tv CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow CNN September 19, 2015 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
it was a couple of days that i could make him feel better than the days before and the days after, and i think that was very little compared to everything that he go through at the moment, but it was, okay, it was good that i could do it. >> so much uncertainty still lies aaide for mohammed, yilmaz, and hegger's families. they are the lucky ones. their journeys have ended. but so many others are in camps, train stations, bus stations, or trying to cross borders that are quickly closing. leaving them in limblimbo, with future at home or abroad.
hello, everyone. i'm poppy harlow in new york. this saturday afternoon, i want to welcome our viewers here in the united states and around the world as we await pope francis' arrival in cuba just one hour from now. >> and i'm chris cuomo live in havana's historic revolution square. the papal visit is making a lot of history. they're actually saying that revolution square could become evolution square in several ways. joining the cuban icons of martiz is a huge picture of jesus christ. that's a first here. there's a message underneath his visage that translates to "come to me." they say this is something that has not been in place in any way
since the publishment of the square. so you have pope francis coming here, the third visit in 17 years. he'll be here. people are going to listen. hundreds of thousands here, millions around the world to what is said, how it's said, what is unsaid, and why. and also, poppy, a small note. the heat is an issue. it's been historically hot in havana. it is now and it's actually drning the vatican about how much the pope will be able to take on. >> but chris, what are the -- i know you arrived there yesterday afternoon. you've had about 24 hours with the people there. what are they saying to you about this visit? >> reporter: it's very interesting, poppy. they are very excited for the pope to come. but the idea of revolution versus evolution, of progress, is not forefront if their mind. they say they're not seeing it. that their lives very hard. and that's why they are hopeful there's not a lot of reality, of practical changes so far to justify that hope. they're looking very forward to
what the hope can make different in their lives. >> it's such an important point, chris. you and i will talk a lot about it over the next three hours, as you are o continuing live coverage goes on. we'll talk to father james martin about that and others. a question that many people are bringing up. this is a light, but what happens in a matter of days when the pope leaves. how do their lives actually change. chris cuomo live for us in havana, revolution square, which some say has become evolution square. but i want to get to politics. donald trump is defending his decision to keep quiet when one of his supporters outright called president obama, quote, miscellaneo muslim and not an american. trump has taken to twitter about the controversy. "if i would have challenged the man, the media would have accused me of interfering with the man's right to free speech. a no-win situation." that is quite a change from his campaign manager's explanation right after this happened, that trump didn't even hear it, when the man called president obama a muslim. trump had much more to say in his own defense.
here is sunlen serfaty. >> reporter: well, poppy, donald trump had been deflecting questions over this since this originally happened on thursday. his campaign originally saying that they believe that he did not hear the question from the voter. so that's why these tweets that he sent today were very significant, because for the first time, we're hearing directly from donald trump. and he's really pushing back a different way. i want to read you a few of these tweets that he sent out this morning. saying, quote, this is the first time in my life that i have caused controversy by not saying something. later, went on to say, "if someone made a nasty or controversial statement about me to the president, do you really think that he would come to my rescue?" now. it's interesting, we're at the mackinaw conference today on mackinaw island. and this is a lot of the buzz here. many people waiting to see, many of these republican candidates, if they will address this or not. we just got out of a briefing with governor kasich of ohio, and he, when asked afterwards,
he said, you know, i'm not going to focus on donald trump. i'm going to focus on myself. even when we pushed back and e said, doesn't a leader, though, need to correct the record if a voter says something that is wrong? so interesting to see how this will develop over the course of the day here at this republican conference. i should say that many of these candidates arrived in an interesting way, taking great lengths to get here. some by ferry. this island does not have any cars or transportation, so they have to take a horse-drawn carriage. so, certainly, an interesting entrance by many of the candidates. we did hear from jeb bush last night, who did mention these donald trump comments and he said point-blank that president obama a christian, president obama is an american. it will be very interesting going forward, poppy, to see if donald trump addresses this at his rally tonight in iowa. poppy? >> sunlen, thank you very much. i want to talk more about this with matt schlapp. he is the chairman of american conservative union. he's also the former political
director for former president george w. bush. thank you for being with me. >> great to be here with you, poppy. >> let's talk about back in 2011, because this isn't new with trump. 2011, he tells fox news, i want to read you part of the quote. he, referring to the president, doesn't have a birth certificate. he may have one, but there's something on that, maybe religion, maybe it says he's a muslim. what is him saying that now as a candidate do to his chances? >> well, i don't think he's saying that now, as a candidate. >> no, you're right. what is him not saying to someone who said the president is a muslim, saying that's incorrect, what does that do to his candidacy? >> this is exactly the case in point. it's very easy when you're asking a question at one of these rallies, for the person you're asking it to, to be very confused on what you're asking. i don't know if donald trump heard or didn't hear this question. i know for all of us who have ever gotten questions in public forums, sometimes you're trying to be polite when someone asks
an inappropriate question. i think this was an inappropriate question. i don't know if he was trying to be polite or feed into this dynamic. but one thing i know, when you're running for president, you have to be unique and different. there are times when you have to look at the questioner and say, that's inappropriate. the way jeb bush described this is right on target. that is, we're not here to talk about whether obama is a christian or a muslim and that's not important. and we're not here to talk about whether or not he's a citizen, because he is. wear here to talk about his policies that are damaging the country. and i think if we get to that point, the republican party will be in a better position. >> here's the thing, trump tweeted five times, i've counted today, and he could have at any point in time said, i should have silenced that man or i didn't hear him, that's not what he's saying. let's pull up these poll numbers. because you just said he should have responded like jeb bush or lindsey graham or like kraes chris christie. 29% of americans in this country
right now think that the president is a muslim. when you look at trump's supporters, 54% think the president is a muslim. so, actually, it doesn't help him to correct that voter, does it? >> well, i would just ask back, you mean, what does it matter whether the president's a muslim or christian? you know -- >> exactly. >> the fact -- >> well, i mean, but clearly, whether or not, what percentage of americans think the president is a muslim or not to me is not as important as, if it's important for president obama to be seen as a christian, he ought to have a lot of events that make that very clear to people. there ought to be tons of events of him coming out of prayer meetings and going to churches and making overtly christian references to his faith. if there's confusion to that, that's the president's problem, not the republican party's problem. i think it's a mistake for our candidates to try to obfuscate with the real issue. and the real issue is it's president obama's policies. it's not his religion, it's not his creed. it's not how much he loves the
country. i think president obama does love this country. i just think he has a completely different vision from what these republican candidates have. and by the way, i think the american people are really at a moment where they're willing to listen to the republican party on these questions more than they have throughout the whole entire obama presidency. >> and matt, you've also said, previously, on cnn, that trump is good for this campaign, that he is good for politics right now. you've also said, at this moment, we need a conservative who speaks not in pale pastels, was in bold colors. all right. that's donald trump. i want to roll for you what jeb bush slatd last night in response to this controversy. >> barack obama is a talented man. and by the way, he's an american, he's a christian, his problem isn't the fact that he was born here or that he's -- what his faith is. his problem is, he's a progressive liberal that tears down anybody that disagrees with him. >> that reminds me of how john mccain handled a similar
situation. you're saying that's the right way to address it. is that what gets you the votes? >> look. let me just say one thing. on the question of not speaking in pale pastepastels, but bold colors. let me be clear. i was paraphrasing ronald reagan who said that out of cpac. >> right. >> so i think we do want people that speak their mind and aren't always politically correct, as donald trump says, and i think it's clear in this situation. donald trump did not go to the podium and question the president's religion or where he was born. he didn't do that. it was one of his supporters from the audience. and i think that's a really important distinction. and i think if -- when these moments happen in the campaign, as you see, many of these other candidates jumping on donald trump. a lot of people in the press jumping on donald trump, i think it actually has the opposite impact, which is more people say, why are you jumping on -- not you, poppy, but why are people jumping on donald trump, when he didn't even say it -- >> i hear you.
let me point out one difference. the difference is, he didn't correct the person and just, four years ago, he, himself, questioned if the president was born in this country or was a muslim to fox news. let's take one more listen to how john mccain handled this when he was asked a similar questions back when he was running in 2008. >> i can't trust obama. i have read about him. and he's not, he's not -- he's a -- he's an arab. he's not -- >> no, ma'am. >> no? >> no, ma'am. no, ma'am. he's a decent family man, citizen, that i just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues. and that's what this campaign is all about. he's not. thank you. >> now, granted, john mccain didn't win that election. it wasn't about that one moment or one other moment, but could donald trump take a page from john mccain on that? >> yeah, look, i'm not always the biggest john mccain fan, but
he deserves great credit for having the character and to have the -- he just responded correctly. and once again, i think that when you're running for president, there are times when you simply have to look at a supporter who's for you and thinks the you're great and simply say, you know, you're off on this. and i think as a country, we have to be awfully careful when it gets into questions on bigotry on religion and racism. and i don't believe donald trump to be any of those. i think it's a great thing that donald trump is running, he is our front-runner and adding a lot to the debate. i think he missed an opportunity to make it clear that he's running against these policies. he's not running against these characteristics of the man. and i think as the days move forward, i think we're going to get back to talking about those policies, which i think are very destructive for the country. >> matt schlapp, thank you very much. you'll join us again in the 5:00 hour here on the show. thank you sb w, sir. coming up tonight, donald trump will speak at the freedom and faith coalition in
des moines. we'll carry it for you. and tomorrow, donald trump will join jake tapper as a live guest on cnn's "state of the union" at 9:00 a.m. eastern. don't forget, the cnn republican presidential debate replays tomorrow night at 8:00 in case you missed it. next up, the democrat conventiongoers in new hampshire shouting at their own chair. why debbie wasserman schultz is defending the democrats' debate plan. withof my moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis... ordinary objects often seemed...
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they want more debates for their candidates. she responded at one point to boos and chants of more debates, raising her voice, and saying, what's more important, drawing a contrast with republicans or arguing about debates? despite the heckling, the convention continued with speeches by hillary clinton, bernie sanders and others. and our cnn's suzanne malveaux was there and here's what she had to say. >> reporter: the democrats in new hampshire are holding their convention, very important here. about 4,200 in the audience and about a thousand delegates participating in all of this. each of the candidates trying to grab this critical primary state. so far, what we're seeing in the polls, it's bernie sanders in the lead with 43%, hillary clinton with 36%, and joe biden, vice president who has not even declared at 13%. all of the democratic candidates making their case here. and what has become very clear, is that they have either decided that they are going to go after trump and answer to the controversy or they will ignore
him. one person who did not do that was hillary clinton. she had some zingers. she went after him, talking about his stance on women, saying that donald trump, it is time to stop cherishing women and start respecting women. she dismissed his campaign slogan of make america great again, saying is america is already great, it just needs to work for everyone. and finally, once again, she went after donald trump on that town hall controversy over that individual who made anti-muslim remarks and also misstatements about the president. here's what she said. >> his latest outrage, how he handled the question about president obama was shocking, but not surprising. he's been trafficking in prejudice and paranoia throughout this campaign. >> reporter: bernie sanders, who is in the lead in new hampshire, four different polls, one of them showing 23 points ahead of hillary clinton when it comes to the new voters as well as those independents, chose not to address the trump controversy. very disciplined in his message.
the elephant in the room is who wasn't in the room, that was vice president joe biden, who is undeclared, and yet there is a draft biden movement that is really gaining steam and we saw that here today. poppy? >> suzanne, thank you very much for that. just ahead, a very tragic stories. new details about the short life and very violent death of a baby girl known until yesterday as just baby doe. just might be the one. to clean the oceans, to start a movement, or lead a country. it may not be obvious yet, but one of these kids is going to change the world. we just need to make sure she has what she needs. welcome to windows 10. the future starts now for all of us.
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now to the heartbreaking story of baby doe. the man charged with the toddler's death will be arraigned tomorrow, right alongside the child's mother. her name, we now know, is bella bond. she is 2 years old. her unidentified remains were found three months ago in a plastic bag on deer island, just east of logan airport. the mother and her boyfriend were arrested, following a tip. a law enforcement source tells cnn that boyfriend, who you're looking at right there, michael mcdarthy, allegedly punched the child. there's the child's mother. sarah ganim joining us with the latest. this is a new development, they believe the boyfriend punched the little girl. but why? >> reporter: truly disturbing, right, poppy? a law enforcement source telling us that they believe he punched her because he believed she was possessed by demons.
that man, mike mccarthy, the boyfriend, now charged with her murder. we're also learning new details about that tip. what led police to make these arrests. apparently it came from someone who was living in the apartment with the girl's mother. the tipster apparently asked her mother, where's bella, and her mother replied, poppy, she's dead. >> well, we know that the homicide unit got this tip late thursday. they brought the boyfriend into custody shortly thereafter. what charges does the mother face at this point? >> so the mother faces a charge of accessory after the fact. presumably, has something to do with the way that baby bella came to all of our attention. she was found in june, washed up on a boston shore, wrapped in a plastic bag, with a blanket that authorities have always suspected might have had some meaning to her. over the last several months, as police were trying to figure out
who she was, they had determined from pollen, it was on that blanket and also on her polka dot pants, which we have seen a picture of over and over against in the last several months, that shefts probably from this area. but it wasn't until that tip came in that they were able to make these arrests. >> and now we're learning about the history of the department of child services, right, coming to the home beforehand. what do we know about that? >> reporter: yeah, we know that this woman, rachelle bond, the mother of baby bella, had a history with the department of child services. she had two children that were taken out of her custody. she lost parental rights in the early 2000s. one of her children living with her mother, which is apparently estranged from her. another one living with a non-related family. and the department of child services had also been in contact with bella because of issues related to neglect. but that case had been closed and there had been no contact in the months leading up to her death, poppy. >> it is a story and an image,
her face, that has captivated the nation's attention for more than three months. more than 15 million people viewing that image of her, and now we know who this little girl is. sarah ganim, thank you. coming up, we return live to cuba. my colleague, chris cuomo, live in havana in revolution square, just as pope francis is about to touch down in havana within the hour. we will take you there live, next.
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welcome back to our special coverage of the pope's historic trip to cuba. i'm chris cuomo. we're getting very close to the arrival of pope francis here in havana. now, we are in revolution square. this is where the pope will celebrate mass tomorrow. but i want to show you something. because, already, there is history.
right now, you see us. there is a new holy trinity, so to speak, here in revolution square. you have a revolutionary. but we want to show you who have joined these two fathers of the revolution. look at this, for the first time in revolution square, jesus christ. here in this square, joining, again, what is a new type of holy trinity for cubans and the message clear. come to me, it says. now, that's already a big deal before pope francis is even on the ground. and obviously, it is a nod to the influence he has nad bringing cuba back into the dulgs with the united states and the world. now, for all the celebration that is being done in anticipation of the pope being here, there will also be tension. and we have cnn's rosa flores who has been with the pope. she actually shared a fine video, showing what it's like on the plane, if you want to show that. they have some very cool papal seat covers on his special
envoy, that's delivering him here. this is from rosa's fine video. there it is. there's the seat cover. pretty cool, huh? there withhe special crest for the holy seat. and this journey that he's taking. so for all the celebration, there is also expected to be controversy and tension as well. rosa flores has that story for us. here it is. >> reporter: the pope's visit to the u.s. was supposed to be all about philadelphia and families. but insert a stop in cuba, a cameo before u.s. congress, and a speech at the u.n., and the visit could create a trinity of tension. first, havana, where the vatican's influence helped ease 60 plus years of cold war animosity between the u.s. and cuba. >> there is a checkered and complicated past, but that's the past. and the pope is about living in the present and moving forward. >> reporter: during presidnt raul castro's vatican meeting with francis earlier this year,
the communist leader said he plans to attend every mass celebrated with francis. with the pope in the pews, will he scorn the country's lack of religious freedom? pope francis told students in cuba thursday through video conference he would like to see friendship between the u.s. and castro's communist nation saying -- >> translator: one of the most beautiful things is social friendship. this is what i would like to be able to achieve. social friendship. >> reporter: whatever the pope says in cuba will set the stage for a major address before a divided house in american congress. during his recent video to south america, francis called capitalism the dung of the devil. but will he utter those words inside the nation's capital? and what about those presidential candidates? >> we have to build a wall, folks. >> reporter: that charged
anti-immigration rhetoric, polar opposite to the pope. >> i don't know if he's worried about alienating people. he speaks the truth. >> his speech before the united nations at a time that hundreds of thousands of christians are fleeing per accusation in syria, iraq, and afghanistan. will he put world leaders in the hot seat, asking them to do more to help refugees? or will he praise the nations who have already accepted thousands? no one really knows what francis will say during his more than 20 speeches. if he speaks off the cuff, cuba, congress, and the united nations better get ready for a coming to jesus moment. rosa flores, cnn, rome. >> very helpful from rosa. remember, you have parallel paths of change here. you have what's going on with pope francis and his church, the catholic church, and what's going on with raul castro, the president and his cuba. and they're hoping that this revolution square becomes an
evolution square. but how so, poppy? and what words will match what actions? that is the curiosity on this day. >> it absolutely is. chris, stay with us. i want to bring in as well father james martin. he is a jesuit priest, editor at large of american magazine. the significance of this cuba treat, and the point in time that diplomatic relations have thawed between the united states and cuba, but so important as chris and i were talking about earlier, to note that things are still so hard for so many people living in cuba. how does the pope walk that line, given his friendship with raul castro? >> well, very delicately. he's very good at going into fraught situations. when he was in the middle east, he carefully negotiated between israelis and palestinians. but he's also the first latin america pope to go into cuba. so he's going into it with a knowledge of the language. and he's also someone who he, himself, in argentina, lived around dictatorship.
he knows the environment there. >> the message he'll say in the mass? what would your main message be in mass tomorrow morning? >> honestly, speaking to a communist country who has not heard a whole lot of talk about god, i would speak about jesus. i think that's the main message. and i think beyond that, one of reconciliation between the united states and cuba. but probably for the mass, he will stick to a primarily religious message. >> i want to bring chris back in here. chris, you know better than i what it feels like to be there with the people and what they want to hear. >> luck, took, the need is grea, but you have a population and a culture about not expressing their needs and desires. so there's going to be a little bit of a walking of a very tight line. this is cuba, still an oppressive regime, and that should not be forgotten, even in this new light of change. one of the interesting things father martin analyzed, from my perspective on the ground, the fact that the pope is coming here first. cuba was added to this trip,
when the politics of embargo changed the united states. what do you think this symbolism of choosing to come to cuba first before going to the united states? >> well, i would say two things. first of all, it's a reminder that the pope doesn't think the united states is the center of the world. >> right. >> he is going to cuba first. and secondly, i think it is a follow-up of that great kind of detente that he negotiated or helped to negotiate between president obama and raul castro. i think it's a follow-up to that kind of work that he had done before. >> chris, to you. i want to read both of you something that stood out to us in the atlantic today. let me read you part of it. the day after the pontiff leaves, when the prayers have been silenced and the stands have been removed and the facades of a old buildings painted in a hurry to temporarily cover the dirt and the ruins and the indolence begin to fade again under the merciless sun, thousands of cubans will return to the rhythms imposed by survival. the government will have released more 3,000 imprisoned
criminals as a gesture of goodwill to the bishop of rome. many will likely go on to commit the same crimes for which they were imprisoned. god help us. have you heard anything about that there? >> look, the issue of dissidence, of the oppressive nature of this regime with respect to freedom of educatixpn is well known. it's also well known that the pontiff is neither planning or should be expected to address the dissidence with his words or actions in terms of visitation. why not? because he is not a politician and and this is not a political envoy he's bringing here. as father martin can well tell you, that's the way it has always been. but there's no question that the people here feel a very profound sense of need. they are desperate for change. they are desperate for the essentials. and, yes, there's been a coat of paint put on things that remain very, very broken. >> chris, thank you very much. chris will be with us live for the next three hours, especially
when the pope touches down just minutes from now there in havana. i need to get a quick break in. father martin, thank you. stay with us, as well. first, coming up next. after 11 confirmed shootings on an arizona highway, the suspect now in custody after weeks and weeks of wondering who was doing this. this is a man alleged with a crime. who he is and how he got caught, next. at&t and directv are now one.
silence for the first time since he failed to correct a supporter who claimed that president obama is a muslim and not an american. trump tweeted today, quote, am i morally obligated to defend the president every time somebody says something bad or controversial about him? i don't think so. trump will speak tonight in iowa, just before 7:00 p.m. eastern. democratic candidate hillary clinton says trump's actions are shocking, but not surprising. you will hear much more from donald trump when he sits down with our very own jake tapper. that is tomorrow morning on "state of the union," airing at 9:00 a.m. and noon eastern. at the same time, getting a lot of buzz today, vice president joe biden getting strong support for a 2016 bid. in a letter, a group of nearly 50 top democratic donors are urging biden to throw his hat into the ring to challenge clinton for the democratic nomination. biden is weighing whether he and his family right now have the emotional endurance for this campaign, as they still grieve the loss of their son, beau, who recently died from brain cancer.
in arizona now, where we're hearing for the first time that the suspect is speaking, the suspect in a string of shootings lo alongside is i-10 freeway. leslie allen merritt jr. spoke out in court a short time ago. he said he is not the person who committed these crimes. >> all i have to say is that i'm the wrong guy. i tried telling the detectives that and my gun has been in the pawnshop for the last two months. i haven't even had access to a weapon. >> merritt is being held on $1 million bond. nick valencia has the details on the suspect's capture. >> poppy, the arrest comes after weeks of terror in the phoenix area. 21-year-old leslie allen merritt jr. was taken into custody on friday night. police say they believe they have the man who started the shooting spree in custody. after more than two weeks of terror, police make an arrest in a string of highway shootings. >> the weapon and the man who we believe that was responsible for what started this spree in
arizona is in custody. >> though authorities have declined to name the suspect, two government officials told cnn the detained man's name is leslie allen merritt jr. cnn officials say this is merritt arriving at an arizona state police office. he was arrested friday night at a suburban glendale, arizona, walmart in connection with at least 4 of 11 shootings. most of those occurred along busy interstate 10. >> he was arrested at that walmart, with a woman and a 5-year-old child. they were not taken into custody. and he was. >> reporter: a phoenix city councilman told cnn the break in the case came after the suspect pawned a .9-millimeter handgun. police say their lab results showed it was the same gun used in at least four of the highway shootings. >> a subject is in custody because the weapon that he owned is forensically linked to these crimes. >> the suspect is only connected to the first four shootings.
police are unclear whether there are more suspects. >> are there others out there? are there copy cats? that is possible. we will continue to investigate. >> reporter: as of september 10th, there have been no other shootings reported. in friday night's arrest, police accused the suspect of starting the spree on august 29th. late last night, affiliate knxv tried to get the reaction from merritt's father. >> would you like to tell me about him or say anything on his behalf? >> would i like -- yeah, i'll say plenty on his behalf. whoever said he's the i-10 shooter is a [ bleep ] moron. have a good night! >> merritt's father told the local media that he believes his son is innocent and it's not in his character. police say they believe they have the right man. on sunday, merritt jr. was arraigned, charged with discharging a firearm within city limits. poppy? >> nick valencia, thank you very much. in just a few moments, the pope
will land for an historic visit in cuba. you are looking at live pictures of the airport there in havana. he will be greeted in person by president raul castro. after a quick break, we will be live with chris cuomo from havana. stay with us. ♪ ♪ (vo) you can pass down a subaru forester. (dad) she's all yours. (vo) but you get to keep the memories. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru.
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all right, we are back live from havana, cuba, and we have a big and exciting development. that is no ordinary plane. that is carrying pope francis. i'm here with cnn's patrick altman and ed lavandera. we heard in a couple of seconds they are going to land. he might have been circling around before. >> exactly, getting a look of his first time in cuba. president rual castro is waiting on the ground, then he's going to get on the pope mobile, there
will be lots of people waiting to hear him. >> we hear the crowd celebrating and there have been people assembled there to welcome the pope. you hear them? >> they are chanting. they are chanting. cuba is welcoming pope francis. >> as we listen, tell us if you can hear what they are saying. >> the music, just people yelling. pure joy. >> they are welcoming pope francis. now that he's here in cuba, first papal visit in 17 years, the significance on different levels, how do you see it? >> the pope played a key role in the resumption of u.s.-cuban relations. and he's taking a victory lap, he'll be asking for some things and asking in spanish. first pope who's a native spanish speaker. that's going to have a big impact. >> very familiar with cuba. rivera sharing his roots, several years older, but took a very different path in life. when he is here now, you said
the significance is immediate and you pointed out to me when we first arrived here in revolution square, you not just have the fathers of the revolution, but now what is going to be staring the pope in the face? >> there's an enormous billboard of jesus christ. i've never seen that in the three papal visits i've now covered. it's something telling. fidel castro never did that. >> the message on the bottom says "come to me." >> and the pope is coming to cuba. >> what is the reality on the ground of the freedom of faith? >> it's mixed. got a lot better. religion is all but banned here and that's slowly changed. there's a lot of things people lack. they are not able to school their children in catholic schools, no catholic media per se, those are things they want. those are things the pope is going to be pushing for. >> the pope wants freedom of religion and has a competitive situation on the ground. you have protestants, evangelicals here, especially in the interior. havana is on the coast here and the pope is going to two interior cities.
now that the pope is on the ground, we have a cnn correspondent on the plane. rosa, if you can hear us, tell us about the flight. >> reporter: well, we are actually passing -- we're in havana, and i'm in the back of the plane, but the pope is in the front, together with his delegation, and i'm in the back with all of the reporters. just to give you a behind the scenes look here, we left rome at about 10:00 a.m. local time. spent about 12 hours in the air. the pope very quickly came to the back of the plane and gave a quick greeting to all of the journalists, and he kind of gave us, you know, perhaps some key words or things to think about as he embarks on this journey. he mentioned the word peace many, many times. saying this world needs a lot of peace, especially at this time
of war. he said there's wars, there are immigration issues, there's a refugee crisis, and, of course, we can't not think of the presidential election and the anti-immigration rhetoric that appeared in the united states and then, of course, the refugee crisis in syria, iraq, and afghanistan. so all of those things, clearly, is kind of giving us, peppering us. he also mentioned peace, peace, and we know in the establishment of the relations between u.s. and cuba, so giving us a clue there, chris, i don't know, of course, we're going to have to see what happens. i also was able to meet the pope. we spent about 30 seconds, probably the best way for me to tell you about my experience with him is, he blessed twice,
and also a priest. i'll have to share more about that, but it was wonderful. he offered me a blessing. i brought some prayer cards for my family, and he blessed them for me. and he swore on the priest that we both know, so we sort of were joking about that, speaking spanish, of course. like i was saying, we're actually taxiing. there's a lot of photographers moving at this point in time, chris. we're going to be getting off of the plane momentarily. i'm sure the pope is getting ready to disembark and this is going to be a speech shortly as cuba welcomes him to this country, and we're going to bring you the latest, chris, and some pictures i can't wait to send you guys so we can share with our viewers of the pope interacting with all the journalists. the pope, you know, giving us a quick greeting and briefing and
pope, as well. chris? >> rosa, so stay with us. we want you taxiing right now. we see the plane with its signature vatican flag and a cuban flag the pilots have put out the window. let's take a quick break and tell you more about what pope francis is going to do now that he's on the ground in cuba. stay with us. i have type 2 diabetes. i started with pills. and now i take a long-acting insulin at night. i take mine in the morning. i was trying to eat right, stay active. but i wasn't reaching my a1c goal anymore. man: my doctor says diabetes changes over time. it gets harder to control blood sugar spikes after i eat and get to goal. my doctor added novolog® at mealtime for additional control. now i know. novolog® is a fast-acting, injectable insulin and it works together with my long-acting insulin. proven effective. the mealtime insulin doctors prescribe most. available in flexpen®. vo: novolog® is used to control high blood sugar in adults and children with diabetes.
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pope francis is in cuba. he just landed in havana, he came from above, but now he's on the ground with the rest of us. we've been showing you the plane just finished taxiing. our rosa flores was onboard. the pilots put flags out the windows, one of the signature vatican flag and one of the flag of cuba announcing the arrival of what is certainly not just a visit, but a mission of pope francis. what was it like onboard? >> reporter: you know, like you just mentioned, the plane just stopped at the airport here in havana. the pope is in the front of the plane, chris, i'm in the back with probably 70-plus journalists, and we're going to see pope francis walk off of this plane here pretty soon and, of course, you're going to see a rush of photographers. i'm standing right by th.