tv CNN Newsroom CNNW January 29, 2014 10:00am-11:01am PST
kes a subaru, a subaru. right now. atlanta emergency. kids forced to spend the night in school or school buses. drivers strand for more than 20 hours on ice-covered road. right now, president obama is on the road, trying to sell a state of the union message. how much did last night's speech help the president? and right now, a new york congressman apologizes for threatening to throw a reporter over a balcony. and the whole thing caught on camera. hello, i'm wolf blitzer
reporting from washington. we begin with the chaotic scene playing out right now on roads all across the south. people remain trapped in their cars more than 24 hours after a winter storm covered the region in snow and ice. the situation in atlanta is especially bad. schools and businesses closed early. right at the storm hit. creating absolute gridlock all around the city. half hour commutes took eight hours or longer. many others never made it home at all, including children stranded on buses overnight with no food or bathrooms. more than 4,000 other students had to spend the night at their schools. we're joined from atlanta right now. this is a frightening situation, nick. some people stuck in their cars. some ran out of gas. what are officials doing right now to end this nightmare and get people home safely? >> reporter: it's just as alarming as it looks and sounds.
people are further enraged by the lack of accountability that state and city officials -- they're not taking responsibility whole-heartedly for this mess and this disaster. it's just as bad as it looks out there. we've seen interstate 75 just in gridlock. people stranded in their cars for overnight. people still stranded out there after being on the road since 2 p.m. yesterday. and this report that we just confirmed a little while ago is getting quite the reaction on social media, wolf. the mayor kasim reed of atlanta was at a georgia trend magazine award luncheon alongside governor nathan deal while the worst of the storm was hittin and while people hit the roads. a big part of the problem was lack of coordination and lack of preparation here among businesses, private sector, government officials as well. all hitting the road at the exact same time. the mayor was saying on a local radio station yesterday, we had about a million people on the roads and people were stuck. on a good day, it would take hours for anyone to get from point "a" to point "b." you add the weather and icy
conditions, it just created a disaster. some of the worse stories we're hearing, a woman had to give birth in her car on the side of the interstate with the help of a police officer. we're seeing other reports on social media of one man particularly -- he's still stuck in his car. he's saying he needs food and water. he's a diabetic and doesn't have access to his diabetes medication. very dramatic scenes and pictures. everyone here has a story, wolf. myself included. i was stuck on the roads, six miles, took me four hours to travel. we're hearing other stories from our colleagues. jennifer gray stuck on the interstate for 12 hours. our other meteorologist stuck on the road. officials saying the weather forecast was wrong. that's inaccurate. our own meteorologists had been predicting this kind of weather for more than 24 hours. as you know, wolf, having spent time in atlanta, the resources here for a snow like this, a snow event like this, they're simply not there.
wolf? >> looks like some serious miscoordination. nick, stand by. our colleague michael holmes, who never made it home last night, spent the night at the cnn center in atlanta, he's out on the roads right now. there's a little bit of sunshine, i take, it but still also gridlock, michael. i know our viewers have seen you covering wars. you recently got back from baghdad and iraq. what's it like in atlanta right now? >> reporter: yeah, i come from baghdad to this nightmare, wolf, you're right. yeah, we're out here on i-20, which is a major atlanta freeway. runs east/west just south of the city. just have a look there. it's been gridlock here since we got here. they seem to be funneling the trucks up to the left 37 it's mainly trucks, have i i have to. look at the ice on the back of that truck. i'm going to bring you over here and introduce you to someone we just bumped into on the side of the road. walter wilkins. how are you doing? >> good. >> reporter: explain how long
you've been out here. >> i've been out here since 4:30 yesterday evening and the traffic is at a standstill. i thought the roads would be better prepared, but he they weren't. >> reporter: what have you been doing all those hours? >> basically sitting in traffic, waiting for it to move. watching tv. trying to get news updates, listening to the cb, finding out any information about this situation. >> reporter: at least you have a bed and supplies. >> yeah, i have enough food and water in my truck for at least five days. >> reporter: are you one of those truckies, you're losing money sitting on the side of the road? >> yeah. if i can't deliver my load, i don't get paid. >> reporter: who do you blame, walter? >> i don't really blame anybody. you can't blame the weather because it's so unpredictable. i think the d.o.t. was better prepared, it would move a lot smoother. >> reporter: yeah, yeah. what's your plan? you've got how far to go? >> i have 800 miles to go to
east, and i don't think it's going to get better. >> reporter: you could be here many more hours. >> yes, i can. i'm not concerned about going out there because it's not safe for me. >> reporter: exactly. walter, appreciate you talking to me. that's just one truck driver. i'll be hoens with you, wolf, we came out here from cnn to try to find some people stuck on the road. i'm going to be honest with you, we've been out here for five minutes. it was that quick. we literally pulled onto the freeway, stopped, met walter, bang. he's been out here since 4:30 yesterday afternoon. it's not hard to find. there's trucks parked on the side of the road. if we can sneak out here. they're parked on the side of the road down there. they've given up like walter has. you can see here, this goes on for miles and miles. a little bit of movement. but not much. obviously, a dreadful situation. i was listening earlier when you were talking there, yeah, we didn't get home last night either.
and probably not tonight. in a city this size, wolf, and as you referenced before, this is baghdad traffic, i tell you. >> yeah, it looks awful. it's really amazing when you think about it. michael, we'll check back with you as well. good luck. let's get an undate now on what officials in atlanta are trying to do now to clear the roads and get everyone home safely. ken davis is a spokesman for georgia emergency management association. he's joining us on the phone. thanks. what's the status of atlanta's highways right now? how many trucks, cars, vehicles, people are stuck? >> far too many, wolf. we don't have an exact figure, but suffice it to say that the roads in many places, particularly interstates, are still jammed. we have trouble spots even on some of the primary noninterstates. however, the progress is being made. we are urging people to stay off the roads unless it's absolutely, positively unavoidable. and if that is the case, to
certainly stay off the interstate. the problem is, is this is an ice situation. it's not snow. it's ice. and the temperature is still below freezing. so, there's not been any melting. and the considerable salting and de-icing equipment that's, you know, operated by the local and state agencies, basically is not able to get out of -- get out because of the impasse on the interstates. but we're trying as best we can to get the roads clear, or at least a passageway through there so de-icing equipment can get out. and hopefully things will get rolling again. also, getting the students home. by getting the roads clear, that will help facilitate getting the school students who have been sheltered overnight in some schools around metro atlanta home safely.
>> i know it's -- you guys are trying to fix this problem and you got a lot of emergencies you're dealing with, especially with students, the young kids, the elderly who may be stuck. how do you get those emergency vehicles, though, into those areas to try to extricate, to get those folks out and bring them into safety? >> well, the national guard is out and about in their humvees. many of your public safety and law enforcement, public works departments have, you know, specialty, high-profile and/or four-wheel drive vehicles and they're, you know, taking it very slowly. and being quite careful as they navigate some of the roadways. but again, progress is being made. some of the spots that have been blocked overnight are beginning to break free. and there is some movement, but all of them have not been cleared yet.
but, you know, local, state and even private concerns are working frantically to get things cleared up. >> what about people marks the federal emergency management agency, the department of homeland security, are you getting federal assistance? >> no, not typically for ice and snow events. not at this point. we're still very much in the emergency phase, trying to deal with getting these people to safety. that's more of an administrative reimbursement thing, even if it does come about, which it might not. >> ken davis is the public affairs director for georgia emergency management agency. good luck, ken. good luck to you. good luck to all the folks there. you have a huge, huge problem on your hands. thank you. some of the people watching the thousands of stranded motorists around atlanta decided to find a way to help earlier. reporter richard elliott of wsb found an icy stretch of interstate where traffic was moving and he came across two
men handing out food. watch this. >> reporter: just about five minutes ago we actually saw a gdot salt and gravel spreader come by and spread gravel on the center lanes. and it was like magic. all of a sudden, all of these cars that were kind of stuck on this very slippery incline a little bit west of shanle-dunwoody, they were able to get up the hill. traffic is moving a little bit. the big rig in the middle lane is still stuck on ice. he's been spinning his wheels, trying get out. you see the abandoned cars behind us. a lot of people were stuck overnight. tell mow your name. >> sonny. >> daniel pullman. >> reporter: they live very close by. they got a cooler with the sled and they're bringing food for people who are stranded, who are abandoned on the side of the road. why did you decide to do that this morning? >> you have to do what can you
to help. my sister got trapped in marietta. i thought, i can't do anything for her but we live close to 285 and i ran into this guy handing out water and we're a great team. >> reporter: you had the water? >> and i had the food. my wife was stuck five hours. we thought that was bad. we woke up this morning, people are 24 hours. we thought we have sandwiches and granola bars. let's see what we can do to help out. >> richard elliott reporting for us from our affiliate wsb. food and water have become a big concern. many drivers now going on 24 hours since they began their trips. we'll have more on the story coming up. also coming up -- president obama is on the road today looking to capitalize on his state of the union message. but how is that message playing back in washington? "crossfire" will weigh in. [ male announcer ] ever wonder why no other mouthwash feels like listerine®? because no other mouthwash works like listerine®.
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i want to show you live pictures right now. these pictures coming from-n from bayonne, new jersey. royal caribbean cruise ship coming in. cruise cut short because of a stomach bug. almost 700 passengers came down with it. it's believed to be the norovirus but investigators are still trying to find out. they'll sanitize to ship to kill off any traces of the virus. they said all pangs will get 50% rebate and 50% credit for future cruise. you see the ship getting closer to bayonne, new jersey.
now to the state of the yin and president's postspeech push. he's in pennsylvania this hour talking about a new investment initiative. earlier the president stopped off in maryland to emphasize his push for a higher minimum wage. >> congress does have to do its part to catch up to the rest of the country on this. and there's a reason why a wide majority of american support increasing the minimum wage. look, most americans working earn more than the minimum wage. it's interesting that the overwhelming number of americans support raising the minimum wage. it's not that it's going to necessarily affect them personally right now. they know, they understand the value behind the minimum wage. if you work hard, you should be able to pay your rent, buy your groceries, look after your kids.
>> the president says he will sign an executive order soon raising the minimum wage for future federal contractors. he indicated there will likely be more executive orders and challenged congress to step up as well. >> let's make this a year of action. that's what most americans want. for all of us in this chamber to focus on their lives. their hopes. their aspirations. >> president hit several high notes in his state of the union address last night. other than minimum wage, he also hit unemployment benefits, immigration reform and iran. there was also this nugget about equal pay, mothers and fathers. >> she deserves to have a baby without sacrificing her job. a mother deserves a day off to care for a sick child or a sick parent without running into hardship. and you know what, a father does, too. it is time to do away with
workplace policies that belong in a "mad men" episode. >> i'm joined by the "crossfire" host s.e.cupp and van jones. nice reference to "mad men" by the president. what's your take on what the president says? why shouldn't womenen able to make the same amount of money for the same work that men make? the president pointed out that women on average get 77 cents for every dollar that a man makes, even though they're half of the workforce. >> yeah. it sounds great, a lot of warm fuzzy's in the president's speech. who doesn't want a woman to pay their rent, care for a sick child, care for a sick parent. i mean, everyone does. conservatives and liberals just have different economic policies to get to that place. i thought last night's speech was interesting in that he struck a sort of defiant tone a dozen times or so he said he was going to go around congress. but he was also surprisingly upbeat. it was this parallel narrative.
on the one hand, i have ultimate faith in the american people. you guys are the best. have i no faith in congress. you guys are the worst. and i think that that's not a dumb tact to take but if you're trying to restore faith in the american people in congress, i don't know that that's the way to do it. >> go ahead, van. >> i saw it differently because, first of all, i thought that before the speech you heard conservatives going, he's going to be mean. he's going to be -- don't know, defiant, pointing the finger. >> the white house leaked that kind of language. >> and it turned out that i think he actually offered the republicans a really great opportunity. look at immigration. on immigration, he could have come out and said, you guys haven't done anything, people are suffering. instead what he did was teed it up but backed off. he let boehner and others have the space they need to move. that shows the little of political skill that he's often accused of not having and a level of actually trying to open the door for bipartisanship. so he actually did some things that i thought were really good, opening the door for bipartisanship.
i just hope the republicans see those things, overlook some stuff they might ordinarily get offended by and let's move forward. >> you know on this issue of imdwrags reform, that's one hope the john boehner and president hope they can compromise that will eventually benefit millions of people. >> yeah, it really does benefit both sides and everyone to come to some kind of agreement on immigration. yesterday we got news there might be movement in the house toward that. but i think what's interesting to me, i've heard from some democrats who have said -- and i've heard democrats make this point -- it would have been great if the president had said, here are the specific things i want. and this is what i'm specifically willing to give up. because if you're a democrat sitting in chamber, you're hearing the president, and you think, well, yeah, i know that's what you want. i want that, too. help us get to the point with our friends across the aisle to actually reach some agreement. all he said was, here's what i
want. >> true. >> we're aware. >> but i think part of the problem is, no matter what the president -- it's kind of what i call pinata politics. wherever you swing, hit him there, hit him there. very specific about immigration. he's not leaving us space. if he steps back, he's not giving enough leadership. i think there are democrats and progressives who really haven't been heard from yet. the tea party -- we had four or five different responses from the republicans last night, trying to cover all the chaos and their party took out -- >> or showcased our intellectual diversity. >> that's another way of putting it. >> this tent's about to fall apart, it's so big. from my point of view, progressives didn't get a chance to really be heard from last night. there were some -- sdm >> you don't think the president is progressive? >> the president has a progressive wing he has to management. he spoke well of the climate. spoke well of guantanamo. we were happy about that. other stuff -- listen, he's glad about wars winding down.
not enough surveillance. glad he mentioned urban youth. but not enough mentioned there. glad he mentioned income inequality. but then he's promoting this trade policy, transpacific partnership that we think will make income inequality way worse. a progressive wing. party was happy he was there, proud of a lot but want more from him and he got drowned out by the con cough any from the republicans. >> we will see you 6:30 p.m. on "crossfire". >> yes, me and stephanie cutter tonight. >> what's the subject? >> you have to tune in to see. >> 6:30 eastern right after "the situation room," my favorite show. >> ours, too. >> we have more live pictures of bayonne, new jersey, the ill-plagued royal caribbean cruise ship is returning to port. we'll go there when we come back. because you can't beat zero heartburn. woo hoo! [ male announcer ] prilosec otc is the number one doctor recommended
show you some live pictures from bayonne, new jersey. the royal caribbean cruise ship is returning to port right now. the mroectioner of the seas cut short its voyage because of a major stomach bug. elizabeth cohen, our medical correspondent is there in bayonne for us. this is a huge problem with nearly 700 passenger and crew members, elizabeth, on board, they got sick, vomiting, diarrhea. explain what happened. unfortunately, i don't think elizabeth cohen can hear me. we will -- elizabeth, can you there? can you hear me now? unfortunately, i don't think she can hear me. all right. we'll check in with elizabeth. let's reconnect with elizabeth cohen and get the latest with what's going on. there you see the ship, the "explorer of the seas" where nearly 700 people got very sick in recent days. they had to cut short their cruise in order to come back to
bayonne, new jersey. that's the part where you see the ship right now. we'll check in with elizabeth, take a quick break. other news we're following -- a nightmare scenario realized on roads all over atlanta. we'll show you how thousands of people are holding up after being trapped in their cars, school buses all night on icy roads. how could this happen? we have the story. [ sneezes, coughs ] i've got a big date, but my sinuses are acting up. it's time for advil cold and sinus. [ male announcer ] truth is that won't relieve all your symptoms. new alka seltzer plus-d relieves more symptoms than any other behind the counter liquid gel. oh what a relief it is.
because of a stomach bug. nearly 700 passengers, crew members got pretty sick. senior medical correspondent elizabeth cohen is in bayonne, new jersey, where the ship has accelerated its return. elizabeth, tell our viewers what happened here. >> reporter: right. what's going on now is that the ship is now returning to new jersey. it's returning several days earlier than expected because more than 600 people have become ill. so, we're talking -- i hate to get graphic, wolf, but i was just on the phone with a passenger and she said people were walking around, vomiting, walking around with vomit and diarrhea on their pajamas. she said it's just been a nightmare. of course, people who were sick were told to stay in their cabins. the doctors came to them. they were given food and drink to stay hydrated. this passenger i talked to said she's so happy to be home. she is a little worried all these passengers are going to get off the ship and go to
hotels and, perhaps, infect people there. we haven't gotten word from the cdc yet on how they plan on preventing that from happening. wolf? >> we were told by the cdc about 3,000 passengers, 1100 crew members on board, 629 passengers and 54 crew workers got sick. and it sounds like gastroenteritis that this virus created. is that what they're suggesting? >> reporter: right. there's no question that it's a form of gastroenteritis, wolf. the big question is, what caused it? there's actually been some delay in answering that question. some samples were sent from the ship on sunday. they were supposed to reach the cdc on monday but, well, that hasn't happened yet. they're still not there. part of it was a problem with the shipping. there were paperwork issues. part of it was the terrible weather in atlanta delayed it even further. they still don't know what it is. experts i talk to say they really are strongly suspicious of something called norovirus, a
virus that's not uncommon on ships. causes exactly the symptoms these folks have had. so, you know, no one will be surprised if it turns out to be norovirus. >> and it's spread pretty easily, right? >> reporter: it spreads very easily. what happens is someone goes to the bathroom. maybe they don't know they're sick because they haven't gotten sick yet because butt they have the virus. they don't wash their hands, they touch a counter. someone else touches the counter. they touch their mouth. they could get sick. it spreads that easily. spreads via person to person, spreads surface to surface. >> royal caribbean tell you what's going to happen to these passengers, crew members when they get off the ship? >> reporter: i think we've lost our connection with elizabeth, unfortunately, once again. you got the news. there it is, the royal caribbean cruise ship "explorer of the
seas" now back in bayonne, new jersey, with about 4,000 passengers and crew members. about 700 of whom got pretty sick as a result of what they believe was this norovirus. we're going to take a quick break. when we come back, we'll check in with chad myers. he's standing by in atlanta with the latest on a pretty serious situation. a lot of folks still stuck on icy roads. traffic problems enormous right now. a lot of young kids stuck in school buses and in schools. we'll have the very latest right after this. ♪ ♪ ♪ told ya you could do it. (dad vo) i want her to be safe. so, i taught her what i could and got her a subaru. (girl) piece of cake. ♪ (announcer) love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru.
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the trouble began when businesses and schools closed just when the snow started falling and that created absolute gridlock on the streets. for miles and miles on major streets, on highways, stranded vehicles, including school buses filled with kids, who had no food, no bathrooms. people are outraged, understandably so, saying the city didn't prepare for the storm or respond fast enough to the gridlock. georgia's governor and atlanta mayor reacted to that criticism today. listen to this. >> i did not mean to imply that we didn't know something was coming. what i was referring to was that the national weather service had continually had their modeling showing that the city of atlanta would not be the primary area where the storm would hit. that it would be south of atlanta. you've already heard some of our agencies saying that based on that modeling, they had not brought in some of the resources earlier because they thought there were going to be other parts of the state more severely
impacted than the metropolitan atlanta area. >> what i would say is that the eyes of the nation are on the state, so i'm not going to get into that blame game. but the crisis that we're going through is across the region. so, if you look at anybody's street in any community across the entire region, there's no one who's doing any better job than we're doing in the city of atlanta. >> a lot of people, unfortunately, though, don't agree. joining us on the phone from new orleans right now, our meteorologist chad myers. chad, who's to blame here? >> oh, wolf, there's -- there's a lot of blame to go around. just about everybody is to blame. for going to work, for going to school, for sending kids to the school in the first place and send them home early. i couldn't even believe my 9-year-old was going to school. at 9:45 i got an e-mail saying we're closing school at noon. what was the point of that, really? what was the point of getting them to school and then sending them home in the snow and the ice and making someone drive
through that and putting children and parents in danger just for school? here's the deal. let me put this into perspective. if i on any monday afternoon, tuesday afternoon, i ring a bell at 1:00, go, go get your food, get food, go home, there will be a three-hour traffic jam anyway. if there's rain that day, it will be a six-hour delay. now with the snow and the crash, we are still seeing people now that have been on the roads officially 24 hours with their engines idling. it's why we always tell you to have gas in your car in case you have to use it for heat. you know, people laugh at us when we tell you, please put a winter survival kit in the trunk. they go, atlanta? why would we possibly need that? because the pictures you see on your screen right now, that's why you need those survival blankets. the survival candle, flashlight, battery, battery charger for your cell phone. all of those things to keep yourself safe. >> and a full tank of gas in order to keep the car warm,
obviously, very important as well. i heard some -- i think the mayor there, the governor -- especially the governor blaming meteorologists for a bad forecast. is that true? >> you know, the forecast called for 1 to 2 inches of snow. officially, we had 2.6. now, i understand that's greater than 2, but that's still a pretty good forecast. six inches of snow didn't come down and bust the forecast. we were in the 2-point something here. the problem with the roads in atlanta is that the lack of number of salt trucks we have in the city. you know, we're going to use a salt truck one time every 1,000 days. why would you buy 500 salt trucks? there's less than 100 in atlanta. why would you buy more and use all of that taxpayer money and have these salt trucks sit around for 1,000 days before they're used again? the salt is not on the road. it doesn't get pretreated in time. you know, when i grew up, you
knew snow was coming. we both grew up in buffalo up. knew snow was coming. the streets turned would it, wolf w salt before the snow even came down. and turned it white again. because it was pretreated. with the lack of number of vehicles and lack of salt and the lack, really, of pretreating here, this is what you get. >> because -- i'll tell you, all day here in washington, chad, you're right, both of us grew up in buffalo, new york, so we got used to a lot of snow. if you say to people, 2 inches, 2.6 inches of snow and look at the chaos, look at the disaster in and around atlanta, it's hard for a lot of folks to understand how this could happen. >> well, i really think people sm should have stayed home. it started around noon. they all tried to get home at the same time. clogged the road. someone slid off the road, first wreck and chain reaction after that. there was no place to go after that. in your mind, can you do it. 1 to 2 inches, oh, no problem, i can make it through that. yes, you probably can but the guy next to you can't.
it's one thing after another that it all goes downhill. and there are still people, believe it or not, at this hour, they are still sitting on the roadways, trying to get home from the commute that they started yesterday around 1:00. >> yep. all right, chad, thanks very much. chad myers reporting for us. other news we're following. a u.s. congressman apologizing for his truly shocking response to a question. he threatened to throw a reporter off a congressional balcony and break him in half. the story's coming up next. (vo) you are a business pro. seeker of the sublime. you can separate runway ridiculousness... from fashion that flies off the shelves. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle... and go. and only national is ranked highest in car rental customer satisfaction by j.d. power. (natalie) ooooh, i like your style. (vo) so do we, business pro. so do we. go national. go like a pro.
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you know how painful heartburn can be. for fast, long lasting relief, use doctor recommended gaviscon®. only gaviscon® forms a protective barrier that helps block stomach acid from splashing up- relieving the pain quickly. try fast, long lasting gaviscon®. out in front of a news camera in washington last night. a congressman physically threatened a television reporter. michael grimm, new york republican congressman, walked away from a local tv interview when the subject changed from the state of the union address to a campaign finance issue that the congressman did not want to talk about. watch what happened when grimm came back.
>> let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again i'll throw you [ bleep ] balcony. >> why? i just wanted to talk to you. why? why? >> i'm telling you [ bleep ]. no, no. you're not man enough. i'll break you in half. like a boy. >> i will break you in half like a boy. that's the quote. mike scotto talked on "new day" earlier this morning. >> we taped this segment basically as live. it was going to air as is. i asked him that question and he said, i don't want to talk about it, and walked off. i turned back to the camera and explained why he left the interview. and i think it was during that time he got really infuriated and then came back to me once i had wrapped up and then leaned over and said what he said, basically saying if i did
something like that again, he was going to throw me over the balcony. >> you saw the congressman, michael grimm today, athena. what did he say? >> reporter: i did. we know interviews can get contentious but it's not every day a politician threatens to throw a reporter off a balcony. we caught up with congressman grimm outside his office after early morning votes. apologized. he said sometimes he wears his emotions on his sleeve and what he did was wrong. let's take a listen. >> this was an unfortunate incident that shouldn't have happened. you know, i'm sure my italian mother is going to, you know, be yelling at me, saying you weren't raised that way. and she's right. she's absolutely right. the bottom line is, i overreacted and my emotion thes got the better of me. i lost my cool. and that shouldn't happen. >> reporter: grimm also told us he plans to have lunch with scotto some time next week to put this behind them. i asked the congressman if he thought it was inappropriate this reporter scotto asked him about this department of justice investigation into grimm's
campaign finance practices from four years ago. last night he seemed to think it was not an appropriate question. he said it absolutely was. he said he hasn't yet spoken to the fbi or justice department about this probe. >> what an incident that is. thanks for the update. the top official wants cooperation from the man who leaked american secrets to the news media. i'm talking about edward snowden, the nsa contractor and director of intelligence made a personal appeal to snowden on capitol hill. >> snowden claims he has won and his mission is accomplished. if that is so, i call on him and accomplices to facilitate the return of the remaining stolen documents that have not been exposed to prevent more damage to the security. of. >> the head of intelligence said the snowden leaks will cost
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benefits. let's talk about the whole notion of increasing or at least extending unemployment benefits for about a million and a half people right there. at least a short-term extension that the president is calling for. are you with him on that? >> well, we have been looking at policies that will get people back to work. i think you are aware that the senate is taking the lead on the unemployment insurance reform program and the way forward. there negotiations going on between the republicans and the democrats. we would like to see what they can come together on. we will take a look at that. the best response to long-term unemployment is to get people back to work. get more jobs created in this country. unfortunately too many of the president's policies are making it harder for job creators and those that are out there trying to start a business and grow a business. those that are looking for work when you consider we have seen
higher health care and energy cost and record regulations and requirements and that makes it harder to create jobs. >> you have a month to raise the debt ceiling. if you don't, america's credit worthiness and rating could go down once again. the president said he is not going to pay ransom to pay the bills that have been accumulating. are ready to raise the debt ceiling without strings attached? >>. >> the president said he is not willing to negotiate. that is wrong by the president. for the president to say he is not willing to negotiate with congress with elected officials, wolf, i represent nearly 700,000 people in eastern washington. they are concerned about how to control spending that continues here in washington, d.c. for the president to say he won't negotiate with me or the other 435 elected representatives in the house?
i find that very concerning. this is representative democracy and the president needs to work with us. he needs to come up to capitol hill and talk through how we are going to get spending under control. when it comes to the debt ceiling, i want to see reforms attached to that. the current path is still unacceptable to me. >> several other key issues. the entire interview with the congresswoman later today in "the situation room" at 5:00 p.m. eastern. lots of good stuff to discuss. there was one thing all members of congress could agree on in the state of the union address. their admiration for u.s. army sergeant first class cory remsburg seated next to the first lady. >> i first met cory remsburg, a proud army ranger at omaha beach on the 65th anniversary of d-day.
along with some of his fellow rangers, he walked me through the program and the ceremony. he was a strong impressive young man and had an easy manner and sharp as a tack. we joked around and took pictures and i told him to stay in touch. a few months later on his tenth deployment, cory was nearly killed by a massive roadside in afghanistan. his comrades found him in a canal facedown, under water, shrapnel in his brain. for months he lay in a coma. the next time i met him in the hospital he couldn't speak. could barely move. over the years he has endured dozens of surgeries and procedures, hours of gruelling rehab every day. even no cory is still blind in
one eye. still struggles on his left side. but slowly, steadily, with the support of care givers like his dad and the community around him, cory has grown stronger. day by day, he learned to speak again and stand again and walk again. he is working towards the day when he can serve his country again. my recovery has not been easy, he says. nothing in life that's worth anything is easy. cory is here tonight. and like the army he loves, like the america he serves, sergeant first class cory rems berg never gives up and he does not quit.
>> there was an amazing two-minute standing ovation. it was really, really an emotional moment wrapping up the state of the union address. that's it for me and thanks for watching. newsroom continues right now with brooke baldwin. >> hey, wolf. great to be back with you. we are watching not just one, but two big stories. the weather and much of the south and georgia totally shut down after the winter storm. stranding commuters and hundreds, maybe thousands of people spent the night in their cars. still on the road. you see the other picture on the screen. we are talking cruise ship again today. this one is a royal caribbean cruise ship that arrived in new jersey moments ago.