tv The Situation Room CNN February 4, 2015 2:00pm-4:01pm PST
know. the surgeon general role is defined very much by the inhabitants. we will see how he does. he is literally just starting his career here. >> your position position of my dad, a pediatrician get your kids immunized, it is the safest thing to do. >> get them immunized and do it on schedule as well. >> dr. sanjay gupta, thank you. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. turning you over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." happening now, deadly crash on camera. an airliner suddenly cartwheels into view clips a car and bridge and slams into a river. survivors' stories. incredibly many passengers including young children lived through the crash. some swimming away from the wreckage. we will learn how they did it. and jordan strikes back. a u.s. ally retaliates for the savage murder of its captured pilot by hanging two terrorists. now it vows a relentless war against isis. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
a sudden moment of horror captured on dash cam video. an airliner with 58 people on board falls from the sky, hits a moving taxi and a bridge railing and plunges into a river. more than half on board are dead but somehow, there are survivors and search and rescue operations are still under way. we have extraordinary images of the crash and its dramatic aftermath. the pilot's urgent distress call and new clues to what may have gone wrong. our correspondents and analysts and newsmakers are standing by with full coverage. let's begin with cnn's brian todd for the very latest. >> reporter: investigators are pouring over the black boxes of this airplane that crashed moments after takeoff from taipei. an unbelievable piece of video captured the flight's final horrifying moments. from a car's dash camera the scene unfolds in about six seconds. the turboprop plane appears
suddenly on the left side losing altitude. it makes a dramatic pitch to the left clips a taxicab and the bridge and hurtles into the water. analysts say the pilot of the transasia airways plane may have been trying to carry out a life-saving maneuver by crashing into the river. >> the pilot had apparently been making an attempt to make a left turn to avoid landing straight ahead which would have been into buildings, highway and other things that would have caused that aircraft to possibly rupture into flames. >> reporter: much of the plane remained intact in the river in taiwan's capital. among the 58 people on board, there were more than a dozen survivors but the pilot and two co-pilots were not among them. the black boxes containing the flight data and cockpit voice recorders have been recovered. while the investigation into the cause is just getting under way, experts say the plane's steep pitch to the left indicates the left side engine or part of the aerodynamics on that side might have failed. one possible clue an audio
recording from the cockpit to air traffic control moments before impact. >> mayday mayday. flameout. >> a flameout means the engine has lost its combustion. in other words, there's no thrust coming from that engine any longer. >> reporter: among the survivors pulled from the water, a 1-year-old baby. despite the breathtaking images one expert says this was a survivable accident. >> because of the slow air speed, the relative angle that it impacted with the water and the way the fuselage was lying in the water, there was a lot of survivable space here. >> reporter: we now have a second crash involving that same airline, transasia, in less than a year. in july of 2014 another transasia plane in taiwan crashed, killing 48 people. it comes during a disastrous 12-month period for the asian region with the airasia crash off indonesia that killed 162 people on december 28th and of course the disappearance of malaysian airlines flight 370 in
the indian ocean. horrible year for aviation. >> you are getting information the actual propellors of this aircraft they could have been a big factor here? >> that's right. experts are telling us tonight watch what investigators are saying about whether it was feathering of these propellers they say if an engine or the aerodynamics of a propellor plane fail then the propellors are supposed to be feathered meaning the thin edge of the propeller is supposed to be turned in the direction the plane is flying to cut through the air like a knife and eliminate drag. if that's done right, we are told that could conceivably help to straighten out the plane. watch for what investigators are saying about whether there was fet feathering about whether this was going on and done right. watch for that. >> thanks very much. let's get more on what happened before those harrowing final seconds all caught on camera. cnn's tom forman is joining us now. he's got more on the route the plane followed just after it took off, minutes before the
crash. tom? >> yeah wolf if you take a look at it, this is how it took off. this is the way it flew roughly paralleling the river through here. whether or not that was by design or simply by accident, we don't know. let's look at what happened during that process. at this first dot here it's really just beginning to take off. let's take a look at this. from the time it was getting off the ground at zero seconds here as it's taking off, it rose to an altitude of about 100 feet and had a speed of 133 1/2 miles per hour. could have been up to 150 miles an hour for this aircraft at takeoff and maximum takeoff weight about 50,000 pounds. now, it advances over this area here over the river through some areas and it reaches this point. i want you to watch what changes with these numbers over here. when it's gone just this very short distance flight time moves forward and now we are about two seconds into the flight and it has driven up toward an altitude of some 13,050 feet although this number is not quite right. it's a little further along than
that. the speed is now around 122.77 miles an hour. that's after it gets right off the ground. then as it moves forward to its next point along the way, it rises to about 1250 feet, 95 miles an hour. we have had a change here and that's where we're seeing this first turn start to happen here. we keep talking about the turn to the left. there were two of them. the one you're seeing at the end is the catastrophic one where this plane goes down. but this seems to be the place where it first had a change in its power supply a change in its climb and it made the first turn. now, whether this was by design or because that left engine did stop functioning and it pulled it that way because the right engine is pushing around we don't know. but that took it sweeping over this way and then it came in toward the end there and in the end, look at this it's still holding about the right speed but that's partially because it's falling so quickly because look where it is. 200 feet off the ground over here.
so big change there, wolf in terms of what it was doing and a change that was really precarious because of everything it was flying over in this area. take a look. these are the buildings it was trying to clear. some of them 12 stories tall. that meant as it was coming in toward the end, it was very close to the tops of them. it had a lot to avoid and even at its best point, it was not that much higher over all those people on the ground. >> yeah there were lots of high buildings there so clearly, it could have been a whole lot worse. >> absolutely. absolutely. even when it came in at the bottom we keep talking about this bridge. i want to give you another perspective because it does make a difference. look at this bridge from the ground. the bridge itself was six stories tall. that's what this plane hit on up here. so it had all sorts of obstacles in front of it as it was trying to deal with what appears to be some sort of catastrophic failure that led it to crash into the water. so truthfully the minute it stopped, the moment it stopped gaining altitude this plane had
huge obstacles right in front of it. >> tom, thank you. immediately after the crash, survivors wearing life jackets waded and swam away from the wreckage. rescuers also found children who made it through the ordeal alive. cnn's pamela brown is here in "the situation room" with more on the survivors and there were survivors. >> there were survivors. one of the survivors includes a little boy. we have video of him. you see him captured in this video right here. he was pulled from that wreckage this toddler, then gently placed into the arms of a rescuer in a boat as other survivors wait in line. we are not sure who was holding him there at that boat but we have learned from taiwan's official news agency that a 1-year-old toddler and his parents survived the crash but became separated. the wife and toddler were taken to a different hospital than the dad, and it turns out according to this news agency that the father was so desperate to get to them that he actually biked to the other hospital injured, to reunite with them. a doctor at a hospital where
several survivors were taken says that many of the people from the plane crash seem to have been hit by a huge force from the outside. they suffered trauma from their heads to their legs. one first responder who went into the plane's cabin after that crash told the taipei times that the cabin was flooded with chest-deep water. the seats were severely deformed. many passengers were tangled up in their seat belts and hung upside down some even passed away in that position. 15 are injured and 12 are missing, officials say, but that search and rescue continues right now. >> the luckiest person may have been the driver of that taxicab. >> yeah. this is really unbelievable. you see that cab in the video. the plane's going down one of the wings of the plane clips a taxi and right here we see the mangled taxi after that crash but amazingly, the driver and passenger inside cheated death. they were both taken to the hospital. they have serious head injuries we are told and the driver
actually told the taiwanese press that he fainted when the accident happened but when you look at this video, thinking a plane struck it on its way down and the two people inside survived, really incredible. >> it is incredible indeed. i'm happy they did survive. thank you very much pamela brown. for more on where the investigation goes from here i'm joined on the phone by the former ntsb chair, deborah hirshman. thanks very much for joining us. looking at that video, it certainly looks as though one of the propellers was not turning on this plane. what does that say to you? >> you know i think the investigators have a lot of good information here. they've got a mayday call that came through on air traffic control. they've got visual with the video evidence and then they've got the recorders. this is really the best case as far as an investigation goes with the access to information they have in the early hours. >> does it seem deborah, like the pilot was trying to ditch the plane in the river?
>> you know i think it's really hard to say what the pilot might have been doing. there is so much that's happening, it's really a dynamic situation and we really only have a few seconds of information. but when they download those recorders, they are going to get control inputs they are going to get potentially what the pilot may have been trying to do with respect to controlling the aircraft and they will get conversations, too. so there is some experience with respect to the taiwanese authorities that are investigating this accident. they don't have a tremendous amount of experience but they do have good experience and they have been very helpful to work with in the past. >> was there another landing option available to the pilot that might have had a safer outcome? >> given the rapid descent over a populated urban area i would say that there are not many pilots who get the opportunity to pull off a sullenberger type
landing in the hudson. thinks justthis is just fortunate that we have survivors. you talk about the cab occupants but also the people on the plane that survive. it does show you the majority of accidents are survivable so it is important to make sure people think about emergency egress and how to get out. >> very good advice. the plane itself was an atr-72-600. is that generally considered a safe plane? >> i think most planes have very good records nowadays. we've got a lot of commercial aircraft that are built all over the world. these aircraft have been around. atr has been around. but i think this airline will have to look very closely at these two events that have occurred recently to understand what happened. i think it will be very important to understand what caused if there was an engine failure, what caused that failure to make sure other
aircraft aren't susceptible to a similar failure. they will want to get on that immediately. then i think understanding what was going on in the cockpit with these pilots because pilots are trained to deal with an engine failure. so what did they do how did they respond, what happened. >> this airline, this taiwanese airline, transasia, it's the airline's second deadly crash in less than a year. could there be a bigger problem here as to how this airline operates? >> absolutely. i think any time you have a crash that is an event that everyone has to pay attention to. when you have a couple in a year for any time period you have to begin to really dig a little bit deeper into the airline, into their culture, into their practices, and it may be something beyond their control but i think when you have multiple events you've got to take a deeper dive and you really have to peel back the layers of the onion to see what's going on with this operation. >> deborah hirshman former ntsb
chair, thank you for joining us. up next was the pilot trying to ditch his plane in the river? our aviation experts are standing by. we will take a closer look into the deadly crash and how so many people actually managed to survive. plus a key u.s. ally plans to step up its air strikes against isis after that gruesome murder of one of its pilots. [ female announcer ] we help make secure financial tomorrows a reality for over 19 million people. [ mom ] with life insurance, we're not just insuring our lives... we're helping protect his. [ female announcer ] everyone has a moment when tomorrow becomes real. transamerica. transform tomorrow. at ally bank no branches equals great rates. it's a fact. kind of like shopping hungry equals overshopping.
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taiwan. the plane's last horrifying seconds in the air were all caught by a car's dashboard camera. at least 31 of the 58 people on board the plane are confirmed dead but there are also at least 15 survivors. let's bring in our experts. the former commercial airline pilot and aviation consultant alistair rosenshine along with our cnn aviation correspondent, richard quest and the former faa safety inspector, david soucy. guys thanks very much. alistair you are a former pilot. you looked at the video. do you think the pilot was actually trying to ditch the plane in the river? what's your analysis? >> well it's rather hard to say whether he was. what i can say for certain is that the atr-72 like all twin engine commercial airliners, is quite capable of flying with one engine out. that's with one engine failed. so we're assuming here they had lost an engine as that seems the type of mayday call. so questions have to be asked why the aircraft was flying an
erratic flight path why it descended and the latter stages looks like the left wing there had stalled, causing a very rapid roll to the left. you know the accident investigators will clearly be looking at every aspect of this flight and the training and technical aspect of the aircraft itself but i think i wouldn't be at all surprised if a certain amount of focus isn't on the handling of the aircraft and trying to reproduce this particular failure in the simulator and seeing how other crews handle it. because it does you know have the hallmarks of a mishandled flight. but it's really really difficult to say. it is entirely possible they had a failure which no crews could have handled. >> that's entirely possible. they will be looking at all of that. david, if a pilot hadn't clipped that bridge clipped that taxi then the bridge could that landing actually have been more successful in that relatively shallow water?
>> well as alistair said it's hard to predict. however, at that angle, as steep as it was and it apparently as alistair said also that left wing had stalled which would not have been recoverable at any point even if the bridge wasn't there, so i believe -- i'm not sure it was possible to pull off a sullenberger type landing at this point. >> miracle on the hudson as they say. richard, how do people survive this type of crash? are they fortunate to be in the front of the plane, the middle of the plane, the back of the plane? what's going on inside? >> pure unbridled luck, wolf. it depends where you are in the aircraft and that depends on the nature of the plane. it's often been said that the safest part of the aircraft is the back. that's because the front hits an object first. but if you look at the statistics they are tiny in their difference. for example, they always say flying backwards is supposedly safer than flying forwards if your seat is backwards. it's a very minor difference.
what you will have here is a classic situation that those who were in a particular part of the plane, so for example, from these pictures we know the front of the fuselage went into the water. that's where most of the deaths were. the back of the plane is not in the water to the same extent. that's where many of the survivors. and then you get the situation where the plane breaks up as it did here and some people are thrown the seats are thrown from the fuselage as well. it really comes down to pure luck. >> but do you have to make sure you tighten your seat belt and get into that crouched position that can certainly help. luck is important but you have to do what they tell you to do. >> i'm guessing in this situation, wolf there would have been almost no opportunity for any brace, brace. look from what we know the plane had departed had got about five miles downstream it was at about 1300 feet. you have a mayday mayday an
engine has flamed out. as soon as that happens, the plane starts to descend very rapidly. you then at this moment of extremis get the stalling of the left wing clipping the bridge and into the water it goes. my guess is judging by the cockpit voice recorder and what we know so far, there would have been virtually no time for any brace positions. >> alistair is this atr-72-600 is it a pretty safe plane? does it have a good safety record? >> well yes, it does although in the past year they have managed to lose another one of these aircraft. as your previous commentator said when you start to get more than one accident in this type of aircraft in a similar type of accident then you have to look at it very closely indeed. i myself have flown twin turbo props, 50 seater ones but they were built, a much older type of aircraft and it had very very poor handling capabilities with an engine out.
you know basically, the most important thing when flying an aircraft with an engine out is your air speed. you try and maintain the engine out air speed which should give you a reasonable rate of climb to clear all the objects that you might see ahead of you. however, in this case that didn't happen and so something's gone horribly wrong. >> there have been several asian carriers that have had problems as we all know. is there something, is this just coincidental or is there something, is there a major problem in asia right now with some of these newer carrier sns? >> it's too early to tell because we don't know the cause of most of these accidents. now we are going to try to go back and look at it and make a connection. i don't see a lot of connection between these accidents. although it's hard to believe that it's anomolous in any way. we need to peel the onions back
and see what's going on with these carriers. coming up, a key u.s. alliances the murder of its captured pilot by hanging two jihadists. now it's planning a relentless war against isis. a deadly collision and fire on a commuter rail line near new york city. there is new information coming in. we will share it with you in "the situation room." sir, we're going to need you on the runway later. don't let a severe cold hold you back. get theraflu... ...with the power of three medicines to take on your worst pain and fever, cough and nasal congestion. it breaks you free from your toughest cold and flu symptoms. theraflu. serious power.
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isis and we are learning it plans to step up air strikes as part of the u.s.-led coalition. we have full coverage. let's start with cnn's pentagon correspondent, barbara starr. she is standing by with the very latest. >> reporter: what do we expect from jordan? i can tell you that the u.s. is very clear, it is supporting jordan in whatever it decides to do in the coming hours, and there is a general feeling that yes, jordan will step up its air strikes. they are not putting troops on the ground so air strikes clearly on the table to go against isis in syria. there are a couple of technical issues though that will shape anything that might happen. the jordanians have a capable air force but isis targets right now are mainly mobile targets. isis on the move on the ground. not the easiest thing to chase down so the jordanians will be looking for some technical assistance from the u.s. in targeting intelligence surveillance, all of that. if in fact the jordanians take to the skies with increased air strikes, you are likely to see
the u.s. also take to the skies in support of what they are doing. wolf? >> so we should anticipate in the not too distant future a major increase in the number of jordanian and presumably u.s. air strikes, is that what i'm hearing? >> reporter: well look, king abdullah is the one that is saying it that jordan will take action and he tends very much to be a man of his word. he doesn't take any of this lightly, to say the least. so if he is putting it out there, the u.s. takes him at his word. let me just say, it takes about 72 hours, this is a known fact for the so-called air tasking order. the coalition list of targets that are portioned out to different countries, it's a 72-hour cycle from when you start. we don't know when it starts but we know it will take about that amount of time for all the pieces to be put in place. if king abdullah lives up to his word which we expect that jordan will take action against isis.
>> barbara, thank you. after the brutal murder of its pilot, jordan wasted absolutely no time in hanging those two jailed jihadists. king abdullah is making it clear that's just the beginning of an all-out war with isis. let's go to amman, jordan. cnn's jomana karadsheh is standing by with more on the reaction. it's been quite intense there, hasn't it? >> reporter: after we spoke last night we talked about people on the streets calling for revenge and many here in jordan woke up to the kind of news they were hoping to hear. the execution of two of the highest profile jihadis in jordanian jails. sajida rishawi, the failed suicide bomber the iraqi woman we know isis had been demanding in a prisoner swap and also ziad karbouli an iraqi who was a top aide to the former leader of the former leader of iraq abu musab al zarqawi. these are two prisoners with
ties to al qaeda in iraq and isis here and their executions were welcomed by so many jordanians today, and we heard calls for more. jordanians are saying this should be only the beginning of the jordanian response. they want to see the execution of more isis-linked prisoners. of course jordan has a large number of jihadists in its prisons, whether former members of al qaeda or isis supporters and sympathizers. we have heard from the government in recent months they have cracked down and they have behind bars and we also heard from the family of the pilot, saying that more executions should take place of isis supporters who are in jordanian jails. but the father of the pilot's saying that these two executions that took place, these two executed prisoners do not compare to his son. >> and they were both sent to the gallows, both of these
convicted terrorists the woman and the man, sajida rishawi and ziad karbouli they were both hung, right? >> reporter: yes, that's correct. that is the sentence in jordan. it is death by hanging. we have not heard more details about how this took place. we do know that it happened at dawn today and jordanians woke up to the news with an urgent banner on state television announcing it to jordan shortly after 5:00 in the morning local time. >> jomana karadsheh, thank you. we will get back to you. joining us now, a key member of the house armed services committee, iraq war veteran, the democratic congresswoman, tulci gabbard of hawaii. do you have a problem with jordan's decision to go ahead and hang these two terrorists? >> these are two people who jordan has already identified and found guilty. they were on death row. i think the mistake that people are making is somehow equating hanging these two terrorists
these two islamic extremists with the burning alive of this jordanian pilot. there really is no equation. i think this action jordan has taken is a symbol and a statement to groups like isis al qaeda and these other islamic extremist groups that they are not going to stand back and cower in fear that they are not going to take what isis has done and that they are going to wage this war both in a military sense and an idealogical sense. >> i'm told from jordan' perspective, this is only just the beginning. they are going to really dramatically step up their attacks against isis in iraq and in syria. they are not going to -- this is not just hanging these two terrorists. they are going to move forward with an intensive air strike. what are you hearing? >> we actually met with king abdullah of jordan yesterday shortly before he went to meet with the president at the white house, expressed our deepest condolences on the loss of this pilot, but we also heard from him a very strong and resolute
statement of not only going out and you know really putting all of their resources towards defeating isis and these other groups but he very clearly identified that there are two avenues that have to be pursued simultaneously. one is a military action but the other is an idealogical war that is also being fought here. he talked about the president of egypt who is very actively called for other leaders of these moderate muslim countries to stand up against this extremism, and that this is yet another symbol of the necessity of that action that has to be taken. >> i want to get some more on what king abdullah asked you. you are a member of the armed services committee, and your colleagues. we know he's seeking more u.s. military assistance. he's got some problems there. we will discuss that and more congresswoman. we will take a quick break. more on what happens next when we come back.
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back with congresswoman tulsi gabbard of hawaii. she's a democrat she serves on the house foreign affairs and armed services committee. she is also an iraq war veteran. congresswoman, is there any indication at all that the coalition is ready to deploy 100,000 troops on the ground in iraq and syria in order to destroy isis? mike morel, former cia deputy
director was on tv this morning saying it would take 100,000 troops. are you hearing at all, anybody here in washington is ready to make that kind of commitment? >> i haven't heard anything like that. i think putting that proposition forward is a dangerous one because the groundwork hasn't been laid in place to even get to that point where we should consider putting that amount of our troops or any troops' lives in danger because again, i have said this before we have to identify exactly who the enemy is. this isn't just about isis and al qaeda in iraq and syria. the king of jordan as we spoke to him yesterday from the armed services committee, talked about how this same islamic extremist groups exist in nigeria, in sinai in egypt where they just launched a big attack and we have to recognize exactly who they are and then come up with a strategy to defeat them. that strategy has to be a three-pronged strategy. it's got to be militarily, decisively so strongly it's got to be politically where in iraq for example, you will have a different political solution
to this so that the sunnis currently in iraq are not creating that [ inaudible ] because of their being disenfranchised by the government. lastly but not least, idealogically. these are people that believe if they kill as we saw this horrific attack on this jordanian pilot, then they will go to heaven, their families will be taken care of. this theology this ideology has to be challenged not only by us but by moderate muslim leaders by the king of jordan and everyone else. >> senator john mccain, he was on cnn today. he said what the u.s. needs to do right away he said provide troops as forward air controllers, intelligence special forces to get i guess the iraqi military the kurdish military the free syrian army to help them do the real fighting. is that realistic? >> i think there is some support that we should consider giving to these ground fighters like the kurdish peshmerga who have
been doing an outstanding job and very decisively defeating groups like isis on the ground. whether we have special forces really going in in a quick insert strategic defeat and exit, i think teasehese are different things we consider. this has to be part of an overall strategy that seeks to decisively defeat isis. >> he also says mccain, that isis is winning right now, despite all these rosy little tidbits that administration officials, others are putting out, he says isis is still winning. do you agree? >> i think the reason why isis i think is continuing to increase in strength and their threat is not diminishing again is because they haven't been clearly identified and that clear and decisive strategy has not been laid in place. some of these air strikes have been effective. we have seen the air strikes combined with the kurdish peshmerga's fighting on the ground in kobani for example. but we are not talking about just what's happening in iraq or syria. we have to look at this from a much broader perspective and within that context.
>> we learned overnight that the united arab emirates one of our closest allies in that part of the world, they were part of this coalition air strike campaign but they stopped their air strikes after that jordanian pilot in his f 16 went down. we know what happened to the jordanian pilot. they are concerned the u.s. does not have search and rescue operation missions close enough they are far away whether in kuwait or qatar or the uae. they are not even allowed to fly from turkey even though it's a nato ally as you know. the u.s. doesn't want to establish those bases, those rescue operation bases, in northern iraq. that's a problem, isn't it? >> there are so many problems with that whole proposition, i think first of all now is not the time for countries like the united arab emirates or countries like turkey to be stepping back. this is something that's happening right there on their doorstep and in their countries and in the region and they should be the ones who are stepping up as the king of jordan has, as the president of egypt has in taking on a
leadership role in this and the united states should work with them as partners in order to be able to effectively accomplish that goal. >> congresswoman, thanks very much for coming in. >> thanks wolf. at the top of the hour we will have much more on these incredible pictures that have been coming in. the latest on the deadly plane crash including new information on the passengers who survived. but up next a deadly accident right here in the united states. a rush hour commuter train collides with an suv, starting a huge fire. female vo: i actually have a whole lot of unused vacation days, but where am i gonna go? i just don't have the money to travel right now. i usually just go back home to see my parents so i can't exactly go globe-trotting. if i had friends to go with i'd go but i don't want to travel by myself. someday. male vo: there are no more excuses. find the hotel you want, and the flight you want, and we'll find the savings to get you there.
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it happened during evening rush hour. investigators looking into why a woman drove her suv on the tracks. the collision and the fire that followed killed her along with five train passengers. rene marsh is on location right now. she has the latest on the investigation. what are you learning? >> reporter: wolf at this hour it's a mystery how this suv got stuck on the tracks. we received an update from the ntsb. we know that one of the train's recorders is in route to washington, d.c. where they will analyze it. by tomorrow we should know how fast this train was traveling. we also know in the next 24 to 48 hours they hope to interview the train's crew. smoke and flames poured out of a packed metro north train after the rail line's deadliest crash yet. five people dead in the blazing inferno. >> the bodies are from the front
car. the bodies are all very badly burned and unidentifiable. >> reporter: at least 15 injured after the train slammed into a mercedes suv stuck on the tracks. it was crushed and tossed 1,000 feet. the driver was the sixth fatality. the 5:45 metro north train left grand central tuesday evening. as the train approached val holla suv crossed the track. but it gets stuck. witnesses say the railroad crossing arm went dundown and the driver got out to inspect. the train slams into the suv. new video from inside the train shows how packed it was. more than 600 people were on board. the electrifying third rail rammed through the train. smoke filled the cars and the
temperature rose. >> there was a passenger that ran past me. he had blood on his face. people were pulling windows out trying to get out through the emergency windows. >> the first car -- we were able to get off in time. it was scary. >> reporter: the ntsb is getting its first look at the crash site. you can see investigators surrounding the first car of the train. the first step in the process is documenting all of the wreckage. investigators have the event recorders which will tell how fast the train was traveling and when brakes were applied. they are examining the crossing signals. >> each of those devices has a recorder on it. those recorders have already been secured. >> reporter: hundreds of passengers self-evacuated. some say they were on their own without instructions. any indication at this point whether this process of getting passengers off the train happened fast enough?
have you had a chance to speak to passengers? >> in this press briefing i'm going to discuss the ntsb's investigative processes. because we have not confirmed any of that at this point. we will. by the time we have completed this investigation, we will know everything that we need to know. >> reporter: this is not the first time there has been death on metro north's tracks. december 2013 a metro north derailment killed four passengers in the bronx after the train's engineer fell asleep. one official who saw the inside of that first car of the train says it was absolutely gutted. the preliminary theory is that fuel from the suv sparked that fiery explosion. >> horrific situation. thanks very much rene marsh on the scene. a deadly crash caught on camera. an airliner plunges from the sky, clips a car, then a bridge
and slams into a river. somehow, there are survivors. jordan strikes back. the key u.s. ally hangs two terrorists after the murder of its captured pilot and vows a war against isis. i love... listening to intriguing sounds when i drift off into my dreams. others might? ♪ ♪ [container door opening] ♪ what makes it an suv is what you can get into it. ♪
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wreckage along with more than a dozen others. how did they survive while so many did not? new information this hour. firing back. jordan's military plans its next move against isis after executing two terror i haves inarrrorterrorists. new questions about the dangers of an escalating air war. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you are in "the situation room." survivors of a plane crash are starting to share their stories as the search goes on as the crash site and the death toll rises. people around the world have been astonished by video of the transasia airline flight plunging out of the fall after takeoff from taiwan. this hour 31 people are confirmed dead including the pilot and the two co-pilots. 12 are missing. 15 are injured but remarkably they are alive.
we just got in new video from another angle showing the plane going down. more evidence as the investigation into this crash gets under way. our correspondents our aviation experts, our news makers are standing by as we cover all the stories that are making news tonight. first let's go to richard quest. >> reporter: good evening, wolf. the pictures are dramatic. but even they perhaps don't bring home the full horror of what happened when this plane literally fell out of the sky. a car with a dash cam moves across a relatively empty bridge. when a passenger plane suddenly appears out of control. disaster strikes. the flight's terrifying turn came shortly after takeoff from taipei. the plane had 58 people on board. tonight, for the first time we're hearing the pilot's
distress call before the crash. >> engine out. >> reporter: the plane's wing tears into a concrete barrier and the turbo prop plunges into a river. a taxi is clipped and nearly crushed. both people inside survive. emergency crews were quickly on the scene. a desperate race is on to rescue the survivors. miraculously more than a dozen people emerge from the water and the wreckage. they are dazed and bloodied and alive, including this toddler carried to safety on a rubber raft and taken to shore. the recovery operation went through the night. bodies were found, wreckage removed. a giant crane pulled the plane's ravaged fuselage from the shallow water and crews pass along smaller pieces of debris
by hand. transasia officials publically offered condolences to the passengers and crew. >> translator: we express our deep apologies. >> reporter: they say the plane was new and recently serviced. investigators studying the aircraft's black boxes which were recovered and are apparently in good condition. the dramatic video of this crash also is providing clues with analysts focusing on the movement of propellers possibly pointing to a sign of engine failure. it's the second deadly crash of a transasia atr-72 within the past year. the families of victims are not surprisingly demanding answers. >> translator: the airline didn't pay attention to us. their attitude is terrible. >> reporter: putting it all together you have the most dramatic pictures of a
terrifying crash for an airline that's had one major fatal incident in the last 12 months which raises questions obviously about the safety of the airline and calls into question once again the infrastructure and the piloting skills in many in asia. >> stand by. we have more to discuss. we're getting more information about the survivors, including the toddler who came out of the crash alive. pamela brown is here in "the situation room." she's looking into this part of the story. it's so dramatic. >> reporter: we saw some of the video there. we know one of the survivors was this little boy. a 1-year-old toddler and his parents did survive this crash. as we said a dramatic video captured at the scene shows the rescue of survivors taking place. moments after this harrowing
plane crash, rescuers race to the scene. this toddler somehow survived. he was pulled from the wreckage and placed into the arms of a rescuer in a boat. >> the child has several advantages in a crash. their bones are more pliable. they can withstand forces higher forces without fracture. >> reporter: on land rescuers are seen rushing other survivors on stretchers to the hospital. >> translator: these patients seem to have been hit by huge force from the outside. they have suffered trauma from their heads to their legs and limbs and bodies. >> reporter: amazingly, a taxi driver and passenger inside this car hit by the plane also survived. the driver told the press he fainted when it happened. one first responder who went inside the plane right after the crash told the newspaper, many passengers were tangled in seat belts and hung up side down.
aviation experts say surviving a crash like this depends on a number of factors, including altitude, fire and better planes. >> seats are supposed to have greater g force resistance. the flam built standards are increased. making a plane crash survivable has been something that our own ntsb has been very interested in for years. >> reporter: the toll so far in this crash, 31 confirmed dead 15 injure and 12 still missing. that search and rescue operation ongoing, hoping to find survivors. >> thank you very much pamela brown reporting. let's bring back our aviation correspondent richard quest along with stephen frederick, a former pilot along with our safety analyst david susi and cnn aviation expert myles o'brien will join us as well. let's talk a little bit about what's going on. listen to the pilot, myles.
the pilot's final words before the plane crashed. unfortunately, we don't have that sound. let me ask david, i think we have the sound -- basically he says may day, may day, engine flame out. david, what does that say to you? >> what it says to me is that the pilot knew he was in trouble. the left engine had quit basically flameout means something caused it to not produce thrust. the flame is out in the engine. >> pick that up a little bit, richard quest. it does show the urgency -- they had a few seconds to make critic critically important decisions. >> absolutely. this is by and away a critical moment. but it's also -- this is what's interesting. the plane had taken off. it was in the initial climb. about 1,300 feet as i understand it. so it had altitude.
and it had some power. planes are -- all commercial aircraft of this nature are designed to fly on one engine even at most critical moment of flight and on top of that wolf pilots are trained. it is in many ways a criticism sometimes. the one thing they practice again and again and again is losing an engine on takeoff. that's why this is going to be particularly worrisome and they're going to look at it the investigators. because if it was just a question of losing an engine on takeoff, then really why did the plane come out of the sky? that's going to be something that will be of crucial importance with the black box and with the investigation. >> stephen, you have flown this plane, this atr-72. look at the video once again. does it appear as if the pilot was trying to take back control? what's your analysis? what do you think happened? >> there's a lot that we're going to learn in the investigation, wolf. but there's also a lot we can
see from the video. when the airplane first shows up you see it in a slightly nose down wing level attitude as if it were gliding. as it gets closer to the highway, there's a change in the pitch attitude and it appears the aircraft wing loses lift. that's what causes the turn to the left. it's what causes the aircraft to come down more forcefully and crash into the highway. >> what's your bottom line? what do you think happened? >> well, since it flew three to four miles from the airport from takeoff, it appears that it could have had a single engine flameout or a dual engine flameout. those are things we're going to learn. the still photographs from the video appear to show that the left engine propeller was feathered, the blade was into the wind rather than against the wind where it would draw power. but the fact that it made it so
far from the airport indicates to me that the failure occurred later into the flight when that crew should have been able to have altitude and air speed in excess in order to continue that flight safely. we have also seen where an atr-72 went into the waters off pa lair mow several years ago because of fuel exhaustion. those things can happen where both engines come out and stop producing power. >> is this a safe plane, david? >> yes. it's a very safe plane. there has been some incidents in the past. but this seems to be something different. it's very different than what we have seen in the past. most of the atr problems have been with weather conditions flying in weather, icing, that sort of thing. it doesn't appear that had anything to do with this. i would like to address the feathering. >> before you discuss feathering explain what it is. >> feathering is when the loss of the power happens, the engine automatically aligns the prop with the flight of the aircraft so that it doesn't stand this
way. if it stays this way, you have a 12-foot -- larger than 12-foot diameter block in the wind which can cause it to be a drag and then cause that left wing to stall as the former pilot was talking about. the auto feather is very important. that's the last thing the pilot does before he pushes the throttle forward is on the checklist in flight manual it says auto feather on. if that's missed if that step is missed and that engine goes out, this is the result of would expect. >> you agree with that stephen frederick? >> well it's very possible. the atr has automatic systems where they will auto feather the propeller. they will up trim or give more power to the operating engine in case of an engine failure. the pilots would be checking and verifying that the mechanics actually have worked the way they were designed to work when the computer tells them there's a loss of power. >> richard, how does anyone walk away alive from a crash like
this? because it seems so horrendous. you see the plane basically upside down crashing into the bridge and then going into the water. >> well i don't mean to sound facetious when i say this. but it is an element of luck. you know it's where you are sitting on the aircraft and the type of accident that the plane suffers. for instance if you are at the back and the plane comes down tail first, well you know then you are in the wrong position. they tend to suggest the front of the plane -- the back of the plane is safer because obviously in most crashes front hit first. but the way people survive these things besides sheer luck the survive -- i was looking at a statistic. if you look at atrs, 33% of passengers do manage to walk away from an accident on the atr. the reason of course most passengers walk away from it is they have done their due diligence. they know where the emergency exits are.
they are ready to leave the aircraft in the event of an emergency. they are not wearing headphones or concentrating -- they are ready. that is why it's like eat your vegetables. that's why paying attention to the safety briefing remains crucial for every passenger. >> it does. you have to listen to the flight attendants and heed what they are saying especially with the pilot or co-pilot comes with instructions as well. stephen, how difficult would it have been to land this plane on that narrow river like what happened in the miracle in the hudson in the united states if the pilot had not clipped the bridge? >> well as i said it almost appeared he had changed his flight path to stretch his glide if he was in a glide before the stall occurred. it would have been, again, the reason weer from to the landing in the hudson as a miracle is because it was. it's not a normal situation. you are -- you have to be very lucky to pull one of those
things off. in a river, it's different than the ocean or where you have a larger river where it's choppy and you are deing withaling with waves and the motion of the water. he was aligned at 90 degrees to the river when he went in. he would have had to make another turn to align with the river to land on it. >> yeah. good point. david, there have been five recent asian airliner plane crashes. some have been catastrophic as we know. some of these in the last 12 months. is there a problem here or is this simply back luck? >> i know they have been looking into this to find the string that ties this together. so far, they haven't found any singular thing. as with the united states maybe ten or 12 years ago, we had to change the way we looked at safety. it's not about the fatalities or the crashes. it's about the culture and how you view safety and each person
that contributes to that and there may be some of that going on in asia. i know they have written several reports about this. it's something that's definitely being looked at now. >> certainly is. guys thanks very much. still ahead, new dangers in the air war against isis after the brutal murder of a captured pilot. deadly retaliation by jordan. the u.s. and other nations are bracing for what is being described as a nightmare scenario. i will speak with the ranking democrat. congressman, thanks for coming in. we will talk in a moment. the future of the market is never clear. but at t. rowe price we can help guide your retirement savings. our experience is one reason 100% of our retirement funds beat their 10-year lipper averages. so wherever your long-term goals take you we can help you feel confident. request a prospectus or summary prospectus with investment information, risks, fees and expenses to read and consider carefully before investing. call us or your advisor.
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jordanian fighter pilot just hours after the terrorists released video showing him being burned alive inside a cage jordan hanged two jihadi prisoners. now they are stepping up air strikes on isis as well. barbara starr is following this. what are you learning? >> reporter: king aboutdullah expected to step up his country's participation in the air strikes. will this be enough to stop isis? as people march across jordan, king aboutdullah vowing a response to the murder of the pilot. troops lining up to pay their respects to the pilot's family. in syria, cheering as video of the pilot's execution was shown on big screens all of this
raising more concern about remaining hostages, including a british journalist and a female american aide worker. new questions about the dangers of the air war. the united arab emirates stopped its air strikes worried if one of its pilots went down whether u.s. v-22s are close enough to even attempt a rescue. a nightmare scenario for every country. is this administration prepared for the possibility that an american pilot could go down over iraq or syria? >> any time you introduce american military power anywhere in the region there's always risk. absolutely there's risk to our people who are conducting strikes in syria. >> reporter: jordan wants to increase its air strikes but it may not be so easy. >> they will have a difficult time doing that on their own. they need a bit of help when it comes to planning a modern
campaign against moving targets like this. >> reporter: u.s. officials insist no change in military strategy is being contemplated. but at his confirmation hearing to become the secretary of defense, ash carter suggested time could be running out. >> it's important to get that territory back soon because you done want them to settle in and you don't want the population to settle into ash isil rule them. >> reporter: raising doubts about whether the coalition is winning the war. >> isis controls large amounts of territory. it has not been rolled back. it has not been rolled back by any of the other actions. >> we are not winning, and that is the opinion of outside military experts literally every one of them i know. >> reporter: jordan also wants the u.s. to speed up delivery of precision bombs and other military gear that could help it as it steps up those air strikes. >> about to intensify
dramatically we're told. thanks very much, barbara for that. congressman adam schiff the ranking member of the house intelligence committee, here in "the situation room" with me. thanks very much for coming in. >> you bet. >> you agree with senator mccain, the chairman of the armed services committee, that isis right now is winning? they have the upper hand? >> i wouldn't say they are winning. i think in iraq, they have been stopped in terms of the momentum. we have gaped ed gained back some of the ground with the assistance of peshmerga. but in syria they have gained ground. and the al qaeda franchise has gained ground and they gained it not so much at the expert of the syrian government but more at the expert of the opposition. that's very concerning. i think we do have to prioritize iraq where we have a ground force we can work with and a government we can work with much as it is agonizeing to watch the civilian atrocities going on in syria.
>> the kurdish forces are very good but they need weapons. so far they are not getting them from the united states. they're going through baghdad. the iraqi military, a lot of them run away as soon as there's any threat. they leave the weapons and abandon positions. is that getting better? >> a bit better. what you are saying is exactly right and it points up the problem with what the iraqis would like to do move into places like mosul sooner than later. i don't think they are ready, i don't think they will be ready for some time. i don't want to see the iraqis go rushing into mosul and need us to go in and bail them out. it's important that we take the time to train them and equip them well enough so they can fight this themselves with our support. >> the u.s. spent ten years training and equipping them. as soon as isis forces came in the second largest city in iraq nearly 2 million people what did they do? they ran away. they left their tanks armored personnel carriers and they just ran away as quickly as they
could. >> this is i think a good illustration of the point that we can't let the military calendar get ahe had of the political one. you have to change politics on the ground in iraq where the sunnis feel they have some stake in the governance of the country. as you say, the troops are going to melt away the population will not support the effort to free the cities of isis' grip. political die natynamic is important. we can't get too far out militarily. >> stand by. we have more to discussion. a lot of people are suggesting now is a turning point in the campaign against isis. much more right after this. [ female announcer ] we help make secure financial tomorrows a reality for over 19 million people. [ alex ] transamerica helped provide a lifetime of retirement income. so i can focus on what matters most. [ female announcer ] everyone has a moment when tomorrow becomes real. transamerica.
jordan is stepping up its air strikes on isis after a release of the video showing a fighter pilot burned alive inside a cage. an air war alone is unlikely to defeat the terrorists. back with congressman adam schiff the ranking member of the house intelligence committee. a lot of the experts say air war can degrade but not destroy. you need forces on the ground. do you agree? >> absolutely. that's been proven time and time again. the question is whose forces? i don't want to see it being american ground forces carrying the heavy load again. >> who will do the forces?
the iraqi military so far pretty inept. the kurdish forces they are brave but they don't have the weapons. the free syrian army not doing -- they are not trained to fight. right now there's terror i haves s -- terroraristrrorists in control. >> syrian forces. iraqi forces. there's some things we're not in a position to do and sustain. if you look at our occupation of afghanistan, it's probably front and center case a as to why a long-term military occupation is not a substitute for getting local forces to take on the fight. >> there's an american woman being held hostage by isis right now. i know it's a sensitive issue understandably so. what you can tell us? >> there's not a lot i'm allowed to say except that we're going to make every effort to protect americans when they are taken hostage to identify where they are, to identify if there's any method that we could use to
rescue them. we don't have this fight alone. we're working in partner with many other nations that have potentially hostages in this region. this is a top priority. there are limited things we're able to do. >> the guy we are showing where the knife, as you can see on monitor, how big of a deal is this guy? should he be a target, a major target for the u.s.? >> i think he should be a target. at the end of the day, we're going to get this guy. he is going to get his just desserts. i don't think he's the one calling the shots. he's part of the production crew. we have to hold the leadership of isil responsible and everyone that is supporting the leadership. his day will come. i have every confidence of that. >> i'm confused why the british intelligence they know who he is. they have his picture. they have his name. they have shared it with the united states. why isn't that made public? why do they keep that secret? >> there may be several reasons why they don't want the identity out there at this point.
i'm not in a position where i can go into those reasons. we want to use every advantage we have in terms of trying to identify the who, the where, the when so that we can interrupt the hostage situations so we can take out responsible parties. i'm confident they have a reason. >> for whatever the reason you believe it's a legitimate intelligence collection reason why they're not doing that? is that what i'm hearing? >> yes. this isn't a situation where in other cases you can ask for the public's help in identifying where are they. we're not likely to get that information. everyone understands the difficulty of the hostage situations. >> a horrible situation. ukraine is really exploding right now. 5,000 people have been killed. we showed the pictures of the airport basically levelled. you want president obama to support arming the ukrainian military in the face of what the u.s. sees as russian agreks?
>> i do. i'm leading a bipartisan letter to the president urging we provide defensive arms to ukraine. this is something i've been advocating for some time. we have given putin every off ramp possible. he is not interested. he is interested in accelerating the violence in changing the facts on the ground and destable iedz izing ukraine. it's important to ukraine and its future but tore our allies that they know we have their back. >> what do you mean by defensive weapon snz. >> we need weapons that can help take out some of the tanks and other heavy equipment that the russians are shipping across into ukraine from russia in is. >> anti-tank? >> anti-tank weapons, radar systems, communication systems so that the russians can't intercept ukraine battlefield communications. a lot of defensive weapons and communications and logistical support we should give ukraine. >> is the president going to that in. >> i think he will. >> after his meeting with angela merkel? >> i think we are moving in the direction of providing stronger
support and military support for ukraine. >> adam schiff congressman from california ranking democrat on the intelligence committee. thanks for joining us. growing concern an american pilot could be captured by pie sis. -- isis. more on the plane crash. new details of the -- of the latest air disaster. [car revving] [car revving] ♪ ♪ [car revving] introducing the first ever 306 horsepower lexus rc coupe. once driven, there's no going back.
hours after the video, jordan hanged two jihadi terrorists. now they want to step up air strikes. let's dig deeper with our experts. philip mudd peter bergen the former jordanian minister and retired general mark heartling. the execution of the two terrorists including the female tear terrorists were you surprised they acted this quickly? >> no i wasn't. public opinion was asking for t. it was boiling, still is boiling. let's remember, these were on the death row already. they're not -- people were sentenced to death. given the need for careful planning of any intensified air strikes against isis i think everybody was looking for something quick to basically diffuse some of the tension in
the country. >> we're hearing jordan's air force, which is very capable, despite the loss of the pilot, they want to intensify the air strikes and really punish isis. you are hearing the same thing. >> i have no doubt about it. again, i think it's not going to be an emotional response. you need time to identify targets, to plan operations. i don't think we should expect anything quick. but it will be i think, intensifies. >> the uae, among the closest friends the united states has in the region the united arab emirates they halted their participation in the air strikes after the pilot was lost because they don't think the u.s. has adequate locations for search and rescue operations if they lose a plane and a pilot. >> i can't address that issue. it's interesting the uae has stepped -- their help for the united states was very much kept secret until recently. we have had uae special forces in afghanistan fighting. we have had -- they have a significant air facility for the
united states. i think it's difficult for them to -- there would be a big cost for them if a plane went down. they are not necessarily -- it's very late in the game that they started saying we want to be part of this in a public manner. >> what about that coalition that's developing general? do you see it getting stronger getting ready to take more action against isis or sort of falling apart? >> i do wolf i see it getting significantly stronger because the more you publicize these devious acts the more people understand what a scourge this organization is. i think what happens in jordan which is a very capable force, for them to say we want to contribute more because we understand we were next we as a country were next tells me that they understand the dangers associated with this organization. >> the video that isis released
22 minutes with music, a lot of propaganda a lot of talk and then of course the actual burning alive of this pilot. what are they trying to achieve by releasing this video which will antagonize decent people around the world? >> there's risk for isis. there's benefit, believe it or not. the risk is you are not just talking about a western journalist. you are talking about a fellow muslim who was burned to death. you have to go through a process to explain why this was appropriate to validate what they did. that's a fair amount of the video. the second piece, it's the opportunity for isis to explain to a potential recruiting ground in jordan why isis is a defender of the faith, to link the king of jordan to the united states. it's not just isis trying to justify what they did. it's isis trying to say, for those of you who want to join us there are reasons we are doing this. those reasons are perfectly appropriate.
>> what's been the reaction in jordan -- in jordan? you are the former foreign minister -- to this video. >> just the opposite. people are galvanized they are asking for more strikes against isis. the division that existed in the country before where some people doubted jordan's participation and did not want to be part of that coalition, that division at this for the time being is done the country is united in its demand to fight isis more. >> you believe, peter, this is a turning point in the u.s.-led war against isis right now? >> i do. i mean historians will record two turning points. one was the execution of james foley. that precipitated this coalition. and now we have essentially much of the arab world saying, this is completely -- when historians look back they will see this is the beginning of the end. it may take a year or two years, but it's inevitable they will be
degraded over time. >> general, john mccain says isis is winning right now. mike morerell says to defeat isis 100,000 ground forces are needed. do you agree? >> i agree with the fact that several hundreds -- several tens of thousands of ground forces are needed. they shouldn't be ours. i don't want to get into politics. but i am strongly in disagreement with senator mccain. this is a war that many of us have fought in. i've spent over three years in iraq. i understand -- i believe the culture of the country. other people can't win this war for them. this has to be iraqi forces doing this as well as in this case now juror dawnordanian and eventually syrian forces. >> jordan is not going to send ground forces in. >> i don't see that in the making at all. doesn't have the capability. no domestic support for it. it will do everything except
ground troops. >> a lot of us don't have confidence in the iraqi military given their behavior. just simply running away in the face of a few isis guys coming in. stand by we will continue our coverage of what's going on. we have stunning new video of that plane crash, including remarkable stories of survival. stay with us. when it comes to good nutrition...i'm no expert. that would be my daughter -- hi dad. she's a dietitian. and back when i wasn't eating right, she got me drinking boost. it's got a great taste and it helps give me the nutrition i was missing. helping me stay more like me. [ female announcer ] boost complete nutritional drink has 26 essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin d to support strong bones and 10 grams of protein to help maintain muscle. all with a delicious taste. grandpa! [ female announcer ] stay strong, stay active with boost. if you have moderate to severe rheumatoid
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it's the first major policy speech of a campaign that seems certain. jeb bush praising his family's record in his speech to detroit economic club and wayeighing in on the vaccine controversy sparked by rand paul and chris christie. dan that bash is in detroit for us. she's there and she was watching the speech. how did it go? >> reporter: it's interesting, wolf. bush sources say this was really crafted to set the right tone on the kind of presidential race he would run if bush does run in terms of style and substance. it was the unscripted q and a that was really revealing.
>> the honorable jeb bush. >> reporter: he wants to be different kind of candidate but he knows there's one thing making that hard his name. >> if i have any degree of self-awareness this is the place right it might want to be applied. >> reporter: when asked how he would overcome voter reluctance to elect a third bush. he said he learned from experience. >> i ran when my brother was governor and my dad was just out as president. i ended up eded eded up losing the first time. people didn't connect to me. >> reporter: the next time he won. >> people knew i just wasn't the brother of george w. and the son of my beloved dad. i was my own person. >> reporter: he didn't run away from either president bush. just the opposite. >> i love my brother. i think thooeshe's been a great
president. if anybody disagrees then we'll go outside unless you're 6 feet and 250 pounds. then we'll negotiate. the moral promise isn't broken when someone is wealthy. it's broken when achieving success is far beyond our imagination. >> reporter: planting his flag on turf republicans have largely ignored at their peril. the growing number of americans struggling to make ends meet. >> today americans across the country are frustrated. they see only a small portion of the population riding the economy's up escalator. >> reporter: if he does run for president he's determined to set a new tone. avoid slash and burn politics. he tested that on the controversy raging inside the gop about vaccinations. >> parents ought to make sure their children are vaccinated.
we need to get anymore detail of that. >> reporter: instead of slamming some potential republican white house competitors, he said this. >> i think it's better to say parents have the responsibility to make sure their children are protected, over and out. >> reporter: it's not so much a red speech aimed at gop voters during the primary season. it played well in detroit to business people members of the economic club. whether that will play on the stump to conservative voters to be determined. >> i want to bring in gloria. what sort of struck you from this performance. >> first of all, this wasn't a speech bashing president obama. he did say the economic recovery is not as fast or as strong as it should be. this was a speech about laying out a vision as dana said about what he called america's moral
promise. then when he got into the q and a. he's a lot more comfortable with that format than reading the teleprompter. he's not really good at that. he answered the questions very directly which i think may be that will change as he's on the campaign trail. he answered the question directly about vaccinations about the bush dynasty and on immigration. he made it very clear that dreamers should be welcome in this country. something that might not play really well in iowa or in south carolina he didn't shy away from it. i think in the q and a he was a lot better than he was in the can speech. >> the dreamers being the children of illegal immigrants who have lived here their whole live raised in the united states and he wants them protected and have down the road a pathway to citizenship. >> and should be welcome. >> how did it play in the room dana? you were there in detroit.
>> reporter: it did play well in the room. i agree with gloria. he was much more comfortable in the q and a. there was one part of the speech where he went off script. he wasn't reading from the teleprompter and speaking off the cuff. it's about an issue near and dear to his heart, education. that was the part of the speech that was the most comfortable, the most telling. we know he's interested in education. it's also like immigration one of the issues that separates him from many conservative voters in early states like iowa where his position on what's known as common core federal guidelines for education and immigration that's going to be an interesting line he'll walk. he's determined to kind of stick to what he's going to stick to as if he's running against a demonstrate, not just a group of republicans. >> the question is whether you
can start out by running a national campaign when you have to go through the primaries. as bush has said before you got to lose the primary, some pri plars to win the general. actually he does have to win system primaries. whether he can keep this national campaign going and get a constituency to vote for him in states like iowa or south carolina, really remains to be seen. i think what we saw today was his determination to set out a vision first rather than coming out with a negative campaign just bashing barack obama. i think he clearly wants to make this about what his agenda is going to be for the future. once he's under attack by republican opponents, we'll see how long that lasts. >> he was very concise, very short. how did that go for him, dana?
>> reporter: that was one of his biggest applause lines in the room. he wants to say his peace and move on. there's been some personal attacks. he didn't do that and said he's not going to do that because he doesn't see a need. >> did he seem rusty? he's been out of politics for several years now. >> he did. you saw somebody not really comfortable with the tele teleprompter. with the q and a you can see
he's comfortable. john mccain did well until the town hall format, not so well off the teleprompter. i think it's the same issue here. >> he believes that mitt romney decision to drop out he was never formally in that's helped. >> i think it's potentially helped him. i would say chris christie and rand paul did not have a good week. >> reporter: we know a lot more about him by name. a very big part of this speech and one's he'll give in the future will be filling in the
blanks about who jeb bush is. >> we got to leave it right there. our conversations will continue. you can follow us on twitter. you can tweet me at wolf blitzer. we'll see you back here in "the situation room" tomorrow. erin burnett outfront starts right now. breaking news, the u.s. military moving assets into iraq in the war against isis. a live report from the pentagon. dramatic video, a plane barely clearing tall buildings, tumbling sideways into a bridge. it appears more than a dozen people survivored. the measles outs break growing tonight opinion just how easy is it to opt out of vak vaccinations.