tv NBC Nightly News NBC October 11, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
on our broadcast tonight, showdown, ryan versus biden, head to head this evening, in prime time as the nation watches our political team, reports on what to watch for. and the meningitis outbreak, getting worse, more deaths, new cases, and tonight, they're watching the pharmacies where the problem started. the war next door, is the obama administration downplaying the danger along the u.s.-mexico border? tonight, an exclusive nbc investigation. and young hero, news about the brave teen that the whole world is pulling for. nightly news begins now.
good evening, there is every reason to believe the live television audience watching the vp debate tonight will be every bit as large as the last presidential debate, and because that debate was something of a game-changer, as it turned out, the stakes going into tonight are higher for two men from similar backgrounds, who are very different. for starters, this is the broadest age difference of any debate. our poll bottom team is in place tonight, our coverage includes our nbc polling numbers out tonight on this race. we want to begin with nbc's ron mott in danville, kentucky, tonight, good evening. >> reporter: hey, brian, to you, vice president joe biden will be there at that table, paul ryan the other table. the forward progress is what vp
biden hopes to stop in its track. before taking off today, vice president joe biden was in a boxing mood, hinting he wouldn't be the one on the ropes tonight. congressman paul ryan got the rock star treatment tonight, walking the rope line, signing autographs, and posing for pictures. it is the second stage for joe biden. but many are questioning just which joe biden will show up. the emotional guy next door type. >> i don't know what it is like to have a child you're not sure is going to make it. >> reporter: or the feist ie gu. he was not at his best last week against mitt romney in denver,
the president admitted. there was pressure to score, the maryland congressman played the part of ryan in six mock debates, detailed down to a set. acting like the one tonight. >> you go through a lot of mock debates, the vice president is looking forward to being here tonight. joe biden just needs to be joe biden. >> reporter: they described his mood as upbeat. whether joe biden and ryan uses first names, remains to be scene. the moderator will introduce him as congressman, although he is far less experienced than joe biden, ryan's advisers don't seem worried. >> he can talk about all his years in washington, all the multiple times he has run for president, the tough decisions he has made. they have a record that is bad for the country, he will have to defend it. >> what he can't run from is the president's record. >> reporter: aides say mr. ryan spent the afternoon relaxing
with family, working in time for last minute studying. he even hit the gym, just as an old-time picture hits the stands, and a pep talk from his seven-year-old son, sam. now we're on the college campus, of course, which means certain traditions need to be upheld. a couple of days ago, a student brought the picture of fred vincent into the debate hall. he has not missed a home football game here since he passed away. now finally, president obama will watch tonight's debate from air force one after a day of campaigning. governor romney will watch from a hotel room. >> looks fit to us, ron mott starting off the coverage in danville tonight, ron, thank you, and for us, the rest of the political team, chuck todd, andrea mitchell, david gregory, you get to go first because you have the new poll numbers on
where the race stands. >> reporter: i did, we debated the numbers, florida, ohio, virginia, the president had small leads in virginia and florida, a big lead in ohio. when we went back to the states to see if things had changed, well, we found small changes, not big ones. romney now leads by a point in virginia, in florida, still, a point lead for the president. and look at ohio, a six-point lead down from eight, but the president is still over 50%, there is a reason why, early voters. according to the numbers, one in five people in ohio cast a vote. and among those, the president has two thirds of the voters. that accounts for why he has a surprisingly big lead. one point, romney made leads on who to handle the economy in virginia and florida, something he has got to crack. >> all right, chuck todd at the venue, we'll talk to you later tonight. andrea mitchell, this format,
questions coming from the moderator, in this case, martha radditz of abc news, but as you know the candidates have a skill on the topics, what is the short list for each guy? >> reporter: well, i think just watching what president obama and mitt romney have been arguing about, gives you a road map on what we expect to hear tonight. you will hear argumentings over the budget, over medicare and taxes. and these two men, remember, paul ryan and joe biden were on opposite sides of the negotiating table, during the super committee on the failed budget, where they failed to reach agreement. so they have a lot of past history and will air their arguments in public. you will also hear joe biden bring up abortion, because mitt romney said just this week he didn't know of any legislation that he would go after abortion if he was elected. well, he and his team walked that back, but joe biden is
going to try to interest women voters. and then, there is benghazi, you know they will go after that, a lot of criticism on the hill, spreading out after the campaign. both of them believe this is a way to get at the president and joe biden, their experience on foreign policy and try to dent their record. >> andrea mitchell, who will have a great seat tonight. thank you. and with us, the moderator, david gregory, nobody ever went back, what happened on your broadcast and said that chris christie is largely right when he sat across from you and said come thursday the entire narrative of the race will change. he was the only guy out there predicting a sweeping romney win. well, today it is senator bill nelson of florida predicting that joe biden will make mincemeat out of paul ryan. it is a dicey game. >> yes, he was spot on -- setting the expectations so high
and really came through. talking to partisans on both sides, the job for the vice president tonight is to slow the momentum of governor romney. and ryan at this point, to try to change the dynamic once again, this is going to be a proxy fight, but you know what? paul ryan has a record, as well, and that is something that joe biden wants to exploit here. he will talk about the president and the 47% and talk about ryan as the idea of a lot of conservative thinking, the taxes, and spending. >> all right, david gregory, all part of the team for tonight's coverage of the vice presidential debate beginning tonight, 9 eastern, 6:00 on the west coast here on this nbc station. we turn now to another major story out there today, the meningitis outbreak linked to tainted steroid shots for back pain. the numbers keep am climbing. according to the cdc's number today, 14 people now have died. 170 patients are sick, and now
there are even more questions about the specialty pharmacy, the compounding pharmacy is that is the source of the bad medicine. our report tonight from nbc's rehema ellis. >> reporter: family and friends said good-bye this week to 80-year-old rema temple, who received a steroid injection for back pain. she died saturday. according to the cdc she is one of 14 who died from the tainted medicine, made at the new england compound center in massachusetts, which shares a location with the recycling and management waste company. another pharmacy, ameridose, which shares the same owner, has also suspended operations. >> our joint investigation will continue until we have all the answers and information we need to determine the statutory or what regulatory changes need to
be made. >> reporter: they make compounds for patients. the pharmacists can take the raw ingredients in the drug and make it into a liquid for somebody who can't swallow it, or make it flavored for children. the sources estimate there are 7500 advance compounding pharmacies in the united states, with 3,000 of those providing what is called sterile compounding medicine, like the steroid injection that is believed to be the source of the fungal meningitis. the investigation continues, late tonight, the house committee and commerce committee requesting the information as part of the investigation into the outbreak. and that information should happen sometime next week. thank you, rehema ellis covering the story. and today, the attention
around the world is focused on the 14-year-old girl targeted for assassination by the taliban. she has become a worldwide symbol of the fight for freedom and the fight for all girls to get an education. we get an update on her condition today from nbc's amna nawaz. >> reporter: good evening, less than three days after she was shot by the taliban coming home from her school, malala yousufzai is showing signs of improvement. she is taken from peshawar to the new area, which is more equipped and has more equipment. she is not out of danger, she is still unconscious, but they are now putting her chances of survival at 70%. meanwhile, across pakistan, people continue to take to streets to condemn the taliban
attack and support malala yousufzai. one demonstrator said if they kill her, ten more will come through. >> thank you. a sad update from the gulf of mexico tonight, the coast guard confirmed an oil slick there is consistent with oil from the deep water horizon well, the source of the worst oil disaster in u.s. history. experts are not sure exactly where this sheen is coming from. bp says it is most likely residual oil that was used to plug it in the past. up next here, as the broadcast continues our nbc news investigation, is the government trying to downplay the danger along the u.s.-mexico border. and later, the rescue of a very big baby in an extraordinary journey home tonight. i was on maternity leave. i have retired from doing this one thing that i loved.
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we're back now with an nbc investigation, part of our ongoing series of reports on the violent drug war next door, along the mexican border. the recent friendly-fire death of a u.s. border patrol agent in arizona has once again put security in the spotlight, and some are now asking whether the obama administration is trying to downplay what is really happening. our report tonight from nbc's mark potter. >> reporter: arizona rancher, john lad, whose land includes eight miles of mexican border
fence, says that while fewer cross his fence now he is overrun by the drug runners. >> they have no regard for laws or anything, and if they want to cause us harm they're going to do it. >> reporter: this video shot by a hidden camera on his land shows a group of smugglers carrying bales of marijuana, which lad says he sees regularly, also they cut holes like this in the fence, and they drive trucking through it, headed with drugs, he believes, headed for the ranchland. >> the problem is, our government at the highest level doesn't want to admit what the reality is, is that we have been invaded. >> reporter: in surrounding cochise county, arizona, they fear the drug smugglers, especially after the deaths of two agents.
>> we have chunks of this country that we've given control to, to armed thugs. >> reporter: this retired official says that washington has ordered fuel supervisors to downplay the threats in rural counties. >> they don't want this story to be told because it is not convenient for a political election for this story to be told. >> reporter: this general, a former u.s. drug czar, and analyst, agrees. >> the border is increasingly lawless in rural areas, and the customs and border protection people, the senior people are being told not to support that message. >> reporter: but a flat denial of that comes from the u.s. customs and border protection official, david aguilar. >> there is no way we would downplay the seriousness of protecting the borders. >> reporter: in recent years, they have substantially increased the border surveillance technology. >> overall, the border is much
saver today than it has ever been. >> reporter: he says with the area safe, they're working to shore up the rural areas. >> are there pockets that we should look at and continue to look at? absolutely, are we going to give up? absolutely not. >> reporter: concerns over border security, what has been done and what is still needed. mark potter, nbc news, bisbee, arizona. and when we come up, the discovery of something extraordinary outside of our world. nearly everything in it? gave it greater horsepower and best in class 38 mpg highway... advanced headlights... and zero gravity seats? yeah, that would be cool. ♪ introducing the completely reimagined nissan altima. it's our most innovative altima ever. nissan. innovation that excites. ♪ a body at rest tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion.
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a rough diamond. it is slightly smaller than jennifer aniston's new engagement ring. lasts just 18 hours on this new diamond planet. and yankees manager, joe gerardi, made a gutsy call, benching a-rod, leading the yankees in strikeouts. because the yankees wanted to win the game, he put in veteran i banez, age 40, who hit a homer to win it in the 12th. the yankees skipper is leading his team, despite the announcement today that his father had died this past weekend. and one of the toughest guys this nation has ever produced has died. and given his life story, no one can really believe that basil plumly lived to the age of 92. he was a sergeant major in the u.s. army, the top enlisted
rank. they are closest to the commander and run the unit, handing out stern orders, wise counsel and dry socks. plumly served in world war ii, including the d-day invasion, then korea, then vietnam. and it is that war that got him written about and portrayed on the big screen, in the book, and later the movie "we were soldiers." it was about the battle in the valley in 1965. the u.s. was trying out something new, and 237 americans were killed by the north vietnamese. >> no such thing today, boy. >> basil plumly was a legend, an icon in the u.s. military, with little use for his chestful of medals. he never told war stories. he hung up on anyone calling the house for an interview. he was in uniform for 32 years, married to the same woman for 63
years. command sergeant major plumly, veteran and patriot, was 92 years old. we'll take a break, and up next, a special delivery. afternoon's overhaul starts with more pain. more pills. triple checking hydraulics. the evening brings more pain. so, back to more pills. almost done, when... hang on. stan's doctor recommended aleve. it can keep pain away all day with fewer pills than tylenol. this is rudy. who switched to aleve. and two pills for a day free of pain. ♪ [ female announcer ] and try aleve for relief from tough headaches. i want to look natural, not naked! but all you need is 3. lashblast for volume, outlast -- for kissing... simply ageless to help you look easy breezy beautiful covergirl. but with advair, i'm breathing better.
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an orphan baby in the wilds of alaska normally wouldn't stand much of a chance, but recently, not one, but two baby walruses were rescued, left behind, when their families were passing by. now they're starting new lives with help from humans. >> reporter: folks who have done it will tell you it is kind of nice, staying close to a walrus cub, who spoons with you and misses you when you're gone. experts say it is a miracle that the two are still alive to cuddle. orphaned in the wilds of alaska, they were rescued by locals. >> there is a lot of coastline in alaska where there are not a lot of people, so they were lucky they were found. >> reporter: at the alaska sea center, they were nursed back to health with bottle feeding and
love, around the clock feeding. with their wild whiskers, they have become youtube sensations, and are about to bring their charges to a whole new area. >> reporter: today, they were admitted to the new york aquarium. >> it is very rare that this calf would even be here for us to take in. there is only 250,000 walruses left in the wild. >> reporter: after a month in quarantine, he will meet his two new female roommates, one, 30 years old, old in walrus years. they speculate could they be a love match and produce babies? though it would be a may-december romance, to be sure. other chapters to be written in this against-the-odds survival story. chris jansen, nbc new york.