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Critics: Fire Sebelius Over Obamacare Mess; Police Chase Hijacked School Bus; Booker Wins Special Senate Election; "College Women: Stop Getting Drunk"; Behind The Scenes Of The Shutdown; A Plea For A Family: "I'll Take Anyone"

Aired October 17, 2013 - 14:30   ET


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: And from the get-go, the Obamacare web site has been plagued with problems. Now, critics want the person in charge to go.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And yet, Secretary Sebelius is not shooting straight with the American people. The system is crashing.


BALDWIN: We will talk about that today.

Also, some terrifying moments for some students this morning after a man hijacked their school bus. Leads police on a wild chase. The whole thing caught on camera. Don't go away.


BALDWIN: Well, Congress may have reached a deal on the shutdown and the debt ceiling for now, but the battle over Obamacare is not over. Some Republicans say enough is enough with all these glitches on the web site. They want the woman in charge -- they want Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to step down.


SENATOR PAT ROBERTS (R), KANSAS: I'm calling on Kathleen Sebelius to resign her post as secretary of Health and Human Services. Secretary Sebelius has had three and a half years to launch Obamacare and she has failed. The American people should not have to tolerate the chaos of the exchange or the ill effects of Obamacare for one more day. They are already suffering on the terrible economy. In sports when a team has a losing record and stakes are high, the team owners demand a new coach.


BALDWIN: Senator Roberts is not alone. Also calling for Sebelius to resign is CNN "CROSSFIRE" host and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. So to Washington we go to Brian Todd, inside on Capitol Hill right now. Brian, just in terms of the calls for the resignation or this firing, how is Sebelius, how is the White House responding to that? BRIAN TODD, CNN CONTRIBUTOR, "THE SITUATION ROOM": Well, Brooke, we have been after them about that all day long. We've been calling Sebelius' offices, exchanging e-mails with them. They're not responding specifically and formally to the calls for her to resign, but they are referring us to comments made two days ago by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney when he was asked about pressure on Sebelius right about now, and here's what he had to say two days ago on that.


JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The secretary does have the full confidence of the president. She like everyone else in this effort is focused on our number one priority, which is making the implementation of the affordable care act work well. People are working 24/7 to address the problems and isolate them and fix them when it comes to the web site and enrolment issues.


TODD: And there's another call for Secretary Sebelius to resign, that from John Fleming, he is a Republican member of the House from Louisiana. A physician himself, and he is circulating a letter to other House members, which he says has some support right now, to President Obama, calling for him to call for her resignation as well. But no formal response right now, Brooke, from Kathleen Sebelius' office today.

BALDWIN: OK, Brian Todd, thank you.

Frightening scene this morning played out in front of the cameras, a knife-wielding man hijacks a school bus with students onboard. We'll show you the pictures and tell you what happened, next.


BALDWIN: Talk about frightening. An Arkansas man hijacked a school bus this morning with nearly a dozen grade school kids onboard, and this whole high speed police chase was caught on tape. Here it is. Nearly 40 police cars, you'll see them here, following the bus in a second. They were involved in this 10-mile chase just outside of Little Rock.

Authorities say there were 11 children on the bus. Thank goodness not a single one was injured. Police eventually stopped the bus and arrested this guy. They say before he hijacked the bus, he tried to carjack a woman at knifepoint.

And Newark Mayor Cory Booker headed to Washington. He will be the next U.S. senator from the state of New Jersey. Booker, a Democrat, defeated Republican Steve Lonegan in a special election yesterday. He is New Jersey's first African-American senator and he is fired up about getting to work.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MAYOR CORY BOOKER (D), NEW JERSEY SENATOR-ELECT: When no matter who you love, gay or straight, still are treated equally under the law, you know there's work to do. When you could have a full-time job in America and work with honor and dignity, but still live in poverty, you know we have work to do.


BALDWIN: Just a short time ago, during a meeting with Italian prime minister, a reporter asked President Obama if he picked up the phone and called Booker to congratulate him.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I didn't. I think he's going to do a great job.


BALDWIN: Booker becomes the first African-American elected to the U.S. Senate since Barack Obama in 2004.

And you enjoy paddleboarding? I enjoy paddleboarding, but maybe not this kind. A California paddleborder heard there were sharks in the water and he found some.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's checking me out. My God, right under the board. My God, look at that -- shaking like a leaf.


BALDWIN: I think I would have to be bleeped as well. Impressed this guy has a camera on a paddleboard. Mike Durand's helmet cam caught the shark on the South Bay waters off Manhattan Beach. It did not take long before he spotted a second shark, which got a little too close for comfort. Can you blame him?

Coming up next, an article written by a woman for female college students has many men outraged. Why advice to stop getting drunk has sparked all kinds of controversy. We'll talk to the woman who wrote this thing next.


BALDWIN: Let me tell you what a lot of people are talking about today. There's a new article at that the author says is about protecting college women from rape, but if you read the criticisms, and there are many, they're saying it actually blames them for it. It is called, college women, stop getting drunk.

It says, quote, "A misplaced fear of blaming the victim has made it somehow unacceptable to warn inexperienced young women that when they get wasted they're putting themselves in potential peril." This piece here has brought out a lot of backlash. Here one of hundreds of comments we saw on the web site.

Quote, "There is so much wrong in this article, it hurts. Being drunk does not make you more likely to get raped. Being unfortunate enough to encounter a rapist, drunk or not, does. If we weren't on the bloody internet, I would think this was written in the 1950s."

So we went straight to the source, to the author here. The "Slate" contributor, Emily Yoffe. So Emily, welcome.


BALDWIN: I want to get to the crux of your argument here in just a minute, but first, the backlash. I know you saw this coming. You were pretty clear, even in your piece. But the comments, the hate, this vitriol against you, were you surprised by all that?

YOFFE: Well, I was a little surprised by the vehemence because on some level, it's a very banal and obvious thing to warn people, getting blind drunk could lead to bad things. The comment you pulled out, I really have to disagree. Studies very clearly show that 70 percent, 80 percent of rapes that occur on college campuses involve alcohol. Often, the victim is extremely intoxicated and she is not aware of her surroundings and is not in a position to say no.

BALDWIN: So your message is what?

YOFFE: My message is, the culture of binge drinking is hurting everyone, young men and young women, but women are at particular risk because there are certain types of sexual predators who seek out intoxicated women. They don't have to put knives to their throats or twist their arms. They take them by the hand and lead them back to their dorm rooms or apartments or bedrooms at frat houses and these women get rapes.

BALDWIN: So then why not -- I hear you loud and clear. I went to college. Not nice things can happen in college. It can be very fun, but very dark at the same time and some criticism, why aren't you just focusing on the men whether they are predators or even just, you know, young men heading into college. Why just focus on the women?

YOFFE: Well, I made very clear about how dangerous binge drinking culture is for absolutely everyone. A lot of people said, why wasn't your article "tell men not to rape?" I think that's a great message, men, don't rape. However, this weekend, there will be young women who get very drunk and have sex they didn't intend to have. So we don't live in an ideal world where every man has not gotten that message, and we never will. There always will be sexual predators and I want there to be fewer female victims.

BALDWIN: Emily, you have a daughter heading to college this fall. What is --

YOFFE: Next fall, next fall, if she gets in.

BALDWIN: Just 30 seconds, what's your advice to her? YOFFE: I said, even though I know it will be illegal, I know there will be drinking and you will drink. Sip, no shots. No punch bowls. Keep your wits about you and you will be able to say no to people you want to say no to.

BALDWIN: Emily Yoffe, words from a mom. I appreciate it very much. Thank you so much for sharing that.

YOFFE: Thanks for having me on.

BALDWIN: Up next, the video that a lot of you asked me about.


DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is how we get our information, really all day long.

BALDWIN: You chase them down.

BASH: We're not allowed to have cameras beyond where we are now. We're pushing it a little bit.


BALDWIN: Our chief chaser, Dana Bash, gave me a behind the scenes tour. I spent my whole day in the capitol yesterday. This moment right after the deal was announced to extend the debt ceiling and reopen the government. More of what you didn't see behind the scenes next.


BALDWIN: With all this political infighting over the past couple days, past couple of weeks, you can imagine the chaos playing out inside the nation's capitol. Yesterday, I spent hours and hours inside the capitol, got this whole behind the scenes tour, moments after that Senate deal was announced from our chief congressional correspondent, Dana Bash. Watch.


BASH: We are in what's called statuary hall. You can see why.

BALDWIN: A.k.a, stat hall.

BASH: Stat hall and we just came from the Senate side over to the House side. Right here behind us, we're limited in where we can go with cameras, but this is where we can be. Right around this corner is where John Boehner's office is. So much action happens here. You see the reporters lingering and loitering in the hall way.

So much time, Deirdre Walsh, myself, Ted Barrett, spent sitting in that alcove over there because we want to know who's coming in and out of John Boehner's office because they have the leadership meetings and decide what is going to happen in the House. BALDWIN: It's incredible for me to see and the viewer who doesn't know the inner workings like you do, to see the close proximity between the leader's offices.

BASH: You would think they would talk to each other. They don't need a telephone, they don't need Twitter. They could go knock, knock, knock.

BALDWIN: So old school of you. Welcome to the uber glamorous basement of the U.S. Capitol. Dana Bash, lovely wiring here as we walk and talk. A lot gets done in the basement.

BASH: So much gets done here. Behind those doors, that is where House Republicans have their meetings. So much of the roller coaster that we've seen --

BALDWIN: What roller coaster? I don't know what you're talking about.

BASH: On the debt ceiling and the shutdown, has been hatched in those walls. That's where all 233 members meet like pretty much every day at this point, multiple times a day. What we do as reporters, usually, these hall ways are completely filled with cameras, with us, with everybody trying to figure out what's going on.

So members of Congress come out of these doors or another door to this room, which is around the corner and we try to talk to them and say, what happened in the meeting? Again, we have access to the principals. We're not talking to somebody who is six people removed from the room. We're talking to people from in the room.

There was a little moment with Michele Bachmann where we were walking briskly down the hallway.

BALDWIN: This is the Bachmann basement corridor.

BASH: She was coming out of one of those meetings and we were discussing some remarks she made, walking extremely fast in this corridor.

BALDWIN: This is where it happened.

BASH: And so many of our interviews happen when we are getting the latest about all of the fast-moving stories.

BALDWIN: A lot of this, a lot of Senator, Senator. Thank you for all you do. We'll see you on TV talking about a deal.


BALDWIN: Talking about a deal, Dana Bash and crew, thank you very much.

Coming up, the top five factors to insure congress doesn't have the same fight again in 90 days. Don't miss that. Plus, it is a story you will never forget. A teenaged orphan stands up before a church congregation and asks for someone to adopt him, wants to be part of someone's family. You will meet him next.


BALDWIN: A Florida boy just 15 years of age shows just exactly how wise he is. Let me quote him for you. "I know God hasn't given up on me so I'm not giving up, either." Now it seems like the whole world is cheering for him and his quest to find something many of us take for granted, a family.

Davian Only was born in jail, grew up in foster homes, he wants a family so badly, he put himself before a church congregation to make his case last month, this whole thing, his idea. His case worker says news that his birth mother died ended his dreams of reuniting with his birth family, but it also started a transformation, she said.

Davian improved his grades, lost weight, gained the courage to say this, "I'll take anyone, old or young, dad or mom, black, white, purple, I don't care. And I would be really appreciative, the best I could be."

The adoption agency handling the case says it has received more than 300 calls, e-mails, and inquiries about him, coming from all around the world. Some people are asking about adopting him, here is hoping he finds that mom or dad or both. We will keep you posted.

Question, why is this man smiling today? Ted Cruz lost a big fight, so how does this change his party's strategy as Congress gets ready to do battle yet again? I'm Brooke Baldwin, the news is now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The defendant told him that Michelle was a -- and that she had drown while not admitting to the murder, told him that authorities could not prove the case against him.


BALDWIN: Opening statements in the trial of a doctor accused of drugging and drowning his own wife. Nancy Grace joins me live.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's checking me out. Whew. My God, right under the board.


BALDWIN: A paddleboarder's close call with a shark. Plus --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think because it was football players from Merrillville, had a lot of power and connection, and be didn't matter. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: A new twist in the case of a teenager who says she was raped. And -- a big-time Hollywood director attacked on the set of the new "Transformers" movie. We're on the case.