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Sebelius Fighting for Job; Kennedy Cousin Skakel Asks to Get Out of Jail; More Information on Miriam Carey; Targeting the Disturbed; Racist Comments May Have Cost N.C. GOP Leader Job.

Aired October 25, 2013 - 11:30   ET


ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you for your insights. We appreciate it.


BANFIELD: Professors, both of them.


You can read the Ramsey documents yourself. If you would like to, go to And as you read them, remember, the 2006 DNA cleared them.

Back right after this.


BANFIELD: Just a day after a testy blame game over the debacle of Obamacare's website, more Democratic lawmakers -- and I said Democratic, it was not a typo -- Democratic lawmakers are demanding an extension of the enrollment dates beyond the March 31st date that's set in stone right now of next year. All of this as calls are growing on for health secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, to resign over the problems associated with the website.

This hour, Secretary Sebelius is pushing back against those called in enemy territory, the home state of the Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz. That's where she is and has been for two days. This is, of course, Ted Cruz, one of the biggest critics of Obamacare.

Joe Johns is live in Washington, D.C., with the latest.

I know that was this daily briefing, was part of the issue that the White House thought might help in terms of fighting against these messages and maybe information the public of things they might not know about Obamacare. But Texas? Texas, of all places? I suppose this was necessary?

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: I think it's safe to say that the administration has decided it's going to be very aggressive about message at this stage. And Texas is one of the places you just have to go. Non-Medicare state and all. Still, there's a message for this administration to take there. And you're right, CMS, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and especially the secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, have had a very rough week. But at least so far the secretary, for her part, isn't backing down while Congress is calling for heads to roll. She is visiting Austin. Also, in San Antonio today. She was in Arizona last night. She's really the face of this controversy. And was defiant on Thursday as 32 Republican lawmakers said they signed a letter calling for her to step down. Listen.


KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: The majority of people calling for me to resign I would say are people who I don't work for and who do not want this program to work in the first place. My role is to get the program up and running, and we will do just that.


JOHNS: She's scheduled to testify on the Hill next week. Meanwhile, Ashleigh, as you said at the top, more Democrats are signing on to an effort to extend the enrollment date for Obamacare. A total of nine Democratic Senators now calling for that, including Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, Kay Hagen of North Carolina. New Hampshire Senator Jean Shaheen is the one who has been leading this effort to try to keep the mandate in place. But she and several others say they want the deadline to have the insurance extended past the end of next March -- Ashleigh?

BANFIELD: Joe Johns live for us in Washington. Thank you for that.

And joining me now to talk more about Kathleen Sebelius' problems and maybe the wider problems plaguing Obamacare and the website, or maybe not, believe it or not, Sally Kohn, who is a television commentator, and a columnist herself who has signed up for Obamacare, writes about it and says, "Leave Obamacare alone in Brittany fashion; and also CNN's political commentator, Will Cain, also a columnist for "The Blaze."

I'm attempted to just step aside and say discuss.


But I'm not going to because we would never get out of this segment alive. What I do want to say is this: You took to the pen and paper and said, for god's sake, let's be patient. Is that in the Medicare vein? Because that was a disaster, too. And it turned out it worked out pretty well.

SALLY KOHN, POLITICAL STRATEGIST & COLUMNIST: Well, also not just Medicare -- much more recently. 2006, Medicare Part D, which Republicans -- which is a Republican program, the implementation was horrible. It was John Boehner -- I'm paraphrasing here -- who said something like it's a really good law, it's going to make the market work better, it's going to provide better care for people, the implementation is bad and we have to fix it. Republicans were much more patient. And by the way, the Democrats also helped with the implementation of that law rather than sabotaging it. This time now everybody is sort of -- the sky is falling about a website.


BANFIELD: But it feels like the sky is falling.

And you had someone on Capitol Hill yesterday saying, 2000 of my employees can access databases of information. And I don't care if it wasn't HIPAA based information, but it was name, addresses. I don't want my name and address going out to one of those 2000 contractors. Isn't it fair? And I'll leave it up to you because I know you have plenty of fodder. Are you taking it too far, Will?

WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR & COLUMNIST, THE BLAZE: No. We're not taking it far at all. This is a mono-party problem right now. The Republicans don't need to be the megaphone to announce the problems of Obamacare. The American people are experiencing it for themselves right now.

BANFIELD: But you are megaphones. Like, you're megaphoning all over the place.

CAIN: Yeah.

BANFIELD: Sometimes a little too much because there is the fear that people are going to be too scared to use it.

CAIN: I agree with that to some extent. I don't know that Republicans need to take ownership of propelling this message into the public discourse. It will do it on its own. I want people to see the problems with this program that have nothing to go with Republicans. It's a problem among Democrats and within this program.


BANFIELD: Isn't it fair that everything should have constructive criticism? Everything our government does should have instructive criticism and --

KOHN: All in favor.

BANFIELD: - dang there's some construction needed here.

KOHN: Yeah. But the president -- I don't think he always handle his messaging as president right. But he was right about one thing, the website is not the program. So you'll notice what Will just did there. He tried to make this clever move from the website having the glitches to the whole program is bad. The program is already helping millions of American who can stay on their --


BANFIELD: Bloomberg. Big report. I'm just going to read the headlines. "Thousands of consumers getting insurance cancellations notices -- CAIN: Yes.

BANFIELD: -- due to health care law changes." That's not website based. That's --


BANFIELD: -- provider thing, or rather a health plan thing is not working for us.


CAIN: I didn't pull a trick. What I did is focus in the appropriate place.

I agree with you. The website isn't the focus. The program is the focus.

Here's the deal. When we say a year from now we're going to have a program that extended health access to more people and, therefore, we'll judge it upon that. That's like a child-like focus upon your goals a year from now.


The problem is you have to weigh the costs.

Ashleigh, you pointed out one cost. OK, we increased access to some people. But others have dropped it. Health insurance companies have dropped coverage. But the true cost, the true cost could be the private insurance industry. If you delay the mandate, if they are successful in delaying the mandate, what you have create is an insurance system where you have extended the people with preexisting conditions but aren't mandating healthy people in. How does that work? How do insurance companies keep from hemorrhaging money? It isn't. They won't. That will bankrupt the industry.


BANFIELD: That extends the mandate --


KOHN: They don't want it to work.


KOHN: This is why Republican credibility on this is really problematic. Now they're crying from the rooftops that people can't get access to a law that they wanted to sabotage in the first place.

Look, it's early. We are 20ish days into it. We have a long time for this to take effect. Most of the pieces won't take affect for another year. Republicans are already saying that this is affecting employer- based coverage when 95 percent of the Americans already have employer- based coverage and that part of law doesn't take effect for another year. The sort of misinformation and fear spreading about this is getting in the way of actually implementing the law and --


CAIN: It's fascinating when we can focus on Republicans when this program is falling apart beneath us.

BANFIELD: We set up a conference room over there --


-- and we catered it to the two of you. And you're going to --

CAIN: How much time you we have?


BANFIELD: Sally Kohn and Will Cain, thank you both for coming in. Have a lovely weekend.

CAIN: You bet.

KOHN: You, too.

BANFIELD: Just ahead, the man known more for his family name learns that he, in fact, might get a brand new trial. Michael Skakel, part of the Kennedy clan, could be walking out on the street after 12 years behind bars, and it could be within days. Is it really going to happen? Coming up next.


BANFIELD: Michael Skakel, after spending 12 years behind bars, is asking a judge to let him out of jail while he awaits a possible new trial. He has been behind bars for 12 years because of that 1975 murder of Martha Moxley. It took 27 years to put anyone behind bars for that case. It was a cold case before his trial began. And now, because of ineffective assistance of counsel, the way effectively his lawyer lawyered his case, he's now going to have that conviction overturned. It's gone. The defense team has asked for a bail to be set no more than $500,000. They're saying that he's not a danger to the community. But what are the odds that he's coming out and what are the odds that he's never going back behind bars?

Richard Meehan is a civil and criminal trial lawyer, also represented Skakel's cousin, who was with Michael Skakel and Martha Moxley the night of the murder.

First and foremost, the status of the bail. The application was made yesterday. How soon is it possible he could be walking out of prison?

RICHARD MEEHAN, CIVIL & CRIMINAL TRIAL ATTORNEY: Judge Bishop has set Monday as the deadline for the submission of briefs on the question of whether or not he has the lawful authority to allow bail. The state's attorney is arguing, no, there's no right to bail under these circumstances. But the right to bail in Connecticut on appeal goes back to the latter part of the 18th century. The issue here though, because it's a little different. There's been a conviction. Albeit, Judge Bishop has ruled that that should be overturned. But once the state asks for certification to appeal the conviction, it stays the proceeding.

BANFIELD: Let me ask you this. I talked to the prosecutor right after this happened. This is devastating news for a prosecutor who fought -- a team that worked hard to put this man away -- having to deal with it all over again. They want to fight this decision to start with. They don't have to retry him. They want to fight this decision. What are the odds that this decision to do away with his trial conviction could be reversed itself?


BANFIELD: -- could be reinstated?

MEEHAN: I would tell you the odds are very slight that this won't be upheld. First of all, Judge Bishop has retired as an appellate court judge. The opinion, 136 pages, is an extremely scholarly, well- reasoned opinion. The facts that he finds cannot be set aside. The standard for review on his factual findings is clearly erroneous. The issue becomes one of three major constitutional deficiencies he found with respect to Attorney Sherman. Are those sufficient to create the prejudice? That is, there is a probability there would have been a different outcome. And I think that --

BANFIELD: So you're saying this appears unlikely, then it's a matter of retrying this case, which is real tricky?

MEEHAN: That's right.

BANFIELD: And make it real quick. I've got 10 seconds only.

MEEHAN: It's actually a question of whether they will retry the case, Ashleigh, because they might not --

BANFIELD: They may not?

MEEHAN: -- be able to.

BANFIELD: Richard Meehan, keep us posted on what you hear and all your sources in Connecticut when they let you know whether there is going to be a case or not ultimately.

It's nice to see you.

MEEHAN: You, too, Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: So many years after court TV.


Thank you.

We're going to be right back after this break.


BANFIELD: We're finding out more today about Miriam Carey, the woman who rammed her car into the barriers on Capitol Hill and then was killed by police officers after a high-speed car chase. Now there are some newly released 911 tapes revealing four different incidents recently that involved Miriam Carey. They show she had been acting erratically before.

I want you to listen to this. The first call, Miriam Carey and a 911 dispatcher, and in the second one, Carey's concerned boyfriend.


911 OPERATOR: 911 Sanford. Where is your emergency?

MIRIAM CAREY, SHOT BY POLICE IN HIGH-SPEED CHASE: Yes, I have some people prowling outside of my window. They've been prowling outside of my window for --all day.

911 OPERATOR: They're what outside your window?

CAREY: People --

911 OPERATOR: Loitering or --

CAREY: Loitering and actually trying to videotape me from my window.



MIRIAM CAREY'S BOYFRIEND: Miriam, she's outside now with the baby without any coat or anything. And she's just like physically -- I definitely need to take her somewhere to get some help.


BANFIELD: So this is just a fact. And it is a distressing fact. But emotionally disturbed people do end up being shot by law enforcement. We've seen episodes of this.

Think about the question. What would you do if a loved one of yours was acting strangely and needed some help? On the one hand, that person needs to be protected. But on the other hand, so does the public, right?

Our Rosa Flores spoke with one woman who made a very difficult decision and it was a decision that cost her husband his life.



ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Elsa Cruz was worried when her husband, Samuel, suddenly kicked her out of their apartment for no apparent reason. He's a bipolar schizophrenic so she called 911.

CRUZ: He died in his own apartment.

FLORES: She thought she was calling for an ambulance but instead they sent the police.

CRUZ: Bang, that's it. I shouted, what happened? Did you hurt him? Never answered me.

FLORES: Police in New Rochelle, New York, say Samuel lunged at them with a knife. They determined he was a danger to himself or others, an EDP, an emotionally disturbed person.

PATRICK CARROLL, COMMISSIONER, NEW ROCHELLE POLICE DEPARTMENT: He had a record of possible violence. It was a good shooting. In other words, the officers were justified in using deadly physical force.

FLORES: Where is the line between helping and hurting? Police try to answer the question all the time. About 25 percent of Americans have some form of mental illness.

Miriam Carey was shot dead by D.C. law enforcement.

AMY CAREY-JONES, SISTER OF MIRIAM CAREY: She had a baby and she did suffer from post-partum depression with psychosis.

FLORES: She rammed her car into barricades at the White House with her 1-year-old in the back seat.

CAREY-JONES: They felt there was some particular threat. Miriam was not firing any shots. There were no weapons. So we're still very confused as to why he's not alive.


FLORES: New York City's police say it responds to about 100,000 EDP calls a year.

HAWA BAH, MOHAMAD BAH'S MOTHER: He said he would be OK. He said just go away.

FLORES: Hawa Bah made one of those calls.

BAH: I told the people, i said my son's sick. I want an ambulance to take him to the hospital.

FLORES: She was in New York from Guinea, visiting her son, Mohamad. He had no known history of mental illness, but she said he appeared depressed.

(on camera): So there were a lot of odd things that you started noticing?

BAH: Yeah, i noticed something like that and the house was not clean as usual before.

FLORES (voice-over): Police kept her outside.

RANDY MCLAUGHLIN, NEWMAN FERRARA LLP: This is where they forced the door open. You can see where the metal is bent.

FLORES: Police say Bah charged at them, naked, with a knife. They tased him, shot bean bags at him and then fired fatal bullets, all while his mother promised to step in to mediate.

CARROLL: We don't know the dynamics involved with family members, and if we can't confirm that, then we won't do it.

FLORES: During his 28 years with NYPD, Patrick Carroll commanded the Emergency Service Unit that often responds to EDP calls, and is now chief of the New Rochelle Police Department whose officers fatally shot Samuel Cruz.

CARROLL: In 20 years, police officers in this department have only fired guns twice and this was one.

FLORES (on camera): What would you tell another mother who has a sick.

BAH: If you ask me today, i can tell them, don't call ambulance.


BANFIELD: That was CNN's Rosa Flores reporting.

Coming up next, a Republican leader in North Carolina actually called a group of people "lazy blacks." Also happened to say in a TV interview the "N" word, and not just once. What do you think happened to him? You're going to find out right after the break.


BANFIELD: Some racist comments may have cost a Republican leader in North Carolina his job. Guy named Don Yelton was interviewed by "The Daily Show" and his words about North Carolina's new voter I.D. law, they are angering a lot of people. Have a listen.


DON YELTON, FORMER BUNCOMBE COUNTY GOP EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: If it hurts a bunch of college kids that's too lazy get up off their buhonkers and go get a photo I.D., so be it.


YELTON: If it hurts the whites, so be it. If it hurts a bunch of lazy blacks that wants the government to give them everything, so be it.


BANFIELD: So Don Yelton has resigned his position as the executive GOP Republican Committee chairman for his county. That happened Thursday. He was interviewed about North Carolina's new law after the Supreme Court struck down part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. He responded on the radio saying that he's not a racist, but that "The Daily Show" tried to create, quote, "an illusion about him." Have a look.


YELTON: I've talked with the state chairman who said the state was going to put out a statement asking me to step down.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Why do you think that is?

YELTON: Because they're a bunch of chickens.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Maybe it's because they're embarrassed.

YELTON: No, look, look --


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Maybe it's because they're embarrassed by what you said.


YELTON: Let them get embarrassed. Too bad. I'm embarrassed by the fact they don't stand up and fight for what's right.


BANFIELD: OK, Mr. Yelton, I'm going to stand up and fight for what's right. Because in September, on your Facebook page, you called me a loud-mouthed bitch. Can we please, as politicians, as human beings, tone it down? Come on.

Thanks for watching, everybody. Stay tuned. AROUND THE WORLD is coming up next. And have yourself a lovely weekend.