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AMERICAN MORNING

Clinton and Obama Sit Down as Dust Settles; U.S Ambassador to Zimbabwe Comments on Diplomats Attack; An Inside Look at a Prison Riot: Unique Training for Prison Guards; One-on-One Interview with Barack Obama

Aired June 6, 2008 - 06:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: We've got breaking news this morning. Out of virtually nowhere Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton sit down to try to bring peace to the Democratic Party. Obama ditched his traveling press corps last evening after a rally at northern Virginia and met privately with his former rival.
And brand new details are trickling in this morning about that secret meeting. Very, very late last night just before midnight, we received this joint statement. "Senator Clinton and Senator Obama met tonight and had a productive discussion about the important work that needs to be done to succeed in November."

Our senior political correspondent Candy Crowley has got more on last night's meeting.

CANDY CROWLEY, SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kyra and John. Big doings in Washington, D.C., last night where Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama finally had their first meeting. It is the first step toward party unity that Barack Obama is going to need to win that nomination, and Hillary Clinton really needs to secure her place within the Democratic Party for the future.

We are told that it was Hillary Clinton's idea to meet. That is in keeping with what Barack Obama always said, was that he would meet her when and where she wanted. He was, in fact, campaigning here in Virginia when the campaign plane, which was in Dulles Airport, which, of course, is in Virginia, was told that they were beginning to take off for Chicago, but Barack Obama and the Secret Service were not on the plane, the first tip-off that that meeting was about to take place.

We are told by a campaign spokesman in the Obama campaign that this was about unity. It is going to take a while. The next step after this, of course, will be that Saturday event for Hillary Clinton when she will concede publicly that he is the presumptive Democratic nominee and that she will try to help him in any way she can.

This, of course, is not just about politics. It's also about people. It will take a while to heal this rift, not just between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, but between his supporters and hers. But for now, that first meeting last night in Washington, D.C., they hope is the beginning of a trail that will end in Denver and party unity. Candy Crowley, CNN, Bristol, Virginia. ROBERTS: As you can imagine the Obama traveling press corps was downright frustrated with the airport switcheroo last evening and Communications Director Robert Gibbs took the brunt of it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why were we not told about this meeting and that the senator wouldn't be on our flight until the doors were shut and we were about to taxi to take off?

ROBERT GIBBS, OBAMA COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Again, you know, we had a desire. Senator Obama had a desire to do some meetings. Others have a desire to meet with him tonight in a private way and that's what we're doing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: Gibbs did not discuss the location or the nature of the meeting and said that he didn't know who asked for it, either Senator Obama or Senator Clinton. But we do know that they got together last night and we hope to find out more details as day breaks here on this Friday morning.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Well, the Democratic Party now adopting presumptive nominee Barack Obama's policies on special interest money. The party will no longer take contributions from federal lobbyists or Political Action Committees.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESUMPTIVE PRES. NOMINEE: Today as the Democratic nominee for president, I am announcing that going forward the Democratic National Committee will uphold the same standards. We will not take a dime from Washington lobbyists or special interest PACs. We're going to change how Washington works. They will not fund my party. They will not run our White House, and they will not drown out the voice of the American people when I'm president of the United States of America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIPS: Howard Dean will stay on at the helm of the DNC, but a staff shake-up is expected in the coming weeks with one of Obama's top campaign advisers now helping with the committee's fund-raising operations.

Now, John McCain says that he'll do everything in his power to keep race out of the general election campaign. He told a group of journalists in Florida the focus will be on policy differences, and the tone of the campaign will be respectful.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), PRESUMPTIVE PRES. NOMINEE: I will do everything I can to keep anything that may be that kind of ugliness out of this political campaign. And the best way you do that, I think, is to show always respect for your opponent, no matter who that opponent is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIPS: McCain says his previous campaign records show that this is the way he's operated his entire political life.

ROBERTS: It's four minutes after the hour. We are also following extreme weather this morning. Violent tornadoes across the plains. At least four twisters touched down. In western and central Kansas, heavy rains, 80-mile-an-hour winds, and hail was also reported.

In Nebraska, at least two tornadoes hit just north of Lincoln, damaging buildings and knocking down dozens of trees. Flooding also shut down highways there.

And a wildfire burning right now in eastern North Carolina. Firefighters say that the fire jumped containment lines and could double in size. So far 29,000 acres burned. Seventy homes have had to be evacuated.

PHILLIPS: Well, a new report from the Senate intelligence committee says that the Bush administration exaggerated the connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda as reasons for invading Iraq. Committee Chairman Senator John Rockefeller says the administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when it was "unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even nonexistent." Republicans on the committee say that the report is politically motivated.

And the accused mastermind of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and one of the co-defendants say that they want to be executed so they can die as martyrs. They made the claims during an arraignment in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Those five defendants refused their right to counsel saying that they only respect Islamic law. Defense attorneys say that ringleader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed pressured the others into that decision.

ROBERTS: New this morning, and this is a terrible story. Police at Hartford, Connecticut, asking the public for help in finding the driver who mowed down an elderly man. The accident was caught on tape by a streetlight surveillance camera. We warn you this video is very disturbing.

A 78-year-old Angel Torres (ph) was crossing the street. Two cars passed the center double yellow line. First one narrowly misses him. We'll show the replay here. Some folks finally came to the scene.

The two cars sped off and turned down a side street. Watch what happens here. He's trying to cross the street. Boom. They crossed the line and then back over the line again.

Several cars passed Torres. This guy fellow walks right by him, doesn't even pay him any heed. It appears no one called for help, but police now say four people did call 911 within about a minute of the accident. Torres (ph) is in critical condition. He's paralyzed from the neck down.

PHILLIPS: Later this morning, new job numbers that came out predicting more Americans losing their job. Coming up, find out why unemployment may be rising faster among Latinos compared to other races.

And perfect storm, extreme conditions lead to floods and funnel clouds across the nation's midsection.

ROBERTS: Coming up on AMERICAN MORNING, out of control. Inside a prison riot. Guards learning tough lessons about putting down an uprising.

Jeanne Meserve reports from the inside, ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PHILLIPS: Well, the job numbers come out for the month of May later today. Ali Velshi with a little bit of a preview. Good morning.

ALI VELSHI, CNN SENIOR BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you. About 2 1/2 hours away from the job numbers, and it's not going to be good again. We may not be seeing the acceleration in job losses that we feared at the beginning of the year, but the consensus estimate amongst various economists is that in May the United States will have shed about 60,000 jobs. We'll bring you that number as soon as we have it.

What I wanted to do is give you a bit of a breakdown about how jobs numbers divide up between different people of different race in the United States. There are real differences. This is a comparison between the first three months of this year and the first three months of last year. So on the first three months of 2007 is on the left. First three months of 2008 on the right.

The unemployment rate for blacks has gone from 8.3 percent to nine percent. Latinos, 6.1 percent to 7.3 percent. For whites, it was 4.1 percent. It's increased to 4.4 percent, and for Asians, it went from 3.1 percent to 3.3 percent.

Now for all U.S. workers, the unemployment rate has jumped from 4.6 percent to five percent. So you can see everybody, everybody lost jobs in every category. But you can see the disparity with Asians at the lowest end. Only 3.3 percent unemployment in the United States, and blacks at the high end with nine percent unemployment.

Just interesting to break these numbers down. These come from the Pew Hispanic Center. We will, of course, be giving you the government's numbers on unemployment across the country and what the sectors gain jobs and lost job. We can probably predict, by the way, that it's the same thing that we've been seeing every month, losses in manufacturing and construction types of jobs.

PHILLIPS: Because of fuel cost and -- VELSHI: Yes, and the housing slowdown. The combination of those two things, but we'll see where the gains come in. There are always gains.

PHILLIPS: All right, we'll follow it. Thanks, Ali.

VELSHI: OK.

ROBERTS: Ali, thank you.

Breaking news this morning, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama wrapping up a meeting late last night. So what are her chances at being the vice-presidential running mate? Candy Crowley asked the presumptive nominee. One-on-one with the man who could be our next president, coming up.

And yesterday she said the atmosphere was about to pop, and she called it. An outbreak of tornadoes in the plains. Our Jacqui Jeras tracking the extreme weather this morning. Hey, Jacqui. It was pretty bad yesterday.

JACQUI JERAS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, it really was. We had about 400 reports of severe weather across the country. Today those numbers way down, so that's some good news. But get ready for the heat this weekend. We'll tell you where, coming up on AMERICAN MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JERAS: A violent storm system damaging homes and flooding streets in the plains. The National Weather Service says at least four twisters hit the ground in western and central Kansas. Witnesses also reported funnel clouds in Colorado and Nebraska, parts of the southwestern Iowa saw between five and eight inches of rainfall, plus large hail.

Welcome back to AMERICAN MORNING. I'm CNN meteorologist Jacqui Jeras, and we have a rough night of severe weather. And just at the top of the hour, finally all of the watches have been expired or canceled, and it's looking like a much calmer day, although we do still have a slight risk of severe storms today across the nation's midsection. Maybe some damaging winds and large hail, but nothing compared to what we saw yesterday.

Yes, look at that pretty picture. Those boxes just drop away, don't they? Still looking at a lot of lightning and some heavy downpours on occasion. Storms just to the west of the St. Louis metro area, and the rain still really heavy pulling out of eastern Iowa and in northern parts of Illinois. And be aware the ground very saturated, so still a little bit of flooding can be expected.

Now, the northeastern corridor dealing with a little rain this morning. We've got some showers for you this morning in Boston down towards Providence, but be happy with this rain today, my friends, because that means your temperatures are going to be nice and cool. Boston, 68 degrees today. Tomorrow we're going to be shooting up there to 90. Look at that weather pattern. We've got that trough in the west, the ridge in the east. When that happens the thunderstorms break out near the jet stream area, but the high that we've got there across the Atlantic is pumping in all that southerly to southwesterly flow bringing in very hot, very dry conditions.

We got the heat advisories, excessive heat watches and warnings posted from the Carolinas all the way up into Philadelphia. And the heat index today in parts of North Carolina between 100 to 110 degrees. You can expect that in Philadelphia all weekend long. It took a little while, guys, but summer finally arriving across parts of the east -- John.

ROBERTS: All right. Jacqui Jeras for us this morning. Jacqui is going to be keeping a close eye on the weather for us all morning long. Jacqui, thanks.

American and British diplomats assaulted in Zimbabwe yesterday after returning from a trip investigating political violence ahead of this month's runoff election between Robert Mugabe and his challenger Morgan Tsvangirai. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called it an outrageous act.

Joining us now by telephone is the U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe James McGee. Mr. McGee, do you have any more information on what happened yesterday and who was responsible and whether or not it was sanctioned by the Mugabe government?

ON THE PHONE: JAMES MCGEE, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO ZIMBABWE: John, we're hearing stories from the government that this was in response to actions that we had taken. This is a total spin on what actually happened. We were detained illegally by police, by military, by so- called war veterans, and by central intelligence operatives of the government of Zimbabwe.

ROBERTS: And why were they detaining you? And we should point out that you were not in a convoy, if I have that correct, but there were other diplomats from the U.S. and British embassies. Why were they detained?

MCGEE: John, they were detained simply because they were in the countryside looking at the situation there and shining light on the excesses of the Zimbabwean government, the violence and the intimidation against its own people in the run up to this election. That's exactly why these people were detained.

ROBERTS: And we're also hearing word this morning that aid groups have been told to stop distributing food to people in Zimbabwe. What do you know about that?

MCGEE: Yes, that's correct. There is a letter from the minister of internal affairs here in Zimbabwe restricting all humanitarian aid agencies from distributing any food until after the election. But this could potentially affect over one million people here in Zimbabwe, and we look at this and say this is nothing more than a political ploy again to intimidate people into voting the way the government would like to see them vote.

ROBERTS: And what could the effects of them holding back aid be?

MCGEE: Again, there could be up to a million people put at risk of food assistance. The economy here in Zimbabwe has gone to the tank over the last several years. And last year at least one out of every five Zimbabweans was fed through donations made by the United States government.

ROBERTS: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, as we mentioned, called this detainment of American and British diplomats outrageous. Now we have these aid groups suspending supplies of food to people who are in desperate need. Do you expect that this, Ambassador McGee, is just going to escalate as we head toward the 27th and that runoff election?

MCGEE: We certainly hope not, John, but every indication that we have right now says that this government will do anything to ensure a victory in the runoff election on the 27th of June.

ROBERTS: James McGee, the U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe joining us on the telephone this morning. And Mr. McGee, thanks very much. Appreciate your time.

PHILLIPS: Other breaking news this morning. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama's surprise sit down. But what could happen when Obama goes one-on-one with John McCain? The trapped doors of the town hall setting from both sides.

Plus, rage in the cage. We take you behind prison walls for an up close look at an inmate uprising. Why they're necessary for prison guards, next on AMERICAN MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: It's 21 minutes after the hour.

Each year corrections officers from around the country and around the world for that matter join forces to put down an inmate uprising. Although it looks real, this mock prison riot lets guards put new training methods to the ultimate test.

CNN's Jeanne Meserve saw it all from the inside. She joins us now live from Washington. This is fascinating stuff, Jeanne.

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, it was really interesting. With many prisons full, some prison guards don't have any place to train without inmates watching and getting wise to their tactics. Problem now solved.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MESERVE (voice-over): Prison guards pull an unruly inmate from his cell. It has the look and feel of the real thing, but this is a training exercise in a former West Virginia penitentiary.

ROBERT BARRON, PEEL REGIONAL POLICE: It gets this ticker going, but the best way to learn. You practice like you play, right?

MESERVE: An inmate uprising in the dining hall. Another scenario played out during the four-day mock prison riot sponsored by the National Institute of Justice. The so-called inmates are volunteers. Sometimes college students, sometimes corrections officers whose creative input can test the guards' tactics.

JAMES BROWN, KERN COUNTY CALIFORNIA SHERIFF DEPT: It's very smoky, very hard to see. Everybody adapted, everybody moved well.

MESERVE: Two thousand prison guards from the U.S. and beyond have come this year for this unique training opportunity.

STEVE MORRISON, W. VIRGINIA HIGH TECH FOUNDATION: We have teams from Singapore, Norway, Ireland, Venezuela, the Bahamas, the United Kingdom.

MESERVE: Cutting edge technology is on display, including the latest taser innovation called shockwave, which is in effect a taser swarm. It does this.

The guards get to try out some of this new gear, even get to use it in their exercises.

SGT. CLIFF MATTHEWS, LAKE COUNTY FLORIDA SHERIFFS DEPT: You can see it in the magazine, read about it on the Internet, so forth. Here you can come look at it, touch it, feel it, wear it, use it, shoot it if it's a firearm or whatever.

MESERVE: Vendors get feedback from the guards and use it to refine their products. The government uses it to direct research dollars into new technologies.

DAVID HAGY, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF JUSTICE: We really just kind of sit and listen until I watch these scenarios and say, look, what are you using? What do you want to see done?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm out of here, man.

MESERVE: All kinds of possibilities are explored here, including what to do if a prisoner escapes. There is a hot pursuit through the woods.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Turn around!

MESERVE: This case low tech, not high-tech, does the job.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MESERVE: It isn't the real thing, but guards say this mock prison riot is about as close as they can get, and they say this experience is invaluable. I have to tell you, John, it also is a lot of fun.

ROBERTS: You look pretty threatening going after that corrections officer there, Jeanne. MESERVE: Yes, well, we were just testing that shield. See if it really worked, and it did.

ROBERTS: All right. Our Jeanne Meserve for us this morning. Jeanne, great story. Thanks.

PHILLIPS: Dueling daredevils or are they just crazy? Two men scale new heights climbing to the top of the 52-story "New York Times" building in midtown Manhattan. We're going to tell you why they did it.

And one-on-one, and we, the people, get to ask the questions. We break down the tale of the tape and a possible town hall debate between Barack Obama and John McCain.

Coming up on AMERICAN MORNING, chill out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESUMPTIVE PRES. NOMINEE: Everybody just needs to settle down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIPS: Barack Obama on the push to make Hillary Clinton part of the team.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: So you don't feel at this moment you have to put her on the ticket?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIPS: The answer everyone is waiting for. Candy Crowley one-on-one with Barack Obama, ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PHILLIPS: And breaking news this morning. Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton wrapped up a surprise meeting late last night. Their first since Obama sealed the nomination and put his stamp on history.

CNN's senior political correspondent Candy Crowley actually sat down with the presumptive Democratic nominee and asked the question on everyone's mind.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CANDY CROWLEY, SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Let me start off with a couple of political questions first, and that is, you know and I know that if Senator Clinton wanted to tamp down this vice presidential conversation by her surrogates, that she would. She has, as she will tell you, more than 17 million voters. She has more delegates than any runner up in history. Do you have to put her on the ticket?

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESUMPTIVE PRES. NOMINEE: Well, let me begin by saying, repeating what I said on Tuesday night. She has been an extraordinary candidate. She's been an extraordinary public servant for years now. She ran as tough a race as could be imagined, and I have nothing but respect for Senator Clinton and what she's going to contribute to the party. And I'm also confident we're going to be unified in November. What I've also said is the vice presidency is the most important decision that I'll make before I'm president, and it's something that I take very seriously.

CROWLEY: There's an enormous amount of pressure out there for you to put her on the ticket. Do you feel that pressure?

OBAMA: You know, I am a big believer in making decisions well, not making them fast and not responding to pressure. And I think Senator Clinton right now is in the same position I am, which is we just completed 54 contests. We want to catch our breath. We need to take stock of where we are.

I'm sure she has to do the same thing, and, you know, she and I will have a conversation. We won't be doing it through surrogates or the press to talk about how we move forward, join forces to make sure we are successful in November. And so, there's going to be a lot of time for that.

CROWLEY: When nominees go into this phase, they generally have a signature domestic issue. George Bush, it was the No Child Left Behind. It was cutting taxes. Bill Clinton, welfare. What is Barack Obama's signature domestic issue?

OBAMA: Well, I'm not sure I can restrict myself to one. I think that there are two big issues that have to get done very quickly on the domestic side.

We are going to pass a universal health care bill. It is long overdue. The time is ripe. Not only are families feeling the crunch, but our federal budget is feeling the crunch of a health care system whose costs are out of control. Our state budgets are getting crushed, and businesses are groaning under the weight of a broken health care system. So I think the time is right for us to revamp our health care system not only to provide coverage to everybody but to make it more efficient.

The second thing is energy. We've got $4 a gallon gas. Who knows where it may go by the end of the summer. And, you know, I had obviously a significant debate with the other candidates about the gas tax holiday. I believed that's a short-term gimmick.

The only way we're going to deal with gas prices is to have a long-term energy policy, and that means increasing fuel efficiency in our cars, investing in alternative fuels, drastically revamping how we think about clean energy like solar, wind, biodiesel. And we have to do that not only for our economy, but also for our national security.

We're making Iran wealthier because of our dependence on foreign oil. We're making Venezuela wealthier. So those two issues are going to have to be dealt with immediately.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PHILLIPS: Now, Obama also told our Candy Crowley that he's going to have to start earlier than presidents have historically on the Middle East peace process.

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Just crossing the half hour now and recapping our top story if you're just joining us; the surprise meeting between Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Brand new video of the presumptive nominee arriving home in Chicago early this morning after wrapping up the sit-down late last night. It could be the first step toward party unity in November.

And extreme weather, a violent storm system plowing through the plains. The National Weather Service says at least four twisters hit the ground in west and central Kansas destroying a home and damaging several buildings. Witnesses also reported funnel clouds in Colorado and Nebraska.

And startling new figures on the mortgage crisis to tell you about this morning. A new report show that is 1 in 11 loans is either late or already in foreclosure. That is about 4.8 million loans.

It's unfiltered, hard-nosed politics in its purest form, the town hall. John McCain asked Barack Obama if he is up for the challenge. But the format could expose some weaknesses in both candidates.

CNN's Frank Sesno tells you why.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Just two Americans running for the highest office in the greatest nation on earth.

FRANK SESNO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No networks in charge, no script, no spin rooms. Now there's a concept. But how a McCain/Obama showdown would actually play out is another matter. McCain wants a rerun of his town halls from the primary season. They've been good to him.

MCCAIN: On the subject of Osama Bin Laden, he's responsible for the death of thousands of innocent Americans. He's now orchestrating other attacks on the United States of America. We will do whatever is necessary.

SESNO: They have allowed him to highlight experience, grit, and policy, to show off his humor.

MCCAIN: We have so little water in Arizona the trees chase the dogs.

SESNO: He's better off the cuff than in a speech. But this could be risky business too. 100 years in Iraq. That was a town hall meeting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Bush has talked about our staying in America for 50 years,

MCCAIN: Maybe 100 as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed.

SESNO: Remember this one.

MCCAIN: That old Beach Boy song, "Bomaran," bomb Iran.

SESNO: What he does that on stage with Obama? If Obama doesn't pounce, surely the pundits and bloggers will. For Obama these events are seductive, too. He's done a lot of them. Big crowds reinforce his popular image.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're going to have to acknowledge that real changes are not going to happen overnight. It took us decades to get here.

SESNO: Side by side town hall debate would convey stature, gravitas.

OBAMA: For America's future to be as bright as our past, we'll have to compete on the global stage and we're going to have to engage in trade and we've got to win, and we can win. But to win we're going to have to make sure we've got some leadership in Washington that's thinking about ordinary folks.

SESNO: But there's risk for Obama in the unscripted as well.

OBAMA: I have now been in 50 -- 57 states. I think one left to go.

SESNO: 57 states? He could be caught flat footed, sound naive, simplistic.

OBAMA: After eight years with the disastrous policies of George Bush it is time, I believe, to pursue direct diplomacy with friend and foe alike without preconditions.

SESNO: The John and Barack show would almost surely draw huge audiences. The ultimate reality contest where the candidates would face voters, not reporters.

Frank Sesno, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: It certainly feels like 57 states if it isn't.

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It certainly does. Happy Friday.

PHILLIPS: Good morning.

CHO: Good morning to you. Good morning, everybody. New this morning a rare double firing at the top ranks of the U.S. military. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has ousted the air force's top two officials after a scathing report on nuclear oversight. Here is what happened. Back in August a b-52 bomber took flight mistakenly armed with six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles. Parts of nuclear warheads were mistakenly shipped to Taiwan.

It's something we don't get to tell you about too often these days, gas prices are down this morning, only slightly. The average price for a gallon of gas is still more than $3.98, but it's the first time gas prices have fallen in nearly a month.

Bad global warming is headed for almost certain defeat in the senate. Supporters doubt they have enough votes to overcome a Republican-led filibuster. It would require dramatic reductions in greenhouse gases by introducing a price on carbon dioxide emissions.

And two sky-high stunts just hours apart at the 52-story New York Times building. That's in Times Square. First, take a look at this daredevil, the French Spiderman scaled the building. There's horizontal spires on the building. Robare (ph) unfurled a banner that says global warming kills more people than 9/11 every week. He is arrested once he got to the top. That doesn't stop another man from making a climb hours later. 32 year old New Yorker Renaldo Clark, he was reportedly trying to raise awareness about the dangers of malaria. How do you do that? Well, by wearing a t-shirt this read malaria, no more, save the children. Clark was arrested, too. He was hospitalized for psychiatric evaluation. Probably a good idea.

PHILLIPS: Maybe we should get them to wear CNN t-shirts. Or Ali Velshi's new show.

ROBERTS: Apparently the second guy who climbed was sitting in his apartment watching it, watching this guy climb and said I can do that.

ALI VELSHI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The danger of putting these things on TV.

CHO: Somebody said malaria, how are you going to raise awareness about malaria? He said I'm going to be on TV, aren't I? Sure enough.

VELSHI: And we're talking about it so there you go. We are about two hours away from the jobless report for May. We're expecting the unemployment rate to tick up. We're expected to lose 60,000 jobs. In an environment like this, if you get passed over for a promotion, how do you deal with it? People are scared to address the issue because they're scared for their jobs. We'll tell you how to deal with being passed over for a promotion when we come back.

PHILLIPS: Coming up on AMERICAN MORNING, Ed McMahon speaks out.

ED MCMAHON: It's like a perfect storm.

PHILLIPS: Where did the money go?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know where those -- where are those millions, Ed?

PHILLIPS: A Hollywood heavyweight explains how he got caught up in the mortgage meltdown, ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELSHI: Welcome back to AMERICAN MORNING. I'm Ali Velshi.

Today is the day which we get the numbers, the unemployment numbers for May. We'll find out what the unemployment rate is. We'll find out how many jobs were lost. We're expecting 60,000 jobs lost. We're well over a quarter million for the year.

In times like this people feel bad about dealing with their own situation at work, particularly if they've been passed over for a promotion. It's a hard time to rock the boat. We spoke to some employment experts and here's what we found out. If you feel like you have been passed over for a promotion, how do you make legal claim? Well, in order to make a legal claim, this is the lawyers, not at your office, you need to be a member of a protected class. I'll tell you about that in a minute. You need to be qualified for and have applied for the position. You need to have been rejected despite your qualifications, and you need to have been passed over for an equally or by an equally or less qualified employee who was not a member of that protected class.

What am I talking about protected class? These are the group of people who can file a claim for discrimination if they've been passed over. It can be filed on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, or national origin. That is under the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964.

What should you do if you think you've been passed over for a promotion? Well, one employment expert, in fact more than one we've spoken to, said compare yourself to the person who got the job first of all and make sure that their qualifications aren't greater than yours or yours are better than them. Then you can meet with an employment attorney. That doesn't have to be the initiation of some action but you should meet with one to see whether they can evaluate your claim and whether it makes sense.

And you should try and meet one-on-one with your supervisor, the person who made the decision about you being passed over to find out specifically whether there are reasons that you were passed over and try to get those in writing, if you can.

Apparently most cases that are brought to lawyers that are then taken to the company result in some sort of settlement, but the settlement usually involves termination. It means you leave the company; you walk away with some sort of thing.

We'll have more on this on "Your Money" this weekend Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. and Sundays at 3:00 p.m. If you're in a position where you think you've been passed other over for a promotion, you do have rights.

ROBERTS: Looking forward to that. Ali, thanks.

PHILLIPS: Hillary Clinton is going to spend her presidential campaign tomorrow, but she's already made history with her run for the white house. What is she going to do next? That's coming up next.

ROBERTS: Coming up on AMERICAN MORNING, big talk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Still a foregone conclusion?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Without a doubt.

ROBERTS: Can Big Brown deliver on the bold guarantee?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is out there, man. This is history.

ROBERTS: Not so fast. Richard Roth looks at what might be standing in the way. Ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: 43 minutes after the hour. History could be made tomorrow as Big Brown tries to end a 30-year Triple Crown drought after a three-week layoff, race day almost here. Richard Roth is live at Belmont with a preview of the big race. I don't know if you can see, Richard, I'm wearing by Big Brown suit in honor of Big Brown today. What are we looking at for tomorrow?

RICHARD ROTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, I'm very glad I can see it. Big Brown will break from post position one, which is on the other side of the rail from me. There's a lot of elbow room I have right now but tomorrow will be packed with more than 100,000 people as Big Brown goes for racing glory.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROTH: Big Brown was all wet this week, but he is the hot horse for the Belmont stakes.

DAVE GRENING, DAILY RACING FORM: This horse is the real deal, the total package.

ROTH: New York could have heard the Big Brown package coming as he won the Preakness in Baltimore.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And Big Brown is in town! Big Brown by far!

ROTH: A win in the Belmont stakes would make unbeaten Big Brown only the 12th horse to win the fabled Triple Crown.

KENT DESORMEUX, BIG BROWN'S JOCKEY: This is out there, man. This is history.

ROTH: But the racing world hasn't seen such history since 1978.

DAVE JOHNSON, HORSE RACING ANNOUNCER: Who would have thought it would have been 30 years? I mean, 30 years. It's just an incredible run without a Triple Crown winner.

ROTH: Big Brown's hometown New York trainer is very confident.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Still a foregone conclusion?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Without a doubt.

ROTH: But there is a threat from the Far East. Casino Drive, Kentucky bred but Japanese owned, won his debut in Japan, and then sent Big Brown a big message in his first race in America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here is Casino Drive who said signora to this field.

ROTH: No boasting though from Casino Drive's stable.

NOBUTAKA TADA, RACING MANAGER: It's going to be very tough. Big Brown is a super horse.

RICK DUTROW, BIG BROWN'S TRAINER: If the Japanese people coming here and they thought Godzilla was dead, he's not. They're going to be watching him run.

ROTH: Big Brown did have one problem, a small crack in his left front foot that needed repairs.

LAUREN STICH, DAILY RACING FORM: If he gets beat it won't be because of that.

ROTH: A triple crown might boost a racing industry.

MIKE WATCHMAKER, DAILY RACING FORM: It's not going to be the salvation of the game. The game has many other issues that needs to be addressed.

ROTH: At a Belmont stakes preview lunch, the dessert special was a Big Brown brownie. Now it's up to Big Brown to eat up the rest of the field in the stretch at Belmont.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Big Brown is a superstar.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROTH: Handicappers say it's Big Brown's race to lose. In case, John and Kyra, you're not sure we're at the track, I have a special guest here whose name is Sam the bugler in case you have trouble waking up.

I think that should be the new morning theme for your program, John.

ROBERTS: I love it, Richard. I'll make you a deal, too, you don't say anything about my brown suit, I won't tell people that six- foot high stack of newspapers on your desk.

ROTH: That's just between us now and 100,000 viewers.

ROBERTS: Richard, thanks so much.

Coming up on AMERICAN MORNING, taxicab confessions. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think McCain is too old?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's like man is to me.

ROBERTS: The United Nations on wheels. Zain hits the streets to take the pulse of the taxicab pundits.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is Obama too young?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the right age. He is energy.

ROBERTS: Rolling rhetoric, ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PHILLIPS: Who better to take the pulse of Washington than those who spend their days driving around the city? State correspondent Zain Verjee gets in the backseat for a little front row look at taxicab politics/concessions.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Taxi.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somalia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Taxi.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right here in Washington, D.C.

ZAIN VERJEE, CNN STATE DEPARTMENT CORRESPONDENT: The United Nations of political pundits back in session. Thank you. In Washington all roads lead to one address. I need to get to the white house. Do you know any shortcuts?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shortcuts for what?

VERJEE: Getting to the White House.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's no shortcut.

VERJEE: What do your passengers tell you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The majority like Obama. We need change. We need somebody with smart leadership in the country.

VERJEE: And that smart leadership is?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obama a smart leadership.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More training how to deal with those guys around the world.

VERJEE: On the road their biggest worry is, guess what? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Disgusting to have to pay this much for gas.

VERJEE: What advice would you give Senator Obama and Senator McCain right now to get into that white house?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Campaign on issues.

VERJEE: Like gas?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, gas, too high.

VERJEE: Do you think McCain is too old?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's like not main issue to me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you're in good health, doesn't matter what your age is.

VERJEE: Is Obama too young?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the right age. He has full energy.

VERJEE: The cabbies are quick to turn the corner. Do you think Hillary should be Senator Obama's VP?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a good ticket, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just think it would be too much friction.

VERJEE: Cabbie pundits disagree on the road ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's going to be a lot of different prejudices, you know, come to the fore in this election. You know, some will be very bitter, some will be very racially divided.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A black person that started from zero, this is the flag of the United States of America. This is a great country, and I wish all the best.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PHILLIPS: I remember living in D.C. and even here in New York, I get more from taxicab drivers than I do a newspaper many times because they're from the country and they always want to talk politics.

ROBERTS: I don't know how many times I got into the cab in D.C. and the person driving the cab was making some money while they go for their PhD.

52 minutes after the hour, a tornadoes outbreak. Violent storm system damaging homes and flooding the streets from the plains to the Potomac. Extreme weather, ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.

PHILLIPS: Coming up on AMERICAN MORNING, Ed McMahon speaks out.

MCMAHON: It's like a perfect storm. PHILLIPS: Where did the money go?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know where -- where are those millions, Ed?

PHILLIPS: A Hollywood heavyweight explains how he got caught up in the mortgage meltdown, ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PHILLIPS: And checking your political ticker this Friday morning. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid standing by his independent colleague, Joseph Lieberman, despite Lieberman's attack on Barack Obama. The Connecticut senator criticized Obama's Middle East policy and is supporting John McCain for president. Reid says Lieberman's committee chairmanship is safe and he remains an important vote for Democrats.

How serious is Barack Obama about health care reform? When an elderly black man presented him with a walking stick as a gift, Obama advised congress to make notice. He says if they don't pass my health care bill, I'm ready, I'll whoop them.

ROBERTS: Lani Davis is taking his Clinton for VP crusade to a new level. He's joined voteboth.com. The group has established several weeks ago by aides who wanted Obama and Clinton on the ticket in any order. The group is pushing for Clinton in the number two spot.

John McCain had his best fund-raising month yet in may taking in $21.5 million. His previous best was $18 million in April. McCain spokesman says the presumptive Republican nominee how has $31.5 million in cash on hand for the general election campaign.

And for up to the minute political news, just head for CNN.com/ticker.

PHILLIPS: Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton met late last night in Washington to talk about uniting the Democratic Party. And tomorrow Clinton is set to suspend her historic presidential campaign. So what's next for Senator Clinton? And what might her candidacy mean for women. Gail Sheehy contributing political editor for Vanity Fair and author of the book "Hillary's Choice." Great to see you this morning.

GAIL SHEEHY, CONTRIBUTING POLITICAL EDITOR, VANITY FAIR: Great to be here.

PHILLIPS: No matter what happens and even what has happened to this point, she has truly made history. Barack Obama has made history obviously with regard to race. She has for gender.

SHEEHY: Oh, for gender and for women all over the world, I think. You know, at least America is beginning to catch up with many other countries that have had women leaders. I think that a great milestone was passed when a majority of voters came to believe a woman could be commander in chief, this woman, this Hillary Clinton who spoke so strongly, so -- with such assurance about world affairs and who was a tough warrior. That became her persona during this campaign.

PHILLIPS: And it wasn't easy. Betsy Reed put this together for the nation. I want to get your reaction. These are just a number of things that were said about Hillary Clinton during this battle, as you put it, she was quite the warrior. She's been likened to Lorena Bobbitt, a hellish housewife, described as witchy, a she-devil, anti- male, a strip teaser. Her loud and hardy laugh has been labeled as the cackle, her voice compared to fingernails on a blackboard. And as one Fox News commentator put it, when Hillary Clinton speaks, men here take out the garbage.

SHEEHY: A lot of this is old. I think Hillary came into this campaign emotionally scarred from her eight years in the white house with that kind of attack constantly and all of the scandals and also having to compartmentalize what was going on with her husband and pretend it wasn't happening so she could keep getting up every day. In this period she has definitely secured her own independent status as a world-class leader. She will continue to be a leader even if she isn't the president of the United States, and I think that she will actually work really hard to elect Barack Obama and restore a lot of the tarnish that I think in the latter part of the campaign her husband put on her campaign.

PHILLIPS: Barack Obama, one of the most memorable speeches, his speech on race. Do you think she missed an opportunity by not giving that same type of speech but about gender?

SHEEHY: Yes, I do. I think that race and gender broke open, we saw ugly underbelly of, you know, this ugly stream that's been going on in American life for a long, long time, and she had to really take that to a higher level, as she did when she went to China and talked about women's rights and human rights. She perhaps can still do it, but I think the passion and the sense of being really disrespected was so powerful among her women supporters that I hope they don't convert that into anger at the Democratic Party or at the whole process because it really isn't something that Hillary could control --

PHILLIPS: So what does she do next, looking forward?

SHEEHY: She will, I think, definitely shape the plank on health care at the Democratic platform, and I think she probably will make a speech on sexism. Now she can do it so it won't sound like, oh, poor me, and picking on me.

PHILLIPS: Interesting. Gail Sheehy great talking to you.

ROBERTS: Breaking news this morning, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton sit down together in a possible first step toward peace in the Democratic Party.