter?



LEMON: Tough room to be in when you're the only Biden supporter. Thank you, ladies. Thank you for the jersey. and, of course, I look forward to coming to some of the games you invited me to as well.

All righty, it is 5:46 eastern time. Do you know where your national debt is?


LEMON: It's running out of space. DOUGLAS DURST, REAL ESTATE DEVELOPER: It is running out of space. There's no room for another digit in there. It's frightening. It's a frightening number.



LEMON: Lose weight or die, the doctor's orders. Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports on one man's life or death decision.



LEMON: So happy new year? What am I talking about? It's now 2009, that is according to the federal government's fiscal calendar, which begins on October 1st. See the huge number behind me? If you could write a check for $33,000, that would be what your balance would be for the government's ledger of what you owe for the national debt. Every man and woman, every child in the U.S. owes the national debt, not counting the wall street bailout, which is nearly $1 trillion.

But check that out. $10 trillion. Our national debt, going right before our eyes. The national debt clock has run out of numbers. I went to take a look.


LEMON: As of right now, the U.S. government, you're government, has racked up more than $10 trillion in red ink. You can't even see it on the national debt clock in Manhattan because there aren't enough spaces.

DURST: $10 trillion is a number that would just be beyond my father's imagination back in 1980.

LEMON: And now it's coming to fruition.

DURST: Now we're there.

LEMON (voice-over): Real estate developer, Douglas Durst, is the keeper of the clock. His father, Seymour Durst, first conceived of it during the 1980s when the national debt, then $1 trillion, began to grow under President Reagan. Since then, the debt has grown so rapidly, the clock has been overhauled three times, and now needs to be overhauled again.

Helena Durst is Seymour Dursts' granddaughter.

HELENA DURST, GRANDDAUGHTER OF SEYMOUR DURST: We're in a crunch to change that debt clock as fast as we can and add an extra digit. But we wanted to -- we've been looking at making the debt clock flashier, getting people's attention on it, really being able to explain the problem a little bit more than what was limited to us when we first built the clock. LMEON: The Durst family takes little joy in shoving all this red ink in the faces of New Yorkers each day. The intention decades ago was only to prod the country to deal with the problem before it got out of hand, not as a countdown to a possible economic doomsday.

DURST: It really started in the '80s with the Reagan administration. And as the first George Bush called it, voodoo economics, allowed us to borrow against the future wealth of the country.

LEMON: What most alarms Durst today is how rapidly the national debt is now growing.

DURST: 2002, we started running large deficits again. The debt started growing dramatically. Slowly at first, but then in ever and ever increasing amounts. It absolutely is a sign of where this country has been going for the last five or six years, living off of ever increasing debt.

LEMON (on camera): It is a sober reminder for tourists, especially New Yorkers who have to walk by this every single day. By the time it takes me to walk from there to the camera, which is about 20 feet, our national debt has risen some 12, 13, $14,000 -- $15,000 and counting.

UNIDENTIFIED NEW YORKER: I try not to look at it. Sometimes I try to come to the other side. But it's kind of one of those like car crash things, you can't look away. It's just so awful you have to look.

UNIDENTIFIED NEW YORKER: I see an empire falling. And I am sad, because this is my country. This is my home. And I love it. And I don't want it to go down this road. I really don't.

LEMON (voice-over): But for now the clock is ticking.


LEMON: That is our sign of the times. And there you go. You see that number going up, even as we speak. That $700 billion bailout pushed it up a whole lot faster.

We want to give you a good rule to go by. Don't jump into a bull ring unless you know exactly what you are doing. You can see that is certainly no bull here.



UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Listen to me, OK. This whole thing is your fault. All right, they way that you walk around with your boobs stuck out, it's impossible for him not to notice. And you've been talking about your pubic hair.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Only because the girls at the (inaudible) call me (inaudible).


LEMON: All right, we know that it's controversial and it is strong language, but that's why we're bringing it to you because it's causing protects. It is raw, sometimes funny, perhaps one of the most controversial films of its time. Some say it's the most controversial film since "Crash." It is called "Towelhead," which is an ethnic slur as well. It's directed by Alan Ball (ph), based on Alicia Arian's novel of the same name. Summer Bishal (ph) plays Jazeera in that film. Coming up at 11:00 p.m. eastern tonight, my very open candid conversation with her. She's a young lady and she's in the middle of this controversy.

Bailout and debates have dominated the news this week. But we can't let you miss this. It is security camera video from a Subway sandwich shop in British Columbia. The store is empty except for one worker and a black bear. That's right. The worker wisely bolts for the restroom when she noticed the bear, when she sees him. The bear checks out the food counter for awhile. And then the bear -- right through the door.

In Colombia, this is what the local police call entertainment. Hundreds of folks tempt fate by getting in front of a very aggressive bull, or some very aggressive bulls, with predictable results, of course, injury. Dozens of people were hurt at this year's festival. Why they do it, I don't know. That's what they want to do.

And we found this one on YouTube. This is how to run a ferris wheel without electricity in rural India. Guys simply climb up on the contraption and use their weight to make it spin. Who needs safety regulations, huh? That does not look safe at all.

What the bailout means for wall street and main street. When will you see relief? The answers are coming up right now on "Your Money" with Ali Velshi.

We'll see you at 11:00 eastern right here in the "CNN NEWSROOM" for all those stories we told you about.

It starts right now with Ali Velshi and Christine Romans.