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tv   State of the Union With Jake Tapper  CNN  September 10, 2017 6:00am-7:00am PDT

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hi. i'm jake tapper. the eye of hurricane irma is barreling through the lower florida keys right now, major category 4 storm with sustained winds of 130 miles an hour. the pictures coming in this
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morning from the sunshine state depict slashing wind and rain, bent and broken trees, pounding serve. irma is expected to spend the next day and a half tracking up the west coast of the state of florida, naples, ft. myers, sarasota, st. petersburg and tampa face the greatest danger, it looks like. frankly, irma is so large and powerful, there are life-threatening hazards on both sides of the peninsula. it will be tomorrow afternoon before it crosses the panhandle and then hits georgia and alabama. 46 million people are in the path of this storm. tens of thousands are in shelters this morning. for many of them, it's too late to get out and it's only going to get worse. reporters in key west and major cities along both east and west florida coasts this morning. we'll start with kyung lah in miami beach, getting hit with
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hurricane force winds. >> i can tell you what i'm seeing and what i'm feeling. even trying to wear a ball cap tied to your head, it's very hard to keep anything secure. we're seeing not just flying ball caps but flying signs. i'm going to step slightly out of the way. you can see for yourself what it looks like out here as these hurricane force gusts come through. we're anticipating it to get much worse. we're just beginning to see this here, jake. what we're hearing from the miami beach fire department and police department is that they are no longer able to make any rescues because of what you're seeing here. the debris is a major problem when it comes to winds like this. what they are concerned about most are the coconuts that might
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be falling off palm trees treerks branches. when we first got out here a while ago quite a few branches were on the street next to us. they're gone because they've just taken to the air. further down the street, you can see a lot of these buildings are actually quite secure because they have storm protection against the windows and the glass, flying glass is also a concern. the fire department said they were quite busy for a while, trying to do some responses overnight larkts in the evening yesterday, even pulled a man -- someone. i'm not sure of the gender. pulled someone out of an elevator because of loss of power. losing power here is a problem. there is -- we woke up to no power. rescues unable to happen. the type of wind ooichl standing in, they can't send out their police and fire.
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this is something they warned people, if you are ignoring the mandatory evacuation, trying to be on the street and get injured you simply will not get any help. jake, that is what is happening here in miami beach. we are anticipating conditions to deteriorate throughout the day. and the reason we're doing this is to try to send a message to the west side of the state that it is coming your way and is going to get worse. jake? >> it looks absolutely horrific. once i was in a 110-mile-an-hour wind and it felt as though my face was being blown off my skull. describe for us, if you could, what it feels like to be in this. >> reporter: this is not 110-mile-per-hour winds. we're hitting about 80 or so. and it hurts.
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if you think about what a severe sand storm feels like, that's what it feels like. the worst wind tunnel you've ever experienced on a normal day, that's what this feels like. inability to walk or to stand and just try to not get hurt. jake? >> we're going to go now to a more dangerous part of the hurricane right now. bill wier is live for us. tell us what you're experiencing right now. >> much of the same, jake. the only way i can describe it is if you own a power washer, you know, where you clean your -- we're not set up here to
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be dramatic. we're set up here to be safe. the scary part about it is that the wind was predictable for the last few hours. it was coming from the atlantic side. we're on the other side here, hunkered in. biscayne bay is over there. it's getting so squirrely now as it's whipping around and coming through and creating a wind tunnel effect here. all the power is out in the florida keys. no surprise there. they're super worried about losing a bridge. that's the main concern of the people down here. you have to understand, they know storms in the keys. an average of one hurricane every four years but nothing like this. there hasn't been one this strong since donna, 1960, 57 years ago today.
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so this is once in a lifetime kind of event for the people down here. there's the time line again as we plug into the mainland f that goes down, who knows how long that will take. one hurricane ended the overseas railroad. they're worried about infrastructure here. this is one of the many harbors, a boating community. your boat is your home in many cases. we mentioned people who decided to stay near their boats and ride it in and out stone shelters like this. at some point it's up to fate whether you or your boat
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survive. jake? >> from key west to key largo, you've talked to people that refused to evacuate. why did they stay? why are they remaining there? >> a lot of different calculations they make. somebody's nice welcome sign just blowing past. in some cases they evacuated for a storm that missed them and it was too much hassle and they vowed to stay behind because it was too stressful being away. the other was fear of getting on the road and running out of gas. you don't want to run out of gas in the everglades and sit through something like this in your car. as a first responder i want to be there to help, check my property. there's a lot of different logic. the sailor ice talk to say, hey, we're used to squalls. we ride out thunderstorms on our
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boats every day. we know how to do it. it's part of doing business. this is next level. this is different. people who haven't evacuated, 80-year-olds who decided this one is too big, too bad something about the culture here, divers and sunken treasure hunters and drifters and partiers who come down here to live in paradise, fiercely independent. they don't like to be told what to do. they don't like mandatory anything in life. they know they're on their own. they know there are no first responders that will answer their call. the hospitals are shut in the keys. but this will be either one of those sadly, you know, tragically romantic stories about captains going down with their boats. that seems to be the case right now. or they will be lucky beyond belief if they get through this thing in one piece. >> you're doing an amazing job out there.
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please stay safe. cnn's john berman is live in miami, wind gusts of miles an hour. >> reporter: the state of the union is wet, jake. there are 100-mile-an-hour wind gusts. stay away from the windows you're being told right now. the worst of this storm is still to come. to put it in perspective, in hurricane harvey, was 300,000 people at people without power.
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these dogs behind me right now, the water is now lapping up over these docks. that can happen at high tide. we're still three hours away from high tide right now. maybe the first signs that we've seen that there is a storm surge coming in, expecting three to six feet here in miami. six feet would put it up to about my waist. if it came up to six feet, that would be about my waist into the storm fronts along the intercoastal waterway in downtown miami. the people who were told to evacuate in these low-lying areas and where kyung lah is there in miami beach, officials begging them, stay in shelters, the safe areas because it isn't safe to be out right now. not in these conditions, jake and they are going to persist for some time. >> obviously, john, the wind at 100 miles an hour, a huge concern. the storm surge a bigger concern, potentially, given that
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most victims, most fatalities in hurricanes are because of drowning. what is the biggest concern in miami right now? >> the storm surge consistently has been the area of biggest concern in miami beach and downtown miami. that's why they evacuated. the storm surge is what they are mostly worried about and most people or many of the people did move out of these areas. the winds they're concerned about because of the cranes. there has been a lot of construction in miami. these giant cranes that they couldn't take down in time that are still up. they are said to withstand wind gusts of 145 miles an hour. i don't think we'll get that here in miami. i hope we don't get that. these cranes twist like weather vanes in the wind but they're supposed to move. people in downtown miami have
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seen these giant cranes moving with the wind. it's supposed to happen but a bit of a frightening sight as the winds pick up. >> john berman, stay safe. let's turn now to meteorologist allison chinchar. where is the storm right now and where is it headed? >> the center of circulation is 20 miles due east of key west. we are starting to see that land fall about to take over the keys, make it back out over open water before it makes landfall over the peninsula. still a very powerful category 4 storm. you can see the heavy bands of rainfall for the few folks -- and maybe even none but for the few folks left along the keys you are dealing with torrential downpours at this time. not to mention some of your peak winds. we start to move on to the surge threat, taking place along the east side. you're getting that onshore flow, those winds pushing all of that water on to the east coast. the west coast, it's doing the exact opposite.
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it's taking the water and pushing it away from the beaches. when that water comes back in, it doesn't come in slowly, it comes in fast and furious. that will be deadly for anyone that is on those beaches. then, your total storm surge numbers are very impressive still. these numbers have come down because they've already had some storm surge. this is additional storm surge going forward. on the western tier of florida, it's shallower there, the gradient it goes off before it dips into the ocean is shallower, allowing for those heights to come up higher than they would on the atlantic side where it's a much deeper drop.
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here is a look at the track. over open water right now. we expect it to maintain category 4 strength until it gets to about tampa. it will weaken slightly down to a category 3. after that, as it makes its way up to the panhandle, this is where it will weaken rapidly. this is a good thing for folks in the panhandle, places like georgia, alabama. this pink color you see here, wind shear will kill that hurricane quickly. again, good news for the folks up north but not for the folks dealing with the storm right now. winds will be a major factor here. maximum wind gusts expected around 135 miles per hour in key west. 137 in ft. myers. about 130 for tampa. but even, jake, up around tallahassee, on the northern fringe, they could still be looking at wind gusts of 90 to 95 miles per hour.
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>> allison, where is the eye of the storm headed next? and tell us what the worst case scenario is for the next 24 to 36 hours. >> right. so we've actually already seen part of that worst case scenario take place in the last few hours. we've seen the track shift 14 miles west. that may not seem like a big change but it is. it shifted 14 miles west. you would think, jake, great, it's away from tampa now. that should be a good thing. it's actually the opposite. it means more storm surge will actually be able to push into the tampa bay compared to if it would have stayed directly over tampa. unfortunately that's what we're seeing. we're seeing that shift to the west. that's likely what's going to take place. we talked about the current center of circulation. that eye is 20 miles east of key west. it will push north and make land fall between naples and tampa. the exact location will depend
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on the speed and movement of the storm over the next several hours. >> allison chinchar, thank you so much for that. let's go back to cnn's kyung lah in miami beach where conditions have really even worsened in the last few minutes. what are you experiencing? >> reporter: you could certainly see the winds have picked up just a little bit, jake. we don't have an exact measurement of what the winds are like out here. the national weather service says in miami there are wind gusts of 100 miles per hour. so i don't have a reader. i can't tell you exactly what it -- what the accurate number is. i can tell you what i see and what we're feeling. we are getting blown around quite a bit. we are seeing debris on the streets. that debris could take to the air and anyone who might be out and about could be in danger of
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flying debris. major flooding hasn't been seen yet. that is good news. the other good news is the storm surge. the concern of a storm surge, that -- not so much. we haven't quite seen it, at least come off the ocean, come off the beach here. we're right on the first major street off the ocean. and we just haven't seen that quite as of yet. that was a big concern. they were worried that people might get caught in it and drown. even though these winds are severe, jake, people tend to die most by drowning in that storm surge. miami police department urging people to stay inside, telling
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them if they get injured they are on their own. 911, you're not going to get any help if you're out here. the warning came out yesterday. if you are going to stay in miami beach, you're not going to be, at some point, able to get any help from the police department and the fire department. and we keep talking about where the eye is traveling and how it will impact the west side. this is the early part. it's going to get much worse. >> kyung lah, stay safe. we're going to talk to the governor of florida, senator marco rubio and first responder in harm's way east of key west. stay with us. we'll be right back. [ "livin' thing" by electric light orchestra ] ♪ sailin' away on the crest of a wave, it's like magic ♪
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gum brand. welcome back to cnn. we have breaking news. you are looking at the current radar as hurricane irma made land fall over the southern florida keys earlier this morning. it's a categoy 4 storm with 130-mile-an-hour sustained winds. we just heard from our meteorologist allison chinchar that the storm will track up the west coast of florida, which is obviously horrific news for places like naples, st. petersburg and tampa. the areas of biggest concern are the florida keys. joining us on the phone right now is maggie howes, certified first responder in key haven, florida. about a mile to the east of key west. maggie, where are you right now? >> i'm standing on the second floor of a three-story cat 5 concrete house, watching the water go by.
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>> key haven has about 1,000 reside residents, i'm told. are any of them there? >> there are. there are quite a few houses that are filled with people. there are at least four that i know of personally that have good friends waiting the storm out. >> you say it's catastrophic. what are you seeing? what are you hearing? >> right now i'm looking over the canal next to the house behind a triple-pane window. boats are being ripped off, palm trees are leaning over sideways. we saw a tree blow down the street. power lines are coming down right now. and it's just very eerieeerie,
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howling. >> most victims of hurricanes, people who are killed by hurricanes, die because of drowning. tell bus the water. do you see a storm surge? what's going on? >> there is a small surge taking place right now behind this particular house. we're seeing -- it's about, i would say, between three and five feet behind this house. there are two seawalls here and it has not breached the second one other than the occasional wave but we expect that to change. we've heard down the street that there is two to three feet of water in some other people's houses that are in more low-lying area. >> are those people that are still there or homes that -- >> some of them are with us right now and some of them have gotten to other places. >> are you a resident of key haven? >> no. i live in key west proper. >> is this the worst storm you've ever experienced? >> it's the worst storm i have been through myself personally,
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yes. but i grew up on the isle of palms in south carolina. i'm familiar with what catastrophic storms can do. the hurricane that came through in '89, i remember it very well. >> are you personally scared right now? you're in a building that i understand is as safe and secure as a building can be but you are still in an incredibly vulnerable place on an incredibly -- during an incredibly vulnerable time. >> no one is dancing in front of windows right now. we all have life jackets, shoes on. we have kits ready to take with us if something should happen. i won't say we are panicking, by any means. we have a lot of level-headed people here but we're definitely paying attention to what's happening outside and hope this eyewall will respond quickly. >> you're a first responder. you can't do anything to help right now. once winds get above 40 miles
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per hour or so you have to shelter in place as well. >> that's correct. there's absolutely no way anybody can be outside right now. you would not be able to stand or walk in the wind i'm seeing through the window right now. >> stay safe. >> thank you. >> we're all praying for people in florida right now. when we come back we'll talk to senator john mccain in his first tv interview since returning to the senate after that brain cancer diagnosis and governor rick scott in florida. stay with us. and i'm still not ready. the reason i'm telling you this is that there will be moments in your life that... you'll never be ready for. your little girl getting married being one of them. ♪ ♪
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welcome back to cnn "state of the union." i'm jake tapper. we'll continue to follow the breaking news as hurricane irma lashes florida. we do want to turn now to senator john mccain returning to the senate as he takes on his personal battle. he called the president's decision to end protection for undocumented immigrants brought to america as children the, quote, wrong approach to immigration policy. we have a lot of issues to discuss in this exclusive interview with republican senator of arizona, john mccain. senator, it's so good to see you. >> thank you, jake. it's good to be back with you. i was just recollecting we have a 17-year -- >> 18-year. >> 18-year adversarial relationship. >> before i get to the issues you want to talk about, i have to ask what everybody out there is wondering. how is your health? where are you on treatment and prognosis? >> i'm fine. the prognosis is very good.
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this is a very vicious form of cancer that i'm facing. all the results so far are excellent. everything is fine. i have just more energy than ever and we are doing the defense bill on the floor of the senate tomorrow, which will take all week, which is very important. and so i'm just fine. but the fact is, you know, i'm facing a challenge. i've faced other challenges. and i'm very confident about getting through this one as well. >> how is your family taking it, cindy, jack, jimmy, bridget and megan? >> well, it's tough. we've tried to clue them in when we have conference calls with the doctors. by the way, mayo clinic -- and they're paying me nothing for this -- is excellent. nih has been really good. so, i'm getting the best treatment that anybody could get. and i'm very happy. i'm very happy with my life. i'm very happy with what i have been able to do. and there's two ways of looking
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at these things. and one of them is to celebrate. i am able to celebrate a wonderful life and i will be grateful for additional time that i have. >> we were talking about old memories. i covered the straight talk express, your campaign in 2000. i have a very vivid memory. one time we were flying on your airplane during that 2000 presidential race. you remember that plane was a bucket of bolts, awful plane. >> on the cheap. >> we were going through turbulence. it was bad turbulence. people on the plane were scared. i was scared. you were standing in the aisle holding a glass of vodka, i think, and you were saying, they can't kill me in a plane. i can't be killed in a plane. obviously, you survived a number of plane crashes as a navy pilot. does this face-off with mortality feel different than previous ones you have faced? >> the other ones, i had much more control, obviously. i was flying the airplane, you know. although the melanoma was
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similar to this. but it's similar in that the challenges are very significant, obviously, but everything so far has gone very, very well. and i'm very grateful. and i've had no side effects, no nothing except -- frankly, an increased level of energy. and i want to thank the doctors and the nurses and the attendants and all of those that inflicted so much pain on me. i didn't know i had any blood left. but i would like to thank them for their wonderful care. they're wonderful people. >> last question on health and we'll move on to issues. you went through chemo and radiation to fight this cancer. when do you find out if it worked? >> on monday we will take an mri. so far, all indications are very good. but, again, i'm not trying to paint this as a rosie picture. this is a very virulent form of
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cancer. it has to be fought against. we have new technologies that i won't bother you with the det l details of that make chances better. but every life has to end one way or another i think it was a playwright. i'll think of his name in a minute. he said i always knew that no one could live forever but i thought there might be one exception. so you've got to have joy, joy. listen, those joyful memories of the campaign in 2000 are some of the most enjoyable times of my life. we were the underdogs. we were fighting our way up. we went to sedona, you remember? everything was so magic about that campaign. and i'm very grateful for having the opportunity. remember, i'm the guy that stood fifth from the bottom of his class at the naval academy. >> let's talk about issues. i know you want tochlt you've been urging president trump to
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work in a more bipartisan manner. this week he did that, reaching out to chuck schumer and nancy pelosi to increase the debt ceiling, fund hurricane relief. yet you voted against it, one of 17 republican senators to vote against the package. why vote against this bipartisanship? >> in all due respect, this was not an exercise in bipartisanship. the republicans leaders, ryan and mcconnell, were surprised to hear that he had cut this deal with chuck and nancy. and the way you do deals is you sit down together. you have good -- staff with you and you go with proposals back and forth. the proposal that the president expected, the speaker of the house had just categorically rejected. that's not the way we need to do business. the other aspect of this, if i might, was that the agreement that they made is basically devastating to national defense.
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187 service members have lost their lives in noncombat actions, and that's because our leadership, military and others, have told us our military capabilities and readiness is declining. it's not often i like to give quotes but it's important to recognize that the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff said if we continue on this road we've lost the advantage over our adversaries, not to mention putting the lives of these brave is men and women at risk because we're not giving them the training, equipment and capabilities they need. that's unconcionable and this agreement basically freezes last year's funding in place, which
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is a cut of $52 billion. this is a president who campaigned and said i'm going to rebuild the military. we're going to increase that. that's not something that i can stand for. my responsibility as the chairman, it's my responsibility that our men and women have everything they need. their lives are in danger. we can't do that to them. >> let's talk about this issue of readiness. four navy shichs collided with other vessels this year, costing 17 sailors their lives. you're a navy man. the u.s.s. john s. mccain, i believe it's named after your grandfather and father. >> i'm glad you cleared that up. >> people think it's named after you. but you are john s. mccain iii. >> yeah. >> why is this happening? >> because we have not funded --
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whenever you cut defense, the first that goes are the easiest to cut, training, maintenance. if you cancel a ship then you alienate a certain amount of people who are sponsors of that project. so readiness and training are the first things that go. it's gone down and down and down and they are deploying with -- talk about the navy -- with fewer ships at greater r repeatedy. and our service chiefs have been warning us about this for several years. this is the product of the last eight years, not the product of this year. i appreciate the president's commitment but we've got to spend more money on defense given we're in the most
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turbulent world we've been in the last 70 years. at the end of world war ii, we design aid new world order, longest point of peace and prosperity. that's unraveling. i don't have to tell you all the places in the world that is unraveling. it requires a stronger national defense, stronger military. look at crisis we're facing in north decree camera. >> let's talk about north korea. some experts say the only option is to live with a nuclear north korea. what do you think? >> i don't think so. kim jong-un, i don't think, is rational. he's rational to the degree he wants to confront the united states of america. more importantly, if you allow him to have nuclear weapons and south korea, japan and others who are under our, quote, nuclear umbrella, don't, i think that's out of balance. >> how do you prevent him from
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doing it? >> one is china, who can put the brakes on kim jong-un. they have not. in some ways they've increased their assistance. the other is to make it clear we have really two choices. one, accept that or have a nuclearized region. the third option along with it is missile defense, capabilities to defend korea. in other words make sure that kim jong-un knows if he acts in an aggressive fashion, the price will be extinction. we need a better relationship with korea and japan. korean ambassador called for weapons to be redeployed. we had them there once in south korea. we need to tell the chinese it will hurt the united states if
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we lose trade with you but i'm telling you now, something is going to have to change because otherwise we're presented with two options. >> daca provided some temporary protections for undocumented aliens brought here as children through no fault of their own. do you think that congress should codify daca? do you think there should be a path to citizenship for d.r.e.a.m.ers? >> yes. stem, guest workers, a number of other provisions that makes it comprehensive. border security, et cetera.
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we need to do that and make the d.r.e.a.m.ers part of it. second of all, it is not concionable to tell young people who came here as children that they have to go back to a country they don't know. 900 of these d.r.e.a.m.er s are serving in uniform in united states military. are we going to go to a young man or woman serving in afghanistan or iraq today saying by the way, you're a d.r.e.a.m.er. get back to, fill in the blank. we're not going to do that to these young men and women serving in uniform. we need a comprehensive plan. we need it to go through congress, which daca did not, as you know. we did it once in the senate and can do it again in a bipartisan fashion. partisanship seems to be dominating the environment in washington to the detriment of the american people.
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>> hurricane irma, i would be remiss if i didn't mention, that the storm is more intense, experts say, because of climate change. in 2012 when hurricane sandy and superstorm sandy, your daughter tweeted so are we still going to go with climate change not being real, fellow republicans? the republican party, as you know, generally speaking, acts as if climate change is not real. there are exceptions, you, your daughter, megan, republican mayor of miami. but generally speaking, the president, the governor of florida, et cetera, act as if it's not real even though the overwhelming science could be senses is that it's real and it's man made. why? >> i don't know because i can't define their motives. but i know this. there is things happening with the climate in the world that is unprecedented. second of all, we need to have, in my view, nuclear power as
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part of the answer. it's the cleanest, cheapest, in many ways, source of power. it's got to be part of the equation. they're basically anti-nuclear. i spun off a bit there but we have to understand that the climate may be changing and we can take common sense measures which will not harm the xhern people. in fact, solar and other technologies make it cheaper energy for many of the american people, including a state like mine where we have lots of sunshine. i think it's time for to us sit down. again, all of these problems that we're discussing require what our founding fores -- fathers wanted us to do.
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with health care why didn't we have hearings, amendments, debate, bring a bill to the floor, have amendments have, debate and then come up with a product? listen, we just passed through the senate armed services committee a bill to defend this nation. vote was 27-0, okay. why? >> because it was done in a bipartisan way. >> we fought, we argued and are still mad at each other but we came up with a bill that we could all support. except for a couple of outliers, we will get this done and to the president's desk. that's what the american people want us to do. they now see gorsuch and some regulations. that's what they see with nine months of undivided republican majorities. that's not good. >> i hope this is not our last interview. i know a lot of people want to interview you. >> a lot of people want it to be the last. >> but it's my last question for you. and i hope i don't run this clip
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for another 50 years. but how do you want the american people to remember you? >> he served his country and not always right. made a lot of mistakes. made a lot of errors, but served his country. and i hope we could add honorably. >> i think that we can say honorably. senator john mccain, always great to have you here. do not be a stranger. there's a seat for you any time you want. >> thanks. >> great to see you. say hi to cindy and everybody else. very latest on hurricane irma making landfall -- sorry, we're going to go to kyung lah in miami beach. what are you experiencing right now? kyung, can you hear me? >> reporter: sorry, it's a little confusing out here, jake. you'll have to forgive me. because what we're having out here is a hurricane. and we're starting to see conditions worsen pretty much the last time that i was with
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you, it didn't feel quite as bad as this. it certainly feels a little bit worse now, little bit harder to stand. it's hard to gauge what's happening with the trees because street signs. we have not seen any major flooding here, and we do want to stress, if you are in miami beach, you are on your own. there is no more police and fire out here to help you, jake. >> all right. thank you so much, kyung. alison, where is the storm now? >> it's officially made landfall over the keys. it did so at 9:10 this morning, now going back out over very warm water. so we don't expect this storm to change much in the next couple hours. still a category 4 storm, 130-mile-per-hour winds, you can see some of those incredibly
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heavy wind bans. even ft. myers starting to pick up the heavier bands of rain. key west, nothing. that's because the station is broken. it likely took an incriminally high wind gust. elsewhere 40, 45, 50, 60-mile-per-hour wind gusts. those will increase, bass you track is expected to take it off the west coast. heading towards naples, ft. myers. we do expect it to eventually weaken by the time it gets to tampa. once it gets to the panhandle it would encounter some their. that will rip the storm apart very quickly. the big story we've been talking to about is the stole surge. right now the biggest storm surge is on the east coast side. all of that water is being pushed in.
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on the west coast side it's entirely the opposite. the water is actually retreating. you do not want to be on the beach when that water comes back. it comes back in fast and furious and can turn into a deadly situation. it is going to come back. as that storm makes its way north crossing over the main peninsula, that water will come back in. that, jake is when we'll start tows some of the biggest storm surges for the west coast of florida. >> and we have a lo the of individuals, including our onil kyung la. the courages will sustain that way before she finally starting to conditions get better in miami. that's for most people. it will remain bad for hours now
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the rain bands will be off and on, you'll go from light showers to to referenceal downpours. the winds will remain hurricane-force gusts for quite some time. the west coast side, you're going to start to see conditions deteriorate rapidly over the coming hours, especially the folks in tampa. >> allison, thank you so much. we're going to go back to miami beach. we're told the conditions you are are going to get worse. are you able to detect that just on the ground? i'm not sure if you can hear me? let's go back to allison chin char. allison, the storm has made landfall obviously in key west, and it's making its way up the west coast the florida. there are a lot of individuals who fled southern florida for places upstate that are now
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right in the eye of the storm. >> tampa being one of them. unfortunately what we have seen in this short term, the last couple hours is a shift in the track. around tampa it's only a 14-mile difference. it's no longer expected to go right through downtown tampa, but 14 miles et west. the problem with that is that it actually allows more of the storm surge to pile into tampa bay, so in theory, yes, your winds may not be as strong as the center of circulation but it increases for the height of said storm surge as well. we're going to go to key largo, where we find bill weir. you're in the upper keys. the hurricane made landfall in the lower keys at 9:10 a.m. describe the conditions you are experiencing. >> reporter: it's really a
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dramatic shift as the wind starts to whip around. actually irma came ashore at the exact spot we did the last evacuation live shot, i guess friday night. people were really starting to head north on u.s. 1 after so many admonitions from first responders and the authorities. we actually had to move our position to the under end of this carport. now we're facing biscayne bay, this is where the sloppy, dirty side of the storm you talk about will start to pick up. we have a menace here, caution, crocodiles in the area, a reminder of the biodiversity in this part of florida. you could make a joke about a croc-nado. it will obviously be wildlife is at risk as much as human life,
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but we're checking in with the contacts we have made over the last couple days around. we're hearing from people on the atlantic side the key largo, who are riding it out. they are losing tiki huts, seeing sheets of plywood blow ahn. no major boat damage. the if you remember from andrew, the boats were stacked by corkwood, no with you has seen that yesterday, but the big concern is what they big winds will do to the infrastructure in this par of the keys. the ocean railroad they build back in the '30s was taken out by -- they do have a desalination plant add power generation station that could give them maybe 60% of the peak power to tide them over to get thickets back to normal, but i
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think this is my eighth hurricane. i'm hardly a seasoned meteorologist, we did katrina together, and ike and gustav. this is the most violent i have ever seen. >> stay safe, bill. >> we will. joining us on the phone is senator marco rubio, a republican in florida. senator rubio? joining us on the phone from his home is senator marco rubio, republican of florida. senator, thanks so much for joining us, hurricane irma's destructive eyewall hit the florida keys just this morning, do you have any sense of how bad it is? >> i don't think anyone does at this point. obviously there's not a lot of people there. thankfully they left. the ones that are we're not in communication with, but if you've ever been to the keys, a very narrow chain of islands built on coral rock and reefs. it's not going to be good. we're deeply concerned about the
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storm intensifies, as is waters are over 90 degrees based on the gulf stream in that region. as it heads into southwest florida, tampa bay, i mean, that has always been our biggest fear is a massive storm headed into that region, plus the wind. we're deeply concerned about that. so frankly everybody in florida needs to be taking precautions. the worst is yet to scum for south, southeast florida. we haven't had power at my house since 2:00 in the morning, and so forth, but southwest florida, this is a disturbing chain of events. we praise for the best and hope people heed the warnings and you are hunkered down. >> you are in your home in miami. are you safe? why did you decide to ride out the storm in your home? >> first, i'm not in a flood zone, i'm not on the coast.
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my home was built in 2005, so my wife is built to withstand a category 3 storm, and my roof -- we have shutters on the window and so forth. now, a lot of people left south florida. some drove to tampa and orlando. now they find themselves kind of in the eye of this thing or certainly facing this thing down. that's one of the calculations we made. hopefully the people who have left south florida and moved into other communities, this is not the time to get on the road and head back. this is time to have confidence in where they are and just stay in place and right it out. there really wasn't an area in florida that i could point to and say you won't -- >> i know people who went to georgia, and now are trying to figure out how to get in georgia. >> where are your wife and children? >> they're here. i think the kids -- you know,
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when you put shutters on your home, it's darker than ever. it's pretty good sleep. but we'll be in this tomorrow morning, i mean, that's the threat in south florida. it's just beginning for the rest of the state, but they're here thankfully and everyone is safe. >> senator rubio, we're praying for you and your family and all the citizens of florida this morning. >> thank you. stay with us. i'll be back in two hours, but breaking news coverage of hurricane irma continues right now. \s >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. if you are just joining our continuing coverage of hurricane irma, the hurricane has made landfall in the florida keys as a category 4 storm. you will see what that means in terms of wind speed, the big concern is storm surge, the most deadly aspect is

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