Return to Transcripts main page


Govt. Shutdown: Day 2; The Real Shutdown Architect; Random Scissor Attack in NYC

Aired October 2, 2013 - 04:30   ET


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Zoraida Sambolin. Happy you're with us this morning.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm John Berman. It is 30 minutes past the hour, that hour 4:00 a.m. on the East.

SAMBOLIN: Yes. So, there's plenty of heat, right, but there's no light in Washington, as the federal government enters the shutdown day two. They have 800,000 federal employees off the job.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: One faction of one party, in one house of Congress, in one branch of government, shut down major parts of the government, all because they didn't like one law.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: Neither the Senate Democratic majority or the president of the United States have any interest whatsoever into entering into any discussions about how to resolve this impasse.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: My goodness, they won't even sit down and have a discussion about this.


SAMBOLIN: House Republicans tried but failed to pass bills that would have funded portions of the government.

BERMAN: Meantime, uncertainty looms for the families of some 800,000 federal workers facing furloughs. People will inspect our airplanes, our cars, our food, all facing the prospect of being told to go home unsure when they will be paid again.


HAI NGUYEN, FORLOUGHED FROM SPAWAR: I don't get paid I go home. And, on the good side, I get to spend more time with my daughter. On the flip side, I might not get paid.


BERMAN: Real people, folks. The shutdown could cost furloughed federal workers $1 billion a week in salary. And the overall impact, if they prolong the shutdown, it could be in the tens of billions of dollars.

SAMBOLIN: There's so many people affected. The museums, memorials, and national parks, as you know, are closed for viewing during the shutdown. And some of the visitors turned away at Yellowstone National Park Tuesday, included tourists who have come from around the world to see one of America's scenic treasures.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was really upset because I was like, can I just see it? Because I have been watching (INAUDIBLE) for the past couple days.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've come through Canada and coming down and Yellowstone was, yes, one of the magical places we wanted to see.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of people from (INAUDIBLE) a lot of national parks in the U.S.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's shameful that the elected officials can't agree.


SAMBOLIN: Nearly 6,000 people typically visit Yellowstone.

BERMAN: So, after shutting the government down, lawmakers are watching their approval ratings go down to record lows.

Take a look at the latest CNN/ORC poll -- 68 percent of Americans say shutting down the government for even a few days is a bad idea, 27 percent believe it's a good idea.

When it comes to support for the men and women of Congress who brought this debacle or helped it along, just look at the approval rating: 10 percent -- 10 percent support for Congress.

SAMBOLIN: President Obama defiantly telling House Republicans to open the government, while House Speaker John Boehner made another legislative gambit to force hands. Who is behind the standstill?

It might be a name you haven't heard before.

CNN's Brian Todd has that.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He's been in Congress all of eight months. John Boehner's been there 22 years, but it's Mark Meadows, a former Sunday school and restaurant owner. It started with a letter Meadows sent to Boehner in late August, urging the speaker to use the threat of a shutdown to defund Obamacare. Tea Party powerhouses in both chambers of Congress supported him. He got 79 other House Republicans to sign his letter and Boehner had to listen.

(on camera): We were told Congressman Meadows wasn't available to speak to us. He told that his intent was never to shut down the government. But he also made clear in an interview with a local affiliate in his home district just who and what tops his priority list.

(voice-over): Meadows said stopping Obamacare is priority number one and the people in his district come first.

REP. MARK MEADOWS (R), NORTH CAROLINA: I believe I'm representing the will of the people. The overwhelming majority say that they don't want the bad effects of this law to be placed in their lap. So I'm fighting on their behalf, and believe that I'm representing them according to what they elected me to do.

TODD: And what the Tea Party wants him to do.

Jane Billelo, a Tea Party leader from North Carolina, says they thoroughly vetted Meadows with a questionnaire and an interview before supporting his run for Congress last year.

There are some who argue he's too much in your back pocket?

JANE BILELLO, CHAIR OF ASHEVILLE, NC TEA PARTY (via telephone): Our representatives, I don't care if they're Republicans, Democrats, independents, I don't care what they are. They're supposed to represent we the people. And they are supposed to adhere to constitutional principles. That's what we want. That's what we're going to hold them accountable to.

TODD: Now, analysts say Meadows' hand is strengthened in his district and possibly beyond.

DAVID WASSERMAN, COOK POLITICAL REPORTER: And that could open up possibilities for him whether it's a future leadership role in the House, whether it's a statewide bid in North Carolina.

TODD: But analysts say he could be hurting the Republican Party's broader chances in 2016. By placing himself as a catalyst, they say, he's drawing other Republicans into a perception problem nationally.

This may be good for Mark Meadows, but it could hurt folks like Chris Christie and Marco Rubio in three years.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


BERMAN: A stunning turn of events in two national coal cases spanning decades. An elderly couple in Missouri, in custody. They are suspects in two murder investigations. Police charged the 74-year-old Alice Udin (ph) with shooting her ex- husband in the head and dumping his body in an abandoned goldmine. Seventy-one-year-old Jerold Udin (ph) is suspected of killing his first wife and her two children.

Neighbors who knew this couple said they were quite elderly couple and they're shocked.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were just the old neighbors next door. They're good people. We've known them for about 12 years now. And they're the kind of neighbors you'd lean over your fence and talk about your chickens with.


BERMAN: The couple reportedly raised two adult children regularly attending church in a small town. Now they face extradition to Wyoming to undergo murder allegations that have gone unpunished for more than 30 years.

SAMBOLIN: Incredible story.

This one is too, actually. A bloody rampage tour through a New York City park Tuesday. An emotionally disturbed homeless man wielding scissors slashed and stabbed five people, including a 2-year-old boy. The attack came on a sunny morning in Riverside Park, an elegant swath of greenery, bordered by luxury high-rises. Witnesses describe a scene of utter chaos.


JESSICA MENZEL, WITNESS: People are like don't go there. Don't go there. There's a man stabbing people. And so, we saw the cops move up. And we walked over to the area and we saw them tackle the guy to the ground. And the woman who had been stabbed was at this point in the cop car and she had been screaming.


SAMBOLIN: This random attack began when a man jumped out and stabbed a 30-year-old woman in the chest. That entire ordeal lasted only 10 minutes. The attacker is in custody and all of the injured are expected to survive.

BERMAN: Terrifying.

All right. Some extreme road rage caught on tape. Police say the man seen here pointing a gun at a fellow motorist is a doctor. Fifty-one- year-old Perrin Dobyns was arrested Tuesday, charged with wanton endangerment.

The driver who captured the video says Dobyns was driving recklessly.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DAVID KOLLAR, ALLEGEDLY FIRED AT ON KENTUCKY HIGHWAY: Window comes down, he pulls out a gun and fires, almost immediately he fires. When I saw the gun come up, I just hit the brake and he missed me.


BERMAN: Police say the cell phone video helped bring about a quick arrest. Dobyns has reportedly been suspended from his job as a doctor in a prison. Now, he could have faced up to five years in prison himself.

SAMBOLIN: To the central Florida coast now where a small plane turned state road 415 into a runway. We keep seeing this, right? Jane Boulware (ph) ended up parking the Beechcraft T-34 mentor trainer an equestrian club's driveway. He told them he took the vintage plane on a test flight for the owner who brought it to the shop for maintenance. He and a mechanic on board are OK.

BERMAN: A renewed push to allow same sex marriage in Pennsylvania. Two state lawmakers say they plan to present a bill to legalize it there. The announcement happening at the Montgomery County clerk appealed a state court ordered a stop issuing marriage licenses to gays. That case now heading to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

SAMBOLIN: All right. So, remember to keep your cool after a breakup in California. Governor Jerry Brown has signed a new law banning so- called revenge porn, when someone posts naked pictures of an ex online. The penalty: six months in jail or $1,000 fine. Supporters say the move is essential since technology has outpaced the law.

BERMAN: That is why I only dated on the East Coast.

SAMBOLIN: Really? Revenge porn. Wow.

All right. Chad Myers has an early look at our weather and some airport delays across the country.

Good morning.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, everyone. I'm meteorologist Chad Myers.

Taking a look at airport delays today -- Houston, New Orleans, St. Louis, and Memphis, there will be thunderstorms around especial through the afternoon, and Seattle, as you get going, some low clouds planes may have to separate a little bit.

There are scattered showers in the Ohio Valley right on down to the New Orleans. There's something developing in the Caribbean that we're going to watch later on in the weekend. It could have implications for the Gulf of Mexico, especially on Saturday into Sunday if it gets its act together, partly cloudy across the Northeast today, pleasant day in New York, 84. Nice day in Dallas, 90, showers to the east, and showers into Memphis at 84.

BERMAN: All right. So, thanks to Chad. So, they're calling him the luckiest man alive. This morning, 58- year-old Eugene Rakow is lucky to be alive. No question about it. The self-employed Minnesota carpenter shot himself in the heart with a nail gun, and he lived to tell about it.


EUGENE RAKOW, SURVIVED NAIL GUN TO HEART: I was holding it like this, shot the nail in and it bounced and hit my chest and went off again.

DR. LOUIS B. LOUIS, CARDIAC SURGEON: The nail missed several key structures in his heart by only millimeters.

RAKOW: The Lord saved my life. It was his doing, you know. The nail could have went either direction. We could be at a funeral.


BERMAN: That's amazing.

I mean, the lesson here is do not shoot yourself in the heart with a nail gun.

SAMBOLIN: Really, Berman?

BERMAN: Doctors performed open heart surgery. They did an amazing job, obviously, gingerly removing that nail. Two days later, Rakow --

SAMBOLIN: Two days later?

BERMAN: Two days later, he was at home with his wife and his seven children. He's been ordered to take it easy for the next three months. Please, take it easy.

SAMBOLIN: No more nail guns, dude. Unbelievable.

BERMAN: He is already skimming (ph) though. You see his daughter there -- clearly, they're thrilled to have him. He wants to get back to work.

SAMBOLIN: Look at the nail. The size of the nail.

BERMAN: You've got to be kidding me.


BERMAN: That's a framing spike.

SAMBOLIN: That's incredible.

BERMAN: Lucky. Lucky, lucky man.


SAMBOLIN: Wow. I know.

BERMAN: All right, coming up, the blame game over the government shutdown continues in Washington.

Next, why one lawmaker thinks both parties are responsible.



It is time for "Primetime Pop." It is the best of CNN's primetime interviews, the top stories or bottom story, depending how you look at it.

The government shutdown and no signs of negotiations.

SAMBOLIN: Erin Burnett spoke to Peter King, a fierce critic of his own party. But last night, he took direct aim at the president.


REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: What John Boehner is trying to do keep the party united as long as he can, while minimal damage is being done. It's a tough spot he's in.

Also, let me just say I've been critical of Republicans. Well, we are where we are.

And I would also say it's time for President Obama to get engaged. I mean, this is his government. And whether it's our fault or not, the Republican Party's fault or not, he's the president. He's got to come in and he can't just stand back and let get this forward.

So, I'm calling for him to get involved. I think Republicans have to be more responsible. This wing of 30 or 40, or 50 people that are driving us over the cliff has to end. We have to stop listening to Ted Cruz.

It's also time for the president to get engaged, he has to get engaged, so much is at stake. I mean, we have good people out of work. We have, as you said, the damage is going to come to to the economy. This can't be allowed to go on. This is madness.


BERMAN: Whether the madness continues also that issue with Anderson Cooper. He spoke with Connecticut Democrat John Larson who angrily berated Republicans Monday night. Look at that arm pumping.

Last night, though, he was on the defensive.


REP. JOHN LARSON (D), CONNECTICUT: The White House isn't willing to negotiate. They're willing to sit down, as the president said, in any aspect of Obamacare. What they're not willing to do is shut down the government and have a gun pointed at their head and say, look, get rid of Obamacare or we're going to shut down the government. That's what they're not willing to negotiate. But the president is more than willing to sit down and has on numerous occasions. Let's be honest, this is a negotiation that the Republican Party is having with itself. Washington warned against this, is when you have excessive spirit, most importantly, when you have a party within a party whose intent is to be at war with its own government.


LARSON: And to take down the government itself. That's unfortunately what's happening.


SAMBOLIN: Finally, Piers Morgan spoke with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on whether a one-on-one with the president and Speaker Boehner is inevitable.


JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: What is inevitable is that Congress has the responsibility to fund the government, to pass bills that keep the government open, and Congress has the responsibility to pass the bill to raise the debt ceiling so that the United States does not, for the first time in its history, default on its obligations.

You know, the president's position is clear. He has been all year and continues to be eager and willing to sit down with lawmakers of both parties to work out a longer, broader budget compromise. That funds our priorities, invests in our future, and reduces our deficit, continuing the work that he's done since he took office in reducing the deficit by more than half.

But what he won't do is negotiate under threat of shutdown, or threat of default.


BERMAN: So the government shutdown even extending into the world of sports now. Folks. This is getting serious. Andy Scholes joins us with the big game that is now being postponed. That next in "The Bleacher Report."


BERMAN: All right. The government shutdown now getting really serious.

SAMBOLIN: To you, yes.

BERMAN: Spilling over into the world of sports and it could put a college football game, several of them, in jeopardy this weekend.

SAMBOLIN: Andy Scholes explains why in "The Bleacher Report."

What's going on?

ANDY SCHOLES, "BLEACHER REPORT": Good morning, guys.

This weekend, Air Force is scheduled to play Navy. And Army is supposed to play at Boston College. But because of the shutdown, both of those games might not happen. The Defense Department temporarily suspended competition at the Service Academies Tuesday as a result of the shutdown.

Now, a spokesperson at the Defense Department said they're trying to determine they're trying to determine if they can fund travel for the games with nongovernment money. Air Force and Navy, they played every year since 1972. This weekend's game is, of course, a sellout. The final decision on whether or not they will play the two games is expected by tomorrow afternoon at the latest.

All right. For the first time in 21 years, the Pittsburgh Pirates hit the field for a postseason game. The Buccos hosting the N.L. wildcard matchup. And Pirates jumped on Cincinnati's starting pitcher Johnny Cueto early, and they never looked back. Francisco Liriano pitched seven solid innings, giving just one run.

Pittsburgh wins the game 6-2. They go on to play their division rivals St. Louis Cardinals in the division series.

For the lineup section on today, you'll see that hockey season has started. Last night, the Chicago Blackhawks kicked off their season, raising their championship banner, showing off their new fancy rings.


SCHOLES: Zoraida, I'm sure you're happy about this.

SAMBOLIN: I love them.

SCHOLES: Blackhawks won the game as well. Off to a good start, 6-4 over Washington.

And in case you're wondering, Zoraida, the Blackhawks are again the favorite to win it all this year.

BERMAN: Blah, blah, blah.


SAMBOLIN: Because we're not talking about the Boston Red Sox, is that why?

BERMAN: Oh, I don't know you're from Chicago. You only say it a hundred times every show.

But let's talk about the pirates, they won last night convincingly. That was super exciting. Yes?

SCHOLES: Awesome, awesome to see the pirates fans getting postseason success after 20 straight losing seasons. Now, they get to play the Cardinals who, of course, they're very familiar with playing so many times this year in N.L. central matchups.

It should be a good series looking forward. I'm excited to see them in the postseason. Of course, we haven't seen them in a long time.

BERMAN: And A.J. Burnett takes the mound, I guess, in game 1 for the Pirates. Back from the dead. That's very nice to see.

All right. Andy Scholes, always good to see you. Thank you, my friend.

SCHOLES: All right.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Coming up, Jay-Z opens up about why his drug- dealing past is really paying off now.


SAMBOLIN: Welcome back to EARLY START.

Looking at the top CNN trends.

Rapper Jay-Z opening up about life as a father and his drug-dealing past. In a November issue of "Vanity Fair", Jay-Z says his 18-month- old daughter Blue Ivy loves her mother Beyonce's music like everybody. But says she is his biggest fan.

BERMAN: In the interview, he credits drug dealing with making him a good businessman, saying, I know about budgets. I was a drug dealer. To be in a drug deal, you need to know what you can spend, what you need to re-up. But he said he had an extra strategy, otherwise he would likely be locked up or dead, he says.

I think there are other ways to learn business.

SAMBOLIN: No, but I also think that's an interesting perspective. I interviewed a guy in Chicago who also had a past as a drug dealer, he was a very savvy businessman. He said the key for him was not to actually get involved on the drugs. I know it's crazy --

BERMAN: You don't get high on your own supply.

SAMBOLIN: Exactly.

BERMAN: That's what they say, I'm told.

SAMBOLIN: But, you know, it would be great to see these kids channel this in a different reaction, right?


BERMAN: All right. YouTube, rolling out the red carpet of its own during the awards show, the largest video sharing website announced it's going to have its first ever music award show. It will be held on November 3rd. The event will take place in New York City and will be hosted and musician by Jason Schwartzman. I love "Bored to Death," that's a great show. Why they cancelled. Nominees will be announced on October 17. And voting will go commence on YouTube and other social media sites. Lady Gaga, Eminem and Arcade Fire are going to headline the show.

SAMBOLIN: By the way.


All right. Britney Spears getting back to work. She just debuted the video for her new single. It has leather-clad dancers. It has everything, even mannequins and sharks.

SAMBOLIN: The 31-year-old struts her stuff in revealing outfits as well. You can take a longer look at that. Her eighth still untitled album drops in December. She's also rehearsing her two year residency in Las Vegas. She looks amazing.

BERMAN: Congratulations, Britney Spears, way to go.


SAMBOLIN: You can look at her all day, couldn't you?

BERMAN: I just think she's talented. I love her music.


EARLY START continues right now.



OBAMA: Pass the budget. End the government shutdown. Pay your bills. Prevent an economic shutdown. Don't wait. Don't delay.

BOEHNER: My goodness, they won't even sit down and have a discussion about this.


BERMAN: Workers furloughed, monuments closed -- and an agreement in Washington nowhere in sight. Your government at work, ladies and gentlemen.


OBAMA: Like every new law, every new product rollout, there are going to be glitches in the signup process along the way that we will fix.


SAMBOLIN: Obamacare online ready for customers? That is, if you can manage to logon.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first thing that went through my head, somebody should do something. I didn't want to be a hypocrite who, you know, just tweeted about it.


BERMAN: A real life epee-wielding superhero. A fencing coach springing into action when he sees two crooks robbing a couple on the street. The dramatic re-enactment, ahead.

SAMBOLIN: Stay tuned for that. It's a lot of fun to watch.

Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START. Glad you're with us. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

BERMAN: And I'm John Berman. It is Wednesday, October 2nd. It is 5:00 in the East.

SAMBOLIN: And up first, day two of the government shutdown and if there's any light at the end of the tunnel, it's really hard to see it. Meantime, the blame game is in full swing.