tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN December 5, 2021 11:00am-12:00pm PST
hello, everyone. thanks so much for joining me this sunday. i'm fredericka whitfield. we begin with this breaking news. bob dole, a giant of the u.s. senate and a 1996 republican presidential nominee has died at the age of 98. his family issued a statement saying dole passed away this morning in his slope. dole had announced in february that he was being treated for advanced lung cancer. his american journey took him from the plains of kansas to the battlefields of world war ii and to capitol hill. there he became one of the most
powerful politicians of the 20th century. wolf blitzer takes a look back at the life and legacy of bob dole. >> bob dole was the kind of politician you'll have a hard time finding in washington these days. much of the country only saw the cartoon image hatchet man. >> senator dole has richly earned his reputation as a hatchet man tonight. >> sharp-tongued partisan. >> in the election promise from my opponents. >> pundits who didn't know better labeled him mean-spirited, but the man wasn't defined by grouchiness or gridlock. in the senate where he spent the bulk of his political life, dole became a master at forging compromise, working together with democrats to cobble together bills that left the country better off. a food stamp bill with george mcgovern at the americans with disabilities act with tom harkin. social security reform with daniel patrick moynihan.
>> some might find this surprising given the view that congress has been my life, but that is not so. with all due respect to congress, america has been my life. >> he also was a driving force behind washington's magnificent world war ii memorial. >> i've sort of become the unofficial greeter. i tried to greet every group. i can't explain the emotion and what it means to one of these 85, 95-year-old veterans who get a chance to touch and feel the world war ii memorial. it's probably the best thing that's happened to them in years, and they are going to remember them the rest of their life. >> dole was one one of the young americans who went off to the war on a hillside in italy, an explosion severely damaged his shoulder and spinal cord. dole spent 39 months in hospitals, hovering near death more than once. >> first, i didn't think it was fair and then i looked around in the next bed and they were taking someone away that had passed awar or somebody had lost both legs or done something else
so i didn't feel so sorry sore myself. >> his right hand remained virtually use less for the rest of his life. his mind, however, was fine. voters in his home state of kansas sent dole to washington for five terms where he thrived, becoming a republican leader in the senate. he was president gerald ford's running mate in 1976 and ran for president in 1980 and 1988. finally winning the republican nomination in 1996. >> william jefferson clinton has a job for four more years. >> it didn't work out. >> a lot more fun winning. it hurts to lose an election, but stay involved and keep fighting the good fight. >> a 45-year political career was over. dole moved on with grace. >> great senator bob dole. >> after the bitter 2016 primaries, dole was the only former republican presidential nominee to attend the convention that nominated donald trump.
he poignantly saluted the casket of fellow republican but frequent rival george bush, and to the end dole kept the trademark humor so familiar to those who knew him and so surprising to those who did not. >> we always tried to have a little fun. my view is it's not any fun, it's not worth doing. you look at your life and your own reflerks and i think success and failure are not opposites. it's just part of your life. >> my cnn colleague wolf blitzer joining me right now on the phone with his reflections. wolf, you know, what do you think dole's legacy will be? i mean, that was a beautiful tapestry of all that he has done, but what stands out particularly? >> he was simply a great american, fredericka. he was really an amazing politician. i got to know him over the years covering washington, and i was always impressed, not only by the substance of what he had to say but the way he delivered his
message, the way he spoke, and as i mentioned in the obituary, his sense of humor and his colleagues always appreciated that, and i noticed that especially when he was running for president as the republican nominee against bill clinton in 1996, his running mate at the time was the former congressman jack kemp from my former hometown of buffalo, new york, former legend quarterback for the buffalo bills, and i got to know both of them very well, but it was bob dole who always had a sense of what was good for america. that line, that you know, we often say nowadays, fred, when politicians are negotiating and trying to come up with some sort of come mice and the hard lines -- the hardliners on the right and the hardliners on the left don't want to make a deem. the moderates usually do want to come up with some sort of compromise. he really believed in working with the democrats, whether with daniel patrick moynihan or joe
biden who was then a senator or tom harkin, he always believed in that line don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. he was willing to go ahead and make concessions so that something could be done for america, and i think so many people were always grateful to him for doing that. he was really a really terrific american and a great patriot. >> you underscore while he was, you know, tough, you know, trying to negotiate, you know, for legislation for and against while on capitol hill, it was his humor, too, that would also kind of, you know, break barriers. people loved him for that. it's pretty remarkable how he balanced his humor with also the hardships that he faces, a world war ii veteran and how he was able to kind of bridge gaps on some levels. >> you know, people don't really appreciate. i mean, you know, we always knew him as a senator, a senate majority leader, a republican leader, a presidential nominee,
but those 39 months he spent in hospitals as a result of being injured during world war ii while fighting in italy, can you imagine, fred, 39 months, all those surgeries. >> yeah. >> losing, you know, one arm and barely able to use the other arm, and he managed to come through with that, and not only, you know, survive but he thrived as a politician, as an american patriot, and, you know, it's amazing that he lived to be 98 years old. i've seen him in recent years, and even though he was frail and getting older and older and older he was always very aware of what was going on. he always had a sense of what the news was. he conveyed that to me, and he always had that great, as you pointed out, sense of humor, even near the end, and so, you know, i just think i speak for all the journalists who covered him over the years and all the people who got to know him over the years and add mired him that we've lost a great american hero, a really remarkable man,
you know. the last few weeks we also lost general colin powell,er in great american and now bob dole. it's something to reflect on to learn from and especially for some of the politicians who are operating today. to go back and take a look at bob dole's career. sure there were fights and sure he got into political arguments with the opposition, even within his own party, but you know. what he always had a sense of what was right for america and he was willing -- and he was willing to do that, and i think all of us are grateful, and i think i speak for all of us when i want to express our deepest condolences to his wife elizabeth dole, to his family, to robin dole, and i think i speak for all of us when i say may he rest in peace and may his memory be a blessing. >> agreed on that, wolf you know, while he was partisan he was also willing to cross party loips, work with democrats to pass legislation he felt was important for the country,
american disabilities act being one of those, a very strong marker of his legacy. how might his style of how he was able to conduct business across party lines, how might that sever as an example today to what we see on capitol hill, a divisiveness, you know? what -- what kind of advice through his living example is he giving to those members today? >> i think the best advice was the example that he showed, that he was, yes, a fiercely partisan conservative from the state of kansas, but he was also someone who understood that in order to get things done for the american people, you have to compromise. you have to make deals. you fight for what you believe in, but in the end you have to come up with something that's realistic, something that's going to pass. it's not easy to get legislation passed in the senate and the house, especially nowadays when
you have 50 democrats in the senate and 50 republicans in the senate and you have a very, very close tiny little democratic majority in the house of representatives, so you need to work together if you're going to get that legislation done and create great laws for the american people. it's not going to be everything that you want, but it's going to be a lot better than no, and i think if people go back and study bob dole's history and bob dole's example and how he worked with democrats, i think that they will learn something and maybe he'll have an impact on the political divisiveness that's going on right now in our country which, you know, is pretty intense as you know, fred. >> for many who have not done that thus far, maybe this is the inspiration to do that to go back and study his style and those of his contemporaries. so earlier this year, i mean, dole announced his cancer diagnoses. it was in february and it wasn't long after president biden's inauguration that he visited dole at his home. what do you know about their
relationship. >> it was very good. it was always good, and i'm sure that president biden wanted to have that opportunity for all practical purposes to say good-bye because everybody knew that bob dole had suffered lung cancer. it was a tough situation. he had gone through so many illnesses over the years. it's really a miracle almost that he lived to be 98 years old but he and fayed joe biden, biden spent, you know what, 36 years or so in the senate, and most of that time he was in very close contact with bob dole. they worked together on a lot of legislation, especially on foreign policy, on national security issues, they work together, and joe biden, the current president of the united states, deeply admired bob dole's history, you know. when we speak of that world war ii generation as the great generation, bob dole certainly exemplified. he underscored that world war ii greatest generation, and joe biden totally appreciated that.
sure, they had differences. sometimes they disagreed publicly, and sometimes it was pretty vocal, but you know what. in the end they both agreed that you've got to work together, and i know having had conversations with both, you know, joe biden when he was a senator and bob dole when he was a senator, i know that they admired each other, they trusted each other, they worked together, and it was so significant. i wish there was a little bit more of that going on nowadays. >> yeah. wolf, of course, of course, our condolences going out to bob dole eats family and to elizabeth dole specifically, too. what an incredible marriage and union what they exemplified on the public stage, being together throughout so much. our hearts go out to her and the family. wolf blitzer, thanks so much for your reflections. really appreciate it. >> thanks so much, fred. we've also just received a statement from president biden on bob dole's parks and he writes a month after being sworn in as president, one of the first conversations i had with
anyone outside the white house was with other dear friends bob and elizabeth dole at their home in washington. bob had recently been diagnosed with lung cancer and i was there to offer the same support, love and encouragement that they showed me and jill when our son beau battled cancer and the doles have shown us over the half century that we've been friends, like all true friendships regardless of how much time has passed, we picked up right where we left off, as though it were only yesterday that we were sharing a laugh in the senate dining room or debating the great issues of the day. often against each other on the senate floor. i saw in his eyes the same light, bravery and determination i've seen so many times before. in the senate though we often disagreed. he never hesitated to work with me or other democrats when it mattered the most. he and ted kennedy came together to turn bob's lifelong cause into the americans with disability act granting tens of
millions of american lives of greater dignity. on the social security commission he led a bipartisan effort with pat moynihan to ensure that every american could grow old with their basic dignity intact. when he managed the bill to create a federal holiday in the name of martin luther king jr., a bill that many in his own caucus opposed, i will never forgot what he said to our colleagues. no first class democracy can treat people like second class citizens. another bipartisan effort, the mcgovern/dole international food for education and child nutrition program provided school meals and food for nursing mothers and young children. it saved the lives of countless young people who would otherwise have died in infancy and brought dignity to tens of millions of families at home and abroad. this work for bob was about more than passing laws. it was written on his heart.
bob was an american stateman like few in our history, a war hero and among the greatest of the greatest generation and to me he was also a friend whom i could look to for trusted guidance or a humorless line at just the right moment to settle frayed nerves. i will miss my friend, but i am grateful for the times we shared and for the friendship jill and i and our family have built with liddy and the entire dole family. bob was a man to be admired by americans. he had an unairing sense of integrity and honor. may god bless him, and may our nation draw upon his legacy of decency, integrity and good humor and patriotism for all time. that from the president of the united states.
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all right. now developments in the oxford high school shooting in michigan. people have identified a person of interest who they believe helped the suspected shooter's parents evade capture. the couple james and jennifer crumbly were found in a detroit warehouse on central artery after an hour's long manhunt for them. they are charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter. the school district superintendent is now requesting an independent investigation into the deadly attack. cnn's athena jones is in pontiac, michigan for us. what do we know, athena, about this independent investigation requested by the school district? >> hi, fred. well, of course, from the very day of the shooting and from the very beginning, a lot of questions were being asked about how the school handled ethan crumbbley and the meeting with
his patients and now you have the superintendent of the school district requesting an independent third-party investigation. one thing that they brought up in what the superintendent called the school's version of events is that they walked through the two complaints and the concerns that teachers raised the day before and the day of the shooting, the day before when ethan crumbbley was searching for ammunition and talked to by counsellors. he and his mother had gone to a shooting range, that shooting sports is part of what the family does together. that's something that the school officials weren't able to confirm until they finally reached the parents on tuesday. when it comes to tuesday and the very disturbing drawing that a teacher reported of ethan crumbbley make of a body with bullet holes and words like blood everywhere, ethan crumbb le y said that was part of a video game he was designing and told counselors he planned to pursue video game design as a career and these are many so of the details that they did not
act. he appeared calm and at no point did he appear that he would harm himself or others. fred. >> athena, what more are you learning about this person of interest? >> reporter: this is a man identified as 55-year-old andres score a.r.-. he's a 65-year-old immigrant from poland, a local artist and has retained an attorney, but i should be clear that charges have not been brought. we did hear from the sheriff here in oakland county that charges could come against this person who did help the crumbleys. he voluntarily got in touch with law enforcement. this man didn't really know what was going on with the crumbleys, that there was a warrant out for their arrest so that person believes there won't be enough to charge him. fred? >> thanks so much, athena jones. >> so many in michigan are finding ways to honor the four teams killed in the shooting,
tate mir, maddison baldwin, hadn'tia st. juliana and justin shilling. on tart the university of michigan wore patch nez their memory during the big ten championship game with four hearts and the number 42, the same tate mire where for his high school team. he rushed the gunman in an effort to disarm him and saving lives. the michigan wolverines won the game scoring 42 points. >> i want to honor tate mire in this game. dedicated the game to him for his courage and when he did in the shootings in objection for. you know, he's a hero. we got our 42nd point up there and my patch fell off, but i think god was with us. >> the shootings have forced so many families to relive their
own tragedies. among them richard martinez, his son christopher was one of six people killed during a violent rampage by a gunman near the campus of the university of california santa barbara back in 2014. richard, so good to see you. sorry under these circumstances. it's -- it's always heartbreaking, and richard now is a senior outreach associate for the nonprofit group every town for gun safety which advocates for gun control and against gun violence. so good to see you. so, first of all, i'm so sorry for your loss. i mean, many times over we've talked several times over the years. do you feel like you are reliving the loss of your son, especially when you first heard about this shooting at oxford high school? >> well, i think about these kids, you know, hannah, tate, madison and justin, and, you know, when these things happen to young people like my son and
these four kids, i mean, you just think about all the life that they had ahead of them and how much, you know -- i know that hannah was supposed to play in his first high school basketball game that evening and my son chris was a basketball player, and -- and tate, you know, played football and my son played football, and madison was an artist and she loved to draw and my son did, and so you -- i mean, those things don't mean anything to your audience in general, but it makes these kids, you know, real and personal to me and justin had three jobs that he worked at after school, you know. these -- these were people's children. these were people -- these were young people who, you know, had just spent thanksgiving with their families and were looking forward, to you know, christmas vacation ant holidays, and i
think about sandy hook during this time period, too, because december 14th is going to be -- you know, that was the day that that took mace. >> a marker, yes. all lives senselessly cut short and so many lives including yours and all the family members of all of these victims impacted forever. you know, according to a cnn tally, i mean, this was the 32nd school shooting since august 1st. i mean, that number is astounding. if there's a way in which to explain, you know, why is this happening. what does your mind hold on to in terms of why this does keep happening, especially after a sandy hook or the shooting involving your son of the collectively people have to be saying this can't happen again, but it keeps happening again. >> well, in this particular case
if kids weren't able to get their hands on guns we wouldn't have school shootings like we had this week. responsible gun ownership means storing guns locked, unloaded and separate from the ammunition and when parents and gun owners fafl to uphold this responsibility and tragedy result, there needs to be accountability like we're seeing here. >> and do you think that this perhaps is a starting point of holding parents accountable when we're talking about accessibility to guns, that they are a new example of what is likely to come if it sadly happens sght reality is you talked about the number of school shootings just this year, and right now the shooting at --
the school shooting at oxford high school is the second -- is the deadliest since the santa fe high school shooting in texas i think two years ago. we had parkland. we had virginia tech. we had, you know, columbine and sandy hook, and the reality is, fredericka, that every minute, every hour that passes without action just brings us closer to the next deadliest school shooting, and what we need to do now, what should happen now, the prosecution of these parents is a step, but states need to pass secure gun storage legislation and red flag walls. some states, like california, have laws which make it a crime
for a gun owner to not store their gun safely when children are in the home, and this needs to happen in other states. it isn't currently the law in michigan, and there needs to be outreach to parents from schools providing information about safe storage, and it needs to be a requirement by law. >> yeah. and as painful as it is, your advocacy, richard martinez, is certainly an impetus and hopefully helping to move all of this in the right direction so that we don't have to keep seeing each other to talk and reflect on the painful loss of your son christopher and the painful loss that too many
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driving this chart. the country is back to averaging 1,500 deaths every day, and that line is on a steep climb right now. the majority of those deaths, however, are still coming among the unvaccinated. i want to bring in now the director of medicine at baylor medical college we earring seeing 1,500 daily deaths and the number is climbing. can a push for vaccinations alone tap down these numbers? >> a push for vaccinations can definitely help but we also have to push for changes in behavior. i know there's a lot of businesses that have done away with capacity restrictions, social distancing for patrons are a thing of the past and we're seeing things almost get back to what they were before the pandemic, although our case load is nowhere where it needs to be for our behaviors to start changing just yet. >> so holiday get-together, you know, after thanksgiving.
you think that's a contributing factor to why we're seeing a spike again? >> holiday get-together may be a contributing factor, but i think holiday travel definitely has something to do with the spike. we also know that the weather is changing, and changes in weather can lead to changes in behavior as well. people are moving indoors and being inside is a higher risk for transmission of covid. people aren't wearing masks as much as they used to in the past so all of those things together are contributing to the high case numbers. >> so moderna says it should know more about how its vaccine will respond to omicron within the next seven to ten days so what would happen next if they find that it's not as effective as -- as effective as they had hoped? >> well, you know, fred, the positive thing about the pfizer and moderna vaccines is that these mrna vaccines are quite easy to tweak and to change. if they find that the omicron variant is evading immunity by
vaccines what they can potentially do is sequence the spike protein on the variant and insert it into the vaccine similar to what they did when the vaccines were developed. >> all right. i like your optimism. i hope that, too, is contagious. >> you know what, fred. i will say that me being vaccinated and boosted, although omicron is potentially going to be one of our most formidable opponents yet, i do feel safe with the vaccines that we have right now. >> very good. >> all right. i'll take it. good to see you. thank you so much. >> bye-bye. still ahead, a new special report. cnn is returning to the scene of the deadly unite the right rally in charlottesville and taking you inside the events of the day. we'll bring that to you next. e ♪ ♪i'd let you had i known it, why don't you say so?♪ ♪didn't even notice,♪ ♪no punches left to roll with♪
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of times, but you have said you have regrets. >> mm-hmm. >> but every time i ask you to explain those regrets. >> i have explained them. >> it's framed in terms of i was hanging out. >> i made those decisions. >> with losers. >> i made those decisions. >> you're like i let myself get dragged down by this filth, but those were your people. those are your guys. why don't you take responsibility for them? >> i -- i have. >> if they wanted to be you and they went into the street and beat people up, what does that say to you? >> well, you seem to -- your entire point is just to prove that i'm like a piece of [ bleep ] and why don't you just accept it. i mean, look, ellie, i don't -- i'm not here to be insulted. maybe when someone is actually honest and expresses a regret you should probably allow them to do that as opposed to jumping on their [ bleep ] back, you know.
>> do you regret injecting such explicit intense racism into the american politics? >> i did not inject that in there. if anything, i injected a kind of ideology that could, you know, articulate something that's already there. >> wow. that was very perplexing an confusing, but enlightening, too. cnn's ellie reeve is a reporter that we saw in this clip and puts this documentary together for tonight's cnn special report. good to see you. that was a remarkable moment because we're hearing from him, and yours was award-winning report when you were with vice news and you showed the world what happened in charlottesville and as a member of the cnn family you're retrace the steps and talking to the players and while he's talking about the frustration of his regret. at the same time it sounds like he doesn't want to fully expound
on what he was thinking and feeling at the time, the power of his position and even the responsibility of reflect on it today. do i kind of get that right? >> yes, for sure. and that's true of several people -- several of the defendants. publicly they want to say the violence wasn't their fault, and when they did wrong was depending on people who wrult mattingly unreliable. privately behind the scenes some of them will say why did i do that? one of them told me he had been asking himself when he saw people talking about violence in the lead-up to the rally why didn't he say something, why didn't he just tell them to stop. >> and is it a reflection of why did i do this now because they are all looking at, you know, the legal roads ahead, looking at, you know, prosecution or cullpability or being held accountable and that's the why now, or is it really a
consciousness? is it really a reflection of, you know, i'm a changed person now and now i'm reflect on my actions. >> ooh, that's tough. you can never really know what's inside someone's heart. >> but a lot of them, they don't want to grapple with that. they don't want to believe that they were racist. some of them say i'm not racist. i just want something special for white people i mean, it's very difficult to bridge that ideologically. >> wow. >> a lot of them do say, like they admit that the violence was bad and they shouldn't have put their faith in people who wanted to do violence, who wanted to have a brawl in the street. >> mm-hmm. >> so a jury did, you know, recently find richard spencer and other organizers of the deadly unite the right rally responsible for the violence that broke out in charlottesville, awarding the plaintiff around $25 million, and one has to wonder if, you know, trying to pick up the
pieces after that might also be the impetus why he and others are even willing to talk about it or reflect publicly. how difficult was it for you to be able to get him to talk, to sit down with you? >> well, i've talked to all of those people for years and years and years now, and one of them even said to me it was like were in a war together, just on opposite sides, and so at this point many of them, they are difficult people who burn a lot of bridges and sometimes i wonder if i'm one of the longest term relationships that they have, so at this point when i call them and say talk to me. usually they say yes. >> and that's what makes it so extraordinary and your role and participation in all these years because you've helped, to you know, lift the curtain, reveal an awful lot and at the same time even by revealing this, there are people who are still willing to share with you, you know, and trust you with their
motivations and -- and it's extraordinary. so i cannot wait to see this -- this evening's hour that you're going to be sharing with us because you have helped tone lighten so many people, and you'll continue to do so tonight. ellie reeve, thanks so much. >> watch her new documentary "white power on trial, return to charlottesville" tonight at 9:00 p.m., and we'll be right back.
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or visit an xfinity store to learn how our switch squad makes it easy to switch and save hundreds. hello again, everyone. thanks so much for joining me. i'm fryday-field. we begin this hour with breaking nut. bob dole, a giant of the u.s. senate and the 1996 republican presidential nominee, has died at the age of 98. his family issued a statement saying dole passed away this morning in his sleep. he had announced in february that he was being treated for advanced lung cancer. dole's american journey took him from the plains of kansas to the battlefields of world war ii and then to capitol hill. there he became one of the most
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