tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN December 29, 2015 4:00pm-5:01pm PST
because unorthodox fighters are unpredictable. that makes them harder to beat and that could be the problem hillary has with donald trump. >> thanks so much to both of you. thank you so much for watching. "erin burnett out front" starts right now. breaking news, donald trump saying he will spend a minimum of $2 million a week on ads leading into iowa. the republican front-runner taking questions on his plane as he lands in iowa for a major rally this hour. trump saying if he cheated on his wife, it would be fair game for his gop rivals, but are his attacks on bill clinton for what trump calls a terrible record of abuse a fair game, too? the affluencea teen and his mother caught in mexico. he will likely only spend 120 days in jail. let's go "out front."
good evening, i'm erin burnett. "out front" donald trump defending his personal attacks on bill clinton, speaking to reporters onboard his private jet. trump asked if his own personal indiscretions would be fair game, too? >> yes, they would be. frankly, hillary brought up the whole thing with sexist. all i did was reverse it on her. she's got a major problem. happens to be right in her house. if she wants to do that, we are going to go right after the president, the ex-president and see how it comes out. >> at the same time, it is a last-minute push for votes as the clock runs out on 2015. republican candidates blanketing the primary states to win over voters. chris christie, marco rubio, donald trump are in the buckeye state. jeff, 25 degrees there. there's been bad weather. how's turnout? >> no question of course it's cold and snowy.
look behind me at this crowd here. you can see i would say 1,000 or more, perhaps thousands have gathered here in council bluffs, iowa. we are five weeks away from the critical iowa caucuses. if you're wondering why donald trump is suddenly going after the clintons, he is trying to rally republicans to his side. trying to get these voters and all supporters who have been driven by his celebrity turning them into caucus goers. that's why he's here tonight. donald trump is opening a new front in his war against the clintons. reviving political scandals from two decades ago. >> there was certainly a lot of abuse of women. you look at whether it's monica lewinsky or paula jones or many of them, and that certainly will be fair game. >> thank you all so much. >> with bill clinton ready to hit the campaign trail, trump says everything is fair game in his outreach to women voters. even this. >> certainly if they play the
woman's card with respect to me, that will be fair game. >> reporter: in new hampshire today, hillary clinton ignored trump's latest taunt. >> do you have a response to donald trump? >> great to see you. >> her campaign issued a statement saying hillary clinton won't be bullied or distracted by attacks he throws at her and former president clinton. the clintons, the picture of a big happy family seen here on a sunday stroll in new york. a stark reminder of how much time has passed since this tense moment in the height of the monica lewinsky scandal, raising the question of whether these old controversies carry any weight. the new feud has trump's primary fight written all over it. few things rally republicans more than taking on the clintons. overnight he tweeted, remember that bill clinton was brought in to help hillary against obama in 2008. he was terrible. failed badly and was called a racist from name-calling to nose picking. the trump campaign once again took the low road, retweeting a photo shop picture of jeb bush
picking his nose. a bush campaign spokeswoman fired back. out on twitter, there arose such a clatter, late-night twitter drunk donald is back at it. all candidates feeling the pressure. marco rubio and chris christie also in iowa squeezing in a final round of hand shakes and speech necessary 2015. in the new year, trump said he will open his checkbook before the iowa caucuses. he gloated today saying he spent less than any candidate saying, i will spend big in iowa, new hampshire, south carolina. >> i demand the election be today. >> of course donald trump does wish the election was today. he is leading nationally and doing very well here in iowa. the next five weeks are critical. it's one of the reasons he said he is going to spend up to 2 million a week on ads for the border security, isis and other things. he clearly is making this investment the first time in his
campaign a little worried if all these supporters of his who have been drawn to his celebrity will actually become caucus-goers in five weeks here in iowa. >> thank you very much. donald trump with to take the stage at that platform where jeff is. pastor james davis and jeb bush supporter matt lewis with me. let me start with you. trump is about to spend millions. $2 million a week. he spent nothing so far. now he is. is this a sign he is worried? >> it is. there is a reason he hasn't spent anything so far because he's gotten hundreds of millions of dollars free earned media from the media. he can welcome himself to the club with all the other candidates. it's a sign of weakness. he is not winning in iowa. ted cruz looks to be winning by a wide margin there. if you pay close attention to new hampshire, his lead is starting to erode with people like governor bush and others. i think he is nervous and
spending money because he should be. >> i don't think that is fear-based at all. the pundits are saying such. there was an op-ed that came out in the "wall street journal" today that spoke about there being a great chasm or the thing that is the most important feature of this election is going to be the divide. most people are hard right or hard left. so now comes a time iowans make their decision late in the game. it's time for him to control his own narrative. at this point, he's gotten a lot of free media. that free media has been controlled by prou deucers of television shows. they control whatever tweet he goes out. because it's so hard right and left there is anger in the middle. the ad said something about it being a void that people in the middle don't have a voice. so i believe what is going to happen now, he is going to go after those in that center and pull them to his side. >> what is your verdict on this
spend? >> i don't think donald trump is worried or afraid, per se. campaigns spend money. it is a miracle he is doing so well not spending money. i don't think it's a sign of weakness he will spend money. i think it is a realization in iowa, for example, we know that donald trump's winning national polls. we know donald trump has people coming to rallies. what we don't know is if they will show up in caucus in iowa. maybe this is a way strategically to try to drive them to the polls. >> on this issue of the polls and the money, let me ask you this. trump was just asked about jeb bush in the context of all the spending he is doing on ads. let me play what he said. >> so i'll be spending a minimum of $2 million a week and perhaps substantially more than that. >> jeb spent $40 million.
>> he wasted $40 million. there is a big difference. >> comment to that? >> he hasn't spent $40 million, he wasted $40 million. >> that's of course his opinion. if you were in new hampshire right now, you can sense one campaign is on an upward trend and one is on a downward trend, donald trump. he is nervous. not to disagree with pastor davis earlier with what you said, you're right. america does have a hard left and hard right. no one has been more devisive than donald trump. he said reckless things, universal health care is obamacare on steroids. he thinks vladimir putin is a really good guy when he brought huge instability to the middle east and european. when it comes to serious voters in iowa, new hampshire and south carolina, and when they vote, he is not going to see the votes he wants. >> i think you're using the word
"serious" in the place of establishment." there is a chasm. if 60 million people showed up to vote for mitt romney, 61 showed up to vote for barack obama. that left 100 million people sitting in the living room disinterested. more people showed up to vote for "american idol" than they did the presidential alec. donald trump is speaking to that 100 million people and rousing them to get out and embrace something different. i believe jeb bush's donors will pull up. at what point do the purse strings dry up when you're spending $40 million or close to $60 million and polling down in single digits? it's ridiculous. >> does that strategy make sense if you have the same number of people who don't vote? >> i think the grave yards of political campaigns are littered with the corpses of people who were going to bring out people who don't vote to vote this
time. that's the big x-factor. there is a reason political strategists target lightly voters and people with a past record of voting, they have a higher propensity to turn out and vote. every once in a while a campaign changes the game. that does turn out people who didn't vote before. we don't know yet. that's the big question about donald trump. will they show up to vote? that's the one remaining big question mark. >>. >> as a final point, the retweet of the photo shot picture of jeb bush picking his nose. would you admit donald trump shouldn't have done that? >> it's silly, of course. once again, it's nothing new. >> sometimes the thing different is brash, in your case and crass. i believe people that are smart, people waking up out of the slumber of the political process can throw away some of this
stuff and listen to the context or the meat on the bone with respect to the trump candidacy. >> thank you all very much. "out front" next, ted cruz meeting with evangelical leaders as his father a controversial born again pastor play as crucial role in his campaign. a special report on their relationship is next. donald trump slamming bill clinton, one-time golf buddy and wedding guest. jeannie moos with a bed designed to ensure a sound night's sleep. at&t knows the best kind of holiday... is the kind where everyone gets what they wished for. make this holiday extra happy when you buy one get one free on our most popular smartphones... like the samsung galaxy s6. buy one get one free. so spread some cheer. and capture every minute of it. right now at at&t, buy one get one free on our most popular smartphones.
choose, choose, choose. but at bedtime? ...why settle for this? enter sleep number, and the lowest prices of the season. sleepiq technology tells you how well you slept and what adjustments you can make. you like the bed soft. he's more hardcore. so your sleep goes from good to great to wow! only at a sleep number store, find the lowest prices of the season. save $600 on the #1 rated i8 bed, plus no interest until january 2018. know better sleep with sleep number.
by two of cruz' biggest donors. dan and ferries wilkes. cruise needs to lock up the evangelical vote to win the nomination in the white house and is relying on his dad to do it. rafael cruz who has been called cruz's secret evangelical weapon. >> reporter: ted cruz rising in the polls and getting personal on the campaign trail. >> growing up, my father always presented an example of courage and integrity. thank you for being my hero. >> reporter: his father rafael cruz has been front and center in both cruz' campaign and his life. here he is on the stump during cruz's senate race. >> tea party is alive and well. >> reporter: rafael cruz is outspoken, passionate and controversial. here he is in 2013 in a conservative forum in iowa.
>> socialism requires a government becomes your god. that's why they have destroyed the concept of god. they have to destroy all loyalties except loyalty to the government. that's what was behind homosexual marriage. >> reporter: the younger cruz said his father does not speak for him, but rafael cruz' words have at times become a liability. >> we need to send barack obama back to chicago. i would like to send him back to kenya. >> reporter: that was 2012 at a tea party gathering. ted cruz says his father's comments were intended as a joke, though an ill-advised joke. on the campaign trail, ted cruz does not shy away from sharing his father's story from cuba to canada to america. talking about his influence. >> when what is 2 and 3 years old, my parents, neither one of them were christians. they were living in calvary. both of them drank far too much. >> reporter: rafael cruz became
a born again christian leaving his roman catholic faith in 1975. now a pastor in suburban dallas, rafael cruz was born in cuba in 1939. he fled the country for texas as a teenager in 1957. his history as a cuban revolutionary, a major influence on his world view. one he shared while stumping for his son's senate race. >> when castro took over in '59, i went back to cuba. i got the shock of my life. this same man that had been talking about change was now talking about how the rich were evil. >> reporter: the cruz campaign said mr. cruz was pointing out both president obama and fidel castro used slogans like hope and change. but rafael's controversial comparisons just keep coming. >> if he has his way, it will make this is a third world country because it is after restriction of wealth on a
global basis. >> reporter: obviously, president obama would absolutely disagree with that. the cruz campaign says, look, rafael cruz is a hero. he is someone who is the embodiment of the american dream so it should be no surprise that he is someone his son uses and looks up to. they said he will continue to stump for his son on an official basis and that he does very well with evangelical christians. >> on an official basis, an important caveat there. thank you, sarah. let's go to ben ferguson now and josh smoltz. josh, you worked in the senate with ted cruz. what do you think of him? >> that's a lead-in. i don't think it's any secret ted cruz has not played along well with others in his time in the senate. he's got a resume basically of three or four years here in the senate where there's one or two
senators he can get to agree with his point of view. 97 and 98 others who by and large disagree with it. it's proven to be very difficult for him to sort of trump whatever it is he is supportive of. frankly, there is nobody sitting behind him ready to pick up the mantle. i honestly think it's a problem for him as he is trying to convince voters he can accomplish the conservative change he is talking about when he has demonstrated absolutely no ability to get that done his time in the senate. >> i want to show you a clip from "saturday night live" just recently. >> if i'm president, i can promise you, isis will hate me. how do i know? because everyone who knows me hates me. democrats hate me. republicans hate me. i have what doctors call a punchable face. >> said with humor, but it matches what unnamed classmates told the daily beast. they describe cruz abrasive and
arrogant. fellow senators called him a whacko bird and a jack -- fill in the rest of the world. why do so many people who know ted cruz dislike ted cruz? >> there are people who don't like him because he didn't play by the establishment rules and mitch mcconnell laid forth in congress. it's not a liability when congress doesn't like you. the american people hate congress. what is their approval rating, 9%? >> i think you're overstating it. >> to say other senators who are not liked, who are the gop establishment don't like ted cruz, that's a fund-raising point. that's a reason to vote for ted cruz. this is the reason why people in washington don't understand the phenomenon around him, even donald trump and ben carson. they are not the establishment pick. they are not the ones that play the game for their own personal gain. ted cruz went to washington as a tea party guy. he said i'm not going to suck up
to mitch mcconnell and john boehner. i'm going with an agenda and i'll fight for it. that's why he's loved in texas and all over the country by conservatives and evangelicals who are rallying behind him. he is liked by the average voter, the hard-working man and woman in this country. he is liked by the christians. you can laugh at it but look where your guys are right now. they are hated and not running for president. the ones that have are failing and falling on their face. you can laugh as a d.c. guy, but you're wrong. >> hold on. it's far beyond the republican establishment. "the new york times" quoted his former college roommate judgment if "the new york times" is quoting a former roommate, you are talking about "the new york times." you are only helping ted cruz' story. that's a hit piece. if it was written by your former boss, that is what you would be
saying on tv. how come it doesn't work the same for ted cruz. >> i'm saying there is a long and distinguished history of everybody who worked with ted cruz complaining they don't get along with him. he doesn't have a good reputation of working with others. >> i would say this. the guy's won a lot of cases in front of the supreme court. if you are a lawyer, you are not going to like him because he is better at his job than you are. if you're in congress and you haven't got to run for president or you got beat badly and ted cruz comes along and doesn't play the washington establishment game and now he is if second place, you probably hate him. the american people, they like him. >> it has nothing to do with the establishment game. >> sure it does. >> the fundamental problem, we don't have a dictatorship in america. figure out how to get your agenda through congress to enact it into law. he hasn't been automobile to work with democrats or republicans. >> if you talk to average people out there that are conservatives
that had enough of the establishment, name one success story you guys had under mitch mcconnell that the american people were thrilled about in the republican party. it doesn't exist. you've been getting your brains beat in by barack obama, harry reid and nancy pelosi. even when you have the house, you don't do anything with it. >> 85% of conservative republican voters like ted cruz. only 5% of independents. isn't that a problem? you've got to win over some people. not just evangelicals on the far right. >> in the primary, i've got to get the people to come out and vote for to you win the primaries. right now ted cruz will do well. look at the poll numbers in iowa. if you can't make it through early on you become jeb bush. i would rather be in the position ted cruz is nn the guy like jeb bush that dropped out that were establishment candidates. you have to win the primary before you can think about the
general. if you don't, you end up being jeb bush. >> thank you very much. we are waiting donald trump, speaking of the anti-establishment about to speak to supporters in iowa. marco rubio winning a major endorsement from a hedge fund billionaire. our series of the big money behind the candidates. moderate to severe crohn's disease is tough, but i've managed. except that managing my symptoms was all i was doing. and when i finally told my doctor, he said humira is for adults like me who have tried other medications but still experience the symptoms of moderate to severe crohn's disease. and that in clinical studies, the majority of patients on humira saw significant symptom relief. and many achieved remission.
humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened; as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common, and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection. ask your gastroenterologist about humira. with humira, remission is possible. [so i use quickbooks and run mye entire business from the cloud. i keep an eye on sales and expenses from anywhere. even down here in the dark i can still see we're having a great month. and celebrate accordingly. i run on quickbooks.that's how i own it.
for the new mattress models! it's time to make room during sleep train's huge year end clearance sale... get beautyrest, posturepedic, even tempur-pedic mattress sets at low clearance prices! save even more on floor samples, demonstrators, and closeout inventory! plus, same-day delivery, set-up and removal of your old set. why wait for the new models? sleep train's year end clearance sale is on now! superior service, best selection, lowest price-- guaranteed! ♪ your ticket to a better night's sleep ♪
there was a lot of abuse of women. whether it's monica lewinsky, paula jones, many of them. that will be fair game. >> hillary clinton refused to respond when asked about that comment today. bill clinton and done donald trump used to be friends. >> reporter: donald trump getting along with the clintons? that seems like ancient history. >> she says, we'd love to run against trump. it's her worst nightmare. >> reporter: trump seems determined to relive a nightmare in hillary clinton's life, her husband's philandering, invoking the names monica lewinsky and paula jones. >> that will be fair game. >> reporter: total 180 from trump's defense of bill clinton in 2008 when he told wolf blitzer the former president's dalliances should be a nonissue. >> look at trouble bill clinton got into with something totally
unimportant and they tread to impeach him which was nonsense. >> reporter: the reality is trump and the clintons were really friends. >> i always respected him. i liked him over the years. >> reporter: the two men golfed together and trump famously invited the clintons to his most recent wedding. >> it was perfectly nice. i'm glad we did it. he also told me on more than one occasion what a good job she did in the senate for new york after /11 >> reporter: the way trump tells it now, they were both playing the you scratch my back/i'll scratch yours political game. when the billionaire argues he won't have to play if he's president. >> with hillary clinton i said be at my wedding and she came to my wedding. you know why? she had no choice. i gave to a foundation that frankly that foundation is supposed to do good >> reporter: regardless of the senior clinton and trump relationship, their daughters
are genuinely close. chelsea saying, she is always aware of everyone around her and ensuring everyone is enjoying the moment. for ivanka, the feeling is mutual about chelsea. >> she's been a great friend to me. i've been a great friend to her. the politics of our parents is not relevant to our friendship. >> reporter: that friendship is no doubt being tested as their parents go after each other in such personal terms. it will likely only escalate when bill clinton hits the trail for his wife this coming monday. >> dana, thank you very much. trump's campaign spokesperson and hillary clinton supporter. bringing up monica lewinsky and paula jones. has he gone too far? >> he goes too far every single day. ultimately, it's up to the republican voters to determine whether or not they want this man to be their standard bearer and whether or not the lemmings want to go over the cliff with him. donald trump has been getting
away with this. frankly, the republican establishment and republican opponents cowered in the corner. i don't think you'll see that from either clinton. >> katrina, what do you say? >> the mere fact you have the clinton campaign and all the top ranking democrats saying that they really want to run against donald trump because of these types of things, i think they are really terrified of running against donald trump. that's the last person they want to run against because in dana bash's reporting how they used to have a close relationship. why this insult stung hard. hillary clinton knows donald trump isn't a sexist, a racist or bigot the democrats are pushing for. >> donald trump moments ago did say when asked about this, he said his own marital infidelities, he considers them to be fair game for everyone else. he sounds like he is saying all
is fair. >> i'm sure he doesn't care what people say about him, obviously. people say all kinds of things about him. ultimately, this is going to come down to simple politics and the fact that democrats start with 242 electoral votes in a general election. that's against any republican nominee. it's a race for democrat. republicans start with 171. if you're donald trump you probably start with fewer than that. 38% of republicans say they'll never vote for donald trump. the more he does this, the more he makes himself implausible and unlikely, for those 38% of republicans who say they would never vote for him to ever come back to him. democrats do want donald trump to keep talking. give him a microphone. the only thing harder than running against one clinton is running against two, which is what donald trump will get and he'll rue the day. >> that will be great considering the polling that has come out shows that donald trump and hillary clinton in a statistical tie among general
election voters. more importantly among women voters. >> take a look at the electoral college. >> she is running on the fact she is a woman. because republicans are saying they won't vote for him, i believe that's going to change. there are a lot of democrats that are going to vote for mr. trump. we hear from them all the time. many of these rally supporters are sporting donald trump. they are democrats. republicans counted him out early on in this race just like democrats are going to count him out early on in the race. they wouldn't be out there championing donald trump to be the nominee if they weren't afraid to run against him. >> donald trump used to be friends with the clintons. went to the wedding of donald and melania. their daughters are still friends. trump said it was just a political move.
it didn't mean anything. >> i think all those things. what republicans need to ask themselves, is this somebody that they want to be representing their party and speaking for them? this guy will say anything at any moment to any audience he thinks it will be pleasing to that audience at that time. he was the clinton's friend. it did cost many republicans their political career. this is not a path that is new to anyone. voters in america have already rendered a judgment on it and threw newt gingrich and a bunch of republicans out in 1998 because this is the avenue they pursued politically. democrats are saying go after him. >> it wasn't the avenue. >> he is willing to change his mind about people, say the clintons because it is politically expedient at the
time. he will change his mind, not committed to anything. >> i think if you thing your mind about a politician, that is a completely different circumstance. we are talking about politicians here, not people he was friends with on the golf course that were personal connections. this was politically related. of course he changed his mind. a lot of people changed their mind on different politicians including obama. we are looking at obama remorse today from democrat voters. there are things that have happened that changed the minds of many people. >> thanks to you both. appreciate it. >> he changed his mind whether he is a democrat, pro-choice. >> mitt romney did the same thing. it's a political thing. >> fair point about mitt romney. thanks to both of you. one of marco rubio's biggest backers with a taste for the good life. an investigation into the billionaire bank rolling rubio's campaign. and the affluenza teen and
you're not just looking for a house. you're looking for a place for your life to happen. zillow. that's why i switched from u-verse to xfinity. now i can download my dvr recordings and take them anywhere. ready or not, here i come! (whispers) now hide-and-seek time can also be catch-up-on-my-shows time. here i come! can't find you anywhere! don't settle for u-verse. x1 from xfinity will change the way
endorsement. billionaire ken griffin jumping onboard. he is a flashy hedge fund manager living the high life spending big on everything. and remember, i'm self-funding my campaign. very important. >> reporter: most candidates can't afford that luxury so endorsements by billionaires are highly coveted, like billionaire hedge fund manager ken griffin, the richest man in illinois and 69th richest person in the u.s. griffin is throwing his full support at his ample cash behind marco rubio saying in a statement, rubio is a, quote, inspiring, courageous and bold leader who embodies the american dream of freedom and equal opportunity for all." >> willie sutton was asked why he robs banks. he said that's where the money is. the same is true in politics.
candidates gravitate to those who are willing to and able to provide huge sums of money and ken griffin has proven himself willing to do that. >> reporter: griffin is worth an estimated $7 billion, according to "forbes." >> accounts for nearly 10% of the daily trading volume of u.s. equities. >> reporter: with $26 billion in investment capital, citadel, his pet project is one of the largest investment firms in the world. griffin isn't shy about spending his cash. ♪ i need you by me >> reporter: an extravagant wedding reception in 2003, starring disco queen donna summer at the palace of versailles in france according to "fortune" magazine, the same location where kim kardashian and kanye west held part of their lavish multicity wedding. griffin's marriage fell apart about a decade later and the divorce played prominently on
the front pages of tabloids around the world. his ex-wife requesting support of nearly $1 million a month. as for real estate, four luxurious properties in sunny palm beach, florida, with more than 28,000 square feet. homes in aspen, colorado, hawaii, and new york, according to the chicago "tribune." plus the main residence worth more than $40 million, according to deed records and the chicago "tribune." three penthouse floors in an ultraexclusive chicago high rise. griffin is also a high-profile art collector who in 2006 paid $80 million for jasper john's "false start," a record price for a painting by a living artist. the main wing at the chicago art institute named after him. his donation there $19 million. >> there is plenty leftover to influence the political scene.
not just here in chicago but our nation's capital. >> i announce my candidacy for president of the united states. >> reporter: griffin's political contributions adding up to a whopping $25 million since 2001, according to cnn's review of state and federal election commission records. though most of his money has gone to republicans, he's also donated to democrats. including $430,000 to the chicago rahm emanuel fund. but giving to politicians is less like philanthropy and more like playing the stock market. after supporting mitt romney's failed bid for the white house in 2012 with a $1.5 million donation to his restore our future super pac, griffin is hoping for a better rate of return this time around with rubio. for more on our exclusive series on the richest political donors in america go to
cnn.com/out front. "out front" next, how did they get across the border? the affluenza teen and his mother caught in mexico after skipping out on probation. at&t knows the best kind of holiday... is the kind where everyone gets what they wished for. make this holiday extra happy when you buy one get one free on our most popular smartphones... like the samsung galaxy s6. buy one get one free. so spread some cheer. and capture every minute of it. right now at at&t, buy one get one free on our most popular smartphones.
you premium like clockwork. month after month. year after year. then one night, you hydroplane into a ditch. yeah... surprise... your insurance company tells you to pay up again. why pay for insurance if you have to pay even more for using it? if you have liberty mutual deductible fund™, you could pay no deductible at all. sign up to immediately lower your deductible by $100. and keep lowering it $100 annually, until it's gone.
then continue to earn that $100 every year. there's no limit to how much you can earn and this savings applies to every vehicle on your policy. call to learn more. switch to liberty mutual and you could save up to $509. call liberty mutual for a free quote today at see car insurance in a whole new light. liberty mutual insurance.
tonight captured, the so-called affluenza teen who killed four people in a drunk driving accident is heading back to the united states after a manhunt. he and his mother fled to mexico. the 18-year-old and his mom tonya couch carefully planned their trip to mexico and held a going away party before fleeing. >> reporter: when ethan couch was captured on the streets of mexico with dark hair in a dark goatee, texas authorities say the 18-year-old had the look of someone on the run trying to change his appearance. earlier this month, the teen was seen with blonde hair in a video that appeared to show him at a party with alcohol, a violation of his probation. authorities say ethan and his mother tonya couch had a going away party the night before, driving from ft. worth to the mexican resort town on the
pacific ocean. an immigration official says the pair crossed through mexico through tijuana. tonya couch will face up to ten years in prison. >> her focus has been on making sure he didn't see any justice done. making sure he was not accountable. for her to assisthim, i felt like was gist a natural next occurrence. i'm not surprised she helped him. >> reporter: not surprising to those who have seen the couch family up close since the teen was only sentenced to probation for a drunk driving crash that killed four people in 2013. his attorneys argued he suffered from affluenza saying he lived a privileged and wealthy lifestyle where there were no consequences for bad mayor of. the victims' families filed civil lawsuits against the family. in those tapes, ethan couch openly talked about his drug use. >> taking valium, hydrodone,
marijuana, cocaine, tried ecstasy once. >> how she let her son drive illegally. >> you understood at any time he was under 16, he was never to be driving by himself? >> yes. >> nevertheless, you allowed that behavior to >> yes. >> when is the last time you recall disciplining ethan for anything? >> i don't remember. >> reporter: mexican officials say ethan couch and his mother are being voluntarily deported back to the united states. it is not clear when they will arrive back in texas. prosecutors are fighting to get his case moved out of the juvenile system and into adult courts. for now, they say he isn't likely to face significant jail time for violating the terms of his probation. >> if he stays in the juvenile
court, the maximum sentence he could receive is incarceration in a juvenile facility until he turns 19, with which is april the 11th of 2016. that is not enough. >> to be clear, ethan couch has not committed any new crimes but is a violation of his probation. his mother mentioned that felony charge was getting in the way of apprehending a fugitive and faces up to 10 years in prison. >> i want to go straight to paul cowan, former prosecutor and defense attorne. how does this happen? four people died because of what he did. he is only serving probation. he leaves the country illegally. gets caught and all he can get is 120 days in jail. >> it sounds really absurd. he starts out by asserting this affluenza defense.
my parents make so much money. i'm innocent. >> can't hold me accountable. i grew up too privileged. >> nobody in the world thinks a judge is going to buy that. the judge gives him a slap on the wrist and he slaps the system in the face and flees the country. he is at the int intersection of the juvenile and adult system. when he violates probation, all they can do is send him back to a juvenile facility. when he turns 19, he has to go into an adult facility. he hasn't been sentenced to jail in an adult facility. he will be back on probation in 120 days. >> so they put out a wanted notice for him. he had this party. it was like a good-bye party. the whole thing is shocking. they offered a reward for his capture. how did he get over the border? how did they get there? >> talk to donald trump about this. 11 million people have come into this country. we can't keep them out. do you think we keep american citizens from leaving the
country. it is so porous that unless the cops really had delivered a notification to a particular place where he left and i understand he was driving a flatbed truck over some entrance into mexico, there is no guarantee that anybody would have spotted him at the time he crossed. it is a very, very insecure system in terms of felons that are able to flee. >> bottom line, that's it. a few months together. >> the d.a. has one additional theory they were playing with. there might have been some charges that weren't covered by the plea in the original juvenile case. maybe they could revive that and give him an adult trial. i don't think it is going to play out. what's going to happen ultimately is that he will get probation and probably fail and wind back up in jail again given his prior track record. >> thank you very much, paul callen. up next, jeanne moos with the earthquake bed you have to see to believe. details.
mean sink. a building could come crashing down and you would be snug in your -- >> coffin bed. >> quake provides free burial. seismic activity would activate the bed. seen here in animations apparently created by a russian company whose details are sketchy. the bed also contains supplies, though it is unclear how you would get to them. if this is an earthquake proof bed, i would rather take my chances poo-pooed one headline. an expert on earthquake preparedness kept an open mind. >> if you are able to be in a steel enclosure with supplies, that's not a bad thing. it looks very expensive. >> reporter: does it come with tourniquets, for those of us that tend to dangle limbs over the side of the bed? some wondered if shaking triggered the thing, would you have to wonder about the second most common thing people do in bed. babe, did you feel the earth
move? seismic activity as sensed by this chinese-made bed demonstrated in 2012. when the man whistles, so rescuers can find them, his companion can't keep a straight face. to simulate a building collapse, they dropped almost 3 tons of concrete on the bed. it remained intact. some say the latest version could become an oven if an earthquake caused a fire. quake and bake wrote one commentator. at least there is a fire extinguisher underneath. >> thumb's up or thumb's down? >> thumb's up if you can afford it. >> keep the thumbs out of the way. jeanne moos, cnn, new york. >> that was pretty terrifyingly claustrophobic. tonight, tom foreman looks back at the heroes and the villains of the last 12 months.
you don't want to miss that. thanks for joining us. i'll be back here again. see you tomorrow night. set your dvr. a.c. 360 with jim sciutto starts now. good evening. i'm jim sciutto in for anderson. we begin with breaking news. the storm system that has already claimed dozens of lives have threatened to put a big s.w.a. swath in the country by new year's. 18 million are in a difficult situation. 16 counties are facing severe flooding. that has broken one 25-year-old record. governor jay nixon said this earlier today. >> you are talking about almost 10 more vertical feet of moving water. the power we're talking about as well as the volume is extre