Return to Transcripts main page


Anti-DC Anger Grows as Deadline Nears; Stock Market Uneasy as Deadline Looms; Man Survives 19 Days Lost in a Forest; "Productive" Talks, Still No Deal; Woman Rescued from Railroad Bridge

Aired October 14, 2013 - 09:00   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Pile up barricades that surrounded the World War II and the Lincoln Memorials.


UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: Shame on you. Shame on you. Shame on you.


BERMAN: These protesters say they are fed up with the partial government shutdown and its closure of national landmarks but the greatest tension in Washington may be building toward Thursday's deadline of the government's potential default on its debt.

Our Jim Acosta is at the White House.

And Jim, with just over 60 hours left now on the clock, all hope seems to be with two men who don't like each other very much. Who last seem to have only a phone call yesterday afternoon. And the question is, any signs of progress at all this morning?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Not yet, John. And I think you just nailed it right there. Just to give you a sense as to how desperate things are becoming here in Washington. The only movement that's been reported in the last 24 hours is a phone conversation between the Senate's top two leaders, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, who haven't had the greatest history with one another in the last several months, but they have to work together if it means averting a big crisis.


ACOSTA (voice-over): With the clock ticking down to debt ceiling day it's come down to Senate majority leader Harry Reid and minority leader Mitch McConnell, who have started horsetrading over a deal to reopen the government and avoid default.

SEN. HARRY REID (D), MAJORITY LEADER: I've had a productive conversation with Republican leader this afternoon. Our discussions were substantive and we'll continue those discussions.

ACOSTA: The question is whether they can get there in time.

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: Both leaders realize how difficult default would be, the devastation it would cause to America.

ACOSTA: But talks over the weekend appear to stumble again as Republicans accused Reid of overreaching by seeking additional concessions from Republicans over those forced budget cuts in the sequester.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Now is the time to be magnanimous, and sit down and get this thing done.

ACOSTA: The White House said President Obama was standing firm, in a phone call with House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, that there must be clean bills to extend the debt ceiling and end the shutdown with no strings attached. Tensions are boiling over.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: This is the people's memorial.

ACOSTA: Texas Senator Ted Cruz led a protest over the closing of the World War II Memorial on the National Mall that drew this verbal attack on the president.

LARRY KLAYMAN, FOUNDER, FREEDOM WATCH: I call upon all of you to wage a second American non-violent revolution, to use civil disobedience and to demand that this president leave town, to get up, to put the Quran down, to get up off his knees and to figuratively come up with his hands out.

ACOSTA: Veterans and Tea Party activists grabbed monument security barricades and dumped them in front of the White House. Before a rowdy face-off with park police in riot gear, one man waved the confederate flag. Others called for impeachment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They gave them back to President Obama by piling them in front of his house, our house, I'm sorry, in front of our house.

ACOSTA: While another Tea Party-backed senator was calling for compromise.

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: I think it's not a good idea to go through the debt ceiling deadline. I think we should go ahead and have an agreement in advance.


ACOSTA: Now at this hour a bipartisan group of senators is scheduled to meet on their own plan to get the government reopened again and to raise the nation's debt ceiling. That group is led by West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin and Maine Republican Susan Collins. Some of the elements of that plan include pushing back of the debt ceiling into next year, a deal to reopen the government but it also includes a delay in the medical device tax that helps pay for Obamacare.

The White House has been cool to that idea but we'll have to wait and see as the clock clicks -- excuse me, ticks closer to October 17th, whether the president might be able to move on some of these issues. He said he doesn't want to do any kind of deal that has strings attached to it. But that might be the kind of deal that pushes this over the edge. But as you saw with that commotion yesterday outside the White House, John and Michaela, that is an indication as to how difficult it is going to be to push any deal through the House where a lot of Tea Party backed Republicans are kind of suspicious of any agreement at this point.

BERMAN: You know, in a Freudian slip there, Jim, you said toast, but we could all be toast if they don't fix this problem pretty soon. The clock is ticking with the deadline fast approaching.

All right, Jim Acosta at the White House for us. Thanks so much.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: So the clock ticks while the stalemate in Washington, it is sending shudders through the stock markets, that ripple effect. Investors appear to be losing confidence that a deal is going to be hammered out before the deadline.

Alison Kosik is here. We know the Closing Bell, what, just under a half an hour away? What are we seeing now? What are you sensing?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we're looking at the Opening Bell actually in a little less than a half hour. And it looks like stocks are going to open sharply lower. This as optimism from last week quickly fades because that's when the Dow gained a total of 460 points, recovering all the losses it racked up since the shutdown started October 1st.

Traders are telling me if the market perceives today that there's no deal you're going to see the market give back those gains that it took last week. And then there's the global view of the U.S. set standoff, that was center stage this past weekend at the International Finance Conference in Washington. And among the leaders there, JPMorgan Chase's CEO, Jamie Dimon, Anshu Jain, the co-chief executive of Deutsche Bank, and Christine Lagarde, she's the International Monetary Fund's managing director who sat down with CNN's Richard Quest to express the feeling of the group.


CHRISTINE LAGARDE, IMF DIRECTOR: They are concerned because the U.S. is the biggest economic -- economy in the world, because it trades with all of them, because it has massive financial consequences for them as well, so it's an international concern that was expressed.


KOSIK: And the nervousness is not just playing out in the stock market. Also playing out in the short-term borrowing market. You look at the interest rate on the one-month Treasury bill, it's been moving sharply higher as investors get more worried about whether or not the government is going to be able to pay the Treasury note if a debt ceiling deal isn't done.

Remember big banks and companies, they use these T-bills to park their short-term cash that they want to keep liquid. And a disruption in this market could have repercussions for the entire credit market, eventually leading to a spike on interest rates and we can see that trickle down to the interest rate we pay on our credit cards and our mortgages on our car loans, you name it.

So this is a real-life drama playing out, clearly on Capitol Hill that could also happen right in the homes of many Americans.

PEREIRA: We know it's all about confidence for investors but for traders it's got to be frustrating for them.

KOSIK: It's frustrating. And the funny thing is that these sort of 11th hour deals have become just an everyday occurrence but they are growing pessimistic.


KOSIK: I mean a lot of the traders that I've talked to even last week were saying there's going to be a debt deal. You know, they're growing a little more pessimistic and that's why you're seeing the market react.

You know, one thing that Wall Street can do and may do is send in a strong little nudge, more than a nudge to Washington by having a sell- off more than one day and maybe pushing Washington to make a decision sooner rather than later.

BERMAN: Yes, a strong little nudge hit you right in the 401(k).



BERMAN: We're all feeling their nudge because of what's going on.

KOSIK: Ouch.

PEREIRA: Exactly.

BERMAN: Alison Kosik, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

Other top stories we're following this morning. Parts of central Texas trying to dig out and dry out after seeing flooding this weekend. Crews rescued several people from vehicles.

PEREIRA: A foot of rain fell in a 12-hour period turning roads -- look at this -- in a temporary rivers, even whitewater rapids. An additional three inches of rain are in the forecast today and that could create a flash flood hazard.

Overnight in Los Angeles a bottle of dry ice exploded at LAX, temporarily shutting down the international terminal and delaying several flights. That explosion apparently happened in an employee bathroom. Thankfully no one was injured but the FBI is now investigating.

BERMAN: Never been delayed for that reason. A Columbus Day weekend celebration near Miami nearly ended in tragedy. Look at this picture. A 45-foot boat capsized dumping 30 people in the Biscayne Bay. The Coast Guard and nearby boaters responded rescuing everyone, lucky for them, including a dog that was also on board. He was rescued also. No reports of serious injuries. This case, though, is under investigation.

Now we honestly have an unbelievable story of survival.

PEREIRA: This is one you're going to be hearing a whole lot about. Look at this man. This is a 72-year-old man. He is a hunter and he is alive after he was lost in a forest for 19 days.

BERMAN: Nineteen days, nearly three weeks. How did he do it? He ate snakes, he ate frogs, lizards and algae.

CNN's Miguel Marquez has more.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Nineteen days lost in the wilderness, injured and dehydrated, and a 72-year-old man survived.

GENE PENAFLOR, SURVIVED 19 DAYS IN THE WILDERNESS: I didn't panic because panic will kill me right away. I knew that.

MARQUEZ: Gene Penaflor vanished in the Mendocino National Forest in northern California. He was on a hunting trip, got separated from his partner and suffered a serious fall.

PENAFLOR: In the process of falling straight down, it struck me for a while. I thought my -- my kneecap was broke. After that, all dead -- went dead. I passed out. I don't know how long.

MARQUEZ: When he finally woke up he was disoriented, suffering a head injury. He was stranded in the middle of nowhere, forced to eat lizards, frogs and squirrels just to stay alive.

KOSIK: The process of several days, the three squirrels were dead because of me.

MARQUEZ: He scavenged water from a drain source. He huddled under logs to stay out of the snow and rain and kept warm by making fires using leaves and grass. Meanwhile Penaflor's family spent every single one of those 19 days praying he was still out there, still alive.

JEREMY PENAFLOR, SON OF SURVIVOR: Nineteen days I know was nothing for him so I knew he was there.

MARQUEZ: Rescue teams have been searching for Penaflor for weeks but he was finally found on Saturday by a group of hunters at the bottom of a ravine. By then Penaflor could no longer walk on his own. He had to be carried on a makeshift stretcher. But thankfully and miraculously he is OK. (END VIDEOTAPE)

MARQUEZ: Now Mr. Penaflor actually thought he was going to die out there. He said --

PEREIRA: Nineteen days, why wouldn't you?

MARQUEZ: Nineteen days. Absolutely incredible, but, you know, he cut a lucky break. He -- he had water to survive on and he finally was able to get some hunters near enough that he could actually get to them.

PEREIRA: He had such a benefit being obviously an outdoorsman, he was a hunter, and it sounds like he opted for smaller game and such. He decided not go after the big game. Why was that? He had a gun with him, didn't he?

MARQUEZ: He didn't -- he didn't have a choice because he -- you know, he fell down a ravine, took a big crack to his head, he was near a water source there but he couldn't move very well. So he saw helicopters overhead, he saw a deer in the distance but he couldn't get to them so he was eating whatever was right around him. Squirrels -- you've eaten a squirrel before I'm sure.

BERMAN: As a matter of fact I have.


PEREIRA: But what an incredible story, 19 days.


PEREIRA: And I'm sure by that point a week in his family had already written him off.

MARQUEZ: His son thought after 14 days we're getting into trouble and it is absolutely amazing. But, you know, he just kept going. He had water which is a big thing.

PEREIRA: That's the key. Because you can't last very long without it.

MARQUEZ: And once the -- the hunters came by, he was able to get their attention and that's what saved him. A lot of heart.

PEREIRA: Miguel Marquez, what a story. A lot of heart. Thanks so much for that.

MARQUEZ: You got it.

PEREIRA: Good to have you here.

BERMAN: Sounds like the kind of guy you want to go camping with if you need to.

(CROSSTALK) MARQUEZ: I'm with Mr. Penaflor.

BERMAN: All right. I have a really great story to tell you about right now. With one swing of the bat the Boston Red Sox are right back in the American League Championship.

PEREIRA: This is why you're excited about this.

BERMAN: David Ortiz, Big Papi, one swing, into the bull pen, Torii Hunter goes -- flying, and you see the top of the back crowd with its hands raised. The Red Sox erased a huge deficit in the 9th inning, this walk-off hit by Jarrod Saltalamacchia gave them a 6-5 win.

PEREIRA: Saltalamacchia.

BERMAN: They were down 5-0 at one point, 5-1 in the 8th inning there. The best of seven series is now tied in game of apiece. Game three is Tuesday in Detroit.

PEREIRA: Here's the question.


PEREIRA: As you watched the game live, are you doing live play-by- play as it's happening?

BERMAN: No, I'm terrified. I'm like, I'm hiding in the corner sweating bullets and pacing. No, I can't talk at all, live play-by- play.

PEREIRA: Tuesday don't call Berman.

BERMAN: All right. Still to come for us next. A lot of talk in Washington.

PEREIRA: Yes, unfortunately not a lot of time. Will we get an answer from Capitol Hill today about possibly avoiding the debt ceiling and hitting it? Senator Joe Manchin says there is compromise to be had. Is there? We're live from D.C. next.


BERMAN: Welcome back, everyone

Checking our top stories now:

An American arrested in Egypt after a car bopping. He's now been found dead. Officials say James Lunn was discovered hanging by his shoelaces and a belt at an Egyptian police station.

PEREIRA: He died on the very same day his detention was extended for 30 days. An investigation into it has been ordered now.

Police in England looking for a man in the case of missing girl Madeleine McCann, she vanished, as you recall, some six years ago while vacationing with her parents in Portugal. Authorities say the man pictured in this computer generated sketch is between 20 and 40 years old.

Two witnesses say he was in the same resort town the day Madeleine disappeared. She was just 3 years old at the time.

BERMAN: It is officially ski season in Colorado.

PEREIRA: Wow, look at that snow!

BERMAN: This is the Arapahoe Basin, west of Denver, just an 18 inch base.

PEREIRA: When are we going?

BERMAN: Let's go right now. It was the state's first resort to restart its chair lift. Across Colorado, they've been making snow for weeks thanks to cold temperatures and ideal humidity. Natural snow has been packing in the powder. Look at that!

PEREIRA: Important questions, snowboard or ski?

BERMAN: Ski, ski.

PEREIRA: We'll get by. I'm a snowboarder.

BERMAN: All right. Productive, substantive, hopeful and optimistic. That is how some members of Congress characterize talks this weekend as the U.S. Senate now takes the lead in Washington's attempts to stave off a debt limit debacle.

PEREIRA: But despite those talks, there's still no deal. Maybe you're waking up this morning thinking there might be one. There is no deal.

Bipartisan plan crafted by Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine is getting some attention as a possible way out. Here is what Manchin told CNN earlier this morning.


SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D), WEST VIRGINIA: The bullet points in the deals proposed basically we look at from the Affordable Healthcare Act, postponing for two years the medical device tax, not expending it, basically postponing it. That's a compromise. Also verification, verification of people signing up to make sure they're not scamming or frauding the system. We've all agreed, Democrats and Republican. Also, we've agreed that you have to go to conference. We couldn't get them to set down a budget conference. We've done that.

We've agreed to C.R. in the debt ceiling being extended out, that's up to the leadership. We've got a template that works. We've agreed on the template as far as what the details are, needs to be worked out by leadership and we want to be able to help them.


PEREIRA: Joining us from Washington is Erin McPike.

Erin, good morning to you. We know the Senate resuming talks this afternoon. Manchin has said a template has been agreed to . The White House doesn't like that that medical device tax is delayed.

Is this at least a starting point for a deal, do you think?

ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is but there was a lot of excitement over this deal, potential deal over the weekend, but some people are saying maybe everyone spoke too soon. Democrats are interested in talking about it, but as you said, there's no deal. I want to read to you a statement that six senators put out yesterday afternoon after there was talk of a potential deal, these senators, six of them, five were Democrats, including Joe Manchin and one independent. They said we have been involved in productive bipartisan discussions with Senator Collins and other Republican senators but we do not support the proposal in its current form. There are negotiations but there is no agreement.

Now, Michaela, last week at this time, we were talking about how both sides weren't talking, they weren't negotiating. That was the break- through over the weekend, that finally both sides are talking and negotiating. Will it be done by Thursday? That's the jury is still out.

But I've talked to a number of senators including Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio, who has been part of the talks and is he also optimistic that something will be done by Thursday but of course things have been slow going up on Capitol Hill.

BERMAN: You know, Erin we're also appreciative there are all of the pockets of discussion going on finally in Washington, particularly on the Senate side. The question is, say the Senate does pass some kind of proposal here, similar to the Collins/Manchin bill. Is there any sign that the House, particularly with the conservative wing in the House Republican Party, would sign on to the Senate bill?

MCPIKE: Well, no, and what we're looking at now again what we were talking about before the shutdown even started is House Democrats joining with moderate House Republicans. We do know that leader Pelosi, Nancy Pelosi, who is the leader of House Democrats and President Obama spoke yesterday, so it would seem to suggest that they are trying to craft some kind of agreement between the Democrats and the moderate Republican.

The medical device tax obviously as we have been talking about is not popular to repeal at least for the White House, but Democrats in the Senate don't support it necessarily, so that's going to be the sticking point that Nancy Pelosi is going to have to work through for Democrats.

PEREIRA: Well, it's interesting, you know, with the Senate resuming talks this afternoon how many more developments, how many more back room conversations and negotiations and phone calls.

Erin McPike, thanks so much. We'll be watching this clearly, because these developments seem to be happening by the hour, the minute.

BERMAN: So much still needs to happen for this to get through.

PEREIRA: In four days, that's the other thing that's remarkable.

BERMAN: So, not a lot of time, yet. So, stand by.

Still to come for us: take a look at this. Stuck 20 feet above the railroad tracks.

PEREIRA: You could say this is a bad day, a woman dangling from a bridge over a south Florida river. We're going to show you her dramatic rescue coming up.


PEREIRA: All right. I want to tell you about a harrowing rescue that happened over the weekend.

BERMAN: Harrowing is one way to put it.

PEREIRA: All caught on camera.

BERMAN: All went down on a railroad bridge in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. That is a woman holding on for dear life.

PEREIRA: For dear life.

BERMAN: The bridge started going up while she was on it.

PEREIRA: There are so many questions, John.

BERMAN: So many questions.

PEREIRA: One of them, why was she on it in the first place?

BERMAN: Indeed.

PEREIRA: CNN's John Zarrella joins us now.

We hope to explain. John, tell us what you know about this odd situation.

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Michaela, John, I wish I could tell you why she was on it. We heard just about everything, some people saying she went out on the bridge to take pictures, others saying it was a shortcut for her to get home.

Now, behind me you see the new river in Ft. Lauderdale and that there is the railroad bridge she was stuck on. Now, imagine you're up there and if you fall you're either going to hit the tracks or you're going to end up in the water, neither one a very good option. But that was the predicament a local woman found herself in over the weekend.


ZARRELLA (voice-over): Look at this. Your eyes are not playing tricks on you. That's a 55-year-old South Florida woman dangling more than 20 feet up from a raised railroad bridge.

ANNA MATLACK, WITNESS: I would have been flipping out like my goodness, my goodness.

ZARRELLA: She clung on seemingly frozen to the crossing, her legs locked, and her hands tight to the structure. For about 20 minutes she just hung there, below a crowd of onlookers snapped photos, some ended up on Twitter. After a flurry of calls to 911, the Fort Lauderdale Fire Department hoisted a 24-foot ladder and brought her down to the cheering crowd.

The ordeal over, she was safe and apparently unharmed. Sometimes you just get lucky. It's unclear what she was doing on the bridge in the first place. It's marked with a no trespassing sign and there is a warning siren when it is about to go up. There is another nearby bridge for pedestrians to cross.

The woman wearing pink had reportedly just finished a cancer walk Saturday morning called "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" when the bridge went up with her on it. The bridge over Fort Lauderdale's New River is remotely controlled. Once you walked out on it and it started up, there was no way to stop it and no way for her to get off.


ZARRELLA: Now, City officials are not too happy with what went down over the weekend. They issued a statement yesterday saying, "We're thankful that the individual involved in this life-threatening incident survived but the decision to trespass on private property was an unfortunate poor choice that endangered the trespasser's life and the lives of the first responder."

Now, just a little bit ago, John and Michaela, the bridge was down when a train went across it, and we timed it after the train passed, it was about a minute, a minute and 10 seconds before the bridge went back up, and that is the position, the up position, that it remains in unless a train is coming -- John, Michaela.


PEREIRA: And we understand that she had just finished a walk or run for breast cancer awareness month, so she likely was pretty fatigued yet she was able to keep her strength to hold herself in that position in a precarious position for some time until rescuers were able to get there.

ZARRELLA: Yes, fortunately, it was only about 20 minutes before the rescuers were able to get her down.


ZARRELLA: And fortunately -- only. And fortunately the bridge was not perfectly straight up and down, that little bit of a tilt could very well have saved her life.

BERMAN: Obviously, we wish her the best. Something is clearly going on here, but there were a lot of people in Florida joking about the fact the one thing she held on to the whole time was her purse. I said that during the piece and you said --

PEREIRA: This is serious business.

BERMAN: You've got to hold on your purse, if you're holding onto something, it's going to be your purse.

PEREIRA: Now, it's going to be interesting to see if they have to make any changes to the guardrails, or what-have-you.

You often see that, John, correct, after an incident you might see more safety measures. You put in place.

ZARRELLA: Yes, absolutely. And I think, you know, from what we're hearing, the Florida East Coast railroad said had there been notified there was going to be this walk, that was in this area, that they would have had their own security people out here over the weekend to make sure nobody went on that bridge and you know, right now, the woman does face the possibility of a trespassing charge because the sign, it's well-marked.

She's not supposed to have been out there.

PEREIRA: Let's hope that's a once in a lifetime for the lady and the bridge.

John Zarrella reporting, real interesting conundrum there. Thank you so much.


BERMAN: All right. Still to come for us right now, it was supposed to be just a fun party.

PEREIRA: That's not exactly what it turned into.

BERMAN: What police encountered when they walked in on hundreds of college-aged partiers, not a pretty sight at all -- coming up next.