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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Boehner: Obama Won't Negotiate; Not Guilty Verdict in Michael Jackson Trial
Aired October 2, 2013 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next: breaking news. President Obama just emerged from a 90-minute meeting with the top four leaders in Congress. At that podium, you just saw John Boehner. Was there any kind of a breakthrough? Ninety-minute meeting after not talking for a week. We'll go live to the White House right now.
Plus, one of the lawmakers who pushed for Obamacare to be included in the fight. Republican senator Rand Paul is OUTFRONT to respond to critics.
And the story we've followed from the beginning, a violent confrontation between a motorist and a group of bikers caught on tape. One of those bikers is with us live tonight. Let's go OUTFRONT.
We have breaking news at the top of this hour, President Obama and congressional leaders just a moment ago literally, 90 seconds ago, wrapping up a 90-minute meeting at the White House. The congressional leaders are about to talk about that meeting. As you could see, John Boehner, just was there a moment ago.
I want to get straight -- Mitch McConnell, I believe, is speaking. He is getting into his SUV. Let me get straight to Jim Acosta who is actually at the White House. Jim, we saw John Boehner speak. Who else spoke? A 90-minute meeting, what happened?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: All we've seen so far, you just caught me poking down the driveway for a few moments there, Erin. All we've seen so far is House Speaker John Boehner coming out of the west wing. He gave a very brief statement saying, at this point, in his view, the White House will not negotiate over this shutdown that is now into day two.
Obviously, House Republicans would like to see some sort of concession on Obamacare. The president, I guess, if you listen to what John Boehner had to say right after this meeting, the White House is not offering that. What John Boehner also said is that he still wants to have conferees appointed. What does that mean?
Well, what House Republicans would like to have the Senate do is send members from the Senate into a joint House-Senate conference to try to work out some sort of agreement. Senate Democrats have obviously balked at that so far. So that may have also been some of the conversation at this meeting.
John Boehner saying that's what we want. We just want this conversation, but Erin, I think the headline at this point now is that there's no breakthrough. They're still at stalemate.
BURNETT: All right, that seems to be the headline. That's certainly what John Boehner just said. Mitch McConnell has left. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi just walked out. Let's listen to what they are going to say.
SEN. HARRY REID (D), MAJORITY LEADER: Democrats won't negotiate, but the speaker has to accept is yes for an answer. He said that he wanted to go to conference. He sent us something in the House that he wanted to go to conference. So I thought we would throw him a lifeline. I said fine, we'll to go conference. All we want you to do is open the government.
I went through a litany of things we would be happy to talk about or anything else he wanted to talk about. We said we'll be happy to talk about discretionary spending. We'll talk about agriculture. We'll talk about parks, health care, we'll talk about anything that you want to talk about.
And he says, no. All I want to do is go to conference on a short term C.R. We have the debt ceiling scaring us in the face and he wants to talk about a short term C.R.? I thought that they were concerned about the long-term fiscal affairs of this country and we said we are, too, let's talk about it. My friend, John Boehner, I repeat, cannot take yes for an answer.
REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI (D), MINORITY LEADER: Thank you, Mr. Leader. On March 1st, we saw many of you out here after we had a meeting in the oval office with President Obama. At that time, Speaker Boehner and Leader McConnell said that they wanted to proceed on the budget discussion under the regular order.
A Washington term which means you pass a bill in the House, you pass a bill in the Senate, you go to conference. All of that was March 1st, before the end of the month, the House and the Senate both passed a bill, but the Republicans had resisted the regular order. For six months, they have avoided going to conference.
Now they come up with their suggestion or two of 986 or 988. It varies, 988 which is a figure our members in the House do not like, think it is far too low and the Republican chairman of the appropriations committee said it does not enable government provide for the needs of the American people.
But nonetheless, having said that, over 100 members of the House Democrats stood on the steps of the capitol today and made a solid real offer to the speaker of the House to accept his number, which they don't like and they don't respect, but for the purpose of opening up government and going to next step. All we have to do is bring it up pass it in the House, it comes to the president's desk. Government is open.
Then we go to the table as the leader suggest on the budge and some of that discussion can be helpful in terms of addressing growth, deficit reduction, and how we go forward on lifting the debt ceiling. So we just have to find a way. And we have to find a path that they can go down. If they keep moving the goalpost and won't even accept their own number, as the leader said, if they don't take yes for an answer, then I can only conclude that they wanted to shut down government that they think that that has a purpose for them.
And we know what that is. They to overturn the affordable care act which won't happen and frankly, that's not what our constitution had in mind. If you don't like something, you threaten to shutdown government. It is not that kind of a system. So in any event, ever optimistic because so much is at stake, I'm hopeful that in the conversation, we heard each other and that we'll be able to find a place to go, as the leader suggest to the budget table.
Six months after we were supposed to in order to discuss the budget that can be helpful because the next challenge is lifting the debt ceiling. It was a worthwhile meeting. I'm glad it was held. We had, shall we say, some candid discussion, wouldn't you say, Mr. Leader? And we won't go into that.
REID: One of the things I felt very happy I was there. The president of the United States was very strong, strong, strong, this has never happened before. They can make the historical analysis they want. This has never happened before where a political party would be willing to take the country to the brink of financial disaster and say we won't allow them to pay our bills.
The president said, we won't stand for that and we would happy to work with you, Mr. Speaker, on the way out of this, but we are where we are. We're through playing these little games. It is all focused on Obamacare. That's all it is about. As I've said before and I'll tell you tonight, they did the same thing to Social Security. They did the same thing to Medicare and they're trying to do the same to Obamacare.
Obamacare is another Social Security. It's another Medicare program. It is signature to this administration and this Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid worked hard to get it done. We're happy it's done. The one thing we made very clear in that meeting, we are locked in tight on Obamacare.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're in that meeting more than an hour. What is your sense? How real is the danger that the country may default?
REID: I believe based on what we have seen, the performance of the Tea Party driven, Cruz-led House now, no longer in the Senate. It is now in the House. I think that it looks like these people are headed where they want to go. Michele Bachmann said finally, we're where we wanted to be. We closed down the government. She's not alone.
PELOSI: Let me just say this about the meeting and that is the following. I think there are certain principles or attitudes that we should have. I'm not saying we agreed to this in the meeting. I'm just saying for the good of the order and the confidence of the American people, we should take the debt ceiling debate off the table.
The United States of America will always honor the full faith and credit of our country. No president should be held hostage to that for a social or other agenda. So let's just take that off the table. It is really dangerous. Closing the government is bad. The combination of that and not lifting the debt ceiling is beyond cataclysmic. So let's --again, we have to think about what we're doing now and what the president -- so let's take that off the table.
Secondly -- secondly, every bill that ever passes in the Congress is subject to another bill passing in the Congress to amend it and so if they don't like certain aspects of the affordable care act, they have every opportunity in the majority especially, to bring anything to the floor to make whatever changes they want.
But that should not be something that is a threat to whether government is open or the full faith and credit. So take the lifting of the debt ceiling off the table. Recognize that any bill that has passed enacted into law can be changed under the regular order, but don't confuse the two.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did the speaker say he would not bring a clean C.R. to the floor?
PELOSI: I don't know why they haven't accepted their own number. We stood on the steps of the capitol, over 100 members, as I said, with the support of the other members of the caucus to say we're making a firm offer. As I have done privately over and over again, that we will accept the 988.
You know that our members do not like the 988. Most of them have dug their heels to say they would never support the 988. But to open government, that opinion is a luxury we cannot afford on the side of the Democrats or the Republicans. So we're willing to compromise to accept their number. They had two things, 988 and overturn Obamacare. This won't happen. We're willing to accept this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you going to meet again?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you tell us how long you expect this shutdown to continue after this meeting?
BURNETT: You can now see Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi now walking away with a phalanx of cameras on them. We have Senator Rand Paul standing by, but before I go to the senator, I want to you hear what John Boehner said. He spoke very briefly. Not like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, but for just a few seconds in front of those very same cameras a moment ago. I want to play you what he had to say about his version of what just happened in that 90-minute meeting with the president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: You know, in times like this, the American people expect their leaders to come together and try to find ways to resolve their differences. The president reiterated one more time that he will not negotiate. We've got divided government. Democrats control the White House and the Senate. Republicans control the House. We sent four different proposals over to our Democrat colleagues in the Senate. They rejected all of them.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: That was what Speaker Boehner had to say. I want to bring in Republican Senator Rand Paul now. Senator Paul, always great to have you with us. All right, you've heard Speaker Boehner. You've heard Nancy Pelosi. You've heard Harry Reid. Harry Reid just said very clearly, listen, they're not negotiating. They appear to agree on one thing that no one is negotiating. But Harry Reid then said the Democrats are locked in tight on Obamacare. They are not going to put it on the table. So what do you say?
SEN.RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: You know, I think one of the interesting things is I hear from the American people all the time, why don't you guys compromise? But I would think you have to negotiate, which to me means discussing your differences and trying to get in the middle between the two. So we've been offering some compromises. I think that's what the American people want.
We started out with a position that we don't want any Obamacare. That is what we truly believe. We think it's bad for the country. The president wants all of it, a 100 percent. I would think a compromise would be both sides come off of their position zone and I can't understand why a compromise or negotiation would be bad.
BURNETT: What about what Harry Reid said when he said, look, you all are asking for a short term resolution, which of course, is what the Republicans have asked for and he is saying, I thought you care about long term fiscal responsibility. He had a point there and then Nancy Pelosi said, look, they have agreed to something they don't want to agree to, which is a spending cap of $988 billion. Something that you've been dying to get them to do, they are giving you that. Why isn't that enough? I mean, it does seem like Obamacare is a bit of an obsession.
PAUL: Well, here's the problem, Erin. This is why government is so messed up. People are like, why will government shutdown? It's going to shutdown or did shutdown precisely for one reason. We're not doing appropriations bills. We have 12 appropriations bills. Had Harry Reid done his job, brought them to the floor and pass them, they wouldn't be any government to shutdown.
That's historically the way it worked when we had differences between the House and the Senate. We went to conference committee. See they're defying what the normal history of compromise up here. They are intransigents really is keeping the government shutdown. We're offering today to fund more of the government.
And you realize that 85 percent of governments running right now, only 15 percent of government spending is shutdown and we're trying to actually encourage the passage of more of the spending. And they're vetoing any more spending bills to try to open up government. We're trying to open up government as they're saying we won't negotiate. I really think that's untenable position.
BURNETT: One thing I have to ask you, Senator. You just raised an amazing point, right? If only 15 percent of the government is shutdown and yet this is a national fixation now, this whole conversation, right? In a sense it seems to me, you have a lot of leverage. You have created a situation where the problem is only 15 percent but people perceive it to be closer to 100. And now, you can get them to give you spending cuts and spending caps and all these things that you have wanted. Why would not you take those? Why put your entire heart and soul and reputation and next seat in office on Obamacare?
PAUL: You have to realize, those numbers that Nancy Pelosi was talking about are above The Sequester. There are no numbers even equal to The Sequester. They are above The Sequester. So we are not getting any great spending reduction out of this. I probably can't vote for a continuing resolution above The Sequester because it is one of the things we have done on the last couple of years to control spending.
But this is a big debate and it is a debate not about us not obsessed but one thing, it is a big debate over Congress has the power of the purse. Congress is supposed to have overnight. And when a program is not going to work it spends too much money here there, that's what Congress is for. You have a separation of powers. And when we have a divided government, it means, we have to get together negotiate. The fact that they won't negotiate I think, really, is untenable. And I think they are going to have to eventually talk to us.
BURNETT: Peter King was on this show last night and he blamed all of this on one person, a person that you have been very closely affiliated with. That person, of course, is Ted Cruz. And I wanted to play for you, Senator, what Peter King said about Senator Cruz.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: The Republicans have to be more responsible. You have this wing of 30 or 40 or 50 people who are driving us over a cliff. It has to end. We have to stop listening to Ted Cruz.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: What do you say to that? I mean, there are a lot of Republican who say what this core group, the minority group in your party is doing is destroying your party. Peter King is one of them. But he is certainly not alone.
I think it is unfair actually because I think the one thing, actually, that were very unified on and you have seen not everybody agreed on the tactics of how the fight went along. I think that is -- I can admit that. Everybody admits that. However on Obamacare, we are absolutely united. The Republican Senate caucus is absolutely united. We shouldn't fund it. It is bad for America. And America is going to really fund this out of the next year or two. It is a disaster for us. I think did argue in the House. But we are also willing to compromise. That's what the American people need to know. We have been giving and giving and giving. And the president is saying my way or the highway. And I don't think that's what American people want. BURNETT: If it is such a disaster, though, don't you gain the most by letting it happen and letting it be a disaster? Because now, if it is even one percent of success, it might look like a success, I mean, I'm just weighing on Jack Well (ph) said today. Republicans have made of bone head play which was, you know, sort of slang way of saying it. He said you are not going to defund his signature legislation. And the polling shows that the American people seem to agree with that. They say avoid the government shutdown is more important than dealing with Obamacare. They say raising the debt ceiling is more important than delaying Obamacare.
PAUL: I'm not so sure it is as clear cut as you make it out to be. I think people, particularly the people elected me wanted me to stand up and fight Obamacare. `They think it is bad. They think it is going to reduce your choices. I think it takes away your freedom of choice you are going to have. Like in my state, you are going to have four choices where you once had 50 choices. You are going to have one insurance care of where you once had 37 insurance coils. So, it does take away choices.
And my people, they voted for me. Sixty-one percent of my state voted for Romney. They want me to stand up and fight, but they also don't want the government shutdown. So, I have been one who says fight. And when we lose, then we have to negotiate.
We lost on defunded. I fought for defunding, but we lost. The president wants 100 percent, though, and should he not need to negotiate to get somewhere in the middle in order to get a compromise?
BURNETT: Now, Senator, one final question. You just heard Harry Reid when he was asked by the reporters there, from that meeting, do you feel that the debt ceiling will be broached. And of course, the debt ceiling breached, I'm sorry, is that is the big thing. That is much bigger than this government shutdown, at least as pertains in the United States economy. And he seemed to indicate that from that meeting, yes. He thinks that it will be.
But, you know, Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs also met with the president today and he said we are the most important economy in the world. We are the reserve currency of the world. Payments have to go out to people. If money doesn't flow in, money doesn't flow out. Are you to let the debt ceiling to be to not expand it?
PAUL: I'm for taking default completely off the table. I'm promising to the American people and to the markets to Wall Street that we will always pay the interest on the debt as a priority. Do you know how we do that? We bring in $250 billion in tax revenue every month. The debt payment is about 30 billion. We just promise we will always pay it. What's going on is interestingly the Democrats are scaring people and saying, we might not pay it because Republicans don't want to raise the debt ceiling. If you don't raise the debt ceiling, what that means is you have a balanced budget. It doesn't mean you wouldn't pay your bills. We should pay the interest and we should never scare the markets. So, if I were in-charge, I would say, absolutely, we will never default. I would pass a law saying that the first revenue every month, the first revenue, has to go to pay interest.
BURNETT: But it is still defaulting if you laid on Social Security payments or anything, anything like that.
PAUL: Why would you be late on your Social Security payments? We have a bill that is called the full faith and credit bill. And we passed in the House before. We have introduced it in the Senate. And it say you pay Social Security, you pay Medicare, you pay your soldiers' salaries and you pay with interest on the debt. We have money for all of that.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much, Senator Paul. Thank you very much. We appreciate you taking the time, Senator Paul.
As we said, in the absolute center of this debate responding to what you just saw there. The leaders of the House and the Senate who just met with the president and they agreed. There was a big agreement. They both said the other side refused to negotiate on anything. We are going to stay with this breaking story.
Next, what can be cleaned from what we heard at the top of the hour from Harry Reid, from Nancy Pelosi, from John Boehner? We are going to go to the political speak and see if there is any chance this stalemate breaks.
And then later, new images of the driver and the SUV versus bikers confrontation caught on video, one of the men who was there involved in this incident is going to be on this program tonight.
We will back OUTFRONT.
BURNETT: And welcome back.
The breaking news, there was a 90-minute meeting at the White House. The first meeting that has occurred between president and the top leadership of the house and the Senate. That meeting just wrapped up a few moments ago. Nancy Pelosi spoke, Harry Reid spoke, House Speaker John Boehner spoke and they all said there was no negotiating.
The president made it clear that was not what was going to happen, obviously, a big disappointment to a lot of people, 800,000 people, going without paychecks today.
I want to bring John King, Gloria Borger, and Dana Bash.
And of course, you all just heard Rand Paul in this program just saying well, look, we are going to stick exactly what went were. We're sticking with. Obamacare, just after Harry Reid said we are locked in tight on Obamacare.
So John King, it sounded to me like they had a 90-minute meeting that might have been one of the most frustrating meetings in history.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So, the question is this, Erin. Which proverb is right? Is it always darkest before the dawn or always darkest before it is totally black, because it looks pretty bleak tonight?
But I would say this. This is not a surprise. These guys have been apart. There has been no wiggle room in the private conversation. There have been no private negotiations. So, I would view this as progress just for this reason.
You have to have the first tough meeting to have any prospect of having a second or third or fourth meeting where you might make progress. Now, there are no seeds or signs of that progress tonight. But without this first meeting, it is very hard.
Now people go back to their camps. They check their notes. There is some grumbling today of John Boehner trying to re-create the grand bargain. But even for that to happen, the Republicans would have to give up on Obamacare. It is pretty clear the Democrats are dug in and not budging there. The question is can John Boehner get his guys to walk away from that?
And Gloria, you just heard Rand Paul say well, look, we want Obamacare to go away completely. They love it and want to stay 100 percent so negotiating is meeting in the middle. But, except for it's not.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: No, it is not. And if anybody had a question of whether the administration was willing to throw John Boehner a bone on the president's health care plan, the answer is a resounding no after this meeting.
The president gave an interview today on CNBC. He said that -- it clearly was said in this meeting. Obamacare is non-negotiable, period. It passed. Nancy Pelosi said afterwards, she said look, if you want to amend it, do it through the regular order. What she wanted to do and I thought was interesting was essentially take the question of the debt limit off the table. And she said let's just agree that we need to raise the debt limit. And what I heard from Rand Paul talking to you was he sort of wants to get that off the table as well. That if there is any sort of hint of optimism, maybe it is that everybody agrees that it would be cataclysmic not to raise the debt limit.
BURNETT: Yes, they agree it is cataclysmic except for one side. They said Obamacare as to come off to do it.
BURNETT: It is like here we are. It is like in a replay.
But Dana, what about the moderates? I mean, you know, you heard Rand Paul there say look, you know, basically admit we made mistakes in how we handled this tactically and strategically. But what about those moderate Republican who had enough, who are willing to go along with the White House at this point? DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The problem is that there is a group of them, maybe even close to 20 who are pretty actively saying I have had enough, either to those of us who have covered them in the hallways or there folks back home. They even met with speaker today because the speaker would seems to have been concerned enough that he brought them in series of small groups.
However, saying that they are willing to vote for this clean bill with no strings attached and actually pushing, demanding the speaker to bring that up are too very different things. And even some of those who are the most vocal, lack of a better way to say it, they won't put their vote where their mouth is. They won't buck the leadership on the procedural votes that they have in order to actually get what they want which is that clean bill.
So, you know, we're not actually seeing that yet. Now, I will say that I talk to some privately in these halls just today who said that they are going to give the speakers and the leaders a little more time but maybe they will be willing to do that by the end of the week. We will see.
BURNETT: Dana, why are they so afraid? I don't understand. The polls seem to support them. The American people say we rather keep the government open than deal with this Obamacare issue and yet they are going along with leadership. Why are they so afraid?
BASH: It is such a great question. One of the main reasons they are so afraid is because yes, many of them have a lot of angry constituents in their districts saying why is this happening? But when it comes to the thing that most of them are most concerned about, a primary challenge from the right, that is a very real possibility here because you have the Peter Kings of the world who aren't really that concerned about the challenge from the right. But most of these lawmakers are in such conservative districts because of gerrymandering over the years, that what they are hearing is actually go, go, go. In fact one congressman from Georgia was saying that he is getting calls 10-1 saying keep on keeping on. Keep that government shut down. These moderates are not, you know, that strong of a position are that's not strongly conservative perhaps in their districts, but the wing of the party that actually votes in these primaries could really hurt them.
BORGER: So Erin, here's the question for the Republican Party. Do you want to remain a congressional party, in which case maybe you will keep your majority in the House, or do you want to become a presidential party? If you want to become a presidential party and win the White House, you have to appeal to independent voters. And independent voters overwhelmingly are against the strategy.
So, right now, they are congressional party. They might remain one, but it is very difficult to see how you win a presidential election if independent voters are mad at you.
BURNETT: -- which is a really interesting point, John King, to that.
And let me just give you the last question, John. Do you think that they mean it on the debt ceiling in they both say they want to take it off the table. But from what I hear, it's the same as saying, we don't want the government to shut down, when I mean, they were all just saying that, they were all perfectly willing to let the government shutdown.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This largely becomes a John Boehner question, because if he can't get what he wants on health care, is he willing to stand up to his own members. Remember, the last time in 2011, when we had this debt ceiling fight, the Republicans did get the president to negotiate the forced budget cuts, the so-called sequester. If they're willing to negotiate other things, they can probably get something. If the tax on medical devices is enough, taking that out of Obamacare, they might be able to get that.
But in terms of defunding, delaying, stalling, significantly changing the president's health care plan, they're not going to get that, Erin. So, the question then is, can John Boehner sell something else to those caucus or his caucus members, or does he stand up to them and take it to the floor where he can probably pass it. The question then is, could he keep his job?
BURNETT: And who will be the speaker next time around.
All right. Thanks to all three of you.
I want to go back to the White House now. Jim Acosta is there.
And, Jim, I just want to ask you, because now we've heard Nancy Pelosi. We've heard Harry Reid speak. We've heard John Boehner speak. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid took a lot of questions.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right.
BURNETT: But the president of the United States is completely quiet. Is he going to say anything or is he just going to stay in his lair?
ACOSTA: In his lair, I don't know with that one, Erin. But, no, the president is not coming out today, hearing from that from a White House official. But we're wondering if it was possible earlier this evening, obviously because the speaker of the House was coming out, and those Democratic leaders from Congress, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, came out.
But I can't really surmise why the president did or did not come out. I did talk to a White House official who said if you look at what happened in that meeting, if you listen to what these leaders said coming out, it's obvious that there was really no progress made at that meeting. And that was plain to see and hear as we were standing outside of the West Wing.
I was there as John Boehner walked out for a few moments. And you said that Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi took questions. John Boehner took no questions. He made a very brief statement and said, the White House is not negotiating essentially. We want conferees so we can go on to conference and bang out some sort of deal on the continuing resolution. And he essentially said, and the White House is not going to do that and Democrats aren't going to do that.
And he walked off. And then Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, it was striking to me, Erin, what they said. Harry Reid at one point said, we are locked in tight on Obamacare.
ACOSTA: Nancy Pelosi, they want to overturn the Affordable Care Act. That is not going to happen.
Erin, if we are in this stalemate for the next couple of days where basically, they're not talking to each other, I think we're entering a dangerous phase over the next couple weeks because basically both sides have drawn lines in the sand. The president saying he's not going to negotiate when it comes to a temporary standing bill that includes these anti-Obamacare provisions and you have the house, the House Republicans saying, we're not going to talk about a resolution unless you talk Obamacare. You could not have two sides more polarized than they are right now.
And the president is going to be ratcheting up the heat even more tomorrow. He's got an event here in the Washington, D.C. area. He's going to be going to a local construction company to talk about a potential debt default, to talk about the government shutdown. So, you can rest assured that the president is going to once again go after Republicans the way he has been these last couple of weeks to really put the pressure on them to do what he wants, his way or the highway, essentially the White House posture at this point, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Jim Acosta, thank you very much.
ACOSTA: You bet.
BURNETT: Jim standing by at the White House.
And I want to just, for those of you just joining us, explain where we stand right now. A very significant past 34 minutes in American political shutdown history. We've had Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and John Boehner emerge from a 90-minute meeting with the president. The president has not spoken but the other three did.
John Boehner, very briefly and did not take questions. But let me just play for you what the speaker said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: At times like this, the American people expect their leaders to come together and try to find ways to resolve their differences. The president reiterated one more time tonight that he will not negotiate. We've got divided government. The Democrats control the White House in the senate. Republicans control the House. We sent four different proposals over to our Democratic colleagues in the Senate. They rejected all of them.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: All right. That was Speaker Boehner. He made it clear that there was absolutely no negotiating going on.
And Harry Reid, you just heard Jim Acosta talk about something crucial Harry Reid said and that is we are locked in tight on Obamacare. Not moving a millimeter on the Democrat side on Obamacare. Harry Reid also talked about this most significant event that is now facing this country and that is the debt ceiling.
Here's Harry Reid.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: We have the debt ceiling staring us in the face. He wants to talk about a short term C.R.? I thought they were center about the long term fiscal affairs of this country. And we said we are, too. Let's talk about it.
My friend John Boehner, I repeat, cannot take yes for an answer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And Nancy Pelosi also weighed in, expressing her frustration in what she believed was a Democratic concession in terms of a major spending cap that Republicans wanted, which now doesn't seem to be enough. Hear is the former speaker.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: For six months, they have avoided going to Congress. Now they come one their suggestion of 986 or 988 -- the figure varies -- 988, which is a figure that our members in the House do not like. We think it is far too long and the Republican chairman of the Appropriations Committee says it does not enable government to provide for the needs of the American people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right. Now, she's citing that number. Of course, Senator Rand Paul just came to this program to respond to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, and he said, well, that's still to much money, they still won't be all right with that spending cap.
I want to bring in Paul Begala now, a Clinton insider. He was obviously insider with Clinton during the last time the government shut down. And also joining me, Terry Holt, former spokesman for John Boehner.
TERRY HOLT, FORMER SPOKESMAN FOR JOHN BOEHNER: Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Two -- I can't think of two more people to come on at this opponent.
So, here's what I don't understand, Paul. They have a 90-minute meeting. You have five people in a room for 90 minutes and they all walk out basically saying, that was a huge waste of my time and the other side won't negotiate at all.
So what the heck happened during 90 minutes in that room?
PAUL BEGALA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, that was a great question. Well, it was the five of them and their food tasters. Their relationships here --
BURNETT: Like the Bourgeoisie or something.
BEGALA: They're not just afraid, you have to have a relationship for it to fray. The problem is here, they had the wrong people in the room. I like John Boehner. He's a good man. He's fine American. He's a great patriot.
But negotiating with John Boehner is like negotiating with Kermit the Frog instead of Jim Hensen. You need puppeteer, not the puppet. And Mr. Boehner has allowed himself to become the puppet of the party of Ted Cruz and the Tea Party wing of his party. That's where the power is.
Now, John Boehner tomorrow could shut them up and shut them down. He could go to the House and let the house work its will the way the Constitution says. The vast majority of congresswomen want to fund the government and end this shutdown. It's this Tea Party fringe that has been wagging the dog, pardon my mixing may metaphors, Tea Party tail, which has been wagging the dog at the Republican Party.
And someday, John Boehner will pull on his big boy pants and take on Ted Cruz and then this thing will be over.
BURNETT: All right. Terry, what do you say that? Somebody, your former boss will put on his big boy pants that's got to make you frustrated. Or do you think John Boehner has overplayed his hand?
HOLT: I wouldn't talk about Bill Clinton's pants like that? Honestly. I think that's a little bit of a low. A little bit of a low blow.
John Boehner could put a clean C.R. on the floor. Sure. But the ultimate point is that the Republicans are united on Obamacare. And Obamacare is a central policy difference between these two sides.
You know, the difference between 1995 and 2013, is in 2005, we were only talking about money. This is talking about a fundamental change in the way people get health care in this country. The president has delayed a portion of it himself already. And his only position is, hey, this is what we're going to do. You're going to give up and do it my way. That's not fair. The longer this goes on, the more the president is in a box himself.
Admittedly, the Republicans are taking the brunt of the polling right now. But the president has an obligation to negotiate, and his position that he won't negotiate is going to get old after a while.
BURNETT: But, Terry, does he have an obligation to negotiate over Obamacare? I mean, that's what the question is, right? I said this to Rand Paul earlier in the hour, because Rand Paul said and I thought it was a really important point, hey, Erin, guess what, 15 percent of the government shut down, 85 percent isn't. And I said when you have the country in a position where the public perception is 100 percent of the government is shut down and things are really dire, then you have the other side over a barrel.
So, if they're not going to give you Obamacare, maybe now is the time to get all of these other spending cuts that you want. Why not do that? Why go for this sort of, you know, tilting at windmills thing.
HOLT: Well, but they have leverage. And, you know, we're not going to default on our full faith and credit in the next 48 hours. The Republicans are trying get to what they think is extremely important and what a lot of Americans think might be a big mistake.
Obamacare could turn this economy into a train wreck again, every bit as much as the sky is falling predictions have been about what's going to happen with the government shutdown.
BURNETT: All right.
HOLT: Fundamentally, they believe that if you -- and you could do this. You could go and repeal the taxes in Obamacare. Republicans have said, hey, let's get rid of the original mandate. That requires people to have an insurance policy, by law. If they got rid of that, here's what happens -- Obamacare collapses under its own weight and the president knows he can't have that.
BURNETT: All right.
HOLT: It's his only accomplishment.
BURNETT: I will hit pause there. Thank you very much, both of you. We appreciate you taking the time. We're going to take a brief break.
When we come back, our breaking news coverage continues.
Plus, the other key stories of the day, a verdict just within the past hour or so in the Michael Jackson trial, and new developments on that story.
We've been following from the beginning one of the bikers in that violent confrontation with the SUV, as you can see right there. He's going to be on this program. That's OUTFRONT next.
BURNETT: High-speed rage with bikers and a SUV. Prosecutors now dropping charges against one of the two mean arrested in connection with an attack on a man in his family on an SUV on Sunday. As you can see there, that was when of the bikers came up to the SUV and was pounding their helmet into the glass. Obviously, the driver was hospitalized. And two of the drivers of the bikes were also in serious condition.
The harrowing confrontation was caught on tape. It has raised serious questions about who was the blame.
Susan Candiotti begins our coverage OUTFRONT tonight with the latest.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At first glance, the man in the white helmet appears to be part of a terrifying assault on the driver of this black Range Rover. It was all caught on video that has gone viral since Sunday's attack. That man, motorcyclists Alan Edwards (ph) surrendered Thursday and was arrested, slapped with several charges including reckless endangerment.
But sometimes video only shows so much. A law enforcement official telling CNN, Edwards may actually have been trying to protect the SUV's driver, businessman Alexian Lien, beaten and slashed in front of his wife and child after being chased by bikers.
So, for now, charges against Edwards are dropped. The Manhattan D.A.'s office won't comment on Edwards' role on the incident, instead issuing this statement, quote, "Prematurely individuals with low level crimes does not further the goals of the investigation and could weaken the cases we expect to bring against the cases of serious crimes."
However, one cyclist, Christopher Cruz, is charged with reckless driving in connection with the biker run gone bad. Here he is allegedly moving in front of the SUV and slowing down on purpose, causing Lien to bump him. After that, police say Lien feared for his life and sped off, running over a few bikers, critically injuring one as he tried to get away.
Cruz appearing before a judge. His lawyers saying none of it is true.
H. BENJAMIN PEREZ, CHRISTOPHER CRUZ'S ATTORNEY: His motorcycle was struck and he stood right there. He never assaulted this man. He never tried to assault him in any way. He does not know any of the other motorcyclists who were involved in this beating.
CANDIOTTI: Investigators are still digging for information, looking for witnesses and listening to 911 calls Lien made during the chase, also promising more arrests to catch one those who brutally attacked the SUV's driver -- Erin.
BURNETT: Thank you very much, Susan.
I want to bring in Jerome Davis. He is one of the motorcyclists. He was riding with the group on Sunday. And he's OUTFRONT tonight.
And, Jerome, thank you for taking the time, all right? I know you were not totally sure about talking to me. So I appreciate that you did it.
Now, you weren't at the scene of the first incident --
JEROME DAVIS, MOTORCYCLIST WHO WITNESSED CONFRONTATION: Right.
BURNETT: -- when police say the SUV hit the first motorcyclist. But you did see what happened next.
BURNETT: So, what did you see?
DAVIS: We came on to the highway southbound coming from 95, made the U-turn. We came around and everything was at a stop. It's kind of like, it came to the front.
It was maybe like a handful of us guys from all around --
DAVIS: -- and we just took a ride. It was just a ride. Like a gathering, like heavy weekend ride. And we were coming up and seeing --
BURNETT: I mean, so you saw, we saw the SUV and the video here. You see it driving over the two bikers. You saw that happen.
BURNETT: So the video, it is very hard to tell who did what or who started that. From what you saw, what do you think happened?
DAVIS: The driver was a maniac.
BURNETT: The driver of the SUV.
DAVIS: Yes. He was a maniac. He hit the first guy. The bike kind of lost control. It went over. He stopped.
And from my rear view left -- excuse me, from the right rear view, the body was underneath the truck. He just, right over. The truck came at least thigh high. And he kept proceeding on.
BURNETT: And --
DAVIS: The driver of the --
BURNETT: Of the SUV?
BURNETT: You describe him as a maniac. You said he and his wife did not look concerned.
DAVIS: Not at all.
BURNETT: I mean, to be honest, I have to say, that's hard to believe. He had a 2-year-old child in the back.
He must have been scared. There's a gang of bikers around him. He is alone.
Can you see his side of it at all?
DAVIS: I can understand it kind of in a way. But from previous, what happened, an section an accident. If you're going to -- if something happens, you stop right there. It is an accident. You think and stop. You don't keep acting on.
BURNETT: Now, Jerome, before you go, I have to show you. We just have these pictures from the NYPD, which we just got in. I want to show them to you. These are pictures that they've just give us.
Take a look if you can, these are two men that they say they are looking for. This is what they released. This is difficult for me to tell who these people are, but you go out with these guys on the weekend. Do you know who either one of these people are? They say they want to talk to them? Are you familiar with them?
DAVIS: No, I don't know them. Haven't seen them.
BURNETT: You don't know them?
BURNETT: OK. All right. Well, Jerome, thank you very much for taking the time and obviously, this is a story a lot of people want to know what really happened so we thank you for coming in and sharing your side of it as a bikers in the gang. Thanks again, Jerome.
DAVIS: Thank you.
BURNETT: Still to come, the verdict in the Michael Jackson trial just came out. We're going to have that after this break.
BURNETT: And finally, a not guilty verdict in the Michael Jackson trial could have been worth many billions of dollars. A California jury finding concert promoter AEG Live not liable for Michael Jackson's death. Jackson died from a drug overdose of the anesthetic Propofol in 2009. Just days before his comeback tour was to launch. His family sued the concert promoter saying they were responsible for hiring Dr. Conrad Murray and pushing him to treat the singer for insomnia with these drugs at his death.
Murray was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in a separate trial. This, though, was the big trial.
And Casey Wian is in Los Angeles tonight with the latest.
And, Casey, obviously, this could have been a huge amount of money. This trial went on for five months. What was the verdict when -- what was the reaction when that verdict was read?
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The reaction was, believe it or not, kind of expected, Erin, because this jury came in with this verdict so quickly. They only deliberated for a total of 13 hours over four days. They had potentially 16 different questions they would have had to answer in the affirmative and set a dollar amount to for the Jackson family to receive any money. So when this was wrapped up quickly, and wrapped up on the question of was Dr. Conrad Murray competent or incompetent, I should say, to perform the job in which he was hired. They answered no to that. That was question two of 16, and so, that ended the deliberations right there.
The AEG attorneys, very happy, vindicated. Jackson's family's attorneys disappointed, saying they may consider an appeal, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Casey Wian, with the headlines there.
We'll be right back.
BURNETT: Again, our top story tonight -- top congressional leaders meet with President Obama for more than an hour tonight. When they were done, the message from all side is the same, no deal, no negotiating. Day two of the shutdown continues.
Let's hand it off to "ANDERSON COOPER 360" now.