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Mass Shooting in Chicago, 13 People Hit; Defunding Obamacare; Iran President Coming to U.S.; New Concerns on Colorado Floods; GOP Vs. GOP Over Obamacare Fight

Aired September 20, 2013 - 08:00   ET


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Plus ladies, he may very well be the panacea to all that ails you. Jake Gyllenhaal is here. He's going to be talking about his tremendous performance in his new thriller, it's called "Prisoners." His performance specifically is getting a whole lot of buzz, so is the film itself.

What a treat. He will be live right here in our studio. We'll talk to him coming up this hour.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to start in Chicago. Why? That city is waking up to a sadly familiar headline, a mass shooting at a park on the South Side, bullets hitting 13 people, among them a 3- year-old boy. He was shot in the head and critically hurt. Clearly, lots of victims and so far, no arrests.

Our George Howell is live in Chicago -- George.


That 3-year-old boy this morning still in the hospital and again, 13 people shot in this case sent to various hospitals, 10 adults, two teenagers and this 3-year-old boy, a violent boy that certainly puts Chicago back on the map with violence.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I heard the shots like 20 shots.

HOWELL (voice-over): A 3-year-old boy fighting for his life this morning, in critical condition following a terrifying mass shooting in Chicago.

JAMES MUNGOVAN, DEPUTY DISTRICT CHIEF: We had multiple victims shot, which were transported to various hospitals throughout the city.

HOWELL: Thirteen people were shot last night on a basketball court in the city's south side. So far, none of the victims have died. They're all recovering in various states of condition. The 3-year-old child, whose name has not been released, was shot in the head, carried in the arms of three officers to an ambulance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was just a lot of police, a lot of ambulance, just a lot of wreckage, a lot of people, everything. HOWELL: Officers swarmed the park after the gruesome shooting using hoses to clean the blood from the court. Police believe the shooting is gang-related but they have no suspects in custody. This incident puts Chicago violence back in the spotlight.

Just this week, the city was named the murder capital of America. It's reported there have been more than 1,600 shootings so far this year with 315 people killed. Sadly, that number is likely to grow. The FBI says last year ended with 506 murders, though Chicago police insist the murder rate is going down.

President Obama addressed the violence in his home city earlier this year in his State of the Union Address, less than a month after the shooting death of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, killed a week after she attended the president's inauguration ceremony.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What happened to Hadiya is not unique. It's not unique to Chicago. It's not unique to this country. So many of our children are being taken away from us.


HOWELL: Just got off the phone with Chicago police, they say they are still looking for the suspect or suspects involved in this case. But at this point, no suspects are in custody.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. George, thank you so much for that.

So, now to Washington. With just 10 days to go before a government shut down, speaker John Boehner says he expects the House to approve a measure today that would keep the government up and running but it would also defund Obamacare. This House vote comes amid Republican infighting in Washington that everyone is paying quite a bit of attention to.

Let's go live to CNN's Jim Acosta at the White House.

So, where are things headed, Jim?


You know, House Republicans voted more than 40 times to defund Obamacare and this morning they will do it again. They're going to vote to continue funding the government but at the same time, as you just said, strip away most of the money that would fund the president's healthcare law. And now, the White House says the president is about to jump in to this shutdown fray.


ACOSTA (voice-over): With House Republicans setting a vote for today on a temporary spending bill that would defund Obamacare, Washington is edging closer to a government shutdown, now just 10 days until the government runs out of money and a possible debt default. Not far behind, White House officials say President Obama is ready to engage with Congress.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president will be in conversations with congressional leaders in the coming days about the need to deal with these pressing deadlines.

ACOSTA: That was a response to House Speaker John Boehner who complained in this web video the president is more willing to huddle with Russians than Republicans.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: While the president is happy to negotiate with Vladimir Putin, he won't engage with the Congress on a plan to -- that deals with the deficits that's threaten our economy.

ACOSTA: Ruling out any negotiations over the debt ceiling or legislation that defunds Obamacare, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney offered this colorful defense of the president's outreach.

(on camera): You're obviously referring to Speaker Boehner's video, is that right?

CARNEY: I might have been.

ACOSTA: That his office put out this morning saying that the president is more willing to negotiate with Vladimir Putin than he is with House Republicans?

CARNEY: That is irrefutable false. But the video I thought demonstrated a little Putin envy.

ACOSTA (voice-over): The White House was taking note of the bruising battle inside the GOP. Texas Senator Ted Cruz seems to give up on defunding Obamacare and then appeared to reverse course and promise to block any spending bill that leaves healthcare reform intact.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I will do everything necessary and anything possible to defund Obamacare.

ACOSTA: But some of Cruz's fellow Republicans including a blunt John McCain shot back saying that's just not rational.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: In the United States Senate, we will not repeal or defund Obamacare. We will not.

ACOSTA: And no surprising, the Obama administration said the president would veto the legislation that is pending before the House today. Meanwhile, President Obama will be in Kansas city for a campaign-style event on the economy. White House officials say expect the president to go after Republicans on the threat of a government shutdown.

No word, though, Chris, whether or not the president will repeat that line about Putin envy -- Chris.

CUOMO: We'll have to wait to hear for it.

Jim, thanks for the reporting. Have a good weekend.

ACOSTA: You bet.

CUOMO: In a few moments, we're going to talk about this with CNN "CROSSFIRE" co-host, Newt Gingrich. He was, of course, speaker of the House during the government shutdowns in 1995 and 1996.

So, another political question: will there be a meeting between President Obama and the new president of Iran?

Hassan Rouhani will be in the U.S. next week, making his debut trip to the United Nations. Rouhani has made overtures to the international community since taking office but many do still question his motives.

Chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto is in Washington following this.

Good morning, Jim.


U.S. officials are listening but they say it is premature to call this a genuine policy shift by the Iranian government. That said, all these things taken together, the exchange of letters with President Obama, the invitation to meet and now a very un-Putin-esque editorial in "The Washington Post," some see the most significant diplomatic opening from Iran since the 1979 revolution.


SCIUTTO (voice-over): Iran's new president is taking his diplomatic outreach to the pages of "The Washington Post," making a, quote, "pledge to engage in constructive interaction with the world" and offering to broker peace talks in Syria. On Thursday, he tweeted an invitation to President Obama, saying he has not ruled out the possibility of meeting with him at the U.N. General Assembly in New York next week adding, quote, "Everything is possible in the world of politics."

CARNEY: There have been a lot of very interesting things said out of Tehran and the new government and encouraging things. But actions are more important than words.

SCIUTTO: Rouhani's invitation is the latest in a surprising and unprecedented outreach that began with another tweet two weeks ago, wishing the world's Jews a happy Rosh Hashanah holiday.

Rouhani's input on the table, the issue at the center of his country's tension with the West, insisting it has no intention of building a nuclear weapon. At home, Tehran released one of its most prominent dissidents, human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, though hundreds more are still in prison.

What's behind the change of heart?

Some believe it is largely the product of international economic sanctions over Iran's nuclear program.

KARIM SADJADPOUR, ASSOCIATE, CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE: What Rouhani is trying to do is to get those sanctions reduced. The question is whether there is a half way meeting point in which Iran can make meaningful nuclear compromises in exchange for meaningful sanctions relief from the United States.


SCIUTTO: Next week in New York, on Tuesday, the Iranian president will speak at the U.N. General Assembly, and it becomes something of an annual ritual to have the Iranian president make a fiery inflammatory speech there, particularly from his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

This year, Kate, we may be hearing something different and a little friendlier from Tehran.

BOLDUAN: We can all hope at least at the moment, right? Thanks so much, Jim. We'll see you soon. Thank you.

There's a lot of news developing at this hour. So, let's get straight to Michaela for the latest.

PEREIRA: All right. Kate, Chris, good morning to you.

The gunman who killed 12 people at the D.C. Navy Yard may have been motivated by workplace dispute. "The Washington Post" is reporting investigators are now looking into reports that Aaron Alexis may have been told about performance issues he was having on the job before he went on that skilling spree.

We're also learning more this morning about the security firm that gave Alexis his clearance to enter the building. The firm USIS is under criminal investigation now.

CNN has learned the Assad regime in Syria could be moving its chemical weapons but officials with the Obama administration are not sure this is a move to consolidate the deadly stockpile in one place or rather to hide it. Syria has agreed to turn its chemical weapons over to international monitors.

A Pennsylvania police chief posted a video rant about gun control and firing his weapon has now been fired. The town council of Gilberton voted to terminate Mark Kessler for offenses, un including neglecting duty. But Kessler says it's the videos that cost him his job. He'll now request a public hearing.

The money laundering conviction of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has been overturned. A Texas appeals court ruled the evidence against him was legally insufficient. A jury found DeLay guilty of funneling almost $200,000 in corporate to help Republicans in the 2012 elections. The district attorney's office says it will appeal the court's ruling.

Here's a question for you, Chris, would you like to own a pair of Walter White's tidy whities?

CUOMO: You mean another pair?

BOLDUAN: Oh my goodness.

PEREIRA: How about a hazmat suit? You could buy props from the hit show "Breaking Bad". They are going to be auctioned off on a Web site called As you well now, being an avid "Breaking Bad", it is the show's last season. The site owners think the props could fetch $2 million.

What would -- Hazmat suit, what would you get?

CUOMO: I would not get his Fruit of the Looms, although they are a big part of the show.

PEREIRA: That's very personal.

CUOMO: Maybe a hazmat, I don't know. It all depends where the money was going.

PEREIRA: That's true. That's a good point.

CUOMO: If it was a good cause I wouldn't care what I bought but I like the show. It was well done.

PEREIRA: It is very well done. It is very intense.

BOLDUAN: Intense.

All right. So, let's go to Colorado. New concerns about the historic floods in Colorado. The states have thousands of natural gas and oil wells, hundreds were closed down during the floods. Officials say they could be dealing with a major environmental mess for a very long time.

CNN's Ana Cabrera is in Colorado with much more on this.

It's like insult to injury, Ana.

ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Indeed. Good morning to you, Kate.

You could see the floodwaters have dropped significantly but still behind me here this oil or gas tank is surrounded by water. So many of the state's oil and gas facilities are close to major waterways and we do know that oil is leaking into at least one river this morning, but state health officials are still trying to determine just how widespread this problem is.


CABRERA (voice-over): As the Colorado floodwaters recede, a new concern rising.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It smells flammable and something you don't want to touch. CABRERA: Damaged oil and gas wells showing up in the flood zone. The state has confirmed at least ten leaks. This one is near Millicent, but it's not just the oil residents are concerned about.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You could smell all the chemicals in the water.

CABRERA: Chemicals from fracking, a process companies use to access the oil and gas. It requires chemicals and millions of gallons of water shot into the earth to crock the rock.

SHANE DAVIS, DIRECTOR FRACTIVIST: You have communities that are going to be inundated with these fracking fluids and chemicals as well.

CABRERA: Environmental activist Shane Davis wanted to show us the damaged facilities. Frack-Free Colorado took us an aerial tour.

(on camera): We're headed over Wells County. Now, the state has 50,000 oil and gas wells all across the state, some 20,000 of those are in this area.

(voice-over): It didn't take us long to find a toppled tank. We saw a handful like this one. And as we continued to fly, we came across the Milliken spill. You can see the red booms in the water helping to collect residual oil.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look over 11:00. The water looks like it's got oil on top of it.

CABRERA: Then, another apparent problem a brownish colored sheen surrounding another tank that looked to be leaning. The oil and gas industry says it took early precautions and insists its facilities are safe.

TISH SCHULLER, PRES. COLORADO OIL AND GAS ASSOCIATION: Our facilities were shut in as flooding began and the tanks are designed to withstand a certain amount of flooding. So what people see is tanks that have been toppled, but what we're doing now is going site to site to make sure that we don't have leaks and where we do, we report it and address it with the local officials immediately.


CABRERA: Now, the Colorado Department of Natural Resources has launched its own investigation. It has six different teams of inspectors going from site to site assessing all the different damage and making sure these facilities are safe.

The state health department is warning everybody to stay out of the water, not only are they concerned about the industrial contaminants that may be present but also worried about raw sewage, agricultural waste, maybe even household chemicals that could have been spread by floodwaters and it's going to be sometime before we know exactly what we're dealing with -- Chris and Kate.

BOLDUAN: No kidding. All right, Ana, thank you so much. What a mess. CUOMO: It's one of those things -- the floods are over so you think the bad news is over but it isn't.

BOLDUAN: Yes, exactly right.

Coming up next on NEW DAY: he knows all too well about government shutdowns. Newt Gingrich, the co-host of CNN's "CROSSFIRE", he is coming up next. What does he think about the current gridlock between the White House and Congress?

CUOMO: There he is, just like to look at him.

And ex-NFL players, you heard this story, right, this is the ex-NFL player's house, it was trashed, up to 300 teens had a wild party there. Luckily I guess they put a lot of it online. So now he's trying to find them, he says, to help them. He's going to talk to us live just ahead.


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY. More on the looming government shutdown. Just ten days away, Speaker John Boehner says he expects the House to approve a measure today that would keep the government up and running but it would also defund Obamacare, but that's never going to pass the Senate. So, what does it mean?

Joining us now for some perspective, a man who knows about government shutdowns and many other things, Newt Gingrich, of course, one-time speaker of the House during the government shutdowns in 1995-1996, more importantly, one of the hosts of CNN's "Crossfire." Newt, great to have you. Congratulations on the show, by the way.

NEWT GINGRICH, CNN CROSSFIRE HOST: Oh, thank you. It's great to be back.

CUOMO: So, we all know the expression those who don't learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. Are you calling up John Boehner whom you know very well? Are you acting as the ghost of shutdown's past rattling your chains and saying don't do it, John?

GINGRICH: Well, first of all, I don't think it was a mistake in 1995. I think the two shutdowns that we went through in 1995 and early 1996 were essential to getting to welfare reform and to getting to four consecutive balanced budgets. The only balanced budget, Chris, in your lifetime at the federal level came out of that shutdown.

So, if you're an American who wants to balance the budget, that was a pretty good swap and it didn't hurt us at all. We were the first reelected Republican majority since 1928. So, it's a little hard for me to say that we particularly took a hit out of doing our job. It was very tough. People were very excited. There was a lot of noise, but the fact is the election isn't this November. The election is in 14 months and people can put things in perspective.

CUOMO: All right. Let's unpack that from a populist and a political perspective. GINGRICH: OK.

CUOMO: I'll say it the political part, from a populist prospective, you are punishing people for not being able to make a deal when you shut down the government, necessary services, people who need them. You guys have to vote whether or not you still get paid. You usually don't vote on that. So, you still get paid during the shutdown. It's bad for people. It's you guys punishing us for not making a deal. Why would you ever encourage that?

GINGRICH: First of all, what do you mean by you guys? It's the president who said on Monday that it was unprecedented to attach things to the debt ceiling, for example, which is just flat not true. We've been attaching things to the debt ceiling since Dwight Eisenhower in the 1950s. It's the president who doesn't budge and no matter how bad things are with Obamacare, he won't fix anything. He won't negotiate anything.

Now, Boehner and the Republicans today are going to vote to keep the government open. And they're going to send a bill to the Senate that would keep the government open. And I think the question is, will Harry Reid and the Democrats even negotiate? Will the president even negotiate?

You know, I don't think it can be either/or. You can't say -- this isn't a dictatorship. The president can't say give me exactly what I want or I'll blame you.

CUOMO: Look, I totally agree with you, but it's about the nature of the dynamite you use to push for compromise. I mean, you know, you took a beating in 1995 and 1996 personally after the shutdown. Bill Clinton got a huge infusion of popularity. His polls popped. He rolled in the next election.

You know that it was perceived as bad, especially for you. It seemed that you had distanced yourself from the American people in favor of your own political agenda. It's not good, right?

GINGRICH: Well, first of all, there were 121,000 ads that attacked me starting in September of 1995, and the Democrats decided if they couldn't beat up the message, they would beat up the messenger. But only go back to the -- the key fact, no Republican House majority have been reelected since 1928.

So, for the first time in 68 years, we got reelected. I don't think that's much of a damage. But there's a deeper point here. Sometimes, people ought to be elected to actually do what they think is right. The vast majority of Americans -- I mean, the vast majority of Republicans and a significant majority of Americans believe Obamacare is a disaster.

Even the labor unions are begin to realize that Obamacare is a disaster. You have a president who doesn't want to fix any of it. It's not a question of repeal. He doesn't want to fix anything. Now, what's the job of the Congress faced with the president who's totally intransigent and I think that makes it much more difficult. CUOMO: Look, I hear you on that part, but it's the solution that you're coming up with and it's probably a reason the Republicans are infighting. I frankly don't see it as a partisan issue. I think either party would make the same mistake, but it's like mommy and daddy are fighting over whether or not to buy a new car or a new couch and they decide, you know, we can't figure it out so let's not feed the kids until we do. That's what it sounds like to the American people.

GINGRICH: Chris, explain to me for a second, if the House Republicans pass a bill that keeps open every part of the government, pays all the people you were talking about, everyone who is poor, everyone who is in the military, everyone who -- if they pass a bill that pays for all of that, why is it their fault if the president and Harry Reid and the Senate then say we're not going to accept keeping open the government?

CUOMO: Because they're conditioning it on the impossible, on defunding Obamacare, which they've had, what, 40 votes on it hasn't passed. It's basically saying we're going to try to shut down the government if you don't give us what we want. And, the legitimate criticism and question especially to you, I'm actually a little surprised, Newt.

I mean, you know, you've been teaching me things about politics for years and I appreciate that, but this lesson I'm not getting, because I feel like you should be saying, wow, this didn't work for us the last time, let's not do it.

GINGRICH: It did work for us. First of all, it worked for the country. We got welfare reform. We got four consecutive balanced budgets. We got the first tax cut in 17 years. I think if we had been rolled over, if we had been afraid to fight, if we had looked like we didn't believe what we said, we wouldn't have gotten any of this --

CUOMO: But why leverage the American people this way? I mean, you know President Clinton, former President Clinton would say that's not why you got it. You didn't win that. It was then on his terms that he wound up leading the agenda because you would lost political capital.

GINGRICH: All right. So, I'll tell you, from my standpoint having passed the bills in the House, I think, none of those things would have happened had we not had the courage to stand and fight. Let me give you an example, the Democrats could come back and say, look, we're not going to abolish Obamacare, but here are four things that are really stupid and really bad and we're prepared to fix part of it.

Then the House Republicans would have a problem. But as long as the question is keep everything in Obamacare no matter how destructive, no matter how stupid, no matter how indefensible and pay for everything and keep your mouth shut, I don't think that's a constitutionally responsible demand to make of House Republicans.

CUOMO: Look, I'm nobody to tell you how to operate in government, but certainly, the job is to compromise, just a yes/no on this, to John Boehner your advice, do you shut down the government?

GINGRICH: No. My advice is pass a bill to keep the government open and see whether or not Barack Obama will negotiate.

CUOMO: All right. Newt Gingrich, thank you very much for the perspective, as always, continued good luck on "Crossfire." All right. Kate over to you.

BOLDUAN: All right. Thanks, Chris.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, Jake Gyllenhaal was nominated for an Oscar for "Brokeback Mountain." Could he do it again with his latest film? He's going to join us live to talk about "Prisoners," his new film, and all the buzz around it.

Also ahead, hundreds of teens tweeting while they trash ex-NFL player, Brian Holloway's home. Rather than apologize, some of their parents are now coming after him. We're going to talk with Holloway and what this is all about.


ANNOUNCER: You're watching NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michaela Pereira.

CUOMO: All right. Welcome back to NEW DAY. It's Friday September 20th. Coming up, an ex-NFL player was away from his home when it got trashed by 300 teens throwing a party. They certainly wouldn't have done it if he was there, I promise you that. They then posted a ton of pictures online.

So, now, he's trying to find them, but he says wants to do it so he can help them. Mr. Brian Holloway is here live to explain it all. There he is, the football legend now doing something that will become legendary in and of itself.

BOLDUAN: Talk to him in just a moment. But, also this ahead, he's one of Hollywood's hottest stars, actor, Jake Gyllenhaal, is joining us live in studio to talk about his new movie "Prisoners." He's getting rave reviews. So, could it mean Oscar is in his future?

CUOMO: A lot of news today, so let's get right to Michaela for the five things you need to know for your NEW DAY -- Mick.

PEREIRA: All right. And rightly so, number one, government shutdown, could it be ten days away? Until the government runs out of money, it shuts down. This morning, the House is expected to pass a temporary spending bill that defunds Obamacare, a provision that will likely be strip of the measure when it reaches the Senate.

President Obama, meantime, visiting a Ford plant in Missouri today to continue pushing for Republicans to raise the debt ceiling and pass a spending plan that does not defund the healthcare overhaul.