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Prince George Alexander Louis; Weiner Says "This Is Not About Me"; New Images of Crash Landing; U.S. Presses Russia on Snowden

Aired July 24, 2013 - 17:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Happening now, the royal baby's name revealed. William and Catherine announcing just a week ago that the third in line to the British throne will be called his royal highness, Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge. Just ahead, we're breaking down the history of the name and why they have may have chosen it.

Plus, the Supernanny herself, Jo Foster, right here in THE SITUATION ROOM. Her take on what we've seen so far of the proud new parents in action and her advice for what may be coming next.

And also, the New York City mayoral candidate, Anthony Weiner, vows to stay in the race despite his shocking admission to sending more sexually charged messages.

I'm Wolf Blitzer.


Just 24 hours since the -- since meeting the new royal baby, the world now knows his name. Once again, his royal highness, Prince George Alexander Louis.

The announcement from William and Catherine came just hours after Queen Elizabeth's first meeting with her new great grandson at Kensington Palace and a visit from the proud new uncle, Prince Harry.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, they are now spending some private and quiet time getting to know their son, this according to a palace spokesman. British media now reporting the newborn and his parents are in the village of Bucklebury, where Catherine's parents live. Let's go straight to CNN's Becky Anderson.

She's joining us from Buckingham Palace with more on what's going on. -- first of all, the name, Becky, steeped in a lot of British history.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is absolutely steeped in an awful lot of British history. His Royal Highness Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge is the first prince of Cambridge for more than 190 years.

But do remember his great granny's father, George VI. So if you are going to say to granny, as William seems to have done, you know. I want to be in with the family, as it were, then you've got him. And she'd have been absolutely delighted. Experts tell me that she'd have been very much involved in the naming of this child, although, you know, this is a very modern monarchy and Kate and William certainly are doing things their own way.

But, absolutely, the first George I, born in Germany back in the 18th century. So there's a long line of succession here.

If this child were to come to the throne -- and, of course, he is the third in line -- he needn't necessarily call himself George. For example, his grandfather, Prince Charles, it is said, was considering, if and when he takes to the throne, of calling himself, indeed, George VI.

So it doesn't matter what name you are born with, you can choose anything if you become a sovereign. But this is steeped in history and a name that's come to us very, very quickly.

If you remember that William, it took over a week. Prince Charles, it took a month before his christening and officially his naming ceremony.

So a couple of days, we've got it. It's the last piece in the puzzle. And Prince George and his mom and dad have gone off to Bucklebury and they have asked us all to respect them, at this point, and to give them a little bit of privacy.

BLITZER: They'd like some private time, no doubt about that -- Becky, any idea why there wasn't much more pomp and circumstance surrounding the announcement of the new name?

ANDERSON: If I were to guess -- and we don't know -- but if I were to guess, it is because they wanted to get this sort of media spotlight process over. I mean Prince Harry's name came almost immediately. But, you know, there was some speculation his name wouldn't be released for a period of time. There was no doubt they've had these names, I'm sure, for some time. It wasn't like they came out of hospital yesterday, went home last night to Kensington Palace and said now, what should we call him?

And I think there's more to it than that.

But, you know, the pomp and ceremony that we've seen over the past couple of days, the gun salutes, the ringing of the bells, I think that that sort of period is over.

Great granny, Queen Elizabeth II, you're absolutely right, today went to Kensington Palace, breaking royal protocol. You would normally expect William and Kate to have brought the baby to her. But we've seen a lot of breaking of royal protocol for what is this very modern monarchy. So, yes, it's out there, they've done it and they've moved away out of the spotlight.

BLITZER: An important development, indeed, in this whole process.

Becky, thank you. It's certainly been a whirlwind of activity for the new prince since leaving the hospital, complete with lots of royal visits, car rides and a whole lot more.

Let's bring in our royal panel to discuss what's going on.

Joining us, our CNN royal commentator, Victoria Arbiter, and our CNN royal historian, Kate Williams. She's the author, by the way, of the book "Young Elizabeth: The Making of Our Queen" and a lecturer at the University of London.

Kate, what was your reaction when you heard the name -- or shall we say the names?

KATE WILLIAMS, AUTHOR, "YOUNG ELIZABETH": Well, I accepted them. I mean there was no great surprises here.

William and Kate, they're a modern couple, they're a new couple. They want to change the monarchy. But they were never going to give this child an out there kind of name.

And George is so historic, the founder the dynasty that they are now a part of, George I. We've had a bumper load of Georges in British history. It's such a popular name. And it is, of course, the patron saint of England.

Alexandra was the queen's middle name. And Louis was a devoted uncle of Prince Philip, who was essentially Prince Philip's father, who did the job of bringing him up.

So this name, it is a bumper name, pleasing (ph) this lady, who is going to bed just about now in Buckingham Palace. It is there to delight Elizabeth II. And it means history and it means tradition. And it certainly means, what it says is that a king gives his name to the era. We are living now in the second Elizabethan era. One day, perhaps in the 22nd century, it will be the Georgian era once more.

BLITZER: Victoria, do you think the queen had the final say -- the final approval in the names?

VICTORIA ARBITER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think William definitely would have run the name by her. But the queen is very eager for the family to make their own choices.

Obviously, William was born into his position. He knows what's expected of him. But by nature, he and Kate are very traditional. So I think it absolutely would have been William and Kate's choice. But he would have wanted to talk about it with his grandmother.

He often defers matters of state to her. He really values her opinion and her experience. And he holds onto those moments with her preciously.

So I think he definitely would have run by it over a pot of tea and a meeting of the great grandson this morning. BLITZER: This is the first time for Queen Elizabeth, meeting a great grandchild, if you will, this time, obviously a great grandson. It's a speculation, I know, but Victoria, take us a little bit behind-the- scenes, because you've been in these palaces.

What do you think it was like?

ARBITER: Well, the queen does have two great grandchildren that are girls from Peter Philips. But, yes, this is the first great grandson. And I think there wouldn't have been too much ceremony. She arrived at Kensington Palace this morning. She was only there for half an hour. And this is a family that is very close. And it's hard to get to spend lots of time together, simply because all of their schedules are so crazy.

So she was respectful of the new parents' time, probably the fact that they had their first sleep-deprived night last night. And so she would have just wanted to hold the baby. And that's a photograph that I wish we could have seen, because as we've mentioned before, this is the first time since 1894 that a reigning monarch has three direct heirs to the throne living.

So what a monumental moment for the queen to be holding that baby for the first time.

BLITZER: Kate, let's talk about the uncle and the aunt, Aunt Pippa, uncle, Prince Harry. They came by to meet the new baby today.

What do you think the role they're going to play with this royal baby is going to be?

WILLIAMS: As you say, Wolf, it's been a really busy time for little Prince George. He's been receiving visitors out in the car. And Pippa and James, also, James Middleton, Kate's brother, and Uncle Harry, have been at the forefront. And I think we're definitely sure here that Pippa and Harry will play a vital role in bringing up this little boy.

We're very likely to see them being godparents. The christening of the boy will probably be in October, I expect. And I am very sure that Pippa will be a godmother and Harry will be a godfather. And then we'll have to think about who else is going to be a godparent, as well. Some royals have up to seven godparents, as William does. And they are going to be right there for him. Harry is going to be that fun uncle.

You know that fun uncle you always loved to play with, who wants to slide down the stairs bannisters and throw balls in the palace?

That's what Harry will be doing. So he'll be bringing a lot of fun to the little boy's life.

And Pippa is so close to Kate, she'll be a, really, a second -- a second kind of mother to the little boy.

BLITZER: A very lucky little boy, indeed, to have an uncle like Prince Harry, an aunt like Aunt Pippa, and parents like he has, as well.

We congratulate that entire family.

Thanks so much, Victoria Arbiter, Kate Williams.

We'll continue this conversation later here in THE SITUATION ROOM.

But coming up, the ups and downs of raising not just any child, but a little prince. The super nanny, Jo Frost, she's here in THE SITUATION ROOM with some personal advice for the new royal parents.

Also coming up, she says putting herself out there comes with a cost. We have a closer look at the woman who took everyone's breath away standing by her man, Huma Abedin.


BLITZER: The disgraced ex-Congressman and the New York City mayoral candidate is vowing to stay in the race despite prominent calls from both sides of the aisle for him to get out. This just one day after Anthony Weiner admitted, with his wife standing by his side, to sending more sexually charged messages after resigning from office in 2011 for similar acts.

Here's what Weiner told CNN earlier today.


ANTHONY WEINER (D), NEW YORK CITY MAYORAL CANDIDATE: At the end of the day, citizens are more interested in the challenge they face in their lives than anything that I have done embarrassing in my past. And, you know, I'm -- I'm fine. I've got an amazing wife and child upstairs. I have a comfortable life. This is not about me.


BLITZER: Our chief Congressional correspondent, Dana Bash, is in New York. She's been covering what's going on today with this mayoral candidate.

He's expected to speak shortly, I understand -- Dana, what is the very latest?

DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the very latest is that despite the fact that he did speak to reporters, who are camped outside his doorstep, this morning, he hasn't had any public events today for his mayoral race. But that is going to change in about 15 minutes, where he is going to be here in Lower Manhattan, where I am, and testifying before a Housing Authority committee meeting to talk about public housing, which, of course, is a very big issue in New York City.

Later, he's going to go to another borough, to the Bronx, to talk about education and other issues.

So he is very much trying to keep his eye on the ball, trying to keep his public schedule even as he is, you know, clearly dealing with the fact that this has very much encapsulate -- and really maybe capsizing his campaign, the fact that New Yorkers woke up to a very harsh "New York Times" editorial, a very harsh "Daily News" editorial and so on.

So that is basically what Anthony Weiner is trying to do, just kind of have his blinders on and keep going.

BLITZER: Both of those New York newspapers suggesting it's time for him to move off of this race.

BASH: Right.

BLITZER: Dana, you've also been taking a closer look at Anthony Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin.

Tell us a little bit more about this woman who was standing at his side yesterday when he made this dramatic announcement.

BASH: Well, I think it could give our viewers a bit of an insight to tell them that we were outside Anthony Weiner's headquarters here in Manhattan earlier today and saw that Huma Abedin was leaving. It was a definitely a signal that she is as she showed yesterday, very much all in when it comes to her husband's campaign.


BASH (voice-over): In a newly posted piece for "Harpers Bizarre, Huma Abedin said what could be the understatement of her life. "Launching this campaign was not an easy decision for our family to make. Putting yourself out there comes with a cost," and oh, did she put herself out there. In the annals of political wives standing by their men, this was unprecedented.

HUMA ABEDIN, WIFE OF CANDIDATE: Anthony's made some older mistakes, both before he resigned from Congress and after. But I do very strongly believe that it is between us and our marriage.

BASH: Admitting her husband continued sexting with other woman after their son was born and at least a year after publicly humiliating her doing the same thing, yet, telling New Yorkers she forgave him, so they should, too.

ABEDIN: It was not an easy choice in any way. But I made the decision that it was worth staying in this marriage. That was a decision I made for me, for our son, and for our family.

BASH: It was extraordinary that she spoke at all. Until now it was just the picture that signaled that a politician in trouble had support of his wife. Then South Carolina governor, Mark Sanford stood alone as he explained his affair, but otherwise did participate silently. Louisiana senator, David Vitter's wife as he was accused of sleeping with prostitutes.

Former Idaho senator, Larry Craig's wife in the face of allegations he was trolling for sex in an airport bathroom, and former Governor Eliot Spitzer's wife after he admitted to seeing high-priced prostitutes. A scene that prompted an entire TV series, "The Good Wife." UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- my personal failings with my wife, Alicia, and our two children.

BASH: Huma Abedin is no stranger to personal problems playing out on the political stage. For decades, she's been a key behind the scenes confident of politics most famous scorn woman, Hillary Clinton. Bill Clinton officiated at her wedding. Hillary Clintion is quoted as saying, "I have one daughter, but if I had a second daughter, it would be Huma.

Despite being notoriously private, she is incredibly savvy, knowing full well the potential impact of her words or of speaking at all.

ABEDIN: I love him. I have forgiven him. I believe in him, and as we have said from the beginning, we are moving forward.


BASH (on-camera): I've talked to democratic sources, and you don't get maybe a few seconds in before hearing the words "poor Huma" given what she's had to endure, but also, Wolf, if you talk to people who are close to her who really have a kind of a sense of what's going on inside their world, they say, look, this is very hard for her, but she is no victim. She went out, stood by Anthony Weiner's side, because she wanted to do it.

She wouldn't have done it any other -- if he want to do it (ph), she didn't want to do it, it wouldn't have happened, and you know, it's very interesting to look at her also as kind of a next generation of political women standing by her husband's sides when, you know, we've seen that maybe from the generation before.

BASH: All right. Dana, we'll stay in close touch with you. I know more is coming up later here in the SITUATION ROOM. Dana Bash in New York for us.

Also coming up, a horrific train crash, at least 20 people now reported killed, dozens hurt, we're getting new information.

And a new storm forming in the Atlantic right now, a storm called Dorian. Will it hit the United States?


BLITZER: Take a quick look at some of the other top stories in the SITUATION ROOM right now.

A Spanish official tells CNN at least 20 people are dead, dozens are injured after a train derailment. There's no word on what may have caused the wreck in Northwest Spain, but initially, it does not appear to be an act of terrorism. The high-speed train had more than 200 passengers on board and was traveling from Madrid.

A natural gas rig is burning in the Gulf of Mexico right now about 60 miles southwest of Grand Isle, Louisiana. Forty-four workers were able to safely evacuate after the initial blowout yesterday. The Coast Guard is on the scene along with two fire boats. A third one was on the way at last report.

The fourth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season is now formed. Tropical storm Dorian is packing maximum sustained winds right now of 50 miles an hour. The forecast shows it approaching the West Indies this weekend with little change in strength. It's too early to tell whether this storm will hit the United States.

An unusual flight delay for a U.S. Airways jet departing Charlotte, North Carolina. It was ready to leave when a swarm of bees descended on the truck, pushing it back from the gate. Passengers had to wait inside while the fire department and then a beekeeper arrived. The plane finally took off two hours late.

Up next, how to make sure the royal baby doesn't start acting like a royal problem child. We're going to ask the supernanny, Jo Frost. She's here in the SITUATION ROOM.

But first, a quick look at how you can impact your world by helping some very special children.


ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR: Hi. I'm Alec Baldwin, and we can make an impact on children's cancer. I've been involved with the Hole in the Wall Gang camp in Connecticut for around 20 years now. And the reason I got involved was a friend of mine introduced me to Paul Newman (ph).


BALDWIN: When you come to the camp, what's interesting is you see the joy in the kids' faces. They're having an experience here that they would likely only have here. It's the parents that you spend most of the time talking to, discuss what they've been going through, and they've been going through a lot, because there's nothing more vexing, I think, than to have a child who has a grave illness and you're powerless to do something about it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. Cam, what's the deal? Let's go.

BALDWIN: These kids have an excess of difficult things in life. It robs them of their childhood. When they come to the camp, they have a childhood on so many levels. Hole in the Wall is something where we have to keep it going. And it has to expand, probably the greatest cause I've ever seen in my life. Join the movement, impact your world,




BLITZER: Happening now the supernanny looks ahead of what's in store for Britain's new Prince George.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BLITZER (voice-over): Dramatic new images of a crashed landing at New York's LaGuardia Airport.

Plus, why a former president of the United States shaved his head?

I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in the SITUATION ROOM.


BLITZER (on-camera): William and Kate, no doubt, will have their hands full as new parents. All new parents do, in fact. And there will likely be no shortage of advice from experts on how best to raise their little prince. One fellow Brit they may want to talk to, the renounced supernanny, Jo Frost. Here's a clip from her hit show.


JO FROST, "SUPERNANNY": No, you'll pick her up. It's perfectly fine. You pick her up. What you're doing is (INAUDIBLE) that every time she behaves this way, it wants you to pick her up.


BLITZER: And the supernanny, Jo Frost, is joining us now. Jo, thanks very much for coming in. All right. So, we just saw a good little clip from your show. How do you keep potentially a little prince in check?

FROST: I think it's really all about making sure that you are communicative parents, that you're on the same page, that you understand what your little one needs, and certainly, for a new royal baby, there will be lots of royal protocol that are necessary, but also, two parents who are very devoted, very loving, and certainly on the same page with their virtues and morals in how they want to raise this little one.

They already have a wonderful start in certainly having Catherine's family there to support her, like most young moms. They have the additional grandparents and additional help as well. I think it's really a case of these new parents understanding the importance of being direct, to support each other, to get the sleep when necessary as newborns do sleep a lot, and to make sure that you say yes to the help that's being provided for you.

BLITZER: You know, I -- a lot of us were impressed when they came out of the hospital yesterday.

Let me play this little clip, because it shows how normal these two parents really want to be.



PRINCE WILLIAM: It was. And I'll remind him of his tardiness when he's a bit older. Because I know how long you've all been sat out here. So hopefully the hospital and you guys can all go back to normal now, and we can look after him. So,


PRINCE WILLIAM: He's got her looks, thankfully.




PRINCE WILLIAM: Ha ha ha. Wait and see, Peter, wait and see. Oh, we've done that already.




BLITZER: He said he's done that already, he changed nappies or diapers, whatever you want to call them. They're -- they're under enormous pressure, though, you've got to admit.

FROST: Well, I think they're just, you know, right now, in a place of, obviously, being very overwhelmed with a newborn. And I think it's really about the two of them understanding, really, those -- that first week. You know, that first week is -- is about getting, you know, used to the idea that you have a little one.

I mean what a miracle, right?

And making sure that you meet the needs of your little one, as well as making sure that mother is well rested and -- and certainly that William can support in any way that he can and be hands-on. I mean it's going to be parent craft for these two, learning how to wash the newborn and how to swaddle and certainly -- and breastfeeding that will come into play and, you know, making sure that we're well rested in -- in between.

And it's a -- a beautiful, exciting place for both William and Catherine. And no doubt, their confidence will grow week after week.

BLITZER: You know, there's one report out there, Jo, that Prince William has watched your program to prepare himself for parenthood.

What's the most important thing you think he should take away from that?

FROST: Um, certainly about the importance of communication. You know, I -- I say always to parents that we spend so much time talking and dating and getting to know one another -- and that's certainly what William and Catherine did -- um, to the place that I took them being together and married as one and now extending their love and their family with their newborn. And it's continuing that communication. It's continuing to listen to one another, to meet the needs in the nurture of their newborn and to enjoy -- you know, enjoy. We want this family rested. We want them to make sure that they're enjoying the moment, that at the same time, they have the support that's necessary from one another and the extended family.

And, uh, you know, enjoy. Enjoy being in the moment. They're a very grounded couple, as you can see from that clip previously. They understand the importance of being able to connect, to connect with the public. And, uh, certainly that duty as -- as royals. And they -- they certainly do a marvelous job of being able to do that.

And we want to celebrate. We want to celebrate. I'm wearing my very fitting royal blue. I'm -- I'm very proud to be British and to -- and to see this moment in history.

BLITZER: And -- but there must be some serious pitfalls that you would caution them to -- to think about, as far as raising a baby like this in the spotlight virtually all of the time.

FROST: Well, we saw a very good job of certainly Lady Diana do that and -- and Charles, where the children were raised with royal protocol, but at the same time kept very grounded. You know, the connection, certainly, they -- the young boys were taken on holidays with Lady Diana and Charles. We saw times of -- of them really connecting as a family.

And certainly, they're going to be behind closed doors and be -- and -- and just act as a family very normal. I do believe that we're going to see normalcy. Maybe we won't see it, but it certainly will exist beyond the Kensington Palace doors.

And, of course we have, you know, Kate's family, as well, um, very much involved with the newborn. And so there in its place, I think, is a lovely dose of being able to understand the importance of what will be necessary to protect and keep our newborn safe, but at the same time, for these parents to relax and to enjoy it as a young, modern family.

BLITZER: What do you think of the name, George Alexander Louis?

FROST: It's very fitting. I love traditional names. I think it's an honor to our queen's late father and, um, and Louis. Um, I believe that, um, William, uh, duchess of -- the Duchess of Cambridge -- does have that in his name. I believe that's part of his middle name, too.

BLITZER: Yes, he does.

FROST: Very fitting. Very cute.

BLITZER: One final, uh, question, if you want to do it. They may be watching you right now, the royal couple. Maybe the little baby is watching, as well. We're being seen on CNN International. Do you want to give them one final thought, as we move forward?

FROST: Yes. Enjoy it. Be in the moment. And congratulations. Congratulations.

BLITZER: A nice final thought from Jo Frost, former host of "Supernanny." Her new show, "Family SOS with Jo Frost" airs on TLC.

Hey, Jo, thanks very much.

FROST: Thank you.


BLITZER: The new royal baby, George Alexander Louis, as we've been reporting will be called George VII when he becomes king, although he could change that decision upon becoming king. He could change his name. His first - his full name is, of course, steeped in a lot, a lot of history.

CNN's Tom Foreman is here. He has been chasing and tracing the roots for us. Tom, what are you finding out?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was so interesting to hear Jo Frost say she likes the name because it's a traditional name. Here in this country, we would probably look at a name as this as seeming old- fashioned. Goodness, George Alexander Louis. George alone is something we often think of as an older name in this country. But last year, it was the 12th most popular name in England. So, it's a very much beloved name over there.

And it does have a long history behind out. By the way, I want to point out, three names right there, that's one name short of what's traditional. Not often they have four names included. But let's look a little bit further down at the lineage here of this family.

Big family spread out over time. And there have been a lot of Georges. We don't actually even have pictures of the Georges that go back further. But let me highlight them here. These are all Georges that we've highlighted in this chain here. That's why he's George VII. And if you look particularly at this one here, George VI is the father of the current queen right down here. Now that matters, because many people look at this and say, ah, they named this child for the father of the queen. The couple says that is not the case. They just like the name, but they acknowledge that it will make her very, very happy.

The history of the Georges is out there is replete with many historic events, but this George is important because many Americans will know this George from the movie "The King's Speech." That was the George we were talking about in that film.

Nonetheless, Wolf, as I said, it remains a popular name there in general. It means farmer or field worker. I'm pretty sure he won't be either one, but nonetheless before he would ever be called King George VII, he would have to ascend to the throne. And if you look at the longevity in the U.K. right now, in all likelihood between his grandfather Prince Charles and his father, that could be 50 years or more away.

BLITZER: It'd be a ways before he becomes the king of England. All right, thanks very much, Tom Foreman for that excellent, excellent history lesson.

Just ahead, President Obama vows to focus the rest of his time in office on one major issue. Stand by.

And dramatic new video of that crash landing at New York City's LaGuardia airport.


BLITZER: President Obama, in a major speech today, searching for an American solution, pledging to focus his energy for the rest of his presidency on working-class Americans -- the middle class, as he repeatedly cited today. Our chief White House correspondent, Jessica Yellin, is joining us with the details of this major speech, the first of several he's about to make.

Jessica, I think this may have been his longest speech ever. It went on and on and on.

JESSICA YELLLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It did, Wolf. It was in fast longer than his last State of Union. By our count, it clocked in at one hour, six minutes and 26 seconds. In that time, he mentioned jobs 36 times, he mentioned the middle class 22 times.

So, it's six months into his second term, and he doesn't have any major legislative accomplishments to brag about. So, what is he doing? He has taken a message on the road to push Congress on his major economic priorities to try to wrest control of his second-term agenda.

And he outlined what his major legislative, economic priorities are. Retirement security, affordable education, jobs, housing, and a big one, pushing Obamacare. These are all going to be the themes of big -- five big economic speeches he's going to deliver between now and mid-September. By the end of September, Wolf, you'll see a big fight over debt and spending. He wants to lay out the terms of his debate before that fight begins, Wolf.

BLITZER: And Jessica, the president had a very special message for Republicans out there, especially the Republicans in the house.

YELLIN: Indeed he did. The message was blame the Republicans for inaction in Washington, and especially, as you say, House Republicans. The message was tinged with a little bit of a prod, saying let's get the show going before that big spending fight in the fall. Here's the president.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As Washington prepares to enter another budget debate, the stakes for our middle class and everybody who's fighting to get into the middle class could not be higher. And we'll need Republicans in Congress to set aside short-term politics and work with me to find common ground.

If Washington will just shake off its complacency and set aside the kind of slash-and-burn partisanship that we have just seen for way too long, we just make some commonsense decisions, our economy will be stronger a year from now.


YELLIN: And Wolf, the president did have some kind words for a few Senate Republicans who have been trying to work with the president. But the Republican leaders, Senator Mitch McConnell, he was not so kind. He said he has heard it all before.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: We have heard it all before. It's really quite old.


YELLIN: (LAUGHTER) I guess that's all he had to say. The Senate leadership, the Republicans really critical of the president's speech, Wolf. And I'll tell you something, I think we'll hear a lot more of the back and forth and the hammering from both sides on this topic between now and that spending fight. It sure does sound like deja vu all over against.

BLITZER: All right. Jessica Yellin at the White House watching what's going on, thank you.

There may be some serious improvement in the overall U.S. economy since the recession of 2008, but America's poorest --America's poorest would not necessarily know that. Here are some very, very disturbing numbers.

When President Obama took office in January 2009, about 32 million Americans were on the federal food stamps program

When President Obama took office in January 2009, about 32 million Americans were on the Federal Food Stamps Program at a cost to American taxpayers of around $35 billion.

Now get this, nearly 48 million Americans need food stamps at a cost of more than $80 billion. And millions of those people on food stamps, they are children would go to bed hungry without food stamps.

Hard to believe nearly 50 million Americans. Many of them would be starving without food stamps in the United States right now.

Coming up, disturbing new details about what happened to this plane's front landing gear, as it touched down in New York City.

And a former president goes bald. Here he is, for a very good cause.


BLITZER: We're following that crash landing of the Southwest Airlines jet at New York's LaGuardia Airport. And federal investigators are releasing new details of Monday's accident that injured 10 people. Brian Todd has been working the story for us.

So, Brian, what is the very latest.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, we've got new pictures, new information on what happened in those crucial moments when the Southwest plane crash landed. As the investigation into this accident moves forward, a lot of different questions are being asked about landing gear failures. We spoke to a prominent safety expert, a former 737 pilot, who took us through the scenarios.


TODD (voice-over): At this window seat, passenger Bryan Foster has his Go'Probe' camera knocked out of his hand on impact but regains it in time to film the dramatic skid of Southwest Flight 345.

Outside we saw flames shoot up. The plane grind to a stop. The FAA says a review of air traffic control tapes indicates the pilot likely didn't know there was a front landing gear failure until the 737 was scraping along the tarmac.

We got an inside look at what that 737 cockpit control system might have looked like at the crucial moment.

KEVIN HIATT, FLIGHT SAFETY FOUNDATION: This is when the landing gear lever is in the down and locked position with three green lights indicate that the gear is down and safe.

TODD (on camera): And that's what the Southwest pilot would have seen Monday evening, right?

HIATT: That's what the pilot would have seen just prior to landing, yes.

TODD (voice-over): Kevin Hiatt of the Flight Safety Foundation is a former 737 pilot. He says landing gear failures don't happen very often on those model. With cockpit and exterior diagrams we look at what could have gone wrong.

HIATT: You've got a strut here that comes down to the wheels, so perhaps something in here when the plane touched down and the forces that are on a plane when it touched down may have decided to fail at that particular time.

TODD: Hiatt says the front landing gear may have collapsed backward and up into the electronics bay. The gear and an axle are shown in the damaged bay in this new picture tweeted by the NTSB. When a landing gear collapses, if there's been no pilot warning --

(On camera): Is the pilot just hanging on to that steering mechanism for dear life and keeping it straight?

HIATT: Well, they would probably take the control yoke, as we'd say, and they would push it forward and then use the rudder pedals down here to help steer the aircraft until it came to a stop. TODD (voice-over): I asked Hiatt what the worst-case scenario could have been at LaGuardia.

HIATT: The worst part of an event like this could be where the aircraft wing or main landing gear fails, and comes down, gets into the dirt and does some type of a spin or even a cartwheel.

TODD: With much of the plane's fuel in the wings, Hiatt says, that could spark a much larger fire.

Southwest flies only 737s in its fleet and the LaGuardia accident isn't a first. In June 2007 a Southwest 737 had a nose gear collapse in Oakland, California. The pilot did have advanced warning then and made an emergency landing.


TODD: When I asked Hiatt if this is a problem unique to Southwest Airlines or to the 737, he said no. The main issue, he says, is the frequency of takeoffs and landings, the simple wear and tear on any given aircraft -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Those Boeing 737s, Brian, as you well know, they're extremely popular.

TODD: That's right. Hiatt calls them the most utilized aircraft in the world. Southwest has over 500 of them in its fleet. As we mentioned it doesn't fly anything else. This particular plane was just inspected last week but Hiatt and other experts are telling us the wear and tear on the 737 is something that has to be looked at. These are utilized tens of thousands of times a day and it is the most popular aircraft in this country and around the world. They have a lot of wear and tear. Quite a bit of factor on --

BLITZER: Well, I'm sure the NTSB will eventually find out.

TODD: Right.

BLITZER: What happened. All right, Brian. Thanks very much.

When we come back, the former president of the United States, George H.W. Bush now bald for a very emotional reason. You're going to find out what's going on.

And Britain's new little prince meeting members of his family, settling in with his parents. Even has a new name. So what's next for the royal baby? We're going back to London. We're live right at the top of the hour.


BLITZER: Happening right now in Brazil, take a look at this. Pope Francis being greeted at St. Francis of Assisi Hospital in Rio de Janeiro. During a sermon earlier in the day the Pope encouraged a crowd of young people, telling them, and I'm quoting now, "Christians cannot be pessimists." Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from around the globe have come to Rio for World Youth Day. That's a weeklong festival held every two years. The Pope also announced that he will return to Brazil in 2017.

It's been one month since the former government contractor Edward Snowden arrived in Moscow after revealing details of massive U.S. surveillance programs. With his passport revoked, Snowden has been holed up ever since in the transit area of the city's international airport while seeking asylum in multiple countries.

The U.S. is pressuring Russia to return Snowden. Most recently in a phone call today by the Secretary of State John Kerry to his Russian counterpart.


JEN PSAKI, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN: The secretary spoke with the Foreign Minister Lavrov this morning. He reiterated our belief, the belief of the United States, that Mr. Snowden needs to be returned to the United States where he will have a fair trial, that Russia still has the ability do the right thing.


BLITZER: CNN's Phil Black is in Moscow with more.


PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Edward Snowden's application for temporary asylum in Russia is being processed and that could take up to three months. It is possible he would be allowed to leave the transit side of Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport before then, but at the moment it does not look likely.

Wednesday afternoon Russian media reported that Snowden had already received the necessary documents to cross the immigration zone and into Russia to wait here while his request is being considered. Snowden's lawyer Anatoly Kucherena traveled to the airport and met with him in a secure transit zone but emerged from that meeting to say no, those reports are not true. He has not yet received those documents, and he does not know when he will receive them.

Kucherena says normally by now under neutral process an asylum seeker would be allowed to enter the country, explained the delay in this case by saying, it is an exceptional case.

ANATOLY KUCHERENA, RUSSIAN LAWYER (Through Translator): I have to tell you the matter has not yet been resolved. That means nobody has rejected anything coming from Edward, but unfortunately the situation we have now is indeed unusual for Russia. You have to take our bureaucracy into account. Therefore his papers are still being considered.

BLACK: The lawyer brought Snowden a change of clothes and some classic Russian novels. He says Snowden is studying Russian culture. He now wants to stay here long term, much longer than the one-year temporary asylum he has asked for.

Phil Black, CNN, Moscow.


BLITZER: And take a look at this. The former President George H.W. Bush as we have never seen him before. The 89-year-old former president shaved his head to show support for the 2-year-old son of one of his Secret Service agents. The little boy named Patrick lost his hair because he's undergoing treatment for leukemia.

When President Bush learned the members of the Secret Service detail all shaved their heads to show solidarity with Patrick, he decided he would join them.

This is a matter that's very close, by the way, to the former president's heart. He lost his 4-year-old daughter Robin to leukemia more than half a century ago.