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Pence Plane Skids Off New York Runway, No Injuries; Trump Speaks in Ohio; New Polls Show Race Tightening in Key States; Michelle Obama Fires Up NC Crowd for Hillary Clinton. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired October 27, 2016 - 20:00   ET


[20:00:06] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. We begin tonight with breaking news.

A plane carrying vice presidential nominee Mike Pence has skidded off the runway at New York's LaGuardia Airport. This is video of the evacuation itself. It happened on landing on a very rainy night here.

CNN aviation analyst and airline captain, Les Abend, is on the phone with us to explain what we're seeing.

Les, explain, A, how this happens and what you think happened.

LES ABEND, CNN AVIATION ANALYST (via telephone): Hi, Anderson. I'm just looking at the weather report here and, you know, this is -- we had a pretty unusual event as most of us know in the northeast with regard to the snow and the temperatures being pretty low and the runway appears to be wet.

You know, it appears to be a hydroplaning event on landing more than likely. Landing on runway four. LaGuardia is not a very long runway, you know? So, you've got to be really precise and right on things.

It looks to me like there was a major attempt to obviously stop the airplane. And anti-skid system on board that aircraft would have kicked in and kept the wheels from locking up. You know, the important thing is that it appears that nobody was hurt at this point. But --

COOPER: Les, I want to go to Liz Landers who was on the plane. She's joining us now on the phone.

Liz, explain what you felt. What do you know?

ELIZABETH LANDERS, CNN PRODUCER (via telephone): Sure. Hey, Anderson.

So, we had a ground hold in Iowa today. We knew there was some bad weather coming into LaGuardia today. We experienced turbulence coming in and when we landed here, we had a pretty hard landing and then felt the back of the plane starts fish-tails and you could feel the plane do things in a way that wasn't straight on the run way like a normal landing would go. The plane continues to proceed down the runway in that way -- sorry

I'm being moved on the tarmac right now. And then we came to a very, very, sort of quick and harsh halt there on the runway.

And everyone is fine on the airplane. There are no injuries. Governor Pence and his staff are fine. And there are a lot of rescue crews here. I'm not sure if you are seeing the pool shoot.

COOPER: Yes, we are.

LANDERS: There appears to be -- yes, there appear to be police and fire rescue here. And there is significant damage to the runway here as well. It looks like you can see divots where the wheels of the plane dug into the runway and damaged the runway. They are going to have to do reconstruction for this part of e runway. So, we just deplane off the back of the airplane and everyone is fine but definitely a little rattled.

COOPER: Liz, how long from the moment you touched down and started to feel the tail of the aircraft moving oddly? How long did it last for until you came to a complete stop?

LANDERS: It was probably 20 or 30 seconds. It wasn't that long. But it was long enough to feel that this is not a straight, smooth landing on the runway. And judging by what I'm seeing here on the runway, which is it looks like cement that's been torn up by the wheels of the plane, you can see that the wheels and the plane moved off the runway before we slammed to a halt.

COOPER: And just to be clear no injuries from anyone that you know of on the plane.

LANDERS: Correct. Yes, absolutely no injuries and in fact, Governor Pence immediately came back once it was fully stopped and made sure that everybody, including the press was okay. And he said that he saw mud on his window up at the front of the airplane. So, at that point, we could definitely tell we were off the runway. We weren't exactly sure in the back what we were seeing out the windows. And so he came back and said that he saw that we were you have to runway.

COOPER: So, the plane itself to your understanding stopped off the side of a runway in grass or in mud.

LANDERS: Yes. Exactly. The plane is off the runway, yes.

COOPER: Do you know how far off the runway it is?

LANDERS: Let me look. We're still here. We're getting moved out of the area.

COOPER: If you've go to leave, you've got to leave. Don't worry about it.

LANDERS: The plane is in the grass. One of the wheels is fully in the grass. Let me see -- yes, one of the wheels is completely in -- actually the entire plane is on the grass, not the tarmac here in LaGuardia.


I want to bring in Les Abend.

Liz, I think you've got to be moved, so I totally understand it. Stay on the phone if you can, but if you can't, you've got to go.

Les, I mean, from everything Liz is telling you, how unusual is this? I mean, I can't remember the last time I saw a plane do this at LaGuardia?

[20:05:04] ABEND: No, I this is -- I mean, it's an unusual situation but we did have an unusual weather event today, Anderson, with reference to what the runway surface would be like. It's a very slippery surface, because the temperature is so close to freezing.

And, you know, it looks to me. I -- you know, I'm getting the information as quickly as you are. And I'm trying to determine which runway they -- I'm just trying to get myself oriented just by looking at the pictures. But, you know, it is possible that in addition to the slippery runway, that there was a tail wind situation which makes the airplane very difficult to stop.

So, they do have reverse thrust. The reverse thrust we probably used in excess. You know, reverse thrust is used on most planes, but it appears to -- that they went into a skid situation that took them off the runway just looking at the pictures.

COOPER: Les this, may be a dumb question but having flown into LaGuardia throughout my life, there is water all around and in some -- it seems like at least to my memory in some of the landings, you are flying over water in the last minute when the runway is right there, right?

ABEND: Yes, you are referring to landing in runway two to the southwest. You land on part of the bay. As a matter of fact, as you land, you know, Rikers Island is on the right-hand side.


ABEND: But that is hard for me to tell if that was the runway they were landing on. That is not really a factor. The surface beneath the wings makes no real difference. It's the surface beneath the wheels that makes the difference, you know, in the cockpit, we would be judging what type of situation that we have. We might have got breaking action reports.

There were probably good breaking action reports so why this happened. You know, at this point it is hard to say. It's possible it could have been a mechanical failure, Anderson, with a reverse thrust not being deployed appropriately and giving an asymmetrical thrust which would have forced it off the runway possibly. It's hard to say at this point.

COOPER: We don't need to speculate in that regard. We're certainly just glad everyone is okay.

We're getting word Donald Trump has called Governor Pence and has expressed relief that everybody is going okay.

Les, in a situation like this, our producer was saying that looks like some of the runway is torn up. This again, may be a dumb question. But is that something wheels of an aircraft would actually do to a run way.

ABEND: Yes, absolutely. It looks like they might have blown some tires, which could be a failure of the anti-skid system, which is supposed to prevent that. But --

COOPER: We're seeing -- I think we're seeing Governor Pence there right now. Yes. Continue, sorry, continue, Les.

ABEND: Yes, it's possible if you blew out some tires, Anderson, you are basically that could tear up the concrete like that. But once the airplane goes into the grass, you know, it is a tough situation. And it really could tear up indefinitely.

COOPER: And there's Governor Pence thanking some of the firefighters outside of the aircraft that our producer was saying seems to be fully on the grass, off the runway, this plane.

We're also joined by CNN aviation correspondent Miles O'Brien, who joins us also on the phone.

Miles, I mean, you know this airport well. How surprising is this to you?

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST (via telephone): Well, Anderson, this is varsity flying. You don't go into LaGuardia in a 737 without being on your toes and in a driving rain you really wanted to make sure you get everything just right.

COOPER: By the way, Miles, I'm being told there is a ground stop now at LaGuardia for flights. So again, sorry, continue, Miles.

O'BRIEN: As we would be expected in this case.

That broken concrete you have been talking about, Anderson, is engineered material arrester system which is installed at LaGuardia and a few other airports that I would put in the same varsity category, Midway being one of them -- short runways with fast aircraft coming in.

And it is designed to break apart on the weight of the landing gear, and stops the aircraft from going any further. If it were not there in this case, it's very likely this aircraft would be in the East River and that would be an entirely different situation.

So, it worked. And that is a good thing and that is a good thing for everybody on board there.

[20:10:01] COOPER: How does that actually work? How does that kind of a runway work?

O'BRIEN: Well, basically, it's a thin veneer of concrete. And it is just like going into, you know, quick sand, if you will. It is a break away concrete that collapses under the weight of the aircraft and stops it. It's an arrester system. And it's very useful in this case certainly prevented injuries and maybe saved some lives. Who knows?

COOPER: You know, Miles, I want to bring in our safety analyst David Soucie, who's joining us on the phone as well. And I think in some of those shots, you can actually in the background see some of the broken up runway, that broken up concrete.

David, again, I guess the obvious question is, what do you make of this? How surprised are you?

DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST (via telephone): Well, very surprising as Miles said, this is a varsity runway. Something you just don't fly into if you don't know what you are doing. So, obviously, something went wrong to make him go through that.

One of the two things that -- as Miles said there is also a break away. What happens there is it is designed, kind of like foaming the runway. It's a way to slow down the aircraft. It is something they could have used in the train accidents of late as well to slow it down as it goes forward.

So, it is a safety mechanism to say the airplane loses control in anyway, it stops the aircraft before it goes off into the runway, turns off the runway, turns over, rolls over, anything along that nature. And those were put in in designs in airports about 20 years ago after -- in Denver, actually an aircraft had come off the runway and slid off and didn't stop and continued and rolled over and got into some houses alongside the runway.

So, some of that safety improvement as we see now actually is very effective. And we have people walking away without losing lives.

COOPER: You know, our producer Liz Landers is still with us. She's actually -- she was on the flight. She is on the runway. I believe she's still on the runway.

Liz, do you know which runway you were flying into?

Sorry, Liz, do you know what runway you were flying into?

LANDERS: I do not know that right now.


LANDERS: I can try to figure that o for you guys.

But just to give you an update, Governor Pence is now off the airplane and I can see him on the tarmac speaking with law enforcement officers. There is a lot of police and fire department presence here. I would say I see probably one two three four -- I see four fire department trucks and lots of other vehicles right now. And this full on fire rescue --

COOPER: Liz, we're a also -- I know you can't tell with the cameras on. We are also looking at the Governor Pence shaking hands. That's actually recorded just minutes ago. Him shaking hands with firefighters after he got off the aircraft.

So, Liz, for those viewers just joining us, if you could describe again what you felt as -- first of all, there had been a delay.


COOPER: So, you knew it was bad weather coming in. But explain what you felt when you realized something as you started to land.

LANDERS: Yes, sure.

So, like you said, we knew it was going to be in bad weather. We had been in Iowa earlier today is on campaigning. And so we came into LaGuardia. And you could feel the turbulence. I mean, low clouds. Couldn't see much out the windows.

And as soon as we landed on the runway here, it was a pretty hard landing. And then you could feel the plane fish-tailing -- which is where the press and the governor and his staff, and the front of the aircraft -- you could feel the plane fish tailing in the back and then probably after 20 or 30 seconds, they slammed on the brakes of the airplane and we all sort of sat there in silence and were wondering what was going on.

Member of the Secret Service came back and said that there was no structural damage to the airplane that but that we were off the runway. And at that point, Governor Pence came back to make sure that everybody was okay. He just checked in with the press and said, are you guys doing, okay? He said there was mud on his window. That indicated to us that we had run off the runway.

And as I sort of told you a minute ago, the plane is fully off the tarmac. And it is in the grass here. It looks like the tarmac and the concrete was pretty dug up and pretty badly damaged upon landing.

COOPER: And you said it felt like it was skidding from the rear of the aircraft like the rear of the aircraft was kind of moving towards the front.

LANDERS: Right. It felt like the back of the airplane was fish tailing and didn't have as much control, I guess as the front of the airplane did. And you could tell it just was not a straight landing on a straight runway.

[20:15:05] COOPER: We're also joined by our safety analyst David Soucie.

David, why would the rear of the aircraft move like that and not the front?

SOUCIE: Well, because of the mass and what's happening as far as the slowing. If you had a flat tire or something going on in the front, and those aircraft in the back is going to try to accelerate past it. Like a jack knifing of a truck. And so, you feel the back, you feel the aircraft trying to move itself forward. The inertia in the back of the plane trying to overcome the inertia in the front of the plane. Also the front landing gear could have collapsed driving it down and giving you the feeling that the back is trying to out run the front.

COOPER: And we're also joined by Mary Schiavo, who is the former inspector general for the U.S. Department of Transportation. She's currently an attorney for victims and families of transportation accidents.

Mary, what happens now in a case like this?

MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST (via telephone): Well, it falls under the purview of the National Transportation Safety Board, and they had a lot of experience with accidents like this. Everything from there was one in Little Rock American Airlines.

And what happens when the wheels, when they do not get good traction with the runway, when there is a layer of water on it, it is very much like hydroplaning with your car. There is a scrubbing action between the wheels and runway and sometimes it leaves characteristic marks so the NTSB will investigate.

Fortunately, no one was hurt, but they will have to come to the airport and look at it before they move the plane. So, it will slow everything down in New York. And LaGuardia has had this very thing happen before with I think Southwest not long ago and other aircraft. So, they are accustomed to doing these investigations at LaGuardia. So it would an NTSB investigation.

COOPER: And we're getting a good look at the aircraft.

Miles, I mean, again, we've seen some of that runway. It really does look like it's been torn up.

O'BRIEN: Yes, it does, Anderson. It is most likely one ray 13. That signifies the compass heading. Meaning they were headed off to the southeast. The wind was coming out of that direction, pretty gusty.

And what you are looking at is the aircraft on the cusp of Flushing Bay. And if it weren't for those arresters the break away material, there is a good clans that aircraft would be there.

One thing that would be interesting to understand here is if the thrust reversers were working in this case. That is, anybody's on an airplane what's that like when you land and you get that sense of the engine sort of operating in reverse. And that is essentially a mechanical device that turns the thrust in the opposite direction to slow the aircraft down.

Were they trying to break entirely, just using traditional brakes or they're using the thrust reversers and if the thrust reversers were deployed, they work completely symmetrically, which is important point in all this. COOPER: David Soucie, our safety analyst. And planes take off and

lane in rain seems like all the time. Why would tonight be different? Is it because the temperature was low?

SOUCIE: Well, it can. It can actually get into a situation where it create this is ice barrier. But it is more about hydroplaning than it is ice, Anderson.

But as Miles had said, I was looking at the photographs about the thrust reversal deployment. It appears as though the right thrust reverser is still deployed which is uncharacteristic so it could be possibly an unparalleled thrust reverse which could put planes off. In Chicago, I experienced that once before in an accident I did where one of the thrust reversers comes out and it burns out one of the brakes, but it's trying to keep the aircraft straight with the brakes is all the option you have, and then it starts to pull off one side, and then pulls off to the side and tries to get off the airport.

So that can be complicated when you have water on the runway, because it comes a hydroplane. And your brakes aren't nearly as effective if that water is lifting your tires up off of the runway.

COOPER: And Liz, Liz Landers, who is our producer who was on board the aircraft. Is Governor Pence still there? Looked like we had a camera in a car. I wonder if that was him leaving.

LANDERS: Yes, that's right, Anderson. So, we are now leaving the airport right now. The governor is going to his hotel. I spoke with his press secretary. He said that the fundraiser he was supposed to be having in New York tonight has been called off, understandably so, and he'll be going to his hotel, probably to relax and sort of unwind with his family there tonight.

Tomorrow, everything else is on schedule. The governor will be going to events in Pennsylvania and then later in the afternoon in North Carolina.

COOPER: Liz, it's really kind of tricky situation for the Secret Service. If they are on the aircraft realizing something is going wrong with the aircraft. Obviously their job is to protect -- to protect the vice president, to protect his family to protect the nominee.

[20:20:03] But I assume they -- they are strapped in as well. They can't off either.

LANDERS: Right, absolutely. I mean, as soon as we landed, like I said the plain came to a really -- kind of short halt there. Secret Service immediately popped out of their seats once the airplane had come to a complete stop. I'm sure they could tell that something had gone wrong with the landing so they popped up and were checking on the governor and then they came back.

It looks like one of the Secret Service agents spoke with the pilot because one of the agents came back and said there's no structural damage. And there is a rescue team on the way. So at that point, we knew we had come off the runway and that this would not be your regular deplaning that we do when we travel with the governor.

COOPER: And, Liz, just in terms of getting off the aircraft, was a chute deployed? Or they bring stairs?

LANDERS: They brought stairs. So, they were able to bring stairs to the back of the airplane. We deplaned after the Secret Service. The Secret Service got off the plane first in the back and then the press gathered our gear and belongs and scrambled off the back of the plane. And then the governor and his staff came off after that.

COOPER: Liz, it is a little hard to tell from the picture. Is the bay in front of the plane? Or is it a highway? We see lights but I can't tell if there is a body of water in front of those lights.

LANDERS: I was not able to see whether we were on water there or not.

COOPER: Miles, based on where you think this was, can you tell?

O'BRIEN: Well, it's hard to see. I see what you are saying about the traffic but I think there might be a body of water in between. As you well know with LaGuardia, its kind of -- there is water kind of all around it. And most likely that is the end of runway one-three, which would put it towards Flushing Bay, sort of at the southeast corner of the airport.

And pretty much any runway you go into there, you are facing water at the end. And that is why that material is installed there. This is not a lot of overrun space there. You know, you go to a place like Dallas or Atlanta, there is a lot of buffer zones between the runway and traffic or whatever. In this case, LaGuardia is -- you know, it is basically a stationary aircraft carrier.

It is sitting there on the water and there is not a lot of overrun space. And that's why there is this material so crucial in this case to keeping the aircraft from getting in the water and causing a much more catastrophic situation.

COOPER: And, David Soucie, how long would they keep an airport ground stop going for? And if the ground stop because of specifically what happened with this aircraft? Or -- I mean, there are other runways, do they just need to check all the runways? Check all the conditions?

SOUCIE: I'm sorry, Anderson, I didn't hear the very first part of the question.

COOPER: The question is, how long would the airport have a ground stop? And is the reason for the ground stop simply to investigate what happened to this aircraft or is it to check all runways and conditions?

SOUCIE: Two fold, that's very good question. The first part is, is there anything on that runway. They shut down that runway. The ground stop has to do with the fact that FAA has nine responsibilities during an accident is to assure that there is not something wrong with the facilities themselves. So that is the first thing that they're going to check and make sure

that everything is going on, make sure that there's nothing on the runway or some kind of damage to the runway or maybe there was someone who intentionally damaged the runway. That needs to all be determined and inspect the rest of the airport, runways and taxi ways and make sure there is nothing else going on than just this one particular accident.

COOPER: And, David, obviously, when it snows out, they clear the runway of snow. When it is raining, do they -- do they go around the airport clearing the -- any water built up? Or does that sort of naturally drain off a runway?

SOUCIE: Well, it's not natural but they do design it specifically for that. And they design it for very, very high rainfall to be able to get the rain off the airport immediately. But there are also tests that are done to make sure that the runways are prepared and they have a truck they can drive out and check whether the ice, for example, is causing a runway to be non responsive as far as braking goes. So you have a braking reading that can tell you the activity of the aircraft in the winter time and they'll do that occasionally in super heavy rainfall but this I don't think would have qualified for that.

COOPER: And, Miles O'Brien, they would reroute planes to what? To Newark? To JFK?

O'BRIEN: Yes. If the runway braking action were not satisfactory, no sane pilot would come in in this situation with a 737.

[20:25:02] But it's a dynamic situation. And you know, you can make a call on few minutes on final to go and things can change. And these runways are in fact engineered to shed water. They have got kind of a turtle back to them and they have grooves in them. All of it is designed to channel water off the runway to the edge.

But, you know, anybody who's driven a car has occasionally gone through a puddle, hydroplaned and no one what it is all about. You can imagine the aircraft coming in at 150 miles an hour, give or take it, and wheels hitting and getting no traction whatsoever. The thrust reverses can help in that situation, but did they do their job exactly right?

Everything has to work just perfectly at LaGuardia on a good day. On a bad day, you really can't. There is just no margin for error.

COOPER: And, David Soucie, how long would they keep the aircraft in the position that it's in as part of the investigation? Or is there a premium put on getting that aircraft, moving it off so they can get that runway working again.

SOUCIE: Well, first of all, it is a matter of getting the people off and away in the aircraft, which they've already done it appears. Second --

COOPER: Right, because it looks like they just turned off the lights on the aircraft inside. SOUCIE: Right, right. The second is securing the aircraft and area.

Then they have to investigation. So, they have to figure what site. They don't want to disturb any kind of evidence, anything that would leave them to the conclusion of what happened there, so that that is priority, leaving the airport down.

I kept an airport down in Hawaii when a Japan Airlines had a very similar accident. The brakes were locked up and didn't release so the aircraft pulled off to the left side. It was a 747.

We had that airport closed for more than two days, although we could have moved it. We kept it down for go days in Hawaii which is a big deal. You can imagine how many people were upset about that, in Oahu.

COOPER: Not too popular.

SOUCIE: No, I was not a popular person for sure.

And so, you do what you have to do to make sure you are not destroying evidence about trying to figure out what happened, because the utmost important thing is to make sure it doesn't happen. So, if there is something you can learn from it that is the first priority as long as everybody else is off the aircraft and safe. Second priority is clearing the airport.

COOPER: Yes, and the most important headline for anybody who's just joining us, is that no reports of any injuries who was on board the vice presidential nominee's plane. The vice presidential nominee for the Republican Party has left the airport with the press corps who was also on the plane.

The governor is heading to his hotel. There was a fundraising event tonight in New York. That's been canceled but apparently his schedule will resume tomorrow.

I want to bring in our CNN political director, as we continue to monitor the situation at LaGuardia.

Just from a political standpoint, how disruptive is something like this, David?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, listen, what you just said is the most disruptive part which is the fundraiser got canceled, which is part of Mike Pence's core mission right now because Donald Trump is no longer doing fundraisers personally. Neither is Hillary Clinton.

But, Anderson, you got to remember what Liz Landers and her colleagues and the Pence staff's life has been like for the last couple of months. They move in this bubble. Motorcade to plane, up down, next city, next rally, motorcade to plane back.

So, this is a jolt obviously because it's so unusual for something like this to happen. You saw that Donald Trump and Kellyanne Conway, the campaign manager, immediately called Mike Pence to check in to make sure everything is OK. And as you said the best news is that there were no injuries.

So, upending a vice presidential nominee's scheduled is no easy thing. And so, whether or not that fundraiser gets rescheduled or not, and we know he's heading to Pennsylvania next. So, depending how long this investigation is with the plane, will this plane be able to move Mike Pence, his Secret Service and the press corps tomorrow first thing to Pennsylvania? If not, they need to deal with the logistics of that.

COOPER: At this stage of the race, how important is one fundraiser on one night in New York? I mean, how much potentially, are we talking, you know, a couple million of dollars?

CHALIAN: I don't know what the total the haul he was going to take in tonight. Obviously, the whole reason he was here tonight was primarily to attend that fundraiser.

COOPER: Now, his schedule -- I mean, the schedule of everybody on Republican and Democrat is now very tightly orchestrated. They are in a tough battle. They are critical battleground states that we're going to look at later on.

The map is changing for the electoral -- the path to 270 electoral votes. So, this thing is scheduled by the hour.

CHALIAN: Yes, by the -- I would say by the quarter hour really is how their schedules are. And because Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have stood down on personally attending fundraisers from here on out and just focus on the campaign travel, Tim Kaine and Mike Pence are still out there trying. Because remember they didn't take matching funds. They are raising money all the way through November 8th to try to spend, get on the air, make sure they have the ground game in place. They still need to bring that cash in.

COOPER: Right.

I want -- it's just about almost -- well, it's 8:30 here on the East Coast. I want to bring in our Liz Landers, if you're just joining us to, just to bring you up to date on what has happened.

[20:30:02] The plane that Governor Pence was on coming to a fundraise in New York skidded off the runway at LaGuardia Airport. There's been bad weather all day. It is -- and you see the plane now in that video from moments ago. It's ended up in the grass off the runway.

Our producer Liz Landers are was on board the aircraft when it happened. Liz for our viewers again at this half hour mark who are just joining us, just explain. I mean you knew coming into New York there was bad weather. You knew there had been issues on the ground. It was delayed as it was. Where were you going tonight and then what happened?

LANDERS: So we were coming from Iowa earlier today. Governor Pence had a rally in Fort Dodge. We actually had about an hour long delay sitting on the tarmac in Iowa and he threw the football around because there was enough time that we could get off the plane there. And then we re-boarded and flew here to New York City. We were flying to LaGuardia Airport. And the governor was supposed to have a fundraiser scheduled around 6:30, 7:00 p.m. tonight in downtown Manhattan.

And when we came in, you could feel turbulence. And it was not -- it was not as smooth descent into New York. And we came in to LaGuardia and hit the runway pretty hard here, I think it chosen (ph) everybody on the plane and then the plane proceeded down the runway for about 20 or 30 seconds and the plane was not in control on the runway. And it felt like the back of the plane, which is where the thrust is, sort of fish-tailing, like maybe the back wheels are not working. I'm not exactly sure.

But it did not feel like it is a smooth straight landing there on the runway, and then about and after 20 or 30 seconds the plane came to a very sudden halt there on the runway at LaGuardia. And Governor Pence came back after the plane was completely stopped and made sure everybody was OK, checking that the crowds (ph) and he said there was mud on his window. And upon deplaning, the press saw that the plane ran completely off of the runway there.

COOPER: And Liz what was the event tonight that the governor was going to? I know it was a fundraiser event. Any idea how much it was going to mean for the campaign? And do you know what his schedule is tomorrow?

LANDERS: I don't have any details o the fundraiser for tonight other than it was going to be a closed, you know, another close door fundraiser. And he has been continuing to fundraise. He had a fundraiser yesterday in Utah. A small group of people. And I think that this is probably going to be another small event in Manhattan today this evening.

And tonight or -- excuse me. Tomorrow his schedule according to his advisors who I spoke to on the tarmac there remains the same. He is scheduled to go to the queen (ph) state of Pennsylvania where he has a rally. And then later on to North Carolina for an evening event. And right now his schedule remains the same and the governor's fundraiser was called off tonight and he's going back to the hotel with his family in New York.

COOPER: And we should point out Donald Trump is in Ohio. The campaign of course obviously continues. There he is right now speaking in Ohio. We know that he called the Governor Pence shortly after the incident and expressed his relief that everybody is fine that there were no injuries.

Our political director David Chalian is also joining us. I mean again it's such an interesting juxtaposition, you see on the left-hand of you screen, the governor's plane, you know, off in the grass, off the runway at LaGuardia. And yet the politics have to continue.

CHALIAN: No doubt. We're only 12 days away Anderson. So, you're not going to halt the nominees schedule for an event like this especially thankfully since the report is everyone is OK. I think if there were reports or injuries ...

COOPER: Sure. CHALIAN: ... or anything like that maybe this event would not have happened with Donald Trump in Ohio this way, but thankfully everyone is OK. But yeah dramatically different evenings for the Republican ticket. And you could hear that Ms. Landers says the aides of Mike Pence say all systems go for tomorrow. We'll see if that is possible or how they move around. Moving around the candidate t press corps, the secret service that's a big operation. It is logistically quite challenge. And so how they do that in light of the fact their plane looks out of commission at the moment will be worth noting tomorrow as well.

COOPER: Right, and just in terms of the investigation, Mary Schiavo, that can take how long? Or Mary Schiavo, how long can investigation like this take? David Soucie if you're with us, how long can investigation like this take?

[20:35:00] SOUCIE: Yeah, Anderson, the on-site investigation won't take too long at all with this. But then after that the find out what happened. If the aircraft has been look at, it figure out if it is mechanical failure or some kind and then we'll have interviews, I would guessing investigation like this at least the on-site would only take a day or two. But then after that FAA will tell you it is up to two years. But in this type of thing it could take more than a month or two unless there is something very different about it.

COOPER: Miles O'Brien, aviation analyst, you know, it's just a reminder, you know, we all take flying at this point for granted. It just seems like nothing taking off in the rain, landing in the rain. This is just a reminder, you know, every thing is got to go right. It's -- there's a lot of things that can go wrong and it goes wrong very, very quickly.

O'BRIEN: It does especially at an airport like this Anderson, 7,000 feet of runway is not a lot of margin for error. With obviously no over run space. Fortunately they have engineered a solution here and that aircraft is not in the water. But we do all take it for granted and I got to tell you on those dark, stormy nights when I'm on short final within, in the front flying or in the back I'm paying very close attention to how things are going, because aviation is very unforgiving of even the smallest of errors in a situation like this.

COOPER: Yeah. Well it certainly just a reminder of the respect we should all keep in mind for all those who work in aviation. The pilots, the flight attendants, to everybody who makes flying as safe as it is in this country. We're going to take a short break. Our coverage of this and also there's a lot of politics to talk about in polling in battleground states. This race is getting tightener a number of states.

More ahead


[20:40:36] COOPER: Welcome back. If you are just joining us the breaking news, the plane carrying Republican vice presidential p candidate Mike Pence has skidded off the runway on landing at New York's LaGuardia Airport. It happened in rainy windy weather. Boeing 737, apparently skidded into a crushable concrete bed at the end of the runway. That stop the plane as one big reason why no one was hurt, thankfully, no reports of any injuries on board the aircraft. The plane is still -- of off the runway in the grass.

The governor has now moved to New York canceled an even tonight, but we're told his schedule will resume tomorrow. Donald Trump is in Ohio campaigning. Donald Trump holding an event tonight, saying he is glad everyone is sage. In meantime, the polls are tightening. Some in troubling ways for the Clinton campaign, others did might outright terrified that the Trump side, we're going bring both sides that Florida and Nevada are back in play. Signs as well that some really truly deeply red states are acting almost blue.

CNN political director David Chalian is here at the magic wall with the latest on all of it. He joins us now. Let's talk about the met -- the road to 270. That's the most important thing.

CHALIAN: It is. As you just noted we made a couple of changes in our battleground map. You see here that Nevada is now back in battleground status and Florida back in battleground status. Anderson, just last week we moved them leaning Clinton

COOPER: Right.

CHALIAN: But, what we look at is we look at advertising budgets of the candidate. The most precious resource the campaign can commit is the candidate time. So we look at their travel schedules and of course the most recent polls. Before Hillary Clinton even wrapped up her two day Florida swing yesterday her campaign announced she'll be back Saturday, and I'm telling you that won't be the last time she's there. There's a poll there that has in 2 points ahead, Nevada they are tied.

So those states have sort of snapped back to their battleground status. And I just want to remind you though, even though they're -- that's good news for Donald Trump, right.

COOPER: Right.

CHALIAN: Like they say, hey, they are no longer leaning Clinton. But I just want to remind everyone how tough this map is. Look where we are. 272 to 179. She's already over the threshold with states leaning and solidly in her direction. If you were to give him every remaining battleground state he still doesn't get to 270. He only gets to 264.

COOPER: So what is -- what would he have to do? I mean let's look at the new polling for the battleground state.

CHALIAN: So we do have a few new polls out today. Let start in North Carolina, that's where Hillary Clinton was today. She's showing a four point edge. 47 percent to 43 percent in the new Quinnipiac poll. This is where she was with Michelle Obama. This is the state they want to recreate the Obama coalition and he wanted in 2008, just loss in 2012. She looks to have an edge there. Here is one of the states, you said that might be acting downright blue. We have not seen Georgia go Democratic since 1992 with Bill Clinton's race. He wasn't even able to hold it in his reelect, 44-43. Now, what's the reason, we don't have in battleground status yet, it's because the Clinton campaign has not yet committed surrogate travel. Hillary Clinton is not going there yet. We don't a see a ton of spending going on in Georgia. They're not -- the Clinton campaign is not treating like that, like a really winnable race for them.

And then Iowa, which we also have leaning towards Donald Trump, dead heat.


CHALIAN: 44 percent to 48 percent, I was just looking at early voting numbers there and Hillary Clinton does have an edge, Democrats have an edge in terms of return ballots but it is not as big of an edge as Barack Obama had at this point four years ago.

COOPER: Right, so some good news for the Clinton campaign but also important some really important good news for the Trump campaign, particularly in Florida and nova.

CHALIAN: Yes, without a doubt.

COOPER: Yeah, all right David Chalian, thanks very much. David is going to make his way over to our panel. Let's bring in the rest of the panel. Clinton supporter, Karine Jean-Pierre is with us, she's the spokesperson for and a national spokesperson. Van Jones is with us former senior advisor of President Obama, David Chalian.

Also with us Carlos Watson, editor-in-chief of, Trump supporters Kayleigh McEnany and Andre Bauer. Andre is a former Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina bower, Kayleigh is just really, really smart.

And -- so Kayleigh, I mean you see that's got to be good news for you in Nevada and Florida in particular.

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Absolutely. What it shows me is that there is some momentum coming in Trump's direction. And I think that's because, you know, we woke up Monday to news about Obamacare premiums hiking. We wake up today to news of WikiLeaks, more Clinton corrupts, you know, or what appears to be Clinton corruption with the foundation.

Finally some of these things that Andre and I have been talking about are kind of breaking through the news cycle because Trump's not saying anything that is stepping on his message. He's giving it breathing room to get out there. This momentum is really important and if Donald Trump can stay on message and emphasize some of these things coming out, I think he can move that momentum to the point of winning the election.

[20:45:01] COOPER: Carlos, do you believe Nevada, Florida are tightening because of things Kayleigh talks about, because the drip, drip of WikiLeaks and other things?

CARLOS WATSON, EDITOR IN CHIEF OZY.COM: I think she's right, and I think that there's been a shift in conversation. What's important to is the early voting and I think what Kayleigh and Andre would both tell you is there are a little worried about the 7 or 8 million votes that we've seen cast so far. Because in many states Hillary Clinton is doing better than Barack did in 2012. Many looks like in places like North Carolina and Arizona, places where you normally would have seen meaningful Republican lead, there's either a slight Democratic lead or a much narrower Republican gap.

So, early voting is something to worry about ...

COOPER: Andre, are you worried?

ANDRE BAUER, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Well, as there a lot of volatility there but I read today that in fact the Republicans have turned out more people to vote early than the Democrats had. A substantial margin in Florida. And so that's good news if you're pulling for Trump. But again all along I talked about Brexit and how people showed up and took their country back. And I think you are going to see the same folks that don't normally even get out and vote. There's not showing it on polls.

I got beat in a Congressional race this same way. We were polling everybody, I won a 13 way primary, but in the runoff I got beat because we only polled people that showed up for the primary the first time. And the whole new group of folks came out in the runoff. And that's what's going to happen.

COOPER: David Chalian, do we have data on the early polling in terms of who's actually coming out?

CHALIAN: Well, we have on the early ...

COOPER: Early voting.

CHALIAN: The early voting. And we don't know of course who they voting for. Their votes aren't counted until Election Day, but we can tell in some states where it's by party breakdown that Democrats right now do have an edge in the early and absentee vote. What's most important is we look at state by state and see are they over performing or under performing what Obama and Romney did in 2012. And there's a split by now but it definitely leans more Democratic advantage right now in the early vote.

I just think Anderson it's really important to remember that as we talk about the states tightening more. A momentum that Kayleigh is talking about. It's still a very daunting map for Donald Trump. We can't forget the path to 270, as I showed he has to do a full sweep of every battleground state and then some a little bit to in order to really get to 270.

COOPER: So, Van are you worried?

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I'm sorry, what did you say? No I'm not particularly worried though I will say this. If it is not zero percent chance, it is a chance. And I think Andre is right. There is -- I was just in Pennsylvania. I was in Indiana. I was talking to a lot of red state voters. A lot of Trump voters. And there are people who feel like this is do or die for their country.

And when you have that level of passion. Whether we agree with it or not. People will do extraordinary things. And so it is not a zero percent chance, which means there is a chance. So I think Democrats should be less happy. Less complacent and I'm struggling to get there.

COOPER: Karine, I mean how -- do you really believe these polls? I mean because Andre is bringing up Brexit. Those polls showed they weren't going to vote break away.

KARINE JEAN-PEIRRE, CLINTON SUPPORTER: Yeah well, I think that's a false kind of reality there with the Brexit. That's a whole another ...

COOPER: You think U.S. polls are better than the British polls?

PIERRE: Well, it's just different. I mean the UK and the U.S. are two different -- electorally it is two different. The UK is majority white. We are much more diverse country and I mean there is just so many things ...

COOPER: So you have confidence in the polls that shown Clinton.

PIERRE: Well here's what I want to say. I think when -- I just want to look at Florida and the two states that we're talking about. So Florida, you know, public polling unfortunately under values, the demographics and we saw that in 2008, where African-American numbers skyrocketed. Latino numbers did, Caribbean number did as well.

And if you look at the early voting in Florida, Latinos are voting at high record numbers and what's going to decide this race is going to be the I-4 corridor. Early voting I should say. I-4 corridor and also Puerto Ricans, right. And if that's who -- that's what's going to decide this race. Now, Donald Trump he'll win the pan handle, which is essentially Northern Florida ...

COOPER: Right.

PIERRE: ... which we're talking about, it said -- it looks like, you know, Alabama Southern Alabama. So that I think that's the kind of the breakdown of Florida. Nevada on the other end -- on the other side is at -- voter registration for Democrats we are at advantage at 90,000 which is at par with 2012. And also another advantage is the Latino vote a well.

COOPER: We got to take a break. I want to thank everybody on the panel. Just ahead, Michelle Obama's groundbreaking role in this election. One of Hillary Clinton's most potent surrogates, there's no doubt about it. A sitting first lady stumping with a former first lady, who's hoping to make history as the first female president.

We'll show you what happened on the road today.


[20:53:02] COOPER: Oh what a night, what a day. A lot going on no matter your politics, safe to say Michelle Obama knows how to make a speech. And she did that today, it's also safe to say she really knows how to make a stamp speech.

A lot of Democrats believed that no one is a better advocate for Hillary Clinton right now than the current first lady. Until today though they have not share the stage together. That changed this afternoon in Winston-Salem in North Carolina and so did way American political history. Our Jeff Zeleny is there.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN WASHINGTON SENIOR CORREPSONDENT: Michelle Obama is making the case again for Clinton, but tonight she's making it with her.

MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF UNITED STATES: Yeah, that's right, Hillary doesn't play. She has more experience and exposure to the presidency than any candidate in our life time. Yes more than Barack, more than Bill. So she is absolutely ready to be commander in chief on day one and yes she happens to be a woman.

ZELENY: For the first time a first lady and a former one on stage together, rallying Democrats in North Carolina.

HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Seriously is there anyone more inspiring than Michelle Obama?

ZELENY: A first lady tag team going hard after Donald Trump in a race divided by deep gender lines.

OBAMA: We want a president who values and honors women who teaches our daughters and our sons that women are full are equal human beings worthy, deserving of love and respect.

We want a president who takes this job seriously and has the temperaments and maturity to do it well.