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Economy Tops Important Issues; NRA Ads Target Clinton; ISIS Executes 232 People; Political Pumpkin Patch. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired October 28, 2016 - 09:30   ET


[09:30:00]: ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: OK, good luck with that lie as well. Now, let me respond to what you -


RYE: Your direct - yes, you're right, see, because you're lying.

So the criticism about the Congressional Black Caucus, he actually had a very successful run with the Congressional Black Caucus. Perhaps you heard about the jobs initiative, where we went into communities of color to ensure at that point when the black unemployment rate was double the national average and higher than it has been in years, we worked on that. We went to five cities in urban areas to address unemployment specifically. After that jobs initiative, we provided nine recommendations to the Obama administration that then manifested themselves in the American Jobs Act.

You want to talk about what happened with black unemployment? Your Republican Congress chose not to address jobs. Chose not to consider that jobs recommendations - those jobs recommendations, that American Jobs Bill. That is what happened there.

Now in terms of finances, running finances into the ground, you want to talk about congressional member organizations budgets? I give you Newt Gingrich, one of your other surrogates. Long before I was even in elementary school, dear, Newt Gingrich snatched congressional member organizations budgets. The CBC never had a budget. So I don't know which organization you're talking about. Perhaps you should get your facts together because we had a budget that was run by member representational allowances.


RYE: That was - there was no money management there.


RYE: Now going back to the economy -

COSTELLO: OK, we - we -

RYE: Because that's what this was about, you're still wrong.

COSTELLO: We just - we - we - you're - I'm going to stop - I'm going to stop this now. This has veered in a direction I never expected, but -

RYE: It was crazy, like what are you talking about? That's slander. I could sue you, Katrina. Lies. True (ph).

COSTELLO: Oh. Oh, my gosh. OK, so -



ROMANS: Bring us back to where we began, Carol, if I could.

PIERSON: Thank you, Christine.

ROMANS: And everyone - you're welcome.

The point I would make is that we've been in seven years of an economic expansion and it hasn't felt like it because we were so afraid about what happened to us in 2008/2009 right? We really couldn't believe that the economy was moving forward. But it was. But it won't move forward forever because the economy goes in cycles of ups and downs and we're overdue for the economy to falter. So your vote on Election Day is, who do you think has the policies to cushion you when the economy inevitably falters again. The jobs plan, the energy plan, tax plans, education plans. So, insults aside, we need to really soul search about who do you think is going to be able to lead the economy? Because it will have a pullback eventually.

COSTELLO: All right, thank you, Christine, for injecting some sanity into this segment.

Anyway, Christine Romans, Katrina Pierson, Angela Rye, thanks to all of you.

Still to come in the NEWSROOM, astronaut turned gun control activist, Hillary Clinton getting a boost from Mark Kelly on the trail in all- important Florida. We'll talk to him, next.


[09:36:45] COSTELLO: And good morning. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining me.

President Obama and Tim Kaine each hitting the trail in the all- important state of Florida today. And the vice presidential candidate won't be alone. At his side, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly, as they'll be there to promote gun legislation. This as the NRA pours millions of dollars into ads aimed at keeping Hillary Clinton out of the White House.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Hillary says -

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: And when it comes to guns, we have just too many guns.

The Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hillary's made her choice, now, you get to make yours. Defend freedom. Defeat Hillary.


COSTELLO: The NRA underscores just how important this election is when it comes to gun rights since the next president will nominate a Supreme Court justice to fill an open spot.

So let's talk about this and more. I'm joined by retired astronaut Mark Kelly. He's the husband of Gabby Giffords and co-founder of Americans for Responsible Solutions, which supports legislators who take on gun lobbyists.


MARK KELLY, CO-FOUNDER, AMERICANS FOR RESPONSIBLE SOLUTIONS: Thank you. Thanks for having me on, Carol. I appreciate it.

COSTELLO: Thank you for being here.

And, by the way, we did reach out to the NRA this morning to be - to be on the show and we have not heard back.

So, first question to you, Mark. Politico says the NRA has poured $26 million into ads to defeat Clinton in key swing states, yet she's running ahead or even with Mr. Trump in Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina and Ohio. There was a time when the NRA was considered all- powerful in those largely pro-gun states. So what happened?

KELLY: Well, I think, you know, Gabby and I, and our organization, got involved. And there are other organizations. And the NRA and the gun lobby is no longer working in a vacuum. I mean for 40 years, they owned the politics on this issue. And they don't own it anymore. And when you communicate with the American people, and you draw a distinction between what the gun lobby stands for, and what responsible solutions to gun violence look like, more often than not upwards of 90 percent of the time they want responsible change.

COSTELLO: So you're on this cross-country tour to promote common sense gun laws and you said you get off the bus, you go into gun shows, you try to engage gun owners and talk with them. What has the reception been like?

KELLY: You know, I'm a gun owner myself. I own six guns. Gabby's been a gun owner most of her adult life. So I understand these - these folks, you know, pretty well. And I'm a strong - I look at myself as a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. At the same time, we need to do a much better job keeping guns out of the hands of felons, domestic abusers, the dangerously mentally ill, I mean even terrorists. So when you talk to these people and you present them with data and a little bit of logic, and you listen to them, you know, often you find there are things that you could agree upon. But, you know, like we've seen over the - over decades, that this

issue has become so politicized, and so heated, you know, it's - it's sometimes - it makes it quite the challenge. But we're making a lot of great process in a lot of places, especially here the - currently in the state of Florida.

[09:40:00] COSTELLO: There is still that sentiment out there, and it's very strong, that Hillary Clinton means to take away people's guns. You know, we hear that all the time. How does she convince people, because she says that's not what it's about with her?

KELLY: Yes, I don't know. I mean she says that over and over again, that she's - you know, she's not in favor of getting rid of the Second Amendment. That she supports gun ownership of responsible people. You know, I think that's all she can do. And, you know, ultimately, we're going to - we're going to see through her actions when she's elected president.

But, you know, I don't believe for one second that she, you know, has another agenda with regards to the Second Amendment. She talks about keeping communities and families safe. And it's very clear that there are a few things you can do to get safer communities. One of those things is keeping guns out of the hands of people that shouldn't have them, by having more universal background check laws, by domestic violence legislation. One clear thing that we should do as a nation is keep guns out of the hands of suspected terrorists. So those are things she supports.

Her opponent does not support those changes. You know, he has said time and time again that he is endorsed by the National Rifle Association. And I imagine you could expect that he's going to do whatever this very powerful corporate lobby wants him to do if he was to be elected president.

COSTELLO: I've always wanted to ask you, ever since the Democratic National Convention, when your wife walked across that stage and gave that short speech and got that wonderful reception, what went through your mind as she did that?

KELLY: Well, I mean, I - you know, I think about how hard she's worked. I mean she was shot and nearly assassinated a little over five years ago. And it took a lot of hard work over a long period of time for her to get to the point where she could walk in - on the stage, and in front of millions of people on television, give a speech with no notes. You know, most of the people, including myself, you know, we have the teleprompter. Gabby doesn't use the teleprompter. She went out there and just delivered this from her heart. And I could not be more proud of her.

COSTELLO: And just a final question, because you know I've always wondered this, too, if anyone has the right to be angry about lax gun laws or bitter about what happened to your wife, it's you. So how are you not bitter?

KELLY: Well, I think I'm not bitter because of Gabby. You know, she is not a bitter person. She talks about, you know, she's a fighter. But at the same time, she just wants to move ahead and work hard to make this country a better place. And, you know, the fact that I've got her by my side in this fight, I - you know, I can't be bitter.

You know, we're going to make progress. We've done - we've helped get laws passed in a dozen different states. We're supporting candidates up and down the ballot. Hopefully we're going to have a good day on November - on November 8th. Hopefully we'll have Hillary Clinton in the White House.

And in the years to come, we're going to have safer communities. And we shouldn't have to live in a country that has 33,000 deaths every year from gun violence. That is completely unacceptable. And elections matter. So we're going to make sure we work as hard as we can to get the right people into office.

COSTELLO: All right, Mark Kelly, thanks for joining me this morning.

I'll be right back.


[09:47:30] COSTELLO: The battle for Mosul getting bloodier by the hour. ISIS is forcing tens of thousands of men, women and children into Mosul. The United Nations says they'll very likely be used as human shields as Iraqi forces advance toward the city.

Michael Holmes has the latest for you. He joins us live now from Erbil, Iraq.

Hi, Michael.


Yes, getting some very disturbing reports of a dramatic increase in the number of brutal executions going on at the hands of ISIS, sowing terror into the local population. The U.N. reporting 232 people have been murdered by ISIS, executed in recent days, just around Mosul. And we have word earlier this day that 20 men have been killed inside Mosul by electrocution. They were tied together and all electrocuted. This happening at Mosul University. Their bodies were then left out in the open as a message to the rest of the population.

Now, we're also hearing word that tens of thousands of people are being rounded up from the villages near Mosul. Just on the outskirts of Mosul. And as you said, being brought into the city to join, what, 1 million, 1.5 million other civilians in the city, all being held as human shields. This, obviously, is going to make the retaking of Mosul extremely complicated for Iraqi forces when they do eventually enter the city.

Also, word that ISIS is taking down all of the local Iraqi cell towers around Mosul, trying to make any kind of communication into the city even more difficult. Intelligence has been getting out of Mosul. There's been a couple of direct and accurate air strikes in the last couple of days targeting ISIS militants in specific buildings. With the cell towers going down, that, too, is going to be problematic. These are going to be bloody and difficult days and, in fact, weeks ahead, Carol.

COSTELLO: Oh, Michael Holmes reporting live from inside Iraq this morning.

Much more after a break.


[09:53:39] COSTELLO: You are about to behold Trumpkin (ph), the world's most giantist pumpkin. Here's CNN's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a front porch like any other, until you notice who's sitting on it, Donald Trumpkin, Hillary Clintonkin and who's that third one?

JEANETTE PARAS: The wild card, though, is Putkin - Putin. I call him Putkin.

MOOS: With a smirk and a wink, Vladimir is the biggest 341 pounds. But it's The Donald and Hillary who get most of the attention.


MOOS: Here in Dublin, Ohio, and now worldwide, Jeanette Paras is famous for her portraits, though she's not really an artist.

PARAS: I started pumpkinizing giant celebrity pumpkins in 1988.

MOOS: She's done everyone from Miley Cyrus, with her long tongue, to Kim Jong-un. Jay Leno's chin required a vertical pumpkin. Kanye West was a hit with his glasses.

Since she pumpkinizes whoever is big in the news, The Donald and Hillary were no-brainers. She's already done a 374 pound Trumpkin last year.

MOOS (on camera): The trickiest feature to get right on Trumpkin, what else, the hair.

MOOS (voice-over): It's made up of six very large wigs. Carved Trumpkins are popping up all over social media, right down to the minimalist wig and hole.

[09:55:01] When it comes to Halloween, The Donald is winning. His mask is overwhelmingly outselling Hillary's nationwide. Usually the candidate whose mask sells best tends to win the election, but the Trump mask has an advantage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The left likes to buy it because they want to lampoon him. And the right likes to buy him because he's, you know, god-like, he's their candidate.

MOOS: And over 95 percent of people who buy latex masks are men. As for The Donald's pumpkin, uncarved, it will last till New Year's. MOOS (on camera): So what happens when it's time to get rid of

Trumpkin, Clintkin and Putkin? Before dumping them in the trash, Jeanette says she chops them up like in the psycho shower scene. That's hair-raising.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


COSTELLO: The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM after a break.