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THE SITUATION ROOM

Ted Kennedy's Memoirs Leaked to New York Times Early; Joe Biden Talks Up Economy

Aired September 3, 2009 - 16:00   ET

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


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now: Vice President Biden declares that the White House policies are helping you in jobs and your bank account. But a new poll, many of you say, well, show me the money.

Ted Kennedy says in death things he never said in life. In his memoir, he criticizes Jimmy Carter. And Kennedy admits what haunted him for the rest of his life.

And that monster California wildfire grows, but it is also being contained as well -- this hour, dramatic scenes of one family fleeing for their lives and another risking their lives by staying.

Wolf Blitzer's off today. I'm Suzanne Malveaux in CNN's command center for breaking news, politics and extraordinary reports from around the world. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Well, the question is can you feel it? Vice President Joe Biden says that the economy is getting better. Now, while he's not singing happy times are here again, he is saying that the worst appears to be over. So, who deserves the credit? The vice president says it's the Obama administration, especially the $787 billion economic stimulus plan.

But how do those words square with your reality?

Our Jessica Yellin, she's got some fresh poll numbers on public perceptions on the economy. But I want to first bring in our CNN's Kate Bolduan. She's fact-checking everything that Biden said today.

And what do we know? Does this ring true?

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It does ring true. And a good point. They're not singing happy times again. It is a very good point, Suzanne. But we are marking the nearly 200-day point for the stimulus and also facing new numbers expected to show unemployment to rise to 9.5 percent. The vice president is touting stimulus success.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BOLDUAN (voice-over): Vice President Biden is pushing back on critics, offering an upbeat progress report on the economic stimulus plan.

JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Recovery Act dollars are going further and working harder than the vast majority of people anticipated.

BOLDUAN: The man President Obama deemed the stimulus sheriff says he's confident stimulus money is well spent and his policing is working with projects coming in under budget.

BIDEN: The FAA initially committed $1.1 billion to about 300 airport improvement projects. Now we're going to finish those projects for $200 million less than originally estimated.

BOLDUAN: But the inspector general for the Transportation Department reported last month, millions of dollars were awarded to questionable airport projects. Remote Ouzinkie, Alaska, received $14.7 for a new airport seen here, one that averages 42 flights per month.

MICHAEL GRABELL, REPORTER, PROPUBLICA: What we found was that there were many really tiny airports that don't get a lot of flights, cater to very small communities, that were getting the maximum airport grants.

BOLDUAN: Michael Grabell is with ProPublica, an independent watchdog tracking the stimulus. Another questionable claim? Jobs. The vice president cites estimates of up to 750,000 jobs created or saved so far.

GRABELL: We will never be able toe take 750,000 people, put them in a room and say, you got a stimulus job, you got a stimulus job, you got a stimulus job. It's based on a little bit of economic guesswork.

BOLDUAN: Overall, where do things stand with the $787 billion package? According to the Obama administration, of the $499 billion in stimulus projects, $217 billion has been made available, $88.8 billion paid out.

In addition, there's been $62.5 billion in tax relief. Responding to the vice president, Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele said, "The Democrats' rhetoric on their economic experiment doesn't match with the reality of millions of Americans remaining unemployed."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BOLDUAN: Now, possibly underlying all of this are approval ratings, some bad news for the White House. According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, support for the president's economic plan has fallen 13 percent since March -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: All right, Kate, thanks for keeping them honest.

And, meanwhile, there are other new measures of your feelings about the economy.

I want to bring in our CNN national political correspondent, Jessica Yellin.

And you have really been getting a pulse of what people think about how they're doing and how they feel about it. What are you learning?

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Suzanne, the president's economic team tells us the worst of the recession is over and recovery is beginning. But the latest CNN polling shows, Americans just aren't feeling it.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

YELLIN (voice-over): Don't tell the people of Evansville, Indiana, the economy's improving. They just learned 1,000 people will be laid off by the local Whirlpool plant.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of people are looking for jobs that probably ain't there.

YELLIN: The latest CNN/Opinion Research polls show Americans are still feeling the squeeze. Eighty-seven percent think the U.S. is still in a recession. Sixty-nine percent think things are going badly in the country. And the conservatives' warnings about the ballooning deficit seem to be breaking through.

REP. TOM MCCLINTOCK (R), CALIFORNIA: This president and this Congress place our country upon the course to fiscal bankruptcy.

YELLIN: While the economy is by far Americans' number-one concern, followed by health care, the budget deficit comes in third. And the number of people worried about the deficit, 15 percent, has almost doubled since march.

So, all this might lead you to believe Americans don't like the president's economic policies. Not so fast.

BIDEN: Instead of talking about the beginning of a depression, we're talking about the end of a recession.

YELLIN: Our polling shows only 39 percent of Americans think the president's policies have already improved economic conditions. But a majority still support the president's overall economic plan.

One conclusion? There's still some patience for those policies to take effect, though that patience will be tested if the dire job situation doesn't improve. And top economists say it's going to take more time.

DIANE SWONK, SENIOR MANAGING DIRECTOR AND CHIEF ECONOMIST, MESIROW FINANCIAL HOLDINGS, INC.: We're talking about higher unemployment, rising unemployment right through the mid part of 2010, and then, maybe, hopefully, being able to bring it down a bit by the end of the year.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

YELLIN: Now, the good news for the White House is that most Americans still blame the Republicans for the nation's economic problems, though, Suzanne, our polls show the number blaming the Democrats is rising. MALVEAUX: OK. Thank you, Jessica.

I also want to bring in our senior political analyst, Gloria Borger.

Gloria, tell us -- give us a sense of how big a problem is this for the president, when you take a look at the deficit?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it's become a very large problem for him, as Jessica was just pointing out. Take a look at this on the wall over here. You will see that, in March, the question of whether the deficit's the most important issue facing the country was at 8 percent. Now it's almost doubled to 15 percent.

You see how steep an incline that is. And I think, Suzanne, that's really because of two things -- a few things. First of all, the Republicans have been campaigning on this issue. They're clearly getting some traction on that for a couple reasons.

One is, in mid-February, you had the passage of a $787 billion stimulus package. And, in mid-June, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the president's health care plan in the Senate could cost $1.6 trillion. And that got people really concerned about the cost.

MALVEAUX: Sure. And, so, in light of this, a lot of concern about the deficit. How does that impact what the president does when he sells his health care reform?

BORGER: Well, I think it impacts it in a -- in a very large way.

I mean, right now, as we speak, he's got presidential advisers and staffers in Congress going through those congressional bills to see how they can narrow the scope of that health care legislation, so that perhaps it could wind up reducing the size of the overall plan.

MALVEAUX: OK. Gloria, Jessica, thank you very much.

Jack Cafferty is in New York with "The Cafferty File."

Hey, Jack.

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Suzanne, you want to know why they're having trouble getting health care reform passed in Washington, consider this.

There are six -- count them, six -- lobbyists for each and every member of Congress, all 535 of them. That translates to 3,300 lobbyists working on health care, three times the number who lobby on defense issues.

These groups reportedly spent more than $263 million on lobbying during the first six months of this year. Drugmakers alone spent more than $134 million. One expert told Bloomberg News -- quoting here -- "The sheer quantity of money that is sloshed around Washington is drowning out the voices of citizens and the groups that speak up for them" -- unquote.

No kidding.

Let's talk about that money for a minute. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, health-related companies gave almost $170 million to federal lawmakers in 2007-2008. Democrat Max Baucus, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, got $3 million from the health and insurance industries between 2003 and 2008 -- $3 million.

The ranking Republican on that same committee, Senator Chuck Grassley -- hey, you got to spread it around both sides of the aisle -- he took in more than $2 million since 2003. Over in the House Ways and Means, Chairman Democrat Charlie Rangel got $1.6 million from the health sector and its employees in the last two years.

And ranking Republican in the House on that same committee Dave Camp, he got almost a million in that same amount of time. And that's just a few of them. It's a big list. And it's a lot of money.

So, here's the question. When it comes to health care reform, are six lobbyists for each member of Congress enough? You think? Go to CNN.com/caffertyfile. Post a comment on my blog.

MALVEAUX: All right. Thank you, Jack.

The attorney general of Massachusetts wants Ted Kennedy's Senate seat. Martha Coakley is now the first candidate to fight for it. Why should she succeed Kennedy? Coakley is here.

They endured 18 years of separation, but after a kidnapped daughter is reunited with her mother, how do they begin to heal? You will hear the first account of the reunion between a missing girl and her family.

And life-and-death decisions in California. Amid wildfires, families consider whether to stay or leave. Our Brian Todd is near the line of fire.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You can see the flames on the hillside there. It looks like a pretty fast-moving fire.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: We're standing by for a live news conference that's going to happen out of Antioch, California. And that is the case -- the latest on the case of Jaycee Dugard, that young girl who was abducted and then returned to her family. We are waiting for that, and we will bring it to you as soon as we get it available live, in -- just minutes away.

Well, the race begins. Less than a week after Ted Kennedy is laid to rest, the race for his Senate seat starts. Now, the first person to declare that she will fight for it, that is the attorney general of Massachusetts, Democrat Martha Coakley. She's joining us now from Newton.

Thank you very much for joining us here on THE SITUATION ROOM.

MARTHA COAKLEY (D), MASSACHUSETTS SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you.

MALVEAUX: First and foremost, obviously, an incredible loss to the state of Massachusetts. Why are you running? What will you bring to the people of that state?

COAKLEY: Well, I believe that it's important that we have a government that works well and works for everybody.

I think that people have been discouraged and disheartened by what government hasn't been able to do. I think that they are incredibly big shoes to fill. No one can fill them. But we know that, as Caroline Kennedy noted, someone has to follow in his footsteps. We all must do that.

I have got experience on a variety of issues, including health care, predatory lending, energy, as attorney general. I believe in problem-solving. I -- I'm interested in doing the job. I want to do it for the commonwealth and to represent the commonwealth in Massachusetts. And I believe that I can do a very good job at it.

MALVEAUX: On health care, do you agree with Senator Kennedy that the public option is mandatory, that that is an important component to reforming the system?

COAKLEY: I believe it's an important component. I believe that there are other major factors that we need to look at, as everybody agrees that we need health care reform, but no one can agree how to get there.

There are huge cost drivers that need to be addressed. But, yes, if we want to have good competition and look at ways we can provide quality health care and access to everybody, a viable public option has to be on the table.

MALVEAUX: Do you believe that the Massachusetts law should be changed, the state law, so it would allow the governor to appoint an interim senator, as Ted Kennedy had wished?

COAKLEY: I think it's important to understand that would not change the special election. This primary is set. I'm in that race for December 8. This would be someone who presumably would not be in the race.

I know that the governor is in favor of it. The legislature will look at it. Frankly, I have been focused on what we are going to do running for this seat. And I think the legislature and the governor will make an appropriate decision soon.

MALVEAUX: What has your opinion? What do you think? Do you think it's appropriate that he appoint somebody in the interim?

COAKLEY: I think that there are strengths to that, and I think there are some reasons that it would be good to do it.

I think that there is some concern that changing the law now may open up other avenues that we don't necessarily want to do and will look like it's politicking. But I think there's been a good debate on it, and I think that they will act soon. And, if they do that, I think Massachusetts will have two senators. If not, this race will be over fairly soon, and we will have two full-time senators in Massachusetts.

MALVEAUX: Sources are telling CNN that Joe Kennedy, he has been making some calls, he has been reaching out to friends and political types, obviously, in Massachusetts to talk about some issues.

Some people see that as a potential opening for him expressing interest in the Senate seat. If he decides that he is interested in running, will you step aside?

COAKLEY: No. I -- I have decided and I have made it clear that I'm in this race. I'm in it until the end. I don't know what the field will look like. And I know that others are trying to consider whether they should get in or not.

Frankly, I think few of us have that luxury of waiting. If you're going to run, there's a lot of money to be raised. There's a lot of voters to be reached. And the time is so short that I think voters are entitled to see the field and make their decisions of who they will support.

But I am in this race, regardless of whether anyone's in it or 10 people are in it.

MALVEAUX: Do you think that some people, they look at the Kennedy legacy, the decades of service that the Kennedy family has given to Massachusetts, and they believe there's a certain sense of entitlement? Is it fair to say that you -- you do not?

COAKLEY: I think that it is -- there is not a sense of entitlement. There should not be. I think Massachusetts has been very respectful of and we certainly mourn Senator Kennedy's loss.

And I think that the seat could be filled by a Kennedy. It could also be filled by someone named Coakley who will carry on that legacy. What is important thing is who wants to do the job, who will do it well. And I think the voters will decide that.

MALVEAUX: So far, you're the first person to officially step forward on the Democratic side. But, obviously, we have heard one other name, Red Sox, former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling. What do you make of that? Do you think he would be a formidable opponent?

COAKLEY: It's a little too early to tell. It's an interesting candidate. I -- I think it would make for an interesting race. I would be prepared to debate him. I just -- I just wouldn't want to face him on the batter's mound; that's for sure.

(LAUGHTER)

MALVEAUX: OK. Fair enough. Thank you very much. We appreciate you here on THE SITUATION ROOM.

COAKLEY: Thank you.

MALVEAUX: Immediate changes ordered for hundreds of planes in the wake of a mysterious crash -- details of what the FAA is telling the airlines to do.

Plus, the question that prompted Vice President Joe Biden to make the sign of the cross -- why he is seeking divine blessing.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: Deborah Feyerick is monitoring the stories that are coming into THE SITUATION ROOM right now.

Deb, what are you watching?

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Suzanne.

Well, swine flu deaths in the United States are rising. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is counting nearly 560 deaths linked to the virus as of August 22. At least 36 of them were children. And experts are now noting a disturbing trend.

With seasonal flu, more than half the pediatric deaths are children under 4. But, with swine flu, the children are older. More than 80 percent of those who have died are 5 and above.

At the same time, a CDC advisory panel is recommending that health workers dealing with suspected swine flu cases where special masks. It says that regular loose-fitting paper masks could still let them inhale the virus. Instead, workers are advised to wear masks that form an airtight sale around the mouth and nose.

Fresh fallout from these pictures showing private security guards assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Kabul partying at the camp where they live. A report says lewd behavior and sexual misconduct compromised security. So, now the embassy is banning alcohol and assigning some of its own staff to guard the guards.

More than two months after his death, Michael Jackson finally being laid to rest -- final preparations are being made for a private funeral and about two-and-a-half-hours at Forest Law Cemetery near Los Angeles. Jackson will be entombed in an ornate mausoleum. And there are few details of the service, except CNN has learned that Gladys Knight will sing -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: OK. Thank you, Deb.

Well, fire on the mountain. If blazes were racing towards your home, would you stay or would you go amid a threatening wildfire? Well, you will see how two families were forced to make that life-and- death decision.

And after a kidnapped daughter is reunited with her mother after 18 years, how do they begin to heal? The girl's aunt gives a firsthand account of the reunion.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TINA DUGARD, AUNT OF JAYCEE DUGARD: Not only have we laughed and cried together, but we have spent time sitting quietly, taking pleasure in each other's company.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: And we will bring you that news conference out of Antioch, California, the very latest over the reunion and the case of Jaycee Dugard.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Happening now: a sense of urgency, with the Joint Chiefs chairman warning, time is not on the country's side -- new signs more U.S. forces could be heading to Afghanistan.

Also, push comes to shove in the health care debate, and one man ends up with his finger bitten off. Will Medicare wind up footing the bill?

Plus, a jumbo jet few will ever fly on -- firefighters in Southern California add a massive new weapon to their arsenal.

Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Suzanne Malveaux, and you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Firefighters are making progress on that massive wildfire burning in the mountains north of Los Angeles. It is now 38 percent contained, with 147,000 acres burned. But a flare-up in one area this morning demonstrated that the threat of thousands of homes are still very real.

Our CNN's Brian Todd is there for us -- Brian.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TODD: Suzanne, as much progress as firefighters have made in containing these fires, this is still a very unpredictable situation. And today, in these hills, we got some real insight into the stress of a mandatory evacuation, stress on firefighters and homeowners.

(voice-over): Around dawn, a menacing fire creeps down a ridge in Tujunga Canyon, posing an immediate threat to nearby homes.

(on camera): We just heard of a mandatory evacuation order. Two communities called Dillon Divide and Pacoima Creek, they have another hour to get out of their homes. Heading up there now. And you can see the flames on the hillside there. It looks like a pretty fast moving fire.

DR. BRUCE HECTOR, RESIDENT OF PACOIMA CREEK, CALIFORNIA: Anywhere coming down the canyons.

TODD (voice-over): We catch up with Dr. Bruce Hector, a family practitioner who's lived in Pacoima Creek for 10 years. A firefighting unit is manning his property.

B. HECTOR: So, I'm confident, with these guys, we can defend the house.

TODD: And he watches with the crew as a column of smoke builds over a nearby ridge. While we're there, a sheriff's deputy arrives with a warning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know it's under mandatory evacuation? OK. You're not leaving?

B. HECTOR: No.

TODD: Hector's got his own fire truck...

B. HECTOR: I have had it for about six, seven years.

TODD: ... and is determined to stay, despite the warnings.

(on camera): Doctor, you have been told to get out. You have got this fire crew here on your property. They say they would be here whether you were here or not.

B. HECTOR: Yes.

TODD: Your house is made completely of wood. What are you doing here? Why stay?

B. HECTOR: The reason I'm staying is because I have a fire retardant to apply to the house. When I have about an hour before the fire's going to get here, then I apply the retardant, and I leave.

TODD (voice-over): Hector says he's not a -- quote -- "crazy cowboy."

But a battalion chief who's guarding Hector's property tells us this fire's bearing down.

CHIEF FRED BLAND, LOS ANGELES COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT: It's very dangerous. Where their house sits and the type of fuel load they have around their home, and the fire intensities that we have seen on this fire, it's very hazardous for them to say.

TODD: Dr. Hector, his wife, Justina, and son, Bruce Jr., are confident when we first get there, but grow increasingly worried and keep packing.

TODD (on camera): Is this stressful for you, Justina, this...

(CROSSTALK)

JUSTINA HECTOR, RESIDENT OF PACOIMA CREEK, CALIFORNIA: Quite, yes.

TODD: How?

J. HECTOR: Not having to leave, just not knowing when -- when the time to go.

This goes back to the early '80s.

TODD (voice-over): Justina makes sure the irreplaceable things are in the car.

J. HECTOR: That's my son, Bruce.

TODD: Just down the road, a fire crew is forcing 30-year resident Bill Chambers to leave.

BILL CHAMBERS, RESIDENT OF PACOIMA CREEK, CALIFORNIA: You know, I have flashbacks for the other people that have experienced this. And you can understand where they're coming from. OK. So, I better get out of here before the...

TODD (on camera): OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, we need to get out of here. Back up.

TODD (voice-over): The crew follows Chambers out. His neighbor, who's staying, offers perspective.

(on camera): Any of this ever make you think about moving?

B. HECTOR: Sure, but, you know, there's hazards everywhere. And I live three miles from 1.3 million people. And at night I have no visible lights. It's all green around me.

TODD: And you like that?

B. HECTOR: Yes. So, you've got to pay a price.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TODD: And this has given us even more insight into the dedication of all of these firefighters. They told us they had been at these houses the entire night before this mandatory evacuation was ordered. They said even after these homeowners left, they were going to stay on the property and do whatever they could to save these homes -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: All right. Thank you, Brian.

Well, now that we know that President Obama will address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, the question is, what exactly is he going to say? We know the White House wants to take back the momentum over health care reform. And today, Vice President Biden talked about the upcoming address.

I want to bring in our CNN White House correspondent, Dan Lothian.

And Dan, I want to clear up something I had mentioned earlier about the late Senator Ted Kennedy. He definitely supported the public option, but it wasn't something that he felt was absolutely essential. We know that the White House seems to be backing down a bit because of the public option, not so popular.

Give us a sense of what the vice president said today. He's rather confident.

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, he's very confident. You know, what's interesting is that he sort of had another candid moment when he was asked, after delivering some remarks at the Brookings Institution today on the Recovery Act, he was asked about the prospects for the president getting a bill on his desk that's in line with his objectives. And that's when he made the sign of the cross, sort of a silent prayer there.

But he went on to say that he does believe that the prospects for success are high. And he said that next Wednesday, when the president speaks to Congress, that he will lay out in very clear and understandable terms exactly what the administration wants.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIDEN: So, we're going to get something substantial. We're going to get something substantial.

It's going to be an awful lot of screaming and hollering before we get there. But I believe we're going to get there. And I think the president's going to lay out -- I know the president's going to lay out for you very clearly on Wednesday what he thinks those pieces have to be and will be.

But that's as much as I should say. And the president will tell you a lot more on Wednesday.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LOTHIAN: And a senior administration official saying they're very confident they can get those conservative Democrats on board, despite everything's that's happened so far -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: OK. Thank you, Dan.

We have breaking news now, a news conference that we were telling you about before. It has begun in Antioch, California. This, the latest case about Dugard and the reunion of her family.

LT. LEONARD ORMAN, ANTIOCH, CALIFORNIA, POLICE: So, what we have reported to us is based on very brief records that mostly involve dates and charges of Mr. Garrido back in April of 1972, and a re- interview of the victim about that incident. What's been told to us is that the victim, who was 14 years old at the time, was at the Antioch Public Library, along with a friend.

They met Mr. Garrido and another male, whose identity she does not recall at this time. They got into a vehicle with Mr. Garrido and were provided barbituates, which were a popular drug of abuse back in the 1970s, from what I understand.

There was a period of time where she ended up at a motel with Mr. Garrido after being given more barbituates, and basically awoke, found herself there, and was repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted at that time.

Eventually, her parents located her at that location, called the police. The Antioch Police Department responded at that time, took appropriate action, which appears to have involved the arrest of Mr. Garrido either at that time or shortly thereafter.

Mr. Garrido was charged in the matter. The details of that are very slim at this point with respect for records to rely on. But at some point, the prosecution was dropped.

At this time, I'll take a few questions.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

ORMAN: That is my understanding.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

ORMAN: It is on East 18th Street. It's currently called the River View Motel. I don't think it was called that back then.

Yes, in the back?

QUESTION: You said the girls met Garrido at the library. How did they get to know each other in the first place that they would arrange that meeting? Do you know?

ORMAN: It's my understanding that the girl she was with somehow knew that that meeting was going to take place.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

ORMAN: We would have had a record of Mr. Garrido being arrested back in 1972 with some -- on the charge of rape, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and providing narcotics to a minor. However, details beyond that, even including the victim's identity, would have been very hard for us to come by. I'm not sure we would have known at this point.

QUESTION: Had you found that record, at least, before she called?

ORMAN: We had that, yes. QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

ORMAN: She certainly was not matter of fact. This is a serious matter. She's taking it seriously. And she has a lot of concern about the things Mr. Garrido has done since the time of the '72 incident.

I'm going to take a couple more questions and we're going to call it.

QUESTION: Do you know if she was (INAUDIBLE)?

ORMAN: I won't comment on that.

QUESTION: Was the other male arrested as well?

ORMAN: We don't have any information to indicate one way or the other. We're not sure.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

ORMAN: Which ones? On this arrest?

QUESTION: Yes.

ORMAN: In -- because they're 37 years old. It would not be normal in that type of case for us to keep them that long.

QUESTION: You said she awoke and then she realized that she had been assaulted prior to awaking?

ORMAN: I believe it continued after that.

QUESTION: Why did she get in the car with him? You said she got in the car. Why did she do that? Did he force her? Do you know?

ORMAN: There was no force involved. I can't explain to you why she made the decision to get into the car. She was 14 years old at the time.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

ORMAN: I think it was April 17th of 1972 that he was arrested. As far as that being the attack date, I would only assume it was within a day or two of that date.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

Is there something more the Antioch P.D. could have done in the following years to try and connect any dots that might have led to him earlier?

ORMAN: At this time I can only comment to the 1972 case, which we clearly connected the dots and took appropriate action, from what I can tell, based on the limited information I have.

With respect to your question, I'm not willing to comment at this time.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

ORMAN: I'm certainly no lawyer, but with my experience in law enforcement, I think the chances of that are very slim.

QUESTION: And do you have -- did the other girl come forward?

ORMAN: No.

QUESTION: Can you explain the meeting? It's kind of hard to understand. So, they were actually going there to meet them at the library? They were knowing that they were going to meet them?

ORMAN: It's my understanding that the victim in this case that we're aware of initially did not know about the meeting, but was aware of it once they got near to that location.

And I'm going to take one more question.

QUESTION: What does that mean?

QUESTION: Based on what you know now, and his past history, do you feel there are others out there?

ORMAN: Other victims? I think there's a good chance of that, yes.

Thank you.

QUESTION: What's the location of that motel?

ORMAN: It's East 18th. It's the River View Motel. And it's out near the Kmart, near Highway 160.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

ORMAN: I'm not answering anymore questions. Thank you.

MALVEAUX: Want to go directly to our CNN's Dan Simon, who's been following this case.

And obviously, first and foremost, Dan, would you explain to us, because it could be a little bit confusing here -- law enforcement authorities where you are, where this press conference is taking place, they are talking about a separate incident involving Garrido and another girl, a 14-year-old who was believed to be abducted in 1972, and not Jaycee Dugard.

This is a separate case that they have also linked to Garrido? Is that correct?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Suzanne. This is an entirely separate case. And this is what appears to be another extraordinary development in this saga involving Phillip Garrido. Lieutenant Leonard Orman, with the Antioch Police Department, telling reporters just moments ago that in 1972, Phillip Garrido raped and drugged a then 14-year-old girl, took her back to a motel. Garrido at the time was arrested.

Again, this happening 37 years ago. But the case never went to trial because, according to the lieutenant, the young woman refused to testify -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: And Dan, something that he also mentioned, too, I thought was interesting was that he believes that there could be other possible victims and other possible cases of young women that Garrido perhaps had sexually assaulted and abducted.

SIMON: That's right. And clearly, what he is doing is he's sending a plea out to the public that if you know this guy, Phillip Garrido, or if you were victimized by him, to come forward.

Suzanne, what I want to do now is go back to the other case involving Jaycee Dugard, because there was also a really important development today. We were getting some details, really for the first time, in terms of how Jaycee is coping since she was removed from that home last week.

Her aunt addressed reporters in Los Angeles today. Let's go ahead and take a look at that.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TINA DUGARD, JAYCEE DUGARD'S AUNT: Jaycee and her daughters are with her mom and younger sister in a secluded place reconnecting. I was with them until recently.

We spent time sharing memories and stories and getting to know each other again. Jaycee rembers all of us. She is especially enjoying getting to know her little sister, who was just a baby when Jaycee was taken.

SIMON (voice-over): Jaycee Dugard's aunt providing the first first-hand account of how Jaycee and her two daughters are coping after years of captivity living in backyard tents and sheds. Tina Dugard describes Jaycee as a resourceful mother who used her limited knowledge to raise her children.

DUGARD: Although they have no formal education, they are certainly educated. Jaycee did a truly amazing job with the limited resources and education that she herself had. And we are so proud of her.

SIMON: This is how Tina would have remembered Jaycee, more as a child than the 29-year-old woman she is today.

DUGARD: Not only have we laughed and cried together, but we've spent time sitting quietly, taking pleasure in each other's company. We are so very grateful to have her home. SIMON: Jaycee Dugard was abducted outside her south Lake Tahoe home in 1991. The suspects, Phillip and Nancy Garrido, have been charged with 29 counts, including rape and kidnapping. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Over the years, there were emotional pleas from Jaycee's mother for a safe return.

TERRY PROBYN, JAYCEE'S MOTHER: She's pretty, young, an innocent child. And you may like her, but we love her, too. And it's time that she comes home to her family.

SIMON: Today, her aunt describing the bond that never ended between a mother and daughter apart for nearly two decades.

DUGARD: The smile on my sister's face is as wide as the sea. Her oldest daughter is finally home.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SIMON: Tina Dugard today not talking about the conditions under which Jaycee Dugard and her two children were held captive. Instead, talking about what they're doing right now.

They're being held in isolation, surrounded by a team of psychologists. And one thing that in particular that stood out, she says they're doing things that a normal family would do -- playing video games, watching movies, and reading books, and just trying to get reacquainted with each other once again -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: OK. Thank you very much, Dan.

Well, millions of jobs lost across the country. And prospects could hardly be bleaker for college students about to enter the workforce.

Our Ali Velshi is taking their pulse aboard the CNN Express.

Also, former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle is warning that American's global leadership will be questioned over health care reform.

Also, a spacewalk about to get under way, despite a huge piece of space junk hurdling towards the Shuttle Discovery.

We're going to bring that to you live.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: From the uninsured to the unemployed, there are new numbers about jobs.

Now, the government says that the number of laid-off workers filing for new jobless claims fell slightly last week, but people actually receiving unemployment benefits went up the week ending August 22nd. The prospect of jobs is surely on the minds of some college students.

Our CNN Chief Business Correspondent Ali Velshi is in one big college city, he's traveling the country on the CNN Express.

And Ali, what are they telling you?

ALI VELSHI, CNN SENIOR BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Suzanne, a different flavor today at the University of Wisconsin Madison than we've had in some of the farming towns and industrial towns and urban centers that we've been in. School has just started. We sat down with some students who are really taking a hard look at what's happened in the last couple years and their future.

Here's a taste of what they told me.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Americans are not patient. And by not being patient, we want things to get going right away. So, right when the market bottoms out, people want to buy back. When the market comes back up, people want to sell and try and make a move. So, I think patience is a little bit more of a virtue, and we need to kind of invest in that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And right now it's been called the now generation. I mean, everybody's -- I've seen 14-or-15-year-old kids with credit cards. I think that what you should do is save for, like, rainy days.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's definitely a nice thing to think that we could live really nicely without buying new things, or saving, or not using a credit card, but I know at least me, in this crowd, and I'm not afraid to say it, I like to get things now. Like, I like to spend money. I know when I get a check, when I get a job, like a career, and I get my first, like, advanced check, it's not all going to go into my IRA.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: And Suzanne, right after that, someone else responded by saying, well, you know what? If you want to spend your paycheck and not invest it, I don't want to have to bail you out later.

So, a good discussion ensued about how consumer behavior has to change, cultural values, along with government regulation and corporate responsibility.

Suzanne, that's the word I've been getting here at the University of Wisconsin Madison.

MALVEAUX: All right. Thank you, Ali.

Well, he could have been President Obama's point person for health care, but he is not. But that's not stopping former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle from weighing in.

Wait until you hear what he says will be the price of health care failure.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: A dire warning about health care reform and the price of failure.

Joining us to talk about that and more, Democratic strategist Steve McMahon and Republican strategist Karen Hanretty. We should note that both work for firms who are health care clients.

Thanks for joining us in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Of course, we want to start off with Tom Daschle's op-ed. You know, he could have been the architect of health care reform. He was up for the HHS position, didn't work out because of some tax problems.

But here's what he said. He's weighing in on the debate in "The Wall Street Journal," saying that "Failure has another price, too. It could cost us our global leadership here."

Is this hyperbole? I mean, why is he coming out at this time with this kind of language?

STEVE MCMAHON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I think he's trying to create some momentum behind health care reform, which seems to have lost some momentum in August as a result of these town hall meetings and the coverage. And his point, which is that health care costs are going to double in the next 15 years if we don't do something, is absolutely right.

And those health care costs, which are $12,000 a family now, if they become $25,000 a family, and they're paid for by business, which is how they're paid right now, it's going to make America globally non-competitive. We absolutely have to do something about it, and we need to do it now.

MALVEAUX: Is it tied to America's security, or how does it -- how does it tie into global leadership?

KAREN HANRETTY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: America is the leader in health care. Other countries are pouring into America for health care.

MCMAHON: That's right.

HANRETTY: So, this argument that it somehow affects our leadership -- and I think he tries to tie it into, you know, cap and trade and other areas where I think there's really not a nexus. And really, the gist of this is, well, it's hard work and we just all need to buck up and pass this bill.

And not just completely, I think, avoid the point that there's a real fracture within the Democratic Party, but when they come back to work next week President Obama can talk about sitting down with two or three Republicans. What he needs to do is sit down with the moderate Democrats and figure out, how can we craft a bill that they'll agree to?.

MALVEAUX: See, this is something else Daschle says. He says, "Given the dominance of my party in the White House and in Congress, Democrats will be to blame if this doesn't get passed."

Is he trying to simply rally the troops at this point, or does it underscore that the White House needs to pull back, needs to step back in its ambitions here with health care reform?

MCMAHON: Well, I think he's trying to do two things. Number one, I think he's trying to rally the troops and create some momentum. And you saw that he invoked Senator Kennedy to do that.

But the other thing he's trying to do is, I think he's trying to say to some of the more liberal members of the House of Representatives that perhaps we should try to get 70 percent and not try to get everything right at the first bite of the apple. He also said that health care reform might take several years, and that's OK, because it's taken several generations to get here.

Any kind of progress is what the American people expect. They voted for change. They want health care reform.

And I think he raises a good point. If we don't get it, it's going to be at least as much the Democrats in Congress' fault as it is the Republicans in Congress.

MALVEAUX: I want to turn the corner here to education. A lot of kids will be going back on school. On Tuesday, the president's going to be addressing the schoolchildren and saying that they should work hard.

One of the things that he's going to do, or at least the White House did, was give them an assignment to write a letter to themselves, how to help the president. There were some Republicans who weighed in on this and took offense. They thought that it was somehow politicizing, using children to support some sort of partisan agenda, to support the White House.

The White House has since said, OK, the assignment, you can write some letters about how you will fulfill your own goals, short-term, long-term goals.

Is this much ado about nothing here? I mean, why is this even an issue so much?

HANRETTY: I think it's an issue in the context of everything that's happened over the past couple of months. If this had happened three months ago, four months ago, would there be quite the outcry? I think probably not. But when -- you know, and it's also...

(CROSSTALK)

MALVEAUX: Why not?

HANRETTY: Well, I'll tell you why not. Because it's not just the "we like schoolchildren to write letters to say how they'll help the president achieve his goals." This is kind of an odd messaging.

You know, just about a month ago, you know, the administration puts out this notice that if you see anything fishy out there, send us an e-mail. Help us with our agenda. And I think that in the context of all of that...

(CROSSTALK)

MALVEAUX: I actually -- I've got to leave it there. I'm sorry. We're running out of time.

But thank you very much, Karen and Steve.

Well, they're pictures that you have to see to believe -- guards charged with protecting one of the country's most heavily traveled bridges, asleep on the job. We'll meet the man who blew the whistle on them.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: Jack joins us again with "The Cafferty File."

Hey, Jack.

CAFFERTY: The question this hour is: When it comes to health care reform, are six lobbyists for each member of Congress enough? There are 3,300 lobbyists working on health care reform.

I've been around a long time. This even opened my tired old eyes.

Dave in Virginia writes, "It's amazing to hear $263 million has been spent lobbying our elected officials on health care in just the first six months of this year. If that much money's being spent by organizations trying to gain influence, think about what the payoff must be if they get what they want."

Olu writes, "Six lobbyists? This is crazy. That's why we're getting nowhere. What happened to Obama keeping his promise about getting rid of lobbyists? I guess he needs to get down with this if something real is ever going to be done."

Roz writes, "Six lobbyists? These senators are nothing more than whores for the medical insurance companies and big pharma. These fat cats live large while rolling the dice on the health and welfare of the citizens. Shame on them for their ugly greed and shame on the lobbyists." Ultimately, though, the blame lies with the congressmen and senators, as they could say no to these vultures if they really wanted to."

Dale in Colorado writes, "With Congress on the take -- and I can only wonder why it requires six lobbyists to bribe each member -- it's no wonder Congress isn't making any progress on health care reform. Conservatives, Blue Dog Democrats, and the other paid sock puppets are deliberately obfuscating the salient truths about a public option and real reform as that best serves their selfish interests and the selfish interests of the status quo."

And John writes from South Carolina, "If I had invested all those millions on certain members of Congress to protect my health care profits, I sure wouldn't trust them to be alone for a minute. I would hire 24 lobbyists per congressman per day so that a fresh lobbyist was with them for each hour of the day. It's really too bad that people who need health care reform don't have the money to compete with the health care industry in buying off our government."

If you didn't see your e-mail here, you can go to my blog at CNN.com/caffertyfile. Look for yours there among hundreds of others -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: Thanks, Jack.

You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Happening now, the defense secretary insists that the Afghanistan War isn't slipping away. But the top brass says that time is not on our side. New signs that they may pour more American troops into an increasingly bloody conflict.

Ted Kennedy -- the late senator's memoir reveals new details of his family's tragedies and his own despair -- drinking and drive to succeed.

And the rage over health care reform is getting uglier. A protester's finger is bitten off during a fight with a counter- demonstrator. Will Medicare pick up the tab?

Wolf Blitzer's off. I'm Suzanne Malveaux. And you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.