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AC 360 LATER
Deadly Washington Car Chase; Implementing Obamacare
Aired October 3, 2013 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, everyone. Welcome. Thanks for watching. Welcome to "AC360 Later."
A lot to talk about tonight, incredibly tense moments today in Washington. A car chase starting near the White House ended in gunfire near the Capitol. The latest also on the attack in the streets of Manhattan, a group of bikers swarming, attacking an SUV driver. Also, millions of poor people left out of the Affordable Care Act because governors in the states where they live are turning down federal money to cover them. Dr. Drew Pinsky is going to join us on that, so a lot to talk about.
But we begin with that chase on the streets of Washington. The Secret Service saying it started when a car hit a barrier on the outer security perimeter of the White House. The female driver of the car is dead. The 1-year-old child in the car is in protective custody. Two law enforcement officers were injured.
I want to take a look at just some of the incredible video from the scene. Take a look. And it continued on from there. Ultimately, the driver was killed.
Joining us tonight at the table, CNN political commentator and Republican consultant Alex Castellanos. CNN chief political analyst is Gloria Borger, and she is here. CNN political commentator and "New York Times" op-ed columnist Charles Blow is here. And former CIA officer Valerie Plame, author of a new book "Blowback."
Appreciate you being here as well. Great to have you.
Want to start with the latest though from Joe Johns on Capitol Hill with the shooting.
Joe, what do we know about the person who was shot and about events that took place?
JOE JOHNS, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know a lot more than we did, Anderson.
First, I have to say one of the two police officers who was injured in this craziness out here in Washington, D.C., has now been released from the hospital just a little while ago, we're told. It all goes back to around 2:15 or so this afternoon, a black Infiniti pulling up to a barricade there at the White House, trying apparently to get through, backing up, injuring a Secret Service agent there. Then a chase was on all the way up here to the United States Capitol. It ended right around the corner from here not far from the Supreme Court. Officers taking out their guns, firing a number of rounds into this black Infiniti. The big surprise, of course, inside, the driver was a woman unarmed and also in that car with her a 1-year- old infant. The infant was taken to the hospital and is now in the custody of authorities.
The woman is dead, leaving the authorities to try to figure out why all of this happened, Anderson.
COOPER: Joe, stick with us.
We want to bring in Deborah Feyerick, who has also got some new information about the suspect.
Deborah, what are we learning more about her tonight? Anything that gets to motive or why she did this?
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: NO, not a motive yet, certainly one that's not being released. We do know her name. But we're being very careful and we're waiting to get it from somebody officially on the record.
But what we can tell you is that the woman left an envelope addressed to her boyfriend, believed to be the father of that child that was taken from the vehicle. That envelope was left at her Connecticut apartment, an apartment in Stamford, Connecticut. It was near the door.
A hazmat team saw the letter, deemed it suspicious, and so it was taken to a lab for testing. It's not clear whether there was a white powder on it that was what raised their suspicion. But just they wanted to take all precaution. Also we're being told, Anderson, they sent in a robot to make sure the woman hadn't booby-trapped the apartment. Neighbors were evacuated from that complex. They have not yet been allowed to return.
And one of the reasons is that federal law enforcement are still waiting to go get into the building. They first sent the robot in. They made sure that the apartment wasn't booby-trapped. They saw the letter, the letter was removed, taken for testing right now. It's going to be a very long night as they go into this investigation.
COOPER: I also want to bring in former FBI Executive Assistant Director Shawn Henry, who is joining us by remote as well.
Shawn, I got some tweets earlier from people saying why did police -- if there was no weapon in the vehicle why did police open fire? But hindsight is 20/20. I assume they had to treat that vehicle as itself a deadly weapon.
SHAWN HENRY, FORMER EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT FBI DIRECTOR: Absolutely.
You're talking about a 2,500-pound weapon potentially. You already have one Secret Service officer who has been injured, you have got somebody who's made multiple attempts to breach the perimeter, clearly unaware of what the motivation is. Officers are going to protect themselves. When they choose to use deadly force, they believe their life or somebody else's life is in danger.
COOPER: When I saw this, it could very easily have been an explosive device inside a vehicle.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Sure. And so you don't know what to expect, as Shawn says.
But I just want to ask you, Shawn, how do you go about piecing together the motivation of this woman? I mean, there's a child in the back of the car, which must have been a real surprise to everybody, I would assume. But how do they kind of figure this out? And do they know tonight?
HENRY: Yes, you know, at this point they probably don't know. This is going to take days or weeks to really figure out. Officers, agents are going to go out and they're going to try to piece this together by looking at some of her online activity.
They're going to interview friends, co-workers, some of her relatives. They may look at some of the information that was in her vehicle. Was there a letter? The letter at the home, for example, they are going to start to look at this and see if there are some clues that are dictating what might have happened, why she did this, what was her motivation.
CHARLES BLOW, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: This afternoon, at the press conference, they said they were ruling out or they strongly believe this was not a mistake. How can they be so sure that this is not really some tragic mistake, that maybe she did try to go this way? But something just doesn't quite add up with the kid and no weapons and something...
COOPER: You're saying not a mistake by law enforcement?
BLOW: Well, I don't think law enforcement made a mistake, but I'm talking about the driver herself. How can we be so absolutely sure that there was not some sort of misunderstanding, that she didn't just do something wrong and then freak out after the fact and...
BORGER: We don't know.
BLOW: We don't know. But just at the press conference they basically said they did not -- from what they knew, they were kind of ruling out this idea...
COOPER: Shawn, you know Washington. I don't know the streets around this, but to go from the White House to Capitol Hill, I mean, I used to live in Washington -- you have to have some intent there. It's not an accident that you wind up at those two places.
VALERIE PLAME, FORMER CIA AGENT: And what about all the traffic? How did she get there?
BORGER: Well, there's a government shutdown. There's not as much traffic.
COOPER: But, Shawn, just explain for those who don't know the area, you have to kind of -- it's a bit of a trek between the two.
HENRY: Yes. It's probably -- it's less than a mile. Got to go through a number of different streets to get here. You don't know really whether this was an accident or not.
But the officers on scene, they have got a perimeter defense set up. They have got to protect the citizens, they have got to protect the facilities, the individuals that are inside those facilities. And they have got to use their best judgment when they see something like this. If there are multiple attempts to breach a particular perimeter, I think that raises their awareness, that raises their concern, and, of course, these offices are all communicating with each other. They're aware of what's happened at different sites. That is going to raise their sensitivity.
ALEX CASTELLANOS, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: The last couple of times that the Washington police have shot someone in a car, they turned out to be unarmed and they have had to settle lawsuits.
So you really don't know what's going on inside someone's mind. By the way, it is a long way from the Hill to the White House. Republicans can't make it to the White House and the president can't make it to the Capitol.
PLAME: ... a city very much on edge, not only because of the Navy Yard shootings, but then just the environment, the vitriol, the language. Everyone feels very tense.
BORGER: It's not a pleasant place to live right now. And today was almost surreal watching it on television.
COOPER: Worse than you have seen it in terms of the world of politics?
CASTELLANOS: There are no normal days in Washington anymore. It seems that we go from tragedy to crisis to calamity. And our first reaction to this is not what it was, but what it wasn't. Could this be terrorism. Is this a mass shooting? So, somehow, Washington has become a place where there just are no normal days anymore.
We're going to take a quick break. We will have more on the day's news.
Shawn Henry, appreciate it. Deborah Feyerick, Joe Johns, appreciate all the reporting.
Let me know what you think. You can follow me on Twitter. And also tweet us during the show #AC360.
Later, more, the end of day three of the government shutdown, a ton of rhetoric to go down, no progress in actually ending the shutdown. Back with our panel when we continue.
COOPER: Hey. Welcome back.
We're with our panel, Valerie Plame, Alex Castellanos, Gloria Borger, and Charles Blow. Sorry. It's been a long time.
COOPER: President Obama today -- this is like your fourth week with us.
COOPER: I still think you're Frank Sinatra's son from last night.
COOPER: So, again, people calling for Republicans to pass a spending bill with no strings attached. But there's no sign that House Speaker John Boehner is willing to let that happen.
In an interview with Dana Bash, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that Boehner is more worried about his job than the country, bowing to pressure from the segment of his caucus that insists on making their dislike of Obamacare part of the spending bill.
As I said, back with our panel, Valerie Plame, Alex Castellanos, Gloria Borger, and Charles Blow.
So what do you make of this? Alex, this is the first time you're on the panel.
CASTELLANOS: I think the Republicans, we have them right where we want them. They're doing a great job lowering expectations.
COOPER: Michele Bachmann says she's never seen the Republican Party happier.
CASTELLANOS: If you had asked me if this was a good idea a month ago, I would have said no, don't bet on a losing hand of cards.
CASTELLANOS: But, no, once you're going over the rapids, this is not the time to jump out of the raft here. Republicans have to ride this out. They have drawn a bright red line, just like our president often does.
BLOW: So, go over the waterfall. To extend a metaphor...
CASTELLANOS: Their only shot is sticking together and sticking on the raft. I'm afraid that they're not going to be able to do that, that at the end of the day that our party is divided.
BORGER: No? Really?
CASTELLANOS: And it refuses to compromise. The problem is the Democratic Party is united and won't change.
COOPER: Valerie, you're a former CIA officer, obviously. James Clapper, director of national intelligence, said that 70 percent of civilian employees in the intelligence community have been furloughed, even some analysts. How scary is that?
PLAME: Well, that is scary. Of course, those that are working on counterterrorism are still there, but a couple of things. One is that, first of all, he had sort of a statement that bewildered me after that somehow saying that these intelligence officers that are furloughed and missing paychecks are very vulnerable to recruitment by foreign intelligence services, which is like, wait a minute. A couple of paychecks and you're...
COOPER: If they're that vulnerable, we're really in trouble.
PLAME: That's really bad.
The second thing is that there's a whole question of contractors, which we talked in the wake of the Snowden revelations and so forth. So we know about 60 to 70 percent of the intelligence budget is spent on contractors. I'm curious to know who's been furloughed, how much of that is contractors.
BORGER: Well, and then you will see contractors beginning to lay off people, as is occurring.
COOPER: I have just got to show people a video which I saw in our 8:00 hour for the first time. And it really upset me. It's not the politics or the person involved in this who's a Republican congressman from Texas, Randy Neugebauer. But it's just the rudeness of this congressman talking to a Park Service employee about who shut down national parks. Let's watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. RANDY NEUGEBAUER (R), TEXAS: How do you look at families and say how are you going to deny them access? I don't get that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's difficult.
NEUGEBAUER: Well, it should be difficult.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is difficult. I'm sorry, sir.
NEUGEBAUER: Park Service should be ashamed of themselves.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not ashamed.
NEUGEBAUER: Well, you should be.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It doesn't cost any money for people to come in here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This woman is doing her job, just like me. I'm a 30-year federal veteran. I'm out of work.
NEUGEBAUER: The reason you are is Mr. Reid...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. It's because the government won't do its job and pass a budget.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And, again, I don't care if he's Republican or Democrat. I just think, what a jerk.
COOPER: But a guy who's getting paid, who's on Capitol Hill getting paid and part of this group that's caused the shutdown, but to be taking it out on a Park Service employee?
PLAME: He's not turning in his salary.
COOPER: Right, of course.
BLOW: This is the problem. Right? I don't know if this is supposed to be some like Jedi mind trick or something the Republicans are trying to pull on us. Republicans did this. The Republicans did this. (CROSSTALK)
BLOW: There's no, "Oh, Charles."
Republicans did this.
BLOW: They linked the Affordable Care Act to this C.R. And that has caused the shutdown.
We can dance around all the other parts about it and say, well, maybe the president needs to be having more meetings and maybe people need to accept some of the kind of piecemeal deals...
COOPER: Let him finish.
BLOW: But they started this. And for them to go out and start bashing people for not being able to do their jobs because they have made sure they cannot do their jobs is ridiculous.
CASTELLANOS: I can understand that this may be your first day on our planet.
BLOW: What does that even mean?
CASTELLANOS: But a lot of us have been here before.
Well, it means that history didn't begin today. It means this started a long time ago. For example, we have a government that's $17 trillion in debt. We have the largest government in the world.
CASTELLANOS: Excuse me. Excuse me. And it governs nothing. It's -- our country is out of control. Look at Washington today. And what's the Democrats' answer been? Spend more to get out of your overspending. Bankrupt the country.
BLOW: That's a classic dodge.
COOPER: Let him finish. Let him finish.
CASTELLANOS: I'm trying to get my skates over here.
But you have made the argument in a lot of your columns that it's ideological. And it is on the Republicans' part. Republicans are concerned the country is going over the cliff economically. They're divided and won't compromise. But you know what? Democrats are united and they won't change.
They're still supporting big, dumb, slow factory-style government.
CASTELLANOS: It's not about Obamacare. It's about bringing Washington -- Obamacare is another example that you know what we need? We need even more Washington, more government to solve all of America's problems, when they haven't solved anything on education. It's a wreck.
When our retirement system which Washington is supposed to take care of is a Ponzi scheme. Health care, look at -- oh, it's doing a great job on health care, the most regulated industry...
BLOW: Take everything out of your bag of gripes and throw them on the table and try to dodge a fact that Republicans have done this.
CASTELLANOS: The world didn't start yesterday.
BLOW: It has nothing to do with when the world started.
BLOW: No, you're making many different points that are not even connected to this point.
CASTELLANOS: Charles, the world wasn't working all that well when Republicans said , guys, we got to do something about a big problem.
CASTELLANOS: We need some real reform.
COOPER: To you, this is about Obamacare? You believe...
Look, Alex, you're a pollster. You know these things. You said at the beginning of the show this isn't the strategy you would have chosen. Your newspaper -- see, I'm bringing in both -- your newspaper tonight had a poll, "The New York Times," had a poll in which 87 percent -- that's 87 percent of Americans say they're either dissatisfied or angry about what's going on in Washington.
BORGER: Tell me how that works for Republicans.
CASTELLANOS: They should be.
BORGER: Huh? Well, they should be. But wait a minute. But wait a minute. More of them are blaming Republicans. A majority blames Republicans. Two-thirds say Congress' priority should be to get the government back up and running. So that's not a workable strategy.
COOPER: Go ahead.
PLAME: I would just have to add that I don't think it's helping the Republicans' case to see them quite so gleeful, gleeful about, yay, this is like Christmas. We have shut down the government.
COOPER: Let me play a little conversation.
CASTELLANOS: Harry Reid seemed to be very happy to...
COOPER: Well, let me play a conversation between Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell that happened. They didn't realize I guess they were miked, although Mitch McConnell knew he was miked and said he was miked.
Let's listen to the conversation, because it's kind of a fascinating window on two politicians talking.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: I'm all wired up here.
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: I just did CNN and I just go over and over again, we're willing to compromise. We're willing to negotiate.
I think, 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 from that two- hour meeting with them and that was -- that was basically the same view privately as it was publicly.
PAUL: I think if we keep saying, we wanted to defund it, we fought for that, and now we're willing to compromise on this, I think they can't -- we're going to, I think -- well, I know we don't want to be here, but we're going to win this, I think.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Charles, when you hear that what do you think?
BLOW: Oh, my gosh. It's just disgusting, really, because this is not...
CASTELLANOS: Politics is...
BLOW: Just wait a minute.
This is disgusting, because what this is saying is, this is not really about the American people. This is not about governance, this is not about running the country.
This is really about arm-twisting. This is about trying to put the president and Democrats in a position where they will have to talk -- to give the Republicans a way off the ledge. They have walked out onto the ledge, and now they have to either jump or go back into the flames. And now they need a way off. And they are trying to force the president to be the person to give them a way off.
BORGER: This is a fight in the Republican Party.
And, Alex, you know this. There are people who -- including the House speaker, by the way, who was dragged into this kicking and screaming. He did not want to do this. He had to appease his right. We have been talking about this for days. People are worried about getting primaried on the right by more conservative Republicans.
And senators stood up in a closed-door caucus the other day and lambasted their colleague Ted Cruz. And I had one Republican who was at the session say he was completely unapologetic about being in ads that are being run against his own colleagues. So, your party has a lot of making up to do.
CASTELLANOS: It is divided on the . Well, first of all, I would say the NSA's budget can't have been cut too much. They got a good bug on those two guys.
BORGER: Did they not know that they were miked up?
CASTELLANOS: Your point on the Republican Party being divided? Yes. There's a group of 30 or 40 Republicans who I think have chosen to play an unwinnable hands of card at the wrong time here.
But look at the Democratic Party. These Republican congressmen, and I think you have noted this, Charles, they're in safe districts so they're only worried about a primary on the right. They're not worried about a general election. Well, guess what? There are a lot of Democrats in safe districts. How come they're not worried about a primary on their left? Why? Because the Democratic Party is united on the left. There is no division. There is no middle. There are no new Democrats.
CASTELLANOS: No, it has. But it's all gone crazy left.
The Democratic Party is now the party of Elizabeth Warren, not Hillary Clinton. The Democratic Party is the party of de Blasio here in New York. This Democratic Party is united on one ideological idea. And that's, we need more Washington, we need to grow Washington's economy and maybe it will trickle down to the rest.
BLOW: The Democratic Party is united on this point. The Democratic Party wants to keep the Republican Party out of women's health care. They want to give gay people the rights to marry. The Democratic Party is...
PLAME: That would be less government.
BLOW: Right. The Democratic Party is united on the idea that people shouldn't starve to death. The Democratic Party is united on those basic principles.
COOPER: We got to take a break, but I wanted to just give Valerie the final thought.
Have you ever seen Washington like this?
PLAME: Well, I live far away from Washington now in New Mexico.
PLAME: But it's like every American. And in Europe, they're absolutely looking at us like we have completely lost it. And what you were talking about, gerrymandered on both sides, there is no incentive to compromise and to govern.
And I think most Americans want to shake Washington and go, govern.
COOPER: Do something.
It was great to have you here, Valerie Plame. Really a pleasure to meet you.
PLAME: Thank you.
COOPER: Up next: Are millions of single moms, low-wage workers and poor African-Americans collateral damage in the battle over Obamacare? A new analysis by "The New York Times" raises questions of race and health care. We will talk about with the panel ahead.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Hey. Welcome back. You're looking at New York there, amazing, lovely shot.
A new analysis by "The New York Times" says there are eight million Americans who are impoverished, uninsured and stuck in a health care limbo, their income too high to qualify for Medicaid, but too low to qualify for federal help in the new health exchanges under Obamacare.
The people we're talking about, two-thirds of the poor, African- Americans, single moms who don't have insurance, and more than half of low-wage workers who don't have insurance as well. They are caught without any help because the states they live in, largely Republican- controlled, have decided to not participate in a vast Medicaid expansion; 26 states have projected it, including every state in the Deep South, except Arkansas.
Back with the panel now, in the fifth chair, Dr. Drew Pinsky of HLN's "Dr. Drew on Call."
What do you make of this?
DR. DREW PINSKY, HLN HOST: It's sad.
Listen, this whole phenomenon, as physicians, we want to help people have access to health care. We're all very clear that we have to do something. I think most physicians are applauding the attempt to do something. But the fact is, this seems like a deeply flawed attempt. And we're seeing the examples of that by state by state people who really need the help the most are being opted out.
COOPER: Well, Charles, it's interesting to hear people who want to defund Obamacare, it seems like this is one way to kind of go about doing it state by state.
BLOW: Right. But I'm trying to get -- understand what you're saying. You're saying it's deeply flawed.
PINSKY: What I'm saying is that there's flawed aspects of this. We're all going to find out what they are. We're not even sure what they are.
One of the flaws is exactly what Anderson pointed out, that people that need this coverage aren't going to get it.
BLOW: That's because the state governors have opted of accepting the Medicaid.
PINSKY: Because our Constitution allows states to have certain rights that they can opt out.
BLOW: Right. But you can't -- I don't know if you can reflect that back onto the law. That's an ideological move. Right? They're refusing to do this, which is basically kind of withholding health care from these people. So I don't know how you reflect that back to the law. (CROSSTALK)
PINSKY: I'm saying it's the application of the law.
BORGER: Well, they also can't be penalized for it, because when the Supreme Court said that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional, it also said that you cannot penalize the states for opting out.
So there is no penalty. So, politically, the states that are the most conservative with the most conservative state legislatures are opting out. That also happens to be the states with some of the people who need this kind of health care the most. So there really isn't any penalty, other than at the ballot box right now.
CASTELLANOS: And "The New York Times" has made this miraculous discovery that states that had more Republicans in them have Republican governors, and, yes, they're actually attempting to be responsible about this.
For example, Louisiana is a state that figured out this would cost them $1 billion. And, by the way, this is not free money. This is federal money. It comes from the country. We do happen to be in debt, so we don't have it. So a lot of governors said, you know what, besides that, it's bad health care. It's Medicaid. We can do better.
Let's reform something and grow it. Louisiana has, as a matter of fact, a public hospital system. There are other ways to do this other than to try to impose a bad thing that bankrupts you.
COOPER: But I don't hear a lot of...
COOPER: I get people who have problems with Obamacare. I certainly understand that.
But I don't hear a lot of an alternative that would allow -- that would give insurance to all these people with preconditions, you know, with HIV, with other, you know, conditions that -- that don't allow them to get insurance. What is the plan to insure them if it's not this?
CASTELLANOS: Well, it's not this, either. Because this is going to leave 30 million people without health care, right? It's a disastrous attempt and meanwhile...
BLOW: Because the Republican governors are making the choice to do that. And in fact, I mean, there -- on a deeper level it's a very callous move, right? Because these guys know -- they may not necessarily set out to make sure that these particular people do not have health care, but they know the net effect is that the people who they're denying this health care to are people who will never vote for them.
Take Mississippi, for instance. You were just talking about Louisiana. Take Mississippi, for instance. Right? Mississippi has the largest percentage of black voters of any state in the union. It's like 37 percent. It's also the state where Barack Obama won the least white vote of any other state in the union, about 10 percent. So all of the blacks vote Democratic and all of the whites vote Republican. And so they may not necessarily go -- set out to make sure that they...
BLOW: ... do this. But they know the net effect is on the back end is that they will pay no price because...
BORGER: They might.
BLOW: ... the people who are not getting the health care were not going to vote for them, anyway.
CASTELLANOS: Charles, you got it. That nasty Republican governor in Louisiana is racist.
BLOW: Oh, my gosh. You just lost the whole argument. The moment that you start trying to throw around this racist argument.
I'm saying that they know the net effect of it is that the people who they are denying this health care to were not going to vote for them, anyway. So they don't have to pay -- pay a price if they do make this move. That's what I'm saying.
COOPER: You don't believe politics played a role in this?
CASTELLANOS: I think there's a lot of politics involved in politics. This should not be news. However, I do think just because you're a Republican and you want to be fiscally responsible in your state, something you think's going to cost $1 billion and give you worse health care, which Medicaid is...
BORGER: But then come up with an alternative.
CASTELLANOS: ... to say that this is just political.
BLOW: Pay 100 percent in 2016.
CASTELLANOS: Excuse me. Excuse me, Charles. To say that's just for political reasons. That's a little insulting. I'm glad the Democrats -- so glad...
COOPER: One at a time here. No one can hear when you talk over each other.
BLOW: They're going to pay more than 90 percent after 2016. I'm sorry. That sounds like they're doing more than their share on the federal side to try to get people health care.
These are -- these are the poorest, poorest people. These are people -- When Republicans always talk about "We're trying to save the country for our children." Well, there are children right now who have diseases, chronic illnesses.
CASTELLANOS: One problem...
BLOW: Cannot get health care. What about those children?
COOPER: Alex, go ahead. Go ahead.
CASTELLANOS: I love this. One of the problems is that the Democratic Party today thinks everything is the No. 1 priority. You know, we just threw away half a billion dollars on Solyndra. That would have been nice money to have.
CASTELLANOS: But I'm saying you spent the money. You don't have it now. That is a reality. I'm sorry the reality...
BLOW: The whole Republican platform here.
COOPER: One at a time, because really, no viewers can hear anybody.
But for somebody who's living and dying...
COOPER: Or who's going to die, you only get one life.
BORGER: Well, or move.
COOPER: I mean, it is pretty much the biggest priority.
BORGER: That is what you do. You move states.
CASTELLANOS: Louisiana has a public health care system.
BORGER: If you're Louisiana, why not move to New York if you're going to -- if you're going to get your health care there? Travel.
BLOW: There's a guy who's making less than $3,000 a year. How is he going to move? You're talking about Louisiana. We had Hurricane Katrina. I'm from Louisiana. They got -- People kept saying why don't they just pick up and...
BORGER: No, no.
BLOW: Listen. Why don't people just pick up and leave New Orleans? They're poor! They couldn't! They didn't have -- people don't have transportation. They don't have ways to move. They don't have places to go if they have to move. This idea -- I think most people do not understand what poverty means in America. What it actually means. When people say...
CASTELLANOS: I can tell you what it means. BLOW: We can't vote. Why can't they -- why don't they, you know, have I.D.s? If they have to take a flight they need an I.D. Well, they never take a flight, because they're poor.
BORGER: That's why it's unfair. That's what I was saying. I think it's unfair.
Now, the thing is, if there were penalties, if there were penalties, the question is, what would the states do then? And since the Supreme Court said there are no penalties maybe there's a way to reinstitute those penalties.
COOPER: Every doctor...
PINSKY: Shucks, I'm just a physician. And the fact is we're trying to help patients. And we look at all that swirls around this.
COOPER: Do you worry about a huge inflow of patients?
PINSKY: Absolutely. It's going to -- I brought this up two nights ago when I was here. It's going to be an issue. There's going to be requirements that we use physician extenders, which I know you reacted.
COOPER: I never heard of term.
PINSKY: Nurse practitioners, because we're going to have too many patients.
You did a report on addiction treatment in California. That's how Medi-Cal works. Physicians sit up here, and extenders do the work, because you cannot afford to do it any other way. People aren't going to like the way this actually plays out. Medi-Cal, Medicaid. Not a great program. But we're trying to do something, guys. We're trying to help people that need help.
Thank God we have a catchment that catches people, and we have institutions that step up and suck in these patients free, take care of them for free.
I'm having a problem right now where my patients don't want to sign up for insurance. Interns here, I couldn't get them to sign up today. They don't have insurance. Because they're not used to paying for insurance. They feel invincible. They don't want to.
And you get a poor person, doesn't have a computer it's hubristic to tell them to go online. It's a massive cultural problem as well as a political and institutional and insurance problem.
Let's all keep in mind what needs to be reformed is insurance. The tail has been wagging the dog for the last 20 years of my practice in medicine. Things I can't do because insurance companies tell me I can't do it. Doctors, their judgment, tort reform their judgment doesn't mean much anymore. It's the systems that dictate people's care these days.
COOPER: We've got to take a break. Dr. Drew, good to have on the panel, as always.
Up next in the panel, we're going to discuss key developments of that violent confrontation between bikers and an SUV. The video has gone viral. Mark Geragos is going to join us. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Welcome back. Developments tonight in that really violent confrontation between bikers and an SUV.
New York City police are seeking out witnesses who may have information. They're asking any bikers involved to come forward. The wife of the driver of the SUV released a statement today, saying her husband took the actions he did because he feared for the safety of his family. I think a lot of people who see that video sided with him. While trying to get away from the bikers the SUV struck three of them, seriously injuring one man.
Joining us on the panel are CNN legal analyst, Mark Geragos, criminal defense attorney; Sunny Hostin, also former -- Sunny Hostin, former federal prosecutor. Mark Geragos, criminal defense attorney, and the rest of the panel.
MARK GERAGOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You call called her a criminal defense attorney yesterday, too.
COOPER: Yes, I know.
COOPER: Before you even begin, I just want to specify one at a time, because I know you all are going to get on each other. But Mark, you raised an interesting point.
GERAGOS: The fact that you used to ride a Vespa.
COOPER: No, I used to ride a motorcycle. GS-5 -- Suzuki GS-550. But people pretend I used to ride a moped. Why we were laughing when we came in this segment.
You actually raise an interesting point on this. That you say there's a lot we don't know, and that there's no way to tell what was in the head of all these bikers.
GERAGOS: You can't -- you can't make a judgment. And one of the reasons I think the prosecutors did the right thing...
COOPER: Prosecutor released one of them yesterday.
GERAGOS: Yesterday; said we don't know enough. We're going to find out more before we decide what we're going to do.
But remember something. That video, people watch that video. They say everybody identifies with the -- or at least the people who watch this, your demo, identifies with the SUV driver. "Oh, I'm on the East Side Highway. I see these menacing bikers." OK, I get it.
The fact is, in that video the only person you can say beyond a shadow of a doubt should be charged with a crime is the SUV driver. And the reason for that is, they ran over the motorcyclist. Right then. And they accelerated. That's a hit-and-run.
Now, you can say -- and Sunny's going to say.
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Come on, Mark.
GERAGOS: She's going to say, well, the duress; they were scared. That's fine. Guess what? Under the law, that is a defense.
COOPER: So wait a minute: the person who took his helmet off and was slamming it into the window -- to break the window and pulling the guy out?
GERAGOS: That is not a per se crime. That is why this case was rejected.
HOSTIN: Really? Really? That's not an assault, Mark? That's not an assault?
COOPER: What's your position, Sunny?
HOSTIN: Listen, I think that just like a picture speaks 1,000 words, think about a videotape. We don't need to ask questions about what was going on in everyone's minds. We can see it. We can see that this biker stopped short in front intentionally, probably because he wanted to be a bad ass; he wanted to make sure that he controlled the driver.
GERAGOS: That means that you can run him over.
HOSTIN: And bottom line is, he -- I think the question is, was the SUV driver's fear reasonable? Was he...
HOSTIN: Should he really have been fearful for his life?
GERAGOS: ... I just answered that question.
HOSTIN: Yes. Because they attacked him.
GERAGOS: One question. When the person runs over the motorcyclist and does not stop...
HOSTIN: Self-defense. He had to get away.
GERAGOS: It's a hit and run.
HOSTIN: It's fight or flight.
GERAGOS: Self-defense is an affirmative defense. You don't get to just drive off.
CASTELLANOS; Can I ask Mark a question? Mark, a favor. Please don't tell anybody in Washington that it's not a crime to break windows out with helmets.
HOSTIN: Of course it's a crime.
CASTELLANOS: Everybody will be doing it in the Capitol tomorrow.
COOPER: What do you make of this?
BLOW: I'm interested.
COOPER: There's a lot we don't know about this, we should say.
BLOW: ... which is -- which is that the breaking of the window comes quite a distance after the running over of the guy on the bike, right? So it's -- I'm just not clear about what you are entitled to do. So if you feel like you're -- if you feel afraid, I'm not sure that that means that you can run somebody over. And that's what I see.
HOSTIN: Reasonable fear. Reasonable fear of imminent harm. Wait a minute. Reasonable fear of imminent harm to your body, right? Bodily injury.
COOPER: One at a time. One at a time. Sunny, go.
HOSTIN: Great bodily injury.
BLOW: But when you're inside the vehicle?
HOSTIN: Absolutely. It was reasonable because they swarmed him.
GERAGOS: You can be with Sunny because you identify. If I'm defending...
HOSTIN: They stabbed his -- they actually stabbed his...
COOPER: His tire.
HOSTIN: His tire. And when he got away, what did they do? Why is it reasonable? They slashed his face. They beat him up. That is a reasonable fear.
BLOW: Sunny, that's after the running over, though, right?
HOSTIN: There is a child in the car.
COOPER: But a tire was allegedly slashed before the run.
HOSTIN: OK. It's this guy's anniversary, right? GERAGOS: By the way, the point of view of the driver...
HOSTIN: Your wife is in the car. Your child is in the car.
GERAGOS: I've got all of that. Can I tell you how many cases...
HOSTIN: I don't know what happened exactly before all of this.
COOPER: There is video taken before but not involving this SUV in which they're acting recklessly, doing wheelies, stuff like that.
GERAGOS: It's great. So from now on I love this. I love this panel. Because from now on, every time I've got a guy in a road rage case, I want you guys as my jury. Because all of this is complete nonsense from a legal standpoint. You don't get to -- if somebody slows down, there's nothing that says, "I've got to pass because I've got a 2-year-old and my wife in the car. I get to run them over."
COOPER: What should the driver have done? What should the driver have done?
GERAGOS: The driver has a legal duty, once he runs over that person, to pull over and stop. Otherwise, it's a hit and run.
HOSTIN: While they're pursuing him? While they're pursuing him? While he's in danger.
GERAGOS: Well, you can say it's insane. That's the law.
HOSTIN: You're wrong on the law.
CASTELLANOS: NO, IT'S NOT. The law does not require you to walk back into harm's way, does the law...
GERAGOS: The law requires you to stop. And you -- and I will tell you something else. The law also gives you the people who pursued him after he didn't stop, after he committed a felony or at least a prima facia case of felony, you can use lethal force in pursuit of a fleeing felon.
HOSTIN: You're wrong on the law. You are wrong on the law.
COOPER: Sunny, how are you saying he's wrong?
HOSTIN: He's wrong on the law. If you are in reasonable fear of great bodily injury...
HOSTIN: ... you can flee. You don't have to stand there and wait for somebody to slash your face. You don't have to go back night.
GERAGOS: Talking and not lingering in the car after you just ran somebody over. You're talking about a situation where you walk up to me on the street. I'm not in a car. I'm just talking about the law. If you want to talk about practical whatever, I'm telling you when somebody slows down you don't get to run them over. When you run them over, you don't get to flee.
HOSTIN: You've got -- you've got the facts wrong, too!
COOPER: There was a police officer and some security people quoted in the "New York Times," and when asked about what you should do in a case like this.
COOPER: And they all said, "Look, it's kind of a -- it's a confusing situation. The said, "A," lock your door. This guy did not have his door locked. Someone was actually able to open up his door, which added to his sense of panic before he drove off.
The quote I saw was basically, "You should drive slowly. You're in an SUV. They're on motorcycles. You will win that fight. You should just drive slowly. Go to 911. Stay on the highway."
GERAGOS: Go directly to a police station.
COOPER: Right. Or stay on the highway -- go on the highway.
GERAGOS: I'm going to tell you something.
HOSTIN: Not only did he slow down. He stopped.
GERAGOS: I want to agree with all of you. Because as a criminal defense lawyer I want everybody to start running over people, fleeing and get arrested and I'll defend you. And I'll charge you.
BLOW: I'm not taking a side in it. I'm just trying to figure out, it seems to me that the cracking of the window comes after the hit-and-run. And to me, I'm just trying to figure out, could both -- could both parties be wrong here?
CASTELLANOS: Correct. Both could be completely wrong.
BLOW: The driver could be completely wrong for running someone over and driving away from that. And the other biker -- both could be right.
GERAGOS: Both could have the perception.
COOPER: One at a time. One at a time. One at a time.
CASTELLANOS: This may not have been a motorcycle gang. But these are vehicular exhibitionists.
HOSTIN: I like that. CASTELLANOS: They're called, what, Hollywood Thunder, right? They go out there, and they block people on highways en masse, groups of them. They're breaking laws to do this, by the way. To do what? To perform stunts that people have never seen before. Apparently one of the bikers didn't have a license?
CASTELLANOS: So this is not your going for a little walk.
BORGER: Should there be a law against it?
GERAGOS: Yes. You can have laws against it. What I'm just saying is, what is lost on everybody in this is you cannot -- just because somebody slows down, you can't run over the bike. Just because you've run over a bike and you have a fear...
COOPER: So you're saying the person should have at that point when he hit the motorcycle...
GERAGOS: Call 911. Tell them what you did.
HOSTIN: He did call 911, and you're shading the facts just like you always do. And you know you are.
GERAGOS: You don't accelerate -- you don't accelerate over the motorcycle.
COOPER: One at a time. One at a time. One at a time.
CASTELLANOS: If I'm in a car -- if I'm in an SUV with my wife and my child, and I'm surrounded by a gang that looks menacing.
COOPER: You don't even know what they look like because they've got motorcycle helmets on.
GERAGOS: They're menacing. They're motorcyclists.
CASTELLANOS: Do I have the right? And I'm afraid for my family. Do I have the right to flee and by accident run over somebody? Because the people in the SUB -- Charles pointed this out, they didn't have the same point of view that you see on the video camera. They didn't know hey, let's run over that guy. They were just fleeing. Is that a defense?
BLOW: They did see -- there were bikes -- it's hard for me to believe they didn't see the bikes that were in front of them.
COOPER: By the way, bikes which had stopped on the highway in front to block this vehicle.
HOSTIN: Bottle him intentionally.
COOPER: An intimidating act. BLOW: I think that's true, too.
HOSTIN: Do we know the vehicle apparently when this biker stopped bumped him.
COOPER: We've got to -- we've got to take another quick break.
HOSTIN: And stopped, and then they swarmed him.
COOPER: We're going to continue during commercial break. But let us know on Twitter what you think, #AC360Later.
Up next, everybody, I'll ask them what their story is. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Welcome back. It's time now for our segment "What's Your Story?" where we ask our panel for a story that they want to talk about. Something maybe you missed or that they just are passionate about.
I'm going to start myself. My story today is I did an interview with Madonna earlier today that is only on CNN.com. You can see it there. A really interesting in-depth discussion. She has a thing called art for freedom where she's encouraging people to basically make works of art that define -- show what freedom means to them. Make works of art about oppression, injustices in the world.
And so I did an in-depth discussion. You can see it on CNN.com. And I'm a huge Madonna fan if you hadn't noticed.
BORGER: Me, too. Me, too. I'm so jealous.
GERAGOS: Did she introduce you or give you an award?
COOPER: She did. She introduced me at the GLAAD Awards, which I truly appreciate. But and I...
GERAGOS: She was wearing a Boy Scout uniform.
COOPER: She was wearing -- yes, in fact, I asked her about what happened to the boy Scout uniform in the interview. But -- and I went to three of her concerts this year on tour. I'm like her oldest -- I'm like her oldest groupie.
COOPER: I'm like it's no longer age-appropriate. I'm like there in the mosh pit, like "Woo!" It's a little embarrassing, I will admit. Hopefully, there's no video of that anywhere. But it was good to interview her. So...
BLOW: I would pay.
COOPER: Gloria, what's your story? BORGER: OK, nothing like that, by the way.
BORGER: It's like so boring. OK, so we could skip me.
GERAGOS: Justin Timberlake introduced you.
BORGER: No, no, no. My story is back to Washington and the debt. And my favorite solution to all of this is the folks out there who say that you actually can just coin a platinum trillion-dollar coin and solve the debt and that the feds should just approve it. I'm sure you'd agree with this. The Fed could just approve it. You'd have it. Solve the debt crisis and that's it.
GERAGOS: Sounds like a big coin without the drugs.
BORGER: There's actually a law that authorizes the treasury secretary to do it. But these are supposed to be commemorative. Not to settle the deficit.
COOPER: But then we see those late-night commercials. Invest in platinum.
CASTELLANOS: Mitt Romney has got a couple of these in his pocket. What's the big deal?
GERAGOS: Didn't they have to come out at some point? I thought this story was percolating before. And somebody had to come out and say, I think from treasury last time around and said, "No, we're not going to do that." I mean, because it's starting to gain momentum.
BORGER: They still say -- they still say -- Right. And they still say they're not going to do it. But I still think it's a great story.
COOPER: We only have about 30 seconds.
BLOW: Wendy Davis is running for governor of Texas. Do you remember Wendy Davis? That's the filibuster? Filibusters make legends. I mean, they work. If you have a good filibuster it raises your profile.
COOPER: Did it work for Ted Cruz? That wasn't actually a filibuster?
CASTELLANOS: It did work for Ted Cruz. He's going to be one of the remaining Republican nominees.
CASTELLANOS: I think he'll be one of the men left standing for the Republican nomination because of that.
BLOW: Because of the filibuster. COOPER: All right. I want to thank everybody on our panel. Alex, great to have you. Gloria, Charles, as well. Mark Geragos. Sunny.
GERAGOS: ... the Frank Sinatra comparison.
COOPER: Thanks for watching. "CAPITOL SCARE" hosted by Jake Tapper is coming up right after the break. I'll see you tomorrow night. Thanks.