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Gun Control Compromise; Immigration Reform

Aired April 10, 2013 - 15:00   ET


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Down to three. Can we still keep rolling? We have three. Let's keep going.

Vanessa, I want to go to you, because we were thinking. Look, we dug up, I think, a picture of a cross-dressing Rudy Giuliani from some time ago. Supposed to be a joke, right? A little kerfuffle. It was like a political roast. Look, it is New York. It's not like it is Peoria we're talking about.


I mean, you know, politicians have nine lives. We have such a short memory in terms of what they have done in the past, and people have come back from a lot worse things than tweeting out, you know, their indiscretions over the airwaves.

I think that if he comes out legitimately humble with policies that the New Yorkers believe are strong and can actually help the city, then he might stand a chance. You never know.


Ben Ferguson, wherever you are, thanks for joining me. Vanessa Bush, Donna Joyner, Chris Frates, my thanks to all of you here, hot topics panel. That was a first.


BALDWIN: Now this. Top of the hour. I'm Brooke Baldwin.

On the day, it doesn't go as far as universal background checks. But a new partisan gun proposal may be as good as it gets with the best chance at becoming law. Why? Because it is coming from these two men. Here they are. You have Senator Pat Toomey on the right side there from Pennsylvania. Then you have stepping up to the mike, Senator Joe Manchin, Democrat, West Virginia.

Their gun reform plan would do this, expand background checks to buyers at gun shows and online. Keep in mind right now this is the only people buying at gun stores are vetted. But it would exempt private transactions.


SEN. PAT TOOMEY (R), PENNSYLVANIA: The bottom line for me is this. If expanding background checks to include gun shows and Internet sales can reduce the likelihood of criminals and mentally ill people from getting guns and we can do it in a fashion that does not infringe on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, then we should do it and in this amendment I think we do.


BALDWIN: No doubt critics would see that omission as a big old loophole. But what else does the proposal involve? It would ban a national gun registry, would set up a commission to study mass violence and allow dealers to use a conceal and carry permit in place of a background check when authorizing the sale of a firearm.

Joining me now is a mom, mother of this Sandy Hook student gunned down four months ago. Ana Grace Marquez was 6 years old. Ana's mother flew from her home in Connecticut, with the president. She's the one there you see the sign, it says love wins, and has been trying on Capitol Hill, trying to convince lawmakers to back gun safety reform.

Nelba Marquez-Greene joins me now live.

Nelba, I thank you so much for being here with me.

Here we have this plan. You're there on Capitol Hill. This is a possible compromise on background checks. Does it go far enough in your opinion?

NELBA MARQUEZ-GREENE, MOTHER OF SANDY HOOK VICTIM: You know, I'm just grateful that we started the conversation.

I'm grateful not only for the product of this amendment or what could possibly be an amendment we're voting on, but also for the process. What I have seen here is people working together on both sides to try to do something, to reduce the likelihood of another mother standing in my shoes.

BALDWIN: Tell me about -- you talk about the conversations, that you're glad At least the dialogue is beginning. You're there on the Hill. Tell me who you have talked to. Tell me how to reception to your being there has been.

MARQUEZ-GREENE: Brooke, I want you to understand and your listeners to understand I'm only a mother, I'm not a lawmaker, I'm not someone who knows a lot about what happens in Washington, but I can tell you that I was heard. I can tell you that I was listened to.

That doesn't mean that everybody agreed with me or -- you know, we're a I have diverse group, the parents that came here. That doesn't mean there was agreement on all the issues. But I felt heard and I'm incredibly encouraged by what I saw in Washington, which is bipartisan cooperation.

BALDWIN: Let me ask you now. We talked last hour. I talked to a gun rights advocate. He said what the NRA is also echoing, that this proposal here, this possible compromise, you know, would not stop another mass shooting. What would you say to him?

MARQUEZ-GREENE: I would say that this is going to be a marathon. It is not a sprint. So this is the beginning. This is the beginning of a conversation and this is one small act we can do now. And we will just keep going in these efforts to protect Americans.

BALDWIN: Nelba, it has been nearly five months since you lost your little girl. I know that support has been pouring in. Even the day after, I saw all the tributes in Newtown when I was there.

How are you doing? I know the world wants to know. Do you keep Ana's room the same? What have these last few months been like for you?

MARQUEZ-GREENE: If I can get up and brush my teeth, it is a good day. The fact that I'm standing here in Washington is a testament to the prayers of the American people who have kept my family afloat over the past five months.

I'm so incredibly thankful for all the support we have received. And I can't say thank you enough, not only to our friends in America, but to our friends in Canada, that we just left about six months ago now. Thank you.

BALDWIN: OK. Nelba Marquez-Greene, thank you so much and I'm so sorry for your loss.

MARQUEZ-GREENE: Thank you, Brooke. Thank you, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Now, want to go and just dip in here and hear Michelle Obama, first lady, joining, speaking about guns, joining the White House to push for tighter gun control. Let's take a listen.


MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: I started out with exactly the same aptitude, exactly the same intellectual, emotional capabilities as so many of my peers.

And the only thing that separated me from them was that I had a few more advantages than some of them did. I had adults who pushed me. I had activities that engaged me, schools that prepared me to succeed. I had a community that supported me and a neighborhood where I felt safe.

And in the end, that was the difference between growing up and becoming a lawyer, a mother, and first lady of the United States, and being shot dead at the age of 15. And that is why this new fund that you have created here in Chicago is so important.

It is so important. As you heard, this fund will help create those ladders of opportunities for all of our kids. It will give our children mentors who push them and nurture them. It will teach them the life skills they need to succeed. It will give them alternatives to gangs and drugs, safe places where they can learn something, stay out of trouble, because we know that every single child in this city has boundless promise, no matter where...

BALDWIN: So, as we go from one mother to this mother, a mother of two girls, Michelle Obama there, standing in Chicago, joining the White House's push here for more gun control legislation.

In fact, looking at her reminded me of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton. She actually just mentioned her. She the 15-year-old who was shot in violence not too long ago, very soon after the inauguration. Remember, she was there for inauguration weekend in Washington, D.C., in a marching band,.

And that shooting actually happened blocks from the Obamas' Chicago home. So we will continue to watch the first lady speaking in Chicago, a city that has certainly been riddled by gun violence.

Happening now, thousands of people rallying at the Capitol, demanding Congress pass immigration reform this year. There are an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living right here in the United States. They want a better path to citizenship.

CNN's political reporter Shannon Travis is live at the Capitol.

Shannon, set the scene for me and tell me -- OK. Hearing we just lost Shannon Travis. We will work on getting him back up and see what those people there -- we do have him now? OK.

Shannon Travis, I hear we have you now. You with me?

SHANNON TRAVIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There is a lot going on out here, Brooke. But let me set the scene for you.

Basically, these immigration reform supporters came to the very place where President Obama was inaugurated to deliver a message. They have been chanting repeatedly, Obama, listen, we are fighting. They also used his own words, si, se puede. You remember that, Brooke, yes, we can. They're out here fighting for immigration reform.

This is a national rally for citizenship. They expected potentially tens of thousands of people right here at the Capitol. I don't think it is that many people to give you a sense of the crowd size. We have got speakers speaking right now. We have some faith leaders, some political leaders, some union leaders out here, and obviously families who are impacted, being adversely impacted by immigration reform.

I have got one family right here with me, Brooke. This is Luis (ph) right here. And this is his 13th, soon-to-be-14-year-old daughter. She is an American citizen, Brooke. He is an undocumented worker.

And, Sir, why are you out here today?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I came to support immigration.

And I'm working all night last night, and also I came to Washington. And I want to say because my daughter, she born here in New Mexico, and I no have papers, and so I don't know what -- what I can say when immigration touch me. I no have papers.

TRAVIS: Thank you, Luis, for talking with us.

Brooke, obviously, this is important to a lot of families out here. We know the gang of eight, that plan that they hope to reveal, maybe this week, perhaps next, today Senator Rubio briefed Republican senators on the plan. We will see what happens out of that -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: OK. Shannon Travis for us there in front of the Capitol with a whole lot of people wanting that change, wanting that pathway. Shannon, thank you.


BALDWIN: Cash reward up for grabs. Who could forget this guy? Christopher Dorner, that former L.A. Cop who went on a shooting spree, sparked a massive manhunt. There was a $1 million reward in the case. So far, no one has gotten it. We're going to ask Sunny Hostin why that is -- "On the Case" next.


BALDWIN: The Constitution is at the heart of the hearing today for alleged Colorado theater gunman James Holmes.

At issue is whether a reporter can be forced to reveal the sources who told her in this case what was in this notebook that James Holmes sent to a psychiatrist before that shooting rampage that killed 12 people and wounded 70.

CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin is here.

Obviously, in this business, we know sources are incredibly important. And you want to protect them. Why does it matter where this reporter got her information?

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, there's no question that Holmes' attorneys will want that information, because if a source gave -- if it was a law enforcement official gave her this information, they were under a gag order. And so during cross-examination, certainly, if that law enforcement officer gets on the witness stand, you can attack him or her by means of saying, well, you violated a court order and now we're supposed to believe you, this jury is supposed to believe you.

So, it really goes to credibility and it could be very important. But you also have to sort of weigh this reporter's source privilege, which is so very important, all the privileges are important, doctor/patient, attorney/client privilege, with Holmes' right to get a fair trial.

BALDWIN: Could she be forced to give it up?

HOSTIN: She could be forced to get on the witness stand. But if she doesn't say anything, she will be held in contempt and she could go to jail.

And we know that reporters -- this happens to reporters often, not that often, but it does happen, where they go to jail for about six months because they refuse to divulge their sources. But this is very much a First Amendment issue. As you mentioned, reporters need this privilege to do what we do. Lawyers need them. Doctors need them. If not, the system sort of fails.

So I suspect that this is going to be a long, hard fight. She got a little bit of a reprieve because the judge said I'm not going to decide this issue yet until we know that the defense is going to bring up this mental health defense. But, come on, you know the defense is going to bring this up.

BALDWIN: We will see if she has to.

I want to ask you, of course, Christopher Dorner and that whole case. Right? So, now we know today these 911 tapes have been released. This is the call that was made just before former L.A. cop Christopher Dorner's last stand at Big Bear Lake. He was wanted for shooting at four police officers. Remember, he was the subject of this huge manhunt a couple of months back.

This call was made by that couple he tied up inside their condo in Big Bear. Take a listen.


911 OPERATOR: You guys were tied up?

KAREN REYNOLDS, VICTIM: Yes, well, I got -- yes.

911 OPERATOR: OK. And how long ago he did leave?

JIM REYNOLDS, VICTIM: Fifteen minutes.

K. REYNOLDS: Fifteen minutes to a half-hour.

911 OPERATOR: Did he take your vehicle?

K. REYNOLDS: He took our keys.


BALDWIN: So they -- yes, your thought was exactly mine. Sound pretty calm for...

HOSTIN: Yes. They do. Yes.

BALDWIN: ... having just been tied up by this man. Do you think -- they have applied. They want that reward, which has not been given out yet.

HOSTIN: It hasn't been given out and they want the reward and the guy whose car was hijacked also is applying for the reward. It is a $1 million reward. And it is -- this actually issue upsets me. BALDWIN: Why?

HOSTIN: Because I think you do -- if you put this reward out and you do want citizens to step in, because they don't normally have to step in...


BALDWIN: Call police, tell them where the bad guys are.

HOSTIN: And so now they really are entitled to this reward and they're sort of switching up the rules here.

First, it was if this guy was caught and convicted. Well, we know that he killed himself in that fiery blaze. And so now they're saying we're going to change the criteria and you have got to apply.

But if they decide to -- if some of these groups decide to withdraw the money, there is no legal recourse. And I'm thinking, that's not right. There is something fundamentally unfair.


BALDWIN: You think they will get it, at least maybe part of it?


HOSTIN: Maybe part of it. But shouldn't they get all of it? I'm upset. I don't like this.

BALDWIN: I know. I can tell.

HOSTIN: I don't like this.

BALDWIN: Not fair. Not fair, so says Sunny Hostin.

HOSTIN: Unjust.


BALDWIN: Former federal prosecutor spoken well.

Sunny, thank you very much.

Now, moments ago, we showed you what happened in Chicago. Michelle Obama has been speaking, talking about violence in that city. Want to play just a clip for you where she got pretty emotional. You're going to see it next.


M. OBAMA: And I urge them to use of their lives to give meaning to Hadiya's life. I urge them to dream as big as she did and work as hard as she did and live a life that honors every last bit of her God- given promise. So, today, I want to say the exact same thing to all of you. I want to urge you to come together and do something worthy of Hadiya Pendleton's memory and worthy our children's future. Join me and Hadiya's classmates and young people across this city who, by the way, even in the face of so much hardship, and such long odds, are still fighting so hard to succeed.

We need to show them not just with words, but with action, that they are not alone in this struggle. We need to show them that we believe in them, and we need to give them everything they need to believe in themselves. I would not be here if it weren't for that kind of belief.

And I know that together we can do this. So let me tell you this. I look forward to the work that you do. I look forward to you hitting this goal and surpassing it. I look forward to this city being the model of what communities can do to wrap their arms around our youth and make them the best they can be, to embrace all of our neighborhoods, and every last one of our children.

Thank you so much. Good luck and God bless.




BALDWIN: We talked about this earlier with our chief White House correspondent Jessica Yellin.

Today, Barack Obama unveiled his fifth presidential budget proposal. So, this is for fiscal 2014, starts October 1. And this thing, it is pretty thick. You can see them. Look at this. Pretty thick, 244 pages thick, looks like more there.

I know Gloria Borger, she will stay up late with this page- turner.




BALDWIN: Let me get to the -- let me get to the three headlines that we have sort of deduced here. One, the all-important deficit goes down in 2014 to $744 billion.

Headline two, you have the taxes. The president wants more from the wealthy for the deficit shrinkage to start up the national pre-K. Headline three, something new and potentially irksome to the president's own supporters, possible savings coming out of Social Security and Medicare.

So, Gloria Borger, chief political analyst, we have heard the president say that we are more than halfway now to that $4 trillion in debt reduction he says we need to do. But then we heard him say this.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If anyone thinks I will finish the job of deficit reduction on the backs of middle-class families or through spending cuts alone that actually hurt our economy short-term, they should think again. When it comes to deficit reduction, I have already met Republicans more than halfway.

So, in the coming days and weeks, I hope that Republicans will come forward and demonstrate that they're really as serious -- as serious about the deficits and debt as they claim to be.


BALDWIN: Gloria, we have heard this before, the president saying the wealthy need to pay higher taxes. The Republicans saying no, no, no. Is this the same old, same old?

BORGER: Yes, it is.

Do you get the feeling you have seen this movie before?


BORGER: I get the feeling you do. Right?

We have seen this movie before as recently as last December. This is essentially the deal that the president put on the table in order to try and avoid that fiscal cliff crisis, right? And so he's putting it on the table again. And, of course, the question is why would Republicans now decide that they would be more willing to compromise with him today than they were back then?

The answer to that is they're not. We have heard Republicans say they're not. But, but the president does deserve some credit for at least going back and saying, you know what, there are some changes I would make as far as Social Security, and, yes, there are some changes I would make as far as Medicare.

House Speaker John Boehner says we can revisit some of those. But they're small. They're not enough. And we're not going to go for any new revenue.

Here we are again.

BALDWIN: Well, you wrote about this in your piece. It is really crunch time here. There are a lot of issues. We know they're having dinner, the president, these eight Republicans, at the White House tonight. So we will see what can get maybe brokered -- the beginning of some brokerage tonight over some dinner. We will see. Gloria Borger, thank you.

BORGER: I would like to be at that dinner, wouldn't you?

BALDWIN: Fly on the wall perhaps, definitely. BORGER: Yes. Exactly.

BALDWIN: Gloria, thank you.

Now diplomacy with a dictator. CNN has learned U.S. and North Korean officials met secretly in the days before North Korea really ramping up this latest threat round. So, next, we're asking Christiane Amanpour about these meetings and reports that North Korea is planning not just one or two, multiple missile launches any time now.