CNN CNN


 

Return to Transcripts main page

EARLY START WITH JOHN BERMAN AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN

Fiscal Cliff: 53 Days And Counting; Can They Compromise?; Seven Navy SEALs Punished; Pentagon: Iran Fires On U.S. Drone; Gas Rationing In NYC, Long Island; FEMA Trailers For Sandy Victims; More Than 600,000 Still Without Power; Crawling To Safety; Giffords Looks Loughner In The Eyes; Coming Home; Obama to Speak from White House; Future Space Outpost

Aired November 9, 2012 - 06:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, "THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": I mentioned this a couple of days ago. I went out to vote. I was in line for four hours. Four hours. And then, it turned out later it was a gas line.

(LAUGHTER)

JAY LENO, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO": There is one silver lining about Mitt Romney losing the election. At least now, he doesn't have to move into a smaller house, you know? So, that's --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: EARLY START continues right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I'm really proud of all of you. I'm really proud of all of you and --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Really raw motion there. The leader of the free world sheds tears as he talks with pride about his campaign, actually his staff.

BERMAN: Top secret leaks. Elite Navy SEALs accused of giving classified information for money to the makers of a video game.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was cold and I said there isn't no hope for me. I asked the lord to take my life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: Against all odds, a teenager survives a three-day ordeal trapped, injured, and all alone. I can't wait to hear his story. Good morning to you. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

BERMAN: And I'm John Berman. Great to see you. The weekend is almost here. It is 6:00 a.m. in the east. We're going to start first with creeping closer to the edge of the fiscal cliff, 53 days and counting.

And if President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner can't meet in the middle, the economy could take a catastrophic hit. The president will deliver a big economic speech today. He wants the wealthier to pay higher taxes, but Boehner drew a line in the sand during an interview with ABC News.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: Raising tax rates is unacceptable and, frankly, it couldn't even pass the House. I'm not sure it could pass the Senate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: White House correspondent Brianna Keilar is live from Washington this morning. Brianna, Speaker Boehner earlier in the week seemed to be offering more of an olive branch when talking about the possibility of increasing revenue.

Here he kind of gave the other side, kind of a carrot and stick both at once here on the issue of tax increases. What does this say about the chances of a compromise?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, actually the chance of a compromise is still, I think, where it was a couple of days ago. You're hearing a lot of conciliatory language coming from Democrats and Republicans.

We may hear some more from president Obama today when he addresses the situation. Listen to something else that John Boehner said about how reasonable he is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOEHNER: Talk about all kinds of things we may disagree on. I'm the most reasonable, responsible person here in Washington. The president knows this. He knows that he and I can work together. The election is over. Now it's time to get to work.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: Now, Speaker Boehner did say that he does not want the tax rate to increase. Right now, the top tax rate, 35 percent for the wealthiest earners, it's scheduled to kick up to 39.5 percent here at the end of the year.

So you wonder how is it possible that that stays where it is if President Obama says he's going to veto anything that does not increase the top tax rate. Well, the idea here is perhaps to work out a framework here in the next few weeks towards tax reform. Overhaul the whole system because as you know, John, there's a lot of people who, even though they kind of fall under what would be the 35 percent tax bracket, they don't effectively pay that.

So if you kind of rework everything, some of the change comes out in the wash, you might actually increase tax revenue, tax dollars, but still not affect that tax rate. It's complicated stuff but they're trying to thread the needle here. We're still waiting for specifics as they work through this.

BERMAN: I thought Boehner's comments to Diane Sawyer were really telling. He seemed to be saying help me help you. Listen, I'm reasonable.

If you don't want to have to deal with the Tea Party, Mr. President, you better make a deal with me and do it fast. As you said, Brianna, the president will speak today. Are we expecting any specifics about his plan?

KEILAR: I would say no in terms of specifics. I don't think that we're going to be watching him negotiate the details of the plan today. I think he's sort of setting the scene for the economic challenges that the country is facing.

He's going to be talking about how urgent it is for Congress to take action on the fiscal cliff. John, that became even more obvious yesterday when the CBO came out with a report that said if this isn't dealt with, the economy goes into recession next year.

So I think he's going to, no, not talk about specifics, but maybe he'll continue with some of that conciliatory long that we're hearing from the Hill and that we heard from him on Tuesday night in Chicago and Election Day, talking about the importance of reaching across the aisle.

BERMAN: Finally, Brianna, there was a side of the president I don't think I've ever seen before. We saw a video overnight of him speaking to his campaign staff and really practically breaking down.

KEILAR: Yes, that's right. Remember when he was in Iowa his last rally there was the single tear, and he's such a -- you know, especially when you say in contrast to John Boehner who we just saw who does emote quite a bit and we'll see him cry from time to time.

President Obama does not do that. So in Iowa, the single tear people wondered is it just the cold, is he really emotional? He left no doubt about that in a video that was shot during his visit to his campaign headquarters in Chicago on Wednesday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: That you guys have done. The work that I'm doing is important. I'm really proud of that. I'm really proud, and what you just did --

(END VIDEO CLIP) KEILAR: I think it also reveals, John, just what a hard-fought battle this was. And you know, the people who work for him, who volunteered for him and his staff, get a lot of the credit for pounding the pavement, for organizing, for knocking on doors. They put in a lot of the work that delivered this for President Obama.

BERMAN: All right, thanks, Brianna, got to be exhausting. Thanks very much. It's nice to see you this morning.

SAMBOLIN: It's 5 minutes past the hour. Severe sanctions for seven active members of Navy SEAL Team Six. They're accused of divulging classified information. The violations allegedly occurring earlier this year, while the SEALs worked as paid consultants to the maker of a video game called "Medal of Honor, War Fighter."

CBS News says one of the SEALs involved took part in the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden. All seven had their pay docked and received a letter of reprimand effectively ending their chances of ever getting a promotion.

In the 8:00 hour of "STARTING POINT," we'll find out more about the punishment and what the SEALs are accused of divulging when Soledad O'Brien is joined by former Navy SEAL Commander Christopher Heben.

BERMAN: No response yet from the Iranian government to Pentagon claims that Iran's warplanes opened fire on unarmed U.S. surveillance drone in the Persian Gulf. The incident happened last week just days before the election.

Pentagon officials say the drone was flying in international airspace, it wasn't hit, they say. The U.S. has told Iran that surveillance flights in the gulf will continue.

SAMBOLIN: There are new regulations now in place at gas stations in New York City, and in Long Island's two counties. They've joined New Jersey in imposing an odd/even gas rationing system based on license plate numbers.

Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Cuomo say it is designed to shrink extremely long gas lines and get fuel supplies back to normal. But if you have a gallon, you can go and fill it any time just wait.

BERMAN: FEMA trailers are being dispatched to some of the hardest-hit areas by superstorm Sandy. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said they have several hundred mobile homes available to help displaced residents in New York and New Jersey.

He said at least 40 trailers are on the way right now. New York and New Jersey officials will determine where those houses will be placed.

SAMBOLIN: It is a slow road to recovery. More than 600,000 people in New York and New Jersey are still in the dark. This is a week and a half after the storm. On Long Island, the power authorities' failure to get the lights turned on in flooded areas has angered New York Governor Cuomo.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: They were specialized in doing this and we paid them and we gave them a franchise because they represented themselves as experts at doing this. And they failed and they should be held accountable for their failure.

In the meantime, they should be doing everything humanly possible to improve their performance and get these people out of the pain and the suffering that they've been subjected to.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: Long Island Power Authority says they hope to get almost everyone back online by next week.

BERMAN: Now, of course, we're still without power where I am. I do understand the frustration. Lucky enough to have a generator, but still it's a long, long time. They were some of the coldest temperatures of the year last night.

Let's bring in meteorologist Karen Maginnis. Karen, can we expect more of this?

KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: We are looking at temperatures moderating, but we do start out the mornings very chilly with temperatures only in the 30s. There is a wind chill factor as we watch the nor'easter begin to exit and move into the Canadian Maritimes.

It feels like it's 31 degrees in New York City. We had an I-Reporter, he was in Jersey City, and he shot the pictures of the six-plus inches of snowfall there. Well, by this weekend, as those temperatures creep up to close to 70 degrees, the snow is going to be gone.

But this is going to allow a little bit of a break for folks to clean up and start rebuilding their lives after this exacerbated misery has been heaped along that I-95 corridor. Zoraida, John back to you.

BERMAN: All right, Karen, thanks so much.

SAMBOLIN: Listen to this story. An Alabama teenager who spent three days trapped in a ravine following a car accident is recovering from his injuries this morning. His name is Tyler Campbell. He was spotted Tuesday afternoon by a truck driver near Interstate 65.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TYLER CAMPBELL, SURVIVED THREE DAYS IN A RAVINE: It was cold and I said isn't no hope for me. I asked the Lord to take my life.

LEE CAMPBELL, TYLER CAMPBELL'S FATHER: He's tough. But God brought him up out of that ditch and he allowed that truck driver to see him and I thank that man for stopping.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SAMBOLIN: Imagine how terrible that must have been that he said he asked the Lord to take his life. Tyler dislocated his shoulder and broke his leg. To stay alive he drank water that had pooled up in a broken headlight on his mangled truck. He was spotted by the truck driving after crawling his way up to the highway guard rail. Boy, strong constitution in that young man.

BERMAN: Lucky and a tough kid.

SAMBOLIN: Yes.

BERMAN: All right, it's 10 minutes after the hour right now. Courtroom drama as the former congresswoman faces her convicted killer.

Coming up, what happened when Gabrielle Giffords and her astronaut husband got a chance to say something to the man who tried to take her life?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: Face-to-face, former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords takes a long look at Jared Loughner, the man who tried to kill her. During Loughner's sentencing yesterday Giffords' husband Mark Kelly delivered this message to Loughner.

Quote, "You tried to create a world as dark and evil as your own. Remember this, you failed." Loughner was sentenced yesterday to six consecutive life sentences and 140 years for killing six people in last year's Tucson rampage.

Thirteen others were wounded. Kelly at one point criticized politicians, including Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, for not doing enough on gun control, saying this, "As a nation we have repeatedly passed up the opportunity to address this issue. After Columbine, after Virginia Tech, after Tucson, and after Aurora, we have done nothing."

Casey Wian is in Tucson this morning. Very dramatic testimony, Casey, both Kelly and former Congresswoman Giffords, they're gun owners. What changes specifically do they want to see in U.S. gun law?

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Zoraida, you're right. It was very emotional testimony yesterday and a lot of talk about gun regulation. And specifically what Mark Kelly brought up is this issue of high-capacity magazines that can hold 30 rounds.

Loughner apparently had somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 rounds on that day, which allowed him to shoot so many different people.

Mark Kelly, as you mentioned, had harsh words for lawmakers here in the state of Arizona. He called them feckless on the issue of gun regulation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MARK KELLY, HUSBAND OF FORMER REP. GABRIELLE GIFFORDS: It's really unfortunate, you know, that somebody won't, you know, take, you know, take the lead on this issue.

You know, Gabby and I are both gun owners. You know, we're supporters of the Second Amendment. But I don't really believe that that extends to high-capacity magazines, and extends to making it so easy to buy a gun in this country.

We elect leaders to try to address those problems. And this problem really hasn't been addressed sufficiently.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WIAN: Now even the judge who sentenced Loughner said he didn't want to be political but he urged lawmakers to re-examine this issue of these high-capacity magazines. He said the evidence shows that Loughner bought his with a credit card over the Internet. The judge said that was far too easy, Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: And, Casey, the other victims of a Tucson shooting delivered statements. At least one of them talked about Loughner's mental illness. Can you share some of that with us?

WIAN: Well, absolutely. In fact, almost all of them spoke about his mental illness. Many of them are saying that that's why they favored life in prison without the possibility of parole, because he does have schizophrenia. They favored that over the death penalty.

One man, Randy Gardner, who was shot in the foot, talked about how he used to work in the mental health field. And Loughner's condition would have been very treatable if someone would have just got him the medication, got him the help that he needed.

Pam Simon also knew Loughner when he was a child.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAM SIMON, TUCSON MASSACRE VICTIM: Jared, I know you did not choose this illness that led to his horrific tragedy. When you were a student at the Tortolita Middle School and I was a teacher there at the same time, you were a regular kid that liked music. When you were older, and the signs of your mental illness became obvious, I can only believe that you wished that someone, a parent, a neighbor, a friend, had intervened and gotten you the help you needed before it was too late.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WIAN: Now, the issue of Loughner and medication and his mental illness has been at the center of this entire case. There were court rulings about whether he could be -- he had to be -- he could be required to take his medication. He is being required to take his medication.

The judge specified in the sentence that he wanted him in a prison where he would continue to get his medication for the rest of his life. So he is lucid. The victims also said they want him to receive the medication, so he's fully aware throughout his lifetime prison sentence of what he has done to these victims, Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Casey Wian live in Tucson for us. Thank you for that report. Appreciate it.

BERMAN: What a day that must have been.

Seventeen minutes after the hour right now.

Lot of news to tell you about. Christine Romans here with the headlines.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, again, you two.

After Tuesday night's big win, President Obama turning his attention now to the fiscal cliff. The president delivers a big speech on the economy this afternoon. He wants the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy to expire. But House Speaker John Boehner tells ABC News, quote, "raising tax rates is unacceptable." Just 53 days left for the lame duck Congress to get a deal done.

Someone might have turned a crash into cash after this Brinks truck wrecked in North Carolina. Now, the highway patrol, you guys, claimed all the money that spilled onto the highway after this two-vehicle wreck, all of it had been recovered. But Brinks says more than $40,000 are still missing.

And it's not as woolly as it used to be, but French scientists, they'll take it. They found an almost complete skeleton of a woolly mammoth near Paris.

SAMBOLIN: Wow.

ROMANS: This is a rare find in France. They've named it "Helmut", I guess.

It could be anywhere from 50,000 to 200,000 years old. How do you say cool in French?

Helmut. I bet they don't call it Helmut. But it's spelled Helmut. There you go.

ROMANS: Thank you, Christine.

It's quite a find.

BERMAN: It is.

ROMANS: Nineteen minutes past the hour.

Musical glove is teaching people how to play the piano just by wearing it. BERMAN: And this isn't just about music. This could help people with spinal cord injuries regain sensation in their hands. It's really cool.

Joe Carter has this "Technovations".

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOE CARTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Wearing a glove may not make you dance like Michael Jackson. But it could teach you how to play music.

THAD STARNER, GEORGIA'S TECH ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR: This is the Mobile Music Touch glove. And what it's going to do is teach you how to play a piano melody without you paying attention to it.

CARTER: Created by students and professors at Georgia Tech, the glove uses vibration to teach your fingers the notes of a song.

(on camera): So you're going to teach me how to play "Oh! Susanna".

STARNER: Yes.

CARTER: I've got zero experience.

STARNER: Right.

CARTER: Never played before.

STARNER: We will have you wear the glove for hopefully around 30 minutes or so. You can be reading your e-mail or jogging or talking with me and the system will tap your fingers over and over again in the sequence of notes that you need to play the song.

CARTER: Glove's off.

STARNER: Glove's off.

CARTER: Give it a try.

(PLAYING PIANO)

STARNER: Everything except the end.

CARTER: Yes.

(voice-over): Along with teaching people how to play music, the glove could also be used to help people.

STARNER: This could be used to help people with partial spinal cord injuries recover some of the sensation and some of the dexterity in their hands, up to a year post-injury.

CARTER: Like Rick Lynch, a quadriplegic who participated in an eight- week Shepherd Center study, wearing the glove about two hours a day helped him improve his typing skills. RICK LYNCH, STUDY PARTICIPANT: Rather than just using one finger to type, now I'm trying to use two fingers on one hand. This allowed me to not only regain some dexterity but also learn you to play the piano.

CARTER: Joe Carter, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SAMBOLIN: Amazing technology there.

BERMAN: That's really cool.

SAMBOLIN: Yes.

Twenty-one minutes past the hour.

Coming up: the fiscal cliff and what it really means to you. Christine Romans is going to explain it all to us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: We're minding your business this morning.

Fifty-three days until the fiscal cliff. There are several different scenarios for how this could play out depending on what Congress and the White House can agree on.

SAMBOLIN: So, Christine is here to explain it all.

ROMANS: Of the 100 scenarios, 99 are bad.

Look, let me tell you first what's happening here in terms of the fiscal cliff. We're getting very close to it and policymakers are just starting again to lay out kind of the framework for how they're going to discuss it.

This morning, a really interesting op-ed in "The New York Times" from Paul Krugman, the economist, saying, don't make a deal, Mr. President. Let's go over the fiscal cliff.

This is what he said, "Mr. Obama should hang tough, declaring himself willing, if necessary, to hold his ground, even at the cost of letting his opponents inflict damage only a still shaky economy. This is definitely no time to negotiate a grand bargain on the budget that snatches defeat from the jaws of victory."

He also says if we go over the fiscal cliff, it would hurt rich Republican donors the most, and that would be fine, as long as you don't -- you don't cave on taxes for the wealthy.

What is the fiscal cliff? Let me remind you -- it's spending cuts, all begins at the beginning of the year, spending cuts, a Bush tax cuts expire, that means everyone's taxes would rise. Alternative minimum tax patch goes away, the payroll tax holiday goes away, unemployment extension goes away. So, spending cuts would be 8 percent to 10 percent, just boom, right off the top of almost every single government agency.

And the Congressional Budget Office you guys says it would certainly push the U.S. into a recession.

No one wants us to go there. The problem now is figuring out how to fix it.

Possible scenarios: You could have Congress kick the can down the road. Just extend current policy for six months. That would cast a shadow over the business community.

You could fall off the fiscal cliff like Paul Krugman is suggesting. Stocks would dive. I don't know how many days it would take them to do something and then boom Congress would move and you could have this grand bargain on deficit reduction.

They need a budget. They need to agree on how we're going to spend our money and invest. That's what these two have to agree on.

What does it mean for you? Well, if you go off the fiscal cliff, middle income households would have an average tax increase of $2,000.

Now, the CBO said just raising taxes on the rich, just doing that, leaving everything else, just raising taxes on the rich, wouldn't really hurt the economy all that much. That's getting a lot of attention this morning from that CBO policy. That would seem to suggest that Democrats are on the right track here.

BERMAN: All right. What's the one thing we need to know about our money?

ROMANS: U.S. stock futures are down this morning. That's one thing you need to know. And what are the early morning market watchers saying? They need to see more signs of progress on the fiscal cliff. That's why stocks are down. They're down 400 points over the last couple of days.

BERMAN: It's time. Do something.

SAMBOLIN: Yes.

ROMANS: It's time.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you.

ROMANS: All right. Twenty-seven minutes after the hour right now.

And FEMA, they did it after Katrina and FEMA might do it again to help the victims of Sandy. It's coming in the form of mobile homes. We'll tell you all about it, coming up after this break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Running on empty. New rules in New York to try to ease the gas crisis brought on by Sandy.

SAMBOLIN: Worldwide inspiration. A new look at the Pakistani teen who stood up to the Taliban and almost paid with her life.

BERMAN: And a McDonald's restaurant flies an American flag at half- staff and upside down. But, it's not as sinister as you think. The story behind these pictures this hour on CNN.

Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. Great to see you. I'm John Berman.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. Thirty-one minutes past the hour.

So, if you listen to House Speaker John Boehner, a compromise with Democrats to avoid the fiscal cliff should be a cinch. Yesterday, the House speaker did tell ABC News that he believes raising tax rates is unacceptable. And even though the president is insisting the wealthy pay more, the speaker is sounding positive about getting a deal done.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We talk about all kinds of things we may disagree on. I'm the most reasonable, responsible person here in Washington. The president knows this. He knows that he and I can work together.

Now the election's over. Now it's time to get to work.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: Boehner went on to say he would no longer prioritize a repeal of the president's health care reforms, calling Obamacare the law of the land.

BERMAN: So Miami-Dade is done but a handful of Florida counties are still counting votes from Tuesday's elections. Time is about up, though. The counties have to report unofficial tallies to the state by noon tomorrow. The results will be certified November 20th.

Now CNN hasn't called Florida yet. But Democrats there already declared President Obama the winner and Mitt Romney's team in Florida told "The Miami Herald" that they think they're candidate lost the state.

SAMBOLIN: And this morning, people in New York City's five boroughs and Long Island's two counties will have to check their license plates to see if they can fill up with gasoline. An odd/even gas rationing system takes effect today. New Jersey imposed the same gas rations just last week. These new regulations are an effort to reduce the long gas lines and fuel shortages in the wake of superstorm Sandy.

BERMAN: More than 600,000 people are still without power this morning, a week and a half after superstorm Sandy. Those people are almost entirely in New York and New Jersey. It's led to calls for an investigation of the area utilities. New Yorker Governor Andrew Cuomo called the power companies archaic and unprepared for Sandy and the nor'easter that followed. SAMBOLIN: And there is help on the way for some of the families displaced by superstorm Sandy. FEMA says it has several hundred trailers in its inventory of emergency supplies and has started moving some of them to the hardest-hit areas of New York and New Jersey.

FEMA administrator Craig Fugate said it's not clear what the total demand will be.

BERMAN: For people along the Jersey Shore, one of those areas that was hardest hit, this doesn't feel much like a recovery yet.

CNN's Susan Candiotti is live in Asbury Park, New Jersey, this morning. She has one family's stunning story.

Good morning, Susan.

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John.

I think this is the coldest morning since the superstorm and the nor'easter. In some of the hardest-hit areas where there is still no power and the homes are basically unlivable, authorities are slowly allowing some people to go back to their homes to start to clean up and retrieve some personal items.

We went back with one couple who found their retirement home in shambles.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CANDIOTTI: With Sandy's storm clouds gathering, Sue Kosakowski evacuated. But over her objections, husband Bill stayed behind. It was traumatizing.

BILL KOSAKOWSKI, PELICAN ISLAND, NEW JERSEY RESIDENT: Rode out the storm until Friday morning. Friday morning I said I couldn't take any more, because they turned the gas off. When they turned the gas off, that was the end for me. I told my wife, I would walk across the bridge if I had to, but I was getting off.

CANDIOTTI: Armed with a police pass, the retired Bayonne, New Jersey fire chief, married to wife Sue for 23 years, joined other residents allowed back on Pelican Island for a few hours to take stock of the devastation.

(on camera): What a sight, huh?

SUE KOSAKOWSKI, PELICAN ISLAND, NEW JERSEY RESIDENT: Yes, they broken, just everything is broken down.

B. KOSAKOWSKI: That's my boat.

S. KOSAKOWSKI: This is his boat.

CANDIOTTI (voice-over): Ripped from a lift behind the house, the storm surge swept his boat into the street. Inside the house the couple gets a look at breathtaking damage, Sue for the very first time.

S. KOSAKOWSKI: Oh. Oh, my God.

B. KOSAKOWSKI: This house was spotless.

CANDIOTTI: Marks on the ceiling show how high waves got inside.

B. KOSAKOWSKI: When the water was up over my knees, I thought I might be able to save something. So I put the chairs up on the top of the table. It didn't do any good.

CANDIOTTI: As things got even worse, Bill retreated upstairs to the couple's bedroom overlooking the bay. And huddled with his retriever, Blink.

B. KOSAKOWSKI: I was never so scared in my life.

CANDIOTTI: Their dream retirement home is in shambles, but with all they lost, Sue is grateful she doesn't lose Bill.

S. KOSAKOWSKI: The house is stones and bricks and windows and glass. I thought I lost him. And that would have been losing him would have -- would have -- would have just devastated me. I wouldn't have known how I would have gone on if I had lost him.

B. KOSAKOWSKI: Come down here, expect to live the rest of your life calm, in peace, and in one fell swoop, everything washed away.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CANDIOTTI: As former fire chief, Bill's job was to save lives. Now that he and his wife are facing a long road to recovery, he hopefully will have help and support from his family and a lot of other people.

Back to you, John.

BERMAN: Thanks so much, Susan. You know, our hearts go out to that family and all the others still suffering in all these hard-hit areas. Thanks a lot.

SAMBOLIN: Thirty-seven minutes past the hour.

And one month after her attempted assassination, brand-new video of Pakistani teen Malala Yousufzai. Her father says that she is recovering well. And that she has been inspired and humbled by the thousands of cards, all the messages and all the gifts that she has received. He says they help her stay strong. The girl's education crusader, she is just 15 years old, was shot in the head during an assassination attempt by the Taliban.

BERMAN: All right. Thirty-seven minutes after the hour.

And pay attention, parents -- 200,000 canisters of Nesquik chocolate drink mix under a massive recall. Find out why after this quick break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: Welcome back.

Soledad O'Brien joins us with a look at what is ahead on "STARTING POINT."

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: A lot happening this morning.

Those seven Navy SEALs have been punished after their involvement with a video game. What secrets are they spilling? We're going to talk with a former Navy SEAL about the potential national security risk there.

Plus, with President Obama back in the White House, and Governor Romney officially out, Republicans are now looking at where they went wrong. There are some who say, you know, if Jon Huntsman had been the nominee, the moderate Jon Huntsman, he'd be in the Oval Office. We're going to talk this morning to his daughter Abby Huntsman about that.

And then, move over politics, it's all about Pauly-tics. That sounds like a girl from Long Island would say, Pauly-tics. That would be comedian Pauly Shore. He's going to join us with his take on political humor.

That's all ahead this morning at 7:00 a.m.

SAMBOLIN: It's always good to start your morning with some laughs. So thank you for that.

O'BRIEN: Yes, yes.

SAMBOLIN: All right, John?

BERMAN: I just want to hear her say Pauly more.

O'BRIEN: Like what? I'm from Long Island. I can do the whole thing.

BERMAN: Make it stop.

OK. The re-election celebration is over. Now it's time to get back to business.

Later today, President Obama will speak publicly from the White House for the first time since he accepted his second term, since his victory speech. The topic today is the economy.

So I want to bring in Richard Socarides. He's a Democratic analyst. He's a former senior adviser to Bill Clinton. And Ana Navarro, a CNN contributor and Republican strategist.

So, as we said, we're going to hear from the president today on the economy. And as he takes the podium, he was greeted with new comments from John Boehner to Diane Sawyer.

Let's listen to the Republican speaker.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOEHNER: We talk about all kinds of things we may disagree on. I'm the most reasonable responsible person here in Washington. The president knows this. He knows that he and I can work together. Now the election's over. Now it's time to get to work.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Now, he's talking about forging some kind of deal on the fiscal cliff. And those words, Ana, were really interesting to me. It seemed to me that the speaker were saying, you know, help me help you. If you don't want to have problems with the Tea Party in Congress, you better start dealing with me now, Mr. President.

What did it sound like to you, Ana?

ANA NAVARRO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: It sounded exactly like that. I think it's interesting to see all of this public courting and public preamble of a negotiation going on in front of our eyes, in front of the cameras, in front of the world. You know, these guys are saying a lot of things to each other, in public, we don't know what they've said to each other if anything yet in private. That's yet to be seen.

I think John Boehner is a reasonable, responsible person. And I think he has the hardest job in Washington. He's got to negotiate with the White House and then he's got to negotiate with his Republican caucus in Congress. I'm not sure which of those two is harder.

BERMAN: Could he sell tax increases? Could he sell letting the Bush tax cuts expire for the wealthy to a Republican House?

NAVARRO: I think it would be very, very difficult with his caucus. But we'll see. We'll see.

You know, John, when you're starting a negotiation, I think there's a few things that are off the table but both of them have to start from a place of yes, instead of a place of no. We'll see if that happens.

BERMAN: In terms of where they're starting, let me turn -- let me turn to Richard here, because Paul Krugman, a liberal editorial writer in "The New York Times." and an economist himself, he has -- he has a column out today where he talks about what the Democrats should be willing to do, willing to give up. Let me read from that right now, it's called let's not make a deal.

And Krugman says, let's put up on the screen, "Republicans are trying for the third time to use economic black mail to achieve a goal they lack the votes to achieve through the normal legislative process." He goes on, "So what should the president do? Just say no and go over the fiscal cliff if necessary."

He's saying, you know, if you can't get the Republicans to agree on raising taxes on the wealthy or letting the Bush tax cuts expire, go over the cliff. Is that a good place to start from?

SOCARIDES: I don't think it's a good place to start from. I also don't think it's a good place to end up, because I don't think that's the message the president got from the election. I don't think that's the message the American people have sent with the election returns.

I think Americans want us to make a deal and to move forward on the other important problems that face us. And I think, you know, with respect to the speaker, if he can't get a deal from his caucus, you know, it may be time for him to move on. I mean, he needs to -- he needs to bring Republicans together around a sensible proposal just like the Democrats need to compromise.

BERMAN: But Richard, back to the president quickly here. You seem to be saying the president should cave on the taxes to the wealthy.

SOCARIDES: I don't think he should cave, but I think that this moment that we face, this economic moment we face, is an important one for the country to get through. And I think after the election, both sides have to be willing to compromise.

BERMAN: All right. Let's talk a little bit more about the president, because there's some video that came out overnight of the president behaving in a way that I frankly, you know, I've never seen before. It's of the president speaking to his campaign supporters in the campaign office on Wednesday, the day after the election. Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I felt that the work that I had done in running for office had come full circle, because, what you guys had done, and the work that I'm doing, is important. And I'm really proud of that. I'm really proud of all of you. And -

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: He's not an emotional guy, and that was a whole lot of emotion.

SOCARIDES: It was a very poignant moment. But can you -- you can imagine what it must feel like to be re-elected president of the United States. I mean, the last election he'll ever run. He's barred from running again. And he's thanking his staff members. I'm sure it was very emotional.

And you know, these elections are very emotional. You're geared up the whole time, and then when they end, there's this emotional release. So, I think you really saw that at that moment.

BERMAN: And you get the last word here. Do you like the a new emotional president?

NAVARRO: I tell you it's a little surreal when you see video of President Obama crying and video of John Boehner not crying. So you know, but I do. I think, you know -- I also think it tells you that he's more comfortable showing his human side, his vulnerabilities, something that he hasn't done in the past.

And I also think it tells you that he is feeling somewhat free, after this election, and not having to stand for re-election ever again.

BERMAN: Ana Navarro, thanks so much. Great to see you. Richard Socarides, always nice to have you here in the studio. We'll be talking fiscal cliff probably for the next 53 days. Thanks, guys -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: Forty-seven minutes past the hour.

Parents listen up, if you have Nesquik in the pantry, you might want to toss it out, not mix it with milk this morning. Nestle has recalled more than 200,000 canisters of the chocolate drink mix over salmonella fears, they're saying. The bad batch was made last month with an expiration date of October 2014. October 2014 will be on the can. So far, there are no reports of anyone getting sick.

BERMAN: An upside down American flag at half-staff at a West Virginia McDonald's spotted right after the presidential election is being called an unfortunate mistake, not a political statement. The franchise owner insists this was not done on purpose. She said a flag cable broke, turning this flag upside down.

Angry passersby called local officials and TV stations to complain about this. A local station reported that it was fixed later in the day.

SAMBOLIN: Forty-eight minutes past the hour. Decades after the eagle first landed, NASA wants to take man back on the moon and then beyond. Former space station commander, Leroy Chiao, joins us right after the break. Good morning to you, sir.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: Welcome back to EARLY START. Fifty-two minutes past the hour. A stunning photo from the Hubble telescope. NASA has nicknamed this the Tadpole Galaxy. A long stream of stars appears to be racing through space behind the galaxy. Scientists say it was created by some sort of cosmic collision between two galaxies.

Could astronauts be headed back to the moon? A space policy expert told Space.com that plans are in the works by NASA to set up a manned outpost just beyond the moon that would help scientists learn about deep space travel, and eventually, be used as a staging area for future missions to deep space.

Former astronaut and International Space Station commander, Leroy Chiao, is joining us to explain all of this to us this morning. And I wanted to start with the location, because this is interesting. NASA has in mind for this outpost to be in an area that is beyond the moon. It is called earth moon libration point.

The spot is about 38,000 miles from the moon, 277,000 miles from the earth, further than any manned space mission has ever gone before. Sounds really far. What is special about that? And why build an outpost there?

LEROY CHIAO, FMR. NASA ASTRONAUT: There are a number of different libration points, earth moon libration points, and it's basically a libration point is the point where all the forces on a spacecraft or an object are pretty much in balance, and so, it would take very little fuel to keep an object in that area.

And so, if you're going to build a station at one of the points between the earth and the moon or beyond the moon, you would pick a libration point.

SAMBOLIN: All right. So, you spent six months living on the International Space Station. This location would be far more dangerous, we understand, for an astronaut's health. Could you tell us why?

CHIAO: Sure. When you're in low earth orbit, you're under the protection of the Van Allen radiation belt. It's a charged -- it's an electric field, if you will, and it traps a good portion of the charge particles of radiation that come from the sun. So, we're pretty well protected. Once you get past about one-third of the way to the moon, you're beyond those belts and the radiation environment is much, much harsher.

And so an astronaut on the moon, for example, or past the moon, would be exposed to the full force of that radiation. You worry about solar flares. If there's a solar event, you get a sudden pulse of very high radiation, which could be acutely lethal.

SAMBOLIN: So, you actually think that it would make more sense to build a man tended base on the moon. Why is that?

CHIAO: Well, you can do so much more on the surface of the moon. I mean, the biggest technical challenge to traveling beyond low earth orbit and farther is biomedical issues. And so, you know, you've got to figure out how do you keep astronauts healthy in that environment. And so, a station like that would help you to study that, but you'd also get the same effect on the moon.

If you build a crew-tended base on the moon, you could also test other operational things. You could test your hardware, your habitats, your space suits, your rovers, operations concepts. So, basically, you'd be killing, you know, more than one bird with that stone.

I understand, you know, of course it would be more expensive to build a crew-tended base on the moon rather than a station out in space at a libration point, but you get so much more if you build a crew-tended base on the moon.

SAMBOLIN: And my last question to you is money, because as you mentioned, this costs a lot of money. Who pays for it?

CHIAO: Sure. Of course, the government, taxpayer would pay for this. But I want to remind you, NASA's budget historically has been, you know, right around or less than one percent of the federal budget. So, you know, even with that, we are able to do what we do. And, you know, I don't want people to get this misperception that a significant portion of the budget goes to the space program, because it doesn't.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Well, we appreciate your perspective this morning. Thank you very much for joining us. Leroy Chiao, former NASA astronaut. Thank you, sir.

And today's "Best Advice" right after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: We're just about done here. As always, we wrap it up with "Best Advice."

SAMBOLIN: Here's Christine.

ROMANS: Friday edition. Today, we hear from former New Jersey governor, Christine Todd Whitman.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTINE WHITMAN, FORMER NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: Probably the best advice is I could do anything I wanted to do as long as I was willing to work hard for it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Work hard for it. Congress, do you hear that?

(LAUGHTER)

ROMANS: Work hard for it, please, because we don't want a fiscal cliff.

SAMBOLIN: Did you hand pick that one?

(LAUGHTER)

BERMAN: All right, everyone. Have a great weekend. That's all for EARLY START. I'm John Berman.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. "STARTING POINT" with Soledad O'Brien starts right now.

O'BRIEN: Welcome, everybody. Our "Starting Point" this morning, approaching the fiscal cliff. President Obama will give his first major speech today since his re-election. And it's all about the economy. Will we see a compromise soon? This, as the president fights away tears as he thanks his campaign team. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I'm really proud of that. I'm really proud to all of you. And what you have done --

(APPLAUSE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) O'BRIEN: Also this morning, more gas reaction (ph). Hundreds of thousands of people are still without power. Now, FEMA is sending trailers. We'll have the very latest on the recovery in the northeast and a live report.

A new warning from the Congressional Budget Office. Christine has that.

ROMANS: That's right, Soledad. About the dangers of going over the fiscal cliff, but one Nobel prize winning economist thinks we should just do it. What that would mean for your tax dollars?

BERMAN: And seven members of Navy SEAL team six punished after helping make a video game that some say is simply too realistic. Did they put national security at risk?