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Dow Hits 15,000 for First Time; Obama Talks to Students in Mexico City; Shaming Senators after Gun Vote; Witherspoon Arrest Video Goes Viral

Aired May 3, 2013 - 10:30   ET



COSTELLO: All right. The Dow has hit 15,000. Wow. And of course that's because the markets are reacting to the April jobs report; 165,000 jobs created in April that is better than expected. And it pushes the jobless rate down slightly to 7.5 percent. That by the way is the best rate since December of 2008.

Alison Kosik has been watching the numbers on Wall Street. She's at the New York Stock Exchange. So we hit it again, 15,000.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes 15,000 and beyond. The Dow making history today hitting 15,006. Don't forget the S&P 500 that's at its highest level right now as well at 1,618. You're seeing Wall Street cheer. This jobs report no just this jobs report but those higher revisions to March and February as well. You know when we were talking about those 88,000 jobs added in March very dismal. That was actually revised higher to 138,000.

So it shows that you're getting triple digit gains for -- for these job additions every month. Now the trick is to see this momentum continue because what we've seen in the past over the past several years if you keep this strength in the early part of the year. And then you see things kind of level off and fall.

So right now you know the market is cheering these job numbers. But next month can be a very different story. But for now, let's enjoy it I guess bask in the glory of 15,000.

COSTELLO: I'm with you. We're going to enjoy it at least for now. Alison thanks so much.

COSTELLO: As I told you before the break, President Obama is speaking in Mexico City at the National Museum of Anthropology. He is speaking to hundreds of young people in Mexico City. Let's listen for a while.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And the values that we share inspire all of the people who claim heritage on both sides. Our attitudes sometimes are trapped in old stereotypes. And some Americans only see the Mexico that is depicted in sensational headlines of violence and --- and border crossings. And -- and let's admit it some Mexicans think that America disrespects Mexico or things that America is trying to impose themselves on Mexican sovereignty or just wants to lull ourselves up.

And in both countries such distortions create misunderstandings that make it harder for us to move forward together.

So I have come to Mexico because I think it's time for us to put the old mind sets aside. It's time to recognize new realities including the impressive progress of today's Mexico.

It is true that there are Mexicans all across the country, who are making courageous sacrifices for the security of your country. That in the countryside in the neighborhood not far from here there are those who are still struggling to get their children a better life, but what's also clear is that a new Mexico is emerging. I see it in the deepening of Mexico's democracy citizens who are standing up and saying that violence and impunity is not acceptable. A courageous trust that's holding the whole leaders accountable, a robust civil society, including brave --

COSTELLO: All right, we're going to pull away. The President speaking to students in Mexico City telling them, advising them how they can help their country's future. If you want to listen to more of the President's speech it's easy. Just go to The whole thing will be on there for you now.

The NRA is holding its annual meeting with a theme of "Stand and Fight" that's right no celebrating the fact the NRA successfully shut down a background check bill in Congress. Leading the charge: Tea Party favorite, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rick Santorum and Senator Ted Cruz.

Our chief congressional correspondent Dana Bash is in Washington. And I just wanted to read to you what was on a Republican Senator Jeff Flake's Facebook page this morning. Of course he voted against background check. This was what was on his Facebook page Dana.

Quote, "Nothing like waking up to a poll saying you're the nation's least popular senator. Given the public's dim view of Congress in general, that probably puts me somewhere just below pond scum", end quote.

So Dana forgive the semantics the NRA is under fire perhaps more than ever at its annual meeting?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Perhaps they're under fire. They're not -- they're not unfamiliar with that. But I think what is also most fascinating about what's going on during this congressional recess Carols is what's happening with gun control groups. Their strategy is really pretty simple. What they're trying to do is get senators like Flake to change their mind by publicly shaming them.


CAREN TEVES, MOTHER OF SHOOTING VICTIM: So is the senator in today?

BASH (voice over): Caren Teves son was killed in the Colorado movie massacre.

TEVES: Can you let him know that Caren Teves was here again.

BASH: She's been trying unsuccessfully to see her senator Republican Jeff Flake since he voted against expanding background checks last month. To capture her frustration the gun control group Mayors against Illegal Guns sent her to try again this time inviting cameras.

TEVES: I want him to look a mother in the eye who has lost her child. I want to see the pain.

BASH: It's just one part of a coordinated effort to use this week's senate recess to keep the gun control issue alive despite losing the pivotal background check vote. Earlier this week the same group sent Erica Lafferty daughter of slain Sandy Hook Elementary school principal Dawn Hochsprung to New Hampshire to confront Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte. The group helps CNN get this footage. She also he voted against expanding background checks calling them a burden on gun owners.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm just wondering why the burden of my mother being gunned down in the halls of her elementary school isn't as important as that.

ERICA LAFFERTY, DAUGHTER OF NEWTOWN VICTIM: As you and I both know, the issue wasn't a background check system issue in Sandy Hook.

JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The amendment is not agreed to.

BASH: In order to find the 60 votes need to overcome a filibuster supporters need to change some half a dozen Senate minds going after Republicans and Democrats.


BASH: Montana's Max Baucus was one of four Senate Democrats to vote no on expanding being checks. But liberal groups is trying to pressure him with this new ad featuring a gun owning grandmother.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Aimed my hand gun at the door and waited. Guns can protect us, but we're less safe with guns in the wrong hands.

BASH: The NRA isn't taking anything for granted pushing just as hard to keep those senators in their corner running radio ads freezing senate no voters like Ayotte.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And it's why Kelly had the courage to oppose misguided gun control laws.

BASH: Gun control groups insist senators who voted against expanding background checks widely popular are taking a hit with constituents. A new survey conducted by a pro-Democratic polling firm showed Ayotte's approval rating dropping and found Flake the most unpopular senator in the country. Prompting him to say on his Facebook page "that probably puts me somewhere just below pond scum." Outside Flakes office Caren Teves holds up a letter Flake wrote before voting no. Telling her quote, "strengthening background checks is something we agree on."

TEVES: After receiving this letter, I would expect the Senator Flake to look me in the eye and explain why he ignored me.


COSTELLO: Wow. So Dana why did Senator Flake vote no after writing that to a constituent?

BASH: Well you know a spokeswoman for Senator Flake told me Carol that the reason for that was he believed that the amendment was written too broadly and it would have, quote, "encroached on private sales". But she also said that Flake hopes that issues are going to be made so that he can support the measure ultimate.

And I got to tell you there was a town hall in Arizona last night in Flake's senior Senator John McCain who by the way was one of only four Republicans who supported this -- this background check expansion. He put the chances at 50/50 that -- that they can get something done.

That's actually more optimistic than other people I'm talking to. There are discussions going on to revive this but it's really unclear how much gun control advocates are willing to give up because they're going to have to give up more to get something passed.

COSTELLO: Well we'll ask them because they are our guest next. Dana Bash thanks so much.

BASH: Oh good.

COSTELLO: Two people attending the NRA meeting who plan to stay and fight against the NRA's message. Bill Badger, a retired Army Colonel who was grazed by a bullet as he tackled Jared Lee Loughner the man who shot Gabriel Giffords and Erica Lafferty who's mom was killed in the Newton killings. Welcome to you both.


LAFFERTY: Thank you.

COSTELLO: Thank you for being here. Both of you have become gun control advocates. And Erica, I want to start with you. What do you plan to do at the NRA's annual meeting?

LAFFERTY: I mean a recent poll that was sent that 74 percent of NRA members do support the expanded background checks. So I'm really just hoping that I get the opportunity to meet some of the members and try to just get a better understanding of why their leadership is so far right of where the majority of their members are.

COSTELLO: We saw on Dana's story what you did during that meeting with Kelly Ayotte -- Ayotte rather. Do you plan to do something similar at the meetings that will take place at the NRA's annual meeting?

LAFFERTY: I am absolutely hoping that I have the opportunity to have conversations with NRA members and really just get an understanding of where they stand. As far as the town hall meeting in New Hampshire, I came with a very simple question for the Senator to answer and for the second time she avoided having to answer my question. I'm really hoping that doesn't happen and that I can just really just have some dialogue with the members.

COSTELLO: So it sounds like you're going to demand answers in the same fashion if you don't get the answers you're looking for.

Bill the NRA expects this year's meeting to be the biggest ever, 80,000 people. This probably dwarfs any gathering of gun control advocates. Do you feel like the underdog here?

BADGER: Well definitely. Definitely feel like the underdog. But we would like to convince the NRA -- you know the NRA supported this bill and the Brady Bill Act back when President Clinton was president. And -- and I don't understand why they opposed it now when 74 percent of their members support it and over 90 percent of the voters in America support universal background checks.

And we would like to get the NRA's support you know for the universal background checks. And there has to be some changes to the law, but we need to -- we need to get a law that will put a stop to these violent shootings taking place.

COSTELLO: And Erica some might say you know the new tactic is shaming lawmakers and shaming members of the NRA some people might say that that sounds kind of desperate. In your mind, how would you describe it?

LAFFERTY: I wanted to say that I'm trying to shame senators I'm trying to get them to answer a very simple question. And a lot of their defense has been, for example, the burden on people who are trying to sell guns. That's really irrelevant in my mind. What about the burden on the family members who are victims of gun violence? I think that our burden really does outweigh.

So I'm really just trying to get questions answered. I've trying calling, I've tried e-mailing, I've tried knocking on doors in Washington. And if it means that I need to travel to their specific states to try to have a conversation with them I'm absolutely going to do that. It's not about trying to shame them, it's about trying to get very simple questions answered, and try to figure out where we can find a common ground to get common sense legislation to move forward.

COSTELLO: Erica Lafferty, Bill Badger thank you so much for joining us this morning.

LAFFERTY: Thank you.

BADGER: Thank you.

COSTELLO: We'll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: Checking our top stories at 46 minutes past the hour.

We're going to take a look at the Dow because look at that. It hit the 15,000 mark for the first time ever. The S&P 500 also hit a new record out the gate, topping 1,600. And guess what; the Nasdaq is at its highest in more than 12 years all because of a better expected jobs report for the month of April -- 165,000 new jobs added to the economy.

Also in the news, we have new details about the construction of those deadly bombs used in the Boston attack. According to law enforcement officials, suspected bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev says the bombs were built in his brother Tamerlan's apartment and that the original plan was to stage an attack on July Fourth. According to that source Tsarnaev says their plan changed when they finished making the bombs early.

For the second time in a week, a U.S. military jet made by Boeing has crashed. The KC-135 jet crashed in the mountainous area of Kyrgyzstan shortly after take off today. Three people were on board -- their conditions not known. The jet looks similar to the one you see here. The base it took off from is used as a supply hub for American forces in Afghanistan.

Rhode Island has become the 10th state to allow same sex marriage. The legislature approved the measure in a 56-15. You could see how Speaker Gordon Fox embraced his partner after the vote went through. The law takes effect August 1st.

We're back with Reese Witherspoon's arrest tape gone viral.


COSTELLO: Reese Witherspoon's apology tour has gotten off to a rocky start. She says she's really, really sorry for her drunken tirade against an Atlanta police officer. But now dash cam video that shows she and her husband being arrested is going viral. Here's the video from TMZ.


REESE WITHERSPOON, ACTRESS: I'm an American citizen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stop. I told you to get in that car and stay in there, didn't I?

WITHERSPOON: This is beyond -- this is beyond.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you fight with me, I promise you --

WITHERSPOON: This is harassment. You're harassing me as an American citizen. I have done nothing against the law.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Reese, can you please -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, you have. You didn't obey.

WITHERSPOON: I have to obey your orders?




WITHERSPOON: Absolutely nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Reese, Reese. Relax.

WITHERSPOON: I am now being arrested and handcuffed.


WITHERSPOON: Do you know my name, sir?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't need to know.

WITHERSPOON: You don't need to know my name?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not quite yet. I'll get that information --

WITHERSPOON: Oh really? Ok. You're about to find out who I am.


COSTELLO: Later Witherspoon's husband Jim Toth tried to make clear he had nothing whatever to do with his wife's rant.


WITHERSPOON: I am obstructing your justice.


WITHERSPOON: Really. I'm being anti-American.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Go ahead and sit down.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sit your butt first. It will be a lot easier on you.

WITHERSPOON: Interesting. Arresting me.



I absolutely --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have nothing to do with that.



COSTELLO: Witherspoon has been in damage control mode as I told you including this apology on ABC's "Good Morning America" just yesterday.


WITHERSPOON: I had no idea what I was saying that night. I saw him arresting my husband and I literally panicked. And I said all kinds of crazy things. I told him I was pregnant. I'm not pregnant. I said crazy things. You only hear me laughing because I have no idea what I was talking about and I'm so sorry. I was so disrespectful to him. I have police officers in my family. I work with police officers every day. I know better.


COSTELLO: Witherspoon paid a $213 fine. Toth pleaded guilty to drunk driving. TMZ reports he will serve 40 hours of community service.

All right. Checking our top stories now at 53 minutes past. This massive fire at a Louisiana oil tank has forced the evacuation of more than two dozen homes in Denham Springs. Not clear why the holding tank ruptured and burst into flames just about 11 hours ago. Officials say there are no injuries and the leaking oil has been contained.

Former Green Bay Packers (inaudible) Leroy Butler says his support for Jason Collins cost him a speaking appearance at a Wisconsin church. After the NBA player came out as a gay this week, Butler tweeted "Congrats" to Jason Collins.

Butler said the church pastor told him that if he removed the tweet, apologized and asked for God's forgiveness, he could speak at the church. Butler said no.

This morning the FBI has a woman on its most wanted terrorist list for the first time ever. Joanne Chesimar escaped from a U.S. prison and fled to Cuba nearly 30 years ago. She was convicted in the killing of a New Jersey state trooper in 1973. She was a member of the Black Panther Party and later the Black Liberation Party.

COSTELLO: Construction workers cheered as the final two pieces of a spire were hoisted to the top of the One World Trade Center Tower in New York City. The 408 foot spire is on a temporary platform and will be moved into a permanent position at a later date but when completed the tower will be 1776 feet tall -- a nod, of course to the birthday of the United States of America. Nice.

Thank you so much for joining me today. I'm Carol Costello.

"CNN NEWSROOM" continues after a quick break.