tv MSNBC News Live MSNBC August 13, 2011 5:00am-6:00am PDT
the first big test of 2012. gop presidential contenders scramble to take the top prize in iowa. the key question, who will survive past this weekend to fight another day? perry and palin. he is throwing his hat in today, while she's still on the fence. how do they fit into the picture right now, and how could they change the race? back to orlando. casey anthony could be forced to return to the city where she was
found not guilty of killing her daughter. plus, she's going under the jackhammer. what to expect once lady liberty undergoes her year-long renovation. i'm alex witt. 8:00 a.m. on the east coast. 5:00 a.m. out west. it's a make or break day for the field of presidential hopefuls today as they face the first big test of the presidential campaign. the iowa straw poll will get underway in just a few hours, and the stakes couldn't be higher for michelle bachmann and tim pawlenty, where straw poll success is considered vital for their candidacies. they were busy working the crowds last night. >> we need to make that promise and send a message to washington d.c. so loud that barack obama can't possibly miss the sound that we make tomorrow in ames, iowa, that we are taking our country back. >> the voting is from 10:00 to 4:00. you swing by at any time during the day, and we would love to have you.
it would make a big difference to the outcome of that thing tomorrow. >> one of the straw poll four years ago mitt romney is skipping the straw poll this time around. a financial disclosure says he is worth between $190 million and $250 million, and as the straw poll takes place today, romney is spending time with voters in new hampshire. >> everybody will talk about their own record, their own distinctive capabilitiecapabili have to talk about me. you know, the experience that i have. not because the race is about a person, but because the race is about the country and the challenges we face. >> texas governor rick perry is threatening to overshadow today's iowa straw poll by officially entering the republican presidential's. last night he spoke with republicans in alabama about the need to send more conservatives to washington. >> if we don't get the federal government under control, if we don't get this debt issue addressed, we break this choke
hold that washington has on the private sector. the consequences are going to be unthinkable. >> nbc news capitol hill correspondent kelly o'donnell is in iowa with more. good saturday morning to you, kelly. >> reporter: good morning, alex. this is where iowans will bring the straw poll to life today. all those gop contenders have a lot on the line. now, the real prize is momentum, a chance for more fundraising, and all the attention that comes with it. now, not every candidate's name is on the ballot, but all of them have something to win or lose. under the iowa sun and on top of the hottest hay bail in politics. >> iowans are going to send the signal. this is where barack obama got his start. this is where he is going to come to his end. in iowa. >> reporter: michelle back maun making the final push before today's straw poll. pumped up crowds, tailgate
rallies, and all the deep fried delicasies that go down easy at the fair. >> the food, definitely. >> we tried the fried butter. >> oh, it was so good. >> reporter: republican contenders like tim pawlenty have poured huge campaign money into getting supporters here. paying for buses and the $30 ticket needed to attend and cast a straw vote. a pivotal test of any candidate's organization and energy. >> it's going to have a lot to say about who the candidates are who are going to be going forward as the president of the united states. >> reporter: those relying on a less expensive grassroots game plan hit the same soapbox to make their pitch. businessman herman caim. >> i didn't get the memo that we were supposed to pay him. i didn't get the memo that america can't fix these problems. >> reporter: former house speaker newt gingrich. >> as far as i am concerned, i want to be a citizen this summer helping my country get back to work, helping my country solve its problems. we got plenty of time to run for
president later. >> reporter: today's results can be make or break. even though the outcome carries no official weight, it is influential for candidates and doneors and to stay in the race, and the undeclared and undecided sarah palin drew cameras and crowds here. palin said expect to hear whether she is in or out by the end of september. >> i want to be very fair to supporters and not keep them hanging on in perpituity. it's fair to let them know so they can jump on board with someone sxels decide for themselves what they want to do. >> reporter: not here and not actually competing in the straw poll, mitt romney back in new hampshire was pressed on his much talked about comment that corporations are people. >> it's really astonishing to me that the obama folks would try and argue that businesses aren't people. what do they think they are? little men from mars?
it's -- the businesses are comprised of people. >> one of the names getting a lot of attention now that is not a part of what's happening here in iowa today is texas governor rick perry. he is throwing his hat in the ring, not in this state, which is ruffling some feathers here, but making an announcement today in south carolina that he is in the race. alex. >> okay. kelly o'donnell. thanks for that. here's who we are going to hear from today. former pennsylvania senator rick santorum. he is up at 1:40 p.m. eastern. he will be followed by ron paul and then two minimum mennans, former governor rick paul ebty and congresswoman michelle bachmann. wrapping up the day, michigan congressman, thaddeus mccotter and then herman cain. for more on what to expect in the straw poll i'm joined live from ames political director mark murray. good morning. >> good morning, alex. let's talk about the kind of buzz the momentum that you are sense thering. is there any one person there you think that's engendering a lot of that will and getting a tremendous amount of the focus?
>> well, the person who has the most buzz going into this is michelle backman. i was over at the iowa -- des moines register soapbox. people are crowded right before a speech she gave. it was a quick two-minute speech, but a lot of buzz, a lot of electricity. by the polls, she is the frontrunner here in iowa. the question is can she maintain it, and that's what today's ames straw poll is all about. look, the straw poll is isn't a predictor of the republican nomination, but it gives you a good indication about the organization someone has as well as it's almost a winnowing process. with all these candidates in the field, it's important for them to show some type of buzz, some type of momentum for all those donors because the iowa caucuses are just a few months away. >> if it's all about organizational campaign skills there, that bodes well for ron paul, doesn't it? that would mean that he would live to see another dae, but is he expected to survive long-term? >> well, alex, i mean, ron paul
does have a great organization. the question is the organizational people are iowans and these are people coming to today's straw poll. he has a huge following of a lot of college students across the country, but i can't tell you just walking around the iowa state fair yesterday seeing the signs, he is going to have a big support. the question remains if he is going to get first place, is it going to be second or third? the chances are he is going to be definitely top three here. >> you know, a big upset, frankly, by one of the lesser known candidates is unlikely here, but what kind of impact have other candidates in iowa had on the overall nature of this election? p, the front runners themselves? >> alex, the other person we haven't talked about is tim pawlenty. in this ames straw poll, it's a make or break moment for him. i think when this whole presidential campaign season began, a lot of people thought he was going to be the alternative to mitt romney. someone who could give mitt romney a run for his money. he hasn't had a whole lot of good news to tell, whether it was on the financial fundraising front or even in a recent debate
back in june. he had a better debate performance on thursday night, and he hopes to be able to have some good news to tell the donors, to tell the voters before that iowa caucus is next year. >> okay. mark murray, many thanks. >> thanks, alex. s. >> we invite you to stay with msnbc today for the live coverage of the iowa straw poll. we'll have live coverage throughout ames, and then at 4:00 eastern we have a special edition of andrea mitchell reports from 6:00 until 8:00 after that msnbc chuck todd hosts a special edition of the daily rundown with all of the poll results. this morning president obama is telling voters who are fed up with congress to do something about it. he says they should call their representativeses while they're home on their summer break. >> have you a right to be frustrated. i know i am. you deserve better. i don't think it's too much for you to expect that the people you sent to this town start delivering for you. >> msnbc chief washington correspondent john harwood is live at the white house once
again. with another good morning to you, john, will you read between the lines for us there, and what is the strategy behind this speech? >> alex, presidents have a variety of tools to try to get their agenda through, get what they want. one of them is getting in a room of people and negotiating, trying to make a deal, trying to make a compromise. he tried that with republican leaders this summer in the debt limit debate. didn't work out too well. they ultimately got a deal, but we got a downgrade from s&p. we had craziness in the market last week. that told the president that they were not going to cooperate with him, so he has now decided to go over their heads. he is doing it in the radio address. s he did it in his michigan slate last week. will he do it in midwestern next week when he goes out, and basically he tries to hammer the republicans and leverage his advantages in public opinion. if you look in the polls, the president's position on some of the key issues about how to close the deficit, make a
long-term deal, the public is more with the president, but the republicans have a very intense base, a very conservative base that's significant in size, and it's causing their members not to make a deal. he is trying to change the political facts on the ground so that when at the come back in september, will he have more luck. >> okay. with regard to iowa today, are democrats trying to steal some of the thunder by having a couple of prominent ones there? david axlerod, debbie wauser man schultz. you have the president coming there later this week. are they trying to take away from what's happening with the straw poll, or are they really just trying to make a play for iowa? >> they're trying to make a play for iowa, and they're trying to decide that it's a maximum attention on the state of iowa. i mean, if you have a special edition of mitchell reports and the daily rundown and media from all over the country there focused on the political action in the republican party, democrats don't want to be completely out of that story. david axelrod, debbie
wasserman-schultz, and especially mitt romney, the republican frontrunner, to make sure that the democratic arguments aren't lost. when we get to the fall of 2012, iowa is going to be a swing state. barack obama carried it in 2008. he very much wants to carry it next time. >> okay. john harwood, many thanks. see you again. >> okay. casey anthony thought she was a free woman after being acquitted last month of murdering her daughter. now she's being forced to return to florida to report for probation. nbc's carrie sanders has the latest for us. a very good morning to you. is this a surprise really aring, or we sore knew something like this might happen? >> i think it was a possibility always that casey anthony would be ordered out of her hiding to the department of corrections to meet with her probation officer. that's because 16 months before the murder trial she was sentenced to a one-year probation after she pled guilty to passing bad checks.
>> reporter: when casey anthony walked free four weeks ago, she and her legal team believed she was a free woman, but chief judge melvin perry, who reviewed her probation letter writes, "it's clear, the defendant's probation was to start once she was released." the idea she had served her probation while in jail awaiting the murder trial was a clerical error. to let casey now avoid her probation would make a mockery of justice. this is not the message the courts want to send to the public or defendants. the error letting casey anthony's one-year probation be counted while she sat in jail might have gone unnoticed but for orlando attorneys richard hornsby who blogged there had been a mistake. >> she's going to have to do what she was sentenced to do. >> i sincerely apologize to amy. >> casey anthony pled guilty to stealing her best friend's checkbook and then used that friend's money on a spending spree at target. as a condition of casey's probation, she will have to
reveal her income and who is paying her and if she violates her probation, she could wind up back in jail. >> i think orlando is tired of dweelg this. everybody i talk to just desperately wants to go back to life as normal and not have to continue talking about this. >> reporter: while the judge ordered casey anthony to return to florida by august 26, where and when that happens will likely remain a secret. >> florida has probation offices in every county, and so depending upon where she is, she could report to another area of florida. >> reporter: keeping her movements in florida are of top security concern, despite being acquitted of murdering her 2-year-old daughter, caylee, the judge rights if his order, "it is reported that the defendant is the nation's most hated person." the judge cites a survey by e poll market research that says in the total dislike category of the survey, anthony easily topped the charts at 94%. >> they hate her.
they really hate her. i don't think it's safe. i think she should go far away. stay out of florida. >> reporter: we tried to reach casey anthony's defense attorneys, but they did not return our calls. meantime, casey anthony's parents, george and cindy, have issued a statement that if their daughter decides to return to orlando to serve her probation here, she will not be living with them. alex. >> that's one place people won't be looking, but, you know, there is legitimate concern about her safety. i mean, are they going to have to spend money on police protection for her? >> in all likelihood, she will slip in and out of the state quickly. it's believed that she will then serve her probation out of state in an area where sort of her identity is less known and, of course, the judge ordered in this case and most cases somebody serving probation has to register an address that is then put on the internet and then part of public record in florida.
this is case he said that can be consealed. >> yeah. well, that makes sense. okay. carrie sanders, many thanks. filling a need. thousands line up to get something many take for granted during these tough financial times. and, later, mitt romney and his millions. plus, his statement this week that corporations are people. who spun this one better, romney or the democrats? ♪ money, money, money [ man ] behind every business is a "what if." what if we designed an electric motorcycle? what if we turned trash into surfboards? whatever your what if is, the new sprint biz 360 has custom solutions to make it happen, including mobile payment processing, instant hot spots, and 4g devices like the motorola photon. so let's all keep asking the big what ifs. sprint business specialists can help you find the answers. sprint. america's favorite 4g network. trouble hearing on the phone? visit sprintrelay.com.
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for role call. good to see you this morning. >> good morning from ames, alex. >> well, indeed. i want to start by asking you a question about -- it's something i have been asking my guests. what is your biggest take-away from iowa and the republican field. is there one major theme emerge sng. >> i would say there is. i spent the day at the iowa state fair yesterday, and i spoke to a lot of republican voters. a lot of people listening to the republican candidates. a dominant theme i heard is that republicans want a candidate with a backbone. they want somebody who is very strong. they want somebody who is going to stand up to the president. i think that's notable because governor tim pawlenty, the former governor of minnesota has put a lot of effort into this state, and he is really going to try hard to come into the top three spots today in the ames straw poll, but his wrap is that he doesn't quite have that backbone, and i think it's interesting. it could be one of the reasons he is not doing as well as he probably would have hoped right now. >> you look at this field there in iowa. is there anyone that might
surprise us today? he does have a good organization here. i see his signs around. i see his supporters cheering from the stands on thursday night's debate. he does have a following here, and he frankly moved his whole family here. he certainly put the effort in. what about anyone that might struggle after the straw poll today? >> i think herman cain, depending how sde, if he doesn't place in the top five, i think. that's not going to be good. if he doesn't finish in the top three, his campaign will have serious problems. >> when you talk about serious problem continuing on, i mean, what are you implying there? that he really -- there might be
a hail mary. >> he might have to retool some things, and that to me means things like staffing changes or scale back a lot of his efforts. here's what he would really benefit from if he did well tomorrow. if he played -- if he placed in the top three today, i think he would get fundraising boost, which he so desperately needs right now, and that's what iowa is about. it gives you the momentum so you can keep raising money and keep getting that great press coverages coverage to go on to the other states. stoo how about the romney-huntsman factor and the fact that neither of them are really campaigning and participating in today, and the rick perry factor. his announcement today. are those three at all weighing in much on the voters' minds? >> yeah. i think they are. they are want pleased with romney or huntsman. this is their big event.
this event essentially is a fundraising event for the iowa republican party, and so they're not happy that these candidates are not buying tents, they're not buying tickets. their supporters sht coming. this is not a nice thing to do to iowa republicans, and guess what, these same iowa republicans are going to be voting in this caucus in january. >> you got it. sarah with role call. thank you so much for joining us. >> thanks for having me. zooirchlgts and sign of the times. what can thousands waiting in lines for hours? we are going to show you next. [ male announcer ] this...is the network --
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>> reporter: the line to the clinic stretched around the block with more than 1,000 people already there when the doors first opened at 5:00 a.m. friday. with 200 dentedists and 1,300 other volunteers, this free clinic north of atlanta is sponsored by the georgia dental association, caring for that's that can't pay. >> they are getting fillings, root canals, extractions. >> reporter: among the chronically poor and their families are some new faces in the line. for 15 years before she lost her job as an administrative assistant karen spears had dental insurance, but now cannot afford care. >> never never anticipated it. my mother got sick and had to care for her. she was in hospice, and it was just, you know, could not get, you know, a job. >> reporter: clinic organizers say they're seeing many jobless people now who could afford private dentists a year ago. >> a lot of these patients were our patients last year. they've lost their jobs.
they've lost their benefits. >> reporter: the demand is so great that after the first 1,400 patients were admitted on friday, the next 1,000 people were told to come back today. among those told to return is sheila phillips who had a 30-year sales career before losing a job at ibm two years ago. now she struggles. >> it doesn't say anything about me. it says something about the state of our economy. >> reporter: an economy where for many even basically for now. mark potter, nbc news, wood stock, georgia. a chilling new report about a poisoning threat coming from al qaeda's most violent arm. i love that my daughter's part fish. but when she got asthma, all i could do was worry !
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how'd you learn to do that? what'd you use? every project we finish comes with a story built-in. it's how our rough ideas become "you did that yourself?" so when we can save more on the projects that let us fix, make, and do more... that just makes the stories even better. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. add some style to your sink, with this moen banbury faucet for the new lower price of $79. welcome back. i'm alex witt. here are the top stories at 31 past the hour. the first test for the presidential candidates. the iowa straw poll marks the first time voters can weigh in on the ballots.
we'll have more from ames in a moment. the search is on in eastern pakistan where a contractor was kidnapped from his home. they say between eight and ten people broke in and forced him to leave. kidnappings for ransom are common in pakistan. new fears this morning about a possible toxic plot by al qaeda's affiliate in yemen. reporting in today's "new york times" officials are concerned al qaeda may be trying to produce the deadly poison rison so it can be packed around small explosives for attacks against the u.s. just a speck of rison can kill if it's ip hailed or enters the bloodstream. more now on the major political battle unfolding right now in iowa. the gop presidential hopefuls are looking to gain momentum today at the straw poll in ames, and nbc news political reporter is live for us in ames, iowa. good morning to you. >> good morning, alex. >> what's the biggest buzz this morninged ahead of the straw poll today? what are you hearing? >> they're still setting up here, but, you know, we're really going to be watching who
can really make a dent here. you know, do we see any surprises? we're looking at michelle bachmann, tim pawlenty, and then, you know, who could make some noise? there's been a lot of ron paul signs. we know that he has an ardent following. can he sort of shake things up here. we'll see what winds up happening. people don't start speaking until the afternoon. they will vote all day, and we'll get results a little after five 5:00 or 6:00 your time. >> who do you think seems to be making, though, the best final push? who is making the biggest impression right now? >> well, obviously, from the debate you can see that the pawlenty-bachmann back and forth. it was all about ames and the results here. with rick perry today elsewhere going to jump in this race, you know, michelle bachmann really needs a win. the two of them are going to be fighting for the same kinds of voters. you know sheshgs really needs to impress and do well, and tim pawlenty really needs a pretty strong second place showing.
now, how does someone like rick santorum do? this is a guy who has been to 68 of the 99 counties here in iowa, campaigned harder than anybody else. can he slip in? you know, can he make some buzz for himself? nobody has ever won the iowa caucuses who hasn't finished in the top two of ames. you know, it's a big test and definitely going to be part of the winnowing process here. >> you just talked about michelle bachmann needing a win, and tim pawlenty needing to come in number two. why that assessment? is it because you think all the buzz is around michelle back man and she really needs to have this to legitimatize her campaign, or do you think that tim pawlenty doesn't have really a shot at getting the top spot? >> well, you know, look, his team is professional team. they've put a lot of money and resources. when you look at the expectations, both of those two campaigns have done the most work to try to win this thing. because they've tried the hardest to win, you know, the expectations are there, and they've got to impress. the pawlenty team, you know,
knows what they're doing. they've been organized. if they can't pull it off after doing all that work, then there are questions raised about your campaign. michelle bachmann in ads talks about ames and come to ames and she was at the soapbox yesterday for the des moines register at the state fair talking about, hey, come to ames. i want you here. the two of them are doing the most to promote themselves here and because of that they have set the expectations and set the bar and they need to do well. >> okay. tim, doing well as always. thank you so much. >> thanks, alex. presidential hopeful mitt romney, political, of course, is defending a controversial comment he made in iowa about corporations being people. romney, who leads national polls and several state surveys, is the most formidable republican challenger to president obama's re-election campaign. he says his comments were not a mistake. the former massachusetts governor was heckled for those comments during his first public appearance since thursday's iowa debate. >> corporations are people, my friends.
we can raise taxes. of course, they are. everything from corporations ultimately goes to people. where do you think it goes? >> it goes down their pockets. >> whose pockets? people's pockets. okay. human beings, my friends. >> nbc's xaen garrett hake is following the campaign in new hampshire. a good morning to you. how is the romney campaign dealing with this latest episode? how do they feel that romney fairs against all the candidates in iowa right now? >> well, good morning, alex. s first of all, an event last night in new hampshire that basically doubled down on the statement about corporations being people. like you said, they don't see this as a mistake. they make the argument that if you work for a company, if you are paid by a company or if you have a 401k that will help you retire from a company, you are part of a corporation in a way too. they really do stand by those comments. as far as ames and iowa are concerned, you have to remember that back in 2008 governor romney poured millions of dollars and a lot of his time into winning the straw poll in
ames, and it didn't really get him anywhere. they managed to lose the caucuses come january. their whole strategy this time around is to save their money and their time. they're still going to compete and fight for iowa, but they want to fight for those caucus votes in january that count towards the nomination. not the votes today in ames that are really more for show. >> you know, do you think that the romney campaign has any concern about people in iowa being left with a bad taste in their mouth because he hasn'ts put pch time there, and i think there's a suggestion that a lot of iowans feel snubbed by the fact that he is not there now for ames. >> you know, there is some talk of that. the campaign's position is that they will not see too little of governor romney in the mows between now and the caucuses, that he does plan to campaign aggressively there between now and january, but there is some talk that iowans feel slighted about the straw poll, but they'll see plenty of governor romney in the next few months. >> well, as a result of that debate and tim pawlenty's discussion about, i guess, his ability to mow acres of lawns,
you know where i'm going here, the reports that mitt romney is worth between $190 million and $250 million and that tim pawlenty would be able to mow one acre of his lawn. you know, this clearly would make him very likely the wealthiest candidate in the white house race. does the campaign at all fear that the average voter is going to say i can't relate to mitt romney. he doesn't have the same financial concerns that i do. >> that's the themming they would like to avoid. you have to remember a big portion of his candidacy is predicated on the fact that, you know, he is a successful businessman, and somebody who knows how to turn around countries. when is he playing to that ceo image, i think the fact that he has been so successful in doing it isn't necessarily something that hurts him. also, you know, they're campaigning and focussing their campaign against president obama as opposed to the other gop candidates, and i think they'll
be able to say down the line if they're so inclined that president obama is a millionaire as well. you'll have a potential competition between millionaires here. >> garrett, thank you for weighing in on the romney campaign. >> thanks, alex. so to try to consult through the spin of what's happening in iowa, joining me live from ames is aaron mcpike, reporter for real clear politics. hey, good morning to you. >> good morning. >> all right. you heard i was just talking with garrett there, who is with the romney campaign, and romney is focussing on new hampshire today instead of iowa. so talk to me about the big heckler situation he had there in iowa in had terms of the fallout. who is winning? is it the dems, or has romney spun that effectively, his financial status? >> with mitt romney and his financial status, he is really just focussing on new hampshire at the moment, so people aren't focused on mitt romney today. they were focused on mitt romney here in iowa on thursday for the debate, but now he is gone in new hampshire, and is he going to be competing in the straw
poll a little bit. he says that he is not, but his staff here is trying to get some votes in the straw poll. >> okay. who do you think is going to win? if you look at all the build-up there and the buzz and the momentum, who is taking it right now as the voters head to the polls there? >> well, if you look around here, ron paul has all of the signage, and it looks like ron paul is going to be doing pretty well today. we're really looking at tim pawlenty and michelle bachmann and ron paul. those three are supposed to be finishing one, two, three. we don't know who is going to be winning yet, but there's a lot of expectation right now that ron paul might surprise and win, but tim pawlenty has been focused on the straw poll for months now and wants a big showing here. >> yeah. tim pawlenty, in particular, stopped doing that old minnesota nice theme that he has put forth during that debate. how do you think that's played out? has he put his focus on michelle bachmann? do the iowan voters, do they seem upset by that at all, or dough think, okay, is he making his points clear? >> it doesn't seem like anyone is upset by that really.
i mean, at this point in the campaign they're going to be trading barbs and have to come out and debate, and so the idea that he is losing some of the minnesota nice, i mean, tim pawlenty has always been a nice guy. i don't think that's hurting him at all here. people want to see some fight in him. >> who has the most to lose at the straw poll today? >> oh, tim pawlenty for sure. he was at the state fair yesterday, and a minnesota reporter actually was trailing him, and asked him if he doesn't do well here today and if he doesn't do well in these caucuses, will he run for the senate in 2012 against democrat amy as opposed running for president, and that's not a question that he wanted to be getting yesterday. >> but you talk about tim pawlenty having a lot at stake, but what about folks like herman cain, newt gingrich? i mean, there's concern that if they trail the pack that they won't be able to stay viable candidates. >> well, that's right. four years ago sam brownback didn't do as well in the straw poll as he would have liked, and some of the candidates start to
drop out afterwards. will we see anybody drop out today? it's unlikely, but at some point newt gingrich is going to have some fire trained on him, and will it be time for him to get out of the race. it depends on how well these candidates perform. if they're really towards the end of the pack, there will be some pressure on them. >> okay. aaron mcpike with real clear politics. thank you. >> thank you. we invite you to stay with msnbc today for live coverage of the iowa straw poll. we'll have live reports from ames throughout the afternoon. then at 4:00 eastern we have a c hosts a special edition of the daily rundown with all of the poll results. new york's former top cop says he may go in to show the british how to crack down on thugs, hul begans, and looters. former big apple police commissioner william bratton says he is nuclears to become an advisor on changing the police force and calming the violence requested personally by the british prime minister. the u.k. is cracking down hard on rioters. the mayor of london says 600 people charge sod far in connection to this week's riots.
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lady lib certificate getting a facelift. the national park service announced this week that the statue of liberty will be closed for one year. beginning on october 29th the 125-year-old statue will undergo a $27 million renovation aimed the making its interior safer and more accessible. joining me now news day reporter tony destefano, and tony, a good morning to you. >> well, during the year they're going to take out the elevator that is are currently in the
statue and the medicine ped stal and redo them. they're also going to put in a fire safety, and they're also going to take care of the stairway that is are currently in the pedestal and make them for fire-resistant and fire-safe. >> okay. you think people are going to miss going out there and maybe not go out there so much? i understand about 30% of folks who take the ferry to the statue, they bother to climb the stairs. >> they'll still go to ellis island. >> yeah. >> it has been closed recently. >> no, it doesn't. it really -- after 9/11 for safety and security reasons they closed the statue. >> right. >> so this is unrelated to that, but it is a safety and a better access issue. in a broad sense, it relates to
safety because they want to make it more fire resistant. >> when you talk about better access that, would include, we hope, for handicapped visitors, right, who have very limited access to it right now. >> that's true. one of the things they're going to do is from level five of the pedestal to about level six they're going to put a special wheelchair access lift which will allow wheelchair accessible people to go into and look up into the interior of the statue, which you can't do right now. >> okay. how long does it take to climb that thing? it's like you get in a pack, right? you have to go up and you better not slow it down too much. you got a big -- >> it's a double heel exit, and it's probably -- i have never done it. it's probably going to take you probably, i would think, 10 to 15 minutes. assuming everybody else is moving okay. >> right. get in shape if you are going to climb up for 10 or 15 minutes. right? news day's tony destefano, thanks for coming where in. >> the case of a missing missouri toddler.
are police any closer to finding out what happened to her? ♪ i just want to be okay ♪ be okay, be okay ♪ i just want to be okay today - ♪ i just want to know today - [ whistles ] ♪ know today, know today - [ cat meows ] - ♪ know that maybe i will be okay ♪ [ chimes ] travelers can help you protect the things you care about... and save money with multi-policy discounts. are you getting the coverage you need... and the discounts you deserve? for an agent or quote, call 800-my-coverage... or visit travelers.com. that i put on my children's plate. that's why we use all-white meat, breading that is whole grain with omega-3 and no preservatives. it is my goal to make the highest quality, best-tasting nugget on the market. i want consumers to go, "dang, that's a good nugget."
we have an update on a 3-year-old missouri girl that's about an missing for more than a week. authorities have been searching for breeann rodriguez. she was last seen riding her bike outside of her home. joining me from washington investigative crime reporter michelle segona. with a good morning to you. michelle, what's the latest on this investigation? >> well, right now i did get an e-mail from the fbi this morning, and they said had he did, in fact, make an arrest. this is not someone from the family, but it is someone from the community. the fbi is not seeing that suspect's name yet, and so the prosecution get all the charges in order, and then the search is continuing at this point for little breeann's body. the investigation from that standpoint will move forward in a recovery effort. >> okay. when you say recovery effort, there is no hope that she remains alive?
>> you know, it's -- again, this is just based off of the preliminary information that they have, and the information that they're going on, and so at this point, of course, we can just try to keep hope alive until we know differently, but at this time the investigation is moving forward, and they're still trying to find her, and so we should know a little bit more. we'll see within the next 24 hours, especially if the charges come down. especially as we learn more about this alleged suspect and more about the investigation. >> so then when you say alleged suspect, did they lead you to believe the fbi that this person is directly involved in the investigation? >> at some point, yes. this person is somehow directly involved in this particular investigation. they did send out all the -- they did contact everyone this morning earlier. again, they're just not saying the naem as of yet, and so, like
i said, i would say within the next 24 to 48 hours we should definitely know a little bit more. >> okay. let's switch gears to robyn gardner, the missing woman in aruba. a lot of people are bringing up the comparisons with natalie holloway. some six years later now. apparently disappearing from allegedly the same area that natalie holloway was last seen. i mean, it's very erie to say the least. what's the latest in this investigation? >> right now the suspect in this case is or the person of interest is being held. there will be another hearing this monday to determine if they can hold him a little bit longer. most likely eight more days. after that they have to be able to provide more evidence to hold him for 60 days. i can tell you that robyn's boyfriend called me yesterday afternoon. we talked for a little while on the phone, and he is distraught, and he doesn't want anyone to forget about this case, you know, because a lot of times there is a lot of missing person investigations and sometimes
they do kind of go away until there's an update, and then it comes back again. is he really moving forward to be pro active to do everything that he can to keep his girlfriend's face out there, to keep her in the hearts and the minds of people, and he also, he says, i quote, "i fear the tip line won't get out, and i want to do everything i can to keep that going." the tip line is 407-237-2295. he is also thinking about going to aruba and seeing if there's anything he can do there to help. >> can he shed any light on the nature of the relationship of robyn and the man who is currently being held for questioning? he describes a traveling partner. who was he? >> you know, this is a guy that apparently she met on-line. her boyfriend was not aware that she was going down to meet him. he is described as a traveling partner. they met up in aruba, and we don't know exactly what happened while they were down there and, of course, investigators are trying to figure out that timeline prior to when she went
missing. they are also -- i spoke with the fbi on this case yesterday. they're leaning heavily on the fbi out of baltimore, maryland, to put something together. the agents from baltimore are sort of going out into the area where she was from to meet with friends, with family, to go -- they wouldn't comment on what they have -- what they're going through or search warrants or things like that, but going through those pieces to put all of that together to figure out who she was in contact with prior to the trip and the relationship with her and this man. >> it's all very frightening. michelle, thank you for the tipline. i'm going repeat it for our viewers. 407-237-2295. we'll get a full scheme graphic made up this morning. thanks, michelle. >> thank you. an american in pakistan snatched from his house by a group of armed men, and it's a developing story right now. a fair to remember. republicans with a big straw poll hope to reach voters
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