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Romney's About Face on the 47 Percent; AA Flights Scrubbed; Gas Crisis; Jobs Report Due Out Today; Charles Manson's Right-Hand Man Could Be Freed; NHL Cancels October Regular Season Games

Aired October 5, 2012 - 05:00   ET


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Mitt Romney changing positions. The candidate now calls his 47 percent comments completely wrong.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Travel alert. Flights scrubbed. More cancellations at American Airlines as mechanics fix a serious safety flaw in half its fleet of 757s.

SAMBOLIN: Gas prices. Some pumps shut down among a major fuel shortage in one state.

Good morning to you. Welcome to EARLY START. We're really happy you're with us. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

BERMAN: And I'm John Berman. It is 5:00 a.m. in the East.

SAMBOLIN: So it is good to be Mitt right now. Romney is hitting the battlegrounds and hammering away at the president.

BERMAN: But here's the kicker. Remember that hidden camera video of Romney's controversial 47 percent remark?


MITT ROMNEY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right? There are 47 percent are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to provide for them, who belief they're entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that's an entitlement. And government should it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what.


BERMAN: So remember that. And remember Romney's explanation after the video was released.


ROMNEY: Well, you know, it's not elegantly stated. Let me put it that way. I'm speaking off the cuff in response to a question.

But it's a message that I'm going to carry and continue to carry, which is, look, the president's approach is attractive to people who are not paying taxes. Because frankly, my discussion about lowering taxes isn't as attractive to them and, therefore, I'm not likely to draw them into my campaign as effectively as those who are in the middle.


BERMAN: So he said it was a message he was going to continue to carry. But now this, in a TV interview last night, Romney did a complete about-face, saying the statement was completely wrong.


ROMNEY: Clearly in a campaign with hundreds, if not thousands of speeches and question and answer sessions, now and then you'll say something that doesn't come out right. In this case I said something that is completely wrong. And I absolutely believe, however, that my life has shown that I care about 100 percent. And that's been demonstrated throughout my life. And this whole campaign is about the 100 percent. When I become president, it will be about helping the 100 percent.


BERMAN: Pretty interesting, though. After he said it he said it was inelegant but it's what he meant and now he's saying it's completely wrong. You can really see an evolution there as the general election gets closer and maybe he tries to move a little bit to the middle.

SAMBOLIN: I wonder -- now he'll be accused of flip-flopping again. That will be the argument they'll continue to use.

The reason he came out and strongly stated that's not what he meant is so that President Obama can't use it against him going forward.

BERMAN: It was a good line he used with Sean Hannity. He probably was prepared to use it in the debate but he didn't get the chance because President Obama didn't bring up the 47 percent.

SAMBOLIN: All right. So meantime, President Obama is back in attack mode on a campaign trail. At a rally in Wisconsin yesterday, the president sounded more like his supporters wanted him to sound during the debate as he mocked Mitt Romney.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When I got on the stage, I met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney. But I know it couldn't have been Mitt Romney, because the real Mitt Romney's been running around the country for the last year, promising $5 trillion in tax cuts that favor the wealthy. And yet the fellow on the stage last night, who looked like Mitt Romney, said he did not know anything about that.


BERMAN: A spirited President Obama last night, somewhat different president than we saw at the debate a couple nights ago.

The president hits two more battleground states today, Virginia and Ohio.

COSTELLO: Some people are wondering where was President Obama, right? It was a different President Obama as well.

BERMAN: I think his aides in the campaign made sure they did see a different President Obama yesterday on the trail for sure.

COSTELLO: All right. So could the October surprise be the September jobs report? It comes out at 8:30 Eastern this morning. Economists surveyed by CNN Money aren't expecting it to be a game-changer but they expect more of the same sluggish growth.

Here's their prediction: 110,000 jobs added last month. If that pans out it will be a slight improvement over August when 96,000 jobs are created. But in both cases those numbers are not nearly high enough to bring down the jobless rate.

So what does the September jobs report mean for you? Christine Romans is minding your business. She will join us later in this half hour.

Meanwhile, new developments this morning, more flights canceled, more planes idle. It is shaping up to be a rough, rough morning for American Airlines and thousands of air travelers. Forty-eight Boeing 747s have been called in for maintenance and passengers on dozens more American flights will have to find another way to get where they're going today.

So if you're watching this from the airport, keep watching. You'll be watching for a while. All this because something called a seat lock plunger. That's the problem. The airline believes it's the culprit that caused passenger seats to come loose from the floor on three different flights.

George Howell is joining us live from the CNN Center in Atlanta.

And, George, explain to us what this lock plunger is, how it works, and how does American believe some of them came loose?


Well, it's basically a lock and pin system. And what we've learned from our affiliate, WFAA, they went out and spoke with American Airlines, they learned it came down to this partly, came down to soft drinks, came down to Cokes and coffee that had spilled and, over time, contributed to the wear and tear on the system, eventually, John, causing it to go into the unlock position. That's why you saw those seats come loose on two different planes, three flights within a week's time.

So what we found now is American Airlines, they are doubling down on this problem. They decided to take in 48 of the 757 planes and retrofit them with another mechanism to keep these seats affixed to the floor, John, so that passengers like this woman who did not want to be identified, so they don't have to go through the same thing again. Let's listen.


PASSENGER: The seats flipped backwards. It was actually a complete nightmare. And so people were essentially on the laps of the passengers behind them.


BERMAN: Seriously, George? They're blaming spilled drinks for this problem?

HOWELL: They say that's part of the problem, part of what contributed to the problem. In fact, just a few days ago, they also said that these mechanisms were put on backwards. So their mechanics are looking into the problem. They've got these 48 planes and they're trying to make sure, John, it doesn't happen again.

BERMAN: And are they saying how long it will take to fix?

HOWELL: Well, look, you know, so we know that just yesterday there were 50 flights that were canceled. Today there could be 44 flights canceled. We could see this problem for the next day. They say that this work should be completed by October 6th.

So again, we're talking about thousands of people who will be going to the airport, finding their flights might have been canceled as American tries to get to the bottom of this problem and make sure it doesn't happen again.

BERMAN: All right. George Howell, some grim travel news this morning. Meanwhile, for passengers everywhere, stop spilling your drinks, I guess.


SAMBOLIN: Right. That's the weird thing.


SAMBOLIN: Because that happens all the time. You imagine that this is going to continue.

All right. Seven minutes past the hour.

A member of the infamous Manson family could soon be out of prison. A California P Board has approved a request from Bruce Davis. The 69- year-old Davis is serving a life sentence for the 1969 murders of music teacher Gary Hindman and stuntman Donald "Shorty" Shea.

Christine has more on this developing story here.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: I'm following this for you this morning.

The parole board says it has 120 days to review this recommendation, guys, and then it's up to the California governor, Jerry Brown, to decide if it stands. Davis was granted parole already back in 2010 but that decision was overturned by then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

If he goes free, Davis would be the second convicted Manson family killer to be freed on parole. Steve Grogan who was also convicted in the murder of the stuntman Shorty Shea, was released on parole in the mid-1980s.

Stephen Kay, a prosecutor who sent the Manson family member to prison, says Davis should remain behind bars.

Manson himself was recently denied parole for the 12th time. He will not be eligible for parole for 15 years. By then, Manson will be 92 years old.

Arnold Schwarzenegger said it was because of the heinous crimes, and because this was glorifying this kind of -- there was a book --

BERMAN: "Helter Skelter".

ROMANS: "Helter Skelter." I mean, this was something that really gripped the country and still is a part of kind of our psyche today. The parole board, though, saying he has taken part in every single -- every single kind of betterment and wellness and self-education program they've had. They never had a disciplinary problem since 1980. They're recommending it's time for him to be released.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Thank you, Christine.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

SAMBOLIN: Nine minutes past the hour.

Also new this morning, U.S. Special Operations Forces are now in Libya, helping gather intel on militants who are allegedly involved in the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi that killed four Americans. Military officials tell CNN that includes intercepting communications, analyzing drone images and one-on-one interviews with people who may have information. The military is providing security for an FBI team that is on the ground right now.

The consulate sat unsecured for more than two weeks after that attack.

BERMAN: Thirty-five people in six states now fighting fungal meningitis. That's a big jump from 26 just yesterday. At least 5 people have died.

The number of infections could keep growing and here's why. The CDC says the steroid medication linked to the outbreak was sent to 23 states.

SAMBOLIN: Good gracious.

BERMAN: The steroid was injected into the patient's spines for back pain. The company who made the medication is now issuing a voluntary recall.

SAMBOLIN: And Elizabeth Cohen is going to join us and talk more about this, what you should be concerned about.

Some rumbling of a late-blooming Arab Spring in Jordan. Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic Action Front Party challenging Jordan's king and its government today. They're expected to hold a rally expected to start in about an hour from now.

Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the largest opposition party there, will press for broader political representation and a more democratic parliament in Jordan as well.

BERMAN: More bad news for hockey fan. We do not deserve this -- the NHL has now canceled the first two weeks of the regular season because of the ongoing player lockout. The season was scheduled to start next Thursday. Ain't going to happen.

This comes a week after the league wiped out the entire preseason. Talks between the NHL and its players union have failed to produce a new labor agreement.

SAMBOLIN: You think the whole season could be gone, right?


SAMBOLIN: Yes. All right. Baseball's postseason kicks off with two wildcard matchups. It's a new one and done format. The winner moves on, the loser goes home.

In the American League, it's the upstart Baltimore Orioles, traveling to the Lone Star State to take on the defending American League champions Texas Rangers. First pitch, 8:37 p.m. Eastern Time.

And in the National League, it's the defending champion, St. Louis Cardinals, taking on the Braves in Atlanta. Go, Braves! They'll get things going at 5:07 Eastern this evening.

BERMAN: We know a lot of employees in Atlanta are rooting for the Braves.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, we do. Yes, we do. There's my loyalty.

BERMAN: All right. We have a gas shortage to tell you about. It's a serious one, so serious that some gas stations have shut down all together. Can you believe this?

A live report coming up after this quick break.


BERMAN: And this just in. Gas prices in California are the highest in the country. We just received the AAA gas prices report. Gas in California is at $4.48 a gallon.

Now, gas itself is at a premium there -- as in it's hard to get. Refinery supply chain problems have led to a severe gas shortage. And that's driven places -- prices way, way up and caused stations to shut some pumps down. Companies affected include Valero, Exxon, Costco.

CNN's Paul Vercammen is live at a gas station in Burbank, California.

And, Paul, you know, we heard shortage. I mean, there's no gas. What's causing the shortage?

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, it's been a whole series of mishaps. We had a pipeline shut down here in California. We had power outages affect refineries.

So all of this stacked together, and look behind me, you can see, at this gas station here, this is open, this is in Burbank, it's price at $4.61 a gallon for regular. This is considered a little bit lower from some of the other gas stations in the neighborhood which are up in that $4.79 range.

You can imagine it's sheer agony at the pumps for consumers here in California.


NICOLE MITCHELL, DRIVER: It was a little bit of a shock for me. I've actually been out of town the last couple months and I've been where the gas prices are a lot cheaper. So it's about a dollar higher than what I've been paying. And even with the hybrid, it's a lot of money to pay, you know, $4.60.

LIBBY REED, DRIVER: I'm (INAUDIBLE). And it takes a lot of gas to drive to locations. And I can't afford it, because I won't -- I won't be able to pay the gas to get over there. It's just very difficult when it goes up this much this fast.


VERCAMMEN: And we've seen a number of large SUVs pull in. When they get done gassing up, it's well over $100 just to fill up that tank, John.

BERMAN: So we feel badly for California, don't get me wrong. Can this spread elsewhere in the country?

VERCAMMEN: No. They think this is going to be confined just to California with most of the mishaps right here in southern California and affecting other parts of the state. So they do not believe it will spread.

Also, another factor for California, do not forget we have the second highest gasoline tax in the country, almost 70 cents a gallon. The only place where it's a little higher is where you're sitting now, John, New York.

BERMAN: And the government may mess with the regulations a little bit to give some people some kind of temporary fix on this, too, right? VERCAMMEN: Absolutely right. That's a key factor here. The air quality control board may allow for a waiver to allow Californians to shift more quickly than usual to that winter grade of gasoline. The winter grade costs a lot less to produce than the environmentally- friendly summer grade. So that could be a big help. That could be within the next week or sooner possibly, John.

BERMAN: All right. Paul Vercammen in California, we're all pulling for you out there, buddy. So good luck with the gas.

SAMBOLIN: It is 18 minutes past the hour. Let's get you up to date.

Christine Romans this morning with our top stories.

ROMANS: Good morning to you.

Following new developments about American Airlines this morning, canceling dozens more flights as it tries to fix a problem with seats coming loose in the air. Now, American has pulled 48 Boeing 757s out of service to secure a device called a seat lock plunger. It's a bracket that fastens seats to the plane's floor. The airline expects to be back to a full schedule by tomorrow. Its public relations woes, however, continue.

Search teams in southwest China have discovered the bodies of 18 children after a landslide buried a group of elementary school students. This landslide struck the school and two houses yesterday in Yunnan province. The students were at school to make up classes that had been disrupted by earthquakes.

Soccer punch caught on tape. Police in Kansas City, Missouri, searching for a man nailed a bus driver after the driver threw him of the bus. Police say the suspect was one of a group of young men who didn't pay when they got on board.

When the 54-year-old bus driver told them to get off the bus, one of the men turned around and punched him in the face -- John and Zoraida.

BERMAN: That's awful. All right. Thanks, Christine.

Nineteen minutes after the hour right now. Time for your "Early Reads", the local news making national headlines around the country.

First, from the "Philadelphia Inquirer," a high school student fearing for her own safety after she was mocked by a teacher for wearing a Romney shirt to school. Sixteen-year-old Sam Pawlucy worse a Romney/Ryan campaign shirt to class on Friday on dress down day at Charles Carroll High School. She says the teacher demanded she take the shirt off, implying that she was uninformed and likening it to the Ku Klux Klan.



SAM PAWLUCY, 16-YEAR-OLD: First, she told me to get out of the class. Then I said no. She goes in the hallway and said, this girl is wearing a Romney/Ryan shirt.


BERMAN: Now, the geometry teacher has been temporarily re-assigned while the school investigates the incident. But Sam says since this happened, students started bullying her on Facebook.

You know, I'm no constitutional expert, but that seems to go against free speech.

SAMBOLIN: Oh my gosh, that's awful.

All right. In "The Wall Street Journal," customers are going out of their gourds at the news of a pumpkin spice shortage at some Starbucks locations. Can you believe this? They're steamed and venting on Twitter. One guy started his tweet with, quote, "My world ended this morning." Things have gotten so dire, prices on instant packs are apparently spiking on eBay. Some people say they're rationing what they are able to acquire.

BERMAN: What did we come to, a pumpkin spice shortage.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, my goodness.

BERMAN: The horror.

SAMBOLIN: I've got some in my cup board. You can have it for free

Ahead on EARLY START, big jobs news coming out this morning, the second to last jobs report right before the presidential election. And Christine Romans is breaking down all of the numbers. That's coming up next.


BERMAN: Minding your own business this morning, or minding your business this morning.

SAMBOLIN: Berman, wake up.

BERMAN: We have news happening left, right and center here.

The first Friday of the month means it's jobs day. At 8:30 a.m. -- I will be paying attention then. We'll get an update from the Labor Department on how the job market is doing. One more report after this before Election Day.

SAMBOLIN: All right . So Christine Romans has the forecast. A look at that, at the big picture for all of us.

ROMANS: Yes, I'm going to put it on the wall for you so you can sort of see where we've come and why this is important and contentious. We're looking for 110,000 jobs created. That's the CNN Money, you know, average forecast, unemployment rate of 8.1 percent.

If you look back, I mean, a year ago, 202,000 is what we did in September. So it would be a little better than last month but certainly not what we were seeing about a year ago.

Let me go further back, you guys, and show you where we've come from. This has been -- this is, are you better off? This is, where are you now? How are we getting out of this?

This is very political story. In the late 2008, early 2009, look at this, this is the devastating jobs drop. Hundreds of thousands of jobs lost every single month. Then a very, very tentative, tentative attempt at a recovery, a slip-back here. All of these bars going up, the black bars show you job creation. Very few of those months are enough to even absorb new entrants into the workplace, general population growth.

So it's been a sluggish recovery in the jobs market. We're expecting that to continue probably through the recession. But it has been slow, steady jobs growth. It has been two years of private sector job creation, a lot of ways you can slights these numbers.

One number that you don't hear a lot about -- I want to show that now -- this is a number that's called -- the labor participation rate. You go back to 1981, for the last time, you guys, that the labor market as a share of the population was so small.

Take a look at that. This is the '90s. We created 24 million jobs over a decade in the '90s. Labor market expanded. There were jobs for everyone.

And now 1981, you have a lot of people who have been left behind in this jobs recovery. A lot of people have been left behind but we're starting to grow jobs consistently every month and we're expecting 110,000 jobs created last month -- guys.

BERMAN: All right. Christine Romans, some very interesting numbers. Everyone is watching during this election season. Thanks very much.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

BERMAN: Twenty-six minutes after the hour right now.

Charles Manson's right-hand man may be getting out of jail. We'll have that story coming up.


BERMAN: A big shift for Mitt Romney. The candidate's new position on his 47 percent comments.

SAMBOLIN: A side of the presidential debate you probably didn't see. Our experts say it wasn't the candidate's words, it was their actions that spoke volumes.

BERMAN: And could it be a November surprise? The movie coming out just days before the election that could help the commander in chief.

Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. I'm John Berman. SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. Happy to have you with us this hour. Thirty minutes past the hour. Mitt Romney basking in his debate success makes a major admission that he was completely wrong, those are his words, in that secretly recorded video when he said nearly half of Americans were victims dependent on government.

This is a really big gift. President Obama and his advisors, meanwhile, are trying to recover from debate doldrums, now going on the attack. White House correspondent, Brianna Keilar is in Washington with all of the latest. So, Brianna, before we get to Romney's mea culpa, let's refresh viewers memories on what he said about that 47 percent.


ROMNEY: Forty-seven of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe they're entitled to health care, to food, to housing, you name it.

It's entitlement, the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. These are people who pay no income taxes. So, my job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.


SAMBOLIN: So, Brianna, we heard that, then we heard of (INAUDIBLE). What is Romney saying now?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Now, Zoraida he is stepping away from it entirely, really disavowing the comments. Here's what he said last night on Fox News to Sean Hannity.


ROMNEY: Clearly in a campaign with hundreds, if not, thousands of speeches and question and answer sessions, now and then, you're going to say something that doesn't come out right. In this case, I said something that's completely wrong. And, I absolutely believe, however, that my life has shown that I care about 100 percent.

And that's been demonstrated throughout my life. And this whole campaign is about the 100 percent. When I become president, it will be about helping the 100 percent.


KEILAR: So completely wrong. That's what he said last night. But listen to what he said last month. This was the day that these comments really blew up and got so much attention. Mitt Romney called a sort of hasty press conference in Southern California. And, he didn't own the style of the comments, but he certainly owned the substance. Here's what he said. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: Well, you know, it's not elegantly stated. Let me put it that way. I'm speaking off the cuff in response to a question. But it's a message which I'm going to carry and continue to carry which is, look, the president's approach is attractive to people who are not paying taxes, because frankly, my discussion about lowering taxes isn't as attractive to them.

And therefore, I'm not likely to draw them into my campaign as effectively as those who in the middle.


KEILAR: And of course, Zoraida, those comments very damaging to Mitt Romney. The Obama campaign has ads where he is starring -- his comments are starring in the ads, and, the comments really were seen as the culprit for why we saw polls widening last month between President Obama and Mitt Romney, including in key battleground states.

SAMBOLIN: So, it explains the about face. So, Brianna, critics say that President Obama wasn't aggressive enough in the debates, but it looks like he's now taking on -- where he's talking tough on the campaign trail. That's an about face also this morning.

KEILAR: Yes. That is an about-face for what people saw in Denver on Wednesday night, a very sort of, it seemed uncharacteristic President Obama. He was very passive. We saw a very different President Obama on the trail yesterday. Listen to what he said at one of his rallies in Wisconsin.


OBAMA: When I got on the stage, I met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney.


OBAMA: But I know it couldn't have been Mitt Romney, because the real Mitt Romney's been running around the country for the last year promising $5 trillion in tax cuts that favor the wealthy. And yet, the fellow on the stage last night, who looked like Mitt Romney, said he did not know anything about that.


KEILAR: Now, I will tell you, Zoraida, covering the president, this is the president that I'm used to seeing on the trail. This was a rally in Wisconsin that had tens of thousands of people there. But the problem for President Obama is this wasn't what we saw on Wednesday night.


KEILAR: More than 67 million people saw that debate. I can guarantee you, not anywhere near that saw his comments from yesterday. SAMBOLIN: No. And you know what also, when he says that, you know, that wasn't the real Romney. A lot of people are asking where was the real Obama on that evening, right?

KEILAR: Exactly. A lot of people are asking that.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Brianna Keilar live in Washington for us. Thank you very much.

KEILAR: Thanks.

BERMAN: Meantime, political observers are still analyzing why it was that Mitt Romney seemed to beat President Obama by so much in their first presidential debate. Body language can often be a key to victory. CNN's Gary Tuchman talked to an expert about what the candidates were saying when they weren't saying anything.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In general, I felt that Romney in the debate looked engaged and strong and assertive, but at moments, too aggressive and too agitated. Obama looks glad it's over. He looks relieved. He doesn't look victorious. Romney looks happy, and he looks relieved, but you can tell that he feels victorious.


BERMAN: Here's body language I'm giving you here.


BERMAN: The candidates --


BERMAN: What does that say? The candidate's facial expressions are also being analyzed. One expert using a special face reader software says there were measurable differences during the debate.


CHRIS KOWAL, PURDUE UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR: Romney was much more expressive than President Obama was. In a sales term, Obama can't close a sale. We're seeing that if he were to be more expressive and express the emotion that his voters are feeling, his voters then would start rating him as more charismatic.


BERMAN: Wouldn't you say that expert had less expression on his face than anyone I've ever seen in my life. But he did say the president was expression neutral during the debate.

SAMBOLIN: I felt the same way.

All right. American Airlines is pulling 48 Boeing 757s out of service this morning to repair a problem with seats that are coming loose during flights.


SAMBOLIN (voice-over): American has been forced to cancel dozens more flights today so maintenance workers can secure the seat that have come loose on some of those planes. The airline says service should be back to normal by tomorrow.

BERMAN (voice-over): And I see one of the problems is the people have been spilling too many drinks?

SAMBOLIN: Yes. Really odd.

BERMAN: Crazy.

All right. A California parole board has recommended release for a member of the infamous Manson Family. Bruce Davis is serving a life sentence for the 1969 murders of music teacher, Gary Hindman and stuntman, Donald "Shorty" Shea. The decision is now subject to 120- day review period.

Two years ago, a California panel also granted parole to Davis, but it was overturned by then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

SAMBOLIN: A New York City woman is now battling her parents in court for the right to die. Twenty-eight-year-old Grace Lee right there is suffering from terminal brain cancer. A recent stroke also left her paralyzed from the neck down. The former Manhattan bank manager says she wants to die. She is begging doctors to take her off of life support. Lee's parents say removing the tubes would be suicide. They oppose the move for religious reasons.


DAVID SMITH, GRACE LEE'S ATTORNEY: This is someone who is inevitably dying within the next two weeks and two months who is hooked up to all these life-sustaining contraptions saying, you know what, I have had enough. It is time for me to be at peace.


SAMBOLIN: Grace Lee's father, the Reverend Mono Lee (ph), is a pastor. He says he doesn't want his daughter to go to hell.

BERMAN: All right. A new film about the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden will air two days before Election Day. "SEAL Team 6: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden" is being (INAUDIBLE) by producer by Harvey Weinstein, a major backer of President Obama. It can be seen on the National Geographic Channel.


SAMBOLIN (on-camera): And during the primary campaign, plenty of tough talk from Republicans on immigration but not a word during the debate. Coming up, courting the Latino vote and what this crucial voting bloc wants to hear from the candidates. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: Welcome back to EARLY START. Forty-two minutes past the hour. The Latino vote will be critical come Election Day. Both Democrats and Republicans furiously jockeying for their votes, but some Latino republicans are putting pressure on leaders in their own party, imploring them to do more outreach while focusing less on immigration.

Soledad O'Brien has been following both parties for a year in Nevada.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, "ANDERSON COOPER 360": I'm Anderson Cooper in Las Vegas. Tonight, the presidential candidates come here to win the west.

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR, "STARTING POINT" (voice-over): In October 2011, the Republican presidential candidates rolled into town with their money and their message.

COOPER: Herman Cain, let me start with you. Would you build an entire fence along the entire border and would you have it be electrified?

HERMAN CAIN, (R) FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will build a double walled fence.

O'BRIEN: There's tough talk on immigration.

ROMNEY: We have enough border patrol agents to oversee the fence, and number two, you turn off the magnets like tuition breaks or other breaks that draw people into this country illegally.

COOPER: We have a question in the audience.

O'BRIEN: In the audience is Las Vegas businessman, Robert Zavala, a Republican voter anxious to ask the question on the minds of many Latino voters.

ROBERT ZAVALA, VOTER: We have 50 million Latinos and not all of us are illegal. What is the message from you guys to our Latino community?

O'BRIEN: Is it a tough thing to be Republican and Latino here?

ZAVALA: Yes, it is.


ZAVALA: I have to, all the time, defend the party. That's not all of us. Our community is not only about immigration. The Latino communities like any other community, they want jobs. They want a better education for their kids.

What is the message that we take to the grassroots? O'BRIEN: Hours after the GOP debate, in a different session, Zavala is still pressing his own party's leaders for answers.

ZAVALA: You are nothing but Latino leaders in here. We don't know how to reach them out there. The Democrats are kicking our behind.

CECILIA ALDANA, REPUBLICAN ACTIVIST: We need you out here talking to us, to the Latinos.

O'BRIEN: Republican Cecilia Aldana, shares Zavala's dissatisfaction.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Republican leadership has to send a message to our community.

O'BRIEN (on-camera): What's your frustration with the Republican Party?

ALDANA: They don't see what Hispanics go through every day and the other parties taking advantage of that. They don't see it as a problem.

O'BRIEN: So, you think the Republicans aren't fighting for your vote?

ALDANA: Exactly.

O'BRIEN (voice-over): But Cecilia wants to fight for their votes and is pushing the GOP leadership to join her and take their message to Latino community.

ALDANA: I never see them trying to be out there and express their voices, you know? I'm not afraid to tell people what I stand for. So, I want them to be with me out there trying to teach and educate the population.


SAMBOLIN: And you can see Soledad's entire documentary, "LATINO IN AMERICA: COURTING THEIR VOTE," this Sunday night, 8:00 and 11:00 p.m. Eastern.

BERMAN: And coming up, explosive claims from a legendary college coach. This really surprised me. Why Tennessee's Pat Summitt says she was forced out, after the break.


BERMAN: It is 48 minutes after the hour. We want to get you up to speed on all the top stories. Christine Romans here with that.

ROMANS: Good morning, you two.

Are you flying American Airlines today?


ROMANS (voice-over): Check it out, because American is canceling dozens more flight today, grounding thousands of air travelers. American has pulled now 48 Boeing 757s, 48 of them out of service to fix a problem with seats coming loose during flight.

Maintenance crews scrambling to repair a device called a seat lock plunger that fastens seats to the plane's floor. The airline expects to be back to full schedule by tomorrow.

Three New Jersey high school teachers and two administrators have been arrested in a school sex scandal. The teachers are charged with having sexual relationships with three female high school seniors.

The principal and vice principal at Triton Regional High School in Camden County, allegedly tried to protect the teachers. Prosecutors say they were told teachers and students were hooking up.

The legendary coach of the Tennessee Lady Vols now says she was forced out. Pat Summitt said an affidavit filed this week that she was forced to step aside last spring after being diagnosed with dementia.

Summitt won more games than any other college men's or woman's coach and was awarded the presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama in May. The university did not respond.

Ever dream of living inside a haunted mansion?

SAMBOLIN (voice-over): Oh, yes, every night.



ROMANS: Well, if you have about $873,000 to spend, maybe you can. A 10,000 square foot replica of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion is now up for sale on eBay. The four-story home in Duluth, Georgia, was a design by owner, Mark Hurt, a contractor whose company has worked with Disney theme parks on various project.

BERMAN (voice-over): My house isn't haunted enough. I'd like more haunted in my house.



ROMANS (on-camera): I want to go to somebody else's house to haunt and then come back to my own.

SAMBOLIN (on-camera): No kidding. All right. Thank you for that, Christine.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

Fifty minutes past the hour. A foot of snow in early October? You better believe it, Alexandra Steele is in for Rob Marciano with that news. Good morning. ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: How about more than a foot in some areas. So, certainly a historic storm. Here are some of the numbers. In Minnesota, really the real winner with this, 14 inches in Badger, eight in Angus, but let's take it to Fargo, 1.5 inches there. Let me show you some of the video from the snow that fell.

And you know, coupled with the snow -- he doesn't look very comfortable, does he? Oh, kids out there with their hats enjoying it. You know, it was very windy. We have reports of wind gusts, 40, 45, 50, even miles per hour. So, the wind was blowing, the snow was coming down. You can see how wet the snow is just sticking to everything.

So, with that, the cold air is in place. The moisture is there. Freeze threat for these same areas, even into Eastern Colorado, Western Kansas and through the Dakotas. So, what does it feel like waking up there this early hour? How about 14 for wind chill at Minot? Feels like 21 this morning in Fargo.

Rapid City feeling like 32. So, the coldest air of the season we call this a blue norther. Meaning, it's so cold it makes you feel blue. Temperatures precipitously dropping in the last couple of days. Today, 49 in Denver, 80 two days ago. Look at this delineation. You can see where the cold front is, much colder behind it.

Pleasant in the southeast. Temperatures tomorrow in Atlanta getting to 82, but Atlanta gets to the 60s on Sunday. Washington Falls to the 50s by Sunday. so, guys, everyone gets into this colder air as we work our way through the weekend.

SAMBOLIN: How exciting, Alexandra!


STEELE: Yay! We're weather geeks. We love it.

SAMBOLIN: You know, I said it's a good snow ball fighting weather, right? Can you actually tuck (ph) a good snowball, and it looked like the kids were having a really good time with that. So, I can't wait to challenge you --

BERMAN: Yes. And then, out of nowhere she says she bets I can't throw a snow ball, just because.

SAMBOLIN: I bet he has a bad arm.

BERMAN: All right.

STEELE: Oh, I doubt it.

BERMAN: It's nice, right?

STEELE: It's a challenge.

BERMAN: Fifty-two minutes after the hour right now. We have a packed hour ahead on EARLY START, including caught on tape. You won't believe this. A police officer facing charges for pummeling a guy --

SAMBOLIN: Look at that video.

BERMAN: -- center on a wheelchair. The attorney says the beat down was entirely justified.

SAMBOLIN: Wow! Also, a recruit who won the battle of the bulge, dropping 160 pounds to get into the army. Why he says America's junk food problem is a national security issue.

BERMAN: Also, rock the boat. The next generation, stars like Miley Cyrus, Neil Patrick Harris rallying fans to get out the vote this November in New Rock the Vote PSA spots directed by Adam Shankman. He is the director and producer and actor and dancer. I think he does mine also.


BERMAN: Adam Shankman will join us live.

SAMBOLIN: But first, from the why didn't I think of that file, the greatest Halloween costume you will see this season. It's inspire by the worst touchup of a painting ever. That is so sad.

BERMAN: Fantastic.

SAMBOLIN: Or creative, right?


BERMAN: Welcome back, everyone. John Berman with Zoraida Sambolin. We are taking a look at what is trending on the internet this morning.

SAMBOLIN: You had to know this was coming. The restored Jesus Fresco Halloween costume is being shared all over social media. This one was apparently spotted at the anime festival in Atlanta. Of course, the costume inspired by the story of an -- where is it? In Spain.


SAMBOLIN: She took it upon herself to touch up a 19th century painting of Jesus Christ and turn him into a potato of sorts. She's now reportedly demanding royalties for it. She said -- you know, I feel like I have to defend this woman. She says that the priest gave her permission to do this.

BERMAN: Permission to do a lousy painting, but it's an awesome costume.

All right. The late-night crowd weighing in on President Obama's debate performance.


CONAN O'BRIEN, HOST, "CONAN": A lot of people disappointed in President Obama's performance last night. Last night, critics say President Obama spent too much time looking down at something on the podium. Did you notice that?


CONAN O'BRIEN: Yes. And today, the president apologized and said at the next debate, no more Angry Birds.

JAY LENO, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO": Romney talked last night about cutting funding to PBS, the home of "Sesame Street" and Big Bird was not happy.


LENO: Did you see what Big Bird did to Romney's car right after the debate? Show what happened. Look at that. That's unbelievable.


LENO: He is not happy. He is not happy.

JON STEWART, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART": There is no red America! There is no blue America! There is only the America that can't believe how bad this guy did in the debate.


STEWART: How bad was the defeat? Obama lost despite Mitt Romney doing this.


ROMNEY: I'm sorry, Jim. I'm going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I'm going to stop other things -- I like PBS. I love Big Bird. I actually like you, too, but I'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for it.


STEWART: Well, the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) fire Big Bird!


STEWART: America's favorite non-flying bird! He (EXPLETIVE DELETED) Big Bird and won!

Romney won with the sound off.

ROMNEY: You're entitled as a president to your own airplane and your own house, but not to your own facts.

STEWART: Romney won with the sound of -- dude, he's yelling at you. Look up.


STEWART: Look up! What are you looking at? What are you writing that's so important? What are you doing -- oh, I didn't realize. That is impressive work. I didn't realize that.


STEWART: Maybe you could give that to Mitt Romney as a souvenir of the night he crushed you in that debate.


BERMAN: All right.

SAMBOLIN: EARLY START continues right now.