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Al Qaeda's Presidential Pick?; Handcuffing Karl Rove

Aired October 22, 2008 - 15:00   ET


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Coming at you right now: a Web site with known ties to al Qaeda encouraging an attack on the U.S. to influence the presidential election. Who do they want in the White House? We will tell you.

New information on the brutal attack of this TV anchorwoman.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're doing a citizen's arrest, a citizen's arrest for treason.

SANCHEZ: Handcuffing Karl Rove without success. There is more.

And you are not going to believe what John Kerry said. And then there's Joe Biden's comment. And did you hear what John McCain tried to say?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Senator Obama's supporters have been saying some pretty nasty things about Western Pennsylvania lately.


MCCAIN: I couldn't agree with him more. I couldn't disagree with you.

SANCHEZ: The pace picks up. Tens of thousands go early-voting all over the country. We are taking you through Colorado, Georgia, Florida.

And new information on suspected voter registration fraud. We got have the details, securing your vote, talking to you, listening to you, all of you, on air and on the Net. Your newscast begins now.


SANCHEZ: And hello again, everybody. I'm Rick Sanchez.

As usual, you are going to be breaking -- you're going to be joining us in just a little bit with some of your reactions, both on Twitter and Facebook and MySpace. There is a jampacked show that we already had scheduled for you, and now we have even more information that is coming into us that we're going to be sharing with you throughout this newscast.

First, a situation that sounds at least at the outset pretty dire, it's taking place at Western Kentucky University. Let's show you now on Google Earth where it is that we are talking about. This is Bowling Green, Kentucky. Some of you may be familiar with the venue.

Officials there at Western Kentucky University say they are now investigating a report of men, more than one, armed with guns on campus. And we understand that there is a tactical unit that has been sent out, often referred to as a SWAT unit, although that type of terminology is not usually used anymore by police departments, but that they have dispatched a tactical unit to the university.

We are trying to get even more information. The university by the way is about an hour north of Nashville. It is the south campus on the Bowling Green area. We are going to be all over this story. Obviously, as we get more information, we will just break in at any point during this newscast and bring it to you.

There's another story that we're going to be bringing you about the Dow going down again. We have been checking it. And just before we were getting ready to go on the air, it had gone just below 400. So, we're going to keeping an eye on this. If it continues to dip, then obviously we will get some analysis for you from some of our money people, who are going to be joining us throughout this newscast.

But, first, this is the story that we're going to bring you now, yet another developing story. It's about a Web site that we have been monitoring for quite some time. This is a Web site that seems to be encouraging al Qaeda to attack the United States before the presidential elections.

And they also seem to be encouraging al Qaeda to pick a winner in the U.S. election. And they seem to have a preference. We want to be as transparent as possible with this report, but we are not in the business of showing Web sites that advocate violence, terrorism or actions against the United States, so we're not going to talk about it by name.

I'm not going to be showing you the actual site. What I have done, though, is, I have taken the letter from the Web site, and I have got it on my board that I usually use for Twittering. And there it is right there.

Let me show you. As we go up and down, we are going to start with that particular site right there. You see that at the very top? All right. I want to go ahead and highlight it for you, just so you can see it, all right, this right here.

That is the first part of this letter that you need to be aware of.

Joining us now is someone who can help us with this. Laura Mansfield is a terrorism analyst. She literally is known for knowing all of these Web sites, which ones are credible, which ones are not. She follows them, monitors them, and knows what is written on them. Laura, are you there?


SANCHEZ: Let's start by telling the viewers why you believe this particular Web site is credible?

MANSFIELD: This Web site has been up for several years. We have been monitoring it since, oh, gosh, well before 2003, 2004. The site is where most of the various communiques from al Qaeda, as well as the different al Qaeda groups around the world, they announce their messages on there. They post their videos.


SANCHEZ: So, for example, a bin Laden video with his, you know, often vile messages would be placed on this Web site before it is reported to the rest of the world?

MANSFIELD: Actually, that would where it would be announced and linked to be placed on that Web site pointing to the bin Laden video for people to download.

SANCHEZ: All right, knowing that now, let's have a discussion about what is actually on the Web site.

I was just -- go ahead, Robert. Let's point out attention again to what the letter says in the Web site. And notice we have just basically copy-blocked the letter so you don't see the Web site. But this right here, this part right here at the top, seems to be talking about wanting to influence the U.S. elections. Can you amplify that for our viewers?

MANSFIELD: Well, he says explicitly, we must have a say in the American elections. He says that they need to basically input their role, that they can influence the elections in a couple of different ways.

One of the things it does discuss later on in the letter is possibly an attack before the elections, or shortly after the elections. So, it is a little bit frightening in that it -- actually calling for actions and expressing the opinions of al Qaeda supporters.

Now, one thing, this is not a letter from al Qaeda, per se.


MANSFIELD: It is not an al Qaeda communique. It's a message from a supporter of al Qaeda who is expressing his personal opinion. But we do give it some credibility because this guy has been around posting on these forums for a while. He's not what we call a fly-by- night poster. Sometimes, people will go on there, post things, and then disappear. And most of those things, we don't a lot of pay attention to, because they could be anybody posting.

SANCHEZ: Yes, no, no, we understand. And that's the only reason. We are using your guidance. We're using the guidance of some of our people here at the international desk and we're talking to some of the people who handle some of these stories coming from that part of the world.

And that is the reason, the reason that we are reporting this.


SANCHEZ: Let's go to the last graph now. This is the graph that says that they seem to indicate, interestingly enough, a preference for U.S. president. Amplify that graph, if you would. I am going to go ahead and highlight it for viewers while you are talking about it. Go on.

MANSFIELD: Well, they are basically saying that their preference would for McCain -- now, this is interesting -- for McCain to win the election, because they believe he would carry on the policies of the Bush administration, and that would allow them to drain the resources of the United States, which is what one of their expressed goals is to -- they feel like they brought down the Soviet Union by draining its resources, partially in the war in Afghanistan, and they would like to do the same to the U.S.

SANCHEZ: It's almost like they're saying they believe or they intimate in this letter that John McCain would be the more aggressive of the candidates, and they seem to be enticed by the idea of more aggressive actions toward the United States and from the United States, correct?

MANSFIELD: Exactly. That is exactly what they are saying.

They believe he will continue to policies. He will continue fighting against al Qaeda, rather than perhaps engaging in negotiations with them or...


SANCHEZ: And they want the fight. Interesting.

Down to about 30 seconds. And I have got another part of this letter I want to show you. It's on my Web site over here. Pardon me for moving out of camera. And you can only see the letter. Again, we're not showing you the Web site, but that last paragraph talks about a last blow at President Bush, correct?

MANSFIELD: Yes, it says they would like to make a final attack or stab at President Bush before he leaves office to just kind of, you know, get one more attack in at him.

SANCHEZ: All right. Hey, Laura Mansfield, thank you so much for taking us through this. We consider you an expert on this. I know that you look at these Web sites and read their material every single day. And we trust your judgment on this.

Bob Baer is probably one of the finest analysts when it comes to this information. He is a bestselling author. He's former CIA. He was one of the people who had been warning for the last several decades the U.S. government that it needed to pay attention to al Qaeda. Unfortunately, his warnings went unheeded. He is going to be joining us in a little while to talk more about his take on this.

We should also share with you that we have talked to our own Peter Bergen about this, who says this is not a story that he is giving much credence. So, there's a lot of opinions on this story, but we think it is important to share it with you.

Also, there is new information on the anchorwoman from Little Rock, Arkansas, signs that a person who attacked her may have known her who she was. We will tell you why as we break that one down.

Stay with us. We will be right back and we will continue to follow the very latest out of western Kentucky and what police are investigating as armed men on campus.

Here are some of the pictures as we follow the story. This is one of the news crews going to the scene now to get the very latest. And as it arrives, we're going to be sharing it with you.

Stay with us. We will be right back.


SANCHEZ: Hey, Roger, before we do anything else, let's take that shot again, if we can. Let's take that shot, if we can, of the helicopter heading that is up to western Kentucky. This is a news crew as you can see that is going out to the scene. We here at CNN are going to be trying to get the very latest details on this situation.

Western Kentucky University, we understand that several armed men are on campus. That is how the report came out. Don't know exactly what has happened yet, other than to say that the tactical unit from local police has been sent to the scene. Obviously, if there's any kind of confrontation or any news to report, we're going to do it immediately. We will stay on top of this story for you.

Meanwhile, the other big story that we're following is early voting. Literally, tens of thousands of people all over the country seem to be psyched about voting this year, perhaps more than in the past. These are lines from Miami, Florida, or parts thereof of South Florida. I think it is actually in Plantation, Florida. We also have lines in the Atlanta area, where people have been setting up all day long. We have got reporters following these two stories.

Let's go over to Fredricka Whitfield. I think she over at Gwinnett County following those lines there.

What are people telling you? Why are they putting up with the wait to be able to vote early?

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, well, it is interesting, Rick. If you put the question that way, most will tell you that waiting two hours or an hour-and-a-half really is not that big of a sacrifice at all. They are just happy to be able to vote early like this. In fact, this line right here that you are seeing behind me, this is the shortest that we have seen all day. And the wait is about an hour-and-a-half before you get to the front door here in Gwinnett County, about 40 minutes outside of Atlanta.

And, for the most part, this is the scene throughout the state, polling stations everywhere throughout the state. It means that more than 750,000 people so far have voted early, taking advantage of this new privilege.

And many folks feel like this is not a sacrifice at all, to wait an hour-and-a-half or two hours, especially since so many expect that, maybe, on November 4, the lines will be much greater. But, certainly, it is history-making on so many levels, this election, namely because of this early voting by Georgia, as well as 30 other states, early voting. No excuses is what they call it. It means you can simply show up and vote and say, I want to vote, show your eligibility, and it happens -- Rick.

SANCHEZ: All right. Fredricka Whitfield following the situation here in greater Atlanta.

By the way, we have got people reacting to our newscast already, especially with so much going on there at the beginning. Give me the shot of the Twitter board, if you could.

"Rick, there is always something going on during your show. That is incredible. I call them my aha moments. Keep it up."

You want another aha moment? Let's go over to Sean Callebs. He's standing by now for us in South Florida. That is the place, as most people know, where voter irregularities have been in question in the past, especially when it comes to the allegations of voter suppression.

So, we understand there's a whole bunch of people going out to vote early there, as well, Sean, right?

SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, without question, Rick. Let me give you an idea. Look at this sign right here. People get the idea when they get in line. Two-plus hours, that's under the best conditions. And the reason we are down here at the end of the line, rather than the head of the line, an election official just came up and told us, you can't talk to people within 100 feet of the door, even though we have been here for the past three days.

So, it is always a work in progress, especially in South Florida, during voting time.

I want to ask you real quickly, what made you come out today, wait two-and-a-half-hours to vote? Why is this so important?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This election is very important to me, a very important thing. I am a veteran, and I think it's my duty to vote. And I want to vote for the right guy. CALLEBS: And, ma'am, let me ask you, what made you came out here? You could come out any time in the next two weeks. Why wait two-plus hours?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, definitely, it is the most important time that I do have to come out here and vote. And being the third day, it is working the kinks a lot of shorter than five hours.

CALLEBS: Great. Got you. Thank you very much.

Rick, there are problems. There are problems with some of the machines. For example, in here, to vote, they have to have a paper ballot printed out, but if you are from Plantation, if you're from Fort Lauderdale, those are different ballots. So, it takes a lot of time. So, it's going to be slow, but, look, these people say it is important and they willing to wait -- Rick.

SANCHEZ: Sean Callebs, as usual, good report. We appreciate it.

By the way, we have got people weighing in on this, a bunch of people weighing in on this, have been for quite some time.

Let's go to our Twitter board.

This is Beth. She's watching our show. She says: "Can voter suppression, tossing of votes, change the result of the election? Expose it all. Tally the numbers."

That is what we are here to do, Beth. As a matter of fact, on that score, there has been an arrest in the investigation over YPM, its alleged voter fraud investigation. We have got new details, Beth, that we're going to be sharing with you and the rest of our viewers when we come back.

Also, by the way, did I tell you that we have a hot line that we set up? You can reach us by Twitter, but you can also reach us by calling this hot line. Here's the number, 1-877-462-6608, 877-462- 6608. You let us know what you have learned, what you want us to investigate, and we will go after it with one of our crews.

Also this -- back on camera here, Rog. Anne Pressly, she is the anchorwoman from Little Rock, Arkansas. There's new information that may lead investigators to believe that maybe she was in fact targeted and that this was not just a robbery over her purse.

One more thing. Western Kentucky University, there is right now an investigation going on there. There are reports of armed men on campus. As you can see, they are getting to the scene from Nashville. As soon as they get there, we're going to be reporting and letting you know what is going on. Hopefully, it is not what it sounds like when the original report came out.

Stay with us. There's a whole lot going on, and we will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) SANCHEZ: Boy, we are getting a lot of notes here from folks all over the country, some talking about the report we gave a little while ago where there is an al Qaeda Web site which seems to be intimating that they are encouraging some kind of influence by al Qaeda on U.S. elections, even showing a preference for which candidate this Web site is recommending that al Qaeda help become president, as amazing as that sounds.

And we're going to be talking to the foremost expert on it, a former CIA analyst, Bob Baer, who is also a bestselling author. So, hang tight. I will get to some of those tweets in just a little bit.

By the way, let's go back to the story going on in western Kentucky -- Western Kentucky University. I think we have got some new pictures coming in now. That is the University of Western Kentucky.

I can share with you now they have a report that gunshots were fired on campus, a report, mind you, but they were not able to give us any more information. This is the calls that we have made to the university officials. They are canvassing the campus right now, but they haven't found anything. And campus police say that they have not had any reports of injuries at this time and they have been on the situation.

Let's see. Has anybody been transported? No, they have not transported anybody from the campus today. This is a breaking news story that we are following for you from Bowling Green. The campus doesn't seem to look no worse for the wear, doesn't seem to look kill there -- doesn't appear that there's a lot of activity there. I'm looking at this picture for the first time with you. It is a live picture of the university, of the campus itself.

There's a couple of cars on the top there. You see, it looks like a police car. There you go. And that was just from moments ago. Now we are getting these pictures, these pictures -- this is tape. What you were looking at moments ago was a live picture, by the way. This is tape now.

And, as you can see, police are on the scene. It looks like they have got a detail set up. Often times, police officers will arrive at the scene and they will set up a perimeter. This may very well be part of that perimeter. Don't know exactly what it is the officers are dealing with, but we are hoping to get more information from them. It seems to be right now more consequential about reports.

All right, as we look at those pictures, let's take a break. Is that what we want to do, Chris?

All right. Let's do the story about Anne Pressly then. I think we're going to monitor that for you. From time to time, we will probably put it up on the screen, just so you see what is going on in the corner of the screen.

In the meantime, I want to bring you up to date on the story of Anne Pressly. She's the anchorwoman from Little Rock, Arkansas, who was so badly beaten in the middle of the night in her own home that she's barely hanging on now. It is a mystery that we have been trying to get answers to. So have the police.

Yesterday, we talked to one of her neighbors, and now I understand we're able to talk to another one of her neighbors. I know we had just booked this person a while ago. So, Angie (ph), help me out. Tell who we have on the line now.

This is Dick Flowers, her next-door neighbor and her landlord, is good enough to join us. Mr. Flowers, are you there, sir?


SANCHEZ: I understand that many of the neighbors have been answering questions, not necessarily because of any culpability, but police have been going around asking a lot of questions, and one of the neighbors said that he was asked questions about a baseball bat. Were you asked that same question? Are you knowledgeable about that at all?

FLOWERS: Well, my wife was asked that question, not me. We don't know anything about a baseball bat.


SANCHEZ: I will tell you, though, if your wife was asked that question by police, unfortunately, it leads a lot of people to believe that maybe that was one of the weapons, if not the weapon, that was used on her, correct?

FLOWERS: Well, I just -- I have no idea.

SANCHEZ: All right.

There's something else I want to ask you about, because the person who called you originally to get information said that you had known her quite well, and also knew that she had dogs. What can you tell us about that?

FLOWERS: She has dogs?

SANCHEZ: Yes, sir.

FLOWERS: Yes. She has two cocker spaniels, Daisy and Clementine. And I think the neighborhood in general know the dogs better than they know Anne, because they get out everyday. And we have to put them back in the backyard. So, Anne loves her dogs.

SANCHEZ: Well, I mean, I guess what is interesting, just using common sense here -- I'm not trying to play Barnaby Jones with you or anything, but if she had dogs, wouldn't those dogs have barked at 4:00 in the morning if an intruder came into her home to rob her?

FLOWERS: Well, I would think so, but I just don't know. They do bark. So...

SANCHEZ: Yes, it is curious, isn't it? All right. We are working on those two leads, obviously, the information that we got from one of the neighbors about a baseball bat and now the information that we received from you about those two dogs. We're going to be checking with authorities to see what other information they have on this story. And, as we get more, we will be sharing it with you.

Mr. Flowers, thank you so much, sir, for talking to us.

By the way, we told you we would be checking the Dow through this newscast. We got, what, another 35 minutes before the market closes. As it stands right now, it is over 400, in fact, well over 400, at 446, as it stands right now.

We are also going to be checking the situation there at Western Kentucky University. We are hoping to be able to get information from some of the news crews who are going to be arriving at the scene there. There is a live picture now of police officers in a perimeter that they have set up around the university.

Specifically, what the report entails at this time, we don't know, other than the original report saying that they heard some shots and that there are men with guns in the university. Obviously, we're going to be all over this, as we are this.

Did you see this video of Karl Rove? All right. We don't have that video. I will share it with you in just a little bit.

Stay with us. We will be right back.


SANCHEZ: We welcome you back. I'm Rick Sanchez.

In many ways, our newscast is like a giant conversation. It is interesting. We just got some comments on Twitter. Go ahead, Johnny B. Goode. See if we can show those to viewers at home.

This is Patriot. He says: "Long lines in Gwinnett? Savannah has been voting all month" -- a little cross-state rivalry there -- "And Florida should have started in August with all of their problems."

Thank you, Patriot. We appreciate that.

All right, let's go to our big story now that is taking place in western Kentucky. Still trying to figure out exactly what is going on. Let's show that video again as it comes in. This is at Bowling Green University -- I'm sorry. It is Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green. I misspoke.

These are police officers on the scene. We have not seen, though, a lot of movement, other than the perimeter that seems to be set up by these police officers.

For those of you joining us late, the original report was that there were gunmen on campus. There was one report that shots had been fired, but none of that appears to have been confirmed at this point. That is what we are working to do.

We hope to be able to get somebody there on the ground to be able to talk to us. And, as soon as we get it, we will turn it around for you. The best news, obviously, is that it is not happening. And that way, nobody will have gotten hurt.

But we're going to stay on top of it, nonetheless, and bring you the very latest information on that.

Meanwhile, we are also going to be bringing in Ali Velshi. Why? Because have been looking at the Dow. And it is down.

We suggested at the beginning of this newscast, Ali, that this thing could be heading south early. It was under 400. Then it went back into the 300s. And now what is it doing?

ALI VELSHI, CNN SENIOR BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: There's actually no point in us following this the rest of the day, Rick, because it is always in your hour that we see these wild swings, right?



VELSHI: You can't predict based on the morning.

Look, we are off about 475 points. Look at the number underneath that, 8556 -- 8400 or 8500, Susan Lisovicz will tell you, is where we sort of think there are what you call resistance levels. In other words, stocks go down, and then some people think that is a good price, so they buy in.

We're going to get stuck in this trading range possibly for months. You will see this kind of volatility. What is happening today is, we are starting to see corporate earnings. They are not all that great. We have also seen a lot of layoffs. We have seen September, which is where -- the numbers that we have now, the largest number of mass layoffs since 9/11.

When I say mass layoffs, that is more 50 people being laid off by the same company. So, you know, the bottom line is, no matter what you think is going on with the economy, if people don't have jobs, they don't spend money, particularly in this holiday season. If they don't spend money, companies don't make money, they don't hire more people. So you need people to have money to have income in order for the economy to recover. And that's what you're seeing a reaction to. But, again...


VELSHI: Go ahead.

SANCHEZ: Why the swings?

I mean, look, I can understand it going a little bit up and going a little bit down... VELSHI: Yes. Easy to -- easy to tell you.

SANCHEZ: But what it's doing these -- there was a day, Ali, when it almost hit 1000 plus.


SANCHEZ: But now we're looking at -- why is that?

VELSHI: Because there are one group of people who think that based on the way you value the companies in the stock market, there are many stocks that are at discount. They're selling for sale. So they move in and buy them. That causes the stock prices to go up. Then you have a whole second set of people who think oh my god, I don't want to be anywhere near this market, as long as my stock goes up a little bit, I'm going to sell on the next rally. So the minute you start seeing those rallies, then you see people bailing out. Different sets of people.


VELSHI: Some are buying, some are selling. And that's where you're seeing these swings. This is very typical of after you've seen big falls on the market.

And, by the way, I was looking at a chart of 1987 after the crash. You could see this for several months to come, these kind of swings.

SANCHEZ: It's like a bandwagon effect during these swings.


SANCHEZ: Ali, thanks a lot.

VELSHI: All right.

SANCHEZ: Hang tight.

VELSHI: Yes, sure.

SANCHEZ: We might be going back to you, depending on what this thing does. We appreciate it, man.


SANCHEZ: All right, the very latest on two politicians who some would argue may have put their feet into their proverbial mouths. One is John Kerry, the other John McCain -- two Johns, both stories, when we come back.


SANCHEZ: And we welcome you back.

I want to show you something. This is Karl Rove in San Francisco being accosted, you might say -- if not worse -- by the women of Code Pink.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why is there no woman up here?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We need a California woman up here. I am one. I'm Janine Boneparth. And I'm not -- I have to do...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ...a citizens arrest -- a citizens arrest for treason.


SANCHEZ: All right. By the way, that's not where it ends. There's more, as a matter of fact. I want to show you now what's going on with Karl Rove -- interestingly enough, criticizing Democrats for negative campaigning.


KARL ROVE: Yesterday, John Kerry, your nominee of your party in 2004, stands up and says well, if John McCain was asked the question of whether he wore boxers or briefs, his answer would be Depends. I think that's -- I think that's pretty much under the table and pretty nasty.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I have to say I feel like Dorothy in the land of Oz hearing you lecture about negative campaigns by others.


SANCHEZ: Touche.

Let's go to Mark Preston. It's Time for "Preston On Politics." He's joining us now.

And we've got a couple of other video clips that we want to share with you. I'm sure you got a chuckle out of listening to Mitchell there. Let's go to this. This is John Kerry with what most people would call a pretty bad joke. Here it is.


MCCAIN: I think that you may have noticed that Senator Obama's supporters have been saying some pretty nasty things...


SANCHEZ: All right. One more time. Here is the John Kerry statement. I think we can show it.

All right, John McCain. Let's go to John McCain.

In fact, help us out here, Mark. You have John Kerry's statement. And it depends upon whether you like this kind of humor or not, doesn't it, wink, wink.

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: Yes, absolutely. No question. The Kerry campaign reached out to me and said that the senator was unavailable, Rick, to give me a comment because he is giving a speech today. But I'll tell you, I talked to the McCain campaign. They just described this joke that Karl Rove so eloquently just said as very lame. It wasn't even funny. And they just wanted to dismiss it outright.

I'll tell you, I'm surprised, though, Rick, that John Kerry would say something like that. And, of course, it wasn't very funny at all, because these two gentlemen were actually very close friends before this presidential campaign.

SANCHEZ: Yes. And making a joke about Depends means he's making fun of not just John McCain, but old people across the board -- maybe something a politician should be doing.

And then there's John McCain in Western Pennsylvania. I want to show you and our viewers this. This is in response to the John Murtha line -- that he's apologized for, by the way -- about people in Western Pennsylvania being racist. John McCain comes in to show everybody how much he disagrees with that, but he accidentally says it wrong.

Here it is.


MCCAIN: I think you may have noticed that Senator Obama's supporters have been saying some pretty nasty things about Western Pennsylvania lately.


MCCAIN: And, you know, I couldn't agree with them more. I couldn't disagree with you. I couldn't agree with you more than the fact that Western Pennsylvania is the most patriotic, most God loving, most patriotic part of America


MCCAIN: And this is a great part of the country.

My friends, I could not disagree with those critics more. This is a great part of America. This is the heartland of America. This is where people love their country and they serve it. (APPLAUSE)

MCCAIN: So I'll give some of Senator Obama's supporters some credit, at least they're saying these things openly instead of behind closed doors at a San Francisco fundraiser.


MCCAIN: My friends, the people of Western Pennsylvania love their Second Amendment, their amendment -- their constitutional rights and their religion because they love their country and they love their values and they love their families and they believe in the future of this country. That's what the people of Western Pennsylvania are all about.


SANCHEZ: All right. There you have it.

PRESTON: Wow! Yes.

SANCHEZ: Do you remember when George Bush said fool me once, fool me twice, ain't going to get fooled no more?

It's kind of like that, wasn't it?

PRESTON: Yes. I'll tell you what. Yes, it was. And you know something, Rick, you and I spoke. We know that John McCain is not a racist and he never condones, you know, those types of statements. But this has been a marathon campaign. And let's just chalk that one up for being very, very tired.

SANCHEZ: It's not like you or I haven't said something dumb from time to time that we didn't mean to say. In fact, just keep watching until the rest of the show, right?

Mark Preston, you're the best. Thanks so much for joining us. And we thought our viewers might be able to get a kick out of that.

All right, later in this newscast, we're going bring you the latest on Christopher Buckley, who says that he was fired for liking Obama. Why? Well, because he was at the "National Review," because his father is a stalwart conservative. His story on The Fix.

Stay with us.

We'll be right back.


SANCHEZ: All right.

Let's back -- let's back things up a little. We've been -- oh, my goodness, 682. I think we should stop what we're doing right now and go over to Susan Lisovicz and ask her what's going on with the market -- Susan, this thing is heading way south now. SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rick, I mean this is what we call markets testing the bottom that we saw nearly two weeks ago -- 8411 -- 8451 was the level that we saw on Friday, October 10th. And this is what happens in bear markets, is that you're looking at those levels and the market is testing it and has gone below it.

It hasn't gone below the intraday low of that session, which is the lowest level, but it's testing it. And this is normal as it tries to find a bottom.

SANCHEZ: And, Susan, hold on just a minute. You know, hey, let's see if we can get Espanol up, because, you know, oftentimes we talk about this as Americans and wonder what the effect is in other parts of the world. But I know CNN Espanol is following this story, as well. And I just heard some reports about Argentina and the effect that it's having there.

You know what?

Put the volume up and I'll translate to English. Let's do that and see what they're saying.


SANCHEZ: And he's saying that right now there's a huge drop in the Mexican trade, as well. As a matter of fact, he says -- hold on.

Turn him back up so I can hear him.


SANCHEZ: It sound likes the Mexican government is going to have to move in and also do some type of rescue, much like the United States has done, to try and salvage the Mexican peso, because it sounds like the market there in Mexico is hitting the skids, as well. Interesting.

All right, let's go ahead and lose him. I think we got enough out of that report. Let's go back to Ali Velshi or Susan, whoever is up. Why do we see this type of effect?

I mean we just heard him report -- this is on CNN Espanol live and I was translating for you. He says the government is going to come in and have to do the same thing they did in the United States because the Mexican peso is declining and the market is going way down. What do you say?

VELSHI: Well, here's part of the problem. We've now set up an expectation of this worldwide, right?

I mean the administration has announced that they're holding a summit on November 15th of world leaders to deal with the financial crisis. Part of the problem here is, of course, now we think that -- we expect these sort of injections.

This is the market and people have to understand, markets go up and markets go down. It is not the economy. It is one part of it. It happens to be an important one, because it's your 401(k) and your retirement money.

But, again, this market, while it is down and it's down a key resistance level of 8411, the bottom line is after these big market times -- the turmoil that we've had -- you typically see this kind of volatility, as you and I discussed.

It could be for some months. So you'll see these big sell- officers, then you'll see people getting in, thinking stocks are cheap and they'll buy the stocks and you'll see a big gain.

And, you know, look at what we've just seen in the last month. So again, this is serious. I think it's one of those things you have to look at and take seriously. As a percentage drop, that's very significant. But it's not that we see a pattern of this happening and then a pattern of people buying stock. So, you know, are we in a recession? We probably are.

Are we going to see more job losses and home prices decrease? Yes, we probably are. But the market is not always the best gauge of what's happening in the broader economy.

SANCHEZ: Yes, and in the end, then, aren't we just talking semantics? Who cares? Whether you call it a recession or somebody else calls it a recession...

VELSHI: Right. Right. Do you have a job?

SANCHEZ: ...the evidence is everywhere, right?

VELSHI: Is your house worth something? Can you pay your mortgage?


VELSHI: I mean, that's the bottom line, right, it's what you can do. And the bottom line is you can't -- you can do only three things. You can deal with your job, you can deal with your credit and you can try and deal with your investments in a way that is very defensive at this point. You need to protect yourself more than anything else.

There are some people who look at a market like this, over history, and they say this is a place, an opportunity. There are others who say how do I keep my money safe and is it in a bank, is it in certain stocks that will do well no matter what?

Days like this, I mean I'm looking across the board here. Wal- Mart is down. McDonald's is down -- companies that don't necessarily have a reason to be down in this market, but everybody is down right now, Rick.


VELSHI: So once you start getting this momentum, you kind of have to sit back and say all right, today is going to be a pretty bad day on the market.


LISOVICZ: You know, and...

SANCHEZ: Go ahead, Susan.

LISOVICZ: And, actually, you know, Rick, I mean actually a trader I was talking to on the floor at 1:00, he called it. He said the market is going to test the bottom today. And that's exactly what Ali is talking about. It's just a wave of selling.

We're in a very, very extraordinary time here. The market is reflecting the anxiety of what we're seeing not only here in the U.S., but worldwide. These are things that have never been seen before. The U.S. economy was already slowing down.

And basically what is happening now is we're trying to get through a rather active week and talking about investors en masse are trying to get to a level where you can start to build and go from there, go higher.

And it's -- and it's a very painful, it's a very fitful, it's a very erratic kind of performance. But that's what you're seeing right now.

SANCHEZ: Yes. And the American people and our viewers who are watching our newscast right now are sitting there wondering my goodness, how is it going to affect me?

And then we see that it's also happening...

LISOVICZ: Hey, you know what?

You know what (INAUDIBLE)...

SANCHEZ:'s having ripple effects all over the world.

Go ahead.

LISOVICZ: Rick, oil dropped nearly $5.50 today. And that's the good news.


LISOVICZ: That's partly a reflec -- or a big part of a reflection of the slowing economy. But it's under $67 a barrel. And that has already translated into what we pay every time we go to the pump.

VELSHI: Rick, let me give you two just quick pieces of history that might help us here. After 1987, the crash of October of 1987, there was a lot of money lost in the market. That value all came back. It took a year for that to happen. It was a very choppy year. There were lots of big drops and big gains.

And in 2001, after the attacks of 9/11, it took less than 60 days to get back to where we were before the attacks.

Here's the thing. These are -- it's not a market, it's companies. And at some point, there's a way to say these companies make X amount of money so they're worth paying this much for their stock. There are a lot of these companies trading well below that value. Now, unless you think something is going to collapse and no one is going to go to McDonald's anymore, no one is going to go to Wal-Mart anymore and while people are buying fewer cars, nobody is going to buy any cars, there's some intrinsic value to every company out there. And that's what professionals are in here doing.

They're saying all right, you know what, some of these are discounted. It's like a big sale. This is the -- the stock market is the only place that you run away from when there's a sale. Most other places you run into them when there's a sale and buy things up.

the bottom line is you don't know whether this sale is going to go deeper or whether it's going to end suddenly. That's the problem.

SANCHEZ: You know how you say market in Spanish, by the way?


LISOVICZ: El mercado.



VELSHI: Ah, right. That's (INAUDIBLE)...

SANCHEZ: Which stands for...

VELSHI: That's a term that's used for these exchanges.

SANCHEZ: You know what that means?

House. House, like the place you keep your stuff and your couch.

VELSHI: Interesting. All right.

SANCHEZ: Yes. Different than mercado.

VELSHI: Well, some people are taking stuff out of their pouches today.

SANCHEZ: Yes, exactly. Yes.

LISOVICZ: Sometimes it -- or el mattresso.

SANCHEZ: What did you say?

LISOVICZ: Like under the mattress, I think that's what some...


LISOVICZ: ...what some people are doing.

SANCHEZ: La bolsa no mui buena, no hoy, not at all, as a matter of fact.

LISOVICZ: All right.

SANCHEZ: All right, guys, listen, thanks a lot.

The good news is while we've been talking, it's improved somewhat. So let's take a little break now. Hopefully it will continue doing that by the time we get back.

And did I tell you about Bob Baer

For my money, one of the best foremost experts on terrorism in the world, ex-CIA, best-selling author, talking about this Web site reporting that Al Qaeda wants to influence the U.S. election. We'll talk about that.

Stay with us. We'll be right back.


SANCHEZ: Welcome back. I'm Rick Sanchez.

I apologize to Bob Baer, by the way. Our apologies to him because it doesn't seem like we're going to be able to get to him. Like I said, though, he's a wonderful guest. He just -- he's got a new book out. It's called "The Devil We Know." Ex-CIA. He really knows about as much about Al Qaeda as anybody. So we're going to bring him back tomorrow to parse that story that we told you about -- Al Qaeda -- one al Qaeda Web site trying to influence Al Qaeda to influence our election somehow. And they have a preference for president of the United States. Those stories tomorrow.

Meanwhile, let's get back to the market, if we possibly can, because of what's going on here. We've been watching it now and it's at 586. Let's check back in with Susan Lisovicz. She's there on Wall Street to bring us the latest -- Susan, take it away.

LISOVICZ: Well, you know, Rick, this is something that we see when we are deep in a bear market -- and that's where we are, I mean there's no getting around it -- where the market will hit something. You know, the bulls and some optimists will think well, maybe that was the low and we can build from there. And what will happen is it will get tested. And that's what's happening.

We saw a low of 80 -- a closing low of 8451 nearly two weeks ago. And the market is basically testing that.

Now, had there been any bombshells today for this market sell- off?

Not that I'm aware of. In fact, not all the news is bad today, Rick. I mean we're seeing continued signs of improvement in the credit markets. Oil is down by just an astonishing amount -- down by -- down another 550, to under $67 a barrel. The dollar is strengthening. The pound hit a five year low against the dollar.

These are good things. But they're not translating because right now, today, the investors are obsessed with corporate earnings and what they have to say about the economy as it is now and how it's going forward. And the final hour of trading, as you know, the witching hour, is that sentiment tends to gets -- tends to get magnified. And we're seeing a really vicious sell-off right now.

SANCHEZ: By the way, Guy just sent us a Twitter saying: "Interesting, Rick. In Hebrew, the Stock Exchange is also called bursa."

Interesting. The same word in Hebrew as they use in Spanish for us.

Ali Velshi, I don't know your linguistic skills, but I do trust your knowledge of the market and all things econ.

What do you think is going on right now?

VELSHI: I could do this in Chinese and it wouldn't be any more useful to the audience.


VELSHI: Because the bottom line is you are witnessing an event. And this is -- this is very tough. But when you look back at bear markets, this is what happens when you come out of them -- if we're coming out of it. And that is that it is really rocky. It ends up being a lot of people are stuck in this market who want to get out. So they are looking for any uptrend in which to sell their stocks.

And then there are a lot of people who are professional investors who think this is their ticket to a fortune and they're waiting for every down trend, like today, to try and buy in.

So it is -- it's not a rational market and the movements over the next several months may be very, very irrational, which is why it's tough to try and make sense of it. It's important to understand that it's going on.

But like you and I have talked about and Susan has talked about, you don't get a press release when the market has actually hit the bottom to say go ahead and buy. So that's part of the problem here. There are things called resistance levels that professional investors look at the market and say, generally speaking, it's low and it's a good deal. We may be looking at them around 8500. We may be looking at it around 8400. After that, it goes into the 7000s.

But technically, people look at these things. And if you chart what's happened in the last month over 1987, they look very, very similar.

So believe it or not, in all of this irrational behavior, there are some patterns. And part of those patterns are that we're looking -- we're trying to find that bottom. But the bottom isn't one day. It can go on for a long time. And you will gain and lose money in between.

The trick for our viewers is how do you invest in a way that suits your risk tolerance and allows to you sleep at night, but allows you to get the long-term gains that you will likely get in this market.

SANCHEZ: Let's bring Wolf Blitzer into the mix here.

He's following the situation for us, as well.

"THE SITUATION ROOM" is going to start now in about five minutes. But let's bring Wolf in early -- Wolf, there's some obvious political implications to all of this, are there not?

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: There obviously are, Rick. There's no doubt that the worse the perception is that the economy is going in the wrong direction, the better, potentially, it is for Barack Obama, because it underscores the point that he's been trying to make -- pretty successfully, if you believe the polls -- that the Bush administration -- eight years of Republican rule in Washington is at least partially responsible for all of this.

So it's -- with only 13 days to go, Rick, it's obviously not good news politically for John McCain.

I do want to point out to you and our viewers that John McCain -- I sat down with him just a little while ago for a one-on-one interview. I went up to New Hampshire to speak with him. I just got back to Washington. The entire interview is going to be shown in "THE SITUATION ROOM" -- all my questions, all his answers, over the course of the next three hours. He had lots to say about Sarah Palin, the war in Iraq, why he says America needs to give big corporations additional tax cuts right now. His words and a lot more coming up, Rick, right here in "THE SITUATION ROOM".

SANCHEZ: All right, Wolf. We'll look forward to it. Thanks so much.

You know, Ali Velshi, what do you say, if you're a candidate? What can you say? And is there any -- is there any indication that either Barack Obama or John McCain really fully comprehend this situation on Wall Street and in the market and in the economy well enough to you wrap their arms around it and take care of it?

VELSHI: I think they're surrounded by people who do understand it. I think they've got some very smart advisers.

Here's the thing. You have to look at the market as a score board of a game that's already been played or is being played. In other words, you can't solve the market. You have to solve the underlying problems. The market is a collection of companies that earn money based on how people spend their money.

SANCHEZ: But isn't this...

VELSHI: Americans and around the world. SANCHEZ: But I don't mean to interrupt, but isn't this -- I mean we keep being told by guys like you that this is new territory...


SANCHEZ: ...that we've never seen this mixture of world economies being hit, the credit market taking a dive, while at the same time Wall Street is taking a dive, too.

VELSHI: Right. Correct. But when do you see world economies taking a hit, when you see worldwide recessions, we do know some things. They are about double the length of a U.S. recession. U.S. recessions are eight to 10 months. Worldwide recessions tend to be 16 months. They're longer because there's nobody to save you. There's nobody to buy your stuff to keep the engine going.

So the bottom line is what the presidential candidates have to do is do something that instills confidence in Americans, who will then spend their money, once they've paid their debt, and suggesting that this economy will be OK.

So you've got to secure jobs. Jobs, jobs, jobs -- that is the main thing here. You don't buy a house and sell a house every day. You do go to work every day. We are losing jobs at a rapid pace. That is what undermines confidence. Fundamentally, Rick, that's what stops people from spending.

If you tell people they have jobs and they will earn more in those jobs, then the fact that they'll get their 401(k) back and the fact that their home will appreciate are secondary matters. The candidates have got to focus on specifics of how -- what they will do to create jobs. And they are not there yet. They've got a little less than two weeks to get there and get some real answers on this.

LISOVICZ: And, you know, Rick, there are -- actually, jobs are a big story today. One of the things we're going to be hearing of, if I may interrupt, is, you know, we have -- corporate earnings. We had it from two different sectors, Yahoo! , in the tech sector, obviously; and Merck, in the pharmaceutical sector, both laying off 10 percent of the workforce.

The Labor Department saying today nearly 2,300 -- there were nearly 2,300 separate layoff actions last month involving 50 people or more. And that's part of the shakeout.

SANCHEZ: Well, you know...

LISOVICZ: That is part of the normal process...

SANCHEZ: What Americans...

LISOVICZ: ...that you have.

SANCHEZ: I think what Americans want to know is, is this going to be a slow drip or a freefall?

Because that kind of gives us a gauge about how long we're going to have to really buckle our seat belts and hang on to this thing.

What are the experts telling you guys?

VELSHI: I think the market is going to -- you're going to see -- you're seeing the action in the markets now. That will start to slow down. Markets always start to recover before the rest of the economy. The housing concern, the job concern, that will still become a slow drip. But it won't feel that slow, actually, when you start to see some of these numbers on a monthly basis, the number of jobs we're losing.

SANCHEZ: Susan, last word before we head it out to "THE SITUATION ROOM".

LISOVICZ: The stock market is the leading indicator. So it's going to -- it's going to improve long before the economy does, if history -- if history is any guide, it will. It will improve before the economy does.

SANCHEZ: Well, I'll tell you, there's a whole lot of people who have been joining us throughout the hour and asking questions about all the stories. But it seems like nothing is more important to many of our viewers than the situation with this economy. We've been bringing you the very latest as we watch the market go down.

By the way, here's a question that I have to both of you guys before I get you go.

Why is it that when we close and we hear the bell, the market is showing -- let's suppose it's showing what it's showing right now, 508. And then on my drive home when I'm listening on the radio, I'll hear that it was actually down 150 more. What shakes out after that?

LISOVICZ: It's squaring up the trades -- the final trades. And oftentimes on days like today, there is just a huge rush at the close. It's as simple as that.

SANCHEZ: Wow! Susan Lisovicz, Ali Velshi, our thanks to both of you. We're obviously going to be keeping an eye on this.

Our apologies to those of you who were expecting some of the other stories that we were going to bring you today. We will try and bring those for you tomorrow.

There's the closing bell -- 498 where it stands now. But as Susan says, it could settle up or down.

Let's go now to Wolf Blitzer. He's standing by with "THE SITUATION ROOM" -- Wolf, take it away.

BLITZER: Thanks very much, Rick.