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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Stocks Hit Record High On Debt Deal; Where's The Pork; Convicted Murderer Says He Was Wrongly Accused; Interview with Rep. Grimm, Rep. Yoho
Aired October 17, 2013 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, HOST (voice-over): "OUTFRONT" next, a bloody battle to shut down the government. But wait, the deal is full of pork?
Plus, the onset of terror. Never-before-seen video of the horrific shooting in the mall.
And wrongly accused?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a lot on the line.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not a whole lot. It's incredibly scary.
BURNETT: Let's go "OUTFRONT."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. "OUTFRONT" tonight, markets celebrate while Ted Cruz quadruples down. The S&P 500 hit a new high thanks to the deal with the debt ceiling, but this fight isn't over and I mean, not even close. All the country got last night was another short term deal and an aide to Senator Ted Cruz has just told CNN and Dana Bash that the Republican will not rule out another shutdown.
Yes, you heard me right, another shutdown in a couple months. That slam came after President Obama took to the lectern to slam, remind Congress of what they did.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: But let's be clear. There are no winners here. These last few weeks have inflicted completely unnecessary damage on our economy. To all my friends in Congress, understand that how business is done in this town has to change and there is no good reason why we cannot govern responsibly despite our differences. Without lurching from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis, we come from different parties but we are Americans first. That's why disagreement cannot mean dysfunction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Dana Bash is on Capitol Hill. Dana, so what is the Cruz camp telling you?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That the senator is simply not ruling out a strategy going forward that doesn't mean that government would shut down. He absolutely has no regrets, but he is in a very, very small minority of Republicans here on Capitol Hill. Most do have regrets.
In fact, the Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell told "The Hill" newspaper today that he is not going to let the government shutdown again. All of that is happening as budget negotiators actually sat down, first thing this morning to make sure it doesn't happen again.
BASH (voice-over): These bipartisan images and conciliatory words may not be much but they're a start.
SENATOR PATTY MURRAY (D), BUDGET COMMITTEE CHAIRWOMAN: We had a good conversation over breakfast this morning.
REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN (R), BUDGET COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: We want to look for ways to find common grounds to get a budget agreement.
BASH: After a 16-day government shutdown, it is understandable if you're skeptical that the chances for a long term agreement. These are the first official budget negotiations in four years, only forced to start as part of the deal to reopen the government. Still, several House Republicans tell CNN, there is reason for optimism. Ted Cruz may not have regrets over a losing strategy to defund Obamacare, which led to the shutdown but others do.
REPRESENTATIVE TOM COLE (R) BUDGET COMMITTEE: This was the right cause to be fighting for, but probably not the smart fight to pick. And I think we learn some lessons.
BASH: House Speaker John Boehner never thought it was a smart fight, but he stuck with it any way. GOP forces are near unanimous them say Boehner earned new trust among conservatives and new power to negotiate in the future.
COLE: I think they are going to be more willing to listen. He was proven correct and quite frankly, without rubbing anybody's face in it, a lot of other voices were proven to be wrong.
BASH: Tom Cole is not one of those Tea Party-backed voices. He calls him a pragmatic House Republican or as Aaron Shock calls it --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The same caucus.
BASH: Whatever you call them. They do make up the majority of House Republicans and Shock admits, they have to speak up more.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think you will see more of us become much more vocal and not be taken for granted when it comes to always counting on our votes. BASH: But Republicans also say the president has to be willing to give and worries his successful stance in not negotiating over reopening the government and raising the debt ceiling may have taught him to keep digging in and he shouldn't.
REPRESENTATIVE MICK MULVANEY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Bill Clinton was able to engage with Republicans when he was president. If this Democrat president can engage with Republicans in the House, I think there's a chance to make some progress.
BASH: For OUTFRONT, Dana Bash, CNN, Capitol Hill.
BURNETT: Our second story OUTFRONT is, where's the pork? You know every law that comes out of Washington is filled with all kinds of goodies that offend most people with any kind of sensibility, but you'd think last night's deal would have been an exception. After all the dysfunction, wouldn't Congress have some decency?
No. Tom Foreman is in Washington. As always, Congress could not help itself. The 35-page bill to open the government after all this and they put pork in it. Some of the people who put pork in it are the very people who rant and rage against spending.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: After all that wrangling, all these bitter words to shut down, the threat of a default, all of that going on out there. This was the result, a slim document that supposedly met the Democratic demand for a clean continuing resolution meaning legislation to just keep everything running on current budgets.
But there are several surprises that were slipped into the fine print here which add up to billions in what many consider pork. First of all, there is a dam payment in Kentucky, $2.2 billion additional to go to the dam and lock project on the Ohio River there. That's more than triple what it was slated for and supporters say it is worth it because otherwise the project would have to be canceled and the money would be wasted.
Certainly less controversial but also involving water is a section named Colorado authorizing $450 million in spending to help rebuild roads, bridges and other things torn apart by the floods there recently. A few more items, agencies that fight wildfires can count on an additional $636 million.
The agency that oversees the safety of mines will keep an additional $1 million in fees. A watch dog group looking into privacy issues get just over $3 million and the widow of late Senator Frank Lautenberg will get a death benefit equal to a year of his salary.
This is customary. But spending this money, this taxpayer money at this time is raising eyebrows especially among watch dogs because his personal wealth was almost $60 million -- Erin.
BURNETT: That's amazing. A lot of people in Congress gave up some of their salaries during the shutdown and some of them did. They donated, you know, they did do that, Tom, to be fair. But was there compensation addressed?
FOREMAN: Well, it was in a sense. There's one question in this which basically says that next year, they will get no cost of living increase. But I do want to point out. This probably is not going to hurt them a whole lot because they're getting around $174,000 a year or roughly, four times as much as an average American -- Erin.
BURNETT: Right. All right, Tom Foreman, thank you very much. And we should, of course, remind everyone that they haven't worked a single five-day week this year.
Our third story, OUTFRONT, the big Obamacare glitch. By most accounts the roll out of the president's key health care legislation has not gone exactly as planned. Even the president himself has admitted this, but Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is at the center of this and some people are now saying she should be fired. Brian Todd is OUTFRONT.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CONTRIBUTOR, "THE SITUATION ROOM" (voice-over): She's become the face of the Obamacare rollout in all its technical problems and there is increasing pressure on Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to step down. She is the chief target of Republicans including Senator Pat Roberts who is a long time friend of Sebelius' family.
SENATOR PAT ROBERTS (R), KANSAS: Secretary Sebelius has had three and a half years to launch Obamacare and she has failed.
TODD: Roberts is joined by Republican Congressman John Fleming of Louisiana. A long time family practice doctor, Fleming says he'll soon send a letter to President Obama asking him to accept Sebelius' resignation. Fleming says he has gotten other House members to sign it. I present the White House defense of the health care sign-up web site when I spoke to him.
(on camera): It is getting better. Those problems are being streamlined more and more each day. That's what they're saying. Not good enough for you?
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN FLEMING (R), LOUSIANA: Brian, that law was passed almost four years ago. They've had plenty of time to either roll this thing out properly, beta test it, make sure it works, or delay the implementation. They did neither.
TODD: Secretary Sebelius' aide said she was traveling and not available to go on camera. They didn't respond specifically to the calls for her to resign, but did refer to us comments from the White House earlier this week.
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The secretary does have the full confidence of the president.
TODD (voice-over): But President Obama's former press secretary said this. Quote, "I hope they fire some people that were in charge and there are two House committees investigating the web site launch."
A.B. STODDARD, "THE HILL" NEWSPAPER: They will make sure that Obamacare is the story of the day most of the days of the weak for months and months to come.
TODD: Sebelius said this on a tour promoting Obamacare this week.
KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: I'll be the first to tell that you the website launch was rockier than we would have liked.
TODD: And potential customers are still shopping. A company that analyzes web traffic says after the first week online, out of all those who attempted to sign up through federal exchange, just 1 percent ended up enrolling in Obamacare. Administration officials say that's not accurate, but they're still not giving any specific numbers on enrollments. We have to emphasize that company's data is unofficial and it is just a snap shot. It doesn't include state run exchanges. For OUTFRONT, I'm Brian Todd in Washington.
BURNETT: Still to come, the most divisive man in American politics. Did he save or crush the Republican Party? Two congressmen take out their knives in opposite sides of that question.
Plus a man who says he spent ten years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. He may now be proven right. We speak to him inside prison in an OUTFRONT exclusive.
And the outbreak of terror never before seen footage of the deadly mall attack in Kenya.
BURNETT: Our fourth story, OUTFRONT, is never before seen video on the deadly terrorist attack on a mall in Kenya. Just a warning, new surveillance footage obtained by CNN, which I'm going to show you in a moment, is extremely graphic. It's not suitable for children. At least 67 people were killed. Dozens more injured when a group of armed men attack the Westgate Mall in Nairobi. You know that headline and the only way to understand the horror has been from witness accounts until tonight.
Nima Elbagir is OUTFRONT with this special report.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Shoppers at Westgate Mall. This is the scene moments before the al Shabaab attack. Suddenly, men, women and children begin to run for their lives. This man on the floor thought he had found safety. Wounded, he gathers the strength to try and crawl for help. Another gunman returns without mercy.
The security cameras spotted two other attackers making their way to the top parking lot, walking towards the children's cooking competition held there. Just beyond the camera's view, they open fire. This edited silent video obtained by CNN shows what happened during the attack in Nairobi on September 21st.
As the attackers go through the mall, you see people desperate, trying to run and crawl to safety as bullets streak by. A body on the floor gets barely a glance, and another bullet. This is only a fraction of the surveillance video recorded during this day, most of it too horrifying to broadcast.
In the supermarket, the hostage roundup has begun. A mother and her two children push an injured child in a shopping cart. A teenage girl follows her hands in the air. She's bloody. A gunman points the way.
Kenyan authorities say they closely watched the security cameras as the attack was happening. The hostage takers are spotted on the phone. Authorities believe they are receiving instructions from outside the mall.
Here, one of them even appears to look for surveillance cameras. Only four attackers are seen in the video. There are long periods of time where they appear almost relaxed. At one point, the attackers take turns for prayers.
Elsewhere in a mall restaurant, a western man, gun in hand in what appears to be a plain clothed Kenyan police officer take position to try to protect the staff and customers cowering behind the counter. This was just the first day of what would become a four-day nightmare for Kenya. Nima Elbagir, CNN, Nairobi.
BURNETT: Just so our viewers know, the mother you just saw there pushing the cart with children that are with her were released by the terrorists. I just wanted to make sure you knew that when you saw the children in the shot.
The common app, I'm not talking about the iPhone app, but college application that goes back to 1975. It is an application high school students can use to apply one application that you can send to 500 colleges in the United States. You don't have to write all kinds of different essays. Now it is the heat of college application season now, a high stress time.
There were software glitches, I guess like Obamacare, some are joking, but anyway, the common app broke. That is not all that is broken in America's colleges. I recently got an e-mail from my alma matter noting that if you subtract grants from the cost of tuition, only 31 percent of students graduate with student loans, which is great news except it is not a solution.
A solution might be for the top schools in the United States to offer an education people can afford to pay for. Celebrating the fact that grants from taxpayers are filling the gap doesn't add up because running colleges relying on subsidies can distort the cost education, i.e., increase it. That brings me to the number, $64,954, that is the cost of one year at Harvard.
Apparently that is not the full cost. The college president recently told me that tuition at his school is actually only two- thirds of the real of the real cost. So the math is this, one year at the school, formal tuition of $58,900 is a deal because the school is spending $90,000 on your child. His point, even the wealthiest kids are getting a huge break.
If almost no one can afford the top schools in the United States, it is not OK, 60,000 isn't a deal for anyone, and if $90,000 to $100,000 is the real cost, that's not a deal. It's just something that doesn't make any sense for parents, the kids or the country. So let's fix the common app and then let's decide. It's time to fix the higher education system.
Still to come, a developing story, a massive manhunt underway, two convicted murderers released from prison by accident. We have that story.
Plus huge moves at two of America's national security agencies. The fallout from Edward Snowden continues. We've just learn more about the person President Obama has tapped to run homeland security. We'll be back.
BURNETT: Our fifth story, OUTFRONT, convicted murderer or wrongly accused? So for ten years, Ryan Ferguson has been in a maximum security prison for a crime that he says he did not commit. And you say, well, a lot of people say that. But in this case, now an appeals court in Missouri may grant him a new trial and set him free because of two of the state's key witnesses admitted they lied when they testified against him. David Mattingly is OUTFRONT.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ryan Ferguson has been locked up for 10 years for a murder he said he couldn't have committed. As he sits down to talk to me behind bars in a Missouri prison, he can't hide his optimism.
RYAN FERGUSON, CONVICTED MURDERER: Optimism, hope, a little anxiety.
MATTINGLY (on camera): There is a lot on the line for you.
FERGUSON: My whole life.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): Ferguson is days or maybe hours away from an appeals court ruling that could grant him a new trial and possibly freedom. He was convicted in 2005 of killing Columbia "Tribune" sports editor, Kent Heithold, thanks to the testimony of two men who have since admitted that they lied.
(on camera): They lied and you're till in prison.
FERGUSON: I wish I could explain how that works, but it's beyond my comprehension. You cannot use logic. The moment you start to use logic is the moment you drive yourself crazy.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): The biggest problem is the credibility of the man who accused Ferguson in the first place. Charles Erickson, a friend at that time, was describe as a troubled young man who Ferguson's supporters say was manipulated into confessing something he only imagined.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know. I can be completely making assumptions.
MATTINGLY: Erickson was also convicted.
KATHLEEN ZELLNER, FERGUSON'S ATTORNEY: He had no memory of anything happening that night and so his entire recollection was based off police reports that he made a lot of mistakes, even with those.
MATTINGLY: Today there's a "Free Ryan Ferguson" web site, a Facebook page and a change.org petition sign by more than 235,000 calling for a new trial. It's the work of Ferguson's supportive family.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was a witness there that I discovered about two years ago.
MATTINGLY: Ryan's father, Bill Ferguson, has spent years trying to find new evidence. He recently drove cross country, 9,000 miles, in a especially wrapped car calling attention to his son's case.
(on camera): Do you get the feeling that all this work is about to pay off for you?
BILL FERGUSON, FATHER OF CONVICTED MURDERER: I do.
MATTINGLY: What does that mean to you?
BILL FERGUSON: It means after ten years, it is just, a relief to know we're so close to gaining Ryan's freedom.
MATTINGLY: What have you missed the most?
RYAN FERGUSON: I miss my family, most definitely.
MATTINGLY: This could still go either way.
RYAN FERGUSON: Absolutely.
MATTINGLY: Do you allow yourself to think about being free again?
RYAN FERGUSON: I think impossible not to think about it. I have plans. I have dreams. I have goals.
MATTINGLY: What if you lose?
RYAN FERGUSON: Yes. I always try to remain pragmatic, I guess, you could say, and look at, prepare for the worst-case scenario and hope for the best. MATTINGLY (voice-over): Ferguson believes this appeal is his best chance to regain his freedom. If he is denied, he will spend the next 30 years in prison. David Mattingly, CNN, Jefferson City, Missouri.
BURNETT: Still to come, the most talked about politician in America, Ted Cruz, so did he help or crush the GOP? You'll hear what Rush Limbaugh said today.
Plus a massive manhunt underway right now, two convicted murderers on the loose. They were released from prison by accident.
And a crash landing from outer space, we are going to show you the 1,200 pound object that crashed on earth.
BURNETT: Our sixth story, OUTFRONT, Ted Cruz, hero or villain. The Texas senator, the driving force behind the Republican force pushed to tie the government shutdown to Obamacare is not backing town, not at all. As you heard the breaking news at the top of the program from Dana Bash, a Cruz aide tells here says he is not going to rule out another shutdown and there could be another shutdown as soon as January.
Republicans on Capitol Hill are fed up, but in his home state of Texas, the reviews are much different. We went out to find out what people think. Ed Lavandera is OUTFRONT in Dallas.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ted Cruz is either a gallant fighter of conservative values or a disruptive political scoundrel just depends on your point of view.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Honestly I think he is an idiot who is not on the side of the voters and not for Texas.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I like his stance and he doesn't care what anybody thinks and everyone knows where he is coming from and that's refreshing.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Cruz is the most talked about politician in Texas. But when the dust settles, the question is: how will the shutdown and debt ceiling stand-off affect Ted Cruz's popularity in his home state?
BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: People don't know what to do with Ted Cruz, especially those that have been around politics for a long time.
LAVANDERA: Cruz' style and confrontational tactics in the government shutdown fight have alienated some.
"The Houston Chronicle" newspaper endorsed Ted Cruz for senator last year. In a new editorial, the newspaper says he is part of the problem in Washington. The senator who has been in office less than a year is unfazed.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: That was a remarkable victory to see the House engage in a profile in courage.
LAVANDERA: Even that didn't sit well with fellow Republican Congressman Joe Barton of Texas.
REP. JOE BARTON (R), TEXAS: I respect Senator Cruz. He is my junior senator. But I agree with you, this is not a profile in courage.
LAVANDERA: He is controversial. He is brash. Even though Cruz' reputation might be scarred on a national level, veteran political strategists like Mark McKinnon says it only seems to help him with Texas voters.
MARK MCKINNON, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Ted Cruz has a lot of support among hard core Tea Party Republicans and there's a lot of them in Texas. So, he has strong support in Republican primaries, where the really hard-core conservatives come out. So, he is likely to be senator for a long time.
LAVANDERA (on camera): Ted Cruz was elected senator by courting right wing Tea Party voters, being the most conservative candidate on the ballot. And the formula worked. Now, consider this: every Texas Republican in Congress voted against the budget deal to reopen the federal government, just like Ted Cruz.
(voice-over): For many Texas Republican voters like Francisco Gonzalez (ph), Ted Cruz in-your-face style make him popular.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has awakened the people of whether they agree with him or disagree with him, it is conversation that needs to be had.
LAVANDERA: Other Republican voters like Ron Schiff (ph) are seething angry at Cruz.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has done real damage to the country, the economy, our standing internationally and the Republican Party.
LAVANDERA: And an old Texas politician used to say, there is nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos. Ted Cruz doesn't play in the middle of the road.
For OUTFRONT, Ed Lavandera, Dallas.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Well, OUTFRONT tonight, Republican Congressman Michael Grimm from New York. He voted yes last night to stop the shutdown and avoid default.
Also, OUTFRONT, Republican Congressman Ted Yoho from Florida. He voted no.
OK. Great to have both of you.
Congressman Yoho, let me start with you.
Ted Cruz, you think, comes out looking like a winner.
REP. TED YOHO (R), FLORIDA: I think Ted Cruz, you know, he is standing with his convictions and beliefs. And I think any time you get on in front, where you stand on something and you stand for something like that, and engage the American people, I think everybody wins on that.
BURNETT: Everybody wins.
All right. I know, obviously, Representative Grimm is going to disagree. But, Congressman Grimm, Rush Limbaugh weighed in. Let me play that as well.
Here is Mr. Limbaugh.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO HOST: We learned that one guy standing up can stop the status quo in its tracks. Can you imagine in this last fight if we would have had five or 10 Ted Cruzes? Can you imagine the different dynamic? Can you imagine -- if we had five or 10 Ted Cruzes, we'd win a lot of debates. If we had 45 Ted Cruzes in the Senate, we'd come close to winning every vote. (END AUDIO CLIP)
BURNETT: You know, you've got to love Rush. He goes exponential, he went from one to 45, 45 Cruzes. A good idea?
What do you think, Congressman Grimm?
YOHO: I think so. I mean --
REP. MICHAEL GRIMM (R), NEW YORK: I would have to say no. That's not a great idea
BURNETT: And so, you know, you just heard Congressman Yoho, said, look, he's standing with his convictions. Everybody wins. What's your response?
GRIMMS: It's -- unfortunately, the principles and the convictions may be correct, but you have to have some tactics and you also have to have some respect for the fact that this is a big party. And it's a party that I think there is a lot of Reagan conservatives, which is what I consider myself, that are known for standing for our true values, but also being pragmatic and reasonable, and working with others to come to a solution.
I think, look, I think Obamacare is bad policy. I agree with my colleagues there. But I think shutting down government is bad policy. And not, the full faith and credit, damaging the full faith and credit of the United States is very dangerous policy.
So, the truth of the matter is, during this, we crowded out the true message which is the launch of Obamacare was a disaster. We didn't hear as much about that because we heard about the shutdown. And all the federal employees, all those who work for contracts that are getting contracts from the government, none of those people were working and they got hurt really bad in this.
So, I would say there were no winners. I think the House looks bad. The Senate looks bad, and the president for not leading. All look bad. That's not good for America.
BURNETT: Congressman Yoho, what's your response to that? What about what Ted Cruz just -- his staffer just said to our Dana Bash at the top of the show, that he not ruling out the government again? How is that everyone winning?
YOHO: Well, nobody wanted the government to shut down, Erin. You know, Michael and I, we border each, other our offices are next to each other. But when you get the American people engaged is what it's going to solve this problem.
We got send up there. I got sent up from a very conservative district that says, we have got to -- they wanted us to defund the Affordable Care Act. So we put that in. We negotiated that Senate four different times. We didn't want to shutdown. We had four different packages to renegotiate with the Senate.
The last one was a C.R. and a call to go to the negotiation tables, so that we could resolve these problems. In addition, we put a one-year delay for the individual mandate, the same delay that President Obama gave to over 1,600 special interest groups. He gave it to big business. He gave it to unions. We were trying to do the fair thing.
So, Ted Cruz is standing on a platform saying, this is something we have to address. It is not going away. We're at $17 trillion. If we don't address it today, when are we going to address it?
BURNETT: And, Congressman Yoho, all that may be true. But what the "my way or the highway" sort of attitude seems to be what the problem is. I mean, if Ted Cruz is going to do that, you're not going to get anywhere in politics. You've been in politics, right? You don't get anywhere with that attitude.
YOHO: I agree with you that "my way or the highway", that's exactly what we saw coming out of the Senate. Again, we sent four different packages that we renegotiated, went from a full defund down to just a one-year delay for the individual mandate. And the Senate and Harry Reid and President Obama said absolutely not. No negotiation.
We were trying to get him to the table. We had the funding in there to keep the government open.
So, I agree with you. My way or the highway doesn't work. The president and Harry Reid proved that.
BURNETT: Congressman Grimm, quickly before we go, what are you going to do about Ted Cruz? He's going to be here again in three months. I mean, are you going to stand up this time and say, "Hey, buddy, shut it" or no?
GRIMM: Well, this is what I think -- you know, my message, and I'm very fortunate to have a veterinarian, my colleague, Mr. Yoho, next to me. I have a little dog. If anything goes wrong, I want to stay on Mr. Yoho's good side.
But here's a reality. It took a super majority to create Obamacare. So, when we say defund, repeal, it's going to take a supermajority to that. So, I agree with my colleagues that we should try to defund or repeal. We do that by winning more elections, winning the presidency and winning the Senate. That's how we defund Obamacare.
So until then, we can nibble around the edges but we should be focused on is the growing debt. That's a crisis that could really destroy our country.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. Appreciate both of you taking the time.
And our seventh story, the two convict killers released from prison by mistake. A massive manhunt underway in Florida for Charles Walker and Joseph Jenkins. Both were serving life sentences for murder and they were accidentally released from prison. That's the terrifying indictment.
The question is, how could this have happened?
And John Zarrella went to find out.
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Roscoe Pugh III was only 9 years old when he saw his father gun down during a home invasion robbery.
ROSCOE PUGH, III, MURDER VICTIM'S SON: Our lives would be totally different. I've said that since I was 9 years old, since I was 9 years old, I said my life would have been different if I wouldn't have saw it. I saw it.
ZARRELLA: Now, 15 years later, Roscoe is reliving the nightmare. On September 27th, this man, Joseph Jenkins, serving life for the murder of Roscoe's dad, was mistakenly released from a prison in Franklin County in the Florida Panhandle.
For Roscoe's mom, it is impossible to comprehend.
CRYSTAL PUGH, MURDER VICTIM'S WIDOW: It seems like my whole world came down on me. I thought I would not have to see them ever again in life because they had life sentence plus 100 years. ZARRELLA: But the story doesn't stop there. A week and a half after Jenkins was released, another convicted murder, Charles Walker, was accidentally set free from the same prison.
How is it possible?
Forged document sent to the prison ordered the releases. And on both of them, the fake signature of Orange County Judge Belvin Perry.
JUDGE BELVIN PERRY, ORANGE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT: To be filed with this court.
ZARRELLA: Because he's a high profile court, Perry says he sees how it's possible no one would question it. And he is not entirely surprised.
PERRY: People, particularly people with criminal minds, come up with ingenious ways to beat the system. They have nothing but time on their hands, to think of things.
ZARRELLA: The Florida Department of Law Enforcement was only notified of the mistake a couple days ago. Corrections officials say they followed department policy and procedures.
MISTY CASH, FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS SPOKESWOMAN: Those inmates were released based on those court orders that we received. The orders were later determined to be fraudulent.
ZARRELLA: It's a snafu that has the Pugh family living in fear.
C. PUGH: And now to have to know that he's free on the streets, it's frightening, it's terrifying.
ZARRELLA: So how did authorities actually find out? Well, the family of one of the victims called the state attorney's office and said, hey, how come this guy is out of prison? The state attorney's office then calls the Department of Corrections and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to inform them.
So, how did the family find out? It is not uncommon for families of victims of crimes to be notified when the perpetrator is released from prison. And the reason we're here at the Orange County Sheriff's Office, Erin, is because the authorities believe at least one of the men may be in this area.
BURNETT: Wow! All right. Thank you very much. Obviously the huge question as to how this could happen and will they be found?
John Zarrella will be staying on that.
Still to come, the latest from a story we've been following all week. A 14-year-old girl says she was raped by an older student, but charges. After the prosecutor saw her on this program, he has reopened the case. And an amazing discovery in Russia.
BURNETT: We're back with tonight's "Outer Circle".
And we go to Russia tonight where divers successfully pulled a 1,200 pound, five-foot wide part of a meteorite out of a lake. It's part of the meteor that flashed across the Russian sky eight months ago.
I asked Phil Blake how they found it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Erin, the meteor punched a huge hole in the surface of the Lake Chebarkul after tearing through sky over Siberia back in February. So, scientists have to wait for the ice to melt before they could launch a full scale search underwater. This is what they eventually found. It is the biggest piece recovered so far.
It was dragged from the lake in a carefully planned operation, broadcast live on Russian television. They tried to weigh it but it broke the scales. Then the fragment broke into three smaller pieces. Together they weigh more than 1,200 pounds. That's only a fraction of what it is believed it was when it first hit the atmosphere, creating a series of sonic boom, shattering glass and injuring more than 1,500 people across the region -- Erin.
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BURNETT: Thank you very much, Phil. And, of course, the shocker still remains: we had absolutely no warning of that coming.
Our eighth story OUTFRONT is fresh eyes on the Missouri rape case. A county prosecutor has asked to point a special prosecutor to take a look at allegations that a popular high school football player raped a 14-year-old girl last year. This happened after saw an interview this week no program.
George Howell is OUTFRONT.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a topic most people here don't like talking about publicly. But nearly everyone has a strong opinion about it. The alleged sexual assault of two girls, ages 13 and 14 at the time, by a senior football player and one of his friends. The case closed not more than two years ago until now. A special prosecutor will be pointed as early as next week to review the facts and determine whether to refile charges.
Jeffrey Price, who grew up in Maryville, Missouri, says it is about time. JEFFREY PRICE, MARYVILLE, MISSOURI RESIDENT: I think it is a great thing. I think that Matt Barnett got off scot-free because of his family.
HOWELL: Matt Barnett was accused by Daisy Coleman of raping her and leaving her to die outside her house. Coleman and her mother Melinda accused the prosecutor of dropping felony charges Barnett because he is from a prominent political family.
Maryville resident Kyle Ponder says the allegations from both sides have divided his town.
KYLE PONDER, MARYVILLE, MISSOURI RESIDENT: Half the town is for the girl and the other half is for the boys.
HOWELL: It comes down to one key question. Why was the case closed in the first place?
Prosecutor Robert Price tells CNN, neither Daisy nor her mother wanted to testify at the time.
ROBERT PRICE, PROSECUTOR: The witnesses never told me, or came up and contacted me to tell me they had changed their mind after the moment that they invoked their Fifth Amendment right in a deposition under oath.
HOWELL (on camera): You know, they say they didn't do that. But --
PRICE: I understand what they say. We've got a deposition under oath. And the reason why we did the deposition under oath is because I had a feeling that this could be an issue later on and I wanted to document the file.
HOWELL (voice-over): Rice says it wasn't until he heard the teen's interview on CNN's OUTFRONT that he decided to have a special prosecutor step in.
Barnett is not speaking publicly, but his attorney says his client admits there was a sexual encounter but claims it was consensual.
Barnett's grandfather, a former state representative, rejects any claims that his grandson was given special treatment.
REX BARNETT, SUSPECT'S GRANDFATHER: I knew because as long as I've been in politics and law enforcement, I knew that if this thing dragged on very long, I would be pulled into it somewhere or other just for political reasons. So, I made a point not to talk to the prosecuting attorney, to the sheriff, to any of the witnesses directly or indirectly, and I stuck to that.
HOWELL: So, here's what we expect to happen next. We understand that Judge Glen Dietrich has been asked to appoint the special prosecutor to this case, but as far as the timeline, I asked the prosecutor here about that, but, Erin, he was unable to elaborate, or did not, I should say, elaborate on exactly when that will happen.
BURNETT: Thank you, George Howell, reporting from Maryville tonight.
I want to bring in Daisy Coleman now and her mother Melinda.
As you know, they have been with us on OUTFRONT the past nights and I'm glad to have both of you back again.
And, Daisy and Melinda, the county prosecutor made this announcement after you talked about the fact you wanted to testify, that you wanted to have an answer.
What's your reaction to that decision, that this case is reopened?
DAISY COLEMAN, CLAIMS SHE WAS RAPED BY SENIOR AT HER HIGH SCHOOL: I am very grateful it has been reopened, that it is being reviewed again, and I'm very grateful to all of my supporters for helping that happen.
BURNETT: And, Melinda, how do you feel?
MELINDA COLEMAN, CLAIMS DAUGHTER WAS RAPED BY CLASSMATE: Oh, I think it's really good, too. I'm really happy they will listen to it objectively.
BURNETT: And let me ask you Melinda, have you or your attorney been in touch with the prosecutors' office since the announcement about this special prosecutor, and how do you plan to move forward? I know, as you heard George Howell reporting, there's some questions still on the timing?
M. COLEMAN: Yes, absolutely and I have those recordings that show that -- when they asked us to plea the Fifth, that was well after all the felony charges were dropped. The felony charges were dropped March 13th. They didn't approach us about pleading the Fifth until the misdemeanor charge, the one misdemeanor charge that was left, and that was the end of May, first of June.
BURNETT: Right, so let me --
M. COLEMAN: So that is confused.
BURNETT: That is -- and I know that really is the heart of this -- of this agreement that you have with the prosecutor on what happened, and obviously, he was asked why he dropped those felony charges and said the corporation wasn't there. You know, when it came to working with you and Daisy, when he was pressed on this about whether he took the Fifth before or after those felony charges were dropped.
Here's exactly what he said. I wanted to play it for you.
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PRICE: When I asked them are you invoking the Fifth Amendment, you understand that the entire case will be dismissed, they said they understood, that they were giving the statement voluntarily, that no one was threatening them or forcing them to plead the Fifth, when they otherwise wouldn't.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Melinda, what do you say to him what you hear that? Obviously that directly contradicts what you're saying.
M. COLEMAN: Yes. Well, fortunately, some things like this had happened so I started carrying a digital recorder in my pocket all the time, and I actually record that conversation. So that conversation happened the end of May, and it was on for the misdemeanor, and they did come to us and say that since it was going to be pretty much like a traffic ticket, that maybe we shouldn't put the girls through it. And, you know, at that point Daisy had just been in the hospital again. She had been suicidal.
So, initially, it seemed like a good plan at the end of May. After I thought about it, I decided I didn't want to do it, so I went back the next day and did talk to them about it and we actually did do the deposition for even the misdemeanor. So that's just simply not true.
We had done everything up to the point. We had the rape kit done. We went to the doctors, had the physical done.
M. COLEMAN: We had the blood alcohol level done.
M. COLEMAN: And gave testimonies.
BURNETT: And, Daisy, you know, your mom is talking about -- how horrible this was for you and, you know, I know it's hard to talk about this but the suicide feelings that you had, that you attempted. When people say why did this take so long for you to come forward now, that this happened in January of last year, is that why? I mean, I wanted to give you a chance to explain why.
D. COLEMAN: It's not that we're just not coming forward. It's just that we're now getting noticed by the whole country and by the whole world, in fact. We never gave up fighting. We always continued to fight.
BURNETT: All right. And you're going to keep --
M. COLEMAN: That's true. We collected all the evidence.
BURNETT: All right. Well I know you're going to keep fighting -- M. COLEMAN: But this is the first time someone listened.
BURNETT: And we're going to keep covering this story and I appreciate you both taking the time. Good to see you.
D. COLEMAN: Thank you.
M. COLEMAN: We appreciate it.
BURNETT: OUTFRONT next, we'll be talking about a big "I.D.E.A."
BURNETT (voice-over): It's a bird. It's a plane. It's a Transition?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We flew, yes.
BURNETT: Traditional cars are in for some serious competition come 2015.
The Terrafugia Transition, literally a flying car. To be fair, it's closer to a plane that drives than a car that flies.
Carl Dietrich, Terrafugia's cofounder and CEO, got the idea for his flying car while he was studying at MIT.
CARL DIETRICH, CO-FOUNDER & CEO, TERRAFUGIA: The Transition is the evolution of a lot of years of thinking and, you know, dreaming about things like this, and it started long before me.
BURNETT: Way before.
Glenn Curtiss, the chief rival of the Wright Brothers, designed the first flying car in 1918. But his bulky, three-wing Curtiss auto plane could only hop, so it flopped.
But what was once the stuff of fiction is now reality. If you have $279,000 lying around and at least 20 hours of flying time under your belt -- the standard needed to pilot a light aircraft this -- this flying car can be yours.
The Transition is essentially a small plane designed to be road worthy. Push a button and the wings pull up, allowing the pilot to drive it like a car. It even runs on regular unleaded gasoline.
DIETRICH: It definitely gets a lot of attention. When you're driving this on public roads or we had it at a gas station yesterday filling up. And, you know, people definitely stare a little bit. It's -- I would say it's better than having a super sports car. I mean, because this one really does fly. So --
BURNETT: But is it safe? Dietrich says it is. The flying car can travel at a speed of about 115 miles an hour with a range of about 450 miles in the air, similar to a small plane.
DIETRICH: The Transition is kind of a symbol of what we can accomplish in that these things are totally technically achievable.
BURNETT: Pretty darn neat. Thanks for watching.
Anderson Cooper starts now.