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CNN Sunday Morning

Palin Takes the Gloves Off; Candidates Continue Sparring

Aired October 05, 2008 - 07:00   ET


T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: From the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia, this is CNN SUNDAY MORNING, October 5th.
Good morning to you all. I'm T.J. Holmes.

And good morning to you, Alina.


Good morning. I'm Alina Cho. Betty has the morning off.

It's 7:00 a.m. here in the east, 6:00 a.m. in Chicago. Thanks so much for starting your day with us.

HOLMES: And we're going to be starting our day here talking about Governor Sarah Palin. My goodness, she wasn't kidding with that pit bull with the lipstick comment, was she? Alina, she is slamming.

CHO: She went one step further. The gloves are off.

HOLMES: She really did. Well, Obama is being criticized by the governor for his relationship with an anti-war radical. Our best political team on television is covering this story. You tonight want to miss the comments she made about.

CHO: That's right. We've got Paul Steinhauser in our 9:00 hour. We have Ed Henry. We are all over that story.

Also, three weeks after Hurricane Ike, there are signs of hope from all things a football game. One school is reopening, the Texas gulf coast trying to return to normal, as hundreds are still missing -- T.J.

HOLMES: And as we know, Texas and football -- high school football, synonymous. So, a good thing to see there.

But we will start with the governor, Governor Palin, just gently slipping those gloves off, if you will. Thirty days now and counting until Election Day. The Republican vice presidential candidate is offering some harsh criticism of Barack Obama. Obama she says, and I'm quoting here, "has been palling around with terrorists."

CNN's Don Lemon reports on the Alaska governor's toughest comments yet out on the campaign trail.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Governor Sarah Palin.

DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Coming off of Thursday's debate performance, it was an aggressive Sarah Palin on the trail Saturday.

GOV. SARAH PALIN, (R) VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: OK, now, the heels are on, the gloves come off.

LEMON: At a private fund-raiser, and then a public rally in California, she launched the campaign's strongest attack yet on Barack Obama's association with '60s radical, William Ayers.

PALIN: Our opponent is someone who sees America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists who targeted their own country.

LEMON: It is not the first time the Ayers issue has come up. An independent group backing the McCain campaign mentioned him in an ad.


NARRATOR: Barack Obama is friends with Ayers, defending him as, quote, "respectable and mainstream."


LEMON: Obama defended his connection during the primaries.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D-IL) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The notion that somehow as a consequence of me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago when I was eight years old, somehow reflects on me and my values doesn't make much sense.

LEMON: The McCain camp says raising the issue now is designed to highlight questions about Obama's judgment in the closing days. An Obama spokesman Saturday called it a Swiftboat attack, quote, "in hopes of deflecting attention from the nation's economic ills."

PALIN: Evidently, there's been a lot of interest in what I read lately.

LEMON: For Palin, it was a political twofer, a chance to counter questions from a CBS interview where she stumbled over what newspapers she reads.

PALIN: Well, I was reading today a copy of the "New York Times."


PALIN: And I was really interested to read in there about Barack Obama's friends from Chicago.

LEMON: Weeks to Election Day, the rhetoric heats up.

Don Lemon, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE) HOLMES: Well, nobody's exactly sure how well Bill Ayers and Barack Obama know each other. The "New York Times," CNN, and other news organizations have looked into this, found that they apparently did not have a very close relationship it appears.

So, exactly who is Bill Ayers? Today, he is a professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Back in the '60s, however, Ayers was a radical activist and a founding member of the group the Weather Underground. That group was behind several bombings in Washington, including at the Capitol and the Pentagon. Riot and conspiracy charges against Ayers were dropped in 1974.

Ayers and Obama were, in fact, acquaintances. They lived in the same Chicago neighborhood. In 1995, Obama attended a political meeting at Ayers' home. Obama and Ayers also served together on a Chicago charity from 1995 to 1999.

Meanwhile, we'll turn back to the campaign trail now. We're tracking the presidential candidates out there. Today, Barack Obama hosts a rally in Asheville, North Carolina. His running mate, Joe Biden, is off the trail for family emergency. We're told his mother-in-law is ill.

Meanwhile, Republican John McCain is home in Arizona. He's prepping for Tuesday night's presidential debate. His running mate, Sarah Palin, hosts a rally tonight in Omaha, Nebraska.

The candidates are attacking each other on their healthcare plan, as well. In about five minute, we'll have the truth squad put them to the test on some of the things they've been saying out there.

And don't forget, CNN Tuesday night, Nashville is the battleground that the presidential candidates face off in their second debate, the best political team on television already there, already up and running. We'll check in with them in just a few minutes. And then Tuesday night, tune if right here for CNN: Your home for politics, to check out that debate.

CHO: And turning to issue number one: the economy. That big merger we told you about between Wachovia Bank and Wells Fargo may be in jeopardy now. Citigroup says a judge in New York has temporarily blocked the merger. Citigroup, as many people know, has been trying to buy Wachovia itself to $2.2 billion.

So, more uncertainty in the financial world that may not be good for Wall Street as we head into a new workweek. And the bigger question, of course, is: What impact will that $700 billion financial bailout plan have on the markets? Will the plan work?

After the House approved the measure on Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 157 points to close. Some say that news is already baked in the cake, so to speak. And for the week, the Dow was down 818 points or more than 7 percent.

Our senior correspondent Allan Chernoff is in New York this morning. He's following all of this for us. And, Allan, the international markets, as you well know, open late tonight. U.S. time, Wall Street, in just about 14 1/2 hours. So, what should we be watching for tonight and tomorrow morning?


Well, it would be nice to see the stock market pop back up. We certainly could use a bounce back in the stock market. But that's not the real measure of whether we're going to resolve this crisis. This is all about lending.

Right now, we're suffering from a credit freeze. Banks afraid to lend to each other, rates for them have soared. And consumers and bank, and companies, as well, are having big troubles.

Now, have a look over here. This is the bank to bank lending rate, very important. It's called LIBOR, the London banking rate. And you can see over the past four weeks, the rate has just absolutely soared from 2.8 percent up to 4.3 percent. And this is something that we need to watch for.

Every morning -- 6:00 a.m. New York time, 11:00 o'clock London time -- a survey is released and it basically sets the rate for LIBOR. And you better believe this is an important rate. We may not have heard of it, but it's very important. A lot of adjustable rate mortgages are tied to LIBOR. Often, LIBOR plus 6 percent, some business loans also are tied to it.

So it's very important. Our major banks all participate in this; it's the rate at which the banks are lending each other. And the one that I showed you, that's the rate for three-month money. So they're saying, hey, we'll lend you this amount of money for three months. That scenario, obviously, what they've been worrying.

CHO: So, Allan, tell me -- tell me how this LIBOR rate, which I haven't heard this name before, but bank to bank lending rate makes perfect sense, why is this at the core of resolving the financial problems?

CHERNOFF: Because, as we're saying, the problem is that we're having a credit freeze here, that banks are afraid to lend to each other. As a result, you've seen the rates go up. What we want to see come 6:00 o'clock Monday morning here in New York, we want to see that rate begin to come down. If it doesn't, that is very, very worrisome. And analysts say this is just absolutely essential to resolving the crisis.

CHO: But is the expectation that the LIBOR rate will come down on Monday?



CHERNOFF: It's not going to instantly fall, but we're hoping that it doesn't keep creeping up, and maybe, we begin to see a little bit of a decline in the rate there.

CHO: And hopefully, we'll feel the effects of that $700 billion bailout then.

Allan Chernoff, a senior correspondent, joining us live from New York. Allan, thank you. T.J.?

HOLMES: Alina, some members of the jury that found O.J. Simpson guilty of kidnapping and robbery on Friday also thought he was guilty of murder 13 years ago. Jury questionnaires released Saturday show five of the 12 jurors disagreed with that 1995 verdict. Four said they were unsure. Another said she had no feelings about it one way or another.

Eleven of the jurors are white. One identified herself as Hispanic. Friday, they all found Simpson guilty of robbing two sports memorabilia dealers at gun point in a Las Vegas hotel room.

CHO: Three weeks after Hurricane Ike, two more bodies have been recovered in Texas, bringing the total death toll to 70. But 300 are still listed as missing. Ike roared ashore on September 13th as a category two hurricane, hitting Galveston, Texas the hardest.

And some encouraging news on the recovery front. Ball High School on Galveston Island reopened this week. Last night, the school held its first football game since Ike, a tangible sign that things are slowly getting back to normal.

A great sight, isn't it? The players don't know week to week, though, when their next football game will be, but the fans, of course, are just happy to be there.


JAMES GULLEY, FOOTBALL FAN: It's time to play, time to get some R and R, rest and relaxation. It's been a long time coming. It's time to play some ball now. High school football is in there once again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We still have a long way to go, but we're happy to see them back out there.


CHO: Many of the players lost homes or family members in the hurricane, so coming back, of course, has been a real boost for them. As you point out, T.J., Texas and football kind of synonymous.

HOLMES: A culture down there.

CHO: It's a big deal.

HOLMES: They would play a game during a hurricane if they would be allowed to.

CHO: If they could.

HOLMES: Yes, but good to see them back.

CHO: Yes, the school reopening on Monday.

HOLMES: Yes. Well, that's good to see.

Also, a lot of people have been turning what -- to Washington, turning to Henry Paulson, turning to a lot of people, trying to get help in this financial crisis. Some people turning to God. A lot of people are praying right now for some help. We'll look toward the heavens, next to get out of this.

CHO: It may be the only way to get relief. And it's hard to believe, but the presidential election is now just 30 days away. I thought I'd never say that. And our truth squad is putting the candidates to the test.

Josh Levs is watching that for us.

Hey, Josh. Good morning.

JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alina. Don't you feel like we've been covering it for 30 years?

CHO: Yes.


LEVS: It's unbelievable how long this has been going on. It's amazing, folks. This is what we're going to take a look at, could one of these candidates' healthcare plans leave you broke and the other one with the government running your healthcare?



CHO: You recognize that music, right, from afar (ph)? Somebody wants (INAUDIBLE). Take a listen.


CHO: Even with the sunglasses, you can't miss him. He's Bruce Springsteen, of course. And he campaigned for Barack Obama yesterday in Philadelphia in true Springsteen fashion. And he's not done stumping yet. The boss added a couple more campaign gigs.

He's going to be stopping in Ohio and Michigan before a big Obama fund-raiser. That's a concert with Billy Joel later this month in New York.

HOLMES: That's the one you were telling me about. How much is a ticket to this thing?

CHO: Well, I think the minimum is like $2,500, but some seats are being sold for $10,000.

HOLMES: I hope Obama appreciates that.

CHO: That would be a good concert.

HOLMES: All right. Well, the candidates have focused so much on the economy and Iraq of this campaign season. We haven't heard a whole lot about healthcare. Certainly, a lot of people need to hear about that.

CHO: Yes, it's a big issue. And our own Josh Levs, a member of the CNN truth squad of which I am also a proud member. Josh, as you know...

LEVS: You're a key member.

CHO: He joins us with more on that. What's going on?

HOLMES: Can I -- how do I get membership with this thing?

CHO: Well, you got to file (ph).


LEVS: Yes, we'll tell you off air how this works.

HOLMES: All right.

LEVS: But here's the deal. You know...

CHO: Membership is closed.


LEVS: I was like (ph), you were the one who tell him that.

CHO: I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding.

LEVS: (INAUDIBLE) but Alina can get away with that. Sorry, dude, a little late.

All right. OK. So here's what's going on. Yesterday, there was this sort of fresh attack on the campaign trail. It's an issue we've followed a lot. Let's take a look at what Barack Obama said yesterday.


OBAMA: $5,000 tax credit sounds good. But what Senator McCain doesn't tell you is the average cost of a family healthcare plan these days is more than twice that much. It's $12,680. So where would that leave you? Broke.


LEVS: A pretty big argument. He's saying, look, John McCain is offering a $5,000 tax credit, but since you have to pay so much more for your health, you'd be broke. Well, is that true? I wonder where that figure came from. This is where it comes from, the Journal Health Affairs.

I'm going to zoom in on this screen. For just a second, look at this. When they looked at how much people actually have to pay on their own average, $3,354 is how much on average people pay, covered employees pay, to cover their whole family.

And if we take a look at this graphic here, I've got what the Tax Policy Center says about McCain's plan, they say it would be a tax cut for virtually all Americans to 2013 and a tax cut for the middle class through 2018. And that's as far as they've projected.

Now, long term, the tax credits might not keep up with the cost of healthcare, so that benefit that you get there might erode, but what Obama was trying to say there was that if your employer does nothing, you're left all alone now to pay for it all yourself, you might be broke. But he didn't mention that the analyses show that a lot of people, guys, would come out ahead, at least immediately, under McCain's plan.

CHO: So, again, a kernel of truth...

LEVS: Right.

CHO: And then the campaign takes that and uses it to their advantage.

LEVS: Do whatever they want with it.

CHO: Is that what politics is all about?

HOLMES: Oh, unfortunately.

CHO: That's what politics -- hey, Josh, a question about Sarah Palin.

LEVS: Yes.

CHO: Obviously, a lot has been made in the past 24 hours or so about her attack on Obama saying that he pals around with terrorists. But she also went on the attack about healthcare, right?

LEVS: Exactly.

CHO: What did she say?

LEVS: Yes. She's been talking about that in recent days, actually ever since the debate. She's portraying his position on health in a certain way. Let's take a look at what she said.


PALIN: To mandate healthcare coverage and have this universal government-run program, and unless you're pleased with the way that the federal government has been running anything lately, I don't think that is going to be real pleasing for Americans to consider healthcare being taken over by the Feds.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LEVS: That's what she said in the debate. Let's go straight what the truth squad says about this. Obama's plan does increase the government's role and it mandates coverage for children. But it includes existing healthcare systems. There is no evidence that Obama's plan would mean that your healthcare gets taken over by the Feds in any way.

So there again, they take what you're just talking about, Alina, you know, a little kernel of truth, and they do whatever they want with it.

CHO: No.

LEVS: And that's why we're here to put the brakes on it -- you and me, maybe not T.J.

CHO: That's right.

LEVS: But you and me.

CHO: No, T.J., you're honorary. You're always honorary.

HOLMES: No. It's truth, false and misleading, right?

CHO: That's right.

HOLMES: I'm not allowed on because I just want to call it a lie. I'm not allowed to be on.

CHO: Well, you can't go on that point.

LEVS: See, I talked to him about this yesterday. I'm like, you have to be inside their brains to know if they're lying, you know.

CHO: Yes. Totally.

LEVS: Yes.


LEVS: Sorry.

CHO: Josh, thanks.

LEVS: You got it, guys.

HOLMES: I'll get my application to you. You can also get up to the minute political highlights and analysis from your home or your office computer. You click on, your site for all things political.

CHO: A good way to get caught off on the news.


CHO: Well, it's been a stormy weekend for some people. Reynolds Wolf is watching it all for us.

And you've got some great video, I understand, Reynolds.

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Oh, we certainly do. You know, we've had some snowfall that has been really forming over parts of the Rockies in to the central plains. We're talking about rain and thunderstorms, especially in Oklahoma. Take a look at this video from last night. Just the lightning, the thunder, just all crashing down. It looks like it could happen again today for parts of Texas.

We'll have your complete forecast coming up in just a few moments right here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.


CHO: Happy Birthday, Pittsburgh. The Steel City is celebrating its 250th birthday. And take a look at that last night spectacular fireworks show was launched from Barges on the city's three rivers and lasted nearly 36 dazzling minutes.

WOLF: One of the most...

CHO: (INAUDIBLE), but they had pretty good weather, right?

WOLF: Beautiful. One of the most underrated cities in America. Pittsburgh is fantastic. Great people, great sports center if you're into that kind of thing.

CHO: Yes.

WOLF: Again, just weather turned out fine for them. I wish I could say the same for another city, Albuquerque, where yesterday we'd dubbed it the place where they had the balloon thing.

CHO: Right.

WOLF: Which is the international balloon festival (ph).


CHO: Obviously, these are old pictures because -

WOLF: Bad weather. Bad weather there today. So they had to cancel everything. The cow will not be flying today.

CHO: I love that. This just in. It's just into us.

WOLF: That's right. Children crying everywhere. It's a sad day.


WOLF: There were 700 balloons planning to go up, including the momo cow balloon, but note, too, that one will be staying down grazing today, not flying in the skies above.

(CROSSTALK) WOLF: You know, they're going to do it next weekend, and so, I'm sure the weather is going to improve. I'll show you why they canceled, coming up in a few moments.

But first, take a look at this other video. Boom -- the crash of thunder and lightning and rough time in parts of Oklahoma yesterday. Last night, it was very loud. Boy, it was certainly a tough time for people to sleep, no question about it. Some heavy rain there. The rain is getting a little bit lighter in parts of Oklahoma, especially out along the panhandle, but into parts of Texas and into the four corner, it's going to pick up.

Let's go right over to the weather screen. If we do that for you, you'll see again, a big patch of blue, green, even some things popping up over parts of the four corners, including Texas. We're going to zoom in on that location. As we do zoom in that location, I want you to look, especially over towards places like Albuquerque, because in that particular area, you're going to notice something, this is the reason why they canceled the big event today, the reason why they canceled that event, we're going to go take from you parts of the midwest back into the four corners.

Here you go, check out Albuquerque and Santa Fe where you see some scattered showers and high in the upper elevation, you're seeing some snow beginning to form. Cloudy skies, low deck of cloud, just no way they're going to get those balloons up today.

But if you want to talk about some heavy snow, go a little bit farther to the northwest, into Utah and even into Colorado, rain right now in the valleys. But later on into the afternoon, evening, into tomorrow, snow is going to really begin to fall. Heavy stuff, too -- anywhere from one to two feet above 8,500 feet along parts of 15 and then along parts of 70.

Colorado is not quite as heavy in terms of the snowfall, upwards around a foot in some locations, but also, very strong winds. Tough of those high-profile vehicles to make their way up in parts of Highway 70. Certainly, a very interesting day for truck drivers out there. Both hands on the wheel are going to be needed.

That's the latest we've got for you. Again, bad shapes in terms of the balloon festival. Hopefully they'll have better conditions for tomorrow.

HOLMES: Reynolds, fiesta.

CHO: Did you say that it's going to clear-up?

WOLF: It should move. That system that we're talking about that's just bringing the snow in parts of the Rockies and the rainfall over parts of the four corners is going to go back into the plains. They could see some rough weather there tomorrow, but better conditions now in Albuquerque. So thumbs one that.

CHO: Good. I want to see those balloons up.


CHO: Great pictures. Thanks, Reynolds.

WOLF: You bet.

HOLMES: Reynolds, thanks.

CHO: On these tough economic times, many retired people are feeling the pinch and deciding to cash in on their homes using something called a reverse mortgage. What is that?

Christine Romans explains and advice that's Right on Your Money.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The AARP says nearly 60 percent of its members are having a harder time paying for basics like groceries and medicines. Personal finance expert Eric Tyson says that's why reverse mortgages are so appealing.

ERIC TYSON, PERSONAL FINANCE FOR DUMMIES: They are filling a need in the marketplace because there are seniors who get to retirement and they're house rich and cash poor.

ROMANS: Reverse mortgages let homeowners 62 and older tap a portion of their equity in monthly or lump sum payments. The loan does not have to be paid off until the home is sold.

TYSON: It can make the difference between, you know, being able to do repairs on the home or, you know, do some traveling or meet other out of pocket expenses that otherwise a senior might not be able to pay.

ROMANS: The government reports reverse mortgages more than doubled from 2001 to 2005, thanks to the housing relief bill, they're expected to get even more popular. The new law caps origination fees and increases the maximum eligible home value for FHA-insured reverse mortgages.

Still, Tyson warns these loans should be considered a last resort.

TYSON: If you end up only using the reverse mortgage for a few years and then selling the home fairly quickly, the effective interest rate that you're going to pay could easily be a double digit rate.

Christine Romans, CNN, New York.


HOLMES: All right. Hockey mom, Sarah Palin, sounds like a sweet something, 0but hockey is kind of a rough sport.

CHO: It can be. And the gloves are off now.

HOLMES: Kind of sort.

CHO: I'm using and mixing sports analogies. HOLMES: Yes, but not playing so nice some are saying out there. You might need to watch out for the flying pucks are they are flying in Obama's direction. Stay here.

CHO: Stay tuned.


T.J. HOLMES, CNN, ANCHOR: Hello again. Welcome back to CNN SUNDAY MORNING. I'm T.J. Holmes.

ALINA CHO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning and good morning everybody. 30 minutes after the hour. I'm Alina Cho. Betty has the weekend off.

HOLMES: Republican Sarah Palin. You remember her nominating speech, she famously said that the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull, lip stick. Well, a lot of people kind of get what she's talking about now. She's been startling a bit at Barack Obama for a relationship he had with a former anti-war radical. Take a listen to what she said yesterday.


GOV. SARAH PALIN (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our opponent is someone who sees America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists who targeted their own country.


HOLMES: Paul Steinhauser, part of the best political team on television in Nashville, of course, where the debate, the presidential debate, will take place on Tuesday. Paul, good to see you as always. Thanks for being here. And these comment she made, I mean, we know, nothing really slips out of the mouth out there on the campaign trail. Everything pretty much usually is quite calculated. So is this part of a new strategy they're going to be rolling out?

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN DEPUTY POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes, from what we hear, it is. The McCain campaign is expected to come out with advertisements, TV commercials, this week. And what they're trying to point out is what they call sinister relationships between Barack Obama and controversial Chicagoans like William Ayers and like Tony Rezko. So you're going to see these kind of maybe campaign commercials by the middle of the week. Now, the Obama campaign, T.J., yesterday instantly responded saying basically calling her comments dirty politics, saying it was alike a lot like the swift boat attacks against John Kerry in the 2004 campaign and they said what the McCain campaign is trying to do is kind of shift the attention away from the economy to this kind of low ball politics. Take a listen to what Barack Obama said last night at a campaign event in North Carolina.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They're trying politics of distraction. And a politics of division. A politics that says somehow we can't come together, the way to win an election is simply to run nasty ads. Lie about your opponent. And never take the time to think about how are we going to govern.


STEINHAUSER: This William Ayers controversy came up, first of all, in the primaries months ago and now it is back. Listen, both sides say they have their reasons for doing this. It's a campaign, we've got a month left and the polls are kind of tight. So I think you're going to hear a lot more of this. T.J.

HOLMES: And Paul, is there any indication that we're going to be hearing it more from her than from McCain himself?

STEINHAUSER: Yes, you know that is the traditional role of a vice presidential candidate, to be the attack dog. To say things that you don't want the presidential nominee to say. You're going to hear Joe Biden talking tough, you're hearing Sarah Palin talking very tough this weekend. That's kind of the role of the VP.

HOLMES: What's on the line on Tuesday? Of course, there's always a lot on the line in a presidential debate. But given the last one that we had, does either side think there's something in particular they need it on do on Tuesday that maybe they didn't do in that first debate in Oxford?

STEINHAUSER: Yes, I think you're going to be able to see that right here behind me. This is Belmont University in Nashville and this is where the debate is going to be held. And it's a very different kind of format than you saw in the first presidential debate or the vice presidential debate last week. This is going to be a town hall format, a theater in the round and the candidates are not only going to get questions from the moderator who is Tom Brokaw of NBC News, but also from people in the audience, undecided voters here in the national area. And I think both candidates are going to try to step up especially John McCain and probably make more of an emphasis on the economy. So that is going to be a top issue right here on Tuesday night.

HOLMES: All right. We know the best political team already there, already set up, good to go. We will be checking in with you all plenty. Paul, always good to see you. Thank you so much, buddy.


HOLMES: And CNN Tuesday night, Nashville, right there, the battle ground for the presidential candidates when they face off for their next debate. Don't miss a minute of it right here on CNN, your home for politics. Also, a lot of people talking about voting, well have you registered to do so? The deadline is tomorrow for 17 states as well as the District of Columbia. New Mexico, Illinois, have until Tuesday actually. Missouri until Wednesday. Oklahoma, New York, North Carolina until Friday. The deadline in Delaware is Saturday. You can pick up registration forms at your local library or post office, but pick one up.

Well, the election is 30 days away. You can learn about the candidates plans and you can hear it from the candidates themselves. Watch "Ballot Bowl" for the best political team on television today, 4:00 Eastern right here on CNN.

CHO: Well, that big merger between Wachovia and Wells Fargo possibly in jeopardy. Citigroup says a judge in New York has temporarily blocked the merger. Citigroup has you know has been trying to buy Wachovia for $2.2 billion. So more uncertainty in the financial world may not be good for Wall Street as we head into a new work week and the bigger question is what effect will that $700 billion financial bailout plan have on the market?

After the House approved the measure on Friday, the Dow Jones industrials lost 157 points. And for the week, the Dow was down 818 points or more than seven percent. And add this to all of that, the "Boston Globe" is now reporting that Massachusetts has asked the federal government about the possibility of a loan. The state is concerned it might have a cash shortfall in the coming weeks. California is also warning it may have a shortfall and may need a $7 billion government loan.

Well, the financial problems are hitting all of us, of course, as the old saying goes, when America sneezes, the world catches a cold and the overseas markets of course are having similar headaches. So in England, what are they doing? Well, they're praying and CNN's Atika Shubert explains.


ATIKA SHUBERT (voice-over): Struggling to make sense of roller coaster markets, credit crises and failed bailout plans, well, the Church of England has issued this rapid response prayer to help.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Across the world, crisis rise. Debts increase. Banks collapse. Jobs are taken away. An fragile securities is under threat. Loving god, meet us in our fear.

SHUBERT: A recent survey by the church showed that 2/3 of adults in the U.K. do pray. And as the financial crisis grows, more are turning to the church.

JOHN PRESTON, CHURCH OF ENGLAND: I think it's of course we have a god who can help us, who Christians believe that there is hope, which is not about necessarily faith in the stock market, but actually something just bordering deeper than that. I think it's crucial to think about spending, contentment, do we really need all this stuff? The world and society says actually you need to acquire more. Your status somehow is linked with the car that you drive.

SHUBERT (on-camera): Church officials say there are more than 2,000 verses in the Bible relating to money, wealth, and possessions. While the Church of England is now offering its spiritual guidance to financial decision making on the web.

SHUBERT (voice-over): In addition to offering fiscal prayers, the Church of England website also has a step by step guide to the debt crisis, including a worksheet for sticking to a budget and reducing personal debt. According to credit action, a money education charity, personal debt in the U.K. grows $1.8 million every seven minutes. Every five minutes, a person declares bankruptcy. The Church of England offers some practical advice.

PRESTON: Certainly I think there's nothing in the Bible that says that debt is a sin. A Christian view of money is much deeper than how much we give, but it touches on how we spend it, where we save it and an issue such about living beyond our means. If we live beyond our means, we will inevitably spiral into debt.

SHUBERT: Considering the confusion over the U.S. bailout plan, this may be the Church of England's most practical offering. "We pray for those who work in government, finance and the law, that they may work towards practical solutions for the problem caused by debt." Amen. Atika Shubert, CNN, London.


CHO: You know, some people will try anything and who knows? Maybe it might work.

HOLMES: Praying for the government. We should all stop for a moment and do that. All right. Well, they're praying in England over there about the financial situation. A lot of people here are showing their faith a different way. They're picking up a pen.

CHO: Yes, a Bible written by regular people.


CHO: How about that? And check out this bus we're about to show you. It's on a unique mission and could show up soon in your hometown. The who, what, where, when and why? I'll get it when CNN SUNDAY MORNING continues.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you write out everything that is underlined. Don't forget to write your verse number and that's it.


HOLMES: How long would it take you, if you decided right now, to go pick up the Bible and write it, every verse, might take you a while. Well someone is about to do that. Actually 31,000 somebodies. From Grand Rapids, Michigan to the sandy beaches of Southern California, yes, 31,000 people are about to be recruited and embark on a project. They don't even know they're being recruited just yet. It's an international Bible in which every verse is handwritten.

Maureen Girkins, Zondervan Publishing is with us now from Grand Rapids, Michigan to talk about this in our special "Faces of Faith" report. Good morning to you, Mo. You said I can call that you. That's what you go by. Good morning. Thank you for being here. Why? Why do it like this and who came up with this idea?

MAUREEN GIRKINS, CEO, ZONDERVAN CORP.: Well, T.J., it was the 30th anniversary of American's most popular Bible. There's over 300 million copies of this in print. And so we wanted to commemorate this anniversary in a very big way.

HOLMES: When people do this, and they go out and write, I'm so curious about it, do they, you know do they have to get it right the first time? What if they make little mistakes? And they need to cross something out, do you have them write over or do some of those little, I guess, those little things that make it an original get to go in the later version of the Bible that's going to be printed?

GIRKINS: We actually have the ability to fix errors. So we thought of that in advance. We'd like it - the only requirement we have of anybody signing is they have good handwriting.

HOLMES: Good handwriting. All right. Well, are kids invited to sign or write the book out, as well?

GIRKINS: Yes. We've had somebody as young as five and somebody as old as 90 so far participate.

HOLMES: And you've been going since Tuesday. You're on your sixth city. And again, you need to recruit several hundred people at each stop. Any problems yet getting people to show up and take the time to do this?

GIRKINS: No, absolutely not. In fact, in Detroit, we had to shut the line down and we actually had people in tears. And so we kept it going longer than we intended. And then finally at midnight, we went to pull out and this homeless man started waving the bus down saying I've worked all day to get here. So they stopped the bus, they reset up the podiums and invited him to participate.

HOLMES: Now, is this effort meant to - of course you all are big publishers of the Bible. Do you - is this is an effort to promote this particular kind of Bible, and to you know, quite frankly sell it later, or is this an effort to promote Christianity?

GIRKINS: This is an effort to promote the Bible. It's to make it more accessible and more relevant to more people. It's also a way - we get thousands of letters about this Bible, about how it transformed lives. And people are very emotional about it. So we wanted these Americans who feel very strongly about their Bible to have a way of expressing it and to actually create the next Bible. We're going to publish this bible and so they can be a part of it.

HOLMES: Has anything - we certainly couldn't find, but as far as just way pack in the day in biblical times quite literally, has this been done that you all know of in modern times?

GIRKINS: Not like this and not for this Bible. This Bible is going to be signed by 31,173 unique people across America. 44 states we're visiting, but we're going to have people from every state participate. Very unique.

HOLMES: And last couple of things here. You hope to also maybe get the President and any other celebrities that you know of that are going to be participating and writing out a verse for you?

GIRKINS: Yes, we have invited the President. We are going to invite the candidates. We'll be around one of their debates. But this is really not a celebrity Bible. This is a Bible that's asking people from all walks of life to participate.

HOLMES: And last thing here, how are Bible sales these days? It seems like a book that would never go down in sales. People always need a Bible. But how are sales of the Bible these days for you and I guess the entire Bible printing community?

GIRKINS: Bible sales are great. They're higher than ever. It's still America's number one best-selling book. It's the number one best-selling book of all-time.

HOLMES: All right. That is good to hear then. All right, Mo Girkins is the name of Zondervan. Good luck on the tour.

GIRKINS: Thank you.

HOLMES: Thank you so much for taking some time out with us. Really, a unique experience for a lot of people. Thank you so much and good luck.


HOLMES: Alina.

CHO: Good stuff, T.J. Thanks.

He's a soul singer, a songwriter and so much more.



CHO: Robin Thicke, son of veteran actor Allan Thicke has a new album. One he says was inspired by the presidential election. Barack Obama in particular. Our Don Lemon caught up with Robin Thicke in New York. His conversation tonight at 11:00 Eastern in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Riding high in the saddle when you're down on your luck. In the next hour, we'll take you to a rodeo for a look at how they're coping with the economy in the President's home state.


HOLMES: Well, harsh words from the U.S. in response to Friday's deadly car bombing in the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia. Seven Russian peace keepers and at least four others were killed. The U.S. State Department says we condemn whoever was responsible for this crime and call on all parties to implement and adhere to all aspects of the ceasefire. Friday is the deadline for Russian forces to pull out of Georgian territories. They moved in during a five-day war back in August. CHO: The United States and Iraq are condemning this weekend's Kurdish rebel attack on a military post in southern Turkey. At least 15 Turkish soldiers were killed. The Kurdistan Workers' Party or PKK, as its' called, is considered a terror group. And operates out of northern Iraq. Right near the Turkish border. So CNN's Arwa Damon recently trekked into the PKK's mountainous stronghold and she brings us this exclusive report.


ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Outsiders are not supposed to get to the remote Qandil mountains. Check points are supposed to stop us from reaching what the U.S., NATO and Turkey have labeled a terrorist organization. But the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers' Party, managed to take us to their mountain stronghold in northern Iraq.

DAMON (on-camera): This is the first PKK check point that we have come across . From this point on we are going to continue on foot. We are searched and our phones were taken at a PKK check point. We're about to head up to the camps right now. And one thing that's very apparent just coming this far is that the PKK essentially has in these mountains a natural fortress.

DAMON (voice-over): It is clear why almost any army would find it difficult to advance. Countries that have a Kurdish minority fear the PKK. A Kurdish separatist movement that's been fighting for an independent state, often using violent tactics. We are guided by three PKK guerrillas. They are used to the hard climb. We are not. In the dark of the night, they joke that they have built-in night vision.

DAMON (on-camera): The full moon out, you can hear the dogs howling. It's been a little rough going because you can't see really straight in front of you. And then we just stopped for a drink of water at the right stream here.

DAMON (voice-over): After 5 1/2 hours of tough hiking, we reached this camp. Those already there are a little wary of us.

Over dinner of bread and tomatoes, they opened up a bit and told us to expect a long day ahead.

DAMON (on-camera): It's about 5:15 in the morning here. And no matter what everybody wakes up at around this hour. Discipline is paramount to survival here.

DAMON (voice-over): It's usually in the morning that the Turkish military launches air strikes against the PKK's mountain hideout. The tents here as you can see are incredibly well concealed and they are also very easily dismantled. They have to stay mobile and they are generally moving these sites every few days.

Quiet mornings like this start with classes on PKK ideology. Afternoons are for combat training. Weapons are always within reach. Each one here is also armed with two hand grenades. The woman rehearsed a mock attack followed by their victory dance. Over tea, they told us about their cause and way of life. They tell us they believe today's crisis in the world are because of millennia of male domination. They say establishing a Kurdish state is not secondary to fundamental social change. The empowerment of women.

RENGIN, FEMALE BATTALION LEADER (through translator): We want a natural life. A society that revolves around women. But where women and men are equal. Rengin tells us in these mountains they say they have achieved that.

DAMONS: Arwa Damon, CNN, in the Qandil mountains, northern Iraq.


HOLMES: All right. We will turn back to politics and a big part of the political season has been -

CHO: A lighter side.


CHO: "Saturday Night Live" is so huge. They had huge ratings last night and all season really.

HOLMES: Excuse me but every time something happens during the campaign season, during the week, everybody says can't wait to see "SNL" this weekend.

CHO: Especially with Tina Fey.

HOLMES: Tina Fey.

CHO: Yes.

HOLMES: So she put the clothes back on. She was Palin again.

CHO: You know, she doesn't have to do much. Because the audience really cast her as Sarah Palin.

HOLMES: She puts the hair up just right. But they were spoofing as talking about the vice presidential debate on "Saturday Night Live."

CHO: That's right. And I had an opportunity to interview some of the cast members and the executive producer of the show, Lorne Michaels. I'll share some of that interview with you on the other side of the break.


HOLMES: You know, presidents have their face on money, some on Mt. Rushmore. They will take candy right now. A candy store here in Nashville, Tennessee putting out its own version of the presidential candidates on sheets of milk chocolate. You can see them in those pictures. But he pictures are screen printed in white chocolate actually. And of course, this is in Nashville where the presidential debate is taking place on Tuesday. So timely and (inaudible). CHO: Yes. That's some souvenir.

Well, if you went to sleep early last night you may have missed it. But back by popular demand, actors and comedian Tina Fey was back at it, playing Sarah Palin on "Saturday Night Live." The show opened with a spoof on the vice presidential debate. Here is part of it.


QUEEN LATIFAH AS GWEN IFILL, ACTOR: Governor Palin, how will your administration deal with the current financial crisis?

TINA FEY AS SARAH PALIN, ACTOR: Well, first of all, let me say how nice it is to meet Joe Biden. And may I say up close, your hair plugs don't look nearly as bad as anyone said. You know, John McCain and I, we're a couple of mavericks. And gosh darn it, we are going to take that maverick energy right to Washington and we are going to use it to fix this financial crisis and everything else that is plaguing this great country of ours.

QUEEN LATIFAH: How will you solve the financial crisis being a maverick?

FEY: You know, we are going to take every aspect of the crisis and look at and it then we are going to ask ourselves what would a maverick do in this situation. And then, you know, we will do that.


CHO: OK. She said we are going to get mavericky. By the way, that was Queen Latifah playing debate moderator, Gwen Ifill. You know, on Friday night, I actually got an opportunity to sit down with the cast members of "SNL." WE talked about this crazy political season, what kind of impact the show has on voters. Anne Hathaway there, the actress on the left, was the guest host last night. And we also talked about how "SNL" approaches political comedy. Listen to Lorne Michaels, the show's executive producer.


CHO (on-camera): When you are talking about political satire in this whole crazy election where, you know, there are no - I mean nothing surprises you anymore. I mean, it has been so crazy. I mean, what's your role? What's "SNL'S" role?

LORNE MICHAELS, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": I think "SNL's" role is the moment they are in power, we are the opposition. I think, you know, they are not your - I mean, we can be friendly, I suppose. You know, it's - no matter how much you like them or care about them, you know, the moment they are in power, then your job is to appoint - what you think they are doing. You know, or the way that they are - you know, and sometimes I don't think we are any less patriotic than anyone else. I think we care deeply about it.

(END VIDEOTAPE) CHO: I also talked to Darryl Hammond who played Clinton, Gore and Cheney and now John McCain. I talked to Fred Armis and he plays Barack Obama and Seth Myers who does weekend update and of course, he's also the head writer. But Lorne Michaels also said which I thought was really interesting is "we are not partisan. We may be trying to make a serious point but we don't put anything on that's not funny."

HOLMES: Yes. "SNL" playing a role in the campaign season.

CHO: That's right. And stay tuned for the full story on "AMERICAN MORNING" tomorrow morning. The next hour of CNN SUNDAY MORNING starts right now.

And from the CNN Center, this is CNN SUNDAY MORNING. It is October 5, 8:00 a.m. at CNN headquarters in Atlanta, 6:00 a.m. at the Rockies.

Good morning, everybody. I'm Alina Cho.

HOLMES: And hello to you all. I'm T.J. Holmes. So glad you could be with us this morning.

We are talking about Sarah Palin a lot this morning. And actually, she's -- she has something to say. The role of the V.P. contenders is to actually go after the other ticket. Well, she is taking up that role and uses some pretty harsh comments right now.

CHO: Yes.

HOLMES: Linking Obama, saying he has been palling around with terrorists. More words (ph), we will get in to more about what this means. This is a campaign strategy.

CHO: Yes. Our truth squad is all over it. We'll tell you what exactly she is talking about when she says that because she's talking about one person in particular.

Also, rolling down the river. U.S. Olympics kayaking team is taking on the military vessels (ph) to help the wounded soldiers.

HOLMES: All right. But we will turn back to Sarah Palin. As we are saying now, that "pit bull with lipstick" comment she made at her nominating speech, well, she meant it. Sarah Palin says Barack Obama, quote, "pals around with terrorists." She is referring to a past relationship he had with a former anti-war radical. Here she is on the campaign trail yesterday.


GOV. SARAH PALIN, (R) VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our opponent is someone who sees America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists who targeted their own country.


(END VIDEO CLIP) HOLMES: All right. We are going to turn our Paul Steinhauser, a member of the best political team on TV, in Nashville, where there's going to be that presidential debate on Tuesday.

Paul, this is a strategy we assume and, again, you said that this is the traditional role of the V.P. candidate to go after the other side.

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN DEPUTY POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes. That's what the running mates are for, to say the tough stuffs of the presidential nominees don't have to. She made those comments earlier yesterday at a fund-raiser, then she came back in California and made the sound byte you just played. So, cameras would pick it up.

They are talking about William Ayers. As you mentioned, he was a radical Underground member in the 1960s. Now, he's a Chicago professor. And he held a fund-raiser for Barack Obama about 13 years ago.

The McCain says, listen, they consider these sinister relationships between Barack Obama and controversial Chicagoans, they say it's important to get these out so let people know because these are the people Barack Obama is hanging out with now if you want him to be president hanging out with these people. So, that's what they say.

Now, the Obama campaign, of course, immediately shot back. They're calling it dirty politics. They put out a statement saying that "Governor Palin's comments, while offensive, are not surprising, given the McCain campaign's statement this morning that they would be launching Swiftboat-like attacks in hopes of deflecting attention from the nation's economic ills. What's clear is that John McCain and Sarah Palin would rather spend their time tearing down Barack Obama than laying out a plan to build up our economy."

Both campaigns here are going to be having ads out this week. The McCain campaign is going to be putting out ads highlighting these relationships they call "sinister." The Obama campaign is going to say when it comes to the economy, John McCain is definitely erratic.

So, the rhetoric which was already out there, T.J., is going to get even hotter. We got a month to go. You can hear a lot more of this, unfortunately.

HOLMES: Well, a lot hotter. We don't know how hot it's going to get there in Nashville on Tuesday. You are there, of course. Not just because you love country music but because the presidential debate is coming up for us on Tuesday.

This one is going to be a little different from what we saw in that first one in Oxford. This one should allow for maybe a little more back-and-forth. Maybe a little more active. And maybe a few more surprises we could see because of the format.

STEINHAUSER: Yes, because it's a town hall format. And they're going to be surrounded, it's called theater in the round. They are going to be surrounded by the audience. The moderator, Tom Brokaw, will be giving them questions as well as members of the audience, undecided voters, right here in the Nashville, Tennessee area. So, I think, it could be a lot more lively and freewheeling than the first presidential debate -- T.J.

HOLMES: All right. Well, we shall see. Paul Steinhauser, member of the best political team on television. Paul, we appreciate you as always.

And that's he's talking about there -- the presidential debate. Make sure you tune in to us on Tuesday night. Nashville is the battleground. This is their second debate, second of three for the presidential contenders. Don't miss a minute of it. CNN, right here, your home for politics.

Well, were Governor Palin's comments correct? Also, who exactly is Bill Ayers?

Our Josh Levs putting all of this to the truth squad test. He's coming our way in about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, Todd Palin has been a fixture on the campaign trail since his wife was picked as John McCain's running mate. The husband of Alaska's governor went -- is back in Alaska this weekend. It's his first trip back there since the convention. He also did something we haven't seen before, haven't heard before, I guess you could say. He's speaking publicly.


TODD PALIN, GOV. SARAH PALIN'S HUSBAND: That was a great experience down there at the debate. I think that Sarah did awesome.


T. PALIN: And busy day the next day. And we had a great turnout after the debate at a stadium and 10,000 people, I think it was. But, she is doing good. And the more I spend time with the McCains, the more I just feel that this ticket is definitely the ticket for the next president and vice president of the United States.



HOLMES: Well, according to Todd Palin's lawyer, he returned to Alaska as part of a probe into whether the governor abused her power by trying to get her former brother-in-law fired as a state trooper.

And again, the election is 30 days away. Learn about the candidate, their plans. Hear from them themselves as they hit the trail. "BALLOT BOWL," make sure you check it out, at 4:00 o'clock Eastern this afternoon, right here on CNN.

CHO: Well, that big merger between Wachovia Bank and Wells Fargo hitting a bit of a snag. Citigroup now says a judge in New York has temporarily blocked the merger. Citigroup, as many people know, has been trying to buy Wachovia for $2.2 billion. So, more uncertainty in the financial world may not be good for Wall Street as we head into the next workweek.

So, the big question going in, what effect will that $700 billion financial bailout plan have on the markets? We'll all be watching, of course. After the House approved the measure on Friday, the Dow Jones industrials lost 157 points. For the week, the Dow dropped 818 points or more than 7 percent.

Our senior correspondent Allan Chernoff is watching all of this for us. He's in New York for us.

Allan, of course, we've heard that this bailout plan not a lot of people like it but necessary as the nation faces this financial crisis. But you are saying that there is something like a bank-to- bank lending rate that's really at the core of all of this that we should be watching, right?

ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: The reason is that we are really seeing a lending freeze right now, banks are afraid to lend to each other. They don't know if a bank they're going to lend money to will be around six months from now. So, as a result, the cost of funds for banks has soared way up.

Let's have a look at this from a banker's perspective. Banks right now, in order to borrow money from each other are paying 4.3 percent. That's for three-month money. Now, they would turn around and lend that a business. Many businesses borrow at the prime rate, that's 5 percent. Now, given how risky the economy is right now, that's not a very big profit margin.

By contrast, have a look at home buyers. They are paying 6 percent right now for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. What we need to see to resolve this crisis is for that 4.3 percent rate to come down. Now, analysts say that this is all about restoring trust in the banking system.

CHO: So, Allan, we saw the Senate passed the bill in short order on Friday. The president signed it about an hour later. How fast will we see the relief?

CHERNOFF: Well, let's not count on instantaneous relief over here. It's going to be gradual. If we see tomorrow that rate for banks start to come down just a little bit, that will be a very positive sign.

We just want to begin to thaw this freeze. It is not going to happen in a day. It is not going to happen in a week, but gradually. And keep in mind, the bailout plan is going to take several weeks to actually get going to be put into place. So, it's just the confidence factor that we are dealing with right now.

CHO: Wall Street is all about impressions, right?

Our Allan Chernoff joining us from New York. Allan, thank you.

HOLMES: Talk about those impressions on Wall Street to Main Street. But also, what about the dusty plains of Waco, Texas? There is no avoiding the economic fallout we are seeing right now.

CHO: That's right. And our Jeanne Meserve is in Waco, where she takes the bull by the horn, so to speak.


JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The bulls may not be running on Wall Street but they are twisting and turning in Waco, Texas.

This is the Heart of Texas Rodeo and Fair. And if you thought Wall Street was a wild ride, try this.

The economy may be on the ropes but indications are attendance here is going to hold up.

WES ALLISON, HEART OF TEXAS RODEO AND FAIR: I can say that last night we were up at the gate. Not significantly. We were up about 2 percent at the gate last night.

MESERVE: About 200,000 people are expected over the rodeo's nine-day run. Carl Hohertz and his wife are here, though, spending $30 on two admissions and parking is a bit of a stretch.

CARL HOHERTZ, RANCHER: I'm a rancher. And everything I buy is high and everything I sell is cheap.

MESERVE: Outside of the fair, Braden Bain and Matthew Young had made out like bandits. Their folks are carting armloads of prizes.

MATTHEW YOUNG AND BRADEN BAIN, ATTENDING RODEO: (INAUDIBLE) super slide. (INAUDIBLE) and I also like the winner dog race.

MESERVE: Their parents, Carmen and Steve, say they couldn't miss the fair and rodeo despite the pinch on their budget.

STEVE YOUNG, ATTENDING RODEO: Everything costs more now than it did even a month ago.

CARMEN YOUNG, ATTENDING RODEO: Groceries, gas. Yes, anything.

S. YOUNG: Everything out here is higher than it was last year.

C. YOUNG: Everything goes up. But we are here.

S. YOUNG: We are here. (INAUDIBLE).

C. YOUNG: Have to show excitement even though times are little rough.

MESERVE: But rough times are keeping some people away. This weekend, Joe Flores is s spending his money on a haircut, not the rodeo.

JOE FLORES, WACO, TEXAS: That's $2 to get in. I can put that towards gas or groceries. So, unfortunately, I won't be able to make it this year. MESERVE (on camera): But those who did come to the rodeo came to have fun, not talk politics. But ask them about the Wall Street bailout and they say, hey, bail me out.

Jeanne Meserve, CNN, Waco, Texas.


CHO: There's no better place than a rodeo, right, to gauge true reaction.


CHO: And from Texas cowboys to tough talk on the campaign trail. It's the story you're going to hear about for days to come.

HOLMES: Yes. Sarah Palin says Barack Obama is pals with a terrorist. Is this true? Josh Levs, true or false?

JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I'll tell you this. We got the history. We got the facts and we'll have the truth squad verdict.


CHO: Welcome back.

Thirteen minutes after the hour. Things are heating up on the campaign trail between the candidates, and now their fans. Take a look at this -- at a Sarah Palin rally in Carson, California yesterday, a screaming match apparently broke out between supporters of McCain/Palin and those of Obama and Biden. Take a listen.


CHO: It's hard to tell what they are saying, but that's some screaming. Our iReporter, Matt Hartmann says the situation was intense, and you saw it there. He says about 20 to 40 people were screaming at each other. But that's about as rough as it got, we are told. No punches were thrown. So, some verbal violence but no physical violence, T.J.

HOLMES: Yes. I'm sure we can all come together and sit down and talk about the issues, an adult-like fashion.

CHO: Exactly. That calm, adult way, yes.

HOLMES: Well, we've been talking a lot this morning about those comments Sarah Palin made, the remark that Obama is paling around with terrorists. Is that actually true?

CHO: And who exactly what Sarah Palin talking about?

Josh Levs is with the CNN truth squad. He joins us now with the answer.

Hey, Josh. Good morning. LEVS: Yes, good morning. And as you guys said, this is some strong attack. We're going to piece (ph) through it for you.

We do know that Palin is referring, at least in part, to William Ayers. He was a 1960s radical. He was a founding member of the Weather Underground that bombed federal buildings including the Pentagon and the Capitol, in protests against the Vietnam War. And the FBI labeled it as a domestic terrorist group.

Now, Ayers is now an education professor in Chicago. And we have a graphic for you here laying out a few facts about Ayers and Obama. Let's go to that. They live in the same neighborhood, both worked with a nonprofit, Annenberg Challenge, on a local school improvement project. And both were board members for the same charity.

Ayers hosted a campaign event for Obama when Obama was running for state Senate. But Obama's campaign says they had no contact by phone or email since 2005. Now, we contacted the McCain campaign because we wanted to understand why Palin used the plural word, "terrorists." And we did not hear back from the McCain campaign.

Let's go to the verdict now which I have for you from the CNN truth squad. Our verdict here is false. There's no indication that Ayers and Obama are paling around or that they have had an ongoing relationship in the past three years and also, there's nothing to suggest that Ayers is now involved in terrorist activities other than -- or with any other Obama associates are.

So, there you go. We kind of jumped on that one yesterday. As soon as we heard it on the campaign trail, obviously, it was a key one for the truth squad to tackle. So, we got it for you.

CHO: Yes. Apparently, Obama also, the campaign came out and said that Obama was eight years old when this happened. So...

LEVS: There's no Weather Underground there (ph) absolutely. I mean, yes. When, in fact, was way back to the '60s as we're saying. He's a young guy running for president.

CHO: Josh, thanks.

LEVS: You got it. Thanks.

HOLMES: Well, a loft people talking about -- they're excited to vote right about now. Well, have you remember to register? Campaign volunteers have been busy rounding up new voters. But time is running out.


VOICE OF BARBARA RADEMACHER, IREPORTER: Here we are at Obama/Biden headquarters in Rogers, Arkansas. And these wonderful people are registering people to vote, voters for the next election because Monday is the deadline.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HOLMES: That video was sent to us by an iReporter, Barbara. She, like she said, in Rogers, Arkansas, the northwest part of my home state there. Tomorrow is also the deadline for 16 others state, in the District of Columbia, New Mexico and Illinois have until Tuesday; Missouri Wednesday; Oklahoma, New York and North Carolina Friday. The deadline in Delaware, Joe Biden's state, is Saturday.

All right. We've got some interesting video to show some of you folks here. Some people, you know, you get impatient. I've done this before. Get impatient in a restaurant. So, you know, I just get up and go get my own stuff. I don't go to the kitchen and cook. But still...

CHO: I've actually seen you do that.

HOLMES: Really?

CHO: At the airport of...

HOLMES: Oh, yes. Let's not talk about that incident.

Well, take a look at this video here at one particular restaurant.

CHO: A customer -- what's that? Well, couldn't wait his turn. Talk about being pushy. We'll explain when we come back.


HOLMES: All right. Take a look at this. Now, this is a bear walking into the place. You can't tell. You just kind of open the door like any other customer would, like a human being would. And he looks like he's looking for a sandwich.

What would you do? Look at the worker here. You go run and hide. Why don't you take the guy's order? My goodness. Actually...

CHO: Did he run out of there?

HOLMES: Locked herself in the bathroom.

CHO: That's what I would have done.

HOLMES: This is in British Columbia. You can see the bear wandered around for a little while, helped himself.

CHO: A pretty calm guy.

HOLMES: And -- he's very much so. Not really wrecking the place. But, actually, left the same way he came in.

CHO: Not to be a Debbie Downer but, you know, this has been a real problem in the west, in places like California and Colorado, in part -- I once did a story on this. You know, they've been breaking into homes, garages, taking food, that kind of thing.

HOLMES: Yes. CHO: But, part of the reason is because of urban sprawl. So people are...

HOLMES: They don't anywhere to go.

CHO: That's right. They don't have anywhere to go.

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, well, you know, sometimes when bears get angry about someone encroaching on their territory, the first thing they want to do, go get a pastrami.


WOLF: And I got a feeling this bear walked in there. I wish they had sound with these cameras. The bear comes up and she says, -- yes, sir, would you like a ham and cheese? The bear goes, (INAUDIBLE), kind of like a wooky sound which they make, you know, to start (INAUDIBLE).

CHO: Could do you that one more time?

WOLF: Never going to happen again. I don't want this thing to go on YouTube. And, of course, the guy with the sandwich maker takes off and the bear just say -- bad service. I'm out of here.

HOLMES: Oh, boy.

WOLF: Probably not going to get a good review on that one.

CHO: Switching gears.

WOLF: Yes.


CHO: There are some problems in Albuquerque yesterday, that balloon festival.

WOLF: You know, it's a huge time in Albuquerque. See, back in 1972, they started this great balloon festival, it started up with only 13 balloons, now we're going to fast-forward. Here we go going 30 years. They now have 700 balloons, just a tremendous event -- one of the biggest in the world. Today, they're not flying. The reason why is because of bad weather.

They've got not only some scattered showers, and T.J. is still laughing about the bear.

HOLMES: No, I'm not.

WOLF: Not only scattered showers, and I want to talk about the potential rumble of thunder but they're also looking at the chance of some snowfall in the highest peaks to (INAUDIBLE) mountains and back in to the Central Rockies.

Hey, we're going to show something else. We're going to go from this spectacular sight to this one -- spectacular and loud. Tulsa, Oklahoma, last night. The evening was just rocking (ph). Some strong thunderstorms going through there.

CHO: Wow.

WOLF: You hear the reverberation. It was a rough time. A big line of thunderstorms. Looks like parts of Oklahoma may indeed get some rainfall today. It is going to be limited mostly to the panhandle.

Now, if you happen to be in Norman, home of the Oklahoma Sooners, you may get some scattered showers up by the stadium. But in terms of the heavy rainfall, looks like it's going to be limited just back to the west for the time being.

Let's take the next minute and show you what else we have. And we are going to take you again back to the central plains and in the four corners. What we are talking about, of course, the balloon festival back over to Santa Fe, Albuquerque. You see the green, you see blues popping up on radar. That is mainly some rainfall. But you'll notice a little bit of white, little bit of pink is popping up, too. That's where you are seeing snowfall.

In Santa Fe, you look to the north towards Taos, great ski area here. Certainly, not enough to go down some, you know, double diamond states. It's not going to be anything like that. But if you go farther to north, and to other parts of other ski countries, say near, Snowbird, not far from Salt Lake City, this could be a big snow maker.

This doesn't look too impressive right now on radar, it's mainly some rainfall that is limited right along parts of the I-15 corridor. But once it moves to higher elevations where have you the cold air, we are talking 8,500 feet or so, boom. That's where we could get some snowfall, in fact, anywhere from one to two feet certainly possible.

But then, when you get back to Colorado, you will notice a lot of that moisture begins to move out. With that, less snowfall, but still, pretty significant in the highest elevations, again, up to a foot. Also, coupled with windy conditions, could be nasty time for you. Not nasty at all in the west coast. Beautiful conditions there. High pressure could be the dominating feature.

Southeast, a beautiful day. And it looks like Atlanta, another high day with temperatures going out to 83 degrees; 77 in Washington, D.C.; in Boston, 62.

That is a look at your forecast across the nation. For bears and everyone, it's going to be a fantastic day. But when you go in and make that order, you've got to be careful.

CHO: Don't forget the bears.

Hey, Reynolds, stick around. You are a football fan, right? (INAUDIBLE) you told me.

WOLF: Absolutely.

CHO: All right. Last night in Texas, a Galveston high school held its first football game since Hurricane Ike hit three weeks ago.

Great stuff, right? This is tangible sign things are slowly getting back to normal there. School is going to be reopening this week and fans are ready. Many of the players lost their homes, their family members in the hurricane. And coming back, of course, has been a real mess. As we've been saying, football, Texas, synonymous.

WOLF: Yes. You know, it's just the little things like that that bring a community back. I mean, that brings, restores a sense of normalcy. I mean, it's great to see that happen, and certainly invigorates the spirit back into some of those places that have been so damaged by those storms.

CHO: Yes, it's great. They're still going week to week. But let's hope they'll get to play all of their games.

WOLF: Absolutely.

CHO: Yes. That's great.

HOLMES: Well, up next here, rolling on the river and turning up the competition.

CHO: I love the way you say that. It's a white water race fitting military vets against Olympic athletes. It doesn't matter who won.


HOLMES: All right. Well, the U.S. Olympic kayaking team taking on military veterans in the charity rafting race in Maryland.

CHO: That's right. The real winners, though, are those who've been wounded in war. Take a look.


MATTHEW TAYLOR, ADVENTURE SPORTS CENTER INT'L.: This is the inaugural Olympic team river runner challenge.

DANA ALEXANDER, TEAM RIVER RUNNER: It's health and healing through whitewater boating.

LANCE CPL. BRIAN OVERFIELD, U.S. MARINES: Team river runner and coming to do this event, it's kind of couldn't pass up the opportunity to be with many Olympians.

CASEY EICHFELD, U.S. OLYMPIAN: It's a little weird, you know, telling them what to do. I felt sort of like it should have been the other way around.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good, all right.

OVERFELD: When you are out there, the water is the only thing you are thinking about. And it's nice to kind of let everything else go for a while.

SGT. JUANITA MILLIGAN, U.S. ARMY: It just kind of helps you feel a little more normal than the every day struggles you might have.


TAYLOR: The flow of water and flowing on water is therapeutic. It's exciting. It actually can heal your spirit and heal your mind and heal your body.

ALEXANDER: It started at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. We started taking people out on the Potomac River and different V.A. hospitals and medical centers across the country called and said: We love your program. How do we get programs like yours?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really there is no way to describe the way it feels to have a wave that's kind of bigger than you are sitting on down in a boat and ripping through it.

EICHFELD: They were really determined to go out there and they were giving me suggestions and great suggestions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get you out of a hospital environment, allows you to be with your fellow service members and out here regardless of branch, we all get along and sit down and talk. On a number of different levels, it is really good.


CHO: That's great. Good for them. Way to take their mind off things, too.

HOLMES: That's true.

CHO: We are going to be back in 30 minutes. But first, "HOUSE CALL" with Dr. Sanjay Gupta starts right now.