tv Smerconish CNN October 25, 2014 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
hello, i'm michael smerconish. welcome to the program. i've got a packed show today. digging down on key questions. should the new york city doctor with ebola have been allowed to roam the nation's most crowded city? why didn't he self-quarantine for everybody's protection. and what are the chances isis is going to acquire nuclear weapons? i'll ask former cia agent valerie plain. and monica lewinski. new information about what really happened during that scandal that bears her name. some pretty shocking details. all that and more on today's program. so let's get started.
new york is a city of packed subways, crowded sidewalks, buildings stacked with layers of people on top of each other. and now ebola is here. the doctor who brought it back from africa was out in many of those crowds. craig spencer went all over the city. he rode three different subways, he went to the highline tourist attraction, ate at a restaurant in grenich village, took the subway and an uber car back to his apartment in upper manhattan. still, no one is panicking and the chances he has infected anyone is very small. if he is feeling sluggish on tuesday, should he have been out and about on wednesday? joining me now to talk about this and more is dr. alex van tuliken from fordham university. welcome. if he were feeling sluggish on tuesday, should he have been so free with his movements come wednesday? >> i don't think he's done anything wrong.
all we've heard all day is how irresponsible he has been, how dare he bring this to the city. and, of course, new york is the place we think of for the spread of disease, we see it in movies and things like this. in fact, he has adhered very rigorously to the doctors without borders protocols, and there is absolutely no reason to believe he has exposed anyone to any risks. >> i don't have concerns he exposed anyone. i've read, even research about whether you can contract it from a bowling ball, because we had to get that far into the weeds this week. but doesn't common sense dictate that if you're within that 21-day time period, and if you might test positive, because of the good work you've done, then maybe you should limit your activities so as to not inspire fear, god forbid you end up being diagnosed with ebola? >> it's a really difficult call. we don't know exactly what his experience of feeling sluggish was. the mission he would have been on would have been very exhausting and feeling sluggish -- we have sluggish days anyway. and sluggishness is not a
hallmark symptom of ebola. the thing he has been told to look for is fever. and the moment he spiked a fever and a low fever at that. he didn't spike -- >> 100.3. >> yeah, not high at all. he called his organization, everything was arranged and happened properly. so i think what would we ask these people to do, taking people out of circulation completely for three weeks is a huge ask when we think about the numbers of health workers required to combat this disease. >> should we regulate their movements in any way? >> what i would say, i think they shouldn't have been getting on planes and he would have been given movement want from his organization. he has to check in a couple times a day. and he has been told not to. if you look -- although he's been all over the city, he hasn't been wildly extravagant with his movements. i think the main thing here is that we have set a protocol which means that he doesn't expose anyone to risk and he sat within that protocol. >> i think americans, doctor, are now familiar with the concept of tracing. we learned that in the aftermath of what went on in dallas.
tracing in a city of 8.4 million, it's an impossible task. >> yeah. it's a very, very interesting question, this, because, of course, i'm sitting here saying look, there is nothing to worry about, and why are we spending all of this time and energy chasing down everyone. that's because we need to know the full story. it could be, if he had gone out and gotten drunk, cut his hand, if approximate he had actually been sick on the sidewalk or -- in the subway, something like that. then the risk changes dramatically. so we know none of those happened, because we have traced his movements. we're able to very clearly stratify who we need to be in touch with. they haven't contacted everyone on the a train and l train. those are the trains i rode today and they're fine. >> i took the e train yesterday, now thinking about these issues. let me ask this. do we know all we think we know. and by that i mean, doctor, there have been a series of incidents now where you have people who have contracted ebola who say i have no idea how i contracted it and they were apparently taking precautions. it doesn't give someone like me, a hey person, a high degree of confidence. >> such a difficult story to
tell, because we have two exactly opposing scientific facts. one is we know it's hard to catch because we can look at the family of thomas eric duncan exposed to diarrhea and vomiting in his house and didn't catch it. patrick sawyer, the man who brought ebola to nigeria, did not infect people on the plane despite having symptoms. equally we see health care providers wearing protective gear catching it. the answer is how long it takes to manifest a lot of virus in your body. and in the early stages, dr. spencer's viral levels would have been very, very low. very hard to catch. and in the end stages you're talking about millions of viral particles, tiny drops of blood, very easy to catch. you only need a tiny number of viruss to get into your body. >> dr. van tuliken, thank you for your time. we appreciate you being here. i want to turn to an ethicist, a doctor trained to consider these questions we have been asking. did dr. craig spencer behave unethically. should he have self-kwarcquaran. doctor, you've heard my
conversation with dr. van tuliken. what do you make of it? >> there are two viruss circulating now, michael. one is ebola, and that's pretty hard to catch. the other is fear, and that's pretty easy to catch and a lot of americans are getting it. so do i think for medical reasons infectious disease reasons he needs to self isolate, i do not. i agree he's watching for fever as soon as it appears, he gets himself to the hospital. no one was put at risk unless they had sex with him in a bowling alley or shared a toothbrush with him on the a-train. there was no risk to anybody. but fear is strong. so i think prudence says, ethically, stay at home, isolate yourself, don't wander around. and i have a different proposal, michael. maybe we should set up a hotel for heroes. they are heroes, going there on the front line to fight this disease. let's put them in a nice place. they shouldn't be going to jail. they should be going to a place where the food is good and there is plenty of videos to watch. let them do interviews about what they saw in west africa and
get us all on board the idea that we've got to stamp out the epidemic. let's celebrate them, but maybe we could keep them a little bit restricted for the three weeks before we kind of let them go their merry way. >> listen, i like that idea. and i don't want to hammer this guy. he was apparently doing god's work. >> exactly. >> but when you go through the chronology, and it was the times on friday dr. kaplan, that said and there wasn't any explanation. it simply said he began to feel sluggish on tuesday and then you learn that on wednesday he goes from harlem to bowling in brooklyn and is on the highline and so forth. that's when i say to myself, at the minute he started to feel sluggish, why didn't he just stay at home? >> i can't disagree with that. and also, you know, why are we doing the contact tracing? what if he did cut his hand somewhere or what if he did get drunk and have sex with somebody out in the city, et cetera, et cetera. it's more prudent for the protection against fear. let's do the isolation, but let's celebrate them. what we don't want to do is turn it into jail. we want people to go over there
and stop this epidemic. and we want people to go back there and stop this epidemic. and the way to do that is to say, just like 911 and the cops and the firemen who went toward danger, these doctors, these nurses, going toward danger, let's handle them appropriately. we need to be prudent to control fear and panic, but let's really give them their props. let's say you're doing good things, you're doing wonderful things, you're doing ethical things. let's reward you for that. >> on your facebook page, at the end of the weekend, and if we have this, can we put it up on the screen and remind dr. kaplan of what he said. there it is. so could we all not going insane at once? ebola docket bellevue went bowling when in taxi. so what, he had no symptoms, he wasn't infectious. his fiancee needs to worry if they had had sex or shared a toothbrush, unless you did this with him or in a taxi or bowling alley, you're good. those trying for strikes should be spared any concern. come on, media. do better. explain that last part before you leave me. >> well, you know, people keep
saying to me, why are we so panicked? let's face it. we see people in moon suits constantly. >> right. >> i should ask you, what's the size of that ebola virus? because i think it's about three feet big when i see that thing come out -- that wormy thing. holy mackerel, that's coming after me? i think we're doing a pretty good job frightening people. what we want to do is come up with constructive ideas. here's a rule. no talking heads on your show unless they've got something constructive to suggest. >> well, and credentials. and you do. >> and some credentials. >> thank you dr. art kaplan. i need to squeeze in a break. but when i come back, the nightmare scenario. how would new york handle the outbreak of ebola if a number of different cases were to appear? who would maintain calm in a city of this size? i'll talk to the guy who knows a lot about keeping new york safe. he used to be the police chief of the largest city in america. we're back in just a moment. i lost my sight in afghanistan, but it doesn't hold me back.
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thanks, g. when a call comes in and someone might have ebola, a city like new york has to mobilize. public officials have to tell folks what's going on, keep everybody from panicking. first responders have to protect themselves, and the public. if the ebola problem gets worse, how prepared is new york city? one man who knows the answer is bernard carrick, former new york city police commissioner and the american apointed interim interior minister for iraq. bernard how prepared is nyc for
this? >> i think extremely well prepared. in fact, it's probably better prepared than any city in the country. keep in mind, new york city has resources that most -- no other city, really has. and the police department, you have 41 -- 40,000 cops, uniformed cops. you have an enormous fire department, emergency service -- emergency medical service unit. you have an office of emergency management. and today, mike, the emergency management center is controlled and managed by commissioner esposito who was the chief of the department on and in the aftermath of 911, had to deal with 911, had to deal with anthrax, had to deal with the west nile virus. and you have a phenomenal health department. so that works in conjunction with the cdc out of atlanta. and we had to do that with the anthrax threat back in 2001. so you've got an enormous amount of resources that i think is
extremely beneficial to the citizens of new york city. >> it sounds like you're unconcerned about turf battles between local, state and federal officials. >> no, you know what? new york city is pretty good at working together with this state and the federal government. you know, for the city itself, you have police commissioner bratton who i think is one of the best they have ever had. the fire department works very cooperatively with the pd. the office of emergency management oversees all of the sort of critical infrastructure and working relationships between the city agency for the mayor himself. so there's an enormous body of people, of city agency heads that work together, and the state comes in, the federal government comes in, they have done this for years. unlike just about any other city in our country, they've been
doing this back to 1996 when mayor guiliani created the office of emergency management. >> bernard in my day job as a talk radio host where i like to say i answer phones for a living, i've never seen an issue where there is such a quest for information, a desire for information from the general public to which i would say to you, i think communication is a very important part of the government response. quick thought on that from you? >> communications is the key to the success of handling any crisis. if you look back to the days of 9/11, you would see me, guiliani, the fire commissioner, four or five times a day, notifying the public. telling them what's going on. that's one of the most important things you can do. and new york city has a device by which that's done. so i think you're going to see a lot of communications, a lot of working relationships between the feds, the cdc and the city.
and the doctors were phenomenal. people should listen to them. don't panic, go about your business. >> bernard car rick, thank you. >> dr. spencer lives in harlem on a quiet street where understandably neighbors are nervous. their city councilman mark levine joins me now. i know you have been interacting with your constituents and neighbors. what's the vibe? >> the shock has worn off, and many people are taking it in stride. but there is a tremendous amount of misinformation out there, and that has bred some panic, unwarranted. but there are people who live across the street who are worried that because they shopped in the same deli as dr. spencer, they might have been exposed. there are people who have told their kids not to hug anyone at school. there are people who are going around covering up their mouth. of course, it's not airborne. even the postal carrier who went into the building a couple hours ago had a mask on. this is not an airborne disease. you talked about the importance of information. we still have some work to do to
get that to the public. the media has a huge role here. but i think elected officials, health department, people on the ground, have to get the truth out to regular members. >> i'm curious, councilman, are the neighbors critical of the doctor for having been so free-flowing in his travel around the city? >> those who know him are fine with him. universally loved by his neighbors. but in the broader community, there is some anger, i have to say, honestly, that he was out and about. we're communicating to those people that if he was asymptomatic, there was no risk. that's not yet sunk in entirely. people are worried if they sat next to him on the subway or if they live in this building and grabbed an elevator button he might have touched, they could be exposed. the simply that's not the case. and we're getting that word out. but there is some fear. >> i was on the e train yesterday. you know, to get here to the cnn building coming from penn station. and you just sense that people are kind of looking around and -- it's on everyone's mind. >> for sure. look, blanket coverage in the media ensures that.
but people are also getting the message out there, this is not an airborne disease that if you didn't have intimate contact with dr. spencer you're okay. thank you for highlighting that on your program. but there's a school on his block, there is an elementary school with a thousand kids on the very block where dr. spencer lives. tenant was down there some today, unjustifiably in my opinion, and opinion of experts for holding their kids back. that's an indication of the fear out there. but there was good curriculum in the school today. explaining to kids about this disease. so we're making some progress. >> good. councilman, good to see you. thank you for being here. >> pleasure. just ahead, we've heard reports that isis is using deadly gas. could they be looking for a nuclear weapon? and michael brown's official autopsy leaked out this week. are we any closer to knowing if the police officer who shot him will be indicted? narrator: these are the skater kid: whoa narrator: that got torture tested by teenagers and cried out for help. from the surprised designers.
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if you thought isis was frightening before, well, consider this. the state department says that it's looking into reports that the terrorist group is using chemical weapons against its enemies, specifically chlorine gas. ever since we became aware of how strong and brutal isis was, one question is this, what if they could get their hands on nuclear weapons. is it even possible isis could get hold of one. someone who could help is any my
next guest, valerie plame, who worked to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons. she is an author and her latest novel is "burned" and joins us from washington. as a matter of fact, valerie, your new novel talks about a nuclear arms dealer. how hard would it be for the islamic state to get a nuke? >> alas, it is fairly easy. because nuclear technology has, of course, proliferated. there is highly enriched uranium. and for them, unfortunately, it's way too easy. >> let's talk about the report this week that chlorine gas may be something that the islamic state already has. first of all, how hard is it to produce that, and secondly, if they have chlorine gas, what else might they have? >> it -- well, the problem with chemical weapon use, it's very ineffective on the battlefield. you have to assess where the wind is going, and you -- and so for forth. chlorine is a fairly common and
easy it to make chemical weapon. of course, we had gone into syria, and they had claimed they had cleared all their chemical stockpiles. but isis is using this, perhaps to see how effective it can be on the battlefield, because they are clearly advancing, and hungry for more territory. >> does the fact that many of the attacks that we're seeing from the islamic state from north network, the fact they are a lone wolf, give solace of their use of a nuclear weapon or chemical weapon insofar as it's hard for a lone wolf to have access. >> that is indeed a grave concern because there may be those that are i had logically aligned to isis, and not officially part of it. and they are taking out -- they
are acting out what they perceive to be their jihadist route in these attacks we saw the other day in canada. perhaps what we saw in new york, we don't know. and there may be others. in terms of getting nuclear material or dirty bomb, unfortunately, it is much too easy. >> valley valerie plame, thank you for being here. terrorism in our northern neighbor canada, as a gunman with a radical islamist sympathy killed a soldier before the parliament soldier at arms bravely stopped his rampage. and the bloody fighting in syria and iraq goes on nonstop. so what draws people from all over the world to isis and jihad, even young americans, ready to give up everything? in some cases, it's recruiters, like this one in canadian video. >> every day, regular canadian before islam.
i was guided from the darkness to the light of eman to islam. >> three teenage girls from colorado answered the call to jihad. but were they pulled off a plane in germany? they were pulled off a plane in germany before they could get to their final destination, which is syria. we have canadian who used to be a jihadi. now he studies them. his new book, "undercover jihadi" just came out. those girls from colorado, were they responding to a request from isis, or is this self-initiated? >> yeah, we're seeing more -- an increase in what is sometimes termed self radicalization. it's also called self-starters. and traditional context, we were thinking about a physical recruiter who had come into a place, you know, look for people, go and talk to them, and, in fact, i did some of that stuff when i -- back in my time. but now what you're seeing is kids are at home, the recruiters are available on youtube
channels, on websites. they have their own handles, tweeting out, facebooking. and these kids who are staying at home, watching these videos over and over. they're getting recruited, you know, it's cyber radicalization, is what it is now. >> i'm not being flip. but if the male jihadi gets to paradise and finds a plethora of virgins, what does a female jihadi get when she gets there? >> yeah, well, i can tell you that they're both going to be disappointed. a lot of these individuals who claim that they're going -- they want to get martyr dom. they need to retake their declaration of belief in god. so unfortunately, for them, do not pass go, do not collect 70 virgins. >> take me into the head of the canadian terrorist who shot the guard this week. what's going on in his world from your perspective, what motivates him?
>> there were two of them, of course. two terrorists. one who killed vincent and cirillo. the second shooter had a history of drug abuse. prone broken home, broken backgrounds, living in a shelter. these are other factors that play in together with islamist ideology or extremist deviant ideology. these are pointing him down the road where he's going to commit acts of violence. it seems what he has done here is, he drew post hawk justification since isis put out the call, they said, look, attack soldiers, drive them over with your cars, shoot them if you can. this is something that he was already inclined to doing. he got the green light. he made his move. >> final question. is it easier for a would-be jihadist to join isis than it would have been for a would-be jihadist to have joined al
qaeda? >> absolutely, far more easy. al qaeda used to have a closed elite group of individuals. you needed to be vetted. they needed to know you inside-out. isis has opened the doors wide open to anyone and everyone, 15-year-old girls, 18-year-old boys. remember, the local -- the guys who were fighting over there, the local women, don't want to marry them. is it wonder they need to rape women or they need to lure 16-year-old girls. and even the teenage girls who go from here, they have no idea what they're facing when they get to the other side. so that's why a lot of stories we're hearing of they want to come back home now, right? because it's not what they saw in the brochure. >> thank you for your time. coming up, after a short break, the tension is building in ferguson, missouri, after a leaked autopsy report. what happens if the police officer who shot michael brown is not indicted? and i'll talk to the man who wrote the book on how special prosecutor ken starr mistreated
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struggled over his gun with mr. brown. then came a report in the "st. louis post dispatch" saying that the official autopsy on brown shows that he was shot in the hand at close range. then the "washington post" reported that seven or eight black witnesses have given testimony consistent with officer wilson's account. these leaks prompted a justice department source to tell the "huffington post" that attorney general eric holder is exasperated by the apparent selective leaks in the case. here to sort it out is cnn legal analyst, mark o'mara. mark, if mike brown went for officer wilson's gun in the car, in the suv, what difference does that make to the ultimate resolution of this case? >> well, if, in fact, he did, that shows a couple things. one it shows that he has an aggressive tendency towards wilson, and that's very significant, because that impacts or informs how wilson is going to perceive him when he gets out of the car. so if we dissect it, to the extent that brown is aggressive
towards wilson and puts him in greater fear, wilson still has to get out of the car, track down brown, because now a felony has been committed, and he's been shot. so getting out of the car, he's going to get out of the car with much more trepidation and much more fear at brown's hands. >> the issue still is whether the officer was justified, had a reasonable fear for his life, at the point that he fired those fatal shots. >> absolutely. what happened in the car is discrete or different and stands by itself as opposed to what happened outside the car. but when you're dealing with somebody in a traumatic situation, in this case talking about officer wilson, what happened in the car is going to have some impact on how he perceives brown. he still has to justify those fatal shots when he shot mike brown and killed him. but if, in fact, brown turned back on him and that now seems to be apparent from the autopsy, then certainly somebody who was willing to go for a gun, who was
willing to hit a police officer, that's going to raise the specter or the fear level in wilson when he perceives brown turning on him. >> mark o'mara, there is concern expressed by the attorney general about these leaks in the case, as i referenced at the outset of this discussion. have you given thought to the possibility that maybe the leaks are deliberate, so as to take down the temperature in the community if and when there is no indictment? in other words, it won't come as a sudden shock? >> well, first of all, i'm very frustrated with these leaks. i've said it in other cases i've been involved in. i said it with this case before. it is dangerous to let these snippets of information out for a couple of reasons, not the least of which is allows people to speculate and become frustrated because they don't know where it's coming from and whether or not it's legitimate or planted. my frustration is that now we let out these little bits of information, people fill in the void with imagination. and it only leads to more and
more problems. having said that, you have to perceive or believe that everybody who is doing these leaks is doing it for a reason. one of those reasons could well be that it seems as though the information that's flowing out now is indicative wilson is probably not going to get indicted. and if that's true, then letting it out slowly, as distasteful as that is to me, letting it out slowly may well be taking down some of the pressure before the lack of indictment comes out. >> take just 30 seconds and respond to those who say, let's just proceed to industri trial. let's let a jury of their peers sort it out. >> absolutely not. we cannot take this case simply because it is a high-profile case and say we will go past the grand jury process. grand jury process is there because nobody should be charged with a crime unless the grand jury thinks so or a prosecutor thinks so. grand jury is better. we have to listen and trust what
they say to do in a case like this. >> mark o'mara, thank you for being here. >> sure. just ahead, a hard look at the war for control of congress. the biggest player just might be the man in the white house. and for years, monica lewinsky complained about how badly ken starr treated her. it turns out she could very well be right. people with type 2 diabetes
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in jail for denying the affair in an affidavit, and other alleged crimes. 27 years. when you're only 24 yourself, that's a long time. >> she was talking about the day back in 1998, when she thought she was going to have lunch with linda trip at a virginia mall and instead waiting for her was that federal sting. it was the beginning of a 12-hour ordeal in which she was confronted by fbi agents and lawyers working for independent council, ken starr. lewinski has long complained she was mistreated, dissuaded from contacting her lawyer by the fed's heavy handedness. and we learned a federal review of the incident concluded she was right. ken gore amly is the author of "the death of the american virtue: clinton versus starr" and he interviewed lewinski, bill clinton and ken starr and joins us from pittsburgh. of what significance is this new
review, this new report. i shouldn't say new, but newly coming to light? >> well, michael, it was one of the remaining mysteries of this whole thing, because it was kept under seal. and this report is significant, because i think it vindicates monica lewinsky, and it shows that her account of the events in terms of how she was treated by the office of independent counsel and the fbi during that sting was accurate. and that there really were mistakes made. >> dean gormly when they confront her in the mall, she says f-you or f yourself. and they say if you call that lawyer we're not going to be as forthcoming with you. is that the way it always is, what stands that apart from the customary drill if there is such a thing? >> that's not how it's supposed to be and the author of this report who has been kept secret, joanne harris told me she wouldn't have touched monica
lewinsky with a ten foot pole after she asked for her lawyer, frank carter, not once, but multiple times. she is supposed to have access to that lawyer and the individuals in that room really dissuaded monica lewinsky for doing it. it could have changed history if she had been allowed to talk to her lawyer. >> in other words, she already had counsel. her father had retained a skilled litigator on her behalf. she knew that individual, and wanted to make that phone call, but they repeatedly over the course of those 12 hours talked her out of doing so. >> well, actually, the person who had been her lawyer was before the person her father hired. he hired her because she couldn't talk to the lawyer, frank carter, who had drafted the affidavit that was at issue that they were saying she had lied about. interestingly, michael, that affidavit -- i interviewed frank carter -- hadn't even been sent yet to the federal court. if he had been called, he could have, you know, not sent it fedex or called the court and said forget about that affidavit. so in many ways, the crime hadn't even been committed.
but because she wasn't able to reach him, the event spun out of control. >> give me the take-away for people at home who are not legal eagles, what's the take-away from this new revelation? >> the take-away is really that monica lewinsky's account all along that she had been mistreated by the office of independent counsel and the fbi in that hotel room was true. and she was really caught in this titanic clash between, you know, president clinton and ken starr and it was a political battle as much as a legal battle. and there were victims. of and monica lewinsky was one of those, and now this report really allows the american public to see what went on. and i think creates a much more sympathic portrait for monica lewinsky for history. >> dean thank you for being here. >> a pleasure, michael. the pitch battle for u.s. control of the senate. what it means for the rest of us.
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it's only a week and a half until the midterm elections. republicans are close to taking the senate and yet still haven't closed the deal. is that because the democrats' strategy of distancing themselves from president obama is working? who better to ask than david gergen. he has worked in the white house under both parties, served four presidents. he's a senior cnn political analyst. david, nice to see you. is the democratic strategy working insofar as the president's numbers are in the tank, and the gop doesn't yet seem to have put the hammer down on this? >> they don't -- i don't think they put the hammer down on it. it's very close. the "washington post" over the weekend is now saying 91% chance that the republicans will take the senate. i think they either got or are leaning ahead in seven races. but the two -- there are two races out there, michael that
could flip it the other way that seem to depend more on local conditions. one is in george where michelle nun, a democratic candidate, is running a spirited campaign has moved slightly ahead, according to the latest polls. and the other is in kentucky, of all places. we thought mitch mcconnell had that wrapped up. some recent polls suggest it could be close. the democrats are clinging to hope. i don't think it's bureau obama. he clearly -- obama's overall lack of popularity, in the low 40s, down in the 30s in some key states, is costing him a lot of seats. it's really suppressing the vote. but i don't think it's over. >> let me show you a commercial. you reference kentucky. this is from allison will you knowder green grimes, a 30-second spot. >> mitch mcconnell wants you to think i'm barack obama. mitch is the same guy who thought duke basketball players were uk. or who is attacking me on coal, after doing next to nothing while we have lost thousands of coal jobs. he even said it's not his job to bring jobs to kentucky.
i'm not barack obama. i disagree with him on guns, coal and the epa. and mitch, that's not how you hold a gun. i'm allison hunter again grimes and i approve this message. >> david, i think it's an effective commercial. and yet i'm hearing elizabeth warren this week saying that democrats need to stand and fight. what if they all had stood in unison and supported the president with this? would this race have long ago been over? >> the race in kentucky would have been over and the republicans would be in a much stronger position now. listen, elizabeth warren from a state where president obama is still reasonably popular, massachusetts, i live here. and but even here in massachusetts, charlie baker, the republican candidate for governor, seems to have surged ahead, according to a boston globe poll yesterday. but here's the -- the overall point is this. the elections in the midterm are very closely tied to a
president's coat tails. the president is in trouble, his party is in trouble. that's where the democrats are this year. there are a couple races where they may pull surprises. and both of them, georgia and kentucky, women are running as the democratic candidates. i think that's helping them modestly. and grimes, as we just saw, is so clearly separating herself out from the president, she feels forced to do that. if she had stood up for -- she stood up for the president, you know, this would be a noncandidacy at the moment. >> david gergen, a privilege. thank you for being here. >> thank you. good to talk to you again. >> up next, my commentary. a new poll says voters are more polarized but the real message from the numbers, that's one that will surprise you. and sometimes i struggle to sleep at night,nd. and stay awake during the day. this is called non-24, a circadian rhythm disorder that affects up to 70 percent of people who are totally blind. talk to your doctor about your symptoms
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the sharp political divide in this country affects the way that people watch news. and, of course, we learned that the people who are the most partisan gravitate to the most partisan news outlets. but i found something far more important in the data. a large majority in this country are neither consistently liberal nor consistently conservative. they have mixed views from both camps, so why is it that this vast group seeds the american political debate to a small minority of hard liners who are out on the edge of political thought? last june, pew noted the number of partisans is on the rise those with consistently liberal views have doubled in the last two decades from 10% to 21%. and that's the stuff of headlines. but wait a minute. that actually means that roughly 80% of the country is not in this ideological grouping of partisan animosity. still, those 20% continue to hold sway over the 80%. this week on my sirius xm radio
program, i spoke with jocelyn kylie, associate director of research at pew. >> when we talk about here with didn't conservatives and liberals, it's important to remember they're a important part of the political landscape, in part because they have louder voices in the political process. they are more politically engaged. they vote more. so even though they're only 20% of the population, they punch above they're weight when it comes to political behavior. >> the data bears her out. think about this as we approach the midterm elections. traditionally, turnout in an election like this is in the range of 40%. but who are those voters? pew says that while the consistently liberal among us comprise only 13% of the electorate, its members are 58% likely to vote. the consistently conservatives are only 9% of the nation. but among this group, they are 73% likely to vote. and those who hold mixed views, they're not as committed to voting. so the result is a midterm
electorate that is much more polarized than the rest of the nation. even though they are only 20% of the public, they have the power of about 35% of the voting public and, of course, none of this comes as any surprise to the politicians. they figured out long ago that the best way to get elected and then stay in office is to placate the extremes. and so the consistent conservatives and the consistent liberals will continue to, quote, punch above their weight until such time as the rest of the country awakens and matches their engagement. they hope you keep sleeping. instead, go vote. thanks so much for joining me. and don't forget, you can follow me on twitter, so long as you can spell smerconish. i'll see you next week. hello, you are in the "cnn newsroom," i'm ana cabrera, a quick check of the headlines. top story, ebola in america. cnn has just learned that dr. craig spencer's condition is worsening. straight out to cnn's elizabeth
cohen. what have you learned? >> reporter: ana, this is an unfortunate turn for the worse. we are learning that he has entered the next phase of his illness, as the hospital puts it, now having gastro intestinal symptoms, and they are moving on to -- yesterday they gave him a plasma donation from another patient. they didn't say -- or from another person, and they didn't say, and he was given antiviral treatment at his admission. now while this is unfortunate, it's not unexpected. ebola has a natural course, and it is in the beginning you feel kind of sick. you get a fever. you get gastrointestinal symptoms. i also want to talk a bit about casey hickocks, the nurse being kept in a new jersey hospital. governor christie has said in a press conference she is ill. that she is having symptoms. that he hopes she recovers. i just got off the phone with dr. jasmine, who is a friend of casey's and says she's not ill. she's physically fine. she says she is exhausted because she is in a room that's not heated, that she is being
kept in paper scrubs and isn't allowed to put on real clothing, any kind of a nightgown or robe or anything. and also they wake her up every four hours. but seema says she is physically fine, she doesn't know why governor christie keeps saying she is ill. ana? >> interesting development, elizabeth cohen. you'll stay on top of it for us. thank you. and now to the school shooting. just north of seattle. a huge tragedy. a football player opening fire in a high school cafeteria, killing one other student. his targets were not random. we have learned jaylen fryberg reportedly shot two of his own cousins. he also shot two 14-year-old girls, both in the head. his motive, still unknown. just a week ago, fryberg was voted homecoming prince of his freshman class. now this community is grieving and struggling to cope. the three victims -- three of them are in critical condition. there is another victim who is in serious condition. don't forget to get the latest on all the day's top stories on
cnn.com and don't forget to join us on "new day" tomorrow. up next, america's choice, debate nature for u.s. senate seat in new hampshire. good night. tonight, a high-stakes debate in a race that could decide control of the u.s. senate. >> new hampshire deserves better than scott brown's fear mongering and grandstanding. >> the current senator from new hampshire versus the former senator of massachusetts who wants her job. >> putting new hampshire first. since when? >> republican scott brown is fighting attempts to bag him as a carpet bagger from the state next door. >> i will answer only to you. >> democrat jean shaheen is fighting attempts to label her as a rubber stamp for the president. >> this race is about who is going to represent the people of new hampshire. >> some of the bigges names in politics are taking sides in the state that holds the leadoff presidential primary. >> jean shaheen -- >> scott brown. >> senator shaheen. >> scott brown. >> election day is almost here.