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Washington Inaction Worries Wall Street; Compromise Builds Bipartisan Support, Hunnam Won't Play Christian Grey; Pregnant Woman Rescued in Texas Floods; Food Stamp Access Restored in 17 States; Tom Brady's Late-Game Heroics

Aired October 14, 2013 - 09:30   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Berman.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Michaela Pereira. We are in for Carol Costello this morning. It's true. It takes two of us to replace Carol. Thanks so much for joining us.

BERMAN: And with Washington no closer - no closer at all to making a deal, Wall Street could be in for some choppy trading sessions.

PEREIRA: Alison Kosik, by virtue of the fact it's going to be choppy there, choppy for you as well, the debt limit deadline just days away and the partial shutdown is nearing its third week. I can imagine there's just general frustration from the part of investors, traders, the whole - the whole gamut.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, there is. And you know what? The market's been open two minutes already. After no deal was done over the weekend, the market already down 100 points on the Dow.

BERMAN: Oh, really?


PEREIRA: Already.

KOSIK: So, already, yes.

And, you know, the traders that I've talked to, they are pessimistic. You know, Wall Street is kind of used to these 11th hour deals. It certainly doesn't mean that they like them. You know, and it may take Wall Street putting the pressure on Washington by sending a clear message today in the form of a sell-off to get the attention of lawmakers to do something.

You know, just like when lawmakers, you know, were talking toward the end of last week, the Dow racked up a total of 460 points. That was Wall Street's way of saying, yes, keep going, keep talking. But, obviously, that feeling didn't stay there for the weekend. But the thing is, just as easy as it is for those that those gains came, traders can unwind that and those gains can quickly, quickly turn to losses, as we see in the first three minutes of the day.

BERMAN: And it's not just the stock exchange. There are other really alarming signs in financial markets right now.

KOSIK: Yes, and you look at the short term bond market. You can already see the nervousness playing out there. In fact, the interest rate on the one-month Treasury bill, it's been sharply higher as investors worry about if the government's going to be able to pay the Treasury note, if a debt ceiling deal isn't done. Big banks, by the way, and companies, they use these t-bills to park their short-term cash if they want to stay more liquid.

And a disruption in this market could wind up having huge repercussions for the entire credit market, eventually leading to a big spike on the interest rates that you and I pay on credit cards, on mortgages, and on car loans. So there is a real world affect with the gains that these lawmakers are playing on Capitol Hill.

PEREIRA: And not to mention what's going to happen overseas as well in those markets.

KOSIK: You said it.

PEREIRA: So we'll look into that as well.

Alison Kosik, thanks so much.

KOSIK: Thanks, guys.

BERMAN: So let's talk about the games they're playing on Capitol Hill right now because the games very much go on. It's like trying to follow a bouncing ball there right now. On the one hand, optimism goes up and then inevitably it crashes down to nothing. Right now there seems to be two hang-ups. There seems to be a discussion about the medical device tax and also the sequester, the spending cuts that took effect some six months ago, whether they will stay in place or whether they'll do something to reduce some of the impact there.

Joining me now to talk about all of this and much, much more is John Avlon of "The Daily Beast," also a CNN contributor.

John, where do you see things standing right now?

JOHN AVLON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I mean, look, there's very rational -- little rational reason to think that Washington's going to pull this out in the near term. But the good news is, there are constructive conversations. That Manchin-Collins bipartisan bill.

At the end of the day, look, the only way this gets done, folks, is if centrist Republicans and Democrats find a way to work together, pass a bill with a big enough margin in the Senate that essentially shame the House into action.

BERMAN: But that Manchin-Collins bill was in place, or at least being discussed, as of early Saturday morning and Senate Header Harry Reid, and the White House, too -


BERMAN: Seemed to say, thanks but no thanks.

AVLON: That's right. It got the Heisman. And here's why. The president feels that this is essentially an extortion measure and he wants a clean funding of the government. But if you take away the medical device tax, even though it may be popular with Democrats and Republicans in the Senate, you help gut the funding for Obamacare, and that itself is an assault.

Here's the question. Is there going to be time to put together anything resembling a larger deal? You've got -- the big money boys are putting pressure on the Republican Party. Even the folks who funded the Tea Party did not want this outcome. The question is whether the president and Democrats are going to look for a bigger win than simply a political win. They know they have Republicans on the ropes, so there's an impulse to try to overreach, but there's an obligation to do something bigger for the country.

BERMAN: John McCain was saying over the weekend, he said you know what, what goes around comes around. He gave a warning to Democrats saying, you know what, be careful pushing for too much right now because two, three years down the line, you may not be in power any more.

AVLON: You're damn right. And, look, I mean, politics follows the lines of physics. Every action creates an equal and opposite reaction. That's how we got here. There's such a lack of trust that Democrats now see an opening to try to push their agenda. But there's the broader obligation to simply keep the government open.

The fact that we're here right now, 72 hours out, is stunning. I mean this is a choice between self-government and self-sabotage and, still, Washington can't get it together. So the president's got to lead, the member - the two Senate leaders have got to lead and put together a bigger plan to restore some sanity to government.

BERMAN: The most important person in Washington right now in your mind?

AVLON: You know, the two leaders and Joe Biden waiting in the wings as a potential closer and then Boehner's got to open the vote out. He can't play this Hastert (ph) game nonsense any longer.

BERMAN: All right, John Avlon, "Daily Beast," CNN contributor, great having you here with us. Really appreciate it.

AVLON: You too. Take care.

PEREIRA: Still to come right here, "Fifty Shades of Grey." It is hot. It is steamy. One problem, it's missing a leading man.

Are you available?

BERMAN: Yes, I'm always available.

Charlie Hunnam has bowed out of the film. Say it ain't so. I don't know who you are, but you're very attractive. His camp says one thing. The rumors say something else. We will (INAUDIBLE) the whole thing, coming up (ph) next.

PEREIRA: We need the truth, John Berman.

BERMAN: The truth is out there.

PEREIRA: We need the truth.

BERMAN: Stay with us.

PEREIRA: We need truth in "Fifty Shades."


PEREIRA: All right, I'm going to break this to you gently. And this one needs to know this. Charlie Hunnam will not play the leading man in the much anticipated movie version of "Fifty Shades of Grey." Universal Pictures says because he's way too busy with his role on FX's very popular "Sons of Anarchy."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where do you land in the pope organizational chart, (INAUDIBLE)?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Adviser, confidant.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No title? VP of special deeds?


BERMAN: But Hunnam, sounds like honey's (ph), departure comes as some fans of the erotic novel were petitioning for his ouster, saying he wasn't the right choice to play billionaire Christian Grey. You know who knows a lot about this?

PEREIRA: Right here.


BERMAN: Zoraida Sambolin. Do tell.


SAMBOLIN: Very sad but true.

All right, so that's right. Did Hunnam cave to the pressure? We may never actually know. But his departure has many wondering what will happen to the other film's star, Dakota Johnson.


SAMBOLIN (voice-over): He was supposed to play billionaire Christian Grey in the film adaptation of "Fifty Shades of Grey." But the 33- year-old star of the hit series "Sons of Anarchy" is bowing out. In a statement, Universal Pictures said, "the filmmakers of 'Fifty Shades of Grey' and Charlie Hunnam have agreed to find another male lead giving Hunnam's immersive TV schedule, which is not allowing him to adequately prepare for the role of Christian Grey." Not too long after, E.L. James, the author of the erotic best seller tweeted, "I wish Charlie all the best." But was scheduling the real reason for the surprise exit?

BRIAN BALTHAZAR, EDITOR, POPGOESTHEWEEK.COM: What the real speculation is was that the tension that he was getting for taking on this role, both negative and positive, was just too much for him to handle and he had to get out of it.

SAMBOLIN: In a recent interview with "Entertainment Weekly," the actor admits, "there are so many fans of that book and I know that on the surface I'm probably not what everybody imagined." Dakota Johnson has signed on as the leading lady, Anastasia Steele. But now that Hunnam is out, there is speculation about Johnson's future in the film.

BALTHAZAR: One of the reason that Charlie Hunnam got this role is because of his chemistry with Dakota Johnson. So this does raise the question, is she also potentially on the chopping block?

SAMBOLIN: With filming set to begin in a few weeks, the sudden hunt for Hunnam's replacement could delay the movie's highly anticipated August 2014 release date.

So who will take on the leading role in the erotic trilogy?

BALTHAZAR: Of course, Ryan Gosling has already come up among fans, Henry Cavill, Alex Pettyfer, Alexander Skarsgard. The list goes on.


PEREIRA: Yes, please.

SAMBOLIN: (INAUDIBLE). Maybe - maybe Ryan Gosling, right?

More than 70 million copies of the "Fifty Shades" book have been sold. That is worldwide. Although I will call you both out because you haven't read it.

PEREIRA: I know. I haven't.

Here's my thought. If you asked four different women who they picture in their minds, they'll have four different responses.


PEREIRA: And therein lies the challenge of casting that really pivotal role for that.

SAMBOLIN: I will agree. But, you know, a lot of speculation about this guy really succumbing, Hunnam, to the pressure -


SAMBOLIN: Because there were - there were actual petitions signed that he should not be the person who should be playing. PEREIRA: Oh, no, people felt very strongly, I know.

SAMBOLIN: So, you know, you don't - you never know.

PEREIRA: Give us your steely eyes. Let's see. What do you do?

BERMAN: I'm not going to - I'm not going to play this game.

PEREIRA: You can't to the steely eyes.


BERMAN: She told me before the piece goes, you do not have steely eyes.

PEREIRA: I think we hurt his feelings.

SAMBOLIN: You would not - you would not be a good Christian Grey.

BERMAN: Can I ask one follow-up real quick?

SAMBOLIN: Yes, of course.

BERMAN: What is the red room of pain?

PEREIRA: Nope. Don't. We're not asking that question.

BERMAN: Oh, sorry, we're out of time. We're out of time.

SAMBOLIN: Well, we'll answer that - we'll answer that question off air.

PEREIRA: It's a family show.

BERMAN: Zoraida Sambolin, thank you very much. Great to have you here.

PEREIRA: Oh, my, oh, my, it got warm in here.

Still to come, drought-stricken Texas is now fighting floods. Look at those pictures.

BERMAN: We will tell you which famous music festival got drowned out and how much more rain the area could see today.

I'm being beaten here by two women.

PEREIRA: This is the red room!


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: A pregnant woman was one of many Texans rescued this weekend after floods swept through the central part of that state this weekend.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HOLLY WHITMORE, RESCUED FROM FLOODING: I tried to get out of my car, my door wouldn't open so my window rolled down and he came over to help me and I just crawled out my window and walked out.


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: How frightening, an additional three inches of rain are in the forecast today and that could create even more flash flood hazards.

BERMAN: And get this music fans the downpours also forced organizers to cancel performances at the Austin City Limits Music Festival and more rain today could cause even more flooding.

PEREIRA: Karen Maginnis is in the CNN Severe Weather Center, really a concern Karen, tell us where can we expect this heavy -- heavy rain?

KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well it looks like over the next three days we'll see off and on the rainfall moving in, some of these is going to be enhanced by a tropical system that's going to kind of fizzle out over Baja, California and get swept up across the Lone Star State.

So we've got this weather system moving through and then the remnants of the tropical system that will affect this region, one to three additional inches of rainfall as that funnel system sweep through; behind it snowfall across the higher elevations.

But take a look at this. This is an overturned bus right around Austin, Texas. This happened over the weekend. Take a look. Some people were on board this bus and they turned over in the flooded rainfall on some streets there. It was a wedding party. They said no one was injured remarkably.

Well as we look into the forecast today, we might expect the potential for some strong thunderstorms in the central U.S. and for Austin over 12 inches of rainfall. But we'll keep you updated on that, another round tomorrow -- back to you.

PEREIRA: All right Karen Maginnis is there reporting for us. Thanks for keeping an eye on it for us.

Still ahead some call it the breaking of a sacred trust.

BERMAN: The sacred trust of Macy's, Macy's has been hopping on the Black Thursday band wagon and opening its doors on Thanksgiving, the end of a 155-year tradition.


BERMAN: Maybe good for you the shopper but not everyone is so happy about the change. We will have the story. It's -- it's all new in the next hour of NEWSROOM.

PEREIRA: It's all new -- wait for it. It's all new.


PEREIRA: The partial government shutdown was not to blame for a big glitch in the food stamp program. For several hours Saturday, folks could not use their electronic payment card at stores in some 17 states. Xerox, which handles the transactions for the government has taken responsibility for that crash.

Our Nick Valencia has the story.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There are an estimated 47 million Americans on food stamps. That's about one-sixth of the population. And if you were one of the many trying to use your food stamp card for groceries on Saturday, you were in for an awful surprise.


VALENCIA (voice-over): The headache for shoppers started at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is my first time ever experiencing this. So this is like pretty much a shock to me.

VALENCIA: Hour-after-hour, electronic payment cards for food stamps declined at stores coast-to-coast across 17 states. From Ohio to Iowa to California people paying with food stamps were told they couldn't.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just had to spend cash. That's my Wal-Mart money. I was supposed to go grocery shopping today. So I just grabbed a few things and paid cash for it and put it in God's hands.

VALENCIA: SNAP or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program as it's officially called is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Many of those affected speculated the crash had something to do with the partial government shutdown. But the state officials say that wasn't the case.

Xerox which handles the food stamp transactions for the government says a computer crash knocked the system offline. In a statement to CNN, they said "Beneficiaries who required immediate access to their benefits could work with their local merchants who could activate an emergency voucher process where available."

The only problem, the emergency voucher was not available at all vendors.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The system is down. We're sorry for the inconvenience and we do not know when it's going to come back up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're down and it is going to hurt bad.

VALENCIA: The issue was resolved by late Saturday night. But still today many wonder why the food stamp contractor would test its systems on the weekend when many hit the grocery store to go shopping.

Nick Valencia, CNN, Atlanta.


PEREIRA: That's so many people.


PEREIRA: Can you imagine how frustrating and upsetting that would be?

BERMAN: I can't. It's so frustrating.

PEREIRA: Still to come it's only been a few days since Adrian Peterson's son passed away. But the reigning NFL most valuable player was back on the field over the weekend. Learn why Patterson -- Peterson says he needed to play.


BERMAN: All right.

PEREIRA: Are you going to be able to contain yourself first of all? Do this for America, OK.

BERMAN: This morning is Boston sports heaven. Fans everywhere are celebrating two absolutely stunning comebacks. I'm talking about the Patriots and then just a few hours later the Boston Red Sox able to snatch a victory from the jaws of defeat.

Andy Scholes joins us now with this morning's "Bleacher Report".

PEREIRA: He's almost unbearable today.

BERMAN: What a night Andy. What a night. It felt like it's been.

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Good morning, guys. Well John, you and the rest of Boston sports fans went on an emotional roller coaster ride last night. Now the Patriots' comeback was so improbable that the stadium was half empty when it happened.

Here is how it all went down, two minutes left Patriots down by four Brady throws an interception so fans think hey the game is over. They start heading for the parking lot. Well the Patriots get the ball back one more time and Brady drives them right down the field with under ten seconds left. He makes an amazing throw to Kenbrell Thompkins, touchdown.

Patriot Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan can't believe what just happened. Brady went 70 yards in 70 seconds without a time-out on his defense. Patriots win 30-27, they hand the Saints their first lost of the season.

Just days after his two-year-old son passed away, Adrian Peterson took the field for the Vikings in their game against the Panther. Peterson said he never thought about not playing because football is a way for him to cope with his emotions. This isn't the first time he's dealt with tragedy. His older brother was killed by a drunk driver while riding his back when Peterson was seven years old. His half-brother was shot and killed the night before the NFL combine started in 2007. After yesterday's game, Peterson spoke about the tragic loss of his son.


ADRIAN PETERSON, NFL PLAYER: I guess when you lose a child, now matter the circumstances or situation, it hurts. You know, I can't describe it. But, you know, I've got a lot of support surrounding me, and -- I'll get through it.


SCHOLES: And in the lineup section of it is the amazing comeback by the Red Sox last night. Down 5-1 in the eighth, bases loaded for Big Papi and the first pitch you see is going into the bullpen for a grand slam. That tied the game at five. Take another look, Torii Hunter nearly makes the catch he flips over the wall. You've got to love the (inaudible) celebrating. He's on the clock, but there was no holding back the pure joy of that moment.

That score at the bottom of the ninth, runner on third Jarrod Saltalamacchia comes through with a single. Red Sox win in a walk-off 6-5 to even the series at a game a piece.

We've got more baseball tonight. Dodgers and Cardinals play game three of the NLCS. First pitch is at 8:00 Eastern on TBS. Cardinals lead the series, 2-0.

And we've definitely seen some great baseball so far, guys. Every single game in these championship league series have been won by one run.

BERMAN: Fantastic baseball with fantastic results, at least last night. Andy Scholes -- thank you so much.

PEREIRA: How is a male newscaster supposed to get any sleep? This is the problem.

SCHOLES: I never sleep at all.

PEREIRA: It is a problem.

BERMAN: Thank you so much for joining us this hour.

PEREIRA: The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM begins right now.

And good morning from New York. I'm Michaela Pereira.

BERMAN: And I'm John Berman.