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San Diego Mayor Faces Recall Push; First on CNN: One-on-One with Prince William; U.S. Student Loan Debt

Aired August 19, 2013 - 10:30   ET



CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Happening in the NEWSROOM, it might be easier to recall the president of the United States than the mayor of San Diego. Bob Filner remains in charge and soon could be back behind his desk at city hall as his opponents fight to have him removed.


PRINCE WILLIAM, DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE: I think more shock and dauntingness was the feeling I felt.


COSTELLO: Prince William sitting down and opening up about being a dad, his captivating first interview since the birth of his son.

And second down and -- ouch, sideline reporter Pam Oliver taking a pass off the face. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Good morning. Thank you very much for being with me. I'm Carol Costello. Checking our top stories at just about 30 minutes past the hour -- more than 100,000 acres have already burned in the Idaho wilderness and firefighters are working tirelessly to protect 5,000 homes near Sun Valley from going up into flames. Lightning sparked this fire more than two weeks ago. It's one of nine big fires burning across Idaho.

In Egypt, ousted ruler Hosni Mubarak scores a small victory in court. Egyptian TV reports that a criminal court has acquitted him in a corruption case. It involves squandering public money on palace renovations. Mubarak is awaiting retrial in last year's deaths of anti-government protesters.

In sports, a measure of revenge for Alex Rodriguez, Boston pitcher Ryan Dempsey hit a-rod with a pitch. There it is in the second inning of the Red Sox/Yankees game last night. The Fenway faithful absolutely loved it. Not so much the Yankees skipper, though, Joe Jirdardy, who was tossed out for arguing with the umpire. A-Rod was up in the inning against Dempster and smacked the home run off him. The sweetest revenge, isn't it? Yankees went on to win 9-6.

Not since before he left for intense behavior therapy have we seen San Diego Mayor Bob Filner at work. Tomorrow, we might get that chance. The mayor is supposed to return to office on Tuesday. An office he doesn't even have a key for anymore because the locks have been changed. For weeks now, Bob Filner has avoided city hall as the sexual harassment scandal that surrounded him grows ever bigger.

In fact, despite numerous attempts by CNN, Bob Filner has not even acknowledged the 16 women who accused him of inappropriate conduct. We're holding his feet to the fire. "Filner Watch" reaches day 29.

San Diego City Councilman Scott Sherman joins me now. Good morning, Councilman.


COSTELLO: I'm good. Do you think that the mayor will show up tomorrow?

SHERMAN: Oh, I wouldn't doubt it -- the Mayor is all about being in power and being in charge. And I'm sure he'll show up and -- I don't think he's going anywhere soon.

COSTELLO: But -- but can you imagine he's going to show up and the locks have been changed on his office, so he won't be able to get in.

SHERMAN: Well, Lee Burdick, his chief of staff was the one who had the locks changed. My understanding is she gave the keys to the police chief. I'm sure that you know his chief of staff Lee Burdick she enables him in most everything. So I'm sure she'll be able to get him back in there.

COSTELLO: OK so Bob Filner shows up at work tomorrow, he gets into his office where the locks have been changed. And -- and then what happens?

SHERMAN: Well, that's the big, you know, that's the $64 million question right there. He can't be alone with women at this point. He can't be trusted really to do anything at city hall. He has no confidence of any sitting council member. I mean, it's a 9-0 majority who don't want him to be our mayor. And he's got a recall in the Department of Justice and FBI all looking into things.

So his effectiveness as a mayor is pretty much done. It's just trying to actually get him out of there. I mean, Bob's always worried about his mark that he's going to leave on San Diego. And at this point it looks like it's going to be fingernail marks on top of his desk as we drag him out of there.

COSTELLO: Oh my God. OK. Let's talk about the effort to get him out of office because it's incredibly difficult in San Diego.

SHERMAN: Very difficult.

COSTELLO: So those wanting him out of office, they have to gather 101,000 signatures. Why so many?

SHERMAN: It's 15 percent of the amount of people who voted in the last election for mayor. And it's a very short time frame, too. The way the charter's set up, it's 39 days to gather that amount of signatures which is an astronomical effort.

COSTELLO: And then the signatures have to be validated, right?

SHERMAN: Right. Right. And there's a provision in the charter that if you're within a certain range of the targeted number, then you get an extension of time to make sure that they're all valid and good to go. But you know yesterday, 1,100 people showed up outside to actually collect petitions and start going out and gathering signatures. And each one of them brings back enough, you know, 100 signatures, we're there so.

COSTELLO: OK, so as far as city council is concerned, the best you can do right now is to pass some sort of resolution urging the mayor to leave office.

SHERMAN: Yes. And I've drafted that up. It's in writing, ready to be passed out to the rest of the council members to have them look at it. And then we'll be taking a vote on it. There's also a section in the charter, section 108 that deals with removal of an officer from office. And now that there's a strong mayor, the mayor is technically the chief -- CEO of the city. So he is an officer, and this does pertain to him. But if they knowingly misuse city treasury funds, then they can be removed from office judicially. And we're going to be looking at that, too.

COSTELLO: All right. Well we'll be following the story. And I can't wait to see what happens tomorrow, frankly. San Diego city Councilman Scott Sherman, thank you so much.

SHERMAN: No. Thank you for having me.


Before we move on, an invitation for Mayor Filner. I would love to hear your side of the story. We've reached out by e-mail and phone and on air. But I would love you to have -- I love to have you Mayor Filner in the NEWSROOM or on camera. I'll even fly to San Diego. So the invite is there. The ball's in your court.

Still to come in the NEWSROOM, Prince William like you've never seen him -- the future king opening up -- opening up to CNN about parenthood for the first time since the birth of George.


COSTELLO: One-on-one with a future king. Prince William sat down with CNN's Max Foster opening up about fatherhood for the first time since the birth of his son, George. And of course the Prince talked about that moment he walked out of the hospital with his wife and son to that incredible media frenzy. Listen.


PRINCE WILLIAM: I think more shock and dauntingness was the feeling I felt. But it was -- the thing is it's some -- I think I was on such a high anyway and so was Catherine about George, that really we were happy to show him off to everyone to see him as any new parent knows. You're only too happy to show off your new child and proclaim that he's the best looking or the best everything.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: There is the baby -- the new royal heir in the United Kingdom.

You were comfortable there.

PRINCE WILLIAM: Yes. I felt -- again it was -- it's -- it's not somewhere I enjoy being. But I know the position I'm in that's what's required of me to do. And I think it's some -- you know, it's one of those things and it's nice that people want to see George. So you know, I'm just glad he wasn't screaming his head off the whole way through.

FOSTER: That moment when you came out with the car seat, I mean we had some warning that you might be doing that.

Fathers around the planet will be cursing you for doing it so easily.

PRINCE WILLIAM: Believe me, it wasn't my first time. And I know there's been speculation about that. I had to practice, I really did. I was terrified that I was going do some -- it was going to fall off or wasn't going to close properly.


PRINCE WILLIAM: So I had to actually practiced with that seat but only once before.

FOSTER: And your decision to drive off -- I remember that moment as well. That was the most nerve-racking thing to me. Having my family in the car but that was something that you were clearly determined to do.

PRINCE WILLIAM: Where I can be, I'm as independent as I want to be -- same as Catherine and Harry. We've all grown up and you know differently to -- other generations. And I very much feel if I can do it myself, I want to do it myself. And there are times when you can't do it yourself and the system takes over or it's appropriate to do things differently.

But I think driving your son and wife away from hospital was really important to me. And I -- I don't like fuss -- so it's much easy to do it yourself.

FOSTER: And you didn't stall.

PRINCE WILLIAM: And I didn't stall -- well it's automatic so it's all right.

FOSTER: The interpretation of the imagery you saw around the world was that this was a modern monarchy and a new way of monarchy but was it that we're reading too much into it, or is it just you doing it your way, you and your wife doing it your own way? PRINCE WILLIAM: I think so. And I'm just doing it the way I know. And you know if it's the right way, then bring it in. If it's the wrong way, then well I'll try and do better. But -- no I just -- I'm quite -- I'm reasonably headstrong about what I believe in, what I go for. And I've got fantastic people around me who give me great support and advice.

FOSTER: The Prince says Baby George is already quite a character.

PRINCE WILLIAM: Well yes. He's a little bit of a rascal, let's put it that way. So you know he reminds me of my brother or me when I was younger, I'm not sure. But he's -- he's doing very well at the moment. He's -- he does like to keep having his nappy changed --

FOSTER: And you did the first nappy, of course?

PRINCE WILLIAM: I did the first nappy yes.

FOSTER: It was actually a badge of honor.

PRINCE WILLIAM: Well it's a badge of honor actually. I wasn't allowed to get away though. I had every midwife staring at me -- you do it, you do it.

He's a little, he's growing quite quickly actually. But he's a little fighter. He kind of -- he wiggles around quite a lot and he doesn't want to get a seat too much which is a little bit of a problem but he's --

FOSTER: You're up a lot at night?

PRINCE WILLIAM: A little bit. Not as much as Catherine. But you know she's -- she's doing a fantastic job.

FOSTER: And how is she, OK?

PRINCE WILLIAM: Yes, very well. For me, Catherine and now Little George are my priorities -- and Lupo.

FOSTER: How's Lupo coping?

PRINCE WILLIAM: He's coping all right actually. I mean as a lot of people know, who've got dogs and bringing a newborn back, they take a little bit time to adapt. He's been all right so far. He's been slobbering sort of around the house a bit. So he's -- he's perfectly happy.

FOSTER: And how are you about going back to work?

PRINCE WILLIAM: Well as a few fathers might know, I'm actually quite looking forward to going back to work.

FOSTER: Get some sleep.

PRINCE WILLIAM: Get some sleep actually yes -- so I'm just hoping the first few shifts I go back I don't have any night jobs. FOSTER: One of Prince William's great passions is saving endangered species in Africa. He wants his son to experience the same Africa that he saw as a boy and as a young man. To spark in his son a passion for preserving the rarest wild animals, much as his father did with him.

You talked about your father possibly whispering quietly in your ears as a young boy. Are you going do the same for Prince George? This is such -- is a cause that you care so deeply about, would you like him to pick up on it?

PRINCE WILLIAM: Probably -- At this rate, I'll probably whisper sweet nothings in his ear. I'll have toy elephants and riders around the room and cover it in sort of, you know, lots of bushes -- make him grow up as if he's in the bush.

FOSTER: He says the possibility of his son carrying on the royal family's legacy in Africa isn't his immediate concern.

PRINCE WILLIAM: At the moment the only legacy I want to pass on to him is to sleep more and maybe not change his nappy quite so many times.

FOSTER: Like any new mother or father, parenthood has surprised and amazed Prince William.

PRINCE WILLIAM: I think the last few weeks for me have been just a very different emotional experience. Something I never thought I would feel myself. And I find again it's only been a short period, but a lot of things affect me differently now.


COSTELLO: CNN royal correspondent Max Foster joins me now live in New York. So Max, I want to know what happened behind the scenes. I mean were there a lot of security people around Prince William? He's dressed in jeans, he looks so casual. But it couldn't have been all that casual.

FOSTER: Yes it was a bit of a build-up Carol. This scene didn't happen overnight. I sort of -- was bidding on this interview for a couple of years. But then I turned up at the palace. It's almost as if we bumped into each other. We went into the room at the same time. And he was, you know, just in a polo shirt. And we walked past his little cottage that he has there into his garden. And it was very relaxed.

Before I knew, it we were just chatting. In the end I didn't use any notes. We just had a conversation. And he was -- he was very relaxed. I mean he was at that point, you know, first couple of weeks of fatherhood where he was still grappling with it, still elated, absolutely exhausted because he's getting up along with Kate. He was just in really great place, I think.

COSTELLO: Oh, well it's a terrific interview. I can't wait to hear more. Max Foster reporting live for us. And by the way, Max's interview is actually part of a documentary: "PRINCE WILLIAM'S PASSION: NEW FATHER, NEW HOPE" which will premiere on CNN September 15th.

We'll be right back.


COSTELLO: Checking our top stories at 46 minutes past the hour.

Jury selection begins today in a Georgia baby-killing case. Two teenagers accused of demanding money from a mother before they shot her 13-month-old son in his stroller. One of those teens goes on trial today and three members of that suspect's family now face charges of hindering the investigation.

A beach on the big island of Hawaii is closed after a shark bit a 16- year-old boy while he was surfing. It is the fourth shark attack in the last month in Hawaii. The teen, who was bit on both legs by the eight-foot-long shark, was taken to the hospital. His condition is unknown.

Take a look at what happened during warmups before the Colts/Giants preseason game. Poor Pam Oliver -- she was hit in the face by a pass. Oliver though took it in stride. I would expect nothing less because she is one tough woman. Look. They hugged each other. She smiled then. Of course, that was the Colts' Chandler Harnish hugging her and apologizing for that errant throw.

Former Marine Steven Rose is following a dream of playing football at Middle Tennessee State. But the NCAA has told Rose he can't get on the field this season.

CNN's "LEGAL VIEW" has the story next hour. Ashleigh Banfield joins us from New York.

This decision really stinks.

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN HOST: It is. I have to be honest with you, I'm still wincing over that Pam Oliver shot. I absolutely can't believe that picture that you just showed. Has been -- she was amazing that she had her composure so quickly.

So this NCAA story, Carol --

COSTELLO: I would have been embarrassed if she started crying -- Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: There's no crying in football, right? Speaking of that, you probably heard about this -- first of all, I had never heard of NCAA bylaw, Carol. And I don't know if you or anybody else really had. But you're going to hear a lot about it today because it is keeping a hero, a former Marine -- once a Marine always a Marine -- so I will say a current Marine and a man who served his country, it's making him sit on the sidelines. And you won't believe the kind of football he actually played while on base as a Marine. It sounds like it's a messy situation, one that needs some serious rectifying. Can it be done in time for this hero? We're going to talk all about it. But I know you're such a sports fan, you're going to love that story.

COSTELLO: I can't wait to watch it because, boy, that decision made me mad.

BANFIELD: I know, right?

COSTELLO: It's ridiculous.

BANFIELD: Former troops, give them everything they need, come on.

COSTELLO: Exactly. Thank you. Can't wait.

BANFIELD: Thanks Carol.

COSTELLO: Still to come in the NEWSROOM, from campus life to cold, hard reality. Why "Rolling Stone" magazine says college grads are caught up in what it calls a student loan scandal. The magazine's contributing editor, Matt Taibbi, joins me next.


COSTELLO: Lindsay Lohan making headlines once again. But this time it's for sitting down for a one-on-one interview with Oprah just four days after her latest rehab stint. During this very candid interview, Lohan admitted she is an addict and that her 2010 jail sentence was critical for her recovery.


LINDSAY LOHAN, ACTRESS: You know, being in my addiction and everything and having all the chaos around me that I was so comfortable with, I somewhere inside knew and kind of wanted to go to jail.


COSTELLO: Winfrey's network OWN is working with the actress on an eight-part documentary that will chronicle her recovery efforts that will air next year.

Back with student college loans right after this.


COSTELLO: Four years of hitting the books, and let's be honest, probably hitting some parties along the way. When it's all said and done, what are today's grads ending up with? A degree and debt -- lots of it. For students at a public college, it comes out to about $23,000. If you're enrolled at a private college, the debt jumps to nearly $30,000. My next guest says the -- my next guest says the pressure is forcing some to do the unthinkable including turning to crime.

Matt Taibbi, contributing editor to "Rolling Stone", where his latest article, "Ripping off Young America: the college loan scandal" appears in the current issue. Also in New York CNN business correspondent and host of CNN's "YOUR MONEY", Christine Romans. Good morning to you both.



COSTELLO: Good morning. So Matt, I want to start with you. There was a lot made of that bipartisan student loan deal. But you say that's missing a much bigger and more important issue. Explain.

TAIBBI: Well, the bipartisan loan deal was entirely about student loan interest rates which would have doubled this summer if they hadn't come to a compromise. But you know, when I talked to people in the industry, everybody said the really important thing isn't the interest rate, it's the principal. And the principal, of course, is the cost of college which has been skyrocketing, you know, soaring at rates three times as fast as inflation or consumer prices for almost two decades now. That's the real scandal. Why is college so expensive, and that's the real mystery.

COSTELLO: OK. And you also write in part, quote, "Our university tuition system really is exploitive and unfair, designed primarily to benefit two major actors. First in line are the colleges and universities; next up is the government itself." Tough words.

TAIBBI: Right. Yes. Well, the government is projecting that it's going to make a $185 billion profit on the student loan program over the next ten years. So it's really, you know, as one senate aide I talked to put it, it's really a hidden tax on lower and middle income student who, of course, don't have a very powerful lobby on Wall Street.

And the other beneficiaries, of course, are the contractors and the university administrators who are -- are the primary beneficiaries of all this public money that is going out into schools. They get to build their Olympic swimming pools and hanging garden and dormitories. And all of that largess, it's like military contracting fraud. It's just sort of coming from this endless stream of -- of government money.

COSTELLO: And Christine, why aren't we talking more about how much it costs to get a degree these days instead of just lowering interest rates on loans?

ROMANS: I think we are. And I think American families are. I mean there was a recent study, Carol, that showed almost half, almost half of families who make $100,000 or more are having the kids stay home and live at home while they go to college to keep costs down. Families are starting to acts differently because they can't afford to just keep chasing borrowed money after ever rising tuition. And that's the crux of this here -- borrowed money after ever rising tuition.

you can keep flooding the economy with cheap interest rates and Pell Grants and other kinds of grants that, by the way, do make it more accessible for everyone to be able to go to college, but that just keeps driving up tuition rates or keeps going with these rising tuition rates.

Families, families can't keep going on like this. I mean and that's the bottom line. And they're starting to change their behavior. They're also starting to go to state schools and community colleges because they can't afford the more expensive schools --

COSTELLO: -- which is a good thing because that puts pressures on the universities to lower their costs. And Matt, consumers are in part to blame for this, too, because you talk about those posh gyms and things. Parents seem to want that for their kids.

TAIBBI: Yes, but it's kind of a conundrum. It's a bit of a catch 22 because even though consumers are "making a mistake" by going after college educations that may or may not produce viable jobs for them in the future, there are also studies that show that without a college degree, you can't even get the most menial job. You can't work as a clerk at a law firm.

ROMANS: Yes. It's true.

TAIBBI: You can't work as a cargo agent. So you have to go to college if you want any kind of decent job except --


COSTELLO: Yes. But you don't have to go to a college that costs $50,000 a year, right Christine?

ROMANS: No, and you don't have to take five years, you don't have to pick a major that there's no market for. I mean I get a lot of grief from parents who say, look, I don't want to kill my kid's dream. I want my kid to get a degree. I want him to do what he likes to do. You have to find what you like to do, what you can pay for, and what the economy will pay you to do.

A lot of families aren't saving money because they can't. But that doesn't mean if you're not saving any money that you can go someplace that's going to pay $50,000 a year. A cheap or a federally subsidized college education, it's not a guaranteed thing. You still have to save or figure out how to make it work for your family.

COSTELLO: Right. OK. I wish I could go on with this conversation because I think it's so very important. Your article in "Rolling Stone", Matt, is terrific. And you can find that article on line or buy the magazine. Matt Taibbi and CNN business anchor, Christine Romans. Thank you very much.

ROMANS: Thanks Carol.

COSTELLO: And thank you for joining me today. I'm Carol Costello. "LEGAL VIEW" with Ashleigh Banfield starts now.