EVENING NEWS for January 27, 2010, CBS
Reynolds, Nancy Cordes, Jeff Greenfield, Michelle Miller
<Show: CBS EVENING NEWS>
<Date: January 27, 2010>
<Head: EVENING NEWS for January 27, 2010, CBS>
<Sect: News; Domestic>
<Byline: Katie Couric, Chip Reid, Sharyl Attkisson, John Blackstone, Dean Reynolds, Nancy Cordes, Jeff Greenfield, Michelle Miller>
<Guest: Rahm Emanuel>
<High: President Obama prepares to deliver the state of the union address.>
<Spec: Politics; Policies; Elections>
KATIE COURIC, CBS ANCHOR: Tonight, the State of the Union and the Obama administration.(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COURIC: What mistakes will the president acknowledge tonight?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COURIC: I'm Katie Couric in Washington. Also tonight, Toyota's deadly defect.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're in trouble! We can't -- There's no brakes!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COURIC: It's being called an iPhone on steroids. A look at Apple's new iPad and what it can do. And American kids putting heart and soul into helping the children of Haiti.
ANNOUNCER: This is CBS EVENING NEWS with Katie Couric reporting tonight from Washington.
COURIC: Good evening, everyone. The congressional resolution is all very official, the White House or the House rather and Senate will meet tonight for the purpose of receiving such communication as the president of the United States shall be pleased to make. And with that, President Obama will deliver his first State of the Union address. It will focus largely on the number-one issue on the minds of so many Americans: jobs and the economy. Chip Reid is at the White House tonight, and Chip, he's got their attention. People want action, so what is he going to tell them?
CHIP REID, CBS CORRESPONDENT: He's going to tell them essentially that he gets it. That he's going to put the economy at the very top of his agenda.
REID: With anxious Americans demanding that he do more to turn around the economy, the president tonight will try to answer their call.
ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: What you'll hear the president discuss tonight for about two-thirds of this speech are the circumstances that our economy is in and his way forward to getting that economy moving again.
REID: To cut the deficit, the president will propose a bipartisan commission to make recommendations to Congress and a three-year freeze on some government spending. But critics say the commission will have no teeth and cuts from the freeze will be a drop in the bucket. To create jobs, he'll offer tax breaks for small businesses that hire workers and invest in equipment and tens of billions of dollars for a second stimulus to create jobs in construction and home weatherization. But Republicans say his plan makes no sense. At the same time he's trying to cut deficits, he's increasing them with more spending.
REP. ERIC CANTOR, MINORITY WHIP: It's not about creating more Washington programs, it's not about more federal spending.
REID: On health care reform, the president is expected to defend his plan vigorously, just as he did recently in Ohio.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm not going to walk away just because it's hard.
REID: That's sure to infuriate Republicans who hoped it was dead. Education will take a big step up on the president's agenda, exempted from the spending freeze. The budget will increase 6.2 percent. The president will also aggressively argue for regulating Wall Street and for major climate change legislation. Even many Democrats question whether he can tackle so many big problems at the same time.
REP. BILL PASCRELL, (D), NEW JERSEY: I don't think he can. I don't think Houdini can.
REID: The president will also propose doing away with Don't ask, don't tell , that's the Pentagon policy for prohibiting openly gay men and women from serving in the military. Katie?
COURIC: Chip Reid. Chip, thanks very much. Now, earlier today at the White House I got a preview of the president's address from his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel. I began by asking him what mistakes the president will acknowledge tonight.
RAHM EMANUEL, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: He is not going to sit there and kind of list a set of mistakes in his view. What he will do is in a couple of places in the speech take responsibility where he could have done things different or better.
COURIC: Like what?
EMANUEL: In a sense of communicating and explaining the challenges we had and what were the missions of what he was setting out for the country to do or tackle. And there is the health care.
COURIC: Will you scale back and compromise some of your goals or will you try to keep basically the same legislation in place?
EMANUEL: Same. I think the objectives will never change. OK? So the decision now is what do we got to do to go forward? The notion of not doing something is off the table.
COURIC: The president says he wants to work with the Republicans, but that really hasn't happened so far, so what makes you think it will now?
EMANUEL: The president will continue to reach out to Republicans, offer them the chance to work together. I do think now that the Republicans clearly have 41 seats, with that ability comes accountability. They, too, will have responsibility for the direction this country takes and the choices we make.
COURIC: As you know, people are pretty disgusted by deals that were made up on Capitol Hill, like the one given to Ben Nelson to win his support. If the White House was so involved, was this done with your blessing?
EMANUEL: Look, we were involved in the legislation all the way through.
COURIC: Were you involved in that?
EMANUEL: I'm not going to go through all of it.
COURIC: In the Ben Nelson deal?
EMANUEL: We were helpful in getting the bill off the Senate floor, and in retrospect the things as I said to you just earlier, things we would have done different.
COURIC: You're considered a master political operative. You were the guy four years ago, of course, who orchestrated the Democratic takeover of the House. Where were you when Massachusetts was going down in flames for the Democrats?
EMANUEL: Well, I mean, as soon as it was brought to my attention or the White House's attention, we immediately got involved in it. I suppose, Katie, you could say that I'm responsible for not having done more at the White House, but I think that in the period of time between her winning the primary and us getting a phone call to get involved, we were immediately up there with whatever resources they asked for and more.
COURIC: Would you say you dropped the ball?
EMANUEL: That I, Rahm Emanuel, dropped the ball?
COURIC: The White House. The Democrats.
EMANUEL: Look, I -- you know, I don't want to re-litigate this, but there's no doubt in my mind we could have won that race.
COURIC: Meanwhile, I asked Emanuel if his job is secure. He said as long as the president wants me, I'm here. CBS News will, of course, bring you live coverage of the State of the Union address and the Republican response beginning at 9:00 eastern time, 8:00 central, and 6:00 in the west.
Some of the voter anger the president will be addressing tonight stems from the taxpayer bailout of the financial industry. Fairly or not, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has become the number one target and Sharyl Attkisson tells us he was in the cross hairs today of both Democrats and Republicans here on Capitol Hill.
SHARYL ATTKISSON, CBS CORRESPONDENT: Angry members of Congress couldn't wait to go after Treasury Secretary Geithner about the $182 billion taxpayer bailout of AIG. They charge it put Wall Street ahead of the folks on main street.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It just stinks to the high heaven.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe these are lame excuses.
ATTKISSON: AIG insured troubled investments at banks. When taxpayers bailed out AIG, the government agreed to have AIG pay what it owed the banks dollar for dollar instead of a lower rate. That's in stark contrast to the government's treatment of regular investors who were forced to give up billions to save GM and Bear Stearns. Critics say AIG's Wall Street banks got a sweetheart deal, a back-door bailout, one that largely benefited the firm where then Treasury Secretary Paulson used to be CEO, Goldman Sachs.
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH, (D), OHIO: Isn't it true that the New York Fed gave Goldman Sachs a better deal than it could have ever expected from AIG? Or any market player at any other time?
TIMOTHY GEITHNER, SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY: We faced a very simple choice: let AIG default or prevent it.
REP. STEPHEN LYNCH, (D), MASSACHUSETTS: We don't negotiate a nickel, not a cent, off of what they're getting!
GEITHNER: If it would have been possible, we would have done it.
ATTKISSON: It might have been possible, according to a government watchdog, if federal officials had just tried harder. How much could have been saved?
NEIL BAROFSKY, SPECIAL INSPECTOR GENERAL OF TARP: We'll never know because that effort was simply not taken.
ATTKISSON: Details of the AIG deal were kept from the public at the time. Even today, the Federal Reserve refuses to turn over documents that would shed light on who made what decisions and why.
GEITHNER: I played no role in decisions about what to disclose about these transactions to these individual counterparty.
HENRY PAULSON, FORMER SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY: I had no involvement at all.
ATTKISSON: Geithner used the hearing to push for new regulations of Wall Street.
GEITHNER: If you were outraged by AIG -- and you should be -- then you should be deeply committed to financial reform.
ATTKISSON: Now the administration is taking a much tougher line on reform, saying banks should be restricted from making those risky investments that benefit only the bankers and not their customers. Katie?
COURIC: Sharyl Attkisson on Capitol Hill. Sharyl, thank you. In other news, just when we thought our hand-held electronics could do everything, Apple rolls out a new one it says can do everything and more. A gadget it hopes will build on the success of the iPod and iPhone. But John Blackstone tells us not everyone is biting.
JOHN BLACKSTONE, CBS CORRESPONDENT: Ten months after his liver transplant, a still-thin Steve Jobs used his signature zeal to unveil a gadget that's been the focus of speculation for weeks.
STEVE JOBS, CEO, APPLE INC.: What this device does is extraordinary.
BLACKSTONE: It's called the iPad. A nearly ten inch touch screen tablet that Jobs says will fill a spot between a smart phone and a laptop.
JOBS: It's so much more intimate than a laptop and it's so much more capable than a smart phone.
BLACKSTONE: But what it does is actually quite familiar to anyone who uses a computer or a smart phone. It can browse the Internet and display photos.
JOBS: Isn't that cool?
BLACKSTONE: It plays movies and music and runs all the games that now run on the iPhone. Industry analyst Van Baker had his doubts, but starting at $500 for the base model, he can see buyers lining up, even if it's not an entirely new concept.
VAN BAKER, RESEARCH VICE PRESIDENT, GARTNER INC.: Tablets have been around for a long time. (inaudible). This may be the first generation of a tablet that is going to do extremely well.
JOBS: It all works.
BLACKSTONE: If Apple is turning a new page with the iPad, it's with a big move into electronic books. The iPad has a new, e-book reader and Apple is opening its own online bookstore.
JOBS: And so I can browse around the New York Times so easily.
BLACKSTONE: There's been lots of speculation that Apple's tablet will bring new life to print media like newspapers and magazines, but so far there's no indication how the old media will wring profits from this new device. John Blackstone, CBS News, San Francisco.
COURIC: As Apple was bragging about the iPad, Toyota was doing damage control today following its unprecedented decision to suspend sales and production of eight different models. The move followed the recall of more than 2 million of the vehicles already on the road. Dean Reynolds reports the cars have a dangerous defect: gas pedals that could get stuck.
DEAN REYNOLDS, CBS CORRESPONDENT: Nothing underlines Toyota's fatal flaw like this 911 call near San Diego last summer.
911 CALLER: We're in trouble! We can't - there's no brakes! We're approaching the intersection! We're approaching the intersection! Hold on. Pray. Pray. Oh shoot. There's a ... oh ... oh ....
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (screaming)
REYNOLDS: A family of four died when their gas pedal got stuck and their Toyota Lexus crashed. Last month, another Toyota with a stuck gas pedal was cited in the deaths of four others. Two incidents that led Toyota to temporarily suspend sales and production of eight models.
SEAN KANE, SAFETY RESEARCH STRATEGIES, INC.: The credibility of the company is on the line in terms of what's really going on. They've left that door open and they realize they've got a bigger problem.
REYNOLDS: Now Avis and other car rental companies have temporarily removed Toyotas from their fleets and consumers are flooding dealers with questions.
DEBBIE PULEO, TOYOTA OWNER: It's very worrisome to me that I either could injure myself, my accelerator sticks as all the kids are flooding across the streets from the buses, that I could hit somebody.
REYNOLDS: Toyota says an Indiana company, CTS makes the accelerator package. But CTS says Toyota told it fewer than a dozen cases of unintended acceleration have occurred, none fatal. Toyota is now reportedly shipping replacement parts to dealers. Meanwhile, it advises drivers who face the problem on the road to shift into neutral and bring their cars to a rolling stop.
The competition has noticed. General Motors today offered fresh incentives to Toyota owners to win them over. With GM claiming they've received many e-mails from Toyota customers asking for help. Dean Reynolds, CBS News, Chicago.
COURIC: And now to Haiti. It almost defies belief, but there's been another rescue there. Late today, a 15-year-old girl was pulled alive from under a house in Port-au-Prince. We don't know yet how she survived for 15 days trapped in the rubble after the earthquake. She's severely dehydrated and has a leg injury. Rescuers say she cried when they freed her. And later in the broadcast, how American children are helping the children of Haiti in their time of need. But up next, a college football star tackles the abortion issue during the Super Bowl and critics say Out-of-bounds.
COURIC: Let's face it, a good number of Americans watch the Super Bowl every year for the commercial as much as for the game. This year, Nancy Cordes tells us there is a big controversy over one of those ads which features a football player and a hot political issue.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our quarterback from Jacksonville Florida!
NANCY CORDES, CBS CORRESPONDENT: College superstar Tim Tebow is known for two things: his record-breaking plays and the Bible verses he wears on his cheeks during games. But it's his decision to tackle the abortion issue that's under the bright lights now. In a new ad to air Super Bowl Sunday, Tebow talks about his mother's choice to give birth to him despite doctors' concerns for her health.
TIM TEBOW: And I think it's a great opportunity to show, you know, something very happy and a special story and, you know, my mom fighting for me.
CORDES: The ad, which is still under wraps, does not explicitly condemn abortion, but that hasn't stopped women's rights groups from demanding in a letter that CBS pull it.
JEHMU GREENE, WOMEN'S MEDIA CENTER: CBS and the NFL need to listen to the 40 percent of Super Bowl viewers that are women and scrap this ad.
CORDES: For years, CBS did not accept issue advocacy ads. This spot from the United Church of Christ was rejected for the 2004 Super Bowl. In the past few years, though, the network reversed its policy, allowing ads on all sorts of issues from health care reform to energy policy.
In fact, most media outlets have accepted advocacy ads for some time. , CBS said in a statement, but this is the first time a divisive issue like abortion will be explored during the Super Bowl.
BARBARA LIPPERT, COLUMNIST, ADWEEK: Do they really want an important message like that trivialized between dancing monkeys and farting horses? Which is what people have come to expect of the advertising.
CORDES: The Tebow ad was produced by the evangelical group Focus on the Family, which spent at least $2.5 million on the 30-second spot even after laying off 275 people since 2008.
GARY SCHNEEBERGER, FOCUS ON THE FAMILY: From our perspective, this money is a good investment because it allows us to put before the American people who we are and what we stand for.
CORDES: And while the ad may not be the kind of Super Bowl debut Tebow has in mind for his future, it's exactly what is on his mind now. Nancy Cordes, CBS News, Washington.
COURIC: In other news tonight, John and Elizabeth Edwards are separating. In a statement today, the former presidential candidate calls it an extraordinarily sad moment. They have been married for 32 years. Last week, John Edwards admitted he fathered a child with a woman who worked on his campaign. And coming up next, brewing opposition: The Tea Party movement.
COURIC: In his State of the Union address tonight, the president had hoped to claim victory on health care reform. But there is no reform -- not yet anyway -- because of voter opposition. Some of it stirred up by Tea Party activists. But who are they? Our senior political correspondent Jeff Greenfield traces the movement's grassroots.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Obama, are you listening?
JEFF GREENFIELD, CBS CORRESPONDENT: It began last February with an offhand slap at President Obama's stimulus plan by a cable commentator speaking from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're thinking of having a Chicago Tea Party in July! All you capitalists that want to show up to Lake Michigan, I'm going to start organizing!
UNIDENTIFIED MALES: Drop that bill!
GREENFIELD: But it wasn't capitalists or politicians or any one central group who organized last April's tax day protests. Or who fueled last September's Washington protests that drew tens of thousands. Or that helped put Republican Scott Brown in a Massachusetts Senate seat. In fact, what makes the so-called Tea Party movement so significant is that it isn't driven by any one personality or issue. There's no list of members or chapters, best guess is that several hundred thousand participated in one or more of the protests last year. There's no one office or figure who speaks for the movement.
REP. PETE KING, (R), NEW YORK: There's not any definite ideology to people in the Tea Parties. They really run the gamut.
GREENFIELD: Republican Congressman Pete King, who's represented a middle-class swing district of New York's Long Island for 18 years says much of the Tea Party anger is now aimed at the president.
KING: Certainly as far as the president is concerned is that, he's lost touch with the middle-class and he has an agenda he's going to pursue no matter what.
GREENFIELD: And while you can hear right wing sentiments at Tea Party gatherings ...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, if media is not doing its job, if government is just taking over every single thing it can and we now have an unfettered liberal -- the radical left has got control of the process.
GREENFIELD: In fact, if you were at a Denver rally on health care last week, you might think you were back in a civil rights rally in the 1960s.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, Martin Luther King is a hero to so many of us because he understood at some point if you're looking for freedom, if you're looking for liberty you have to take to the streets.
GREENFIELD: There's no doubt that the grassroots tea party energy is stirring Republican hopes and dreams for big gains in Congress this November, but like any powerful force, nitroglycerin, for example, it has to be handled with great care. Katie?
COURIC: Jeff Greenfield. Jeff, thanks so much. From CBSMONEYWATCH.COM, stocks closed higher today. The Dow picked up 41 points after the Fed signaled the economy is improving and it's not raising interest rates. Coming up next, helping the children of Haiti.
COURIC: The crisis in Haiti has touched the hearts of so many Americans. They've given more than half a billion dollars to various nonprofit groups but they're not just donating money as Michelle Miller tells us in tonight's edition of the American Spirit.
MICHELLE MILLER, CBS CORRESPONDENT: For the past two weeks, seven-year-old Zachary Baldwin has been obsessed with shoes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, those are mine!
MILLER: Along with his classmates at this Wadley, Alabama school, Zachary's been frantically collecting shoes by the boxload to donate to the victims of the Haiti earthquake.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That box is full.
MILLER: From sneakers to sandals. The kids know it's not the sole that matters but the difference made in the souls wearing them.
(on camera): So what do shoes offer?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Help and no pain on your feet when you walk on rocks and stuff.
MILLER (voice over): How many shoes are in here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have about a quarter of million pair.
MILLER: The shoes collected by the students wind up at this warehouse in nearby Roanoke, Alabama. Here the shoes become part of an international relief effort started after the 2004 tsunami. Soles for Souls (ph) now gives away a pair of shoes every nine seconds. That's three and a half million pairs every year. A million more are now pledged to Haiti.
PAUL WILSON, SOLES FOR SOULS: We know that shoes are not the first thing they need but it is the foundation for what they'll need to rebuild their lives.
MILLER: Worldwide, more than 300 million children live without shoes. Roughly the same number thrown away in American landfills every year. From Texas to Tennessee, the demand to recycle old shoes is growing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can start helping them.
MILLER: Smaller charities like Chicago's Share Your Soles are making strides.
MONA PURDY, SHARE YOUR SOLES: I know it makes a difference where kids in the U.S. know that they can share something small.
MILLER: Founder Mona Purdy, known as the queen of sole, went to Haiti over the weekend to hand deliver the shoes she's collected.
PURDY: Can you put them on?
MILLER: Back in Alabama, the kids hope to make a difference from the ground up. Michelle Miller, CBS News, Wadley, Alabama.
COURIC: Good for them. And that's the CBS EVENING NEWS. I'll be back at 9:00 eastern, 8:00 central with the State of the Union address, followed by a special live webcast at cbsnews.com. With thanks to the Jones Day law firm for this view of the Capitol, I'm Katie Couric. Thanks for watching. I'll see you again soon.
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