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American Morning

Police Clear Out "Occupy" Park; Sandusky: "I Am Innocent"; Buffett Invests In Big Blue; Airline Fined For Lengthy Delays; New York City Police Clear Park of Protesters; Shooting Victim Gabrielle Giffords Continues Her Recovery; Road to Recovery; NYC Police Clear Out "Occupy" Park; Sandusky: "I am Innocent"; "All My Big People Were Dying"

Aired November 15, 2011 - 08:00   ET


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Pack it up and clear out, that's the message from New York City to Occupy Wall Street protesters. I'm Carol Costello. New York's mayor about to hold a press conference. We'll take it live.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Christine Romans. Former Penn State coach, Jerry Sandusky, speaking out for the first time since being charged in a child sex scandal. Sandusky denies abusing any young boys, but he does admit hugging, horsing around and showering with them, on this AMERICAN MORNING.

COSTELLO: And good morning to you. It is Tuesday, November 15th. Ali has the day off.

ROMANS: All right. Good morning, everybody.

First, the New York City Police Department moving in and the Wall Street protesters are pushed out. Overnight, police surrounded Zuccotti Park. This is the birthplace of the "Occupy" movement and they told protesters it's time to clear out so they can clean up.

Those who refused to leave were arrested and we're learning now that more than 100 people were taken into custody.

The city's mayor, Michael Bloomberg, expected to hold a press conference at any moment.

But, first, our Poppy Harlow is live downtown.

Good morning, Poppy.

Are they letting people back in yet?

POPPY HARLOW, CNNMONEY.COM: Good morning, Christine.

They're not yet. You can see Zuccotti Park behind me. It's been two months since this has been emptied. But it's been cleared out overnight by police.

The people you see in yellow vests. We're told those are private security guards for the park. We're going to watch and see if they stay here when they do reopen the park to let protesters back in.

But it has been a chaotic night to say the least down here. We've been reporting live since 2:00 a.m. If we can show you video of what happened, transpired overnight. It really escalated from about 2:00 a.m. when the protesters were started getting evicted up until 5:00 a.m. when we witnessed clashes between police officers and protesters on the street.

Christine, I do want to bring you news. We're hearing from the New York City police commissioner, Paul Browne, that there were 100 arrests of "Occupy Wall Street" protesters overnight. We're also hearing from him that no police were injured.

Mayor Bloomberg issuing a statement in the middle of the night, basically saying inaction was not an option.

As to why this eviction happened in the middle of the night and why now, he said that the reason it was done then was to reduce the risk of confrontation, to minimize disruption. Obviously, we're right by Ground Zero. We're right by New York Stock Exchange. This is a very busy part of town.

And I have to tell you, Christine, I'm surprised at how it escalated so quickly and then really de-escalated. Business as usual down here on Wall Street right now. People are walking to work. They got a lot more police officers down here than normal.

But the protesters are a few blocks away at Foley Square right near city hall, and they're expected to come back here as soon as this park opens. We've got live coverage from all the different locations.

Protesters are very, very upset, Christine, because they believe that this is a city trying to get rid of them for good. Even though they will be allowed to protest, there will be now a 10:00 curfew here. They are not allowed to bring sleeping bags or tents. They are not allowed to camp out as they have been doing for two months. And Thursday marks the two months anniversary of this movement, Christine.

So, very interesting to follow what's going to happen here. If they're going to try to mark their ground and stay overnight and what police are going to do if they try to do that.

ROMANS: All right, Poppy Harlow.

And we're still waiting for Mayor Bloomberg. He hasn't begun speaking, but you can see that we got a camera at the podium and some of the "Occupy Wall Street" protesters are on Twitter this morning, really fired up about some of the things he said in his statement. He said, for two months they have been able to occupy the park with their tents and sleeping bags, but now, they will have to occupy the park with the power of their arguments.

And that line, in particular, is really -- it's interesting. It's really made some of the protesters angry.

COSTELLO: That's because the camping out overnight part is part of their message.

ROMANS: Right.

COSTELLO: It's part -- it puts the exclamation point on what they are trying to get across and the wrongs that they see what Wall Street has done.

ROMANS: Some of them are now saying, they are calling for the day after Thanksgiving to be a day to boycott New York, boycott tourism, to let Michael Bloomberg know how you feel, that he is trying to silence this movement.

Of course, Bloomberg and police say they're not trying to silence anything. They're trying to keep people safe. They're trying to make sure that the people who have gone in and camouflaged themselves among legitimate protesters, criminals who camouflaged themselves among legitimated protesters, are not allowed to remain.

COSTELLO: We'll see. The curfew comes, what, at 10:00 p.m. Eastern tonight? We'll see what happens tonight.

Now, to the Penn State child sex abuse scandal and the first public comments from Jerry Sandusky.

In a phone interview with NBC's Bob Costas, the disgraced former Penn State coach admits to having close contact with young boys, but he insists he's no child molester.


JERRY SANDUSKY, FORMER PENN STATE COACH (via telephone): I say that I am innocent of those charges.

BOB COSTAS, NBC NEWS: Innocent? Completely innocent and falsely accused in every aspect?

SANDUSKY: Well, I could say that, you know, I have done some of those things. I have horsed around with kids. I have showered after workouts. I have touched their leg without intent of sexual contact.

But -- so, if you look at it that way, there are things that would be accurate.

COSTAS: Are you denying that you had any inappropriate sexual contact with any of these underaged boys?

SANDUSKY: Yes, I am. Yes, I am.

COSTAS: Never touched their gentles? Never engaged in oral sex?

SANDUSKY: Right. I could say that, you know, I have done some of those things. I have horsed around with kids. I have showered after workouts. I have hugged them and I have touched their leg, without intent of sexual contact.

But -- so, if you look at it that way, there are things that wouldn't, you know, would be accurate.

COSTAS: During one of those conversations, you said, "I understand. I was wrong. I wish I could get forgiveness." Speaking now with the mother, "I know I won't get it from you. I wish I were dead."

A guy falsely accused or a guy whose actions have been misinterpreted doesn't respond that way, does he?

SANDUSKY: I don't know. I didn't say to my recollection that I wish I were dead. I was hopeful that we could reconcile things.

COSTAS: How do you feel about what has happened to Penn State and to Joe Paterno and to the Penn State football program and your part in it?

SANDUSKY: How would you think that I would feel about a university I attended about people that I've worked with? About people that I care so much about? How do you think I would feel about it? I feel horrible.

COSTAS: You feel horrible. Do you feel culpable?

SANDUSKY: I'm not sure I know what you mean.

COSTAS: Do you feel guilty? Do you feel as if it's your fault?

SANDUSKY: No, I don't think it's my fault. I've obviously played a part in this.


ROMANS: OK. We're also hearing for the first time from Jerry Sandusky's attorney. He talked with CNN national correspondent Jason Carroll.

And Jason is live for us this morning in State College, Pennsylvania.

And, Jason, we're getting a pretty decent preview here of what the defense is going to be of Jerry Sandusky, aren't we?

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Very clear sense of what the defense will be. In fact, when I spoke to Sandusky's attorney for more than an hour, he went over basically the defense point by point. And one point that you know, Christine, a lot of attention has been focused on is that incident in 2002 where Mike McQueary, a then-grad assistant, allegedly saw Sandusky sodomizing what appeared to be a 10-year-old boy in the showers here at Penn State.

I specifically asked him about that. I want you to listen to his response in this segment of that interview.


CARROLL: So, what do you think really happened then? What do you think McQueary saw in 2002?

JOE AMENDOLA, SANDUSKY DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think McQueary saw Jerry in the shower with a kid and I think, like a lot of people, you assume the worst. And he probably was caught off guard when he saw it. He probably didn't stay there very long, and he left.

And I think, I think the proof that he didn't see anything lies in the fact of what he did afterwards and the fact, you know, he wasn't on the football staff. He interfaced with Jerry Sandusky several times a week.

CARROLL: And he said what he did after, he went to his father and told him what he's seen.

AMENDOLA: That's right. And now, we have another person involved. And I know his dad, his dad coached my son in Little League. His dad is a tough cookie.

Imagine going to your father as a grownup at your age and saying, Dad, I just saw Jerry Sandusky having anal sex with a kid, 10 years old, what would be your reaction?

CARROLL: I'd tell the police.

AMENDOLA: Exactly. Go to the police. That's exactly the reaction. That would be my reaction. You have to report this.

That's not what was done. What I'm hearing, although we haven't had live witnesses yet in court, what I'm hearing is, his father said, call Joe Paterno, tell Joe.

What I think happened, what I'm being told happened is that Jerry was in the shower with this kid, the kid was messing around and having a good time and he had McQueary come in and see that and he felt uncomfortable, which is exactly what Curley and Schultz are saying, that it was reported to them by McQueary that he saw Sandusky in the shower with a kid and he felt uncomfortable.

Well, feeling uncomfortable and seeing anal sex are two very different things.


CARROLL: After listening to that, I know you guys were listening very carefully, you have to ask yourself, how would someone confuse a kid just messing around and having a good time -- how do you get from that to sodomy? And this is why one of the reasons he's, Amendola, is trying to get to McQueary. He says he's still in the very beginning stages of formulating and putting together his case and interviewing witnesses. He says once he gets an opportunity to speak with McQueary he'll get through that and try to source that out.

But, definitely, a huge difference there between messing around, having a good time and witnessing that, or allegedly a witness seeing an act of sodomy.

Back to you.

COSTELLO: I think, Jason, they have not found that particular child, right?

CARROLL: Well, that is -- that's still somewhat up for debate. I mean, yesterday, when I spoke to Amendola, he said that they are still in the process of trying to reach him. Now, we're hearing word that perhaps someone has heard from that person, but that is yet to be confirmed.

ROMANS: That person who would be maybe 19 or 20 years old now, and that person who may or may not want to be public at all in this incredible mess. That person who may or may not be psychologically manipulated quite badly in the process -- we just simply don't know.

COSTELLO: But sadly, to prosecute a case, sometimes, you need that witness or the alleged victim in this case.

ROMANS: But they do have other victims, though, right? They have other alleged victims, Jason, who were all there.

CARROLL: Absolutely. They do. But, once again, the two in the grand jury report that are not identified, victim number two from the 2002 incident and another one identified simply as victim number eight.

But, you know, all sorts of -- for an audience listening to this, that might get somewhat confusing.

Bottom line is this: this defense team is basically saying that none of these allegations are true. And they're going to be able to prove that.

But when I told him, I said, it looks like you really have an uphill battle here because the allegations seem to be so overwhelming. He said, you will see that I will be able to prove this case.

We will see.

COSTELLO: Wow. Jason Carroll, thanks so much.

Lots more to tell you about this hour. Still awaiting the press conference by the New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He's going to talk about his decision to clear out Zuccotti Park and to impose that 10:00 p.m. curfew and not allow those campers, those protesters, to camp out overnight any more. We'll take you live to that podium when Mayor Bloomberg gets behind it.

ROMANS: Plus, a severe storm alert. Rob Marciano is tracking heavy rain from Texas, all the way up to New York.

COSTELLO: And how's this for a hot spot? Amazing pictures as a volcano spews lava hundreds of feet into the air. Wow.

It's 12 minutes past the hour.


COSTELLO: Good morning, Houston, Texas. Cloudy skies, 71 degrees. Thunderstorms expected later, though, but it will be nice and warm, 79.

ROMANS: So, Rob -- Rob Marciano in the Extreme Weather Center. What's going on? You got some big severe weather cooking for us.

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: We do found down to the south. You guys feel (ph) a little a taste of the moisture, as well, and then, a little taste of fall. It's been a very, very mild the past couple days, and we're going to change things up just a little bit.

Severe weather threat today extends all the way through Mississippi, the entire state of Louisiana and southeast parts of Texas, and we've just had a new severe thunderstorm watch that's been extended now includes San Antonio and Austin until 11:00 central time. These thunderstorms have been rumbling across the southern part of the state.

They do have some gusty winds with them, but some much-needed rain. So, they'll take that part of it. The rains, a little bit further to the north, are more gentle, and they're beginning to reach into the northeast. Very, very light stuff expected later on today across the I-95 corridor, but just be prepared for that. I know it's been fairly mild in the past couple of days.

Temperatures have been in the 60s, and in some cases, the 70s. Again today, 67 degrees in D.C. It will be 64 degrees in New York City, but big changes on the way. Once this second front kind of pushes through the area, we'll see temperatures drop a good 10 to 20 degrees from where they are right now, and by the time Thursday and Friday roll along, it's going to feel, well, more like fall.

It has nothing to do with weather, but cool video. Got to show it to you. Check out this volcano out of the Republic of Congo. Oh, yes.


MARCIANO: There it is. You know, it's africa's most active volcano, but now, it's gone really bananas. Throwing lava and ash. Hundreds of feet into the air and putting on quite a show for the locals and videographers alike. We can't just -- we never get tired of looking at that.

Apparently, nobody really endangered this thing, because it's been so active, and they've had plenty of time to move away and really not live anywhere close to it, but look at that guy. That's a front row seat.

COSTELLO: That's a brave man.

MARCIANO: Forget about old faithful.


COSTELLO: Let's hope the wind doesn't blow the wrong way.

MARCIANO: Yes, exactly. Anyway, that's a cool video of the day. Guys, wife having a baby tomorrow. So, I'll see you guys in a couple of weeks.

COSTELLO: Oh, congratulations!

MARCIANO: Thank you.

ROMANS: I have one piece of advice. Go take a long nap this afternoon.


ROMANS: And then, you'll take the next one in five years.

MARCIANO: Yes. Today may be the day. I haven't heard that piece of advice yet, Christine, thank you very much.

ROMANS: Yes. Take a long nap.


COSTELLO: Thanks, Rob. We can't wait to see the pictures.

ROMANS: That's awesome.

COSTELLO: Yes. That's very awesome.

Herman Cain taking another foreign policy stumble. His response fell off the rails when he was asked about President Obama's Libya policy. Cain was speaking to editors and reporters at the "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel." Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You agreed with President Obama on Libya or not?

HERMAN CAIN, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: OK, Libya. President Obama supported the uprising, correct? President Obama called for the removal of Gadhafi. Just want to make sure we're talking about the same thing before I say, yes, I agree, no, I didn't agree. I do not agree with the way he handled it for the following reason. No, that's a different one. I got to go back and see. Got all this stuff twirling around in my head. Specifically, what are you asking me? Did I agree or not disagree with Obama?


ROMANS: Cain trying to hard to minimize this moment of silence suggesting everyone is making just too big of a deal out of all of this. Listen to his explanation when he was swarmed by reporters after this whole thing went viral.


CAIN: I mean, they asked me a question about Libya, and I paused so I could gather my thoughts. You know, it's really complimentary when people start documenting my pauses. You know, it's one thing to document every word. It was a pause. That's all it was. Good grief.


ROMANS: Organizing his thoughts or not really familiar with the material. That's the big debate this morning. In the GOP race, Cain has now slipped into a statistical tie for third place with Rick Perry in the latest CNN/ORC poll.

COSTELLO: Talking about Governor Rick Perry, he's trying to recover from his latest disappointing debate. Later today, he's expected to outline his plan to dismantle D.C. Last night, he touched on his plan to uproot all three branches of government, including "lifetime federal judges who arrogantly rewrite laws from the bench." That's a quote.

Another quote, "the permanent bureaucracy of the executive branch." Mr. Perry wants to take care of that, and he wants to take care of a Congress that not only spends too much, but is in Washington too much.

A reminder, CNN is hosting the next Republican debate on national security. That will happen Tuesday, November 22nd at 8:00 p.m. eastern. Candidates will take on big issues like homeland security and foreign policy, Tuesday, November 22nd at 8:00 p.m. eastern right here on CNN.

ROMANS: Still ahead this morning, New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg, about to speak about this morning's eviction of "Occupy Wall Street" protesters. We're going to bring you those comments live. You can see there's an activity in the room. When Mayor Bloomberg steps up to podium, we're going to bring it right to you.

COSTELLO: Plus, who's buying tech stocks right now? Well, billionaire investor, warren Buffett, is slightly snatching up shares about $10 billion worth. Which companies, you ask. We'll tell you, next. It's 21 minutes past the hour.


ROMANS: Twenty-four minutes after the hour. "Minding Your Business" this morning.

Good news for Wal-Mart today. The company just announced it raked in nearly $110 billion in sales in the U.S. stores in the third quarter. That's up more than eight percent from the same time last year. Pretty important going into the holiday shopping season as we watch how these big discount retailers are doing.

Check in on the markets. U.S. stock futures are trading sharply lower ahead of the opening bell. Investors waiting to see how this political change in Greece and Italy will affect the European debt crisis.

Warren Buffett betting big on big blue. The billionaire investor's Berkshire Hathaway disclosing it purchased more than $10.7 billion in IBM stock. That's enough to make it one of the largest investors in the tech giant. Buffett also invested in Visa, CBS, and Intel.

For the first time, the government is finding an airline for lengthy delays. American Eagle has been ordered to pay $900,000 for leaving passengers on 15 flights stranded on the tarmac for more than three hours. All of the incidents happened earlier this year at Chicago's O'Hare. American Eagle blames weather and congestion.

It's a new generation of money. Canada officially rolls out its new plastic $100 bills. The bill has a security feature, a bunch of security features that will make it tough to counterfeit like hidden numbers, transparent windows, and metallic portraits. Most of Canada's cash will be plastic by 2013.

Up next, Gabby Giffords finding her voice again. Her first interview since she was shot in Tucson last winter inside her remarkable and very difficult recovery. AMERICAN MORNING back right after this break.


ROMANS: New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg, talking right now about this morning's "Occupy Wall Street" eviction. Let's listen together.


MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, NEW YORK CITY: Temporarily leave the park while this occurred and we're told that they would be freed to return to the park once Brookfield finished cleaning. We are now ready to reopen the park, but understand that there is a court order which we have not yet actually received and joining us from enforcing Brookfield's rules.

And so, the park will remain closed until we can clarify that situation, but I want to stress that our intention was to reopen the park and to let people go in and express their first amendment rights to protest or their first amendment rights to just peacefully enjoy the park. And say nothing.

In the future, protesters and the general public will be welcome there to exercise their first amendment rights and, otherwise, enjoy the park but will not be allowed to use tents, sleeping bags or tarps and going forward must follow all park rules. The law that created Zuccotti Park required that it be open for the public to enjoy for passive recreation 24 hours a day.

Ever since the occupation began, that law has not been complied with as the park has been taken over by protesters, making it unavailable to anyone else.

From the beginning, I've said that the city has two principal goals. Guaranteeing public health and safety and guaranteeing the protesters' First Amendment rights. But when those two goals clash, the health and safety of the public and our first responders must be the priority. And that is why several weeks ago the city acted to remove generators and fuel that posed a fire hazard from the park.

Over time, I have become increasingly concerned as have the owners of the park, Brookfield Properties, that the occupation was coming to pose a health and fire safety hazard to the protesters and to the surrounding community. We have been in constant contact with Brookfield, and yesterday they requested that the city assist it in enforcing the no sleeping and camping rules in the park.

But make no mistake -- the final decision to act was mine and mine alone.

The park has become covered in tents and tarps, making it next to impossible to safely navigate for the public and for first responders who are responsible for guaranteeing public safety. The dangers posed were evident last week when an EMT was injured as protesters attempted to prevent him and several police officers from helping a mentally ill man who was menacing others.

As an increasing number of large tents and other structures were erected, these dangers increased. It has become increasingly difficult to monitor activity in the park to protect the protesters and the public, and the proliferation of tents and other obstructions created a fire hazard that had to be addressed.

Now, some have argued to allow the protesters to stay in the park indefinitely. Others had suggested that we just wait for winter and hope the cold weather drove the protesters away. But inaction was not an option. We could not wait for someone in the park to get killed or to injure another first responder before acting.

Other have cautioned against action because enforcing our laws might be viewed by some protesters as a pretext for violence. But we must never be afraid to consist with violence on our laws.

Unfortunately, the park was becoming a place where people came not to protest but rather to break laws and in some cases to harm others. There have been reports of businesses being threatened and complaints about noise and unsanitary conditions that have seriously impacted the quality of life for residents and businesses in this now thriving neighborhood.

The majority of protesters have been peaceful and responsible, but an unfortunate minority has not been and as the number of protesters has grown, this has created an intolerable situation.

No right is absolute, and with every right comes responsibility. The First Amendment gives every New Yorker the right to speak out, but it does not give anyone the right to sleep in a park or otherwise take it over to the exclusion of others, nor does it permit anyone in our society to live outside the law.

There is no ambiguity in the law here. The First Amendment protects speech. It does not protect the use of tents and sleeping bags to take over a public space. Protesters have had two months to occupy the park with tents and sleeping bags. Now they will have to occupy the space with the power of their arguments.

Let me conclude by thanking the NYPD, the FDNY, and the Department of Sanitation for their professionalism earlier this morning. I should also note that last night I spoke with Governor Cuomo to inform him of our course of action and he offered any help if we thought it was need. Thank you, all, and I will be happy to answer a question or two.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One or two incidents in the last couple days and like you said (INAUDIBLE) the rights of these folks. Do you feel badly at all you had to take this action?

BLOOMBERG: No I don't feel bad because they can come right back in, at least they could have up to a few minutes ago when we believe an order was issued which we will go to court this morning to clarify. Before this order was issued we were planning to let them back in and let them protest.

I think you have to distinguish between what we are trying to do and what was done in many other places. In many places they were prevented from going back in after safety conditions were improved to protest. Quite the contrary. Here we welcome them back in. If they want to protest, they have a right to do so. Brookfield Properties has a legal operation in agreement with the city to let them, and has said they are happy to have them there to express their views.

But that is not the same as taking over the park so that other people cannot get in and express opposing views or similar views or no views whatsoever.

We do know of one incident with an EMS worker and the police officers the other day. There have been a number of every day of small accusations which are hard to prove when the police can't even get there to see what's really going on. And that's one of the reasons why we have laws on the books that require access for first responders.

COSTELLO: We'll jump out of this now, but you heard Mayor Bloomberg say that Zuccotti Park had to be cleared out for safety reasons and sanitation reasons. And protesters will be allowed to go back into this park once this court matter is cleared up. We're going to explore what that means and we'll have more information for you on that later.

ROMANS: Up next though Gabby Giffords, her first interview since she was shot in the head in Tucson last winter. Inside her remarkable buy very difficult recovery.

Plus, we're going to speak live with two other survivors from that January shooting spree. They're headed to Capitol Hill later today to rally for stricter gun laws. Don't go away.


ROMANS: And welcome back to AMERICAN MORNING. Gabrielle Giffords has always been an overachiever.

COSTELLO: To say the least.

ROMANS: I know. She's amazing. It's that trait that has served her well, especially now. The Arizona congresswoman has made a miraculous recovery since she suffered a gunshot wound to the head back in January. Here's video that aired on ABC's 20/20 of Ms. Giffords learning to walk and talk, again. Her inspiring progress has not come easy, though.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tell time with a --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's good. Nice. You tell time with a --

GIFFORDS: Watch. A watch.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's the matter?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The struggling congresswoman knows the feeling of anguish, just not the word.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you sad? Gabby, are you frustrated? Can I tell you something? It is going to get better. OK. It's frustrating right now, but it is going to get better. You have come a long way in five weeks.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Her extraordinary therapist is Angie Glen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right, OK. Now you are laughing. What fun songs can we sing right now? This little light of mine

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Together they find a familiar childhood refrain and, at the end, perfect harmony.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Excellent. I know it's frustrating, but are you going to get through it? Yes. Say it like a congresswoman. Are you going to get through it? Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COSTELLO: That's powerful.

ROMANS: That therapist, she's amazing.

COSTELLO: Giffords gave her first public interview since the shooting last night, telling Diane Sawyer she plans to return to Congress once she has fully recovered.



GIFFORDS: Pretty good.

SAWYER: Pretty good.

I can see that your arm, your right hand you move a lot more. Is it painful? Is it hard?

GIFFORDS: It's difficult.

SAWYER: Just difficult.

GIFFORDS: Difficult. Strong, strong.


MARK KELLY, HUSBAND OF GABRIELLE GIFFORDS: She's got very good posture. Much better than me.

SAWYER: You do a lot of therapy every day.

KELLY: Yes. How many hours?

GIFFORDS: Two hours of therapy.

KELLY: Here at the house.


ROMANS: Six people were killed in that shooting spree in Tucson, Arizona, and 13 people, including Congresswoman Giffords were injured. We're joined now by two survivors of that attack, retired army colonel Bill Badger and Patricia Maisch. They are in Washington today because that's where they'll be pushing for changes that could keep a shooting like this from happening again. Both of you, welcome to the program.

Certainly an emotional 10 months for both of you, for Gabrielle Giffords and now that story, Diane Sawyer really showing us the progress she's made. Colonel badger, I want to talk about your progress. But first I want to hear more of what Congresswoman Giffords had to say in that interview. She has no memory of that day. Listen.


SAWYER: When mark told you what happened?

GIFFORDS: I cried. Died.


GIFFORDS: Sad. Oh, sad. A lot of people died.

SAWYER: It hurts your heart.

GIFFORDS: Yes, yes.

SAWYER: Do you ever get angry at what happened to you?

GIFFORDS: No. No. No. No. Life. Life.


ROMANS: Colonel Badger, a bullet hit you that day, too. Tell me, what is your reaction is when you see Gabrielle Giffords talking about this?

COL. BILL BADGER, TUCSON SHOOTING VICTIM: It's just a miracle come true. It's just -- I get a little bit emotional, but it's just great to see her be able to react the way she can. And I talked to her husband, Mark, two days after it happened. And I've got the bracelet on. I've had it on every day since she was shot. And to see her react the way she did on the program last night was just a miracle come true.

ROMANS: Patricia, it was hard to watch at times because it was so hard to watch her struggle to find the words in some cases. You know that she had such an amazing recovery and so far to go, at the same time. Both of you, it was such an unlucky day and you were both dare I say so blessed or lucky to able to talk to us about it today. Patricia, your thoughts about what's next for all of you as survivors of this shooting.

PATRICIA MAISCH, SURVIVOR OF ARIZONA SHOOTING: Well, you're right. It was a very lucky day for me and for Bill and for the other people that were there. What's next is to try to prevent something like this from happening again. We're here with -- with the Mayors against Illegal Guns.

And we're going to go talk to Senator McCain and Senator Kyl today and talk in front of the Judiciary Committee to try to convince them to enforce the bills, the rules that are already on the books and to improve them. Get every gun sale to have a background check and to keep people that are dangerous from being able to purchase guns.

ROMANS: Would that have changed things in this particular instance? Would -- would the enforcement of laws or tougher laws -- Colonel Badger, I'll give it to you first -- would that have changed, prevented this from happening?

COL. BILL BADGER, U.S. ARMY (RET.): Yes, it definitely would have. ROMANS: How?

BADGER: Well, you know when you have an individual who has the challenges that the shooter had and -- and then it wasn't entered into the database, you know, if his name had been in the database why he wouldn't have been able to purchase a gun and this incident probably would not have happened.

ROMANS: You -- I know both of you want to make something positive out of this and that's -- and that's what you're trying to do here.


ROMANS: You know, Patricia, tell me why it's important to you to keep, I guess to go to Washington and what it is that you're -- that you're trying to make change out of this. Because there are those who say, someone, you know, someone -- this case and other cases that we've had like this that all the laws on the books couldn't prevent someone with -- with intent, someone who is not really on the radar as severely mentally ill from -- from getting a gun and doing something like this.

MAISCH: Well, I'm hoping we can change that. You know, we'll never know. And if it prevents one person from being murdered by an illegal gun, if it prevents one family from having to suffer the trauma that the families in Tucson and community of Tucson as a whole from suffering those kind of things. Then I think it will be worth it.

ROMANS: All right, Colonel Bill Badger and Patricia Maisch, very nice to meet you both this morning. Thank you for your -- your recollections and your time. I really appreciate it.

MAISCH: Thank you.

BADGER: Thank you.

ROMANS: Our "Morning Headlines" --

MAISCH: Thank you for inviting us.

ROMANS: You're welcome. "Morning Headlines" are next. Its 47 minutes after the hour.


COSTELLO: Ten minutes to the top of the hour, here are your "Morning Headlines."

Markets open in just about 45 minutes but right now U.S. stock futures are trading lower as investors wait to see if the political transitions in Greece and Italy will help resolve Europe's debt crisis.

Police in New York City arrested 100 Occupy Wall Street protesters when they cleared out Zuccotti Park overnight. The City's mayor says the demonstrators will eventually be able to return to the park, but they can no longer camp out overnight. Mayor Bloomberg saying, quote, "Protesters have had two months to occupy the park with tents and sleeping bags. Now they will have to occupy the space with the power of their arguments," end quote.

In Oakland, police have also cleared out the Occupy Oakland encampment. It's mayor says the camp had become a danger to public safety and a drain on city resources. By last night police had removed 278 tons of debris.

Jerry Sandusky proclaiming his innocence in his first public comments since the Penn State child sex scandal erupted. The former coach tells NBC, he's not a pedophile. He admits to showering and horsing around with boys, but says there was no sexual intent. Sandusky is facing 40 counts of child sex abuse.

No deal for the NBA. The players' union turned down the league's latest offer in a dispute over a collective bargaining agreement calling it "unfair." The union says it is prepared to file an anti- trust suit against the NBA.

President Obama heads for Australia later today during his two- day trip, the President will address the Australian Parliament and announce an expanded U.S. military presence in the country.

And that's the news you need to start your day. And AMERICAN MORNING back after a break.


ROMANS: You are on the wrong network. Oh wait, Sesame Street wants your help solving a mystery: the case of the missing cast member. The show is looking for the original actor who played Gordon on the show's unaired pilot. He was last seen teaching kids about the letter "D" and dancing with Bert and Ernie. But that was 42 years ago back in 1959.

Even some of his fellow actors from that pilot don't recall who he is. If you know who Gordon number one is, you can e-mail info directly to Sesame Street at

COSTELLO: Gordon, who are you? I hope they find him.

ROMANS: Me too.

COSTELLO: That's pretty cool.

He's quitting acting, but not producing. Brad Pitt telling Australia's version of "60 Minutes" that he'll probably retire from acting in three years when he turns 50. The father of six also said he and Angelina Jolie may not be finished having kids.

ROMANS: Oh I get it, he might be producing. Oh I get it.

COSTELLO: He means the other producing. But that was good, too. ROMANS: Fat Joe is huge in the rap world but not quite as big in person anymore. After losing half a dozen friends to heart attacks last year, he decided it was finally time to get his own weight under control.

Here's CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta with today's "Human Factor."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lean back, lean back, lean back.

JOSEPH ANTONIO CARTAGENA "FAT JOE", RAP SINGER: You know, I was talking to my trainer yesterday and I realized that he said, so, when was the last time you were slim and I swear to God I think when I was a month or two months old that was it, I was Joe ever since.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Fat Joe, Joey Crack, Joseph Antonio Cartagena; the larger than life rapper grew up in public housing and was taught from an early age that food equals love.

So when Joe hit the big time, he felt he deserved all the good food his lavish lifestyle could afford.

CARTAGENA: I'm rich now. I could go to Mr. Chow's and eat me all the lobster and steak I want.

GUPTA: Then in 2000, Joe's friend and fellow rap star Big Pond suffered a fatal heart attack.

CARTAGENA: I think I weighed about 450, 460 at my heaviest and, you know, I always took pride in being fat. That's why my name was Fat Joe. I always represented the big people, but I realized at a certain point all my big people were dying.

GUPTA: Last year alone six of Joe's friends died of heart attacks. Most were younger than him but just about the same size.

CARTAGENA: I couldn't see a clearer picture of me being -- what is the difference between me and him and me being in a casket and my daughter running around a funeral home and she doesn't have a dad no more.

GUPTA: So Joe is eating healthier food in smaller portions more frequently throughout the day even when he's on the road. He's lost 100 pounds and counting.

CARTAGENA: This is breaking news, Sanjay. This is like my best, best, best friends on earth don't even know this. I was diabetic for 16 years since I was 14 and being that I lost weight, no more diabetes.

GUPTA: When he's not working nowadays, chances are you'll find Fat Joe at the gym. But even though he's dropped the pounds, Fat Joe says he has no intention of dropping the name. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.


ROMANS: Not so Fat Joe.

COSTELLO: I was wondering about that. What would you call yourself? Thin Joe?

ROMANS: What a great story. Love it, Sanjay.

COSTELLO: It's awesome.

It's 56 minutes past the hour.


COSTELLO: Good morning. Atlanta. Cloudy, 63 degrees, but showers later today and 74. But at least it will be warm.

ROMANS: Yes. There you go, we got to go. Speaking of the song. That's it for us on AMERICAN MORNING. But "CNN NEWSROOM" starts right now with Kyra Phillips. Good morning Kyra.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR, "CNN NEWSROOM": Good morning guys. Thanks so much.