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Sandy Aftermath; Travel Still Halted in New York City; The Waters are Receding; Global Warming's Role; Obama, Romney Return to Campaign Trail; Polls Show Obama Leading in Wisconsin, Ryan's Home State; Romney Hammers Obama on Economy in Roanoke; Both Campaigns Battle for Swing States; Obama Stumps in Green Bay, Wisconsin

Aired November 1, 2012 - 11:00   ET


ASHLEIGH BANFIELD: Hello, everyone, I'm Ashleigh Banfield. It's 11:00 on the East Coast, 8:00 on the West Coast.

So many people, so little power and so many obstacles to things that used to be so simple, boarding a bus, for instance. Hours after this scene in New York City last night, a shoving match borne of frustration and sheer fatigue, I can tell you that more than half of the city's subway lines are now back in business, post-Superstorm Sandy.

And don't strain your eyes on this map, but please try to note the dimmed outlines in lower Manhattan on the left-hand side of your screen. Those are the lines that are no-go because of flooding or lack of power or both. And that's a big part of the city.

Still, a silver lining, bus and subway and commuter train rides are free today, free tomorrow under New York's transportation emergency decree.

Travel by car, however, is pretty much a nightmare and, even if you can travel, take a look at these things, cars lined up for gas. The filling stations need power, too, and in New Jersey where these scenes were shot yesterday, almost 2 million homes and businesses do not have power. So, you're looking at a line that leads eventually -- eventually -- to a BP station in Middletown, New Jersey. Look how long they waited.

And do you want to fly? That was the scene on Tuesday and guess what? Now all three of the greater New York airports will be open today, including this airport, which looked like Long Island Sound. It's LaGuardia. As recently as Tuesday, those tarmacs underwater, really a remarkable scene, but open business today.

Speaking of water, take a picture of my town. This is just next to my town. This is Rowayton, Connecticut, where boats were just tossed up into yards like they were toys. The flooding still evident there. That's really a boater's town, too, so you can see the strength of that storm, even in the communities that weren't as hard hit as the ones you've been seeing every day.

And it goes without saying in a disaster like this, there are problems, there are losses and then there are real losses that can never be recovered. We now know that the mega-storm known as Sandy took at least 68 lives in the United States and that that number is surely to rise, maybe for days to come. It will be updated.

We know this, because there are people who are still unaccounted for, among them two little boys, ages two- and four-years old, apparently swept right out of their mother's arms on Staten Island. The storm was so strong on Staten Island and the damage so severe, perhaps not surprising to hear that that happened.

Those are just the stories you're going to continue to hear.

And if you absolutely, positively need to get to Manhattan today, you suppose you could say misery loves company. New York's mayor demands that misery loves company. At least three people have to be in every car that gets onto the island of Manhattan or you don't get onto the island of Manhattan.

CNN's Rob Marciano has a staked-out spot near the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge to bring us up to speed on what's been happening. So, how does it look from your perspective? We have seen the gridlock. Is it getting any better, Rob?

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I can tell you this, that the number of cars coming over the Brooklyn Bridge today is flowing pretty smoothly, definitely less than yesterday, so that problem-solving of shoving more people in cars or forcing that issue, may very well be working.

As you mentioned, the subways south of 34th Street are still shut down. That includes the green line and the orange line behind me here at city hall and Brooklyn Bridge.

Speaking of the Brooklyn Bridge, well, how do you get over here if you can't get on one of those buses -- which, yeah, OK, they're free, fine -- or you can't get in a car with other people or your car doesn't have any gas? You can't get gas. Well, you do it by foot, so there's a lot of foot traffic certainly coming over to and from Brooklyn on the bridge.

And here's what people had to say about their commute this morning.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today, everybody is trying to get in and get back to the normal things.

MARCIANO: Do you normally walk over the Brooklyn Bridge to go to work?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I don't, but this morning I thought that was my best bet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Normally, a R-train, 35 minutes, door-to-door, so I'm expecting a two-hour walk, but it's a beautiful day out.

MARCIANO: So you're OK with the walk today?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely. I'm worried about getting home after a long day at work, trying to get back home, but hopefully, trains and buses start working. So we'll do it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Started off walking the bridge. I hope to find a bus on the other side and then the subway at Midtown. That's the plan. I don't know how long it will take, but that's the plan.


ALI VELSHI, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): ... but that consumer confidence number, the highest since February of 2008. Americans, despite economic numbers that are mixed, John ...

MARCIANO: ... people that are OK now, but come three or four days from now, if that's still the situation, then maybe that will change.

A couple things I want to show you. The municipal building here, this is pretty much the hub of all New York City activity. That's without power. Beyond that, the courthouses. So those court dates have been postponed. I know you're not in trouble with the law, but if you were, you would be free by, say, Monday.

But the subway's still shut down until further notice. We've got water in the tunnels.

And, speaking of the tunnels, the tunnels that go to and from either Jersey or the other areas here, well, they're shut down, except for one.

Carpooling, if you have a car or if you can get gas, the problems seem to compound, Ashleigh, as we go through time. Back to you.

BANFIELD: They do and it was unbelievable, this city yesterday. So many people reporting four hours to get in to work coming from some of the outer boroughs, just what would normally take maybe 25, 30 minutes.

Rob, really quickly, just give me an update on the power story because this has just been so horrible for everyone affected on the eastern seaboard and, Manhattan, this is a city that requires power and it's still a problem.

MARCIANO: It does. And I know that people who live in the hurricane zones down to the south and people who live in severe weather country that get their power knocked out for days, routinely, oh, that's no big deal.

In New York, it's just different because you have, you know, high- rises and mid-rises, people live 15, 20, 30 stories up and, without power, you've got to go up and down those stairs and if you're at all unhealthy or immobile or elderly, that is no easy task.

And by now, day three, you've run out of water. You've run out of food. You need to go up and down those stairs. So, that's the kind of problems we're dealing with here and it's going to be an issue.

Not only that, temperatures are going to get colder here over the weekend. They'll drop to near freezing. And without power that, for some people will be cold enough to be a matter of survival, as well.


BANFIELD: Already felt it in my house overnight. No power and I think it was somewhere around 42 degrees when I got up for work this morning.

All right, Rob Marciano, thanks very much for that live in New York City for us.

And, as we have been telling you and showing you, the devastation up and down the New Jersey shore was just really unbelievable. Even the pictures can't tell you the full story.

The residents now gradually beginning that massive job of cleaning up. How you begin? No one knows, but they have to rebuild their lives.

State workers back on the job. Many schools, believe it or not, are going to open today. Many will not, as well. But buses are back on the streets. Some ferries are running to New York. The train service, however, does remain suspended.

For a lot of people who lost just about everything, their time is now spent standing in long lines, for gas and for stores and for food, maybe even a restaurant if they can find one that's open.

In the small town of Belmar, the landmark boardwalk, ripped apart by the storm, the pieces scattered over several blocks. The mayor put it this way. Simply, it's no longer there.

Jim Clancy is live in Belmar now. He joins me. So, give me an update on the conditions there, Jim.

JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think I can say the sun has come out, and I want to show you something. Even since we arrived at 5:00 this morning, the water has receded. It's gone down six inches. It's actually gone back several feet.

People have come by to take photos of it. People in this neighborhood can't wait to see it.

Talked to a member of the fire department who said, it's happening, it's very slow, but we're making some progress here.

They're pumping out St. Rose's High School gym right next to me here. Some crews moved in, put in some pumps. They're pushing that water out.

Other businesses, the hum of generators has taken over. You see skip- loaders and front-loaders heading down the streets in all directions.

The fire chiefs, people have been out here. They've been going door to door telling residents, we're going to pump out your basements. We're going to get to all of these things.

The residents, of course, can't wait. They're still shaking their heads in disbelief. Headline in the local newspaper, here, Ashleigh, today, was, "Wiped Away."

Back to you.


RYZON BARNES, SHELTER RESIDENT: I went to the boardwalk and I seen the rollercoaster in the water. I seen the boardwalk destroyed. And down by CVS on Route 35, I seen a big house in the middle of the street.

It was the most devastating thing I've ever seen. Parts of the boardwalk was indented in the Hershey Motel. The boardwalk pieces actually literally that you walk on was in the streets. I literally walked over them with posts that hold up the boardwalk.

It was -- I mean, it was out of this world. I never seen anything like that in my life and I'm just glad I survived it because I was really worried after I made the decision to stay that I made a mistake.


CLANCY: All right, that was Ryzon Barnes. He was in the neighboring community of Seaside Heights that was so devastated where they had their entire boardwalk washed away.

Governor Chris Christie referring to that just a day ago, talking about how some of these landmarks, the Ferris wheel, you know, the rollercoaster, were now in the Atlantic Ocean.

Real devastation here, but people getting bark back to work.


BANFIELD: All right, Jim, thank you. I appreciate the update. Jim Clancy reporting for us live from Belmar.

And if you want more information about Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy and what you can do to help all of those people affected, just go to, a lot of information there. You can find out how to give or volunteer,


BANFIELD: You may know someone impacted by this week's monster storm, a family member, maybe friends or neighbors. The impact on the ground has been nothing short of astounding, but Sandy also impacted those at sea.

Look at those pictures. In fact, dozens of cruise ships were forced to seek safe harbor, at least head to safer waters, anyway, but those waters were hardly calm. A personal story for you, my mother and my stepfather were headed down the East Coast of the United States on a cruise. In fact, they were taking the same route as the ill-fated HMS Bounty.

That ship sank and it killed a crew member and likely killed the captain who is still missing, but instead of taking that route, the captain of my mom's ship, the Seabourn Sojourn -- you can see it on your screen -- he decided to take the 400 other passengers and 330 crew members farther out to sea to try to skirt the storm.

So, for five days, they have been enduring 25-to30-foot seas -- in fact, 35-foot seas and I should tell you that many of the passengers onboard that ship were elderly. The ship is about 650-feet long, 84- feet wide, but even with specs like that, that thing was tossed about relentlessly.

I couldn't be on the phone with my mom at any time. We had sporadic e-mails. We knew that she was OK, day to day, but I just got the call from my mom. She's back. She's back on dry land and I think you're joining me by phone. Are you there, Mom?

SUZIE BANFIELD LOUNT, ASHLEIGH BANFIELD'S MOM (via telephone): Hi, yes, I am. I'm back on dry land and very happy to be so.

BANFIELD: That's great. Can you tell me how all the rest of the passengers were when you got off the ship?

LOUNT (via telephone): Well, you know, Ashleigh, the captain took very good care of us. I think all of the passengers were very relieved to get off the ship and to be on dry land again.

We had some tumultuous waves. We were into 25-to-30-foot seas. And, you know, we were -- we left Boston at the time when this "Frankenstorm" came along and we thought, wow, are we leaving?

But we left and the captain said we were going to head for Bermuda. And we thought, wow.

Anyway, off we went and very quickly, we were into major seas. And we did head for Bermuda. We ended up going on a northern track to Bermuda. We were not able to get in there which was very distressing for us.

BANFIELD: Did you -- you and -- we're seeing a picture of you and Graham, my stepdad.

LOUNT (via telephone): Oh.

BANFIELD: And I know you guys are quite -- you're seafarers. You do a lot of this, but a lot of people who were on board might not have been so experienced, so how is everybody in terms of seasickness?

Because even in a boat that big, even in a ship that big, 35-foot seas can make people, even hardy seafarers, sick. How are the passengers?

LOUNT (via telephone): Well, I think a lot of them stayed in their rooms for the -- for major parts of it. Everybody had to be extremely careful. I mean, doors were swinging on the ship, and -- but they do -- I do want to say, our captain really was very concerned about our safety and did everything he could.

It's just that when you're out there, you're stuck and I think, as you say, there were a lot of senior people on this ship and they had to be extremely careful. There were ...


LOUNT (via telephone): ... I think a few people that had little upsets, but primarily, he did what he had to do and we got all the way around the outside of Bermuda.

BANFIELD: Well, I'm glad to hear your voice. For five days I've been tracking you, quite worried about it, so welcome home, Mom.

LOUNT (via telephone): Thank you, sweetie, so much. We're glad to be here and it's lovely.

BANFIELD: I'll talk to you after the show. Love you.

LOUNT (via telephone): OK, dear. Bye-bye.

BANFIELD: All right, so by now a lot of experts are talking about the explanations behind the wrath of Sandy and some of those explanations may or may not be coming clear.

What we do know, a 900-mile wide monster started as a hurricane and combined with a winter storm. It pushed massive tides that flooded the East Coast and punishing winds that obliterated what wasn't already soaked.

While trying to grasp the magnitude of all of the devastation, the issue of climate change is raising its head and not in a subtle way. Take a look at the cover of "Bloomberg" business magazine. It's hitting stands today.

It's pretty clear. "It's Global Warming, Stupid" the headline reads.

And also, here are two of New York's top politicians, the governor and the mayor, hitting the topics just in the last 24 hours.


GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: There has been a series of extreme weather incidents.

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, MAYOR, NEW YORK CITY: There have been very strange weather patterns, very severe storms where they normally have not occurred.

CUOMO: that's not a political statement. That is a factual statement.

BLOOMBERG: That much is recorded. You can look at the film, OK? CUOMO: Anyone who says there's not a dramatic change in weather patterns, I think, is denying reality.

BLOOMBERG: Let's assume that we decide that we're not damaging our planet and later on find out that we were. It literally could be too late.

CUOMO: I said to the president, kiddingly, the other day, we have a 100-year flood every two years now.

BLOOMBERG: What we have to do is learn from this and protect our infrastructure.

CUOMO: I'm hopeful that not only will we rebuild this city, and metropolitan area, but we use this as an opportunity to build it back smarter.


BANFIELD: This sign might just say it all. Residents in Brooklyn leaving it on a damaged car. It asks, "Is climate change the culprit?"

And further on down, it suggests that we, quote, "get used to it or change it."

I want to bring in Professor Ben Orlove, who is an environmentalist at Columbia University. He's written extensively about this subject.

I also want to bring in meteorologist Chad Myers, who literally lives weather every single day.

Professor, let me begin with you, if I could. First off, try and answer that question for me that that resident of Brooklyn smacked on a damaged car.

BEN ORLOVE, ENVIRONMENTAL ANTHROPOLOGIST: Yes, we're going to be getting -- we are getting more extreme weather. We're going to continue to get more extreme weather and there are many changes that make us more vulnerable.

BANFIELD: However, there are so many others who say it is not necessarily global warming. This could be a cycle and it's a cycle we can't measure because we just don't have the length of records that it would require. And is that something you can refute?

ORLOVE: Well, I'm really glad that you used the word "measure." There are some questions about the strength of the hurricane and there's active scientific research, but what we have measured is sea- level rise.

We have been measuring the water of the level here in New York City since 1893, so we know exactly what the ocean is doing here and it's getting higher. It's rising and it's rising more quickly and that's due to global warming.

This is ice melting around the world that's going into the ocean and this is the ocean expanding just a little bit as it warms.

BANFIELD: So as you say that, I want to put up a graphic that might explain just the extent of the global icecap and the melt and the size of the loss and, if we pop that up, here are the specs on it.

Over the last three decades, we lost about 1.3 million square miles of Arctic Sea ice. That's just disappeared and, if you just measure that in terms of the size of the United States, the lower 48, the blue part is what's gone. Forty-two percent of the United States, that's the size of what's now missing in polar ice.

Chad, jump in here, if you would for me. That makes for higher tide everywhere. It makes for higher sea level everywhere.


BANFIELD: And doesn't that just imperil anyone, globally, living anywhere near any coast?

MYERS: Well, sure. And it also changes the pattern of the jet stream because that water is now open and not ice.

And it also -- it creates blocking patterns in the Atlantic and also in the Pacific and that blocking pattern that was over Greenland with this storm could have possibly created the turn to the left that most storms don't do.

Now, they do it in October. That's a normal kind of a pattern. They can turn left in October, but that block was responsible for the left turn rather than the storm being pushed out to sea.

And the water temperature, I can show you what the water temperature looks like. This is the anomaly water temperature, so it's a little bit different. This isn't what the temperature of the water is, but it's two-degrees Celsius warmer right where the storm really blew up again as we got into New York harbor.

One-to-two-degrees Celsius warmer may have made that storm 10 percent stronger than it could have or should have been.

Now, don't get me wrong. Sandy would have occurred anyway. It started in the Caribbean, which is going to be warm and it's warm almost all year long, but it's just that little extra push ...


MYERS: ... that's now we're just ramping up the storm's severity just by a little bit and by a little bit made a big difference.

BANFIELD: Well, let me ask Dr. Orlove, look, there are all sorts of things that people are talking about doing right now. The mayor of New York City has talked about the seawall and infrastructural changes to cities to coastal communities, et cetera.

Look, you can't fight the sea. That's just a fact. You can do the best you can, but short of some of those infrastructure -- on-land infrastructure plans, what can be done out at sea? Anything that might mitigate this problem we're facing?

ORLOVE: Well, out at sea, I think it's very hard to mitigate, but I think there are some things we can do on land that are easy. I think we can get the power stations in the cities away from the coast. They won't flood.

I think ...

BANFIELD: I was actually referring to artificial barrier islands.

ORLOVE: Barrier islands, I think the barrier islands are going to be very hard -- you know, they're doing barrier islands in a few cities. London is doing them and Venice is doing them.

The reason they're hard to do here in New York is that if we stop the water coming to New York, it's going to go someplace else.

You block it in Long Island Sound, it's going flood Connecticut. And we also don't want to send more water to New Jersey.

BANFIELD: Bottom line, should we expect the storm of the century now every year or two or five?

ORLOVE: What worries me is that the plain old storms of the decade -- the regular old storms are doing more damage because the water is higher. It's reaching more tunnels. It's staying higher, longer because the seas are higher.

BANFIELD: So the flood-like mess that we're seeing on the screen now is a thing of the future.

ORLOVE: Yeah, and the floods we don't see, the tunnels that are flooded, those are slowing us down.

BANFIELD: Dr. Orlove, thank you so much. It's good to see you and I appreciate you coming in.

And Chad Myers, as always, I appreciate your insight and your expertise in this department, too. You're invaluable in our coverage. Appreciate it.

According to a recent Pew Research Center poll, 67 percent of Americans do believe that there is some solid evidence of global warming.



FERRE DOLLAR, CNN PHOTOJOURNALIST (voice-over): It is twice the size of Texas, fewer than 1 million human residents and has only one area code, but Alaska has got great national parks and we visited two of them.

Getting there, planes, trains, no automobiles. The Alaskan Railroad will take you to the doorstep of Denali National Park and it's not just another train ride. It is a front-row seat to Alaskan's wild frontier.

From the Denali Depot, a shuttle bus travels the lone 90-mile road to get you to the visitor's center, handful of lodges, campsites and various trailheads so you can hit the backcountry.

A delightful ride with a group of national park and outdoor enthusiasts lets you sit back and enjoy the 6-million acres.

It is hard to take a bad picture here.

Denali is Alaska's third-largest national park, but nearly three times larger than Yellowstone.

The centerpiece is Mt. McKinley. Towering some 20,300-feet, it is the highest peak in the United States.

Denali means "the great one," named by the natives of Alaska, an apt description for this majestic park.

Do you really want to feel like a professional wildlife photographer? Katmai National Park, encompassing nearly 5-million acres, is unmatched. It is accessible only by chartered air taxi or boat.

Hallo Bay Bear Camp offers day and multi-day trips with experienced guides who provide safe access to areas like you've only seen in wildlife documentaries. An eco-friendly camp reliant on solar and wind-power provides comfort and home-cooked meals.

Heavily populated by brown bears, fox, moose and a few scenic volcanoes, this park is a dream vacation destination for photographers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Ferre Dollar for "Travel Insider."



BANFIELD: About that election. You remember the election? Five days from today, when America will decide whether President Obama gets the second term he's asking for or if Mitt Romney takes back the White House for the GOP. After three days devoted entirely to disaster relief, Mr. Obama is campaigning again in Wisconsin, in Nevada and Colorado today, alone. Governor Romney is going to spend his day campaigning in Virginia.

The first stop for the president is in Green Bay, moments from now. We're keeping a live eye on that event. We'll bring it to you, as well.

Brianna Keilar is waiting for the president.

It looks chilly in Wisconsin. I've got to ask you, off the top, a very serious question about how this president is going to segue from what he has been doing the last three days, which has been in emergency mode, into a stump speech. BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You know, I think we may have gotten a preview of that, actually, Ashleigh, because we did hear from Charles Woodson, a safety from the Green Bay Packers, a popular person here. And he was making the case for the government providing services or assistance for people, and then he was saying that he was raised by a single mother, and that the government stepped in to bridge the gap in between jobs for her and the family. Just as he said, the federal government is doing on the east coast with the storm. And then he pledged some money to the Red Cross for that. So I think we may be seeing some kind of segue in that regard, certainly from someone introducing President Obama.

I have to tell you, about a minute or so ago, Air Force One touched down here in Green Bay, a pretty dramatic entrance. The crowd was excited to see the plane come in. And I do know from a campaign source that President Obama off the top of his remarks he will give momentarily will talk about the storm but also getting back to campaign business and making the case for his re-election. We're certainly going to be hearing some politics as we heard before the storm, as well -- Ashleigh?

BANFIELD: And, you know, when you just sort of glossed over that, made a donation to the Red Cross. We should say that that Packers' defense you're talking about, Charles Woodson, gave a big donation, $100,000. That's great. A great example to set for the rest of the country., if you're thinking.

Brianna, quickly, I want to ask about the recent polling that's come out in Wisconsin, and while I ask you about the polling, I also want to remind our viewers that Wisconsin is the home state of Congressman Ryan, and that would be Governor Romney's running mate. So maybe defying conventional wisdom, Wisconsin is leaning fairly heavily in President Obama's favor.

KEILAR: That's right. Now, Paul Ryan has been seen as an asset, obviously, to Governor Romney and he has been making a whole lot of appearances.

I'll tell you, the crowd behind me is getting excited, Ashleigh, because Air Force One is taxing over towards us where President Obama is going to be coming out shortly and making his remarks.

But, yes, Paul Ryan has been an asset to Governor Romney. It's why some are saying the race here has been pretty tight, although there is a small lead, a consistent lead, for President Obama. Today, we saw the "Wall Street Journal"/NBC News poll, three points up the president is here in Wisconsin. Yesterday there was a poll in Milwaukee, a Marquette university poll that had the president up by much more, eight points. You talk to the Obama campaign, they'll point to that Marquette poll and they'll say it's more accurate. It seems like internal polls are in between the two.

But the bottom line is, while he has a lead that is significant, you have to pay attention to it, it's not quite comfortable. That's why you're seeing President Obama here today. We saw Joe Biden here last week. But Paul Ryan was here yesterday. Mitt Romney will be here tomorrow. Bill Clinton was here last night and this morning. There is a lot of surrogate traffic, and part of that is because early voting is under way right now and goes on through tomorrow. And both sides are really trying to energize people and get them out to the polls during this week.

BANFIELD: Brianna, I'm looking behind you. Just quickly peek, over the back of your shoulder to your left. Air Force One just came right into a perfect view for us. Thank you very much.

But I want to ask you, this was a campaign stop in Green Bay that was really supposed to happen Tuesday, which the president cancelled because of the storm and emergency work that he needed to do. So what did they do? Did they go on with the event as scheduled and then add this one, or have they just re-jigged the schedule?

KEILAR: They sort of adjusted it a little bit. I think it was an evening event was the idea on Tuesday. But for instance, Charles Woodson, who, yes, did make that very generous $100,000 donation -- or announced it here to the Red Cross, he was going to be at the event Tuesday, and he was at the event here today, obviously Green Bay folks love the Packers. That was a big draw for them. So they kept a lot of the things as they were to be. The difference is that -- in addition, you can see, this is a pretty dramatic entrance that gets the crowd going here in Green Bay. But also the president just coming in and having a quick stop at the airport means he's able to get in and out of here very quickly before moving on.

BANFIELD: Right. Of course.

KEILAR: So this is sort of the adjustment that was made.

BANFIELD: I always love covering those events in the airport hangars, but for the weather in the northern states. It was very exciting to watch the campaign planes come in so closely. And then I also noticed over your shoulder they're bringing out the staircase. But I also remember it takes a while before the president jumps down those stairs.

Brianna, I'll give you a break as we wait for the president to disembark from the plane. And that's live in Green Bay, Wisconsin, so we'll go back and listen as the president takes the mic.

And also we'll update you on Mitt Romney, because he's on the stump, as well in the battleground state of Virginia. All day, in fact. Last hour in Roanoke, he hammered away on the economy and how, in his words, Americans are in worse shape today than they were four years ago, he says because of President Obama's policies.

Our Jim Acosta also working the campaign trail. And this is the nuts and bolts of the reaction.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: At an event in Roanoke, Virginia, Mitt Romney ended a political truce with President Obama in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. While he had avoided attacking the president during a series of stops across the state of Florida, that was not the case here in Virginia. Romney went after what he often hears outside some of his events from some of the president's supporters who sometimes chant "four more years." Romney said it should be more like five more days. And then he went after an idea the president floated out in recent days when Mr. Obama talked about potentially naming a secretary of business in a second term. Here's what Romney had to say.

MITT ROMNEY, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We don't need the secretary of business to understand business. We need a president who understands business, and I do.


ROMNEY: And that's how I'll help this economy going.

ACOSTA: Romney will spend the day in this battleground state of Virginia where polls show the race is very tight with the president. Tomorrow, he heads off to Wisconsin and Iowa at an event that will kick off a multistate politics blitz that will carry into Election Day.

Jim Acosta, CNN, Roanoke, Virginia.


BANFIELD: All right, thank you, Jim.

Jim was coming to us from Virginia, where Mitt Romney will spend the whole day. He was just in Roanoke the last hour.

Looking ahead, we want to make sure you're aware. Tune into CNN on election night. We've been wall to wall on the emergency situation because of Superstorm Sandy, but our team is breaking down results state by state with all of the expert analysis you've come to expect. Our teams will continue to work round the clock and our special coverage will start at 6:00 p.m. this time, 6:00 p.m. eastern on November 6th.


BANFIELD: Ohio is the door you have to walk through to get to the majestic halls of the White House. At least, historically, that's the case and it's why campaigns have spends so many millions of dollars trying to swing the voters to their side in that state. Here's a snapshot of where Ohio stands right now, at least according to the poll. And the latest CNN poll of polls has the president with a three-point lead now over Governor Romney. And there is no sampling error in that, we should explain, as well, because it's a poll of polls. Plenty of sampling errors in different polls that merge into that poll of polls.

Here's what we also know. Five days left before the election. Both camps have deployed the best ground troops they can possibly muster, all in the effort to get face time with potential voters.

And our Don Lemon has been very busy on this story.


DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The front line on the Ohio battleground, cold, soggy and gray. But neither snow nor sleet nor bad directions --

(on camera): Are you lost now?


LEMON (voice-over): -- shall keep these volunteers from their appointed route. Why are you doing this?

HENNING: I do it to support Governor Romney.

LEMON: When college sophomore and first-time voter Sean Henning isn't in class or working, he's driving. Walking --

(on camera): This your next one?


LEMON (voice-over): -- knocking -- and talking to voters.

HENNING: When you were going to vote, if you were going to go in earlier, like on Election Day?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're going on Election Day.

LEMON (on camera): Is it worth it? It's cold. It's rainy. Some people slam the door in your face, others don't. Some people are receptive. Is it worth it?

HENNING: In the long run, hopefully it will be. If I see my man Romney as president, yes.

LEMON (voice-over): But President Romney is the last thing Beth Keith (ph) wants. She says she has a pre-existing medical condition, so she put on her boots, put her jewelry business on hold last summer to volunteer full-time to make sure President Obama and his health care plan stay put.

BETH KEITH (ph), VOLUNTEER: Are you voting for the president in the re-election?



AD ANNOUNCER: Romney doesn't have what it takes.


LEMON: Both campaigns say, in these critical final moments, they need people like Beth and Sean. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)


LEMON: And other dedicated volunteers because of the barrage of negative ads and robocalls have run their course.

(on camera): So it's about personal contact.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Yes. Person-to-person, not robocall, not mass mailing. What's important to you, and what can I say about that subject.

LEMON: You don't get more personal than Gail and Matt Calfree (ph).


BANFIELD: I want to take you live to Green Bay where the president has now deplaned from Air Force One and he is in front of the mic. Let's listen in.


OBAMA: -- Green Bay, Wisconsin!


OBAMA: I want to thank all of you for giving such a warm welcome to a Bears fan.


OBAMA: And I especially want to thank one of the greatest defensive players in NFL history for being here today, Charles Woodson!


OBAMA: And I want to thank Charles, because I understand he made an announcement about a gift to the Red Cross to help support everybody over on the east coast. And that's the kind of guy he is. So we're grateful to him. Thank you, Charles.


OBAMA: Let's also give it up for your next United States Senator, Tammy Baldwin.


OBAMA: She's going to be following leaders like Herb Cole and Ross Feingold in being fierce fighters for the people of Wisconsin.


OBAMA: Now, for the past few days, all of us have been focused on one of the worst storms in our lifetimes. And we're awed and humbled by nature's destructive power. We mourn the loss of so many people. Our hearts go out to those who lost their loved ones. We pledge to help those whose lives have been turned upside down. And I was out in New Jersey yesterday and saw the devastation, and you really get a sense of, you know, how difficult this is going to be for a lot of people. But we've also been inspired these past few days. Because when disaster strikes, we've seen America at its best. All the petty difference that consumes us all seem to melt away. There are no Democrats or Republicans during a storm. They're just fellow Americans.


OBAMA: Leaders of different parties working to fix what's broken. Neighbors helping neighbors cope with tragedy. Communities rallying to rebuild. A spirit that says, in the end, we're all in this together. So we rise or fall as one nation, as one people.


OBAMA: While that spirit has guided this country along its improbable journey for more than two centuries, it's carried us through the trials of the last four years. In 2008, we were in the middle of two wars and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Today our businesses have created over five million new jobs.


OBAMA: The American auto industry is back on top.


OBAMA: American manufacturing is growing at the fastest pace in 15 years.


OBAMA: We're less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in 20 years.


OBAMA: Home values are on the rise. Thanks to the service and sacrifice of our brave men and women in uniform, the war in Iraq is over.


OBAMA: The war in Afghanistan is winding down.


OBAMA: Al Qaeda has been decimated.


OBAMA: Osama bin Laden is dead. (CHEERING)

OBAMA: So we've made real progress these past four years. But, Wisconsin, we know our work is not done yet. As long as there's a single American who wants a job but can't find one, our work isn't done. As long as there are families who are working harder but falling behind, our work isn't done. As long as there's a child languishing in poverty, barred from opportunity anywhere in this country, our work is not yet done.


OBAMA: Our fight goes on, because we know this nation cannot succeed without a growing, thriving middle class, and strong, sturdy ladders into the middle class. Our fight goes on because America has always done its best when everybody gets a fair shot, and everybody is doing their fair share, and everybody is playing by the same rules.


OBAMA: That's what we believe. That's why you elected me in 2008. And that's why I'm running for a second term as president, because we have got more work to do.



OBAMA: Now -- now, we knew from the beginning that our work would take more than one year, or even one term. Because let's face it, the middle class was getting hammered, long before the financial crisis hit. Technology made us more productive but it also made a lot of good jobs obsolete. Global trade brought us cheaper products, but it also allowed companies to hire in low-wage countries. American workers saw their paychecks squeezed, even as corporate profits rose and CEOs' salaries exploded and pensions and health care slowly started disappearing. And these fundamental changes in the economy, the rise of technology and global competition, they're real. We can't wish these and global competition. But here's what I know, Wisconsin, we can meet them --


OBAMA: -- because we're Americans, and we have the world's best workers and the best entrepreneurs. We have the best scientists and the best researchers, the best colleges and universities, and we've got the most innovative spirit.


OBAMA: We have everything we need to thrive in this new economy, in this new century, and there's not a country in the earth that wouldn't change places with the United States of America.


OBAMA: But we have a choice to make. In five days, we will choose our next president.


OBAMA: And it's more than just a choice between two candidates or two parties. You'll be making a choice between two fundamentally different visions of America, one where we return to the top-down policies that crashed our economy.


OBAMA: Don't boo, Wisconsin. Vote.


OBAMA: Or a future that's built on the strong and middle class. .


OBAMA: Wisconsin, we know what the choice needs to be. We're here today because we believe that if this country invests in the skills and ideas of its people, then good jobs and businesses will follow. We believe that America's free market has been the engine of America's progress, driven by risk takers and innovators and dreamers, but we also understand that, in this country, people succeed when they've got a chance to get a good education and learn new skills. And, by the way, so do the businesses that hire those people or the companies that those folks start. We believe that when we support research and the medical breakthroughs or new technology, that entire new industries will start here and stay here and hire here. We don't believe government should poke its nose into everything we do, but we do believe this country is stronger when there are rules to protect our kids from toxic dumping and mercury pollution. .


OBAMA: When there are rules to protect consumers and ordinary families from credit card companies that are engaging in deceptive practices, mortgage lenders that are unscrupulous. .


OBAMA: We grow faster when our tax code rewards hard work and companies that create jobs here in America. .


OBAMA: And we believe that quality affordable health care and a dignified retirement aren't just achievable goals, but they're a measure of our values as a nation. .


OBAMA: That's what we believe.

Now, for eight years we had a president who shared these beliefs. His name was Bill Clinton. . (CHEERING)

OBAMA: When he was first elected, he asked the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more so we could reduce the deficit and still make investments in things like education and training, science and research. And, guess what, plenty of folks who were running for Congress at the time said it would hurt the economy, that it would kill jobs. And if that argument sounds familiar, one of those candidates back then happens to be running for president right now.


And it turns out their math was just as bad back then as it is today. .


OBAMA: Because by the end of Bill Clinton's second term, America had created 23 million new jobs and incomes were up and property was down, and our deficit became the biggest surplus in our history.

So, Wisconsin, we know the ideas that work. We also know the ideas that don't work. In the eight years after Bill Clinton left office, his policies were reversed. Americans got tax cuts they didn't need and we couldn't afford. Companies enjoyed tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas. Insurance companies and oil companies and Wall Street were given free license to do what they pleased. Folks, at the top got to play by a different set of rules than the rest of us. The results of this top-down economics was falling income, record deficits, the slowest job growth in half a century and an economic crisis that we've been cleaning up for the last four years.

Now, in the closing weeks of this campaign, Governor Romney has been using all his talents as a salesman to dress up these very same policies that failed our country so badly, the very same policies we've been cleaning up after for the past four years, and he is offering them up as change. He is saying he is the candidate of change. Well, let me tell you, Wisconsin, we know what change looks like. .


OBAMA: And what the governor is offering sure ain't change. .


OBAMA: Getting more power back to the biggest banks isn't change. Leaving millions without health insurance isn't change. .


OBAMA: Another $5 trillion tax cut that favors the wealthy isn't change.


OBAMA: Turning Medicare into a voucher is change, but we don't want that change.


Refusing to answer questions about the details of your policies isn't change. Ruling out compromise by pledging to rubber stamp the Tea Party's agenda as president, that's definitely not change. In fact, that's exactly the attitude in Washington that needs to go. .


OBAMA: Here's the thing, Wisconsin. After four years as president, you know me by now. You may not agree with every decision I've made, you may be frustrated at the pace of change, but you know what I believe. You know where I stand. You know I'm willing to make tough decisions even when they're not politically convenient. .


OBAMA: And you know I'll fight for you and your families every single day as hard as I know how. You know that. .



OBAMA: I know what things look like because I have fought for it. You have too. After all we've been through together, we sure as heck can't give up now.


OBAMA: Change is a country where Americans of every age have the skills and education that good jobs now require. Government can't do this alone, but don't tell me that hiring more teachers won't help this economy grow or help young people compete.


OBAMA: Don't tell me that students who can't afford college can just borrow money from their parents. .


OBAMA: That wasn't an option for me. I'll bet it wasn't an option for a whole lot of you. We shouldn't be ending college tax credits to pay for millionaire tax cuts. We should be making college more affordable for everyone who is willing to work for it.


OBAMA: We should recruit 100,000 math and science teachers so that high-tech jobs aren't created in China. They're created right here in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

(CHEERING) OBAMA: We should work with community colleges to claim another two million Americans with skills that businesses are looking for right now. That's my plan for the future. That's what change is. That's the America we're fighting for in this election.

Change comes when we live up to our legacy of innovation and make America home to the next generation of manufacturing, scientific discovery, technological breakthroughs. I'm proud I bet on American workers and American ingenuity and the American auto industry.


OBAMA: Today, we're not just building cars again. We're building better cars, cars that, by the middle of the next decade, will go twice as far on a gallon of gas.


OBAMA: Today, there are thousands of workers building long-lasting batteries and wind turbines and solar panels all across the country. Jobs that weren't there four years ago. And, sure, not all technologies we bet on will pan out. Some of the businesses we encourage will fail. But I promise you this, there is a future for manufacturing here in America.


OBAMA: There's a future for clean energy here in America.


OBAMA: And I refuse to see that future in other countries. He don't want tax codes rewarding companies for creating jobs overseas. I want to reward companies that create jobs here in America.


OBAMA: I don't want a tax code that subsidizes oil company profits. I want to support the energy jobs of tomorrow and the new technology that is will cut our oil imports in half. That's my plan for jobs and growth. That's the future of America that I see.

Change is finally turning a page on a decade of war to do some nation building here at home.


OBAMA: So long as I'm commander-in-chief, we will pursue our enemies with the strongest military the world has ever known.


OBAMA: But it's time to use the savings for mending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and start paying down our debts here and rebuilding America. Right now, we can put people back to work fixing up roads and bridges. Right now, we can expand broadband into rural neighborhoods and make sure our schools are state-of-the-art. Let's put Americans back to work doing the work that needs to be done. And let's especially focus on our veterans because no one who fights for this country should have to fight for a job or a roof over their heads or the care that they need when they come home.


OBAMA: That's my plan to keep us strong. That's my commitment to you. And that's what is at stake in this election.

Now, change is a future where we reduce our deficit in a way that's balanced and responsible. I signed $1 trillion worth of spending cuts. I intend to do more. I'll work with both parties to streamline agencies and get rid of programs that don't work.