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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  October 4, 2011 1:00pm-2:59pm PDT

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house? >> i think it's a one night only pink house, but they've done it before, including president bush. >> you're out, we're done. to wolf blitzer, "the situation room" starts now. thanks very much. amanda knox on her way back to the united states. she's flying home to seattle due to land in just a little while. what awaits her after almost four years? also, many republicans simply begged him to run for the white house, but chris christie says now is not my time. why he's staying in the new jersey governor's mansion and twha that means for the gop race. rick perry's -- a corruption of the american dream. that's a quote. my interview with rick santorum. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- all that coming up, but take
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a look at these pictures coming in to cnn. helicopter has crashed into new york's east river and a dramatic rescue operation is now underway. we're told by the fire department of new york, a spokesman saying that at least two people were seriously injured in the crash. the chief coast guard petty officer eric swansen tells cnn there were at least three people on board when that helicopter crashed into the east river in new york. in an interview with a local affiliate, a former fdny commissioner says the water temperature right now is approximately 68 degrees. we're told it happened maybe 35 minutes ago in the east river at 34th street and 1st avenue on the east side of manhattan. chad myers is watching this unfold with us. what else are you pick iing up
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we seize these live images coming in. >> wolf, literally, we are listening to scanner traffic all the way back to how we used to do it in local tv. scanner traffic from fdny saying there were five, five on board. four are out of the helicopter. one still missing. three of the four were passengers. one of the four that got out was the pilot. one, i was watching, there's the helicopter upside down. right there. they have it up. you can see the skids of the helicopter upside down right there from wcbs. the pilot out, three passengers out, one passenger still missing. i watched as they were doing cpr on one of them. two still others in critical condition. they're still looking for one person, wolf. >> looks like a weather was pretty good. i don't think it was a weather related accident. what was the weather like in new york today? >> clear skies, clouds. the wind's not too bad, the water temperature is the most
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critical at 66 degrees. people do survive under water a long time. even though they have no oxygen, people under water in cool water is survive longer than at the surface. obviously a critical condition for two people here and it continues to change. we're seeing the ladders be put down and the life rings put out. i still don't see anyone out of there, although with those two men scrambling, maybe three, they may have the victim there close. >> does it like this occurred near a heli pad? that's the helipad right there. the rescue crews there on the right hand corner and next to that would be one of the other helipads. i have unconfirmed reports from
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that same fdny website and scanner traffic that it was a bell 206, the bell jet ranger. typical flight just going on for maybe a sightseeing trip or anything else. media uses it. a very common helicopter, obviously, there in the new york city area. this is the east river. this is the east side of manhattan. this would be between what would be williamsburg or brooklyn. the river from long island sound down to battery park. and now that we see they have the skids, they have the helicopter at least up in the toward the top of the water, if there was somebody in there, they'd be able to get that person out. one still missing at this point according to the scanner. >> reminds me, we were covering it live, you remember it well. not the east river. the hudson river. sully sullenberger and the u.s. airways flight.
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a dramatic rescue operation underway. when i hear 66 or 68 degree temperature in the east river, that sounds relatively okay for people to survive for a while. >> yes, that's correct. at least 20 to 30 minutes. obviously, you would get cold, but that cooling of the body can be benefit for the body to be survivable under that water for a longer time. the cooler the water is, the longer you can survive under that water even after breathing water in and getting into the no oxygen levels there. you can survive it. you can be brought back because of the temperature of the water cooling the body down and the body doesn't require as much oxygen and the brain can survive it. >> we don't know if the bell helicopter was either taking off or landing as it crashed, do we? >> that's correct. no, i do have one report from a bystander there that was watching it. he was watching from the new york city water club.
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he said he saw the splash down. he said it went in very hard, that he appeared to try to make a landing. he may not have seen the potential takeoff and the retry to come back in for the landing. he said he was trying to and missed that landing pad, but there's no indication whether that could have been an aborted takeoff or whether this came from somewhere else. >> and just to recap, we believe at least three people were on board that helicopter and two have been rescued. they're searching for the third, is that right? >> that's correct. that came from the coast guard. now, we've been listening to the fire department of new york scanners and from one fire department to the next, they are saying that there were five on board that jet ranger and that 206 and the one pilot got out, three passengers are out. one passenger was still missing. although i have not seen any indication they're taking a passenger out now, so that still may be the case.
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it looks a little less frantic right now. so according to fdny, the number would be five. fdny are right on scene there. two taken out as critical. one, i watched as they pulled out from the water and immediately started cpr and took that person into a rescue squad and then on to the hospital. as we see it now, there are still only four on land that i can tell. i have not been able to see them pull the fifth out. >> i want you to continue to check. we're going to check with our other authorities in new york, get back to the story, but a dramatic rescue operation underway in the east river of new york right now. more on this coming up. let's move on to other news we're watching including political news. they urged, they pleaded. some even begged chris christie to run for president of the united states, but those republicans who wanted a new face are very disappointed today.
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chris christie says he'll sit this race out. jim acosta is joining us from trenton, new jersey, with more. was it dramatic announcement around 1:00 today, jim. >> that's right, wolf. after months of denials that he was running, chris christie acknowledged at a press conference that he was reconsidering this decision and then last night, he says he made the decision not to run for president and then this morning, started calling donors and key supporters to make his decision clear and he had a press conference and really needed to only take a few minutes to say he wasn't running for president, but governor christie, who is never at a loss for words, held court for an hour talking about the white house to the current gop field to running for vice president in 2012. you name it. i asked him how is he certain that we won't all be here three months from now. six months from now, the eve of
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the republican national convention asking these questions again and here's what he had to say. >> i had spoken to a lot of people this morning and told them the answer is no. a lot of people have encouraged me and i think they understand that this was a long shot for them to change my mind in the first place. but that i felt an obligation, given as i said before, both the seriousness and the amount of people that were asking me to reconsider, to reconsider, but in the end, they didn't change my mind because i feel in my heart what i'm doing is right and that is to stay in new jersey, to stay committed to the job. if you're looking for something else, it's not there. it just didn't feel right. to me. to leave before the job was adobe done. >> and governor christie pointed out he has only been on the job here for 20 months and he said
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he just could not get beyond that fact, wolf, that he's been on this job for less than two years, indicating he probably felt he wasn't ready to run for the white house, but did not rule out a run for the future and if he showed anything this afternoon, he showed he does have the stamina, despite all the questions about his weight, his health. this thing went for an hour. he talked about the vice president sy, saying he was not going to entan that kind of question. almost quoting that the top man on the ticket or top woman would be a food taster if he were in the slot there. he also took a jab at some opinion writers out there who have asked whether or not he lacks the discipline to be president because of his weight. he said those were flat out wrong, wolf. >> thanks, jim, very much.
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so, what about the republicans who are still in the race? a new "washington post"-abc news poll shows romney is the leader, favored by 25% of the likely voters. he is campaigning today in florida. rick perry is raising funds in california and the poll shows a virtual tie for second place at 16% with herman cain, who was in new york today. michele bachmann is betting heavily on iowa. newt gingrich is in south carolina. those two at 7% each. just behind ron paul, who's at 11% in this new poll. the president of the united states is campaigning right in the heart of texas now. he's making his case for his jobs bill. it doesn't seem to be going anywhere right now. you're looking at live pictures of the president slamming house republicans. let's bring in brianna keilar. she's traveling with the president. clearly, a war of words between
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the president and the house majority leader, eric cantor. >> that's right, wolf. we may be in rick perry country, but here in dallas as the president urges congress to take up the jobs plan, it is eric cantor that he's really targeting. we're expecting him to make those comments moment arly here. yesterday, cantor said that the house will not vote on the president's entire plan. as a sort of whole, a large piece of legislation, but said instead ha the house would take up the parts that there is agreement on between house republicans and the white house. well, you hear the president today hear in dallas. the strongest part probably of his message is really calling on eric cantor at one point we'll hear him, in fact, i can hear him now, wolf. he's saying it now. that he would be calling on and let's listen to that. >> does he not believe in
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rebuilding america's roads and bridges? it has been three weeks since i said let's build the congress. it's a detailed plan to get this economy moving. it's a kind of proposals that in the past, democrats and republicans have supported. >> and actually, right at this moment, i should tell you, wolf, that's not the sound i was referring to. live, the president was calling on eric cantor to come to dallas and explain what parts of the bill he doesn't like. at one point actually, referring to an unemployed teacher who introduced him here to say to have cantor come and say why that teacher and let's take a listen to it now. >> rather than tax cuts for middle class families. and if you won't do that, at least put this jobs bill up for a vote so that the entire country knows exactly where members of congress stand.
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put your cards on the table. i realize that some republicans in washington are resistant partly because i proposed it. they -- if i took their party platform and proposed it, they'd suddenly be against it. we've had -- we've had folks in congress who said they shouldn't pass this bill because it would give me a win. so they're thinking about the next election. they're not thinking about folks who are hurting now. they're thinking how is that going to play in the next
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election. give me a win. give me a break. that's why folks are fed up the washington. this isn't about giving me a win. this isn't about giving democrats and republicans a win. this is about giving people who are hurting a win. it's about giving small business owners a win. >> there's a president. he's making his case for the jobs bill. the president shows no sign of letting up. i think it's fair to say a new, more assertive, more aggressive, the president of the united states on the campaign trail. >> that's right. and over the last few weeks as he's been pushing his jobs plan, wolf, we've seen it kind of step up over time and specifically, really targeting eric cantor today. you see this back and forth going on. cantor's office weighing in because the white house had released these remarks at a preview. a spokesman for the majority leader saying cantor has said
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the president will pass portions of the jobs bill in the next month. the president needs to understand his mi way or the highway approach isn't going to work in the house or democrat senate especially in light of his record on jobs. it certainly feels like quite a campaign back and forth. >> thanks very much. we're going to check in on what's going on in the east river of manhattan right now. much more coming up on a dramatic rescue operation that is now underway. we're watching what's going on. a helicopter has gone down in the east river. stand by. much more of the breaking news after this. we're also going off to seattle, washington, to update you. amanda knox and her family getting ready to land in the united states. we'll have coverage. let's get chinese.
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i use capzasin quick relief gel. [ male announcer ] starts working on contact and at the nerve level to block pain for hours. capzasin. takes the pain out of arthritis. we'll update you on what's happening. the east river, a dramatic rescue operation. a helicopter has gone down in the east river in manhattan. more on that. let's bring in jack cafferty. he's got the cafferty file. >> hold the cheeseburgers. across the pond in europe, denmark is becoming the first
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country to impose a fas tax on foods high in saturated fat. pizza and butter and mi and cheese and oils. some stocked up groceries before the tax went into effect this weekend. how much the fat tax is depends on how much saturated fat is in about $3 for every two pounds of saturated fat. officials say the dpoel is to increase the average life expectancy in denmark. denmark has been a leading country when it comes to tougher stands on unhealthy foods. they have higher taxes on sodas, cigarettes and alcohol beyond what's required and have increased ta on ice cream, chocolates and sweets by a whopng 25%. also, it' in denmark to have more than s brother aspecgovernment has no . others suggest that tax hikes on the foods should be accompanied by measures to make nutrition
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foods available. in denmark, only about 10% of the population is obese. here in the united states, one-third of all adults and nearly one in five children are obese. as a natn, we get fattttnd fatter every day. and quote frankly, it's disgusting. plus, it's n like we couldn't use the extra tax revenue. here's the question. should there be a tax on foods high in saturated fats? go to"cafferty filcaff. >> there's a tax on tobacco and that's pretty dangerous as well. we're going to get a lot of e-mail. >> that tax on tobacco has curved the cigarette smoking in this country. >> that's good for all of us. thanks very much. her four-year nightmare in italy is now over.
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right now, amanda knox is on a plane getting ready to land in seattle, washington. it's expected to land in a few hours. one day after an italian court overturned her murder conviction. drew griffin is already in seattle. he's getting ready for the return. what's going on right now? what are you hearing? >> we expegt when he arrives in about four or so hours from now, that the family and the family representatives, the attorney and the pr person, will come out here and meet the press and amanda knox is likely to get her first taste of just how big a story this is in person when she comes here. we're not sure if she's going to speak or not. we know her parents will speak here. her attorney will speak, but obviously, a lot of emotions running high with this girl. she was of course released yesterday from pris in that emotional scene where they declared her appeal, she was whisked off as she was crying and sobbing.
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all this really made possible because of an appeal that included the review of the forensic evidence. that was the key this summer. the italian court ordered an independent review of that dna testing that was done and acc d according to the forensic expert for the amanda knox defense and the head of the idaho innocence project, when they actually looked at the forensic evidence, listen to what he says. he said there was nothing there. >> would this have made it into a u.s. court? i don't think this would have made it on to a u.s. lab report. >> the big question here today, will amanda knox speak? i talked to the parents in advance of this. they said they're going to leave that up to amanda knox herself to decici if she will indeed read a statement, answer some questions or if she'll just go and spend her first night in freedom here in seattle, her hometown.
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>> stand by. we're quoing to be getting back to you. more on this story coming up. amanda knox and her family getting ready to land in seattle, washington. also, other news we're following including the republican candidate, rick santorum. he's here. some very strong words about his fellow republican candidate. and much more. you're in "the situation room."
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more on t a helicopter has crashed into new york's east river. a dramatic rescue operation is still underway. we are told. the fire department of new yorke condition. he was rescued. two adult females though in mal condition. right but they say the search continues, which suggests there are others, maybe one or two or
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others still in the water our cnn scene >> i was just abl the police deg helicopter itself is not vib i asked the officers submergede are at least five to six r and r still in the water who -- >> have they said what was the cause? >> that is unknown at this time. they're still trying to determine what that miihave been and i think -- >> at least four people so far have been rescued. the two women are in critical condition. the pilot is in stable condition. another adult male in stable condition, but the rescue is continuing right now. julian, stay in close touch with us. we'll get back to you. have much more on this breaking news story in new york, the east river in manhattan. a helicopter has gone down. other news including political news, he's doing better in some of the republican debates than in the polls, but
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rick santorum tells me no one is working harder and he likes his chances of winning the republican presidential nomination. he spoke with me from the campaign trail in iowa. >> let's talk about rick perry for r a moment. at that last debate, he suggested that you and your other republican candidates, your fellow republicans, were in his words, potentially heartless because you don't support giving in-state tuition to children. what do you say to rick perry about that? >> well, my father came to this country as a legal immigrant when he was 7 years old with my grandfather and they were promised nothing. no food, no shelter. no income support. no medical care. what they were promised was promise. whicics freedom and thesociety. to have your work and fruits of your labor be rewarded and not confiscated by the government.
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not be told what to do and how to do it. that's the greatness of america. that's why immigrants want to come here not because they want some benefit, so to suggest that by not providing benefits to people here illegally, not just legally, my father came legally. not to provide benefits to people who came here legally is somehow un-american or heartless is a corruption. of the american dream. it's a corruption that of what people come here. people don't come here for benefits. people don't look for a hand from the government in order to be succefu here for the benefit. >> what you saw it oror read abb it in the "washington post" suggesting an old hunting ground in texas that the perry family had, that vile a word, the n word, i don't want to say what he is as part of the name, that he kept it up there for a long time. what did you make of that?
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>> you know, i've articles and guess governor percy says one thing and one says the others. i don't know what the truth is. it was poor jgm up there. i don't believe rick perry is a racist, but certainly showed in that case if what yoo judgment. cain told me he couldn't support mitt romney because hepported government mandates for health care in the ar ready to go that far? could you support mitt romney for the republican nomination? >> i think romney is dead wrong on a lot of things including the government mandate. i think the top down approach he takes on health care that he takes on education and a whole host of other issues is not the way conservatives want to see our country governed. they believe in the bottom up. free people, free enterprise. not government control of different aspects of our lives that romney has advocated in the past. he has severe problems going in
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as a moderate, but as far as i'm concerned, there's not one person on that stage that i could not support over president obama. i think he is someone who's doing great damage to our country at home as well as overseas and he needs to be replaced. >> on the sensitive issue of abortion, i don't know you don't believe in any exceptions, but do you go as far to say that doctors and nurses who perform abortions should be criminalized? >> i have taken the position that someone who, again, if abortion is against the law, obviously it's not right now, so of course it wouldn't be a criminal activity, but if it's against the law to conduct, to abort a child and take a human life through abortion, then of course taking a human life against the law should have some criminal penalties. of course. again, we aren't at that place in society so it sounds somewhat ridiculous to say that people who perform abortions should be
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penalized as a criminal, but of course, if we change the law and abortion is illegal in this country because we recognize the fact that you're taking and destroying and killing a living human person and that laws in place right now for example if you're someone who would punch some woman in the stomach who has a child and cause that child to be miscarried, you can be charged with criminal activity. you can charge someone with criminal activity and nobody gets offended by that. why? because the law protects that child. well, if the law protects that child in the future and someone then comes and kills that child, of course, they should suffer some sort of criminal penalty. >> what about the mother? >> no, i believe in a case like that given the emotional and difficult situation many women find themselves in, i see women in this case much more of the victim than i do someone who
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should be, it's penalty enough to go through an abortion in my opinion and no way would i support criminal penalties against the mother. >> but from your personal perspective, forget about whether abortion is legal or illegal, from your perspective, a doctor or nurse who participated in performing an abortion, that person or persons, they basically are involved in murder, is that what you're saying? >> well, they're involved in what a consider a grave moral wrong, but it's not a wrong right now that is illegal in this country and as a result, because it's not illegal, they should not be criminally charged, but what i believe is that they are doing a great moral wrong and i think a lot of people who have been in that industry and walked out afterwards express the same thing. i think they are taken without question. i don't think this is a disputable fact. the child in the womb is alive and human.
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it is a human life and people are ending that human life. whether you want to call it abortion, murder, whatever you want to call it, it's not murder because murder is a defined thing in a criminal code, but it is taking a human life and as a result, that, to me, is a great moral wrong that people are engaged in, yes. >> over the weekend, president obama really blasted you and the other republican candidates for staying silent when that last republican debate. when an american soldier served in iraq announced, said he was gay and there were boos in the audience and none of you reacted. >> you want to be commander in chief, you can start by standing up for the men and women who wear the uniform of the united states even when it's not politically convenient! >> in 2010, when i was deployed to iraq, i had to lie about who i was because i'm a gay soldier. do you intend to circumvent the progress that's been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military? >> i would say any type of
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sexual activity has no place in the military. >> you were the one who had the answer. who was directed that question. what do you say to the president when he says you have a moral responsibility to an american soldier being booed. ? >> i've said this right after the debate. i did not hear the boos. as you know, when you're up there on stage and you have a potential question being focused at you, you try to focus in on the question, particularly if coming from someone on video and sometimes, those are very hard the hear and the quality of the sound isn't so good, so i was just focused on that question and didn't hear it and as i've said before, had i heard those boos and you know, they were clearly clear in my mind they were directed at someone because of the announcement that that person was gay, i would have said that was inappropriate, but again, i didn't hear it. i still frankly haven't gone back and listened to the tape,
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all i can say if it was clear to me that was a case, i would have said something, but i didn't hear it so i wasn't going to say anything. >> thanks very much for coming in. good luck out there in iowa. >> thank you so much for giving me time, wolf. thank you. >> we're also watching the breaking news in new york city. the east river. a helicopter has gone down near 31 -- 34th street and 1st avenue near the helipad. four people apparently have been rescued. they're searching for one more. much more on this story coming up. [ male announcer ] one-hundred-nineteen data points.
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we're following the breaking news. live pictures from the east river in new york city. helicopter has crashed into new york's east river. five people who believe were on board.
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four have been rescued. we think a search is continuing for the fifth individual, but jason carroll is on the scene for us. what do we know right now? >> the rescue operation for that fifth person is underway. right now, i count at least four helicopters in the sky. at least nine rescue boats in the east river at the point. a diver also in the river looking for that fifth individual. just to recap quickly, according to what witnesses are telling us, it was about 3:22 p.m. eastern that bell 206 jet two blade helicopter apparently had trouble while trying to land. it was hovering for a period of time above the helipad and for some reason yet to be known, it crashed into the water. witnesses saying that it rolled over and sank within seconds. four people were rescued. we were told the pilot, a male pilot is now in stable condition. two women at this point in
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critical condition. this according to the fdny and another man is in stable condition. at this point, the rescue is underway for a fifth individual. as i said, number of rescue crews out here in the east river trying to find that fifth individual. obviously, time is of the essence here. >> i could be wrong, but if you're looking in the right part of the screen right now, it looks like they've just brought someone in from the water there. that may be the fifth individual if you can see that gurny in the middle of your screen right there. it may be the fifth person they were looking for. how far are you from the helipad? >> i am just across from where the east rifr is here, wolf, behind a police line, so it's difficult to see where that might be coming from. but we are now getting word that a fifth person may have been pulled out from the water. again, tough to see from my
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vantage point, but we are just getting word that a fifth person may have been pulled out. we're going to try and check on the condition of that person and give you an update. >> we have now confirmed that in fact, you're looking at the live picture right now. that is the fifth person on board that helicopter. so far, just to recap, four people have been b rescued. two in stable condition. two in critical condition. and you're looking at live pictures now. you see that gurnny of the fifth person who has been brought up. now being moved. you can see it right there. these are live pictures courtesy of wabc in new york. we'll stay on top to have the story. we'll continue to update our viewers on the breaking news. much more on this and the day's other news when we come back. [ female announcer ] introducing onstar fmv.
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lisa sylvester is monitoring some of the other top stories. >> desmond tutu is upset over a visa delay that led the dalai lama to cancel a trip to south africa. there's speculation the delay is tied to south african relations to china, which doesn't recognize the dalai lama as
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tibet's spiritual leader. 14 people are dead after an ambush on a bus. all have shia muslims. police arrested eight people. and a courtroom out burst by the suspect named the underwear bomber. he disrupted jury selection shouting anwar is alive. he was referring to awlaki, killed by a u.s. drone strike last week. he is accused of trying down a u.s. airliner with explosives in his under wear in 2009. president obama admits we're not better off than we were four years ago, but will that backfire for the president? a new poll shows rick perry slipping, cain rising. stand by. the postal service is critical to our economy--
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well, i don't think they're better off than they were four years ago. they're not better off than they were before lehman's collapsed, before the financial crisis, before this extraordinary recession that we're going through. >> the president said yesterday
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that people in this country are worse off than they were when he was elected. we feel the same way. the economy continues to sputter. >> let's discuss in our strategy session, joining us, our cnn political contributors, dan na brazil, mary matlin. is it smart for the president to say we're not better off than we were four years ago? >> look, president obama understands that most americans are still feeling the effects of the economic recession. he has a jobs bill. senator reid has announced he will schedule a vote this week. eric cantor said we will not voten it. the president is right in se thag the american people still feel the pain. he has a prescription. let's try to cure the economy. >> republicans are the majority by far in the house, mary, why won't eric cantor at least allow an up or down vote? >> the republicans have
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repeatedly said to this president there are many elements of the jobs bill that have had bipartisan support. the president's nodding to reality when he makes this political statement which is even the diminishing number of people who did blame bush say this president's policies did not work and are making it worse. he's also having a leadership problem. he's blaming bush. now he's going to blame the congress. there's no democrats in the house who want to support this and there are no democrats in the senate that want to take a vote on it, which is why harry reid blocked the vote on the president's jobs bill today. >> it's going to come up in the senate. why won't eric cantor allow it to come up for a vote in the house? >> he probably should. it would be defeated. i don't think there's any democrats that want to cosponsor it. >> it would be defeated almost certainly, that's why i'm perplexed. not sure why hemts to refuse to allow that to happen unless he's
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concerned moderate republicans will have to vote against the president's jobs bill that could be used against these moderate republicans. some of those swing districts and the northeast especially going forward, but what do you think, donna? >> eric cantor has doubled down on those failed philosophy, ideology and economic policies that brought grave damage to the economy. let's vote on a bill. if they want to vote it one step at a time, fine. if they've been in office now in terms of the house for over 230 days. put on a bill. give some relief to the people out there who want washington to work. >> mary, is mitt romney clearly the favorite right now to capture the republican nomination now that chris christie has taken himself out of the running? >> we have a two-way race between the romney and un-romney, but a two-way for the not romney candidate. we don't know what harry or cain's ceiling or floor is.
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we know there's a ceil of republican enthusiasm. we have a 13-point enthusiasm advantage, so the nonromney candidacy is going to have to sort itself out. if romney is at 25, which is a solid number, he's been there for a long time. the deal's not closed yet, but the process hasn't begun. we just got situated and we have a short period of time to time to make decisions. there will be a lot of states with a lot of voices and we're ready to have a good old fashioned conservative debate. >> thanks very much. >> let me just -- >> hold on, donna. i want to go to breaking news. this is part of the rescue operation that was unfolding in the east river of the hudson. there you see one of the female passengers being rescued. we're being told that passenger, that female passenger and another female there, they are in critical condition right now, but look at these pictures we're
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just getting courtesy of wabc in new york. a dramatic rescue. five individuals were on board that failed helicopter when it went down in the east river of new york. all five have been -- have been brought to shore so far looking at these pictures we're getting in as well. we don't know the cause of this helicopter crash in the east river, but we're watching it closely. stand by. more of our coverage right after this.
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question this hour, should there be a tax on foods high in
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saturated fats. denmark just imposed a tax like this, so we wonder if it might be a good idea here. steven writes -- junior writes -- and ed writes -- and then use the money to help get counseling. curtis in philadelphia -- then watch all the pot heads get stoned, pay their tax, then get
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the munchies and pay more taxes. suzanne writes -- kent in iowa city writes -- and daniel writes -- you'll want to read more, go to the blog. >> thanks very much. to our viewers, you're in "the situation room." happening now, amanda knox on her way to the united states right now a day after an italian court cleared her of murder. standing by for her homecoming. i'll also ask her lawyer if her nightmare around the world is truly over. plus, the governor of new jersey, chris christie, says new jersey is stuck with him. now that he's declared again that he's not running for president of the united states, will some other big name republicans still be able to make a late jump in the race? and the country singer hank williams trying to explain why
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he likened the president of the united states to hitler. but he maybe only adding to the controversy that got his monday night football theme song yanked. breaking news. political headlines, i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." all that coming up, first, we want to update you on this tragedy unfolding in new york city right now. you're looking at pictures of the east river in manhattan. a helicopter crashed about an hour ago, it crashed into the east river. five people on board, four have been rescued. but we now know a fifth person is confirmed dead. we do know that the pilot is in stable condition. two females aboard this helicopter are listed in critical condition. another male in stable condition, but unfortunately,
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one individual aboard this helicopter is now confirmed dead. we'll have much more on this story as the news unfolds over the next hours. stand by for that. other news we're following, when amanda knox lands in seattle about three hours from now, she'll be a free woman, but won't be the same young woman who left the study abroad. i can only imagine what she's thinking and feeling on that plane now after almost four years in an italian prison. let's go live to seattle. drew griffin is standing by. he works with cnn's special investigations unit. this will be an emotional homecoming for amanda knox, drew. >> that's right and for her father and her mother, they are both very concerned of how amanda knox will handle all the pressure. she has been in prison, but just
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a few hours from now, she's going to face all this, wolf. the cameras and lentless tabloids that have covered this case. she has not seen a lot of it according to her family and they are going to be try to be careful hiding her from the press until she can handle the fame she has gained while she has sat in prison. her parents are expegted to talk. attorney is expected to talk and perhaps we will hear a statement from amanda knox, though she's not expected to take any questions. quite a journey considering just yesterday she was in that courtroom as we saw and heard the verdict being read, which overturned that conviction. she was so emotional, she was carried almost out of the courtroom, crying, but now, she has spent one night in rome. she has been flying all day today and within a matter of hours now, expected to land here
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and we are supposed to see her in her hometown of seattle. >> stand by. i want to come back to you. amanda knox's ordeal may not be entirely overwhen she lands on american soil. her lawyer is joining us now from rome. thanks so much for joining us. is it still possible she could face further legal problems down the road in italy? >> well, thank you very much first of all for the invitation. well, it is possible once we see the motivation, the so-called of the decision which was read yesterday that an appeal will be filed by the prosecutor to the supreme court. we have this possibility in this country. therefore, there will be a possibility of further legal battle an the prosecutor have announced this will happen, however, we're not very worried because the supreme court will allow an appeal only if there is
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a violation of law. this means it would not be possible to go into the merits of the case and review the famous dna, this would not be possible, so if this happened, obviously, we will be ready to oppose the appeal and amanda also eventually will be present at the hearing if it's necessary. this will happen in the supreme court here in rome. >> you know the italian justice system about as well as anyone. how likely would it be that the supreme court of italy could overturn this decision from yesterday? >> it's good to be very unlikely because this, it's a fundamental case based on a mistake and mistake, it's provided a possibility in our legal system. the appeal is not a second trial is the same trial and the scope
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is to identify possible mistakes. we have explained to the court of appeal why we thought that the first decision was wrong and we succeeded. we are not worried because we will explain again to the supreme court and this same situation because certainly, this is a tragedy first of all because as involved the death of a young student, but is also a tragedy because two innocent people have been kept in jail for almost four years. >> a real tragedy for these two young people. tell us what it was like in the courtroom about 24 hours ago. you were standing next to amanda when she heard the judge announce the verdict against her and rafael were overturned. describe is that emotional moment to our viewers in the united states and around the world.
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>> well, it was certainly a very important moment and amanda was mainly scared. she had a very intense week. we had hearing almost every day from 9:00 to 6:00 in the evening and it was extremely heavy for everybody, but certainly for amanda. amanda was having very little sleep and she was scared when she walked into the room before the big day because she knew her life was in between a request of life in jail and a possible acquittal. dismissal, which took place. so as she heard the decision, she started to cry because for her was a completely and as you saw, she was taken away immediately. >> did you see her after that just before she boarded that plane to fly back to the united states? if you did, what was she like
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then? >> she was extremely happy. happy walking out from the prison, which took very few minutes because everybody was organized and they all helped because there is a great support on amanda. i spoke to her this morning before she was leaving italy just to make sure that everything was in order and she was smiling, laughing, as she was at the beginning when she came to italy. she was extremely happy she had the possibility to stay with the family last night in rome. she slept with the mother and the sister. and she really wanted to go home. she really just want to go home and find her life again. >> thank you so much. thanks for joining us. we'll stay in close touch with you. we're standing by for their arrival back in the seattle, washington. we appreciate it very much.
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in just a few minutes, we'll also go back to perugia, italy. we'll hear from the brother of meredith kercher. but there's breaking news we're following right now. a tragedy unfoling in the east river of new york city. you're looking at these pictures. a helicopter went down a little while ago, five people on board. four have been rescued. two in critical condition. two in stable condition, but a fifth person was recovered, the body was recovered. unfortunately, this person died in that crash. jason carroll is our correspondent on the scene. what do you know? >> just an incredibly sad moment. as you know, search and rescue crews have been in the water for just about an hour and right around 5:00 just before 5:00, they pulled a body of one of the passengers from the helicopter. pulled that body out of the east river. from what we are being told from
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eyewitnesses, the accident happened at about 3:22 p.m. the jet ranger missed its landing at the heliport. it was hovering, then suddenly, the pilot was not able to keep the altitude. once it hit the water, it rolled over, sank within seconds. again, five people were on board. four were rescued. the male pilot is in stable condition. another man in stable condition. two women are in critical condition. they were taken to a local hospital. the mayor, new york city's mayor is expected to give us a briefing within just a few minutes. the ntsb in any situation we have a crash like this, dispatches investigators out to the scene. they're expecting them to arrive shortly, but once again, five on board, four were rescued. the body of the fifth person
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pulled out just before 5:00 here at the east river in new york city. >> we have some dramatic pictures of one of the women on board that helicopter was rescued. i want to get those pictures and show them to our viewers. it was a dramatic scene, we're told this woman is now in critical condition. we're watching all of this very, very closely. jason, once we hear from the mayor, let us know. we'll stay in close touch with you on the scene. a tragedy in new york city. the east river. that's the scene where this helicopter went down. much more on this story coming up. much more on the amanda knox story, but let's go to jack cafferty. >> new jersey governor chris christie has closed the door on a 2012 presidential run saying quote, now is not my time. christie says he won't abandon his commitment he made to his state, new jersey, as governor. you know, unlike a certain half term dropout governor of alaska
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did. he put it this way, quote, new jersey, whether you like it or not, you're stuck with me, end quote. this also means republican voters are stuck with the current crop of republican candidates unless mrs. palin decides she'll get in, but it's getting a little late for that. plus, more than two-thirds of republicans say they don't want mrs. palin to run, so it looks like republicans are going to nominate either mitt romney or rick perry the way polls stack up. perry has been sinking fast in the polls as of late. new "washington post" poll shows romney leading the pack 25%. perry's tied for second place with herman cain, each at 16. but for perry, that's a whopping 13-point drop in this poll. the texas governor's stock has been falling after shaky debate performance and questions on where he stands on social security and immigration. cain has been surging in the
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national polls after his surprise win in the florida straw poll and a flurry of media attention. ron paul is the only other candidate who's getting support. he comes in at 11%. with primary season sneaking up on us, it's time for republicans to pick their poison. here's the question. which republican candidate benefits most from governor christie's decision not to run for president? go to post a comment on my blog. >> thank you. rick perry certainly slipping in the polls right now. we're taking a closer look at the political land mines that have been exploding around him. stand by for that.
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but i'm also human. and i believe in stacking the deck. chris christie has been a looming shadow over the republican presidential feel for weeks. not anymore. >> i've explored the options. i've listened to so many people and considered whether this was
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something that i needed to take on. but in the end, what i've always felt was the right decision remains the right decision today. now is not my time. i have a commitment to new jersey that i will not abandon. >> with governor christie staying out, one of the eight major republican candidates will almost certainly challenge president obama. rick perry's chances of being the nominee are looking less and less promising. right now, joe johns has more on governor perry's problems. problems that have helped them lose new ground. >> conservatives had high hopes for this campaign and it is still early, but if rick perry regains his footing -- >> of how the last several days have gone for perry, an old texas story resurfaced about how
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he used the multi-million dollar texas enterprise fund as far back as 2004 to lure subprime lenders to the state only to see their promise of more jobs and prosperity collapse along with their risky bets in the real estate market. a good government watchdog in texas has been all over this story for years. >> the fund is not very transparent. there's few documents available to us or the public. we found the fund represents the essence of cronyism. >> as governor of texas, if he was part of the prop that has hit the economy so hard, it chips away at his assertion that he's the solution voters need. >> they want somebody who hz the record and koushlg and vision to stand up and say here's where this country needs to go. >> perry's second weekend problem was when he suggested sending troops south of the
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border to fight drug related violence. >> it may require our military in mexico. >> red meat for some conservatives perhaps, but to perry's critics, a threatening remark like that about one of america's closest allies sounded a bit off message. >> he is putting stuff out there that makes him look like he has no idea how to deal with foreign policy. >> and then making matters worse, there was a hunting camp story in sunday's "washington post." turns out, perry's family used to go hunting at a place in texas known add well, nigerhead allowing what might be referred to as a free kick. the perry campaign issued all kinds of denials, saying the name of the camp wasn't prominently displayed. many conservatives came to perry's defense. >> we've got two narratives. one is that perry wants to allow
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illegal aliens from mexico and the other, he hates black people. they're kind of incongruous themes. >> now, eric and some other conservatives say perry can recover from the hunting camp story, but many say his biggest problem is message discipline, knowing who to say and when. >> thanks very much. let's get back to the breaking news we're covering in new york city right now in the east river of new york. a helicopter went down a little while ago. five people on board. we're told four have been rescued. a fifth is dead. chief coast guard don dileo is joining us. you were on board one of the response boats that the coast guard sent out there. tell our viewers what was going on. >> that is correct. we received a call that they were, a helicopter down in the
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east river just off of the 34th street heliport. search and rescue alarm had gone off, so we were one of the first coast guard assets to arrive on scene. as we arrived, we realized that they were close to 10 to 15 new york city police and new york city fire boats that were conducting operations and had the scene secure at the time. they were conducted dive operations as well. we worked closely with our partners here in new york that have the ability and assets to conduct operations like that, live operations and basically, our role as of right now is to secure the scene and conduct a safety zone around it, if you will, to make sure that public stays out of the way while operations continue for recovery of the helicopter and so forth. >> the helicopter hasn't been recovered yet?
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>> that is correct. >> do we have any idea what happened here? was the helicopter taking off from the helipad? was it about to land? what was going on based on the information you're getting? >> there was really no information that was passed to us upon arrival on scene. the only thing that we did recognize was there was a helicopter in the water. the scene was to be secured. there were multiple four partner assets on scene. u.s. park police, nypd and basically just trying to figure out exactly what happened. there was no definitive answer what happened on our end. >> we know the national transportation safety board has already launched a full scale investigation. thanks for joining us and for your good work. thanks to the men and women of the united states coast guard as well. more on the amanda knox return to the united states. you saw the joy of amanda knox and her family, but how did the family of the victim react to
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the decision clearing amanda knox of murder? we're going to hear from the brother of meredith kerneler. ♪ [ multiple snds ng melodic tune ] ♪ [ malennounc ] at northrop grumman, makthworld a feplace. th's value performance. northr gruan. [ female announcer ] improve the health of your skin with aveeno daily moisturizing lotion. the natural oatmeal formula improves skin's health in one day, with significant improvement in 2 weeks. i found a moisturizer for life. [ female announcer ] only from aveeno. two of the most important are energy security and economic growth. north america actually has one of the largest oil reserves in the world.
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the homecoming that aymmand knox was dreaming about is almost here. friends and supporters are waiting for her to land in seattle. that's coming up within the next few hours. we watched amanda knox' release from prison play out live here yesterday, but now, the family of the victim is speaking out. matthew chance is joining us now in perugia, where the reaction
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is still intense. you had a chance to speak to a member of meredith kercher's family to get his reaction. how did that go? >> well of course as amanda knox will celebrate her freedom, the other side of this terrible story has been the plight of the meredith kercher family. they've been giving news conferences. also got an opportunity to speak to the brother of meredith. he spoke to me of the disappointment that the family have. that the murder convictions have been overturned. take a listen. >> as we said, we respected or accepted the decision of the original trial and we accept what was decided yesterday. you know, we do have the yut most respect for the decision and integrity of the court and what they've decided and we'll abide by that. >> i get the sense that you're
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not entirely convinced, the back of your minds, all of you still think there may have been some kind of connection with the killing. >> well, i mean, as i've said before, it's a very complex case. there's a lot of evidence there whether it's forensic or physical and of course, one of the thipgs left questioning is how the decision that was so adamant has been so emphatically overturned. >> of course, the decision of the court here in perugia is open. some painful questions for the kern kercher family. if they did not take part in the killing, then who did? remember, the family believed it was more than one person. the police believed that, too. so the family now are very distressed that the possibility
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that somebody else is out here who was involved in the murder who hasn't been brought to justice. >> there is one person serving a 16-year prison sentence for killing meredith kercher. he's not disputing. he pleaded guilty to that charge of participating in that thursday even though he suggested he didn't actually use the knife, but a lot of people believe it was that individual who killed meredith kercher. simple. why can't they believe that? >> that's been the defense case all along. that there was dna evidence from one person other than meredith kercher, inside the place where she was murdered and that was the dna of rudy guerde. he fled the country without calling the police after he saw meredith kercher in a puddle of her own blood in her own bedroom. here, the prosecution suggested
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that there were other people involved. there was circumsubstantial evidence suggesting that was the case. that's something the family had kind of latched on to and is what they still believe today. >> even though there's no hard evidence linking anyone else. the only dna found at the scene was rudy and meredith. no one else's dna. >> that's right. there was other dna evidence used and was instrumental in 2009, but independent forensic experts were brought in by this court and they rubbished those forensic tests done by the police. they said the methodology was all wrong, the forensic samples were contaminated herb ed essen. there was actually no physical evidence connecting amanda to
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the scene. >> what's been the reaction today, a day after the convictions were overturned? >> well, it's been much more muted than last night. last night on your show, there were hundreds of people out in these streets after the court decision. some chanting, shame, because they disagreed with the decision to set amanda free. today, it's much more quiet. people in this city just trying to get on with their lives. there's been a lot of people growing impatient with the media, with this murder case casting a shadow over this beautiful, midevil italian hill top city. most people want to pit behind them and get on with their lives. >> thanks for the terrific reporting. we'll stay in close kak. i want to get back to some of the breaking news we're watching in new york city. the east river specifically. a helicopter crashed into the
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east river near 34th street and 1st avenue. the mayor expected to speak to reporters soon. you see the microphone. they're getting ready for the mayor of new york with all the latest information. five people on board. four of them are hospital right now in new york. two in critical condition. two in stable condition. fifth person was recovered dead. unfortunately, from this crash. we're standing by for that story. we're also standing by for a cnn exclusive. the treasury secretary of the united states opening up to our own newest anchor, erin burnett, about banks making big professes on fees while many americans are hurting and the country singer hank williams jr. is apologizing after mentioning president obama and adolf hitler in the same breath. there's only one bottle left !
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we're learning about new financial support for romney now that chris christie says he's not running in 2012. let's bring in gloria borger. she's working the story for us. a lot of republicans apparently are still unsatisfied with this field, but it looks like that is the feel that's going to be out there. >> i think this is the feel pretty much settled. of course, the only question out there is sarah palin. she seems to be happy to be more of a wedding crasher than candidate at this point, so i think you know, this is the feel we're going to see. the good news for mitt romney in this is we learned today that ken langum, the ceo of home depot, who was one of the people behind trying to get chris
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christie to run, is now moved into the romney camp, so he's an important fund-raiser in the republican party and almost immediately after chris christie announced his decision, he let the romney people know he would be for them. i think you're going to see a h. i think the fund raising numbers are going to come out in ten days. it will be interesting to see if perry's fund raising is continuing at a good pace or whether romney is going to overtake him there. >> i've always assumed that if chris christie had decided to run, that would hurt romney the most because they're both from the northeast. so-called moderate republicans and chris christie would have taken votes away from romney. >> he would have taken votes away. i think what you see in the republican field is that there are a lot of republicans who are kind of unsettled. they didn't like romney a lot. i always that the mitt romney is kind of like the guy your parents wanted to fix you up with and you decided you'd
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rather date some other fellows, then say, gee, he doesn't look so bad. that's mitt romney. they flirted with mike huckabee, mitch daniels, paul ryan -- there are lots of people making the case that you got to focus on barack obama and youf got to nominate someone who is electable and that is what mitt romney is selling himself as. a business man who can go toe to toe with obama on the economy and who is electable. >> you've got a terrific new column at that you've written. i recommend it to our viewers. you want to recommend my blog as well? >> i do. >> i'll read yours if you read mine. >> it's a deal. we're seeing new movement in the race just in time for our next debate. join cnn for the western republican debate in las vegas. it will air live tuesday night,
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october 18th, 8:00 p.m. here on cnn. new bank fees are an added financial burden. erin burnett spoke with the treasury secretary, timothy geithner, about that today. listen to this clip from her exclusive interview. >> the reforms came through and the banks are upset about them and banks are fighting back saying you and dodd frank made life too hard. i just pulled three from three banks everyone knows. citi now charging $15 a month if you have a balance under $6,000. and jpmorgan chase tried out $5 atm fees for nonchase customers. do they need to do those things are or they trying to do things that hit the public to try to get the public on board with them getting rid of our reform? >> the banks are blaming the
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reforms and government for everything. including lots of problems they were central to causing and most people are terribly angry with that and want to see things change. we want to put in place the kind of protections the consumer deserves so they're not vulnerab vulnerable. there's no surprises, nothing strange about the fact banks are resisting it. they're trying to weaken those reforms and we're going to push back harder and we're going to prevail because what we're doing is a reasonable, sensible thing, which is to make sure the american economy is never again -- >> and you can see erin's exclusive interview with the secretary of the treasury later tonight, airs 7:00 p.m. eastern here on cnn. some republicans now are
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pushing for a special counsel to investigate the attorney general of the united states, eric holder. the issue, a controversial gun running program and whether he misled congress. i'd never ride without one now. and since my doctor prescribed lipitor, i won't go without it for my high cholesterol and my risk of heart attack. why kid myself? diet and exercise weren't lowering my cholesterol enough. now i'm eating healthier, exercising more, taking lipitor. numbers don't lie. my cholesterol's stayed down. lipitor is fda approved to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients who have heart disease or risk factors for heart disease. it's backed by over 19 years of research. [ female announcer ] lipitor is not for everyone, including people with liver problems and women who are nursing, pregnant or may become pregnant. you need simple blood tests to check for liver problems. tell your doctor if you are taking other medications, or if you have any muscle pain or weakness. this may be a sign of a rare but serious side effect. [ man ] still love that wind in my face! talk to your doctor. don't kid yourself about the risk of heart attack and stroke. if lipitor's been working for you, stay with it.
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lipitor may be available for as little as $4 a month with the lipitor co-pay card. terms and conditions apply. learn more at but they also go beyond banking. we installed a ge fleet monitoring system. it tracks every vehicle in their fleet. it cuts fuel use. koch: it enhances customer service. it's pretty amazing when people who loan you money also show you how to save it. not just money, knowledge. it's so much information, it's like i'm right there in every van in the entire fleet. good day overall. yeah, i'm good. come on in. let's go. wow, this is fantastic. ge capital. they're not just bankers. we're builders. they helped build our business.
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we're hearing from the mayor of new york, he's speaking about the helicopter crash in the east river of new york city. four people rescued. a fifth unfortunately dead. let's listen in. >> in terms of saving the people. >> once that chopper downed did divers get in, how does that work? >> they get in, try to get anybody out. apparently, four out of the five people got out of the helicopter on their own. the fifth was trapped in the helicopter. whether they were conscious at the time or not, we just don't know. >> would the helicopter -- >> we just don't know. the national transportation safety board will interview people. it was inverted, upside down, when some of the people were rescued and some of the passengers that got out were holding on to the skids. the pilot did escape unharmed, yes. yes, sir.
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it's optional whether you have flotation devices. they're very safe and most helicopters do not have them. the tourist helicopters do not have them, but if it lands upside down, it doesn't do anybody any good. this was not -- to the best of our knowledge, it was a private helicopter from lyndon, new jersey. now, whether or not it was owned by a company or individual, we just don't know at this point. apparently, the pilot knew the passengers and had come over to pick them up. last question. we think and keep in mind the story changes every min, but we believe two were britts who lived in portugal. two lived in austral area and one was english. we're still trying to talk to families. all i can say is all new yorkers
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feel for this family. and we wish it had not happened and our prayers are with the deceased and our prayers and our prayers also that those three people in the hospital recover from their injuries. i've heard that story. i don't know whether that's true or not and i don't know if it had any relevance to this. the nt srsb will do their usual thorough examination. eventually, they do issue a report that takes a lot of time because they're very careful and they check everything. and everything else is just speculation and yes, miss. i'm sorry, i couldn't hear you. >> all four from the helicopter -- >> no, i said four of them were outside the helicopter when apparently when the rescuers got
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to them. one was trapped inside. i don't know. and you know, we've got everybody's got to different story. as you would expect. l last question, sir. there's some story that some are related, but we're just not sure. >> all four of them -- >> they apparently knew each other and at least some knew the pilot. they were all adults. a woman and we can't release their names until we notify the next of kin, obviously. apparently, the pilot said he was having problems, tried to turn around and come back, but that may change as well. that's what's been reported so far. the national transportation safety board will listen to the logs. i assume the radios were taped and some day, they'll issue the story. last question, sir. no, it's still in the water. we'll take a while, but there's tho bodies in there. we did get the body out of the
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woman who has died and i just ho that's the only fatality. thank you, all. it's a sad day. but ik i think one of the comforting things was the way the police department, fire department, came together, worked together and did whatever was humanly possible to reduce the loss of life. >> michael bloomberg giving us the latest on that crash into the east river. five people on board. four rescued, one unfortunately dead. we'll stay on top of the story. much muhr news right after this. ford fusion has now been named the most dependable midsize car by jd power and associates. we go to kimberly. any thoughts on this news? i have no idea what's goin on. we are out. what was that?
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they told me it's the most dependable midsize sedan and they ran back into their little box. two of the most important are energy security and economic growth. north america actually has one of the largest oil reserves in the world. a large part of that is oil sands. this resource has the ability to create hundreds of thousands of jobs. at our kearl project in canada, we'll be able to produce these oil sands with the same emissions as many other oils and that's a huge breakthrough. that's good for our country's energy security and our economy.
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the house republicans are questioning whether the attorney general of the united states, eric holder, misled congress about his knowledge of a controversial gun-running ram. they want to escalate the investigation now with a special counsel. cnn's brian todd has been covering this for us. what is the new issue here? >> wolf, the new issue is just what the attorney general knew about this controversial gun tracking program and when he knew it. >> reporter: add one more migraine for eric holder over the fast and furious gun running program, whether holder misled congress when he knew about fast and furious. house republicans are asking for a probe by a special counsel over this exchange between
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holder and one of the lead congressional investigators in early may. >> when did you first know about the program officially i believe called fast and furious? to the best of your knowledge, what date? >> i'm not sure of the exact date but i probably heard about fast and furious for the first time over last few weeks. >> reporter: documents leaked to cnn and other news organizations raise questions. a member mow to holder from the director of the national drug intelligence center dated july 5, 2010, mentions fast and furious. the memo discusses straw purchasers buying 1500 guns supplied to mexican drug cartels. it doesn't appear to mention the controversial tactics involved in the operation. we spoke with republican chuck grassley of senate judiciary committee who is investigating fast and furious. >> these documents do prove that somebody in the justice department knew more about it long time before, like you said, july of 2010, as an example. >> reporter: contacted by cnn, a high level justice department
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official strongly rejected the notion that holder improperly testified. the official said, those memos are routine reports that provide general overviews. none of these reports referenced the controversial tactics that allowed guns to cross the border. fast and furious was an atf program designed to take down big weapons trafficking operations from the u.s. to mexico but atf whistle-blower says, in the process of trying to track weapons, agents were forced to watch as up to 2,000 guns were allowed to be taken into mexico. some wound up at murder scenes. former justice department prosecutor peter toren doesn't believe those memos show any detailed knowledge by holder. how often does he get memos like this that mention program likes fast and furious almost in passing? is it too much for him to remember in detail? >> being aattorney general is a 24/7 job he gets briefings like this every morning and it's impossible for a single person to absorb all of the details.
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if there were details problematic people below him should have pointed that out. >> the obama administration appoint a special counsel on this? we've called and e-mailed the white house. they have not responded yet. >> the justice department is responding to critics on capitol hill. >> they're saying there's a who, knew, what, when in congress. daryl issa, they say he got a briefing himself on fast and furious last year. issa aides tell us there were several congressmen involved, that that briefing ran over a lot of other topics that the program was never mentioned by name and they never discussed tactics. a lot of back and forth between justice and issa's office. >> i suspect this story is about to explode in the coming weeks and months. back to jack for "the cafferty file." >> the question this hour, which republican candidate benefits most from governor chris christie's decision not to run for president? ed in pennsylvania writes, that's like asking who won the miss see caucus beauty contest in 195?
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nobody! no one wins even if they run and win. america's on the decline courtesy of both the republican and democratic parties and americans wishing to buy their snake oil politics. christie is the big winner in this for staying out of it. perhaps being recruited later is the number two on the ticket with romney. new jersey's big boy gets his cake and can eat it, too. harriette in new york writes, i think there are two republican candidates who benefit, romney and huntsman. but the person who benefits is obama. ron says none of them what does it say the media flocked to christie like see galls to a kid like popcorn? it's obvious that the current bunch are leftover scraps and the gop is still looking. still way early. gop is toast. it can't win. joe writes, without a doubt, romney, perry, bachmann fighting over the far right wing of the tea party. christie was appealing to the more moderate wing of the republican party. with and him gone romney will pick up the more rational republicans.
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brandon writes, none of them do. maybe you guys didn't notice but christie was never going to run. i'm sure the rest of the morons -- i mean candidates knew that, too. you guys have been hounding the poor guy because you don't want to report on things that matter. get with the program, jack. you're as much a part of the problem as the rest of us. i guess that's all we have time for. if you want to read more, you'll find it on my blog. >> jack, thanks very much. will the comedians lay off the weight jokes? jeanne moos is next.
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chris christie say he's not running for president. jeanne moos breaks down the drama. >> reporter: we in the press tend to fall hardest for the guy hard to get. >> is he in or is christie out? >> and is he in or is he out? >> yes or no? >> the answer's no. >> reporter: say it ain't so. ♪ no, no, no no >> it's a no until it's a yes. ♪ no, no, no >> what i said i'd recan my no and i did but the no never changed. so new jersey, whether you like it or not, you're stuck with me. >> reporter: governor christie giggled his way -- >> ha, ha. >> reporter: -- through a couple of the questions. >> it's a shock to people in new jersey, right? >> reporter: his decision not run for president shocked nobody but it disappointed many. we are gathered here to mourn all of the unborn, undelivered weight jokes that will now not
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be told. late-night xhed yens will have to be content. >> traveling down the new jersey turnpike i saw him on the truck scales. he was -- >> reporter: with the routines they've already managed to squeeze in during the courtship of christie. >> yes, ma'am in. >> if you run for president, i will give you this bucket of chicken, extra crispy. >> oh, okay. >> reporter: governor christie said he done mind when comedians joke about his weight, that's their job. >> all i care about is that they are funny, you know? so i can at least laugh about it while they're mocking me. >> reporter: when political commentator sea things like this. >> christie cannot be president, he's just too fat. >> the people who pretend to be serious commentators who wrote about this are among the most ignore people i've heard in high life. >> reporter: david letterman
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promised not do more weight jokes. >> the guy sent off to come up with jokes that weren't about me being fat, that guy was really good. >> fat jokes disguised as dumb jokes. >> chris christie is so dumb, his blood type is alfredo. >> reporter: fat jokes disguised as cheap jokes. >> chris christie is so cheap, when he steps on a scale it reads one at a time. >> almost their funny what do i care? >> reporter: not only 4 k. he take a joke. >> andrew would go, dad, did you see this one. >> reporter: he can tell one. >> he's been grounded. >> reporter: jeanne moos, cnn. >> i live you, chris christie! >> reporter: new york. >> he's an impressive guy, the governor of new jersey, chris christie. but he's not, repeat, not running for president of the united states. that's it for me. thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." the news continues next on cnn. thanks, wolf. good evening, tonight, new
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jersey governor chris christie says no running for president and as he steps