Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

President Headlining DNC Event in Philadelphia Today; Mass Overdose at College Party; Autism Controversy

Aired October 10, 2010 - 17:00   ET

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


RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR: We start with politics this hour.

It's now 23 days until Election Day and the Democrats have the big guns out on the campaign trail today. We're talking about President Obama and Vice President Biden, both appearing at an event in Philadelphia.

CNN White House correspondent Dan Lothian is with the president in Pennsylvania. Dan, what is the main thrust that the DNC and President Obama want to get out of today's event?

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, the message that we've been hearing from the vice president and other state and local officials throughout the afternoon is that they want a Democratic base to get energized, to go out and do canvassing. And not only that, but on Election Day actually show up to vote.

There's concern among Democratic officials that there's a big enthusiasm gap. Republicans have been taking the lead in polls in that area, so they want to get everyone engaged, energized, much like Democrats were in 2008 when they were ushered into office when President Obama was voted president. That is what they're trying to recreate. Democratic officials believing that these grand events can really accomplish that.

This is the second of four events. Recently President Obama was in Wisconsin addressing young people. That's the group that worked very hard to get him elected.

Now the president is just stepping up to the mike. Take a listen.

(BEGIN IN COVERAGE)

CROWD: (CHEERING)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Thank you! Thank you! This is - thank you! Hey, Joe, this is a good-looking crowd, man. This is a beautiful crowd on a beautiful day. It's good to be back here in Pennsylvania.

JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: And they're all the way back in the parking lot. They can't even see you.

OBAMA: It is good to be back in Pennsylvania, good to be back in Philly. I know part of the reason you're fired up is because you've just heard from one of the finest vice presidents we will ever see in this country's history, Joe Biden. Plus, Joe looks cool in those glasses, too, doesn't he?

You know, I want you to know when I was still campaigning right after I selected Joe, we went out and we were doing some events and small town hall meetings, and everywhere we went with Joe, some - some woman would come by and say, you know, I think Joe's kind of cute. Can you introduce me to Joe? That was true. And I had to inform this woman that Joe's married to a wonderful Jill Biden.

In addition to hearing from Joe, I know you heard from Governor Ed Rendell, Senator Arlen Specter's in the house, Senator Bob Casey is in the house. State Treasurer Rod McCard is here. Congressman Chaka Fattah is here. Congressman Joe Sestak is here. Congressman Bob Brady is here. Mayor Michael Nutter is in the house. And we've got Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato is here.

I want to thank Pastor Kevin Johnson for the invocation. DJ Diamond Kutz and give it up for the roots.

Now, I'm glad to see that this crowd is fired up. Are you fired up? Are you ready to go? I've got to make sure you stay fired up. I promise you'll be out of here to catch the Phillies and the Eagles. I don't want to get between Philly fans and their sports teams.

Now, Philadelphia, two years ago - two years ago, you defined the conventional wisdom in Washington. They said, no, you can't. They said, no, you can't overcome the cynicism of politics. No, you can't overcome the special interests in the big money. No, you can't take on the big challenges of our time. No, you can't elect a skinny guy with a funny name to the presidency of the United States. What do you say?

CROWD: (CHEERING)

OBAMA: That's what you said. But, Philly, I've got this message for you today. I want everybody to understand our victory in that campaign, that wasn't the end of the road. That was just the beginning of the road. That was just the start of the journey. By itself, it does not deliver the change that we need.

I know a lot of you thought just because of election night and the inauguration, everybody was having fun and Beyonce was singing and Bono and so everybody thought, boy, this is it. But that was just the start because we understood what we were going up against. The only thing that the election did was it gave us the chance to make change happen. It made each of you a shareholder in the mission of rebuilding our country and reclaiming our future.

And, Philly, I'm back here two years later because our job is not yet done and the success of our mission is at stake right now. On November 2nd, I need you as fired up as you were in 2008. Because - because we've got a lot of work ahead of us.

You know, after that last election, it was my hope that we could pull together Democrats and Republicans to confront the worst economic crises since the great depression. I hoped that we could get beyond the divisions of Red States and Blue States. That's what we thought. Because although we are proud to be Democrats, we are prouder to be Americans, and I know there are plenty of Republicans out there in this country who feel the exact same way.

But when we arrived in Washington, the Republicans and Congress, they had a different idea. They knew it would take more than two years to climb out of this recession. They knew that by the time of this election people would still be out of work. They knew people would still be frustrated and so what they figured was if we just sat on the sidelines, if Republicans just opposed everything we said we could do, if they rejected every compromise we offer, if they spent all their time attacking Democrats instead of attacking problems, they figure they might be able to do well in the polls.

So, they spent - they spent the last 20 months saying no. Even the policies that they had supported in the past, they said no to middle class tax cuts. They said no to help for small businesses. They said no to a Bipartisan Deficit Reduction Commission that they had once co- sponsored.

If I said the sky was blue, they said, no. If I said there were fish in the sea, they said no. They figured if Obama fails, then we win. Am I wrong, Joe? That's exactly what they said.

Now, they may have - they may have thought that playing political games would help them win an election, but I knew it wouldn't get America through the crisis, so I made some different decisions. I took whatever steps were necessary to stop the economic freefall, to stop a second depression. Even if those decisions were not popular, even if they were not easy because you didn't elect me to do what was easy, you elected me to do what was right. That's why you sent me to Washington!

You didn't send me to Washington to put my finger to the wind and figure out which way the wind was blowing, to spend all my time reading the polls. You sent me there to solve problems. And 20 months later, we no longer face the possibility of a second depression.

Our economy is growing, again. The private sector created jobs nine months in a row now. There are three million Americans who will not be working today, if not for the economic plan that Joe and I put into place. That's the truth!

Now, what's also the truth is we still got a long way to go. The hole we're climbing out is so deep. The Republicans messed up so bad, left such - left such a big mess that there's still millions of Americans without work.

I want everybody to understand this, just - just in case there's still some undecided out there. Before I was inaugurated and before Joe was inaugurated, we had lost four million jobs in the six months before that. We lost almost 800,000 jobs the month I was sworn in, 600,000 a month after that, 600,000 the month after that. Before any of our economic plans were put into place, we had lost almost eight million jobs. Because of their policies.

And that means that it's going to take us a while to get out of this hole. There are still millions of Americans who can barely pay their bills. Millions of Americans who are just barely hanging on. Millions of middle class families who are struggling even before this crisis hit and are out there treading water. I know.

So, of course, people are frustrated. Of course people are impatient with the pace of change. And, believe me, so am I.

But here's the thing I need everybody to remember. No matter how angry you get, no matter how frustrated you are, the other side has decided to ride that frustration and anger without offering any solutions.

And the other - and you know, a lot of folks in Washington think that they're running a smart strategy. They're saying the other party supporters are more enthusiastic, more excited. They say all y'all are going to stay home. You might not come out like you did in 2008. They say you might not care as much. They think, oh, Obama's name's not on the ballot, they're not going to turn out. They think you're going to be willing to let the same politicians and the same policies that left our economy in shambles back to Washington.

Well, Philadelphia, I think the pundits are wrong. I think the pundits are wrong. I think we're going to win, but you've got to prove them wrong. It's up to you to show the pundits that you care too much about this country to let it fall backwards. That you're going to keep us moving forward. That you're ready to fight for the future.

Just - just look, everybody, I need you to understand this election is a choice. And the choice could not be clearer. It's not as if the Republicans are offering new ideas. It's not as if the Republican leaders have changed their agenda since the last time they ran Washington. In fact, the chairman of one of their campaign committees promised that if the Republicans take control of Congress, they will follow the exact same agenda they pursued the last time they were in power. We know what that agenda was. We know what this agenda was. You cut taxes, mostly for millionaires and billionaires. You cut regulations for special interests. You try to bust the unions. You cut back on investments and education and clean energy and research and technology.

The basic idea is that if we put our blind face in the mark and we let corporations do whatever they want and we leave everybody else to fend for themselves, then America somehow automatically going to grow and prosper. Well, let me tell you something, the problem with their theory is, it didn't work. We tried it for eight years. It didn't work for middle class families who saw their incomes fall and their costs go up when Republicans were in charge.

I want everybody to understand between 2001 and 2009, the wages of middle class families went down five percent. They didn't go up. They went down. Job growth was the slowest that it had been any time since World War II. Slower than it's been over the last year. When they were in charge, they took a record surplus from Bill Clinton and by the time I got there, we had a record deficit. And because of that free for all that they had on Wall Street, we're still digging our way out of the crisis. That's their track record.

Now, listen everybody, I don't bring this up because I want to re- litigate the past. I bring it up because I don't want to relive the past. I don't want to go through what we've already gone through. I bring it up because this is the other - this philosophy of the other side intends to bring if they win in November. Republicans might have a new name for it. They call it the "Pledge to America", but it's the same old stuff they've been pedaling for years.

Let's take a look at the "Pledge to America". Anybody read the "Pledge to America"? Let me tell you, for starters, it turns out that the pledge was actually written in part by a former lobbyist for AIG and Exxon Mobil. That should tell you something right there. You can't make that stuff up.

And the centerpiece of the pledge is a $700 billion tax cut that would only go to the top two percent, the wealthiest two percent of Americans. Ninety-eight percent of you would not get this tax cut, but they would borrow $700 billion from the Chinese or from the Saudis or somebody. That's their big idea to get the economy moving again.

These are the same folks who lecture us on fiscal responsibility. But now they want to borrow $700 billion to give a tax cut worth an average of $100,000 to millionaires and billionaires. When you ask them where are you going to get the money? They say, well, we don't have it. But mostly they're going to borrow it from other countries and just to pay for a small part of it, they want to cut education by 20 percent. They would reduce financial aid for eight million college students.

Now, Philadelphia, at a time when the education of our country's citizens is one of the most important things for economic success, the notion that we would give out tax cuts to folks who don't need them and sacrifice the next generation, that does not make any sense at all.

I want to ask my Republican friends, do you think China's cutting back on education? Do you think South Korea or Germany or India are cutting back on education? Those countries aren't playing for second place, they're playing for first place. Guess what, America does not play for second place either. We play - we play for first place.

So, Philly, as long as I'm president, we're not going to let Washington politicians sacrifice your education for a tax cut we can't afford, and that is a choice in this election.

Joe and I, we've got a different idea about what the next two years should look like. And it's an idea rooted in our belief about how this country was built. We know government doesn't have all the answers to all our problems. We know the private sector is primarily responsible for creating jobs and prosperity. I believe government should be lean and efficient and I don't want anybody in Washington wasting your taxpayer dollars. That's why I proposed a three-year spending freeze, set up a bipartisan fiscal commission to deal with our deficit.

But in the words of our first Republican president named Abraham Lincoln, we also believe that government should do what people can't do better by themselves. We believe in a country that rewards hard work and responsibility. We believe in a country where we look after one another. We believe in a country where working people can come together so they can get a minimum wage and better working conditions. We believe that I am my brother's keeper. I am my sister's keeper. That everybody deserves a fair shot at the American dream! That's the America I know! That's the choice in this election!

We want to make permanent, we want to make permanent tax cuts for the middle class because you deserve a break. Instead of the other side's planning to keep giving tax breaks to companies that are shipping jobs overseas, I want to give those tax breaks to companies that are investing right here in the United States of America! I want to give it to small businesses and to American manufactures and to clean energy companies. I don't want solar panels and wind turbines and electric cars built in Europe or Asia. I want them built here in the United States of America! By American workers.

Instead of cutting education and student aid, we want to make our new tax credit permanent, $10,000 in tuition relief for every young person who goes to college. We're going to fight to keep the reforms we made to the student loan system because, thanks to those reforms, tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies that would be going to banks right now are going to students. That's where they belong.

If the other side wins, they'll try their hardest to give rein back to - to the insurance companies and the credit card companies and the Wall Street banks that we're finally holding accountable. We can't let them do that. We can't go back to the days of taxpayer-funded bailouts. We can't go back to the day when credit card companies could just jack up your rates without any reason or insurance companies could deny or drop your coverage just because you get sick. We need to keep that new law in place that says if you're looking for a job or have a job that doesn't offer you coverage and you're a young person, you can stay on your parents' insurance until you're 26 years old and that they can't drop your coverage just because you get sick. That's the choice in this election, Philadelphia. That's what's at stake right now.

So, Philly, it comes down to this. Many of the Republicans who are running right now, these are the exact same folks who spent the last decade driving our economy into a ditch. And once we were elected, Joe and I, we put on our boots and we went down into that ditch. It was - it was muddy and dusty down there and it was hot. And we started pushing on that car to get it out of the ditch. And we had a whole bunch of folks like - like Joe Sestak helping us push that car out of the ditch.

And every once in a while we would look up at the Republicans, they were - they had driven into the ditch but they had gotten out and they were kind of taking a break fanning themselves and sipping on a Slurpee watching us do all the work. And every once in a while they'd say, why don't you push harder? You're not pushing the right way, Obama. But they didn't help.

And after pushing and pushing over these last 20 months, finally, we've got that car out of the ditch. Now, the cars a little dented up. The fender is a little busted. It needs a tune up, but it's moving. It's pointing in the right direction. We're on level ground now. We're starting to make repairs. And suddenly, we get a tap on our shoulder and we look back and who is it? It's the Republicans. And they say, what are they saying? They say, we want the keys back. Philadelphia, they can't have the keys back! They don't know how to drive! They don't know how to drive!

They can ride with us, if they want. But they got to get in the back seat, because - because we want to go forward. We don't want the special interests riding shotgun. We want working families, middle class families up front. They're our priority. I just want everybody to notice when you get in your car and you want to go forward, what do you do? You put the car in "D," if you're going backwards, what do you do? You put the car in "R." That's not a coincidence. You want to ride forward, put it in "D" on November 2nd.

But - but listen. Listen. Can I just say at the - at the end of the day, Philly, whether the Republicans get the keys back or not is going to depend on you. There is no question, there is no question the other side sees a chance to get back in the driver's seat and thanks to a Supreme Court decision called Citizens United, they are being helped along this year by special interest groups that are spending unlimited amounts of money on attack ads, on attacking folks like Patrick Murphy, attacking folks like Joe Sestak - just attacking people. Without ever disclosing who's behind all these attack ads. You don't know. It could be the oil industry, could be the insurance industry, could even be foreign corporations, you don't know because they don't have to disclose.

Now, that's not just a threat to Democrats, that's a threat to our democracy. Every American business and industry deserves a seat at the table, but they don't get a chance to buy every chair. We've seen what happens when they do. They put the entire economy at risk and every American might end up suffering.

So, you can't let it happen. Don't let them hijack your agenda. The American people deserve to know who's trying to sway their elections. And you can't stand by and let special interests drown out the voices of the American people.

So, Philadelphia, that's why I need you working even harder in this election than you did in the last election. We need you - we need you to fight their millions of dollars with our millions of voices. I look out on this crowd and I see millions of voices. All across the country, we've got to finish what we started in 2008, because if everybody who fought so hard for change in 2008 shows up to vote in 2010, I am absolutely confident we will win. And most of the polls say the same thing.

See what the other side is counting on, what they're counting on is you're going to stay home. They're counting on your silence. They're counting on your amnesia. They're counting on your apathy. They're counting on young people staying home and union members staying home and black folks staying home and middle-class families staying home. They're counting on the fact that they made the argument so ugly in Washington that you're just completely turned off and you're not going to vote for anybody. And if that happens, they win.

Philly, let's prove them wrong. Let's show Washington one more time change doesn't come from the top. It comes from the bottom. It doesn't come from millions of dollars of ads, it comes because people are out there knocking on doors, making phone calls and going into the beauty shops and going into the barber shops.

We have come, I know we're a long way from - from the day of the hope and excitement we all felt on election night. We're far from inauguration day. But I always told you it was going to take time. I always told you it was going to be hard. Because change has always been hard.

But from the first days of our nation, every time Americans are trying to bring about real meaningful change we face down setbacks, we face down disappointments. We have faced fear and we have faced down doubt. As Americans, we've always moved forward, we've always kept fighting, we've always remembered that in the United States of America our destiny is not written for us, it is written by us. That's how we came through war. That's how we came through depression. That's how we got civil rights legislation. That's how we got workers' rights. That's how we got women's rights. It's being tested right now, but if you keep moving forward in the face of difficulty, I promise you, we will not lose this election. We will win this election! And we will make sure that every American has the opportunity to live out the American dream.

God bless you and God bless the United States of America.

(END OF COVERAGE)

KAYE: And there you have it. President Obama speaking for just about a half hour at that DNC rally in Philadelphia. Sounding a lot like candidate Obama using his famous line, telling the crowd, quote, "I need you fired up." And the crowd, of course, chanting back "Yes, we can" through much of that speech.

Obviously, the president trying to light a fire and crank up the enthusiasm among the Democrats. The latest polls show that the Republicans have the edge when it comes to enthusiasm. A lot at stake there and across the country, a Senate seat up for grabs there in Pennsylvania.

And president talks a lot about the economy as you heard. Took the opportunity to do a little finger pointing. A lot of work to do, he said. He also said, quote, "Republicans messed up so bad and the hole is so deep." He blamed the job loss that the country is now facing on Republican policies.

Overall though, a very positive, patriotic message from the president telling the crowd there as you just heard, everybody deserves the American dream, but to get it, you have to get out there and vote. So, there you have it. The president today in Philadelphia.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE (on-camera): When we come back, police in a small college town are investigating a mass overdose many young women were impacted. Ted Rowlands joins us live coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: We now turn to a story we've been watching out of Central Washington. Police in the small college town of Cle Elum are investigating a mass overdose. What's so disturbing about this story is that all but one of the overdoses were young women and some of the people who attended the Friday night party say the women were actually targeted. CNNs Ted Rowlands is in Cle Elum, Washington where this story is unfolding.

And Ted, from what I understand, some of the people at the party are saying that a date rape drug is what caused these overdoses. Are police confirming that?

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, police are confirming, Randi, that absolutely somebody laced some liquor with some sort of drug, and they believe it's one of the date rape drugs the GHB, Roofies, something, but they don't have the toxicology back yet, so they're hesitant to speculate on what it is. What they do know is that 12 young people between the ages of 18 and 21 were so intoxicated that they had to be hospitalized.

As you alluded to, 11 of those victims were girls. They were in a house that police arrived at on Friday night. They say they were shocked at what they saw. Here is what some of the students at the party said what went on.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People were having fun, and then all of a sudden, all the girls were puking everywhere. Girls were outside like on their back, and people were so drunk they didn't know what to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were roofing (ph). So, they were roofing. They're falling down. Their drinks were going everywhere, and we were just picking them up. I carried about four people downstairs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROWLANDS: Police say they were alerted to this first by a report that a young woman was unconscious in the parking lot of a local supermarket. They went there. They found the girl, and she was in the back of a car. They asked her friends what had happened and that took them back to the party.

They decided to go to the party. They knocked on the door and nobody answered the door. So, they decided to break in, and the police chief here says it was a good thing that they did that. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHIEF SCOTT FERGUSON, CLE ELUM, WASHINGTON POLICE: No one ever called 911, so had law enforcement not been able to respond to that house and make entry. I would hate to think what could have occurred had there been another 15 or 20 minutes that would have passed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROWLANDS: And one of the more disturbing things, Randi, than police found when they got to the house was that they walk into a room, and they saw a young man having sex with a young woman who they described as being completely or if not completely, almost completely unconscious. Now, they did determine that these two individuals had a relationship and were apparently dating, but this young man is still facing the possibility of charges.

He was detained for a while. He's not been charged with anything yet, but they say that her level of consciousness, obviously, is suspect. They've questioned who provided these drugs, the person that threw the party has been cooperating. And quite frankly, he's a college freshman. Police don't believe that he brought this drug to the party.

He was having it at his parent' vacation home and got out of hand via text messages. There are a lot of people he didn't know there. The bottom line, they don't know at this point. They're interviewing still and this, obviously, is going to be a long investigation.

KAYE: Seems the more details that come out, the more disturbing this story becomes. Ted Rowlands for us, thank you.

Ari Ne'eman is the first person with autism to serve on the National Council of Disability, but his appointment was controversial even inside the autistic community. He'll tell you why, and we'll also talk with him coming right up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: Welcome back. Ari Ne'eman is the first person with autism to serve on the National Council of Disability, a panel that advises the president and Congress on policies to help disabled people. But his appointment was not without controversy even inside the autistic community because of his belief that society should focus on accepting autistic people rather than trying to cure them.

He joins us to talk about autism and his approach to it. Ari, thank you for being with us. Your appointment was last December. Tell us what your first goal was when you became a member of this council.

ARI NE'EMAN, FIRST PERSON WITH AUTISM TO SERVE ON THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF DISABILITY: Well, my first goal, and I was only recently confirmed by the Senate this summer is to focus on improving the quality of services, supports and education for people with disabilities. Right now, hundreds of thousands of people currently wait on waiting lists for services to live in the community and, to my mind, this is a crucial civil rights issue along with a wide variety of others in regards to disability policy.

KAYE: Let's talk about this controversy, which I think would surprise a lot of people because some of it even came from within the autistic community. Some of the criticism, there was this controversy surrounding your nomination. Do you think that you can change people's perception of autism through the work that you're doing?

NE'EMAN: Well, my hope is to change people's perception of autism. You know, I think, right now, many people's views of autism are really only shaped through the media or through movies like "Rain Man" and it's a very limited, stereotypical view. My hope, honestly, is that people form their views about autism and autistic people because they have autistic people in their workplace and their schools and amongst their friends and co-workers.

So, truthfully, you know, my hope is not so much to personally change every American's view on autism, but to empower autistic people and people with disabilities of all kinds to be more a part of society so that they can change their peers and community members views on their own.

KAYE: Sure. I mean, many in the autistic community are very happy to see your appointment, but there's also some, some talk that we should be more focused on a cure as a society, when, really, what you want to focus on is just improving the lives. You find that very important, improving the lives of those with autism and not being so focused on the cure.

NE'EMAN: Absolutely. You know, a 2008 survey of autism research funding both public and private found that only 1 percent of research funding devoted to autism went towards services. So, what I think we have currently is a pretty significant bias in the allocation of funding and political will and nobody says that basic research isn't important. Clearly, it is.

But at the same time, I think the very simple question that's been asked around all autism research and all autism policy and disability policy service initiatives and that is, is this designed to improve people's quality of life and empower people? That should be the litmus test. We clearly need more disability services, more autism services.

We clearly need more attention paid to these critical issues, but we want those things to be approached with us as partners, not just the subject of attention, but recognizing that if you're talking about us, we should have a place at the table. You wouldn't run the NAACP without black people. You wouldn't run the national organization for women with only men.

But all too often, conversations about autism and disability occur without autistic people or other people with disabilities. That's why the slogan of the disability rights movement is nothing about us without us. KAYE: Well, I think with your presidential appointment, you certainly have found your seat at the table. So, Ari Ne'Eman, thank you so much and continued good work.

NE'EMAN: Thank you so much for having me on the show.

KAYE: How are those Chilean miners doing? We have a live report from Chile in just one minute. So stick around.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: Let's get you right to CNN's Patrick Oppman. He's at the mine near the Chilean town of Copiapo. And Patrick, tell us what's going on there right now.

PATRICK OPPMAN, ALL PLATFORM JOURNALIST: Well, after yesterday's plan B breakthrough, it's remain full steam ahead here at the San Jose mine. Chile's mining minister says that the casing that's going to be used to reinforce this new drilled mine shaft should be completed by tomorrow, and then Wednesday, a rescue should begin.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

OPPMAN (voice-over): The breakthrough. Video shot for CNN by the successful drill team captured the moment. The plan B drill broke down time after time but eventually persevered. Hours later, the drill team left the site heralded as heroes. For the Pennsylvania drillers who supplied the crucial drill bits for the job, the breakthrough was never certain even at the very end.

RICHARD SOPPE, CENTER ROCK, INC.: We had our heart in our hand and our stomach in our throat. I mean, right down to the last inch until the miners actually said they could see the pilot nose had come through it you just don't know. Is it going to quit a foot short? And we have to come all the way out and do it again? You don't know until the last minute. It was a good feeling, really was.

OPPMAN: A job well done, but not completed.

What is it going to be like where we've seen those men come above ground and knowing that you played a key role in making that happen?

BRANDON FISHER, CENTER ROCK, INC.: Well, I mean, that's definitely going to be a proud moment for us, but I think that's got to be the final relief for us that they're actually out of the ground. I mean, right now, that's just a hole in the ground.

OPPMAN (on-camera): Even with the drill breakthrough, there's still a long way to go to rescue the miners. A capsule called the Phoenix will be lowered down to hoist the men one at a time. Officials say it could be the most dangerous part of the operation.

OPPMAN (voice-over): Rescue orders will decide the order the men will leave in. Chile's health minister says the last spots are reserved for the toughest men in the mine. JAIME MANALICH, CHILEAN HEALTH MINISTER: Plus, they had to keep working in the mine, helping the others, moving material, handing the (INAUDIBLE). You remember that this is 420 kilos device, so very hard to move.

OPPMAN: The toughest miner maybe Forman Luis Ursula who was asked to be the last man out. Officials are considering his request. All the men will have to be strong for what awaits them outside the mine.

DR. FRANCO UTILI, MONITORING MINER'S HEALTH: For the last few months, they have lived through exceptional moments, probably thinking they could die. Some may suffer from posttraumatic stress. This forces a person to relive again and again the same experience.

OPPMAN: Even if the miners will soon be free from this mine, they may never be free of it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

OPPMAN (on-camera): And the miners have begun their final preparations to leave this mine, sending up items they want to keep, letters from their families, things they had in the mine that helped them get through this ordeal. And there's also an update on the order the men will leave in.

We were told today by Chile's health minister that all the men are arguing over who gets to leave left. They all want to see their colleagues leave before they do. So, standing strong, standing together until the very end.

KAYE: Absolutely. Amazing story, Patrick. Thank you so much.

We are going to talk to Jacqui Jeras when we come back. Apparently, a threat of storms could make for a messy commute tomorrow. We'll tell you where right after this break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: Tomorrow is Columbus Day. Well, if you have the day off, you're probably wondering what it's going to be like outside where all that nice sunny weather is. Jacqui Jeras is going to tell us.

JACQUI JERAS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, much of the country, actually. I mean, overall this weekend has really been quite fantastic, but there are a couple of hot spots that we're watching and also a bit of a tropical threat. We'll talk about it as well. We'll start you out with the nation's midsection and that's there where we've got this upper-level area of low pressure that's been spinning across parts of Nebraska right there.

This is going to be diving down towards the south and to the east, and so, we'll be watching this area for the threat of thunderstorms today and tomorrow as well. Here you can see where the showers and storms have been primarily across parts of Kansas and just west of I-35, we've been seen a couple these thunderstorms looking really intense, and they may be producing some large hail and damaging winds as well.

A slight risk issued by the storm's prediction center in this area across Texas and Oklahoma, but I think that that energy is starting to focus a little farther up to the east and to north of there. Now, tomorrow, that frontal system is going to be on the move, so places like Houston up towards Dallas will have the risks of thunderstorms.

And while it's been gorgeous in the northeast if you're traveling there tomorrow or trying to get outside on holiday, we do expect to see showers and thunderstorms but probably not until late in the day. So, the earlier you have your plans, the better off you're going to be. The other big weather feature is look at this. This is red area I highlighted not for severe weather threat but for very warm temperatures.

We're talking 10 to 20 degrees above average. Yes. Almost unheard of-type conditions expected here for October. In fact, we're going to be looking at near 80 degrees for Minneapolis, Chicago, St. Louis 85, Atlanta, you could break a record tomorrow, 87 degrees and 88 in Raleigh/Durham. Unfortunately, you're not quite going to get in that action across parts of New England and Boston.

There you can see 65 degrees. Just a couple of pretty pictures real quick from Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was the international balloon fiesta this weekend, and there you can see the big hovering across the city yesterday, just gorgeous. Seventy-five degrees for a high in Albuquerque. Low is in the mid-40s. Just picture perfect. And we'll see a lot of that this weekend across much of the U.S.

KAYE: Yes. Those balloons, those pictures are just gorgeous. Thanks, Jacqui.

JERAS: Sure.

KAYE: Top chefs don't just face off on reality TV shows, it turns out. They're also battling it out in the streets of Washington in a curbside cook-off. CNNs photojournalist, Jeremy Moorehead and a local food critic ventured out for a taste test to see which curbside cooks reign supreme.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VOICE OF TIM CARMAN, FOOD EDITOR, WASHINGTON CITY PAPER: We're here at this very unusual event. It's called curbside cook-off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good choice. Great flavor.

CARMAN: It's a gathering 20 of the best food carts and food trucks from around the metro area. My name is Tim Carman, and I am the food editor for "The Washington City Paper." Food critics are supposed to be anonymous. If people know it's you, they will give you better service and will put extra care into the preparation of the food.

This is all from the Sousa truck. We got three different ones here. This is the beef shawarma. It's done with a chimicherri sauce. We will see what this taste like. And they've got really nice spicy on it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This truck specifically is more Indian (ph) cuisine. It's curry and popsicles.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pumpkin and mothered (ph) chicken.

CARMAN: We're here to do some sampling.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got fries fried in duck fat today.

CARMAN: Two dipping sauces, I pay extra? To double fry on these, it just gives them a crunch that you can't get from a single fry. I could eat these things all day. This is the trampled ketchup. There's nice sweetness and then they have put of trampled front aromatic when it comes up, and it works well with the fries. There are a ton of people here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This wintertime and each spend an hour. He waited on. He walked in. I waited on the lobster roll.

CARMAN (on-camera): Lobster roll meal please and also a whoopi pie. I think it's two brownies with some cream in between. I don't know. I've been sitting in line for an hour and a half. Whatever they have to get, I'm going to try and order.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not surprising that people wait in line. We've got food on the streets now that we've never had before, like a lobster truck.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The people from the truck say that they actually import Maine lobster every day from Maine, and they import the rolls from Maine.

CARMAN: It has sort of a mayo-based dressing on it. This lobster is so fresh. It is fun. It's like, look at this, it's like a great communal experience to come out here and hang with people, be outside on a nice, warm day in October and experience what D.C. really hasn't had much of, which is good street food.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KAYE: Yum. I'm Randi Kaye. Don Lemon is up next with this story. A young child stabbed this weekend at a Dave and Buster's, and Don is going to be talking to a criminal profiler about that event. Just how often does something like this happen ? Thanks for watching. Have a great evening.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)