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Puerto Rico Continues Recovery Efforts in Wake of Hurricane Maria; President Trump Criticizes San Juan Mayor for Comments on Federal Government's Efforts to Aid Puerto Rico; Secretary of State Comments on Diplomatic Options with North Korea; College Football Game Wisconsin Versus Northwestern Previewed. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired September 30, 2017 - 10:00   ET



[10:00:16] CHRIST PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Happy Saturday morning, so grateful to have you with us here, I'm Christi Paul.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Martin Savidge in for Victor Blackwell. CNN Newsroom begins right now.

PAUL: And this morning we are looking at an island for crisis, their desperate plea for help, and the president has quite a few things to say on Twitter about the mayor of San Juan. Right now we know that there are millions of people who don't have power, they don't have clean water, they don't have food, there are very low medical supplies there in Puerto Rico, and the mayor is begging for more aid. Well, President Trump tweeting from his golf course today in New Jersey responded with this. "The mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump."

SAVIDGE: The mayor has been critical of the Trump administration's response to hurricane Maria, blaming the federal government for scenes like these, lines forming at stores and gas stations across the island, people waiting for hours with no guarantee that anything will be left when they finally make it to the front of the line.

The mayor's response to the events unfolding this morning, quote, "The goal is one, saving lives. This is the time to show our true colors. We cannot be distracted by anything else." Here's her emotional plea from CNN last night that started this whole exchange.


CARMEN YULIN CRUZ, MAYOR, SAN JUAN: We're dying here. We truly are dying here, and I keep saying it, S.O.S., if anyone can hear us, if Mr. Trump can hear us, let's just get it over with and get the ball rolling.


SAVIDGE: We have a team of correspondents and analysts on the ground in Puerto Rico, but we start with CNN's Ryan Nobles who is near the president in Branchburg, New Jersey. Ryan? RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Martin, 3.5

million Americans living in Puerto Rico, struggling this morning for food, water, electricity, and shelter, and the president of the United States from his golf course in New Jersey deciding that today, this morning was a good time to pick a fight on Twitter with the mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulin Cruz.

As you mentioned, in a series of tweets this morning, the president unloading on Mayor Cruz and specifically her leadership during this crisis. This is what the president had to say this morning. He said, quote, "Such poor leadership ability by the mayor of San Juan and others in Puerto Rico who are not able to get their workers to help. They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort, 10,000 federal workers now on an island doing a fantastic job."

And it's important to point out, Martin, that mayor Cruz has asked and pleaded with President Trump for support, but she has yet to specifically criticize the president, yet this is the response from the commander in chief to a mayor on an island in desperate need of help. Martin?

SAVIDGE: Ryan Nobles with the president this morning, thank you very much.

CAMEROTA: And in San Juan this hour, Puerto Rico, retired lieutenant general Russel Honore, remember, he led relief efforts after hurricane Katrina. General Honore, thank you so much for us. Would you please respond to one thing, Donald Trump said they want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort. What kind of community efforts have you seen? Is there anything suggesting that the people of Puerto Rico are not trying to help themselves?

LT. GEN. RUSSEL HONORE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, just around this hotel, the streets here were opened by local citizens yesterday. I observed it with my own eyes. One of the things people need is gasoline. If you want the trucks to run, we got to get gasoline in. My suggestion is to give everybody a tank of gas.

You want the stores to open, you want the people to drive in from the rural areas and outside of San Juan, you've got to get gas so they can go to work. When people can go to work, this thing will fix itself, but until we get gasoline to everybody and get communications up to everybody, people can't talk.

That's what I think two big priorities, and a lot of things are sorting themselves out once people can go back to work. You can bring a million soldiers here, if people can't move and they can't talk, it won't work because it takes the businesses to be open to get things working and to get the stores back stocked and get the Walgreens open, and get the AT&T cell towers up and the Verizon so people can talk.

One of the key enablers right now to change things here in 24 hours, give everybody a tank of gas so the working people can get back to work and get the trucks moving, get to stores opened, get the streets clean. Until that happens, we're at a standstill. That would be my recommendation.

[10:05:00] CAMEROTA: What is your reaction to the president's tweets this morning?

HONORE: I have no reaction. The mayor is living on a cot. And I hope the president have a good day at golf.

CAMEROTA: The president is going to be there on Tuesday. He tweeted this morning he'll be there with his wife, with the first lady. If you could meet him there, what would you want to take him to show him? What would you want to say to him?

HONORE: I would encourage him to give General Buchanan everything that he thinks he wants, direct the secretary of defense, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and order the North Com commander to be on scene. She has the authority to give General Buchanan everything he needs, and that's what is needed right now. He needs full support, no ifs or buts about it. We need more boots on the ground to help kick start the system so we can do things like get the enablers up, help get gas deployed, help get medicines at the right place. We need at least 150 helicopters here. Last count we had less than 80.

CAMEROTA: You need the helicopters for what? Help people who are watching understand, General, what do we need the helicopters for specifically?

HONORE: To make distribution out to the outlying areas. Every mayor right now should have a military liaison officer next to him with a sat phone or ability to call back and get in emergency medevac and keep people alive.

Until we start doing those type things, we're going to be hard pressed. So we need a lot more helicopters, and need some subordinate commanders that can come in here and help him and help the National Guard. You've got a great National Guard here, but many of them are encumbered because they are taking care of their families. We could fly the National Guard families out to military bases back in the United States so those guardsmen are not worried about what their family are going to eat tonight and how to take care of them.

It's a great guard. I deployed them to Iraq several times. They are good troops, but they are encumbered by the same thing the first responders are, trying to work and trying to take care of their families. We can get the enablers going, this thing is going to straighten up real great. Forty percent of the people here are unemployed. Empower the mayors to do similar to the WPA, a work program, put people to work and pay them later. Keep their names and a lot of things could start happening, but you can't do it following the existing rules of commerce and government in the United States where everybody has to have a contract, you have to a number, and you have to have a website to work for the government. That B.S. has to stop if we want to build this territory back to its previous state.

CAMEROTA: All right, General Russel Honore, we so value your thoughts and opinions on this. Thank you so much. SAVIDGE: The governor of Puerto Rico is responding to President

Trump's tweets attacking the San Juan mayor. CNN correspondent Brynn Gingras joins us now. Brynn, you've asked the governor to respond to the president's comments. What did he say?

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. I actually, Martin, just read that tweet that Ryan had read earlier for your viewers about the president sort of giving some criticism to the local authorities here and Puerto Rico helping itself, and he hadn't seen that tweet. But he stayed somewhat neutral in his response, really just saying that he will collaborate with anyone who is here to help the people of Puerto Rico.

He also said that he is getting a lot of help from the administration. He said he was satisfied with sort of the conversations he's had with the president, and his requests have been answered, according to the governor here of Puerto Rico. But here's more of what he had to say to my question.


GOV. RICARDO ROSSELLO, PUERTO RICO: I spoke to the president. I don't feel that that message was sent in general. I do reiterate that the only way for this to work is for us to have collaboration. And let me stress this -- I am committed to collaborating with everybody. This is a point where we can't look at differences. We can't establish differences based on politics.


GINGRAS: And really he did address sort of a spat that has been going on, it seems, between the mayor of San Juan and now the president, and he basically said that he's putting those politics aside. He would like everyone to put politics aside and just focus here on the people of Puerto Rico. Some of the things that they also talked about in this news conference I want to mention. They say, you know, we're still in a state of emergency, they are aware of that. They are aware of the dire need of many across the island, but he said progress is being made.

They are getting more gas here on the island. They are also making priorities, of course, of the hospitals and the airport, and they are relying on local municipalities across the island to communicate here at the central hub with what their needs are so they can get food and water and other necessities out there.

[10:10:10] They are also trying to improve communications, so his news conference was more of a positive note. Really, again, being neutral about the administration and instead just appreciating the collaboration that is going on here and across the island. Back to you guys.

SAVIDGE: Brynn, thank you very much, CNN's Brynn Gingras in Puerto Rico.

CAMEROTA: And we just want to play for you the moment the mayor of San Juan did criticize the U.S. government and their response to the disaster so far. This is the mayor last night on CNN.


CARMEN YULIN CRUZ, MAYOR, SAN JUAN: I have to get the voice of our people out there. I lived in the United States for 12 years. I went to school there. I had my child there in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I know what the U.S. heart is all about. You know, you are an intelligent, daring people. So I just don't understand why things have become so complicated and the logistics are so insurmountable.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: I've got to say, it hurts me so much to hear so many people on this island say to me and reporters, we're Americans, we're Americans, because they have to explain that as if we shouldn't know that. I just find that so -- I mean, I think it says something about the way people here feel about the way things have been handled.

CRUZ: There's a lot of linked history. There's a lot of cross moving. There's people in Orlando, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Houston. Every time there is a problem, we are a kind of people that share our sorrows, but also share our triumphs, and we just don't understand, and sorry, maybe I'm too tired, I get a little emotional, but we're dying here. We truly are dying here, and I keep saying it, S.O.S., if anyone can hear us, you know, if Mr. Trump can hear us, let's just get it over with and get the ball rolling.


PAUL: Again, I heard a former FEMA administrator Michael Brown earlier this week talking about the fact we are now going into this 10, 11 days now, and without food and water that is accessible to people, we are going to continue to see a desperation on their part.

SAVIDGE: Puerto Rico wasn't the only Caribbean island that was hit hard by two back-to-back storms. Over a week after hurricane Maria, most of the U.S. Virgin Islands are still without power. Power has only been restored to 15 percent of the homes in St. Thomas and just 10 percent of the homes in St. Croix. This week FEMA said that hundreds of people are still in storm shelters throughout the islands.

PAUL: The U.S. secretary of state Rex Tillerson is wrapping up his visit to China now. He's been feeling some new information today about America's direct dialogue with North Korea. We're live in Beijing. Stay close.


[10:17:22] PAUL: Secretary of state Rex Tillerson says the U.S. is speaking directly with North Korea. Apparently they are still trying to reach a diplomatic solution in the standoff. For more on what Secretary Tillerson said after meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping we want to go to CNN international correspondent Matt Rivers, he's live for us from Beijing. Matt, what are you learning about this meeting?

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the secretary of state is actually on a plane back to the United States right now, but it was just a few hours ago that I was able to sit in on a meeting with a couple of other journalists and the secretary of state and talk about North Korea and ask a couple of questions off camera. And one of the things that jumped out, the most interesting thing that jumped out, he was asked is North Korea ready to talk about this. And he said, look, we have direct communications to Pyongyang about this nuclear testing issue.

He said we've asked them, would you like to talk. Now, he wouldn't say how North Korea responded, if at all, to that question, so we're not sure if North Korea is, in fact, ready to talk. But Christi, it's significant because it's really the first time that at least publicly the Trump administration is saying that they have direct lines of communication with Pyongyang for some sort of diplomatic solution to this ongoing crisis, specifically about the nuclear weapons system.

We know that both sides have talked before when Otto Warmbier was released from North Korea. Both sides actually met directly in Oslo, Norway, but that wasn't about the missile program. That was about a hostage the North Korean regime had. So this is an interesting step forward, it's perhaps a good sign given the kind of rhetoric that we've seen from both sides over the last several months that there might be some push forward now for a diplomatic solution. That's exactly what the secretary of state said is the preferred outcome here, not war, but diplomatic talks.

PAUL: OK, so Matt, did he give any indication as to strategically what this means or how it would process out?

RIVERS: No, he didn't give specific inclination as to what's going to happen moving forward. In the beginning of our sit down with him, he actually said the first time I would have the opportunity to sit down with the North Koreans it would be to say, well, what do you even want to talk about when it comes to what's on the negotiating table. And he specifically said we haven't even gotten that far yet. So clearly, yes, this is a step forward in the sense that there is diplomatic communications happening, but it is clearly, Christi, in the beginning stages of conversation and negotiation that would happen between both sides to try and reduce the tension of this particular conflict.

PAUL: Yes, but it is interesting to hear secretary of state say we are talking directly to Pyongyang, you're right. Matt Rivers, thank you so much, sir.

[10:20:04] SAVIDGE: Still ahead, the president turns on Puerto Rico, saying, quote, "They want everything done for them," unquote, in the wake of two devastating hurricanes. The reaction is pouring in.

PAUL: And there's a restaurant owner who grew up in Puerto Rico and he is doing so much, everything that he can to help. He shares with us his emotional message for President Trump. Stay close.


ELMER PASSAPERA, COLLECTING DONATIONS FOR PUERTO RICO: You need to do this yesterday. You need to get your hands in there, get involved, get dirty. Go. Go look around. See how the people are dying right before your eyes.



[10:25:10] PAUL: Well, welcome to Saturday and your weekend, we hope. I'm Christi Paul.

SAVIDGE: And I'm Martin Savidge in for Victor Blackwell.

PAUL: So as Puerto Rico is dealing with this humanitarian crisis we've been watching, it's affecting more than 3 million Americans, President Trump is attacking the mayor of San Juan in a barrage of early morning tweets.

SAVIDGE: The mayor said "The mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump. Such poor leadership ability by the mayor of San Juan and others in Puerto Rico," this is another tweet, "who are not able to get their workers to help. They want everything to be done for them, when it should be a community effort, 10,000 federal workers now on the island doing a fantastic job." Again, those are tweets from the president of the United States.

FEMA and the governor of Puerto Rico just gave an update on the recovery effort. Here's what we know right now -- 51 hospitals are open, 50 percent of the gas stations are now operational, and FEMA is working on distribution of food. The governor also blasted anyone making the crisis in Puerto Rico about playing politics.


GOV. RICARDO ROSSELLO, PUERTO RICO: I've spoken to the president. I don't feel that -- that message was sent in general. I do reiterate that the only way for this to work is for us to have collaboration. And let me stress this, I am committed to collaborating with everybody. This is a point where we can't look at small differences. We can't establish, you know, differences based on politics.


PAUL: This as President Trump's health and human services secretary Tom Price is forced to resign after a scandal. Remember Price dominated headlines after it was revealed he used taxpayer money to take private flights for government business. He ran up a tab of more than $1 million for noncommercial flights.

Well, let's get back to Puerto Rico here, because officials there and here in the states are pleading with President Trump for more aid after hurricane Maria destroyed most of the island. We talked earlier with New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and that was a short while ago. And she says, you know what, for her this is personal.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MELISSA MARK-VIVERITO, NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL SPEAKER: This is serious. This is about life and death. This is about lack of preparation, lack of planning, lack of appropriate response. This has to be acknowledged. We all knew this hurricane was a category five and catastrophic. We all know Puerto Rico is an island. We all knew it was going to be a direct hit. So all of that should have led to a level of preparation where the next day resources and boots were on the ground.

There is not an appropriate response, and there has to be an acknowledgment. Now what we need to do is save lives, is to have more federal workers there and more troops on the ground. We only have about 10,000 between troops and relief workers when there were 40,000 in Florida with Irma, when there were 30,000 in Florida with Harvey. This is not an appropriate response, and that has to be acknowledged.

So we need much more seriousness. We need President Trump to basically pull away from his fragile ego and not making this about himself, to get out of his golf course cocoon and get to work. He needs to be in charge. He needs to take control. He needs to demonstrate some level of empathy over what is happening.

The tweets this morning are despicable, are deplorable, are not statesmanlike at all, and we need some level of understanding that there is going to be a seriousness given to this crisis. This is a catastrophe that has never been seen, not only in Puerto Rico, but also I'm sure within context of the United States, and we need an appropriate response. We need someone that is going to stand there and say we are going to give you everything that you need, we're going to make this possible, we're going to make sure we work with you to save lives. We need some sort of understanding of what it is that we're going through as a people.


PAUL: There's also a restaurant owner who is doing everything he can to help his former home in Puerto Rico. Elmer Passapera broke down a bit here as he explained what he knows his family is suffering, and he shared an emotional message for the president.


ELMER PASSAPERA, COLLECTING DONATIONS FOR PUERTO RICO: They need help, you know, all the consumable goods, there's no water, no electricity, as you've heard. The other issue is, is that the communications. Families from -- that are there can't reach out to the families that are outside of the island, and vice versa.

PAUL: Have you physically spoken to family?

PASSAPERA: I have. I was able to get in touch with my cousin.

PAUL: And how are they emotionally dealing with all of this?

PASSAPERA: Destroyed.

PAUL: Destroyed?


[10:30:00] PAUL: And what does he say to you?

PASSAPERA: First of all, they've never experienced this. And second of all, she told me, Elmer, remember home, it doesn't exist anymore. That breaks my heart to hear her say that. She says, I literally stepped out of the house, I walked a couple of houses down, couple of blocks, looked around. She said, I live in a different place. Everything that she remembered is gone.

And just to hear that, to hear that plea, to hear that cry for help, it drove me to do the efforts that I'm doing here now. We don't want anything done for us. We're survivors. We're warriors. But in return we've given our lives to this nation. So is that a lot to ask? You need to do this yesterday. You need to get your hands in there. Get involved, get dirty. Go. Go look around. See how the people are dying right before your eyes, you know, this is not just -- we're not talking about a very small crisis or a period of a couple of days. There's an outcry. There's an outbreak.


PAUL: And Elmer is collecting food and water and supplies that are being sent to his family there and to everybody who needs it in Puerto Rico.

SAVIDGE: Joining me now, Margaret Talev, CNN political analyst and senior White House correspondent for "Bloomberg News," political reporter Matthew Nussbaum, CNN political commentator and former Republican lieutenant governor of South Carolina Andre Bauer, and CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter. Good morning, thanks to all of you for being here.

Andre, let me start with you. The president accusing the mayor of San Juan of poor leadership in response to this disaster, an interesting point since there is some debate about who is really the poor leader here. What's your reaction?

ANDRE BAUER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: My reaction is, I'm a states' rights guy. Look, I believe the federal government has a role and responsibility to come in and help, but local leadership is supposed to lead, not the federal government. And so it really falls on the backs of the people that have been elected.

And make no mistake, resources have been given -- 11 major highways cleared, 10,000 people down there, you've got an acting secretary on the ground, four-star general, 11 points of distribution, 500 gas stations have been given gas, air dropped supplies into places where they can't get to major hubs, $40 million available for emergencies right now, so things have been done. So the federal government has come in.

But my feeling is the federal government's role is not to come in and take over. That may sound good, but as a local guy that's served in local elected office, I wouldn't want the federal government to ever come in and take over. I think I know what my people need better than the federal government.

SAVIDGE: And the mayor of San Juan made that point. She said if you turn it over to local municipalities, they'll distribute the aid. But the point is, it's the president of the United States who should be sort of reassuring the people of Puerto Rico. Instead he's picking a fight with the mayor and it makes it sound like he's being highly critical, saying they, and I presume he's referring to people of Puerto Rico, only want us to do everything for them.

BAUER: Well, keep in mind the mayor is the one that actually struck first. Here the president is doing everything he can, two other major catastrophes here recently. My house was flooded four feet. I didn't call the federal government. I didn't ask for help from anybody. I helped myself. I realized theirs is much worse than mine.

But I think the mentality too often is to turn to Washington every time you turn around. And local leadership needs to take this bull by the horns. If the federal government comes in and helps, that's great. But again, this is a territory, and they need to take care of themselves, and we have given them an unbelievable amount of supplies.

But to fault the president when he's personally coming down on Tuesday, he's sent members of his staff, and he's said, wait a minute, we want to get a full understanding before we just immediately send funds down there, and as a taxpayer I think that is prudent that we make sure that the funds are spent as efficiently and effectively as possible, not just say here's a ton of money and then go not make sure it's spent appropriately. These folks need help, but it needs to be done in an organized manner with a lot of thought put behind it before you just immediately throw money at it.

SAVIDGE: Hold on, Andre, let me bring in Brian, because I think I heard him gasp there at one point. Brian?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: I recognize that President Trump is a counterpuncher, Andre, I know that's his brand. He's been saying that and doing that for 30 or 40 years. But is it ever appropriate to counterpunch, even if you think you've been punched, and we can argue whether he's been punched or not, by anyone in Puerto Rico. Even if you think he has been punched, is it presidential to punch back in the middle of a catastrophe?

BAUER: It's presidential, because Donald Trump did it and he's the president, and he's not --

STELTER: Don't do the circular --

BAUER: He is a CEO businessman that is changing Washington, and I elected him --

STELTER: He's not even in Washington today, Andre. He's at his golf resort in New Jersey. Yesterday talking about Tom Price, he said I didn't like the optics of Tom Price flying in private jets. Then he flew in a private jet, a military plane, of course, to his golf resort. What about those optics today?

[10:35:10] BAUER: You don't like it, work against him in the next election. You didn't want him to get elected before, the people of America are sick of the same --

STELTER: That's a cheap shot. Most Americans actually are opposed to this president, and many Americans think he's a racist. He has a race problem. And when he tweets about Puerto Rico saying "they," saying that "they need a handout," he actually makes his race problem worse. When he does that from his golf course in New Jersey --

BAUER: I know you keep drilling and beating that, but he's the president, and it's going to be the same tomorrow. I hate it for you, but he's your president, too.

SAVIDGE: All right, hold on, both of you, because we're going to take a break. There's obviously a lot more to talk about. We want to include more in the conversation. We'll be back with more right after this.


CAMEROTA: Amid the coverage of the recent storms, we have heard, haven't we, some really inspiring stories about everyday people who are pitching in to try to do something good here, and this week's CNN hero found a unique way to do so.


STAN HAYS, CNN HERO: After a disaster, there's two basic needs that a person has. The first one is shelter. And the other one is nourishment. And so barbecue, besides being a nourishing meal, is comfort food. Being able to give somebody a hot barbecue meal in one of their worst times, we not only are giving something nutritious, but we are giving them maybe a little bit of normalcy for just a short period of time.


CAMEROTA: And we know that means so much. Stan and his team responded to hurricane Harvey, to Irma. They are soon hoping to send meals to Puerto Rico, so to see Operation Barbecue Relief in action. Thank you, Stan. Go to



[10:41:20] CARMEN YULIN CRUZ, MAYOR, SAN JUAN: I am not going to be distracted by small comments, by politics, by petty issues. This is one goal, and it is to save lives. This is the time when everyone shows their true colors. I have no time for distractions. All I have is time for people to move forward, get help. And what kind of a Puerto Rican, what kind of a human would I be if I know of other mayors that are getting no water and no food and I just look the other way and just have my city taken care of? So I will continue to do whatever I have to do, say whatever I have to

say, compliment the people that I need to compliment, and call out the people that I need to call out. If Mr. Trump wants to see me, I would be very glad to meet with him. But again, this is about saving lives. And what I would really like him to do is not just have a helicopter ride over to survey areas, just to go out into the towns where people are drinking out of creeks, or the towns where all the cows and the dead people are together, or those towns where there is no medicine, and hear from the people of Puerto Rico and see their passion for life, see what we are doing to get back on track, and listen to their hearts. One can visit as a photo-op, or one can visit to make sure things get done the right way.


SAVIDGE: And that is the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, responding to criticism by the president of the United States this morning. And we're back with our panel. Margaret Talev, Matthew Nussbaum, Governor Andre Bauer, and CNN's Brian Stelter. Margaret, let me start with you. I want to play what the three-star general, who's now been tapped to lead the Puerto Rico recovery, said to CNN yesterday about where things stand.


LT. GEN. JEFFREY BUCHANAN, COMMANDER, UNITED STATES ARMY NORTH: Well, we're certainly bringing in more. For example, on the military side we're bringing in both Air Force, Navy, and Army medical capabilities, in addition to more aircraft, rotary wing aircraft, helicopters of different types, and a lot of logistical support. So you know, the answer is, no, it's not enough, and we're bringing more in.


SAVIDGE: I understand Margaret can't hear me, so I'm going to turn to Matthew real quick. Matthew, the president is, of course, going to Puerto Rico on Tuesday. He's already in a verbal fistfight, and I'm wondering just what is going to happen Tuesday when he gets there? What do you expect the response will be?

MATTHEW NUSSBAUM, REPORTER, "POLITICO": Well, it's certainly going to be interesting now that he's kicked off, like you say, this fistfight, not just with the mayor of San Juan for what he perceived was criticism of him, but with Puerto Rican leaders and responders more broadly, saying they want everything done for them.

So what was going to be perhaps a slightly uncomfortable and awkward visit in the first place given the response to the storm, I think has only become more so. Look, there are legitimate criticisms that can be made about the infrastructure Puerto Rico had in place to respond to this storm. They don't have the same kind of capabilities Florida and Texas had.

That's not what the president's doing, however. He's making a partisan attack to dismiss any criticism of his response and saying, oh, this is just a Democrat trying to score political points, where his people on the ground are actually saying, look, there is more to do and we're trying to do it.

SAVIDGE: Andre, the president is accusing the San Juan mayor of poor leadership in response to all of this. What's your reaction?

BAUER: Well, I don't know enough -- I'm not there, so I don't know exactly what's being done, but I know as a taxpayer we are spending and sending enormous resources, and at some point in time the local leadership has got to say we have this many resources, we're going to allocate them to the best of our ability. That's what leadership is.

[10:45:05] And they can't put it on the backs of everybody else. At some point in time they have got to make it happen, whatever the resources are. To me it seems like they are getting a great deal of resources from our president. And from many branches -- many different facets of government, whether it be the military or what have you. And so they need to take those -- look, resources are spread thin. We have a country that's $20 trillion in debt. We know we just helped the state of Texas, just helped the state of Florida, my own city of Charleston had unbelievable damage, and so there are a lot of things going on in this world that we want to help, but you only have so many resources that you can send.

SAVIDGE: When you're dying, when you're suffering, when in the midst of a disaster, you don't want to hear someone give you financial reasoning. What you want is help and you want leadership, and in this case coming from the president of the United States.

BAUER: There would be criticism if the federal government came in and the president said we're taking over. The criticism would be unbelievable with them saying, look, we don't want Washington telling us what to do. We're in a different place and they don't know what we need. So to me, when you have 10,000 people down there helping, 800 FEMA workers, to me at some point in time they are stepping over each other. There's too many Indians -- too many chiefs and not enough Indians. You only can have so much before you can disseminate the goods and services. And so, again, that falls --

SAVIDGE: I doubt if they are stumbling over one another, but let me bring in Margaret because I wanted to at least have a question with her. Margaret, I don't know if you were able to hear, but we played the sound from the three-star general who's now leading Puerto Rico's recovery effort there, and he basically was saying they are going to bring in more of this and that and more. So the fact he's bringing in more would imply they don't have enough already.

MARGARET TALEV, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: That's right. Look, I think to the extent that we're having a he said/she said conversation about whether the president is right or whether the mayor of San Juan is right, it means that we're not talking about the effectiveness of the U.S. response so far, and that's just a reality.

But look, these are American citizens. The president has previously stated publicly that he's committed to helping them and he's making an effort to go there on Tuesday. That's still happening. It's gotten a lot more politically awkward all of a sudden, but that's still on pace. So I think the rhetoric is just in such stark dissonance to what the administration's roll out and effort has been so far. He's got a series of calls planned this afternoon with various leaders in the Puerto Rican government, as well as FEMA and the Virgin Islands. But the mayor of San Juan is not listed on that public schedule. I think this was probably an inadvertent gut reaction that's going to overtake the news cycle today, when, in fact, the relief efforts and impact on Americans citizens is what's important.

SAVIDGE: Margaret Talev, Matthew Nussbaum, Andre Bauer, and Brian Stelter, thank you all for joining us and contributing at the conversation this morning.

PAUL: And the NFL controversy is spilling into college football now. Coy Wire is in Madison. He has a preview of Wisconsin versus Northwestern, and players, we understand, Coy, are going to be locking arms on the field?

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, college football is a little different than the NFL, so we're going to talk about something special that Northwestern is going to do. We're also going to talk about this incredible atmosphere here. It's game day at the University of Wisconsin, big game in the Big Ten.


[10:52:53] SAVIDGE: It is college football Saturday, and today we are at the scene of a mighty Big Ten matchup.

PAUL: Yes, Coy Wire in Madison, Wisconsin, just a few hours from now the University of Wisconsin Badgers taking on the Northwestern Wildcats. Coy is surrounded by only one team at the moment, which is probably safe.


PAUL: Hi, Coy.

WIRE: And they are wearing the right colors. I'm at the University of Wisconsin with the Badgers, and unlike the NFL, college football players, we can talk about the national anthem, they are not on the field for the anthem. But Northwestern, they are going to lock arms when they walk out and go on to the field to show solidarity in their own way, promote unity.

Unity is what we have a lot of going on right now. We're at the pep rally here for Wisconsin, and it is incredible. The band is playing, there's a rich tradition here, not just of college football, but this is the 100th anniversary of Camp Randall, the stadium where they played. A long time ago during the civil war those grounds were used as a training ground for over 70,000 troops. So rich, rich tradition here at the University of Wisconsin. One thing that makes this place great are the fans, and we found one of the best in all of college football. His name is "Kilted Ken."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) WIRE: Meet Ken Werner, a Wisconsin grad and self-proclaimed Badgers super fan going by the name "Kilted Ken."

KEN WERNER, WISCONSIN BADGERS SUPER FAN: I started collecting somewhere around 30 years ago or so. I have 753 books on football, 146 pennants. They go back to 1894, 417 football programs going back to the late 1800s, 30 different hats that I use for games.

WIRE: Ken is such a huge fan, he married his wife at half-time of a Wisconsin game.

WERNER: We walked straight across the 50 yard line and did all our vows. Bucky Badger, was my ring bearer, by the way. The tux, actually, was part of my wedding, 150,000 stitches of Bucky Badger on the back.

WIRE: Kilted Ken is on the mission to set a record for the most college games attended in a lifetime. He's up to almost 500 games and has the hopes of attending 300 more. Go, Ken, go.

[10:55:07] WERNER: My wife and I have gone to every game home and away. I keep track of it here.

Thanks for stopping by. Go Badgers!


WIRE: Ken and his wife traveled about an hour to get to every game, true super fans like Lindsey here. What's one of your favorite things about games at Wisconsin?


WIRE: Jump around.


WIRE: In the third quarter, they play House of Pain's "Jump around," it's been voted best college tradition in past years. How about you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love the fifth quarter where the band comes out and stays after the game, plays really cool songs.

WIRE: Fifth quarter, absolutely fantastic. The band is back there getting the crowd ready. It's a big matchup, number 10 Wisconsin taking on Northwestern. It's going to be a good day, guys.

PAUL: And it will be a good day for you. Coy Wire, thank you so much. Good luck, everybody out there.

And thank you so much for making us part of your morning. We appreciate it. I hope you make some good memories today.

SAVIDGE: There's much more ahead in the next hour of CNN's Newsroom, and that starts after this short break.