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Divided Republican Party?; Government Shutdown Continues

Aired October 11, 2013 - 15:00   ET


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Don Lemon.

So glad you could join us. Brooke's off today.

The government still partially shut down, the debt ceiling still looming, and a temporary extension has not been agreed upon, at least not yet. Republicans want the deal without ending the shutdown, and sources tell CNN a House vote on this deal could come as early as today, at any moment now.

Now, one phrase we're hearing today that we haven't heard, at least for the past 11 days, and probably longer than that, is we're all working together now. We're all working together now. Stop the presses, Congress, the people we pay to talk actually talking to each other. But is there really any progress?

Not too long ago, President Obama met with Senate Republicans and apparently the meeting, it went well, but:


SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: There were many conversations on the long-term debt problem. Many members expressed concern about raising the debt limit without having a specific plan to deal with our $17 trillion national debt. It was a good exchange, but it was an inconclusive exchange.


LEMON: You heard the senator there. She said the meeting was inconclusive.

Dana Bash, our chief congressional correspondent, Dana, I don't know if you have an office on Capitol Hill now, or an apartment, but just a little pied-a-terre.




LEMON: Yes, really, right?

(LAUGHTER) LEMON: You have been there a while.

It would be, because it was a pied-a-terre, it would just be weekends, and you have been there the entire time. What do you make of what Susan Collins said, her comments? And is a possible vote on extending the debt ceiling still possible for today?

BASH: It looks less likely today. In fact, the House Republican leadership just released a notice to their members saying that there is going to be a vote this afternoon, but on a different topic. It looks like at this point they're punting at least until tomorrow as they let things percolate.

And, right now, what is going on, you just laid out what our Deirdre Walsh has been reporting about the House Republican offer that went over to the White House earlier today. House Republicans are simply waiting right now. We're in a very sort of odd place of suspended animation, waiting to see if the White House just outright rejects what the House is proposing or if they come back with a counteroffer.

And just again to sum up what the House is saying, is they want to have a short-term increase in the debt ceiling, six weeks, like they had proposed earlier, and then they would immediately start to talk, as soon as this weekend, maybe even tomorrow, they hope, about how to reopen the government.

Our understanding is that with regard to that funding bill to reopen the government, they did put some suggestions for conditions on. Unclear exactly what they are. Of course, that would be the key. We are told that perhaps they are dealing with some Obamacare issues. That could be a nonstarter for the White House. A lot of this depends right now on just how willing the White House is to bend a little bit to give a little bit of an olive branch, if you will, so that the House can come back and do the same, I mean, basic negotiation 101.

We just don't know exactly where we are right now with that. If this whole process between the House and Senate doesn't go anywhere, sources on both sides of the Capitol are telling us that the likely next place to look is over in the Senate, for the Senate Democratic leader to begin to move the process of what he has started before, which is a year-long increase in the debt ceiling.

And then senators who have been working on all kinds of proposals would have the chance to add their ideas to reopen the government as well. We will see how that goes. The next 24 hours are absolutely crucial.


LEMON: I want to ask you because we're seeing in the preview monitor here House Democrats coming to the floor. There it is right there, one by one, demanding a clean C.R. What's going on here?

BASH: You know, like I said, we're in suspended animation. Members of Congress are here. And they need something to do. And they have the House floor, where they're able to voice their ideas and their opinions.

And so we have been seeing that really all week, and you are hearing Democrats continuing to pound away at the idea that we need to reopen the government. They're using the forums and the formats that they have, which, of course, is the House floor. And it has actually been pretty successful when you come -- you look at messaging, especially looking at the polls. Republicans by and large are getting hammered, taking the blame for this.

And I can tell you, in these walls, Republicans privately are saying they get it, they know it. That's why they feel a real urgency to figure out how to reopen the government.

LEMON: I'm glad they're saying it at least behind closed doors, because they don't seem to realize it when they come on television or they speak on any political shows. It's like, oh, no, no.

OK, thank you, Dana. Appreciate it.

BASH: Thank you.

LEMON: We have heard the president say it on several occasions. This whole mess with the shutdown and the potential U.S. default is the fault of one faction within the Republican Party, the Tea Party faction.

As it happens, some of the stars of the faction are taking center stage today at the summit in Washington,the Values Voters Summit. I want you to take a listen, if you would. We will start with Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: We have seen an explosion of federal government power, none more important or significant or dangerous than Obamacare. We look at the state of our economy, in the last four years, our economy has grown on average 0.9 percent a year.

There's only one other period since World War II with four consecutive years of less than 1 percent average growth. That was 1979 to 1982. It was coming out of the Jimmy Carter administration. It was the same failed economic policies, out-of-control spending and taxes and regulation, and it produced the exact same results.

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: Today, I want to talk about something, though, that is serious. Today, I want to talk about a war that the mainstream media is ignoring. From Boston to Zanzibar, there's a worldwide war on Christianity.


PAUL: Christians are being attacked around the world, but you won't hear much about it on the evening news because the answer is not convenient. It doesn't fit the narrative we have been told about radical Islam. The president tries to gloss over who's attacking and killing Christians. The media describes the killings as sectarian. But the truth is, a worldwide war on Christians is being waged by a fanatical element of Islam.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: You know, with all this fighting that is going on in Washington these days, my biggest fear is that we're losing focus on the biggest issues facing our country. And that's the growing sense by so many people across the country that we're losing control of it, that we're losing control of our nation, and, more importantly, that we're losing what we have come to know as the American dream.

Why do people feel this way? Well, because millions of them have been out of a job for months and maybe years at a time, because millions more are trapped in jobs that quite frankly don't pay enough to live off of.


LEMON: So that's Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, three of the GOP's rising stars, all making appeals to conservative voters here in the midst of this colossal fight over the budget.

And with us now from Washington, CNN's Candy Crowley is a chief political correspondent and, of course, the host of "STATE OF THE UNION."

I want to ask you this, straight up. Are these values voters and the Tea Party voters, are they the future of the Republican Party? Or are they an albatross to the GOP, as some are suggesting?


There's really a divide when you look at 2014, which is midterm elections, when it's all of the House and the Senate, and then 2016. What a lot of Republicans are saying who are not Tea Party types or bagpipe Tea Party is that this is hurting the brand of Republicanism, and that that will then hurt whoever the 2016 presidential candidate is because he has to run nationwide.

If you look at it in terms of 2014, you have to look at the country as separate districts. They have been so gerrymandered by Republicans and Democrats that the vast majority of these House seats are pretty darn safe. That doesn't mean that they don't change around the margins and this may be one of those wave years, as we call them, where it does, and certainly Democrats are hoping that when they look at that poll, that's exactly what's going to happen, but we have a long way to go between now and November of next year, when the midterms are.

So I think what you're seeing in some ways is a natural fight for the heart and soul of a party that has not held the Oval Office. The Democrats, who also have some differences, certainly from the liberal point of view or the moderate Democrat point of view, there are differences there, but they have a distinct party leader. There's no void at the top.

President Obama is the leader of the Democratic Party, has been for eight -- for -- where are we, seven years, six years. But there isn't a similar person on the Republican side, so you're watching this intense battle for, what is a Republican? So far, we're seeing the Tea Party numbers or Tea Party conservatives are the minority within the party, but that doesn't mean that they can't make huge differences and pull their party to the right.

LEMON: Always appreciate you, Candy. Thank you, Candy Crowley.

CROWLEY: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: Make sure you catch "STATE OF THE UNION" -- you're very welcome -- this Sunday, 9:00 a.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

And up next, I will speak live with someone who says this shutdown is so much worse than the one in 1995, and it may kill the holiday shopping season.

Plus, take a look at this video, will you? A carjacker follows a driver into his home, but the victim doesn't appear to back down easily. What should you do in this scenario? That's coming up.


LEMON: All right, you should really pay attention to this, OK, because it was a scary moment for a man in Atlanta caught on surveillance video. An armed carjacker points a gun at him, demands his keys, and then takes the conversation inside his home. And you have to see how all of this unfolded.

Here's a reporter from CNN affiliate WSB.


BRAD EDMONDS, VICTIM: I kept just looking at the barrel of the gun and I thought, this isn't fair.

CARL WILLIS, WSB REPORTER (voice-over): Brad Edmonds says the man captured on his home security camera had the upper hand when he pointed a gun in his chest. It happened in the driveway of his midtown home on Argonne Avenue.

EDMONDS: What's going through my mind is, all right, how do I make it out of this? How do I even the scale?

WILLIS: The suspect Edmonds inside his home, demanding the keys to his Mercedes. His first thought was to go for his gun, but, instead, he yelled for help and called 911.

EDMONDS: I was thinking about getting ahold of my gun somehow, but I might not be here telling this story had I done that.

WILLIS: The camera caught a perfect shot of the suspect, who eventually drove off in the victim's car. EDMONDS: I'm not going to stand for it. Neither is anybody else. We're going to fight them.

WILLIS: Investigators have a copy of the video and went to an area high school in hopes of identifying the suspect.


LEMON: All right, that was Carl Willis in that report from our Atlanta affiliate WSB-TV.

Now you may be asking this. What should I do if I'm ever in that situation or a similar situation? What should you do?

Steve Kardian is a former police detective.

You saw this happen. Could that guy have done anything differently?

STEVE KARDIAN, FORMER NEW YORK STATE POLICE DETECTIVE: Well, he acted very good. Actually, the plan of action that he had by putting a barrier between him and the bad guy was an excellent aspect. In law enforcement, we call it visualization. The military calls it emergency conditioning. And that's to create a plan, visualize what you want to do.

LEMON: Plan of action.

KARDIAN: Plan of action. What would you do in this event?

LEMON: So, you said visualize?

KARDIAN: Visualize that someone is coming into your home.

Remember, your home is your castle. Once he penetrates the safety of that home, it becomes critical. Another thing is to have a safe room that you can designate to go to. It could be as simple as a bathroom. I actually have a safety bar here that opens up. You could pick this up almost anywhere. It goes underneath a door and fortifies it.


LEMON: What, you put it under the door and then...

KARDIAN: That top piece would go under the doorknob. This would go onto the ground.

LEMON: Gotcha.

KARDIAN: It fortifies the door and makes it much more secure than it would be otherwise.

LEMON: And if that doesn't work, you can beat the heck out of somebody.

KARDIAN: If that doesn't work, you beat him with it.


LEMON: ... serious.

And so what do you -- what's the best way to avoid being a target? It's to be aware of your surroundings, obviously.

KARDIAN: The simple, back to basics, be aware of your surrounding. Before you go outside, look around. Is there somebody out there of suspicious nature?

If you see somebody in the dark of night approaching you, why? Retreat back into the house. Don't wait for it to be too late to do something.

LEMON: It always happens -- it usually happens when people are closer to home, because their guard -- your guard is home. You figure, I know my place, getting out of your car at your house or what have you. And I'm always very aware of that.

But it usually happens when you're close to home. Right?

KARDIAN: Often in a place that we're familiar. How many times you have walked through the parking lot to get to our car, how many times we pull up in our driveway, get out the car.

LEMON: And you don't think about it.

KARDIAN: And you don't think about it.

LEMON: Another good way is to have a doorman.

KARDIAN: Have a doorman, yes, sir.

LEMON: Thank you very much. Appreciate it, Mr. Kardian.

KARDIAN: Pleasure, Don.

LEMON: Up next, I'm going to speak live with someone who says this shutdown is so much worse than the one in 1995. He says the Internet makes the economy more vulnerable.

Plus, JetBlue has a new plan. They want customers to jump in the family pool. OK. It involves frequent flyer miles. Big news coming up.


LEMON: Welcome back, everyone.

How does this shutdown compare to the shutdowns of the mid-1990s? In 1995/1996, the government shut down twice for a total of almost a month. And then back then, the GOP, led by House Speaker Newt Gingrich, wanted President Clinton to agree to a Republican version of a balanced budget. Does that sound familiar to you?

How do we compare shutdowns? Let's bring in Dan Gross. He's a business editor and columnist for The Daily Beast.

Hi, Dan. How are you doing?


LEMON: OK, so you say that this is the worst shutdown because -- quote -- "In 1995, the Internet wasn't really a commercial force. China was still a minor economic power. Many of the big changes in the way America work make the U.S. economy more vulnerable to government shutdown-induced damages."

So how does the Internet make the U.S. economy more vulnerable in a shutdown?

GROSS: Well, it's not just the Internet. It's the way people use information.

For example, farmers can't get access to data on how much pigs are trading for. That might be a problem for a few professional traders, but it also means that your typical farmer who is raising hogs can't figure out how much money he should be paid.

When you're a company and you hire somebody today, you're supposed to use E-Verify. That's the government system that is online, where you confirm that the person is eligible to work in this country and is a citizen. Guess what? It's shut down. Now we have companies -- Wal- Mart is trying to hire 70,000 temporary employees for their Christmas season. It's much more difficult to get those sorts of things approved.

The way we interact with each other economically revolves a lot more around information, including information and systems that are provided or managed by the government.

LEMON: And things that are outsourced, and it's not a person doing it anymore. It's done over the Internet or done right through the computer, correct?

GROSS: Absolutely.


GROSS: Yes. And you also have to think that trade is a much bigger part of the economy today. It's about 25 percent of all economic activity. That's imports and exports, bringing in stuff from China, sending stuff from here to Latin America. You need the government operating in order to get your goods through the ports.

LEMON: All right, that's a good point then if we're talking about business, because the Dow soared this week. That's not worse. That's better. How do you explain that, Dan?

GROSS: I think, you know, the markets, of course, aren't always right, but I think investors are really focused on the debt ceiling and the catastrophe if we miss a debt payment. The minute there was some movement on the debt ceiling issue, this huge sigh of relief, it's safe to go buy stocks and bonds again, and sort of setting to the side the bigger problems in the economy that the shutdown is.

Our coverage, we focus a lot on, yes, government employees who are furloughed and, you know, restaurants that are offering specials for people. But you can already see it rippling through the consumer economy. You know, car sales were actually not very strong in September. Retail sales not looking so hot.

You look at polls of consumer sentiment. We're seven weeks from Black Friday, and consumers are all of a sudden very pessimistic. I don't think that bodes very well for the holiday shopping season.

LEMON: Mr. Dan Gross, appreciate it, sir.

GROSS: Anytime.

LEMON: Coming up, "CROSSFIRE" host S.E. Cupp, a conservative, says she's losing patience with tactics by some Republicans over Obamacare. S.E. Cupp joins me live, along with Democrat Chris Kofinis. It's a debate you will want to hear.


LEMON: Government shutdown, day 11, and that October 17 debt ceiling deadline still looming, that is, unless both sides can agree to extend it. But, if we don't do it, we just heard, it won't be today. It won't be today.

Important to remember here, the House -- the offer, excuse me, by House Republicans to push it back by six weeks carries a big caveat. The government would stay partially closed. Another big piece of this puzzle, Republican Congressman Paul Ryan, a man who may have actually managed to open the crack in the stalemate that has crippled our government.

It happened at a meeting between House Republicans and the president late yesterday, but not everyone is happy with his emerging role here nor with his plan published in a "Wall Street Journal" op-ed. Senator Ted Cruz criticizing him for failing to mention one thing, and that is Obamacare.

Can they all get in one page. Let's see.

Joining us is Chris Kofinis, who is a Democratic strategist and a former communications for John Edwards. And probably a good person to answer that question, can they all get on that one page is S.E. Cupp, the host of CNN's "CROSSFIRE."

You wrote this article for And in it, you say you support Cruz's effort to defund Obamacare, but you reject his criticize of Ryan. Why is that?

S.E. CUPP, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": Well, let's be clear. I have never been sanguine about Ted Cruz's strategy actually working, but I admire his stance.

And he's doing what he was elected to do. It's not as if Ted Cruz and Rand Paul and Mike Lee sort of manifested out of thin air. They ran a campaign against Obamacare, they won those elections, and they're doing what they were brought there to do.

The divide in the Republican Party is not over policy. No Republican I know likes Obamacare. They all want it repealed. The divide is over tactics. I don't like the tactics where senators like Ted Cruz or conservative groups get together and decide who's conservative enough and who isn't.

And Paul Ryan's op-ed in "The Wall Street Journal" was not heretical to Ted Cruz's plan. It wasn't a betrayal of it. As they point out, it didn't even mention Obamacare. It was simply discussing another objective that Republicans and conservatives have put forward and how to get there. And I think for Ted Cruz's defenders to come out and swat him down as a RINO is really unproductive, and frankly fairly childish.


Chris, I'm going to get to you.

But I want you to clarify here, because you know people harp on certain statements sometimes. You're saying they were elected to -- they're doing what they were elected to do. Shut down the government?

CUPP: No. As I said, they ran campaigns against Obamacare. They made promises to constituents that they would do everything they could to end it, repeal it, delay it, pick it apart. And that's exactly what they have done.


Chris, how do you feel about Paul Ryan emerging as a potential negotiation leader here?

CHRIS KOFINIS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I guess in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man will see.

When it comes to Congressman Ryan, who else can you, I guess, look for? If you want -- if anyone wants to understand why the Republican Party is so difficult to negotiate with or have conversations with, how do you negotiate with a party that can't even decide who should be the negotiator, who criticize anyone who even comes close to figuring out that maybe the smartest strategy in the world is not to shut down the government and risk a default, and think there's not going to be some kind of political blowback or consequences?