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Woman Killed After Car Chase from White House to Capitol; Shutdown Day Three; Shutdown Gridlock Grinds On; Interview with Congressman Grimm; Interview with Congressman Huelskamp

Aired October 3, 2013 - 20:00   ET



Good evening, everyone.

We begin with breaking news with the end of another chaotic day in Washington, D.C. The woman who led the police on a high-speed chase from the White House to the Capitol is dead apparently of police gunshot wounds. His final moments tearing through Capitol Hill, caught there on camera. The chase and gunfire sending visitors and staffers and lawmakers alike scattering for cover and wondering if this was some kind of repeat of last month's Navy Yard shooting.

In fact, it was something else entirely. What precisely? We still do not know. A lot left to learn tonight.

We'll start with the latest from Joe Johns.


JOE JOHNS, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Chilling real-time video, much of it on cell phone cameras, a broad daylight confrontation with police in Washington. An erratic driver who had already hit a White House barrier arrives at the west front of the U.S. Capitol.

You can hear the shots fired as the driver with multiple police cars in pursuit hit speeds of up to 80 miles an hour before it all comes to an end on the capitol's eastside with more shots fired about a block away from the Supreme Court. Two officers are injured in the chase.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have report of gunfire on Capitol Hill. If you're in an office building, shelter in place.

JOHNS: As the public address system sounding at the capitol complex warns everyone to hunker down, a stunning surprise. The driver police were shooting at and killed was a woman with a small child in the backseat who is unharmed. What's more, after searching the suspect's car, police find no weapon. For the bystanders on the street, shock and pandemonium.

EDMUND OFORI-ATTAN, EYEWITNESS: When I heard the gunfire about five or six rounds, my wife and I just dropped to the ground. DYLAN PRICE, WITNESS: I was walking toward the capitol building and about 30 seconds later, as I hit this point, there was about three or four cop cars that sped past me. Another 30 seconds after that I heard a series of loud pops like a gun going off. It looks like it was from outside.

JOHNS: A strange and dangerous spectacle in one of the most closely guarded public spaces in the country, perhaps in the world.

CHIEF CATHY LANIER, METROPOLITAN POLICE: This was a lengthy pursuit. There were multiple vehicles rammed. There was officers that were struck and two perimeters -- security perimeters that were attempted to be breached.


COOPER: And Joe joins me now from Washington.

Do we know more about the driver of the car right now?

JOHNS: Anderson, we do know that this is a 34-year-old woman believed to be from Stanford, Connecticut. She's also believed to be the mother of the child who was found in the car and taken away by authorities. CNN at this time is not releasing her name -- Anderson.

COOPER: And any known idea of her motive or anything like that at this point?

JOHNS: No, no idea at all. However, one member of Congress who has been apparently briefed on this situation has told reporters that questions about her volatility in the past have been raised.

COOPER: There -- and, I mean, you mentioned in the piece that authorities didn't find any weapon in the car. Why then did they open fire?

JOHNS: In a situation like this, a car can be deemed just as deadly a weapon as any type of a firearm, and in this case, two officers apparently had already been hit and injured by this vehicle so the authorities say they were fully within their right to go ahead and shoot.

COOPER: All right. Joe, appreciate it. Thanks.

This happened obviously in front of thousands of people. Before we talk to a pair of witnesses, I just want to once again show you that video of the pivotal moment.


Unbelievable. Joining us now is Patty Bills and Matthew Coursen who witnessed the incident up close and real time.

Matthew, you saw the chase from a cab nearby. What exactly did you see? MATTHEW COURSEN, WITNESS: Well, we were pulling down the street and we saw tons of police cars coming at us from every direction and out of nowhere, I saw a black car pass us on our left, and it was -- it was really happened very, very quickly. It came to a quick stop. Tried to do some sort of a U-turn to try and get away from all the police activity and within seconds, it was boxed in by all the different law enforcement cars that were around, and it really happened really fast.

COOPER: You thought the driver might surrender when -- when she was boxed in, but she didn't.

COURSEN: No, exactly, I really thought that she was going to because it was clear that she had nowhere to go and then all of a sudden an officer was out of his car and he had his weapon drawn and as soon as she made a move and was trying to put the car in reverse and speed away, shots were fired.

COOPER: And, Patty, you were close by, you saw the officers firing their guns at the driver. Could you see what the driver look like? What she was doing at the time?

PATTY BILLS, WITNESS: I couldn't actually see the driver for what she was doing but I could see someone in the car. I immediately saw the police enforcement, all of them, trying to pull the child from the car to safety. It was very obvious that they wanted to get the child out of there before something happened, which did, which was the gunfire, because she was very rummy in the car. The car was -- she had hit into a police car. She had hit into the little booth that had the police where they stand in it and clearly she -- was using the car as a weapon.

COOPER: Could you see that there was -- had been a child in the car? I mean, before she was taken out, obviously?

BILLS: I could not see that there was a child before, so when I saw the police run over and open the door and was pulling a child out, then I knew that they were trying to get the child out to safety first.

COOPER: And -- I mean, Patty, it's one thing to see this stuff on TV, it's another to see it in real life. How are you doing?

BILLS: You know, it was very scary. I was very emotional at the time. It is -- when you're right there and hear those gunshots, it's loud. Lots of law enforcement of every kind. I felt safe in one sense with them but very frightened in another.

COOPER: And, Matthew, how far away were you from the whole incident? I mean, were you concerned for your safety at any point?

COURSEN: I was. I mean, I was about 10 yards. The car was -- when the car was stopped and the shooting started, I was one lane of traffic over. There was absolutely nothing between me and my -- the taxi I was in and the shooting. So, yes, we were -- you know, the cab driver and I were on the floor, and keeping our heads down and, you know, we didn't know if there was another weapon involved.

We didn't know where the shots were coming from, other than the one officer we could see. So, yes, it was extremely scary. I mean, you know, as you said it's one thing to see this on TV but in real life it's -- happened very, very fast, but it's something that you can't really prepare for.

COOPER: Yes, I just kept -- of course kept thinking how horrific it must have been for that little girl, I guess, in the backseat. I mean, how scary it must have been for her.

Patty Bills, I appreciate talking. And Matt Coursen, as well, thank you very much. I'm glad everything with you is OK.

You can follow me on Twitter, of course, @andersoncooper.

Next more details on what we're learning about the woman behind the wheel and later what an open mike caught two of the key players in the battle saying about it.


COOPER: More now on the breaking news, fresh details emerging tonight about the woman who rammed the barrier at the White House and led authorities on a chase in Washington that ended with gunshots outside the Capitol. She is dead, her baby daughter who was in the car with her is doing fine, we're told.

The question now, who was this woman and what possessed her to do what she did? Police have yet to release her name. Right now authorities are questioning family members at a home in Brooklyn.

Deborah Feyerick there with some new information.

Deborah, what is the latest?

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, federal law enforcements were here at the home in Brooklyn. It's believed that her mother and a younger sister live here. They came, they tried to speak to both but they left rather soon after.

We had a team here in place, went knocked on the door, no response, no answer at the apartment that we knocked on.

We can tell you also some developments happening in Stanford, Connecticut. That is where it's believed this woman lived with her 18-month-old daughter. There is a bomb squad and a hazmat team at the location and the reason for that we're being told is because authorities when they arrived at the apartment executing a search warrant they found an envelope at the door and the envelope appeared to them to be suspicious, has some sort of a powder in it.

And that's why they're taking a lot of care, a lot of precautions, and that's why you've got the bomb squad. That's why you've also got the hazmat team in place there. They're executing the search warrant, they're trying to find whatever information they can. They've evacuated this condo complex. So all the neighbors have been removed, again. They're not quite sure what they're going to find so they're being extra careful.

But we do know that the neighbors have been evacuated. They have not yet been let in and that is still a very active scene with authorities going through that apartment complex -- Anderson.

COOPER: And, Debra, what about the young daughter who is in the car with her? We know she was taken away by police officers. Do we know anything -- where she is now or how she is?

FEYERICK: You know, this is pretty remarkable because you've been showing the video of that car as it pulled away. Authorities had no idea, the police had no idea when they were firing that there was a child inside that vehicle. As a matter of fact, when the vehicle came to a stop because authorities opened fire on the car, hitting the driver who was at the wheel, that is when they realized that the daughter was inside the vehicle. A police officer was able to take her to safety. We are told that she was brought to a hospital and that she's doing OK.

There was even video of her and she was unscathed. However, the driver, the female, her mother we believe, she was shot dead at that scene -- Anderson.

COOPER: Right. Deborah, appreciate the update. Thanks.

More now on what authorities, many of whom are working without pay should be noted, did out on the streets today and those few hectic moments and what investigators are now looking for. For that I want to bring in our law enforcement analyst and former top FBI official Tom Fuentes.

So from what you can see in this video and what's been reported so far, what do you make of this situation? How law enforcement handled it?

TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Hi, Anderson. It appears that they handled it fairly well. I think some people might question that when the vehicle was pulled over, why one more squad car didn't pull in and box it in completely, but that's really, really nitpicking under the circumstances of everything that was going on, trying to pull that vehicle over and get her out of the vehicle.

Once she clearly rams the police car and escapes from being boxed in like that, it's pretty clear that they've got to take the action that they have. They have no idea what her motives are. They have no idea if that car contains explosives and she's a terrorist or suicidal and she's going to run people over on the sidewalk down the road or what, but it's clear at that point that they know they have to stop that car.

COOPER: The fact that -- I mean, you're saying people should not read into the fact that no weapon was found inside the vehicle because at the time, law enforcement does not have that knowledge that vehicle could have been a -- you know, a vehicle born explosive device or something.

FUENTES: Well, the vehicle itself they know was a weapon. She's using that as a 2,000 pound weapon to ram into police cars and injure police officers whether even before, whether they know there's explosives or not. So the car itself is a weapon in her hands when she's driving it. She drives recklessly through downtown Washington, which is amazing because I come down constitution to come to CNN and it takes me an hour to do what she did in four minutes.

So, you know, it's clear that she's being completely reckless, she's endangering the public, she'll continue to endanger them. When you defy armed police officers ordering you to get out of a car and do what she did, I think that's what escalated this up to the point where they knew they were going to have to stop her at all costs and yes, you take a risk.

You know, as a law enforcement officer you're trained not to fire your weapons when there is innocent people that could be hit by friendly fire accidentally but on the other hand, do you take that chance versus the chance that she runs that car closer to the capital and kills several hundred people if it does have explosives.

COOPER: Right. And authorities seem to rule out terrorism in their press conference. What do you make of what Deb Feyerick reported, though, the hazmat team, the bomb squad, finding that envelope. I mean, it seems like it's an abundance of caution at this point but probably sensible.

FUENTES: Yes, exactly. And you know, until they analyze the envelope and until they do the full search, they're going to be very cautious. That tends to bring a search to a screeching halt while you evacuate the building and when you have tenants, you know, in a large building like that. That's going to take awhile to get to where you're ready to safely proceed and you're concerned about the safety of the crime scene investigators that are going to go in and perform the forensic work that they have to do inside that apartment.

So there is a lot that goes into that and they're still going to be trying to get ahold of her telephone records, and Internet records, e-mails, text messages, talk to friends, relatives, and apparently according to Deborah Feyerick it sounds like the mother and the sister probably did not talk to the authorities tonight, but maybe other relatives will or other friends or neighbors or work associates to say what was going on in her mind.

We don't know at this point. Did she have a relationship problem or a workplace problem or is she out of work because of the government shutdown and can't make ends meet? We just don't know.

COOPER: Yes, we don't know.

FUENTES: What triggered today's action.

COOPER: Yes. Well, Tom, appreciate your expertise. Thanks, Tom Fuentes.

FUENTES: Thank you.

COOPER: Next, exclusive new developments in trash talk and the political struggle over the government shutdown. And later the wife who was inside the SUV that her husband was at the wheel, their 2- year-old daughter in the back. Got into that altercation with a pack of motorcyclists. There you see some of cyclists -- motorcyclist or at least one of the motorcyclists kind of break open the window, which (INAUDIBLE) did, and drag the driver out.

The wife is speaking out defending what her husband did in that confrontation with bikers.


COOPER: Hey, welcome back. Today's chase and shooting in Washington unfolded what already tense and angry times, tempers were already flaring, as the shutdown's impact grew, and patience with some of the instigators of that shutdown began wearing pretty thin.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, as you'll hear in a moment, talking trash about how House Speaker John Boehner. And then there's this. We've got a clip from local station WRC capturing a confrontation at the World War II Memorial between Texas Congressman Randy Neugebauer, a Park Ranger, and a furloughed federal worker.

You'll recall politicians have been showing up at the memorial bemoaning the fact that it's closed even though they're the ones whose votes have led to the shutdown. Today, this federal worker called them on it.

Watch what happened.


REP. RANDY NEUGEBAUER (R), TEXAS: How do you look at them and say -- how do you deny them access? I don't get that.


NEUGEBAUER: Well, it should be difficult.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is difficult. I'm sorry, sir.

NEUGEBAUER: Park Services should be ashamed of themselves.


NEUGEBAUER: You should be.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not a tourist (INAUDIBLE) no costs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People who want to pass a budget.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It doesn't cost any money --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This woman is doing her job just like me. I'm a 30-year federal veteran. I'm out of work.

NEUGEBAUER: Well, the reason you are is Mr. Reid --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, it's because the government won't do its job and pass a budget.


COOPER: I can't believe that politician was calling out some Park Service worker. I mean, that's the first time I've seen that. That just boggles my mind. Of course there was a camera there, no coincidence on that.

Today President Obama again called for House Speaker John Boehner to pass a bill to fund the government with no strings attached. The American people, he said, elected their representatives to make their lives easier, not harder. And how are those elected representatives doing?

Chief congressional Dana Bash joins us from a rattled and exhausted capitol.

Dana, I'm sorry, I -- that's the first time I'm seeing that. I just can't believe some high-paid congressman is chewing out some female Park Service worker, you know, surrounded by microphones. That just seems the most, I mean, obvious play for the cameras, I -- I mean, you live in Washington. I guess this stuff doesn't surprise you. It shouldn't surprise me anymore. And I don't know why I'm even mentioning it because it just is what it is.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's the first time I've -- it's the first time I've seen it, as well, and it does surprise me. I got to be honest it does surprised me, because members of Congress know better and they know that people like Park Service -- people who work for the Park Service, people who work here on Capitol Hill, you know, protecting them that their -- that they do jobs the best they can.

COOPER: By the way, that congressman is getting paid. I mean -- anyway. So let's talk about what's actually happening. Not much progress today on Capitol Hill. What is the latest?

BASH: You're right. Not much at all. You know, you basically heard the president go after Republicans again and Republicans standing firm saying that they're not going to move on what Democrats are demanding which is, again, a clean, no strings attached bill to fund the entire government.

Now earlier today I walked by John Boehner's office, which is right down the hall and he was having an -- a meeting, I should say, with maybe about 20 members who are kind of part of his inner circle talking to them about the next step and he has sort of at least privately tried to begin to move on from his demand on Obamacare to discussions at least with his fellow Republicans about what they could ask for from the president, from Democrats related to the economy whether it is entitlement reform, tax reform, things like that, and that of course is about the debt ceiling, the next fight on that deadline is October 17th.

Democrats still say no, we're not -- we're not negotiating on anything whether it's the shutdown or the debt ceiling, do it all they say then we'll talk.

COOPER: You sat down with Majority Harry Reid. What did he say?

BASH: It is just getting so personal, Anderson. It's no wonder nobody is getting anything done, no wonder nobody is negotiating. Listen to what he was saying about the House speaker.


SEN. HARRY REID (D), MAJORITY LEADER: I think that the speaker has to be more concerned about our country than he is about his job.

BASH: I've covered --

REID: Why else would we do this? It's because they're afraid they'll take away his speakership.

BASH: Let's just play that out. Let's say he does agree to what you're saying. He puts a bill to fund the government on the House floor, it passes with big bipartisan support, and he's toast, he loses his speakership.

How does that --

REID: But that's -- but he has to have some courage.


BASH: And, Anderson, Senator Reid revealed that he had a meeting with John Boehner in September where he says Boehner promised that he would pass a clean bill, just like Democrats are demanding and in exchange for that, Harry Reid agreed to a lower spending level, much to the chagrin of his Democratic colleagues, and so that is part of the reason why they're standing firm. He said he thinks that John Boehner intended to pass that but he just couldn't do it because of the -- of the revolt in his conservative caucus which is what made him say that he cares more about his job than his country. Pretty strong.

COOPER: Yes. Very strong. Dana, appreciate it. Thanks very much.

Digging deeper now into the struggle that seems to be fueling the shutdown, really at least part of the main struggle inside the Republican Party. One side moderate who say this is no way to do business, opposing them, so far carrying the day, a group of about 80 House members who believe this is precisely what the voters sent them to Washington to do. First the moderate New York Republican Congressman Michael Grimm. I spoke to him just before airtime.


COOPER: Congressman, I understand you've been meeting with the speaker. You and some of your moderate Republican colleagues have been trying to find a way to get the government running again. What do you want to see happen right now?

REP. MICHAEL GRIMM (R), NEW YORK: Well, obviously, I want to see a resolution. I want the government turned back on and, you know, a big part of this is -- politics is politics and, you know, I've been around this town now long enough to figure out there's always going to be some politics, but you have a lot of people that aren't going to be able to pay rent.

You know, if 800,000 government employees that are furloughed that are scared to death right now. Some -- I have a family that the husband and the wife both work for the government, so they have a small child at home they don't know what they're going to do. So we need to -- we need to get our act together. We need to find a resolution but unfortunately when I hear the things that the president is saying and so on and Harry Reid's very -- I feel comes across very, very arrogant, and very obstinate, I think he's only making it more difficult to get to a resolution.

COOPER: You're saying vote -- that a clean vote should come up at the House. There should be a clean bill that has time to stop the conservative Republicans, it's time for them to stop holding this up.

GRIMM: Well, what -- yes. Do I want a resolution? Absolutely. But at the same time, I've also been calling on the president to show some leadership.

Listen. When two sides dig in, the House and Senate dig in, that's the -- that's the time the president comes, has people over at the White House which is why I was optimistic yesterday when I heard he was calling the leaders at the White House. But instead of sitting down and say, all right, let's have a conversation, what -- how can we resolve this?

You know, Speaker Boehner, what is a deal breaker for you? Harry, what's a deal breaker for you? Let's talk about how we get something done. There is no dialogue at all, Anderson.

That's not leadership. I mean, that's -- this is the leader of the free world. He has got to be above it to some extend and instead, he's actually the problem more than the solution. So that's where I'm disappointed. Again, a lot of blame to go around, every party, House and Senate. I'm not saying that anyone has clean hands but the president does need to be above this and start to lead.

COOPER: Those who support the president say, well, look, who should he be negotiating with because you have basic -- they say that this is really more about a war within the Republican party, the divisions within the Republican Party. GRIMM: Well, there is no question we have our issues that we're working out but if you look at the votes, the Republican Party has been pretty unified. Make no mistake about it. Speaker Boehner is in command. OK, he has the con and he is certainly the one that needs to be spoken to but, you know, if you're going to insult someone, regardless of whether it's the speaker or it's myself or you, but if you're going to be insulted on the press, and you're going to be spoken down to, and there's going to be this air of arrogance, well, you're only going to make things worse.

I mean that's just common sense. If you try to get a deal done in the boardroom, you don't insult the other people before you walk in. So --

COOPER: That makes it sounds like this is more about ego of -- like people have bruised egos for the way they feel the president has treated them.

GRIMM: Well, I think it's a combination of everything. We're still talking about human beings, Anderson. I mean, you've got to remember, the speaker is a human being, too. Is he trying to be above it? Is he trying to lead? Sure. But there's only so much you're going to take when someone doesn't want to talk at all, first of all.

You can't -- you can't have a discussion by yourself. You can't go to the dance unless you have a partner. So, you know, again, I'm not saying there isn't blame to go all the way around. I don't think we're in a position that is good. I want and I will do whatever it takes to get the government turned back on because I know how hurt people are right now.

But at the same time I expect some leadership from the president of the United States. He doesn't get a pass just because he feels, you know, that our position is unreasonable.


GRIMM: You still have to sit on the table.

COOPER: If a clean bill was brought up in the House, was allowed to come forward in the House, do you believe it would pass? Do you believe that --


GRIMM: No --

COOPER: Actually you don't.

GRIMM: I don't believe it will pass. I don't think there would be enough Democrats to pass it. I think -- I think statistically, just being a numbers guy, when I look at it, I think it would actually fail.

COOPER: Fail, you're saying because of Democrats?

GRIMM: Well, I'm saying I know how many Republicans would probably drop out and I don't think you'll have enough Democrats --

COOPER: To make up for it.

GRIMM: -- to pick it up. You're certainly not going to have all the Democrats voting for a clean CR. That much I can guarantee right now because I've spoken to them. There's quite a few Democrats that will not vote for a clean CR.

COOPER: Congressman Michael Grimm, appreciate you being on. Thank you.

GRIMM: Thank you.

COOPER: That's one end of the Republican spectrum. We're joined by Congressman Tim Huelskamp of Kansas. Congressman, appreciate you being on. You just heard Congressman Grimm there saying bring this up for a clean vote. Why is that not the right thing to do?

REP. TIM HUELSKAMP (R), KANSAS: I didn't hear him say that --

COOPER: He ask --

HUELSKAMP: I didn't hear him say that. I missed that if he did, but we had a conversation earlier today and I also heard him say, I guess, that it would not pass. I agree with him. But our offer to the Senate is pretty simple. It's pretty reasonable. Let's sit down and talk about it. What I heard last night from the president, what I'm still hearing from Harry Reid is that you either give us everything we want or he's going to keep the government closed down.

So we have sent over bills to fund the veterans, to open our national parks, to take care of NIH and to make sure the National Guard can operate this weekend in Kansas. We're doing those things that we think we can agree on, but you'll see in the votes, the House Democrats are opposed to anything unless they get everything, that's a pretty unreasonable offer.

COOPER: So what do you say to John McCain who said no, elections have consequences, this is president ran twice, won on Obama care, his opponent was against Obamacare, he lost, the president won.

HUELSKAMP: Well, I'll say what I do say at the president and his folks, is you know what Mr. President, you don't like Obamacare for big businesses. You've given them the exception and given the exception to Congress and you don't believe they have to live under Obamacare and that was the final offer. We did send to the head of the Senate said, Mr. Reid, if you give big businesses a break from Obamacare, give that to the rest of America.

That made sense and matches up with what the president says he wanted to do, but he rejected that. So right now we're sitting here waiting on a serious offer, serious willingness to sit down. In the meantime, the House is working. The Senate has passed an appropriations bill in four years, in single appropriations bill. I know they are rusty there, Mr. Reid, but send us a bill we can support and we can have the negotiation, but it's hard to negotiate with someone that says they don't need to compromise.

COOPER: On the health care law, I want to ask you about a press release that you put out today. In it, you call the health care sign up in your state, quote, "stunning." You said there is not been one single report of a signing up. Where are you actually getting those numbers? Because the director of health care policy for your state's insurance department said on Tuesday that it's, quote, "impossible to tell how many have visited the federally-run web site since your state opted not to set up its own exchange." So how can you know that no one signed up?

HUELSKAMP: You did read the press release?


HUELSKAMP: Anderson, well, you didn't read it very closely. What I said was one insurance company, the major one in the state had not a single person sign up on day one. I do not have a report for day two, but indeed the insurance commissioner encouraged all Kansas people not to sign up because it wasn't going to work for a couple weeks. But I've been trying for the last two and a half days even though the president is trying to exempt members of Congress. I refuse to take that exemption and it's unfair to exempt members of Congress and the cabinet and big business and require it for all other Americans.

COOPER: How do you see this ending? I mean, are you convinced that House Republicans are going to stand firm on this?

HUELSKAMP: I think we are. We're very unified, and if Harry Reid is confused or the president of the United States is confused that somehow we're going to fold and let them win on everything and let them make decisions about Obamacare, this is not just about Obamacare, but the entire budget and recognize if nothing changes there will be another $700 billion deficit. There are holes to fill, a lot of discussions to take up and I appreciate those questions. Sorry, there is late m distraction in the background.

COOPER: I understand. It's been a busy day there. Congressman, appreciate you being on as always. Thank you very much.

HUELSKAMP: Thank you so much.

COOPER: So is it time for Speaker Boehner to end the shutdown? Let me know what you think on Twitter.

Coming up next, we'll hear from someone that's been on this before, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich who battled with President Bill Clinton during the 1995-'96 government shutdown. We're also talk to Cornell Belcher, a former pollster for President Obama.

Also ahead, the latest on the driver who was swarmed by a group of bikers on the streets of Manhattan and attacked with his wife and child in the car so far only one suspect is facing charges. Police are looking for the public's help in finding some of the other suspects. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Welcome back, in raw politics, a rare look behind the curtain, a unique look inside the process courtesy of an open microphone last night, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Kentucky colleague Rand Paul. Now Senator McConnell is fresh from the meeting at the White House, they spoke and the cameras rolls, take a listen.


SENATOR RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: Do you have a second?


PAUL: CNN and I go over again we're willing to compromise, we're willing to negotiate. I don't think they poll tested we won't negotiate. I think it's awful for them to say that over and over again.

MCCONNELL: Yes, I do, too and I just came back with a 2-hour meeting with him and that was basically the same view privately.

PAUL: I think if we keep saying we wanted to defund it and we fought for that and we're willing to compromise on this, I think I know we don't want to be here but we're going to win this, I think.


COOPER: Whether they are right or wrong about the messaging remains to be seen. It's just plain fascinating though to see them working it all out in real time with the mics on.

Now I talked about that and a lot more earlier tonight with our political panel, Newt Gingrich, former House speaker, presidential candidate and currently co-host of "CROSSFIRE," former Gingrich spokesman, Rich Galen and Democratic strategist, Cornell Belcher, who served as a campaign pollster for President Obama.


COOPER: Cornell, those comments the Rand Paul made yesterday on an open mic, his claims it's a winning messaging strategy, essentially the Republicans saying over and over they are willing to negotiate. Is he right?

CORNELL BELCHER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, he's absolutely not right. You can hear other Republicans saying New Hampshire Republican Senator Ayotte, you know, said that this is not a winning strategy, you know. Corker from Tennessee said we are boxing ourselves in here. No, it's not a winning strategy and if you look at the CBS Poll that came out today showed 72 percent majority disapproving what the Republicans in Congress are doing.

And CNN's own polling had 69 percent saying that what the Republicans were doing is behaving like spoiled children. When you get numbers up in the 70s, Anderson, it's not a partisan divide. What you have is wide public support or public opposition to what the Republican is doing and the question you have to ask yourselves if you're a Republican is how many of those Democratic Senate seats they want to talk in the upcoming midterm election had they flipped by shutting down the government? I think you have to say they haven't flipped any of them.

COOPER: Mr. Speaker, do you believe this is a winning strategy, Republicans keep saying we're willing to negotiate. It's the other side is not.

NEWT GINGRICH, CO-HOST, CNN'S "CROSSFIRE": I think part of the winning strategy is passing a series of clean, targeted continuing resolutions, one on the National Institute of Health, one on National Park Service to open the monuments and one on veterans --

COOPER: Why is that winning?

GINGRICH: Well, first of all, you now had 57 Democrats in the House voted for one or more of these continuing resolutions and getting a bipartisan majority getting built in the House I think at a rate faster than House Republicans becoming disaffected. Harry Reid is not taking any of them. In the interview with Dana Bash, he almost melted down he was so angry because she was asking why is he blocking a clean, continuing resolution to help children with cancer get help at the NIH.

He got furious because she wasn't following the party line and using White House talking points and I suspect over the next two weeks, if the Republicans have courage you'll see a substantial shift, but it has to come down to a willingness to last long enough for the country to pay attention.

COOPER: It sounds like you're saying that what Rand Paul said is a winning strategy because essentially what you're saying is right now the same thing Rand Paul said it's the other side not willing to negotiate.

GINGRICH: Well, it's more than that. I'm also saying passing a series of clean continuing resolutions section by section begins to take away the president's argument. The House has passed I think four already. Every single one of them had Democrats vote for them. I think they will bring up three more tomorrow. At some point, it's Harry Reid who is the obstructionist --

BELCHER: Speaker, what you're saying makes no sense. OK. Why won't the Speaker Boehner put the clean bill on the floor and let him vote up or down? Why will we play peace mill legislation? There is nothing we've ever done before. If we want a clean up and down vote, put it on the floor and let's vote to stop the shutdown. You know what we do have? We have enough votes probably in the House right now to put it on the floor to stop the shutdown.

GINGRICH: You have enough votes in the Senate now to pass every single one of those targeted continuing resolutions if Harry Reid would make then an orders --

COOPER: But should government work like that that basically you pass targeted resolutions if the media is reporting their headlines about kids at the NIH, let's pass that?

GINGRICH: I know this breaks what the news media group think. Of course, this is how government should work. We had 17 shutdowns in recent history. Tip O'Neil, Democratic speaker of the House had 12 shutdowns during his career this is not abnormal. This is what happens when you have a fundamental difference between the Congress and the president. It has happened 17 times since the 1970s. On the debt ceiling, we've been adding things to the debt ceiling since Dwight Eisenhower in 1954. None of these things are new.

COOPER: Let me bring in your former spokesperson. Rich, is this normal? Is there something different about this?

RICH GALEN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I love this because I get to disagree with everybody. First of all on the CBS poll, what Cornell neglected to say was that the president's numbers are dropping like a stone, as well. Just among women for instance since September according to the same CBS poll, the president's approval numbers dropped from 49 to 43. He's at 43 percent overall. Something on the order of 60 percent of the country's not satisfied for what he's doing. It's not working for him --


COOPER: Let rich finish.

GALEN: Let me finish.

COOPER: Then the pollster will weigh in.

GALEN: On the speaker's side, this just makes us look foolish. There has to be a way for grown up people to get together and quit calling each other names. If you see the press names before the meeting yesterday afternoon from everybody saying this is ridiculous from the speaker's office, that has to stop and smart people and these are all smart people can figure out a way to move it ahead. I'm getting tired of it, and if I'm getting tired of it, I make my living at this stuff. I can't imagine what the other 350 million people are thinking.

COOPER: Cornell, you've been looking at it, are his poll numbers, should he be worried?

BELCHER: What my friend, Rich, didn't put out there is yeah, the president's numbers are taking a hit but the president's numbers are twice what Republicans and Congress numbers are. Look, this is a bad thing. Your --

GALEN: That's the bar he has to meet --

BELCHER: Yes, well that's the bar he has to meet. Look, it's a pox in everyone's house. Everyone looks bad when the government shuts down but right now Republicans have to look and say Republicans are taking the bigger hit on this.

COOPER: We'll continue this. Rich Galen, Cornell Belcher, Newt Gingrich, thank you, gentlemen.


COOPER: Up next tonight, the wife of the SUV driver involved in that confrontation with bikers is defending her husband. We'll tell you what she's saying now.

Also ahead, extreme road rage, the driver firing a gun at another car is a physician himself with a troubled past and charged in this incident, the latest ahead.


COOPER: A number of developments tonight on a story we've been following all week. New York police are still trying to track down witnesses to a violent confrontation between a motorcyclists and SUV, part of it caught on video by the helmet cam of one of the bikers. They are asking for corporation with those involved in the incident, which happened on Sunday when the driver of the SUV hit one of the bikers who slowed down on a highway right in front of him.

Other bikers surrounded the SUV that's when the driver sped away striking seriously injuring one man. The driver told police he was scared for himself, his wife and young child who were in the car with them. Police said the driver eventually got stuck in traffic, was pulled from the SUV by some of the bikers who broke a window. He was beaten and slashed in the face.

You see the driver there on the ground. His wife and daughter were not harmed in the altercation. The driver's wife released a statement today saying her husband took the action he did to protect his family and believes others facing is similar situation would do the same. They don't think the driver of the SUV is actually going to be charged with a crime.

Now meantime, state police in Kentucky, they are investigating an extreme case of road rage where one driver opened his window, actually pointed a gun at another driver and opened fire. The intended target was not hit, but he did catch the entire incident on cell phone video, which he turned on moments before because he says the man with the gun was driving erratically.

He turned the video over to police that tracked down, arrested the alleged gunman. He was a medical doctor with a checkered professional history. Gary Tuchman reports.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here I had the camera out the window.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): David Kollar was driving on Interstate 75 just south of Lexington, Kentucky when he shot this video on his phone. It was all most the last thing he ever did. Keep an eye on the black Lincoln with the bicycle attached in the left lane. David Kollar started rolling his video after he says the man behind the wheel started driving recklessly in the emergency lane. This is the first time the video has been publicly seen.

DAVID KOLLAR, ROAD RAGE VICTIM: He's passing people on the left emergency shoulder. He was tailgating somebody. They didn't get over quick enough for him so he decides to go in the left emergency shoulder and passed this vehicle. At this point Interstate 75 is three lanes wide already so he made his own fourth lane.

I get out my cell phone and turn on video, which is simple to do and hold it up and try to get his license plate number. But he doesn't like that and slams on his brakes and almost comes to a complete stop in the left hand lane on I-75. So at that point, I know he's a little crazy.

TUCHMAN (on camera): This is precisely where David Kollar was on the interstate after he finished rolling video of the license plate, but he was concerned because of the bicycle on the back police would not be able to make out what was on the plate. So he saw the right rear window of the driver's vehicle open. He decided to make the identification easier. He would get video of the driver's face.

KOLLAR: I noticed I'm getting in front of him so I'm starting to slow down that's why I see his window come down. His window comes down and pulls up his hand and point as gun at my face.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): We zoom in the picture. The driver is pointing a gun right at David Kollar and then look at this, not only is he pointing the gun, you can clearly see smoke. It appears the driver also fired the gun.

KOLLAR: I was scared. After the shot was fired I'm like OK, I'm not hit and don't feel anything. I looked around in the vehicle thinking that had to hit something, but I didn't see bullet holes or anything.

TUCHMAN (on camera): Your heart must have been beating fast.

KOLLAR: It was a little crazy.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): David Kollar fold police his story and gave them video and now Parin Dobbins is under arrest, Dr. Parin Dobbins, a prison physician in Branchville, a former family physician, a doctor who has a very troubled past. Records in North Carolina where he used to practice show that in December of 2008, Dobbins filled unauthorized prescriptions for the highly addictive painkiller Oxycodone.

He had tested positive for its use the previous month. As a result, the North Carolina Medical Board reported he voluntary surrendered his medical license. Dobbins also practiced in Indiana and in July of 2009 that state's licensing board put his medical license on indefinite probation, but in December of 2009, Indiana allowed him to practice as long as another doctor was present and then in May of 2011, Indiana waive that condition allowing him to practice by himself once again.

Dobbins is now out on bond. He's pleaded not guilty to want and endangerment and faces the possibility of five years behind bars, but charges could be increased following an investigation and a supervisor tells us he's been fired from his job. Where he is currently, we don't know.

(on camera): How do you feel now days later?

KOLLAR: Just sick to my stomach. If we could go back and him, you know, like I say, flip me the finger instead of the gun I would be happier.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Gary Tuchman, CNN, Lexington, Kentucky.


COOPER: Unbelievable that he's a doctor seeing patients. We'll be right back.


COOPER: A couple quick programming notes for you. Online right now on is my in-depth conversation with the one and only Madonna on an interesting new project that she's involved with. I talked to her before we went on air. You can check that out exclusively online at and you can hear the interview.

Also, check out before "LATER," which is actually a spree cast we have on Starts at 9:15 hosted by Jack Gray. You can join the precast and we'll talk and ask me questions online and stuff like that.

We'll also see you again, I hope, one hour from now at 10:00 p.m. Eastern for "AC360 LATER," our new panel discussion show. That does it for us. Thanks for watching. "PIERS MORGAN LIVE" starts now.